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Earl Grey said, it had been truly ob- each year, &c. which was forthwith agreed served by his noble friend, that Petitions to by the House. His lordship then were preparing against the East India moved for the production of an account of Company's monopoly, in almost every the number of notes 80 presented and retown in the kingdom; and, with such an turned. interest at stake, and so much attention The Earl of Literpool observed, that to and anxiety manifested on the part of the the first part of the noble earl's proposipublic, surely they had a right to expect, tion he thought, under the present cirthat the business would have been so ar. cumstances, and with reference to the Bill ranged by government, that it would be in its progress in that House, no rational brought forward at a time when all the objection could be made. It, besides, consideration due to its great importance would furnish all the necessary or useful could be paid to it. But now he under information desired, inasmuch as the spestood from the noble earl, that the discus-cification of the value in each year would sions between ministers and the Com- shew the progress as well as the extent of pany were not yet closed, and therefore the evil. With regard to that under conihey were not ready to give any specific sideration, he certainly entertained no obanswer. What, hen, would be their si-jections ; it would also, on the noble earl's tuation, if the discussion were delayed till own ground, afford but little further ina very late period of the session? Could formation, except a distinction was made they then give the subject that deep con- between the notes below and above the sideration which it deserved? He did sum of 51. One strong objection was, that not wish to press ministers to introduce it would afford information as to what deany premature or hasty measure on the scription of notes forgeries might be the subject; but if they were not now prepar- more easily made; every useful purpose ed to submit a proposition to the legisla- would be answered by a specification of ture, or, at a very early period indeed, the actual number and total value of the from this time, he hoped, as the Charter notes refused in each year, and what was would not expire for two years, and as the now proposed appeared to him at best to interests concerned were various and com. be unnecessary and superfluous. plicated, that it would not be brought for- Earl Grey thought, by what fell from ward during the present session.
the noble Secretary of State, he must have
misapprehended the object of his motion; BANK OF ENGLAND.) Earl Grey rose to it went to shew what he allowed to be probring forward the motion respecting which per, the extent of the evil, and which he had recently given notice. It would could not be satisfactorily shewn without go, he observed, first, for an account of an account of the number of instances in the total value of the notes refused in pay, which the evil had taken place; it was ment at the Bank since the year 1797, on not so much the amount as in the nature the ground of their being forged, distin- of the sum, and the multiplicity of inguishing the value of those in each re. stances in which the offence had been spective year since that period. To this, committed. It was said not to exceed he believed, no objection would be made. 9,0001. as to nominal value, one year with But the information he most wished for, another, but without a specification of the and without which the anterior would be numbers, they could not tell whether pugatory, was an account of the number forgeries were committed in nine instances of the notes so presented; this he thought of 1,0001. each, or in nine thousand inmore especially necessary, with a view to stances of ll. each. He had no objection the discussion of the measure which would to amend his motion as suggested, by ere long come before that House. Such a calling for a distinction of the notes under statement alone, he said, would enable and above 51.; and as to the objection of them to form a judgment how far indivi- the noble earl, that to publish the descripduals were likely to suffer in that way tion of notes would be injurious, he under the system, which that measure thought it could not really be believed, went to extend, and to continue. The that the practitioners in forgery wanted noble earl then moved for an account of any information through the medium of the value of the notes as above, from the that House. One great object should be year 1797 to the latest period the same the diminution of opportunities for the could be made up, distinguishing the no- commission of the offence alluded to, as minal value the notes so presented in far as possible, for it made one's blood run (VOL. XXII.)
cold to read the facts in the papers of the view, the fullest information should be numbers brought to trial on such charges, afforded. One great means which led to and sent away with verdicts of Guilty- the facility of forgery was the wretched Death.
style of executing notes; and it had been The Earl of Liverpool contended, that said to him, jocosely no doubt, that they every useful purpose would be answered ought not to hang those who forged, but from the accounis already ordered. He the Bank directors for making the notes was far from wishing to with bold any so liable to be forged. information really useful or necessary : Earl Grey amended his motion, in the the real question to be considered was, way suggested by his noble friend; and whether the evil complained of was pro- the question being put thereon, their lord. gressively increasing or not, and that ships divided. would fully appear by the accounts just For the motion
27 The Earl of Lauderdale contended, that
-15 the specification called for by his noble The Earl of Lauderdale moved, that friend, was necessary to elucidate that there be laid before the House a statement part of a very important subject. The of the period at which the directors of the noble Secretary seemed to have forgot, that Bank of England gave up indemnifying before 1797, notes of 1l. and 21. were un- the holders of forged notes.-On this proknown in the country. The forgeries position some conversation took place. were said to be chiefly for those low sums, Lord Holland expressed his surprise that and it was proper they should know how ministers seemed unwilling to acquiesce in far the evil arose from that system which propositions of the kind, until they had the expected Bill went to enforce and to consulted the Bank directors. The mocontinue.
tion he thought necessary, and adverted Earl Stanhope hoped their lordships to the period, as long subsequent to the would permit him to say a few words re- restriction on the Bank. He noticed the specting the opinions just declared upon a circumstance of a forged note he had very important subject. He believed it to brought some years after that period, and be fact, that the greater proportion of the which he had communicated to the Bank value of the forgeries had been in the as connected with a system of forgery, small notes. He did not approve of the said to be then going on. He was offered motion as then worded; it was liable to an indemnification. But he could not avoid objection urged by the noble Secretary, as observing, that it was to the disgrace of to its tending to mislead. He saw no rea. the country that the example was set, not son, however, why his noble friend should by individuals, but by the government itnot call for a specification of all the self, and it was to the shame of the counclasses of notes in which forgeries were try that the practice should be approved committed. It was a topic to which he in the tribunals, on the ground of its being believed he had given ten times the atten- against the enemy of the country. tion given to it by all the members of par- The Earl of Liverpool said, that with reliament put together. He had suggested respect to any specific proceeding of a mode which would go to prevent forge- the government of the country at the ries at home ; but what was greatly to be time adverted to by the noble baron,
; feared was the effects of foreign forgery, he certainly could not speak from when these notes should be put on a dif. any personal knowledge; but they all ferent footing; the forgeries would be knew, that when the circumstance had extensive and systematical. Their lord- been expressly referred to in that House ships recollected the forgeries of the as
--it was strongly denied and disclaimed signats. With regard to the Bill in its by a noble baron (lord Grenville) then progress to that House, the great object holding a high situation in the governwith respect to it, and the subject of which ment, who denied that such a fact had it formed a part, was that the holder of ever taken place. With respect to the the note should receive the value it was idea held by the noble baron, of his worth. Every thing that could, should proneness to consult those whose interests be done to prevent forgery and its conse- were so immediately concerned, he had quences; and also to render the person to state, he felt it incumbent on him, not who held a note, certain that he would re-only in the case of the bank of England, ceive that which was its value. In that but of any other public whose in
terests were deeply implicated, to endea-shire, was also presented and read; setvour to learn whether important objections ting forth, were entertained, and where these were • That the Petitioners beg leave to recommunicated, he always exercised his present to the House, that though they are own judgment how far such constituted a fully sensible that it is a duty incumbent fit ground for objection or argument in upon every subject of these realms to subparliamentary discussion.
mit, and the Petitioners are willing cheerThe motion was then withdrawn. fully to submit, to every commercial regu.
lation and restriction by which the wel.
fare of the state is essentially promoted, HOUSE OF COMMONS.
yet they apprehend, and beg leave to Tuesday, April 14.
state, that the principle of restraining the PETITIONS FROM PERTH, SHROPSHIRE, subjects of these realms from trading with MANCHESTER, AND BLACKBURN RESPECTING foreign nations and our distant possessions, THE RENEWAL OF the East India Con by granting an exclusive exercise of that PANY'S CHARTER.) A Petition of several right to a chartered company, is so far merchants, manufacturers, and other inha- from being essential to the welfare of the bitants of the city of Perth, was presented state, that it in itself is an obstacle to the and read; setting forth,
increase of our commercial intercourse “ That the Petitioners, in common with with those foreign nations and distant posthe rest of their fellow subjects, conceive sessions; and that the principle of conthat they have a right to a free trade with ducting trade with foreign nations and disall parts of the British empire, under such tant possessions, by means of a chartered regulations as justice and sound policy company, tends to increase the price paid may require ; and that they forbear en by them for the transport of our manufactering into the discussion of the territorial tures, and to enhance that which the Petirights of the East India Company, or the tioners pay for their produce, and thereby, internal government of its possessions, but instead of being a benefit to this country, they humbly confide in the wisdom of the is an injury, and consequently an injusHouse that, on the expiry of the present tice, to both; and therefore praying, that, Charter, the important interests of the if possible, the exclusive Charter of the Company will be settled on liberal and East India Company may be abolished, or fair principles, compatible with the sanc- that, if, from circumstances not within the tion of a free trade to India, under equi- knowledge of the Petitioners, it should aptable regulations, for the general benefit pear to the House necessary to concede to of the subjects of the United Kingdom; the East India Company the exclusive priand that the Petitioners humbly apprehend, vilege of trading to some particular nation that the natural effect of throwing open situated beyond the Cape of Good Hope, the trade to all the cougtries beyond the such concession may be as limited as the Cape of Good Hope will enable the manu- nature of the case will admil; and the facturers to exert their skill and industry Petitioners earnestly increat of the House with increased energy and advantage, and so in its wisdom to protect the rights of not only tend to relieve them under their his majesty's subjects, as that they may present hardships, but also the numerous not be restricted from a free intercourse class of suffering operatives, who are, by with our Indian possessions, nor, without the calamities of the times, and the tyran- absolute necessity, from trading with any nical restrictions of the enemy, deprived of those nations which are situated beyond. of their ordinary means of support; and the Cape of Good Hope." praying the House to adopt such measures on the expiry of the present Charter as A Petition of several merchants, manu. may establish and confirm the sanction of facturers, and other inbabitants, of the a free trade to the British merchant, under town of Manchester, was also presented suitable regulations, to the eastern parts and read; setting forth, of the world, neither cramped by unne- “ That, from the circumscribed state of cessary restrictions, nor fettered by exclu- their trade with the European continent, sive monopolies, as at present, nor injured the Petitioners more particularly by preferences granted to neutral nations." anxious that a free intercourse may be se
cured to them with all the countries beA Petition of the iron masters, proprie- yond the Cape of Good Hope on the aptors of the principal iron works in Shrop- proaching termination of the East India
Company's Charter; and the Petitioners for supporting monopoly no longer exist : beg leave most respectfully to assure the the capital, commercial spirit, and comHouse of their firm conviction that the un- mercial knowledge of the British merchant restrained exercise of that right is essen- are unbounded; free ports of trade to
tially necessary 10 the maintenance of the carry off the immense manųfactures of the - manufacturers, and to the prosperity of United Kingdom are very limited indeed, the commerce of the United Kingdom; and, that they are by no means adequate, and the Petitioners humbly submit, that is most plainly shewn in the distress their right to a free participation in the which pervades every manufacturing discommerce with all the prohibited countrict; and that, when the East India Comtries, on the expiration of the East India pany's monopoly was granted, almost Company's present Charter, is unquestion every port in Europe was open to the inabie; and ihat the success of the subjects dependent trader, now almost every one of foreign powers, in a traffic which has is shut against him; and the Petitioners been denied to the Petitioners, has made submit, that it is impossible for any joint them more deeply sensible of the priva- stock company to convey our manufaction, and completely proved that the trade tures into many of the ports betwixt the is within the reach of individual exertion; Cape of Good Hope and the Straits of and praying the House to adopt such mea. Magellan, that would be resorted to by sures as may, upon the expiration of the independent adventurers if they were perexisting Charter, secure to all his majes.mitted to make their election; and ihat ty's subjects a free trade from any of the the delays and abuses known to exist in ports of the United Kingdom with all the managing the concerns of the Company, countries situated to the East of the Cape being prevented by individual attention of Goud Hope."
and economy, will be the means of in
creasing the ability of this kingdom to A Petition of the cotton manufacturers, underseli all others in foreign markets; bleachers, and printers of the town and vi- but, if the Company can carry on its trade cinity of Blackburn, was also presented to greater advantage than the private and read; setting forth,
merchant, it will reap its merited benefit “Tharthe Petitioners presume to petition by the competition, and, without compe, the House not to renew the East India tition, the Petitioners respectfully contend, Company's Charter, and, in doing so, that the commerce of Britain neither would they deem it their humble duty to state have risen to its present standard, por the causes, as briefly as the importance of will it increase to bear the increasing exthe case will admit, of their objection to pences of the nation; and that it is a well the exclusive privileges granted to that ascertained fact, that, during the time of body; that, to deprive an individual of the Protectorate, there were men who the free employment of his industry and boldly violated the East India Company's capital, must tend to discourage enter- Charter, and carried on the trade with prize, to repress exertion, and greatly to such success, that they were able to sell obstruct the progress of national prospe- the commodities of the East in the differrity: in the early stages of commerce, ent markets of Europe on lower terms there might be reasons to justify exclusive than had ever been known ; and at this monopolies to joint stock companies, the day, individual British merchants have wealth of the community being low, the traded to India with profit, even under all combination of a number of small capitals the difficulties, delays, and taxes imposed may be necessary to form a fund for an upon them by the Company; but the undertaking of any considerable magni- American merchants, un feuiered, bave em. tude: if the proposed object of adven- braced the favourable opportunity held turers be attended with apparent hazard, it out to them by the act 37 Geo. 3, c. 57, may be wise in government to encourage and have now deprived the Company of such adventurers, by allowing them ex- the advantage of supplying principally clusive privileges; and on these, or simi. not only the continental European mare lar considerations, the Petitioners presume kets, but also those of South America, the the various privileged companies in Eng- West Indies, those in the Mediterranean, land were first formed; of these the East and even Malta : and that this trade, supIndia Company alone has been enabled to ported no doubt in part by British capital, prolong its existence : the Petitioners will / which the law does not permit its owners now endeavour to show, that the reasons to employ directly themselves, has increased with unexampled rapidity, enrich that effect, they are manifestly the cause ing the individuals engaged in it, and of still further curtailing our trade, by deyearly adding to the resources of their priving us of the market of the United country, whilst the English trade has be- States of America, the only one of importcome less extensive and profitable; and ance which was left open to us; and that that, confident the House will form its de- notwithstanding the Berlin Decree our cision upon this great question from a trade with the United States was as flouconsideration of the present and not the rishing as at any former period until the former situation of the British dominions, Orders in Council were issued, followed the Petitioners humbly hope, that their by the American embargo and Non-ImPetition, according with the sentiments of portation laws; and, when the Petitioners so many respectable and deeply-interest.consider the naval superiority of this ed merchants and manufacturers, will be country, they cannot suppose it would graciously received, and that their fervent have been interrupted by that Decree, or wishes may not be disappointed.” by any other within the power of the Ordered to lie upon the table.
enemy; and that it is with the most pain.
ful anxiety the Petitioners find themselves PetitiONS FROM STAFFORDSHIRE AND compelled to represent the present deYORKSHIKB RESPECTING THE ORDERS IN pressed and alarniing stale of their trade, COUNCIL.) Lord Leveson Gower present the number of bankruptcies is unpreceed a Petition from several manufacturers dented, more than one fifth of our manuof china and earthenware in the Stafford factories are unoccupied and falling to shire potteries; setting forth,
decay, and the remainder, many of which “ That the Staffordshire potteries, con- are at work on the prospect of the opentaining originally but few inhabitants, and ing of the American market, are employpossessing little except the rude produced on the average to little more than half tions of nature, have, by the skill and indus. their usual extent, great numbers of work. try of the potters, become the seat of ma- men are without employment, and they nufactories of national importance, giving and their families are dependent upon our support to a considerable population, and daily increasing poor rates for subsistsupplying tonnage to a great amount for ence; and praying the House to take the coasting trade and for inland naviga- such measures as to them shall seem lion in the conveyance of raw materials, meet, to relieve the distresses of the counthe products of Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, try, and to prevent the still greater cala. Kent, Derbyshire, and Wales, and in the mities which the Petitioners are persuadtransport of a bulky manufactured article ; ed would result from the continuance of and that in time of peace, the productions the Order in Council of the 26th of April of these manufactories found their way to 1809.” all parts of the known world, but since the commencement of the present unex- Lord Milton presented a Petition from ampled system of commercial warfare, several merchants and manufacturers inthey have experienced, in common with terested in the woollen trade, and resident the others in the United Kingdom, the pri- in the West Riding of Yorkshire ; setting vations unavoidably produced by a total forth, exclusion from the continent of Europe; « That the Petitioners form a considerand that restricted as the Petitioners were, able portion of that description of his Maby the severe prohibiting decrees of the jesty's subjects whose persevering indusenemy, from any participation in the con- try has contributed to raise to a pre-emitinental trade of Europe, it became of the nent degree of wealth and greatness this highest importance to preserve our exten- their native country; and that the Peti. sive and valuable commerce with the tioners are sensible of the existing national United States of America, by every means difficulties, and of the various and unjust consistent with our national honour and means devised by the inveterate and subinterest; and they humbly conceive that tle enemy of their country to injure and the Orders in Council issued in 1807, and destroy their national independence, and continued in certain of their provisions in have, therefore, borne without complaint an Order of 1809, were intended to force a large portion, and are yet willing eheer: a commercial communication with the fully to undergo their share, of the pricontinent of Europe from the pressure of vations necessary to effect the national its necessities, but instead of producing safety, but they cannot any longer refrain