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ject was monopoly, and not licence; and the house could grant them no relief according to their own statement, unless they put down all similar places, and shut their doors in future against all similar applications. Their claim to the preference might or might not be well founded; but he could not but think that places of similar amusement under the Surrey licences, would afterwards come with a pretty strong case to parliament for an equal indulgence; and that it would be an odd reason to give for refusing their requests, that the proprietors of Saddlers' Wells had the merit of transgressing the law first, and had therefore received a protection from the legislature, to which those who had only followed their example were entitled. This, however, was a matter for parliament to consider. If they chose to grant the preference, and to establish the monopoly which the present bill aimed at, and as a matter of regulation and policy to stop there, the proprietors of the winter theatres would have little to complain of; for, he took it for granted, that certain alterations would be made in the bill, and that no part of the new powers would be suffered to entrench in the least on the rights of the winter patents, either as to season or the species of performances. Mr. Sheridan concluded with observing, that the winter theatres had a right to complain a little of those who had brought in the bill. The petition had been before the house nearly two months, and yet the bill had not been brought in till just at the last moment, close upon the commencement of the Sadlers' Wells season, in order that its near approach might be used as an argument, and in order that it might come into discussion at a time when the winter proprietors could not so well be heard against it by their counsel, if they should judge that measure necessary. He should on that account, notwithstanding the surprise that had been attempted on the house, move, " that the second reading of the bill be postponed to Friday, the 4th of April.”
Mr. Ladbroke answered, that if the second reading was put off till Friday the 4th of April, some of his most profitable part of the Sadlers' Wells season would have elapsed before the bill could be decided upon ; he therefore moved to insert the words “ Tuesday next" in the motion, by way of amendment. The house divided, ayes for the 4th of April 48 ; noes 39. ..
MUTINY BILL. The order of the day, for going into a committee upon the mutiny bill, was read. Upon coming to the clause respecting the train of artillery, the surveyor of the ordnance, Captain Luttrell, moved several amendments, to bring the royal engineers, and the corps of artificers within the operation of the bill.
Mr. Sheridan renewed his arguments against putting the corps of artificers. under martial law; contending, that if once the principle of convenience and expediency should be adopted as a justification of extending martial law, instead of the old and true principle of necessity, there was no saying to what an extent it might be pushed. If it were proper to put the corps of artificers under martial law, it might with equal, and even greater propriety, be argued, that the dockmen should be put under martial law. Mr. Sheridan reasoned upon the effects of such a measure; and said, that it might be proper at Gibraltar, in a garrison, or in a camp; but that there could not exist a reason for putting a corps of artificers under martial law at home. He shewed, that it was neither likely, on the one hand, to make them better workmen; nór, on the other, to improve them as soldiers; and he declared, he would take the sense of the committee upon the question of amendment.
The house divided, ayes (for the amendment) 48; noes (with Mr. Sheridan) 20.
MUTINY BILL. Mr. Steele brought up the report of the committee on the mutiny bill ; and on the reading the clause for incorporating the newly. raised corps of military artificers,
Mr. SHERIDAN rose, and declared, he conceived the object of it to be so important, that he was de. termined to oppose such an innovation in every stage, and to take the sense of the house concerning its alarming tendency. Mr. Sheridan stated his objection to the adoption of the new principle of expediency and economy, (the more dangerous because the more plausible,) instead of the old principle of defence and actual necessity. The right honorable gentleman, he thought, did not seem to have a right feeling for the fundamental principles of the constitution. He had been too apt to lend himself to every project of his colleagues ; and to think his office was merely that of furnishing defences of the measures of other men, clothed in fine language. The present measure had been brought forward upon the specious pretence of economy-a plan that ought ever to be cautiously adó mitted, when, under it, the greatest evils might be sustained. If the present measure should be adopted, it would be laying a ground for the most alarming and dangerous consequences. The army was increasing in every part of the globe, at the moment it should seem most unnecessary; and, at the moment when it was stated that the glory of Great Britain was in its utmost splendor, and its power unrivalled. In proportion as peace was de. clared to be secure, the country was called on to increase its expense.
The house divided; ayes 114 ; noes 67:
REPORT ON THE DECLARATORY EAST INDIA
BILL. Upon the recommencement of this bill, on the 10th, Mr. Pitt moved several clauses : --The first was to limit the number of forces; for the payment of which, the commissioners for the Board of Control were empowered to issue their orders to 8045 men of His Majesty's troops; and 12,200 of the European forces in the come pany's service.-The second was, to prevent their encreasing the established salary of every officer in the service of the company, unless such increase should be proposed by the directors, and laid before both houses of parliament. The third was, to prevent the commissioners from ordering the payment of any extraordinary allowance to any person on account of services performed in India ; , except, as is excepted in the preceding clause. --The fourth and last was, to oblige the directors to lay annually before parliament, an account of the produce of all their revenues, and of their disbursements. These clauses were agreed to without debate.
On the 12th the house proceeded to reconsider the report of the bill. After many members had spoken, : Mr. SHERIDAN declared himself surprised, that the noble lord, (Mulgrave) though one of the Board of Control, had not said one word on the subject, which concerned that Board more immediately; but had confined himself merely to abusing his right honorable friend's (Mr. Fox's) bill. The noble lord had turned a deaf ear to the earnest appeal of his right honorable colleague (Mr. Dundas ;) and though twice called to by the Speaker, in the course of a former debate, had chosen to remain silent, till his right honorable friend had been called upon to say a few words in reply to an attack on his bill, founded in misrepresentation. The noble lord had then observed, as it were to himself, “ this is the fit time for me to speak; now I'll rise and take my share of the debate.” The noble lord had accordingly risen; and after having advanced what he thought proper, by way of aggravating and inflaming the false colouring put upon bis right honorable friend's bill, he sat down ; declaring there were other matters of which he meant to have taken notice, but that they were as well let alone;- meaning, undoubtedly, the conduct of the Board of Control; the members of which collected themselves together in such a state of perfect harmony! Mr. Sheridan declared, no man had more personal respect for the noble lord than himself, as the noble Jord well knew; but he could not help remarking so singular a circumstance as that which he had noticed. Having, therefore done with that, he would proceed to say a word or two upon some
matters that had dropped from the two honorable and learned gentlemen, (Mr. Adams and Mr. Scott) who had taken part in the debate, relative to the administration of Lord North. One of them, (Mr. Scott) the honorable and learned gentleman who spoke latest in the debate, after an explanatory word or two had said, “ but that admi. nistration is no more, and de mortuis nit nisi bonum." The other honorable and learned gentleman had forgotten the proverb; and so far from speaking nothing but good of the dead, had profusely poured forth his gratitude to his right honorable friend, for having been the persevering and successful instrument of extirpating that administration. The house would please to observe, the word extirpate, which the honorable and learned gentleman had chosen to use so emphatically, was a word, that, in two languages, bore two interpretations, very opposite to each other in their import. They had lately been told, the house would recollect, in Persian, to extirpate, signified '“ to change from one situation to a better.” Whether that was the sense in which the honorable and learned gentleman meant to use it, he knew not; but certainly, though several persons, formerly connected with Lord North, and in office under him, had possessed situations of high rank, great power, great patronage, and great emolument; they were now changed into better situations, and were in places of higher rank, greater power, larger and more extensive patronage, and infinitely greater emolument. It was evident, therefore, that the de mortuis did not apply; all the members of Lord North's administration not being dead, but many of them, as the house saw, alive and merry at that moment. Mr. Sheridan next proceeded to remark, that an honorable and learned gentleman had thought proper to call Lord North's a weak a servile, and a corrupt administration; a charge which an honorable and learned friend of his had