Obrazy na stronie

a representative of the united kingdom, blished between England and Ireland, and therefore he was bound to consider no step could be taken with respect to the permanent interests of the country, a saving in the f rmer part of the emrather than the temporary distress of any pire which should not equally apply to panicular portion of it. He considered the latter. He trusted, that the landed that the present measure would, if ad- interest, considering for what period it opted, be a very bad precedent for fu- was to continue, would not oppose the ture times. He thought the principle measure or reject it because recomof it had been completely disapproved mended by a party from which they of by a report of the Committee which would rather it did not come. sat in the year 1807. There had been Mr Ponsonby and Sir J. Newport seabundant evidence before that Com. verally protested against the introducmutte, to shew that there was no pos- tion of the proposed measure to Ireland. sibility of preventing great frauds upon Mr Foster was sorry that his duty to the revenue, if sugar was used instead Ireland compelled him to resist the meaof malt in distilling. The lowest cal. sure,

if it was meant to extend it to that culation of the loss of the revenue was part of the empire. 110,000l. per annum, which, in the pre- Mr Windham said, the conduct of sent circumstances, was a serious ob- those who supported this unnatural meaject. It would be seen, by consulting sure, was like that of a hen hatching a the journals of the House, that during brood of ducks. They first introduced the time the distilleries were prevented it to relieve the West India planters from using grain or malt, many petitions from their overgrown stock, but 'an were presented from different parts of Hon. Gentleman had found out a prosthe country, stating the great evils pect of a great scarcity in the crops, which had resulted from it in diminish and brings it in, like Bayes's army, in ing the price of corn below what was disguise, pretending it to be only a temnecessary to allow a fair profit to the porary measure ; but he would warn farmer. "As to the distilleries consum them against too much meddling with ing a great part of what would serve as the agriculture of the country. To be the food of man, it might be observed, sure, if it were necessary to lower the that independent of barley, which was prices of grain, by hanging a few far. pot commonly used for that purpose, a mers, it might be done ; but there would great deal of damaged corn, which would be very few another year. He conclude otherwise be wasted, was used in the ed by saying, these discussions would distilleries. He did not think it cer. tend to raise the price of corn, by cretain that this country would want any ating an alarm among the people. supply of corn from foreign countries; Lord Castlereagh strenuously support. or, if it were wanting, he did not des. ed the motion. As an argument in fapair of procuring it. Canada, at least, vour of the measure, he asserted, that was open to us at present. From all the the price of grain was at present higher views he had been able to take of the than in the scarcity of 1795, and as high subject, he considered it as a measure as the scarcity in 1800, when the distilwhich would be very prejudicial to the leries were prohibited. Add to this, we landed interest, and which was not ab's had not at present any prospects of a solutely necessary.

foreign import, so that any measure that The Chancellor of the Exchequer said, tended to husband our present sources that, in bringing forward the resolutions, of supplies, it was advise able to adopt. his Noble Friend had only followed the Mr John Smith supported the measpirit of the report of the Committee, sure. The greatest possible calamity which recommended, as a measure of that could befal any country was a scarprecaution purely, the prohibition of city of corn. It must be considered, distillation from grain for a certain pe. that for the last eighteen years a very riod, leaving it, however, in the power large importation of that article had t'aof the Crown to stop the suspension, if, ken place, and we ought to provide for in the interval, a change of circunstan the consequences that might arise from ees to make it adviseable should take , our being deprived of all foreign sourplace. Considering the intercourse, with ces. He really believed, too, that the respect to grain, which was really esta- West India planters were a most inju


I 22

red set of people, and that some mea- to ihe protection of Parliament. Their sure was vecessary for their relief. distress, owing to circumstances over

Mr Malcolm Laing opposed the motion. which they had no controul, was so

Lord Binning briefly, in reply, obser: great, that several estates, particularly ved, that the measure he had the ho. in Jamaica, had been abandoned. The nour of submitting to the consideration persons concerned in the West India of that House, was one which it would trade contributed largely to the stock have been proper to have adopted, even of national wealth. The imports from if the West Indies had never existed.- the colonies amounted, one year with He certainly was far from thinking this another, to between eight and nine mil. measure unnecessary for Irelnad. He lions sterling; a fourth part of our na. concluded with observing, that he felt viga'ion was employed in it; they touk his case was completely made out, and off five or six millions in manufactures that his opinion was not in the least al- and provisions, and contributed five and tered by any thing that had been said a half millions of actual revenue to the upon the other side of the House. Exchequer. If these resources were 10 The House divided

fail, the landed interest would see what Ayes

a weight would be thrown upon them. Noes

106 The relief solicited would be of no inMajority in favour of the prohibition 14. convenience, or very small, if any, to Monday, May 23.

the landed interest, and could not be

given at a better time, or in a better DistilLERIES.

manner to the West India interests. Lord Binning moved that the house do Mr Bar ham began a very long and resolve itself into a commitee. The able speech, with observing, that the question being put,

question before the House was to be Mr Coke said, that he felt it a duty considered in three points of view. It which he owed to the country at large, was first to be considered as a question to take every opportunity of opposing purely domestic, without any reference this measure. The Chancellor of the whatever to the West India colonies, Exchequer supported the measure upon It was next to be viewed as a question an idea that corn was high, than which purely colonial, which would lead to an there could be 110 opinion more errone. enquiry whether the colonies were wor. ous. Corn was so far from being high, thy of relief, and whether the mode prothat it barely afforded a remunerating posed was sufficient; and lastly, it was 10 price. Nothing, he observed, could be be considered in a more general point of more dangerous than to hold out the ap- view, as affecting the interests of all parts prehension of a scarcity, for which there of the empire. As to the first, it was was no .foundation. The crop of last admitted that we imported to a great year, he would admit, was not abundant, amount (about 800,000 quarters) from but it was sufficient nevertheless. No the Continent; and that we were now importation took place, for none was cut off from that source. Would not that necessary; and from all the informa- person who should find a substitute for tion he had received, the country might these 500,ovo quarters, and that with look forward to as good a crop this out in the smallest degree affecting the year. If agriculture were properly en• landed interest, be entitled to the thanks couraged, we should be able to grow of the public. All the persons who had corn enough for our subsistence, and been examined before the Committee, save, in consequence, the immense sums agreed, that the crop of barley for the which were sent out of thecouniry every last year was deficient one-third, or, ac. year. He referred to the evidence of cording to some, one-fourth. He would Messrs Chambers, Scott, Kent, and o- agree that the landed interest should thers, to shew that the interference of have a remunerating price, but where Parliament, on occasions like the pre- barley farms were to be let, be invari. sent, produced all the evils it was in- ably found that the landlord required tended to prevent.

double the rent which he last received. Mr Rose thought, that the situation This, he supposed, was what was called of the West India Plagters entitled them a remunerating price. This was the


landlord's idea of remuneration; he treme cases, in which it would be newould next shew what was the farmer's. cessary to resort to such interference. First, as it was just, he should be expect. The question therefore was, whether ed to be able to make enough to pay his the present circumstances of this counreot. Next, he expected such prices as try were such as to constitute a case should secure him against short crops. of that description. The late crops of In addition to this, he calculated upon barley and oats had been short, but not gaining as much as should enable him the crop of wheat. Though there were to live comfortably and genteelly, in a no danger of scarcity at present, yet mander much superior to his ancestors, they ought to look to the future, and or to the ancestors of his landlord, and in the event of a short crop this season, lastly, that he should be able to lay by they would not be justified in not leava provision for his family. This was ing to the Executive Government the the farmer's idea of remuneration. Was power of giving to the public consumpit not evident from all this, that the tion that amount of corn which was conprice of land was too high? While the sumed in the distilleries. He did not landlords and farmers were rioting in agree either with those who supported wealth, the West India proprietors were this as a colonial measure, or with those in a state of the greatest distress. One who defended it on the score of existing third of the plantations were actually or apprehended scarcity, but with a view under foreclosure. The supplies of clo- to the great national interests which it thing, provisions, &c. for the negroes was calculated to promote. must be stopped, and the existence of The Solicitor-General of Scotland said, the colonies consequently endangered. when he cast his eye on the report, and Was not this a crisis worthy the interfe. recollected the facts by which it was Tence of Parliament? The distresses of substantiated, he could not help thinkthe West India interest would admit of ing it was a measure of prudence to stop no delay. They must be instantly re. the progress of distillation of corn for a lieved, or some great convulsion would time. He knew, from private and inensue. They had the strongest claims disputable evidence, that grain was very upoa the gratitude of the country; they scarce in Scotland ; and when he consicontributed to its wealth-to its reve. dered this, and considered also that our nue; they consumed its manufactures, annual importation of corn, amounting they supported its navigation, and what to 800,000 quarters, was now no more did they ask in return? Why, a market to be expected, he would give his supfor their produce. That was the com- port to any measure by which he pact between the colonies and the mo- thought our domestic produce was likether country, and that was denied to ly to be best husbanded. them. The annual importation of su- Sir Henry Mildmay maintained that the gar was about 290,000 hogsheads, of present measure was calculated to injure which 200,000 might be consumed in the landed interest, and of course could Great Britain and Ireland. There was, not be beneficial to the country. · It therefore, a surplus of 90,000 hogsheads, was calculated to unhinge and unsettle for which, by the acts of government, our agricultural connections. there was no vent. Instead of facili. Mr Wilberforce supported the measure, tating its exportation, they forced the on the ground that the necessity of the sugar of all the world into England.- present period warranted the interfeThis additional supply, in the course of rence of the Legislature. the last year, amounted to no less than Lord Binning replied very shortly, when 60,000 hogsheads.—Was it to be ex- The question being loudly called for, pected that the West India proprietors a division took place, and there appearcould bear up against these accumula. ed, ted disadvantages?

For the Speaker's leaving the chair Mr R. Dundas concurred in the gene

163 ral principle laid down of not interfe. Against it

127 ring with the corp laws, an interference Majority,

-36 which could not be productive of any The House having resumed, the Chaire beneficial consequence. But at the same man reported progress, and obtained time, he must allow that there were ex. leave to sit again.


The Bishop of Norwich, in a maiden Friday, May 27,

speech, abiy supported the claims of the

Catholics, to which he said several other CATHOLIC Petition.

Reverend Bishops were also friendly. He The order of the day having been read, answered in their order the various objec

Lord Grenville moved, that the petition tions which had been made to those claims. of the Catholics of Ireland be read hy the It had been said, that no one could claim Clerk; which being done, his lordship the highest civil or military offices as a right, rose and said, he knew not what the feel- or complain of not receiving them. It apo ings of others might be on the subjece now peared to him, however, that it was most before the House, but no words could pos- clearly an injury to any description of his sibly express the increased satisfaction with Majesty's subjects, to check their honour. which he brought it forward. The discus. able ambition, and prevent them receiving sion which it had undergone within these those rewards which might be due to their few days (in che other House )--the nature merit. With respect to the religious opof that discussion--the great display of elo. nions and tenets of the Catholics, he thought quence and argument which was shewn in it strange that other persons should pretend opening the debate the moderation and to know the doctrines which were held by patience with which it was debated--the the Catholics of the present day, better than important statements which it led to-the the Catholics theniselves. The Catholic manner in which it was resisted--and even body had in the most solemn niapner, and the decision which took place upon it, were by oath, denied those abominable doctrines all to him matter of the highest satisfaction.' which were imputed to them. It was in

His Lordship, in a long and able speech, vain then to go back to the Councils of very similar to that delivered by Mr Grat. Lateran or of Trent, to look for the doctan in the Commons (as detailed p. 699.) trines of the Catholics of this day. The entered into a full view of the question; opinions which they did hold appeared to but as his arguments were almost the same have no bad practical effect on the conduct with that gentleman's, we decline entering of their lives; for the Legislature had seve. into it. He concluded by moving that the ral times borne cestimony of their loyalty petition be referred to a Committee. as subjects ; and it would not be said that,

Lord Sidmouth said, the view he had ta- in private life, they were governed by the ken of the subject was totally different.- principle imputed to them, that no faith He would candidly and openly say, that his was to be kept with heretics. If they mind could not conceive any time or any really did hold such a doctrine, they would circumstances in which such a discussion not only be unfit for political power or for would be proper ; but as to the bringing privileges, but they would be absolutely forward this petition at the present time,

unfit for human society. In the present and under the present circumstances, he age, if we were to look over the whole thought that the petitioners had acted im- world, we would hardly be able to find aprudeatly, and that they had put themselves nother country where men's opinions on in the situation of having their public spirit matters of religion excluded them from civil called into question. It was universally ad- or policical rights. He should be sorry, ininicted, that the object of the petition was deed, that this country, which had been in to enable a certain description of Catholics many instances celebrated for its liberalizy to enter into the first offices of the State, ci- of sentiment, should in the present instance vil and military. His objection to this part he backward in following the example of of the petition was, that it was narrow and almost all other nations. circumscribed in its object, and did not em- The Archbishop of York begged their brace the condition of the great hody of the Lordships to believe, that though he differpeople. He thought the Legislature cughted with the Rev. Prelate who had just prerather to look to the great body of the po- ceded him in the debate, he was not actu. pulation, and not confine themselves to cer- ated by any, motives of bigotry, or that he tain classes of the community, while they was at all averse to the most liberal prinpassed by the great body, whose attachment ciples of toleration. Whilst the spirit of the was the principal object. He thought a Constitucion allowed the Catholics the folProtestant King should be surrounded prin- lest and purest principles of toleration, i: cipally by Protestant oflicers. On these forbad that they should enjoy political principles he opposed the motion.

power. Lord Moira could not agree that any im- yhe Bishop of Bangor said, that with pucation could lie against the loyalty of the every wish and desire to promote the prinCatholics of Ireland. He thought they had ciples of toleration to the utmost extent, ke a clear and undoubted sight to a full parti- must still object to the present motion. cipation in the blessings of the Constitution. Lord Hutchinsoa thought the motion of

of you.

his Noble Friend, to refer the matter of

Monday, July 4. this petition in a Committee was highly The Lord Chancellor delivered the foljust and proper, and as such it had his lowing speech, in the name and on behalf hearty concurrence.

of his Majesty : Earl Stanhope said, much stress was laid on the difference of the tenets of Catholics My Lords and Gentlemen, and Protestants; and yet, strange to tell, " We have it in command from his Mathe differeoce in the prayer-books of Oxford jesty to express to you the great satisfaction and Cambridge were 3600 and odd ; so that which he derives from being enabled, by the uniformity, so much talked of by the putting an end to the present session of ParReverend Irelates, was altogether absurd, 'liament, to terminate the laborious attend. which, in his opinion, ought to make the ance which the public business has required Bishops ashamed.

Lord Mulgrave was extremely sorry “ The measure which you have adopred that a question of this kind was brought for the improvement of ihe military force forward at a time when so many dangers of the country, promises to lay the foundawere to be apprehended, from exciting a tion of a system of internal defence emispirit of discontent among the Irish people. nently useful, and peculiarly adapted to the The arguments used by Noble Lords were exigencies of these times. conducted in a way not at all consistent The sanction which you have given to with his views of correct reasoning. It those measures of defensive retaliation, to was said, that three millions of people were which the violent attacks of the enemy to be appeased and gratified by the conces. upon the commerce and resourses of this sion required ; as if the few places contem- kingdom compelled his Majesty to resort, placed in the petition could be enjoyed by has been highly satisfactory to his Majesty. them all.

* His Majesty doubts nop that, in the reLord Buckingbamshire referred to a va. sule, the enemy will be convinced of the riety of publications to shew the spirit and impolicy of persevering in a system which character of the proceedings of the Catho- retorts upon himself, in so much greater lics. He highly complimented the Noble proporcion, those evils which he endeavours Baron (Grenville) for the ability he had to inflict upon this country. displayed in submitting the petition to the attention of the House ; but added, tbat he “ Gentlemen of the House of Commons, should most decidedly oppose its being re- " We are commanded by his Majesty to ferred to a Committee.

return his most hearty acknowledgements The Duke of Norfolk supported the mo- for the cheerfulness and liberality with tion.

which the necessary supplies for the curLord Erskine insisted that the petition rent year have been provided. ought to be considered in a Committee, and “ His Majesty directs us to assure you, introduced into his speech many arguments, that he participates in the satisfaction with both from constitutional law and national which you must have contemplated the policy, in support of his opinion.

flourishing situation of the revenue and Loril Hawkesbury was satisfied that no- credit of the country, notwithstanding the thing could be more impolitic than giving continued pressure of the war: And he concountenance to the presene petition in the gratulates you pon having been enabled manner suggested. It was said that the

to provide for the exigencies of the public country was exposed to a serious danger.- service with so small an addition to the He was ready to admit that it was not only public burdens. in a state of serious danger, but that the “ His Majesty commands us to thank danger was more imminent than at any you for having enableu him to make good former period of our history ; but exactly his engagements with his allies; and to exin proportion to this peril ought to be our press to you the particular gratification endeavours to preserve the Constitution in which he has derived from the manner in Church and Siate, as by law established, which you have provided for the establishunimpaired.

ment of his sister, her Royal Highness the Lord Holland spoke most ably in support Duchess of Brunswick. of the petition. Lord Auckland spoke against it. Lord Suffolk argued in support

My Lords and Gentlemen, pi it; and Lord Greaville closed the debate “ His Majesty has great satisfaction in by a short speech in reply

informing you, that, notwithstanding the At near five o'clock the House divided formidable confederacy united against his on the question,

ally the King of Sweden, that Sovereign Contents, 74 — Non Contents, --- 161- pergeverts, with unabated vigour and con. Majority against the petition, 87,

stancy, to maintaio che honour and inde.

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