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Earl Grey suggested, that to ensure sub. stantial justice, and to prevent the necessity of postponing or suspending the proceeding, the Noble Earl should communicate to the Queen, or her legal advisers, a specification of the charges, and a list of the witnesses, against her, with the respective abode and condition of the latter.
Lord Holland spoke to the same effect; and quoted a Standing Order of the House, together with the case of Lord Treasurer Middlesex, who was impeached of high crimes and misdemeanours, in the reign of James I.
The Earl of Liverpool would never assent to a course which he thought contrary to the usage of Parliament, and expressed that, as an alternative, he should prefer assenting to any required delay or suspension of proceeding.
It was finally ordered, that Counsel be heard at the Bar of the House on the 17th of August, in support of the Bill; that no Lord be permitted to absent himself from attending upon the meetings of the House during the continuance of the investigation; and that no Lord be permitted to give his vote by proxy.
In the Commons, the same day, in a Committee on the Alien Bill, Sir J. Mackintosh proposed some clauses; the most remarkable of which was, a provision to exempt the foreign witnesses on both sides, in the pending investigation, from the operation of the Bill. The clauses were finally negatived.
Sir R. Heron informed the House that Hugh Manners, esq. and W. Atter, who had refused to appear before the Grantham Election Committee, and who had been ordered to attend at the Bar that day, were in attendance. Knowing, as he did, that the evidence of the latter was no longer wanting before the Grantham Committee, and remembering the lenity which the House seemed disposed to exercise in their case, as not having an independent will of their own, he moved that the order for their attendance be discharged. -Agreed to.
The Serjeant at Arms reported that Sir William Manners was in his custody."
Mr. C. Wynn noved, that Sir W. Manners, having absconded in order to avoid being taken into custody, pursuant to an order of that House, be for the said offence committed to Newgate.-Agreed to.
Henry D'Esterre, esq. Recorder of Limerick (who had been committed to Newgate for prevarication before the Limerick Election Committee), was called to the Bar, reprimanded, and discharged.
HOUSE OF LORDS, July 11. The Earl of Liverpool, in reply to a question from the Marquis of Lansdown, with regard to the duties on Baltic Tim
ber, admitted that some alteration might be necessary. He would not, however, pledge himself now to any particular alterations, as the subject could not be practically gone into before the next Session.
Lord Auckland presented a Petition from the Queen, to the purport that her Majesty had learnt that the second reading of the Bill was fixed for the 17th of August, and her Majesty prayed to be allowed to have copies of the depositions, and a list of the witnesses, the better to enable her to go into her defence. It was ordered that the Queen's Petition be taken into consideration upon Friday the 14th.
In the Commons, the same day, Mr. Brougham moved that, notwithstanding the standing orders of the House, Mr. Brougham and Mr. Denman be at liberty to attend the Bar of the House of Lords as Counsel for her Majesty; but on the suggestion of Lord Castlereagh, he converted his motion into a notice for to-morrow.
Mr. Brougham brought in his Bill "for the better providing the means of Education to his Majesty's subjects," which was read the first time. In moving that it be read a second time to-morrow, he adverted to an unfounded alarm which had been spread among the Catholics and Protestant Dissenters, that their children were to be compelled to attend Church of England Schools.
Mr. W. Smith had not heard of any such alarm among the Protestant Dissenters, but there were several things in the Bill of which they disapproved.
Lord J. Russell, after adverting to the advanced age of Sir M. Lopez, and the heavy fine (10,000l.) inflicted on him, moved an Address to the Crown for shortening the term of his imprisonment.
Mr. W. Wynn commented on the enormity of the offence, bribing no less than 18 persons, and deprecated the interference of the House with the ordinary course of justice.
Mr. W. Peel hoped, that if mercy were extended to Sir M. Lopez *, the case of Mr Swann would not be forgotten.
Lord Castlereagh dwelt on the inconvenience of the proceeding, suggested from motives of humanity, no doubt, by the Noble Lord, and urged him to withdraw his motion. In such cases the Executive Government usually acted on the report of the Judge, who officiated at the trial.
After some observations from Sir T Ackland, Mr. Canning, and others, the motion was withdrawn.
Dr. Lushington, after some appropriate comments on the treacherous conduct of the French Government in the negociation
* Sir M. Lopez has since experienced the Royal clemency, having been released from confinement.
set on foot last year for erecting a Monarchy in South America in favour of a branch of the House of Bourbon, moved an Address for copies of all official communications to Government on the subject. He, at the same time, strongly urged that Government should consider of the propriety of recognizing the independence of the South American Governments.
Lord Castlereagh said, that Government ought not to be called upon for an explanation on this subject at present, as they were not in possession of the facts to be explained on the authority of any offi. cial information. It would be equally premature to enter into a review of the whole policy which this country had adopted with regard to South America.
The motion, after being opposed by Mr. Canning and Sir F. Ommaney, and supported by Sir J. Mackintosh and Mr. Ellice, was withdrawn.
Richard Armstrong Jervis, the servant of Sir William Manners, who had been committed to Newgate by order of the House, for having absconded to avoid complying with the order of the House, was brought to the Bar, and, after receiv. ing a suitable reprimand from the Speaker, was ordered to be discharged on payment of his fees.
On the motion of Dr. Phillimore, the House, after some discussion, resolved, by a majority of 66 to 60, "That the practice which had subsisted in the Borough of Grantham, of giving to outvoters sums of money under colour of an indemnity for loss of time, was highly illegal, subversive of the freedom of election, and tending to the most dangerous corruption."
After some conversation, leave was granted to Mr. Brougham, Mr. Denman, and Dr. Lushington, to plead at the Bar of the House of Lords against the Bill for divorcing her Majesty, and leave was granted to the King's Attorney and Solicitor General to plead for it.
On the question for the third reading of the Alien Bill, Mr. Hobhouse opposed the motion, and moved that instead of "now" the Bill be read a third time this day six months.
Mr. C. Smith opposed the amendment, which was supported by Mr. Monck, Sir R. Wilson, and Mr. Hume. On a division, it was negatived by 59 to 23, and the Bill was read the third time and passed.
HOUSE OF LORDS, July 13. Lord Ellenborough explained the provisions of the Marriage Act Amendment Bill, and moved its second reading.
The Lord Chancellor objected to the Bill, as tending, by its retrospective opera
tion, to shake the rights of succession to property since 1754.
Lord Redesdale followed on the same side, but would not object to a prospective measure.
Lord Calthorpe and Lord Limerick supported the motion, which, on a division, was carried by 32 to 26. All the Bishops present divided in favour of the Bill.
In the Commons, the same day, Mr. W. Smith presented a Petition from the Protestant Dissenters, for a Repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts.
A motion for the second reading of the new Barrack Bill was opposed by Mr. Calcraft, on the ground of the improvident contract entered into by Government (see p. 82), and by Lord Nugent on the principle of the injurious tendency to the Constitution and liberties of the country, of the system of extending barracks to every corner of the kingdom, and separating the soldiers from the citizens.
The Bill was supported by Mr. Vansittart, and, on a division, the motion was carried by 98 to 40.
HOUSE OF LORDS, July 14.
The Earl of Shaftesbury brought up the Report of the Committee appointed to search for precedents relative to the giving of lists of witnesses in cases of attainder, bills of pains and penalties, and impeachment. The Report stated, that the Committee had found two cases only bearing at all on the subject under their consideration. Those were the cases of Sir John Bennet in 1621, and the Earl of Strafford in 1640, both being cases of impeachment.
Lord Erskine addressed the House at considerable length, on the propriety of furnishing her Majesty with a list of the witnesses to be produced against her. All the reasons on which the statute of William was founded for granting a copy of the indictment and a list of witnesses in cases of prosecution for High Treason, applied with tenfold force to the case of her Majesty. The object of that statute was to protect the accused against the weight and influence of the Crown. The party had therefore the advantage of knowing the precise charges against him, and the witnesses by whom they were to be supported. With regard to her Majesty, the House had already acted in a most anomalous manner, by not stating, in the preamble of the Bill, specific acts of adultery as to time and place, but making a general charge of adulterous intercourse extending over a period of six years, and vaguely alleged to have taken place in foreign countries. If, in addition to the inconvenience of having to ineet such a charge as this, she was not
to know who the parties were that were to support it, he did not see how it was possible for her to be prepared for cross-examination or defence; and if time were to be allowed, after their examination, was it not grievous that she should, during the interval, labour under a heavy load of prejudice? He stood in a relation to the King, which few of their Lordships did. He had known him for many years, and had passed the best part of his life in his friendship; but he would allow no persoual consideration to influence him on the present occasion. The Queen stood in that particular state with regard to their Lordships, that she was entitled to every indulgence, consistent with the substantial ends of justice; and this consideration, he contended, required that her Petition for a list of witnesses should be complied with, and he concluded with a motion accordingly.
The Lord Chancellor opposed the motion. From the practice in cases of Treason, much inconvenience had resulted to the administration of justice for the general benefit; and no one had ever thought of extending it to the ordinary course of proceeding in the Courts of Law, much less to Parliamentary proceedings. The question therefore was, whether, under all the circumstances, their Lordships would sacrifice that principle by which they were governed in the general administration of justice, and especially of Parliamentary justice, to the claim of a particular individual in a particular case. He was convinced that a great essential constitutional principle would be sacrificed if the Petition of the Queen were complied with. For these reasons, though with regret, he should vote against the resolution.
The Marquis of Lansdown strenuously supported the motion. All precedent had been abandoned in the mode of prosecution: why was it to be followed, to the manifest violation of justice, in narrowing the means of defence?
Lord Liverpool opposed the motion, on the same grounds with the Lord Chancellor; and Lord Holland, in replying to him, illustrated and enforced the arguments of Lord Erskine and the Marquis of Lansdown.
Lord Ellenborough was for adhering to the regular practice of the House.
The Marquis of Bute and Lord Belhaven supported the motion, not only on the grounds previously urged, but on her Majesty's claim as Queen of Scotland, when on her trial before Scotch, as well as English and Irish Peers, to have the benefit of the Scotch Law, which allows a list of witnesses.
Lord Carnarvon opposed the motion; and Lord Erskine having replied, the motion was negatived by 75 to 28.
In the Commons, the same day, Mr. Hobhouse gave notice of his intention, next Session, to propose a measure for ameliorating the condition of the Jews in this country.
On the question for going into a Committee on the New Barrack Bill, Mr. Calcraft, Mr. Calvert, Mr. Wilson, and Sir H. Parnell, opposed the measure, and Mr. Vansittart supported it. The motion was carried, on a division, by 50 to 33.
Sir C. Burrell gave notice that he should, next Session, move to bring in a Bill to disfranchise Penryn.
Mr. H. Clive having presented certain papers respecting the state of representa- tion in Scotland, Lord A. Hamilton said, the purpose for which he moved those papers was to show-1st. the extraordinary paucity of the number of voters in all Scotland; 2dly, the fact, that of even these few, the same names were frequently repeated, as voting for different counties; and, 3dly, that of those persons who had a right to vote in elections throughout these several counties, not one was required by law to have any property in land at all, or any personals.
The usual Sessional Addresses, for grants to the Chairman of the Committees, &c. were then agreed to.
HOUSE OF LORDS, July 15.
The Royal Assent was given, by Commission, to the Lottery Bill, and fifty-six other public and private Bills.
Lord Lauderdale vindicated the conduct of his brother, Sir T. Maitland, in reference to the charges which had been made against him as to the Parguinotes, a corn monopoly, and the imposition of a local tax in Santa Maura. He concluded with moving for copies of the correspondence on these points, between the British Government and the High Commissioner of the Ionian States.
Lord Bathurst described the whole of Sir T. Maitland's administration as deserving the highest credit. We had no more right to retain Parga, because we expelled the French from it, than we had to keep Egypt. The motion was agreed to.
In the Commons, the same day, a motion for bringing up the Report of the New Barrack Agreement Bill, after some opposition from Mr. Calcraft, Mr. T. Wilson, and Mr. Lennard, was, on a division, carried by 92 to 74, and the Report was agreed to.
Dr. Lushington spoke at some length on the refusal of the Lord Chamberlain to let her Majesty have the plate which, he said, had been presented to her by the late King; and concluded with moving
for copies of all official papers relative to the said service of plate.
Lord Castlereagh censured the precipitancy shown by the learned Doctor in this business. He had to inform the House, that the greatest part of this service of plate was old plate belonging to King William, which had been converted to the Queen's use; and so little was it anticipated that she should use it as her own property, that a formal list had been made out of the articles in the books of the Lord Chamberlain, of which the following was the title "A List of his Majesty's Plate in the Loan of the Princess of Wales while residing in Kensington Palace." The Princess of Wales not being satisfied with it, Lord Aylesford went to the King and explained this circumstance, afraid that he might have given offence; and the King then stated that he had no more control over that plate than he had over the Crown lands. (Hear, hear.) The difficulty with regard to this particular service of plate was not a new question. When it was packed up in 1814, the Lord Chamberlain interfered, and prevented it being carried out of the country'; and her Majesty, after reaching Geneva, made another ineffectual attempt to procure it. She might just as well claim his (Lord Castlereagh's) estate, and the King had just as much power to convey that to her in property as the plate in question.
Lord A. Hamilton was not satisfied by what he had just heard, that the late King had it not in his power to make a present of the plate. If he had not, then' certainly there was no foundation for the motion; but from all that had passed, it plainly appeared that her Majesty felt a strong impression that the plate had been given to her.
Mr. Huskisson said, a warrant signed by the Crown, and countersigned by the Lords of the Treasury, had always been considered necessary to convey a right to a third party. From his own personal knowledge, from the official situation he held in 1808, he could take upon himself to say that no such formalities had been observed with regard to the plate in question. When the matter came before the Treasury, he had himself suggested that there was in the custody of the Lord Chamberlain some plate of the time of King William, which might be remodelled for the purpose of providing the then Princess of Wales with a service, which was to become her property no more than the furniture or linen with which she was provided in her apartments in Kensington Palace. (Hear.) It had always been treated as the King's plate, lent to the Princess of Wales for her use.
After some observations by several Members, Dr. Lushington replied; and
his motion was then negatived without a division.
HOUSE OF LORDS, July 18.
Lord Sidmouth moved the second reading of the Alien Bill.
It was opposed by the Earl of Darnley and Lord Holland; and supported by the Earl of Liverpool, when the House divided, and the numbers were-Contents 17Non-contents 7-Majority 10.
The Bill was then read a second time.
In the Commons, the same day, the Chancellor of the Exchequer moved an Address to his Majesty, praying that he would direct 6000l. to be paid to the Duchess of Kent, being the sum which would have become due had his. Royal Highness lived until 5th April last.Agreed to.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer moved the third reading of the Regent's Park Barrack Agreement Bill.
Mr. Lockhart objected to the Bill, and to the permanent establishment of military in the Metropolis.-On a division, the third reading was carried by 80 against 45.
Mr. Wallace presented the Report of the Committee on Foreign Trade; and in moving that the Report should be printed, he lamented that the late period at which the Committee had been appointed, had prevented their going so fully into the subject as they desired; their opinion, however, on one great point was, that all restrictions on trade were an evil, and only to be justified by great political necessities. The first point of restriction was the Navigation Laws; and as far as related to the restrictions on this subject, the Committee considered it desirable that all goods, the produce of any country, should be imported freely into this country, provided they were imported in British ships. The second object to which the Committee had attended, was the Warehousing system, andt his the Committee thought should be extended to the utmost limits, by encouraging importation of every article of manufacture except linen; on which subject the Committee reserve its opinion for future consideration. The Committee also remarked on the evil arising from the numerous laws and statutes existing for the regulation of commerce, amounting to no less than 2000, of which 1100 were actually in force! The Committee were aware that the evils we had to complain of could only be cured gradually. The restrictive system we had adopted had obliged other nations to act in a similar manner; but he trusted that in future, if Foreign States thought fit to adopt restrictions in trade, they would not find a justification in
urging it was the principle adopted by Great Britain. (Hear, hear!)-The Report was then ordered to be printed.
HOUSE OF LORDS, July 19. Lord Erskine presented the Petition of the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and Common Council of the City of London, against the Bill of Pains and Penalties against the Queen.
The Lord Chancellor opposed it on the ground of its containing statements and opinions not consistent with the forms of the House to admit. His Lordship contended, that there was no instance in the practice of Parliament of such a Petition having been received. After some discussion it was rejected.
Lord Ellenborough moved the recommitment of the Marriage Act Amendment Bill.
The Lord Chancellor and Lord Redes
dale repeated their objections to the Bill, both as it originally stood and as it now stood.
Lord Westmoreland supported the mo tion.
Lord Carnarvon concurred in many of the objections to the Bill.
Lord Erskine reminded their Lordships that the Bill had thrice received the approbation of the other House, and that neither of those eminent civilians, Sir W. Scott and Sir John Nicholl, thought it their duty to vote against it.
Lord Liverpool objected to the Bill, as containing retrospective enactments; but thoughtt a prospective measure necessary to the happiness of society and the preservation of morals.
Lord Holland supported the motion. The objections to the Bill might be re moved on its recommitment.-After some further conversation, the Bill was rejected, in a division, by 25 to 13.
Since our last Number, a Moniteur has brought most serious intelligence :-no less than the discovery of a plot in Paris to subvert the House of Bourbon, and place some member of the Buonaparte family on the Throne. For some time. past Government has been in possession of information, that machinations were employed to seduce the troops to revolt. A certain number of officers and noncommissioned officers of the corps in garrison in Paris had been seduced. There were some even of the Royal Guard who suffered themselves to be drawn into the plot. These officers agreed among themselves to meet at the barracks, to assemble the soldiers, to march against the Palace, and to proclaim as Sovereign some member of the Buonapartean family; but many of those whom they had attempted to seduce by their proposals did not hesitate to repair immediately to their Chiefs, and discover the plot which was about to explode. Government could delay no longer. Those who had taken part in this criminal conspiracy were arrested by the gens d'armerie.
It appears, that one part of the plan of conspirators was, to seize on the Castle of Vincennes. A fire, that was soon extinguished, broke out there at three o'clock in the afternoon.
A tumult took place at Brest on the 5th August; when the people riotously assembled round the house of Bellart, the King's Attorney General, and threatened his person. The Magistrates were very remiss in their duty, and the NaGENT. MAG. September, 1820.
tional Guard of the town has been disbanded.
The King is expected soon to resume his usual promenades; and the market women of Bourdeaux are about to present the Duchess of Berri with a cradle for her expected infant.
A Paris Paper says, "A Caravan, consisting of Dr. Hamel, Counsellor of the Emperor of Russia, and who lately vi sited this University with the Grand Duke Michael; Sillicus, Physician, and Cartan, the younger, Apothecary; Boudet of La Nievre, Naturalist; Mr. Dornford, of Oriel College; and Mr. Henderson, of Brasennose College, set out from Geneva on the 16th of August to explore the summits of the range of mountains, known under the name of Mont Blanc.They were provided with three guides, one of whom, named Peter Carvice, had made the ascent six times. On the 18th the travellers arrived at the top of a mountain called the Grand Mulet. They were obliged to halt there a day and two nights on account of the bad weather; but on the 20th, the weather appeared once more to set in fine, and the savans commenced their march at five o'clock in the morning. They had nearly reached the desired summit, when the guides, who preceded them across one of those mountains, lost their footing, were hurried by the snow to the bottom of a ravine, and overwhelmed by the avalanche. The travellers escaped, as if by miracle, the same fatality. They exerted themselves for the space of four hours to find some means of rescuing the unfortunate men,