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cy. He had no doubt that the learned gent in the Barrack Department. It appeared had given a sound and proper opinion. It that Davison had on some occasions got a only appeared to him, that the proceedings sight of the terms given in by others, and in this case ought to be conducted under hy that means, by offering a trifle more, had the order of the house, and this was the ob- secured the contract. If the noble lord ject of his motion. This had been the was of opinion
that any inconvenience practice of the house when frauds had would arise from the production of the pabeen discovered in the management of the per, he would not press his motion. The public money. He mentioned a case very rt. bon. gent. concluded by moving, “ That similar to the present, whicli had occurred the Opinion of the Attorney and Solicitorin the reign' of queen Anne, where certain General relative to the Abuses in the Barpersons who had committed frauds in fur- rack Department, arising out of the Third nishing beer to the navy, had been prose- Report of the Commissioners of Military cuted by the house. To be sure, these Inquiry, be laid before the house." were discovered by a committee of the house, Lord Henry Petty said, he should not and here the comniissiovers bad been ap follow the right hon. gent. through all the pointed by the crown. But we were to look points be had touched upon, but he could at the nature of the abuses, which was such not but notice the position which had been as called for the interference of this honse. laid down by him, that this was of that class The opinion of the Attorney and Solicitor of prosecutions which ought to be conductGeneral with respect to an allowance of in- ed under the authority of that house ragrain on coals had been given in the Report, ther than by the Treasury. He might state but there was no opinion with respect to without fear of its being controverted, that the fraud, as that was not then before them. it was the duty of the Treasury, when they It was difficult to find out where the frauds discovered any frauds to bave been comrested. A Mr. Hargrave, a coal-merchant, mitted, to take measures for their punishdelivered 60 chaidron of coals for Mr. ment, and to secure the public interests. Davison, at 46s per chaldron, and yet this If the Treasury did not act in this manner, same Hargrave certified the price to be bios they would merit the censure of that house; per chaldron. Now, there was the case of and if the Treasury should omit to take Mr. Emerson, of Dover, who supplied coals such measures, it wonld become the duty at 45s per chaldron, and charged 9s 6d for of that house to take such steps as might carriage from Dover to Deal for each cha!- appear necessary on the occasion. But he dron, making 5.1s 6d, whereas the certificate should ask, what convenience would result was, that the coals were 31. per chaldron, from the house instituting a prosecution, afand that the carriage was 175 80. It might ter a proceeding had been adopted by the be supposed that the quantities ordered by Treasury? The only effect of granting the Mr. Davison being so large, the merchants paper mored for by the right hon. gent. might have supplied hiin ai a cheaper rate would be to convey information to the dethan the ordinary price. But this was not fendant, of the strong and weak parts of the case ; for in one case where only 4 the evidence against hiin, whereby he might chaldrons were furnished, a monstrous sur- be enabled to frustrate the objects of the charge appeared. Some of the transactions prosecution, by secreting such parts of the were attempted to be explained, but with evidence as might be necessary to supply regard to others, neither Mr. Davison, nor any deficiencies at present existing. On his clerk, it was said, attempted any expla- the contrary, when the proceedings were nation. The right hon. gent. then adverted carried on by the Treasury, no such informto the ledger of George Walker, (who was ation could be acquired before the proper executed a few months since for forgery) time, and the ends of justice would thereby and to the differences of the prices which be secured. This was an illustration of it disclosed. On the closest attention he the doctrine which he had stated, and when could give the subject, he was inclined to the right hon. gent. was aware of these think that some part might be immediately circumstances, the noble lord had no recovered, and that there were grounds for doubt he would consent to withdraw his a criminal prosecution against some person. motion. For that reason, he wished to have the Mr. Perceval agreed that the motion opinion of the Attorney and Solicitor Gene- ought to be withdrawn. He differed from ral, on the latter point. It manifestly ap- his right hon. friend with respect to the pared, that there bad been great abuses practice of the house; for, if the precedents were closely examined, it would ap- pect of at length carrying into effect this pear that in those cases where the house great measure, would, perhaps, induce them bad taken up the matter, the discoveries to give way, in a small degree, to circumhad been made by committees of their own, starces, and not to insist
upon an abolition and were connected with some affair before to take place immediately. He proposed the house. But, even if the house should that the time to be fixed for the abolition take the proceedings in this case into its of the trade to the West Indies should be own hands, he thought that the Attorney the 1st of January, 1808, but that the peand Solicitor General ought to be ordered riod after which no ships engaged in the to proceed on the report, merely without trade should clear out from the ports of giving in any previous detailed opinion. this country, should be the 1st of May in The reason why he thought so, was founded the present year. His object in proposing ou the mischievous effects that would result these periods was, that the vessels at prefrom premature publicity, as had been sent engaged in the trade might have a fair stated by the noble lord. But while there opportunity of clearing out from the ports was no pretence that the treasury did not of this country, previous to the 1st of May do its duty, he apprehended that it was next, and afterwards of taking in their ladmuch better to leave the case in their ing in the ports of Africa, and of carrying hands.
their cargoes to the West Indies, previous Mr. Rose said, that after what had fallen to the 1st of January, 1808. As it might from the noble lord, he would certainly, happen, however, that from unavoidable with the leave of the house, withdraw his circumstances some vessels might not be motion.
able to complete their cargoes on the coast Lord A. Hamilton explained, that the of Africa, so as to carry them to the West reason why he had the other night with Indies previous to that period, he intended drawn bis motion on this subject was, that to submit to the committee a proviso for he thought it would be attended with great the purpose of allowing vessels under such inconvenience to interfere with the steps circumstances to trade to the West Indies that had been already taken by the reasury. with their cargoes.
Lord H. Petty begged it to be under- Lord Ilardwicke wished to know in what stood, thať no prosecution had as yet com- light tiie Black Corps in his majesty's sermenced, for the reasons which he stated on vice were to be considered, whether as a former vight. It was thought more ad-freemen or slaves. visable to postpone any prosecution till it Lord Grenville replied, that he should could be seen what further lights would be have always considered them as freemen; furnished by the production of Mr. Davi- but that at all events particular provison's cash account with general Delancey. sion would be made for that case in the
Mutiny bill for the year.
Lord Redesdale hinted, that the bill, as
it was now worded, might extend to our Friday, February 6.
settlements in Asia Minor, and in the East [MINUTES.] On the motion of the Indies. archbishop of Canterbury, the bishop of Loril Grenville observed, that no slaves Exeter was desired to preach before their had been imported to either for some time. lordships in Westminster Abbey, on Wed- He was aware, however, that both in the nesday, the 25th instant, being the day ap- East Indies and in Asia Minor, there were pointed for a General Fast.
many Christians who kept a number of (SLAVE TRADE ABOLITION Bill.] slaves, but he did not conceive that this The house resolved itself into a committee bill could be construed to extend so as to on the bill for abolishing the Slave Trade. injure them in their property. He would, The preamble having been postponed, however, again consider the subject, and,
Lord Grenville said, with respect to if necessary, a clause to prevent the effect filling up the blanks in the bill, that the of any such construction might be protime which he intended to propose as the posed. The blanks having been filled up, period for the abolition of this trade, the noble lord proposed a proviso, allowmight, perhaps, appear somewhat at va- ing such vessels as should have cleared out riance with that eager desire which the from the ports of this country for Africa, house had expressed for the abolition, but previous to the 1st of May next, and should the gratification arising from the wear pros not liave been able to complete their lading
HOUSE OF LORDS.
in Africa, so as to carry their cargoes to bouses were not obligatory, they were liv the West Indies, previous to the 1st of mitted to the members; but the act beJanuary, 1808, to trade nevertheless to the came obligatory upon the whole empire, West ladies with such cargoes. He also upon those very colonial assemblies, whose staied, that as some persons might take opinions and feelings were known to be advantage of the interval allowed, to make widely different. He therefore trusted, as two voyages with the same vessel, he in- | the noble lords had carried the measure, tended, therefore, to propose a clause to for the accomplishment of which they apprevent that advantage from being taken. peared so anxious, that they would join in -The provisions of the bill having been an amendment, in no manner hostile to the gone through, the preamble was again principle, but which, in its operation, might taken into consideration.
have the effect of promoting its success, by Lord Hawkesbury declared bis disincli- the reconcilia'ion of the difierent interested pation to enter into any discussion of the parties. The noble lord then moved, " That merits of the measure, after the opinion the words inconsistent with the principles which a great majority of their lordships of justice and humanity,' be left out of the had, on a former occasion, pronounced. preamble of the bill." But, with the conviction he entertained of The Earl of Curnarron assured their the impropriety of introducing abstract lordships, that, with the feelings which principles into the preamble of the bill, he actualed hinz, and the viens lie entertained conceived it his duty to subniit to the Com- of that unjust and execrable trattic, lie mille an amendment, which should ex. rould by no means acquiesce in the amendclude the terms “ justice and humanity, ment of the noble dord. To palliale guilt and coufine the necessity of abolishing the and compromise injustice he never would slave trade, solely to the inexpediency of consent, nor should he think of shrinking its continuance. He could not see what from the exposure of a system, as illegal as objections the warmest advocates for the it was iniquitous. The laws of the comtry abolition could have to the amendment. equally extended to every part of the British The preamble, as it then stood, unneces-empire, as well on the bigh seas as to the sarily mooted a point, on which a great colonies; and if the necessity of culiivating difference of opinion existed, and which, if the waste lands of the West India isiands suffered to be made a part of the law of was a suitficient plea for the violation of the land, and of the colonies, might be justice, upon equal principles of propriety, productive of mischievous and fatal conse- the peasaniry of this kingdom might be quences; of those consequences which the dragged from their homes, to till and lanoble baron, who introduced the bill, so bour ju the inclosure of waste lauds. (A strongly deprecated; he meant any ill cry of “ Order.") Noble lords miglit acgrounded conclusions which the Negrous in cuse him of not being in order, but he felt the West Iudies might infer, relative to he was acting perfecily orderly, and, theretheir emancipation, as connected with the fore, should continue to exercise his own measure of 'abolition. Indeed, it was a judgment, in exposing a system of oppres. conclusion natural for men in their circum-sion and rapine, which, if suffered to constances to make, when they found the law: tinue, would be nitimately exteuded ever of the land declaring that system wejlist! to this country. an! ivhuman, by the operation of which
-- Malum quo non aliud vclocius ullum; they were detained in a state of slavery. Mobilitate viget, viresque acquirit cundo; Some allowance should also be made for Parva metu primo: mox sese attolit in auras, the feelings and characters of those who Ingrediturque solo, et caput inter nubila condit." had embarked their property in the African The Lord Chancellor observed, that the trade; and as the end was obtained, it was expression in the preamble having been exceeding even the practice of hostile par- admitted by the noble lord (Hawkesbury) ties, to continue and promulgate an impu-to be true, it followed that it ought to be tation, which nothing but the inability of retained. What was the objection of the succeeding in the object could justity. It noble lord last night ? It was, that this trade might be objected, that the resolutions of ought not to be abolished, except in conthe two houses of parliament had already junction with foreign powers, and now the expressed the same opinion; but he begged vable lord, by his motion, would take away leave to state a marked difference in the the only ground upon which we could ask
The resolutions of the lwo other powers to co-operate in the abolition
of the trade. If we declared that we abo-, the face of our own proceedings that we Jished the trade on the ground of expe- were only actuated by considerations of expediency alone, then it might be fairly sup- pediency, and that in calling upon other posed that we did so for reasons applicable powers to abolish the trade, we made 110 to ourselves alone, or to our own colonies; sacrifice ourselves ? This he could illustrate but by stating broadly and distinctly that the by communications, which he had whilst trade was contrary to justice and humanity, at Paris, with one of the French ministers we took a ground upon which we migiit on this subject. On his urging to the fairly call upon other powers to co-operate ministers the abolition of this trade, he with us in abolishing the trade. He could was answered, that it could not be ex. not discover any reason for apprehending pected that the French government, irridanger from thus expressing, in a legislative tated as it had been by the conduct of act, their opinion of the trade, whilst the the negroes in St. Domingo, would readily retaining the words objected to, was the agree to the abolition of the trade. He best mode they could at present adopt of replied, that the abolition would have been leading to a general abolition.
the only effectual means of preventing the Earl Morton thought the adoption of horrors which had occurred in that island. abstract principles in a legislative act, was Then the truth came out: he was told by inconsistent with the wise and wary lar- this minister, that England, with her cologuage which their ancestors had used on nies well stocked with negroes, and affordsuch occasions, and seemed rather like an ing a large produce, might abolish the trade adoption of that mode of expression which without inconvenience; but that France, had been so repeatedly used in modern with colonies ill stocked and deficient in France.
produce, could not abolish it without conEarl Stanhope approved highly of the ceding to us the greatest advantages and expressions in the preamble which liad been sustaining a proportionate loss. Thus, then, objected to. He thought, however, that if we were to declare the ground of our this bill would not do inuch towards the abolishing the trade to be expediency abolition of the slave trade without the alone, we should be declaring that we were adoption of adequate regulations in the actuated by the very policy inputed to us colonies. It might, perhaps, be proper to by the French minister; and how, in thus enact, that every slave imported into the being supposed to make no sacrifice ourislands contrary to law, after the time li selves, could we call with any effect upon mited for the abolition of the trade, should foreign powers to co-operate in the aboipso fucto be free. If the local legislatures lition ? would not adopt regulations sufficient to The Duke of Montrose declared himself carry the abolition into complete effect, we to be a friend to the abolition, bat thought had the means of compelling thenı, by im- at the same time, that it would be better to posing additional duties, and in other ways. leave out the words objected to. If we could not speak to their hearts we Lord Holland said he conld not clearly might to their pockets, and by the latter undestand the distinctions which had been mode produce a greater effect ihan conid | attempted to be drawn between justice and possibly be produced by Demosthenian or expediency. Ile was of opinion, that if the Ciceronian eloquence.
subject was fully considered, those distincLord Redesdale expressed apprehensions tious would be found to center in the same that dangers would arise from retaining point. It was not a distinction between these expressions in the preamble, and justice and expediency with respect to called the attention of the house to the abolition and emancipation; on the condangerous consequences which resulted in trary, whilst on the one hand it was essenFrance from the adoption of abstract prin- tially just that the trade should be abolishciples in legislation, which, however true ed, it would on the other be injustice to the in themselves, were applied in a manner slaves in the islands to give them emancipathat produced confusion and anarchy in tion, because it could only tend to their own that country.
injury. He was surprised to hear the noble The Eari of Lauderdale maintained that and learned lord (Redesdale) condemming the words which it was proposed to leave the introduction of abstract principles into out, were the most essential words in the legislation. What did our Bill of Rights bill. How was the great object of general contain but abstract principles? He was abolition to be attained, if it appeared upon decidedly of opinion that the words ought to be retained. No danger whatever had [PETITION RESPECTING THE HAMPresulted from similar conduct in several of Shire ELECTION.) Mr. Ashton Smith the provinces in America, where the trade rose to present a Petition to the house from had been abolished, and slavery still con several respectable Freeholders of the countinued.
ty of Hampshire, complaining of the imThe Duke of Clarence urged the danger proper interference of persons in office for which might result from retaining these ex- the purpose of influencing the last elecpressions. When the negroes in the islands tion for the county of Hampshire. found that no fresh importations took place, Mr. Tierney wished the hon. gent. would they would naturally inquire the cause, and state more explicitly the nature and obwhen they found that the trade was abo-ject of the petition he was about to prelished, and declared to be contrary to jus sent. tice, humanity, and sound policy, would it Mr. C. Wynne could not vote for the not have a material effect in their minds admission of a paper, of which he was, as with respect to their own situation, and the yet, entirely ignorant. means by which they were brought there? The Speaker acquainted the hon. gent.
- The committee then divided on the ques that in presenting a petition he was bound tion, that the words objected to stand part to open the matter thereof to the house, of the preamble. Contents, 33; non-con- and also to state the prayer of the peti tents, 10; majority 23. The house re- tioners. If the petition contained a prayer, sumed, and the report was ordered to be it undoubtedly was entitled to the attention received on Monday.
of the house; but, if not, the house could not receive any statements the petitioners
might think proper to make, as a petition HOUSE OF COMMONS.
claiming its consideration. Friday, February 6.
Mr. Canning observed, that the petition Minutes.]—Sir Ralph Milbanke, Chair-contained a statement of a grievance, comman of the Saltash Election Committee, in- plained of by the subjects, and as such, formed the house, that the said committee was entitled to the consideration of parliamet this morning, pursuant to their adjourn- ment. ment of yesterday, and G. V. Vernon, esq. Mr. Broderick intimated, that the petione of the members of the said committee, tion complained of a breach of the privinot attending, the committee continued to leges of that house, and contended, that it sit for one hour, and then adjourned till to- ought to be received. morrow. Ordered, That the said Mr. Ver- Mr. A. Smith stated, that the petition non do attend this house, in his place, upon would not be found defective in any of the Monday next.-Mr. Johnson, from the of usual forms, and took upon himself to affice of the chief secretary for Ireland, pre- firm, that it did contain a prayer: an alsented an Account of the Receipts anni Dis- ledged grievance was complained against, bursements of the commissioners of Public and it was prayed that that house wouid Accounts in Ireland, for the year ending the interfere to remedy or to remove it. The 5th of January 1807. Oricred to lie on Petition was then read, and was as folthe table.--Ordered, on the motion of Mr. lows:- That the petitioners think it their Bathurst, that the committee appointed to duty to represent to the house, that, presearch for precedents touching the expul-viously to the late election of knights to sion of members, have power to send for serve in parliament for the said county, persons, papers, and records.-A new writ
measures of the most unconstitutional was ordered for the city of Worcester, in nature were resorted to by persons in sithe room of Henry Bromley, who since his tuations of high trust and authority in election had accepted the Chiltern Hun- different departments of the executive dreds.--Lord Temple brought up the Cape government, for promoting the success of Good Hope Trade bill, which was read of Thomas Thistlethwayte, esq. and the a first time. The house, on the motion of bon. W. Herbert, two of the candidates, Mr. Vansiltart, resolved itself into a com- whose pretentions were favoured by his mittee of supply, and resolved that a summajesty's ministers, in violation of the not exceeding 1,200,0001. be granted to dearest rights of the petitioners, and as his majesty, for discharging the Interest of they humbly apprehend, of the privileges such Exchequer Bills as may bave been paid ‘ of the house; that, among other instanoff in the year 1806.
ces of such interference, they think it