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expressed great concern, that he was not able, through ill health, to attend his duty in the House on the present day, and his deep regret at the postponement of the public business which his absence might occasion. Though at present it was hazardous for him to attend, yet he hoped he should experience the re-establishment of his health in the course of a week. The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER observed, that a duty fell on him, which must be a painful consideration to all; but it was consolatory, that it gave an opportunity to the House of passing an unanimous vote, in consequence of the ill health of their estimable Speaker. His health had indeed been much sacrificed lately by his anxiety and late sittings in the chair; in which, those who had most observed his conduct, would be most deeply impressed with a feeling of his integrity, attention, and ability. He concluded, by proposing an adjournment to Thursday se'nnight. Unanimously agreed to.

April 24-On the Speaker taking the chair, the members crowded round him, and offered their congratulations on his re

covery.

PETITION FOR RETRENCHMENT.

The Hon. Mr BENNET, after moving that the Police Committee be instructed to report their proceedings to the House from time to time, presented a petition, signed by 5000 inhabitants of the town of Wolverhampton and neighbourhood, praying for a reduction of taxes, and other means of relief. They represented, that they were in a state of the greatest suffering and hardship, in a great measure to be attributed to taxation; and prayed for a diminution. Their sufferings would be believed to be great, when it was known that several individuals in that neighbourhood were stated to have perished by famine. Employment had completely failed them; and if no other remedy could be devised for their distress, the petitioners prayed that they might be furnished with the means of leaving the country, and retiring to a foreign land. The petition was read, and ordered to lie on the table.

RELIEF OF THE POOR.

The Hon. W. H. LYTTLETON presented a petition from the parish of Old Swinford, in the town of Stourbridge, complaining of the pressure of the poor rates, to which he wished particularly to call the attention of the House. The burdens of this parish were oppressive beyond the usual rate of imposition: the rate assessed on house-rent was 29s. in the pound-on the rent of land employed in farms, 32s. in the pound; and on several kinds of land the rate amounted to the almost incredible sum

of 61s. per acre. The population of the parish amounted to 4381. Of these 1868 received parish aid. The whole of this burden was laid on 158 individuals, who were the only persons able to contribute. The parish was formerly exemplary for morals

and good conduct, and had been reduced to this state by circumstances over which the sufferers had no control. The Hon. Gentleman begged to press the consideration of this subject on his Majesty's ministers. He would not move that the petition be referred to the Committee on the Poor Laws, but that it be laid on the table for their consideration.

The petition was brought up and read. It stated that the support of the poor had already ruined many of the former contributors, and would ruin others, unless an immediate relief were obtained.

The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER said, that the subject had occupied much of his attention, and on Monday next he meant to move that the House resolve itself into a Committee of the whole House, to take into consideration a proposition for enabling his Majesty to issue Exchequer Bills to a limited extent, for the purpose of supplying loans on proper securities, to give encouragement for the employment of the poor. These loans would be advanced to corporations, to parishes, or to associations of individuals who might be desirous to employ, in any public work, the poor in their neighbourhood, upon their giving security to the commissioners at whose disposal, or under whose management, the issue of bills should be placed, that they would be repaid. Security might in parishes be given on the poorrate. Bills to the amount of between one and two millions would be sufficient to give the relief contemplated, and answer all the purposes of such a loan. He believed such a measure would not in any material degree affect the money market, which could afford, all the issue without great deterioration. The Right Hon. Gentleman concluded by giving notice, by command of the Prince Regent, that he would on Monday move that the House resolve itself into a Committee of the whole House, to consider the propriety of issuing Exchequer Bills to a limited extent, to afford loans, upon security to be given, for the local and temporary relief of the poor, by encouraging works for the employment of their industry.

The Hon. W. LAMBE said, there was one point of view in which the measure intended to be proposed deserved the most serious consideration; and that was, whether it was to be considered as a means of temporary relief, or a substitute for all those other measures which were rendered necessary for remedying the evils which had arisen out of the system under which we have been so long acting. In this sense, the proposed measure involved the consideration of a system which had been already productive of serious inconvenience, and threatened farther evils. He hoped, therefore, this plan of the Right Hon. Gentleman was not the only one. He did not deny the propriety of this step, but he would protest against any reliance on its sufficiency. The subject

was now pressed upon us by necessity: we saw the calamity under which the country laboured; we should not rest satisfied with palliatives, but should go at once to the root of the evil, and endeavour permanently to counteract its malignity.

The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER replied, that one object of the plan which he had given notice of submitting to the House was, to advance money to associations of individuals, and another to make these advances to public bodies. It was not intended that they should be made to single individuals for any purpose connected with the measure in question. The first object would embrace the support and encouragement of public works under certain limitations; and upon full security for the repayment of the money, the persons furnishing that security to take a counter-security upon the parochial funds.

April 25.-Sir B. HOBHOUSE presented a petition from the West of England Agricultural Society, praying for the abolition of the present salt duties, as injurious to the manufacturing, agricultural, and commercial interests.

Mr HARVEY presented a petition against the Saving Banks Bill now before Parliament, as injurious and unnecessary. Laid on the table.

On the motion for the second reading of the bill to authorise the granting of leases of tithes, Mr F. LEWIS, after some observations on the different acts empowering justices of the peace to levy the small tithes, and those not exceeding £10 in amount by warrant of distress, expressed a wish that it should be an instruction to the Committee, to provide for amending such parts of the late act as referred to this branch of their authority, (the 53d of the king, c. 127) for the purpose of proposing a clause extending their power to the determination of complaints or the recovery of tithes to the amount of £20. The bill having been read a second time, this motion was put and carried.

SALT DUTIES.

sistence should be exempted from taxation as far as was possible, consistently with the political safety of the country. His only object at present was inquiry; he wished for a full exposition of the case; and with this view the Hon. Gentleman moved, that a Committee be appointed to take the laws relative to the trade in salt into their consideration, and to report their opinions from time to time to the House.

Mr CALCRAFT rose to make his promised motion on this subject. In the course of his speech the Hon. Gentleman pointed out the policy of continuing the present enormous duties, which amounted to no less than 3000 per cent. on a raw material of our own produce. Such a tax mixed itself with every thing connected with the price of labour and the subsistence of the poor. It fell with grievous weight on the prices of butter, bacon, fish, meat, and all the primary and indispensable articles of food among the lower classes. In this point of view its effects were as impolitic as they were unjust. The price of la bour was not now regulated by the price of food; a redundant population, and diminished trade, had left it dependent entirely on such competition for it as remained. It was necessary, therefore, in the present circumstances, that the essential articles of sub

The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER did not think the proposition of the Hon. Gentleman could be at present entertained. The agitation of this question had occasioned already a deficiency in the receipt of the revenue of £80,000; and it was incumbent on the Hon. Gentleman to show either the possibility of finding a commutation, or of our dispensing with a revenue of £1,500,000. As a measure of relief, a bill was now under the consideration of the House, for allowing the use of rock-salt, duty-free, for the purpose of curing fish; and he was not quite certain that some indulgence might not be given to salt used for cattle. The Right Hon. Gentleman then read an extract of a letter from the proprietors of several extensive salt-works, to the effect, that they were decidedly of opinion that the present motion would ultimately be inju rious to their interests; and he concluded by saying, that the House would do well to postpone the consideration of this important matter until the bill in question had been fully discussed; and, upon these grounds, he felt it his duty to move the previous question.

Mr CALCRAFT replied generally, upon which the House divided. For the motion 70; against it 79; majority 9.

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on the present occasion. On the allegation of the petitioners, it appeared that the magistrates had refused the license, because they thought it was the intention of the legislature to prohibit all political discussion, and he must entirely disclaim any such intention on the part of the legislature: it might be within the discretion of the magistrate to determine whether or no a meeting were held for seditious or literary purposes, but it never could be the intention of the legislature to prohibit political discussion. The petition was laid on the table, and or. dered to be printed.

Mr BROUGHAM presented a petition from Birmingham, signed by upwards of 12,000 persons. It contained a statement, in humble and earnest, but touching language, of a degree of misery almost approaching despair. Laid on the table, and ordered to be printed.

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amount of the last half-year's poor-rates at Easter 1817; to be paid out of accruing rates within two years after Easter 1818; but such advance shall be made only when such last poor-rate was double the amount of the last three years' average.

"Amount of Exchequer bills advanced to corporations &c. in Great Britain, shall be paid with 5 per cent. interest, fifteen days before the Exchequer bills become due.

"Sums advanced in Ireland shall be paid with 6 per cent. interest, by such instalments as the commissioners there shall direct, with consent of the Lord Lieutenant.

"Exchequer bills issued and not used, shall be cancelled.

"Treasury may repay other Exchequer bills with sums paid.

“Clauses for securing repayment by proCommissioners empowered to compound with bankrupts.

cess.

"Seven commissioners a quorum in Great Britain. The majority in Ireland, excepting in cases specified where they may

act.

Advances to parishes in Great Britain shall be made only on application of four fifths in value, and a majority in number of the inhabitants, and shall not exceed the

"The Bank of England shall keep account with commissioners.

66

Exchequer bills charged on aids of

1820.

"Commissioners to report to Parliament. "Vacancies in commissioners to be supplied in Great Britain by the survivors, &c. in Ireland by the Lord Lieutenant.”

In a Committee, a clause was added to the Saving Banks Bill, directing the money to be vested in the hands of the commissioners for liquidating the national debt; the object of which was to prevent that fluctuation to which the property of the subscribers to saving banks would be liable, were it invested directly in the public funds and negotiable.

THIRD SECRETARY OF STATE. Mr TIERNEY made his promised mo tion on this subject, with the view, and in the hope, of saving £12,000 a-year to the country. The Right Hon. Gentleman, after stating the recent origin of this office, and the business belonging to it (chiefly colonial), which he thought could, as formerly, be managed at the office of the Secretary for the Home Department, concluded by moving, "That a Committee be appointed to consider the nature of the business transacted by the Secretary of State for the Co, lonial Department; to ascertain whether the existence of that department was ne cessary, whether it could with convenience be transferred to any other; and what diminution of expense would thereby be effected."

After a debate of some length, the House divided, when there appeared for the motion 87; against it 190; majority 103. LICENSES TO PHILOSOPHICAL SOCIE

TIES.

Sir M. W. RIDLEY, in rising to move for a copy of the petition of the Academical Society, in Chancery Lane, to the Quarter

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Sessions of London, for a license to hold their meetings according to the provisions of the late act, said that he had to inform the House of another instance of the unwarrantable and oppressive construction which had been given to the late act. Philosophical Society, established in 1808, The for the discussion of political and philosophical subjects, applied for a license at the Quarter Sessions of London, on the 14th of April. The magistrates required a list of the subjects it was to discuss, and a definition of what its title or constitution would allow it to introduce. The society refused to comply with this condition, and its meetings were in consequence suspended. the magistrates of London, who were accustomed to expound the law, and to hear it expounded, who were men of education and information, were thus ignorant of the true construction of the late act, what would be the consequence of having its provisions interpreted by other magistrates, not so well informed, with a less vigilant public to watch them, and with fewer facilities of legal correction? (Hear, hear!) The extent to which the zeal or the ignorance of such men might carry them, might easily be conjectured; and the danger to the lib. erties of the people from their conduct might easily be admitted, when he mentioned, that in one part of the country a mineralogical society had been refused a license, because the magistrates were of opinion that the study of mineralogy had a blasphemous tendency. (Hear, hear! and a laugh.) The Hon. Baronet said, if Parliament did not interfere, all freedom of debate or discussion was at an end. (Hear!) The Hon. Baronet concluded by moving for a copy of the petition to the magistrates of London, by the Academical Society that meets in Chancery-lane, for a license on the 18th of April.

Mr B. BATHURST had no objection to the motion; and with respect to the case of the Mineralogical Society, the construction of the act was so absurd, that any law, however easily understood, might be perverted to any purpose by persons who could so far transgress the common rules of interpretation, as had been done in this case.

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tained leave to bring in a Bill to amend and April 30.-Mr MANNERS SUTTON obconsolidate the acts with respect to spiritual persons holding farms, for enforcing the residence of spiritual persons on their benestipendiary curates. fices, and for the support and maintenance of He said that the bill would follow the course pointed out by the re-enacting the provisions of the act of the act of the 43d of the king, and conclude by 53d, with regard to the allowances to curates; and would allow the clergy to take bill would also provide for suspending all a farm to the extent of twenty acres. prosecutions, on account of non-residence, The for six months after the expiration of the act of the 54th. The ecclesiastical year ary, and end on the 31st of December; and was made to begin on the 1st of Janu it was enacted, that all licenses for non-residence should in future be limited to two years, always ending on the 31st of Decem the alterations consisted in little more than ber. With regard to the stipendiary clergy, in what might be called a dislocation of the clauses in the former act.

APRIL.

Cobbett's Address" to the Public."Liverpool, March 26, 1817.-My departure for America will surprise nobody, but those who do not reflect. and explicit statement of my reasons will A full appear in a few days, probably on the 5th of April. In the meanwhile, I think it necessary for me to make known, that I have fully empowered a person of respecta

whether there was any clause enabling the Lord EBRINGTON wished to know bishop to appoint a curate, wherever he thought the duty was not adequately performed by the incumbent.

Mr MANNERS SUTTON said, there was a clause of that description.

time, and ordered to be read a second time The bill was then brought in, read a first on Friday se'nnight.

RELIEF BILL.

brought in a Bill to enable the CommissionThe CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER Exchequer Bills, under certain limitations, ers of the Treasury to issue £1,500,000 in for the furtherance of public works of utility, the encouragement of the fisheries, and time-securities being given for the repaythe employment of the poor, for a limited ment.-Read a first time, and ordered to be read a second time on this day se'nnight, and to be printed.

the Window Light Bill, were read a third
The Clerk of the Peace Fees' Bill, and
time and passed.

BRITISH CHRONICLE.

bility to manage and settle all my affairs in England. I owe my countrymen most sinfor them in a higher degree than towards cere regard, which I shall always entertain thing from my country but my wife and my any other people upon earth. I carry nochildren, and, surely, they are my own at any rate. shall always love England betbecome a subject or citizen of any other ter than any other country;-I will never

State; but I and mine were not born under a Government having the absolute power to imprison us at its pleasure, and, if we can avoid it, we will never live nor die under such an order of things. If I have not taken leave of numerous friends in London, and in the country, it was because I should have been made unhappy by their importunities, and the expressions of their sorrow. I make an enormous sacrifice of property and of feeling; but when my heart feels the tugs of friendship, and of all the interesting objects in Hampshire, it is reconciled to the loss by the thought that I can enjoy them only during the pleasure of a Secretary of State. When this order of things shall cease to exist, then shall I again see England. WM COBBETT. Parricide. On Monday, the 31st ult. the Rev. John Greer and Robert Greer were sentenced to death, at Carrickfergus, for murdering their father, a tithe proctor at Church tumbler, Carrickfergus. The clergyman was charged with wounding the old man in the head with a hatchet, and the other prisoner with abetting in the crime. The convicts were married.

5.-Trials for Sedition. This day came on, before the Court of Justiciary in Scot land, the trial of Alexander M⚫Laren, weaver in Kilmarnock, and Thomas Baird, merchant there, accused of sedition. The indictment states, that at a public meeting, held at Dean Park, in the vicinity of Kilmarnock, on the 7th of December 1816, which meeting was attended by a great multitude of persons, chiefly of the lower orders, the said Alexander M Laren did, wickedly and feloniously, deliver a speech, containing a number of seditious and inflammatory remarks and assertions, calculated to degrade and bring into contempt the Government and Legislature, and to withdraw therefrom the confidence and affections of the people, and fill the realm with trouble and dissention. This speech was afterwards printed, with others of a similar tendency, in a seditious tract or statement, which the said Thomas Baird sold and circulated at his shop in Kilmar nock, at the price of fourpence each. The indictment contained a number of extracts from this publication. Found guilty, and sentenced to six months imprisonment.

Emigration. About sixty respectable farmers sailed from Bristol last week, on board the Chauncey for America, and many more are preparing to follow them, to try their fortunes in the United States. In one parish of Wiltshire (Mere), thirty persons are at this moment preparing to emigrate to that country.

tion are well known to the public. The rent, in former ycars, has not exceeded £1800 per annum, and the increased rent, in the present times, can only be ascribed to the increase of the number of passengers which has followed the facility of communication afforded by the late improvements, and the zealous attention of Mr Scott, royal navy, the superintendent. After the roup, the trustees partook of an elegant dinner, provided by Mr Mitchell, at the North Ferry Inn.

Queensferry Passage. The right of con veying passengers and goods across the Queensferry, was let on Saturday, 3d curt. by the trustees for the improvement of the Ferry, for three years after Whitsunday next, at £2020 per annum, to the present tacksman, whose qualifications for the situa

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Greenwich Hospital. By a paper laid on the table of the House of Commons, it appears that no less a sum than £15,383: 7:1 was due from the tenants of the estates belonging to Greenwich Hospital, for arrears of rent, for the year ending the 21st of November 1816. By another paper it appears, that the produce of the lead and silver, raised from the estates of the Hospital, in the counties of Northumberland, Cumberland, and Durham, sold and unpaid for, on the 21st of November 1816, amounted to £25,109, 10s.

Robbery. Early on Sunday morning, the 23d ult. the dwelling-house upon the farm of Everton, near Greenock, was entered by a band of ruffians, who, after dragging the inmates thereof, consisting of a man and three females, from their beds, and maltreating them in a shocking manner, carried off all the money, wearing apparel, and other portable articles which were in the drawers and chests of the house. Mr Lenox, master of police, has arrived at Greenock, having in custody Hugh and Barney Macilvouge, and Patrick M Crystal, the persons charged with this daring outrage, and for whose appre hension so much solicitude was felt in Greenock and its neighbourhood.

Caution to Stage Coach Proprietors.→→ YORK ASSIZES. Mabsom v. Riscam and others. The action was brought by Mr Mab som, a young gentleman of commercial cha racter, from Birmingham, against the defendants, who were proprietors of a stage-coach called the True Briton, running from York to Leeds and Hull, to recover a compensation in portance, not only to the proprietors of damages for a certain bodily injury, namely, the loss of a leg, occasioned either by want of due care, or by wilful negligence, on the part of the defendants or their servants. He sat upon the box, and there were, besides himself, on the outside fourteen persons, including the coachman and guard, and six persons in the inside-two of the extra pas sengers on the outside sat upon the roof; and to make room for the third, the guard stood during the journey. The coachman and guard were frequently warned of the danger arising from the overloaded state of the coach, and that they were carrying a number beyond that which the act allowed, and they were in consequence subject to information and punishment. The reply to this warning was, that the times were hard, and that they were bound to do

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