British Colonial Developments, 1774-1834

By Vincent Harlow; Frederick Madden | Go to book overview

of pain or of terror, labours of extreme severity,--remunerated, not with reference to their real value, but by an estimate, frequently the most parsimonious, of the physical necessities of the labourer.

It is for these reasons that while endeavouring to meet the wishes of the free inhabitants for the improvement of their institutions, I have acted steadfastly on the principle of advising His Majesty to make to them every concession which would not impair His Majesty's power of advancing the ultimate emancipation of the slaves; and cautiously to abstain from surrendering any portion of that independent authority which for this purpose it is, I conceive, desirable that the Crown should retain.

Accordingly, while the King has declined to summon a legislative assembly, His Majesty has convened a council authorized to make laws for the good government of the colony; and has provided that one half of the members should be persons holding no office of emolument under the Crown. Thus also authority has been given to the Governor to abolish the censorship of the press, and to permit the free publication of political intelligence in journals and other periodical works, upon conditions closely resembling those which the law of England has established. . . .


25
MALTA: LORD HOBART TO CHARLES CAMERON 14 May 18011

SIR,

It being judged expedient that the direction and superintendence of the civil affairs and of the revenues of Malta should be separated from the duties of the commander of the forces in that island,2 whose professional employments must necessarily require his more immediate attention, but that in a military position of so much importance as Malta, all measures of the former description should nevertheless be taken in concert with the person in whose hands are placed the safety and defence of the place, and that they should be sanctioned with his concurrence and approbation previous to their being carried into execution, His Majesty from a confidence in your abilities and integrity has been graciously pleased with a view to the execution of this arrangement, to make choice of you for the management of the civil part of the service, and to direct that you should proceed to Malta with the title of Civil Commissioner, to which will be annexed

____________________
1
C.O. 159/3, pp. 3-21. Charles Cameron, father of C. H. Cameron, was Civil Commissioner of Malta and became Governor of the Bahamas in 1804.
2
This suggestion had been made by Captain Alexander Ball, the commander of the military forces, himself, in a dispatch of 6 March 1801 (see W. Hardman, A History of Malta, Lond., &c., 1909, pp. 344 ff.). Ball had administered the Government of Malta both during and after the blockade. His report accompanied Lord Hobart's dispatch.

-120-

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