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duct of the noble earl; but, when that en- | the consideration of his official conduct. The quiry was challenged by his friends, be accounts should comprise the administration. should not be doing his duty either to him- of lord Chatham, when the navy was placed self or to the country, were he to take any in the condition which laid the foundation measures to suppress it.
of its future glory ; and even the adminiMr. Jeffery declared that his conduct did stration of lord Sandwich, when it had renot spring from any party connection, but, ceived a great addition. He thought the from the impulse of the moment. He had motion could not be considered as hostile to no communication on the subject of his mo- earl St. Vincent, but rather as directed to tions with the minister, or any other person; obtain information highly material to the and, when the right hon. gent. (Mr. Tierney) public interest. He condemned the conasked him this day in private whether they temptuous language with which a right hon, were to be carried, he candidly answered gent. (Mr.Tierney) had spoken of individuals him that he did not know.
connected with no party. He was jealous Mr. Grey reprobated, in the most forcible on this point, as he was aware he himself language, the mode in which this subject would be frequently classed with this deswas brought forward. An hon. member cription of members. If it appeared that moved for the production of a number of the ships were not so numerous in lord St. papers, which he said possibly might Vincent's administration as those before it, not authorise enquiry, and yet in the in- and that the short and feverish peace we had troduction to his motion he made use of enjoyed was not employed to prepare for a the strongest language which could be ap- war that must have been easily foreseen, it plied to any case, even after a charge of was fit the blame should be cast where it improper conduct was established upon proof ought to be; he alluded also to the misbefore the house. All that he could under-chief of interfering with the authority of stand by the expression of his right hon. captains of ships, as the depreciation of the friend (Mr. Tierney), by the word “ pro- respect paid to them might lead to the alarmtection" was, that it meant to signify fair- ing state of things in the navy which every ness, though in fact, he was sorry the word one remembered with so much pain. He had been used at all. The fairness he then pronounced the highest panegyric on
. claimed on the part of the earl St. Vincent the virtues, talents, and other excellent was, that whatever objections there might qualifications of lord Barham, the present be in point of convenience, all the papers first lord of the admirality. It was, he unshould be produced, which might be ne- derstood, the fashion of some gentlemen, to cessary for the enquiry. The hon. gent. represent his great qualities as chilled by the (Mr. Jeffery) seemed surprised, that any influence of years; but from the opportunities gentleman should oppose the papers, with he had of judging, he must declare him to out knowing what they were ; but he for- be, in his opinion, the man of all others, got, that when the papers should be produ- the best qualified for his situation. ced, it would be too late to oppose them. Mr. Pytches here called the hon. gent, to He acted, in this respect, like the judge, order: thinking such high panegyrics on the who was reported to have told a barrister new first lord of the admiralty, were by no from the bench—" I will not allow you to means relevant to the present motion. open your mouth, until you tell me what Mr. Willerforce thought himself perfectly you have to say." As to the right hon. gent. in order, when it was considered that lord (Mr. Pitt), he must do him the justice to Barham was comptroller of the navy under say, that he acted consistently, and he had two of the administrations to which these. uniformly expressed himself hostile to the motions referred. naval administration of the earl St. Vincent. Mr. Curwen thought, that after ear! St.
Mr. Tierney explained. He said, what Vincent had been acquitted of all charges he meant by protection was, that ministers in the last session, when the right hon, gent. should not, at this late period of the session, (Mr. Pitt) moved for papers to criminate suffer such motions to be brought forward, him, it would, at least, have been decent and had no reference in his observation to to abstain from any harsh expreæion towards the particular friends of the noble earl. him, until the papers now moved for should
Mr. Willerforce agreed with the right be properly examined. The language used 'hon. the chancellor of the exchequer, that by the hon mover appeared to him much too the gratitude due to earl St. Vincent's pro- strong to be lightly applied to so good and fessional character, should not be a bar to exalted a character; and he thought the
panegyric on Lord Barham the more un- noble earl, who wanted no other protection necessary in this debate, as not a single re- but what he could hope to derive from the flexion had been cast upon him. He made justice of his country. The gentlemen opno doubt, but when the enquiry should be posite him would never think on such a made, the noble earl would appear in as subject to content themselves only with such exalted a sphere of character as he had al-. papers as might be sufficient for a voté of ways done before; and, until the trial, he one night ; for, if the enquiry respecting conceived that great character entitled to lord Melville required to be referred to a every degree of approbation.
committee, though comparatively it lay in a Mr. Bastard was of opinion, that the en- nut-shell, how much more necessary would quiry, which ought rather now to extend it be on a subject which embru:ced the conitself to the dominion of the sea, ought duct of a whole administration? He must not to be confined to the limits of earl St. once more observe, that all he should reVincent's administration. Instead of party quire was, that the case should be fairly, motions of this kind, it would more become fully, equally, and impartially tried. This the house to enquire into the disorders in he was peculiarly anxious for, because, as he the West Indies, and the circumstance of loved his country much more dearly than the dominion of the sea being now, in the he did earl St. Vincent, he considered a just hands of the French, who dared not shew and full enquiry to be the best means of se, their faces on the ocean during the admini- curing it. If a committee should be appointstration of the gallant earl St. Vincent. ed on it, he wished it to consist not of party During that vigourous and active, admini- men, as on the late occasion, but of proper stration, the French could presume to shew people (order! order !)-He did not mean themselves only to be defeated, and how to say that any set of gentlemen would be shameful was now the reverse, when the British actually partial. squadrons were obliged to fly before them. The Chancellor of the Exchequer here in- , The hon. gentleman concluded with obser- terrupted the hon. admiral, as being disorving that the great object of our enquiry. derly in anticipating what sort of committee should at present be, by what means we the papers might be referred to, before they might be able again to put ourselves into were produced. the same situation in which earl St. Vincent The Speaker said, that in fairness he must
acquit the hön. admiral of being more out Mr. R. Ward said, he must absolutely and of order, in that instance, than others who distinctly deny that the enemy were now in preceded him ; but, he must at the same possession of the dominion of the sea, or time inform the hon. admiral, that it was were able to cope with our fleets in any part highly disrespectful to speak of committees of the world.
appointed by the house, as if they were the Admiral Markham said, if the right hon. nomination of any individual. gent. (Mr. Pitt) already objected to two of the Admiral Markham, after apologising, motions while he was willing to grant the went on to proceed in nearly the same way, remainder, it must also follow, that he when he was again called to order by. Mr. should have to object to many others which Dent. The hon. admiral said, he did not he should think it right to submit respect- conceive hinıself irregular in adverting to ing the supply of foreign timber, which what he meant to be the objects of his own would be so necessary to the earl St. Vin- motions; when, the Speaker said, he must cent's justification, though he should be now imperatively interfere, and acquaint sorry, on any other account, to propose the the hon. member, that he was not at liberty disclosure of any thing which might be sup- to pass by the subject of discussion, or refer posed embarrassing to government. When to his own motions, till the present was disthe same right hon. gent. last year moved posed of. After some further conversation, for an account of the foreign timber im- the motion was agreed to. ported, he objected to it as a disclosure · Mr. Jellery then moved a long string of which he thought at that time improper, motions, for “ the number of line-of-battle but being now out of office, he was not ca- ships and frigates in commission, in 1793, pable of judging whether a similar commu- distinguishing their rates, &c. ditto, in 1794 nication would not be equally injurious at and from thence to the 18th of February, the present time. All he should think of 1801-2-3-4, and 5, distinguishing their asking for would be such papers as were rates, and whether in the king's or merbarely necessary for the vindication of the chants' docks; also the ships of the same VOL. IV.
had left us ?
description out of commission; the num- great advance in the price of grain since the bers building during these periods; when introduction of that measure into the house, launched, or likely to be launched; ships was in a great degree attributable to it. He laid down, and meant to be built; the tim- complained particularly that Irish grain, ber in store ; the quality of the articles, when warehoused here, might be exported as &c.; all of which were agreed to.
foreign, and he believed that much of this Mr. Dent then, in pursuance of a former Irish grain had in this manner found its way notice, in order to probe things to the bot- to enemies ports. Heconcluded with moving, tom, and draw a comparison between the that a committee be appointed to enquire administration of earl Spencer and the earl into the matter of the petitions. St. Vincent, moved, “ that there be laid be- Colonel Stanley represented the extent of fore the house, a list of all persons raised to the complaints against the bill, in the manuthe rank of lieutenants in the navy, from facturing parts of Lancashire. lieutenants to captains and commanders, The Secretary at War observed, that the and from captains and commanders to post petitioners acted upon misapprehension or captains, from the 1st of Jan. 1795, to the misrepresentation, as, in fact, the bill never 1st of Jan. 1804." He said, that if the pa- came into operation. As to the injurious pers were agreed to, he should follow them effect upon Scotland, it was to be ascribed to up with a specific motion.
the alteration in the usual average, proposed Admiral Markham thought it invidious to by the noble lord himself, and to obviate draw this comparison, as he, together with which, he was now suing for redress. all the friends of earl St. Vincent, had ever Mr. Coke (of Norfolk) was against the spoken and thought in the highest manner bill going into a committee, or any further of the purity and zeal of earl Spencer's ad- discussion being had upon it. It had proministration.
duced the most beneficial effects already, by The Chancellor of the Exchequer proposed encouraging the importation of wheat
, an amendment, for bringing the account to which now throughout England kept down the latest period, which would include the the price of the markets. administration of viscount Melville.
Mr. Il'estern was against all discussion of Sir J. Sinclair renewed his former ob- the subject, now when corn was every jection to the multiplication of enquiries at where falling in price, on account of the this late period of the session.
great quantities imported, from the con: Mr. Kinnaird said, that, to do away the templation of what might have been the invidious distinction between the admini-effects of the late act. Its provisions had stration of earls Spencer and St. Vincent, he not yet taken effect; and the ports
had should propose as an amendment to the mo- never been shut by it, as the prices were tion, that it should begin at the year 1793, not low enough to produce that consequence. instead of 1795, which would include alsó Even in Scotland, as well as Ireland, the the administration of the earl of Chatham. surplus produce was, this year, so great, that
Admiral Markham said, that, as the ob- large quantities of wheat were imported ject was to shew that earl St. Vincent em- from these countries into England. Even ployed a greater number of officers than any in Lanarkshire, the petitions from which of his predecessors, it would be right to shew were so much rested uport, the average prices the reason of the promotions which were were lower than on the corn exchange in made at the end of the late war, for the re- London; and, he believed, upon the whole, ward of naval services, and to amend the lower than the average prices of England. motion, by going back to a comparative esti- When the bill was passed the price of corn mate with the promotions made under the was 10s. a quarter dearer than it was now administration of earl Sandwich, at the close throughout the country. It was a great obof the American war. However, as he did ject to throw off the dependance which not wish to crowd the table of the house Great Britain heretofore was under, for its with too many papers, he should not per- supplies to foreign countries, which in the sist in the amendment.—The amended mo- present state of Europe, might, without any tion was then agreed to, commencing with strain of probability, be, in a short time, the year 1793.
converted into enemies. The effect of the [CORN REGULATION BILL.] Lord A. continuance of this act would be, that the Hamilton called the attention of the house man who employed his capital in agriculto the numerous petitions against the corn ture might safely conclude in deriving law of the last session. He argued that the adequate profit from it, and in this manner
be put upon a fair footing with the manu- | if any gentleman would take the trouble of facturer.
enquiring, he would find that it was the frost Sir Robert Peele argued, that the manu- which came on in June. He thought it, facturing interest should be supported against however, desirable that the house should foreign competition, by supplying the ne- go into a committee. cessities of workmen at a reasonable rate. Mr. Barham spoke in favour of the comA temporary depression of the farmer's pro- mittee, and thought that, as the people had fits ought not to be made the cause of a per- doubts, it was necessary that an investigamanent burthen on the consumer.
tion should take place. The Chancellor of the Exchequer said, he Sir C. Price thought the interference of approved of the general principle of the act parliament in these matters had a bad effect of last year, and was convinced that it had on the market. no share in the high price of grain, which Sir J. Newport opposed the motion for a was solely to be attributed to the deficiency committee, as he thought, whenever this of the crops throughout the country. It subject was discussed, speculations took did much good from the encouragement it place, which were injurious, and, no doubt, gave to importation, and he contended it to would be enlarged, if the present motion be impossible, that the interest of the agri- were carried. Sir W. Curtis and Alderman culturist and nianufacturer should ever be Coombe thought the average too high, and at variance with each other. If the house agreed that the house should go into a comwas once to discourage the grower for the mittee. Lord Archibald Hamilton conpresent interest of the consumer, it must cluded the debate with asserting his design follow that the latter must ever afterwards to be not to alter the bill if it were advanbe a sufferer by it; and, at times, subject tageous, but only to permit the committee to ed to such aggravated prices as would be most enquire into its merits; so much he conseverely and intolerably felt. He depre- sidered to be due to the petitioners and to cated
any farther discussion on the subject the country. The house then divided :at present, but did not object to the com- Ayes 63 ; Noes 40. Majority for the committee, as he thought it the most effectual mittee 23.--Adjourned. mode, in its report, of counteracting all erroneous opinions with regard to it.
Mr. Foster stated, that he had supported this bill when brought forward last session,
Monday, May 13. and saw no reason why it should now be (ROMAN CATHOLIC PETITION.) The ora altered or repealed. No corn had been ex- der of the day having been read for resuma ported from Great Britain in consequence ing the adjourned debate on the Roman Caof it, nor had it prevented any from being tholic Petition, imported; it had done no harm; and he, The Earl of Suffolk rose.—The emancitherefore, did not wish any investigation to pation of the Irish Roman Catholics was a
measure, his lordship was of opinion, which Mr. Macdowall observed on the average must sooner or later be adopted, and thereprices, which, he said, were against Scot- fore he wished their lordships at once geneland, and thought, if the committee, in this rously and nobly to grant the prayer of the instance, was refused, a bill should be brought petition. Objections had been made to this in specifically to regulate them.
as a proper time for such a measure ; but no Mr. Francis maintained that when the time, his lordship contended, could be more bill passed, the price of bread was not more proper than the present. It was indeed a than eightpence or ninepence the quartern critical time, a time when they knew not loaf, and, in about a month after, it rose to how soon the enemy might land on their about sixteen or seventeen pence, for no shores; but it was only for that reason the other reason but because the bill was in more necessary that the whole strength and force. He would, therefore, give his assent population of the empire should be united, to the motion.
and no means could be more effectual for Mr. H. Lascelles thought it better to go this purpose, he thought, than to conciliate into the committee, and if it should be found the Roman catholics of Ireland by a just, a that the bill had no effect, it might easily be wise, and moderate policy.
The concesa altered.
sions that had already been made them, it Mr. W. Smith did not think the bill was had been argued, had only been productive the cause of the rise of bread, and was sure, of evil, and had led to the present high de
HOUSE OF LORDS.
mands; but those concessions, on the con- | lions were at all connected with the grounds trary, he contended, had done good, and of the present petition, and urged the adfrom the present, therefore, as necessary to vantages that might be derived from making complete the good effects of the former, the magistrates of the country gentlemen, whose greatest advantages might be expected. His religion being the same as that of the peolordship then made some animadversions on ple would give them greater weight and inthe speech of the noble secretary lord fluence, and reconcile the people to their Hawkesbury) on the former night, and vin- / authority. The noble earl concluded by dicated the conduct of the noble baron who urging the propriety of receiving the Roman was the author of the motion. If ever he catholics to a participation of the rights of had heard a great constitutional question the constitution, as a measure of both jusargued with that cool and temperate moder- tice and expediency. ation which became its importance, it was
The Earl of Oxford supported the petion that occasion by the noble. baron. If tion, and disclaimed all cojection with a the noble lord had said that such a measure certain person who had been alluded to on as that prayed for in the petition would ulti- the former night (Arthur O'Connor) since mately prevail, he could only mean that rea- he had heard that he had joined the enemy. son, and an enlightened policy, would ulti- The Earl of Buckinghamshire, perceiving mately triumph over those little prejudices a noble and learned friend near him (lord that were the greatest obstacles to the mea- Carleton) anxious to deliver his sentiments sure ; a sentiment he thought which could upon the important subject then under their not easily have been misunderstood, and in lordships' consideration, was extremely unwhich he readily and sincerely concurred. willing to prevent the house from hearing The noble earl farther contended that they the noble lord ; but having resided for so owed the Roman catholics of Ireland the many years in Ireland, having during a conprayer of their petition, as a matter of jus- siderable portion of that time held a high tice as well as of expediency, because it had official situation in that country, and having been held out to them as an inducement to been the individual who introduced the bili their union with this country, and the ex- of 1793, he was absolutely precluded from pectation of which had contributed in so giving a silent vote. In offering his sentigreat a degree to the accomplishment of that ments against the motion of the noble baron, object, that it was probable that, without however they might militate against the such expectation, that event would not have prayer of the petition, he was under no aptaken place. A noble. lord (lord Hawkes- prehension of being charged with prejudice bury) had laid it down as a principle that or intolerance; to such an imputation be this petition ought never to be granted. He would answer by a reference to the bill of thought this a very imprudent declaration, 1793, and it would be unnecessary for him as well as highly degrading to the Irish cha- to desire a more effectual justification than racter, particularly as our army and navy would be found in the provisions of that were so much indebted to Ireland for their bill. It had given to the Roman catholics supply. The noble lord had declared, that of Ireland the full enjoyment of a perfect he had no confidence in their principles, and equality of civil rights with the rest of his was afraid of the bad consequences that majesty's subjects, with an exemption from would ensue from the hostility of their reli- certain political obligations which are withgion to the civil rights of the country. But held from all except the protestant dissenters he wished noble lords to recollect, that of that country. Under the im, ression of many
of our best rights had criginated under every thing that had been already conceded, Roman catholics, and when that religion he was never more surprised, than that the · was the religion of the country; and as a nobie baron, whilst deprecating inflammaproof that difference in religion was not so tory language in others, should himself reincompatible with the duties and relations of sort to so extraordinary a position, as that citizens, he could not help reminding their the refusing to grant what the Roman calordships, that even in Roman catholic coun- tholics had bought for in their petition could tries, protestants were sometimes employ- be justified only upon the principle of their ed by the government and permitted to hold being deemed traitors, and unfit even to be offices of trust. The ablest minister and the permitted to take the oath of allegiance, and greatest soldier that Franče could ever boast if that were the case, severe and oppressive of were both protestants, and no bad con- as the penal code had been, it ought to be sequences were found to ensre from that cir- re-enacted. Such an argument from the
He denied that the lot: rebel- lips of the noble baron could not fail to ex