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1. THE KING'S REPLY TO THE ADDRESS OF THE HOUSE OF IJOMMONS. Lord ALTHORP appeared at the bar on Monday, with his Majesty's answer to the address of the House respecting the affairs of .rortugal ; which he read as follows- • ' I have received with great satisfaction the expression of your concurrence as the policy which I have pursued with reference to the affairs of Portugal ; and you may be assured that I shall use all my influence to put an end to the differences now existing in that unhappy country." .
2. SLAVE EMANCIPATION. The House, on Monday, resolved it- self into a Committee; and Mr. Stanley's third resolution, which re- lates to the apprenticeship of the Negroes, was put from the Chair.
Mr. BUXTON then rose to make some remarks upon the details of the proposed measure. He alluded to the exaggerated statements of Mr. Hume on Friday last; which were calculated, he said, to give a wrong impression as to the real condition of the Negroes. Mr. Hume lad said that one soldier out of seventy-nine was flogged ; now he could assure the House that one slave out of every three was flogged. Be maintained very earnestly, that free labour was cheaper than slave labour; and stated that the liberated slaves in Trinidad since 1825, at which period they had been put under the care of Captain Gibbs, had been orderly and industrious. He also mentioned the case of the hun- dred and sixty-five American Negroes who were wrecked on one of the Bahama Islands, and who had since maintained themselves in great de- cency and comfort, though in the midst of a population of slaves. He was opposed to the scheme of apprenticing the Negroes. Without wages or fear of punishment, how could they be expected to work? Be thought it would be well to reject the resolution entirely, and that Ministers should frame another better suited to the emergencies of the -case.
Mr. FRANKLAND LEWIS stated his conviction that sugar could notbe grown by free labour ; and that by abolishing slavery in our own Colo- ems, we should only be extending it elsewhere.
Mr. HILL thought, that the safest plan that could be adopted for _emancipating the Negroes, would be to free them immediately, with such guards for their future welfare as the case pointed out.
Mr. MARRIOTT was in favour of compensating the planter, and ap- prenticing the slave as a preparation for freedom.
Mr. WASON began to discuss the subject of compensation ; but was interrupted by Lord ALTHORP, who reminded him that that subject was not before the Committee. He then proceeded to state the plan -which he would recommend for the emancipation of the slaves.
He would make the slave a party to his own emancipation. He would tell tim that he should be free at the end of a certain period, if lie would apply him- self to the cultivation of the estate, for which he should get good and adequate wages, and should afterwards be set entirely free. The rate of wages to which they were to be entitled, should be determined by an officer sent from this coun- try, who should have an unlimited control on this subject, and who could have mo motives for doing other than justice between the two parties. He should then be disposed to give the planters an annual assistance, and he believed they would require that. He had not before broached his views on the subject, be- cause he had waited for the returns; and he now saw that the Government had proposed such a plan to the West Indians, and the West Indians had decidedly and strongly objected to it.
Mr. SLANEY expressed his intention of supporting the plan of Go- vernment ; which appeared to him to be cautious and practicable.
Mr. HALCOMB disapproved of some of the details, but on the whole would support the resolutions.
Mr. STRICKLAND considered unanimity on this question to be very important, and hoped Mr. Buxton would not divide the House upon the resolution.
Mr. STANLEY said, it would be impossible to foretell what would be the consequence of rejecting that part of the measure which related to the temporary apprenticeships, and of declaring that as soon as the bill became law instant emancipation would ensue. He defended the reso- lition at some length, and implored all parties to make mutual conces- dons, for the sake of settling the question.
Colonel CONOLLY agreed with Mr. Stanley in deprecating any at- tempt to procure immediate freedom for the slaves.
Lord HOWICK opposed the resolution. It pledged the House to a measure with respect to the apprenticeship of the Negroes, on which it was utterly impossible that any human being could have any but the .most vague and Indistinct ideas. , Lord ALTHORP defended the resolution.
Mr. MACAULAY would also vote for the resolution : be could not answer to his conscience for voting on this occasion with Mr. Buxton.
Mr. BuxTort, Mr. STANLEY, Lord HOWICK, Mr. HERMES and Mr. 0' CONNELL made a few brief remarks; when the resolution was put, and carried by a majority of 824 to 42.
Mr. STANLEY then moved the fourth resolution, which fixes the compensation to the planters. He stated, that it was the intention of Government to propose a grant of 20,000,0001. instead of 15,000,000/.
Colonel DAVIES said, that the debate on a question of such magni- tude should be adjourned; and after some remarks by Mr. Jotni SMITH, who approved of, and Mr. GISBORNE, who objected to the resolution, the House resumed, and the debate was adjourned till the next day.
On Tuesday, the Chairman having read the fourth resolution,- ' That a sum not exceeding 20,000,0001. should be placed at the disposal of Parliament "- Mr. ROBINSON expressed his general approbation of the Ministerial project, but objected to granting so large a sum as 20,000,000/. as compensation to the planter. He thought 15000,0000/. amply suffi- cient ; and was certain, that when the present enthusiasm for the abo- lition of slavery was worn off, the people would grumble at the cost of it—they would not easily submit to an additional taxation of a million per annum, to be raised by an impost on what had become a necessary of life.
Lord ALTHORP said, that this was merely a question as to the amount of the grant, not as to the mode in which the money was to be raised. He felt confident that the people would not object to grant the proposed compensation, as numerous petitions had been presented in which they stated their readiness to grant any sum of money which might be necessary to carry the proposed measure into effect.
Mr. CHARLES BULLER said, that it was the duty of the Representa- tives of the People to see that not a single undue farthing was given by way of compensation.
Ministers proposed 20,000,0001. as the amount of compensation; but Mr. Stanley might just as well have asked for 100,000,000/. Indeed, he did not know but that during the course of the evening he might ask for 5,000,0001. or for 50,000,000/. more. (A laugh.) The Chancellor of the Exchequer appeared to have no hesitation in this instance in granting the public money to any amount. He seemed ready. at once to apply to a never-failing antidote for silencing complaints, by putting his hand into the public purse. In fact, it ap- peared to him that the noble lord, proceeding on the principles on which he did, might as well at once pay off, not only the interest but the principal of this sum, by doubling the Malt-duty and the House and Window tax for the next three years. (A laugh.) He did not mean, in any remarks which he made, to give any displeasure to his Majesty's Ministers. ( Laughter.) That had happened to them which would happen to any government under similar circumstances— that in bringing forward an ill-considered and ill-matured plan, where they had two contending parties to deal with, they had yielded to the more active of those parties, namely, to the West Indian body. Their plan was, as to compensation, that which had actually been desired by the West Indian body.
He had been surprised at Mr. Hume's observations. What was to become of the sheep when the shepherd's dog thus deserted his duty?
He did not mean to say that Mr. Hume had deserted his duty ; but he cer- tainly was astonished M hear him call this 20,000,000/. a paltry sum, and speak of the readiness with which the people of England would pay it. He had spoken with greater levity of those 20,000,0001. than he had often spoken of a sum of 20/. in that House; for whatever beneficial rights they by this measure took from the West Indian proprietors, they were undoubtedly bound in honour and in policy to pay them. The argument that this was not property, which had been used by the learned member for Hull, was a perfectly absurd one. Whatever was sanctioned by the municipal law was property—the property in slaves was sanctioned by the municipal law in the West India Islands ; and, however objectionable such property might be, the West Indian proprietors were entitled to get compensation for the loss of it. He contended, however, that from calculations, which be believed to have been correctly made, 22/. was the fair average value of each slave, and that 12,000,000/. was therefore a suffi- cient compensation to the colonists. The best plan of emancipation was that adopted in the Spanish Colonies, where every slave was made to labour for his freedom, and to pay for it by instalments. If this plan were adopted, 4,000,000/. would be a sufficient compensation instead of 15,000,0001. Mr. PRYME thought, that 20,000,0001. was decidedly more than the market value of the slaves. He contended that no act of Parliament ever had recognized the right of the planter to the offspring of the slaves ; and that compensation should only be granted for slaves im- ported from Africa.
Major BEAUCLERK refused to vote the 20,000,0001., until it should be made manifest that emancipation would be the result of the purchase; but he thought that the proposed apprenticeships were merely slavery under another name.
Lord SANDON said, that 20,000,0000d. was too little—that 25,000,000/. was no more than the planters were entitled to.
Mr. J. JERVIS admitted, that, as property in slaves was recognized by act of Parliament, compensation should follow the confiscation of that property ; but be would not vote one farthing by way of conciliation. He considered the proposition to increase the grant from 15,000,0004 to 20,000,0001. on that ground, as unconstitutional and improper.
Mr. STANLEY advocated the grant.
It had been at first the intention of Government to bring forward two sepa- rate measures on the subject of Negro emancipation, the one containing a pro- position for the termination of slavery, the other for the grant of a compensa- tion to the planters. They were deterred from pursuing this plan by the fear that one of the bills might miscarry in the House although the other were adopted. By following the present course, it was evident a great object was attained : the same packet which conveyed the intelligence to the West India Islands of the determination of the House of Commons to terminate slavery, also conveyed the intelligence that that result was not to be brought about with- out a due reference to the interests and just demands of the Planters.
He was sure that the people of England would willingly agree to pay the sum proposed. It had been asked, would the originally designed loan of 15,000,000/. have been repaid. He answered "Yes," not indeed by the planter, but by the Negro. With reference to this country, the supply would be in the nature of a loan, but to the planter it would really be a grant. When the Government were accused of not having made precisely accurate calculations upon this subject, he begged the House to recollect the extreme difference of opinion which prevailed with inspect to the valee bf the slaves; for instance, Mr. Buller estimated them at only 4,000,000k, whilst the first claim made by the West Indian interest was for no less a anin than 44,000,000/. With all possible desire to be saving of the public money, he must say that this was not a case in which to indulge parsi- monious economy.
Mr. POTTER strongly objected to purchase the abolition of Colonial slavery at the high price proposed.
Mr. CLAY was willing to grant a liberal compensation to the planters ; but in return, he demanded that the Colonial trade should be freed from the shackles imposed upon it. The people of this country were paying not less than 1,500,0004 a year in consequence of the monopoly enjoyed by the Colonists. The quantity of sugar refined last year, and exported, amounted to 450,000 hundredweight ; and unless he was much misinformed, the crop for the present year, as compared with that of last year, was expected to exhibit a deficiency of about that quantity. In con- sequence of the monopoly, the sugar-refiners would be compelled to come into the market, where there was only a sufficient quantity for home consumption ; and thus the price would be raised to the people of England. He would state a circumstance to illustrate the manner in which the monopoly worked. Last week, some Porto Rico sugar, which any one acquainted with the subject knew was precisely the same as that called Muscovado sugar, which was used by the refiners, sold in the City for 22s. per hundredweiiht; and at the same time English Colonial sugar was selling for not less than 29s. per hundredweight. Here was an actual loss of 7s. per hundredweight to the English consumer in consequence of the monopoly; which upon 450,000 hundredweight, the amount refined and exported last year, amounted to a gross annual loss of 1,500,0001.
Mr. BUXTON proposed the following addition to the resolution- " That one half of the said grant shall not be paid until the period of appren- ticeships shall be expired, and the Negroes consequently put in possession of all the rights and privileges which are enjoyed by other classes of his Majesty's sub- jects in the Colonies."
Mr. WASON, amidst much interruption, proposed as an amendment,
" That to enable the House to carry into execution the proposed transition from a state of slavery to one of apprenticeship, such sums of money should be annually paid by his Majesty as would pay the wages intended to be given ; and that to induce the planters and those interested to coincide in the propositions cheerfully, the duty on sugar should be reduced from 24s. to 12s. per hundred- weight, on the produce of those islands so coinciding; and further, that the property of the country should be taxed to insure these ends."
Lord ALTHORP said, as to the restrictions then on the sugar market, it certainly was his honest opinion, that the home consumption ought to be continued to the West India interest, but that the refiners in this country should not be prevented from refining for exportation.
Lord HOWICK, Sir R. H. INGrars, and Mr. W. WHITMORE, amidst much noise, stated their intention of supporting the resolution.
Colonel EVANS proposed an amendment, that the best mode of affording the West India interest compensation would be the reduction of the duty on West Indian produce.
Mr. PEASE would oppose the grant : all the money would go into the hands of the mortgagees, and the slaveowners would derive no benefit from the arrangement.
Mr. BARING addressed the House amidst loud cries of "Question !" and bursts of laughter. He spoke with much emphasis, his back being turned to the Chairman, and his speech directed to the members who usually sit behind him on the Opposition bench. He strongly protested against the grant.
Mr. BRISCOE also objected to granting more than fifteen millions, and proposed an amendment to restrict the grant to that sum.
The following divisions then took place. For the original resolu- tion, 277; for Mr. Buxton's amendment, 142; majority, 13.5. On Mr. Wason's amendment—against it, 383; for the amendment, 21 ; majority, 362. On Colonel Evans's amendment—against it, 346; for the amendment, 22; majority, 324. Mr. Briscoe's amendment, " to substitue 15,000,0001. for 20,000,000/."—against it, 304; for the amend- ment, 56; majority, 248. Main question, "that this resolution be adopted "—for the resolution, 296; against it, 77; majority, 219.
Mr. CHARLES BULLER then said—" I wish to ask Lord Althorp when he means to bring before the House the question of levying an additional duty on sugar ?"
Lord ALTHORP—" I have never stated positively that I meant to propose any additional duty, much less can I name a day."
Mr. STANLEY stated that the packet had been detained in order to carry out to the Colonies the decision of Parliament on the Govern- ment propositions : he therefore would press the next resolution.
" That his Majesty be enabled to defray any such expense as he may incur in establishing an efficient stipendiary magistracy in the Colonies, and in aiding the Local Legislatures in providing for the religious and moral education of the Negro population to be emancipated."
At the suggestion of Mr. BUXTON, the words "on liberal and com- prehensive principles " were added ; and the resolution was agreed to. The whole of the resolutions were reported, and the House resumed.
Mr. BERNAL, on Wednesday, brought up the report of the Com- mittee. The resolutions were read and agreed to, and a bill in pursu- ance of them was ordered to be brought in.
3. EAST INDIA CHARTER. The order of the day having been read on Thursday, for a Committee of the whole House on the East India Charter, and the question being put that the Speaker leave the chair, Sir GEORGE STAUNTON moved certain resolutions on the subject of the China trade, for the purpose of having them entered upon the journals of the House, but did not wish them to be discussed at that time.
The resolutions were then put and negatived ; and the Speaker left the chair.
Mr. CHARLES GRANT then proceeded to address the Committee. He made some prelimary observations as to the vast importance of the subject ; and said that the principle on which the House was bound to act in legislating upon it, was, in the first place, that of benefiting the native inhabitants of India, and ultimately the inhabitants of this coun- try through them. With regard to the political administration of India, the first question which occurred was, " Why should any change take place ?" Now he intended to look at the existing systeni of governing India with reference to its practical working, not mere theoretical sym- metry of design. He must admit that there were evils in that system B--a too great weight of taxation, and often a delay of justice. But in comparing the condition of the people under the present with what it was under the Mogul and former Governments, it was clear that greater security of life and property was attained under it. During the last forty years, a great improvement had taken place in the condition of the people. The Government had been sluggish, but still it was such a one as the country required. The native population was amply protected by it ; and within the last twenty years, had acquired a politi- cal existence which was fully recognized by this country. These were among the reasons for continuing the Government of India in the hands of the Company for some time longer. There were other reasons•to which be would not advert in detaiL But there was one point which he could not omit to notice—it was, that-by the interposition of the Company between this country and the people of India, India had been preserved from being agitated by those constant fluctuations of party and political feelings which were so strong in this country, and than which nothing would have opposed a more formidable barrier to the improvement of the people of India. There were circumstances which tended to mar the efficiency of the Company's Government. One was the union of its trading with its political functions.
It was felt to be a great inconvenience that the Company should be permitted to carry on the trade with China. He objected to it, not on the ground of theory merely, but of practical inconvenience. He said more than this—that the union of the sovereign and the trader in that country was calculated to give a false impression of the character of the Government. The object of the trader was mercantile profit. That was once the object of the East India Company ; but although that was now no longer its object, the people could not help think- ing that their rulers were still governed by that ancient principle. Nothing, therefore, more marred the perfect efficiency of our government in India, .than the union of the trader and sovereign. Another circumstance which tended considerably to detract from the efficiency of the Company's government in India, was the want of a proper check in the expenditure of the subordinate Presidencies. This control was deficient not only in the Government at home, but in the Supreme Government in India; and the result was, that some of the
involved nvolved themselves in many expenses which were not necessary. The cause of this was, that the Company, relying on its commerce for the pay- ment of its dividends, paid less attention than it might otherwise do to the ex- penditure of its territorial revenue.
Then there was too much interference from this country in the Government of India ; it was clear that the interposition of the home authorities should be confined to strong cases, or rather those of a gene- ral nature. All that depended on the administration of the Govern- ment of India should be left to the Administration there. He thought, on the whole, that it would be most expedient to maintain the political administration of the East Indies in the hands of the Company. He then proceeded to justify his proposal for opening the tea trade ; and adverted to the great progress which had been made during the last ten or fifteen years in removing the restriction on the commerce of the country. The Company's tea trade had latterly become less profitable than it was heretofore.
The Company, it was well known, had abandoned the whole of the trade with India, because it could not be continued except at a loss. It was not im- probable that even if Parliament did not interfere, the same course might be adopted with respect to the trade with China. It would appear, taking the average of three periods of five years each, that at the end of the first, the pro- fits amounted so 1,500,000/. ; at the end of the second term they had fallen to an average of 830,000/. ; and at the end of the third, to 730,000/. From this he thought it not unfair to conclude, that if the House were disposed to con- tinue the monopoly, there were reasons which would induce the Company to give it up. He argued at great length against the opinion that the Chinese would refuse to trade in tea with merchants who bad not the Company's sanc- tion, from the fact that the private trade in other articles had greatly increased, while that of the Company had regularly declined. He quoted a memorial presented upwards of two years ago by the Hong merchants to the Viceroy of Canton, in anticipation of the dissolution of the East India Company, in which they stated the necessity of hav- ing a representative of the King of England to reside in Canton, with the general management of the ships and merchants that came there to trade. The Viceroy, in reply, commanded "the nation's chief, Mar- joribanks," to write home and desire his King to send such a representa- tive. Though the laws of China, strictly prohibited intercourse with foreigners, the great increase in the opium trade proved that those laws were not enforced. He thought that Commissioners, armed with ex- tensive powers, should be sent to Canton to protect our commerce with the Chinese, and to endeavour by every prudent measure to extend it. He was opposed to sending an Ambassador to the Chinese Court. The result of our former embassies was by no means encouraging ; and it could not add to the respect of the Chinese towards our nation, to see our Ambassador dismissed from the presence in disgrace. He had recommended the Directors not to send out any more ships than those which were at present under orders for China.
When the trade should become open, he had no doubt that there would be an abundant supply from the Chinese market to answer the demand of this country ; and at present there was a very large stock of tea in the warehouses of the East India Company. The amount of tea in the warehouses of the East India Company at present, was sufficient to supply the consumption of this country for two years, after the cessation of their exclusive trade in April 1834; and therefore, if there should be any interruption to the supply of tea, owing to the cessation of the trailing of the Company,—which was not at all likely to occur,—there was a sufficient supply here at present to meet the con- sumption of the country for two years from April or even June 1834. The proposition had been made, that sufficient time should be allowed to the Fast India Company to dispose Of their tea after 1834, before the private trader came into competition with them in the market ; but on the whole, he thought that it would be better not to interfere by law with their private concerns.
There was some difficulty as to fixing the duty on tea.
It seemed to his Majesty's Ministers, that to propose a classification of teas, and to impose on each separate class a different rated duty, was the best mode of proceeding to adopt. Such had been the course adopted in the United States before the duty on tea had been taken of there; and the concurrent testimony • of all who had been examined as to its effects showed, that it operated in noway to diminish the revenue, while it had not an injurious effect upon the consump- tion of the article in question. He did not-think that the private trader should be confined in the warehousing of his teas to the warehouses of the East India Company. He was sure that the number of warehouses would be such as to be sufficient to supply any demand for them.
He was also individually of opinion, that there should be no restric- tion as to the size of the vessels in which the trade should be carried on.
With regard to the silk trade, it should be borne in mind that the Company were large importers of raw silk into this country, and that they kept up a large establishment of silk finishers in India, who ought not to be thrown out of employment by the cessation of the Company's trade.
He therefore intended to propose, that the Company should be still allowed to employ them ; while it would be the duty of the Government of India to seek out capitalists into whose hands the trade should be thrown, so that the em- ployment of those finishers should always bi continued, and the supply of silk, which was so important to the manufacturers of this country, should never fail. In point of fact, the supply of silk would only be continued with the Company until proper parties could be found is whose hands it could be placed.
Mr. Grant proceeded to that part of the question which related to the compromise which had been entered into between Government and the Company.
It was proposed by his Majesty's Government, that the authority of the go- vernment of India should be continued in the hands of the Company for the pe- riod of twenty years ; that their commercial privileges as a trading. company should cease; and that in consideration of their, giving up those privileges, an annuity should be granted to theni; the =mutt of such annuity to be charged on the territory of India. It was calculated that the resources of India would be sufficient to supply this annuity ; which it was proposed should be 630,0001. a year, being the amount of the dividends which the proprietors at present received ; and it was to be redeemable at the rate of 100/. for every 5/. 5s. of annuity. It was proposed that the guarantee fund should amount to 2,000,0001. for securing the payment of the annuity, as well as for paying off finally the capital stock of the Company ; and it was proposed that the annuity in question should be paid for a term of forty. years, at the cloe of which period it should be at the option of Parliament, giving three years' no- tice, to redeem it at the rate of 1001. for every 5/. 5s. of annuity. He had al- ready stated, that it was proposed that the East India Company should retain the political administration of India for a period of twenty years, at the end of which period they might, if deprived of the government of India, demand the payment of their capital ; but that if, at that period they did not demand it, then the payment of the annuity was to be continued for a term of forty years.
He had thus stated to the House a general view of that arrangement which had been proposed by Ministers, and to the basis of which the East India Company had agreed. He felt certain that the annuity could be raised without difficulty out of the revenue of India, which amounted to twenty-two millions, while the territorial debt was only forty millions. In two years, Lord William Bentinck had reduced the expenditure from eighteen to sixteen millions annually ; and there was good reason to calculate on an improvement of the revenue. There was an alteration in the frame of the Government of India, which he could not avoid mentioning. It was intended to establish another Presidency in the Western districts now under the Bengal Pre- sidency, and to give the Governor-General a more efficient con- trol over all of them than he now possessed. He also proposed to reduce the number of the Council of the subordinate Presidencies, and to assimilate the modes of administering the law in the differ- ent local judicatures. In support of this proceedim Mr. Grant read several extracts from minutes and observations of Lord W. Bentinck, SirC. Metcalfe, Sir E. Ryan, and Sir C. Grey, who all dwelt upon the necessity of applying sonic remedy to the evils resulting from the distinct systems of law which were established in the various quarters of our Indian empire. He then adverted to the advantages which were likely to arise from the increase in the number of English- men in India ; and quoted the opinions of Lord W. Bentinck, Mr. Elphinstone, Mr. Bayley, and Mr. Holt Mackenzie, in favour of encouraging the settlement of Europeans in India, and subjecting them in every respect to the same laws as the natives.
No European, after the passing of the proposed measure, must expect to enjoy any privileges beyond those enjoyed by the natives, but would be placed under the same laws and subject to the same punishments. This was proposed as an indispensable condition, and for the purpose of effecting that complete identifica- tion of the two classes which was so much to be desired.
He also recommended that a commission should be appointed to re- port upon the state of the slaves in the East Indies. The institution of castes rendered this a very difficult subject to meddle with. The state of slavery in the East, except in Malabar, was by no means severe. At a future stage of the measure, he should propose some alteration in our ecclesiastical establishment in India, by which the duties of the Bishop would be lightened.
He concluded by moving the following resolutions.
1. That it is expedient, that all his Majesty's subjects shall be at liberty to re- pair to the ports of China, and to trade in tea and all the other products of the said empire, subject to such regulations and provisions for the commercial and political interests of this country as to the Government shall seem meet and proper. 2. That it is expedient, that if the East India Company shall be in- duced to transfer to the Crown their estates and effects on behalf of the Govern- ment of India, the Crown shall take upon itself all obligations and liabilities whatsoever to which the said Company may he liable, subject to such regula- tions as may be determined by Parliament. Lastly, that it is expedient that the Government of India should remain in the East India Company, under such re- gulations as Parliament should prescribe.
Mr. WYNN was rejoiced to hear that the natives would be put on a footing with Englishmen in India; and that the China trade would at length be thrown open. He thought it was of great importance that Parliament should enforce a proper qualification for the discharge of their duties on the part of the Directors. The present mode of electing Directors was very bad. Many of those best-qualified for the office would-not submit to the labour and humilation of a canvass. He disap- proved of that part of the plan which proposed to place the subordinate Governments so completely under the control of the Supreme Govern- ment that they could not stir a step without their direction. He re- gretted that the subject had not been brought forward earlier in the session. He disliked rash and hasty legislation upon a subject of such magnitude. He generally approved of the plan, but doubted the ex- pediency of continuing to the Court of Directors, as at present con- stituted, the share which they now possessed in the government of India.
Mr. MARJORIBANKS thought that the way in which the patronage of the Directors was bestowed was conducive to the good government of India. The officers at the different Presidencies, all of which he had visited, were appointed tinder the present system, and were men of the highest qualifications and character. He approved of throwing open the China trade ; and was sure that, under judicious management, it might be greatly extended.
Mr. GUTLAR nacussori would defer his observations till the bill was brought in.
Mr. BUCKINGHAM denied that the government of the Company had been a good government for India. It was one great system of jobbing, sordid monopoly, and partisan patronage. The Court of Directors were so anomalously constituted, and so vacillating in their conduct, that it was madness to entrust the welfare of a hundred millions of British subjects to their keeping. Mr. Buckingham then gave the history of the newspaper conducted by him in India, and of the very extraordinary nature of the liberty of the press there.
Mr. C. FERGUSSON, as a Director, defended the conduct of the Company against the assertions of Mr. Buckingham, and promised to give the resolutions his hearty support.
Mr. HUME thought that the country should have the option of altering the proposed system at the end of ten, instead of twenty years ; and asked when the bill would be ready?
Mr. GRANT replied, that the bill was now ready, and it would be brought in as soon as the resolutions were'passed.
The resolutions were then put and agreed to.
The report was brought up on Friday. The resolutions were agreed to, and a bill founded upon them ordered to be brought in.
4. TITHES IN IRELAND. The order of the day having been read, on Wednesday, for the House to resolve itself into a Committee on the Tithes Act for Ireland, Lord ALTuour moved that the Speaker leave the chair.
Mr. LAMBERT rose to oppose the motion. He said that the Coercion Bill was passed on the distinct understanding that it should not be used for the collection of tithes. He quoted from the Mirror of Parliament a most distinct and emphatic declaration of Lord Althorp to that effect; and proceeded to maintain that the pledge thus given had been re- peatedly and most grossly violated. On the 6th or 7th of April,—he was not certain of the precise day, but it was the very day on which the act came into operation in the county of Kilkenny, —a party of Police, who had been going round several days before, directing the farmers to stick up on their doors a list of the male inhabitants of the various houses, went in the night, the very first night the Coercion Bill had been put in force, in all the array of military, force, to the doors of the farmers.; and when, in compliance with their orders, the inmates answered to their names, they were arrested fur arrears of tithes.
In another part of Kilkenny, a still more disgraceful scene had oc- curred.
A party of Police, under the the orders of Sergeant Shaw, went out on the night of the 30th of April, for the purpose of effecting some arrests for tithes due to the Reverend Dr. Butler. The same expedient for making the inmates of houses answer to their names was resorted to on this occasion ; and the con- sequence was, that a large number of individuals owing arrears of tithe to amounts varying from 30s. to 2s. were marched off to gaol, where they were detained until the respective sums were paid. On the 24 of a like scene was enacted by the same party, and the individuals arrested were conveyed to Kilkenny gaol. Every threat, every menace, founded on the dread of the Co- ercion Bill, was in all these cases resorted to to induce the people to open their doors. Well, the cases were subsequently brought before the Magistrate, be- cause the flagrant violation of the law was apparent ; and what opinion did the Magistrate pronounce upon them? Why, that the acts of the Police were inju- dicious ! Injudicious ! Good God ! was it not time to call for the interference of the House, when such scandalous, such outrageous acts, were passed over with the gentle reprehension of being " injudicious ?"
This sort of work went on day after day, and night after night : a general tithe hunt was set up throughout the country; there was a sort of burst on the coming out of the bill to claim arrears on the part of the Crown or of individual clergymen, as if they considered it a Godsend. He had been, he confessed, repeatedly warned that such would be the case, and that Ministers were not to be trusted; but he had trusted them, and was deceived. The number of decrees, pronounced under the bill for collecting tithe arrears, was 30,000; some of the sums for which proceedings were instituted did not amount to more than a far- thing. He stated a number of particulars respecting the operation of the Coercion Bill; and concluded by proposing, as an amendment to Lord Althorp's motion, that the Speaker leave the chair,
" That it is the opinion of this House, that the pledges given by Ministers that the bill for the suppression of local disturbances in Ireland should not be applied to the collection of tithes, and that the arrears of tithes should be got rid of, have not been fulfilled ; and also that the employment of the Military and Police forces in the serving civil process and levying tithes is highly unconstitutional, and ought to be discontinued."
Lord A LTHORP acknowledged that the conduct of Sergeant Shaw was not only injudicious, but unjustifiable. It was directly contrary to the wishes and orders of Government that the Coercion Bill should be used to enforce the collection of tithes. He certainly had thought that all measures for the collection of tithes by the Crown had been sus- pended. Mr. Lambert had informed him, it was true, that such was not the case on the 15th of May; and positive orders had been sent about ten days ago to stop all further proceedings. He hoped the House would not adopt the motion ; which amounted to a strong cen- sure on the Government, and upon himself personally. He admitted, however, every thing which Mr. Lambert had stated with regard to his pledges.
Mr. Mom 0' FERRALL read several depositions, to prove that the Military and Police had been actively engaged in collecting tithes. However, be owed it to the Irish clergy to say, that, as a body, they were more lenient in collecting their tithes than the lay impropriators.
And he owed it to truth to declare, that the vacillating, neither. one-thing- nor-the-other policy of Ministers touching tithes in Ireland—their this day de- claring that tithes should be " extinguished for ever"—their to-morrow recant- ing and saying they meant no such thing,—it was this trimming, dastardly policy, which had created so much dissatisfaction among their well.wishers, and indignation and contempt among their foes. Sir HUSSEY VivIAN said, that the hatred to tithes was in Ireland a deep-rooted national feeling.
The schedules laid on their own table of the number and character of tithe debts in Ireland during the two years preceding the bill of last genion, ex-
hibited this fact in a striking point of view. He had carefully examined these schedules; and he found that in fifty parishes there were not less than 19,000 tithe defaulters. Of these 19,000 defaulters, 1,000 only were for sums above 51. ; 1,400 for sums above 1/. and under 51. ; 1,800 for sums under IL, and above 5s. : the remainder being for debts under 5s. ; a great many for not more than 6d., and even 2id. and lid. He would ask, should such a state of things be permitted to exist in a civilized empire? Was it not idle to keep cavilling about the abstract right of the Established Church to tithes, when the Catholics felt that reason and even religion denounced the monstrous principle of their being taxed for the support of a Protestant hierarchy ? Let them then provide the remedy in time. He warned them, as a stanch friend of the Church of England. " Coming events cast their shadows before;" and he who ran might read the signs of the times, indicating that not only in Ireland, but in England, the whole tithe system should be wholly extinguished.
Mr. BARRON Mr. H. GRATTAN, Mr. M. L. CHAPMAN, and Mr. N. FITZSIMON all complained that the pledges of Ministers had been grossly violated by their subordinates.
Mr. CUTLAR • FERGUSSON also thought that the Legislature bad been abused upon this point.
He had heard that an opinion had been given by the Law Officers of the Crown, that a power which vested in the Crown under the regulations of the ex- tant law of breaking into houses, might be exercised in the collection of tithes, and that persons had been seized under that pretext. He was convinced that Lord Althorp could not sanction such outrageous proceedings as the employ- ment of the Military in civil process.
Mr. STANLEY said, in answer to the allegation that the Coercion Bill had been used for the collection of tithe in Kildare, that he would just remind the House it had never been in operation in Kildare at all. He fully admitted the misconduct of Shaw, and thought that he ought not to have been treated so leniently. As long as he was Secretary for Ireland, he knew that the Crown Officers were under the impres- sion that the Police had no right to break open doors to serve a civil process. He complained that this motion was a most direct and severe censure upon the Government. He called upon the opponents of Go- vernment to furnish some better plan than that which Ministers pro- posed for the settling of the tithe question ; or, in case they were un- able to do so, to support theirs.
Mr. O'CONNELL would tell Mr. Stanley what he did not mean by the extinction of tithes. (Cries of " Oh, oh !" and interruption.) What had he, or his country done, that members should dare to put him down in that ruffianly manner?
Mr. STANLEY and Lord SANDOZ,: called Mr. O'CONNELL to order; and the SPEAKER said, that his language, as well as the interruption he had received, were both disorderly.
Mr. O'CONNELL thanked the Speaker for the courteous manner in which his reprimand was conveyed ; and proceeded to state a number of instances in which tithes had been collected with much unnecessary severity, and the grossest insults to the Irish peasantry and their wives and daughters. That, he thought, was not the way to extinguish tithes.
He had never argued that any thing should be taken from the present clergy. He admitted that they ought to be allowed to keep what they had during their lives. He would also leave quite enough for all the purposes of Protestant wor- ship, until the Protestants, as religionists, should, if they so thought proper, contribute to the support of their own clergy. He would have a fund esta- blished by a tax, in the shape of a laud-tax, which should he received by the Government, and the clergy paid by the Treasury. In conclusion, he said that he had no confidence in the measures of Ministers on this subject.
Mr. SHAW, Mr. FITZGERALD, Lord DUNCANNON, and O'CONNER DON, made a few remarks ; and the House divided on Mr. Lambert's amendment : for it, 45; against it, 197 ; majority for Ministers, 152.
The House then went into Committee ; and Lord ALTHORP briefly explained his plan for the extinction of the tithe system in Ireland.
By an act of Parliament passed in the last session for the composition of tithes in Ireland, from and after the month of November, 1833, tenants of land were not to he liable to the payment of tithes. The effect of this measure would be, that after the tithes of this year had been paid, the occupying tenants would be no longer called on to pay tithes. He thought it would be admitted to be most desirable—indeed, circumstances alluded to to-night proved it to be desirable— that Parliament should take measures to relieve occupiers of land in Ireland from the payment of tithes from the present time.
He proposed, therefore,
That a sum of money. should be voted for the clergy, on receiving which they were to give a receipt in full for the arrears of tithe in 1831, 1832, and 1833; and that the money should be repaid by a land-tax, imposed upon land liable to the payment of tithes upon which tithes had not been paid during those three years. '
He stated, in answer to a question from Colonel PERCEVAL, that lay impropriators were not included in his plan.
Mr. SHAW thought that Lord Althorp's proposal was a fair one, and that the Irish clergy would accede to it.
Sir ROBERT PEEL and Mr. O'CONNELL spoke a few words. The Committee reported progress, and the House resumed.
The debate was renewed on Friday; the House being in Committee. The Chairman read the first resolution—.
" That it was the opinion of that House that a certain sum of money should he advanced by Parliament to the Established Clergy in Ireland, in order to en- able them to relieve the occupying tenantry from the payment of tithe, the mo- ney to be payable by a land-tax."
Mr. O'CONNELL expressed his approbation of the resolution; which he took to be a virtual extinction of tithes in Ireland. He thought that lay as well as clerical impropriators should come under its opera- tion. • The lay tithes were the worst and most oppressive of all. He was happy to think that the Secretary for Ireland—perhaps he would permit him to say his "friend "—(Mr. _Littleton took of his hat and bowed, in token of assent, amidst the laughter and cheers of the House)— had commenced his career in a way that was likely to give satisfaction in that country. His first act was to dismiss Captain Flinter, his se- cond to put Sergeant Shaw upon his trial.
Lord ALTHORP promised to take Mr. O'Connell's suggestion for in- cluding lay tithes in the proposed measure into consideration. Lord EBRINGTON said, that unless lay tithes were included, the measure would be inadequate and incomplete.
Mr. D. W. HARVEY protested against burdening peaceable people with charges arising out of desperate riot. If Ministers confined their
Church Reform to such a measure as this, they would be defeated in another place, and their defeat would be unregretted. He advised Mi- nisters at once to borrow the money from the Commissioners of Queen Ann's Bounty, who had a million and a half of cash in hand, and had lately expended 40,0001. in repairing Lambeth Palace, and let their Treasurer run off with 20,0001. more.
Sir ROBERT INGLIS assured Mr. Harvey, that the Queen Ann's Bounty could not supply the necessary funds.
Mr. FINN said, that this money was proposed to be repaid by a land- tax— He wished to know how that was to be levied? Was it to be levied on the tenants? If so, he wished io know, in cases where the present tenants had re- fused to pay tithes, if the incoming tenant should be liable ? Was an incoming tenant to be liable, or the landlord ? .
Loan ALTHORP admitted, that in that case some injustice would be done. The tenant who had refused to pay tithes would escape the payment, and the charge must be paid by the landlord. Mr. GISBORNE said, it was then clear that the person who owed the money was not to pay it. The Crown had made the people its debtors, but the arrears were not paid : now the landlord is to be made the tithe- proctor to collect what the Crown cannot collect. All these alterations were a mere juggle, and left the great gievanee—the support of a Pro- testant Church by Catholics—untouched. Almost every person he met with thought the Irish Church should be put an end to.
He knew a gentleman who was fag to another at a public school, and so strongly did he remember the discipline he received there, that he never met the gentleman, under whose dominion he had been, without fancying he was still a fig. So it appeared to he with this Government; they bad been so long under the dominion of the Tories, that they could not reconcile their present emanci- pation, and had a most unwholesome deference and respect to Tory feeling; and their first cry was, on all occasions, what will the Tories think of it ? Try, however, what they would, he believed they could not avoid a collision. When a collision came, as he believed it must come, he hoped that House would act with firmness, and also with temperance.
Mr. SHAW thought, that all arrears due to the clergyman since 1829 ought to be liquidated. In religion, unlike political economy, the sup- ply was necessary to create the demand. He differed much from those who would employ a clergyman as they would employ a doctor or a j lawyer, and who wished to go to Heaven their own way, just as they
would take a hackney-coach from a stand to drive them to their lodgings. Mr. LITTLETON said, the gross amount of arrears of tithe due for 1831 was 105,6981.; from this there were some deductions, which made the net amount 104,285/. Of this, proceedings had been instituted to recover 83,354/. The amount of arrears for which no proclamations were issued, or, if issued, subsequently suspended, was 20,931/. Of this, 83,3541. for which proceedings were taken, 12,100/. only had been recovered. Such had been the result of the act of last year. What course could the Crown then adopt after this successful opposition to the law ? He knew none, unless it were some measure of adjustment similar to that proposed by Lord Althorp. Mr. TALBOT said, it was not the amount of the tithes, but the appro- priation AA them, that was considered the grievance. Mr. a IlimivEN, as representative of a Catholic constituency, would oppose every attempt to make that constituency pay for the sup- port of a Protestant Church.
Colonel CONOLLY said, that Mr. Rittliven had no other pretension to his seat for Kildare, than that of having entered into a crusade against the Church.
Mr. RUTIIVEN said, this was a wanton and ungenerous attack upon him. He had been placed in the House by the people of Kildare : out of fourteen or fifteen hundred Catholics, a thousand voted for him. He had asked no man for a qualification ; and he had a house in the county, where every gentleman present should be hospitably received. (Loud laughter.) Lord ALTIIORP said-
" It is, as the 'louse must already know, intended by this measure that the landlords should be entitled to recover front those tenants who themselves have not paid their tithes; and I am aware that this feature of the measure is open to some objection, and even to an objection of coins apparent weight ; but upon reflection, I am sure the Committee will agree with me, that the weight is only in appearance."
He admitted that he was throwing a burden upon the landlords of Ireland; but, for the sake of peace, he hoped that they would bear that burden with a good grace. Ministers had been accused of a leaning to Toryism ; but he was certain that none of their measures relating to the Irish Church would satisfy the Tories.
" From the hour we came into office, till the present moment, we have felt it to be our. duty—I say that at all times, and certainly above all others, at the present time, we have felt it to be our duty to bring forward such measures as, while they tended gradually to improve the institutions of the country, did not, by too rapid a change, incur the hazard of disturbing the tranquillity of the country. The course which we marked out for ourselves when we met the pre- sent Reformed Parliament for the first time, was that which I have now de- scribed ; and the question which we had to put ourselves was this—whether we should proceed with those gradual improvements which every man who wished well to the country desired to see accomplished, or whether, by sudden and vio- lent steps, taken at short intervals, we should produce the most calamitous effects? '
The former of those alternatives was the one which Ministers had adopted, and the one to which they were determined to adhere. • Mr. AGLIONBY said, the measure was a mere expedient ; it was also one of direct confiscation. Compensation must be made to the land- lords from some quarter, and he thought that the Protestant Church property should furnish it.
Mr. O'FERRALL, Mr. BARRON, and Major MACNAMARA, expressed their intention of voting for the resolution. It was then putt, and car- ried by a majority of 270 to 40. The House resumed, and the report was ordered to be brought up on Monday.
5. REPEAL OF THE IRISH UNION. Mr. O'CONNELL gave notice on Wednesday,
" That he would next session move a resolution declaratory of the mischief, both to England and Ireland, of the Legislative Union, and of the danger which it produced to the connexion subsisting between the two countries, which con- nexion could not be rendered permanent otherwise than by a repeal of that nom-
sun; and also of his intention to introduce a bill for the purpose of effecting a repeal of that measure, and establishing a connexion between the two countries on a sound basis."
6. Iaisn EDUCATION. Mr. A. JOHNSTONE, on Monday, presented a petition from the Gelfteral Assembly of the Church of Scotland against the Government plan of Edueation for Ireland. Mr. HUME, Mr. MACLEOD, Dr. BALDWIN, and Mr. FINN, were of opinion that much good had been effected by the Government plan, and expressed their regret that the General Assembly should have thought it necessary to petition against it. Mr. JOHNSTONE and Colonel LEITH HAY made some remarks in vindication of the Assembly. It was by no means an illiberal body, but the first in Scotland that bad petitioned for Ro- man Catholic Emancipation.
7. LAW OF DEBTOR AND CREDITOR. Sir JOHN CAMPBELL (Soli- citor- General) obtained leave, on Thursday, to bring in a bill to amend the Iaw of Debtor and Creditor ; the main object of which would be, to give the creditor a remedy against the property instead of the person of his debtor. The first provision of the bill would be to give a power of having immediate execution upon all bills and bonds when due, unless security were given to the Judge.
Another object was to give the creditor a facility of recovering against the property of his debtor, for at present a debtor might go to prison and spend 10,000/. a year there. The Lord's Act, it was true, gave a compulsory remedy ; but only if the debt were under 300/. It was now proposed that the debtor should be brought before a Commissioner, and if he did not then honestly de- dare and give up. his property, let him be sent to prison. This would be right so far as the punishment of the fraudulent debtor was concerned, and was con- formable to the bankrupt-law. The next proposal was to give creditors a remedy against all kinds of property possessed by the debtor. Now, there was no remedy against copyhold estates, and very great difficulties in recovering against freeholds. It was therefore proposed to give in all cases a remedy against freehold and copyhold, also against money in the Funds, and against securities; for now, according to the barbarous phrase of the law, bonds and bills were "theses in action," and not " bona et catalla" legally transferable.
The law, as it now stood, obliged an unfortunate debtor, before he could be discharged, to go to prison.
This was hard, where there was no fault; moreover, it wasted property for the expenses under the insolvent-law were very heavy; and even though a man were
• discharged, he did not still become a new man, as there was a lieu upon him to the last moment of his existence. This necessarily tended to indispose persons to in- dustry, and to make them lazy. It was therefore proposed that there should be pwer given to debtors to make a cessio bonoruni ; and if au honest debtor thus
gave up his property, his creditors might have the power of giving him a certi-
ficate, say signed by fourfifths. He proposed to make it a substantial misdemea- nour to obtain goods and money with intent to defraud ; and if any person should
abscond from his creditor, or it he stated a false account in rendering up his effects, he should be guilty of a misdemeanour. The last alteration he proposed to make was, to abolish imprisonment for debt, except in cases of fraud. He
proposed that in all cases where a man made an affidavit before a magistrate that his debtor was about to abscond to a foreign country, the latter might he taken immediately and imprisum.,:! With regard to imprisonment on inesue process, the House was not probably av:are that the expense of giving bail had not been less than 300,000/. a year, taken from the pockets of creditors.
The bill was then brought in, read a first time, alai ordered to be read a second time on Wednesday week.
8. LIMITATION OF ACTIONS BILL. On Friday, when it was moved that the House of Lords should go into Committee on this bill, Lord LYNDHURST rose to state the nature and object of its provi- sions. It was entitled " An Act for the Limitation of Actiuris and Suits relating to Real Property, and for simplifying the remedies for trying the rights thereto." The object of many laws passed in the times of Henry the Eighth, James the First, and other earlier Kings of England, was to quiet titles ; but the provisions of those laws did not comprehend all persons and all properties, and the object of the present bill was quiet titles upon one simple and uniform plan.
The bill provided, that, after a certain specified time, the party having an ad- verse holding should remain in possession. This would be beneficial in several respects,—first, in quieting titles ; secondly, and it was no immaterial advantage, in giving security to titles; and, thirdly, in facilitating the making out of con- veyances. The Real Property Commissioners were for a considerable time in doubt as to what period of adverse holding should give to an individual an in- defeasible right to hold ; they came at last to the decision that the period should be twenty years. On that priuciple they had gone, and ITCOI1J mended that after a holding of twenty years, a party should acquire a title, and should not be liable to be expelled by law from the possession which he had held for that time.
The expenses of making out titles would thus be much reduced. The cost of making out a title for sixty years was enormous ; but the abstract would be much contracted if a twenty-year title only were required.
Another advantage attached to the bill would be the trial of title by ejectment, which was the most simple mode; and the abolition of numerous forms of ac- tion, which were nearly obsolete, and were very little understood even by the profession.
Provision was also made in the bill for advowsons.
It was quite obvious that the limitation of twenty years could not apply to that valuable species of properly, because the right to the advowson could not be contested until a vacancy occurred. It was therefore pi ovided, that no ac- tion should be brought for the recovery of any advowsou after three incum- bencies, if, taken together, they amounted to the full period of sixty years ; and if they did not extend to that number then, after the expiration of such further time as, with the time occupied by the incumbencies, would make up a period of sixty years ; and in no case could an advowson, under the provisions of this bill, be recovered after one hundred years.
The Earl of Emote said, that professional men, if all the various al- terations proposed in the law of the land were carried, would have to begin their studies over again.
So numerous were the alterations contemplated with respect to landed property, that it would be soon necessary, when a gentlemen went to amuse himself on his estate in the country, to take an expert solicitor and a clever barrister with him to inspect his title-deeds and ascertain the validity of his rights.
Lord BROUGHAM suggested, that objections to the bill had better be discussed in Committee, for which ample time-should be afforded. He also stated, that although the Solicitor-General had not wished to pass his.bill for the amendment of the law of Debtor and Creditor this ses- sion, yet he had in some sort promised to do so, in consequence of the
concurrence of opinion which seemed to prevail in favour of the mea- sure. His own opinion was, that the subject bad not undergone suffi. cient discussion, and that it would be better that it should stand over till next session.
The bill was then ordered to be committed on Thursday.
9. PAYMENT OF DEBTS BILL. The Committee on this bill was last night postponed to Thursday. Lord LYNDHURST stated, that it was absolutely necessary that an alteration should be made in the law for re. covering debts on real property. A case had been tried before him that morning, in which the debt sued for was only 641. and the costs were 1,200/.
10. LOCAL JURISDICTION BILL. This was read a second time in the House of Lords, on Tuesday, and was ordered to be committed Monday next. In the absence of Lord Eldon, the discussion upon the principle of the bill was postponed till it came to be considered in Com- mittee. Lord LYNDHURST intimated that he had strong objections to parts of it.
11. DWELLINGHOUSE ROBBERY BILL: A discussion of some length arose on Wednesday, on the motion of Mr. LENNARD, that the report on this bill, which mitigates the punishment for stealing in a dwelling- house in the day-time, should be received. Mr. G. LAMB expressed himself hostile to the principle of the bill ; which had been acted upon, but had not proved beneficial in the cases of forgery and horsestealing. Mr. BERNAL, Mr. LLOYD, Mr. HILL, Mr. ROTCH, and Mr. EWART, were in favour of the measure. Mr. SHAW opposed it. The report was agreed to ; and the bill ordered to be read a third time on Wednes- day next.
12. COUNSEL FOR PRISONERS. This bill, on the motion of Mr. EWART, and after some remarks by Sir J. CAMPBELL, Sir ROBERT PEEL, Mr. O'CONNELL, Sir C. STEWART, Mr. HILL, and Mr. G. LAMB, was ordered on Wednesday to be read a second time on that day week.
13. PREROGATIVE AND ADMIRALTY COURTS. On Monday, on the motion of Sir JAMES Gnairaar, a Select Committee was appointed to inquire into the office, duties, appointment, salary, and emoluments of the Judges of the Prerogative and Admiralty Courts, of the Dean of Arches, and the Consistory Court.
14. LABOUR RATE BILL. The Duke of RICHMOND, on Thurs- day, moved the second reading of a bill to amend the Labour Rate Act passed last session. The object of the present measure was to add a penalty clause to the former bill. He was aware that the Bishop of London meant to give his strenuous opposition to the measure ; which, however, he contended, had worked extremely well. He read portions of the evidence published by the Poor Law Commissioners, which were favourable to his side of the question ; and stated, that in a number of places where the bill had come into operation, the results had been most beneficial. Labourers, instead of being employed upon the road, which was a most demoralizing practice, or of being supported in idleness, had now work given them by the farmers, by which their own comfort had been increased, and the poor-rates materially diminished in amount.
The Bishop of LONDON moved that the bill be read a second time that day three months. The measure was kindly intended for the re- lief of the Clergy, but would ultimately prove to be their ruin. The Poor Law Commissioners, of whom he was one, had said that a labour- rate would be beneficial if founded upon just principles ; but he knew of an instance where the labour-rate on the incumbent amounted to 9001. per annum, while the living produced only 1,000/. He quoted sonic extracts from a former speech of the Duke of Richmond, strongly disapproving of a similar measure to the one which he now brought forward,—as tending to put the prudent and the improvident, the man who thought of his family and the man who thought only of the beer- shop, on the same footing. As far as the Clergy were concerned, he could prove, that if the measure were carried it would deprive them of the means of subsistence. Under the present system of Poor-laws, aggravated by repeated attempts at legislative correction, it was utterly impossible for the ministers of the Established Church to do their duty beneficially to the country.
The Marquis of LANSDOWNE was compelled to say, that he assented . to every one of the principles laid down by the Bishop of London ; but was desirous that the present bill should go into Committee, as a temporary measure only. The Earl of WINCHILSEA and the Earl of STRADBROKE supported the bill. The Marquis of SALISBURY, Lord WYNFORD, the Bishop of BATH and WELLS, and the Marquis of Biare, opposed it.
The Bishop of LONDON then withdrew his amendment; and the bill was read a second time, and ordered to be committed.
15. REDUCTION OF THE NATIONAL DEBT. On Tuesday, the House being in Committee, Lord Ai:rimer moved, " That the Commissioners for the Reduction of the National Debt lie autho- rized to appropriate such portion of the money issued to them towards the re- duction of the National Debt as they may think fit for the purchase of the reversion of perpetual and redeemable annuities."
His object was to enable the Commissioners to convert perpetual into terminable annuities ; the only way, .in his opinion, in which the amount of the National Debt could be effectually reduced. The reso- lution was put and carried.
16. AMENDMENT OF THE REFORM ACT. Sir F. VINCENT, 011 Tuesday, moved, and Mr. EWART seconded, the following resolution—. " That in all cases where a Select Committee appointed to by the merits of an election for any county, city, or borough, report to this House that they have altered the poll, by adding or striking out the names of any voters on such poll, Mr. Speaker shall issue his directions thereupon to the clerk of the peace, town- clerk, or other officer, as the case may be, with whom the register of such county, city, or borough is deposited, to alter and amend such register, by strik- ing out the names of such voters as have been struck off the poll, and by adding such names as have been added to the poll by such Select Committee." Lord Atanoae would not oppose the resolution, although he doubted whether it would effect the object in view. It was then agreed to.
17. BRIBERY BILL. This bill was referred to a Select Cominittee, on Monday, on the motion of Lord JoHN RUSSELL. 18. STAFFORD BRIBERY BILL. The Select Committee to which this bill is referred was appointed on Tuesday.
19. THE CALTHORPE STREET INQUEST. Mr. ROEBUCK, at the morning sitting on Thursday, presented a petition from the Jurors who sat on the Coroner's Inquest on the body of Cully the Policeman. He said that he had to charge the Government with creating instead of preventing a riot, with bringing into disrepute a useful body of men, and with pursuing an illegal line in what they might term the adminis- tration of justice. He stated at considerable length the circumstances which occurred previous to and during the meeting; which he denied to be an illegal one. He strongly reprobated the conduct of Govern- ment in procuring the inquisition to be quashed, and asked why another had not been called for? He moved that the petition do lie on the table.
After an attempt by Mr. COBBETT, in respect of the thin attend- ance, to count the House out,—which was resisted by Mr. ROEBUCK, and declared by the SPEAKER to be disorderly, as an opportunity ought to be given to Government to reply to 'Mr. Roebuck's attack, —Mr. LAMB rose to defend the conduct of Ministers on the occasion in question. He denied that the meeting was a contemptible one, and maintained that their object and mode of pursuing it was illegal. Their object was manifestly to procure a meeting of delegates from all parts of the country, to supersede the authority of Parlia- ment. The meeting was not prevented, because the Police had no right to send persons away from any particular spot, who had com- mitted no breach of the peace. He avowed that orders were issued from the Home Office to seize the ringleaders, but not until the meet- ing was constituted. He denied that any violence had been used by the Police until stones and other missiles had been thrown by the mob. He concluded by saying, that he could not, without a violation of duty, have permitted the meeting in question to take place.
He could not reconcile it to the duty of any lUinister to permit a meeting, the object of which was decidedly illegal, to pursue that object quietly, and without taking means to bring the ringleaders to justice, and in order to prevent effects which no man could say would not be injurious.
Sir JOHN CAMPBELL said, that he had been most careful, when he applied to the Court to quash the inquisition, to cast no slur upon the Jury, but to speak with respect of the intentions by which they had been actuated. The verdicts of Juries were set aside by the Courts fifty times in the year, without meaning to bring trial by jury into dis- credit. The verdict in question was contrary to law, and was therefore properly quashed.
The Jury could only have found a verdict of Justifiable Homicide, if the evi- dence had shown that Robert Cully had attacked some person, and that person could only escape from being slain by slaying his aggressor : this the evidence by no means evinced.
Another charge made against him was, that there had been no fresh inquiry.
Now it had in previous cases been decided, that there could be no fresh in- quiry without the special order of the Court of King's Bench, and without the deceased was exhumed, and submitted for the inspection of a fresh Jury. It would be fatal to the verdict of any Jury on an inquest, if it should appear that they had proceeded without a view of the body He had not advised the adoption of that course, because he saw no necessity for it, being clearly of opinion that such an inquiry was not at all likely to facilitate the justice of the case.
Mr. O'CONNELL said, it was usual for persons connected with Go- vernment to pass an official eulogium on the conduct of their officers ; but it was most improtant that those officers should be jealously watched, and that the verdict of an honest Jury should be respected.
The verdict of a Jury, might, indeed, be informal, and on that account might be quashed; and such was the case in the present instance. It was only on a ground of technicality, with which the Jury in the present instance had nothing to do, that the Court of King's ' g's Bench had set aside their finding. There was a formal heading to the inquisition, which was either the work of the Coroner or of some other person, but which was altogether independent of the verdict of the Jur. In this instance, he was informed, it had been drawn up by a person named Stafford, in Bow Street. In that inquisition, it was stated that the man Cully was "in the peace of God and of our Lord the King, and that he was there killed in the exercise of his duty." Now this was a matter which it was impossible for the Jury, to find, and at the same time to find he was slain justifiably. But this certainly had never, in fact, been called to the attention of the Jury. It was totally inconsistent with their verdict, and it was quite im- possible that they could have referred to it.
Sir JOHN CAMPBELL here observed that the Jury had all signed the inquisition.
Mr. O'CONNELL said, it was impossible that their attention could have been drawn to the clause.
They.must indeed have been insane if they could have found that the man was in the peace of God and of our Lord the king., in the exercise of his duty, and was slain justifiably ; but it was the duty of the Coroner to have apprized them of it, and shown them that their two findings were inconsistent, but that did not disparage the verdict of the Jury.
He stated what was the legal meaning of "justifiable homicide." It was . . . - Where a man was pursued and attacked by another, retired as far lie could, and tried to escape, but could not, and then turned round and killed the man who would have killed him, and caused death in order to save his own life. Now the Jury had found—he would leave out of view at present what was said about the Riot Act and about the conduct of the Government—but they found that the conduct of the Police was brutal, ferocious, and unprovoked by the people. Now, if such was the case, he would defy any lawyer to say that a verdict of any thing but Justifiable Homicide could have been returned. Sir GEORGE GREY said, that Mr. O'Connell stated things as facts which had no real foundation.
The facts were, not that Cully had pressed an individual threatening to take his life, and that he was killed while so pressing that individual as to endanger his life. There had not been a single individual brought forward upon the in- quest who had received wounds which would at all endanger life.
Mr. GODSON said it was the inquisition only which had been at- tacked, and not the verdict.
The whole conduct of Government only went to impugn the inquisition, and not the verdict, which was drawn up by the Coroner, who knew what he had to draw out, and might have drawn a good inquisition ; he might have averred that a number of persons were collected together—that the Police made an un- provoked attack on them—that R. Cully was one of those Police—and that the
blow was given by a person so attacked, which was necessary to save his owil life. In that form the inquisition would have supported the verdict; the Court of King's Bench would never have quashed the inquisition, and the trial by Jury would not have been questioned. The mistake, therefore, was with the Coroner, who alone was censured, and not the Jury.
After a few remarks by Mr. HUME, the debate was adjourned, as it was now past three o'clock.
It was resumed on Friday, by
Mr. MACLEOD, who defended the course adopted by Government. Sir SAMUEL WHALLEY and Mr. FINN thought that the conduct of Government had been highly injudicious on this occasion.
Mr. PRYME, Mr. HARDY, and Mr. ROTCH, thought that the Jury were wrong, and that it was the duty of Government to get the inqui- sition quashed.
Colonel EVANS said, that no imputation lay upon the Jury; the Co., roner was the person to be blamed.
Mr. COBBETT condemned the conduct of the Police ; whom be called "gendarmerie," and wished that the people had peace-officers of their own choosing. He denied that there was any proof of the meet-, ing being an illegal one. The Police had been complimented, and complimented too through fear.
He would allow that there was cause for terror, for in fact they were now him the mouchards—the mouchards of Paris—half-a-dozen men, or even half-a- dozen of the members of that House could scarcely stand in the street now, but one of them reared his long blue body over them, peering into their faces, and trying to make out what they were talking about.
He would tell the House a story about one of his servants and the Police. The story.related to the detention of a servant who had been sent on an errand with a turkey, but who had been stopped by the Po- lice, who suspected that it was stolen.
Now, he would tell them another instance. ( Cries of " No, no !") " Oh yes, but I will, though." He had been in seaports, in barracks, and at many of what were called low meetings, but he had never seen such a rude assembly as that : but he would tell them the story, and they must hear it. (A laugh.) Well, then, he had two farm-servants, whom he ordered to come to him early in the morning ; they were doing so, each with a basket swung behind him over a stick. Well, they were jogging along, when one of these Policemen came up and said—" You must come along with me to the Stationhouse :" they rather demurred to that, and the fellow sprung his rattle, when six more of these gendarmerie came up ; but the two men were stout young countrymen, and they drew their sticks out of the baskets, and laid about them with good effect; they laid three or four of the Police on the ground ; and the others made the beet of their way off, like prudent men, or like cowards.
Now was it not most humiliating to be dogged and watched wher- ever you went by these menacing fellows ?
Sir 'WILLIAM HORNE ( Attorney-General) defended the conduct of Government, and of the Law Officers. He maintained the illegality of the meeting, and said that the very interference of the Court of King's Bench to quash the inquisition proved that to be illegal also.
Mr. RUTHVEN disapproved of bringing the matter forward in the Court of King's Bench.
It had a tendency to induce a belief, that from the great array of legal know- ledge against the unfortunate man who was to be tried for his life, lie would not have a fair and impartial trial, and if lie were convicted and executed he would he considered merely as the victim of the despotic application of the law. He could instance some great cases in which a similar feeliii!* had been manifested, —viz. Lord W. Russell, Sir Thomas More, and Sir 'Walter Raleigh, all of whom were certainly executed according to law, but certainly not according to justice. (Load laughter.) Mr. PETItE was of opinion that the conduct of Government in this affair had been perfectly proper.
Mr. ROEBUCK observed, that the Attorney-General had avoided an- swering the argument of Mr. Godson, who drew such an able distinc- tion between the verdict of the Jury and that part of the inquisition drawn up by the Coroner.
It had always been found that four Judges were ready to support the Crown. From the time of ship-money downwards, they bad always been found on the side of despotism. Nothing that had now taken place would prevent him from taking any further steps lie might deem necessary.
The petition was then laid on the table.
20. SIR THOMAS TROUBKIDGE; NAVY PROMOTIONS. Mr. COB- BETT, at the morning sitting of the House, on Monday, presented a peti- tion from Sandwich, containing allegations against Sir Thomas Trou- bridge, member for that borough. The name of Captain Owen was at the head of the petition ; which stated, " That Sir Thomas Troubridge was ineligible to sit in the House. having committed felony in imposing upon the Lords of the Admiralty, by which means he had obtained appointments for himself worth 6,0001. per annum ; and that, by means of a false registry, stating that he was twentv-one years of age when he could not have been more than seventeen, he hail served first as a Lieutenant, and subsequently as a Captain in his Majesty's Navy, when, by the Orders in Council, he was several years too young to fill either of those offices.
Sir T. TROUBKIDGE, with much emotion, stated that this petition arose out of an electioneering squabble. Captain Owen was the brother of Sir Edward Owen, who was his unsuccessful opponent at the last election for Sandwich. A person named Edwards and Captain Owen had applied for a warrant to arrest him previous to the election, on a charge of fraudulently obtaining money on the high seas; but the Mayor refused to grant the warrant till the day after the election, and no charge was then made. The blame, if any, should be charged to the Orders in Council of 1806, for by them promotions were regulated. Twenty-eight years had elapsed since his promotion, and during that period his conduct had given satisfaction to the country. [ Sir Thomas having made his statement, left the House, and was warmly cheered.1 Sir JAMES GRAHAM held in his hand a list of thirty-nine naval officers who had been promoted tinder the same circumstances as those com- plained of by the petitioners. Among petition originated in electioneer- ing trickery: it was a disgraceful libel, and he therefore moved that it be rejected.
Sir E. CODRINGTON seconded the motion.
Mr. COBBETT was about to reply; but it being past three o'clock, the Speaker left the chair.
The subject was resumed on Tuesday; when
bir JAMES GRAHAM raid that he could inform the House of some particulars respecting Captain Owen and Mr. Edwards. Owen was himself made a Lieutenant upon a certificate which stated that he was twenty-two; but it appeared from another return of the ages of the officers in the Navy, that at that time he was actually only nineteen and a half years old. Irt. 1795, he made some charges against Captain Stanhope, which the Court found to be frivolous and vexatious, and originating in malice. He was afterwards dismissed from the service, for sleeping on guard, and insulting and riotous behaviour ; and was restored by Lord Grenville, in a very irregular manner—the order for his restoration being only signed by one Lord of the Admiralty, instead of by the King. Edwards was dismissed the Navy in 1814, for be- having riotously and insulting his superior officer.
Sir E. CODRINGTON, Captain YORKE, and Sir H. Viviax, eulo- gized the character of Sir Thomas Troubridge; and said that the Order in Council, which was violated by the manner in which he and so many other gallant officers had been promoted, had been long con- sidered a dead letter at the Admiralty.
Mr. CORBETT maintained, that malpractices were not justifiable be- cause they had been often repeated. He considered that he was bound to present the petition, the truth of the statements in which he had never guaranteed. Some years ago, a man haa been whipped and put in the pillory for making up forged certificates at Somerset House, in order to get naval men promotion.
And he would ask, was not every pensioner who got into Greenwich Hospital by means of these certificates turned out and deprived of his pension? But had a single officer who had obtained promotion through this man's interference been brought back to his former rank? Not one. It was this difference that made him feel so warmly on the present occasion—the difference that was shown to men and to officers.
Mr. D. W. HARVEY, Captain ELLIOTT, Sir R. INeLis, and Sir M. W. RIDLEY, opposed, and Mr. ROEBUCK supported the reception of the -petition. The Gallery was cleared for a division ; but none took place, as not even Mr. Cobbett left his seat when the question was put. So the petition was rejected.
21. BREACH OF PRIVILEGE. The Marquis of WESTMEATH called the attention of the House of Lords, on Thursday, to a libel against him which appeared in the Dublin Evening Had of Monday last. It was stated in an article in that paper, that if he had voted with the Mi- nistry on the Portuguese question, as he was reported in the newspapers to have done, his conduct was base, shuffling, and unworthy. The writer also threatened to publish some letters which he had received from the Marquis, and which he described as being very inflammatory, and full of gross, virulent, and furious abuse of Ministers. The Mar- quis said, that he did not mean to make any specific motion on the sub- ject, but merely to defend himself, and to deny that he had ever written letters of the description mentioned. He also justified his voting with Ministers, on the ground that it was inconsistent to vote for upholding the government of priests in Portugal and to deprecate it in Ireland.
22. A DVERTISEMENT DUTY. Mr. SPILING RICE, on Monday, in reply to a question from Mr. prune, stated, that the alteration in the Advertisement-duty would come into effect next quarter.
33. PUBLIC BUSINESS Aunt:Ails. On Tuesday, when Mr. IL L. Bulwer was called on to proceed with his motion relative to the mission of Lord Durham to Russia, Lord ALTrroRe rose and said, that The business at present before the House was so multifarious awl important, that with all the diligence and despatch that could be used, it was hardly pos-
sible that the session should not he continued till a late period ; so late as to he
inconvenient not only to members—that was a secondary consideration—but to the public ; far he did not think it expedient that business of great public con- sequence should he despatched at a late period of the year, when there must necessarily be a thin attendance of members. He felt great difficulty in making any suggestion ; hm.would rather appeal to the feelings of gentlemen, who, if they looked at the notice. book-, lutist see that it was scarcely possible for any :natter which was now for the first time introduced to be brought to a conclu- sion in the present session.
He therefore submitted to the consideration of the House, that it would be better to allow Orders to take precedence of Motions on more days than were at present fixed for that puroose.
A conversation then arose on this subject; in which Mr. H. L. BULWER, Mr. Payne, and Mr. MAILTORIBANKS expressed their willingness to accede to Lord Althorn's proposal; and on the motion of Mr. EwAser, it was agreed that Orders should take precedence of Motions on Wednesdays.