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Lord Walsingham assured the noble earl, that the bill should not have been carried through its stages so soon as it had, if he was not informed that the noble earl had no objection to its progress.

The Lord Chancellor said, that it must be a gratification to the noble earl to know that the bill to which he alluded had no connection with the subject which he brought before the house.-Adjourned.


lamentable that a million of people, which | the Thames.-Lord John Townsend and this city and suburbs contained, should be Mr. Garrow took the oaths and their seats kept in a state of expectancy on flour fac-in the house.-The Chancellor of the Extors for the most necessary article of life. chequer gave notice, that on Monday next If those magazines were established at cer- he should move for leave to bring in a bill tain distances, such as Uxbridge and other to continue the commission of naval inplaces equi-distant, he was certain that great quiry; and also that he should submit a convenience and saving to the people would motion for the purpose of appointing combe the happy consequence. Having said missioners to inquire into the conduct of thus much on this most important subject, the principal departments connected with he should trouble their lordships no farther the great military expenditure of the counthan to repeat his hope, that the matter try, with powers to examine witnesses on might be well weighed and considered, with oath, and to report to both houses of para view of giving it that effect, which he had liament, in order that if no abuse existed no doubt would be highly beneficial. that required correction, the public may be satisfied with the assurance of the fact; or if, after investigation, new measures should seem necessary, parliament should adopt such as in its wisdom it may think fit.— Mr. Kinnaird presented a petition from B, Tucker, esq. late a commissioner of the navy board, stating that a letter of the navy board to the admiralty, on the subject of the report of the navy board relative to sir Home Popham, prepared by Mr. Tucker, contained many gross, false, and scandalous charges against him, which were not communicated to him by the adThursday, April 25. miralty or the navy board, and from which [MINUTES.] The Speaker reported to he prayed an opportunity of clearing him the house, that the house attended His self.-On the motion of Mr. Kinnaird, it Majesty on the 11th instant, with the reso- was ordered that there be laid before the lutions of the house of the 8th instant, house, a copy of Mr. Tucker's letter to the relative to lord viscount Melville, where-admiralty on this subject.-Sir A. S. Hamupon His Majesty was pleased to give the mond gave notice that he would to-morfollowing most gracious answer : "Gen-row move for certain papers connected "tlemen; I shall on all occasions receive with the 11th report of the commissioners "with the greatest attention any represen- of naval enquiry. "tation of my commons; and I am fully [PETITION OF THE ELECTORS OF SOUTH"sensible of the importance of the matter WARK AGAINST LORD MELVILLE.] Mr. "which is the subject of your resolu- Henry Thornton presented the following pe "tions."-On the motion of Mr.W. Smith, tition agreed to by the electors of Southit was ordered that a new writ should be wark, in common hall assembled: "To issued for the election of a representative the honourable the Commons of Gt. Britain for Hereford, in the room of J. Scudamore, and Ireland, in parliament assembled. We, esq. deceased. Mr. Johnstone, from the the undersigned, electors of the borough office of the chief secretary of Ireland, of Southwark, in the county of Surry, presented at the bar the various state- beg leave to congratulate your honourments relative to the prisoners in Kilmain-able house, upon the result, so glorious to mam gaol, which had been ordered upon the character of parliament, of the disa former day, on the motion of lord Henry cussions which have taken place in your hoPetty. Ordered to be laid on the table.-nourable house on the 8th and 10th days of Sir Thomas Metcalfe moved, that the se- this inst. April, respecting the gross malvercond reading of the Pancras Poor bill be sations in certain branches of the executive fixed for Monday next, which, after a few government, which have been disclosed in observations from Mr. P. Moore, was agreed to, and ordered by the house.-Sir J. W. Anderson obtained leave to bring in a bill for the formation of the Tunnel under

the Tenth Report of the commissioners of naval enquiry. We pray your honourable house to follow up that virtuous line of conduct, which, upon the two days before

and ought equally to be brought to a severe account; and therefore praying, that the house, taking these matters into their most serious consideration, will vigorously promote and prosecute those inquiries, and

named, have diffused such signal satisfac-his majesty's faithful subjects, of the wistion through the whole country. We en-dom and fidelity with which it has distreat you to sift to the bottom the mass of charged its most sacred trust, by the proabuses which the aforesaid commissioners gress it has made towards protecting the have traced and exposed. We beseech people against such gross violations of the you to renew, without loss of time, and law and breaches of public duty; and to extend, if necessary, the powers so that the petitioners approach the house, as faithfully executed, of those commissioners. the guardians of the liberty and property We implore your honourable house to pull of the people, under a full conviction that down guilt, however protected; to save such shameful abuses will induce the house from rapacity, from peculation, and fraud, to do ample justice to the outraged feelings a people who contribute cheerfully to the of the country, by bringing to condign real wants of the state, and who never punishment convicted criminality; and complain but when their generous temper that they beg to submit to the house, that is abused and imposed upon so shall the it would be highly derogatory to his macommons of England take the most effi-jesty's government, prejudicial to the pubcient course possible to vindicate the sul-lic service, and insulting to the house, and lied honour of the government; to con- the nation at large, for lord Melville any firm the public confidence, and to plant longer to continue in his majesty's councils, in all good hearts the most unfeigned ad- or to hold any place of trust, profit, or homiration of the British constitution." nour, in or under the government; and that [PETITION OF THE CITY OF LONDON A-they conceive all other persons who may be GAINST LORD MELVILLE.] Mr. Ald. Curtis implicated in, or who have connived at, such presented a petition from the lord mayor, abuses, to be incapable any longer of servaldermen, and livery of the city of Londoning the country with honour or advantage, in common hall assembled, setting forth, "That the petitioners have uniformly concurred in and supported such measures as have appeared conducive to the safety and welfare of his majesty's dominions, and have cheerfully submitted to the most unex-cause the powers of the said commissioampled burthens,under a confidence that the resources of the country were faithfully and honestly administered; and that they learn, with the utmost concern and astonishment, from the reports of the commissioners for naval enquiry, now before the house, that the right hon. Henry Dundas viscount Melville, late treasurer of his majesty's navy, has been guilty of a gross violation of the law and a high breach of duty, whereby immense sums of the public money have been perverted to private emolument; and that they conceive it to be a high aggravation of such offence, that these disgraceful transactions were carried on during a period of unprecedented difficulty, when the very existence of the country was said to be at stake; and that the person so abusing his trust, so violating the law, was in the enjoyment of several high and lucrative offices, and ever among the foremost in laying additional burthens upon the people, and calling upon them to submit to the most painful privations; and that they are duly impressed with a high sense of the virtue, integrity, and firmness of the house, and strongly participate in the sentiment which so generally pervades all ranks of

ners to be prolonged and extended, and other measures to be adopted, in order that such further enquiry may be made into the receipt, management, and expenditure of the public money, and the conduct of the public offices, as may lead to the detection of all abuses and the punishment of all offences, and that such a system of vigilance and economy may be established, as may effectually guard against the recurrence of such flagrant abuses."

[PETITION OF THE CITY OF SALISEURY AGAINST LORD MELVILLE.] Lord Viscount Folkestone presented a petition from the mayor and coproration of the city of Salisbury, setting forth, "That the petitioners have perused, with much concern and interest, the resolutions of the house of the 8th and 10th days of this instant April; with concern, that any charges of the nature therein implied should attach upou any individual in a high official situation, and with interest, that the representatives of the nation have, under the circumstance of such charges, marked such individual with their censure and reprobation; and that the petitioners beg leave to state, that, in common with the nation at large, they


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have to lament the weight of the heavy came within the act. It declared, that burthens to which the legislature has found it was not the intention of the hon. it necessary to submit them, but they claim baronet to defend the petition, as far as for themselves, in common with the na-related to the majority, or the right of tion at large, the merit of having borne voting, but he wished to defend himself them with patience, readiness, and equani- against the charge of bribery and corrupmity, trusting that what had been granted tion. Ile thought the latter words superfiberally would be applied faithfully; but fluous, but did not imagine they vitiated when a suspicion is gone forth, under the the declaration. authority of parliamentary commissioners, The Secretary at War argued, on the and that suspicion apparently adopted by contrary, that, unless the declaration was the house, that peculation has been hard final, it could not be received. at work, the petitioners take leave to call Sir John Newport was of opinion that upon the national representatives for re-the declaration came within the spidress, reminding them that it is of little rit and the letter of the act, as it was im consequence as a public grievance, of little possible for the hon. baronet to proceed consequence in point of official morality, further; and as the charge of perjury goes whether the actual peculation be by men to civil penalties, the declaration, if not of great authority and power, or by their worded as it was at present, may be deputies and subalterns under their per- brought against him. mission and connivance; and therefore Mr. Calcraft observed, that with the inpraying the house to continue such com-dulgence of the house, he would withdraw mission of enquiry as has already discover- the declaration, for the purpose of amended such abuses, and to institute any new ing it; and as the hon. baronet was indiscommission which may be necessary to as-posed in the country, he would present certain whether in any other department of another, signed by him, to-morrow or the state the national finances have been next day.-After a few words from Mr. misapplied, and also to devise such legal Rose and Mr. Grey, the declaration was proceedings upon those instances of misap- accordingly withdrawn. plication already before the public as may [IRISH SMALL NOTES REGULATION BILL.] satisfy the general cry for justice, by bring- Mr. Lee adverted to the present rules ing all persons concerned to a strict re-prescribed by law, for the issue of small sponsibility." bank notes in Ireland, by which it was en[MIDDLESEX ELECTION.] Mr. Cal- joined, that no private banks should be alcraft said, he held in his hand a declara-lowed to issue notes under three guineas tion, signed by sir Francis Burdett, which value in that country. The effect of such the house, he had no doubt, would receive, a measure must obviously be highly deagreeably to the act of the 28th of the trimental to trade in general. The farmer king, for the regulation of controverted could not, on account of the scarcity of elections. The act being read pro formá specie, sell a small quantity of corn there, by the clerk, the hon. gent. observed, to, the amount of 20s. or 30s. unless he that, according to its provisions, any mem- could, which was very rarely the case, ber, in case of a contested election, might give change for a 3-guinea note, and the withdraw himself from the contest, by same difficulty was felt in every other signing a written declaration to that effect, branch of dealing. This was not felt in which the house was bound to receive. England, or Scotland, where the private The Speaker called the attention of the bankers can get small notes from the house to the present proceeding. He ob- Bank of England; but the national Bank served, it was certainly competent for a of Ireland was restrained, so as not to member to withdraw himself by signing extend its issues. He saw no reason for a written declaration, but he must re-this distinction in the case of Irish private linquish prosecuting the business totally, banks, as they must always have in their but not partially. The question was, possession national notes, in proportion whether the declaration was so defined, to their own issues, and were therefore that the hon. member withdrew himself perfectly secure. He would leave it to out of one or several parts of the charges 'contained in the petition.

- Mr. Calcraft was of opinion that the declaration which he held in his hand

any gent., conversant with business, to reflect on the extreme inconveniencies that must ensue ever here, if, while the restriction on the bank continues, there

should be no smaller than 3 guinea notes "sations of an Individual-with all our in circulation. In Ireland, the measure "regard for town and country meetings had a most desireable tendency, as the when properly directed in supporting tradesman there had seldom any other the cause of independence, freedom, way of getting his note exchanged, but" and public virtue-we cannot help again of repairing to the public house, and" and again declaring, that lord Melville spending a great part of the money. He has fallen a victim to confidence misthen moved for leave "to bring in a bill placed; to prejudice misjudged, and to regulate the issue of small promissory" to indignation misapplied. He has notes and bills in Ireland, which was" been condemned without a trial. When agreed to." The hon. gent. next observed an appeal has been offered to his inupon the great difficulties existing in the" temperate judges-when a request has recovery of small debts in Ireland, where" been made to put him on his defence' creditors were often obliged to travel from" when it has been earnestly solicited to 30 or 40 miles, to the quarter sessions, at" give him a fair and a candid hearing, and an expence perhaps superior to the amount" then to come to a decision on the meof their respective debts. The principal" rits of the case-a strong and presumpobject of the bill he should propose, would" tuous negative has been given, directed be to give magistrates the summary power "and enforced by the violence of the of debts under 51. He then moved for" times."-The hon. gent. proceeded to leave" to bring in a bill for the more ex-move "that the printer and publisher peditious recovering of small debts in" should be called to the bar of the Ireland;" which was granted. "house." The clerk taking up the paper [PROCEEDINGS RELATING TO THE in question, ascertained that the printer PRINTER OF 46 THE ORACLE" FOR A and publisher was Mr. Peter Stuart, of LIBEL ON THE HOUSE.] Mr. Grey rose, Fleet-street; and on the suggestion of the and, after stating his reluctance to take speaker, the passage complained of was any step at all inconsistent with the most again read at the table.-As soon as Mr. perfect liberty of the press, called the at- Grey's motion was put from the chair, tention of the house to one of the most The Chancellor of the Exchequer rose, indecent libels on the procedings of that and spoke as follows: I certainly do al house, which it had ever been his pro-low, sir, that the passage now read is li vince to notice. It was, indeed, a libel bellous and indecent; bnt, if we are now of so gross a nature, that the house, in to begin to turn our attention to every consistency with its own dignity, could thing of a libellous and indecent tendency, not suffer it to pass over, without a strong which appears in the public newspapers, expression of indignation against such an I hope at least we shall observe the strictest attack on a solemn decision of the legis- impartiality. It is not the first time that lature. The hon. member then read the we have heard of libellous, licentious," following paragraph from "the Oracle" and unwarrantable observations in newsof yesterday. The article is prefaced papers, even on the proceedings of this by a statement that sir Charles Middleton house, and we have seen them altogether was appointed first lord of the admiralty. overlooked. If gentlemen have now, "While we announce this arrangement however, made up their minds that such "as the proper reward of public and pri- licentiousness of the press is not to be "vate virtue, we cannot help sincerely tolerated; if they are resolved that malig"regretting, that party rancour and po- nant remarks, whenever they appear de"pular clamour have at this time derogatory to the dignity of this house, shall *prived our king and country of the meet with marks of our indignation, I am "great and powerful abilities of lord Mel-satisfied. All that I ask is, that we shall "ville. In no period of our political not select one instance for punishment, "history can we find such an instance while we allow many others to pass with of the strong effects of prejudice. With impunity. I certainly do not oppose the all our profound respect for the motives motion. " which influenced the majority of the "house of commons-with all our admi"ration of that spirit which arouses and animates the people in their expressions ❝ of indignation at the supposed malver

Mr. Grey. The right hon. gent. has allowed that the passage which I have thought it my duty to bring before the house, is both libellous and indecent, and he has no objection to the Motion which

I have proposed. He says, however, that I have delinquents brought to 'punishment, he wishes this not to be a particular in-is it not our province to teach those who stance selected for party motives, but a libel our proceedings, that they shall not part of a general system of inquiry. To do so with impunity? We have voted certhis I can have no sort of objection, for 1tain resolutions on which his majesty's have selected this case merely because servants have not hitherto thought it their it struck me as one which it was the im-duty to take the least proceedings.-The perious duty of this House to take under right hon. gent. opposite, the treasurer of their special cognizance. The present the navy, even continues in office, a man instance was one which appeared to me whom the commissioners of naval enquiry right and proper to be selected, and on have declared unworthy of acting in any that account only have I brought it un-pecuniary situation, since, he refused to der the consideration of the house.-The answer questions essentially connected with right hon. gent. has alluded to cases of the object of their investigations. If ever libels on this house which were overlooked. then, sir, it was fit for the house of commons If he did know of such cases it was his duty to be jealous of its honour and dignity, to have specified them, and if they did not surely this is the period when our calls to meet with adequate punishment, he has no jealousy are greatly increased. The very one to blame but himself. Those who strength and efficacy of our late resolutions did see such libels and who did not specify must depend on the measures which we them in this house, were certainly deficient now form, not as against an individual, in respect to that dignity in all its proceed- but for the support of the character of the ings, without which the honour and the house of commons. I therefore entirely importance of this house could not be coincide in the motion of my honourable maintained. If any man has seen and felt friend who introduced this business, while that our proceedings have been calumni- it is impossible to disagree with the right ated, and has not moved for the punish- hon. gent. opposite, that in all cases of a ment of the libeller, he has not done his similar kind, we ought to proceed with the duty. We must see that our decisions greatest fairness and impartiality. are treated with proper respect, or else a general principle, indeed, I lay it down our character is destroyed. It is therefore that, independent of all party consideraon a principle of regard for our public uti- tions, whenever gross or indecent attacks lity that I think the present motion neces-are made on the proceedings of this house, sary, and I trust the house will act on the they ought to be punished with suitable same principles. severity. I therefore cordially vote for the motion.


Mr. For. I certainly do agree with the right hon. gent, opposite, that in a business Mr. Canning. The allusions which the of this nature, the strictest impartiality is hon. gent. has made to my conduct, renour duty. I differ with him, however, as ders it necessary to say a few words in reply. to the particular period when my hon. The hon. gent., sir, has represented it to friend near me has brought forward his be an aggravation of this libel, that Mr. motion. When we talk of the propriety of Wilson has been continued in my office such motions, I hope we shall not lose after the opinion of this house had been sight of the particular circumstances and formally declared. [A general cry of No, the particular time under which they No, from the opposite side of the house.] are produced. It is the duty of this With all due deference to the hon. gent.'s house at all times to be jealous of its ho- logic, I think it is, in this instance, altonour, but this is a period when this jea- gether erroneous. It is, indeed, a most lousy ought to be the most active. A late extraordinary position, that, because other decision of this house has diffused univer-persons had been guilty of improper acts, sal gratitude throughout the country, and the author of the libel, who knows nothing it is our duty to see that this decision shall of the matter, is to have a severer punishnot be wantonly attacked and insulted. It ment. I wish, sir, the honourable gentleis the more necessary, sir, for us to see that man had considered the matter a little our resolution is properly respected, when better, and then, I am confident, he could we find men in high official situations en-not easily reconcile such ideas, either with deavouring to act as the protectors of those logic or humanity. With regard to this condemned of the grossest malversations. Mr. Wilson, it is necessary for me to deWhen we see evident signs of reluctance to clare, that I entertain for him no individual

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