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The Governor

Sterling £.
First President -
Attorney General
Seneschal
Procureur du Roi
Provost Marshal
Lieut.-Seneschal
Advocate General
Secretary and Clerk of Council

Ditto- . . for Tapion Battery
Clerk to the Secretary
Registrar of Slaves (with Fees)
Protector of Slaves
Assistant Protectors (3)
Hugh Stuart, Patentee as Secretary
Colonial Agent
Colonial Treasurer

Ditto, Allowance for Clerk and Office
Printer, for printing only
Collector, Comptroller, Clerk, and

Searchers and Waiters, with Allow

ance for Boats
Harbour-Master with Allowance for

Boat
Police of the Colony
Jailer, besides Fees
Interpreter

125
200
200
380
180
450

None. None. 200 None. 380 180 60

about

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:

LETTER from G. W. Busteed. Esq. to His Excellency Lieutenant Colonel Bozon,

&c. &c. &c.

SIR,

Chief Secretary's Office, St. Lucia, 29th August 1831. AS you will transunit by next mail to Lord Goderich, ihe Representation of three Privy Councillors, containing Statements, of which you can have no knowledge, it becomes my duty, as Chief Secretary, to draw your Excellency's attention to the subject, so that His Majesty's Government may not be led, for want of proper information, to draw erroneous conclusions from that Representation. As the document is a long one, I have numbered its paragraphs, and shall take them numerically as they demand explanation.

Paragraph No. 1, states distress to exist from increasing Taxation ;-how these gentlemen could make that assertion I cannot conceive, wbep Clause 4, in the Tax Schedule of 1830, embracing heavy taxes, was repealed in 1831, and when the following Reductions took place this year:

Sugar from 2 s. to 1s. 6d. per 100 lbs.
Coffee from 3s. to 25. 6d. per diito.
Cocoa from 2 s. to 1 s. 6d. per ditto.
Cotton from 4s. to 35. 6d. per ditto.
Cassada from 55. to 48. per

barrel.
Personal slaves from 20s. to 105. each, in
which reduction these gentlemen were directly interested. In the taxes for 1830, the
foreign tonnage duty was reduced one half, and the transient and intercolonial duties were
discontinued, and in neither of these years was there any increase of duty or taxati
With these facts appearing on the Council minutes, to which these gentlemen as Privy
Councillors have at all times access, and which are so completely at variance with their
Representation, your Excellency must be able to form an idea of the accuracy of the State-
menis of the three Privy Councillors, in the remaining parts of their Representation.

Paragraphs

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Paragraphs No. 2 to No. 5, are irrelevant to my purpose, as they are conclusions drawn from general premises, which may or may not have operation, but regarding which Lord Goderich can labour under no want of information, and will of course draw his own conclusions.

Paragraph No. 6, states, that an oppressive Taxation, disproportioned to the extent of its population and the means of its inhabitants, is forced upon them, to support the Public Establishments. At the imposition of the taxes for 1831, those three Privy Councillors were the persons who imposed them.

Paragraph No. 7, complains that they are called upon to sanction a Taxation over which they have no control, and of the severity of the Provost Marshal in levying the taxes. As to the Council having no control over the expenditure of the money, I scarcely know an expenditure in which the Governor did not allow them to have a control, as the minutes of'ist March, 13th and 20th April, 8th November and 13th December 1830, 24th January, 8th and 20th March, 1st April and 30th June 1831, and transmitted home, bear ample illustration, and to show to your Excellency on what fallacious grounds that part of the statement referring to the Provost Marshal is made, I now transcribe Four Returns from that officer.

Paragraph No. 8, states the Money paid into the Colonial chest in 1830, and placed at the disposal of the Governor, at £.18,026. 14. 1. sterling; the Blue Book for the Colony states the suin expended by the Governor, at £.12,004. 8. 1 3., being £.526. 15. 7 1. less than the amount of revenue received and credited to the Colony, which is £.12,531. 3. 81., which, according to the representation, leaves £.5,495. 10.41. received and unaccounted for, and, consequently, if their representation is correct, fraudulently appropriated by the Governor or Treasurer; and I believe the Treasurer's accounts as sent home, will fully exculpate the Governor from any knowledge of its misapplication, but it certainly is a circumstance which calls for the most minute inquiry and examination.

Paragraph No.9, represents the total effective Slaves at 4,500; and had the Privy Councillors referred to the l'ax Ordinance, they would find that effective slaves are alone subject to taxation, but a reference to the Registrar of Slaves Returns will show the fallacy of that statement.

Paragraph No. 11, seeks Aid from His Majesty's Government; how far such is necessary, from the arguinents adduced by the three Privy Councillors, must be for the consideration of the Secretary of State.

Paragraph No. 12, refers to the state of Taxation in St. Vincent and Barbadoes, which the Secretary of State has in its most correct shape through the Blue Books of these islands.

Paragraphs Nos. 13 & 14; in seeking relief according to a Plan annexed, accompanies it with a Comparative Statenent of the Salaries paid at present, as compared to those which were paid the Public Officers in 1824; and as this Plan and Comparative Statement are as erroneous as the Representation, I shall separately observe upon them, for your Excellency's information.

I have, &c.
(signed) Geo. Washington Busteed,

Chief Secretary

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STATEMENTS referred to in Paragraph, No. 7.
A RETURN of the Number of Slaves seized upon Defaulters, for Taxes due to

Government, and sold under Execution, from the 22d May 1830, the day on which
the Provost Marshal's Office commenced its duties, to the 27th August 1831.

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No. 2.-RETURN of the Number of Houses seized upon Defaulters, for Taxes, and

sold under Execution, during the above periods.

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No. 3.-RETURN of Taxes due by Defaulters, and of Sums received on

account thereof.

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Of the officers to be dispensed with, I concur with these gentlemen, that not only the Procureur du Roi, the Advocate General, and the Lieutenant Seneschal, are unnecessary, but many others besides;

but the state of laws in this island six years ago, proves the fallacy of dispensing with the First President; no Colony under His Majesty's Government, requires an able English lawyer, in the character of a Chief Judge, more than St. Lucia.

With respect to the Scale of Salaries, it is not required of me to make any observation, that being a matter for the consideration of His Majesty's Government; there

are, however, a few of them to which I shall cursorily refer. The Assistant Protectors of Slaves are put down at £.50 a year, less than a common constable; what respectable individual would take the office at £.50. The evident object is to do away with that office, and throw every obstruction in the way of slave complaints. The Treasurer is under-rated; exclusive of £.560 per annum, he has 5 per cent on the condemned slave fund; and by a Letter which goes home by this mail, it appears he also draws 5 per cent on the parish and parochial taxes, though I am not aware by what authority he does so, which he averages at £.60 per annum ; his salary would therefore be nearer £.700 than £.560; it is, however, a solitary instance of their liberality. The Government Printers are put down at £. 300, though they well know they are guaranteed £.450 ; which sum is inadequate to meet the heavy expense caused by the great accumulation of work attached by the Privy Council (these three gentlemen) in their Minute of 30th May last. The Harbour Master, as in Grenada, £. 150; but the want of candour evinced in not stating, that in Grenada that officer has large fees, and that here he has none, will at once manifest itself to the Secretary of State.

The abolition of Mr. Hugh Stuart's Pension is proposed, but I cannot say how far it would be borne out as a matter of equity, justice or fair dealing, towards that gentleman ; and as to the Interpreter, I believe that officer would be very glad to be put on the former footing, of payment by fees for work performed.

STATEMENT of Public OFFICERS, and Salaries attached to them, as represented

by Three Privy Councillors ; with Remarks.—29 August 1831.

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100

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Advocate-General
Secretary and Clerk of

Council

600

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200

Hugh Stuart, patentee as

Secretary
Colonial Agent
Colonial Treasurer
Ditto for clerk and
office

-S
Printer, for printing only

200
380

£.

£.

-- A new office, substituted for fees

Huissiers. Fees in 1824, and at prefees

fees

sent, and unaltered ; receives no salary. -- In cases where the Seneschal can

not act from sickness, relationship, none

pone or other cause, the Assistant Senes

chal is paid out of the fees received on account of the principal.

SA recent appointment, and paid by none

fees only; no salary.

Salary & fees
.600

500
£.1,298

Making for both 1,4141. 8s.

Fees.
100

100 £. 136. 8.
150
100 £.191.12.6.

-- The Registrar of Slaves is al

lowed 400l. triennially, on the
900
900 £, 680 completion of his returns; his salary

may be averaged one year
other at 700 l. sterling.

The appointment of a Protector
150
none

has been notified,at a salary of 8ool.

per annum.
125
none

-- A pension of 2001. wasgranted by

the Governor and Council in 1826, 200

200

150 in consequence of the abolition of

the fees of secretary, which were

then considerable.
380

380
380

- Has also 5 per cent. on con180

180 demned slaves fund, and on pa

rochial and parish assessments. 450 about £.60

131 - The printing work increased con

siderably after the arrival of the First President; for the year 1828 it amounted to 50g l., in 1829 to 520 l., in a part of 1830 to 509 l.; but in consequence of taking away the office from Mr. Allard there was no printing work done, and 657. was paid for writing public notices; and exclusive of these sums, large sums were paid by the public, all which is included in the 450 l., besides newspapers ; it has consequently been considered that 450l, per annum for all the printing work in the Colony would be a fair allowance.

- On the abolition of fees in 1826 s fees on

fees on

the Governor, in Council, allowed 325

the Harbour-master 300 l. per ann. shipping shipping

as a fair remuneration for the loss

of his fees.
Paid out of
the proceeds

The Customs pay over annually s fees on

a large sum to the Colony, instead of the Cusshipping shipping

of drawing from it. toms duties.

* This amount includes 340 l. for *750

the permanent detachments to go in 250

270

pursuit of runaways, which existed in 1824.

- The salary of 200 l. was granted

by the Governor in Council in 1830, no stated no stated

for all public translations, and in salary salary consequence of the heavy expense

the Colony was then at for such translations.

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450

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-No. 2.-
DESPATCH from Lord Viscount Goderich, to the Officer administering

the Government of St. Lucia.
Sir,

Downing-street, 5th November 1831. I HAVE received Lieut. Colonel Bozon's Despatch of the 19th of August last, containing a Representation from three Members of the Privy Council at St. Lucia, respecting the Taxation and Expenditure of the Colony; accompanied by a communication from the Chief Secretary of the Government, exhibiting a Comparison between the Statements of the Members of Council, and the Blue Books of the years in question.

The most effective service which the Members of the Colonial Council can render to the Colony, and to His Majesty's Government, is by affording their assistance in watching and controlling the expenditure of the public money, and there is no service which His Majesty's Government are more desirous to receive from them. It is intended, when a new commission shall be issued for the appointment of a Governor, to succeed the late Major General Mackie, to make such alterations in the constitution of the Council, as shall give every proper anthority for the exercise of financial control by that body. It is therefore with the more regret I observe, that the present Representation, signed by three of the Members of Council, is, although deserving of attention in some particulars, marked in general by a degree of inaccuracy, which, if admitted into their future statements, must detract from the value which His Majesty's Government have been prepared to attach to their opinions.

Many of the inaccuracies into which they have been betrayed, are pointed out by the Chief Secretary, whilst others do not appear to have been within the knowledge of that officer. Thus it is said, ihat what has been done for the improvement of the condition of the Slaves, has necessarily augmented the expenditure of the plantations, while the crops have considerably decreased. On reference to the returns of Sugar exported from St. Lucia, before and after the New Slave Law came into operation, it will be found, that there has been no decrease, but on the contrary a considerable increase of production, the annual Exports being as follows: For the three years preceding 1824, 78,474, for the three years following 1824, 87,410. Neither is it correct to state that the St. Lucia Planter is compelled to draw his stores from the Mother Country; he is at liberty to draw them froin other countries where they are produced, provided they be conveyed in the ships of those countries, or in British ships. In point of fact the Planter draws his stores hence, for the same reason which is admitted to actuate him in sending his produce hither; that reason being simply, that it is his most advantageous market both for buying and selling.

It is alledged, that to meet an excessive Taxation, the Planters “ have in many “ instances seen with deep concern their slaves taken from them by the Marshal's

men, and sold at a great sacrifice in a distant quarter, whilst the lower classes “ have their houses seized upon and disposed of." By the Return which the Secretary has furnished, it appears, that from the institution of the Marshal's office on the 22d May 1830, till 27th August 1831, there were but two slaves and one house seized and sold under execution for taxes. The assertion, that the Taxation of the Colony is daily increasing, is met by a reference to the Tax Ordinance of 1831, by which it appears, that material reductions were made in the assessments upon sugar, coffee, cocoa, cotton, cassada, and personal slaves; whilst in the Ordinance of the previous year, the foreign tonnage duty was reduced, and the transient and intercolonial duties repealed, and in neither of these years was there any increase upon any duty or item of taxation. As these Ordinances were passed with the consent of the Council, it was the less to be expected that three members of that body could be so incorrectly informed, as to describe that as an increasing taxation, which had been so recently and materially diminished. I the statement of the sum paid into the Colonial chest for the past year, having been £.18,026. 148. 1d. sterling, is equally incorrect, since it is, as Mr. Busteed observes, at variance with the Blue Book returns, which state £. 12,531. 38. 81 d. to have been the sum received into the Colonial chest, and £. 12,004. 85. i 1 d. the sum disbursed. The Members of Council, in their subsequent Letter to me of 29th August, have corrected their Statement in some particulars, but their correction

only

1

presume that

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