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most pleasing would be that there was no foundation in any of the rumours upon either of the subjects; but if there was any foundation for any of them, their Lordships ought to be in porsession of some facts, and they should be laid before them in such an authentic manner, as that they could regularly deliberate upon them, and proceed upon them in discharge of the duty they owed to the state. But by neglecting to give the necessary information in these important particulars, and in this critical time, Ministers sanctioned, as far as they could fanction, the aspersions which had been cast on the dignity of the House, and encouraged evil disa posed persons to repeat, that their Lordihips inet in that House merely for the purpose of forming a court, as it were, to enregifter the Decrees or Edicts of the Executive Government. It was to refute such slander that he wished for the information which he was now seeking. Should their Lord thips suffer public affairs to be conducted by Ministers as they pleased, and withhold information, however important and necessary, as long as they pleased, that House and its proceedings would soon, he feared, sink into public contempt. He therefore could not help expressing a hope that some information would be given without delay upon these important subjects.
The Lord Chancellor faid he did not question the sincerity of the Noble Duke in defiring information upon the matters to which he had alluded, and which were certainly as important as the Noble Duke had stated them to be. He could not give all the information that was called for. But he could state, that as to Ireland, he knew of nothing of any important nature that had occurred fince the last authentic account with which their Lordships were already acquainted. That with respect to affairs on the Continent, a mail had, within a few hours of the moment he was speaking, arrived. The contents of which their Lordships would readily see, from the nature of the thing, he could not now be prepared to communicate to their Lordships in any way whatever ; and the late arrival of which was the cause of the absence of his Majesty's Ministers. With regard to the Fleet at Portsmouth, he was happy to have it in his power to say, that the sailors had all of them returned to the regular and ordinary discharge of their duty; a communication upon which would soon be made to the Houfe, perhaps in the shape which the Noble Duke himself desired.
After a few words from the Duke of Grafton upon the neceflity of a speedy and ample communication, the House proceeded to private business. Adjourned.
wed into to his wife, and which that thing
HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Monday, April 24. The Speaker communicated to the House the answer of Sir John Jervis to his letter, notifying the thanks of the House.
Mr. Fox said he rose to inquire of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when it was his intention to communicate information to the House relative to certain very important transactions which had lately taken place at Portsmouth, and which had at: tracted so much attention. Of these he knew no more than what the public papers contained; but it was a subject upon which the House ought to receive, as foon as possible, the fullest information.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer said, that the question had anticipated his intention of intimating to the Houle that some information upon this subject would very speedily be commu. nicated to the House.---At present, however, he had no commands to make that communication now. Owing to the distance from Portsmouth, it was impossible to say when circumItances would allow the whole of the subject to be laid before the House, but certainly it would take place early, and he Thould, as soon as posible, give notice of the precise day.
SUPPLIES. The House being resolved into a Committee to consider of the Supplies necessary to be granted to his Majesty,
The Chancellor of the Exchequer rose, and said, it was not his intention to anticipate any of the subjects which stood for discussion on Wednesday next; but barely to state, that the heads of supply to be voted were three : first, an additional sum towards defraying the expences of the navy; next, a sum to make good the charge on the growing produce of the consoli. dated fund for 1796; and, lastly, to make good the Exchequer Bills which had been advanced on the Vote of Credit of 1796.--The largest of them was the navy. The sums voted for that Service already amounted to seven millions fix hundred thousand pounds; besides which, the House would recollect, he had laid before them an estimate of two millions and a half more, which was not yet voted or raised; the sum then, which he had to call for, was not all to be considered as a new demand, since that two millions and a half were to make a part of it---circumstances making a larger sum than was then estimated, necessary. Una der those circumstances, the sum he proposed to vote, was five millions, which, added to the 7,600,oool. already granted, would make a sum of 12,600,000l. He therefore moved, that that sum be granted.
Mr. Fox asked, whether the 2,500,000l. alluded to, was eftimated for the navy, besides the Vote of Credit ? 7 0 2
The Chancellor of the Exchequer answered in the affirmative.
Mr. Fox then asked, if, besides this on the supply side, 2,500,000l. was to be added ?
The Chancellor of the Exchequer again answered in the affirmative.
The supply was then voted.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer then moved, that 1,110,0001. be voted to discharge the Exchequer Bills advanced on the Vote of Credit of last year.---Granted.
He then moved, that 2,177,000l. be voted to make good the 3,000,000l. charged by Act of last Session on the Confolidated Fund.---Granted. Adjourned.
HOUSE OF LORDS.
Tuesday, April 25.
SCOTS PEERS ELECTION. The House resolved itself into a Committee of privileges, Lord Walfingham in the Chair, for the purpose of taking into farther confideration the subject matter of the Earl of Lauderdale's Petition, complaining of an undue election, &c.
Mr. Grant, leading Counsel for the sitting Peer the Earl of Errol, was heard at considerable length in behalf of his Noble Client. He adduced a variety of precedents and cases in support of what he advanced. The leading positions of the Learned Counsel seemed to be, that in many instances of the ancient usage and custom of the Scots Peerage, the deed of nomination, without the subsequent confirmation of the Crown, was in it. self of sufficient validity, and that the Nominees held the titles, fat in the Scots Parliament, and enjoyed every other privilege appertaining to the Peerage; and of this he adduced several cases in point; and that from the long and uninterrupted porsession of the Earldom of Errol, the rights and privileges thereunto annexed, and particularly the office of High Constable of Scotland, by the ancestors, and in the family of his Noble Client, it was strongly to be presumed, that the title under which they derived, was originally complete in all its essential points; and the circumstance that no fort of objection had been offered against the tenure of the Earldom by the ancestors of his Noble Client, though they notoriously, for a series of years, enjoyed the dignity, and sat in Parliament, either by the State Officers in Scotland, to whom the whole business must have been perfectly known, or by other persons, who might be interested in depriving them of it--was a strong additional argument in favour of the validity of their claim. It had been alto contended, on the part of the Noble Petitioner, that in one of the instruments, under which it was said his Client derived, the succesfion
was limited to the heirs male. But this objection, he contended, was obviated by the mention of heirs of Taillie and provision, in Earl Gilbert's Charter; and as a proof of this, the succession of the Countess Mary to the dignity, clearly applied. No fort of objection was made to her title, though she held it, and was known by no other description for a long series of years. A convincing proof of this appeared in the circumstance of her claiming to act, by deputy, as High Constable of Scotland, at the coronation of George II. which claim was allowed, and the then Duke of Roxburgh officiated on the occalion. To her fucceeded her grand nephew (the father of the present Earl), who was elected one of the Sixteen Peers of Scotland, and actually fat in their Lordships' House, under that description, without the smallest objection being cffured to his title. The same person also acted as Lord High Constable of Scotland at the Coronation of his present Majesty. These, he thought, were Itrong and convincing circumstances in favour of the validity of his Noble Client's claims; and, he doubted not, but their Lordlhips, in their wisdom and justice, would decide that he had been duly elected one of the Sixteen Peers of Scotland.
When Mr. Grant had concluded, Mr. Anítruther brought forward a variety of documentary evidence in support of what had been advanced by his Learned Friend. Thefe, after a few observations from the Counsel on both sides, were ordered to be printed, as far as was material to the case. And the farther confideration of the business was adjourned.
The Lord Chancellor communicated to the House the Answer of Sir John Jervis to his letter, notifying the Thanks of the House. --Adjourned.
HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Tuesday, April 25. Whitchurch and Mollington İnclosure, Hasiel's Eftate, and Promissory Notes Bills were read a third time and passed.
In a Committee of the whole House it was moved, that an allowance be granted for goods imported from the Levant in British or foreign vessels; and that the Chairman be directed to move the House for leave to bring in a Bill pursuant thereto.
The Report of the Committee of Supply was agreed to by the House. The following are the sums voted: 796 19 6 for money for Sir John Farhill, Secretary to the
Commissioners for the reduction of the National
Debt. 110 o o to the Clerk for American Claims. 31,000 0 o for French Clergy and Laitv. 3,033 o o for supporting Conviêts on the Thames. 9,628 12 6 for supporting Convicts at Langsion and Portsmouth.
Britich Ole Houte of the
4,515 8 1} for repair of the Fleet Prison. 5,672 3 34 for repair of the King's Bench. 1,461 15 6 for prosecutions relative to corn. 2,806 8 o for money issued for the prosecutions against Mr.
Hastings. 693 15 o for the salary of the Chief Justice of Newfoundland. 31,825 14 i for money issued for New South Wales, and not
provided for. 1,740 9 o for expences and allowances under the Alien A&t. 13,000 0 o for support of the African Forts and Settlements.
3000 oo for the Board of Agriculture, i 345 o o for certain secret services between the roth of Oct.
1796 and 10th of Jan. 1797. 1,800 o o for extraordinary expences relating to prosecutions
respecting the corn. 32,000 o o for maintenance and employment of Convicts at
home, for 1797. 7,000 o o for printing Journals, Votes, Reports, and Papers,
for 1797. 2,000 0 o for superintending the Alien Act, for 1797. 30,000 0 o for New South Wales, for 1797. 46,120 0 o for American Sufferers, for 1797.
Leave was given to bring in a Bill to enable the East India Company to pay two Regiments of Volunteers for the protection of the East India Company's Warehouses, and for the protection of the kingdom. Adjourned.
HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Wednesday, April 26. A new writ was ordered for Scarborough, in the room of Lord C. Somerset, appointed Comptroller of the Household.
COUNTY RATES. Mr. Mainwaring moved for the second reading of the Bill to empower the justices of the peace in Middlesex to make a more equal County Rate.
The Marquis of Titchfield objected to the bill, because the Parish quotas had been settled 60 years ago by Parliament, according to the ancient contributions, and persons who had since made purchases would be sufferers thereby.
Major Metcalf thought the Bill required deliberation, and thought that every county would have a right to expect a fimilar assessment, if it pafled. He therefore moved, by way of Amendment, that the Bill should be read a second time on that day three months.
Mr. Mainwaring said, he had hoped to have the Bill read a second time, and afterwards discussed. He conceived a more fair rate to be extremely necessary: and if, by the statute of the 12th of George II, the ancient contributions enacted by the