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name of evidence. Fortunately, Sir, for proper sphere), aim to prove themselves the cause of justice and truth, many au- equally well qualified to make laws and thentic documents have since been pro- broad cloth for their country. But entercured from France, which clearly prove, taining, as I do, very considerable doubts, that in no one year since the peace, the whether any abilities can insure success in annual importation into that country has occupations so widely differing, I shall ever reached one-tenth; and since the move, “ That the further consideration of ratification of the Commercial Treaty one this Bill be postponed to this day three twenty-fifth part of 13,000 packs. With months." respect to the Bill, should it be contended Mr. Duncombe defended the Bill on the that it is most prudent to abide by those plea of expediency and policy. He enlaws under which this nation has so long tered into a discussion of the nature of the flourished, then, I would ask, why do the evidence of Mr. Young and sir Joseph manufacturers wish to alter them? Should Banks, speaking of them both as men deit be said, to amend them, I would again serving great respect, but as witnesses ask, ought they not first to have proved who had avowedly declared their opinions, them inefficient, and whether the exporta- grounded on the information of others, tion of 1100 packs in one year, and 280 instead of stating facts within their own in another, sufficiently proves their inef. | knowledge. He reasoned upon the proficiency for I am yet to learn, what other bability that the evidence adduced was in proof has been adduced! Should it be a great degree fallacious, and contended, alleged, that this Bill, by exchanging the that the manufacturers had ever proved punishment from transportation to impri- themselves the best friends to the wool. sonment, alleviates the severity of the growers, and that, therefore, if the present existing laws--it is granted; but if the Bill even gave a small turn in their favour, alleviation of one punishment is to be ac- it was a turn that the wool-growers ought companied by the introduction of divers not to be unwilling to grant. He quoted new severities, the wool-grower earnestly a sentiment of the late sir George Savile entreats to be excused from accepting on the subject of the breed of sheep and this proffered act of mercy, which would the culture of wool, who had spoken of ita only serve to remind him of the notable in a style so peculiarly his own, and after instance of lenity in the Jewish mode of stating how the animal was roasted, boiled, punishment, which remitted one stripe stewed, and dressed in a variety of modes, while it rigorously inflicted thirty-nine. had declared, that Halifax, and the neighBut this Bill is perfectly barmless! Is this / bouring manufacturing towns of YorkBill, Sir, so perfectly harmless, whose shirc, cloathed the hills of Lincolnshire, avowed principle is partial monopoly? and, by their encouragement, gave the which rashly presumes every wool-grower wool-growers of that county that support, near the sea necessarily a smuggler, and, without which they could not so long and after entangling him in infinite and unin- so effectually have prospered... telligible regulations, subjects him to Mr. Harrison considered the Bill as an grievous fines and imprisonment! robs unnecessary boon to the manufacturers at him, in some instances, of his birthright as the expense of the wool-growers. He an Englishman, of trial by jury; encou- stated the partiality of the existing laws rages false accusations by removing the with respect to the latter, to whose prejuburthen of proof from the informer, and by dice they materially operated ; but the rewarding him with the whole amount of wool-growers had patiently submitted to enormous penalties ! Now, some person, them, hitherto, from a liberal desire to perhaps, may ask, while the manufacturer give every possible encouragement to the takes such special care of the wool-grower, manufacturers. All that the wool-growers « Quis ipsos custodes custodiat?" Oh, Sir, , now desired, was to be suffered to remain tis a foolish and a fruitless inquiry! The in the condition in which they had stood manufacturers are all honourable men ; for some time past, and not by the introand, therefore, this Bill acts wisely, by duction of a new law to be put into a leaving them at home in perfect security | more irksome and unjust situation. Wil and repose, without suspicion or restraint. regard to Halifax, and other manufac. If this be justice and lenity, what is op- turing towns in its neighbourhood, cloathpression ? Yet such, Sir, is the justice ing the hills of Lincoloshire, it was the and lenity of these gentlemen, who, leav.fact; but, it ought to be remembered, ing their looms and their warehouses (their that the wool-growers of that county substantially paid for the benefit, since they the present system of laws respecting wool sold their wool to the Yorkshire manufac- was a complicated one, and that this bill turers at half the price they could get for was necessary to simplify and elucidate it. it abroad.
| He denied that it did either the one or the Mr. W. Stanhope reminded the House other : so far from it, it rendered the law, of the extreme difficulty of ascertaining if possible, more complicated than before. the real quantity of wool exported, since He recommended the withdrawing the it was the interest of the French to con- subject till the next session, when it might ceal the amount of British wool that was be taken up by his Majesty's ministers, smuggled over, the welfare of their and proposed in a committee of the whole country depending upon their obtaining House, where the subject might be fully as much as possible. · He, also pointed gone into, the laws in being undergo a reout the additional difficulty arising from vision, and such a bill be framed as should the consideration that none but French- | not create a separation of interest between men could truly know the fact, and that the manufacturers and the land owners, they could not be expected to come for- but reconcile both and meet with general ward as voluntary witnesses.
approbation. Mr. F. Honeywood spoke against the Mr. Windham considered the Bill to be Bill, and particularly objected to the re- so necessary to the prosperity of the mastrictions imposed on the counties of Kent | nufacturers, so consonant to the principle and Sussex by one of its clauses.
of the existing laws; and so little likely to Sir R. Clayton said, that the wool. injure the wool-growers, that he strongly growers of Surrey thought the Bill a sa usged the propriety of letting it go to a crifice of their interests to those of the committee. manufacturers.
Mr. Pulteney said, that whenever a maMr. Rolle defended the Bill, as com nufacture diffused itself into many hands bining the existing laws in one statute, and it was the uniform custom to raise a cry, rendering them more efficient and intelli- that the manufacture was lost. The fact gible.
was the reverse; the wider the manufacMr. Hussey said, that although it was ture diffused itself, the greater the naundeniable that in a commercial country tional benefit; but then, undoubtedly the like this, the manufacturers could not be extension was an injury to individuals; as too much encouraged, and although the it lessened the size of their profits, and Bill would add somewhat to that encou- prevented them from acquiring enormous ragement, yet it would not turn out to wealth so early as could be done while a bear hardly on the landed interest. In il. | manufacture remained in a few hands. lustration of this, he reminded the House This sort of emulation and extended rivalof the small proportion the value of the ship was the true spirit of commerce; it wool of a sheep bore to the value of the was that which made a country great and flesh of the animal. That circumstance, powerful, and not the sudden riches acalone, proved that the culture of wool was cumulated by a few persons who had en. by no means the first object of those who gaged in particular manufactures. People bred sheep. He also reasoned upon the ought not, therefore, to be alarmed at a probable effect of the discouragement of clamour raised by interested persons, who, our manufactures; one fatal consequence because they could not acquire as much would be a decrease of the population of profit as heretofore, were the first to cry the country, and that would necessarily out, that their branch of manufacture was lessen the consumption, and reduce the 1 destroyed. No one accustomed to look price of mutton, and thus lower the value | into the pamphlets that had at different of sheep; an effect which the land owner periods been written on the subject of would feel much more severely than a trade and manufacture, could be a stranger trifling reduction of the price of wool oc- l to these facts. He declared he thought casioned by enforcing the prohibitions the House would act wisely in abiding by against smuggling wool out of the king- that policy which had governed the king: dom. He quoted Smith's Wealth of Na- dom for so many years with success, and tions in support of his argument.
not rashly introduce a new experiment. Mr. Powys neither approved of the Bill, Mr. Drake rejoiced that the House had nor of the principle of the existing laws, taken up the matter as they had done, and which it was designed to enforce. He that gentlemen, without going into a series took notice of what had been stated, that of prolonged orations, had pithily deli[VOL. XXVII.]
vered their sentiments upon the subject. , appear to him that it would be at all He wished the Bill to go to a committee, improper to let the Bill go to a committee. where the objectional clauses might be He took notice of what had been said reamended; and took occasion to mention lative to the question, whether it would be his design of bringing in a bill for the bet-wiser to allow an exportation of wool ter regulation of chimney-sweepers, a de- under certain duties, or to enforce its proscription of persons who had shown them- hibition as effectually as possible. That selves so merry on the present day in question had no connexion with the Bill, every.street of the metropolis.
nor did it make any part of the present Mr. Addington spoke in justification of consideration ; but he could not help obthe clauses restricting the counties of jecting to the argument of one hon. gen. Kent and Sussex in a particular manner, tleman, who had declared that he apby observing that those counties being proved of the existing laws, because they nearest to the coast of France, it was more were not enforced. To suffer any illegal probable that attempts would be made to act to be committed, was, in his opinion, smuggle wool from them, than from any extremely unwise, because one breach of other counties.
the law led to another. Thus, smuggling Mr. Marsham contended, that it was of wool was connected with other illicit unjust and partial to lay greater restric. traffic; the vessel that carried out a cargo tions on the two counties than on any of wool illegally brought back a freight of other, but admitted that had his consti- brandy illegally; and thus, by conniving tuents come to parliament, and desired a at smuggling in one instance, they enrepeal of the existing laws, it would have couraged it in another, to the additional been a good reason for subjecting them to prejudice of the revenue. additional restrictions.
Sir Peter Burrell was happy to hear Sir Richard Sutton said, that when the from the right hon. gentleman that the Bill was first introduced, conceiving it to question, whether it would be wise to be similar to one before introduced, he abandon the policy that had so long go. had objected to it, because the former verned the country, in regard to. prohibill contained clauses so contrary to the biting the exportation of wool, was not at free spirit of our constitution, that he all affected by the present bill. With could not think it fit to receive the sanc- regard to the present question, it was tion of that House. He had since had an evident that every gentleman had assumed opportunity of examining the present Bill, the fact, that 13,000 packs of wool were and he found it so materially altered and exported annually; for no such fact had amended that it met his approbation. been proved at the bar. The utmost that
Mr. Pitt was glad to find that there was had been made out in evidence was 1300 not likely to be any difference between the packs. It behoved those who brought commercial and the landed interest on in the Bill to make out their case ; but, for the present occasion ; but that, at the his own part, he must contend, that they bottom, every gentleman, let him have had entirely failed, for which reason the taken which side of the question he would, Bill ought to be rejected. had wished to preserve those interests, as Mr. Burton said, that in his opinion, they ever ought undoubtedly to be consi- the Bill instead of enacting new and more dered, as one and the same. He observed, rigorous restrictions than those contained that as it was admitted, on the one hand, in the existing statutes, changed the that the wool-growers had but little to punishment of offenders convicted from hone, and contended, on the other, that transportation to the more mild sentence the manufacturers had much to fear from of fine and imprisonment. the rejection of the Bill, he thought it The House divided on the motion, more wise to keep pace with the fears“ That the debate be adjourned till this which were great, than with the hopes day three months :". which were avowedly little : and, there
. Tellers : fore, he decmed it right to let the Bill go
V s Sir Johv Thorold. ..} 47. to a committee, where it could be dis- Yeas 3 cussed clause by clause, and such parts of
? Mr. Harrison . . . . f. 47. it as should, upon investigation, appear to Noes
(Mr. Phelips - be too harsh, might be either altered or
OES Mr. Rolle - - . omitted. From what he understood to Ordered, that the Bill be committed on have been stated at the bar, it did not the Sth.
May 19. On the order of the day for , blishment of slavery at home? Should the third reading of the Wool Bill, and this Bill pass into a law, our liberty, and che question being put, “ That the Bill be a security in our property, hitherto our now read a third time,”
just pride, and the envy of our neighSir John Thorold said :-Sir; having bours! will become a fit subject only for on a former occasion expressed my sen their derision. For instance, a Frenchtiments with respect to this Bill, I shall man may then say to an English woolnow detain the House but for a single grower, “ Your wool is certainly your moment. If the inefficiency of the exist property while it remains useless in your ing laws had been clearly proved, by an chamber; attempt to remove it, or sell it export of wool so considerable as maten to the best advantage, and an exciseman rially to injure the manufacturers, it might will soon convince you that your property have afforded a reasonable ground for the will terminate in a fine, and your liberty attempt to alter them. Let us consider | expire in a dungeon. Talk no more to then, what has been proved: the annual me, I beseech you, of your English rights export, for five years, of 1100 packs, and and property, of your libertas et natale in the last, of 480 ; fewer seisures and solum. Fine words! I wonder where you convictions than under any other similar stole 'em.” To these humiliating taunts, penal statute; and at present, a larger the manufacturers may perhaps be able export of woollens than in any former to give some answer; because they have period; the plea therefore of a necessity prudently exempted themselves from befor alteration, cannot, I think, fairly be ing accountable to any one, for the pururged. I shall not trouble the House pose to which they may apply their wool; with any discussion, whether trial in a but they have at the same time effectually summary way be preferable to a trial by disabled the wool-grower from a possibi. jury? Whether the power granted to lity of reply. The revival and recogni. justice, to impress, fine, and imprison wit- tion of obsolete penal statutes, founded nesses, be a mild measure ? Whether on principles of despotism is of itself a a wharfinger ought previously to enter very serious evil. With a view to local into a bond of 2001.? Or whether the accommodation you may alter, soften, or gracious grant for a limited exportation meliorate the clauses of this Bill; but to of tobacco-pipe clay will sufficiently atone what purpose will it be, whilst the prinfor, or be able to cover the multitude of ciple remains ? From the polluted source sins under which this miserable Bill now of despotism the pure stream of liberty labours. I object, Sir, to the principle of never can flow. Esteeming it, Sir, a duty this Bill, which I contend to be incorrigibly | which I owe to my country, to resist a bad, originating in the mean and rapacious principle so injurious to the rights, and spirit of avarice and monopoly, and con- so insulting to the feelings of every sequently producing acts of injustice and Englishman, I shall therefore move to oppression, a spirit which has uniformly | leave out the word “ now," and add the, pervaded and contaminated all the legis. words, “ upon this day three months.” lative attempts of the manufacturers, Sir Peter Burrell argued against the from the first session of their little senate Bill, as calculated to promote the inte. at Exeter in 1786, to the dissolution of rests of the manufacturer at the expense their festive board at the Crown and of the wool-grower, and contended that Anchor tavern in the Strand. To-morrow, it would necessarily discourage the growth Sir, the highest tribunal in the kingdom of wool, raise the price of mutton, and will again assemble, for the purpose of increase the price of labour. inquiring, whether the rights of humanity. The question being put, “ That the may not have been invaded in the East; word “ now” stand part of the question, a tribunal convened at the request of this the House divided : House. The House also stands pledged,
S Mr. Phelips - ..
12 to abolish slavery in the West Indies. What then will be thought of our sin
Sir John Thorold ..
* cerity and consistency, if, whilst we are
Sir Peter Burrell - $24. so anxious to dispense the blessings of The Bill was then read'a third time. . freedom abroad, we should at the same moment forge new chains for the esta Debate in the Commons on the Bill for
the Protection of Stocking Frames.] May | ing the Committee, that he had proposed
5. The House having resolved itself into nothing new, since the Act of the 21st , a Committee on the Bill " for the better Geo. 1, subjected persons convicted of siand more effectual Protection of Stocking | milar offences in respect to the woollen Frames, and the machines, or engines, manufacture, to the same severe penal. annexed thereto, or used therewith, and ties. The occasion of the passing that for the punishment of persons destroying Act, the Committee might possibly recolor injuring of such stocking frames, lect. A great number of foreigners came machines, or engines, and the framework- over and settled in the weaving branch, in knitted pieces, stockings, and other articles Spitalfields. A violent clamour arose and goods used and made in the hosiery | among the English weavers thereupon; or framework-knitted manufactory.” and they exclaimed, that foreigners were · Mr. D. P. Coke stated, that it went come over to take the bread out of their to the creation of a new capital felony, mouths, and went in a large mob, and and was therefore of material import. | riotously cut all the foreigners looms to The Bill had three distinct objects, which pieces. The legislature of that day imhe would shortly explain to the commit-mediately took notice of the transaction, tee. In the town of Nottingham there and passed the Act in question. were about 3000 knitting-frames used in Mr. Francis begged to know whether the stocking manufactory: and, as the the statute had ever been carried into law now stood, if any person cut or de execution, and whether it had produced stroyed a frame, it was only a misde- the desired effect? He objected to the meanor against the person doing the in- making the circumstance of any person's jury. One object of the Bill, therefore, going into the house of another with an was, to make it a capital felony, without intent to cut and destroy his frame, a cabenefit of clergy, to cut or destroy any pital felony, declaring that he thought it knitting-frame. At present, likewise, it impossible for any man to pronounce the was usual for the frame owner to lend his intent of another. He also expressed his frame to a workman in the manufactory; doubts, whether the multiplication of san. if that frame was redemanded, the work- guinary laws was not at once a disgrace man had it in his power to keep it, nor to the country, and an evil, and if such could the right owner recover it but by laws were passed, and were to be merely action of trover, and, perhaps, the man nominal laws, and never be carried into detaining the frame might be a mere execution, whether they did not do more beggar; he meant, therefore, to enact, harm than good; but above all, he wished that every person detaining a frame from to know, whether the existing laws of the the right owner more than six days after same nature had answered their end, and it was claimed by him, should be liable to produced any effect? pay a fine of 20 r 40s. to be levied by a Mr. Coke desired, that the 21st Geo. 1 justice of the peace, who should have might be read; which having been done, power, in case of non-payment, to commit and the words “ frame-work knitters"! octhe party to the common gaol for a period curring in one of the clauses, he said, he of time not exceeding three months, nor was glad it had been read, because it less than one. Another object of the Bill confirmed him in his opinion, that the was, in case any person should sell a frame, | laws in existence did actually reach the the property of another, or make away stocking manufacturers, but without prowith it, he should be deemed guilty of ceeding to a sufficient length. The prefelony, and liable to transportation on con- sent Bill meant to protect them and their viction. A farther object of the Bill was manufacturing machines and instruments to declare any person convicted of break from those injuries to which, under the ing into the house of another, with an in-existing laws, they were still liable. With tent to cut or destroy his frames, guilty | regard to the hon. gentleman's question, of felony without benefit of clergy. Mr. Whether the existing laws had produced Coke stated to the Committee the fre- the desired effect? as he had not heard of quency of the commission of all the se- any complaint from the wool-combers, he veral above-recited offences in the town of took it for granted that they had. The Nottingham; and the total inefficacy of the present Bill held out a capital punishment present laws for, their prevention. He in terrorem, in order to deter men from Therefore submitted the Bill to their deli- committing such offences; he wished not berale decision, at the same time remind that any person should be banged under