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already undergone ample consideration. , farmer, there would necessarily be a great For three sessions it had been before par- deficiency in the produce—such a defiliament; and the committees of the House ciency indeed as could not be compensated of Commons, which had twice reported by any importation : the quantity of corn upon it, were open to the members for the imporied into this country in the years of city of London, where they had ample greatest scarcity was not more than ten opportunity of furnishing every informa millions of quarters of wheat, which was tion. Last session, also, their lordships' only a tenth of the quantity consumedcommittee had reported that though perhaps not more than three or four weeks between 70 and 80 petitions were presented, consumption. and that of the city of London among
the Earl Stanhope rose to order, and begged rest, yet not one of the petitioners had the noble lord to consider the question thought fit to come forward. The com- before the House. mittee were empowered by the House to The Lord Chancellor said, that if the examine all the evidence they might think noble earl had wished to confine the House fit to offer : this was a public notice to all, stricıly to the question, he should have and afforded ample opportunities for the interfered four bours ago. production of evidence.
The Earl of Selkirk contended, that he Lord St. John said, that the country was was strictly in order; all the reasons be in sych circumstances as would render it had stared were so many reasons for spee: unwise to go into the subject. There was dily passing a measure which would give an impossibility on the part of all men 10 confidence to the farmer. go on under the present circumstances. The Earl of Darnley thought the peti. The shopkeeper, the farmer, the manufac- tioners should be heard at the bar, as ihey turer, all found an equal stagnation. The had stated a special interest, viz. the petitioners had last
bad an opportu. assize of the quartern loaf. And he should nity of stating any information they pos- be able to prove, if the question was in. sessed, and they did not avail themselves quired into, that the quartern loaf would of it. Now they came forward, when the not be so high as was apprehended. The opportunity was gone by. He did not loaf had never been so high as 14d. in any think they had any fair claim to ask for year when the average price was 80s. an opportunity, which they had so long except in one instance. Although he neglected. The noble lord who had should at all times do his duty, without brought forward the motion, said that the any regard to clamour, he thought the whole system of protections was founded utmost attention should be paid to peti
But what else had brought this tions. country to such a state of prosperity ? Lord Erskine stated, that it had never Great Britain was not meant by nature been the practice of Parliament to hear for that greatness to which she had at petitioners by counsel, unless they could tained. It was her constitution and her prore some special interest, distinct from wise regulations that had carried her to the rest of the community; else there such a pitch of elevation. His lordship could be no end to petitions; one town took the opportunity of delivering his sen- might state it was not satisfied with the timents upon the Bill, respecting which evidence adduced by another town, and he had heard nothing to change his opi- beg to be heard by counsel merely for nion, contending that it was a measure of the sake of delay. He expressed himself general benefit and advantage, by the favourable to a measure for the protection encouragement it afforded to agriculture, of the farmer in the employment of his and the raising a supply within ourselves. capital.
The Earl of Hardwicke stated, that the Lord Grenville briefly replied. The committee of the last session had taken arguments that a special interest was the great pains to procure evidence on the only ground on which petitioners could part of the petitioners, though unsuccess- pray to be heard, was, he thought, errofully.
neous, because, in the first place, no geneThe Earl of Selkirk said, that if they ral rule could be adduced to bind down suffered corn to fall too low, it could not the conduct of Parliament, wbich was fail to rise again to an exorbitant height. only to be guided by its discretion; and A very considerable part of the land of because the argument of his noble friend, the country being thrown out of cultiva. that petitions would be presented, praysion by the want of encouragement to the ing to be allowed to adduce evidence,
merely for delay, would apply to cases The amendment was rejected, and the where special interest was concerned, as original clause carried without a division. well as to others. For example, on a mea. Upon the clause respecting the averages sure affecting the woollen trade, every being read, village, every individual concerned in that Lord Grenville rose and said, that nomanufacture might petition to be heard; I thing had been urged which reconciled but the House, in its sound discretion, his mind to the mode of taking the averages would interfere to frustrate their inten- for the purpose of fixing the price of tions. It was that discretion only which bread. He wondered, indeed, how any should be the rule of their conduct; and thing so absurd could be adopted, as to in the present case sufficient reasons had rest a great practical measure upon the been addoced to show that the petitioners method of estimating the average value of should be heard.
corn from the average returns of iwelve The House divided : Contents, 11; districts so differently situated. His reaNon-Contents, 59: Majority against son for alluding to this subject was, that hearing counsel, 48.
he meant to propose as
a substitute a
clause to the following effect, viz. that Corn Bill.] The House then went whenever the price of the quartern loaf into a Committee on the Corn Bill,
shall have been for six successive weeks The Earl of Liverpool spoke in favour of above twelve-pence, then it shall be law80s, as the best protecting price.
ful, for the next six weeks to import corn Lord Grenville proposed as an amend into the port of London, for home conment 72s. instead of SOs. as a price pre- sumption, or take it out from warehouses ferable to the other,
for ihe same purpose. He confined it to The Earl of Lauderdale said, that the the port of London, because in that port evidence before the committee was from alone facilities existed for rendering it the men of almost every county of England, standard of all other ports in the kingdom. who had all spoken to 80s. or a higher The Earl of Hurrowby took a review of price, as proper for a protection.
the different plans which at various times Lord Grey said, the value of money was had been suggested and employed for fixa question, which, according to bis noble ing the average price of corn, and confrienu's own principle, should be attended tended that the present mode of taking the to. In the last year the price of gold was average from the returns of the twelve 51. 1 18. now it was only 41 8s.; the nominal districts was, of all others, the least liable sum of 80s., if gold, would be of much greater to objection or fraudulent abuses. He did real value when goid was 41. 8s. than when not think it worth while, therefore, for the gold was 51. 118. Besides, according to sake of any speculation, to change a the evidence before the House, if 80s. was system with wbich the country was acthe sum at which the farmer would be re- quainted; and it was proved from the munerated, it was not necessary that the papers before their lordships, that very protecting price should be so high. Be- little difference existed belween the prices cause the evidence was, that the Baltic of the maritime districts and the London wheat could not be imported at less than market, upon the average of the last ten 63s., and it was at least twenty shillings years. He denied that the price of the worse than good English wheat. The quartern loaf would be 16d. if wheat were Dutch wheat, which the witnesses had at 80s. a quarter. With regard to the seen, was much worse, and it was to be clause, it was altogether unknown to atrecollected, that from Holland half of the tempt to regulate the introduction of Jate importations had taken place. There foreign corn by the price of the quartern fore there was no necessity at all events loaf; and if it were adopted, it would put for so high a protecting price as 80s. it into the hands of half a dozen indivi
The Earl of Lauderdale remarked, that duals to determine whether they would not one witness beside Mr. Mant had have foreign corn imported or not. spoken for a price below 80s.
Lord Grenville said, that the whole Earl Grey said, that before the Commons speech of his noble friend only proved committee not only Mr. Mant, but Mr. that the measure itself, upon which they Maxwell had stated that 72s. would pro were then legislating, was an attempt to tect the farmer; and Mr. Driver being do that which it was impossible to do, closely questioned, made an admission to viz. to regulate the importation of foreign the same effect.
corn by the prices of home corn. He still
contended, however, that the price of 80s. | 460 miles of road had been made; 270 in the maritime districts would inflict upon miles were contracted for; and 170 miles the interior of the country a price consi- were under consideration, and would be derably higher. The object of his clause made, if found to be of sufficient public was in reference to the peculiar condition advantage, and if the parties benefitted in which London stood as to the price of would advance one moiety of the money bread. All he wished was to secure the at which the expense was estimated. consumer from the operation of the in- | Several stone and iron bridges, of great tended law, when it did not operate to his span, had also been erected; so that there benefit,
was an uninterrupted road along the East. The Earl of Lauderdale said, that of all coast of Scotland, with many branches modes of fixing the occasion under which towards the Western parts, iowards the foreign corn should be admitted, that of fisheries and cattle country. The money determining it by the price of bread was appropriated to harbours bad been exmost objectionable. With regard to the pended on nine different harbours, chiefly assize, he thought it would be better if it on the East coast of Scotland, so that that were wholly removed.
sea could not now be considered, as it was The Marquis of Buckingham supported of old, mare importuosum. The expense the clause, as the only mode of preventing to the country had been 150,0001. To the price of bread from rising beyond individuals it had been the same: the exwhat the quartern loaf ought to be when pense being by the Act divided into equal the quarter of wheat was at 80s.
moieties between the country and persons The Earl of Darnley objected to the interested. Of the 70,0001. expended on clause on account of the very defective bridges, 40,0001, had been expended by manner in which the assize was fixed in individuals ; 30,0001. only by the public: the city of London.
the excess above the estimate, which was Lord Grenville said, that the clause did greatest in the case of the bridges, being not rest upon the assize as now taken, but always paid by the individuals. Of the had reference to future legislative pro. sum paid for harbours, 18,000l. was by visions upon that subject, which he hoped the public; 22,000). by individuals. The would be adopted.
future charge would, it was believed, be Earl Slanhope observed, that they who concluded in two years more. The works objected to the clause did not know the now in progress had been hitherto provided difference between bread and flour, and for by the moiety paid by individuals, wanted to throw dust into their lordships which was always deposited, before the eyes.
work commenced, in the Bank of Scotland. The clause was then negatived without After two years there might be some exa division, and the third reading of the penditure under the County Assessment Bill was fixed for Monday.
Act, by which the four northern counties were authorized to assess themselves to a
certain amount: but this could only be HOUSE OF COMMONS. in one county, viz. Ross, the others being Friday, March 17.
pledged already to the amount of the sum
ihus empowered to raise. As to the repairs, COMMITTEE OF SUPPLY-MISCELLANEOUS the expense was in the proportion of oneServices.] The House resolved itself into fourth to the public, and three-fourths to a Committee of Supply, in which various the individual, and the counties had been sums for Miscellaneous Services were voted. induced to contribute to such military On the motion, “ that 20,0001. be granted roads as were of general benefit; the exto be applied in further execution of the pense would be yearly 2,5001. for the Act of the 43rd of his Majesty, towards repair of all the roads, being short of that making roads and building bridges in the which attended the repair of military roads Highlands of Scotland for the year 1815," alone.
The Speaker, being one of the commis. Mr. Wynn thought, that if such large sioners under the act of parliament to sums of public money were to be given to superintend the erection of bridges and keep up the roads in the Highlands of the making of roads in the Highlands of Scotland, Parliament should also consider Scotland, wished to state the proceeding whether something ought not to be given which had taken place under that Act. to keep up and repair the roads in the The effect produced by the Act was, that mountainous parts of Wales, which lay in
the line of direct communication between on. From the first, however, he had de. London and Dublin.
clared himself hostile to the undertaking: Sir John Neuport thought, that the road On the motion, “tbat 1,6731. be granted to Ireland should be as much attended to for the relief of the Poor French Refugee by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, Clergy for the year 1815," as the roads through the Highlands of Scot Sir Gilbert Heathcote wished to take this land. As to the roads in Ireland, they were opportunity of expressing his concurrence well kept up by county assessments. in what had fallen from his hon. friend
Mr. W. Smith thought that every case (Mr. Whitbread) on a former evening, as ought to stand on its own legs. He had to the impropriety of this country taking no objection to voting the sum proposed, any part in the present disturbances in and afterwards, if a proper case was made France. Whether Napoleon or Louis was out, he should see no objection to a similar at the head of the French government, he vote for roads in Wales, where it was evi- thought we ought to preserve relations of dent that the roads would not be so bene. , amity with that country, and not again ficial to the districts immediately adjoin. plunge into a new war. Having said so ing, as that they could be fairly called much, he would not bore the House with upon to pay the whole expense of them. any further observations.
On the motion, “ That 50,0001. be Mr. Arbuthnot explained that this grant granted towards defraying the expense of was not for French emigrants, but for making an Inland Navigation from the French Protestant Clergy men who had Eastern to the Western Sea by Inverness been driven to this country by the revocaand Fort William for the
tion of the edict of Nantes. The Speaker stated, that he was in his On the motion, that 25,0681. be granted official capacity in the commission under for defraying the expense of the establishthe Act, in pursuance of which this summent of the Royal Naval Asylum, was proposed to be voled: the purpose Mr. Whitbread said, that ihis large item was io make navigable a communication he believed had originated in a voluntary of about 50 or 60 miles, between the two contribution, by which the institution was places in question, which would open a at first established, being afterwards taken navigable communication between the under the auspices of Government. On Eastern and Western Sea. The original going over the sums of which this total of estimate was 500,0001., the sum expended 25,0681. was composed, he found, that to a was 512,0001., and the sum at wbich the person for auditing the accounts, no less a whole expense was now estimated was salary was given than 3001. per annum. 700,0001.' The work would probably be He could not help thinking, considering completed in three years after the present the sum to be audited, that this was a year. There was now no doubt as to the most enormous charge. The siluation he possibility of making Lochness navigable, thought was made for the man, and not the moorings being judiciously disposed; and man for the situation. On going further, from the invention of steam-boats, the he found another charge of fifıy-wo communication could be made with as guineas for hair-cutting. He thought much certainty as on a turnpike 'road. some barber could be procured for this The advantage of opening the communi- sum, who would work all day long, but in cation would be, that the cost of tonnage all probability he occasionally lent a hand from the Baltic to Liverpool, the port to the auditor. chiefly interested, and the western coast, Mr. Arbuthnot said, the auditor was a at the rate of 8s. a ton in summer, and a clergyman, and assisted the chaplain of greater proportion in winter, the rate of the institution in the execution of his insurance would be lessened, and lime duties. would be saved. There were now 10 or Mr. Whitbread was at a loss to know 12 vessels wrecked every season in passing what a clergyman bad to do with auditing round the north coast; ihe number of lives accounts. saved by the communication, which ren The Chancellor of the Erchequer said, dered that dangerous navigation unneces- that the gentleman in question had been sary, was of incalculable value.
extremely useful in the formation of the Mr. Abercrombie said, as Parliament had institution. originally agreed to this speculation, there Sir John Newport observed, that this could be no doubt of the propriety of clergyman, in addition to being auditor of Poting the sum now required to carry it the institution, was also auditor of the
accounts of the non-resident clergy, being there at present; in the latter, he believed himself the incumbent of two livings in there might be some deficiency. Such an Ireland, on which he never resided. establishment must evidently be useful.
Mr. Arbuthnot said, that the genileman Sir C. Pole conceived the establishment had lost bis livings in Ireland by attending improper, from the irresponsible enormous to his duty as auditor of accounts. expenditure which was lavished without
Mr. Fitzgerald stated, that Dr. Clarke control, in its buildings. had ceased to possess the benefit of his Mr. Arbuthnot had no objection to the Irish livings.
proposed committee; but he would suggest Mr. Whitbread thought that 3001. a year, to its proposer to pay the asylum a visit with a residence, coals, candles, &c. was during the Easter recess, and satisfy him. too much for the auditor. He was quite self, respecting the establishment. The sure a salary of 1001. a year, without auditor neglected his Irish livings to attend perquisites, would be deemed amply suf- to this institution, and he therefore conficient by a competent person. Why was ceived the salary not exorbitant. there a governor with 7601. a year?
The Resolution was pro tempore withi. deed, from the beginning to the end, from drawn. the governor to the 501. a year barber, all appeared to him a job.
HOUSE OF LORDS. Mr. Croker said, the governor was selected from the list of meritorious naval
Monday, March 20. captains, and the emoluments were vot PetitionS RELATING
THE CORN greater than his pay, if on actual service. Laws.) The House was occupied for The auditor was ihe only person not nearly two hours in receiving petitions selected from those who had served in the on the subject of the Corn laws. navy. So far as he was acquainted with Viscount Melville presented a petition the Society, (and from his situation, he from the city of Edinburgh in favour of was a governor,) he denied it as a job. the measure. He then presented petitions
a fair provision for meritorious from certain of the incorporated irades in naval characters, and at the same time a Edinburgh, and from several other places useful asylum for the children of seamen. in Scotland against the measure. Among He was willing to admit that the institu- these was a petition from the town of tion was objectionable, from the admis. Forfar. His lordship stated that the peti. sion to it being so general, he having tion was on one skin of parchment, and a strong dislike to see the children of offi- the names of the petitioners on the other cers on the same level with those of com- skins. mon sailors, in the system of their educa The Earl of Lauderdale could not suffer tion. With reference to the duties of the the petition to pass, without stating to their auditor, they embraced the inspection of lordships the contents of a letter which he larger sums than the 25,000?. in the esti- had received, signed with the names of mates. The present auditor was also one two gentlemen, whom he could take upon of the founders of the institution.
himself to represent as among the most Mr. Whitbread said he was then one of the respectable in the county of Forfar, though happy founders who drew a benefit from he would not mention them, Jest the cirhis labours. The school was intended for cumstance of their writing to him on such 1,000 children. How many were actually an occasion might be attended with dis. there at present? From what the Secre- agreeable consequences to them. The tary of the Admiralty had said, he (Mr. I letter stated, that the House of Lords W.) thought a committee should be ap. ought to be apprised that this petition pointed to inquire into the management of could hardly be considered as the free and The School, as it was stated by that hon. unbiassed opinions of those who signed it; gentleman to be evidenıly defective. that violence and intimidation bad been
Mr. Croker did not mean to go so far as used by the mob to procure signatures ; the hon. gentleman insinuated, in his ob. that persons riding through the lowo bad jection to the system; but he thought it been compelled to sign it; that the mob wrong that the children of officers and had assailed a clergyman residing in the seamen should be associated together in neighbourhood, with abuse and mud, bethe institution. The numbers which the cause he refused to sign on compulsion, school establishment embraced were, 700 even though he might be adverse to the boys, and soo girls. The former were Corn Bill; and that though he had sent