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Lordship the retirement from the west coast of Africa of The United States' ships of war named in the inclosed return, in consequence of which there will now be left upon the African coast only the corvette Saratoga, commanded by Commander Alfred Taylor.

The recall of this squadron, under the orders of Flag Officer William Inman, which has been so distinguished for its efforts to suppress the Slave Trade, and so earnestly endeavouring to prevent the fraudulent use of the United States' flag by those engaged in that traffic, as a means of averting search by ships of war of other nations, combined with the most disinterested desire to co-operate with Her Majesty's ships of war upon this station in every available instance where unity of action appeared useful, whether to counteract the views of the slave-trader, or to protect commercial interests, must be considered as a most unfortunate event, threatening to re-open channels which had been closed against the Slave Trade, and encourage those already conversant with that traffic to recommence operations, which, virtually opposed but by one ship of war, The United States' ship Saratoga, cannot fail to offer vast inducements, with little risk.

Under the supposition that no measures have been agreed upon between Her Majesty's Government and that of The United States as an equivalent for the recall of the squadron employed on the West African coast by Treaty, and feeling that the removal of every impediment to the increased action of Her Majesty's squadron becomes now a consideration of greater import, I beg leave to ask the notice of your Lordship to an extract, inclosed herewith, from the Slave Trade instructions, supplied to Her Majesty's ships on this station for their guidance, with reference to the treatment of vessels or boats acting in aid of that traffic, but not in waters within the jurisdiction of any recognized civilized foreign State.

Your Lordship will see by this instruction that Her Majesty's officers are, in the event of meeting with vessels or boats as already described, enjoined to seize the slaves intended for traffic, and take them to a British colony to be liberated, permitting the vessel or boat in which they were found to proceed with any property which might be on board.

The removal of slaves from place to place by water-carriage is at present an undoubtedly favoured practice, and should the British cruizers give their attention to this system, in preference to occupying an office out of sight of land, I think they would frequently meet the vessels and boats mentionod, having from 20 to 70 slaves on board ; these, of course would be taken out.

Having so done, the officer commanding would have the choice of one of two alternatives : first, to retain them on board until want

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of provisions forced him into port; secondly, to proceed with them to a British colony.

The selection of the first measure would, I think, my Lord, infallibly create sickness in the cruizer, and great loss of life amongst the rescued negroes, who would be night and day exposed to the weather, for they certainly could not be allowed to leave the upper deck of a small ship of war.

The adoption of the second would be to remove the cruizers from the station, and consequently, for the sake of liberating a few slaves, leave the coast free for the operations of the slavo-dealers for many weeks at a time.

Since the recall of The United States' squadron, it appears to me, my Lord, that the general practice of cruizing in the offing, and occasionally sighting the land, will give way to a closer inspection of the beach, with a view of preventing the vessels and boats indicated from conveying the slaves from one rendezvous to another; possibly the future system soon will partake more of the character of a close blockade than hitherto it has.

With reference to the disposal of any slaves which might be seized in comparatively small numbers at any one time, there are two methods by which the absence of the cruizer from her station might be obviated for more than a few days, namely:

1st. The formation of an agreement with the Portuguese Government for the reception of the captured negroes at Loanda, in accordance with the stipulations of the Additional Article to the Treaty of the 3rd of July, 1842, dated October 22, 1842.*

2ndly. The establishment of a depôt-ship in this harbour, on board of which the captured negroes might be received, and await the departure of a ship of war, or that of an empty coal-ship, for conveyance to a British colony; the owner of the coal-ship would gladly admit the liability of carrying the negroes to the British West Indies, to be inserted in the charter-party, for these ships uniformly leave this place in ballast for some part contiguous to that region. The depôt-ship would also, of course, contain coal, stores, and provisions for the use of the squadron; the absence of which vessel has, indeed, been so much lamented as being prejudicial to the suppression of the Slave Trade.

| The additional pressure now manifestly thrown upon Her Majesty's squadron employed upon this division of the African station demands, my Lord, I beg to submit, the removal of every hindrance to its exertions; and one measure, apparently to me quite defensible, if adopted, would certainly give assistance ; I propose, my Lord, to deny the right of nationality to those vessels and boats carrying slaves for traffic in the waters described. These waters are

* Vol. XXX. Page 1223.

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not within the jurisdiction of any foreign civilized State, whether in the Congo or on the coast; and why, my Lord, should the vessels and boats belonging to places on such parts of the coast enjoy an immunity which is refused to the waters on which they operate ? By this course the water transport of slaves, from point to point, would probably be altogether in a short time prevented.

I have, &c. Lord J. Russell.

H. V. HUNTLEY.

P.S. August 13.-I beg leave to inform your Lordship that The United States' ship Mohican left this coast to-day; the others, with the exception of the corvette Saratoga, having sailed for The United States since the 9th instant.

H. V. H.

(Inclosure 1.)- Extract from the Slave Trade Instructions, Section 2,

Article 7. In all cases, however, vessels or boats of native Africans found in waters not within the recognized jurisdiction of a foreign civilized State, and actually engaged in carrying slaves for the export traffic, are to be stopped, and slaves in them intended for the traffic are to be taken to a British colony to be liberated, but the native crews belonging to such vessels or boats are not to be subjected to any

illtreatment, and are to be permitted to proceed with their vessels or boats and property whither they please. Given under our hands this 12th day of June, 1844.

G. COCKBURN.
W. H. GAGE.

(Inclosure 2.)-Statement of United States' Ships of War recalled from the West Coast of Africa.

Loanda, August 9, 1861. Constellation, flag-ship, 22 guns; San Jacinto, 13 guns; Portsmouth, 18 guns; Mohican, 6 guns; Mystic, 5 guns; Sumpter,

5 guns.

The corvette Saratoga, a sailing-ship, mounting 18 guns, will remain upon the coast, under the command of a captain who will supersede Commander Alfred Taylor.

H. V. HUNTLEY.

No. 43.-Her Majesty's Acting Commissioner to Lord J. Russell.

(Received November 4.) MY LORD,

Loanda, August 23, 1861. In my despatch of May 29, I had the honour of inclosing to your Lordship the copy of a letter which I had addressed to his Excellency the Governor-General on the subject of domestic slaves being taken with unusual frequency from this city to the Island of St. Thomas.

Since the date of that despatch, I have, my Lord, the more carefully watched that practice, and it appears to me not only to be extending itself, but also to have originated another measure which will call for rigid supervision, if not opposition, although it may have received the apparent sanction of the Government of this Province.

I believe I am quite correct in stating to your Lordship that the practice I allude to is of the following description, namely, previously to the departure of the last Portuguese mail-steamer from this city for St. Thomas and Lisbon, no less than 10 applications were made by or on the part of negroes, represented as being free, and desiring to leave Loanda to proceed to St. Thomas, for the purpose of hiring themselves out as labourers, it having been understood that labour was much wanted on that island.

Applications were made for a passage to St. Thomas in the Stephanie; each negro was provided with a passport regularly executed by the Provincial Government, and the passage-money being then paid, they were received on board as free passengers.

Shortly afterwards about 100 more similar applications were preferred; which occurrence apparently awakening the suspicion of the agent acting here for the “ União Mercantil” Company of Lisbon, these fresh applications were rejected.

Since this event, a large coasting-boat, called a "lancha," of 12 or 15 tons burden, has had her sides “raised upon” (meaning built higher), and I am confidently informed that it is intended to despatch her with 70 negroes, professing to be freely making the voyage to St. Thomas, as soon as the vessel may be ready for sea, which she will in 10 days or a fortnight be.

I cannot discover that there will be any objection on the part of the Provincial Government to supply passports should they be required for the negroes mentioned ; and I have, indeed, been informed that directions have been sent from hence to the Governor of St. Thomas carefully to register the negroes arriving as freemen, in order to frustrate any illegal intentions entertained with reference to them by those who in reality will be the shippers.

It is, my Lord, certainly believed that the subj ct of renewing the cultivation of the fertile island in question has lately engaged the attention of the Portuguese Government, whichi, probably, has given directions for every possible assistance to be afforded from this province; nevertheless, in the face of the precaution I haye before named, I cannot help looking upon the proceeding with unqualified

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suspicion; regarding it as a subterfugeto evade the Treaty of July 3, 1842, with Portugal, for the suppression of the Slave Trade, on the part of those who embark the negroes.

I am fully of opinion that should a vessel carrying negroes as already described be met with by one of Her Majesty's ships, and sent in for trial, no justification of the practice would be found in the Treaty, which clearly stipulates what negroes may be legally carried ;* and no permission is anywhere given to carry any others; and by examining some of the negroes themselves, I think it would be found that they were no consenting party to their embarkation.

I have, my Lord, partially mentioned this subject to Commodore Edmonstone, who arrived here on the 15th instant, but as that officer was suddenly called away to the River Congo, any further communications with reference to it have been necessarily suspended; but upon his return I shall call them to his attention. However, I shall not fail to place the whole case in the possession of Her Majesty's Commissioner, who I expect will resume his duties early in September.

I havo, &c. Lord J. Russell.

H. V. HUNTLEY.

REPORTS FROM NAVAL OFFICERS.

WEST Coast OF AFRICA STATION.

No. 62.-Commodore Edmonstone to Rear-Admiral Sir H. Keppel. (Extract.)

Arrogant, at Ascension, January 4, 1861. Ar the request of his Excellency the Governor of Sierra Leone, Commander Hollingworth proceeded to Monrovia, on the 24th October, for the purpose of demanding the archives of the British Consulate, the Government not intending to appoint another Consul.

During the Prometheus' stay at this place, the schooner Boneta, with 620 slaves on board, came in, a prize to The United States' corvette San Jacinto, making the fifth vessel that had arrived within 6 weeks, landing in all 3,800 slaves.

Having heard that several suspicious vessels had lately called at Cape Palmas, on their way to the southward, for the purpose of gaining information of the movements of our cruizers, Commander Hollingworth proceeded there on the 1st of November, and reports the place to be thriving and healthy, but that there were a great many complaints at there not being any British Consul or Agent, to settle the disputes of the palm-oil traders, of whom, it appears, upwards of 200 vessels call annually for their kroomen, &c.

* Article V, Treaty, July 3, 1842. Vol. XXX. Page 527.

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