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varied walks in life possessed a nicer litary had not more the fate of the country sense of honour and integrity. The last in their hands under despotic govern. be should notice of them, and whom he ments, than the conductors of newspapers might without impropriety mention, was had in this kingdom. Against their unitlong a member of that House, and the ed and systematic hostilities, the constitu. very intimate friend of the 'right. hon. tion could not long siand. To sanction gent. who made this motion; he meant an innovation therefore, that would tend the late Mr. Richardson. He must add, to raise an esprit du corps among them with gratitude, that to his kindness, under universally against our public establishprovidence, he was indebted for that sea- ments, would be to aggravate greatly the sonable resource in misfortune, to which dangers of the country: As a friend to he had lately adverted. Mr. Stephen the liberty of the press, he deprecated added, that, with a single exception or such a precedent; for the press would two at the most, he did not know who the soon become dangerous and obnoxious, gentlemen were that now conducted the if it was to fall into the hands of degraded department of the newspapers, in which and disaffected characters. It was in this he and the friends he had alluded to were view chiefly, that he thought the interonce employed. He could not speak, ference of parliament justifiable, if the therefore, from any private partiality to perseverance of the benchers should make them, and was confident that such mem- it necessary, notwithstanding the argubers as took the trouble to observe how his ments of the Attorney-general. It was speeches bad in general been reported, not a private or particular case, to be res would not think he was much in their dressed by appeal to the judges, but a favour; but it was the profession or em. case of general and public mischief, fit for ployment itself, not the individuals who the presiding wisdom of parliament, as now or at any other time filled it, that he the guardian of the public weal, to notice thought it his duty to defend against an and correct. He regarded such stigmas unjust proscription"; and it could be hard-on a particular class or cast of men, in Jy thought that there was any thing essen- any society, as cruel and mischievous in tially degrading in the employment itself another view. If they did not find men after the facts which he had mentioned, worthy of contempt, they would 800N in addition to those which had been al. make them so. Degrade any portion of luded to by the right hon. mover of this society, and you will infallibly reduce its question. For his part, indeed, he could moral characier, till it seems deserving of not see what there was more disparaging the ignominy to which it has been unto a gentleman, or a man in a liberal pro- justly subjected. He had lived long in a fession, in reporting the proceedings and part of the world which furnished a strikdebates of the legislature, than in reporting ing proof of this remark; and there was the judgments of a court of law. Mr. Stephen nothing more odious in a contemptuous then proceeded to argue against the regu- oppression, than its corrupting effect on lation in question on grounds of public and the minds of its unfortunate victims. If constitutional policy. To fix a stigma on this were so when the badge of degradaany class of men, and degrade them be- tion was the colour of the skin, or some low their fellow subjects, by exclusion other subject of public contempt which from a common privilege, was the surest the individuals derived from nature of way to make them disaffected to the some other unavoidable source, how much atate. Such, at least, must be the case, more when entering into the degraded when the ground of exclusion was an im- cast, was matter, not of necessity, but peachment of their moral or honorary choice. Men would not choose an emcharacter. But if such oppression was to ployment proscribed as dishonourable, be introduced in this land of freedom and unless their moral character were already equality, at least we should take care not corrupted. Were we prepared then, at to select, as the victims of it, a set of men once to maintain the liberty of the press, who had so much political power in their and to say that its conductors should herehands as the conduction of the periodical, after be men so low in moral and honorary press. The military profession was every sentiments, as to choose an ignominious where held honourable, and to degrade it employment. Mr, Stephen further said, would be felt by every body to be in the that to select the popular, open profession last degree imprudent and dangerous ; of the bar, as the only subject of this but he would be bold to say, that the mi. degrading disfranchisement of a portion of the commons of England, was peculiarly | Mr. Stephen concluded by saying, that improper and strange. That profession he should vote for the practical course was in a pre-eminent manner the patri. proposed by the right honourable mover, mony of the people at large; and to it merely because it had been proposed by indeed they owed, more than to their par-him, and was the only remedy at present liaments, that general equality of rights, suggested. Had Mr. Sheridan moved for and exemption from all aristocratical op- / leave to bring in a bill declaring such pression, which it was their distinguishing disfranchisements of any class of British happiness to possess. The courts of law, subjects, by the inns of court, uncon by their liberality, had abolished that dis-stitutional and roid, he would also have tinction of casts, which, in the times of supported that measure, or any other villanage, degraded a great majority of that might be more proper to be taken for our ancestors, and excluded them from the same just and necessary end. liberal professions. It was a blessing Sir John Anstruther, as a bencher of which the people of England owed to Lincoln's Inn, greatly regretted that the their lawyers, and it was singular that a regulation in question had ever been departure from the principle of constitu- adopted, and professed his entire concura tional equality, should in these days begin rence in all the sentiments which the last in the same profession. He could not speaker had so eloquently expressed . help suspecting, in this regulation, a latent The character of the honourable and principle of aristocratical pride and con- learned gentleman was as convincing an tempt for poverty as such ; for why other argument as any that he had used. No wise should the restriction apply only man who considered what the profession to those who wrote for emolument? jf and the House would have lost, if that the act of writing for the newspapers gentleman had been excluded from the was immoral or dishonourable, he did bar, by a rule of this kind, could hesinot see how the doing it gratuitously tate to pronounce it both unjust and uncould redeem the act from reproach. wise, and one that ought not to be suffered Certainly it was presumable that those to exist. In fact, the regulation had been who exercised such an employment for suddenly adopted by a very small board gain, were not in afluent circumstances ; of benchers, after dinner, on a suggesbut if poverty or humility of origin weré tion from some barristers in the hall. to become reproachful in the inns of Though it might surprize the House, the court, many a proud scutcheon which barrister whose name was at the head of now ornamented their walls, must be taken those who signed the proposition was no down. In other professions, as the church, other than Mr. Clifford; and the bencher or army, hereditary claims or fortune in the chair, about four only being premight facilitate preferment; but at the sent, was the late lord Chancellor Erskine. bar, a profession which was a much more Sir J. Anstruther added, that knowing frequent road to rank and fortune, no the opinions of several of his fellow benchsuch extrinsic advantages were of any ers on the subject, he had no doubt that avail. On the contrary, it was pro- when the return of term gave a proper verbial, that a necessity arising from opportunity for the purpose, the regulapoverty in the early part of life was tion would be withdrawn, and he hoped almost the only source of splendid success therefore the right hon. gent. would not at the bar. It was the most amiable and press his proposition, which he deemed valuable fruit of our happy constitution, an improper and unnecessary interfera that every path of honourable ambition ence with the benchers in the governwas open to talents and industry, without ment of the society ; especially as an distinction of ranks; but in the law, es- appeal might bring the particular case to pecially, the strongest examples of the the revision of the twelve judges. happy effects of this equality were to be The Solicitor General thought himself found. On the whole, therefore, if we bound in candour to confess, that he was were to begin to form proscribed and de- one of the few benchers who on the suggraded casts in this country, he thought gestion of eight barristers, had hastily we should at least, not begin the innova adopted this regulation, which he would tion in the profession of the law, and not undertake to defend. He paid very against those who were in possession of high compliments to Mr. Stephen, both the great organs of public information, on the score of his talents and personal the condactors of the periodical press. character ; and said, that like Longinus
he had illustrated, by his own example, Lord Palmerston moved the order of the his own tenets on this subject. His own day, for the furiher consideration of the character was the best proof that such a report of the supply, which being resu, rule ought not at least to be indiscrimi- he moved, That the same be re.commitnate. He strongly maintained, in oppo
ted. sition to Mr. Sheridan, that the twelve Sir T. Turlon objecied to the Speaker judges had a jurisdiction, not merely to leaving the chair, as he could not conceive reuiess the individuals aggrieved by the that any suggestions in a committee could rule in question, but to reverse the rule ever assimilate the enormous Statt to the itself; and, therefore, the interference of army of this country.. He also objected parliament would, at least, be premature. to voting more money; till they saw how The petitioner came per saturn to the the vote of the last year was expended. House, before lie had pursued the regular He then commented on the state of the course to obtain legal redress. The So- Siatt and Army: and said he would not licitor General, however professed his allow that there had been any economy, confident espectation, that the bench- but only an aliatement of the existing proers of Lincoln's Ion, now that the merits fusion. of the question had been discussed, and Lord Palmerston said, the difference of were better understood, would see cause saving would be 13,1711. this year, arisat least to revise and after the regulation, ing from the discontinuance of five lieut. if not wholly to revoke it.
generals, and one major general. As this Mr. Croker in strong terms condemned reduction, however, would not take place the regulation as illiberal, impolitic, and will 25: March, the saving would not be unjust, and thought that the credit of the more than he had stated, till next year, honourable society demanded its repeal. when it would amount to 17,0001. He He also professed the highest respect for concluded by moving, That the sum of the character of Mr. Siephen, and the 157,72 H. 145. 4d. should be granted for manly manner in which he had conducied the Statt of Great Britain. himself on this occasion. To say more Sir G. Iurrender was of opinion that a would only be to repeat the arguments of very salutary reduction might be made in that gentleman, in all of which he hear- our cavalry, which were not cilicient from tily concurred. But he trosted that the the want of horses, and which yet required right hon. gent., on seeing ihat his object an establishment of 171 officers. was likely to be attained in a more satis- Mr. Calcraft expressed his utter disapfactory way, would withdraw his motion. pointment at finding the reduction proposShould ihe event be different from whated so trifling. Ple did not however, so such respectable benchers of the society much con lemn ministers; who, he beas had expressed their opinions, expected, lieved, would have done more, bad it been he pledged himself to support a future in their power. application to parliament to the best of his Lord Palmerston explained. The diffepower.
rence between the estimates was what he Mr. Sheridan, in a brief and neat re- had stated ; namely, the difference beply, declared he could not hesitate under tween 470,8901. 95. 9d. and 457,7241. such expectations as were held out to 14s. 4d; and the savings next year would him, to withdraw bis motion. Ilis object consequen ly be 17,0001. was always to attain his end when he Mr. Wardle was grieved that the late could, without disputing needlessly on the ministers had not taken the opportunity
lle could not however regret of doing honour to themselves, and jus, having brought forward the question, as tice to the country, by doing away these he doubted whether otherwise the matter enormous expences. When the country would have been brought sufficiently to saw so little done by one party, or prothe attention of the benchers to induce posed by the other, they would get out of them to revoke their rule; and especial conceit with the liouse. ly since his motion had been the means General Tarleton spoke against the dimiof gratifying the House with the very nution of the cavalry, which required manly and eloquent speech of the hon. more officers than at present commanded and learned gent. whose case furnished so it.
decisive an argument in his support.--The **Mr. Peter Moore said, it was not his in
motion was accordingly withdrawn. tention, when he entered the House, to
[ESTIMATES OF STAFF OFFICERS.] have said one word on the subjects under discussion, nor at all to have interfered |tration, as the estimates had regularly in the detail of the estimates before the gone on in the same train under all adCommittee; but some things had passed ministrations. Now, he meant to arrest in the course of the evening which made the attention of the Committee and of it absolutely necessary for him to exone- the hon. member, to a point wherein rate bis mind from the impression which this doctrine could not apply to the late they bad lest, by stating it to the Com- adıninistration. He said, it was no part mittee.-Anlion. baronet (Sir T. Turton) of his duty to defend the late adminis. had brought forward iwo very serious and tration : but it was a point of great nagrave allegations before the House, against tional importance, and he must be leave his Majesty's ministers, to which they had to crave the attention of the House and of not condescended to other one single word the country to it. The late administrain answer; appearing like servants who tion, he said, had often been reproached in had been warned of their dismission from that House for suddenly raising the Tax place totally regardless of what became on Property from 0 to 10 per cent. and of the House and property of which they a temporary triumph had as often been were in trusi.-The hon. baronet had al. obtained at their expence, with a view to leged, and founded his allegations on the render them unpopular.—But with the documents and confessions before the fact of raising the tax, let the House have House, that the army, which was stated also the principle on which that tax was in the printed returns before the House, so raised, and the pledges and conditions existed only on paper; that there was no which accompany it to the public mind, such army as the reports stated ; and that not merely in speeches in that House, but the country was called on for supplies, by an act of the Legislature, which passed enormous as they were, to pay for an both Houses, and had the royal assent. army which did not exist. These, said / It was even then found necessary to the the hon, member, were grave and serious safe condition of the State, that the blood charges, which, in other times, would and treasure of the country should be have created universal alarm; at which nursed and husbanded, in order to bring the representatives of the people would the pecuniary expenditure to an equality have manifested their indignation ; but to with the income, for the purpose of suswhich in these times, ministers did not taining a protracted war, if unavoidable, deign to offer a single syllable in answer ; without imposing further burthens on the leaving charges wholly uncontradicted, people. The principle indeed was laid (as he must conclude from their silence,) down by the alministration preceding, because they were founded in truth and I mean (most highly indeed to his honour) fact. If so, he feared whatever he could the administration of lord Sidmouth, who say on the subject would meet wiih no in April 1804 assured this House, that he better attention --An hon. member near could not consider the immense military him (Mr. Wardle) had taken great pains to expenditure necessary in the present enter into the detail of the estimates be- year, by the extensive preparations for fore the House, and thereby rendered it our defence, amounting to £.4,500,000, unnecessary for other members to do so as likely to continue to an equal amount : likewise; but, from want of proper and but that even supposing these extraor: full documents, eren his industry appear- dinary expences to be succeeded by ed only to justify what he, (Mr. Moore,) others to an equal amount, the addition of had uniformly observed on all similar dis- one million annually to the War Taxes, cussions, thai the result would not even according to the plan of the present year, indemnify the public for the value of the would in the course of about three years, paper which was consumed in them.--He if the war should continue so long, raise nevertheless gave the hon. member full the amount of the public income to such credit for his exertions; and the more so, an extent, as to leave a sum to be proas he himself gave up the pursuit as hope. videil for by loan not greater than would less and unavailing. But, there was one be furnished by the Sinking Fund, from point of the hon. member's speech, which, which period it was evident that the naMr. Moore said, he must specially advert tion might persevere in the prosecution of to. The hon. member had said, speaking the war, with a diminishing instead of an of these loose, undigested, and extravagant increasing debt. When the late adminisestimates, that he did not attribute the tration came into oslice, they also saw practice exclusive to the present adminis- the necessity of rigidly supporting the
principles here laid down; and with that sum than 21 millions sterling, as declared view,
most accurate calcula- by an hon. gent. opposite (Mr. Huskisson), tion, and with the most liberal and from documents and vouchers taken out faithful meaning towards the people and of their own private escrutvires.-- This, the country, resolved to follow them up Sir, is the point of contrast which I mean by a rigid system of economy, and espe- to draw between the system laid down cially in the discontinuance of foreign by the late administration, and the military expeditions; with the neglect of conduct pursued by the present; of which, they were subsequently and re- the relief and security we
should peatedly charged in terms of criminality, now have possessed under the one, for supineness and inactivity. When they and the accumulation of difficulties and raised the income tax, they pledged barthens in which the country is left inthemselves to the House, and to the volved, under the other.Sir (continued country, tbat with this zum, and the loans the hon. member), I have been anxious to so to be raised, they would bring the an. communicate this impression on my mind nual 'expenditure within the annual in to the House and to the country ; not as come ; and that as they were confident applicable to the details which the Com. of their success, within the given period of mittee have been discussing ; it leares three years, they would not call for any them all far bebind, calling for more additional burthen from the people, and effectual measures and rapid movements. bound the House and the legislature by an I throw it out here, (said Mr. Moore,) act, agajnst all further possible contribu- that every member when he leaves this tion for three years.-" This, Sir, was House may seriously and anxiously reflect their system, (said Mr. Moore), and had on this situation of the country, in his they continued in administration, I am hours of quiet and silent retirement; I sure, from the scrutiny which I have since throw it out, said he, for the serious re. made into the state of the national flections of those who love and wish to finances, that they would have succeeded save the country.” Seeing an hon. gent. even beyond their own calculations, and on the floor, (Mr. Bankes), Mr. Moore that at this time the public expenditure said, he had on a former occasion conwould have been considerably reduced jured him to come forward with an whole within the then scale of the public in- system of future expenditure, founded on come ; the people would have been spar- principles of economy, national dignity, ed all the subsequent burthens, and the and national safety. He had already de. state bad been perfectly secured against clared that he considered the Finance all probable defalcation. But, Sir, this ad-Committee as a committee of national ministration were turned out under the safety, and must still call it so, so long as miscreant cry of “ No Popery ;” and so national safety, as now undeniably ad. far from being in a situation to realize milted, depended on the reform of the this promised redemption, they had not finances; and he again and again conjured even the expenditure of any part of the the hon. gent. and his colleagues, with all augmented tax. The whole of the sup- watchful vigilance and jealousy to digest plies provided by them, anhappily for the and bring forward an whole system of recountry, fell at the disposal of the present trenchment and reform, and thus to acquit administration; and it will be in the re- themselves of their duty as faithful and collection of the House, that so wild were honest representatives of the people, tothey for foreign Expeditions and encreased tally regardless how the ministers, who expenditure, that one of their first mea. are only trustees of the public, might ven. sures after the new parliament was assem- ture to dispose of it in the face of the coun. bled, was to remove and explain away try. Mr. Moore said, he should with this the enactments of the Appropriation Act, view, recommend it to them to revise all in order to let in that system of profu. the establishments and scales of expendision and foreign Expedition, which has ture of the country, and consider how far proved so calamitous and fatal to the very they apply the principle laid down by safety of the country ; which has heaped Butler's reception of a lawyer's bill, dishonour and disgrace upon the nation; " from which, if you cut one third from and in lieu of redemption from all our the top (says this happy humourist) and then arrested financial difficulties, has left cut one third from the bottom, you will be us with an annual expenditure now ex- certain of leaving as much as he is hoceeding our annual income by no less a nestly entitled to charge," Mr. Moore