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68 Proceedings in the present Session of Parliament. [Jan. other matter; price currents, the state of Mr. Brougham said a similar mischievous the markets, and circumstances respecting rumour had been spread as to the Comthe arrival and sailing of merchant.vessels. mittee on Education and Public Schools

intending to appropriate charitable funds

to the same purpose. HOUSE OF LORDS, Dec. 21.

Mr. Calcraft was of opioion that the On the third reading of the Seditious

Chancellor of the Excheqner would find Meetings Bill, the Earl of Liverpool moved an amendment, fixing the time of meeting the redemption of the national debt; for

there was no fund whatever applicable to to twelve at noon; and another, qualifying the obstruction justifying a dispersion of last session, it had burst like an air blown

as to the 5,000,0001. sinking fuod of the the meeting by the word “ forcible.” Both

bubble. these amendments were agreed to.

One

Mr. Vansittart said he saw no reason for by Lord Ellenborough, compelling magis. trates, in case of dispersion from casual thinking there would be any necessity for obstructions, to re-assemble the meeting varying in any material point from the in forty-eight hours, was negatived.-Lord financial plan of the last session.

Mr. Calcraft and Sir W. De Crespigny Liverpool then moved that the Bill do pass.

feared the expectation of the right hon. Lords Erskine and Darnley repeated their

gentleman would prove fallacious. objections both to the principles and the details of the measure.-Lord Ellenborough number of persons liable to be struck off

Lord Nugent moved for a return of tbe approved of the measure as a whole,

from the list of Chelsea out-pensioners by though he had been anxious to soften some

reason of the proclamation of the 28th of of its provisions.-Lord Grosvenor said he

October last.---Lord Palmerston opposed presented a petition from the city of West.

the motion - Lord Althorp, Mr. J. P. minster against the Bill; but after some discussion, contented himself with generally tion, which was opposed by Mr.

Grant, and Mr. Catcraft supported the mo

Long, expressing his hostility to the Bill. Lord Blessinlon condeinged the exten.

and negatived without a division. sion of the measure to Ireland, and pre

Ou the question for agreeing to the Re.

would dicted that, if put in force there,

port of the Newspaper Stamp Duty Bill,

Mr. Primrose opposed the measure, and produce tumult and bloodshed. He ac.

Mr. Marlin (of Galway) supported it. It cused the late Mr. Pitt of having violated bis promise of Catholic emancipation, adopted for the deposit of copies of works

was then agreed to, and a new clause was given at the time of the Union ; and con

affected by the Bill with the comunissioners cluded with giving notice, that after the re.

of stamps. cess be should move for a Committee to

Lord Castlereagh moved the second readinquire into the state of Ireland.- Lord Liverpool reminded the Noble Lord that ing of the Libel Bill. Mr. Pitt had distioctly disavowed having moved that, instead of "now" it should be

Lord Ebrington opposed the Bill; and ever given any such pledge to the Catho

read a second time on “ the 15th of Felics. The Noble Lord should recollect that

bruary vext." The amendment was supthis country bad taken ou ilself the burden of the Irish debt, and that the people of ported by Colonel Davies, Mr. W. Smith, Ireland had paid nothing towards the pro- intosh, Lord Althorp, the Marquis of Ta

Mr. J.P. Grant, Mr. Tierney, Sir J. Mackperty tax.

vistock, and Mr. Scarlett; and opposed by

Mr. Money, Lord Castlereagh, the Atlorney In the Commons the same day, Mr. and Solicitor General, aod Colonel Wood. Vensillart, with the leave of the House, On a division the amendment was nega. brought in a Bill for the better securing of tived by 190 to 79, and the Bill was read the money of suitors in the Court of Chao. a second time. cery. It provides for the appointment of an accountant-general and two masters, to be paid out of the fund called the dead

House of COMMONS, December 22. maoney. The Bill was read a first time.

Dr. Phillimore brought in a Bill to amend Mr. R. Wilbraham snid much mischief the Marriage Act. had resulted in Lancashire and the neigh The Chancellor of the Exchequer, in anbouring counties from a rumour that Go swer to questions from Mr. Grenfell and vernment intended to apply the funds of Mr. Brougham, repeated what he had the saving and friendly societies to the pay. preceding evening said as to his expectament of the national debt. He mentioned tions that the financial arrangements of last it, only for the purpose of its being con year would prove efficient. tradicted from official authority.

Mr. W. Parnell postponed, until after Mr. Vansittart most willingly gave the the holidays, his motion for leave to bring contradiction required. The Government in a Bill to enable Catholic dissenters in could not in any way touch the funds alo Ireland to provide residences for their luded to.

Clergy.-Mr. C. Grant bore testimony to

the

1820.) Proceedings in the present Session of Parliament. 69 the excellent character and conduct of the whole sum raised by the new taxes was Catholic clergy, to which was owing, io a 250,0001. Very .great degree, the good order and After some further conversation, in tranquillity which generally prevailed in which Mr. Lushington, Mr. Grenfell, Mr. Ireland.

Ricardo, Mr. Tierney, and others, took Mr. Maberley moved for several financial part, the motion relative to the repayments accounts, all of which, with some qualifi- to the Bank was negatived without a di. cations by Mr. Vansittart, were ordered, vision. but three; the first being an account, On the motion respecting Exchequer showing how the sum of five millions, Bills, a suggestion by Mr. Vansittart lò lje voted for the purpose of paying off the mit the account to the 10th of October not debt due to the Bank of England on the being acceded to, a division took place, 5th of July, 1819, had been applied, dis. when it was negatived by 90 to 30. The tinguishing the dates of the different pay- mộtion respecting the movies in the Exments; the second, an accouut of all Ex- 'chequer was withdrawn. chequer bills received in payment of du. Lord Castlereagh moved the third readties between the 1st of July aud the 21sting of the Newspaper Stamp Duty Bill. of December, 1819; the third, an account Ms. Bernal and Mr. G. Lamb argued ge. of all monies now in the Exchequer, ap- nerally against the measure, and especially propriated or unappropriated, and distin- ' against the provision that publishers should guishing the one from the other. Io re enter into recognizances. The latter inti. sisting these motions, the Chancellor of the mated that he should propose a rider, li. Exchequer urged the inconvenience which miting the duration of the Bill. Mr. Pryco, would arise from an inquiry into pecuviary Mr. J. Smith, and Mr. Calcraft also optransactions in progress, and the encou posed the Bill, and Mr. Cooper supported ragement to stock-jobbing by partial and it. The motion was then carried, without premature disclosures. With regard to a division, and the Bill having been read the debt due to the Bank, a large part had the third time, Mr. Bernol, in the absence been already paid, and funds were pro of Mr. G. Lamb, proposed a clause, by vided for the discharge of the whole within way of rider, limiting the duration of the the stipulated period. He their stated the Bill to one year. The motion was opposed principal items in the revenue accounts to by Lord Castlereagh, Mr. Canning, Mr. the 10th Oct. last, and maintained that, Plunket, and the Attorney General ; and though there had been a falling off in the supported by Sir J. Mackintosh, Mr. Customs, owing to the diminutiou in the Brougham, Mr. Denman, Mr. Tierney, and exports and imports, the increased con: Lord A. Hamilton. On a division it was sumption of all articles under the Excise, negatived by 182 to 47. wbaiever local distress existed, afforded a On a motion of the Attorney General, a very favourable picture a's to the general clause was adopted, providing that any prosperity of the country. It appeared thing in the present Bill should not extend, that the produce for the current quarter or be construed to extend, in the publicawould be nearly equal to, or as large as tion of any work in parts or oumbers, prothat of any year he remembered, though vided that more than two years had elapsed there was the sum of £50,0001. short on since the original publication of the work, the general account up to Saturday last. and provided also that such work had not Looking to the state of the exchange, he originally been published in parts or numwas convinced that the sums of money bers." This clause was carried without sent to France for investment in the funds opposition. The Bill was then passed. of that country, had been very ivconsidetable; and the law of France, which mare

Dec. 23. all property divisible in equal shares Mr. Lyttleton brought in a Bill to pre. among children, notwithstanding any tes vent improper persons practising as contamentary disposition to the contrary, veyancers. would operate against any permanent in Lord Castlereagh moved the order of the vestment of British capital in those funds. day for the House going into a Committee

Mr. Ellice contended, that there had on the Libel Bill. been a considerable falling off of in the On the question for the Speaker's leavduties on teas. It had been rumoured, ing the chair, Mr. Bernal, Mr. Denman, that the sum paid to the Bank in the last Mr. J. P. Grant, and Mr. Birch, opposed mooth bad been 1,200,0001. and many the measure, both in its principle and desiugular stories had been circulated as to tails. It was supported by Mr. R. Marlin, the way in which that sum had been raised. Mr. Bankes, and Lord Binning. The moIt had been asserted that the money had tion was then carried without a division ; been raised abroad, and that securities had and the House having gone into a Combeen pledged for it which the British Go- mittee, Sir J. Mackintosh proposed that vernment had in the French funds. The the part of the first clause which set fortb,

“ That from and after the passing of this

Act,

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70 Proceedings in the present Session of Parliament.

[Jan. Act, in every case io which any verdict or, effect against the individuals whose inflamjudgment by default shall be had against matory productions it was the object of any person for composing, printing, or the Bill to soppress. Why then were they publishing, &c." should be amended, by to be levelled with a set of ruffians, whom inserting the words “ maliciously and ad they had been the first to combat and devisedly" before the word " composing.” feat. He would not on this occasion apThese words formed part of the Act of the peal either to the mercy or the justice of 361h Geo. III, which in all other parts of

ihe House : be would appeal to its pruthe present Bill were minutely followed. dence, and would ask them whether it was He objected to that part of the clause fol expedient to irritate the feelings of those lowing the words blasphemous and sedi. respectable men against the institutions of tious libel, viz. “tending to bring into their country: for in the present state of hatred or contempt the person of his Ma society-against which it was as useless to jesty, his heirs or successors, or the Re repine as against the planets in their course, gent, or the government and constitution, since neither could be altered it was imof the United Kingdom, as by law esta possible that the power of the press could blished, or either House of Parliament, or be wrested from them. The House might to excite his Majesty's subjects to attempt

alienate or conciliate them; but he must the alteration of any matter in church or again repeat, that it could not destroy state, as by law established, otherwise than them. The Hon, and Learned Member by lawful means," &c. as being vague concluded by proposing his first amendand confused surplusage, if intended

ment. merely as a definition of seditious libel, Mr. Canning objected to any alteration and as not being sufficiently clear and in the clause, except by such an amendcomprehensive, if intended as a description ment as might include instigations to asof an additional class of libels. This pas

sassination. In much of what had been sage he proposed to amend by substituiing said on the daily press he concurred, but the words “ or any seditious libel, tending

he would not consent to surrender the to excite his Majesty's subjects to do any freedom of Parliament to the freedom, or act which, if done, would, by the existing

rather the despotism, of the press-a power law be treason or felony; or any libel in which, from the description given of it, which it shall be affirmed or maintained, acted with all the secrecy of a Venetian that his Majesty, by and with the advice tribunal, and at the same time struck with and consent of the Lords spiritual and' all the certainty of the Holy Inquisition. temporal, and Commons, in Parliament Lord Folkestone spoke generally against assembled, has not, or ought not to have the provisions of the Bill. full power and authority to make laws Sir J. Mackintosh and Mr. Canning exbinding on his Majesty's subjects in all plained. cases whatsoever.” By this definition in.. Mr. Brougham, in supporting the amend. stigations to murder, assassination, and ment, condemned the appointment of Mr. other atrocious offences not touched in the Manners, the Editor of that most slanoriginal clause, would be brought under derous publication the Satirist, to a conthe operation of the Bill. But its great sulship in New England. advantage would be, that it would distin Lord Castlereagh said, when the apguish between the casual errors, resultivg pointment took place, he (Lord C.) was not from the warmth of political feeling, in aware that Mr, Maoners had ever been the conductors of the regular daily press, connected with the publication alluded and that class of writers, the outcasts of the human race., who applied themselves r. Scarlett supported the amendment. exclusively to preaching up irreligion, The Altorney General opposed it, and murder, rapine, the proscription of whole contended, that in the 36th Geo. III. the bodies of men, and the perpetration of words“ maliciously and advisedly” reatrocities never known in this country be ferred to words spoken. fore, and scarcely even heard in the time Sir J. Mackintosh maintained that it apof Marat, in the worst period of the reign plied to priuting and writing, as well as of terror in France. He then panegyrized speaking. the conduct of the daily press in general, After

further discussion, the and particularly that of the Editor of a amendment was negatived without a divie Morning Paper, who, though on the side sion, and the cause was agreed to. of opposition for 37 years, had never been On the motion of the Attorney General, prosecuted for private slander, nor con the clause relative to the punishment of a victed of a political libel. The conductors second offence was verbally amended, so of the daily press had been the most effi. , as to prevent the bill from having an ex cient supporters of the nation's interest post facto operation. during the late common contest in which The Allorney General then proposed to we had been engaged; and none had ex- amend the clause, by authorizing the erted themselves with greater energy and, court to banish for "a term of years,"

thus

to.

some

71

1890.) Proceedings in the present Session of Parliament. thus doing away the power of banishing eve of a long adjournment. It was reprefor life,

sented to some of the parties applied to Sir J. Mackintosh said this was only a to sign it, as having come from Lord, more insidious way of enabling the court Castlereagh. He .conceived the real seto do the same thing.

cret of the petition was, that it was wished Mr. W. Smith thought the longest du to get rid of the late regulations respecting ration of bapishment should be for seven the currency, which had crippled speculayears.

tions in the funds and over trading. Lord Castlereagh diesented from this Mr. Irving and Mr. J. Smith denied proposition.

that the petitioners had any sinister or Mr. G. Lamb observed, that the present selfish motives in view. Ministers thought banishment a mild pu Mr. Ricardo deprecated any alteration nishment. Those of Queen Elizabeth had in the regulations made last Session for a different opinion, when they enacted ba the resumption of cash payments. He nishment as a punishment of greater seve

conceived much evil had resulted from the yerity thao setting a culprit in the stocks, corn-laws; inasmuch as by raising the cutting off both his ears, branding him on price of subsistence they increased the rethe forehead, and making him a slave for ward of labour, and diminished the profit two years. The Coinmittee then divided of capital, thereby occasioniug its transfer on the whole of the clause, when it was to other countries. He saw no reason to carried by 109 10 30.

change his opinions as to the beneficial The rest of the clauses being gone operation of a tax on capital, to be applied through, the House was resumed, and the towards the reduction of the national debt. Report received.

Mr. Finlay admitted the respectability Mr. Alderman Heygate moved for leave of the petitioners, but thought a Committee to bring up a clause, limiting the duration of Inquiry into the subjects of the petition of the Bill to three years. The motion would produce no good. was seconded by Mr. Denman, and oppos Mr. W. Douglas supported the petitior. ed by Lord Castlereagh, and negatived Mr. Brougham was in favour of inquiry; without a division..

but to render it beneficial, it must be cor

dially supported by Ministers. Mr. RiDec. 24.

cardo's plan for reducing the national The Libel Bill, after some observations debt was one which would have the effect against it by Sir R. Wilson and Sir H. of throwing all the property of the counParnell, was passed.

try, for five or six years to come, into the Mr. Irving presented a petition from hands of solicitors, conveyancers, and forcertain merchants and bankers in London, tune-hunters. setting forth the general distress of the Lord Castlereagh was convinced, that to commercial and manufacturing classes, enter into so wide a field of inquiry would praying for an inquiry into its causes, and have the tendency to shake, and not to that such relief should be granted as might strengthen, the confidence of the commerbe deemed most effectual, Mr. Irving cial world ; but if, on the re-assembling of slaled that the petitioners wished the at Parliament, any Member should propose tention of Ministers to be directed to the a specific remedy for any of the existing removal of the numerous restrictions on evils, Ministers would be found ready to our intercourse with foreign countries. meet the proposition fairly, and to act The shippiog and mercantile interests with a full view of their own responsibility. might, it was supposed, be let in for a share With regard to the currency, he deprecala' of the trade between China and the cnpti. ed any doubts as to the permanency of Bent of Europe, which was at present al the arrangement already adopted. most exclusively in the hands of the Ame. Mr. Eltice regretted that the business of ricans. In the progress of the Bank 10 inquiry was not to originate with Ministers. wards the resumption of cash-payments, Mr. Alderman Wood said, that at least a it was conceived that it would be of great dozen of the petitioners were farourable to advantage to the commercial interest to the late regulations as to the currency. have the first price at which the bullion Mr. Alderman Heygate had declined was to be issued extended over the whole signing the petition, on account of its bepayments. No relief could be looked for ing couched in such general terms. The from a revision of the corn-laws, or an withdrawing of 9,000,0001. from the curalteration of the poor-rates; nor could he rent circulation could not but produce agree to Mr. Ricardo's plan of paying off much commercial einbarrassment; but he the national debt, in which, so far was believed that the greater part of the misthere from being any novelty, that it had chief had already taken place, and was been repeatedly suggested and discarded convinced that trade and manufactures within the last 100 years.

would revive as soou as the country clearly Mr. Grenfell expressed his surprize at saw to what point the diminution in the the presenting of such a petition on the value of our currency would extend.

House

72 Proceedings in the present Session of Parliament. [Jan. House Of LORDS, Dec. 27.

them in numbers of more than two sheels, The Earl of Donoughmore presented a or print them monthly, instead of at interpetition against the Libel Bill, from the

vals, within 26 days. Edinburgh booksellers.

Lord Liverpool bad no doubt as to the Lord Sidmouth having moved, that the operation of the Bill. It should be rememamendments made to the Bill by the bered, that in order to continue the ob. Commons should be read, the Earl of Do noxious publications in their present shape, noughmore moved that they should be read they must pay the duty in addition to the this day three months. The latter motion present price, and the other modes sugwas negatived, and the amendments were gested by the Noble Lord would make read.

them equally dear, or less frequent. The Lord Ellenborough objected to the amend. recognizance clause would occasion no difment substituting banishment for transpor. ficulty or embarrassment to the respectatation,

ble part of the press. The Lord Chancellor did not approve of Lord Ellenborough supported the Bill, as any of the amendments, but would agree tending only to curb the pauper press, to them, rather than lose the Bill.

from which so much mischief had arisen to The Earl of Donoughmore disapproved the lower orders. . of both the original punishment and the The Bill was then read the third time, amendment: the cruelty of either was

and passed. enormous. Viscount Meloille, adverting to the pe.

Dec. 30, tition from the Ediuburgh booksellers, The Royal Assent was given, by Comsaid the present Bill made no alteration in mission, to the Libel Bill, Newspaper the law of Scotland.

Stamp Duty Bill, Bakers' Regulation The amendments were then agreed to.

Continuance Bill, and two private Bills. Lord Sidmouth then moved the second reading of the Newspaper Stamp Duty

lo the House of Commons, the same Bill, and entered into a detailed explana. day, Mr. Williams presented a petition tion of its provisions, which, with the other from certain Irish labourers residing in the measures lately passed, were, he contend- parish of St. Giles, complaining of the dised, regarded by the great body of the tress in which they were involved for want people, as important safeguards of reli. of employment, and praying the House gion and public tranquillity,

would adopt some step for their relief. Lord Doroughmure opposed the motion. The petitiou having been read, was or. He considered the measures alluded to as dered to be printed. forming a system of pains and penalties

Lord Castlereagh

moved that the iodicted on a distressed and suffering House should, oo its rising, adjourn to the people.

15th of February. The Duke of Athol expatiated on the Mr. Grenfell took the opportunity of obdangers which threatened the religion and serving, that in what he had said of overconstitution of the country, and justified trading on a previous evening, he had been the measures taken to arrest those dangers. misunderstood. He could never have inHe called upon the Noble Earl to disclaim teuded to apply it to such houses as the any personal allusion to him, or impeach- Barings, Smith, English and Co. and ibe meat of his motives, when ber thought fit seventy or eighty other respectable firms to describe a large portion of their Lord. whose sigualures were affixed to the petiships as the instruments of his Majesty's 'tion which called forth his observations. Ministers,

Lord Castlereagh said that, on the occaThe Earl of Donoughmore and the Duke sion alluded to, Mr. G. had spoken so as of Athol severally explained.

tu imply some doubt as to the stability of Lord Harrowby and the Lord Chancellor the system adopted last session, as to the supported the Bill, which was then read a currency. He would again assure the second time.

House, that there was no intention what.

ever of interfering with the arrangements House of LORDS, Dec. 29.

then made. The Earl of Liverpool moved the third Mr. Calcraft begged leave to enter his rearling of the Newspaper Stamp Duty Bill. protest against any adjournment of the

Lord Erskine opposed it, as imposing House, without instituting an inquiry into severe and unnecessary restraints on the the means of relieving tbe distresses of the press, and particularly objected to the re country, cognizance clause as an anomaly in the

The motion was then agreed to. British code. He predicted, however, that The Chancellor of the Exchequer, in re. Bill would not answer the purpose of its ply to a question put to bim by Mr. Ma. projectors, for rather than publish under berley, as to the statement made by bina its provisions, the authors of the publica. on a former night, said he had no objection tious it sought to put down would continue to repeat that statement. He then stated,

that

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