Page images

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 ; | 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 10 in the present case sufficient reasons had rest a great practical measure upon the been adduced to show that the petitioners method of estimating the average value of should be heard.

corn from ihe average returns of twelve 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 Bil},

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 the same purpose. He confined it to The Earl of Lauderdale said, that the the port of London, because in ibat 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 10 80s. or a higher The Earl of Harrowby 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 his noble ing the average price of corn, and confriend'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. 11s. now it was only 41. 8s.; the nominal districts was, of all others, the least liable som of 80s., if gold, would be of much greater to objection or fraudulent abuses. He did real value when gold was 4l. 8s. than when not think it worth while, therefore, for the gold was 5l. 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 between 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 late 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 Sos.

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 bad 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, bowever, 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, towards 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; 30,000l. 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, 18,0001. was by visions upon that subject, which he hoped the public; 22,0001. by individuals. The would be adopted.

future charge would, it was believed, be Earl Stanhope 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 er. a 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 ihe roads in the The effect produced by the Act was, that mountainous parts of Wales, which lay in

[ocr errors]

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 Newport thought, that the road On the motion, “ that 1,673l. 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 wbat 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 agaia 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 Clergymen who had Eastern to the Western Sea by Inverness been driven to this country by the revoca. and Fort William for the year 1815," tion of the edict of Nantes.

The Speaker stated, that he was in his On the motion, that 25,06sl. be granted official capacity in the commission under for defraying the expense of the establishthe Act, in pursuance of which this sum ment of the Royal Naval Asylum, was proposed to be voted: the purpose Mr. Whitbread said, that this large item was to 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 25,068l. was composed, he found, that to a was 512,0001., and the sum at which the person for auditing the accounts, no less a whole expense was now estimated was salary was given than 300l. 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 situation 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 be found another charge of fifty-two 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 toonage 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 88. 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 time 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 nortb coast; the number of lives accounts. saved by the communication, which ren- The Chancellor of the Exchequer said, dered that dangerous navigation unneces- that the gentleman in question bad been sary, was of incalculable value.

extremely useful in the formation of the Mr. Abercrombie said, as Parliament bad 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 voting 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 gentleman Sir C. Pole conceived the establishment had lost his 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 confcient by a competent person. Why was ceived the salary not exorbitant. there a governor with 7601. a year? In- The Resolution was pro tempore withdeed, from the beginning to the end, from drawn. the governor to the 501. a year barber, all appeared to him a job. Mr. Croker said, the governor

HOUSE OF LORDS. selected from the list of meritorious naval

Monday, March 20. captains, and the emoluments were not


THE CORN greater than bis pay, if on actual service. Laws.] The House was occupied for The auditor was the 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 was a job. the measure. He then presented petitions It was 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 petision 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, lest 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. 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 ihe School, as it was stated by that hon. unbiassed opinions of those who signed it; gentleman to be evidently defective. that violence and intimidation had 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 town had 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 300 girls. The former were Corn Bill; and that though he had sent


for assistance to the magistrates of the The Lord Chancellor said that he had town, they had not even sent a town officer always every inclination to receive petito his relief. His lordship said, that he Lions when properly worded; but it was had thought it his duty to lay the contents contrary to the rules of the House to reof the letter before the House, that they ceive this petition, however respectably might judge what regard was due to such signed. petitions.

Earl Stanhope said, the rule had by no The Lord Chancellor said, that the peti- means been universally acted upon; for tion could not in consistency with the instance, he himself had lately presented rules of the House be received at all, there a petition which had been received under being no

the skin which similar circumstances. This petition, contained the petition, so that of those therefore, he thought should be received.




have seen it. He was always inclined to petitioners had been very ill used if this receive every petition as far as the rules were to be received. of the House permitted ; but it was his The Earl of Limerick stated that a petiduty to state, that according to the rule tion from the county of Roscommon had on which they had hitherto acted, the been refused, on account of a similar obpetition could not be received.

jection; and it would be certainly unfair, Lord Melville therefore agreed to with if another petition were received, io which draw the petition.

there existed a similar objection. The marquis of Buchingham said, that it The Lord Chancellor said, that no such would have been more creditable to his petition bad, in his experience, been renoble friend's cause, if he had refrained ceived, where the attention of the House from reading the letter which contained a had been called to the circumstance; be. reflection on the magistrates, unless he cause, if such were to be the new rule, a had resolved to mention the names of petition might be prepared in London, those who had signed the letter.

and perhaps 40,000 signatures procured to The Earl of Lauderdale observed, that it in the country by persons who might it was important that the House should never have seen the petition. But the know the fact, and that the names of the House had made this distinction, that magistrates only occurred incidentally. where there were a few signatures on the

Earl Grey lamented that such violence skio containing the petition, it might be should in any case have occurred; but received as the petition of those who his noble friend was by no means entitled signed that skin. to infer that the signatures of all or any Lord Grenoille said, that this was a new were the consequence of any such violence. view of the question, for it now appeared

These ferments were unfortunately too that a petition, though signed by 40,000 often the effect of measures to which the persons, would only be received as the mass of the people felt a strong repug- petition of the few who signed on the skin nance; but the greatest part of the signa- containing the petition. This must be tures to the petitions might be, and pro- the case, it appeared, because 40,000 bably were the result of calm conviction names could not be crowded on the first in the petitioners, and ought not to be con- skin. This was, in truth, to shut their sidered as in any material degree the lordships doors against petitioners. It was effect of intimidation. If his noble friend quite a monstrous doctrine, and could not meant to say that the mass of these peti. be the rule of the House, and if it were, tions were signed from any such motive, it would not afford the desired security, and that there was really no feeling ad- for if any one thought it worth while to verse to the measure existing in the great attempt such a deception, he might easily body of the community, his noble friend put a few names to the first skin. was very much mistaken. The noble earl clear the usage had not been uniform, and then stated, that he held in his hand a there was in fact ro rule on the subject. petition which their lordships would be Earl Grey persisted in offering the petivery anxious to receive, if possible. It tion, and the House divided on the queswas from the landholders, manufacturers, tion, whether the petition should be reand merchants connected with the Staf- ceived. Contents, 13; Not-Contents, 44; fordshire potteries, against the measure. Majority against receiving the petition, 31. The petition was on one skin of parch

Lord Grenville presented a petition ment, and the names on other skins, against the Bill from Bristol, signed by (VOL. XXX. )


It was

« PreviousContinue »