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and augment. He would, however, inci. Lord Erskine dissented from the opinion dentally discuss that question, to shew the of the Chief Justice and the Law-officers. propriety of producing the case submitted If their Law was correct, how happened it to the Law-officers, with a view to a more that it had not, in a single iostance, been mature and deliberate inquiry upon the acted upon, in the numerous prosecutions subject. Lord G. then entered into a long for libel soon after the French Revolution? learned, and elaborate argument, to shew If the Law had been so clear, why did not that the opinion of the Law officers was Lord Sidmouth write his letter at once, not sanctioned by the common or statute without referring to the Law-officers? Did Law, the dicta of Judges, or the decisions the Attorney and Solicitor-General venture of Courts, or the tenor of the commissions to say this was such a general practice as granted to Justices of the Peace. In proof his Noble and Learned friend had stated? of the injurious consequences of the pro. No; they only said, that the contrary mulgation of the contrary doctrine, be in- opinion bad not been established, Was stanced the complaint made on Saturday there ever an instance within this country, last, in i he Court of King's Bench, against for centuries past, of a Magistrate gothe Rev. Mr. Powis, for convicting a man ing into a bookseller's shop to look for under the Stamp-laws; and referred to libels, and then, on bis own authority, to the prosecution of Mr. Wright, at Liver. hold the party to bail? Yet this might be pool, for denying the immortality of the done, if the present opinion was Law. soul and a furure state ; though it ap. Could any thing be more dangerous to the peared that in bis sermon be had only security of the subject! He would only argued against the separate existence of say this that when he was Counsel, and the soul, an opinion maintained by the during all the time he practised at the late Dr. Priestley, and which some high Bar, he never had the smallest idea that authorities even of the Church of England a Justice of the Peace could hold to bail had supported, and did support, with a for a libel. firm belief in Christianity and its hopes. The Lord Chancellor concurred in opinion His Lordship then observed, that for many with the Chief Justice and the Law officers; years he had seen with pain, that all things but protested against being bound by his tended to the establishment of a Military present opinion, if the matter came to be dominion. If ibis fatal course were per argued before the House on a writ of severed in, either the people would be
He objected to the production of driven to open violence to regain their free the case moved for, because it was hardly dom, or a military despotism would be possible on any such occasion that some established on the ruins of the Constitu- particulars should not be stated by the tion. Severe, indeed, had been the trials Ministers of the Crowu which it would be through which the people had passed, and highly improper and inconvenient to disthey had borne them with a firmness that close. In 1794, it should be recollected had nu example : but, if the present sys. that a proclamation had been issued, retem were pursued, more cruel sufferings quiring the Magistrates to take notice of yet remained, and more bitter privations the numerous libellous publications which must siill be endured. He should, how were industriously circulated at that ever, have the consolation of knowing, in period. the worst extremes, that he had done bis Lord Holland maintained that the Jas. duty. He concluded an eloquent and ar tices had not legally the power of commitgumentative speech by moving for a ting in cases of libel. He felt gratitude to copy of the case laid before the Attorney Lord Sidmouth for the peace he had negoand Solicitor-General.
ciated in 1801, and the good humour with Lord Ellenborough contended, that the which he had let down the harsh and dolaw and practice bad uniformly been con mineering character assumed by the pretrary to the argument maintained by the ceding Government. But he had of late preceding speaker; and produced a bundle assumed an attitude of menace; and done of recognizances which, he said, had been more to curtail the liberties of his country entered into, before indictment found, or in the last three months, than he had done information filed, under every Attorney. all his life before to defend them. General from the Revolution downward. Lord Sidmouth expressed his satisfaction Could any body say, then, that this prac. that his conduct had been justified by such tice was not founded on Law? Would high legal authorities as the Lord Chanany body state, that it had been only in cellor and the Lord Chief Justice. The troduced in very recent times by Attorney. country had been inundated by cheap seGenerals who were hostile to the liberties ditious and blasphemous publications, of the people Upon the fullest consi- which had now a wider range of mischief, deration of the subject, he was decidedly as more persons could read than forinerly, of opinion, that Justices of the Peace had and there were more alehouses to which power to hold to bail in cases of libel. the lower orders resorted. His attention
had been called to the subject by the lon, in moving resolutions for the service country Magistrates, and it was his duty of the year, stated the savings and reducto consult the Law Officers,
tions effected since last year, or now in The Bishop of Chester rose to explain the course of being effected. The total respecting Mr. Wright, of Liverpool. He reduction would amount to about 61,000 had never given any opinion as to the pro- men; and the diminution of expence, as priety or impropriety of the conduct of compared with last year, would be about the Magistraies towards that gentleman; 1,800,0001. He enlarged on the great rebut had merely related what he had ductions and retrenchments made since beard - that he had impugned a funda. the peace, as affording an incontestable mental doctrine of Christianity,
proof that Ministers were not callous to Earl Grey said, that Mr. Wright had the feelings of the people. The amount been beld to bail for opinions not only of the charge for the year was reduced to common to Unitarian Christians, but even 6,385,0001.; and out of that was the som to distinguished Prelates, as the Reverend of 2,572,0001. for past services. He then Prelate well knew. He then contended moved 121,000 men for the land service that nothing had been advanced on the for the year. other side to sbake the arguments he had After a short discussion the Resolutions urged. The cases on which they relied, were agreed to. were upsupported by any statute, or any decision of a Court of Justice. He was House of Lords, May 13. astonished at the insinuation of increased Lord Erskine, adverting to what had danger because there were a greater num. passed on the former evening, in respect ber of readers now than formerly. Did of the power of Justices, stated his intenthe Noble Secretary meau to say, that the tion of framing a motion, with a view of Christian Religion stood on such infirm procuring a return of the number of comground, that it was to apprehend an in- mitments for libels by Magistrates; the crease of danger from an increase of know. recognizances entered into in the Court of ledge? As to parodies on sacred composi. King's Bench, and at Sessions; and also tions, he thought the prosecutions ought the indictments found at Sessions. If the to commence a little further back; and Law should be as stated last night, the he read from the Anti-Jacobin a parody on Noble and Learned Lord said, he could one of the Psalms, in which the Courier, not rest until that Law was altered, beStar, Morning Chronicle, and Morning Post, cause it would give a greater power to with Coleridge, Southey, Priestley, &c. Magistrates than they ought to possess. are called on to praise Lepaux, the French Director. If justice were to be dealt im In the Commons, the same day, Mr. partially, he thought the author of this Bennet presented a petition from w. parody, whether in the Cabinet, or any Griffiths, a stationer, in Oxford-street, Other place, should be looked after, as well setting forth that he had, at a great exas the subject of the present prosecution. pence and trouble, prosecuted to consicThe motion was then negatived, by 75 to 10. tion a Captaju Hoy, who had made an as
sault on the petitioner's wife, with intent In the Commons, the same day, a mo to violate her person ; that Capt. Hoy had tion by Sir C. Mordaunt for the second in vain attempted to substantiate an elibi, readiog of the Birmingham Poor Rates and that one of his witnesses had been Bill was, after a long debate, negatived, by convicted of perjury; that though he had 103 to 36. The object of the Bill was to been sentenced to a fine of 202. and one make the whole of the ground-renters in year's imprisonment, he had been enlarged, Birmingham liable to the rate.
after a fortnight's confinement, by order In a conversation respecting Lord Side of the Magistrates, and now frequently mouth's answers to the Reading Magis- paraded before the petitioner's door, extrates, Mr. H. Addington stated that Lord ulting in the success of his iniquity, and S. had directed that the state prisoners insulting the petitioner with impunity. should be treated with all practicable leni Mr. B. Bathurst thought the case would ty; and Mr. B. Bathurst asserted that more properly come before the Court of they were under the care of the Sheriff, King's Bench. and oot of the Justices, and that the Se Mr. Brougham thought, that after sencretary of State had a right to give direc tence was passed, nothing should have retions as to their treatment.
lieved the defendant but a pardon from The Game Preservation Bill, introduced the Crown. The petition was ordered to by Sir E. Knatchbull, was read the third be printed. time and passed ; and a clause was added to it, for punishing persons destroying
May 14. game by night.
Mr. Vansittart moved that the Poor The House having gone into a Commit. Employment Bill should be committed tee on the Army Estimates, Lord Palmers. for the introduction of several ameud
ments, the discussion of which he wished
May 15. to stand over to a future day.
In answer to a question from Mr. Pon. Mr. Brougham ohjected to Government sonby, Lorol Castlereagh said, that after the lending money and forcing security. Next holidays a communication would be made be objected that this measure would not to the House concerning the internal state relieve the country, as it was not money, of the country ; after which the same probut employment, which was wanted. Next, ceedings would be proposed as had taken he did not consider this would have any place in the early part of the Session, and good effect, as it would not throw any it would be referred to a Committee to engreater capital into the money-market. ter into an inquiry as to the measures The difficulties of giving securities re proper to be pursued. His Majesty's quired by the Chancellor of the Exche. Ministers, in the present situation of the quer would prevent persons who wanted country, thought iheniselves called on to to borrow obtaining relief from this fund. propose a continuance of the measure now Next, he had to state, that he did not be in operation.-(Loud cries of Hear, hear !) Jieve the sum intended to be advanced was Mr. Phillips suggested that there should large enough to do any good. He also be a call of the House; to which Lord Casthought it extremely objectionable that a tlereagh assented. million and three-fourths of money should In answer to a question from Mr. be issued by the Government to the peo- Brougham, Lord Castlereagh repeated that ple at a time when we were upon the eve a communication would be made to the of an event which would call upon the House, aster which a Committee would be people to exercise their judgment respect- proposed for the purpose of making an ing the cbaracter and measures of that inquiry, as at the beginning of the Session; Governmenthe meant a dissolution of after which his Majesty's Ministers would Parliament, which would take place a few propose to Parliament a continuation of months after their rising. He did not the measures now in force. throw out these objections captiously, Mr. Brougham. “Am I then to under. but with a feeling friendly to the measure. stand, that a Committee is to inquire, and
Mr. Western, iu addition to the objec. that this is to be the result of the inquiry?” tions just stated, observed, that the Bill ( Hear, hear!) would subject those of the higher orders, Sir F. Burdett remarked, that there who refused to give the required securities, could be no doubt what would be the re. to the vdium of standing between their sult of the inquiry. But he should first. poorer neighbours and the relief offered
move for a list of the persons confined unby Government.
der the present Act, who they were, when Mr Vansittart said, the money was not taken, and where imprisoned. to be issued by his Majesty's Ministers Mr. Brougham hoped that some Mem. individually; and the apprehension of ex- ber, of more weight than himself, would ercising any influence through the Com- give notice of a motion for an Address, missioners, was removed, by the independ. praying his Royal Highness the Prince ent and honourable character of those Regent not to dissolve Parliament while Commissioners. The details of the mea the Habeas Corpus Act was under sussure, as to securities and the distribution pension. of relief, would be found to obviate most Mr. Phillips moved that the House of the difficulties stated on those subjects. should be called the 2d of June.
Mr. J. P. Grant and Mr. Lockhart ex Mr. J. P. Grant reminded the House pressed their fears that the Bill would pro- that the Lord Advocate for Scotland had duce no practical benefit.
stated that the conspiracy at Glasgow was Mr. Rose and Mr. Hurst maintained a not confined to the poorer classes of the contrary opinion.
community. The fact, however, was, The House having then gone into a Com. that only one person above the rank of a mittee, Mr. Vansittert proposed his new working man had been taken, and he de. clauses; one was for appointing persons clared that be had nothing to do with polia Commissioners, viz. Lord R. Seymour, tical clubs. This person, for whom 30001. Sir T. Acland, Mr. W. Lamb, Sir C. Ed. bail had been refused, had, after a causemonstone, Sir James Shaw, Sir J. Perring, less confinement of six weeks, been dis. Mr. Gooch, Mr. Edward Littleton, Mr. charged without any bail. Luttrell, Mr. C. Grant, sen. Mr. Curwen, Sir J. Newport took a view of the finan. Mr. Estcourt, Mr. Casberd, Mr. J. Smith, cial situation of Ireland, and urged that Mr. H. Swann, Mr. B. Harrison, Mr. she should have a proportionate abateReid, Chairman of the E.I.C. (not a Mem ment of taxation to what this part of the ber of the House), Mr. Thornton, Mr. United Kingiom had been allowed. Last Philips, Mr. Angerstein, Mr. C. Baring, Session 17,000,0001. of taxes had been Mr. Joseph Tierney, and Mr. Bosanquet. taken off for Great Britain, and the relief
The Report was afterwards brought up, for Ireland was only 340,0001. The policy and ordered for further consideration on of the inordinate taxation of Ireland deWednesday next.
feated itself. We had imposed on Ireland,
in a few years, 3,500,000l, and yet the re If the demands of the Catholicks were venue of last year exceeded that of 1808 complied with, Parliament would cease to only by 10.0007.
be a Protestant Parliament; and be pas Mr. V. Fitzgerald comiroverted the ac not disposed to risk an experiment whe. curacy of several of the calculations of ther a Government different from the Esta the preceding : -peaker; and contended that · blished Church could long exist. any further remission of taxes, in the pre Lord Darnley supported the motion, u sent circumstances of the country, was the only means of tranquillizing Ireland; impossible.
and expressed a confident expectation Mr. Ponsonby, Sir H. Parnell
, Mr. D. that, in a short time, the measure would Browne, and Mr. M. Fitzgerald, supported be recommended by the Executive, and the resolutions; whicb were opposed by be eventually carried. Mr. Vansitlart, and negatived without a Lord Grenville contended, that the res division.
toration of the Pope, and the return of
peace, had done away most of the objec, House of Lords, May 16. lions which had been urged for the last 16 Petitions were presented from the Uni. years against the admission of Catholicks versities of Oxford and Cambridge against to an equality of rights with Protestants. the Catholic Claims; and a petition from The real danger to a Protestant Establisb. the Merchants and Bankers in Bristol ment in Ireland arose, not from admitting against Extents in aid.
the Catholicks, the great majority of the Lord Donoughmore then addressed the population, within the pale of the Coosti. House at some length on the subject of tution, but from perpetuating the system Catholic Emancipation ; and combated the of exclusion. objections wbich had at various former Eail Bathurst did not believe that, hav. periods beep urged against that measure. ing granted all that the Catholicks desired, He stated that the Catholicks had selected they would then be satisfied; for they two persons; who would give their Lord. would demand the establishment of their sbips every iuformation as to the securi. Church. ties they had to offer against any Foreiga Earl Grey, at considerable length, influence hostile to the interests of the answered the objections made to the moState. He concluded with moving, that tion. their Lordsbips should go into a Commil The Lord Chancellor opposed it, as tend. tee to cousider of the Claims of the Ca- ing to destroy the King's supremacy in tholicks.
Church and State. The Bishop of Llandaff could not agree
On a division, the motion was nega. to that anomaly in Government, the ad tived, by 142 to 90. mission of med to places of power and trust who owed spiritual allegiance to a
In the Commons, the same day, Lord Foreign Power.
Lascelles withdrew the Bill formerly brought The Bishop of Norwich said, this was
in by him for ratiog Coal-mines to the probably the last time he should address
poor; and brought in a new Bill for mak. their Lordships on this, or any other sub. ject. The exclusion of the Catholicks from ing the proprietors of mines rateable for
the profits; which was read the first time, office had been the longest persecution
The Savings Banks Bill was re-commit. ever koown. From the Restoration down.
ted; and a clause was adopted for allow. wards, the Catholic Clergy had been most
ing parochial relief, in cases where the loyal and peaceable; and those who now
sum possessed by the pauper did not ex. - excited a cry of danger from admitting
ceed 301. them to equal privileges with their coun
The Clergy Residence Bill was committrymen, would, as Dr. Johnson expressed
ted. The clause allowing a Clergyman it, cry out, “ Fire,” in the middle of the
to farm was carried by 38 to 35; and the Thames !
blank was filled up with “ eighty acres.” The Bishop of Ossory opposed the motion, as pregnant with danger to the Protestant Establishment in Church and
May 19. State. If the Catholicks renounced fo Sir S. Romilly presented a petition from reign allegiance, they ceased to be Ro. a number of persons in the vicioity of the man Catholicks. In the Netherlands, the Metropolis, complaining of the enormous Catholick Clergy had very recently im- expences of writs in the Courts at Westpressed upon their flocks, that a good Ro- minster, the Marshalsea, and other Courts, man Catholick could not take an oath of and praying, as a remedy, the general esallegiance to a Protestant King.
teosion of the provisions of the London Lord Harrowby saw vo danger from and Bristol Court of Conscience Acts, granting the claims of the Catholicks.
Og the Westminster Coal Meters' Bill, Lord Liverpool was for adhering to the a long conversation took place. Sir M. W. Revolution settlement in Church and State, Ridley and Sir C. Monck objected to the
power of dismissing meters without the Reform, a task which he felt to be now sanction of two Magistrates.
much more arduous than at former periods. Mr. Lushington explained that the power That corruption, the proof of which, in was in the Treasury. The gallery was former times, would have been sufficient cleared for a considerable time ; and the for parliamentary inquiry, was now openBill, on the third reading, was carried by ly avowed and recommended as necessary the Speaker's casting vote, the numbers for conducting the affairs of the Nation. being equal -60 to 60.
He felt it peculiarly awkward to complain A copy of Lord Sidmouth's Circular before those very persons who were the obu Letter of the 7th of March was ordered to jects of complaint; and to call upon those be laid before the House ; and Sir S. Ro who must be supposed to be corrups, to milly gave notice of a motion on the redress corruption : but the general voice subject.
of the Nation was so manifestly and so Lord Castlereagh, in answer to a ques. strongly for this measure, that it claimed tion from Sir M. W. Ridley, said the ap their utmost regard. There were petitions pointment of a Secret Committee on the on the table from more than 1,000,000 of State of the Nation' would be moved for persons. Many of them were for Annual immediately after the holidays.
Parliaments. Whatever difference of opiMr. Tierney observed that the Commit- nion might exist as to the expediency of tee was to be appointed, he supposed, not resorting to that remedy, be would con. for the purpose of inquiry, but of fright- tend that Annual Parliaments would be no ening the House.
innovation. From a period long prior to Lord Castlereagh replied, that Ministers William the Conqueror, and down to the were of opinion that the safety of the time of Henry Ill, the law and practice country required a further continuation of had been to call Parliaments twice in the the suspension of the Habeas Corpus; but year, or oftener, if necessary. In the the House, if they did not find good reign of Edward III. Laws expressly enact grounds for such a judgment, were not to that Parliaments be called every year. Ia give effect to the intention of Ministers. the time of the civil wars between the
On the question for the third reading of houses of York and Lancaster, the party the Lottery Bill, Mr. Lyttelton repeated his that happened to prevail could do every objections to State Lotteries; and moved thing or nothing: get even then the rights that the third reading should take place of the people were so far respected that that day six months.
Parliaments were not prorogued or conThe motion was supported by Mr. Wila tinued longer than a year. Henry VIII. berforce, Lord A. Hanilton, Mr. Tierney, was the first who violated this express law, and Mr. P. Grenfell; and opposed by Mr.
and continued Parliaments for five years, Ward. On a division, it was negatived, by in order to carry his objects of divorcing 73 to 48.
his Queen and plundering the Church, During the third reading, Mr. Grenfell The same system was continued under moved to expunge the clause allowing the Edward VI. Queen Mary re-established Bank 30001. for the management of the short Parliaments, and, repealing the Acts Lottery; and took the opportunity of of constructive treason passed by her faagain calling the attention of the House to ther, placed the security and freedom of the enormous profits made by the Bank. the subject under the protection of 25 Edw.
Mr. Vansitlart supported the clause, III. Long Parliaments were revived unbut would be ready to listen to any pro der Elizabeth, and continued under her position for diminishing the expence of successor. Charles I. backed by the lottery management on a future occasion. Judges and the greatest Lawyers of the
The amendment was negatived without time, tried the experiment of governing a division.
without a Parliament; but he failed, and The Justiceships in Eyre Abolition Bill, lost his life, only because he had not a Exchequer Offices Regulation Bill, and standing army. The Parliament which Offices Compensation Bill, were read a had fought the battles of the people second time, after some conversation on against him was continued, from a prioci. each, but without producing any novelty ple of foolish generosity, until they gave of argument on either side. On the last way to Cromwell, who proposed a plan of mentioned Bill there was a division, when Parliamentary Reform so just, so fair, the question for the second reading was and so suitable, that even Lord Clarendon Carried, by 105 to 45.
said it deserved to bave proceeded from a
more warrantable quarter. But, when May 20.
Croin well found that he must either lose General Mathew presented a petition his place, which to him would be to befrom the inhabitants of Dublin, praying come a victim to the gallows, or support for a representation co-extensive with by the sword what he had acquired by the taxation.
sword, he naturally preferred the latter Sir F. Burdell called the attention of alternative. Charles Il. in return for the the House to the subject of Parliamentary affectionate reception he had met from