« ForrigeFortsett »
in the course of this enquiry. Ac quences. A great man, then at mong others the right of the com. the head of the finances, declared pany to their territorial acquifi. fully against the trial of fuchina iions was called in question. It right, in such a court as the house? was argued that they had no right of commons, and strenuously secs by their charters to any conqueft: commended a namicable agreementa that such posseffions in the hands with the company. 16 minha 9115 of a trading corporation were in. On the other side, a large party proper and dangerous; and that of the proprietors of Eat India if it were even legally and politi. ftock, though they ftrenuouslymaine cally right that they should hold tained, that the eompany was folly. these territories, yet the vast ex. entitled by law to enjoy the benefit : penditure of government, in the of the territorial acquisitions it had protection of that company, gave it made in India, during the remain.b a fair and equitable title to the re- ing term of its charter; yet thoughts venues arising from the conquests. it would be happy, by a reales. Those who maintained the rights able composition to prevent
all; of the company, denied that the doubtful events. Many meetings crown had made any reservation of were held to this purpose, and fech requisition as bad been made many schemes and proposals, by by it. 'That it was a dangerous in the directors and others, were laid frigement on property and public before the company. faith to question them, as the com.'. In the mean time a pany had purchased its charters general court was held,
May 6th, from the public, and that they wherein the dividend for the en, were confirmed by act of parlia- suing half year, to commence at ment. That if the crown had any Midsummer, was declared to be right to the poffeflions of that body fix and a quarter per cent and in India, the courts were open for about the same time, a scheme of the trial of that claim; that the propofalsk for an accommodation house of commons was not, by the was agreed tor: These were laid constitution, the interpreter oflaws, before the ministry, which by this or the decider of legal rights: that time was publicly known to have it would be of the most fatal.con. Unfortunately fallent into a face fequence to the liberties of Great of such distraction, that they had Britain, if ever they should af no. opinions icin: 'common. 1 Ac. fume it. That as to the equitable cordingly they shifted the proper right pretended from the expences fals from one to another and of government, the company tiood could come to no determination as fair in that light as the crown, upon them, what to accepi,sor they having expended much greater what to refuse. ». So that the mi, fums in acquiring the disputed witry declining to take any part territories and revenues.
in the negotiation out of the - Upon these topics, this great house; - a petition was presented point was debated; and though 10 parliament, which in it was frequently taken up, the contained two sets of 3.11 house appeared disinclined to tlie proposals for aí temporaryagreedetermination of a question teem- ment, which was to last for chrec ing with such important conte. years..
By the first of these proposals, of an annual revenue, arising from the government were toigrano the the company's trade, of the full company some advantages with yé- ' value of one-third of their capsa fpe&i to the inland duties on their tal. They lastly appealed to che, teas, and a draw back on the ex. faroor and protection of the house, potration of them to Ireland and and flattered themselves, that the che colonies, and fome others re- circumstances mentioned would enspecting raw alk, calicoes, inus. title them to that candour and jurlins, the recruiting service, and tice, which have ever been the military Itores.'': Thac in return, characteristics of the British fenate. after deducting 4003000l. a year,
These latter proposals were acin lieu of the company's former cepted by the house, with this disa commercial profits the nect pro- ference only, that the agreement duce of all the remaining revenues was limited to two in. and trade, after deducting all Atead of bree years,
June 12th. charges, were to be' equally di- and a bill was accordingly passed vided between the government and upon these terms. the company; provided that the A meflage from the ministry company's property in the new Inad been rend at the general court, acquifitions continued for: three which declared the last increase years.
of dividend, recommended to the By the second proposals, the company to make no augmentacompany-offered, upon the fame tion of it, till their affairs were terms, to pay the specific fun of further considered of. This mef. 400,000h. a year, for three yearby fage nou producing the deligned by half yearly payments; and to effect, tsro bills were brought in. indeminify the public for any lols to the house, one for regulating the revenue might be at, by grant. the qualifications of voters in trade ing the advantages which they reing companies, and the other for quired in the tea trade, if the ad- further regulating the making of vanced consumption of it, taken dividends by the Exlt India comat an average of five years, did pany. not answer that end. The
pe- i By the lait of these bills the late tition concluded with a pachetic act of the company was refcinded, remonftrance to che hoafe, tu en- and they were iied down from rais, treat they would consider the in- ing their dividends above ten per minent dangers to which, in many cent. till the next meeting of parlieritical conjunctures, their pro- ament.
This bill met with great perties had been often expoled; oppofition; the former debates the very large fums they had ex; were renewed with more warmth pended fince the commencement than every and the company in, of the wars in India, in which effeétually petitioned against it, they had never been the aggreffors;
also made a pros the low dividends which,
notwith. pofal, that if this bill, which truck ftanding their few loffes iat fea; lo immediately at their privileges, they had received during a course was laid aside, they would bind of years ; whilst the public remain themselves from any farther in ed in the uninterrupted poffeffioncrease of dividend, during the time
of the temporary agreement. This scarcely deserve a ferious conside, proposal, was as ineffectual as the ration.
It was said, 'that if a bill for re: The advocates for the bill, be- ftraining the future dividend of the fides many of those arguments, company were proper, upon the which have already appeared in ideas of fixing and preventing à the course of the former disputes, fluctuation in the price of its between the members of the com. ftock ; that end required only pany, seemed to ground their mo. that the dividend should be fixed, tives on the following principles. without any regard to the quantum To prevent the payment of a high. of it, and may be as well attained er dividend than the circumstances by a dividend of 12į as of 10 per of the company could afford, with. cent. That, this is so far from oui endangering their credit. To being any part of the real purpose regulate the dividend in such a of the present bill, that the short manner, as to put an end to the period to which the reftriction is fluctuation of ihat stock, which, confined, cannot but increase, inif allowed to go on, was not only stead of preventing that Auétualikely to introduce a opernicious tion; and encourage, inftead of spirit of gaming, but would also checking the infamous practices of iend to keep down the other the alley. For that the pallions ftocks, the rile of which is a great of men would be warmly agitated means of reducing the interest of during the summer, in fpeculating ibe national debt. That no en
on the probability of this reftriccroachment might be made by any tion being suffered to expire 'on dividend of the company, upon the opening 'of the next feflion, or the revenue of its late territorial of its being farther continued. acquifitions, fo that the claim of That the propofal made by the the public may fuffer no loss, till company, of submitting to a rethat affair was finally decided,
triction of dividend of 12 per On the other fide, the opposers cent. during the temporary agree. to the bill thewed, that, by the ment, would have obviated all those ftate of the company's affairs, mischiefs, and secured every good which were laid before the parli. end' which might have been proament, ir was erident that they posed, but cannot be attained by were in circunstances able to make the present bill; with this addi. u much greater increafe of divi-' tional advantage, that as it would dend, without in any degree affect- have been done with theit confent, ing ileir credit; as it appeared it would have been liable tono ob. that they had effcets not only jection of injustice or violence. amply suficient to discharge every That the arguments which had jut demand, but that, after even been made use of, on a füppofition repaying their capital, a prodigi- that the right to the territorial ous surplus would still remain; and acquisitions in the East Indies that a doubt of their being able was not lodged in the company, to divide 80,00cl. among them but in the public; if admitted as selves, when they were allowed to one of the grounds of the bfH, was be in circumstances to pay the go. a precedent of the most dangerous vernment 400,000l, a year, would nature ; for the company being in
poffeflion, poffefsion, and no claim againft them An end was at length put being so much as made, much less to this tedious reffion of July 2d, establithed, it would be highly dan. parliament; after it had fat algerous to the property of ihe sub, most the whole summer. ject, and extremely 'unbecoming The great hopes which had been the justice and dignity of parlia. formed, in the beginning, of the ment, by extrajudicial opinions, strength and confidence of the new to call into question the legality of miniitry, which it was supposed fucha poffeffion.
would act entirely under the guid. Many other objections were ance of the late great commoner, made, as well to the form of this now a noble earl, began very early bill, as to the principles on which to wear off. Though the noble it was founded'; and the probable lord in question had loft much of consequences that might attend it, his popularity by the acceptance of were placed in a strong point of a peerage, and fome other parts of view. Among the reft it was ob- his conduct; yet many were still served, that a legislative interpo. inclined to expe&t great national adfition controlling the dividend of vantages from his being at the head a trading company, which had been of an adminiftration of his own formlegally voted and declared by those ing: These hopes, whether well or to whom the power of doing it ill founded; were nipped in the was entrusted, and to whom there 'bud ; the noble lord, in some time was no ground to impute an abufe after the opening of the session, fell of that power; who had lent their into fo bad a state of health, that, money to the public upon the ex- after an unsuccessful trial of the press ftipulation that they might Bath waters, he was obliged to reexercise their discretion with regard linquish all attention to bufiness; to che dividends,provided that their in which situation he seems to have effects, undivided, were sufficient to continued ever since. answer their debes; was altogether
This misfortune loofened the without example. That, as it tend. bands that should have cemented ed to leffen the idea of that security the other members of adminiftra. and independence of the power of tion: They had most of them, the state, which had induced all Eu. upon late occafions, publicly acrope to deposit their money in the knowledged their inability as indi. funds of Great Britain, the prece. viduals to undertake the arduous, dent may be attended with the most talk of government; and centered fatal consequences to public credit. their whole hopes upon the superior * All these reasons, and many others abilities of the nobleman we have which were given, proved entirely mentioned. His incapacity having ineffectual, the bill was carried now left them without a head, there through a great oppoGtion in both was no weight left to preserve a June 26th.
houses; in the upper proper union or subordination, so
house, 59 lords voied that they disagreed both in mea. for it, and 44 against it; and a fures and opinions; and the public Arong and nervous protéit was en. were at a loss where to look for the fered against it, figned by 19 lords. minifter.
longer than two minutes, otherJANUARY. wife its effeét's“ must have beein
dreadful; and we did not hear of A
This majesty's royal pow. any damage being done, exéepr
der-mills at Feversham, the throwing down the gable end this morning about five minutes af. of one house in Wellminster, with ter the clock ftruck twelve, a ftove, some chimnies there and in other in which were 25 barrels of gun- parts of the town,
*1! 1.115011 powder, blew up; happily no per- Great damages were done 6, fon was near at the time. The ex. by the high wind and tide, in 3d, plofion was fo great, as to be heard the river Thames, by goods being 20 miles diftant. Many windows spoiled and damaged in cellars and of the houses in town are shattered warehouses on both fides of the in pieces; and the violence of the river. Several boats were overset, mock occafioned the floor of a room and twenty-seven perfons lost their to give way, in which was a poor lives. The whole damage is eltis man in bed, but he received no da mated at 50,000l. mage.
Near Rochford Hundred, in Er. At night, about a quarter paft fex, two small islands were entirely ten, a moft uncommon change of overflowed, the tide ran over the weather happened. The evening, tops' of 'the highest fea walls, and which till then bad been a bright the low grounds and marshes fef. Atar-light, and remarkably ferene, fered considerably ! varied on a sudden to cloudy, and At Eyemouth the sea breached in an instant à most terrible burit over many of the houses, the high of wind was heard, attended with street was like a little sea, and a furious Atorm of hail from the the confternation of the indiabitants north-east. During this hurricane, was inexpreffible. 11 windows Thook; houses trembled, At Aldborough in Suffolk, the and a ftrange rushing was perceiv- fea fowed in at the windows of ed, as if in the inside of the boild several houses, bore down a few, ings, by the persons who inhabited and damaged many, The inba, them. Many, doubtless, were too bitants were driven to the greatest much engaged to perceive it, but diftress. A large breach was made such as did, particularly those who, in the chalk wall neat Ipfwich, the by their fituation lay exposed to marshes laid under water, and dathe north and the north-east, were magés done to a large amount. not less - furprised than alarmed. The navigation of the ti Happily the form did not last ver Thames was Popt at Folla sith,