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A government notice from 1845 concerning migration to the West Indies
(Catalogue ref: CO 386/155)

Her Majesty's Colonial Land and Emigration Commissioners are authorized to give notice, that measures are in progress for the purpose of collecting Indian emigrants to go from the ports of Calcutta and Madras to the West Indies, and that the Commissioners are ready to receive TENDERS of the terms upon which ship-owners will undertake the CONVEYANCE of such EMIGRANTS of this kind as may be forthcoming when their vessels reach India. The principal conditions to be as follow:-
1. Ships will be despatched from India to Jamaica, British Guiana, and Trinidad, in rotation. From Madras this emigration is to take place between the 1st of September and the 28th of February, and from Calcutta between the 1st of October and the 28th of February, both inclusive.
2. The Commissioners cannot at this distance of time bind themselves by any penalty that there shall be a sufficient supply of emigrants, but, in respect of such emigrants as may be forthcoming, they will undertake that each vessel agreed for shall upon arrival have the preference over all other vessels, excepting any which are both already in port and under engagement to receive emigrants.
3. If, however, the emigration agent is not prepared, within 15 days after the ship has arrived and is ready for their reception, to furnish at least three-fourths of the whole number of emigrants which the ship has been declared fit to carry, the master shall have his option of declaring the contract void, and of proceeding in search of other freight if he is unwilling to wait longer on the chance of obtaining emigrants.
4. The owner, on the other hand, is to bind himself under penalty to place his ship at the disposal of the emigration agent immediately after the discharge of any cargo or passengers she may take to India, or if she take none, immediately after her arrival.
5. The tenders must state whether the ship is offered for one of the above colonies in particular, or for any of them indifferently also where the ship at present is: and, unless in any case where she may be already on her voyage to India, must name a day prior to which she is expected to sail from England.
6. The tender must also state from what day to what other day inclusive, not being more than 28 days apart, the owner estimates that the ship will be available to the emigration agent in India, it being provided that if the vessel does not arrive within that period the absolute right to preference in receiving emigrants shall cease, although the contract shall in other respects remain in force.
7. The tenders are to be for a rate per adult at which the emigrants will be taken, including provisions, medicines and medical attendance.
8. A surgeon approved on behalf of the Government will be indispensable. No ship will be taken which is smaller than 400 tons, nor which is classed below the red diphthong at Lloyd's.
9. The passage money will be paid on arrival in the West Indies upon all emigrants there landed, provided the colonial authorities be satisfied that the terms of the law in force in India upon passengers and of the charter-party have been fully and faithfully complied with.
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