« PreviousContinue »
ment, but the exclusion of per- the great men by whom the Resons who had been supporters of volution was effected, of the deCromwell, who had contributed ceitful character of the Catholic to overturn the constitution. The religion, and of the abhorrent nanext was the Test Act, passed in ture of their tenets. In all these the 25th of Charles And. Un- circumstances would be seen the doubtedly that act was directed cause of laws so contrary to the against the Catholics, but chiefly spirit which produced the Revoagainst the duke of York, the lution. The necessity for those presumptive heir of the crown, laws no longer existing, the policy and known to be of the Catholic which induced our ancestors to religion. Then came the 30th of pass them could no longer be Charles 2nd, of the origin of which urged for their continuance; but it is notorious, that it was a con- the policy which induced them to sequence of the plots of Oates declare that the English were free, and Bedloe. This act was passed, required that freedom should be not as the noble and learned lord extended to the Catholics, now described as emanating from the that no cause remained for withdeliberate wisdom and prospec. holding it. tive caution of parliament, but for The earl then deviated into a the purpose of excluding one close attack upon the principles class of the king's subjects from avowed by the Chancellor, in the rights and privileges, which which he did not forget a defence until that period they had en- of the system of Locke, in whom joyed. Such were the laws passed he found the friend of justice, previous to the Revolution, all of benevolence, and freedom. He them founded on particular cir. ended his speech, with noticing cumstances which no longer ex- the present dangers which threatisted. It was true that our an- ened our security; and he asked, cestors, after the expulsion of why is Ireland to be left a conJames, retained those laws, and tinued prey to that system of added others of a more severe proscription from whence so much tenor ; but let their lordships alarm and danger has been felt look at the causes which induced through the empire ? Was it any them so to act. The king had thing less than madness to suffer taken refuge with, and received such dangers to accumulate, and assistance from, the greatest Ca- not, when the opportunity pretholic sovereign in Europe. He sented itself, to take the certain was supported by a number of means to allay present disconpartizans in this country, of whom tent, and provide future security. the largest proportion were Ca- The Earl of Liverpool, who tholics. Our ancestors, wisely succeeded to the last speaker, deviating as little as possible from found little to add to the attacks the principle of hereditary suc- made by the Chancellor and other cession, had established the suc- opposers of the Catholic claims. cession in the line of the exiled He fully subscribed to that sys. monarch's daughters. Added to tem which maintained itself by a that, was the belief entertained by Protestant religion, with a Pro
testant monarchy, and a Protes. would, he hoped, have met with tant parliament.
the general concurrence of their The remaining speakers, com- lordships. That hope was founded prising the Marquis of Lans- on the reasonableness, as it apdowne, the Earl of Westmore- peared to him, of the bill itself, land, the Earl of Carnarvon, the and the admission that doctrines Duke of Wellington, and the of faith were not a ground for the Earl of Darnley, made little ad- exclusion of Roman Catholics dition to the arguments used by from the enjoyment of the adthe speakers which had preceded vantages of the British constituthem. The question was then tion. But he was told, from an loudly called for, which gave, authority which he could not Contents
70 doubt, that his bill was to be met Proxies.
36 with a most determined opposi
-106 tion. His lordship entered with Not Contents
97 much ability into a discussion re. Proxies.
specting the intended attack; but
-147 it will probably be more to the Majority against the Motion, 41. purpose, to consider the resolu
On May 25th, Earl Grey rose, tions of a body of men against to submit to their lordships a bill the bill in question, on which he to relieve Roman Catholics from was told that a petition was to be taking the declaratory oaths founded. against Transubstantiation and The first resolution stated, the Invocation of Saints. He “ That the British constitution presumed, that no obstacle would and government are essentially be opposed to the passing of this and fundamentally Protestant, bill, which did not in the least in- and the Protestant religion forms terfere with any securities which the great security of the public some noble lords thought ought happiness and welfare of this to be required of Roman Catho- country, as established and selics. It merely affected certain cured by a solemn national comdogmatic opinions, and had no re. pact at the period of the Revoluference whatever to any question tion, and by the acts of the legisof supremacy, political or spiri- lature which happily settled the tual. He then presented a bill crown of these realms upon his for abrogating so much of the majesty's august family.”. The Acts of the 25th and 30th of second resolution mentioned, Charles 2nd as prescribes to all “ That being sensible of the reofficers civil and military, and to ligious and political blessings enmembers of both Houses of par- joyed under the sway of the royal liament, a Declaration against the house of Brunswick, and conDoctrine of Transubstantiation vinced that upon the maintenance and the Invocation of Saints. of that compact, and of those
The Bill was read a first time. acts of settlement; the safety of
On the 10th of June, Earl his majesty's person and governGrey said, that the bill the second ment; the continuance of the moreading of which he rose to move, narchy of England; the preservation of the Protestant religion in although the said declarations all its integrity; the maintenance against transubstantiation and poof the church of England, as by pery contain only a renunciation law established; the security of of certain opinions entertained by the ancient and undoubted rights Roman Catholics, yet they form, and liberties ; and the future in the opinion of this meeting, peace and tranquillity of this the priucipal test by which Roman kingdom; do, under God, entirely Catholics are to be ascertained, depend; this meeting is filled and without which, the oaths of with alarm when the least attempt allegiance and supremacy are not is made to abrogate any of the sufficient to exclude Roman Calaws, or subvert any of the secu- tholics from parliament, and from rities, by which those inestimable situations of political power." privileges are held.” 3rd, They The sixth resolution represented, profess, “ that by the wise policy“ that the Catholics regarded of our ancestors, Roman Catho- certain oaths as null and void, and lics were excluded from bearing affirmed that the Pope had himcertain offices and from the legis. self, a few years ago, published a lature and councils of the nation; proclamation to his subjects, and by stat. 39, Charles 2nd, it wherein he authorized them to was enacted, that no peer of the take a distinction between active realm, or member of the House and passive oaths.” In the seventh of Commons should vote or sit in it was asserted, “ that the Romish parliament, until he take the oaths church granted no toleration to of allegiance and supremacy, and those who did not participate in make, subscribe, and audibly re- its communion ; and that therepeat the declaration against tran- fore there could be no peace or substantiation and popery." The security for those who professed 4th resolution stated, “ that the a different creed.” meeting has been informed, that It may be supposed, that several a bill has been brought into par- of the allegations brought forwards liament, and is now in progress, in this declaration were severely in which it is proposed, that the commented on by the mover of declaration against transubstan- the bill; and the accession of tiation required by the statute 25, Lord Grenville to the Catholic Charles 2nd, and the declaration side was an important addition, against transubstantiation and po- which seemed to make a powerful pery, required by the statute 30, impression on the House. When, Charles 2nd, shall no longer be however, a division of the House required to be taken as a qualifi- was declared, it appeared that the cation for holding any office or numbers were kept steady to their place of trust from his majesty, party. It stood thus: or under his authority, or for sit- Contents
49 ting or voting in either House of Proxies
33 parliament; provided, that nothing
-S2 therein should dispense any person Not Contents
2 from taking the oaths of alle- Proxies
.69 giance or supremacy,” The fifth
-141 resolution was as follows: “ That Majority against the Bill, 59,
CHAP. CHAPTER VI.
Parliamentary Proceedings.- Second Report on Resumption of Cash
Payments. - Motion for a Committee on the Royal Burghs of Scotland.- Army Estimates.- Marquis Camden's Tellership Bill. Foreign Enlistment Bill.-Motion on the State of the Nation.Motion for considering of Parliamentary Reform.-Reversal of Fitzgerald Attainder.-Motion for an Address respecting the Slave Trade.-Bill for Encouragement of Emigration to the Cape of Good Hope.-Budget.-Speaker's Speech.-Prince Regent's Speech.Prorogation.
SECOND Report of the Com. The committee then informed
mittee of Secrecy on the Re- themselves of the amount of cash sumption of Cash Payments.-On and bullion in the coffers of the May 6, Mr. Peel presented to the Bank at various periods since House of Commons an elaborate 1797, and of the quantity of gold report, divided by the committee coin issued by it between the 1st of secrecy into two parts ;--the of January 1817, at which period results of their inquiries into the a partial resumption of cash paystate of the Bank of England- ments had been resorted to, and and their opinion with respect to the 1st of January 1819; which the expediency of the resumption was found to amount to about of payments in specie, at the 6,756,0001. They next call the period at which by law they are attention of the public to the to be resumed. On the first head, amount of the debt due by it to they stated themselves to have the Bank of England, which, on begun by ascertaining that the the 29th of April last, reached sums which the Bank were liable the sum of 19,438,9001. After a to be called on to pay in ful- variety of details and references filment of their engagements, to evidence connected with this amounted on the 30th of January part of the subject, the committee last; to 33,894,3801., and that the add ;-That the amount of their Bank were then in possession of advances to the public is urged government securities and other by the Bank as one of the main credits to the amount of impediments to their early re39,096,9001., leaving a surplus in sumption of cash payments; and favour of the Bank of 5,202,3201.; that, in order to make preparaexclusive of the permanent debt tions for their resumption, the due from government to the Bank require a re-payment to the Bank of 14,686,8001., re-payable extent of ten millions. For such on the expiration of the charter. re-payment, the committee earVol. LXI.
nestly recommend it to the House vestment of British capital in to make immediate provision, and foreign funds,--the rates of exalso to establish some permanent change—and the effects likely to provisions limiting and defining be produced on such rates by the the authority of the Bank to proposed resumption. On the make advances to the govern- whole, it is inferred that Great ment, and to purchase govern- Britain has the power of comment securities; and bringing manding a metallic currency, but under the constant inspection of that the return to it ought to be parliament, the extent to which gradual ; and the committee conthat authority may be in future clude, by recommending to the exercised.
attention of parliament the fol. On the second head of inquiry, lowing outlines of a plan for the the expediency of returning to purpose. “ That, after the first cash payments at the period fixed of May 1821, the Bank shall be by law,--the committee proceed liable to deliver a quantity of to state arguments and detail gold, not less than 60 ounces, evidence from which it appears of standard fineness, to be first first, that the Bank have already essayed and stamped at his mavery considerably reduced their jesty's mint, at the established issues of notes since the begin- mint price of 31.17s. 104d. per oz., ning of 1818; 2ndly, that in order in exchange for such an amount to secure themselves against the of notes presented to them as effects of a return to cash pay- shall represent, at that rate, the ments in July next, it would be value of the gold demanded :necessary for them to make a That this liability of the Bank to further and very sudden reduc- deliver gold in exchange for their tion of that portion of their cur- notes, shall continue for not less rency which they have imme- than two, nor more than three diately within their control; 3rdly, years, from the 1st of May 1821; that such reduction in the present and that, at the end of that period, state of the trade of the country, cash payments shall be resumed : would be attended with very - That on a day to be fixed by serious inconvenience ; in conse- parliament, not later than the 1st quence of which, the committee of February 1820, the Bank shall recommend the further postpone- be required to deliver gold, of ment of the resumption of pay- standard fineness, essayed and ments in specie.
stamped as before mentioned, in A third branch of the inquiries exchange for their notes (an of the committee had for its ob. amount of not less than 60 oz. of ject to ascertain the supply of gold being demanded) at 41. 1s. gold which might be required to per oz., that being nearly the meet the demands upon the Bank market price of standard gold in on the resumption of payments bars on an average of the last in specie, and the practicability three months.” of commanding such supply. The These suggestions of the com evidence on this head embraces a mittee of secrecy on being revariety of facts relative to the in- ferred to a committee of the