Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

of success; and though it has been borders of Derbyshire and Notstated to your committee, that tinghamshire, the mass of the a delegate from the country has population, through which the recently been attending a meeting insurgents passed, evinced the of delegates in London; no spe- utmost abhorrence of their designs cific information has been laid be- and projects.-In other instances, fore your committee of the exist- where the inhabitants have been ence of any body of men, associ- called upon to aid the civil power, ated in the metropolis, with whom that call has been answered with the disaffected in the country ap- alacrity and zeal. Such conduct pear to be acting in concert, or to increases the claim of the peacehold communications. Their hopes able and loyal inhabitants of the arise from their own numbers, disturbed parts of the country to which if they could be excited to the most efficient protection. simultaneous movement, would Your committee find that it is distract their opponents, and the concurrent opinion of many would procure the means for car of those entrusted with the prerying their utmost designs into servation of the peace, and best execution. It is hoped, by them, acquainted with the state of the that the timid and irresolute would disturbed districts, as well as the thus be encouraged to stand for- admission of the disaffected themward; and they flatter themselves, selves, that the suppression of the that efficient leaders would not be atteinpts at insurrection hitherto wanting to put themselves at the made, may, in a great degree, be head of a successful insurrection. ascribed to the existence of the

Your committee cannot con- extraordinary powers entrusted by template what has passed in the Parliament to the executive gocountry, even since the date of vernment, even in cases where it their former Report, without the has not been found necessary to most serious apprehension. Du- call them into action; and that ring this period, the precautionary the tranquillity of the country measures adopted by Parliament would be put to hazard, if those have been in force ; many of the powers were now withdrawn. In most active promoters of public this opinion your committee fully disturbance have been apprehend- concur; and, confidently as they el; the immediate projects of the rely on the loyalty and good disdisaffected have been covered position of the great body of his and deranged; yet nothing has Majesty's subjects, (even in those deterred them from a steady pur- parts of the country in which the suit of their ultimate object. spirit of disaffection has shown Though hitherto checked, the itself in the most forinidable least advance towards the attain- shape) they cannot but express ment of that object could not but their conviction, that it is not yet be attended with the utmost ha- safe to rely entirely, for the prezard to the lives and properties of servation of the public tranquilhis Majesty's suljects.

lity, upon the ordinary powers In the late insurrection on the of the law. Vol. LIX.

[G]

On

On June 93d, the order of the posite side of the question, perhaps day for the first reading of the the most forcible was Sir Samuel bill for the suspension of the Habeas Romilly. He said, that this was a Corpus being read in the House measure of much greater importof Commons, Lord Castlereagh ance even than that which the rose, and began by protesting a. House had before adopted. They gainst the inference which had were then called upon to suspend been drawn, that a bill of this kind the Habeas Corpus only for four was a libel on the whole country, months, white parliament was sitand preferring a bill of indictment ting, and might watch in what against the people of England. manner the extraordinary powers The adoption of such a measure given to governinent were exermight alarm those who know cised; now they were required, themselves to be guilty of treason- just before they separated, to com, able designs ; but he believed the mit this arbitrary power into the loyal and peaceable part of the hands of ministers for an indefi. community would be grateful for nite period of time, the duration the passing of the bill, which they of which was to depend entirely would regard as a measure of upon the pleasure of the crown. protection. He then argued in The noble lord had talked of ciropposition to those who were of cumstances of augmented danger; opinion, that supposing treason if such were the case, what did it able designs to exist, those by prove, except that not only was whoin they were entertained were the suspension bill inefficient, but too insignificant to merit the se that it had increased the evil it rious attention of parliament. was intended to prevent. There Not only had additional conspira- was another evil no less grievous. cies heen discovered, but, in the It was now for the first time avowed late inquiry, the former conspi- that spies were in the regular pay racies had been confirmed. This of ministers-spies who were the circumstance led him to consider promoters and the instigators of the at some length the case of Oliver, crimes which they afterwards dewho was supposed to be the mov nounced. Surely here was enough ing cause of all; and he endea to excite discontent and disgust voured to shew that his exertions through the House and the nation. had materially contributed to pre- Speaking afterwards of the danvent the intended explosion of gerous power entrusted to minis. June 9th. He said, in fine, that ters in the confidence that they the measure now proposed to be would not abuse it, he said, I care renewed had already rendered con not in whose hands that power siderable service. In the judge may be placed. It is one of the ment of nearly ałt the magistrates melancholy signs of the times, that it had checked insurrection, and while, day after day, encroachhad been more effective than any ments are making on public liberof the other measures adopted by ty, the answer to every complaint parliament.

is, that the power which was givAmong the speakers on the op- en would be placed in gentie

hands

hands. Was there ever any de- influence would be so usefully exspotic government which did not erted, might be a greater evil claim the same right of exercising than the cessation of the act power on this ground ? I cannot itself. (said he) reconcile myself to so The amendment was negatived, light a way of speaking of the and the House went into the Constitution, as to make the sus committee. Sir J. Newport then pension of its most valuable pri- moved, that the duration of the vileges a matter of indifference, bill should be limited to the 1st of because certain persons, of whom the ensuing December. The coma favourable opinion is entertain- mittee then divided, when there ed, are to be invested with the appeared, For the amendment 45; arbitrary authority which must Against it 78. be the consequence of that sus Mr. Douglas objected to the expension.

tension of the bill to Scotland, On a division of the House, the and moved the omission of the numbers for the first reading were, clause by which that country was Ayes 276, Noes 111; Majority included in its operation. The 165.

House dividing on the question, June 24th, the numbers were it was determined that it should so much reduced by defections on be continued, by 199 to 48. both sides, that the motion for the June 27th was the day appointsecond reading of the bill was car ed for the third reading of the ried by 80 against 30.

bill. Several speakers on both The order of the day for the parties took a share in the debate, committal of the bill being read but scarcely any thing remained on June 26th, Sir J. Newport rose except recapitulation of the seveto propose a clause, “ that it be an ral events which had taken place injunction to the committee to in the former part of the year. limit the duration of the bill till On the division, the reading was the 1st of December next.” Lord carried by 195 to 65. An amendCastlereagh said that the motion ment was afterwards proposed by was altogether unnecessary, be- Mr. S. Wortley, with the approbacause it was competent to the tion of Lord Castlereagh, to leave committee to fix the duration of out the words “ six weeks after the bill at any period it thought the meeting of parliament;" and proper. But, waving the point of insert as the term of the bill the form, he should object to the mo Ist of March 1918. On this a tion upon principle; for if the further amendment was proposed state of the country should be by Mr. Wynne to substitute the such as to require the further con 25th of December, 1817. The tinuance of the act at the period House divided on the question, stated in the motion, he did not «s that the 1st of March do stand know but that the calling together part of the bill," which was degentlemen to attend Parliament cided by Ayes 152, Noes 50. The from the districts in which their bill was then passed.

[blocks in formation]

CHAPTER VII.

The Budget.

N

committee in a more convenient ing resolved itself into a and uniform manner than that in committee, the Chancellor of the which they had ever before been Exchequer rose, and said that it submitted to them. On this point would not be necessary for him he alluded to the directions given to trouble the committee at any by act of parliament for the disvery great length. He was of this charging of all balances between opinion because, in the first place, the English and Irish exchequers he had reason to hope that the to the 5th of January last, and measures which he should recom for cancelling all grants on the mend were not such as were likely consolidated fund which had not to call forth much opposition ; been realized on that day, and and, in the next place, the House were not likely to be realized came to the subject with more in within any moderate period The formation respecting it than they consequence was, that from the usually possessed previously to the 5th of January a new account was opening of the budget. In conse- opened for the consolidated treaquence of the recommendation suries, and the technical distincmade to them in the speech from tions which had hitherto subsisted the throne at the commencement between them were no more. of the session, one of the earliest The committee appointed by proceedings of the House had been that Ilouse to inquire into the to appoint a committee to inquire expenditure and income of the into the revenue and expenditure country had not encumbered their of the country; the reports made report with a statement of the by which would enable him to various distinctions of consolispare those whom he had the ho- dated fund, war taxes, and other nour to address, the trouble of details of parliamentary approlistening to many dry statements priation ; but had on the one side of accounts. The consolidation of set down the whole amount of the the English and Irish exchequers finances of the country, and on had added the concerns of Ireland the other the sum total of its exto those on which he had been penditure. He regretted to state, accustomed to address them; and that it appeared from the report, a very considerable portion of la- that the deficiency of the revenue bour had been directed to incor- for England, compared to that of porate the accounts of the two the year preceding, amounted to nations. The arrangements which ten per cent. and for Ireland to had been made would bring them twenty per cent. ; but at the terunder the consideration of the mination of a war like that which

was just concluded, it could not Last

year,

under the same head, be wondered at that part of the there had been required the sum of population should be reduced to 1,613,1421. Here a reduction had great distress.

been effected of about 400,000l., Notwithstanding the unpleasant being about one fourth of the circumstances to which he had whole. The miscellaneous serjust referred, the means by which vices would call for a supply of he proposed to meet the supplies 1,700,000l. including the sums of the year, were, he thought, of alreadly voted in the present sesa pature perfectly unobjection. sion. Last year, the same services able, and amply sufficient. In the had required 2,500,000l. In this usual form, he should first go instance, therefore, a reduction through the supplies required in had been made of 800,0001. The the present year, and then state total supply, therefore, that was the ways and means to meet called for in the present year, exthem.

clusive of the interest of the fund. Army (including 1,500,000l. for ed debt, for the expense of the extraordinaries, and exclusive of several establishments for twelve troops in France,) 9,080,000l. months (not on the peace establish

For 1816, it would be remem ment, for he was far from thinkbered the total sum granted on ing we had yet arrived at what account of the army, amounted to might properly be so called,) would 10,809,7371.

amount to 18,001,000l., or what, The grant last year on account speaking in round numbers, he of the navy (exclusive of the grant would call 18,000,000l. It would for the reduction of the navy debt) be remembered, that at the openamounted nearly to 10,000,0001. ing of the present session, his no(It was more exactly stated , ble friend had estimated the ex9,964, 1951.)

penditure of the year for the In the present year the grant services he had enumerated at required for the

navy

18,300,0001. The actual supply 6,000,000l. exclusive of a grant called for came below the estiof 1,660,0001. for the reduction mated sum by almost 300,0001. of navy debt.

Last
year,

the grants for the same To the grant of last year a very services amounted to 24,887,0001. considerable sum might also be The reduction effected in the preadded, as in 1816 there had been sent year, it would therefore be paid off 2,000,000l. of the navy seen, fell little short of 7,000.000l., debt. The sum appropriated to being considerably more than onethis purpose had been taken from fourth, and amounting to very near the unapplied money remaining in one-third of the whole. In addition the exchequer from the grants of to the 18,000,0001, required for 1815. The whole sum, therefore, the proper service of the year, a which had been applied to the further provision would be neservice of the navy in the last year, cessary on account of the unamounted to nearly 12,000,0001. funded debt. In the first instance

The ordnance created in the pre- there was a charge of 1,900,000!. sent year a charge of 1,913,000). for the interest on exchequer bills

the

was

« AnteriorContinuar »