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entertained of the fact that they ought to the payment of the interest of her debt and be removed. A short act of parliament the sinking fund, and, with that ability, and had, at length, been determined upon as the with the sums in hand, which he had inenbest mode of removing them, and of regu- tioned, she could not be considered in a lating the future management of the navy state of failure or depression, as she bad inoney, in the manner best adapted to the been represented by an hon. gent. on the public service, and productive of the least night he alluded to. The revenue of Irepossible incouvenience to the bank. Mr. land was 3,800,0001. which was far above S. moved accordingly, and leave was given the interest of its debt and Sinking Fund. to bring in the bill.
Mr. Johnstone regretted that he was not TIRISH TREASURY BILLS BILL.] Şir in the house when the hon. baronet begant John Nenport moved the order of the day, his speech, but he seemed to intimaie that for the house to resolve itself into a com- he (Mr. J.) had taken advantage of bis mittee on the Irish Treasury Bills bill. He absence. He wished the hon. baronet back hoped that, before the Speaker quitted the been present to have heard him. He did not chair, the house would indulge him with a say that Ireland was in a bankrupt state, few words, for the purpose of clearing up nor bad attempted to convey any such in some doubts, with reference to a statement pression. His argument was, that as the made by an hon. member (Mr. Johnstone) Irish revenue was only equal to the paya on a former night. In moving to bring in ment of the interest of the debt, and to this bill for raising 1,000,0001, by Treasury the defraying of civil charges, it followed Bills, for the service of Ireland, be trusted that she must raise 4,000,000l. by way of it would not be thought that he had claimed loan. He did not take the revenue too an unwarrantable confidence, when it was low, for he took it at 3,800,0001. as the considered that a power had been given the hon. baronet had stated it, though, if he Irish government to raise half a million for had taken it lower, speaking from the do. the service of the last year, which power cunents before him, he could not hare had not been used, nor bad any Treasury been properly chargeable with error. If Kills been issued. He would ask, whether the hon. baronet therefore made a speech it could with justice be presumed, that the in order to combat a charge of bankruptcy, Irish Finances could be in the situation that he spoke with regard to a charge that cxbon. member had described them, when isted only in imagination. He had not the Irish government had not found it ne- said that Ireland was in a state of bankcessary to avail itself of a power to raise ruptcy; he had only said, that as she could half a million of money! In fact, there not raise the greater part of the supplies had been no occasion for making use of within the year, she must have recourse to that power; on the contrary, he had been loans here, and that this would interfere able to discharge a debt due from the Irish with the noble lord's plan. Treasury to the English Treasury, of a sum Sir J. Newport knew of no civil charges öf 276,0001, advanced by the English on the revenue of Ireland, nor of any Treusory, for payment of the lottery prizes charges bevond the interest of its debt and in 1802. That was no proof of a failure of siuking fuus. These amounted to 3,132,0001. the Irish Finances. After payment of that which, deducted from the revenue of sum, there remained, allowing for the sub- 3,800,0001.,left a surplus of near 700,0001. sistence of the army, a sum of upwards of applicable to the current expences. 500,0001. belonging to Ireland. He was ex- Mr. Johnstone observed, that the hơn. tremely sorry he had not been present on baronei's statement confirmed his allegaThursday, when the noble lord near him (H. tiov on the former night.
The Irish part Petty, had made so very happy a statement of the poiut charged being 5,300,0001. and of the finances of Great Britain. But he depre- the surplus of revenue applicable toward's cated all comparison between the finances it being but 700,0001. there would remain of G.Britain and the finances of Ireland. But to be borrowed 4,600,0001. instead of though Ireland was not in that prosperous 4,000,0001. as he had stated. The bil situation with respect to capital, industry, then went through the committee. and commerce, which would enable her to [T#IRD MILITARY REPORTCONDUCT faise a large portion of ber expences within or MR. ALEXANDER Davison.) Lord the year, she was far from being in a si- Archibald Hamilton stated, that since he tuation of financial failure or depression. had given notice of his intention to bring Het revenue was thiore than adequate to forward a motion respecting the Third Hek port of the Commissioners of Military In-punishment. Nothing could be more dequiry, he had understood that proceedings structive to a goveroment than those upon the subject were now pending in the agents, who while they were well paid for Treasury. Under this circumstance, and the duties they performed, yet made use having communicated with his noble friend of the confidence reposed in them 10 plun(lord H. Petty), he was apprehensive that, der the public. if he made the motion, he should be tres- The Speaker here interrupted the poble passing upon what was the province of the lord, and said, that if he did not mean to Treasury, and interfering with their ar- propose any motion, it would be inconve. rangements; but he hoped the house would vient and improper to enter upon the parindulge him while he read the motion ticulars in a case of this nature. which he had intended to have submitted, Lord A. Hamilton agaiu rose, and said, and stated the peculiar situation in which that he was sorry to trespass on the attenbe felt himself placed. He had intended lion of the house, but all that he bad said, to have moved, that the attorney-general or meant to have said, was intended merely should be instructed to take the necessary to account for the line of conduct wbich be measures to ascertain, and secure, by due had pursued in this business. course of law, such sums as should ap- Lord H. Pétty was sensible of the irrepear to be due to the public from Mr. gularity of prolonging the discussion, but Alexander Davison, in consequence of the hoped he should be excused for taking this transactions disclosed in the Third Report opportunity of explaining to the house the of the Commissioners of Military Inquiry. proceedings which the treasury had thought If it should appear to the house, that he it right to adopt upon the third report of had been somewhat hasty in giving his no- the Commissioners of Military Inquiry, tice of the motion, he trusted the importance which be was not surprised to find bad atof the subject, and the nature of the frau- tracted the notice of his noble friend, and dulent and iniquitous transactions at of the house in general. No delay had which his notice was directed, would suf- taken place in the steps which the treasury ficiently excuse bim. A charge of being bad thought it its duty to pursue ; and it too forward to institute enquiry against would under these circumstances be an imfraud and peculation, was a charge from putation that ministers had not used prowhich he should not shrink. As he ima- per activity, if the house should take the gined there were many members who prosecution out of their hands, and institute would have been glad to have delivered steps of its own. The comınissioners of their opinions upon such a subject, be 'barrack accounts had very properly comfeared lest they should feel some mortifica- municated to the lords of the treasury their tion at the opportunity being denied them, opinion, that it was very necessary Mr. in consequence of his having relinquished Davison should produce his cash account his motion. He felt it his duty to state with the barrack-master-general. The lords the view with which he had taken up the had in consequence directed the commissionsubject. He had considered that the re- ers to call for this account; they had writtev port having been made, it was far from two letters to Mr. Davison, containing a decreditable that it should have been suffered mand to that effect; no answer had been reto have remained so long on the table un- turned to these letters, and the commissonnoticed. The opinion he had at first form-ers reported the fact to the lords of the treaed respecting the transactions developed sury. The lords of the treasury then called by the report, he was by no means disposed peremptorily on Mr. Davison to produce to abandon, He had considered, that it the account, and Mr. Davison did reply to would have been more desireable for the them, assigning a domestic calamity as the house to have instituted some process excuse for his delay, and declaring his reaagainst Mr. Alexander Davison, than that diness to give such information as to his it should have been done by the treasury. cash account as he could give ; but stating, Indeed, he had not yet wholly relinquished that as his cash account was mixed with that opinion, though certainly by his com- his other accounts, it was impossible be munications with his noble friend, it had could give a clear view of it. This anbeen very much weakened. The enor-swer was referred to the commissioners, mity of the offence was so great, and so ge- who stated upon it that it was not satisneral and extensive in its operation, that it factory; and that if the accounts kept by called for the most public and exemplary Mr. Davison were in such a form as to be
useful at all, the information which the
HOUSE OF COMMONS. commissioners wished could be collected
Tuesday, February 3. from them. The lords of the treasury up
[MINUTES.] A ballot took place for a on this ordered the Third Report of the committee to try and determine the merits Commissioners of Military Inquiry, and of the Shrewsbury Election Petition. The the correspondence between the barrack following gentlemen were appointed as the commissioners and the treasury and Mr. committee:- James Buller, esq., right hon. Davison, to be laid before the attorney and N. Vansittart, W. Gore; esq., H. Fawcett, solicitor general, for their opinion, as to esq., lord Folkestone, R. C. Ferguson; esq. what steps ought to be taken to obtain the H. C. Montgomery, esq., Oswald Markdisclosure of the cash account, and to have ham, esq., R. Sheldon, esq., hon. Jobni justice done to the public in the recovery Ramsay, R. C. Carew, esq., bon. W. Quin, of what was due to it. The attorney and hon. J. Pierce. Nominees ; George Johnsolicitor general reported their opinion, stone, Esq., Francis Horner, esq.—The and recommended as the more speedy Attorney-General, pursuant to notice, mode of proceeding, if parliament should moved for, and obtained leave to bring in, concur in the opinion, that a bill should be a bill for investing certain commissioners passed, enabling the commissioners of bar- for enquiring into the expenditure of the rack accounts to call upon Mr. Davison to Barrack Department, with powers to exaproduce bis books, and to enforce bis com- mine parties on oath, and to call for papers pliance, rather than to institute proceedings and accounts. Mr. Rose entirely approved to that effect in the exchequer. He be- of the measure proposed by the learned lieved, his learned friend the attorney-gene-gent., and gave notice, that on Thursday ral was prepared to submit a motion to next he should move, for a copy of the that effect this night. It was not compe- opinion of his majesty's attorney and solitent to him to say, in the present stage of citor general upon the transactions in the the business, whether any evidence upon Barrack Department.--Mr. Biddulph rewhich to ground a criminal prosecution newed his former notice of a motion, for a would be found; but if it should, the at- committee to enquire whether any alletorney and solicitor general would be in-viation of the public burthens might not structed by the lords of the treasury to be procured by the abolition of unnecesinstitute proceedings upon it. Mr. Da- sary and Sinecure Places for Tuesday next. vison bad written to the lords of the trea- (Scotcu Clergy Bill.] Mr. Kenrick sury, stating that he would produce an presented a petition from the committee account in his own defence, which would of the commission of the general asseinbly prove satisfactory. But unless he could of the church of Scotland, setting forth, produce his cash account, the noble lord“ that the petitioners are a committee apdid not see how it could be satisfactory. pointed by the comniission of the general The commissioners, however, bad called assembly of the church of Scotland, held for the cash account by the direction of the at Edinburgh upon the 19th of Nov. 1806, treasury, and directions had been given for with instructions to attend to the progress the recovery of the sums due; every step, of any bill that may be introduced into partherefore, that could possibly be taken, had liament founded on the Resolutions lately been resorted to, and therefore he flat. entered into by the house of lords, retered bimself that his noble friend would specting the courts of law in Scotland, and not repent the fair and candid manner in to adopt every prudent and temperate meawhich he had consented to withdraw his sure for naintaining the established rights motion.
and privileges of the Clergy of the church The Attorney-General then moved, that of Scotland, and that the petitioners have there be laid before the house the com- been informed, that a bill has been brought mission appointing Charles Herries, esq. into the house for suspending, for a limited and W. Bragge, esq. commissioners for time, the powers vested in the court of seś, barrack accounts. He also gave notice, sion as commissioners of Teinds by an act that he should to-morrow move for leave to of the Scots parliament, passed in the year bring in a bill, to invest the commissioners 1707, c. 9, and for certain other purposes; før enquiring into the barrack accounts with and as the petitioners are convinced, that the same powers to examine persons on the provisions of the said bill will be highly oath, as the commissioners of army ex- prejudicial to the interests of the Clergy penditure.
of Scotland, therefore praying, that the Vol. VIII.
same inay not be passed into a law, or atsions, of which those commissioners were least that, before any farther proceedings members, would terminate its sittings on take place with regard to it, they may be the 12th of March, and not resume them heard, by their counsel, at the bar of the before the 12th of May, but the time of buuse, against the same being passed into suspension was not to exceed the first day a law.” On the motion thal the petition of the subsequent sessions : where then, do lie on the table,
be asked, was the ground for any reasonMr. Wilberforce said, he has not yet able complaint of delay, when the recess had sufficient opportunity of acquiring the was to
soon, and the necessary inforniation upon the subject, time of suspension was to be limited by its but from the little information he had ob- termination ? tailed, he was induced to think that it The Lord Adrocate of Scotland said, he would be more adviseable to hear counsel should desire no better testimony to the before the house should go into a com- sincerity of his good wishes to the Church mittee on the bill, because then gentlemen of Scotland than that of the Scotch Clergy would in that case be in possession of the themselves. Taught, he might say, from leading objections urged by the petitioners his infancy, to hold that respectable class against the bill, and perhaps it would ap- of the community in proper estimation, he pear that all such miglit be so modified in did not think that he could be supposed the committee, as entirely to satisfy all capable of deliberately introducing into parties ; an object which, whether he consi- that house any measure that could, in the dered the character of the learned lord slightest degree, tend to detract from their with whom the bill origin: ted, or the great privileges, or to alienate their rights : so far respectability of that class of men who had from it, that he had it in his intention to now pétitioned against it, was with bim submit, upon a future day, to that house, one of no inconsiderable importance. some measure for rendering them more
The Speaker felt it his duty to acquaint secure and permanent. He was, however, the bouse, that as the bill in question bad as willing as any gentlemen in that house been read a second time, it was not the could be, to hear the petitioners by their regular usage to bear petitioners by their counsel: he was anxious that no possible counsel at ihe bar, in any stage so inter- channel of information upon that subject mediate as that in the present instance. should be closed. The principle of the When the bill was committed, it would be bill was not objected to, but the modififor the committee to exercise its own cations which the bill should undergo when discretion; but it was more usual for in the committee. He was persuaded that the house to hear coupsel upon the report when the blanks were filled up in the com being brought up.
mittee, the petitioners would then see the Mr. Adam begged leave to observe, that bill in a clear point of view, and feel, as he no counsel could be heard in the present did now, how groundless were their apprestage of the bill, and that were it even not hensions. When he had the honour of irregular it would be inconvenient, for that submitting that bill to the house, he felt he was satisfied the objections of the clergy happy in the consciousness of introducing of Scotland, for whom he entertained the a regulation that he believed would be bes most unfeigned respect, went rather to the neficial 10 the church of Scotland: but if apprehended modifications of the bill, than it should appear otherwise ; if there was the to the principle of the bill itself, for it was least ground 10 suspect that it might be fieither in the nature, nor was it any part productive of any consequences injurious of the object of the bill, to take away any to the Scots Clergy, he should feel still privilege, or to infringe upon any right. greater happiness in immediately with He assured the hon. gent. and the house, drawing it.-The petition was then, toge that nothing was more foreign to the minds ther with another on the same subject, of those with whom the bill originated, ordered to lie on the table, till the report than any sentiment hostile to the true in- of the bill; and the committee on the te ests of the Scotch Clergy. The object Scotch Clergy bill was put off to 'Thursday. of the bill was merely to suspend for a limited time, and a very limited time, cer
HOUS!: OF LORDS. tain proceedings pending before the com
Wednesday, February 4. missioners of Teinds, relative to the aus- (SLAVETRADE A BOLITION Bill.]Coun: mentation of stipends. The court of sesa i having been called in, pursuaut to order, Mr. Plumer and Mr. Dallas attended, on if a few more or a few less ships were debehalf of the West-India merchants; Mr. voted to this commerce, but to wipe away Alexander, for the merchants of Liver. the disgrace of this country, by the direcpool; Mr. Scarlet, for the merchants and tion thus given to the industry and talents planters of the islands of Jamaica and Tri- of British merchants. The learned counpidad; and Mr. Clarke, on the part of the sel, by shewing that the capital of this decorporation of Liverpool, and the trustees scription of persons was largely concerned, of the dock of that port. The arrange- in part supplied the motive on which the ment with respect to the order in which proposal for the abolition was founded. the learned counsel for the several inter-Tbus, without any confirmation from the ests should be heard, having been refer-witnesses proposed, all the facts that were red to their own decision ; Mr. Alexan- material were admitted. It might be eader, for the merchants of Liverpool, first sy to shew, that particular items to which addressed their lordships, and concluded the learned counsel adverted, did not opewith requesting that, according to the prayer rate in aid of his argument: thus, the preof the petitioners for whom he appeared, miums paid to insurers were not to be witnesses might be called in. The coun- deemed all profit; they were a considerasel having been ordered to withdraw, tion for certain risk, and were in propor
Lord Grenville said, that for the purpose tion to the hazard to which the property he then had in view, it would not be at would be exposed. The principal motive, all necessary to enter into the general then, of the bill was, that British capital question; the simple enquiry was, whe- was engaged in the trade; and an addi. ther, in the present situation of things, ittional instigation to the adoption of it was, was or was not expedient to hear the de- that in the present posture of affairs, it positions of the witnesses, according to the could be supported by no other capital; recommendation of the learned counsel. so that, by withdrawing the subjects of this In his opinion, there could be no ground country from the commerce, it would be for this mode of proceeding, unless their effectually abolished. lordships thought that this was a subject Lord Eldon was willing to admit, that, utterly unknown to them; and that in con- in the instance now before their lordships, sequence of the deficiency of all former ex- the examination of witnesses would not be perience and information, it was necessary necessary; but he was anxious to enter bis to go into a long and formal examination of protest against any determination not to the inaiter. This was not the first time, or hear evidence in a future stage of the prvthe first year, that the enquiry was made be- ceeding. It was true that this grave and fore tbeir lordships : it was the 20th year important subject had been long under disin which it had been brought under their cussion ; but it was not merely expedient to consideration; and there was no one ses- shew that this trade was contrary to jussion during that long period in which it tice and humanity. Admitting it to be so, had not been, in some forin or other, sub- the circumstances, the mode, and the time mitted to the investigation of parliament. of its abolition), were proper matters of Could any individual peer suppose, that, consideration. What had been the course to enable him to decide on the principle of of proceeding? A noble lord, in the last this bill, it was expedient to examine how session, had brought forward Resolutions, far the local interests of the ship-uwners of which einbraced a vast deal more than Liverpool were concerned, and what were was comprised in the present bill: those their comparative profits in the subsisting extended to the total abolition of the Slave intercourse between Africa and the West Trade. He did not believe that the meaIndies ? This bill was not offered to their sure now proposed would diminish the tranlordships, because the capital of no Bri- sport of negroes, or that a single individual tish subjects was employed in the Slave would be preserved by it; at the same time Trade, or because no British mariners that it would be utterly destructive of the were engaged in it; but expressly because British interests involved in that commerce. the property and persons of the subjects This house was always disposed to proceed of this realın were engaged in it: and with deliberation and with justice; and in hence it called upon the justice and huma- pursuance of that line of conduct, it had denity of their lordships to prevent this mis- termined not to hear the evidence on this afapplication both of the one and the other. fair in a committee above stairs. He trusted Their lordships were not now to determine, that the same discretion would be now em