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posed measure might then be arrested. | ted. He confessed that he did not pretend But he conceived that all the steps which to see a way out of the difficulties into had been since taken, were the natural and which the country had been brought in unavoidable successors of the original this respect by the councils that he had error. The Bill before the House was di- opposed. On the contrary, he was of vided into two heads; the first, very justly opinion, that during the last two years securing to the public creditor, who was those difficulties had become so much paid in paper, the power of making, in his more numerous and complicated that they turn, payment in paper operative on all were out of the reach of any sudden rewho had demands on him. The other medy. He would not, therefore, vote for head related more immediately to the ori- the amendment, because it held out a hope, ginal resolution; it prohibited the pur- which, as he did not entertain, he would chase and sale of guineas at a price above not appear to sanction-that in such a litheir nominal value. Now, he confessed, mited period as that to which the amendthat he did not think the latter part of the ment referred, some remedy might be dismeasure necessary or justifiable, otherwise covered for the existing evil. He trusted, than as it went to bear out the legislature however, that the operation of the Bill itin their original resolution; for he could self would be only for a limited period, not conceive nor had he ever heard de- and that during that period the attention scribed the inconvenience of allowing of those to whom the consideration of the guineas, which, being no longer in circu- subject was a duty, would be turned to it lation, were only pieces of bullion, to find with a view of providing, if not a remedy their level in the market like any other com- for the evils which had already been inmodities, and not to be driven into hoards curred, at least a preventive for those or out of the country. As to penal laws greater evils which a perseverance in the for preventing the exportation of any present system must necessarily occasion. coin, when that coin could be disposed of abroad at a higher value than that at which it would pass at home, it was a subject on which all authorities agreed. It was the concurrent opinion of all writers on political economy-of all statesmenof all financiers, that let such laws be as sanguinary as possible-let them be written in blood, they would be ineffective. The great Colbert had declared, that if a wall of brass were built round a country, the precious metals would find some chink through which to escape, if it were the interest of any of the community that they should do so. Respecting the propriety of this part of the Bill, therefore, he entertained considerable doubts: with regard to the unfortunate necessity of the other part of the Bill, he had no doubt. But he wished particularly to guard himself from the supposition that he would vote in any stage of the Bill on the ground taken by the right hon. gentleman and another hon. member, namely, that the country must reconcile itself to the present onerous state of things, and must be content to build its future prosperity upon it, abandoning all hope of setting right that most important of subjects-the situation of our internal currency; and that, because the inconvenience to which we were exposed was partly natural and partly aggravated by the last parliament, we must be satisfied to consider it as indefinitely perpetua
Mr. Butterworth read a letter from a friend in the country, in which the writer recommended strongly the passing of the Bill before the House, in order to save the people in his neighbourhood from the most serious loss, if not from ruin.
Mr. Alderman Atkins expressed his decided opinion, that the present state of our circulating medium was not owing to the conduct of ministers, or of any other set of men; but to the growing commerce of the country, which the whole metallic currency of the world would have been insufficient to supply; and he earnestly wished that this fact were distinctly understood throughout the country.
The House then divided:
For the Amendment............... 19 Against it......... .......129
List of the Minority.
Ponsonby, Rt. Hon. G.
Abercromby, Hon. J.
Westerne, C. C.
COLCHESTER ELECTION-PETITION OF MB. HARVEY.] A Petition of Daniel Whittle Harvey, esq., was delivered in and read; setting forth,
"That, at the last election for the borough of Colchester, the petitioner, and also Robert Thornton and Hart Davis, esqrs. were candidates; and that a poll being duly demanded, the same granted by the returning officer, and proceeded on accordingly; that the said returning officer admitted many persons to vote, and entered their names in the pollbook for the said R. Thornton and H. Davis, who had no right or title to vote, and rejected the votes of many persons having right and title to vote, and who tendered them for the petitioner, and whose votes ought to have been received for the petitioner, and entered accordingly; and that the said R. Thornton and H. Davis, by themselves, their several and respective agents, did, after the teste of the writ of election, and at and during the said election, and before their election, give, present, and allow, to divers persons having votes in the said election, money, meat, drink, and entertainment, and provision, and make presents, gifts, rewards, and entertainments, and agreements, obligations, and engagements to give, and allow money, meat, drink, provision, presents, rewards, and entertainments, to and for such persons, and to and for the use and advantage, benefit, emolument, and profit and preferment of such persons, in order to be elected; and that the said R. Thornton and H. Davis, before and at and during the time of the said election, by themselves, their several and respective agents, friends, managers, and others on their be half, were guilty of bribery and corruption, and corrupt practices, and that the said R. Thornton and H. Davis, before the said election, and at and during the same, by themselves, their several and respective agents, friends, managers, and others employed by them on their behalf, did, by gifts and by rewards, and by promises, agreements, and securities for gifts and rewards, corrupt and procure divers persons to give their votes on the said election for them, the said R. Thornton and H. Davis, and to forbear to give their votes to the petitioner, by which said unlawful and corrupt practices of the said R. Thornton and H. Davis, their agents, friends, managers, and others, they the said R. Thornton and H. Davis obtained an apparent majority over the petitioner, (VOL. XXIV.)
and procured themselves to be returned; and that, at the time of the said election and return, the said R. Thornton was not seised of, or entitled to, such an estate in law or equity as would enable him to be rejurned for the said borough, according to the statute of the 9th queen Anne, whereas the petitioner alleges that he had a majority of legal votes at the said election, and ought to have been returned; which said several corrupt practices of the said R. Thornton and H. Davis have been and are, to the manifest injury of the petitioner, and in violation of the freedom and purity of elections; and praying, that the premises may be taken into consideration, and that the House will declare that the petitioner was duly elected, and ought to have been returned to serve in parliament for the borough of Colchester, or give such other relief as to the House shall seem fit."
Ordered to be taken into consideration on the 18th February.
HOUSE OF LORDS.
CATHOLIC CLAIMS.] The Archbishop of Canterbury presented a Petition from the dean and chapter of Canterbury, against the Catholic Claims, which was ordered to lie on the table.
The Duke of Norfolk expressed his regret. at the hostility of the petitioners to those concessions to our Catholic fellow-subjects, which he considered essential to the safety and welfare of the state, coupled with an adequate security to the Protestant establishment, to which establishment no man was a warmer friend than himself. He was surprised also at the fear expressed in the Petition, that granting the claims of the Catholics would lead to the repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts, and thereby remove the security of the Protestant establishment. It was well known that no ministry had ventured to enforce these acts; that they were hung up from year to year, and that no ministry, however intolerant, could venture to carry them into execution. He hoped that these Petitions were merely the over-zeal of individuals, and that they were not set on foot by any of his Majesty's ministers. He trusted, however, that as the discussion of the great question relative to the Catholic Claims was not to come on till after the holidays, that all the Petitions against those claims would be by that time before
the House, in order that they might be the better enabled to take the whole subject into consideration.
HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Wednesday, December 9. GOLD COIN BILL.] On the motion for going into a Committee on this Bill,
Lord Folkestone said, he wished it to be passed only for a few months, in order that the House might have time to give sufficient consideration to the measure. was altogether against the renewal of this Bill, and thought what had passed in the debate last night sufficient to lead him to that opinion. Of all the speakers last night, the right hon. the Chancellor of the Exchequer was the only one who spoke in praise of the Bill. Whilst several who voted for it said that they did so not from any approbation of its principle, but under the influence of various temporary circumstances. He had many objections to the Bill, and said, that the legislature ought to pass laws for the prevention, not for the production and multiplication of crimes. This Bill increased the temptation to crime, drove all our gold and silver out of the market, and, by thus increasing their value as compared with Bank of England notes, promoted the buying and selling of guineas. The persons who had been punished under this Bill being mostly ignorant, and therefore unable to understand, or perhaps to read the act, had been seduced and entrapped. But why had not a late wholesale offender, the person who offered 27,000 guineas to the right hon. the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and who could not be ignorant of the provisions of the act, why had he not been brought to justice? It might be even said, that the right hon. the Chancellor of the Exchequer neglected his duty to the public (for gold was much wanted for the public service) in not accepting of the offer; for he had it in his power to pay for the sum in country bank notes, by which means he could have evaded the provisions of the Bill.
The House then resolved into the Committee, and the several clauses were agreed
DUTIES ON RICE.] The House having resolved into a committee upon the Duties on Rice,
The Chancellor of the Exchequer stated his object to be the proposition of a tax
upon rice imported from any other quarter than the East Indies. He deprecated any objection to this proposition, upon the ground, that it applied to a necessary of life, for in point of fact the operation of the case would be to secure a supply of rice from our own territories, while, if circumstances should render the importation of the article desirable from America or elsewhere, it would not be raised inconveniently high to the consumer. The necessity of this arrangement, he illustrated by referring to an instance in which government had paid 5 or 600,000l. in bounties on the importation of rice from the East Indies, which rice had never been used for human food, but devoted to poultry, in consequence of the importation from other places. Here, then, was a loss to the treasury and to the importers, without any relief to the public. To prevent the occurrence of such an event, he proposed to withdraw the bounty upon East Indian rice, while an additional tax was imposed upon rice imported from other quarters. The right hon. gentleman submitted a resolution, That an additional duty of ten shillings per cwt. be imposed upon all rice imported from any country not belonging to his Majesty, or not within the territories of the East India Company.-The motion was agreed to.
HOUSE OF LORDS.
APPEALS.] Lord Redesdale mentioned, that it would be of great importance to the public service to have a speedy decision on an Appeal now before the House, relative to encroachments in Portsmouth Harbour, and suggested the expediency of hearing it on an early day after the re
The Lord Chancellor said, he had no objection to take this Appeal out of its course, provided it could be done without injustice to the other suitors before the House. If the Appeal now alluded to could be heard in the morning, so that it might not interfere with the regular course of proceeding in regard to other appeals, he should be willing to agree to such an arrangement. It would be felt to be an indispensible act of justice to the other suitors to make some such an arrangement, when he stated, that of the 270 Appeals and Writs of Error now on the table, the last of them, according to the mode of hearing hitherto acted upon,
could not be decided for eleven years from this time.
Lord Redesdale had no objection to agree to this arrangement. It was only the importance of the case to the public service that induced him to propose to take it out of its course. His lordship went into the 'eonsideration of the Bill recently passed by the House and sent down to the Commons, for the appointment of a Vice-Chancellor, observing, that either that measure must be carried, or the House must abandon its appellate jurisdiction. Which was the more constitutional course, it needed no argument to point out. The greatest grievances and hardships to parties arose from the delay in hearing appeals in that House, and the only effectual remedy he conceived to be, to give assistance to the Lord Chancellor in the Court of Chancery, in order to enable that noble and learned lord to sit in the House of Lords, at times when at present he was required to sit in the Court of Chancery. It was also of importance that some measure should be adopted to compel the attendance of peers, during the mornings for three or four days in the week, in order to the hearing and deciding upon appeals with a due regard to the functions of the House, and the interests of suitors. His lordship moved that the Appeal in question should be taken into consideration on the first day after the recess.
he would not have suffered the measure to have gone on to its ultimate stage, had he not been thoroughly convinced of its absolute necessity, for the assistance of suitors in that House.
HOUSE OF COMMONS.
"That at the last election for the borough of Tregony, Alex. Cray Grant, and William Holmes, esquires, and the petitioners James O'Callagan, and Thomas Thornhill esquires, were candidates; and that the mayor of the said borough is the proper returning officer; and that John Hearle, at the time of the said election, was mayor; and that the said W. Holmes and A. C. Grant, by themselves, and each of them by himself, and by his and their agents, &c. did make presents, gifts, rewards, and entertainment, and promises, agreements, obligations, and engagements to give and allow money, meat, drink, provision, presents, rewards, advantages, and entertainment to and for several persons so having or claiming right to vote in the said elec tion, and to and for the use, advantage, benefit, and profit of such persons so having or claiming right to vote in the said
Viscount Melville urged the great im-election, in order to be, and procure themportance of deciding upon this Appeal as selves the said W. Holmes and A. C. speedily as possible, as it involved in a Grant to be elected contrary to and in great degree the existence of Portsmouth contempt of the provision of the act of harbour. 7th William the third, and the standing order of the House, whereby the said W. Holmes and A. C. Grant were disabled and incapacitated to serve for the said borough, and the election and return of them are wholly null and void; and that the said W. Holmes and A. C. Grant, contrary to and in defiance of the act of the 49th of his present Majesty, in despite of the salutary provision therein contained, did, after the passing the said act, and previous to the said election, by themselves, and each of them by himself, or some person or persons for or on their or his behalf, give, or cause to be given, or promise or agree to give, a considerable sum of money, gift or reward, to some person or persons, upon an engagement, contract, or agreement, that such last-mentioned person or persons should, by himself or themselves, or by others at his or their solicitation, request or command, procure
The Lord Chancellor was perfectly aware of the importance of the case to the public service, and was anxious that some arrangement might be adopted with a view to its speedy decision. He proposed, therefore, that the hearing should commence on the first day after next term, at ten o'clock in the morning, and that the Lords should be summoned during each day of its progress. As to himself, whether in or out of office, he would certainly attend. With regard to the Bill for the appointment of a Vice-Chancellor, he had cautiously abstained from saying any thing upon it, being satisfied, that although it must be admitted that the Bill had reference only to a Chancellor, and not to the Chancellor, still that what fell from him upon the subject, would be received with a certain degree of prejudice. He would, however, say this much, that
or endeavour to procure, the return of them the said W. Holmes and A. C. Grant, respectively, to serve in parliament for the same borough; and that they the said W. Holmes and A. C. Grant did also, after the passing of the said act, and previous to the said election, by themselves, and each of them by himself, and by some other person and persons on their and his behalf, give, or procure to be given, and did promise to give, or procure to be given, divers offices, places, and employment to divers persons, on an express contract and agreement that such lastmentioned persons should, by themselves or others, at their solicitation, request, or command, procure the return of them the said W. Holmes and A. C. Grant, whereby the said W. Hotmes and A. C. Grant, were incapacitated to serve in the present parliament, and the election and return of them the said W. Holmes and A. C. Grant, are wholly null and void; and that the returning officer at this election admitted many persons on the poll for the said W. Holmes and A. C. Grant, who had no right, and were incapable of voting at the said election; and that the said W. Holmes and A. C. Grant, previous to and at the time of the said election, by themselves respectively, and by their respective agents and others on their behalf, were, and each of them was guilty of bribery and corruption, in order to procure them selves to be returned members for the said borough; and that, previous to and at the said election, public notice was given to the returning officer, and also to all the persons who voted at the said election for the said W. Holmes and A. C. Grant, that they the said W. Holmes and A. C. Grant, had given and allowed to divers persons having votes at the said election, meat, drink, entertainment, and other provisions, in order to be elected for the said borough, contrary to and in violation of the statute in that case made and provided, and the resolution of the House of Commons against such practices; and that the said W. Holmes and A. C. Grant had been guilty of bribery and corrupt practices, in order to be elected, and had also, by themselves, and by others in their behalf, and with their knowledge and consent, given, and promised and agreed to give, divers sums of money, gift, and rewards, and offices, places, and employment, to divers persons having votes at the said election, and also to others, in order that the said W. Holmes and A. C.
Graut might be returned for the said borough, contrary to the laws in being against such practices; and that, by reason of the premises, the said W. Holmes and A. C. Grant had become incapable of serving as a member for the said borough in the present parliament, and that all votes given for them, or either of them, after the said public notice of their incapacity, would be thrown away; and that, by the corrupt, undue, and illegal practices aforesaid, and by various other corrupt and illegal means and practices by the said W. Holmes and A. C. Grant, and their agents, a considerable number of votes on the poll was obtained by them the said W. Holmes and A. C. Grant over the petitioners; and the returning officer at the said election illegally returned the said W. Holmes and A. C. Grant, as duly elected for the said borough, whereas the petitioners had a majority of legal and uncorrupt votes, and ought to have been returned for the said borough; and that neither of them, the said W. Holmes and A. C. Grant, had, at the time of his said election and return, such an estate, in law or equity, to and for his own use and benefit, in lands, tenements, or hereditaments, over and above what will satisfy all incumbrances that may affect the same, of the annual value of 300l. above reprizes, to qualify him to be elected and returned for the said borough, according to the tenor and true meaning of the act of parliament in that behalf, whereby the election and returning of each of them are void; and praying, that they may be heard, by themselves or their counsel, as to the matter of this Petition, and that the said W. Holmes and A. C. Grant may be declared not duly elected, and that the petitioners may be declared duly elected for the said borough of Tregony."
Ordered to be taken into consideration on the 23d of February.
MOTION RESPECTING THE KING'S GERMAN LEGION.] Lord Folkestone rose and addressed the House nearly as follows:Sir; the question to which I am about to call the attention of the House appears to me one of too much importance to be for a moment withheld from its consideration. I evinced my sense of this importance by taking the earliest day possible to give notice of a motion with respect to it, and I should have certainly brought it forward on that day if I had consulted only my own feelings; but an application having