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judged most convenient by the two maintenance of his troops, and for governments.
the good of the common service, 5. The cost of provisions and declares that he will not bring forforage for the British troops shall ward any pecuniary claims what. be placed to the account of the ever against the Portuguese go. Portuguese government, from the vernment, on account of the assist. day of the landing of the said ance furnished by his majesty on troops in Portugal, and shall cease this occasion to Portugal, beyond to be placed to that account from what is specified in the preceding the day of their departure, or of articles. their passing the frontiers of Por. 8. The stipulations of this con. tugal.
vention shall remain in full force 6. Her roval highness the in. until the two high contracting parfanta regent of Portugal having ties shall mutually agree to make consented that on this, as on for any change therein. mer occasions, the forts of St. Ju. 9. The present convention shall lien and of Bugio shall be occu. be ratified, and the ratifications pied by the British troops, it is shall be exchanged in London, in the agreed that the said occupation space of six weeks from the date shall continue so long as the hereof, or sooner if possible. auxiliary army shall remain in In witness whereof, the respec. Portugal. Those forts shall be, tive plenipotentiaries have signed from time to time, duly provision. the same, and have affixed thereto od by the Portuguese government, the seals of their arms. or by the British commissariat Done at Brighthelmstone, the 19th on account of the Portuguese go. day of January, in the year of our vernment, in the same manner as Lord 1827. is provided in the foregoing ar. (L. S.) GEORGE CANNING... ticles with respect to the auxiliary (L. s.) MARQUEZ DE PALMELLA. army.
Arrangements shall be made be. tween the government of Portugal
Despatch from the Right Hon. Wm. and the commander of the British
Huskisson, his Majesty's Principal army, for the carrying on of the
Secretary of State for the Colo.
nial Department, to Major-General service of the pratique, of the po. lice of the harbour, and of the cus
Sir John Keane, K.C. B., Lieute. toms, by the proper officers of the
nant-Governor of Jamaica, sent
doron by him in a Message to the Portuguese government, usually
Hon. House of Assembly, on Fri. employed for those purposes. A list of these officers shall be given
day the 16th November, 1828. to the British commanding officer,
Downing-street, Sept. 22. and they shall be strictly under his Sir,—The act passed by the go. command in all that may relate to vernor, council, and assembly of military service, and to the defence Jamaica, in the month of Decem. of the forts.
ber, 1826, entitled, “An act to 7. His Britannic majesty re. alter and amend the Slave-laws of quiring, on the part of his ally, this island," having been referred only that which is indispensably by his majesty in council to the necessary for insuring the proper lords of the committee of privy council for the affairs of trade and The 83rd and the two follow foreign plantations, that committee ing clauses must be cosidered as have reported to his majesty in an invasion of that toleration to council their opinion that this act which all his majesiy's subjects, ought to be disallowed. The order whatever may be their civil condi. of his majesty's council, approving tion, are alike entitled. The prohi. that report, and disallowing the act, bition of persons in a state of slave. will be transmitted to you by the ry, assuming the office of reli. earliest opportunity.
gious teachers, might seem a very In obedience to the commands of mild restraint, or rather a fit prehis majesty in council, I proceed to caution against indecorous proceed. communicate to you the grounds ings; but, amongst some of the of his majesty's decision upon this religious bodies who employ missubject.
sionaries in Jamaica, the practice The privy council did not submit of mutual instruction is stated to to his majesty their advice that this be an established part of their dis. act should be disallowed without cipline. So long as the practice great reluctance. The great import. is carried on in an inoffensive and ance of the subject has been fully es. peaceable manner, the distress protimated, and his majesty has per. duced by the prevention of it will ceived with much satisfaction the be compensated by no public ad. advances which the colonial legis. vantage. lature have made in many respects, The prohibition of meetings for to meet the recommendations con religious worship, between sun-set veyed to them in lord Bathurst's and sun-rise, will, in many cases, despatch of the 15th of May, 1826 ; operate as a total prohibition, and but, however much his majesty will be felt with peculiar severity may have been desirous to sanction by domestic slaves inhabiting large these valuable improvements in the towns, whose ordinary engage. slave code of Jamaica, it has been ments on Sunday will not afford found impossible to overcome the leisure for attendance on public objections to which other enact. worship before the evening. It is ments of this law are open. I am impossible to pass over, without re. commanded to express to you his mark, the invidious distinction majesty's earnest hope, that upon which is made, not only between a deliberate review of the subject, Protestant Dissenters and Roman the legislative council and assem. Catholics, but even between Pro. bly will be disposed to present for testant Dissenters and Jews. I your assent another bill, devested have, indeed, no reason to suppose of those enactments which have that the Jewish teachers have made prevented the confirmation of the any converts to their religion among present act.
the slaves, and probably, therefore, Among the various subjects the distinction in thcir favour is which this act presents for consi. merely nominal ; still it is a prederation, none is more important ference, which, in principle, ought in itself, nor more interesting to not to be given by the legislature of every class of society in this king. a Christian country. dom, than the regulations on the The penalties denounced upo subject of religious instruction. persons collecting contributi
from slaves, for purposes either of lowed in the act under considecharity or religion, cannot but be ration, felt, both by the teachers and by. The council of protection, esta. their followers, as humiliating and blished under the 33d clause of this unjust. , Such a law would affix an act, cannot be considered as an ef. unmerited stigma on the religious fectual substitute for the office of instructer; and it prevents the a distinct and independent protec. slave from obeying a positive pre- tor. The council in each parish cept of the Christian religion, will consist of those individuals which he believes to be obligatory over whom the protector was to on him, and which is not inconsist. exercise bis superintendence. Their ent with the duties he owes to his duties are limited to the simple master. The prohibition is, there. case of extreme bodily injury, and fore, a gratuitous aggravation of the are to be discharged only “if evils of his condition.
they think proper." The periodi. It may be doubtful whether the cal returns required from the pro. restriction upon private meetings tector upon oaih, are not to be made among the slaves without the by the council of protection, nor are knowledge of the owner, was in. they even bound to keep a journal of tentionally pointed at the meetings their proceedings. No provision for religious worship. No objec.. is made for executing the duties of tion, of course, could exist to re. the office in different parts of the quiring that notice should be given colony upon fixed and uniform to the owner or manager whenever principles, and the number of per. the slaves attended any such meet. sons to be united in this trust is ings; but, on the other hand, due such as entirely to destroy the sense security should be taken that the of personal and individual respon. owner's authority is not improperly sibility. exerted to prevent the attendance in the provisions for the due ob. of the slaves.
servance of Sunday, I remark that I cannot too distinctly impress the continuance of the markets on upon you, that it is the settled pur. that day till the hour of eleven, pose of his majesty's government, is contemplated as a permanent re. to sanction no colonial law which gulation. It is, however, impos. needlessly infringes on the religious sible to sanction this systematic liberty of any class of his majesty's violation of the law prevailing in subjects; and you will understand every other Christian country. In that you are not to assent to any the proposals transmitted by Lord bill, imposing any restraint of that Bathurst to his grace the duke of nature, unless a clause be inserted Manchester, a temporary departure for suspending its operation until from this rule was permitted, but his majesty's pleasure shall be only as a relaxation required by known.
peculiar and transitory circum, Having thus 'adverted to this stances. most important branch of the ge. The clauses denouncing penalties neral subject, I proceed to inquire on persons employing their slaves how far the suggestions contained to labour on Sunday, are expressed in Lord Bathurst's despatch of the with some ambiguity, so as to leave 11th of May, 1826, have been fol. it doubtful whether the penalty will be ineurred at any other time low slave might be intrusted witti than during crop, or for any work it, provided that the correction does excepting that required about the, not exceed ten lashes. In the premills. Neither is it clear that an sence of the owner or manager owner, procuring his slaves to work thirty-nine lashes may be inflicted on Sunday by persuasion, or by any by his authority--an extent of other means than those of direct power which cannot be necessary, compulsion, would violate the law. and which might probably be the I do not perceive that provision is source of serious abuse. made for those cases of unavoid. The 37th section of this act au. able necessity, which would create thorizes private persons to commit an exception to the general rule. their slaves to prison in the public
Punishment inflicted by the do- workhouses of the island, without mestic authority of the owner are the warrant of a justice of the not required to be made the sub. peace; and the preceding section, ject of a report to any public officer, the 36th, enables the gaoler, as nor does the law require that any well as the owner, to inflict pun. interval should elapse between the ishment by whipping in prison commission of the crime and the without trial. It is difficult to perinfliction of the punishment. The ceive the necessity for such an expresence of free witnesses at the tension of domestic authority, and infliction of punishments is not de. if unnecessary, it is plainly objec. clared necessary, nor would the tionable. Jaw be broken, whatever might be. The fine of £10 for inflicting rethe severity of the punishment, if peated punishments for the same it were inflicted by any other me. offence can scarcely be incurred in thod than that of whipping or im. any case, since no record is to be prisonment. The use of the whip kept ascertaining the grounds of in the field is not forbidden. Wo any particular punishment, and the men are not exempted from punish. party accused may impute to his ment by flogging. Nor is any pre slave whatever offences he may sumption of guilt to arise, if the think proper, without the necessity slave shall make a “probable, par of proving them. The fine on a workticular, and consistent" charge house-keeperinflicting an excessive against his owner, confirmed by the number of lashes, is £10-a pun. exhibition of his person bearing ishment which may, in some cases, the marks of recent and illegal be entirely disproportionate to so punishment. .
a serious an offence. In all these respects the provi. The complaint, which the slave sions of this act fall short of the is authorized to make before any recommendations of his majesty's three magistrates, would not, I government. It remains to notice should fear, be a very effectual other provisions upon the subject of means of redress. As they must punishment, which have been ori. always be three proprietors of the ginally suggested by the colonial same parish, there is a manifest legislature.
danger of the influence of local · The act appears to sanction an partialities. As every groundless unlimited delegation of the power complaint is to be punished, it is to of punishment, so that even a fel. be feared, that many well-founded complaints will not be preferred. should be made of the number of The mere failure of evidence in such marriages. support of a complaint is surely not On the subject of the separation enough to justify the punishment of relatives, the word “family” is of the party complaining. The left without a definition. It is sus. owner should be bound to prove ceptible of so many different mean. that the complaint was malicious or ings, that it would seem peculiarly frivolous.
necessary to ascertain the precise On the subject of marriage, I sense in which it is used. The rule observe that no security is taken laid down in this law seems also to against tho possible case of the un. require some better sanction. It is reasonable or capricious refusal of simply a direction to the provost. the owner to consent. By confin. martial; but if he should disobey ing the power of celebrating mar. that direction, it is not provided riages to the clergy of the esta. that the sale should be void. A blished church, every other class provision appears to be wanting, of religious teachers are deprived for enabling the officer to ascertain of the means of exercising a salu. whether any particular slave is or tary influence over the minds of is not a member of the family. their disciples; and probably the The property of slaves is left by Roman Catholic priests may be en. this law in an unprotected state, titled to say, that such an enact. No action is given to them, or to ment takes away from them a right any person on their behalf, for the which, by the common law, they defence or recovery of it. The enjoy in every part of his majesty's single case in which any remedy is dominions to which the marriage provided, is that in which the pro. act of George II. does not extend perty of the slave is taken away. The necessity of undergoing an ex. No mention is made of that much amination by a clergyman of the more important class of cases, in established church, as to the na. which property inay be withheld. ture and obligations of the mar. The slave could not under this law riage contract, is not very apparent, recover a debt, nor obtain damages and might, perhaps, operate as a for the breach of a contract. The serious impediment to the forma. mode of proceeding by information tion of such connexions. It is dif. for penalties before three justices of ficult to understand how the range the peace, is a remedy to which of inquiry respecting the “obliga. hardly any one would resort, for the tions” of the marriage contract is act does not give the amount of the to be limited, since that expression penalty, if recovered, to the injured may be supposed to embrace a party, and the slave himself could large variety of moral and reli. not make the complaint, except gious considerations, with which upon the condition of receiving a the slave population in its present punishment if the justices should state must be very imperfecily con. deem it groundless. The slaves are versant.
also excluded by the terms of this I observe that this act does not law from acquiring any interest in require that any registry should be landma restriction which would kept of the marriages of slaves, nor appear at once impolitic and unne. even that any periodical returns cessary.