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that having the honour to hold an office motion, which was, “ That no member of under the House of Lords, he thought this House do remain in, or do cross, or it his indispensable duty to execute the pass through, any part of the passages leadorders of that House, according to the ing from the door of the lobby of this best of his judgment, and in the most House to the gallery prepared for the effectual manner. It was not for him, in members of this House, in Westminsterhis official capacity, to pronounce upon hall, or from the temporary door at the the meaning of the orders given him by top of the stone stair-case to the said galthe House of Lords, or to say, whether, lery, during the time that the Court are in fair construction they did, in any de in regular procession to or from the said gree, amount to an infraction of the pri- hall; and that the Serjeant at Arms atvileges of that House. The House, when tending this House, do keep clear the pasthey saw the order would be able to judge sage of members at such times; and that for themselves, and his conduct in dis- | the doorkeepers be directed to attend at charge of his duty, proved that it would the several doors opening to such passages, bear the construction which he had con- in order to apprize the members of this ceived it to convey. Whether that was / order." the true construction, or whether he had Mr. Hussey seconded the motion.. erred in his judgment, he knew not ; but, Mr. Pitt did not rise to oppose the as great bodies had often erred in judg- motion, which he thought in no other way ment, it would not be wonderful if an in- | objectionable than as to the wording of dividual should have erred in judgment the latter part of it, which directed the likewise. He wished, however, before any doorkeepers to apprize the members of the motion was made, that might lead to con- order; that he conceived to be rather a sequences which every gentleman must disorderly mode of communicating the feel anxious to avoid, that tbose who had orders of the House, and such as was per. proposed to bring forward a motion upon | fectly unnecessary, since all the members that day, would have the goodness to wait were bound to apprize themselves of the till the court should have sitten one more orders of their own House. But what he day, and be guided by the event of that rose principally for was, to declare his other day. If they then found that mem- | opinion, that so far from the obstruction bers were obstructed in their way to the complained of upon the preceding day, House, the motion could be brought for- being such as would have justified personal ward; but if no inconvenience took place, violence, he saw no reasonable colour of he hoped it would be agreed that the complaint at all. This House had carried motion was needless.
up articles of impeachment to the House Mr. Bouverie thought, with his hon. of Lords, as a court of justice. The Lords friend, that it would be very unwise to were judges, and consequently had a power make any motion that should produce a over their own court, in like manner as disagreement between the two Houses. I every other description of judges had a No man was more anxious than himself power over every other court of justice. to preserve the harmony that so happily They had an undoubted right to give such subsisted between them; but it did ap- directions respecting every part of the trial, pear, from the complaint that had been | as would, in their opinion, be most likely made, that the members of that House to produce regularity, order, and solemnity. had been obstructed in their way to their To question or to resist the exercise of own House, in consequence of orders such right, was to question the authority given to their doorkeepers by an officer of of the highest court of justice known to the the House of Lords, in a way that, in bis constitution, and what he was persuaded mind, would have justified personal vio- no gentleman who thought at all upon the lence; and had that followed, they must subject, would either attempt or counteall acknowledge, that a difference between nance. But it had been urged yesterday the two Houses most probably would have in debate, and very properly, in his mind, been the consequence. What he wished that the members, so far from obstructing was, to prevent the possibility of a recur. the passages to the court, during the prorence of such an impropriety, and in order cession of the Lords, ought to be in another to avoid offence, he had worded his motion, place with the Speaker. This was suffiso as to make it co-operate with the orders cient to prove, that those members who of the House of Lords, and produce the were in the House during the progress of same effect. Mr. Bouverie then read his the procession were where they ought not
to have been. He was perfectly satisfied trial, without conveying something like a there was no ground for accusing the Lords shade of disrespect to the House of Lords. of having made the order under which the Mr. Burke perfectly coincided with Mr. deputy great chamberlain had acted, with Pitt in every part of his argument. The any view to infringe the privileges of that present motion was neither necessary nor House. At the same time he saw no noxious. Unnecessary, because, undoubt. objection to the motion, provided the last edly that House in the conduct of such a sentence was left out. . i trial, standing as the accusers, were bound
Mr. Bouverie had not the smallest ob. to comply with the forms and orders of jection to adopt the alteration that the the court who sat to try the cause, and in right hon. gentleman had pointed out. his opinion, the Lords had hitherto af
Sir Grey Cooper considered the motion forded every reason for that House to as needless. He reminded the House that make every possible return of civility and at first, the Lords had expressed an incli- accommodation. The motion was, how. nation to hear the cause in their own ever, perfectly innocent, since it only House; but the Commons desiring to have tended to co-operate with the Lords, by it beard in Westminster-hall, the Lords adopting their own form of proceeding, had complied. Nothing could surely be and thus 'enforcing the effect that they more civil and accommodating on the part had obviously wished to produce by their of the Lords; and that House, he was orders. The two Houses had met each persuaded, would not be outdone in polite other cordially, though not, perhaps, with ness. Hitherto, during the existence of equal fires. Mr. Burke complimented sir the great cause, perfect harmony had suh- Peter Burrell on his extraordinary and sisted between the two Houses; that har- successful exertions, his extreme patience, mony every friend to the constitution must and his unparalleled politeness during the wish should continue; although, therefore, trial, which were among the good things it was laudable for gentlemen to be jealous that had arisen out of it. He concluded of any point which looked like any infringe with expressing his satisfaction at finding ment of their privileges, yet he really saw, that a matter, which on its first appearance on the present occasion, no pressing call looked rather cloudy, and as if portending for any such motion as that proposed. | a storm, had passed over without mischief, The two privileges that the members and ended in a return of sunshine. wished to claim, appeared to him to be the The motion, as amended, was then privilege of coming, when it was too late to agreed to. go down to the hall with the Speaker, and the privilege of interrupting the procession Debate in the Commons on the Hay of the House of Lords into their own court. | Exportation Bill.] June 16. Mr. AlderWith regard to the hon. gentleman who man Sawbridge rose. He observed, that held a high office under the Lords, his the long continued drought had rendered situation was in many respects a very invi- | the crops of hay exceedingly scanty, and dious one. It was certainly no easy matter there was the greatest probability that to conduct above three thousand people other fodder would be proportionably every day into Westminster-ball, to ar- scarce. He conceived, therefore, there range them while there, and to conduct could be no objection to the passing a bill them out of the hall again with as little to prevent the exportation of hay similar confusion as possible. The hon baronet to that which passed three years ago, and had done his duty in these respects suc- of which it was a transcript. The drought cessfully, and ought to receive the sup. he said had not been peculiar to this island port of that House. Upon that account but had produced a similar effect on the alone, he should wish that the motion were continent, and more particularly in France not pressed. In fact, the only end of it and Spain. He concluded with moving, would be, a declaration on their part, to “That leave be given to bring in a Bill to do the very same thing themselves, and prevent the exportation of hay for a time by their own authority, which the House to be limited.” of Lords had executed already. If such Mr. Dundas thought the ground of exa proceeding were necessary at all, he pediency sufficiently obvious to warrant the conceived it could only have been neces. \ passing of such a bill; and as the Bill was sary in the outset of the business, and that a transcript of the one passed three years it not only was out of time now, but that it ago, it would necessarily contain a clause, could not be adopted in that stage of the giving his Majesty in council the power of [VOL. XXVII.
taking off the prohibition, whenever the might prove very great, nor less perhaps nature of the case should appear to them in various parts of England; but the same to render it necessary.
reason, he said, did not apply to the part of · Sir Joseph Mawbey, before a bill of Great Britain from which he came. In that nature was permitted to be brought Scotland there was, last year, a very plenin, conceived some substantial ground tiful crop of hay, insomuch that hay had ought to be laid of its necessity. When sold there as low as 30 shillings a load, the former bill had been moved, it had and there was so much still on hand, that been stated, that considerable quantities of there was not a probability of any defihay were contracted for by agents from ciency. Sir William said, his country France, and that there was a great proba had an exportation hay trade to the West bility, that the inhabitants of this island Indies, where they annually sent small would be materially distressed in consequantities. He proposed therefore to quence of the extravagant price hay would leave the word • Scotland' out of the Bill; rise to, if a sudden stop was not put to the yet at the same time he had no intention exportation. At present, he had not of dividing the Committee upon it. . heard of any similar cause of apprehension. The Bill having gone through the ComHe did not approve of bringing forward mittee, was reported to the House. .so important a bill, in respect to its pro- Sir R. Smith said, that he understood bable effect on the landed interest, at that the Bill to be a transcript of a bill that he advanced period of the session, when the had himself brought in three years ago, majority of the country gentlemen were but he must nevertheless oppose it. When retired, to the superintendance of their the bill was introduced three years ago, private affairs.
we had witnessed two very severe winters, Alderman Sawbridge could not hear and two years of great scarcity in respect without astonishment the hon. baronet's to hay. Then it was a well-ascertained opposition, since the Bill was designed fact, that an equal degree of scarcity premerely as a preventive against the danger vailed on the continent, and that measures that the extraordinary continuance of dry were actually going on for the purchase weather, both here and upon the continent, and exportation of the greatest part of threatened. He was persuaded from the the little stock of hay that remained in information he had received from all parts England, to Flanders, France and Spain. of England, that, if all the country gentle-There was, at that time, therefore, every men had been present, the hon. baronet reason to dread actual famine, in respect would have stood alone in his objection to to fodder for cattle. At present, no such the Bill; but gentlemen would consider, strong grounds had been laid; for althat it was impossible for him to move for though the plea for the Bill was the leave to bring in a bill upon such a sub. necessity of the case, that necessity had ject, before the season of the year afforded not been proved, and the House had a proof that such a bill would be expedient. pothing before them but the loose declaThe Bill was founded in the best possible ration, that hay would prove extremely policy, and brought forward with a view scarce : probably hay might be dear at the to prevent a probable evil ; and as it would London market, but that was by no means contain a clause authorizing his Majesty a consideration to govern the rest of the in council to take off the prohibition, kingdom; in many counties he was perwhenever it should appear unnecessary to suaded, there was a great deal of hay in continue it, no mischief could ensue from hand, and if refreshing rains should fall, it the passing of such a bill; on the contrary, might produce such plentiful crops of it might prove of great advantage to the after-grass, that the inconvenience held up country.
as an object of so much alarm, would, in all Sir Joseph Mawbey said, that as the Bill probability, be scarcely felt at all. We would contain such a clause he would had experienced a very mild spring, the withdraw his objections.
crops of turnips had, in consequence, been Leave was given, and the Bill was good, and therefore the farmers, who fed brought in on the following day.
their cattle upon turnips, had not found
much occasion to consume and diminish June 16. The House being in a Com their stocks of hay. An hon. baronet, he mittee on the said Bill,
| understood, had opposed the Bill, when Sir William Conyngham was of opinion leave to bring it in was first moved for, but that the scarcity of hay about London had withdrawn his ojections on learning that it contained a clause, giving the King | horses and other cattle on straw mixed in council a power to suspend the prohibi with hay. If, therefore, there was no tion, whenever it should to them appear that prospect of much straw, it became nethe prohibition need not be continued. cessary that the little hay we had should So far from that clause weighing with him be kept in the kingdom for our own use. in favour of the Bill, it was the strongest He was as great an enemy to prohibitions reason for his disliking it. The granting upon the exportation of hay, or any other the King in council powers of suspension, article of export, as the hon. baronet. was in itself highly unconstitutional; such He was by no means fond of injunctions powers ought at all times to be reluctantly upon trade. He well knew it was, genegranted by the House. The more con- rally speaking, contrary to the interest of stitutional way was to leave it to the minis- a commercial country; but when it apter to take off the prohibition at his own peared highly probable that there would risk, when he thought proper, and to let scarcely be hay and other fodder sufficient him justify himself afterwards to parlia- for our home consumption, surely in that ment, and apply for a bill of indemnity. case it was expedient to take care of ourHe disapproved of bringing in bills of that selves, and not export that which we ourd important nature at such an advanced selves want. Another circumstance was period of the session, when more country the similar situation of Flanders, France, gentlemen were not present. Upon these and Spain, in which countries the prosconsiderations, therefore, he should move pect of scarcity, both in respect to hay to recommit the Bill, for the purpose of and straw, was equally great. Upon these moving in the Committee, that the clause considerations, he hoped the hon. barones granting the power to suspend the pro-would wave his objections. hibition to his Majesty in council be ex. Mr. Pye could answer for the county of punged.
Berks, that they had a very scanty hay Alderman Sawbridge was surprised harvest during the preceding year, and that the hon, baronet who had stated ob- that the present afforded no better prosjections to the principle of the Bill, should pect. In some part of the country where have chosen that particular stage of it forty loads of hay used to be mowed, to meet it with resistance. With regard not above eight loads were likely to be to the hon. baronet's declaration, that procured. . the granting powers of suspension to his Mr. Drake gave the hon. baronet credit Majesty in council was unconstitutional, for his good intentions, but was rather he agreed with him; but what could mark surprised at his opposing the present Bill. its being unconstitutional more strongly Sir Robert Smith repeated his objecthan the making an express provision tions to the Bill, particularly to the clause for it in the Bill? Instead of granting giving his Majesty in council a power to this power to bis Majesty in council, the suspend the prohibition. He concluded hon. baronet recommended that the mi- with saying, that the best way would be nister should assume the power without to put off the consideration of the report any authority whatever. Would any to another day, by which means they gentleman seriously contend, that it was would be able to come to a fair discussion more constitutional or more prudent to of it. let the minister, at his discretion, assume Upon the question being put, '“ That the power of suspension whenever he these amendments be now read a second thought proper, than to grant it to the time," the House divided : Yeas, 28; King in council for a limited time ex. Noes, 5. As there were not forty mempressly? The hon. baronet doubted the bers present the House adjourned. probability of there being a general scarcity. "Mr. Sawbridge said, that from | June 19. The report of the Hay Bill the information he had received from dif- was taken into farther consideration, and ferent parts of the kingdom, he was con- agreed to. Upon the question, “ That vinced there would be a great scarcity this Bill be read a third time,” of hay; indeed the scarcity of hay was Sir Peter Burrell said, that he had remarknotorious. Another extremely materialed with concern, that whenever an opportu. consideration was, the little probability of nity offered for the landholder to promote there being any great quantity of straw his interest, a Bill was introduced to prethis year. Gentlemen well knew that, in vent his taking a fair advantage of it. In many parts of England, farmers fed their chis point of view he considered the pre
sent Bill, for which he saw not the least ance which could be procured, even upon necessity. Regarding it, therefore, as an subjects in which the minister himself was oppression on the landholder, which was particularly interested, and declared his neither requisite nor expedient, he should reasons for not entering into the general move by way of amendment, that the merits of the question at this time, ob. word, now be omitted, and the words serving, however, that it fortunately hapthis day three months' be inserted.. pened that the present question was of
Mr. Drake conceived that there was an such a nature as to admit of a perfect exactual necessity for the Bill, and saw no | planation in a single sentence. The evil pressure upon the landholder. It was, in complained of, by as respectable a body his mind, a perfectly safe Bill, and an ex- of petitioners as ever had approached the pedient and right measure; the more es- / bar of that House, was, that certain enor. pecially as the prohibition was limited, mous and inveterate abuses had prevailed, and the extent of its operation left to the and did prevail, in the administration and discretion of his Majesty in council. government of the royal boroughs in Scot
Sir James Johnstone said, that in his land, and that there existed no competent opinion the Bill tended unjustly to deprive qualification to check and control these the landholder and farmer of their pro- abuses, or to give redress to those who perty. The heavens, sir James said, had were injured by them. That certain selfobjected against the Bill, by raining ever elected magistrates and counsellors assince it had been brought in, and surely sumed a power of levying money upon it was the duty of the House to submit to their fellow subjects, without authority such high authority.
from law, and of punishing those who The Bill was then read a third time, withstood them, by a partial and corrupt and passed.
exercise of an illegal discretion; that
those magistrates and counsellors claimed Debate in the Commons on the Bill for a right to dissipate the public property of regulating the Scotch Burghs.] June 17, their fellow citizens, and to neglect the The several petitions from the Royal duties of their own station, without ad. Burghs in Scotland being read,
mitting themselves to be accountable in · Mr. Sheridan expressed his regret, that any way, to those whose interests formed the unforeseen protraction of other im- the only pretence for the existence of any portant business had obliged him so long power or superiority in those persons, a to defer a business of such importance, as power and superiority necessarily forfeited moving for leave to bring in a Bill to re the moment those objects were not at. gulate the internal government of the tended to. The existence of those evils royal boroughs in Scotland. He stated was proved by the petitions, and the want his sense of the magnitude of the object of a remedy by the decisions of the courts to be submitted to the consideration of of judicature in Scotland, it having been the House; declaring that he did not determined, both in the court of session deem it necessary to enter into any ex- and in the court of exchequer, that as the planation of the reason why such a mo-law of Scotland stood, there was no re. tion was brought forward by a person not medy for evils and abuses which both interested by local connexion or personal courts admitted to exist, and to be prohabits with the parties whose petitions ductive of the worst consequences to the were now before the House. The fact general interests of the community, was, that every member who had a single Surely, then, if there ever was a justifiable right idea of the first principles of the ground of application to the legislature of constitution, and, of course, of the first any country, it was when those who were cause of the prosperity of the country entrusted with the administration of the founded on that constitution, or who felt, laws acknowledged the prevalence of some as he trusted every member of that House great abuse, and at the same time acknowdid, an equal and common interest in the ledged, that there existed no legal mode happiness and well-being of the two coun- of obtaining a remedy for it. Mr. Sheritries comprising the united kingdoms; dan next explained the nature of the re, was perfectly competent to investigate the medy proposed, in the Bill he wished to proposition he was about to offer to the submit to their consideration. His object, consideration of the House. Mr. Sheridan for the present session, was only to give then adverted to the advanced state of the members an opportunity of informing the session, the uncommonly thin attend themselves; for which purpose, he should