Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

of theit services. To some, these things I had no functions out of that house, might appear trifling, as involving no sub- and as the present was a period in which stantial or solid benefit, but he hoped the it was necessary to make every possible number was few who would avow such retrenchment, he should to-morrow move sentiments. Titles and distinctions were a resolution, that no salary should in future indeed of little importance, when they were attach to that office.-Petitions were prethe reward of parliamentary labours or sented, complaining of undue returns private attachments; but every distinction, for Weymouth and Thetford. The forhowever inconsiderable in itself, was pre-mer was ordered to be taken into consicious, when it served to remind mankind of deration on the 22d, and lie latter on the the courage and capacity by which it bad 27th of January. been acquired.

(GALWAY ELECTION Writ. Lord Mr. Secretary Windham replied, that Howick observed, that in consequence of a sonjething of the nature of that to which return for the county of Galway, or rather the hon. gent. alluded, had been already something described as a return for that done. But the circumstances of the army county, he felt it his duty to bring the suband navy were so essentially different, that ject before the house. Í'he sheriff of Gala the two services could not, in respect of ho- way had thought proper to return, in comtours, be exactly assimilated. The mo- pliance with the exigency of the writ, tions were then agreed to, nem. con. merely that the election was not concluded,

and that he should keep it open until all HOUSE OF COMMONS.

the electors in the county should be polled. Tuesday, December 23.

This mode of proceeding, the noble lord [MINUTES.] Mr. Hobhouse obtained conceived the house must feel to be as leave to bring in a bill to revise, amend, bigbly irregular as the return to be unsaand render perpetual, the act of the 42d oftisfactory, and of course it required investhe king, relative to the trial of Contested tigation. He therefore moved, that the deElections; which bill the bon. member puty clerk of the crown should appear at stated it to be material to carry through the bar to-inorrow, with the last return for the house with all convenient expedition, the county of Galway, and when this rein order that the parties concerned in the turn should be laid on the table, the noble petitions which were now before the house, lord stated it to be his intention to move and about to be presented, might expe-on an early day, that the subject should be rience the benefits which it had been found taken into farther consideration, and that the capable of producing. The bill was brought sheriff of Galway should be called to the bar. in, read a first and second time, committed, Mr. Corry took occasion to observe, reported, and ordered to be read a third that there was no law in Ireland, as in this time to-morrow. The house resolved into country, to limit the continuance of eleca Committee of Supply, lord H. Petty in tions in any other respect than that prethe chair, and the order, usual at the com- scribed by the exigency of the writ, and mencement of a session, that a Supply that the case alluded to by the noble lord, be granted to his majesty, was moved by was not without precedent in that country. Mr. Vansittart, and agreed to.- Mr. C. He remembered an instance where a reWynne gave notice, that he would to-mor- turning officer had made a special return row move for leave to bring in a bill to of the same nature; and possibly the sbecontinue and amend the Thames Police riff of Galway night have acted upon the act.-The hon. gent. also called the atten- same precedent. Upon this point however, tion of the house to an order made in the he could not venture to speak with preyear 1805, that a return should be made of cision, as he was wholly unacquainted with the Lunatics and lisane Persons in custody the circumstances of the Galway election; throughout Great Britain, in consequence of but he thought it necessary, for the inforwbich order many returns had been made. mation of the noble lord and for the aniBut these and other similar returns could not, madversion of the house, to state the prehe understood, be laid before the bouse, cedent to which he had alluded. unless the order referred to should be re- Lord Howick said, he was aware of the newed. He therefore moved, that this order fact stated by the right hon. gent., that the should be renewed. Ordered accordingly.- law for limiting the duration of Elections Mr. Biddulph gare notice that as the chair- in this country did not exist in Ireland, mat of the committee of Ways and Means and suggested for the consideration of the VOL. VIII.

Q

house, whether it would not be proper to collected. The clerk of the crown notified extend the law upon this subject to that at the same time, that a second re:urn bad part of the united kingdom. With regard been received this day, dated 17th of Decemto the precedent alluded to by the right ber. The substance of this return was, that, hon. gent., be should be sorry to preclude the suffrages of all the freebolders of the the sheriff of the county of Galway from county of Galway being collected, Mr. D. pleading the sanction of any precedent or B. Daly, and Mr. Martin, were duly elecusage that prevailed in Ireland upon this ted. It was ordered that these relurns subject. But yet be was rather disinclined should be entered on the books. to think that any such precedent or usage Lord Howick said, it was his intention to could vindicate the return complained of, have followed up the substantiation of the because the difficulties which were stated default of the sheriff' in not having made the to have led to the return, could have been return by the day when it was required, easily guarded against by a proper exercise with a motion that he should be ordered to of the discretion vested in the sheriff by law. attend at the bar to abide the judgement of

- The motion was agreed to, and lord the house. But in consideration of the Howick stated, that he would fix upon to precedent stated by a right bon. gent. (Mr. morrow fortnight for the farther conside. Corry) last night, and from there being no ration of this case, as, within that time, all room to suppose that the sheriff had been the proceedings would most probably be willully negligent of his duty, he should at an end, and the sheriff of Galway would wave that proceeding, and rest satisfied with be conveniently enabled to attend the house. the real return.

Mr. Corry was happy that his recollecHOUSE OF COMMOXS.

tion had tended to save the house and the Wednesday, December 24. sherif the pain of misplaced severity. But [MINUTES.) On the motion of lord Ho- he hoped the Irish gentlemen would, in the wick, it was ordered that the house should, course of the present session, consider the at its risiug, adjourn to Monday the 29th propriety of amending the Irish election instant.-On the motion of Mr. Hobhouse, laws in this and many other particulars. the Election Trial bill was read a third time, [SALARY OF THE CHAIRMAN OF THE and passed. On the motion of Mr. Free- WAYS AND MEANS.] Mr. Biddulph rose, mantle, the order for the consideration of pursuant to notice, to make his promised the Saltash Election petition, was postpo- motion, relative to the Salary of the Chairned from Tuesday 13th to Tuesday 27th Jan. mau of the Ways and Means. This salary, on the ground that the evidence would not in his opinion, might be saved to the public. be in readiness till that day.-Admiral As le considered it as of extreme moment Markhan moved, that the Navy Estimates that the motion which he was now to make for 1807, be laid before the house. The in furtherance of that economy which had secretary at war and Mr. Calcraft made been so warmly recommended in his masimilar motions with respect to the Army jesty's speech, should not suffer from any and Ordnance Estimates ; and Mr. Vansit- thing counected with the person by whom tart moved, that au humble address be it was brought forward, he disclaimed all presented to his majesty, requesting him to intention of hostility to his majesty's midirect the said Estimates to be laid before nisters; he was fully sensible of their great the house. Ordered.

talents, the purity of their motives, and their (GALWAY Election Writ.] On the resolution to redeem the pledges of economotion of lord Howick, the order for the my which they had given. If this had not attendance of the deputy clerk of the been their intention, he was persuaded that crown, with the return for the county of the passage to which be alluded would not Galway, was read. The deputy clerk was have been inserted in his majesty's speech. in attendance, and the return was read. It He admired the ability of ministers, and stated that the sheriff, in obedience to his particularly of the noble lord (Howick) who majesty's writ, had proceeded in due time had lately made a speech so distinguished to the poll, and proceeded with all due di- for its eloquence, and so well calculated to ligence, it being kept open seven hours in make the deepest impression. The measure each day: but that on the 15th of Decem- which he had to recommend, if carried into ber, the day before which the return should execution, would be attended with the haphave been made, the suffrages of a great piest effects. As to the individual who was number of freeholders remained stilī une said to be named to the situation of chair.

some

man of the committee of Ways and Means, that there should be public burthens at the (Mr. Hobhouse) he certainly meant nothing present moment, but it was proper that personal against him. He had known him from those burthens should be rendered as light his earliest years, had the greatest respect as possible. He was convinced from refor him, and he knew too well the liberali-flection, and the conversation of sensible ty of his mind, to doubt that he would give people, that a radical change of measures him credit for having the public good only was absolutely necessary to the salvation of in view.' He would now come more imme- the country. A rigid economy would be diately to the subject. He was sensible that radical change. It had not yet been that this would appear rather too early a pe- tried, and he recommended it as the first riod for such a motion, but then it was and easiest expedient. The hon. gent.conproper to bring it forward before the chair- cluded by moving this resolution : ** That the man bad entered on bis duties. His atten- “ assignment of a salary to any member of tion had been particularly called to the the house as chairman of the committee subject by the paternal expressions in his “ of Ways and Means, is unnecessary, and, majesty's speech, which had made the deepest" in the present circumstances of the impression on every one who heard them, country, inexpedient.”-It was and which, if not acted upon, might subject time before the motion was seconded. them to the charge of criminality. He A member having bowever given it that would read the passage to which he alluded. formal claim to consideration, The hon. gent. then read that part of the

Lord Howick rose. He thanked his hon. speech which lamented the necessity of the friend for the favourable sentiments he enpublic burthens, and recommended econo- tertained of his majesty's ministers, who, he my. He thought this was an instance in assured him, were determined to practise which the economy recommended in his ma- the economy recommended in his majesty's jesty's speech might be well put in practice. speech. He exceedingly regretted, howNo map should, in his opinion, be paid for ever, that the motion of his hon, friend was his duty in the house of commons, with of such a sort as placed him under the nethe exception only of the person who cessity of appearing to resist that disposi. filled the chair, whose salary was meant to tion, which had been manifested by his masupport the dignity of the house, as well as jesty, with regard to public economy. He to reward his labours. But the situation of felt as strongly as his hon, friend, or as any chairman of the Ways and Means was one one, the necessity of economy, and of conof a different nature. There was no reason, fining within the narrowest possible limits he apprehended, why some of the other the supplies for those efforts which were now officers paid by government should not inore than ever requisite. But feeling the oblitake the duty on themselves. He asked gation imposed by the pledges which had been the candour of the house, whether some of given, he was sure that it was not bis mathe junior lords of the treasury might not jesty's intention to limit an expence which discharge it? It might be said, that their was necessary for the due execution of a miods would be too much harassed, and laborious and indispensable duty. This their bodies too much fatigued with other was not one of the points to which that duties, to undertake this one. But be un- economy could be properly applied. His derstood that this could not be the case, as hon. friend had fallen into two mistakes. their duties consisted only in signing a few He had alluded to a person, as appointed to papers : but at all events, there were some this duty, for which, indeed, none could be whose duties were not heavy. An objection better qualified. But the fact was, that no might be made, that this was an unusual such appointment had been made. It was mode of proceeding. His answer was, only when the house was in a particular that these were unusual times; that the ne- committee, and when a call was made for cessities of the public were unusual, and such a person, that the appointment of a that this would justify them in receding chairman took place. There had as yet from common forms. Another objection been no such committee, nor had there might be taken from the trifling saving that been any such call. His hon, friend had would thus be made to the public. His fallen into another mistake. No salary answer was, that the principle was not was at present fixed for the place. Since trifling, as it would convince the country, the revolution, till of late years, there had that the house was seriously resolved to set been a salary attached to it, which had about plans of economy. It was necessary been paid out of the civil list. But the house thinking it inconsistent with their salary or remuneration. The noble lord privileges, that the person who discharged said, that if there were any unnecessary a duty in wbich they were particularly con- offices, a motion might be made for abocerned, should be paid in this manner, lishing them. But in that case, he should abolished the practice, and at the end of be told that duties were attached to those every session voted such a remuneration as offices which must be performed. He conto them seemed proper. If then his hon. sidered this country as in the situation of a friend had any objection to this, it would private person, whose circumstances ren. come better at the end of the session, when dered it necessary for bim to reduce his the vote of remuneration should be pro-establishment. This was a case that might posed. But what were the duties of this happen to the public as well as to a private office? It was necessary that the person person. It was sutlicient for him that he who held it, should be prepared with a full bad called the attention of the house lo kuowledge of the business of the house, this business. lle bad no hostility to miand all its public duties, and that he should nisters. lle had been too much açcustom. be acquaiuted with, and explain its orders ed to see in them proofs of the most noble when in a committee. He was bound to disinterestedness to conceive it possible attend from the sitting of the house to its that they could be changed. If honours rising; all which would require time, atten- and offices alone had been their ambition, tion, ability, and a great deal of personal many of them might have had them fifteen labour. In every respect his hon. friend years ago. But as he had been returned (Mr. Hobhouse) was well qualified; and by a set of enlightened constituents, who certainly, whoever performed the duty well, had public economy much at heart, he felt was entitled to some remuneration. But it his duty to submit this resolution to the his hon. friend supposed that the duty house. The motion was then pul, and might be performed by other officers of negatived without a division, the crown, who had abundance of leisure (WESTMINSTER ELECTION PETITION.] for it. All he would say to that was, that Lord Folkestone, pursuant to notice, rose to if there were any offices, the duties of which move that the order for taking ibe Westwere so trifling as he supposed, the proper minster Election petition into consideration mode would be to move for the abolition on the 13th of January, should be disof those offices. If his hon. friend's reso- charged, for the purpose of postponing it lution should be agreed to, the result would to a future day. The circunstances on be, according to the proverb, that, “ What which this motion was grounded were these: was every body's business, would be no- be bad presented the petition on the earliest body's business," and consequently, con possible day. Iu balloting for the petitions, fusion and disorder would take place of ihe Westminster had come out of the glass that regular and orderly way in wbich the the fourth, and consequently was appointbusiness of the house bad hitherto beened for the second day for considering Eleccarried on. Though desirous of economy tion petitions. Sjuce that time, he unders where it was practicable, he did not think stood that it was not supposed he would this one of the cases where it would be have presented it so soon, and the agents well applied. At all events, the resolu- inforined him that there was such a mass of tion ought not to be moved till the end of evidence to be collected, as might natus the session, He really did not see any rally be supposed in such a city as West. necessity for saying any thing further on minster, that they could not be ready by this subject. It was one on which the the time appointed. The noble lord hoped house might properly judge, without any that the house would not be disposed to long and tedious discussion. The noble make the petitioner suffer from any mise lord concluded by moving, that the other take of his in presenting the petition, and orders of the day be now read,

concluded by moving, " That the order for Mr. Biddulph in reply, said he had not considering the Westminster Election petibeen aware that no salary was attached to tion on the 13th of January, be discharged, this office, But even upon the ground that and that it be fixed for the 24th of fen the remuneration was not voted till the bruary.” end of the session, he did not think bis re- Mr. Sheridan said, that after the commusolution so ill-timed. If agreed to at the nication which he had had with the noble present mument, it would at least have the lord, he would not oppose his motion ; but effect of removing every expectation of he did not yield from any weight in bis lordship's arguments, for these nade against the Chiltern hundreds, for the purpose of his own proposition. He said, thạt a vacating his seat (A laugh). He had ng great mass of evidence was to be pro- objection to take that office, if the learned duced, and the inference was, that it ought gent. also would take it, and bring his poto be produced early, on account of the pularity to the test by facing him on the length of time which the business would hustings in Covent-garden (A laugh). occupy. All the witnesses were here; it Mr. Perceval said, that instead of forcing was not necessary to send for them to a this matter forward on a former night, he distance, as in country cases. The parties had expressly abstained from agitating it, ought to have considered before, what evi- on the ground of the abseuce of the right dence they had to produce, and not now bon. gent. The noble lord (H. Petty) be coming to the house to gain time to had, however, ingeniously put into his buot out more. But when his lordship mouth the expressions now brought forplaced the matter on the footing of a mis- ward by the right hon. gent., but he had take of his own, he would not, out of compli- disclaimed theni. He had, however, no hesiment to him, or any other gentleman, tation now, nor at any time, to answer for move any opposition. He understood what he did say. The expression, the wit from bim, that he had presented the peti- of which the right hon. gent. described as tion earlier than the petitioners wished; but equal to its candour, arose from the accias to the observation about the balloting, dent of his having seen the right hou, gent. if it had come out of the glass the fifth in- parading the streets in a sort of triumphal stead of the fourth, it would only have car, decorated with laurels---[aloud laugh), made a difference of three or four days ; The hon.gent.bad said, that it was contrary so that there was nothing in that argument. to his practice to adhere to his opinions. But though the question was now respect. That was an accusation that came rather ing delay, he believed that the next potice oddly from the right hon. gent., and those of the noble lord would be, that we were who sat with him on the other side of the to hear no more of this petition. They house. With respect to himself, he was seemed to have employed very judicious not aware of any such deficiency in adhering couusel, who has, in considering the cir- to bis opinions as the right hon. gent, im. cumstances, advised them to delay it, and puted to him. Certainly his opinions on fix it for the very time when these counsel the subject now before the house had underwould be on the circuit. This would gone no change, and he saw no reason to afford'an excuse for further delay, which, change them. With respect to the right out of compliment to these judicious gen- hon. gent.'s challenge to meet him on the tlemen, he could not of course oppose. hustings in Covent Garden, he had to excuse He would take this occasion to advert to bioiselt, on the ground that he had constisomething that had fallen from a learned tuents who had wn him uniform favour gentleman opposite (Mr. Perceval) on a since they had returned him to the first former day, in his absence. (Hear! hear! parliament he had sat in. These consti, from Mr. Perceval.] He was happy to hear tuents he was attached to, and was un, this challenge from the learned gentleman, willing to desert them for the ambition of particularly as it was a proof that he con- representing any greater place. The right tinued in the same mind on this subject, hon. gent. had at times spuken of a similar which was not his general practice. The attachment, though he had afterwards learned gentleman bad talked a great deals found it so easy to get rid of it. At least, of his want of popularity, and had ob- such was the amount of what was represerved, with a degree of wit correspondent sented in the news-papers, in the right hon. with its candour, that it was not till the gent.'s name, But, perhaps, what was government horses had been yoked to bis thus stated on the subject, was not authencar that he had been brought in. Now, tic. It was easy to credit an excuse of though his majesty had thought him worthy that kind from the extravagancies cons

to hold an office of trust and emolument, tained in the speeches imputed to the right - he was bold to think, whatever the learned hon. gentleman. gentleman and some few other clamorous Mr. Sheridan said, that when he stood persons might pretend to the contrary, that for Westminster, it was with the full perhis claim to public support was not thereby mission of the electors of Stafford [a laugh). lessened. There was a sort of report that it was not, however, the severity of the be was about to take another office, namely, learned gent.'s remarks that he complained

« AnteriorContinuar »