British Colonial Developments, 1774-1834

By Vincent Harlow; Frederick Madden | Go to book overview

advantage can be gained by entering into negotiations with the neighbouring chiefs, which might have such accession of territory for its ultimate object. . . .


13
LORD GODERICH TO GOVERNOR SIR NEIL CAMPBELL, 25 August 18271

. . . You will have the goodness... to bear in mind that His Majesty's Government are unwilling to sanction arrangements involving the cession of territory to this country; for, not to mention the political objections which attach to measures of that description, it is impossible to overlook the inconvenience which must manifestly ensue from contracting obligations of alliance with small bodies of people, whose extreme weakness would be perpetually urging them to claim our interference on their behalf, so that eventually we should find our influence with them much less than if we had merely kept up a friendly intercourse with them without promising them anything. . . .


14
REPORT OF COMMISSIONERS OF INQUIRY 29 June 18272

. . . The expediency of interfering in the transactions of the natives generally, may be doubted; but as it regards those residing immediately under the protection of the fort the consideration is different, and with respect to them the right will hardly be disputed. The British Government continues to pay the rent originally stipulated for by the natives for the ground occupied by the fort: this (which must have been understood to comprehend the distance within range of the guns) includes the town; and as the Government may justly look upon the land which it holds upon these terms as its territory, there appears no reason why the inhabitants should not be looked upon as subject to its laws

Whatever may be thought of the question of right, it cannot be denied that the power has always been exercised to a certain extent, and there can be little doubt that in proportion as it is exercised will the natives be benefitted. But if the right of jurisdiction do exist, more

____________________
1
C.O. 268/26, pp. 314-15. Major-General Sir Neil Campbell had also seen service in the West Indies and in Spain. He was appointed Governor-in-Chief in May 1826, but died just over a year later before peace negotiations with the Ashanti were concluded. He was succeeded by Lieut.-Colonel Lumley of the Royal African Corps.
2
Parl. Papers, 1826-7 (552), vol. vii, pp. 20-21, 31-32.

-496-

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