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- HOUSE OF LORDS.
TUESDAY, JULY 7. The royal assent was given by commission to the Irish customs bill.
The commissioners were the Lord Chancellor, the Duke of Montrose and Lord Walsingham.
Several private bills were forwarded in their respective stages, after which the house adjourned.
HOUSE OF COMMONS,
.: TUESDAY, JULY 7. Mr. Quarme, deputy usher of the black rod, appeared at the bar, and summoned the House to attend the þar of the lords, forthwith. The Speaker, with some of the members, accordingly attended, and after some minutes lapse, the Speaker returned and acquainted the House that the royal assent had been given by commission to the
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Mr. Mellish gave notice that he would move the next day that a committee be appointed to consider the laws relating to oak bark.
Sir William Curtis presented a petition from the agents of the island of St. Domingo, on behalf of the inhabitants of the town of Mosseau, who had suffered from the late fire which happened there. Ordered to be referred to a committee.
The parish apprentice bill was read a second time and connitted for the next day.
Mr. Graham, the inspector of convicts, presented at the bar a report of the convicts employed on the river Thames,
Two petitions were presented, complaining of a double return for the borough of Banbury, one complaining of the return of Dudley North, esq. and the other complaining of the return of Wm. Praed, esq. Ordered to be heard on Wednesday, the 23d of July.
A petition was presented from Edward May, esq. complaining of the undue return of James Craig, for the county of the town of Carrickfergus.
The Speaker informed the House that he had received a letter from George Galway Mills, esq. a member of that House ; which he read to the House, and was in substance as follows:
Sir, 6th July, Temple-ploce, Blackfriars Road.
,: I have to inform you, that previous to my being elected to serve in the present Parliament, for the borough of St. Michaels, in Cornwal, I was detained in custody of the marshal of the King's Bench prison, by virtue of a writ had on mesne proces. I liave therefore, Sir, with due respect, to submit, through you, to the House, my claim to the privileges annexed to all its members, that I may not be now wiibheld fuom attending my duties in Parliament. . I have the bonour to be, Sir, &c.
George GALWAY MILLS.. The Chancellor of the Exchequrr thought it right to refer to what the House had formerly done in a similar case, and proposed that the case of Mr. Steele in the year 1775, -as it appeared on the journals, should now be read. Accordingly the clerk read at the table the proceedings on the 15th December, 1775, as entered on the journals; that the Speaker had acquainted the House that he had received a letter signed Il. Steele, from the Isle of Man, in substance as follows:
Sir, I find that there has been a call of the House. Not having seen a public paper for this some time back, I did not till now know of the call ; but had I ever been in. due time apprized of it, it would have been impossible for me to have answered it in person, as I was under an obligation to attend a law court on account of a process for a debt which I haye disputed. I applied to the duke of Portland. His grace consulted the attorney and solicitor general; who were of opinion, that the House was the best judge of its own privileges, and with respect to my case there were no precedents by which they (the counsel) could be borne out in giving an opinion.
I have the bonour to bc, &c. II. STEELE. It was then ordered by the Ilouse, that said letter should be referred to a committee of privileges.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer thought that, after what, the House had heard, it would be better to pursue the same plan, and therefore moved that the letter of Mr. Mills be referred to a committee of privileges ; that the several petitions presented to the flouse relative to the said G. G. Mills be submitted to the said committee ; and that the said committee do sit the next day. Ordered. '.
POST OFFICE IN TRELAND. Nir. Parnell rose pursuant to the notice he had given, in consequence of a general and well founded complaint made throughout Ireland, of the embezzlement of bank notes in the general post-office, in Ireland. If a copy of the memorial, presented by the bankers of the city of Dublin, to the postmasters general for Ireland, should be laid before the House, as he hoped it would be, it would appear that the amount of half-notes of the bank of Ire. land, put into letters and not delivered, was not less than 260,0001. The amount of the notes of private bankers, lost in the same manner, could not be exactly ascertained, but there was reason to think it not less considerable. It was true, the value may be recovered on the remaining' halves of the notes, but that could not be done without much delay and inconvenience, and the embarrassments. in the dispatch of business, in consequence of the violation of the security of the conveyance by post in a country now so much engaged in commerce as Ireland, was an incalculable mischief. He did not mean to impute blame to those at the head of the post-office: he hoped a romedy would be speedily applied, otherwise he would find it his duty to move for a committee to inquire into the matter. He moved that there be laid before the House a copy of the memorial of the bankers of Dublin to the postmasters general of Ireland, on the miscarriage of letters containing bank notes.
Sir Arthur Il'ellesley admitted the existence of the abuse complained of to a very great degree, and promised that every attention should be paid to remedy it. Measures were now under consideration, with a view to that object.
Mr. Beresford assured the IIouse, that the conveyance by the post in Ireland was now much more insecure than it had been in the most disturbed times. Letters containing notes were almost uniformly opened, and pillaged of a part, or the whole of their contents, and then scaled up again. It had happened to him to have two letters opened, and the notes inclosed interchanged, so that those dispatched to the north went to the west, and those sent to the west went to the north. This could bave taken place only in Dublin, the only place where they could have been together. In fact, some notes taken out of
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JULY 7.) EXCLUSION OF STRANGERS.
201 letters of his had been found in one of the apartments of the post office. It was acknowledged at the post office, that the apartment in which the sorters were was so small, and the persons so crowded, that they may secreta or opeu the letters without detection ; and it was also acknowledged, that these persons were so badly paid, that it was only to the principle of indemnifying himself by robbing the letters, that any man could be induced to accept the employment. på
Mr. Foster allowed, that though the statements that had been given were exaggerated, there was much real abuse which government had given its attention to, wiib a determination to lose no time in applying a remedy. The paper was ordered. ., STANDING ORDER FOR THE EXCLUSION OF STRANGERS.
Mr. Sheridan said, no person was more disposed to respect the general standing order of the House than he was, and he was sure that when any member moved that any of thesc orders should be enforced, it was from the impul e of tlie, best motives. The pr' ceedings, howe ever, which were sometimes adopted with respect to the standing order for the exclusion of strangers, seemed to him to require to be explained, and to be placed on more satisfactory grounds. When it was considered that strangers were, by the standing order never to be admita tel, no construction of that standing order, could be ina terpreted into a tight of commanding those to withdra", who were to be presumed not to be present. The words of įhe standing ordler, were not to admit strangers, and if any stranger intruded, the order provided that he should be taken into custody by the Serjeant at Arms. He did not think it right that a matter of such moment should be left in so unclefined a state, and afier what had hapa pened yesterday, it became more necessary than ever to come to a fixed understanding upon it. If the public was not to be allowed to know what the state of the na. tion was, it was hard to say wliat it should be allowed to know. Ale therefore gave notice, that he meant on Fri. day to draw the attention of the House to that subject, with a view to ascertain upon what foting it was to be. He was sure nothing was more injurious ihan that any ground should be given to suppose, that the House of
Commons VOL. I.-1807.
Commons was saying or doing any thing which the pube lic may not know.
Mr. Dennis Brownė was extremely sorry if any thing had fallen from him contrary to the general sense of the House. The fact was, tbat be had not moved that the gal. lery be cleared, but that hearing things fall from the hon. ourable gentleman opposite (Mr. Wbirbread), wbich he thought might be injurious, if suffered to go abroad, he thought it his, doty to notice that there were strangers in the House; and it appeared, that when once such a de. viation from the standing order was noiiced, there was no discretion for him, or for the Speaker, or for the House, it must necessarily and immediately be enforced.
The Speaker said, that as this matter, was nien io ell, he thought it his duty to state what was the present practice and sage of the House, and what, as being the usage, he thought it his duty to adopt and enforce, tilt it should be altered. Whether the House should lightly alter å us?gc so established, would be for its consideration. From the standing order, forbidding the admission of strangers, it was clear they could be in the House only by suffer ance. For enforcing the exclusion, if necessary, the standing order directed that those bo intruded them selves should be taken into the custody of the Serjeant at Arms. But this he looked upon as a mode of getting rid of their presence if it should be an inconvenience, or if they sliould improperly come in, or persist in remaining. With respect to ihe obligation of enforcng the order, it was indispen able, if any member noticed the presence of strangers, ho (the Speaker) had no choice, the Jlouse had no choice, they must be put forth. This was the ancic.t and establisbed usage. "If the House should be disposed to alter it, it would do well to consirler whce ther any new practice that may be substituted would ac cord equally well with its dignity or its convenience.
Mr. Whilread wished the ancient and established asage on this head to remain unaltered, for although he deprecated as much as bis honourable friend the exclusion of strangers, he was satisfied ne new arrangement with respect to them would be equally condgcive to the dignity and the convenience of the House. The right of excluding had been seldom exercised, and in the course of his expericnce he had never known it to be exercised with advantage. The exclusion of last night was par.