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was one which, there is none amongst are in constant communication, at you can doubt, was conceived in the the very moment too, when you had most conciliatory spirit; nor do I vacated the chair of your own house, believe that any one has thought of in order that your most distinguish. accusing it of containing one word ed member should, according to at variance with such a spirit. It your own votes, "embark for Eng. broached no theory, it required no land, so as to be in time to meet the sacrifice. It announced, only for next session of the imperial legislathe present, a boon and a conces. ture. sion; and for the future, patient "It certainly would not be. examination at home, and a determi, come me to enter into any discus pation on my part, to report faith. sion with you as to the princi. fully and fully from hence: I know ples on which you suppose tbe re. not therefore how it called for a re- presentation of the people of Eng. ply of so extraordinary and desul. land to have been amended by the tory a nature. You state mutual bill passed for its reform ; nor dol forbearance and conciliation to be know by what right you assume in the principles by which the legisla. addressing me, that the West Indies ture of Jamaica has always been were ever indirectly more repre. guided. I regret the more that this sented in parliament than they will day, when I thought that I had be now. It was then, as now, only least right to expect it, you should as representatives, legally elected have shown towards me this excep by the people of the united kingdom, tion of your general rule. Many to superintend the interests of the of the topics you have introduced, I whole empire, that gentlemen con. consider most inopportunely address. nected with this island could have a to me on this occasion, and to them, seat in that house, or could belong therefore, I hold it to be needless to to one branch of that imperial legis. make any reply.
lature, the omnipotence of whose “How far, for instance, you may united voice to legislate for the consider it fitting in the present whole empire, if it so think fit, is state of society, to make a dis. beyond dispute. This is a subject claimer of any community of inte. which nothing should have induced rest with the great body of West me to originate. (It is one whose India proprietors, residing in Eng. fruitless agitation can only lead to land, is a question entirely between unnecessary irritation.) I regret you and them, and on which I shall most deeply that on such an occagive no opinion farther than this : sion, you should have chosen gratu. that when you make use of that dis. itously to raise so invidious a ques. tinction in protesting your utter dis. tion, by stating that you never did regard and indifference with respect admit the right of the house of comto the proceedings of the parliamen- mons to legislate on the internal af. tary committees, you might, in con. fairs of Jamaica. For all your es sistency, have recollected, that the tablished privileges I shall always first of these inquiries, to which you maintain the most inviolable respect. state yourselves to have been no But as the representative here of party, was repeatedly pressed upon your sovereign and of mine, I can. the government, in conjunction with not listen to the declaration of any the West India body, by your own such doubt addressed to me, without accredited agent, with whom you asserting in the most unequivocal
terms, the transcendant power of the consider that distance may have imperial legislature, regulated only prevented you also from acquiring by its own discretion, and limited adequate sources of information be. only by restrictions they themselves fore you prejudge the report of a have imposed. The long experi. future house of commons on no bet. ence of the past, as to a right which ter authority than a few scattered has always existed, is your best se. pledges, alleged to have been ex. curity for the future, that it will ne. acted from certain candidates not ver be exerted, but in extreme ca. yet chosen for a parliament, not yet ses; and no one would more deplore selected, who might become memthan myself, should imperious ne. bers of a committee not yet formed, cessity ever require such direct in. and which committee you therefore terference. But it is unfortunate refuse to believe can be impartial at this moment, that you could not on a question on which it is imposhave rather preferred a temperate sible it can be interested. It is such appeal to the justice, than a vain de. premature complaints, such ground. nial of the rights of the British na- less accusations, which alienate the tion. The undisturbed conscious. public mind in Europe from the ness of strength on the part of a cause of the colonists; and if you great and generous people, is the continue thus to speak for youselves, surest safeguard that the nicest I much fear that it will be in vain strengh of equity will continue to act that any one will attempt to speak as a self-imposed restraint, on the for you there. exercise of unusual, but indisputa. " In the opinion which I have most ble power. You repeat the com- unwillingly felt it to be my duty to plaint, that distance, coupled with express upon the tone of this ad. other causes not before enumerated, dress, I have endeavoured to soften occasion you often to be misrepre- every topic, even to avoid any sented in the mother country; and, phrase which might, through misin reference to this, you kindly state construction, be injurious, by exci. your conviction, that my efforts will ting erroneous impressions in the be directed by a desire to do you minds of certain classes within this justice. The short experience I island, or elsewhere. Under all the have yet had of Jamaica has inte. unexpected discouragement of this rested me much in her welfare; address, I shall continue speedily to and with her extraordinary natural pursue that course which I consider resources, it seems impossible not to for the benefit of the colony. I am hope, that she must be destined to grateful for your expressions of per. see better days; and any plan by sonal good feeling. I am willing which such prospects may be im. to believe that some parts of this proved, shall always engage my im. address were not so cautiously consi. mediate attention, whilst to my pro. dered by the whole house as perhaps fessed determination to report you might have been expected, on ac. faithfully, improved as my opinions count of the importance it derives must be by the further opportuni. from its general diffusion as an ap. ties of observation, I will at all times peal to the executive. I trust, there: adhere. But in the spirit of can. fore, that your further proceedings dour which I professed, I must re. will be more in accordance with the commend you to judge others as you spirit in which I have first address would be judged yourselves, and to ed you : but under any possible circumstances, I have the greatest long usage, as not to be mistaken. reliance, that not only by the pre- The house therefore rely with persent consistency of the island, but by fect confidence, that whilst they conthe inhabitants in general, the mo. fine themselves to the conscientious tives of any act of my government discharge of their duty, they will re. will be justly appreciated, so long ceive from the representative of as I am cheered and supported by their sovereign the most favourable the internal conviction that I have construction of their acts and intenno other object than the promotion tentions which is due to them as of the welfare of all classes of the legal and faithful subjects; but this community, which his majesty has the house must protest, on behalf of committed to my charge.”
their constituents, as well as of themThis message was referred to a selves, against the doctrine stated by committee, who made the following his excellency as applicable to this Report.
colony, which asserts as beyond “ Mr. Speaker, Your committee, to dispute, the transcendant power of whom was referred his excellency's the imperial legislature, regula. speech at the opening of the ses. ted only by its own discretion, and sion, the address of this house in an limited only by restrictions they answer, and his excellency's re. may themselves have imposed.' ply; recommend to the house to Such a doctrine is as subversive of come to the following resolution: the acknowledged rights, as it is
" Resolved, That this house ob- dangerous to the lives and proper serve with regret the animadver- ties of his majesty's faithful and sions of his excellency the gov. loyal subjects of ihis island, who, ernor on some parts of their ad- although they acknowledge the dress, in answer to his excellency's supremacy of a common sovereign speech at the opening of the ses- over the whole empire, never can sion. The house disavow any in. admit such supremacy in one por. tention on their part to deviate from ion of his majesty's subjects resi. that tone of conciliation which per- ding in the parent state, over anovades his excellency's speech. It ther portion of their fellow subjects was the most anxious wish of the resident in Jamaica.” house to express to his excellency their devoted attachment to their sovereign, and their high respect
Speech of the Earl of Mulgrave,
dissolving the Jamaica House of and personal consideration for his
Assembly. excellency as governor of the island. The house, however, feel
Kingston, Doc. 2, 1834. it imperative on them, and in ac.
“Gentlemen of the Council, Mr.
Speaker, and Gentlemen of the House cordance with former precedents, too
of Asssemblydeclare, without meaning to offend or to infringe on the rights of others, “ Those considerations of public that it is their determination, as it is convenience which might have in. their duty, to maintain steadily the duced me to postpone, for a few privileges and immunities which the days, the conclusion of the session, free inhabitants of Jamaica are en. have necessarily been superseded titled to in common with other Bri. by that unfortunate collision between tish subjects; these are so well the two branches of the legislature, defined by law, and sanctioned by which renders it hopeloos to expect
that any further business could now steadily to pursue the course which be brought to a satisfactory termina. I conceived to be for the benefit of tion.
the colony, I might avoid taking “In taking the only course which immediate notice of it, and allow the is thus left to me, I do not think it public business to proceed to its necessary to make any comment close; and to that determination, I with respect to the question in dis. should have adhered, but for this pute, further than this, that those difference between you and the who are so ready to assert their other branch of the legislature, own claim to privileges, which are with which I have myself no direct not parliamentary, upon the mere concern; but I cannot dismiss you plea of undisturbed assumption on from your attendance here, without their part, would have shown more noticing a resolution in which you discretion in not so prematurely and stated, that a doctrine advanced arbitrarily denying to others the by me, was subversive of your ac. right toa privilege which, unless with knowledged rights, and dangerous held by special provision, belongs, to your lives and properties. The as matter of course, to a legislative doctrine you have thought fit to body, which likewise appears to stigmatize, is not mine. It is one have been formerly recognised by laid down by every constitutional the resolution of the house itself, lawyer. It is maintained by the and which is supported by the un. practice of your own courts. It deniable evidence of acts in the has uniformly bcen asserted in offi. journals, which owed their origin to cial communications with my pre. the second branch of the legisla. decessors, by all successive advisers ture.
of the crown, under every different
administration. When you speak, "Mr. Speaker and Gentlemen of the House therefore, of your acknowledged of Assembly
rights, I am at a loss to conceive by I could not but foresee, by the whom and when those rights which tendency of your first proceedings, you now assume were ever acknow. that I might at any time find my- ledged. The right of the imperial seif obliged to take the disagreeable parliament of legislating for all his step which is this day forced upon majesty's subjects, when it so thinks me. When inflammatory topics fit, is inherent in that body, and has were wantonly introduced in your never been abandoned except as re. first address to me, it was impossi- gards internal taxation. The 18th ble to calculate how soon the most of George the Third, which makes conciliatory intentions might be that exception, proves the general diverted from the original direction, right of legislating over the colonies. by an imperious sense of duty. In You must always recollect that I necontinuation of the same line of con- ver originated this discussion. The duct, you thought proper afterwards question is of your own raisingto place certain resolutions upon the dispute of your own seeking; your journals on the subject of your the provocation was given entirely address and my reply. As those by you, and with you must its con. resolutions were not communicated sequences rest. When you assert a to me by message, I thought, that perfect equality with your fellow acting under the intention I ex. subjects in other parts of his majes. pressed, under any provocation, ty's dominions, there is no doubt that, as individuals, you are all equal portant, than the efficient adminis. in the eye of the law. But this is tration of criminal justice ; and I not an independent kingdom ; and therefore peculiarly regret, that at as a legislature, we, who are here such a moment, your next act should assembled, are not equal to the im. have been the refusal of any provi. perial parliament, consisting of the son whatever to the chief justice of three estates of the realm-king, the island, who had been appointed lords, and commons. It is, indeeed, by your sovereign. most fortunate for a fair considera. “I have no intention of enume. tion of your interests, that such a rating the other instances in which question should have been so inop. you have disappointed my expec. portunely brought forward. It is tations ; so much of your conduct not by the vehemence of your de. appears to court that crisis which nial, that you can negative the ex. is now arrived, that you cannot be istence of the right; but by the mode. surprised when I announce to you, ration of your conduct, that you might that it is not my intention again to for ever avert its exercise. Should call together the present house of such interference ever take place, it assembly. As soon as the circum. would not be for any vain display of stances of the present season render selfish superiority ; but in the fur. it expedient, I shall appeal to an en. therance of measures, to the ulti. lightened constituency. The libe. mate accomplishment of which, the rality of that enactment, which did parliament of Great Britain is pledg. away with all distinctions of colour, ed, and which experience should I duly appreciate. I have no donbt have shown, that the legislatures of that the newly-enfranchised free. the colonies would not themselves holders will show they deserve the adopt.
trust reposed in them, and that in I must now thank you for those its exercise, there will be no more portions of the annual supplies which emulation on all sides, than a desire you have already voted. Your task to prove the soundness and modera. has, in this respect, been much tion of their principles, the extent lightened, by the liberality of the and devotion of their loyalty, British government, in taking upon itself the payment of his majesty's “Gentlemen of the Council, troops, during the present year. I Mr. Speaker, and Gentlemon of the am sure that the people of this co. House of Assembly : lony will not be insensible to the “You are now about to return to double obligation which they owe your homes, at a moment which, af. to the paternal care of their sove. ter the experience of last year, it is reign, in having, at the same time, impossible not to feel to be one of increased the numbers of the garri. some anxiety. I have myself no ap. son, and relieved you from the prehension, that any persons will charge of its subsistance, showing be found misguided enough, again equal solicitude for your safety, and to brave the penalties of rebellion; sympathy for your distresses. At I have the greatest confidence in the same time I must say, that on the efficiency of the measures taken your side you might have consider. for the immediate suppression of ed, that in moments of difficulty and any such attempt. But as the redanger, the adequate protection of presentative of my sovereign, I an armed force, is hardly more im. speak his sentiments, when I ex.