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DURING THE SECOND SESSION OF THE SECOND PARLIAMENT OF THE UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT
BRITAIN AND IRELAND.
HOUSE OF LORDS.
FRIDAY, MARCH 9.
HORTLY after the meeting took place, and previously to the temporary adjournment of the Houfe, for the purpose of affording time to the Lords Commiffioners to robe,
Earl Fitzwilliam rofe, and addreffed feveral obfervations to the House relative to the ftate of his Majefty's health, ́with a reference to the important proceeding then about to take place. He obferved, that he had reafon for entertaining doubts that the ftate of the Sovereign's health was fuch as to militate, in fome degree, against the exercise of that very important part of the Royal functions, which he understood was about to be acted upon. He fpoke upon an authority on which he thought he could rely. His Lordfhip made a variety of obfervations upon the reports made by the Royal phyficians at different times, and argued from the general tenor of fuch as he alluded to, that the Sovereign was not in a ftate of actual convalefcence. The reports feemed in his idea rather calculated to flatter the expectations of the public, nor were any hopes of a speedy recovery held out. In the course of his obfervations, his Lordship alluded to the bulletin of that day. As the fubject ftruck his mind, upon every thing he had obferved or could collect, he was led to entertain doubts which induced him to call upon the noble Lord upon the woolfack for further information relative to the very important point in question.
The Lord Chancellor, in anfwer to what had fallen from the noble Earl, obferved, that for any propofition coming VOL. II. 1803-4.
from fuch a quarter, he entertained the highest respect; in deed upon fuch a very important topic, obfervations coming from any individual Peer in that Houfe were entitled to the moft ferious attention. With refpect to the doubts entertained by the noble Earl, he could affure his Lordship and the House, that in every thing connected with fo grave, important, and momentous an occafion as that in queftion, he had proceeded with all that delicacy, deliberation, and caution which was evidently required; he had proceeded on the occafion even with fear and trembling: to speak more fpecifically to the point, he obferved, that not fatisfied with the reports and affurances of the medical attendants of his Majefty on fo important an occafion, he thought it proper and neceffary to have a perfonal interview with the Sovereign, and at which due difcuffion took place as to the bills which were offered for the Royal affent, and which was fully expreffed. He would fooner fuffer his right hand to be fevered from his body, than in fuch an inftance he would agree to act upon light or fuperficial grounds. He thought it his bounden and indifpenfable duty, and which he trufted he always fhould confcientiously difcharge, to proceed in the manner he had stated: and he had no hesitation to aver, that the refult of all that took place upon the occafion, fully and amply juftified him in announcing his Majesty's affent to the bills fpecified in the Royal Commiffion. He knew and felt with gratitude his obligations to the best of Sovereigns, and to whofe perfon he bore the warmest affection: but he could moft confcientiously fay, that no confiderations whatever, even thofe to which he had alluded, should ever induce him to break that facred covenant he had made with hinfelf, not to fuffer any thing to warp his judgment, or to bias him from that rule of strict duty and rectitude which he was determined to follow. He entertained no doubt of the noble Earl's having come forward upon a fenfe of duty, and that he was actuated by nothing perfonal to himself upon the occafion. He was fully aware of the high degree of refponfibility under which he ftood, and with reference to which he had acted.
The Lords Commiffioners afterwards (namely, the Lord Chancellor, Lord Hawkesbury, and Lord Auckland) retired to robe; and when they had taken their feats in the front of the throne, the Commons were fent for, and appearing at the bar, the Royal affent was declared in the ufual form to the Irish Bank reftriction bill, the two mutiny bills, the feed corn exportation, the Greenland whale fishery, the Lon
don port, the Scotch creditors, and the Duke of York's eftate bills, and to a few private bills.
After the Commons had retired, their Lordships forwarded the bills which remained upon the table, chiefly of a private or local description, after which the House adjourned.
HOUSE OF COMMONS.
FRIDAY, MARCH 9.
The Speaker having been in the Houfe of Peers, inform ed the House that the Royal affent had been given by commiffion to the two mutiny bills, the corn exportation bill, the Duke of York's eftate bill, the Irish Bank reftriction bill, the Greenland fhips' bill, the Scotch creditors' bill, and to several other bills.
Mr. H. Addington moved, that it be an instruction to the Committee, appointed to confider of a speedy and effectual mode to fettle differences fubfifting between the masters and workmen in the cotton manufactories, that they may take fuch measures as may be neceffary for preventing fuch differences in future, and report the matter, together with their opinion thereupon, to the Houfe. Agreed.
He then moved, that the feveral proceedings of the House in the laft Seffion of Parliament upon that fubject be referred to the faid Committee. Ordered.
Sir John Anderson brought up the report of Mr. Alderman Boydell's lottery bill the amendments were read and agreed to, and the bill was ordered to be ingroffed.
Mr. Orm by brought up a report on the petition of the Superintending Magiftrate of the Police of Dublin, which being read, he moved, that leave be given to bring in a bill to provide for defraying the expence of preferving the peace of the city of Dublin. Leave given.
Sir W. Pulteney moved for leave to bring in a bill for increafing the capital of the Bank of Scotland. Granted.
The bill for regulating the age at which perfons are to be admitted into holy orders in Ireland, was read a third time and paffed.
Mr. Corry moved the order of the day for going into a Committee on the Irish duties bill.
Colonel Hutchinfon faid it was not his intention to oppose the motion of the right hon. Gentleman," but he could not avoid making a few obfervations upon the fchedule before the Houfe. He was willing to pay every tribute to the
right hon. Gentleman, the Chancellor of the Exchequer of Ireland, for the candid and liberal manner in which he had conducted himself upon this occafion, but he was forry to find that the four per cent. duty, upon Irifh exports, was to be continued upon every part of the exports of Ireland. The right hon. Gentleman had himself acknowledged, on a former occafion, that the provifion trade of Ireland was in a languishing condition, and he thought that was a fufficient reafon why it thould be exempt from the general export duty. He then adverted to the tax upon leather, which, he faid, had been laid on under an idea that it would not exceed one penny per pound, but in fact it was confiderably more. Another fubject to which he wished to call the attention of the House, because it materially concerned his conftituents, was the duty upon foreign herrings imported into Ireland. He did not mean to propofe that the duty fhould be taken off, but he withed that a full drawback should be granted when they were re-exported, otherwise the trade would be thrown into foreign hands. He was anxious to prefs this fubject upon the confideration of the Houfe, and the right hon. Gentleman, because it materially affected the trade of the city he had the honour to reprefent.
Mr. Carr faid, that with regard to the export tax upon linen, confidering it as he did as a war tax, he fhould cer tainly not oppose it; but he wished the right hon. Gentleman to advert to one circumftance, which he confidered as bearing hard upon Ireland. By the articles of union, if there was a furplus of any foreign article in either Great Britain or Ireland, it might be exported to the other with a full drawback of the duty: but if a merchant in Ireland wifhed to export tobacco, for inftance, to England, he could only do it in veffels of a certain fize: this appeared to him to be an impediment upon trade. With regard to the window tax, when it was laid on in Ireland, it was always confidered as a war tax, though now it was made a permanent
Mr. John Latouche adverted to the ftate of the exchange between Great Britain and Ireland, and faid it was a fubject that called for the immediate attention of Parliament. With regard to the schedule before the Houfe, the right hon. Gentleman had certainly attended with the utmoft candour to the reprefentations of the merchants upon the fubject, and in moft inftances their wishes were complied with; in others, however, they were not. There were two articles particularly
particularly upon which he thought a reduction of duty ought to take place, and they were foreign oils and foreign hops; the latter he conceived ought to be admitted to be imported free of duty.
Sir John Newport alfo expreffed his thanks to the right hon. the Chancellor of the Exchequer of Ireland, for the attention he bestowed upon every fuggeftion or objection that was made to him. But there were fome points in which he ftill did not approve of this schedule. In the first place, he agreed with the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Hutchinson), with regard to what he had faid about the importation of foreign herings; but the fubject to which he wifhed principally to advert, was the importation of the article of deals into Ireland. He was forry to find there was an increased duty upon that article. The peafantry of Ireland had of late expreffed a wifh to have their cottages flated instead of thatched; this difpofition he thought ought to be encouraged, because he knew that feveral villages were forced into the rebellion, by the threat of having their cottages burnt, which could be eafily accomplished while they were covered with thatch. He therefore hoped that this duty would not be encreased.
Mr. Hawthorne approved of the schedule in general, but wished merely to advert to the increafed duty on grocers licences. He did not know upon what ground that duty had been increased, and he did not think if it was perfifted in, that it would be productive of any increase of revenue.
Mr. Corry, after expreffing the fatisfaction he felt at the approbation which had been expreffed of his conduct by fo many Members from that part of the united kingdom, proceeded to answer the different objections which had been made. He said that though these duties were now to be voted without limitation, they would of course be liable hereafter to revifion, alteration, or repeal; and therefore he hoped that no apprehenfion would be entertained upon the idea that these taxes were to be voted permanently. Another obfervation he wished to make was, that all the duties laid on in Ireland, to correfpond with war duties laid on in this country, would of courte ceafe as foon as the war ceafed, and the duties were taken off in this country. With regard to the provifion trade of Ireland, it certainly did languifh, but he hoped it was only for a time; the fact was, that the war demand had ceased, and the peace demand had not begun, which was a reafon for a temporary diminution of the trade but he had no doubt but that would foon revive, particularly