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any owner of a West Indian estate, who is honestly disposed to fulfil the law of emancipation, should be deprived of any part of what the law provided for him as a conpensation for that which it took away. In England, a master is entitled to claim the service of his apprentice according to the stipulations of the indenture; in the West Indies, the Emancipation-act, as to each individual master separately, stands in lieu of indentures. The paper of the king's printer, in the one case, is as good as the parchment of the law stationer in the other; and every master, whilst he himself performs the obligations imposed upon him by the one or the other, has a right to demand the performance of all that is assured to him by the instrument, without reference to the conduct of those by whose conduct he has not agreed, or intended to be bound.
The owners of West Indian estates, who, in law or equity, are the masters of the negro apprentices, or have an appreciable interest in their services, are, in many cases, resident in England; nay, many of them are women, or minors, for whom the estates are held in trust. It is not the real value to these persons of the apprenticeship which so much merits consideration, as the violation of the principles of law in depriving them, for the misdeeds of others, of what the law, at least, regards as a lucrative interest. We have paid twenty millions to gain the credit and advantage of being thought to deal fairly, and to found our colonial legislation in equity and not in force. We are now clamorously urged to undo all this, and to make our gift worthless. The excuse for a quarrel, the vantage ground in the dispute which might be thus afforded to the malcontent planters of the West Indies, are reasons in themselves for pursuing that course which requires no reasoning to recommend it; for an adherence to a law of property ; and for directing the efforts of colonial government, during the next two years, to the en
forcement of the enactments which were made for the mitigation of the negro's lot whilst in apprenticeship, and for his freedom in 1840. There will be enough to do to secure this. Let not the whole cause of abolition be put to hazard, by giving a rallying-point and a war-cry to all the evil spirits-a centre of combination in British Guiana or Jamaica, for all the evil elements which might be evoked and aggregated from the islands, and seas, and shores of South America, from Cuba and from Texas, and from the slave-states of the American Union. Slavery has its defenders upon principle : it still exists as a politic system, and is interwoven with the institutions of powerful communities. It may be re-established. The pious men who would govern this world by their own notions of another, may be driven from the scene of their labours and their hopes; the gulfs of the Atlantic may swarm with piratical flags ; and those regions in which Las Casas deplored the vast atrocities of his countrymen, and which were afterwards the seat and theatre of the most formidable piracies of modern history, may again be stained with the blood of unoffending millions, and by a British race.
TITHES IN IRELAND.
On the 14th of May, Lord John Russell, in the Commons, is to move, in a committee of the whole house, the following Resolutions, with a view to the extinction of Tithes in Ireland :
1. That it is the opinion of this Committee, that Tithe-composition in Ireland should be commuted into a Rent-charge, at the rate of seven-tenths of their amount, to be charged on the owner of the first estate of inheritance.
2. That it is the opinion of this Committee, that, on the expiration of existing interests, so much of such Rentcharge as shall be payable in lieu of Ecclesiastical Tithe shall be purchased by the state, at the rate of sixteen years' purchase of the original tithe-composition.
3. That it is the opinion of this Committee, that the Ecclesiastical Commissioners for Ireland should be empowered, with the consent of the incumbents, to demand from the state the purchase, at the same rate, of any other portion of Ecclesiastical Tithe-composition or Rent-charge, not exceeding one-tenth of the whole amount in any one year.
4. That it is the opinion of this Committee, that, until such Rent-charge shall be purchased or redeemed, the amount of Ecclesiastical Rent-charge, and Minister's Money, should be paid to the incumbents from the Consolidated Fund.
5. That it is the opinion of this Committee, that the arrangement of such payments, and the investment of the purchase-monies paid by the state for Ecclesiastical Rentcharge, should be entrusted to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners for Ireland.
6. That it is the opinion of this Committee, that the Rent-charges for Ecclesiastical Tithe should be appropriated by law to certain local charges now defrayed out of the Consolidated Fund, and to Education; the surplus to form part of the Consolidated Fund.
7. That it is the opinion of this Committee, that the Rent-charges' for Ecclesiastical Tithe and Minister's Money should be collected by the Commissioners of Woods and Forests for five years, and until parliament shall otherwise provide.
8. That it is the opinion of this Committee, that further provision should be made by law for the regulation of Ecclesiastical Duties, and the better distribution of Ecclesiastical Revenues, in Ireland.
9. That it is the opinion of this Committee, that provision should be made for the revision of certain Tithecompositions, where such compositions operate with injustice.
10. That it is the opinion of this Committee, that the Rent-charges for Lay-tithe should be collected by the tithe-owner, and facilities afforded for redemption upon mutual agreement between the parties.
The substance of these resolutions may, perhaps, be more easily apprehended, if they are given with a slight alteration in the wording and arrangement of them.
Certain of the tithe-compositions in Ireland, which have been made so as to operate unjustly, are to be revised.
Final compositions, which have been, or which may be, made, for tithe in Ireland, shall be commuted, by operation of an act of parliament, into rent-charges of seven-tenths of the amount of the compositions.
· The owner of the first estate of inheritance in the land charged with the composition, will be charged with the rent-charge which is to be substituted for it.*
The rent-charges thus substituted for lay-impropriations of tithe, shall be collected by the impropriators; but facilities shall be given, by act of parliament, for the redemption of such rent-charges by agreement.
The rent-charges substituted for ecclesiastical tithe shall be purchased by the state from time to time, as the existing interests of those entitled to receive the rentcharges expire, and at the rate of sixteen years' purchase of the compositions for which the rent-charges shall have been substituted; and, at any time before the expiration of existing interests, these purchases may be made, upon the demand of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners for Ireland, with the consent of those entitled to receive the rentcharges : but so that the state shall not be called upon to purchase more than one-tenth of the whole of the rentcharge in any one year.
The investment of the purchase-monies so given by the state, shall be entrusted to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners for Ireland.t
Until the rent-charges are so purchased, the annual amount of them is to be paid out of the consolidated fund to those who would otherwise have been entitled to the compositions.
The rent-charges themselves so substituted for eccle
* In all probability it must be intended, that where the possession of the land is not in the owner of the first estate of inheritance, or where there are leases or agreements under which the composition would be payable by the occupier, the owner of the first estate of inheritance shall have the means of indemnifying himself for payments made by hiin on account of the rent-charge.
+ The annual proceeds are, of course, intended to be for the use of those who, if the purchase should not have taken place, would have been entitled to the rent-charges.