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most respected and esteemed, he was na-ftions the example of theirs. It was comturally desirous for an opportunity of ota- plained, that too much feeling and too ting the grounds which appeared to his much passion had been carried into mind to justify this difference. With all this discussion. He complained, on the reverence which he felt for the princi- the contrary, that it had been nade ples of justice and humanity, still he con- too little a question of feeling, and that lessed ihat he has not courage to come to it had been made almost intirely a the decision which the advocates of this matter of cold calculations of profit and measure proposed; contemplating as he loss between English money and African did the effects which its adoption threatened blood. It was thought necessary to to produce; and apprehending from it, and prove to the house, that the country could at no very distant period too, no less than not lose by abstaining from murder. It the ruin of the country. He most fervent- had been proved by Mr. Pilt, from the ly wished that these apprehensions might biost undeniable calculations, that the is prove to be unfounded; but yet they had lands and the empire at large, would gain made such an impression on bis mind, that, in revenue, in seamen, in commerce, in considering the necessity for the passing of strength, and in profit, by the abolition ; aud this bill was not, on the score of morality, when Frauce would see these beneficial elso oversuling as to leave no option, he could fects, she would be induced by interest, if not forbear, consistently with wis sense of not by feeling or principle, to follow the duty, to resist it. As those gentlemen who example. There was one circumstance supported this bill, were anxious to wash connected with the trade, which had been their hands of the guilt which appeared to communicated to him by a friend, and them to attach to the traffic it proposed to which he thought necessary to state to the abolish, so he was equally anxious to wash house. A fine young slave had been pur. bis hands of the consequences which that chased for his estate, who at first seemed abolition, in his judgement, threatened to afflicted and sullen, but whose discontent produce.

was expected to wear off with time. After Mr. Whitbread said, when a man of such a short period, however, another cargo of enlightened miud, and such known huma- slaves arrived, and the newly imported nenity as his right hon, friend, thought it ne- groes, upon meeting with the former, processary to get up at that hour to state his strated themselves before him as their chief. perseverance in bis opposition 10 the abo- The violence of his emotions at the conlition, and to his own original seutiments, trast between what he was and what he had he felt it incumbent on him to declare his been, drove lijm within twelve hours lo conviction of the justice and truti of the commit suicide. One such instance as this uniform consent he had given to the senti- was enough to shew the iniquity of the trafic. ments, and the propriety of the support he Mr. Fuller was os opinion, that the abo. had given to the etiorts of the hon. gent. lition of the slave trade would have the efwho was the chief promoter of that mea- fect of rendering the condition of the slaves sure, (Mr. Wilberforce). The able speeches much worse in the West-India islands. The he bad heard in the recent discussions co!- negroes upon his estate were more comfirmed the opinions he had entertained. fortable than labourers in this country, and The same exploded arguments, the same it would be bis desire to place them upon groundless and disproved assertions which the same footing in every respect. This; had been so often refuted on former occa- however, was impossible, because the fersions, were all that could be now advanced tility of the soil was such in many parts of against this bill. The cruelties, incapable the West Indies, that by the labour of a dayand of being exaggerated by any mouth or a half per week, one negro could procure mind, which the house was called upon to support for a whole family, and in that abolish, were inherent in the thing, and case would not be disposed to work ; so not the result of the individual disposition that it was recessary to keep them employa of the planters, many of whom were, beed by moderate disicipline. was sure, men of great humanity. The Mr. Herbert, of Kerry, in pursuance of the islands bud had sufficient warning, and it instructions of his constituents, was bound they were not prepared for the abolition of to vote for the abolition,and after all he had the trade now, they never would. If we read and heard upon the subject, he could abolished the trade on our part, we should not conceive any good ground for the conbave done var duty, and giveu to other na- tinuance of the trade.

Lord Hovich was far from expecting that, | against the bill: : Lord Auckland declared after the solemn decision which had already his intention of oppusing any motion for the taken place on the bill, it would again have hearing of counsel. The bill before the undergone such a protracted discussion. house was one which did not in any manAt so late an hour he would not enter into ner call upon the house to hear counsel. any reply to predictions of ruin, &c. to the The South-Sea company, although legally country, if this measure was adopted. An- entitled to an exclusive trade to a great other occasion would offer for that purpose, part of South America, had not for many when he trusted he should be able to prove, years employed a single vessel in that trade. that, so far from being in any degree detri- Conquesis having been recently made by méntal to the interests of the country, it his majesty's arms upon that continent, a must powerfully conduce to its prosperity large capital hari been embarked in the and glory. At so late an hour, he should not trade to South America, upon the supattempt to go into the nature of the clauses position of its being perfectly legal. It had which it was bis intention to move in the since been discovered that it was not so, and cominittee; but if the house was inclined that the legal right was vested in the South to save much of their time and attention, Sea Company: but under all the circumstanthey would agree to what he should now ces of the case, he could not conceive that a propose, namely, to pass the bill through doubt could exist as to the policy and expea the committee, pro formú, fill up the blanks, diency of the present bill. "Lord Redesdale have the bill printed, and in the hands of did not mean to pledge himself as to any the members, previously to its being re- opinion upon the subject, but conceived committed, and then get through it with a that the petitioners having legal rights which more perfect and satisfactory knowledge of would be affected by this bill, were entitled all its bearings and tendencies; he hoped to be heard by counsel. Lord Auckland however that another long debate upon the gave notice, that he should move the seprinciple of the bill was not to be entered cond reading of the bill to-morrow, if the into.-On the motion that the speaker do printed copies of it were then on the table. now leave the chair,

Conceiving the hearing of counsel to be to General Gascoyne said, that he had no totally unuecessary, he should oppose any wish on his part to renew the debate, but motion for that purpose. The petition was that if any other gentlemán thought pro- ordered to lie on the table. per to do so, he should not think himself precluded from answering many of the ob

HOUSE OF COMMONS. jections that had that night been urged

Monday, March 2. against the opposers of the bill. The ques- [MINUTES.) The Speaker acquainted the "tion was now universally called for, and house, that he had received from majorcarried without a division. The house general John Stuart, the following let. then went into a committee upon the bill ter, in return to the thanks of this house, pro formá, and the blanks being filled up, signified to bim, in obedience to their comand the bouse resumed, it was ordered to mands of the 22d of December last: Babe recommitted on Wednesday.

“ ker Street, 28th Feb. 1807. Sir; it is “ since my return to England that I have

" been honoured with an authenticated co, Monday, March 2.

py of your letter of the 24th Dec. (of [MINUTES.] Lord Grenville presented which the original had been addressed 'a message from bis majesty respecting the “ from Mr. secretary Windham's office to treaty with Prussia, and an advance of " the Mediterranean), transmitting the subsidy, (see House of Commons). On the “ unanimous vote of thanks of the house motion of lord Grenville, his majesty's mes- " of commons of the 22d of the same sage was ordered to be taken into consider-“ month, to the general and other officers, ation to-morrow, and the lords to be sum- " to the troops, and to myself, in token of moned. On the first reading of the bill for “ its satisfaction at the conduct and result repealing so much of the act relating to the “ of the action with the French forces, on South Sea company as confers on-that com “ the-4th of July last, on the plains of Mai, pany an exclusive right to trade to certain “ da in Calabria. I shall 'fulfil: a most parts of South America, lord Redesdale “ grateful duty in obeying the command of presented a petition from the South Sea " the house, to communicate to the army, Company, praying to be heard by counsel“ as above directed, the great and public


" honour by which their discipline and gal-1" endeavour at redeeming yourself in “ lantry on that occasion have been remune- some degree from the heavy disgrace « rated. And I venture to anticipate the sen- “ into which you have fallen. In cum“ timents of pride and gratitude they must pliance with your petition, this house has ► feel, conjointly with myself, on thus re- ordered that you be now discharged; anu

ceiving, in the unanimous thanks of par- you are discharged accordingly." Ordered, “ liament, the most distinguished and most nem, con., that the said reprimand be enter

expressive token of national approbationed in the journal of this house.-Lord How

to which a British soldier can possibly be ick presented the following message from " encouraged to aspire. While I presume the king: viz. “ G. R. His majesty thinks to request you, sir, to become the chan-"

proper to acquaint the house of com* nel of conveying to the house my indivi- " mons, that a treaty of peace has been “ dual impressions on this subject, I am concluded between his majesty and the " to solicit that you will receive also the “ king of Prussia, a copy of which, as soon “ expression of my own acknowledgement as the ratificatiou thereof shall bare beau ** for the tilattering terms of personal com- exchanged, his majesty will communicate “ pliment with which you have been plea- Lo this house. And his inajesty thinks “ sed to notify to me the high distinction“ it proper further to apprise this bouse, " conferred upon me in the Resolutions. " that his majesty's minister, who sigoed “ I have the honour to be, &c. J. Stuart," that treaty, has, in pursuance of an aus' major-general."- Mr. Walter Jury was, “thority grauted 10 him by his majesty according to order, brought to the bar, “ for that purpose, and in consequence of where he received a reprimand from the “ the great urgency of the state of affairs speaker, and was ordered to be discharged “ in those countries, which are now the out of custody, paying his fees. The sepri. seat of war, taken upon himself to make mand was as follows; viz. “ Walter Jury; an advance of noney to the Prussian “ A select committee of this bouse, ap- government, to the amount of about “ pointed to try and determine the merits" 80,0001., which advance his majesty has " of a petition, complaining of an undue been pleased to approve; and he trusts that “ election and return for the borough of " this house will enable him to make good " Maidstone, have reported, that you be the same. G. R.” On the motion of lord • ing called before them as a witness, did Howick, the above message was ordered to

upon your examination misbehave your- Le referred to a committee of supply. “ self, grossly prevaricating, and refusing [MR. Paull's PETITION RESPECTING " to give evidence. For that offence you the WESTMINSTER ELEction.) Lord

were thereupon ordered into custody ; Folkestone moved, that the order of the “ and by this house afterwards committed day for taking into consideration the peti “ to his majesty's gaol of Newgate. The tion of James Paull, esq. be now read. “ tribunal before which you were sum- Mr. Sheridan begged leave to make one moned, is justly dear to parliament and observation before the order should be " the country; and this house will not en- read. He had heard that it was the inter“ dure that its dignity should be insulted, tion of certain gentlemen, during the inves“ or its authority eluded, with impunity. tigation, to insist upon the exclusion of « Sworn to declare the truth between the strangers. He was aware, in an allusion of “ parties, and again admonished of tbe so- this kind, that he was not strictly confining “ lemn obligation under which you stood, hiinseli within the prescribed limits of or

you nevertheless thought fit to persist in der, but bis situation was a peculiar one; as

your prevarications, until it was mani- sailed in the most public manner, he ear** fest that your obstinacy was wilful and nestly wished that his defence should be as “ criminal : and this house bas according, public. lle was anxious not only that his “ ly branded your misconduct, by senten- conduct should be known to all, but that all

cing you to an imprisonnent with male. should be enabled to understand the ineau • factors and felons. At length by your and persidious calumnies that aspersed it. " petition it appears that you acknowledge Mr. P. Moore said, that he beld in his “ your offence, and express your contri- hand 3 petitions from some most respect. * tion : the ends therefore of public justice able gentlemen, who, feeling tiemselves

are attained ; and it remains only for grossly traduced by the allegatious set you, by a sacred regard to veracity, forth in the petition of Mr. Paull, prayed to Mchrough the remainder of your life, to be allowed to meet and confront such allo

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gations; to give their evidence at the bar off bar, evidence which might tend to defeat the house touching the proceedings during the ends of justice in a subsequent comand since the late election for Westminster. mittee. He trusted that the house would Mr. Moore then alluded to the extraordi- confine the examination simply to the point nary petition that had been on the last of tampering, and that if, in the outset, night presented by an hon. member (Mr. any question should be proposed aff-cting Biddulph), and said that he had it in his the merits of the election, the examination power to prove by evidence at the bar, would be stopped. that the mode resorted to for the purpose Mr. T. Grenville was of opinion that the of obtaining signatures to that petition was present case ought to go to a committee. a foul fraud against the very respectable While the house looked only to the examielectors of Westminster, whose names had nation of facts in having the case proceeded been thereunto subscribed. He then pre- opon at the bar, a precedent might be es sented a petition to the purpost above men- tablished which might tend to much incon. tioned, signed Henry Burgess, James Wal- venience, and much mischief hereafter. lis, F. Homan, and A. Johnston,

He was, he confessed, more inclined than Lord Folkestone thought the petitions pre- others seemed to be, to doubt of the promature, as they seemed to pre-suppose the priety of the house baving proceeded even allegations in Mr. Paull's petition already so far as it had already done. But if it substantiated,

was improper to have gone so far, it would Mr. Sheridan. was convinced that the be much more improper to go farther. noble lord did not mean any thing unfair The question before the house seemed to or dishonourable, and that therefore he him, if not an integral part of that which eould not mean to summon witnesses was reserved by the Grenville act, for against him, and deny him the opportunity the decision of a select committee, at of refuting their assertions by opposite tes- least so nearly to border on it, as that it timony, Arraigned as he was of having would be impossible to keep the two ob. either himself or by his agents, tampered jects distinct. He had no doubt that unwith witnesses, it surely could not be inten- der the Grenville act; a committee was ded to deny him the privilege of disproving perfectly competent to do the justice rethe truth of the charge at the bar. quired in this case, if the facts alleged

Lord Howick thought that the petition could be substantiated or completely falhad a just claim to be laid on the table sified. The committee might make a speof the house, and that when the proper cial report, if either should be found guilty time came, the petitioner ought to be of improper practices. If no inconvenience heard at the bar, in his own defence.- could arise to public justice, as be thought The petitions were then ordered to lie on none could in this case, he was of opinion the table.

the house ought not to interfere with a juThe order of the day having then been frisdiction so nearly connected if not alto. read, for taking into consideration the gether identified with that which it had, petition of James Paull, esq., the same by a solenn act, put out of its own bands, was accordingly taken into cousideration, and delegated to its committees. He did and lord Folkestone moved, that the peti- not suppose tbat the members in the house tioner be heard by himself, his counsel, unsworn were a less desireable tribunal and witnesses, in support of the alle- than the sworn members of a committee. gations contained in his petition.

But there was no doubt, that a sworn comLord Howick declared, that feeling every mittee, with its attention particularly die desire that this transaction should be in- rected to the objects it was to try, was as vestigated in such a manner as to sa- eligible a tribunal as the house unsworn, tisfy the public, and anxious to remove He was so strongly convinced that this the slightest pretence for accusing the was a case that ought to be reserved to a house of an intention to deprive the pe- committee, that he felt an indispensable titioner of the means of supporting his duty to state his opinion to the house, charge, he, for one, would be willing to though he could not hope that any opinion allow, that the counsel should be heard ; of his would have such weight with the but he wished the house to observe, as a house as to lead its decision. If, notwithguide to their proceedings, that since the standing the consideratious he had thrown passing of Mr. Grenville's bill, it had been out, the house sbould persevere in the prethe practice to abstain from hearing at the sent course, he was of opinion that there VOL. VIII.

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would be great danger in hearing of coun- Speaker to this effect, he proceeded to sel. By the interference of counsel, il siate the matter of the petition, the charges would be rendered next to impossible to contained therein, and the nature and keep this case wholly distinct from the character of the evidence by which tbey question of the validity of the late election were to be supported. The first witness, which was to be tried by the committee Mr. Drake, was a lieutenant in the navy, between the parties in this case; a question and bad bad a share in those glorious acwhich the house was by law prohibited lions which had attached so much glory to from interfering in. If the whole matter that service. The second witness, Wea. was not sent to the committee, the only therhead, was also in the navy. The other way the house could reserve that part witnesses were men of low and humble which belonged exclusively to the conn- stations. But it was only persons of low mittee, was by keeping the exami'ation of situations that any one would attempt to the witnesses in its own hands. An advo. tamper with, and the evidence of guilt cate who looked only to what was best should be sought from the scenes where it adapted to his present object, could never had been committed. The story Mr. act up to tbe delicacy which became the Drake would tell, would perhaps strike the house upon this bead, and there would thus bouse with so much astonishment, as albe an endless necessity for the interposi- most to appear incredible. But he would tion of the bouse. If, bowever, the house here again represent to the house, that the should agree to have counsel, as well as to effect should be taken in the mass, and examine this matter itself, he hoped that that each part ought to be regarded as conit would not be permitted to such counsel firmatory of the rest. With respect to the to attenipt to instruct the house with re- object of these charges, he was a man of spect to its privileges; and that particular very bigh talents and character, unstained care should be taken to prevent him from in the present instance; as such, Mr. involving the two cases, which it was so Paull, as well as himself, were willing to essential to keep distinct.

describe the right hon. gent. ; and thes Mr. Baker thought the house ought to wished the present transaction might oot protect the witnesses summoned to give be found of a nature to give an opinion evidence at its bar, and that no gentieman different from what had been entertained. having a seat in the house ought to speak When ibe whole of the evidence should be of witnesses about to come to the bar, in before the house, he was sure it would not the terms of reprehension lately used by seem too much to ask for the interposition a right hon. gent.

of the house. Mr. Paull asked the bouse The Attorney-General thought it neces- to take his witnesses under its protection sary to oppose himseli a nioment to the vill the trial of bis petition. Without that impatience of the house, in order to sug- it would be vain to expect justice. It was gest the justice and propriety of allowing in vain, il tampering with witnesses were the benefit of witnesses and counsel to all allowed, to hope that the house would be the parties, as well as to the one that was tairly constituted, or the people fairly realready allowed to be so heard.

presented. Mr. Sheridan wished the house to go

die William Drake was then called, and derectiy nito the business. As to counsel, posed that he had been a lieutenant in the he had no objection to give his opponents Havy; that he had entered it, to the test all the counsel in the realor. For himsell of his recollection, in 1785, and quilted he asked no counsel, but the justice and it in 1802; that he had married a natural rectitude oi that honourable house. What daughter of Mr. Sheridan, and had beea the petitioners connected with bim might acquainted with him upwards of 5 years wish tor, he knew not. On the suggestion that he became acquainted with Mr. Paull of lord Howick,

after the election, and that tbis acquaintThe Speaker was instructed to acquaint ance had begun in consequence of the the counsel when called to the bar, ihat it manner iu which Mr. Sheridan had treated was the pleasure of the house that he him; that he had got a great many votes should confine himself to the matters of for Mr. S. during the election; that be fact alleged in the petition, to which be at that time saw Mr. S. every day, and meant to adduce evidence.

that Mr. S. made him several promises; Mr. Warren, counsel for Mr. Paull, was but that after the election he could not then called in, and being instructed by the procure access to Mr. S., whose porter bad

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