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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 64



That a species of slavery in the form of kidnapping did exist there is but little doubt. Spanish and Peruvian atrocities, the Pen and Carl investigations, besides other well authenticated instances, amply prove that fact. I happened to go on board the Carl, in Fiji, after her return from her slaving cruise, and I shall never forget seeing the badly obliterated blood-stains and shot-torn timbers of the vessel's hold, in which so many unfortunate natives had lost their lives. The planters of Queensland and Fiji may attempt to exculpate themselves from all blame, but it was not at their suggestion that kidnapping was suppressed. Had the Home Government refrained from interfering, kidnappers would still.be gathering their ill-gotten gains. It is true that the Queensland Government, as soon as it recognized the evil, endeavoured to prevent it; but a young colony was powerless to suppress it, Not that any individual planter perhaps, was to blame. Three-fourths on the cotton-growers in Fiji desired the suppression of the traffic, but if any person wanted labourers, and these labourers had "passed the consul," little inquiry was made as to how they were originally obtained. Fortunately kidnapping has had but a short reign. On June 27, 1872, the British Parliament passed an Act for "The prevention and punishment of outrage upon natives of the islands in the Pacific Ocean." Our cruisers will see the the Act is enforced, and the disgraceful blot upon the fan face of the Pacific will soon disappear. It still exists in a modified form. Degraded English men can still find sufficient protection under a foreign flag to carry out the nefarious practice, and late accounts state that New Caledonia is supply with kidnapped natives. All labour vessels under a foreign flag should be regarded by our cruisers with the utmost suspicion. The British Government has gained the gratitude of the natives by acting as it has done. The enforcement of the Act has much strengthened the widespread opinion that England is the natural protector of the Pacific. With regard to domes page 65 slavery, I have before stated that this form of servitude yields readily to missionary teaching. Mission history affords numerous instances of this fact.