Images de page

of Travellers-Goldberry-Robertson-Park-Lan-
der-Gray-Captain W. Allen-M'Queen-Clark-
son-Society of Friends-Pasha of Egypt-Process
of Conviction-Coincidence of Opinions.

[ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


As the remedy I contemplate is now, for the first time, published, it is necessary to explain the reason why it has hitherto been withheld. In the spring of 1838, I stated to several members of the cabinet my views as to the suppression of the Slave Trade. I could not reasonably expect, that, in the extreme pressure of business during the sitting of Parliament, they would be able to find time to give it the consideration it required, I therefore prepared for the press and printed a few copies of my work-describing the horrors of the Slave Trade, and proposing a remedy, for the private use of the members of the administration, and placed these in their hands on the day that the session closed. At the latter end of the year (December 22), after various communications with Lords Glenelg and Palmerston, I was officially informed that the Government had resolved

to embrace and to adopt the substance of the plan. A question then arose as to the propriety of printing the whole work. It was thought highly desirable that the public should be put in possession of the facts which showed the extent of the Slave Trade, and the waste of human life which accompanied it. But as a negociation had been commenced with Spain for the cession to Great Britain of the sovereignty of Fernando Po, it was not deemed advisable to give publicity to the intelligence I had obtained as to that island, and the importance I attached to its possession. It was therefore resolved that I should publish the first part, withholding the Remedy till the fate of the negociation was determined; in consequence of which my first volume was put into circulation in the commencement of the year 1839.

The negociation has not, I regret to say, been as yet brought to an issue; but it is in that state, that a definitive answer must speedily be received, and I am assured that there is no occasion for any further delay.

There is another point upon which I wish to make myself clearly intelligible. Some of my most valuable associates have given me a friendly intimation that they "hold themselves wholly distinct from any measure the Government may adopt with respect to

the defence of the Colonies, or the suppression of the Slave Trade by armed force; and that they are not to be considered responsible for the recommendations that any member of our committee may make, in connexion with such measures." This is a protest against those passages in my Remedy in which I advise that our squadron may for the present be rendered more efficient, and that our settlements should be protected by the British Government. I entirely feel, that the gentlemen who have made the protest cannot be considered as parties to this recommendation. It was a suggestion of my own-it was offered to Government before they had seen it-and Government will take its own course upon the subject. In my book I propose two distinct courses; and I couple them together in the same work, because the arguments employed bear upon each of these separate questions. In other words, I apply to the Government to do one thing for the suppression of the Slave Trade, viz. to strengthen our squadron; and I apply to individuals to join me in measures having the same object, but of a character totally different. Such, for example, as an attempt to elevate the mind of the people of Africa, and to call forth the capabilities of her soil.

I have no wish to disguise my sentiments about armed force. I deprecate, as much as any man, resorting to violence and war. These are against the

« PrécédentContinuer »