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lowed the practice of binding their poor children to a distance, though quite as numerous as those in which this practice has prevailed; and that some parishes which had begun it, have long discontinued it.
parent, and (what is perhaps of more impolicy of binding parish apprentices in consequence) the superintendence of the the manner in which they are usually officers of the parish by which they were bound, and attempting to make regulations bound. That this is not attended with with a view to their better treatment, if much difficulty seems evident, from the these wholesome regulations can be enfact that many parishes have never foltirely done away by the act of two magistrates for Middlesex or Surrey, who can, without any notice or previous intimation, defeat these humane objects, by binding scores or even hundreds of children to manufacturers in a distant county, and thus increase the very evil which it has been endeavoured to check or prevent. Indeed in so slovenly and careless a manner is this duty frequently performed, and with so little attention to the future condition of the children bound, that in frequent instances the magistrates have put their signatures to indentures not executed by the parties. Two of these indentures have been submitted to the inspection of your Committee, purporting to bind a boy and a girl from a parish in Southwark to a cotton manufacturer in Lancashire, and though signed by two justices for the county of Surrey, neither dated nor executed by the parish officers, nor by the master to whom the children were bound. Under these indentures, however, they served; and on the failure of their master, about two years after this binding was supposed to have taken place, these poor children, with some hundreds more, were turned adrift on the world, one of them being at the age of nine, and the other of ten years.
It is obvious that these considerations apply equally to the assignment of parish apprentices as to their original binding, and therefore the restriction of distance, proposed in the latter case, should be extended to all parish apprentices, who during the term of their apprenticeship are assigned to another master; nor should any master have power to remove his apprentice beyond the limited distance, as such power would have a direct and immediate tendency to defeat the object of these regulations.
In making these observations, your Committee beg to be understood as not extending them to the sea service, in favour of which they make a special reservation, on account of considerations of the highest political importance connected with the maritime interests of the country. They therefore carefully abstain from recommending any interference with the law as it now stands, which admit of binding parish apprentices to the King's or merchants' naval service.
The system of binding parish apprentices, in the manner in which they are usually bound, to a distance from their parents and relations, and from those parish officers whose duty it is to attend to their moral and physical state, is indeed highly objectionable; but the details and the consequences are very little known, except to those persons to whom professional employment, local situation, or accident, may have afforded the means of inquiry and information on the subject. There are, without doubt, instances of masters, who in some degree compensate to children for the estrangement which frequently takes place at a very early age from their parents, and from the nurses and women to whom they are accustomed in the Workhouses of London, and who pay due and proper attention to the health, education, and moral and religious conduct of their apprentices; but these exceptions to the too general rule, by no means shake the opinion of your Committee as to the general impolicy of such a system.
The consideration of the inconvenience and expense brought on parishes, by binding apprentices from a distance, is of no weight, when compared with the more important one of the inhumanity of the practice: but it must not be kept out of sight, that the magistrates of the Wost Riding of Yorkshire, or of Lancashire, who are of all others the most conversant with the subject, may in vain pass resolutions, as they have done, declaring the
Your Committee forbear to enter into many details connected with the subject of apprenticeship of the poor, which, though thy of the attention of the House, are yet in the highest degree interesting and worin some measure foreign to the immediate object of their inquiry. They cannot, however, avoid mentioning the very early age at which many of these children are tem of these distant removals, at all times bound apprentices. The evils of the sys
severe, and aggravating the miseries of poverty, are yet felt more acutely and with a greater degree of aggravation, in the case of children of six or seven years of age, who are removed from the care of their parents and relations at that tender time of life; and are in many cases prematurely subjected to a laborious employment, frequently very injurious to their health, and generally highly so to their morals, and from which they cannot hope to be set free under a period of fourteen or fifteen years, as, with the exception of two parishes only in the metropolis, they invariably are bound to the age of twentyone years.
Without entering more at large into the inquiry, your Committee submit, That enough has been shown to call the attention of the House to the practicability of finding employment for parish apprentices, within a certain distance from their own homes, without the necessity of having recourse to a practice so much at variance with humanity.
That during the interval of peace in 1802, the period was too short to reinstate the building, and make it fit for resuming Divine Service; the war soon broke out, the church was again seized by the French, and threatened to be confiscated as a national domain belonging to British subjects, which however was with difficulty resisted by some of your etitioners, but who could not prevent the French government from appropriating it to the service of the marine, who cut down the oak pews, destroyed the organ, took up the pavement, broke all the windows and ceiling, while the roof, gutters, timbers, and principal parts of the outside of the church were year after year suffered to go to decay, for want of the necessary repairs; which your petitioners had not the means or power to prevent:
"The glorious successes of Great Britain and her Allies, having among other nations happily delivered this country. from foreign oppression, and restored to it its former free and protective Governinent: your petitioners, anxious to be enabled again to assemble themselves together in the worship of the Church of England, most humbly approach your Rot-lordships, praying that they will be pleased to grant them the necessary pecuniary aid to accomplish so desirable an object for the benefit of themselves and their children, as well as the numerous class of his Majesty's subjects constantly employed in the shipping trade between Great Britain and this Country:
"Your petitioners beg humbly to state, that according to an accurate survey made by the government architect of this department of Holland, he has reported that it will take the sum of 4,500l. sterling, to put the Episcopal Church in complete repair, and reinstate the same as it was heretofore fit for the performance of Di vine Service, the brick-work and outside shell of the building being still in good order.
The said Report was ordered to be printed.
PETITION FROM THE BRITISH INHABITANTS OF ROTTERDAM.] The following Petition from the British Inhabitants of Rotterdam; praying for pecuniary Aid to repair and reinstate the English Episcopal Church there; was laid before the House, and ordered to be printed.
"To the Hon. the Lords
sioners of his Majesty's Treasury. The humble Petition of the undersigned British Inhabitants of terdam, and Members of the Established Church of England, " Sheweth,
"That your petitioners having, until the year 1794, enjoyed the free use and comfort of their religion, were, most of them, from the invasion of this country by the French armies, obliged to quit it, together with their clergyman, at that period:
dividuals, by which means the present building was erected at an expense of nearly 12,000l. sterling:
"That during the years of trouble and desolation which followed the French invasion, this building became seized by that government, and suffered the greatest abuses, by being converted into an hospital, and afterwards a storehouse:
"That their Church is a handsome detached brick building, and was erected in 1706 and 1707, by means of the liberal contribution of her majesty queen Anne of glorious memory, his grace the duke of Marlborough, and the officers and privates of her majesty's army and navy; to which were added subscriptions from the two Universities of England, dignified and other clergy as well as nobility, and in
"Your petitioners are under the necessity of stating to your lordships, their utter inability to raise the sum, or any
ACCOUNT RESPECTING THE MANAGEMENT OF THE PUBLIC DEBT.] The following Account was laid on the table of the House :
An ACCOUNT of the Amount charged by the Bank of England, against the Public, for the Management of the PUBLIC DEBT, including the Charge for Contributions on Loans and Lotteries, in the Years 1792, 1793; 1813 and 1814; for each Year respectively; stating the Rate of Charge on the Amount of the National Debt, and on Contributions on Loans and Lotteries; and the whole Amount of such Charge under each head respectively.
CHARGE for Management of the Public Debt, from 5th July 1791 to 5th
P. Becher, Catherine Bastre, Anna Mary
CHARGE for Management of the Public Debt, from the 5th July 1792
CHARGE for Management of the Public Debt, for one Year ending 5th
per Million on the amount of Stock transferred ...Do...for receiving Contributions on the Loan for the Service of the Year 1813, at the rate of £.800 per Million ...Do...for......Do... ..on Debentures.........Do...... Do.......... ...Do...for.....Do......on Six Lotteries... Do... at the rate of £.1,000
for each Contract
CHARGE for Management of the Public Debt, for one Year ending the
of £1,000 for each Contract....
.................. at the rate
The Total Amount of Charge of Management..........
£. S. d.
98,803 12 5
1,000 0 0
98,273 19 3
3,626 1 3
678 13 3
3,000 0 0
for receiving Contributions on Loans
241,971 4 21
798 3 7
17,600 0 0
2,000 0 0
£. s. d.
99,803 12 5
102,900 0 6
---243,583 11 75
--281,568 6 11 £.727,855 11 5
£.658,191 2 3
£.727,855 11 54
ESCAPE OF BUONAPARTE FROM ELBA.] The Marquis Wellesley rose, pursuant to notice, to call the attention of the House to the Treaty entered into with Buonaparté at the conclusion of the late war. Notwithstanding, he said, the commanding situation which we occupied at the close of that war, and notwithstanding the glorious achievements which we had performed in the course of it, a work if not so glorious, yet still more important, remained to be accomplished, namely, to provide for the complete and permanent exclusion from power of that person who had so long continued to disturb, or he might say, to desolate the world. With respect to the character of that person, he had on both sides of the House expressed, as he entertained, one uniform opinion. He had ever considered that person as the main spring of the system which it was peculiarly the duty and the interest of this country to resist; but although he had so regarded that person, although he had viewed in him the most active and efficient advocate or leader of that system which the French Revolution had produced, still he had never ceased to think that person most likely to expose this very system to destruction, provided there was sufficient-after we had so nobly and gloriously concert among the Powers of Europe to struggled, our minister was bound to take, avail themselves of his errors. So that nay, bound to insist upon a lead in the from the character of that very person, transaction that was completely to termiwho was the champion of this perilous nate the conflict, by putting an end for system, he was led to calculate upon its ever to the power of that person who was dissolution, provided the other Powers its principal cause and support. But this were in a state to take advantage of the duty was neglected, and the opportunity circumstances which his indiscretion was was lost of rendering a most material likely to create. Such were the general service to Europe and to this country. principles which prevailed in his mind, Ministers, however, offered some excuse and he must suppose that such was the for their conduct, in declining to do that impression of the noble lords on the minis- which ought to have been done, and from terial bench; for they always declared which no rational or firm statesman would that they considered the person alluded have shrunk:-but this excuse was really to as the main, if not the sole, spring of such, that he should have thought it a libel the system against which this country upon ministers to advance that which was had waged war, and of course, according gravely stated in the Papers upon the to their sentiment, the permanent exclusion table. In these Papers it was alleged, of that person from power was a most truly, that another Power had entered into important object to this country and to the an engagement before our minister came up, world. Under these circumstances, then, that is, a day or two before our minister's he could scarcely apprehend any contro- arrival at Paris; and nothing, therefore, versy upon this proposition-that the two remained for our minister, but to accede first objects for consideration, when the to that engagement, or to continue the Allies were in possession of Paris and of war, and to involve France in convulsion. France, were, first, the exclusion of the Such was the allegation; or excuse, and he (VOL. XXX.) (2 N)
person referred to from power, and secondly, the provision of adequate means against his return to power, in order to avert the resurrection of that mischief which had so long agitated and afflicted mankind. On the propriety of guarding against such peril, he calculated upon the concurrence and sanction of the noble earl (Liverpool); yet what was the conduct of our minister upon the occasion alluded to? On that occasion, he contended, it was the duty of our Government to take the lead. Inasmuch as it had taken such a distinguished lead in carrying on the war, and in bringing it to such a glorious termination, it became the province of this country to take a transcendent part in the transaction upon which he was about to animadvert. Our Government, then, should not have shrunk from its duty; and it had a most important duty to performnot a duty, perhaps, so much covered with laurels, but one certainly as important to the happiness of mankind, and to the interests of this country, as any that could be imagined; for it then remained to arrange how the world was to be protceted from the return of that calamity to which it had been so long subjected. After all the sufferings and endurances which this country had undergone-after greater sufferings, perhaps, than any nation in the history of the world had ever experienced
HOUSE OF LORDS.
declared that he should have been ashamed to prefer that as an accusation against these ministers, which they themselves stated as a defence for their conduct. He would ask, whether there could not, and whether there should not have been some general concert among the Allies, as to the course to be pursued upon the probability of such an event, or something nearly similar? What, in fact, was advanced by ministers as an excuse, formed an aggravation of their misconduct. For, from the reduced power, from the distressed state of Buonaparté, there was every reason to calculate that he was likely to fall into the hands of the Allies. Yet such a result never appears to have been contemplated, and therefore no provision was made for it. His belief was, that in point of fact the success which had occurred was never anticipated, or at least to the extent to which it took place. But even ordinary statesmen, much less statesmen in any degree capable of managing the great transaction to which he referred, ought to have foreseen and provided for such a result. For himself, he was ready to declare that he had always looked for, nay, that he had always felt confident of complete success. But miserable must be the mind, abject and wretched the intellect of those who never contemplated the success of that principle which they had so long struggled to attain, and always declared attainable, while they made no concert whatever with their allies in the event of that success-while they arranged no ultimate provision for the great object of their struggle.
Hence, when the success took place, all was hurry and confusion-there was no time for deliberation, and there being no previous arrangement, the opportunity was lost of securing to this country and the world the great benetfis of the just fruits of victory. Thus, from improvidence, an engagement was entered into the most dangerous and the most disgraceful this country had ever concluded. To this engagement, therefore, he contended, that this country ought never to have acceded. The first point he maintained was, that our ministers should have been, by concert with the Allies, prepared for the event of the war; and the second, that it was the duty of this country on that event to take a lead with a view to provide for the gratification of all our hopes, by guarding against the possible revival of Buonaparte's power. But what was the
line of conduct adopted? When the Allies were in possession of Paris, they declared they would not treat with that person. The doctrine was, indeed, generally promulgated, and particularly by ministers, that no treaty was held binding by that man-that there was no security whatever for his observance of any obligation; yet, in the instance under consideration, a treaty was concluded with that person, for the observance of which there was no security whatever but his own. Such was the faith reposed in him, who was said to be utterly incapable of any faith; and this faith, too, was reposed on a point of the utmost importance to France, to Europe, and to the world. Yet for the accession of our minister to such an extraordinary proceeding the main excuse advanced is the previous acquiescence of another Power, and this is the apology for relying upon the promise of a man whose faith would not be relied upon in any other transaction whatever. Our minister stated, that he truly had an objection to the provisions of the Treaty with Buonaparté, but that his objection was over-ruled, not only by the previous engagement of Russia, but by a consideration of the internal state and general condition of France. To this statement he should only say, that the plea of this minister furnished a proof of the want of that due precaution and foresight to which he had already referred; while he had no hesitation in asserting, that it completely proved the general incapacity of ministers; and this was the answer he would give to the noble earl's contemptuous mode of expressing himself. [Hear, hear! on the Opposition benches.] He repeated, that ministers manifested a total want of providence and foresight. But they were not, in fact, by any means prepared for the result which placed Buonaparté in their power; and it was known, that if it were not for the infatuation of that person, which betrayed him into false movements, such an event might not have taken place. Of this, indeed, he was assured by competent observers, who were with the army at the time, and whose evidence he was ready to adduce at the bar. But yet he was prepared to contend, that Buonaparté was not, under any view, in such a situation as to command such terms as the Treaty under consideration contained-such as, he maintained, were inconsistent with our security and that of Europe. Admitting, however, the capa