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soner has submitted to the House.” An- his liberty, highly as he valued it, before other thing that shewed the usage not so he would consent to purchase it by a pigeneral was, that different gentlemen did tiful retractation of his real sentiments, not agree among each other as to the compromising his character, and violating forms of the practice as whether the pe- his integrity. tition should simply express sorrow; or
The House then divided on the motion, also confess guilt, and acknowledge the for the enlargement of Mr. Gale Jones. justice of the punishment. One right Ayeş 112-Noes 160-Majority 48. hon. gent. had denied that the punishment [BREACH OF PRIVILEGE.] Mr. Wallace was sufficiently severe. This was a part wished to state to the House a fact which of the cause not to be argued upon—it had just come to his knowledge since he was matter of feeling. He had also been complained to the House respecting the charged with sophism, and a blow had misrepresentation of a speech of an hon. been given by anticipation to bills now bart. Subsequent to the publication of pending, and in the success of which the speech of the hon. baronet opposite, he acknowledged he felt a lively interest. he understood an apology had been sent The principle on which they had been highly creditable to the editor of the pafounded was said to be a sophism, but he per in which it appeared. felt consoled by the assurance that what- Sir J. Anstruther wished it to be underever were their merits the House would stood, that he had not caused in any way pot prejudge them. But it had been said the subject to be brought forward. He that the punishment for contumacy was a did not know that it was the intention of punishment for an offence in addition to the hon. gent. to take up the subject, or the first, and that it was in Mr. Jones's he would have desired him to give up his power to terminate that punishment. - design, and let it alone. He first knew of There was a law once very prevalent in the offence from the receipt of the apo-. different parts of the continent, and he be- logy. lieved now existing in some countries, that Mr, Wallace confirmed the statement of no malefactor condemned for a capital of the right hon. baronet, as to his being fence should be executed before he had wholly unacquainted with his intentions. confessed his crime, and this confession was [Here the conversation ended.] extorted by the torture of the rack. The cases of Clavering and Sandon had been
HOUSE OF LORDS. much relied upon, but they really appear.
Tuesday, April 17. ed as cases that ought to bave been cited (CRUELTY TO ANIMALS' Bill. Lord in order to shew the injustice of such a Erskine presented a Bill for the more efrule.-Sandon was committed; for preva- fectually preventing malicious and wanton rication of a very gross and wanton nature cruelly to animals, which he observed -the other was committed for prevarica- was the same as the bill which was before țion by no means so aggravated. Sandon the House last session, when it was sent sent in an abject petition, acknowledging to the other House, with the addition of a bis guilt, and was forthwith discharged; clause which he had framed in order to the other continued a prisoner the whole obviate an objection made to the former of the sessions, rather than say that he was bill, that a man might be liable, at the conscious of prevarication. He might in- caprice of a magistrate, to all the punishdeed plead confusion of understanding, ments imposed by the Bill, for a mere act and so far comparatively redeem his cha- of sudden passion. This objection had no racter. It had been said, that the punish- foundation whatever in law, but in order to ment was, after all, limited, as he must be prevent any obstacle to the progress of the enlarged at the end of the sessions; but bill arising from it, he had framed a clause, this meant rather that their power was li-enacting that malicious and wanton cruelty mited, not the punishment, for the King should be expressly charged in the inwas not bound to prorogue a Parliament, dictment on information, and which must and thus the liberty of the subject was be of course proved before the party could transferred to the power of the crown, be convicted.--The bill was read a first and was that a state in which the criminal time and ordered to be printed. jurisdiction of that House ought to remain ? He concluded by a solemn de. claration, that if he were in the situation of
Tuesday, April 17. Mr. Jobn Gałe Joncs, he would sacrifice (WESTMINSTER PETITION FOR THE Rs.
HOUSE OF COMMONS.
LEASE OF Sir F. BURDETT.) 'Lord Coch- representation of the people into your serane presented a Petition from a Meeting rious consideration ; a reform in which, is of the Electors of Westminster, held this in our opinion, the only means of preday in Palace-yard.- The Petition was serving the country from military desread by the clerk, of which the following is potism.” a copy :
Lørd Cochrane then moved, “ That the
Petition should lie on the table." « To the Honourable the Commons of the
The Hon. J. W. Ward opposed the moUnited Kingdom of Great Britain and
tion. He conceived, that if the House Ireland, in Parliament assembled.
should accede to such a proposition, it “ The Petition and Remonstrance of would submit to the grossest violation of
the Inhabitant Householders, Elec- its dignity. He hoped that the House
Mr. Creevey could not see any objection esq. the high bailiff, in pursu- to the Petition being laid on the table. ance of a requisition for that pur- Mr. Curwen considered the language of pose.
the petition highly indecent; and sug. « We, the inhabitant householders, gested to the noble lord the propriety of electors of the city and liberties of West- withdrawing it, for the purpose of preminster, feel most sensibly the indignity paring and presenting one of a more decooffered to this city, in the person rous kind, if the object of the petitioners beloved representative, whose Letter to us really was to promote the cause of reform. has fallen under the censure of your ho- He hoped the House would give the noble nourable House, but which, so far from lord this opportunity, if he chose to avail deserving that censure, ought, in our opi- himself of it. nion, to have led your honourable House Mr. Lushington adverted to the petition to reconsider the subject, which he had of Mr. Horne Tooke, stating that seats so ably, legally, and constitutionally dis- were sold in that House like stalls for cussed.
cattle in a market. This petition was re-' “We are convinced that no one ought ceived, because it related to an election, to be prosecutor and juror, judge and though the style of it was thought highly executioner, in his own cause, much less offensive. But that petition, it was to be to assume, accumulate, and exercise all observed, was not entitled A Remonstrance. these offices, in his own person.
Mr. Wkitbread wished the petition to be “ We are also convinced that the refusal read again. of your honourable House to inquire into It was read again accordingly. the conduct of lord Castlereagh and Mr. Mr. Whitbread was sorry that he must Perceral, (then two of his Majesty's mi- differ from the opinion of his two friends nisters) when distinctly charged with the near him, and wished that the Chancellor sale of a seat in your honourable House, of the Exchequer had expressed his opievidence of which was offered at the bar, nion, whether or not he thought the petiby a member of your honourable House ; tion should be received. He should have and the arowal in your honourable House, been better pleased if the terms of the pe« that such practices were as notorious as tition had been a little more softened; the sun at noon day;" practices, at the but if the House rejected it, such as it bare mention of which the Speaker of your was, it would do one of the most violent honourable House declared as that our an- things that a House of Commons had ever cestors would have started with indigna- done. The nieeting from which it came tion, and the committal of sir Francis had been legally constituted, every thing Burdeti to prison, enforced by military had been conducted in the 'most orderly power; are circumstances which render manner as he was informed, and the petievident the imperious necessity of an im- tion was signed by the high bailiff. The mediate Reform in the Representation of word “ remonstrance,” in the title, had the people.
been objected to. Whether there were We, therefore most earnestly call upon precedents of petitions with the addition your bonourable House to restore to us our of that word, he did not know; but it was Representative, and, according to the no- well known, that whenever a grievance tice he has given, to take the state of the was complained of, a remonstrance was, in fact, made, and the word was often used with the indignity offered to the city of in petitions and addresses to the crown. Westminster by bis seizure. They rather So that it could not be said, that the word seemed to attribute it to the Serjeant at was inconsistent with the dignity of the Arms and his advisers, who had evinced House. The petitioners unquestionably a disposition to support themselves with spoke of the indignity offered to the city the military instead of the civil power, of Westminster in the person of their re- and he knew that the civil power had not presentative. This, however, did not ne- been called out till the military went out cessarily refer to the conduct of the along with it.-As to the petition of Mr. House, but to that of its officers, and those Horne Tooke, stating that seats were sold with whom they consulted. They re- in that House like stalls for cattle in a monstrated against the violence thåt had market, that petition bad been laid upon been offered to their representative, and the table, and properly. Why? the alleaffirmed that he had ably and constitu- gation was true. Seats in that House had tionally argued the question of the right been sold like stalls for cattle in a market. of the House to imprison. They certainly if the House thought its dignity wounded had a right to express their opinion upon by being charged with the practice, why this matter : he himself had in that House not put an end to it? How could the contended that sir F. Burdett had done House reasonably call it an insult to be nothing illegal in the course of that Argu- told of the traffic in seats by Mr. Perceval ment. He would, if called upon, give the and Jord Castlereagh, unless it could justly same opinion out of the House ; and this, aver that the charge was unfounded? he apprehended, could not reasonably be We loved the treason, it appeared, though construed into any disrespect to the House. we could not bear to be called traitors. As to the reference to the charge against Look, said Mr. Whitbread, at the former Jord Castlereagh and Mr. Perceval, for petitions presented on this very subject of trafficking in seats in that House, this was reform. You willefind that previous quesregularly brought to their notice by the tions had been moved upon them; but vores and journals of the House. They when was it refused to lay them on the had a right to express their opinion upon table ? I adverted on a former occasion to that transaction, and the opinion they had a magnificent expression of your's (the expressed was not different from his and Speaker) “ That ihe doors of that House that of many others. They had also ad- were always wide open to petitions.”-But verted to expressions which had fallen if this petition be rejected without ever from members in that House, which, per- allowing it to be laid on the table, I doubt haps, might be somewhat irregular, as they it will be hereafter said, that the doors of could hardly have got at them through the House are closed against petitions. any privileged channel. But surely it The composition of the petition was percould not well be deemed an impropriety haps liable to some objection; but be did to refer to the words which had fallen from not think that this was to be examined so the Speaker--words which had come so very closely in cases of petition. Howfully and accurately before the public, ever sorry he was to differ from his two and which had been received with so friends behind him, he should consider much satisfaction. They then prayed for himself as having done a great injury lo the release of their representative. They the subjects of this country, if he were questioned the right of the House, to im not to vote with the noble lord for laying prison in cases of libel, where the de- the petition on the table. He hoped his fendant had not the means of repelling hon. friend (Mr. Brand) would not neglect the charge afforded by the ordinary legal to take up that part of it which related to forms. It was not for him to enter into a reform of the House, because the coun that point then ; but upon it many dif- try not only desired it, but the House had fered from the decision of the House, and need of it. the petitioners had a right to give their The Chancellor of the Erchequer entered opinion. The effect of the warrant, too, fully into the feelings of the hon. gentlemen was a subject upon which they had a fair who objected to the laying this petition right to express an opinion. Was it sur- on the table. Yet in a case of petition, prising that they should wish for a reform he would rather err on the side of indulgof the House of Commons, and should be ence than on the side of severity, if the anxious for the release of its ablest cham- question could at all admit of a doubt. pion: They had not charged the House | They had on the journals strong instances
of forbearance with respect to petitions. | titioning of the subject, so essential to For instance, the language of the petition them, and so necessary to enable the of Mr. Horne Tooke had been generally House to protect them. The right hon. reprobated, but still the House had shewn gent. then proceeded to read the petition, a disposition to overlook the language, and paragraph by paragraph, and, by bis to regard the substance and object of the comments to shew, that the opinion he had petition. This had been the principle given on the subject-matter, was correct. upon which the House had acted. At the As for the language, in some parts, he did first reading of the petition, the word not think it was what it ought to be, but “ indignity" had sounded rather harsh in still that was not a sufficient ground for his ears; and if one were disposed to be rejectiug the petition. Indeed it apcaptious or even very strict, the expres- peared to him impossible, that a petition sions, that the House had better not have against any proceeding of that House, censured the hon. baronet, but ought to could be so framed, as not to afford a banreverse its decision, might very justifiably dle to some one to oppose its reception, be made a ground of objection to the peti- could that be thought a sufficient ground. tion. But still it could not be denied that Mr. Canning observed that, whilst his they had a right to petition that House to feelings were with the hon. gentlemen reconsider its decision. They had the opposite, who opposed this petition, his right also to petition for reform, and in reason and judgment were with his right petitions of this kind the House had usually hon, friend, (the Chancellor of the Excheexercised a great deal of forbearance. quer) who was for receiving it. Upon Whether he was right or wrong in the the right however of the subject to petiopinion, that the petition ought to be laid tion, and in the opinions held by almost on the table, he trusted there had been every one of the speakers who preceded nothing in his conduct throughout, that him, that they ought to look more to the could afford room for sy'spicion, that, if he object than be scrupulous in examining had thought the petitions ought to be Re- the language of this petition, he pretty jected, he would have hesitated to have nearly concurred. As for the present re
But upon the principle on which tition, it was evidently framed so near the House appeared uniforinly to have the law, as to give an opportunity to those acted, it would rather be disposed to ex- who preferred it, were it to be rejected, to cuse even some intemperance of language come again before the House, with anoin such petitions. As to the word Rether and another, varying perhaps in mimonstrance in the title, he was almost nutiæ, but still so contrived as in the end ashamed to declare, that he did not know to involve them in an intricate and unprowhether there were any precedents in fitable contest. The part of it which in point. He, however, rather imagined his mind appeared to have most offence shere were. But at any rate the word re- in it, was that in which they seemed to monstrance was often used in petitions to accuse the House of offering an indignity the crown,
and was always in substance to a great body of the people. contained in petitions complaining of Mr. W. Smith concurred in these sentigrievances. If the House, however, should ments, and congratulated the House on its think, that this petition was intended return to moderation. He was happy to merely as a vebicle of abuse, it ought un- see that they had now got above the fear doubtedly to reject it: but if there were of being thought fearful. With regard reasonable ground to doubt of its having to the last sentence of the right hon. gent. been so intended, then by the principle, who preceded him, he did not think that which had usually governed the House, the construction of the petition warranted the petition ought in his opinion to be al- the assumption that the indignity was lowed to lie on the table.
offered by the House ; it might as well Mr. Ponsonby had read the Petition apply to the serjeant and officers of the over three times, and from all the cousi- House, in executing the duty imposed deration he had been able to give it, he did not think it contained any matter that Mr. Whitbread observed, that, even if ought to cause its rejection; if there were the former was the construction, that any thing in the wording of it, let the would not warrant the House in the reHouse hear the complaint on that subject, jection of the petition. but do not let it, from any impropriety Tbe Petition was then ordered to lie on of this kind, interfere with the right of pe- the table,
(Sir Francis BURDErr's Notice To treasurer of the ordnance, be expelled that THE SPEAKER.). The Speaker stated to House.". This was certainly proposing a the House that he had received a further great and grave punishment to be inflicted notice from sir Francis Burdett, of his in- on the individual, but he was persuaded tention to take proceedings against him. that those who considered the Twelfth ReThe notice was occasioned in consequence port of the commissioners of Military Inof an error which appeared in the former quiryone with respect to the parish in which The Speaker here interrupted the bon. sir F. Burdett's house was.-The notice gent., to inquire of the Serjeant (in conwas then read, and it was word for word formity to the usage of the House) whethe same as the original notice, only va-ther the hon. gent. who had been ordered rying the parish in which the illegal act to attend, was actually in attendance ? was said to be committed.
The Serjeant replying in the negative; The Chancellor of the Exchequer, in mov- the messenger who served the order of ing that this paper be entered on the the House was called to the bar, and exJournals, took occasion to observe that the amined by the Speaker and the Chancelpresent was a subject of very great im- lor of the Exchequer.—The substance of portance. He wished gentlemen would his statement was, that he had served the turn in their minds the question, whether order at the Ordnance Office, that he could the transaction for which a process had not discover Mr. Hunt's private residence, been serred upon the Speaker was not a but that Mr. Crewe (the secretary) had proceeding within that House ; and if so told him that he supposed he was out of whether that process was not a direct vio- England. lation of the Bill of Rights ? Should that Mr. Calcraft stated, that an hon. mem. turn out to be the case, he would not an
ber had informed bim that Mrs. Hunt was ticipate the course which it might be ne- in town, and that she had lately received cessary to pursue. He only mentioned a letter from Mr. Hunt, dated Lisbon. the subject as one which deserved the se- The Speaker asked, if the hon. gent. rious consideration of every member of would answer for this being recorded. the House.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer observed, Mr. Whitbread allowed that this was a that the present motion was evidently prequestion of great iinportance, and he mature ; and suggested the propriety of trusted it would experience the most sending another summons to Mr. Hunt, calm and deliberate consideration. He before they proceeded any farther. The should not have said a word upon it, had House would do well to see, before they it not been that he could not permit the proceeded to the expulsion of a member, observations of the right hon. gent, with that all due formal, as well as substantial respect to the Bill of Rights to pass un- steps, were taken.
He therefore recomnoticed. He conceived that the right mended to the hon. gent. to postpone his hon. gent. had taken as erroneous a view motion till after the recess, by which of the Bill of Rights even as Mr. Yorke time full inquiry, and far more effectual himself.
search might be made, and the House be The Chancellor of the Exchequer repeated enabled to proceed on satisfactory grounds. that he had stated the question for the Mr. Calcraft concurred in the propriety consideration of the House. It would be of this suggestion, and fixed on the first for them to determine whether the trans- Thursday after the holidays for renewing action to which he alluded was or was not his motion. a proceeding in the House. The Bill of The Speaker then observed, that every Rights declared that not only speeches thing done hitherto had been perfectly rebut proceedings in that House should be gular, and that they had only failed in exempt from the interference now als bringing the matter to a point, from not tempted.
having their order brought home to the The Letter was then ordered to be en- member to whom it was directed. He tered on the Journals.
suggested that the order of the House [EXPULSION of Mr. Hunt.) Mr. Cal ought to be renewed :—which was acquicraft, although the motion which he was esced in. about' to make was of great importance,
(LORD CHATHAM.] Mr. Whitbread thought did not conceive that it would be neces- this as fit an opportunity as any other, to sary to detain the House long upon it.- put a question to the right hon. gent. op.. The motion was, “ That Mr. Hunt, late posite, respecting lord Chatham. This