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death his son Docemo was set on his throne with the assent of the English Consul. The treaty with Akitoye was signed by Admiral Bruce, at that time in command of the squadron on the station, and as he (Sir Francis Baring) was then at the Admiralty, he had kept up his interest in the subject. This treaty had been suddenly set aside, and Lagos had been taken possession of as a British dependency. He took it for granted there had been some ground for breaking the treaty, and had looked into the papers to see whether there had been any complaint against Docemo that he had broken faith with
England. He believed that by international law, where a treaty existed, due complaint must be made of any breach of that treaty before hostilities were resorted to. In the present case, however, the Government instructed Consul Foote to explain to Docemo that they were not actuated by any dissatisfaction with his conduct, "but that, on the contrary, they have every wish to deal with him in a liberal and friendly spirit." If no dissatisfaction existed with Docemo, on what ground, then, was his territory taken away from him? Here was a despatch from Consul Brand, dated "Lagos, April 9, 1860," which stated that
would probably have been removed had he been spared. But what were the grounds upon which the Government thought themselves justified in taking possession of the country? They were to be found in a despatch from the Foreign Secretary, dated June 22, 1861, and were that the Government
"Are convinced that the permanent occupation of this important point is indispensable to the complete suppression of the slave trade in the country; while it will give great aid and support to the development of lawful commerce, and will homey." check the aggressive spirit of the King of Da
But would the suppression of the slave trade justify the Government in breaking a treaty and seizing the property of their neighbours? If so, he did not know why they should stop there.
There was an
island, the possession of which everybody
"Lagos, from being a haunt of piratical slavedealers in 1851, has, from its geographical position, and the great resources of the country adjoining, become the seat of a most important and increasing legal trade. The value of the exports, even during the past year, by no means a favour-commerce -was that a ground for seizable one, is nearly £250,000 sterling." ing on the country? Plainly put, the case was this "You are my ally; I have no complaint whatever against you, but I will be a great aid to the development of will take possession of your country; it lawful commerce, and I shall therefore be
Consul Brand, it was true, represented that the Government was not sufficiently strong, and that justice was not done, and he recommended either a protectorate or that England should annex the country perfectly justified." And then, as for But where a trade had grown up so rapid-checking the aggressive spirit of the King ly, it was no bad ly, it was no bad proof that things had of Dahomey, what did that amount to gone on pretty well, and that complaint but this "It will greatly contribute to
my overpowering the King of Dahomey if I have your territory, and therefore I am perfectly justified in taking possession of it." But there was a fourth reason
should have been made before such an extreme measure was taken. Consul Brand's despatch was written in 1860, and it was more than a year before the Government made up its mind to annex Lagos. Consul Brand was succeeded by Consul Foote, and it was surprising, that if the latter came to the same conclusion as Consul Brand, some despatch from him had not been given among the papers. Consul Foote, however, died, and his death was, in the opinion of Commodore Edmonstone, a very severe loss to that part of Africa, as the difficulties which had occurred Sir Francis Baring
"Her Majesty's Government would be most unwilling that the establishment of British soveinjustice to Docemo, the present chief of the reignty at Lagos should be attended with any island; but they conceive that as his tenure of the island in point of fact depends entirely upon the afforded to him and his predecessor by the British continuance of the protection which has been naval authorities since the expulsion of Kosoko, no injustice will be inflicted upon him by changing this anomalous protectorate into an avowed
occupation, provided his material interests are | peans and immigrants to be present to hear the proposals of the Government explained. At this time there was great excitement, but, owing to the admirable arrangements that had been made, no disturbance took place. What those "admirable arrangements" were, might be inferred from the circumstance that a body of English soldiers and marines, with some cannon, were landed and drawn up so as to be available in case of need. Under these circumstances the signature of the King was obtained to the treaty, some objections which he urged being met by the insertion of one or two new clauses into the instrument. In a letter dated August 8th, 1861, written after this circumstance, Docemo stated that he never intended to cede his kingdom to Her Majesty, and that he only signed the treaty "because if I do not, he (Captain Bedingfield) is ready to fire on the Island of Lagos, and to destroy it in the twinkling of an eye." One of the stipulations of the treaty was that Docemo should receive an annual pension equivalent to the net revenues of his kingdom. Those revenues were farmed for £2,000, a fact of which Mr. M'Croskry must have been perfectly well aware. It was, however, decided upon that the King should receive a pension of £1,000 a year only. He (Sir F. Baring) did not believe that Her Majesty's Government, when consenting to this arrangement, could have been aware of these facts. That they intended to take possession of the country was perfectly true, but he did not believe they would also willingly deprive the King of half his income in addition to depriving him of his sovereignty. The King also complained that his dignity had been insulted and his feelings wounded by the subsequent proceedings of the Consul. The people of Africa were not likely to be made our friends by such conduct as that which had been pursued towards King Docemo. It was bad policy, to say the least, to deprive our friends of their crowns, and to shower favours on our enemies. King Docemo had not been fairly compensated for the revenue he had lost, and it was neither more nor less than a scandal that the memorial of a person who had suffered wrong at our hands should not have received the courtesy of an answer. He entreated the Government to organize such a system at Lagos as might secure justice being exercised there, and to give. the natives some means of expressing their
That was a very dangerous doctrine to hold. In point of fact there were none of those African chiefs who were not more or less in treaty with this country, and to a certain extent under its protection. It was under the shadow of our wings, and by the power which we exercised upon the African coast, that they were defended from their enemies. Indeed, there were cases nearer home in which the doctrine of an "anomalous protectorate would sound very oddly. He might be told that there had been a cession; but he maintained, that when all the circumstances of the transaction were taken into account, it could not be said that any voluntary assent was given by Docemo to the surrender of the territory. The facts of the case were these:-Her Majesty's Government having decided to take possession of Lagos, Captain Bedingfield, the senior naval officer on the station, brought his ship, the Prometheus, into the river. Docemo was invited to a conference on board that vessel, when he was informed of the intention of the Government to convert the anomalous protectorate into an avowed occupation, and requested to sign a treaty of cession. Not having his chiefs with him, Docemo refused to do so, and two or three days were then given him to make up his mind. Mr. M'Croskry, the acting consul at Lagos, admitted this fact; for in his despatch to the Government he said that the King had no arguments of weight to urge against the proposed cession of his kingdom to Her Majesty, but that as his chiefs were not present, he promised to lay the matter before them. A few days afterwards another meeting was held on shore, at the house of Mr. M'Croskry, who says that they saw at once that the party opposing the cession had succeeded in getting the King to refuse. The chiefs then attempted to intimidate by threats; but as Commander Bedingfield had taken measures to put down disturbance, none occurred. Docemo was then informed, that unless he had made up his mind before the 6th August, five days, formal possession would be taken of the island in the name of her Majesty. There were at first threats of opposing this by force; but the precautions taken, and especially the imposing presence of a vessel like the Prometheus, kept all quiet. Docemo then called another meeting at his house, at which he requested all the Euro
feelings and wishes. The right hon. I debt we owed to Africa, he entirely apbaronet concluded by moving the reduction proved what had been done, and he sinof the Vote by the sum estimated for the cerely hoped Government would make no expenses of Lagos, £4,000. change whatever with regard to the cession of that place. He looked on the occupation of Lagos as one of the links in that great chain by which the slave trade was at length to be bound and destroyed. The separation of the United States was one step in that direction; the independence of the Confederate States was another step; the treaty with the United States was another step, and the occupation of Lagos was ancillary to the same end.
Motion made, and Question proposed "That the sum of £4,000, for the Civil Establishment of Lagos, be omitted from the proposed Vote."
MR. GREGORY gave his cordial support to the course pursued by the Government at Lagos. The question lay in a nutshell, and the statement of the right hon. Baronet might be easily and satisfactorily answered. Lagos was the port of Abeokuto, a most flourishing portion of the African Coast, but it was a district continually threatened by the King of Dahomey, and was the resort of people engaged in carrying on the slave trade, and Docemo, if willing, was unable to restrain them. One might have supposed, from the description of his right hon. Friend, that Lagos was inhabited by a set of Quakers most peaceable and orderly in their conduct, instead of by a number of characters intimately connected with the King of Dahomey, who was engaged in organizing and carrying on the slave trade; and he agreed in the opinion of our naval commander there, Captain Bedingfield, that our occupation of Lagos would do more to suppress that trade than all the ships we could muster along the coast. With respect to the stipulations of our Government with King Docemo, he was to retain his power so long as he acted up to his engagements; but it was perfectly notorious that those engagements with regard to the discouragement of the slave trade, on the maintenance of which his support by the British nation depended, had been violated. Docemo was perfectly unable to restrain the lawless people who were congregated in his territory, and the condition of Lagos was proceeding from worse to worse. His right hon. Friend had talked of the protest of King Docemo against deprivation; but the document to which he referred was dated August, 1861, whereas the last document on the subject was dated March, 1862, in which Consul Freeman stated that Docemo was inclined to sign, but was prevented from doing so by the Whitecap chieftains; but they were afterwards quite satisfied, and the King then signed another article, and received additional compensation. Whether he considered the occupation of
MR. LAYARD said, he would not follow his right hon. Friend (Sir F. Baring) in his relation of the facts of this case, as in the main he had correctly stated what had taken place. He agreed that in their dealings with the natives of Africa, as, indeed, with all the world, they should be guided by strict maxims of equity and justice; and he felt confident it would appear that they had dealt both justly and most kindly with Docemo. His right hon. Friend accused the Government of violating international law; but he had really made a great deal of a very small matter. He spoke as if the King of Lagos were the head of a great independent State, instead of a petty chief exercising doubtful authority over a few people. Some years ago Lagos was a perfect nuisance on the coast of Africa. It was the resort of all the slavedealers on the coast, it was in alliance with the King of Dahomey in his slavehunts and his butcheries, and the greatest outrages were perpetrated by its population. The English Government were at length compelled to interfere, and an expedition was fitted out against Lagos by the orders of his right hon. Friend, who was then First Lord of the Admiralty (Sir F. Baring). After very considerable resistance, the place was taken. It became by conquest the possession of the British Crown, if we had chosen to take it. This, however, we did not do; but we removed the then ruler, Kosoko, putting Akitoye, the predecessor of Docemo, in his place, and established a kind of protectorate. Such protectorates were always unfortunate in the result. We had all the responsibility, without any of the advantages of possession. Docemo, who shortly afterwards succeeded Akitoye, became a mere puppet in the hands of a party at Lagos. We were compelled to maintain
Lagos as an opening for British commerce, a vessel of war there to protect our inor as the repayment of a portion of the terests, and the Consul at last asked for Sir Francis Baring
a body of troops to uphold the authority of his petitions, which complained that of King Docemo himself. At length La- we had defrauded him of his revenue. gos became a resort of the partisans of None of those petitions touched the questhe King of Dahomey, and a depôt for tion of revenue-they all referred to the the arms and powder furnished to him cession. The annual revenue that had to enable him to carry on the slave trade been allotted to him had been allotted and his horrible human sacrifices.. It upon full investigation, and it was a fair became, at length, absolutely necessary compromise which he had himself accepteither that Lagos should be abandoned or ed. The treaty did not specify the sum that we should take possession of it alto- of £1,000, but a sum equal to the avergether. If we had withdrawn our man- age revenue that he had derived from of-war and our Consul, leaving Docemo Lagos before the cession. He was not to act for himself, he would probably aware of a single remonstrance by Docehave been soon expelled, the slave trade mo in regard to the sum fixed upon; if would have flourished again in all its such a remonstrance had been received horrors, and the Government would have by the Government, it would have been been compelled to fit out another expe- referred for consideration to their repredition against Lagos. What did we do? sentative on the spot. The only desire We knew very well that what Docemo of the Government had been to treat Dochiefly wanted was to have his revenue cemo justly and fairly, and he would be secured to him. We decided to take pos- much happier and his position much betsession, and to settle upon Docemo a fix- ter under the arrangement that had been ed annual sum instead of his previous pre- come to, than if we had left him to his carious revenue. His right hon. Friend fate. There was not a single civil or was in error when he talked of the land naval officer of any authority in African belonging to Docemo; the real possessors matters who did not entirely approve the of it were certain Whitecap chiefs, as policy of the Government. The possesthey were called. When the deed of sion of Lagos gave us the command of cession was proposed to Docemo, a fear that vast system of lagoons and internal arose among the Whitecap chiefs lest they waters which skirted the coast of Africa, were to be deprived of their rights; but and enabled the slaver to defy our efforts their apprehensions were soon set at rest, by sea to check his operation. By means and Docemo himself was fully satisfied of our control over that island, and of the when he found that a yearly revenue was treaty recently concluded with the United to be guaranteed to him on the faith of States, we had secured the greatest facilia treaty. The petitions from Docemo, the ties for the effectual suppression of that chiefs, and various inhabitants of Lagos abominable traffic in the Bight of Benin. which had been referred to were very He thought that the British Government much alike, all being written in the same could not be accused of having acted unpeculiar orthography and style; and there justly to King Docemo, whilst they had was reason to believe that they had been taken a most important step towards the drawn up by some persons whose object ultimate destruction of the slave trade on it was to restore the previous state of the eastern coast of Africa. things in Lagos. No doubt there were those who were dissatisfied, because they could no longer carry on the slave trade with impunity, and saw that we were determined to put down their atrocious practices. If we had abandoned the place altogether, it would most probably have fallen into the hands of the King of Dahomey. Ought we to have established a more direct protectorate over Lagos ? He said that to establish a direct protectorate would be an infinitely worse course than taking possession of the island: he believed that in adopting this latter course the Government had been guilty of no injustice towards Docemo. It had been alleged that no notice had been taken
SIR FRANCIS BARING said, the petitions from King Docemo were drawn up by that Prince's own secretary. The Under Secretary of State said he had not heard of any complaint from Kin Docemo on account of his compensation, but there was a great deal that was quite true which did not appear to reach the hon. Gentleman. The complaint was made to Governor Freeman, and no attention was paid to it.
MR. FREELAND said, that the sneers of the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs at the arguments of the right hon. Baronet (Sir Francis Baring) were, he thought, much out of place. The Under Secretary had sneered at the idea of ap
plying the principles of international law Estimates that out of the whole amount to the case of a petty African Prince. now asked for, the sum of £57,420 But surely the smaller and the weaker was required "to meet the arrears due the State concerned, the more important it to the Treasury chest for extraordiwas that a Government like that of Eng- nary expenses incurred on the responsiland should respect, as far as possible, its bility of the late Governor of the Cape of independence, and endeavour conscien- Good Hope to meet the emergency of a tiously to apply the same principles to threatened Kaffir war in 1857 and in subit as they would apply in their inter- sequent years;" and it was added that this course with a more powerful community. estimate had not been previously preThough most anxious to see the slave sented, as the accounts were not sufficitrade suppressed, he should feel great dif- ently cleared up to allow of the actual ficulty in supporting the present Vote, amount being ascertained. He thought unless the Under Secretary of State gave this a very unsatisfactory statement. some further explanation of the remarks which he had made.
MR. CHILDERS said, there had been in one instance a delay of sixteen years in presenting the estimate. He wished particularly to call attention to the item of £21,772, representing sums advanced on account of the colony from 1846 to 1853. The third Report of the Select Committee on Public Accounts, which was referred to for an explanation of these Votes, did not, in point of fact, contain any such explanation. This was an audited account; but although it had appeared year after year as having been audited, and was supposed to have received a thorough examination by a Board independent of the Government, the items had been altered in the account this year, and did not correspond with those printed in former years. It was true that the £150 in any one case; but the fact that difference was not large, not exceeding any such difference existed showed the necessity of further inquiry into the mode of auditing these accounts.
Question put, and negatived.
Original Question put, and agreed to. (9.) £5,923, St. Helena; (10.) £700, Orange River Territory, agreed to.
(11.) 10,000, British Kaffraria.
LORD ROBERT MONTAGU asked, why this Vote was necessary, seeing that there was £41,000 of credits in the Exchequer on the 1st of April last.
MR. PEEL said, the £41,000 had been spent, and further claims had been made on the Treasury.
MR. AUGUSTUS SMITH asked for a further explanation of the Vote.
MR. CHICHESTER FORTESCUE said, he hoped that this was the last, or at any rate the last instalment but one, of a series of Votes, to meet a grant of £40,000 voted in aid of British Kaffraria. It had been intended not to ask for this sum; but when the proposal was notified to the Governor of the colony, so strong a protest was made, accompanied by detailed statements, that the Government thought it right to ask for this sum.
MR. E. P. BOUVERIE was glad to hear that there was a prospect of the speedy termination of this charge. any rate, the Vote was a less evil than the possible expenses of another Kaffir
COLONEL SYKES said, a hope had been held out last year that the Vote would never be asked for again.
Vote agreed to.
MR. PEEL said, that with regard to the several points to which the hon. Gentleman had called his attention, he had gone into them with the assistance of the Audit Board'; and though it would be very difficult for him to explain intelligibly to the Committee these matters of detail, yet he could asssure them that the explanations he had received were perfectly satisfactory. The first part of the
Vote referred to a sum issued for services
at the Cape as long as fifteen years ago. At that time endeavours were made to obtain repayment from the colonial funds; but difficulties were made, and the subject seemed to have been lost sight of when the constitution was granted to the colony. The Committee of last Session, however, directed the attention of the Government to
(12.) £79,193, British Kaffraria. LORD ROBERT MONTAGU asked for an explanation of this Vote, a large portion of which seemed to have been £21,000, portion of the amount, and sugadvanced without the sanction of the co-gested a settlement. Communication was lonial authorities. It was stated in the in consequence had with the Colonial