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DURING THE SECOND SESSION OF THE SECOND PAR.
LIAMENT OF THE UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT
BRITAIN AND IRELAND.
HOUSE OF LORDS.
FRIDAY, MARCH 9. HORTLY after the meeting took place, and previously purpose of affording time to the Lords Commissioners to robe,
Earl Fitzwilliam rose, and addressed several observations to the House relative to the state of his Majesty's health, with a reference to the important proceeding then about to take place. He observed, that he had reason for entertaining doubts that the state of the Sovereign's health was such as to militate, in some degree, against the exercise of that very important part of the Royal functions, which he understood was about to be acted upon. He spoke upon an authority on which he thought he could rely. His Lordship made a variety of observations upon the reports made by the Royal physicians at different times, and argued from the general tenor of such as he alluded to, that the Sovereign was not in a state of actual convalescence. The reports seemed in his idea rather calculated to flatter the expectations of the public, nor were any hopes of a speedy recovery held out. In the course of his observations, his Lord'hip alluded to the bulletin of that day. As the subject struck his mind, upon every thing he had observed or could collect, he was led to entertain doubts which induced him to call upon the noble Lord upon the woolfack for further information relative to the very important point in question.
The Lord Chancellor, in answer to what had fallen from the noble Earl, observed, that for any proposition coming VOL. II. 1803-4.
from such a quarter, he entertained the highest respect; indeed upon such a very important topic, observations coming from any
individual Peer in that House were entitled to the most serious attention. With respect to the doubts entertained by the noble Earl, he could assure his Lordship and the House, that in every thing connected with fo grave, important, and momentous an occasion as that in question, he had proceeded with all that delicacy, deliberation, and caution which was evidently required; he had proceeded on the occasion even with fear and trembling: to speak more fpecifically to the point, he observed, that not satisfied with the reports and affurances of the medical attendants of his Majetty on so important an occasion, he thought it proper and necessary to have a personal interview with the Sove. reign, and at which due discussion took place as to the bills which were offered for the Royal affent, and which was fully expressed. He would sooner fuffer his right hand to be severed from his body, than in such an instance he would agree to act upon light or superficial grounds. He thought it his bounden and indispensable duty, and which he trusted he always should confcientiously discharge, to proceed in the manner he had stated : and he had no hesitation to aver, that the result of all that took place upon the occasion, fully and amply justified him in announcing his Majefty's aflent to the bills specified in the Royal Commiffion. He knew and felt with gratitude his obligations to the best of Sovereigns, and to whole person he bore the warmeft affection : but he could most conscientiousy say, that no considerations whatever, even those to which he had alluded, Thould ever induce him to break that facred covenant he had made with himself, not to suffer any thing to warp his judgment, or to bias bin from that rule of strict duty and retitude which he was determined to follow. He entertained no doubt of the noble Earl's having come forward upon a sense of duty, and that he was actuated by nothing personal to himself upon the occasion. He was fully aware of the high degree of responsibility under which he food, and with reference to which he had acted.
The Lords Commiflioners afterwards (namely, the Lord Chancellor, Lord Hawkesbury, and Lord Auckland) retired to robe ; and when they had taken their seats in the front of the throne, the Commons were sent for, and appearing at the bar, the Royal aflent was declared in the usual form to the hith Bank reftri&tion bill, the two mutiny bills, the feed corn exportation, the Greenland whale tilhery, the Lon:
don port, the Scotch creditors, and the Duke of York's eftate bills, and to a few private bills.
After the Commons had retired, their Lordships forward. ed the bills which remained upon the table, chiefly of a private or local description, after which the House adjoumed.
HOUSE OF COMMONS.
FRIDAY, MARCH 9. , The Speaker having been in the House of Peers, informed the House that the Royal afsent had been given by commiffion to the two mutiny bills, the corn exportation bill, the Duke of York's estate bill, the Irish Bank reftri&ion bill, the Greenland fhips' bill, the Scotch creditors' bill, and to several other bills.
Mr. H. Addington moved, that it be an instruction to the Committee, appointed to consider of a speedy and effectual mode to settle differences subfifting between the masters and workmen in the cotton manufactories, that they may take sucb measures as may be neceffary for preventing such differences in future, and report the matter, together with their opinion thereupon, to the House. Agreed.
He then moved, that the several proceedings of the House in the last Seffion of Parliament upon that subject be referred to the said Committee. Ordered.
Şir John Anderson brought up the report of Mr. Alderman Boydell's lottery bill: the amendments were read and agreed to, and the bill was ordered to be ingroffed,
Mr. Ormsby brought up a report on the petition of the Superintending Magistrate of the Police of Dublin, which being read, he moved, that leave he given to bring in a bill to provide for defraying the expence of preserving the peace of the city of Dublin. Leave given.
Sir W. Pulteney moved for leave to bring in a bill for increasing the capital of the Bank of Scotland. Granted.
The bill for regulating the age at which persons are to be admitted into holy orders in Ireland, was read a third time and passed.
IRISH DUTIES. Mr. Corry moved the order of the day for going into a Committee on the Irish duties bill.
Colonel Hutchinson said it was not his intention to oppose the motion of the right hon. Gentleman, but he could not avoid making a few observations upon the schedule before the House. He was willing to pay every tribute to the
right hon. Gentleman, the Chancellor of the Exchequer of Treland, for the candid and liberal manner in which he had conducted hinself upon this occafion, but he was forry to find that the four per cent. duty, upon Irish exports, was to be continued upon every part of the exports of Ireland. The right bon. Gentleman had himself acknowledged, on a former occasion, that the provision trade of Ireland was in a languishing condition, and he thought that was a fufficient reafon why it thould be exempt from the general export duty. He then adverted to the tax upon leather, which, he faid, had been laid on under an idea that it would not exceed one penny per pound, but in fact it was confiderably more. Another subject to which he wished to call the attention of the House, bećause it materially concerned his conftituents, was the duty upon foreign herrings imported into Ireland. He did not mean to propose that the duty should be taken off, but he wilhed that a full drawback should be granted when they were re-exported, otherwise the trade would be thrown into foreign hands. He was anxious to press this subject upon the confideration of the House, and the right hon. Gentleman, because it materially affected the trade of the city he had the honour to repre sent.
Mr. Carr said, that with regard to the export tax upon linen, considering it as he did as a war tax, he should certainly not oppofe it; but he wished the right hon. Gentleman to advert to one circumstance, which he confidered as bearing hard upon Ireland. By the articles of union, if there was a surplus of any foreign article in either Great Britain or Ireland, it might be exported to the other with a full drawback of the duty: but if a merchant in Ireland wished to export tobacco, for instance, to England, he could only do it in veffels of a certain size : this appeared to him to be an impediment upon trade. With regard to the window tax, when it was laid on in Ireland, it was always con fidered as a war tax, though now it was made a permanent one.
Mr. John Latouche adverted to the state of tlic exchange between Great Britain and Ireland, and said it was a subject that called for the immediate attention of Parliament. With regard to the schedule before the House, the right hon. Gentleman had certainly attended with the utmost candour to the representations of the merchants upon the subject, and in moft instances their wishes were complied with ; in others, however, they were not. There were two, articles
particularly upon which he thought a reduction of duty ought to take place, and they were foreign oils and foreign hops ; the latter he conceived ought to be admitted to be imported free of duty.
Sir John Newport also expressed his thanks to the right hon. the Chancellor of the Exchequer of Ireland, for ihe attention he bestowed upon every Tuggestion or objection that was made to him. But there were fume points in which he still did not approve of this schedule. In the first place, he agreed with the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Hutchinson), with regard to wbat he had said about the importation of foreign berrings; but the subject to which he wished principally to advert, was the importation of the article of deals into Ireland. He was sorry to find there was an increased duty upon that article. The peasantry of Ireland had of late expressed a wish to have their cottages 1lated inftead of thatched ; this difpofition he thought ought to be encouTaged, becaufe he knew that several villages were forced into the rebellion, by the threat of having their cottages burnt, which could be easily accomplished while they were covered with thatch. He therefore hoped that this duty would not be encreased.
Mr. Hawthorne approved of the schedule in general, but wilhed merely to advert to the increased duty on grocers' licences. He did not know upon what ground that duty had been increased, and he did not think if it was perfifted in, that it would be productive of any increase of revenue.
Mr. Corry, after exprefling the fatisfaction he felt at the approbation which had been expressed of his conduct by so many Members from that part of the united kingdom, proceeded to answer the different objections which had been made. He said that though these duties were now to be voted without limitation, they would of course be liable hereafter to revision, alteration, or repeal; and therefore he hoped that no apprehenfion would be entertained upon the idea that these taxes were to be voted permanently. Ano: ther observation he wished to make was, that all the duties laid on in Ireland, to correspond with war duties laid on in this country, would of course ceale as soon as the war cealed, and the duties were taken off in this country. With regard to the provision trade of Ireland, it certainly did lan guith, but he hoped it was only for a time; the fact was, that the war demand had.cealed, and the peace demand had not begun, which was a reason for a temporary diminution of the trade : but he had no doubt but that would soon revive,