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most of his power. The civil power was be repealed.
be repealed. A duty of 41. per cent on by no means adequale. Having filled the goods shipped to South America would office of sheriff, on the occasion of former expire on the 16th of March, so that a riots, he had witnessed the conduct of renewal of only balf that duly would be Messrs. Baker and Birnie, who had read necessary. He concluded by moving the the Riot Act to their own great danger, following Resolutions: 1. " That the ese with laudable zeal and courage. In those clusive right of trade granted to the South riots he found, that of the constables for Sea Company by an Act made in the 91h Westminster, never more than 10 attended. year of the reign of queen Anne, do cease
The motion for the discharge of the and determine. 2. "That, in considera. orders was then put and carried.
tion of the surrender of such exclusive
right, a guarantee fund be created in any South Sea COMPANY.] On the order of the public funds or annuities, bearing of the day for the House to resolve itself an interest of 31. per centum per annum, into a Committee of the whole House, to which shall accumulate until it ainounts consider of the Act 9 Anne, c. 21, for 10 the sum of 610,4641. 35. capital stock, for making good deficiencies, and satis. bearing an interest at 31. per centom per fying the public debis; and for erecting annum, and such capital stock shall then a corporation to carry on a trade to the be transferred to the said Company. 3. South Seas, and for the encouragement of That until the said sum of 610,4641. 35. the fishery; and for liberty to trade in capital stock shall be so accumulated and unwrought iron with the subjects of Spain; transferred as aforesaid, it shall be lawful and to repeal the Acts for registering sea. for the lords commissioners of his Mamen,
jesty's Treasury to direct the issue, out of The Chancellor of the Erchequer took a The consolidated fund of Great Britain, view of the establishment of the South Sea from time to time, of such sums of money Company, and observed that this corpora. as may be necessary to enable the said tion possessed the exclusive privilege of Company to pay a dividend of į per trading to America, from the river Oroo. centum per annum on their trading stock, noko, round Cape Horn to the north-west after applying to that purpose all the coast of that continent. This exclusive funds of the said Company which now are privilege had for many years been of no or may remain applicable thereto. 4. advantage to that Company; but South That a duty of 1s. 6d. shall be granted, America having become at last open to for a time to be limited, for and upon us, it might bocome a great obstacle to every ton burthen of every ship or vessel our commerce. He therefore had to state entering outwards or inwards in any port the terms on which the Company were of the United Kingdom to or from any willing to sell it to the country That port or place witbio the limits of the sole Company had lent all its capital to the and exclusive trade granted to the said Government, for which they received 31. Company by the said Act. 5. That a per cent.; and they also obtained a further custom duty of 21. be charged upon every dividend of į per cent. on their capital, 1001. of the value of all goods, wares, or by acting as agents for Government in the merchandize, the growth, produce, or ma. payment of the dividends of such part of nufacture of the United Kingdom, exported the public debt as existed in 1721. By to any of the said ports or places, for a the Act of 1813, which would cancel all time to be limited." The first resolution the national debt which existed before the being put," establishment of the sinking fund, they Mr. Bennet thought the proposition just would lose that į per cent. They there and equitable; but he wished to make some fore consented to abandon their exclusive observations on the state of the country privilege of trade, on condition that the wbich was the subject of the law on which Government would guarantee this į per they were deliberating, viz. South Amecent. or about 18,0001. a year to them. rica. All that continent was now in arms, For this income it was his intention to and the spectacle of a great nation strugpropose the creation of a fund, by a duty gling for liberty had always been reon tonnage of ships trading to South garded with peculiar interest by ibis coun. America, and on the export of goods try. He wished to know whether any steps thither, to the amount of 21. per cent. The had been taken by this country to mediate fund necessary would be 400,000l.; when between the mother country and the colothat sum was accumulated, the duly would nies? The consequence of the dreadful
struggle had been, that in the kingdom of gagement towards them; the Corles and Mexico, no less than one million of human people of Spain had also to complain of beings had been destroyed in 1813 and us, for having suffered their constitution 1814. From the Oroonoko to Cumana ihe to be destroyed, and themselves to be country was a perfect waste. To give an delivered over to an usurper—for such idea of the horrible nature of the war, he was Ferdinand the 7th. The hon. member should state, that when the city of Valen- expressed a wish to know by what mis cia surrendered to the royalists, the capi. nister the Regent had been advised to culation was sworn to on the altar, and send the Order of the Garter 1o Ferdi. high mass was performed in presence of nand, and to accept the Order of the Golden ibe parties; when the old Spaniards en Fleece? and he also desired to learn, tered the lown, within twelve hours they whether the British Government had en. gave it up to pillage, and executed the tered into any treaty or engagement unhappy patriots who remained in it. whatever, guaranteeing the South Ame. Had
any offer of mediation been made on rican colonies to Spain ? the part of this country? He knew that The Chancellor of the Exchequer trusted offers had been made to, and rejected by the committee would see the propriety of the Cortes; but there was a difference be- his declining on this occasion to enter into tween a Cortes under the influence of the details of such delicacy as were referred monopolists of Cadiz, and Ferdinand the to by the hon. member, and the more so 71h. From the cruelty and ferocity of as the hon. member's observations were Ferdinand, perhaps they had as little to not properly relevant to the subject before expect, but some attempts at least should the committee. He had, however, no be made. A man had been sent as viceroy difficulty in stating, that upon the offer of to the new world, who, after having be- mediation which had been made on our trayed an army to the French in his own part between Spain and its colonies, his country, had gone to America, where, Majesty's ministers were always ready to without taking active steps to suppress the act. In our endeavours, indeed, to pro . rebellion, he issued such orders as deluged core independence and liberty for Old that continent in blood. An expedition Spain, we had ever been equally anxious had since been sent out to South America, to obtain the liberty of its colonies. Upon commanded, to his disgrace, by a British the commercial advantage likely to acofficer. That expedition he prayed to crue to this country from the establish God might perish on the shores of the ment of a complete freedom of trade in New World! This country had to choose South America, he should at present abbetween eighteen million of free people, stain from delivering any opinion; but, and nine million of slaves--between a however interesting or important that people who had opened their ports to us, freedom might be, neutrality, in the preand a despotic Court who had perseculed sent contest between South America and our merchants, insulted our trade, and the mother country, was the duty and the oppressed our subjects. It had been said, resolution of Great Britain; which never that Great Britain had remained neutral could attempt to seek any object, howin the contest. This, he believed, was ever beneficial, from a connexion will not true. During the war in the Penin- the former, that should be tainted with sula, under the very eye of sir Henry any thing like treachery towards the Wellesley, an expedition had been sent latter. to the New World, fitted out by British Mr. Whitbread thought, that as the submoney, the troops appointed with British ject before the committee referred to the arms and clothing. The conduct of the opening of a free trade with South Ame. governors of Curaçoa was of the same rica, the opportunity had been very prodescription. They received the fugitives perly chosen by his hon. friend to bring of the royalist party, provided them with forward the questions to which he had arms and ammunition, to renew their at- adverted. The proposition being to open tempts. But when the patriots were driven the South American ports, his hon, friend out in their turn, they excluded them very naturally submitted some inquiries from the islands, and forced them to seek with regard to that country. His hon, and find protection from Petion, a black friend had therefore asked, whether, in -the excellent man who governed a. part the contest in which (he would not say of St. Domingo. The patriots of America the colonies, but) New Spain was engaged had to complain of us for a breach of en- with Old Spain, the government of the
country bad observed neutrality? That that no money or assistance whatever had New Spain had experienced the most been supplied by this country to enable atrocious treatment, as well from the late the Spanish government to subdue New as from the present government of Spain, Spain. As to the Order of the Garter and was an undeniable fact; and it was desir- the Golden Fleece, he could not think that able for the credit and the interest of this such interchange of ceremonies formed an country, to know whether the right hon. object wortby to call for the attention of gentleman was able to deny that any that House. With respect to the recogninoney, arms, or equipment, had been fur- tion of Ferdinand, that prince having been nished by our Government, for the purpose recognised as the sovereign of Spain, by the of suppressing the patriots of New Spain, governarent with which we bad originally in their laudable rebellion against the treated for the deliverance of that country, tyranny of the mother country. It was and by the Cortes also, he should have also desirable to know whether, as bis hon. thought it very extraordinary indeed, if friend's question imported, any of our this country had declined to acknowledge colonial governors had refused ibat hos- his authority. pitality to the patriots which had been Mr. Ponsonby considered the subject of granted to their oppressors; for such par. South America as one of the greatest imtiality would be obviously inconsistent portance and delicacy. He was far from with those principles of neutrality which recommending one step on either side the right bon. gentleman professed. If, inconsistent with the good faith of Go. indeed, the right hon. gentleman were vernment, or in violation of our neutrality. not able to deny such partiality and that | At the same time he was free to say, that it had been actually evinced, the patriots there was no foreign country whatever in of New Spain would have the best founded the fate of which Great Britain was so reason to complain of our conduct, nay, much interested as with South America. that our offer of impartial mediation was For he had no doubt that the establish. by no means sincere. If, then, under such ment of the independence of that country, circumstances, the people of New Spain and the detaching of it from Old Spain, should succeed in their gallant efforts to was to us an object of the highest importshake off the yoke of their persecutors, i ance; but he was equally positive that and to raise their country to that inde that object, however desirable, should not pendent station to which it was entitled, be pursued by any means whatever in. the best interests of this country were but compatible with our public faith. It was too likely to suffer," for it was the best the duty of our Government to attend interest of Great Britain to cultivate an strictly to its engagements, but at the amicable connexion with New Spain. same time he should hold it imperiously On these grounds, therefore, he lamented bound in no' degree to assist the projects that the right hon. gentleman had de- of Old Spain against the liberties of South clined to afford any explanation respecto America. ing the points referred to by his tion. Mr. Wynn concurred with his right hon. friend. 'It was, he presumed, a mere friend as to the propriety of observing a omission on the part of the right hon. strict neutrality in the present contest gentleman, not to have noticed his hon. between Old Spain and South America, friend's allusion to the grant of the Order but he could not conceive it compatible of the Garter to Ferdinand, and the ac with that neutrality to refuse that hospiceptance of that of the Golden Fleece by tality to the people of South America ; the Prince Regent; for such marks of which ws afforded to their opponents. esteem towards such a person as Ferdi- This proceeding did certainly not mani. nand did certainly not seem very com- fest good faith, and he was surprised at patible with the feelings likely to belong the silence of the Chancellor of the Exto any prince reigning over a free people. chequer upon the subject. But he was The minister who had advised such pro- equally surprised at the undue levity ceedings ought to be made known; and with which the right hon. gentleman had he hoped this, with the other questions so spoken of the grant of the Order of the properly submitted by his hon. friend, re Garter to Ferdinand. How was it posspecting our conduct towards the usurper, sible that the right hon. gentleman could Ferdinand, would be satisfactorily an so undervalue an honour which had been swered by the right hon. gentleman. so bighly estimated among the first mo
The Chancellor of the Erchequer stated narchs in Europe ? This distinction had, (VOL. XXX.)
indeed, been often anxiously looked for, | lions, which the proposed amount of ways and always gratefully received by the and means would considerably exceed. most eminent princes. It was notorious He would be glad to hear upon what that the favour had been refused to the ground the right hon. gentleman could present, and also to the last king of Swe-justify such a course of proceeding. Under den. He believed, indeed, that the pre- the Act brought forward by the right honi. sent king of Spain was the first sovereign gentleman before Christmas, which Act of that country who had been favoured differed materially from any that preceded with this honour since Philip 2. On these it, he observed, that the Treasury were ingrounds he was astonished at the levity vested with the power of issuing Exchewith which the right hon. gentleman had quer-bills without limit. Indeed, accordthought proper to express himself with ing to this Act, the Treasury might issue regard to what he had denominated the 50 millions in Exchequer-bills in addition ceremony.'
to the 8 millions which it was authorized Mr. Alderman Atkins inquired, whether to borrow from the Bank. Would the it was intended to abolish the South Sea House, then, he would ask, go on in voting Company altogether?
the ways and means proposed, without The Chancellor of the Exchequer replied knowing the amount of Exchequer-bills in the negative; but the intention was to issued in consequence of this extraortake the monopoly out of its hands. dinary Act?
Mr. Whibread asked, whether any far The Chancellor of the Exchequer said, that ther steps had been taken for the libera. he perfectly agreed with the right hon. lion from Ceula of M. Correa, and the gentleman in the general parliamentary gentlemen surrendered by general Camp- principle which he had laid down, that the bell?
ways and means should not exceed the · The Chancellor of the Exchequer replied, supplies voted ; and he hoped he should that no opportunity would be lost to pro- be able to satisfy that right hon. gentleduce the effect alluded to.
man and the House, that on the present Here a conversation arose upon the pro occasion be had not infringed upon that position of a tax of 2 per cent. upon all principle. The right hon. gentleman goods exported from Great Britain or Ire would himself be convinced, when he reland, to South America, in which the minded him that he had omitted two or Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr. Finlay, three considerable sums which had been and Mr. Alderman Aikins took part. voted by Parliament. Among these sums The Chancellor of the Exchequer stated, was one of twelve millions and a half, for that the produce of this tax was to be ap- the repayment of Exchequer-bills, and plied in aid of a fund to indemnify the another of fifteen millions. It should be South Sea Company, and that it was to recollected that they had voted supplies to cease when that indemnity was discharged. the amount of fifty-one millions, and the The two latter objected to it as inconsistent ways and means only for thirty-one milwith our commercial policy, by imposing lions, leaving a deficiency of twenty mil. a tax upon our exported manufactures. lions to be made good. With regard to Mr. Finlay deprecated, and sir J. Newport the act empoweriog the Treasury to issue vindicated the policy of the tax upon Exchequer-bills, he did not consider that foreign linens, with a view to benefit the it gave any authority to anticipate the linen of Ireland and England. The several aids which had not yet been granted by Resolutions were then agreed to.
Parliament. There certainly had been an
issue of Exchequer-bills, but they were COMMITTEE OF WAYS AND MEANS — not issued upon taxes which Parliament New Taxes.) On the motion of the bad not yet granted, but upon the aid of Chancellor of the Exchequer, the House fifteen millions which had been voted last resolved itself into a Committee of Ways year. and Meads.
Mr. Tierney said, that by the plan which Mr. Tierney repeated and enforced his the right hon. gentleman adopied, he objections to the proposition of the right might issue Exchequer-bills to an unhon. gentleman, to grant the ways and limited extent. There was the great evil, means before the supply was voted, con and that we were now, though in a state of ceiving sucb a course inconsistent with peace, pursuing the same plan as during the established practice of Parliament. the war. He certainly thought that the The only supply yet voted was 24 mil. whole was irregular.
· The Chancellor of the Exchequer read the The Chancellor of the Exchequer contendwords of the Act, and repeated, that he did ed, that the inference of ihe right hon. not consider the Treasury empowered by gentleman was not a correct one. By it to issue Exchequer-bills to an unlimited agreeing to the report, they would only extent, because Parliament might after- agree to provide a certain sum by way of wards grant supplies to cover them. The taxes; but they would not therefore agree accounts of those Exchequer-bills which to the taxes themselves. As to the amount had been issued would be forthcoming of that sum, every one would feel that when any member should choose to move what was proposed to be raised by those for them.
taxes could not be regarded as unnecese Mr. Ponsonby said, he objected to re. sary, even if the expenses of the country ceiving the report, because the minister of were cut down to what they were before finance had come down to that House, and the French Revolution. He really thought, asked for enormous supplies without con- indeed, that he was much more liable to descending to state for what purposes they objection for not bringing forward taxes to were required. Such a practice was pero a greater extent, than for proposing what fectly new to that House. The right hon. he had. gentleman had told them they were to Mr. Tierney replied, that the great obhave a peace establishment of nineteen ject was to have the whole matter before millions; but he had not imparted a single them at once. If, for example, they knew tittle of information as to ihe items and how much would be wanted for the preheads of that expenditure. If the House sent year, they would then be able to say of Commons sanctioned such a proceeding, what portion should be raised by taxes, they would at once surrender their con- and what by loan. For himself, he really trol over the public purse and the minis- had no conception what would be the ters of the Crown. On that ground, there. extent of supply required for the prefore, he should certainly take the sense of sent year; and the whole subject de. the House upon receiving the report. i manded more explanation than the right
The Chancellor of the Erchequer observed, hon. gentleman was yet in a condition to that it would be most satisfactory to every give them. All he wanted was, that they member of that House, and to no one more might not be called upon to vote in the so than to himself, if, when they entered dark; and be wished the right hon. geninto the discussion of what should be the tleman, would take the five inillions, inpeace establishment of the country, any tended to be raised by the new taxes, in means could be devised for reducing it some other way for the present, and leave below what had been proposed. That the other lo future discussion, when he question, however, was not now before would be able to tell how much he rethem; and the grounds upon which the quired. House was then called upon to agree to Mr. Ponsonby said, he would repeat the the report, was that the grants had already grounds of his objection. The right hon. been voted by Parliament. Nor would gentleman having stated a certain motion, they be at all pledged, by agreeing to the and told the House that 19 millions were report, as to their future proceedings with necessary for a peace establishment, then respect to the proposed plan of ħnance. desired them to adopt his plan, without They merely provided for sums which had entering into particulars, and shewing how been already voted. When the time came the money was to be applied. This mode for considering the various estimates for of voting supplies at different times was the service of the present year, he should what he most particularly objected to; call upon the House for its most patient and he sted against it as an innovaand deliberate attention to the subject, tion upon former practice, and altogether and should thank any honourable gentle- unconstitutional. man who could lighten his heavy labours Sir Robert Heron observed, tbal the plan by shewing how the peace establishment of the right bon. gentleman was in direct might be made less.
opposition to the interests of the nation. Mr. Tierney denied that the five millions For what purpose were we to threaten of new taxes were to be considered as a the countries around us with a fear of war? part of the ordinary aids of the year. If He must protest against voting supplies to ihey voted for receiving the report, surely such an amount, without insisting on one they would be recognizing the plan of the resource, he meant that of the most strict right bon. gentleman,
economy, which ought to pervade every