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secure Madeira. . With all these occasions, Calcraft, and expressing his willingness to added to that of the blockade of Brest, grant any information which could, withother difficulties arose in sending supplies out danger to the public interest, be given. of provisions to sir Rd. Strachan's squa- Earl Temple observed, that certainly the dron, particularly from the tempestuous resolutions read by the hon, gent. could state of the weather. The best mode of not answer the purpose of his hon. friend, relieving blockading squadrons was to as there was omitted in them the letter of send fresh ships; the men had thus an sir Rd. Strachan to lord Gardner, applying opportunity of being refreshed, and the for relief. He said that the weather could wear and tear of ships was much dimi- not have been so tempestuous at that time, nished. He could not here omit paying as he knew that from the 6th of Nov. to a just tribute to the patience and zeal of the 25th of Dec. ships sailed daily westthe officers of the squadron under sir Rd. ward from Portsmouth. The charge Strachan, who bore every hardship with brought against the board was sufficiently cheerfulness for the good of their country. plain, arising out of the fact that sir Rd. Every attention and relief was due to such Strachan was obliged to leave his cruizing men; but the admiralty could only ap- ground to meet victuallers; but by repropriate such means of relief as they had. maining at Rochfort he would be obliged Was it consistent with the public service to capitulate for want of provisions. to allow sir S. Smith to rest idle from want Lord Castlereagh stated, that the Adrian of sufficient force? Was it desirable to cutter had sailed with victuallers on the keep back the expedition under sir S. 14th of Nov. and had arrived on the 30th. Hood, and to suffer the Russian fleet, if Mr. W. Pole rose to supply an omisit had come out, to proceed home unmo
sion in his statement. The Colossus lested? Certainly no Englishman would joined on the 12th, and the enemy did not say so. Every relief competent with cir- come out till the 18th of Jan. Our squacumstances had been afforded to the dron and the Collossus did not communiblockading squadrons. The ships ordered cate till the 18th, and on account of foul to the relief of sir Rd. Strachan's squadron weather, the Mediator was not cleared till were the Bellerophon, which, when partly the 19th. fitted out, was found to be so bad that it Nr. Calcraft, in reply, observed that he was necessary to take her into dock at
was not aware that any observations he Plymouth to be repaired. The Superb, had felt it his duty to make, deserved so Colossus, and Cumberland joined: the harsh a character as the hon. gent. had Spencer was prepared, but prevented from been pleased to bestow upon them. In joining by an epidemic disorder breaking the little he had to offer at any time to out among her crew. He would leave it the house, he was not much in the habit to naval authorities whether a relief of of indulging in charges, or making use of five ships upon seven was not ample and terms that could justly be stigmatized as adequate. Sir Rd. Strachan was driven indecent. He had questioned the conduct from his anchorage in Basque roads by of the noble lord at the head of the admibad weather. He met the relief ships in ralty upon two grounds; one was the apthe rendezvous appointed in his last gene- pointment of sir Home Popham to an emiral letter. Sir Rd. was now up the Me- nent command under circumstances that diterranean; Brest was blockaded; Ma- had excited a considerable irritation; an deira was looked to; the West Indies were appointment which he had thought, and safe; and we had a tolerable force to look did still think, extremely ill judged: it was the American gentlemen in the face if an appointment that had given rise to a they should prove refractory. The admi- very general sensation of well-grounded ralty, so long as it was directed by the jealousy among the officers of the British noble lord now at the head of it, would navy. The public prints had recorded not shrink from any attack that might be their dissatisfaction; it was a circumstance made by the hon. gent. opposite. Let known throughout the country, nor did the the charges be brought forward upon the country think those officers had been well papers; but let not a premature and un- treated. His other ground of objection candid aspersion be cast upon a man who was the reprehensible neglect of our squastood as high as any other in the country. dron off Rochfort. The hon. gent. had The hon. gent. concluded with reading a ingeniously steered clear of both these resolution which was nearly the same in topics and thought the house would supsubstance as what had been moved by Mr. pose he was answering them when he was giving his very accurate details of what he / give his negative to the motion of the and his colleagues had done; and with noble lord, upon the following grounds: what? the British navy! There was, no in the first place, the observations of the doubt, great reason for boasting what a noble lord were applicable to the article' man could do with such an instrument' as of cotton only: and, in the next place, he the British fleet. He had told them that informed the house, that there was no disBrest was now blockaded; but did he for- inclination whatever on the part of his get that the abandoning of that very majesty's allies to concur in the system blockade was one of the consequences of which government had found it expedient the neglect of the Rochfort squadron ? to adopt in the present period of the war; that sir John Duckworth, on hearing of and that assurances had been received the escape of the enemy from Rochfort, from Sweden, in particular, of the willing. set out in pursuit of them, and that Brest ness of that government to give every fawas left open for 7 or 8 days ? As to what cility for carrying that system into full had fallen from the hon. gent. as to the effect. A general assurance of this napropriety of sending him a previous com- ture had been received, but it could not munication of what resolutions he had to be supposed, that any distinct and decisive submit to the house, he reminded the hon. expression of approbation of the whole degent. that the moment he got a copy of tails of the measure had been received, the resolutions he shewed it to him; and because those details were not yet finally that he had yesterday a personal commu- arranged, and were still subject to the denication with him on the substance of cision of parliament. what he meant to move for; therefore the Sir A. Piggott asked if it was not prohon. gent. could not be taken by surprize. posed to levy a tax upon the exportation But, as to the propriety of sending a copy of sugar? he understood this to be the to the board of admiralty, or any other intention; and, if so, it might be carried board whatever, he conceived himself un- direct from America to Sweden: and as der no such obligation. He made that Sweden had no sugar colonies except the motion in his place, as a member of par- / small island of Saint Bartholomew, and liament; and he would not descend from consequently had no sugar monopoly to that character, or compromise its dignity, protect, he did not think it probable that by assenting to such a position. He con- the government of that country would cluded by pledging himself to the house concur in imposing a duty upon this arto make good his statements, when the ticle merely to secure the British monopapers moved for were laid upon the table. poly. He wished to know, therefore, what 2-The question was then put and carried. assurances ministers had received that
[Orders in COUNCIL.] Lord H. Petty Gottenburgh would not be converted into rose, pursuant to notice, to move for in- a depôt for supplying the continent with formation, tending to shew what mea- colonial produce. sures had been taken to insure the col- The Chancellor of the Exchequer replied, lateral execution of the Orders in Council that government had received general asby the powers in alliance with his majesty. surances of the readiness of Sweden to conUnless Sweden imposed similar restric. cur in giving effect to the measure. tions, the restraints imposed by us were Mr. Ponsonby said, that if the king of nugatory. Gottenburgh might be made Sardinia co-operated in the measure, the a depot from which American produce and result of this co-operation, as to him, would the produce of the French colonies might be to deprive him of the only part of his be sent to all the southern shores of the dominions of which he was still in possesBaltic, and thence circulated through Ger- sion; and if Sweden refused to co-operate, many and Russia. Sicily also might be which he thought not at all improbable, made an entrepot for a similar transaction; the right hon. gent. had told the house so might Sardinia. In order to ascertain that she was to be compelled to concur in what ministers had done on this point, he it. And this was the reward which was moved, “ That an humble address be pre- to be conferred upon our only remaining sented to his majesty, praying that there ally! this the encouragement which we be laid before the house the substance of held out to other nations, to attach themall communications with powers in amity selves to our cause ! this the motive which with his majesty, touching the Orders in we presented to those powers by whom Council of the 11th November."
we had been deserted, to return to their The Chancellor of the Exchequer rose to old connection with us!
Mr. Secretary Canning stated, that the predicament, that though well disposed to king of Sardinia was not an ally of this listen to the petitioners, they could not, in country, and that he had never been asked point of form, attend to them? If so, it to concur in the measure; and that from was the only instance that ever had octhe king of Sweden, who was our ally, the curred in the history of parliament where most satisfactory assurances on this head petitioners were rejected, without some had been received. After a short reply other mode being pointed out by which from lord H. Petty, a division took place : they might state their complaints. He For the motion 71. Against it 130. professed his respect for the usage of ad
LIVERPOOL PETITION RESPECTING THE mitting no petitions against tax bills, beORDERS IN Council Bill.] General Gas- cause, if petitions should be received coyne presented a Petition from the Mer- against them in the session in which they chants of Liverpool against the Orders in passed, every one would be so anxious to Council bill. He said he was sensible of shift the burthen from himself, that the the readiness wiih which parliament and public business could not be carried on. ministers attended to the petitions of the But this petition was not against the dupeople, and the high respectability of the ties, but against the regulations; and Liverpool merchants would, he was per though it was contrary to the letter, it was suaded, obtain for them all due attention. perfectly consistent with the spirit of the He was aware that the forms of parliament usage. This tax was, besides, not within might operate against his motion for re- the principle of duties, for it was merely ceiving the present petition, and he was a tax on foreigners, laid with a view not far from wishing for any departure from to revenue, but to the carrying into effect its rules. The petition, however, did not certain commercial regulations. Against go to oppose the duties, but the spirit of these this petition was presented, and the the bill, while it expressed apprehensions petitioners would have the strongest that from the nature of the warfare, we ground of complaint if they were shut out might lose much, and the enemy gain. from bringing evidence to prove their alLiverpool at present possessed three- | legations. The house too had much reason fourths of the trade with America ; and to complain. Hitherto the responsibility the disbursements amounted to 150,0001. of these Orders rested with those who adannually for the last three years. From vised them; but when the bill passed it bearing so great a portion, Liverpool would would rest with the house. Could the be most particularly. affected; and he members say, that they had sufficient evitherefore hoped there would be no objec- dence from commercial men, that they tion to receiving the petition against the were just and proper ? Had the ministers present bill.
satisfied them with their speeches ? There The Speaker asked if the Petition was were grounds to suppose from what had against the bill which provided certain passed that some of the provisions would duties under the Orders in Council? be changed, so little had ministers them
General Gascoyne answered, that it only selves matured their measure. But all that went to oppose certain clauses, but not the petitioners had in the world was at stake. the bill in the general view.
The ministers said, that this was a bill · for The Speaker stated the usage of the the protection of trade;' the petitioners house to be, not to receive any petition said, that they would shew that it was a against a duty bill. If the hon. general bill not for the protection, but for the decould satisfy the house that his petition struction of trade. Would the house take did not come under this description, it upon itself the intolerable responsibility of might be received ; not otherwise. this measure, without listening to such a
Mr. Tierney observed, that the house was heavy complaint preferred from such a obliged to the Speaker for the distinct quarter? It was an intolerable hardship manner in which he had stated the usage on the petitioners, to be sent back unof the house. This was a most important heard, merely through the negligence and petition. Interests of the greatest magni- blunders of the ministers. They might, tude were concerned in it; yet these pe- upon a pretence of this sort, deprive a titioners were now to be told, that they man of his estate, without allowing him could not be heard. Where then could to be heard, by inserting in the bill a they be heard? Was there any course duty upon the stamp for the convey; for them to pursue to obtain a hearing ? ance. Our ancestors had prevented such Or did the house stand in this unfortunate things, by confining the duties to the
committee of ways and means, and ties, and could not, therefore, consistently originating other things in such a way as with regard to the usages of parliament, to allow petitioners to be heard. Mr. be received. The precedent would prove Pitt had been scrupulous in avoiding the injurous, by establishing a deviation from committee of ways and means where he so wise and necessary a principle of not could; and of this the cases of the conso- admitting petitions against supplies immelidation of the duties, and the two-penny diately necessary for the service of the post duty, were instances. Oh, that the state. He lamented as much as any man gentlemen on the other side would imi- the pressure attendant upon the war ; but tate Mr. Pitt in what was just and proper, there could be no general good in such as well as in his mistakes! All that the cases, without some partial evils; and the petitioners desired, was to be heard some interests and safety of the state would be way. He had given the right hon. gent. sacrificed, if we permitted ourselves to be some credit for his mistake in this busi- diverted from general purposes, by yield.. ness; but he could not even give him that ing to complaints of a local, nature. Unnow, since he found that he persevered der these considerations he was sorry to in his plan, and so shut out petitioners. be under the necessity of opposing the Was this to be endured, especially with motion for receiving the petition. such petitions on the table, where it was Mr. Ponsonby considered that the petistated, that thirty or forty thousand peo- tion, both in form and substance, was adple were deprived of bread? The present missible, and contended that from the petition was not a party one, nor could great interest the petitioners had in the such a thing be even alleged, for it was bill, they had a right to be heard upon the known, that many who signed it were subject. friendly to administration. Would minis- Lord Castlereagh insisted that the usages ters thus aggravate the distress of the of parliament, which it was so necessary people? He had given them credit for to hold sacred in respect to the necessary pitying them; but if they rejected this supplies for the public service, would not petition, he would give them no such admit of the petition being received, and credit. Here we were told, not of forty enforced the other arguments adduced by thousand people, as in the other petitions, the chancellor of the exchequer. but of four hundred thousand, who would Mr. Sheridan could see no good reason be deprived of bread by the destruction for refusing to receive the petition ;; and of the Liverpool trade; a circumstance entered into some general arguments that would spread devastation over all the against the tendency of the measure of surrounding country. Usage in such a which the petitioners complained. case as this ought to stand by, as the
General Turleton wished the petition to titioners had been shut out by the neglect be received, although it was not signed by of the house. He said, that the same any one of the 1461 voters who supported course ought to have been taken here as him at the last election ; nor was he rein the case of the convoy tax, where a quested by any one of those voters to incommittee of trade and navigation had terfere in its behalf. The hon. officer been appointed. He had thought this took occasion to inveigh against the want from the beginning a most important of national spirit on the part of opposipoint, and now the difficulty began to be tion; and on their disposition to panefelt. The forms of the house were the gyrize the talents of foreign generals, perfection of wisdom for the convenience, while they overlooked the merit of their of business, as the common law had been own countrymen. These gentlemen were, called the perfection of reason. The de- in his apprehension, pursuing a dreadful parture from these had placed the house course ; which, although perhaps their in this unpleasant predicament. But it only object was to turn out ministers, was impossible that the house could, with would tend to turn out the country [a any shadow of justice or prudence, refuse laugh.] The hon. officer bore testimony to hear the petitioners in some way or to the respectability of Mr. Rathbone, the other.
delegate from Liverpool, but he did not The Chancellor of the Erchequer ob- like his sectarian principles. served, that the bill before the house went Mr. Whitbread observed, that his gallant to levy certain duties to carry on the war, friend seemed to allude to some remarks of and the petition, in opposing the bill, his on a former evening, relative to the obviously went against levying those du- talents of foreign officers; but however transcendant those talents were, or how- would be covered with petitions against ever much was to be apprehended from it, on the authority of this precedent. them to any part of the empire, he had Mr. Sheridan rose to a point of order. the consolation to think, there was one He said that it had been declared from the place which defied their attack; that at other side of the house in the course of the least Berwick was safe. (A laugh, general debate, that the authority of the Chair had Tarleton being now governor of Berwick.] decided against the claims of the petitiThe hon. member argued forcibly in favour oners to be heard in this instance, and of the motion.
that authority had been quoted, and made Mr. Huskisson observed, that every pro- the ground of arguments in the discussion. viso of the bill against which the petition Now, the point of order to which he rose was levelled containing the imposition of was, that as he had not heard any such opia duty, it was completely. a money bill, nion stated from the Chair, he wished to and therefore the motion could not at all know whether the question had been so be acceded to, consistently with the usage decided upon from the Chair ? of the house.
The Speaker then rose and said, that Lord H. Petty said, that his object was the house must perceive he was called to rescue the petition from the represen- upon in no usual way; however, he should tation made of it by the hon. member who not shrink from the performance of his had just sat down, and to shew it was a pe- duty, whenever he should be called upon tition against the bill by its title, and to perform it. He apprehended that any therefore not within the meaning of the member of that house, who might have established usage of the house. The title had the honour of being appointed to the of the bill was, “a Bill more effectually to chair, had two duties to perform. The carry into execution certain Orders in first was, when a member thought proper Council.' He contended, therefore, that to consult him upon any question touching there was no ground of usage that could the forms of that house, or the nature of preclude the merchants of Liverpool from its proceedings, he was always ready, as, being heard upon so important a question. indeed, it was his duty, to state to him his The Hawkers and Pedlars bill had not been personal opinion, upon the point submitted divided, but referred to a committee of the to his consideration. It was also his duty, whole house, in which the petitioners were whenever a question arose in the course heard by their counsel against the bill, the of their proceeding, respecting the orders, counsel having been warned to confine forms, or usages of that house, to explain themselves to the matter of the regulations, the rules of its conduct, and the nature of and not to meddle with the part of the the particular order or usage that might bill granting duties. Were the merchants bear upon the question, always leaving it of Liverpool not to be allowed that privi- to the house to make the application. It lege which had been granted to chapmen, was not for him by an avowal of his opihawkers, and pedlars? Was the house to nion to attempt to sway the debates of that have its doors hermetically sealed against house. If, however, it should be the pleathe petitions of the people? He trusted, sure of the house, to call upon him for his however, that they would not suffer them- opinion, he should be ready to deolare it; selves to be led away from their duty by for he did not fear to state his opinion. his majesty's ministers, but decide that But the matter was still a question in the they would hear the petitioners then at house, and upon it the house alone could, the bar, on a question of such vital im- by a vote, decide. He had stated what portance to the trade and prosperity of the usage was, and that, if the bill under the empire.
consideration was a Money bill, pursuant Mr. Rose contended, that the usage to such usage no petition could be received which precluded the reception of the peti- against it. But he had understood the tion, had never been departed from. The house to have been debating the question, Hawkers and Pedlars bill, had been rather whether the bill was a Money bill or not. of regulation and police than of duties, and Upon that point, a vote of the house alone therefore was not analogous to the present could be decisive ; and if, in the only case
If the house were to throw open in which he could be called on for an opiits doors in the present instance, they nion upon it, in the case of a balanced opi. would never be able to close them ; fornion in the house, it should be his duty to whatever might be the nature of a tax pronounce that opinion, he would know bereafter to be proposed, their table how to do his duty; but, until then, it