Mr. Fowel Buxlon
took the opportunity of asking the Under-Secretary for the Colonies whether any measures had been taken to prevent the payment of compensation for slaves illegally imported into the Island of Mauritius?
§ Sir George Grey
supposed the question of the hon. Member to refer to importations between the years 1810 and 1820. Since 1820 there was no evidence to show that any illegal importations had been made. He apprehended that the greatest difficulty had been, and would be found in distinguishing the individual slaves improperly introduced into the island; and no measures of the kind alluded to had been taken, simply because they would not be effectual. Under the existing laws, slaves illegally imported previous to the Emancipation Act became subject to apprenticeship. Since the Emancipation Act the whole mass of slaves in the Mauritius had become subject to apprenticeship, which was only to last for a very limited period. As to the illegality of the importations, and the claims of the owners, the Commissioners were themselves sworn, and had the power of taking evidence upon oath; and to them, he apprehended, it must be left.
§ Mr. Fowel Buxton
said, that the answer was so unsatisfactory that, on the part of an hon. Friend, he gave notice of his intention to bring the subject again under the consideration of the House.
§ Subject dropped.