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THE

ANNUAL REGISTER,

For the Year 1815.

GENERAL HISTORY.

CHAPTER I.

Parliamentary Transactions.-Debate relative to delivering up Spaniards from Gibraltar.-Debate on keeping Militia embodied.-Transfer of Genou to the King of Sardinia.- Proceedings on the Corn Laws. - Trial by Jury in civil causes in Scotland.--Motion for a Committee of Inquiry respecting the Bank of England.Continuation of the Bank Restriction Act.- Arrest of lord Cochrane in the House of Commons.

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a of parliament met again af- discussion was the cause that no ter their adjournment.

notice was then taken of it in this One of the first topics of dis- work. The following is a brief cussion by which the public feel- statement of the case. Don Anings were interested, related to tonio Puigblanc, Hebrew profesthe delivering up, by the lieute. sor in the university of Alcala, nant - governor of Gibraltar, of having written against the Inquisome Spaniards from Cadiz, who sition, determined, after the rehad taken refuge in that fortress sumption of the crown by Ferdifrom the persecution of the Spa- nand VII. to seek a refuge in nish government. This circum- Gibraltar. For this purpose he stance was much animadverted procured a passport on May 14, upon both in writing and conver- 1814, from the governor of Casation during the last year, and diz, which was countersigned by was the subject of a notion in sir James Duff, the British conparliament; but the expectation sul, and by virtue of it, he, with a Vol. LVII.

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friend, sailed for Gibraltar, where at Cadiz to the commandant at they arrived and were admitted Gibraltar in May last, relative to on the 15th. On the next day certain Spaniards supposed to Duff sent a letter to Gibraltar have taken refuge in that garripointing out these persons as be- son, with an account of the coning objects of suspicion to the sequent proceedings; which was Spanish government; and the carried. consequence was, that they were On February 13th Mr. Golbourn arrested by order of gen. Smith, moved for an address for copies the lieut.-governor, delivered to a of a correspondence between earl Spanish commandant, and con- Bathurst and sir James Duff in veyed back, in irons, to Cadiz. reference to the same subject. Puigblanc was there tried, and Mr. Whitbread thereupon obacquitted of the offence with served, that the principal charge which he was charged, but was against sir James Duff related to informed that he must still be an order he had given for exatried before the tribunal of the mining a British convoy at CaInquisition. He, however, effect- diz with a view of preventing cered an escape to England, where tain Spaniards from making their he made his case publicly known. escape from persecution. It was The general indignation excited answered, that the papers moved by the circumstance of a British for would comprehend every thing governor's lending his authority required on the subject; and the in aid of the proceedings of an motion was agreed to. odious tyranny was partaken by The papers having been prothe ministers, and lord Bathurst duced, Mr. W’hitbread, on March wrote to gen. Smith and sir J. 1st, rose to make a motion, purDuff to inquire into the particu- suant to notice, respecting the lars of the case, and to intimate conduct of gen. Smith and sir J. the impropriety of such an inter- Duff. After an introduction, in ference. Generał Smith, as it which he expressed, with his appears, had only succeeded to usual energy, his indignant feelhis post temporarily, on the death ings at any participation of perof general Campbell, and might sons acting under the British gobe supposed little acquainted with vernment in the detestable tyranits civil duties. Sir James Duff ny now prevalent in Spain, he was 80 years of age, and had moved for an address to the Prince spent more than half his life in Regent, returning thanks for the office at Cadiz, where he enjoyed communication of the requested general esteem.

papers; declaring the house's enThe introduction of this matter tire disapprobation of the transinto parliament began on Nov. actions disclosed by those papers, 22, 1614, by a motion from Mr. as injurious to the honour of the Whitbread for an address to the nation, and cruel to the unhappy Prince Regent, that directions objects of them: requesting his might be given for laying before Royal Highness to cause to be exthe house copies of all commu- pressed in the strongest terms to nications by the British consul sir James Duff and major-general Smith, his displeasure at their and Sir Samuel Romilly, on Feb. conduct; and imploring his Royal 15, and 28. The arguments emHighness to cause the most effica- ployed were repeated from those cious steps to be taken to obtain in the former debate, with the adthe liberation of the persons who ditional advantage on the side of may still be confined in conse- the motions, that the treaty with quence of the violation or refusal the American States had since of the asylum which they had been signed, so that no enemy to sought in the British territory. the country was now remaining.

In the debate which ensued, it This, however, was repelled by was generally admitted by the the observation that the ratificaopposers of the motion, that the tion of the treaty in America was conduct of gen. Smith had been not yet known, and that hostiliindefensible, but that he had been ties were still carrying on in that misled by imperfect acquaintance quarter. No danger of invasion with the practice on similar oc- from thence could, indeed, be casions. Sir James Duff was possibly apprehended; and the more directly defended; and it real cause for the retention of a was held that he had done nothing part of the militia was the present improper in giving information to unsettled state of the continent the governor concerning the per- of Europe, where a large portion sons who had taken refuge in of the English regular army was Gibraltar, leaving it to himself to still detained, The motions in determine what course to pursue. each house were negatived by Others who did not undertake to great majorities. justify the proceedings of either The circumstance of the transthe consul or the general, thought fer of the republic of Genoa to the that the reprimand in lord Bath- dominion of the King of Sardinia, urst's letter was a sufficient pu contrary to the expectations raised nishment. Very different opinions in the Genoese of the restoration were maintained by the speakers of their independence, in a proon the other side, some of whom clamation by Lord W. Bentinck, indulged themselves in strong had been lamented by the English expressions of contempt and ab- ministers as an unfortunate nehorence of the character and go- cessity, and was likely to be revernment of the king of Spain, garded with feelings of equal rewhich incurred reprehension as gret by all who were acutely senindecent and impolitic. On a di- sible to every thing affecting the vision, the motion was negatived honour of their country, as well by 69 against 51.

as the cause of general justice. Theconstitutional question con- The subject was first mentioned cerning the keeping of the militia in parliament on February 13 by embodied in time of peace, which Mr. Whitbread, on a motion of the had been decided in favour of the Chancellor of the Exchequer for ministers in the autumnal session, postponing the committee of supwas revived in both houses by ply, when the former gentleman, motions introduced by the same after some remarks on the partimembers in each, Earl Fitzwilliam cipation of the British minister at

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the congress of Vienna, in certain that not only with respect to the acts which he termed disgraceful, measure of Genoa, but every other entered into a full statement of connected with it, there had not all that had publicly appeared re- been the smallest breach of faith Jative to the Genvese transaction. on the part of the British governAt that time, however, nothing ment, nor any expectations held passed beyond a common conver- out that were not eventually reasation. On the 15th of that month, lized. His lordship then moved the Marquis of Buckingham rose in the previous question on the marthe House of Lords, and put the quis's motion. questions to Lord Liverpool, whe- After some other lords on each ther the proclamation of Lord side had spoken to the subject, William Bentinck had been aus the previous question was carried thorized by his Majesty's mini- by 37 against 13. sters ? and whether the proclama- A similar motion made in the tion by which the Genoese had House of Commons by Mr. Lambbeen turned over to the King of ton, and supported by Sir James Sardinia had been authorized by Mackintosh and other speakers in them? Lord Liverpool declining opposition, was in like manner any specific answer to these ques- defeated by the previous question, tions, the Marquis gave notice of moved by the Chancellor of the a future motion for the production Exchequer, which, on a division, of the proclamations of Lord Wil- was carried by 115 votes against liam Bentinck and General Dal- 66. rymple. This motion was made In the narrative of the last year by the Marquis on the 24th, in- notice was taken of the parliamentroduced by a speech, in which tary proceedings relative to that he stigmatized the transaction re- important subject, the corn laws, lative to Genoa as a violation both which terminated in the passing of policy and good faith, and as of a bill for the free exportation sacrificing the character and ho- of grain; whilst one for regulatnour of the country, by maintain- ing its importation was voted to ing those very principles of spo- be deferred for six months, by a liation against which we had car- majority of ten only in the House ried on a twenty years war.- of Commons, obviously in conseLord Liverpool opposed the pro. quence of the strong and numerduction of the papers called for, ous petitions against it presented on the ground of the impro- from all parts of the kingdom.priety, under the present cir- This temporary check by no means cumstances, of taking into con- altered the resolution of the friends sideration single or separate to- of the bill, who comprized the pics, which could not be fairly great body of the landed interest discussed without entering into in parliament, to use their utmost the detail of many others, which endeavours for carrying such a at present it would be perfectly measure on a future occasion, and inconsistent to do. He pledged the committees in both houses on himself, however, when the pro- the corn laws had employed the per time should arrive, to prove, interval in collecting and consi[5 dering all the additional facts re- regulated. Mr. Baring, by whom lative to the subject which fur- it was opened, after much reasonther inquiry afforded.

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ing, founded on the impolicy of On Feb.17th the Right Honoure making decisive regulations at a able Frederick Robinson (vice pre- time when public affairs were in sident of the board of trade) inov- such an unsettled state, moved as ed for the House of Commons to an amendment, that the measure resolve itself into a committee of to be adopted should be tempothe whole house, to consider of rary, and intimated his intention the state of the corn laws. This of proposing 76s. as the price being done, he laid before the beyond which importation was to house nine several resolutions, of be permitted. The debate on this which the three first related to point continued by adjournment to the free importation of grain to the next day, when the amendment be warehoused, and afterwards was rejected without a divisior. exported, or to be taken for home A motion for substituting 72s. to consumption when importation 80s. was then negatived, and the for that purpose was allowable. original motion for the latter sum The fourth, and most important, was carried by 209 against 65.stated the average price of British The remaining resolutions were. corn at which free importation afterwards agreed to. was to be allowed, and below The report of the coinmittee which it was to be prohibited, and having been voted by a great mathis, for wheat, was fixed at 80s. jority to be received, and the price per quarter. An exception was of 80s. for importation being also made in favour of grain produced carried against other proposed in the British colonies, which amendments, Mr. Robinson, on might be imported when British- March 1st, brought in a bill “to grown wheat was at 67s. Of the amend the laws now in force fur subsequent and all the succeeding regulating the importation of debates we shall decline attenipt. corn,” which was read the first ing to give any analysis, for the time. On the motion for its sesame reasons by which we were cond reading, March 3, an amendinfluenced in the last year's nar- ment was moved by Mr. Lamirative, and which became still ton, for deferring the reading to more cogent, in proportion as the that day six months. discussion has been rendered more time, petitions against the hill, voluminous, with less novelt;.- which began to be set on foot in The conclusion on thie present day the commercial and manufacturwas, that the resolutions shoulú ing districts as soon as the intenbe re-committed, and the report tion was perceived of reviving the received on a subsequent day. measure, were coming in, very

The committee of the whole numerously signed. This circumhouse being formed again on the stance afforded additional argu22d, the three first resolutions ments to the opposers: the amendwere read and agreed to, and the ment, however, was negatived by debate begun on the fourth, by 218 to 56, and the bill was orderwhich the importing price was ed to be committed. On the 6th,

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