Page 1

THIRD

REPORT FROM THE

SELECT COMMITTEE ON

SUGAR AND COFFEE PLANTING; TOGETHER WITH THE

MINUTES AND

OF

EVIDENCE ,

APPENDIX.

Ordered, by The House of Commons, to be Printed, 14

167.

March

1848.

395


[

ii

]

Veneris, 4째 die Februarii, 1848. Ordered, THAT a Select Committee be appointed to inquire into the Present Condition and Prospects of the Interests connected with, and dependent on, SUGAR and COFFER PLANTING in Her Majesty's East and West Indian Possessions and the Mauritius, and to consider whether any and what Measures can be adopted by Parliament for their Relief.

Luna,

7째

die Februarii, 1848.

Committee nominated : Lord George Bentinck. Mr. Labouchere. Mr. Goulburn. Mr. Milner Gibson. Mr. Card well. Sir Thomas Birch. Mr. Henry Hope. Mr. Charles Villiers.

Mr. Philip Miles. Mr. James Wilson. Lord George Manners. Mr. Ewart. Sir John Pakington. Mr. James Matheson. Sir Edward Buxton.

Ordered,

THAT

the Committee have power to send for Persons, Papers, and Records.

Ordered,

THAT

Five be the Quorum of the said Committee.

Martis, 15째 die Februarii, 1848. Ordered, THAT Mr. Ewart be discharged from further attendance on the Committee, and that Mr. Moffatt be added thereto.

Jovis, 24째 die Februarii, 1848. Ordered, THAT the Committee have power to Report the Minutes of Evidence taken before them, from time to time, to The House.

REPORT

p.

iii

MINUTES OF EVIDENCE

-

p.

1

APPENDIX

p. 337


[

THIRD

iii

]

397

REPORT.

THE SELECT COMMITTEE appointed to inquire into the present Condition and Prospects of the Interests connected with, and dependent on,

SUGAR

and

COFFEE PLANTING

in Her Majesty's East

and West Indian Possessions and the Mauritius, and to consider whether any and what Measures can be adopted by Parliament for their Relief, and who were empowered to Report the EVIDENCE

MINUTES

taken before them, from time to time, to The House ;

HAVE made a farther Progress in the Inquiry referred to them.

14

167.

March 1848.

of


[

iv

]

LIST OF WITNESSES.

Luna:, 28° die Februarii, 1848. Right Hon. Lord Howard de Walden W. Dennison, Esq. .

.

p. -

1 32

p.

Mercurii, 1° die Martii, 1848. W. Dennison, Esq. T.Price, Esq. Lord Viscount Ingestre, M. P.

36

p. 36 p. 76

Jovis, 2° die Martii, 1848. W. Scott, Esq.p. S. B. Moody, Esq. p.

88

Sabbati, 4 die Martii, 1848. A. Colvile, Esq. Mr. B. B. Greene

p.111 -

p. 135

Luna:, 6° die Martii, 1848. Mr. F. Morton Mr. T. Dickonp.159 J. A. Hankey, Esq. p.

p. 157 176

Mercurii, 8° die Martii, 1848. Commander H. J. Matson, R.N. p. 193 Mr. H. Dummett H. Crossley, Esq.

p. 211 231

Jovis, 9° die Martii, 1848. J. Tollemache, Esq. M.P. p. 241 F. Shand, Esq. W. Imrie, Esq.

p. 262 p. 279 p. 279

Sabbati, 11° die Martii, 1848. Sir W. Codrington, Bart. Mr. J. Currie p. 293 T. Naghten, Esq. Mr. H. Browning

p 285 p. 328 p. 335


399

[ 1 ] MINUTES OF EVIDENCE.

Luna, 28° die Februarii, 1848. MEMBERS PRESENT.

Lord George Bentinck. Sir Thomas Birch. Sir Edward Buxton. Mr. Milner Gibson.

Mr. Mr. Mr. Mr.

Goulburn. Hope. Matheson. Miles.

LORD GEORGE BENTINCK, IN THE CHAIR.

The Right Hon. the Lord Howard de Walden; Examined. 4422. Chairman.] HAVE you large estates in Jamaica?—I have one estate on the north side of the island, and a share in an estate on the south side. 4423. One is a pen estate, and the other a sugar-field estate ?—On the north side the sugar estate has a pen adjoining it, and on the south side also there is a small pen adjoining the sugar estate. 4424. What is the distance between the two estates?—Two good days' journey. 4425. Can you state to the Committee the effect of emancipation on the produce of your estates ?—On the estate on the north side of the island the produce used to average from GOO to 800 hogsheads a year; and since emancipation, I think it has never produced 300 hogsheads. 4420. What was the extent of cane-field you had in cultivation before emancipation, and what has been the quantity since ?—I have had a return made in reference to the cane-field subsequently to emancipation, but I have not been able to make it out for the time previously to emancipation, in consequence of the destruction during the rebellion of all the papers connected with the estate, and also in consequence of the destruction of Paper-buildings here. Therefore there is a sort of chasm in the accounts. I can only state generally, from the chart I have of the cane-field, and what I know personally from parties who had. been employed upon the cane-field before emancipation, that the whole canefield was about 1,100 acres, out of which there were between 600 and 700 acres annually in cultivation with canes. From the map which I have, giving the details of the cane-field in cultivation, it appears that there were 640 acres actually bearing canes for crop ; and since emancipation, with the exception of the years 1836, 1837, and 1838, there have not been 300 acres. 4427. How much was there in those years?—In 1836, 339; in 1837, 382; and in 1838, 382. I have every year, consecutively, from 1836 to 1847 inclusive; and with the exception of 1836, 1837, and 1838, there has been no year since emancipation in which we have been able to keep up the cane-field to 300 acres. 4428. And those three years were the three last years of apprenticeship ?— Yes. 4429. Then in 1839 the quantity under sugar cultivation fell to 212 acres 200 acres in 1840, 171 acres in 1841, and 202 acres in 1842 ?—Yes. 4430. What was the reason that the cultivation fell off so much in those four years, as compared with the three previous years of apprenticeship ?—It arose from the inability to obtain labour at the proper season for putting in the canes, although we have the same number of negroes on the estate; none have left the estate. 4431 • You stated before that your average export of sugar, previous to emancipation, was from 600 to 800 hogsheads ?—Yes. 0.32. B 4432. I see

Right Hon. Lord Howard de Walden. 28 February 1848.


MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

2 Right Hon. Lord Howard de Walden. 28 February 1848.

4432. I see by this statement that 303 hogsheads were shipped in the year 1836, and that the produce fell to 171 hogsheads in 1837, and 172 hogsheads in 1838 ; those three last years were years of apprenticeship; how do you account for the falling off in the produce in 1837 and 1838, as compared with 1836?—I presume that must have been from the canes not yielding, owing to the season being unfavourable. 4433. After 1838, which was the expiration of apprenticeship, I observe that a much greater falling off occurred; that the produce fell down in 1839 to 76 hogsheads, and in 1840 to 55 hogsheads ?—That must have been caused by the season, but the number of acres under sugar cultivation is the general criterion of the produce of the estate; the sugar cultivation has not been affected so much by the season as by want of labour. 4434. Does not the crop gathered depend, in some degree, upon the possibility of obtaining a good supply of labour in proper time to gather in the sugar-canes ? —Not materially ; in general the negroes are sufficiently ready to work during the gathering in of the crop, because they obtain very high wages at that time; in fact, they dictate their terms to the proprietors. [His Lordship delivered in the Paper, which is as follows:] MONTPELIER. ESTATE. STATEMENT

of Cane-Field, Estimated Crop, and Sugar received, from 1836 to 1847, inclusive. CANE-FIELD.

YEA It.

Crop

/

First Second Tall Plant. Spring Plant. Battoons. Battoons.

Acres.

Acres.

1836 1837 1838 1839 1840 1841 1842 1843 1844 1845 1846 1847

96 92 51 68 32 40 44 35 31 35 38 54

-

22 59 36 -

40 46 . 29 46 33 42 46

Acres.

91 96 115 100 98 33 81 90 58 74 68 80

Estimated at.

Third Battoons.

Total Acres.

Acres.

Acres.

Acres.

125 91 59 7 69 30 31 81 70 58 55 45

26 78 97 -

27 -

339 382 382 212 200 171 202 236 204 201 205 225

Sugar Shipped to England.

Hogsheads.

-

327 294 248 172 152 ' 226 186 177 165 180 240

Hogsheads.

303 171 172 76 55 149 168 142 175 150 200 275

Mem.—Cane-field, previous to Emancipation, 640 acres.

4435. You have stated to the Committee what the difference in the produce of the cane-field was before and after emancipation; can you state what the difference is in the outgoing of the plantation previous to emancipation and during apprenticeship, and subsequently to apprenticeship?—No; I do not think 1 could give any of those details in a satisfactory manner. The principal item, of course, is the payment of wages. You asked me the cause of the falling-off in the cane-field, and I stated that no negroes had left the estate; I may say, and it is a remarkable circumstance, that the population on the estate has increased ; though at the time of emancipation there were only 800 negroes on the estate, there are now altogether above 1,500 on the estate, and yet, notwithstanding that, it is impossible to command labour enough to put in the extent of canefield that we should desire to have. There is a cane-field of 500 acres of very fine land, lying contiguous to the works, which it would be a great object to establish, but from want of command of labour we have never been able to establish even 300 acres. 4436. If you had a sufficient supply of labour, do you conceive that you could now maintain again the cultivation of 1,100 acres?—Yes, I think so, but not with the present wages ; it would not pay with the present wages. 4437. Your difficulties are want of industry, scarcity of labour, high wages, and great opportunities of combination on the part of the labourers ?—Yes. 4438. What information on those points are you enabled to give to the Committee ?— In the first place, with regard to continuous labour, that is very difficult to be obtained; it is very rare that, except during crop time, a negro will work


SELECT COMMITTEE ON SUGAR AND COFFEE PLANTING.

3

work above four days a week ; the fifth day he takes for his provision grounds, and the sixth day for marketing, and the marketing is, in fact, a sort of holiday for them. 4439. Have you kept an account of the greatest number of days that any labourer has worked upon your estate ?—Upon the sugar estate the greatest number of days worked upon it by a negro was 184, and on the pen 147, and in both cases they were females ; and this is extraordinary, because while I was on the island the people worked on Fridays and Saturdays, which they had never done before since emancipation, and continuously during the crop time. 4440. How many months were you in the island ?—I was on that estate only two months, but it was during crop time. Before I went to the island, on the pen they have never worked above four days in the week. Since I have left they have relapsed to the system of four days' work. 4441. How do you account for their working so much better during your presence ?—I think it was the result of my threats to them at the time, that unless they did work the estates would be thrown up ; and then there was a very good feeling on the part of the old negroes towards me, as representing the family; they did it as a sort of concession; I was in daily intercourse with them. 4442. Have you any account of the greatest number of days that any man worked upon that estate ?—No. 4443. But it is clear that on the pen estate it was a less number of days than 147, which would not average three days a week?—Yes, it was less than 147, for that is a solitary instance. 4444. Out of how many labourers ?—One hundred and thirty at Shuttlewood; that is the pen estate. 4445. There is one solitary instance out of 130 labourers of a woman being known to work 147 days in a year ?—Yes, but the working people on the estate separated from the tenantry, and people who do not work, are 569 ; those are in the habit of working occasionally, a few days at one time and a few days at another, and they are considered as the working population of the estate. 4446. What wages do you pay those persons ?—The rate of wages varies according to the work performed; I tried to introduce, as far as I could, taskwork wages, and under that system they could obtain easily in six or seven hours 2 s. a day. 4447. Those are what you call half dollar men ?—No ; we have no dollars; men and women earn that sum. 4448. Do the women do nearly as much as the men?—Yes, 2s.; the labour, which they perform in six hours, was what was considered a fair day's labour during slavery ; but having done what was considered a fair day's labour during slavery, they would not work a minute longer, although they worked at task-work. 4449. No matter what wages you offered them?—No matter what wages you offered them. 4450. Did you make any attempt to lower those wages ?—Yes, I did make the attempt to lower the wages, and was partially successful, but it was in crop time, and the system of combination is such that it makes it almost impossible to succeed ; for instance, during crop time they will not all strike work at once. It is necessary, of course, to have different gangs ; one gang to cut the canes, another gang of cart drivers, boys and women to supply the mills with trash; and any one gang striking work, of course, stops the whole business of the day; during crop, when you have 100 people employed, that causes a great loss; all your people who are at work are stopped, but you are obliged to pay them wages for the day's work. 4451. If the cane is not taken immediately to the mill after it is cut it becomes sour, does it not ?—In very fine dry weather it may keep one or two days, but in wet weather it becomes sour immediately ; and that part of the island is very subject to showers during the crop time. 4452. That would spoil the whole batch of cane that had been cut ?—Yes. 4453. Did it happen to you to be stopped work from any strike for wages ?— Yes ; I was stopped work when I attempted to reduce wages. After having explained to the people the grounds upon which it was necessary to make a reduction in the expenses of the estate, they apparently acquiesced, but the next day, after one party was at work, a gang came from one of the villages and objected to accepting lower wages, and they struck for wages. 4454. What was the result ?—The result was that we stopped the mill. We 0.32. were B 2

401 Right Hon. Lord Howard de Walden. 28 February 1848.


MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

4 Right Hon. Lord Howard de Walden. 28 February 1848.

were at issue for a couple of days. It was necessary for me to make some small concession to two classes, the most influential classes, but in respect to the others I obtained a reduction of about 20 per cent.; but the most influential people carried their point. 44,55. You were able to reduce the negro wages from 2 s. to something like 19 d. ?—Yes; in some instances the reduction was as much as 25 per cent., from 2s. to 18 d., and in other instances from 18 d. to 15 (2., and from 15 (2. to 1 s. 4456. What description of people get only 1 .v. ?—I received only on Saturday last an account of the different wages which are paid on the estate. 4457. Had the crop commenced when you got that?—Yes, they were at work. For digging cane-holes the rate of wages is 2 s. 4458. Mr. G oulburn ] That is task-work reduced to day labour?—Yes; in six hours they can earn 2 s., and they would not work three hours more to gain 3 s. Ploughing cane-holes, 2s.; this is the payment that has been actually made. 4459. Chairman.] Those men appear to work only three days in a week ?—• Yes, the pen-keepers work every day in the week. 4460. What wages do they get ?—Eight shillings for seven days. It is necessary for them to keep a look out every day. Blacksmiths, 1 s. 3 (2. a day ; cane carriers, 9 s. 9 d. for five days' work. 4461. Mr. Goulhum.] Those figures rather represent the actual earnings than the wages per day ?—Exactly. In the mill a man watching the coppers in five days earned 11 s. 10 J d. 4462. Fie worked rather more than five days ?—Yes. The boys earned 6 d. a day; stokers, working five days, earned 11 s. 4 1/2 d. ; cutting bamboos, which is extremely light work, Is. 3d. and Is. 6d. a day; digging trash, 1 s. 3(2. and 1 s.6d. a day; carrying dry trash, ls. 3(2.; this gives the rate of wages, which they earn easily. Drying trash, 9d., which is merely turning it like hay during the sunny time of the day. Potting the sugar 11 s. 3 d., that is for six days. Stillmen, six days, 7 s. (id. 4463. Chairman.] Will you state to the Committee what the result of the balance-sheet of the Montpelier Estate is ?—This is the balance-sheet for eight years, from 1840 to 1847. [His Lordship delivered in the same, which is as follows;] Montpellier Estate, Pen, and Wharf, and Shuttlewood Pen and Butchery Returns. RECEIPTS

absorbed in the Island; Balances remaining on Total Results, viz.: YEARS

1840.

£. Amount bills drawn from Jamaica English supplies, &c.

Total

Net proceeds produce Loss, 1840

-

-

-

-

-

1841.

£.

1842.

£.

1843.

£.

1,050

1,500

2,000

3,824

721

780

848

629

732

669

805

1,632

3,033

3,480

3,498

3,429

1,782

2,169

3,300

5,456

2,791

4,824

4,231

3,999

5,103

4,431

5,600

5,575

1,344

733

570

3,321

2,262

2,301

119

2,091

2,021

1,786

1,826

1,230

241

570

JIhds.

Hhds.

Hhds.

1,431

948

1,215

Loss on the sugar estate -

1,567

87

215

645

Profit on the sugar estate

Hhds. 51

Punch. -

£.

2,800

1,325

Rum

£.

1847.

2,650

242

-

£.

1840.

2,700

Balances transferred in Jamaica by Mr. Jackson, in favour of the pen, wharf &c.,

Amount of produce -

£.

1845.

2,312

Profit on all the properties

(Sugar -

1844.

30

Hhds.

Hhds.

Hhds.

1,707

Hhds.

149

168

142

175

150

200

275

Punch.

Punch.

Punch.

Punch.

Punch.

launch.

Punch.

103

104

84

99

74

94

89

4464. Can


SELECT COMMITTEE ON SUGAR AND COFFEE PLANTING.

5

403

4464. Can you explain how it is that there is in each year a " balance trans- Right Hon. Lord de Walden• ferred by Mr. Jackson in favour of the pen, wharf, &c.," which makes it appear Howard that the two estates produced a loss ?—This return is made out with reference to the proceedings of the two estates; without the pen the sugar estate would 28 February 1848 have returned hardly anything. 4465. Mr. Goulburn Mr. Jackson makes a profit upon the pen, which he transfers to the sugar estate, instead of remitting it to England ?—Exactly. Therefore an estate which has a pen attached to it is in a better position than a sugar estate with no pen attached to it. 4466. Sir E. Buxton.'] In 1841 there was a profit upon the sugar estate as well as upon the pen ?—There was. 4467. Chairman.] Then the result of that table is, that during those eight years there has been a very considerable loss upon the estate ; there is a balance agaist the estate ?—Exactly; there has been a profit lately on the sugar estate in consequence of obtaining gradually more labour and extending the cane-field; the estate has been reviving for the last three years. In 1845, 1846, and 1847 it produced 150,200, and 275 hogsheads. 4468. It seems, according to this statement, that while the estate in the year 1840 produced 55 hogsheads, the loss was 1,567 l., whilst last year when it produced a larger quantity of sugar than in any one of the preceding years, viz. 275 hogsheads, the loss exceeded that of any other year; it was 1,707 l.; therefore, notwithstanding the increased produce, the loss upon the estate in the last year was greater than that of any other year ; that, I presume, arose from the reduced price of sugar ?—Yes. I have an estimate of the loss upon the crop caused by the difference of price ; this refers to the two estates, Montpelier and the Caymanas estate. The sugar of the Caymanas estate is much finer than the other. [His Lordship delivered in the same, which is as follows:] Montpelier Sugar Crop, 1847. M. 275 Hhds. containing 4,111 cwts. sugar, valued in February 1847, At - - - - Average sale was Depreciation

52/ per cwt. is 39/ „

-----

13/

-

-

-

-

-

-

Loss

-

£. s. d. 10,688 12 8,016 9 £. 2,672

3

-

Caymanas Sugar Crop, 1847. E.C. 132 1/2 Hhds. containing 1,826 cwts., valued in February 1847, £. s. d. At - - - - 54/ per cwt. 4,930 4 Average sale was 41/,,- 3,743 - -

Depreciation

13/

-

£. 1,187

4

-

Loss £. 1,187

4

-

Loss on sugar

-

-

-•

7

-

-

-

£. 3,859

4469. That Return refers to two estates; can you give a profit and loss account of the Caymanas estate from the year 1840 to 1847 inclusive?—This is a statement of the Caymanas estate. [His Lordship delivered in the same, which is as follows:] Caymanas Estate and Crawle Pen. Returns. Year.

1840 1841 1842 1843 "1844 1845 1846 1847 0.32.

Sugar.

Rum.

Profit.

Hhds. 64 32 156 94 68 132 64 132

Punchs. 20 15 86 58 40 64 40 75

£ 2,810

Loss. £. —

408 drought.

-

2,276 1,548 82 1,442

— —

— drought. —

470 drought; great loss of cattle. 500 Estimated loss.

-

B 3

4470. Sir


6 .Right Hon. I,old Howard de Walden. 28 February 1848.

MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

4470. Sir T. Birch.] Is there a pen attached to the Caymanas estate ?—Yes. I believe both the Montpelier estate and the Caymanas estate are considered peculiarly well-favoured estates. 4471. Mr. Miles.] Is the land level?—One estate is level, the other is a mountain estate on the north side of the island. 4472. The estate on the south side is better supplied with labour than the other estate ?—It is better supplied with labour than the other, but at high rates of wages. 4473. It has not been so subject to want of labour in particular seasons as the estate on the other side of the island ?—No; the difficulty we have had to contend with on the south side has been the rate of wages; on the other side there was a positive want of labour at any price. You could not obtain labour for the purpose of putting in the cane in the autumn, which is the principal time for labour. 4474. Do you know how far the profit upon the Caymanas estate has been derived from the Crawle pen ?—I cannot ascertain that very clearly, because the accounts of those estates have not been kept separately. 4475. Have you any reason to suppose that a large part of that profit has been derived from the Crawle pen ?—No, it is not a very profitable pen. In Shuttlewood the pen assists the sugar estate considerably. 4476. Sir T. Birch.] How do you account for the great increase of population on the Montpelier estate ?—It is owing to land being let to tenants who have come from the other estates. 4477. What use do those persons make of the land when they get it?—They cultivate a small piece of ground, perhaps an acre, for which they pay rent, and which affords a resource to the estate, because those negroes pay five dollars a year for their house and grounds. 4478. Do they work at all on the estate?—Hardly ever ; it is very difficult to get them to work. 4479. They are satisfied with the cultivation of the plot of ground that they rent?—Yes,in most instances they are; hut they also work upon other estates. 4480. Chairman.] Comparing the two estates, it would seem that the Caymanas estate and the Crawle pen have shown a net profit, in eight years, of 5,7881.; whilst the Montpelier estate, and Shuttlewood pen and wharf, have shown a loss of 2,195 l. in the same period of eight years ; how do you account during the same period ; has the outlay of capital on the Montpelier estate been greater than on the other estate ?—On the Caymanas estate we have had to contend only with high wages; and in keeping up the cultivation of the estate the proportion of loss was only affected by the rate of wages ; whereas on the other estate, that being a larger estate, and much more expensive, the present cane-field not being proportioned to the establishment, of course the expenses were proportionally too great. The establishment was calculated for an estate producing from 400 to 500 hogsheads of sugar; and in order to yield a profit upon such an establishment, you must have an extensive cane-field. The works likewise are all in proportion to that cane-field ; therefore all the contingencies, and expenses, and repairs, are much greater upon that estate than on the Caymanas estate, although for many years the amount of produce upon the two estates has been the same. 4481. How come you to have maintained the Montpelier estate under cultivation, because in ordinary years it appears to have lost 2,195l.?—Nobody likes to throw up an estate as long as he sees a hope of better times and a better crop. 4482. Mr. Goutturn.] Does the estate happen to be part of an estate under a marriage settlement?—Yes, it does. 4483. Therefore there are other incomes dependent upon it besides that which you derive ?—Yes. 4484. Therefore it is a matter of conscience with you to retain the estate in your hands as the incomes of other persons are dependent upon it?—Certainly. 4485. Chairman.] It appears that upon the joint estates the average net income during eight years has been 900 /. a year ; can you state what the income of those estates was in former times, during your father's lifetime?—In former times those estates used to net above 20,0001, a year. 4486. Mr. Goulhurn.] What did they net in the last year before emancipation ? —I cannot tell, because all the papers have been burnt, some during the rebellion in


SELECT COMMITTEE ON SUGAR AND COFFEE PLANTING.

405

7

in the island, and others accidentally in the attorney's chambers at Paper-buildings here. 4487. Chairman.] Do you know from recollection of what your father said, what the estates netted in 1823?—It was about 20,0001, a year ; and I also know from tradition from my father that his merchant, the late Mr. Deffield, when doing business for him, gave him credit for 20,000 I. a year for those estates. 4488. Then the average income of those estates in your father's lifetime was 20,000/. a year previous to emancipation?—I cannot state that positively ; it is difficult for me, without accounts, to say what the estate did really average, for there were bad seasons, and so on, which would affect the average. 4489. In certain years during the war I believe they netted 40,000 I. ?—I cannot state; but I know that they produced a large amount. When I stated that the cane-field was 1,100 acres, and that the amount actually under cultivation was from 600 to 700 acres, and that now I have not been able, till this year, to establish 300 acres of cane-field, it speaks for itself as to the cause of the falling off of the produce of the estate, because with the same establishment on the estate it produced 600 hogsheads, which would more than treble the present proceeds of the estate. 4490. I believe you have done everything that it is possible to do in the way of machinery for the improvement of the estates ?—Yes ; the estates happen to be peculiarly well favoured, in consequence of having a good water power, therefore the expense of the mill is not so great as it is on many estates. I have had a return from my agent, which he made out under my direction, stating the cost per cwt. of sugar in the years 1846 and 1847 ; he has also sent me a return of 16 estates under his own management, the names of those estates are not given for special reasons; but he has given a calculation of the expense of sugar per cwt., setting against it all the proceeds in the island as well as the value of the rum. Upon the Montpelier estate, in 1846, the expense was 1 I. 0s. 10d. per cwt., and in the last year, with a larger crop, it was only 11 s. 6 3/4 d.; and notwithstanding that the cost of the production of sugar was lis. 6 3/4 d. a cwt. instead of 1 I. 0 s. 10 d. the preceding year, and notwithstanding a greater crop, there is a loss upon the estate in the last year as compared with the former year.

Right Hon. Lord Howard de Walden. 28 February 1848.

[His Lordship delivered in two Papers, which are as follows:] INLAND ACCOUNT

YEAR.

of Cost of SUGAR per Cwt. on Montpelier Estate.

Total

Wages.

Receipts and Rum.

Crop.

Expenses.

Loss

Bills.

per Cwt.

£.

£.

Hhds.

£.

1840 -

3,394

5,412

200

2,290

1

1847 -

3,450

5,050

275

3,399

- 11

£. s.

d.

- 10

63/4

Balance remaining for English Produce. Expenses. Net

£.

£.

£.

2,500

5,600

3,166

3,824

5,575

1,751

STATEMENT of the Average Cost of One Cwt. of SUGAR on 10 Estates in the County of Cornwall.

No.

Amount of Wages.

£.

1

2

3

745 827 805 1,208 1,309 1,197 997 1,088 1,151

0.32.

S.

d.

14 3 15 2 8 6 1/2 3 8 12 2 10 1 5 0 17 2 19 11 1/2

Amount of all other Contingencies.

£.

s.

769 9 853 7 770 19 849 1 850 15 837 3 834 5 789 1 739 12

d. 0 1 6 1/2 9 9 7 9 3 1/2

Value of the Rum, and other Receipts in the Island.

CROPS. TOTAL. Year.

£.

1,515 1,081 1,570 2,117 2,100 2,034 1,831 1,877 1,891

s.

Hhds. Trs.

d.

3 9 2 3 8 1 5 5 7 2 14 10 11 4 18 11 12 3

1845 1840 1847 1845 1846 1847 1845 1846 1847

55 78 56 77 77

16 0 8 2 0 63 0 0 94 0 99 0 125

Rum.

Cwt.

Puns. Hhds.

1,040 1,326 854 1,252 1,309 882 940 990 1,162

29 33 28 .37 41 35 30 30 23

0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0

£. 515 575 648 804 590 741 510 531 443

s.

d.

8 9 19 0 16 7 7 17 10 10 7 17 1 19 -

Cost of Sugar per Cwt., after deducting the other Receipt.

£.

jr.

d.

- 19 2 - 13 7 1 1 8 1/4 1 - 11 1 3 10 I 9 3A 1 8 1 7 2 1 4 -

(continued)

B 4


8

MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

No.

Amount of all other Contingencies.

Amount of Wages.

CRO PS. TOTAL. Rum.

Year. £. 4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

1,192 1,097 1,321 933 955 1,030 898 799 807

1,920 2,179 2,005 2,148 2,615 2,457 1,286 1,458 1,558 1,072 1,208 1,118 779 959 950 2,029 3,394 3,450 1,292 1,391 1,299 1,510 1,505

s.

d.

17 8 10 9 15 2 10 7 — 1 - 6 3 8 2 11 17 9 2 10 13 7 12 9 1/2 17 2 14 3 3 4 1 5 9 10 5 4 13 11 12 9 14 15 10 8 1 8 11J 10 l" 7 10 - 10J - 10 9 2 19 5 17 7 2 1

£. 1,400 1,022 1,025 659 589 655 783 641 739 1,180 1,188 1,015 1,797 1,702 1,781 863 945 905 520 525 562 536 520 490 1 696 2,017 2,179 1,099 857 806 1,490 1,371

S.

d.

14 18 4 12 6 10 9 14 10 14 19 6 19 3 2 6 18 3 19 13 12 14 14 19 8 12 13 4 8 14 1 1

2 2 10 7 4

£.

s.

2,593 2,120 2,347 1,593 1,544 9\ 1,683 - 1,681 6 1,440 7\ 1,547 4~ 3,100 3 3,368 10J 3,020 7 3,946 10 4,317 10 4,238 10 2,149 8 2,404 7 2,463 6 1,593 10 1,734 2 1,681 10 1,316 7 1,480 lj 1,441 1 4,325 6 5,412 6| 5,629 9 2,391 10 2,248 4 2,106 3 3,000 6 2,876

11 8 9 6 11 12 17 8 17 12 19 6 18 6 8 8 8 13 6 6 10 2 8 18 14 5 18 13 18 3

d.

Hhds.Trs.

10 1845 11 1846 1847 2 1845 5 1846 4 1847 8 1845 5 1846 5 1847 2 1845 1846 10. 1847 8 1845 9 1 1846 2 1847 3 1845 1846 6 11 1847 1845 5 1846 7 2 1847 8 1845 1846 8 1 1847 1845 2 4 *1846 5 *1847 1845 7 0 1846 1847 9 10 1845 7 1846

120 77 160 70 50 63 75 37 79 148 178 132 196 224 224 98 127 122 61 83 68 35 53 42 150 200 276 71 80 81 193 113

11 10 10 10 15 20 0 1 0 2 2 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Value of the Rum, and other Receipts in the Island.

Cwt. Puns. Hhd.

Cost of Sugar per Cwt., after deducting the other Receipts.

£.

s.

d.

1,910 1,255 2,500 1,150 900 1,064 1,125 565 1,106 2,240 2,690 1,858 2,940 3,740 3,136 1,470 1,915 1,708 925 1,245 952 525 795 588 2,250 3,000 3,864 1,065 1,200 1,215 2,295 1,695

79 49 85 40 26 51 38 26 44 90 77 55 118 141 127 59 73 63 46 55 44 10 16 14 89 118 163 37 40 37 100 47

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 O 0 1 1 0 0 0

1,232 777 1,422 722 478 965 489 400 761 1,608 1,255 1,054 1,527 2,073 2,138 882 1,262 1,201 660 987 888 329 200 253 2,001 2,269 3,399 603 957 580 1,457 716

18 12 14 2 1 18 15 8 7 1 15 1 8 13 16 8

6 9 — 9 2 9 9 4 9 2 -

£. s.

3

9

1 4 7 19 19 17 6 13 10 19 6 18 14 10

8 3 6 10 7 6 7 10 8 10 11 3 -

- 14 2 1 1 4 - 8 - 15 1 1 3 8 - 13 5 1 1 2 1 16 9 - 14 2 4 - 13 3 - 15 8 1 1 3 1/4 - 16 7 - 12 - 12 8 1/2 - 17 1 - 11 10 - 14 9 1/4 1 - 2 - 11 11 - 16 7 3/4 1 17 1 12 2 2-4 - 11 10 1-10 - 11 6 3/4 1 13 11 1 1 6 1 8 7 - 13 6 1 5 6

945 023 2,058

35 24 83

1 1 0

820 16 982 15 1,950 4

1 4 -

- 18 8 1 14 1 - 6 6 3/4

d.

Brls 15 10

1,103 5 1,033 14 1,395 13

8 610 1 1,025 1| 1,231

8 10 1,713 14 - 3 2,058 14 - 10J 2,626 14

6 4 -

1846 1846 1847

63 49 41 4 147 0

The foregoing is a Statement of the Average Cost of One Cwt. of Sugar on 16 Estates in the County of Cornwall. Viz.: 15 estates in 1845, average per cwt. 1846, ditto 16 „ ditto 14 „ 1847,

£. s. d. - 19 10 1/4 1 1 10 - 18 9 J

-

3 General Average

----£.

-

52

1-l 3/4

All rums of which account sales have not been received are valued at 15 l. per puncheon. In this calculation no allowance is made for interest on capital or the outlay, which would considerably increase the cost.

4491. Can you speak to the condition of the negroes both before and after emancipation ?—I can say nothing of my own experience as to the state of the negro before emancipation; it is only from hearsay that I can draw a comparison between their state then and their present state, but at the present moment, as far as my observation and my knowledge of the population in other countries go, I'shouid say that I do not know any population in any part of the world that I have visited so much at their ease as the negro population in Jamaica. 4492. What are their tastes ?—They are very fond of dress and amusements of all kinds ; one of their objects in obtaining a day in the week for marketing is that they consider the market-day as a day of pleasure. One of the reasons why we have found it so difficult to obtain continuous labour has been their taking so many holidays; they like holidays to celebrate emancipation, and they take holidays at Christmas and at Easter, and during those times they are going about the country and galloping about the roads on their own horses. 4493. What


SELECT COMMITTEE ON SUGAR AND COFFEE PLANTING.

9

4493. What proportion of the labourers on your estate keep and ride their own horses?—A considerable number keep horses. I have an account of the proportion on my estate of riding-horses ; upon my Shettlewood estate the number for which they pay rent is 74. 4494. How many families have you upon that estate ?—One hundred and fiftysix houses. 4495. Out of 156 houses, 74 keep their horses?—Yes; but in addition to that, they have their brood mares, and the value of those mares to them is considerable, as I ascertained from the difficulty I had in obtaining mares to breed from. I wanted to breed mules, and whilst I was in the island there were several young fillies, two years old, which I wanted to buy from the negroes, and they asked me from 10 I. to 12 I. apiece. They do not pay any rent for their colts or fillies till they are a year old, so that they often make from 8 I. to 10 I. in the year after paying 1 s. a week from the time the fillies are a year old ; they sell them at two years' old at from 7 l. to 8 I. apiece, and they asked me from 10 l. to 12 l. for the choice ones that I wished to buy. 4496. I observe from the heading of one of your estates that it was a pen and butchery ; in accounting for the loss upon the butchery account, it was stated that there had been a diminution in the sales, from the circumstance that the negroes had taken to killing their own meat?—Yes. 4497. In point of fact, then, they ride their own horses, and they kill their own meat ?—Yes. I can give a return of the population on the Montpelier and Shettlewood estates. I stated that the total was about 1,500; the exact number is 1,493; the working people or able people are 325; the invalids and children, 242; tradesmen, 15. Then there are classed as good workmen, 126; bad and irregular workmen, 86; houses, 156; 95 grounds; 74 horses. [His Lordship delivered in the Paper, "which is as follows :] GENERAL

Population on Montpelier and Shettlewood.

Old and New Montpelier ---Richmond Hill Mafoota and farm -------Shettlewood Coolies Portuguese

550 80 648 130

----------

1,408

40 45 85

TOTAL

-

-

-

-

1,493

Montpelier Estate and Shettlewood Pen. NUMBER

of Working People ; Houses, Grounds, and Horses, for which they pay Rent.

WORKING

PEOPLE.

HOUSES.

GROUNDS.

HORSES.

156

95

74

567

Able people Invalids and children

-

242

-

567

Tradesmen Good workmen Had and irregular

-

15 126 -

86

227

O.32.

c

Greatest

407 Right Hon. Lord Howard de Waldert. 28 February 1848.


10 Right Hon. Lord Howardde Walden, 28 February 1848.

MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE Greatest Number of Days' Work by a Negro in 1847 : 184 Montpelier Shettlewood -------. .-147 N. B.—In both cases females.

I think I may safely say with regard to obtaining labour, that I obtained more labour this year than previously, owing to my having taken into my own hands some ground which had been leased in former times to a person who had a jobbing gang; though those people remained upon the estate and paid rent to their former mistress, they did no work upon my estate, and I believe upon no other estate in the neighbourhood; they confined themselves to cultivating their own ground. Being my tenants I said that they must work for me, or I should turn them off the estate, and I received accounts from my agent, in answer to inquiries I made respecting those people, that they all had been down to the estate and worked out the rent that was due from them, but not a day more. 4498. From your experience you come to the conclusion that the greatest mistake possible would be to allow the labourers to purchase freeholds?—Certainly ; I should consider it the most mischievous thing possible for the interests of the negroes as well as of the proprietor, because they are tempted in the first instance to buy the best soil which has never been cultivated before; that soil produces in general a fine crop the first year, a less good crop the second year, and of course it deteriorates gradually ; and when a bad season comes, those people, who have become freeholders, do not like to return to the field to work, and they struggle on against adversity, and they are exposed to disease in consequence of their grounds being generally in the mountain districts, the climate of which is not congenial to the negro ; they have no money to pay a doctor, and a doctor will not visit them gratuitously ; they consequently succumb, and are exposed to privations of all kinds, as well as diseases ; I believe the mortality among the negroes who have bought freeholds has been extremely great. 4499. Then you have come to an opinion quite the converse of that of Lord Grey upon the subject ?—Entirely, with reference to the purchase of freeholds by the negroes. 4500. Can you speak to the moral improvement of the negroes in Jamaica, as regards their education, religion, habits, dress, and marriage?—I believe that they have amazingly improved in every respect since emancipation ; everybody agrees that the change since emancipation has been very remarkable. 4501. What do you say of the local influences of the proprietors, agents, and clergy upon the negroes; have the proprietors much influence over the" negroes? —I do not think that the proprietors have a great deal of influence over the negroes, except in old established properties. I think that a good deal might have been done in former times had we had an efficient clergy established in the island ; it is only of late years that there has been anything like an efficient clergy of the Church of England established. 4502. What influence have the clergy of the Church of England at this time over the negro population of Jamaica?—I think the clergy of the Church of England are acquiring daily more influence over the negroes, and certainly they are co-operating with the proprietors in encouraging industry. I think there are other influences, whether we may call them church or religious, which have had the contrary tendency; I should say especially the Baptists. I think that the influence of the Wesleyans has been good, but that that of the Baptists has been exceedingly mischievous. 4.503. In encouraging insubordination in the island ?—The Baptist ministers in general are paid by the negroes, and it is obviously their interest to keep up the rate of wages, and in proportion to the contributions made by the negro he ranks in the estimation of the sect; they class the negroes, and the classification gives them rank, which has a great charm for them. In the middle of the crop the Baptists will fix a day for visitation, or for a sermon, or for a collection, or something of that kind, and take away all the negroes of the estate at a most important moment; instead of taking a Saturday or taking a Sunday, they will fix upon the most important day of the week, without considering the effect upon the neighbouring estates. I may state the following fact which is reported to me. I was exceediagly anxious to establish a school upon my estate, and I did so at a considerable expense, and immediately I left the estate emissaries were sent to the negro


SELECT COMMITTEE ON SUGAR AND COFFEE PLANTING.

11

negro village warning all the negroes not to send their children to our school, saying that our object was to make slaves of them again. 4504. What was the effect of that?—The effect was that children who had been sent to my school were taken away and sent back to the Baptist school; at the Baptist school they paid, but at our school they paid nothing; every child who went to our school was a loss to them, and consequently they deterred the children as much as possible from coming to our school. 4505. Are not the payments in the island for the maintenance of the Church very heavy ?—They are very considerable. 4506. What have you to say with respect to the disadvantage of absenteeism and the practicability of residence in the island ?—There is no doubt that the presence of a proprietor on his estate would be more or less beneficial to the estate ; hut in Jamaica and the West Indies generally, you must consider how far it is practicable. In many of the estates it would be perfectly impossible for any proprietor to live with his family; the estates in Jamaica are not like estates in England, where there are good houses upon them, but on estates of only 200 acres, and in an unhealthy situation, no family could reside. For instance, my estate on the south side of the island is so unhealthy, that all the white people living on it are constantly attacked by ague; that is the case with all except those who are accustomed, comparatively speaking, to the island. But there are a great number of proprietors residing in Jamaica whose estates are in much the same condition, I may say, as the estates of most of the absentees. I do not know any instances in which the mere presence of the proprietor has made a difference between the estate bearing a profit or a loss. As far as the effect of example upon the population, and so forth, nobody can doubt that the presence of the proprietor must be beneficial rather than otherwise ; but taking the creditor and debtor side of the account, I am not aware that the actual residence of the proprietor has saved any estate as yet, and there are a great number of residents in Jamaica. 4507. What have you to say to the success of white immigrants into Jamaica, Germans and Portuguese ?—When there was a difficulty in obtaining Africans I thought that it would be very advantageous to us if we encouraged white immigrants to the West Indies, and I thought that there were various situations in the island of Jamaica and the West India islands generally where a white population could do remarkably well ; that is, in the mountains, where provisions grow very abundantly. I thought a white population might be able to supply the markets, and by supplying the markets and living in a climate not genial to the negro, the negro would be driven down to the field, and the white population would monopolize the supply of the markets, and in that way we might obtain probably the same results as if we had a black population imported. I tried myself the importation of whites; I imported some Portuguese, and I have received not only from my own agent, but from others who have observed the working of them, accounts which have been exceedingly favourable, not only in respect of the conduct of the Portuguese, but the effect upon the negro population. I am told that this year, since the Portuguese have been on the estates, there has been more disposition on the part of the negroes to work than ever there was before since emancipation. 4508. The industry of the Portuguese has encouraged the blacks to work ?— Yes; but up to this moment we have had all sorts of obstacles put in the way of our importing a white population; we have had difficulties about contracts; we were not to be allowed to make a contract with the parties till after their arrival in the island, and of course nobody would introduce immigrants if he were not allowed to make contracts with them ; and if, after having incurred all the expense of bringing them to the island, he had no hold whatever over them. 4509. You say that those Portuguese have answered very well with you ?— Yes, hitherto they have. 4510. How have they maintained their health?—Not well; they arrived under peculiar disadvantages. At the time I was in the island I was informed that there was no possibility of obtaining Portuguese, because they were more disposed to go to Trinidad and to other islands where their own countrymen were; I had therefore given up all hope of obtaining any, and when they arrived they were established in buildings near the works instead of being established in houses in the particular situation where I intended them to be located, and where they are now building houses for them ; but the situation in which they were to 0.32. "be c 2

409 Right Hon. Lord Howard de Walden. 28 February 1848.


12

be located was a very favourable one: it has been tried by the troops, and has been found to be exceedingly healthy. 4511. You have 45 Portuguese?—Yes. 1848. 4512. Have there been any trials of strength between the Portuguese and negroes in the island at work ?—My Portuguese on a trial have beaten the negroes at work. 4513. Notwithstanding the heat of the weather ?—Yes. 4514. Is that because they are more skilful, or because they can really do a better day's work?—That is difficult to say, but I suppose they have more perseverance and energy. 4515. Mr. Goulburn.] Do they live upon better food than the negroes? — They do. 4516. Chairman.] And yet the negroes live now very well?—I presume the. Portuguese live better, because they live partly upon rations given to them at my expense. 4517. Is it your opinion that if all the restrictions which now exist were taken oft, Europeans would immigrate to the West India islands?—I think it would be extremely advantageous to us if we could import white people from the south of Europe ; Maltese, Genoese, and people from the Canary Islands. 4518. Whenever you have attempted to do anything of the kind, Government has always stepped in and opposed itself to such measures ?—I never attempted it myself, but on former occasions I heard from persons who took measures for the importation of white people, that a great objection was made by the Colonial Office to the introduction of any immigrants whatever, except free Africans. 4519. There is a German establishment, is there not, at Seaford Town, which is a new settlement situate upon part of your estate?—Yes ; there was an arrangement made to introduce white people, and I think there were 500 or 600 people imported with a view to try the experiment. On their arrival nothing was prepared for them ; they were turned out upon this spot; there were no houses, and there was nobody to interpret to them ; and it was intended that this village should heconnected with the police-station ; but a few months after the police-station was abandoned, and all those people were abandoned also ; they had no medical attendant, and they suffered extremely, and yet after struggling on for some time they did remarkably well and made a little money, and some of them went over to America, and when I was upon the island I found about 150 still remaining there doing remarkably well, and extremely happy and cheerful, having overcome all the difficulties that they had to contend with. I believe they were selected from a very low class of the German population, and none of them could speak a word of English. 4520. What have you to say upon the agricultural improvements in Jamaica, those already made and those making; those which are practical and those which are theoretical; what improvements of which the island is susceptible, have there been made in the island generally, or upon your estates?—Generally speaking,, where the plough could be used it has been used, and various kinds of ploughs ; as far as my observation went very great improvements had taken place, and there was every disposition to do everything that was practicable, but it is impossible for a person living in England to say what the course of agriculture should be in Jamaica; for instance, on my estates there are many fields in which the plough could not be used, because the ground is so rocky that when the point of the. plough touches the rock it snaps in an instant. 4521. You have no alternative there but to work with either the spade or the hoe?—No. I myself had the experiment tried of ploughing with less than 12 oxen attached to the plough ; it was very laborious work. I made them take off four oxen to try the plough with eight fine oxen, and I saw them brought to a regular stand-still by the stiffness of the soil. I then had a lighter plough tried. It was a very nice plough that I had myself taken out, and I was determined to see a fair trial of this plough. Directly the oxen were yoked to it, they walked away, and an instant after it flew up in the air, and snapped in two, in consequence of having met with a rock. I mention this as one of the difficulties we have to contend with, which persons are not aware of in this country. 4322. With respect to underdrawing, what is your opinion upon that?—I think it would be perfectly absurd to attempt underdraining in Jamaica; the only way is to have an open drain. I have seen instances in Portugal in which watercourses have been completely choked up in the course of a few months ; the roots. penetrate

Right Hon. Lord Howard de Walden. 28 February

MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE


SELECT COMMITTEE ON SUGAR AND COFFEE PLANTING. 13

411

penetrate the tile, form a substance like a. fox's tail, and completely choke up Right Hon. Lord the drain; the vegetation is so rapid, that it is perfectly absurd to attempt tile- Howard de Wulden. draining. 28 February 1848. 4523. Then when Lord Grey is of opinion that nothing is required in Jamaica but the outlay of greater capital in the process of tile-draining, the fact is that his Lordship has not taken those practical difficulties into his consideration ?— I judge from my own experience, from what I have seen in Jamaica, and what I have seen in other countries; and as far as my observation goes, I conceive that those nominal resources afford us a very poor prospect indeed. 4524. Is there not another objection to tile-draining in Jamaica, which is this, that the floods come down so heavily, that no tile-draining could carry off the water?—It is quite out of the question. 4525. You require something more like a canal to carry off the flood of ater ? —You require a large open drain. 4526. Do you know the number of inches of water that falls in a month ?—No, I do not. 4527. Is it not something like five or six times the quantity of rain that falls in England in a month ?—It must be a great deal more than that; it comes down in torrents. 4528. And when those, floods come down they would block up a tile-drain ?— They would. 4529. Mr. M. Gibson.'] Who made the proposition first with regard to tiledrainage, Lord Grey or the planters ?—My impression was, that it was held out to us as a resource; but whether by Lord Elgin, or by Lord Grey, or any other parties who were giving us advice, I cannot tell, but I have always understood it was a piece of advice given to us. 4530. Sir E. Buxton.] Is it not the fact that the planters have applied to Government for a loan to drain their land?—Yes, to drain their land; but not to tile-drain it. I should be glad myself of a loan to enable me to drain my estate. It would be most useful if Government would advance a loan for the purpose, hut not for tile-drainage; a good deal might be done by draining, but it depends what kind of drainage it is. 4531. Chairman.] In Jamaica there are a great number of fens, which you call lagoons, which consist of rich alluvial soil, and if loans could be made to a number of planters together, drainages upon a large scale might be effected, by cutting great open drains through those various properties, just as improvements of that kind have been carried out in the fens of this country ?—There is no doubt of it; in illustration, I may state that there is a district between Kingston and Spanish Town where a great deal of the finest land possible could be brought into cultivation, by making a cut from Springheads to the River Cobre, but in order to do that, it would be necessary to have a loan from the Government. There was an estimate made of that work which amounted to about 4,000 l.; it would go through three estates; two of them would not be in a situation to afford security for a loan to any parties except the Government, in consequence of having settlements charged upon them, and so forth. 4532. I apprehend in the present condition of the estates in Jamaica, the fall in the price of produce makes it entirely out of the question raising any money in England upon the security of those estates ?—I believe it would be very difficult indeed. But I should think that the expense of this drain to the estates would be repaid in a year or two. 4533. T hat is if the money could be borrowed?—Exactly. 4534. But there is no possibility of borrowing the money in the English moneymarket?—There would be a practical difficulty in raising a sum of money conjointly from the three estates, because the three estates would be under different titles and different settlements; but if Government would advance the money, they would come in as first creditor, and it would enable the estates to carry out those works which it is impossible for them to do now; the Government advanced money for the restoration of the works of estates after the rebellion, taking the first security from the estates. 4535. Mr. Goulburn.] That would apply to works of irrigation as well as works of drainage?—Certainly, and to tramways. 4536. Chairman.] Have you not some examples that you can quote of great benefits that might be conferred upon large districts of sugar plantations, if money could be advanced to carry out a tramway?—Yes. There was a rough estimate 0.32. c 3 made


14

made of a tramway of eight miles ; it was considered that it would cost about 15,0001., and 16 sugar estates would be benefited by it, and of course all those estates would be happy to contribute towards making this tramway ; but from 1848. one estate being in Chancery, another in the hands of mortgagees, and another in the hands of merchants, or assigned over, it is very difficult to give security to any person who would be ready to lend the sum of money required. 4537. You would propose that the Government in such a case should lend the money, and should take the first security on the estate?—Yes ; sending a person to the spot to ascertain whether the plan was likely to be beneficial to the estates ; the calculation is easily made. There is so much produce on an average to be conveyed from the estates ; every attorney of an estate knows what the cost of conveyance of produce is at present, and he can compare that with what the cost would be if the tramwav were made, and calculate the balance. 4538. What mechanical improvements do the sugar plantations in Jamaica admit of in the way of water-mills, vacuum-pans, and so on ?—I think that the resources are comparatively small. The idea of central factories has been entertained a great deal, but central factories are not practicable in many parts of Jamaica, or I should say, in general. There are localities where central factories might do well, such as near rivers, but in mountainous districts it would be impossible to have central factories, the distance you would have to carry the cane would be so great that it would more than counterbalance any economy in establishing large central works. 4539. The fact is, is it not, that the canes are so heavy that a planter who had to carry his canes any distance to a mill would be ruined by the cost of carriage? —I think in most instances it would be impracticable in Jamaica to establish central factories. In general the works have been established in the particular positions on the estates most favourable for the conveyance of the produce to the mill, generally at the foot of a hill, in order that they may have as little labour as possible; if you have to throw several estates together, you have not the same advantage of locality. I presume also that, for central factories, it would be contemplated to establish steam power; now, on many estates you have the power of water, and there you are much better off with water than you would be in sending your canes to a distance to a central factory, and you can work your estate more economically with water power than you could at a central factory with steam power at a considerable distance. 4540. We have had it in evidence before that it takes from 10 to 15 tons of sugar-cane to make one ton of sugar ; do you confirm that opinion ?—The quantity of canes it takes to make a ton of sugar is so extremely various that it is very difficult to state what it would be on the average. 4541. Ten tons is the minimum?—I never heard of the weight of canes being taken into calculation; we reckon there by gallons of juice; but to show how difficult it is to draw anything like a correct average of that kind, I may observe that on my estate, on the south side of the island, last year it took 3,000 gallons of juice to make a hogshead of sugar. 4542. Mr. Miles.] In what time was that?—In the months of February and March ; on my estate, on the north side of the island, it took only 1,500 gallons, and yet the sugar made from 3,000 gallons was much superior to that made from the 1,500 gallons. 4543. Chairman.'] The object of my inquiry was to get at the cost of the carriage of the canes ; because if the proportion that the cane bears to the sugar is something like 15 or 20 to 1, it is quite clear that it would add ruinously to the cost of the manufacture of sugar if you had to carry the cane any great distance ?—Certainly, there can be no doubt about that; the carriage of the canes is a very important feature in the expense of an estate ; you require a great number of carts for instance, and six oxen to a cart. 4544. We have all heard a great deal of Mr. Price's improvements; I believe you were a witness to the fact that his steam engine lay for a great number of months somewhere in the neighbourhood of Kingston ?—I certainly heard of Mr. Price; Lord Elgin held him forth as a pattern for Jamaica planters, and on arriving in the island of Jamaica I inquired about Mr. Price, and I heard that his estate had completely failed and that all his schemes had fallen to the ground. 4545. Did you see the machinery that he had employed?—I saw it lying about. 4546. How

Right Hon. Lord

Howard de Walden. 28 February

MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE


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413

4546. Flow long was the machinery lying there?—Several months. I do not Right Hon. Lord Howard de Walden. know how long it had been there ; he had lost the crop. 4547. Sir E. Buxton.'] Was not that owing to some accidental breakage in the 28 February 1848. machinery, that might have happened to any one ?—I cannot speak to that of my hearsay from persons who saw it, but it was own knowledge; it is only from ascribed to a miscalculation on his part. But when you are told that we have resources, and that you ought to cultivate your estate like Mr. Price's, you naturally inquire what Mr. Price has done, and you are told that he has failed entirely, and that his estate has gone into debt; and you then inquire why that is, and you learn that his machinery has failed. If you employ machinery which is difficult to mend, you risk the ruin of your estate ; if you send out machinery to Jamaica that is difficult to mend, and you have nobody in the island who can mend it, if a screw or a bolt gets wrong, you perhaps lose the whole crop. In illustration, I may mention a fact: I went to an estate in Barbadoes, and saw a vacuum pan which had been put up there ; the gentleman had had the good sense not to destroy any part of his old works; he put the vacuum pan in addition to them, and before the fifth day the engine broke ; he tried to get it mended at the place, but he was obliged to send it to Demerara, and he lost the use of this vacuum pan during the whole time of the crop. In my opinion we have not yet arrived at a state to be able to turn resources like those to account. 4,748. But is not the vacuum pan used in Jamaica, and also the slave colonies of Spain ?—I believe very much so. 4549. So that, on the whole, it is an advantage, though not so great an advantage as is supposed here?—When I went out to Jamaica, I heard a great deal of the vacuum pan; people held out to me the vacuum pan as a great resource for increasing the produce of an estate, and improving the quality of the sugar, and so forth. I consulted many persons, and among others I went to a very great sugar-refiner here. Fie showed me over his establishment, and gave me all the particulars of its working; and I afterwards asked his advice as to putting up a vacuum pan in Jamaica, and he said, " It is a question upon which I can hardly give you advice, because I know nothing of Jamaica; but I will tell you one thing, which is, that in my own establishment I have but one Englishman. I found it necessary to have Germans, in order to ensure sufficient attention being paid to the working of the vacuum pan. You can judge whether you can trust the negroes better than I can Englishmen." That was his opinion of the working of the vacuum pan even in England. 4550. Mr. Goulburn.] Is it in your Lordship's recollection that, in consequence of the difficulty of repairing steam machinery, some of the estates returned again to windmills?-—No, I have never heard of a case of that kind. 4551. Chairman.] Mr. Price's estate entirely stopped work in consequence of the failure of his mill?—Yes ; it was a very fine and large mill; being so large and fine a mill, in all probability there was nobody in the island competent to mend it when it was out of repair. In reference to improvements in the manufacture of sugar, while 1 was in the island there were two persons who thought they had discovered a mode of clarifying the juice, which was to improve the quality of the sugar, as also to increase the quantity, and they were very sanguine as to the result; the juice was apparently clear, but I have since been informed that it has totally failed practically, and that it has not really improved the quality of the sugar. I was also warned by parties, before I went out, not to risk the quantity of sugar I was making under the old method, for the sake of a vacuum pan, they thinking that the public would not take to the vacuum-pan sugar; and I have since been informed that the vacuum-pan sugar has not answered, and that it does not repay the outlay for the pan. 4552. Can you state what are the various expenses of the island, and what expenses might be reduced?—I consider that all our expenses in Jamaica are infinitely too high, and that the expenses of the whole establishment in Jamaica ought to he reduced. 4773. Mr. Goulburn.] Do you mean the establishment of the island, or the establishment on particular estates?—The establishment of the island. 4774. Chairman.] You would begin with the Governor, and go down to the lowest custom-house officer; is that so ?—I think that the salaries of all the officers are infinitely too high. 4755. That is in reference to the reduced circumstances of the island ?—Yes, because they have to he paid for by the planters. 0.32. c 4 4550-


16

MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

4556. Do you know what the island expenses amount to?—No, I have not the amount; all that is contained in the budget of the year. I have not got that 28 February 1848. with me. 4557. Mr. Goulburn.] Do you happen to know the amount of taxes paid upon those estates of yours, both parochial and Government; I have not the figures with me. 4558. Chairman.] But the general expenses of the establishment of the. island amount to about half a million a year, do they not ?—I am not sure what the total amount is. 4559. Is it your opinion that if a recommendation should go out from this country to reduce the annual charge of all official persons 25 or 30 per cent., it would go a long way towards reducing the wages of the way labourers, attornies, overseers, and so forth ?—No doubt it would ; the question of a general reduction has been taken into consideration by the Assembly frequently. When I was in the island there were a great number of judicious reductions proposed, but the Bill was lost, I believe mainly in consequence of its touching the salaries of many influential persons in the island. 4560. Mr. Goulburn.] Has not a great burden been created by the improvements that have been of late years introduced in reference to police regulations, and also in reference to gaols?—The charges are heavy, and many of them quite disproportionate to the resources of the island. I should say that all the machinery which was established during the apprenticeships is superfluous now; for instance, the chairmen of quarter sessions and the stipendiary magistrates. I think that an effective police, and giving the Governor of Jamaica greater power with reference to the appointments, would be a much more advantageous thing for the island than that those appointments should be made from home. I think you have now a class of planters and others from whom you could select proper persons for those offices, and that it would be more suitable and have more effect upon the negro population to see persons of that class appointed to those situations than to have persons sent out from England; the mere fact of stipendiary magistrates being sent out from England produces a bad effect upon the population, and makes them think that it is necessary to have some protection against the proprietors. 4561. Chairman.] How many Coolie superintendents have you in Jamaica ?— I do not know; the whole system of Coolie immigration was very ill managed. 4562. Those Coolie superintendents have very high salaries; but they cannot speak the language of the negroes, and therefore they are of little use ?—They are not of much use. 4563. Are there more Coolies than superintendents?—Certainly; one of the causes of the Coolie immigration not succeeding, I think, was the want of interpreters, and the inability of making known what the people were to do, though we have superintendents of Coolies who are receiving salaries. I wish to confine anything I say to what I know myself; I will illustrate what I have said by what happened to myself. When those Coolies were sent to the island we were tied down by very strict regulations, which we found on experience to work very badly ; we were obliged to give the Coolies rations whether they worked or not, and the consequence was that they were always pretending to be ill, and they were supported just the same as if they were working; at last, in consequence of a representation made to the Government, it was deckled that the Coolies were only to be paid when they did a day's work, and orders were sent to the superintendents of the Coolies to explain this to them. I happened to go down to my works the day the superintendent of Coolies appeared there, to explain to them the new contract, and I saw him pacing backwards and forwards before the overseer's house in great distress, not able to make the people understand the new contract; the consequence of that was that when we tried to carry out the new contract, the Coolies were dissatisfied, and went to seek stipendiary magistrates in different parts of the district, and we lost their services during the time they were dissatisfied. All that was the result of there being nobody to explain to them that this contract was a contract sanctioned by Government, and not forced upon them by the planters. 4564. Those superintendents have 300 I. a year apiece ?—Yes, I believe something of that kind ; but all that appears in the" budget. 4565. Are those expenses provided out of the island resources ?—Yes. 4566. With respect to stipendiary magistrates, do you believe that there is any need of stipendiary magistrates?—No; I conceive, on the contrary, we ought not to Right Hon. Lord

Howardde Walden.


SELECT COMMITTEE ON SUGAR AND COFFEE PLANTING. 17

415

to have stipendiary magistrates. The spirit in which they were originally adopted Right Hon. Lord was a mischievous one, as between the planter and the negro, because they were Howard de Walden. appointed as protectors of the negro against the planter during the apprenticeship, which was a modified slavery; but now the negro is perfectly independent, and 28 February 1848. you wish to place him in the position of a tenant or a peasant in this country towards the proprietor ; it is very mischievous, having that kind of magistrate to step in between the peasant and the landlord. 4567. They get 3001, a year, do not they ?—They are well paid ; the chairman of quarter sessions is very highly paid ; I think he has about 1,500 /.; they are very highly paid. 4568. Is that in the gift of the Colonial Office?—I believe they are all. 4569. How many chairmen of quarter sessions are there?—I think there are six chairmen of quarter sessions. I am not aware whether they are paid by Government at home. 4570. Would there be any more difficulty in Jamaica in finding chairmen of quarter sessions who would give their services gratis, than there is in England ? —It is difficult to say who would give their services absolutely gratis. In many instances I should think they would not, but they would give their services at a much lower rate than the chairmen of quarter sessions receive now. 4571. There is no indisposition among the resident gentlemen of Jamaica to give their services as magistrates without payment, is there ?—On the contrary, they are extremely ready to act as magistrates; there is a very numerous class of magistrates in every district; and, as far as my experience goes, highly respectable. 4572. Have you been in Cuba since you left Jamaica ?—I came home by Cuba. 4573. Did you see any of the sugar plantations in Cuba?—Yes ; I saw one of the best sugar estates in the island ; at least it was pointed out to me as one of the best in the island. 4574. What was the condition of the slaves upon that plantation ?—The appearance of the slaves was very different from that of the negro in our colonies; they did not work with any cheerfulness, but then they worked, I believe, 18 or 20 hours a day, whereas ours work about six or seven hours. 4575. What proportion of women did there appear to be on those estates in Cuba?—I believe upon that estate there were no women. 4576. Do you know how many men there were?—I cannot say certainly; there were 300 or 400 I believe upon it, but it is a thing of perfect notoriety that upon a great many estates in Cuba they do not admit a woman; they consider that upon a calculation of economy the best thing is to work out the whole energies of a negro in the cultivation or manufacture of sugar, and not to allow of any distraction of any kind from his work. 4577. Are the overseers obliged to go armed?—Yes, I believe invariably; the " mayoral " (who represents the " overseer " in Jamaica) had his cutlass and his dagger, and he had three bloodhounds at his heels close by him, and I understand that it was the custom throughout the whole island, that no white man belonging to an estate would go anywhere unarmed; they would not go on foot to any distance ; but on horseback they always have their pistols besides. 4578. Are the slaves locked up at night?—I do not know how that is; I should think not; I suppose they have huts to live in. 4579. you hear that suicides were very common among the slaves?—I believe they are very common, but particularly among that class of negroes called emancipados, who are much worse treated than the absolute slave; the emancipados are those slaves who have been captured by our cruisers and liberated by the sentence of the Slave Trade Commission, who ought to have been apprenticed to humane masters during the time necessary to qualify them to become peasants and learn the language of the island. 4580. The governor gets a fee for letting them out, does not he?—Such is the practice. 4581. Did you understand when you were in the island, that the slave trade was still being carried on?—It was denied by some persons ; but on pushing inquiries, a very intelligent merchant made this remark to me, " It is difficult to specify instances in which slaves have been landed in the island; but when you " know that the black population is increasing, and that the number of men to 0.32. D " women


18

MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

" women is more than 100 to one, it is difficult to account for their increase in " any other way than by the importation of fresh slaves." 4582. Was the island of Cuba in a state of great prosperity when you were 1848. there ; were the planters in good spirits?—The planters were in very great spirits ; they were hiring negroes from the coffee estates; there had been a hurricane in the spring, and they were hiring the slaves from the coffee plantations at the rate of 16 dollars a month ; the price that the sugar planter obtains is such as to induce him to pay those high wages for the work of the slaves from the coffee plantations. 4583. Was not Havannah illuminated when the news of the passing of the Bill of 1846 arrived?—I am not aware. 4584. You were not there at the timer—No. 4585. What do you conceive will be the operation upon the island of Jamaica, upon its state of society, its yearly revenue, and its political and military prospects, if this depreciation of the price of their produce should continue ?—Under the present depreciation of produce I think it is perfectly impossible that the cultivation of the sugar estates can go on ; the effect of throwing those sugar estates out of cultivation will be entirely to destroy the commerce of the island; if there is no commerce, and the estates afford no profits, there will be no resources from which to pay any of the establishments of the island. I do not know how any of the establishments can be paid, or how the expenses of the Government can be paid ; the island possessing no article of export bu.t sugar and rum. 4586. What would become of the black population itself?—There being no manufactories in Jamaica, they will not have the means of earning any money with which to buy the necessaries of life ; the consequence is, that their condition must become degraded; they must relapse into the same state that the squatter is in at present. 4587. Do you apprehend any disturbance arising among the negro population? — I think the negro population, if they had no means of earning wages, would, in all probability, become extremely turbulent. 4588. What means are there in the island of quieting the population?—The means now would be very small ; we have a very small body of white troops; there is a black regiment, but the military force in Jamaica is very small now. 4589. What would be the feeling prevailing towards this country?—I think, when I was in Jamaica, they were becoming exceedingly exasperated at the disregard evinced to their general interests ; that is, of course, a very delicate subject to speak on. 4590. Mr. Miles.] With regard to the last year's increase upon your estate, the supplies increased between 600 l. and 700 ; was that in consequence of the number of Coolies you had upon your estate ?—It was partly in consequence of the Coolies, and partly from the expense of the introduction of Portuguese immigrants. 4591. Have you made any calculation as to what price you think you could pay upon your estates for your labour, so as to compete with the slave-grown sugar?—I could not state very precisely what would be the rate; the rate must vary very much ; but my impression when in the island, at the time previous to the great fall in prices, was that, roughly calculating, 1 s. would have afforded a fair profit; upon that occasion 1 s. was considered very good wages for a negro, considering his expenses. 4592. Supposing there is no alteration made in the Bill of 1846, would it be your intention to go on with the cultivation of your estates ; should you plant any more canes?—What I may do is difficult for me to say, because my estate is not entirely under my own control; that is to say, there are persons who have charges upon the estate; hut I will exemplify the situation in which I find myself now by what has occurred to me within the last few days in respect to a moiety of the estate which belongs to my cousin ; lie has given me notice that he does not mean to pay one single sixpence in return for any bill drawn upon him. This morning bills were presented to me to accept on the part of the estate. They were bills for 300 I. which he refused to accept, saying he would rather throw up the estate and let it fetch anything it would, though lie was told that the moiety of the estate thrown into the market would sell for nothing. 4593. Do you suppose that a protection of 10 s. would be sufficient to induce him to go on with the cultivation of that estate?—I think it would be. My own opinion is that 10 s. would save us. I think an important thing is to give us

Right Hon. Lord

Howard, de Walden. 28 February

time


SELECT COMMITTEE ON SUGAR AND COFFEE PLANTING. 19

417

time to make all those improvements that we have to make, and also to bring Right Hon. Lord about a more industrious feeling on the part of the population. My estate has Howard de Walden. been progressively improving during the last three years, and I have been making 1848 every exertion to extend the cultivation of that estate, and improve the con- 28 February dition of the population. I have established a school on the estate; I have paid a medical man to attend the population on the estate. We have subscribed for a church, and the church is now building. A clergyman has been established there, and everything appeared to promise well when I was in the island; but the result of the fall in prices has been completely to absorb the proceeds of the estate for the last crop. Therefore it is a matter for grave consideration for me whether, in the event of a bad crop next year, I should not throw it up at once. I conceive, that at the present moment, it would be much better worth my while to throw up my estate, and to continue the pen, because that would average 1,200/. or 1,500/. a year, whereas the sugar estate absorbs the produce of the pen; but family considerations make me contribute the proceeds of my pen towards the sugar estate, because there are charges upon the sugar estate distinct from the pen, which would cause great distress to persons who are dependent upon it. 4594. Do you think that your estates are above the average of the Jamaica estates, or may they lie taken as a fair sample?—I am afraid they are very much above the average. 4595. Are they generally considered so in the island?—I believe so; I believe they are peculiarly advantageously situated. 459C. Mr. Gold burn.] Is the best land in Jamaica equal in cultivatable power to the land in Cuba?—The cultivation of land in Jamaica is very various. I had a calculation made as to the expense of cultivating an acre of canes upon the two estates, and I have got the returns here. On the Caymanas estate, cultivating an old-established field, per acre, for planting the cane, is 7/. 9s. 9d.; cultivating a lagoon field, 11 l. 10s.; cultivating for a ratoon, from an old-established field, 1/. 12s.; cultivating for a ratoon, 3/. 16s.; but the produce is very different. The cultivating for a ratoon, in an old-established field, will produce "from three quarters to one hogshead an acre ; the ratoon from one and a half to two hogsheads. At the Montpelier estate it is calculated at 9/. lbs. 3d., and there are the details of the expense. [Thefollowing Statements were delivered in by Ids Lordship:]

CAYMANAS CANE CULTIVATION.

Cultivating Old Established Field, I Acre for a Plant:

£. s.

d.

Cultivating Lagoon Field, I Acre for a Plant:

£. s.

d.

Fallow ploughing an acre .... Cane hole ploughing Gathering tops and cutting Planting Cleaning and supplying, G times Manuring and barking Digging and carting 00 loads manure, 4 J d. - ~ . Booting, cleaning, &c.

- 12 - 8 - - 10 - 8 2 1 1 3 1 8

6 3 -

Billing bushes, rushes, and burning, &c. Carrying off wood or timber Levelling land and digging roots Digging trenches, &c. Cross trenching, &c. • Cleaning, moulding, &c. 8 times Trashing and bedding, 0 times Cutting -------

- 16 - 8 - 8 1 10 - 8 4 3 1 -

-

11 10

-

Return per acre, if seasonable, 1 £ hhds. 2 hhds.

Cultivating for a Ratoon : Turning trash and moulding 2 cleanings and booting Return per acre, I to 1 hhd.

0.32.

-

-

-

£.

7

9

0

£. s.

d.

Cultivating for a Ratoon :

- 8 - 14 - 10

-

Turning trash, moulding, &c. 3 cleanings, at 8 & Trashings and cutting

1 12

-

D 2

Return per acre, 2 hhds.

-

Return, per acre, 1 \ to 2 hhds.

-

-

£.

£. s. d. 12 4

-

3 10

-

1 2

-

-

£.

EXPENSES


MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

20 Right Hon. Lord

Howard de Walden. EXPENSES

of an Acre of Canes, Montpelier Estate, St. James's.

28 February 1848.

£. Cleaning Land

-

--

--

--

Penning, and Grass-cutters and Mulemen, per day

-

-

4

4 £

--

--

--

-

2 14

4 1/2

--

--

--

--

-

-

-

1

Lining

-

Planting

------------

Weeding, three times ---------Trashing, twice

-

2

- 13 2

--

7 1/2

-10 £

17

Cutting, at 1 d. per chain Carting

s. d.

-

Digging holes, at 2 s. per 100 --

--

3

---------

- 13

7

--

1

-

-

9 16

3

--

--

--

£.

4,597. Is the quality of the land in Jamaica equal to that in Cuba ?—I believe in many parts of Jamaica the land is as good, but I believe that in Cuba they have very great advantage in saving the expense of trashing and weeding; that diminishes the expense of the cultivation of the cane very much indeed, and then I believe in Cuba the estates are generally ratooning estates ; so that when once the plant is established you go on at the rate of 2 I. per acre, instead of, as with us, 7/. or SI. an acre. 4598. Ratooning only lasts a certain number of years in Cuba, does it; they are obliged to replant regularly —At times they last eight or nine years, at least. 4599. How many years do they last in Jamaica?—Six years ; I know that in South America an English gentleman, who was a fellow-passe nger with me, told me he had an estate which had ratooned already 22 years. 4600. Have ever seen a beet-root sugar manufactory on the Continent ?— Never. 4601. You do not know the process by which they extract that large quantity of sugar from the beet-root?—Not from my own knowledge; I believe it is very much like the process from the sugar cane. 4602. Is not it the case that we very imperfectly extract the sugar from the cane in Jamaica by our process?—In certain instances perhaps that is the case, but I think it depends very much upon the season, very much upon the power of your mill, and very much upon the time at which the cane is cut; I believe if you cut the cane at the proper time, the produce will be nearly double to what it would be if it were cut very early or very late; and when you have a very large cane-field which is ripening about the same time, it is impossible to bring it all to the mill in the best possible state. 4603. The deficiency of labour is particularly felt under those circumstances ? —Very much so. The quantity of cattle which would be required to bring it all to the mill at the same time would be enormous, even if the mill were of sufficient power to take it off; then, if you had to take it off altogether, you must have a mill representing a capital of four or five times a greater amount than it would pay for. 4604. Night-work had entirely ceased even some time prev ious to the emancipation, had not it?—Sometimes the negroes will work at night towards the end of the week, to grind the cane already cut, when they are in a good humour, and to boil the sugar juice in the coppers, but otherwise they do not like night-work; but when they do work at night it is always a separate gang. 4605. Would night-work be an improvement?—Very much so. 4606. Sir E. Buxton.] Are your estates situated in a dry part of the island ? —One is in a dry part and one is not; that one in a dry part of the island is on the edge of a lagoon, and there is part of (he cane-field which is not affected by drought, where it would be very desirable to be able to drain by cuts or canals. 4607. You


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419

4607. You are well situated with respect to shipping, are not your—Ex- Right Hon. Lord tremely well situated; there is a wharf belonging to the estate; the estate is Howard de Waldem. about eight miles from the wharf. 28 February 1848. 4608. Do you pay a different rate of wages in crop time and out of crop time?—-No; the rate of day wages is the same, but a laborious negro can earn a good deal more at the planting season and during crop time than at other times ; for instance, the gang which makes the cane-holes have 2 s. a day, six or seven hours ; the gang which cuts the plant and heavy ratoons will also earn 2 s. a day ; I reduced the rate for light ratoons 25 per cent., but those who cut and plant the canes carried their point of maintaining the same rate of wages. 4609. Do you charge your people any rent?—Yes; that is deducted from their wages. 4610. The general complaint that you have arises from the labour not being continuous ?--Yes ; and not having the command of labour, especially at the planting season. 4611. Can you tell the Committee any methods by which labour may he made more continuous and more plentiful, without introducing slavery, or anything approaching to it, into the colonies?—The introduction of additional hands, also the reduction of duties upon all articles of provisions, such as flour and rice, imported into the island, so as to render the people less dependent upon home-grown provisions. It is only within a few years that they have taken to use flour or rice, and they seem to like it very much. 4612. Would you impose any industrial law that would force labour more?— It would be exceedingly useful to us if such a thing were practicable. 4613. Could you recommend any law or enactment which, without being tyrannical towards the people, would effect the object which you have of making labour more continuous?—I think a direct tax upon the land of the freeholder would conduce to it, because the negro is very unwilling to pay money, and where there is a question of money contribution they will work for the purpose of obtaining the money. Also if you can substitute a taste for imported provisions, for instance, flour and rice, they would he obliged to earn money for the purpose of buying those provisions, and they must then have recourse to labour to obtain the money. Now, upon their provision grounds, if they have a good season, they grow enough to support themselves, and they have even a surplus to carry to market. 4614. You would impose a land-tax, then ?—Yes. 4615. Per acre?—Yes, per acre, according to the rated value, whatever it may be. 4616. You would have the same tax per acre upon all land?—Yes, upon all cultivated land. 4617. As to the importation of labourers, do you think that may be effected to a very great degree ?—I think so, to a very great degree. I think even the importation of white labourers could be effected to a very great extent. 4618. With good effect upon the colony?—With excellent effect upon the colony. I think the introduction of a white population is more important than the introduction of a black population in the existing state of the colony; the existing population are now so superior to any new Africans that can be imported that you might find it rather difficult to induce the existing negroes to work with them. 4619. You are not afraid of a white population suffering from the climate to I should say, taking such a degree as to make it injurious ?—Certainly not. Maltese, Genoese, and Spaniards, in many parts of Jamaica they would do remarkably well. I would not propose that they should work, for instance, by the seaside in Trelawny, nor in the lagoons near Spanish Town, though white people have worked there extremely well; there were a great number of Irish who were imported to work upon the railway between Spanish Town and Kingston, and they supported their work remarkably well; they surprised people very much, and the explanation given was, that they were all members of the temperance society, they drank no spirits; in general it is the drinking of spirits which causes so much disease to the white inhabitants. O

.32.

D 3

4620. Would


22 night Hon. Lord

Howard de Walden. 28 February 1848.

MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

4620. Would not the effect of a large importation of labourers into the colony, so as to reduce the wages, be to make a great many of the present labourers leave the estates ?—I think not. I think they would become more dependent upon wages, and it would be more necessary for them to work to earn money. I think the whites would contribute to supply the market; and besides that, upon many estates the negroes do not like to leave their grounds; they become very much attached to them.

4621. A great many have left the estates, have not they ?—A great many have done so; I believe, in many instances, partly from being dissatisfied with the overseer, and partly from emulation among them to become freeholders; but upon an estate which is in my hands now, of which I am mortgagee in possession, when I went to visit it, on the north side of the island, in St. George's, many negroes, who had left the estate, came to ask permission to come back to the estate ; they said they regretted having gone into the mountain, and begged leave to return to the estate; they had worked out their grounds, and had had a bad season or two, and they had felt the want of wages. In all probability they had suffered from disease. I should think that was the more probable cause. When they are on the estate there is a man, who is called the black doctor, who is a sort of delegate of the physician of the district, to attend to them at quite a low rate; they set great value upon the advice of a physician, but they are very unwilling to pay for it. 4622. Mr. Goulbum.] On most estates medical aid is afforded by the proprietors, is it not ?—I do not know how that is now; I do not think it is so generally. It was not so on my estate till 1 went out; it used to be so. The negroes paid their black doctor, but I made an arrangement by which a good physician should attend them twice a week ; he was to come to. the overseer's house at particular hours to be consulted by anv of the tenantry upon the estate, and I supplied the medicines. 4623. Are there a great many vagrants in different parts of the island ? — I believe a vast number. 4624. There are settlements of vagrants, are not there, who have got possession of places in remote parts of the island ?—So I have understood; squatters they call them. 4625. Do you know anything of the state of that part of the population ?— I believe it is very wretched indeed. 4626. Sir E. Buxton.] Could anything be done to prevent vagrancy ?—There being a great quantity of uncultivated land, it is very difficult, unless you establish a very stringent law to require them to show their means of subsistence; because if a man does not do a day's work, and sells no provisions, he must steal. 4627. Do you think, with a large importation of labour, you could compete with slave colonies?—I think, with a great increase of the population, and having time to reduce all our expenses, with a reduction of taxation, and a reduction of wages, and of the price of provisions, we might possibly compete with Cuba; but I do not think we could compete with Brazil without protection. I conceive the expenses in Cuba are very much higher than those of Brazil. 4628. One great charge upon the taxation has been the importation of labourers, has not it ?—That has been a considerable item. 4629. Would you recommend that Government should continue that in Jamaica?—Yes, they should, certainly, rather than not have any importation at all; but it is a great burden to us. It becomes very questionable whether it will be possible to pay that charge without a protection to our produce. 4630. As the colonies are at present situated, do you imagine that the import of sugar from Jamaica will very much decrease ?—Very much indeed. 4631. Do you think the price of labour will fall from that circumstance ?— Probably in some degree. No doubt it will be at the expense of the utter ruin of a great portion of the estates. 4632. So that the other estates, which can hold on, will get their labour cheaper ?—To a certain extent. 4633. Mr. Goulbum.] Do you practically know whether, in the event of abandonment of an estate, the negroes go to the other estates, or do they go to a state


SELECT COMMITTEE ON SUGAR AND COFFEE PLANTING. 23

421

state of vagrancy?—Much depends upon the locality, but I should think many Right Hen. Lord Howard de Walden. would go to other estates. 4634. SirE. Buxton.] What is the size of the cane-holes on your estates; there •28 February 1848. is a great difference, is not there, in the size of the cane-holes?—I am not sure what is the size. 4635. How many hours are your people engaged in boiling sugar in crop-time ? —They would work 1 2 or 14 hours in the boiling-house, 4636. And then they get higher pay ?—Yes ; some of them are paid partly by the job, by what they call syphons; the number of syphons which are boiled off"; a syphon would contain 500 gallons, and according to the number of syphons that are boiled off'they receive pay ; and the mill people also receive according to the quantity of juice that is produced. 4637. You have as much task-work as you can? —I have. 4638. Mr. Goutturn.] The great difficulty is to command the attention of the negroes, is not it.?—That is a very great difficulty. 4639. There is some delicacy in boiling and preparing the sugar, and it is very difficult to be sure that the negro will attend to it?—It is extremely difficult ; I tried an experiment as to a particular mode of clarifying the sugar; it was two or three days before I could get it perfectly done, though I was myself upon the spot standing by, and I saw the mixture put into buckets; it was explained at what time it was to be put in, but notwithstanding that, all went wrong. 4640. Mr. M. Gibson.] Are you to be understood that you consider the present price of sugar inadequate to replace the cost of production upon the great majority of estates in Jamaica?—I should say so entirely. 4641. You would recommend that some steps should be taken by the Legislature to raise that price?—Certainly. 4642. To what extent would you recommend that that addition to the price should he made?—One cannot form a calculation merely with reference to one's own individual position; but as far as I can judge, I should say that it would be necessary at least to have a protection of 10 s. upon the present prices. 4643. The object is of course to raise the price ; if the protection should fail in accomplishing that object, of course it would be of no use to you?—Certainly not; but there is another way of doing it: supposing the price to the consumer to remain as it is now, and the duty to be reduced, that would enable us to carry on the cultivation of our estates. 4644. Do you mean the duty on colonial sugar only?—Yes; it would not raise the price to the public, and it does not follow that it would he any great loss to the revenue. 4645. Have you given in what you conceive to be tbe average cost of the production of sugar at the present time?—I gave what was the result of the increased crop, and the reduction of wages, and so on, upon my estate in St. James's, which was that from l. os. to d. per cwt. the expense to the estate was reduced to 11 s.; but that I take as a set-off" against the gross proceeds of the estate. In consequence of the increased produce of the cane-field, the profits bore a greater proportion to the expenses than they had on the preceding year, therefore the cost per cwt. would be so much less, dividing the produce by the expense. 4646. Before there was this abundant crop, what did you consider to be the expense ?—£. 1 per cwt. 4647. Was that the cost in Jamaica?—Yes. 4648. What is the additional cost of bringing the sugar into the British market? —Six shillings or 7s. a cwt. Any merchant would have all the details at his fingers' ends; the freight varies very much; you are charged in some parts of the island 5 s. a cwt., and in other parts 45. 4649. I lave, you had a know ledge of these interests for seme considerable time ? —Yes. 4650. I find tit at it was stated before a Committee of the House of Commons in the year 1830, that at that time there was great distress, and that that distress had been existing for many years, and that unless something was done it would lead to the abandonment of the estates, and perhaps to some danger to public tranquility from the non-employment of the population; that was the case in 0.38. D4 1830,


24 Right Hon. Lord

Howard de Wilden. 28 February 1848.

MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

1830, at a time when there was a very large protection, and also slave labour ?— That is very true; but at that time there was also an enormous duty, which checked the consumption. 4651. You think the height of the duty at that time checked the consumption ? —Partly ; the expenses of the estate were very great. 4652. It is to be found in a Report of that Committee, deduced from papers laid before it by the public offices, that the cost of bringing a cwt. of sugar to the English market was about 25 s. 6 d.; you state now that it is 27 s.; do you think that the difference in the cost between the present time and the time I have alluded to is sufficient to account for the present posture of affairs in Jamaica? —The cause of the present posture of affairs in Jamaica would be a very long story to enter into. 46;",3. The average price of sugar in bond is stated here at 23s. 8d., and the cost, as calculated by the West Indian planters, is about 24showing a loss to them at that time, and a reason for the great distress. I wish to call your attention to this, that there does not appear to me to be so much difference between the cost of production now and the cost of production then as to account for the very greatly increased complaints that have come from the West Indian colonies; can you throw any light upon that subject ?—No ; I did not know anything about the expenses at that time. I do not understand why those expenses should have been so great. 4654. You have no knowledge what the expenses were in the year 1830?—No; I know that the estates have been progressively going down. 4655. Probably within your recollection there never was a time when there were not some estates gaining money and others losing ?—I take for granted that must be the case; the seasons are so various upon the two sides of the island; on one side of the island they are now complaining of suffering from wet, and on the other there is unparalleled drought. 4656. Was not it always the case within your recollection, that some estates were yielding a profit, and other estates were carried on at a loss ?—I do not think, as far as I can make out, that any estate would have lost last year, if the same prices had been kept up to what we expected. In the month of February or March, when I was in the island, the prices were considered very fair; that was in the spring of last year; therefore it is just to presume that the difference of price has been the cause of all the distress under which we are at present labouring. This year there is that distinction as to the season, certainly; my estate on the north side is doing remarkably well, as far as the crop goes; it has never done better since emancipation, while on the other side the cane has been burnt out of the ground, and there will be a decided loss this year. in that particular case is attributable to the season ?—It will 4657. The los be attributable to the season ; but last year, if I had obtained good prices, instead of incurring a loss, I should have had a balance, which would have gone towards meeting the expense of this year; whereas, having a very fine crop last year, I had no balance to meet the reverse of a bad season this year. 4658. Have you any information that you can give the Committee as to the terms upon which monies are advanced by merchants to planters, to enable them to carry on their cultivation ?—I do not know practically myself; the rate of interest has always been calculated at six per cent. I have been paying six tier cent, upon mortgage. 4659. Do you think any alteration in the system under which advances are now made might lead to improvement in the colonies?—No doubt that would assist us very materially, and it would relieve the estates from heavy charges; if you could raise money at four per cent, or five per cent, it would be a great relief to those estates which are now paying six per cent. I am paying six per cent, for settlements upon the estates, the sum being represented by a mortgage, and the interest being the island rate of interest. If Government would lend us money at four per cent., it would be a very great relief. 4660. Is it within your knowledge that any great portion of the estates in Jamaica are heavily encumbered with mortgages ?—I should think the greater number from mortgages made in prosperous times, calculated according to what was conceived to be the fair return to the estates; settlements for widows and younger children, calculated fairly with reference to what was considered the average


SELECT COMMITTEE ON SUGAR AND COFFEE PLANTING.

25

423

average return of the estate. In proportion as the returns of the estate have been Right Hon Lord reduced those charges have accumulated ; sometimes they have not been paid off; Howard de Wa I den. then debts have accumulated, and they again bear interest at the rate of six per cent., which, of course, has absorbed the profits of the estate in many cases. 28 February 1848. When there is a fall in prices those heavy payments, being unaltered, must place the owners and parties interested in considerable difficulty ; those charges have been made absolute in general, without bearing reference to the proportion of the produce of the estate ; if they were merely dividends upon the estate it would not be so hard upon the planter. 4661. Has there been a decided want of capital, in your opinion, for some years past for carrying out improvements in cultivation in Jamaica?—I have always understood that there is difficulty in obtaining capital, except on rather high terms; but capital has been laid out in Jamaica with a view to the improvement of estates, certainly; a considerable capital has been laid out on many estates. I do not think that good estates have been in general stinted from the want of the outlay of capital. 4662. With respect to labour, you think the supply of labour at present inadequate ?—Yes. 4663. What sources do you think there are from which an adequate supply of suitable labour could be drawn ?—I have already expressed my opinion with respect to white labour; that is a point to which I attach great importance as to Jamaica. I am only speaking with respect to Jamaica, which is the only island upon which 1 can speak with anything like authority. 4664. The question rather relates to quantity than to quality ; do you think there is any source from which an adequate supply may be derived ?—I think you might obtain labourers from Genoa, from the Sardinian dominions, from Malta, from the Cape de Verde Islands, and from the Canaries, as well as from the coast of Africa, I have heard a great number of persons express a good opinion of the Chinese, but I know nothing about them myself. 4665. With regard to this particular year, in which, from abundance and so forth, the condition of your estate has been prosperous, and there has been a good profit, according to your statement, over the cost of production, did you state that the cost of production this last year was about lis. per cwt. ?—That is the rate which the cultivation of the sugar cost as compared with the general receipts of the estates. 4666. It cost, in fact, 11 s. a cwt. ?—Yes. 4667. The price of sugar in bond, before duty has been paid, has been something like 23 s. or 24 s. ?—Eleven shillings a cwt. was dividing the expenses of the estate against the produce of the estate, taking the whole proceeds of the estate; and in the proceeds of the estate were calculated the rum, the rents, and the profits of the pen, and so forth. 4668. Is not it the case that the present price gives a good profit after replacing that us. the cwt., and paying the expenses of bringing the sugar to England?— It gave a profit of under 150 L on the whole. 4669. But 11 s. a cwt., plus the freight, does not come up to the price at which sugar is selling in the market?—I have given all the details of the expenses of the estate. | The following Statement was delivered in:]

0.32.

E

AMOUNT


MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

26 Right Hon. Lord

Howard de Walden. 28 February 1848.

AMOUNT

of TAXES and

DUTIES

Paid on account Montpelier and Shettlewood Estates, for the Year 1847.

£. s. d.

Montpelier Estate:

d.

£.

s.

92

- 11 J

9 16 10

Land tax, 2,362 acres, a'Id. Public tax on 20 working mules, a' 3d.

-

5

-

Parish tax on ditto, a' 9 d.

- 15

-

Parish tax on hereditaments, 1,044 I., a' 1 s. 8 d. Loan tax

Less Discount, 10 per cent.

-

87

-

-

4

8

8

102

5

6

10

4

6J

Montpelier Pen : Land tax on 4,759 acres, a' 1 d.

19 16

7

Parish tax on hereditaments, 1,159 l, a' 1 s. 8 d.

96 11

8

4 16

7

Loan tax, aid.

121

£. Less Discount, 10 per cent.

4 10

12

-

2

5 1/2 109

2

4 J

Shettlewood: Land tax, 1,980 acres, a'1 d.

-

Public tax, 45 breeding horse kind, a' 6 d. Ditto

-

4 asses, a' 4 d.

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-J

Parish tax on ditto --------

5-

1

3

3 10

Parish tax on hereditaments, a' 1 s. 4 d.

£. Less Discount, 10 per cent.

8

-

0 6

62

9

4

75

8

4

7 10 10 67 17 269

Duties: Customs duty on 4,111 cwt. Sugar from Montpelier estate, a' 14 s. per cwt.

2,877

-

-

8,793

_

-

6

- 10

Excise duty on 15,368 gallons Rum, a' 8s. 7 d. per gallon, proof ------£. 6,595 Add one-third for over-proof

-

-

-

-

2,198 ■

£.

11,670

-

-

11,939

- 10

RECAPITULATION

Taxes (Island) Duties (in England)

-----

Expenses (Supplies, &c.) ----Profit

£.

s. d.

200

- 10

11,070

-

-

5,180 10

2

110

-

-

COPY


SELECT COMMITTEE ON SUGAR AND COFFEE PLANTING. 27

425 Right Hon. Lord

Howard de Waldep. 28 February 1848.

COPY of the

MEMORIAL

of the Assembly of Jamaica to The

QUEEN

(put in by

Lord Howard de Walden). (Jamaica, ss.) To

THE QUEEN'S MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY.

The Humble Memorial of the Assembly of Jamaica. Most Gracious Sovereign, WE, Your Majesty's loyal subjects, the Assembly of Jamaica, beg permission to approach your Majesty, humbly to remonstrate against the many wrongs which we have sustained by Acts of the Imperial Parliament, and earnestly to implore Your Majesty's gracious interposition to avert the ruin which we apprehend from the Sugar Duly Act of the last Session. The history of these our wrongs, originating as they do out ot the former state of slavery, we feel it necessary to detail, and to revert to the changes to which we have been subjected during the great revolution effected by the Imperial, will in our social condition. The establishment of slavery in these colonies was not our act, but that of the parent government, the lands of Jamaica having been patented by your royal ancestors on the special condition that they should be cultivated by slaves for the promotion of the national wealth, and this policy was continued under sanction of British laws, equally sacred as those under which any other class ot Your Majesty's subjects held their property. It is unnecessary for us here to enter into the history of the trade by which those slaves were procured, it is enough to say, that after having been most vigorously and profitably carried on for 150 years by British ships, British merchants, and British capital, it was abolished by Act of Parliament in the year 1807. This was the first check Jamaica.

to

the hitherto extending cultivation and prosperity of

The advocates for the abolition of the African slave trade, then most solemnly disclaimed all intention of seeking to interfere with the existing state of slavery in the colonies; but scarcely had the one object been accomplished, when agitation commenced with respect to the other. The first overt act of the Parliament effected by this new agitation, was in the year 1815, by the introduction of a Bill into the House of Commons for registering the slaves, professedly to prevent their illegal introduction into the colonies, but covertly to pave the way for subsequent emancipation. The next movement was in the year 1823, when Mr. Canning, then a Minister of the Crown, introduced certain Resolutions into the House of Commons conceding to out-door pressure the interests of the colonists, and the principle of slave emancipation. From this period the anti-slavery agitation became more and inure violent, the slavery of these colonies was falsely denounced as the most extreme and abject that had ever degraded and cursed mankind. To bear this out, inflame the passions, and mislead the judgment of the people, every isolated case of hardship or cruelty (and some will occur in every community) was eagerly seized hold of and exaggerated for the purpose of degrading the character of the colonists in the estimation of the English people. From Session to Session this exciting subject was discussed in Parliament with increased intemperance, and emissaries spread the flame over this island, until the close of the year 1831, when the slaves, taught to believe that Parliament and the people of England had decreed their freedom, but that their masters withheld it, broke out in open rebellion, which was not put down until after many lives had been lost, many horrible atrocities committed, and the western portion of the island laid desolate by fire. Matters could not long remain in this distracted state. In May 1832, a Committee of the House of Commons, appointed to inquire into the condition of colonial slavery, after stating that their investigation embraced the t.vo following propositions, videlicet, "First, that the slaves, if emancipated, would maintain themselves, would be industrious, and disposed to acquire property by labour; " " Secondly, that the dangers of convulsions are greater from freedom withheld, than from freedom granted,"—reported " that evidence affirmative of these propositions was not exhausted, but that as the Session was drawing to an end, they were compelled to close their labours in an abrupt and unfinished state, and that the important question of what was due to the fair and equitable consideration of the interests of private property, as connected with emancipation, had not been investigated by them." 0.32.

E

2

This


28 Right Hon. Lord

MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE This left untouched the most important point of the inquiry, that of dealing with property

Howar (I de Walden. of vast magnitude, and in which the just claims of Britishsubjects, not represented in Parlia-

ment, were so deeply involved. Notwithstanding which, and without further inquiry, the 28 February 1848. Emancipation Act was passed the following Session, 1833, declaring the slaves free on the 1st day of August 1834, but subject to an intermediate st ate of six years' apprenticeship, and 20 millions were awarded to their owners as a compensation. This measure, well designated a " frightful experiment" by the Colonial Secretary, Lord Stanley, was brought under the consideration of the Jamaica legislature on the 8th day of October 1833, by Your Majesty's representative, Lord Mulgrave. In his opening speech he said, "the question of the abolition of slavery is one, the constant agitation of which is f requently alleged to have paralyzed many of the resources of this fertile colony. It has long been evident that this state of things could lead but to one termination ; its ultimate settlement was therefore on all accounts desirable. The unavoidable crisis has at last been precipitated by the almost unanimous voice of your fellow-subjects in the mother country. I am far from underrating the difficulties of this momentous, but now inevitable experiment. It is in your power, in a most material degree, to diminish the dangers of the transition, and in the same degree will you justly render the credit of success your own." Perilous indeed to life and property was the state of Jamaica at this awful crisis, when upwards of 300,000 slaves were at once made free; but we entered upon the difficult and momentous undertaking with the most anxious desire to make it successful, and Jamaica was the first of the slave colonies to give effect to the British Act. In closing this eventful session, which cast the future fate of ourselves and our constituents upon a dark and fearful uncertainty, the governor thus addressed us, " In conclusion, I must express my firm belief, that in all your future difficulties your ready recognition of the natural rights of your fellow men will meet its best reward in the revived diffusion of national sympathy, and the cheerfully continued extension of British protection." In giving our sanction to the British Abolition Act, yet strongly feeling its injustice in the inadequate remuneration awarded for the property destroyed, and the ulterior injury which we too clearly forsuw must result from it, we addressed to our Sovereign a remonstrance against it in these words : " By an Act of Parliament for the abolition of slavery, our local institutions have been superseded, the right of property invaded, political immunities disregarded, and consequently all that is dear and sacred to man in his social character placed in imminent danger. We have passed the law pressed upon us, without pledging ourselves for its success, without incurring any of its responsibilities ; and while we, in the face of the nation, enter our solemn protest against the precipitate measure, we claim subseneration should the experiment fail." On the 3d day of June 1834, the island legislature was convened by Lord Sligo, as governor, who, with reference to the change in our social system, pressed the necessity of providing more fully for the administration of justice, for the consolidation of the criminal law, for dividing the island into circuit courts, amending the workhouse laws, improving the state of the gaols for better prison discipline, for establishing weekly courts of petit sessions, providing places of confinement for the prisoners, raising an efficient police, &c. ; in reply to which, the Assembly expressed themselves ready to meet those objects, but " that they were unable to see how the many increased demands upon the colony could be met by its decreased resources, unaided by that assistance from the mother country which they had been led to expect. On the 4th day of August 1835 the Assembly met, and in answer to the governor's speech, expressing very favourable anticipations from the satisfactory working of the new system, replied, " that seeing large portions of our neglected cane fields becoming overrun with weeds, and a still larger extent of our pasture lands returning to a state of nature; seeing, in fact, desolation already overspreading the face of the land, it is impossible for us, without abandoning the evidence of our own senses, to entertain favourable anticipations, or to divest ourselves of the painful conviction, that progressive and rapid deterioration of property will continue to keep pace with the apprenticeship, and that its termination must (unless strong preventive measures be applied), complete the ruin of the colony." This gave offence to the governor, and the House was instantly dissolved. The new Assembly was convened on the 10th November, but little was done to provide for the wants of the country, as the session was abruptly terminated, in consequence of a message from his Excellency the governor, pointing out to the House the course it ought to pursue, with respect to a measure it had then under consideration. This message the House deemed to he a breach of its privileges. I.ord Sligo soon after retired from the government, and was succeeded by Sir Lionel Smith, who on meeting the legislature on the 1st November 1836, said, "The country is represented tome as full of grievances; many, I acknowledge, seem of great difficulty; invite you to examine into their cause and origin dispassionately, that they may be cornbate by joint exertions, and faithfully represented by me to the King's Ministers." The House replied, that they never had, never could have had, any other object in view in their


SELECT COMMITTEE ON SUGAR AND COFFEE PLANTING.

29

427

their proceedings, than to provide such regulations as in their experience and judgment, Right Hon. Lord appeared to them calculated to maintain order, and promote the general welfare of Howard de Waide n. society." We believe Sir Lionel Smith entered upon the government of Jamaica with the most 28 February 1848. sincere desire to sooth its distraction, and restore peace, by enforcing an impartial administration of the law between the proprietors and the emancipated slaves, and for a time he adhered to that determination ; but in the Colonial-office, anti-slavery influence still ruled paramount, and unfortunately for our interests Sir Lionel Smith soon yielded to it. The danger attending the Slave Emancipation Act arrested for a time the violent agitation by which it had been effected ; but no sooner did that danger seem over than it was again renewed. The work was said to be but half done; the negro was still under restraint, and that restraint was represented as even worse than slavery itself. The impatience of public feeling for the accomplishment of its object, could brook no delay; the outcry for the abolition of the apprenticeship system became almost as vehement as it had ever been for that of slavery ; the walls of Parliament again re-echoed with declamations on the sufferings of the African race, and with calumnies upon the characters of the white inhabitants. Impelled by this new agitation, the House of Commons passed, in March 1838, a Resolution conceding unqualified freedom on the ensuing 1st of August. This flagiant breach of national faith was afterwards resisted by the Ministers of the Crown, but under circumstances which left this colony no alternative but compliance, or the hazard of internal commotion. An Act was therefore passed to terminate the apprenticeship on the 1st of August, and thus the proprietary body were unjustly deprived of two years service of the apprentices, which had been pledged to them by Act of Parliament, as part of their compensation. On the 1st of August 1838, unqualified freedom commenced ; there was no violence, the mass of the labouring population being left in quiet possession of their houses and grounds on the estates of their masters. For successive weeks universal idleness reigned over the whole island; the plantation cattle, deserted by their keepers, ranged at large through the growing crops, and fields of canes, cultivated at great cost, rotted upon the ground from want of hands to cut them. Among the humbler classes of society, respectable families, whose sole dependence had been a few slaves, had to perform for themselves the most menial offices. Still the same baneful influence continued to rule the government. In all cases of diffi rence the stipendiary magistrates supported the emancipated mass against the helpless proprietor, and even took an active part in supporting the demands of "the people for an extravagant rate of wages, alike injurious to both classes. Your Majesty's subjects of Jamaica now hoped, that with the concession of unqualified freedom to the slaves, they would be left to exercise their constitutional rights, in providing such laws as in their experience and judgment would best tend to restore the peace and order of society, and to establish those habits of industry among the people, so essential to their own future happiness. Vain, however, was this hope. Again did Parliament invade our rights, by passing an Act " to regulate Prisons in the West Indies." Such continued oppression could no longer be borne. The representatives of the people came to the determination to enter upon no legislative duties, beyond such as were necessary to preserve faith with the public creditor, until Your gracious Majesty's pleasure should be made known, " whether your subjects of Jamaica (now happily all in a state of freedom) were henceforth to be treated as subjects, with the power of making laws, as heretofore for their own government, or whether they were to be viewed as a conquered colony, governed by Parliamentary legislation, Orders in Council, or, as in the case of the late amended Abolition Act, by investing the governor of the island with the arbitrary power of issuing proclamations, having the force of law, over the lives and properties of the people." The result of this determination was an immediate prorogation of the House, followed by a dissolution. But this appeal to the people only resulted in a stronger manifestation of that sense of injury and wrong which pervaded the colony. The former members were re-elected, and the same course adhered to. It was not without mature consideration that we decided upon the adoption of so extreme a proceeding ; we saw the property of the island all but annihilated, and the fabric of society tottering to its base; we saw our legislative authority so overruled as not only to be useless, but positively injurious, exercised under a domination which sought to cast upon us the responsibility of acts not our own, nor in accordance with our judgment; and we saw that two jarring and conflicting authorities, enacting laws for one community, could but end in anarchy. In this extremity, our last and only hope appeared to be, to force our case to an open and full discussion before Parliament and the nation; whereby truth might be elicited, prejudice dispelled, and our wretched condition made known. We felt that whatever might be the issue, no change could be for the worse, not even if our constitution, so trampled upon, should be altogether abrogated. The result justified our hopes. Sir Charles Metcalfe was appointed governor, under whose wise counsels and impartial administration the elements of discoid speedily subsided, and the peace and order of society were restored. lite destructive result to property, by the changes thus precipitately forced on the colony, wil| behest manifested by a reference to the exports of our three great staples, sugar, rum,

O.32.

E 3


30

MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

Right Bon. Lord Howard do Walden. 28 February 1848.

Hhds. Sugar

Phns. Rum

at 20 /.

at 10/.

Lbs. Coffee at 60 s. per 100 lbs.

ÂŁ.

Average of the five years ending 1807, last of the African trade

131,962

50,462

23,625,377

3,852,321

Average of the five years ending 1815, date of Registry Act

118,490

48,726

24,394,790

3,588,903

Average of the five years ending 1823, date of Canning's Resolutions -

110,924

41,046

18,789,909

3,192,637

Average of the five years ending 1833, last five of slavery -

95,353

35,505

17,645,602

2,791,478

Average of the five years ending 1843, first five of freedom -

42,453

14,185

7,412,498

1,213,284

Up to 1807, the exports of Jamaica progressively rose as cultivation was extended. From that date they have been gradually sinking, but we more especially entreat attention to the evidence here adduced of the effect of emancipation, which in 10 years reduced the annual value of the three principal staples from 2,791,478/. to 1,213,284 l., being in the proportion 7 to 16, or equal, at five percent., to an investment of about 32 millions of property annihilated. We believe the history of the world would be in vain searched for any parallel case of oppression perpetrated by a civilized government upon any section of its own subjects. Disproportionate, however, as was the pittance given to the extent of the property wrested from us, happy would it have been for many of the sufferers if Your Majesfy's Government had then announced the policy it is now pursuing, and saved the unavailing exertions made by the proprietors of estates to continue cultivation, instead of luring them, on from year to year by the hope that time, and the aid of Government, would bring improvement. We may safely affirm, that in this unsuccessful struggle an amount of money has been lost far exceeding the compensation. Of the poorer class of estates, many have been entirely abandoned, and others sold to repay the debts which had accrued upon them since emancipation, without giving one shilling to the unfortunate proprietors. Under the fiscal change now contemplated, the purchasers of those estates are likely to become the second victims of imperial misgovernment. While the revenue derived from landed property has been thus reduced, the public burthens have been increased. Our records show that from the passing of the Emancipation Act, Your Majesty's Ministers have never ceased to urge upon the colony, even under threats of Parliamentary compulsion, the necessity of new laws, and of new and expensive establishments to make successful that great change in our social system, in which the whole empire was said to take so deep an interest. Anxious to meet the wishes of Government, and with a view to provide for the public safety, we organized a police at an annual cost of upwards of 40,000/., and at the same time increased the judicial and ecclesiastical institutions to nearly double their former establishments. An equally liberal provision was made for penitentiaries, prisons, and sanatory departments, in the confidence and under the assurance given us, that the parent Government would protect and support us in meeting difficulties which it had forced upon us against our most solemn protestations. For the four years last past, our public and parochial burthens have exceeded an annual average of 400,000 /., nearly equal in amount to one-third the value of the whole exports of the colony. If, from changed views of policy, we are now to be abandoned to more severe trials, these establishments, already too onerous, must be reduced in accordance with the reduced means of the colony. We deeply feel the hardship to be entailed on public functionaries, by curtailing salaries awarded to them by acts of the island, but necessity leaves us no choice. To continue demands on the treasury, which it cannot meet, would hut involve greater evil. Moreover, it is but just that all persons paid by the public should bear an equitable share in the privations to which the other classes of society are subjected. We are told it is only by importing cheap food, and other necessaries, that we shall he able to compete, under free trade, with foreign possessions; but it is manifestly impossible for us to attain that object whilst our establishments are continued on a scale so costly as can only be met by the imposition of high duties. Free trade, previous to emancipation, would have been an unqualified boon to Jamaica. It was then withheld. We were shackled in every possible manner


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manner to serve the interests of the parent state, and the consequence has been that since Right Hon. Lord the year 1807, the neighbouring foreign islands of Cuba and Porto Rico have increased Howard de Walden. their exports, and advanced in prosperity, in the same ratio as Jamaica has declined. 28 February 1848. To avert the destruction with which we are now threatened, and at the same time to secure cheap sugar to the people of England, it is only necessary that the emancipated colonies should have a limited protection for a limited time, and that all restrictions should be withdrawn from the importation of African labourers, who may thus be admitted to share in the blessings of freedom, and the enjoyment of civilized life, now happily existing in your Majesty's colonies. If this course, so much more consonant with justice, sound policy, and national honour, be pursued; if freedom, yet weak and helpless, be nourished into strength, instead of being crushed in its infancy, there can be no doubt of Your Majesty's free possessions being able successfully to compete with slave-cultivated countries, and of ultimately supplanting slavery. Thus treated, the British colonies will soon produce, as they formerly did, more sugar than England can consume, when protection in her markets will cease to operate in their favour, or to be any longer required. Inheriting the industry and enterprize of their country, the inhabitants of this colony can fear no competition under equal circumstances ; but if unsupported, as they have been in the late great change, they are now to be forced into a contest altogether unequal; if the result of the Slave Emancipation Act is to be the almost entire destruction of property, and the impoverishment of all classes of the inhabitants, this great measure, instead of benefiting the cause of humanity, must rivet faster the chains of slavery, and aggravate the sufferings of the African race. Having now laid before Your Majesty a faithful representation of the impoverished condition to which this once valuable colony has been reduced ; of the sufferings and dangers to which experimental legislation has exposed it; and of the ruin which now impends over Your faithful subjects ; we implore Your Majesty, on behalf of our constituents, on behalf of the many families lately in affluence, and now in destitution, and on behalf of the emancipated slaves, to direct Your Ministers to review the Sugar Duty Act with that consideration due to us, and to the national interests involved in it. We most humbly pray that if the duty cannot be altogether taken off British sugar, in accordance with the principles of free trade now acted upon with respect to other articles, it should at any rate be reduced so far as to afford us some moderate and permanent protection, to meet in part the disadvantages under which we labour, as compared with the slave cultivators. That the duty on colonial and British spirits be equalized in the three kingdoms. That sugar and molasses be admitted into the distilleries and breweries. That all restrictions be removed from free African immigration, subjecting it only to such regulations as may be necessary to prevent its being made a cover for carrying the people into slavery. That contracts for labour be extended to three years, under such regulations as shall secure to the immigrants fair remuneration for their labour, and a full participation in the rights of free men. If these our reasonable requests are withheld, if we are to be involved in a ruinous competition with slave-holding countries, if Your Majesty's Government are of opinion that the protection and assistance which alone can avert our ruin are incompatible with the national interest, it will only remain for us, in the face of the nation, and of the world, to demand of Parliament that equitable compensation, to which, as British subjects, we are clearly entitled. Passed the Assembly, this 18th day of December 1846. S. J. Dallas, Speaker.

0.32.

E

4


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32

William Dennison, Esq., called in ; and Examined. W. Dennison, Esq

4670. Mr. Miles.] I years.

BELIEVE

yon have been some years in Java?—Twenty-

five 28 February 1848.

4671. Were you all that time engaged in the cultivation of sugar?—No; I practised between three and four years as a medical man. 4672. But you have been engaged for some years in the cultivation of sugar in Java?—Yes, for about 20 years. 4673. Will you be kind enough to tell the Committee the nature of the labour in that country; is it compulsory or free labour?—The government took upon themselves to plant the sugar-cane, making contracts with the natives, and private individuals cultivate the sugar-cane on their own account, and pay the labourers whom they employ from three to six and ten guilders a month. 4674. Is the labour employed by government forced labour, or are the labourers paid by government?—They are paid by the manufacturers of the sugar. The land in Java, I believe, is considered to belong to government, and a rent is paid upon the same principle as existed under the administration of Sir Stamford Raffles; and I believe the Dutch government carry out, pretty nearly, the measures that were adopted by Mr. John Crawford, and which are explained in the work of his; and also in Sir Stamford Raffles' Work on Java. There is one short chapter, which will give you as much information upon the nature of the cultivation in Java as an hour's conversation, if I may be allowed to read it. He says, " The island of Java is a great agricultural country ; its soil is the grand source of its wealth. In its cultivation the inhabitants exert their chief industry, and upon its produce they rely, not only for their subsistence, but the few articles of foreign luxury or convenience which they purchase. The Javans are a nation of husbandmen, and exhibit that simple structure of society incident to such a stage of its progress. To the crop the mechanic looks immediately for his wages, the soldier for his pay, the magistrate for his salary (or jakat) and the government for its tribute." There are certain arrangements under which they pay for good land: for rice fields, or what they call paddy fields, two-fitths of the produce. I have here the instructions for the management of the private lands, as well as public lands. There has been the greatest care and the greatest precaution taken that the privileges may not be infringed upon by the native population ; and I should say that there are few nations in the world that pay more attention to the comforts and rights of the people than the Dutch do with regard to the Javanese. " The wealth of a province or village is measured by the extent and fertility of its land, its facilities for rice irrigation, and the number of its buffaloes." Previous to the capture of Java by the Dutch, all the rents of the lands were delivered to the government warehouses, but now they are paid in money. "When a chief gives his assistance in the police or the magistracy, he is paid by so much village land, or the rent of so much land realised in produce, and the native has no other means of pensioning or rewarding a useful servant." And I believe those rules exist to the present day. He says, " Be it known to the high officers of my palace, to my bapahs (regent), and to my mantris (petite noblesse)," says a Javan patent of nobility, granted by Sultan Hamangka Biruna, " that I had given this letter to my servant to raise him from the earth, bestowing upon biro for his subsistence lands to the amount of 1,100 chachas, the labour of 1,100 men." In this way they are paid, I believe, to this day. " By the population returns and by the number of leases granted under the late settlement, it appears that sometimes there is not more than a tenth part of the inhabitants employed in any other branch of industry; but of a population of 243,268 in the Priângén regencies;" I suppose the population is now double that; " 209,125 are stated as employed in agriculture; in fact, the entire population of Pruângén is agricultural ; they are far removed from the sea, they have some river communication, but they have very little commerce but that of agriculture." Surabaya is a very large town, the next in size to Batavia; there the greatest part of the natives are mechanics and tradesmen, and manufacturers of such things as cloths and metals. " The soil of Java, though in many parts much neglected, is remarkable


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able for the abundance and variety of its productions ; with very little care or TV. Dennison, Esq. exertion on the part of the cultivator it yields all that the wants of the island demand, and is capable of supplying resources far above anything that the indo- 28 February 1848. lence or ignorance of the people, either oppressed under the despotism of their own sovereigns, or harassed by the rapacity of strangers, have yet permitted them to enjoy." It should be observed that this was written by Sir Stamford Raffles in 1814 or 1815. " Lying under a tropical sun, it produces, as before observed, all the fruits of a tropical climate, while in many districts its mountains and eminences make up for the difference of latitude, and give it, though only a few degrees from the Line, all the advantages of temperate regions. The bambu, the cocoa-nut tree, the sugar-cane, the cotton tree, and the coffee plant here flourish in the greatest luxuriance, and yield products of the best quality. Rice, the great staple of subsistence, covers the slopes of mountains and the low fields, and gives a return of 30, 40, or 50 fold, while maize, or even wheat and rye, and the other plants of Europe, may be cultivated to advantage on high and inland situations. Such is the fertility of the soil, that in some places, after yielding two and sometimes three crops in the year, it is not necessary even to change the culture. Water, which is so much wanted, and which is seldom found in requisite abundance in tropical regions, here flows in the greatest plenty. The cultivator who has prepared his saivah or rice-field within its reach diverts part of it from its channel, spreads it out into numerous canals of irrigation, and thus procures from it, under a scorching sun, the verdure of the rainy season, and, in due time, a plentiful harvest." This goes on a little further; then we have the tenure under which the Javanese hold the land under the English, and it is pretty much the same tenure. " The whole country, as seen from mountains of considerable elevation, appears a rich, diversified, and well-watered garden, animated with villages, interspersed with the most luxuriant fields, and covered with the richest verdure." The plantations are generally by the sides of the hills, so that the plant collects all the washings from the tops of the mountains, which are not covered by trees, but exposed to a burning sun, and the soil therefore never requires any manure. " The poorest soil is that found on the ranges of low hills, termed kendang, extendingalong many districts, and particularly in the southern division of the island, but in no part is it so sterile or ungrateful as not to afford a liberal return for the labour bestowed upon its cultivation, especially if a supply of water can be by any means directed upon it. But when nature does much for a country its inhabitants are sometimes contented to do little, and satisfied with its common gifts, neglect to improve them into the means of dignity or comfort. The peasantry of Java easily procuring the necessaries of life, seldom aim at improvement of their condition. Rice is the principal food of all classes of the people, and the great staple of their agriculture; of this necessary article it is calculated that a labourer can, in ordinary circumstances, earn from four to five katis a day; " that is, he can earn as much as will procure him four or five katis of rice, and that is sufficient for him to live upon for five days, and as long as that lasts him he will not work. " The labour of the women of Java is estimated almost as highly as that of the men, and thus a married couple can maintain eight or ten persons; and as a family seldom exceeds half that number, they have commonly half of their earnings applicable for the purchase of little comforts, for implements of agriculture, for clothing and lodging. The two last articles cannot be expensive in a country where the children generally go naked, and where the simplest structure possible is sufficient to afford the requisite protection against the elements. The price of rice, which thus becomes of importance to the labourer, varies in different parts of the island, according to the fertility of the district where it is produced, its situation with regard to a market, or its distance from one of the numerous provincial capitals." The usual price of rice was about 10 years ago 2 guilders a picul; a picul is 133 1/3 lbs., a guilder is 20 of. "In the native provinces a pikul, weighing 133 J lbs. English, sometimes sells below the fourth part of a Spanish dollar,"—they had no sale for it then, but since so much rice has been exported to the European market of late years, it has considerably risen in price,-—" and at other times for more than two Spanish dollars; but in common years, and at an average over the whole island, including the capital, the estimate may be taken at 30 Spanish dollars the koyan of 30 piculs, or 3,000 katis. A kati of rice, according to this estimate, may be sold to the consumer, after allowing a sufficient profit to the retail merchant, for much less than a penny. But though the price of this common article of subistence may be of 0.32. F some,


34

W. Dennison, Esq. 28 February 1848.

MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

some consequence to the Javaen labourer, when he wants to make any purchase with his surplus portion, he is rendered independent of the fluctuations of the market for his necessary food by the mode in which he procures it. He is generally the cultivator of the soil, and while he admits that law of custom which assigns to the superior a certain share of the produce, he claims an equal right himself to the remainder, which is generally sufficient to support himself and his family, and he sometimes finds in this law of custom, sanctioned by the interest of both parties, a security in the possession of his lands, and a barrier against the arbitrary exactions of his chief, which could scarcely be expected under the capricious despotism of a Mahometan government. He is protected by the Dutch government, but he could have no protection under the Mahometan government. " In addition to this reserved share he raises on his own account if he is industrious, within what may be termed the cottage farm, all the vegetables, fruit, and poultry requisite for his own consumption ; his wife invariably manufactures the slight articles of clothing which, in such a climate, the common people are in the habit of wearing ; what can be spared of the fruits of their joint industry from the supply of their immediate wants is carried to market and exchanged for a little salt fish, dried meat, or for other trifling comforts, hoarded as a store for the purchase of an ox or a buffalo, or expended in procuring materials for repairing the hut and the buying the implements of husbandry. The farming stock of the cultivator is as limited as his wants are few and his cottage inartificial; it usually consists of a pair of buffaloes or oxen and a few rough implements of husbandry ; there is a small proportion of sheep and goats on the island ; but with the exception of poultry, no kind of live stock is reared exclusively either for the kitchen or the dairy." 4675. You think that the extracts which you have now read represent very faithfully the state of Java at present ? —I think they do. 4676. If I understand rightly, the labourer is obliged to cultivate a certain quantity of land and to give the government a certain quantity of produce ?— Previously to 1828 or 1829, when the Commissioner-general Vandibosch came to Java, the government did not interfere with the labourers so long as they paid their rents; contracts were made from year to year, and a certain portion of the produce was to be delivered to government and paid in specie; but when General Vandibosch came to Java in 1828 or 1829, he introduced a system of improvement in agriculture, and he suggested that first of all to the native chiefs, who exercise a sort of regency in their division of the country. The greatest part of the land belongs to the government, with the exception of the native provinces. There were three Sultans of whose authority was done away with by Sir Stamford Raffles; and there were the ancient Sultans and whose authority was also done away, but the of native provinces are still independent, and they occupy a considerable part of the island, although a great part was lost during the war with 4677. What portion of Java, belongs to those native chiefs; two-thirds?—No; I should think not one-tenth of the island. On the arrival of General Vandibosch, who had been there the year before, he thought it would be for the benefit of the island, and also a means of employment to the vessels of Holland, if he could introduce the cultivation of an article for exportation, because he found that the commercial part of the Dutch navy was entirely gone, and therefore at the suggestion of a trading society the cultivation of sugar was introduced, and the great extension of the cultivation dates from that period. Previous to that, some years before, it had been a considerable article of commerce, but from the low price of sugar and the difficulty of getting labourers it was considerably reduced ; so much so that I do not believe the produce of Java exceeded 1,000 or 1,500 tons per annum. Certainly the cultivation was for the general benefit of the nation in regard to their own consumption, but taking the circumstances into consideration, and the little intercourse that the Europeans had had with the natives during that period, Vandibosch thought it would be for their benefit and for the benefit of the Dutch nation if such a system of cultivation could be taught them, and introduced round about their villages. And he first of all proposed it to what are called the regents, who have the entire control over the native population, under the surveillance of the European administration ; what we should have called in England governors, but they are called the residents, and they have the entire administration of the province. 4678. That


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4678. That is under the authorities of the island?—Yes; they have been W. Dennison, Esq. made by the Governor in Council regents, and have the entire administration of the province of which they are the residents, or, as we call them, the governors ; 28 February 1848, each resident has an assistant resident, and surveyors, and inspectors, appointed by government; some reside on the spot, and some do not. But this system, that was introduced by the Commissioner-general Vandibosch, was first suggested to the native chiefs; from the native chiefs it was then proposed to the natives themselves, whether they would have any objection upon their waste lands, in such places as were not cultivated, to introduce a new system of culture, and they very wisely said that they had no objection; and that system I shall be able to prove to you has been to their advantage, not only in a moral point of view but in a physical point of view, both as regards their means, their security, and their employment. I will give an instance: I occupied about 1,800 acres of land, and if you have seen celery beds in this country, they are precisely the same in appearance as the sugar grounds when they are finished for the season. 4679. Will you be good enough to state first how the matter was settled with the native population ?—When this sugar operation was begun, I believe the Governor-general knew very little about it, and the resident of Cherrybun, who was the first to begin it, also knew very little about it; but we collected such information as we could from those who had been engaged in sugar cultivation in the neighbourhood of Batavia, and also from the Chinese who had been cultivators of it, and a calculation was made of what would be an equivalent for the labour that would be expected from the people for the cultivation of the cane, which calculation I must now say from experience could not have been far out of the way, because beyond what the government plant for me, I plant also 500 or 600 acres on my own account. A contract was made with the natives, with their own consent, that a certain quantity of land should be cultivated by them. As I stated before, the native chiefs are first consulted as to what they think about the cultivation, and after they have consulted the chiefs, then the people are called together, and as a matter of course, if the chiefs want them to do a thing, they say, " yes, that is very true," and they fall into it. But at the same time the government took very good care that they were compensated for their work ; and the way that they contracted with the people and with the chiefs was this : an arrangement having been made with us, it was then for us to ascertain what would be an equivalent to them for their labour, and information was obtained from those who had been cultivators previously to that period, for we had sugar cultivation for many years, and it was arranged that they should be paid a certain price. Then after the government had established that, and had agreed with the natives, they wanted people to manufacture the sugar for them ; but there some difficulty occurred, for, notwithstanding the favourable terms, as it was supposed, that were then held out, they could not for a time get any parties to take contracts. Persons thought that the government should allow more for the canes; that it would never pay; and therefore at the beginning there was not one Dutchman who would take a contract with the government, because they said they could not make any money by it; whether it was want of enterprize, or want of spirit, or want of capital, I do not know. The natives knew nothing about the cultivation of the cane, and the natives were very little accustomed to work, and the Europeans had had very little intercourse with them ; but, however, the price was then established; the price was about three guilders, or 5 s. for 133 1/2 lbs. 4680. Was this for the manufacture of sugar ?—This was paid to the natives for the cultivation of sugar. They had nothing to do with anything but the planting of the canes ; they were paid on the quantity of sugar produced. When the canes come to maturity there is a commission of the manufacturers, the resident, the native chiefs, and the cultivators ; each cultivator has his own superintendent ; he goes with him. The superintendent makes the best bargain lie can, and the manufacturer makes the best bargain he can. The first valuation was that they should be paid according to the quality of the canes; they were to be valued as first, second, and third class. For such canes as were of the first class, the cultivator was entitled to the amount of 20 piculs ; for an acre and five-eighths he would be entitled to 75 guilders. They were paid in money at the rate of 75 guilders for first-class sugars, or per cwt. 0.32 F 2 4681. Was


36

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W. Dennison, Esq.

4681. Was the bargain struck upon the canes or upon the manufacture sugar ?—Upon the canes. 28 February 1848. 4682. They found an estimate of the quantity of sugar that could be made from the cane ?—Yes, they made an estimate from the appearance of the cane, in the same way as a farmer going to a wheat-field and seeing it growing, could estimate that he would have five quarters or four quarters an acre ; a person watching a sugar crop can tell pretty nearly what a cane-field will yield. 4683. What was the second class?—The second class was 15 piculs for an acre and five-eighths, and the third class 10 piculs, or per cwt. 4684. What quantity of piculs do you think there were in the second and third class ?—The arrangement with the contractor was, that the canes should be classed according to value; it was considered to be the full extent which could be grown in Java at the time; the cultivation was so little known and had been in the hands of the Chinese, who had not paid that attention to the cultivation which is paid to it now; the Chinese used to plant the canes six or seven feet apart, whereas in Java the government now plant the canes only a foot and a half apart.

Mercurii, 1° die Martii, 1848. MEMBERS

Lord George Bentinck. Sir Thomas Bird). Sir Edward Buxton. Mr. Milner Gibson. Mr. Hope.

PRESENT.

Lord John Manners. Mr. Matheson. Mr. Miles. Mr. Moffatt. Mr. Villiers.

LORD GEORGE BENTINCK, IN THE CHAIR.

William Dennison, Esq. called in ; and further Examined. W. Dennison, Esq. 1 March 1848.

4685. Mr. Miles.] WHEN you were last examined you stated that the money paid to the natives was at the rate of 75 guilders for 20 piculs of the first class ? —Yes. 4686. Fifteen piculs of the second class, and 10 piculs the third class ?—Yes. 4687. Was this merely for the cultivation of the sugar?—It was merely for the cultivation of the sugar. 4688. What other charges has the manufacturer before he ships his sugar; is it more than the simple manufacture of the sugar ?—Formerly when the contracts were first made the natives used to deliver the canes at the mill, but government found that it was too much for them to do, and they thought they were not sufficiently paid, and to give them a more efficient remuneration they made new eontracts with the natives by extending the supplies of rice or giving them other advantages which were equivalent to an additional payment to the native for cutting and carrying the canes; in the first instance, the natives delivered firewood for the manufacture of the sugar. 4689. What course is pursued now ?—The course pursued now is that the natives have nothing more to do with it except the planting of the sugar. 4690. When the cane is cut has the manufacturer to take it from the field where it is grown, or does the native take it to any particular place ?—Some do and some do not; at my establishment I have a contract with the natives to pay them so much a bush for cutting the canes, and so much a bush for bringing them to the mill. We commenced cutting in the month of May, about the middle of May, and finished about the latter end of September; during that period the natives had no occupation but the cultivation of the canes. We plant almost -every year, which is rather unusual, and perhaps more expensive.

The following Observations have subsequently been received, in farther elucidation of Questions 4685 to 4690.] [When


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[When the present system of cane cultivation was introduced, the canes at W. Dennison, Esq. maturity were taxed upon the field by the contractor and native planters, in 1 March 1848. presence of the resident and native chiefs, whose duty it was to see justice done to the planter. The canes were divided into three classes, first, second, and third, according to the quantity of sugar they were expected to yield ; for example, the first class 20 piculs per bouw, of 500 square roods, or about an acre and 5-8ths. The second 15 piculs, and the third 10 piculs of 133 J lbs., and for each picul was paid three guilders and a half, or about 5.v. 10c/., for which sum the canes were delivered at the mill; but as the government thought that not a remunerating price to the planter, new arrangement were made, granting to the contractor a longer lease, and an extension of cultivation, to enable him to pay the native planter one cent per bundle of 20 canes, for the cutting, &c., and one and a half cent for transporting the canes to the mill; the contractor making advances to the planter to purchase buffaloes, which he uses in the fields, and carts, during crop time, and cultivating his rice fields, when they are no longer required in the sugar gardens. About 16 cents is paid to the native chiefs for their superintendence per picul by the contractor; but in more recent contracts the government only engage to plant the canes, which are sold to the contractor at the above price, say three guilders and 50 cents, and 16 cents to the native chiefs, without any further interference of government, and at the contractor's risk, after it has been taxed, so that at present the native planter commences in the month of May, and has done planting in the latter end of September ; planting his Indian corn, cotton, and other green crops upon his sugar grounds, as they are cut in succession, and comes off in time to prepare the ground for a rice crop.] 4691. V ou do not ratoon the canes ?—We have ratooned some, but very little. 4692. Is that because the yield is not sufficient?—No; we have so much ground, the cane fields are planted one year with canes and the next year with rice, and so in rotation, so as not to interfere with the rice cultivation. 4693. What is the average yield ?—There is a difficulty in telling that. I have some old letters here, which I have my doubts about; however, they were written by a gentleman who had the means of collecting the best information, and therefore I think some credit should be given to the information which he collected. He says, on the. 13th of February 1835 : " You say I am a croaker; but from what I have seen, I like rather to damp the expectation of you fabricants, for generally you are too sanguine; this for your good. I am now of opinion that your system of planting is not profitable if you have the means of shifting your lands ; at Pasarouang they plant at two feet, say one and a half; their canes are small but full of saccharine matter, and from good canes they get 150 to 160 piculs per bouw of 1,225 square roods. At Panaroekan, under Bezoekie, a Chinaman got 1,000 piculs from 15 bouws." I doubt that very much, I never saw such produce. 4694. You imagine that is rather a high average ?—I think so ; however, I must not doubt Mr. Scott's information, because he was inspector of the opium farms, and a man who had the best information. 4695. That you say is a report of 1835 ?—It is. 4696. Is not it possible that the cultivation of Java may have so improved that the return per bouw is much larger than in 1835 ?—No ; under the best circumstances I doubt whether they can increase so much as that. The full average of a bouw (that is, and acre and five-eighths,) I should take to be 35 piculs. I cannot make anything more than 25 piculs to the houw. 4697. You stated that you made an arrangement with the natives for the cultivation of the cane, and a separate arrangement for carrying the cane to the mill; have you any objection to state what price you agreed to pay to the labourers, and what price for carrying the cane to the mill ?—It depends upon circumstances. When I began the cultivation of the sugar-cane, there were only two contracts. The labour then was pretty much the same. I pay my people, during the grinding season, four guilders a month; but at other fabriques in the neighbourhood they pay them five or six guilders a month. 4698. Is that the work about the estates ?—I am speaking of the work in the fabric. 4699. In the manufactory?—Yes. 4700. The question referred to the price you paid the labourer for his cultivation, and the price you paid him for carrying the cane to the mill ?—The 0.32. natives F 3


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natives are paid three guilders and 50 cents for every picul of sugar; that was the case first of all. 4701. That is for the sugar-cane?—Yes. 1 March 1848. 4702. Determined by what ?—By the valuation; by a taxation upon the ground; that was in the commencement. The natives are now paid three guilders and 50 cents. I am not sure, but I think they are paid one cent for a bundle of 20 canes ; then they were paid one cent and a half more for every bundle of canes that they cart to the mills. This is all done by the same villages; each v illage has its own sugar garden, and each labourer has part of the cultivation. Here {producing the same) is a plan of the garden. We ought not to commence before May or June, and we ought to finish before the last of August; but in a garden like this we cannot get sufficient labourers, and we are obliged to leave part of it uncultivated. 4703. Who superintends the cultivation of the sugar-cane in this garden?— My administrator. 4704. And under him the native chief?—No; it is perfectly independent of the government. 4705. You lay this out yourself?—Yes ; this was formerly a forest. 4706. You have said that three guilders and 50 cents is the cost for every picul brought to the mill, with the exception of one cent for every bundle?— That is for the cutting, and one and a half cent for the transport. 4707. What does that make altogether, on an average, for the quantity?—I do not know. 4708. It is a very light addition to every picul, is it not?—I cannot tell. 4709. Would you have any objection to tell the Committee what the cost of the manufacture of the sugar is?—Here is a contract, which was made about eight years ago, just before I left Java; the contracts that are made now are quite different to what they were before. In the contracts latterly made all the sugar is by agreement delivered to government; when I made the contract it was only the value of the canes that was to be delivered to the government, at 10 guilders a picul; I delivered my sugar to the government at to guilders a picul in payment for the canes. 4710. What is the cost per picul of the manufacture of the sugar:—It costs to make it from seven guilders and a half to eight guilders; that includes the canes and the manufacture. He must deliver all his sugar to the government. 4711. That includes everything?—Yes. 4712. He can put it free on board ship at 13s. 4d? ?—He must deliver it to the government stores at that price. that for the best quality of sugar?—That is what it costs him upon 4713. Is the whole. I his party says, Here I get from the government for No. 18, (which is the best quality of sugar, which I suppose would not come in here at the low price duty,) 11 guilders and 50 cents a picul; for No. l6, which is now selling in Batavia at 16 guilders a picul, he gets nine guilders and 50 cents ; for No. 12 he gets eight guilders and a half a picul, and for No. 10, which would be the ordinary brown or muscovado sugar, he gets six guilders ; altogether he got nine guilders and 50 cents for each picul. 4714. Is this guaranteed to him by the government ?—It is. 4715. How many pounds are there in a picul?—One hundred and thirty-three pounds. 4716. Then the manufacturer can deliver to the government the highest quality of sugar, such as would come in under the highest duty here, at the price ot eight guilders, or 13s. 4d.?—No ; 11 1/2 guilders, but that is copper currency, which is sometimes 18 and sometimes 20 per cent, discount. I have here an invoice of 500 tons of sugar shipped to me in 1844, and sold at Rotterdam at a loss of 2,500 l., upon which I made a calculation as to what I thought the sugar could be grown for and imported into England or into Holland : the sugar can be grown at 14 s. a cwt. 4717. What quality of sugar ?—It is taking the average. 4718. What is the average freight ?—From 5 l. to five guineas. 4719. In reality, you can sell the best quality of sugar at about 20 or 20s. 6d. in bond ?—Twenty-two shillings; I have it here. There are the shipping charges. 4720. Is that shipping charges in the island?—Yes; the commission in the island is 2 1/2 per cent.; the freight, 5s.; and the insurance, 11 d. 4721. Is

W. Dennison, Esq.


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W. Dennison, Esq. Is there any other expense?—No. 4722. Then for 22 s. you could afford to sell in bond in this country the 1 March 1848. highest quality of sugar?—That would be prime cost; that is for private cultivation. 4723. That only includes the grower's profit ?—Only the grower's profit. 4724. In what year was that?—That was shipped .on the 10th of April 1844. 4725. Do you know whether any export duty has been put on since?—I believe not. 4726. Could the government send it at a cheaper rate than this?—Yes; because they charge no rent for the land. They afford all the facilities which governments generally have it in their power to afford, and they are by that means enabled to cultivate generally cheaper than a private individual. 4727. Governments have a decided advantage over a private individual?—Of course. 4728. Can you form any estimate of the price at which the government could afford to sell in bond in this country ?—The price of cultivation to government is, to some they pay 12 guilders copper; to some they pay 9 guilders copper, which is, I think, the lowest they pay. That is delivered at the government store, from whence it is sent to the trading society, who ship it and sell it in Holland by public auction. 4729. You stated that the cost to the manufacturer was 14 s. per cwt.; what saving could government effect upon that 14 s. per cwt.?—The private manufacturers and growers of sugar are in the neighbourhood of Batavia, the greatest part of them. They have to send away their own foremen into the hills to look for labourers; they are obliged to pay them so much for each labourer, so that their wages would be considerably dearer than those who are residing in the country, where there is dense population, and where labour is to be had cheap. 4730. Could government sell it at 2 s. per cwt. less than a private grower, do you think ?—I should think they could. 4731. Could they afford to sell at 4 s. less ?—I should not think they could. 4732. At 3 s. less?—I cannot say; I have not given it my attention particularly. 4733. But you think they could decidedly at 2 ?—I think they could; but government have a great many other expenses which individuals have not; after they get it into possession they have a commission to pay to the tradingsociety. I have heard from good authority that they had lost between two and three millions a year by sugar for two or three years. The cultivation of the sugar, in my opinion, in Java is more with a view to give employment to their ships than any profit that the government calculate upon deriving from the cultivation. 4734. Is the cultivation capable of being extended in Java ?—I do not think it will be so to any very great extent. 4735. For what reason ?—They do not wish to make it in any way oppressive to the natives; they are very tenacious of imposing extra labour upon the natives beyond what they can do with ease. 4736. Has any extension of the cultivation of sugar taken place on account of the sugar being admitted to the markets of this country?—I think not; but I believe they intend extending the sugar cultivation, for reasons mentioned in reply to Question 4738. 4737. By government, or private individuals?—By government; but I do not think that has been based upon the reduction of the duties in England. 4738. To what extent are they going to increase the cultivation ?—They have lately done away with the cultivation of indigo, which they have found prejucial to the rice fields, and therefore detrimental to the natives in those indigo countries; they have done away with about two-thirds of the indigo plantations, and replaced them by sugar plantations. Some Europeans made contracts for the cultivation of tobacco, in which government had given them considerable advantages, but they have lost money. To recover that many of them made newcontracts in sugar in the place of tobacco, to reimburse them for the losses they had sustained in the cultivation of tobacco. 4739. In the regulations respecting lands, it is stated that one day in the week 0.32. F 4 is 4721.


40 W. Dennison, Esq. 1 March 1848.

MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

is set. apart for the labourers to be entirely at the command of the cultivators of the soil ?—That is the tenure of the whole of the lands ; for how long I do not know. Though a gentleman holds lands of his own, he cannot command the labour of those people except one day in the week, which is the feudal system remaining upon those lands. 4740. But that day is compulsory labour ?—It is labour belonging to the land; but he is not obliged to remain upon the land. 4741. Whatever land he is upon he would equally have to give his labour ?— He has the right of his ground upon which his house is; he has the right of his fruit trees ; the right of his gardens, and he has the right of establishing himself and planting rice fields wherever he pleases; the owner of the land cannot compel him to pay more than is arranged by the tenure of the whole of his lands. 4742. Wherever the labourer goes, the labour for one day is compulsory?— Sir Charles Forbes had a land, I suppose, of 70 miles long, with about 70,000 or 80,000 inhabitants. It is not now the land of Sir Charles Forbes, but it is sold. 4743. Is that all in cultivation ?—No ; rice is grown upon it and coffee. Those lands that are in the neighbourhood of Buitenzorg are held by a tenure to deliver all their coffee at a stipulated price to government, with the exception of this estate. 4744. Flow do you account in this regulation for its being stated that every labourer is to be compelled to work, that the owner has a right to the services of the male inhabitants one day in the week, giving them a reasonable subsistence? —That of course increases the value of the land ; those are people that have come upon the estate by their own free will; they are quite aware that those are the regulations of the estate. You cannot prevent a man coming upon your estate and settling himself there. It is difficult to get a census of one-third of the population; where you calculate you have a population of 80,000, perhaps you have got 150,000. 4745. Sir E. Buxton.] How do you enforce this labour ?—By the regulations of the villages.

4746. What is the punishment if they do not give it?—They are put in the hands of the native chief who has the charge of the village. 4747. Can a man be sent to prison ?—If he will not do it he can leave the estate; he is free to leave it whenever he pleases. 4748. So long as he is on it he must work one day in the week ?—Yes ; if they please to make an arrangement with you to work three days a week, they say, " If I do not do that you can turn me off." 4749. What is the price of wages on the other days of the week ?—Always that which the owner of the estate can make an agreement with them for. 4750. What is the average price ?—It very seldom happens that those people will work. Though you have a population that you say you can command to work, they will not; they have got their rice fields, and that is sufficient for them to live on. 4751. Flow do you get your fields cultivated; do you cultivate your fields only on one day in the week ?—You get labourers wherever you can; you send your people round the country to collect labourers; you send the men up to the hills to look for labourers ; if you can find a respectable native who can collect 25 or 50 men, you pay him so much and you give him so much wages, as head man over them.

4752. What are his wages per day ?—They differ according to the locality; to the eastward of Sarrabaya they are paying eight to twelve guilders in the month. 4753. That is about 5s. a week ?—Yes, from 4 s. to 5s. a week; to people who do the same work I pay from four to six guilders in the month, which is from 2 to 2 s. 6 d. in the week, but you must bear in mind, in addition to that, they are allowed about a pound and a quarter of rice and their salt per day. 4754. Is.


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4754. Is that usual in all cases, whether the wages are 2 s. 6 d. or 5 s. a week? W. Dennison, Esq. —Precisely the same. 1 March 1848. 4755. Is there much-oppression of the people?—I am not aware of it. 4756. It has been stated in this country that there is something very like slaveryexisting in Java ; is there anything of the kind ?—Not a shadow of it. 4757. It is really free labour?—It is; I will give the Committee an instance of it: I had the first contract of the government, and it was upon the most favourable terms; the residents or Europeans seldom went then once or twice a year, and it had been a nest of plunderers ; when I went to reside there you would hear them beating the gongs to say that the thieves were coming to rob and to burn; you found every place barricaded to keep the people out at night. But I had not been there six months before all this was done away with and the country was perfectly free; you could sleep with your house open. I stayed there seven or eight years, and I could sleep with my doors and windows open ; if I went to Batavia I called for the head of the village and left my plate and my guns and all my property about the house. 4758. How did you effect the change ?—I was living there sometime, and the people became attached to me. It was a custom in that part of the country for these Javanese to sell their rice fields; they are lazy, as all people in tropical climates are, and improvident; and they were in the habit of selling their rice upon the fields to the Chinese two or three times over. When the time came the Chinese used to go into the country and take it where they could get it, and if they could not pay they would charge them the market price, and make a new contract for the following year. The first step I did when I came there was to represent it to the resident, who took measures to prevent it, and protect the natives; I paid them their wages every week, and I fed them well, and I gave them little trifles for themselves and for their children, and I established a good reputation. I can show the Committee three or four letters I have had from those people, which would perhaps amuse them. 4759. You treated the people well; hut is not that rather the exception than the rule?—They cannot he otherwise than well treated; the regulations of the government are such that they cannot be otherwise than well treated. I believe, in fact I am sure, no corporal punishment can be inflicted without being tried in a native court, in presence of the resident or governor of the districts, who presides. 4760. Is it not the case that the sort of obligation they are under to maintain the cultivation of sugar is felt to be a great hardship by the natives ?—I do not think so; some of them may think so, perhaps, hut I do not think they do in general. I have here my last letter from Java, of December last; we have sugar planted by government in my district 714 houws, and we have of ratoons 100 houws, and then at the private estate 160 houws in plant and 90 bouws of ratoon ; we have had planted by the natives, of their own free will, independent of any arrangement with government, at the government prices, upon their own grounds, 75 houws, without any interference on the part of the government; they really take care of it by their own free will at the government prices. 4761. They do not get a higher price for it?—They do not. 4762. Are they obliged to sell to the government all that they make at that price?—The extra part is not delivered to the government; it is an arrangement with me; I buy it from them as it grows upon the field. 4763. That shows that the government price is a remunerative price ?—It would appear so by that. 4764. In no part of Java is there anything like slavery, you say?—No; except, in the houses ; there are slaves still; domestic slaves. 4765. Do you know the number of them ?—No ; but they are very much upon the decrease; slaves are not allowed to be imported into Java, and have not been for many years. 4766. Are those domestic slaves ever used in field labour ?—Never. 4767. They are domestic slaves only ?—Yes; I do not suppose there are 20 slaves that are used to field labour; in fact, I may say that there is not one; gardeners and such people as those about the house are sometimes slaves. 4768. What is the price of a slave there ?—From 200 to 600 guilders ; sometimes 0.32. G


42 (V. Dennison, Esq.

MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

times 1,000 or 1,500 guilders; coachmen perhaps sell for 1,000 or 1,500 guilders. 1 March 1848. 4769. The slave trade is quite abolished, is it ?—-Yes. 4770. Is there any secret slave trade ?—I think very little; the regulations of government are so severe that there is very little means of smuggling slaves into Java. 4771. The government are honest in opposing it?—I believe so, perfectly. 4772. Mr. Moffatt.] You stated that in the export of a large quantity of sugar which came within your own experience the cost was 22 I. per ton, when it had left the island, paying freight and insurance ?—Yes. 4773. You stated that 14/. was the cost of cultivation, and that there were sundry other charges, making the prime cost upon the invoice 22 /. a ton ?—Yes. 4774. That was in the year 1844?—Yes. 4775. Are you aware subsequently to that period that any cheaper process of cultivation has been adopted?—No; I think sugar musthave been cheaper, because labour was easier to be got in the neighbourhood of Batavia, and it was in the hands of the Chinese, who can manufacture cheaper than Europeans. 4776. Subsequently to that your belief is that sugar could not be produced cheaper ?—No, the fluctuation of labour has been so very little that it could make very little difference in the manufacture of sugar; in my opinion it will be so now, because labour will become scarcer and dearer every day 4777. Therefore the cost of production will be augmented ?—Unquestionably. 4778. That cost of 22 I. a ton is exclusive of any European charges whatever ? —It is. 4778*. You also state that the lowest rate of wages that you pay to your labourers is from four to six guilders a month ?—Yes; I have some in field labour ; I used to pay three guilders a month, but I pay them more now, I believe. 4779. The labour obtained at that low price is up the country ?—Yes. 4780. Near the large towns the cost is from eight to twelve guilders?—Yes. 4781. Were the sugars in Java principally produced near the large towns, or up the country ?—They were almost entirely produced in the neighbourhood of the large towns formerly. In the neighbourhood of Batavia upon private lands, and the greatest part of the sugar was cultivated by the Chinese in those days. 4782. At the present time where is the greatest quantity of sugar grown ?— The greatest quantity of sugar is made now to the eastward of Sourabaya. 4783. What is the average rate of wages in the sugar producing part of the country ?—I think I stated from eight to twelve guilders in the sugar producing districts to the eastward of Sourabaya. 4784. What is the quality of the labour ; are those labourers able-bodied men ? —Tolerably so; they are not a large class of people ; they are rather a diminutive race of people, but strong bodied, well-made men. 4785* Are they industrious?—Generally speaking they are industrious for natives; they would rather sleep than work, I believe, if they were left to themselves. 4786. Sir E. Buxton.'] How many cane holes will they dig in a day ?—We do not make any holes, we plough and put the plants in. 4787. Mr. Moffatt.] They would generally render a fair day's work for a fair day's wage, would they ?—They would, generally speaking. I think they are much improved in that by the introduction of an improved system of agriculture. 4788. They labour for six days in the week, do not they?—For seven days in the week, which being Mahometans is the custom, with the exception of feast days, which are numerous. 4789. Was the tenure to which you have alluded attached to those sugar labourers?—No, those are all free labourers; most of chose people have their villages and their rice fields, therefore they are perfectly independent of that. 4790. How many hours a day do those employed in the cultivation of sugar labour?—I think they work 10 hours; the days are pretty much the same, from six to six, they go at six in the morning and stop at one till two and then go on to six. Not you find any scarcity of labour among the sugar plantations ? 4791. generally speaking, but sometimes we have. My manager writes me just now, that they are well provided with people. 4792. It


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4792. It is your belief that the Dutch government lose materially upon their W. Dennison, Esq. export of sugar from Java ?—I do not think they do now, they did when sugar 1 March 1848. was selling at lower prices. 4793. When was that?—Five or six years ago. 4794. Can you tell what prices they were then selling at?—No, I cannot. 4795. You state that government could produce their sugar 2 l. a ton cheaper than the native planters ?—Cheaper than European planters. 4796. Upon what data do you base that opinion?—I have not been in Java since 1841, and I have had so little time to pay attention to it that I can hardly say ; the principal documents belonging to the works I have lost or mislaid. 4797. Do you know what is the monthly value of the salt and rice which are given to the labourers in addition to their pay ?—No, I do not know how much salt they get; they get as much as they like to eat. The common price of rice when 1 first went to that part of the country was about two guilders for a picul or 133 pounds; it is now 7 and it has been as high as 15. 4798. How much rice is allowed to each man per month ?—About a pound and a quarter per diem. 4799. About one-third of a picul per month ?—Yes. 4800. That adds two guilders a month to the cost?—Yes. 4801. It would not probably be an over-calculation to say that the cost of the salt and of the rice which the labourers have in addition to their pay is equivalent to three guilders per month ?—I should not think so much as that; you must take the. price of the rice at from three to six guilders, say five guilders. I think my people get half a picul per month. They sometimes have rice in proportion to the number of their family. 4802. Two guilders and a half for the rice and half a guilder for the salt would be three guilders a month ?—I should think 2 1/2 guilders upon the whole would cover it. 4803. Your opinion is that the total cost of salt and rice is 2 1/2 guilders per month ?—Yes. 4804. Sir T. Birch.] You said you expected the pay of labourers to rise in Java ; for what reason ?—I think it will rise from the extension of the cultivation and the extension of agriculture in general. The rice fields will considerably extend, and if a man has his rice field at home he will not go anywhere to seek for labour. Before this was introduced the people who lived there had no other resources ; they were often without rice; my cane cultivation was formerly a wilderness, and out of that, instead of being now a wilderness, they have cleared 50,000 or 60,000 acres of rice field, which was formerly a nest of wild pigs and tigers and other wild animals. Therefore the resources of the natives are becoming so much greater, and if they have resources of their own they will not go from home to work ; therefore to induce them to do so you must pay them higher wages. 4805. Are you engaged in trade with Java?—No. 4806. You grow sugar there?—Yes. 4807. At what price would you undertake to deliver sugar in London 12 months hence?—I could not undertake to deliver sugar to any merchant here, because I can get 15 or 20 per cent, more in Java than merchants can give for it here in the city of London. 4808. You would not bring it here to compete with our sugar ?—It can never compete with our sugar while we can get such prices in Java. I saw some gentlemen in London the other day who bought some sugar from me in Java, and they say they will lose 20 per cent, upon it. They did not exactly lose the 20 per cent., for they did not send money to purchase the sugar, but they sent out piece-goods, and iron, and earthenware, and glass, and other exports from England, upon which they had their profits, and the produce of the island that comes into the market for sale is so small that they have not the means of getting returns without paying the highest prices; therefore 1 think that sugar will never be so cheap in Java as to induce people to import it into England, unless under those circumstances. 4809. Docs the price of sugar depend 011 the profit or loss in the adventure of the manufactured goods ?—If a merchant in London sends a consignment to 0.32. Java, G 2


44 W. Dennison, Esq. 1 March 1848.

MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

Java, and he sends an order for it to be sold in the best market, and if it is sold at a good profit, he can afford to pay more for the sugar that is to come back in return ; but if his orders are such that the agent must sell his consignment, he must invest the money, and ship it whether the article is at a profit or at a loss ; therefore, when there are so many competitors, he is obliged to pay according to instructions from his constituents in Europe. 4810. At what price might sugar imported from Java be brought into our market here ?—That is the price at which I calculate the grower would be able to bring it into this market, 22 s. 4811. Mr. M. Gibson.] That is the price now, is not it?—It is ; at least that was the calculation made in 1844, upon an account sent to me, that as to my own sugar sold at in Rotterdam, upon 500 tons there was a loss of 2,500 I. 4812. Have you any knowledge of the terms upon which sugars are admitted in Holland ; is there any difference made between Brazilian and Javan sugar }— I do not think there is any difference between the slave-grown sugar and the sugar of Java. 4813. They are admitted into free competition?—I think so. 4814. And notwithstanding that the cultivation of sugar in Java keeps increasing ?—It keeps increasing. I think it keeps increasing for this reason : the Dutch government are anxious to produce an article that will not only give employment to the surplus population in Java, but to their own shipping, which are very numerous, and very fine ships they have now. I think it is not from any profit they calculate on themselves from the sugar, but it is to give employment to the surplus population and to the commercial navy. 4815-6. Mr. Hope.'] With respect to the price of rice, which you say has been rising rapidly in Java, do you apprehend that there will be a permanent rise ?— It will depend upon the European market. We have had one or two failures of crops, and corn has been dear; and, consequently, a larger importation of rice has been shipped to Europe than before. The usual price of rice, from Batavia, used to be from 70 to go guilders for 27 piculs, whereas it has been sold at as much as 220. Then you can account for it in another way, that where a Javanese used to consume one or two pounds of rice in his daily food, he consumes now five or six. 4817. Do you think that is likely to raise the price of labour ?—I do not think it has any influence upon the present price of labour, but I think labour will rise according to the means of the labourer of providing for himself without labour. A man, generally speaking, will not work if he can live without it, and if he has his own resources he will not go out of his village to look for work; therefore I think it is more likely that the price will continue higher than it has been by a great deal, and the price of labour will be dearer; the price of rice alone will increase the expenses upon the cultivation of sugar. I find here an account sent to me that my manager has been paying about 1,500 l. for rice. 4818. It is fair then to anticipate some material rise in the cost of producing sugar, if the price of rice should keep up or continue to increase ?—Decidedly ; and there is no question that the consumption of rice increases in proportion, because now, since the improved system of agriculture, there is no doubt in the world that the people are a much healthier and stronger race of people than the people previously, so that the generation that is coming up now, who have been born in industry, and who have been taught to work, will be a much stronger and healthier race than they ever were before, accustomed as they were to cockfighting and to opium smoking. 4819. Your price of 225. per hundredweight is calculated on a low price of rice ?—It is. , 4820. And not upon the price that now rules ?—I should think it was calculated at about 4 guilders. 4821. Chairman.] I understand you to say that the price at which you could import Java sugar for the London market would be 22 s. a cwt.'?—I think so, as near as I can possibly tell. 4822. Does that leave you any profit?—This is a calculation made in 1844, upon an importation of 500 tons, which I sent to the Rotterdam market, upon which there was a loss. I have made a calculation, and I think that was the conclusion I came to. 4823. Nothing


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4823. Nothing would be charged for your own superintendence?—Nothing W. Dennison, Esq. against that. 4824. Or for interest of capital?—I should think interest of capital was 1 March 1848. charged. I could make a calculation, which will come nearer than that, if the Committee wish it at any future time. 4825. The Committee do not understand you, in that calculation, to state any sum for the interest of your capital laid out?—No; I should think the interest of capital was calculated, but not for my own labour. 4826. Was there anything for your own capital?—I think not, except the interest of capital invested in the works. 4827. What capital was there invested in the works?—The capital invested in those works may be judged of from this : one-third of them were sold the other day for 25,000 I. 4828. So that there was 75,000 I. invested ?—Yes. 4829. You cannot tell off-hand whether any interest was allowed for that 75,000 /. ?—I cannot tell. 4830. What might be the average quantity of sugar that has been sent to Europe from those works?—About 1,500 or 1,600 tons. 4831. In what year was it you lost 2,500/. upon 500 tons of sugar?—In 1 844. 4832. Was that sold in the English market ?—It was sold in Rotterdam. 4833. At what price was that sold?—I think at about 29 guilders the 100 kilograms. I lost 5 s. a hundredweight; the loss arose in this way: my agents sold the sugar on my account at the market price in Batavia, when the exchange against remittances was at 20 or 25 per cent. ; they sold it as it came from the manufactory, at the full market price, for which they charged me a commission. They shipped it for me as having bought it in the market for me, and charged me a commission again. So that if they had sold the sugar in Batavia at the full market price of 14 or 15 guilders, an entry would have been made in their books of 14 or 15 guilders, giving a balance of so much in my favour, with only one commission ; whereas, instead of doing that, they sold me the sugar. The consequence was, the difference there was between the entry as carried to my credit in Batavia, and the price it sold for in Rotterdam, was my loss. By the present arrangements of the Government the cultivation of the cane has been very much improved. The Javanese are now entitled to every picul of sugar that is grown from a bouw. Some bouws yield 25 piculs, some 30, and in that proportion ; so that instead of being paid 75 guilders, they may be paid 110.

Thomas Price, Esq., called in ; and Examined. 4834. Chairman.] YOU are a West India Proprietor?—I am. 4835. Joint proprietor and joint trustee of the Worthy Park estate ?—I am joint proprietor. 4836. How long has that estate been in the possession of your family ?—Very nearly 200 years. 4837. You have visited the estate and resided upon it?—I have. 4838. In what year was that?—In 1841. 4839. Were you there the whole of 1841?—I was there a little over four months, during crop time ; it was just at the close of crop time. 4840. It is held to be the second best estate in the island, is not it ?—It has that reputation; I think not altogether in point of produce, but it was calculated as the second best estate in point of net income, by reason of the sugar being so very much better. I think that there are one or two estates in the island which make as much sugar, and only one which may be said always to make more, which is the Golden Grove estate. 4841. What is the situation of the estate ?—It is situated nearly in the centre of the island ; it is in a punchbowl, in point of fact. There appears to have been some volcanic action there originally; it has left a large amount of alluvial deposit where the estate is situated. 4842. Is there a great depth of that alluvial soil?—Wonderfully so. 0.32. G 3 4843. Washed

T. Price, Esq.


46

MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

T. Price, Esq.

4843. Washed from the neighbouring hills?—That appears to have been the original formation of it. ] March 1848. 4844. Is it less subject to hurricanes from being in this punchbowl? — I should think so. I am not aware that there was ever such a thing known there as a hurricane. 4845. Are you subject to floods?—Not at all on the cane fields. There are very heavy floods come down through the valley, but they run away through the ordinary watercourse. 4846. Are those watercourses a great advantage in turning the mills ?—The watercourse that has taken away the heavy floods is not used at all for that purpose ; that lies at a much lower level than the water we use for the mill. The water we use for the mill is taken out of a hill about a mile and a half from the works, at a great expense; there is a large stone gutter erected, which cost, I think, about 10,000 I. altogether, some years ago. 4847. Is it an estate that is considered to enjoy good seasons?—I do not think there is an estate in the island that enjoys better seasons than Worthy Park. 4848. It is not liable to excessive droughts or excessive wet ?—Such a thing is almost altogether unknown. I do not think I ever heard of a case of extreme wet or extreme dry weather affecting the crops to an extraordinary degree. We do suffer occasionally, but never to any important extent, so as to affect materially the proceeds of the crop. 4849. Nothing is more common, is it, than for one part of the island to perish from drought, while another part of the island is perishing from excessive rain?— Nothing is more common than that; by the last packet we had a confirmation of that point. 48,50. Flow far is it from that point where you ship your sugar?—About 30 miles, I believe. 4851. Is that what you call Barquadier ?—Yes. 4852. That is the point of embarkation ? —It is; it is now rather further; it used to be about 30 miles, now it is nearer 40, in consequence of the railway being opened from Spanish Town to Kingston ; the wharf where we used to ship our sugar is shut up; the proprietors of the railway have a monopoly of the carriage, and we must send our sugar to Kingston by railway, because the other wharf is shut up. 4853. Is that a loss or a gain to you ?—Practically, in point of money, I think it is a loss ; the rates by the railway were extremely high. I believe they have been reduced lately. 4854. Flow far have you to send the sugar to the railway ?—So far it would be a saving; we save perhaps about 12 or 13 miles of carriage. 4855. Can you state to the Committee the average amount of crops for 30 years prior to your visit ?—The average of the crops from 18to to 1841 inclusive, was 475 hogsheads. 4856. Can you tell the Committee what was the highest crop and what the lowest ?—The highest crop appears to have been in 1812, when it was 705 hogsheads. 4857. What was the lowest ?—The lowest was in 1840, two years after the emancipation, when it was 139 l. 4858. What has been the average since 1841?—The average since 1841 to 1847 inclusive, appears to have been 278 J hogheads. 4859. Can you tell what was the average during the years of apprenticeship ?— I have not got the data by me; the data upon which I found this calculation were taken from the Estate Book when I was in Jamaica. 4860. Do you think you shall be able to find an account of that?—I think it is very likely I may find it. 4861. Will you endeavour to furnish the Committee with an account of the crops in each year?—I will endeavour to do so. [The Witness afterwards added the following Return.]

PRODUCE


SELECT COMMITTEE ON SUGAR AND COFFEE PLANTING. 47

445 T. Price, Esq.

PRODUCE made on Worthy Park Estate from 1810 to 1841.

1 .March 1848.

(Extracted in the latter Year from the Plantation Accounts, by T. Price.)

1810 1811 1812 1813 1814 1815 1810 1817 1818 1819 1820 1821 1822 1823 1824 1825

-

Hhds.

Puns.

557 456 705 560 563 477 529 560 604 497 447 479 533 487 454 I 415

243 J 197 § 309 226 242 208 I 252 247 273 239 1/2 213 204 1/2 250 188 179 1/2 178

1826 1827 1828 1829 1830 1831 1832 1833 1834 1835 1836 1837 1838 1839 1840 1841

... ... ... ... ...

Hhds.

Puns.

583 412 449 458 553 471 589 484 489 £ 426 1/2 407 371 406 342 139 2 263

284 179 I 180 179 237 213 1/2 246 228 184 181 169 149 158 190 51 100

4862. What is your estimate for the current year ?—I have only lately received the estimate of the current year from the late manager of the estate, and he estimates the crop at 468 hogsheads ; but he says if the seasons are tolerably good, and if the machinery which we have erected answers his expectations, we shall probably make ,500 hogsheads; I think, from what experience I have had of the estate, that is an extremely fair estimate ; I should think, however, 500 hogsheads might be fairly calculated on, whatever weather there may be. 4863. Your manufacturing power is as perfect as it can be made, probably ?— It is as perfect as it can be made for this extent of crop, but it is by no means so perfect as it might be if the estate were in fuller cultivation ; it is in full cultivation for the present condition of our labour and so on ; but if we were to raise 700 or 800 tons of sugar, which it is possible we might be able to do if we were better situated as to labour, we should still require a small addition to the works. 4864. Do you ascribe to the absence of labour your inability now to make as much sugar as you used to make in former years?—At present the estimate for the coming year is equal to the average of 30 years. 486,5. This is a great crop, is not it?—It is a great crop, but this crop has been caused by the exertions of my brother, who went out and planted an enormous field of canes ; in a great measure, at least, it is owing to that. In the statement here wc have a great number of acres of land which were planted in 1847, but they appear to have been planted too late, and consequently will not come into operation till 1 848. 4866. So that you have nearly two years' growth?—We have not quite that, but we have a very important portion; there is as much as 28 acres, estimated at 75 hogsheads of plant canes, out of that; and there is a very large piece of land which the attorney tells us was never properly established; he has put it at 25 hogsheads, whereas if it had been planted in proper rotation it should have given 48 hogsheads4867. Sir E. Buxton.'] That is a loss?—That is a clear loss from circumstances we could not control. 4868. It does not increase, but diminish the crop ?—No, that is included in the estimate of 468 hogsheads. 4869. Chairman.] Part of this crop of J 847 ?—The crop of 1 847 appears to have been 266 £ hogsheads; that is, there was that quantity of sugar made, I think, between the months of November 1846 and October 1847. 4870. What might be made in the year 1845-46?—Three hundred and two hogsheads and three-quarters between the same periods. 4871. A hogshead is 16 cwt. ?—About 16 cwt. net. 0.32.

G

4

4872. It


48

MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

4872. It was in 1846 your brother expected the produce would be 700 tons? —I think it was in that year, but for both that year and the next the estimate is I March 1848. something very like that, and it is not impossible but that if all our machinery had been in order we might have made as much, but we must have been better supplied with labour than we were, in order to have made that. On the 26th of July 1846 my brother appears to have written, "I can grow and send home 700 hogsheads of sugar, and half that of rum," therefore I take it he was prepared at that moment to do so. 4873. The crop was about over then, was not it?—Yes, he was rather speaking generally; he said I can send home so much sugar for so much money. 4874. Instead of that he sent home only 260 hogsheads?—Yes; the mill and everything else went wrong, and though we might have had a crop of 266 hhds. he could not take off all the rest of his crop ; the consequence was the disarrangement of all our plans. 4875. Two hundred and sixty-six hogsheads would be about 200 tons ?— A little over 200 tons. 4876. There was that difference between 200 tons and 700 tons in the estimate and the realization of it ?—I think on looking back, speaking from recollection, the estimates he made of the sugar he could grow (supposing his machinery to be in perfect order) were founded on good data; I think the estimates were perfectly right from the seasons being exceedingly regular, and generally from the supply of labour having been tolerably regular, though not quite so then ; and we reckon that we can always calculate to a certainty what an acre of land will turn out; I have known it go so close, that on an estimate of 300 hogsheads, 299 hogsheads have been made; in fact there is no estate on the island of Jamaica on which you can calculate with such a degree of certainty what crop you can make, provided you put the plant in properly. 4877. Can you say what was the amount of additional capital that was invested in the Worthy Park estate between 1841 and 1847, which has resulted in an increase of produce up to 500 hogsheads ?—I am not aware that I could give you that exactly; there had been a very large sum of money invested in this estate, but it has been chiefly in improvements and works, not so much in planting. I find on referring to my returns here that the planting expenses have not increased in the same ratio with the additional amount of land brought into cultivation, as the other expenses have, such as works, buildings, railway, house expenses, and a variety of things which I have here. 4878. Can you give the Committee the detail ?—The detail is very long. I should observe that this statement is one which I am not able to vouch for myself, for I have not been able to go through the figures myself; it has been made by an exceedingly careful clerk, and I can perfectly rely upon his correctness. This is an account for five years, ending 31st October 1847. It would be better, perhaps, to leave out the first year, from November 1842 to November 1843, because I cannot follow out the outlay with great accuracy. 4879. Will you give the amount for each year subsequent to that?—The planter's year begins on the 1 st of August, but the accounts of the estate are made up on the 15th of December. It was necessary to include all the bills which were drawn from the island within a month of that period, the packet coming home in about a month, and therefore we have adopted the 31st of October. In the year ending the 31st of October 1844 the wages of labourers appear to be 3,575 A 19 s. 9 J in the following year, 4,013/. 10 s. 6d.; in the next year, 4,982/. 5 s. 3d.; and in the next year, 6,575 /. 18s. 5 d. This includes the cultivation of sugar-canes, manufacturing sugar and rum, foddering cattle-pens, cleaning pastures, trenching, planting corn, wages paid to head people, carpenters, coopers, blacksmiths, and sawyers. 4880. Does that include the overseers ?—No. 4881. Or anybody above the rank of overseers?—No, except those that are called head people. 4882. In short it does not include any white people ?—I think not ; there may be an American mason or an American blacksmith included in that; then there are watchmen, they are included ; storemen, Barquadier waggonage, fences, road allotment, fuel, carriage of timber, carriage of building materials, house expenses, tending stock, cleaning trash-house, making limekilns, burning bricks, people about the mill-dam and gutter, repairing labourers' houses, extra work of buildings T. Price, Esq.


SELECT COMMITTEE ON SUGAR AND COFFEE PLANTING.

49

ings (this occurs in two years only), railway, messengers, miscellaneous, and last, catching rats. Those amounts which I have given to the Committee include the whole of the sums put under the several heads. 4883. Do you include all those last expenses under " wages"?—They have been put under the head of wages. 4884. You mentioned a railway?—Yes; the railway which I have mentioned is a tramway laid down for the purpose of carrying the canes to the mill. Then we come to the taxes. 4885. Will you state what the taxes are ?—It appears that the taxes for two years were paid in one, but I cannot tell how to appropriate them to each year; they appear to have been in 1844, 356 l. 17 s. 9d., that is for two years ; the next year the amount was only 31/. 6,9. 6d. 4886. How do you account for that difference?—Some of the taxes are paid under a discount of 10 \ per cent., and sometimes they are carried over to the next year. In 1846 they amounted to 345/. 9s. 4d., and in the year ending 1847 they are only 17/. 8s. Id., but that does not evidently include all the taxes which are due in that year; there is a further amount to come in—supplies and tradesmen; those are supplies from island tradesmen. I have no account of that in 1843. The supplies of tradesmen in 1844 were 692 l.; in 1845, 765/.; in 1846, 1,673/.; and in 1847, 2,904/., in round numbers. 4887. How do you account for that enormous increase of supplies in 1846 and 1847 ?—I account for it by the great amount of machinery that we sent out. Having grown more sugar, we have gone to an enormous expense in new works, and so on, and have been obliged to buy building materials in order to keep up the works. 4888. Sir E. Buxton.] It was rather money vested in improvements than yearly outgoings?—Yes, certainly, it was money invested in improvements. There may be a few things, in the shape of supplies, which were in consequence of our having more people about the place to erect our machinery. We may have been obliged to purchase food for them, and it is possible that that may form a large item in the last year ; but 1 have not got the particulars. In 1847 I have another item, under the head of " Supplies and tradesmen," of 207/. in addition to the 2,904/. I take it that that must have been an omission put in afterwards, but I have no details. The salaries of Europeans appear to have been : in 1844, 751 l. 10 s. 6d. ; in 1845, 781 /. 12s. 4 d. ; in 1846, 1,480/. 4s. Id.; in 1847, 1,236/. 5s. 10d. I account for the increase in the last two years by a new system having been adopted in some respects. The salaries of these employes were raised ; their salaries certainly were very low before, and my brother thought it would be an advisable thing to raise the salaries, and he did raise them in some measure; but I take it that there is also a large amount of this money to be put to the account of people that we have been obliged to engage for the erection of works. Our works have been so very large, that we have been obliged to take on extra hands. 4889. Then that may go to investment too ?—-Yes; part may go to investments ; at the same time the salaries were raised to an unusual extent for the island of Jamaica, but I do not know that it was to an undue extent. The import duties; I have one entry in the year 1847, of 5l. lis. I chink it is very likely that there may be some omission in that. 4890. On what is that?—That must have been upon something quite accidental. The import duties on European supplies are exceedingly light; they are hardly worth taking into the account. The next expense is " Wharfage: " in 1844 it was 63/.; in 1845, 117/.; in 1846,368/. 10s.; and in 1847, 187/. 4891. Mr. Miles.'] Was that a public wharf?—Yes, for imports and exports. You will observe that there is a very large increase. In 1846 there is an amount of 368/.; that is in consequence of our having sent out so large an amount of supplies in the shape of machinery, and so on, and the wharfage, therefore, was so much higher. " The waggonage," that is the waggonage performed on the estate in aid of the railway. Where the railway is not laid down we are obliged to employ waggons ; and this, I have very little doubt, should have been the wainage of light carts. I have not any return for 1844. In 1845 the waggonage appears to be 93 /. 11 s.; in 1846, it was 48/.; and in 1847, it was 429/. I take it that that increase arose from the same cause, the increase in the works, and the enormous amount of lime, sand, and building materials that we had to raise. We make our own bricks, and have to draw them, which is always an exceedingly expensive concern. H

447 T. Price, Esq. 1 March 1848.


50 T. Price, Esq. 1 March 1848.

MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

cern. When you once undertake brick and mortar in Jamaica you can never get out of it again, and all the estimates fall short of the actual expense. The Jamaica Railway appears to have received in 1846, 280 l.; and in 1847, 206/. That 280 I. must have been caused also by the carriage of very heavy iron work. 4892. Chairman.] Not by the carriage of sugar; No; I think it is unlikely that they took any great quantity of our sugar. We Continued to send our produce to the old wharf, till it shut up, rather than submit to the exorbitant demands of the railway contractor, though I think it might have paid us better if we had fallen into his views at once, because it so happened that we used to carry our sugar and come back empty, except at certain seasons when the English supplies arrived, which are generally very light. But the improvements in the estate were so extensive that there were constant shipments taking place from this country all the year round, and generally very heavy goods, and the consequence was, that when the waggons went to the wharf they had to come back laden, and they had to return over a hill between 2,000 and 3,000 feet above the level of the sea; it is a more sudden rise going from the estate, but coming back it is also a very great drag. 4893. If the hill is between 2,000 and 3,000 feet above the level of the sea, it is a descent from the estate?—But we have to go into the punch-bowl, in which the estate lies, so that it is a heavy fall on to the estate. 4894. What height is the punch-bowl above the level of the sea?—That is about 2,000 feet, and the mountain over which we go is nearly 3,000 feet. 4895. So that there is 1,000 feet less total rise in taking the road from the estate to Kingston than there is in returning ?—I think about that. 4896. Mr. Miles.} What is the distance from the estate to the railway ?— I think the distance from the estate to the railway is about 15 or 16 miles. 4897. Chairman.} Have you to surmount this same hill ?—Yes. 4898. Sir E. Buxton.} In either case you have the same hill to go over?— Yes; there are two roads into the valley, one follows the course of the mountain stream that I have alluded to, and that is employed by the two other estates in the valley; the other road was made by my grandfather. I think he paid something like 20,000 I. for it; he made it at his own expense, and he got 10,000 /. from the Assembly afterwards; they said it was such a great undertaking and such a beneficial thing for the parish that they voted him 10,000 /. 4899. Chairman.] You spoke of the great labour to your stock ; did you lose a great amount of stock in those years when you were carrying up those heavy weights?—We did ; but I am not satisfied that it is to be attributed only to the weights they had to carry, though I think it is partially to be attributed to that. I believe there is no doubt that it was an extremely dry season ; fodder was very scarce, and in many cases the stock died from actual starvation, but that could not be avoided; the losses on many other estates were infinitely greater than they were 011 ours. In one year we lost something over 100 head of stock. At the same time I ought to observe, that although the stock certainly did suffer from the drought, and might have suffered in some measure from the enormous amount of work that was imposed upon them, they would not have suffered from that amount of work had there been a sufficient quantity of stock to carry out the works we had undertaken ; but we had no capital to enable us to add to the stock, and there was a new system introduced in endeavouring to do with a less amount of stock, which I rather disapproved of, and the consequence was that when we came to carry that out, we found that we had not a proper amount of stock. But then it we had had more stock we should have had less means of feeding them, unless we had imported fodder, as is done in St. Kitt's and other islands. 4900. When you brought up those heavy weights, do you know the number of cattle that were required?—I should think it took certainly not less than 16 in each waggon. 4901. Do you know how many waggons there were?—I have not got the weight of machinery here, but the last machinery that we sent, out could not have been less than between 50 and 60 tons, and over this hill they would not venture to put more than two tons in each waggon. 4902. A large portion of the machinery lay for two months at Kingston ?— There was a certain quantity at Kingston, but the greater portion was taken up almost immediately after it was landed to Spanish Town, which is 12 miles off. There were certain supplies lying at the wharf, but no great quantity; the great bulk


SELECT COMMITTEE ON SUGAR AND COFFEE PLANTING.

51

449

bulk of the supplies were landed as fast as we could land them, not indeed so fast T. Price, Esq. as we could have wished, but fast enough for the works that we had ready. 4903. You were going on with the statement of the expenses of the estate ? — 1 March 1848. The account of stock purchased, after deducting those that were sold, in 1844, was 807 /.; in 1845, 480 I.; in 1846, 158 /. ; and in 1847, 744 /. The last sum in 1847 is larger than the preceding ones except 1844, inasmuch as we lost a great amount of stock in 1846, and had to make it up. Here are some miscellaneous estimates; I do not know of what they are composed ; they are 20 I. in one year, 13 l. in another, 20 /. in another, and 39 I. in another. There is a sum here marked " Charges," I do not know what they are; I think it likely that they are for stamps in the island, or something of that kind, but they amount to 18 l., in 1844; to 8/., in 1845 ; in 1846, to 10s. ad.; and in the next year to 26 l.12s. " Money expended on the road that is the road that I have just mentioned. Although it is very true the House of Assembly paid 10,000 I. for it, in the course of time the estates which formerly sent their produce by that road have sent by another road; therefore, although the parish is bound to maintain it, still the parish authorities, as I experienced when I was in the island, are so slack in their duties, that, in order not to impede the carriage we have to repair the road ourselves ; we have to send a gang of negroes six miles to do the work. In 1846 we spent 167/. on the road, and in the next year 199/. " Rum duties and licence for selling rum," for the four years, 129 /., 49 /., 19 /., and 96/. 4904. How doesit happen that the rum duties fell, since your produce was much greater in the latter years ?—There was very little rum made. I have not, I think, a correct account of the rum, though they have ventured to put down some figures as having been taken from the journal; it may be about the mark, but I think there must be some error. The calculation that we generally make in good seasons is half a puncheon of rum to a hogshead of sugar. " Medical attendance," 6 /. 10 s. 5 d., 3 /., and two guineas; there was a further amount, but it is not specified here. There appears to have been a sum of money invested in 1847 for rails, which we had sent out in previous years, and interest on their cost, and for some house furniture, and for passage-money, and so on. It makes a sum of 1,182/.; that includes a very heavy bill for medical attendance. 4905. Mr. Miles.J Do you know how much of that was for the rails of the tramway ?—I think from 400 /. to 500 /.; I think it was 500 /. inclusive of the interest. Then there is the pen ; we use the pen as a resting-place for the stock, and it is supported out of the estate, therefore it ought to come in as a charge. In 1844 the pen cost 394/., in 1845 it cost 523 /., in 1846 it cost 1,083/., and in 1847, 432 /.; that is, for the stock and salaries, and in fact all expenses of keeping up the pen : we do not breed there, it is merely used as a resting-place ; it is nearly halfway to the railway wharf. 4906. You work one set of waggons up to the pen, change there, and go on ? —We do that when we have a light load, but the general practice is for the pen to send its stock a short way towards the estate, in order to relieve the cattle coming from it. 4907. Chairman.'] Is the pen maintained solely in order to subsist the cattle? —It is for that purpose. 4908. As an adjunct to the sugar estate?—Exactly. 4909. Are these sums of 394/., 523 /., 1,083/., and 432/. severally the net charges to the loss of the pen ?—They arc; we get nothing out of the pen whatever. 4910. This is on the balance ?—This is money paid by the estate for the pen. If we were to go into the account of the pen, the pen would appear to have received a certain portion of those sums of money ; but, on the other hand, there is 544 /. in one year, which has been paid for stock to be put on the pen. The usual practice on the estate was to pay a certain sum to include the whole stock, but for a large portion of the year the stock was drafted to the pen to recruit, and so on. 4911. The pen by itself is a profitable estate?—I am not aware that it is ; I think the expenses nearly balance the receipts; it is a matter that we care so little about that we have never taken the trouble to ascertain whether it is profitable or not; it is a stable, in fact. "The European supplies" amounted in 1843 to 480 /. 10 s., and in 1844 they amounted to 443 /. 10 s. Those two years may be taken as a fair average of what the European supplies ought to amount to under ordinary circumstances, when we have made between 300 and 400 H 2 0.32. hogsheads


52 T. Price, Esq. 1 March 1848.

MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

hogsheads of sugar. We now come to the year 1845, when there appear to have been sent supplies amounting to 2,840 /.; in 1846, 1,740 /.; and in 1847, 4,070 l. I account for that increase in this way: in 1845 we shipped a large amount of stores, railway, manure, railway wheels and axles, a sugar mill, a turn-table, and waggon wheels; in fact there was an enormous amount of money spent in those articles, but in things which were intended to be as permanent investments for the improvement of the estate; and the same thing would apply to the other years; a great number of ploughs were sent, and clodcrushers, and, in fact, every description of implements that we fancied would be of use to cane cultivation, has been sent to Worthy Park; I do not think there is any instrument at all worthy of notice that has not been supplied to the estate. The next item is " Insurance upon works," 30 /. a year; then " Sundry charges" appear to have amounted, in 1843, to 219 l.; in 1844, to 192 ; in 1845, to 116 /.; in 1846, to 450/.; and in 1847, to 263/. The total amount of money spent in those particulars only, without including any interest at all, or, in fact, any other charges (which are always to be found in the general accounts of every merchant; principally private matters and things of that kind ; but these embrace the whole of the outlay for estate purposes in one shape and another), were in 1844, 7,481 /.; in 1845, 9,865/.; in 1846, 12,852/.; and in 1847, 18,856/. I have not alluded to any point of management, nor is it my wish to do so ; I am at present giving facts which are so far useful to the Committee, as showing that there has been a certain amount of capital invested on the estate, and then I shall consider how far that has been remunerative. 4012. Sir E. Buxton.] This outlay includes investments?—It does. 4913. If there were a profit attached to the concern, those investments would yield a profit in future years ?—Certainly. 4914. Mr. Villiers.] It is not the annual outlay necessary for the estate?—By no means. 4915. Chairman.] Will you state the value of your sugar?—I can give the net value of the hogshead of sugar from 1841 to 1847 : the account which I am now going to read does not agree with the amount of sugar which appears to have been made on the estate, inasmuch as the previous account which I have read is merely an abstract from the journals of the estate, which show what was made per month. The account that I am going to read is the account of sugars which were sold and brought into account in England, but the totals would amount to about the same; it is possible that there may have been a few hogsheads sold in * the island which would not appear, therefore the total quantity of sugar in seven years will not in all probability agree with the amounts of sugar from the estate, but this will give you an idea of what the sugar fetched in this country, and it embraces large quantities. In 1841 there were 216 hogsheads sold, which netted 5,904 l. 8 s. 2d., and the average price was 275. 6d. per hogshead; in 1842 there were 273 hogsheads sold, which netted 7,309 /. 7 5. 'id., giving an average of 26 /. 155.; in 1843 there were 190 hogsheads sold, which netted 4,830/. 11s. id., giving an average of 25 l 85.; in 1844 there were 321 hogsheads sold, giving 7,940 l. 16 s. 5 d., being an average of 24/. 14 5.; in 1845 there were 214 hogsheads sold, which gave 5,865 /. 10 5. 4 d., being an average of 27 l.8 s.; in 1846 there were 212 hogsheads sold, which produced 5,503 /. 18 s., giving an average of 25 /. 19s., but in December 1846, later in the year, and which did not come into the account of 1846, there were 140 hogsheads sold in addition, and they netted 3,450/. 45. 4d., and the average price of those 140 hogsheads was 24/. 12s.; in 1847, 1 54 hogsheads were sold, which is all that I have an account of; that is quite sufficient to establish the current value, inasmuch as they were sold at about the best prices of the year; they netted 2,565 /. 145. 11 d., giving an average of 16 l. 12s. a hogshead. I have got other sugar here in the account of which I have estimates, but that I cannot give in because the sugar is not sold ; I have 80 hogsheads, and 60 hogsheads here. Now in reviewing the figures which I have given you of the average of the hogshead, the real value of the hogshead over the space of seven years, ending December 1847, that is inclusive of the low prices, was 25/. 4 s,, and the average of six years down to. December 1846, namely, on 1,566 hogsheads, here valued at 40,804/., is 26/. 1 5. per hogshead; of the 154 hogsheads which appear to have been sold in 1847, rather at the commencement of the season than otherwise, the net value is 16 l. 12 5. the hogshead, giving a difference of nine guineas a hogshead. 4916. At


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53

451

4916. At the present price what would it be?—The present price, in all proT. Price, Esq. bability, would be a guinea and a half below that, I have not been in the market lately, and therefore I know comparatively little of the present price of 1 March 1848. sugar, but, judging from what I have seen of the current prices, I think I am right in that. I find a memorandum here respecting the value of sugar at present : " The net delivery weight of one hogshead of the L. P. sugar, that is Luidas Plantation sugar, may be fairly stated at 16 1/2 cwt.," though it sometimes exceeds it. I have put it at 40 s. duty paid. A week or two ago we might have got 40 s.; I do not know what we might get now ; it would be certainly a lower price for the sugar, but that would leave a net amount of 19 s. 6d. a hundredweight, because the charges, exclusive of insurances, amount to 20 s. 6 J d.; 16 1/2 cwt. at 19 s. 6d., amounts to 15 /. 13 s. 6 d. I have taken it at 16 /. here in the calculation which I have made, in order to see whether we lost or gained at the existing price of sugar. I have raised the price instead of lowering it; I have brought it up to 16 I. instead of lowering it to 15 /., which I should be entitled to do. If I took the quality into calculation the 16/. would assume that it was a better quality than it has been of late years, and quite equal to its old quality, which was very good. I calculate that the cost of producing a hogshead of sugar and half a puncheon of rum, on this estimate, under favourable circumstances, ought to be 25 /. I am not saying that it is that, or that it has been that, but I am supposing that to be the calculation of what has been done on other estates of the same calibre. If the price of labour be materially reduced, and the newlyerected machinery turn out well, it is possible that the cost may be ultimately reduced as low as 20 I. per hogshead ; and there is this to be observed, that the larger the crop the less is the average cost of production. But in making a calculalion of this kind it is not fair to rely upon the machinery turning out very well, when it frequently turns out very ill; the value therefore of the hogshead I have stated to be 16 /., and the half puncheon of rum, at 14 l. the puncheon, is 7 /., w hich makes a total of 23 /. The cost of production is 25 /. under favourable circumstances, which do not exist at present. I hope those circumstances will exist but with that charge on the 1848 crop, which is estimated at 468 hogsheads, we should lose 936 /l, or 2 I. a hogshead. It would be proper for me to mention, for the sake of the general benefit that a statement of this kind may confer upon other parties, rather than from a desire to intrude private affairs on the Committee, that the family charges which are secured on this property, and a large advance which has been made by merchants for the purpose of improving the property, amount to a sum of money requiring an annual payment of interest from that estate alone of very nearly 3,000 I. a year. 4917. Mr. Villiers.] Those are advances that have been made by the merchant to the proprietor?—Yes. 4918. On mortgage?—No, not on mortgage. 4919. The advance is secured on the produce?—It is secured by the trustees of the estate. 4920. And an annual payment is made ?—An annual payment ought to be made. 4921. Mr. Miles.] The family have charges prior to the charges of the merchant?—Yes, there are family charges which must be met, or ought to be met, and they can only be met from this estate; and the charges are extremely high ; there is a family charge of 30,000 I. on this property. 4922. Chairman.'] That charge of 30,000 /. is over and above the debt that has been incurred by advances?—Yes; that debt was incurred for advances made for the improvement of the property. I have departed from the usual practice for the purpose of showing that under the favourable state of things which existed in 1846, notwithstanding that heavy advance, we should have been in a position to pay the interest on the debt, and have been able to make about 1,000 /. profit; whereas now we shall not be able to pay the interest of the debt, and lose very nearly 1,000 I. a year. The figures that I have given will bear me out in what I have stated. 4923. Are you taking into account the family charges as well as the debt incurred for those improvements?—Yes; I calculate that the interest on the permanent advance (for one may call it a permanent advance when there is no possibility of repaying it), requires a sum of 3,000/. in the shape of interest. 4924. At what rate of interest is that?— £.5 per cent. On the amount of 468 hogsheads we shall lose 936 /. a year, that is assuming the price that we have H 3 now; 0.32


54 T. Price, Esq,

MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

now ; but supposing that we get 16 I. for the hogshead of sugar, if we make 500 hogsheads we shall lose 1,000/. or 2 /. the hogshead. 1 March 1848. 4925. Sir E. Buxton.] The more you make the more you lose?—Certainly ; there is a loss of 2 /. upon every hogshead that we raise; if we raised 500 hogsheads instead of 460, we should lose 2 I. per hogshead ; it would cost 25 l. per hogshead, and we should sell that, with its proportionate loss, for 23 /. per hogshead, with its proportion of rum. 4926. Is not the expense of producing 4-70 hogsheads or 500 hogsheads in a great measure the same ! —There is a large staff which is kept up ; and you must keep the same staff up whether you make 400 or 500 hogsheads. 4927. Therefore the loss to the proprietor is less when there are 500 hogsheads than when there are 470 ?—Yes; but hardly to an extent that you can appreciate ; and then I have put the cost of production at 25 I. per hogshead ; but it is frequently more than that; in one year it was 70 I, 4928. That includes what you laid out in machinery?—Yes. That is not to be taken as a fair average; but in putting it at 25 /., I think I have put it at the very lowest figure, and I am borne out in that by a calculation which I made in reference to another important estate in Jamaica. 4929. Mr. Villiers.] Is that your own estate?—Not my own estate; but it is an estate the figures in respect to which have been put into my hands. It is one of the largest estates at the east end of the island. That estate, in four years, down to the 31st of December 1847, spent 28,967/., and shipped 1,339 hogsheads of sugar, and 753 puncheons of rum, which gives a cost of production at 21 /. 15 s. the hogshead ; on 1,100 tons, of about 26 I. 1 s. 3 d. per ton ; the equivalent price of Worthy Park sugar would be about 24 /. per hogshead. But, on the other hand, when I put the cost of production on my estate at 25 /., instead of 22 /., as is stated here, I do it upon this ground, that that estate is within four miles of the Barquadier, the place where they ship the sugar, and my estate is 30 miles distant from the Barquadier; therefore, when I put the cost of production at 25/., I put it at an extremely low figure, and I should not be at all surprised to find that it cost this year nearer 30 /. than 25 /. This estate, which produced sugar at 22 /., is an extremely well-managed estate; it is an estate which enjoys very great advantages; it is a ratooniug estate, it is not a planting estate ; there is no great outlay required for the establishment of plants. There are excellent roads close to the Barquadier, and a good supply of labour, and the estate is under excellent management; and, in short, there is everything to make it one of the best estates in the island ; and I believe it is, in fact, one of the bestmanaged estates in Jamaica, and on that it cost 22 /. But it should be borne in mind that that sugar is worth from 3 /. to 4 /. a hogshead less than the Worthy Park sugar ; therefore, when I take that into account, there will be equally a loss upon every hogshead of sugar that is grown upon that estate. With respect to this estate of mine, if the net prices now equalled the average of the six years ending December 1846, namely, 26 /. 1 s. per hogshead, there would remain after payment of interest at 5 /. per cent. on 30,000 /., for family charges and other advances, a clear annual income of upwards of 850 /. 4930. Chairman.] What do you calculate the amount of the other advances ? —The total amount is about 50,000 /, or 60,000 /., including the 30,000 /. 4931. Can you state what was the net annual income of the estate, exclusive of any family charges, prior to emancipation ?—I think, as far I recollect, the average income of the estate was about 15,000 /. a year; it was one year as high as 30,000 I. 4932. In what year ?—It was in 1817 ; and I remember hearing my father say what the estate yielded, and that it averaged from 15,000 /. to 25,000 /. a year. When I became possessed of this estate in 1841, I took it subject to large family charges, which I felt bound to pay ; and I now find, that if I could get the same price for my sugar which I got for the six years ending December 1846,1 could go on paying the interest upon that, and upon a very heavy advance for permanent improvements on the estate. I could pay my family every shilling due for interest, and I could apply 1,000 /. towards the liquidation of the merchants' debt. But it is a very serious thing when I find that so far from doing that, I lose 2/. upon every hogshead of sugar I raise, and pay no interest at all. 4933. Sir E. Buxton.] If there were no interest to pay, you would make 1,500 l.?—Not only do I not make 1,500 /„ but at present I am losing very nearly 1,000 /. a year; that is exclusive of interest altogether. 4934. Chairman.]


SELECT COMMITTEE ON SUGAR AND COFFEE PLANTING.

55

4934. Chairman.] You gave a statement of wages paid ; are those wages plus the wages which are met by the receipts on rum, or are they the entire wages paid on the estate ?—They are the entire wages paid on the estate. 4935. From those wages is to be deducted the receipts for rum sold in the island?—It might be put in that form; but I have taken no account of rum, because the rum account is not quite clear; for instance, in 1841-42, the ruin is put down as 122 puncheons against 299 hogsheads; in 1843 there are only 59 1/2 puncheons against 232 hogsheads; in 1844 there were only 82 puncheons against 261 hogsheads; in 1845 there were 135 puncheons against 309 hogsheads; in 1846 there were 146 puncheons against 303 hogsheads; and in 1847 there were 138 puncheons against 266 hogsheads ; and I have no good reason for saving that those figures are not strictly correct, inasmuch as they have been drawn out by an extremely careful person, and I think he would not have overlooked so important a thing as that; therefore I think it may be taken .is the amount of rum that was made on the estate ; but I have no means of showing what amount that rum did fetch in the island. But my original statement was made without entering into the question of what the rum was worth, or what amount the sugar or rum fetched in this country, and I expressed my opinion generally that it would take 25 I. to raise a hogshead of sugar, and half a puncheon of rum, under good management; but I abstained from referring to what the sugar had actually cost me ; otherwise, if I took for my data what the estate raised last year, I might have given as the cost of raising a hogshead of sugar 70 /. instead of 25 l. 4936. If you can give us the gross revenue of the estate we can deduct it from the expenditure, and we shall then be able to judge what the estate loses, or what it will gain hereafter?—I am not at liberty to give the Committee the particulars of private accounts, but in round figures I can state it. I wish the account was balanced at the end of the year, but it includes interest advanced in some cases which was not met by the estate. 4937. It includes the interest paid on advances made by the merchants ?— Yes ; it appears in the current accounts. 4938. Sir T. Birch.'] And also the mortgages ?—Yes. 4939. Chairman.] When was the interest on the mortgages last paid ?—The interest on the mortgages was paid at Christmas 1846. 4940. Was it paid out of the revenue of.the estate, or out of borrowed money ? —Out of borrowed money ; it was advanced by the merchants. 4941. When was the interest last paid out of the annual revenue of the estate ? —The last year in which it can fairly be said to have been paid out of the estate was 1843. 4942. In 1843 the interest on the family charges was paid out of the net annual income of the estate?—In this manner it was paid out of the income of the estate: In 1842 we paid the interest upon the family charges and paid off 1,000 l. of the principal debt; in 1843 there was a loss on the estate, but if we had not paid 1,000 I. off in the previous year, that 1,000 l. would have enabled us to meet the interest in the year 1843. 4943. In 1842 the estate paid the interest of the family charges, and 1,000 I. beyond?—Yes; and we bought 1,200 acres of land to add to the estate. 4944. That was out of the 1,000 1.?—That was in addition to the 1,000 /. 4945. What was paid for the 1,200 acres?—£. 200. 4946. Then in 1842 the estate paid the interest upon the charges and there was 1,200 /. surplus, and in 1843, if you had paid the charges, there would have been a loss, but by making use of the 1,200 /., the surplus of the year before, the estate would have been able to meet the charges in 1843 ?—Certainly. 4947. In 1842 and 1843 the revenue of the estate balanced the charges?— Yes. 4948. But cleared nothing for the proprietor ?—It is possible that it might have left 200 /. or 300 /. 4949. In 1842 and 1843 was there any new investment of capital on the estate ?—The outlay on the estate commenced in the latter part of 1843, or rather in the commencement of 1844. 4950. What was the extra outlay in 1843 ?—The drafts from the island appear to have been comparatively high in 1843; the drafts in 1842 amounted only to 5,548 l., and the rum at that time was nearly all sold in the island, and so it was in the following year, and in 1843 the drafts of the island were 7,000/. 4951. May I assume that the difference between 7,000 I. in 1843 and 5,518 /. 0.32. H 4 in

453 T. Price, Esq. 1 March 1848.


56

MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

in 1842, was fresh investment for permanent improvement?—I should think it might have been; it arose from the measures adopted by my brother, who went l March 1848. in 1843 ; he began his improvements then. 4952. Then the real fact of the matter is, that if no new investment had been made upon the estate, which increased the charge in 1842 and 1843, there would have been a surplus, of 1,442/.?—Yes, provided there had been no extra outlay. 4953. So that the estate was equal, upon an average of the years 1842 and 1843, to pay the family charges, and clear an income to the proprietor of about 775/. a year?—Precisely ; at the same time I ought to remark that the estate at that period was not one half in cultivation; our works then, though they were not so complete as they have been made since, were capable of making a much larger amount of sugar than we were then growing. 4954. That was from the want of labour?—Yes, there was a great want of labour when I was there in 1841 ; we got labourers four days a week, and they turned out when they liked, and came when they liked. 4955. In the year when you were there, 1841, with the same works, if you had got labour, you could have made twice the quantity of sugar?—Undoubtedly ; that is, assuming that I could have got the labourers to have worked at night, or a portion of the night; the works were,capable of making, with due attention, 25 hogsheads a week, supposing we could have worked a part of the night. 4956. Sir E. Buxton.] You mean that the same negroes who worked in the day should work at night ?—Yes ; we arc hardly ever able to get that done now The great loss is in getting our fires up ; when we have got the fires up, there is great saving of fuel in continuing to work at night. 4957. Chairman.] The number that is necessary to work by night as well as day, is not above six or seven per cent.?—I am not sufficiently acquainted with the details of the management to be able to say, but I should think that it would be necessary for very few to continue working at night. 4958. Were you in Jamaica during crop time?—Yes ; during the latter part of crop time. 4959. Do you know how many labourers you employed in crop time? — I do not remember. I do not think I ever had an account of the number of people that we employed. 4960. Had you 100?—Yes, I should say 200 or 300 ; but latterly we have had as many as 1,400 or 1,500 people residing on the estate, but not a fifth part of them working people. 4961. Sir E. Buxton.] Women and children?—Women and boys were included. I do not think children in arms were included. 4962. Chairman.] Were there as many as 30 labourers employed at night in the manufacture of sugar?—Certainly not; we had no night work at all in my time : they struck work at the usual hour in the afternoon, and we never saw anything of them till the next morning. 4963. How many hours do they work in the field ?—They generally went out at seven o'clock in the morning, and they would work, with an hour's rest, till about 12, as far as I can remember, and they then turned out again at two or three o'clock and worked a couple of hours in the afternoon. 4964. They worked about six hours in the day?—Yes, and every other week they only worked four days; the usual days of work were Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and every other week they worked on Friday; the Saturday they always took for themselves. 4965. What were the wages they received for those six hours' work ? — A man at, that time could earn from 1 s. 6 d. to Is. in the six hours. 4966. That was the average ?—As far as I can recollect, it was about that. 4967. Had they provision grounds besides?—'They had. 4968. Freer—They were free part of the time, or rather they paid rent, part of the time, for it was for a few months only that the system of charging rent was followed. 4969. Is it abandoned at this time?—Yes, they occupy their houses and grounds perfectly free. 4970. Do you know what wages they are receiving now ?—'They are receiving as nearly as possible from 1 s. to 1 s. (i d. a day for ordinary field labour; the headmen of course get more. 4471. Now T. Pike, Esq.


SELECT COMMITTEE ON SUGAR AND COFFEE PLANTING. 57 4971. Now that the permanent improvements have been made, what would he the annual charge for coloured people to work the estate?—I have no means of saying. 4972. I see that in 1844 you state the wages as 3,576 /., and in 1845, 4,013I. ? —Yes, I am in great hopes that the wages will be in some degree reduced on that particular estate, inasmuch as the two neighbouring estates, though not at present quite thrown out of cultivation, I believe from the death of one proprietor and the distresses of another, will be in all probability thrown up ; therefore we shall get an accession of labourers, because we shall have the whole valley to ourselves. 4973. Then you expect to benefit by the ruin of your neighbours ?—Yes. 4974. You think that whenever the other estates fail, the effect will be that there will be more labourers in the field, and consequently competition will reduce the rate of wages ?—Yes; I hope that will be the case, provided we can keep ourselves afloat under this heavy charge. 4975. I find that the wages averaged 4,000 /. a year for the years 1844,1845 and 1846; but 9 I. a hogshead upon your produce of 500 hogsheads, gives 4,500 I. a year; it would seem, therefore, that so far as the wages are concerned, if you could reduce them to nothing it would not make a difference of 9 I. a hogshead to you ?—I do not think it would at the present prices; if our sugar was raised for us and put on board ship, as far as wages went we should still be where we now are. 4976. Sir E. Buxton.'] You mean that if the wages were nothing it would not pay you?—I should think it would not. I do not speak confidently on that subject, not having gone into it; but in the way the Chairman put it, I think it is clear that that would be the result. I refer to the field wages. 4977. If the labour expended in the field on raising the sugar cost nothing, still it would not be equivalent to 9 /. a hogshead, the reduction of price?—It would not according to my estimate, which is, that we lose nine guineas a hogshead, as compared with the average of six years. 4978. That proves that it is owing to some other circumstance than the high price of labour that there has been a great loss?—If we had carried the estate on prudently through those prices at 26 l. a ton, the estate would have paid; we should have been paying our interest, and perhaps a portion of the principal. 4979. Mr. Miles.] Up to the fall in the price of sugar ?—Yes ; but the prices that we have obtained were good prices; they were not so good as they used to he; but the primary cause of the distress on the estate was raising money upon an estate already indebted; but at the same time we were to a certain extent justified in doing that, inasmuch as we had a large extent of cane land which was never known to fail, and we were told that we were not sufficiently active, and that we had not invested money enough in improvements ; in point of fact, that our system of cultivation was as slovenly as it could be. We were pressed by Her Majesty's Government to improve our works, and, in fact, to become better farmers; and therefore, though the estate was weighed down by debt, it was thought prudent by the managers of it to travel out of the way, and raise money for additional improvements. But we had the prospect of getting a good return for that sugar; and borrowing such a sum as 30,000 /. upon an estate which used in its worst days to give 15,000 I. a year, was really no great piece of imprudence. But now that we have come down to 16 I. a hogshead, all our folly stares us in the face; it shows that we have completely sacrificed the interest of all parties connected with the family, merely because we chose to rely upon the existing prices. If the Government four years ago had told us that sugar would fall to 16 /. a hogshead, we should not have raised one shilling upon it, much less 30,000 /., and we would not have invested one sixpence in improvements. 4980. Chairman.] Can you state what the returns of the estate were in the years 1835, 1836 and 1837, the years of apprenticeship?—I have no means of giving that information. The estate at that time was not in my possession, and 1 have no papers upon the subject. My father was in possession in 1834 and I remember hearing him say, the year before he died, that that year was the'lowest he ever knew, and he looked upon himself as ruined ; he gave up his hounds, and dismissed two of his livery servants. He had 13,000 I. a year but he said he was a ruined man. ' 4981. Did your father die in 1834 -Yes. 0.32. I 4982. What

455 T. Price, Esq. 1 March 1848.


58 T. Price, Esq. 1 March 1848.

MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

4982. What became of the estate in 1835 ?—It was carried on by the trustees, and my father's executors; and they paid off a considerable amount of money between 1834 and the year it came into my possession in December 1840. 4983. Can you give the Committee any notion of what the sum was that was paid off in the interval ?—As far as I can recollect there was a sum of between 50,000 I. and 60,000 I. paid off; but I may be wrong to the extent of 10,000 I. 4984. Can you state what the present social condition of the labourers in Jamaica is?—I have a letter here from an extremely intelligent gentleman, a friend of mine in Jamaica. I do not know that there is any objection to mention his name, it is Mr. Gilbert Shaw, a well-known attorney in Jamaica, and a man of extremely high character and great ability; he has resided for 25 years in the island, and thoroughly knows it from beginning to end, and he is to be relied upon in the highest degree. The date of the letter is the 30th of December 1847. The letter is written in answer to one that I wrote to him, and in my letter I gave him a lull sketch of the difficulties of the estate, and the prospects that we had before us as to the estate, and I asked his opinion as to how far he thought it was likely the estate would get out of those difficulties at the existing price of sugar. He has not answered that question fully, though he has glanced at it, but knowing my interest in everything connected with Jamaica, he has entered very fully into the subject. 4985. Will you be good enough to read the letter?—"Dear Sir,—When I was last doing myself this pleasure, I had to break off very abruptly in order to try and save the packet, which was, very unexpectedly to me, ordered off some 36 hours sooner than usual, and after all I was too late. Since that time I have been much and anxiously occupied endeavouring to keep things going and the estate from suffering, in consequence of the noting of my bills by the trustees. The terrible scarcity of money, which as it exists to so great an extent in England, you may imagine is not less felt here; the alarm and apprehension at the banks, and in the mercantile, and indeed entire community, at, I may say, the numberless bills which have been protested in like manner, have brought about a crisis which seems to paralyze every one. Money cannot be procured on almost any terms, and property of all kinds is stripped of the uncertain adventitious value it has for a long time held. On all sides, I hear of really good estates being abandoned by the proprietors, and there does not appear any one ready to come forward to carry them on either as lessees or purchasers. In this state of things it would be impossible for me to form even a guess at the probable result. The island is herself utterly destitute of the power to help the inhabitants, or do anything to create confidence in property here, which is in fact the thing that is really wanted. Government do not seem to care much about us, or to know that anything is really wrong, and they apply their measures of relief to us, one would fancy, more in derision of our distress than with any pure intention of benefiting the West Indies. I trouble you with these remarks, because the present state of the country renders all attempts at calculation as to probable consequences entirely valueless. I think as we are just now, no man can give a probable guess as to the position of Worthy Park, or any other estate in Jamaica, six months hence. Our position is entirely unprecedented, and it would be impossible for me, with reference to your favour of the 16th September last, to place before you anything founded on experience, upon which any reliance could be placed. The difficulties to which we are now exposed arise solely from external causes over which we have no control, and in consequence it is possible we may look upon them as insurmountable, while you, who live in the centre from which all these causes proceed, may see some room for hope and better prospects hereafter. It seems to me that little short of a miracle will save this country. There is no doubt that even as things have been, morality, religion, and all that tends to the increase of pure civilization, lias been retrograding in this unfortunate country among the lower classes. The sectarian influence, which was ever in reality a political, and not a religious influence, is lost; their schools are deserted. The emancipated people being uneducated are incapable of appreciating the benefits of education, or of inculcating morality or social virtue; they are satisfied with having achieved their freedom, and care for nothing more. The population are, therefore, really retrograding in civilization, and I cannot see how this is to he prevented. The question of educating the lower classes, and raising them in the scale of social beings, has attracted much attention of late years here, and considerable sums have been annually voted by the Assembly for this purpose, and I doubt not


SELECT COMMITTEE ON SUGAR AND COFFEE PLANTING 59 but in time much would have been accomplished ; but I think it is plain a scheme of this kind can never be carried out or sustained, except the island is in a flourishing condition, her agriculture and her commerce in a prosperous state. We have now broadly brought before us the fact that rich proprietors in Jamaica are abandoning really good estates because they do not pay, and poor proprietors are doing so likewise, because their property has no appreciable value in the opinion of any capitalist, and he cannot obtain the means of carrying it on. It is impossible of course to imagine to what extent this is likely to be carried; but I should not be at all surprised to see two-thirds of the property in Jamaica annihilated. Should this take place, or should anything approaching to it happen (and there requires no stronger pressure than that now existing to bring it about), the country will be unable to sustain her institutions even by all the heavy extra taxation to which the surviving property may be subjected. The retrogression of the inhabitants towards barbarism must be fearfully accelerated. Altogether I cannot picture to myself anything more gloomy than the prospects of the better class in this country, who cannot leave it, and who must remain come what will. With such prospects before us, and with so little hope, I repeat, it is impossible to give a well-founded conjecture as to the results to particular estates. As regards Worthy Park, I would take the liberty of advising you to adhere to that which you have expressed in the concluding paragraph of your letter : ' When difficulties occur, divest them of everything but reality.' The difficulties which beset Jamaica directly tend to sap the foundation upon which the superstructure of society is built; whilst this is going on, and no means whatever are taken to arrest its progress, the reality of the jeopardy in which our property, and more than that are placed, must be apparent, I think, to all. I fear I shall tire and annoy you by writing in such a strain as this ; but I doubt, if I was to try again, I would not succeed in showing less anxiety on this subject, which, as it appears to me, is all important just now. The estate is in really good order, as far as the field is concerned, and we will begin the new year at a greatly reduced call for expense. What the general result will be at the end of the crop I cannot foretell, everything will depend upon the price of produce. As you may understand from this letter, I have no faith in our ability to stand up against the slave grower of sugar. He will destroy us, and then obtain a higher price for his produce than ever we did, and when Government wish to assist us we will be past all relief. Among the estates likely to go, I think and may be named ; the former is, in fact, now for sale, and, of course, no one will buy. In happier times it would have been a splendid addition to Worthy Park ; almost all the St. Dorothy estates are gone, I may say. Many in Vere will go, and eight or ten in Clarendon arc decided on, and more will follow. Immigration is worse than useless now. I remain, dear sir, yours, very truly, Gilbert Shaw." 498G. Was Mr. Shaw, at the time lie wrote that letter, in the management of your estate ?—He was. 4987. Your brother had not got out there ?—No; not when Mr. Shaw wrote that letter. 4988. Sir E. Buxton.] The letter ends with saying that" immigration is worse than useless now ;" do you agree with Mr. Shaw in that opinion ?—Most undoubtedly. 4989. You think it is in vain to attempt any further immigration into Jamaica? —I do not think it would be in vain if the Government would give us assistance, in order to enable us to get over our difficulties in the mean time. 4990. Do you think that Government lending money to enable you to import free negroes would be a real assistance to you ? —Unless the Government pay us a remunerating price for the crop that we have on the ground, and assist us somewhat further in the way of immigration, I do not think we can succeed. 4991. You think that no form of free labour can compete with the slave labour of the foreign colonies; or at all events, that our colonies, with free labour, cannot compete with the foreign colonies which have slave labour?—That is my opinion. I am not prepared to say how it might be if we had labourers at 2 d. a day ; but unless we can obtain the advantage of such labour as that, the estates must go into other hands, and all our investments of capital must be thrown away. 4992. Have you any papers to show the number of slaves that were on the estate at the time of emancipation ?—I have not here ; but I think the number was from 500 to 600. 0

.

31 2

4993. Can

457 T. Price, Esq. 1 March 1848.


60 T. Price, Esq. 1 March 1848.

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4993. Can you state the number that there were on the estate 10 years before that?—No. 4994. Do you know whether the number had increased or diminished?—I have not the information by me to enable me to state. 4995. Can you state the number of labourers now?—The population on the estate is from 1,000 to 1,500. 4996. And the wages are from 1 s. to 1 s. 3 d. a day ?—Yes. Some get as low as 9 d., but those are lads and women. 4997. Do you chiefly use piecework?—Yes; it is chiefly piecework. There is some work that cannot be done by the piece. 4998. You stated, did you not, that the wages were 1 s. or 1 s. 6 d. a day ?— There are some at 1 s., and some at 9 d., and some at 1 s. 6 d., and some ait 2 s., and some even at 3 s. 6 d. It depends upon the nature of the work to be performed. 4999. What are the average wages of the common field labourers ?—The average was 1 s. 6 d. ; what it is now I am not prepared to state. I think Mr. Shaw has attempted a reduction, not in the daily wages, but in getting more work done for the money. ,5000. You have no account of the diminution in the wages?—I have had accounts of that kind ; he has got more canes cut for the same money, but I think there must have been a still further reduction lately ; I am prepared to expect that. 5001. You expect that there will be a considerable reduction of wages, in consequence of the panic that has taken place in Jamaica ?—I think that is to be expected ; that is, supposing those estates are thrown out of cultivation ; and it follows just as night follows day that those estates must be thrown out of cultivation unless persons in this country who have money are ready to carry them on ; there are no persons in Jamaica ready to do it. 5002. How many hours a day do the negroes work ?—I do not think that they work more than six or seven hours a day, except in cases of piecework; there is a very large class of labourers in Jamaica who work in that manner, more for the sake of furnishing themselves with little luxuries, which they purchase in their holidays, than for any other purpose. They have a great many holidays, Sundays, and so on, and if they want to buy a bottle of Champagne they will work for a week or a fortnight, till they have earned a couple of dollars, and then you do not see their faces for two months. 5003. You have found that the difficulty, in regard to labour, is its not bein<r continuous?—Undoubtedly; it is one of the great difficulties that we have to contend with. When I was in the island, in 1841, I had commenced to clean the young plants, and if you do not clean them within a few days after they are on the ground it entails very serious consequences on the crop ; I have seen men at work upon that; they have gone through a quarter of it, and then gone away, and you would not be able to finish the work within another month. ,5004. Can you suggest to the Committee any remedy for that, which would not unfairly infringe upon the freedom of the labourer?—You have asked me a question which it is very difficult to answer; that is a matter which depends entirely upon the wants of the labourer himself. 5005. But maintaining freedom to a fair degree, can you suggest any law which would give you continuous labour?—I cannot indeed, not consistently with freedom, unless you adopt a species of apprenticeship, such as we had after emancipation ; nothing short of that will do it. 5006. Mr. Miles.] A further supply of labour would do it?—A further supply of labour might have the effect of accomplishing it, but the black population that we had imported, and they are the only people that we have had to depend upon, the Coolies, have not answered. On the greater portion of the estates they are able in a few weeks to earn sufficient money to buy an acre of land, and then they become squatters. 5007. Sir E. Buxton.] Have you an account of the number of days that each man has worked upon your estate ?—I cannot give the account in reference to each man ; there are some of our old negroes who are attached to the estate, and who continue to work very steadily. Ours is almost the only estate in the island where they have an old body of negroes; they have a local attachment to the place, and they do not leave us. But there is hardly any man there that works l the year round ; they work upon the average from two to three days a week ;


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T. Pi ice, Esq. the men work for a month, and then rest for a month. In fact it is all work at one time, and then all play. 5008. Do you give that as a general description of the island ?—As Far as my 1 March 1848. experience went when I was in the island, in 1841, that was the general rule. I did not go through the whole island, but on all the estates that I visited that was the rule, and from report it appeared to me to be the same in other parts of the island. 5009. Did you find that the labourers who were imported worked better ?—I have heard of some that were imported from the coast of Africa that worked remarkably well, but none except those have done us any good at all. 5010. You stated that your loss was 2 I. per hogshead ?—I expect that it will be 2 I. per hogshead, provided we raise the sugar at 25 I. per hogshead, but I do not pledge myself to our raising it at 25 I.; on the contrary, I think it will be nearer 30 I. than 25 I. 5011. You would lose 2 I. a hogshead here, whether you made 470 hogsheads or 500?—Yes. I do not think the other 30 hogsheads would make a material difference; it would make a difference whether we made 350 or 500 hogsheads. 5012. You do not mean to say that you would rather make 470 than 500 hogsheads ?—No, certainly not. 5013. In fact, the total loss would be less if you made 500 hogsheads than if you made 470 ?—It would be in a slight degree less. 5014. You stated that in 1845 and 1840 your estimate was from GOO to 700 hogsheads ; did your not succeeding in raising that in the last year arise from your machinery not being in order, or from want of labour?—It arose principally from the machinery not being in order; though I think it very doubtful whether we might not have had to raise the wages; but the real cause was that our machinery was not in order ; the estate was well supplied with labour at that time. 5015. Then, in fact, it was a misfortune that might have happened under any system, either of freedom or slavery, of free trade or protection ?—As far as regards the simple fact of the machinery not succeeding, there is no doubt that it would have been the case; hut it we had had slaves there instead of free labourers, we might have had the machinery put up in half the time. 5016. Was not this failure in the machinery owing to some miscalculation in sending it out, and that you had to send to England for some part of the machinery which was deficient ?—No, that is not the fact; there was a misfortune ; the mill did not succeed in the way we expected it would, and a portion of it broke ; hut my own opinion is, that whether the mill broke or did not break, the water power that we have on the estate was not sufficient to drive so large a piece of machinery. It was certainly an accident, and it was a matter to he deeply regretted that we departed from the mill that we had previously, which was an eight-horse mill, and substituted a fifteen-horse mill, but with the same power, which was sufficient only to drive the eight-horse mill. But I am hound to say that when it was ordered, engineers in the island gave us their testimony that the power was sufficient to drive a fifteen-horse mill ; and the machinery was not ordered without taking the opinion of the best engineers in the island ; but the island engineers are not equal to a task of that kind. 5017. It was an error which had nothing to do with the want of labour in the island ?—No, nothing whatever, except that when we had to pull down the old machinery and erect new machinery, if we had had slave labour we should have done it in half the time, in all probability, and have saved half the crop. 5018. At what time was the sugar sold which you sold in 1847 at 16 /. a hogshead ?—The salts were spread over the early part of the year, between January and September. 5019. But there was a great fall in the end of 1847 ; was it before or after that great fall took place ?—I think it would include a portion of that great fall. 5020. What system do you think would enable you to recover your estates?— The only system that 1 could calculate upon with any degree of confidence would be a system of protection ; I am not aware of any other system. 3021. What protection, in your opinion, would be sufficient?—As far as I am concerned personally in this estate, in order to give a moderate return for the capital we have invested in the estate, no larger a return than a landlord in this country would expect from his estate, I think it would be necessary to have a protection of 10 s. a hundred weight. 0.32. I 3 5022. Would


62 T. Price, Esq. 1 March 1848.

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5022. Would you think it necessary that that protection should be continued for ever, or for a great number of years ?—By no means ; if the protection were accompanied by such measures as would give us a supply of labour in Jamaica at 2 d. or 4 d. a day, we might get out of the difficulty. 5023. How many labourers do you imagine would be necessary for the whole island ?—I am not able to say. .5024. Would you think it necessary to double the present number of labourers ? —I should like to treble them, if we could. 5025. Have you any reason to suppose that it is possible for the Government to get free labour to that amount?—As far as the information goes that I have obtained from reading reports, I think there is a sufficient supply of labour to be had from the coast of Africa. 5026. Free labour?—Yes. 5027. Have you reason to believe that it is free labour?—As far as I am able to judge from reports I have read, I do think that there would be no difficulty in obtaining a large amount of free labour from the coast of Africa. 5028. And you would expect to obtain it at from 2 d. to Ad. a day ?—I cannot say that; I mentioned that as the price at which I have understood labour is to be had in the East Indies; but if we could bring our labour down to 6 d. a day we might manage to get on, and we might trust to be able to cheapen it afterwards, if we had a protection to carry us on for the next few years. We might either have a protection of 10 s. or 12 s. for the next few years, or a smaller protection, to carry us on for a longer period, but I should prefer a larger protection, to extend over four or five years, provided it were accompanied by some measure for a good supply of labour. 5029. Would you recommend that the Government should take the charge of importing those negroes ?—I think the Government should bear the expense of it; I should be very much surprised if Government were to ask us to bear any portion of it; I think they have no right to do so. 5030. The expense of importing that number into Jamaica would be from 400,000 I. to 500,000 l., would it not?—I have not made any calculation of that. 5031. But if the colony goes on, the Government must bear the expense of that?—At first, I think, the Government ought to bear tbe expense of inundating the country with free labour, after what we have suffered at their hands. 5032. But you have not made any calculation of what the expense of that would be ?—No, I have not. 5033. Mr. Miles.\ I understand that you regard this as entirely a question of labour ?— Certainly. 5034. You would not be afraid of not being able to continue the sugar cultivation, provided you could get labour at a cheap rate ?—I do not see what is to hinder our competing with slave labour provided we get labour at the same rate. The amount of capital invested in land I should think is about the same in the two cases. 5035. You have been at great expense in importing machinery, and in using agricultural implements; has that had a considerable effect in reducing the amount of labour employed on the estate ?—I think that is very questionable, but I think it has very much improved our system of cultivation. The land has been greatly improved by the introduction of agricultural implements, and the system of cultivation generally has improved; but it takes a large number of cattle to work the plough or to work the harrow, or anything, in point of fact, of that sort. 5036. Can you state the number that are required ?—The plough has been in operation for 30 years on our estate ; but when I was there in 1841, I found that they usually employed 12 oxen to draw one light plough in the lightest soil, in good free soil. 5037. How many for a harrow ?—Eight. 5038. Has that number been reduced since?—When I was there I saw a man working 12 oxen, in a team, with only a light plough, and I endeavoured to get him to use six oxen instead of 12; and I turned off'six of the cattle, and insisted upon the man working on with the remaining six. I was riding round the estate, and when I returned I found that the man had got his 12 oxen again; and the attorney said to me at the time, " If you try to do this you will fail, they are accustomed to 12 oxen, they like the ceremony of 12 oxen, and 12 oxen they will have;" and I believe they use 12 oxen to this day. 5039. If


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5039. If you had insisted upon reducing the number of oxen, do you imagine that you would have lost your labourers?—Yes ; they would have thrown down their whips and gone off. If you were to sell yourselves for gold and give it to them, they would not take it; they would have their fling at once. 5040. In your estate has there been any improvement in the machinery for the manufacture of sugar?—No ; the only thing we have done is to make the clarifiers better, and the sugar-pans are better. 5041. Is it the old apparatus that you use ?—Yes. 3042. There is no vacuum pan ?—No. 5043. Have you an engine on the estate?—Yes, we have an engine; it has been tried and been found to be in good working order, but it has not been used yet. 5044. What do you use ?—The estate made this enormous return with one of the old vertical mills. 5045. Was it a cattle-mill ?—A water-mill; there was a cattle-mill used years ago, which has been left standing in case of any accident, but it has been abandoned for many years. 5046. Have you now abandoned the water-mill ?—No, we have kept it as our mainstay, and if we could look forward to better times we should be induced to put up a new mill, a third mill, in the place of the one we have now. 5047. A mill suitable to the power of the water ?—Yes ; I should like to do so if we could afford it. 5048. It was not by your advice that the steam-engine was sent out?—Yes; there was a strong opposition to it on the part of my brother, he differed from me, and very properly; he said that water power was the cheapest power, and that we ought to keep to it, but I saw that the water power was not equal to the machinery. We had gone to an enormous expense in extending the cane field, and unless we had more power all the money would be wasted. My brother wrote one letter disapproving of it, but the next time he wrote he said he had considered the matter, and he consented to the engine being sent. 5049. Have you any means of increasing the water power?—I think it is likely that a skilful engineer might he able to increase the power, but we have nearly sufficient power now to manufacture as much sugar as the estate could grow if we could get the labourers to work at night as well as in the day. 5050. What quantity of sugar might be made per week?—Thirty hogsheads ; we ought to make 30 hogsheads per week. 5051. Have you more than one set of pans?—Yes; we have a double set of taches. 5052. And you have a small tramway?—Yes. 5053. Of what length ?—There has been a mile and a half sent out. 5054. Of railway iron ?—Of rolled iron made for the purpose. 5055. Was it second hand ?—No, it was new ; it was very light, and I am afraid that we took a false step in having it so light; it was only 14 pounds to the yard, and it required an additional number of chairs, so that the bearings, instead of being three feet, were one foot six. 50.56. What was the cost ?—I think that the railway, without including the cost of railway waggons, and so on, could not have been laid down under 1,000/. 5057. Can yon state what the total cost of the mile and a half was -I think it could not have been far short of 1,500/. or 1,600/., and I should not be surprised if it were 2,000/. 5058. Do you think that the plan has answered ?—I think it is very questionable. I think the principle of a tramway in the field is a very good one, and that it was worth trying, but at the time it was sent out I was opposed to it. I stated that it was a new thing, that would upset the old system of employing cattle and pens; and that if you did not succeed you would have got rid of the cattle and pens, and have to lay out money in buying them again, and therefore I was averse to the experiment being made in the then state of the land. From information I have received since, I believe the principle has answered ; but I doubt very much whether it has been done at less cost than the old pens and cattle. There is this to be said, that the fewer cattle you have, the more your estate will deteriorate in value, because you lose the manure, or you do not make so much, and that forms an important item. 5059. What quantity of cattle have you upon the estate ?—About 280. 5060. They average 10 l. a piece ?—We have paid as much as 16/, but I think 12/. .4

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MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

12 l. might be taken as an average; but the estate ought to have 450 head of stock upon it to make a large crop. 5061. Are you enabled to say that you would extend the quantity of railroad if there were any chance of going on with the cultivation ?—I am not prepared to say that; I should require more information than I at present possess before I gave that opinion. 5062. You would not recommend any person to follow your example in that respect ?—I think there are some situations where it might be done to great advantage. I think it is worth trying; the great difficulty is the expense of carrying the canes from the interior of the cane piece to the point where the tramway is laid down; it is a moveable tramway, and there are small branches; they have to shift the line, and have to carry it on the heads of negroes to the point where the canes are to be loaded, so that there is all the time wasted in going backwards and forwards. 5063. Then in reality you do not think it has tended to save labour ?— I think it is very doubtful ; but I think it is a matter of some importance in good hands ; if we had skilful men there, who understood the working of railways, and who understood the laying it down, and ballasting and keeping the main line in repair, and if we had sufficient traffic upon that line all the year round, to prevent oxidation on the rails, I think it is possible it might answer; but at present, if you leave a piece of iron out there for three or four months without any traffic over it, the oxidation is so great that there is an enormous wear and tear. 5064. Is there a great expense in actually keeping the road itself in order?— There ought to be very trifling expense; it is worked by mules; and if it were properly ballasted in the dead time of year, when the work was slack, by either putting down ballast or digging up the old ballast, or manufacturing it in some way, it might be kept up at a very small cost. The thing to be avoided is having the rails too light; the rails for the permanent line ought to be rather heavy, I should think not less than 20 pounds to 25 pounds to the yard. 5065. Do you find the line washed away ; are the rails much damaged ?—To a considerable extent; that is so because the railway was not properly constructed in the first instance; if the rails had been properly ballasted, and there had been a drain on each side, it would have protected the rails, and the cane pieces also, by giving an outlet to the water. 5066. Have you double rails ?—They are laid upon transverse sleepers of wood. 5067. Have you any objection to state what is the course that it is intended to pursue with respect to this estate?—I have not the slightest conception; everything depends upon what the Government may do. 5068. Suppose they do nothing ?—Then we shall do nothing. Whether we shall go on or not will entirely depend upon our obtaining an assurance from the Government that it will help us. 5069. If you discontinued the cultivation would you take up the canes?—If my own judgment was consulted, I should say leave them where they are; let them rot rather than sell them at the present price. 5070. You consider that you would have to lose if you took the canes off the ground ?—We shall certainly lose. 5071. But the cultivation has proceeded to some extent?—The cultivation of this year is set against the next year. 5072. It would save you money to discontinue at once ?—Yes; we have just established our plant for 1849, therefore it is a favourable moment to stop the cultivation if we were assured that nothing would be done to improve our condition ; we could not stop at a better time. 5073. Have you sent out any orders to stop cultivation?—No; my brother has gone out to work out the crop w ith his new machinery, but then when he went away he hoped to see better days; he hoped to get more than 16/. a hogshead, and he hoped to work at a less expense than 25 l. He has not taken the trouble to enter very minutely into all these calculations, and therefore I do not attach much importance to what he says upon the subject, though his views on the West India management are extremely good. 5074. You do not think he is likely to realize bis expectations?—I have not the smallest doubt that he will not realize them ; this letter of Mr. Shaw will sufficiently prove it. 5075. You do not think that your brother will agree with Mr. Shaw?—I think it


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it is very likely my brother might differ from him, but in justice to my brother I ought to state that he was not brought up as a planter ; he went out there as an amateur to work out his own estate. His views on West India management are extremely good, but not being a practical man, I think he will not succeed. It is very likely that if, in regard to the suggestions he made, he had a man like Mr. Shaw to carry them out, many of the evils that he has fallen into might have been avoided, and I think, even now, with a man of the experience of Mr. Shaw, he would in all probability do good. I am not in favour of planters going out to Jamaica ; I went out and did very little good, and I came back again. 5076. Mr. Villiers.] How long were you there?—Four months; but I was constantly on the estate night and day. 5077. You give no evidence as to the management?—No. 5078. You have not much confidence in the management of your brother?— I have great confidence in his ideas of West India management, but I have not much confidence in his practice ; because I do not consider that any man brought up as a gentleman in this country, as he has been, can go to Jamaica and learn planting in a fortnight. 5079. Your objection to a gentleman going out is not on the ground that he is a gentleman, but that gentlemen generally know nothing of the management of estates ?—Exactly ; gentlemen living in this country have not been educated in such a manner as to be competent to form an opinion whether the estate is making money or not; they go with English ideas; they never saw a cane before or a negro before, and they had much better leave it to those agents who understand it, and have been connected with it all their lives. I have heard of a good many that have gone out and burnt their fingers. 5080. it would be a good thing for the estates if the proprietors knew more about the management of the estates ?—Most unquestionably. I think it is a good thing for a prudent proprietor, who has been a farmer in this country, to go out and reside on his estate, if for a short time after he gets there he lives at home, and has everything carried out through his overseer. In the first place lie brings his own experience in England to bear upon it, and good results might follow. But what I object to is, raw gentlemen going out there and endeavouring to grow sugar immediately they get there. 5081. Can planters always depend upon the agents they employ there in their cultivation?—I think they can. There was a time when agents were not very much celebrated lor their high character, but at present many attornies in the island are most estimable men, and men entirely to be relied upon. 5082. The proprietors are the persons who generally communicate with the Government with reference to the state of the West India Islands ?—I think that is generally managed by the body of planters, proprietors, and merchants, who form the West India Committee in London ; and in my opinion, you cannot have a more able body than that. 5083. You are fortunate in the agent that you have ?—Certainly. As far as regards Mr. Gilbert Shaw, what he states you may rely upon as gospel. 5084. In that letter which you read, he represents the estate to be in a very disastrous condition ?—On the contrary, he says the estate is really in good order, as far as the field is concerned ; but he says, " What the general result will be at the end of the crop, I cannot foretell; everything will depend upon the prices of produce." 5085. It is of the future prospect that he is speaking ? — Yes ; he refrains from giving an opinion upon the general affairs of the estate, because at that time, he says, that there is a panic in the island, and he cannot venture to form an opinion upon the result. 5086. His complaints do not refer to late years, but rather to what will happen in consequence of the recent change in the law ?—I take that to be his meaning. At the same time, I must remark, that he does make some observations upon the subject of the moral condition of the people. He seems to think, that of late years, in spite of very large sums of money having been voted by the House of Assembly for purposes of education, and so on, the people have been retrograding for some time. 5087. Did you refer to any experience of your own when you gave us an account of the negro population ; for instance, that they work one month and lay idle lor another month ?—Yes; the experience I had when I was in the island. 5088. During the four months you heard of instances of that kind'—Yes ; that 0.32. K was

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was the case when I was there. I saw a man at work one week, and then I never saw him at work again for a month. I knew all the negroes, and all their names. 5089. Upon inquiring after the negroes, you found that it was their habit to work tor a week, and then disappear for a month ?—Yes; and they go elsewhere. 5090. That is ruinous to the planter?—Yes. 5091. How is it then that the estate has thriven so well ?—It is a splendid property ; it is an estate that you can always calculate upon getting a certain return from: for instance, an acre of land will generally give you three hogsheads of sugar. It is as good an estate as it is possible to conceive; sometimes it has exceeded three hogsheads ; and with very good machinery I believe it is possible to get as much as four hogsheads. 5092. You are referring to the circumstances of the soil ?—Yes. 5093. You are manufacturers as well as growers ?—Yes. 5094. It is in the manufacture of sugar that you suffer from the habit of the labourers not to work continuously, but leaving the estate altogether ?—I do not think we suffer in the manufactory so much from that; but it is the want of continuous labour in the field that we suffer from. 5095. Is not that also felt in the manufactory ?—Not in my experience ; the men who work in the manufactory have not gone away so much in the crop time, but they take their holidays at other times. They get high wages, and in consideration of those high wages they will stick to their work very well, but they will not work at night. 5096. Then you do not suffer from want of continuous labour in the manufactory ?—No; not in the manufactory; but in the field we do. 5097. But the estate has thriven, and been prosperous?—No ; far from it. 5098. As far as I understand you, from the want of continuous labour, it is almost impossible to compete with slave labour?—It is not so much from the want of continuous labour as from the want of continuous labour at proper prices. 5099. It is in consequence of the labour being free, and you not being able to restrain the labourer ?—It is in consequence of our not having sufficient labour to perform the work at a reasonable price. 5100. You stated to the Committee that it was in consequence of labour being free, that you could not compete, in the way you used to do, with countries in which slave labour exists ?—I do not think I stated that; I stated with respect to the machinery we had had to erect, that if we had been able, at that time, to command that labour which we did in old times, we should, probably, have erected that machinery in half the time in which we did erect, it, when we could not depend upon the labour. 5101. Then the Committee would be under a mistake if they apprehended your meaning to be that you could not compete, because your labourers were free, whereas, the produce that comes from other countries is the produce of slave labour ?—It matters very little to the sugar planter, as regards the profit upon his cultivation, whether the labourer is free or whether he is a slave ; the question is, what price you have to pay for labour. 5102. Is it in consequence of that difference in the character of the labour, that the sugar cultivation will not remunerate you, as compared with colonies where the labour is forced ?—Yes. 5103. Is that the disadvantage you have to contend with?—The great disadvantage is, that we have not a sufficient supply of labour; whether that arises from the people being free or not, I have nothing to do with that; but the fact is, that we are not supplied with labour at a remunerative rate, and, therefore, we cannot compete with the slave owner. 5104. If you had more free labour, would you not still be subject to the men working for a week and going away for a month?—No, because the labourers we should import would be bound, under contract, to work ; otherwise, if they work for a short time and get a few dollars in their pocket, they will buy land, and if they do not like to work they will not work ; but if they were bound, under contract, and they broke their contract, we could bring them before the magistrate and punish them. 5105. Would you contemplate superseding the present labour in Jamaica altogether by imported labour?—Where there is a deficiency of labour you might put a'certain arbitrary supply of labour at the disposal of the planter, but by the time the contracts had expired, I think the imported negroes would appreciate the state


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state of society in Jamaica so much as to prevent their returning-, and instead of going hack to Africa they would stay in Jamaica. 5106. You think they would not do what the emancipated negroes in the island now do, that is, leave work and squat?—No, I think not; not having been slaves before, I think they would be more industrious. 5107. I understood you to say that the schools are deserted, that the people are immoral, and that freedom is not answering in the way it was expected; that people find they can live without working, and therefore they do not work ? —So I am informed upon good authority. 5108. Have you any other knowledge upon that subject but that which you derive from the letter you have read ?—I have seen various accounts in the papers I have read, but nothing that I can depend upon. 5109. Have you seen the reports of some of the governors ; amongst others, Lord Elgin ?—I have read the reports of Lord Elgin. 5110. Do his reports tally with Mr. Shaw's letter?—It has always struck me that the Governor's report of Jamaica, as respects the social and financial condition of the island, and the general commercial prosperity, was at variance with the private information that I had received in letters; the accounts which the governors are in the habit of sending home to the Government here, do not express the same opinions as I have heard expressed by practical men in different parts of the island. 5111. But you have not heard the accuracy of those reports questioned in public ?—I do not think anybody has ever had the courage to question it in public. 5112. Did you ever see Governor Light's report upon the state of the negroes in Guiana?—No, I never did. Lord Elgin, I believe, took a good deal of pains to ascertain the real state of affairs in Jamaica; but when governors go out they are expected to correspond with the Home Government before they have obtained any great experience, and they have to speak upon important matters with which they have not become personally acquainted. They have a staff of officials around them, and they are compelled to trust to their information ; and it is quite clear that they cannot get the information in a fortnight, and they enter upon their duties without that knowledge. I do not mean to say that any incompetency to judge of the state of affairs in Jamaica characterized Lord Elgin or the despatches of any other governors; but in many cases they would be likely, from the officials that they had around them, to imbibe opinions which would be at variance with the opinions of the proprietors as a body. 5113. You believe that there are classes of labourers that might be brought into the island who would be superior to the recently emancipated negroes, and also to those parties who have been brought in hitherto from other countries ?— I do not mean to say that they could bring in a better set of men into Jamaica than a great number of the old labourers, who stick by the estates and do thenduty faithfully; you may place every reliance upon them ; they do not leave you, and they will work steadily as long as you want them; but those are few and far between. 5114. But immigration has not answered hitherto ?—As far as I have been able to ascertain, the immigration, with the exception of that which took place to the east end of the island, has not answered. 5115. That is from the persons who have been introduced having been inefficient?—Yes, from their having introduced a bad class of men. 5116. Is it the case that there are in the island a good many of those who have been imported without employment?—Yes. There is a great number of Coolies, who were starving, or said to be starving, or very sick, in different parts of Jamaica; but they were men that were totally incompetent to perform the work. 5117. Was that the reason they were unemployed ?—I believe it was. I am speaking now from what I have heard. I believe that the Coolies have not succeeded . 5118. Have you heard that many of them were not employed from want of capital to employ them ?—I have not heard of that, but I think it very likely that that was the case. 5119. You have told us that the great want in the island is money? Yes. 5120. Advances are made of money from this country ?—No, not now, because you get, no interest, upon it; if you had a good supply of labour, and a good market for the sugar, I believe that capital would flow again into the island ; but k 2 0.32. then

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then there must be something positive guaranteed, upon the faith of the country, before you can obtain anything of that kind. 5121. If there were labour introduced freely, you have no reason to doubt that capital also would be introduced ?—I think it would by new capitalists. I doubt whether old capitalists would venture to embark their capital in a concern in which they feel, whether rightly or not, that they have not been quite fairly treated. 5122. Does the Committee understand you to say that any other class of merchants would advance money where the old merchants were not willing to advance it, because the securities were not sufficient?—I have every reason to think that you would find speculators and men of capital come forward with capital if there was a good market for the sugar and a good supply of labour. 5123. If there were a good market for the sugar and a good supply of labour, the old merchants would make advances ?—Perhaps so ; nothing but the experience of the past would prevent their doing it. 5124. What would be the consequence of those estates being thrown up ; you said that nearly two-thirds of the proprietors would abandon their estates; would there be new purchasers who would possess themselves of those estates, purchasing them with the incumbrances ?—I should think not, unless some measure passes in order to protect sugar grown in our colonies. 5125. You believe that two-thirds of the island would be abandoned, and no person would appear to occupy it ?—I think the negroes would squat upon it. 5126. Why would not the other third be abandoned also ?—The greater part of the other third, I think would be abandoned ; but I think if Worthy Park were unfettered by other circumstances, we might be able to go on fighting against the slave grower, relying entirely upon the goodness of the soil, for the soil of Worthy Park is superior to anything they have anywhere else. 5127. Would those other circumstances refer to the mortgage and the other charges ?—Yes ; but it is all a question of the cost of labour. I mean to say this, that if with regard to Worthy Park estate, the effect of abandoning the other two estates is to make labour as cheap in that valley as it is in Brazil and Cuba, then we shall go on, but if that is not the result then we shall not go on. 5128. As I understood you, the negroes would prefer squatting upon the estate to working ?—I think, as a general rule, they would ; as a general rule, I think the negro is not satisfied with his condition unless he has a horse, a blue tail-coat, and a certain amount of land; he will do anything in order to obtain these ; those are the things that he must have, and if he can get those by working for a short time, he will then go away and make a holiday. 5129. The negro is very desirous to obtain a horse and land ?—There is no man more anxious for it. 5130. Is that consistent with their returning to savage life?—It is quite consistent ; they like the otium cum dignitate; they occupy their residences, and come down twice a week and work for a couple of days, and then return with a bottle of Bass's ale. 5131. A couple of days will not supply them with a horse and blue tail-coat? —But they raise a large amount of provisions, which they dispose of to great advantage. 5132. Then they work for themselves and for the planter, and they provide the market?—That is done to a considerable extent. 5133. If those estates were to be abandoned, they would occupy the land or some portions of it, and get their living by cultivating it?—I think it is likely that they would; at least the most ambitious or the most industrious of them. 5134. Are there many heavy mortgages upon the estates in Jamaica?—I suppose there is no property that is so highly mortgaged as West India property. 5135. If the estates were abandoned, the persons having a lien upon them would lose their security?—Undoubtedly, unless they had some other security here. 5136. Might not those estates be appropriated by persons who would be free from those incumbrances, and would not that make a great difference ?—Certainly they would get the estates for nothing, and in all probability all those estates, or the greater part, will fall into the hands of others for nothing. 5137. Is it not possible, though I do not mean for a moment to say that it is desirable, that the present proprietors might be ruined, and yet the island be a flourishing colony ?—Not unless you supply it with fresh labour.


SELECT COMMITTEE ON SUGAR AND COFFEE PLANTING. 69 5138. If all the mortgages were wiped out they could not produce sugar cheap enough to come into this market ?—If you took an ordinary estate making 200 hogsheads, with complete works, and you gave that as a present, and capital to work it, to any man who was capable and intelligent, and understood the matter, I think he would, in two years, be sick and tired of it, and give it up ; for it is impossible that he could compete at the present prices with slave-grown sugar. 5139. That is in consequence of the low price of sugar?—Yes; that is my opinion; and I think that I am borne out in what I say, inasmuch as I am speaking of an estate making 200 hogsheads. Now my calculation of 25 I. a hogshead, as the cost of raising, was made in reference to an estate producing 600 hogsheads, and therefore the probability is that the cost would be 30 I. per hogshead upon an estate producing only 200 hogsheads; and there would be a loss therefore upon that estate. 5140. Those are the conclusions you have arrived at, being acquainted with all the details of the management of a sugar estate ?—I am acquainted with all the details, from.having been four months in the island, upon a sugar estate, and having been in a merchant's house since that time. 5141. You say that all those estates would be abandoned, and that everything depends upon what the Government intend to do. Will you state what the Government could do, supposing those estates remained mortgaged, that could save them ?—Nothing but a protective duty, till you have brought wages to such a level as to enable us to compete with slave-grown sugar. If the Government intend to save the West India proprietors, which I presume is their intention, for they cannot intend to sacrifice us; if they intend to rescue the present proprietors from ruin, they must, in the first place, supply us with free labour at a proper price; they must give it us at that price that will enable us to compete with slave labour. 5142. How can they supply fresh labour ?—Government should bring more labour from the coast of Africa. 5143. That you consider would reduce the price of labour in Jamaica ?—Yes ; but in the meantime we are losing money, and therefore it is necessary to deal with that; it is necessary that we should have some guarantee that the money we have invested, on the faith of certain results in this country, will meet with a due return. 5144. Then you come to a protective duty ?—Yes; but I do not ask for a duty that is to continue, but merely for a duty for a short time, in order to relieve us during a period of great anxiety. 5143. Have you fixed the amount of that duty?—Only in a general way; I think it should be a protective duty of 10 s. a cwt., as far as I am concerned. 5146. That is, as far as your estate is concerned ?—Yes ; and as far as a good many other estates that I am connected with are concerned. 3147. Yours is an estate in the most favourable circumstances as compared with others; it is one of the best?—Yes. 3148. Ten shillings a cwt. would do for you, together with a free importation of negroes from the coast of Africa?—Yes. 5149. An annual regular importation ?—I think an annual regular importation would be the best; it would perhaps relieve the island in some measure from any risk of starvation, because those men would require a certain amount of provisions, if you were to import labour to a very large amount immediately ; for instance, if you were to send a large number of ships which should all arrive in Jamaica in a fortnight or three weeks, or a month, there would be a difficulty, but the island is capable of taking a great number of labourers, and if notice was given of the intention of the Government to send them, preparations would be made. 5150. Have you any parochial system in Jamaica for the support of the poor? —I think there is something of the kind, but it is only in towns that the poor law is ever brought into practice. 5151 Is there any charge for aged and infirm poor?—I never had to pay any. 5152. It is not a charge that you discover in supporting the estate?—No, never; it is possible that there may be such a charge in towns. K3 0.32. 3133. Will

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5153. Will you state what amount of protective duty would be sufficient for estates less favourably situated than yours?—I think 10s. a cwt. ought to suit other estates too. I have put down 10 s. for ours, because we have certain difficulties to contend with, and till we got out of those difficulties we could not do with less. 5154. Do you mean to say that 10 s. a cwt. would keep all the other estates in cultivation?—As far as I can make a calculation upon the subject it would. 5155. I presume that there is nearly as much difference between your estates and other estates in Jamaica as there is between an estate in Cuba and your estate ?—I can hardly make a comparison of that kind. 5156. There is a great difference in the soil ?—Yes. 5157. And in the circumstances?—Yes; but we have many circumstances which are unfavourable; one is, that the property is at a great distance from the wharf; there is no estate in the island that has to carry so far as Worthy Park has. 5158. Have you any railway communication?—We have 14 miles of railway now, but then the expense is very heavy. 5159. You have one railway in the island ?—There is a railway about 20 miles only. 5160. That was made by black labourers?—In a great measure ; there were a great number of English taken out. 5161. Do I understand you to say that 2d. a day would be about the rate of wages which would enable your estate to be kept in cultivation ?—I did not mean to give that as a positive opinion; I said that if we were able to get our wages down to the East India rate we could compete with slave labour. 5162. Are you aware what the wages in the East Indies are?—I heard once that instead of reckoning by shillings they reckoned by pence, and that is what 1 meant to say; if we could get our labour at 3d. and 4 d. a day, at the present price of sugar we might get on. 5163. You have heard that they get labour in the East Indies as cheap as they get it anywhere ?—I have heard that labour was as cheap in the East Indies as 2 d. a day. 5164. Mr. M. Gibson.] You complain that there is not continuous labour in Jamaica; do the planters afford continuous employment to the labourers?—I think that the negroes having set the example in the matter of not having given continuous labour, it is very possible the planters may not have given them continuous work, but all the estates which are actually at work, I have reason to believe, would give as much continuous employment as they possibly could. 5165. What you want is this, that at any moment when it suits your convenience you may be able to put your hand upon the labourer ?—Undoubtedly ; you could not have better expressed my meaning. 5166. Can you expect to do that, unless you give continuous employment., and at continuous wages ?—Certainly not; there are duties both on the one side and the other. 5167. May not the difficulty of obtaining continuous labour be removed by a different system on the part of the planter, as well as on the part of the labourer? —Certainly not. If you will give us labourers we will take care that the obligations on the part of the planters shall be carried out. 5168. Have the planters afforded continuous employment to those labourers who have presented themselves ?—I am not aware of any instance where the contrary has been the case, except where an estate has been thrown up; and even that has been no loss to the labourers, because there have been many other planters who would only have been too happy to have employed them. 5169. Do you mean to say that the labourers you require at one period of the year, are employed during the rest of the year?—Most unquestionably, on all well-managed estates; and, in fact, on all estates there is a certain amount of labour which ought to be performed all the year round ; but there are periods when you require more labour than at other times. If we have good management it ought not to be the case that the labourers are thrown out of employment. If a planter mixes up a period of cultivation with a period of crop, he commits a serious error ; but if he separates the operations, there is no reason why the original staff should not do for all the various operations, and be in constant employment. 5170. I have


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5170. I have heard it stated that the wages have not been punctually and regularly paid by the employers of labour; that the wages have fallen into arrear, and that that has driven the labourer, in his own defence, to cultivate provision ground ; have you any information upon that point ?—As far as the negroes upon the estate in which I am concerned go, they have been paid every week. There has been a great outcry made about wages not being regularly paid, but I believe that there has been very little truth in it, except that, at a certain period of pressure, the attornies of Jamaica were not supplied with funds from this country immediately after emancipation ; there may have been a panic there, and consequently the capitalists would not send the money; there was a period of that kind, during which the attornies had to put their hands into their pockets and to furnish money for the proprietors; the attorney, rather than run the risk of losing his salary altogether, by the proprietor abandoning his estate in disgust, put his hands into his pocket, and advanced the money for paying the wages; and I think it extremely likely, that in certain cases, the labourers were not paid their wages punctually, because every cable must come to an end; an attorney cannot go on long paying wages from his own pocket. 5171. You say that there is some outcry about wages not being paid regularly ? —I am not aware of there being now any outcry; the principal outcry was in 1841, when I was in the island. Since 1841 the outcry has diminished. 5173. Where you were there there was an outcry?—Yes. 5173. That may still remain?—There may be individual cases where it does remain. 5174. Can it be expected that the labourers will afford continuous labour if the wages are not paid punctually ?—Undoubtedly it cannot. 5175. Is not that a means by which the planters may improve the character of the labour ?—I think it likely that the system in Jamaica is not as perfect as it might be. 5176. Can anything be more calculated to improve the character of the labour and make it more continuous than paying the labourers punctually ?—I think it is calculated to have the best effects. 5177. When you were in Jamaica there had been a considerable outcry about the wages not being paid regularly?—There was an outcry about it, not a considerable outcry; but in a condition of society such as existed in 1841, if there had been found one proprietor who had not paid his people punctually on Saturday night, I think the whole island would have blazoned it. 5178. Have you ever heard, with reference to the cost of production, that some time ago a prize was offered in Jamaica to persons who should produce sugar, taking all things into consideration, at the least cost ?—I did hear something of that kind. 5179. Have you it now in your power to say at what cost the sugar was produced that gained the prize ?—I have not; I have no information on the subject; I only know the bare fact that some enterprising individuals did offer a prize. 5180. You never heard that the individual who obtained the prize produced his sugar at 9 s. a cwt. ?—No ; and if I had I should not have believed it. 5181. What has been the general estimate of the value of West India property ; for instance, in England we give so many years' purchase as the value of an estate ?—-That was the mode in Jamaica. 5182. How many years' purchase of the net income was it considered a Jamaica estate was worth ?—At one time it was as high as 30 years. 5183. Thirty years'purchase of the net income ?—Yes; within the last four years an estate was sold in Barbadoes at 20 years' purchase; there was a period when our colonial property was worth as much in purchase as the land of the mother country. 5184. As the rule, was it worth as much?—As the rule, undoubtedly not. 5185. But taking the ordinary way in which property has been valued in former times, how many years' purchase of the net income was it considered that West India property was worth?—Since emancipation I have heard West India property, in Jamaica, put at 14 years' purchase; in Barbadoes an estate was sold, within the last four years, at 20 years' purchase. 5186. How many years' purchase would an estate in Jamaica have been worth previous to emancipation ?—I am not aware what was the value then, but 1 should think from live to seven years' purchase under the value of land in this country. 0.32. K 4 51 87. I have

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5187. I have understood that, as a general rule, estates were not considered to be worth more than 10 years' purchase of the net income ?—There may be cases in which that would have been so; there may be some particular circumstances connected with the property; an estate may be composed of soil which would run out, but I am speaking of my own property. I think since emancipation the value of the property, if it was sold, ought to have been 14 years' purchase. 5188. How much of the compensation money did Jamaica receive ?—I do not know. 5189. The West India colonies altogether received 17 millions?—Yes. 5190. That amounts, I think, to something like a yearly charge upon the taxation of this country of 600,000 I. or 700,000 I.; England is paying now for the emancipation of slaves 700,000 I. per annum?—I dare say it may amount to something about that. 5191. How was that money applied in any particular instances within your knowledge?—I have no particular information upon that subject; it happened when I was very young, and I have no information before me to enable me to give an answer; all that I know is, that I have never met with a West India proprietor who was content with the compensation that was given to him. 5192. You state that you consider that the Legislature of this country ought to take steps to increase the price of sugar ?—I do not mean to say that, by any means. My meaning is, not that the Government should increase the price of sugar to the consumer, but that the Government should enable the sugar-grower in our colonies to put more money into his pocket out of it than he does now. I have no objection to the price of sugar remaining precisely the same as it is now. Take 40 s. as the standard. I have no objection to its remaining 40 s.; but what I contend for is a protecting duty for ourselves. 5193. If you take nothing from the consumer, where is this sum to come from that is to be given to the planter ?—The duties you have now admit of an arrangement of that kind being made. 5194. But the money cannot be obtained without the consumer paying for it? —No, I do not mean to say that it can, unless you can do with less revenue. It will be at a sacrifice to the revenue ; but I think it would be prejudicial to the interests of the sugar-growers to have sugar much higher in the retail market than it is at present. I think keeping sugar at 40 s. is the best thing you could possibly have for the sugar-grower; for the consumption of sugar is vastly increased by having sugar cheap ; but I should like to see such a protection upon sugar as would put 10 s. into our pockets. The Government must look to its own revenue; that I have nothing to do with. 5195. But would not you prefer a direct payment in money; would not that be a more direct mode of managing the affair'than doing it in that roundabout manner?—-I have no objection to a direct payment in money whatever. 5196. What is it that you propose ; you say that you do not want sugar t,o be any dearer than it is ?—Put it either way; either give us additional compensation, and plenty of it, or let us have an additional protecting duty ; give it either in the shape of interest or principal. Promise it to us for a limited number of years as interest, or give us the principal which that money ought to represent, and then we will be content. 5197. What do you offer to the British public in exchange for this boon ?—• I do not think I am inclined to offer them anything. My argument is, that the British public has something to pay me. The British public has deprived me of my means of subsistence from West India property, or the British Government did it for them. I deny that there is any debt whatever from the West Indians to the people of this country. On the other hand, I contend that there is a very heavy debt which the people of this country owe to the West Indies. 5198. A considerable payment was made, for which there is now a charge of 700,0001, per annum paid out of the taxation of the country ; but you say you have not the slightest knowledge what became of that money ?—What money has been received for the negroes I suppose has been invested in the production of sugar, because the sugar has fallen to that extent, but we cannot get a remunerating profit for it. 5199. From the returns before the Committee it appears that the estates in Jamaica received 6,149,937 l. Do you know how many estates there arc in Jamaica ?—I do not know, 5200. Do


SELECT COMMITTEE ON SUGAR AND COFFEE PLANTING. 73 5200. Do you know what the net income of the whole of the estates in Jamaica was at the time that that six millions of money was paid ?—I have no notion. 5201. Have you ever heard that the money paid as compensation for the slaves, was equal in amount to ten years' purchase of the net income of the property, at the Jamaica market value of the property ?—Never; I should have been extremely glad to have seen the money represented by four years' purchase of the net income at that time ; but the Committee may rely upon it, that it never was covered by six millions. 5202. Can you give the Committee any idea what is the net income derived from the estates in Jamaica?—For instance as respects Worthy Park ; Worthy Park, at ten years' purchase of the net income at the time of the emancipation ought to have been worth 150,000 I. Now what did we receive for our compensation ? I do not think we received quite 7,000 I. The Committee can have the figures if they think it is worth while to apply for them. 5203. You have said that at the present time there is a panic in Jamaica. Do not you think that panics are generally temporary matters, and are succeeded gradually by a restoration of confidence ?—That has been the case with almost every panic that has taken place in this country, but a panic of this kind in Jamaica I do not think is likely to be checked, unless something takes place on the part of the Government. 5204. Have you never had a panic before in Jamaica?—Never such a panic as this. 5205. But in 1830 it was stated, before a Committee of this House, that at that time there was a failure and abandonment of estates, and that for many years previous to 1830 things had been getting worse and worse, and that unless something was then done there would be total ruin ?—And total ruin has come. 5206. But it has been some time coming, since 1830; but Mr. Shaw is not quite so desponding as you are ?—Mr. Shaw seems to think that I am less desponding than he is. Mr. Shaw's words were, " I think it very likely that you, who live in the great centre from which all these causes proceed, may see some room for hope, but I confess that I see very little." He rather seemed to thinkthat I might be more hopeful here than he was justified in being from the condition of the island. 5207. There has been a panic in this country, and there has been a depreciation in the value of property of various kinds, has there not ?—I am not aware what property you can put into comparison with property in the West Indies, so far as regards landed property, because landed property is the thing with which we are dealing. 5208. We will take railway property ?—I do not think railway property ought to be put into comparison. 5209. J he question is, whether you are justified, upon the panic which now exists, in saying that all these fearful consequences are to follow, or whether you are not rather bound to believe that a panic is a temporary matter, and that confidence will gradually be restored ?—I am undoubtedly bound to believe that under a liberal government, which is willing to help its fallen friends, there is a ray of hope for us; but if they set their feet upon the ground and say, " No, we will not consent to any alteration, and you shall sell your sugar at 16 I. a ton," I own that I see no hope. 5210. You were understood to say that you are satisfied with the present price? —By no means. I am satisfied with the present price to the consumer ; but what I want is a reduction of our duty. I want the standard of sugar to be at 40,s. rather than at 60 s. 5211. Do you mean that the reduction should take place upon foreign sugar as well as upon yours?- Most unquestionably not. I want to leave foreign sugar precisely where it is, and to bring down our sugar, so as to leave a margin. 5212. Would not you always be able to obtain as much as the foreign sugar got, plus its high duty ?—I think we could. 5213. What security do you offer that if the duty on colonial sugar be lowered leaving the duty on foreign sugar as it is, as low a price as is now given for sugar will be maintained?—T lie security is that the price of the great, bulk of foreign sugar would govern our price here. 5214. But if the price of foreign sugar governs the market, will not, the retail price of sugar be the price of the foreign sugar plus the high dutv ? No. 0.32. L 5215. You

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1 March 1848.

MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

5215. You say that the price of foreign sugar governs the market, and you say that you would leave the high duty on foreign sugar. Then the price of sugar in the market would be the price of the foreign sugar plus the high duty ?—Plus the high duty, plus the differential duty. 5216. Then you would obtain that?—We should obtain that. 5217. You would have bad your duty lowered ?—We should have had our duty lowered, and we should put the other 10 s. into our pockets. 5218. Then how is the consumer to be benefited by this arrangement ?—I am not talking of benefiting the consumer; that is not my object. I contend that the consumer ought to benefit me. We have benefited the consumer already by bringing down sugar from 7 d. a pound to 4 d. a pound, and we ask the Government to make up that sum by the difference in the duty. It is a bonus to the West Indies which we ask. 5219. Can you give the Committee any idea of the amount of the bonus that you ask?—I have put the permanent differential duty for this year at 10s. In saying 10 s., I am dealing most liberally with the question. It costs us 10 s. more per cwt. to raise our sugar than it does slave sugar. 5220. Do you mean that the consumer should pay you 10 s. more than he can buy the sugar for from other countries?—1 do not mean that the consumer should pay it to us, but that the country should give it to us in the duty. 5221. It would be a charge of 10 s. a cwt. upon all the sugar imported into this country?—It would be so practically. 5222. What is the amount of West India sugar; how many tons do you send into this country ?—Jamaica will send about 32,000 tons this year. 5223. Then, as far as Jamaica is concerned, it would be a grant of 300,000 I. a year?—Yes. 5224. Supposing the colonies altogether send 250,000 tons of sugar, it would amount to 2,500,000 l. ?— Just so. 5225. To be added to that, there is the 700,000 I. a year which is being paid in interest upon the money raised for paying the compensation, making a sum total of 3,200,000l. a year ?—Just so; but then you have to take off the difference between the price which the consumer now pays for his sugar and the price he had to pay. You have to take off 3d. a pound; to calculate 3 d. a pound upon every pound of sugar consumed in this country, and then you see what advantage the consumer has got; and if you set that against the amount of money which you have now made, in the balance you will find that the consumer is still a gainer by the change. I mean, that reverting to the old duties, and taking the price at 7 d. a pound, I contend that the country has received a bonus to the extent of 3 d. to 4 d. a pound upon sugar alone. That has had the effect of ruining us, and we ask for that back again, or some of it. We do not ask for it all back again, because that would include the exclusion of foreign sugar, and then the supply of sugar must be regulated by the supply derived from our own colonies, which I do not think is just. I am not opposed to free trade, but I am opposed to free trade carried to the extent of ruining the colonies. 5226. You said that if the present measure is allowed to remain, the end of it will be, that sugar will, first of all be cheap, and that after a little while it will get dear again, and that you will be all ruined; and then the supply of sugar will be in the hands of the foreigner, and he wi 11 raise the price upon us?—That was Mr. Shaw's opinion, not mine. I think it is extremely likely to happen, but 1 do not express that as a confident opinion. Mr. Shaw appears to have watched the course of events very closely, and to be a very calm judging man ; I do not know any man upon whose opinion I should rely more. 5227. Do you think that if you had this protection you should increase the quantity of sugar which you now grow ?—I have very little doubt that we should amazingly. 5228. Do you think you should ever increase it to that point that you would fully supply the wants of the English market?—I believe that if the West Indies were supplied with labour at as cheap a rate as could be procured in slave countries, we could supply this market and a great many other markets too. 5229. If you supplied a great many other markets you would sell it at the price of foreign sugar?—That depends upon circumstances. We might be able to sell it at. the price of foreign sugar. If yon give us labour at as cheap a rate as they get it in slave countries, we can afford to sell our sugar at the same price. 5230. Mr.


SELECT COMMITTEE ON SUGAR AND COFFEE PLANTING.

75

5230. Mr. Moffatt.] Is there any export duty on the produce of Jamaica?— I am not aware that there is any. I do not think there is any. 5231. Have you, as a planter, any ground for complaining of local taxation in the island ?—Yes ; I think the taxes are very high. 5232. But you have not stated that in your evidence, as any great cause of grievance?—No; I have not adduced any particular cause of grievance in that respect. I have been principally occupied in the details of the cultivation. ,5233. You have no great cause of complaint of the interference of the Colonial Office in any way ?—I have paid very little attention to what the ColonialOffice has been doing of late, with the exception that I heard something about the Colonial Office having abandoned the plan for importing Africans into Jamaica, and I am sorry to hear that they have done so. I do complain of this; that when the principle was recognized that free labour ought to be imported into Jamaica, the Government did not put on a sufficient number of vessels to carry it out efficiently. 5234. "What is the character of the contracts with the labourers; are they daily, or weekly, or monthly ?—Either by the piece or by the day; we have no monthly or weekly contracts whatever; sometimes we take a large piece of canes, and contract with a certain number of men to do the work. 5235. Do you generally pay by the day ?—Except when we pay by the piece. 5236. Which is the more general, paying by the piece or by the day ?—Paying by the piece; there are certain descriptions of work for which it docs not answer to pay by the piece, because the work is got over in a slovenly manner, more particularly cleaning the canes; but there are a variety of opinions upon that point, and I am no practical planter. 5237. How many hours do you call a day's labour when you pay a man by the day?—It depends very much upon the caprice and fancy of the negroes ; it is generally about six hours. 5238. A day is simply a day, without reference to the number of hours?—A day is simply a day. At one time if they worked one half hour they got a day's wages. 5239. That is improved ?—Yes. 5240. You have a greater command of labour now than you had ?—We have a greater command of labour than we had. 5241. Do you know anything of coffee planting ?—Nothing at all. 5242. Lord G. Manners.] Are you at all acquainted with the excise regulations of the island ?—Not at all. I know very little of any internal regulations of the island. I was a magistrate in the island when I was there in 1841, but 1 had very little to do. I attended the courts, but I had no cases involving any points of law ; they were merely trespasses, and cases of that kind. 5243. Chairman.] Mr. Milner Gibson asked you about the 6,100,000 /. of compensation to Jamaica; Jamaica received 10 l. odd compensation per head for the slaves, whilst the Government's own valuer, valued the slaves at 49/. ?—As far as I can recollect, that was the case. 5244. The sum total at which the slaves were valued was 15,501,047 /. for Jamaica, but they paid you only 6,100,000/. ?—That, I believe, was about the proportion. 5245. Mr. Milner Gibson seemed to think that the country had been ill used. 'I he country valued the slaves of the colonies at 45,000,000 /., and paid 20,000,000/.; was not that so?—That, I believe, was about the amount. 5246. If a debtor and creditor account was to be raised between the British colonies and this country, you would have a right to claim an additional payment of 25,000,000/. plus the interest upon that 25,000,000/. lor 14 years?— There is no question about it. 5247. And at the colonial interest of six per cent, that would amount to a sum of 21,000,000 l. more?—It would. I am not aware that the money has ever been booked as a debt, but it should have been so. 5248. In equity, the country, upon its own valuation, owes the colonies 46,000,000/.?—About that. 5249. Mr. Milner Gibson desires you to be asked whether, in making up the account, the country has not a right to claim as a set-off' against the 46,000,000/., the difference between the price which they have paid for sugar and the price at which they would have obtained sugar had they been at liberty to purchase their sugar where they pleased ?—By no means. According to my view of equity they are not entitled to any such thing. At the time when they emancipated our slaves 0 32. L 2 they

473 T. Price, Esq. 1 March 1848.


76 T. Price, Esq.

MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

they said nothing about the admission of foreign sugar to compete with us. I do not consider that they are entitled to take that into the calculation in any shape. 5250. That was understood as part of the bargain?—Most distinctly. There was a clear understanding on the part of this country that they would not admit foreign sugar. 5251. Are you aware whether any of the apprentices purchased their freedom in the interval between the emancipation Act and 1838?—I am not aware of such having been the case. If they did so I should think that their value had already been fixed by the Government. 5252. But if they did purchase their apprenticeship, the Government did not pay for them over again ?—No; I never heard of any such instance.

1 March 1848.

Lord Viscount Ingestre, a Member of The House; Examined. 5253. Chairman.] YOU are a Co-trustee of the Worthy Park estate?— I am. 5254. It has been stated in the House of Commons that the late manager had been recalled, and that the present manager, Mr Price, had been sent back again, as the best manager that could be sent out, in the opinion of the trustees ; is that the true state of the case ?—The reason that Mr. George Price was sent out was rather of a mixed character; he, as the Committee are aware, was sent out originally as a co-proprietor with Mr. Price's brother, who has just been examined. A good deal of expense was incurred, and a very large debt, which 1 will not enter upon here as to what were the causes of it; but the result was a very large debt upon the estate, which created considerable alarm to the trustees. Mr. Price was recalled, chiefly with the view of giving an explanation viva voce of what was going on; and I must say, for one, that I certainly had no wish or intention that Mr. George Price should resume his position in that estate ; but the situation of the estate was such that we were utterly ruined, and I, at this moment, have a claim of something like 30,000 l. against me for that estate, and bills were coming in, drawn upon the trust, which we were utterly unable to meet till we were assisted by Lord Dunsany, who is the father-in-law of Mr. George Price, and who was anxious that he should have the employment that that afforded him, and also thought that he had been misrepresented in this country; and, in short, that he ought to go out again. He offered to make an advance, upon the condition that Mr. George Price should go out. I believe that if it had not been for that condition, Mr. George Price would not have gone out again. His brother protested against his going out. I stated this one night myself, in the House of Commons. I was, unfortunately, not in the House at the moment of the debate, but when this Committee was named, I stated in substance what I have now stated, as the reason why Mr. George Price went out. Besides that, I should say that, having a feeling of relationship, all the trustees being his immediate relatives, we were anxious to give him an opportunity of retrieving the estate; and these combined reasons, more especially the absolute necessity of an immediate advance of money, which we could get only upon that sole condition, were the reasons that Mr. George Price was sent out to resume the control of the estate. I have nothing more to say with respect to that. 5255. It has been stated that Mr. Price was originally recalled by accident; was that the state of the case?—Certainly not. There were great difficulties attending the construction of a mill, for which he had applied to the trustees, and a steam-engine, and great expenses had been incurred ; and he was blaming the parties here who had sent out that mill and that steam-engine, and it was getting into.a very lengthened correspondence, and no satisfactory, result could be come to. I suggested to my co-trustees that Mr. George Price should be recalled, but in the mildest form that we could, which was, suggesting to him that lie should come home on leave of absence, and that the trust would pay his expenses home and back again, if they thought it necessary to send him out; and that he was at liberty to choose the most convenient moment both for himself and lor the estate. Mr. Price declined to act upon that; and we subsequently finding the necessity still very pressing upon us, sent out a power of attorney appointing Mr. Shaw, the late attorney, in his place, telling him that it was merely temporary, but also sending that power to Mr. Price to hand over to Mr. Shaw. Mr. Price still clung to remaining where he was; and upon the plea

Lord Viscount Ingestre,■ M.P.


SELECT COMMITTEE ON SUGAR AND COFFEE PLANTING.

77

475

Lord plea of Mr. Shaw having so many estates to attend to, wished to give the trustees an opportunity of re-considering it, and sent the power of attorney back to the Viscount Ingestre, M.P. trust. I not being used to having one's orders so distinctly rebelled against, immediately sent out a most peremptory order, and sent out the power of attorney I March 1848. direct to Mr. Shaw. That was the history of Mr. Price's coming home. I have stated the history of his going out again. 5256. Lord Dunsany advanced 5,000 /.to meet the merchant's claim ?—It was a matter of arrangement. The great object was, the crop being upon the ground, to furnish means to take off the existing crop. 52,57. The only condition upon which Lord Dunsany would consent to make that advance was, that Mr. George Price should again be sent out ?—That was the sole condition upon which he would advance the money, that Mr. George Price should go out. And having said thus much of the reasons of Mr. Price's recall, I should state that I think he is a sanguine man; he has very good notions of getting a very good crop from the estate, and if he would have a little more ballast I have no doubt would do very well. But he has been a little visionary in his notions, and has got a good crop before he was certain of the means of carrying it off; and the consequence has been, that the crop has in one instance, if not in more, rotted upon the ground, a great proportion of it from want of the means of carrying it oft'.

Jovis, 2* die Martii, 1848.

MEMBERS PRESENT.

Lord George Bent.inck, Sir Thomas Birch. Sir Edward Buxton. Mr. Cardwell. Mr. Milner Gibson.

Mr. Mr. Mr. Mr. Mr.

Goulburn. Hope. Labouchere. Matheson. Miles.

LORD GEORGE BENTINCK, IN THE CHAIR.

William Scott, Esq., called in ; and Examined. 5258. Chairman.] YOU are a Sugar Broker ?—-I am. 5259. Cam you state to the Committee the operation upon the sugar market of William Scott, Esq. the various changes in the laws which have taken place within the last few years?—The first change in the law took place in the spring of 1844. In the 2 March 1848. year 1843 the consumption of sugar had been very good ; so much so that when the Trade and Navigation Statistical Returns came out, it appeared that the consumption of sugar had as nearly as possible tallied with the production. The consumption of the year 1843 had reached nearly 202,000 tons, and the production of sugar in the British West Indies, and the Mauritius, and in British India, only reached 204,000 tons. That, of course attracted attention, that something would be done to increase this importation by means of foreign freelabour sugar. In the spring of 1844 it was proposed by our Government to admit foreign free-labour sugar at a protecting duty of 10 s. per cwt., and the five per cent, that then existed upon the duty made it 10 s. 6 d. per cwt. Foreign freelabour sugar however, which was to be allowed the privilege of home use, was to be accompanied by certificates of origin ; and as none of the foreign sugar that was here could be accompanied by such certificates, a considerable time must elapse before any of it came upon the market. Consuls were established at various places, and a form of certificate was framed and sent out to accompany the cargoes that came home; the consequence was, that not much came in the year 1844, in fact scarcely any. There was a good market in 1845, and verv good prices ruled. 5260. Can you say what the price was?—In 1844 the prices ruled from L3 34 s.ed. 0.32.


78

MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

34 s. 6d. per cvvt. till the main consuming part of the year, when they wer 35 s. and 36 s. a March 1848. 5261. That is the short price?—Yes; the Gazette average price. 5262. Can you state what was the price of free foreign sugar, and Havannah sugar in bond, in the same year?—Yellow Havannah sugar of the same quality was about 19s. 6d. a cwt.; or rather I should say the quality of foreign muscovado, which comes nearer the quality of British plantation West India sugar, was from 18s. to 19 s. per cwt. 5263. In point of fact, in 1844 Sir Robert Peel's Bill was practically inoperative ?—Perfectly, because no sugar with the necessary certificates was on the spot to be available. 5264. It first came practically into operation in 1845 ?—It first came into operation in 1845, and as 1845 proceeded the expectation of a considerable supply lowered the price ; it fell from 31 s. to 29 s., and then down to 30s. and 29s.; but in 1845, when the new Bill was completed, the reduction of the duty on British plantation sugar caused a very considerable increase in the consumption, because though the net price remained the same, the price to the consumer by the reduction of the duty was very much lowered. The average of the short price of 1844 had been 34s., to which if we add the duty, which was 24s. and then the five per cent., it made 59 s. 6 d.; but when the reduction of duty in 1845 came into operation the short price was about 31 s., and the reduced duty being only 14s. gave a consumer's price of 45s., being a reduction of 12s. or 13s. per cwt. to the consumer, and only a reduction of about 2s. to the producer. As the year got on the price rose somewhat. 5205. W hat Had the price got to in December 1845 r?—It was as high as 35s. 6d. taking the average of the month. 5266. You had then learned that the hurricane in Cuba had taken place, which reduced the crops of Cuba pretty nearly one half, and ensured a high price on the continent?—Yes; it was the drought, as well as a hurricane, which did the mischief. 5267. The long price in December 1845 was 49s. 6d., you say?—Yes; in 1846 we were still limited to foreign free-labour sugar. 5268. What quantity of free-labour sugar came in 1845 ?—About 8,000 tons. 5269. The consumption went on in 1846?—Yes, the prices were very good. 5270. What were the prices which were very good?—The prices of 1846 till the month of August were from 36 s. to 34 s., being an average of about 35 s., giving along price of 49s.; at many periods of the year they were lower, but that was about the average. 3271. In the month of July you received information that slave grown-sugar was to be admitted?—Yes; the impression was, of course, felt. The present Government had declared the impossibility of drawing the distinction between slave-grown sugar and free-labour sugar; and as the previous Government had been succeeded by the present Government, it was naturally feared, anil created a speculative feeling that the admission of foreign sugar would not be confined to free-labour sugar. 5272. Can you state the prices in June 1846, and in July and August 1846 ? -—In June the prices were 35s. 8d., and in July there was very little difference, 34s. Id. 5273. In August what was the price?—In August the price did not fall much, because, though the Act had passed admitting slave-labour sugar, there was so little of the sugar in the country that could be admitted in conformity with the Navigation Laws ; it had been imported in foreign ships, so that it was not severely felt at all till the course of the year 1847 ; the average price in June was 35s. 8d. for British plantation sugar, in July 34s. id., in August 34 s. 10d. 5274. It father went up?—The Gazette average may vary a little, probably from the quantity of fine sugar sold during the month. From the 18th of August to the end of the month the price was 32s. Id. Directly the sugar was admissible it began to fall. In October the price was 32s. 6d., in November 34s. 3d., in December 32s. Id. 5275. Can you tell the Committee what Havannah sugars were ?—I will take foreign muscovado; I take that because it is a quality of sugar that corresponds more nearly with British plantation West India sugar than any other sugar there is; since the admission of slave-labour sugar into this country we have had Porto Rico sugar, which is pure muscovado sugar though a very fine one, and we have

William Scott, Esq.


SELECT COMMITTEE ON SUGAR AND COFFEE PLANTING.

79

477

have had a great quantity of the produce of Cuba manufactured into the musco- William Scott, Esq. vado sugar: the price of foreign muscovado sugar was 20 5. in June, in July 21 5. 6 d.; in August 23s. 6d.; in September 25s.; in October 26s.; in Novem- 1 March 1848. ber 27 s., and in December 27 s. 5276. So that Havannah sugar had gone up 7/. a ton, while British plantation sugar had fallen since June 2/. a ton?—Yes. 5277. Can you give the Committee the average price of this foreign muscovado sugar in bond, for a few years prior to June 1845 or 1846?—The average price of foreign muscavado in bond in the year 1844 was 18s. Id. 5278. What was it in 1843 ?—In 1843 it was 18 s. 11d. 5279. In 1842?—In 1842, 17 s. 8d. 5280. In 1841 ?—20s. 2d. 5281. In 1840 ?—1840 I have not got. 5282. About 18s. 10 d. a cwt. may be taken as the average price of Havannah muscovado till the Bill of 1846 passed?—Yes. 5283. What have been the prices of yellow Havannah sugar from 1841 to 1846 ?—In 1841 the average of the year was 21 s. 7 c?.; in 1842 the average of the year was 18 s. ; in the year 1843 the average was 19 s. 8 d.; in 1844 the average of the year was 19 s. 5 c?.; in 1845, in consequence of the short crop alluded to just now, 23 s. was the average of the year ; it got up at one period as high as 26 s., but the average of the year was 23s. 5284. What has been the average price since?—To August 1846 it was 22 s. 5 c?.; in September the monthly average was 25 s.; in October 25 s.; in November 25 s.; in December 24 s.; in January 25s. 9 c?.; in January 29s. 6 d. There was a great stimulus given to the market of sugar generally by the admission in January of sugar to distilleries ; a speculative demand took place, people thinking a great quantity would be used for that purpose, and the prices became very high in the month of February. In March the price was 29 s. 9 d.; in April 28s. 9 d.; in May 26s.; in June 26s.; in July 24s. 6c?.; in August 24 s.; September 24 s.; October 22 s. 6 d.; November 23s. 6 d.; and December 20 s. 6 d.; making the average for the year about 25 s. We cannot compute the average value of foreign sugar so well as we can that of British plantation sugar ; one is computed from a regular Gazette return made weekly, communicated by the Grocers' Company, according to the returns made by the trade; the other is taken from our own prices current. 5285. What do you make the average fall in British sugar of the same description ?—The extreme fall from May 1846 to May 1847, was 6s. 8c?; in May 1846 the price was 36s. 7d.; in 1847, it was 29s. lie?. In May 1846, the average price of yellow Havannah sugar was 21s.; and in May 1847, though British had fallen nearly 7s., Havannah had advanced 5s., being 26s. Those are the extreme fluctuations; upon the average price of the year they had been less. 5286. Can you inform the Committee what was the average fall of British, and what the average advance of foreign?—The average fall from May 1846 to May 1847, on British plantation sugar, was about 2s. per cwt., and the rise on foreign was on the average about 4s.; the principal fall was in the month of May; in that month alone we fell 4s. 5287. What has been the entire average fall from June 1846 to the present time?—An average fall on British plantation, 6s.; an average advance on foreign of 3 s. 10 c?. 5288. In the course of the year 1845, the Russian government altered its laws as regards crushed lump, which gave some stimulus to the market, did not it ?— T he admission of crushed sugar into Russia took place, by accounts received, in April 1845, owing to the high prices required for sugar in Cuba. The price of foreign crushed sugar previous to that was 31 s. It advanced very rapidly to 35s. in consequence of that admission, and continued to advance till it reached 43s. In consequence of the excess of shipments, it went back again in 1846 to nearly the previous prices. 5289. Did the deliveries throughout the year 1847 increase as the prices declined?—No; I do not think they did; the deliveries of the first six months of 1847 were better than the deliveries of the last six months of 1847. 5290. What were the prices of each month in the first six months, and each month of the last six months; and what were the deliveries?—The prices in January 1847, were 3bs. 6d.; February, 36s. (id.; March, 34s. 5 d.; April, 0.32. L4 33 s. 9 d.


80

MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

Esq. 33 s. 9 d.; May, 29 5. 11 d.; June, 29 s. 4 d. In the first six months of the year the consumption was larger than it was in the latter six months, though the price a March 1848. was considerably higher. T he position of the country was better in the first six months of the year than it was in the latter six months. 5291. Can you give the Committee any information as respects the classification of sugar, especially in respect of Havannah sugar, paying the same duties, as compared with British plantation sugar?—The classification is regulated by a standard; all that does not reach fully that standard comes in at the duty of brown foreign muscovado sugar, which is now 20s., the nominal protection is consequently 6 s.; but inasmuch as that standard, or rather any description of sugar that just cuts a little below the standard, contains a much greater quantity of saccharine matter for refining purposes than the average of British plantation sugar, the real protection is considerably less. 5292. What do you make out to be the real protection ?—It is computed by the returns upon which the drawback on refining foreign sugar is founded, that the average yield of a cwt. of raw sugar is 72 lbs. of single refined, or a proportionate quantity of double and single together. The other is a mere matter of opinion as far as we can judge ; as far as I can ascertain from the best information, I should say it contained 95 lbs. 5293. Practically the British muscovado sugar contains 72 lbs., and practically the Havannah contains 95 lbs. ?—Not exactly so. I have taken the average of British sugar, whereas I have taken the quality of foreign sugar that would barely escape the standard ; therefore it is beyond the average. 5294. As nearly as you are able, will you give the Committee the average of British and the average of foreign ?—I had better, perhaps, take the best quality of British and the best quality of foreign. The best quality of British plantation sugar that is admissible at 14 5. duty would contain above78 lbs. of refined sugar, while Havannah would contain 95 lbs. 5295. What is the difference in value between these two sugars in bond?— Our own British plantation sugar (of the finest refining quality) would now be about 27 s., whereas the standard sample of foreign sugar is 24 s. ; but the 24 s. has to pay 20 s. duty, whereas ours pays 14 s.; ours, duty paid, is 41 s., whereas theirs is 44 s. duty paid. 5296. Supposing the duty were equal, their sugar would be 3s. 2d. more?— Yes. 5297. Then, in fact, the protection is only 3 s., while it is nominally G s. ?— Arising from that standard. 5298. Sir E. Buxton.'] Does that apply to the average, do you think?—It conies to this, that anything that passes that standard pays virtually a higher duty. 5299. Are there many that are decidedly below ?—I have taken the highest quality of British plantation, and the highest quality of foreign ; short of that standard the difference would be 3 s. It I take the average quality again, that 2 s. to 3 s. perhaps will still last; perhaps it will descend to 2 s. as you get down to the others. 5300. Chairman.] The disadvantage is 3 s. ?—I think it is. 5301. That will be a premium when the duties come to be even, of 3 s. a cwt. ? —Decidedly; and the revenue will lose a great proportion, because refiners will take that quality which gives them the best extract; and if they can pay 14s. upon it, and get an extract from it which is worth 2 s. or 3 s. more, that, as far as the drawback goes, would come out of the pockets of the revenue. 5302. Sir E. Buxton.] Is this the difference invariably ?—No, I think upon the lower classes there is a difference of 2 s., but upon the better qualities there is a difference of 3 s. I should say the average is from 2 s. 6 d. to 3 s. 5303. Chairman.] Which sugars do the refiners practically prefer, the British sugar or the foreign Havannahs ?—At the same price, the foreign Havunnuhs. It becomes a matter of relative price ; but at the same price, the clayed Havannah sugars and the Java sugars. 5304. Ho you know whether similar classifications exist in other countries ?~ They did exist in the United States, but I believe they are lately abandoned ; they charge a duty of 30 per cent, upon the value. I11 the French duties there is a distinction made. The following is an account of the French duties.

William Scott,

[The Witness read the same, as follows :]


SELECT COMMITTEE ON SUGAR AND COFFEE PLANTING.

81

William Scott, Esq.

French Duties upon Sugar. French Colonial.

Bourbon.

Premier type and qualities inferior Premier to 2d ditto Above 2d ditto -

s. d. 16 8 per cwt. 18 5 „ 20 1

479

French American.

-

-

s. d. 19 10 21 7 23 3

Foreign Sugar in French Vessels. India; Brut or raw and other than white, 26s. 5d. per cwt. Elsewhere out of Europe ; ditto ditto, 28 s. 7 d. per cwt. Ports in Europe; ditto ditto, 33s. 'id. per cwt. India; white or clayed, 35 s. 2 d. per cwt. Elsewhere out of Europe; ditto ditto, 37 s. 4 d. per cwt. Ports in Europe; ditto ditto, 41 s. 9d. per cwt.

If imported in foreign vessels the duties are almost prohibitory.

,530.5. Mr. Goulburn.] You have been a long time connected with the sugar business, have you not?—Yes. 5306. And you remember it previous to the emancipation ?—Yes. 5307. At that time was there any considerable export of British sugar to the Continent?—Yes; that export lasted till it pleased the Government to do away with what had become a bounty upon refined sugar; there was an export previously to that of 40,000 to 50,000 tons annually. 5308. About one-third or one-fourth of the produce of the British colonies was at that time exported to the Continent?—Yes. 5309. What were the relative prices of British and foreign sugar in the foreign market at that time ?—There was an average value of British sugar above foreign sugar then, of from 3 s. to 5 s. 5310. That was about the amount of bounty ?—Yes, it came to the level of the foreign market, plus the bounty. The drawback on British plantation sugar was regulated upon the principle that it contains 61 lbs. of refined sugar, 18 lbs. of bastards, and 281bs. of treacle. The improvements in refining of course obtained in course of time a greater extract, and it attracted the attention of Government that there was a bounty gained upon sugar. Experiments were made under Dr. Ure; it was found that there was a bounty, and in the time of Lord Sydenham the bounty was done away. 5311. Even after the bounty was done away with British sugar competed with the sugar on the Continent, upon terms sufficiently good to enable a large export of sugar from this country to go to the Continent, did not it ?—I think we lost our export when we iost our bounty, or a great part of it, certainly. 5312. I am speaking of the period previous to the abolition of slavery?—Yes, I do not think we have exported much since the abolition of the bounty ; up to the doing away of the bounty we exported. 5313. What became of the extra supply of British sugar beyond what was consumed in the home market?—The extra supply since that has not been great, I think. 5314. In the year 1838, 32,260 tons was the amount above the consumption, and which was exported to the Continent. Must not that sugar have come in direct competition' with foreign sugar?—Of course it must on the Continent. 5315. Was not the effect of that, therefore, to keep the price in Great Britain very nearly on a par with the pi ice of foreign sugar on the Continent?—Yes. 5316. The bounty, whatever it might be, being the only difference?—Yes. 5317. Does not that, in your opinion, afford some evidence that where the means of cultivation were the same, where the party had access to the same means of labour, they could compete in a common market with very little protection, if any ?—The sugar was then cultivated by the same means, by slave labour. If you could give to the cultivation of free-labour sugar all the facilities at the same cost as slave-labour sugar now, it might be trie case still. 5318. Does your observation lead you to know whether, since the Emancipation, there has been any deterioration of the quality of British sugar ?—I think there has. 5319. Generally?—Yes. In fact, to compare British sugar with the quality 0.32. of M

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of Porto Rico sugar, it is considerably deteriorated, each being pure muscovado sugar. a March 1848. 5320. Taking the best quality of sugar coming from the southern side of the Island of Jamaica at that time and at present, is that which comes now inferior to what came formerly ?—Yes. 5321. To what do you attribute the inferiority ?—I attribute it to the want of labour. In many cases the labourers have not worked continuously, and the sugar has been spoiling in the meantime, or greatly deteriorating in quality. 5322. Mr. M. Gibson.'] Is it a complaint that the cost of producing sugar in the West India colonies is greater than it was previously to emancipation?—I believe so; I am not a practical planter, and therefore I am not acquainted with the cost of the production exactly; I am only acquainted with it as it is brought here; but I believe there is no doubt that the cost of the cultivation of sugar is much greater now than it was in the time of slavery. 5323. I find that in a Report of a Committee of the House of Commons in the year 1807, it is stated, "Calculations have been laid before your Committee from the accounts of estates both in Jamaica and the other islands, by which it appears that the British supplies and island expenses amount to 20 s. 10 d. in the former, and to 19s. 6 d. in the latter on the cwt. of sugar, after accounting and giving credit for the amount received for the sale of rum. As these calculations are formed upon an average of years, and upon estates of the ordinary scale, and in no respects unusually circumstanced, it appears to your Committee that these sums per cwt. of sugar may be taken as the average expense of cultivation, independent of interest upon the capital, and your Committee are confirmed in this opinion by finding a similar calculation in the Report made by the Sugar Distillery Committee in the last Parliament." Do you believe, from your knowledge of the West India interest, that now the cost of the cultivation of sugar, exclusive of the interest upon capital, and allowing for the rum, is greater than 20 s. tod. a cwt. ?—I cannot practically answer the question, not being a cultivator of sugar. 5324. You say there is much more saccharine matter in Havannah sugars or in Porto Rico sugars than in West Indian sugars ?—I did not say it was the case with Porto Rico sugar, but I spoke of Havannah sugar. 5325. What is the reason of that?—They are clayed, while ours are pure muscovado sugars. 5326. They have undergone a higher state of manufacture?—Yes. 5327. You have spoken of the sugar imported in France; do you know anything about the beetroot sugar in France ?—I cannot say that I know anything about it. I believe there lias been a great increase of sugar manufactured from the beetroot. 5328. Does the beetroot sugar in France compete with the colonial sugar?— I am not practically acquainted with that. 5329. Do you know anything about the subject ?—Not in reference to beetroot sugar. 5330. You can give the Committee no information as to the importation of colonial sugar into France?—Only as to the rate of duty. 5331. You know nothing as to the comparative position of the beetroot sugar and the colonial sugar in France?—No. 5332. What is the average price at this moment of British West India sugar ?—24 s. 5333. Do you think that that price would have been remunerative if emancipation had not taken place ?—I should think not. 5334. Not even if they had had slaves?—I cannot say, 5335• I find the average price of sugar was stated in the year 1830, which was during the time of slavery in the West Indies, at 24 s. 10 d., and it was complained then that the cost of production and the charges of import and sales, amounted to 24s. 4d.; "thus proving that on the average of estates there was no return for capital invested, and that on many estates a positive loss was incurred so that the present price would not be an adequate one, even supposing no change whatever had taken place in the condition of the labouring population in the West Indies, but every thing had remained as it was before?—The production was a great deal larger at the time alluded to; but I really am unable to speak to any points connected with the cultivation of sugar. 5336. For anything you know, the present price is a remunerating price ?— I do not know personally anything about it. 5337. Do


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5337. Do you mean to say that the whole depreciation in the price of colonial William Scott, Esq. sugar has been caused by the admission of foreign sugar ?—The greater part of a March 1848. it, I think, is. 5338. How much?—I should say 4-5ths of the depreciation. 5339. You think that sugar would not have partaken with other commodities in the depreciation that has taken place in consequence of the monetary crisis, if the Bill of 1846 had not passed?—I think so, for this reason, the great depreciation in the price of sugar took place before the straitness of money became so great. The depreciation in the price of sugar took place between the months of January 1847 and July 1847; whereas the pressure for money did not arise till after that period. I do not think there is any trade in London that is less affected by any crisis of that kind than the sugar trade. It is not a speculative trade. It is a sound healthy trade carried on by men of capital, who are generally very void of speculation. I think as a proof of that, I may mention that during the whole of the year 1847, which we know was a year of extreme pressure, there were only two wholesale houses as sugar dealers that failed. They paid very handsome dividends ; and they failed before the crisis took place, in consequence, as I firmly believe (because I was a creditor of one of the estates), of the fall in the price of sugar that took place between July 1846 and May 1847. Supposing we had not had the great monetary panic between July and December, we might have recovered one or two shillings a cwt. probably; the consumption was checked in the last six months of the year, notwithstanding the cheapness of the price, which in some measure prevented the recovery of 1 s. or 2 s. a cwt. in the price of sugar; but the great decrease took place between January and July, whereas the great pressure did not arise till the autumn. 5340. You are not of opinion that the greatly increased supplies of sugar from our own colonies have had some effect also in the way of the prices ?—Our consumption of 1847 very singularly tallied as nearly as possible with the production of the British colonies in the same year; the production of the British colonies of 1847 was 289,000 tons; the consumption was exactly the same amount, 289,000 tons. We consumed about 50,000 of foreign sugar, thereby leaving an accumulation of stock of British plantation sugar. 5341. There has been a greatly increased supply since that time, has not there; the last importations from the colonies have greatly increased ?—Yes, last year. 5342. Have not those augmented importations had the effect of reducing the price of sugar in this country ?—They have added to the general import, and therefore have had so far a progressive effect. 5343. Has not the general production of sugar throughout the world been large during the past year, and has not that had an effect generally upon the price of sugar throughout the world ?—Yes, I think so. 5344. You say this depreciation of price would not have take place if the law in reference to sugar had remained unchanged in 1846. Under the law as it previously stood, foreign free-labour sugar might have been admitted ?—Yes. 5345. Do you think the importation of foreign free-labour sugar would have had no effect upon the price of our colonial sugar?—I think very little, for this reason, the importation of foreign free-labour sugar has not been large ; the first six months of the year, when the fall took place, the quantity of free-labour sugar that came in was very small. I think as far as we could compute it, it has not been above 12,000 or 15,000 tons. 5346. How much foreign free-labour sugar would there have been available to import into the British market?—The quantity of foreign free-labour sugar is generally estimated at 60,000 tons of Java sugar, about 20,000 tons of sugar of Manilla. As to Siam or China sugar I cannot say. 5347. Would there have been as much of that as is equal to the whole quantity of foreign sugar that has been imported ?—I think, perhaps, nearly about that. The quantity imported is 120,000 tons of sugar, and there is produced about 120,000 tons of free-labour sugar in the world. 5348. Therefore all this supply of foreign sugar might have been obtained out of the free-labour produce, even if slave-labour sugar had continued to be excluded ? —That depends upon the regulations of the countries to whom those colonies belong. If Holland had directed all her Java sugar to this market, it might have been so ; but that is not likely. We know in the beginning of the year, in consequence M 2 0.33. of


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of the high price of sugar here, two or three cargoes belonging to the Netherlands Trading Company were sold here; they were purchased by our own refiners 2 March 1848. partly; there was a remonstrance made, however, by the refiners of Holland to that company, for not keeping up the supply which they were understood to be bound to do ; the consequence was, that although a certain proportion of the produce of Java that was free came here, no further supply of sugar belonging to the Netherlands Trading Company did come here. 5349. You say it was the law of 1846 that did all the mischief, and yet you say that even if that law had not passed a sufficiency of foreign free-labour sugar might have been found; is there any reason to suppose that that would not have been imported here and replaced on the Continent by slave-labour sugar ?—I think there is every reason ; it has not been so yet; the produce of Java has mainly gone to Holland. 5350. Has there been any difference of price, taking into consideration the quality, in Holland between free-labour and slave-labour sugar; quality for quality, have not they commanded the same price ?—By the price current I have in my hand it would not appear so ; it is the price current of A. Campbell and Com pany, dated the 1st of January 1848, from Rotterdam, in which the prices of Java sugar are proportionately above the prices of Havannah and Brazil sugar. 5351. Perhaps it is difficult in that price current to see what the qualities of the sugar were?—They are distinguished here : grey Java sugar is quoted at the price in British currency of 22 s. 4 d. to 24 s.; yellow Havannah sugar is quoted at 19 s. 6d. to 24 s., therefore showing a difference in favour rather of Java sugar. 5352. Foreign slave-labour sugar and free-labour sugar are admitted, are they not, into Holland on equal terms; there is no difference of duty?—lam not aware of any difference in the duty. 5353. They compete freely in fact in that market?—There is an advantage to Java sugar, inasmuch as coming in Dutch ships it has an advantage of 1 s. or 10 d. a cwt. over sugar brought in foreign ships. 5354. You are concerned in the sale of sugar; has not the diminished price been an advantage to the consumers of sugar and to the retail trader ?—I have no doubt the cheap price of an article is an advantage to a consumer. 5355- You think therefore that the Bill of 1846 has conferred a benefit upon the people of this country?—I have not gone that length. I said the cheap price ; but that cheap price was produced by the reduction of the duty in 1845. 5356. Then it is not the Bill of 1846 that has lowered the price?—It has lowered the net price ; but the first reduction of price to the consumer was effected by the reduction of the duty from 24s. to 14 s. 5357. Do you mean that the consumer does nut get his sugar now cheaper than he did then ?—Certainly he does. 5358. Cheaper than he did since the duty of 14 s. was imposed ?—Certainly he does. the reduction has been produced by the Bill of 1 846, has not that 5359. conferred a benefit upon the consumer ?—If you lower the price of an article the consumer must get a benefit. 5360. Have not the retail dealers in sugar derived benefit ?—There has been more sugar sold, and therefore the dealers have had a larger trade. 5361. If, therefore, you were to raise the price of sugar by any legislative measure, you would inflict injury upon the retail dealer of sugar in this country, and also upon the consumers of sugar, would not you?—It would create higher prices, but I do not think it would be an injury to the dealer. 5362. If increased trade has been a benefit to the retail dealer in sugar, it "would be injurious to diminish the trade by raising the price?—I did not say that it had been beneficial to the retail dealers. 5363. Has not it been beneficial to the grocers ?—They can answer for themselves; as a broker, 1 know that the reduced price has lessened our commissions. A half per cent, upon a cwt. of sugar at 40 s. is much less than a half per cent, upon 60s. 5364. Perhaps that is a benefit to the growers of the sugar, so far ?—The lower the price, the less commission they pay. not you think this reduction of price must have been beneficial to 5365. Do the persons engaged in the sugar trade in this country ?—I think that is a question that only grocers can answer; I question myself whether it has been so; competition has increased to such a degree, and the profit upon sugar is so very small,

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that I should question whether they get any profit by it at all. The fact is, that William Scott, Esq. sugar is made an article of sale as a kind of decoy duck into a grocer's shop, they 3 March 1848. cheapen the sugar in order to sell a pound of tea, or any other commodity, at a higher price. 5366. If they sell more sugar, perhaps the brokers themselves may make up in quantity what they lose in price ?—It may be so. 5367. Upon the whole, you must admit, must not you, that it is beneficial to brokers, to refiners, to grocers, and to consumers in this country, to have a low priced sugar?—That may be very doubtful, because if the low price of sugar tends to put out of cultivation a greater quantity of that sugar, grocers, refiners, and all will participate in the evils of the high price that must ultimately arise. 5368. If the low price lasts?—And if protection lasts, it may be beneficial. 5369. If the supply of sugar to the British market lasts, the broker, the grocer, the refiner, and the consumer must be benefited. Is not that so?—No, not the broker. 5370. If they sell more, they will be benefited ?—They will sell more at a lower price. 5371. But they may make up in quantity?—Then it comes to a level. 5372. And inasmuch as the amount of revenue derived from sugar depends upon the quantity of sugar brought into England, will not the revenue also be benefited ?—Certainly. 5373. Therefore it will benefit the people of this country by lessening other taxation, will not it?—Those are all general principles. 5374. Mr. Goulburn.] Do not you think it would be a still greater benefit to the consumer if the West Indians were compelled to grow sugar, and give the people the sugar in this country ?—Certainly it would be a still greater benefit to the consumer. 5374. And if it paid the same duty the revenue would not suffer ?—No. 5376. You have been asked as to the effect of beetroot sugar on the produce of the West Indies ; you said you knew very little about it?—I am not acquainted with it. 5377. If beetroot sugar has an effect in reducing the value of sugar of the British West Indies, must not it have an equal effect in reducing the value of sugar the produce of foreign countries? — Assuredly. 5378. Consequently it does not affect the comparative value of those two sugars in the market?—No, it goes into the aggregate consumption of Europe. 5379. Mr. Miles.] Do you think that the consumption in this country depends entirely upon the cheapness of price ?—Not entirely. I think it depends upon the state ot employment of the people generally, and their capability to buy sugar. The price of sugar may be low, but the people may be unemployed and unable to buy it. 5380. Have you any data to go by, from past experience, upon that point?—In 1840, when the price of sugar was extremely high, the consumption was lower than it has been in any previous year of late : that was the first year after the total emancipation of the slaves, and there was a very small production indeed from the West Indies. No foreign sugar was then admissible. The price was high, and the consumption was small. 5381. What was the effect last year?—There was an increase of consumption last year. 5382. Of 50,000 tons, was not there?—No, of 28,000 tons. 5383. At what periods did the increase take place?—More than its proper proportion took place in the first six months of the year; more than half the increased consumption took place in the first six months. 5384. Was the price higher or lower in those first six months than in the last? —Higher. 5385. Therefore when the price was lower and the people were out of employment, the consumption fell off considerably ?—-It did. 5386. You have stated, in the early part of your evidence, that there was more muscovado sugar made in Cuba than was usual ?—Than had been previously made. 5387. Do you know what was the cause of that ?—I think it arises from its being a description of sugar more approaching to West India sugar, and consequently better known in the consumption of this country. 5388. Have Jamaica and St. Vincent sugars any preference whatever among 0.32 M 3 refiners


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refiners over any other qualities of sugar ?—Jamaica sugar is preferred over any other quality of muscovado sugar, but it is not preferred over any clayed sugars. 2 March 1848. The description of sugar that is most preferred in this country, not by refiners, but by the consumers of raw sugars generally, is Porto Rico sugar. It has been this year remarkably fine, and there having been a great scarcity in the market of fine muscovado sugar, it has commanded extreme prices. 5389. And it is more used for private consumption?—The consumption of sugar in this country and the consumption of sugar on the Continent is of a different character. The consumption on the Continent is chiefly lump sugar and molasses; in this country there is a great consumption of muscovado sugar in its muscovado state. 5390. Did you ever turn your attention to the refining of sugar in bond ?— Yes. 5391. It is now done for export, is not it?—Yes. 5392. Do you know whether there is any difficulty attendant upon it?—None whatever. 5393. Are not refineries specially kept for the purpose ?—Entirely. 5394. They are not allowed to refine in bond at one period, and for home consumption at another ?—No, not in the same building. 5395. Do you think any evil would be likely to attend it, if refiners were allowed to refine one month in bond, and the next for home consumption ?—Evil would attach to it so far as this, that while the refiner is refining in bond, he refines entirely under the Custom-house survey; then when the Custom-house survey ceases, of course he would be compelled to clear his refinery of all that had come in duty free; therefore it would be inconvenient so far. 5396. It would be a loss of time?—Yes. In the process of refining there are a great many syrups, and various descriptions of semi-refined sugar that enter into the process of refining, that would be disposed of to a disadvantage. 5397. You think if the West Indian were allowed to refine his sugar in bond, he must be compelled to have it refined in some manufactory especially reserved for the purpose ?—Yes ; the revenue might regulate that in some way, I should think ; at present, all that is refined in bond is refined under the special superintendence of the Custom-house officers. 5398. Do you think it would be a great advantage to the West Indies to have their sugar refined in bond?—It might be an advantage to have the option of it; refining being better understood here than in the West Indies. 5399. You have not turned your attention much to it?—No. 5400. Have you considered the new Bill which allows molasses to be distilled ; the new Distilleries Bill ?—I have not seen the new Bill; I understand that is to be the fact. 5401. Do you know the provisions of it ?—-No. 5402. Or what the effect would be ?—The effect of it is very doubtful, I think, as to any benefit to the West Indian; I should rather say that the effect of its value may be overrated. You may be allowed as the law now stands, to distil from foreign molasses; the consequence is, that you make a great deal of spirit that would compete in the home market with the spirit or ruin brought in from the West Indies. Now that competition would be to the prejudice of the rum, whereas the present rum is protected by protective duties against foreign rum. 5403. Do you think that if sugar were to be allowed in distilleries it would tend to any increase of consumption?—I am strongly of that opinion. 3404. Do you mean in reference to its being used singly, or with corn ? With corn. 5405. Would it be used in the first operation with corn?—I think it might, hut I cannot say practically. The admission of sugar into distilleries was first granted last January twelvemonth. 5406. That was separate?—Yes; upon conversing with one or two distillers who used it, they told me distinctly that there was great inconvenience from being obliged to clear out all the produce that had been made from grain before they were allowed to begin upon sugar, whereas that inconvenience would not have existed had they been allowed to mix them. 5407. You think they would use a large amount if they were permitted to do so ? —It would depend entirely, of course, upon the price of grain. 5408. Alter they hud distilled the first process, they would probably put in a considerable

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a considerable quantity of sugar to work off the lower part ?—I have been William Scott, Esq. informed so. I have been told that after the first process is over they can then use sugar to a very considerable advantage by mixing it in the second process 2 March 1848. with the malt; but of course it would require a practical distiller to speak to that. 5409. You are well acquainted with the classification duties ?—Yes. 5410. Have you heard many complaints with regard to them ?—No, I have not. In the early part of the time, the Act coming into force when the revenue officers were not practically acquainted with it, there was a good deal of complaint; but lately, the thing having gone on, the officers have become acquainted with their duty, and I know of but few complaints. 5411. Do you think the standard is taken at a fair rate?—I think it is taken too high. 5412. The quality of sugar ought to be fixed lower, you think?—I think so. 5413. Can you tell the Committee how much it is too high in point of value ? —I should say it is from 3s. to 45. too high, or about 35. 5414. Can you suggest any mode by which an improvement might be made, either in the wording of the Act or in any other way, so that the Custom-house officers might arrive at a fairer estimate?—No; as the Act stands at present it is white clayed sugar, or sugar rendered equal to white clayed. 5415. Do you think it would be a fair way to take it as the Americans charged their duty, simply as brown and white sugar?—No ; there was a great objection felt by the East Indian importers; a great deal of their sugar does not contain much saccharine matter in it, but it contains a great deal of colour: it was to obviate the difficulty to them that the words "colour," "grain," and " saccharine matter," were introduced into the Act. 5416. You do not think there is any real improvement to be effected in the Act of Parliament as regards those duties ?—Not except by taking a lower standard. 5417. If you did so, would that exclude the sugar of Demerara?—No. 5418. Not the crystallized sugars ?—Some of them pay as it is. 5419. Very few of them pay, do they?—Not many of them. 5420. Would it exclude any of the East Indian sugar?—I think a lower standard might. 5421. Would it exclude any of the Jamaica sugars?—No. 5422. Your opinion is, that the standard should be reduced is. to 3s.?—Yes, is. to 3s. 5423. Sir E. Buxton.] When you spoke of the difference of quality of British colonial sugar and Cuban sugar, for refining, did you mean that as referring to any particular sort ?—The general average. I mentioned that the best sample of Jamaica sugar for refining was sold in the market this week for 41 s., whereas the best foreign sugar that would come under the standard would he worth 44s. 5424. Does not sugar of some of the other islands produce a great deal more of the saccharine quality than that of Jamaica?—No, I think the best Jamaica sugar produces more than any other ; that is the quality of sugar most in estimation by British refiners. 5425. Chairman.'] The Vice-President of the Board of Trade asked you whether the increased delivery of sugar, and the reduction of price, must not have been very advantageous to the grocers and those engaged in the trade : taking a practical review of the year 1847, has not it been one of the most disastrous years to all persons connected with the sugar trade, whether they be sugar planters, sugar brokers, or grocers, that ever occurred during your recollection? — I do not think it has been a very disastrous year to either grocers or refiners ; it has been a very good year to refiners. 5426. That lias been in refining foreign sugar, in some degree?—Yes, the refiner has had that privilege. The only way in which the refiner has been suffering during the last year, and that was in the early part of the year, arose from the progressive fall that took place: for instance, sugar went down, we will say, from 375. to 29s., and that fall was continuous; if he bought sugar at 37s. when the refined sugar was on that day at such a price as would have given him a good result had that price continued, by the time that the sugar was manufactured the raw material had fallen again, perhaps 10 per cent.; therefore his would fall in the same way: he was working upon a falling market, in fact; but since July lie has been working upon a steady market, and has done well. M 4 0.32. 5427. You


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,5427. You were also asked as to the depreciation of sugar, and whether that had not been a consequence of the late prevalent distress; did not the depreciation of sugar, and the ruin of the sugar trade, rather precede the severe monetary crisis than take place as a consequence of it? —I think so. 5428. To a certain extent the money crisis was a consequence of the injury to the sugar trade, possibly?—By the ruin of so many mercantile houses connected with the sugar trade, such as the Mauritius houses, much distrust was created. The monetary crisis was connected, however, with many circumstances besides the sugar trade. 5429. But the state of the sugar trade was one cause ?—Yes. S. B. Moody, Esq., called in; and Examined.

S. B. Moody, Esq.

5430. Chairman.'] ARE you an Engineer?—I am. 5431. You served your apprenticeship as an engineer in Manchester, did you not?—Yes. 5432. You have also learned the trade of sugar refining?—Yes, in London. 5433. Having done this, in 1843 you went out to the West Indies?—I did. 5434. Are you also an associate of the Institute of Civil Engineers?—I am. 5435. Will you inform the Committee what induced you to choose the West Indies as the field of your operations ?—I had been informed that there were great opportunities of improving the state of the West Indies by introducing scientific machinery, and therefore I went out for the purpose of endeavouring to introduce that machinery, with the view of forwarding my own interests, and the interests of the West Indies too. 5436. Did you become acquainted with many sugar-making districts in the West Indies?—A great many in Barbadoes, St. Vincent, St. Kitts, Demerara, Santa Croix, and also partially in Cuba and Louisiana. I did not put up machinery there, but I had to inquire into their expenses and their mode of cultivation ; also with the beetroot sugar of France I became a little acquainted. 5437. What is the result of your observations as to the comparative yield of sugar from a West Indian sugarcane, and from the improved processes of obtaining sugar from the beetroot?—In the beetroot works they practically get about 6 per cent, of the sugar that is in the beet. The beet contains about 10 per cent, and they get rather better than 6 per cent.; that is 66 per cent, of the weight there is of sugar in the beet. In the West Indies the cane contains on an average about 16 or 18 per cent, from the scientific experiments of chemists, and they do not get above 4 to 6 per cent, upon the average. While the manufacturer of the beetroot gets two-thirds of its contents, the sugar- cane planter gets about one-third of the contents of his plant. 5438. There is more saccharine matter then in the cane than in the beetroot? — Considerably; there is nearly double the amount of saccharine matter in the cane to what there is in the beetroot, but the planter gets less. 5439. How do you account for that?—I account for it because they have not got the same processes in the West Indies that they have in the beetroot works; they have not for a great many reasons. In our own colonies till 1844 we were not allov\ed to make a high quality of sugar, and consequently there was no advantage in introducing good machinery. The measure then passed allowed us to make a higher quality of sugar, and therefore gave us an opportunity of introducing machinery to do it. 5440. Was that as a measure of protection to the British refiners that you were prevented?—It was on account of the protection to British refiners previously to 1844. Subsequently to 1844 there was still a degree of protection, but not to the same exteqt. 5441. Is there any reason why the process of extracting the saccharine matter from the sugar-cane should not be made as perfect and as successful as the process of extracting the saccharine matter from the beetroot?—Yes, there are great reasons : if we examine the machinery that is used in the beetroot works, it consists of steam clarifiers and charcoal apparatus for removing the colour from the juice and vacuum machinery; all of which come to a very large expense, and require very great cure and constant attention in their management. In the first place, there is a great deal of difficulty in obtaining credit in the West Indies at present to get the machinery ; the cost is very large. On one estate in Demerara, for making about 500 hogsheads of sugar, it cost 8,000 l. That was the cost


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cost of the machinery and the cost of erecting it. Then when it is up it requires S. 13. Moody, Esq. constant and careful attention, and consumes coal, therefore it requires attentive labour and an increased amount of supplies in the shape of coal; but if you do not 2 March 1848. get attentive labour, the juice, particularly while in the charcoal, sours. In the beet-root works they can command a careful attention, which gives them a sweet syrup through the charcoal. In the West Indies I found that utterly impossible, at least in the British colonies. I tried it, and I found I could not get a negro to pay the attention to it which it required. The result was that it frequently soured, and the sugar that came home sold at a very inferior price; it was very uncertain in quality. Another item is the cost of coal: in the beet-root works they can get people to attend to making the fires under the boiler, and the result is that the fuel is not expensive. Even under our own steam-engines, which have been long in use in the West Indies, we find the consumption of coal is three or four times what it is in England, in proportion to the horse power, and it is increased even above what it was in slave times. Therefore, the great expense of fuel and the difficulty of getting continuous attentive labour has been a great drawback to this machinery as respects the working of it, while the present state of credit of the West Indies has rendered it almost impossible to get it put up ; in fact, I was cautioned by merchants that they would no longer be responsible for the payments for such purposes. 5442. You stated that you had also been in Santa Croix and Louisiana ?— I have inquired into the expense and mode of working in Louisiana; I have not been personally there, but some of my engineers have been employed there as representing me. 5443. Did your representatives inform you that there is less difficulty in obtaining continuous labour, and less consequent waste of fuel, in those islands?—Undoubtedly in Santa Croix ; I put up the machinery myself, and therefore I saw how, with even the mitigated slavery used there, there was a greater degree of continuous attentive labour. I could always get people, and they attended to the work that was given them to do. In Louisiana, in the same way, I had the same command of labour which I had in Santa Croix; and they are not only able to work the sugar more profitably, but both there and in Cuba they are able to get machinery at a less price, because they can work for 24 hours in the day during crop time, but in the British colonies we cannot. 5444. Can you give the Committee any estimate of the advantage which that gives in the cheap production of sugar ?—The advantage of being able to do the same work with half the amount of machinery is very great sometimes'; it would entirely depend upon the amount of the estate. With reference to this estate in Demerara, which required an outlay of 8,000 l., it would have cost only 4,000 I. to have done the same work in Cuba or Louisiana, which is a very material item in the cost of production ; taking the interest 011 the machinery at 10 percent., it is nearly 1 s. per cwt.; 500 hogsheads are about 400 tons, that makes a difference of 1 s. a cwt. Then as to the question of fuel, there is a great saving also. I could not very well go into that, because it depends upon the nature of the juice; some juices will take more fuel to evaporate than others, but it is a very material item in the work of grinding the canes in Demerara. As compared with what it was in the time of slavery in Demerara, I found it was about 1 s. 6 d. per cwt. on the sugar made. 5445. That is merely upon the fuel used in grinding ?—Yes, the difference of fuel in grinding, not in boiling. It helps to increase the amount of supplies as contra-distinguished from wages in the West Indies; the coals, hogsheads, and puncheons on an estate making 650 hogsheads in 1831, in Demerara, cost J ,2051. sterling; of that amount 583 puncheons, at 20 s., would be 583 /.; 650 hogsheads at 16 cwt. of sugar each, 12 s. a hogshead, 3901.; leaving a balance for the coal of about 232 I., in the year 1831, which is about 7 s. per ton. The coal now is generally estimated at one hogshead of coal of about 14 cwt. to grind one hogshead of sugar of about 16 cwt. ; this coal at seven dollars, exclusive of the hogshead, equals about 1 I. 175. 7 d. per ton, as compared with 7 s. in 1831 or 1832, being a difference of about 1 s. 6 d. a cwt. As that is compared with the grinding, it is a much greater extra expense as compared with the boiling; perhaps you have to evaporate 2,400 gallons to about 240 for each ton of sugar, which would be a very large sum ; it would take boilers of from 60 to 70 horse power to do that for three tons of sugar per day. 5446. What do you estimate that at ?—1 have not gone into that; it is easy 0.32. N 10


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5. B. Moody, Esq. to compare it. 2 March 1848.

Vide Appendix.

That is an extra expense per day of 1 /. 10 s. for working a 10horse power engine ; therefore, for working a 60-horse power engine, it would be six times that, which would be 9 l. extra per day; that is, if you introduce a complete system of working by the beet-root machinery. 5447. You reckon there should be a 60-horse power steam boiler to make about three tons of sugar a day?—Yes; so that there is 9/. extra for three tons of sugar per day. Therefore there is an extra expense in grinding and boiling, of about 4 s. 6 d. per cwt., from not having the fires properly attended to. In Demerara, when we tried the machinery first of all, I have seen the steam get very low. It is a great point in using the improved machinery, to keep the heat at a regular temperature as nearly as possible. After having it very low, we would speak, perhaps, to the fireman about it, and then he would have the safety valve blowing off; and when I have gone out to speak to him about that, I have seen him putting in more fuel, and it is in that way that fuel is wasted; sometimes the steam is too low, and sometimes a great deal too high, (The Witness delivered in a Paper.) 5448. Do not the furnaces go out in consequence of your not being able to get night labour ?—Yes ; and there is the expense of getting heat into your fires next morning. I have not made an estimate of what that would be, because I have not worked it day and night. 5449. Were you able to work day and night there would be a considerable saving, would not there?—Yes; but the beet-root works do not work day and night. The Cuba and Louisiana works do. 5450. The Committee wish to compare the expense of making sugar in the British free colonies with the expense of making it in slave-holding colonies ?— I give a difference of 4 s. 6 d. per cwt., as compared with the amount of fuel used in Demerara during mitigated slavery. Reasonably we may suppose that at least the same difference would occur between the British West Indies as free colonies, and Louisiana and Cuba. They have, besides, the extra advantage of working day and night; but that is a point I have not gone into, therefore I cannot give any detailed information as to the extra advantage which they would derive from that. 5451. This difference of 4 I. 10 s. a ton does not include working day and night?—No ; that 4 l. 10 s. is only working 12 hours in the British West indies now, as compared with working 12 hours in the British West Indies in former times. There is another reduction of 1 s. a cwt., which other people have as an advantage over the British West Indies, in getting machinery at half the cost,; v\ hich makes a total difference of 5 s. 6 d. 5452. So that altogether the difference is 5 s. 6 d. ?—Yes ; supposing you have continuous and attentive labour to make good sugar in your boiling-house ; the slave owners are able to secure that, but we are not. power of continuous labour would be an advantage also in regard 5453. This to the quality of the sugar, would it not ?—Undoubtedly it would. I find that on the estate in Cuba, where this machinery was put up, the power of having continuous labour made an improvement in the quality of the sugar of about two reals per aroba, of about 25 lbs. English ; that is about eight reals or 4 s. per cwt. ,5454. Have you found any unwillingness on the part of the West Indians to introduce mechanical improvements ?—Previously to 1844 there was, because there was a doubt as to what duty their sugar would be admitted at, but after 1844 the demand for machinery continued to increase materially, and very promptly to increase. After 1846, or about the autumn of 1846, it was decidedly checked, both by the planters being unwilling to get it and the merchants being unwilling to pay for it, most of the planters having to go to the absentee merchants for. money to pay for it. 5455. Taking the period between 1844 and 1846, did you receive a great number of orders for machinery ?—Yes; altogether I received orders for about 11,000 l. worth of machinery for Barbadoes, and nearly 14,000/. worth for Demerara. It was chiefly in 1845 and the beginning of 1846 that I received those orders ; but since then a check has been given to all that. 5456. Have you found that the orders for improved machinery have proceeded from residents in the islands, or from absentee planters living in this country ?— Almost entirely from absentees ; those few planters who were resident in the islands had to go to the absentees for their money to do it. result of your experience is, that the planters living in Great Britain 5457. The are


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are much more prone to improve their estates and improve their processes of making sugar than the residents ?—Undoubtedly; not only that, but they are the people who send out the most guano and the most agricultural implements, and the most improvements of almost every kind. 5458. In those periods, prior to the Act of 1846, did you observe that the residents in England were very active in sending out improved implements?— Yes ; I have mentioned that I received orders for a certain amount of machinery, but a great deal of machinery went from other parties as well as through myself. I should say there was, generally speaking, a great stimulus given to every kind of improvement during that period. 5459. Upon the passing of the Act of 1846 was a great check given to it?— Decidedly ; in fact all the orders stopped towards the end of 1846. Some went forward just immediately after the Bill, but in the beginning of 1847 the orders were countermanded which had been given, and since that time I have not heard of anybody sending out machinery through myself or any other house. 5460. Are there not also other difficulties in working the machinery, from the want of engineers and mechanics, and people to repair the machinery ?—Yes; to the estates to which I sent out the 8,000 I. worth of machinery, there was a sugarboiler sent out at 400 I. a year, and an engineer at 390 l. a year, for those two estates alone. That alone is nearly 800 l., or 2 s. a cwt. on the amount of sugar which was previously made. Their presence improved the quality of the sugar, of course. 5461. To what extent, do you think ?—That is difficult to tell; we only know that they can do without those people in Cuba. 5462. In Cuba, where slavery exists, can they trust to their slaves for the performance of that labour ?—They would have one man, perhaps, at a lower salary ; they would not have had two first-class men ; they would have a man at a salary of 200 I. a year, which would make a difference of 1 s. 6 d. per cwt. 5463. Do you consider that the foreign colonists have any advantages in their manufacture of sugar by the ordinary process over the British colonists ?—Yes, they have a very great advantage. In the first quality of their goods, which come to the grocers, the white-clayed, they have not so great an advantage, because the grocers rather prefer a little moist sugar; at least so I was told by grocers when I was introducing those improvements; but in the other qualities of sugar, which the refiners use, they have a great advantage, because they come home dry; therefore the refiner obtains more saccharine matter. This dryness is obtained not by great skill on their part, but by having a thorough command of unskilled labour. They put their sugar into moulds, which requires no sort of skill, but requires labour, and by means of that labour they are able to make the dry sugars. We have not got the labour to put it in the moulds; we were not allowed to do it until 1844, and now we have not the labour to do it. 5464. You were not allowed to do it on account of the refiners here ?—Yes. 5465. Is that a very laborious process, the putting it into moulds ?—Yes, very laborious. If a person goes into a refinery here, he would see that the bulk of the people are employed about the sugar moulds. 5466. Is it one of the employments in which they generally work stripped ? —Yes, almost entirely ; the Germans do it in our own refineries. 5467. Could not Europeans be employed in those works in the West Indies ? —I am rather afraid of it; I sent out myself about nine engineers in the last three years, and of those some of them served their time at the same place with myself, therefore I know they were respectable men, yet out of those, four died. They were men engaged at good salaries, and they were not engaged in laborious occupations ; therefore I should say, as a general rule, it is almost impossible to work Europeans, except Spaniards and Portuguese ; not British subjects. 5468. Do you think Maltese and Genoese might do?—Yes, nil natives of warm climates. The Portuguese in Demerara do work, and they work in the field; some of the best cane-cutters are Portuguese; when they first land they cut canes by the job, and save a little money, and then they turn hucksters. 5469. Has your attention been drawn to the manner in which the cultivation of sugar in Louisiana lias been increased ?—Yes. I find from returns that in 1844 there were 70 new estates put into sugar in Louisiana ; in several of the lower parts of Louisiana the cotton cultivation has been converted into sugar. The receipts ol the sugar, from the 1st of September 1846 to the 1st of September 0.32. N 2 1847,

S. B. Moody, Esq.

2 Match 1848.


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Esq.I- 1847, were 80,000 tons, though that was a crop which suffered very much that year by an early frost, against 90,000 in 1845-46, which was a good crop, and 1848. against a good crop of 50,000 tons in 1841-42 ; so that it had very nearly doubled between 1841 and 1847. The crop received from the interior, from the 1st of September 1847 up to January 19th, 1848, was 45,679 hogsheads, against 38,961 hogsheads the previous year, being an increase of about 20 per cent. The receipt of cotton from the interior into Louisiana fell off very much. In 1845 and 1846 the receipt of cotton from the interior was altogether 453,000 bales; and in 1846-47, 374,000 bales. A great deal of this short crop was also owing to the uplands of Alabama and Tennessee being put into Indian corn. The receipts have fallen off, from the 1st of September 1847 to January 1848, from 86,000 to 39,000 bales, which was attributable to the change in the cultivation of the upland districts into corn, and in the lower districts the falling off was attributable to the conversion of cotton into sugar. The price of growing the produce in Louisiana is about three dollars, or about 12s. 6d. a cwt. 5470. Do you know how many hogsheads of sugar they reckon to each slave in Louisiana :—About 2,000 lbs. weight of sugar they reckon to an acre in Louisiana, and about 4,000 lbs. to a slave ; that is from planted canes. In the British West Indies v\e got about 4,000 lbs. from an acre, and about 2,500 lbs. from a labourer. 5471. The land in the West Indies produces a great deal more sugar, but the freman produces less ?—Yes. 5472. Do you apprehend that the labour of the slaves is made very severe there ?—In Cuba, during crop time. A Cuba planter with whom I was in treaty in reference to the amount of machinery he would require, told me' they began work between two and three on Sunday afternoon, and they worked till about the same time on Saturday, without stopping the works. They have what are called on board ship " dog watches" during the night; not that the same people work the whole time, but after the mill is put out a certain number of hands go to rest for a couple of hours at a time while the others work, then they go to work and come back again; they have about two hours at a turn each time. Of course that is very severe work. It is by that means they are able to do with about half the amount of machinery which we can do with in the West Indies. 5473. And less than half the amount of fuel, because the fire is never allowed to go out ?—On account of being able to ensure attention to the fires. 5474. Do you know anything of the expense of maintaining slaves in Cuba? — I have the expense of producing sugar from an estate in Porto Rico, which takes 10,000 dollars to produce 534,246 lbs. of sugar. It is at the rate of 8 s. 6d. a cwt. after deducting offal. 5475. That is worked by slaves ?—Yes. 5476. Have you been in Porto Rico ?—I have not been there ; I have been at St. Thomas, and stopped some time with a proprietor in Porto Rico ; in Santa Croix they are very much afraid of Porto Rico, in consequence of its producing sugar at so much cheaper a rate than they do themselves. In 1828 and 1829, the cost of producing sugar in Cuba was l0 s. a cwt., but it is now reduced to 8s. 6c?. 5477. Is that from improved machinery ?—No; that is from getting more out of the labourer; or they may get supplies cheaper ; supplies during the last 20 years have cheapened very much; goods are supplied at a much cheaper rate. 5478. Do you understand that in Cuba they have an ample supply of labour? —Their produce has increased very much, so that I suppose they have. 5479. Do you know whether that proceeds from slaves being imported, or from slaves brought from the coffee estates?—I believe it is partly from both; I have not the returns of the population, which is the only way of showing whether it is by the increase of slaves. A good many have been taken from coffee to sugar cultivation. 5480. Do you think increased skill can possibly enable the British colonies to compete with the planters of foreign countries?—No, I should say decidedly not. In the first place, the skill which is at our disposal is equally at their disposal, and they have the probability of getting a profit from the returns of their skill which we have not ; we have not the same means of applying the skill. A workman out of work is as skilled as when he is in work, but he has not the same means of applying his skill. 5481. You do not consider that any skill applied to the manufacture of beetroot


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root can enable beet-root sugar to compete with slave-grown sugar, and with the •S. B. Moody, Esq. skill put in operation by slaves?—I think not, for this reason; that in the last price current of the 17th of February 1848, in France beet-root sugar was selling 2 March 1848. at 104 francs per hundred kilogrammes, which is about 57 francs a cwt. including the duty ; there is an excise duty on beet-root sugar of 19 francs per cwt.; that leaves a net price of 38 francs, or nearly 31 s. per cwt. 5482. Mr. M. Gibson.] Is the excise duty on beet-root sugar greater than it is upon the French colonial sugar ?—I have not the last law. In 1840, there was a protection of 17 francs as against the colonial sugar. By the last law it has been equalised ; but that measure was attended with a great many restrictions on the labour in French plantations. 5483. What are those restrictions?—I do not know the details of them; I heard that there were a great many restrictions which increased the price. The price of Martinique and Guadaloupe sugar, when beet-root sugar was selling at 57 francs a cwt., was 60 francs a cwt. ; so that Martinique and Guadaloupe sugar was selling at a little higher price. 5484. Mr. Goulburn.] Was the duty then the same?—Yes; that was on the* 17th of February 1848. 5485. So that as regards the French West Indian sugar, there is a preference, exclusive of duty, of 3s. upon beet-root sugar?—Yes; I have the price of 120 francs per 50 kilogrammes for the finest refined beet-root sugar, and taking off the colonial duty of 33. 25 for that proportion, it will leave 87 francs per 50 kilogrammes, or 1 cwt.; that is without any duty at all for the best refined loaf sugar, showing that it costs a great deal more than ours, or than any other known loaf sugar obtained from sugar cane. 5486. Chairman.] But the loaf sugar from the sugar cane in France comes up to the same price in France, does it not ?—I have not got the price of loaf sugar ; but one price would rule the other probably. 5487. Can you state to the Committee what a set of machinery would cost sufficient to make about 800 tons of sugar, in 116 days of 15 hours?—With the complete buildings, and not including tramroad, but the still-house and the beet-root machinery, it costs 15,000 I. or 16,000 I. 5488. From what you know of the present state of credit in the West Indies, would you say that no planter would be able to borrow that money to set up such machinery?—It is much more difficult than it was at the end of 1846, when I was engaged with another party in getting up works. A proposal was made to Government that they should agree to advance half if the planters would advance the other half, taking the sum required to be 16,000 I.; that if the Government would advance 8,000 I. the planters would advance the other 8,000 I.; and it was very difficult even at that time to get persons to take an interest in it; but a person afterwards got a charter under the belief that he could get the whole sum advanced by English capitalists, and I saw him in the beginning of 1847, when he had obtained the charter, and he said that he could not get the money ; and if there was that difficulty at the end of 1846 and the beginning of 1847, the difficulty would be far greater now. 5489. If such works were completed, would it enable the British planter to compete with foreign colonies ?—Decidedly not. Supposing the whole to be completed, and that it worked satisfactorily, we should not be able to compete with the foreign colonies in the cultivation of sugar. I went into the expenses of an estate in Demerara, in which I put up a set of machinery for making 500 hogsheads, for a period of six years, and I found that it cost them 22 s. 6 d. a cwt. on that estate, after deducting the rum and offal, and it extracted about one-half of the juice which they ought to have extracted according to the beetroot system. 5490. With the same machinery ?—With the ordinary process it extracted one-half of the juice which it should do with the beet-root process, comparing the amount in the cane with the amount in the beet; say that it doubled this, and even that it obtained the same rum and offal (which is out of the question, of course, because the rum is made from the waste of the sugar), it would cost 11 s. 3 d. to make it; if it got all its fuel for nothing, and the same amount of rum, the probable cost would be about 16 s. a cwt. with the beet-root machinery, if I got out of the cane the same proportion that the beet-root manufacturers get out of their beets; and that is nearly 8 s. more than the Cuba people obtain their sugar for with none but the ordinary machinery. 0.32. N3 5491. Do


94 S. B. Moody, Esq. 2 March 1848.

MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

5941. Do you attribute this cheapness, at which the Cuba people make their sugar, to any superiority in the climate or the soil ?—Not the slightest; we have all degrees of climate in the British West Indies; their climate is no better than ours, and their soil is no better. We have soil in Barbadoes which makes beautiful sugar without any but the ordinary process, and we require much less expensive machinery to make sugar in Barbadoes; but in Demerara there is a difference; we have to drain the soil, which would put us to a large expense, requiring expensive machinery. A gentleman, on whose estate in Demerara I put up 8,000 l. of machinery, had, in the previous year, put up nearly 6,000 I. of machinery to drain the land; it was draining the land by an engine, as they do in Lincolnshire and in Holland. 5492. The soil and climate of Demerara is as fine as the soil and climate of any country in the world ?—The soil and climate of Demerara, as regards the production of sugar, is very favourable; it produces more sugar than almost any other country that I am aware of. 5493. Trinidad is equal to it, is it not?—Yes, I believe it is, but I have not been there. 5494. In Barbadoes the sugar is a very fine quality ?—Yes; there is a little less of it, but it is of very fine quality. 5495. What do you say of Barbadoes as regards labour ; there is an immense population there ; is there the same difficulty in getting labour as in other West India islands ?—No, there is not; because that large population gives a command of labour; the people have less land to cultivate their provisions on, therefore they are obliged to work for wages to purchase those provisions; and though there is an absence of attentive labour in Barbadoes, still labour is much better there than in other colonies. 5496. How near, in that respect, do you think Barbadoes comes to Cuba?— I cannot give the details of any estate, but in reference to several estates that came under my notice when I was there, I took the average expense of producing sugar at 15 s. a cwt.; it is difficult to calculate it in Barbadoes. I have a return of a whole parish, with the names of the estates, and the produce in 1837, 1838, 1839, and 1840 ; and there is a great variety of climate during those respective years; some were very dry. Here are estates that made 170 hogsheads in one year, and which made only 16 in the last year, 1840 ; and in the year when that estate made 170 hogsheads of sugar it of course made it at a reduced price ; but I take the average upon a number of estates for 10 years; and taking the average of years and the average of the estates, it is about 15 s. a cwt. delivered on the beach. From a return I have taken from the first edition of a work on the Sugar Cane, by Mr. Porter, I find that the price in 1822 was only 6 s. a cwt. 5497. Was Mr. Porter resident in Barbadoes?—It was given him by my father, who had been resident there. 5498. Sir E. Buxton.'] Have you got the items ?—I have not the items in each year. The cause of the increased expense Is, that in former years they raised most of the provisions for the negroes on the estates, and they sold the surplus quantity ; now the labourers getting higher wages prefer American supplies, and therefore the planters have not the same demand for provisions raised on the estate, which went to reduce the expenses of the estate. 5499. Was it chiefly yams or casadas that they raised ?—Principally yams; there are few casadas grown in Barbadoes. 5500. Mr. Wilson.] Did that 6 s. include the value of the slave and the depreciation in his value every year ?—The 6 s. was the cost of purchasing supplies and all the expenses of the estate for that year; those were the current expenses for the year, without any charge for depreciation of property or anything else. 5501. Sir E. Buxton.] Or interest upon the value of the estate?—No. 5502. Chairman.] As far as continuous labour goes, would it be practicable in Barbadoes to get continuous labour, and to get labourers to work night and day at the mills?—No, I should imagine not. In the first place, they cannot work very well night and day in Barbadoes, because they depend on windmills; they have no water power, and the expense of putting up steam mills would be a heavy charge upon the estates there unless several estates united. 5503. Would it not be practicable, at no very great expense, to make tanks in Barbadoes ?—No; the expense would be very great of making tanks in Barbadoes for holding a quantity of water. 5504. And ;


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5504. And salt water could not be used ?—It would injure the boilers very much ; on board ship you work the engines at low pressure, so that the deposit is not great in the steam boiler, and by continuous and attentive labour in blowing off the boiler at the bottom, you prevent any thick deposit accumulating at the bottom ; but if we had not that continuous and attentive labour in the West Indies, we should get a crust at the bottom of the boilers, and burn them out. 5505. Mr. M. Gibson,] But even doing the best you can, salt water is injurious ?—Yes. 550b. Chairman.] Besides that, you could only get salt water close upon the sea side ?—Yes. 5507. And the estates are generally at a distance from the sea ?—Yes, generally they are; and the estates near the sea are not generally the best. There is a great fall of water in the forward rain in Barbadoes, but it. would cost a large amount of money to form tanks. The island of Barbadoes is coral, but there are a good many crevices in the coral, so that the water runs off very rapidly ; if you make a pond or a tank, unless you are very attentive to keep the bottom of that tank not porous, if it begins to leak at all, and is not stopped at once, all the water disappears. You could not retain the water with ordinary tanks; you would be obliged to have closed tanks; it is very difficult to make use of ordinary tanks in Barbadoes on account of the porousness of the soil. 5,508. Are there any other means by which you think the British planter could be enabled to compete with the foreign planter ?—If he were allowed to make contracts with labourers out of the island, and he were allowed to import immigrants under those contracts, he would have a small body of labourers under contract on his own estate, whom he could direct to different parts of the estate on an emergency, and so save perhaps his crop; and the remaining population, if they were governed by the vagrant and trespass laws of England, and various other laws of that kind, would not be able to squat to the same degree as they do ; in fact, you might carry out the system of centralizing the population which is carried out in Australia, by making the price of land high, and by making parties purchase certain quantities of land, and not allowing them to buy small portions of land, or to squat without a licence. 5509. How would you provide against private individuals selling land ?—You might put a licence or a tax on those lands; but by having a small body of permanent labourers on the estate, and by having those laws, you would be able to control the labourers who were not under contract, and they would be more willing and ready to come and work on the estate, when they found that from your having a small body of men under your own control, they could not make their own terms with you ; by means of that and protection, I think credit would be restored, and by means of that credit we should get machinery, and by the use of that machinery we could reduce the cost of making sugar in the various colonies to 15s. and 12 s.; that is still higher than the cost to the Cuba planter; but then his credit is so bad at present that he would not be able to get any machinery. 5510. I thought his credit stood high?—The credit of the Cuba planter is better now than it has been, because his crop is more profitable; you cannot come upon the lands of proprietors in those colonies, and therefore you are dependent upon his crop ; as long as you make his crop valuable, his credit will be maintained; but if his crop is not valuable, his credit will go down, for the person advancing the money has no security upon the land. 5511. Is that by Lord Brougham's Act, or by the laws of the colony?—It is by the laws of the colony ; there are two or three reasons for that. One is, that the Crown is supposed to have the first lien upon the estates ; and another is, that you cannot sell an estate or any security till the full value is borrowed upon it; therefore there are fictitious sales made which defraud the creditor, and money bears an interest of nearly 20 per cent., which would not pay for any advance except under the peculiar stimulus that the trade has had lately. 5512. How many years' protection do you think it would be necessary to have in order to encourage the British planter?—My notion upon the subject is this : We are ordered to work out a principle by the Government of this country ; the principle of economically producing sugar by free labour; we shall have to go to a great many expenses in carrying out that principle. In England we see that improvements in the vacuum pan, improvements in the spinning-jenny, and improvements in the steam engine have been carried out by very heavy expenses; 0.32. N 4 ' those

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those have been under the protection of patents. Watt was induced to go into great expenses in experiments to perfect his machinery, and on being perfected 2 March 1848. he had a protection for 14 years. That was considered to be for the benefit of the country. If we were put on the same footing, we should be willing to go to great expenses in endeavouring to improve our machinery. 5513. You think that a protection for 14 years would be required ?—It would require a protection for four or five years before we know the best plan of doing it. 5514. The protection must last long enough to ensure the party lending the money having his money paid back again, with a reasonable interest ?—It must last till the charge of these experiments is returned, otherwise you are put into a worse position than you were before. With all the expense of new machinery, upon the first crop after the machinery is put up, there is generally a great loss attending it at first; there will be some parts of the machinery omitted ; we see that to be the case in our own factories here ; but those are replaced in a very short time here; but they are not so easily replaced in the West Indies, and therefore the loss on the first crop is considerable. I have had to send out a machine by the West India packet at a very heavy expense. 5515. Mr. M. Gibson.] You began by stating that the quantity of sugar in the cane was about 16 per cent.?—Yes, it is so in some parts. 5516. And you stated that in the manufacturing of the sugar only six per cent, was obtained ?—Yes. 5517. Therefore a very considerable loss takes place in converting the cane into sugar ?—There is a loss. 5518. Do you think that that loss might be avoided if the machinery that is used in the manufacture of beet-root sugar were adopted ?—I think the loss would be certainly reduced, if the machinery used in the manufacture of beetroot sugar could be introduced and worked in the West Indies ; it has been tried to be adopted in several places, but they have not been able to work it. 5519. Supposing the cane juice were allowed to be imported into this country, and you had the advantage of machinery, and the skill and capital here, for converting the cane juice into sugar, would there be so great a loss as there is now ? —That depends upon the increased cost of freight, and also the degree of acidity that may occur on the voyage. I have never seen any mode yet (and I have heard of a good many) which would enable that juice to be transferred from the West Indies to England without its becoming acid. I have known syrup tried from Porto Rico to New York, a much shorter distance, and fail, and therefore I think there is much less chance of its being successful in the case of cane juice brought to this country ; we are not in a position to say that it can be done. 5520. Supposing the difficulty of fermentation on the passage were got over, there would be no greater loss in converting the cane juice into sugar than there is in converting the beet-root into sugar?—Yes, there would, because we lose a great deal in expressing the juice out of the cane, from inattention. It depends upon the degree to which the mill is braced and the rollers are tightened together; and I have seen cases, and in fact I have tried it myself, where there has been great loss, and I have obtained an increased result of 12 per cent. The mill is braced up, and if the person feeding the mill puts in too many canes, that chokes it up; then he is apt to loosen the mill, and there is consequently a loss of the juice out of the cane. 5521. That is from want of attention, which arises from a want of labour in the island ?—From a want of control over the labour. 5522. Not a want of quantity of labour ?—A want of quantity, causing a want of control; therefore it is practically a want of quantity of labour. 5523. .Supposing you did not manufacture this sugar in the West Indies, would not sending the sugar here effect a considerable saving of labour in the colonies, and thereby leave a considerable quantity of labour available for the employers ? —It would" effect a very small saving of labour, because we do not have above five people engaged in the manufacture on the estate; half the people, and generally more, of those engaged on the estate are employed in feeding the mill; the difficulty of obtaining labour for that purpose would not be got over. The people engaged in boiling the sugar are very few in number as compared with the whole number of people on the estate. 5524. I am induced to ask this question with regard to the cane juice being imported into this country, inasmuch as a memorial was presented to the Government

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went signed by highly respectable names ; Thomas Daniel & Co., Hibbert & Co., Reid, Irving & Co., J. W. Chapman, Joseph Marryat & Sons, Grant & Kemshead, and others; and in that memorial they say that the admission of the cane juice into this country would confer great advantages, and that it " might enable the West India planter, notwithstanding the recent alterations in the sugar duties, to compete successfully with the foreign sugar growers;" and this is dated the 5th October 1846 ?—That is before the fall in price occurred. 5525. Mr. Wilson.] But it was after the alteration of the duties?—Yes, hut a great many people were mistaken as to the fall that would result from the alteration of the duties ; for instance, Reid, Irving & Co. never expected that the fall occasioned by the alteration in the duty would be lis. or 13s.; they may have considered that that alteration would have enabled them to compete if the price had been up. 5526. Mr. M. Gibson.'] In this memorial they set forth: " 1. A very considerable saving of labour in the colonies would be effected ; 2. The loss that at present takes place by the wastage and drainage of the produce in the colonies, and during its transit home, would be avoided ; 3. An improved description of sugar, as well as an increased quantity (the process of manufacture being perfected in this country), would be imported, and the revenue thereby increased. That the preceding advantages combined might enable the West India planter, notwithstanding the recent alterations in the sugar duties, to compete successfully with the foreign sugar growers;" and the names attached to that memorial are the names of almost all the eminent houses in London. Are you of opinion, that that memorial, signed by such names, is not entitled to considerable weight ? — Undoubtedly it is entitled to considerable weight, and I think that the West Indians ought to be allowed to try that experiment and other experiments, in order to reduce the price of sugar ; it is only a problematical thing after all : so far from its being certain, a gentleman of the name of Dr. Jennings introduced a system for purifying the juice in the West Indies, for the purpose of sending it home free from impurities; a gentleman of considerable eminence, a proprietor in the West Indies, offered to send his own produce, 200 puncheons of juice, and to employ the apparatus, if Dr. Jennings would guarantee that it should not be acid when it arrived in London. From the want of that guarantee, the gentleman said that in the present state of the West Indies he was not in a position to try the experiment; and this experiment being so problematical, I should say time ought to be allowed to the West Indies to try it; but I do not think it would have any favourable result. 5527. You gave us some evidence in respect to beetroot sugar ; is it not the fact that steps have been taken by parties in France interested in colonial sugar to obtain protection against the beetroot sugar, from the apprehension that they feel of the equalization of the duties between French colonial sugar and the beetroot sugar ?—I am not aware of it. I do not see how that could be, because the reduction is in favour of the colonial grower; the protection has been removed from the beetroot sugar, therefore it is an advantage to the West India planter. 5528. Do not the colonial growers view the increased quantity of beetroot sugar with considerable apprehension, and have they not made application for protection for themselves against beetroot sugar?—I am not aware of any case of that sort, of colonial proprietors applying for protection against the beetroot sugar. I understood that they were applying for a protection against beetroot sugar, accompanied with the freedom of their own slaves, but not simply for a protection against beetroot sugar. 5529. Do not the French refiners prefer beetroot sugar to cane sugar?—I should say decidedly not; it is very weak sugar, and sells lower than Martinique or Guadaloupe refining sugar, and therefore I do not think it can be so. 5530. Has it not been very much improved in its quality?—Undoubtedly it has, but the chief improvements in the quality of the beetroot sugar were when the using of grain charcoal was adopted ; but even now they do not obtain above six per cent, out of ten per cent, that there is in the beetroot, so that they have not increased their quantity. 5531. They obtain 6 per cent, out of 10, and we obtain only 6 per cent, out of 16 ?—We and all the foreign colon's obtain about 6 per cent, out of 16. 5532. Is it not the fact that the French government have lately removed all restrictions upon the export of beetroot sugar ?—I am not aware, but I do not 0.32. O think

495 S. B. Moody, Esq. 2 March 1848.


98 S. B. Moody, Esq. a March 1848.

MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

think that there would be any advantage if they did, for we see that it costs considerably more than other sugar; it costs 38 francs per cwt., free of duty, therefore nobody would buy it. 5533. How do you arrive at those figures ?—From the Price Current. 5534. What security can you offer that if we were to exclude slave-grown sugar from the British market, this beetroot sugar, which has increased in quantity very considerably, might not come in largely and compete with British sugar? —It has only increased under a system of protection all over the country. 5535. In France the beetroot sugar and the cane sugar have an equal duty ? •—No, not cane sugar from Martinique. 5536. Take colonial sugar and beetroot sugar, were there not in the last year 6,000 tons of beetroot sugar more than France wanted ?—Probably there were, but still the price this year of that sugar is considerably higher than the net price in London of other sugar. 5537. Put if beetroot sugar can compete in France with good cane sugar of Martinique, what is the reason that beetroot sugar would be unable to come here and compete with sugar from our West India colonies?—I am not aware of the fact that it does compete in France with Martinique sugar, for this reason: the price of the beetroot sugar in France is much higher than the price of sugar grown by slaves in Martinique; and consequently there are some other checks which may counterbalance the great reduction in the price of Martinique sugar as compared with beetroot sugar ; and there is a great deal of beetroot sugar that is smuggled which pays no duty at all. 5538. But is it not the case that the production of beetroot sugar is increasing at the present moment, that there is no disposition shown to decrease it, and yet beetroot sugar and cane sugar are upon the same footing in the French market ? —I am not aware that they are on the same footing in the French market. 5539. What difference is there as regards the import duty; they are upon the same footing ?—There is very little beetroot of the lower quality sold ; it is mostly sold in the refined state; and on the other hand you will find a large amount of the French slave sugar sold, a low quality, refining sugar. When I last had communication with Guadaloupe with reference to central works, it was a year or two ago when the planters adopted them, they exported from Guadaloupe and Martinique refining sugar; the duty was to be equalized on the low qualities of sugar, but kept to a certain quality of sugar called bonne quatrième, which is good refiners' sugar. 5540. Can you state anything about, the number of tons of beetroot sugar that have been produced of late years?—Not in the last year ; in 1845 it was about 28,000 tons as compared with 50,000 tons in 1838 ; 'it had fallen off 22,000 tons in about six or seven years. 5541. Do you mean to say that the production of beetroot sugar on the Continent is decreasing?—From 1838 to 1845 it was; what it may have done from 1845 to 1847 I am not aware. In Belgium it doubled between 1843 and 1846 ; but the cause of that was, that in 1843 the refiners received the drawback on putting out of their refineries about 58 lbs. of sugar, whereas in 1846 they had to put out about 70 lbs.; the truth was, that under the law of 1843, in Belgium, the refiners were protected at the expense of beetroot sugar; in 1846 that protection was removed, and then the cultivation of beetroot extended very much. I believe it doubled between 1843 and 1846 in Belgium. I am not aware whether some measure of that kind may not have been passed in France also. 5542. Should you think it at all necessary to have any protecting duty as against the importation of beetroot sugar into this country ?—No protective duty at all, I should say, was necessary. 5543. You do not think the West India colonies have any occasion to fear the rivalry of beetroot sugar?—No, not when they are placed in a position to enable them to use good machinery. 5544. Is not the difficulty you now labour under the want of good machinery ? It is the want of means to work the machinery, for if there were means to work it there would be credit given to us to enable us to get it. 5545. You cannot work the machinery with your present control over labour r - No ; nor with the present amount of labour. 5546. You could not do it unless you had a contract system in force, and also vagrant laws ?—No, unless certain laws were in force to control the population not under contract, and also greater power were given to the proprietors to make contracts


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contracts to ensure continuous labour. I speak of vagrant and trespass laws as laws which might have some effect; but there are other measures that we have in England, which might perhaps be introduced with great benefit into our colonies. 5547. With regard to the cane juice that we alluded to just now: by one operation the cane juice might be converted into raw sugar, or into refined sugar? —Yes; very well into refined sugar. I do not think in the West Indies we should make it of better quality than what is called the crushed lump. 5548. Is there not a great waste in first making the sugar in the West Indies, and then making it refined sugar here ?—Yes. 5549. Would not that be saved if the cane juice were allowed to be imported and refined here ?—That depends upon the practicability of making it stand the voyage in the first place, and upon the extra freight that might be charged upon it. 5550. But would there not be a saving, inasmuch as it would not have gone through an unnecessary process in the West Indies?—It would not have gone through that process in the West Indies ; but if it becomes acid on the voyage home, you lose in one way what you gain in another. 5551. Do you consider that there is no means whatever available to relieve the West India interest, except by raising the price of sugar in this market?—No, I do not say that; but if Government granted us the measures which the West Indians now wish for, and if the Government allowed the West Indies protection for a time, while they were trying those experiments, such as bringing home cane juice, and several other things which now we cannot go to the expense of trying, I think ultimately we, with our good credit, should be able to compete with foreign colonies, with their bad credit. It would be only paying, during the interval, for the advantage of a regular supply of sugar hereafter at a moderate price, which any man of business will do; they will layout money on that which is a losing business, in the first instance, under the impression that it will bring them eventually a remunerative return. It is not making this country pay an extra price for the sugar. 5552. What amount of protection do you think would be adequate for that purpose ?—The average expense of producing sugar in the West Indian colonies ranges from 15 s. to 22s. a cwt.; we may take about 19 s. as the average; the majority are higher than that; it is only Barbadoes that can produce sugar at a lower price, but I should say that the average cost of producing sugar in the British West Indies is about 19s.; but the average cost in the foreign West Indies is about 8 s. the cwt. 5553. You say that the average cost at the present time in the British West Indies is about 19 s.; what is the present average price of West India sugar ?— The present average price of West India sugar, with costs and charges, I believe is 23s.; then you must deduct the costs and charges. 5554. You have 19s. in the West Indies, there is therefore 4s. left, according to your account, to pay costs and charges; what do you reckon the costs and charges from the West Indies here ?—They range from 6 s. to 8 s. at present. 5555. Therefore a rise in the price of sugar of 2 s. or 3 s. a cwt., according to your account, would replace the cost of production and pay all the costs and charges?—That which I have given is simply the cost; we should begetting nothing for interest of capital, and nothing to enable us to put a good year against a bad year. 5556. Do riot you include in the cost of 19 s. per cwt., the interest ?—No, that is the actual cost of producing sugar. 5557. Can you undertake to tell the Committee that, exclusive of interest on your capital, and wear and tear of machinery, the mere outlay of money for wages and salaries and supplies amounts to 19 s. a cwt. ?—I undertake to tell the Committee that in Demerara, after deducting the rum and offal, it costs 22 s. 6d. on a large estate, over a period of six years, exclusive of interest of capital; that was cost of supplies, and wages and salaries. 5558. What addition would you have to make, in order to include the interest of capital ?—For estates that have been valued at 100,000 I., you ought to allow 10 per cent, in that climate; but that is a different thing altogether from the present state of things; you cannot oll what the interest of capital upon an estate is now. 5559. a rise in the market of 2s. or 3s. a cwt. would replace the whole 0-32. 02 of

5.

B.Moody,

Esq.

2 March 1848.


100 S B. Moody, Esq. 2 March 1848.

MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

of such cost of production as you have mentioned, and the freight and expense of bringing the sugar here ?—I believe, taking the average of the estates in the British West Indies, 25s, or 2Gs. a cwt. would be equivalent to the cost of production of the sugar, and bringing it here. 5560. You stated that good sugars were produced at 15 s. per cwt.; upon all that class of sugars a rise in the market of 2s. or 3s. a cwt. would replace the cost of production, freight, and charges, and leave a profit ?—It might leave a profit of about 2s. per cwt.; what it will do when the 6s. are off is another question. 5561. Mr. Allies.] What proportion of the whole West Indies is that portion in which those sugars are produced ?—A very small proportion indeed ; it is only in Barbadoes ; in taking the average it ought to be taken higher than that, because the majority of the estates in the British West Indies require 20s. to 22s. 6s. per cwt. to produce the sugar; there are very few estates in Barbadoes that produce it at 15 s. per cwt. 5562. You stated that you were in St. Croix; do you know whether the machinery they have lately introduced there has answered ; I believe they have had steam-chests?—They have had Ronald's steam-chest, and I put up some vacuum machinery there ; I believe that they have both answered. A proprietor of an estate, for whom I put up a vacuum pan, told me that it made an increase of 30 per cent, in the production of his estate. 5563. Was that the case with the steam-chest?—I think not. 5564. What improvement of the quality of the sugar took place?—The quality of the sugar was not very much improved, because Santa Cruz sugar is very good, but it lessened the quantity of their molasses; it told in that way more than in improving the quality of the sugar. 5565. Sir E. Buxton.] When you say the cost of Cuba sugar is 8s. per cwt., do you include the cost of the slaves?—No; I think that that is taken in the same way as we have taken it in reference to the British West Indies ; viz. the actual expense of the estate. 5566. Can you give the items ?—There are staves, what is called lumber, and hoes, and 55 puncheons of corn meal, salt fish, rice, plantains, medicines, clothes for the negroes, carts, repairs, and freight to market; manager, major-domo's salary ; and there is no allowance for waste of capital, or for interest sunk in slaves. 5567. Are you aware what the value of a slave in Cuba is ?—I have been informed that it is about 60/. for full-grown slave. ,5568. Do you know whether the slaves are chiefly bred on the island or imported ?—When I was in St. Thomas's, which is a neighbouring colony to Porto Rico, and the principal trade of which is with Porto Rico, I was informed that they were principally imported into Porto Rico. 5569. Do you know how it is with regard to Cuba?—I cannot say ; there are some slaves which have been imported into Porto Rico from St. Croix. 5570. Have you been on the plantations in Cuba?—No, I have not; the information I have of Cuba is from Cuba planters and engineers of mine, who have been there. 5571. Then, in fact, this rate of 8s. per cwt. entirely excludes the expense of the slaves, risk of loss of life, and interest of capital invested ?—Yes. 5572. And the maintenance of the sick and inefficient ?—It includes the maintenance of the sick and inefficient. 5573- And children?—It includes that; but not interest on what you would call capital. 5574. You spoke of vagrant laws being passed, and you recommended that a tax should be imposed upon all lands ; of course it would be necessary that that tax should be upon the white man's land, as well as upon the black man's land?" —What I should propose would be a tax upon the transfer of land. 5575. Imposed, in fact, for the purpose of preventing the black getting land? —Getting land under certain quantities. 5576. Imposed for that purpose alone?—Imposed for that purpose alone. 5577. It would be one law for the black man, and another law for the white man ?—It would be one law for both, as it is in Australia ; you are not allowed to purchase land except at a certain price, 1l. an acre : the extent varies according to the lots; but it is half an acre in -us, and in the country I believe it ranges from 100 to 600 acres. In George Town, Demerara, there is the remains of an old Dutch law that no man shall sell less than half a lot of land ; the lands were


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were divided into certain portions; in the town no man, whether he is black or S. B Moody, Esq. white, can sell less than half a lot; he cannot break up his land into smaller 2 March 1848. pieces than that. 5578. In those colonies which you have been in are there many negroes who have possessed themselves of land ?—In Demerara very many, and in St. Vincent's very many ; there are not many in Barbadoes. There are two or three estates that were purchased in Demerara for the purpose of cultivation ; but there was a difficulty in working it with so many masters, each man being his own master, and ultimately they divided it into lots of land, and, I believe, with great advantage. In St. Vincent's, after emancipation, a good many negroes went and squatted up among the hills, far from the estates, on lands which had been provision grounds originally ; and the proprietors were induced to sell land in the neighbourhood of their estates, with a view to get the labour now and then of the parties occupying those lands. 5579. So that in these colonies a law of that kind restricting the purchase of land, would not affect large parts of the population ?—No, it would not. 5580. If a tax were imposed upon the smaller lots of land, do not you think that the negroes would unite and purchase a large block of land, and then divide it among them ?—They might do so, and they have done so ; but it makes a great difference whether a large body of people unite and form settlements in the neighbourhood of different estate, or whether they go by twos and threes to a distance from the estates. If they purchase a large block of land, they purchase that block in the neighbourhood of an estate. I would not prevent that, but I would prevent their going to great distances away, far from habitations and far from civilization, and I would induce them to settle near the estates. 5581. Your great object is to make the labourer more dependent upon the planter; if he had a great proportion of this large block of land, he would be quite as independent as he is now ?—He would be, to a certain extent, independent, but he would have to pay more for provisions than if he were at a distance where he could get provisions easily; that would have some effect, but not all the effect I should wish. To make him dependent upon the proprietor entirely, I should not wish to see; I think there ought to be dependence on both sides. 5582. Do not you think that if a large proportion of negroes were to take place, and the price of labour in the colonies fell, the other negroes, or many of them, would leave the plantations altogether, and buy blocks of land and settle upon them?—If the price of labour fell in consequence of the importation of labourers, they would not be able to buy land ; but I think that by that means, and by making the labour attentive and continuous, we could get much more work from the negroes and save expenses in supplies, without reducing their wages; for instance, on an estate on the River Essequibo, which I was on, belonging to a resident proprietor, we went out to see the people perform their tasks (the people on that occasion were planting canes), and on looking at the canes that they had planted we found them very deficiently planted, we could draw them up with our sticks, and the consequence was, we were obliged to have the tasks performed over again. The planter would willingly pay the same amount of wages that he now gives, for doing the work properly, because it would save him supplying of canes at a future period. It is more attentive and continuous labour that we want, rather than a reduction of wages, though we want that also. 5583. Were those negroes?—They were. 5584. What do you mean by continuous labour; you have made use of that term several times?—We will suppose that the canes have been planted; we want continuous labour to keep the weeds down ; if the ground is weeded for a certain time after the planting, and weeded thoroughly, it will not require weeding for some time hereafter, and if all the operations of planting and manufacturing follow one another consecutively and continuously, we can produce ripe cane, and better and cheaper sugar ; that is the sort of continuous labour I want instead of a man coming for one week, and then you cannot calculate whether he will come for the future, or not; and if he does not come the weeds grow up, and there is a loss sustained in weeding three or four times. 5585. Can you suggest any plan by which that continuous labour may be obtained from those negroes who are now in the colony?'—I believe it has been obtained, to a certain degree, in some colonies, by making a law, that if a man O 3 0.32. comes


102 S. B. Moody, Esq. 2 March 1848.

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comes to work and receives wages for a day, he must continue to work for the rest of the week, and if he does not give labour continuously for a month he is fined for so doing ; but it would be difficult to do it with the labourers in our colonies; the only safe way is to send in other labourers, and eventually the necessity would be met by the present labourers working continuously ; and I think the immigration might be reduced, when they found that the planters could do without them. 5586. During the crop time, the boiling goes on for certain hours in the day in the British colonies?—Yes. 5587. Would it not be possible to have relays of labourers? —I do not think so from what I have seen; it might be done, but I think it would be done with great difficulty and expense. But there is another disadvantage in doing that in our colonies; we have a difficulty in cutting the canes during the day ; when they worked in the manufactory day and night, they got in a large quantity of canes in the day, and working at night would , throw a great deal more work upon us in the day than we could get done. 5588. Are you aware what the amount of wages is?—In British Guiana it was before the present fall, 1 s. 4 d. a day for field labour ; it ranged from that to half a dollar or 2 s. 1 d. for people employed about the buildings. 5589. Do you know what the fall is?—I saw it stated that the fall was 25 per cent. 5590. That is a fall to a shilling a day?—Yes. 5591. Guiana is the highest colony, I believe, as regards wages ?—-Trinidad is the highest. 5592. Do you know what the wages are in any of the other colonies?—In Barbadoes they were about 1 s. a day; in St. Vincent I believed they ranged from 10 d. to 1 s. 5593. What have they fallen to in Barbadoes ?—I am not aware ; in Antigua they were 1 s., they have fallen to 8 d., but only till crop time. 5594. Do you know what the wages are in Jamaica ?—I do not. 5595. For those wages how many hours a day do they work ?—I have seen an African who had been lately imported, an immigrant (and those are generally unskilful people), leave his task at 11 o'clock in the morning, having completed it and earned his day's wages. 5596. Was that the usual ease ?—The usual case is, that they leave their work about the middle of the day. 5597. Mr. Wilson.] At what time do they begin ?—It varies from five to six in the morning. 5598. Sir E. Buxton.'] Do you know to what African nation that man you spoke of belonged ?—No ; he was a young man. 5599. Have you ever heard complaints of the negroes being irregularly paid? —Some years ago they were, I believe, irregularly paid, from the difficulty of getting specie in the colony, and the objection of the Government to give what were called goods in the colon}'; there was a complete change in the system. It was well pointed out in a letter to Lord Glenelg the difficulty that would arise from the absence of specie,and during that time there was a difficult y about wages, but I believe since then, until very lately, wages have been satisfactorily paid. 5600. Do you know what the amount of immigration has been into Demerara since 1842?— I have heard, but I do not know the number of immigrants remaining in Demerara, for people have returned. A great many were brought from the East Indies who returned, and a great many have come up from Barbadoes who have returned, and therefore I do not know the actual increase of population that has taken place from immigration. 5601. Has that,immigration answered?—I believe the restrictions that have been put upon it have made it very expensive, hut that they have found that it has not answered for another reason, that not having contracts with the individuals imported, the planters are indisposed to employ them as labourers when they are first landed on account of their having, as Europeans have, the seasoning sickness; and unless the person employing them at that time has the probability of their continued service for some time after their sickness, he is unwilling to employ them. 5602. Do the people engage for a year ?—I believe they do in some cases; but not regularly, I believe. 5603. The planters can by law contract with the immigrants for a year?—They can


SELECT COMMITTEE ON SUGAR AND COFFEE PLANTING. 103 can by law do so, but it would not pay a planter to maintain a man for the first six months, probably in sickness, if he were merely to have his services for the next six months. 5604. Do you know what the vagrant laws in Demerara are at present ?—I do not know what they are at present; I believe, till very lately, there were no vagrant laws or trespass laws at all; I do not know what alterations have been made lately. 5605. lias there been any immigration into Demerara from other parts besides Africa?—Yes, there has been a great immigration from Barbadoes and from other parts; people have been tempted by the high rate of wages in Demerara. I have met with a great many labourers in Demerara who have come from Barbadoes and other parts; they come to Demerara and work there for some time, and then return. 5606. Do you know whether there is any squatting in British Guiana ?—I believe there is, up the river; but near the estates there cannot be much squatting, for the land requires to be drained, and therefore I believe it would be difficult to squat there. 5607. Is squatting carried on to any extent?—I believe it is not, but I am not aware of the number of squatters ; squatting is, in St. Vincent's, carried to a considerable extent. 5608. Mr. Wilson.] You appear to think that continuous labour is more necessary than a greater quantity of labour ; is that so ?—I think it is the first step ; as an engineer, I certainly think so, for I think it would save us in this point of view; it would enable us to reduce the proportion of wages without reducing the rate of wages. 5609. Have you considered what the effect in the present state of the West Indies would be if you had a large quantity of new immigrants thrown into those colonies ; first, the effect upon the possibility of preserving order in the colonies ; and, secondly, the effect upon the production, provided order could be maintained?—I think it would stimulate production very much, if order could be maintained; but I do not. think it would be the best plan of carrying out immigration, to carry in a large body of immigrants all at once; I think that would be attended with difficulties, as regards a supply of provisions. 5610. You are not friendly to immigration ?—Not to the immigration of a very large number at once; but I do not see how we could make contracts with people for a period of years without immigration ; the people in the colony would not be willing to contract with the proprietors for a series of years. They would say, "We can get as good wages whether we contract or not;" but if you engaged with people before they came to the colony, they would be willing to contract with you for a series of years. 5611. You do not think that immigration would be a desirable thing, unless it were accompanied with contracts for a series of years ?—I do not. 5612. And those contracts you said ought to be for five years?—Yes. 5613. Do you apprehend any difficulty in carrying those contracts into effect, provided the men who made the contracts, when they came to the colony, found themselves not so well off as those who were living in the colony ?—They would be equally well off as regards their comforts and their rate of wages ; they would only be obliged to give their labour to the planter, as they had contracted to do; their means would not be less than the means of those about them. 5614. 'J he benefit you expect would be that the man would not be able to change his master ?—Certainly. 3615. Are you aware that Lord Harris has endeavoured to enforce laws against squatting in the island of Trinidad ?—I am nut aware of it. 5616. Are you aware of any particular impediment which has been offered to the executive government in that island in enforcing order or laws against squatting ?—I think it would be very difficult to enforce laws against squatting, as regards the past; but if laws were made against squatting for the future, it might be checked. 5617. Why do you think that there would be a difficulty in enforcing laws against squatting as regards the past?—Because a man who has been in the habit of squatting, considers that he has a vested right to the land upon which he squats, but the man who has not laid out any labour on the land might look upon it in' a different point of view. 5618. Do you find that a man who squats upon Crown land, looks upon it as o 4 his 0.32.

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his own ?—Decidedly; and that is acknowledged by the laws in some colonies ; if any person purchases land over a squatter's head, I believe it is the case in Port Philip, that there is an allowance made for that. 5619. In the West Indies there are two classes of lands; private lands and Crown lands; with regard to the Crown lands, can you suggest any mode by which squatting or subdivision of land could be prevented ?—Nothing would prevent that. 5620. Not a duty on the transfer of land ?—That is not squatting ; squatting is taking possession of land without any right to it. 5621. Can you suggest any means by which the further subdivision of land into small parcels could be prevented ?—I think if a block of land is divided into small allotments in order to form a village, there is no great harm in it, because it centralizes the population ; but I think a tax on any person selling a small parcel of land by itself would prevent a negro buying it; it would not prevent a body of negroes buying a block of land and dividing it among themselves. 5622. Are you aware that in all the colonies in which the Government have Crown lands, they have strictly prohibited squatting, and have endeavoured to enforce that prohibition as much as they possibly could?—I am aware of that. 5623. In the island of Jamaica the lands have all passed into private hands, and therefore the Government have no control over them ; you have suggested a tax upon the transfer of land ; what is your opinion of a tax upon the value of land ?—We could not make a tax of that kind without having a taxation upon the sugar plantations in the neighbourhood, and the tax upon a sugar plantation, making 100 tons of sugar from 100 acres of land, would be perhaps about 300 I.; but it would be only 3 I. an acre, and on a negro's small allotment of a quarter of an acre it would be only 15 s., and he could earn that in a short time, so that it would have a very trifling effect unless you increased the amount of tax on the small allotments. 5624. Can you state how the revenues of the island are at present raised ?—I believe principally by duties on exports and imports. 5625. Principally on imports?—No; there are taxes on sugar exported. The House of Assembly is composed of merchants and planters ; principally of merchants; therefore they give and take in that way. 5626. There is a duty on the importation of all kinds of food ?—Yes. 5627. Do not you think the duty on the importation of food has a tendency to encourage the growth of provisions by the negroes?—I think not; if there is a high rate of wages the negro prefers the American supplies, but if there is a low rate of wages he would cultivate provisions himself. 5628. The import duty must advance the price of food ?—Yes. 5629. The higher the price of food the greater is the motive he must have to grow his own food ?—Certainly. .5630. The lower you can make the price of food the greater inducement you give him to work for wages in order to purchase that food ?—Yes; but there is a great objection to importing much food from America, because it has to be paid for in cash ; wo are not able to produce our sugar at a price to pay for it, and if, therefore, we were to take measures to increase the importation of food from America it would increase the difficulty of paying in cash. 5631. If you have by an increased importation of food an increased production of sugar, the money you get by means of that increased production must pay for that increased importation ?—At present the greater the production of sugar the greater the amount of loss. 5632. But we want to obtain a larger quantity at the same cost, and thereby to convert a losing trade into a gaining trade ?—I do not see how a larger importation of food, even if it lower the price of that food, will lessen the cost of production. 5633. But will it not tend to make the negroes work more continuously if they can purchase their food cheaper than they can grow it?—I do not see why it should be so; as it is they consume more food that they grow than food that they purchase. 5634. If food were cheaper would they be induced to purchase still more and grow still less ?—I dare say they would. 5635. Do you happen to remember the paper that was addressed to Lord Goderich, when he was in the Colonial-office, by the West India body, recommending a reduction of the duties on imported commodities, for the purpose of encouraging the negroes to purchase them, which would be an inducement to them to give their labour?—No, I have not seen it. 5636. Supposing


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5636. Supposing that all the duties in those colonies were done away with, and the revenues of the island raised by a tax on the occupation of land, and the trade of the island thereby made free, what do you think would be the effect upon the habits of the negro ?—I think the effect would be that the sugar would have to pay the whole of the tax, because it would, in fact, go from the lands on which the sugar is cultivated ; and I think the labourers being able to live upon two days' wages instead of upon three, they would work those two days instead of working the three. 5637. You think that the labourer would not. be induced to work in order to obtain luxuries, and the use of clothing, and various things that would become cheaper, and that his habits would not thereby be improved?—If all things were cheaper, he would get something more with a fewer number of days' wages. 5638. But is there nothing in the habits of the people that would operate ?— It is quite hypothetical to what degree his habits might change ; but if he could get all those luxuries for less money, he would work for a less number of days. 5639. You told us about the restrictions on immigration ; what are the restrictions at present, as far as you know them ?—'The restrictions are as regards the nature of the contracts that you are allowed to make with the immigrants; you are not allowed to make contracts with the immigrants out of the colony, or to import immigrants, unless they are perfectly free, from the coast of Africa. 5840. But you spoke of the reason why particular immigrants had not answered, as having been in consequence of the restrictions in the colony; what are those restrictions ?—The restriction is this, as I mentioned before. If an immigrant arrives in the colony of Demerara, for instance, you are allowed to make a contract with him for a year, that is a restriction which imposes on you the expense of maintaining him during the time of seasoning, without an adequate amount of labour to repay you. Sometimes he is four or five months going through the process of seasoning, and you have to maintain him during that process, and then you have only seven months' labour for him ; that is a restriction. If the planter were put in a position to make a contract for three, four or five years, the expense of maintenance would be very small, extended over that period. 5641. Is it your opinion, that the parties would be willing to make such a contract ?—I doubt whether they would when they arrived in the colony. 5642. Before they arrived in the colony, do you think they would be willing to make such a contract?—I think they would. I have heard it stated that they would. 5643. Do you know the article called concrete sugar?—No, I never saw it. 5644. The objection you stated to the cane juice being brought here, is the liability to acidity. You have not seen the article prepared called concrete sugar? —No, I have not. 5645. It is boiled a little longer, till it becomes solid ; supposing the boiling of the cane juice were continued a little longer, so that when it was poured out it became a solid mass ; if it were sent here in that state, would not that obviate the objection ?—- Decidedly not, because all the mischief is done to the juice ; if you boil it in the open process, so as to make it come into a mass, it becomes muscovado sugar. 5646. This becomes solid cane sugar?—It can only become solid cane sugar by being boiled and potted at a very high temperature. I have seen very solid sugar made in the West Indies, but I have not seen the sugar that you refer to. 5647. You have stated that there was a prohibition in the French West Indies against the exportation of refined sugar?—Yes; I have been told so by the French planters, in making inquiries about the central works which they have in Guadaloupe ; they have informed me that they are not allowed to export sugar above a certain quality. 5648. Are you not aware that there are established in Guadaloupe and Martinique large refineries of sugar, and that the great bulk of the sugar refined there is exported ?—No ; there is a company who have a great many central sets of work in Guadaloupe. I am not aware of any in Martinique, but they do not export any quantity of refined sugar. 5649. You are not aware that a large quantity of sugar in the French colonies is refined, and sent home?—No, I am not. 5650. You stated that in 1845 the production of beet-root sugar in France was 28,000 tons?—Yes, or 28,000,000 kilogrammes. 5651. And that it had fallen from 50,000 tons in 1838 ?—-'Yes. 0.32. P 5652. Do

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5652. Do you suppose that that reduction was in consequence of the deduction of the protective duty ?—Undoubtedly. 5653. You are not aware that since that period a very important improvement has been discovered in refining the beet-root sugar, by which they can produce it so much more economically, that it has already made an increase?—That improvement in making refined sugar at one process from the beet-root, was invented before this great reduction to 28,000,000 kilogrammes. 5654. Was it practised ?—Yes. 5655. Was it practised generally ?—I am not aware that it was, but it had been introduced, and with success. 5656. Are you aware that that practice has now become almost universal, and that to the economy in having one single process from the beet-root to the refined sugar, they attribute the great success that has resulted ?—I am not aware of it; it is very probable that it is so. 5657. You are not aware that the amount of produce has risen up to 52,000 tons ?—I am not aware of it; but their being able to do that, would save great expense. 5658. Are you aware that in Germany the beet-root sugar is being generally used?—I am aware that it is, under a high protection. 5659. In what neighbourhood ?—Throughout Silesia and that district. 5660. Do you know anything of the neighbourhood of Magdeburg?—I saw the prices of some sugars made at Magdeburg from beet-root, and they were upwards of twice the price of the same quality of sugar at Hamburg. 5661. Where was that ?—It was in the Liverpool Times and some other papers, in December of last year, or January of this year. 5662. You are not aware that in Magdeburg the beet-root sugars jare underselling the foreign without any protection whatever?—Certainly not. 5663. The Hamburg sugar was in bond, but the other had paid duty?—Hamburg sugar pays a very small duty, three per cent, ad valorem. 5664. You, in reply to a question of Mr. Gibson, suggested that the French beet-root sugar could not come to this market, because the price is higher in France; are you not aware that on the exportation of refined sugar in France there is a large drawback?—I have taken the net price of the sugar, after deducting the duty. I do not know the amount of drawback ; there may be some arrangement in regard to drawback, by which the refiners of sugar receive more for drawback than they have strictly a right to; but what I deduct is the duty on the sugar. 5665. The drawback is, in fact, larger than the duty ?—Then that amounts to a protection on the sugar. 5666. In Belgium are you aware that the amount of beet-root sugar is rapidly increasing?—I am aware that in 1843 the refiners were allowed an amount of drawback for less than 60 per cent, exported; between 50 and 60; under those circumstances it is increasing. 5667. Are you aware that that law has been altered within the last 18 months? —Yes ; it is the law of 1846 that I speak of. 5668. And they now make a large profit by that?—The refiners have to export 70 per cent, of the sugar to receive the drawback, under the law of 1846, having previously been allowed to receive the drawback on only about 50 per cent., or something of that kind ; and under those circumstances the amount of beetroot sugar certainly has increased in Belgium. 5669. Do you consider that beet-root sugar in Belgium is placed under more favourable circumstances now than foreign sugar ?—I am not aware of all the circumstances; I have hardly attended to that part of the case, therefore I do not know what the duty or the drawback upon foreign colonial sugar is ; but there is, I believe, a good deal of refining in bond in Belgium. 5670. Are you aware that duties are imposed on beet-root sugar in proportion to the quantity produced, that they have a scale of duty which rises in proportion to the quantity produced ?—I am not aware of the fiscal regulations ; as in all excise regulations of that kind, there are a great variety of charges, and some are escaped, and some they have to pay. 5671. You are not aware that in the present year the production of beet-root sugar in Belgium has risen in amount, though it is placed in the same position as foreign sugar in regard to the refining and the drawback allowed ?—I am not aware of that. 5672. Are


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5672. Are you aware that in Holland there are large refineries of sugar?— Yes; the one that failed lately was supported indirectly by the government. 5673. And there are others besides that?—Yes. 5674. Suppose we had protection against foreign sugar, and there was no protection against beet-root sugar grown on the Continent, how would you protect the home market against the refineries on the Continent?—If they receive, as is mentioned, a bounty, I think we ought to be protected against it. 5675. But in Belgium they receive no bounty, and in Holland they receive no bounty ?—I think that the price in Belgium of beet-root sugar is higher than muscovado sugar in England; the price of loaf sugar for consumption rose in Belgium from 100 to 115 francs per 100 kilogrammes in 1845 ; to 140 and 150 in 1847 ; the price has increased nearly 50 per cent, in those two years to the consumer. The price of muscovado beet-root sugar in Belgium is 100 to 110 francs. I have not the amount of duty in Belgium, but I find that it is very nearly the same as the coarse beet-root sugar is in France. 5676. Do you know any reason why sugar should be higher in Antwerp than it is in any other part of Europe ?—No, I do not know the trade of Antwerp. 5677. But do you know any reason why sugar in Antwerp should be dearer than in Amsterdam, or any other part?—I know no reason why sugar imported into Antwerp should be dearer than sugar imported into Amsterdam, but I do not know the duties that are charged. 5678. But irrespective of the duties ?—Irrespective of the duties, I know no reason. 5679. If in Antwerp the refiner of foreign sugar receives a certain allowance when it is re-exported, and the refiner of beet-root sugar receives the same allowance, is it not a sufficient proof that beet-root sugar is produced as cheaply as foreign sugar?—I do not know the details of the arrangements that are made ; I go by the price current. I think there must be some system of protecting the sugar which causes that difference. When I find that the price of beet-root sugar is so much higher than the price of cane sugar, I think there must be some protection given either as a bounty, or in some other way, on beet-root, to make it come out at the same price. 5680. Do you speak of the price current as charged to the Belgian consumer, or the price current having reference to the bonded price in Antwerp?—As charged to the consumer. 5681. Are you not aware that there are a variety of duties in the towns besides that?—Yes ; this is the price current of Antwerp. 5682. But Antwerp has an excise duty, and there is the octroi duty in Antwerp, as well as in other towns ?—There may be. Beet-root sugar may be able to compete with foreign sugar in Belgium ; but it is so rare a case that it does not occur anywhere else that I am aware of. 5683. Are you aware, that under the present law, refined sugar can be imported from other countries into this country, being the growth and produce of the country where it is refined ?—Yes. 5684. Are you not aware that in this year the importers of sugar from Belgium have been importing a considerable quantity of this sugar under those circumstances? —I am not aware of that. 5685. Are you aware that we have certain treaties with Holland which would compel us to admit their refined sugar at the same duties that we charge upon the refined sugars of any other country, whether we were disposed to do it or not?—I am not aware of the treaties with other countries. 5686. You are not aware how far our existing treaties would make a protective duty on sugar coming from our West Indian colonies imperative ?—No, I am not, because I do not know what sugars you would protect against. If you protect against all foreign sugars it would make no difference. 5687. You admit that there ought to be no protection against continental sugars?—I do not say that there ought to be no protection against them ; I say that there is no fear of their coming in at the continental price. 5688. Your answer to a former question was, that you thought there should be no protection against the free-labour sugar of the Continent ?—I think what I said was this ; I was asked whether there was any danger from the competition of that sugar, and I said I thought there was none, 5689. Have you considered what the effect would be in our own colonies within the next few years, provided we had the protective duty that you now 0.32. p 2 suggest?-^-

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suggest ?—I think with a protective duty and such measures as may be found advisable, in a few years we should be able to produce sugar with machinery at a price varying from 125. to 145. and 15s. per cwt. 5690. You think that there would be very soon a very large increase in the production of sugar in our colonies ?—I think the production of sugar would meet the demand of this country. 5691. Are you aware that it nearly meets it already?—I have heard to-day that it exactly meets it, 5692. Do you think that you would be improving the condition of Trinidad, or any other of those large islands, unless they produced considerably more than they produce at present ?—If they produced the same quality at a less cost, or they made sugar of a higher quality, that would benefit the consumer. They can produce sugar now at 205. or 225. 6d. per cwt.; if you put them in a position to produce it at 12 5. or 14 5. by protecting them, they might not produce a larger quantity, but they might produce it at less cost. 5693. How do you think we are to put them in a condition to produce sugar at 12s. or 15 5. a cwt.?—In this way, you may lessen the cost of production by reducing the amount of supplies. 5694. What do the supplies cost?—It varies on various estates; on some estates there is a larger amount of supplies, on another a larger amount of lumber, or their coppers may be burnt out, or they may save in coppers. 5695. Can you provide for that by Act of Parliament ?—Yes ; by Act of Parliament we may secure attentive and continuous labour, and prevent those things being destroyed. 5696. That is by having more labour?—Yes; either by having a great deal more labour, or by having a smaller amount of labour under better control. 5697. The great object you "have in view is to increase the number of labourers, and to decrease the cost by increasing your control over the labour?—Yes; partly by one, and partly by the other; but if you diminish the cost, I presume that the consumption will increase. 5698. You do not want to decrease the price ; the price is too low at present ? —The price is too low with our present cost of sugar ; but if we made a better quality of sugar, and were at less cost in producing it, we could afford to sell that better quality at the same price as we now sell the inferior quality at, which is tantamount to a reduction in the price to the consumer. 5699. But what you want is a higher price here, and a smaller cost in the colonies ?—I do not care for a higher price here, if I get a lower cost of production. 5700. A sufficient lower cost of production to make it pay?—Yes. 5701. But in order to do that you must increase your capital ? —Yes. 5702. If by increasing your capital you increase your quantity of produce, you will have a surplus in this market ?—I consider that we should not have a surplus; but we could afford to sell crushed lump at the price now given us for muscovado sugar, which would be a great reduction in price to all intents and purposes. .5703. Mr. Villiers.] I think the Committee understood you to say that the planters could not make contracts out of the colonies?—I have been informed that that is the case, that is, for periods of three, or four, or five years. 5704. Are you aware that that is confined to Africans and Hindoos ?—I believe it is confined to Africans and Hindoos; but Africans are precisely the people we want. 5705. But if the Government or the planters chose to make contracts with other people, such as Germans, Portuguese, or Irish, they might make contracts with them out of the colony ?—We are allowed to import Africans at any time in the year; but Portuguese and others we are not allowed to import at any but certain periods, and I do not think a large amount of Portuguese, or Germans, or Irish, would live in the country; my experience of my own engineers was that 50 per cent, had died. 5706. Did the Committee understand you to say, that if you made contracts with Africans, Hindoos, or any other class of persons in the colony, they would not be binding upon them ?—No; what I said was, that I did not think Africans or Hindoos in the colony would bind themselves. I think being in the colony, and being able to get a high rate of wages without any contract at all, they would see no necessity for binding themselves in order to get that high rate of wages, 5707. Can


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109

5707. Can you say that contracts have been offered to them under which they were to receive continuous work for a certain time, and that they have refused such contracts ?—From personal experience, not being a planter, I cannot say so; it is only from what I have heard in the colony. 5708. It is for the interest of those people to be assured of receiving wages for a certain time?—They fancy that they are insured that, owing to their small number. 5709. With respect to their numbers, supposing they were willing to work and willing to work continuously, do you suppose that there is actually enough labour in those colonies to produce an amount of sugar which would supply the market ? —It depends entirely upon the nature of the restrictions; were they willing to work at lower wages and for the same time that they worked during the period of slavery, probably we should be able to meet the greater portion of the demand, though we should not be able to meet all, because the reduction of duty in 1844 has very much increased the demand for sugar, and therefore with the present amount of labour, unless they worked harder than they did at the time of slavery, we should not be able to produce the quantity required. 5710. In some of those colonies there is not such a number of labourers to supply the market as you expect at a future period?—I think not. 5711. You are acquainted generally with the West India islands?—I am. 5712. They are all under different circumstances, are they not?—Yes, almost every island is under different circumstances. 5713. What do you apprehend would be the effect upon an island, take Jamaica, if Trinidad were able to obtain all the labour that the planters there would say was sufficient?—If Jamaica stood still, and did not get labour too, it would probably be in difficulties ; but then it would have had the option given to do it, and it would be its own fault. 5714. Supposing Jamaica and Trinidad, and, in fact, all the colonies, were to have as much labour as they think requisite, how could that operate upon the whole, or rather how would it operate upon each island ; would not Trinidad produce such a quantity of sugar as might depress the market of Jamaica?—No, I think those matters are generally supposed to suit themselves to supply and demand, and if they had in Jamaica more labour than was necessary to raise the sugar, and which would raise too much sugar, the supply and demand would stop that. 5715. But I believe the estates in Jamaica are very much mortgaged ?—Almost every estate in the West Indies is in the same position in that respect. 5716. The estates in Trinidad are as much encumbered ?—I believe the incumbrances on West India properties are of a peculiar nature ; they do not result from the expenditure exceeding the income, but verv frequently a person having 2,000 /. or 3,000/. agrees to purchase an estate for 10,000l. or 15,000l., and to make up the balance he encumbers the estate with part of the purchase-money. 5717. He mortgages the estate for the purchase-money?—Yes, expecting to work off the debt by a series of profits. 5718. lie is a man originally of not sufficient capital to purchase the estate?— Yes, or he is without the means of carrying on the establishment, as in erecting and working our manufactories in England. 5719. And he mortgages the estate ?—Yes. 5720. Is that the case generally throughout those islands ?—Yes. 5721. Is there any great difference in the soil of those islands?—Yes, there is. .5722. Are not the estates in Jamaica much more exhausted than the estates in Trinidad and Guiana?—Take Barbadoes and Guiana, which are the two extremes; one exhausted and the other unexhausted, but with very luxuriant vegetation and luxuriant climate ; we have in the one the difficulty of keeping down the weeds in consequence of the vegetation, and that difficulty is pretty nearly as great as the difficulty of manuring. 5723. But. the differences in the soil are sufficiently great to make the advantages of having this importation of labour that you require, very different in the different cases ?—Yes; Barbadoes, from its dense population, would not benefit to the same extent from an importation of labourers as Demerara. I think St. Vincent's would benefit to the same extent, or nearly, as Demerara. 5724. But do you expect, as the result of obtaining sufficient supply of labour, that the quantity of sugar produced would be increased ?—A larger amount, or a better quality of sugar would be produced at the same price as inferior sugar is now produced at. 0.32. p 3 5725. You

507 S. B. Moody, Esq. 2 March 1848.


110 B, B. Moody, Esq. 2 March 1848.

MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

5725. You have stated that the supply of sugar would be sufficient to provide for this country, and to admit of some being exported ?—I have not stated that, but I think it is very likely; it would depend upon the degree of consumption here. 5726. That you think would be the result of your having a sufficient supply of labour?—Yes. 5727. You do not attach so much importance to the introduction of machinery as to the introduction of labour ?—I attach more importance to the introduction of labour, and to measures for controlling it, and I ask for a protective duty for a period of years to enable us to try the experiment necessary for reducing our cost of producing the sugar. 5728. Your remedy is a temporary protection, accompanied with a system of importing labour?—Yes, and combined with other measures for regulating that labour. 5729. Are you satisfied, from the experience which you have had, that that labour can be procured ?—I have not been on the coast of Africa, therefore I cannot tell, but I think it depends solely on the removal of restrictions; if they can get labourers to the extent of 200,000 in the slave trade, I think we should be able to get quite as many free labourers for the supply of our own colonies. 5730. Do you think that those Africans would work?—Yes, under contract, I think they would. 5731. You would bring those immigrants from different parts of Europe, or any other part of the world ?—By no means ; those taken from Europe could not, I think, live there. 5732. Have any experiments been made of Portuguese?'—Portuguese have been introduced, and in some cases they died very rapidly when they were in the fields. 5733. Are they unwilling to come?—No; but the bulk of the Portuguese that they have now in Demerara are hucksters; they work in the fields for a short time; they are very good workmen, and very keen for money; and after they have earned sufficient to become hucksters, they leave the work, and become hucksters; but if they were to work for many years in the field, they could not stand it. 5734. Has the importation of Germans answered?—I have heard of Germans being imported; but I should say that the importation of Germans has not answered. 5735. Do I understand you to say that there is an export duty in all these colonies ?—I believe in most of them. .5736. Wherever that is the case it enhances the cost of the sugar that comes to this market ?—The revenue has to be made up in one way or the other, and it depends far more on the cost of production. 5737. Has if been considered whether the duty should not be repealed, considering the low price of sugar ?—The House of Assembly is composed of merchants and planters; the merchants would object to imports being taxed, if the planters' exports were not taxed. 5738. They would expect the import duties to be increased if the export duties were repealed?—Yes. 5739. But that has been taken into consideration ?—I am not justified in saying so. I am not aware. 5740. Chairman.'] You stated, that under the Dutch law no person could purchase a smaller extent of land than half a lot ?—In the town of Demerara that is the case, 5741. What is the extent of a lot under the Dutch law?—That depends upon the position; the quantity in George Town was very small; I had two half lots, and the frontage was 300 feet by 150 feet, or something of that sort. 5742. Then you would propose that that lot should be much enlarged, as you would not allow any person to purchase a smaller extent of land than half a lot ? —I should put a tax on 100 acres, not on such a small quantity ; let them break it up among themselves afterwards if they liked. 5743. What tax do you think would be sufficient?—I do not think the tax required would be very high, because the number of people that would be required to join together in purchasing that quantity would make them backward in purchasing it, and therefore it would keep them more togother. I should say a tax of 3 I. an acre would be sufficient. 5744. For the transfer ?—For the transfer. 5745. Mr.


SELECT COMMITTEE ON SUGAR AND COFFEE PLANTING.

111

5745. Mr. Wilson asked you a question about a land tax; do you think if there were a land tax, and the sugar plantations and coffee plantations were exempt, as in Java sugar lands are exempt from the tax, it might have a good effect?—Undoubtedly it might; but then there would be great difficulty in maintaining that law ; it would be a one-sided law; but I would make the transfer tax extend over small lots less than 100 acres; it should be at the rate of 3/. an acre, on 100 acres and under. 5746. You do not mean an annual tax?—No, a transfer tax; the other applied to an annual tax on other lands than sugar and coffee lands.

509 S. B. Moody, Esq. 3 March 1848.

Sabbati, 4° die Martii, 1848. MEMBERS PRESENT.

Lord George Bentinck. Sir Edward Buxton. Mr. Cardwell. Mr. Hope.

Lord John Manners. Mr. Matheson. Mr. Miles. Mr. Wilson.

LORD GEORGE BENTINCK, IN THE CHAIR.

Andrew Colvile, Esq., called in ; and Examined. 5747. Chairman.] ARE you connected with the British West Indies ?—I am 5748. Will you state to the Committee what the nature of your connexion with the West Indies is ?—I am a West Indian proprietor. I possess two estates in Jamaica and one in Demerara, and I have been engaged as a merchant connected with the West Indies, chiefly with Jamaica, a great many years. 5749. You are very well acquainted with the condition of Jamaica?—Generally so. 5750. Can you furnish any statement of the imports from the colonies for a series of years back?—I can do so from a Parliamentary paper, to which I have referred. It was printed the 21st of May 1847, which gives the imports for a great many years. 5751. It appears from that return that Jamaica exported 1,400,000 cwt. of sugar in the years 1831 and 1832, and in 1833 and 1834 upwards of 1,200,000 cwt.; which gradually fell off to 1,100,000 in 1835, and to 1,000,000 in 1836, and 900,000 in 1837; then it rose again to 1,000,000 and upwards in 1838, and then in 1839 fell to 765,000, and to 518,000 in 1840, and 528,000 in 1841. Can you explain to the Committee how it was that the export of sugar from Jamaica fell off in those latter years ?—After emancipation, or rather upon the emancipation, the crops appear to have fallen off in some degree during the period of apprenticeship. At the expiration of the apprenticeship, in 1838, the crops fell off very largely indeed, owing to the labourers having put in no plant in the autumn of that year in which apprenticeship expired ; consequently for three years the crops were very defective. 5752. The apprenticeship expired in 1838?—Yes, and in 1839 there remained the canes that had been planted in the two previous years. There were no plant canes cut for the crop of 1839 ; at least a much less quantity was cut than usual. 5753. It appears that in 1839 a great falling off took place. In 1838 there were 1,053,181 cwt., and in 1839 only 565,078 cwt. ?—The apprenticeship expired in August 1838 ; the first consequence of that was, that people refused to plant any more canes. 5754. Should not the greater portion of the canes have been planted in the earlier part of the year?—In autumn 1838 they refused to plant the canes. During the course of taking off the following crop the labour was so defective that great injury was sustained from the want of continuous labour in taking off the crop. 5755. The Committee understand that the diminution in the export of 1839 was more from the crop being left to rot upon the ground from the want of labourers 0.32.P 4

A. Colvile, Esq. 4 March 1848.


112 A. Colvile, Esq. 4 March 1848.

MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

labourers to take it off than from a diminution of plant ?—In a great degree from that, though the plant had been gradually diminishing during the period of apprenticeship ; they did not get so much labour from the people during the period of apprenticeship. 5756. In 1840 the crop fell off" still more ; in short, it was not half the crop of 1838, being only 518,000 cwt. This arose from the circumstance, that upon their complete emancipation the negroes ceased to plant canes in the fall of 1838?'— Yes, there having been no plant in 1838, there were no plant canes to be cut for the crop of 1840. 5757. And the same thing occurred in 1841 ?—In 1841 there were no canes to be cut called first ratoons, which would have arisen from the plant which ought to have been put in in 1838. 5758. Then things appear to have begun to mend, and you had a crop of 779,000 cwt. in 1842 ?—Yes. 5759. Did the negroes begin to do a little better then ?—They began to plant canes again in 1839, so that the crop of 1841 was better than that of 1840. The following year they planted canes again, so that the crop mended as we went on. 5760. In 1843 there appear to have been 120,000 cwt. less than in 1842?— That fluctuation arises from the difference of season. 5761. In 1844 there also appears to have been a very short crop, 529,335 cwt.; was that another bad season ?—Those fluctuations arise from the seasons. 5762. There were droughts in Jamaica in the years 1833 and 1834?—In some parts of the island, and there might have been rains in other parts of the island, so that the seasons vary and the crops must fluctuate according to the seasons. 5763. Things appear to have mended again in 1845, when you got to 742,867 cwt. ?—Yes. 5764. Can you explain how it came about that things grew better in 1845 ?— They were become more reconciled to their new position, and the work was going on better upon the whole than it had done previously. 5765. There appears to have been another considerable falling off in 1846 to 572,883 cwt. again ?—That was an unfavourable season generally over the West Indies; the total importation from the West Indies in that year was rather smaller. 5766. Being very little more than one-third of the crop of 1831 ?—No. 5767. Can you state what the crop of 1847 was ?—I can give the total importation from the West Indies in 1847, but I have not got the particular quantities from each colony. The total importation in 1847 was 3,186,293 cwt. I obtained that from a Parliamentary paper, ordered to be printed on the 16th of February. 5768. Have you any calculation, founded upon your recent experience, to show what would be the results of the cultivation if the present prices of sugar and rum should prevail ?—I have them with regard to my own estates, and if the Committee will permit me, I will, as the shortest way, and to save time, read to them a copy of a letter which I wrote to Lord Grey upon the 15th of December last, which goes into that subject. I wrote this letter in consequence of understanding that Lord Grey was attaching great importance to a pamphlet published by Dr. Jelly: "My Lord; I understand with extreme surprise that your Lordship is disposed to give credence to the opinions of Mr. Jelly, of Jamaica, contained in a pamphlet addressed to your Lordship, rather than to the solemn representations of the proprietors and merchants interested in the colonies. Mr. Jelly has referred to the case of one of my estates in illustration of his views, and as I find he is not correct in what he states respecting it, there is reason to infer that he is equally loose and incorrect in many of his other assertions. But at any rate, whatever weight may justly be allowed to his observations, these must be taken with reference to the circumstances at the time and place at which he wrote them, viz., Jamaica, 22d February 1847. In January 1847, sugar of a medium quality sold here at 53 s. per cwt., and fine strong rum at 6 s. 3 d. per gallon ; whereas at present, and for some time past, the prices are and have been 36 s. per cwt. for such sugar, the duty and all expenses being the same at both periods, and 4 s. 2d. per gallon for strong fine rum. Mr. Jelly states that the crop of my estate in 1843 was about 30 hogsheads, whereas it was 99 hogsheads 13 tierces sugar, and 45 puncheons rum in that year. His calculation of crop 1847 is not more correct. The whole crop of 1847 that was shipped has arrived, and has been sold, most of it, early in the season, before prices became so low in consequence of the large importations of slave sugar. Owing to the impossibility of procuring


SELECT COMMITTEE OX SUGAR AND COFFEE PLANTING. 113 procuring labourers, the crop could not be finished (or reaped) in due season, and there remain about 14 hogsheads of sugar and 7 puncheons of rum, which may come forward in March next. The following is the account of what has arrived, viz.:— £. 3,462 cwt. of sugar, producing 100 puncheons of rum -------

3,626 1,806

£. 2,550

5,432

There was paid for labour ----Taxes, repairs and all other expenses in Jamaica Stores sent from hence, mostly materials for casks, ------tools, &c. -

1,210

731

4,491 941

The 14 hogsheads sugar and 7 puncheons rum left over in the island, may, at the present prices, produce

277

£.

1,218

I find that on the average of the last four crops, namely, 1844 to 1847, during which period the seasons have been upon the whole favourable, the crop of this estate has been 3,239 cwt. of sugar, and 89 puncheons strong rum, and that the average annual expenditure has been 4,296 /.; there having been no extraordinary outlay for cattle, repairs or new machinery. Taking these quantities at the present prices, the account would stand thus, viz.:— 3,239 cwt. sugar would produce at 36s.

Less duty and charges

-

£.

21s. 6 d.

14 s. 6 d. per cwt. ------

89 puncheons strong rum

-----

The average annual expenditure

Showing a loss of -

-

-

£.

2,348 1,368 3,716 4,296 580

Now this estate is most favourably situated, and makes a good crop for its extent of establishment. It has water power for the cane mill; the land is level and cultivated with the plough ; there is plenty of pasture land in good order, and 349 head of cattle upon it, and it is situated within three or four miles of the shipping place. I have another estate in Jamaica, not on so large a scale, but which has also water power for the mill, and has been equally well managed, and the following is the result of its cultivation for crop 1847 : — 1,820 cwt. of sugar produced 58 puncheons strong rum

-

-

-

-

£. 1,419 799 415

There was paid for labour Taxes, and all other expenses in Jamaica Stores from hence, materials for casks, tools, &c. Showing a return of -

£. 1,900 1,032

-

-

-

£.

2,932

2,633 299

On the average of the four years, 1845 to 1847, this estate produced 1,563 cwt, of sugar, and 52 puncheons of strong rum, and, taking these at the present prices, the account would stand thus, viz. :— 1,563 cwt. of sugar at -

-

Less duty and charges 52 puncheons strong rum

14 s. 6 d. per cwt. ------

The average annual expenditure

Q

1,133 799 1,932 2,755

-

Showing a loss of 0.32.

£.

36 s. 21 s. 6 d.

-

-

823

There

511 A. Colvile, Esq. 4 Marrh 1848.


114 A. Colvile, Esq. 4 March 1848.

MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

There is no reason to suppose that the low price of sugar is occasioned by the pressure on the money market, or any other temporary cause; on the contrary, there is every reason to believe that the prices would become lower under the existing arrangement of the duty on sugar; and supposing the same supply to be continued from the East Indies, Mauritius and the West Indies, I find that for a series of years, viz. 1841 to 1845, before slave sugar was admitted to consumption here, it was regularly imported and sold here, for export, or to be refined in bond, at prices, in bond, fluctuating from 17 s. to '21 s. the cwt. ; I mean sugar similar in quality to what is now introduced into consumption as muscovado ; and these are about the prices now obtained for such sugar, after deducting the present duty of 20 s. per cwt. This proves that the cultivation of sugar in the slave countries can be maintained at these prices. But it is well known that the supply from the East Indies cannot be obtained at these prices any more than that the cultivation of the Mauritius and the West Indies can be maintained. The prices would then rise to a famine rate, and the supply required to make up the deficiency can only come from the slave countries, where every exertion is being made to extend their production by withdrawing labour from coffee and other cultivation to that of sugar, as well as by increased importation of slaves. If there is not moral courage enough to correct immediately the grievous mistake which was made in the Act of 1846 in respect to the sugar trade, the West India colonies must go out of cultivation, and the proprietors must be entirely ruined. The consequences to the nation in loss of revenue, and high prices of sugar to be sustained for a period of years until an increased slave trade shall replace the quantity of sugar lost, will be well deserved and severe, though this can yield no satisfaction to the victims of this most unparalleled inconsistency and oppression. The responsibility rests entirely upon Her Majesty's Ministers, for the sympathy of all reasonable men is with the colonists." I read that letter, entirely adhering to the opinions that are expressed. To show that the result does not only arise from Jamaica, I would offer to the Committee a calculation of the estate which I have in Demerara, w hich was also made up for three years. The average of the last three crops of this estate, taken from 1844 to 1846, was 207 hogsheads of sugar, delivery weight 3,071 cwt., and 109 puncheons of rum, gauging on delivery 9,919 gallons. The sugar would now sell for 36 s. per cwt., and the rum for 3 s. 2 d. per gallon. Therefore, 3,071 cwt. of sugar, at 36 s., less duty, and charges 19 s. 6 d. (the freight being less from Demerara makes the difference), would yield at 16 s. 6 d. net, 2,418l. ; and 9,919 gallons of rum at 3 s. 2d. less freight and charges yd., would yield, at 2 s. 7 d. net, 1,281 /., making 3,699 l. The average annua! expenditure for the same years was as follows ; for labour, 2,513/.; other colonial expenses, 1,479 /.; stores from this country, 640l.; making 4,632 I.; showing a loss of 933 /. 5768*. Canyon give the Committee the prices of the seven years ?—In the letter which I wrote to Lord Grey, I had reference at the time to the prices of Porto Rico sugar. Upon making a further inquiry, I find that the prices of the ordinary yellow Havannah sugar, which is equivalent to our sugar, have run at these rates :—in 1841, the average price per cwt., in bond, was 20s. 4 d.; in 1842, 17s. 8d.; in 1843, 18 s. 9 d.; in 1844, 18 s. 11d.; in 1845, 22 s. 10 d.; in 1846. 22s. 7 d. 5769. There was a hurricane and a drought in 1845, was not there, which accounted for the price of Havannah sugar going up that year?—There was first a drought, and that was followed by a hurricane, which affected the crops of that year very materially. 5770. In consequence of this fall of price in West India sugar, the West Indies themselves have fallen into such discredit that the resident planters are not able to borrow money to carry 011 their agricultural operations ; is that so ?—The discredit is so great that the greatest difficulty has been found in raising money to pay the wages and carry on the business of the estates. 5771. No merchant, or no money-lender, will lend money now upon the security of a West India estate?—No, that is the case ; and the best proof of the discredit is the proportion of bills which have been dishonoured, or to which the drawees have refused acceptance. 5772. Have you any statement of that kind?—It is consistent with my own knowledge, that, comparing the years 1846 and 1847, the dishonoured bills are in the proportion of two to one in 1847 to what they were in 1846, during the first six


SELECT COMMITTEE ON SUGAR AND COFFEE PLANTING.

115

six months of these years; and taking the latter half of those years, they are as five to one. 5773. That is because there is no confidence in England that the West Indian estates will ever return a net income ?—It is ; it arises from the conviction that at the present prices their cultivation must be carried on at a loss. 5774. Do you presume that if prices continue as they are, all but the best estates must go out of cultivation?—I should think immediately; unless some alteration is made which will satisfy the proprietors of the estates, and persons connected with them, that the cultivation can be carried on at a profit, a great many estates will immediately go out of cultivation ; and, supposing the same rate of prices to continue, the estates will gradually be given up as the canes now upon the ground are taken off'; they will reap what canes may remain, but not replant. 5775. How do you conceive the present amount of taxation in Jamaica is to be raised when so large a proportion of the sugar-cane estates have gone out of cultivation ?—I take it if the sugar cultivation be abandoned, there can be no revenue raised ; and one effect of a very large proportion of the estates being thrown out of cultivation would be, that the remaining estates would not be able to pay taxes sufficient to carry on the police and the expenses of the government. 5776. So that the public credit would fall as low as the private credit is now ? —The public credit at present is very low, so low that no money can be raised upon the security of the colonies. 5777. Government has advertised for loans, has not it, in various of the colonies, and have not been able to get any bids?—The two colonies of Guiana and Trinidad have authorized loans to be made in this country at six per cent. The commissioners for the Trinidad loan advertised, and they did not get a single offer, I understand. 5778. What did Guiana get?—Some time previously to that, before matters had become so bad, they raised a certain sum at five per cent., receiving 90l. to repay 100/.; that was before the extreme discredit which they have now fallen into ; but the commissioners were so satisfied they could not raise the further sum which was wanted, that they have not attempted it. 5779. Do you know what the amount of the loan advertised for in each case was?—The loan for Guiana, 100,000/.; the terms were for bonds of 100,000/., of which they received 90,000/.; that was equivalent to paying seven per cent, for the money. 5780. How much did they get at seven per cent. ?—They got 90,000/. 5781. Trinidad got nothing?—Trinidad did not succeed in getting anything. ,5782. Will the colonies have to fall back upon the mother country to make up this sum ?—Where Government have pledged themselves by chartering ships and other matters relating to emigration, the colonies have failed in providing the money that was expected from them, and consequently the Government of this country will have to provide for such engagements as they have come under. 5783. Do you apprehend, if things remain in their present position, that the present institutions of Jamaica and the other West India Islands, their civil, ecclesiastical and judicial establishments, must either be very much reduced or remain altogether unprovided for?—In the event of the cultivation failing and the impossibility of raising taxes, of course the institutions cannot be provided for at the expense of the colonies; they can only be maintained in that case from the resources of the mother country. 5784. Have you any statement of the annual colonial expenditure of Jamaica which you can communicate to the Committee?—The gross amount of the expenditure for the island of Jamaica appears to be in 1843, 242,509/.; in 1844, 281,432 /.; in 1845, 273,199 /.; and in 1846, 276,787 /. 5785. So that the expenditure appears to be growing?—It appears to be increasing; the paper before me shows, that taking the ecclesiastical expenses, they run 26,000/., 25,000/., and 28,000 /. last year. The civil expenditure has been 74,000/., 87,000/., 85,000/. and 101,000/. The military, 17,000l., 22,000/., 8,900/., and it falls down to 1,577 /. The judicature, 52,000/., 62,000/., 61,000/. and 49,000/. Under the head of government there is 67,000 /., 96,000 /., 94,000/. and 100,000/. Then the expenses of the governor and council under the Act 8 Vict. c. 16, are stated to be 6,000 /. a year for the last two years.—(The Paper was delivered in.) 3786. Is it your opinion that any relief might be afforded by reducing the expenditure very considerably in the island of Jamaica? —I am not so minutely informed * 0.32. Q. 2 upon

513 A. Colvile, Esq. 4 March 1848.

Vide Appendix.


116 A. Colvile, Esq. 4 March 1848.

MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

upon that subject as to be able to give an opinion of what reductions could be made consistently with the efficiency of the different departments. 5787. Do you think if an example were to be set to the labourers in Jamaica of a reduction of the wages and the salaries, by beginning with the Governor, and reducing the salaries 25 or 30 per cent., it would have a very beneficial effect in the way of example ?—It might have such an effect, but I do not pretend to judge what effect such a measure might have upon the minds of the labourers in Jamaica, not having been in Jamaica myself. I do not feel competent to judge how far they might be influenced by such a reduction. I should think the labourers there, pretty much like the labourers here, would get as high wages as they could under the circumstances in which they are placed; the demand is for their labour, not a demand on their part for employment. 5788. The question rather went to this: whether, looking to the difficulties which naturally arise in reducing bodily the wages of an entire labouring population, the force of an example beginning with those above them, is not likely very much to facilitate that proceeding?—No doubt it would have that tendency, but to what extent it would produce an effect upon the minds of the labouring people in Jamaica, I cannot pretend to judge accurately. 5789. If I understand the statement you put in of the cost of labour set against the produce, nothing short of a reduction of labour to the extent of 30 if not of 50 per cent, would leave the planters now a balance in their favour from the produce ?—The wages, taking the crop of 1847, were 2,550 /. out of a total expenditure of 4,491 I. 5790. The difference between 2,550/. and 4,491/. does not admit of reduction ?—That arises from taxes, repairs and supplies. 5791. The only sum you can deal with is the 2,550 /. ?—Yes. 5792. The estate has lost this year, how much did you say ?—That estate has not lost during the year, but it would have lost, at the present prices, 580 /. 5793. Twenty percent, would be a reduction of 580/., which would not be sufficient to make a balance ?—I do not think there can be any hope of getting such a reduction of wages as would meet the loss arising from the present low prices. I do not think the cultivation can be carried on, even looking to such a reduction of wages as has been mentioned, at the present prices of sugar. We could not compete with slave sugar, situated as we are, because it is not only that the wages are high nominally in money, but what is called a day's work is only in fact a few hours' work. 5794. At the present prices you must reduce the wages 50 per cent., or one-half, to make the estate pay 775l. ?—Yes. 5795. Does it come within the limit of possibility, not to say of probability, that the wages could be reduced by one-half ?—Not unless the population becomes very much more dense than it is at present. 5796. Do you think the great reduction of 50 per cent, in the wages of Jamaica would not probably produce a servile war ?—I take it they would not fight, but they would not consent to work. 5797. They would not consent to starve, would they ?—I take it they are not reduced to that alternative; there being so much wild land, and it being so easv to squat and take possession, they would not submit to such a reduction ; and while the contest was going on as to wages the cultivation would be utterly destroyed. 5798. What, did you say the estate returned at the prices that were obtained in January?—It. returned 1,218 l. at the prices which were actually obtained : instead of which, if you take the average of the four crops, from 1844 to 1847, at the existing prices, taking the average of the expenses actually paid during those four crops, there would be a loss of 580 /. 5799. Have you assumed a fall of 10/. ?—I have assumed the existing prices. 5800. What is the difference between the existing prices and the prices at the time you mention ?—The price in January was 53 s., and in December it was 36s. for the same kind of sugar. 5801. That is a reduction of 17 l. a ton ?—It is. 5802. To meet such a fall as that you must be able to reduce wages 75 per cent. ? If it were all taken out of the wages, you would require that. 5803. And you cannot get a reduction from any other source than wages ?—The only other remedy is getting a better price; and the remedy, it appears to me, must be in a better price in a great, degree; something no doubt may be got from

the


SELECT COMMITTEE ON SUGAR AND COFFEE PLANTING. 117 the reduction of wages by the introduction of more people, and under arrangements that would induce them to work more steadily than the present population do. 5804. Are you prepared to suggest any remedial measure for the consideration of the Committee?—I have considered the question, and it appears to me that the effectual remedy is to abandon the Act of 1846, and to fall back upon the Act of 1845. 5805. That is the Act admitting free-labour sugar?—Yes, at a distinctive duty of 10s. 5806. Have you any other remedial measure to suggest ?—'There are several other measures that I think would tend to the improvement of the condition of the West Indies; such as directing the whole of the captured Africans to be landed in the West Indies, and to be indented with persons who have made proper arrangements for their accommodation and location, for a term of three or five years, so as to give them some local attachments and industrial habits. 5807. We find that, upon the average, there are scarcely 3,000 negroes captured in the course of a year ; do you think so small a supply as that would have any very great effect upon the West Indian colonies?—It would tend towards that; and I would combine with that an extended immigration of labourers, to be always placed under indentures for a term of years, so as to fix them in their location and give them industrial habits, so that the planter might depend, to a certain extent, upon continuous labour from a greater number of people fixed upon his estate. 5808. Do you think so small an immigration as 3,000 labourers would be felt in the colonies?—There is no reason why it should not be 30,000; the captured negroes must be disposed of some how or other, and if they were disposed of in the West Indies they would be disposed of to their own benefit, and to the benefit of the colonies. 5809. As far as actual numbers go, the captured negroes are not worth consideration for the purposes you suggest, are they ?—That depends upon the number. 5810. The number is less than 3,000?—I have a Parliamentary return showing the number of captured people. Since the year 1833, after the Emancipation Act, the captures have amounted to 62,696 people; and if all those had been placed in the West Indies, they might have made a very considerable addition to the population. 5811. That would not amount to 5,000 a year upon the average?—Since the emancipation, if all those people had been placed upon the islands, if you had added those 62,000 people, under proper industrial arrangements, that would have been a very considerable help to them. 5812. With respect to immigration, what expectation have you of being able to benefit yourselves by that means, or have you any practical information upon the point of immigration, as regards the practicability of obtaining free immigrants, to lay before the Committee ?—My information is only very general upon the subject; but I believe that, with proper arrangements, a large number of people might be obtained from Africa, upon a cost of transport that would ultimately pay the colonies, provided they were introduced under proper arrangements, so as to give them industrial habits. 5813. What are those arrangements?—I would indent them for a period of three or five years to the planters who may have prepared houses and proper accommodation lor their reception, and give them the wages of the country. 5814. Apprenticing them to the planter who imports them?—Yes. 5815. Do you conceive that sufficient guards might be erected against anything approaching to slave dealing and slave trading in the procurement of those labourers ?—I conceive that a proper arrangement certainly might be made to prevent any risk of slave dealing. 5816. By the law as it stands, slave dealing on the part of a British subject would be an act of felony ?—'Yes. 5817. And those Africans, upon their arrival in the West Indies, being as competent witnesses as whites, would be able to convict any planter or any imported of slave dealing or slave trading, if there were anything of the nature either of slave dealing or slave trading in the transaction?—No doubt of it 5818. Do you think that by the laws as they stand there would be a perfect security against anything approaching either to slave dealing or slave trading on 0.32. the Q3

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the part of a British subject?—I conceive that under the present laws, and with reasonable arrangements with regard to the embarkation of the people, any hazard of that kind might be obviated. 5819. There would be no doubt that any British subject who was guilty of slave dealing or slave trading would be liable to conviction for felony?—Yes, and to the penalties imposed by the Act. 5820. Which would be sufficient probably to deter any British subject from venturing upon anything of the kind ?—I should apprehend so. 5821. Are there any other remedial measures which you would propose ?—I would propose that the duties upon colonial rum and home-made spirits should be equalized. At present there is a distinction of 9d. per gallon; that difference is justified upon the plea that a distiller of this country is subject to various inconveniences under the excise laws ; but those inconveniences may, no doubt, be removed, and yet sufficient guards be maintained for the protection of the revenue. That being accomplished, there appears to me no reason why homemade spirits should have a protecting duty against the colonial spirits, which are exposed, from their distance, to the expense of freight, which the home-made spirits are not; and from the circumstance of the manufacture of spirits in the West Indies being in small quantities upon any one estate, the manufactory is conducted at a much higher rate of expense than it would be conducted here. 5822. Are there any excise laws in Jamaica or any other West India colony ?— No. 5823. Is not there an excise duty on rum in Jamaica?—There is a duty upon rum consumed, but no excise upon the manufacture of spirits. 5824. So that there is no interference with the manufacturer of rum in the island?—No. 5825. One of those restrictions which you think might be taken off the distiller of British spirits, I presume, is that the distiller in this country should be permitted to distil in bond, just as you are enabled to import in bond ?—Yes. 5826. And that he should be charged only upon the quantity that was brought to sale, instead of being charged, as at present, upon the quantity that leaves the still?—I mean that the duty may be taken upon the quantity of spirit that comes out of the manufactory, without the manufacturer being controlled and examined as to the different stages of his operation. 5827. You would not deny to the British distiller the right to be compensated for the duty he pays upon malt, part of his grain being subject to a malt duty? — At present the duty of 9d. is imposed, upon the plea of the distiller being controlled, and put to inconvenience and expense in his manufacture by the different checks to which he is subjected during the operation of his manufacture. He would be relieved from that if the duty were levied upon the result of his manufacture, the operation being carried on under a proper watch, the same as refining sugar in bond was done; sugar used to go in under bond to be refined, and the duty was taken upon the result. 5828. The British distiller complains that, under the excise regulations, he is obliged to distil under one set of premises, and to refine under a different set of premises, while the same furnaces and very nearly the same premises would suffice for both if it were not for the excise restrictions, which require this severance of the establishment; would you propose that the distiller should be allowed to be a refiner as well as a distiller?—I cannot pretend to give an opinion upon that subject; the 9ff. difference of duty is not put upon the plea of the distiller being prevented to compound and to refine; the duty is upon the raw spirit, and he claims the difference of Off. upon the ground I have stated. 5829. He claims that difference upon the ground that if his spirits are malt spirits, he pays the malt duty, but if they are not malt spirits, then to supply the place of the malt he must refine; but he is forbidden by the excise laws to refine under the same roof in which he distils, and consequently he is obliged to maintain double the amount of buildings, and to employ double the capital with which he could carry on his works were he permitted to refine and to distil under the same roof?—The view I take of it is, that equitably both spirits should be put upon the same duty. If the distiller in this country is exposed to certain inconveniences and expenses in conducting his trade, so is the distiller in the West Indies, and to a still greater extent. As far as the distiller of this country is concerned, I never would think of objecting to any relief that the security of the revenue would admit of being given to him. 5830. Supposing


SELECT COMMITTEE ON SUGAR AND COFFEE PLANTING. 119 5830. Supposing you were both put upon a virtual equality by the removal of all those restrictions from the home distiller, in what better position would you be as regards the sale of rum ?—I do not in my own mind think that the distiller is really and truly put to the additional expense of the 9 d. ; that is my opinion. 5831. Could you increase your production of rum considerably?—! think not; at present we produce as much rum as we can ; that is, those estates that produce rum; those estates which have not arrangements for distilling, ship their molasses, but I do not think that the 9 d. a gallon would induce any estate to distil sugar into rum at present; at present they make all their molasses into rum, those who have distilleries. 5832. How many gallons of rum do you import?—The quantity imported in 1846, including overproof, was 3,855,464 gallons, and 6,623,944 gallons in 1847; that must include rum from all quarters, the East Indies as well as the West Indies. 5833. That will give you about 260,000/. a year?—That is the quantity imported, but 9d. would only be obtained upon the quantity consumed; the quantity taken out for consumption during 1847 was 3,329,000. 5534. You think probably if you could sell the rum at 9 d. a gallon cheaper, you might bring the whole of your rum into consumption?—If the 9 d. duty were taken off, the whole of that would not go into the seller's pocket; it would be divided between the consumer and the seller. 5835. Is there any other measure that you would suggest?—I would suggest that sugar and molasses should be admitted into distilleries without payment of customs duty, and used either together or separately, with or without grain, as the manufacturer might please. I would also propose that sugar and molasses and syrup should be permitted to be refined in bond for home consumption, and the results charged with the same duties when taken out of bond as the products would if they had been imported from the West Indies. I would likewise propose that loans should be guaranteed to the colonies for the purpose of the drainage or improvement of lands, upon the same principle as was done to the landed interest of this country. 5836. What is the amount of loan you would expect?—That must depend upon the discretion of Government, and upon the arrangements that might be made. If reasonable loans were applied for, I think Government should be authorized to grant them upon certain proper conditions ; the sum might be limited to what might be considered reasonable. ,5837. The loans to the landed interest amounted to about a farthing in 100/. of the value of the estates ; that would not suffice for the West Indies, would it ?— We should not require a large amount of money, but it should be such a sum as would pay the expense of drainage, to be repaid upon a system of annuity, upon the same principle as the loan in this country was arranged. .5838. In this country, where the land is valued at 1,800,000,000 /. the loan was about 2,000,000 /. ; such a proportion as that would not suffice the West Indies ? —No. 5839. To what extent would you require a loan?—I would propose half a million should be granted for the purpose. 5840. Do you think that the advance of a loan of about half a million, divided among all the colonies, would set the colonies upon their legs again?—I do not think that alone would do so, nor do I suppose that every estate would require to be drained ; but, upon the whole, such assistance I think would be a great advantage, as inspiring confidence in the minds of everybody, and being a great assistance to those who took advantage of it, who took the loans subject to an annuity. 5841. Very much the larger portion of the estates in Jamaica do not admit of being improved by drainage, do they?—Many do not require drainage, from the nature of the soil, but a great many estates would be very much improved by drainage. 5842. Do you think there would be one in ten that would be improved by drainage ?—I think there might. 5843. Are there any other works for which you would suggest that this advance of Government money should be made?—No ; it does not occur to me to suggest the application of such a loan to any other purpose than that of drainage. 5844. Not to steam-engines or tramways?—Certainly not to steam-engines; I would not suggest it for steam-engines ; but it might be of importance for tram0. 32. ft 4 ways,

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ways for the conveyance of the canes to the mil], and the produce to the shipping places. 4 March 1848. 584,5. You would propose that Government should make those advances, taking the first security upon the estate ?—Yes ; repayable by way of annuity, at such an annual charge as would redeem it in a period of years. 5846. As was done in the case of the drainage loan in England, 22 1/2 years? —Yes. 5847. You think half a million advanced in that way would be a very great assistance to the colonies ?—No doubt it would ; those suggestions would all aid in the improvement of the condition of the colonies ; but my opinion is decidedly that if the Act of 1S46 is persevered in, we could not go on. The main improvement must be relieving us from the competition with slave sugar, as arranged by the Sugar Act of 1846. 5848. You would propose to prohibit slave sugar?—What I propose is, to fall back upon the Act of 1845, which admitted only free foreign sugar. 5849. You would not be satisfied with a 10 s. protection for seven years to come against slave sugar?—I should be afraid that would not produce the desired effect of effectually maintaining the cultivation of our own sugar colonies. 5850. You do not think the security of a 10 s. duty against slave-grown sugar for seven years would suffice to inspire confidence?—No doubt it would give confidence to this extent., that parties would try to maintain cultivation under such an alteration of the law ; but in my opinion, I do not think it would be found to be effectual, and that at the end of the period they would have to abandon a great deal of the cultivation, if the whole did not break down. 5851. At all events, without some such measure as this, you think the cultivation of the West Indian colonies will be in great part abandoned?—I do. 5852. What do you think will be the effect of the measures proposed by Her Majesty's Government first of all ; the advance to the colonies of Guiana and Trinidad for immigration purposes ?—They of course will not help Jamaica, or any other colonies but those to which they are applied; and in point of fact, I apprehend that that loan is intended to cover the engagement which Government is already under. 5853. In point of fact, it is already forestalled?—Yes; I believe that the Government have already incurred liabilities for charters of ships for immigration purposes, both for Trinidad and for Guiana, and that this loan will, in the first place, be applied to redeem those liabilities. 5854. Which, in consequence of the depreciation of property in those islands, those islands are not able to meet ?—Government no doubt entered into those liabilities upon the expectation that the colonies would have been able to raise money under the Loan Ordinances, which have been agreed upon, but having failed in that, the Government must, of course, make good the engagement they have come under. 5855. Guiana and Trinidad are both Crown colonies, are not they ?—Yes. 5856. Therefore the Crown has become liable under an Ordinance of the Government ?—No, not so ; the Crown sanctioned what were called Loan Ordinances, to enable the local government of the colonies to raise loans in this country, and to pledge the revenues of such colonies for the payment of interest and the redemption of those loans. 5857. The result of that is, that before the Government expenses of Guiana and Trinidad are paid, in good faith, the interest of those loans must be repaid?— No ; I think, if my memory serves me correctly, the condition of the Ordinance is that the Civil List shall be first provided for. 5858. In point of fact, if the colony were not able to pay the interest of the loan, the contractors for the loan in this country would suffer ?—Exactly so. 5859. And there would be an end of it?—If the colony broke down and could produce no revenue, of course the creditors would suffer. 5860. You apprehend that Government would not be bound to make good the deficiency ?—No, under the law Government is not bound. 5861. As regards the extension of time tor the repayment of the hurricane loans, what is that worth?—It is what they are very glad to do just now ; those parties who have raised money under those Hurricane Acts are unable, many of them, to pay ; and the Government, I believe, have been ready to give time, and to compromise the matter upon the best terms they could. 5862. Do

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51

5862. Do you propose that those liberated Africans, amounting to about 2,800 a year, should be conveyed to the West Indies at the expense of the colony or of 4 March 1848. this country ?—At the expense of the mother country, in my opinion. 5863. The expense of conveying them is about 6/. or 7l. a head, is not it?—I should think from that to 10l. 5864. That would be a relief to the whole of the West Indies to the extent of about 20,000l. a year ?—The benefit I expect will be from the introduction of more people; my object would be to introduce people in every way it could be done. 5865. With respect to the great theoretical improvement of the construction of central factories, as recommended by Lord Grey, what do you think, is to be done in that way?—I do not think it would be found practically to work any good effect. I cannot conceive any arrangement which would enable the canes of a great variety of estates to be all ground at the same mill, at the proper time at which they ought to be done, and the manufacture carried on of perhaps ten or a dozen estates connected with one central manufactory; I do not see how that can be carried on practically and to a good result. 5866. Any more, I presume, than there could be central manufactories in France for the expression of the grape juice?—It applies in the same way to all attempts to manufacture for a great variety of persons and of interests. There is a difficulty in getting your work done at the proper time, and there is the difficulty of separating the results, so that each man may receive that to which he is entitled. 5867. The great practical difficulty I apprehend to be this, that the cane must be ground as soon as it is cut, or it spoils?—Exactly so ; everybody's canes would be tipe about the same time, and ought to be ground and manufactured at the same time. There is another objection, that if the distances are very large, the weight of canes that have to be carried to the mill is a very important consideration. 5868. The weight of the cane required for one ton of sugar varies from 10 to 20 tons?—I believe more than that; I believe as much as 30 or 35 tons of canes. What is your opinion of the relative cost of free and slave labour ?— I have great doubts whether free labour is in any place so cheap as slave labour is; but to judge of this question, we must agree upon the position and condition of the slave and the position and condition of the free man. If slavery is administered so as to procure the greatest possible results from the labour of the people, I conceive slave labour would be cheaper than free labour under any circumstances almost, because even in the densest population you can conceive in tropical climates, a free man never would be under such a pressure of necessity to labour and earn wages as to induce him to take wages so low as the mere cost of the maintenance of the slave, and the replacement by way of annuity of his first cost. 5870. The great difference between slave labour and free labour is just the difference between a steam-engine and a wind-mill. You can rely upon the slave labour working continually and equally; but the free labour is so very capricious that it defeats all the projects and all the speculations of the manufacturer of sugar?—It is difficult to suppose that free labour should be so abundant and so much at the command of the employer in a tropical climate as to make him equally secure of the continuous labour and attention of his people at the manufactory as one can naturally conceive to be the case where the labour is under his actual control as a slave. In the present position of the West India colonies, the population is so far from being in that dense state, that a labourer, in point of fact, conducts himself as he pleases, and the employer has very little, if any, control over him at all, so that if the employer complains of his manufacture being badly done, the answer is, " If you are not satisfied I will go away." 5871. Sir E. Buxton.] Were you examined in 1830 before the Committee upon the West Indies?—Yes. 5872. You had been connected with the West Indies many years before 1830? —I had. 5873. Do you remember what account you gave of the condition of the West Indies then?—No, I do not immediately remember what I stated at that time, 3874. Do you remember generally what was the condition of the West Indies at that timer—The West Indies were in a state of extreme depression about that period in 1830 and 1831. 0.32. R 5875. There

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5875. There was no profit attached to the business at all, was there, in those parts of the West Indies about which you gave evidence?—I cannot answer a 4 March 1848. question so large as that, that there was 110 profit at that time, without reference to the accounts and to the facts. From a reference to the prices which existed in 1830 and 1831, they must have been in a state of very great depression, and many estates yielding no profit. 5876. Do you remember that at that time it was found almost impossible to obtain advances of money from England ?—It must have been under such circumstances. 5877. As it is now?—As it is now ; if the estates are being cultivated without profit, no man would lend money upon them. 5878. At that time the colonies produced more than this country consumed?— Yes. 5879. And the surplus went abroad ?—Yes. 5880. And you found at that time, as now, great difficulty in consequence of having to compete with Cuba?—At that time, if I recollect correctly, there was an alteration made in the drawback upon the export of refined sugar, and the drawback being reduced was a great hindrance to the export of the surplus produce of our colonies which had been carried on previous to that time. 5881. The drawback having acted as a bounty ?—It had acted as a bounty. 5882. Supposing the prices abroad to he equal to our own, there was a clear profit in exporting?—It was understood at the time that the bounty had been regulated upon such a calculation as to yield an advantage to the sugar-baker, upon selling for export and getting the drawback. 5883. You think that neither under a system of freedom nor under a system of slavery our colonies could compete with Cuba?—I do not think they can. 5884. In 1832 you used these words: " Our difficulties arise from having to compete with the sugar growers in Cuba and Brazil; but from the best information which I can obtain, it appears that they can cultivate sugar at much less cost than can now be done in our colonies"?—I have no doubt that that was correct under the circumstances of that time. 5885. What circumstances were there peculiar to that time ?—Whatever the circumstances were. .5886. You did not state any circumstance; you state that your great difficulty was having to compete with Cuba?—While slavery existed in the colonies there were successive periods of great prosperity and great depression, arising from fluctuations in the markets, occasioned, no doubt, by various circumstances, but that at times there were large returns from estates is an unquestionable fact. ,5887. When this country, without a bounty, produced more than we could consume, and we had to send it abroad, we found great difficulty in competing with Cuba? No doubt, when we produced more sugar than we could consume under a high duty, the surplus had to be exported, and that surplus could only obtain the price of the common market of Europe; but the whole of the importation was not strictly and accurately regulated by the price obtained for that surplus, for the prices became very low for a time, till a certain quantity was exported, and then when the market was relieved the price rose again ; that was the course. 5888. Do you remember that, under the system of slavery, the numbers decreased very much, or do you remember that they did decrease at all ?—I remember that taking certain colonies, the numbers did decrease, but that was owing in a great degree to the number being first taken when the population was not in its natural condition. The importations of people at all times had been of adults: and if those are added to the population in considerable numbers, there is not the natural proportion of the different ages, and of course periods will arise when the deaths Will exceed the births. 5889. Did not that decrease continue till the time that slavery was abolished ?—Except, perhaps, in Barbadoes, where there had been no importation of slaves for a great many years, and where the population was in its natural condition. 5890. You have stated that you think there is no fear of the revival of the slave trade, because the slave trade is felony; do you think without the revival of the slave trade we should get a large number of negroes on the coast of Africa ? I do, as far as my information goes, though I was never there ; I believe that a considerable number of people might be got who would voluntarily and

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and freely embark upon an arrangement, to go to the West Indies, meaning, some of them, to return again or remain, as circumstances might induce them. 5891. Do you think that could be obtained without buying them either of one another, or of the chiefs ?—I think so. 5892. From what part of the coast?—Various parts of the coast. There are the Kroomen and the Fishmen ; they are described as people who are in the habit of going from one part of the coast to another. 5893. Could you get a large number of those, do you suppose?—I cannot define any particular number, but I believe a considerable number might be got. 5894. You do not know what number?—No. 5895. Would you think there would be 10,000 or 1,000 in a year?—I should suppose 10,000 might be got. 5896. You do not know at all the number of that nation altogether?—My information is very general upon the subject. I can only convey to the Committee the impression upon my mind, which is that a considerable number of such free people might be obtained. 5897. Would an immigration into the West Indies of merely men, without any women, who would of course therefore go back, be a sort of immigration that would be permanently beneficial ?—While they continue to labour in the West Indies, that labour would be beneficial, and they would mix with the rest of the population, and those who settle would obtain women in the colony. 5898. Do you suppose they would not have an inclination to go back again after their service of three or five years ?—Many of them might. 5899. Has not it been one of the complaints where immigration has been obtained, that it is only a temporary alleviation, and that after two or three or four years the people go back again, and then you have your work to do over again ?—No doubt, if that is the course of events, you would require a continuous importation of people, to obtain the full advantage of it; but my own expectation would be that a considerable number of people would find themselves better off in the West Indies than they are in Africa, and would remain there. 5900. Do you think, under a system of protection, the West Indies can bear the expense of an importation of labour without coming to this country for assistance ; do you think they could pay the expense of the importation of labour if they had protection, without coming to this country for help ?—I think they might if confidence were restored, so as to induce people to carry on the estates, and to produce taxes for that purpose. 5901. Do you know any other parts of the coast of Africa, besides the Kroo coast, from which free labour might be obtained? —I have not that degree of acquaintance with the coast of Africa as to enable me to answer that question satisfactorily. 5902. Do you know what sums the colonies of Jamaica and British Guiana have paid since 1842 lor the importation of labour?—Jamaica can have paid very small sums; I am not prepared to say what Guiana has paid. 5903. It has paid a very large sum, has not it?—I am not prepared to say what it is, but information may be easily obtained. 3904. In order to pay that, have not taxes been imposed upon the importation of food of different sorts ?—The expenses have been paid out of the revenues of the colony. 5905. In order to meet that expense the duties upon imports have been increased, have not they ?—The duties upon imports are one of the items of the revenue. ,5906. Have not those been increased?—Not specifically for this purpose. 5907. They have been increased at the same time, have not they?—I have not in my memory the dates of the alteration of the duties. 5908. You remember that those duties have been increased within the last few years?—The duties have varied from time to time according to the necessity of the colonies; they have arranged their revenues according to the way that appeared to them most beneficial. 5909. Have those duties been increased within the last 10 years?—I am not prepared to say. 5910. You are not aware whether they have or not?—I am not prepared to answer the question distinctly, one way or the other. 5911. I was about to ask you whether the duties which have been placed upon articles ot large consumption in the West Indies have not proved onerous to the 0.32. R 2 labourers ?

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labourers ?—I apprehend not. I do not recollect accurately what the duties are ; but my impression is, that the import duties are not of a rate that can operate at 4 March 1848, all in the way of any oppression to the consumer. 5912. Has not the duty that has been placed upon provisions of different sorts induced people to grow provisions themselves instead of labouring for the planters ? — I am not aware of that fact, if it be a fact. 5913. Is not the price of provisions very dear in many of the West India islands?—The price of provisions fluctuates. I am not aware that they are peculiarly dear in the West Indies. 5914. Mr. Was not it ordered by the Home Government that those duties should be applied to the purposes of immigration?—Duties must always receive the sanction of the Crown before they can be imposed. 5915. Was not it specially ordered, to meet the immigration, that duties should be levied in this way ?—The adjustment of the duties, for the purpose of meeting those immigration expenses, was always arranged between the colonial authorities and the Home Government. 5916. You do not know that it was specially ordered by Lord Stanley for this purpose ?—I do not recollect that fact. I know generally, that it was a matter of arrangement between the colonial authorities and the Home Government in what way those expenses were to be met. 5917. You were asked with respect to slavery in our own colonies in 1830 and slavery in Cuba; can you tell the Committee what difference there was in the slavery of our own colonies at that time and Cuba; were not there great restrictions placed upon the slavery of out own colonies?—There had been various laws passed for some years previous to 1832, intended for the protection of the slave and for the mitigation of his condition, and that tended, no doubt, to increase the expense of maintaining them and supporting the population upon the estate. 5918. It was very far from the unlimited power which the masters had over their slaves in Cuba?—It was never, in my recollection, in our colonies, of that unlimited nature which I have understood exists in Cuba. 5919. And exists to this day ?—To this day, as far as my information goes. 5920. You consider this question entirely as a question of labour, do not you ? —No, by no means ; I look at it in this way, that while the expense of cultivation in Cuba and Brazil enables them to sell their sugar so much cheaper than we can in the condition in which our colonies are placed, I see no chance of our being able to meet them. 5921. Not even with increased labour, or with any additional advantages?— Labour must be very much cheaper indeed, and obtained more continuously, so as to be more effectual, and produce a better result. 5922. It is your opinion that if no relief is given beyond what is already given, sugar cultivation in our colonies must cease ?—If the Act of 1846 is maintained, I have no hope of the colonies being able to continue their cultivation. 5923. Have you no idea of continuing the cultivation on your estate?—Certainly not; I will not cultivate if I lose money by it; if the Act of 1846 were continued, I should carry the estates on so far till I could get the advantage of the canes which are already in the ground, but I would plant no more. 5924. Is not it a question for the Government to consider now whether they will have any cultivation or not in the West Indies?—It appears to me to be reduced to that; either that such an alteration of the present law should be made as will maintain the cultivation of the colonies, or that they must be considered as annihilated, as far as sugar cultivation is concerned ; they must make their election either to do one or the other. 5925. If they do not do something you think we shall have to look to foreign countries for our supply of sugar ?—Yes, we shall be reduced to slave countries entirely for our supply ; and if you can suppose the produce of our sugar colonies, that is to say, the West Indies and the Mauritius, to be annihilated, it would bo extinguishing upwards of 200,000 tons of sugar from the market of the world generally; under such circumstances the price would rise enormously, and the inducement to the slave countries to extend their cultivasion and import more slaves would become tenfold what it is now. 5926. It has been stated before this Committee, that if any assistance were given to the "West India colonies at present, in all probability the supply from those colonies would considerably exceed, in a few years, the demand by this country, and thereby occasion as much ruin to the planters as they are now experiencing ?


SELECT COMMITTEE ON SUGAR AND COFFEE PLANTING. 125 experiencing ?—I should not expect that, because if we look to the consumption of this country, by the reduced gross price from the reduction of the duties, it has been so large during last year that the importation from the West Indies and the Mauritius, both of which were large, and the supply from the East Indies, about meet the demand. It appears by a Parliamentary paper that the consumption was 286,000 tons during 1847; the importation from the West Indies about 160,000. the Mauritius 60,000, and from the East Indies 69,000, making 289,000 tons, the one about meeting the other. 5927. Supposing this were to be the case, would not it, at any rate, be the means of keeping up some sugar cultivation in our colonies?—If the prices were here sufficient to give a profit upon the cultivation, the present growth of the colonies would be maintained, or nearly so, fluctuating, of course, according to the seasons; but it appears to me that this country would get an ample supply from the West Indies, the Mauritius, and the East Indies, combined. 5928. Supposing it were to exceed the consumption ?—The prices would fall. 5929. What would be the effect of that?—People would diminish their growth. 5930. Would that not have the effect of sending the bad estates out of cultivation ?—It might have the effect of sending the bad estates out of cultivation. 5931. Whilst the good ones would be retained ?—The good ones would remain; but I apprehend people would grow sugar, as they grow or manufacture anything, in proportion to the demand; it the demand increased the price would rise, and that would induce a larger cultivation and a larger production; if the price fell, everybody would reduce their expenditure and their production till the quantity was reduced, and then prices would mount again. 5932. That would be the means of continuing the sugar cultivation in our colonies?—No doubt. 5933. Whereas now, if nothing be done, sugar cultivation must entirely cease? —It will cease, and when once it ceases it can never be revived. The supply from the East Indies might rise again, from the fact of their system of cultivation, and from their population, but from the West Indies, if the cultivation is once put out I do not think it will revive again. Nobody would restore the buildings, the mills, and boiling-houses, and the means of manufacturing, and the country would become a waste ; it would be reduced into the state which St. Domingo is in. 5934. If plenty of labour were given you, you do not despair, in future years, of being able to cultivate sugar as cheaply as any other free countries ?—Supposing we get a sufficiency of labour. The rate of wages will depend upon the density of the population, and the other regulations would prevent people going off into squatting, find maintaining themselves without labour. 5935. Have you any reason to suppose that there is anything in the West Indies themselves to prevent sugar being manufactured there as cheaply as in other places.''—No, I believe the land would continue to produce as good or better returns; if it were cultivated to a profit they would gradually improve in their mode of cultivation, and the returns probably be better than they have been per acre. 5936. Mr. Wilson.] Do the Committee understand that it is only to slavelabour sugar you have an objection ?—That is my great objection. do not fear competition with free-labour sugar?—I would fear even 5937* competition against free-labour sugar in the present state we are in, because we have not labour at all to any adequate extent. 5938. Did not you say that, under no circumstances, was it possible, in your opinion, that free-labour could compete with slave-labour ?—No, I do not think I said so. 5939. I understood you to say that, under no circumstances, did you believe free labour could compete with slave labour?—I do not think I said so; I adhere to my former answer on that subject. .5940. Are there any countries in the world that grow sugar where the labour exists in the state supposed by you in that answer?—I cannot pretend to say whether in Cuba and Brazil the utmost possible labour is obtained from the slaves, but I believe the slavery that exists in those countries is very hardly administered, and that they do their utmost to get the largest possible return of labour from the people. 5941. This 0.32. R3

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5941. This is a practical question; the Committee want to know whether under any circumstances we can place the labour in the West Indies in such a condition as to compete with the labour existing now in Cuba and Brazil ?—I do not think you can. 5942. You do not think that free labour can be placed in the West Indies, under any circumstances, so as to enable you to compete with slave labour as it exists in Cuba and Brazil ?—I cannot say. I cannot pretend to answer a question relative to the condition of a people that does not exist. We know our situation in the West Indies now, and we have by information a general knowledge of the condition of the people in Cuba and Brazil, and we have likewise that knowledge corroborated by the prices at which they can afford to sell their sugar. What might be the cost of wages and the cost of production in our colonies under some special case of a density of population, and additional labour thrown into them, I cannot pretend to say, unless you state to me the degree of density and the rate of wages. 5943. You have given the Committee a great many suggestions by which, in your opinion, the West Indies would be improved in such a way as to compete with foreign sugar-producing countries; if you do not say that in no state in which free labour can be placed can it compete with slave labour, I want to know what alterations, in your opinion, if there are any, can be made in the West Indies, to enable free labour to do so?—I have given a very clear opinion of the alterations which I conceive would, in all human probability, maintain the cultivation of the West Indies. One of those conditions is a certain protection, a falling back upon the policy of the Act of 1845. 5944. Do you believe that, under any circumstances, the British West Indies can ever cultivate sugar without a protection against the slave colonies?—I think if you assume that slavery is administered and used in Cuba in the hardest way, and in a way to get the most return from it, I should very much doubt whether any position in which you could place the West Indies would enable them to compete with such slave labour. 5945. It would not be a question of a limited number of years, but a question of a permanent protection which you would require?—Combined with the condition of Cuba : they may not be able at all times there to get this utmost quantity of labour from their slaves. 5946. Parliament cannot legislate with reference to any speculation as to the future condition of Cuba; the Committee have had placed before them two classes of opinions: some gentlemen tell them that they only want a protection for a limited time , the Committee, however, understand the effect of your evidence to be, that not a limited, but an unlimited time is required for protection?— To speak practically, I do not see the advantage of limiting the time upon such a question ; any new law relating to the sugar trade that may be passed is not a thing that never can be altered again; it will be altered and dealt with according to the circumstances that may arise. 5947. I am asking you your own opinion of the ability of the West Indies with free labour to compete with slave labour?—It is impossible to give a distinct answer, aye or no, to a question which necessarily implies that there should be half a dozen different conditions and qualifications of the premises in the first place agreed on, before a man can give a decided answer. 5948. Suppose Cuba and Brazil remain in the same condition they are now, is it your opinion that free labour can be placed in any position in our own colonies which would enable that free labour to compete successfully with the slave labour now existing in Cuba?—I am not prepared to say you might not place the free labour in the West Indies in such a position, but they are a long way from that at present. 5949. Do you think that if the suggestions you have made were all carried out they would be sufficient to place the West Indies in that position?—I think they would probably be sufficient to induce people to carry on the cultivation of the West Indies, and that that is the only practical object which can be attained under the present circumstances. 5950. I suppose the cultivation of the West Indies will only be carried on if it is made profitable?—It cannot be continued if it produces a loss. 5951. Then the cultivation of the West Indies depends upon the profitable cultivation of the estates?—No doubt. 5952. And


SELECT COMMITTEE ON SUGAR AND COFFEE PLANTING. 127 5952. And it depends upon the relative cost of cultivating those estates in competition with other estates with which they have to compete ?—Exactly. the Committee understand that you have no objection to compete 5953. with foreign free-labour sugar ?—None, under proper regulations. 5954. What regulations do you refer to ?—In the present state of our colonies I conceive that while the operation of giving us an adequate supply of free labour is being carried into effect, we have a just right to expect a certain protection against even the free-labour sugar of countries that have plenty of people in them. We are not in that position ; and it will take time for certain measures to be carried into effect before the West Indies can be so filled with people as to give us really efficient free labour. 5955. What will be the effect of filling the West Indies with people upon the production of the West Indies ?—It will tend to increase it, no doubt. 5956. One of the great inconveniences you labour under now is not only the scarcity of labour, but a want of control over the labourers ?—Yes. 5957. Therefore what you would anticipate from the introduction of fresh labourers would not only be that you would have the advantage of those new labourers, but that it would make the old labourers more effective ?—I think the old labourers would become more effective; that the employer would not be so entirely dependent upon the caprice and will and pleasure of the labourer as he is at present, and as that dependence is diminished he would have more influence over him, so as to get his work better done. 5958. And therefore his production would he larger?—It would, and to more profit. 5959. His production would be larger at the same cost?—No doubt. 5960. If he produced more sugar by means of the existing labourers in consequence of the competition of the new labourers, he would produce still more by the additional labourers that were imported ?—No doubt. 5961. The whole population would be made more profitable as producers?— No doubt the more labour there is imported the larger will be the result. 5962. Of course the great cause of the depression in the West Indies is the want of a sufficient price here for their sugar?—That is the great cause. 5963. Nothing would accomplish the object sought by the West Indies but the rise of that price, of course, in one way or the other ?—I do not see, in the present situation of the West Indies, that they can go on without better prices. 5964. You have had a long experience in the sugar market here; have you remarked that the consumption of sugar here depends very much upon the price, that it rises and falls with the price?—It must be affected to a certain degree by the price ; but it is affected also by many other circumstances. It is affected by the degree of employment of the people of this country, the wages they are procuring, and the price of food and other things. 5965. Have you observed that the price of sugar has a material influence upon the quantity consumed ?—It has some ; but I do not think it is the ruling cause. 5966. To what do you attribute the large consumption of the last year ?—There was a great reduction of the price for one cause, but people were enabled from their position to consume largely, and they did consume largely. 5967. Do you think that the people of this country were in a good condition during the latter half of the last year ?—I take it that they must have been, otherwise they would not have consumed so much sugar. 5968. Does not (he enormous defalcation in the excise during the latter six months of the last year speak very strongly as to the impoverished condition of the people?—I have not before me the actual deliveries of sugar during every month of last year, but I apprehend, if the people were suffering, you would find that the deliveries of sugar were not so large. 5969. No doubt the condition of the people has one important effect; but if in the present depressed state of the country generally you find a large increased consumption of sugar, you would attribute that to the low price, would not you? —That is one item in the consumption, but not the ruling item. 5970. Supposing the production of India were increased, and the price of sugar were raised to such an amount as would pay the West India producers at present, that would tend to throw the consumption back to what it was two-years ago?— I do not know that it would throw it back to what it was two years ago. The tendency of a rise of price must be to diminish the consumption. 0.32. R 4 5971. The

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5971. The tendency of a rise of price would be to diminish consumption, while you think a rise in price would tend to keep up the present supply, or perhaps to increase it ?—Without a rise in price you will not get your present supply from the West Indies. 5972. It you do get a rise of price sufficient to encourage the West Indies in the way you wish them to be encouraged, an increased quantity must be the consequence ?—I do not think what I have suggested will raise the price or promote the cultivation to such an extent as would induce an increase of cultivation. It might maintain the present cultivation. 5973. Then you could not employ all those new labourers you wish for ?—We should get more labour, and we should cultivate to more profit; but I do not know that the quantity would be very much increased. 5974. If you had a greater number of labourers and cultivated to more profit, that could only be done by a larger extent of cultivation ?—It would tend that way ; but the very thing that regulates our price, regulates the inducement to produce. If the price fell by an over-production, the temptation to produce would become less. 5975. Then production would fall off?—It would be limited by the demand for it at a certain price. 5976. Then you would not have employment for the people whom you had imported?—You are extending the results, I think, faster than would be found to be the case in practice. 5977. Either you must continue to employ those people and increase your cultivation, or if you diminish your cultivation to meet the low price, you must throw them out of employment ?—That would depend upon the number of people that had been imported. 5978. If the number is sufficient to meet your wish for an increase of your cultivation it. must be so?—The only wish I have expressed, is to maintain the present cultivation. 5979. The present estates have been maintained by the present amount of labour. I admit that you say they are not effectively maintained, but the effect of all this additional labour would be to increase your quantity, or it would do nothing ?—No doubt an additional quantity of labour ought to produce an additional result, and thereby the cultivators would be benefited ; but what we do produce now, unless we can secure a better price, cannot be maintained. 5980. Supposing the prices are to be maintained by the proposition which you make, and that you are to have an additional quantity of labour such as you require, will not the increased quantity then produced tend to diminish the price in this country ?—No doubt an increase of the quantity tends to diminish the price. 5981. You say that the importation at present is equal to the consumption?— During last year it was, because it was a very favourable season. The season of 1847 was generally a very favourable season for the production of sugar, and during 1847 the importation met the consumption. 5982. Supposing the production of sugar by a higher price, and an increased quantity of labour were to increase from the whole of our colonies to the extent only of 50,000 tons more, while the consumption was not to increase in consequence of the high price, what must be done with that extra 50,000 tons ?—The price would not increase, the price would fall. 5983. The price would fall in the face of the increased supply, but the price must rise in the first place to induce you to increase your cultivation ; suppose Parliament were to put a protective duty of 10 a. upon sugar, the price would rise ?—Yes. 5984. Then you think the cultivators would immediately have confidence and go on to increase their estates and extend their cultivation ?—It would depend upon the extent of my return whether I should choose to extend my estate or not; I should be very glad to maintain my present state of cultivation, and to maintain an addition of 10 /. or 15/. a ton to the present price. 5985. Are you aware of the quantity of free-labour sugar which at present is introduced into Europe from foreign countries ?—I am not aware of the total importation of free-labour sugar into Europe. 5986. You do not know what the production of Java is?—No, I cannot tell from memory. 5987. You are aware that it has increased very much of late years?—I am not


SELECT COMMITTEE ON SUGAR AND COFFEE PLANTING. 129 not sufficiently acquainted with the progress of cultivation in Java to be able to speak to it. 5988. You do not know whether it has increased or decreased?—I do not know enough to answer any questions upon it. .'',989. You said you would wish to revert back to the Bill of 1845. Under that Bill we admitted free-labour sugar and excluded slave-labour sugar ; have you turned your attention therefore to the quantity of free-labour sugar that would be produced?—I have turned my attention to the quantity that has come here, and it was not to an extent that materially oppressed the market. 5990. Do you think, from your experience of the Bill of 1845, you were entitled to expect that what did come here between the operation of the Bill of 1845 and the introduction of the Bill of 1846 was a fair criterion of what would have come in future, supposing that Bill had remained permanent ?—I do not think anybody would safely come to the conclusion that no more would come hereafter than had come during that time, but the supply that may be expected from freelabour countries depends upon a great many other circumstances ; the supply from Java depends very much upon the arrangements which the Dutch make for the produce of Java coming to Holland ; the whole produce of Java would not come here under any circumstances. 5991. Are not you aware of any circumstances which occurred in 1845 to prevent foreign sugar corning here at all; are not you aware that there was a great failure in the crop of Cuba ?—No doubt the failure of the crop of Cuba affected the price of sugar everywhere. 5992. It caused an alteration of the duties in Russia so as to encourage the exportation from this country even of crushed sugar?—Yes. 5993. Therefore the Bill of 1845 during that year never practically came into operation ?—The full effect of it was not felt. 5994. Are you aware that the Dutch government last year took means to send a large portion of their crop from Java to this country, or at all events that their ships were directed to Cowes for orders, to take advantage of the London market, or to go to Rotterdam, whichever might be best?—That does not come within my knowledge. 5955. Are you not aware that the Dutch have imported three cargoes of sugar into this country this last year, and sold them here ?—I cannot speak to the fact. • 5996. Supposing the price of free-labour sugar were higher in this country than on the Continent of Europe, do you not think it is certain that the Dutch government would prefer this market to Holland?—I cannot judge what would rule the decision of the Dutch government. 5997. What would you do, as a merchant?—As a merchant, one would send one's goods where the best price was to be had. 5998. Are not the Dutch good merchants?—Yes. 5999. If London was a better market than Rotterdam, do not you think they would send their sugar here instead of sending it to Rotterdam ?—Yes. 6000. Do you think you would be better off if you had to contend with a larger quantity of free-labour sugar than this country could consume, than in contending with free and slave-labour sugar together?—Yes; because we should keep the slave sugar out of the market. 6001. What benefit would you expect from that if you had a larger supply of free-labour sugar than would fill up the quantity displaced of slave-labour sugar ? —My experience goes to this, that things do not always turn out exactly as they would appear to promise from theory, and that there are many counteracting causes which induce people to send their produce to one place or to the other. 6002. There are accidental causes, such as the failure of the crop of Cuba; but are you aware of any reason which induces the merchant to send his commodities to any market except that which promises the best price ?—There is the security of his transactions. 6003. That enters into his calculation of the profit ?—It enters into his calculation whether he will send his goods hither or thither. 6004. Do you think there is any merchant in the world that would doubt the security of sending them to England ?—Perhaps not; but, as I said before, there are many circumstances that enter into the direction of produce to a market, which all require minute consideration before you can form a distinct opinion upon them. * S 0.32. 6005. You

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6005. You have no hesitation in telling the Committee that if the price of sugar rises, this country will be supplied abundantly with slave-labour sugar ; you do 4 March 1848. not, of course, take into your account any accident which may arise; but when I ask you about free labour in Java you will not give me a direct answer to that question, but you suggest a great many accidents which may arise to divert it elsewhere ?—I said, in regard to slave-labour countries, that I thought they would, in time, extend their cultivation, upon the supposition that slave labour is the cheapest labour that can be employed, and that they would gradually get possession of the market as soon as they obtained their full supply of slaves. 6006. From what you are told or understand, do you believe that the people of Cuba are increasing their number of slaves ?—I believe they are. 6007. By importation ?—Yes. 6008. Have you any particular means of knowing that ?—No very particular means of information. 6009. The Committee have had information that there has been scarcely any importation of slaves of late?—The slaves of Cuba have been notoriously very much increased, and the extension of their cultivation can only have been accomplished by the introduction of more labourers. 6010. Are you not aware that there has been a great transfer of labourers from the coffee cultivation to the sugar cultivation?—There is little or no doubt of that. 6011. Suppose the quantity of free-labour sugar in the world that came to this market exceeded our demand for foreign sugar, do you think we should pay a higher price for sugar because we excluded slave-labour sugar?—If the slave-labour sugar were added to that excess of quantity it would only aggravate the evil; if you suppose that a great excess of free-labour sugar is brought into this country much beyond the consumption of the country, if you add to that a large quantity of slave-labour sugar, the evil would only be aggravated. 6012. Would not you immediately export to the continent the surplus?—No doubt the surplus would have to be exported. 6013. And would not there be one common price of sugar in Europe?—Less the expense of freight. 6014. Do you think it would be beneficial to the colonies if by any law which we were to pass now we were to give protection, and that protection could not be maintained, that is, that the price could not be maintained, because we should have to export the surplus to the continent; do you think it would be to the profit of the colonies, by any system that would not be permanent, to lead to the cultivation of an additional quantity above what they have already made? I apprehend if something is not done to the colonies they die; they are extinguished. If they are protected, if it is but for five or seven, or 10 years, so that they can carry on their cultivation to some profit, so far they are benefited. My view is, that the policy of the country should be the protection of its own colonies, and its own subjects, rather than to destroy those colonies. 6015. Do you think it would be wise in Parliament to hold out the hope of protection if that protection could not be made operative?—I think it might be made operative; you could protect your own colonies by keeping out all foreign sugar. 6016. Free as well as slave sugar?—Yes. 6017. What would the effect of that be if our colonies grew more than we consumed ?—They would soon cease to grow more; they would grow up to the consumption of this country, or fall back to it. 6018. The additional capital which had been laid out in the meantime, in order to encourage this additional cultivation, would be so far lost?— Yes, if it had been Expended. 6019. You told the Committee, with respect to the loan which is proposed to he made to British Guiana and Trinidad, that, as far as you understand it, Government is only repaying the liability which they have already incurred ?—I said that Government had incurred certain liabilities, and that the loan would be applied to meet those liabilities in the first instance. 6020. You did not refer to liabilities which had been incurred for the importation of labourers in the past?—No, I referred to the liabilities that Government had come under by entering into contracts for the transport of the people. 6021. But for the future transport of the people?—For the future transport of the people. 6022. You


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6022. You believe that Government have already entered into contracts?— A. Colvile, Esq. I believe they have entered into certain contracts, in the expectation that the colonies would have been able to have raised loans under the ordinances they 4 March 1848. sanctioned for Trinidad and Guiana. 6023. Do you suppose that they are ships they have chartered now ?—Yes. 6024. Since that loan was made?—Since those ordinances were made. 6025. How long ago is that; do you mean Lord Stanley's ordinances?—I refer to ordinances since that time. They were ordinances to authorize Trinidad to raise a certain sum for meeting the expenses of immigration, and the order that was passed in Guiana for that purpose. Upon the last one, in Guiana, a certain sum has been raised upon the credit of the colony. 6026. As far as I understand it, Government have no connexion with anything that the local government of Trinidad and Guiana have done heretofore; they have done it entirely upon their own responsibility, and any loan which has been made has been made upon the credit of the revenues of the colonies?—I have already said so. The loan to Guiana was upon the credit of the colonial revenue. 6027. Then for anything that has been done heretofore the Government here cannot be liable ?—The liabilities I referred to were certain contracts for the hire of ships, which had been entered into here, for which the Government is in the first place liable. I only observed that those loans would be applied to relieve those liabilities to the extent to which they may exist. 6028. Are you aware yourself of those contracts being made?—I am aware that some have been made. 6029. With respect to refining in bond you gave some evidence ?—I suggested that that should be permitted. 6030. In what form would it be most economical to bring produce here for the purpose of being refined ; would it be practicable to bring it in a syrup state ? —I believe it would be practicable to bring it in a syrup state, and probably if that were done the fullest advantage would be obtained. My suggestion would go to this, that it should be permissive to refiners here to refine in bond, without paying the duty upon the article as it was imported, but upon the result of the manufacture. I am not at all sure that it would at first, at any rate, be acted on to any great extent; but by giving the permission no harm would be done to anybody, and some advantage may be obtained. 6031. Do you apprehend much danger or loss from its becoming acid on the road?—Not from the syrup. I believe it has been tried to bring syrup to this country, and I believe it has been found to arrive without becoming acid. 6032. Do you know the article called concrete ?—I have heard of it; I have not seen it. The syrup has arrived, I know, and has not been damaged by acidity. 6033. In 1830 you spoke about the bounty which used to be given upon refined sugar exported ; are you aware that from 1820 to 1830 the British colonies produced about 50,000 or 60,000 tons of sugar more than we consumed, and that that quantity went annually to the Continent of Europe, usually in a refined state ? —Almost all the export was in a refined state. 6034. There was a bounty given ?—That is to say, the calculation upon the drawback was practically a bounty. 6035. There was, in fact, more given back than was paid ?—A greater quantity of refined sugar was obtained than the calculation supposed. 6036. Was that advantage obtained by the planters or by the sugar refiners?— In the first instance it was directly obtained by the refiner ; but there is no doubt when the refiner found he obtained a certain advantage, that induced him to give a better price for the raw article. 6037. He would buy his sugar as low as he could get it ?—But still the advantage of the drawback encouraged the exportation of the sugar; it acted as a bounty; there can be no doubt about that. 6038. You tell the Committee that prior to the year 1834, and to the extermination of slavery, there were periods of great fluctuation in sugar ; that sometimes there were years of great prosperity, when the colonies yielded a large sum of money, and others of great depression, when there were great losses? No doubt there were great fluctuations of prosperity and depression. 6039. Did those fluctuations arise from circumstances altogether unconnected with the colonies, such as the state of trade in its various branches, and the com0.32. s 2 mercial


132

MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

mercial condition of Europe?—I cannot at this distance of time pretend to give an accurate answer as to the causes.of the state of the sugar trade exactly, but 4 March 1848. there is no doubt that its fluctuations arise from various circumstances. What affected the general trade of the country affected the sugar trade. Political causes, such as Milan Decrees, and other matters, confining the produce of the West Indies to this country, all tended to produce that effect. 6040. What is your opinion as to the effect which the recent panic and crisis has had upon the present depression in the West Indies ?—It is difficult to measure the effect of it, but no doubt it must have had some effect. 6041. Has the failure of the West India Bank not produced a great amount of distress throughout the West Indies ? — It has produced great inconvenience, and will produce great loss to many people in the West Indies. 6042. Do you suppose there are a number of houses who have contracted their credit to the West Indies during the last six months in consequence of the pressure of the money market ? —The houses in London, and this country generally, have limited their credits to the West Indies; but I attribute it mainly to the fact that the price obtained for sugar which comes here is not sufficient to pay for the expenses of the cultivation, therefore they can have little hope that the proprietors of estates will be enabled to repay them. 6043. Have not merchants limited their advances in all lines of business, from the state of the money market rendering it impossible for them safely to have done otherwise ?—No doubt that must have affected the extent of credit which has been given. 6044.. You are of opinion that the failure of the West India Bank and the panic here has materially aggravated the great depression which has recently existed in the sugar market ?—They have had a certain effect, but the main cause of the loss of credit to the West Indies is the conviction that the cultivation under the present circumstances cannot be carried on to a profit. 6045. Are you aware that the state of the sugar market as to the depression of prices in England is no exception to the general state of the sugar market in Europe during the last six months? —I am not aware of that, because we find where foreign sugar comes here a certain quantity of it has been sold in this country ; we bring in the highest possible quality we can get into consumption under the present regulations of duty, and what will not so come in advantageously is exported to the continent, 6046. Are you aware that two of the largest refiners in Holland have failed?—• So I have understood. 6047. And that the largest refiner in the Rhenish Provinces has failed also?— I do not personally know anything about it; I know it by report. 6048. Are you aware that those failures have taken place in consequence of the great reduction in the price of the articles in which they have dealt?—I know nothing of the circumstances. 6049. Can you tell the Committee what fall has taken place in foreign sugar since last June ?—I do not think there has been any very material alteration in the price of foreign sugar; the price here has followed no doubt the price of all sugars to a certain extent; but the price of foreign sugar has been better maintained than the price of ours has been. 6050. Are you aware that there is a great depression in Havannah now, in consequence of the state of the sugar market in Europe?—No, I am not aware of that; their prices are lower than they were last year. 6051. Are not you of opinion that the natural effect, if there were no other causes existing, of a large consumption of foreign sugar in this market, ought to be to raise the price of foreign sugar?—No doubt. 6052. If the price has gone down in the face of a large increased consumption in this country, do you attribute that entirely to the commercial distress ?—Not entirely. I attribute the price in Havannah, for instance, to the expectations the people had as to the quantity of sugar that would be sent to Europe. 6053. The price which people will give in Cuba depends upon what they expect to get in Europe, of course; but you are not aware that the sugar trade in Cuba, in consequence of the state of things in Europe, is now exceedingly depressed r- -No ; I have no connexion with the trade of Cuba ; I am not informed upon the subject. 60,54. Are you of opinion that some portion of the recent depression in the sugar

A. Colvile, Esq.


SELECT COMMITTEE ON SUGAR AND COFFEE PLANTING. 133 sugar market has been occasioned by the general state of the country?—To a certain extent. 6055. You think if the Sugar Bill of 1846 be persevered in, the effect will be to annihilate the production of sugar in our colonies, and thereby to give an encouragement to the production of sugar in slave-growing countries ?—I do. 6056. And you anticipate that we shall have in consequence of that a very high price ?—If you have a growth of sugar to the extent of 200,000 tons put out of cultivation, the price of sugar must generally rise enormously. 6057. And it is from that rise of price that you anticipate an increased production in the slave countries ?—That will induce the cultivators in the slave countries to extend their cultivation. 6058. Would not that rise of price, which you suggest will increase the slave cultivation, lead again to an extension of free-labour cultivation ?—No ; because if the cultivation of our own colonies is once put out, I apprehend it will never be restored again; if I give up my estate, I will not leave it, with its mill and its boilers and distilleries, ready for any one to walk into it; I would convert into money everything that was convertible ; and I do not think it would be anybody's interest to lay out many thousands of pounds in re-establishing that which I had abandoned. 6059. With the high price of sugar people would increase the cultivation in Cuba; the cultivation could not be increased without a large outlay of capital; they will require to purchase slaves, new machinery and new boilers, and to build new houses, and get new land. Would not the price that induced them to do that lead to an extended cultivation in the colonies ?—My opinion is, upon the general view of the subject, that if we extinguish the cultivation in our colonies it will never be revived ; it does not appear to me that any man would have that confidence in the policy of the legislation of this country as to expend a sufficient quantity of capital in fixed machinery in our colonies again, to revive the cultivation. 6060. Lord G. Manners.] Is it your opinion that if all, or the great part, of the various propositions you made for the amelioration of the colonial interests were conceded, after some lapse of years you would be able to produce sugar at so low a cost as to compete fairly with slave-grown sugar ?—I am not prepared to give a very decided opinion upon that subject; I should fear that our colonies, under any supposition which I can expect to approach the reality, would not be in a condition to compete against slave-labour sugar. 6061. Therefore you think that a protection, to answer the purpose, must be not temporary, but permanent ?—I do not think it should be given with the determination that it shall cease at any particular time. If it is given for a temporary period, it is then open to the Legislature to consider the question again, and their decision will be guided at that period by the whole circumstances of the case. If our colonies were secured, as far as regulations of that kind could secure them in a certain position for a period of years, I think it would so far restore confidence as to maintain the present cultivation of our colonies ; and, practically, perhaps that is as far as it is necessary to go. 6062. One of your propositions was the equalization of the rum duty?—Yes. 6063. You stated that the distiller in the West Indies was, practically, put to equal inconveniences as the distiller here?—I think in many points their situation is more disadvantageous than that of the distiller here. For instance, an estate making perhaps 100 or 150 puncheons of rum is obliged to have a distillery, and all the apparatus for carrying on the manufacture ; that is employed for three or four months, or five months in the year. Here the distiller has large premises, and he carries on his operations to whatever extent he pleases, and for as many months as he pleases. In that way there is a greater cost of fixed plant in proportion to the result in the West Indies than is the case here. The distance and freight, and the expense of casks, which the distiller here is not put to, because he gets back his casks again, are all disadvantages of the distillers in the West Indies. And there are many other things which, I think, fairly put the two distillers in such a position that it would only be reasonable that the duty should be the same upon both. 6064. You are not aware that it has been calculated that the enhanced cost, of production in England by the excise restrictions is greater than the total cos of production in the West Indies?—I have known a great many wild calculations made by distillers; but I think it was admitted by the Chancellor of the Exs 3 chequer, 0.32.

531 A. Colvile, Esq. 4 March 1848.


134 A. Colvile, Esq.

MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

chequer, when the Is. Gd. duty was reduced to 9d., that 9d. was much more, he thought, than the distillers of this country were entitled to. 4 March 1848. 6065. The principle upon which you claim protection for the West India interests is mainly that they have laid out a very large amount of capital on the faith of the existing laws that regulate the importation of sugar?—My opinion now is, that the West Indies have a just claim for protection, because they have invested their capital in the colonies on the faith of the regulation and laws of the mother country, and under the encouragement of the mother country, and that the mother country has from time to time so varied its policy, and we have been met with one blow after another, till now this appears to me to be the crisis of their fate; and if protection is not afforded to them in some way or other to give them a better price, I think they must break down. 6066. Is that the case upon which you ground your demand ?—That is one of the grounds upon which I put forward our claim. 6067. If it should appear that the British distillers have done the same thing, and have invested a large sum upon their distilleries under the faith of existing duties as they then stood, you would admit they would have an equal claim as you have to protection ?—All that I put forward in reference to this claim about the rum duties is, that, taking a view of the whole subject, there does not appear to me to be any justice in charging a higher duty upon the one spirit than the other. 6068. You have investigated the whole circumstances of the case, and you come to that conclusion ?—Yes, that is the conclusion I come to. 6069. You propose that the excise duty should be assessed upon the quantity of spirits manufactured, by way of removing the restriction ?—That is one of the modes in which the disadvantage the distillers complain of might be removed. 6070. Has not that been a subject of minute inquiry, communications being had between distillers and various governments upon the point, and it having been considered that it was essential that the excise officer should have access to the premises at all times?—That has been the case at different times; but I believe lately the opinion entertained by the Government officers is, that various of the regulations which have been in existence hitherto are not absolutely necessary for the protection of the revenue. 6071. If the officers were left to assess the duty upon the amount distilled, you would not be able to tell what materials were used?—That could be ascertained by learning what materials come into the premises and what go out. 6072. Would that be a sufficient check?—I think so ; in a case, for instance, of refining sugar in bond, the revenue officers made no difficulty in considering the revenue quite protected against any portion of that sugar going out of the warehouses into the refinery without payment of the duty, being all finally exported, and no part of it going into consumption. 6073. This, after all, would be but a very small boon, would not it ?—It would be a boon to that extent. 6074. It must follow upon some greater one to go before it; you would never grow sugar for the purpose of distilling rum ?—Certainly not; it is one of the items, among other things, which would all assist in obtaining the object we have in view. 6075. Mr. nope.] You mentioned that one of your modes of improving the West India colonies will be the introduction of immigrants ?—Yes. 6076. In reference to those immigrants, would your object be to increase the production in the West India colonies, or to cheapen the production ?—The great effect of it would be to cheapen the production in the first instance. I never contemplated importing so large a number of people as greatly to add to the production of the colonies, but the introduction of a certain number, who might be bound for some moderate time to the proprietor, which would give him the command of a certain proportion of labour upon his estate, and in that way he would be less dependent than he is upon the existing free population in the colonies, and he would be able to obtain the occasional assistance of labour upon better terms and to better effect. 6077. Are you to be understood to mean that that competition of labour would have the effect of making the labourers who are actually there more attentive to what they do?—I should expect it would make them more industrious and attentive to their labour. 6078. Do you imagine that from that additional attention you would derive any


SELECT COMMITTEE ON SUGAR AND COFFEE PLANTING.

135

any saving in the process of manufacturing sugar?—I have no doubt the manufacture would be very much better. My observation is, that the quality of the sugar from certain estates is not so good as it used to be, and it appeared to me there was great difficulty in getting it well manufactured. 6079. Do you imagine that any loss upon the manufacture of sugar arises from the want of continuous attention of the existing labourers ?—I believe very considerable loss arises from the want of the command of continuous labour when it is wanted. The canes are frequently not cut at the proper period of their ripeness, and the whole process of manufacture does not go on so rapidly and so well as it ought to do, and consequently the result is inferior quality and less quantity. 6080. Do you imagine that the effect of introducing new labourers would be, that the existing labourers would argue with themselves, that if they did not attend to their work they would lose their work?—Yes, it would stimulate them to more attention and more continuous labour. 6081. In that case your opinion is, that this additional immigration would benefit you in a great degree, by cheapening the cost of what you now produce, rather than by stimulating additional production ?—Exactly so. 6082. You stated that you anticipated a very large diminution of production, unless something was done for the colony ?—I "do. The importation of last year from the West Indies and from the Mauritius amounted to about 200,000 tons; and if things remain as they are, it is quite impossible that that can continue to be produced. 6083. Are you aware where we shall get sugar if our own colonies cease to produce sugar ?—If you suppose that the cultivation of the Mauritius and the West Indies is extinguished, and that you have to look to the additional supply of 200,000 tons of sugar, I do not know where you will get it immediately. I think in the course of time the East Indies would increase their cultivation, and would extend the export of sugar from thence to this country ; but the more immediate increase of supply, I think, would come from slave countries. They have their whole machinery and their whole establishment ready; and with the addition of a certain number of labourers, they would increase their production. 6084. Are you to be understood to say, that for some time we should have to depend upon slave countries for our supply of sugar?—To a great degree. 6085. Do you imagine then that we should give up a squadron on the coast of Africa for the purpose of stopping- our own supplies ?—If cheap sugar is to be the object—if this country were to abandon its own colonies and look to cheapness of sugar, the natural policy would lie to allow the slave trade to go on as fast as it could. 6086. Do not you imagine that we should be in an anomalous position, drawing our supplies from those slave countries, and yet keeping up a squadron to prevent the slave countries from getting slaves, and thereby producing sugar?— It appears to me that the existing policy is the most inconsistent thing that can he imagined. We profess to stop the slave trade, and do all we can to stop it, and yet we give every possible encouragement to those who we know are carrying on the slave trade. 6087. I presume in that case we must either give up using sugar or give up opposing the slave trade ?—That must be the natural policy to follow, certainly.

533 A. Colvile, Esq. 4 March 1848.

Mr. Benjamin Buck Greene, called in; and Examined. 6088. YOU are a merchant and shipowner, and a partner in the firm of H. D. Mr. B. B. Greene. and James Blyth & Greene ?—I am. 6089. Your house is consignee of several estates in the West Indies ?—It is. C090. You have personally managed estates in St. Kitts, I believe ?—I have. 6091. In what year?—From the latter part of 1829 till the spring of 1837. 6092. How many estates had you under your direction ?—At one period from 16 to 18. 6093. Did the production of those estates form one-third of the entire production of the island of St. Kitts?—From one-fourth to one-third. 6094. Since that time have you resided in London ?—I have. 6095. But you have received consignments of the estates which you previously S 4 0.32. managed ?—


136

MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

Mr. B. B. Greene.

managed ?—From about eight or ten of them, besides others, but from eight or ten of the very estates I superintended the management of. 4 March 1848. 6096. Can you state the cost per hundredweight at which those estates have produced sugar during the last four years, and previously ?—The average of the last tour years upon those 10 estates has been 21 s. 10d. per cwt., placed upon the beach, exclusive upon any interest upon the capital invested. 6097. What proportion of the whole island does the produce of those estates represent ?—From one-fifth to one-seventh. 6098. After adding freight, insurance, and sale charges, what would that amount to?—Twenty-nine shillings and sixpence. I may state that in 1843 and 1844 the freight and sale charges would amount to about 8s. a cwt., but in 1845 and 1846 they would not be more than 7s. 6d., because there has been a reduction of the duty from 25 s. to 14s., and also a great reduction in the price of sugar, which lessened commissions, brokerages and interest upon duty, and so forth, which enter into the charges. 6099. All those charges are a percentage?—Those charges I have mentioned are a percentage. 6100. Will you state what the different percentages are?—Merchant's commission is 21/2 per cent.; brokerage, including del credere, would be one per cent.; then there is'a difference in credit, which we give to the trade, amounting, I should apprehend, to about one-half percent, more, probably, because as we give them 70 days' credit, there will be 70 days' credit upon the diminished duty, which we now pay. 6101. What is that sugar per cwt. in London now ?—It is worth, exclusive of duty, from 25s. to 26s. 6102. Which would show a loss of how much per cwt.?—It would show a loss of from 4s. to 5 s. 6103. Do you know at what price foreign sugar has been sold in London before the Act of 1846 passed, which raised its value in the British market?—Yes ; I find from a Parliamentary return, moved for, I think, by Mr. Hawes, No. 300, that in 1842 the price of Brazil sugar averaged 18s. 3d.; in 1843, 17.s. 2d.; in 1844, 17s.; in 1845, 20s. 5d.; giving an average for the four years of 18 s. 2d. per cwt. 6104. The year 1845 was the year when the hurricane and drought took place in Cuba?—Yes. 6105. Which affected the price of foreign sugar?—Most unquestionably. 6106. In addition to which, 1845 was generally a year of drought throughout the West Indies, was not it?—I think not in the British colonies : it was felt chiefly in Cuba. 6107. Have you any statement of the price of Muscovado sugar in Cuba at this time?—Yes; my house received letters from two correspondents at Havannah by the last packet, dated 27th January 1848, annexing price currents, in which I find that sugar is quoted as selling at the following prices:—• s. d. s. d. Muscovadoes - 11 3 to 13 9 per cwt." Brown and low yellow - 13 7 to 17 2 „ Middling to good yellow - 18 4 to 19 5 „ all free on board. Fine yellow - 20 8 to 21 10 „ White „ -23- to 25 4 6108. Whose circular is that?—L. A. Gogel & Co., of Havannah ; we have similar advices from Messrs. Burnham & Co. 6109. At these prices you would lose between 9 I. and 10 l. per ton ?—Unquestionably. 6110. Not being able to put your sugar upon the beach at less than 21 s. 10d.? ■—-No. 6111. Can you state the cost of producing sugar in St. Kitts during the years of slavery?—I can; on one estate, the one ON which I resided, and personally managed during the last four years of slavery, the sugar cost, after deducting the proceeds of rum and molasses, 4s. 5d. per cwt. placed upon the beach ready for shipment. 6112. What was it during the four years of apprenticeship ?—During the four years of apprenticeship it was (is. 7 d.; during the last four years, ending 1846, it was 21 J. Id. • 6113. Have

J


535

SELECT COMMITTEE ON SUGAR AND COFFEE PLANTING. 137

6113. Have you included in each case all the charges of management?— Mr. B. B. Greene. Every charge; it does not include, in any case, a charge for interest upon capital invested. 4 March 1848.. 6114. Neither during freedom nor during slavery ?—No. 6115. Will you give the details of that account?—Yes, I have the details here, which I can put in. [The Witness delivered in the same, which are as follow:] ST.

KITTS.—STATEMENT

of the Island Expenses for CULTIVATION and PRODUCTION on Nicola Town Estate showing the Items under the following Heads:

£.

£. 1829 1830 1831 1832 1833 1834 1835 1836 1837 1838 1839 1840 1841 1842 1843 1844 1845 1846

-

-

450 1,151 1,510 1,803 2,096 2,306 2,422 2,239 1,697

371 228 257 261 300 342 256 182 214 338 212 225 245 296 411 198 333 195

ST.

£.

£.

£.

£.

£.

-

114

-

-

-

132 68 35 96 78 75 234 97 89 241 204 309 454 434 206 124

381 333 279 245 148 151 136 101 217 63 88 5 171 180 100 175 212 261

123 128 56 96 58 49 116 82 175 169 132 122 155 98 97 46 64 69

471 540 473 462 469 557 403 476 513 497 512 494 528 524 525 525 514 464

-

90 175 197 240 236 262 139 165 179 184 118 230 104

KITTS.—COST of Producing

SUGAR

£.

62 140 86 94 153 432 189 58 232 142 117 206 192 354 574 262 313 131

£.

£.

£.

£.

90 94 93 98 98 80 81 86 85 88 70 67 83

1,612 1,463 1,376 1,324 1,261 1,697 1,531 1,257 1,910 2,080 2,633 3,009 3,546 4,036 4,651 4,180 4,127 3,045

400 400 400 400 500 900 1,400 800 800 816 1,626 1,407 887 803 836 891 750 632

2,012 1,863 1,776 1,724 1,761 2,597 2,931 2,057 2,710 2,896 4,259 4,416 4,433 4,839 5,487 5,071 4,877 3,677

_

_ _ 16 -

on Nicola Town Estate.

YEAR.

1829 1830 1831 1832 1833

1834 1835 1836 1837 1838

1839 1840 1841 1842 1843 1844 1845 J

0.32.

1846

£. 1,612 1,463 1,376 1,324 1,201 1,097

£. 2,012 1,863 1,776 1,724 1,761 2,597

£. 657 78.3 * 680 855 1,1.36 1,230

£. 107 75 50 43 13 21

764 858 730 889 1,149 1,251

£. 1,253 1,005 1,046 826 612 646

Tons.

400 400 400 400 500 900

186 198 145 185 197 210

£. 6 5 7 4 3 3

s. 14 2 8 3 -

4 18

1,400 800 800 816

2,931 2,057 2,710 2,896

1,009 1,008 1,093 912

52 70 158 188

1,061 1,078 1,251 1,100

1,072 979 1,459 1,796

210 210 211 181

5 2 4 13 6 17 9 13

6 11

450

1,5.31 1,257 1,910 1,630

1,151 1,510 1,803 2,096

1,482 1,499 1,743 1,940

1,626 1,407 887 803

4,259 4,416 4,433 4,839

806 1,338 810 925

292 112 50 128

1,098 1,450 860 1,053

3,161 2,966 3,573 3,786

175 177 206 240

18 16 15 17 7 15 15

16 19

2,30(1 2,421 2,239 1,697

2,345 1,759 1,888 1,348

836 891 750 632

5,487 5,071 4,877 3,677

793 574 609 850

178 280 400 330

971 854 1,009 1,180

4,516 4,217 3,868 2,497

199 194 153 155

22 15 21 15 25 7 16 2

21 11

£.

Nil. ditto ditto ditto ditto ditto ditto ditto ditto

£.

T

£.

£. s. 334 333 331 332 331 331

6116. In


138

Mr. B. B. Greene. 4 March 1848.

MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

6116. In one column you have labour, for which there is no charge till the conclusion of the period of apprenticeship; then you have plantation expenses, and other plantation expenses ; what do you mean by plantation expenses ? —The other plantation expenses are shown by the second paper which I have put in; they are divided into lumber; comprising staves, boards, shingles, puncheons, &c. Another column is for wages to white ploughmen, engineers, wheelwrights, &c.; another, working animals ; another for provisions and fodder; another for taxes ; another, salaries ; another, miscellanies, comprising paint, coals, building-lime, contracts for work, &c. Then I have a column for supplies from England, which, since the establishment of steam-engines, includes coals, oats for horses, ironmongery, hoops and other necessary articles. 6117. For the years 1829, 1830, 1831, 1832, 1833, and 1834, the expenses are 2,012/., 1,863/., 1,776/., 1,724l., 1,761l. and 2,597/., and for the four last years those expenses have risen to 5,487/., 5,071l., 4,877l., and 3,677/.; how came those expenses to be so reduced in the year 1846 under 1845?—Partly in consequence of the reduction in the cultivation, and partly from that cultivation being carried on by implemental labour. We have altered the whole system of cultivation in St. Kitts, and a great deal of the work is now performed by implements which used to be done by manual labour, such as holing and weeding.

6118. I observe that the produce, though not equal to what it was during the apprenticeship, has not, upon the whole, very much diminished ?—In 1843 and 1844 we made about the same quantity; but I ought to mention that in 1841 another estate was added to that property. 6119. Which increased the produce?—It should have increased the produce, and in that year it did so ; but the united properties should make 260 tons, to be equal to the years of slavery. 6120. Have you applied machinery and all the other improvements with a view to lessen the cost of production ?—Yes, to a considerable extent. 6121. When did you erect a steam-engine?—In 1834 I imported two steamengines, and between that time and 1837 seven more, which were erected under my own superintendence. 6122. Did you introduce English horses?—I also introduced English horses and English ploughmen. 6123.

How did English ploughmen answer ?—Those ploughmen answered very

well. 6124. In 1833 there was but one steam-engine in the island ?—There was but one steam-engine in the island, now there are 23.

6125. Are horse-hoes much used now ?—Yes; the planters generally have improved the system of cultivation, and are using extensively horse-hoes and other implements, which are either imported or made on the spot. 6126. The island is a very small island, is not it?—A very small island. 6127. Do you know the production of sugar upon it ?—It varies from 3,500 to 6,500 tons.

6128. And to work that there are 23 engines ?—There are other estates besides those 23 that have engines; some estates have watermills, others windmills and cattle-mills. 6129. Do you think that the planters generally have made great efforts to reduce the cost of cultivation ?—I do. 6130. The island engaged a civil engineer at a salary of 500/. a year, did not it?—.Yes, for three years; with the purpose of promoting any improvements in machinery that he might suggest. 6131. To what do you principally attribute the increased cost of production?-— To the want of cheap and continuous labour.

6132. Up to what period were those estates profitable: I have not returns from all the estates; they do not all belong to ourselves; but I can give the returns from five, two of which belong to my father, one to a correspondent, and two


SELECT COMMITTEE ON SUGAR AND COFFEE PLANTING. 139

537

two are hired fay my father and myself. Those five estates produced in 1838, Mr. B. B. Greene, 1839, and 1840, a profit of 31,100l., making an average upon the five of 10,277l. 4 March 1848. per annum. 6133. In 1843 there came the earthquake?—Yes; in that year we had a loss upon the 10 estates of 439/. In 1844 we had the small profit of 201l.; the free-labour system was working exceedingly bad ; we did not at first feel the full effect of the working of the measure, because the estates had been well cultivated during the apprenticeship, and were in a good state at the commencement of freedom, and the crop of 1839 was planted by the apprentices in 1838. In 1840 the lands still were good, and we did not feel the ill effects of the absence of careful cultivation ; for instance, at the time of the abolition of the apprenticeship, the Nicola Town estate was perfectly free from nut grass (a noxious weed, which you cannot eradicate when it once gets into patches upon the estate); it soon, however, began to make its appearance, and the estate is now perfectly covered with it. In 1845 matters generally improved, and the 10 estates together made a profit of 5,185l., in 1846 the profit was 5,714/.; making a balance of 10,661/. in favour of these estates during the four years ending with 1846. 6134. What would be the state of the case last year, 1847 ?—We have not got the account up to 1847 yet; I apprehend there will be a loss from the low price at which we have sold the produce. 6135. It is a larger crop than you expected ?—Yes. 6136. But at the low price you think there will be an absolute loss?—I think there will. 6137. Can you state, if the prices continue as they are now, what will be the prospects of the estate?—It must produce a loss of from 4/. to 5l. a ton; that would be a loss of from 3,000/. to 4,000l. a year upon the 10 estates. 6138. How many tons do you average?—We have averaged about 800 tons for the last four years. 6139. Then a loss of 5l. a ton would be 4,000/.?—Yes. 6140. Which would reduce your profits of the last two years to 1,180/. and 1,704 /. ?—Not only should we lose that profit, but make a loss of 4,000 /. In those years we made a profit; but at these prices not only shall we lose our profit, but will incur a loss of 4,000/. in the year; that is taking the average of the cost of cultivation for the last four years, and the average production. 6141. Have you got there an account of all the estates by name ?—I have. 6142. Which any gentleman of the Committee may see, but you do not wish the names to appear ?—No; I have not the authority of the proprietors to publish their names, with the profits and losses; but I have no objection to give them in to the Committee, that they may see them, but when published, to be designated by numbers 1 to 10.

[ Witness delivered in the same, 'which is as follows:]

0.32.

...

T2

ST. KITTS.


MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

140

ST. KITTS. STATEMENT showing the

EXPENSES,

under various Heads, incurred upon each of Ten Estates, numbered 1 TO10, or per Cwt. of Sugar, and the Profit

Total Negro Labour.

1843: No. 1 No. 2 No. 3 No. 4 No. 5 No. 6 No. 7 No. 8 No. 9 No. 10 TOTAL - -

Animal Salaries. Lumber.

Fodder.

Taxes.

Stock.

Sundries.

Island Expenses.

Old Cattle, &c., sold in Island.

Net

Supplies

Island

from

Expenses.

England.

£.

£.

£.

£.

£.

£.

£.

46 133 17 99 159 143 107

16 100 7 51 42 14 39 190 73 28

86 97 54 76 62 68 38 17 27 48

226 574 117 96 99 118 39 155 157 125

2,297 4,651 1,338 1,916 1,471 1,146 1,139 2,245 1,440 1,443

178 44 120 212 13 7 50 83 25

2,297 4,473 1,292 1,796 1,259 1,133 1,132 2,195 1,357 1,418

594 836 351 411 168 137 65 197 211 83

1,138

1,273

560

573

1,706

19,086

732

18,354

3,053

364 525 260 266 226 202 200 323 208 202

85 199 62 119 102 81 130 182 39 43

158 434

58 46 55 46 60 52 26 18 10 18

204 262 90 129 250 212 79 322 174 125

2,587 4,180 1,401 2,339 1,542 1,384 1,246 2,950 1,550 1,421

78 280 34 133 168 100

329 168 50

47 175 13 36 10 21 37 279 64 42

88 100

2,508 3,900 1,367 2,207 1,373 1,284 1,246 2,950 1,461 1,320

759 891 351 796 310 233 110 304 293 105

12,256

2,776

1,112

1,373

730

389

1,847

20,600

981

19,616

1,237 2,239 796 1,477 688 731 625 1,398 831 684

355 514 233 297 225 200 197 353 174 204

128 333 32 178 58 53 120 199 41 93

34 206 13 123 15 54 22 401 120 81

34 212 8 43 5 50 85 343 28 29

65 64 11 59 11 61 4 26 17 20

199 213 54 225 92 157 72 216 211 150

2,053 4,127 1,147 2,403 1,094 1,306 1,124 2,936 1,422 1,261

10,706

2,752

1,235

1,069

837

338

1,589

1,201 1,697 759 1,264 646 640 620 1,309 724 629

. 283 464 235 296 212 195 203 324 194 190

62 195 46 264 42 40 62 214 70 36

151 124 98 166

156 177 42

26 261 8 29 9 91 60 406 30 22

27 69 11 45 12 58 40 40 15 24

9,489

2,596

1,031

941

942

341

£.

£.

£.

£.

1,413 2,306 857 1,297 867 712 670 1,179 763 683

364 525 259 279 212 201 200 323 205 202

77 411 44 71 56 16 53 192 72 146

115 454

10,747

2,770

1,671 2,422 921 1,521 876 816 774 1,497 887 871

Total Expenses

£■

2,891 5,309 1,645 2,207

27

1,4 1,270 1,197 2,303

1,578 1,501 21,417

1844: No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

TOTAL - -

222 12

TOTAL - -

185 70 84

2,053 3,727 1,095 2,195 861 1,228 1,125 2,750 1,351 1,178

685 750 281 659 278 356 129 377 230 127

18,872

1,310

17,563

3,872

151 131 56 122 89 160 74 169 191 73

1,901 3,045 1,213 2,186 1,010 1,211 1,059 2,618 1,401 1,016

83 330 36 43 398 70 42 136

1,818 2,715 1,177 2,142 612 1,141 1,017 2,481 1,401 1,016

547 632 193 533 123 243 156 291 200

1,216

16,660

1,138

15,520

3,018

400 52 208 233 78

1846 : No. 1 No. 2 No. 3 No. 4 No. 5 No. 6 No. 7 No. 8 No. 9 No. 10

27

1,683

fa, fa

23,768 4,152 "

1845 : No. 1 No. 2 No. 3 No. 4 No. 5 No. 6 No. 7 No. 8 No. 9 No. 10

1,718

100

2,738 2,730

4,477

1,376 2,854 1,139

fa fa,

fa 1,370

2,675

fa fa fa 5

IS, ' TOTAL - -


SELECT COMMITTEE ON SUGAR AND COFFEE PLANTING.

141

539

ST. KITTS. together with the Produce and Net Proceeds thereof, the Cost (after deducting the Proceeds of Rum and Molasses), Loss in each case, for 1843 to 1846. Tons of Sugar,

Cwts.

Puncheons

Proceeds

Proceeds

of

of

of Rum and

of

Molasses.

Rum.

Molasses.

Sugar.

£.

£.

£.

£.

670 1,460 350 670 370 220 250 540 240 450

25 26 5 33 9 9 4 24 9 6

493 792 198 512 241 164 116 418 155 226

2,519 4,491 1,147 1,914 1,013 1,072 990 2,428 1,079 992

3,012 5,283 1,345 2,426 1,272 1,236 1,106 2,846 1,234 1,218

121

5,220

150

3,315

17,663

20,978

640 1,310 290 830 390 230 290 470 290 410

38 28 6 43 13 18 18 31 3 14

491 575 139 592 228 201 211 432 95 216

3,044 4,214 1,005 3,179 1,211 1,676 1,387 2,958 935 1,180

3,535 4,789 1,144 3,771 1,439 1,877 1,598 3,390 1,030 1,396

5,150

212

3,180

20,789

23,969

670 1,010 200 500 430 350 290 400 190 320

37 27 8 44 10 8 19 33 10 16

558 587 136 585 253 193 337 450 171 241

3,420 4,165 1,123 3,008 1,671 1,614 1,534 3,861 1,326 1,387

3,978 4,752 1,259 3,593 1,924 1,807 1,871 4,311 1,497 1,628

4,360

212

3,511

23,109

26,630

5,185

1,010 970 190 990 160 330 420 560 240 280

28 24 19 36 3 11 19 21 24 7

923 845 357 1,016 119 297 421 602 342 225

3,243 4,069 1,170 3,020 434 1,093 1,165 2,637 1,266 1,008

4,166 4,914 1,527 4,036 553 1,390 1,586 3,239 1,608 1,233

1,801 1,567 157 1,361

5,150

192

5,147

19,105

24,252

Total Proceeds.

Profit.

Loss.

102 199 47 79 79 43 41 36 97

46 41 731

132 194 44

137 5454

66 127 41 47 900

127 153 44 115 65 59 50 147 41 50

£.

Cost of Sugar, after deducting Rum and Molasses, per Cwt.

5.

d.

_ 26 300

-

219

155 34 81

-

-

454

344 283

-

-

439

..

24

9

268 2 574

-

768

-

244 360 242 136

— — .—.

724 29

-

201

_ _ _ — —

22 10

-

1,240 275

-

117

739 785 223 617 1,184

323

— —

84

-

85l

115 155 44 116 17 42 43 101 50 36 719

21

-

-

-

182

-

6 413 467 7 117 5,714

-

IB

7

•32.

T3

ST. KITTS.


MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

142

ST. KITTS. STATEMENT showing the

TOTALS

of the Ten Estates for each Item during each Year on the foregoing Return.

a

1843

£.

£.

£.

£.

£.

£.

£.

£.

£.

£.

£.

£.

-

10,745

2,770

1,138

1,273

560

573

1,706

19,086

732

18,354

3,053

21,417

1844

-

12,254

2,776

1,112

1,373

730

389

1,847

20,600

981

19,616

4,152

23,768

1845

-

10,704

2,752

1,235

1,069

837

338

1,589

18,872

1,310

17,563

3,872

21,435

1846

-

9,489

2,596

1,031

941

942

341

1,216

16,660

1,138

15,520

3,018

Grand Total

18,538 85,158

Average

£.

£.

£.

731

5,220

150

3,315

17,663

20,978

900

6,150

212

3,180

20,789

23,969

201

851

4,360

212

3,511

23,109

26,620

719

5,150

192

5,147

19,105

3,201

-

15,153

-

£.

£.

s.

d.

s.

d.

439

24

9

32

9

1843.

22 10

30 10

1844.

5,185

21

-

28

6

1845.

24,252

5,714

18

7

26

1

95,819

10,661

21 10

2,664

29

1846.

Grand Total.

6

Average.

N.B.—The increased value of the rum and molasses in 1840 reduced the cost per cwt. of sugar in that year, for it will he observed that though the quantities of these articles were not materially greater, they produced 1,6001, more than in 1845, and which makes a difference of 2s. 5 d. per cwt., as compared with that year; but had the same sum only been derived, the cost would have been 21 s. The explanation is necessary to show that the reduced cost of producing the sugar is not to bo attributed to reduction of expenses, but to the accidental increase in the price of the offal crop. Mr. B. B. Greene. 4 March 1848.

6143. Your house also receives consignments from Jamaica?—It does from four sugar estates. In December 1846, foreseeing as we did the impossibility of estates paying their expenses, we gave up two others ; the proprietors not having any other means to help them, we declined to make any advances for the cultivation of them. Those estates produced about 400 hogsheads a year ; we therefore gave up the consignments of those properties, because we had not sufficient confidence to make the necessary advances for cultivation. 6144. Not after the passing of the Bill of 1846 ?—No. 6145. Are those estates consequently abandoned ?—I believe not yet; we made up our minds before December ; but could not give them up till that time, because the produce was coming. We gave notice of it almost immediately after the passing of the Bill of 1846. 6146. Can you state the cost of producing sugar on those four estates ?—The cost of producing sugar upon those four estates, for four years ending 1846, was 22 s. 9 d. per cwt., put upon the beach ready for shipment, as shown by the statement I hold in my hand. [ The Witness delivered in the same, which is as follows;] JAMAICA.


SELECT COMMITTEE ON SUGAR AND COFFEE PLANTING.

143

541 Mr. B. B. Greene.

JAMAICA. 4 March 1848. STATEMENT showing the Expenses of CULTIVATION, &C. on the Total of Four Estates for each of the Years 1843 to 1846; the Produce and Net Proceeds thereof, the Cost per Cwt. of Sugar (after deducting the Proceeds of Rum), and the Profit or Loss,

1843

£.

£.

£.

£.

£.

£.

£.

5,957

7,710

13,667

1,438

15,105

2,213

12,892

1844

0,107

7,819

13,926

1,749

15,675

1,989

13,686

1845

6,317

6,605

12,922

1,644

14,566

1,952

12,614

1846

7,333

4,516

11,849

1,258

13,107

1,553

11,554

Grand Total -

50,746

£.

£.

£.

389

201

1,943

9,480

11,423

521

259

3,623

11,624

15,227

1,541

507

294

3,579

13,407

16,986

4,372

327

159

2,009

7,934

9,943

1,744

-

11,154

-

53,579

£.

£.

s.

1,469

28

-

1843.

19

3

1844. 1845.

1,611 2,833

-

d.

17

9

29

3

1846.

22

9

Grand Total.

6147. What is the long price of that sugar now in the London market ?—From 39 s. to 40s. 6148. That leaves you about 18s. after the payment of duties, freight and sale charges?—Yes ; that would leave 18s. 6149. Which would leave you a loss of about 4s. 9d. a cwt. ?—Yes. 6150. Had those four estates been profitable up to the year 184G ?—Yes; in 1835 the proprietor got 21,587/.; in 1836, 22,102/.; in 1837, 18,720l.; in 1838, 9,428/.; and in 1839, 9,265/. Those are the amounts actually given to his credit after the payment of everything. 6151. Quite net?—Quite net, paid over to him by my father and myself. In 1840 those estates produced a loss of 12/.; in 1841, a profit of 2,673/.; in 1842 there was a loss of 746/.; in 1843, a loss of 1,157/.; in 1844, a profit of 1,574/.; in 1845, a profit of 5,123/.; and in 184G there was a loss of 1,134/. 6152. Was there any excessive outlay in those latter years ?—I think not; in 1846 they produced but small crops, as did the whole island of Jamaica ; the loss in 1846 was attributable to the small crop ; these estates only made 327 tons, against 507 in the year before. 6153. Do you know of your own knowledge, or from tradition, what upon those estates used to be the average ?—The son of the proprietor told me, a few days ago, that a few years previously to the abolition of slavery he used to receive 30,000l. a year from them, but at one time much more. 6154. At the present prices, what will be the state of the balance-sheet? Taking the average of the production of the estates, and the average expenses of the last four years, they would leave a loss of nearly 2,000/. 6155. I)o you think it possible that the free labour of the British colonies can successfully compete against the slave labour and the slave trading of Cuba and Brazil ?—Decidedly not, without a protection. 0.32 T4 6156. What


144 Mr. B. B. Greene. 4 March 1848.

MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

6156. What protection should you think necessary?—I think not less than 10s. a cwt., and other remedial measures to be given to the colonies, such as facilities for procuring labour, and many other little matters, into the detail of which I have not gone, because without protection I feel it utterly useless to consider those details in the least. 6157. Unless a protection equal to 10s. a cwt. is given, what do you think will be the result ?—That a very large proportion of the estates will go out of sugar cultivation. 6158. Do you think as much as half of the estates will ?—It is matter of opinion. In the course of time fully one half, I think, perhaps more, will go out of cultivation. I do not mean to say they will do so in one year ; time will be taken to put them out of cultivation. Cultivation will be maintained on some of the estates, while others will go entirely out. 6159. Have you confidence enough in the present state of things to venture to make any more advances to any of those estates ?—Certainly not, to the extent of a shilling. I am curtailing what business I have as much as possible, and therefore I should certainly not take any new business of the kind. In confirmation of my own opinion, which has been formed ever since this Bill was in agitation, I may state that one of my partners, Mr. James Blyth, being associated with Mr. Thomas Baring and Mr. M'Chlery in the inspectorship of the affairs of Messrs. Reid, Irving & Co., have unanimously come to the conclusion of not advancing any money out of the funds in their hands towards sustaining the cultivation of Messrs. Reid, Irving & Co.'s 23 large estates in the island of Mauritius, producing last year 9,800 tons of sugar. 6160. Do you mean that your partner, with Mr. Thomas Baring and Mr. M'Chlery, as inspectors, will not permit any of the London assets of Messrs. Reid, Irving & Co. to be applied even to taking off the coming crop ?—They have nothing to do with that; that would rather rest with the parties out there, but they will not advance any money to sustain its future cultivation. 6161. The crop which is now upon the ground you think will be taken off?—I think it will. 6162. But that will be the last ?—No doubt there will be a portion of the crop made in a future year; they will allow the canes to grow up. I do not know what arrangements other parties may make, but if parties here will not make any advances to carry on the cultivation, the greater part must consequently go out of cultivation. 6163. Supposing Parliament were to declare that there should be a protection of 10s. for five or seven years to come, do you think that would restore confidence ?—My view is, that there should be a protection of 10s., and that all those remedial measures should immediately be carried into effect in good earnest, and then if we had an actual protection of 10s., without defining the period, I think that confidence, which grows slowly, would be restored, and the cultivation would continue, and probably increase. 6164. By saying "an actual protection of 10s.," you mean to imply that the sugars of Cuba are very superior in quality to the average of the sugar of the British colonies, and that therefore a nominal protection of 10s. would not be a bond fide protection ?—It would not. The strong and higher priced qualities of foreign sugar are the only ones that pay duty ; whereas all British sugars pay the duty, or nearly so, however low the description may be ; and consequently on some qualities, containing a much larger quantity of saccharine matter than ours do, we have no protection at all; on others from 2s. to 3s. or 4s., varying according to the strength and quality of the sugar. 6165. The greater part of the Havannah sugars are clayed, arc not they?— They are. 6166. And that requires a great deal of labour?—Yes; and a great deal of waste is involved in it. 6167. You, being short of labour, cannot afford to clay as well as they can ?— Certainly not. 6168. It is the want of labour that impedes your claying the sugar, and putting your sugars upon an equality with those of Havannah ?—Yes, that is one of the causes. 6169. What is the distinction in value that you would put upon Cuba sugars, as compared with your own muscovadoes ?—The price current which I have here will show the comparative value of those sugars which I have just now quoted : muscovadoes


SELECT COMMITTEE ON SUGAR AND COFFEE PLANTING. 145

543

muscovadoes are 11s. 5d. to 13s. 9d. Those are the sugars that ought to be con- ]Mr. B. B. Greene. sidered equal to the West India sugars. 4. March 1848. 6170. And ought to be charged a differential duty ?—Muscovadoes and fine clayed yellows are two distinct articles : one is the raw article, and the other the manufactured article. The manufactured article contains a much larger quantity of saccharine matter than the raw article does. 6171. Have you the invoice price of those sugars, and can you tell what are the duties at which they come in ?—All those sugars I have quoted except the white, and there is probably some doubt about what they call the fine yellow, would come in at the low duty of 20s. 6172. What is the difference in value in Havannah between that superior quality of sugar that comes in at 20s., and that quality which you say is perfectly equal to West India muscovado?—Eight shillings to 9s. 6173. There is 8s. to 9s. difference in value?—Yes. 6174. So that the manufactured article comes in under the raw article duty? —Decidedly so ; but we have a much lower description of sugar than these muscovadoes, which pays the same amount of duty ; that is a low description of West India sugar, and also a low Madras sugar. 6175. Have you any samples of these sugars?—Yes; that (producing the same) is a sample of khaur sugar, the great mass is of that quality; there is a much lower kind, which I did not bring ; this pays 14s. The sample I hold in my hand (another sample) is a sample of Havannah sugar, which paid the low duty, and was imported by ourselves in a ship called the Scourfield. 6176. What is the long price of those two sugars ?—The khaur was yesterday worth from 28s. 6d., duty included, to 29s.; the Havannah sugar is worth from 42s. to 43s. 6177. So that there is a difference of 13s. 6d. in the intrinsic value of the two articles, which are rated at the same duty ?—I have seen sugars paying 14s. duty sold at 22s. long price; and if the Act of 1846 should continue, in 1851 they will be charged the same rate of duty as the Havannah. 6178. If the Act continues, this Havannah sugar will have a premium of 13s. 6d. ?—Yes; there is the same difference between those two articles that there is between a bale of cotton wool and a bale of cotton goods. 6179. Have you any sample of Madras sugar with you?—Yes; the value of that (producing a sample) yesterday was 30s. a cwt.; this is a sample of the great bulk of Madras sugar that comes in here. There is some a little better, but it forms but a small quantity. 6180. That is 16s. ex the duty?—Yes. 6181. Which, with 10s. charges, makes it necessary that it should be put on board at 4s. ?—Yes. 6182. With respect to West India sugar, will you state the difference ?—Here (producing a sample) is a sample of the average quality of West India sugar ; that was valued yesterday at 40s. per cwt. in the warehouse; it has been as low as 36s. 6d.; here (another sample) is a sample of low quality West India, of which a good deal comes in valued at 37 s. 6183. In point of fact, there is no sugar from the British West Indies that comes in which is at all upon an equality in point of intrinsic value with the sugar that comes in under a 20s. duty from Havannah?—I will not say that; there is some small amount of sugar which comes in equal in quality to that, but the great bulk of the sugar from Havannah is superior. 6184. Is there a great deal better quality than this which comes in under a 14s. duty ?—Yes; there is a better quality than this which comes in at a 14s. duty ; if any came in of that quality it would pass in the same way as foreign sugar does. 6185. It is from the want of sufficient labour in the West Indies that you cannot produce your sugar in the same state of perfection that they do in Cuba ? —It is from the want of sufficient labour and continuous labour. There is a great deal of labour required in producing sugar of extra quality, and it might become a question whether that labour would be well applied. 6186. Do you think if you had more labour you would produce better sugar? -—I think we should make generally a better quality of sugar ; we made a better quality during the years of slavery than we do now. 6187. The West India sugar was of a superior quality during slavery to what it is now, was it?—I think, speaking generally, it was. 0.32. U 6188. Do


146

Mr. B. B. Greene 4 March 1848.

MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

6188. Do you know anything of the sugar of Porto Rico?—I can tell the Committee the price at which that sugar is sold on the spot; I have the price current from St. Thomas's, an island in the neighbourhood of Porto Rico, where the principal business of Porto Rico is conducted, dated St. Thomas's, 31st of January 1848, and I find Porto Rico sugar, inferior to middling, was selling at 2 I dollars, making 12s. 5(7. per cwt., free on board; fine to superior at 14s. 8d. per cwt., free on board. 6189. You do not know how low it was before the British market was open to them ?—This is notwithstanding that the British market is open to them. 6190. Do you imagine they are producing and selling at that price at a good profit now ?—I apprehend that they are ; I think if we refer to the great increase which has been annually taking place in the production of Cuba upon those low prices which I have already quoted, we shall find that during those four years the average was only 18s. 2d., but notwithstanding that they have forced their cultivation to the extent they have done; I think the only inference is, that it is paying them well. I will state to the Committee the progressive increase in the exports from Cuba ; my returns only extend to two ports, those of Havannah and Matanzas. In 1831 they exported 80,577 tons; in 1832, 88,337 tons; in 1833, 85,797 tons; in 1834, 91,749 tons; in 1835, 98,312 tons; iu 183G, 100,030 tons ; in 1837, 100,590 tons; in 1838, 122,101 tons; in 1839, 104,760 tons; in 1840, 141,506 tons; in 1841, 139,286 tons; in 1842, 135,246 tons ; in 1843, 143,098 tons; in 1844, 171,400 tons; in 1845, the year of the drought, it fell to 73,122 tons ; in 1846, it rose to 162,000 ; and in 1847, to 203,000 tons. This is from those two ports alone; they expected to export 15,000 tons in addition ; those prices have also stimulated the slave trade to a very considerable degree. I observe in the Morning Herald of this day a statement headed " The Navy," which, with permission, I will read : " We have letters from the coast of Africa, which all speak of the slave trade as increasing in an enormous degree. From Sierra Leone, January 9th, we hear that the Ferret, of six guns, Commander Sprigg, had captured a small vessel with no less than 752 negroes on board ; for humanity's sake the Ferret took 100 on board for conveyance, out of which 20 died on the passage and of the remainder on board the prize above 100 expired before the vessel reached the port of adjudication." From these circumstances I can infer nothing else than that the sugar trade of Cuba and Brazil must be in a very prosperous condition, and that they are making profits at those prices, low as they are. 6191. Do you understand that there is any difficulty on the part of the planters of Cuba and Brazil in borrowing money now?—I do not know anything of the internal affairs of those countries. 6192. Have you any estimate of the produce of Cuba for the coming year ?— My estimate gives an increase of 15,000 tons. 6193. From that place alone?—I may say from the island ; I put the whole exports of 1847 at 265,000 tons; that is from every part of the island. This year they expect it will be 280,000 tons. 6194. Upon your experience, how do you estimate the value of resident and non-resident planters, as far as improvements in the way of enterprise and skill go?—I resided between seven and eight years iu St. Kitts, where there are a few resident proprietors, and my experience would lead me to think that they do not manage their estates so well as the absentees do by their agents. 6195. There is not the same spirit of enterprise?—They have neither the capital nor the energy, I think, of the agents that are sent out by the absentee proprietors. The absentee proprietors send out more articles for improving the estates, I think, than are thought of by resident proprietors. 6.196. In the way perhaps of different implements of agriculture?—Yes, and things of that kind ; here we are on the qui vive, and every improvement that is made we try to adopt and send it out. They have to wait and see what others are doing, and their estates generally do not appear to be managed so well as those that are under the direction of active agents. 6197. Of proprietors residing in England ?—Of proprietors who are absent in England ; in fact, we have a correspondent of our own, who is a native of one of the islands, and I may mention that we have thought it necessary to give information to him as well as to others that we can no longer continue to make advances beyond the value of the sugar which he sends us home, and he says it

will


SELECT COMMITTEE ON SUGAR AND COFFEE PLANTING.

147

545

will stop his cultivation. He is a resident proprietor, and employs an agent I Mr. B. B. Greene. because he thinks that agent will do better for the estate than he can himself. 4 March 1848. 6198. Sir E. Buxton.] You stated that during the time of slavery the cultivation of sugar was much cheaper than it is now?—Yes. 6199. And that greater profits were made in those times ?—Yes ; I can speak with reference to the properties which came under my own immediate observation. I can state also the expenses incurred upon the properties, which are matters of fact. 6200. Was that a fair average of the island of St. Kitts, do you imagine?—I should think it was. No doubt some estates produced sugar at a less, and some at a greater cost. 6201. I ask the question, because I have before me an account given by a Select Committee in 1832, which describes the island of St. Kitts as being in a state of the most severe distress ?—It may have been so as regards price here; the average price of sugar in 1831 was 23s. 8d.; in 1832 it had risen to 27s. 8d., for the whole year. They were of course feeling the influence of 1831, and in 1830 prices were very low. 6202. Do you suppose that in those days our colonists could compete with Cuba?—Yes, I think they could. 6203. Our having so much sugar at home as to be able to export it, was not incompatible with prosperity ?—I think not. 6204. Mr. Colquhoun, the agent for St. Kitts, says, in 1832, " The fall of property is, in many cases, equal to two-thirds of the value of that property 10 years ago; I mean that the property is now worth only one-third of what it was at that period ; from their being undersold (as far as the surplus of sugar beyond the home consumption in this market is concerned) in the foreign market by foreign sugar raised at less cost; I mean the slave-trade sugars; for in spite of the slave abolition treaties, the slave-trade has been carried on, and will be, until the Cuban is undersold in the foreign market by British refined and other sugar, which can only be done by a bounty on the exportation of refined sugar"?—I think slave-trade sugar would be produced cheaper than the slave-grown sugar of the British colonies. We were then acting under a very mild system of slavery ; we had to depend for our supply of labourers upon those whom we reared upon the properties. 6205. Was it the case that you were prosperous under slavery, and could compete with Cuba ?—There would be a difference in their favour, undoubtedly, from their importing slaves, over ourselves, who could not import slaves. 6206. What did you state was the price of raising sugar under slavery ?— Taking the average of the lastfour years of slavery, 4s. 5d. per cwt., after deducting the value of the rum and molasses. 6207. Does that include the expenses of the slave ?—It includes the expense of keeping him, his maintenance, and every expense except interest upon his value. I have not included any interest in any case which I have stated. 6208. It does not include the cost of rearing him, does it ?—Yes, it does. 6209. What do you imagine would be the interest?—Taking the value of compensation, we had 331 slaves, old and young, the compensation amounted to about 5,700 I. I think the Commissioners valued them at nearly double. 6210. What would you calculate the interest and the chance of loss of life?—• Loss of life is included in the rearing ; I have only to add the interest upon the value of the slave. I take that upon the compensation to amount to 2 s. G d. upon a hundred weight. The slaves were valued at 36/. 10s. 101/2d. The planter received 16l. 13 s. 0 1/2d. 6211. Provided you took the compensation value as the true value, you would take it at 2 s. 6 d. ?■—Yes. 6212. If vou took the Commissioners' valuation it would be double that ?— Yes. 6213. Mr. Wilson.] The produce of 1846 on this estate was 155 tons ; do you know what the produce of 1847 has been?—I do not, but it will be more than that. 6214. A great deal more, will not it?—I do not know whether it will on that estate. 6215. You have given, in the expenditure of this estate, the cost of the last year as 16l. 2$.; you make the average cost of a ton the last four years, 21 /. 11 s.; that average cost is made up by a very high cost in 1845, a very high 0.32. U 2 cost


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Mr. B. B. Greene. cost in 1843, and a high cost in 1844, but the cost of 184G is only 16l. 2s.

I observe, in the net expenditure of the estate, that in 1843 the expenditure is 4,516l.; 4 March 1848. in 1844, 4,217/.; in 1845, 3,868 /.; and in 1846, 2,497 I.; can you explain what caused that very great difference on the same estate in those three or four years ? In 1843 there was an earthquake in St. Kitts, which partially destroyed some of the buildings; that increased the expenditure for that year ; but then hurricanes are visitations to which we are liable, and it is only upon an average of years that you can estimate the cost of production. 6216. Is an average of four years sufficient to include the chances of a hurricane or an earthquake ?—For a hurricane four years is not more than sufficient; they rather look for a hurricane once in three years to do more or less damage. We have not had a hurricane during that time, but we have had one earthquake. 6217. In 1844, the expenditure w as 4,217 /. ?—Yes ; it is just possible that a portion of the expenses might fall in that year. The expenses cannot be divided accurately for any particular year, from the way in which the accounts are necessarily kept. They are made up to the 30th of April in each year; and in the article of supplies, if a ship sailed on the 28th of April with supplies for an estate, it would go into that year ; but if it did not sail until the 2d or 3d of May, it would go into the account of the next year. Therefore that year would not show the actual expenses belonging to the crop of that year. 6218. In the item of labour, I find in the years 1843, 1844 and 1845, the amounts are 2,306 l., 2,421 l., and 2,239 /., and then in 1846 the item of labour sinks down to 1,697 l. ?—That is to be accounted for principally by an introduction of implemental labour having taken place in 1845. Though we had been attempting to introduce machinery before, we began to succeed only in the early part of 1846. 6219. You have already derived a great advantage from it?—Yes6220. Then if we take the produce of the estate, there is only two tons difference between 1845 and 1846; in the one year you produce 153 tons, and in the other year 155 tons, but the difference of cost is very great between the average of the two years; the average of one is 25 s. Id. a hundredweight, the average of the other only 16 s. 2 d. ?—That must be the case where the expenses are so much more in one year than the other. 6221. Do you attribute all that saving to the introduction of implemental labour in that year ?—I think in a great measure; the seasons may have helped it a little. In some seasons there is more labour required than in others. 6222. You know no other reason to which you would ascribe the difference ? • —I think that it would be to be attributable to the implements we sent out, which came into fair operation, and also a portion roust be attributed to the favourable seasons, and the increased value of the offal crop. This alone accounts for 2 s. per cwt. 6223. In 1844 the expense of the labour was no less than 2,421/.; in 1845 you seem to have effected a saving of 200 /. and it was reduced to 2,239 /., and then in 1846 you reduced it to 1,697 /.; can you tell us what it will be in 1847? —I cannot; I have not got the accounts for more than one estate out of the ten, at present. 6224. In the other plantation expenses there appears to have been a very rapid reduction; in 1843 they were 2,300/., in 1844, 1,700/., and in 1845, 1,800/., and then in 1846 you fall down to 1,300/. again?—In the years 1843 and 1844 we were repairing buildings ; in the year 1845 it might want other repairs necessary upon the estate, shingling or new roofs, which did not fall in the year 1846. 6225. Are the Committee to understand that you are speaking from a recollection of the fact?—I know that our instructions were that they were to practise the most rigid economy ; that they were not to expend a single shilling which was not absolutely necessary. 6226. When did you send out those orders?—Ever since 1845 and 1846. 6227. You think the effect of the threatened competition has led to economizing the cost of production? —If they had expended nothing in buildings, but allowed them to go on for several years, the expenditure in those years in which they allowed them to stand would remain small, but it will require a very large outlay in future years. 6228. You are afraid they have not kept them up insufficient repair?—I think very likely not. 6229. The


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The crops of 1846 and 1845 are very much lower than any preceding Mr. B. B. Greene. crop of this estate. In 1841 you have 206 tons; in 1842, 240; in 1843, 199; and in 1844, 197 ; so that in those four years, from 1841 to 1844, you appear to 4 March 1848. have had crops rather exceeding the average of 200 tons. In the last two years of this calculation the crops were little more than 150 tons?—Yes ; that is partly owing to reduced cultivation of plant canes with a view to save cost; they have ratooned more than they used to do; when I lived upon the estate I had only about 10 acres of ratoons; now they have from 70 to 90, instead of all plants. They have fewer plants and more ratoons; the ratoons are not so productive as the plants ; they save expense, but the amount yielded is smaller. 6230. Then it would appear that your opinion as to the resident proprietors would not hold good in that case ?—I was not a resident proprietor on any estate in the West Indies. The estate belonged to my father. 6231. In 1834 you produced sugar as low as 3 5. a cwt. from this estate ?— Yes. 6232. Was that a common thing in the West Indies?—I think the estate adjoining to that estate made it at even less, taking certain years, because I think the molasses and the rum paid the total expense on an estate in my neighbourhood. 6233. Are you aware that in 1832 there was a Committee sitting in this country as to the West India distress?—Yes. 6234. Are you aware that there was a paper produced to that Committee which affected to give the average cost of the sugar in the West Indies, and which brought it out at 15 5. 10 d. ?—I have only heard of such a thing, I have not seen the return. 6234*. Have the freight of sugar and the expenses of bringing it home diminished since that period ?—The freight was higher at that period than it is now. 6235. What was the average freight then ?—The freight from St. Kitts was 5 /. a ton ; now it is 4 /. 10 5. 6236. Were there any other expenses that were different; shipping or insurance ? —I do not recollect that there were. C237. From your advices with regard to this property, are you disposed to expect a still more beneficial result from the use of those implements which you have sent out?—No ; I cannot say that I expect much increased advantage; we may get a little, but I think we are deriving nearly all the advantage we can expect. 6238. You said that the value of sugar from this estate at the present moment was 27 s. in bond, without duty ?—No ; I should think the value of the sugar on that estate would be about 25 s. to 26 s. 6239. You made the cost come to 29 5. by adding 7 s. for freight ?—Seven shillings and sixpence I add. 6240. Adding 7 s. 6 d. to the actual cost of the crop of 1846, what, will it make ?—Twenty-three shillings and eight-pence. 6241. You actually had a profit upon the last year's crop, had not you ?— I should have had at these prices; at the price of to-day, not the panic price. 6242. What is the difference between the price of to-day and the panic price ? —Three shillings or 4 s. 6243. Do you mean to tell the Committee that the price of sugar is 3 s. or 4 5. higher that it was four months ago ?—Taking the average price of sugar, I see that on the 9th of November West India sugar was 22 s. 6 d., and it is now 24 s. 4 d., but one description of sugar diminishes or increases in value more than another. There may be a difference of 3 s. 6 d. upon some sugar. 6244. The average price of the whole of last year was much more than the present price which you have quoted ?—The average price of the whole of last year was 28 s. 5 d.; that included the prices in January and February, which ruled from 33 s. to 38 s. 6245. What would the average value of this sugar be according to those prices; about 4s. more, would not it?—Taking it at 25s. 6d., this will be 1 s. above the average; that would make on the 25th of January 39 s. 6246. You said the average price of the whole year was 28 s. 5 d.; this sugar you have produced to-day you say is worth 1 s. more than the present average ; will you add 1 s. to the average of the whole year ?—That would make 29s. 5d. 6247. According to the average price of sugar for the last year you have received 29 s. 5 d., or this sugar has been worth 29 s. 5 d. ?—That will depend u 3 0.32. upon 6229.


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MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

Mr. B. B. Greene. upon whether my crop comes in early or late; if I got my crop in early I should 4 March 1848.

have more than the average ; if I got it in late, I should have less upon the average. Taking it throughout the year, it would come to 29 s. 5 d. 6248. And the cost of it imported into this country has been 23 s. 2d. ?—Yes. 6249. Therefore upon this crop you will have made a profit of upwards of 5 s. a cwt. ?—If I made that crop in 1847 as cheaply as I did in 1846. 6250. You admit that the crop has b,een larger in 1847?—But the expenses may have been larger also. 6251. In the absence of any knowledge, you cannot presume upon that?—No, nor can I go upon that single year 1846 ; one year is not a fair criterion to take. In any calculation you must neither take the highest nor the lowest. Because I produced sugar at 16 s. 2d. in 1846, it does not follow that I shall do it in 1848. 6252. From your extensive experience in the sugar market, how far do you think the very extraordinary crop of last year has influenced the present depression of prices ; there has been a large crop in every sugar-producing country in the last year, has not there ?—Except in Louisiana. 6253. The crop arriving here in 1847 has been larger than any sugar crop for many years before?—Yes. 6254. How far do you think that that excess of quantity has affected the value of sugar as a whole ?—Of course it must be a matter of opinion ; I think that the depreciation in the price, owing to the importation of foreign sugar under the Bill of 1846, would make a difference of perhaps nearly 10 s. a cwt. 6255. Upon what do you base that opinion?—I base that opinion upon the usual effect that is produced upon a large supply, compared with the demand. 6256. Has not the supply been as unusually large from our own colonies as it has of foreign growth ?—Still that supply was not more than sufficient for the demand ; we commenced the year with a low stock and a consequent high price, and with this importation and consumption we should have left off with the same stock with which we began. 6257. What do you think would have been the state of the sugar market provided the Bill of 1846 had not been passed, but we had adhered to the Bill of 1845, under which Bill free-labour sugar only was admitted, and that at a duty of 23s. 4 d. for brown clayed, and 28 s. for white clayed ?—Brown sugar paid a duty of 23 s. 4 d.; upon British sugar it was 14 s.; that was 9 s. 4 d. difference. 6258. Supposing the Bill of 1845 had remained in force till now, and the Bill of 1846 had not been passed, what do you think would have been the effect upon the price of sugar having those large crops?—I think we should have got about the same average as we had done in preceding years; I think those prices would have about ruled ; the average price was then 33 s. for the whole of 1845 ; in 1846 it it was 33 s. 10 d. 6259. Did not the loss of the Cuba crop of 1845 cause a great elevation of the general price of sugar in Europe?—Of foreign sugar, unquestionably. 6260. The loss was altogether unsupplied from this country, was not it?—It could produce very little effect upon the markets of this country, because at that time their sugar was not admissible here. 6261. But foreign free-labour sugar was?—Yes; it would go up and be on a par with British. 6262. Are not you aware that it was higher than British in price ?—It may have been, because the price on the continent was very high, and I think very likely a portion of our sugar went to the continent. 6263. Do you recollect that a large portion went to the continent ?—Yes. 6264. A great quantity of crushed sugar went to Russia ?—Yes, but that was not free-labour sugar. 6265. And a great deal of the Java sugar which came here was re-shipped to Holland ?—I am not aware of that. Our supplies were principally derived from Manilla, for home consumption. I think the free-labour sugar we used amounted to a consumption of 3,800 tons in that year. 6266. You conclude that the Cuba people are making a good profit by their sugar, from the fact of the rapid increase of production ?—Certainly. What other inference can be drawn ? 6267. What do you think of the Mauritius; without any other evidence you conclude that the Cuba people must be making a profit, because they arc rapidly increasing


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increasing their production ; the Mauritius has been making a very rapid increase Mr. B. B. Greene. in its cultivation during the last three or four years; do you think that that is conclusive evidence that they have done well?—Yes. The money has not been 4 March 1848. expended merely to produce the increased quantity of sugar, but includes outlay for permanent improvements and payments of mortgages. A large portion of the expenditure was incurred (but which now turns out to be lost) to increase the permanent productiveness of the estates, and had not the Bill of 1846 been passed, but had protection to the same amount been given as by the Act of 1845, Mauritius perhaps would have gone on increasing, and the planters would now have been reaping the fruits of the large sums they had invested. 6268. That does not show that increased protection is always a sign of profit ? —It goes on for a series of years. If you look back from 1831 you will find that the cultivation of Cuba has increased from 80,000 tons to 200,000 tons. What inference can be drawn but that which I have stated ? 6269. During that period the Mauritius has more than doubled its quantity also?—During a less period than that; it is during a period of three or four years that the Mauritius has doubled its crops, while Cuba has been steadily increasing for the last 17 years. 6270. You gave the Committee the profit and loss upon an estate in Jamaica upon a number of years; in 1845 there appeared to be a considerable profit, while several years before there was a loss; was that from the accidental size of the crop?—I think the crop sufficiently explains it; they made in that year 507 tons, while in 1846 they only made 347. The whole expenses were actually less in 1846 than they were in 1845. 6271. You think, without an actual protection of 10.?., it will not be possible for the West Indies to continue their cultivation ?—I think that is the protection they require to enable them to continue cultivation. 6272. Would you confine that protection to slave sugar, or extend it to all foreign sugar alike ?—That must be left to the decision of Parliament. If you ask my private opinion, I am decidedly in favour of excluding slave-grown produce upon other principles ; but taking a commercial view of it, I should say a protection of 10s. against all; taking into consideration other circumstances, I should exclude the produce of slave countries altogether. I have no objection to go back to the Bill of 1845, allowing 9s. 4d. differential duty between foreign free-labour sugars and our own. 6273. Do you think that it would practically influence your interests if there were a distinction made between slave-grown sugar and foreign free-labour sugar; —I do not think it. would much. 6274. Do you think there is more foreign free-labour sugar grown in the world than we can take in, in addition to our own growth, under any circumstances?—• I think there is a larger quantity of what is termed free-labour grown, but I hardly think the sugar of Java can be classed as free-labour sugar. 6275. Can you give the Committee any good reason for that opinion ?—The only reason I can give is, that I have understood that the labour there is a species of coerced labour. 6276. How far do you understand that it is so?—I must refer you to somebody else who is more acquainted with Java than I am. If you put it that the sugars of Java, Manilla, and other countries of that description, are to be admissible here at a low rate of duty, I do not know that the difference would be very great in the price; there would, in my opinion, be a difference in our favour if slave sugar were prohibited and the others were admitted. 6277. Are you acquainted with the quantity that is grown in those countries? —Yes. 6278. About how much ?—Java grows from 70,000 to 90,000 tons, Manilla 22,000 to 24,000 tons, a portion of which goes to Australia. 6279. Shipped to Europe from those countries, is there upwards 100,000 tons? —I do not know what is shipped to Europe. 6280. What is the largest quantity of foreign sugar which we have ever taken into consumption in this country ?—Forty-eight thousand tons. 6281. If there were therefore a supply of 100,000 tons in order to furnish that consumption of 48,000 tons, there would be a large surplus ?—Yes if it were available, undoubtedly there would. 6282. Would not it be available, provided there was a higher price?—All would not come here. I know what the Honourable Member alludes to. I agree U 4 ' 0.32. with


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MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

Mr. B. B. Greene. with him in a great measure that it would make very little difference, but I do 4

March 1848.

consider that it would make a difference; I do not consider the difference would be very much if free-labour sugar were to be admitted here and slave labour excluded. 6283. Are you aware that this last year the Dutch government ordered 14 or 15 large cargoes from Java to Cowes, to receive orders in the Channel ?—I know they ordered some. 6284. Are you aware that two cargoes came into the London market and were sold ?—Yes, and notwithstanding the high prices here, the others went to Holland. 6285. When the others arrived, you would assume that the Dutch government found there was no advantage to be derived from sending them to London, and therefore they sent them to Rotterdam?—Yes. 62S6. Had their been the advantage of a difference of price it is to be assumed they would have come to London?—Yes ; I believe, however, they prefer having their own sugar direct; and unless they got a decided advantage in this market they would not let them come here. 6287. Have you considered what effect the influence of a protective duty of 10 s. a cwt., with all those additional advantages of an increased supply of labour, better laws, and better economy in the colonies, and so on, would have upon the production of our colonies?—I think the production would continue; I think the cultivation of the properties would continue to go on. 6288. Do you think it would increase?—I think after a time it would; it would take some time, however. You have destroyed confidence so much that it would take some time, but in the course of a few years you might make as much as you have hitherto made in the British colonies, and I think very likely you would increase the production. 6289. The decrease of the production in the meantime would increase the price here ?—Yes. 6290. And that would be your object?—Yes. 6291. What effect would that have upon consumption here?—I think an increase of price naturally has the effect of retarding the consumption. 6292. You have carefully observed the consumption of sugar from year to year for many 3'ears past; have not you noticed the facility there is in the expansion or the contraction of consumption as prices have risen or fallen ?—Where a very large difference of price has occurred, there has been a large increase in the consumption. 6293. You would expect from an increased price a diminished consumption, or, at all events, a stationary consumption?—For a little time I think our consumption would, notwithstanding, go on increasing. 6294. Do you remember when the British colonies produced much more sugar than we consumed here?—Yes. 6295. What was done with the surplus in those times?—It was exported. 6296. Was there a difference of price between the continental markets and the English markets at that time?—The price of foreign sugar was very high then. 6297. Was there any difference in the price?—I do not know; I should think there could not have been much difference in the price upon that which was exported. 6298. Supposing you were to produce a surplus in the British colonics now, which you would be obliged to export to the Continent of Europe, would not it reduce the price of your sugar to the same level as that of foreign sugar?— No. 6299. Why not?—Not necessarily so ; it would go to increase the stocks; it would have the effect of reducing the price of sugar here, but I think not for some little time, to the level of that on the continent; it would eventually, in the course of a series of years, no doubt. 6300. If you send 10,000 tons of sugar from this market to Rotterdam, must not you take the price that rules in Rotterdam?—I am not obliged to sell my sugar; I may keep it in stock, and that will raise the price here, perhaps, beyond what might be obtained for it on the continent. 6301. What would the ultimate effect be it you accumulated a stock ?—The effect would be that you would probably import rather less, and you might ultimately be driven to export it. 6302. If we import less from the colonies when they are producing more, they must find another market?—Yes. 6303. What


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6303. What other market could they find, except going to the common market Mr. B. B. Greene. of the world ?—None other. 4 March 1848. 6304. What advantage would protection be in that case?—We must take a long period ; the effect now supposed would not be produced immediately, and the production would probably keep pace with the cost of it; it would be governde in a great measure by the profits now made and the probable profits to be made in after years. 6305. Would riot the first effect of the increased price consequent upon the 10s. protection be to increase the production ?—Ultimately it would. 6306. .And very soon?—It would have that tendency. 6307. Would not also the increased number of labourers you are desirous of having have a similar tendency to increase production, not only by their own numbers, but also by rendering more effectual the labour you have at present ?— Yes, and would enable us to produce at a lower cost. 6308. Can you show the Committee any way by which this protection could be rendered of any advantage to the colonies as soon as they produced more than this country consumed?-—If protection continued, there would be an advantage to the colonies, though not to the full extent of the protection given; and I am not sure that after a lapse of some years the British colonies may not be in a condition to produce sugar at a very much cheaper rate than they do now. 6309. Do you think they are likely to produce sugar at a cheaper rate by means of being protected ?—Yes. 6310. How do you expect that?—Because they would have an encouragement to go on and employ capital, and other means ; and if the other remedies which are required were given, they would enable them to produce at a lower cost. 6311. You told the Committee that you had been sending out implements to the West Indies, when you began to apprehend the alteration of the sugar duties? ■—I am not aware of having stated that. I had been sending out implements ever since the year 1838. I then thought it desirable to alter the system of cultivation, in order to facilitate the use of implements, but I did not succeed till 1845. 6312. Have you considered what the effect of the present classification duties is ?—I have thought of it. 6313. Have you found any inconvenience arising from the present classification ?—None whatever. 6314. Perhaps you are not in the habit of importing those kinds of sugar which have particularly come under those classes?—Yes, we have been, and we have had two seizures made; one was a bag of Bengal sugar put on board one of the Mauritius ships, at the Mauritius. We entered it as muscovado sugar, but it proved to be a bag of very white sugar; it was detained by the Customs for a higher duty, and, as a matter of course, we paid it. In another instance we imported a cargo of Brazilian sugar in the " Courier I think about seven tons out of a cargo of 260 were detained by the Customs for a higher duty. We found no practical inconvenience from it; we paid the higher duty, as a matter of course. 6315. You have not been sufficiently in the trade to have had a great number of importations of various qualities, and differences of opinion as to whether this duty should be paid or that duty?—I have seen the working of the classification duties in this very instance ; where sugar comes near to the standard, it requires a discrimination on the part of the custom-house officers to say to which class it belongs; but I conceive that that is just as easily done as it is to value sugar, which the brokers are doing every day. 6316. Do you consider that the custom-house officers are competent to make that fine distinction ?—Generally speaking, in the ports of London and Liverpool, I think they are. 6317. You are not aware that a very serious inconvenience has been felt by Kast importers in passing their sugar?—I think the inconvenience has been one of their own creation; some have been endeavouring to get their sugar out at a low duty, which many of them knew ought to pay a higher duty, and if a man attempts to do that, he will find it a very difficult thing to accomplish ; and so he ought. 6318. You think that those people who have been complaining of this difficulty have themselves to blame for it?--1 do not know who those parties are; I think a great many have. X 0.32. 6319. Have


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Mr. B. B. Greene.

MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

6319. Have you considered whether it would be desirable to have any arrangement for the importation of syrup ?—I think every facility of that kind should be 4 March 1848. given ; permission should be given to those who thought there was any advantage in it to do so. 6320. Can you recommend any particular measure for the adoption of the Government?—I think syrup sugars, or unclayed sugars, should be admissible in that way. 6321. Where does concrete come from ?—Very little comes here; I believe a little comes from St. Vincents, but that has been more as an experiment than as a reality, on account of their being no fixed duty upon it. 6322. You have shown the Committee particular samples of West India sugar, and you have shown them a sample of foreign sugar, which pavs the same duty; does not it seem a great hardship that this inferior sugar should pay the same duty us that which is much superior ?—Decidedly it does. 6323. Can you suggest any practical mode by which those inequalities could be avoided?—I cannot do it; you should approach as nearly as you can to an ad-valorem duty. 6324. Do you think an ad-valorem duty would be practicable?—I think to a certain extent it would; I think you might make some greater distinctions than you now do ; the standard ought to be lowered. 6325. Do you think if we were to have our refineries put in bond, so that the refiners might purchase their raw material out of the dock, and refine their sugar without paying duty beforehand, but paying duty after it was refined, it would remedy a number of those evils ?—It would partially, perhaps; I am not prepared to say to what extent. 6326. Do you see any reason why it should not do it entirely ?—That requires consideration. 6327. There is no doubt but that these two sugars of different qualities, coming from the same distance, pay the same freight?—Certainly. 6328. Therefore it is practically a higher freight upon the one than upon the other?—To the amount of saccharine matter it contains, certainly. 6329. Excepting that difference of freight which the law cannot interfere with, is there any other conceivable reason why, if the two are taken by a refiner in bond, and he pays the intrinsic value in bond, and then pays duty upon the produce of both in a refined state, there should be any inequality in that arrangement ?— I think that would tend partly to remedy the evil; it requires consideration ; I think it would be a decided advantage. 6330. From the intimate knowledge you have both of the production and importation of sugar, can you suggest any reason why there should remain any inequality if we adopted such a system ?—Merely giving an opinion at the moment, I should say that it would very extensively obviate the difficulty. 6331. With your intimate knowledge of the trade, you cannot, at the present moment, see any inequality that would exist ?—I do not wish to commit myself to a decided opinion, not having given the subject much consideration. There are other sugars which do not pass through the refinery. I think, as far as the particular sugars which pass through the refineries go, it would obviate the difference in the duty. The only thing is, that the refiner makes several qualities besides refined ; namely, pieces, bastards and treacle. 6332. You cannot suggest any better mode of accomplishing the object ?—I think if the duty were fairly and proportionably levied when it came out of the refinery, it would meet on that sugar which is refined the objection which is now made to the difference of the duties imposed upon the two classes of sugar referred to. 6333. Would not that proposition of refining in bond also get over the difficulty suggested as to the importation of syrups and concrete?—Yes. 6334. It would get rid of the difficulty of defining what the duty upon them should be?—Yes. 6335. Would not it be advantageous to the sugar trade, as a trade, that refiners should not lay out so much capital in purchasing a duty-paid article ?—Yes, I think it would. 6336. And so be advantageous generally to the sugar interest?—I think so. 6337. Mr. Miles.] What is the price of labour in St. Kitts?—.The price of labour has been, to the end of last year, at the rate of 1 s. a day. 6338. For how long has that been the rate ?—Since between 1839 and 1841 ; between


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between 1839 and 1841 the residents upon the estates received 81/2d. a day, Mr. B. B. Greene. having their houses rent free, but non-residents were paid Is. 0 1/2 d. In 1845 residents and strangers were paid the same rate of wages, because it was found 4 March 1848. that for several previous years a labourer who resided upon one estate went to work upon others, and vice versâ; and in that way they had none but strangers working, and the planters thought it desirable to put an end to the system, and to give all their labourers the same rate of wages. 6339. Do they charge any rents now ?—In St. Kitts rent is charged, but in some cases it amounts to a very small amount; it is more done for the sake of regularity than anything else. Upon our estate we may receive from 15 l. to 20 I. a year. 6340. Has there been any effort made to reduce the price of wages ?—Yes. 6341. Did it prove successful or unsuccessful ?—They made one unsuccessful attempt; I forget in what year it was, but I think it was in 1844. 6342. Do you know what the result of that was ?—The labourers turned in at their former rate of wages. 6343. How long did the planters stand out?—For some weeks, till they began to find their crop was in danger. 6343. And it has continued at the same rate?—Till last November, when another attempt was made to reduce the rate of wages. The consequence of that attempt was serious. The negroes set fire to one of my fathers estates; they made attempts, I think, for eight or ten days; they also shot at the overseer, and nearly killed him; the ball passed through his hat, and set fire to its lining. The planters have partially succeeded in the island ; but in one part of the island, by the last accounts, the men were still standing out for the former rate of wages. 6345. What number of estates are there in the island ?—I think from 80 to 100 ; I cannot say exactly. 6346. Do you know the amount of the population?—About 21,000 altogether. 6347. Blacks ?—The blacks and the whites. The white population would not exceed, I think, from about 1,000 to 1,200; I am only speaking from memory. Then there is a coloured population besides, amounting to much about the same, or rather more than the whites. 6348. Do you know what proportion of the blacks are agricultural labourers ?— I do not. 6349. Have you any idea?—I cannot say. 6350. Do you want any importation of labourers into St. Kitts:—Yes; we should be very glad of it. 6351. Have you any idea of the number that it would be desirable to introduce?—I cannot say. We have made various attempts at immigration; at one time we sent out a large number of white labourers. We have since sent out some labourers from Madeira, who are doing remarkably well. 6352. Have you had any coolies there at all ?—None. 6353. What do you think the effect will be if you have no relief afforded by Parliament?—The effect will be that a very large portion of the West Indies and of the Mauritius must go out of cultivation. 6354. Confining your attention to St. Kitts, what do you think the effect will he ?—St. Kitts is a small island; the effect will be a reduction upon the cultivation ; I have already given instructions to reduce our cultivation. 6355. Are there many waste lands in St. Kitts ?—No, not very many. 6356. Do you know if there has been much squatting there?—No; the labourers have hired land, and have cultivated that land, but not what is called squatting. 6357. There is no squatting upon the waste land without payment?—I think not. 6358. Has there been any want of vagrancy laws or laws to regulate the labour ? —I think they have not very good contract laws, but in St. Kitts there are no vagrants. 6359. It has been simply the refusal of the labourer to accept a lower rate of wages that has prevented him from working?—His necessities do not compel him to work very long, having this land of his own to cultivate; two or three days' work a week are quite sufficient to enable him to obtain all he requires. 6360. Supposing a large number of estates are thrown out of employment of course there will be a great want of employment for a great part of the agricultural population; do you suppose they will consent to live quietly upon their x 2 0.32. lands,


156

MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

Mr. B. B. Greene. lands, or will they become demoralized ?—I think it would tend to their demo4 March 1848.

ralization ; the estates that did continue in cultivation might be partially benefited by the cessation of the other properties ; but in most cases the abandoned estates would be either let or sold to those negroes, who would thus be occupied upon their own lands, and would not give their labour to the existing estates. 6361. Do you think those planters who remained would be able to effect a reduction in the wages?—They might to a very small extent; they are now making an attempt at a reduction ; I think, however, they will not succeed in going much lower ; I think the labourers are too independent to work at very low wages. 6362. You think nothing but an extensive immigration will have the effect of reducing the wages?—Wages might be partially reduced if half the island were to go out of cultivation ; I think the other estates perhaps would divide, or nearly so, the difference between them; they would then have more continuous labour probably than now exists. 6363. You have already introduced a great quantity of agricultural implements ; do you think that is capable of being extended any further ?—Though the use of them is very general, they might, perhaps, be more extensivelv used than they are ; on some estates they are used almost as much as they can be. 6364. You do not think there is any hope of reduction in the amount of labour ; by a further extension of implements ?—I think to some extent it may be the case if people have courage to go on. 6365. But you do not think anybody will have that courage?—I do not find any one sufficiently sanguine to go on. 6366. You say you have already sent out orders to abandon the cultivation of your estate?—To reduce the cultivation ; I cannot say I have yet ordered the estates in the West Indies to be abandoned, but I have ordered the cultivation to be reduced, and it will be very materially reduced. 6367. In what way will it be reduced ?—Instead of planting 100 acres we shall plant only 70 or 75, as the case may be. 6368. How long does the cane go on ratooning in St. Kitts ?—Not successfully at all, except in very few instances; they should be all plants, but they have been driven to adopt the use of ratoons as a saving of labour ; but their returns are not equal to the expense ; they have been able to plant more since they have had those implements. 6369. Do you suffer in that island from the amount of taxes?—No, not very much ; I think we pay from 3001, to 500 I. a year on those estates. 6370. Have there been any immigrants introduced from any of the other islands ?—No, the immigration has been the other way, from St. Kitts to Trinidad. 6371. The tendency has been to decrease your amount of labour?—Yes. 6372. Lord G. Manners.] You were proceeding just now to institute a comparison between the increased cost of production in Cuba and the Mauritius?— In 1840 the Mauritius exported 34,500 tons; in 1841, 38,500 tons; in 1842, 44,300; in 1843,26,500; in 1844, 34,900; in 1845, 42,097. To 1844 from 1836, the range is about 33,000, except in 1843, which was a very small year; but in 1845 it rose to 42,000 tons, and in 1846 to 62,667 tons. The crop of 1847 we do not know, but we apprehend it will be shorter than the last by 8,000 or 10,000 tons. 6372*. So that it about doubled itself in three years ?—Yes. 6373. What is the case with Cuba ?—Cuba has been more progressive. In 1831 Havannah and Mantanzas exported 80,500 tons ; in 1836 they exported 100,000 tons ; in 1838, 122,000 tons ; in the year 1840, 141,500 tons. Then in 1844 they produced 171,000 tons; in the year 1845 there was a reduction, in consequence of the extreme drought and the hurricane, to 73,000 ; but notwithstanding that they rose the next year to 162,000, and in 1847 to 203,000; so that the production of Cuba has been progressing ever since 1831. The total export of Cuba last year was 265,000 tons. In the coming year they are expecting to have 280,000 tons. 6374. Chairman.J What is the price of sugar at Havre, as compared with London ?—-The last price of French colonial sugar was about 56 francs, or 45 s. per cwt.; that was a week or 10 days ago. 6375. Mr. Miles.] What quality was that?—I do not know exactly the quality. i 6376. You


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6376. You do not know whether it was the highest or the lowest?—It was not Mr. B. B. Greene. the highest; it was the general run of sugar from Martinique, Guadaloupe and Bourbon. I have not heard of any sales of Bourbon sugar at Havre, but 4 March 1848. Martinique and Guadaloupe, which are very similar in quality, have been selling at 56 francs per fifty kilogrammes, duty paid. The result is that the duty being 15s. 5 d., they therefore get 29s. 7d. short price per cwt, 6377. Chairman.] What would be the value of the same description of sugar in the London market?—Mauritius sugar would be worth in the London market 24s. 6378. Therefore the Mauritius sugar would have been sold for 5s. Id. less in the London market than it would have done at Havre on the same day ?—Yes, and that 24s. includes our protection; what is called the 6?.; therefore in 1851 the Mauritius would be placed in a eisadvantage to Bourbon to such an extent, if this protection were a real protection of 6s., as would make a difference of 11s. 7d. 6379. The Mauritius colonists would get 61, a ton more for their sugar?—If this were a protection of 6s., there would be a difference of lis. 7d. per cwt. to Bourbon, which they would receive more for their sugar in 1851 than the Mauritius; if you take it upon the last crop, it makes a difference of 600,000l. upon that small island. 6380. Sir Edward Buxton asked you whether under slavery the British colonies could compete with Cuba ; is not it the fact that they did compete with 50,000 tons of sugar here ?—They did compete at that time ; but I do not think slavery as it existed in the British colonies within three or four years of its termination could compete with the slave-trade production of Cuba; they got their labourers much cheaper than we could rear them. I think the slavery in the Btitish West Indies would make sugar more costly than in Cuba.

Luna;, 6" die Martii, 1848. MEMBERS PRESENT:

Lord George Bentinck. Sir Edward Buxton. Mr. Cardwell. Mr. Milner Gibson. Mr. Goulburn. Mr. Hope.

Mr. Matheson. Mr. Miles. Lord John Manners. Mr. Villiers. Mr. Wilson.

LORD GEORGE BENTINCK, IN THE CHAIR.

Mr. Frederick Morton, called in ; and Examined. 6381. Chairman.] WILL you state to the Committee the nature of your connexion with the West Indies ?—I am a West India agent. 6382. You have no property of your own in the West Indies?—No, not more than one estate ; we were obliged to take one estate. 6383. You have been resident in the West Indies, have you not ?—I have been three times in the West Indies, in Jamaica. 6384. At what periods were you in Jamaica? —In 1819, 1827 and 1834. I have not been there since 1834. 6385. Will you state to the Committee what has been the comparative success, in a commercial point of view, of the cultivation of sugar plantations under slavery, under apprenticeship, and latterly under freedom ?—It was generally successful under slavery, and comparatively so under apprenticeship, and latterly, these last tw o years, our hopes have been most materially altered for the worse, and at the present moment we are almost in a ruinous state; I should say generally. 6386. Have you any accounts or proofs to give?—I have not brought any accounts. 6387. How many estates are you agent for ?—I think 34; we had consignments from 34 estates from Jamaica. x3 6388. In 0.32.

Mr, F. Morton. 6 March 1848.


158

Mr. F. Morton. 6 March 1848.

MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

6388. In what year ?—Last year. 6389. Can you state generally off-hand what were the proceeds of those 34 estates latterly, in apprenticeship and during slavery ?—I cannot say that; we had not the consignments during slavery of a great many of them. 6390. What have been the proceeds of these 34 estates in the last year? — I think the proceeds received in sugar have been about 4,200 hogsheads, but we have not accounts of the working of the whole ; a great many belong to resident proprietors, of which we have really no accurate accounts. 6391. Mr. Miles.] You merely sell the sugar on consignment?—Exactly. 6392. Chairman.] Then you cannot go into details with regard to free labour or slavery?—No, I think not. 6393. Can you give any particular information to the Committee ?—No, I apprehend not more than you have had from other parties. 6394. Not as regards free immigration ?—I have a strong feeling on those points generally. 6395. But you are not able to go into any detail ?—We really have had no immigration in Jamaica to speak of beyond a few Coolies, and here and there a few Africans. 6396. Mr. Miles."] Can you state what your correspondents have written to you, or what they have asked by way of relief from the English Government?—The chief burden of their request has been immigration and protection to them, as the only hope they have of carrying on the cultivation successfully. 0397. Have you sent out many agricultural implements to the colonies ?— Nothing but ploughs and harrows. 6398. Have you sent out many of those ?—A great many ploughs. 6399. Have you any idea what your correspondents intend to do with their estates ; do they state that they intend to abandon their cultivation, or do they say that they are able successfully to compete with foreign slave labour?—We have now nine estates that are in the course of abandonment, if they cannot be let within a certain time after the present canes are taken off. 6400. Have you any prospect of their being let; when were the orders sent out?—I think the orders were sent out in November last. 6401. Have you had any answer to the advertisement of their being to let?— Yes, one estate is let. 6402. Is there any information about the others?—We have no hope of letting the others; they are taking off the canes. 6403. Can you state what the proceeds of those nine estates were?—About 100 hogsheads from each, or a little more. 6404. 'J here will be left then about 25 estates from which you receive consignments ; do you apprehend that many of those will be continued in cultivation ? — Under the present circumstances I do not apprehend that more than 10 or 12 out of the whole number can be successfully carried on. 6405. What reason have you for imagining that those 10 or 12 can be successfully carried on ?—They are a better class of estates; they have considerable advantages as to soil and water-power, and so on. 6406. When you say successully carried on, do you mean against foreign free labour, or foreign slave labour?—I merely mean that most likely they will pay their expenses against the competition of sugar generally. 6407. Do you think that they will do more than pay their expenses?—I think one or two of them may on the average ; I mean that we shall attempt to carry on those 10 or 12 estates at all events. 6408. But you do not think you will attempt to carry on more than 10 or 12 out of the whole number ?—No. 6409. Have you any other estates in any other island ?—One in St. Kitts. 6410. Do you imagine that will be carried on ?—I can hardly say ; our advice is discouraging. 6411. Have you ever turned your attention to the removal of the restrictions on the West Indies, such as allowing the proprietors to refine in bond, on reducing the duty on rum from 9d., so as to put the planters on an equality with the distillers ?—Certainly. 6412. What is your opinion of refining in bond ?—I cannot see that under the differential duties it can be successfully carried out?—I think the refiners will only embark in business if they can have a choice of all sugars; I doubt whether they will confine themselves to British sugars. 6413. But


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6413. But the refiners who now refine in bond at present use entirely slave sugar or colonial sugar ?—Yes. 6414. You do not think they would attempt each separately for consumption ? —No, I should doubt it. 6415. Do you not think that there is a sufficient variety of sugar of colonial growth to make it worth their while to refine that alone for home consumption ? —-It would depend so much on the value. 6416. Do you think that if the proprietors were to be allowed to refine in bond, they would have to undertake it on their own part ?—I think in a small way refiners might perhaps refine British sugars in bond, and especially syrup, if it were followed to any extent. 6417. But you think practically it would be no great benefit to the West Indies?—I think everything that produces competition in trade in general must be beneficial to the West Indies. 6418. Do you imagine that it is possible to bring cane-juice from the West Indies ?—I do not think the attempts have been very successful as yet; we have tried it, and have failed ; we have found too much acidity. 6419. Have you ever attempted to bring it in a solid state?—No, we have never tried it. 6420. Do you know anybody who has tried it ?—No, I do not think I have seen any from the West Indies. 6421. Can you give any opinion as to the reduction of the duty on rum ?—Of course we are looking for that very anxiously ; we cannot but believe that 9 d. is far more than any protection that the distillers are entitled to; the price of their spirits may now be, I suppose, half-a-crown a gallon, and 9d. strikes us as being very considerably more than they ought to have. Taking it in an extreme point of view, we cannot make out more than 2 d. as far as the malt duty is concerned; we cannot make it even as much as 2d. by any calculation. 6422. Have you got any data on which you form this calculation ?—No, I have not brought any data. 6423. You think if the duty was put at 2d. you would be put on an equality with the distillers in this country ?—If they are to have an allowance for the malt duty that is paid, I fancy that 2d. is the outside allowance that they ought to have. 6424. That would be a fair equivalent?—Yes. 6425. Then you think that the duty on rum might be reduced very safely to 2d. a gallon ?—It may be a question whether the distillers are entitled to any other compensation in respect of the restrictions that are put on the trade by Government; but we do not see that they are. 6426. Then 2d. applies entirely to the malt duty ?—Yes; and more particularly in Scotland. 6427. Have you any suggestion to make with regard to the classification of duties?—No, I have not.

Mr. F. Morton. 6 March 1848.

Mr. Thomas Dickon, called in ; and Examined. 6428. Chairman.] YOU are a Lincolnshire man?—Yes. 6428*. And you were an agriculturist in Lincolnshire before you went out some years ago to the West Indies ?—I was a little more than a year in Jamaica, and I was a farmer in Lincolnshire before I went out. 6429. I believe you went out to teach the people of Jamaica the English mode •of agriculture ?—Not exactly that; at least I did not expect that. I went to take charge of some properties that were at that time expected to be bought. 6430. It was Mr. Smith's property, was it not?—It was the property of a •company. 6431. How many shareholders were there in that company?—I never knew how many there were. 6432. The company was represented by Mr. Smith ?—Yes; he was the only director in Jamaica. 6433. Who were the parties in this country?—There are several in Liverpool. Mr. Joseph Ewart is one of the shareholders, and, I believe, one of the Board ; and Mr. Rathbone ; but I do not know any other names. 6434. Who was responsible to you?—Mr. Smith, as one of the directors; he was residing in Jamaica. 0.32. 6435. But x4

Mr. T. Dickon.


160 Mr. T. Dickon.

MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

6435. But in this country who was responsible to you; who sent you out?— I was engaged by the Board of Directors of the company. 6 March 1 848. 6436. Where did they sit?—-In Liverpool. 6437. What number of acres had the company ?—They only bought one estate, and they rented another ; and Mr. Smith, when he got out to Jamaica, from some cause or other, I do not know what, would not buy any more land. 6438. What was the extent of that estate ?—The whole extent of acres was about 2,500, but there were not more than 200 to 250 acres in cane cultivation ; that was one estate. 6439. I" what year was it you went out to Jamaica?—I went out in 1845 at first, and I returned and went out again in 1846. 6440. The intention was that you should carry out with you all the agricultural improvements known in England ?—It was our intention to do that when we went out; to cultivate the land, if we thought it was advisable to do so, and to prepare it. 6441. Do you know what the capital of the company was ?—I do not know what the paid-up capital was, but they professed to have 200,000 /. when it was all paid up. 6442. It was not, I presume, all paid up?—I do not know, but I think not. 6443. Do you know how many calls were paid ?—Only one, I think. 6444. What were the calls?—£. 3. 10s. 6445. How many shares were there in the company ?—I do not know ; I suppose about 4,000 shares. I am not exactly acquainted with it. 6446. Do you know what the shares were ; were thev 20 /. shares ?—I think they were. 6447. Do you know how it was that one call only was paid up?—I suppose it was owing to Mr. Smith ; when he got out to Jamaica he would not allow any other properties to be bought. 6448. Was that because it was found to be a losing concern?—I do not know ; I had been in Jamaica only about two months ; Mr. Smith had been there about two weeks. I might have been nine weeks, in October, perhaps, not more. 6449. Did you find unexpected difficulties when you got there ? —No more than I expected before I went; I had been before and seen what the country was. 6450. You are now speaking of your second visit?—Yes; the second time I went I went to take charge of the properties. 6451. Can you state to the Committee what the results of your cultivation of the estates were, as far as the profit and loss goes of the crop ? —So far as we went it was very little. I only reaped one crop ; I had charge of the properties only one year. 6452. How many hogsheads of sugar did you make?—On the two properties we made near 200 hogsheads. 6453. What was the cost of cultivation ?—What we expended would be about 4,000l. altogether. But we cleared a quantity of wood land, which we planted with sugar. 6454. Do the 4,000 l. include all labour and the supplies from England?— No, I am not speaking of the supplies from England. 6455. What did the supplies cost ?— I do not know ; they were sent out. 6456. They were under a separate head ?-—Yes. 6457. Then you do not know what were the salaries of the white people upon the estates besides that 4,000l. ?—Yes, I know what they were. 6458. They were not included in the 4,000/. ? —No ; they would be 1,000/. more. 6459. You cannot give any notion of what the supplies cost?—No, I do not know what the supplies cost. 6460. Do you know what the estate cost ?—It cost 5,050/. I believe. 6461. Mr. Matheson. ] Was that the estate of 2,500 acres that you spoke of? —Yes. 6462. Mr. Cardwell.] Were the other acres capable of being put in sugar cultivation, or were they rough?—It was all rough land, the greater part mountain land, not capable of cultivation ; it was rock land. 6463. So that the price was practically paid for a much smaller number of acres ?—Yes. 6464. Can


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6464. Can you state what number?—Not exactly; but I dare say in pasture and so forth, it would be 600 acres. 6465. Six hundred acres that might have been turned into sugar cultivation? —No, not into sugar cultivation, but into pasture and sugar cultivation. 6466. How much of that would be land that might be used for sugar cultivation ?—Three hundred acres, or perhaps rather more than that. 6467. Chairman.'] Do the Committee understand you to say that there were 600 acres capable of cultivation upon one estate or two estates ?—Upon one estate ; I am speaking of only one estate. 6468. How many acres were there capable of cultivation upon the other estate ? —About the same quantity clear of the woodland. 6469. So that there were 1,200 acres altogether ?—Yes ; one estate was bought, the other was only rented. 6470. What was the rent paid for the estate that was rented?—£.400 per annum, I believe. 6471. Does this expenditure in labour of 4,000 I. cover the expenditure upon both estates ?—Yes. 6472. And the salaries of the white people, which you guess at about 1,000 l., apply to the two estates ?—Yes. 6473. Would this include your own salary?—No, it would not. I refer to the book-keepers and overseers and so forth. 6474.. What was your salary ?—I was to have 1,000 I. a year. When I went out we were to have 20 more estates ; but when Mr. Smith landed, he would not allow any more properties to be bought. 6475. So that, without taking into account the supplies, the expenditure amounted to 6,730 I. a year; do you know what were the proceeds of the 200 hogsheads of sugar?—No, I do not; the sugar was sent to England, and I know nothing further about it. 6476. Your hogsheads contain about 16 cwt. ?—They would be from 17 to 18 cwt.; they were large hogsheads. 6477. That was the cwt. of the island?—I never knew what they weighed here; sometimes they weigh 20 and 2l cwt. on the island; they would average more than 18 there; what they would average here I do not know. 6478. You are not able to form any notion of the cost of the supplies?—No, I am not. 6479. When you got out to Jamaica, did you find that the habitual cultivation of the estates admitted of any very great improvement ?—The land wants preparing and cleaning for a longer time before it is used. I think there might be an improvement there. 6480. For that purpose you want more labour, do you not ?—I should do that by the plough. 6481. Mr. Miles.] Was it good sugar that you made?—Yes. 6482. Did it sell for a high price in this country ?—I dare say it was a fair price, but I never knew what it sold for. 6483. Chairman.] If you got 15/. a hogshead you would be losing upon that expenditure, and with the. interest of money and rent paid, very nearly 15/. a hogshead ?—I do not know what it was sold for, but I think the produce would be somewhat increased this year; of course that was what we entered upon ; it was all ready for cutting when we entered upon it. 6484. When you left, what was the promise of the crop for the ensuing year; how many hogsheads did it appear likely to yield ? —I fancied that we should have from 250 to 300 hogsheads. 6485. Mr. Miles.] On both estates ?—Yes. 6486. Chairman.] But still with such a crop as that it would not have paid its expenses ?—We never did anything by implements scarcely ; all we did, and all we could do, was by manual labour. 6487. Why did you not avail yourselves of the implements you took out with you ?—We never had the means given us. 6488. Was that from want of money ?—I do not know what it was from; we had always money to pay the wages of the people, but we never had the means to use the implements as we ought to have done ; we had not sufficient stock to work the implements with. 6489. You mean cattle?—Yes. 6490. Was the estate very short of cattle?—Yes. 0.32. Y 6491. Mr-

559 Mr. T. Dickon. 6 March 1848.


162

MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

6491. Mr. Miles.] Will you state what number of cattle you had on each estate?—Upon one estate we had 120, and upon the other from 70 to perhaps 80 6 March 1848. working cattle. 6492. How many mules had you ?—Eighteen mules upon the two estates ; they were 10 and eight. 6493. Chairman.] To work the estate properly, how many cattle and mules would have been required ?—To have worked it well, twice as many, I should say. 6494. What further outlay of capital would that have required; what do you imagine the price of a working ox would have been ?—From 10l. to 12 l. 6495. That, then, would have required an outlay of from 2,000 /. to 2,400 /. more ?—Yes. 6496. What wages did you pay the people working on the estates ?—From 1 s. to 2 s. a day. 6497. What sort of day's labour was it?—It was not a very good one. 6498. How many hours did they work ?—From six, or a little after, to two, on the average ; not more than that. 6499. Mr. Miles.] Without intermission ?—No, with perhaps an hour's intermission. 6500. Chairman.] Did they come punctually at six o'clock?—Perhaps it would be from six to half-past six ; they were tolerably punctual at that time, and quite as punctual in returning. 6501. Whilst they were at work did they work very hard ?—No, not by any means; we used sometimes to let them the work by the job when we could, but they were not very ready to do it in that way. 6502. Did they object to taskwork ?—Yes, except at a very high price. 6503. By taskwork you mean, that you set them to dig cane-holes, for instance ?—Yes. 6504. How many cane-holes would they dig or hoe in a day?—Perhaps 100, a man would do ; but a good deal depends on the state of the soil at the time. 6505. What had you to pay for those 100 cane-holes ?—From 2 s. to 2 s. 6 d. 6506. As far as continuous work was concerned, did they attend regularly every day in the week, or only three or four days in the week ?—Three or four days in the week ; seldom more than five ; sometimes they would attend five. 6507. And perhaps sometimes less than three?—Yes. 6508. Averaging, perhaps, between three and four days a week ?—Yes, perhaps so. 6509. How were they in crop time ; could you rely upon them to come and gather in the crop ?—No. 6510. Were you subject to any great losses in consequence ?—In the season that I was there I do not think we had much loss from that, but I think they are sometimes subject to very serious losses, because you cannot induce them to come to work for you if it suits them to work on their own grounds. 6511. That is to say, if there is a shower of rain they will stay and work on their own grounds?—Yes. 6512. And that same shower of rain would make it desirable to have them working in the cane-field ?—Yes; when the season suits them, it suits us for planting, and so on. 6513. Therefore the result is, that you lose the labour just when you want it most?—Yes; you cannot depend upon having it when you want it. 6514. Could not you get labourers by paying them higher wages?—No, I do not think you could at that time tempt them with giving them high wages. 6515. It is not very easy to tempt them to work long hours for high wages?—• No, it is not. ,6516. How do you account for that?—They are independent by reason of having their own grounds and provisions to sell at a high price ; they have all the provision market to themselves ; very few planters have provisions to sell; I do not know of one. 6517. Do they make a great profit of their provisions?—Yes, no doubt of it. 6518. Can you suggest any means by which those labourers could be made more industrious, and more disposed to work continuously on the sugar plantations ? Yes; the means that I should suggest would be, the planters growing provisions. 6519. Can you form any judgment of the average annual profit that a labourer makes of his provision-ground?—No, I am not able to answer that question. I think

Mr. T. Did on.


SELECT COMMITTEE ON SUGAR AND COFFEE PLANTING. 163 I think the planters ought to use all the means in their power to cheapen the price of the ground provisions in the country. 6520. When you speak of provisions, what do you mean?—Yams, cocoas, and plantains, and all other ground provisions. 6521. Which, in that country, constitute the greengrocery of the provision market?—Yes, similar to potatoes and greens here. 6522. Are they not the general food of the inhabitants of the island?—They are nine-tenths of the food of the working classes, with the exception of a little salt provision, and goats, poultry, and so forth, which they also keep. 6523. Do you imagine that if the planters were to set up rival provisiongrounds they could drive those labourers out of the market, and so force them to apply themselves to the cultivation of the cane-fields?—I think so. I think if the provisions were cheaper in the country, the people would not have that resource to fly to for subsistence which they now have, if the planters could sell the provisions at half the price that they are now selling at, or perhaps less than that. 6524. Flow would the planters get the provision-grounds cultivated?—With the same labour that they have now for the sugar-cane. 6525. But they are short-handed as it is in the cultivation of the sugar-cane? —'I hey had better grow an acre of provisions than an acre of sugar-cane, for they can make more profit by it. 6,526. Do you think they could make more profit by an acre of provisionground than by an acre of sugar-cane?—Yes, according to the present price, much more. 6527. According to the prices which existed when you were in the island ?—• Yes; according to the prices then existing, they might make considerably more of an acre of ground provisions than of an acre of sugar-cane. 6528. Do you think that the labourers would come to cultivate provisions?— 1 do not think they would so readily cultivate them as the sugar-cane. 6529. Would they feel that it was in rivalry with themselves?—Yes. 6530. Then practically, perhaps, there would be great, difficulty in the planters becoming provision growers?—Yes, I dare say they would have some trouble in that w ay; but I think that might be got over. 6531. You said that there were improvements that could be made in cleaning the land previous to putting in the canes ; are there any other improvements that you think could be introduced beyond those which are already adopted in Jamaica ?—There are several things that might be done; but the great thing is to prepare any land that is worn out before it is again planted ; that would be the great means of improving the land. 6532. By cleaning it and manuring it ?—Yes. 6533. Are there facilities for obtaining manure in Jamaica?—The present facilities are as good as any, I should say; that is, manuring the land by penning the cattle, or else keeping the cattle at home, and making manure at home ; but of course that would require much more labour than they have to spare for it. 6534. Comparing 2s. Gd. in Jamaica with 2s. Gd. in Lincolnshire, are 2s. 6d. in Jamaica very much higher than 2 s. G d. in Lincolnshire, as far as the comfort of the labourer is concerned?—The labourer in Jamaica can live better on 2 s. 6d. than the labourer in Lincolnshire, or anywhere else in this country, on 2s. 6d. 6535. Is the labourer in Jamaica twice as well off on 2 s. G d. as the labourer in this country on 2 s. 6d. ?—I think he is; because he has the means, by cultivating his own provision-grounds, of increasing his supplies. 6536. Does his provision-ground very nearly sustain his family ?—I should say so, in the majority of cases. 6537. And perhaps it leaves him some profit beside?—I do not know that; but I should say in the majority of cases it would sustain the family. 6,538. What rent do the labourers generally pay for their provision-grounds?— In some instances I think they pay 20s. an acre; but they buy the land in the first instance for a very low price generally. 6539. Then, generally speaking, they are freeholders, as far as you know? Yes. 6,540. Do you think that it is for the interest of the planters that they should be freeholders, or do you think it would be more for the interest of the planters thatthey should occupy land at a rent?—I think it would be more to the y 2 0.32. interest

561 Mr. T. Dickon. 6 March 1848.


164MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

interest of the planters that they should occupy land at a rent, and also that the planters should become provision growers themselves, in order to reduce the price 6 March 1848. of provisions, so that the labourers should not have the entire market in their hands; it is like the farmers here giving the labourers the potato market, and never trying to compete against them ; that is the opinion I form of it. 6541. You think that it conduces to indolence on the part of the negroes?—• Yes ; they have the means of subsistence on their own plots of ground, and therefore they will not come to me to work for me as a planter unless I will give them short work or high wages to induce them to work, and then they will only work when it suits them, and not when it suits me. 6542. Comparing the labour of the black in Jamaica with the labour of the Lincolnshire labourer, which does the most work?—The Lincolnshire labourer does more than twice as much work for the same money. 6543. At the same time you think that half-a-crown in Jamaica is worth twice as much as half-a-crown in Lincolnshire ?—The labourers have more comforts in Jamaica than the labourers have here. 6544. So that, in point of fact, in proportion to the work done, and the money paid, the black in Jamaica is four times as well off as the labourer of Lincolnshire?—The labourers of Lincolnshire have not ground, and they cannot have the same means of obtaining garden-ground as the labourers in Jamaica have of obtaining provision-grounds in this country; they have high rents to pay, and they cannot make the same of their produce as they can in Jamaica. 6545. And they are obliged to Avork twice as hard to get the same money ?— Yes; agricultural labourers here do twice the work for the same money; and they also give that labour when the master wants it, which is a very great thing. 6546. Do the blacks take for themselves any holidays that they like?—Yes, very frequently. 6547. At what periods of the year?—More particularly at Christmas and August. 6548. August is not a very important period of the year, is it ?—Not quite so much so as Christmas. 6549. At Christmas you are just beginning the new crop?—Yes. 6550. You manufactured the sugar, of course, as well as cultivated the canes ? —Yes. 6551. Does it occur to you that any great improvement might be made in the manufacture of sugar by means of machinery, or by any different arrangement, such as instituting central factories for grinding the canes ?—I am no advocate for central factories , I think they cannot be carried out to advantage, inasmuch as you want such an immense weight of cane for a small quantity of sugar; and to carry it a great distance ; that is to say, if you had three or four estates to one manufactory, it would not answer. 6552. Therefore, in point of fact, the notion of central factories for grinding the sugar-cane, as here you have central flour-mills, is perfectly impracticable?— I fear it is ; that is my opinion. 6553. And there would be great difficulty, as all the canes come ripe at the same time, in getting them all ground at one mill ?—Yes; there is only a certain time to do it in. 6554. As far as drainage goes, did you see that there were any great improvements to be made ?—In some situations, no doubt there are. 6555. But as a general rule, are there great improvements to be made?— Yes; I think -in the majority of cases there are improvements to be made by draining. •6556. And improvements to be made at a cost which would repay itself?—Not with the present labourers; I think that the planters have no business to incur such a risk with the present labourers. 6557. That is at the price of the present labourers?—Yes. 6558. Do you think that anything is to be done by substituting the spade for the plough ?—No, I think nothing can be better than the plough. Where the plough can be used ?—Yes, ploughing and preparing the land some time before the land is wanted ; I think there is nothing better than that. 6560. But on your estates you ought to have laid out 3,000l. or 4,000/. more in cattle:—Yes ; you cannot work the land properly without cattle ; and then it becomes a question which is cheapest, cattle labour or manual labour. Mr. T. Dickon.

6561. Is


SELECT COMMITTEE ON SUGAR AND COFFEE PLANTING.

165

6561. Is cattle labour very decidedly cheaper ?—That depended upon the price you have to pay for cattle in that country ; the price is very high, and it requires a very large number of cattle to work the implements ; but still, I think, it is to be done to advantage. 6562. But you think it is a nice question which is cheapest?—Yes; it is perhaps a nice question which is the cheapest. 6563. You think it is a nice question which is the cheapest, the cultivation of plantations, even at the present high price of uncertain manual labour, or cattle, at the high price which cattle fetch in that country, and the great number of cattle required to draw the ploughs ?—There is a difference on the different estates ; some estates are better adapted for cattle labour, and I think on some it would not be advisable to use cattle ; in fact, they cannot use cattle to plough with. 6564. Are there a good many estates where stones and rocks are interspersed, and where it would be undesirable to use the plough ?—'Yes ; of course you could not use agricultural implements on those stony soils. 6565. As far as the manufacture of sugar is concerned in the way of mills and vacuum pans, and so on, is any very great improvement to be made ?—I am not able to speak as to vacuum pans, and so forth, but I think the plan of having central factories would not be attended with much advantage. 6566.. Is there much to be done in the way of tramroads and railroads ?—I am not an advocate for either the one or the other. 6567. You do not think it would pay ?—No, I do not. 6568. The cost would be greater than it was worth?—Yes ; and you cannot have a tramway without having also labour to carry the produce to the tramway, and then you might as well bring the produce to the mill as to the tramway; that is my idea. 6569. When you have a tramway, there are two cartings to be done instead of one ?—Yes. 6570. You cannot have a tramroad every 500 or 000 yards ?—Of course you cannot have a tramroad convenient to every place in your cane-fields. If you have 200 acres of cane-field, unless it runs in a long strip, you cannot have the tramway convenient for all; and then you have two cartings, and that would be more trouble in some instances than carrying it to the mill at once. 6571. If you have no tramroad, you take the cart up to the cane just as you take it to a haycock or a stoop of corn in this country ?—Yes, just in the same way. 6572. I suppose having a tramway in such a case would be very much like having a tramway in a wood, in order to convey the timber?—Yes, the timber would have to be removed a long distance to it. I think a tramway is not adapted to any estate, unless it is a long strip of land, so that you have it very near to the tramway on both sides. 6573. Did you think that anything was to be done in the way of immigration with Coolies in Jamaica?—I fancy Coolie labourers will not do at all; they are very poor labourers, particularly the Madras people. I think the Africans, from what I have seen of them, would be desirable labourers to have. 6574. Are the Coolies small men?—Yes, very small, diminutive; and they appear to have no desire to learn. The Madras Coolies, I should say, are very much worse than the Calcutta Coolies, from what I have seen of them. 6575. You look upon them as a very inferior people altogether ?—Yes; and they are a class that do not appear to mix at all with the present labourers ; in fact, there are several castes among them, and they will not mix with one another. 6576. And that is found practically inconvenient?—Yes. 6577. You cannot get them to work in the same gang ?—Yes, they will work in the same gang, but when they get home they will not mix together; they stand aloof from each other, even the Calcutta and Madras people ; they will not victual together. 6578. You find the Africans a very different class of people?—Yes, they are stouter and more muscular, and they mix with the present labourers. 6579. Comparing the African with the Madras or Calcutta Cooly, what is the proportion of labour that the two would do ?—The Africans are generally able to do more, and they work more willingly ; the Coolies appear not to have a wish to do much; they are diminutive, many of them; there arc some few amongst them that do pretty well. 0.32.

Y 3

6580. In

563 Mr. T. Dickon.

6 March 1848.


166 Mr. T. Dickon. 6 March 1848.

MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

6580. In respect of health, are they as healthy as the others?—From what I saw of them I should say that they were very sickly, and not able to work for some time after they come into the country. 6581. Did you ever see anything of the Portuguese or Madeira people in Jamaica ?—No, I had never anything to do with the Portuguese there. 6582. Or with any Europeans, except as overlookers ?—One or two I had to do with, but none that I can speak to as to their capacities ; but I fancy that they could not work in Jamaica, on account of the heat; they cannot labour as well as Africans can. 6583. Were those Africans that you are now speaking of, Africans that had been lately liberated ?—Yes, they had been brought into the country, but how they came into the country I am not aware; we had several about us that used to come to work. 6584. Could they speak English ?—No; I could not understand them very well myself. 6585. Notwithstanding that, there was no difficulty in getting on with them ? —No. 6586. Who was interpreter between you and them?—A book-keeper that we had ; he could generally make them understand very well; and they mixed with the other negroes. 6587. The old negroes can speak nothing but English, can they ?—I do not know, but I could not understand them; what language they spoke I do not know. 6588. Those newly imported Africans and the old negroes could understand one another ?—They worked together, and understood one another for anything I know. 6589. Were you able to learn from those newly imported Africans whether there would be any difficulty in getting others to come to Jamaica ?—No, I did not ask the question of them. 6590. Is the result of your acquaintance with Jamaica such that you do not think that it holds out any very great prospect, at the present prices, of profitable cultivation ?—No, I do not think it holds out a prospect of much profit at present. 6591. You would not like to go back again on your own account?—No, I should not go back on my own account, though I like Jamaica very well, and I should not have returned home if it had suited my wife's health ; I should have stopped there ; there are estates in Jamaica that will do very well, I think. 6592. Which are they ?—Some of the sugar estates will do very well; but, according to the present prices, the breeding pens are the best estates to cultivate now. 6593. But I presume the breeding pens are profitable now on account of the great demand for cattle ?—Yes ; the present prices of cattle are very high. 6594. But if half the sugar estates in Jamaica went out of cultivation, the cattle would fall in price?—Yes, I expect they would. 6595. Then breeding pens would be less profitable ?—Of course they would. 6596. Do you think that if half the estates in Jamaica go out of cultivation, the other half will be able to get labour at half-price ?—So long as they can obtain the present prices for their provisions, they will never work for less, while they have the means of living without it; but if the price of provisions came very low, they would be obliged to look to something else for subsistence, and they would be willing to work for less. 6597. Do you think that their nature is such that they would ever work very hard for low wages? — I do not think they will ever work very hard for either high or low wages. 6598. They would prefer squatting and living upon their provision-grounds? —'Yes. 6599. There is no possibility in Jamaica of putting an end to squatting, is there? —I suppose not. 6600. There is great facility for purchasing land at a cheap sum ?—Yes. 6601. And if half of the estates in Jamaica were to be thrown out of cultivation, of course the land would be purchased cheaper still ?—Yes, I suppose it would be purchased at very low prices, considerably below what it is now. 6602. At what price would an acre of good provision-ground be purchased ?—• At from 3 l. to 5 I. an acre. 6603. And


SELECT COMMITTEE ON SUGAR AND COFFEE PLANTING. 167 6603. And that acre will support a man and his entire family ?—Yes, after it is once in cultivation. 6604. And with a very few days' labour ?—At the commencement they have a good deal of labour; they have the wood to cut in order to clear the ground and plant, but after it is established it will do for some time with very little labour. 6605. For example, plantains last for a good many years ?—Yes. 6606. And yams ?—Yams require planting frequently, but it is very little labour after the first commencement. 6607. Do they grow many potatoes ?—No, not many potatoes. 6608. What other provisions do they grow besides plantains, and yams, and a few potatoes ?—Cocoa and casadas, and several different sort of greens. 6609. any of those freeholders grow sugar-cane on their own account ?— Yes. 6610. To any extent?—Not to a large extent, but they sell it among themselves ; some of them will have, perhaps, half an acre of sugar-cane, or a small plot of sugar-cane which they make into syrup, and sell. 6611. Where do they get their sugar-canes ground ?—They grind them with a small hand mill. They have small mills all over the country that they can turn by hand ; two or three of them assist each other in grinding the canes, and they sell the syrup. 6612. Do they do a good business in that way ?—I have no doubt that it pays them very well. 6613. Why does it not pay the planter if it pays them ?—The planter is not selling his sugar at 6d. a pound. 6614. How is it that they can sell their sugar at 6d. a pound; are there two prices in Jamaica ?—They very frequently sell their syrup among themselves at 6d. a pound. 6615. The planters would be very glad to get 2d. a pound in the island ?— Yes, very ; but very few planters can sell, or do sell anything in the shape of sugar in the island. 6616. When you left the estate, what was done with it?—The cultivation is still going on, I suppose ; they are taking off the crop now, I expect. 6617. Have you heard what the amount of the crop is ?—No, they have not finished yet; they would not finish till April or May. I have not heard about the estate since I left. 6618. Were the company able to fulfil all their engagements ?—Yes. 6619. Were the shares of the company at a premium?—I have not heard anything of them as respects their being at a premium, or at a discount. 6620. The company are not extending their works?—No, I do not think they are likely to extend their works. 6621. They are not likely to make any more calls ?—I do not think they are. 6622. Do you know whether Mr. Joseph Ewart is a brother of the Member of Parliament?—I do not know indeed. 6623. The first requirements in Jamaica are cheap labour, and plenty of capital to buy cattle?—Yes, to have cheaper labour, and to have it when they require it. 6624. Cheaper and continuous labour ?—Yes. 6625. Do you imagine that it would be very easy in Jamaica to raise capital now ?—Not in Jamaica, I think. 6626. Mr. Miles.] You were engaged in farming in Lincolnshire?—Yes. 6627. What sized farm had you there ?—I had 450 acres. 6628. Was it arable ?—Yes, entirely arable. 6629. When you went out to Jamaica, did you introduce any improvements there?—No; we never got started sufficiently to do anything in the shape of improvements. 6630. Did you attempt it?—No. 6631. Were you allowed to have complete control over the management of the estate ?—No. 6632. Who was placed over you ?—Mr. Smith. 6633. He directed all your operations ?—My orders were to do nothing without his consent. 6634. Did he tell you to go on upon the same system as had been adopted before in the island ?—No. 0.32. v 4 6635. What

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168 Mr. T. Dickon. 6 March 1848

MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

6635. What were his orders?—His orders were, that I was to do everything I could to carry on the cultivation; but I never had the means of doing anything. 6636. By saying you were to do everything you could, do you mean that you were to strike out whatever course you wished, or were you to suggest improvements to him ?—I was to suggest improvements to him. 6637. Did you suggest any improvements to him ?—Yes. 6638. Were they adopted by Mr. Smith ?—No; we could not do anything without having more cattle. 6639. And be refused to put any more cattle on the estate ?—He did not refuse, but we had to get leave from home before we could do it. 664.0. Did you write home for leave ?—I did not write home. 6641. Did Mr. Smith ?—I do not know. 6642. Was permission asked of the authorities at home?—I do not know. 6643. You do not know what took place at all in that respect ?—No. 6644. Did Mr. Smith never give you any answer ?—No. 6645. But letters were actually written home?—I do not know whether he wrote home or not. I had nothing to do with that, and I could not ask the question. 6646. Then, in fact, you made no improvement whatever in this estate ?—No. 6647. The estate was cultivated by you exactly as it had always been before ? —Yes, as nearly as possible. 6648. You say that you had 250 acres in cane cultivation?—Yes, on one estate. 6649. And you produced 100 hogsheads from 250 acres?—One hundred and twenty, I believe. 6650. How much did you produce on the other estate ?—About 80 hogsheads. 6651. Do you know what number of plants you had in for those 120 hogsheads ? — I do not know how many we had in that year; I know how many we put in for the next crop. 6652. How many were there?—About 40 for the next crop, the crop that is now coming on. 6653. What do you expect that crop to be ?—It will be probably from 250 to 300 hogsheads ; at least I think so. 6654. On this one estate how much will it be?—Perhaps 150 hogsheads. 6655. Then will 40 acres of plants produce that; how many acres of ratoons were there?—Perhaps from 120 to 130, many of them very old and worn out 6656. Did you find the plough in use when you arived in Jamaica?—A little. 6657. How many acres were brought under the plough ?—They had been in the habit of using it for the cane rows, but not for the cultivation. They seldom ploughed the land on what we call the close-ploughing system. 6658. How many acres were ploughed altogether before you got there?—I do not know. 6659. Did you never hear?—No. 6660. Could you not judge?-—! could judge of the cane rows that had been ploughed over. 6661. How many acres of cane rows had been ploughed ?—Perhaps 20 acres. 6662. How many acres did you plough ?—We ploughed, perhaps, an extent of 30 out of 40, and the others we had put in by the hand. We merely ploughed the cane rows ; we did not cultivate the land at all. 6663. You did not close-plough, as you do in this country ?—No. 6664. Did it never strike you that it would be an improvement ?—Yes. . 6665. Why then did you not attempt it ?—We had not stock sufficient to do it; we had the crop to get oft', and all the stock were employed to get off'the crop. 6666. Did you not consider that you were sent out to teach the people good cultivation?—No, we went out expecting to have the means of cultivating the land. 6667. Did it never strike you that it would be advantageous to try a small quantity of acres, for instance, with close ploughing?—Yes. 6668. Had you cattle enough for that ?—Yes ; we did a little, but it was but little. 6669. How many acres?—Only a few acres. 6670. Can


SELECT COMMITTEE ON SUGAR AND COFFEE PLANTING. 169

Can you state the number of acres?—It might have been four or five acres; that we did as soon as we got there, and it was a very good crop. 6671. Do you think that the plants were better?—I do not know what the plant was. 6672. Did the canes look better on that part than on the other ?—Yes, 6673. How many oxen do you use in a plough ?—Ten, 6674. Was that the number used before you went there?—Yes, I have no doubt it was. 6675. Did you reduce the number of oxen ?—No. 6676. Do you think ten are too many to plough with ?—At the first ploughing the work is heavy, and ten are not too many then ; after that you might reduce the number. 6677. What plough did you use ?—Wilkie's plough. 6678. A double plough ?—No, Wilkie's single plough; but in ploughing the cane-holes we use the double plough. 6679. After you had ploughed the first time, did you reduce the number of oxen to each plough ?—We never ploughed except an acre or two, and we did not reduce the number of oxen. 6680. Why did you not reduce the number ?—Our oxen were in a low condition; they were not in a condition to be reduced in number. 6681. Did you find any difficulty arising from the labourers, in reducing the number of oxen; did they object ?— No, they were as willing to go with eight oxen as with ten. 6682. Would they have gone w ith four instead of ten ?—Four oxen would not have been sufficient, but I do not believe that the labourers would object. 6683. What other implements had you ? The drag we had. 6684. Was it successful ?—Yes, on some soils. 668,5. Did you find the labourers apt to learn ?—No. 6686. Did you have any difficulty in managing them ?—We had not much difficulty, except that they only came to work when it suited them. 6687. Did you take any horses out to Jamaica ?—Yes. 6688. How many?—We took out 18 ; we had about 14 landed there. 6689. How did they answer when you got them upon the property ?—Not very well. 6690. Was sufficient care taken of them ?—Yes, we took all the care we could of them. 6691. What was the result?—Being heavy horses they could not bear the work in that climate. 6692. You took out heavy horses?—Not a very heavy sort; the Cleveland breed : I do not think they can bear the climate well. 6693. How many did you lose out of them ?—We lost several on the passage. 6694. You took 18; you lost four on the passage; how many of the 14 that you landed on the property were lost?—I think I left six. 6695. Have any died since?—I do not know. 6696. You lost eight while you were there ?—Yes. 6697. Did you try them with agricultural implements?—Some of them were very young horses, two years old ; I do not think that sort of horse is able to work in that climate; I do not think the heavy horses are useful at all there ; in the light work they may do, but mules are better; and with any heavy labour cattle are better. 6698. Where is this property that you have been speaking of situated ?—It is in the parish of Westmoreland. 6699. How far from the barquadier ?—Seven miles. 6700. Did you use your horses for the purpose of taking the produce to the barquadier ?—No, we took it with the cattle. 6701. How many cattle did you have in taking the produce to the barquadier? —We used to take three hogsheads with 10 cattle, and sometimes 12. 6702. Was it a bad road ; was there any hill in the way?—Not much of a hill; sometimes the roads were very had indeed, and sometimes in dry weather they were good. 6703. Did it never strike you that it would be advantageous, in taking the sugar to the barquadier, to use horses ?—Yes. 6704. Did you never try it ?—No; we had not any horses capable of working. Z 0.32. 6705. They 6670.

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Mr, T. Dickon. 6 March 1848.

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6705. They were not old enough?—We had some not old enough, but the others were injured on the passage; we had a very rough passage, and that and the climate affected them a great deal. 6706. You do not think horses can be used in Jamaica ?—I do not think that those sort of horses can be used to advantage as agricultural horses. 6707. Do you think that others can?—I think not; I think the mules and cattle are the things to depend upon. 6708. Did you attend to the manufacture of sugar yourself?—A little ; I was in the manufactory a good deal. 6709. Under whose charge was the sugar cultivation ?—The overseer. 6710. Had he been in the island before ?•—Yes, we had one who had been in the island before. 6711. Who were the principal people who were employed about the work; were they strangers to the island, or were they people who had been in the island before ?—They were people who had been in the island. 6712. I suppose you left the manufacture of sugar entirely to the overseers, who were accustomed to it?—Not entirely; we were looking after it more or less, though of course I did not stop in the place, as they did, to see the whole process. 6713. Did you make any improvement in the manufacture of sugar while you were there?—We did not attempt that; we had it boiled as it had been accustomed to be boiled. 6714. Having lived on this property for some time, do you think there is great capability of improvement in the cultivation of the land?—I think one of the estates is very capable of being improved. 6715. Which estate?—The larger of the two; the one that was bought. I think the land is capable of being improved a good deal by cultivation. 6716. The produce you made off it was something less than a hogshead an acre; do you think it could be made to yield a considerably greater quantity? — On some part we had two hogsheads an acre, and on some less. 6717. If you were five years upon the property, what yield do you think you ought to get from that property?—I think it might be made to average two hogsheads an acre ; it is very good land. 6718. Is that taking into consideration the labour that you have now on that property, or do you mean supposing you had labour such as you have in Lincolnshire?—Supposing I had labour sufficient. 6719. With the labour you had upon the property, what return would you expect upon it?—I do not think they could do much more than they do now, with the labour they have upon the property. 6720. You do not think that they could increase the return ?—I should say it would be desirable not to have so large a field with the present quantity of labour; they had better do 100 acres well than 150 acres badly. 6721. You do not know anything about the cost of production; you have not made any calculation of it ?—No, I have not made any particular calculation of that. 6722. Have you made any calculation of what you could cultivate the estate for?—Yes, I have made my own calculation. 6723. What is your calculation?—If I could have labour such as we have in Lincolnshire, that is to plough, and work, and cultivate the land, as I would wish to have it done before the plant is put in, I have no doubt the produce would be a good deal increased, and it would be produced at a low price ; that is, I should be able to sell it at the present price. 6724. What do you think you could afford to sell the sugar for per cwt. ?— About 12 I. a ton ; I mean that it might be produced for that. 6725. You could sell it on the estate for 12 I. a ton ?—Yes. 6726. Then you would have to add other charges before being brought to this country ?—Yes! 6727. Have you taken into consideration all those charges ?—I do not know what those charges would be, but if I could net 12 l. a ton I should be satisfied on that property. 6728. Does that include the charge of interest on capital expended ?—According to my calculation, it would be done for that, to deliver the produce on board ship. I calculate that according to my own ideas, supposing all to be done that is necessary for cleaning and preparing the land. 6729. That


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6729. That does not include the interest of capital ?—Yes; I have my own ideas about that. 6730. State what your ideas are about that; what do you value the property at ?—I should value it at what it cost. 6731. £.5,000l. ?— Yes. 6732. Would you propose to lay out any increased capital upon the estate, in order to put the estate in good order ?—Nothing further than the cattle that I require to cultivate the land. 6733. In buildings would you require any additional outlay ?—The buildings are very good. 6734. You would want an increased capital of from 2,000/. to 3,000/. for cattle ?—Not on that estate. 6735. You would want 1,500l. You have 120 cattle on that estate and 10 mules; you cannot double that number for less than 1,500/.?—Two hundred cattle would work the estate perhaps. 6736. You have allowed for everything but labour; have you any idea how you could get that?—I do not think I could get it with the present labour of the country. 6737. Could you get it by any other means ?—I do not know ; I fancy Africans imported might be useful. 6738. Have you ever considered what number of Africans would be required ? -No. 6739. Have you ever thought what you could afford to pay the labourer?— If a man would give me his labour five days in the week, I could afford to give him 18 d. a day. 6740. How many hours a day should he work ?—I should be satisfied with 10 good hours. 6741. Have you any idea of the number of labourers you would require on that estate to do the labour necessary to be done ?—I could not exactly say. 6742. How many labourers have you on it at present?—Sometimes 40, sometimes 50 or 60, and 80 perhaps ; and sometimes we have not 10. 6743. Have you any idea what number of days' labour you might have in the year from the labourers ?—Four days in the week. 6744. From 50 labourers ?—In crop time we have 60, or 70, or 80 labourers, and then out of crop time we have not more than 20 or 25. 6745. How many labourers do you think you would require ; would 100 labourers do for you, at 10 hours a day ?—Yes, taking the year round. 6746. And you could afford to pay them 6d. a day ?—Yes, if they would do the work I wished them to do, and give me good labour for 10 hours a day. 6747. You stated that you thought that penning the cattle as they do now is the best way of manuring the ground ?—No, I do not think it is the best way ; but under present circumstances it is the best way to adopt; they have not sufficient labour to carry out any other. 6748. Would you set much value upon penning cattle upon on estate ? —Yes. 6749. Would you ever think of attempting it in. Englnnd?—No; we have better means of manuring our land in England, by sheep and turnips. 6750. Can you give an idea of the comparative value of manure penned in that way, and manure made in the yard; has not the sun very great effect upon manure from cattle penned ?—Yes, it has; but I would prepare the land before I penned the cattle upon it; and after that I would plough it as soon as the cattle had been penned on it. 6751. Did you ever use any artificial manures in Jamaica?—We used a little guano. 6752. Did you find it answer?—The cane appeared to grow very well, but I did not see the result of the crop taken off. 6753. Do you know how it was applied ?—Yes, it was applied by hand. 6754. What quantity to an acre ?—About 4 to 5 cwt. 6755. Was it put round the cane root?—No, we spread it on the rows. 6756. Do you know what the result has been ?—The cane appeared to grow very well, but I did not see the result. 6757. Mr. Gibson.] You stated that the reason why the improvements were not carried out that you would have wished to carry out, was the want of 0.32. z 2 means;

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means ; and that you did not effect many of the improvements that you could have wished to effect, in consequence of your applications to this country not being 6 March 1848. attended to?—I had not the cattle; all the cattle we had were employed in bringing the cane to the mill. 6758. The reason you had not the cattle was, that means were not furnished you to buy the cattle ?—I had not the means of buying them without having positive orders; I was not allowed to do it, and the season was gone before I could have any communication about it. 6759. You have been accustomed to farming in Lincolnshire; how would you be able to carry on farming in Lincolnshire if you had not the means of obtaining a sufficient quantity of cattle for cultivation?—I could not carry it on well; I could not cultivate land at all without cattle to cultivate it with. 6760. In fact, if you were in a similar position in Lincolnshire with regard to means as you were in the West India estate, the result would be the same ?—Of course it would; I could never cultivate land without the means of doing it; you must have cattle to do the labour. 6761. With regard to labour, would it not be a very awkward thing for the population generally of Jamaica, if those negroes were to neglect their provisiongrounds, and give all their services to the planters ; what would be the position of the population there with regard to the supply of provisions ?—I think the planters ought to grow provisions. 6762. But in the present state of affairs, the planters not doing that, what would be the position of Jamaica, if those labourers, as matters now stand, were to neglect their provision-grounds, and give their labour to the planters?—If they gave their labour to the planters, the planters would be producers of provisions. 6763. You think the planters would grow provisions ?—Yes. 6764. Mr. Goulburn.] Was that the former practice?—I believe it was the practice in the time of slavery. 6765. Mr. M. Gibson.] At present, if I understand you rightly, the entire supply, or nearly so, of provisions for the population comes from the labour of those blacks upon their own provision-grounds ?—Yes, I believe so. 6766. Everything else remaining the same ; if they were to neglect their provision-grounds, it would be a very serious evil to the island?—Yes, if thev neglected them, and provisions were not supplied by other people, I think it would be a very serious thing for the country. 6767. You have been asked by the Chairman about the " indolence " of the blacks : does not what you said amount to this; that the labour in growing provisions is a more profitable labour to the black, and therefore he preferred it to the wages that he would receive from the planter?—Yes. 6768. It is not indolence, but it is that the black prefers the most profitable employment that, presents itself to him?—I have no doubt that he can make more from his provision-ground than he can by working upon the estates. 6769. If your Lincolnshire labourer could make more by growing provisions than by working upon your farm, do you think you could get him to work on your farm ? —I think not. 6770. Whose fault is all this; upon whom do you lay the blame; is it from the system of competition that planters are now exposed to the depression that has taken place, or do you believe it is mainly owing to the deficient arrangements as between the planters and those employed in Jamaica?—I do not blame the labourer for growing his own provisions and working for himself, if he can do better than by working for the planter; we ought all to try to do the best we can for ourselves; if a man sees that by working in his provision-ground he can do better than by working for the planter, it is hardly likely he will go to work for the planter. 6771. Can you state, as a matter of fact, that on any particular occasion when you wanted labour during the time you were in Jamaica, you could not get it?— Yes, I can. 6772. Was that want of labour the cause of considerable loss?—We had no very serious loss, because it happened not when we were in crop, but afterwards; we were, I dare say, a week or 10 days without, and we were obliged to give way at last. It. was not a very serious loss ; it was in cleaning the crop. 6773. What was the particular cause of want of labour ?—They wanted a very serious advance in the wages, more than any other planter had been giving. 6774. It Mr. T. Dickon,


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6774. It was not an unwillingness to work, but they wanted more wages for their work ?—Yes, they wanted fewer hours in the da}', and so on. 6775. Did you ever, in any instance, experience a want of labour when it was most valuable to you, during crop time?—Yes, it would have been advantageous to us to have taken the crop off a little more quickly, and if we could have had labour we should have done so. 6776. You were not supplied with the funds to enable you to furnish yourself with the necessary stock for carrying on the cultivation. Were you supplied with funds to pay the wages regularly, without allowing them to fall into arrear?— Yes, we paid the wages every week. 6777. Is it within your knowledge that the habit ordinarily of employers is to pay wages punctually, and not to allow them to fall into arrear ?—I have heard, but of course I know nothing but what I have heard, that there are parties who did not pay quite punctually, but nothing came within my own knowledge so as to enable me to say positively that it was so. 6778. You state that the labourers give their labour when they please, and that they do not give it when the employers want it. Does the master give the employment always when the labourer wants it?—The master is willing to give labour when he has it to do; but when he could do with 50 people he would not employ 100. 6779. not the masters sometimes decline to employ labourers who present themselves to them ?—I dare say they do. 6780. Then if the labourer cannot get something to rely upon, in the way of constant employment, how can it be wondered at that he looks to other means to depend upon, in the shape of provision-grounds, and so forth ? Do not you think that if the master requires that the labourer should be always at his disposal when he wants him, the master should always be prepared to give employment when the labourer asks for it ?—I do not know that the labourer is always at the master's disposal anywhere. 6781. You said that it was very important that the labourer should give his labour when the employer wants it ?—I do not want to bind the labourer down ; but in Jamaica he will leave you at a minute's warning, in order to go and work on his own ground ; if there is a shower of rain, and you want him to plant your land, he will go and plant for himself. 6782. But you think it very desirable that the labourer should give his services in such a way as the master requires ; you think it an evil that you have not a control over the labour of the labourer; that is requisite : how can you expect to have such a control if you do not give the labourer employment when the labourer wants it?—There are times when the planter has not work. 6783. So that, under those circumstances, if you were to import a good many more labourers, there would betimes when they would be without employment ?— Yes, for a short time. 6784. Would it not be better if, by using machinery and cattle, you could have fewer labourers and give them constant employment, rather than have a great many and give them employment at one time, and have them out of employment at another?-—Yes, it would be desirable to have implements and reduce the number of labourers. 6785. Do not you think that if you had those implements, and assistance were given you, you might give a fewer number of labourers constant employment, so that they might not be induced to wander away to other means of subsistence ?— We should be more able certainly to employ them constantly. 6786. Do not you think that a good deal of this difficulty of getting a control over the labourers arises from the planters not being able to give them constant employment ?—I am not able to give an answer to that. 6787. In Lincolnshire, if you did not afford a man something like regular employment, would you not find it difficult to get his services whenever you wanted them ?—Yes, I have no doubt we should ; he would be looking out for something else, no doubt. 6788. When slavery existed in the West Indies, the managers of estates were not under the necessity of considering these things, because they could command by force the services of the labourers, could they not ?—I suppose so but I am not acquainted with it. ' 6789. Do not you think that the habit, in regard to the labourers, formed during the period of slavery, is very likely, to a certain degree, to have influenced 0.32. z 3 the

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174 Nr. T. Dickon.

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MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

the employment now the labourers have become free men, and that it may have prevented the system of freedom working well ?—I do not know that I can speak to that. 6790. Do not the farmers of Lincolnshire make it a point to attach, as it were, by regular employment, their labourers to the estates upon which they work ; do not you manage so to lay out your work as that your men shall not lose any time if you can avoid it ?—Yes ; I usually throughout the year employ a certain number of what I consider my own labourers, and sometimes I have employed them at a sacrifice to myself, rather than part with them. 6791. Do not you consider, that if that system were, to a certain degree, impressed upon the managers of estates and overseers in Jamaica, it might be attended with benefit ?—Perhaps it might. 6792. You mentioned about the manufacture of sugar, that you attended to it to ascertain the extent as well as the cultivation ; is it your opinion that it is a good thing for the same parties to be cultivators as well as manufacturers of sugar ; do you think that both businesses can be carried on well by the same person ?—The manufacture of sugar is not a difficult process. I think they can be carried on together with advantage. 6793. Have you considered at all whether it would be desirable to give up, to some extent, the manufacture of sugar in the West Indies, and to allow it to be sent over to this country in a rough state, either as cane-juice or concrete, or something ot that sort, to go through the higher process of manufacture in this country ?—I am not capable of answering that question ; there is a good deal in that which I am not conversant with ; the cane juice would be acid very soon, and how that would affect it I do not know. 6794. But the labour that you get in the West Indies is not labour well adapted to the manufacture of sugar ; it is not attentive labour, such as is wanted to work the machinery that is sent out; would you not get good machinery better worked in this country, if the cane were converted into sugar here, instead of being converted there?—I do not feel at all capable of giving an opinion upon that subject. 6795• Lord J. Manners.] How did you cultivate the land in Jamaica?—We cultivated it in ten-acre pieces. 6796. How many cattle did you consider it would require to prepare it ? —About two spells ; we call eight a spell, that is, 16 to 20 ; that is, for ploughing. 6797. For manuring?—For manuring you require to pen 2,000 cattle for one night upon an acre; or if you have 100 head of cattle, you require to pen them 20 nights on an acre of land. 6798. Had you the entire superintendence of the labour on these estates ?— Yes. 6799. You were at liberty to send off the labourers, and to employ them?— Yes. 6800. It rested entirely with you ?—Yes. 6801. Did it ever happen to you to have to dismiss labourers, from not having employment to give them ?—We seldom had any to dismiss. 6802. Had you ever to dismiss labourers, from want of employment ?—No, I think we had always employment for as many as came to us. 6803. The year through ?—Yes. 6804. And sometimes you could have employed a good many more ?—Sometimes we could have employed a few more. 6805. When you went out you expected to have the superintendence of a great number of estates?—Yes. 6806. Did you never ask yourself the question why it was that you were limited to two estates ?—Yes. 6807. What do you conceive to be the reason ?—I am hardly at liberty, I think, to disclose that. 6808. Did you imagine the company would cultivate those two estates only? —No; I was led to expect that we should have a considerable number of estates. 6809. You mentioned 32 or 34?—I expected we should have 20 or more, perhaps. 6810. You cannot give the Committee any reason why it was limited to two ? —No, I cannot go into that. 6811. Were the company willing to continue you in your situation, or have you


SELECT COMMITTEE ON SUGAR AND COFFEE PLANTING. 175 you come home on account of your wife's health?—I should have left them if I had stopped in the country. 6812. Owing, probably, to the small amount of employment that they had to give you ?—Of course it was not likely that on those two estates they could pay me any large amount, and I did not feel either that I should like to stop; but that is a private matter, and I would rather not enter into it. 6813. You say that you attach very great importance to having a command of labour at all times?—Yes, it is advisable to have a command of labour. 6814. Do you not think that it is more than advisable, that it is of very great importance indeed ?—It is of very great importance at some seasons of the year that you should have labour when you want it. 6815. Therefore it is difficult to compare the condition of the planters now with what it was under the old state of slavery, when they had absolute control over their labourers '—I know nothing of what they were then. 6816. You know the fact, that they had an absolute command over their labourers ?—They had command over their labourers, and they could have their work done as they wished to have it, and when they wished to have it. 6817. If you attach such great importance to the planters having command over their labour, it must be difficult for you to compare the two positions, of not having that command as at present, and having it as under a system of slavery?— Of course it is. 6818. You think the one was very much more advantageous to the planter than the other?—I am not able to speak to that; I know nothing of the slave labour further than I know they had it when they wanted it; the expense I know nothing of. 6819. The fact of their having the power to command labour at any time must have been a much more advantageous position for the planters to be in than the position he is now in, where his labourers are liable to leave him at any moment? —It is a decided advantage to have labour when you require it. 6820. Mr. Goulburn.] You spoke of the negroes' provision-grounds ; are those provision-grounds part of the estates upon which negroes are resident, or are they independent grounds possessed by themselves?—They are generally independent, I think ; they live on freeholds bought off from individual estates which have been sold in small portions. 6821. They have been sold to the negroes by the owners of the estates that have been abandoned?—Yes. 6822. What did you say was the extent of them, generally speaking; are they pretty equal in amount?—Pretty nearly, I should say, but I am not able to say to what extent, 6823. In what part of the island is the estate under your management situated ? —In the parish of Westmorland. 6824. Had it been the practice there to grow ground provision for the negroes?—I believe in the time of slavery they had grown provisions; to what extent I am not able to say. 6825. You have managed a farm in Lincolnshire, in England, have not you ?— I have. 6826. Is there in England a power of employing the same number of labourers during the whole of the year?—No, of course, except in harvest; we cannot employ the same number that we do in harvest. 6827. Is there any great difference between the number employed in harvest in England, as compared with the number employed at the dead time in England, and the number employed in the West Indies during crop time and during the planting season, as compared with the other part of the year ?—Pretty much the same, I should say. 6828. Is there any difficulty in Lincolnshire in obtaining such employment as is necessary for the work of the farm ?—Generally speaking, I could always have labour; in harvest I have been sometimes rather short of labour. 6829. You have not had the same facility in the management of estates in the West Indies, have you ?—No. 6830. What was the rate of wages at which the persons struck, when you said they absented themselves for a fortnight from your employment ?—At the wages we offered them they might have earned from 1 s. 6d. to 2s. a day. 6831. What was the rate they desired to have ?—It would have been somez4 0.32. thing

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thing like 2s. to 2s. 6d. That was merely in cleaning the canes; but they frequently, I think, strike in some situations. 6 March 1848. 6832. Cleaning the cane is light labour, is not it ?—It is rather light. 6833. It is light in comparison with planting?—Yes, it is light in comparison with digging cane-holes and so on. 6834. Do you think you could carry on a farm productively in Lincolnshire, if you were left 10 days at a time without labour?—No, I do not think I could. 6835. Mr. M. Gibson.] You were entirely without labour during those 10 days, were you?—We had a few labourers. 6836. Mr. Goulburn.] Utterly inadequate to the cultivation?—Yes. 6837. Sir E. Buxton.] Can you suggest any means of procuring continuous labour in the West Indies ?—-Nothing, except the price of the ground provisions were reduced ; I fancy that would be the means of bringing the labourer to work for the planter more. 6838. Would you recommend that the duty on provisions imported should be taken off?—I am not able to give an opinion as to that. 6839. Do you think it very desirable that the price of ground provisions should be reduced ?—Yes. 6840. The price of provisions is very high now, is not it?—Yes. 6841. Which induces labourers to grow provisions of that kind rather than work on the estates?—Yes. 6842. If labourers were to work continuously on your estates, and not to direct their attention to any other kind of labour, have you labour enough?—I think there might be, but it woul drequire that they should work the whole week, and use implements. If they were induced to work with implements in the way the planters would wish, and so on, it would be an improvement. 6843. If you could get continuous labour, would you be satisfied to pay the same price which you do now?—I think they might afford to give a man, for his 10 hours' labour during the day, Is. 6d. 6844. If the labourer would work the whole week, he might have Is. 6d. a day?—I think he might. 6845. Supposing, instead of the labourers growing provisions, the planters were to grow provisions, would not that tend to decrease the quantity of sugar that they grow ?—It might a few acres, but not more than that. I fancy provisions would pay as much per acre as the sugar-cane, even if you were to reduce the price very much from the present rate. 6846. Are a great proportion of the labourers freeholders?—Yes, a great proportion, but I am sure I could not say what proportion. 6847. A large proportion of them have laud of their own?—They have. 6848. If wages were to fall very much, do you imagine they would be inclined to leave off growing sugar altogether, and go on to their own property ?—Yes, so long as the present price of ground provisions remains what it is. 6849. It does not fall within your knowledge to know whether provisions might be imported at a very low rate?—No. 6850. Are there any laws at present with respect to the squatting in the mountains ?—No laws that I am aware of. 6851. They may squat if they like?—They may. 6852. Have you turned your attention to the suggestion of any law by which they may be prevented from squatting?—No, I have never thought of it. 6853. Are there a great many of them who go into the mountains to squat ?— I think the larger proportion do, 6854. You do not know the numbers ?—I have no notion of the number. 6855. When they get up into the mountains, you very seldom see them back .again, do you ?—They do occasionally come down, but seldom.

Mr. T. Dickon.

John Alexander Hankey, Esq., called in; and Examined. J. A. Hankey, Esq.

Chairman.] YOU are an extensive West India merchant, I believe, and you have also estates in Jamaica and in Grenada?—I have been connected wit" many of the islands as a merchant; I have estates in Grenada only. 6857. Have you a statement for some years past of the expenditure, the production and the profit and loss upon those estates in Grenada ?—I have prepared a statement taken from my accounts for a certain number of years, giving 68,56.

the


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177

575

the results of the cultivation of certain estates in which I am a proprietor: they J. A. Hartley, Esq. begin in 1831 ; if I had gone further back than 1831, the profit would have been larger; 1831 was a particularly bad year, but I wished to give an accurate 6 March 1848. and just statement. 6858. Can you state how 1831 came to be a bad year ; was it a bad crop, or was it on account of any disturbances in the island ?—It was a deficient crop as respects my estates, and there was a very low price of sugar in that year. The net proceeds per cwt. in 1831 were 1386s. 6859. In 1831, this statement comprises expenditure for supplies to negroes, and medical attendance, salaries of overseers, and so on ; the general outlay, and the entire outlay, and then the produce in hogsheads of sugar, the net weight of those hogsheads in hundredweights in London, the proceeds of the sugar, the puncheons of rum and molasses, reckoning four puncheons of molasses equal to three puncheons of rum?—Yes; we very seldom have imported molasses; but in one or two instances that has occurred to a small extent; I convert it into its equivalent of rum, to avoid confusion. 6860. Have you also given the estimated quantity in gallons in London — Yes ; a large portion of our rum was sold in the colony. 6861. You have put the whole as received here?—Yes, allowing for the waste, which we know by experience always takes place on the passage. 6862. You have given the proceeds of the rum, and the total proceeds of the produce altogether; the profit each year, and the number of negroes, distinguishing men, women and children ?—I have. 6863. What was the result in 1831 ?—I have put down the expenditure for the supplies to negroes and the medical attendance, which exactly corresponds to the wages we afterwards paid ; it is ail that money which was expended on the negroes in any way ; in fact, our expenditure for labour. In both cases the negroes are allowed their houses and grounds, and as I have no means of estimating that I have omitted it in both cases. In 1831 the expenditure for supplies to the negroes and medical attendance, was 3,463/.; salaries, 3,055l.; other miscellaneous outlay, 3,926l.; the total expenditure being 10,444/. The hogsheads of sugar were 702, being 11,152 cwts. The proceeds were 7,732/. There were 537 6864. Net in London?—Yes. puncheons of rum, producing 48,330 estimated gallons in London; the proceeds of the rum were 3,981 /. The total proceeds, 11,713l, after deducting the expenditure, left a net profit of 1,209l. in the year. There was some unusual expenditure in that year, but it does not very materially affect the average. The total number of negroes on the estate in that year, was 1,044, of which 499 were men, 545 women, and 168 children. 6865. The women exceeded the men by 46 ?—So it appears. The average net price in 1831 was 1386s. 6866. Eighteen hundred and thirty-two was a much better year, was not it ? ■—In 1S32 the expenditure for supplies to negroes, and medical attendance, was 3,580/.; salaries, 2,961/.; miscellaneous outlay, 3,279/.; total expenditure, 9,820/. There were produced 826 hogsheads. 6867. Can you state from recollection what the estate had produced in its palmy days, before this time ?—I cannot state with any accuracy how many hogsheads it produced, but there were considerably more than that. But it used to yield us about 10,000/. a year, and in its best days, I mean about the year 1817, it produced 26,000/. in one year, and 20,000/. in another. 6868. Will you state the gross expenditure, the gross proceeds, and the net income for the subsequent years ? —The gross expenditure in 1832 was 9,820/., which produced 826 hogsheads of sugar and 695 puncheons of rum; the total proceeds of the produce were 17,572/., leaving a profit of 7,752/. 6869. You appear to have increased the number of negroes from 1,044 to 1,055?—Yes; that might have been from births; I do not think we made any purchases at that time. 6870. In 1835 the net profits amounted to 10,063/.?—Yes. In 1836, 11,750/.; in 1837. 11,738l.; and in 1838, the last year of apprenticeship, 5,038/. The next year we had a crop which was planted during apprenticeship. 6871. Eighteen hundred and thirty-nine, in point of fact, must be reckoned as the last year when you had the benefit of apprenticeship, though they were then free labourers. The free labourers were called on to take off the crop only, not to plant it?—They were called on to plant it, but they did not. The A A 0.32. estate


178

minutes of evidence taken before the

estate went on as before, but we could not obtain all the labour that was required; The average of those eight years was 744 hogsheads, 570 puncheons of rum, and a net income of 8,247/. 14s. 3d. The estate produced in 1839, 370 6 March 1848. puncheons of rum, at a profit of 5,745/. ; that was produced at an expense of 12,674/. In 1838, 1839 and 1840, we went to a large expenditure, for the purpose of preparing for emancipation, in putting everything in the best possible order. 6872. In 1840 the cultivation was still feeling the effect of the idleness of the year 1839 ?—There were still some remains of the consequences of the industry of former times. ] 6873. How many years do they ratoon the cane ?—About three years; they would ratoon in some instances more than that. 6874. So that in point of fact the result of the year's planting of 1839 would come into fruit in 1841 and 1842?—In 1840, 1841 and 1842, and even in 1843, some of it. In 1840 the total outlay was 12,946/.; the crop was 394 hogsheads of sugar and 266 puncheons of rum ; the net proceeds were 16,5961., leaving a profit of 3,650/. 6875. What was the short price in the years 1831 and 1840 respectively?— 43.05s. was the net proceeds of the sugar in 1840; 13.86 s. in 1831. 6876. Sir E. Buxton.] The price in 1840 was 43s. free on board, against 13s. in 1831 ?-—'I hose are all prices free on board. The profit in 1840 was 3,650/. In 1841 the total outlay was 12,185/., which produced 387 hogsheads of sugar and 236 puncheons of rum : 10,261 /. was the total proceeds of the produce, leaving a loss of 1,924/. 6877. This was the first year there was an absolute loss ?—Yes. In 1842 we had ceased our temporary outlay, and had got things a little settled. Our outlay was 9,605/., producing 313 hogsheads, and 160 puncheons of rum, yielding the total proceeds of 7,636/., leaving a loss of 1,969/. In 1843 the expenditure was 9,654/., producing 382 hogsheads of sugar, and 229 puncheons of rum ; producing the net total proceeds of 9,265/., leaving a loss of 389/. In 1844 the expenditure was 9,596/., producing 467 hogsheads of sugar and 280 puncheons of rum ; the total proceeds of the produce, 11,333/., yielding a gain of 1,737/. In 1845 the expenses were 8,871/., producing 365 hogsheads, and 192 puncheons of rum, giving the total proceeds 8,932/., leaving a gain of 61 /. In 1846 the expenses were 8,632/., producing 337 hogsheads of sugar and 218 puncheons of rum; the total proceeds were 9,164/., giving a gain of 532/. In 1847 the total expenditure was 9,000/., within a few shillings, producing 481 hogsheads of sugar. 6878. That was the largest crop of sugar since 1839 ?—Yes. There were also 273 puncheons of rum, producing, with the sugar, 9,009/., leaving a profit of 9l. 6879. The smallness of the profit arises entirely from the low price in this year, does it not; if you had maintained your prices, you would have had a very large profit?—We should have had a considerable profit if we had maintained the prices of the spring. 6880. If you had maintained the prices of the spring, what would your profit have been in the year 1847 ?—I cannot make an estimate of that because the price declined very rapidly and continuously, and I do not know from what point to take it. Taking the decline of price to have been 10l. a ton, the profit would have been 3,750/. The average of nine years, which includes, however, one year at least of the effects of apprenticeship, would give a total outlay of 10,351 /., producing 409 hogsheads of sugar and 247 puncheons of rum, with a net profit of 828/. ; if we exclude that one year, so as to take what I conceive to be more nearly the real average, and include only the last eight years, the total outlay would be 10,061 /., producing 392 1/2 hogsheads and 231 § puncheons of rum, and a net profit of 213 /.

J. A. Hankey, Esq.

[The Witness delivered in the Statement, which is as follows;]


SELECT COMMITTEE ON SUGAR AND COFFEE PLANTING.

577 179


MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

180 J. A. Hartley,

Esq.

6 March 1848.

6881. You have another statement, have not you, showing, in detail, the expenditure upon these estates, and the cost of raising each hundredweight of sugar in those various periods ?—I have. [The Witness delivered in the same, which is as follows:]

(2.)—ANALYSIS of the

ACCOUNTS

of Six Estates in Grenada, from the Year 1831 to 1847 inclusive.

Apportionment of Outlay for producing each Cwt. of Sugar, with its proportion of Rum.

S. &H.

1831 1832 1833 1834 1835 1836 1837 1838 1839 1840 1841 1842 1843 1844 1845 1846 1847

-

S.

s.

s.

s.

Gallons.

s.

s.

s.

s.

6.21 5.44 5.17 5.37 5.46 5.76 4.77 6.65 11.04 18.73 16.40 20.64 16.12 12.04 14.54 14.59 10.31

5.48 4'49 4.07 4.61 4.69 4.85 4.90 5.48 7.12 10.17 10.13 10.16 7.78 5.98 7.5 3 7'73 6.13

7.04 4.98 6.40 7'°4 6.87 8.64 7.80 11.18 11.33 12.72 14.71 9.59 8.30 7.27 10.02 '9-54 7.54

18.73 14.91 15.64 17.02 17.02 19.25 17.47 23.31 29.49 42.62 41.24 40.39 3220 25.29 32.09 31.86 23.98

4.33 4.74 4.32 4.93 4.32 3.66 4.03 4.35 3.87 3.94 3.60 3 03 3.44 3.33 3.13 3.60 3.27

1.64 1.39 1.54 1.64 1.61 1.76 2.13 2. l6 2.93 2.94 1.64 1.54 1.45 1.45 2.05 1.74 1.97 2.10

13.86 20.07 21.37 21 . 18 28.44 34.72 28.26 23.07 31.52 43.05 28.82 27.44 25.90 25.90 2302 26.87 26.74 17.12

20.95 26.65 28.02 29.26 35.39 35.39 41.16 36.84 32.46

2.22 11.74 12.38 12.24 18.37 21.91 19.37 9.15 13.35 12.01

42.84

54.63 34.73 32.12 30.90 30.90 29.85 32.31 33.82 23.98

s.

6.51 8.27 1 .30

_ •

4.56 0.22

-

1.96 -

s. 11.64 8.33 8.99 8.94 11 -07 11.81 8.89 13.92 18.17 31.04 35.33 35.71 27.20 18.46 26-65 24.78 17.12

The above figures are carried out in decimals.

(3.)—RATES

of

WAGES,

Grenada.

S. & H.

s.

d.

it.

For S. & H.: Wages per diem

d.

5.

d.

s.

d.

s.

d.

s.

d.

s.

d.

-

8

Besides fish and medical attendance. -

1

9 7 1/2 - 6 - 4 1/2

-

- 10 - 9i - 7 _ 6 1 - 91/2 - 9 1/2 - 7 - 9 1/2 - 6 - 7 - 6

1 - 11 - 8 - 6 1 1 - 9£ - 7 - 9 1/2 - 6 - 7 - 6 1 -

I - 103/4 - 8£ 1 - 103/4 - 10 3/4 - 8 1/2 - 10$ - 6 - 8 - 6 1 -

1 1 1 1

10 8 6 10 8 10 6 8 6 -

1 - 103/4 - 81/2 - 6 1 l -

- 8 1/2 - 10$ - 6 - 8 - 6 1 -

.

Tradesmen. Able field labourers, 1st class. - - - ditto - 2d class. - - ditto - 3d class. Employed in the works. Carters or boatmen. Mule gang, 1st class. - ditto - 2d class. Cutting grass. Watchmen and jobbers. Stock-keepers. Domestics. - - Foremen and superinten dents.

Note.— Fish and medical attendance were not allowed after 1844.

6882. Will


SELECT COMMITTEE ON SUGAR AND COFFEE PLANTING.

181

579

6882. Will you state what the cost of producing each hundredweight of sugar J. A. Hartley, Esq. was in each year?—In 1831 the cost of producing each hundredweight of sugar, 6 March 1848. together with its proportion of rum, was 1873 5., which was proportioned in this way : 6 21 5. was for the labour, 5.48 s. for salaries, and 7.04 5. for miscellaneous expenditure. The quantity of rum to each hundredweight of sugar was 4.33 gallons. The net proceeds per cwt. of sugar were 13.86 5.; the net proceeds per gallon of rum 1.64 5., leaving the cost per cwt. of sugar, after deducting the proceeds of the rum, 11.64 5. I should observe that that was a particularly unfavourable year, the most so that I remember during the time of slavery. The next year is more nearly a fair average. Each cwt. of sugar, with its proportion of ram, had expended upon it 14.91 5., which was thus divided : labour, 5.44 5.; salaries, 4.49 5. ; miscellanies, 4.98 5. The quantity of rum made was 474 gallons to each cwt. of sugar. The net proceeds of each gallon of rum was 1.39 s.; the net proceeds of each cwt. of sugar made was 20.07 5. : the cost per cwt., after deducting the proceeds of the rum, was 8.33 5. 6883. Will you now state the cost of producing a cwt. of sugar in each of the following years?—I will state what it cost me to produce the sugar per cwt., after allowing for the proceeds of the rum: in 1831, 11.64s.; in 1832, 8.33; in 1833, 8.99s.; in 1834, 8.94 s.; in 1835, 1175.; in 1836, 11.81 s.; in 1837, 8.89 5.; in 1838, 13.92 s.; in 1839,18.17 s.; in 1840, 31.4 s.; in 1841, 35.33 s.; in 1842, 35.71 5.; in 1843, 27.20 s.; in 1844, 18.46 s.; in 1845, 26.65 s.; in 1846, 24.74 5.; and in 1847, 17 12 s. 6884. How do you account for having got down the cost of production in the latter years ?—The people were working better generally ; there might be some advantage in the seasons, but the disadvantage of the seasons is in a great degree owing to the labourers not giving us their labour at times which are convenient to us; the same weather which suits our cultivation suits theirs, therefore the effects of an unfavourable season are very much increased by the present want of a constant supply of labour. 6885. First of all, it is of vital importance to get the plants in when you may expect showery weather, to make the plants germinate, and then it is of vital importance to have continuous labour to prevent the weeds from overpowering the crop ?—I have never been in the West Indies, therefore I give this statement only from a tolerably intimate knowledge derived from correspondents, but not from personal observation. 6886. That is the case, is not it ?—It is the case undoubtedly. 6887. Therefore, unless you have continuous labour to carry off the crop, the crop spoils ?—T he crop would be in great measure lost without continuous labour. 6888. L ive not your estates had all the advantage which capital, machinery, and improvement could effect?—They have had every advantage that it was in my power to give them; they are particularly well managed; and we have a very excellent set of white overseers on them. We have been in the habit for a great many years of getting most of our white overseers from one particular part of Somersetshire, from an estate of one of my co-proprietors; they have sent each other out in succession, often going out from the same families for many years ; a great many of them have been Somersetshire people. 6889. Have you any reason to think that your experience of the results of freedom upon your estates has been less favourable than upon the estates of other persons?—I should think the result of my estates was on the whole much more favourable than those of most other proprietors in Grenada. They have been very fully supplied with capital, and have been extremely carefully managed ; and they are all, upon the whole, extremely well situated, close to the sea-shore, in all instances. And though there may be some estates with better land, on the whole they are above the average of the estates in Grenada as to quality. 6890. What is your intention as regards the future cultivation of those estates? —I intend to cultivate them, if I can : but it is under the serious consideration of my co-proprietors and myself, whether it may not be necessary to abandon some of them; we have hopes, however, that the number of estates which are being abandoned in our immediate neighbourhood may give us additional labour. A large number are on the point of being abandoned. 6891. Can you give the Committee a rough estimate of the proportion that is ' expected to be abandoned in Grenada ?—I cannot, because the abandonment is taking place at this moment. They are generally taking off the crops, but not preparing for any future crops. Upon some they will perhaps not be able to 0.32. get a A 3


182 J. A. Hankey, Esq. 6 March 1848.

MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

get the crops off; upon the greater part they will; but the estates will virtually cease to be in cultivation. 6892. Are there not advances sufficient to take off the crops actually standing on the ground ?—I think some will have considerable difficulty in obtaining the advances necessary. 6893. Has Grenada suffered from the failure of the West India Bank ?—It has, but not very materially ; the difficulty arises from the disinclination of the merchants here to make advances. 6894. Do yon think anything is to be done in the way of immigration for Grenada?—I think that it might be advantageous; but till within the last two or three years there has been a tendency on the part of the people to emigrate to Trinidad, where they obtained higher wages ; and though I think that has ceased, and some of them have returned, still I should think that till recently any immigration would have been for the benefit of Trinidad, and not for the benefit of Grenada. 6895. How do you account for the labourers returning if they get much better wages there ?—They are more comfortable in Grenada ; and though they do not get such good wages, they are extremely well off; they all speak French, and are Roman-catholics; they raise provisions on their lands, some of which I believe is exported to Trinidad. 6896. In Trinidad they are equally Catholics, are not they?—There is a great mixture in Trinidad ; there are many Catholics there, which has probably induced them to go rather from Grenada than some of the neighbouring islands. 6897. Do you think it is possible, if slave-grown sugar continues to be produced at the same price as it has been of late years, to carry on the cultivation of Grenada with free labour ?—If I had this year had the price that has prevailed of late years, I should have made a profit on my estates. 6898. Supposing slave-grown sugar continues to be produced, and to be admitted into these markets at the same price at which it appears to have been grown of late years, should you be able to compete with it?—I do not think we could compete with slave-grown sugar unless we can obtain a reduction in our expenditure, or a large increase of produce, because our produce bears so very small a proportion now to our fixed capital. All our mills and investment of capital on the estates are upon a scale adapted to a much larger production than we are now able to obtain. 6899. That is entirely from the want of labour, is not it?—It is. 6900. The land has capabilities enough?—The land is just as capable as ever, and we get as much sugar from each quantum of labour as we did during slavery ; but we cannot get the quantity of labour. 6901. There is no pretence for saying that the land is exhausted ?—I think none. The quantity of labour which we get from the same number of people is not more than hall what it was ; I do not think we have lost any great number of people on my estates, but wo do not get half the quantity of labour from each individual. 6902. Does your experience lead you to believe that the resident proprietors have been more successful than the absentee proprietors living in England ?— My experience leads me rather to the contrary; at the same time I think that the occasional presence of the proprietor himself is advantageous ; but it requires a great deal of experience, skill and education for the purpose, to manage a West Indian estate; and I think most of the proprietors that have attempted to manage their own estates without being regularly educated for the purpose, have done a great deal of mischief. I think that a resident proprietor who did not interfere in the cultivation might perhaps have some advantages; I am not prepared to say he would. 6903. Generally speaking, as far as enterprise goes, there is more enterprise in an absent proprietor living in England ?—Few persons who possess the capital requisite for managing a West India estate will reside there, and few people who possess that capital will go through the drudgery necessary to qualify themselves to manage the estate. A great difficulty occurs also as to letting estates. I have given my attention a good deal to letting them, with the view of considering whether it might, not be advisable to let my own estates, but I have always been prevented by the difficulty of finding persons who were willing to take them, possessing the requisite skill, with capital sufficient for carrying on the cultivation, and for giving me the requisite security. 6904. As


SELECT COMMITTEE ON SUGAR AND COFFEE PLANTING.

183

581

6904. As a merchant, are you giving your usual advances upon the crops this J. A. Hankey, Esq. year:—I advance nothing that I can possibly avoid this year. I carry on my 6 March 1848. own estates, of course, but I have been obliged to call upon most of the proprietors with whom I am connected, to find means for carrying on their estates, or to give me such security as will ensure that I shall not have to depend upon the estate. 6905. Is the effect of that that the necessary advances for the cultivation of a great many of the estates with which you are connected will cease?—Not of many of the estates with which I am connected, because most of the parties have property in this country; but there are a number of persons in Trinidad to whom we have been in the habit of making advances upon their sugar, which we have now refused to make. They, I apprehend, must be in great difficulty; I do not exactly know what their position is. But I run the risk of losing what they already owe me, rather than advance more to them in order to keep up their estates. 6906. Does your present experience make you acquainted with a great deal of distress among those connected with the West Indies?—With tremendous distress. Several individuals with whom I have been acquainted formerly, and who were extremely well off, are now reduced to the greatest poverty; people who were formerly in society in London, but who have sunk out of it now from sheer poverty. One of the painful parts of a West Indian merchant's business is the necessity for refusing to make advances, where none but West India property now exists, to persons who were formerly well off. 6907. You are the merchant for the Worthy Park estate, are not you ?—lam. 6908. It was alleged that the failure of the improvements contemplated by Mr. Price arose from the machinery not being punctually sent out by the merchants in England; is that the fact?—It is a mistake, certainly. On the Gth of October 1845 we received an order for a steam-engine and mill; on the 14th of October the order was given to Messrs. Boulton & Watt, of Birmingham. In January the boilers and furnace work, to the weight of 10 tons, were shipped. The Committee is aware that it takes a long time to make a steam-engine and mill. In April Lord Ingestre, Mr. Thomas Price and myself inspected it at Soho, and by the end of April, the ship being detained for the purpose, the whole was despatched. The whole had arrived in Jamaica by the end of June. I, of course, had no further personal knowledge of what took place; but I find by letters from Mr. Buckle, the engineer, that at the end of January 28 tons of this machinery was standing at the railroad terminus in Jamaica because it had not yet been sent for. 6909. That being more than six months after its arrival ?—Yes. I do not think Mr. Price could have sent for it sooner, because he had to make preparations for it, the extent of which he had not been at all aware of when he ordered the mill. 6910. It was from a want of a practical knowledge of his business that he did not make the necessary preparations for putting up the mill which you sent out ? •—Yes; he was not aware of the immense difficulties he would have to contend with when he undertook the management of that estate. The estate lies in a valley in the mountains, with a tremendous road across the hills, which makes it extremely difficult to get materials up to the estate. 6911. Can you inform the Committee what the produce of that estate was. In the evidence which appears to have been given on oath before the Assembly of Jamaica, Mr. Price states that the produce was 190 hogsheads in 1843, and 290 hogsheads in 1844; that in the year in which he was speaking (that is in the year 1845), it was 400 tons, and that his estimate for the year 1845 was 700 tons; you, as the merchant, will be able to tell us whether that estimate was realized?—As regards this statement I have preferred taking Mr. Price's accounts to my own, as it may prevent dispute. The amount of the crop credited in the books of the estate, from the 1st of November 1842 to the 31 st of October 1843, was 232 1/2 hogsheads of sugar and 59 1/2 puncheons of rum ; from November 1843 to the 31st of October 1844, 2611/2 hogsheads of sugar, and 82 puncheons of rum; from 1844 to 1845, 309 hogsheads of sugar, and 135 puncheons of rum; from 1845 to 1846, 302 J hogsheads of sugar, and 146 1/2 puncheons of rum; from 1846 to 1847, 266 1/2, hogsheads of sugar, and 128 1/2 puncheons of rum. 0-32. A A4 6912. Mr


184 J. A. Hartley, Esq. C March 1848.

MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

6912. Mr. Price also, in his evidence on oath before the Assembly of Jamaica, states that the prospects of the planters are improving greatly, and the value of property rapidly increasing; that in case of Worthy Park, for which 10,000/., with 26,000l. charges, were paid in 1839, 30,000/. was refused for the moiety of it, unless paid by the 1st of January 1846, with the 26,000/. charges ; can you give any account of the real value of that estate, after the expenditure upon it?— I can give no account of the present value at all. I should be very sorry to take it with its outstanding debt; it is, however, one of the best estates in Jamaica. 6913. It is reckoned the second best estate in Jamaica, is not it?—I cannot say; it is very fertile land ; it has every advantage but that of locality ; it is situated at a great distance from the sea; no doubt, supposing it to be now in perfect order, and that estates were saleable at all, that, as compared with other estates, ought to be very much increased in value ; because Mr. George Price has increased his cultivation very largely; and if he has the means of taking off the crops it ought to be valuable, if any estate in the West Indies is valuable, but I apprehend that no estate in the West Indies is valuable at present. 6914. Are you able to tell the Committee whether the charges, which appear to have been 26,000l. originally, have been paid off, or have they increased upon the estate during the last three or four years?—I think there was a small amount of those charges paid prior to Mr. Price taking charge of it; perhaps 1,000/. or 2,000l.; but since that time the debt upon it has increased very largely. 6915. What was the debt incurred to the merchant of the estate?—The debt is at this moment a little reduced; it was, when this paper was drawn up, which was a few weeks ago, 24,806 I. 0 s. Ad.-, part of that, however, has accrued from the payment of some of the interest upon incumbrances; some part of the loss no doubt is attributable to the misfortunes which have occurred to the machinery first erected. 6916. The estate with the old charges is now charged, as nearly as may be, with 50,000 /. debt ?—I am afraid it is more than that, but I cannot state exactly, as some of the debts are not immediately within my knowledge. 6917. Should you be glad to take the estate, with its charges?—No; I look to the trustees. 6918. Do you think that any solvent person could be found to take the estate and to bear the charges ?—It is a matter of opinion ; I should think not. 6919. If other merchants are of the same opinion with yourself, will not the result be that a great part of the estates in Jamaica, and in the other West India islands, must be thrown out of cultivation?—I think a large portion of the estates in the West Indies must, now be thrown out of cultivation, under any circumstances. 6920. What proportion of those estates, as far as you can form an opinion, should you say would be thrown out of cultivation if the present prices continue ? — I cannot state that; it depends upon a thousand circumstances which no man can calculate. In the first place, whether the price of labour is diminished or not. We do not know what will or what will not occur, but undoubtedly a very large portion of the poorer estates must be thrown out of cultivation, and some of the better ones probably will also. 6921. What amount of protection do you think would suffice to prevent such a result ?—I cannot express an opinion as to the amount of protection which would save the property; it is a question of degree. If we get a good price for the sugar, the larger portion of the estates will remain in cultivation; if we get a bad one, then none will be left but the very best estates. 6922. What should you say to 32 s. or 33 s. a cwt. ? —It would enable the estates with which I am connected generally to remain in cultivation, but we are connected with none but the better class. 6923. You think that with that price, all the estates you are connected with would continue in cultivation?—I think, perhaps, all the estates I am immediately connected with now would remain in cultivation at that price, supposing that the price of labour is not increased, and that we are somewhat assisted as to the quantity of labour. 6924. Do you think anything is to be done in the way of free immigration ?— I hope to obtain benefit by free immigration, but difficulty may occur from the great facility tor obtaining land under the circumstances of most of the colonies. In the colonies with which I am connected there is a great difference as to the facility


SELECT COMMITTEE ON SUGAR AND COFFEE PLANTING.

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facility the labourers possess of obtaining land, and therefore of their obtaining J. A. Hankey, Esq. subsistence independent of wages. 6925. Do you-think that might be remedied by contracts for five years with C March 1848. the new immigrants?—In the only instance in which I was concerned with immigration we entered into those contracts, and they were broken through entirely. 6926. How were they broken through ?—The people would not keep to their contracts, and the Government did not give us the means of enforcing them. 6927. Was that in Grenada?—Yes. 6928. Is that a Crown colony?—No, it is a legislative colony; but it was under the stipendiary magistrates; the immigrants were Maltese. The whole detail of the undertaking is contained in the evidence given before the last Committee in 1841 or 1842 by Mr. Barkly. 6929. Upon what pretext did the Government refuse?—They did not refuse, but they did not assist. 6930. The stipendiary magistrates interfered, did they, against the planters? —They did not interfere at all. I do not know that they were called on in any definite manner, but it was found we could get no redress ; the people generally found that they could obtain a better living, and one more agreeable to themselves, by wandering over the country, and they did so. 6931. Was there any difficulty in enforcing the contracts if the magistrates had been willing to do so?—I dare say there might have been some difficulties, but it is difficult to estimate what they would have been ; the people were extremely well treated ; we had built very good cottages for them, and we sent out a Maltese surgeon and a priest with them, to watch over their interests. 6932. Did those Maltese do well in the first instance?—I think they did well just at first, but we certainly committed the error of over-indulgence. 6933. As far as climate was concerned, they did not suffer too, did they ?— I do not think they did much ; it was, however, a very unsuccessful experiment, and determined me to have no more to do personally with any system of immigration. 6934. Neither from Europe, nor Africa, nor from the East Indies?—From neither ; we took every pains in our power ; we spared neither money nor pains, and we endeavoured to make the people as comfortable as we possibly could, but we failed. 6935. In what year did you embark in that speculation; was it after the expiration of the apprenticeship ?—It was just about that time. I have brought here an account of the rates of wages in Grenada. I will take the wages of ablebodied labourers of the first class. In 1839 they were 7 1/2d. ; in 1840, 9 1/2d.; in February 1841, 11 d; in January 1842, 10 3/4 d. in October 1844, 10c/.; in December 1845, 10 3/4 d. ; in December 1847, they have been reduced to 8d. ; but whether that will hold or not we do not know; all this is besides house and ground. 6936. Sir E. Buxton.] How many hours do they work for it ?—They work what is called a day's work, which is not half a day's work. 6937. Lord (jr. Manners.'] Are there any rations ?—No, not now; they had fish and medical attendance up to 1844. 6938. Sir E. Buxton.] The digging of how many cane-holes do you consider to be equal to a day's work ?—I am not acquainted" with the details of that. 6939. Where you work by piece-work, is a day's work less than it used to be under slavery in point of amount?—I believe it is considerably less ; at the same time, from the greater economy of labour which is used, I think that for the same number of hours' work we get about the same quantity of sugar from each negro. 6940. Chairman.] Have you any statement to show that ?—I have a statement here of the average expenditure upon negro labour. From 1831 to 1837, it was about 3,209/.; which divided among 1,206 people, gives for each 2l. 13 s. 3d., but of those only 744 were effective labourers; the expenditure must therefore be divided amongst them, which gives 4 l. 6 s. 3d. for the labour of one man per annum ; that answers to the wages which a man earns for his family; the expenditure for each effective labourer was 4l. 6 s. 3d., besides allowing him his house and ground ; that was the actual money expenditure. I think the Committee may take the work during slavery at about five days in the week ; they worked only nine hours a day, and they had holidays allowed them, it makes altogether about 250 days labour for each negro, which pro0.32. B b duced


186 J. A. Hankey, Esq.

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duced altogether about a hogshead of sugar, and 70 gallons of rum for each person. The same number of days' work produces now about the same quantity 6 March 1848. of sugar, but only 50 gallons of rum; we have now to pay them for wages 10 l. 8s. Ad. 6941. It is 10/. 85. 4d., instead of 4/. 6s. 3 d.?—Yes. I include no interest on capital in either case. 6942. So that in the former case the original expense of the slave, and the expense of renewing him, is not included ?—The original expense of the slave is not included, but it happened there was no expense of renewing him, because at that time the population was maintaining its numbers. 6943. It was only the capital originally invested, and the interest upon it?—• That is all ; it might have been otherwise in former davs during the slave trade. 6944. Chairman.'] Your slaves were valued at 59/. 6 s., and you accordingly got 26 l. 1 s. 4 3/4 d. ?—That is the fact. 6945. That is a perpetual and an unprofitable charge against your estate ?— It is a loss I have sustained. Out of those 1,206 negroes, 167 were children under six years of age ; they became free in 1834; and 295 were the invalids, pregnant women, and servants. Of course it is very material to us to diminish our cost for labour, but, at the same time, if we got a larger quantity of labour, it would very materially reduce the cost of sugar to us. If, instead of getting an average of 390 hogsheads, we could get back the average we had formerly of 800 hogsheads, we should have to increase the expenditure upon miscellaneous expenses only by a very moderate sum ; the amount of salaries by a very moderate sum ; much less in proportion than the increase in the quantity of labour; it would, therefore, diminish the cost of our sugar very materially. 6946. Sir E. Buxton.] You say the price of labour is falling at present ?—It has fallen; but this last sum I have given of 8d., is in consequence of the panic which has arisen at this moment; and I am told by my letters to-day, that on 15 estates in Grenada they have not yet agreed to that price. 6947. In case other estates were thrown out of cultivation, you imagine they would come down to that price, or even still lower?—I think it probable that the price would be somewhat lowered, and that a portion of those labourers would come to me. 6948. The estates that you have been telling the Committee about are all in Grenada, are not they?—Yes. 6949. Is there much uncultivated land the people can go on ?—There is a great deal of uncultivated land ; connected with each of those estates, we have properties, in the mountains, upon which our people are located. 6950. Do you give them as much land there as they require ?—Yes. 6951. So that there is no difficulty for a man to go down and work on his own plot of ground, if he likes; there is no check put upon his going to do it ?—I do not think there is anything that can be called positive squatting there ; at the same time, they get land very cheap ; and we are so much in need of what little assistance we can get from a man, that we do not turn him off the land if he gives us the smallest quantity of labour. 6952. You are glad to let him have land at a very low price, in order to secure part of his labour ?—We do not charge any rent there. 6953. Mr. Goulburn.] Neither for residence nor land ?—No. I am not aware that any man has been turned off the land, but I do not suppose any man would be allowed to remain who gave no labour. 6954. Can you suggest any means by which labour might be made more continuous ?—I am not aware of any beyond making labour more abundant, so as to make it advantageous to them to work more steadily than they have hitherto done. 69,55. If a large importation came, and the prices of labour fell, would not the present labourers be rather induced to leave their present occupations, and take to growing provisions for themselves?—There certainly might be some reason to fear that if the price of labour was very much lowered, they might prefer raising provisions, and give up working on the estates. I am not prepared, however, to say they would do so. 6956. Is there a large import duty upon provisions in Grenada?—I am not aware of any. 6957. I hen provisions are not very dear there ?—I hey export provisions from Grenada to Trinidad. 6958. Arc


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6958. Are provisions cheap there, then?—They are cheaper than at Trinidad ; J. A. Han key, Esq. I cannot state the price exactly. 6 March 1848. 6959. Can you suggest any alteration of the law that would tend to make the labour more continuous than it is?—I am not prepared to suggest any alteration of the law ; I think it requires a great deal more consideration of the circumstances than I have been able to give. 6960. Do you think, if you had a protection for a time, you could, after a time, compete with Cuba?—I think we could have competed with Cuba under the old system. 6961. Of slavery?—Yes; and I think, in all probability, if I have abundance of labour I may be able to reduce the cost of my production very materially; but I am not able to say what the cost of production in Cuba is. I have a general idea upon the subject, but nothing that I can state with confidence. I think there is great difficulty in ascertaining that point, because people get the cost of the production of very fine and fertile estates, and they assume that that is the general cost throughout the island. I am not without hopes that the cost in Cuba, now that the cultivation has been extended considerably, will turn out to be higher than has been usually stated. 6962. Do you imagine the land in Cuba is on an average decidedly better than the land in Grenada ?—No, I should think not. 6963. Do not they ratoon the cane there a great number of years ?—I do not know how much they ratoon ; that would vary with different localities. In Trinidad they can ratoon to a very great extent, I believe 20 years. The advantage of ratooning is not always so great as appears at first sight ; the plant produces so much more sugar than the ratoon. 6964. You would wish then for a large importation of labour from the coast of Africa, probably?—I think it would give us some chance of continuing our cultivation. 6963. You think with that you could compete with Cuba?—I hope so. I look with great dismay upon the present state of the West Indies. 6966. Do you think that would be the best chance?—I think it is the best chance. There is another source of remedy which will affect me personally, though perhaps it might not be so agreeable to all parties, and that is the ruin of a great number of the estates now in cultivation. 6967. You said that a large number of estates ought to be thrown out of cultivation under any circumstances?—I think they will be under present circumstances. 6968. Do you think if the law of 1846 had not been enacted, they could still have continued in cultivation ?—A large number of them would ; but some would, in any case, have been thrown out of cultivation. 6969. You think, without the law of 1846, your estates could have continued in cultivation ?—My estates would have given me a considerable profit without the law of 1846. 6970. You said you found that in the last year or two the produce was increasing?—Yes, it has been. 6971. You were just bringing the experiment of free labour into full work when the Act ol 1846 was passed?—Yes; the system, such as it is, was working better than it had done. 6972. That was partly, probably, because the labourers were getting more accustomed to free labour, and the masters were becoming more accustomed to employ free labour?—Probably, in some degree. As far as Grenada is concerned, part of the effect was from a diminution in the tendency to emigrate to Trinidad. 6973. Your people were inclined to emigrate to Trinidad?—Many went there, and others threatened it. 6974. Would not there be the fear, if the law of 1846 had not been enacted, that that emigration from Grenada would have continued ?—It had ceased in 1846. 6975. I suppose the price of labour in Trinidad had fallen to nearly the same as the price of labour in Grenada?—No, the price of labour was much higher in Trinidad ; but still the Grenada negroes preferred remaining in Grenada even at that price of labour, in consideration, I suppose, of the advantages they possessed in their own country. 6976. With respect to Worthy Park estate, you were asked some questions; 0.32. BB2 do


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do you think the misfortunes that happened to that estate had anything to do with free labour or slave labour; might not they just as well have occurred 6 March 1848. under any system ?—Not entirely; no doubt Mr. Price's difficulties were very much increased by his not being aware of the difficulties he had to contend with in managing a body of free labourers who were so entirely independent of him. 6977. Was not the great reason why the produce was so much less than he expected, that he had calculated his water-power as much greater than it really was ?—He had made a great error in his calculation of the water-power, and of the speed of his water-wheel, misled, I believe, by the engineer there. 6978. That error of judgment might have taken place under any circumstances? —Yes ; and if he had increased his cultivation on the assumption that he would have that power, no doubt he would so far have suffered equally. 6979. You were asked whether you had made a calculation as to what protective duty you would think sufficient ?—I am quite unable to say that; I do not know what effect protection would have upon us; it varies with every state of the market here. Previous to slavery, the protection which existed by law was no protection in fact, because we exported sugar; since the expiration of slavery we have had considerable protection. 6980. Were you connected with the estates before slavery was abolished ?— Yes, I inherited them. 6981. Do you remember the general condition of the West Indies in 1831 and 1832?—Yes, I believe I do. 6982. Was it prosperous or not prosperous ?—In 1831 there was a very low price indeed, which made it for that year unprosperous. As compared with the present times they were very prosperous. I believe if you were to take an account of the capital which had been invested on each estate, you would find that even then they gave a very inadequate return; it is impossible to ascertain what amount of capital has been invested on West India estates. 6983. Do you think in the long run you could compete with the East Indies and with the Mauritius?—It requires more knowledge of the price at which they can produce sugar than I possess, to express any decided opinion upon that subject; but judging from what I hear as to the Mauritius and the East Indies, I think we could. I do not mean to say that we could have done so since the emancipation, up to the present, but with improved means of cultivation, by more abundant labour in the West Indies, I think we might do so. 6984. Mr. M. Gibson.'] Will you explain how it is you make out that the price of 32 s. is requisite for you, if the cost of cultivation be reduced to 17 s.; the Committee have understood that the freight and charges from the West Indies to England may be covered by something like 5s. or 6s. ?—I stated that I thought the price of 32s. would enable me to continue my cultivation. 6985. The price of 32 s., in fact, would leave you, reckoning the freight and charges at 5s., a profit of 10s. ?—I think the freight and charges must be reckoned at 7 s. at least. 6986. In a report made by the directors of the Colonial Bank to their shareholders, they entered into the detail of this matter; and they said that the freight and charges would be covered, upon the average of years, by 5 s. or 6s.? —I cannot answer for the calculations of other people. The freight cannot be very materially lower in Grenada, because the freight includes the expense of drogherage. 6987. Taking 7 s. as the charges, a price of 32 s. would leave you a profit of 8 s. a cwt. ?—Upon the price of that particular year. 6988. Did not you say you had reduced your cost of cultivation per cwt. of • sugar to something like 17s.?—Because the quantity on which the expense was to be divided was increased. 6989. The price of 32s. would, in fact, leave a profit of 8s., would not it?— It would have done so this year. 6990. The actual price of this year being 24 s. just replaces the cost without producing any loss ?—Yes. 6991. Do not you consider that the price of the present year may be called a panic price, and may be a price depressed very much by the number of forced sales that have taken place in the market ?—The price at one part of the year may not improperly be called a panic price, but the price in the early part of the year was not so. 6992. What


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6992. What was the price in the early part of the year ?—I cannot tell with- J. A. Hankey, Esq. out referring to the averages, but I think it is stated to have been 10 s. above what I have put down, which makes 27 s. net. My sugar was not sold during 6 March 1848. the panic ; I withdrew it during the panic. When others were forced to sell for want of money, I thought it was time for me to hold. 6993• I understand that, on the whole, the year 1847 has been a very much worse year for the West India colonies than the year 1846 ?—I do not know how that is. 6994. You cannot say, with respect to the West Indies generally, whether the year 1847 has made a worse return than the year 184G did ?—I am not sure how that is; the produce of this last year has been much larger than the year before; at the same time the price has been much worse ; but, as the proceeds of this year were looked forward to with hope, during last year we were induced to go on advancing money on trust, looking to this crop for repayment. 6995. In 1846 there were 2,147,363 cwt. of West India sugar imported into the United Kingdom ; the average price that year was 34 s. lid.; you will find that that will give a sum of 3,686,306/.; in the year 1847 there was imported 3,186,390 cwt., the average price of 1847 was 28 s. 5 d. per cwt., that gives 4,527,329 /. as the value of the crop of 1847 ; deducting the former value, we have a difference of 841,023 /., as being the increased value of the crop of 1847 over the crop of 1846; is this increased value of the crop sufficient to have counterbalanced the increased cost of bringing a larger quantity to England, and the increased cost of manufacturing a larger quantity, and to leave a greater profit on the whole to the West Indian interests?—It is very difficult to answer suddenly a question of that nature. In the first place, I think you have to deduct from the one the freight and charges upon the larger quantity; there is a great difference in point of freight; the freight last year was extremely enhanced by the great demand for shipping which took place in consequence of the corn trade here ; a large portion of sugar in Trinidad was absolutely for a time left on the shore and destroyed in consequence of the want of shipping, so much so that though I usually send no ships to Trinidad, yet as I had a large amount of money due to me to be paid in sugar, taking alarm at the state of things, I sent out three ships, with orders that they should give the preference to any sugar which was coming to me, in order to bring it home. 6996. I have reckoned the increase of freight of 3 s. a cwt., and even then it leaves a balance in favour of the value of the crop of 1847 of 363,065 /. ?—That would go a very small way towards answering the expectation formed upon it, and paying the advances made in expectation of that crop ; we had been going on lor some years at a loss, in the hope that each advance made would be repaid by a subsequent crop. At one time we hoped that the crop of this last year would pay oil the balances of several years ; I was at that period a director of the Colonial Hank, and I know that we looked to this crop as the means of diminishing the balances very materially. 6997. There was an increased quantity of rum, was not there ?—On my estates there was a small increase. 6998. Was not there an increased quantity also from the West India colonies generally ?—I presume if there was more sugar there would also be more rum. 6999. Was not the price of rum high for a considerable portion of 1847 ?— I would rather not answer a question which depends upon statistics, which I have not in my head ; my impression is that the price of rum fell considerably last year. 7000. Did not rum sell for a considerable portion of 1847 at an increased price over 1846 ?—I can tell the exact fact as to my own prices ; the proceeds of the sale of 1847 were as good as those of 1846 ; but that was because the larger part of my crop was sold early in the year in the islands. 7001. Was not rum sold during the greater part of 1847 at a higher price than in 1846 ?—I am not aware of the fact. 7002. What was the price of rum in 1846?—The amount I received per gallon was 1.97 s. 7003. What was it in 1847 ?—2.1 s. 7004. That was sold in the West Indies?—I cannot say positively ; I think so. There was a deficiency in shipping, and we generally sell a considerable quantity of our rum in the West Indies. BB 3 0.32. 7005. Was


190

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7005. Was not a considerable quantity of rum sold here at 3 s. a gallon ?-—I cannot say. 6 March 1848. 7006. Yours sold at a much higher price?—At a somewhat higher price. 7007. You are not prepared to say that on the whole the profit obtained by the West India interest from their total importations in the year 1847, was less than the total profit received for their plantations in the year 1846 ?—I am not prepared to express any opinion upon it. 7008. Mr. Goulburn.] You have very extensive acquaintance with West Indian proprietors, have not you ?—Yes. 7009. With reference to the question which you have been just asked, do you know any proprietor who has made any large profits during 1847 as compared with 1846 ?—No, I know of but one estate upon which they have made any profits at all. 7010. Sir E. Buxton.] Do you think it possible to obtain a large supply of free labourers from the coast of Africa?—I can express no opinion upon the point; my opinions are formed solely upon the evidence I heard at the last African Committee ; I should rather apprehend that there was no expectation of large quantities, but I judge only from the evidence I heard in that Committee. 7011. Mr. Moffatt.] You have no local practical knowledge, have you, in respect of the West Indies ?—I was never in the West Indies. 7012. In the statement which you have laid before the Committee, the total expenditure appears to be considerably less on those six estates on which you have given in the Returns under free labour than in 1831 under slave labour?— Somewhat less; not considerably. 7013. Take the last year of free labour and the first year of slave labour ?—I have stated the items. 7014. The total outlay on the estate is nearly 1,500 l. less under free labour than under slave labour?—The total expenditure in 1831 is exactly 1,444l. more than it was in 1847, but upon a very different quantity of sugar. That is rather material, because in one case in return for my expenditure I received a larger quantity of sugar, whereas in the other I received only a small quantity. 7015. What is the difference of the quantity of sugar ?—The average of the eight years of slavery was 737 3/8 tons ; the average of the last eight years was 392 J. 7016. There was no misfortune attributable to Acts of Parliament in the years 1831, 1832 and 1833 ?—I expressed no opinion as to the cause. 7017. The years 1841, 1842 and 1843 were, as far as your experience goes, more unfavourable to the West Indian planters than 1845, 1846 and 1847 ? In 1842 I lost a considerable sum; in 1845, 1846 and 1847 I gained a small sum. 7018. Consequently, under the system of protection, you lost heavily, while under the system of free competition you have gained slightly. From this statement it appears that in the years 1841, 1842 and 1843, on your estate there was a loss of 3,300 /. At that time there was protection to the West Indian colonies In the years 1845, 1846 and 1847, there has been a partial abolition of that protection, and I find that instead of a loss of 3,300l. on those three years, there is a gain of about 600 I. ?—I do not state that; that is a conclusion drawn by the Honourable Member. We had protection during 1845 and 1846. It was diminished in 1847 ; in that year I made a profit of 9 I. 7019. You made a statement to the Committee, that during the time of slavery and apprenticeship, you valued your effective labour at 4/. per man ?—I stated the exact cost which was paid for the labour, in addition to the house and grounds. 7020. Could you favour the Committee with the estimates upon which that 4/. was arrived at ?—The average expenditure for negro labour, between 1831 and 1837 inclusive, was 3,209 l., which divided among 744 effective labourers leaves 4l. 6s. 3d. per man. 7021. You also stated that there were about 1,300 men, women and children altogether upon the estate ?—One thousand two hundred and six. 7022. Had you to maintain those who were ineffective?—That is included in the cost; dividing it amongst 1,206, it costs only 2 /. 13.v. 3d. per individual. 7023. That cost, I apprehend, is simply the cost of maintaining the slaves ?—It is all that was paid; it includes all expenses of every description which were actually paid, beyond furnishing them with a house and land. 7024. That is, dieting and clothing ?—And medical attendance ; every expenditure of every sort.

J. A. Hankey, Esq.

7025. Does


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7025. Does it include the value of the slave ?—No. J. A. Hankey, Esq. 7026. There was no charge for interest for capital embarked in the slaves ?— G March 1848. No. 7027. Nor does that calculation include any cost for the loss of life of the slave ?—The population was maintained ; there was no loss of life to include; there was no diminution. 7028. You stated that there was no practical protection to sugar, because there was no prohibition against the importation of sugar the growth of other countries, during the year 1831 ?—For a time there was no practical protection. 7029. We were, in fact, in that year an exporting country ?—I believe we were. 7030. Are you aware that nearly all that sugar that was exported was exported in a refined state?—I do not know the fact. 7031. You are not aware that it was exported in a refined state, and a considerable bounty paid upon the exportation ?—I am not aware of the fact; it may be so; I neither affirm nor deny it. 7032. You stated, in answer to a question from the Chairman, that there was a large portion of the estates which you thought under any circumstances must be thrown out of cultivation ?—I said that there was a portion of the estates which must be thrown out of cultivation. 7033. For what reason do you think they will be thrown out of cultivation? —The grounds of my opinion are, that I think since slavery there has been a new distribution of labour; that formerly slaves cultivated the ground which belonged to their owner, and that now those who have very fertile estates will attract the labour to them ; the others must go out of cultivation. I think also we shall not be able to get under any circumstances the large quantity of labour required to keep up that extent of cultivation which we had in former days. 7034. Your main reason for the opinion appears to be that the worn-out soils will go out of cultivation ?—I do not think that there are any worn-out soils ; the poorer soils will go out of cultivation. 7035. And the labour will be attracted to the richer soils ?—That is one of the reasons. 7036. I gathered from your evidence that the principal difficulty at the present time, of the West Indies generally, is want of capital?—I think quite otherwise. 7037. What do you believe to be the principal difficulty in the West Indies at the present time?—The deficiency and the high price of labour. 7038. With the low price of the article produced, when it comes to this country r —If you will give me a high enough price here I will not complain. 7039. Mr. Wilson.] Is there much difference in the quality of the land in the West Indies ?—There is a great variety. 7040. You think there would be a number of estates that would go out of cultivation sooner than others?—Certainly. 7041. Do you think that those estates which first went out of cultivation would leave a sufficient quantity of labour for the better estates to be cultivated ? —Not a sufficient quantity, but it would naturally tend to increase the quantity of labour for the better ones. 7042. It would depend upon the quantity of the estates that went out of cultivation ?—When an estate is thrown out of cultivation, though it tends to throw labour into the market, it does not do so to the full extent, because those estates are sold in pieces, and a certain number of the peasantry in the neighbourhood buy them and settle on them. 7043. W hat effect do you think a land tax would have in preventing the small sub-division of land ?—If you could throw the payment of the land tax upon the labourer, it might do so; but it would be very difficult to impose any sufficient tax of that kind with justice. 7044. Suppose the revenues of the island were collected by a land tax, instead of by import duties ?—I doubt whether that would have any material effect • it might tend to improvement. 7045. Supposing the present duties were taken off provisions, it would tend to lower the price of provisions ?—In Grenada they export provisions. 7046. What sort of provisions ?—The negro food. 7047. Flour and Indian meal, and such things?—I cannot state exactly what it is ; but plantains and manioc, and those sorts of things. BB 4 7048. It


192 J. A. Hankey, Esq. 6 March 1848.

MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

7048. It is the fact that a large part of the revenues of most of the islands is derived from the imports ? —It is so, in some places. 7049. Have you been successful in reducing the cost of sugar materially by the introduction of implements ?—Not so much so as I had anticipated, from the great difficulty of inducing the labourers, who are so independent in their position, to adopt any new mode of culture; and also from the fact that we have already employed ploughs to a great extent on those estates, to the details of which I have confined myself. 7050. You expect that the introduction of those implements will be more effective after they have been longer continued ?—I hope so. 70,51. Do you think you have not yet had sufficient trial of them?—We have had a considerable trial; we have ploughed for 30 years. I cannot say but that other improvements may arise there as well as here ; but it is a very difficult thing to make improvements with a population entirely independent, and who are not compelled to work for you. In the south of England you cannot introduce thrashing machines. 7052. Chairman.] Mr. Milner Gibson asked you how it came that the West Indies had not made a larger return from their larger crop of this year, though at a reduced price. You said about 8 s. a cwt. was the very lowest at which you could put the cost of freight and charges this year?—I can hardly express any opinion as to the amount of freight; it varied extremely ; it varied in every place and at every time; the arrival of one ship sent the price down; at one time you might get 7 s. freight, at another you might not get 4 s. far as the British West Indies are concerned, the very period when 7053. freights were highest was just the period when the British West India sugar was coming home?—It was so. 7054. Therefore this year, to say that the average freight and charges of various descriptions were 8 s., would be putting them very low ?—I should think too low. 7055. More likely 10s. ?—I should rather not express an opinion as to the amount. 7056. Mr. Milner Gibson showed that there were a million more cwts. in 1847 than in 1846 ?—I think Mr. Milner Gibson's figures would give 10s. as the freight and charges ; lie added 3s. to the ordinary charges ; 3s. added to 7s. makes 10 s. 7057. That at once gives half a million sterling as the increased charge for freight, &c. this year ?—It would do so. 7058. Has not the effect of this enormous importation of slave-grown sugar been to supersede the consumption of the West India sugar; and are there not about 39,000 tons of British sugar hanging over upon the market now ?—There is altogether a very large quantity of sugar in this market from different sources, which no doubt causes the present depression of price. As to the degree in which slave labour affects it more than other sugar, it is difficult to say. 7059. Is not it the fact that there have been 289,000 tons of British colonial sugar imported, and that there have been consumed but 250,000 tons, leaving 39,000 tons of British colonial sugar unsold?—I think your Lordship is correct, but I have not the figures before me. 7060. Taking Mr. Milner Gibson's figures, that would give upwards of a million sterling, which the colonists have not yet realized?—Yes. 7001. So that, in effect, when Mr. Milner Gibson took credit for the entire produce of the colonies this year having been sold at 28s. 5 d. a cwt., the fact is, there are remaining 39,000 tons that were not sold at the end of the year? — Yes, there is that sum not realized, and that I conceive to be one reason why the , price is so low. 7062. Mr. Milner Gibson has taken credit for that which is unsold being sold at the average price of last year ?—It will be sold no doubt at the prices, whatever they may be, which obtain in future. 7063. Mr. Wilson.'] Are you aware that there has been a larger quantity of British plantation sugar taken into consumption this last year than in any former year ?—I believe there has.


SELECT COMMITTEE ON SUGAR AND COFFEE PLANTING.

193

591

Mercurii, 8° die Mar til, 1848.

MEMBERS PRESENT. Mr, Mr. Mr. Mr. Mr.

Lord George Bentinck. Sir Edward Buxton. Mr. Cardwell. Mr. Milner Gibson. Mr. Goulburn. Mr. Hope.

Labouchere. Matheson. Moffatt. Miles. Villiers.

LORD GEORGE BENTINCK, IN THE CHAIR.

Commander Henry James Matson,

R. N.,

called in; and Examined.

7064. Chairman.'] YOU were employed for a great number of years on the African coast blockade ?—I was for six years. 7065. You can boast, cannot you, that you have captured nearly a tenth part of all the slavers that ever have been taken ?—I have captured a great many. 7066. You have captured 40 slavers, have you not ?—I have. 7067. Cannot you also state, with perfect truth, that there is probably no man in Europe who has seen so much of the west coast of Africa as you have ?— Few, J believe, have seen so much of its shores and rivers. 7068. Can you explain to the Committee in what way the difficulties of putting down the slave trade have increased of late years, and to what extent during the period when you were on the service ; you at one time had succeeded in putting it down ?—To go back to the year 1842, at which time I consider the slave trade to have almost ceased, owing to the measures which had been adopted by the Government, and the success of the cruisers there for two or three years previously. Since then I consider every step taken has been retrograde. The first great step we took was in the year 1839, when the Portuguese Slave Trade Suppression Bill was passed. That was the first great blow to the slave trade. The Government afterwards (1 841-42) issued orders to burn the barracoons, with the consent of the chiefs, if it could be obtained, which at that time was not at all difficult; it was, in fact,, very easy; and failing to obtain their consent in certain cases to do it without. It was, however, never requisite to do it without their consent, which was always obtained for a very trifling subsidy, a small annual subsidy, for five years generally, altogether amounting to a very little. 7069. Can you state of what amount those subsidies were?—From 100 l. a year. I do not think they ever amounted to more than boo/. per annum, for five years. 7070. With how many chiefs was it necessary to enter into those treaties ? —We succeeded, I think, at a rough guess, in somewhere about 10 cases of more or less powerful tribes. 7071. What was the value of the annual subsidies altogether?—I should think 3,000 I. was the outside of the amount; I know the sums were very small. 7072. For a payment of under 3,000/. a year you obtained the consent of the principal chiefs ?—I should say it was under that considerably. They engaged for that to suppress the slave trade, and in every one of those treaties there was a stipulation agreeing, that if they failed to fulfil the treaty, we should Those treaties the slave dealers themselves be allowed to employ force. advised the chiefs to enter into, inasmuch as they gave them notice that they could no longer carry on the slave trade; they entertained no hopes whatever that they should be able to bring any more goods to Africa on account of the measures of the Government and the burning of the barracoons, anil they believed that still more stringent measures would be taken. Two of the principal chiefs or kings of the country are the kings of Congo and Ambriz. 0.32. C c I should

Commander H. J. Matson, R.

N.

8 March 1848.


194 Commander H. J. Matson, R.N. 8 March 1848.

MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

I should think those two places exported one-third or one-fourth of the slaves that reached Brazil. 7073. What was the extent of that coast ?—The exporting place at Ambriz is very small, but the roads converge there from an immense extent of country, even from the opposite shore of Mozambique. It is the exporting port of a vast extent of Africa ; at Congo, on the contrary, there is a large extent of coast, perhaps 150 miles, at any point of which you could embark slaves; a great many annually were exported from that place. In the year 1838, I believe there were 10,000 or 12,000 slaves exported from the neighbourhood of Congo alone. It was in the year 1842 that we engaged with those chiefs by a treaty to put down the slave trade, one of the stipulations being that we should employ force failing their fulfilment of the treaty. Before the first annual subsidy arrived, that unfortunate letter of Lord Aberdeen's appeared, and they then refused to received the first subsidy. 7074. Will you state to the Committee the nature of that letter?—It was dated 20 May 1842, addressed to the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty: " My Lords,—I beg to call your Lordships' attention to the subject of the instructions given to Her Majesty's naval officers employed in suppressing slave trade on the coast of Africa, and to the proceedings which have taken place with reference thereto, as detailed in the papers named in the margin of this letter. Her Majesty's Advocate-general, to whom these papers have been submitted, has reported that he cannot take upon himself to advise that all the proceedings described as having taken place at Gallinas, New Cestos, and Sea Bar, are strictly justifiable, or that the instructions to Her Majesty's naval officers, as referred to in these papers, are such as can with perfect legality be carried into execution. The Queen's Advocate is of opinion that the blockading rivers, landing and destroying buildings, and carrying off persons held in slavery in countries with which Great Britain is not at war, cannot be considered as sanctioned by the law of nations, or by the provisions of any existing treaties ; and that however desirable it may be to put an end to the slave trade, a good, however eminent, should not be attained otherwise than by lawful means. Accordingly, and with reference to the proceedings of Captain Nurse at Rio Pongas, on the 28th April 1841, as well as to the letters addressed from this department to the Admiralty on the 6th of April, the 1st and 17th of June, and the 28th of July of last year, I would submit to the consideration of your Lordships that it is desirable that Her Majesty's naval officers employed in suppressing the slave trade should be instructed to abstain from destroying slave factories and carrying off persons held in slavery, unless the power upon whose territory or within whose jurisdiction the factories or the slaves are found should by treaty with Great Britain, or by formal written agreement with British officers, have empowered Her Majesty's naval forces to take these steps for the suppression of the slave trade; and that if, in proceeding to destroy any factory, it should be found to contain merchandize or other property which there may be reason to suppose to belong to foreign traders, care should be taken not to include such property in the destruction of the factory. With respect to the blockading rivers, it appears from the papers referred to that the terms blockade and blockading have been used by British naval officers, when adverting to the laudable practice of stationing cruisers off the slave-trading stations, with a view the better to intercept vessels carrying on slave trade, contrary to treaties between Great Britain and the powers to which such vessels belong; but as the term blockade, properly used, extends to an interdiction of all trade, and indeed all communication with the place blockaded, I beg leave to submit for your Lordships' consideration, •whether it will not be proper to caution Her Majesty's naval officers upon this head, lest by the inadvertent and repeated use of the term blockade, the exercise of the duty confided to British officers in suppressing slave trade might, by any one, be confounded with the very different one of actual blockade." Of course that could not have been meant to be taken in the light in which it was viewed in Africa, because the slave traders exagger ated this letter to an enormous extent; so far from telling, the native chiefs that they would not be any longer enabled to carry on the slave trade, they represented to those chiefs and the natives of Africa that there was a revolution in England for the purpose of carrying on the slave trade. The story they told was this : that the people of England had risen en manse and obliged the


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the Queen to turn out Lord Palmerston, and that there was a revolution at Commander this time going on in England to oblige the Government to carry on the II. J. Malson, R. N. slave trade, as the blacks express themselves, "all the same as they had one 8 March 1848. time before." So confident was this belief, that on one occasion when my took boats a vessel full of slaves, at the time there being a change of Admirals, and consequently a change of flags, and they never having seen a blue flag hoisted before, the first question they asked when the boat boarded her, was whether this flag was the Queen's flag or the Parliamentary flag? The inquiry was made by an old Portuguese, who had been employed for several years on shore purchasing slaves; he, though a white man, believed that this story was true. 7075. Who was supposed to be for the slave trade, the Queen, or the Parliament?—The Parliament flag was the revolutionary flag. Shortly after that arrived the first subsidy of payment to those chiefs according to the treaty. In the meantime however this letter had appeared, and this story had been promulgated over the coast. Several vessels had arrived, for there was a rush made in the Brazils who could first arrive at the market, because the effect of this letter was so important, and it was as much misunderstood in the Brazils as in Africa. The insurance fell, I do not know how many per cent., but it fell a good deal. During the year before no man would embark a penny in the trade; freight and insurance however now fell, capital was forthcoming, and there was never any want of vessels or men so long as people would embark capital. The native chiefs hearing this, and seeing vessels arriving full of goods, which they had not seen for 18 months before, refused to receive the subsidy, and it was sent back to England ; that was a subsidy sent in goods, and not in money. It then became a question with the Government here whether they should enforce this treaty or not. I believe, by the advice of Dr. Lushington and some of the law officers of the Crown, the Government decided that they would not enforce the treaty. From that day we have not succeeded in getting one single treaty with any native chief. If we had succeeded, I have very little doubt, indeed I have none, that the slave trade would have been stopped. If that system could have been persevered in for one or two years, and the whole of the chiefs of Africa could have been induced to enter into treaties with England, containing a stipulation that you might use force failing their good faith, it would have been impossible for the slave trade to be carried on. I do not think a Brazilian or a Spaniard would have trusted goods on shore in Africa if they had thought that the English had a right to land and destroy them ; hut their danger afloat is very trifling. 7076. You think the danger afloat is very trifling?—It is now, because they can afford to lose many more vessels than they could then ; the price of slaves has increased very much, and there is a feeling both in Africa and in Brazil, that we are not determined, as they thought Ave or six years ago we were, to suppress the trade, and the British officer has not the power he formerly had. 7077. Is it your opinion, that under all the circumstances now, the state of things could possibly be restored to what it was in 1842 ?—It might he, of course, by force, but I consider the force required would be almost double what would have been then necessary. 7078. There are now 6,000 men, are there not, employed ?—There are 25 or 26 vessels. 7079. Twenty-six vessels we are obliged to maintain by treaty?—Yes; we never have had more than that. 7080. You think it would be necessary to double that force in order to put down the trade ?—To ensure it; no chief in Africa will relinquish the slave trade so long as he has any hopes of carrying it on ; it is only when he had relinquished all hopes that he would enter into a treaty, and it was that feeling which induced them in 1 841 and 1 842 to enter into those treaties. 7081. To the Brazils they prefer to carry their slaves in vessels of the smallest dimensions, do not they ; have not you captured, among others, a slaver that was no larger than your own launch, loaded with 72 slaves ?—Yes, an open boat, about the size of a frigate's barge. 7082. Are there a great many vessels of that description?—They began with those vessels, because they could elude the cruisers so much better ; they slip out unperceived, and can pull. 0.32. Cc 2 7083. If


196 Commander II. J. Matson, R. 8 March 1848.

N

MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

7083. If it is calm weather, they can use their oars ?—Yes. 7084. In proportion to the smallness of the vessels, so the privations of the slaves would be more severe?—Undoubtedly. 7085. You probably know what the usual amount of water allowed to a slave is?—They will set out on the voyage from Africa with a pint a man a day. 7086. Reckoning how many ; 20 days?—Perhaps 25 or 30 days. 7087. The allowance to a British seaman is a gallon a day?—Yes; his full allowance for all purposes. 7088. There is no doubt, is there, that the consequence of the British blockade and preventive service is very much to increase the privations to which those slaves are put?—Those who are taken across the Atlantic suffer more, no doubt, a great deal. The aggregate amount of misery would, however, be much greater, taking into consideration the great number that would be sent if the trade were open. 7089. It has been stated in evidence, that as far as last \ear goes, there were only about 2,88c slaves taken out of 100,000 that appear to have left the coast of Africa; so that it would appear that the proportion rescued was almost infinitesimally small, while the number of those whose tortures are aggravated was enormously great?—With reference to the last part of the question, I draw very little distinction between those who are captured and those who escape; both have to undergo an amount of misery. I am comparing the numbers that are brought now to the numbers that would go, supposing the trade to be open. All those who are captured, and those who go over, suffer much more privation, perhaps tenfold, than they would if the trade were open, and the vessels were not obliged to take so many. But it the trade were open, the honors of the middle passage would be transferred in an aggravated degree to the mines of Brazil. The life of a negro would then be scarcely worth a year's purchase. It would be economy for the owner of a mine to get the greatest possible amount of work out of a slave in a short time; in fact, to work him to death, then go to the market for another, and so on. 7090. You probably know what was the average number carried over when the slave trade was permitted to the whole world ; was it not about 72,000 a year? — It may have been so; but if the trade were now open, the demand would be much more than it was in those days. I do not speak with much confidence as to the state of the West Indies ; but supposing the trade now to be open, on account of the great market and the larger number of estates, the demand for slaves would be much greater than it was 30 years ago. 7091. You are of opinion, are not you, that the change in the laws of this country, admitting slave-grown sugar, has been one cause of very much stimulating the slave trade?—Very much: I was at Havannah when the news arrived. 7092. What was the feeling of the Havannah ?—A feeling of rejoicing universally ; the price of slaves very much increased, and so did the price of land. I saw both British merchants, slave merchants, and some of my old friends, the slave captains (i. e. British merchants, Spanish slave merchants, slave captains, &c.), :hev all told the same story, and the latter spoke with great glee. 7093. It was a day of jubilee there?—It was. 7094. Did you ever hear to what extent the value of land bad risen, and the value of slaves?—I did hear, but I cannot remember the exact amount. I know he increase of per-centage was something considerable. 7095. Did you go over any sugar plantations in Cuba?—No. 7096. You stated to me that no white man has visited so many creeks and ivers, or been ashore on so many different parts of Africa, as you have been?— I have visited every river, and every creek, from Sierra Leone as far south as the slave trade is carried on. 7097. Of course, having been so successful in the capture of slavers, and seen so much of slave traders and slave dealers, you are able to give some account of he origin of slave de aling; you are of opinion, are not you, that there never was a greater popular delusion than that slaves arc obtained by wars, and what are commonly called slave hunts:—There is seldom anything of the kind takes dace. on have paid great attention to that part of the subject, and you 7098. re able to give to this Committee a tolerably accurate estimate of the proportions,


SELECT COMMITTEE ON SUGAR AND COFFEE PLANTING. 197 tions, find the modes in which slaves are obtained ?—I think, out of the number of slaves that are exported from Africa, one half are children who are sold by their parents. I think a quarter are debtors, who sell themselves, or are sold by their creditor; and the other quarter, I consider, are criminals ; a very trifling offence will cause a negro to be sold to the white man. 7099. It is your belief that the number of the slaves that are obtained as prisoners of war is next to nothing?—Yes; the only part of Africa where slave hunts may be said to exist are about the King of Dahomy's dominions, to the north of the Line, but a very small proportion of slaves are exported from that part of the country ; the principal supply of slaves is from the south of the Line, where no such thing as war is heard of; they are particularly averse to shedding blood; war among them is scarcely known, and even in their wars bloodshed is unheard of. 7100. It is needless to say that as half the slaves, in your opinion, are obtained through parents selling their children, there is no very great feeling of parental affection among the Africans?—It is all on the part of the mothers. I have seen, myself, heart-rending scenes of mothers being obliged to part with their children that were sold by their father; he is very doubtful whether it is his child or not: so much is that the case that a son never succeeds his father. For instance, if a King dies, the King of Congo, he is always succeeded by the eldest son of his eldest sister, to ensure the royal blood descending, which they could not do unless it descended through the female line. A man is not sure that any one of the children of his numerous wives is his son. 7101.-So that those men who sell their children, in point of fact are selling the children of a great number of wives?—Yes, selling the children of their wives; that is all they know, and they have no affection whatever. 7102. Can you state at all the average price of slaves?—I have seen them sold as low as a dollar a piece. I took a vessel once where the man assured me that he had bought 90 slaves the day before for too dollars. The number of slaves had increased very much on the coast; and in proportion as they increase on the coast the supply decreases in the Brazils; consequently they are always dearer in the Brazils when they are cheaper in Africa. Slaves being collected on the coast without any means of their being exported causes them to be very cheap indeed. 7103. What is the highest price you ever heard given?—I do not think the price is ever higher than 70 dollars; that is the highest I think I ever heard of a cargo of slaves being purchased at; from 10 to J 5 dollars a piece is a very common price. 7104. J hose are full-grown slaves, of course, who sell themselves for their debts. It depends upon what their debt is, does not it ?—Yes; a black man if he owes a dollar to any person, must sell himself by the laws of the country, to pay it; he generally will prefer selling himself to a white man, under the guarantee that he shall not be exported for a certain time, giving him the chance of paying his debt if he can. Even for a dollar sometimes a negro will come and sell himself to a white man. It is a kind of easy service ; lie remains there until he can pay his dollar, and then he is free. 7105. Do any of the white men take the slaves out of pawn, with a view to recover the money by their earnings, in Africa, or is not it always with the arrière pensée of exporting them ?—Many take them with the hope of increasing their debt, instead of allowing them to pay it off, and then export them. To do this they must take the slave before the king and [trove the fact that he owes them money, and then, by the laws of the country, they may take him away as soon as they please. It is a common custom among slave traders to induce the slave to sell himself, and instead of allowing him to pay off'his debt he increases it by being supplied with goods at the factory, which are always very tempting, and by that means the trader secures his person, and he is exported unless he can find some other person who w ill take him out of pawn, i. e. buy him off, which if the sum amounts to anything considerable he cannot do ; be can do it when the sum is small. 7106. Those are children, are they not, that arc sold by their fathers? Yes. 7107. Up to what age is the father entitled, by the laws of the country, to sell his child?—I do not know. I have seen them sold nearly grown up • I do 0.32. c c 3 * ' not

595 Commander H. J. Mat son, R.N. 8 May 1848.


198 Commander H. J. Matson, R. N, 8 May 1848.

MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

not know whether there is any limit. I have an idea that they can sell them when they are men; I have seen strapping young men sold, of 15 and 16. 7108. The African is grown up when lie is 15 or 16, is not he ?—Yes ; he is as tall ot growth at 15 as he ever will be. 7109. The criminals of course are all full-grown people?—Yes. A man can always sell his wife. 7110. Is he generally willing to sell his w ife ?—It very often takes place if she offends him ; it is repeatedly done. 7111. A very large proportion of the slaves exported are males, are they not? —I should think about three-fourths ; the demand is so much greater for them; a woman is very much cheaper than a man. 7112. If a man is to be had for a dollar, what is a woman to be had for?— That is an exceptional case. If the price of the man were 15 dollars, the woman would be generally less than 10, I should think; but women are seldom exported unless they have served a considerable apprenticeship as domestic servants in the establishment of the slave factory. Girls and children are exported, but women are seldom exported, unless they be intended for domestic servants ; therefore they generally serve an apprenticeship, because they cannot speak the language. A woman being exported to Cuba or the Brazils is worth very little as a domestic servant, unless she can speak the Spanish or Brazilian language. 7113. You mean unless they have been apprenticed to Europeans ?—Serving the Europeans. 7114. Supposing a West India planter or a British merchant were permitted to go to the coast of Africa, and to obtain free labour upon emancipating the debtors, by entering into any arrangement for giving subsidies to the chiefs, what number of Africans do you think, in the course of a year, might be induced to emigrate as free labourers under contracts to the West Indies ?—I cannot speak very confidently upon that head ; but I should fancy that in the present state of things they would have very little chance. 7115. Coming into competition with the slavers?—Yes. If the slave trade were to cease, the supply would be almost unlimited ; they might get any amount; but I do not think they could compete now with the slave traders ; the chiefs would throw every possible obstacle in their way. 7116. Do not you think those chief's might be induced by sufficient subsidies very much to prefer the emigration of their people as free labourers, to the exportation of slaves?—You could, by a great amount of money, induce them to do so; but in proportion as the slave trade goes on, so will they be disinclined to enter into any arrangement with you whatever. 7117. With the exception of those who are obtained by being taken out of pawn from their debts, do you imagine the payment for all the rest goes to the chiefs ?— They get a great deal; they are despotic; the dues that are paid to them are enormous both by the exporter and the buyer, and it is the interest of the African chief to encourage the slave trade by every means in his power. 7118. Assuming the number of slaves exported to be 100,000 now, at an average of 15 dollars each, the whole payment made to Africa does not exceed 300,000 l. sterling a year?—I should fancy now that since the time I spoke of, within the last three years for instance, the price of a slave has very much increased ; not having been there I cannot speak positively, but I am almost sure the price of a slave must have increased now. 7119. Supposing it to have mounted up to 2,5 dollars, that would give nearly half a million a year as the entire payment for all the slaves exported from Africa? — It would. • 7120. Do you think there would be any objection on the part of the men to go in the ease supposed ?—No, I think not; the difficulty would be to inspire them with confidence ; if you could show to them that it was done by the Government, and they were sure of being able to come back again whenever they chose, they would be w illing to go ; but the difficulty would he to come at them in the face of their own chiefs, who would try to persuade them, and they would scarcely have a will of their own even if they chose to come ; if you could get at them even, and personally talk to them, and explain it to them, it would be very difficult for them to get away, the chiefs have such power. 7121. There would not be much difficulty, you think, in getting permission to export women as tree labourers? —I should say the chiefs would be likely to enter


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enter into that arrangement better than they would as respects the men, because Commander they would say, We will get rid of the men to the slave traders, and we will get rid H. J Matson, R.N. of the women to the English; but it would he a very dangerous experiment, 8 March 1848. I think; the danger would be very great of its merging into a slave trade; it might be done, no doubt, but it would require very great caution. 7122. Do not you think the existing laws of the country, which make slave trading a felony, coupled with the circumstance that the testimony of the Africans would be good evidence against the whites, would practically secure us from anything bordering upon a slave trade?—I have no doubt of it in my own mind, but the difficulty is, to make the Africans believe this ; I think the only difficulty would be, to make the Africans understand that they would be free in the West Indies ; if they could get to the West Indies their condition would be improved immensely. When I say it might merge into the slave trade, I mean it might be abused by those in Africa attempting to gain labourers. 7123. There is not, in your own opinion, any ground of alarm lest the permission of free access to British planters to obtain Africans might create any slave wars, or slave hunts, or any wars for the purpose of making prisoners?—No, it would create neither wars nor slave hunts, but I think abuses might take place; it might happen that a man might he forced against his will to leave Africa. 7124. But those would be exceptions, you think?—Yes. 7125. In what cases do you think those abuses would take place?—From the efforts of an agent on the coast of Africa to get a supplv of labourers, calling in, perhaps, the interference of the chief, and feeing him whose power is almost unlimited. 7126. If the African were dissatisfied with his lot he would very easily be able to prove against the merchant or planter who obtained him a case of slave dealing, would not he ?—No doubt of it; what would inspire confidence more than anything else in Africa, would be, if in a year or two any of those people could return, and could give an account of their situation there, and show that they were able to return when they chose. 7127. You think after that had taken place, the principal obstacles in the way of obtaining a large emigration of Africans would be removed ?—Partly, but an obstacle would still exist on the part of the chief, whose interest it is to stop that supply arid to encourage the slave trade, when he gets so much more by it. It is not, of course, to he expected that an African chief will relinquish the slave trade from any idea of its being morally wrong; you must touch his interest, and nothing else. 7128. Taking the coast of Africa generally, there is no difficulty, is there, except on the Kroo Coast, of getting as many women to emigrate as men?—The Kroo Coast is just the very case where you cannot get women. The women will never leave the country. 7129. From Africa generally, are there greater facilities for obtaining women than obtaining men ? — Certainly, at present. 7130. You said the Government subsidies were to he paid in goods; do not they know the value of gold and silver, or is it that there is so much gold to be had there ?—It is much cheaper for us to stipulate that it shall he done in goods ; in fact it was the order of Government that it should be always in goods; so many coats, so many muskets, and a little of everything ; even if the amount did not amount to 100/. yearly, there might be 20 different articles enumerated. 7131. Can you give the Committee any information upon the mode in which the slaves are usually [lacked in the shivers?—They are packed as closely as salt fish; they are doubled up and stowed as closely as they can in the night when they are obliged to go below. 7132. Are they in irons ?—The men are generally in irons; it depends upon the part of the coast they are taken from. 7133. The north coast is the most difficult, is not it?—Yes; in the Bight of Benin and Gallinas they are the most savage race. I have seen many cargoes from the neighbourhood of Congo go without any irons at all. 7134. The ordinary practice is, is it not, that where a slave trader calculates upon carrying 300 slaves to the other shore lie embarks 500 ? -Yes, that is lor the purpose of putting them to the test; it is impossible for the most c c 4


200 Commander H. J. Mutton, R. N. 8 March 1848.

MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

most practised eye to tell a healthy from an unhealthy slave, but tile trader reckons that during the first 48 hours those slaves that are unhealthy, and who would not stand the voyage across the Atlantic, will sicken ; and supposing the vessel will take 300 crowded he would put 500 on board, making sure that during the first 48 hours they will be sufficiently weeded to leave a prime cargo. As the slave sickens during the first 48 hours they leave him on deck, and give him nothing to eat, but let him die, and then throw him overboard. 7135. As soon as they begin to sicken they are put on one side?—Yes, weeding them, as it is called ; those who get over the first 48 hours will go across the Atlantic, and perhaps but one ot them dies in a week. 7136. Perhaps they sometimes throw them overboard before they are dead ?— Very probably. 7137. They die so soon because those of weak constitutions cannot bear the heat and crowding?—Yes, they would die if they were to leave them on deck; they would be afraid perhaps some of the crew informing against them if they were to kill them, and they say it is as well to let them die as to throw them overboard ; it is only the difference of a few hours ; they give them no food nor water. 7138. So that, in fact, they are allowed to die ?—Yes. 7139. Can you account for their sickening and dying so very soon ; if an European went on board, however sick he might be, he would not die so soon from going to sea ?—It is the change, and the effect of the crowding; they die principally from dysentery ; they cannot be fed so well, their victuals are not cooked so well, and the weaker their constitution the sooner they sicken; in fact it is the only means that a slave trader has of ensuring the taking a prime Of course the sickly slaves would not die so soon if they had cargo across. nourishment. 7140. What sized vessel would they embark 500 slaves in ; a vessel of how many tons?—I took a vessel with 427 slaves on board of 49 tons. 7141. Would she be an open boat?—A decked schooner; one-third, I suppose, were on deck, and two-thirds below ; the vessel I mentioned as having 72 slaves was 11 tons. 7142. If the trade were thrown completely open do you imagine there would be any such crowding as that ?—It does not stand to reason that there would. 7143. In order to elude the Equipment Articles under our Slave Trade Abo" lition Laws the slavers avoid as much as possible the necessity of having cooking utensils on board, and they are obliged also to keep their slaves so very short of wafer?—Yes; numbers of slavers go across without one-half of what are called necessary articles. The Equipment Articles contain a list of 10 different things, water, provisions, cooking utensils, and those things, which subject the vessel to seizure. On one occasion I took a vessel with nothing but water and dry farina on board ; they had no cooking utensils on hoard, not being able to obtain them on the coast, and they could obtain nothing but this dry farina, and with that they started across the Atlantic. 7144. How many slaves were there on board that slaver?—Three hundred and six, I think. 7145. Do you recollect the size of that vessel?—It was between 60 and 70 tons. I recollect they were not very crowded, comparatively speaking. But that is a solitary instance, and a man would never do it unless be were obliged; the chances were that one-half of those slaves would die. The dry farina would produce dysentery. . 7146. The way they make it wholesome is by boiling ?—By putting scalding water to it. 7147. This essel had no means to boil water at all? — None, but this was the only instance I found of a vessel being so utterly unprepared for a voyage. 7148. Supposing the blockade service on the coast of Africa were done away with, could an effectual blockade be carried on on the coast of Brazil?—No, I think not; the facilities for landing are so many; they have nothing to do hut to run their vessel on shore in the middle of the night, and they could save their slaves. There are a great number of vessels of all nations legal traders there, and it would be very difficult to distinguish between them. In Africa they have many mote difficulties in the way; they have first to approach the coast,


SELECT COMMITTEE ON SUGAR AND COFFEE PLANTING. 201

9

59

Commander coast, and they then have to embark their slaves, which is always attended with very great difficulty. Then they must wet off with a calm lor three or four days. H. J■ Matson, R.N. At the Brazils there is a sea-breeze always blowing, and they could always run on 8 March 1848. shore, sacrificing their vessel to save their slaves. 7149. So that it would lie hopeless by any blockade of the coast of Brazil to put down the slave trade there ?-—It would require a great many vessels. 7150. Twenty-six vessels of war would not suffice?—I should say the extent of the coast of the Brazils being much smaller than that which we have to guard in Africa, the same number of vessels, or a few less perhaps, might blockade the coast of the Brazils, but even then I doubt the possibility of a strict blockade being maintained ; and it is of no use partially blockading a coast, because so long as a few escape, the only result is, that the price of slaves increases, but the supply is still kept up. The African chiefs drive a very good trade, the market is still supplied, and the only difference is the slave being dearer or cheaper; it is only when the slave trade lias been absolutely stopped for some considerable time that the chief w ill abandon all hopes of its being carried on, and he will then, and not till then, enter into a treaty to stop it; the object of putting a squadron on the coast of Africa, I consider was only the first step to ensure those treaties being entered into. It was not to be supposed that the squadron was to last for ever; if you could absolutely blockade the coast and stop the trade for two years, those men would then enter into treaties with you, which they did between 1840 and 1842, since which time we have not obtained one. 7151. You do not think that anything that can be done now would induce them to enter into those treaties again?—I think not; I have conversed personally with a great many of them, and I do not think they will, with their present prospects. 7152. Were you engaged on the eastern coast of Africa at all?—No; I was there a good many years ago, but I was not commanding a vessel. 7153. I heard from a Brazilian slave dealer that a great number of the slaves now imported to Brazil were taken from the eastern coast of Africa ?—I have heard a report of the same kind, because we have not guarded that recently; our treaty with France said nothing about that. 7154. Then if we were to increase our blockade service, even to the extent of doubling it, perhaps that would not be sufficient to include the eastern coast of Africa?—I think it would. I put down the French squadron now as nothing ; they are absolutely worse than useless ; they are not only useless, hut they do more harm than good. But if we had treaties with the chiefs, the united efforts of England and France would ensure success. 7155. What is your opinion of the African race in Africa; are they indolent, or disposed to be industrious?—They are remarkably well-disposed; the most docile people, but indolent. 7156. Do you make any exception to that as regards the people on the northern parts of the Bight of Benin?—They are more warlike, and more intelligent, and work harder. 7157. What is your opinion of the Kroomen?—I consider that they are the best; they are the most hard-working, the most energetic, and the most thrifty. 7158. And the Fishmeu are something of the same kind?—I consider them, in fact, as the same race. 7159. What number of free labourers, do you think, would be to be obtained from the Kroo and the Fish Coast ?—I think many. I recollect making inquiry there, and their complaint was that they were afraid of their not being able to get back again ; in fact at that time there were Kroomen in Jamaica, and their countrymen could not get them back again ; they had sent some message that Government would not let them go, which prevented any more Kroomen at that time leaving Africa. I do not think, however, that the Kroo country could supply the demand, because it is of very small extent; the actual supply would be small. 7160. What might be its number; Captain Denman thought less than 1,200 a year ?—I do not suppose we could get more than that, it is so small a place. 7161. And they would be men only, and no women?—Men, and no women. I saw a number of Kroomen in Jamaica, the other day, men that I had known 0.32. D D on


202 Commander H. J. Matson, R. N. 8 March 1848.

MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

on the coast of Africa, who expressed themselves very much pleased with their position; but they made a complaint of the expense of going back to Africa; that they were then saving money, but when they went back to Africa so much of it would be taken for their passage. No other than a Krooman would ever desire to return to Africa, after having once been employed in the West Indies. 7162. Do you think if those Jamaica Kroomen were sent to other parts of Africa they would be able to enlist a number of Africans to go out as free labourers?—I think so, from their own country. 7163. Though not known individually to the natives of other parts of Africa, if Kroomen were employed to enlist emigrants they would succeed, you think ? —Not in any other part. Kroomen are looked upon as the servants of the English ; and they would be considered as our servants or our agents. But there are many Africans from all parts of Africa now serving in the West Indies. 7164. Liberated Africans?—Yes. 7165. You think if liberated Africans were sent they would succeed in inducing free labourers to go, if the chiefs could be rendered willing?—Yes. Where the chiefs have less power the negroes have always shown more readiness to go to the West Indies. On my being ordered to England I had 10 liberated Africans serving on board my vessel; each of those men had from 20 I. to 70 /. due to him : they preferred going to the West Indies either to going to Sierra Leone or going back to their native country. They said if they went back to their native country all the money they had would be taken by the chiefs, and if they went to Sierra Leone they could not make such good use of it. They went, ultimately, to Demerara. It was only from meeting, in one of the immigration ships, some returned natives, who gave them a very flattering picture of everything they had seen in Demerara and the other islands. 7166. You do not doubt that it would be a great blessing to Africa if the free immigration of Africans to the West Indies could be in any way promoted ?— I have no doubt of it. 7167. The condition of the African would be incalculably improved ?—N° doubt of it, but it does not do to lose sight of the influence that it would have upon the slave trade in Africa. I am supposing that everything was free; that the slave traders were free to make their bargains, and the English to make theirs. 7168. Supposing England were to return to the old policy of excluding slavegrown sugar, would not that be a great check to the trade ?—That would take off one very great impetus to the slave trade. 7169. And then probably the slave trader would hardly be able successfully to compete with a British West Indian, who came to entice away free labourers? —I should fancy that the slave trader would always be able to offer a better price to the chiefs, who are so omnipotent that they would frustrate your efforts even then; but there could be no question if that were done, if our ports were shut to slave-grown sugar, it would render the exertions of the officers on the coast of Africa very much more effectual to suppress the slave trade. The slave traders could not afford to lose so many vessels, and the moral effect of admitting slave-grown sugar is something even in Africa, though it is very much exaggerated by the slave traders. The chiefs are easily made to believe, and I dare say now fancy, that there is some revolution going on here, and that we shall one day carry on the slave trade. 7170. Do not you think it might be possible to enter into a treaty with the chief of Ambriz by giving to him a subsidy, say equal to 20,000 l. a year, that he should forbid slave trading and encourage the British merchants to come and take his people?—It would be very beneficial if you could also get similar treaties with bis neighbours; although that is the principal exporting place it would be of no use having a treaty, or paying considerably for it, unless you could get the chiefs of Congo and those chief's some distance off to join, because they could march them some hundreds of miles. 7171. Ambriz I understand from you to be the principal place of export?— Yes. 7172. Supposing subsidies equal to 50,000 l. a year were divided between the chiefs of Ambriz and Congo, do not you think they might be induced to

enter


SELECT COMMITTEE ON SUGAR AND COFFEE PLANTING. 203 enter into a treaty with the Queen of Great Britain ?—£. 50,000 a year would do a great deal. 7173. Assuming that a subsidy of 50,000/. a year were paid, and distributed between the chiefs of Ambriz and Congo, and they agreed to give lull power to Great Britain to use any means she pleased to put down slave trading, and to make it a casus belli with the chiefs themselves if they permitted the slave trade to go on ; and that at the same time if the British West India planters were permitted free access to their kingdom, for the purpose of enticing away as many emigrants as they could get to go away ; what number of Africans do you think then that British planters and British merchants might succeed in enticing away from those kingdoms as free labourers ?—It is a very difficult question. If you could prevent their being exported as slaves, I suppose you might get 20,000 a year from Congo alone. 7174. And from Ambriz?—There they have to come a great distance. I do not suppose there would be nearly so many, although more slaves would be exported from Ambriz than from Congo, because so many roads converge to the place, and they come from a long way in the interior; in Congo they come from the banks of the river, which is close to the sea. It is more a restrictive policy at Ambriz. It would be much more difficult to get free labourers from Ambriz, because a man must go into the interior; but, I should say, you might get from 10,000 to 12,000 a year. 7175. Another 10,000 a year, you think, might be got from Ambriz ?— I should think so. I speak with less confidence as to Ambriz. 7176. Are you disposed to think that for 50,000 l. a year we might ensure 30,000 emigrants of that sort, bona Jide free labourers ?—Supposing that you could prevent the slave trade. 7177. Supposing that they were to give to you those full powers, which you are inclined to think, for 50,000/. a year, the chiefs might be disposed to give ? —Yes; not only the power to stop their subsidy, but to destroy their barracoons and factories. 7178. Quite a different class of vessels is required to carry on the trade to Cuba, is not there ?—They must be a much finer class of vessels, and not so crowded. A vessel would go to the Brazils with double the number of slaves than she would go with to Cuba. 7179. The length of the voyage is nearly double, is it not?—Yes; and the weather is so much more boisterous; they have to prepare for strong gales of wind in the voyage to Cuba, while to the Brazils they have nothing but to traverse the trade wind, which is always fair. 7180. What do you think would be the most advisable course to pursue with regard to Cuba ?—Two years ago there was no such thing as a slave trade in Cuba; it is only within this last twelvemonth that there has been any slave trade whatever. 7181. It is the alteration of the law that has produced it?—Yes; it is the alteration in the demand for their sugar. That has affected Cuba much more than it did Brazil, because they could not afford to carry on the slave trade; at Brazil they could, because they did it at so much less cost; they gave next to nothing for an old vessel, and very few hands could navigate her; while from Cuba it required a fine vessel, well manned, to take very few slaves. Eighteen months ago, I think for a year before that, there had not been more than one or two solitary instances of slaves being landed in Cuba. 7182. In your opinion, the resurrection of the slave trade in Cuba is to be ascribed entirely to the stimulus given by the alteration in the laws admitting slave-grown sugar ?—In Cuba I think so, entirely. 7183. Do you think it would be possible effectually to blockade the coast of Cuba?—That is utterly impossible. 7184. The most effectual way of putting down the slave trade would be to take possession of Cuba itself?—Yes. 7185. Do you think if you had the fleet that was last year in the Tagus, you could very soon do so ?—Much less than that. 7186. If half the fleet that was last year in the Tagus were put under your command ?—Less than that. In fact, you have nothing to do but to land two black West India regiments in any part of Cuba. 7187. Under the existing treaties with foreign powers, are not vessels fitted out to bring labourers from the Kroo Coast liable to capture?—It would be a 0.32. prima DD2

601 Commander H. J. Matson, R. N . 8 March 1848.


204 Commander H. J. Matson, R. N. ' 8 March 1848.

MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

prima facie reason for capture; but if you could prove that they were intended for legal purposes, they would not be liable to be captured. They would require a certificate from the custom-house, to pass. 7188. I am asking this question by desire of a Member of the Committee; I apprehend that the fact would be this, that no captures can be made except under instructions from the Admiralty ?—A foreign vessel (say a Spanish vessel) could capture an English vessel with all or any of those articles specified in the Equipment Articles on board, or any one of them, provided she were not furnished with the legal document. 7189. What legal document is it necessary she should have to save her from capture?—She must enter into a bond that those articles shall not be used for the purpose of slave-dealing. 7190. A Portuguese or an American would not have had a right to capture the " Growler" ?—No foreign vessel has a right even to look at her, i. e. to go on board her, because she carries the Queen's pennant. Supposing she had been a merchant vessel, if she had not been provided with the legal documents, showing that the owner or the master had entered into security that those articles should not be employed for slave-dealing purposes, she would be liable to capture, and the onus is then thrown on the master to show that those articles are required for legal purposes. 7191. Taking the" Bangalore," or any of those ships which have been chartered for the Kroo Coast, what security do they carry against being captured either by American or Portuguese vessels?—The owner must enter into a bond before they go out, at the custom-house at Liverpool, for instance. 7192. And I suppose they do so?—We very often meet foreign vessels with every article of equipment on board, taking emigrants from America to Liberia, and we are not suffered to touch them. 7193. Or, if they were taking free labourers from the Kroo Coast, you could not touch them ?—Provided they have this necessary document on board, you cannot touch them. 7194. I am also desired to ask you what becomes of the slaves who are refused by the slave traders ?—I have known instances of their being massacred ; I was in the River Nun some years ago when 500 were knocked on the head on the beach. 7195. The emigrant ships always have a licence from the Secretary of State now; that would suffice, would not it; no foreign ship could touch them?— The treaties say the Custom-house; I suppose the Secretary of State's licence would be sufficient. Even supposing a vessel accidentally sailed without this document, and were found with every necessary article of equipment on board, she would be liable to be taken into port by any authorized cruiser belonging to a foreign nation ; then, to save her from being condemned, the captain must prove that all those were required for a legal purpose; the onus to prove it must be thrown on the master; if he could not prove it his vessel would be condemned ; that is, supposing he sailed without these documents. We have captured vessels precisely situated in that way, where they had every article on board necessary for carrying cargoes of slaves, but they have shown to the satisfaction of the Court that they were required for legal purposes, and they have been released. 7196. Mr. M. Gibson.] You say that slaves that are refused by the slave dealers are massacred ?—They are sometimes; I will not say it is the rule; I know instances of their being so. 7197. Would not it be contrary to the existing Acts for the abolition of the slave trade by British subjects to purchase slaves on the coast of Africa, to be transported thence to the West Indies as labourers ? — No doubt it would be felony. 7198. Mr. Hope.] What security have you for the observance of any treaty made by any of those chiefs you have spoken of?—You have no guarantee except withholding the subsidy and enforcing one of the stipulations whereby you are authorized to put the trade down by force, to land in bis territory and destroy the barracoons and the goods contained there. 7199. You cannot place much reliance, can you, upon their good faith ?—You must, act through their interests and their fears alone. 7200. Mr. Villiers ] Did you say it would not require more vessels to blockade the


SELECT COMMITTEE ON SUGAR AND COFFEE PLANTING. 205 the coast of Brazil than the coast of Africa?—I should fancy it would require rather less, being a less extent of coast. 7201. Are the places where they can embark slaves on the African coast very numerous ?—No. 7202. They are very few ?—They are very few ; in some seasons of the year along the beach on the south coast you can embark them from the beach at any time. 7203. What is the difficulty of cruising about those particular places where only slaves can be embarked ?—That is the plan that is pursued, or ought to be pursued, at all events. 7204. The extent of the coast is not so material if there are only certain places to embark slaves from?—The coast is more extensive than the coast of Brazil; I should say the extent of coast where slaves can be embarked is more extensive than the coast of Brazil. 7203. If I understand you, the usual places for embarking slaves from the coast of Africa are very few ?—The extent of the coast where slaves can be embarked, compared to the whole extent of the slave-trading coast of Africa, is very small. 7206. Are there more than six or seven places where they usually embark slaves from ?—There are perhaps from 16 to 20 depots, but then there is a line of coast perhaps of some 50 miles, where slaves can march along the coast and be embarked at any one spot in the 50 miles. 7207. Is not it the system of the squadron there to observe those places particularly ?—Certainly. 7208. Then the squadron is sufficient for that purpose, is not it?—I do not think it is now ; I do not think the squadron was ever sufficient to blockade the whole coast of Africa ; 26 vessels, putting aside the French vessels, w hich are worse than useless. 7209. Do you think 26 vessels could blockade the coast of Brazil ?—I should think it would take 36 vessels to do so. 7210. We no longer blockade that coast, do we ?—The demand for slaves has been so increased lately that it would be difficult to say which coast ought to be blockaded ; I think one coast ought only to be blockaded ; either thoroughly blockade the one or thoroughly blockade the other. It is of no use doing it by halves. 7211. When were our cruisers withdrawn from the coast of Brazil?—Three or four years ago. 7212. Do you know whether it is during the last three years that the slave trade has increased so very much ?—Undoubtedly. 7213. Do you know whether it has increased to such an extent as to lower the value of slaves in the Brazils?—I have understood that at this moment slaves are cheaper on account of the great number they have imported into the Brazils. I do not speak from my own knowledge, not having been there. 7214. While there were cruisers there, it must have increased the difficulty of landing the slaves?—The cruisers on the coast of Brazil, I think, very little indeed increased the difficulty of the slave trader; they had nothing to do but to land, and if they sacrificed their vessels, they were sure of saving their slaves. 7215. Could they land at any part of the coast?—In all the creeks. 7216. Since the vessels have been withdrawn, the slave trade has been going on, in fact, and it has increased very much; is not that the fact?—It has; but I do not think that is consequent on the withdrawal of the cruisers from the coast of Brazil, and putting them on the coast of Africa. I think they have done more good on the coast of Africa than they did on the coast of Brazil. 7217. Do you know anything of the Brazilian coast?—I have been there. 7218. Have you any knowledge of the way in which the slave trade is conducted there ?—I know that from seeing the coast it is not difficult to land any cargo of slaves ; the difficulty is in saving the vessel. 7219. You have been acting upon the African coast?—Yes. 7219*. Mr. Hope.] You cannot run in your vessel after theirs, can you?— No; you can take possession of the vessel, and they care very little for that. They give you the vessel, and they save their slaves. 7220. You cannot afford to sacrifice your vessel to catch theirs ? No nor even

risk

0.32.

it.

D D 3

7221. Mr.

603 Commander II. J. Matson, R. N. 8 March 1848.


206 Commander H. J. Matson, R. N. 8 March 1848.

MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

7221. Mr. Villiers.] You have some knowledge of the way in which the slav trade is carried on upon the coast of Africa?—Yes. 7222. Do the slave traders exercise any discretion in the choice of the slaves which are offered to them by the natives ?—They examine them very minutely. 7223. And they select the best ?—Yes, they give the best price for the best slave. 7224. Do you know what becomes of the slaves who are refused by the slave traders ?—I know instances of their being killed; but except when the numbers increase very much they are always of some little value, therefore it is only in very hard times that they are obliged to massacre them. 7225. They are killed on occasions when it does not answer to keep them ? —That is the reason. 7226. Are they used as slaves by the chiefs?—They are used for working; they do a certain amount of work. 7227. Do you know anything of the treatment of those which are not sold to the slave traders; is that a very hard condition ?—They get much less to eat 'from the blacks than they do when they are in the hands of the slave traders; they are fed better by the white men than by the blacks. 7228. There are no slave owners other than those African chiefs, on the African coast, are there ?—There are black merchants, " Gentlemen," as they call themselves. , 7229. Do they ever purchase slaves?—Yes; their wealth often consists in slaves. 7230. Do those African chiefs consider that they have the power of life and death over their slaves?—Yes; they have possession of the power of life and death over every one of their subjects, I think. 7231. When they kill them, do they kill them openly, without fear of punishment ?—Yes; in the river Nun there were 500 knocked on the head on the beach ; that is eight or ten years ago. 7232. If Great Britain allowed its subjects to resort to the coast of Africa to purchase labourers, or to obtain them by subsidizing the chiefs, and Brazil and Spain allows theirs to do the same thing, nominally for the purpose of procuring labourers, but really to enslave them, that would be the same thing ?— I have already stated that great abuses would be likely to take place. 7233. If Great Britain allowed its subjects to purchase labourers ?—They would not be allowed to purchase, I take for granted. 7234. If they were allowed to contract with the chiefs to procure labourers? —That would be a kind of slave trade, I imagine. 7235. Supposing Great Britain allowed its subjects to give subsidies to the chiefs to procure them labourers to go to the West Indies, would not that be pretty much the same thing as Brazil and Spain making their contracts with the chiefs to procure them labourers, intending, when they obtained them, to enslave them ?—There is very little difference, suppose you do it through the African chief. 7236. You do not believe that there is any willingness on the part of those labourers to come for anybody, either for a Spaniard or an Englishman, to work in a foreign country ?—If you can inspire them with confidence many will go very willingly. I quoted an instance just now. When I was ordered* to England I had 10 liberated Africans working on board my vessel, and each of them had from 20 I. to 70 l. due to him for wages; they preferred going to the West Indies in a vessel which was waiting at St. Helena, either to returning to Sierra Leone or to their own country. 7237. Do you know enough of the intelligence or of the opinions of the African population to say whether they have any apprehension of going to a a foreign country from knowing the treatment they are subjected to in slave countries?—They have such apprehensions, certainly; they mistrust the white men. 7238. And they would mistrust any one who wished to contract with them? Yes, unless he could bring good evidence in the shape of some of their own countrymen who already live in the West Indies; that is one means of inspiring them with confidence. 7239. It would not inspire them with confidence if any contract or arrangement was made with the chiefs?--—I think it would be very objectionable to do anything of the kind through the chiefs. 7240. The


SELECT COMMITTEE ON SUGAR AND COFFEE PLANTING. 207 7240. The labourers would not trust a chief who pretended to negotiate with a foreign country to send them out as labourers ?—No, they would rather trust some British official even than a chief; they have that sense of discriminating. 7241. Do those people discriminate in their own minds between countries where there is slave labour and countries where there is free labour?—Yes; they know very well that there is a difference between the English and the Spaniards. 7242. Do you consider that it would be dangerous, as an example to slave trading nations, for Great Britain to derive its labourers from any part of the coast of Africa, except those which were under its own government ?—If you could by any means induce those people to go voluntarily, without entering into any engagement through the chief, I think it would succeed ; that is, that you would obtain a great amount of labourers. 7243. Do you think that British subjects could go any where but to someplace under British Government, and get the confidence of the labourers sufficiently to induce them to come with them to the British colonies?—There are places undoubtedly ; the Kroo country is one, Congo is another. 7244. Those are countries where the numbers are very few, are not they?—In Congo they are very numerous; the country is very thickly populated ; the people are very well disposed, and they know sufficient of Englishmen to tell the difference between Spaniards and Englishmen. 7245. The Kroomen are among the people that are very mistrustful, are not they ?—They do not mistrust you at all. 7246. They would come willingly without the view of returning to their own country, would they ?—No ; you must inspire them with confidence ; the Krooman would be more particular in his stipulation than any other man. 7247. Do you believe their number is unlimited?—The Kroomen are very few; from Congo you might get a good many. 7248. Are they equal to the Kroomen ?—No, I do not think they are equal to them. 7249. Do you think they are sufficient to supply our colonies with labour ? — You might get a great number, perhaps 12,000 from that spot alone; that is supposing the slave trade had ceased; the chiefs would throw every difficulty in your way if they could carry on the slave trade. 7250. I understand you to say that you think we cannot put down the slave trade by our squadron there ?—I do not think that the squadron is sufficient. 7251. If the squadron is withdrawn, you have no doubt that the slave trade will go on more briskly than at present?—No doubt about it; and as the slave trade increases so would your chance of obtaining labour decrease. 7252. Therefore to get this unlimited supply of labour it is necessary to stop the slave trade somehow ?—Yes. 7253. Mr. Miles.] What number of men actually could be obtained from the coast of Africa, do you think ; do you think 30,000 or 40,000 a year might be obtained ?—Supposing the slave trade ceased, I have no doubt you might get many more than is necessary for all the West India islands. 7254. Do you think any could be obtained from the east coast of Africa?— The voyage is the difficulty, I suppose ; they would go without any hopes of going home again. 7255. The slave trade is carried on on the east coast, is not it ?—Yes ; we have had few cruisers there, I believe; more have been sent lately. 7256. Do you know how many there are now ?—Three or four. 7257. A number perfectly useless, probably?—Yes, any number is useless which cannot stop it. It is of no use having a few, because you only increase the price of slaves in the slave market. The point you want to arrive at is, to prevail upon the native chiefs to enter into arrangements with you, and they will never do that so long as they can export slaves. 7258. Are you aware that steps are being taken in Brazil to carry on the slave trade with the east coast now?—For the last three or four years they have had a constant supply from the east coast. 7259. Do you think that the principal number of those slaves are derived from the east or the west coast ?—Chiefly from the west coast, no doubt; Mozambique, and that coast of Africa, could not give the supply. The supply from the south coast of Africa (that is, the coast south of the Line,) is almost unlimited. D D 4 0.32. 7260. Have

605 Commander H. J. Matson, R.N. 8 March 1848.


208

MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

Commander 7260. Have you ever considered whether it would be possible with the GoH. J. Mat son, R. N. • vernment of Brazil to stop the slave trade ?—I think so ; indeed I have no doubt 8 March 1848.

of it. 7261. Would not that be a very effectual means of stopping it?—No doubt; that is what we have been striving for a long time. Thev are safe now directly they put their foot on shore. If the Brazilian government chose to seize them it might be very easily done. 7262. What effect would it have upon the people engaged in that trade if the slave trade, by all nations, was declared piracy ?—That would be a very effectual means, if all nations could be induced to concur in it. 7263. Do you know anything of the coast of Cuba ?—I have been on the station for two years. 7264. Do you think it is impossible to stop the slave trade by having vessels upon that coast ?—Quite impossible. 7265. What number of vessels do you think would be required ?—Perhaps three or four times the number required for the coast of Africa. 7266. Mr. Labouchere.] What makes that great difference?—The extent of coast is so much greater; the island is about 2,000 miles round, at any part of which you could embark slaves ; but the Governor-general of Cuba can always prevent it if he pleases. 7267. Mr. Miles.] Have you ever considered Captain Denman's plan for stationing vessels within sight of the spot where the depot of the slave-dealer is ?—I never saw the plan, but I think six or eight years ago the number of vessels that was proposed might have prevented it, because then we had treaties with the chiefs. 7268. Do you think the vessels now on the coast of Africa are sufficient in a sailing point of view, or would it require steamers, do you think?—I think a steamer is of more use than a sailing vessel; it will cost more money, but I should fancy if you only looked to the amount of money it is necessary to expend upon that service, you should have as few steamers as possible and increase the number of small sailing vessels. 7269. Do you think it would be most desirable to increase the sailing force or the steam force for the actual suppression of the slave trade ?—I should say increase the sailing force. 7270. Are you prepared to say to what amount?—I recollect giving a plan bv which I thought 33 vessels would actually stop the slave trade on the coast of Africa. 7271. Of what class?—The smaller the vessel the better for economy's sake. The sailing vessels are generally more healthy than steamers ; a portion of steamers are absolutely necessary. I should say, perhaps, that now 4,5 vessels would be necessary absolutely to stop the trade, and it is of no use doing anything unless you stop the trade. 7272. Supposing you had entered into treaties with those chiefs to subsidize them, do you think those chiefs would respect the terms of the treaties?—If you could make it their interest to do so. 7273. Do you think you could do so ?—Yes. Supposing one stipulation of the treaty was that you might use force, you could always enforce it. 7274. Would the power you have upon the spot be sufficient to enforce it ? — Yes ; but that would not be necessary, because no merchant would trust his cargo of goods on shore in Africa, if he thought the English had the power to land and destroy them. 7275. Mr. Labouchere.] Is the Committee to understand that it is your opinion, that with regard both to economy and to efficiency, it would be desirable rather to increase the amount of sailing vessels employed on the coast of Africa, than the amount of steam-vessels ? —I think so. A great mistake, I think, was made a few years ago, by sending out large vessels. I was told it was in consequence of the Foreign-office making a request that no officer under the rank of commander should be employed on the coast of Africa; there had been several mistakes made by lieutenants in command of vessels, and that obliged them to send a much larger class of vessels, which has doubled the expense. The same class of vessels that were formerly employed on the coast of Africa, commanded by a lieutenant, with a crew of 60 men, are now commanded by a commander, with two lieutenants and a crew of 80 men. They


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They are consequently much more expensive; they are not nearly so efficient, Commander and cannot be so healthy as formerly. H. J. Matson, R. N. 7276. Do you mean that if the squadron on the coast of Africa were increased in the manner that you have described, the slave trade would, in your 8 March 1848. opinion, be absolutely and completely put an end to?—I think that would be the best step ; if you could stop the slave trade for two years that would induce those chiefs to enter into a treaty with you in the manner they did six or eight years ago; but they will not enter into such a treaty till you have succeeded for a time in stopping the slave trade. Then, having succeeded, it will not be necessary to keep that large squadron upon the coast; one-quarter of the number will do after you have once succeeded in engaging the chiefs in those treaties. 7277. Is there at present an indisposition on the part of those chiefs to enter into such treaties ?—Ever since Lord Aberdeen's letter there has been. 7278. Are there no instances of such treaties having been made?—Never since that letter appeared. In fact, in the case of the two last treaties that were made, two of the most important chiefs refused, on seeing that letter, to receive their first year's subsidy. It then became a question with the Government whether they should enforce the treaty or not; and it being referred to, I believe, Dr. Lushington, and some of the officers of the Crown, the Government decided that it should not be enforced. 7279. Does the authority of each of those chiefs extend over a considerable extent of country ?—Over a very large extent. Ambriz is a small place, but it is the outlet to a very large portion of Africa; roads converge to it from a great many points, even from the opposite coast of Mozambique. The country is a thickly populated country, and exports a great many slaves. 7280. Is their authority sufficiently great to enable them to enforce any regulation they may desire to see carried into effect ?—Their power is almost unlimited ; but the fear those people would have would be of the English, and not of the chiefs in that respect. In the case of a slave trader, black, or white, his fear would be that the Englishmen would land, and destroy his goods. 7281. Mr. M. Gibson.] Would not the internal slave trade of Africa herself keep alive always a very great amount of slave trade, even if the export were totally stopped?—No; 1 do not think the internal slave trade was known before we went there. Among the whole of the African languages there is no name for slave. 7282. In all parts of Africa at present there are slave markets?—That is to supply slaves. 7283. Those slaves are not only for export, but for internal use, are not they ? —I do not speak of the northern part. 7284. Is there a considerable export of slaves for the use of Turkey ?—I know little of Northern Africa, but I believe there is some slave trading. 7285. For domestic purposes?—Yes. 7286. For the use of the Egyptians ?—Yes. 7287. There would be for ordinary purposes a considerable demand for slaves, even if you were to stop slave trading?—Not considerable; I think that would be very small. 7288. Mr. Laboucherc.] Is the condition of slavery unusual in Africa itself?— I think so; I think slavery was unknown before we went there, because in all the different languages of Africa they have no term for slave.; they make use of the Spanish word " cautivo." 7289. Are you sufficiently acquainted with the internal condition of Africa to be able to say whether it is or is not the case, that slavery, either domestic or praedial, is the common condition of society there ?—It. is now ; I do not think it was. 7290. J am not now speaking of slaves taken for the purpose of exportation, but of persons reduced to slavery for the purpose of being employed within the country itself?—There is a state of slavery, but very trilling. I consider it is in no proportion whatever to the amount of slaves bought for the purpose of exportation. 7291. Do you know whether the cultivation of the soil is conducted to any extent by slaves in Africa itself?—The soil is almost wholly cultivated by women; every man has his dozen wives, who are his slaves. 7292. Mr. M. Gibson.] If you were to suppress the trade on the west, what 0.32. E E would


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would you do with the east coast ?—There is no market for slaves from the east Commander H. J. Matson, R. N. coast unless they come round. 7293. The additional voyage would be in itself a great obstacle?—Yes; there 8 March 1848. is no market for slaves on the east coast. 7294. Mr. Hope.'] Could you give the Committee any idea of the extent of coast a cruizer is expected to guard ?—That depends upon the nature of the coast; on an easy coast for her boats, she can watch a large extent. 7295. Are there particular stations assigned to individual vessels ?—Yes. 7296. You said the trade winds generally blow from Africa to the Brazil <— Yes. 7297. Will not it happen sometimes, that in pursuit of a slaver a sailing vessel will run to leeward ; and if you get to leeward of your station, how do you get back again?—You must keep your station. 7298. Then how can you pursue a slaver ?—I suppose in the case of the coast being blockaded, that you prevent the slaver approaching the coast. 7299. You would not lay your account to catch her as she is leaving the coast? —It would be very wrong if you did, of course; you would put a number of negroes in misery on board the vessel, and you would still run the chance of not catching her at all. 7300. Are the Committee to understand that the object of the blockade is to prevent ships arriving at the coast, or to catch them as they leave?—The better plan is to prevent their arriving. 7301. Sir E. Buxton.] Of course you use the blockade for both purposes ?— Yes, if you do not succeed in stopping a vessel approaching the coast, you must try to take her on leaving. 7302. Mr. Hope.] In that case, would not a steamer be of more use than a sailing vessel ?—In some cases where it is difficult to keep the stations, but there are a great many objections to steamers; the smoke is seen a long way off, and when the slaver sees a steamer he knows it is an enemy ; if he sees a sailing vessel he does not know whether it is a merchant vessel or a man-of-war, therefore steamers should only be employed in those cases where the current runs strong, and the sailing vessel cannot keep her station. 7303. Do you anticipate much mischief from the use of steamers by the Brazilians?—They have succeeded lately, but I should fancy the expense would be too great; I am rather surprised to hear that they have employed steamers ; I think it is only an experiment. 7304. The Committee have been led to suppose that they are going to increase the amount of their steamers?—I believe they have found it answer this last year. 7305. Do you think that sailing vessels will be able to compete with steamers in stopping the slave trade?—Yes, to prevent their approaching the coast; if you could blockade the coast of Africa, you would prevent slaves approaching the coast. 7306. May not they give you the slip ?—I am supposing the squadron to be sufficient to blockade the coast. 7307. How would a sailing vessel stop a steamer ?—She would put herself in the way to prevent her coming on the coast. The more slave traders employ steamers, the more requisite will it be for us to employ them too. 7308. Can a sailing vessel reckon with any degree of certainty upon her power of arresting the progress of a steam vessel ?—No; but a Brazil steamer, or any slave-trading steamer, can only have steam as an auxiliary power, therefore she is very soon crippled. If a sailing vessel succeeds in driving a steamer off to sea for two or three days she must go back to the Brazils again, because she can only carry coals for a very few number of days. If she came equipped as a regular steamer with her full power engines, she could carry no slaves. 7309. She can always reckon upon the trade wind to take her back again? —Yes, if she could only have coals enough to take her two days clear of the coast. 7310. Sir E. Buxton.] Are you at all acquainted with the extent of the slave trade into Egypt and the north-east of Africa?—No. 7311. The slaves are chiefly procured for the purposes of export either one way or the other, are not they ?—On the west coast of Africa, certainly. 7312. I hey are chiefly for export, whether it is to the north or to the south? —Almost entirely for export. 7313. As


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7313. As far as you can see, our slave trade is the great promoter of the Commander internal slavery of Africa, is it not ?—No doubt of it. H.J.Matson, it. N. 7314. Do you know whether there is an export of slaves to the amount of 8 March 1848. 4,000 or 5,000 per annum to the north east of Africa ?—No, I do not know that. 7315. You have never been there ? —Not for many years. I know that many slaves are exported from the east coast of Africa to come round the Cape of Good Hope. Mr. Henry Dummett, called in ; and Examined. 7316. Chairman.] YOU have a property in Babadoes, I believe?—I have. Mr. H. Dummett. 7317. Have you been resident upon your own property?—I am a native of the island, and a proprietor also; I also represent a good deal of the property of the island which is not my own, acting as attorney. 7318. How long is it since you left Barbadoes ?—About two years. 7319. What is the result of your experience of the cultivation of Barbadoes during slavery, during apprenticeship, and since perfect freedom ?—I think it has by no means fallen off, and that the island just now is in a most perfect and high state of cultivation. 7320. Have you any statement of the crops you obtained during slavery and during apprenticeship?—I have no statement, but I am prepared to say that the country never made more during the state of slavery than it did during the apprenticeship. 7321. Was it about the same during slavery and apprenticeship?—Perhaps if anything it was greater during apprenticeship, owing to the extraordinary efforts that were made by the proprietary body to keep up the cultivation, and owing also to the cultivation of provisions having been, in a great measure, relinquished for that of the staple commodity, and very favourable seasons. 7322. Was it on account of the rise in the price of sugar that those great exertions were made upon emancipation ?—I cannot say that it was. 7323. How do you account for those extraordinary exertions ?—The planters felt that unless unusual exertion was had recourse to, and additional improvements introduced, the thing must fall through, and they relinquished the cultivation of provisions in a great measure, that is to say, corn and potatoes, and that which they formerly grew for the purpose of feeding the slaves ; in short, I may say that the provision of the country was superseded by that of America. We quickly discovered that American corn could be brought and sold in the island at less money than we could grow it; that in short it was more to the interest of the planter to address himself solely to the cultivation of sugar than anything else. American corn is brought there in the shape of meal, at once prepared for the use of the labourer, and of course they shrank from all labour which they could at all avoid. The grinding and preparation of the corn was of course attended with more or less trouble. 7324. During apprenticeship did you increase your produce very much ?— I cannot say very much ; it certainly did not fall off. 7325. A much better price was obtained for your produce than you had before ?—There was a period when it commanded a remunerating price. 7326. The price of sugar rose very much after emancipation, did not it; therefore you must have got a better price for the same quantity of produce than you had before?—I attribute it to the quantity of sugar having fallen off in other colonies. I speak especially as regards Barbadoes. 7327. Of course the price which you obtained for your produce in Barbadoes was the same price that the planters of Jamaica obtained ; your price was governed by the price in England ?—Precisely so. 7328. That price being a better price than you had previously to emancipation, of course the profits of the cultivation must have been greater on emancipation than they were before, if you got as good a produce in point of quantity ? —The additional expense of apprenticeship must be borne in mind. 7329. What was the greater expense during apprenticeship ?—There was comparatively limited labour; in a state of slavery the slave laboured for many more hours during the day, and when he was required ; but during apprentice ship there was a law regulating the labour. 7330. You lost one-fourth of his labour?—Yes. 0.32. E E 2 7331. You


212 Mr. H. Dummett. 8 March 1848.

MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

7331 - You Hired that one-fourth, did not you ?—When required. 7332. Have you any statement to show the difference of the expense of cultivation during apprenticeship, and during slavery ?—I have no statement, but I am prepared to state what I consider to have been the expense. I am under the impression, that upon a well-regulated estate, in the island of Barbadoes, where the planter has established the crop in the hope of reaping 100 hogsheads, it is not done at a less expense, speaking generally, than from 1,500/. to 1,700/. sterling per annum. 7333. You are speaking now of the present time ?—Yes. 7334. What is the weight of your hogsheads?—When I say 100 hogsheads, I speak in round numbers ; I speak of a ton of sugar to a hogshead. 7335. The hogshead you speak of in Barbadoes is a ton ?—Twenty hundredweight short measure, or about 18 cwt. Of course the expense fluctuates on estates, but I speak as an average. 7336. You can put the sugar on the beach for 17 s. a cwt. upon the average, can you ?—I should say so. 7337. When you state that you can put the sugar upon the beach for 17s. a cwt., is that after deducting the product of the rum ?—I wish to be understood to say, that I consider a ton of sugar from the island of Barbadoes, landed in England, including the rum and molasses, costs 20 s. with the rum and molasses. 7338. You said you put sugar upon the beach for 17 l. a ton ; when you say you put sugar upon the beach for 17 l. a ton, do you credit yourself with the proceeds of the rum ?—No. 7339. Then there is the rum into the bargain ?—The rum and the molasses. 7340. That is equal to one-third more?—Not one-third, I should say. 7341. In point of fact, supposing it were less than one-third; supposing the rum and molasses to give 5 l. out of 17 l., can you, after having taken the proceeds of the rum and the molasses, put the sugar upon the beach for 12 l. ?— I never made a calculation of that kind. I speak as to growing 100 tons of sugar, the expense required to cover it, and everything appertaining and belonging to the sugar; that is to say, the rum and the molasses. 7342. The cost of growing a ton of sugar is 17 l. ?—Yes. 7343. You have not made it clear to the Committee whether you mean to say that the sugar is 17 l., and that there is something more for the rum and the molasses, or whether the cost of the sugar is more than the 17 l. but for the proceeds of the rum and the molasses?—The cost will cover everything. I mean to say that it costs 17 l. for growing a ton of sugar and producing the rum and molasses appertaining thereto. 7344. For 17 l. you can grow a ton of sugar, and how much molasses and rum ?—To every two hogsheads of sugar we calculate upon one puncheon of molasses, or one puncheon of rum, that is, half a puncheon to every hogshead. 734,5. What is the value of a half puncheon of molasses ?—The common value in the island is about 8 dollars, or 1l. 13 s. 7346. What is the value of a Barbadoes dollar ?—Four shillings and twopence sterling. 7347. And you put your sugar upon the beach at a cost of 15 l. 6s. 8 d. the 18 cwt. ?—That is the cost of growing it. 7348. That covers all the expense of cultivation, and the interest upon the capital laid out, does not it?—No interest upon the capital whatever; it covers all the expenses of our cultivation, labour, taxation, every sort of implement, and all the rest of it. 7349. Not the capital laid out in machinery and buildings?—The buildings were established; I look upon that as being quite a different thing, the expense of farming the estates and the buildings; that was the original capital invested. I do not speak of the interest upon that money. 7350. It pays the cost of cultivation and gives no profit ?—It gives no profit whatever. 7351. Does it include the repair of the buildings ?—It does, the current expenses of the year. 7352. No interest for the capital invested in the original block?—Precisely so. 7353. Barbadoes therefore was driving a very good trade from the period of emancipation, to what year as the latest ?—I should say that Barbadoes had been


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been holding its own at all events till within the last two years; the planters Mr. H. Dummett. have been enabled to live, practising a very rigid economy, but nothing more ; 8 March 1848. they were able to exist. 7354. Have they carried out all the improvements of which a sugar estate is capable ?—Every exertion has been made upon that point by the Barbadoes planters; indeed the state of the island stands alone in contrast with the other islands. 7355. Is that because wages are lower than in the other islands?—No; I attribute it to the dense population of the island, and their being greatly in advance of the other colonies in cultivation and science. 7356. There has been no slave trading to Barbadoes for nearly 100 years, has there?—For a very long period ; not since 1795, I believe. 7357. The apprenticeship was cut short, was not it ?—Yes. 7358. In what year did you carry out complete emancipation, the Bill passing in 1833 ?—I am not prepared to answer that; my memory does not serve me at this moment. 7359. Do you know how many years of apprenticeship there were ?—I think it lasted three years and three-quarters. 7360. What was the difference in the cost of production after the apprenticeship was concluded, as compared with the period of apprenticeship?—Very material indeed. 7361. Can you state what it was?—It became a ready-money transaction, which was not known at all in the state of apprenticeship. Most of this money cost of cultivation has existed only since the apprenticeship. The difference would only be that of the taxes of the country on the land. 7362. What was the expense of putting the sugar upon the beach during the apprenticeship?—I should say the taxing and expenses for keeping up buildings, cattle, and all the rest of the necessary materials, would be probably some 400 I. instead of 1,700 l., or perhaps more than that. 7363. Will you try to recal to your recollection exactly what the amount was, and state it?—As nearly as I can tell, 400 I. sterling paid the expenses of the estate, and the balance is the expenses which have grown out of the altered state of things ; that is to say, working now with free labour. 7364. What should you say was the cost of growing sugar during slavery ? —There was the expense of the negro and the supplies; it was comparatively nothing. 7365. There were some expenses of machinery, and so on ?—Yes, 7366. What were your outgoings previous to the years of apprenticeship? — During slavery ; my experience does not go back so far as that. I can speak of the different state of things between that existing during the apprenticeship, and that which now exists in the West Indies. 7367. Mr. Labouchcre.] Were not you at Barbadoes during the period of slavery ?—Only as a young man ; but not as an experienced man. 7368. Chairman.'] You were in Barbadoes, but not engaged in sugar planting? — Precisely so. 7369. You said you were able to give your own expenses during the apprenticeship, and how much later?—Our great difficulty, as regards the falling off in the value of property, has been within the last two years ; previously to that, property in Barbadoes was marketable ; it is now held altogether at a nominal value. 7370. What number of years' purchase did an estate sell for in Barbadoes when you first became personally acquainted with estates in that country ?— We are not in the habit of calculating in that way. I can tell you what we considered an estate which was capable of producing from 100 to 150 hogsheads to he then worth, and what it now is worth ; a property producing from 100 to 150 hogsheads was considered to be worth about 35,000 l. currency, or 23,000 I. sterling. 7371. What is it worth now ? —Just now it is held altogether at a nominal value. It would be difficult to effect a sale ; indeed I question whether it could be done on any terms ; but as lately as two years ago I, myself, sold a property in the island, receiving for it 20,000 l, sterling; that was such an estate as I spoke of, capable of producing 150 hogsheads under favourable circumstances. 7372. When did you sell that property ?—Two years ago. 0.32. E E 3 7373. For


214 Mr H. Dummett. 8 March 1848.

MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

7373. For a few years antecedent to 1846 what annual income had you derived from that property ?—A very limited one indeed; it much depended upon the price of sugar in this country. 7374. Taking one year with another, what might it be?—I should say not more than 1,000 /. currency, after paying all expenses, that is between 600 /. and 7001, sterling, the seasons having been most unfavourable from 1839 to 1845. 7375. How do you account for your getting 20,000/. for an estate which only paid between 600/. and 700 /. a year?—In the first place, I consider I made a very excellent sale of the property; the planters were merely making a living ; they were barely paying their expenses at that time. 7376. Did you sell that estate to a resident in the island, or to a stranger?— To a stranger for agricultural purposes, but he sold it again immediately; it changed hands two or three times. 7377. How do you account for its selling for so much money, and returning so small a profit?—It was thought capable of great improvement, and the parties were sanguine that they could do much with it with better seasons, the buildings being in first rate order; the negro village too had been lately built, and the whole, including the manager's house, was erected at a cost not less than 8,000/. sterling. 7378. Were they Englishmen who purchased it?—It was an Englishman that purchased it, but he bought it only as a speculation, with the understanding that a native planter was to take it off his hands. 7379. Do you know what profit he made of the estate ?—He made a nominal profit of some 1,500/. 7380. The first year ?—By the sale. 7381. What do you call a nominal profit?—He did not receive his money, and there is a question whether he ever will. 7382. You received your money?—Every shilling. 7383. What profit do you understand that the present possessor of the estate is now making a year by it; he anticipates nothing; in short, I believe he feels himself ruined at this moment. 7384. Do you mean that he gets no profit at all?—He says that the price of sugar in England scarcely pays for the cultivation of it; the present price of sugar does not pay for growing it. 7385. What are your freight and charges to England ?—Four shillings freight. 7386. What are the other charges ?—That is the principal charge; there are brokerage, and rimage, and commissions. 7387. Are those 3 s. more, making 7 s. in the whole ?—I should say somewhere thereabouts. 7388. That would give 24 s. ?—Yes; I believe the average value of Barbadoes sugar of the last crop did not reach 15 /. sterling per 18 cwt. 7389. That is to say, in the island ?—In the British market, after deducting freight, charges, and everything else; it does not pay for the cultivation. 7390. Can you tell the Committee anything with respect to wages ; have you been able to reduce the wages of the labourers this year ?—I have understood that, owing to the late failures and the total absence of specie in the country, the labourers have been induced to labour on, in short, without receiving any money, but with an understanding that it would be at a reduced price. 7391. What were the wages of a labourer in the year 1846 ?—Where the labourers hired cottages generally, with the understanding that they were to work at less money, they received 20 cents per day. 7392. Where there was no cottage?—Twenty-five or 30 cents ; this was for nine hours' work. 7393. They work more hours in Barbadoes than they do in the other colonies ? —Yes, during crop time ; when they laboured beyond that period they received extra pay. 7394. At what rate?—Making it five cents more probably. 7395. For how many hours ?—Two or three, as occasion might require. 7396. Are you able to say to what ebb you have been able to reduce the wages now ?—It is only within the last two or three weeks that I have heard of this ^eduction. 7397. What is the amount of the reduction?—I believe the understanding to


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to be that some 15 cents probably will be paid where they used to receiye 20 Mr. H. Dummett. cents; but it is only partial in the island, and it is not a settled question, for, the 8 March 1848. moment the money returns to the country, I have no doubt they will require the same wages. 7398. Is that in consequence of the breaking of the bank ?—It is in consequence of the absence of all specie, owing to the breaking of the bank and the failure of a large West India house connected with the island, who were almost bankers themselves there; I speak of Barton's house, of Liverpool. 7399. If you should be able to maintain this reduction of wages to 71/2 d., shall you be able then to produce the sugar at such a cost that it would pay at the present price ?—My opinion is, we certainly could not. 7400. If you reduce the rate of wages measured in money from 10 d. to 7 § d., what effect will that have upon the cost of the manufacture of a hogshead of sugar; it would not make a difference of 25 per cent., because the wages only form a proportion of the cost ?—It would be 25 per cent, on 1,200 /. 7401. You reckon that where 1,700 I. is laid out in the cultivation of sugar, 1,200 Z. of it goes to labour ?—Yes. I would not be supposed to be answering accurately as to the expense, but in round numbers I calculate the expense of an estate yielding from 100 to 150 hogsheads to be from 1,500 l. to 1,700 l sterling a year. Since 1846, owing to the fall in the value of sugar at home, things have gone so wrong in the west that property just now is held altogether at a nominal value. An estate which I sold at 20,000 I. two years ago, in the island of Barbadoes, I feel certain, if it were now offered for publie saie, would not bring half the money. 7402. You think it might fetch 10,000l. ?—It would be a mere transfer of property; it would not be a bona fide sale. I do not think there is such a thing as effecting a sale of West India property just now. 7403. How many days a week do the labourers work at Barbadoes?—Five days. 7404. Saturday is given them for their provision-grounds?—Yes. 7405. Do those labourers who have no provision-grounds labour six days a week ?—No, it is not usual near the town, where my estate is situated. Saturday is always regarded as a holiday; they go to market. As regards the cultivation of the island, nothing can be more perfect; in short, in the little island of Barbadoes the cane cultivation is reduced to a garden cultivation: they have gone to great expense in improvements; in short, improvements of every nature have been eagerly sought after. 7406. Is it an island which admits of ploughs being used all over it?—There is not an estate in the country, I should say, which has not its plough; they have a variety of ploughs; the horse-hoe for weeding; advantage, in fact, has been taken of every improvement. 7407. Have they abundance of horses and cattle ?—Yes, mules and horses are generally employed; mules and horses have taken the place of cattle very largely. 7408. Are they bred in the island ? —They are brought from America, the horses, and from the Spanish Main. 7409. There is no further improvement in the cultivation of Barbadoes of which the island is susceptible?—I think not; as respects all improvements in the manufacture of sugar, as I said before, they have been eagerly sought after. We hear with astonishment of our being accused of want of energy in those things. In the House of Commons some allusion was made to the late improvements of a certain Dr. Evans, who has published a book on West India affairs. I myself gave a great deal of time to that patent pan which he so highly speaks of, and I was witness to its performance in London. I was so much pleased at what I saw that I immediately undertook a voyage to the West Indies again, taking with me two of those pans, with the necessary steam-engines. As he showed here, he professes to do with this open pan at a very moderate cost, all that the most approved pan, the vacuum pan, could do, and so, to all appearance, he does in London. I made myself thoroughly acquainted with it here. I put on a working jacket, and went into the manufactory with him ; but on going to the West Indies I found, when we had to employ the raw material, or the cane juice itself, the effect was very different; it produced a most beautiful sugar, but it was of so light a nature that it did not compensate; in short, it did not realize my expectations by any means. 0-32. 'As em


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As regards the conduct of the negroes in Barbadoes in the late distress of the West Indies, I willingly bear testimony to it; they have submitted, I understand, 8 March 1848. with a very good grace to a reduction of wages at present, in the hope of an early improvement; but when we talk of a reduction of wages, we do not consider it at all as a fixed thing. I am not sanguine that we should be able to establish such a reduction. 7410. Do not you suppose, when the labourers see that.it is not possible that the planters can afford to give them more than this reduced price, they will submit ?-~In the cultivation of the sugar-cane we cannot oppose them ; if they hold out against us, so as to neglect the cultivation for a week or a fortnight, it is almost a ruinous thing; we are obliged to do all that is in the power of the planter to keep, them in good humour, and I think they would be very unwilling to sacrifice so much for a permanency. 7411. Have the labourers at Barbadoes any other means of subsistence; could they hold out against the planters if the planters were to say we cannot afford to pay you more than 15 cents a day ?—The climate is such that one day's labour suffices to keep them going for a week if they choose to exist upon it, with the assistance of their provision-grounds. 7412. Do not you apprehend that if living is so cheap in Barbadoes 15 cents a day for wages are such handsome and encouraging wages that the labourers would be glad to accept 15 cents a day rather than be thrown back upon their provision-grounds?—I think it will need time before they can be reconciled to that amount. The planters have heard with great concern of the proposed measures for their benefit; they feel, as regards Barbadoes, that they will do very little to benefit them. 7413. That is to say, no advantage can accrue to Barbadoes from any immigration of labour ? —There possibly might not be to any extent; we do not absolutely require labour ; we have quite labour enough in the country if there were anybody to enter into competition with the labouring population of the country, but just now the planter is in a great measure at the mercy of the peasantry; they make their own terms. The moral effect of immigration elsewhere would no doubt be useful. 7414. Is not the population of Barbadoes the most dense population of any spot of land in the world?—It is; but the non-labouring population is very great indeed ; and as I have said before, one day's work goes a long way to provide for a man's wants for a week. The agricultural population is estimated at 45,000. 7415. If you were to have any immigration of labourers would not they be in the same position as the resident labourers of the island ; would not they be able to employ their own two days' work to grow provisions for themselves ?— Yes, but the planter would have some resource, I look upon it. 7416. Was not there a hurricane or earthquake in Barbadoes some years ago? —There was a hurricane in 1831. 7417. Did not you get some advantage by the postponement of the hurricane loan payment?—It would be a benefit to some, but those parties arc very few, and would form an exception to the rule; to those parties it would be a very great boon. 7418. What is the amount of loan still due to the Government by the island of Barbadoes ?—I am not prepared to say. But little, I apprehend, when compared to other colonies. 7419. Do you apprehend, that if the present price of sugar continues, any great portion of the island of Barbadoes will be thrown out of cultivation ?—I feel perfectly certain of that fact; in short it must go to ruin the whole island ; a few more independent planters, those who would be better off", would be prevented from cultivating their lands in consequence of their neighbours not being able to employ the people. In short they would be glad to let out their lands to the peasantry on the best terms they could. The negro would not labour for me while he could rent land and become a petty farmer himself. 7420. Would not he grow sugar-canes himself?—In a very limited and irregular sort of way. I feel certain a state of barbarism would be again arrived at. 7421. Is not it the fact that at this present time there are a great many of the negro population who cultivate the sugar cane, and who club together in Barbadoes to grind the cane?—The canes are all converted into sugar at, the works

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works belonging to the estate on which they hold lands ; those advantages are Mr. H. Dummett. held out as a sort of encouragement to them. 7422. Is it the fact that there are many little freeholders who club together 8 March 1848. to grind the canes themselves ?—They have no means of grinding; they have no mills. 7423. Have not they small hand-mills ?—Not that I am aware of; not in Barbadoes. 7424. Do you think that with so dense a population a great part of the sugar-cane fields might not be let out for provision grounds ?--They buy provisions, as I have said before, at so very moderate a rate from the United States, that they would not think of growing them. 7425. That only applies, I believe, to dry corn, and not to vegetables of any kind?—It applies to corn, which is the principal thing they live on. 7426. They do not live upon yams, do they?—Yams and potatoes, but in a very moderate quantity. I would speak as to the relative value of property now to what it was in 1846, and I cannot better illustrate that than by telling the Committee that I was myself in treaty, through the commander of the forces, General Middlemore, in the island of Barbadoes, with the authorities at home, for the sale of a mansion. This property was surveyed at the instance of the general, and a statement was sent home; he considered himself, together with the head of the Commissariat department, that as that property was in the market, it should be purchased by Government as a residence for the commander of the forces. The house is, I may say, without exception the finest in the West Indies; it was erected at a cost of 10,000 l. sterling, a great deal of money for that part of the world. I offered it to the Government, with a certain portion of land to it, for say, 10,000 l. ; I should be this day most happy to take 5,000 l. for it. I mention this fact to show how the value of property of all sorts in the island of Barbadoes, the most favourably situated in the West Indies, has fallen. 7427. You never were offered 10,000 l., were you?—No. 7428. What offer did General Middlemore make?—He was not in a position to offer; he recommended to the Government to purchase, and he did not consider the value I set upon the property unreasonable. 7429. To the Government is not it worth now as much as it was before?—It is not to me. 7430. Can you give the Committee any further information with respect to the value of properties consisting of sugar-cane fields ?—I should say they have fallen in a like proportion; the estate which I sold for 20,000/. a few years ago, I am certain would not realize 10,000 /. at this day. 7431. Mr. Labouchere.] You stated that it would now cost between 1,500/. and 1,600/. to place upon the beach of Barbadoes the same quantity of sugar which, during a system of apprenticeship, cost about 400 /. ?—Yes. 7432. That is to say, in your opinion, the cost of producing sugar in Barbadoes has quadrupled since the apprenticeship system was abolished?—Yes ; the planter is out of pocket by that much money now above what he was in the time of slavery. 7433. To what do you attribute this enormous increase in the cost of production ?—The cultivation was carried on by labour belonging to the planter, that is to say, by his apprentices ; now it is done by free labour, for which he has to pay. 7434. Were there no outgoings caused by the system of apprenticeship, in the maintenance of those apprentices, and in other ways ?—During the apprenticeship we fed the people; we grew our own provisions, and fed them altogether ; that has been abandoned. 7435. You have stated that it has been found cheaper to import provisions from America rather than to grow them, in order to feed the labouring population?—Yes; that is the business of the merchant, with which the planter lias nothing to do. It is a money transaction now, whereas during the apprenticeship system the planter grew his own corn and fed his own people, which rendered cash payments for labour unnecessary. 7436. You stated in answer to a question that was put to you, that it has been found to be cheaper to import provisions from America, in order to feed the labouring population, than to grow them in Barbadoes for the same purpose ?—I accounted for that by stating that the negro will not take the trouble 0.32. F F of


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of grinding or preparing his own corn, and it became of very little value when corn already prepared from America was procurable. 8 March 1848. 7437. Do you conceive that the reduction of duties upon articles of import into Barbadoes has had no effect in facilitating production there ?—I am not prepared to speak as to that question. I would merely speak of Barbadoes as to its relative position now and two years ago. 7438. Have you turned your attention to the effect which the remission of duties upon articles of import into the island, especially provisions and lumber, has had upon the power of production of the island ?—No ; I am not prepared to speak upon that subject, 7439. When you talk of those two sums, do you take the mere money payments ?—Money payments. I mean to say that during apprenticeship, the sum of 5001, covered the money expenses of an estate; now it is increased to the amount I have mentioned, and I accounted for that by stating that we fed our own people then, and of course paid no money for labour. 7440. You have stated that there is an abundance of labour in the island of Barbadoes, if the people were willing to work for reasonable wages ?—I am of that opinion. 7441. Do not you conceive, therefore, that upon the long run the planters will find that they will be able to obtain sufficient labour in Barbadoes at a reasonable price ?—Never, to enable us to compete with the sugar produced by slave labour. The cost of cultivation in Porto Rico is so very different from that produced in the British West Indies, that we stand no chance whatever; and I am clearly of opinion, that unless we have a fixed and sufficient differential duty, the island of Barbadoes, the most flourishing island in the West Indies, must go out of cultivation. 7442. Are you of opinion, that supposing you to have access to free labour in abundance at a reasonable cost, it would be still impossible for Barbadoes to compete with the slave-labour producing colonies?—Certainly. I am perfectly satisfied in my own mind, that free labour never can compete- with slavery. 7443. Not under the most favourable circumstances ?—Not under the most favourable ciruumstances. 7444. Are you able to state to the Committee what amount of protection you think would enable you permanently to compete with the slave labour producing colonies ?—As far as my own opinion goes, though it is a mere matter of opinion, I think with a differential duty of less than 11 s., the planter could not hope for any return, in the way of interest, of his property invested there. 7445. Do you think that that amount of protection must be permanent, or would you propose it merely as a temporary measure, in order to enable the colony to recover from the prostration which it is now in?—I think they ought to be protected, in order to restore confidence; anything short of a fixed differential duty for that purpose would not go to relieve us, and I am of opinion that it is the only measure that can save the West Indies just now. 7446. Do not you think there would be some danger if the protective duty were only given you for a certain period, that persons would engage in cultivation, relying upon that duty, and that their calculations would be frustrated when it was subsequently removed ?—I would be understood to speak as regards Barbadoes especially; the cultivation cannot be brought to a higher state of perfection than it is in now. I believe there is not a square acre in the country capable of producing either provisions or canes, which is not just now under the highest state of cultivation. 7447. Do not you believe that any system that produces uncertainty in the minds of the planters of Barbadoes, with regard to the question of protection, would be unfortunate for them ?—I think it would; they cannot be worse off than they are just now, because they are fast dying a sort of natural death; I look upou it that this is the last crop of sugar that can be reaped in the island. 7448. There have been frequent changes in the sugar duties of late years, have not there ?—Yes, there have. 7449. Do you think the frequency of those changes has been prejudicial to the planting interests in the island of Barbadoes ?—The value of property has been gradually lessened; confidence has been shaken, and merchants have been gradually withdrawing their support. 7450. You

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7450. You stated to the Committee, as an example that you were personally Mr. II. Dummett. acquainted with, an estate in Barbadoes that produced about 6001, a year 8 March 1848. having been sold at 20,0001.; do you conceive anybody would have been found to give such a sum as that for an estate producing such an income, unless he had anticipated high prices in the market of England, under a protective system ?—The party who purchased it bought it with a view of greatly improving and increasing his crops, and looked forward, no doubt, to an improvement in the British market, as I explained before. 7451. Do you think anybody would have embarked in a speculation of that kind, which you state has been ruinous to the person who has entered into it, without the expectation of such a high price in the English market as could only be secured by a system of protection ?—I believe the impression was that England would never altogether abandon her colonies, or relinquish them by putting them in competition with slave-grown sugar. 7452. Suppose Parliament now were to enact a protecting duty without being willing, or without being able permanently to maintain it, do not you think it would have the effect of inducing persons to embark in a speculation similar to that which you have described, which might ultimately result in ruin to those who had entered into them?—I think parties would be very cautious just now; I think now it would be impossible to effect a sale in the West Indies at all. 7453. You state that at the present moment the labourers in Barbadoes are working at reduced rates of payment, and also that the payments themselves are postponed for the present?—Yes, in the absence of money consequent upon the failure of the bank there, they have arrived at a state of barter almost, and of bankruptcy. 7454. Does not that circumstance inspire you with the hope that ultimately the labouring population of Barbadoes will be willing to give their labour to the planters at such reasonable rates of payment as will be mutually just to both parties?—The effect will be to throw out of cultivation a great many estates just now under high cultivation; they will be abandoned altogether; the labourers will be unwilling to submit to the very low price of labour that it must come to, and the lands will ultimately be let out to them upon the best terms which the proprietary body can make; in short, I take a very gloomy view of things there, and I apprehend a great deal of mischief. I look upon it that the West Indies generally have been the victims of a series of experiments, and that they have been completely revolutionized, happily, so far, without bloodshed ; but the moment property ceases to be represented and the proprietary body cease to be influential, and the labourers get possession of the land, which it must come to, I shall begin to fear for those who may yet remain in the country. 74,55. lias the labouring population in Barbadoes hitherto been generally well conducted ?—Uncommonly so, in contrast with those of the other islands. 7456. Is vagrancy common in Barbadoes ?—No, I cannot say that it is. They support each other, and there is a very good feeling of that sort existing ; they are very far in advance of the other islands in civilization. 7457. Is there a general good feeling between the planters and the labourers? —Very much so. 7458. Have the labourers shown a taste for something beyond the mere necessaries of life?—That they certainly have, and indeed their general condition has very much improved indeed, and I am sorry to say a great many of them arc losers by the failure of the West India Bank ; they had become depositors ; they are a class of people who have wonderfully improved in their condition, and in behaviour, and everything else. 7459. Mr. Villiers.] Did you say that you thought if the price of sugar were to continue as low as it is at present, the island would return to a state of barbarism ?—I think so; that is to say, I consider that it will tend to throw out the present proprietary body, and that the lands will fall into the hands of the peasantry, the cultivation will become very irregular, and the consequences, as I have just hinted, I think will be fearful for those who are obliged to remain there. 7460. You expect, do not you, that the peasantry would rent the estates of the planter, and that they would not return to savage life, but that they would 0.32. F F 2 cultivate


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MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

Mr. H. Dummett. cultivate them in small portions ? — They will be in possession, but the nature 8 March 1848.

of the negro is such that you could not rely upon him for one moment; and I take it that the result will be, that the estates ultimately will fall out of cultivation, that they will become provision lands, and that the sugar cultivation will be lost. 7461. You observe among those negroes a great taste for the comforts and luxuries of civilized life, do not you ?—They are very much improved, comparatively speaking. 7462. Are all the estates under the same circumstances, that they will at once be likely to pass from the present planters into the hands of the peasantry ?—No. 7463. Some are perhaps more mortgaged than others, and some are not mortgaged at all ?—Unquestionably. 7464. Which must make a considerable difference to those estates which are unincumbered; it cannot be so bad for an estate which is without incumbrance as it is for an estate which is heavily mortgaged ?—Some may linger out a miserable existence a little longer, while others are at once prostrated by the effects. 7463. The cost of cultivating an estate, looking to the profit left to the planter, is different, according to the amount of his outgoings ?—Certainly. 7466. Sugar is produced by some to a much greater advantage than by others ?—It is produced at the same cost. When I gave an instance just now, I regarded that as a sort of average expense. Some estates are cultivated under more favourable circumstances than others; some are more productive than others. 7467. You are acquainted with your own estates; was that instance which you were referring to, when you stated that the difference in the cost of placing sugar on the beach now, and during the time of apprenticeship, was the difference between 400 /. and 1,700 /., your own case ?—Yes, I may say so. When I said 400/., I meant to say from 400/. to 500/. I would not be disposed to speak very critically as to that, hut it was thereabouts. 7468. Are there any incumbrances upon your estates?—None. 7469. Your estate is more favourably circumstanced than most of the others ? —As far as that goes, certainly. 7470. Still it would make the difference between 400 /. and 1,700 /. ?—Yes, taking into consideration everything attendant upon it. Formerly we had to grow our own corn and to feed our own people ; now it is, in fact, a ready-money transaction. 7471. This has been the difference between the apprenticeship system and the free-labour system ?—Yes, or the system of slavery; it was only another name for that. The labour was at our own disposal, though but for a limited number of hours during the day. 7472. Will you give the Committee your estimate of the cost of supporting an apprentice ?—I never made a calculation of that sort. I wish to speak of the general expenses, taking them all together. 7473. You cannot tell the Committee what the cost was of supporting an apprentice ?—I cannot. 7474. How is it that you so exactly estimate the difference, then, between the cost of supporting an apprentice and a free labourer ?—I know what the expense of the estate was which then grew from 100 to 150 hogsheads of sugar, and I know what it is now. 7473. You speak of two different periods; at one time the expense of the estate was 400 /., and at another 1,700 /., and you tell the Committee that the difference consisted in the much less cost of supporting an apprentice than of supporting a free labourer ?—Yes. 7476. What was the expense of supporting an apprentice ?—I never made a calculation. 7477. You know what you pay to the labourers now?—Yes; we sometimes pay labourers one rate of wages, and at other times another; in crop time the labour is more expensive; when I said 25 cents a day for labour, I spoke of the ordinary labourer ; those about the buildings, and others, are somewhat more expensive, especially in crop time, when they are worked over-hours, for which they receive additional pay. 7478. Sometimes you pay more and sometimes less for labour?—Yes. 7479. When


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7479. When was the change made as to the importation of provisions and Mr. H. Dummett. lumber; was it before the abolition of the apprenticeship system ?—I do not 8 March 1848. remember that exactly. 7480. Since when is it you have imported provisions into the island?—For many years. 7481. You get them from America, do not you, now?—Yes. 7482. Do you know whether there was any difference in the price of provisions after you could import them from America freely?—They became comparatively of no value; it was found by the planters that the American provisions were sold at so low a price that they could not cultivate corn at a remunerating price, and they were obliged to abandon it. 7483. The price of provisions fell?—Yes ; but now the country is in a great measure depending upon those provisions. The price fluctuates very considerably ; sometimes the price is high, and sometimes provisions are so abundant as to be of little value. 7484. They are much lower than they used to be ?—Yes. 7485. With respect to lumber, do you get lumber now without paying a duty from America ?—That I cannot say. I should not like to speak to it, because I am not very well informed upon it. I am under the impression that lumber is very much cheaper than it was. 7486. Do you know anything yourself of the management of an estate?—I do. 7487. And as to the expenses and outgoings of an estate?—Yes; and in round numbers I have calculated the expense to be what I have stated. 7488. I believe wood is an important article upon an estate?—it is. 7489. But you do not know the price of it ?—I do not know the present market price. 7490. It was in 1846 that this great decline in the price of sugar took place, was not it ?—In 1846 and 1847. 7491. How long is it that Barbadoes has been in this disastrous state that you have described?—Since 1846 ; since they were placed in competition with the slave-grown sugar. 7492. Do you mean to say that Barbadoes has been in a state of distress since 1846?—Very great distress, in consequence of the merchants having withdrawn their confidence and support from the island. So long as the planters could grow sugar at a price to pay them a freight, so long did they cheerfully advance money, and support them; but now that that is found to be impossible they have withdrawn that accommodation, and the majority of the planters are without resource. 7493. Do you know what the price of sugar in this country was to the end of 1846, and for the first four months of 1847 ?—I can tell what we considered to be the value of a hogshead of sugar; we estimated it to realize somewhere about 25 I. sterling. 7494. The question has reference to your knowledge of the price in the English market; do you consider that the price fell very much in the year 1846 ? —In 1847 the price fell very materially. 7495. Is it since 1847 or since 1846 that Barbadoes has been in this great distress ?—The confidence of the merchants has been so much shaken that we have felt general distress ; with respect to the positive fall in the price of sugar I would mention 1847, but this state of things has been growing upon us, and at last it has come upon us in an overwhelming shape since this measure of 1846. 7496. What crop was it that was sold in 1847 ; was it the crop of 1846 ?— The crop planted in 1846, of course, it was that reached the market in 1847. 7497. You stated that the cultivation has been very much improved of late years?—I consider it perfect; I do not think it is possible to improve the cultivation of Barbadoes. 7498. Has that improvement been effected within the last 10 or 12 years?— Barbadoes has always stood alone as regards cultivation, but certainly I should say it has improved within that period. 7499. Should you say that great exertions have been made lately ? Yes, the planting of the cane has been more general in consequence of provisions being abandoned and the planters addressing themselves almost exclusively to that as the only thing which would pay. 7500. lias machinery been used where it was not used before ?—The plough 0.32.2* f f 3 has


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MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

Mr. H. Dummett. has been very much employed and an improved system of agriculture adopted; 8 March 1848.

they plant much wider, and where they used to plant four plants they have discovered that one is equally good ; in short, every parish in the little island has its agricultural body, who report upon the state of things. 7501. That is a state of things that was not known 20 years ago? — Precisely so. 7502. The planter, you said, felt some time ago that he must make every exertion ?—Yes. 7503. There was a fall in the price after the abolition of slavery, was not there ? —He had no longer the control of the labour, he had therefore to resort to every means in his power to keep up the cultivation of the land. 7504. Was it the fall of price after 1833 that induced the planters to make those great exertions ?—I do not know that it was so much. 7505. That has been done upon the estates which any planter 20 years ago would have thought impossible?—Yes; every improvement has been eagerly sought after by the planters of Barbadoes. In the old mills they have increased their power by giving them an additional roller ; they have a plough, and there is nothing they have not adopted in the island of Barbadoes. 7506. Do you know exactly what has been done in Cuba ?—No ; I can only speak as to Barbadoes. 7507. Why is it that you put a limit to the improvement of the cultivation and the production of sugar ?—It. is a thing that is generally acknowledged, that everything has been done that can be done. 7508. You say that improvement can go no further ?— I think not. 7509. Might not the planters have said the same thing 20 years ago ?—Not with equal reason. When I say that improvement can no further go, we may perhaps improve the quality of the sugar, but the moment we reach a certain point, that moment we are subject to an additional duty. I can mention an instance of that in the case of a particular friend of mine. Mr. Morgan, of St. Vincent, who has lately expended a very considerable sum of money in erecting machinery in the island of St. Vincent, but he has been completely defeated in consequence of arriving at this state of perfection in the manufacture of his sugar, for the moment his sugar reached a certain point, that moment it became subject to an additional tax ; so that the unfortunate planter is accused of want of energy and exertion while his hands are completely tied. 7510. You are not suffering as the other islands are from want of labour, you attach more importance to the price here than to the introduction of fresh labour? —I certainly do. 7511. You have an advantage over the other islands in that respect?—-I think so. 7512. You say you would not be satisfied with anything less than 11 s. differential duty ?—I did not say I would not be satisfied with less ; I say I consider nothing short of that will remunerate the planter in Barbadoes. I think sugar would then command a remunerating price, and the planter would be able to live. 7513. You have spoken with reference to his outgoings before he brings the sugar to market here; is not freight a very considerable item in the cost of bringing sugar to market ?—Certainly. 7514. Have you ever considered whether freights could be reduced?—I have, and freights have been reduced; formerly freights from the island of Barbadoes were 4 s. (id.; they are now 4 s. 7515. Have the Navigation Laws presented any difficulties in your way?— That is a subject I am not prepared to reply to. 7216. Do you know what the operation of the Navigation Laws has been ?— I think I do. 7517. Has it been to raise freights ?—My impression is, that the repeal of the Navigation Laws would tend to reduce freights, but it would raise insurances. 7518. While those laws continue they tend to raise freights ?—They certainly do not tend to diminish freights; freights have been a long time, however, at a fixed rate. 7519. If you could diminish freights it would give an advantage to the planter of Barbadoes, would not it?—A saving of expense of any kind would be a great advantage. 7520. if


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7520. If his expenses were reduced, in point of freights, that might be a reason for reducing the differential duty which you think necessary, probably r —Anything that would tend to diminish the expense of bringing his sugar to market would be an advantage to him. 7521. Barbadoes, you say, has suffered very seriously in several ways just now ?—Yes, 7522. They have had peculiar misfortunes, have not they, to sustain this last year?—Yes. 7523. The failure of the bank, and the failure of the very large house which you mentioned ?—Yes ; but most of all, the fall in the price of sugar, and the withdrawal of mercantile confidence consequent upon the Bill of 1846. 7524. Perhaps you can hardly judge what the state of Barbadoes would have been but for the misfortune of the failure of the bank ?—I know what Barbadoes must become very quickly, if the price of sugar remains what it is now. To continue cultivation is a matter of impossibility ; in short, it may be regarded as a general rule, that the more sugar the more debt. 7525. You were not in the island when the system of slavery existed ?—I was not attending to the subject. 7526. And you have never been in any slave-producing country ?—I have not. 7527. You only speak from hearsay, when you say it is impossible for any free-labour colony to compete with slave produce ?—I speak from the statements I have seen as to the expense of cultivating sugar in slave-growing countries, in contrast with the British West Indies, and from that circumstance I see at once that it is an utter impossibility. 7528. You really do not know what the cost of producing sugar in Brazil or Cuba is ?—I do not. 7529. Mr. Miles.] With regard to freight from Barbadoes, is there any drogherage in Barbadoes ?— Comparatively little. 7530. Have the ships remained there a long while, or do they get their loads very quickly ?—They get their loads quickly. 7531. Can you state the number of days, on the average, that the ships remain in Barbadoes ?—I cannot; but sometimes they are discharged very quickly. I have known a vessel arriving there, taking 400 or 500 hogsheads of sugar, discharge her cargo and be dispatched again in 10 days. 7532. You stated that the classification duties operated very severely against the planters, and you instanced a case in St. Vincent's ; it is your opinion that great injustice is done, is it ?—Yes. 7533. Do you think that sugar which amounts very nearly to the quality of refined sugar, should come in at the same duty nearly as muscovado sugar ?— I do not regard it as approaching to refined sugar. 7534. You know the Government standard, do not you?—Yes. 7535. Is not it a very high standard?—It is a very improved quality of sugar; but I speak of what certainly does not approach refined sugar. 7536. Do not you think it contains a much larger amount of saccharine matter than muscovado sugar ?—On the contrary, they tell me that vacuum-pan sugar does not do so, there is so much water crystallized with it; and I believe it is notorious that a pound of vacuum-pan sugar does not contain the saccharine matter that a pound of sugar manufactured in the ordinary process does. 7537. Do you know the amount of the Vacuum-pan sugar which has come in at a high duty ?—I do not. 7,338. You do not know that it is a very small quantity ?—It must be a very small quantity indeed, as I am informed, for the individual I alluded to has found himself completely defeated by the duty. 7539. Does not he make a much larger quantity of sugar from his molasses and juice by this process?—I am under the impression that he has in a great measure abandoned that manufacture. 7540. Is that in consequence of the duty ?—I Should say it was. 7541. Do you think that a man who has gone to the expense of several thousand pounds in putting up improved machinery would lose the benefit of it, simply for a difference of 2 s. in the duty ?—I can give no other reason. 7542. Has he ever stated to you that that was his reason ?—He has stated that such was the case ; that and some other difficulties which he had encountered in working the machinery. 0.32. F F 4 7543. Was

621 Mr.

H. Dummett.

8 March 1848.


224 Mr. H. Dummett. 8 March 1848.

MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

7543. Was not it more likely the other difficulties which he had encountered which led him to give it up '!—On the contrary, he spoke of the differential duty as that which was likely to defeat his purposes. 7544. Do you know anything about the manufacture of sugar in vacuo ?— I know very little. 7545. Do not you know that it is an exceedingly nice process, requiring great care and attention'!—I know sufficient of it to know that; I never have had recourse to that method myself. I have employed the refining-pan, as I said before, of Dr. Evans. I went to a considerable expense, hut it was quite a failure. 7546. Which do you think enters most into the consumption of the negro, articles grown in the island, or which he raises himself, or articles imported from the United States ?—Articles imported from the United States. 7547. To a very considerable extent ?—To a considerable extent; they live in the island of Barbadoes on the corn meal of America. 7548. Do you know if that is the case in the other islands ?—I am not aware. 7549. You have no interest at all in the other islands ?—None. 7550. What is your return per acre in Barbadoes?—We regard two hogsheads of sugar as a fair average return. 7551. For the whole island?—Yes, for plant-canes. 7552. Flow long do your canes go on ratooning there:—We ratoon very little in Barbadoes, we are so subject to drought; we plant every year as a general rule; a few of the more favoured estates in the country ratoon, but at most for two years, but that is in a very limited degree. 7553. You think two hogsheads an acre is the fair average of the island ?— Certainly not more; it is an average which any planter would feel very well satisfied with. 7554. Do you think it would he a fair average for the whole of the West India islands ?—I am not prepared to speak as to that. 7555. Do you know any particular case in which a larger amount has been raised upon a small piece of land ?—Yes ; I myself have produced at least four hogsheads from one acre of land under peculiar circumstances of advantage. 7556. Do you think it is quite impossible to produce a larger quantity on the average than two hogsheads ?—Experience has proved it beyond a doubt; we have had recourse to every description of manure, and, as I before said, there is nothing which has been left unattempted in the little island of Barbadoes. 75,57. Are you put to any inconvenience from the want of continuous labour in Barbadoes?—Sometimes we suffer; the people naturally take advantage of us during crop time, but those are difficulties which the planters find means of getting over. 7558. You have an ample supply of labour, even in crop time, have not you ?—Yes, I may undertake to say that we have, with improved wages, occasionally. 7559. You really do not suffer very much from the want of continuous labour ?—No. 7560. You would not put that forward as one of your grievances ?—No, that is not to any serious extent, though we do feel some inconvenience occasionally. 7561. Do you know what number of people are employed on your estate in the actual cultivation of the cane; what would you consider the fair average number of men per acre ?—I have never considered that. 7562. What number of hogsheads did you make?—From 100 to 150. 7563. What number of labourers had you ?—It varied at particular periods of the year, but on an average from 60 to 70. 7564. That is an average of two hogsheads for each man?—That is a sort of calculation we do make in Barbadoes. 7565. Do you think that may be considered as at all the average of the island ?—I am not prepared to answer the question. In that number of labourers I include second and third class. I do not speak of the effective people in that; they are not so large a number; I should say certainly not more than 40 or 50; and it is to this proportion I refer the average of two hogsheads per head. 7566. You do not think you had more than 70 employed altogether ?—No. 7567. Would


SELECT COMMITTEE ON SUGAR AND COFFEE PLANTING.

225

623

7567. Would you have wished to employ more if you could have done so ?— Mr. H. Dummett At times; all those labourers have their provision lands; we are subject to drought March 1848. in Barbadoes, and it is necessary to take advantage when the rains come in ; and 8 when the labourers are most required they are commonly planting on their own land, and it is at that time that we feel the change of things. 7568. When were you in Barbadoes last ?—A good many years ago. 7569. You cannot speak to the scarcity of provisions which has prevailed there recently?—Only by hearsay; I am informed that it has prevailed to a serious degree in consequence of drought, and that owing to the Americans having found a better market they have ceased to supply us altogether, and the island was reduced to an alarming state. 7570. How do the Americans get paid for their provisions ?—They will accept nothing but specie, and they drain every shilling from the island. 7571. Does the colony suffer great inconvenience from that ?—Hitherto they have not suffered much, as long as the Barbadoes Bank and the Mercantile Bank existed. 7572. But now that they have stopped, do you think it will be a serious inconvenience to the colony ?—Very great; they have been reduced to a state of barter; there is no circulating medium in the country. 7573. There is nothing that the Americans could take back in exchange for their provisions ?—Nothing. 7574. Therefore they are forced to take specie?—They are. 7575. Mr. M. Gibson.] You mentioned that you had had dry seasons lately in Barbadoes ; have they had any effect in producing the present depression ?—No. 7576. Do you mean that the drought has not been injurious ?—The drought has not affected the crop of last year ; the crop is a very good one, and we have a fair prospect for the coming year as regards the quantity. 7577. You are subject to occasional dry seasons in Barbadoes?—Yes, the island is more subject to drought than the neighbouring islands. 7578. Has not that had a tendency to increase the cost of cultivation and to lessen the amount of produce ?—It is not unusual; it is what we have always been accustomed to. 7579. You stated that there had been a great increase in the cost of cultivation ; are you aware of the fact that there was laid before Parliament, in the year 1830-31, a statement, derived from a great number of properties, of the average cost of producing a hundredweight of sugar in the West Indies, Barbadoes being included, and that the value then stated was 15 s. 10 d. a cwt. including the value of the rum, but not including the interest on capital in the land or buildings, or in the negroes; how do you reconcile the statement which you make with that statement; you make the cost of cultivation to be 17 s. now, and they made it in 1830-31 to be 15 s. 10 d. ?—I should wish to be understood as speaking only as regards the period of time within my own knowledge. I speak of Barbadoes during apprenticeship, and I speak of Barbadoes as it is to-day. 7580. Has not the cost of production in Barbadoes always been less than the average cost in the other West India colonies?—I believe it has. 7581. Are you aware of the fact that there was laid before Parliament in 1830-31 a statement as to the average cost of producing a hundredweight of sugar in the whole of the West India colonics ?—I am not aware of it. 7582. You are not aware that it was then stated to be 15 s. 10 d. per cwt. ?— No, I am not. 7583. Do you know Hugh Hindman, esq., of Barbadoes?—The name is familiar to me, but I do not know the gentleman personally. 7584. Before a Committee of the House of Commons he stated that he believed the population of Barbadoes then had extended to such a degree that the difficulty of supporting so large a number deprived the planter of some advantages which he might have possessed before the population was so dense; this was in the year 1832. Do you consider that Barbadoes could part with any of its population in order to fill up deficiencies in other islands ; or do you think that there is no evil in this density which Mr. Hindman mentions?—I should think that Barbadoes could afford to part with no portion of the labouring population, though the island is very densely populated; the agricultural portion of the population is by no means too great for our wants. 0.32. G G 7585. Then


226

7585. Then you do not agree with Mr. Hindman, that there was an evil which Barbadoes laboured under from the amount of its population ?—No, I do not 1848. think so. I consider Barbadoes was very well able to feed its own population ; and I regard Barbadoes, from the high state of cultivation that things are brought to there, as one of the most extraordinary spots in the world. 7586. You mentioned that an estate in Barbadoes had been sold previous to the Bill of 1846, that gave an income of 600 /. a year, for 22,000 /.; are you aware that that is a greater number of years' purchase than the best estates in England would fetch in the market; that it is 32 years' purchase ?—That is not the way we calculate it. 7587. Do not you think that 32 years' purchase of the net income of the property is a good price to give for a good landed estate in this country ?—I should say it was. 7500. Is it not an extraordinary tact that property in Barbadoes should be fetching a greater number of years' purchase upon its net income than property does in this country ?—There was a time, I believe, when no property paid better than property in the West Indies. 7589. Was it ever considered worth as many years' purchase as estates in this country ?—I am not prepared to say that; but property in the West Indies, under favourable circumstances, used to give a very good return. Barbadoes has been subject for a series of years to drought, which does not fall upon the estates generally, but there are certain districts which are more subject to it than others. Although this property was only paying 600 I. a year, there was the land sufficient to realize much more, and that acted upon the price of the property, as I explained before. 7590. What addition do you propose should be made in the present price of sugar?—I do not propose anything; but without a differential duty of 11 s. a cwt., my opinion is that the greater proportion of the estates in Barbadoes will pass out of cultivation. 7591. Do you know Mr. Mayers, the agent for Barbadoes?—I have the pleasure of seeing him here to-day. 7592. Do you recollect any other periods of greater distress in Barbadoes than the present ?—I remember the effects of the hurricane in 1831, and there was at that time a panic in the island, but that would bear no comparison with the present. I remember nothing that would bear the slightest comparison with the present state of things. 7593. In the evidence which was given before a Committee of the House of Commons, in 1832, it was stated by Mr. Mayers, the agent for Barbadoes, that the sugar of Barbadoes did not then net more than 12 l. or 13 l. per hogshead; it nets as much as that now, does it not ?—That is a matter of opinion, but I should say it is thereabouts. I have put it down at 15 l. 7594. Then it nets more now than it did in 1832 ?—It would seem so. 7595. Then the distress is not so great now as it was then ?—I cannot agree with you there, because the price termed "net" does not mean "profit," the 15 I. being the short price, from which is to be deducted the expenses of production. 7596. Why is your condition worse now than it was in 1832, since you net more upon your sugar than you did then?—Because the relative expenses are greater now than they were then. 7597. Was not the 4 1/2 per cent, duty then paid ?—I believe it was. 7598. Has not that been since taken off?—That would bear no comparison with the present expenses. 7599. But is not that a diminution?—Yes, it is. 7600. What addition to the cost of cultivation can you state has happened since that time?—I have already stated what the expense is. 7601. You reckon now all the cost of labour ; you did not in the previous calculation of expense give us the expense of apprentices ; you stated that you did not know the expense of apprentices ?—The expense was the growing of provisions for them, and clothing them, and housing them ; it was comparatively trilling, clothing being the only money expense. 7602. It is the fact that this 41/2 per cent, duty pressed to some extent at that time, and increased the cost of production, and that it has since been removed.'' —Unquestionably that has been a relief to the planters. 7603. But

Mr H. Dummett. 8 March

MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE


SELECT COMMITTEE ON SUGAR AND COFFEE PLANTING. 227 7603. But you did not net so much then as you do now ?—I do not remember the state of things then. 7604. But that was a period of distress ?—No doubt it was. 7605. Do not you consider that the charges upon the sale, and the commissions, add considerably to the whole cost, and diminish the amount that you net upon a hundredweight of sugar, to a considerable extent?—The charges are heavy. 7606. What should you say would be the amount of the sale charges, such as you have alluded to, upon a hundredweight of sugar ?—I am not prepared to say. 7607. You are not prepared to say whether any diminution in those items might not give relief, to some extent, to the planters ?—There can be no question that anything that went to reduce their expenses must naturally go to relieve them. 7608. Do you think it possible to reduce those expenses ?—Not largely. 7609. Has there not been a diminution of expense in consequence of lowering the absolute amount of duty, inasmuch as the commission is taken upon the long price ?—A very trifling reduction, when contrasted with the additional expense of cultivating. 7610. You state that you are prepared to ask the Legislature for a protection of lis. a cwt., with the view of encouraging the cultivation of sugar; supposing, in stimulating the cultivation of sugar, the British colonies should produce more than British consumers could take, what would you do with the surplus ?—That is a question that I am not prepared to speak to. 7611. Can you offer any guarantee to the Legislature that the quantity produced shall be within the demand of this country, so that the price that you think necessary shall be secured ?—I cannot. 7612. If a larger quantity of sugar were produced under the stimulus of this protection than English consumers could take off, the surplus would have to be sold in the continental markets?—I presume it would. 7613. And the price of sugar would, after all, come to be the price of slavegrown sugar, inasmuch as it would have to compete with the slave grown sugar sold on the Continent?—That J do not see at all. 7614. Can there be two prices ?—I am not prepared to admit it or deny it; I do not understand it sufficiently to go so far with you. 7615. Can you offer a guarantee?—It is totally out of the question; I am here merely to speak to the present state of the island of Barbadoes, and the depression prevailing in the West Indies. 7616. Why do you think 11 s. protection would get you out of your difficulties ?—Because nothing short of that would, I think, put us on a footing with the sugar grown in the slave colonies, and would enable us to compete with them. 7617. Do you think if nothing be done, if the state of things in Barbadoes be left to operate its own cure, the planters can do nothing for themselves, either in reference to a different system of cultivation, or any reference to lessening the charges upon sales and importations ?—I do not think it is in the planter's power to benefit his position ; nothing short of a general measure of Government, for their protection, can save them from utter ruin. 7618. Do you think that, with regard to the fertility of the soil of Barbadoes, it is as great as the fertility of the soil of Guiana and some other islands ?— I do not; hut I think, from the high state of cultivation, Barbadoes may be regarded as beating all the world, and that there is no part of the world that does as much as Barbadoes. 7619. I find that Mr. Mayers stated that 200 days' labour would be required in Demerara to produce 5,000 pounds weight of sugar, but that in Bax*badoes it would require 400 days' labour to produce the same quantity of sugar ; if that be the case, how do you think that you will be able to compete with Demerara, if Demerara should extend very materially its cultivation, and supply very largely the market with sugar ?—I think Barbadoes will hold its own way in the British colonies, under any circumstances. 7620. Is not that a great disadvantage you are under, that it requires 400 days' labour in Barbadoes to do what can be done in Demerara with 200 days' labour ?—'That I am not prepared to go into ; I know nothing of the cultivation in Demerara. G G 2 0.32. 7621. Do

625 Mr. H. Dummett. 8 March 1848.


228 Mr. H. Dummett. 8 March 1848.

MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE

7621. Do not you think that if your soil were less fertile, and you had other disadvantages that were peculiar to Barbadoes, you would require a greater amount of protection than other islands, in respect to those disadvantages ?— I do not think we should; the same protection as other islands had would always satisfy Barbadoes. 7622. You think that you would want as much protection as the others, but not more ?—Just so. 7623. Do you know what per-centage on the property of the estates this 4 1/2 per cent, duty was ?—I am not aware. 7624. You do not know to what extent the removal of that duty operated as a relief?—No : it was regarded as a positive relief, and was felt to be such. 7625. Mr. Moffatt.] You stated that you were a planter; for how many years were you actually engaged in the cultivation of sugar ?—Thirteen years. 7626. Have you with you a statement of the accounts of the estate for any one or more years ?—I have not. 7627. Have you got them in this country?—I have not. I was myself an independent planter; I kept no books whatever. 7628. Then the statements of costs which you have given to-day are given from memory ?—No, not altogether; I thought you alluded to the profit on the estate. As regards the expenses of the estate, they were precisely what I have stated. 7629. Which I understand to be, that the sugar cost you, according to your most recent expense, at the rate of 16 l. 7s. a ton in Barbadoes, and the freight and charges were 7 l. a ton, making a total of 23 /. 7 s. a ton ?—No. I consider that the landing of sugar in this country, when it is brought to the British market, stands us in about from 15 l. to 17/. per hogshead of 18 cwt.; but as regards that calculation, I would not be supposed to speak critically ; I speak in round numbers of the expense of production only. We were in the hope of reaping from 100 to 150 hogsheads upon the estate, and I set the expense at 1,700l. per annum, which would be the same whatever crop the estate made. 7630. The Committee are desirous that you should speak from positive facts which come within your own knowledge, and not from information which has been derived from others ?—I speak as a proprietor; that is the expense that I stand charged with in growing that sugar; the smaller calculations I have not gone into. 7631. That would make 17/. a ton?—Yes, I should say so; but then there is something to be taken from that, for rum and molasses. 7632. There is 1l. 13s. to be taken off for that?—That would be the outside. 7633. The freight and charges are 7 l., making 24/. a ton; are you aware whether Barbadoes sugar commands in this market a higher price, by reason of its whiteness and generally superior quality, than other West Indian sugar ?— Yes, I am aware of that. 7634. Will you be good enough to state what you realized upon that sugar when you brought it to this market ?—I am not prepared to speak to that particularly. 7635. You cannot give information of the actual price realized in this market ?—I cannot. 7636. Are you aware that for the year 1847, the Gazette average price of West India sugar was 28 s. 6 d. per cwt. ?—No, I am not. I am afraid there is some mistake in the estimate which you have made; you made the expense more than I intended to show ; 24 l. is more for the cost of producing and landing sugar than I had intended to state. I think the cost of producing the sugar and bringing it here is less than 24 /. 7637. Then the average price of Barbadoes sugar in the year 1847 was 42 s. 6 d. per cwt.; that, less the duty, gives a price to the importer of 28 s. 6 d. per cwt., or 28 /. 7 s. per ton; and supposing the cost of importing to amount to 24 /. a ton ?—That is, I should say, beyond the mark. 7638. We will take it at 23 /. a ton ?—When I spoke of 18 /. to 20/., I consider that Barbadoes sugar may be imported into this country, and brought to this market, with the present reduced rate of wages, at the expense of 18/. to 20 /. sterling, including everything of a local nature; but that which you state is not a fact that I am competent to speak to. 7639. Then the price which the importer obtained on the average of the year


SELECT COMMITTEE ON SUGAR AND COFFEE PLANTING. 229 year 1847 was 28 s. 6 d. per cwt.; with that price do you estimate that the estates in Barbadoes are in the course of being ruined, when they are producing a profit of 10 l. a ton ?—I have not made any calculation of that sort. 7640. But it appears from your evidence that there is a very considerable profit to the importer of Barbadoes sugar at the present time ?—I have shown that there is no profit to the planter; I spoke as regards the planter in the West Indies, that the price of sugar here is not a remunerating one, and does not exceed the cost of growing. 7641. Do you speak from your own experience?—I do. 7642. What price did you obtain for those sugars which did not pay you in 1847?—The prices varied of sugars that came from Barbadoes; I know that some of them brought 20 l., but I have stated that, to the best of my knowledge, the average price was not exceeding 15 l. 7643. That is the price in this market ?—Yes. 7644. To which you must add the duty of 9 /. a ton ?—I speak of the net. proceeds to the planter. 7645. Do not you know the price that your sugar sold at in this market ?— No, I do not. 7646. You have been resident here for a twelvemonth ?—Yes ; but I cannot state what the price was. 7647. Can you give a rough idea ?—I am prepared to state what the sugars averaged; they netted to me 201, sterling a hogshead, from which is to be deducted the cost of production and a few trifling island charges. 7648. What price were they sold at in this market ?—I do not remember. 7649. Can you give the Committee no idea of whether they were sold at 40s. or 50s.?—I suppose nearer 50s. than 40s. 7650. That would be equivalent to 50 l. a ton?—That is duty included, and everything else; after paying all expenses it netted me something like 20 s. per cwt.; that is the net value here, equivalent therefore to 18 l. a hogshead of 18 cwt. 7651. You state that notwithstanding these returns, you are quite satisfied that the planters in Barbadoes can never compete with the slave labour of Porto Rico; can you give any information as to the cost of slave labour in Porto Rico ?—I am not prepared to do that; but I am induced to arrive at that conclusion from the feeling of people who have property in the West Indies, and from having heard it stated on all hands, owing to the difference in the cost of growing sugar in the West India colonies and in the slave colonies. 7652. You know nothing of your own knowledge of the cost of growing sugar in Porto Rico ?—Nothing whatever. 7653. But you favoured the Committee with an opinion that we could not compete with the labour of Porto Rico ?—I gave that as my opinion. 7654. You stated that a great inconvenience was felt in Barbadoes by reason of the scarcity of labour?—No. 7655. Have you no scarcity of labour there ?—At times we feel the effect of the late measures, but we can always command labour. 7656. How many acres do you estimate are under cultivation in Barbadoes ? —I am not prepared to say, but every acre of land in the island that is capable of cultivation is cultivated. I believe the gross sum of acres is stated to be

106,000. 7657. Do you know the number of negroes in Barbadoes ?—No. 7658. Sir E. Buxton.] Do you know how many there were in the time of slavery ?—No, I do not. 7659. Mr. Moffatt.] Are you aware that the population, according to the returns, is equivalent to 246 a square mile ?—I am aware that it is equivalent to 730. 7660. What number of acres of your estate were under cane cultivation?— One hundred and forty acres. 7661. For which you employed 70 labourers?—Yes. I spoke of 70 as not the best class of labourers; there were 40 or 50 effective labourers on the estate. 7662. If there are 730 human beings to every square mile in Barbadoes, and you require for the cultivation of 140 acres 70 efficient labourers, surely there can be no scarcity of labour in Barbadoes ?—I have not stated that there was G G 3 any 0.32.

627 Mr. H. Dummett. 8 March 1848.


230

H. Dummett. any great scarcity of labour. At times the effects of the new system are felt; when labourers are most required they seek their own lands, and it is then we March 1848. are subject to temporary inconvenience. 7663. You stated in answer to a question from Mr. Miles, that your land produced 260 hogsheads per 100 acres?—I gave as an average two hogsheads per acre of plant canes. 7664. And you had 140 acres under sugar cultivation ?—Yes. 7665. What do you state the produce of your estate to be?—Only one-half of the land under sugar cultivation is planted annually ; that would reduce the quantity of land cultivated each year to 60 or 70 acres. 7666. Mr. Miles.'] There are only 70 acres cut every year?—Yes, and those not all first