« AnteriorContinuar »
Mr. Fawkes, in a maiden speech, declared, them; and they would be ready to make that this was a motion upon which, consist every effort in support of the present con ently with his own principles, or his duty to test. But they had a right to expect ithis constituents, he could not content himself demnity for the past, and security for the with giving a silent vote. He lioped, how- future; they had a right to expect a reever, that in his first attempt to engage the rigid economy in the future application attention of the house, he should nieet with of the public money, not, however, that that indulgence which was usually extended paltry economy that would narrow the to a member rising under similar circum- scale of public exertion, and paralise the stances. Notwithstanding all the efforts efforts of the country;, but such an econo that had been made, and all the expences my, as without confining the indispelisable incurred, in endeavours to rescue our neigh- services of the state, would husbaud the rebours from subjugation, there still remained sources of the nation. For the practice of to this country sufficient means and re- such economy he looked with confidence sources to enable us to cope with all the to the gentlemen ou the bench below him. adversaries with whom we had, and might He had no hesitation in uttering this sentihave, to contend, if only they should be ment, because it flowed from a pure source; wisely administered and economically ap- the conviction which arose from the manplied. He was persuaded that the country ner in which they had received and treated possessed ample means to meet every emer this motion. He trusted that the plan of gency, and to secure us against every pos- reformation, which lead been so often talked sible danger. But the only means of ob- of, was now at length commenced, and taining this desirable end was, that the that as ministers had declared their intention government should shew to the people that not to grant places in reversion, they would they were determined to rectify every abuse, put an end to the abuse for the present, and and manisest a determination to ameliorate prevent all future ministers from adopting the condition of the people. When he con- the practise. They appeared to him dissidered the actual state of the country, posed not only to preach, but to praclabouring under a grievous weight of bur- iise. thens, when he called to mind the declara- Mr. Ellison highly applauded the distions made at different times by persons high position manifested by ministers. The in office, that the people would be called amendment being moved, on to sacrifice, not only the coin forts, but Mr. Biddulph said, that there then was even the necessaries of life, for the support so little of substantial difference between of the present contest, he should not think the notion he had the honour to submit that he performed his duty to those who and the amendment proposed by the noble sent bim there, if he did not give his entire lord, that he was not disposed to press his and cordial support to the motion then motion. The objects he had in view would before the house, and every other motion be attained by the amendment. He deof the same description. The boble lord clared the sincere satisfaction which he felt on the bench below him, had said, that it from the sentiments of the chancellor of was desirable to continue some sinecure the exchequer, and had no doubt that those places, as rewards and retreats for merito- sentiments would be followed up, not ia rious public otticers. Whenever gallantry the abridgment of public liberty, for that should be displayed, whenever diligence he deprecated as much as any man, but in should be exerted, whenever talents should the reduction of those sinecures which be exercised in the service of the country, were known to have gone in soine instances whenever eminent merit should be mani- to such an enormous extent as to bave fested in the conduct of its affairs and in- excited the general and just jealousy of the terests, he should not be disposed to quar-public. rel with the grant of adequate and liberal Mr. Calvort hoped that at all events the rewards in such cases. But these were noble lord and his colleagues would do times when the public money ought not to that which was now in their power, nainely, be lavisbed upon persons who bad not per- to prevent the pledging and mortgaging of formed any service to deserve remuneration. those sinecure places, which was a system The people of this country were fully that had heretofore been practised without sensible of the blessings that they en- restraint. The amendinent was then agreed joyed, and of the dangers that threatened to, and the committee nominated; to whom
were referred the Reports of the Com- and experience, he, (Mr. H.) should feel it tmittees of Finance, and the Commissioners his duty to assume the courage to meet of Accounts, &e.
him, and to oppose at every step a measure (SLAVE TRADE ABOLITION BILL.] A which he believed in his heart to be groundMessage was sent to the house by the ed on a delusive promise of good whicla house of lords, announcing that their lord it never would accomplish, and to be pregships had passed a bill, chtitled, An Act want with inevitable, immediate, and extenfor the Abolition of the Slave Trade, and sive mischief. to which they desired the concurrence of Lord Howick agreed with the hon. gent. the house; the bill being laid upon the in the great importance of the present bill. table,
It was indeed important in the highest deLord Howiek rose and moved, that gree, not merely to the cause of humanity this Bill be read a first time; upon which and justice, but it was also highly important
Mr. George Hibbert, in a maiden speech, to the real interests of the West India mersaid, that he could not suffer a measure of chants themselves. It certainly would never such great and critical iinportance to pass be argued in that house, that the West India even over this stage without remark: al- Islands were not an important part of the though in seeking to impress upon the liouse British empire, and that their interests did the duty of giving to it the most calm and not deserve the most serious consideration. solemn deliberation, he should be careful When the bill should coine seriously to be to abstain from any argument concerning discussed, it would be considered not only the principle or provisions of the bill, for on the ground of humanity, but also of which he knew there would be another sound policy, as it affected the West India and a fitter opportunity. It was a bill that, Islands, and the general intetests of the without question, put to risk our West empire. He, therefore, wished as much as India commerce, a jaost important resource any man, that this important subject should of the empire, and of peculiar value at the be considered with calmness and due delipresent moment: nothing that had passed beration. The hon. gent. had spoken of in another house of parliament; nothing in pairs taken to raise a popular clamour the form of resolutions or opinions of a against the Slave Trade: he, however, former parliament; no popular sentiment kuew of no such practices. He knew, inout of doors, however assiduously and deed, that there had been a most laudable enthusiastically excited, ought to affect their and persevering aftention on the part of the deliberations. To this parliament, to which hon. gent. (Mr. Wilberforce) wlto originated they were called, the question came unem- the measure, but this attention was never barrassed and unprejudged, and to any of employed to mislead any body, but merely the members of that house its temperate dis to make tl:e subject generally understood. cussion must be novel They were not a He had never laboured to excite a precommitium, a mere organ of the voice of judice or clamour, but nierely to convince the multitude, but a deliberate body, limit the understandings of all dispassionate pered in their number that they might the sons. There certainly ought to be a fair better deliberate, bound to inaintain the time allowed for the discussion, but when rights, and to consult the interests and the tre recollected how much tiine had been wishes of the people, but bound to decide already given, and what notice the peras their consciences should dictate for the sons concerned had already had from good of the whole, after full and free dis- the proceedings in the other house, he cussion. He trusted, therefore, that gentle could not consent to postpone the second men would come to this subject with minds reading farther than to Tuesday next; the impressed with its importance, and open hon. gent. would then have an opportunity to its calm and dispassioned investigation of arguing the subject fully. He was aware of the disadvantages he General Gascoyne thought it could only must encounter in contending with the hon. be from the multiplicity of business in gent. (Mr. Wilberforce); he could not for which the noble lord (Howick) was engaged, & moment pretend to ascend the heights on that it had escaped his notice that every which the confidence of that house, due to measure that invention or artifice could de the hon. gent.'s talents and virtues, bad eo- vise to create a popular clamour was resort trenched him; but if he would descend and ed to on this occasion. The church, the fight this battle upon the level plain of fact theatre, and the press, bad laboured to crealr a prejudice against the Slave Trade. I he did not mean to express himself so gene It had even been maintained from the rally as what the hon. gent. had supposed pulpit, that “England could never expect he had done. He rather meant to say, that to be victorious in war, while she persisted there was scarcely a city or borovgb, that in such an abominable traffic." Now this trad not imposed restrictions upon the repredoctrine, which certainly ought never to sentatives returned. have come from such a place, had been Mr. T. W. Plummer thought it neces completely falistied, for England never was sary, that a bill of such general interest more victorious by land and by sea than in should not be rapidly carried through its the present reign, and in the present war; different stages, but that sufficient time and some of those victories had been obs should be given for the consideration of the tained by men who, in another place boldly measure. On which account, he concluded, professed their opinion to be against this that the proper time to debate the question bill. The attemp's to make a popular would be on the second reading of the ball, clamour against this trade were never so which he hoped would be fixed for a das conspicious as during the late Election, sufficiently distant to admit of members wheu the public newspapers teemed with being furnished with eyery information on abuse of this trade, and when promises this important subject. were required from the different candidates Lord Howick was almost persuaded, that they would oppose its continuance. that from the number of years which bad There never had been any question agitated elapsed since the first discussion' of this since that of parliamentary reform, in which bill, and from the frequent debates which so much industry had been exerted to bad since taken place on this subject, ås raise a popular prejudice and clamour, well as the decision of the last parliament, and to make the trade an object of uni- there would be no necessity to postpoue versal detestation. In every manufacturing its consideration to a more remote period town and borough in the kingdom, all those than Tuesday next. arts had been tried. It was not his in- Mr. G. Hibbert was of opinion this petention to speak at present upon the gene- riod would not be sufficient to admit a me-tral subject,' as he would consider it dis- ing of those merchants, who were, above all tespectful to the lords, if any bill which others, concerned in the present measure; came down from their house should not at and therefore requested the noble lord least be read a first time; but as it was would put off the second reading until this a subject respecting which former parlia- day fortnight. ments had expressed great doubts, and as Lord H. Petty hoped the hurdane mothe bill went to abrogate all the colonial vers of this salutary and merciful measure, laws of the country, he intreated that the would persevere in bringing it, as soon as house would give the measure the fullest convenient, again before the house. It and most serious consideration.
had already been submitted, for above a Mr. W. Plumer begged leave to set month or six weeks, to the public, during right the hon. gent. who had last spoken; its discussion in the upper house, from and to inform hiin, that no one man, in the which it had come with every recommenwhole county he represented, ever asked dation. As that house undoubtedly conhim to pledge himself upon the subject of tained many of the most enlightened and this bill. He could assure him, that if any virtuous statesmen, this was a considera. man had asked bim to`pledge himself tion, which he hoped would have its due upon that, or any subject, he would have weight with gentlemen. He coucluded refused to accept of his vote. He should, with expressing a wish, that the second therefore, vole quite free and uncontrouied reading of the bill should not meet with for the abolition of the trade. He did any unnecessary delay. not know wbat the hon. gent. might have Captain Herbert thought with the hon. met with in boroughs; but as to cabinet gent. near him (Mr. Hibbert) that time measures, and cabinet ministers, he cared should be given to consider the consequennot for any measures which were so de- ces arising from the passing of the bill just nominated. The tiine was, wlien a member now read. This bill, he was of opinion, would bave been called to order for baving would not effect the abolition of the Slave hinted at such things as cabinet measures, Trade, but rather would become the ruin General Gascoyne, in explanation, said of the British Colonies in the West Indies
and consequently of our finances in that ling, to the enemies of the bill, he would, part of the world. As to the argument re- if the hon. gent. withdrew his amendment, sorted to by the poble lord who proposed fix the second reading for i'riday week; the motion, he conceived it to be very de- which being assented to, the inotion for the fective, inasmuch as he was not, nor could second reading on Friday se'nnight, was put he devise how he should be, bound to and carried. conform to the decision of the last parliament.
HOUSE OF COMMONS. Mr. H. Addington thought it necessary to defer the second reading to a more re
Wednesday February 11. mote day. In which opinion he was sup
[FINANCE COMMITTEE.] Mr. Bid. ported by Mr. Lethbridge.
dulph moved that the name of Mr. Ellison Mr. İ. H. Browne said, that, though be added to the list of persons appointed the uniform enemy of the Slave Trade, yesterday as a select committee for the and that from a conviction of its injustice, purpose of examining into the salaries and iuhumanity, as well as impolicy, yet, when emoluments annexed to public offices. an inpovation was about to be made on the
Mr. Bathurst declared that he could not private properties of a considerable portion avoid resisting a motion of this nature. of this commercial country, he could not The committee at present consisted of 22 thiok the suggested delay of a fortnight instead of 21, the more usual number of unreasonable. He should, if the bouse members; and, if the practice of adding divided on this point, certainly vote for the names to a select committee were to be postponement, and therefore could not be encouraged by the house acceding to the coutent without expressing himself as he proposal of adding any name, however rehad done, lest he might be supposed an spectable, to a committee already so nuineenemy to the abolition of this detestable rous, as this was, instead of select they traffic.
would have almost general committees, Lord Temple objected to the day intend when they were voted to be select ones, as ed for the second reading of the bill, and every other member would have an equal was at a lose to conjecture the reason of his right to propose the addition of whatever noble friend's wishing thus to hurry the bill person he might think particularly qualithrough its stages. He conceived it would fied to serve on the coinmittee then spoken be prudent, in a case of this importance, to of. If one was to be proposed in the stead furnish the house with a printed account of of another, however disagreeable it might the evidence in the other house. It should be to their feelings, gentlemen must see be remenihered, that this bill was intro that that would be a fair ground of discusduced with the blanks filled up, and in this sion. respect, not similar to other wills, on their Mr. Calvert supported the motion on the first reading, which originate in this house. ground of the probability that some of the From these circumstances, he was induced members might be absent from their duty to hope the noble lord would concur with at the committee; and adverted to an inbim in deferring the second reading for an- stance where he had seen only one honourother week.
able member, (Mr. Bathurst) acting in a Mr. Tierney thought there was abun- committee-room. dance of time for a meeting of the West Mr. Bathurst explained to the house Iodia Planters; and the same counsel, if it that he was at that time engaged in making should be thought expedient to hear coun- abstracts from the statements which were sel on the subject, might be employed in in the voluminous documents bofore the this, as in the other house.
committee. It would be perfectly useless Mr. Labington thougut a meeting of the for 14 or 15 persons to attempt to perform West India Merchants could easily be call- such a task. In this he could only suppose ed within the time appointed by the noble that he acted as an assitant to the clerk, lord.
and not that he personated the committee. Mr. Hibbert then moved, as an amend- Lord H. Petty reminded the heuse that ment, that the second reading be fixed for the committee of finance, whose labours this day fortnight.
were esteemed to be particularly advantaLord Howick wishing above all things, geous to the public, and with whom the that no pretence should be given for cavil- house was most particularly well satisfied, consisted of only 15 members, and yet, now case as the present; bnt even on the score that the plan was completely designed be- of precedent, be understood that it was fore them, when the labour must necessarily contrary to the established usage of the have been considerably decreased, the house house to add any names after the complele was to be told that 22 persons were not appointment of a finance committce. The equial to the task. The names had not been gallery was then cleared for a division, but chosen by ballot; they were each announ- the motion was withdrawn. ced singly in an open manner to the house, and were thus the polleil rejwesentatives of
HOUSE OF LORDS. the whole body of the house. He appealed to the house itself, whether there was
Thursday February 12. any possibility of there being a committee [LORD DUNSTANVILLE'S INDEMNITY more impartially chosen; they were a selec- Pill.] Tlre Lord Chancellor left the wool tion of the men most eminent for their ta-sack, to observe, that a noble lord De Dunlent and independence within those walls, slanville), having inadvertently assisted at and inight be said to ijave been culled from part of the debate on tlie Slave Trade bill, every class of men, except that class which without having previously qualified himself most assureilly the bon. gent. could not by taking the usual oathis and his seat, thie think the best qualified for acting on a noble lord had thereby incurred certain committee, such as that of which they were pains and penalties prescribed by an act of then speaking ; tle class of placenica he Charles II. Their lordships would natumeant. He had not, for his own part, the rally observe that the members of that smallest objection to the gentleman alluded bouse, being hereditary members of the to being one of the committee; but then legislature, might readily be supposed to his name should have been mentioned be overlook or forget the ceremonies of taking fore a comunittue of 22 persons were actu- the oaths every new parliament. Such was ally chosen by the house.
the inadvertency the noble lord had lapsed Mr. Johnstone declared, that the noble into, the silne as had been incurred by a Lord had not satisfied his mind upon this noble marquis (Lawnsclowne) soine years head. The former committee, he agreed ago. In that case bis majesty's will and with the noble lord in saying, had dis pleasure was consulted, and instructions charged their duty in a manner highly cre- given to bring in a bill to indemnify that ditable to themselves, and beneticial io the noble lord, as quickly as the bill could be service of the public. He had no doubt also gone through. What he had to perform that the present committee were as eminent- on the present occasion would be squared ly qualified as the noble lord bad described, upon that precedent; and he now held a to perform the task assigned to item with bill in his haud similar to that proposed in honour and ability. But still he thought it the case of the noble marquis, which he was rather hard ihat, after his hon, friend trusted the house would allow to pass had suggested the propriety of adopting a through its different stages, as rapidly as measure, though he aquestionably was not possible. He should now propose that it so capable of supporting it as the noble be read a first time. lord was, and though the noble lord entire- Lord Walsingham hinted that the standJy concurred with bim, and supported bin ing orders of the house did not allow the in the main object of his motion, with ouly bill to go through more than one stage in some little variation of termis; he still thouglit a day--After a few words from the lord it was rather hard that his hon. friend should chancellor, the bill was read a first time. not be allowed to name one person for the committee. There had been instances of
House Of COMMONS. names being added to select committees on
Thursday February 12. many foriner occasions. Mr. Freemantle also bore testimony to
[MINUTES.) The following members the respectability of the names on the pre- were appointed a committee to try the mesent list; in fact he could not see that it was rits of the petition complaining of an undue possible to select 22 more independent, election for the borough of Chippenham: more capable, or more honourable men.
N. Calvert. esq. W. Fitzhugh, esq. William As to precedent, he did not think that it Fawkes, esq. hon. A. Cooper, lord Mahon, was necessary to be resorted to in such a A. Eyre, esq. W. Odell, esq. J. H. Street,