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Mr. Lyttleton then moved, That the pe-on service. That was a regimental artition be laid upon the table.
rangement, which rested in the first inSir H. Montgomery objected to this ; as stance with the colonel of his regiment, in it was a complaint for not being promoted, the next, with the commander in chief. according to the expectations of the indi- It had been at first so arranged by the vidual who petitioned. His Majesty had colonel of his regiment, and it was in a a right to promote whom he thought fit; way of being redressed by the commander and it would be improper for the House in chief when the regiment returned. But to interfere. The person promoted over it was then said, why was he appointed to captain Foskett, was not a junior, but a replace an officer in Spain, and why ofsenior officer to him. The reason why fered a majority in another regiment? he was not sent with the regiment to Por seeing his conduct had been improper. tugal was, because his troop was the worst If he had been concerned in a duel two or in the regiment, and therefore the fittest three years before, though that might be to be left on the recruiting service. an obstacle to his promotion in his own When the House ķnew the cause of his regiment, yet if it was not thought proper not being so rapidly promoted as he ex- to bring him to a court martial on that acpected, they would acquiesce in the justice count, it was hard that that should hang of his colonel. The cause was this : Cap- over him for ever, and prevent his rising tain Foskett, an old officer, had gone out in another regiment. With respect to the as a second in a duel, with two boys of 16 article of war, the utmost extent of it was, and 17 years of age, and suffered them to that the commander in chief should exatry to murder each other, by firing no mine each complaint, and report upon it fewer than six shots. It was great grace to the king, where the case required it. and indulgence in the duke of Cumber. This case was not thought to require it. land, that this was passed over at the The army, it appeared, understood that time ; for had it been reported to his Ma- article to refer exclusively to pecuniary jesty, captain Foskett's name would have matters. What was there to complain of, been struck out of the army list.
when, because the commander in chief Mr. Whitbread said, he had not any could not report favourably, he declined knowledge, and never had heard any making any report at all? if be complainthing of capt. Foskett, but what he had ed of marching in the rain, or any thing heard from his hon. friend. He would equally frivolous, would it be said a report admit, if that was true which was stated should be made? Under all the circumby hon. gentlemen opposite, that his name stances, as he apprehended no ulterior deserved to be struck off the military list, mischief from it, if it were a matter of and on that account he ought not to have doubt whether or not the petition ought been offered a majority in another regi- to lie on the table, he would, in all such ment. He had offered to produce recom- cases, give no opposition to a motion, to mendations, in favour of his character, as that effect. an officer, and there was not a voucher of. Mr. W. Smith thought it was quite a fered to shew they did not deserve full different case, where a commander in chief credit. Under these considerations, he was called on by an officer for a court. could not see an objection to the petition martial, which he took at his own risk, and being laid on the table.
a commander-in-chief thinking he ought General Phipps thought it was highly to be brought to a court-martial, and makimproper that the House should interfere. ing it a barrier to the officer's promotion,
General Loft could not perceive where and although he will not bring him to the cause of conıplaint lay. There was trial, keep it hovering over bis head. He po charge of a junior officer being raised should vote for laying the petition on the to rank above him.
table. The Chancellor of the Erchequer thought Mr. Lyttleton was not inclined to make no beneficial result to captain Foskett many remarks, as he would have an opcould arise from the petition being ordered portunity, on a future day, to enforce his to lie on the table. No allegations were arguments. The petitioner complained made of his having been refused promo that he was aspersed, because he was a tion improperly. No junior officers, it ap- second in a duel, where something like peared, had been promoted in preference murder might have taken place. He had to him. He had no right to complain of made every inquiry into the circumstances bemg left behind when the regiment went of this duel, and learned that several shots'
HOUSE OF COMMONS.
had been fired, but that the petitioner had | -Mr. P. Moore presented a Petition from tried every means to prevent it; but, from the right hon. Richard Brinşley Sheridan the abusive language of one of the prin- on behalf of himself and other proprietors cipals, he could not succeed. One of of the late theatre royal Drury lane; them was wounded slightly in the leg. setting forth, " That the late theatre royal Both of the principals were put under an in Drury Lane was erected in the year arrest, and, after a short time, dismissed | 793 by means of subscription shares, from that arrest. He could not therefore amounting to the sum of 150,000l. ; and allow captain Foskett's character to be that owing to the great miscalculation whispered away, or assertions made that of the architect employed to build the could not be supported. He had applied same, and to various other unforeseen to his lieut.-colonel for a court-martial, circumstances, the theatre was left under which was granted as far as his influence a great accumulation of debt after the ex. went. It had been said by an hon. penditure of the said sum of 150,000l. ; baronet, that the reason captain Foskett and that in the year 1802, the whole af, was left bebind was, that his troop was the fairs and demands on the theatre were reworst in the regiment; this he did not gulated under an order of the court of chanknow ; but he had learned it was unusual cery ; and that the property thus circumto leave a senior captain at home, when stanced, and in the progressive discharge his regiment was ordered on foreign ser- of those demands, was wholly destroyed vice.
by the calamity of fire in the month of The petition was then ordered to lie on February 1809, being insured only in the the table.
comparative small amount of 35,000l.; and that, under these circumstances, the
proprietors, duly considering the interests Monday, April 30.
of the various persons whose property to (King's MessAGE RELATING TO
so large an amount has been embarked in Duke of Brunswick.] The Chancellor the undertaking, find that the only adeof the Exchequer brought up a Message quate mode to do justice to such persons, from his Majesty, which was read from and to rebuild the theatre, is by transferthe chair, and was to the following effect: ring the property to a large body of sub-“it
scribers, who are willing to raise a fund to communicate to the House of Commons, object, on the sole condition that the subthat in consequence of the continued occupation of the territories of the duke of scribing individuals shall not be subject Brunswick Wolfenbuttel, on the continent, of their original subscriptions ; and there.
to any call or demand beyond the amount and the unfortunate events in the year fore praying, for leave to bring in a bill 1806, which were attended by the lament, ed death of his illustrious father, his serene
for effecting the purposes before-menhighress has, after a series of the most tioned, and for such other purposes as gallant but unsuccessful exertions, been may be necessary for supporting, mainobliged to seek an asylum in his Majesty's under such regulations and restrictions
taining, and improving the said property, dominions. His Majesty, under these
as to the House shall seem meet. circumstances, recommends that the House will make some provision for his serene
Ordered, That the said Petition be re
ferred to a Committee. highness, until such time as the state of
(SICILIAN SUBSIDY.] Mr. Lushington the continent may enable him to return to his own dominions. His Majesty relies brought up the Report of the Committee of on his faithful parliament to make a pro- lution for granting to his Majesty the sum
Supply which sat yesterday, of their resovision suitable to the rank and fortune of a prince so nearly allied to his Majesty's of 400,0001. to make good his engagement throne, and for whom his Majesty's feels with his Sicilian Majesty for the present ings are so strongly interested?”
year. The Message was ordered to be taken
Mr. Lambe opposed the resolution, inasinto consideration on Thursday next.
much as the grant exceeded by 100,0001, the original stipulation with his Sicilian Majesty. The proposition for this addi.
tional grant, he understood, was founded Tuesday, May 1.
upon an alledgement that it was rendered (DRUBY LANE THEATRE PETITION.) necessary by certain other stipulations
HOUSE OF COMMONS.
not yet finally adjusted ; and he thought had still the art of persuading the popu-
foolish and wicked enough to say, that in opposition to the principles already there was nothing, even among ourselves, adopted by ministers themselves. The worth fighting for; and who found such oppressions of which the Sicilians cominveteratefaults in our constitution, as to be plained were not of a modern dale. They ready rather than submit to it, to submit to did not originate within the last twenty French tyranny, with all its evils ? But this years, nor within the last century, but had did not prove that this government ought to from time immemorial been severely felt intrude alterations of system on other go- by that people. They did not result vernments ; for, whatever reforms in our merely from the government, but from own enlightened country we might judge certain rights and privileges claimed by right; it did not therefore become us to individuals and coroporate towns; and he force on others. We ought to be averse could not see the impropriety of ministers then to prescribing terms which could recommending to a government in their never be done wisely; and if we inter- alliance, such a reform as would attach the fered at all, it ought to be by advice and people to that government, and insure their suggestion, and not by controul; and the co-operation against the common enemy; more so, as it must be to a party to whom and as to the necessity of granting now we were affording aid and protection. It the additional 100,0001. he saw no other was the object of his Majesty's government principle on which to solve the riddle, ex. to maintain the independence of Sicily cept that his Majesty's ministers, pressed against Buonaparte; but to intermeddle as they were, wished to have as much of with the torm of government in that island the public money as possible speedily would be, in his conception, to violate the placed at their disposal, in order that they principles of good faith with that prince might prorogue the Parliament, and avert with whom we were in alliance. With the discussion of many important subjects respect to the additional sum of 100,0001. still pending now voted, he begged to remind the hon. General Tarleton observed, that the right member that a similar sum was voted in bon. the Chancellor of the Exchequer did the last session of parliament, although it not state a single reason why the House was not advanced. "The grant was thought should agree to his resolution. He had necessary with a view to render the sum talked of jacobins, and of something said stipulated as effective as possible, without somewhere, and by some person ; but all burthening this country with any loss this was wholly irrelevant to the arguments arising from the difference of exchange, enforced against this proposed grant. which must amount to a very conside. In answer he must tell him, that the best rable deduction; and, as
assistance jacobinism, if it existed, could was to be advanced by proportionate receive, would be from an unnecessary. instalments, and no reasonable doubt expenditure of the public money. There could exist of the accedence of the Sici. were numerous reasons why the additional lian government to the stipulations pro- grant should be delayed. In the present posed, he thought that any delay in the state of circumstances it became the papresent grant would only lead to disap- ramount duty of the country to husband its point that government in the early instal- resources, in order to be prepared for ments they were taught to expect. those trying occasions, which, from the
Sir John Newport supported the objec- present state of Europe, were likely te tions of his bon. friend.(Mr. Lambe.) He arise. Under such an impression, he felt was decidedly against granting the addi- it his duty to move, as an Amendment, tional 100,0001. until the House should be that 300,0001. be substituted instead of informed of the ratification ; and as to the the 400,0001. originally proposed. scruples of the right hon. gent. about using The House proceeded to a division, influence with the Sicilian government for when the numbers were,-For the amenda reform of oppressive abuses in favour of mendment 25. Against it 55. Majority the people, there was lying on the table 30.—The original Resolution was then an official document from their own am- | agreed to. bassador in Spain, and now one of his Ma- [PRIVATELY STEALING BILL.-Sir S. jesty's cabinet ministers (marquis Wel. Romilly moved the order of the day for lesley) to shew that they had not scrupled receiving the Report upon this bill. The to interfere with the Spanish Junta in Report was then brought up and the amendmatters of internal government; and there- ments agreed to. On the question that fore the pretence now made was directly the bill be engrossed,
Mr. Herbert, however reluctant he was desirable, but which a very large proporto oppose any measure brought forward tion of people in this country were resolved by the hon. and learned gent., felt himself to employ all means to get abolished ? called upon to resist the passing of this or Upon the whole, he was not prepared to of the two other bills in progress through alter the law of England, under wbich we the House. The object of these bills was had lived so happily, and which preserved to render offences, capital hitherto, no the property in this rich and flourishing longer so. As a friend to the old law, he nation, with so small a loss of life. He found himself bound to resist such an al- should therefore oppose these bills in teration. Besides, it was not right that it every stage. should forth to the public, that these Sir John Newport, if he could agree bills had been passed in that House on with the hon. gent., that the ends of justhe ground that the criminal law of the tice would best be promoted by the ex, country was defective. All the argu- isting laws, should with him vote against ments of the hon, and learned gent. found the bill before the House. But he must ed upon the numbers that escaped punish contend that crimes were more effectually ment, would, he was persuaded, not avail prevented by the certainty than the seupon due consideration. If all those who verity of punishment. The system of escaped through the unwillingness of criminal law in this country, he contended, parties to prosecute, through their avarice was most bloody, and was uniformly so in declining the expence of prosecution, represented in foreign nations. In practhrough their inability to defray the ex- tice he was ready to admit that the Eng. pence, through the ingenuity of counsel, lish criminal law was not so bloody ; but or by means of false witnesses, were de- the practice which thus mitigated its seducted from the aggregate, it would re- verity was a departure from the principle duce the number of those that escaped the of the system, and the strongest evidence certainty of punishment very considerably. of the necessity of a reformation. The Besides, it was the uniform principle of the certainty of a lesser punishment would English law, that punishments were not have more effect in deterring from the inflicted for the satisfaction of justice, but commission of crimes, as the hon, member for the prevention of crimes by the in- must have often observed in the country fluence of example. The hon. gent. then to which they both belonged, than the proceeded to notice the preambles of the terror of a greater, which might probably acts of Henry VIII, of Philip and Mary, never be inflicted. Some years ago an and of Elizabeth, and contended that he act was passed in Ireland to make it fewas borne out by these preambles in as lony and death to cut down a tree by day serting, that the acts were such as the or by night. A gentleman of the bighest House was in the habit of passing—such, worth and public spirit, who was in the for instance, as those against White Boys, habit of planting much, and was attached in order to put down any occasional acts to his plantations, persuaded himself, that of violence. The offences which they had in the event of detecting any person de been meant to repress were committed by stroying his trees, he could have resolabodies of banditti, who passed from coun- tion enough to put the act in force. An ty to county, often in defiance of the occasion soon occurred, and he, who had military, and not to be put down by that the honour of that gentleman's acquaintwhich, in later times was considered a ance, was well aware of all the anxiety be panacea for ali purposes, the posse comita- suffered as the period of the assizes aptus. If the punishments in use were not proached. Up to the first day of that as. to be retained, where would the learned sizes, however, he appeared to have reand honourable gentleman seek for others tained his resolution, but then his fortito be substituted for them? Would he tude failed him; he declared it impossifrom Russia introduce the knout, which ble for him to put the bloody law in force, was, according to the evidence of those and could not reconcile it to any notion of who had witnessed its infliction, more justice to get a fellow-creature hanged horrible than death itself? Would be, ) for cutting down a tree. If a person with Beccaria, recommend perpetual im- of his rank and enlightened mind could prisonment? Would he revive the prac- shrink from putting so severe a law in tice of nailing ears to the pillory? Or force, how much more likely were perwould he establish solitary imprisonment sons of humbler rank to decline to prose -a description of punishment, perhaps, cute? Offenders would always calcu