« AnteriorContinuar »
it was aimed were violating the persons offending as above de. public peace, and committing scribed, Sir Samuel Romilly prooutrage. The second subjected posed to leave it out altogether ; those who did not disperse within contending that as at present an hour after proclamation, to the framed and understood, it migbt same punishment as if they had give some officious magistrates a been guilty of the most aggra- pretence for denouncing the most vated crimes.
peaceable and constitutional meetSir James Mackintosh, after va- ings, and would rather tend to rious observations had been made, occasion riot and confusion, than moved as his amendment, that to prevent sedition and rebellion. instead of the words “ shall suffer The clause was defended by the death as in case of felony, without ministers, who carried it by 46 benefit of clergy," the words against 16. ' “ shall suffer transportation for Sir James Mackintosh next prothe term of seven years," should posed, that the exemptions exbe substituted in their stead. tending to lectures in the univerThe committee thereupon divided, sities, in the inns of court, and in when there appeared, for the Gresham college, should also inamendment 26; against it 70. clude the East India college, and
Sir James Mackintosh then said lectures in medicine, surgery, that he had another amendment chemistry, and all others bona to propose in that important fide intended for the improvement clause relative to public meetings. of learning, the sciences, and the As it now stood, a power was arts. This amendment was also given in the case of propositions, rejected, with the exception of the stirring up the people to hatred East India college. or contempt of the government or All the clauses being gone constitution of this realm as by through, the House was resumed, law established. No man in this and the bill was ordered to be House would say that there was reprinted. any intention of using the word On March 14th, the order of government in any sense where it the day standing for the third might be confounded with admi- reading of the bill for the more nistration. But if that were true, effectually preventing Seditious what was the use of inserting the Meetings and Assemblies, Sir M. word “governinent?" The use of W. Ridley, after a speech in which the word in this clause could have he declared it to be his duty to no tendency but to create the oppose the passing into a law an most dangerous misapprehensions. act wholly uncalled for by the He would therefore propose the isting circumstances of the counomission of the words “ or the try, moved as an amendment, to government,” leaving the passage leave out the word “ now," and to run, “or the constitution of insert after the words “ be read this realm as by law established.” a third time," the words “this day
After some conversation, this six months." amendment was negatived.
This being the last day in which On the reading of the next the two parties had an open field clause, for the apprehension of for contention, the principal force
of each was mustered, though no should be inserted in the bill doubt could be entertained how “two or more justices,” which the decision would terminate. In was also negativedl. fact, nothing was left but the He next movedl, that instead of mere repetition of exhausted ar- the words “constitution and goguments; and Mr. Canning found vernment," there should be init neressary to revert to former serted the word "constitution" displays of oratory, by saying, “It only; wbich was also negatived. is in this view only that we re. The bill was then passed. commend to the House of Com- On the 21st of March the House mons to pass the present bill; of Lords went into a committee not (as I have so often said, but on the bill relative to Seditious as camiot be too often repeated) Meetings. On reading the clause for the ex inction of the sacred from the Commons concerning right of petition, but for its pro- what would constitute the assemlly tection and preservation."
unlawful, Lord St. John observed, After the amendinent had been that as the words now stood, if disposed of, the third reading the clerk of the peace should negwas carried by 1,9 to 44. A lect to communicate the notice reclause huving been introduced in- ceived of an intended meeting, to the bill by the Attorney Gene signed by seven householders, to ral, enacting that it should not three magistrates, it might be extend to Ireland, Sir John New - deemed an unlawful assembly, port opposed it, with a view of although the persons calling it keeping down the Orange men; had complied in every respect but the original question was with the enactments of the clause, carried.
and would, in consequence, beOn the introduction of the pre- come subject to the punisament anble of the bill, Sir M. W'. Rid- of death. The Lord Chancellor, leg mored the following amend though he had no doubt that the ment: “Whereas assemblies of omission of the clerk of the peace divers persons collected for the would not invalidate the legality purpose of exercising their un- of the meeting, said that he had doubted right of offering petitions, no objection to an amendment complaints, remons'rances, de- which would render the clause darations, or other addresses to more clear; and it was agreed his royal highness the Prince that the words “in such case" Regent, or tu both houses, or should be omitted. to either house of parliament, Lord Hollund moved that the have of late taken place; and words “imposing the punishment whereas riots may be apprehended of death should be left out, as he from large meetings of persons considered it as glaringly dispro. suffering under the pressure of portionate to the crime. This distress at the present time." amendment was negative.l. This amendment was negatived. At a meeting of the committee
Mr. Ponsonby then moved, that on March 24th, when the clause instead of the words “one or respecting licences to be granted more justice or justices," there to lecture rooms and debating soVol. LIX.
cieties was read, the Earl of Lau such a question required, and derdale observed, that the excep- which was anticipated in the tions from the operation of this House of Commons. We shall clause did not extend far enough, therefore refer to the proceedings and that there could be no objec- of the latter House for all that we tion to include among the excep- have thonght necessary to extract tions lectures merely on physical upon the general ground of discusscience. He then moved a clause sion, from the field of debate. to exempt from the operation of It was mentioned on the prethe licencing enactments, lectures ceding day that Lord Sidmouth had an anatomy, astronomy, chemis- introduced a clause into the bill try, or other branches of physical for the prevention of meetings science. The Earl of Liverpool within a mile of Westminster-hall. opposed the clause, on the ground He had since considered that the that it was not to be supposed that place for holding elections for magistrates, from any private Westminster was within its premotives, would prevent the de- cincts; and also that the borough livery of such lectures. The of Southwark did not form any of clause was put and negatived. the usual avenues to parliament.
An amendment proposed by He therefore proposed to withEarl Grosvenor to limit the du- draw the clause, and add as an ration of the bill to the first of amendment, “saving and exccptJuly 1917 was negatived.
ing in St. Paul's Covent-garden, Lord Sidmouth proposed a clause and the borough of Southwark." to prohibit public meetings within this clause was adopted without a mile of the two houses of par- a division. liament when sitting, or of the The Earl of Liverpool then courts of justice when sitting at moved that the bill do pass ; on Westminster. After some discus- which the House divided : Consion, this clausc was agreed to; tents, 111; Non-contents, 23 : and all the amendments being Majority, 88. gone through, the bill was ordered The following protest of eight to be read a third time to-morrow. peers was entered on the Journals.
On the 25th of March, the or- is Dissentient. Because it appears der of the day standing for the to us that this statute, in inflicting third reading of this bill, Lord the penalty of death, is unjustly Erskine rose, and began with the severe; that it gives to magisconsideration, first, what evidence trates a formidable and unneces. the House had of impending dan- sary power, improperly controlling gers which justified the passing of the general expression of opinion, an act of the kind now before and interfering both with the pub. them; and secondly, whether ad- lic and private meetings of the mitting all the facts collected by people, in times of which we the report, the bill was either a consider the danger to be much necessary or a proper remedy. exaggerated, and which we think
It is evident that this was the call for measures of conciliation natural line of arginment which and relief, and not for coercion."
War Salaries of the Secretaries of the Admiralty.--Motion respecting
the Lords of the Admiralty.--Motion for a Committee on the Public Income and Expenditure, by Lord Castlereagh. First Report of the Committee.—Bills for abolishing the Offices of Justices in Eyre, and for a Compensation for Civil Services.- Pass both Houses.- Irish Peace preservation Bill.
SECRETARIES OF THE ADMIRALTY. made out to the sense of any man
that the time for which the inT ORD Milton, in rising on creased salary had been given was 1 February 17th, to call the what could fairly be understood attention of the House of Com- as a case of war? Lord Exmons to the increase made in the mouth was sent to Algiers in the salaries of the secretaries of the double quality of a negociator and Admiralty, in consequence of the commander. When the attack war with Algiers, began with ob- was finally made and had succeedserving the different light in which ed, what did Lord Exmouth say? objects were regarded, according " Thus has a provoked war of two to the difference of the mind and days existence been attended with disposition of the person by whom a complete victory.” A quarter's they were viewed. Haring in- salary on the war establishment stanced the Prince Regent and was claimed by the secretary, for a Marquis Camden as those who war said by the commander who could relinquish a part of their conducted it to be of two days dusalaries, when the public service ration. If the commencement of required it, he said, with what this Algiers war was difficult to different eyes must the admiralty be settled, and had been settled or their secretary have beheld the wrong, its termination was no symptoms of the times, when they less curious : it was dated from conceived the autumn of 1816 the the reception of the treaty at the most convenient opportunity for Admiralty. These dates of the taking advantage of a single ex- fitting out of the expedition and pedition to bestow an increase of the arrival of the treaty in London salary on their servants. The might taily with the duration of ground on which this claim had the salary; but they could not be been set up was an order of coun- said to constitute the commencecil of January 15, 1800, by which, ment and termination of a war, on account of increase of duty in during the existence of which a time of war, the secretary and war salary might be claimed. The some other persons were to have navy pay-office, not thinking that an increased salary. But the the attack on Algiers constituted question was, had it been fairly this country in a state of war
within the meaning of the order fees of the secretaries of the Adof 1800, refused to pay the war miralty were very considerable, salary till they had consulted with and in lieu of them it gave an inthe Adiniralty. The navy-office crease of salary. He never de. by their question clearly thought manded this increase as a favour, that there was no title made out but as a pure right. . to an increase of emoluments on Sir Jose; h Yorke observed, that account of the expedition to Al- the question to be decided was exgiers. The utmost duration of tremely simple. The salary of the war, according to the admiral's the first secretary was fixed at statement, was two days, which, 30001. per annum during peace, computing the rate of increase, with an additional 10001, in time entitled the hon. secretary to of war : that of the second secre51. 3s. 9d. It might have happened tary was 1500l. in peace, and that Lord Exmouth would have 20001. in war. The commissioners found the Dey ready to comply of the navy did not send to the with the demands of the British Admiralty to know whether this government without coming to country was at war or not, but to extremities; and what would have ascertain at what time the war been the situation of the secretary salary should commence The then? There would have been no answer of the Admiralty was, that war, nor any additional allowance. it should be paid from the 29th of
His lordship concluded with June to the 24th of September, moving, “That the issue of the the day on which the fieaty was war salaries to the secretaries of signed. He had no hesitation in the Admiralty, and certain other signing the paper for the increa:c persons connected with the nary of salary, and should do the same and dock-yards, in consideration thing if the paper were put again of the expedition to Algiers, which before him. terminated in hostilities with that Admiral Markham said, that his government, is uncalled for by opinion remained as at first, which the order in council of January was, that the secretary was not 15th, 1800, and therefore an im- entitled to the war salary. If proper application of the public this was to be called a state of money."
war, what was an armament? In Mr. Croker said, that he was the case of Nootka Sound, had quite above denying the part he the order of council existed at that has taken in this matter. He had period, was it to be supposed that made the demand, because he the secretary of that time would thought it a matter of right, and be entitled to demand an ailditional due to the ofhice. This right it salary? The expellition required was his duty first to establish, and no additional trouble : there was then he might come furward and notbing to be completed but the give up what the necessities of the armament. times might seem to require. The The essential point of argument question rested upon the construc- on this occasion was the question tion of the order of council. That whether this was a case of declared order stated, that during war the war, or only, ti:l the time of the