Imágenes de página

the result of that negociation came to be discussed, it would be discussed as a treaty ratified, and he felt satisfied it would be found that every possible attention had been paid to the interests of this country. He ihought it but fair now to state, that when the question of the re, newal of the American intercourse act came to be discussed, he should probably be of opinion, that the same reasons which before operated did not exist for the continuance of the act. One part of it, in particular, be objected to, and was objected to during the negociation ; he allucled to that part of it which allowed to the Kmericans a carrying-trade between our possessions in the East Indies and Europe.

Lord Holland referred to the bill of rights to prove the illegality of levying money by the authority of the crown, without the consent of Parliament, and which he contend. ed was done in the present instance, by continuing to levy duties without any coinpetent authority,

Lord Hawkesbury admitted that it was an infraction of the law, and therefore his majesty's ministers came to Parliame it for indemnity. Admitting the general prin. ciple, as stated by the noble lord, he wished to be understood that this case must stand upon its own special cir. cumstances, of which that House would judge when the subject came regularly before them.

Lord Grenville contended that the order of council for levying duties which had no legal existence was a vio. lation of a most important constitutional principle, which ought to undergo the most serious discussion in that House. Ministers had advised his majesty to levy duties for a whole month without any legal authority, and now proposed to introduce a clause in the bill intended to be brought in to indemnify themselves for this violation of the law. He thought at least that House ought to bave the opportunity of discussing the great question in yolved in this act of the ministers in a manner which its importance deserved, and not in the shape of a clause tacked to a money-bill.

Lord Holland considered the question of so much importance, that he deemed it necessary to move for the ap-' pointment of a committee to search for precedents since the year 1688, of money being levied or applied by the crown, without the authority of Parliament. A conversation of considerable length ensued.


of an ibout conduct in still remes out of hessity Color; for

Earl Bathurst explained the nature of the operation of the order of council, which in fact raised no new duties, and raised in many instances less duties, in no instance higher, than the crown was legally intitled to after the expiration of the act, under a former subsisting act.

Lord Grenville contended that this statement did not alter the nature of the case. Levying lower duties than the crown was legally entitled to, might, in some instances, be levying more money than before, as in the. case of prohibitory duties, in which, by lessening the duty, more money might be raised. It was still, therefore, a violation of the principles of the constitution, for which only urgent and imperious necessity could be pleaded, and if the necessity arose out of the late dissolution of Parliament, it would still remain for ministers to account for their conduct in advising a dissolution of Parliament, witbout making provision for the legal continuance of an act which they afterwards deemed it necessary to continue without legal authority.

The Lord Chancellor defended the expediency of the order of council, but admitted that it might be ome advisable to bring the indemnity as a separate measure bem' fore Parliament.

Lord Harrowby urged that the order of council only went to carry into effect the last known intentions of the legislature; similar circumstances had repeatedly happened under almost every government, and in many instances an indemnity had not been applied for. Ile conceived the motion of the noble lord (Holland) was not called for by any circumstances of the present case, which was nothing more than a mere formal violation of the law.

Lord Grenville oliserved, that the argument of the noble lord (Harrowby) did not apply, as it was a matter of great doubt, whether the legislature would again continue the act, it therefore did not appear that ministers had carried into effect the intentions of the legislature.

Some further observations were made by lords Hawkese bury, Auckland, Holland, Grenville, Boringdon, the earls of Lauderdale, Rosslyn, and the Lord Chancellor, after which lord Hawkesbury moved the previous question, which was put and carried.

Lord Grenville wished for some further information with respect to any subsequent directions for carrying the order of council wito effeci. 02


· Lord Hawkesbury said he would make the necessary inquiries.

Lord Walsingham presented several petitions for the revival of private bills.

The Lord Chancellor gave notice that he should move, the next day, for the appointment of a committee to take into consideration the circumstances attending private bills which had been interrupted in their progress by the dissolution of Parliament.

Lord Grenville thought that if ministers had rendered some such measure as the present necessary by the abrupt dissolution of Parliament, it ought to be taken up upon an enlarged and general principle, rather than the time of the House employed at this period in examining the circumstances of each individual case.

Lord Hawkesbury was of opinion, that it would be more adviseable to examine the circumstances of cach case, in order that they might discover in what instances relief might be afforded to parties with as little devia. " tion as possible from the standing orders of the House.''

Lord Holland supported the opinion of Lord Grenville.

On the motion of the Lord Chancellor, the Lords were ordered to be summoned for the next day..

Lord Grenville presented two bills, one for introducing trial by jury, in certain civil cases, in Scotland, and the other for regulating the courts of justice in that country. His lordship briefly adverted to the progress of this mea. sure in the last Parliament, and observed that the same reason existed now for the measure, which subsisted then, and that its object had been generally approved of in Scotland.

The Lord Chancellor maintained his former opinions with respect to this measure. He, therefore, intended also to propose his bills, which together with those of the noble lord, might go to the country to be considered and digested, previous to the next session, as it was impossible this measure could be carried through in the present session. It was, however, his intention in the course of the week, to make some proposition to their lordships respecting the standing orders relative to appeals, with the view of doing more speedy justice to suitors than could at present be done. . After some further observations from lord Grenville, the


Lord Chancellor, the duke of Athol, and the earl of Lauderdale, the bills were ordered to be printed. Adjourned.


MONDAY, JUNE 29. Sir Samuel Romilly obtained leave to bring in a bill, (similar to that introduced by him towards the close of the last Session, which was in progress at the time of the dissolution.) for rendering the freehold property of persons subject to the bankrupt laws, assets for the payment of their debts.

On the motion of Mr. Bankes, the resolution of the 4th of March last against granting offices in reversion, or to two or more persons with benefit of survivorship, was read, and leave was given to bring in a bill, similar to that pending when the late Parliament was dissolved, for carrying the resolution into law.

Mr. Bankes stated, that the bill should be prepared and presented as speedily as possible.

Sir John Newport took this opportunity of stating, that in the bill introduced by him in the last' session, for abolishing certain useless offices, and for the better regulation of other offices in Ireland, one had been 0. mitted, which he since found ought to have been included. He meant the office of surveyor and inspector of the river Kenmare; an office created a few years since, and granted to Sir Boyle Roche and - Aylmer, esq. with benefit of survivorship. There was no sura: veyor or inspector, of the same description, for any other river in Ireland : it was quite a sikecure, with a salary of 3001. a year. It had been, he knew not how, onita: ted in the report of the commissioners of inquiry in' Ireland, and therefore omitted in the bill brought in by him on that report.

· Mr. Herbert (of Kerry) said, the river Kenmare lay principally in the county he had the honour to repres sent. Its course was forty miles long, and above five : or six broad, with numberless creeks, and without a single revenge office in ils vicinity to controul the smug." gling exercised upon it, till this office had been created. The smuggling hrad, shortly after the appointment, been greatly reduced.

Lord H. Pelly was aware of the smiggling upon the river Kenmare ; but that was a stronger reason for sup


pressing à useless sinecure, and substituting an active prevention.

Mr. Herbert explained. He meant that some inspection was necessary. "The smuggling was not now so considerable as it had been before the creation of this office.

Sir Arthur Wellesley said this office appeared, from what had been said, to be one of those that ought to be regulated, rather than suppressed. It was, however, subject to the disposal of Parliament, as the vacancy created by the death of Sir Boyle Roche had not been filled up, unless it had been by the late ministers. · After some observations in the way of explanation between Sir John Newport and Colonel Vereker, leave was given to bring in a bill moved by Mr. Bankes..

Lord H. Petty gave notice, that he should the next day move for leave to bring in a bill, similar to that intercepted in its progress in the late dissolution, for the more secure rcrittance of the revenues of Scotland to the bank of England. He also gave notice, that on Friday next, he should move for leave to bring in a bill, for appropriating the excesses of the sinking fund, according to the plan already laid before Papiament. - Earl Temple, aware of the objections made by the per-' sons who now composed his inajesty's government to the American intercourse bill of the last session while in its progress, wished to know, for the satisfaction of those concerned in that trade, whether there was any intention to move for leave to bring in a bill to repeal tlie act ?'

Mr. Rose said, that though the present ministers had strong objections to the measure while in its progress, it would not be right to think of repealing it while discussions were pending between this country and the American government. · Mr. Rose gave no'ice, that he would the next day move cerain estimates relative to the cloibing of the invalids, be laid before the House. He recommended this subject to the attentive consideration of the Ilouse.

"Mr. Eden gave notice, that he would the next day move for an account of the ships built and registered in Great Britain in the last telve months.

On the mo:ion of Mr. Long it was ordered, that there be laid before the llouse, an account of the expenditure of the British Museuin in the years 1875 and 1806, together with an estimate of the expenditure of 1807. . Mr. Rose presented a petition from the trustees of the


« AnteriorContinuar »