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right to state more particularly that W., should lie upon the table. But, whilst he * H. Fremantle, esq. one of the secre- concurred in this motion, he begged to re'taries of the treasury, a gentleman who, call to the recollection of the house that,
they believe, bas no property in the he would not say this particular petition, 'county, applied distinctly to the Barrack but a petition of a similar nature, had been
Master General, recommending the above determined upon by the petitioners to be * candidates to his favourable influence presented to that house, previously to the * and support, and desiring him, as a very meeting of parliament. As the allegations particular favour, to mention the same of the petition involved a question respecting subject, with the same view, to the other the privileges of that house, it ought to * gentlemen in the Barrack Department; have been brought forward on the earliest
in pursuance of which requisition, the opportunity; and it appeared to him some, ..most active exertions were used in that what extraordinary that the hon. gent. had * department, under the specious pretence kept it back till the present moment.
of carrying on his Majesty's service, to Mr. Canning apprehended that when influence unduly various freeholders, and any petitioners resolved on presenting a ' to controul the exercise of the elective petition to that house, complaining of a
franchise: these allegations the petitioners specific grievance, they had a right, as well are prepared to prove at the bar of the as the hon. member who was to present it,
House, in the humble hope that such mea- to choose the time that might appear to *sures may be taken, as to the wisdom of them to be most convenient or favourable “the house may appear most effectual, to for that purpose. * prevent a recurrence of such unconstitu- Mr. Tierney certainly thought that, if tional practices, practices which, with all the petition was intended as a party ques
due deference to the superior wisdom of tion, it might have been desirable for the 'the house, the petitioners venture to des- framers of it to have public opinion for 'cribe as calculated to bring into discredit some time previously directed to the sub
the government of the country, and to ject. But if the petition was really intended shake the confidence of the people in the to bring the fact of a breach of the privi. * honour and independence of the house leges of that house under the consideration of coinmons; the petitioners have there- of parliament, no time should have been 'fore felt it their bounden duty, not only lost in presenting it. These gentlemen 'to themselves and fellow subjects, but es- who knew of such transactions as amount*pecially to the house, to bring under their ed to a breach of the privileges of that ' notice these outrages, as they deem house, should not have suffered those un'them, against the liberties of the country; worthy ministers of the crown to remain
and they have been cneouraged the more so long exempt from the exposure which 'to do so, by the Resolution which stands re- their conduct merited. The house, how
corded in the Journals of the house, which ever, would hereafter be able to judge of • declares, that it is highly criminal in any mi- the motives of the petitioners in keeping . nister or ministers, or any servant under back the petition, and also of the motives • the crown, directly or indirectly, to use of those gentlemen who might since have 'the powers of office in the election of re- been persuaded to give their support to this presentatives to serve in parliment, and proceeding.
declares, that an attempt at such influence Mr. Perceval said, he should not impute • will at all times be resented by the house, to the right hon. gent. who had just sat 'as aiined at its own honour, dignity, and down, any party motive for the observaindependence, as an infringement of the tions he had made (a laugh); but he was ' dearest rights of every subject through- clearly of opinion, that the persons who
out the empire, and tending to sap had signed the petition, and the gent, who • the basis of this free and happy consti- had undertaken to present it, had a right tution."
to chuse the time that appeared best to Mr. Ashton Smith then moved, that the them. The right hon. gent. no doubt, petition do lie on the table, and at the same would have been better pleased if the petime gave notice that he should submit a tition had been presented on the first day motion to the house on the subject, on this of the session, because then it would have day se'nnight.
been liable to an objection, if it had been Lord Temple gave his full and unqualified proposed to take it into consideration prefonsent to the motion that this petition viously to the last day for presenting Elec
tjon petitions. But the allegations of the which the petition was brought forward. petition were of so grave and serious a na- The matter to which it related was acknow. iure, that if any one of them even could ledged on all sides to be of the utmost imbe proved, it would be of small compara- portance, involving no less considerations tive importance whether the petition were than those of the dearest rights of the subpresented a day, or a month, earlier or la-ject, and the privileges of that house. He ter.
ipsisted that it would bave been trifling Mr. C. Wynne contended, that it had with either to hurry on the discussion benever been insinuated from his side of the fore there had been a sufficient attendance house, that the charges in the petition to give it adequate consideration. He reo were of a slight or unimportant nature. peated his sense of the candid and honourHe appealed to the recollection of the able way in which it liad been submitted te house whether they had not, in every in the house. stance, been admitted to be of the last im- Mr. Fremantle adverted to the state portance to have brought forward. The of the house, and asked whether it could charges contained in the petition would be be considered such an attendance as the highly important if proved; they would hon. menuber had thought desirable ? As also be important if not proved, as lie to the petition, he was extremely gratified trusted would be the case, because they that it had been produced, and gave his would then fall back upon the heads of full assent to the motion, that it should be those who had given birth to them. laid upon the table. He was confident
Mr. Hurst did not think it of the small that he should be able to shew, that the est moment whether the petitioners were circumstances of the case had not the bear influenced by a sense of duty, or by sinister ing represented in the petition, when the motives; they took upon them to bring question should come to be discussed. He against certain persons certain charges, and had only one word to add respecting the he rejoiced that it would be now soou de- manner in which this proceeding had been cided how far the charges were warranted conducted. He had always understood it by proofs, from the rumours that had been to be the practice in that house, when any so industriously circulated, not alone through charge was to be brought forward against the county concerned, but through the a member, that some intimation of the procountry, He was glad that the petition ceeding was cominiumicated to the indivi had found its way into that house, and that dual concerned. In this case, not a word those rumours would be for ever silenced had been expressed to him on the subject, by the paramount decision of the people's and though rumours might have reached representatives, for he had no hesitation in him respecting the allegation of the petition, saying that he anticipated with contidence it was not till he canie down to the house an issue bonourable to the parties so ca- this day, and the hon. member had propolumniated.
sed to present the petition, that lie had Mr. Rose was not willing to question any certain information upon the subject.' the impartiality of the hou. member who Mr. Sturges Bourne, in explanation, spoke last, but as it had been urged as an said, that in speaking of the necessity of a objection to the petition, the time of its full attendance, he did not meau any allu being presented, he would beg leave to set sion to the numbers then in the bouse. gentlemen right upon that head. Parliament The petition was not then to undergo conhad met this session at a very unusual time, sideration, but now that the members in when few country gentlemen were able to general had come up to their parliamentary attend. It was desirable to have as full duty there was a certainty of a full meeting an attendance of that description of nem- whenever this petition was to come before hers as possible on the discussion of this the house. subject, and it was not tili the present pe- Lord Howick thought, that as the charges riod that many of them had attended in alledged in the petition were of the most the house. As to the motive for briuging weighty kind, so did they exact from that forward the petition, he was sure the lion. house the strictest scrutiny, and the most gent, opposite could not impute any to mature consideration. They went to questhe hon. member, who had presented it, tion the lionour of that house, and the freethat he could not fully justify.
dom of the country; for that house could Mr. Sturges Bourne highly approved not be honourable, if constituted by the of the candid and honourable manner in undue influence of power and corruption; nor could the country itself be free if robbed of the Board of Controul (Mr. Tierney,) of its elective franchise. Thinking then, as respecting some transactious that bad rehe did, of the importance of the petition, cently taken place at Vellore, in India. he could not conceal his surprise that it Some time had elapsed, since letters from had not long before that period been pre- Madras had brought accounts of the musented to the house. When it was consi- tiny that had taken place at that town, and dered that it was the practice of that house of the carnage that followed, in which above to postpone all other kinds of considera- 1000 British and native lives had been lost. tions to the paramount one of its privileges; Rumour ascribed this disaster to some danwhen it was considered that the lion. mem- gerous and unprecedented measures, which ber who presented this petition must have had been resorted to in that presidency, known the serious nature of the charges it and deserved the most severe animadvercontained; wlien it was considered that sion. He should not then enter into any every member, having charges to addace, detail of the melancholy transaction ; but involving the privileges of that house, had when the importance of an investigation, felt dispatch to be his first duty in submit- both to the interests of British subjects in ting such charges to that house, it would India, and to the stability of British power be difficult to reconcile a strict sense of in that quarter was considered, he was sure parliamentary duty with the alledged ne- it would be felt that he was entitled to the cessity for delay. The hon. member who information he called for. He wished, spoke last panegyrized the candid and lio- therefore, to ask the right hon. gent, wlienourable manner in which there had been ther any authentic accounts of that transaca plain statement of strong charges expli- tion had been received by the Board of citly laid before the bonse. He for his Controul, or by the Court of Directors ? part, should hesitate to term a charge can- There were vessels now going out; and a did, merely because it was a gross one, but new governor-general and commander in should rather feel it bis duty to look for chief were on the point of setting out for evidence in some degree proportionate to India. He thought it, therefore, material the character of the accusation ; but how to know, for the consolation of the friends ever candid or honourable it might be to of the British subjects now going out, and bring such charges, he was sure that it was already settled in India, wliat information not either candid or bonourable to circulate bad been received, and whether any instrucindustriously through the country rumours tions as to the measures to be adopted recalculated to hurry the unthinking into in- specting this affair had been sent out. considerate prejudices against those persous Hie was of opinion, that it was necessary to whom their accusers had so long delayed to shew, that if mismanagement or misconduct charge before the proper and recognized bad been practised in India, the circumtribunal. Did the hon. gent. think it very stances would be investigated in England, candid to present to that house a paper and decided in a manner consistent with reflecting in the most serious manner upon the interests of all parties. a member of that house, without giving Mr. Tierney was not at all surprised at that member the slightest intiination of such the anxiety felt by the lion. gent. For a proceeding, though such a notice was war- some time past rumours of the transaction ranted, or rather required by all the usages had been in circulation, but unhappily he of parliament? He should be anxious until was unable to give any answer to the hon. the petition was decided upon, and boped gent. on this subject, as no authentic acthat if the charges therein contained were counts had yet been received either by the found, upon due examination, to be slight Coirt of Directors or the Board of Controul. and frivolous, the house would feel it due But he would assure the hon. gent, that, to their own dignity, and to the aspersed as soon as the accounts should arrive, tiey honour of one of its members, to make the would be laid before the house, so far as persons who advanced them, feel the con- they could consistently with a proper regard sequence of wanton accusation—The peti- to the public interest. What steps would tion was then ordered to be taken into con- be taken, or what instructions sent out, it sideration on Monday se'nnight.
it was not possible to state before the offi[MASSACRE AT VELLORE.] Mr. How- cial accounts should arrive. But the hon. ard rose for the purpose of putting a gert. could surely not think that the others question to the right hon, the president now on the point of setting out ought to Vol. VIII.
HOUSE OF LORDS.
be detained till the accounts should arrive. short conversation between lords Redesdale, On the contrary, it was desirable that they Grenville, and earl Stanhope, it was agreed sliould proceed to their destination with all to introduce words, excepting from the expedition, in order to take such measures operation of the bill those cases where the as their good sense and experience would voyage to the West Indies could not be point out under all the circumstances of completed within the time limited, on ac
count of capture, the loss of the vessel, or other unavoidable accident, the proof of which to lie on the party.-On the question
for engrossing the bill, i' Nionday, February 9.
The Bishop of London rose and spoke to (Stave TRADE ABOLITION Bull.] the following effect : “My lords, I cannot Lord Walsingham brought up ihe report of suffer this opportunity to escape, without the bill for the Abolition of the Slave Trade. declaring my sincere and ardent satisfaction 3. Lord Grenville stated. that it had been at the decision of your lordships. My found more adviseable to fix the same pe- lords, you bave performed a great and sigriod in all the causes of the bill for the nal act of bumanity, you bave executed a Abolition of the Trade, namely, the 1st of great legislative measure of relief to an opNfay next, and to introduce a proviso, al pressed and degraded population. The lowing vessels employed in the trade which reasons and arguments which many noble had cleared out from the ports of this coun- lords have thought proper with such elotry for Africa previons to that day, to com- quence sud perspicuity, to introduce, have plete their cargoes in Africa and trade with been felt by me with their fullest force; but Thein to the West bodies until the 1st of there is one of such an important nature January, 150s, at which period the trade and in which such serious interests are insliould be finally abolishedi. lle also volved, tliat I trust I shall be excused for thonght it advisable, in order to obviate submitting it to your lordships, more parany objection with respect to the construc- ticularly as it has not been adverted to in tion of ihe general words of the bill, to iu- any previous discussion. The moral and troduce words for the purpose of limit religious consequenees which may be exSing its operation to Africa, the West ludies pected to accrue from this salutary and huand other parts of America. Ilis lordship mane act of legislative justice, are many and proposed amendinents in blic clauses of the extremely desirable; for hitherto they bave bill to the effect he had stated, and some been entirely neglected-1eglected, not by verbal amendments, which were all agreed the clergymen in the respective islands, but to. The proviso introduced on Friday was it is a neglect naturally arising out of the struck out, and another proposed by the unjust and unchristian system, which has noble lori, allowing vessels which should been acted upon in the colonies. Worked have cleared out from the ports of this all day upon the estates of their owners, the country for Africa previous to the 1st of negroes have been forced to consign every May next to take in their lading in Africa, other moment of their unhappy existence, Paul trade with their cargoes to the West to the cultivation of their own little spots of Indies until the first of January 1808.
land, and even on the Sabbath, shame to Lord Redesdale suggested, that as the say! a market was held for the specific Joss of a vessel or other unavoidable acci- purpose of enabling the slave to purchase dent might prevent the arrival of a cargo his Sunday dinner. The number of clergyfrom Africa in the West Indies within the men has also been too few, compared with time limitted, it might be adviseable to the great population of the blacks. In the make an exception for such a case.
island of Jamaica, where there are from 2 Lord Grenville said, that the period of to 300,000 negroes, there are only 20 clerthe tirst of Jannary, 1808, had been tixed gymen, whose time is in a great degree taupon for the purpose of making an amply ken up in the performance of their numerous sufficient allowance of time for the voyages duties to the Whites. There is another to be completed. He bad no objection, beneficial consequence which will follow however, to the introduction of words for from the accomplishment of the present the purpose of providing for the occurrence bill; namely, the great increase of popuof circumstances such as those mentioned lation, which the good treatment of the by the noble and learned lord. After a negroes will produce, independent of the
cessation of those evil effects which the that the petitions against their return were present indulgence in proniscuous inter- not frivolous nor vexatious.--Mr. Vernon course between the sexes must of necessity appeared in his place, pursuant to order occasion. The only true method of ob- of the house, and stated in cxcuse of his viating the mischief is, to iinpress upon absence from the Saltaslı Election comthe moral and religious consideration of mittee on Friday, “ that when thie house, the negroes, the danger of a continuance ou Thuşsılay last
, had given power to the in such irregularities, to their healtli and said commitee to adjourn all this day, on constitutions, and, therefore, the immic- account of the necessary absence of one of diate and absolute necessity of submit their members, be had by mistake conceiva ting to this kind of self-denial. It was ed that the committee had actually been said by Mr. Pitt, that the Slave Trade with adjourned till this day; but beiny formAfrica was the greatest practical evil ; I can ed of his ir istake, bie had attended the safely say, that the abolition of that execra- said committee on Saturiday and this day ble traffic is the greatest practical good and that he was extremely sorry the conithat can be effecied. A good which will mittee had been put to any inconvenience immortalize the British senate, and which on his account.” The substance of what will display, to an admiring world, the strik- Mr. Vernon offered to the house, was ing contrast between this country, the great taken down in writing; and the same bestay and hope of the civilized world, and ing verified by him, upon oath, at the tathe conduct of that arclı enemy of human ble, it was ordered, That the said Mr. happiness, who, whilst we are relaxing the Vernon be excused for bis non-åttendance oppressive bondage of the unfortunate Af- on Friday last.--- The Solicitor Generat rican, and communicating freedom to a brought up the bill for making the Freefourth of the world, is pursuing his race of hold Estates of persons, dying in debt, terror and desolation, and subjugating the assets for the payment of their simple concontinent of Europe, in violation of every tract debts, which was read a first time. principle of justice, and in contempt of Petitions were presented from the Tanners every maxim of a generous policy. of Cumberland, Oxford, and several other
Earl St. Vincent took this last opportu- places in England, against the Oak Bark nity to enter bis protest against the adop- bill, which were referred to the committee tion of the measure, the consequences of on the former Petitions.-Lord Temple which he was persuaded, would prove fa- moved that the order of the day for the ses , tal to the best interests of this country. cond reading of the Oak Bark bill should As soon as France made peace with this be discharged, on the ground that the comcountry and she would basten a paci- mittee on the various petitions against the fication in consequence of this measure), measure has not yet reported. The order her first object would be to get compleat was then discharged, and fixed for this possession of the Slave Trade, and if day fortnight.--Mr. Fremantle presented, she succeeded in that object, it would an Account of the net produce of all the Pers soou appear that shie had got possession manent and War Taxes in the years and of an engine that would work the down- quarters ending 5th of Jan. 1806, and 5tá fall of the naval superiority of this conn- Jan. 1807.---Sir J. Newport presented the try. Such was his couviction, and he ut- usual annual petitions from the several tered it now for the last time. His Lord- charitable Institutions in Ireland, which ship then withdrew immediately from the were ordered to lie on the table. The house.—The different clauses were then hon. bart. in presenting the petition from agreed to, and the bill was ordered to be the Trustees of the Roman Catholic Semengrossed, and read a third time to-morrow. inary at Maynooth, near Dublin, stated,
that it was proposed to make a considera
ble augmentation to the grant to this estaHouse of COMMONS, blishment, in order to provide inore adeMonday, Feb. 9.
quate accommodation for the education of [MINUTES.] Mr. Barham reported the students in that seminary, and that this from the committee appointed to deter augmentation was recommended to the mine the merits of the Plymouth Election house on the part of his majesty. The Petition, that sir C. M. Pole and Thomas hon. bart. also stated, that it was proposed Tyrwhit, esq. had been duly elected; and to make an additional grant to the Dublin