The Daily Telegraph

‘Slaver’ PMS

- Slavery · Society · City of Westminster · Liverpool · Gladstone · United Kingdom · Metropolitan Police Service · London · Richard Lloyd · Winchester · William Ewart Gladstone · Lexden

sir – The cus­to­di­ans of the par­lia­men­tary art col­lec­tion need to make clear what has be­come of the “sev­eral hun­dred por­traits of peo­ple linked to the slave trade” re­moved from the Palace of West­min­ster (report, Oc­to­ber 1). Have they gone to some se­cret hall of shame?

Pub­lic shame ap­par­ently awaits three prime min­is­ters: Liver­pool, Glad­stone and Peel. The spe­cial slave-trade plaques now planned for their por­traits would se­ri­ously dis­tort his­tor­i­cal un­der­stand­ing.

The is­sue, which has be­come an over­whelm­ing Left-wing ob­ses­sion to­day, did not dom­i­nate their lives. They had many other press­ing na­tional con­cerns. Even dur­ing the lim­ited time they gave to it, their at­ti­tudes did not re­main con­stant.

In the 1790s, Liver­pool re­sisted with­drawal from a trade that would be im­me­di­ately taken over by our com­mer­cial ri­vals; by 1815 he had been per­suaded of the case for abo­li­tion.

The young Glad­stone ar­gued that Bri­tain should con­cen­trate on im­prov­ing the liv­ing con­di­tions of slaves; later he be­came a found­ing mem­ber of the So­ci­ety for the Ex­tinc­tion of the Slave Trade.

In the 1840s, Peel sent the Navy to the African coast to sup­press the trade, as part of a sweep­ing pro­gramme of re­form at home and abroad.

Plaques fo­cus­ing un­fairly on to­day’s ob­ses­sion would dis­hon­our the mem­ory of our states­men. MPS and peers must put a stop to the plan.

Lord Lex­den (Con)

London SW1

sir – If poor old Glad­stone is to be la­belled a slaver, should Lloyd Ge­orge be iden­ti­fied as an adul­terer?

Julien Chilcott-monk

Winch­ester, Hamp­shire

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK