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'Further Papers respecting the Slave Trade on the East Coast of Africa and the System Pursued for its Suppression' [‎78v] (24/50)

The record is made up of 1 volume (25 folios). It was created in 29 Oct 1869. It was written in English and French. The original is part of the British Library: India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. Records and Private Papers.


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realize much more than the same vessel when broken up and sold in separate parts;
accordingly it was decided that, as a compensation to the captors for the loss which they
would sustain by the vessels' being broken up, there should be paid to them, in addition
to the net proceeds realized from the sale of the materials, a bounty of 1Z. 10s. a ton on
the tonnage of the vessel.
The first Act, which was passed granting this additional bounty, was the 1 and 2 Vict,
cap. 47. This, however, applied only to vessels captured under aTreaty or Convention with
come foreign Power ; but other Acts were subsequently passed, extending the same pro
vision to all other description of capture. The words in the different Acts are the same,
they provide that, where the vessel " shall have been or shall be entirely demolished, and
the materials thereof publicly sold in separate parts, as well as her cargo," there shall be
paid, in addition to the net proceeds, a bounty of 1/. 10s. a ton on the tonnage of the
vessel. Now, if we are to look strictly to the words of the Act of Parliament, the only
cases in which, properly speaking, the additional bounty would be payable, would be those
in which the vessels had been brought into port, broken up, " and the materials thereof
publicly sold in separate parts." Thpse were the cases, which the Act was intended to
meet, and not the cases of vessels destroyed by the captors at ssa.
Now it should be observed that, when the Act of the 1 and 2 Vict., cap. 27, was passed,
slavers when captured were almost invariably sent into port for adjudication; but cases
sometimes occurred in which the slaver having been run ashore to avoid capture, was
entirely destroyed, or where, after an action she became so disabled as to be incapable of
being taken into port. And in such cases it was thought that the captors were entitled to
the grant of the additional bounty of 1/. 10s. a ton on the tonnage of the vessel, although
ie the materials thereof had not been publicly sold in separate parts.'' Subsequently,
under the influence of the strong prejudice which prevailed in favour of the captors of
slave vessels, the construction of the Act was still further extended, and the additional
bounty came to be granted in all cases in which the vessel was destroyed, whether the
vessel had been brought into port or not. And the only case now in which the additional
bounty is not granted, is that in which the vessel having been taken into Her Majesty's
service, the appraised value thereof is paid to the captors.
It will be seen then, from what has been said, that the captors receive the additional
bounty of 1/. 10s. a ton whenever the vessel is destroyed, and that too in cases which were
not only not contemplated at the time of the passing of the Act, but which are not even
covered by the words of the Act if strictly construed. The captors, then, receiving the
additional bounty, whether the vessel is brought in or not, and the proceeds which would
be realized from the sale of the materials being very trifling, they not unnaturally prefer to
destroy the vessels rather than have the trouble of bringing them into port for adjudica
tion ; and this too, although their instructions are, as I have shown, most precise upon the
point, especially in the case of Zanzibar vessels.
The only remedy then that I can see for so unsatisfactory a state of things is, not
to grant to the captors the additional bounty of 1Z. 10s. a ton except in the cases con
templated by the Act, namely, those in which the vessel has been brought into port, and
there entirely demolished, and the materials thereof sold in separate parts. If this were
done, I doubt not that many vessels, which are now thought not to be sufficiently sea
worthy, would in some way or other be taken to the port of adjudication.
Probably your Lordships might after so long a course of practice, hesitate without a
fresh enactment, to put this construction on the Statute, and to withhold from the captors
the grant of the additional bounty in cases such as those now under consideration, although
I am strongly inclined to think that according to the strict wording of the Act you would
be entitled to do so. But at all events, it would be a matter for consideration whether it
would not be proper that an Act should be introduced at the earliest possible period,
limiting the grant of the bounties as I have proposed, and in the meantime the most
stringent directions should be given to naval officers engaged in the suppression of the
Slave Trade on the East Coast, not on any account to destroy the vessels they may capture
without the most urgent necessity.
In immediate connection with this part of the subject, is the practice which prevails
of landing the crews and even the passengers, of these Arab dhows upon the coast, and
without any regard to their safety or convenience. Such a practice can hardly be
sufficiently reprobated—nor again in this case can naval officers plead that their instructions
are not sufficiently precise. The sixty-sixth section of the Slave Trade Instructions (p. 25)
is in these words: " You will send in the vessel to the port of adjudication all the cargo
slaves, passengers, the master, mate, or boatswain, the cook or other person belon^mL' to
the vessel previously charged with feeding the slaves, and if practicable, the whole of the
crew. If, however, it is impracticable for you to send in the vessel the whole of the crew

About this item


This file contains correspondence between British officials regarding their attempts to monitor and prohibit slave traffic on the East Coast of Africa. The correspondence dates from March 1869 to October 1869.

Of particular interest are the following folios:

  • Folio 71 - French Government boat registration papers that had been given to 'Arab Dhows' allowing them to travel under the French flag.
  • Folio 73 - A chart entitled 'Memorandum of Number of Slaves landed and liberated at Aden, and how disposed of'.
  • Folio 74 - A copy of the Slave Trade Jurisdiction (Zanzibar) Bill, May 1869.
  • Folios 89-91 - 'A Memorandum by Mr. Churchill [Henry Adrian Churchill, Britain's Agent in Zanzibar] respecting Slave Trade on the East Coast of Africa'.
Extent and format
1 volume (25 folios)

The file is arranged in rough chronological order, with the earliest correspondence at the beginning of the file and the latest at the end of the file.

Physical characteristics

Condition: contained within a bound volume that contains a number of other files.

Foliation: The foliation for this description commences at f 67, and terminates at f 91, as it is part of a larger physical volume; these numbers are written in pencil, are circled, and are located in the top right corner of the recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. side of each folio. An additional foliation sequence is also present in parallel between ff 5-134; these numbers are written in pencil, but are not circled, and can be found in the same position as the main sequence.

Written in
English and French in Latin script
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'Further Papers respecting the Slave Trade on the East Coast of Africa and the System Pursued for its Suppression' [‎78v] (24/50), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/18/B84, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 21 February 2020]

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