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PROCEEDINGS OF PARLIAMENT.
HOUSE OF LORDS.
tion from Saltcoats, Ardrossan, &c. stating
the distresses of the country, and praying April 16.-The House met in pursuance for parliamentary reform. of the vote of adjournment.
Earl GREY moved that Lord Sidmouth's LORD SÍDMOUTH'S CIRCULAR LETTER. circular letter, laid on the table on a former
Earl GREY moved that a copy of Lord day, be printed ; which was ordered. The Sidmouth's letter to the Lords Lieutenant of Noble Earl then moved for the opinion of counties, relative to the circulation of sedi- the law-officers of the Crown, referred to in tious pamphlets, be laid on the table. Or- the circular letter. Ordered. dered.
April 25.-The Earl of HOPETOUN was The Irish Laws Execution Bill was read introduced by Lord Forbes and the Marquis a third time and passed.
of Huntley, and took the usual oaths and April 21.Lord SIDMOUTH laid on the his seat, as Lord Niddry and Baron Hopetable his circular letter to the Lords Lieutenant of counties of England and Wales, re Lord DIGBY presented a petition from lative to the apprehension of persons selling certain persons in Dorsetshire against the seditious writings, moved for by Earl Grey. importation of foreign wool.
Lord HOLLAND observed, that this letter Earl DARNLEY called the attention of alone was not sufficient for bringing the the House to the construction which had whole case before their Lordships. When been put by certain magistrates, in a late his Noble Friend moved for this letter, he instance, on the Seditious Meetings Act, and had stated, that it was his intention to move said he should take the liberty to call their also, on another occasion, for the opinion of Lordships' attention to the matter on Monthe law-officers of the Crown referred to in day. that letter, and for the case laid before these April 28.-Mr CHALMERS (solicitor) officers. His Noble Friend, he understood, presented the report of a parliamentary most undoubtedly meant to make that mo commission respecting the state of the fertion ; and he was anxious that the Noble ries between the city of Edinburgh, and the Secretary of State would now state whether county of Fife. Laid on the table. he had any objection to the production of Lord SIDMOUTH laid on the table the these papers. The letter of the Noble Lord opinion of the law-officers of the Crown, had been, as there was reason to believe, referred to in his circular letter. Ordered already productive of some consequences to be printed. which probably the Noble Secretary himself never intended. He did not mean to say Earl DARNLEY, agreeably to his notice, that the Noble Secretary of State, or any of brought the circumstance of the refusal of the persons concerned, were to blame; but the city magistrates to grant a license to the it was a matter of great importance that the Academical Society before the House, with subject should be discussed ; and that, in the view of letting the country know, by order to bring before the House the requi- the answer ministers might give, whether it site information for that discussion, the case was the object of the act to prevent all poliand opinion should be laid on the table. tical discussion whatever. The person who had been molested was a LORD SIDMOUTH had no objection to Unitarian preacher, Mr Wright of Liver. state, that according to his belief, neither pool.
the framers of the act, nor those who supLord SIDMOUTH.-Their Lordships' or- ported it, ever intended that the act in der had been complied with, and the circu. question should put an end to all political lar letter which he had thought it his duty discussion whatever. Their Lordships might to publish was now on the table. Cer. examine that act, and every clause of it, tainly it was not his intention that persons and see whether there was any clause which should be disturbed in their religious wor could by possibility bear such a construction ship; and of the case which the Noble as that which, according to the Noble Lord's Lord mentioned he had heard nothing, ex statement, had been put upon it. cept what he had just heard from his Lord. (No particular business on the 29th and ship; but it was a case that would probably 30th.) have occurred, though no such circular letter had been published ; and he did not
HOUSE OF COMMONS. see how it was particularly connected with that letter. He had no objection to produce
ILLNESS OF THE SPEAKER. the opinion ; but he would oppose the April 14.-A considerable number of production of the case, and would state his members attended at four o'clock, when, reasons when the motion should be made with their permission, Mr Dyson read to for its production. Adjourned.
them a letter he had received from the April 24. Earl GREY presented a peti. Speaker, dated Kidbrook, April 13th. It
SEDITIOUS MEETINGS ACT.
expressed great concern, that he was not and good conduct, and had been reduced to able, through ill health, to attend his duty this state by circumstances over which the in the House on the present day, and his sufferers had no control. The Hon. Gendeep regret at the postponement of the public tleman begged to press the consideration of business which his absence might occasion. this subject on his Majesty's ministers. He Though at present it was hazardous for him would not move that the petition be referred to attend, yet he hoped he should experi- to the Committee on the Poor Laws, but ence the re-establishment of his health in that it be laid on the table for their consithe course of a week. The CHANCELLOR deration. of the EXCHEQUER observed, that a duty The petition was brought up and read. fell on him, which must be a painful con. It stated that the support of the poor had sideration to all; but it was consolatory, already ruined many of the former contributhat it gave an opportunity to the House of tors, and would ruin others, unless an impassing an unanimous vote, in consequence mediate relief were obtained. of the ill health of their estimable Speaker. The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER His health had indeed been much sacrificed said, that the subject had occupied much of lately by his anxiety and late sittings in the his attention, and on Monday next he meant chair ; in which those who had most ob. to move that the House resolve itself into a served his conduct, would be most deeply Committee of the whole House, to take into impressed with a feeling of his integrity, at consideration a proposition for enabling his tention, and ability. He concluded by pro. Majesty to issue Exchequer Bills to a limitposing an adjournment to Thursday se'n. ed extent, for the purpose of supplying loans night. Unanimously agreed to.
on proper securities, to give encouragement April 24. On the Speaker taking the for the employment of the poor. These chair, the members crowded round him, loans would be advanced to corporations, to and offered their congratulations on his re- parishes, or to associations of individuals covery
who might be desirous to employ, in any PETITION FOR RETRENCHMENT. public work, the poor in their neighbourThe Hon. Mr BENNET, after moving hood, upon their giving security to the com. that the Police Committee be instructed to missioners at whose disposal, or under whose report their proceedings to the House from management, the issue of bills should be time to time, presented a petition, signed placed, that they would be repaid. Securiby 5000 inhabitants of the town of Wol. ty might in parishes be given on the poorverhampton and neighbourhood, praying rate. Bills to the amount of between for a reduction of taxes, and other means one and two millions would be sufficient of relief. They represented, that they were to give the relief contemplated, and in a state of the greatest suffering and hard. answer all the purposes of such a loan. ship, in a great measure to be attributed to He believed such a measure would not taxation ; and prayed for a diminution. in any material degree affect the money Their sufferings would be believed to be market, which could afford all the issue great, when it was known that several in- without great deterioration.
The Right dividuals in that neighbourhood were stated Hon. Gentleman concluded by giving noto have perished by famine. Employment tice, by command of the Prince Regent, had completely failed them; and if no other that he would on Monday move that the şemedy could be devised for their distress, House resolve itself into a Committee of the the petitioners prayed that they might be whole House, to consider the propriety of furnished with the means of leaving the issuing Exchequer Bills to a limited extent, country, and retiring to a foreign land. to afford loans, upon security to be given, The petition was read, and ordered to lie for the local and temporary relief of the on the table.
poor, by encouraging works for the employ. RELIEF OF THE POOR.
ment of their industry. The Hon. W. H. LYTTLETON pre
The Hon. W. LAMBE said, there was sented a petition from the parish of Old one point of view in which the measure inSwinford, in the town of Stourbridge, com tended to be proposed deserved the most plaining of the pressure of the poor rates, serious consideration ; and that was, wheto which he wished particularly to call the ther it was to be considered as a means of attention of the House. The burdens of temporary relief, or a sạbstitute for all those this parish were oppressive beyond the usual other measures which were rendered necesrate of imposition : the rate assessed on sary for remedying the evils which had arisen house-rent was 29s. in the pound on the out of the system under which we have been rent of land employed on farms, 32s. in the so long acting. In this sense, the proposed pound ; and on several kinds of land the measure involved the consideration of a sys. rate amounted to the almost incredible sum tem which had been already productive of of 61s. per acre. The populațion of the serious inconvenience, and threatened farparish amounted to 4381. Of these 1868 ther evils. He hoped, therefore, this plan received parish aid. The whole of this bur- of the Right Hon. Gentleman was not the den was laid on 158 individuals, who were only one. He did not deny the propriety the only persons able to contribute. The of this step, but he would protest against parish was formerly exemplary for morals any reliance on its sufficiency. The subject
was now pressed upon us by necessity : we sistence should be exempted from taxation saw the calamity under which the country as far as was possible, consistently with the laboured; we should not rest satisfied with political safety of the country. His only palliatives, but should go at once to the object at present was inquiry : he wished root of the evil, and endeavour permanently for a full exposition of the case; and with to counteract its malignity.
this view the Hon. Gentleman moved, that The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER a Committee be appointed to take the laws replied, that one object of the plan which he relative to the trade in salt into their con. had given notice of submitting to the House sideration, and to report their opinions from was, to advance money to associations of in time to time to the House. dividuals, and another to make these advan The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER ces to public bodies. It was not intended did not think the proposition of the Hon. that they should be made to single indivi. Gentleman could be at present entertained. duals for any purpose connected with the The agitation of this question had occasion. measure in question. The first object would ed already a deficiency in the receipt of the embrace the support and encouragement of revenue of £80,000; and it was incumbent public works under certain limitations; and on the Hon. Gentleman to show either the upon full security for the repayment of the possibility of finding a commutation, or of our money, the persons furnishing that security dispensing with a revenue of £1,500,000. to take a counter security upon the parochial As a measure of relief, a bill was now unfunds.
der the consideration of the House, for al. April 25.—Sir B. HOBHOUSE presented lowing the use of rock-salt, duty free, for a petition from the West of England Agri- the purpose of curing fish ; and he was not cultural Society, praying for the abolition quite certain that some indulgence might of the present salt duties, as injurious to the not be given to salt used for cattle. The manufacturing, agricultural, and commer. Right Hon. Gentleman then read an excial interests.
tract of a letter from the proprietors of Mr HARVEY presented a petition against several extensive salt-works, to the effect, the Saving Banks Bill now before Parlia that they were decidedly of opinion that the ment, as injurious and unnecessary. Laid present motion would ultimately be inju. on the table.
rious to their interests; and he concluded On the motion for the second reading of by saying, that the House would do well to the bill to authorise the granting of leases postpone the consideration of this important of tithes, Mr F. Lewis, after some obser matter until the bill in question had been vations on the different acts empowering fully discussed ; and, upon these grounds, justices of the peace to levy the small tithes, he felt it his duty to move the previous and those not exceeding £10 in amount by question. warrant of distress, expressed a wish that it
Mr CALCRAFT replied generally, upon should be an instruction to the Committee, which the House divided. For the motion to provide for amending such parts of the 70; against it 79; majority 9. late act as referred to this branch of their
CATHOLIC EMANCIPATION. authority, (the 53d of the king, c. 127) for April 28.—Sir H. PARNELL presented the purpose of proposing a clause extending a petition from the Irish Catholics for emantheir power to the determination of com cipation; in which the objection to the in. plaints or the recovery of tithes to the amount terference of the Pope in the appointment of £20. The bill having been read a se to vacant Sees is proposed to be obviated by cond time, this motion was put and carried. a concordat, to be procured from his Holi.
ness, that none but native-born subjects Mr CALCRAFT rose to make his pro shall ever be raised to the prelacy, and that mised motion on this subject. In the the election shall be exclusively in the hands course of his speech the Hon. Gentleman of the native clergy. The Veto the Catholics pointed out the impolicy of continuing the still refuse. present enormous duties, which amounted Mr WM Smith presented a petition to no less than 3000 per cent. on a raw from the English Catholics, praying that material of our own produce. Such a tax domestic nomination might be held a suffi. mixed itself with every thing connected with cient security to be taken from the Catholics, the price of labour and the subsistence of as the condition of admitting them into the
It fell with grievous weight privileges of the British Constitution. on the prices of butter, bacon, fish, meat,
FREEDOM OF POLITICAL DISCUSSION. and all the primary and indispensable ar
Mr WILBERFORCE presented a petition ticles of food among the lower classes. In from a certain society, called the Academithis point of view its effects were as impoli- cal Society, instituted for the purpose of tic as they were unjust. The price of la. literary, political, and philosophical disbour was not now regulated by the price of cussion, and the promotion of general food; a redundant population, and dimi- knowledge, complaining of the refusal of nished trade, had left it dependent entirely the magistrates to grant them a license, and on such competition for it as remained. It praying the House to afford them relief was necessary, therefore, in the present cir. Mr B. BATHURST professed himself cumstances, that the essential articles of sub. ignorant of the motives of the magistrates
on the present occasion. On the allegation amount of the last half-year's poor-rates at of the petitioners, it appeared that the ma Easter 1817; to be paid out of accruing gistrates had refused the license, because rates within two years after Easter 1818; they thought it was the intention of the le- but such advance shall be made only when gislature to prohibit all political discussion, such last poor-rate was double the amount and he must entirely disclaim any such in. of the last three year's average. tention on the part of the legislature ; it “ Amount of Exchequer bills advanced might be within the discretion of the magis- to corporations, &c. in Great Britain, shall trate to determine whether or not a meeting be paid with 5 per cent. interest, fifteen days were held for seditious or literary purposes, before the Exchequer bills become due. but it never could be the intention of the “ Sums advanced in Ireland shall be legislature to prohibit political discussion. paid with 6 per cent. interest, by such in. The petition was laid on the table, and or. stalments as the commissioners there shall dered to be printed.
direct, with consent of the Lord Lieutenant. Mr BROUGHAM presented a petition Exchequer bills issued and not used, from Birmingham, signed by upwards of shall be cancelled. 12,000 persons.
It contained a statement, “ Treasury may repay other Exchequer in humble and earnest, but touching lan- bills with sums paid. guage, of a degree of misery almost ap “ Clauses for securing repayment by proproaching despair. Laid on the table, and cess. Commissioners empowered to comordered to be printed.
pound with bankrupts, RELIEF OF THE POOR.
“ Seven commissioners a quorum in The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER Great Britain. The majority in Ireland, brought forward his plan for the issue of excepting in cases specified where they may Exchequer Bills for the relief of the sufftr. ing manufacturers and others. He moved “ The Bank of England shall keep actwo resolutions, which, after some discus. count with commissioners. sion, were agreed to.
“ Exchequer bills charged on aids of The following is an abstract of the bill 1820. proposed.
“ Commissioners to report to Parliament, Exchequer Bills, not exceeding the “ Vacancies in commissioners to be supamount of £1,500,000, may be issued in plied in Great Britain by the survivors, &c. Great Britain (at 21d.), payable within three in Ireland by the Lord Lieutenant." years.
In a Committee, a clause was added to “ In Ireland, Lord Lieutenant may direct the Saving Banks' Bill, directing the money the issue of £250,000 out of growing pro to be vested in the hands of the commissionduce of consolidated fund there.
ers for liquidating the national debt; the “ Commissioners for the execution of the object of which was to prevent that fluctuaact in Great Britain to be named in the tion to which the property of the subscribers bill; for Ireland to be appointed by the to saving banks would be liable, were it Lord Lieutenant. To be sworn, and to act invested directly in the public funds and without salaries.
negotiable. “ Commissioners to examine parties com
THIRD SECRETARY OF STATE. ing before them on oath ; and to class all Mr TiernEY made his promised moapplications, and to certify the sums requir- tion on this subject, with the view, and in ed to the Treasury in Great Britain and to the hope, of saving £12,000 a-year to the the Lord Lieutenant in Ireland, who are country. The Right Hon. Gentleman, afthereupon to direct the issue of Exchequer ter stating the recent origin of this office, Bills or advance of money accordingly. and the business belonging to it (chiefly co
“ Persons receiving advances for the use lonial), which he thought could, as former, of any corporation, or parish in Great Bri. ly, be managed at the office of the Secretary tain, shall give their personal security, by for the Home Department, concluded by bond, to the king.
moving, “ That a Committee be appointed Mortgages of tolls, &c. shall also be to consider the nature of the business trans, taken, which shall have preference over all acted by the Secretary of State for the Co, dividends and claims of proprietors; but lonial Department; to ascertain whether not over claims of previous creditors without the existence of that department was ne. the consent of 4-5ths of them.
cessary ; whether it could with convenience “ Money may be advanced in Ireland in be transferred to any other; and what di. aid of works managed by Commissioners minution of expense would thereby be efappointed by the Lord Licutenant on mort
fected.” gage of the rates, &c.
After a debate of some length, the House * Trustees on roads may increase tolls to divided, when there appeared for the mo, secure the payments to an amount not ex. tion 87 ; against it 190 ; majority 103. ceeding one-half of the original toll.
LICENSES TO PHILOSOPHICAL SOCIE“ Advances to parishes in Great Britain shall be made only on application of four Sir M. W. RIDLEY, in rising to move fifths in valuc, and a majority in number of for a copy of the petition of the Academical the inhabitants, and shall not exceed the Society, in Chancery Lane, to the Quarter
Sessions of London, for a license to hold April 30.--MR MANNERS SUTTON Obtheir meetings according to the provisions tained leave to bring in a bill to amend and of the late act, said that he had to inform consolidate the acts with respect to spiritual the House of another instance of the un persons holding farms, for enforcing the rea warrantable and oppressive construction sidence of spiritual persons on their benea which had been given to the late act. The fices, and for the support and maintenance of Philosophical Society, established in 1808, stipendiary curates. He said that the bill for the discussion of political and philoso would follow the course pointed out by the phical subjects, applied for a license at the act of the 43d of the king, and conclude by Quarter Sessions of London, on the 14th of re-enacting the provisions of the act of the April. The magistrates required a list of 53d, with regard to the allowances to cu. the subjects it was to discuss, and a defini. rates ; and would allow the clergy to take tion of what its title or constitution would a farm to the extent of twenty acres. The allow it to introduce. The society refused bill would also provide for suspending all to comply with this condition, and its meet- prosecutions, on account of non-residence, ings were in consequence suspended. If for six months after the expiration of the the magistrates of London, who were ac act of the 54th.
The ecclesiastical year customed to expound the law, and to hear was made to begin on the 1st of January, it expounded, who were men of education and end on the 31st of December; and it and information, were thus ignorant of the was enacted, that all licenses for non-resi. true construction of the late act, what dence should in future be limited to two would be the consequence of having its pro years, always ending on the 31st of Decemvisions interpreted by other magistrates
not ber. With regard to the stipendiary clergy, so well informed, with a less vigilant public the alterations consisted in little more than to watch them, and with fewer facilities of in what might be called a dislocation of the legal correction ? (Hear, hear!) The ex clauses in the former act. tent to which the zeal or the ignorance of Lord EBRINGTON wished to know whes such men might carry them, might easily ther there was any clause enabling the be conjectured ; and the danger to the lib. bishop to appoint a curate, wherever he erties of the people from their conduct might thought the duty was not adequately pereasily be admitted, when he mentioned, formed by the incumbent. that in one part of the country a mineralo Mr MANNERS SUTTON said, there was gical society had been refused a license, be. a clause of that description. cause the magistrates were of opinion that The bill was then brought in, read a first the study of mineralogy had a blasphemous time, and ordered to be read a second time tendency. (Hear, hear! and a laugh.) on Friday se'nnight. The Hon. Baronet said, if Parliament did
RELIEF BILL. not interfere, all freedom of debate or dis The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER cussion was at an end. (Hear!) The brought in a bill to enable the CommissionHon. Baronet concluded by moving for a ers of the Treasury to issue £1,500,000 in copy of the petition to the magistrates of Exchequer Bills, under certain limitations, London, by the Academical Society that for the furtherance of public works of utimeets in Chancery-lane, for a license on the lity, the encouragement of the fisheries, and 18th of April.
the employment of the poor, for a limited Mr B. BATHURST had no objection to time-securities being given for the repaythe motion ; and with respect to the case of ment.--Read a first time, and ordered to the Mineralogical Society, the construction be read a second time on this day se’nnight, of the act was so absurd, that any law, how, and to be printed. ever easily understood, might be perverted The Clerk of the Peace Fees' Bill, and to any purpose by persons who could so far the Window Light Bill, were read a third. transgress the common rules of interpreta- time and passed. tion, as had been done in this case.
bility to manage and settle all my affairs ti Cobbett's Address • to the Public." England. I owe my countrymen most siriLiverpool, March 20, 1817. -My de
cere regard, which I shall always entertain parture for America will surprise nobody for them in a higher degree than towards but those who do not reflect. A full
any other people upon earth. carry no. and explicit statement of my reasons will thing from my country but my wife and my appear in a few days, probably on the 5th children, and, surely, they are my own at of April. In the meanwhile, I think it any rate. I shall always love England bet. necessary for me to make known, that I ter than any other country :-I will never have fully empowered a person of respecta- become a subject or citizen of any other