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No. 7.-LATE NAVAL OFFICER.

This sinecure (for in this light must it be considered) is, the Committee believe, paid to a Miss Gordon. It is in the name of a compensation for the fees on shipping abolished by proclamation. There can be, the Committee submit, no good reason for continuing this payment so long after the fees have been abolished, more especially as the original imporition was a grievous hardship.

No. 8.-COURT OF AUDIENCIA--GOVERNOR'S ASSESSOR. The Commissioners of Inquiry bave strongly recommended the abolition of all the judicial functions of the Governor, and it is understood that this Court bias been already abolished. This office consequently becomes useless, and the whole of the salary will be saved.

No. 9.- CHIEF JUDGE. The fees of the Chief Judge are supposed to amount to 1,500l. or 2,000l. sterling, independent of his salary. The Committee think that a salary of 2,500 l. without any fees ought to be amply sufficient.

No. 10.-COURT OF CRIMINAL INQUIRY. The duties of this Court are merely to take the preliminary inquiries in criminal matters, which the local magistrates might do with at least equal effect. The costs of criminal proceedings are shamefully and exorbitantly high, and the whole system of criminal justice productive of needless expense and delay.

No. 11.- CATHOLIC BISHOP.
The Catholic Bishop is metropolitan of all the Catholic colonies in the West Indies

. The Committee, in proposing a reduction of his salary, consider that the amount should be made up to him by the other parts of his diocese.

No. 12.-GOVERNMENT NEGROES. The keeping of these negroes is a constant and unnecessary expense. They do very little work, as will be very clear by a reference to the charges made for the Botanical Garden, and the cleaning of the Government Pasture. They were purchased by the colonial government for the avowed purpose of saving the inhabitants from the corvées on the roads, which are, notwithstanding, exacted as before.

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OBSERVATIONS on the foregoing Statements of REVENUE.

It appears from the official accounts printed by order of Government, from which these £.

Statements are transcribed, that the Revenue of the Colony amounted, in the year one 49,308 4

thousand eight hundred and twenty-eight, to the sum of forty-nine thousand three hundred

and eight pounds four shillings and twopence sterling; and in the year one thousand eight 43,196 76

hundred and twenty-nine, to the sum of forty-three thousand one hundred and ninety-six

pounds seven shillings and sixpence; making a total of ninety-two thousand five hundred 92,504 11

and four pounds eleven shillings and eightpence. The expenditure of one thousand eight 40,943 17 6

hundred and twenty-eight was forty thousand nine hundred and forty-three pounds

seventeen shillings and sixpence, and that of one thousand eight bundred and twenty-nine, 36,524 13 2ļ thirty-six thousand five hundred and eighty-four pounds thirteen shillings and twopence

Cuj halfpenny, leaving a surplus of fourteen thousand pine hundred and seventy-five pounds 14,975

elesen pence halfpenny of the revenue over the expenditure for these two years. The total

excess of revenue over expenditure from one thousand eight bundred and twenty-four to 28,438 6 8

one thousand eight hundred and twenty-nine, is twenty-eight thousand four hundred and thirty-eight pounds six shillings and eightpence, as appears by the copy of the official statements transmitted herewith. The committee need scarcely point out the great hardship of unnecessarily levying this large sum from the exhausted resources of the almost ruined planters.

The Committee have annexed a statement of the exports and imports for the years one thousand eight hundred and twenty-eight and one thousand eight hundred and twentynine, not being able at the moment to procure the official returns for former years.

It is to be observed, that in every sugar colony the value of its exports may be considered as equivalent to its whole produce from these statements, and that of the revenue and expenditure before mentioned, it appears that the taxation has always very closely approached, and sometimes exceeded, the proportion of one-tenth of all the produce of the colony.

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From the returns of the population during the same period, it will be seen that the annual taxation has exceeded the rate of one pound two shillings sterling per each inhabitant; if the Cabildo taxes are included, it amounts to one pound five sbillings sterling, a rate of taxation exceeding that of most countries in Europe, and totally unprecedented in a new settled colony.

It should also be remarked, that besides the ordinary revenue, and the very large sum raised by the Illustrious Board of Cabildo, there are numerous offices established in the colony where fees are exacted quite disproportionate to the services performed. All of which must be included in estimating the burdens under which the inhabitants labour.

In their observations on the expenditure of the Colony the Committee have shown that that expenditure might be reduced without prejudice to the public service by the sum of nineteen thousand six hundred and fifty-three pounds fifteen shillings and threepence. The amount of the public burdens might therefore also be diminished to the same extent. The taxes which weigh most grievously on the inhabitants are the three and a half per cent. on exports, the tax of eight shillings and eightpence sterling on each slave, and the house tax. On this subject the Committee have entered into a very particular examination, the result of which has been, their unanimous opinion, that of those taxes the slave tax should be wholly abolished, the export duties reduced to two per cent., and the house tax to two and a half per cent. on the annual rents.

The amount of the revenue raised from these sources in one thousand eight hundred and twenty-nine was as follows: slave tax, nine thousand two hundred and fifty-three pounds sixteen shillings and eightpence; three and a half on exports, fifteen thousand eight hundred and seven pounds one shilling and sixpence; house tax, two thousand five hundred and fifty-eight pounds four shillings and tenpence; making a total of twenty-seven thousand six hundred and nineteen pounds three shillings. If the proposed reductions were carried into effect the slave tax would be altogether abolished, the house tax reduced to one half, say to one thousand two hundred and seventy-nine pounds two shillings and fivepence; the export duties reduced to nine thousand one hundred and thirty-two pounds twelve shillings; amounting to ten thousand three hundred and eleven pounds fourteen shillings and firepence; which would make a reduction of the revenue derived from these sources of seventeen thousand three hundred and seven pounds eight shillings and sevenpence, and still leaving on the general account an excess of revenue of two thousand three hundred and forty-six pounds six shillings and eightpence halfpenny to meet any unexpected deficiencies or extraordinary expenses, besides the amount of two thousand five hundred pounds already proposed to be allowed for unfixed contingencies.

The Committee cannot close these observations on the revenue without stating, that it is impossible, under its present distressed circumstances, the planters of the colony can continue to pay the heavy taxes which have been enumerated, and that unless some immediate relief is granted, their property must sink under the accumulated burdens inposed on them.

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31 Dec. 1831.

Copy of DESPATCH from Lord Viscount Goderich to Sir L. Grant,

&c. &c. &c.
Sir,

Downing-street, 14th January 1832.
I ENCLOSE to you herewith a copy of a communication which has been made to
me by Mr. Marryat, containing various papers in regard to the revenue and
expenditure of the colony under your government, which have proceeded, it is said,
from certain persons who are designated as the Committee at Trinidad, and which
are signed by a Mr. Jackson as Vice-chairman. I have no knowledge of any

such
body, of the manner in which it has been constituted, or of the functions which
it assumes to perform. Considering these papers, however, as proceeding from
some persons who interest themselves in the welfare of the colony under your
government, and recommended to attention by a gentleman of respectability in this
country, I have to request that you will call upon Mr. Jackson for copies of them,
and that you will bring duly under my notice such remarks and explanations as they
may appear to you to require. You will at the same time call the attention of
Mr. Jackson to the circular instructions which have issued from this Department
respecting the mode in which communications are to be made by the colonists to
the local authorities, and, if ultimately necessary, to His Majesty's Government ;

and

you will point out to him the uselessness of any other mode of communication, and the delay which is occasioned by adopting it.

In my Despatch of the 27th May last, I have entered very fully upon the subjects connected with the taxation and expenditure of Trinidad, and I have instructed you to bring those subjects, without loss of time, under the consideration of the Council. În doing so, it will of course be your duty to lay before that body all the correct and authentic information which

you
shall

possess that shall appear to be relevant to the questions they have to consider. Should you, therefore, find any such information in the papers furnished you by Mr. Jackson, you will no doubt enable the Council to profit by them.

I am, &c.

(signed) Goderich,

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TRINIDAD,

MEMORIAL of the Committee of lohabitants of

Trinidad, praying for a CHANGE in the Legis-
LATIVE COUNCIL; and Observations upon the
Taxation and ExpendITURE of the Colony.

Ordered, by The House of Commons, to be Printed,

27 February 1832.

212.

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