atbatts anb Alirottebings in iliarliament.
DISCOUNT ON INSTALMENTS OF THE 8,000,0001. LOAN.
The House of Commons having resolved itself into Committee, on Mon- dsz, Sir CHARLES WOOD moved II resolution, That every contributor towards the loan of eight millions, made in this pre- sent year, who shall pay into the Bank of England any sum of money on account of any future instalment of his contribution on or before the 18th day of Jane next, shall be allowed an interest, by way of discount, after the rate of five pounds per centum per annum; and every contributor who shall, in like manner, pay up any sum of money after the 18th day of June, on or before the 10th day of Sep- tember next, shall be allowed an interest after the rate of four pounds per centam per annum on the sum so advanced on account of any such instalment, to be com- puted from the day on which such payment shall be made to the day on which such instalment would be dne, in •pursuance of the contract entered into for raising the said loan." This step he did not propose as sufficient to put an end to all panic, or to pre- vent all pressure arising from the higher price of corn; that is beyond the power of Government But the House was aware that Exchequer Bills had been selling at a great discount, and it was most desirable to keep up the price of the Govern- ment securities. He believed that his measure would not only do that, but would facilitate the operations of the money-market; partly by letting loose a quantity of money which has been held in consequence of the alarm, still more by removing the want of confidence which has pervaded all classes of the mercantile commu- nity. Representations had reached him showing how merchants and manufac- turers could not carry on their operations because they could not get their bills discounted; the country bankers not being able to get their bills rediscounted in London. He understood from Lancashire, that with respect to railway shares trade has been carried on much more than, it ought to have been by that system of discounts and rediscounts. Many shares had been forfeited; and large sums are locked up in anticipation of further calls. Meanwhile, those who hold Ex- chequer Bills are unable to realize their money on account of the price. Ministers are told that it was not an increase of the circulating medium which was wanted, but some measure which should liberate and put it into circulation again. The extent of the demand upon the Bank by the Government at the last quar- ter-day has been greatly exaggerated. He had been told that Government gave an assurance when the Bank Charter Act was passed, that thenceforward assist- ance would not be required by the Government from the Bank: but that he de- nied. He read an extract of a speech which he made in 1844, to show that he then declared that the Bank would be required to give the usual assistance in Exchequer Bills. In consequence of circumstances, however, which neither Go- vernment nor the loan-contractors could foresee, it had not been a very good bar- gain for the latter. It is not good policy in Government to drive a hard bargain in any of its departments; and he wished to affutvl the loan-contractors all reason- able facilities. This need not entail any considerable loss on the public. It is quite certain that if trade came to a stand the revenue must suffer; and within the fortnight during which the panic prevailed, the receipts of the Customs and other branches of the revenue fell off. Matters, however, had since resumed their usual course. The report he had received from the Governor of the Bank of England that day was, that things had been easier: there had been a moderate demand for loans on Exchequer Bills; there had been a further influx of Dutch gold, to the extent of 29,0001.; and the late news from America brings such ad- vices with regard to the exchanges as to render a farther export of gold from this country exceedingly improbable. He should be more oonfident, however, as to future prospects, but for the one circumstance of the rise in the price of corn. The House ought to know that the importation goes on to a great extent: about 132,000 quarters were exported last month; at the same time, we imported 432,000 quarters; and the entries for home consumption of all foreign grains, for the week ending on the 28th of April, were 333,273 quarters.
Since his statements on Friday night, he had determined to make a alight altera- tion in the terms of paying the discount, having understood that a further allow- ance of time for paying the instalments would be desirable; and accordingly he had modified the terms of the resolution.
Mr. HtistE declared that Sir Charles Wood had given no satisfactory reason for the course be was pursuing. Be should have expected from Sir Charles a review of the changes made in 1844, and subsequently, and of their commercial effect; especially of that change that fixed the amount on which the Bank should be at liberty to issue. He argued for freedom of trade in banking as well as in other occupations, so long as those who issue notes pay them in gold. Mr. MasrEnataN did not anticipate that Sir Charles Wood's plan would afford adequate relief for the existing pressure. Mr. Masterman was among the few who predicted that Sir Robert Peel's hill of 1844 would not be available at all periods. He would move the following addition to Sir Charles Wood's resolution-
" The Committee, however, are of opinion that nothing would tend so much to relieve the present pressure on the money-market as an assurance from the Chan- cellor of the Exchequer, that he will apply to Parliament for powers to enable the Bank of England to make such advances as he may require for the payment of the July dividend out of the Issue Department of the Bank, instead of the Banking Department; such advances to be repaid out of the growing revenue of the country; and the same rule to be applied to all future advances for the payment of dividends.
Mr. GREENE (Chairman of the Committee) remarked, that Mr. Master- man could not move the proposed addition, because it did not strictly ap- ply to the matter referred to the Committee. Mr. BROWN described the prostration of credit in Lancashire, which has brought the business of the country nearly to a dead lock— Gentlemen were probably aware, that when houses in Liverpool, London, or Glasgow, received imports from abroad, they were either drawn on by the houses shipping the produce, or by houses in Manchester or elsewhere, who had orders for British manufactures, in payment for them. At present the alarm and want of confidence were such, that orders for human food to the United States and other countries were, in many cases, countermanded; prudent houses not choosing to risk their credit by being drawn upon until they should see what steps Go venunent might take to restore the healthy action of trade. Houses, also, in the manufacturing towns, found that bills on London or Liverpool, however good, could not in many cases be turned into money to pay their workmen. This very mach decreased the exports and the means of bringing the exchanges in our fa- vour; and it therefore followed, that, placed in the situation we were in, we must either export gold or increase the distress that already existed in the country for want of food.
When deputations waited upon the Government, the Bank of England, or Sir Robert Peel,—as be had often done within the last ten days,—they were received with the utmost courtesy, but were asked what remedies would they propose? He maintained that it is the function of Government to devise remedies; the ob- ject of the deputations being merely to point out the state of the country—the number of mills that had stopped, the bands out of work, and the distress which the shortness of provisions is aggravating. The alarm he imputed to the famine, the high price of food, the absorption of capital by railways, the high price of cotton, and Sir Robert Peel's bill of 1844. Without discussing the merits of that bill, however, he thought that there was one means of getting great relief, which would not infringe its principle. There was believed to be from 30,000,000 to 40,000,000 of sovereigns in circulation; these he would replace by one-pound notes, putting a certain amount of them in the deposit bank, and investing the rest in Government securities. This latter portion could be made available for exportation and the purchase of food, until the tide turned, when they could be called in and the gold again be thrown into circulation. He did not suggest this on slight authority: the late Mr. Iluskisson stated to a friend of his now in London, that it was his desire to get sovereigns into use in place of one-pound notes, in order that if ever such a state came as that with which we were now afflicted, they might be the means of relieving us from embarrassment and diffi- culty. He seemed to have an intuitive foreknowledge of the very calamity that had occurred. Mr. NEWDEGATE advocated a paper currency ; with dissertations on "the standard of Queen Elizabeth," &c. Mr. FORBES had prophesied these disastrous results from the act of 1844. As Parliament had adopted free trade, he did not see why free trade in money had been repudiated.
Mr. Fisica imputed the difficulty of the present time to the adverse balance of trade and the restricted currency; and observed that the subject claimed the most serious consideration of Government.
LordGEORGE Burrows( objected, that Sir Charles Wood's plan would only ease himself, without giving ease to the commercial and trading in- terests— Sir Charles had stated no reason for believing that the contractors for the loan would be desirous of!discounting their instalments at 5 per cent, when money ob- tains 7 and 8 per cent for the best paper having but sixty days to run. Last week, Sir Charles said that "the worst was past: and in fact, the repayments of the loan by France, with payments for some corn exported, might have brought back gold into the coffers of theBank; but the price of wheat had that day risen to 120s. per quarter, and stocks of all produce are low. The imports had fallen off last year to the extent of 10,000,0001, from 83,000,0001. to 73,000,0001. There is further no sign that the ebb-tide of bullion is turning. There had been a falling off of more than one third in the import of cotton—from 23,000,0001. to 13,000,0001; yet they had it on the assurance of writers in America, that the sum paid for the reduced quantity was larger than that paid for the full supply. There are no stocks of manufactures to sell, even at a depreciated rate, for the immediate purpose of bringing back gold; which can therefore be done only by keeping on the Bank screw—by raising the rate of discount; which must dimi- nish the chance of obtaining a sufficient supply of corn. Looking to the stocks of all descriptions, it is only justice to the merchants, traders, and manufacturers of the country, to say that trade is in a sound con- dition. Excepting perhaps tea and sugar, stocks are all low. The merchants therefore cannot be charged with over-speculation; nor can the manufacturers be charged with working their mills too long, or employing too many hands. If mo- ney remained at 7 or 8 per cent, railway companies also, would curtail their operations, railway labourers would be thrown oat of work, and after them the miners of Staffordshire and Wales. The crisis therefore demands prompt efficacious measures.
The Bank of England has not been overtrading any more than the merchants. When Sir Robert Peel introduced his bill of 1844, he contemplated that the cir- culation of the Bank of England might rise to 28,000,0001- or 80,000,0001. It has never exceeded 24,400,0001.; and while the Bank coffers are crammed with 9,209,0001. in gold, the Bank itself was very nearly obliged to stop payment- There are houses of the highest credit, able to pay 80s. or 90s. in the pound, which will not be able to meet the pressure unless something be done. He was entitled to say, upon the highest authority, that one house in the City, pcessesing 60,0001. of silver bullion, was entirely unable to raise money upon that security ! Such was the absurd result of an unmixed gold standard. If Government persevere in their present policy, it will amount to starving the bellies of the people for the purpose of feeding with gold their idol the Bank of England. In Lancashire there is one great house, the solvency of which is above suspicion, yet if the credit of the country be not brought into full operation that house would stop; thirty other firms would sink with it; and if bankruptcy were once begun the whole com- merce of the country will fall like a house of cards. They had tried measures of restricted currency, and free trade had failed. They could not have a trade in corn, in provisions in tallow, in hemp, without paying for those articles in gold. It was said that the people who supplied England with those commodities would take our manufactures in return. God it might turn out to be so; but he confessed that at present he did not see any the least indication of so favourable a change: neither did he see any indication of it in the temper of the American people, at least if he might judge from the recent elections in the United States. In thoee elections he could see no indications of any change in a tariff from which the Government of America derived twenty-seven thirtieths of its revenue. Did such a state offer them any inducement to relax their fiscal regulations? on the contrary, the elections gave some reason to suppose that those regulations would hereafter probably be made more stringent The Americans now found them- selves receiving more gobs for leas supplies of cotton than heretofore; they were every day receiving more gold from this country wherewith to pay the expenses of their Mexican war: that formed but little encouragement to this country to hope that free-trade measures in America would save us. Russia was not likely to as- sist us out of the difficulty. It had been said that Russia could not go to war, for that Russia had no money; that that great power could not move her armies without the aid of the Borings and the Rothschild'. But Russia managed to main- tain a high tariff, and was now by no means so much in want of money as she had been in times past; and there was not the least indication of a change of sys- tem on her part Mr. CARDWELL defended the act of 1844. Its object was to give prac- tical effect to the legal right secured in 1819, to render paper thoroughly convertible into gold; and in fact it has saturated the country with gold instead of country notes. The beneficial effects of that process are ob- servable even in the present time of difficulty: this country has the com- mand of all the granaries of the world. In the face of famine there have been few failures. The act was said to have been mischievous because it had contracted the circulation, and caused money to be "locked up ": what was the remedy proposed ?—To tamper with the act of 1844. But would that restore confidence or induce people to bring in their gold? The coun- try, in fact, must bee; the calamities that have fallen upon it. The cur- rency must be contracted until there are temptations enough to foreigners to deal in other articles rather than continue a drain on our gold: but we must not dare to face the aggravated danger which would ensue at such a juncture by a departure from sound principles. Mr. Ttiostas BARING, referring to the censure on the Bank of England for reducing its interest in August last, retorted with allusions to Sir Charles Wood's financial statements in the previous February; when he said that the importation of four or five millions of quarters of corn had only taken 1,000,0001. sterling out of the country, that the returns of the revenue were favourable, and that trade was going on well— He was not prepared to say that there had not been a want of discretion some- where; but it had not been a want of discretion in the Bank. The real cause of the existing pressure—almost unexampled in our history—is the restriction on the power of the Bank. He was ready to allow that the bill of 1844 had worked wall during the three years that it had been in operation, and that it had pre- vented any excessive issue on the part of the country banks; but when there came a drain of gold to meet an unavoidable want, there ought to he some means of putting on the screw before the commerce of the country was dislocated. The manufactures of the country are conducted upon a system of credit, and cannot be brought abruptly to a ready money system. The want is, to encourage ex- portation of manufactures in payment for gold; and the calamity is not to be met by fettering commerce or paralyzing Manchester and Liverpool. He considered that there ought to be a discretion somewhere, or that in a case like the present the Bank should have the liberty of using securities. When Sir Charles Wood contracted the loan, he did not say that he should neat advances upon Deficiency Bills. On the contrary, he refused to allow die- count, and declared that he should want a million a month, neither acener ars later.
Sir GEORGE CLERK enforced the distinction between the currency of the country, or the mere machinery by which the operations of commerce are carried on, and the surplus disposable capital of the country, the only fund upon which merchants can draw for the resources that they require— By a visitation of Providence there is a deficiency of available capital in this country to the extent of twenty or thirty millions. During the last few years the extraordinary speculation in railways has caused a large abstraction from the dis- posable capital of the country. We have besides an extraordinary expenditure of 8,000,0001. for Ireland. The total effect of these causes is a great drain upon the fund which in ordinary years is employed in giving assistance to the commercial world. The House had not been shown that these evils would be alleviated if the act of 1844 were repealed. Au act, no doubt, might be passed to make half a sovereign a legal tender for a sovereign; but such a measure would only throw the monetary transactions into confusion. The real fact appeared to him to be, that the people had undertaken too many great works within a limited period, which they had not the money or ability to pay out of their annual revenue. Theyhad undertaken more railways than they could effect within the proposed time. This plunged us into difficulties; which, however, might have been sur- mounted if we had had an abundant harvest and an increased export of manufac- tured goods. But as the case was, the people were now obliged to draw on that surplus capital which otherwise might have gone to the accommodation of the commercial world. This caused the existing pressure; but the adoption of the strictest economy with respect to the peblic expenditure and every other branch of expenditure, would tend to create an amelioration. Any attempt, however, to tamper with the currency, though it might net as a momentary stimulant,
like all other stimulants, be followed by a reactionary effect.
Mr. DISRAELI made a long critical speech, in which he endeavoured to show that the Bank was made a scapegoat for the faults of others— That the country was " saturated with gold," was not due to the measure of 1844, because England was already saturated with gold in that very year. And if the Bank had not foreseen the pressure, neither had it been predicted by any of the great statesmen. Nor was it indicated by the price of corn: the average price of wheat in August 1845 was 51s. 11d. per qusiser—in August 1846, 49s. 2d.•' in September 1845, 55s. 7d—September 1846, 47a. 3d.; and so on to December. The act of 1844 did not operate even to restrict the circulation. To show that the measure had been inoperative, Mr. Disraeli cited the Bank-returns for 1836-7, in order to make out, that had the measure been in operation then it would not have had any effect in controlling the circulation. For example, in 412 1836, the bullion of the Bank was 7,500,0001; under the law of 1844 the circula- tion might have been 21,000,0001—it actually was 18,500,0001.; and so on with the other months. He quoted an address by the bankers of Loudon to Sir Robert Peel in June 1844: the bankers complained that a power had not been reserved to the Government to authorize an extension of the issues upon securities beyond the amount fixed, and they respectfully submitted that the effect of the absolute limi- tation would be to restrict the business of the country by leading to a general withdrawal of legitimate accommodation. Mr. Disraeli sarcastically called upon Sir Robert Peel to answer the opinions of men like these, instead of discussing "what is a pound?" with the Birmingham Members. Sir ROBERT PEEL remarked, that they were discussing the question of the currency in the most inconvenient manner possible. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had made a proposition of which Sir Robert cordially ap- proved; Mr. Masterman had moved an amendment, which in point of form could not be put; and then arose a debate, upon the substance of which the House could come to no conclusion. He reviewed the course of that de- bate; and while doing so provoked an animated conversation, first with Mr. Masterman, and afterwards with Mr. Newdegate; fetching out colloquially the naked arguments of those members, and contrasting the conflicting remedies of the several speakers— The Chancellor of the Exchequer had proposed his remedy. Then Mr. Mas- terman proposed an amendment; bat all he wanted was that the Chancellor of the Exchequer should give an assurance that he would not borrow the money from the Bank on a deficiency. Mr. MAsTERMAN—" My object, in the proposal which I made, was to remove any demand of the Banking Department upon the Issue Department, and to leave the Bank to act upon its man idea of what was right and proper for the national interest."
Sir ROBERT PEEL—Exactly: Mr. Masterman wanted an assurance that the Chancellor of the Exchequer would not require money from the Banking depart- ment to pay the July dividends. Then came Mr. Hume: he wanted unlimited competition in banking.
bfr. Huste--" Free trade."
Sir ROBERT PEEL—Free trade in banking; the country banks being allowed to issue five-pound notes payable in gold. Then came Mr. Brown; who wanted the Bank of England to be permitted for a limited period to issue one-pound notes, afterwards to be withdrawn. But it would be exceedingly difficult to persuade the Rouse to retrace its steps; to recall the one-pound notes, and reestablish a gold currency. Then came Mr. Finch; who was in favour of a paper currency limited in amount. Mr. Newdegate wanted to repeal the standard of 1819. Mr. NEWDEOATE denied this: he only objected to a strictly convertible paper currency. Sir ROBERT PEEL continued. Then Lord George Benfinck and Mr. Disraeli proposed to repeal or modify the act of 1844. Now, would that last plan really cure the evils under which the country is suffering ? He wanted no better de- scription of the condition of the country than the able and disinterested statement by Mr. Thomas Baring; which Sir Robert recapitulated. From the failure of food in Ireland and this country, there is a deficiency assumed to be equivalent to a loss of 16,006,000/. It is difficult to estimate the effect of an abstraction of capital to the amount of sixteen millions in one year, especially when that ab- straction is caused by such a calamity as a scarcity of food. Other countries IWO suffering from the same scarcity and the same pressuret especially in the North of Europe; and we are all looking to the United States as the only source of supply. What an effect mast that have had in paralyzing our trade, in deranging our commercial speculations, and in depriving us of our ordinary markets! Do not talk of the failure of free finde: has free trade had its :air trial in the Northern parts of Europe? Meanwhile, speculation has been running riot in railways to such an extent, that if all the applications made to Parliament last year had been acceded to, 840,000,0001. would have been re- quired to meet railway engagements. There has been a failure of the cotton crop, and an enormous increase in the price of that important raw material. From these causes arises the continued pressure; and no currency on the face of the earth could be exposed to the triple operation without feeling the utmost pressure—a pressure that no increase of bank-notes could meet. Sir Robert repeated a former declaration of his, that no feelings of personal consistency should induce him to oppose alterations that might be shown to be necessary in the actual state of the country. With respect to the act of 1844, he claimed the same privilege as he exercised with respect to the Corn-law of 1842. If experience were to convince him that the interests of the country demanded a change, he should feel it unworthy of him if he did not set an example of pro- posing a modification. The act of 1844, however, was not a speculative improve- ment. There had been experience of the evils arising from an inconvertible paper currency. After the war, during which we possessed the trade of the
'world, and were indulging in all the luxury of an inconvertible paper currency, there necessarily came a collapse; and before the measure of 1819 there occurred a state of things to which the present pressure is not to be compared. During the period when we had an inconvertible paper currency, 240 private banks failed. It is proposed to repeal the act of 1844: that would restore the old order of things, and would leave not the slightest security against a recurrence of the disorders of 1838 and 1839. The object of the act of 1844 has been greatly mis-
understood: mainly it was to secure the convertibility of paper into gold. At these periods of commercial difficulty, it is of the utmost importance that we should not be exposed to the other difficulty of a demand on the Bank for gold in conse- quence of doubts as to its solvency. There is now, as Mr. Baring said, not the least doubt of that solvency. But had it not been for the act of 1844, during the riotous speculation in railways, the country banks would have had a power of fostering it by uncontrollable issues of paper. It is not true that the Bank is self-working: it s a machine that works by itself only in the Issue Department; and Sir Robert almost regretted that the Issue Department was not separated altogether from the Bank and intrusted to other hands: the supposed confusion between the two de- partments would then have deceived no one. It had been said that the House had no right to criticize the conduct of the Bank : he denied that proposition. He had already ventured to express doubts whether the Bank of England had taken the most prudent course in 'discounting at 4 per cent in January last. The Bank has great privileges—a monopoly within sixty-five miles of London; it is proud of the functions intrusted to it; and Parliament wa-. entitled to expect that it would act upon the same principles which had governed its conduct on former occasions. Mr. Disraeli's calculations as to the amount of the circalation were totally fallacious. He omitted the circulation of the country banks; which in 1823 amounted to 13,760,0001., in 1825 fell to 3.000,0001, and then varied be- tween 4,000,0001. and 8,000,0001- in 1837, it fell to 4,000,000/, rose to 11,740,0001., again rose to 12,000,0001, and sank to 4,000,000/. The act of 1844 was intended to prevent those excessive oscillations concurrently with a diminution of the precious metals in the country banks; whose managers said that they regarded the foreign exchanges "no more than the snow on the hills." Mr. Disraeli had read the bankers' memorial of 1844: it is rather late now to explain why a discretion of increasing the issues had not been reserved to the Government; the object of such a reservation, however, would have been utterly defeated by the knowledge of its existence, and there would have been a claim for its application on the slightest pressure. Sir Robert repeated, that no pedantic or rigid adherence to principle should pre- vent him from seriously considering the representations of money-embarrassment: but be did not think that a temporary issue of 20,000,0001. of paper would increase that capital which in point of fact is the source whence you command the produce of other countries. ".My great apprehension is that by any such relaxation of the bill, by issuing notes on Exchequer Bills, by permitting the Bank to issue notes on paper security, we should purchase temporary relief from pressure at the risk of aggravating the very evils from which we are endeavouring to escape. The European exchanges are slightly in our favour; the gradual, and I believe I may say the almost daily influx of gold, is tending to give security and confidence to the Bank, and will enable them to give further accommodation to the public; which I trust they will, under the circumstances, extend to the very verge of the power they possess. But limit that confidence—turn the exchanges against you —tell the Bank that its own position is in danger—that the convertibility of its notes is doubtful,—thea the Bank will have to consult, not only its own security, (for that even would be a subordinate consideration,) but the interests and safety of the country, by securing that great object the convertibility of paper into gold. You think it would be an easy thing for the Bank to part with the gold which it has in its possession at present, and which amounts to about 10,000,0001. There is, most fortunately as I think, though it may be a source of great expense, throughout the country a gold circulation to the amount of some thirty or forty millions, (for it is most difficult to estimate the amount of gold in circulation br any issues through the Bank); this gold circulation, dif- fused throughout this part of the empire at least is, I believe, the foundation of the security of the Scotch and Irish banks. Gold is an expensive circulating medium' I admit- But gold is capital, and in that respect differs from bank- paper. My humble advice to you is, that you will not, in aiming at a temporary pecuniary advantage, issue one-pound notes in place of sovereigns. I do hope that we shall be enabled to pass through our present difficulties; and that, with- out some overwhelming proof of a paramount necessity, which would deprive yon of all discretion, you will not consent to tamper with the principle which we had the greatest difficulty in reestablishing, after our long experience of the evils re- sulting from its abandonment between 1797 and 1819. Depend upon it, if you attempt to purchase present relief by endangering the convertibility of paper, you will inflict a severe blow on the prosperity of this country; you will shake the con- fidence in property, and depreciate the value of property." The Marquis of GRANBY moved that the debate be adjourned. The gallery was cleared for a division; but none took place, and Sir Charles Wood's resolution was affirmed.
The report WAS brought up on Tuesday; when leave was given to intro- duce a bill, and the House adjourned; all without auy discussion, but with much laughter.
The bill founded on the resolution was read a second time on Thursday, without discussion.
• SUPPLY OF CORN.
On Tuesday, the Earl of HARDWICKE put two questions,—whether Go- vernnaent knew the amount of wheat now in the country; and what quan- tity was expected for importation?
He quoted returns to inquiries which had been addressed i by" some person or persons" to several parts of Great Britain. There ought to be n the country, for the supply of the next four months, one third of the usual yearly stock of wheat: by the returns from various Scotch counties, the quantities there appear to range between one third and one tenth; in one English county there is one third, in many one fifth, and in some less, even down to one seventh; in Wales, the stocks range from one fifth to nothing. Agents from France and Belgium were in the British markets last week, whence prices have risen to 96s. and 120s. On the Continent—in the Baltic and the Mediterranean, the supplies are very short; and in the Black Sea, France is a purchaser. Under such circumstances, the country ought to use the utmost economy—to pat itself, like a ship's company, on half rations; and by such means it might get over the difficulty with health and security. It behoved the people of this country to cut down all luxuries and indulgencies. They ought to use brown bread, that no article of food might bewasted; and all starch ought to be disused, and not an atom employed except for food. He hoped and trusted, if what he had stated were true, that the landed gentry of this country would take care, in their own counties, that the corn should not leave them: that, by some means or ano- ther, it would be kept in the country, so as to enable a portion of the people in the country to secure food for themselves. Lord CAMPBELL.—" Perhaps the noble Earl means to encourage meal-mobs, as we call them in Scotland?" ("Hear!") The Earl of BAnDWIcKE would hold out no such encouragement; but if the corn got into hands of the great dealers, it could only be got back at mach en- hanced prices. The Marquis of LANBDOWNE replied—
As there is no machinery for obtaining precise information on the subject, he must abstain from giving any opinion on the amount of the stocks. Since the
last harvest there has been brought into the markets of this country a more con- siderable amount of corn than during the corresponding period of the former year; and therefore' unless the deficiency of the last harvest was mach more than the deficiency of the preceding, it must be presumed that a considerable quantity is now in stock. It was satisfactory to know' that there had been an enormous and an increasing amount up to that moment of the importation of corn into thii
country, not announcing in any dgree that diminution of i supply at which the to noble Earl appeared be alarmed. In the month of January n the present year, 661,000 quarters had been imported; in the month of February, 557,000 quarters had been imported; in the month of March, 929,000 quarters had been imported; and in the month of April, 1,043,000 quarters had been imported. If the supply were continued for the entire year at the same ratio as for the last four months, the total importation would be 9,000,000 quarters.
One circumstance shows the complete command which this country has over the markets of the world, although the wants of other countries are daily becom- ing more confirmed. The exportation of corn from the United States to the whole world was 2,170,000 quarters; and of that amount not more than 500,000 quar- ters had found their way to all the rest of the world, leaving this country in pos- session or enjoyment of four times the amount exported from America to all the rest of the world. To this statement he could add, that he had no reason to ap- prehend that the supply from America was likely to diminish: on the contrary, the opinion of those most conversant with the subject was, that the present state of prices, which had unfortunately increased of late, was sufficient to secure not only the whole supply of corn which had been destined for this country, but that a portion of the corn intended for other countries would be diverted from those countries to this.
These were the only facts it was in his power to state. At the same time, he agreed that the state of the country rendered it an imperative duty on all persons, so far as their influence and power went, and above all in their own families, to inculcate, as a matter of feeling as well as of economy, the strictest care in the use of food.
Lord ASHBURTON shared Lord Ilardwicke's apprehensions; inquiries in his own neighbourhood confirming the statements as to the short supply of corn.
Lord BROUGHAM inculcated rigid economy in husbanding the staff of life. He protested against the impolicy of interfering with the export of corn.
POOR-RELIEF Btu, FOR IRELAND.
The Lords resumed consideration of the Poor-Relief (Ireland) Bill in Committee, on Monday. The Earl of WICKLOW moved an amendment, authorizing the Poor-law Commissioners to form towns with a population of three thousand or up- wards into separate electoral divisions. The Marquis of Latesnowrin ob- jected, that this was supererogatory, as the Commissioners already had a power to divide and alter the electoral divisions; so that the new authority, if it had any effect at all, would only be in derogation of an existing power. The amendment was negatived. The whole clauses of the bill having passed, Lord STANLEY moved the following as an addition—
"And be it enacted, that, save as hereinafter provided, it shall not be lawful for any occupier of rateable property holding under any lease or agreement to be made or entered into after the passing of this act, nor for any tenant-at-will, or from year to year, after the 1st day of January 1849, to deduct from the rent to which he may be liable in respect of such property any amount whatever in re- spect of any rate which may be imposed at any period subsequent to the date of such lease or agreement, or subsequent to such lat day of January, as the case may be."
He exhorted the House to approach the subject without any bias such as the misapprehensions and misrepresentations on the subject were calm-, lated to create. He declared that it was not a landlord's amendment, but rather a labourer's; and he conscientiously believed it to be necessary to the well-working of the measure. He endeavoured to make out, that without his amendment, they would not be giving to Ireland the safe- guards which in England accompany out-door relief. His object was, not a niggardly parsimony or a mere saving of rates, but the encourage- ment of independent labour by stimulating the motives to furnish it. To show that some change in the levying of rates is necessary, he explained how the law stands at present— The rate is levied exclusively on the tenant, but the tenant is authorized to deduct from his rent a poundage equal to the poundage at which he is assessed: thus, a man assessed at 201. under a ls. rate pays 20s.; but if the rent which he actually pays is 301., he deducts, not twenty sixpences, but thirty sixpences. The effect of such a law must be completely to demoralize the tenant. What in- ducement would there be to the farmer to employ additional hands, if the alternative were, not as in England that he must pay them as paupers, but that his landlord must pay for them? Lord Stanley would not trust to such a law as that in England, where the mutual relation between land- lord and tenant is better known; nor even in Scotland, where there is a still higher intelligence. He asked the House to interfere with no existing arrange- ments, but only while introducing the new burden to lay down the sound prin- ciple. He did not propose to apply the principle immediately to tenants-at-will, but to make them liable by the let of January 1850. He exhorted the House to do justice to the Irish landlords; ridiculed the idle declamation about the raps. city of that class; but hinted, that if the landlords were unjustly burdened, they might protect themselves against unjust legislation by demanding, for the future, increased rents to cover the increased outlay.
The Marquis of LANSDOWNE opposed the amendment; the most import- ant which had yet been moved. He observed that a great majority of the House had evinced anxiety to see the bill passed into a law. The pin- ciple of equalizing the burden on landlord and tenant is not new. it was sanctioned by the House five or six years ago. The moment of introducing' an aggravated and unknown burden into the country is not the time for throwing the whole upon the tenant: such a measure is not likely to be a "herald of peace." Lord Stanley had scouted the idea of legislating with. regard to impressions, or of difficulty in collecting rates; but it would be almost madness in a legislature to throw aside the idea of what impression its measures are likely to produce; and it was not to be forgotten that church-tithes in Ireland had been modified and in part abandoned, with the sanction of Lord Stanley himself, for the very reason that the collec- tion endangered the whole country. Lord WALSINOHAM knew that in England many persons desire to see the same principle of equal division, or even, in the case of small tene- ments, to see the whole burden of the rate thrown upon the landlord.
Lord MONTEAGLE could not support the amendment; which he believed would be fetal to the bill, and likely to render the collection of rates im- possible— He believed that the determination of the proprietors to bear the burden of the rates had produced a good effect in the trying Circumstances in which they hal been placed; and he had never yet heard any individual proprietor complain of
that portion of the bill which subjected him, as a landlord, to bear his own share of the rate.
The Earl of HARDWICKE supported the amendment— If the landlord sat as an ex-officio Guardian, he should do so to consider the Wellbeing of the poor; but if be had also to pay the whole of the rates, was he not lately to be exceedingly careful with regard- to the expenditure ? The landlord was generally an ex-officio Guardian. It was the duty of the board to look narrowly to the expenditure which fell on the tenant; but the landlord occupied a different position—he sat at the board as the poor man's friend—he sat there as the eider and abettor of a liberal system of charity, and by that means placed himself in a popular and desirable position before the country. Were he the rate- payer himself, he would probably be more rigid as to the expenditure. The Earl of Sr. GERMANS showed that Lord Stanley could not cite the analogy of England in support of the amendment— In England, a farmer calculated the amount of the local burdens which be would have to pay in addition to the rent; and if he found the aggregate sum too large to allow of his getting an adequate return for his capital, he carried his capital elsewhere. In Ireland the case WAS widely different. The holding of land was in that country a matter of necessity. If a farmer in Ireland calculated at all—and very few in that country ever did calculate—all he would look for in re- turn for his capital, or rather his labour, would be sufficient to enable him to main- tain his family on the most inferior description of food. Throw upon such a man an additional burden, and you then drive him to maintain himself and his family on a smaller quantity of that inferior description of food. That would be the re- sult of the adoption of the amendment The difference between the assessed and paid rents had been grossly ex- aggerated: Lord Stanley would see by a recent return that it does not exceed 18 per cent. When the Irish Poor-relief Bill was debated in 1841, the same de- nunciations about "confiscation," &c., were lavished; but not a syllable was said in the House of Lords against the proposed mode of levying the rate; while in the House of Commons it was proposed by several Members that the whole of the rate should be laid on the landlord: that view was supported by Mr. O'Connell, by Mr. Lucas, a member of the late Government in Ireland, by Mr. Rediogton, Mr. Jephson' and Mr. Shaw. The Earl of MALMESBURY supported the amendment, because he could not refuse to assimilate the laws of England and Ireland.
The Earl of WICKLOW and Lord REDESDALE opposed it.
The Archbishop of Doman opposed it, with reluctance; as he feared that prejudices which exist might cause this one alteration to defeat the working of the bill; and he was desirous that any failure which might be incurred through defects of the bill should not be imputed to this clause—
With the principle of the amendment he agreed, because he thought it sound and fair; for ultimately, in the long ran, the rate must be paid by the landlord, inasmuch as he took the surplus after the payment of all expenses, part of which consisted of the labour bestowed upon the land and part of the rates. But sup- posing that all other difficulties which had been adverted to as to the existing state of leases could be got over, he did not think that the Irish tenantry were in such a state of purse or mind that they could be persuaded that they were not called upon to pay more or an additional rate over and above what they paid now. If that were so strong, be it ever so unreasonable, they must take care not to urge them into such a state of irritable resistance as might impede the working of the bill.
The Earl of ROSEBERY opposing the amendment, corrected Lord Stan- ley on the subject of the icotoh law- -Under the law in Scotland, there was a division of the rate between the pro- prietors and inhabitants; and there was also this provision, that if by any local act or by usage a different mode of assessment had prevailed, the board might sanction it. In many parishes the assessment by usage had been chargeable wholly on the landland; in several of these the old usage was adhered to, and he as a landlord paid the whole rate. The Earl of CLANCARTY would vote neither way; not wishing to pre- judge an amendment of which he had himself given notice. Lord STANLEY replied, with divers sarcasms on his opponents. He stated, that although the Scotch bill was passed by a Cabinet of which he was a member, he had not taken any active part in it; and it is at least notorious that under the Scotch law out-door relief is practically excluded. He saw, however, what was the sense of the majority; and, in deference to the opi- nion of their Lordships, he withdrew his amendment Lord MONTEAGLE moved a clause to limit certain other clauses of the bill to the 1st of September 1850. Lord Cainenatt made merry with the wording of Lord Monteagle's amendment; and observed, as an instance of the confusion among the opponents of the bill, that Lord Stanley's amend- ment was to have taken effect in January 1850, whereas, by the one which Lord Monteagle carried last week, the bill itself was to cease in January 1849.
Eventually, this amendment was postponed to a later stage of the bill.
IMPROVEMENT OF ESTATES IN IRELAND.
When the report on the Landed Property (Ireland) Bill was brought up, on Tuesday, the Marquis of LANSDOWNE introduced two amendments. One was to authorize the erection of grain-mills under the act. On in- quiry he found, that fully to carry out the Duke of Wellington's sugges- tion respecting land-truck, would go beyond the sphere of the present bill, introducing a totally new mode of legislation: at the same time, he was very desirous of seeing the principle carried out; and therefore he inserted a clause requiring wages paid under the act to be paid in no other way than in the current coin of the realm.
The Duke of WELLINGTON regretted that an alteration of the system throughout Ireland could not be enforced; but he thanked Lord Lans- downe for his claws, which mitigated the evil to a certain extent.
The amendments were adopted; the bill to be read a third time on Friday.
In the House of Commons, on Thursday, Sir HENRY Wrinrrosr Barium moved for a Select Committee "to inquire into the means of improving the fisheries in Ireland, and thereby affording profitable employment."
In the ten years ending 1835, Parliament granted 143,7911. to stimulate Scotch fisheries; only 12,0001. for Irish fisheries. The Scotch fisheries are the most pros- perous in Europe; and it is a melancholy fact that Scotch fish to the value of 50,000L is annually imported for the consumption of the poor Irish. Government has established six caring-houses and two depots: there ought to be at least a hundred curing-houses on the coasts.
Mr. LABOUCHERE agreed as to the necessity of encouraging fisheries in Ireland, but opposed the motion— It is a mistake to suppose that official encouragement has been the chief cause of the prosperity in Scotland. Private enterprise is the real cause. There are two modes in which Government may advantageously interfere,—by construct- ing piers, and by establishing curing-stations. The late Government granted 50,0001., the present has proposed 40,0001., as loans for the construction of piers. Curing-stations have been established at a cost of 5,0004 with such good results that Irish fish is fast driving Scotch ling out of the market, and private specu-
late:, even from England are beginning to tarn their attention to the Irish fisheries. The increase of railroads and steam navigation will afford a further encouragement- As to inquiry, Mr. Labouehere objected, that a Committee could only reproduce the information which is already in their possession.
The motion was supported by Lord GEORGE Bzwrisien, Mr. Huns, Mr. MONTAGU GORE, and Mr. HUDSON.
Sir HENRY BARRON said, that after Mr. labonehere's statement, he thought that he should do injury rather than good by pressing his motion; and he therefore begged to withdraw it This led to a fracas. Several of the Opposition Members met the hint at withdrawal by loud objections. The gallery was cleared for a division, but none took place; and when Mr. AGLIONEY urged gentlemen to suffer the withdrawal, Mr. DISRAELI replied by a disclosure. Sir Henry Barron had sent to Lord George Bentinck, privately, to request support for the motion, as a personal favour; and accordingly, Lord George Bentinek's friends had taken care to "keep a House." This assertion was disputed; some Members averring that during Sir Henry Barron's speech only twenty-three Members were present. Mr. DISRAELI afterwards recurred to the charge; accusing the Irish Members of interrupting real and serious discussion of other subjects by a "flashy demonstration." Mr. LABOU- CHERE imputed Mr. Disraeli's heat to disappointment at not having been able to practise a little trick upon the Government, and so to place it in • minority. Apparently more angry than ever, Lord GEORGE BENTINCK declared that the good wishes for Ireland entertained by his party were thwarted by the Irish Members. Nothing had really been gained by this "sham attempt" to obtain a Committee. Sir HENRY BARRON de- nied that it was a "sham attempt." His object was to develop the opi- nion of the House, not to bring about a party division; and when he saw it turning to a party question, he owned that he shrank from it (Ironical cheers from the Opposition.) Eventually, the House divided; and the mo- tion was negatived, by 73 to 22.
On Monday, Lord MORPETEI stated the alterations he proposed to make in the Health of Towns Bill— The communications which he had received convinced him more and more of the propriety and urgency of such a measure; but he felt that subjects not of greater importance, but of more immediate pressure, had occupied a great por- tion of the time of the House during this session, and promised to occupy it still more. Under these circumstances, he had received communications from mem- bers of the Metropolitan Health of Towns Association, who had represented to him how desirable it was that something should be done, and that some progress should be made towards the desirable object which he wished to attain. Conse- quently, he had agreed to propose only the following parts of the bill,—to confine the positive application of the bill to county corporate towns in England and Wales, which were the subject of the Municipal Reform Act, and which had re- gularly constituted bodies to which these new provisions could be applied; he would allow other towns to be included on the petition of the majority of the rate-payers, and drop the provision which enabled the Crown to nominate one third of the Commissioners; he should reserve the case of the Metropolis, feeling that the subject was difficult enough to warrant being proceeded with, with greater chance of success, by a separate bill. He proposed to give a power to the Council to construct gas-works in towns where they did not exist at present. He reserved till a future session the power of treating the remaining points of the subject, at more leisure and with greater efficiency. On Wednesday, the bill was committed pro forma; and several Members criticized the course which the Government had pursued. Further pro- gress, however, was stopped by the "counting Out" of the House, at ten minutes to six o'clock.
On Thursday, Dr. Bowitum drew attention to the propriety of reducing the duties on foreign wines.
In 1831, all wines imported into this country were ordered to pay a duty of 58. 6d. per gallon; that amount being less than the previous duty on French wines (7s. 3d.), more than that on Spanish and Portuguese wines (4.. 10d.); but it was in no respect a free-trade experiment During the last forty years, the consumption of wine in this country has diminished: in 1804 it was about 7,000,000 gallons, and the revenue from the duty was 2,500,0001.; in 1845, the consumption was only 6,786,000, and the revenue was 1,900,0001.; so that in the half century neither the consumption nor the revenue has increased. In France, where wine is commonly sold at 4d. or 5d a bottle—the average cost of all sorts being only 7d.—the revenue from that source alone Is 3,000,0001.• but then, of the total production, (800,000,000 gallons,) only about one-thirtieth is exported; the rest being consumed at home. If the English Chancellor of the Exchequer would reduce the duty to Is. per gallon, wine might be sold in this country at prices ranging from qd. to 10d. per bottle, or at 4s. 3d. for the very best sorts. Excellent wines are produced in the Austrian empire, which mild yield 3,200,000,000 gallons; and would take British manufactures in return. So also in Greece, the Archipelago, &e. Other countries impose a much less import-duty than we do on foreign wines; and in other countries the consumption is much greater: in the Nether lands the consumption of French wines per head is twenty-four times greater than in England, in the Hanse Towns five times, in Denmark twelve times greater. He cited several instances in which reduction of duties had led to in- crease of revenue—namely, tea, coffee, and brandy; and moved that the House resolve itself into Committee to consider the expediency of reducing the duty on foreign wines.
Sir CHARLES WOOD opposed the motion. As to revenue, the experi- ment of reducing the duty on French wines, in 1831, had not been very successful, since the income did not regain its previous amount until 1844. He admitted the policy of encouraging free interchange between nations; but the House mast remember that the liberal example of this country has not been fpllowed by France. Nevertheless, the exports from this country to France, by indirect channels, have increased, from 475,000/. in 1830, to 3,610,000/. in 1841; and in 1845 the value was 2,791,0001. It was clear, therefore, that this country had derived great advantage from re- dacing its import-duties; but the advantage was not so great as it would have been if France had reciprocated. He would willingly incur some risk of loss to the revenue to promote a freer interchange; but in the present state of the finances, he did not think that he should be justified in making the large sacrifice demanded by Dr. Bowring.
The motion was supported by Mr. EWART and Mr. Mown; opposed by Mr. PHILIP BENNETT and Mr. STAFFORD O'Binarr. Mr. O'Brien said that he looked upon the present motion as a halt between free trade and protec lion. Free trade be took to be the abolition of all duty; and how that could increase the revenue he was at a loss to understand. Dr. BOWRING had heard nothing like an argument against his proposal ; but, trusting that he might meet with more success at a future time, he withdrew his motion.
MARK' WS OR A WIDOWER. AND A SISTER-LIT-LAW.
On Thursday, Mr. &purer Woirrtnr, after presenting several petitions in favour of an alteration in the law of marriage as relating to the prohibited degrees of affinity, moved for a Commission to inquire into the operation of the law of marriage as relating to the prohibited degrees of affinity, and to marriages solemnized abroad or in the British Colonies. This motion he supported in a long speech; glancing at the history of the question, and adducing evidence that the law operates with harshness, while in a multi- tude of cases it becomes inoperative.
In 1841, a bill on the subject was introduced into the House of Lords by a re- vered relative [Lord Wharncliffe, Mr. Wortley's father]; and in 1842 it was wain brought forward, in the Commons, by Lord Francis Egerton, now Earl of Ellesmere; whose measure was defeated by a majority of no more than 20 in a House of two or three hundred.
Before Lord Lyndhurst's act of 1835, marriages within the prohibited degrees were not alt iniao void, but were only voidable; and the children of the marriage were held to be legitimate if the marriage had not actually been voided. Lord Lyndhurst's object had been mistaken; his object was, not to prohibit such mar- riages, but to make all that had taken place before 1835 absolutely good and not voidable. At a later stage in the progress of the measure, it was suggested that it would be desirable to make all future marriages of the kind null and void; and, unfortunately, both propositions were adopted together.
The prohibitory part of that act has proved ineffectual. Several persons inte- rested in the subject have agreed to ascertain the effect of the statute; they have essployed many gentlemen to investigate; various parts of the kingdom have been • and Mr. Wortley now stated the general results of the three months' laboure. The inquirers positively ascertained 1,648 cases affected by the law : of that number, 196 marriages took place before 1835, 1,364 since, and in 88 cases marriage was prevented. Of the above, 1,501 were marriages with a deceased wife's sister, 147 were between parties in other prohibited degrees. One of the highest authorities of the civil law' long an ornament of that House, [Dr. Lushington?] had told Mr. Wortley that he had over and over again been (unsuited on the subject: the question invariably put to him was, how to evade the law: he always counselled against the marriage; but in only one case had he succeeded in preventing it Among the cases ascertained, there were 5 of mayors of towns; 70 of magistrates and the upper classes' men of title and for- tune, naval and military officers, barristers and physicians; 30 of clergymen and =waters of the gospel; 1,503 of the middle classes, including merchants, menu- fecturers, professional men, and tradesmen; of labourers and mechanics only 40; such persons being unable to evade the law, and living in open conenbinage. Due inquiry would no doubt elicit a still larger circle of facts; and there could be no doubt that there are at least six thousand such cases existing, affecting thirty then sand people. The real object of the act of 1835 was to quiet titles: it has had the very re- verse effect- The law of the subject is in the utmost doubt. In 1844, just be- fore Mr. Justice Erle was raised to the Bench, he gave this opinion—" I in- cline to think that marriage with a sister of a deceased wife is valid." The sub- ject actually lies on appeal before a Court of Error, in the case of Chadwick, con- victed at Liverpool for bigamy; and Sir Frederick Thesiger is about to argue the question in a case of settlement under the Poor-law. Whether marriage of the kind contracted in a foreign country according to the lex loci is valid or not, in also disputed. Hence questions of tale and legitimacy may be kept open for twenty years or more. The example of other Christian Protestant countries is in favour of such mar- riages, some Cantons of Switzerland being almost the solitary instance to the contrary. King George the Third was soundly in the habit of granting dis.pen- mations for marriages of the kind, as King of Hanover. They are also permitted in France, under dispensation.
Mr. Wortley cited several petitions from clergy, in favour of his motion; and Concluded by recommen l:ng it to the House.
Sir GEORGE GREY concurred in the motion. Mr. Wortley had shown grounds to justify inquiry: the law is unquestionably in a most unsatisfac- tory state; and the course taken by Mr. Wortley was undoubtedly the best that could under the circumstances be pursued. Sir George wished to be understood not to express any opinion as to what the law ought to be.
Sir ROBERT hums opposed the motion, with repetition of several argu- ments urged by him on former occasions. To the 153 clergymen who pe- titioned for inquiry he opposed the 15,000 whose silence dissented from alteration. He admitted that such marriages were not included in the Levitical prohibition totidern voids; but they were by a parity of reasoning. And he contended that a change of the law would introduce discomfort in &militia where sisters-in-law reside with widowers as sisters and guard their children.
The motion Was supported by Mr. MONCKTON MILERS and Mr. WATSON; opposed by Dr. Nienout.
In the end, the motion passed without a division.
On Wednesday, Lord JOHN Renames moved the second reading of the Pious and Charitable Uses Bill. He contended that the Mortmain Act of 1736 was subversive of what had been uniformly the policy of the country: it was not until that year that a law was made to deprive people of liberty to leave realty as well as personalty for charitable and pious uses. He had discovered the reason of this in the Histaq of the Times of Walpole, writ- ten by Lord Hervey, [but not yet published.] He read passages of the book, from which he gathered that the two motives for the passing of the act of 1736 were hatred of the Church of England, and love of litigation —that is to say, the wish to throw employment into the hands of the law- yers. He cited instances in which the law impedes the erection of chari- ties. The construction of an asylum for the indigent blind at Manchester is delayed by it. The watermen of the Thames are deprived of a shelter for their old age by the operation of the law. Look round the habitations of vice, sin, and ignorance in the vicinity of the new Parliament Palace, and ask why no church is built in that deserted and neglected part of this metropolis? He read a letter from a poor old soldier who had lost a limb in the service of his country, and had amassed a small property in the town of Reading: the writer says-
" It is a very cruel and a very great hardship that I cannot be allowed to leave my property for the Berkshire Hospital in part, and to make an endowment for a few alms-houses for a few poor widows, or a decayed tradesman in years, because my property is in a little land, and in a few houses." Lord John answered objections to his bill. It is said that the law of noortmain guards rich persons from undue solicitation : now it leaves them open to the solicitations of a Nicholas Suisse, of the wheedling dependent, the pander, the mistress, or the prostitute; and prevents only the appeal of Charity. It is said that it prevents land from being tied up in perpetuity : whereas in fact ecclesiastical property is open to all the incidents of other property.
Sir GEORGE GREY regretted that he must oppose the 'wend reading of the bill. He maintained that the munificent sums given by persons in their
lifetime prove the exercise of the freest charity; while it is necessary to protect lawful heirs from the alienation of land under undue influence upon languishing persons. As to the writer of the letter which Lord John had quoted, let him sell his land, live upon the interest of the money, and be- queath the money to the hospital; and, no doubt, the managers of the in- stitution would be very much obliged to the gentleman. Lord John seemed to rely upon restrictive provisions in his bill; but Sir George showed that they would be capable of evasion.
The bill was further supported by Lord CLIVE and Sir WILLIAM HEATH- COTE; opposed by Sir ROBERT INGLIS and Mr. NEWDEGA.TE.
On a division, the second reading was negatived, by 166 to 20.
CORN-DUTIES AND NAVIGATION-LAWS. In reply to Mr. HENRY Battu:iv on Monday, Lord Joon RUSSELL stated that he intended at an early day to pro- pose continued suspension of the import-duties on corn. And in answer to. . MITCHELL, on Tuesday, Lord JOHN Intimated his intention of proposing a further suspension of the Navigation-laws.
JAMAICA, ITS TRADE AND LABOUR. Late OR Thursday night, Mr. RUNE drew attention to a petition from Jamaica, signed by 4,000 persons, pray- ing for free trade and for a free supply of labour. Mr. Hume argued for the po- licy of abolishing the preventive squadron on the African coast; which would save this country a million sterling, and a vast amount of mortality and difficulty. He would permit the colonists to redeem slaves in Africa, and render them free
labourers n the West Indies. Mr. Hume moved a resolution in accordance with the petition. Tee motion was seconded by Mr. &tuss.r. Mr. llamas said that Government were giving great attention to the subject; and he hoped that the motion would not be pressed. Sir THOMAS ACLAND stated, that Souza, the notorious slave-dealer of Benin, had been converted to legitimate commerce, and was dealing extensively in palm-oil. The motion was negatived, without a division.
TENANT RIGHT IN ENGLAND. On Tuesday, Mr. PUSHY stated that he should not proceed with his Agricultural Tenant Right Bill. He found it impossible to legislate, without further inquiry, in a manner likely to satiety the feelings of the landowners; whose feelings must be consulted in the matter. He was quite cer- tain that the subject would be inquired into next session of Parliament, and therefore he withdrew his bill for the present. Sir ROLtERT PEEL, as an oppo- nent of the measure, heartily approved of the course taken by Mr. Pusey through- out; testifying to the purity of his motives, and to the discretion which now made him avoid the risk of disturbing the confidence that ought to subsist between the landlord and tenant classes.
COLLECTION OF POOR-RATES IN IRELAND. On the motion that the report on Mr. Crawford's Poor-rates (Ireland) Bill be received, Mr. STAFFORD O'Banrat moved that it be received that day six months. After a short discussion, in which the subject of the bill was not entered into at all, but only Mr. Crawford'a right to have it considered in reference to alterations which he had made in it,' the motion to receive the report was negatived, by 81 to 55.
Pools-Removers. On Tuesday, Mr. BA:sites obtained leave to introduce a bill to repeal the first clause of the Poor-Removal Act passed last session. Sir Gosoacm GREY intimated that Government would oppose the bill at a later stage. Mr. CHARLES BULLER, however, supported Mr. Bankes's motion: the bill WAS calculated to get the House out of a difficulty; for while the Select Committee on the subject (of which Mr. Buller is Chairman) was unanimous in thinking that the Poor-Removal Act ought to be repealed, every member had some different no- tion of the way in which it ought to be repealed.
ENLISTMENT OF SEAMEN. On Wednesday, Sir CHARLES NAPIER moved the second reading of his Seamen's Enlistment Bill; which he reexplained, but not more fatly than before. Mr. WARD regretted that it was his duty to oppose the bill; which substituted for impressment the provision of starving the men from one service to another. The system of bounties was under the serious con- sideration of the Admiralty, with a view to alteration; and he hoped that before long they would see a proper organization of the naval reserve. The second reading of the bill was negatived, without a division.
Ma. Sroonna'a Bust- On Wednesday, Mr. Sroontrat moved the second reading of his bill for the prevention of seduction and prostitution. Sir GEORGE GREY opposed the motion. He admitted that the law on the subject was not in a satisfactory state, especially inasmuch as the offence of procuration only comes under cognizance of the general law against conspiracies. But he showed that Mr. Spooner's bill imposed penalties which were most ob- jectionable. It was drawn up in such generally sweeping terms that there was no knowing who might not become subject to the penalty under its operation. (Great laughter.) For example, if the landlord of a tavern permitted two persons, not known to be married, to sleep in the house, he would become subject to heavy penalties; and the servants cognizant of the landlord's connivance would be liable to the same punishment. He wished Mr. Spooner would limit his bill to the offence of procuration. On this suggestion, Mr. SPOONER withdrew his bill; and immediately moved for leave to bring in an- other, "for the more effectual suppression of trading in prostitution and seduc- tion." The SPEAKER, however, intimated that it oould not be introduced without notice.
On Thursday, Mr. SPOONER moved for leave to bring in his bill. Mr. Harm opposed it. It would, he said, be of more use than a bill, if Mr. Spooner himself would set an example, and form a league to reward virtue. On a division, the motion for leave was carried, by 57 to 11. Subsequently, Mr. SPOONER moved that the bill be read a first time. Mr. CRAVEN BERKELEY objecting, the House divided; but the first reading was carried, by 17 to 4.
REGISTRATION OF MEDICAL PRACTTTIONERS. 00 Thursday, Mr. Wairsarr moved that the laws relating to the regulation of medical practitioners and the practice of medicine be referred to a Select Committee; which was agreed to.
Tun Wnrrsuarrinz RECESS. Lord JOHN RUSSELL has given notice, that on Friday the 21st instant he shall move that at its rising the House of Commons do adjourn to Friday the 28th instant. He should also move on the 21st, that after the Whitsuntide holydays orders of the day take precedence of notices of motion on Thursdays.
PROGRESS OF RAILWAY RILLS IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS. PERAMBLEa PaovED Ut COITIOTTEE. May 10.-Great-Northern (Hertford-Hatfield- and-St.-Albans). eaisley-Barrhead-and-uuriet (breeches). May IL-Norfolk (Thetford to Lowestoft, Ste., with a branch to Halesworth). North-Staffordshire (alterations and branches). Caledonian and-Dumbartonshire Junc- tion (deviations between Duutocher Lime-works and Bowling, &c.) Paisley-and-Ren- frew (sale and improvement). May 12.-Eastern-Counties (Cambridge, Bedford, &c.) Manchester-and-Birming- ham and North-Staffordshire Junction. May 13.-Waterford-and-Limerick (subject to Commissioners' report). eniesionian (branches to Ctumoble, fee.) (lia part). London and-North western (Birmingham-and- Lichfield line, Su.) (subject to Commissioners' report).