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Imperial Parliament

The Illustrated London News, vol. 40, no. 1144, p. 504.

May 17, 1862

HOUSE OF COMMONS.—THURSDAY.

The Slave Trade.—In answer to several questions from Mr. Buxton, Mr. Layard said that a vessel under American colours had been at Liverpool which was ascertained to be a slaver. During the time the vessel was at Liverpool no suspicion was entertained about it. It was only after it had left that it was ascertained to be a slaver; but, through information which was transmitted by the Government to the African coast, a full cargo was seized, about five hundred slaves. He regretted to say that a considerable slave trade had sprung up between the Portuguese settlements and the island of St. Thomas, and it was said that they were freetraders. Her Majesty's Government had strong reason to suppose that they were slavers, and they had made strong representations to the Portuguese Government, and he trusted the King would take measures for putting a stop to it. As to the slave trade in Cuba, he was sorry to say that Spain was carrying on that detestable trade. He hoped that the Spanish Government was not aware of it, and her Majesty's Government had sent representations on the subject. As to the slave trade on the east coast of Africa, he had to say that Lord Cowley had instructions to make representations to the French Government. Inquiries had been instituted, but on account of the great distance no answer had been received up to the present time.

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