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mands made by England on her statements of the Chancellor of sinking fund in the last three the Exchequer were represented years, and that during that pe as flattering and fallacious, the reriod, though in the year 1811 solutions were put and agreed to. England had acquiesced in the The unexampled financial diffideclared inability of Ireland to culties under which the nation contribute by fresh taxes to the laboured in the present year, nepublic exigency, and that every cessarily rendered the plan for effort has since been made by Ire- raising the supplies rather a proland to meet her difficulties, and vision against urgent and immethat she now applies to this re diate events, than a satisfactory source only when the resources liquidation of the demands upon of taxation are exhausted. If Eng- the public revenue ;

and the land has cancelled 250,000,0001., Chancellor of the Exchequer hinihe would not say that she had not self admitted that the expenditure purchased a right to do it by the of the year would much exceed sacrifices she had continued to the income. This gloomy situamake, and if he now recurred to tion of affairs was placed in its the same means of relief, it was strongest light by Mr. J. P. Grant, known to those with whom he who, on the 31st, rose to address had acted, and indeed he hoped the House on the subject. After that the financial efforts which a variety of observations on the had been made would prove that expenditure, as stated in the resohe had not been eager to recur to lutions offered by the Chancellor it. He felt that it was unneces of the Exchequer, the hon. gensary to dwell longer upon this or tleman moved a number of resoany other points, when he recol- lutions of his own, concluding lected the ample discussion which with one, which stated the most of the topics received on a deficiency of the present year former night, and which many of at 17,877,065). As we do not them probably would still receive mean to protract this chapter by while the bills for consolidating matter of debnte which produced the debts and revenues of both no result, it is enough to wencountries were in progress through tion that the previous question parliament.

being put and carried upon each After various observations from of these resolutions, they wer ordifferent members, in which the dered to be printed.

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CHAPTER VII.

Revision of the Statute Book.Motion on Extents in Aid.-Debates

on the Slave Registry Bill.-Prince Regent's Speech on proroguing Parliament,

I

N this year a course was be- the contrariety and inconsistency

reform in legal proceedings, by at present the statute book was a a revision of the statute book. perfect hotchpot, a chaos of dark

On May 8th, Earl Stanhope ness, disorder, and confusion. rose in the House of Lords to He concluded by moving,

“ That submit a promised motion on the the House do resolve itself into a subject of the statute book. There committee of the whole House, were, he said, two precedents to consider of the best means of which involved his principle: arranging the statute law of this one, the proposition of Lord country under distinct and proper Grenville in 1809, for forming heads." into one act all those acts which The Lord Chancellor declared imposed the punishment of death himself willing that the matter in revenue cases, which had been should be referred to a committee, adopted: the oiher, a proposition to see to what extent the noble made by himself for referring to Earl's idea could be acted upon, the judges, a bill to reduce into though he had no hope that it could one act all those imposing the be carried to the extent which he punishment of the pillory, which geemed to suppose. Some good, bill now lay upon the table. At however, might be done. the end of this bill of the judges, After some further conversasome observations were annexed, tion on the topic, the Lord Chanstating, that the pillory was made cellor moved an amendment, that the punishment for some offences, the matter should be referred to not merely by statute, but ty a select committee; which was common law; and that they adopted. could not say, but that some sta On the 10th, Earl Stanhope retutes on the subject might have ported from the select committee escaped them. In fact, he him two resolutions, declaring the exself had pointed out two statutes pediency, in their opinion, of arof George II., to which they had ranging the enactments in the not allverted-a proof of the dis- statute book under distinct heads, ordered state of the statute book. and that a person learned in the The carl then cnumerated a con law should be appointed for that siderable number of instances, purpose, with a number of clerks some of them very curious, of under him. These resolutions

were

were agreed to by the House ; to pay, his means being withheld. and a message was sent to the The power of extents is such, that Commons, communicating these they take place of all other debts, resolutions.

and may be levied, not only on The resolutions being read in the goods belonging to the debtor, the House of Commons, June but even on the cattle of others 10th, the question was put on an on his lands. In an extent in aid, amendment, proposed for extend the party suing it out, applies to ing the classification of the sta the crown office for a writ against tutes to Scotland and Ireland. himself as a debtor of the crown. Mr. Bankes having moved upon The writ is directed to the sheriff, it, that the debate be adjourned requiring him to summon a jury to that day three months, the to take an inquisition on the suit : motion was rejected by 60 votes an affidavit is exhibited in his to 26.

court, upon which the jury find The following resolution was the debt. The verdict being thus then agreed to : " That this obtained by the party, he goes House doth agree with the Lords before one of the barons of the in the said resolution so amended, Exchequer, and asks for a fiat. That from the present state of In the reign of Charles II., the the statute law of this realm, it Court of Exchequer declared, that is highly expedient, that effectual this fiat should be granted only measures should be taken to ar upon debts originally due to range the matters contained in the crown, upon debts of spethe statutes of the united king- cialty, and after motion in open dom of Great Britain and Ire. court. These guards had of late land, and in the statutes passed in years become of no practical the separate parliaments of Eng- effect, and many cases occurred land, Scotland, and Ireland, re in which simple contract debts, spectively, 'under distinct and

and with which the crown had no proper heads."

connection, had been assigned to A legal topic of considerable the crown, and this without any interest was brought into public motion in court.

By this pracdiscussion on May 30th, by Mr. tice of issuing out extents in aid, William Smith, on a motion re it was scarcely necessary to show, specting extents in aid. The hon. that any debt was due to he gentleman, in his introductory ex crown: the party taking out proplanation, stated, that the extents cess had only to swear, that he issued by the Court of Exche was debtor to a certain amount, quer had gradually risen in num and obtain an extent for a sum ber, from nine in 1801, to a hun- of any magnitude. dred in 1815. Of these processes The hon. gentleman proceeded there are two kinols, in chief, or to state individual cases of abuse, in aid ; the former are on imme in every one of which, he said, diate crown debtors ; the latter, the party applying for the process on the petition of a crown debtor, was much more than able to disin order to satisfy the crown de- charge his own debt to the crown, mands, when the party is unable but chose fraudulently to employ

this fiction for his own private them, but they would ultimately ends. The first of these cases we do justice to the parties. It did shall quote, as a specimen of the not therefore appear to him, that nature of these transactions. А a case had been made out, which corn-dealer had given a large bill called for the interference of the of exchange to a country corre- legislature. There might be abuses spondent, subsequent to which, in issuing the process, but he did and before the bill became due, a not believe there was any in the docket was struck against him. law itself; for which reason he The holder of the bill repaired to should move the previous quesan acquaintance of his, a farmer tion. of the post-horse duty, saying,

The Chancellor of the Exchequer “ such a man is in bad credit, said, that he had been informed, therefore discount me this bill, that extents in aid had been very and you have the power of issu- improperly issued, in consequence

ng an extent against him.” This of the distress which had prewas done ; and the farmer of vailed during the last summer, the duty having made affidavit, and that he had made further inthat this was an original debt, quiry into the subject. The Lords the extent issued; and though of the Treasury had since directed the whole transaction was a tissue the judges to consider what reof fraud, it was with difficulty set gulations ought to be adopted, aside by the assignees at the ex and to make their report. He pense of 500l. After reciting a also mentioned, that the Treasury number of instances of abuse had given directions, that no equally flagrant, Mr. S. moved, persons, either directly or indi“ That a committee be appointed rectly concerned in country banks, to take into consideration the should be allowed to act in the practice of granting, out of the collection of the revenue. Court of Exchequer, extents in After several members had aid of the debtors of the crown, spoken on the subject, in which with the abuses which have taken debate it appeared, that the speakplace therein, and to report there ers in general were in favour of upon to the House.”

a committee of inquiry, but that The Solicitor General said, that the lawyers were against it, à the hon. gentleman might rely division took place on Mr. Smith's upon his exertions, and those of motion, which was lost by a mathe Attorney-general, to correct jority of 65 to 56. those abuses as they arose in the Mr. Ponsonby then moved, courts of law. There

" That there be laid before this power in the Court of Exchequer House, copies of all rules in the to set aside extents which had Court of Exchequer, touching the been abusively employed, though issuing of extente in aid." This it could not prevent the improper was opposed by the Attorneyuse of the process, if a man would general, and on a division was venture to make a false affidavit. negatived by 70 to 55. The judges could not be expected Thongh the issue of these atto have every affidavit read before tempts to exterminate a gross

abuse,

was

a

abuse, was not such as might in question might not pass into a have been expected, it cannot be law, and that the petitioners doubted, that salutary effects will might be heard against it by result from the manner in which their counsel or agent. it has been brought into public It was affirmed by Mr. Prothenotice.

roe, that several of the petitionIn the historical matter of the ers were, to his knowledge, delast year, notice was taken of the cided advocates for the abolition alarm excited in Jamaica, by a of the Slave Trade ; and that the bill relative to the registry and merchants of Bristol were well regulation of slaves, introduced known to have voluntarily abanto parliament at the close of the doned that trade before it was last session by Mr. Wilberforce. abolished by the legislature. The subject occasioned some warm Lord Castlereagh rose, to ask and coptous debate in the present Mr. Wilberforce, whether he proparliament, the acrimony of which posed to bring forward any neawas aggravated by the calami sure with respect to the registry tous insurrection which took of Slaves during the present sesplace in Barbadoes.

sion; because, if such was his The topic first engaged the atten intention, he would urge certain tion of parliament by a petition considerations, which, he hoped, presented to the House of Com would induce him to waive his mons, May 22d, by Mr. Hart purpose. He then alluded to the Davis, from the West India plan- negociations pending with certers, and merchants residing at tain foreign powers relative to Bristol. The petitioners set forth, the Slave Trade; and he also that they had heard with great suggested to his hon. friend, alarm of the notice given of a bill whether his system was not much about to be introduced to that more likely to be effective, if House, for enforcing throughout aided by the co-operation of the the British colonies in the West local legislatures. Touching on Indies, a general registry of slaves, the right of parliament to legisdisclosing in its details a spirit late for the colonies, he said, that of interference with the local le nothing short of absolute necesgislation of the colonies, which, sity should urge the assertion of from considerations of justice and that right, especially on a meapolicy, could not be too anxiously sure proposing to subject them deprecated that endeavours have to taxation without their will. long been made to inculcate the Mr. Wilberforce, though he enbelief, that the statutes for the tertained no sanguine hopes from abolition of the Slave Trade had the assistance of the colonial aubeen rendered non-effective, by the thorities, would, however, make bad faith and illicit conduct of the one concession to the advice of colonists, but that their legisla his noble friend. But he still tures expressly denied the imputa felt the propriety of some distion, and challenged the assertors cussion on the merits of the meato the proof. The petition con sure he had in contemplation, cluded with praying, that the bill and for that purpose should

shortly

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