Obrazy na stronie


have conceived himself to be released relief, because he was convinced, that,
from any such necessity. One of the by a steady application of our resour.
principal topics of his speech was the ces, and by a striet economy, the bur-
unusual length of the adjoarnment of thens and distresses of the people might
parliament, in circumstances of so re be relieved. The country looked to
markable interest and importance. them for some pledge, that the exist-
“This delay," he alleged, " was a se. ing system of partial and oppressive
rious ground of complaint ; for, du- taxation should be revised, and he im-
ring this protracted recess, it became plored his Majesty's ministers and the
a matter of public notoriety, that trea. House not to disappoint it in so just
ties and conventions of vast importance and natural an expectation." He con-
to the interests of mankind, had been cluded by moving that the following
entered upon and decided by his Ma- words should be added to the address :
jesty's ministers, who, notwithstanding “ And also to represent to his Royal
the paramount necessity of the case, Highness, that it was the duty of his
had, during the long discussion at- Majesty's ministers to have advised his
tendant upon such proceedings, wholly Royal Highness, with the least possi-
neglected to call upon the Commons of ble delay, to have convened parliament
England for their necessary advice and for the purpose of communicating
co-operation. This was disrespect to those important treaties with the allies
the people, as well as to their repre. and with France, which after having
sentatives in parliament. It was im- been acted upon for several months,
possible not to feel a more than ordi- are now about to be laid before this
nary anxiety on this subject, when it House ; and that the length of the
was understood that treaties had been late prorogation was the more extraor-
concluded, raising doubtful questions dinary at a time when the unexampled
of public law, and of constitutional domestic embarrassments, as well as
principle'; that provision had been the important foreign relations of the
inade for maintaining a large foreign country, required an early meeting of
military establishment, which must parliament, and to assure his Royal
necessarily require a large domestic Highness, that this House will speedi-
inilitary establishment for its support. ly undertake a careful revisal of our
The subject involved not merely legal civil and military establishments ac-
and constitutional, but financial consi- cording to the principles of the most
derations, all of which were overlooked rigid economy, and a due regard to
in the address of the honourable baro. the public interests ; and also at an
net; and although it would not be early period take into its most serious
proper to go deeply into them at pre- consideration the present state of the
seni, be trusted he should hereafter be country."
able successfully to contend, that they To the principal objection mention-
ought to have directed whatever might ed by Mr Brande, a very satisfactory
be the terms and provisions of those answer was given by the Chancellor of
treaties. What he chiefly regretted, the Exchequer. “If the gentlemen,"
however, in the able speech of the ho. said he, “who accused ministers of
nourable baronet, was, the slight and protracting to an unjustifiable extent
insufficient manner in which he had the adjournment of parliament, had
touched upon the actual distresses of taken the trouble to pay attention to
the country. He wished the House the dates of events which must have
to pledge itself dictinctly, that they come under the notice of every indi.
would enquire and administer speedy vidual, they would have found that the

treaty of peace, about to be laid beforesistent with the safety of the country: the House, was only signed on the and this was a point which ministers, 20th of November, and it was nearly and the House would never cease to two months longer before the ratifica. keep in view. He believed, indeed, tions were exchanged. These did not that if we could be brought back to take place till the 20th of January, so the state we were in before the war that there was only a lapse of ten began, and on one side were placed all days between the time that ministers the dangers and difficulties which we had it in their power to make the had undergone, and the expence which communication to parliament, and the we had incurred, and on the other, assembling of them together. This the high station which we had attaina was the only cause of the great delay ed, there was no British heart so base complained of, and the ten days form- as not to choose our present glorious, ed the whole of the time that had been eminence, notwithstanding all it had suffered to elapse before parliament cost us. As so many opportunities. was informed of what had taken place. would soon occur for the House mam Out of this short period must also be turely to consider what could be done deducted whatever time was necessary to improve the state of the country, for the transmission of the treaty from he should touch but slightly

, on any Paris to London, as well as that re- thing relating to that topic. It must quired for the printing of the papers be evident, that several circumstances for the convenience of members. They contributed to produce this stagna-, were now in such a state of forward- tion, which could not possibly be a. ness, that when they came to be laid voided. For example, a very consion the table, and when it would be derable difference arose in all commera seen that their number, either as trea. cial transactions, as soon as the general, ties, conventions, or proclamations, intercourse was renewed with the con amounted to between sixty and seven- tinent, which had been interrupted by ty, every gentleman must be convin- the war ; this caused a reduction in ced, that not an hour had been lost. the prices of all articles similar to This was the sole cause of the delay, those which were allowed to be im. Respecting the internal situation of ported, and particularly in those which the country, he could assure the ho. formed the necessaries of life. On Dourable gentleman who had moved looking back to the year 1801, it the amendment, that ministers had paid would be recollected that apprehenthe most anxious and unremitting at. sions were entertained of a great defitention to it ; and however laboriously ciency in the supply of bread-cora, and honourably some of his colleagues the produce of our own country; and had been employed abroad, he could these alarms at an approaching scarcisay for himself, that he had never ty were continued for several years passed a summer with less relaxation following. Thus the prices of corn or more anxiety in his life. He could and every necessary of life rose rapidnot but think that the specch which ly, and continued at a high rate; but had been read contained every pledge when, by the restoration of peace, which the House could reasonably de. channels of commerce were re-opened, sire on the subject in question. It the prices necessarily found their legave the strongest declaration from vel, and wheat, in particular, was rethe crown, that all possible measures duced to the price it formerly bore. for producing general economy in the Another caus: was the scarcity of state should be taken that were con- money, occasioned by the continental

wars, now so gloriously concluded. had been impliedin some of the speeches. Very large sums had been drawn from of their adherents. The distresses of the the capital of this country by the great landed interest of England had been loans of the fast and the preceding unabated by the peace, and unpalliated year. In the last three years the im- by all our victories. When it was asmense sum of 112 millions had been serted in the speech that our revenue granted for the expences of the war was in a flourishing condition, the in Portugal, Spain, &c.; of which House must take it for granted that about 42 millions only were in paper. it was so, because that was a proposiThe abstraction of so large a sum from tion, that ministers themselves alone the ordinary channels of industry of knew the correctness of, and concernthe country must necessarily have pro- ing which all the rest of the House duced a great stagnation. But when remained in darkness. But let them the

papers that were preparing on this remember that their responsibility for subject should be laid before the House, this assertion would be very great, if, the whole matter would be clearly after having put these words into the seen into ; and all that was requisite mouth of their master, it should be would be for gentlemen not to consic found that agriculture must be ex. der them in the gross, but scrupulous. cepted from this · flourishing condily to examine the items, and, after an tion, and that it stood in need of reattentive investigation, to form their lief; that the number of bankruptcies opinion as to what parts of the public was daily increasing, and that the expenditure can be properly dispensed home trade, no less than the foreign, with, as well as how those wants are presented another melancholy excepto be met which are most necessary to tion to the boasted • flourishing conthe welfare of the country. He had dition' described by the address. He no hesitation to avow the intention of might safely venture to say, that the ministers to continue the income tax, home ade, the substantial groundon the modified scale of five per cent. work of national industry, was at a He should be able, at the proper time, stand-still. Shops were every where to show, that of all modes that could be empty, and tradesmen's books coverthought of, none would be equally ad- ed with debts, on which not one per vantageous and economical, or less op. cent. could be collected. Yet the war pressive and burthensome to the com was at an end, after victories such as munity at large."

could never have been looked for. In The strongest statement of oppo- the negociations at Paris, it was our sition, however, was embodied in the own fault if the terms were not such speech of Mr Brougham. This gen as were best suited to our manifold in. tleman began by saying, " that he had terests. The pressure, however, was no difficulty in agreeing to the ad- greater than it had been in 1810 and drços, because that address bound par. 1812; no business was done, and if liament in nothing but to enquire into the reason were asked, it was said the certain things, and if they approved landlord received no rent-the tenant of them, to express their approbation. could sell no corn. If this turned out But his principal anxiety was to dis. to be a part of that picture, of which cover whether ministers were really in a general sketch had been given-if earnest in those promises of immediate out of the flourishing condition of our attention to the alleviation of the dis- commerce must be taken that lumping tresses of the agricultural classes, which exception of the whole internal trade,


in comparison of which foreign com whom we could exercise some influence, merce was so inconsiderable that it at least, had abandoned that dreadful might be considered merely the orna. traffic. The right hon. the Chancelment of the system, a very heavy res. lor of the Exchequer had stated, that ponsibility would fall on the framers he reserved himself for a future occa. of the speech. - In the speech of the sion to enter upon the detail of the hon. baronet who moved the address, flourishing condition of the revenue, he was surprised to hear a comparison which was one of the topics of the of the present peace with that of speech, and was re-echoed in the adUtrecht, which had justly been consi. dress of the hon. baronet. But he dered the most improvident bargain could not help taking notice, in this ever made. The Assiento Contract, early stage of the business of parliaindeed, was the only advantage which ment, of what had fallen from the this country derived in that treaty right hon. the Chancellor of the Exfrom the victories of Marlborough and chequer by way of intimation upon the councils of Godolphin. The com- this subject. As one reward of our parison of that with the present treaty exertions in the late contest, so glo. on the subject of the slave-trade was riously spoken of in the address, and said to be advantageous to the latter. as an immediate consequence of what He was, therefore, led to suppose, the hon. gentleman who had so elothat among the sixty or seventy con- quently seconded it, termed the breakventions and treaties which they were ing of the rod of euchantment, and to be presented with, would be found dissolving the spell by which the naone in which Spain and Portugal had tions had been bound in slavery, he agreed to relinquish the slave-trade. had heard with more regret, than perAs Buonaparte had abolished the slave. haps astonishment, that the most op: trade in France, all Spain and Portu- pressive of any of the taxes that had gal were bound to relinquish that de- been imposed upon the nation the testable commerce. He hoped, there. heaviest and most obnoxious of these fore, to find not only no Assiento burthens under which the country had Contract, which would be felonious groaned that that most oppressive by the present law, but an abolition on and tormenting tax upon income was the part of Ferdinand of this great and to be continued. It vas for this we crying evil-an evil next in magnitude had been fighting, not only our own to his persecutions religious and civil- battles, but those of other nations ! to his butcheries and torture of his Our fortitude and

perseverance had own subjects. This contemptible ty. led to this happy consequence, that rant-contemptible in every respect, we were not merely to bear the other but in the portentous power of doing burthens which had been so heavily mischief which he possessed, in conse. laid upon us, but were to be borne down quence of our having raised him to the by this most tormenting of all taxes throne which he so meanly and unwor. a 'tax which was still more oppressive thily filled—whose slightest crime was in the detail than in the bulk : and bis usurpation of his father's crown, this, it was said, was necessary, notwas now the grand slave-dealer out of withstanding the • Aourishing condiEurope, as he was the grand maker of tion of the manufactures, commerce, slaves in Europe. He hoped, there- and revenue of the united kingdom ! fore, that we had insisted on the abo. If this odious tax could be dispensed lition of that trade ; and that Portu- with—if there was any other means of gal, whom we had also saved, and over going on without it, no man in his senses

-still less would the right hon. gentle. "only at the lowest price, but when no man, on the


first day of the meet price could be obtained at all; and ing of parliament, intimate an intention when the most grievous burthens were of renewing it. Such an intimation imposed upon the barley growers, was surely could arise only from the con. it to be said, that under such circumsciousness of there being no other means stances the war malt-tax was to be of carrying on the financial affairs of continued ? Was it to be said, that the country. He, however, did trust, the landholders were still to pay five that this early hint, which had been so per cent. property-tax, and endure plainly and unequivocally given of the in times of peace all the hardships intention of government, would not be to which they had been exposed dur. lost upon the country or upon the ing the war? Was the malt-tax of House, and that the constituents of 38s. per quarter laid on during the such of them as had any constituents war, to continue during peace? If (A laugh, and cries of hear, hear!) this was to be the state of things, would take those steps, which, if they he trusted the House would not sehad been adopted last year, would have parate without hearing a notice from rendered it impossible for the burthen some of his honourable friends, who to have existed beyond the present were conversant with this subject, spring. He reserved himself upon for bringing the question of the war various other branches of the national malt-tax immediately under the consifinances, until they should be brought deration of the House. But there in detail under the consideration of the were other matters independent of the House. Some seemed to suppose that subject of reduction in the taxes, to there were no means of relieving the which he hoped the attention of par. landed interest, because their affairs liament would be speedily called." If were so interwoven with the national the amendment of his hon. friend was prosperity, that it was impossible to carried, the House would pledge itself separate them from other objects. But speedily to take under its consideration he could not help expressing a hope the state of the country; he doubt. that the Chancellor of the Exchequer ed not that one of the first objects of would speedily find that there were their enquiry, would be those laws means of separating them, and that which prevented the exportation of some seasonable relief would be afford. some of the most important staple ed to the distresses with which so im. 'commodities of the country. He trust. portant a part of the community was ed also that the state of the usury laws afflicted. He had consoled himself would be brought under consideration with the thought that the right hon. with the like celerity; for there was gentleman would seriously set about a no subject more deserving the interporevisal of some part of the revenue and sition of parliament. He hoped those finance, with a view to mitigate as much laws, which operated most oppressive. as possible the severity of those taxes ly on the indigent borrower, which now imposed upon the country. Was had been disapproved of by the first it then to be understood, that not only characters of the country, which Sir half the property-tax, but all the other Francis Baring more than thirty years war taxes were to be continued ? Was ago had strongly pronounced against, the country to understand from the as injuring the interests of those they Chancellor of the Exchequer, that at were intended to protect, and which a season when grain was almost a drug were so manifestly impolitic and ruinin the markets, and when corn was not ous, would soon receive a thorough


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