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qualified repeal of those laws on which the remaining Catholic disabilities depend, would be inconsistent with the spirit and safety of the British constitution, and the laws which have been enacted for the sein-curity and defence of the Protestant established religion, particularly the Act of Settlement, whereby the crown is limited to his present Majesty's illustrious House, which act secures our religion, laws, and liberties, and which the statute declares to be the birthright of the people of England: and that the petitioners therefore watch with jealousy those bold demands which aim to subvert our guardian securities, and humbly pray, that the House in its wisdom will deem it expedient to defer the consideration of this great question till the Roman Catholics urge claims with that temper and moderation which would best become their appeal to the highest authority of the state.'
The said Petitions were ordered to lie upon the table.
those who profess the Roman Catholic religion in these realms; and that the petitioners are fully convinced that the control of any foreign power implied in such Bill over the government of this country either in Church or State, is not only consistent with the form of our constitution, as established at the Revolution, but moreover, by destroying the independency of our Church and nation, is contrary to the first principles of all civil government; and that the power of the Pope, though for various reasons diminished in the public estimation, is notwithstanding more to be dreaded by us now than ever, being itself brought under the control, and, if occasion should offer, likely to become the dangerous instrument, of a foreign and inveterate enemy; and that the petitioners are the more confirmed in the apprehensions of foreign interference, by observing that, notwithstanding all the concessions made of late years by our legislature in favour of the Roman Catholics, yet the tenets of their Church have admitted of no relaxation, but continue the same as ever, particularly those the most obnoxious and dangerous, of still advancing and maintaining the supremacy of the Pope, in all spiritual matters, above the supremacy of our own sovereign; and that the petitioners, as becomes a Protestant University, have never been adverse to the rights of toleration or liberty of conscience, to which they are and have been most sincere well wishers; but they are most seriously alarmed at the idea entertained of admitting Roman Catholics to legislate for a Protestant Church, to which, as we have thus seen, they are from principle and systematically hostile; and praying, that no such Bill may pass into a law."
GALWAY ELECTION-PETITION OF JOHN JOYCE AND OTHERS.] A Petition of John Joyce, Pat. M. Lynch, John Lynch, Alex. Nicholas Browne, James Finn, and John French Madden, was read; setting forth,
"That, at the late general election for the town and county of the town of Galway, Valentine Blake of Menlo, in the county of said town, was a candidate to represent the said town and county of the town of Galway in parliament; and on that occasion, the hon. Frederick Ponsonby was also a candidate for the like purpose; and that, by virtue of divers charters, there exists in the town of Galway, which is and was a great town in the reign of Henry the 7th, a corporation known by the name of the mayor, sheriffs, free burgesses, and commonalty of the town and County of the town of Galway; and that the right of election is vested in the freeholders thereof, and also in the freemen of the said corporation of said town when lawfully admitted and duly qualified to vote on such elections, the said freemen being a component part of the commonalty of the said corporation; and that the said
"That although the petitioners enter-election, which commenced on the 16th, tain towards the Roman Catholics no spirit continued from day to day until the 31st of intolerance, no desire of dominion, yet of October last, during which period cerit is their firm opinion that, in unqualified tain voters, to the number of 159 freemen concession, the constitution is exposed to and freeholders, duly qualified, voted for a new, an untried, and a great danger; the said V. Blake, and certain persons, to and that the petitioners consider the un- the number of 311, were permitted by the
PETITION AGAINST THE CATHOLIC CLAIMS, FROM THE BOROUGH OF GRANTHAM.] A Petition of the aldermen, recorder, comburgesses, and burgesses of the borough of Grantham, in the county of Lincoln, and inhabitants of the said borough, and the soke and vicinity thereof, was also presented and read; setting forth,
sheriffs to poll and vote for said F. Pon- | sonby; and the petitioners further shew that of the above number of 311 persons who were so permitted by said sheriffs to vote for said F. Ponsonby, divers persons were permitted to vote as freemen of the corporation of the town of Galway, although such persons never were legally admitted freemen of the said corporation, nor did there appear to be any sufficient evidence of their having ever acted as freemen or done any corporate act, inasmuch as the only evidence of their admission as freemen was one of the corporation books, by which it did not appear that any person legally qualified vouched or certified their admission, nor any evidence of their having qualified as freemen, or taken the oaths prescribed by the charter of the said corporation; nor did there appear to be any stamp or any document of their alleged admission as freemen into said corporation as prescribed by act of parliament; and the petitioners further shew, that the above number of persons were not residents in Galway at the time of their alleged admission to the freedom of the said corporation, nor did they ever reside therein; that the said number of persons were composed of the principal part of the tenant peasantry of the right hon. Dennis Bowes Daly, of Dalystown, in the county of Galway, the uncle-in-law of the said F. Ponsonby, and his alleged representative on the hustings at said election; that they were, for the most part, totally illiterate, and incapable of speaking the English language, and admitted to their freedom, if at all, by several hundreds at a time; that the petitioners shew that they were occasional voters, made for the purposes of election, contrary to the law of parliament; that a considerable part, if not the whole number of said persons, declared at the hustings, that they did not recollect ever having exercised any corporate act as freemen, or had ever taken the oath prescribed to freemen, but had, on the morning of the day of their voting, or the day before, and after said election had been commenced, been sworn by the right hon. D. B. Daly in an adjoining room which had been kept locked, and no person admitted to enter, save the said persons about to be sworn, and one or two of the dependants of the said D. B. Daly; that they declared, when about to vote, that they had been sworn in the aforesaid manner before the said D. B. Daly as freemen, said D. B. Daly being at that time
and still mayor of the said town of Galway, although it was objected, that even if in every other respect they were freemen, that such qualification as freemen was not valid within the act of parliament, they not having qualified within six months anterior to the teste of the writ of election; they further declared, that they were so sworn by said D. B. Daly for the purpose of voting for said F. Ponsonby on said election; and the most considerable part of the above number declared, at the time they were voting for said F. Ponsonby, that they were ignorant of the name of the other candidate, although the said V. Blake now resides, and has since his birth resided, within the county of the town of Galway; and the petitioners further shew, as further evidence of their being occasional voters, that 158 of the above number admitted, at such their time of voting, that they had all, on one and the same day, been entered upon the corporation books, as they alleged, and at a time when many of them were minors, for the purpose, as they alleged, of being brought forward at some future day of voting for the said D. B. Daly, or his nominees; that the petitioners further shew, that divers persons who voted for the said hon. F. Ponsonby declared themselves Roman Catholics, yet did not produce any legal document or certificate of their having duly qualified themselves to vote as such Roman Catholics; and the petitioners further submit, that said oaths so administered were irregular, as not having been made before one of the judges of his Majesty's four courts in Dublin, or at the quarter sessions of the peace in the county. where said Roman Catholics resided, none of them having ever resided within Galway; and further, inasmuch as no request was made by said F. Ponsonby, the other candidate, to said sheriffs, to appoint magistrates to administer to Roman Catholics said oaths of qualification, nor did, in fact, said sheriffs ever make such appointment; and the petitioners further shew, that the persons entitled to their freedoms in said corporation, under the Irish act of 4 Geo. 1, c. 15, and under the charters of said corporation, when duly qualified by taking the oaths thereby prescribed, were rejected by said sheriffs as persons not qualified under the above statutes and charters, although they had, long anterior to the teste of the said writ, applied for their freedom, and offered to qualify for same, but were repeatedly refused the op
portunity of so qualifying by the right hon. D. B. Daly and those under his influence; and the petitioners shew, that they are particularly aggrieved in this instance, because the several persons in this respect, to the number of nearly 30, declared at the hustings, that if they were admitted to vote, they would have voted for V. Blake; and the petitioners further shew, that said sheriffs, at said election, permitted to poll at said election for said F. Ponsonby, four freeholders not duly qualified to vote, one of said freeholders having agreed to sell and assign the whole of his freehold, and to give possession thereof in March next, without any reservation, two whereof having no freehold whatever, and one who had not duly registered his alleged freehold; and the petitioners further shew, that, in order that the fullest evidence of the petitioners' objections might appear on record, the petitioners, and those concerned for them, required that the objections of the petitioners to the voters who were unduly admitted, and the answers and admissions of said voters for said F. Ponsonby, might be entered and taken down by the sheriffs on the poll book, which they uniformly refused to do; that the petitioners humbly shew, that, by the several means aforesaid, the said F. Ponsonby obtained a colourable majority over the said Valentine Blake; but that the said V. Blake had a very large legal majority of votes in his favour on said poll over said F. Ponsonby; and that said sheriffs should and ought therefore to have declared the majority on said poll in favour of the said V. Blake, and to have him declared duly elected, and to have made their return accordingly; whereas the petitioners shew that they made their return that said F. Ponsonby was duly elected; and praying the House to take the petitioners' case into consideration, and to appoint a committee to try the merits and validity of said election, according to law, and grant the petitioners such relief in the premises as the House shall deem proper.'
Ordered to be taken into consideration on the 11th of February next, at the same time that the Petition of Valentine Blake, esq. is ordered to be taken into consideration.
CHARITABLE ESTATES BILL.] Mr. Lockhart rose, in pursuance of his notice, to move for leave to bring in a Bill to prevent the trustees of Estates giyen for Chari
table uses from granting long and improvident leases. Having adverted to the acts already passed to secure the due appropriation of donations for charitable purposes, he proceeded to observe, that it yet remained for the legislature to adopt some measure, the object of which would be to prevent the trustees of donations, such as he had described, from granting leases of lands or other property, for terms, which, in the common acceptation of the word, might be considered improvident. What he called improvident, were those leases which exceeded 14 years. It was not his wish to meddle with any of those leases which had hitherto been granted, nor did he mean to oppose the grant of long leases, where the interest of the estate required that such leases should be given, namely, where the estate was to be improved by building or otherwise, but to prevent any difficulty on this head, he should introduce a clause into the Bill, empowering the bishop of the diocese, in which leases were to be granted, to decide as to the length it might be expedient to` grant them, and calling upon the trustees to make application to him before such leases were granted. In all estates, where rack-rents were exacted, however, he should propose, that no lease should be granted for a longer period than for 14 years, and that where such leases were to be given, the circumstance should be made public, in order that a fair competition might take place, so as to secure adequate price for the property to be leased. These regulations he had no doubt would not only tend to the better attainment of the objects for which charitable donations were left, but to the general improvement of agriculture. The hon. and learned gentleman having concluded by moving for leave to bring in his Bill, the motion was agreed to, and the Bill ordered to be brought in accordingly.
GOLD COIN BILL.] The Chancellor of the Exchequer moved the order of the day, for the second reading of the Bill to continue an Act of the last session of parliament, for making more effectual provision for preventing the current Gold Coin of the realm from being paid or accepted for a greater value than the current value of such coin; for preventing any note or bill of the governor and company of the Bank of England, or of the governor and company of the Bank of Ireland, from being received for any smaller sum than
the sum therein specified; and for stay- | back the currency to its proper standard, ing proceedings upon any distress by tender of such notes.
by constraining the Bank of England to resume payments in specie within two years; but, in the mean time the right hon. the Chancellor of the Exchequer proposed, as a nostrum, what had been read by the clerk, at the suggestion of his hon. friend, and which went to establish the monstrous proposition, that a pound note and a shilling were equal to one pound one in gold. Since that period, gold had been sold at 47. 14s. an ounce, which was a depreciation of 20 per cent. A noble lord (King) then took a resolution to confute the doctrine held out in the resolu"2. Resolved, That the Promissory tions by compelling his tenants to pay Notes of the governor and company of the their rents in gold, when a law was passed Bank of England, are engagements to pay to prevent it. This law was temporary, certain sums of money in the legal coin and had been once renewed, and would of this kingdom; and that, for more than expire in February next; it, therefore, a century past, the said governor and became necessary to know the price of company were at all times ready to dis-gold at this period before they renewed charge such Promissory Notes in legal the law. The right hon. gentleman had coin of the realm, until restrained from so come to his resolutions when there was a doing, on the 25th of February 1797, by depreciation of 20 per cent. and he now an order of council, confirmed by act of came to renew the law when the price of parliament. gold in the market this day was 51. 5s. an ounce, being a depreciation of 35 per cent! and yet the right hon. gentleman gravely introduced the Bill, and seemed surprised that it should provoke any discussion. But did the right hon. gentleman really believe that paper and gold were of the same value, or that the law had succeeded in making them so? He could not think so; but if this monstrous law was repealed, gold and paper would find their respective value, and no want of the former would remain. From what had been said the other evening relative to the offer of 27,000 guineas to government, it was likely that the eyes of the right hon. gentleman were opened a little to the difference between paper and gold.-He had lately accompanied a friend of his to a shop, for the purpose of disposing of some light guineas, and the price his friend was offered was 11. 7s. 2d. for his light guineas. Would the right hon. gentleman, then, contend, that the owner of good guineas was not injured by the operation of this law, for if he took them to market he must lose seven shillings in the sale of them? What, then, must he do with his gold? If he hoarded it, it be came unproductive; if he clipped it, he was subjected to the penalties of the Clipping Act; and if he came forward and demanded the fair value, the right hon. the Chancellor of the Exchequer would (૨)
Mr. Whitbread moved, that the 2d and 3d of the Resolutions which, upon the 14th of May 1811, were reported from the Committee of the whole House, to whom it was referred to consider further of the Report which, upon the 8th of June 1810, was made from the Select Committee appointed to enquire into the high price of Gold Bullion, and which were then agreed to by the House.
The Resolutions were accordingly read, and are as follow:
"3. Resolved, That the Promissory Notes of the said company have hitherto been, and are at this time, held in public estimation to be equivalent to the legal coin of the realm, and generally accepted as such in all pecuniary transactions to which such coin is lawfully applicable."
Mr. Creevey said, that it was impossible for him to allow this Bill to be read a second time without entering his protest against it, viewing it as he did, as a Bill of the greatest atrocity. (Cries of hear, and a laugh.) He repeated the term atrocity, for he knew of none which was more applicable to it. He was sure the House would be unwilling to enter into a lengthened discussion on the Bullion Question, but he only wished to state shortly his objections to this fatal Bill, which originated out of the Report of the Bullion Committee, who had been appointed for the purpose of inquiring into the causes of the high price of gold. That Committee stated that the market price was 41. 10s. an ounce, while the standard price was 31. 17s. 10d. and that the amount of the deprecia. tion of the currency was 15 per cent. In Consequence of this statement a distinguished member of the last parliament (Mr. Horner), who had also been chairman of the Bullion Committee, endeavoured to induce the House to adopt a series of resolutions, in which he proposed to bring (VOL. XXIV.)
come down upon him with the terrors of fine and imprisonment. Was there ever then such a violation of the right of property? And what advantage resulted from it? Was the state benefited? only so far as it enabled them to pay their creditors in depreciated currency; but in all cases of public expenditure the state suffered as much as the private individual. As for all the great public creditors, they were in the same situation-they lost 35 per cent. or one third of their property. Thus the public, the annuitant, the public creditor were losing-and who were the gainers? He knew of none, except the Bank of England. The directors of that company were told in 1797, that they might defraud their creditors; and in 1811, they were again told, that they might go on in the same system. They exported coin, and as it disappeared paper became depreciated. What check was there, then, on the discretion of the Bank? These gentlemen, when examined before the Bullion Committee, had confessed, that in regulating their issues they never looked to the price of gold, or to the course of exchange, and that so long as a bill was brought to them with a good name at its back, they would issue to any extent. This was the theory of these gen-rected before he answered any general or tlemen; what was their practice? They partial objections. He was apprehensive, had divided six millions in bonusses, be- otherwise, of being drawn into a prolixity sides increasing their interest from seven which might not only be tedious, but unto eleven per cent. The danger from de- necessary, after the long and reiterated preciation being such on this account, be- discussions which this subject had undersides the danger from a shock of public gone. He now saw, that the favourite confidence, it became the House to take view taken was, the practical one, and to time for consideration, to reflect whether this, therefore, he should chiefly confine it would not be better for them to retrace himself. The question of depreciation their steps than to proceed. The time had been entertained, he wished the House also at which the Bill was brought forward, to remember, at a period considerably was objectionable. Half the members earlier than the appointment of the Bullion were not present, and of those who were, Committee. In 1807 it had been argued a greater proportion were new than had in the other House of Parliament by lord ever been known before. As it was im- King, and the same arguments then urged proper at such a time for the House to by him, were afterwards brought forward pledge itself to continue this act, and as it more amply by the Bullion Committee. In did not expire till the end of February, he the year 1811 the same noble person had should move that the Bill be read a second thought proper to adopt a proceeding time on the 3d of February. which made it appear to parliament necessary to pass that act which it was the object of the present Bill to renew. It was not his desire to attribute to that noble individual any unworthy motive for this conduct; on the contrary, his persuasion was, that the noble lord was only desirous of confuting him (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) and of furnishing a practical example of the correctness of his own
which took from lessors the power of distraining for rent after tender made of Bank of England notes. The only effect of the first part would be to increase hoarding, or perjury and crime, and that of the second to reduce the lessors of lands to the same state with the public annuitants. One observation made by his hon. friend, he could not concur in. If the Bank of England were unconnected with government they would be able to answer all demands on them. He certainly was asto. nished at the little knowledge of the subject shown by the gentlemen of the Bank, who had been examined before the Bullion Committee, but he was assured that if they had not been swayed by government, but had been left to follow their own bias, they would have acted in a manner consistent with the welfare of the country. He concluded by saying, that he should be unwilling, that the Bill should be pressed through the House at any time, but especially at the present.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer said, he had no intention of preserving any disrespectful silence on a question of such great magnitude; but he had been desirous of hearing to what particular view of it the observations of members might be di
Mr. Brand said, he was extremely anxious to hear what the right hon. the Chancellor of the Exchequer had to say on the present occasion. The hon. gentleman then objected to two parts of the Bill; first, that which in pursuance of the ridiculous resolution of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, made the bank paper equal to gold; and second, to that part,