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turing towns, have for some time past ex- He stated the Petition to have been resolve perienced much inconvenience, and been ed upon unanimously, by one of the subjected to many and severe privations, largest county meetings he ever remem from the stagnation of trade; and that, bered to have taken place in that county. considering this stagnation to arise in a This was no inadequate criterion of the great degree from the unprecedented mea- general sense of that county in favour of sures resorted to by the government of the Catholic claims, the freeholders of France, for excluding our commerce from which exceed eleven thousand. He stated the continent of Europe, and believing the also that the Sheriff who presided at the war in which the country is engaged to meeting had signed the Petition. The have been forced upon it, and that the Petition was then read, setting forth, government of the United Kingdom has “That, at the time of his present Majesty's no alternative but to persevere, and bring acession to the throne of these realms, the it to an honourable conclusion, the Peti-laws in force against his Roman Catholic tioners have hitherto submitted, and will subjects of Ireland deprived them of most continue cheerfully to submit to those of the rights of Irishmen, and of several of privations; and that, whilst this is their the common rights of mankind; that, by determination, and whilst they observe the acts of 1778 of the Irish Parliament, that France is about to extend her anti-recommended by his Majesty, Roman commercial regulations, the Petitionerscan- Catholics were empowered to vest the not but consider it as a most fortunate oc. fruits of their industry in landed property, currence that the existing charter of the from which auspicious period the Petition. East India Company is about to expire, ers observe the improvement of that counbecause the legislature will thereby be try, in its agricultore, in its commerce, enabled to open up the trade to India, and and in all the enjoyments and improvethus a ready channel will be found into ments of social life: immediately after which the capital and enterprize of the this repeal followed a war between Eng. British merchant in general may be turn- land and France, when, the whole army ed with advantage, it is humbly conceived being withdrawn from Ireland, its defence to the kingdom at large; and that the was necessarily intrusted to its own people, adoption of such a measure will afford of which his Majesty's Roman Catholic great relief to the manufacturing interest, subjects form so considerable a proportion; and counteract so far the designs of the they, in common with their fellow subjects enemy, now peculiarly levelled against of every other persuasion, stood forward a our trade; and that the Petitioners feel it volunteer army' for its defence, at a time would be improperly consuming the time when there was a French navy, and a of the House, were they to enter into any power of invading their country, and did lengthened detail on the subject, the more by so standing forward, as is known, preespecially as the matter is very fully and vent an invasion of Ireland; some years ably discussed in several applications from after, in the 32d and 39d years of his Ma. the first commercial bodies, now lying on jesty's reign, by the special recommend the table; and praying the House to take ation of his Majesty to his parliament of the subject into serious consideration, and Ireland, a further relaxation of those reeither to open up the trade to India and strictive laws against Roman Catholics China generally, by refusing to continue took place; they were admitted by the the commercial monopoly of the East In.. legislature to vote at elections for memdia Company, or to do so to such extent bers of parliament, and thereby to derive at least as may afford some vent for a free political power and consequence from trade, wbich will have a most beneficial that land which the former liberality and effect, the Petitidners are convinced, on good sense of the legislature had allowed the commercial concerns of the nation." them to acquire; they were allowed to
And the said Petitions were ordered to hold most of the employments of the law lie upon the table.
and the revenue; they were allowed to
hold commissions in the army and navy ; PETITION FROM MAYO RESPECTING THE most situations of honour and emolument ROMAN CATHolics of Ireland.] Colonel were opened to them; from which period Dillon presented a Petition from the Free | the Petitioners have seen talents added to holders of the county of Mayo, praying the war, and strength and efficiency to the extension of a constitutional privilege the army; they have seen the triumph of to their Roman Catholic fellow subjects. British armies officered by Roman Catholics; they have seen the triumphs of the the British territories in India, together British navy increased : and they have, with their exclusive trade, under certain seen as conscientious a discharge of all limitations, for establishing further regu.. public duties performed by Roman Catho- lations for the government of the said terlics of Ireland, in all situations, as by any ritories, and the better administration of other classes of his Majesty's subjects : justice within the same, for appropriating those restrictive laws are to the present to certain uses the revenues and profits race of Protestants matter of history only, of the said Company, and for making pronone of them having been enacted during vision for the good order and government his present Majesty's reign, or by any Pro- of the towns of Calcutta, Madras, and testant now alive; with the progressive re- Bombay; reciting, that it was expedient peal of those laws they have seen the ener- that the exclusive trade of the Petitioners, gies of this empire raised to a pitch of glory within the limits of their charter, which, unequalled in the page of history; from by an act made in the 21st year of his this experience they see with concern any Majesty's reign, for establishing an agreeremains of those laws making distinction ment with the Petitioners, and other purbetween the Roman Catholics and Protes. poses, was continued to them for a term. tants of Ireland; and they humbly pray that thereby limited, should be further contithe House will take into their considera- nued to them and their successors, under tion the wish and prayer of all classes and certain limitations and restrictions, for a religious descriptions of that country, that term of 20 years, to be computed from the a total repeal of every test, oath, declara- 1st day of March 1794, liable to be distion, or provision, which has the effect continued at or after the end of such peof subjecting Roman Catholics to any dis- riod, upon three years notice previously ability whatever on account of religious given by parliament for that purpose ; persuasion, may be repealed, and that the and that during the said further term ali genius talent and energy of the whole the territorial acquisitions obtained in the of this empire be called forward for its East Indies, which, by an Act made in safety in these times of unexampled diffi. the 7th year of his Majesty's reign, for culty; and that, in arranging this great establishing an agreement for the pay. and salutary measure, the Petitioners ment of a certain annual sum, for a linitleave it to the wisdom of parliament to ed time, by the Petitioners, in respect of connect with this final settlement and con- the said acquisitions and the revenues clusion of restrictive laws such adequate thereof, and by subsequent acts, were provisions for the maintenance of the civil continued in the possession of the said and religious establishments of that part | Company, together with the territorial of the empire as may be deemed neces acquisitions then lately obtained there, sary, convinced as they are that such may with the revenues of the same respectivebe done with the strictest adherence to ly, should remain in the possession of the the tenets and discipline of the Roman Petitioners, without prejudice to the claims Catholic religion; and that, on this basis of the public or of the Petitioners, subof mutual satisfaction and security, it is ject to such powers and authorities for the earnest prayer and advice of the the superintendence, direction, and confreeholders of the county of Mayo, that troul over all acts, operations, and conall the rights of the civil constitution of cerns which related to the civil or milithis country be extended to his majesty's tary government or revenues of the said Roman Catholic subjects of Ireland. territories, as had been then already made Ordered to lie upon the table.
or provided, by any act or acts of par
liament in that behalf, and to such furPETITION FROM The East India Com ther powers, and under and subject 10 PANY FOR LEAVE TO PRESENT A PETITION such other rules, regulations, and restricFOR The RenewAL OF TAEIR CHARTER.] tions relating to or concerning the said Mr. Mills presented a Petition from the Civil Government, and the appropriation united company of merchants of England of the said revenues, as should be then trading to the East Indies, setting forth, made and provided by the authority of
" That, by an act of parliament made parliament; it was thereby enacted that and passed in the 33d year of the reign the said territorial acquisitions in the said of his present Majesty, intituled, Ăn former acts mentioned, together with the Act for continuing in the East India Com- territorial acquisitions then lately obtainpany for a further term the possession of ed in the East Indies, with the revenues
thereof respectively, should remain and pacities powers authorities rights remecontinue in the possession of the Peti. dies methods of suits penalties forfeitioners for and during the further term by tures disabilities provisions matters and that Act granted to them in the said ex things whatever, which by any former act clusive trade; subject nevertheless to the or acts of parliament, or by any charter or several regulations and provisions in that charters founded thereupon, or by any Act contained ; and by the said Act his clause or clauses in the said acts or charters Majesty was empowered to nominate, con contained, were enacted given granted stitute, and appoint, during his pleasure, provided limited established or declared, such members of the privy council, of to for touching or concerning the Peti. whom the two principal secretaries of tioners, either by the name of The Ge. state and the chancellor of the exchequer neral Society entitled to the advantages
• for the time being should always be given by an act of parliament for ad. three, and such other two persons as his • vancing a sum not exceeding two mil. Majesty should think fit to be, and who lions for the service of the crown of should accordingly be and be stiled, Com. England,' or the body politic and cormissioners for the Affairs of India; and porate called by the name of The Engthe said board of commissioners were bylish Company trading to the East Indies, ' the said Act invested with such full power or the body politic and corporate called and authority, to superintend, direct, and by the name of The United Company of controul, all acts, operations, and con- Merchants of England trading to the cerns, which in any ways should relate • East Indies ;' and not by that act, or to or concern the civil or military go- any other act them in force, repealed or vernment or revenues of the said territo- altered, according to the tenor and true ries and acquisitions in the East Indies; meaning of the said acts and charters, and subject nevertheless to such directions, of that act, freed and discharged from all rules, regulations, and restrictions, and to provisoes and conditions of redemption such appropriations of the said revenues and determination in any former act or as were by that Act made, provided, and acts contained, and the same and every of established; and it was further enacted, them were and was thereby ratified and that the Petitioners and their successors confirmed, and to continue to be held and should have, use, and enjoy, and should enjoyed, and be practised and put in execontinue to have, use, and enjoy, the cution by the Petitioners and their suco whole sole and exclusive trade and traffic, cessors, for the better or more effectually and the only liberty, use, and privilege of settling and securing to them and their trading, trafficking, and exercising the successors the whole sole and exclusive trade or business of merchandize into and trade to the East Indies and parts aforefrom the East Indies, and into and from said, and for the preventing trade thereto all the islands, ports, havens, coasts, cities, contrary to the true intent and meaning of towns, and places between the Cape of that act, and for securing also their posGood Hope and the Streights of Magel. sessions estates and effects, and governing lan, and limits in an Act made in the 9th their affairs and business in all respects as year of the reign of king William the fully and effectually as if the same profits third, or in a certain charter of the 5th benefits advantages trade privileges day of September, in the 10th year of the franchises abilities capacities powers ausame king, mentioned, in as ample and thorities rights remedies methods of suit beneficial manner as the Petitioners could penalties forfeitures disabilities provisions thereby or otherwise lawfully trade there matters and things were severally repeated to, subject nevertheless to the several limi. and at large re-enacted in the body of that tations, conditions, and regulations, in that act, subject nevertheless to such restricAct contained, and also subject to the tions covenants and agreements as were proviso thereinafter contained for deter-contained in the said acts or charters then mining the same, any former act or acts, in force and not therein or thereby repealmatter or thing, to the contrary notwith-ed varied or altered, and subject also to standing; and it was further enacted, the several enactments conditions limitathat the Petitioners should at all times tions and provisoes in that act contained; thereafter (subject as aforesaid) have, hold, and it was thereby further enacted, that at and enjoy, and be entitled unto all, and any time, upon three years notice to be singular the profits benefits and advan- given by parliament after the 1st day of tages privileges franchises abilities ca- March which would be in the year of our (VOL. XXII.)
Lord 1811, upon the expiration of the said of the Petitioners, their bond debt always three years, and upon payment made to excepted, should be applied and disposed the Petitioners of any sum or sums which, of in the manner therein mentioned as by under the provisions of any act of that the said act, relation being thereunto had,
, , present session of parliament, should or may more at large appear; and that the might, upon the expiration of the said notice required by the said act of parlia
, three years, become payable to the Peti. ment hată been given by the Speaker of tioners by the public, according to the the House, for determining the exclusive true intent and meaning of such act, then trade of the Petitioners on the 16th day of and from thenceforth and not before or April, 1814 ; and that, since the said act sooner, the said right title and interest of was passed, further territorial acquisitions, the Petitioners to the whole sole and ex: yielding a large revenue, have been clusive trade to the said East Indies and obtained by the Petitioners, and such parts aforesaid should cease and deler. acquisitions have been annexed to the mine; and it was thereby further enact- several governments of the Petitioners ed, that nothing in the said proviso last in the East Indies, and sundry debts, thereinbefore contained, or in any proviso to a large extent, beyond what are
, in the said act of the 9th year of king mentioned in or referred to by the said
liam the third, or in the said charter of act, have been incurred by the Pétitioners, the 5th day of September in the 10th year in the defence and protection of the of his reign, or in any other act or British possessions in India, and by reason charter contained, should extend or be of wars in which the British nation has construed to extend to determine the cor- been engaged with European powers; poration of the Petitioners, or to hinder that such debts bear interest, and some of prevent or preclude the Petitioners or their them are due in the East Indies, and others successors from carrying on, at all times of them have been discharged by the Peafter such determination of the right to tilioners, by means of money raised on the sole whole and exclusive trade as their credit in this country, under the auaforesaid, a free trade to in and from the thority of parliament; and that, by vir. East Indies and parts aforesaid with all or tue of the terms of the obligations for other any part of their joint stock in trade goods part of such India debt, further sums, to å merchandizes estate and effects, in com- large amount, will be payable shortly in mon with other the subjects of his ma- this country, for which purpose it will be jesty, his heirs and successors, trading to necessary for the Petitioners to raise a fur. in and from the said parts or limits; and ther sum of money here; and that the
; by the said act it is enacted, that for and system established by the said act, for the during so long time as the Petitioners government of the territorial acquisitions should be entitled to the whole sole and in the East Indies, for the management of exclusive trade and traffic into and from the revenues thereof, and for the general the East Indies and other places within conduct of the affairs of the Petitioners, the limits of their charter, subject to the hath been approved by experience; but provisions regulations and limitations in the appropriations made by the said act that act contained, the clear profits of the profits arising from the territorial arising from the said territorial acquisi- revenues in India, and of the profits of the tions and revenues in India, after defray- Petitioners at home, appear to the Peti. ing the charges and expences of collecting tioners to be inapplicable to the present the
same, should be applied and disposed state of the Indian debts and resources, of to the uses and purposes therein men- and of the concerns of the Petitioners ; tioned and expressed; and also that, and that the Petitioners believe that during the continuance of the exclusive it is undeniable that the exclusive trade trade to the Petitioners, the net proceeds of carried on by the Petitioners has been a their sales of goods at home, with the du- great positive advantage to the nation ; ties and allowances arising by private and although they do not presume to state, trade and all other profits of the Peti- as an incontrovertible fact, that greater
, tioners in Great Britain, after providing public benefit would accrue from its being for the payment of bills of exchange then continued in its present stale than from its already accepted by the Petitioners, as being any further opened, yet the Petithe same should become due, and for the tioners do venture humbly, but confidently, current payment of other debts interest to assure the House, that the trade with and other outgoings charges and expences China could not be opened in any degree without extreme danger; and that, if it the right hon. gentleman had not given should not be seen fit to enlarge the term pledges on these points, he should be now held by the Petitioners in the whole glad to hear bim contradict what had of the trade which they now enjoy with gone abroad; but if he had pledged himout qualification, the Petitioners are ready self, he could conceive nothing more disreto submit to such regulations as shall be spectful to the House, than thus to bind just, and as parliament in its wisdom shall bimself to measures without previously enact, for the conduct of the commercial laying them before parliament. intercourse of his majesty's subjects with The Chancellor of the Ercheguer thought those places which are within the exclu. that nothing that had passed at the East India sive limits granted to the Petitioners; and House, or between himself and the directhat, on account of the length and variety tors, could at all fetter the proceedings of of the matters necessary to be considered parliament. He had thought it his duty, and prepared in relation to the subject of before he brought a subject of such imthis Petition, the Petitioners were unable portance before that House, to form his to prepare a Petition, praying leave to own opinion on it, and preparatory to sub. bring in a Bill or Bills relative to the Indian mitting a measure to parliament, some territories and trade, until the time limited correspondence with the directors of the for presenting Petitions for private Bills East India Company had to him appeared was expired ; and praying, that leave may necessary. Before a Bill was brought in be given to present a Petition to the on the subject, he had thought it proper House, for bringing in a Bill or Bills for to communicate to them what was the continuing the possession government and bearing of his mind on certain propositions management of the territorial acquisitions involved in the question. That he had in the East Indies in the Petitioners, sub- done so he thought was no mark of disreject to regulation, and for altering the ap- pect to the House, and no breach of his propriations of the profits arising from the public duty. With respect to any par. Indian revenues; and for enabling the ticular opinion that he might have ex. Petitioners to raise such sums of money, pressed, if it should appear that he had or to contract such pecuniary obligations iaken an erroneous view of the subject, as their affairs may require, in respect of the sanction of the House could be withthe payment in this country of debts ori- held, and the propositions he might submit ginally contracted in India, and for set-to them, it would be for them to reject; tling the trade to the East Indies and but at present he did not conceive he had China, and other places, from the Cape of a right to be called upon by the noble Bona Esperanza to the Streights of Ma. lord, or by the House, to state what those gellan, or that the Petitioners may have opinions were, or at all to discuss the subsuch other relief as their case may re. ject, when they could not go on with the quire."
discussion, so as to make it lead to any Ordered to lie upon the table.
practical result.' 'He hoped the House
would not call for bis opinion on this subOn the Motion that leave be given to ject, and that the noble lord would think it present a Petition as desired,
no disrespect to him that at present he Lord A. Hamilton rose, not to oppose declined to reply to the question he had the motion, but to ask a few questions of put. He would now' only state that he the right hon. the Chancellor of the Ex. had taken a most erroneous view of the chequer with respect to transactions of subject, if it was a breach of duty on his public notoriety, which had taken place part to communicate with the directors of since the House last met. At a meeting the East India Company, or if it was disreof the proprietors of East India stock, it spectful to parliament to endeavour' to was asserted, that the right hon. gentleman form an opinion himself on the merits of had been understood to have pledged him the question, before he brought it under self to four points-first, an exclusive their consideration. trade to China: secondly, the supply of
Lord A. Hamilton complained of having whatever monies might be wanted for been misrepresented by the right hon. the service of the company, for two gentleman.' He did not say that he was years; thirdly, the contining all Asiatic wrong in forming any opinion he pleased, importations to the port of London; and or communicating with the East India lastly, the giving up to the Company Company on the extension of their charthe control of the army in India. Ifter; he merely wanted to know, whether he,