Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

STATE OF THE NATION.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

a statute of Henry VII. and to inflict a corn to grind, and having no money,
penalty of sl. for every hare or partridge that the miller be permitted to take a
that was proved to be killed after a dif- reasonable charge in kind.” Mr Ryder
charge ; and in case of not being able to moved, that leave be given to bring in
pay it, a commitment to the house a bill on these sundry resolutions.-Or-
of correction for one month, and in the 'dered.
second, fix months imprisonment; and
to prevent vexatious informations, the 10. Mr Grey, in consequence of pre-
fame penalty on the informant in case vious, notice, rose to make his motion
he aid not establish the charge. He now on the present State of the Nation. His
moved that the stat. 23 Charles II. be hon. friend (Mr Fox) had last year
read, 1 James I. chap. i. 3. and the game brought forward a motion similar to this
Act of William and Mary, which being which he was about to submit to the
accordingly done he then moved, “ That House; but since that period dangers
leave be given to bring in a bill to re- had been considerably multiplied. When
peal the faid AA.”

he made that motion, he had done that Mr Fox, Mr Grey, &c. fpoke for the which he was well qualified to do; he motion.

had taken a general view of the whole Mr Jenkinson, said, that he was per- system of the war, of our alliances, &c. fectly sensible that there were many ob- and went into a large and extensive jections to the game laws, but would not view of the State of the Nation at that wish to invade any system unless a prac- period, and concluded by moving for a ticable remedy had been pointed out; committee to inquire into the State of he would not therefore even vote for å the Nation. In what he had to say this committee to examine into them ; but night, he would be fatisfied to recall to. would move, as an amendment to the their recollection the arguments used on motion, viz: That this House do now that occafion; if then, at the result of adjourn.

these, a committee should be granted, Mr Curwen proposed, that should the which it was his intention to move for, question of adjournment be negatived, he would go into an examination of the he would come into the proposition of war, but more particularly of all other the gentleman who opposed his motion, parts of it into that which related to the viz. to agree to a committee to inquire expedition to the West Indies, which an into the itate of the game laws. A di- hon. friend of his (Mr Sheridan) had vision took place.

promised to bring publicly before the Against the Amendment, 50

Houfe; he would also examine into the For it,

27 expenditure of the public inoney, which, Majority, -23, as representatives of the people, and A resolution was then come to, by guardians of the public money, they general agreement, that the House should, were at all times bound to watch over in a committee of the whole, take these with a careful and jealous eye. Whatlaws into consideration.

ever various opinions pervaded their 8. Mr Ryder brought up the report of breasts with respect to the origin of the the felect committee on the high price war, yet they ought all to agree in this, of corn. The resolutions were read, that whether there was war, or whether which were as follow, viz. “ That it ap- there was peace, we should be particupears to this Committee, that every mil- larly careful that our finances were in fer should be provided with weights and the best state possible.--He would now, scales, that those weights be liable to be he said, proceed more immediately to infpected, and seized in case of deficien. the object of his motion. At the end of cy: That millers be obliged to return three years of the present war, which the fame weight brought, unless what is had been already carried on for four, wasted in the

act of grinding: That no it would be found, that there had been miller do take toll in kind, unless at added seventy-seven millions of capital such mills as are authorised by law: to the national debt, not speaking of the That every miller have fixed up in his unfunded debts, and for the interest of mill a table of rates, expresive of the this, there should be found taxes to the different prices of grinding: That ma- amount of 2,600,000l. If, in point of giftrates be authorised to punish delin- 'extent, we compared this war with the quenta: That where any perso brings American war, could it be said they bore

any

any resemblance ? in that we had the have we made fuch great acquisitions principal powers in Europe to contend from' them ; never was more skill and with, in conjunction with the revolted courage displayed by our countrymen. colonies; but in this the majority of the To this Mould be added, our successes powers of Europe were our allies, a. in other quarters--the capture of the gainst what the hon. gentlemen opposite Cape of Good Hope, and many other of were pleased to call a distracted and de. the Dutch feitlements, and the acquisibilitated nation: And, in point of ex- tion of the kingdom of Corsica. In short, pence, there was no comparison; in we have been successful in every atthree years of this war we had added tempt, but where Providence and Na77 millions capital to tbe national debt, ture seemed to lide against us. The and in fix years of the American war on- country is therefore very far from being ly 56 millions. In the year 1782, a com- in that degenerated ftaté in which it has mittee had been appointed to examine been exhibited by fome gentlemen (Mr into the State of the Nation, of which Grey and Mr Fox); on the contrary, Lord Camelford was chairman, and the we have ruined the French navy, while right hon. gentleman opposite had been we have coniiderably strengthened our a member of that committee, and had own. We have borrowed money at I examined very minutely into the expen- per cent. less than any that has been ces of the war. Mr Grey took an exten- raised during other wars. Our unfundfive view of the war of the Revolution of ed debt is also less, and provisions made 1688, the war of the fucceffion, and of in the Ways and Means of the year to all wars down to the present; and thence diminish it ftill more. He could alfo drew a conclufion, that po former war, congratulate the country on enjoying a the most expensive, could be compared greater flare of potical liberty than it with the present in point of expences. ever before enjoyeu; and on ail his afHe concluded a speech of contider- fertions, he wished the House to decidie able length, by 'moving for “ a Com- from the nature of the arguments admittee to inquire into the State of the duced, not from the bias of any politiNation.”

cal predeliction. All the confidence he Mr Jenkinson rose to answer the argu- claimed for ministers was a constitutionments of the hon. gentleman who had al confidence, and to this he thought just sat down. The hon. gentleman went them highly entitled. He would thereinto an ingenious calculation to shew, fore vote against the present motion. that our expences, considering the rise After several others had spoken on in all articles, were comparatively less the question, Mr Grey made a reply to than in the American war, and that the the arguments urged against his motion. French had expended more than us and When the House divided, there were all our allies, as they had expended their Against the motion,

207 capital, and we only an interest. Mr For it

45 Jenkinson next vindicated the manner in

Majority

-162. which the public money had been ex. 11. Mr Foddrel rose, in conséquence pended. We had now inore men in ac- cf the notice given, to move the House tion, and more thips employeu, than for leave to bring in a bill for the better during any period of the American war. prevention of highway, robberies and Then we liad 314 thips, now we have 368, burglaries. A bill of this nature was, and many of those of a larger size than he said, fo necessary, that it muit be any then in our navy. Nor were tlje obvious to every honourable gentleman sublidies which we have paid to foreign in that House, as well as out of it. There powers unproductive of their good ef were, on an average, 200 persons hung feet. They produced a powerful diver- annually, and of these between 70' and fion in our favour, and divided the force 100 for highway robbery and burglary, of the enemy, and called ost their atten- and this would furnish, legally, the sure tion from their naval exertions. He next geons with subjects of diffection. Mr justified the war, and thewed it to be joddrel concluded, by moving for leave prosecuted for national objects-not for to bring in a bill, authoriting the bodies the sake of imposing any particular form of highwaymen and housebreakers to be of government on the French nation. anatomized. Their navy had never suffered more than

The Attorney-General and others op. guring the present war; never before pold it, as a measure of a very objec

tionable

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

tionable nature. The motion was there- Mr Fox, besides rejoicing, for the fore negatived without a division. same reason as others, that the right SLAVE ABOLITION BILL.

hon. gentlemen had been able to come Mr Wilberforce moved, that the order down to the House, was glad to know of the day for taking the report on the that they had now heard the utmost Nave bill into further confideration be which could be said against the bill, and Tead.

had obtained at the same time, a new Sir W. Young said, it was imposible authority for pursuing the object of it, for him to let it pars without thewing by that hon. gentleman's confession of his direct disapprobation of it in every the injustice and inhumanity of the Dave ftage, particularly when he saw the man- trade. He had argued, that the proviner in which it was carried into effect.- fions of the bill would be impracticable ; It was a bill, he faid, in every clause of if they were to be fo from the displeawhich there appeared tyranny and op- fure of the planters, the provisions ofpreflion. However gentlemen might fered in their stead by him would be inile at what he faid, he was otherwise equaily impracticable ; for every fort of affected, and must feel differently while reform was resisted by them; and had it his property was at stake ; and under not been pretended, that they disliked this confideration he begged leave once this less than the other. As to the fear more to call the attention of the House which had been held out, that the Weft to this subject. Together with the other India islands would aim at afferting their evil effects of this bill, there was not one independence, he could neither admit gentleman of property in the West In. the probability, nor estimate the consedies, who would not be subject, by one quences of a separation : he would not of these clauses, to felony, and liable permit himself to speculate upon them; to transportation, and would tend ulti- but if that were true, which he knew to mately to ruin every man of fortune in be merely impossible, and that the con: those islando. He prayed, that the tinuance of the Nave trade could alone House would more maturely weigh the prevent the feparation, he had no difpernicious tendency of the bill before it ficulty in faying, that the rights of huwent farther, and argue it in that cool manity must be afferted, whatever might manner suitable to such an occafion. be the political consequences. There

General Smith fpoke against the bill. was a question as to our right of legif

Mr Dundas faid, that though the gen. lating for the West Indies: what right tlemen who supported the bill might had we to legislate for Africa? what think there was all eloquence, all argu- right to legislate against Africa ? and, ment, and all policy on one side, yet if while we were retiring to the comforts of those on the other should state their o. our homes and of fociety, to authorise pinions with humility, he would recom- the taking of wretches by force from mend it to them to listen to it with tem- their families, to be removed in floating perance and forbearance. Though this dungeons to a foreign country? It had nation would abolish the Nave trade, it been proposed to confine the trade to would be of little use while the neigh- persons under twenty years of age. bouring nations chose to continue it. It What would be thought of a British might be right to remove pollution from llouse of Commons, if, after having asthis land, but when other nations took certained that guilt and inhumanity were up what it abandoned, the purposes of on one side of the question, and helpless humanity would not be answered by our infancy on the other, they should augood intentions. He now proceeded to thorise that guilt to prey upon that initate at length the great advantages re- nocence? Was it not of consequence to fulting to this country in revenue and a government to be moral in its laws, commerce from the West Indies; the and respectable in its motives? And impossibility of guarding the coafts, a- could that country be respected, in gainst smuggling flaves into the islands, which the rights of justice and humaniwhen 28 ships of war could not at pre- ty were first admitted, and then declared. fent guard those coafts; and conclud. to be facrificed to a supposed policy? ed a {peech of near two hours and a Mr Fox would not presume such an ehalf, by saying, that under all these various grounds, he felt it his duty to re- The Chancellor of the Exchequer appremonftrate strongly against the question. hended more from the discussion than

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

from

vent.

from the bill; for what would the ceaf- 16. General Macleod rofe in conseing to import new' cargoes of Africans quence of the notice he had given relabe, but the ceasing to encrease that dan- tive to the war with the Maroons. The ger, which was so much felt, that it question which he would now submit to was dreaded to be talked of? The plan the House, and the motion which he of Mr Burke, of whom he desired to would ground on it, were, he faid, of. speak with respect and admiration, was such importance, that they would inmuch more likely than this, by its at. volve not only the honour of the coun. tempts at internal regulation, to agitate try, but also the interests of humanitythe minds of the Africans in the iNands, but before he entered on the detail of with whom the present bill did not at the question, begged leave to exculpate all interfere; and as to improvement in himself from certain charges of malice the disposition of the West India Plant, and hypocrify, which, both in public ers, that was little to be expected, for prints and private conversation, had been their own petition contradicted the re- thrown out against him. He read a palsolution of the House and the preamble sage from the newspaper, which he grantof the bill, by denying the injustice and ed was not the moit authentic intelliinhumanity of the trade. To decree .gence, but in corroboration of this, he such a principle, they affirmed, would had also received a private letter, in lead to dangerous consequences. Would which it had also been ftated, that 200 any gentleman in that House, if he could blood hounds had been fent for from the have been asked a century back, whe- island of Cuba, and 20 chasseurs, to hunt ther he would authorize the commence- down the Maroons. This letter did not, ment of the slave trade, for the sake of he faid, come from any one inimical to poffefling sugar islands, have confented Government, but from one that wished to the institution of such a system ? Cer- for the extirpation of the Maroons, even tainly not. Yet the principle of intro- by blood hounds, and who wished also ducing, as well as continuing the system, that the hon. gentleman alluded to in was adopted by the planters, who itated, that letter (Mr Wilberforce) was present, that they had yet a million of acres to that he might be hunted by them. Havcultivate, and who, therefore, did ex- ing entered into a description of these actly the same thing as if they had pro- ferocious animals given by Don Lascasas, posed the occupation of new colonies to and the manner of feeding them on hube maintained by a new Nave trade.- man flesh, he concluding moving No man could pretend to see any sub- “ That an humble address be sent to his ftantial difference between the propofi- Majesty, that he would be graciously tions. The right of abolition was, he pleased to give directions for producing believed, without question; the power the papers respecting the mode of carof effecting it without the assistance of rying on the war against the Maroons. the planters was denied ; but if their Mr Dundas said, that the hon. gentleconfent was to be waited for, the trade man took it for granted that the war might continue for ever.

was begun by injustice on our part; he General Tarleton, adverting to the did not suppose that it was from injufftatements contained in the petitions tice or oppression on the part of the which he had the honour to present from planters, but from some connection with the corporation and merchants of Liver- St Domingo tha the coons had compool, that the extensive docks, &c. con- menced hostilities. The planters lived, structed in that port, for the accommo- he said, at the bottoms of the hills, and dation of the shipping employed in the the Maroons at the tops, from whence Nave trade, would be rendered useless, they descended, and committed the raand the immense capitals embarked in vages shocking to relate. He concluded it ruined, moved an amendment, “ that by saying, that he did not think there the report be taken into further confi- was sufficient grounds for such a motion. deration this day four months.” A di- Several members spoke on both sides, vision took place on the amendment, and in the end General Macleod withand to the astonishment of every person, drew his motion, preserving still to himthere appeared, For the amendment 74 self the privilege of bringing it forward, Against it

O fhould he think proper. The bill was consequently loft by a ma

HOUSE

jority of four.

[ocr errors]

HOUSE OF LORDS." ; upon a division, there appeared for it, March 4. Lord Lauderdale rose to make Contents 10 -Non-contents 73:-—Majohis promised motion on the subject of rity against the motion 63. the pension granted to Mr Burke, and 24. The Lord Chancellor (Lord Grenmade payable out of the four and a half ville being gone to Bath) came down to per cent. duties. A recent publication*, move for the papers in the list given him and personal considerations, his Lord by the Marquis of Lansdowne, which ship obierved, might probably rouse the were ordered. curiosity of the public, and of their Lord- The Royal Asient was given to the ships, to hear him canvass the merit of New Game Act, Warwick Canal, and this public character. From this, how- other Bills; and the House adjourned ever, he was resolved, according to his to the 6th of April. original determination, carefully to abftain. From this resolution no ability, however distinguished, no genius, how

IRISH PARLIAMENT.. ever brilliant, could seduce him. That

HOUSE OF COMMONS. talents fo transcendent should be employed in such a manner, he might la

FISHERIES. ment. He might admire the genius, and

March 22. The House in a committee drop a tear over its fallen and degraded on the Fishery Bill. application; but on the present occa

Mr Vandeleur faid, he rose to make fion, he should confine himself solely to observations on the fate of our fisheries, the question of the application of the and to propose an amendment to that fund. He then went into a history of system of laws, whose operation has not the four and a half per cent. duties. had that success which every man ought They were granted for the repair of to wish. The fisheries have always been forts, &c. in the Leeward Inands, and encouraged by large bounties, that the his Lordship infifted, that they could State might thereby secure a large body not be otherwise appropriated; he there of seamen, in times of public difficulty. fore moved, “ That his Majesty be ad. This bounty was given, not to encourage dressed not to apply them to any pur. the vessels, but that body of men whose pofe but their original object."

services the State required. England Lord Grenville laid, he felt himself pe- early adopted this system: In 25th Geo. euliarly happy, that the motion of the II. a bounty was given of 305. a ton, this Noble 'Lord appeared to steer clear of being found ineffectual, the bounty was of the personal reference which it had increased to sos. A company was estabeen apprehended would occur in his blished with the excessive capital of discussion of the question before the 400,ncol. and a further bounty of 3 per House. It relieved' him from the talk cent. on their expenditure: this scheme, of justifying a benevolence of the Crown, as might have been expected, failed; for from which he and every one of his Ma- you always find those speculative comjesty's minifters derived a portion of ho. panies, composed of men ignorant and nour, as the advisers of a measure fo inattentive to the business in which they becoming the dignity of the Sovereign, embark, waste their stock in idle schemes. and the honour of the country. Having

A similar company, with a capital of premised this, his Lordship contended, 40,000l, is established by the present bill : that the four and a half per cent. duties I apprehend it will have a similar effect; were, and ever bad been, at the dispo-, and the only good I can expect from it fal of the Crown, for any part of the is, what Sir James Stewart says, arose public service. In this he was borne out from a very great company established by the opinions of the first lawyers-by in Holland, that, on its' failure, the those of Lords Camden, Hardwicke, and refrels, nets, and stores, came into the Mansfield; and it had never been made hands of private adventurers, and thence a matter of question and doubt till now.

arose the great flery of Holland. This He therefore opposed the motion; and high bourity failed of its effect of extend

ing the fishery, and it was found necef* Mr Burke's Letter to a Noble Lord on fary to alter the system. The ableft posome former motions and observations on this litical writer that England boasts, (Dr subiect in the House of Lords, by the Noble Smith,) thewed that cach barrrel of herMover and the Duke of Bedford.

rings coit the nation L.I:1:5d.; that

the

« ZurückWeiter »