• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 April, 1821
 May 1821
 June, 1821
 July, 1821
 Finance accounts for the year ended...
 Reports
 Index to debates in the House of...
 Index to debates in the House of...
 Index of names - House of...
 Index of names - House of...














Group Title: Parliamentary debates (1820-1829)
Title: The parliamentary debates
ALL VOLUMES CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00073533/00005
 Material Information
Title: The parliamentary debates
Uniform Title: Parliamentary debates (1820-1829)
Physical Description: 20 v. : ; 25 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Great Britain -- Parliament
Hansard, T. C ( Thomas Curson ), 1776-1833
Publisher: Published under the superintendence of T.C. Hansard
Place of Publication: London
Publication Date: 1820-1829
 Subjects
Subject: Politics and government -- Periodicals -- Great Britain -- 1820-1830   ( lcsh )
 Notes
Dates or Sequential Designation: New ser., v. 1 (1820)-v. 20 (1829).
Numbering Peculiarities: Covers Mar. 1820-Feb./Mar. 1829.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00073533
Volume ID: VID00005
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 07655703
lccn - sn 85062629
 Related Items
Preceded by: Parliamentary debates for the year 1803 to the present time
Succeeded by: Hansard's parliamentary debates

Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Title Page
    Table of Contents
        Table of Contents 1
        Table of Contents 2
        Table of Contents 3
        Table of Contents 4
        Table of Contents 5
        Table of Contents 6
        Table of Contents 7
        Table of Contents 8
    April, 1821
        Page a-1-2
        House of Lords - Tuesday, April 3
            Page a-1-2
        House of Commons - Thursday, April 5
            Page a-37-38
            Page a-39-40
            Page a-41-42
            Page a-43-44
            Page a-45-46
            Page a-47-48
            Page a-49-50
            Page a-51-52
            Page a-53-54
            Page a-55-56
            Page a-57-58
            Page a-59-60
            Page a-61-62
        House of Commons - Monday, April 9
            Page a-89-90
            Page a-91-92
            Page a-93-94
            Page a-95-96
            Page a-97-98
            Page a-99-100
            Page a-101-102
            Page a-103-104
            Page a-105-106
            Page a-107-108
            Page a-109-110
            Page a-111-112
            Page a-113-114
            Page a-115-116
            Page a-117-118
            Page a-119-120
            Page a-121-122
            Page a-123-124
            Page a-125-126
            Page a-127-128
            Page a-129-130
            Page a-131-132
            Page a-133-134
            Page a-135-136
            Page a-137-138
            Page a-139-140
            Page a-141-142
            Page a-143-144
            Page a-145-146
            Page a-147-148
        House of Lords - Wednesday, April 11
            Page a-149-150
            Page a-151-152
        House of Commons - Tuesday, April 3
            Page a-3-4
            Page a-5-6
            Page a-7-8
            Page a-9-10
            Page a-11-12
            Page a-13-14
            Page a-15-16
            Page a-17-18
            Page a-19-20
            Page a-21-22
            Page a-23-24
            Page a-25-26
            Page a-27-28
            Page a-29-30
            Page a-31-32
            Page a-33-34
            Page a-35-36
        House of Commons - Thursday, April 12
            Page a-169-170
            Page a-171-172
            Page a-173-174
            Page a-175-176
            Page a-177-178
            Page a-179-180
            Page a-181-182
            Page a-183-184
            Page a-185-186
            Page a-187-188
            Page a-189-190
            Page a-191-192
            Page a-193-194
            Page a-195-196
            Page a-197-198
            Page a-199-200
            Page a-201-202
        House of Commons - Friday, April 6
            Page a-63-64
            Page a-65-66
            Page a-67-68
            Page a-69-70
            Page a-71-72
            Page a-73-74
            Page a-75-76
            Page a-77-78
            Page a-79-80
            Page a-81-82
            Page a-83-84
            Page a-85-86
            Page a-87-88
        House of Commons - Friday, April 13
            Page a-203-204
            Page a-205-206
            Page a-207-208
            Page a-209-210
            Page a-211-212
            Page a-213-214
            Page a-215-216
        House of Lords - Monday, April 16
            Page a-217-218
            Page a-219-220
            Page a-221-222
            Page a-223-224
            Page a-225-226
            Page a-227-228
            Page a-229-230
            Page a-231-232
            Page a-233-234
            Page a-235-236
            Page a-237-238
            Page a-239-240
            Page a-241-242
            Page a-243-244
            Page a-245-246
            Page a-247-248
            Page a-249-250
            Page a-251-252
            Page a-253-254
            Page a-255-256
            Page a-257-258
            Page a-259-260
            Page a-261-262
        House of Commons - Wednesday, April 11
            Page a-153-154
            Page a-155-156
            Page a-157-158
            Page a-159-160
            Page a-161-162
            Page a-163-164
            Page a-165-166
            Page a-167-168
        House of Lords - Tuesday, April 17
            Page a-279-280
            Page a-281-282
            Page a-283-284
            Page a-285-286
            Page a-287-288
            Page a-289-290
            Page a-291-292
            Page a-293-294
            Page a-295-296
            Page a-297-298
            Page a-299-300
            Page a-301-302
            Page a-303-304
            Page a-305-306
            Page a-307-308
            Page a-309-310
            Page a-311-312
            Page a-313-314
            Page a-315-316
            Page a-317-318
            Page a-319-320
            Page a-321-322
            Page a-323-324
            Page a-325-326
            Page a-327-328
            Page a-329-330
            Page a-331-332
            Page a-333-334
            Page a-335-336
            Page a-337-338
            Page a-339-340
            Page a-341-342
            Page a-343-344
            Page a-345-346
            Page a-347-348
            Page a-349-350
            Page a-351-352
            Page a-353-354
            Page a-355-356
            Page a-357-358
        House of Commons - Wednesday, April 18
            Page a-439-440
            Page a-441-442
            Page a-443-444
            Page a-445-446
            Page a-447-448
            Page a-449-450
            Page a-451-452
            Page a-453-454
        House of Commons - Monday, April 16
            Page a-263-264
            Page a-265-266
            Page a-267-268
            Page a-269-270
            Page a-271-272
            Page a-273-274
            Page a-275-276
            Page a-277-278
        House of Commons - Thursday, April 19
            Page a-455-456
            Page a-457-458
            Page a-459-460
            Page a-461-462
        House of Commons - Tuesday, April 17
            Page a-359-360
            Page a-361-362
            Page a-363-364
            Page a-365-366
            Page a-367-368
            Page a-369-370
            Page a-371-372
            Page a-373-374
            Page a-375-376
            Page a-377-378
            Page a-379-380
            Page a-381-382
            Page a-383-384
            Page a-385-386
            Page a-387-388
            Page a-389-390
            Page a-391-392
            Page a-393-394
            Page a-395-396
            Page a-397-398
            Page a-399-400
            Page a-401-402
            Page a-403-404
            Page a-405-406
            Page a-407-408
            Page a-409-410
            Page a-411-412
            Page a-413-414
            Page a-415-416
            Page a-417-418
            Page a-419-420
            Page a-421-422
            Page a-423-424
            Page a-425-426
            Page a-427-428
            Page a-429-430
            Page a-431-432
            Page a-433-434
            Page a-435-436
            Page a-437-438
        Monday, April 30
            Page a-463-464
            Page a-465-466
            Page a-467-468
            Page a-469-470
            Page a-471-472
            Page a-473-474
            Page a-475-476
            Page a-477-478
            Page a-479-480
    May 1821
        Page a-481-482
        House of Commons - Tuesday, May 1
            Page a-481-482
        House of Commons - Wednesday, May 2
            Page a-483-484
            Page a-485-486
            Page a-487-488
            Page a-489-490
            Page a-491-492
            Page a-493-494
        House of Lords - Friday, May 4
            Page a-495-496
            Page a-497-498
            Page a-499-500
            Page a-501-502
            Page a-503-504
            Page a-505-506
        Monday, May 7
            Page a-535-536
            Page a-537-538
            Page a-539-540
            Page a-541-542
            Page a-543-544
            Page a-545-546
            Page a-547-548
        House of Commons - Friday, May 4
            Page a-507-508
            Page a-509-510
            Page a-511-512
            Page a-513-514
            Page a-515-516
            Page a-517-518
            Page a-519-520
            Page a-521-522
            Page a-523-524
            Page a-525-526
            Page a-527-528
            Page a-529-530
            Page a-531-532
            Page a-533-534
        THouse of Commons - Tuesday, May 8
            Page a-549-550
            Page a-551-552
            Page a-553-554
            Page a-555-556
            Page a-557-558
            Page a-559-560
            Page a-561-562
            Page a-563-564
            Page a-565-566
            Page a-567-568
            Page a-569-570
            Page a-571-572
            Page a-573-574
            Page a-575-576
            Page a-577-578
            Page a-579-580
            Page a-581-582
            Page a-583-584
            Page a-585-586
            Page a-587-588
        House of Commons - Wednesday, May 9
            Page a-589-590
            Page a-591-592
            Page a-593-594
            Page a-595-596
            Page a-597-598
            Page a-599-600
            Page a-601-602
            Page a-603-604
            Page a-605-606
            Page a-607-608
            Page a-609-610
            Page a-611-612
            Page a-613-614
            Page a-615-616
            Page a-617
            Page a-621-622
            Page a-623-624
        House of Lords - Thursday, May 10
            Page a-625-626
            Page a-627-628
            Page a-629-630
            Page a-631-632
            Page a-633-634
            Page a-635-636
            Page a-637-638
            Page a-639-640
            Page a-641-642
            Page a-643-644
            Page a-645-646
            Page a-647-648
            Page a-649-650
            Page a-651-652
            Page a-653-654
        House of Commons - Friday, May 11
            Page a-655-656
            Page a-657-658
            Page a-659-660
            Page a-661-662
            Page a-663-664
            Page a-665-666
            Page a-667-668
            Page a-669-670
            Page a-671-672
            Page a-673-674
            Page a-675-676
            Page a-677-678
            Page a-679-680
            Page a-681-682
            Page a-683-684
            Page a-685-686
            Page a-687-688
            Page a-689-690
            Page a-691-692
        House of Lords - Monday, May 14
            Page a-693-694
            Page a-695-696
        House of Commons - Monday, May 14
            Page a-697-698
            Page a-699-700
            Page a-701-702
            Page a-703-704
            Page a-705-706
            Page a-707-708
            Page a-709-710
            Page a-711-712
        House of Commons - Tuesday, May 15
            Page a-713-714
            Page a-715-716
            Page a-717-718
            Page a-719-720
            Page a-721-722
            Page a-723-724
            Page a-725-726
            Page a-727-728
            Page a-729-730
            Page a-731-732
            Page a-733-734
            Page a-735-736
            Page a-737-738
            Page a-739-740
            Page a-741-742
            Page a-743-744
            Page a-745-746
            Page a-747-748
            Page a-749-750
            Page a-751-752
            Page a-753-754
            Page a-755-756
            Page a-757-758
            Page a-759-760
            Page a-761-762
            Page a-763-764
            Page a-765-766
            Page a-767-768
            Page a-769-770
            Page a-771-772
            Page a-773-774
        House of Commons - Wednesday, May 16
            Page a-775-776
            Page a-777-778
            Page a-779-780
            Page a-781-782
            Page a-783-784
            Page a-785-786
            Page a-787-788
            Page a-789-790
            Page a-791-792
            Page a-793-794
            Page a-795-796
            Page a-797-798
            Page a-799-800
            Page a-801-802
            Page a-803-804
            Page a-805-806
            Page a-807-808
            Page a-809-810
            Page a-811-812
            Page a-813-814
            Page a-815-816
            Page a-817-818
            Page a-819-820
            Page a-821-822
            Page a-823-824
            Page a-825-826
            Page a-827-828
            Page a-829-830
            Page a-831-832
            Page a-833-834
            Page a-835-836
            Page a-837-838
            Page a-839-840
            Page a-841-842
            Page a-843-844
        House of Commons - Friday, May 18
            Page a-845-846
            Page a-847-848
            Page a-849-850
            Page a-851-852
        House of Lords - Monday, May 21
            Page a-853-854
            Page a-855-856
        House of Commons - Monday, May 21
            Page a-857-858
            Page a-859-860
            Page a-861-862
            Page a-863-864
            Page a-865-866
            Page a-867-868
            Page a-869-870
            Page a-871-872
            Page a-873-874
            Page a-875-876
            Page a-877-878
            Page a-879-880
        House of Lords - Tuesday, May 22
            Page a-881-882
            Page a-883-884
            Page a-885-886
            Page a-887-888
        House of Commons - Wednesday, May 23
            Page a-889-890
            Page a-891-892
            Page a-893-894
            Page a-895-896
            Page a-897-898
            Page a-899-900
            Page a-901-902
            Page a-903-904
            Page a-905-906
            Page a-907-908
            Page a-909-910
            Page a-911-912
            Page a-913-914
            Page a-915-916
            Page a-917-918
            Page a-919-920
            Page a-921-922
            Page a-923-924
            Page a-925-926
            Page a-927-928
            Page a-929-930
            Page a-931-932
            Page a-933-934
            Page a-935-936
            Page a-937-938
            Page a-939-940
            Page a-941-942
            Page a-943-944
            Page a-945-946
            Page a-947-948
            Page a-949-950
            Page a-951-952
            Page a-953-954
            Page a-955-956
            Page a-957-958
            Page a-959-960
            Page a-961-962
            Page a-963-964
            Page a-965-966
            Page a-967-968
            Page a-969-970
            Page a-971-972
        House of Lords - Thursday, May 24
            Page a-973-974
        House of Commons - Thursday, May 24
            Page a-973-974
            Page a-975-976
            Page a-977-978
            Page a-979-980
            Page a-981-982
            Page a-983-984
            Page a-985-986
            Page a-987-988
            Page a-989-990
            Page a-991-992
            Page a-993-994
            Page a-995-996
            Page a-997-998
        House of Commons - Friday, May 25
            Page a-999-1000
            Page a-1001-1002
            Page a-1003-1004
            Page a-1005-1006
            Page a-1007-1008
            Page a-1009-1010
            Page a-1011-1012
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        House of Commons - Monday, May 28
            Page a-1015-1016
            Page a-1017-1018
            Page a-1019-1020
            Page a-1021-1022
            Page a-1023-1024
        House of Commons - Wednesday, May 30
            Page a-1025-1026
            Page a-1027-1028
            Page a-1029-1030
            Page a-1031-1032
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            Page a-1037-1038
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            Page a-1047-1048
            Page a-1049-1050
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        House of Commons - Thursday, May 31
            Page a-1053-1054
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            Page a-1059-1060
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            Page a-1065-1066
    June, 1821
        Page a-1067-1068
        House of Commons - Friday, June 1
            Page a-1067-1068
            Page a-1069-1070
            Page a-1071-1072
            Page a-1073-1074
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            Page a-1077-1078
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            Page a-1085-1086
            Page a-1087-1088
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            Page a-1091-1092
            Page a-1093-1094
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            Page a-1097-1098
        House of Commons - Monday, June 4
            Page a-1099-1100
            Page a-1101-1102
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        House of Commons - Wednesday, June 6
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        House of Commons - Thursday, June 7
            Page a-1127-1128
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        House of Commons - Friday, June 8
            Page a-1149-1150
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            Page a-1161-1162
        House of Commons - Wednesday, June 13
            Page a-1163-1164
        House of Lords - Thursday, June 14
            Page a-1165-1166
            Page a-1167-1168
            Page a-1169-1170
            Page a-1171-1172
            Page a-1173-1174
            Page a-1175-1176
            Page a-1177-1178
            Page a-1179-1180
        House of Commons - Thursday, June 14
            Page a-1181-1182
            Page a-1183-1184
            Page a-1185-1186
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        House of Commons - Friday, June 15
            Page a-1191-1192
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        House of Commons - Monday, June 18
            Page a-1201-1202
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        House of Lords - Tuesday, June 19
            Page a-1213-1214
            Page a-1215-1216
        House of Commons - Wednesday, June 20
            Page a-1217-1218
            Page a-1219-1220
            Page a-1221-1222
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            Page a-1225-1226
            Page a-1227-1228
            Page a-1229-1230
        House of Lords - Thursday, June 21
            Page a-1231-1232
        House of Commons - Thursday, June 21
            Page a-1233-1234
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            Page a-1253-1254
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            Page a-1257-1258
        House of Commons - Friday, June 22
            Page a-1259-1260
            Page a-1261-1262
            Page a-1263-1264
            Page a-1265-1266
            Page a-1267-1268
            Page a-1269-1270
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            Page a-1273-1274
            Page a-1275-1276
            Page a-1277-1278
            Page a-1279-1280
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            Page a-1283-1284
        House of Lords - Monday, June 25
            Page a-1285-1286
            Page a-1287-1288
        House of Commons - Monday, June 25
            Page a-1289-1290
            Page a-1291-1292
            Page a-1293-1294
            Page a-1295-1296
            Page a-1297-1298
            Page a-1299-1300
            Page a-1301-1302
            Page a-1303-1304
            Page a-1305-1306
            Page a-1307-1308
            Page a-1309-1310
            Page a-1311-1312
        House of Commons - Tuesday, June 26
            Page a-1313-1314
            Page a-1315-1316
            Page a-1317-1318
            Page a-1319-1320
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            Page a-1323-1324
            Page a-1325-1326
            Page a-1327-1328
            Page a-1329-1330
            Page a-1331-1332
            Page a-1333-1334
            Page a-1335-1336
            Page a-1337-1338
            Page a-1339-1340
            Page a-1341-1342
            Page a-1343-1344
        House of Commons - Wednesday, June 27
            Page a-1345-1346
            Page a-1347-1348
            Page a-1349-1350
            Page a-1351-1352
            Page a-1353-1354
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            Page a-1357-1358
            Page a-1359-1360
            Page a-1361-1362
            Page a-1363-1364
            Page a-1365-1366
            Page a-1367-1368
            Page a-1369-1370
            Page a-1371-1372
            Page a-1373-1374
            Page a-1375-1376
            Page a-1377-1378
            Page a-1379-1380
            Page a-1381-1382
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            Page a-1385-1386
            Page a-1387-1388
            Page a-1389-1390
            Page a-1391-1392
            Page a-1393-1394
            Page a-1395-1396
            Page a-1397-1398
            Page a-1399-1400
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            Page a-1435-1436
            Page a-1437-1438
            Page a-1439-1440
            Page a-1441-1442
        House of Commons - Thursday, June 28
            Page a-1443-1444
            Page a-1445-1446
        House of Commons - Friday, June 29
            Page a-1447-1448
            Page a-1449-1450
            Page a-1451-1452
            Page a-1453-1454
            Page a-1455-1456
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        House of Commons - Saturday, June 30
            Page a-1459-1460
            Page a-1461-1462
    July, 1821
        Page a-1463-1464
        House of Lords - Monday, July 2
            Page a-1463-1464
            Page a-1465-1466
            Page a-1467-1468
            Page a-1469-1470
            Page a-1471-1472
        House of Commons - Monday, July 2
            Page a-1473-1474
            Page a-1475-1476
            Page a-1477-1478
            Page a-1479-1480
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        House of Commons - Tuesday, July 3
            Page a-1483-1484
            Page a-1485-1486
            Page a-1487-1488
            Page a-1489-1490
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            Page a-1499-1500
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        House of Lords - Thursday, July 5
            Page a-1503-1504
        House of Lords - Monday, July 9
            Page a-1505-1506
        House of Commons - Tuesday, July 10
            Page a-1507-1508
            Page a-1509-1510
            Page a-1511-1512
            Page a-1513-1514
        House of Commons - Wednesday, July 11
            Page a-1515-1516
            Page a-1517-1518
    Finance accounts for the year ended 5th January 1821
        Page b-1-2
        Public income of the United Kingdom for the year ended 5th January, 1821
            Page b-3-4
        Consolidated fund and permanent taxes - Income and charge, 1821
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        Arrears and balances of public accountants, for the year ended 5th January 1821
            Page b-15-16
        Trade and navigation of the United Kingdom
            Page b-15-16
            Page b-17-18
            Page b-19-20
        Public expenditure - 5th Jan. 1821
            Page b-21-22
        Public funded debt
            Page b-23-24
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            Page b-27-28
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            Page b-31-32
            Page b-33-34
        Unfunded debt
            Page b-35-36
        Disposition of grants
            Page b-35-36
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            Page b-39-40
            Page b-41-42
            Page b-43-44
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    Reports
        Page b-49-50
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        Page b-139-140
        Page b-141-142
        Page b-143-144
    Index to debates in the House of Lords
        Page b-145-146
    Index to debates in the House of Commons
        Page b-145-146
    Index of names - House of Lords
        Page b-147-148
    Index of names - House of Commons
        Page b-147-148
        Page b-149-150
        Page b-151-152
Full Text

&^. AA^. yahj 'u&

TIHE


PARLIAMENTARY


DEBATES:


FORMING A CONTINUATION OF THE WORK ENTITLED

THE PARLIAMENTARY HISTORY OF ENGLAND

FROM THE EARLIEST PERIOD TO THE YEAR 1803."


PUBLISHED UNDER THE SUPERINTENDENCE OF
T. C. HANSARD.




COMMENCING WITH TIE ACCESSION OF GEORGE IV.



VOL. V.
COMPRISING THE PERIOD
FROM '
TIE THIRD DAY OP APRIL,
To
THE ELEVENTH DAY, LY .




LOND 0 O NV-D )
PRINTED BY T. C. HANSARD, PETERBOROUGH-URT, FLEE' STREET;
FOR BALDWIN, CRADOCK, AND JOY; J. BOOKER; LONGMAN, HURST, REES, ORME
AND BROWN; J. M. RICHARDSON; BLACK, KINGSBURY, PARBURY, AND ALLEN:
J. IATCHARD & SON; J. RIDGWAY & SONS; E. JEFFERY & SON; RODWELL &
MARTIN; R. H. EVANS; BUDD AND CALKIN; J. BOOTH; AND T. C. HANSARD.

1822.
j, f














TABLE OF CONTENTS

TO

VOLUME V.


NEW SERIES.




I. DEBATES IN THE HOUSE OF IV. PARLIAMENTARY PAPERS.
LORDS.
IV. PROTESTS.
II. DEBATES IN THE HOUSE OF
COMMONS. VI. REPORTS.
III. KING'S SPEECHES. VII. LISTS.




I. DEBATES IN THE HOUSE OF LORDS.


1.
1 3. Roman Catholic Disability Removal Bill ...........................
11. Committee on Foreign Trade .........................................
Grampound Disfranchisement Bill.....................................
16. Petitions in favour of the Roman Catholic Claims ................
Roman Catholic Disability Removal Bill............................
17. Roman Catholic Disability Removal Bill.............................
4. Bank Cash Payments Bill.................................. ......
10. Grampound Disfranchisement Bill..................................
14. Grampound Disfranchisement Bill..................................
21. Grampound Disfranchisement Bill........................... .....
22. Timber Dut' Bill.......................................................
24. Grampound Disfranchisement Bill....................................
14. Bishop of Peterborough's Examination Questions-Petition of
the Rev. H. W. Neville..................... ..........................
19. Irish Stationery.............................. ..................
21. Criminal Laws............................................................
25. Slave Trade.................................................................
2. Economy in the Public Expenditure..................................
5. Grant to the Duke of Clarence........................................
9. Agricultural Horse Duty Repeal Bill................................
11. The King's Speech at the Close of the Session...................

cy-f;*F^UV


182
Apri


May






June




July


Page
1
150
151
217
220
279
495
626
693
853
881
973

1166
1214
1231
1285
1464
1504
1505
1517







TABLE OF CONTENTS.



II. DEBATES IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Page
April 3. Mr. O'Connell................................ ........................ 3
Carlisle Election-Report of Privileges Committee............. 4
Union Duties........................... ............................. 5
Malt Duties Repeal Bill................................ ......... 6
5. State of the Game Laws........... ................................. 38
Agricultural Horses Tax................................................ 42
Timber Duties ......................................................... 50
6. Newington Select Vestry Bill...................................... 64
Metropolis Roads Bill................................................ 69
Mr. Creevey's Motion respecting Committees of Supply......... 70
Mr. Hume's Motion for an Instruction to the Committee of
Supply, to take into consideration the Recommendation of the
Finance Committee............. ........ ........................... 81
Army Estimates...................................... ................... 85
9. Wool Tax .......................................... ................. 89
African Company's Bill................................................... 90
Bank Cash Payments Bill................................. .......... 91
Irish Bank Cash Payments Bill...................................... 148
11. Roman Catholic Disability RemovalBill-Petition from Limerick 153
British Museum.............................................. ............ 155
Ilchester Gaol............................................................... 156
Army Estimates............................................................ 163
12. Petition from Lyme Regis respecting the Elective Franchise... 170
Usury Laws............ ............. ................................. 175
Mr. Hume's Motion respecting Civil Offices in the Ordnance
Department............................................................... 180
Scotch Malt Tax................ .......... ....... ............... 201
13. Bank Cash Payments Bill................................................ 203
Army Estimates............................................................ 208
Smuggling Prevention Acts ............................................ 215
16. Timber Duties Bill......................................................... 264.
Army Estimates............................................................ 273
17. Mr. Lambton's Motion for a Reform of Parliament.............. 359
18. Steam Engines......................... ................................ 439
Mr. Lambton's Motion for a Reform of Parliament.............. 41
19. Petition from London and Westminster respecting fining a De-
fendant during his Defence......................................... 456-
Commercial Intercourse with Ireland ................................ 459
30. Army Estimates.......................................................... 464
May 1. Army Estimates.................................. ................... 481
2. Petition of James Turner, complaining of his Imprisonment...... 484
Army-Half-pay Officers ............................................... 487
Army-Superannuations and Retired Allowances........... ..... 488
Army Estimates....................................... ............ 490
Metropolis Police Bill............................. .................... 491







TABLE OF CONTENTS.
Page
May 4. Duty on East India Sugars..... .......................................... 508
State of the Nation, as connected with the Events now passing
in Europe ............................................................ 510
Navy Estimates ............................................................ 519
7. Steam Engines Bill...................................................... 535
Continental Affairs-March of the Russian Army.................. 538
Navy Estimates................................... .................. 541
S. Breach of Privilege-Mr. Bennet's Complaint against the "John
Bull" Newspaper...................................................... 549
Mr. Lennard's Motion for the Repeal of the Seditious Meetings,
and Blasphemous and Seditious Libels Bills................... 553
Poor Relief Bill........................................................... 572
Bankruptcy Laws Amendment Bill.................................. 588
9. Breach of Privilege-Mr. Bennet's Complaint against the John
Bull" Newspaper ..................................................... 589
Inquiry into the State of English Courts of Justice.............. 598
Reform of Parliament-Petition from Carlisle ............... 603
Lord John Russell's Motion for a Reform of Parliament ........ 604
10. Breach of Privilege-Mr. Bennet's Complaint against the John
Bull" Newspaper ..................................................... 633
Scot's County Representation ....................................... 651
Steam Engines' Bill...................................................... 654
Bank of Ireland Bill.... ................................................. 655
11. Breach of Privilege-Complaint against the John Bull" News-
paper ....................................................................... 656
Ordnance Estimates.................................................... 681
14. Ordnance Estimates...................................... ......... 698
15. Petitions complaining of the proceedings at Manchester........ 713
Sir Francis Burdett's Motion respecting the Transactions at the
Manchester Meeting................................................... 719
16. Sir Francis Burdett's Motion respecting the Transactions at the
Manchester Meeting................................................ 775
18. Ordnance Estimates.................................. ............... 846
21. Ordnance Estimates-Barbadoes Fund............................ 858
Ordnance Estimates...................................................... 863
Ordnance Estimates for Ireland................................. .. 878
23. Constitutional Association.............................................. 890
Forgery Punishment Mitigation Bill.................................. 894
24. Mr. Creevey's Motion respecting the Four and a half per Cent
Duties.................................. .............................. 974
Occasional Votes Bill................................................... 983
Vagrant Laws Amendment Bill......................................... 983
Poor Relief Bill............................................................ 987
25. Forgery Punishment Mitigation Bill........................... ... 999
Army Extraordinaries.................................................... 1001
28. Petition from Newfoundland for Reform in the Courts of Justice 1015
Miscellaneous Estimates............................................. 1017
Government Advertisements............................................ 1024
30. Mr. Taylor's Motion respecting Delays in the Court of Chan-
cery, and in the Appellant Jurisdiction........................... 1025







TABLE OF CONTENTS.
Page
May 30. Privilege of Parliamant-Creditors of Mr. Christie Burton...... 1039
Irish Treasury Bills...................................................... 1041
Grampound Disfranchisement Bill................................. 1043
Constitutional Association......................... .............. 1046
31. Mr. Bennet's Motion for better securing the Independence of
Parliament............................................................... 1053
Ordnance Estimates...................................................... 1066
June 1. Maxwell's Slave Removal Bill......................................... 1068
The Budget................................................................ 1073
11l Treatment of Horses Bill.......................................... 1098
4. Forgery Punishment Mitigation Bill................................... 1099
6. Constitutional Association-Petition of Mr. Dolby............... 1114
Lord Nugent's Motion respecting the Administration of Affairs 1053
in Tobago..................... .......................................... 1119
Grant to the Duke of Clarence....................................... 1125
American Loyalists ................................................... 1126
7. Ionian Islands-Conduct of Sir Thomas Maitland............... 1128
8. Grant to the Duke of Clarence......................................... 1150
13. Miscellaneous Estimates.................................................. 1163
14. Constitutional Association-Petition of Edward King........... 1181
Scotch Burghs........................................................... 1182
Mr. Curwen's Motion for the Repeal of the Agricultural Horse
Tax ...................................................................... 1184
15. Vagrant Laws Amendment Bill...................................... 1192
Irish Revenue Inquiry Bill.............................. ............... 1193
Irish Estimates..................... ........ ......................... 1200
18. Husbandry Horses Duties Repeal Bill............................... 1201
Grant to the Duke of Clarence......................................... 1204
20. Burning of Hindoo Widows............................................. 1217
State of Europe............................................................ 1222
Poor Relief Bill ............................................................ 1228
21. Lord W. Bentinck's Motion respecting the Affairs of Sicily... 1234
Mr. Stuart Wortley's Motion respecting the Declaration of the
Allied Sovereigns at Laybach...................................... 1254
22. Mr. Spring Rice's Motion respecting the Conduct of Chief Baron
O'Grady................................................................... 1260
Austrian Loan ..................... ............. ........................ 1280
American Loyalists...................................................... 1285
25. Navigation Acts....................................... .............. 1289
Grant to the Duke of Clarence......................................... 1310
East India Private Trade Bill............. .............................. 1311
26. Irish Revenue Inquiry Bill............................................ 1314
Mr. Owen's Plan-New Lanark................................... 1316
Slave Trade............................................................ 1325
New Stamp Office at Edinburgh....................................... 1340
Mr. Theodore Hook.................................................. 1342
27. Mr. Hume's Motion for Economy and Retrenchment in the
Public Expenditure ................................................... 1345
28. Apprenticed Slaves........................................................ 1444
Committee of Supply-Grant to General Desfourneaux-Govern-
ment Proclamations in Ireland...................................... 1445






TABLE OF CONTENTS.
Page
June29. Committee of Supply-Alien Office ................. ............. 1447
Grant to the Duke of Clarence...................................... 1451
Appropriation Bill.................................................. .... 1455
SO. Grant to the Duke of Clarence-Coronation of the Queen...... 1460
July 2. Grant to the Duke of Clarence-Coronation of the Queen...... 1474
Poor Relief Bill............................................................ 1479
3. Constitutional Association-Petition of W. Benbow............. 1484
Mr. Whitbread's Motion on the Constitutional Association ...... 1486
Appropriation Bill ...................................................... 1501
10. Court of Session-Petition of W. Jameson......................... 1508
State of Education in Ireland.......................... ............... 1510
Coronation of the Queen................................................ 1514
11. Coronation of the Queen................................................. 151



III. KING'S SPEECHES.

July 12. King's Speech at the Close of the Session .......................... 1517



IV. PARLIAMENTARY PAPERS.

FINANCE ACCOUNTS for the Year ended 5th January 1821 ..........App.. i
Copy of Mr. Lambton's. proposed Bill For Effecting a Reform in the Re-
presentation of the People in Parliament" ................. ..,..,App, ciii



V. PROTESTS.

May 22. Protest against the Timber Duties Bill .... ................ 884



VI. REPORTS.

Report of the Select Committee of the House of Commons, on the
Foreign Trade of the Country. July 18th 1820 .................... App. cxxix
First Report of the Select Committee of the House of Commons on the
Means of Improving and Maintaining the Foreign Trade of the Country.
March 9th 1821. ............................................................ App. xlix
Second Report of the Select Committee of the House of Commons, on the
Means of Improving and Maintaining the Foreign Trade of the
Country .. .. ........................ ................................. App. lxi
Report relative to the Trade with the East Indies and China, from the
Seldct Committee of the House of Lords, on the Means of Extending
Sand Securing the Foreign Trade of the Country. April 11th 1821 .... App. lxiii
Report from the Select Committee of the House of Commons, on the de-
pressed state of the Agriculture of the United Kingdom. June 18
1821.. ......(......... ............................o..................... App. Ixix
VOL. V. b






TABLE OF CONTENTS.


VII. LISTS.
Pag.
April 3. LIsT of the Majority and also of the Minority, on the second
reading of the Malt Duties Repeal Bill................... 35
5. of the Minority on Lord Althorp's Amendment to the
Timber Duties Bill, in favour of Norway Deals ......... 63
of the Minority on Sir H. Parnell's Amendment to the
Timber Duties Bill, to equalize all the Duties at the
end of five Years .............................................. 63
6. of the Minority on Mr. Creevey's Motion against going into
Committees of Supply ........ ........................... 81
of the Minority on Colonel Davies's Motion for reducing
the Grant for the War Office ............................ 88
9. of the Minority on Mr. Baring's Motion respecting the
Bank Cash Payments Bill ................................... 147
11. of the Majority and also of the Minority on Mr. Hume's
Motion for reducing the Grant for the Adjutant Ge-
hteral's Office ...................................... ........ 163
12. of the Majority and also of the Minority on Mr. Hume's
Motion respecting Civil Offices in the Ordnance De-
partment ....................................................... 200
of the Minority in the House of Commons on the Scotch
M alt Tax ............................................... ......... 202
13. of the Minority on Mr. Hume's Motion for reducing the
Salary of the Commander-in-Chief ....................... 21
16. of the Minority on Colonel Davies's Motion for postponing
the Consideration of the Estimate for the Medical Ser-
vice of the Army .............................. ................. 274
17. .. of the Contents, and also of the Not-Contents, on the
Roman Catholic Disability Removal Bill ................. 356
18. -. of the Minority on Mr. Lambton's Motion for a Reform of
Parliament ............................................,.... 453
:30. -- of the Minority on Mr. Creevey's Motion for reducing the
Expenses of the Civil Establishment of the Army ,,.,., 468
of the Minority on Mr. Hume's Motion for reducing the
Grant for the Military College ............................. 474
of the Minority on Mr. Hume's Motion for reducing the
Grant for Foreign Half pay Agency ....................... 480
May 2. of the Minority on Colonel Davies's Motion respecting
Half-Pay Officers ........................................ 488
-of the Minority on Mr, Hume's Motion respecting Super-
annuations and Retired Allowances in the Army ...... 489
.. of the Minority on Mr, Bernal's Motion for reducing the
Grant for the Admiralty Office ............................ 532
7. of the Minority on Mr. Hume's Motion for an Inquiry into
the Expenditure of the Dock Yards .. ,.................. 544
-of the Minority on Mr. Hume's Motion for reducing the
Expenses of Improvement of the Dock Yards one half 549
8,. of the Minority on Mr. Lennard's Motion for the Repeal
of the Seditious Meetings, and Blasphemous and Sedi-
tious (ibJls Bill .................. ..,... .... 572







TABLE OF CONTENTS.
Page
May 9. LIST of the Minority on Sir John Newport's Motion respecting
the Commission of Inquiry into the State of English
Courts of Justice ............ .. .......................... 602
of the Majority and also of the Minority on Lord John
Russell's Motion for a Reform of Parliament ........... 624
10. of the Minority on Lord A. Hamilton's Motion respecting
the Scots County Representation ......................... 654
11. of the Minority on Mr. Bennet's Complaint respecting the
John Bull" Newspaper........ .............................. 676
of the Minority on Mr. Hume's Motion for reducing the
Ordnance Estimates ......................................... 687
14. of the Minority on Mr. Hume's Motion for reducing the
Grant for the Ordnance Office ......................... .. 710
16. of the Minority on Sir Francis Burdett's Motion respecting
the Transactions at the Manchester Meeting ........... 845
21. of the Minority on Mr. Creevey's Motion respecting Ord-
nance Repairs for the Island of Barbadoes ............... 863
of the Minority on Mr. Creevey's Motion for reducing the
Staff of the Artillery ..................... ............... 866
of the Minority on Mr. Hume's Motion for reducing the
Medical Establishment of the Military Department of
the Ordnance ................................................ 867
of the Minority on Mr. Hume's Motion for reducing the
Grant for the Military Academy at Woolwich ........... 868
of the Minority on the Ordnance Estimates ................ 878
23. of the Majority and also of the Minority in the House of
Commons on the Forgery Punishment Mitigation Bill... 971
24. of the Minority on Mr. Creevey's Motion respecting the
Four and a Half per Cent Duties ........ .................. 982
25. of the Minority on Mr. Bennet's Motion for reducing the
Grant for Army Extraordinaries .......................... 1011
of the Minority on Colonel Davies's Motion for reducing
the Grant for the Commissariat Department ............ 1015
28. of the Minority on Colonel Davies's Motion for reducing
Grant for the Barrack Department ....................... 1021
of the Minority on Mr. Hume's Motion for reducing the
Grant for such Expenses of a Civil Nature as do not form
a part of the Ordinary Charges of the Civil List ........ 1024
0. of the Minority on Mr. Maberly's Motion respecting Irish
Treasury Bills ................................... .............. 1043
31. of the Minority on Mr. Bennet's Motion for better securing
the Independence of Parliament .......................... 1066
of the Minority on Mr. Hume's Motion for reducing the
Grant for the Salaries of the Master General, &c. of the
Ordnance ....................................................... 1067
of the Minority on Mr. Gipps's Motion for reducing the
Grant for Ordnance Barrack Expenses ................... 1067
Juno 4. of the Minority on the third reading of the Forgery Pu-
nishment Mitigation Bill .................................... 1112
7. of the Majority on Mr. Hume's Motion respecting the Con-
duct of Sir Thomas Maitland in the Ionian Islands ...... 1149
8. of the Minority on the Grant to the Duke of Clarence ... 1163
15. of the Minority on the Irish Revenue Inquiry Bill ....... 1200






TABLE OF CONTENTS.
Page
June 18. LIST of the Minority on the Grant to the Duke of Clarence .,. 1208
of the Minority on Mr. flume's Motion for reducing the
Grant to the Duke of Clarence from 6,0001. tob,5001... 1210
of the Minority on Mr. Bernal's Motion for omitting the
Arrears in the Grant to the Duke of Clarence ........... 1213
20. of the Minority on Mr. Hutchinson's Motion on the State.
of the Nation ...................................... 1228
21. of the Minority on Lord W. Bentinck's Motion respecting-
the Affairs of Sicily ............................................ 1 54
25. of the Minority on the Grant to the Duke of Clarence ... 1311
-7. of the Majority and also of the Minority on Mr. Hume's
Motion for Economy and Retrenchment in the Public.
Expenditure:.............................. ...................... 1442
29. of the Minority on the Grant for the Alien Office ........ 1450
of the Minority on the Grant to the Duke of Clarence ... 1455
July 2. of the Minority on the Grant to the Duke of Clarence ...-1478




































PAItLIAMENTARY












Par ian entaryDebates


During the Second Session of the Seventh Parliament of
the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, ap-
pointed to meet at Westminster, the Twenty-third Day
of January 1821, in the First Year of the Reign of His
Majesty King GEORGE the Fourth.


HOUSE OF LORDS.
Tuesday, April 3, 1821.
ROMAN CATHOLIC DISABILITY RE-
MOVAL BILL.] The Roman Catholic Dis-
ability Removal bill, was brought from the
Commons by sir John Newport, attended
by an unusually large number of mem-
bers.
The Earl of Donoughmore, in rising to
move that the bill be read a first time,
said, he was deeply impressed with a sense
of the important situation in which he was
placed, by being selected to advocate the
claims of the Roman Catholics in that
House. He had lately had communica-
tions with some of the first men in the
kingdom on both sides of the question, the
result of which induced him to believe,
that in the progress of the bill through
the House such amendments would be
made as would remove every material ob-
jection that might be entertained on the
part of the Catholics to the measure, with-
out at the same time failing to give those
securities which the Protestant establish-
ment in church and state had a right to
require.
The Earl of Liverpool said, that the bill
was itself of the greatest importance, and
coming, as it did, recommended by the
-House of'Commons, it was in every res-
pect entitled to their most serious consi-
deration. That consideration he was cer-
tain it would receive, and whatever their
lordships' decision might be, he trusted,
that the question would be discussed with
all that moderation which had hitherto
characterized its progress. Having him-
VOL. V. I{'}


self taken an active part in many former
discussions, he felt that, he should not act
candidly towards the House or the noble
lord, if he did not declare, that when it
came to the second reading, he should
feel it his duty to object, as an indivi-
dual, to the measure. The bill was di-
vided into two parts; the first went to the
removal of the political disabilities imposed
on the Catholics; the second, to the re-
gulation of their ecclesiastical establish-
ment. To both those parts, as they now
stood, he should be under the necessity
of objecting. He could not agree to con-
fer upon them privileges to the extent pro-
posed, and even if his mind were made up
to grant those privileges, he should still
be obliged to object to the clauses relat-
ing to the Roman Catholic clergy. Those
enactments appeared to him to take away
all the grace of concession ; many of them
were unjust and many impolitic, and cal-
culated to defeat the ends of those by
whom the bill was proposed.
The Earl of Donoughmore said, that
with respect to one of the points alluded
to by the noble earl, he felt exactly as
he did; but he was sorry the noble earl
did not agree with him in the general
principle of the bill. If the Roman Ca-
tholics entertained sentiments opposed to
the principles of the constitution, he should
object to grant them the proposed relief;
but he was convinced, they were as loyal
as the members of any other persuasion.
The noble lord alluded, in terms of praise,
to the manner in which the other House
had met the wishes of the friends of the
Catholics, and observed, that if the Ca-
tholics were not grateful for the conduct of
B












Par ian entaryDebates


During the Second Session of the Seventh Parliament of
the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, ap-
pointed to meet at Westminster, the Twenty-third Day
of January 1821, in the First Year of the Reign of His
Majesty King GEORGE the Fourth.


HOUSE OF LORDS.
Tuesday, April 3, 1821.
ROMAN CATHOLIC DISABILITY RE-
MOVAL BILL.] The Roman Catholic Dis-
ability Removal bill, was brought from the
Commons by sir John Newport, attended
by an unusually large number of mem-
bers.
The Earl of Donoughmore, in rising to
move that the bill be read a first time,
said, he was deeply impressed with a sense
of the important situation in which he was
placed, by being selected to advocate the
claims of the Roman Catholics in that
House. He had lately had communica-
tions with some of the first men in the
kingdom on both sides of the question, the
result of which induced him to believe,
that in the progress of the bill through
the House such amendments would be
made as would remove every material ob-
jection that might be entertained on the
part of the Catholics to the measure, with-
out at the same time failing to give those
securities which the Protestant establish-
ment in church and state had a right to
require.
The Earl of Liverpool said, that the bill
was itself of the greatest importance, and
coming, as it did, recommended by the
-House of'Commons, it was in every res-
pect entitled to their most serious consi-
deration. That consideration he was cer-
tain it would receive, and whatever their
lordships' decision might be, he trusted,
that the question would be discussed with
all that moderation which had hitherto
characterized its progress. Having him-
VOL. V. I{'}


self taken an active part in many former
discussions, he felt that, he should not act
candidly towards the House or the noble
lord, if he did not declare, that when it
came to the second reading, he should
feel it his duty to object, as an indivi-
dual, to the measure. The bill was di-
vided into two parts; the first went to the
removal of the political disabilities imposed
on the Catholics; the second, to the re-
gulation of their ecclesiastical establish-
ment. To both those parts, as they now
stood, he should be under the necessity
of objecting. He could not agree to con-
fer upon them privileges to the extent pro-
posed, and even if his mind were made up
to grant those privileges, he should still
be obliged to object to the clauses relat-
ing to the Roman Catholic clergy. Those
enactments appeared to him to take away
all the grace of concession ; many of them
were unjust and many impolitic, and cal-
culated to defeat the ends of those by
whom the bill was proposed.
The Earl of Donoughmore said, that
with respect to one of the points alluded
to by the noble earl, he felt exactly as
he did; but he was sorry the noble earl
did not agree with him in the general
principle of the bill. If the Roman Ca-
tholics entertained sentiments opposed to
the principles of the constitution, he should
object to grant them the proposed relief;
but he was convinced, they were as loyal
as the members of any other persuasion.
The noble lord alluded, in terms of praise,
to the manner in which the other House
had met the wishes of the friends of the
Catholics, and observed, that if the Ca-
tholics were not grateful for the conduct of
B







State ofthe Game Latus.

MINORITY.


Allen, J. H.
Althorp, vise.
Astley, J. D.
Beaumont,T. W.
Barham, J. F.
Barham, J. F. jun.
Barnard, vise.
Barrett, S. M.
Becher, W. W.
Bennet, hon. H. G.
Benyon, B.
Bernal, R.
Birch, J.
Browne, D.
Bright, H.
Bury, vise.
Blair, J. H.
Bruce, R.
Baillie, J.
Belgrave, vise.
Buxton, T. F.
Bastard, E. P.
Boughton, W. E. B.
Boughev, sirJ. F.
Benett, J.
Chaloner, R.
Calcraft, J.
Campbell, hon. J.
Cavendish, lord G.
Cavendish, H.
Cavendish, C.
Clifton, vi.c.
Coke,T. W.
Colburne, N. R.
Concannon, L.
Crespigny, sir W.
Cromplton, S.
Curwen, J. C.
Creevey, T.
Curteis, J. E.
Chetwynd, G.
Corbett, P.
Davies, T. II.
Deerhurst, vise.
Denison, W. J.
Duncannon, vise.
Dickenson, W.
Davenport, D.
Ellice, E.
Farquharson, A.
Fergusson, sir R. C.
Fitzroy, lord C.
Fitzroy, lord J.
Folkestone, vise.
Fairlie, sir W. C.
Fife, earl of
Forbes, C.
Fellows, W. H.
Glenorchy, lord
Gooch, T. S.
Graham, sir J.
Grattan, J.
Grant, J. P.
Grant, F. W.
Grant, G. M.


Gurney, R. H.
Haldimand, W.
Hamilton, sir II. D.
Harbor, hon. E.
Heathcote, G. J.
Heron, sir R.
Hill, lord A.
Hobhouse, J. C.
Honywood, W. P.
Hornby, E.
Hughes, W. L.
Hume, J.
Hurst, R.
James, W.
Johnson, col.
Jervoise, G. P.
Keck, G. A. L.
Lamb,hon.W.
Latouche, R.
Lemon, sir W.
Lennard, T. B.
Lethbridge, sir T.
Lloyd, sir E. P.
Lloyd, J. M.
Lockhart, J; J.
Maberly, J.
Maberly, W. L.
Mackenzie, T.
Mahon, hon. S.
Majoribanks, S.
Martin, J.
Mildmay, P. St. J.
Monck, J. B.
Moore, A.
Ord, W.
Osborne, lord F.
Ossulston, lord
O'Grady, S.
Palmer, col.
Palmer, C. F.
Pares, T.
Parnell, sir H.
Price, R.
Pryse, P.
Pym, F.
Portman, E. B.
Ramsay, sir A.
Ramsbottom, J.
Ramsden, J. C.
Ricardo, D.
Rickford, W.
Ridley, sir M. W.
Robarts, W. A.
Robarts, A.
Robinson, sir G.
Rogers, E.
Rowley, sir W.
Rumbold, C.
Russell, R. G.
Scott, J.
Scourfield W. H.
Scudamore, R. P.
Sebright, sir J.
Smith, hon. R.
Smith, W.


S APRIL 5, 1821. [38
Smylh, J. II. Wemyss, J.
Staniley, lord Western, C. C.
Stewart, W. Wlitbread, S. C.
Stuart, lord Wodehouse, E.
Sykes, D. Wood, aid.
'Ialbot, R. W. Wynn, sir W.
Temple, earl of Wyvill, M.
Tennyson, C. TELLERS.
Townshend, lord C. Hamilton, lord A.
Tynte, C. K. Shelley, sir J.
Wells, J.
PAIRED OFF.
Daly, J. Ponsonby, hon. F. C.
Fitzgerald, M. Plumer, W.
Heathcote, sir G. Russell, lord W.
Macdonald, J. Russell, lord J.
Mackintosh, sir J. Sefton, earl of
Milton, lord Tavistock, marq.
Neville, lion. R. Whitbread, W. If.
Newport, sir J. Wilkins, W.


HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Thursday, April 5.
STATE OF THE GAME LAWS.] Lord
Cranbourn rose to move for a committee
to.inquire into the state of the Game Laws.
When the House recollected the numbers
who were daily committed to prison for
offences arising out of these laws they
could not but see the importance of the
subject. He thought, too, that the laws
were in many respects absurd and incon-
sistent. In some cases, a son was quali-
fied while the father was not. The noble
lord mentioned several other instances to
show the anomalous state of the law upon
this subject, and concluded by moving for
the committee.
Sir J. Sebright seconded the motion.
He was sure that any change would be
for the better. A set of laws more absurd
or unjust never disgraced any country.
With respect to their effects, they tended
to demoralize the people. It was his
opinion, that game should be put upon
the same footing as other property.
Sir J. Shelly said, that when he recol-
lected that a bill for altering the game
laws had been brought in by the late mem-
ber for Hertfordshire (lord Dacre), and
enforced by all his eloquence and yet
had failed, he could not expect much
from the present motion. However, the
noble lord had said, to use sporting lan-
guage, though lord Dacre missed fire.
I'll whip on his jacket, and have a shot at
the game laws." The game laws had not
been fairly treated ; for there was no set
of laws that might not be open to objec-
tion, if their bad effects only were consi-
dered. If the game were destroyed, the






59] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
great inducement to country gentlemen
to reside on their estates would be taken
away.
Sir Joseph Yorke said, that though he
was not a killer of game, he was an eater
of that nice article, but since the bill of
an hon. member (Mr. G. Bankes) had
passed, he had never been able to get a
second course. He hoped, whatever bill
the noble lord brought in, there would be
a clause in it to provide; that when an
humble individual like himself was about
to give a dinner, and said to his wife,
" My dear, let us have some game," he
might not be met with the unpleasant
difficulty, where shall we get it ?"
Mr. G. Bankes was glad his bill had been
so effectual. If that bill destroyed poach-
ing, it would destroy the nest from which
great part of the evil of the country ori-
ginated. He objected to a committee
which would take up the time of the
House without adding any thing to its in-
formation. As the subject was not new,
the noble lord might at once move for
leave to bring in a bill. As to the game
laws themselves, no one could deny, that
a great number of persons were at pre-
sent in prison on account of them, and
nothing would be more easy than to put
an end to this, by abolishing those laws.
But this might be said of any other law.
They all lamented the number of punish-
ments for forgery. Nothing was more
easy than to put an end to the laws
against it. But what then became of the
property of the country ? So they might
abolish the game laws, but what then be-
came of the game of the country ? The
general permission to shoot would only
make the country people ten times more
vicious and indolent: in six months the
game would be destroyed, and the better
classes of people would be left without
their amusement, which attached them to
the country.
Colonel Wood said, he was the unfor-
tunate individual who moved for the
committee of 1810. When he had got
into that committee, they would agree to
nothing that he proposed. He had pro-
posed to the committee to examine to
what extent the evil of poaching had
gone, and to consider a remedy. This
the committee refused, and said they
would take for granted there was a great
deal of evil from poaching. So that after
much discussion the only resolution the
committee came to was this-" That it is
the opinion of this committee that game


State of the Game Laws. [4(
should be the property of the person on
whose ground it is found:" and so they
reported. As for the remark of his hon.
friend, that no one in London could get a
second course, he could only say that his
hon. friend was not so much in the confi-
dence of the poulterers as he was. If his
hon. friend would give a social dinner,
he would undertake to buy game for him.
It was of importance that the committee
should be appointed, for he was confident
that poaching was carried on to as great
an extent as ever it was. The poulterers
were forced to encourage it, even against
their own will. What they said was,
" cut off the supply altogether, or let it
be legalised." As to the remedy two
courses were open. Either they might
return to the state in which they were
till the latter end of George 2nd, when the
sale of game was legal, the rest of the laws
remaining the same; or they might (to
which he was more inclined) make game
the property of the occupier of the land.
He recommended also a revision of the
law as to qualifications, which was now
enforced only against the poor. The
certificate might be raised to 51. and all
qualifications taken away. He was anxi-
ous the country gentlemen should have
every inducement to reside on their es-
tates, but it was their interest to consider
the question with liberality, and to put
down an evil which filled our gaols with
peasantry, and laid the foundation of so
many crimes.
Mr. Douglas opposed the motion. To
legalize the sale of game would, he ob-
served, be, in effect, to enable persons to
buy licenses for the disposal of stolen
purchases.
Sir C. Burrell thought, that at a time
when the country gentlemen were la-
bouring under so many privations, it was
too much to propose to take from them
the only solace they had left. With re-
gard to the main question of the game
laws, he was convinced that it would be a
bad plan to separate the game from the
property of the country. In this point he
was supported by the late Mr. Fox, who,
after having maturely examined the sub-
ject, had come to the same conclusion.
Mr. Lockhart thought that a committee
ought not to be appointed, unless the
specific defect in the law were clearly
pointed out, and the remedy stated. The
proposition of the noble lord, he was con-
vinced, would not produce the slightest
improvement in the morals of the country,






4T] Agricultural Horses Tax.
If game were to be made property, it must
be under the civil law, and then the effect
would be, to bring a host of pettyfogging
lawyers all over the country, disputing
about every head of game. To get rid
of one evil, therefore, they were called
on to create another of a much worse na-
ture. He begged of the House also to
consider what a restriction it would be
upon the citizens all over the country, in
taking the diversion of shooting, who al-
though they might be permitted to follow
the sport on the grounds of those they
dealt with, would not dare to cross a
hedge after game.
Mr. Bennet, of Wiltshire, thought the
game laws required revision. Few per-
sons stole sheep who did not first begin
by poaching. If game was put upon the
same footing as other property it would
be the interest of the occupiers of the
h.nd to preserve it; it was now their in-
terest to destroy it. It might be then
sold so cheap that it would not be worth
the poachers while to sell game.
Mr. Coke jun. thought the effect of
making game property, would be, to ren-
der country gentlemen odious in the eyes
of the nation, bygiving them a mercenary
sordid character, in converting that which
had hitherto been regarded as an exclu-
sive source of amusement into a means of
lucre. He did not stand up as the de-
fender of the game laws, but he was con-
vinced it was impossible to put a stop to
poaching by any laws that could be de-
vised; and the present laws were so fitted
and fashioned to their end by the opera-
tion of time, that any attempt at altera-
tion would be more likely to defeat the
object than to promote it.
Mr. Warre neither wished to spoil the
amusements of the country gentleman,
nor to remove the inducement which he
now had to reside on his estate; but he
believed the present laws to be the source
of much crime, and should therefore vote
for their revision.
Lord Lowther spoke against the mo-
tion, conceiving its object to be two-fold,
namely, to legalize the sale of game, and
to prevent poaching. He must protest
against the former, as it would serve ra-
ther to promote than to prevent poaching.
Mr. Harbord, convinced as he was, that
great moral evil resulted from the pre-
sent system, was inclined to support a
measure which might tend to correct it.
Much stress had been laid upon the argu-
ment that the present game laws presented


APRIL 5, 18~21 [42
a strong inducement to landed proprietors
to reside upon their own estates. If the
only amusement which gentlemen could
find in the country was that of shooting
pheasants, he thought the country would
not lose much by their absence.
The House divided: Ayes 52. Noes,
86. Majority against the motion 34.

AGRICULTURAL HORSES TAX.] Mr.
Curwen rose to bring forward his pro-
mised motion for the repeal of the tax
upon Horses employed in Agriculture,
Against this proposition, he felt that the
same objections could not apply, which
were urged upon the measure of his hon.
friend the member for Essex, with regard
to the repeal of the malt tax. For the
tax to which his motion would refer, ope-
rated in a most unequal manner, pressing
most severely upon those who had to cul-
tivate the waste land, while it was, to a
certain extent, oppressive upon all farmers,
especially of the smaller class. There
was, indeed, scarcely a farmer who had not
reason to complain of the operation of
this tax; for what farmer could conscien-
tiously swear that he never used any of
his agricultural horses for any other pur-
pose than farming? and if he did no"
so swear, the horse otherwise used was
charged as a saddle-horse. There was
this material difference between the malt
tax, and that to which he referred, that
while it was maintained, that the repeal of
the former would confer no benefit on the
agriculturist or the consumer, no such
argument could be used in the present
case, as the repeal of the agricultural
horse tax would be an immediate boon to
the farmers. The present tax too, was
in amount much less than that of the
malt tax; and therefore it could be the
more easily dispensed with. This tax
was, indeed, so exceptionable, that he
was surprised at its original enactment.
But the unequal operation of it was pecu-
liarly to be deprecated. For instance, if
a farmer had four horses, three were
charged at 17s. each as agricultural horses,
and the fourth was set down as a saddle
horse at 20s., although such horse had
never a saddle upon his back or any thing
more in that shape than a whisp of straw;
in addition to which 10s. 6d. was charged
for a groom. Hence it appeared, that if
a farmer possessed 50 acres of land, with
four horses, he was subject to a tax of
above 51. a-year for his horses and sup-
posed groom. He trusted that such a case






43J HOUSE OF COMMONS,
would attract the attention of the noble
lord (Castlereagh), as the friend of agri-
culture, if the chancellor of the exchequer
were even determined to be deaf to the
appeal. That appeal was for the consi-
deration due in common equity to those
who had bad or inferior lands to cultivate.
But another consideration was due to the
farmers in the northern counties, com-
pared to those in other districts. For in-
stance, he had been told by his hon.
friend, the member for Norfolk (Mr.
Coke), that he could plough sixty days
more in the year in his county than could
be done in Cumberland. Did not this fact,
then, entitle the farmers in the northern
counties to somewhat more of attention
upon.the subject of taxation? But the
manner in which the farmers were occa-
sionally surcharged was peculiarly griev-
ous. One grievance of this nature had
come to his knowledge. A small farmer
of 70 years of age, who, when in better
circumstances, was a sportsman, was pro-
ceeding with his horse to market, having
some articles for sale, but, happening to
meet a party engaged in fox-hunting, he
could not resist the attraction, and there-
fore throwing down his goods, he mounted
his horse and followed the hounds. Was
not this a case which ought to be excused
from the penalty of using an agricultural
horse for any but agricultural purposes ?
Yet, in this case, an informer appeared,
and the poor old farmer was actually sur-
charged. He called upon ministers to
devise some means of relieving the farmers
from such oppression, and to contrive a
more equal distribution of the taxes. By
this remission, 2s. 6d. a week might be
added to the weekly wages of every day
labourer in England, and that would be
an addition, which would lead to various
results advantageous to the country. He
was confident, that the low price of corn
was not owing to an over-production, but
to an under-consumption, in consequence
of the comparative inability of the labour-
ing classes to purchase. These classes
could not, indeed, afford to buy as formerly,
and hence consumption had fallen off,
which circumstance naturally led to a fall
of prices. Some gentlemen professed to
think, that the distress of agriculture was
in a great measure owing to the quantity
of bad land in cultivation, but, if it were
not for the cultivation of these lands, with
all their disadvantage to the farmers, the
surplus produce of all Europe, or of the
world, would not be sufficient to supply


. Agricultural Horses Tax. .41
the wants of this country. The produce
of our bad lands generally supplied the
consumption of the country for two months
in the year, and that was more than had
ever been imported. It had been stated,
that if the import of corn were free from
restriction, those who sent it would take
the produce of our manufactures in return;
and hence, it was argued, that our com-
merce and manufactures would be en-
riched by the unrestrained import of corn.
But who were the persons by whom it was
expected our manufactured goods would
be taken in exchange for corn? There
were now no corn-merchants on the con-
tirient--Monarchs were, at present, the
only great corn-dealers abroad. The
king of Sweden was, indeed, one of the
first corn-merchants. And, if our ports
should be at present opened, the greatest
supply of corn to be looked for was from
the king of Denmark, who had a vast
quantity of corn in store, and who was
still a greater dealer in corn than the king
of Sweden. And, if the king of Denmark
should send us corn, who could suppose,
that his majesty would take our hardware
or woollen manufactures in return ? No.
This monarch, like another foreign dealer
in corn, would require from us either bul-
lion or bills in payment for his corn.-
But he hoped and trusted, that our ports
would never again be opened for the im-
port of corn, and that this country would
always be able to grow enough for its own
consumption, instead of looking for any
foreign supply. This, however, could not
be the case, if the low or inferior soils
were thrown out of culture. But, if those
lands were thrown out of cultivation, what
was to become of the people who were at
present employed in labouring upon them?
Were those labourers thrown out of em-
ployment, there would be no resource for
them but the poor's-rate, the amount of
which was already enormous. -Another
subject of complaint among the farmers
was, the delay which took place in judg-
ing upon surcharges. This delay was a
source of great vexation and injury. For
example, a farmer happened to find, that
the application of a metallic spring to a
cart would serve most materially to facili-
tate labour-to give the power, indeed, of
two horses to a one-horse cart. But, as
soon as the use of the spring was disco-
vered, he was actually surcharged for a
gig. But this farmer deeming it quite
impossible, that he should be ultimately
required to pay 61, 12s. for the use of such







45] Agricultural Horses Tax.
an improvement, continued the use of it,
and 1S months having elapsed before the
judgment was pronounced, he had to pay
the year's tax as well as the surcharge.
It was the duty of the chancellor of the
exchequer to look to a case of this nature.
But, he called upon the right hon. gentle-
man to turn his attention to the several
taxes which pressed upon the necessaries
of life, and bore down the labouring
classes. It would be not only a measure
of benevolence, but of wisdom, to repeal
all those taxes, and, in lieu thereof, to
impose an income tax of 5 per cent. To
such a tax no rational objection could be
made; for, while it would afford great re-
lief to the labouring classes, it would press
only upon the rich, including alike the
fundholder and the landholder. If such
an income-tax were proposed as a sub-
stitute for the malt, the salt, and the
leather taxes, with those upon soap and
candles, it would, he had no doubt, be
hailed as a most auspicious measure by all
considerate and candid men. This tax
upon income would, too, serve very amply
to indemnify the treasury for the repeal
of the several duties which he had men-
tioned. Such a substitute would have
another material advantage-that it would
save the country from great expense in
the collection of the revenue, as well as
put an end to that patronage of which he
feared that government were always too
tenacious. But the mode in which the
taxes upon the necessaries of life were
collected, had some peculiarities which
must strike the House with surprise.
Would it be believed that two millions of
those taxes were exacted for paupers who
had really nothing to pay ; that one-
fourth of their entire annual produce was
actually paid upon the necessaries con-
sumed by parish paupers-by those, in-
deed, who subsisted upon the bounty of
others ? But how many labourers, who
could not subsist upon their present wages,
and who therefore were obliged to resort
to some parochial aid, were among the
contributors to the payment of those
taxes? If, then, those taxes were repealed,
such persons could subsist upon their
wages, and avoid the disgrace of applying
for parochial relief. Another circum-
stance was this-that if the land continued
'to fall off in price, the paupers could not
-be maintained without resorting to the
towns where the manufacturers and me-
chanics were scarcely in a state to afford
any relief without injuring, if not sacrific-


APRIL 5, 1821. [46
ing themselves. But the great object of
the legislature, in every view, should be
to support agriculture. The manufacto-
ries could, notoriously, produce one-third
more than any market could be found for.
They still, however, could go on well, if
their best customers, the agriculturists,
were enabled to purchase more of their
commodities. The hon. member con-
cluded with moving That leave be given
to bring in a bill to repeal so much of
the acts of the 43rd and 52nd Geo. 3,
and the 2nd of his present majesty, as
imposes certain duties on Agricultural
Horses, and other horses employed in lead.
ing lime, coal, and other merchandize."
Sir W. W. Wynn supported the motion,
because he thought its principle unobjec-
tionable. At the same time, he should
have preferred that his hon. friend had
postponed it until after the bringing up of
the report of the agricultural committee.
Sir C. Burrell, after declaring his con-
currence with the principle of the motion,
expressed a wish, that it had been post-
poned until the report of the agricultural
committee were brought up. The un-
equal pressure of the existing tax could
not be denied. For instance, where land
required lime, which was particularly the
case with lands of inferior quality, addi-
tional horses must be employed to carry
it; for oxen, although they answered the
purpose of agriculture in the field, could
not carry great weights for any distance
upon the roads. Under all the circum-
stances, he trusted his hon. friend would
consent to postpone his motion.
Mr. Davenport expressed his concur-
rence with the motion, but wished it to
be postponed until after the agricultural
committee had made its report.
Mr. Benett, of Wilts, approved of the
motion, and saw no necessity for its post-
ponement.
Mr. Curwven said, that if the right hon.
gentleman opposite would pledge himself
to meet the question at a future period,
he would withdraw his motion.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer said,
he wished to know the degree of import-
ance which the agricultural committee
would attach to the repeal of this tax.
Unless they considered its repeal of great
importance to the agricultural interests,
he thought no benefit arising from it
could equal the inconvenience which
would result, in a financial point of view,
from the subtraction of so large a sum as
500,0001. a year from the revenue.







47] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
Sir T. Lethbridge was satisfied, that the
country would consider the repeal of the
tax as a great relief. He did not wish to
undervalue the opinion of the committee
up stairs; he must say that he thought it
would be much better for the House to
grant this small boon to the agriculturists
at the present moment.
Mr. Gipps hoped the hon. member
would not press his motion, but bring it
forward again after the committee should
have made their report. He was con-
vinced if ministers would put their shoul-
ders to the wheel, that they would be able
to find means of raising 500,0001. in a
manner more serviceable to the country.
Mr. Ricardo said, he should certainly
give his support to the motion. He
should do so on the same principle on
which he had voted for repealing the last
duty on malt, not because it was in itself
a bad tax, or pressed with peculiar hard-
ship on the landed interest, but with a
view of compelling the observance of strict
economy in the administration of govern-
ment. It was his belief that the whole
amount of the malt tax might be saved
by measures of economy; and as he
looked upon the sinking fund to be utterly
useless-to be at this moment unproduc-
tive of one single good effect-he was
quite disposed to abrogate every tax so
long as any portion of that fund remained
in existence. The hon. mover had stated,
that foreign monarchs were embarking in
the corn trade, that they were becoming
merchants, and that the king of Sweden
was importing oats into this country.
Now if this were the fact, he for one
should rather rejoice at it, because he
should expect to make much better bar-
gains with kings and princes than with
their subjects. The hon. gentleman,
however, need not be under any alarm;
for if, as he represented, these trading po-
tentates would not take back our hard-
ware and pottery in exchange, and would
,receive nothing but bullion, there was a
sufficient security for our continuing to
grow our own corn.
Mr. Baring expressed his regret at
hearing this question argued with refer-
ence to the conflicting interests of dif-
ferent classes of the community. It gave
him some surprise to find his hon. friend
treating a great national subject in a way
which, practically considered, he must
pronounce extraordinary and almost ab-
surd. He was now alluding chiefly to
what fell from his hon. friend in relation


Agricultural Horses' Tax. [46
to the sinking fund. At the same time
he felt it his duty to observe, that those
gentlemen who had given their uniform
support to ministers through a long and
extravagant administration, and who had
enabled them to spare the country from a
large amount of direct taxes by means of
successive loans, did come forward with
a very bad grace to propose and recom-
mend the cheating (for it was no less) of
the persons who had advanced those
loans. The impression which their rea-
sonings were calculated to produce was,
to be sure, not very considerable; and he
relied too much on the moral feelings of
the country, to apprehend that they
would ever acquire much popularity
either in the House or elsewhere. With
regard to the sinking fund, it might be
very natural to some to treat it with con-
tempt; but that a person of his hon.
friend's ingenuity and sound principles
should speak of it as utterly useless, and
express a readiness to do away with every
tax that contributed to support it, asto-
nished him not a little. When his hon.
friend was thus willing to surrender the
last sixpence of the sinking fund, he (Mr.
B.) could have wished him to amplify his
argument, and to lay before the House
those views under which he conceived
that our financial system ought to be con-
ducted. If his hon. friend had objected
only to the mode of keeping the accounts
of the sinking fund, he was perfectly
ready to concur with him, for it was cal-
culated only to puzzle and confuse. But

to say that a sinking fund ought not to
be maintained, was in effect to say that
the country should go on borrowing, as
long as fools enough could be found to
lend their money, and that no security
should be offered to the creditor. With
respect to the repeal of the present tax,
he did not think it was calculated to afford
much relief to the agricultural interests;
nor did he think that much more inform-
ation than gentlemen already possessed
upon the subject, was likely to be ob-
tained by waiting for the report of the
committee. For his own part, he had al-
ways considered the maintenance of the
finances of the country an object of es-
sential importance; and he thought the
country would be better able to engage
in any contest, or cope with any difficul-
ties, with a strong finance than with a
strong military or naval establishment.
Mr. Calcraft said, he was desirous to
keep up the financial credit of the coun-








try as his hon. friend could possibly be; Mr. Bright gave notice, that he should
but with respect to the question of keep- resist the introduction of any substitute
ing up a sinking fund, it was necessary to in the event of the tax being repealed.
consider how far the comforts and means The motion was then withdrawn.
of the people would enable us to do so.
Such was the state of the country, and TIMBER DUTIES.] The House having
such the situation of particular classes of resolved itself into a committee on the
the community, that it was better, even Timber Duties acts,
with a view to keeping up the national Mr. Wallace noticed at some length the
credit, to relax a certain part of the pub- objections which had been made to the
lie burthen, than to press the people to proposition which it had been his duty to
extremity. Let our army and navy esta- submit to the House. These were most
blishments be reduced, and that reduction contradictory in their nature. By some
would afford the very means of keeping he was accused of favouring the trade to
up the sinking fund. He did not object the North of Europe too much, while
to the sinking fund, but to the manner in others accused him of undue partiality for
which it was employed. The sinking that to North America. From these con-
fund was, in fact, a hoard of money kept flicting opinions, he was led to conclude
up at a great expense, and taken from the that the proposition which had been
people at inconvenient periods, and by brought forward was, upon the whole,
hard means. It was a large treasure pretty fair to all parties concerned. With
amassed under the name of a sinking the view he took of the subject, he could
fund, and lavished at pleasure by the go- offer no new concessions, and he did not
vernment. Was that the way to save the feel disposed to accede to the proposition
resources of the people? The money which the noble lord (Althorp) had sub-
would be much safer, he contended, in mitted to the House on a former night.
the pockets of the people, both as a secu- He was unwilling to afford any undue ad-
rity for themselves, and a resource for the vantages to the trade of Norway. What
state, than it was even in the hands of the had been said with respect to the debt
commissioners for discharging the public owing by Norway to this country, to make
debt. With respect to the motion, he up which he supposed all the bad debts
should support it if his hon. friend pressed to have been scraped together, did not
it to a division, materially bear on the question. If such
Lord Milton feared, that the distress of debts were owing, it was not to be sup-
the agricultural classes was not duly ap- posed that it could be paid in wood; it
preciated. It seemed to him that the must be settled through the medium of
best course would be, to allow his lion. a negotiation between the two govern-
friend to bring in his bill, and then to ments. Norway had had a full share of
suspend its stages till they were in pos- our timber trade. This he apprehended,
session of further information, could not be denied, when it was seen
Mr. Curwen said, that under the cir- that she had had a third of our whole
cumstances, he did not deem it advisable trade to the North of Europe. He was
to press his motion; but, in withdrawing disposed to show some favour to Norway
it, he wished to reserve to himself the li. in the arrangements to be made, but he
berty of again bringing it forward, if there was not disposed to afford her such ad-
should be no prospect of the committee vantages as would lead to the total exclu-
making an early report. sion of the trade of Russia and Prussia.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer said, The right lion. member then made corn-
that nothing could be more fair than that parative statements between his proposi-
the hon. gentleman should retain the op- tion and that of the noble lord, thereby
tion of reviving his motion if the report of shewing that the latter gave considerable
the committee should be delayed beyond advantage to Norway over Russia. The
this session. His own object certainly was, system which had been recommended by
to perceive what was the degree of import- an hon. baronet was nothing more nor
ance attached to the tax in question by less than a system for excluding the tim-
the committee. All that he had to ob- ber of our colonies from this country al-
serve at present was, that he did not see together. The shipping interests, and
what material relief would be afforded by the interests of the colonies, had a claim
its repeal, and did not know what substi- upon their protection, and it would be
tute could be proposed, the height of injustice if the committee
VOL.V. E


Timber Duties.


APRIL 5, 1821.







511 HOUSE OF COMMONS,
refused to grant that protection. He felt
confident that lie had said sufficient to
convince hon. members that the Resolu-
tion was one which ought to be agreed to,
both with a view to the conduct they
were bound, in fairness, to pursue, as well
as to the true interests of all parties con-
nected with the trade.
Sir H. Parnell said, that nothing which
hlad fallen from the right hon. gentleman
'went to change the opinion which he had
previously entertained upon this question.
He considered his proposition to impose
a direct tax upon the country, and that
partly for the purpose of giving Russia
an opportunity of importing deals. If his
principle was good in this respect, he
would perhaps see the propriety of ex-
tending it further in encouraging a free
foreign trade. If he took off the duties
upon foreign deals, why not also take off
the duties upon linen ? He knew no rea-
son why the duties upon hemp should be
kept up at its present high rate. All these
duties would be reduced with the most
beneficial results to trade in general. The
right hon. gentleman supported his pro-
position upon the ground of expediency,
and upon the great protection which he
considered to be due to the shipping and
colonies. But with regard to this doc-
trine of expediency, it was not supported
by any of the facts of the case. There
had been no case made out to call for the
imposition of such duties for the sake of
conferring benefit upon the colonies.
Nothing had been said to justify the sa-
crifice which the country must make for
the sake of affording protection to these
particular interests. The bounty given
would create a tax not amounting to less
than 3 or 400,0001. a year. They ought,
as soon as possible, to recur to sound
principles respecting this trade, and at
some future period the duties should be
placed upon a footing of equalization.
Feeling that the present opportunity ought
-nottopass bywithouttheir endeavouringin
some degree to accomplish that object, by
acting upon broader principles, he should
move as an amendment to the Resolution,
that after the word And," all the words
shall be left out, and the following be in-
serted in their place:-That from and
after the 1st of January 1825, the duty
upon all foreign timber imported into the
united kingdom, shall be 21. per load of
50 cubic feet. And that the duty upon
all foreign deals imported into the united
kingdom, from and after the same period,


Timber Duties. [b2
shall be 21. 5s. per load of fifty cubic feet;
the same to be charged on the cubical
contents of the said timber."
Mr. Bennet said, that standing as a
neutral person, without any shipping or
other commercial interest, he wished to
give his public aid to that great principle
of free trade, which alone could relieve
the country from its present difficulties.
The House ought at least to take the first
favourable opportunity of putting one
branch of trade out of the trammels in
which it toiled; and the committee would
bear in mind, that this was not a trade
which had been established for centuries,
it was not like the silk trade, for instance,
it had only been established since 1807
or 1809. He wished the committee to
bear in mind that they were not legislat-
ing for Russia, for Norway, or for Canada
-but for England. They were bound to
examine in what way they could bring
the article of timber into this country at
the cheapest rate. If he could show, as
he thought he could, that it could be pro-
cured from Russia and Norway, for one
half less than from Canada, he should be
making out a case which must satisfy the
committee. The proposition of the right
hon. gentleman went to prohibit the good
article which was near at hand in those
Northern countries, for the sake of intro-
ducing one so bad, that it would other-
wise never find its way here. And this
was to be done for the sake of saving the
pockets of the Canadian lumbermen, or
those other lumbermen the ship owners.
He contended that what the right hon.
gentleman called enabling Russia to com-
pete with Norway, was, in fact, keeping
the timber of the latter, which was the
very best, farther and farther from our
market. Instead of which it ought to be
brought here as soon as an opportunity
offered, inasmuch as it was not only the
best but the cheapest article. Every man
of common sense would see, that the pro-
position of the hon. baronet was that
which ought to be adopted by the com-
mittee, and not the proposition of the
right hon. gentleman. The hon. member
then made a statement to prove that the
amendment went to save 400,0001. per
year to the country. This was a direct
tax, and it was useless for the right hon.
gentleman to say, that it ought to be put
into the pockets of the Canada lumber-
men. He then alluded to the evidence of
Mr. Duff, given before the committee.
He declared that that gentleman was in-
*







53] Timber Duities
terested in the question, inasmuch as he
was the agent of the ship owners and
timber merchants. It was not to be ex-
pected that those individuals would care
for any body but themselves. They had
no feeling for the public, but the right
hon. gentleman ought to have. He held
an office of public trust, and he ought to
consider the welfare of the public as a pa-
ramount object to that of any body of in-
dividuals whatever. The right hon. gen-
tleman had had his choice of consulting
the welfare of that public by supplying
them with a cheap and a good article, or
of supporting other interests, and letting
them keep it dear and bad. Unfortunately
he had chosen the latter, and rejected
the former.
Mr. Keith Douglas said, he thought it
would have been better if the hon. baronet
had reserved his motion till the whole
question had been discussed. The system
now proposed was only experimental, and
it might be corrected by future regula-
tions if found inconvenient: he approved
of it generally, though, with respect to
deals, he thought too great an advantage
had been given to the Americans.
Sir M. W. Ridley said, that he differed
considerably from his hon. friend the
member for Shrewsbury. He had in-
dulged in some remarks upon the evi-
dence given before the committee by
those interested in the Canada trade.
Now it was impossible not to observe that
the same disposition existed in the evi-
dence on all sides, to give the best co-
louring for the advantage of the different
parties. One gentleman being asked if
the Norwegian merchants did not owe a
considerable debt to this country, replied
" yes, and they would be glad to pay it
in timber." He was not one who thought
that they were bound to look to the in-
terest of the consumer alone. They were
bound also to take into consideration how
the seller and the importer would be af-
fected by the measures they were about
to adopt. The Canada timber was less
subject to dry rot than that of any other
country. A Mr. Hay had given it inevi-
dence, that he put down gate-posts in
1792 made of Canada timber, and upon
taking them up in 1814, found them en-
tirely free from dry-rot, and in a service-
able state for the common purposes of
timber. This was undoubtedly an advan-
tage well worthy of attention. There
were 1,200 sail of shipping yearly em-
ployed in the American timber trade, and


APRIL 5, 1821. [54
if the high rates of duty were adopted,
only one half of that number would be
sent out. The diminished consumption
and outfitting of those vessels would
create a loss to the country of 150,0001.
Mr. Sykes also thought the proposition
of the right hon. gentleman would se-
riously affect the ship-owner, but he sup-
ported it because it was less injurious than
the amendment. He looked at the inter-
ests of the ship-owners as bound up with
the general interests of the country, and
he did not wish to give them advantages
unconnected with the general interest. He
apprehended that the necessary conse-
quence of the proposition would be, the
transfer of the American trade to Nor-
way which must seriously hurt the ship.
owners of this country. The Ame-
rican timber trade was carried on by Bri-
tish shipping, but three-fourths of the
Norway timber trade was carried on by
foreign ships, and the other quarter by
British. Even if all British ships were
employed in the Norway trade, it would
be carried on by one-third of the number
of ships employed in the American.
If this country wished to retain her
colonies, their produce ought to be pro-
tected. He did not think the only ob-
ject to be to procure articles at the cheap-
est rate possible, because if that were the
object the corn laws ought to be repealed,
as corn could be purchased at Dantzic at
26s. per quarter.
Lord Althorp conceived the American
timber trade not so beneficial to the inha-
bitants of Canada as to the ship-owners,
because timber was cut down in that
country for the purpose of clearing the
land. He could not agree with the amend-
ment, because he thought as long as the
colonial system was kept up, so long
ought protection to be afforded, in such a
degree as not to do more hurt than ser-
vice to the subjects of this country. The
right hon. gentleman had said, that Nor-
way being put upon the same footing
with Russia might give cause of complaint
to the latter; but he could see no reason
for complaint on the part of Russia, un-
less a greater duty were imposed upon her
produce than upon that of Norway. The
right hon. gentleman had said, that what
he (lord A.) had proposed on a former
night would benefit Russia; because if
the article could not be procured from
Norway, it must come from Russia; but
the right hon. gentleman forgot that
Prussia and Sweden might enter into







55] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
competition. He should on some future
occasion propose a graduating scale of
duties, but at present should do no more
than vote against the amendment.
Mr. Robinson observed, that the opi-
nions which had been expressed on this
question were widely different, and the
inference he drew from them all was, that
the proposition of his right hon. friend
was the best that could be adopted. Our
colonies he conceived, ought rather to be
considered as an integral part of the
kingdom, than as an appendage having
only a remote interest in common with
the mother country. As to the ship-
ping interest, he trusted parliament and
the country would never be so ungrate-
ful as to forget that to it we owed the
glory of that navy
Whose flag had brav'd a thousand years
The battle and the breeze."
He denied that either their interests, or
those of the North American colonies,
were compromised by the proposition be-
fore the committee. The right hon. gen-
tleman defended the policy of encourag-
ing the importation of timber from Ca-
nada, on the ground that a great quantity
of it was consumed at present in the ma-
nufacturing districts in making packing
cases, and in various other uses. With
regard to the second branch of the sub-
ject-the duty on Baltic timber-he
thought the scale of duties proposed by
his right hon. friend (Mr. Wallace) was
the best that could be suggested. If long
Norway deals were to be excluded, by
lowering the duty on short deals, there
would be no possibility of getting them
by any other means than by sawing up
logs, which would be a great inconve-
nience as well as loss to the consumer. It
was alleged that this duty would have the
effect of throwing all the trade in deals
into the hands of Russia; but though the
quantity of deals lately imported from
Norway had been greatly diminished,
that did not seem to have increased the
importation from Russia or Prussia ; and
since this effect had not been produced by
the former duty, there was no reason to
apprehend it from the new duty.
Mr. Baring remarked, that the general
principle of political economy which
ought to regulate the conduct of a great
country, and which should never be de-
viated from but in cases of urgent neces-
sity, would lead us to purchase an article
wherever it could be had of the best qua-
lity and at the cheapest price. Of all


Timber Duties. [56
the nuisances that could infest a new set-
tlement, helooked upon lumber-men as the
greatest: they were a set of vagabonds
who encouraged every species of profli-
gacy among the agricultural settlers, and
were the pests of the colony. Dismissing
therefore, the interests of this class of in-
dividuals, the colonies in Canada were not
particularly interested in the present
question. They were rendered independ-
ent of the timber trade, and were in fact
the most thriving part of America, in con-
sequence of the monopoly they enjoyed
of the West India Islands. They did not
pay on tea and sugar, and the other pro-
duce of the East and West Indies, those
duties which were paid in this country;
and, therefore, he denied that they were
either oppressed or ill-treated. With re-
gard to the advantage of exchanging com-
modities, he admitted that it would be the
same whether the timber trade were trans-
ferred or not from Canada to the Baltic,
because both markets were equally good
consumers of our manufactures. He had
no hesitation in saying with the hon. ba-
ronet near him (sir H. Parnell), that, as
a general principle, a free trade with all
the world was the best policy ; but at the
same time he was aware that circumstan-
ces might render a deviation from this li-
beral principle necessary in particular
cases. Some sacrifices of the several in-
terests of the public to those of the ship-
owners was necessary; and the only ques-
tion at issue appeared to be, to what ex-
tent this sacrifice should be carried. To
continue it at its present extent would be
absurd, for it was unquestionably much
too great. The increased expense of so
material an article as timber, was an im-
portant consideration, and the inferiority
of the quality was still more important.
The question then was, whether the rate
of duty proposed by the right hon.
gentleman was such a rate as would
increase the trade to the Baltic, with-
out destroying that to America. To
him (Mr. Baring) it appeared that this
would be the effect of the proposition be-
fore the committee; and if the duties were
to be altered to a greater extent, that
change should be made gradually; be-
cause when they had created a great in-
terest, like that of the shipping, it was not
to be let down all at once. As to the
question between Norway and Russia, it
was exactly the same as that between Ca-
nada and the Baltic; and therefore he
should not discuss it at any length. He







57] Timber Duties.
should merely observe, that Norway did
not consume so much of our manufac-
tures as Russia; and that consideration
certainly entitled the latter to a greater
degree of favour [Hear, hear!]. The
inclination of his mind was, to support the
proposition before the committee, as
pointing out the rate of duties most likely
to answer the end desired. It was surely
more safe for the House to abide by the
decision of a committee which had exa-
mined the subject for weeks together,
than to be guided by cursory remarks in
the speeches ofhon. members.
Mr. Ricardo said, he was anxious to
deliver his opinion on the present propo-
sition, as it involved a principle of infi-
nitely greater importance than the ques-
tion immediately under consideration.
They had been told that they ought to go
to the best and cheapest market, and also
that the timber of Norway and Russia
was better and cheaper than that of Ame-
rica; and yet they were recommended as
a practical measure, to take the worst
timber at the dearest rate I His hon. friend
(Mr. Bennet), in a speech full of the
soundest argument, and as yet totally un-
answered by the gentlemen opposite, had
shown, in the most convincing manner,
that by buying our timber from the north-
ern powers of Europe, we should save
400,0001. annually on the purchase of
that article, and consequently that we
were yearly incurring a debt to that
amount, in order to put this money into
the pockets of the ship-owners. If a bill
were introduced for the specific and
avowed purpose of granting a sum to that
amount to the ship-owners, he would
much rather agree to it than to the reso-
lutions now before the committee, for in
that case the capital thus given to them
might be more usefully employed. At
present it was a total sacrifice of 400,0001.
a year, as much so as if the ships engaged
in the coasting trade should be obliged to
sail round the island in order to give em-
ployment to a greater number. He was
of opinion that, according to the true
principles of commerce, it ought to form
no part of the consumer's consideration
to enter into the distribution by the seller,
of the money or labour which he (the
consumer) exchanged for any commodity
which he wanted. All the consumer had
to consider was, where he could get the
article he wanted cheapest; whether the
payments were to be made in money or
in manufactures was matter quite of minor


APRIL 5, 1821. [58
importance. In this, as in all other
branches of commercial policy, it was use-
less to urge partial views in behalf of one
set of men or another. That House
ought not to look to the right or the left,
but consider merely how the people of Eng<
land, as a body, could best employ their
capital and labour. Wrong notions of
commercial policy had too long prevailed;
and now that the country had begun to
recognize sounder principles, the sooner
they acted upon them the better. There
were exceptions to be made in cases of
very old established arrangements; but
this American trade was not one of them:
was of new date, and mainly sprung out
of a quarrel between England and the
Baltic powers: it was then said that the
latter would withhold her timber, and that
the colonial trade must necessarily be en-
couraged in Canada. What once oc-
curred, might again happen it was said.
Well, then, his reply was-if ever it should
happen, it would be time enough to pay
the high price: at present let more econo-
mical arrangements be attempted. It was
strange that inconsistency always marked
the progress of monopolists. One set of
men now called out for this colonial trade
in behalf of the shipping interest, and the
very same set of men, if they were spoken
to about the West India Dock system,
would call it partial and oppressive. So,
respecting the Irish linen monopoly, it
was said, why not be allowed to go to
Germany, where the same manufacture
might be had cheaper ? He certainly
concurred in the hon. baronet's view of
this question.
Mr. Marryat said: I have listened
with great attention to the discussion be-
fore the committee, and more particularly
to the doctrines of our new school of poli-
tical economists; but must confess that
they have produced very little conviction
on my mind. Hitherto ships, colonies,
and commerce have been considered as
inseparably connected with each other;
but, according to the new system, we are
to sacrifice our ships and colonies, in
order that our commerce may go on the
better without them. Whenever these
philosophers will illustrate their theory by
experimental proof; if, for example, they
will take off two legs from a three-legged
stool, and make it stand on the remaining
one leg more firmly than it before did on all
the three, then, but not till then, will I
become one of their disciples. Our trade
with our own colonies and in our own







89] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
ships, we can always call our own, be-
cause we hold it independent of the will
of foreign powers; but in trusting to a
trade with foreign nations we are leaning
on a broken reed. Have we already for-
gotten the continental system, which last
war cut us off from all communication
with every port in Europe; and the non-
intercourse and non-importation acts of
the government of the United States,
which excluded us from all America ? Or
do we flatter ourselves that what has been
may not again be? If so, we reason in
opposition to experience and the evidence
of facts, and to the true rule of judging
of the future by the past. Have we any
reason to believe that the jealousy ex-
pressed by foreign powers of our commer-
cial greatness, which they envy, and of
our naval power, which they dread, is at
all abated ? On the contrary, has not in-
creased cause of dissatisfaction been
recently given on our part, to the great
European potentates, by our declaration
to every foreign court, that the principles
laid down and acted upon in their attack
upon Naples, are repugnant to the funda-
mental principles of the British constitu-
tion ? It seems impossible that our good
understanding with these powers can long
continue, unless they adopt our notions
of government, or we adopt theirs, events
neither of which are very likely to happen.
With such prospects before us, we are
called upon, in defiance of every principle
of sound policy, and with total disregard
to the maintenance of our maritime great-
ness, to abandon a colonial trade in Bri-
tish ships, in order to encourage a foreign
trade in foreign ships, and are desired to
trust to the liberality of foreign powers
for correspondent advantages in return,
as if history was filled with examples of
national gratitude; though if such there
are they have escaped all my researches,
while examples of the ingratitude of na-
tions, for whom we have expended our
blood and treasure, abound almost in
every page. In order to put us out of
conceit with our navigation laws, we are
told, that we, have not grown great from
our restrictive system, but in spite of it.
This is a perversion of argument. The
prosperity of every nation depends upon
thewisdom of its political institutions. Our
navigation system has been so long estab-
lished, that its effects have had ample
time to show themselves. Had they been
bad, our commerce would long ago have
been ruined; but, as they have been good,


Timber Duties. [60
Iwe have prospered under them, and have
risen to the greatest height of commercial
prosperity and naval power that ever was
attained by any nation. To argue other-
wise, is to deny the existence of cause
and effect; to shut out the light of expe-
rience, and the evidence of facts; and to
contradict the highest authorities amongst
writers on political economy. Dr. Adam
Smith, speaking of the act of Navigation,
says, although some of the provisions of
this famous act (as he emphatically terms
it) probably originated in a spirit of na-
tional animosity, yet they are all as wise
as if they had been dictated by the most
deliberate wisdom ;" and, in a subse-
quent passage, he adds, that as defence
is of more importance than opulence, the
act of navigation is, perhaps, after all, the
wisest of all the commercial regulations of
England." Another high authority on
political subjects, one of our own mem-
bers, in a treatise on colonial policy that
he published some years ago, after agree-
ing with Dr. Smith that our navigation
law is not favourable either to the extent
of foreign commerce, or to the growth of
that opulence which arises out of it, con-
cludes by saying, that it is now known
only by its good effects." This nation
now labours under great pressure, and
men who suffer are apt to show their im-
patience by readily listening to any pro-
posal for a change, without considering
whether that change may not be from
bad to worse; let us act a wiser part, and
not mistake the source of all the prospe-
rity and greatness that yet remain to us,
for the cause of the difficulties, under
which we labour, or we shall aggravate
them 'till they become insupportable, and
render them irretrievable.-Let us not
cut away the sheet anchor, which will
enable the vessel to ride out the gale in
safety, and leave her to drift at random
among the rocks and breakers with which
she is surrounded. Having said thus
much on general principles, I shall now
advert to the particular points before the
committee. The motion of the hon.
baronet who began this debate, appears
to have received so little countenance,
that I shall pass it over without any ob-
servations. The motion of the noble lord
I shall oppose, because it gives additional
advantages to the northern powers over
the British provinces in North America.
Great Britain adopts various rules in re-
gulating her duties on different commodi-
ties. Some pay by weight, some by mea-







611 Timber Duties.
sure, some by tale, and some ad valorem.
Deals have always paid by tale, and the
noble lord would now assess them in their
cubical contents. This I object too, in
the first place, because, any sudden or
violent alteration of a long established
system is always attended with great in-
jury to the interest of individuals, and
therefore ought only to be adopted for
very strong and urgent reasons. In the
next place, the avowed object is, to bene-
fit Norway, who already enjoys more
then her share of the deal trade; for her
import, on an average of the four years
1816, 1817, 1818, and 1819, was 13,000
out of 40,000 loads, being more than that
of any of the northern powers, while that
of the British colonies was only 5,500.-
The scale of duties proposed in the sche-
dule lowers the duty on Norway deals
11. 15s. 8d. and raises that on Canada
deals 21. per load; a considerable disad-
vantage to Canada, which, if increased,
would drive her deals out of the market
altogether; and, therefore, of two evils I
shall choose the least. The contiguity of
Norway to this country gives her a great
advantage over the other Northern
powers; the small size of her deals is a
disadvantage, according to our mode of
levying the duty by tale ; but I contend
that we have nothing to do with these
considerations. On the same grounds we
might be called upon to make endless al-
terations in our existing system. For in-
stance, oranges pay duty by tale; and the
inhabitants of the Western Islands might
as reasonably complain that their small
oranges pay as much duty per thousand
as the large oranges from Portugal, and
request that in future they should all be
measured, and the duty taken according
to their cubical contents, as the Norwe-
gians make this application with respect
to their deals. This principle applies to
a great number of other articles, and
would lead to endless remonstrances and
difficulties. I persist in the intention of
which I gave notice, of moving an amend-
ment to the schedule before the commit-
tee, by opposing the intended reduction
in the duty on Baltic timber. I do this
in conformity to the evidence given be-
fore the committee on foreign trade,
which uniformly states that this reduc-
tion will be attended with no advantage
to the British consumer, but lead to an
immediate advance in the price of the tim-
ber abroad; and some of them declare,
that such an advance has already taken


APRIL 5, 1821. [62
place in anticipation. Now, I am not for
sacrificing British revenue for the benefit
of foreigners, and am much mistaken if
the chancellor of the exchequer has any
spare duty so to give away, under present
circumstances. The great preponder-
ance of the evidence also proves that a
duty of 10 shillings per load on timber
from the British colonies in North Ame-
rica is as much as the trade can bear;
and that a reduction of 10 shillings from
the Baltic timber at the same time will be
going much too far. This is the opinion of
ten witnesses ; only four think differently ;
and four others are against any alteration
whatever. I have two sheets of extracts,
from their evidence, but content myself
with giving this abstract of it, rather than
occupy the time of the committee by
reading it at length. One of them asks
where any duty is to come from ? the
load of timber, which cost 18 shillings in
America, producing only five shillings
here ; and the freight being so low, fromthe
distress of the ship-owners, that they lose
money by every voyage. These consider-
ations will, I trust, induce the committee
to support me in this amendment. Be-
fore I sit down I wish to notice one or
two observations that have been made in
the course of this debate. The hon.
member for Shrewsbury reproaches those
who advocate the cause of the ship-owners
with supporting a bad trade carried on in
bad ships; and they have also been called
rotten ships. In order to show how far
they merit these epithets, I have examined
Lloyd's register-book, and find that of
434. ships that arrived from Quebec last
year, 183 are of the very first class,
standing letter A; 249 are of the second
class, letter E, (vessels fit to carry any
cargo to any part of the world), and
only two stand the third letter, I. The
truth is, that we have now no rotten
ships; and very few old ships; because,
as even good ships cannot all find em-
ployment, the bad can of course expect
none, and therefore are broken up much
sooner than usual. For this reason the
shipping in use at the present moment is
of a superior description to what it was at
any former period. The right hon. gen-
tleman who proposed these resolutions
stated on a former occasion that we had a
great number of superfluous seamen.
The data on which he reasoned are just,
but the conclusions he drew from them
were erroneous. He argued from the
comparative tonnage of British shipping







89] African Company's Bill.

HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Monday, April 9.
WOOL TAX.] Mr. Wilson presented
a petition from a number of dealers in
wool praying for a repeal of the new duty
on Foreign Wool. The petitioners set
forth, that, in consequence of this tax,
the importation of foreign wool had fallen
off very materially, the consequence of
which was, that certain branches of the
woollen manufacture had suffered greatly.
He had learned from a letter which was
dated so late as the 8th of February last,
that in one port of Spain no less than
three American vessels were loading with
wool, which it was found useless to send
here, on account of the high duty with
which it was charged. This was a cir-
cumstance entirely new in our commer-
cial transactions, and showed the bad ef-
fect which the tax produced. A gentle-
man having 300 bags of wool consigned
to him, was compelled on account of the
duty to send them abroad; and a mer-
chant at Liverpool having purchased 350
bags, finding that the commodity could
not bear the extent of duty, had shipped
the wool to the United States. A com-
munication had been made to him, from
a respectable house in the city, stating
that a demand to the amount of about
6,0001. annually, for broad-cloths, ordi-
nary cloths, and stuffs, which they were
accustomed to ship to the continent, had
been transferred, in consequence of the
advanced prices, to Bremen and other
towns, which were thus encouraged to
become our rivals in trade. The raw ma-
terial was driven from this country; and
other states, in consequence of the in-
creased price of the articles they had
been accustomed to purchase from us,
were compelled to depend on their own
manufactures. The old duty produced a
considerable revenue, and enabled the
manufacturer to carry on a profitable
trade; but when a duty of from 25 to 30
per cent was levied on the raw material,
it was absolutely forcing the United States
whether they would or not, to become
manufacturers.
Mr. Baring said, that a more important
subject could not possibly be brought
under the consideration of that House.
He could not help stating his conviction,
that if parliament did not listen to the
voice of the manufacturers, Great Britain
was in danger of losing a large portion of
her trade.


APRIL 9, 1821 [90
Mr. Huskisson said, as notice of a mo-
tion for the repeal of the tax had been
given, it would be better to go into
a consideration of the question when that
motion was made, instead of arguing it on
the ex parte statements of certain peti-
tioners. With respect to the tax ruining
the import trade, the fallacy of the asser-
tion was proved by the fact, that the tax
last year produced 180,0001. and that
near 8,000,0001bs. of wool were imported.
This showed that the importer did not
consider it to be a ruinous speculation.
Ordered to lie on the table.

AFRICAN COMPANY'S BILL.] The
House having resolved into a committee
on this bill,
Mr. Bennet objected to the clause em-
powering his majesty's ministers to grant
allowances to the discharged servants of
the company, contending that they were
engaged for public purposes, and had no
vested or other right that could entitle
them to compensation.
Mr. Goulburn defended the proposed
compensation, maintaining that, accord-
ing to every principle of justice, indivi-
duals should not be allowed to suffer by
arrangements made for the public service,
especially where a great saving would
result to the public from such arrange-
ments.
Mr. IHume denied that it was the dis-
position of his hon. friend to refuse com-
pensation where a fair claim was made
out. But his lion. friend objected, as he
did himself, to invest government with
the discretion to allow pensions to whom
they pleased, and to what extent they
pleased. The noble secretary for foreign
affairs had himself justified the principle
of such an objection, by declaring that a
similar discretion, in the act of the 50th
of the late king, had been so abused, that
he was willing to give it up. Upon the
ground of this declaration then, he would
oppose the proposition to which his hon.
friend had objected. But he had still
stronger grounds. In the Ordnance office
for instance, he found, from a docu-
ment on the table, that in consequence of
a similar discretion, superannuation pen-
sions were allowed to young men of 25
years of age. He could not then grant a
discretion so liable to be abused. Let a
case be stated to the House, where, from
services rendered, compensation was
fairly due, and he had no doubt that it
would be promptly granted. But, then,







91] HOUSE OF COMMONS,


no such pension should be allowed to any a costly and protracted war, and the in-
person who might, upon the new arrange- tervention of some years of peace, it was
ment proposed in this case, be still em- indeed very strange that without any
played in the public service, either at given adequate cause, derangement still
Sierra Leone or in tile West Indies. He existed, and so extensively, that no class
had the strongest objections to this pro- of society scarcely had escaped it. This
position. For what did it mean ? Why, evil, whatever were its character, and
to make an additional charge upon the more particularly as regarded the agri-
consolidated fund, which was already culturists, seemed to be one for which no
8,500,0001. in arrear. sort of remedy could be found: because,
Mr. Gordon thought, that, as the cor- on the one hand, there were those agri-
pany's charter had been taken away, the culturists demanding, as the only possible
least that could be done was, to afford means of subsisting them, prices which
some provision for its servants, he did not they had no prospect of obtaining; and,
disapprove, however, of the check pro- on the other hand, the other classes of
posed to be instituted, the community, who affirmed that if the
Mr. Bennet then moved as an amend- agriculturists did obtain those prices, the
ment, the introduction of the following interest of all the other classes could not
words-" that no such allowance be survive. This was a condition of things
finally or conclusively granted, until sub- which made it necessary for the House to
mitted to the consideration of parlia- see whether there was not something bad
ment;" which was agreed to. and diseased at the very root and centre of
the existing system of finance-a system
BANK CASH PAYMENTS BILL.] The which thus produced evils, for which no
order of the day was read for going into remedy could be come at. His opinion
a committee on this bill. The question was, that these evils, alarming as they
being put, That Mr. Speaker do now were, were occasioned by the alteration
leave the Chair,' in our currency. On a former occasion,
Mr. Baring rose to offer an amendment. he certainly had had the misfortune to
His original intention, he said, was to differ from his hon. friend (Mr. Ricardo)
move, that it be an instruction to this as to the extent of the alteration which
committee to re-considerthe former act of had been experienced in the value of
1819, in order to see whether some pro- money. His hon. friend seemed to esti-
vision could not be made to lessen the mate it, taking the average of commodi-
existing evils under which the public in- ties and the price of labour in general, at
terests laboured. But that mode of mov- from 51. to 61. per cent, and not more.
ing by way of an instruction, he after- Now in his (Mr. Baring's) view, it was
wards thought to be a very inefficient one infinitely greater. He rated it at not less
in the first place; and secondly, such an than from 251. to 331. per cent. In some
instruction might seem to imply an opi- instances he should say that it had risen
nion on the part of the House as to this to a third and even 501. per cent. To
subject, before it was examined; there- say what had been the difference in the
fore he had come to the conclusion, that value of money between the period of its
the most proper mode of all would be, to greatest depreciation and the present
move for the appointment of a select time, was a difficulty that he could not
committee to reconsider the whole sub- hope immediately to come to a very sa-
ject. The more he considered this ques- tisfactory solution of. But very few per-
tion, the more lie felt it to be one not sons would agree, he thought with his
only of the utmost importance, but as hon. friend that it had been only 51. or 61.
the one in which were involved all the per cent; and for his own part, he
distresses experienced by the country and thought that if it were not of double or
their remedy. Not only was he anxious treble the amount at the least, he should
to record on the Journals of the House, now be taking up the time of the House
his sense of the necessity of adopting a very uselessly, by talking about the mat-
measure such as that he should propose; ter at all. But being, unfortunately, too
but, if he found any encouragement, he firmly convinced of the contrary position,
should certainly divide the House upon it. what he wished to persuade the House to
They all felt, no doubt, that the country do in this case was to appoint a select
did at present stand in a very extraordi- committee. His motion would be, there-
nary situation. After the termination of fore, That a select committee be ap.


Bank Cash Payments Bill.







93] Bank Cash Payments Bill.
pointed to consider the provisions of the
59th of George 3rd, chap. 49, and to re-
port their opinion to the House, whether
it would be expedient to make any alter-
ation in the said act, so as to alleviate
the pressure which its operation is pro-
ducing, and is likely to continue to pro-
duce, on the various branches of public
industry." The more he had considered
this subject, the more firmly was he con-
vinced that the interests of the country
would not work-that the circulation of
the country would not move--unless they
did maturely and carefully reconsider that
important act. The circumstances that
had shown themselves in this case, exhi-
biting the most decided symptoms of the
evils which were known to exist in our
system, had been in the first place, the
total ruin ofa great class of persons, who,
trusting to the then value of money, and
not being aware (as in truth hardly a
hundred persons, perhaps, in all the
country were aware) of the general de-
preciation which was afterwards to take
place; and having on their side, more-
over, the sanction of that House, the opi-
nion of parliament, solemnly pledging
itself, that there was and would be no
such depreciation, acting on that opinion
and that authority, this class of persons
now found themselves totally ruined.
There was then a sort of credit, and faci-
lities of business existing all over the coun-
try ; and the consequence was, that among
that extensive class, contracts had been en-
tered into on one side and on the other
which were now become totally inexecut-
able. He thought it was totally impossible
to relieve, though it might be the cause
of adding to, the existing distresses of the
people, if they did not carefully review
the whole of this measure. It was quite
unnecessary for him here to allude more
particularly to those burthens, or to
mention what the state of things in Eng-
land, generally, at present was. Every
gentleman who had been through any
part of the country must know that the
small farmers and yeomanry in the coun-
try (a class of persons most valuable and
most respectable in a community, but at
the same time the most likely to be duped
on such questions as these; because,
though very intelligent men in the ma-
nagement of their own affairs, they were
not likely to know any thing about the
currency); he would see hundreds of
these small farmers and yeomanry brought
to the ground by reason of having made


APRIL 9, 1821. [94
purchases under a state of value, as re-
garded the currency, recognized as it was
by parliament itself. Supposing a yeo-
man had expended his all, a sum perhaps
of 4,0001., in buying land, the present
depreciation of prices left him in penury
and debt. If he (Mr. Baring) was to be
told that there had been an over-trading
in agriculture, as in almost every thing
else, he should say, that the effects of
such over-trading, in whatever commo-
dity, the House could not relieve. But,
if this mischief had been done, in some
sort, by the House itself, it was most
material that the House should relieve
the sufferers. What he hoped was, that
no gentleman would listen to any mere
statement as to the amount of deprecia-
tion; but he put it to every lion. member,
whether, from his own daily experience,
he could doubt of the extremely altered
value of money ? and whether any autho-
rity could convince him that that arose
from any other cause but the state of the
currency ? His hon. friend said look
at the value of the precious metals." He
(Mr. Baring) rather said "look at the
value of all the articles of life." If that
value was affected in merely one or two
articles, he was aware it might be objected
to him, that there might be such a varia-
tion sometimes, totally unconnected with
the state of the currency; but if he found
that the value of all articles had moved in
the same way, that was an unanswerable
proof, and the best authority, of an actual
alteration in the value of that standard
according to which the purchases had
been made. Let them look at the varia-
tion of prices, then, which was exemplified
in all the articles of life; and they would
find it was to the extent of one fourth,
one third, and in many cases one-half.
Take the price of corn, which was the
great grievance of the farmer. Although,
as against the pound sterling, it was un-
doubtedly at a very low price, yet he
would say that the price of corn, com-
pared with that of any other commodity,
stood now pretty nearly where it did be-
fore this alteration in the value of money
took place. With a quarter of corn, the
same quantity of sugar, leather, salt,
gold, or any other article, could be pro-
cured by a person as he could get for the
same commodity some time-ago. It was
only dear as compared with that standard
by which the price of all other commodi-
ties was regulated. The burthens of the
farmer, again, had been created by the






95] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
alteration in the nominal currency. There
might be some gentlemen who would say
that all this was, .or might be, perfectly
true; but that there was no remedy for
those evils which resulted from a depre-
ciation of the currency. It might, how-
ever, easily be proved, that we had brought
our standard above what it was in the
year 1797, and therefore that no person
need be scrupulous to that degree as to
fear any ill consequences from the adop-
tion of his proposition. It might be said
-" Don't let us aggravate the evil; but
let us rather leave it where it is." To
this, the fact which he had just alluded to
would be a sufficient answer. It ought
to be the object of the legislature, in
applying a remedy for an alteration which
had been so destructive, to enter, if pos-
sible, into those principles which per-
vaded the minds of the parties at the
time that former contracts had been
made. Though this could not be followed
up in all instances, yet having once
touched the standard, he did not know
whether it might not be the best course
to pursue, observing, as nearly as could
be, what might justly be supposed the
real proportion of value between the two
standards. We had gone beyond that
however; the present standard exceeding
that of 1797. The House would remem-
ber that prior to that year, gold and silver
jointly were a legal tender. The price of
gold was then 31. 17s. 10d., and of silver
5s. 2d. per ounce. Gold still remained at
31. 17s. 10d., but silver within these few
days had fallen as low as 4s. 10d. That
silver was now at 4s. 10d. which might
before the year 1797 (always excepting
the operation of a certain order in coun-
cil which was in its origin only a tem-
porary measure, and not made permanent
till 1797) be taken to the Mint and ex-
changed for coinage at 62s. to the pound.
This gave a difference in the value of
about 7 per cent. The difficulty was in-
creased, therefore, by making that metal
only the standard of currency, which was
the scarcer of the two. From a compa-
rison of the rate of foreign exchanges at
different periods, it would appear, that
the pound sterling was now raised to a
higher value than at any former period.
His hon. friend contended, that this alter-
ation in the value of the currency was not
the difficulty under which we laboured,
because the price of all commodities
would follow the variation of the standard
of value, and this effect he seemed to


Bank Ctlsh Payments Bill. [96
think must necessarily be produced, with
all the regularity of a mechanical opera-
tion. But the fact was, that the prices,
which were equivalent to the average
price of bullion, for twenty years antece-
dent to the alteration in the value of the
standard of currency, were still continued,
though they could notlong be supported.
High prices did not vary precisely with
the alteration in the standard of value,
but they were kept up by the habits, and
feelings, and prejudices of the community.
Take the meanest labourers at the present
day-a man, for instance, who sawed
stone, and it would be found that be
could earn between 30s. and 40s. a week.
Such a man, having been long in the
habit of indulging himself in beer and
spirits, could not readily be induced to
abandon those luxuries; but it was quite
clear that those wages could not last. His
wages must come down, when his master
could find nobody to employ him; and
whenever that time arrived, which could
not be very far distant, the reduction of
wages would no doubt be received with
great discontent. Reduced, however,
their wages must be; and it was better to
turn the attention of the labouring classes
to the true. cause of such a reduction,
than to endeavour to make them profound
patriots, by declaiming upon parlia-
mentary reform. The true question was,
whether it would not be more expedient
and more just to bring the standard of
value to the existing state of things, in-
stead of attempting to bring the existing
state of things round to the standard of
value. He begged to observe, that though
he had himself expressed a strong opi-
nion as to the expediency of having a
fixed standard of value, yet he must con-
fess, at the same time, that he had some-
what under-rated the inconveniences and
difficulties with which the adoption of
such a measure was likely to be attended.
He begged the House to consider whe-
ther, in the present state of things, it was
possible for the country to go on; and if
they thought we were not in a fair road
to prosperity, whether it was not expe-
dient to move for a re-examination. If
such an inquiry were to be resumed at
all, it should be resumed immediately:
for it would be extremely unjust to post-
pone it to another year, when new con-
tracts would be formed, and a new state
of mind arise as to the value of the pound
sterling. He was not one of those, who
were in the habit of indulging in gloomy







APRIL 9, 1821. [98


views of the finances of the country. He
wished to see justice done to all, and good
faith kept to the utmost extent to which the
principle could be carried. He was per-
fectly convinced, however, that if the right
hon. gentleman opposite thought the fi-
nances could bekept up in the present state
of the country, he was grossly mistaken.
He repeated, that the great difficulty with
respect to the state of the currency, arose
from the increased means of consumption
on the part of annuitants and persons of
fixed income, and the consequent over-
payment of labourers, who now indulged
in beer, spirits, and other articles paying
a heavy excise, which it was impossible
they could continue to indulge in. The
case of these annuitants and persons of
fixed incomes furnished an instance of an
experiment, which it was extremely diffi-
cult to try in any community, namely, to
what extent you can push the number of
idle consumers, as compared with the
industrious classes of the community ?
The hon. member concluded by moving,
by way of amendment, That a Select
Committee be appointed to consider the
provisions of the act of the 59th of his
late majesty, c. 49, and to report their
opinion to the House, whether it would
be expedient to make any alteration in
the said act, so as to alleviate the pres-
sure which its operation is producing,
and is likely to continue to produce, on
the various branches of public industry.
Mr. Altwood said :*-
Sir; the measure proposed to the House
by the right hon. the chancellor of the
exchequer, cannot but be considered to
be of importance, in this-that it forms a
part of that system of measures for the
restoration of the ancient standard of
value which has exerted so powerful an
influence on the interests of the country.
It carries that system one step further,
which in every stage hitherto has been
accompanied by great sufferings and con-
siderable dangers, the operation of which
has been so ably enlarged upon and elu-
cidated by the hon. member for Taunton,
whose amendment, for referring the
whole of this system of measures to the
reconsideration of a select committee, I
have now the honour to second. It has
been stated, that the present measure is
calculated to relieve, in some degree, the

From the original edition, printed for
Ridgway, Piccadilly.
VOL. V.


existing condition of distress-but by
what means ? It is perfectly incompe-
tent to such purpose: and if any expec-
tation of relief from this bill be excited in
the mind of the public, I am persuaded
that that expectation will be deceived.
On the contrary, the present measure, in-
competent as it is to any beneficial ob-
ject, is calculated under the particular
circumstances of the country, to aggra-
vate, probably in a considerable degree,
the difficulties under which the country at
present labours. It is calculated in some
degree to limit and derange the country
bank circulation, and the means of pro-
viding for and securing its payment.
Particularly it is calculated to affect the
interests of the country in its present
state, if there should exist on the part of
the public a disposition to exchange for
the new coin, now about to be sent into
circulation, any considerable portion of
the country bankers' notes. This dispo-
sition may be expected to arise from nu-
merous forgeries on the notes of the
country bankers, when the one pound
notes of the bank of England are with-
drawn, or from any shock given to public
or to private credit: and its effect would
probably be to require an amount of five
or perhaps ten or fifteen millions of gold
to be substituted for the country bank
circulation withdrawn. In this manner
the present bill is calculated, in the exist-
ing state of the country, to aggravate the
distress which prevails. We possess at
present, it may be assumed, a sufficient
supply of gold to substitute for the one
pound notes of the bank of England, and,
no doubt, to reserve in the coffers of the
bank, such further supply as that body
may deem it necessary to retain; but any
further considerable supply of gold which
this bill may render necessary, I appre-
hend, the country does not possess, but
would be compelled to procure it by a
forced importation from abroad. And
when we consider what that process has
been, and with how much difficulty ac-
companied, by which we have obtained
the amount of gold which we at present
possess, we shall not look without some
apprehension to the result of a measure
which may even by probability require us
to carry further that process in the pre-
sent state of the country. I would beg
the House to consider what the late ope.
rations on our gold circulation have been,
It was during the distress of the years
1815 and 1816 that we witnessed, for the
H


Bank Cash Payments Bill.







99] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
first time during a very long period, an
importation of gold. From seven to ten
millions of gold was at that time imported
-the compensation for the difficulties of
that period. In the prosperous state of
the country in the year 1818, which fol-
lowed, we shortly ceased to import gold ;
that which we had recently imported was
next perceived to be leaving us; and by
the end of 1818, or early in 1819, the
seven or ten millions which we had so re-
cently acquired, had wholly left the coun-
try. That period was followed by the
distresses of the present time, and that
distress has been faithfully accompanied
by the re-appearance in the country of
that same gold importation, and probably
to about the same amount, of seven or ten
millions, which, having visited the coun-
try in the distress of the year 1816, had
left us in the prosperity of 1818-and
now is seen to visit us again in this se-
cond season of calamity and distress.
Now, I am persuaded that we cannot
consider these operations of our gold cir-
culation,-the manner in which they have
corresponded with the great changes in
the condition of the country, without
being convinced that this importation and
exportation of gold is in some way inti-
mately connected with those changes
with which they are seen so precisely to
correspond. And the manner of that
connexion is this, that it is only during a
low state of prices in this country that we
are able to import gold or to retain it
here when imported, at the rate we have
fixed by law for gold. By the law which
is now under the revision of the House,
we have fixed the price of gold at 41. an
ounce, and have imposed on the country
the necessity of procuring a forced im-
portation of gold from abroad at that
price. Now 41. an ounce is not the price
at which this country had been able to
purchase gold, in any market of the
world, for a very long period previous to
the operation of these measures. It is not
the price of gold as estimated in the money
of this country, or at which it could be
purchased for the last twenty years; it is
the price of the century which preceded
that period. What then has been the
condition on which the country has been
able to execute the task thus imposed
upon it, of purchasing gold at a rate
which had become antiquated and obso-
lete, and at a price lower than its custo-
mary value ? That condition has been
this, that we have been compelled to give


Bank Cash Payments Bill.


[100


our commodities in exchange estimated
at an old and an equally low price also.
Not a single ounce of gold could the
whole power of the country, if directed to
that one object, have brought into this
country at the price which we have fixed
by law for gold, and have retained it also
in circulation-whilst our commodities
retained their modern prices. Here then
arises the difficulty which we by this law
impose upon the productive classes of the
population; we compel them to dispose
of their productions, enhanced in their
cost by the burthens and taxes of the last
twenty years, at a price which admits of
no remuneration nor advancement what-
ever on account of those burthens and
those taxes. This is the task which we
have by this law imposed on the produc-
tive classes; and it is against this diffi-
culty that we now perceive them to be
carrying on a vain and ineffectual strug-
gle, which overwhelms them in despair
and distress. It is not the debt and
taxes of the country, nor the burthen and
expenses of the government, which of
themselves oppress the people; it is those
taxes and those burthens combined with
the operation of the present bill, increased
in their amount, aggravated in their pres-
sure by this bill and by the system of
measures which accompanies it. It has
never been seen that the people have been
unable to support the public burthens of
the country, enormous as they are, ex-
cept at those precise periods when this
system of measures can be shewn to have
been in active operation. The resources
are great which this country derives from
the industrious habits of the people, from
their unrivalled skill, and from the power-
ful motives by which they are impelled to
the most unceasing toil before they give
way to an hopeless despair-but, great
as these resources are, they are unequal
to the task we have now imposed. The
people can contend with difficulties, but
impossibilities they cannot surmount:
and whatever else the result of the pre-
sent state of things and of the present
struggle will be, it will never terminate in
the permanence of the present bill united
with the permanence of the debt and the
taxes; it will not terminate in the people
of this country being able to unite the
burthens and taxes of the late war with
the scale of prices of the century which
preceded it.
The great importance of the present
bill, that which renders it so particularly








an object of importance to the House and Thus did it enable those taxes to be im-
the country, is this-that whilst we regu- posed, and that debt accumulated: it
late by law the price of gold, we do in was by these means, and by these only,
fact regulate the price of all the property that we were able to make and continue
and commodities of the country; this is the exertions necessary for the support of
effectually done when we fix by law the the late war-and if that war and those
price of gold, and is the only manner in exertions were necessary to the safety of
which it is in the power of government or the country, then does this country owe
of law to regulate prices. It is in vain for its safety to that system of circulation
the country gentlemen to think that they which we have now abandoned with a
can by a corn law raise the price of corn. blind and ill-advised haste, which has
They can determine by a corn law whe- hurried us into dangers and evils infi-
ther grain shall be imported or not, nitely greater than those from which we
whence it shall come, and where go; but imagined that we were escaping. The
what price it shall bear, that is beyond evil of the present system of circulation,
the reach of a corn law to determine, or the return to which has been hailed with
even materially to influence-that can so much exultation, is this, that it has
only be determined by a money bill, by a no connexion with the present state of
bill like the present, which fixes the value the country, no reference to its existing
of gold, and determines the amount of condition; it is governed wholly by other
money in circulation. The lion. member principles; it may possess other advan-
for Portarlington has told the country tages; but, that the present debt and
gentlemen, that the proper remedy for taxes of the country should exist in
their present difficulties, the result to conjunction with it-that is impossible-
which they must look, is a permanent ap- it is folly and rapacity alone which can
proximation of the prices in this country think of attempting their union.
to the scale of prices of the untaxed na- It is impossible that the full importance
tions on the Continent. And this, how- of the present measure can be estimated,
ever difficult it may seem as a remedy, without a reference to the general con-
however it may seem to them to be edition of the country, and the manner
in fact the disease itself of which they in which that has been affected by the
complain-is perfectly consistent-and is whole system of measures, of which the
the inevitable consequence of the present present forms a part; and the main cir-
system. What was the principle which cumstance in the state of the country,
at all periods, previous to the bank re- as connected with this great question, is
striction bill, determined the scale of -that the distress in which we are at
prices in this country ? The scale of present involved, must be taken to be of
prices upon the Continent-the value of recent origin. The distress which the
the precious metals upon the Continent, country has experienced since the peace,
and throughout the world, determined has not been a uniform condition of dis-
their value in this country, and conse- tress, but has been interrupted by a pe-
quently determined the value of property riod of prosperity as great as universal,
and commodities, as estimated in money. and as extensive as is the present and as
It is that principle, and that only, which was our previous distress. In the years
must, under the operation of the present 1815 and 1816 this country was involved
measures, determine also our scale of in calamities and sufferings as great and
prices, and not any operation of the debt severe as it had ever experienced at any
and taxes of the country. That was the period of its history, or as, it is my firm
advantage which we derived from thesys- I conviction, have been ever endured by
tern of circulation which we have now any civilized community. Our condition
abandoned-which it is so much the at the present period corresponds very
practice to reprobate and decry, and nearly with it but we are not to forget
which is so little defended by those by that the period of 1818, which has inter-
whom it was introduced. It possessed vened, and that which adjoined it, was
advantages, and the principal of them was one in which the country -attained a de-
this-that it enabled the country to main- gree of prosperity as' great as it had expe-
tain an internal scale of prices, which had rienced during the war, or at any former
a reference to its internal situation, to its period whatever. Two years of prospe-
taxes and burthens, and did not depend rity-four years of adversity and distress
on the scale of prices in other countries. -that is a short history of tire distress of


101]


APnIL 9, 1821.


Ilaink Cash Payments Bill.







103] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
the country. It is to this fact, this re-
cent change in the state of the country,
to which I am desirous to direct the at-
tention of the House; because I am con-
vinced that we cannot recognize that im-
portant circumstance, which is most in-
contestible, that this country,..had at that
time recovered from its recent calamities ;
that the prosperity which it experienced
so recently as in 1818 was neither local
nor partial, but extended equally to every
great branch of national interest; that
the present distress of the country in its
whole extent, is a mere breaking up and
giving way of the prosperity then exist-
ing; this I am sure we cannot recognize,
without perceiving, that this great and
recent change must have been occasioned
by some cause as extensive as the effect
produced, and coming at that same time
into operation. And we thus get rid of
much of those theories, speculations, and
conjectures, which have been delivered in
this House on this important subject, and
with so little attention to examine them
by the evidence of facts and the test of
experience. I beg therefore the attention
of the House to some few of those nume-
rous circumstances which show what that
change has been, which has taken place
in this country so recently as within the
last two or three years. And first, with
respect to its revenue. The state of our
revenue and finances, which is now so
precarious, was so flourishing in the year
1818, that the amount increased after the
rate of 100,0001. weekly during a great
part of that year. Through the whole of
1818 the rate of increase was but little in-
ferior to this, and the produce of the
taxes in that year exceeded the produce
of the same taxes in the preceding year
by no less a sum than 3,662,0001. This
important fact rests on the authority of
the finance committee of the year 1819,
and exhibits an indisputable proof of the
flourishing state of the revenue at that
period. At that same period it was in
the power and in the contemplation of the
government to have made an annual
saving of several millions, by a reduction
of the interest of the unfunded and part
of the funded debt. The mode of reduc-
tion of the interest of the debt contem-
plated at that period, and which would
have been effected if that prosperous con-
dition of the country had continued, was,
that the government could then have bor-
rowed at a very low rate of interest suffi-
cient money to discharge the claims of


Bank Cash Payments Bill.


[104


those creditors to whom a high rate of
interest was paid; a mode of reducing
the interest of the debt very different from
those which have been agitated in this
House and justified by the present con-
dition of the revenue and of the country.
By thisreduction, a saving would have been
made which may be taken at from three to
four millions; and when we add this to
the actual increase of 3,660,0001. which
at the same time took place in the pro-
duction of tie taxes, and consider this
additional amount of annual resources
thus placed at the disposal of the govern-
ment, and the firm and secure and easy
condition of the whole of the revenue
which it indicates, not at that time wrung
with difficulty from the poverty of the
people, but flowing from the abundance
of their wealth, the natural tribute of a
great, a wealthy and a prosperous empire
to a government which, though expen-
sive, and to burthens which, though enor-
mous, were not at that time unsuited to
the resources of the country; when we
compare this state of the revenue with
the present, when three millions of new
taxes imposed on the necessaries of life,
chiefly of the labouring classes, have
proved wholly unproductive; when the
revenue of Ireland has suddenly failed to
the extent of, I think, one-fifth; and
when of that monstrous amount of sixty
millions of annual taxes, an amount so
little suited to the present poverty of the
people, though it is the whole of it neces-
sary to the establishments of the govern-
ment and the support of the public cre-
dit; when of this monstrous annual taxa-
tion it is not too much to say that it has
become a matter of doubt whether it can
be longer by any possible and practicable
means collected or not; I am persuaded
that a contrast more complete between
the secure and prosperous state of the re-
venue at one period, and its shattered,
strained and precarious condition at the
present, cannot well be conceived to
exist. If we look to the condition of the
different great classes of the community,
we shall find them to have corresponded
precisely with this alteration in the re-
venue. The agricultural interest was at
that time prosperous in an eminent de-
greee: they had then high prices. The
fall of prices which has since involved
this class of the community in distress,
has commenced since the middle of the
year 1818. A similar fall of prices and
equally ruinous in its effects has extended







Bank Cash Payments Bill.


to all our manufactured productions, and
to all commercial commodities*, and in
fact to so great and universal an extent
has this change of prices gone, that it
may be safely asserted that there is no
species of property whatever in this coun-
try, in whatever form it exists, except the
property of the annuitant, that has not
undergone a depreciation in its monied
value, to an extent that may be taken at
perhaps one-third, within the recent pe-
riod of the last two or three years, that
is, since the year 1818. The House has
recently heard an alarming and deplora-
ble statement from the right hon. the vice
president of the board of trade, of the
present ruinous condition of that import-
ant branch of our national wealth the
shipping interest. The ships of the
country are two numerous for its com-
merce ; a certain and great proportion of
them are irretrievably condemned. This
condition of the shipping interest is stated
and is understood to have arisen from the
establishment of peace, and the conse-
quent throwing out of employment of a
great number of transports. And it is
this fallacy, which has become almost ha-
bitual, of referring the present existing
state of the country to circumstances
arising out of the establishment of peace
in the year 1815, to which I am particu-
larly desirous of directing the attention of
the House. The fact, as to the commence-
ment of the distress of the shipping in-
terest, perfectly corresponds with the al-
teration in the situation of all the other
great interests of the country. By a re-
ference to the examinations which have
taken place before the foreign trade com-
mittee, it appears that in 1818t the ship-

The fall of prices on some of the princi-
pal articles of manufactures and commerce,
since 1818, may be taken to have been:-
Iron, from 131. to 91. 10s.; copper, from 1401.
to 981.; cotton, from Is. 7d. to 10d.; sugar,
from 90s. to 60s.:--hemp, flax, tallow, wines,
oil, have fallen in similar proportions
t The following Statement, shewing what
the fall in the price of ships has been since
1818, appears in a speech of Mr. Marryat's,
reported in Vol. 1, p. 849 of the New
Series of the Parliamentary Debates: The
Sesostris, launched in 1818, 480 tons, cost
12,1751.; was sold in 1820, after making one
voyage, for 6,3001. The Hebe, of 417 tons,
was valued in 1818, at 6,000/.; was sold in
1820, for 3,2501, The St. Patrick cost in
1818, in repairs and fitting, independent of
the then value of the ship, 7,1001.; and was
sold in 1820, for 3,0001." He gives other si-


ping interest flourished and experienced
as great a degree of prosperity as did the
country at large. Our ships at that re-
cent period, instead of being too nume-
rous, were inadequate to the commerce of
the country. Mr. Tooke, a foreign mer-
chant, tells the committee, that in 1818
he could not procure ships to transport
his goods; and on being asked for how
long a period that lasted, he says, during
the whole season of 1818, except perhaps
at intervals; and that the reverse has
been the case ever since. Mr. Tindal, a
ship-builder, on being asked the precise
question, whether the shipping interest
was not now depressed in consequence of
transports thrown out of employment at
the peace ? Answers distinctly, that the
shipping interest had entirely recovered
that depression, and that the transports
and all other ships were employed at good
freights in 1818, and were inadequate to
the demand for ships. And this is con-
firmed by the consistent and uncontra-
dicted testimony of other evidence; and
it is not unimportant to compare here
this state of the shipping interest in 1818,
with the state of the revenue at that time
and then I would ask, how these conjoint
effects are to be explained by any of those
partial causes to which the state of the
country has been ascribed ? I will men-
tion one other circumstance as corrobora-
tive of this great change then taking
place; and that is, that in the establish-
ment in the city of London, called the
clearing-house, through which, as is well
known, a certain and a large proportion
of the commercial engagements of the
metropolis are discharged, in that esta-
blishment there appears a reduction,
since 1818, of those transactions to the
extent of about one-fourth; and this will
be received, I am convinced, as an incon-
trovertible proof of this great and im-
1 portant circumstance, that the whole of
milar instances. The depreciation in the
value of ships, he says, (1820) is proceeding
more rapidly than ever." It has been said,
that the importation of grain in 1817 and
1818, gave employment to ships. It did so;
but it must be taken into account likewise,
that in those years we exported seven or eight
millions of gold, supplied by the Bank, at
31. 17s. 10id. an ounce, or thirty or forty per
cent below the average price of our commo-
dities; and this operation prevented the ex-
port of goods to perhaps an equal and cer-
tainly to a great amount, which must have
taken place if this gold had been retained by
the Bank.


105J


APRIL 9, 1821.






107] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
the commercial operations of the kingdom
have undergone a contraction to that ex-
tent, within the short period of the last
two or three years. I apprehend, there-
fore, sir, that nothing can be more com-
plete, than the reverse which has thus re-
cently taken place in this country, from a
high, flourishing, and prosperous condi-
tion, to that present condition of diffi-
culty, which it is not my intention to ex-
patiate upon, the alarming reports of
which have reached us from the remotest
corners of the country. What is the
cause of this great and ruinous change?
It is not the war, for that has long
ceased. It is not the transition state to
peace, for that has long passed away
also; and the country has recovered
from whatever evils it experienced from
these events. Whence is it, that in the
absence of all those causes destructive of
the prosperity of nations; that in the
midst of abundant harvests, of profound
peace, when the whole of Europe is in al-
liance with us, when all its ports are open
to ou& industry, whilst all outward cir-
cumstances indicate tranquillity; that we
perceive, in whatever direction we turn
our attention, one internal scene of diffi-
culty, ruin, and distress ? To ascribe a
reverse, sudden and universal like this, to
trifling or obscure operations; even to
discuss such causes on such a question;
is at once to abuse the attention of the
House, and the sense and distress of the
country. It is most clear, that it can
alone be ascribed to some cause as exten-
sive as its effects, and which can be shewn
to have been then in operation. And
most assuredly there has been no such
cause in existence at this period, except
that change in our monied system and
standard of value, which we have our-
selves effected precisely at this time, and
which necessarily affects equally all the
great interests of the country, and is
calculated to affect them exactly in the
manner we have witnessed. And here
again, therefore, I have to request the
attention of the House to the considera-
tion of what these changes have been,
when they have taken place, and parti-
cularly how they have corresponded with
that great change in the state of the
country, which has thus recently taken
place. The currency of this country be-
came depreciated during the war: that, I
think, is now universally admitted and
agreed on. The rate of that depreciation
is by no party estimated at less than 25


Bank Cash Payments Bill.


per cent; by many it is estimated at more
than 50 per cent. The criterion, taken
as infallible by the lion. member for Port-
arlington, would give a depreciation of 40
per cent; but I will assume a rate of de-
preciation of from 30 to 40 per cent. A
depreciation of money is, in- other words,
a rise of prices to the extent of such de-
preciation. Here then is a rise of prices
during the war to the extent of 30 or 40
per cent, occasioned by the depreciation
of our paper money, and by no other
cause. Whatever other or further rise of
prices may be supposed to have taken
place during the war from other causes,
here is a rise of prices to the extent of 30
or 40 per cent, which must of necessity
be ascribed to this cause, and to no other.
We have at the present period restored
the value of our currency again. It is
the boast of those gentlemen who have
taken a leading part in that measure, that
is to say, we have occasioned by this res-
toration a fall of prices precisely com-
mensurate with the previous depreciation.
So that whatever other causes may be
supposed to have operated to depress
prices, we have here most incontestibly a
fall of prices of 30 or 40 per cent, occa-
sioned by this one cause, and by this
only.* It was altogether impossible for

The rise of prices which took place dur-
ing the war, because it was seen to accompany
the imposition of taxes, the accumulation
of debt, and a great national expenditure, was
commonly ascribed to the operation of these
circumstances. The great and rapidly in-
creasing prosperity of the country was as-
cribed to the same causes. These errors are
not yet effaced: it will be some time before
it is again believed in this country, that the
natural companions of war and taxes are
poverty and low prices, and not high prices
and wealth. War brings poverty, poverty
peace," is a true proverb, though it has ap-
peared to us to be contradicted or reversed by
recent experience. It describes very accu-
rately the progress and termination of every
foreign war, except the last, in which the
country has ever been engaged. There is
nothing in the nature of war or taxes capable
of occasioning that rise of prices and increased
wealth, so necessary to their support; if these
existed in this country during the late war, it
was in spite of the war and the taxes, and
not in consequence of them; they were oc-
casioned, and occasioned solely, by the in-
creased amount of money thrown into circu-
lation, in consequence of the Bank Restriction
act, and the consequent depreciation of money:
high prices and prosperity continued no longer
than that operation. There was no fall in


[108







Bank Cash Payments Bill.


such restoration to be effected, unac-
companied by such fall. Let us see then
what the intermediate alterations on our
currency have been. We restored its
value also in the years 1815 and 1816,
and we then also witnessed that same pre-
cise fall of prices which we now wit-
ness, and which must of necessity have
accompanied a restoration of the value of
our currency. In the year 1818 we de-
preciated the currency a second time;
and having by this means raised prices
and altered our standard of value to the
war rate, we then found that the country
was able to discharge without difficulty
the engagements imposed on it by the
war. We have since brought back the
ancient standard of the country, as dis-
tinguished from the war standard, and
the effects are what we witness. There
exists a difference of opinion as to the
rate of the second depreciation of money

the price of corn at the conclusion of any one
of the three great wars in which the country
was engaged in the course of the last century;
on the contrary, there appears a uniform rise;
and there would have been no fall in corn at
the conclusion of the late war, if that conclu-
sion had not been accompanied by the re-
moval of the restriction act, and an attempt
to return to cash payments. The manner in
which seven millions of gold was issued by
the Bank of England in 1818, in an attempt
to re-establish cash payments, was equivalent
to giving a bounty of 25 per cent. on the
foreign corn imported at that time. The fol-
lowing table shews the manner in which the
price of wheat was affected by the establish-
ment of peace at the conclusion of each of
the three great wars in the last century:-
per Quarter.
111C last year of war-the average price of Wheat 2 6i 4
1713 Peace eatabltisioeut in Jly- Do .... do .... 8 11 10
1714 .......................... Do.... do ..... 210 4
1760 last year of War............ Do .... do .... 1 19 0
1763 reace in February.......... Do .... do .... O 0 9
1764 .......................... o ......... ..o .... d .. 2 6 9
1782 last year of War .......... Do .... do .... 2 7 10
178 Peace .................... Do .... do .... e 12 a
1784 Do ...................... Do .... do ... C 8 10
1785 Do ...................... Do .... do .... 2 11 10
During the nine years of the American war,
beginning with 1775 and ending with 1783,
the average price of wheat for that nine years
was 21. 3s. 2d. a quarter. The average price of
the seven years which followed was 21. 16s. 6d.
the quarter; and the average of the seven
years which preceded the American war, was
21. 18s. the quarter. This fact is perfectly
conclusive, that the state of prices during the
late war was occasioned by some operation
peculiar to that period, and which terminated
with it, and by no operation of war expendi-
ture, loans, or taxes-if in fact that opinion
needs refutation.


in the year 1818; and it is to a misunder-
standing on this point which prevailed in
1819, that the present ruinous system of
measures are in some considerable degree
to be ascribed. That depreciation, if it
existed at all, of which there is no one
who doubts, must, I apprehend, be esti-
mated as to its rate by either the general
scale of prices at that time, or by the
amount of money which can be shown to
have been in circulation, or by both, and
not by a reference to the temporary price
of any particular article; and inasmuch
as both the scale of prices generally, and
the amount of money thrown into circu-
lation, approached to a par, or very near
it, with the prices, and the amount of
money which circulated during the war,
so, I apprehend, must the rate of depre-
ciation in 1818 be taken to have been the
rate of depreciation before the close of
the war, or nearly corresponding with it.
Why then, sir, we see here the opera-
tion of a great cause necessarily affecting
every one of the great interests of the
country, and precisely in the manner in
which we have seen them to be affected,
and affected precisely at those periods when
those measures came into operation. And
particularly we see the operation of those
measures at that period of the year 1818,
when no other cause whatever has been
in existence, capable of affecting the main
interests of the country. What we have
witnessed within this recent period has
been this-we have seen the prosperity
of a great empire in its whole extent, and
throughout every branch of national
wealth, suddenly subverted and destroy-
ed; its revenue, its agriculture, its manu-
factures, its commerce, its ships, all alike
reduced to one uniform condition of beg-
gary and distress; and when we hear an
event like this, unequalled, in the history
of the country, or of scarcely any other
country, ascribed, in this House to trifling
and insignificant operations, to importa-
tions from Ireland-itself equally dis-
tressed-to an abundant harvest, to the
importation of a few millions of foreign
grain; when we hear it ascribed to causes
of dubious or even mysterious operation,
to what is called an excessive supply, to
a diminished expenditure; causes which
did never yet in any time, nor in any
country, produce the effects here ascribed
to them, and which, if they were capable
of producing such effects, as, if there is any
truth in any principle of political eco-
nomy, they are not, can never be shewn,


109]


APRIL O, 1821.






Ill] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
nor be supposed to have come into any
particular operation at this time-in the
midst of this condition of calamity and
distress, and of this obscurity as to its
cause, can there exist a more important
duty than that which rests upon this
House, to enter at once into the most di-
ligent, the most extensive, the most inde-
fatigable investigation of this great sub-
ject-to dispel the obscurity, the confu-
sion, the absurdity, that prevail-to exhi-
bit to the people what the true cause is of
the difficulties which overwhelm them,
what are the real obstacles that oppose
themselves to their removal, and what
those dangers and evils are, which we
imagine that we avoid by persevering in
our present course? There is no party
which does not ascribe some part of the
distress of the country to the alterations
in our currency. Is it not the duty of
the House-is it not due to its own cha-
racter and interests, and the interests of
the people, to determine what that part
is ? I am perfectly convinced that no
particular portion, but the whole of the
difficulties of the country have been occa-
sioned by that operation ; that all the suf-
ferings of the people, and the difficulties
and dangers which, from them, surround
the government; the destruction or de-
preciation of capital and property ; that
all this is the condition which this coun-
try has paid, which it has yet to dis-
charge, for what is called the restoration
of the ancient standard of value, but
which has been in truth, and in fact, and
in law, the substitution of another stand-
ard for the then existing legal standard of
value, in which existing legal standard of
value all the debts, and taxes, and sala-
ries, and leases, and monied contracts of
the country had been founded, all of
which were violated by that substitution;
and the effect of which violation on the
great interests of the country were never
inquired into by the committee of 1819,
appointed to investigate this great ques-
tion; nor were these evils enumerated to
the House by that committee, when they
recommended the perseverance in mea-
sures from whence they must of necessity
arise.
I would, in confirmation of these opi-
nions and arguments, ask the House what
the main feature is of all the difficulties
which the productive classes sustain ? Is
it not a low state of prices? On what
do prices depend? Is it not on money ?
We come at once to the true cause of


Bank Cash Payments Bill.


[112


these difficulties. Have we not been en-
gaged in making perpetual alterations in
our monied system and standard of value ?
Have we not debased our standard?
then raised, and then a second time
lowered and raised it again ? Is there,
in short, any change of which money is
susceptible, any means by which it is
capable of affecting the interests of a
state, which we have not made or at-
tempted to make ? And are we surprised
that disastrous events follow; that we
witness at one period a sudden prosperity,
followed by as sudden and greater cala-
mities ? When has it been that govern-
ments have understood the full import-
ance of what they were doing, when they
have tampered with their standard of
value ? The mistake of the present period
is this-that we have given to the coun-
try the wrong standard; we have given
them the standard of one period with
the engagements of another. Thence the
difficult, the uneasy position of the coun-
try-the impossibility which opposes the
discharge of those engagements. With
these causes and effects thus plainly be-
fore us, can we longer shut our eyes to
the nature of these operations, as well as
to the dangers with which we are sur-
rounded, from any other motive than a
secret conviction of the evils which we
have ourselves occasioned, and the injus-
tice we have worked ? How much longer
shall we, instead of boldly applying our-
selves to the nature of these evils and
their removal, endeavour to amuse our-
selves and the people by a succession of
contradictory and contemptible theories
-irreconcileable with facts, with expe-
rience, or with sound principles, in the
vain hope and expectation that time or
accident, or the industry or resources of
the people, will surmount at length the
calamities we have occasioned, and save
the legislature the mortification of ac-
knowledging and repairing its errors.
The main feature of the distress of all
classes I have stated to be the low rate of
existing monied prices. Into that it is all
to be resolved. It is that which prevents
the farmers from being able to discharge
their rents. The manufacturers and the
merchants cannot procure a price which
will reimburse them the cost of produc-
tion and importation of their various com-
modities ; from this arises the destruction
of capital, the ruin of those classes. It
has been contended, that the fall of prices
recently occasioned by the alteration of






APRIL 9, 1821. [114


the currency, has been only to the extent
of four or six per cent. This is the pro-
position of the hon.,member for Portar-
lington; but the fact will be found to be,
that the amount of bank of England notes
reduced in this recent operation has been
six millions. The reduction has been
about six millions since the operation of
1818, and about seven millions since the
war. If then the reduction of Bank notes
has been six millions, and their present
amount be twenty-three millions, both of
which the papers before the House will
show, I would ask that hon. member to
say, whether he believes that a reduction
of Bank notes can by possibility take
place to the extent of one-fourth, and oc-
casion a fall of prices to the extent of
only one-twentieth? This I am satisfied
he will not maintain. Another opinion
has been generally entertained, that it is
the fall of prices which has reduced the
amount of circulation, and not the reduc-
tion of the circulation which has occa-
sioned the fall of prices. Now what is
the fact, as it applies to this opinion?
The reduction which has taken place in
the notes of the bank of England, of I
will say one-fourth, has not been occa-
sioned by any alteration of its advances
to the agricultural or the trading commu-
nity; that reduction has been effected
entirely by a calling in of its advances to
the government, dictated by this House,
and for the express purpose of enabling
the Bank to reduce its amount of notes in
circulation, that it might by that means
cause a fall of prices, raise the value of
money, operate on the foreign exchanges,
and procure an importation of gold from
abroad at the old price of gold, precisely
by that mode to which I have already re-
ferred. If therefore the reduction of
Bank notes was not occasioned by a fall
of prices, so neither could it by possibility
take place without occasioning that fall
of prices. We have therefore here before
us a reduction of bank of England notes
regularly and systematically effected, dic-
tated by this House, to the extent of six
or seven millions; that reduction must of
necessity be followed by a proportionate
or a greater reduction of the country
bankers' notes*: there is now therefore a

Dr. Copplestone has told Mr. Peel, that
reduction of Bank of England notes would
Ie followed by an increase of those of the t
country bankers to keep up the level,as thus- t
" The Bank of England, it seems, have lately i
VOL. V.


redaction altogether of the whole amount
of money in circulation in this country to
the extent of twelve, or perhaps fifteen or
twenty millions. Now it is absolutely
impossible that this could take place
without a fall of prices similar to this
which we have witnessed. The scale of
prices, which can be kept up in every
country, depends on the amount of money
which can in that country be kept in cir-
culation, and the proportion it bears to
its property and commodities& This pro-
position, self-evident as it is, I will beg
the indulgence of the House to state it in
the words of Mr. Locke, because the au-
thority of that great reasoner has been
much referred to on this subject, and his
opinions altogether misunderstood. That
money and prices depend on one another,
is thus stated by Mr. Locke: The
uses of money not lessening with its
quantity-so much as its quantity is les-
sened, so much must the share of every
one that has a right to this money, be the
less-whether lie be landholder, for his
goods; or labourer, for his hire; or mer-
chant, for his brokerage." And then he
says, ," If one-third of the money were
locked up, or gone out of England, must
not the landholders necessarily receive
one-third less for their goods, and conse-
quently rents fall ?" Now, sir, is not this
precisely what we have seen? We see
the one-third, or it may be one-fourth, of
our money locked up systematically and
taken from circulation. We see the ne-
cessary consequence following-the land-
holder receiving less for his produce the
labourer for his wages; the merchant less
profit-all necessarily and equally re-
duced. Mr. Locke goes on to describe
what, in his opinion, would be the proba-
ble consequences of a nation suffering
calamities from this cause. It appeared
to him, that the different great classes of
the community, the traders, the farmers,
the labourers, would be little likely to
understand what the common cause of
their distress was. He says, he should ex-
pect that each of these great classes
would be disposed to ascribe its difficulties
to some cause peculiar to their own situa-
tion, and to aim at measures of relief cal-
culated, as they would believe, to assist

:ontracted their issues; but to answer the de-
mands of the market in the present state of
ihe currency, other banks will increase theirs:
.o keep up the present prices, as one draws
n, the other will shoot out. Being secure
I


113]


Bank Carsh Payments Bill.







115] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
themselves in particularand probably at the
expense of the rest. But this contest, he
says, betweenthemonied man and the mer-
chant, the labourer and the landed man,
is but scrambling among ourselves, and
helps none against the common distress,
-the cause, he says, is mistaken, and the
remedy too.
This again, sir, is an accurate descrip-
tion of what has taken place. We see
the agricultural community engaged in an
attempt to raise, by restrictive laws, the
price of bread, whilst the merchants and
manufacturers demand a free trade, and
measures calculated to lower it. Can we
forget that we have heard in this House,
a plan proposed for relieving the difficul-
ties of the country by a division of the
land, and giving a portion of it over to
the fundholder ? And have we not wit-
nessed a strong disposition at least evinced

against the only true test of their soundness,
and their profits depending on the amount of
their issues, can it be imagined, that they
wil ever of their own accord contract those
issues?" [Second Letter to Mr. Peel, p. 12.]
It might have been expected from a writer
who is so intemperate, and loud in his accu-
sations of ignorance, towards those who dif-
fer from him on these subjects, that he would
have himself shown some degree of know-
ledge of the principles, at least, if not of the
practice of circulation. If Dr. Copplestone
believes that the country bankers are re-
stricted or protected from paying their notes
by any act of Parliament, as the latter part of
this sentence seems to imply, then he is right,
and the country bankers, if so protected,
would undoubtedly have shot out their circu-
lation, and have filled up any existing void
very much to their own profit. But the coun-
try bankers have always been liable to pay
their notes in notes of the Bank of England ;
and their circulation has been consequently
always reduced by a scarcity of Bank of Eng-
land notes, and can only be extended in con-
sequence of an extension of the Bank issues.
If the country bankers had attempted to pro-
ceed according to this plan, it would have
terminated in their ruin and they could not
have succeeded in keeping one single note
more in circulation. In what manner the
country bank circulation has in fact, since
this time, been increased, to keep up prices,
may be judged of from the degree in which
prices have kept up, as well as from the fol-
l6*ing statement of stamps on their notes:
Amount paidfor Stamps on Country Bankers'
Notes.
Tor the half year ending-5th April 1819 ......... ..58,400
...................... October ............. 27,400
................... AprilB1.0.. .......... 26,900
....... ........... Oetaber .............. 27,400.
'iheaaniotipist for he half year ending Oct. 1818, wi 73,800


Bank Cash Patyments ill. [ 11
amongst the Janded interest, to relieve
themselves by invading the property of
the fundholder ? A right hon. gentleman,
the chief commissioner of woods and
forests, has told us, .that the state of
things now existing is advantageous to
,the labouring classes ; that the :labourer
is benefitted by a state of things that is
completely ruinous to his employer. If
it were true, that the condition of the la-
bourer is improved, he is rapidly con-
suming the capital of his employer; and
I would beg the right hon. member to tell
us, how long he considers that animprove-
ment so originating, is likely to last.
But what are the symptoms in the condi-
tion of .the country which we perceive,
and from which we should judge that the
condition of the labourer is likely .to ,be
improved ? Do we not hear, in all direc-
tions, of land thrown out of cultivation ?
of the better land being worse cultivated I
Must not the inferior manufactures ne-
cessarily follow the same fate ? Have we
not heard from the most unequivocal au-
thority, that the shipping of the country
is too extensive for its commerce ? that

By the side of this prediction as to prices,
and the amount of the country bank circula-
tion, may be set one by Mr. Ricardo, which
is found in a reported speech of -his, made
about the same time, that is in May 1819.
He says, This question (the bank cash pay-
ment question) is one of immense importance
in principle; but in the manner of bringing
it about, is trivial, and not deserving half an
hour's consideration of the House. The diffi-
culty is only that of raising the currency 3
per cent in value. A most fearful and de-
structive depreciation had at one time taken
place, but from that we had recovered, and
he was happy to reflect that we had so, far
retraced our steps. We had nearly got
home, and he hoped his right hon. friend
would lend him his assistance to enable them
to reach it in safety. He would venture to
state, that in a very few weeks all alarm
would be forgotten, and at the end of the
year we shouldall be surprised that any alarm
had ever prevailed at a prospect of a variation
of 3 per cent in the value of the circulating
medium."
The value of money since this period has
risen 20 or 30 per cent, and not 3 per cent.
The cause is to be seen in the reduction of
the country bank circulation. There is leps
money in existence. In May 1819, the Bank
of England had in a great degree effected its
necessary reduction; but the reduction of
country bank paper necessarily following the
Bank of England reduction, was an operation
that had only recently commenced, and was
then going ,on with tAreat rapidity.






Bank Cash Payments Bill.


ap attempt or expectation to employ or pears to have been 25,405,000 bushels.
to maintain it is preposterous ? How That is the quantity of malt consumed,
then, sir, in the midst of this diminution we will suppose, by the labourer when he
in the demand for labour, of this frightful paid a remunerating price to the pro-
destruction of the funds by which labour ducer. What shall we find then the
is supported, are we to expect to find the quantity to be consumed in the year 1820,
condition of the labourer improved ? It when it is sold at a low price, which is
is contrary to every principle of political ruinous to the farmer? The quantity is
economy that has ever been received, to 24,621,000 bushels. Here is a diminu-
all reason, and to all experience. It has tion, instead of an increase. So that in
never happened at any time, nor in any this very article of malt, brought forward
country, that the condition of the la- to show An improved condition of the
bouret has improved, except by an in- labourer, in consequence of the fall of
creased demand for labour, and an in- prices, it appears that in this very article,
crease of the funds by which labour is the labourer, when he paid a high price
supported-the productive capital of a which remunerated the producer, was en-
country. It has never happened in any abled to purchase and consume more by
country,-nor it never will in this,-that 800,000 bushels, than he was able to pro-
a permanent reduction in the demand for cure when he paid a price entirely ruinous
labour can take place, without this further to the grower. And thus it is that an
consequence following-that the supply improvement in the condition of the
of labour must become proportioned to labourer is proved. Another article of
the contracted demand. This is the pro- consumption, referred to in another place
cess through which the productive classes by a noble lord, of whom I wish to speak
of the country must pass if the present state with respect, in support of a similar opi-
of the country continues, and which has, nion, is the article of British spirits, the
as I am convinced, already commenced. luxury, perhaps to some extent, of the
And what the nature of that operation labouring classes. In the article of
must necessarily be in this country, by British spirits, an increase was stated to
which the numbers of the productive have taken place in the last year,
classes are lessened, and become prolor- compared with the average of the
tionate to the lessened demand for labour three preceding years, to no less an ex-
which exists, that I leave to the right hon. tent than 1,500,000 gallons in 5,000,000
member to describe, and to reconcile it, of gallons. Now, sir, what is the fact, as
if he can, with the improvement he speaks it appears by returns made to this House ?
of in the condition of the labourers. But Instead of that extraordinary and altoge-
this opinion, which is dangerous to be their improbable increase which appeared
sent oul from this House to the country, in the papers laid before the other House
in its present condition, for its tendency of Parliament, there appears a great di-
is to instigate one part of the people minution. The return to the other House
against the other, when they have all but was plainly a clerical error, arising, pro-
one common interest, and are involved in bably, from taking in the last year the
one common distress, has been attempted gallons of wash, and in the preceding
to be supported by' a reference to facts. years the gallons of spirits; but I do not
It is stated, that of those articles whichh refer to it, for the mere purpose of cor-
form the necessaries or the luxuries of reacting an error, but because an erroneous
the larouring classes, there is found to and an important argument was founded
exist an increased consumption, since upon it. The real state of the case, as it
the present ruinous state of prices has now appears, is this, that in the year 1818,
been established. The article which has the number of gallons of British spirits
been brought forward in support of this consumed, was 5,778,006 gallons; and
statement, is malt. It is said, there has the number consumed in the last year,
been an increase in the consumption of was 4,756,000 gallons; being a reduction
malt. Now, sir, what is the fact on this of one-fourth or one-fifth in the whole
subject, as it appears by the papers con- amount of British spirits consumed, in-
taining returns made to this House? stead, of that great increase of consump-
The year 1818 was the last year in which tion which had been stated to exist: and
a remunerating price was paid to the pro- thus, sir, it is, that an opinion opposed to
ducer for malt. The number of bushels every sound principle of political econo-
of malt contsued in that year, ap- my, to all reason, and to all experience,


1171


APtiL 9, 1821.









is destroyed by the facts brought forward If, sir, there be any foundation what-
in its support.* ever for these opinions, as I am convinced


This opinion of Mr. Huskisson was first
advanced by Dr. Copplestone, and fbrms the
principal feature in his work. It has been
explained by Mr. Hume, in what manner it
is that a rise of prices, following from an in-
creased abundance of money, and its conse-
quent progress to depreciation, is favourable
to the wealth of a country, to the increase of
its real capital, and in what manner it
encourages industry, and improves the condi-
tion of the productive classes, the merchants,
the manufacturers, the farmers, and the
labourers. HIe has explained also, in what
manner a scarcity of money and a fall of
prices reverses this state of things, and in-
volves all the productive classes of the com-
munity alike in poverty, beggary, and sloth.
His arguments on this subject have received
a striking illustration from what has taken
place in this country from 1797 downwards,
to the conclusion of the war, and from the
different changes in our monied system, and
in the state of the country which have since
taken place. Dr. Copplestone has main-
tained a different opinion, as far as relates to
the condition of the labourers. It appears to
him, that an increased abundance and con-
sequent depreciation of money, whilst it is in
an extraordinary degree favourable to the
prosperity of the higher classes of society,
including the traders, is injurious to the
labourer, and deteriorates his condition. The
condition of the labourer is improved, on the
contrary, as he maintains, by a scarcity of
money and a fall of prices, which impoverishes
or ruins his employers. The work of this
gentleman, written for a particular and a
party purpose, to depreciate the character and
measures of the present chancellor of the
exchequer, has been praised by the party
with whose views it coincided, and has been
estimated greatly beyond its worth. Un-
doubtedly it is an important question, which
is thus agitated. No measuresofany govern-
ment can rest on a surer or more honourable
basis, than an improvement in the condition
of the labouring classes, the great majority
of every country, if they are capable of effect-
ing that improvement. We must require,
however, very different arguments, and a
more accurate statement of facts, than have
been brought forward by this writer, before
we can give any weight to the extraordinary
position, that the labouring classes can
flourish and improve amidst the general
impoverishment of the country, or that they
can become poorer and more miserable and
distressed, in the midst of a rapid and general
increase of national prosperity and wealth.
It is not a waste of time to examine for a
little the facts on which this opinion is pro-
fessed to be founded, and the boldness or
carelessness with which this gentleman
pnakes use of facts and figures, and renders


them subservient to the purposes of his
preposterous argument. He has taken a
review of the state of the country in the time
of Elizabeth. That was a period in which
an operation took place, similar to that which
followed the Restriction bill. A great in-
crease of money flowed into circulation in
consequence of the discovery of America,
and was accompanied with a striking and
unexampled increase of national wealth and
prosperity. This Dr. Copplestone admits;
but he says that he finds it was accompanied
with a great deterioration in the condition of
the labouring classes. That is the point in
question. To prove it, he gives us a table,
in which he sets down the price of provisions,
and the wages of labour, at different periods,
commencing with the year 1459, and ending
with 1601. The conclusion he professes to
draw from this table is, that in the earlier
part of that period, before the rise of prices
took place, the wages of the labourer would
purchase a greater quantity of provisions than
in the latter part of it, after that rise of prices.
The first circumstance which strikes us in this
table is this, that the price of wheat first given
in the year when it commences, viz. 1459, is
set down at 3s. 4d. a quarter, in money of
that time, and at 5s. ad. a quarter in money
of the present time. But when we refer to
the tables of sir F. Eden, from whom these
prices profess to be drawn, we find the price
of wheat there set down in 1459, at 5s. a
quarter, in money of that time, and at 9s. 7d.
in money of the present time; and that price
agrees with the tables of Adam Smith. So
that this table sets out with two statements,
and both of them erroneous. First, the price
of wheat is set down at about fifty per cent.
below its price in money of that time; and
next, the money of that time is estimated at
about fifty per cent. lower than its real value;
and altogether we arrive at a price of wheat of
exactly one-half of what the tables shew front
whence it is drawn, those of sir F. Eden. A
comparison is then drawn between the con-
dition of the labourer in the first twenty years
of the sixteenth century, before any deprecia-
tion of money had taken place, and his. situa-
tion during the last twenty years of that cen-
tury, after such depreciation, drawn from the
tables which are given. It is stated, "that
from the slightest inspection of the tables, it
will appear that during the first twenty years
of that century, the wages of a country la-
bourer were at least three times as great as
during the last twenty years, if measured by
the quantity of food they would purchase."
And then we are shortly afterwards told, that,
" in the first period, a quarter of wheat at 5s.
3d. was equal only to thirteen days labour at
the lowest rate."
Now, in the first place, sir F. Eden's tables
do not give the average price of wheat for the


1191 HOUSE OF COMMQONS,


Bank Cash Payments BIill.


[S.0







121] Bank Cash Payments Bill. AvrtIL 9, 1821. [ 122
their truth is incontestible; if the facts have maintained is this: I say that a great
on which they are founded are incapable reverse has taken place in the internal si-
of contradiction; it becomes this House tuation of this country suddenly and re-
to consider well the whole of this subject, cently, and since the year 1818. Can
before they take that further step which that fact be denied ? I say, that in that
is now proposed to its adoption. What I change consists, and into it is resolvable,

twenty years beginning with 1501 and ending prosperity and wealth. The picture of a
with 1520, at 5s. 3d. in money of that time, worsened condition of the labourer, at a pe-
but at 8s. 3d. The average of twenty-one riod when it suited the author's purpose so to
years, beginning with 1501, is 9s. 3d. And describe it, is completed by a similar use of
when we come to the year 1523, the price of facts and history. Harrison, in his descrip-
wheat is set down in Eden's tables at 81. a tion of England, reckons the annual execu-
quarter in money of that time; this being be- tions at the end of the reign of Elizabeth, at
tore the depreciation of money, and the con- 300 or 400; and this is at once made use of
sequent improved cultivation with which it to shew that the depreciation of money dur-
was accompanied, had commenced. But the ing that reign had involved the people in
absurdity of this statement is the most mate- misery, and driven them to the commission
rial part of it. Dr. Copplestone can believe, of multiplied disorders and crimes. [Se-
when it suited the purpose of his argument to cond Letter to Mr Peel, p. 51.] Now this
make out a prosperous condition of the la- same Harrison states, that in the reign of
bourer, that the wages of the lowest descrip- Henry the 8th, which is before any fall of
tion of labour, of" a woman labourer, or other money and rise of prices had taken place, the
labourer," for that is the description referred number of executions were nearly 2,000 an-
to in the table, were sufficient, at that period, nually; and Mr. Hume, who quotes both
to purchase a quarter of wheat for the wages passages, almost in the same line, says, that
of thirteen days ; which is nearly four bushels it is asserted in an act of parliament of Henry
or nearly four and a half bushels of wheat, the 8th, that the number of prisoners in the
as the bushel is estimated at eight gallons, kingdom, for debts and crimes, were above
or at nine gallons, for a week's wages. This 60,000 ; but this part of Harrison's statement
would give more than two hundred bushels Dr. Copplestone leaves behind, because it
by the year, for the wages of women labour- would have destroyed his argument altoge-
crs, and other labourers of the lowest descrip- their, and takes just as much as he can make
tion. To make this statement complete, the to suit his purpose.
writer ought to have given us also his opi- It would be idle to trace this miserable per-
nion, as to what quantity of land he imagines version of fact and reason further, except that
to have been in this country at that period, or the next statement refers to the effect on the
even at the present period; which, if its condition of the labourer, of the rise of prices
whole gross produce were given to the labour- in our own times. A contrast is drawn be-
ers, without any reserve for rent to the land- tween the rate of wages and the price of pro-
lord or profit to the farmer, would yield a visions now and at the commencement of the
remuneration to this extent. The average past century. A comparison," it is stated,
produce of an acre of wheat at about the pe- of the price of provisions with thepriceof la-
riod referred to, there appears reason to be- hour in the first twenty years of the eight-
lieve was about twelve bushels, and that eenth century, and the last twenty years be-
much cultivated land did nottyield more than fore the termination of the war, would exhibit
six bushels by the acre at that time. Hay- nearly the same melancholy reverse of for-
ing, in this manner, established a prosperous tune to the labourer as we found in compar-
condition for the labourer at one period-and ing the reign of Henry the 7th with that of
certainly nothing can be imagined more pros- Elizabeth. The price of provisions advanced
porous, for it gives to a woman agricultural about fourfold, whilst that of labour was not
labourer the gross produce of near twenty even doubled. Generally speaking the first
acres of corn, of an average crop and good- might be said to have become as seven to two,
ness, for a year's wages, and of near forty the second hardly as three to two:" [Se-
acres of the crop of corn, of inferior corn land, cond Letter to Mr. Peel, p. 83.] And then
for a year's wages, and would be equivalent he asks, can we wonder therefore at a
to about 40s. a week for a woman labourer, or scene of helpless parents, starving children,
the lowest description of agricultural labour- &c. &c. all of which is imaginary as applied
er, when corn is at 10s. a bushel. Having to the period of the war and of high prices."
thus established this state of things, at one There are in this statement two facts given,
period, before money had depreciated, he with an apparent attention to accuracy; and
finds it perfectly easy, as might be expected, they are both of them false ; the price of pro-
to takeup the condition of the labourerat ano- visions did not advance fourfold nor as seven
their period ; and to show, that after prices to two; and it is not true that the wages of
had risen, the labourer had greatly gone labour advanced hardly as three to two. The
back from this prosperous state, although in average price of corn for the twenty years re-
the midst of a great advanccmeuit of national ferrcd to, beginning with 1701, was 21. 46. a







123]- HOUSE OF COMMONS,
the whole of the difficulties which we now
experience; I ask, what has been the
cause of this great reverse ? What event,
what cause, what measure, affecting alike
all the great interests of the country, can
be shewn to have been then in existence
or operation ? 1 point out that measure ;
I refer to the alterations we have at this
same time effected in our currency, and, I
show that that is an operation necessarily
affecting alike every one of the great in-
terefst of the country, and which could
ibt have' been by possibility effected,
without producing (fat fall of prices, and
thence that complete and general reverse
and distress which we witness. I have
maintained, sir, that with the present sys-
teti of circulation, arnd whilst it conti-
nues, the prices of this country must be
governed by, and must nearly approxi-
nrate to, the scale of prices on the conti-
enft. That fnote other can by possibility
exist. All this leads to this further con-
clusion, that the difficulties and distress of
the country have been occasioned by the
measures of the government and, the le-
gislature; that they are subject to our
eontrel, and ate withitv our power to re-
move. Let the House consider, then,

quarter, and its average price for the twenty
years before the termination of the war was
not either 71. 14s. or 81. 16s. a quarter. What
the advance in the wages of labour really was,
it is difficult to estimate, but without any in-
quiry, it is perfectly clear that the advance in
the money wages of labour, within the last
100 years, has been more than as three to
two; and so much and greatly more as to
take away all weight and authority whatever
from a person who is so utterly uninform-
ed on the subject as to be capable of asserting
it.
The annals of the poor are at all times short
and obscure ; what their real existing condi-
tion at any time and place is, is never gener-
ally and seldom accurately known. It is not
easy to know what even the money wages of
labour are at any particular time ; and there
is nothing more difficult, nor more unsatisfac-
tory than to determine what the wages of la-
bour, and the condition of the poor have been
at remote and distant periods. We haveonly
a few scattered facts to guide us, and these, un-
accompaniedwithparticular circumstances con-
nected with them,are frequently more calculat-
ed todeceive than inform us. The wages of a-
bour differ more thaenis apt to be considered at
the same time in plates a little distant. Adam
Smith observes, that the wages of labour in
1775, were s1. 6d. a day in London and its
neighbourhood; Is. 2d. to Is. 3d. at a little
distance from Londoa; lOd, at Edinburgh,;


SBank Cash Payments Bill.


[121


the responsibility under which it acts. A
more important duty, a heavier responsi-
bility, has never devolved on any govern-
ment, than that which rests upon this
House, whenever this great subject comes
in any way under its consideration, than
now rests upon it, when we are about to
adopt a step which pledges us to a further
perseverance in these measures; which
renders their abandonment more difficult,
and probably increases their pressure.
If we believe that the present measures
are dictated by necessity, that they are
dictated by a regard for justice, it at least
is necessary that we should inquire what
the grounds and nature of that necessity
is, which dictates a course destructive of
the best interests of the country, and of
that justice which demands so great sacri-
fices and' so great sufferings. The cause
of the difficulties of the country is, I re-
peat it again, within our own power to
remove, and that by a measure, not du-
bious in its operation, of which we have
had the benefit of recent experience, and
which, whether just or unjust, has had
the sanction of its adoption by the present
government within the last few years.
That measure is, to give back to the

and 8d. through the greater part of Scotland.
In those remote periods, when the land was
ill-cultivated, there existed no reg(dar em-
ployment for labourers ; the harvest on a con-
siderable farm was usually, in those periods,
begun and ended in one or two days, with the
aid of as many hundred labourers collected for
that purpose, and who were left without em-
ployment when that task was ended. To com.
pare wages for this labour in a state of things
like this, with the wages of labour when a
better and more extended system of cultiva-
tion afforded more regular employment, ne-
cessarily shows nothing, without a reference
to the altered circumstances and cultivation of
the country ; and the leaving these out of
consideration appears to have been the ab-
surd course which, in part, has led Dr. Cop-
plestone to his conclusions.
There are however obvious circumstances
connected with the condition of the labouring
classes, universally observed and known, and
which are sufficient to convince us that dur-
ing the late war their condition was highly
prosperous. We know that their numbers
did never at any period so rapidly increase;
we know also that the diet of the lower
classes became better, more wholesome and
nutritious. Bread made from the inferior
species of grain, oats, barley and rye, became
every year more disused, and was at length
only to be seen in some few, and those very
poor and remote districts.







125] Bank Cash Payments Bill.
country that standard of value, and that
amount of circulation, in which its debts,
and taxes, and engagements, have been
founded, and in which alone they can be
discharged, or ought in justice to be dis-
charged-that standard in which our
taxes have been imposed, our debt accu-
mulated, to which all the expenses of the
government have been proportioned, to
which all its pay and salaries in every de-
partment, all its pay and salaries in every
department, civil, naval, and military,
have been apportioned, on which the
taxes, the mortgages, the private engage-
ments of the whole community have been
founded. It is a measure virtually and
precisely the same as this, by which the
government relieved the country from the
distress of the years 1815 and 1816. The
government at that time drew from the
bank of England, and returned to the cir-
culation of the country, eight or ten mil-
lions of Bank notes, which they had pre-
viously drained from the circulation and
returned to the Bank; the country bank-
ers re-isssued their notes on that founda-
tion, as they must necessarily do; the
amount of circulation being increased, its
value lessened, it became depreciated;
all prices rose, and the country being
once more in possession of that standard
in which its burthens were imposed, and
its engagements contracted, it was again
seen, that those burthens could be dis-
charged without difficulty; nor did that
difficulty again occur, till the war standard
was again departed from, and the present
system of circulation adopted.
Is it possible to doubt, that a similar
measure now adopted would be followed
by precisely similar effects? It admits of
no doubt or contradiction. It would be
absolutely impossible to adopt a measure
so simple in its nature as this, to re-borrow
from the Bank that same eight or ten
millions which it has, since 1818, under
the dictation of this House, been em-
ployed in repaying to the Bank. It
would be impossible for this operation
to be effected without its being followed
by this consequence, that every class of
the community would find their difficulties
removed. It would be followed by a
high scale of prices, which would at
once enable the agricultural community
to discharge their rents-whilst the la-
bourers, the manufacturers and the mer-
chants, would at the same time receive
employment, and high and remunerating
prices, which would enable them to carry


APRIL 9, 1821. [,486
on their operations and interchange their
productions with .advantage and profit.
[t would be followed by a productive
state of the revenue-which would re-
move at once all anxiety as ito the state
of public credit, and give us shortly a
real and efficient sinking fund without
additional burthens on the people, which
would rapidly cut down the amount of
our public debt. What are the evils to
be set against these advantages ? advan-
tages not to be lightly estimated by the
government of this country in its present
situation; nor, particularly, by those
gentlemen who have taken a conspicuous
part in urging those measures, and on
whom a great responsibility rests. The
evil is shortly this-we should lose, not
the metallic standard of value, but one of
two metallic standards. We should lose
the metallic standard of 41. and gain a
metallic standard of 61. In that consists
all the evil and all the danger. We
should lose an obsolete, an antiquated
standard, not connected with the present
state of the country nor with its great in-
terests, and should gain that precise
standard of value which properly belongs
to the present state of the country and
is the standard of the present generation
that now exists within it. We should
gain the advantage of possessing a
metallic standard of value on the per-
manence of which we could rely; an ad-
vantage which at present we do not pos-
sess; for there is no individual amongst
those even who are the advocates of the
present standard, and who esteem,
amongst its advantages and as a com-
pensation for its mischiefs, its invariability
and its permanency, there is no individual
amongst those advocates, who, observing
the difficulty with which it is imposed on
the country, would venture to say that
he can rely on its permanence. No man
in his senses can rely upon it for three
months. An individual would be insane
who should make a final distribution of
his property by will or lease depending
on the continuance of the present
standard of value; and in fact the in-
stances are numerous in every man's ob-
servation, of persons being deterred from
executing wills and leases, on this very
ground that they cannot expect the
present standard to last. But against
this alteration of the standard to 51. a
cry of injustice has been raised, and of a
breach of national faith. A great injus-
tice was perpetrated in this country in







127] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
the year 1797. That injustice was consum-
mated, was rendered complete in the
year 1811. The effects of the former
measures, undisguised, manifest in all
their consequences, came then under the
review and the deliberate consideration
of the legislature, and received the deli-
berate sanction of this House. What
had been before a mere depreciated
paper, became, by the act of parliament
of 1811, the existing and the only ex-
isting legal standard of the country, for
every purpose to which a standard of
value is essential to the interests of the
people. Every individual was compelled
to submit to have his debts, his rents,
measured to him in that standard. A
still greater injustice was again perpe-
trated in 1819-unless the raising of a
standard of value be a less injustice than
to lower it-that was, a measure which
combined and concentrated the accumu-
lated fraud of both the former measures
and of twenty years, and possessed not
one of the advantages of those measures.
In fact, the monstrous amount of wrong
attempted by the measure of 1819, will
render it impracticable and ultimately in-
effectual. Against all of these three
measures I am perfectly satisfied to see
the indignation and the opprobrious
epithets directed, of those hon. gentle-
men, whose indignation is excited when
they speak of governments that have
worked injustice by an alteration of the
national standard. A great injustice was
perpetrated in 1797; it can be justified
by nothing but necessity, if such necessity
existed; without that it can never be suf-
ficiently reprobated,-but that injustice
having been committed, having been
completed and legalized by the act of
1811, I deny that it could in any manner
be remedied by a still more monstrous
mass of injustice and fraud committed in
1819 on a different body of men. The
annuitant, the public creditor of 1797,
was paid off, his debt was discharged,
the fraud which he had suffered had been
completed, he had become the lease-
holder, the landholder of 1820; and
having defrauded him in one capacity, in
1797, will you, under the pretence of
doing him justice, defraud him again in
another capacity in 1819? And is it to a
system of justice like this,-perverted,
crooked, sophisticated, degraded-justice
in the abstract, robbery in the individual
instance, national justice founded on in-
dividual wrong; a system which, under


Bank Cash Payments Bill.


the name of justice, is a system of com-
plicated and enormous wrong-that we
are called on to sacrifice the best interests
of the country ? We had lost for a long
period the metallic standard of value. It
was altogether disused in this country-
for the fourth part of a century nearly it
did not exist. Into that period were
crowded the events, the exertions, the
debts, the taxes, which might have suf-
ficed for ages. And when at the expira-
tion of this period we come to restore
to the country the metallic standard
again; at the end of this period of wars,
of loans, and taxes, shall we think that
we can do so by a blind reference to any
former rule, and without any regard to
the circumstances which have intervened,
or any consideration as to what is the
present existing state of the country?
Can we regulate any one of the great in-
terests of the country, or the great esta-
blishments of the government, by a re-
ference to the rule of 1793? Can we
place our military establishment, our
naval, ordnance, any of the civil depart-
ments of government-can they be regu-
lated by a blind reference to their footing
in 1793? If we cannot do that with any
one of these great establishments, if there
exists nothing else in the country which
we can reduce to or place upon the foot-
ing of 1793, how is it that we think that
our standard of value alone, that with
which all these great establishments and
great interests are so intimately con-
nected, with which they have all been
made to correspond, on which they all
mainly depend, can be regulated by a

blind reference to a former rule, and
placed without any consideration as to
consequences on its ancient footing ?
I have now finished these remarks.
We have before us the choice of either
attempting to adhere longer to the pre-
sent standard and present system of mea-
sures, and encountering the dangers and
sufferings connected with it, or of aban-
doning that system altogether, and re-
storing at once the prosperity of the
country along with a permanent metallic
standard, which, when once established
and connected with the returning pros-
perity of the country, we may guard by
whatever precautions we can suggest.
The hon. gentleman, the member for
Taunton, has suggested to the House a
measure which, as I understand it, would,
without abandoning the ancient standard,
alleviate to some certain, though not a


[128







APiRL 9, 1821. [ISO


great extent, the severity of its pressure.
It would go, as I understand it, to enable
a scale of prices to be kept up six or
eight per cent higher than can be sus-
tained during the continuance of the old
standard, unaccompanied by the mea-
sures he proposes; and this I have little
doubt of, because I am convinced of
this, that by our system of bullion pay-
ments now adopted, and by our render-
ing legal the exportation of coin, we
have in fact raised our standard of value
higher, by perhaps two per cent, than the
standard that antiently existed, or that
has ever existed in this country. So far,
therefore, we can go without abandoning
the present system. But beyond this
without abandoning that system altoge-
ther, we can do nothing. Any other at-
tempted measures of relief would only
excite and deceive the expectations of
the people, without relieving their dis-
tress. If we determine on persevering in
our present system, we have no other al-
ternative than to remain passive spec-
tators of that great and severe, though
silent and at present patient struggle,
which is going on throughout the coun-
try, between its productive population,
and the burthens by which it is oppressed.
In this struggle we can render them no
assistance. We are restricted by a law
of our own imposition. We can only
wait with patience to observe what the
next process will be of that great experi-
ment, as it has been called, which has
overwhelmed the people of this country
in greater calamities, severer sufferings,
and more extensive ruin, than, it is my
firm conviction, have ever before been
brought on any civilized community by
the measures of any government. We
must await its next process, whether it
will show us, as is by many hoped, a
gleam of returning prosperity, founded
on the permanence of the present monied
system, and the present scale of prices;
and which prosperity, if it take place,
must be founded also on the destruction
of a great part of the present generation
-on the consigning to the gaol and the
poor-house a great proportion of the
most meritorious classes of the commu-
nity, of those most deserving the protec-
tion of the government, of the farmers,
the smaller traders and manufacturers of
the country; and thus, by affording an
opening to another race to enter into their
establishments, unfettered by their con-
tracts and engagements, to give them an
VOL. V.


opportunity of engaging, with some better
chance of ultimate success, in what must
still prove a severe and doubtful conten-
tion against the unmitigated rigour, the
inexorable pressure of the public burthens
of the country. This is the favourable
view of the prospect before us; but its
probable termination-that I am con-
vinced it is not. I am convinced, that the
more probable termination of the existing
state of things and the present struggle,
is this-that it will terminate in a sudden
and a violent catastrophe, too sudden and
too violent for resistance or remedy,
which will prove destructive to the public
credit, and dangerous to the safety of the
state.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer said,
that he had been often called upon in
repeated discussions in that House to
return to the old metallic standard, and
frequently reproached as one that pre-
vented that desirable return to the ancient
currency from being realized: he was
reproached on the ground of supporting
an artificial system, destructive of the
Public credit and the public prosperity,
and entreated to support the ancient legi-
timate standard. He had never any
other opinion than that it ought to be
supported, and believed it would never
have been departed from, but on account
of the pressure of circumstances, which
established a strict and overwhelming
necessity, a necessity that was not to be
controlled or resisted; but although that
standard had been so departed from, it
had never been lost sight of; and accord-
ingly, when circumstances allowed its re-
adoption, it was solemnly restored. He
was now called upon to accommodate
that standard to engagements contracted
during the war. He would ask-what was
the standard of 1797 ? precisely that of
the war which ended by the peace of
Amiens, and which the act for the re-
sumption of cash payments proposed to
restore. After the peace of Amiens the
price of silver rose, and an alienation took
place between the paper and bullion
value, but it was not very perceptible till
after some time; afterwards the standard
varied year by year, month by month,
and sometimes post by post. Now he
wished to be informed, which of those
fluctuating standards was it that the hon.
member would fix upon for the fulfilment
of our war engagements? Were these
engagements to be fulfilled only in part or
altogether ? If the whole were intended
K


19j]


Barnk Cashn Paymentslf Bill.,








to be fulfilled, he would be glad to know, hon. gentleman who followed him had
if an adherence to the standard of any gone much further, and had stated his
precise period, in a time of continued project to reduce the standard to what it
fluctuation, could realize the object pro- had been during the war. The hon.
posed? Those hon. gentlemen who ad- member for Taunton had nevertheless
located such a project, would be guilty some other suggestions to make, though
of a glaring injustice, even on their own he had abandoned the remedy he for-
showing, whatever period they might fix merely proposed; and what remained was
upon, since the time he had mentioned, a suggestion for so lowering the standard
A time came when le thought that the as to mix a silver with a gold currency,
engagements formerly made were to be by making silver legal tender to any
put in the way to be discharged. A re- extent, however unlimited. True it was,
turn to cash payments was called for by all that in this proposal lie was justified by
-none doubted the propriety of that re- the antient usage of the country; but
turn. The only doubt was as to the from the date of sir Isaac Newton's re-
moment when it should begin to operate, port in 1721, when the price of the guinea
The peace followed, and that very was fixed at 21s., the silver currency had
standard was restored, at which by ano- not in fact been a legal tender. It had
other process, the country had again been limited still further in 1763; and in
arrived. A second depreciation took 1774 it had been restricted to 251. The
place, which probably arose from the circulation of silver was now plentiful;
large loan which government had of the but by law its use was principally confined
Bank, on account of the repeal of the to the subdivision of paper and gold. The
property tax. It was never very consi- hon. member for Taunton had maintained
derable. If they were now to adopt the that a silver as well as a gold standard
standard of 1818, when the price of gold would give relief to the extent of 7 per
was 41. Is. or 2s. which was five or six cent; but in the first place, he was mis-
per cent above the antient standard, he taken in the price for which he could now
would ask if five or six per cent would procure silver: the lowest price was 4s.
afford such a relief as would make it 1lld. per ounce: and, in the next place,
worth while to sacrifice the public faith it was undeniable that a standard in one
and public honour, as pledged by the act metal was more perfect than in two. It
of 1819 ? They had now come into was admitted by all writers on this sub-
complete possession of the antient ject, that any metallic standard was im-
standard, and to recede would not be a perfect from the fluctuating nature of the
prudent change of measures, but an in- material; but if two metallic standards
stance of childish caprice. It would be were adopted, of course the imperfection
a wanton injustice to every engagement would be doubled.-On the whole, he
made in the present expectation of a saw neither justice nor policy in the pro-
metallic currency, and would occasion position. In ordinary transactions a
debts contracted, when the price was 31. creditor would seldom be able to avail
17s. 10d. to be paid as high as 41. 4s., or himself of the advantage, while a new
41. 10s. It was better to avoid those opportunity would be afforded to specu-
anomalies and capricious alterations, and lators of playing with the precious metals,
stand firmly to the resolution which they and taking advantage of their price. It
had so deliberately taken. If the act of ought to be recollected, that whatever
1819 had not passed, and they were distress arose from the low price of corn-
asked to adopt such a measure as that modities, was not confined to this country
now proposed, it would not be so bad; [hear!] it was felt elsewhere, especially
but when they were asked to recede, it in America, where the reduction on flour
was a very different thing. The faith of was greater than that we had experienced
parliament was now pledged, and no case upon wheat. The same depression pre-
was made out to prove a necessity for vailed in the article of cotton. At least
violating it. It was true, the hon. member this condition, therefore, was not owing
for Taunton had not pledged the House to the act of 1819, but was produced,
to any thing: he had, with great dexterity, nearly in all parts of the world, by much
proposed that it should be referred to a more general causes. One of those
committee to reconsider the provisions of causes, perhaps, was the two successive
the act, which he had himself been in- and productive harvests; and if they were
strmmental ia recommending. But the continued, either the price of grain would


131] HOUSE OF COMMONS,


Bank Cash Payments Bill.


[132







Bank Cush Payments Bill.


be still further-lowered, or the growth
would be diminished. The question was,
whether the existing degree of inconve-
nience, difficulty, and pressure, had not
been foreseen by the committee of the
House on this subject, and whether par-
liament ought now to retrace its steps,
undo all that had been done, and again
embark on the troubled wates of an un-
certain and fluctuating currency. It
could not be denied that any hesitation
or doubt on the subject was productive
of difficulty. During the sitting of the
bullion committee all business was para-
lyzed: and was the same state of uncer-
tainty now to be restored, instead of per.
severing in a course that had been sanc-
tioned by the almost unanimous voice of
parliament ? He by no means shared the
terrors of the hon. gentleman with regard
to the revenue. The returns for the last
quarter made up the other day showed
that the sources had been, on the whole,
more productive, allowing for the malt
tax, than the corresponding quarter of
the preceding year. It was known that
the consumption of almost all exciseable
articles had increased, and was likely to
increase. He admitted the error in a
former return, which stated the quantity
of wash instead of the quantity of spirit;
but that did not of course affect the ac-
curacy of subsequent accounts. Upon
the whole, there was much more reason
to hope that the pressure of distress would
be alleviated by persevering steadily in
the course marked out by parliament,
than by adopting any new and untried
projects. Above all he pressed upon the
house, that the danger and inconvenience
of again agitating the question might be
boundless and irremediable. If the sys-
tem at present adopted were abandoned,
no confidence could in future be reposed
in the most considerate decisions of the
legislature.
Mr. Grenfell expressed his surprise at
the contradiction between the principles
advocated by his hon. friend the member
for Taunton on a former occasion, and
his practice on the present. His hon.
friend had formerly supported the neces-
sity of placing our currency on a basis
which nothing could shake, and he now
made a motion to refer the whole question
to a committee, the effect of which would
be to set all afloat again, to undo every
thing that had been done, and to replunge
the country into all those embarrassments
and all those fluctuations from which so


great an effort had been made to rescue
it. Conceiving that this would be a great
national evil, he should certainly oppose
his hon. friend's amendment.
Mr. Monck was of opinion, that the
cause of all the distress which existed in
the country might be summed up in these
two principles-the pressure of excessive
taxation, rendered still more heavy by
the attempt to return from a false and
fictitious, to a sound currency. But
however much we might feel that for a
time, it would be better than to return to
that unsound state of our currency from
which we were now emerging. The
question now was, whether, owing the
immense debt which had been contracted
for the country, we should pay it in a
debased or in a sound and metallic cur-
rency. On this subject, he thought the
conduct of ministers had been most re-
prehensible. The chancellor of the ex-
chequer had induced the House, ten
years ago, to come to a resolution, which
certainly he considered a disgraceful one.
He had proposed, and the House had
adopted the proposition, that a pound
should not be taken for less, nor the
guinea sold for more than its nominal
value; and upon this, soon after, an act
was passed, making it a misdemeanor to
take more than 2is. for a guinea in gold,
or less than 20s. for a pound note; and
at the very same time it was well known
that a guinea in gold continued to be
bought in the market for 28s. Not only
was this the fact, but the government
itself was the principal purchaser of gui-
neas at that price, for the purpose of
sending them over to pay our troops then
on the continent. He called for a con-
tradiction of this if it were not the fact.
It was impossible to disprove it: if it
were necessary, he could bring proof of
it to the bar; for, within the last three
days, he was in conversation with a person
who was employed on that occasion; so
that the law-makers on that occasion
turned out to be the first and the prin-
cipal law-breakers. He held in his hand
a calculation of the variation in the prices
of corn and gold, taken at periods of four
years at and since the first Bank Restric-
tion act. In 1797 the price of corn was
62s. the quarter. In 1801 the price had
risen to 71s., nearly an increase of 15 per
cent, and yet the price of gold continued
the same. In 1804, corn rose to 75s.,
but still there was no variation in the price
of gold. In 1808 corn was as high as 79s.,


133]


APRIL 9, 1821.







k}5] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
and then gold rose for the first time to 41.
the ounce. But the next and greatest rise
was in 1812. Corn in that year was 105s.
the quarter, and the price of gold,
(taking. the average of the whole year,
tor one time he believed it was as high as
51. 10s. per ounce) was 51. 5s. 6d. the
ounce. From this calculation, the House
would perceive, that though corn between
the years 1797 and 1812 rose from 62s.
to 105s. or about 100 per cent, yet the
price of gold never increased above 27
per cent. If this reasoning were true,
nothing could be more fallacious than the
argument of the hon. member for Portar-
lington, as to the difference between the
real prices of paper and gold. That hon.
xnember was correct in saying that there
was only a difference of 4 or 5 per cent
in the price of gold as compared with
paper; but then he only viewed one side
of the question, and left out of his consi-
dAeration altogether the depreciation of
paper as compared with commodities.
The hon. member on a former occasion,
had also left out of his view the issues of
country banks. Now, it could not be
denied that, if a great reduction took
place in the price of the produce of the
land and other commodities, it must have
an effect in diminishing the circulation,
because the same quantity could not be
absorbed that was before required. This
was proved from the reduction in the
prices which had taken place in the last
three years. It had produced a diminu-
tion of the issues from country banks.
In 1818, the stamp duties on country
bank-notes amounted to 165,0001. In
1819 they were only 64,0001., and in
1820 they had been reduced to 54,0001.
There was then, a question, whether
things would not go back to the prices
at which they were when the restriction
,commenced, and the unsound currency
as he would call it, began to be circu-
lated. They would, if in the interim we
had stood still in our expenditure; but
had we stood still? Had we not gone on
during that time in a most lavish system of
,expense ? Had we not increased our debt
from 300 to nearly 1,000 millions, and did
we not still continue most enormous civil
as well as military establishments? Had
we not a vast increase of settled salaries
and other claims upon the public income.
amongst which he would particularly no-
tice the immense and extravagant civil
list we had voted. All these were rea-
pons why things could not return to their


Bank Cash Payments Bill.


former standard, with the return to cash
payments. When that measure came to
be in full operation, there would be a
great demand for gold. The Bank of
England he was aware was rich enough,
and no doubt would be willing to pay
gold; but would that be the case with
the country banks ? He said no; he would
say for the country banks that they had
not 1,0001. in gold, to pay the fifteen mil-
lions of their notes in circulation. He
did not mean to say that they were not
solvent; -far from it; for he had no
doubt they had funds. But how were they
to get the gold ? They would endeavour
to get it by the sale of exchequer bills,
and other government securities; and the
consequence of bringing such large quan-
tities into the market (for it should be
borne in mind that gold must be the price
of all) would be, that the stocks would
have a very considerable fall for the time,
and foreigners would be sending over their
gold to purchase at such pricesas many here
would be obliged to sell. This would have
perhaps the effect of rendering England,
instead of the dearest one of the cheapest
countries in Europe. That would be a
great blessing, if it were not for the enor-
mous expenses and the many fixed
salaries which the country had to pay.
These would still continue it one of the
highest taxed countries in Europe. There
would, as he had already observed, be a
great demand for gold when the present
measure came into operation. Many in-
dividuals after so long a Lent, and not
having been blessed with the sight of a
guinea for so many years, would be anxi-
ous to receive it in paymentin preference
to paper. Some would be glad to call for
it from curiosity and the novelty of the
thing; and others would, from motives of
speculation, endeavour to possess it; but
there was, he feared, a large portion who
would be inclined to demand gold rather
than paper from motives of malevolence,
of which he believed there existed a great
deal in the country. It would not be re-
gular for him to say, that the parliament
were at war with the people; but there
was, he believed, a large portion of the
people at war with parliament, and they
would take gold to annoy government.
They were now convinced that the best
way to do that would not be to attack the
Horse Guards. They would by such
means endeavour to attack the exchequer,
as the more vulnerable point. He had
pointed at those inconveniences which, in


[136







137] Bank Cash Payments Bill.
his opinion would result from the measure
before the House; but he could not point
out how they were to he remedied. At
all events he felt satisfied that the motion
of tie hon. member for Taunton would
not be a remedy. One gond effect, and
one alone, he was certain of-the difficul-
ties of our present situation would be a
salutary lesson to us never again to tam-
per or play tricks with so sacred a thing
as our metallic currency.
Mr. Ricardo said, he would not have
troubled the House if he had not been so
pointedly alluded to in the course of the
debate. He was not answerable, he said,
for the effect which the present measure
might have upon particular classes; but
he contended that if the advice which he
had given long ago had been adopted-if
the Bank, instead of buying, had sold
gold, as he recommended-the effect
would have been very different from what
it was at present. It was impossible, on
any system of metallic circulation, to
guard against the alterations to which the
metals themselves were liable ; yet all the
complaints they had heard that night re-
ferred to the changes in the value of
the metals. When the measure of 1819
had been adopted, they had known that
the alteration that it would make between
gold and paper would be 4 per cent: yet
with that knowledge, they had, in all the
difficulties with which they were sur-
rounded, recommended the measure.
The hon. member for Taunton had en-
tered into a speculation on the subject, as
if a gold standard had been an innovation
of 1819. But that standard had been
adopted some time between 1796 and
1798. Up to that period, gold and silver
had been the standard. The chancellor
of the exchequer had laboured under a
mistake when he had said that silver had
been a legal tender only to the amount of
251. It was true that that had been the
utmost amount in the degraded currency
of the country; but a man might have
gone to the Mint with his silver, and
100,0001. might be paid in silver of stand-
ard value. This, however, had never
been any man's interest. But gold had
been carried to the Mint, and gold had,
in fact become the standard. The change
in the relative value of the metals had
taken place in the period he had men-
tioned between 1796 and 1798; and
large quantities of silver had been carried
to the Mint, in order to profit by the
atate of the law, and the relative value of


ApnIL 9, 1821.


silver and gold. If government had not
interfered, a guinea would not have been
found in the country, and silver would
have been the standard. The govern-
ment, aware that there would be o.e
silver currency of degraded value, and
another of standard value, had by an act
of parliament, he believed, shut the Mint
against silver; and he asked whether gold
had not then become the standard? If
the Bank had not bought gold, contrary
to his opinion and recommendation, gold
would not have risen. But it was only an
assumption that gold had risen. When the
relative value was changed, what criterion
could they find, to show, whether the one
rose, or lheotherfell ? Hislon. friend ( Mr.
Baring), who had been examined before
the committee with the attention which
his high authority demanded, had strenu-
ously recommended a gold standard as
less variable than a silver standard. Yet
he now stated, from his experience in
France, that silver varied very little. His
lion. friend's theories thus changed very
often; his own were unchanged, though
he had been represented as moving with
the vibrations of a pendulum, and enter.
training views of placing the currency in a
degree of perfection not suited to our
situation. His lion. friend had himself
the same views of the perfection of the cur-
rency; and he regretted that his hon. friend
had not continued to entertain those opi-
nions. His hon. friend had spoken of the
danger of keeping men's minds in a state
of uncertainty; yet he constantly came
down to the House with new specula-
tions. The evil of uncertainty and alarm
could only be got rid of by parliament
being determined to adhere to the mea-
sure they had adopted. Such specula-
tions coming from so great an authority
as his hon. friend, were calculated to do
much mischief. It had been stated, that
we could not get labourers to consent to
a fall of wages, and that they ran away
with the capital of their employers. By
altering the value of money, it was very
true that they altered the distribution of
property. By increasing the value of the
currency, the stockholder received greater
value, and another paid more. With
rents it was the same: the landlord re-
ceived more value, and the farmer paid
more. Thus the distribution of property
was always altered by the alteration of
the currency. It was quite possible
that this alteration might occasion a glut
of certain commodities in the market.


1is8







139] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
For instance, a clothier might bring to
market a certain quantity of superfine
cloth when prices were at a certain rate ;
if the clothiers should come to receive
more money than before, and their la-
bourers to pay more, it was not likely
that the labourers should require so much
superfine cloth as those whose property
was diminished by the change in the cur-
rency had required: the consequence
would be a glut of cloth in the market.
By altering the distribution of property
thus, an alteration would be made in the
demand for some commodities; there
would be a deficiency of supply to the
new taste which came to the market, with
the increase of property : and there would
be too much for the taste whose resources
had fallen. The hon. member for Calling-
ton (Mr. Attwood) had ascribed the va-
riations of prices in all commodities to
the currency. He begged the hon.
member to look at the variations in the
prices of corn during the last century,
and connect them if he could with the
currency. Corn had risen or fallen forty
or fifty per cent when no alteration had
taken place in the currency. The low
price of corn was to be ascribed to the
very large importation from Ireland, to
the productive harvest, to the very great
abundance of corn that was in the coun-
try. The den...nd was limited, because
no man could eat more than a certain
quantity of bread. If there was more
than the usual and ordinary quantity in
the market, the price must of necessity
fall. We had no outlet for corn, because
our prices were higher than in any other
country. If the variations in prices were
owing to the money standard, which he
,denied, all countries must have been af-
-fected by similar variations, and he won-
dered that his hon. friend had not told
them his experience in that respect in
France, America, Russia, Spain, and
other countries. But if the variations
were owing to what he (Mr. Ricardo)
had stated, it was not fair to impute them
to the act of 1819. The chancellor of
the exchequer had said gold had not risen
before the peace of Amiens. This was
not quite correct. It had begun to rise
in 1799; in 1800 it had been 41. 5s.
Mr. Gurney said, that several hon.
gentlemen, in the course of these discus-
sions, had professed themselves shaken
in the opinions they had at first enter-
tained. For himself, every thing had
gone to confirm him in thatwhich he had


Bank Cash Payments Bill.


stated in his place in 1818, and to which
he had uniformly adhered, he feared
with somewhat of an ungraceful pertina-
city. He had always expected, the mea-
sure of recurring to a standard which no
outstanding contract had been calculated
to meet, would produce the distress it has
done; and his surprise was, that that dis-
tress had not been still greater. In 1818,
he had thought the sovereign ought to
pass for 21s.-and he thought so still.
Gentlemen, from the first, seemed to
forget, that all the tamperings with the
coin, in former times, had been effected
whilst the coin was in actual circulation-
in which case the breach of faith was
manifest;-but, in the present instance,
the fact being obviously the reverse, there
would be no breach of faith at all. The
passing the sovereign for 21s. would be a
great relief to the country-as acting in
the nature of a property tax of 5 per cent
on monied capital alone-assessing itself
exactly in the proportion in which every
man became possessed of money-and
giving a spring to the nominal prices of
all commodities which they much needed.
The arguments of the hon. gentleman
(Mr. Baring) went moreover to prove,
that this measure was now imperiously
called for, from the relative values of gold
and silver in the market-which, if so,
seemed to be definitive as to the propriety
of making the arrangement, even thus
late, previously to the issue of the gold
coin. But whether such alleged altera-
tion in the comparative value of the two
precious metals existed, or not, Mr.
Gurney maintained it would be a mea-
sure of justice, as well as of expediency.
He felt with the right hon. the chancellor
of the exchequer, the great evil of un-
settling and agitating the public mind by
the appointment of another committee;
and he wished the hon. gentleman had
rather thought fit to have made some di-
rect proposition to the House-which his
unquestioned knowledge of the subject
would have enabled him to do:-but, in a
choice of difficulties, in this last moment,
he should find himself compelled to vote
for the lion. gentleman's motion.
Mr. Ellice said, he had offered himself
to the House immediately after his hon.
friend (Mr. Ricardo), not to controvert
the principles he had stated, in most of
which he concurred, but to deny the cor-
rectness of his statement, that the depre-
ciation of property occasioned by the
measures of 1819, did not exceed 4, to 6


[140






Bank Cash Payments Bill.


per cent. On that subject he entirely
agreed with his hon. friend who had
made the motion, and the hon. gen-
tleman who had seconded it, for whose
speech, although lie knew some of the
doctrines contained in it were rather un-
fashionable in that House, he felt sin-
cerely obliged to him. A great deal had
been said about the standard in which we
had bound ourselves to pay the debts we
had contracted, and the chancellor of the
exchequer had stated, it had been always
understood we were to satisfy them in the
old standard. He wished to know from
the right lion. gentleman, which standard
he referred to-his standard of the pound
note in 1811 ?-without reference to its
relative value in coin, or the standard
which had been established in 1819 ?
With respect to the present motion, he
feared he must vote against it, although
le did not desire to recede from the opi-
nion he had so often stated that 51. 10s.
would have been a much fairer standard
to adopt than 31. 17s. 10d. He now
feared it was too late to look back-and
what he was then obliged to submit to,
he was now disposed rather to support
than to reagitate the country with new
schemes of alterations, when the effects
of the former ones had been in a great
degree borne by many important interests
in the country. When he said this, he
begged to be understood as adopting
none of those sanguine expectations
which others entertained of the result.
On the contrary, he looked at what we
had hitherto suffered as only the symptom,
and that we had yet to contend with the
disease. The effects felt by other classes
of the community had been severe, but
still had been suffered; and those who
had paid their quota of the burthen in-
flicted upon them by the restoration of
the standard, could not be relieved by
any alterations now proposed. The
landed interest had yet to bear their share
of the difficulty. After the present
question was disposed of, the farmer must
be relieved by abatement of rent and
taxes-for he might then bid adieu to
what were called in the jargon of the
day, remunerating prices-a term which
had been brought in with a paper cur-
rency, and without which he must look to
a price not much exceeding that of the
grain grown in other countries. The
landlord must, like all classes of society,
pay his share of the penalty for encourag-
ing the system of the government for the


last 20 years, and from the results of
which, after the decision of the House in
1819, it would be in vain for him to hope
to escape. After so much mischief, and
he would add, injustice, had been inflicted,
irretrievable by any alteration which
could now take place, on that great pro-
portion of the capitalists of the country,
whose property was invested in different
branches of trade, it was too late to turn
round as we had done in 1817-to relieve
by a second issue of paper, which was in
fact the only intelligible relief, and which
had been effectual for a temporary alle-
viation of the distresses of 1815 and 1816.
In 1817, the amount of the Bank of Eng-
land notes was raised to 30 millions, and
that of country bank paper proportionably
increased, and the committee in 1819 had
misled the country when they stated the
depreciation was only the difference be-
tween the price at which gold then was,
41. 2s. per oz. and 31. 17s. 1Od. to which
it was proposed to return. This depre-
ciation, or the effect produced on the
price of all commodities for the second
time after the return of peace, could not
be calculated at less than 30 per cent, and
we were now suffering, or had suffered,
from a fall in the value of property to the
same extent. He would state one in-
stance of this which had been mentioned
by an hon. friend of his, who had shown
him the account of liquidation of a com-
mercial establishment, which had in 1817,
18, and 19, invested 360,0001. in actual
cost of merchandise and shipping in their
trading operations. This property had
been reduced by depreciation and fall of
prices, to 120,0001.-all that remained of
the immense capital invested, and, which
was more extraordinary, not a shilling
had been lost by bad debts; and, as the
transactions had all taken place since the
restoration of peace, they could not have
been effected by the transition of which
they had heard so much. How many
other instances of a similar kind must
have occurred, the House might collect
from reference to the fact, that the value
of ships, and almost any staple commo-
dity used in our trade or manufactures,
had fallen from a third to a half. What
might be the final result of all the distress
and difficulty which the paper system had
inflicted on the country he could not pre-
tend to estimate; but we were now
fairly embarked in a course to ascertain
them, and he dreaded the possibility of a
conflict of which they had already seen


APrIL 9, 1821. [142







143] HOUSE OF COMMONS,


some symptoms between the landed and
funded proprietor, as to the share which
each should bear in the general calamity.
If such a conflict should unfortunately
take place, it must lead to a revulsion in
which equity, justice, good faith, and all
those lofty feelings of which they had
lately heard so much, would be sacrificed
to the particular views of their own in-
terest, entertained by the different parties.
Sophistry would not be wanting to re-
concile to each the conflicting opinions,
which under other circumstances they
would have shrunk from the promulgation
of. And when once principle was de-
parted from, the security of property, and
the best interests of the country, must
take their unequal chance in the general
confusion. One of the most baneful con-
sequences, first of the vast creation of
monied capital by the paper system; and
secondly, of the great comparative depre-
ciation of all other property, was, the in-
creased influence of the monied interests
on the institutions and government of the
country. In 1815, the last year of the
property tax, and when prices were
nearly at their highest stretch, the landed
income was assessed at 37 millions, the
funded and other fixed annuities, at a sum
very much under their present amount.
The 37 millions would be reduced before
we arrived at the full extent of deprecia-
tion, to precisely half the amount; while
the other, having been considerably in-
creased, and remaining fixed, will be
nearly doubled. He wished to draw the
attention of the House to the effect of this
silent revolution on the political relations
of the empire. That would be seen most
clearly by looking to what had taken
place during the recent proceedings in-
stituted against the Queen. Until those
proceedings had produced discontent and
irritation against the government among
the great mass of the population, the
feeling of their injustice and impolicy was
universal even among the fundholders.
But as soon as that discontent and irrita-
tion became clearly manifest, the fund-
holders, who were before inclined to
blame government for having instituted
measures calculated to disturb the public
security, on which their success and well-
doing depended, turned round to meet a
greater danger, which they fancied to be
rising up against them in another quarter.
He mentioned this fact, to show how the
measure on which they were then deli-
berating had operated upon the political


interests of England. This he was afraid
would be the last occasion on which the
House would have an opportunity of ex-
pressing its opinions upon the great and
important question then before it. He
thoughtthatit mightjwith safety have under-
gone some modifications ; but rather than
open it again for public discussion, he
would submit entirely to the measure of
1819, conceiving it to be a less evil to do
so than to inspire the public with a hope
that parliament would deviate from the
system to which it had then so solemnly
and so deliberately assented.
Mr. Pearse thought there was no ne-
cessity for going into a committee on this
subject, after that House had given such
ample deliberation to it. He was con-
vinced that it was the political events of
Europe, and not the report of the com-
mittee of 1819, which had brought about
the state of things so much complained
of. For some time there had been a
very steady favourable exchange with
foreign countries; and being satisfied
that this would continue, he should vote
against any further revision of the ques-
tion.
Mr. Irving corroborated the statement
of the hon. member for Coventry, re-
specting the losses sustained by those
whose speculations had commenced in the
years 1817, 1818, and 1819. He had
seen a statement of the concerns of a
mercantile House, which had vested
360,0001. in ships, ventures at sea, &c.
which were in a short time afterwards
valued at 292,0001., but did not, in fact,
realize more than 142,0001 ; so that the
difference between the estimated value
and the produce was 50 per cent, and the
total loss to the owners 60 per cent. He
gave this as a proof of the effects of this
measure upon commerce; and he would
be a bold legislator who, knowing these
results, would have ventured to propose
such a measure. The House ought to
be much indebted to the lion. member
for Callington, for the very able speech
which he had made-the effect of which
would be, not only to make the House,
but the country at large, turn their atten-
tion to this most important subject. He
did not think it expedient for the House
to review this subject, with any view to
depreciation of currency ; because it was
not from a view of depreciation of cur-
rency that any advantage could be de-
rived, but from augmentation of circula-
tion, which he now thought too little.


.Bank Cash Payments~ Bilt.


[144






Bank Cash Payments Bill.


APRIL 9, 1821.


Some hon. members might say that he forgery, it would prove worse than abor-
had changed his opinions, but he did not tive; for those who now employ them-
think that he had ever given an opinion selves in forging one pound notes would,
except in favour of a return to a metallic in that case, set about forging five-pound
currency. He neither agreed with the notes.
measure nor the mode proposed for car- Lord A. Hamilton said, he would vote
trying it into effect; his chief objection for the amendment, because he was con-
was, to the apprehensions likely to be vinced the subject was one which would
created in the public mind. In 1819, ultimately force itself upon the attention
when this country had arrived at the of the House. Inquiry must come, and
highest pitch of prosperity by trade, the he looked upon the present as the most
apprehensions excited by this measure, convenient time for instituting that
even before the object of it were known, inquiry. The House would recollect how
had the effect of depreciating every corn- often he and his hon. friends had, as it
modity at least 20 per cent. He should were, persecuted that House with motions
agree to the appointment of a committee, to compel the Bank to return to a sound
were it not for the alarm which such an currency. The right hon. gentleman
appointment would create. With respect opposite, and those who acted with him,
to the proposition of having two standards, uniformly resisted those motions. The
he had considerable objections to it. He right lion. gentleman boldly asserted, that
thought we had mistaken the metal for there was no depreciation to guard
our standard, because silver was the metal against; and there was a resolution framed
of those countries with which this country by him, and supported by a majority of
traded; and he did not know how we that House, which broadly declared that
could measure our metals by a compari- no depreciation existed. Now, however,
son with countries whose standards were the right hon. gentleman, with great sim-
different. He should therefore wish silver plicity, and certainly with great candour,
to be the standard, as gold was not, as talked of the great depreciation, and was
silver was the money of the world. He willing to found legislative measures upon
agreed, that an abundance or scarcity of it. His noble friend (lord Folkestone)
silver regulated at all times the exchange. had been charged with abetting rapine
He agreed also with the Bank directors, and spoliation, because he wished the
that the quantity of metals in circulation whole subject revised; while, so far from
was too small, and he did not see that being exposed to such imputations, he
they could do better than to take care was on the contrary the best asserter of
that the public should be furnished with public faith. It was said that it would
a larger quantity of circulation, which he be time enough to reconsider the claims
was sure would, in a great degree, re- of the public creditor when the agricul-
medy the evil; and he would wish the tourist had paid his all. If the statements
maximum in the variation between gold of agricultural distress were not exagge-
and silver to be one per cent. rated, that all had been in many instances
Mr. Cripps said, it was admitted on all paid, and the agriculturists were in many
hands that some shock would be felt by parts of the country pining in prison and
the country. To make that shock as poverty. He conjured the House not to
slight as possible was the business and lose a moment in considering the whole
the duty of parliament. He agreed, that question.
to return to cash payments by degrees Mr. John Smith could not agree, that
was the best plan that could be adopted; the depreciation of the currency was the
but, at the time that it was resolved to real cause of the agricultural distress.
adopt that plan, he was not given to un- As a proof that that could not be correct,
derstand that the one pound notes were he had only to advert to the fact, that
to be altogether withdrawn from circula- within the last nine months corn fell 80
tion-he thought that it would be left at or 90 per cent. whilst the currency had
the option of the public either to get at not depreciated at all in the same propor-
the Bank a one pound note or a sove- tion. He never knew capital so easily
reign; but he was now informed that the obtained as within the last two or three
Bank intended to withdraw one pound years. The Bank refused no accommo-
notes altogether-a step of which the dation to persons who offered a fair secu.
country had just reason to complain. If rity. In his opinion, the effect of issuing
it was intended as a means to prevent two or three millions by the bank of
VOL. V. L


1451







147] HOUSE OF COMMONS,


England to-morrow, would merely be a
reduction of the interest to three and a
half per cent.
Mr. Wilson said, he should support the
amendment. If good resulted from the
inquiry, so much the better; at any rate,
it would be some satisfaction to know that
so important a question had not been dis.
posed of with every possible consideration
being paid to it.
Mr. Wodehouse thought the subject re-
quired immediate consideration. He
should therefore also support the amend-
ment.
Mr. Hart Davis thought the question
ought to be fully inquired into.
Mr. Alderman Heygate said, that the
real point on which the public distress
hinged was the change of the currency.
The bill now insisted on might drive Bank
notes out bf circulation to the amount of
six millions, which, together with the six
millions of gold locked up in the coffers
of the Bank, would diminish the currency
by 12 millions. How was such a diminu-
tion to be supplied ? It was the policy of
the Bank to return to cash payments; be-
cause it was their interest to pay off a
number of small notes which had been re-
peatedly forged. The prosecutions oc-
casioned by forgeries had led to great ex-
pense, which it was desirable to prevent.
The proposed measure might tend to re-
duce forgeries, but burglaries and high-
way robberies would increase as forgery
decreased. He implored the House ma-
turely to weigh the question, which was
ten thousand times more important than
the malt tax.
The question being put, That the
words proposed to be left out stand part
of the question," the House divided:
Ayes 141. Noes 27. Majority against
Mr. Baring's amendment 114.
List ofthe Minority.


Attwood, M.
Baring, A.
Bennet, hon. H. G.
Benett, John
BRidges, Aid.
progden, J.
Calthorpe, hon. F. G.
Clifton, lord
Corbet, P.
Crawley, S.
Davis, H.
Eliot, hon. W.
Gascoyne, Gen.
Gordon, R.


Gurney, 1H.
Heygate, Aid.
Irving,John
Lethbridge, sir T.
Nolan, M.
Onslow, A.
Shelley, sir J.
Thompson, W.
Walker, J.
Western, C. C.
Whitmore, W. W.
Wilson, T.
Wodehouse, E.


The Housethenwent into the committee.


Mr. Baring maintained, that prior to
1797, gold and silver formed a legal
tender; and that if they did not choose
now to return to the double standard,
they would be perfectly justified in raising
the value of the sovereign to 21s.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer ex-
pressed his belief that if the present mea-
sure did not restore them to a permanent
metallic currency, it was in vain to hope
success from any other.
Mr. Baring observed, that they would
now have a gold standard distinct from all
the nations in the world.
Mr. W. Pole entered into a short state-
ment of the amelioration that took place
in the state of the coin in 1776, and
argued, that gold was then considered as
the legal standard of the country.

IRISH BANK CASH PAYMENTS BILL.]
On the order of the day for going into a
committee on this bill,
Mr. Greifell wished to learn, whether
there was any foundation for the rumour,
that an application had been made by the
bank of Ireland for a renewal of their
charter. If such an application had been
made, and ministers were to accede to it
the bank of England would have a good
right to demand a like privilege; and
when the House considered the immense
profits made by that establishment, it
must strike them as being a subject well
worthy of their attention.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer ex-
pressed himself unprepared to give an im-
mediate answer. He trusted, however,
that whatever measure might be brought
forward upon this subject, would meet
with the approbation of parliament.
Mr. Hume said, that he would gratify his
hon. friend with an answer. When they re-
collected the immense profitswhich the bank
of England had made, and that that body
was not disposed to take care of the na-
tional debt without being paid a large
sum, they ought to take care that no pro-
position was acceded to without being
brought regularly before that House.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer said,
that the apprehension of the hon. gentle-
man was unfounded. No negotiation of
this kind could be brought near its termi-
nation without the knowledge of parlia-
ment.
Sir H. Parnell said, from the manner
in which the right hon. gentleman had
evaded the question, it might be inferred
that some foundation existed for the ru-


Irish Bank Cash Payments Bill.


[148







1491 Committee on Foreign Tradt
mour. The great question for the House
to consider was the propriety of renewing
the bank charter. As to the effect of the
bill of 1819, it was comparatively of little
consequence. He thought all the distresses
since the year 1797 might be accounted
for by a reference to their departure from
the sound principles of political economy,
by introducing a depreciated paper cur-
rency, and giving a monopoly to the Bank.
He hoped the possibility of such an oc-
currence would be set at rest for ever by
a motion to prevent the renewal of those
charters.
Mr. Baring did not know how a great
country like this could go on without a
national bank. At the same time he
thought that to renew the charter of a
bank, of which charter several years re-
mained unexpired, was a question of very
great importance.
Mr. Bennet wished distinctly to know
whether any negotiation had already com-
menced. He knew very well that if mi-
nisters came down to that House and
stated that they had made an engagement
with the bank, the House would at once
sanction it; and therefore, when the right
hon. gentleman spoke of an appeal to par-
liament, he begged leave to say that it
was no appeal at all. In a poor country
a national bank might be of great service;
but in a rich and powerful country like
this, he could see no necessity for such
an overgrown establishment, with their
bonuses and their hangings. He traced
all the evils which had afflicted the coun-
try fbr many years, to the proceedings
adopted by the Bank and by the govern-
ment. He must enter his protest against
the negotiation.
Mr. Pearcedeprecated such observations
as those that had fallen from the hon.
member. With respect to bonuses, they
had always operated beneficially for the
public; and the Bank, it should not be
forgotten, had on all occasions shown
themselves most anxious to assist the
country. As to the number of forgeries,
it was certainly a most unfortunate cir-
cumstance; but could the hon. member
suppose, that the Bank had any interest in
multiplying prosecutions? They did all
in their power to prevent the commission
of the crime ; but their object was not so
easily effected as the hon. gentleman
imagined.
Mr. F. Lewis observed, that the ques-
tion relative to the bank of Ireland was
second to one other only, in its import-


APRIL 11, 1821. o50
ance to the best interests of that country.
The misery which Ireland had suffered,
and the danger to which she had been ex-
posed from the state of her currency,
were too great to be allowed to press
again upon any part of the united king-
dom. It was time to put a termination
to a system, under which nine out of
twelve country banks had broken, and
had involved in the severest distress the
whole population of their respective
neighborhoods. He was disposed, there-
fore, to hail with gladness what he trusted
would prove a return to the sound princi-
ples of currency-he meant the com-
mencement of a negotiation for renewing
the charter of the Bank of Ireland. If it
was commenced upon a solid basis, and
accompanied by salutary regulations, the
greatest benefit migh'e conferred upon
that country. It would be desirable to
assimilate the law to that of Scotland,
where there was no limit to the number
of partners. In England and Ireland
banking was a monopoly, and to this cir-
cumstance might be traced much of the
evil which they all alike deplored. But
that comparative security which was en-
joyed in Scotland was derived chiefly
from the multitude of partners. If, in ad-
dition to this, Ireland were relieved from
the circulation of one-pound notes, he
should think the advantage materially in-
creased. The House ought to reflect,
that although paper was economical as a
circulating medium, gold was secure, and
that it was cruel to expose the poor, and
those who carried about them their whole
property, to the loss of their wretched
pittance. Upon the whole view of this
question at present, he did apprehend that
the chancellor of the exchequer was now
pursuing the just, the wise, and the high-
minded course of policy.
The House then went into the com-
mittee.

HOUSE OF LORDS.
Wednesday, April 11.
COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN TRADE.]
The Marquis of Lansdown, on presenting
the Report of the Committee on Foreign
Trade, said, he would state, in a very few
words, the objects to which it related.
Those objects were, our Asiatic trade, and
the facilities which might be given to it.
The subject was considered under the
three following points of view:-That
part of our Asiatic trade which was







Grampound Disfranchisement Bill.


carried on by British merchants under
licences from the East India Company;
that part carried on under licences from
the Board of Control; and that part
which was not now, but might be carried
on by British merchants, and was actually
carried on by American merchants, with
the city of Canton. The Report took
those three heads into consideration,
and displayed the advantages which
might be expected from the alterations
proposed; pointing out the manner in
which those facilities might be granted,
and stating the objections which had been
made or might be made to them. Alive
as the Committee were to the interests of
all commercial bodies, and aware that no
extension of the Asiatic trade, could
be obtained without the consent of
the East India Company, they had kept
its interest scrupulously in view, and did
not think that what they had to propose,
would affect them, especially their home
monopoly. They trusted, therefore, that
they would meet with liberal assistance
from the Company, in all those things
which neither affected its interests, nor
those of the strangers under its protection.
He should now submit the Report to the
consideration of their lordships, and of his
majesty's government; and would only
add, that the correspondence between the
Board of Control, and the East India Di-
rectors, would be produced in a day or
two, and might be joined to the Report in
the shape of an Appendix. He should
now move that the report be laid on ti.e
table, and printed.-Agreed to.

GRAMPOUND DISFRANCHISEMENT
BILL.] The Earl of Carnarvon said, that
as he understood that no objection would be
offered to the Bill in its present stage, all
parties being agreed to go into evidence
upon the subject, he would confine him-
self to a very few observations. The pre-
sent bill differed from the former one,
inasmuch as the former went to remove
the franchise altogether, while the present
transferred it to another place. It had
been improperly compared to a bill of
pains and penalties; it was, in fact, a bill
of regulation. Besides, it was to be re-
collected, that nearly one-half the voters
had been already convicted, who were now
said to be put upon their trial, and that so
far from awarding any punishment against
individuals, by the bill, they had passed an
act of indemnity to protect them in giving
evidence to sustain a remedial law. A


party had desired to be heard by counsel,
but there was no counsel on the other
side: it was, therefore, necessary to con-
sider how they should be heard. He did
not object to the calling in of counsel;
but it was impossible that their lordships
could submit to be interrupted in their
examination by counsel, or to bandy
legal subtleties with professional men.
Perhaps the most convenient course
would be, to allow counsel to be present
at the whole of the evidence, and then to
call upon them for their defence. His
lordship concluded with moving the order
of the day for proceeding to the examina-
tion of witnesses on the bill.
Lord Ashburton objected to the Bill
altogether, as it not only exercised the
power of disfranchising one borough, but
of transferring that franchise to another.
If they resolved to disfranchise the rotten
borough now under consideration, they
did not know how soon they might be
called upon to adopt the same proceed-
ing with regard to other places; and when
they reflected, that the House of Com-
mons owed the introduction of some of
its most distinguished members, among
whom were the names of Pitt and
Fox, to small boroughs, they ought to
pause before they recognized a principle
which might end in their extinction.
The Lord Chancellor said, he could not
agree to the mode of conducting the in-
quiry proposed by the noble lord; for
whether they looked upon it in the light of
bill of Pains and Penaltiesor not,they had
derived great advantage in a recent case,
which wasa bill of Pains and Penalties, from
adhering to all the rules of evidence. The
rule of evidence was, that counsel should
be permitted to offer legal objections to
any question ; of course in doing so, they
would observe the respect which was due
to the House; but he had lived long
enough to know, that in judicial proceed-
ings, there was no man who did not stand
in need of assistance. If, however, the
House should object to the interference
of counsel, he hoped they would excuse
him if, in his anxiety to do justice, he
submitted questions on behalf of the per-
sons interested.
The Earl of Harrotoby suggested, that
as it was proposed to hear counsel against
the bill, it might be proper for the House
to appoint counsel to argue in support of
the bill.
The Earl of Rosslyn objected to the
hearing of any counsel, as it would be the


1511 HOUSE OF LORDS,


[152







3] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
the Protestants, who had sacrificed many
prejudices in their behalf, they did not
deserve the support which they had re-
ceived.
The Lord Chancellor apologised to the
House for troubling them in such a stage,
even upon so interesting a subject; but,
having read the bill, and looked at that
part of it which referred to the office which
he had the honour to fulfil, he thought it
necessary to state, that he could not
agree to a measure of such vast alteration.
Notwithstanding his great respect for
many noble lords from whom he differed,
and for the recommendation of the other
House, he had no difficulty in stating,
that though, on retracing his former
opinions, he would not hesitate to change
them if he thought they were wrong, he
had every reason to conclude, that it would
be impossible to introduce any modifica-
tions which could induce him to consent
to the bill. He would, however, bestow
his best reflection on the subject between
this and the second reading.
The bill was read a first time.

HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Tuesday, April 3.
MR. O'CONNELL.] Mr. Ellis, of Dub-
lin, as soon as the Speaker had taken the
chair, rose to correct a mis-statement
which had appeared in some of the public
papers, respectingwhat had fallen from him
during the debate of last night. He was
aware, that the error was quite uninten-
tional, for he was satisfied with the ge-
neral accuracy, impartiality and ability
with which the reports of the proceedings
of that House were sent forth to the world.
What he was represented to have said of
a gentleman, who took an active part in
Catholic proceedings in Ireland, was, that
he (Mr. O'Connell) was a mushroom
orator. Now, he had said no such thing.
What he said was this-in allusion to the
Catholic aristocracy of Ireland, that as to
the antiquity of that gentleman's family
pretensions, respectable as they were,
when compared with that aristocracy,
they were of the mushroom celebrity of a
day. He made the allusion, not for the
purpose of reflecting on that gentleman's
family pretensions, which, he repeated,
were respectable, but merely compara-
tively as to their relation to the aristocracy.
He was the more anxious to have the mis-
take corrected, as nothing could be fur.
their from his intentions than to hurt the


Carlisle Eleelion. [4
feelingsof any man under the privileges
of Parliament. The allusion, in the way
in which it was published, was quite unde-
served by the respectable gentleman in
question, and as certainly unintended by
him. He had no motion to make on the
subject, being convinced that the mistake
arose from inadvertency.

CARLISLE ELECTION-REPORT OJ
PRIVILEGES COMMITTEE.] Mr. Wynn
brought up the Report of the Committee
of privilege, appointed to inquire into the
interference of the military at the late
election of Carlisle. The report was read
as follows:-
That it appears to this committee.
that a body of armed soldiers did, on the
24th of May last, in pursuance of a requi-
sition addressed to the commanding of-
ficer, and signed by Thomas Lowry, D. D.
John Heysham, M. D. and James
Foster, esq. justices of peace for the coun-
ty of Cumberland, come in a military
manner, and post themselves near the
Town Hall, where the poll for the elec-
tion of a citizen to serve in this present
Parliament for the city of Carlisle was
taken, before the freemen there assem-
bled for the said election had quitted the
said hall, and before that the said election
was finally closed:-That it appears to
this committee, that there is no reason
whatever to impute to the magistrates,
collectively or individually, any corrupt
or criminal motive, or any design to over-
awe or influence the said election, as stated
in the petition of the freemen of Carlisle:
-That it appears that the civil power in
the city of Carlisle is extremely inefficient;
but that your committee are of opinion,
that the magistrates did not make use of
all those powers with which the law has
invested them for the preservation of the
public peace :-That it does not appear to
this committee, that there was any riot or
tumult of that dangerous and uncon-
trollable magnitude, which alone can ex-
cuse the introduction of an armed force
during the period of an election, without
a previous resort to the utmost exertion
of the civil power:-That,junder all these
circumstances, considering the difficulty
of the situation in which the magistrates
were placed, the committee are not pre-
prepared to recommend any further pro-
ceedings in this case."
Mr. Wynn said, that he had never sat
in a committee in which more impar-
tiality was manifested, or more anxiety







5] Malt Duties Repeal Bill.
to get at the whole facts upon which the
merits of the inquiry depended. It was
impossible not to disapprove of the in-
troduction of the military; but it was
proved, that, at the particular time when
that took place, the civil power was placed
upon a very inadequate footing. The
committee was not, under all the circum-
stances of the case, desirous to recom-
mend any ulterior measure; but they were
anxious to mark their sense of the impro-
priety of the proceeding. The introduc-
tion of the military was at all times to be
avoided, but especially during an election.
-He then moved, that the resolution of
the House of the 22nd of December
1741, be read, prohibiting the interference
of the military at elections. The said re-
solution being read, he next moved.
That this House will always maintain,
with the most jealous attention, the free-
dom of election, and resent any violation
of the same; but that, under the circum-
stances stated in the report of the com-
mittee of privileges, they are content to
proceed no further on the matter of the
complaint of the freemen of Carlisle."
Mr. Bennet would venture to say, that,
although at most elections political feel-
ing was necessarily excited, yet there never
was an election at which it was less ob-
servable than at the election for Carlisle.
Certainly, nothing had occurred there
which could justify the introduction of the
military. He did not know in whose hands
the regulation and employment of the civil
power of Carlisle were placed; but, in his
opinion, something ought to be done for
the effectual revision of the system.
Mr. James said, he had felt it necessa-
ry to bring this subject before the House ;
but, after the decision of the committee,
he was not inclined to press it further.
The resolution was agreed to.

UNION DUTIES.] Mr. Canning pre-
sented a petition from the merchants and
traders of Liverpool, praying for a repeal
of the Union duties. He was instructed
to support the petition on three grounds :
First, on the ground, that the duties were
productive of an inconsiderable revenue ;
Secondly, that muchinconvenience was sus-
tained in their collection; and lastly, that
by their discontinuance great assistance
would be rendered to the Irish manufac-
turers. He wished to know, from the
chancellor of the exchequer whether it was
his intention speedily to bring the subject
before the House.


APRIL 3, 1821. [u
The Chancellor ofthe Exchequer replied,
that he had received a communicationfrom
the chamber of commerce in Dublin, in-
timating, that it would be more agreeable,
if the consideration of the subject were
deferred for the present session.
Sir H. Parnell protested against any
further delay. He was convinced that,
by a repeal of the duties, the Irish manu-
facturers would be considerably benefited.
He hoped the session would not pass with-
out some step being taken.
Mr. Canning expressed a wish, if it were
resolved that the subject should not be
considered in the present session, that it
should be understood by all parties, that
it would certainly be taken into considera-
tion in the course of the next.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer
pledged himself to bring the subject be-
fore the House at as early a period as pos-
sible.
Ordered to lie on the table.

MALT DUTIES REPEAL BILL.] Mr.
Western moved the second reading of this
bill. He wished to make few observations,
chiefly with reference to the duty levied
on Scotch barley. Up to the year 1819,
the duty on Scotch barley was Sd. per
bushel less than that imposed on English
barley. In 1804, a committee was ap-
pointed to consider, whether Scotland was
entitled to the privilege which it then en-
enjoyed, of paying this reduced duty.
The committee decided, that Scotland was
so entitled; and it continued to enjoy this
diminution of 8d. per bushel till 1819;
and then, when an addition of Is. 2d.
was made to the English duty, the charge
on Scotch barley was advanced to Is. 10d.;
thus doing away the benefit which Scot-
land had previously enjoyed. He would
not take upon him to say, that the com-
mittee was right or wrong; but it was
rather extraordinary, that, with a full
knowledge of the advantage so long en-
joyed by Scotland, the right hon. gentle,
man should in a moment set it aside. He
understood, that the right hon. gentleman
had thrown out a hope to the members for
Scotland, that he would re-consider this
measure. The object of the present mea-
sure was, to repeal the new duty of Is. 2d,
per bushel, which pressed alike on Eng-
land, Scotland, and Ireland, and which
was imposed in 1819. It was, to all in-
tents and purposes, a war tax, for the
repeal of which the faith of parliament was
pledged.







7] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
The Chancellor of the Exchequer said,
he had no objection to go into a com-
mittee, to re-consider the subject. The
question divided itself into two points--
namely, whether any good grounds could
be stated for making a general distinction
between England and Scotland; and if so,
to what extent that distinction ought to
be allowed.
Lord A. Hamilton said, he had, on a
former occasion, moved a string of reso-
lutions relative to the duty on Scotch bar-
ley, which appeared to him to be most
unfairand disproportionate, with reference
to the barley of this country. He had
done so, because he conceived, that the
bad quality of the Scotch barley required
a considerable reduction of the duty.
With regard to the discussion of that night,
he should certainly give his vote for the
motion; for by repealing the tax there
would be a saving of Is. 2d. per bushel
to Scotland; and he hoped, when he called
the attention of the House to the remain-
ing 8d. per bushel, he should be supported
by those gentlemen who gave their sup-
port to the present motion. The notion
seemed to have been circulated, that the
English members would not be willing,
if this measure was carried, to take the
Scots duties into consideration; and it had
been attributed to the member for Nor-
folk, that he was of this opinion. He be-
lieved this assertion was unfounded, and
he therefore wished his hon. friend to state
what his opinion was.
Mr. Coke said, the noble lord had asked
his opinion on this subject, and he would
endeavour to answer him. The Scotch
gentlemen, it should seem, were expected
to vote one way on one night, and another
way upon another. The chancellor of the
exchequer had dextrously held out a sort
of hope, that, if those hon. members would
not vote against him to-night, he would
do something for them at a future oppor-
tunity; but he advised them to put no
trust in the right hon. gentleman. If the
friends of economy and retrenchment in
all departments of the public expenditure
would this evening keep together, there
could be no doubt they would carry their
question; but if they split and separated,
ministers would take advantage of their
disunion. For himself, he had been uni-
formly in favour of the repeal of every
tax, so long as it could be with propriety
reduced; and'though hehighly approved of
the proposed repeal, he was of opinion,
that it did not do so much for the agricul-


Malt Duties Repealt Bill. [8
tural interest as he should like to see
done.
Sir J. Shelley, in allusion to a former
speech of Mr. Huskisson, contended, that
the agricultural distress was now general.
The right hon. gentleman was speaking on
the experience ofthe western part of Sussex,
where the farmers were not in an absolute
state ofruin ; but if he looked to the eastern
parts of the same county, there he would
find the ruincomplete. He wouldtherefind
many hundred acres which he might oc-
cupy merely on paying the poor rates and
taxes, and this not very bad land, or land
newly brought into tillage, but land which
had been cultivated for centuries. The
distress did not fall on the farmers alone.
The moderate landedproprietors suffered as
much. They had their farms thrown back
upon their hands, and were obliged to get
them tilled by hired bailiffs, who had no
interest in them. It had been asked how,
if this tax was repealed, the interest of the
debt could be paid? The chancellor of
the exchequer had told them, that thisycar
there was a saving of a million. The
country would not find any benefit from
this, unless there was a proportionate re-
duction of taxes. It was better therefore
to repeal the tax in question, than to add
in some small degree to the inefficient
Sinking Fund, by which the country had
been for a long time humbugged. The
agriculturists could not expect relief from
the fundholders. They must therefore
look to ministers. If an absolute reduc-
tion of the amount of taxes could not be
suffered, he should propose a limited pro-
perty tax of two per cent, by which three
millions might be raised; other taxes to
an equal amount being repealed. It had
been said, that if this tax was repealed,
his majesty's ministers would resign. He
did not wish to see them resign their places,
he only wished them to resign a few of
their oppressive taxes.
The Hon. J. W. Ward observed, that
the resolution of gentlemen on the other
side to persist in the course of proceed-
ing, of which the repeal of the malt tax
seemed to form a part, appeared to be
founded on three positions: the first,
that we could go on with 1,500,0001. less
income, and yet keep up the same expen-
diture ; the second, that the expen-
diture could be so diminished as to bear
that decrease of income ; and the third,
that some tax less burdensome and objec-
tionable in its character could be imposed
in lieu of this. The first of these objects







9] Malt Duties Repeal Bill.
could only be achieved by taking up the
sinking fund. He would not enter into
that question now, because, in the first
place, he in truth knew but little about it ;
and in the next, a subject really so scienti-
fic as'in itself it was, was not the best calcu-
lated to be discussed in a public assembly.
But if parliament-were to decide, that we
should so take the sinking fund now, it
would evidently beavery disastrous expe-
dient. Nothing would betray more weak-
ness and folly than that we should shrink
from carrying our own principles into
effect. Not only would such a measure
expose us to all the ill effects which might
follow upon the adoption of a mere specu-
lative principle, but to the charge of pu-
sillanimous vacillation, and fatal infirmity
of purpose. They had heard, that the
sinking fund was all a fallacy. If it was,
it was a fallacy certainly of some standing.
It had deceived the most able and acute
statesmen ; it had deceived all who were
most conversant!with finance ; it had de-
ceived several successive governments,
ten parliaments, and all parties in the
state. But still, he was open to argument
upon this subject, if argument were ad-
duced to show the fallacy of this system ;
for he could never oppose authority to
demonstration. But, in the absence of ar-
gument or demonstration, he could not be
influenced, by mere abuse, to become the
opponent of the sinking fund, or an advo-
cate for reducing its amount. At leasthe
should not agree to this until some new
discovery were made to convince him of
its justice and expediency. What might
be the nature of that discovery he could
not anticipate. The world at one time be-
lieved, that the sun moved round the
earth-but it had been since discovered,
that the earth had moved round the sun.
Possibly too, it might yet be discovered,
that it would be rather better not to make
any provision for a sinking fund to dis-
charge the national debt; but until that
discovery were made, he must be excused
for retaining his present opinion. Look-
ing a little at some, not all, of the re,
trenchments which had been proposed,
he found, that they proceeded upon the
supposition of a considerable reduction of
our force. Now, it was but a very little
time ago, since, after a lengthened and
very mature debate, the House had deter-
mined what the military establishment
should be, yet now they were to refuse to
ministers the means of paying for it.
Never was inconsistency more evident


APRIL 3, 1821. [10
than in the conduct of those gentlemen,
who, after supporting the rate of establish-
ment brought forward by ministers, now
turned their backs upon them, and were
for withdrawing the means by which the
charge was to be defrayed. The peace
of Europe so recently disturbed, after
five and twenty years of war, calamity,
and bloodshed, succeeded by an interval
of tranquillity too short for her repose and
her happiness, should teach us the neces-
sity of keeping arms in our hands, instead
of inducing us to take away from the go-
vernment the means of providing for the
national safety. This was the only way
in which we could with success oppose
the progress or the designs of despotic
monarchs, whose proceedings every day
demonstrated their ambition, though their
power was happily not commensurate
with it. It was evident, that an obstinate
struggle still existed; and was likely to
exist, between the inordinate ambition of
enterprising monarchs on the one hand,
and the awakened vengeance and ex-
hausted patience ofsuffering and indignant
nations on the other. He would serious-
ly call the attention of the House to this
most important fact; and then let then
judge of the expediency of such a measure
as they were called on to adopt. The
hon. baronet had said, that he would pre-
fer, as a substitute for this tax, a little in-
come tax. Now, if he must have any, he
would prefer a large one. One of the
greatest objections to the late income tax
was, its inquisitorial and vexatious ma-
chinery. Now the proposition of the hon.
baronet would require the same machi-
nery to get it up, without producing any
thing like those extensively beneficial re-
sults, which in the other case could alone,
perhaps, atone for the defects of its assess-
ment. Under the present circumstances,
when one hon. gentleman proposed the
repeal of a malt tax, and another advocat-
ed the repeal of all taxes, to impose a
large income tax was a measure of ob-
vious impossibility. The hon. mover had
observed, that it was not his business to
find a substitute for this tax ; that that was
an 'onus which rested with the chancellor
of the Exchequer; and that, one chan-
cellor of the Exchequer was enough. He
agreed with him; but, he would wish to
take the full benefit of the propositions,
and say, that neither was it his business
to ascertain what grounds could be ad-
duced; and yet he desired to see suffi-
cient grounds shown for this bill, before







11] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
he could give his vote for it. To all this
he fully agreed; but then he felt, that
they were bound to know, that some other
provision had been made by the the chan-
cellor of the exchequer before they
created a deficiency in the means of car-
rying on the government. To consent to
the proposed repeal would be, in his judg-
ment, a most inconsistent proceeding. A
few days only had elapsed since the House
had voted certain establishments and
would it not be extraordinary if the bill
sanctioning that vote should be over-
taken at the foot of the throne by ano-
ther bill refusing the means of support to
such establishments.? But would it not
be still more extraordinary if such incon-
sistency should be maintained by the ad-
vocates of the Pitt system ; nay, that even
members of the Pitt club should be
among the foremost to starve the means
of government to support those very mea-
suresforwhich they themselves had voted
He trusted, that those gentlemen who had
voted for the present bill on a former
night, would reconsider their conduct,
and take a course that evening more con-
sistent with their own principles, and
with the general interests of the country.
Mr. Grenfell agreed with the hon. gen-
tleman who had just spoken, but more
particularly on the subject of the sinking
fund. As for the fallacy to which the hon.
gentleman had adverted, he wished to get
rid of that part of the sinking fund that
was kept up by borrowing; for this part
of the system must of necessity be a fal-
lacy. The only sinking fund that could
ever be applicable to the reduction of the
debt, must be the surplus of the income
above the expenditure of the country ;
and, from the finance papers before the
House, it certainly did appear, that there
was at this moment a clear, actual, and
real sinking fund. If, however, the fact
were otherwise, it behoved ministers to es-
tablish one, and an efficient one too, with-
out a day's delay. He was one of those
who, in 1819, gave their consent and sup-
port to the imposition of certain new
taxes, amounting to 3,500,0001. per an-
num; and he did so, for the purpose of
putting the finances in that state which
appeared to him to be essential to the
welfare of the country. Under these cir-
cumstances, he should not only be obnoxi-
ous to the charge of gross inconsistency,
but should be guilty of a dereliction of
duty, if he did not oppose the second
reading of this bill. He had heard it


Malt Duties Repeal Bill. [ 12
affirmed, that by taking off taxes they
forced ministers to adopt measures of eco-
nomy and retrenchment, which they
never would adopt, if the House left them
the means of expenditure in their hands.
But this surely was beginning at the
wrong end. Ministers, he thought, were
just as likely to adopt such measures, if
they left them the taxes, as they would
be, if they took any taxes away. Let
him suppose the case of a private gentle-
man, who found himself involved in pecu-
niary difficulties. Would he best re-
trieve himself by lowering, in the first
place, the rents of his tenants ? He was
one of those who never had despaired of
the resources of the country, provided the
country had fair play. By fair play, he
meant something very different from that
reduction of the interest of the debt,
which had been proposed to be put in
execution against the fundholders; and
which he could never regard as any thing
but a system of plunder and spoliation
which would entail inevitable ruin upon the
country. He must therefore repeat, that
any tampering with the interest of the
public debt could be regarded in no other
light than as a breach of faith ; and a sys-
tem of finance which was made to rest up-
on a compulsory reduction of that inter-
est would deserve to be called a system
of plunder and spoliation. Complaints
had been made, that some individuals
were fond of representing the land as
mortgaged to the stockholder : he could
only say, that, in his opinion, if the stock-
holder had no claim on the property
of the land-owner, the latter could not by
any possibility set up a title to that of the
former. Justice and honour required,
that all property should be protected,
as well agricultural as funded; but with-
out taxes, it would be impossible to do
so. If the country could now dispense
with any taxes, which he was convinced
it could not, there were many other taxes
more oppressive to the people which
could much more usefully be repealed.
The malt tax produced much benefit,
without being the cause of the great evils
attributed to it. The gentlemen who
fancied, that much benefit would arise
from the repeal of the malt tax, would
find themselves disappointed.
Mr. Lockhart declared, that he never
heard in that House any recommendation
to violate the public faith, or to commit
any spoliation upon the public creditor:
but he had heard much in that House,








as well as elsewhere, upon the extraordi- tions upon this subject furnished ample
nary character of the system by which information upon that subject. The con-
those who were the great receivers of the edition of agriculture was, indeed, such,
public revenue were exempted from pay- that the farmer had no, profit, and the
ing their due share of the charges upon landlord had therefore no rent, but what
that revenue; and certainly it was mon- he derived from the farmer'scapital, and as
strous to suppose, that such a system thatcapitaldiminished, themeansof course
could go on-that while the receivers of fell off of employing the labouring poor.
the revenue, or the fundholders, enjoyed How, lie would ask, was it possible that
the whole, those who owned the property such a state of things should continue ?
from which that revenue was derived, or who could answer for the tranquillity
should be called upon to pay the whole, of the country, if an increasing propor-
although all their property was reduced tion of the millions employed in agricul-
no less than 50 per cent in value. The ture were thrown out of employment, and
continuance of such a system, indeed, if those who could not find employment,
would serve to render the latter the as- could not obtain provision from the poor's
cripti glebre, or the mere serfs of the rate? He had heard much of the politi-
former. With respect to the establish- cal economy of the chancellor of the ex-
ments which had been voted, it might be chequer and that of the gentlemen near
necessary to keep them up; but it did him, who so often said, that those things
not follow, that the expense of those esta- would right themselves; but he wished to
blishments might not be reduced. As all know from these economists by what pro-
the necessaries and comforts of life had cess such things could be righted, or the
fallen in price, why might not an army equilibrium so much desired could be re-
be maintained in this country at a cheaper stored ? It signified not whether this sys-
rate now than formerly? An hon. gen- tem\was the result of positive law, or a
tleman had, in his solicitude for the sink- combination of events: the fact was, that
ing fund, pronounced an eulogium upon in the midst of plenty the country was
Mr. Pitt and Mr. Fox, as the advocates suffering all the inconveniences of want;
of that system; but the hon. gentleman the agricultural poor were unable to pro-
had omitted to class the present chancel- cure that to which they not only felt a
lor of the exchequer with the objects of natural\right, but which they had amply
praise. This, indeed, was a very proper merited& He would also remind the
omission, for that right hon. gentleman chancellor of the exchequer, that he had
had reduced a sinking fund of 17 millions once voluntarily given up this tax as a
to about 2- millions, which sum bore so boon to the poorer classes, and had after-
small a proportion to 900 millions, that wards restored it in order to make good a
this reduced sum might be very expedi- deficiency of revenue. Was the right
ently applied to present exigencies. He hon. gentleman ignorant, that the con-
would therefore supply a proportion of sumption of beer was very much dimin-
that sum, if necessary, to make good any ished by this excess of duty ? The con-
deficit created by the repeal of this malt sequence of it, was to establish little mo-
tax. He was an advocate for the repeal nopolies in every direction, by which the
of this tax, not because he thought it I beer was in the first instance deteriorated
would afford any great relief to the agri- in quality, and in the second, fraudulently
culturists, but because he thought it measured out. By these means its con-
the only relief which, from all appear- sumption was greatly discouraged, and
ances, they had reason to expect. He the public injured, without any corre-
saw a committee sitting for some weeks to spending advantage to the revenue. The
examine evidence as to agricultural dis- right hon. gentleman might compensate

tress, which was matter of notoriety; by measures for correcting these abuses
and from the proceedings of that com- amongst the publicans for any loss which
mittee, or from any other legislative mea- the revenue might sustain from the aboli-
sure, he was much afraid, that no relief tion of this tax. It was his firm belief,
was to be expected. For this bill, then, that ministers were not cognisant of the
as it offered the only relief which the agri- whole extent of the distress by which
culturists had to expect, he should give agriculture was at present weighed down.
his vote.-Here the hon. member pre- When commerce and manufactures lan-
sented an impressive picture of the extent guished, the fact was soon perceived
of the agricultural distress. But the peti- through the non-payment of bills; but


Malt Duties Repeal Bill.


APRIt 8, 1621.







15] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
the decline of agriculture was not the sub-
ject of such immediate observation, and
was only now and then noticed on seeing
a more than usual number of farms adver-
tised to be let. It was notorious, how-
ever, that farmers had recently been pay-
ing their rent out of their capital; and it
was equally certain, that they could not
do this for another year. The value of
the stock on a farm, or the stock requisite
for its cultivation, was generally in pro-
portion to the quality of the land; it
might be 31. per acre on poor, and 51. on
rich land. It was time, then, for ministers
to step in, and, either by reducing the
establishment, or by some direct relief,
change this situation of affairs, and restore
an equilibrium which had been too long
overthrown. He was willing, that the
land-owner should make his fair sacrifice,
but he could not listen without regret to
language which manifested hostility to
whole classes of the community. It was
said, that the agriculturists had had their
day, and that they had been the authors
and supporters of the war. He repudi-
ated these charges: the present race of
agriculturists were the successors of those
who were in existence at the commence-
ment of the late wars. In thus addressing
himself to the House, he was speaking on
behalf of helpless millions, who must be
reduced to the depths of misery unless
saved by the wisdom of parliament. If
something were not done, the time was
not far distant when the poor would be
unable either to procure employment
from the yeomanry or relief from the ma-
gistrate.
Mr. John Smithsaid, that afterthe fullest
examination which he could give this sub-
ject, he had come to a conclusion opposite
to that of the hon. member who had last
spoken. Thathe feltideeplyfor the distress
under which agriculture laboured, he could
assure the House; but then his first inquiry
referred to the quantum of relief which was
to be expected from the adoption of this
measure. Now, he believedthat, it would
not do more than extend relief to particu.
lar districts. It was represented to him,
that a reduction of 8s. in the price of the
quarter of malt would scarcely lower the
price of the pot of ale or porter one half-
penny. This, therefore, would necessa-
rily fall into the pockets of the public and
private brewer. It was his fixed opinion,
that the only mode of assisting agriculture
effectually, was by some revision of the
poor laws. He had himself filled the of-


Malt Duties Repeal Bill. [ 16
fice of overseer, and did think it possible
to devise a plan by which, when labour-
ers applied for aid, employment should
be furnished to them on land, at wages
lower than those given by the farmer, so
as to stimulate them to seek and obtain it
through their own exertions. It would
afford him much satisfaction to learn, that
a right hon. gentleman (Mr. S. Bourne),
who had rendered an important service
to his country by dedicating his attention
to this subject was again employed in its
consideration. But, another obvious source
of relief, and greatly preferable to this
measure was, a rigid system of economy.
The more he reflected on this part of the
question, the more he felt satisfied, that
not only had his majesty's ministers de-
served blame, but that parliament had
much to reproach themselves with in their
frequent departures from that system.
What unnecessary sums had not been
squandered on the Penitentiary, and in
various unprofitable experiments! A mil-
lion of money had been thrown away on
the Caledonian canal-a work which
would never repay the expense that had
been incurred in executing it. A sum of
1,200,0001. had been lavished on improve-
ments at Sheerness and at Milford Haven.
Unless we governed ourselves by very dif-
ferent principles, and circumscribed our
views by the amount of our means, the
agricultural would not be the only distress
of which we should soon hear loud and

general complaints. It had been justly
observed, that not to keep strict faith with
the stockholder, would be to disable our-
selves from ever going to war again. For
his own part, he had been accustomed to
regard this country as mighty in its real
strength, and mighty from its moral ex-
ample. But some of the sentiments which
had been promulgated in that house, with
regard to the claims of the public creditor,
appeared to him utterly inconsistent with
the principles and the high character
which we had hitherto maintained. The
inconvenience of the national debt was
described as so great by some honourable
gentlemen, that it would be idle to talk of
our honour requiring its punctual liqui-
dation. Such an opinion must originate
in erroneous views. In any case, the pre-
sent time was most ill chosen for the pro-
mulgation of the doctrine. Whether right
or wrong, our system had been imitated
by the other nations of Europe; and they
were all now paying a larger rate of inter-
est than ourselves. That foreigners who







17] Malt Duties Repeal Bill.
had property invested in our funds were
under some alarm, from the reiteration of
principles which went to violate what was
always before considered sacred, lie had
himself the means of knowing. He had
lately received a letter from an individual
to whom that description belonged, and
who earnestly inquired, whether it was
true, that after having so long been the
bulwark of Europe, we at last entertained
the design of committing a breach of
faith. The non-payment even of any part
of the national debt must be attended with
the utter subversation of public credit.
Corporations, hospitals, insurance offices,
many of them had their whole property
thus invested; and so intimately con-
nectedwas every speciesof circulating pro-
perty with the funds, that to interfere
with them in any way, so as to depre-
ciate their value, would be little less than
to commit an act of felo de se. There was
one period in the course of the late wars
on the continent, when he was ready to
admit, that we saved both ourselves and
civil society. Not only was the charac-
ter of Great Britain raised to proud pre-
eminence, but it became an asylum for
property throughout Europe. We had
acted in a spirit of magnanimity and dis-
interestedness, of which he doubted whe-
ther history furnished any example; for
whilst we taxed ourselves, we abstained
from taxing those foreigners who had
placed their property in our funds; more
honourable policy never was adopted ; and
it would be with deep regret, that lie
should see the credit which it had pro-
cured us lost or tarnished by a course so
different as that which had been recom-
mended. Hle feared, that a large sum was
owing to the East India company for the
entertainment of Buonapart6 ; which sum
was not included in the accounts before
the House. With regard to the repeal of
the present tax, he objected to it, be-
cause he thought it would not relieve the
agriculturists, and would very materially
diminish the revenue. The only way of
extricating the country from its distresses,
would be, to cut off, boldly and firmly, all
expenditures which were not essentially
necessary. The army ought unquestion-
ably to be farther reduced. The navy
estimates were not yet before the House,
but very large reductions might and must
be made in that department.
Sir J. Boughey could not feel himself
justified in supporting the repeal of this
tax, unless he were assured, by those who
VOL. V.


APRIL 3, 1821. [18
voted for the repeal, that it was looked
upon as a measure of economy, and not
as a substitute for any other measure of
taxation.
Mr. Curtven wished, that the hon. gen-
tleman who spoke last but one, instead of
merely talking about his feeling for agricul-
tural distress, would afford relief to the far-
mer by some practicalmeasure. With re-
gard to the existence of that distress, there
could be no doubt. The committee which
was pursuing its labours up stairs, was not
designed to convince the farmers of their
wants, or the landlords of the sufferings
of their tenants, but, to satisfy and over-
come the unbelief of ministers. On the
subject of alleviation, he admitted, that to
lower the poor rates would afford great
relief; but it was still a mystery how that
desirable object was to be effected. There
was a great difference between the con-
dition of the fundholder and of the land-
owner ; the fundholder received his 1001.
or 1,0001. per annum, clear of all deduc-
tions, while the landowner paid no less
than 32- per cent in burdens and deduc-
tions of various kinds; for instance, he
paid 20 per cent for poor rates, 5 per
cent for county and highway rates, 5 per
cent for repairs, and 2- per cent for col-
lection. Estates in the best condition
were liable to these heavy deductions.
There was no way so effectual for reliev-
ing them as removing those taxes that
bore hardest upon them; such, for in-
stance, asthe leather tax, the tax upon soap
and candles, and several others. Do away
these, which would occasion a defalca-
tion of 5 millions, and he for one would
support a property tax of 5 per cent with
all his heart. He never should repent
having declared his opinion, that the fund-
holder was bound to pay for the protec-
tion of his property as much as any other
individual. As to the particular tax, it bore
peculiarly on the great body of the peo.
ple; its removal would not give any great
relief to the farmer, except by relieving
the consumers of his produce; and that
perhapswas the most effectual way of ame-
liorating the condition of the grower.
Mr. Benett, of Wiltshire, earnestly re-
commended, that nothing should be done
to destroy or to endanger the connexion
between the landowner and the fund-
holder. He was well convinced, that the
best customers of the manufacturers were
the farmers, and the best customers of the
farmers the manufacturers. The interests
of the productive classes of the country
C







19] HOUSE OF COMMONS, Malt Duties Repeal Bill. [20
ought never to be separated, much less had pointed out in what way it could be
placed in opposition to each other. He of service to the farmer. He himself
did not imagine, that at that time of day, could not view it as a measure beneficial
the agricultural distress would be dis- to that class. From the returns, he
puted. The petitions that had recently found, that the consumption of malt, since
loaded the table had been referred to a the imposition of this tax, was as great as
committee. He doubted whether their it was when the tax had not existed.
inquiries would be productive of the ad- It was a tax which spread over a very
vantage expected; because, after the de- large portion of the community, and did
clarations in various quarters, after the not press heavily on any particular class.
powerful voices upraised in opposition to Mr. Bright said, that he was one of
any change in the corn laws, after the those who admitted the existence of
farmers had been told, that the burden of great agricultural distress; at the same
taxation was not to be removed from time he could not deny, that there were
agriculture, little hope could be indulged many taxes, the abolition of which would
of support in the quarter most capable of be of more importance to the community
affording it. It was time for the land- than that which was now sought to be re-
owners to take the cause of agriculture pealed. The repeal of many of these
into their own hands, and to endeavour to taxes was loudly called for by the present
accomplish their own relief. He was as situation of the country; yet he felt him-
unwilling as any man to break the national self bound to vote for the repeal of the
faith; but, if the income of the country tax. Considering the present state of the
were so reduced as to leave it unable to country and of Europe, he would say,
pay the interest of the national debt, that that it ought to be repealed; for he was
result was inevitable. To keep the na- convinced,that if the resources of govern-
tional faith, taxation must be reduced; ment were diminished their vigilance
yet to reduce taxation was to diminish would be increased. It was said, that this
the means of payment. In what way, principle of reduction began at the wrong
then, was general relief to be obtained? end; that the House had first voted the
With regard to the measure before the men, and it would be necessary to vote
House, he did not believe it would afford the money for their support. He was
all the relief to the agricultural interests not one of those who had joined in such
which some gentlemen imagined. It large votes; but let those who so voted
was calculated rather to relieve the con- look to it; for he considered, that if this
summer, than the grower of barley. One burden was removed, reductions might be
beneficial effect of it would be, that it afterwards made in those estimates which
would enable the labouring classes of the were to come, fully equal to its amount.
community, who were the great consu- He called, then, upon those members who
mers of this commodity, to brew beer in were favourable to the repeal of the tax,
their own houses; a comfort of which and who might have joined in the vote for
they had for many years been deprived, the large military force, to look to every
and a return to which, by removing the itemwhich wasyetunvoted. Allclasseswere
temptation of resorting to ale-houses, distressed; andhewassatisfied thattheonly
would tend materially to the improvement effectual mode of relief-the only means
of their moral habits. He supposed he to place this country in the proud situa-
should be told, that this bill could not tion in which she had been accustomed
pass, because it would occasion a defalca- to stand, and which, he trusted she would
tion in the revenue of 1,200,0001. or long continue to hold among the nations
1,400,0001.; but, when it was recollected, of Europe, would be, effectual economy
that if the price were reduced the con- and retrenchment. He was not one of
sumption would be increased, he had no those who would tax the funds to relieve
doubt, that the deficiency would be but the land, or the land to relieve the funds.
trifling. The interests of both were so mixed up,
Mr. Keith Douglas said, he was as sen- that the injury of one would be the de-
sible as any member, of the difficulties pression of the other. In this view of the
under which the agriculturists laboured, case, he would repeal this tax, in the
and would go as far as any other to re- hope of being able effectually to resist the
lieve them. The present measure, how. improvidence of ministers. It was said,
ever, lie did not think calculated for their that the landholder had reason to corn-
relief. Indeed, no honourable member plain of the Poor laws and of Tithes,








and that those burdens were not shared subject; and he thought it was not treat-
equally by the commercial and funded in- ing that committee with common courtesy
terests. He, however, thought they had not to wait until they had delivered in
no just cause of complaint on this ground. their report. Honourable members had
They had received or purchased their talked of the property tax. Now, he was
estates with a full knowledge of the charges one of those who thought the House had
by which they were to be burdened ; and committed a great error in the repeal of
they ought not to turn round on the com- that tax. If that were to be restored
mercial interests, and insist upon their with proper modifications, lie would be
bearing a part of those burdens. The willing to repeal the malt tax altogether.
measure of relief for all would be that of Mr. Fran/land Lewis said, he thought
effectual economy; and if gentlemen it was a decidedly wise step in the House
would imitate the example of the hon. to have gotten rid of the property tax,
member for Aberdeen, they might, in the because it operated upon too few sub-
estimates which were still to be voted, re- jets. This objection did not apply to
trench as much as would supply the place the malt tax. To render a property tax
of this tax. at all endurable, it ought to exclude from
Colonel Wood admitted, that the inter- any share of the burden it cast on society,
ests of the agricultural and commercial those persons who had merely a life in-
classes were the same, and that nothing terest in their property. He would not
could be more fatal than to separate consent to shake the security of the coun-
them; but he could not believe that the try by making any diminution rashly in
reduction of our finances would be the the revenue. He could not therefore
means of making us more respectable in consent, under the present circumstances,
the eyes of the other powers of Europe. to take off this tax. If establishments of
He admitted that the malt tax, as a ge- a great extent were necessary for the
neral measure, pressed hard on tile com- public security, suitable means ought to
forts of the poor; but he could not see be given to his majesty's government to
how this bill was calculated to relieve support the charges. He should be par-
them. The whole of the tax now pro- ticularly averse to this repeal, as the re-
posed to be taken off would not make the duction of the tax would necessarily affect
difference of one farthing in the price of a the sinking fund. From what he had
pot of beer; but even of that difference witnessed of the disposition of ministers to
the consumers would not get the benefit. reduce our establishments, he had no
The brewers had first to dispose of their doubt, that suitable reductions from timeto
large stock 'on hand; and as very little time would be acceded to. The repeal of
malt was made after the month of May, the present tax would not, after all, afford
this would carry them on to nearly the relief to the extent of one farthing in the
next sitting of parliament; and then, be- pot of porter.
fore they reduced their price, they would Captain Gordon corroborated the state-
wait to see whether the chancellor of the ments with respect to Scotland, and wish-
exchequer would propose a renewal of ed for an equalization of the duties. He
the tax; so that if the present bill were objected to this bill, that it did not extend
carried, it would be nearly a year before to Scotland.
the consumers could derive any benefit Mr. Smyth strongly recommended eco-
from it, however small. The system nomy, both in our military establish-
adopted on the other side seemed to be ments and in the expense of collecting
that of taking a round at every tax, in the the revenue. The best preparation for
hope that with some one they might be war was, to husband our resources in
able to succeed. There was the motion peace. He should certainly vote for the
for the repeal of the tax on malt; for the repeal of the tax.
repeal of that on windows; for a repeal of Lord Castlereagh, before he made the
the wool tax; and, for the repeal of the observations which occurred to him, re-
agricultural horse duty. Now, he con- quested the clerk to read the following
tended that the repeal of those taxes entry on the Journals of the 8th June,
would be a great injury to the country. 1819, of thesixth Resolution of the Con-
The present tax was proposed to be re- mitteeon Public Income and Expenditure.:
pealed for the relief of the agriculturists; Resolved, That it is the opinion of
but the House should recollect that there this committee, that to provide for the
was a committee sitting up stairs on that exigencies of the public service, to make


Alalt Darties Repteat Bill,


APRIL 3, 1821. [22







28] HOUSE OF COMMONS,


such progressive reduction of the national good faith by which this country had been
debt, as may adequately support public so long upheld. But, what they had to
credit, and to afford to the country a pros- guard against was, being induced to do
pect of future relief from a part of its that indirectly which no consideration
present burthens, it is absolutely neces- would tempt them to do directly. Now
sary, that there should be a clear surplus those principles of public faith would be
of the income of the country beyond the as effectually violated by diminishing the
expenditure, of not less than 5,000,0001.; public revenue to such a degree as would
and that, with a view to the attainment of compel the government to depend upon
this important object, it is expedient now precarious loans raised upon a bankrupt
to increase the income of the country, by exchequer, as they would be by supporting
the imposition of taxes, to the amount of one interest at the expense and to the ex-
3,000,0001. per annum." clusion of every other. At the outset,
The resolution having been read, the therefore, he warned the House, at a mo-
noble lord said, he could assure the hon. ment when the surplus of the revenue was
member for Essex, that in rising to re- not sufficient to allow of any progress
deem his pledge when the bill was in- being made in the reduction of the debt,
produced ; namely, that he would give it and when the House was quite unable to
his most strenuous opposition, he did so redeem its pledge of 1819, to guard the
with great pain. It was no inconsiderable public credit against the calamity which a
source of regret to a person standing in bad year of revenue might suddenly in-
the situation of responsibility which he flict. The line of duty was strictly com-
occupied, to resist, at a moment of pres- patible with the best interests of the
sure, a suggestion from so respectable a country; for it was demonstrable, that
member, which had for its object the di- the question of relief which the proposi-
minution of the public burthens. But he tion of the hon. member for Essex would
felt, that in doing so on the present occa- afford, would not be such as any indivi-
sion, he was discharging an important dual would be conscious of, and therefore
public duty to all classes of the commu- would not carry with it any consolation
nity, and to none more than to that great for an infraction of those principles, the
class of the people who were now pecu- maintenance of which the public credit
liarly under circumstances of difficulty. demanded.
Arduous and painful as his task was, it Having thus stated the general princi-
would have been still more so, could he ples by which he was influenced in his
persuade himself, that the repeal of the consideration of this question, he should
duty in question would really give relief next proceed to state the grounds on
to those for whose relief it was intended, which lie should found his opposition to
But, while on the one hand lie was con- the present bill. There were three points
vinced, that the interest of the community which appeared to him to be particularly
at large was the true interest of the land- deserving the attention of the House.
holder, so on the other hand he was also The first was this-Was the country in
persuaded, that if the country were in a such a situation with regard to the
situation to allow of the remission of any public creditor, its revenue, its expen-
tax, the duty on malt was not the tax diture, as justified.it in remitting any
which ought to be selected for that pur- particular tax ? The next was-Suppos-
pose. He had listened with great pain to ing the country to be in such a situation
many of the topics which had fallen from as he had described, was the present
hon. gentlemen in the course of this and the peculiar tax which ought to be
preceding debates. He thanked God, remitted ? and the third was, whether
however, that the time was now come there was any thing in the working of
when sentiments injurious to the credit of this tax that afforded to the House a
the country, or subversive of the great financial motive for repealing it. In his
principles of public faith, would not be consideration of these three points lie
listened to with favour. He even endea- would reverse the order in which he had
poured to persuade himself, that those by placed them, and would commence with
whom such sentiments were uttered, re- the examination of the last of them. He
coiled from their avowal, and endea- would ask honourable members who were
voured to explain them away. He was most conversant with the agriculture of
not afraid, that a British parliament would the country, whether they could point
ever forget those principles of justice and out any inconvenience or any injury aris-


Malt Duties Repeal Bill.







25] Malt Duties Repeal Bill.
ing out of the working of the tax as a
ground for its repeal? He trusted, that
even those gentlemen would agree with
him in this position, that nothing could
be more inconsistent with financial wis-
dom than to impose a tax as the support
of a particular system of finance, and
then to repeal it without any adequate
motive being shown for so doing. Now,
the present tax formed the leading fea-
ture in the system of finance, which his
right hon. friend the chancellor of the
exchequer had submitted to parliament
in 1819, and therefore ought not to be
touched unless the most convincing ne-
cessity could be shown for meddling with
it. He wished those gentlemen to inform
him, what there was in the returns, that
could lead any man to suppose, that this
tax had injured the sale of barley so much
as to diminish the sale of the article on
which the tax was laid; and also what reason
there was, supposing the sale of the article
not to have been diminished by it, either
for proposing or consenting to the repeal
of it. The market for barley had scarcely
ever been so well stocked as during the
last year; indeed, the quantity of malt
consumed during that period exceeded
the quantity of any year during the last
30 years-and he would not except even
the last four, during two of which this
tax had not existed by no less than
600,000 or 700,000 bushels. This was as
clear a demonstration as could be given,
that the consumption of barley had not
been narrowed by the operation of the
malt tax; and if the consumption had not
been narrowed ; he wished to be informed,
where it was that the hon. member for
Essex had discovered that the farmer had
suffered so materially by it. Honourable
members would doubtless recollect, that
when this tax was first proposed to par-
liament, his right hon. friend the chan-
cellor of the exchequer had predicted,
that it would not inflict any additional
pressure upon the country. That predic-
tion had been completely verified; for,
so far was the price of beer from having
risen under its operation, that it had ab-
solutely suffered reduction twice since
June 1819, in which month it was first
imposed, so that this tax had actually
been a considerable resource to the ex-
chequer, without placing any additional
burthen upon the consumer.
He would next call upon the House to
consider what would be the effect of
taking it off at present. And here he


APRII 3, 1821. [26
would ask the lion. member for Essex,
whether, in case no other tax were to be
imposed in lieu of it, he would guarantee
its remaining off for two years ? Indeed,
if it did not remain off for that period,
what benefit would accrue from it to the
consumer? The amount of the tax to
the consumer was three farthings a galloir.
Now, when beer was sold in retail, how
would the person who bought it by the
quart feel the reduction? He for one
was at a loss to discover how such a per-
son could be benefitted by it; and, indeed,
it was his opinion, that if the tax were
taken off to-morrow, the only effect of it
would be to diminish the revenue by a
million and a half of money, without giv-
ing the slightest fraction of relief to the
consumer of the article. The barrels of
beer brewed since this tax had been laid
on exceeded the average number of those
brewed in the three preceding years by
120,000 barrels; so that all the evil pro-
duced by the tax was the suggestion of
the hon. gentlemen opposite, who would
take it off without stating what tax they
would impose in its stead. Besides, any
person who would look at what had regu-
larly been the case during the last thirty
years, would find, that the market for bar-
ley had not been regulated by the amount
of the duty to which it had been subjected
but by other incidental and extraneous
circumstances. In 1814, when the duty
was 4s. 4d. per bushel, the quantity con-
sumed was 24 millions; in 1817, when,
the duty was only 2s. 4d. per bushel, the
quantity consumed was only 17 millions;
and at present, in the year 1821, when
the duty was only 3s. 6d. per bushel,
24,600,000 bushels were consumed.
He had never seen a fact from which
it was more decidedly proved, that the
agricultural interest had not been in-
jured-but rather benefitted-by the tax
which the hon. member for Essex now
sought so eagerly to repeal. One of the
reasons which that lion. member had
urged in favour of repealing it was, the
heavy burthens under which the agricul-
tural interest at present laboured. But
if that reason were to be admitted as hav-
ing considerable weight, it would be a
much better reason for repealing the
agricultural horse-tax, which pressed
without exception upon every person
engaged in husbandry. For that reason
alone, if he had no other, he would not
consent to repeal the malt tax, for he
loved the agricultural interest. [Loud








cheering, intermingled with some laugh- not requisite to have such surplus at
ter.] He repeated it, he loved the agri- present. Certainly the pressure on the
cultural interest; for habit no less than agricultural interest had been great since
interest attached him to it; and yet, not- that period, and its acuteness had been
withstanding the attachment which he considerably aggravated by the length of
felt towards it, he would say, that there its continuance. He thought, however,
was not any one class of persons in the that it had been greatly exaggerated,
country less interested in the repeal of the though he would allow, that in some parts
malt-tax than the landed interest. That of the country it was so excessive, that it
certainly was not a tax which he would would be impossible to colour it too
take off to relieve the farmer, supposing highly. In those parts of the country
that he were inclined to consent to a re- that portion of relief which a measure
duction of taxation to the amount of a like the present would afford, would be
million and a half annually. If he thought too inconsiderable for any person to feel
it practicable to reduce the annual amount it; and, whilst making such a declaration,
of the taxes by that sum-which he did he must be permitted to observe, that it
not-and the House had expressed its was a superficial expectation to hold out
opinion to be in concurrence with his to the country that it was from the remis-
own on a motion recently made by the sion of taxation that the farmer was to
hon. member for Abingdon (Mr. Ma- obtain relief. Now, from the evidence
berly), he should propose the repeal of already taken before the committee ap.
the window-tax in preference to that of pointed to examine into the causes of
the malt-tax. There were many other agricultural distress, it was proved to de-
taxes by which the poorer classes were monstration that it was not taxation but
more immediately affected; for instance, the price of produce that was the cause
the salt-tax; and, if he stood in a situation of the farmer's distress. It was proved,
in which he could at once gratify his own that if you could withdraw all taxation
feelings and indulge the wishes of the from his expenses, he would hardly be
people by reducing the taxes under which eased by such a reduction. To state,
they laboured, he should certainly fix therefore, that a repeal of the malt-tax
upon that tax before the malt-tax. He which did not touch them as farmers, but
must, however, protest against this only as consumers, would be a greatbenefit
method of taking off taxes in the pre- to them, was not to act the part of a real
sent state of the finances of the coun- friend to the interest of the farmer. In
try, without any adequate reason being 1819, when that resolution was passed,
shown for the reduction. He must al- the manufacturer was in a state of great
ways resist any attempt to propagate a distress ; he had not, however, asked for
belief that the House was unwilling to al- the enactment of any measure which was
leviate the burthens of the people. At calculated to overturn it; and yet he was
present it was willing, but totally unable now in a state of considerable improve-
to alleviate them. Taxes might indeed ment. The agriculturist was now in
be taken off; but would any member con- the same state that the manufacturer was
tend, that the remission of 2,000,0001. of then, and he trusted, nay he was confi-
taxes would give a relief to the commu- dent, that if he showed equal reliance on
nity equal to the detriment which would the wisdom of parliament, the day was
be inflicted upon it by the breach of faith not far distant when similar amelioration
with the public creditor, which would would betide him.
inevitably result from such a remission ? Having now performed his first duty to
The course of his argument had now the House, in showing that there was no-
brought him to the consideration of the thing in the working of the malt tax that
third point which he had stated to belong rendered it necessary to repeal it, and
to thissubject; and he was certain, that it also that if any tax ought to be repealed,
required no appeal from him to induce the it must be some other than the malt tax,
House to do its duty, according to the he would proceed to show the state in
plan to which it had pledged itself in the which the country would be placed sup-
resolution which the clerk had read. He posing the tax to be repealed. The
was sure that the hon. member for Essex House would recollect that this tax was
would not contend, that though it was re- the principal one on which his right lion.
quisite in 1819 to have a surplus of reve- friend, the chancellor of the exchequer,
nue to support the public credit, it was had relied, to carry into effect the system


27] HOUSE OF COMMONS,


Malt Duties Repeal Bill.







29] Malt Duties Repeal Bill.
of his budget, though that system
had not produced a surplus of 5,000,0001.
as had been anticipated, he was sure that
the noble lord opposite would not say,
that because the surplus was only two
millions and a half, therefore they ought
to part with it altogether. He was of
opinion that the noble lord would agree
with him in thinking that they ought to
maintain the progress which they had al-
ready made, and not relax in their exer-
tions; for by so doing the period could
not be far distant when the salutary views
of parliament in passing that resolution
would be accomplished. He trusted,
therefore, that the House would allow
him shortly to enter into the arrange-
ments which had been made, to create that
surplus of revenue. It had long been a
subject of reproach to his majesty's mi-
nisters, that they allowed the revenue to
float on without any fixed or constant
system, supporting it by exchequer bills
or loans, just as might be convenient to
them; so that there was nothing like a
sinking fund, and no real surplus of visi-
ble revenue. It was said, that ministers
acted upon such a system in order that
they might continue to swim quietly down
the stream of power, and refrain from
changing it from a fear of losing their
places. This he denied to have been the
case; for, right or wrong, ministers had
then maintained, that it was not proper
to impose fresh taxes upon the commu-
nity at a moment under which they were
suffering considerable pressure. They
had therefore, to avoid the necessity of
imposing such taxes, made at that time
considerable reductions. In the present
year also they had made a reduction to
the amount of a million and a half. They
were still occupied in making further re-
ductions, nor would they cease to make
them until they reached that point, at
which, by the dilapidation occasioned by
pushing reduction too far, greater mis-
chief would occur than at present.
What, then, was the law which ministers
had observed in the imposition of fresh
taxes ? They had not imposed them un-
til 1819; because, if they had proposed
them at an earlier period, parliament
might have said to them-" We will not
give in to your system of taxation, until
you show that it is not only rational and
practicable, but also sufficient for your
purposes." They had therefore waited
until they knew what contingencies it was
probable they would have to meet; and


APRIL 3, 1821. [30(
he would now put it to the hon. member
for Essex, whether he thought that it
would contribute to the public credit of
the country either at home or abroad, if
the House of Commons were now, within
two years from the time in which it passed
the resolution, stating the necessity of
having a surplus revenue of 5,000,0001. to
turn round and say, that the county was so
bankrupt in means and expectances as to
be obliged to abandon the pledge which
it had solemnly given to its creditors, and
by the repeal of the malt tax to repeal the
system of finance which it had pre-
viously adopted ? What would be the
consequence of such a measure among
foreign nations ? Would the influence of
the country in the preservation of peace
be increased by the knowledge that it had
changed the whole system, which it had
only adopted in the last two years, for
the sake of diffusing amongst its popula-
tion the benefits to be derived from the
remission of 2,000,0001. of taxes ? What
would be the consequence with regard to
the fundholder if such an avowal were to
be made-if he were to be informed, that
his dividend was to be paid not out of any
surplus revenue, but some new and preca-
rious loan ? The repeal of the malt tax,
therefore, could not operate as a practical
relief. On the contrary, it would create
considerable pressure by weakening, if it
did not entirely subvert, the foundations
upon which public credit rested.
He trusted that the House, in their
consideration of the present question,
would put the government entirely out of
its view ; for it was not a question between
the House and the government, but a
question between the House and the
country. It ought therefore to be de-
cided, after a reference of its bearings
upon all the great public interests of the
country. He must, however, say for him-
self, that if the House should think fit to
repeal the tax, he should not wish to con-
tinue a member of the government of the
country, whilst it was under the degraded
situation of having a revenue only equal
to its expenditure, and under the danger-
ous contingency of having that revenue
even below it. The credit of the country
had generally been placed high above the
waters, and not in places where the waves
could break over it. He had now sub-
mitted to the House the grounds on which
he thought it would be a suicidal measure
to repeal the malt tax. As far as reduc-
tions could be made, the hon. member for







31] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
Essex had a right to call upon govern-
ment to make them; but it was not con-
sistent with the duty of government to
make such reductions as would leave the
country in a helpless situation. No man
felt more than he did the pressure under
which it laboured at present; but he had
never been more convinced of any truth
than he was of this-that he was serving
the agricultural interest of the country by
refusing his assent to a measure which
would shake public credit from its basis
without affording any relief to that interest
which it was especially intended to bene-
fit.--The noble lord sat down amidst con-
siderable cheering.
Mr. Coke, of Norfolk, said, he gave his
cordial support to the bill. The system
which.had been acted upon, and which
he had opposed for the last '25 years, had
brought the country to the state to which
he had always expected it would be
brought. He almost regretted that he
had lived thus long to see the country in
its present state. Dire taxation was the
cause of the existing distress. But it
was said, the public debt must not be re-
duced. God forbid, that it should be im-
properly reduced! but in time, if some-
thing were not done, this might become
unavoidable. It was said, the House
must not break faith with the public cre-
ditor. But had that House not already
broken its faith ? He had been a mem-
ber of it for 40 years, and had never
known it to keep faith in any case. In
his opinion, a reform of the system was
necessary. The noble lord had said, that
the repeal of the malt tax would not be-
nefit the landed interest. In reply to
this he would refer the noble lord to the
experience of the years 1815 and 1817.
In those years barley was only 18s. the
quarter. The malt tax was repealed, and
the barley rose to a remunerating price,
and no complaint was heard on the sub-
ject until the chancellor of the exchequer
imposed a new malt tax. The price of
barley upon this again declined.
Lord A. Hamilton rose amid loud cries
of question." After the reception he
had encountered, he felt little disposition
to occupy their time; but although he
might have some difficulty in justifying to
the House a trespass upon its attention,
he should have still more in justifying,
when he met his constituents, a silent vote
upon the subject in debate. The noble
lord then went on to answer the argu-
ments employed against the bill. He


Malt Duties Repeal Bill. [32
wished to know from the noble lord oppo-
site, who treated expenditure as a ques-
tion of convenience, whether absolute ne-
cessity might not compel a reduction in
the expenses of the country. The noble
lord talked of the impossibility of remain-
ing in office under any deficiency of the
needful supplies; but he remembered the
fate of the income tax; he remembered
the instances in which the estimates for
the year had been sent back by the
House; and his experience of what had
happened upon those occasions guarded
him from being alarmed at the hints
which the noble lord had thrown out.
He next adverted to a noble lord near
him (lord Fife) who had voted against
ministers upon the present question, and
who had since been removed from a situa-
tion which lie held about the royal person.
That noble lord had been actuated by a
regard for the interests of his country,
and the wishes of his constituents: he
could not have voted otherwise consist-
ently with his own honour and with the
principles which he had always professed.
He trusted that the example of that noble
lord would operate as a lesson to members
of parliament, and that it would teach
them that there were situations the main-
tenance of which was inconsistent with
parliamentary independence.
The Earl of Fife stated the reluctance
he felt to be obliged to intreat the indul-
gence of the House for a short time; but
placed as he was by what had fallen fiom
the noble lord, it was impossible to avoid
making a few observations. He was not
often ambitious of engaging the attention,
or occupying the valuable time of the
House, and it would be more congenial
to his feelings not to speak on the subject
alluded to. Occasions might occur,
when to be silent would warrant a con-
clusion to be drawn which he little wish.
ed, and hoped not to deserve. He had
no hesitation, however, in declaring, that
the hasty mode adopted lately regarding
the office he held in the king's family,
was not rendered more necessary at the
present moment than for a year past-
and certainly by no change of conduct on
his part. Sufficiently did he announce a
considerable time ago, by communications
and explanations addressed to a proper
quarter, his desire and readiness to retire,
from his inability to attend regularly to
the duties, and some of them in parlia-
ment, to prevent disagreement-owing
much to being obliged to watch over the







Malt Duties Repeal Bill.


interests of a vast number of people
under circumstances cruel and vexatious
Delicacy alone prevented him last yeai
from relinquishing, till after the corona-
tion, a place he had accepted under par-
ticular circumstances; and it was a satis-
faction to be released from it for various
reasons. But the time selected was not
the most suitable, having received orders
to attend the king to Ireland-and after a
vote given in the House, advised by his
constituents, in unison with one on a simi-
lar occasion last year, urged by the state
of the country, and the dictates of his
judgment. As the resolution communi-
cated so abruptly was considered as a re-
primand for that vote (he had it from
authority), he must own he did not re-
pent it. If it was intended as a signal of
terror to alarm others, he left to lion.
gentlemen the mode of appreciating it,
to whom it might apply. He always
understood that resistance when success-
ful was not called a crime; but in that
House it seemed to be construed other-
wise. Voting with the minority of last
year, no notice was taken-but acting
with the majority of the present, he was
visited with high displeasure. He did
not feel hurt-he was not offended, he
trusted-he would ever be ready to act
when necessary, in a fearless, indepen-
dent, and, as far as depended on his abili-
ties, in a becoming manner. And that
his loyalty to the throne (for such a pro-
ceeding would in no ways alter his con-
duct)-his devotion to the House of the
monarch, to whose gracious will he was
indebted solely for the favour he lately
enjoyed, would always appear, true as
the dial to the sun, although it was not
always shone upon."-In referring to the
question, he was bound to observe, that in
whatever light he viewed it, he considered
the tax impolitic and unjust in principle
-baneful in the effects-dangerous and
ruinous in the result. He appealed then
to members belonging to England, who
had ever shewn a disposition not only to
listen to the complaints of their fellow
subjects, but to commiserate and assist
people from all parts of the world-he
requested the gentlemen from Ireland,
from what had passed-and was passing
there, not to tarry-he called on those
connected with Scotland to consider the
state of their country and the distresses
of the people, whose eyes were on the
votes and resolutions of that night-he
implored his majesty's ministers to think
VOL. V.


, well on the danger to be apprehended, in
Times of restless irritability, caused often
Sby no imaginary grievances, to conciliate
when policy and interest dictated, to be
Contented with moderate taxes, instead of
Attempting to force the payment of enor-
Smous ones. He concluded in the ener-
t getic language of the Scottish poet
Thomson-
-- Ye masters, then,
Be mindful of the rough laborious hand
That sinks you soft in elegance and ease-
Be mindful of those limbs, in russet clad,
Whose toil to yours is warmth and graceful
pride.
And, oh, be mindful ofthat sparing board,
Which covers your's with luxury profuse,
Makes your glass sparkle and your sense re-
joice,
Nor cruelly demand what the deep rains
And all-involving winds have swept away."
Lord Folkestone wished to offer a few
words, in consequence of the allusions
which had been made to him. Those al-
lusions referred to an assertion which he
had made on a former occasion. All the
gentlemen who had alluded to it, had ar-
gued as if it was a matter of option with
the country whether it would pay the
interest of the debt or not. What he had
stated was, that in the government of
countries there was a moral as well as
physical impossibility, which must excuse
a breach of faith with the public creditor ;
and this proposition he would not retract.
He had asked if a case might not occur in
which it would be a breach of faith to
the whole to keep faith with a part, as in
the event of invasion by a foreign enemy.
Again, he had asked, if the country were
reduced by excessive taxation to such a
state of commotion that it should be ne-
cessary to suspend the habeas corpus act,
whether the government would not be
compelled to break that faith. If the
liberty of the country were violated,
what faith could be kept with the fund-
holder ? He had never said that the
withholding of the interest on the funded
debt would not be an act of injustice
under ordinary circumstances; but he
maintained, that in the cases which he
had supposed, it would be injustice not to
withhold it.
After a short reply from Mr. Western,
the House divided, Ayes 144. Noes 24;2.
Majority against the motion 98. The
second reading of the bill was then put
off for six months.

D


APRIL 3, 1621.








55} HlOUSE OF COMMONS,

List of the Majority, and also of ths
Minority.
MAJORITY.


Acland, sir T.
A'Court, E. H.
Alexander, J.
Alexander, J. D.
Ancram, lord
Arbuthnot, rt. hon. C.
Ashurst, W.
Astell, W.
Bagwell, rt. hon. W.
Bankes, H.
Baring; A.
Barne, M.
Bathurst, rt. hon. B.
Bathurst, lion. S.
Beckett, rt. lion. J.
Bective, lord
Belfast, earl of
Bent, J.
Beresford, lord G.
Beresford, sir J.
Bernard, lord
Blackburne, J.
Blair, J.
Bourne, rt. hon. S.
Brandling, C.
Brogden, J.
Browne, rt. hon. D.
Browne, P.
Browne, J.
Brownlow, C.
Buchanan, J.
Bruen, B.
Burgh, sir H.
Buxton, J. J.
Calvert, J.
Canning, rt. hon. G.
Castlereagh, visc.
Cheere, E. M.
Chichester, A.
Cherry, G.
Childe, W. L.
Cholmeley, sir M.
Clerk, sir G.
Clements, hon. J.
Clinton, sir W.
Clive, lord
Clive, hon. R.
Clive, H.
Cockburn, sir G.
Cockerell, sir C.
Cocks, hon. J. S.
Cocks, hon. J.
Collett, E. J.
Congreve, sir W.
Cooper, R. B.
Cooper, E. S.
Copley, sir J.
Courtenay, W.
Courtenay, T. P.
Crawley, S.
Croker, J. W.
Crosby, J.


Curzon, lion. R.
Cust, hon. E:
Cust, hon. W.
Cust, hon. P.
Daly, J.
Davis, R. IH.
Dawkins, J.
Dawkins, H.
Dawson, J. M.
Divett, T.
Dodson, J.
Douglas, J.
Douglas, W. R. K.
Doveton, G.
Dowdeswell, J. E.
Drummond, J.
Dugdale, D. S.
Duncombe, C.
Duncombe, W.
Dundas, rt. hon. W.
Dunlop, J.
Elliot, hon. W.
Ellis, lion. G. A.
Ellis, C. R.
Ellis, T.
Ellison, C.
Estcourt, T.
Evans, W.
Fane, V.
Fane, T.
Farrand, R.
Finch, G.
Fleming, J.
Forrester, C. W.
Forster, rt. hon. J.
Gifford, sir R.
Gilbert, D. G.
Gipps, G.
Gladstone, J.
Gordon, hon. W.
Goulburn, H.
Grant, A. C.
Grant, rt. hon. C.
Graves, lord
Grenfell, P.
Greville, sir C.
Gossett, W.
Hamilton, H.
Handle, H.
Harding, sir H.
Hart, gen.
Harvey. C.
Heygate, aid.
Hill, sir G.
Holford, G. P.
Holmes, W.
Hope, sir W.
lorrocks, S.-
Hotham, lord
Holdsworth T.
Howard, hon. '. G.
Hudson, H.


;.alt D>.cul Rcpcal Dill. L3
IlIUle, sir C. Ray, sir W.
Huskisson,rt.hon.W. Rice, hon. G.
Innes, sir H. Ricketts, C. M.
imnes, J. Robertson, A.
Irving, J. Robinson, rt. hon. F.
Jenkinson, hon. C. Rochford, G.
Kerr, D. Rocksavage, lord
Kingsborough, lord Russell, J. W.
Kinnersley, W. Ryder, rt. hon. R.
Knatchbull, sir E. Scott, lion. W.
Lawley, F. Scott, S.
Legge, hon. H. Shaw, R.
Leigh, J. H. Sheldon. R.
Lenox, lord G. Smith, J.
Leslie, C. P. Smith, G.
Lewis, T. F. Smith, S.
Lewis, W. Smith, R.
Long, rt. hon. C. Sneyd, N.
Lowther, vise. Somerset, lord G.
Lowther, hon. H. C. Somerville, sir M.
Lowther, J. II. Stewart, sir J.
Lutlrell, J. F. Stewart, A.
Lygon, hon. H. Stopford, lord
Macdonald, R. G. St. Paul, sir H.
Macnaghten, E. A. Strutt, J. II.
Magennis, R. Suttie, sir J.
Mansfield, J. Taylor, sir H.
Marryat, J. Townshend, hon. H.
Martin, R. Tremayne, J. H.
Martin, sir T. B. Trench, hon. F. W.
Metcalfe, H. Thompson, W.
Mills, C. Ure, M.
Monteith, H. Uxbridge, earl of
Morland, sir S. B. Valletort, lord.
Mountcharles, earl Vansittart, rt. lion. N.
Musgrove, sir P. Vernon, G. V.
Neale, sir H. Villiers, rt. hon. G.
Needham, hon.F. Vivian, sir H.
Nolan, M. Walker, S.
Osborne, sir J. Wallace, rt. hon. T.
Ommaney, sir F. Wall, C. B.
Onslow, A. Walpole, lord.
Paxton, W. G. Ward, hon. W.
Paget, sir C. Ward, R.
Paget, hon B. Warrender, sir G.
Park, sir L. Wetherell, C.
Palmerston, lord Westenra, hon. H.
Pearce, J. Wigram, sir R.
Pechel, sir T. Wigram, W.
Peel, rt. hon. R. Williams, W.
Pellew, hon. P. B. Williams, R.
Phipps, hon. G. Wood, col.
Pitt, W. M. Wortley, J. S.
Plumber, J. Wrottesley, H.
Pole, rt. hon. W. W. Wilson, sir H.
Pole, sir P. Yarmouth, lord.
Pollington, lord Yorke, sir J.
Powler, hon. W. TELLERS.
Prendergast, J. Binning, lord
Pringle, sir W. Lushington, S. R.
PAIRED OFF.
Apsley, lord Manners, lord C.
Bouverie, hon. B. Morgan, G.
Bradshaw, R. H. Money, W.
Chaplin, C. Northey, W.
Dalrymple, A. Price, R.
Evelyn, L. -Seymour, H.







APRIL 12, 1821. [170


amounted to 2,5001. a year. Thedeputy ad-
vocate generalatpresentperformedmerely
the duties of a common clerk, and as such
ought to be paid. It was not consistent
with reason tosupposethat so many courts-
martial should take place at present as
were held when the army was more nume-
rous. 1,0001. might fairly be deducted
from the judge-advocate's salary, and he
would then receive 4001. more than sir C.
Morgan received up to the year 1806.
Dr. Lushington said, that the judge-ad-
vocate had been under secretary of state
for 12 years, and could not therefore be
entitled to any compensation on the ground
of giving up his profession. If the salary
of his office was 2,5001. during war, some
reduction ought to be made now. He was
sure that the office, with a salary of2,0001.
would gladly be accepted by gentlemen
at the bar, of adequate qualifications.
He confessed himself dissatisfied, not
only with the original resolution, but with
the amendment. He did not consider the
offices of deputy judge-advocate, or as-
sistant judge-advocate, in any way use-
ful; and would therefore move, that the
proposed sum should be reduced by a sum
of 1,2001. being the amount of the salaries
of those officers.
Lord Milton protested against the idea
of taking the salaries of 1806 as any
standard for the salaries of the present
day. In 1806, corn was sold at 88s. now
it was sold at 54s. Country gentlemen
were forced to reduce their rents; every
class in society suffered a sensible diminu-
tion. Were those who held offices under
government to be alone exempt from the
effects of that pressure which bore so hard
upon society.
Mr. Bennet said he should be glad to
see any the smallest reduction made in the
estimates.
Mr. R. Martin said, if the hon. gentle-
man would propose a reduction of 5s. he
would vote for it.
Mr. Bathurst said, the ground for the
reduction of the salary of the judge-ad-
vocate had failed, because it had been
shown that the business was as great now
as it had been in time of war. The argu-
ment drawn from the depreciation of
money would apply to all offices.
Mr. Hume said, that the right hon.
gentleman who now filled the chair of that
House, andwho preceded thelearned gen-
tleman in his office, had, he understood, at-
tended, with one exception, every general
court-martial held in London during the


period that he was judge-advocate. Now,
he was informed that although the pre-
sent judge-advocate, might give 600
opinions in the course of a year, he had
personally attended but two courts-mar-
tial.
The Judge Advocate said, the rule
which he found established, and which he
had observed was, for the judge-advocate
to attend in person only at the trial of ge-
neral officers. The trouble and investi-
gation in other cases were however just the
same.
Sir R. Fergusson begged to ask, how
many courts-martial on commissioned of-
ficers the right hon. gentleman had at-
tended since he held his office?
The Judge Advocate stated, that he had
attended all the courts-martialheld at head-
quarters except one, and their number,
he believed, amounted to six.
The committee then divided : For Mr.
Bennet's amendment 44; against it 92:
majority 48.-For Mr. Chetwynd's amend-
ment 51; against it 83: majority 32.-
For Dr. Lushington's amendment 53;
against it 82: majority 29.-The original
resolution was agreed to. The chair-
man obtained leave to report progress,
and at a quarter after two in the morning
the House adjourned.


HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Thursday, April 12.
PETITION FROM LYME REGIS RE-
SPECTING THE ELECTIVE FRANCHISE.]
Mr. Lambton rose to present a petition re-
lative to the state of the representation of
the people in that House from the resi-
dent but non-represented freeholders of
the borough of Lyme-Regis. The peti-
tioners stated, that, from the 23rd of Ed-
ward 1st, to the 14th of George 1st, 1727,
the elective franchise was exercised by all
the resident freeholders in the borough;
but at the latter period the right was dis-
puted, and by a decision of that House,
in 1780, the right of voting was declared
to be vested in the mayor, burgesses, and
freemen only; since which time the
borough had been under the patronageand
disposition of a peer of the realm, who
by his sole influence returned members
to parliament for a series of years, gene-
rally his own personal friends or relations.
It was perfectly well known who the peer
here alluded to was; but as his name was
not mentioned in the petition, he did not


169]


Pelitionfrons Lyme Regis.







171] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
think it proper to state it. The peti-
tioners went on to state, that the resident
freeholders amounted to 100, while the
resident free-burgesses were in number
only 30, all of whom were the depend-
ants or friends of the peer alluded to,
many of them receiving pensions from, or
holding places under, government. They
conceived that this system was an enorm-
ous grievance, and concluded by pray-
ing for a restoration of those rights
and privileges that had been exercised by
their ancestors.-The petition was then
read. On the motion, that it do lie on
the table.
Mr. Hobhouse said, that with all de-
ference to his hon. friend, he did not
think it the right course that the petition
should merely be laid on the table; for if
the petitioners had stated that which they
could make out by evidence, when they
said that a peer of parliament had habi-
tually interfered in the election of mem-
bers, he thought it impossible that they
could suffer a practice to go on in defiance
of their declared privileges-and con-
stantly repeated votes, and of the law of
the land, without taking notice of it.
That the petition should lie on the table
would be a very inadequate measure, and
he should therefore move to refer it to a
committee of privileges. Whatever opi-
nions might prevail in the House as to a
sweeping parliamentary reform, there
could be no doubt as to the principle that
the constitution disallowed the interfer-
ence of peers in elections. It was pro.
vided so early as the reign of Edward 1st
by the first statute of Westminster, that
no peer or great man should interfere in
elections, either by force of arms or ma-
lice-which malice meant (according to
lord Coke's interpretation at least) the
malice of money. In the reign of Eliza-
beth, the evil of patronage had got to
some height; for they heard of a dame
Dorothy Packington, who returned two
members to the House. Of its height in
modern times they had proof in a petition
which had been presented to the House
from the Friends of the people" on the
6th of May, 1793, in which the petition-
ers stated and offered to prove at the bar,
that a majority of the House at that day
was returned by the nomination or influ-
ence of 154 patrons. So late as 1813, a
petition had been presented to the House,
staying that two seats in the House had
been bequeathed by the will of the late
sir John Johnstone, and the codicil was


Petition from Lyme Regis [172
offered to be produced. The reformers
had been generally met in the House by
a challenge to point out a specific abuse.
Here was a distinct breach of privilege;
and the question was, whether they would
refuse to remove this opprobrium There
had been a petition presented to the
House of Commons, December 9, 1790,
by Mr. Horne Tooke, in which it was
stated that by the accident of proceedings
in the court of chancery, the average price
ofa perpetual seat in the House of Com-
mons had been ascertained, and that seats
in that House were as notoriously rented
and bought as the standings for cattle at
a fair. On that very petition a committee
was founded. No gentleman rose to say
that these words were not true, and that
therefore the petition ought not to be re-
ceived. Let the House, when such an
occasion as this presented itself, endea-
vour to do a little. Those who were op-
posed to the reformers in that House, al-
ways said, Don't come with your sweep-
ing plans; point out some particular
grievance." Here, however, was a spe-
cific charge against a peer of parliament,
and, that it might be investigated, he
would move as an amendment, That
this petition be referred to the committee
of privileges."
Sir J. Graham said, the case of the
electors of Lyme Regis, in which borough
there hadbeen more litigation than in any
other part of the kingdom, had long since
been decided. It was not proper to make
a complaint at this time relative to the
right of enjoying the elective franchise.
That could only be done by a petition
against the returning officer immediately
after an election. With respect to the al-
legation against a peer of the realm, how
could the complaint be entertained when
no name was mentioned and no act speci-
fied ? He believed a great number of
gentlemen who sat opposite could be
pointed out as being returned to parlia-
ment by peers, or the relations of peers,
for close boroughs. This, however was
not a close borough. The electors con-
sisted of a certain number of freemen and
burgesses, who were not the dependants
of any peer. He knew some of them who,
he would venture to say, were as respect-
able as any men in the kingdom.
Mr. Hurst said, that as this petition
did not complain of a particular election,
it could not be the subject of an election
committee. But as the, Petitioners com-
plained that, for a long course of years,






173] respecting the Elective Franch
they had been deprived of their elective
rights, they where bound ex debito jus-
titice to attend to it.
Lord Lowther said, that the right of
election which was claimed by the peti-
tioners, had been frequently decided
against.
Mr. Lambton said, this was not an
election petition, as it did not complain
of an election, but complained that for
many years the franchise had been taken
away from them. The statement of the
hon. baronet that he saw many members
who were nominated by peers, was cer-
tainly a bad answer to the complaint of
the petition. He rather wondered that
the hon. baronet had not been called to
order. But it seemed now a too gener-
ally admitted fact, to affect any squeam.
ishness about, that members were nomi-
nated by peers. The question now was,
whether the House would take any parti-
cular notice of this petition ? Certainly
it would be more consistent with its ordi-
nary usage to admit the facts alleged, and
to let the petition go forth to the world
uncontradicted. However, as his own
opinion was, that the subject was fit to be
discussed in a committee, he should agree
to the amendment.
Mr. Hobhouse said, he would withdraw
his amendment on the understanding that
he should propose it as a substantive mo-
tion.
The Speaker'said, that could not be
done on the same day that the petition
was laid on the table.
Mr. Hobhouse said, he should then
press his amendment.
Mr. Huskisson said, the petition was
confined to the statement of a general
evil, coupled with a complaint of the de-
cision of the House as to the right of
voting for the borough. No particular
election was complained of, and no speci-
fic ground was laid for the interference of
the House, The subject of the petition
might be very proper for reference, upon
a notion respecting the general state of
the representation; but he did not think
it a case to justify a reference to a com-
mittee of privileges.
Lord Althorp said, the present was not
a general complaint; for it alluded to an
individual instance, and an individual
peer, though he was not mentioned by
name; and it also stated, that that peer
influenced the election. He considered
this a direct breach of privilege, and
highly fit to be considered in a commit-
S tee.


ApRtt 12, 1821.


[174


Mr. Monck said, if there was any thing
more clear than another it was that the
interference of a peer in an election was a
breach of privilege. If the complaint had
referred to a particular election it would
have been only cognizable by an election
committee, but as the abuse was alleged
to be of long continuance, it formed a fit
subject for a special examination. If the
House suffered it to pass over without no-
tice, it would not increase the confidence
of the people out of doors.
Mr. Hutchinson said, that as it was dis-
tinctly stated by the petitioners, that a
peer of the realm had for some years in-
terfered in the election of members, the
petition ought to be forthwith referred
to the committee of privileges.
Mr. J. H. Smyth was of opinion, after
having read the petition, that it did not
contain such a complaint as the House
was bound to refer to the committee of
privileges. After alluding to the right of
exercising the elective franchise, the pe-
titioners went on to complain, that a peer
of the realm had used his influence in the
election of members for this borough.
This was a grave charge. But he was
not prepared to say that influence arising
from title, property, rank, distinction, was
the same thing as interference. The
House only condemned a corrupt and
improper influence.
Mr. Wynn said, that this wa a pe-
tition which the House could not efer to
a committee of privileges. The charges
were of a vague and general natu ; no
peer was specified as having inter red;
and therefore if the petition were referred
the committee would have to ascertain
what peer the allegation was directed
against. But if this influence were proved,
what punishment could they enforce ?
Except the peer happened to be the lord
lieutenant of a county, or held an office
under the Crown, from which he might be
removed, by addressing his majesty, he
feared that the House could inflict no
punishment. A complaint of this kind
had been formerly made against the duke
of Bolton; but the committee found they
could not bring it to a useful conclusion;
and, after examining some witnesses, ad-
journed for four months. If bribery or
some undue influence, which might be
made the subject of a prosecution, were
not proved, the House had no means of
inflicting punishment.
Sir J. Newport said, that if the position
of the hon. member was correct, the






175] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
sooner the House rescinded its resolution
upon the subject the better. It was well
known that at the beginning of every ses-
sion the House came to a resolution de-
claring the interference of a peer in the
election of a member of parliament to be
a breach of privilege; but if such a reso-
lution could not be enforced, the voting
it was a mere farce.
The question being put, That the
words proposed to be left out stand part
of the question," being put, the House
divided: Ayes, 82. Noes, 33. The ori-
ginal question was then put and agreed to.

USURY LAWS.] Mr. Serjeant Onslow
rose, in pursuance of notice, to call the
attention of the House to the subject of
the laws for regulating or restraining the
interest of money. He alluded to those
laws which had been passed for the
avowed purpose of preventing usury.
When he, in the year 1816, brought them
under consideration, it was admitted by
the chancellor of the exchequer, that
they were in principle indefensible, but
that the state of the public mind was at
that time such as to render the agitation of
the question dangerous. The right hon.
gentleman added, that a time would no
doubt arrive when the discussion might
be safely entered on. He had afterwards
consented to a second postponement of
..e subject, in consequence of represen-
tations made to him by the solicitors of
the Ba k. The committee to whom the
questbn had been referred, had gone
with the greatest attention into every
bra ch of the inquiry, and had received
very important evidence both from per-
sops favourable and persons hostile to an
alteration of the existing law. Amongst
other witnesses, the hon. member for
Portarlington (Mr. Ricardo) had been
examined, Mr. Kaye the solicitor to the
Bank, some of the first representatives of
the monied interest in the city, and a
name never to be mentioned without ve-
neration, the late sir S. Romilly. The
concurrent opinion of these last men-
tioned individuals was, that the usury
laws answered no good purpose whatever.
He would now state the substance of the
resolutions to which the committee, on a
full review of the evidence, had finally
agreed. The first was, that the laws in
question were continually evaded with
success: that of late years they had been
converted into a means of greatly increas-
ing the expense to borrowers; and that


Usury Laws.


[176


they led to the injurious practice of rais-
ing money by annuities upon lives. They
not only subjected the borrower to enor-
mous charges, but frequently to the ne-
cessity of a disadvantageous sale of his
estate. The effect of the second resolu-
tion was, that as applicable to commerce
these laws produced a great uncertainty
of interest, and engendered perpetual
doubts and litigation. The third resolu-
tion imported, that whenever the market
rate of interest should be below the legal
rate, that would be a proper time for en-
tering into a full consideration of this
subject, without any injury to public cre-
dit. Many hon. gentlemen must be aware
that 10, 12, and 13 per cent had been
given for money by annuities for life;
and not only for one life, but sometimes
for two, three, and he had even known a
case where the annuity was granted and
secured for five lives. The evidence of
the different secretaries to the insurance
offices all agreed in representing this to
be a common practice. The testimony of
Mr. Wakefield, and of various respectable
solicitors, concurred in the statement
that the uniform effect of the present
laws on landed proprietors was, to subject
them to enormous charges in raising
money. He had himself met with in-
stances of landed property sold most dis-
advantageously, and in one case a loss of
70,0001. incurred, by annuities running
over the whole estate. It was an error
to suppose that any application to the
court of Chancery was necessary, in
order to enable a mortgagee to foreclose.
With regard to the second resolution, and
the extent to which these laws affected
our commercial interests, he could appeal
to the solicitor general, whether they
were not productive of continual difficulty
and doubt. Here the hon. and learned
gentleman took a brief and rapid review
of the history of the laws for regulating
the rate of interest. Every writer of
eminence or authority had, he said, dis-
approved of them, and an hon. and
learned friend of his now filling a high
judicial office in Scotland (sir S. Shep.
herd) had confessed, that his opinions on
the subject had been entirely changed,
by the perusal of Mr. Bentham's cele-
brated work. Under these impressions,
he should now move, That leave be
given to bring in a bill to repeal the Laws
which prohibit the taking of interest for
money, or limit the rate thereof."
Mr. Davenport said, that the measure







177] Usury Laws.
would be dangerous to the yeomanry of
the country, who could scarcely go on
paying only five per cent. He feared it
would drive many persons to the sale of
their estates, and he trusted the learned
serjeant would on consideration withdraw
his motion.
Sir Robert Heron did not mean to op-
pose the motion for leave to bring in the
bill, but was at the same time desirous of
expressing his decided opinion that it was
the most mischievous ever proposed for
the adoption of that House. It would
if it should pass, have the effect of intro-
ducing uncertainty into all mortgages;
nor would any parties be disposed to lend
until they conceived that they had ob-
tained the highest possible interest. At
present all money borrowed upon annuity
must by law be registered, and this was a
very operative check on that ruinous
mode of raising money. By the proposed
measure, this necessity would be removed.
If unhappily it should receive the sanc-
tion of the House, he should move for an
alteration of its title, and that it be called
" a bill for more speedily ruining the
young nobility and gentry of the country."
Lord Althorp could not conceive how a
bill of this nature was likely to operate
injuriously towards the landed interest.
On other points of legislation, the House
was called upon to consider principles,
but in the present case it was enabled to
decide from practice. It was known that
when the legal interest upon money was
so much as eight per cent, money was at
that rate invested in mortgage, and al-
though eleven per cent could be obtained
upon annuities with liberty to insure the
life of the borrower, money was not trans-
ferred from mortgages to annuities. Why
then should the apprehension of such
transfer be entertained in the present
case, or that enabling men to sell the use
of money at the market price would ope-
rate against the landed interest
Mr. Philips thought that those who
calculated upon any disadvantage to the
landed interest from the measure, had
never read the evidence taken before the
committee upon this subject. From that
evidence it appeared, that a measure of
this nature was peculiarly calculated to
serve the landed as well as the commer-
cial interests. He could not see why
money should not be an article as free in
the market as land or goods. From the
state of the laws referred to in the motion,
many men in trade were often obliged,
VOL. V.


APRIL 12, 1821. [178
for the relief of temporary necessities, to
have secret recourse to extortioners and
unprincipled brokers; whereas, if the
legal restraints of interest were removed,
they would be at liberty to deal upon the
best terms with open traders in money.
Mr. R. Gordon deprecated the theory
which this proposition had in view, cau-
tioning the House to beware of theories
from the sad experience of the measure
for the resumption of cash payments.
This, however, was the age of theories,
and nothing was heard of but a recourse
to first principles. He must, notwith-
standing this cry, sanctioned as it was by
authority, deprecate the proposed change
in the laws against usury, as well as other
changes, which he deemed wild and vi-
sionary speculations.
Mr. J. P. Grant said, that his hon.
friend who spoke last seemed to him to
have mistaken both the disease and the
remedy. The distress which existed
arose from theory, and from the prepos-
terous theory of a legislative interference
with money dealings, which was not ap-
plied to any other branch of commerce.
Some persons had been of opinion, that
the same principle ought to be introduced
into the manufacture and sale of bread;
but in practice it would always be found
most advantageous to leave the seller and
purchaser, the lender and borrower, to
make their own contracts according to
their several necessities. It was by this
course that they would ensure the best
supply at the cheapest rate.
Mr. Calcraft confessed, that his preju-
dices were strong against the proposed al-
teration, and were founded in reflection
upon what the country had suffered at
former periods from an unlimited rate of
interest. With regard to the sale of
bread, there had been a maximum fixed
by assize; and when that was repealed,
great advantages, none of which had been
realized, were anticipated to the con-
sumer. The country, it should not be
forgotten, had risen under the existing
laws to an unrivalled degree of commer-
cial prosperity, and trade had flowed into
every channel where capital was found.
He greatly feared that the measure was
calculated to unsettle mortgages, and to
persuade lenders that they ought to have
obtained better terms.
Mr. Ricardo thought the House and
the public were very much indebted to
the learned gentleman, for the measure
which he had proposed; and expressed
N







179] HOUSE OF COMMONS,


his astonishment at the apprehensions of
members, that its adoption would operate
to the prejudice of the landed gentry, by
raising the rate of interest; for the fact
was, that the lenders of money would not
have more power to raise the rate of in-
terest than the lenders would have to
keep it down; and the competition be-
tween both would serve to bring it to
a reasonable standard. As to the allusion
of his hon. friend to the assize of bread,
that case had no analogy to the present
question, because the maximum upon
bread was merely meant to keep the price
of that article in due relation to the price
of corn. An hon. friend had taken occa-
sion, in referring to the resumption of
cash payments, to reprobate what he
called that theory. But his hon. friend
should consider that the restriction upon
cash payments was a departure from the
old and established theory of the country,
to the sound currency and wholesome
practice of which it was now proposed*to
return. His hon. friend had deprecated
change in such a strain, as would really
form an argument against any improve-
ment. He had had great experience in
the money market, and could state the
usury laws to have always been felt as a
dead weight on those wishing to raise
money. With respect to those concerned
in the money market itself, the laws had al-
ways been inoperative; and during the war
indirect means had been found of obtaining
seven, eight, ten, and fifteen per cent
interest. The laws therefore occasioned
inconvenience, but did no good.
Mr. Baring said, that the measure
would be of the greatest benefit to the
country, and came before the House at
the most safe and seasonable period.
When introduced about six years ago, it
might perhaps have created that alarm
and derangement which some lion. mem-
bers supposed it calculated to produce;
because the war rate of interest was at
that time above five per cent; but at pre-
sent, when the rate of interest in the
money market was below 5 per cent,
there was no reason to apprehend such an
inconvenience. He conceived that the
measure would not be attended with so
much benefit to the mercantile interests and
moneyed men as to the landed interest.
Mr. Monck spoke strongly in support
of the measure under discussion, which
proposed to remove one of the remnants
of the old and irrational system of assize.
We had had, in ancient times, an assize


upon cloth, leather, beer, and bread.
We had got rid of these, and he hoped
this fragment was about to be removed.
The repeal of the assize upon bread was
known to have produced the best effect,
by procuring better bread, and upon
cheaper terms than were ever known
under the existence of the excise. He
anticipated a good result also from the
repeal of the usury laws, and especially
to the landed interest, who could not
hope to obtain any loan of money while
government, which was not restrained by
the usury laws, would give more than 5
per cent interest. But, when dealing in
money became a free trade, those who
wanted to borrow might openly treat with
those disposed to lend, and the money
lenders would be considered as respecta-
ble as any other class of people in trade.
Leave was given to bring in the bill.

CIVIL OFFICES IN THE ORDNANCE
DEPARTMENT.] Mr. Hume, in rising to
submit the motion of which he had given
notice, regretted that a question of so
great constitutional importance had not
fallen into the hands of some member
more competent to do it justice. There
were two points of view in which he
wished to represent the subject to the
House: first, as a constitutional question
involving the consideration how far indivi-
duals under the influence of the Crown
ought to be allowed to vote for members
of parliament; and next, how far that in-
fluence was likely to lead to extravagance
in keeping up offices and appointments
not necessary for the public service. His
attention had been more especially directed
to this subject, in consequence of the in-
quiries which he had made into the state
of the borough of Queenborough; and it
would be in the recollection of the House
that some weeks ago he had called their
attention to various mal-practices, pecu-
lations, and abuses on the part of certain
individuals in Sheerness, belonging to the
borough of Queenborough, and connected
with the Ordnance department. In al-
most every department of the Ordnance
there were to be found individuals from
the borough of Queenborough. Not
only had new situations been created for
freemen of that borough, but some most
meritorious individuals had been turned
out to make way for them. The object
of his present motion was, to disqualify
the servants of the Ordnance department
from voting at elections, in the same man-


Mr. Hume's Motion respecting


[180






181] Civil Offices in the Ordnance Department.


ner as the civil servants of various othei
departments were disqualified.
In order to make himself intelligible
to the House, it would be necessary to re-
fer to the several disqualifying statutes,
which were of three descriptions ; first;
those which disqualified persons from be.
ing elected members of parliament; se-
condly, those which enacted, who should
not vote for members of parliament ; and
thirdly, those which enacted, who should
not meddle or interfere with the electors.
The principle upon which all these sta-
tutes proceeded, was to guard as much
as possible against the improper influence
of the Crown. If, therefore, he succeed-
ed in showing that a number of indivi-
duals, under the direct influence and con-
trol of the Crown, returned members to
that House, he should then,he submitted,
have made out a case to induce the House
to place the civil servants of the Ordnance
on the same footing as other servants of
the Crown, who were now excluded. The
hon. member then referred to the statute
of 22nd Geo. 3rd chap. 41, which enact-
ed, that no commissioners or collectors of
customs or excise, distributors of stamps,
or any individuals holding situations at
pleasure under any officer of the Crown,
should be entitled to vote for any member
of parliament. The same statute also dis-
qualified the postmaster-general, his de-
puty or deputies, and all clerks employed
under him or them. The commission-
ers of the land-tax, who received no sala-
ries, were excepted; and the very ex-
ception proved the principle upon which
the legislature proceeded, which was, to
guard against the undue influence of the
Crown. He should, perhaps, be asked
whether he wished to deprive English-
men of that freedom of suffrage which
had been handed down to them from their
ancestors ? He contended, however, that
this would be no deprivation of a right ;
it was merely a condition annexed to the
acceptance, or retention of an office. It
was no more than saying to persons ac.
cepting situations under the Ordnance de-
partment, that if they chose to accept
such situations, from which they were
liable to be dismissed at the pleasure of
the Crown, they must do so upon the
condition of not being entitled, to exer-
cise the elective franchise. The statute
to which he had referred, passed its se-
cond reading by a majority of 87 to 12, *

SSee New Parliamentary History, Vol. 22,
p. 1388.


r so that there were only 12 persons oppos.
ed to the principle of the bill, and he
e could not see, therefore, why the House
- should now refuse to allow him to bring
,in this bill, and carry it through all the
Succeeding stages. By the 43rd Geo.
3rd chap. 25 all the enactments of that
Sact were extended to Ireland, and the
Measure passed, he believed, without any
opposition. By the 5th William and
SMary, chap. 20, No collector of taxes
or excise shall influence, directly or indi-
rectly, any person in his vote for a mem-
ber of parliament." By the 12th and
13th William 3rd this was extended to
the customs. A subsequent act carried
this law all through the post-office. The
llth queen Anne extended it farther, to
the whole of the stamp department. The
12th of Anne carried the same principle
to every person engaged in the collection
of duties on salt, vellum, stuffs, &c. The
Ssolicitor-general appeared to think that he
(Mr. Hume) was now mistaking the rea-
son and intent of these statutes: but, he
contended, that the principle of exclusion,
as applied to all those who might be im-
properly influenced by the tenure of
office under the Crown, was in all these
acts the same. In his present motion he
did not call on the House to adopt any
new principle, but to apply it only to a
third and additional class of men, equally
liable to government influence as those
who had been the objects of the preced-
ing statutes. It was true, that the 5th
Will. 3rd, chap. 7, made certain excep-
tions in favour of the commissioners of
the Treasury, and others : but these ex-
ceptions, so clear, so express, so expe-
dient, only proved the truth, and the
recognition on the part of the legisla-
ture, of the great principle he was now
desirous to enforce. The llth and 12th
of William 3rd, more particularly chap.
7, sect. 151, after recapitulating certain
offices, expressly said, that if the owners
thereof wished to exercise the elective
franchise, they must vacate their seats.
Nothing could be more fair. It was a
balance of interests, equitable, politic,
and just. Then there was the 12th and
13th Will. 3rd, and the 6th queen
Anne (the latter a statute which ought
to be more attended to in that House
than it had been of late) still went on
to lay down the same position-that all
those influenced, in any way, by the
public money-either its receipt or its
collection-should be incapable to ex-


APRIL 12, 1821. [ 182







183] HOUSE OF COMMONS,


ercise the elective franchise. The 1st
of Geo. 1, chap. 56, in the operation
of the exclusive principle to which he had
referred, took in even the commission-
ers of army accounts, and of the Sick
and Wounded and Transport department.
Now it would be difficult almost to ima-
gine what possible influence or control,
arising from any thing like a disposition
of the public money, these latter officers
could be supposed to exercise. So, how-
ever, the case was; and it furnished a
striking example of the laudable jealousy
which parliament had for so many years
manifested by repeated statutes, of an in-
fluence on the part of the government
which might affect the character and
constitution of parliament.
As he must come now to the case of
the borough of Queenborough, it was ne-
cessary for him to mention that of the
two last contested elections which had
been sustained for it : the first was in the
year 1802, when the hon. member for
Coventry (who now sat near him) and
Mr. Prinsep were the candidates. The
number of votes polled on that occa-
sion was 76 and 75. He thought that he
saw the Master of the Mint smiling, as if
he would say, that this was furnishing an
example in which the Treasury had been
beaten. But he had a weighty reason for
mentioning the circumstance, which was
this :-at that period there was not one
seventh of individuals belonging to this
borough employed by the Ordnance-
office, compared with the number now
employed by it. There was a return-
perhaps not a very correct one, indeed
-of these numbers, printed in a book
called Oldham's History of Parliament.
[Cheers from the Treasury-bench.] If
the hon. gentlemen opposite did not like
this authority, let them take it in another
way. At the period he spoke of, the
number of such men so employed by
the Ordnance-office was 17 only. A sub-
sequent contested election took place, in
which Mr.Huntand Mr. Villiers were the
candidates. They received between them
160 votes, and colonel Chichester had 60.
The total of votes, therefore, was 220,
If all the voters of this borourgh, however.
as he was informed were put together,
there would be about 250 freeholders.
The place contained only 200 houses.
The sons of freemen, if they were born in
Queenborough, became also freemen-a
very important privilege, and no doubt the
reason why the wives of the freeholders


were sent from all parts of the county to
lie-in in Queenborough, of these young
freemen. He had divided the freeholders
of this borough, for the better informa-
tion of the House, into three classes,
and he had three lists; the first being
a list of the offices, salaries, and pensions
of 147 freeholders, holding offices and sa-
laries to the annual amount of 14,7661.
[Hear, hear !], exclusively of thirty-two
houses rent free, apartments,servants, and
perquisites. The second was a list of
eleven freemen's sons who had been so
unfortunate as to be born at Portsmouth
or Plymouth, or any where else but
Queenborough, and whoheld offices under
the Ordnance or other government de-
partment to the amount of 2,6291. per an-
num. Another of his lists, was a list of
freemenholdingsituations in the Customs
and the preventive service, 32 in number,
making altogether 190 out of the 220 odd
freemen, having situations under govern-
ment.
The corporation of this borough con-
sisted of one mayor, four jurats, and two
bailiffs ; being a body of seven indivi-
duals ; and the particulars of their situa-
tions and emoluments he should next
proceed to notice, to show how far the in-
fluence of the Ordnance department ex-
tended. The first was Mr. Greystock, of
the Tower. He was the mayor, and had
become barge-master of the Ordnance.
His salary was only 601. a year; but he
had enjoyed it for eleven years, and the
post was a perfect sinecure. He under-
stood that this gentleman, in addition to
his public capacity, was an oyster-sales-
man. He was, too, the mayor of Queen-
borough. A gallant general smiled at
this account; but considering that for
eight months in the year this individual
was at Billingsgate, selling his oysters,
and for the other four months, getting
them in France, he must look upon this
office as a great sinecure, be the salary
what it might. Mr. Greet was the next
in succession ; and no individual, certain-
ly, had derived more benefit from the li-
beral patronage of the Ordnance-office
than he had. Of no person had so many
vessels been hired for the transport of
stores, and so forth. He got as much
as he could get himself in the way
of employment, and by way of his own
influence; for he had procured his bro-
ther to be appointed deputy barge-mas-
ter. He held the situation, which altoge-
ther was worth nearly 5001. a year; he


[184


Mr. Hutme's Notlion respecting







1S5] Civil Offices in the Ordnance Department.


had 2501. salary, his coals, candles, and so
forth ; besides which, his brother had the
command of a cutter. They had heard
of a manager in that House ; this gentle-
man seemed to be the manager for the
Ordnance, in this particular department
ofit. The next person is Henry Ligonier;
he had a salary of 1081. a year, perqui-
sites, &c., lived in Upnor-castle ; besides
this, he had the command of a vessel,
which was employed by the Ordnance-
office, and which no doubt afforded him
very nice pickings. James Bowton, of
Sheerness, also a jurat, part owner of a
vessel; his allowance was 1081. a year,
besides 201. for house-rent. He com-
manded the Lord Howe powder ves-
sel, of 35 tons as it had been returned,
though it very probably was of a much
larger burden. He (Mr. Hume), while
he was collecting information respecting
this vessel, was placed in a very awkward
situation, for he had been told by the
clerk of the Ordnance-office that, if he
thought any person on board her was giv-
ing an iota of that information, he would
have him immediately turned away. Now,
if any person, even if he were purity it-
self, refused to submit to that sort of in-
spection which if all were right he would
willingly, do such a conduct must excite
suspicion, and therefore he suspected, that
the Ordnance department was afraid to
have the thing known. This Mr. Bowton
was the father of a clerk in the Ordnance
office in London. James Hollely, of
Sheerness, another of these jurats, was
master of the Johanna gun-hoy. His sa-
lary was 1081., besides an allowance of
201. a year for house-rent. He was also
land-bailiff, the duties of which place, he,
being a sea officer, must have admirable
opportunities of properly performing.
His father and his brother, were both
in the employ of government. But,
this system of relationship, by which so
many persons of one family were all
retained and employed together in a
way which made it so difficult for them
ever to be got rid of or shaken off, was
principally exemplified in the instance of
John Marshall, of Queenborough. He
was also a jurat, and the individuals of his
family were disposed of in this way ; he
had two brothers, one brother-in-law, and
one son in the Ordnance department, that
received altogether 9501. per annum, ex-
clusively of other perquisites, and his
(Marshall's) proportion of the 1,2711.
per annum shared by seven freemen of


this borough for other offices. After no-
ticing the cases of James Thomson, John
Saffery, gunner, and several others,
the hon. gentleman particularly dwelt up-
on that of Francis Pellat, who was him-
self a clerk at 1501. with agratuityof 150.,
and an allowance for coals and candles,
and nine or ten of whose family held
different offices under government. He
should like to be informed in what way
such men could properly exercise the
elective franchise. The director of the
board, at his mere will, could turn out
any of them, though of 20 or 30 years
service; they depended upon him,
and upon him only, for their means of
living, and could not pretend to exer-
cise an unbiassed judgment. All the
public servants at Sheerness, excepting
one, were allowed houses, which they let
for their own emolument, and lived at
Queenborough. Against Matt. Dodd,
clerk of survey at Sheerness, he had
brought some charges which occasioned a
commission to inquire; and for the re-
port of those commissioners he should
take an opportunity of moving ; for, if
the House were ever called upon to
institute an inquiry into any depart-
ment, it should be into the conduct of
that of Sheerness. We understood the
hon. gentleman to add, that certain of-
ficers, who had been dismissed in conse-
quence of complaints against them of a
most serious nature, had been restored
through the influence of the Queenbo-
rough connexion. He then went on to
state the particulars relating to persons of
the names of J. Farr, T. Pennal, J. Ba-
chelor, W. Naylor, R. H. Tayler, and se.
veral others. He observed that a person
of the name of John May had received
his appointment since the reduction took
place. The cases of H. Langley, R.
Hall, and G. Pitt, were equally gross;
but none of them exceeded that of W.
Akid, who had been superannuated on
5001. a year; of all gross cases this was
the grossest. He had been a storekeeper
at Sheerness, and was superannuated in
September, 1818, at the age of 72 years.
He was succeeded in his office by a man
of the name of Kennor, who possessed a
large private property, and who was not
less than 74, years old. Perhaps this ap-
pointment had been made with a view
also to Kennor's superannuation. The
case, too, was by no means solitary;
if the hon. secretary of the Ordnance
would allow him to go through his de-


APRtL 1% 1821- (186







18T7 HOUSE OF COMMONS,
apartment, affording facilities of informa-
tion, and undertaking not to dismiss
those who supplied it, he would under-
take to bring forward many similar in-
stances of corruption. Nothing could
exceed the dereliction of duty, the for-
getfulness of the claims of the people,
or the wanton waste of public money
in that department [Hear !]. The
whole 147 freemen, by the papers he
possessed, he could show, receiving no less
than 14,7661. 6s. besides houses, servants,
and other allowances.
Having thus concluded his first list, Mr.
Hume proceeded to his second, which
was a return of the relatives of freemen
of Queenborough, holding situations in
the Ordnance. He read it; and it ap-
peared from it, that 11 persons received
2,6291. 6s. 3d. per annum. He would
not go through his third list in detail, lest
he should fatigue the House. He, how-
ever, read several 'ofthe names, employ-
ments and salaries; the total of which he
stated to be 3,7351. 10s. The follow.
ing he introduced as a correct Abstract
of the whole information he had pro-
cured:-
ABSTRACT.
O.
.1 147 Freemen.................... 14,766
32 houses and apartments,
and 9 servants found; of-
ficers at public expense.
2. 11 Freemen's sons or rela-
tives ........................ 2,629
three houses and three
servants.
3 Estimated profits arising
from craft employed by
the Ordnance, belonging
to freemen of Queen-
borough................... 1,642

19,037
total 35 houses and 12
servants.
4 32 Freemen,-28 belonging
to Customs and preventive
service, ineligible to vote;
the other 4 eligible to
vote ...................... 3,735
exclusively of provisions,
which several have found
them by government.

190 22,772
to which the expense of
houses and servants in the
Ordnance, and provisions


Mr. Hume's Motion respecting


in the Customs, makes it
25,0001. per annum.
Having gone so much in detail into the
subject, he had only one point further to
submit, though that was one of the high-
est importance, viz. the manner in which
the Board of Ordnance exercised its
power over its dependants. On this ques-
tion he was furnished with a list of no less
than 16 persons who, after long and
meritorious services, had been dismissed,
to make way for freemen of Queenborough.
One of the most remarkable was that of
John Kennedy, who had been a freeman
for 10 years, and a labourer for 8 years;
he had a wife and 5 children, and was
dismissed in February, 1818, on the
ground that his services were no longer
wanted; and James Robinson, a freeman
aged 48 years, was appointed to succeed
him. Though the regulation of the board
was, that no man above 45 should be ap-
pointed, yet Robinson was selected, his
recommendation being, that he was a
freeman of Queenborough, and Kennedy's
defect being that he was not. To prove
this case, the hon. gentleman read part of
Kennedy's memorial to the board. In the
same manner H. Smith had made way
for George May, 55 years old; J. Lee,
for Joseph Kemp, 53 years old; and W.
Aultand, for James Bachelor, 60 years
old. R. Allan was removed after 15 years
service for H. Pennall, who had never
seen a day's service. The last case he
should mention was that of J. Savory,
who had been superseded by J. Eagle, a
superannuated carpenter in the navy, with
a pension of 401. a year; he was no less
than 77 years of age, and was soon after-
wards again superannuated with an addi-
tional allowance of 161. per annum. Hav-
ing gone through these facts, the hon.
member recapitulated some of the princi-
pal grounds on which he rested his motion.
If the House rejected it, he should be
perfectly ready to support a bill to en-
able the board, master-general of the
Ordnance, or the Lords of the Treasury,
to appoint themembersfor Queenborough,
instead of going through the mockery of
an election. By this means, if these use-
less officers, only retained for their votes,
were dismissed, the public would save the
important sum of 25,0001. a year. He
concluded by moving That leave be
given to bring in a bill to disqualify per-
sons holding civil offices in the Ordnance
department from voting in elections of
members to serve in parliament,"


[188







189] Civil Qffices in the Ordnance Department. APRIL 12, 1821.


Mr. Bernal said, he felt very consider-
able pleasure in seconding the motion,
not on themere principle of economy alone,
but on the general principle of protecting
the purity of election. He did not look
upon it as affecting any particular admi-
nistration. He would support it under
any. At the same time, he was far from
denying that every administration ought
to have its fair influence in the country.
Such fair influence he was not disposed
to curb; but he did not wish to see it
overflow its proper bounds, and carry
every thing by power alone, without leav-
ing any thing to depend on the mere cha-
racter of an administration. He had
listened with attention to the many cases
cited by his hon. friend, in which, in his
opinion, the influence of the government
had been unduly exercised: but it was
not on the strength of any of those cases,
or all of them, that he should vote; for if
all of them could be satisfactorily ex-
plained, still the principle of his vote
would remain unaltered. He thought,
however, that even by those cases that
principle was strengthened ; andhe hoped
his hon. friend would extend his diligent
labours to other branches of the civil
government. He did not mean by this,
that the great officers of the Crown should
be excluded from seats in that House ; on
the contrary, he wished that they should
be in parliament; but he did not wish
that they whose support depended entirely
on the patronage of ministers in several
public departments should be allowed
to vote so long as they held such situa-
tions.
Mr. Robert Ward said, that in rising to
answer the hon. mover, and to state his
opposition to the bill in every part, he
had some difficulty, whether to commence
with the conclusion of the hon. member's
statement, or to go back to those with
which he commenced. Notwithstanding
the impression which the hon. member
might have made on the House by his
latter statements, he thought it would be
better to take up the question and go on
with it, as the hon. member had done; as
he was confident, that he was enabled to
give a satisfactory answer to every part of
his speech. But first he begged to say of
the proposed bill, that if it were of that
vast importance which the hon. gentleman
attached to it; if it went to create such a
great change in the constitution of that
House, he would put it to the lion. mem-
ber, whether it would not have been bet-


ter if he had complied with the request
made by the hon. the chancellor of the
exchequer, and have put off the discussion
until his noble friend (lord Castlereagh),
who represented the government in that
House, should be enabled to attend in his
place, and particularly under the circum-
stances of that noble lord's absence. The
hon. member, however, was the best judge
of his own conduct, and he would pro-
ceed to state the grounds of his opposition,
to the motion. The hon. member by way
of simplifying the motion, said he would
confine himself to the Ordnance only.
He had left out the navy; but there
might, perhaps, be another ground for
this simplifying of the question." The
officers of the Ordnance were generally
found in opposition to the hon. gentle-
man and his friends, while many officers
in the navy were known to give them their
warm support. On this ground it was
that the hon. member so simplified his
motion as to leave them out. Of the
bill as it was proposed to be brought in,
he would say in limine, that it had his
most decided opposition. He would op-
pose it, as unjust, and greatly injurious
to very meritorious class of men, by
chargingthem directly with beinginfluenc-
ed by corrupt motives-a charge which,
he must say, was wholly undeserved
on their part.-The bill was unjust, be-
cause it went to establish that which the
constitution had never recognised-that
placemen had not a right to the elective
franchise, or that they were prevented
from sitting in that House. In support
of his argument, the hon. gentleman had
adverted to a number of acts of parlia-
ment, by which placemen of various de-
scriptions had been disabled from voting
for members of that House. Those acts,
however were insulated in their character,
and related to particular cases. They
were never founded on any great and ac-
knowledged constitutional principle. If
they were, or if the hon. gentleman's
present proposition was founded on a
great and acknowledged constitutional
principle, he was bound not to stop at the
Ordnance, but to go through all the de-
partments of the state. If this were to be
done, he would ask all who knew any
thing of the constitution, if that balance
of power so essential to the preservation
of the constitution, would not be altoge-
ther destroyed? The question was in-
deed a most important one. It was no
less than this-whether there should be a


[190







191] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
legislative act to take away the elective
franchise from British subjects. He trust-
ed the House would not allow the privi-
leges of British subjects to be thus wan-
tonly invaded. The hon. member exhi-
bited great inconsistency. He ran counter
to the wishes of his friends the reformers.
He the advocate of universal suffrage,
proposed by a single measure to destroy
the elective franchise of 2,000 meritorious
individuals. The motion in question was
founded on the erroneous supposition
that the parties were under the imme-
diate influence of government. He must
say that it was erroneous to assert, that
the Navy or Ordnance was under the di-
rect influence of government; and he
could name cases where, by the influence
and exertions of persons in the navy, in-
dividuals most hostile to the general mea-
sures of government were returned to
parliament. He would name Great Yar-
mouth and Ipswich, from whence, by
the support of members from the dock-
yards, gentlemen who were known to be
in opposition to government were returned
to parliament. But he would not dwell
further upon those cases, as no doubt they
would be more fully entered into by other
gentlemen, who would lend their assist-
ance on this occasion. If he could show
that in the Ordnance department no in-
timidation had been used, no influence
exercised, to interfere with the elective
franchises of those who served in that de-
partment, then the whole of the hon.
member's arguments must fall to the
ground. In his own office there was but
one individual who, to his knowledge, had
a vote. He was allowed to go three times
to Maidstone to exercise his franchise,
and that too in favour of a gentleman who
was not one of the supporters of govern-
ment. The only question that he had
asked respecting him was, whether he
was a good clerk, and being answered in
the affirmative, he gave not the slightest
objection to the exercise of his franchise
in what way he chose, though, for aught
that depended on that vote, its effect might
be to.turn him (Mr. Ward) out of office.
Then, he repeated that, unless the hon.
member could show that a direct interfer-
ence had taken place with those who served
in the department, respecting their votes,
his motion was without foundation.
There was-and he hoped the House
would bear it in mind-a decided differ-
ence between influence and interference.
To such an audience it would be unne-


Mr. Hume's Motion respecting


[192


cessary for him to point out the distinc-
tion between the two. Influence belong-
ed almost inseparably to rank, character,
wealth, and to official power. All these
had their various degrees of influence on
the mind, whether it was that of respect,
or hope, or fear; and it was impossible
that they should not; but this was not in-
terference. If any of these operated on
others to produce a certain effect without
being directly put into action, that would
be fair influence; but if they were exer-
cised to produce that certain effect,, then
it would be interference, and it would be
illegal as far as it applied to the elective
franchise. But, suppose for a moment
that every freeman in Queenborough held
employment under government, was that
a fair ground for disfranchising every man,
in whatsoever place he happened to be
stationed, who held a situation in the Ord-
nance department? Suppose the duke of
Bedford's tenants were many of them, as
might naturally be expected, to vote for
the friends of his grace, that would be a
very natural and fair influence; but would
any one be so absurd as to propose that
because they so voted they ought to be
disqualified ? The hon. member felt
himself justified in this measure, because,
forty years ago, Mr. Crewe's bill respect-
ing persons serving in another department
had obtained a majority in that House.
Four years after that, a measure was pro-
posed respecting the Ordnance depart-
ment. It was proposed by Mr. Marsham*
who had been an unsuccessful candidate
in Kent. Lord Melville, then a young
man, got up in his place in that House,
and said he did not know whether he
ought to view with more of contempt or
indignation, a proposition by which the
hon. gentleman sought to disfranchise
men for voting against him. This had its
due weight with the House, and the mea-
sure was rejected. Mr. Pitt, who had
supported Mr. Crewe's measure, opposed
that of Mr. Marsham; and, having been
charged with inconsistency in the two
votes, defended himself by stating that he
voted for the former proposition, because
the House had, a short time before that,
come to a resolution, that the influence of
the Crown had increased, was increasing,
and ought to be diminished. The influ-
ence was diminished by Mr. Crewe's bill;

Afterwards earl of Romney. For the
debate on Mr. Marsham's Bill, See New
Parl. Hist. v. 25, p. 1323.







193] Ciil Offices in the Ordnance Department. APRIL 12, 1821.


but the proposition of Mr. Marsham under government ?-But the proposition
would tend to take away all influence went further than the hon. member in-
from the government. That the great tended, for it went in effect to all the of-
offices of the Crown had an influence fices of the state. Besides those objec-
could not be denied; nor ought it to be tions which he held to be fatal to the
complained of, unless it was unfairly ex- measure, there was another in which it
ercised. He would quote an authority was inconsistent with itself. It allowed
on this subject, which would not be dis- those officers and others of the Ordnance
puted on the other side-that of lord St. department to be eligible to seats in par-
Vincent, who said, that if an election were liament, though it did not admit them to
going on he would telegraph ships at sea, vote at elections; but surely it must be
in order to let them send those men who evident, that if they were capable of being
had votes on shore to exercise them. corrupted as electors, they would be lia-
Now, he did not complain of this as un- ble to the same objection as members.
fair influence; and yet it was more than In 1802, many had voted against govern-
what the hon. member would allow in the ment, but none had been dismissed on
present instance. But the employment of that account. The hon. gentleman ought
freemen in Queenborough was not new; to have given cases of interference, and
and yet, with all this government influ- not of influence. Personally, he (Mr.
ence which the hon. member complained Ward) knew no more of Queenborough
of-with all the corruption he assumed, it than he did of Aberdeen, but he was in-
was wrested from the official candidates, formed that the whole number of freemen
in 1802, by Mr. Princep and the hon. was 292. Of those, 118 were constantly,
member for Coventry. Sir S. Romilly, and seven occasionally employed by the
than whom no man had stood higher for Ordnance. There were also four persons
character and talents, represented that who received small pensions, to which
borough twice-once with the interest of their length of service justly entitled
government, and another time against that them. Thus it appeared, that 129 per-
interest. No person would have accused sons were employed, or might be supposed
that highly respectable individual of im- to be under the influence of government;
proper interference, or of exciting unjust while there were 163 unemployed, who,
influence, if he had applied to the hon. if they chose to do so, might produce a
gentleman opposite (Mr. Calcraft), who majority of 34 against the Ordnance.
was, on one of those occasions, in office in Here, then, the hon.gentleman's premises
the Ordnance department, for his interest failed him. He would deny that any
when he became a candidate. But he places had been created for the purpose
had mentioned that in 1802 it was wrested of employing and influencing freemen.
from the official candidates. Now, one The hon. gentleman ought to have given
of them on that occasion was no other notice of the cases to which he referred.
than Mr. Sargeant, the secretary to the Kensley had been employed 10 years,
Treasury. He, however, did not suc- and when the magazine of which he had
ceed, notwithstanding that it was this cor- been foreman was put down he was noted
rupt borough the hon. member had de- to be appointed to the first freeman's
scribed, and where the influence of go- place that should fall vacant, and he was
vernment was so powerful. In 1806, still so noted. Savory was discharged
there was a change of government, and when the reductions took place in 1817,
the new administration succeeded for but was continued as a labourer. When
their friends, where lord Sidmouth's ad- Eagle was superannuated Savory had not
ministration had failed before. But it applied, and the board could not know
was in the very nature of boroughs that by name every labourer at 2s. 4d. a day
there should be a great influence over whom they employed. They had never
them in some quarter, and no human wis- heard more of Savory. Samuel Smith
dom could prevent it. The hon. mem- had been sent to Tipner, near Ports-
ber's calculation was this-that out of 200 mouth, because there was no room for
freemen in Queenborough, 146 were pro- him at Sheerness; and there he still was.
vided with situations under government. Though the rule was, that none should be
Now, admitting that to be as he described employed above the age of 45, there were
it, was it a ground for carrying his Uto- exceptions where previous services or
pian scheme of disfranchising upwards of other considerations required. He denied
2,000 individuals who held situations that he had ever said he would discharge
VOL. V. O


[194








any persons for giving information to the missioners sat a week: they advertised,
hon. gentleman. The hon. gentleman as it were, for complaints, Savory, who
had said to him, I have sent to measure had put his case into the hon. member's
the ship, and to ascertain whether it is 56 hands, and who had kept a book contain-
tons, as you say, or 36 tons." If you ing an account of all the occurrences in
have, and those on board admit any per- the yard, in consequence of the disap-
sons without the orders of their superiors, pointment which he had experienced-
they shall be dismissed." He expected Savory was examined before them, and
that the hon. gentleman would contradict chose to say, that certain of the officers
this, and say it was only 36, when he had pilfered coals from the public stores.
(Mr. W.) was prepared to show that it The charge was of course examined into;
was 56 tons. The Harmony was the and it was then found that the officers had
name; but the hon. gentleman would now lent a quantity of coals to the public,
have it to be the Lord Howe. The hon. which they had afterwards taken back to
member had likewise stated that Mr. themselves from the public stores, by the
Breeze, who lived at Waltham-abbey, leave and with the knowledge of the con-
possessed a salary of 2501. a year, and tractor. The officers thus accused were
certain fees by way of gratuity, amount- declared perfectly guiltless; and he deem-
ing to 2501. a year more. Now, he could ed it requisite to state that fact publicly,
wish the hon. member would state figures as the reputation of respectable men was
as he found them, which, he was sorry to at stake, who had been accused by the
to say, he was not in the habit of doing. hon. member merely because he had the
In the papers before the House the salary power of accusing them. Certain officers
of Mr. Breeze was rated at 2001. a year, had been suspended during the inquiry;
and he could assure it, that even with the but all of them had been restored at the
gratuities, the salary did not amount to conclusion of it, as not even a shadow of
4001. a year.-The hon. member then guilt attached to their characters. It
proceeded to give a positive denial to was, however, the intention of government
some, and an explanation of others, of the to place them upon half pay, as soon as
facts to which Mr. Hume had alluded in the removal of the stores to which they
defence of his position, that the persons in belonged could be accomplished.-Mr.
the employ of the Ordnance had let the Ward next alluded to the statements of
houses found them by government at Mr. Hume relative to the situations and
Sheerness, and had gone to reside at pensions of the storekeepers at Queenbo-
Queenborough. He likewise denied that rough and Dover; and said that he was
officers of the Ordnance, employed at surprised that the hon. member should
Portsmouth, had been discharged from again bring them forward, contradicted as
the service for such malversation as had they had been on the very evening when
been overlooked in those employed at he first produced them refuted as they
Queenborough. He then proceeded to had been a second time when he dared to
notice the accusations which Mr. Hume commit them to the newspapers, and re-
had thrown out against all the officers of refuted as they had been on a third occa-
Ordnance at Sheerness. He had charged sion, when he had presumed to hazard
them with stealing coals which belonged them once more in the presence of parlia-
to the government, and with converting ment.-He then proceeded to comment
wood that was public property to their upon the case of Mr. Dakins, who had
own purposes. That there was no foun- been superannuated at the age of 72-a
dation for any such charges, he could case which, though it contained nothing
now inform the House in consequence of extraordinary, had been stated in such a
an investigation which had recently been manner by the hon. member for Aber-
concluded. [Hear, hear, from Mr. deen, that every hand was raised in the
Hume.] He could assure the hon. mem- House against the unprecedented corrup-
ber that he (Mr. H.) had formed no part tion which it had displayed. He had
in the drama which had recently been talked of the profligacy of placing a man
acted. The board of Ordnance had not aged 73 in the office previously occupied
sent down the commission of inquiry in by another aged 70, who had been super-
consequence of his speech ; they had annuated on full pay; and had endea-
acted upon information transmitted to voured to prove that he was only placed
them subsequently to the time at which in it in order to entitle him to the same
that speech had been made. The com- superannuation. Now he begged leave


195] HOUSE OF COMMONS,


Mr. Hume's Motion respecting


[196







197] Civil Offces in the Ordnance Department.


to set the House right with regard to this
case. Mr. Dakins was the storekeeper
at Sheerness, and, being grievously afflict-
ed with the stone, asked leave to retire.
Permission was granted him to do so; and,
as he had been 56 years in the service, he
was superannuated with full pay. He
trusted that the House would not find
fault with the act of justice-he would
not call it generosity-which had been
exercised towards this individual: sure he
was, thatit was not in violation ofany exist-
ing law. The person appointed to succeed
him, was a strong hale man, of 73, who had
been 46 years in the service, who was the
next in succession, and who had made ap.
plication for the office in question. Now,
under such circumstances, what just
grounds could there be for refusing him
the appointment ? The right hon, gen-
tleman concluded by expressing his hope,
that he had said enough to convince the
House that there was no necessity for the
proposed Bill.
Colonel Davies supported the motion,
which he contended was founded on the
best and the most ancient principles of
the constitution.
Mr. Tierney said, that upon this ques-
tion he could not give a silent vote, lest
his conduct should be exposed to misre-
presentation. In deciding upon the vote
which he meant to give on the present
occasion, he entirely threw out of his
view the general charges brought by his
hon. friend against the Ordnance depart-
ment, as well as the reply made to them
by the right hon. gentleman. He did not
know, indeed, how lie could come to a
safe vote upon these charges,withouthaving
the benefit of a previous investigation of
them through the labours of a committee.
Throwing these out of view, the point
to which he wished to call the attention
of the House was, that upon which he
was inclined to support the proposition of
his hon. friend. He was bound to show
that in acceding to this motion, he was
adopting no novel proceeding-that lhe
was pursuing no new theory; but on the
contrary acting remedially, and in the
spirit of the existing law. As the law
stood, it prevented numerous classes from
voting at elections. In 1782, a law was
passed to prevent public officers in the
Excise and Customs from voting at elec-
tions. That law was found so salutary,
the advantages of it were so universally
felt, that twenty years afterwards, on the
union with Ireland, the provisions of the


statute were extended to that country.
He certainly felt unwilling to disfranchise
any part of his fellow subjects ; but he sat
there not to consider the interests of a
part, but the general advantage of the
whole people; and nothing, in his mind,
was so likely to promote that advantage
as to preserve the purity of the represen-
tation. The upshot of what had passed
during the debate amounted to this, that
the government had a decided influence
Sin the election of members for Queen-
borough. Out of 280 electors, 129 were
attached to the Ordnance department.
It was therefore impossible that the ma-
jority of the voters should not be in the
interest of government. It was for the
House to consider whether, in point of
fact, the borough of Queenborough did
not belong to the administration of the
day. The right hon. gentleman opposite
had made a distinction between influence
and interference. He had no doubt that
the right hon. gentleman would not exert
his influence in an illiberal manner; yet
he might, perhaps, express some surprise
if a gentleman in his department asked
permission to vote at Queenborough for
a popular candidate, against the govern-
ment. 129 persons, holding good places-
some grateful for past favours-some
expecting future rewards, were likely, at
every election, to support the govern-
ment candidate; it was not, then, too
much to say, that the borough belonged to
the Ordnance department. The law for
disfranchising officers in the Excise and
Customs was made, because it was appre-
hended that small boroughs (of which
there were too many) would become en-
tirely under the control of the minister
of the day, if revenue officers were allowed
to vote. Indeed he was convinced, that
if it were not for that salutary law, the
revenue officers, in some places, would
become the prevailing party. If the go-
vernment, for a number of years, acted
on a steady but pernicious principle, they
would (had not that law been passed)
have acquired an influence in elections
which he was sure no gentleman in that
House would wish. He was not for dis-
franchising any man unnecessarily-he
would wish to confine the bill to the
borough of Queenborough. He would
not wish to exclude officers of the Ord-
nance throughout the kingdom from voting,
because they were in most places, mixed
up with the rest of his majesty's subjects,
and nothing formidable was to be appre-


APRIL. 12, 1821.








199] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
ended from them, save in the borough
of Queenborough. There might perhaps
be one or two other places, where the in-
fluence of those officers might become
dangerous; if so he would have the prin-
ciple of the bill extended to such places.
He had no objection to extend the provi-
sions of the act of 1782, which disfran-
chised revenue officers, to officers in the
Ordnance department, where the same
danger was to be apprehended from the
exercise of their franchise, as that which
was so wisely guarded against in the
instance of officers in the Excise and
Customs. He was unwilling to mix up
with this particular motion the grand
question of parliamentary reform, as in
the course of a few days gentlemen would
have an opportunity of delivering their
sentiments at length upon that important
measure. He would vote for bringing in
the bill, with this understanding, that it
was intended as a remedy to be applied
to a particular disease-that it was to
have reference merely to the borough of
Queenborough.
Mr. Bathurst contended, that the prin-
ciple of the bill, were it entertained by
the House, could not be confined to
Queenborough nor to the Ordnance de-
partment; it would extend a great deal
further, and would be applied in the next
instance to the navy and to others. It
was impossible to separate the present
question from the general subject of par-
liamentary reform. He could not approve
of a measure which went to disfranchise,
without adequate cause, a number of his
majesty's subjects.
Mr. Hume replied to the statement of
the right hon. clerk of the Ordnance. He
had understood the right hon. member to
say that Savory had not applied to the
board for employment: upon that point
he would lay proof positive before the
House, for he held in his hand a docu-
ment no less decisive than the answer
of Mr. Crewe to Savory's application,
stating, that his request had been laid be-
fore the board, and that no situation could
be found for him. The hon. member then
went on to charge undue partiality upon
the arrangements of the Ordnance depart-
ment, and the grant of especial advantage
to those servants of that department who
chanced to be freemen of Queenborough.
The voters of that borough took, he said,
annually from government a sum of not
less than 25,0001. and it was impossible
oc expect, under such circumstances,


Mr. Hume's Motion respecting


[200


an unbiassed exercise of the elective
franchise: 147 freemen of Queenborough
were employed in the Ordnance service,
and their united salaries amounted to
nearly 15,0001. per annum. Could those
persons, holding their situations at the
pleasure of government, and feeling that
their advancement depended entirely upon
the good will of their superiors, be taken
as uninfluenced ? He did not seek to
abridge the right of any English subject.
He only sought to place the civil branch
of the Ordnance service in the same situa-
tion with the Customs, the Excise, the
Post-office, and other public depart-
ments; and to bring its practice within
those principles which formed the basis of
every act touching the regulation of the
elective franchise, from the reign of
William and Mary. down to the present
period.
The House divided: Ayes, 60; Noes,
118 ;-Majority against the motion, 58.

List of the Majority, and also of the
Minority.
MAJORITY.


A'Court, E. II.
Bankes, G.
Bankes, H.
Bathurst, C.
Beckett, J. R.
Beresford, sir J. P.
Bernard, vise.
Brandling, C. J.
Brogden, J.
Browne, J.
Browne, D.
Browne, P.
Bruce, R.
Brydges, aid.
Buchanan,
Burgh, sir U.
Calthorpe, F. G.
Calvert, J.
Canning, G.
Cheere, E. M.
Cholmeley, sir M.
Clements, J.
Clerk, sir G.
Clive, H.
Cockburn, sir G.
Collett, E.
Congreve, sir W.
Cooper, B.
Cooper, E. S.
Copley, sir J.
Corbett, P.
Courtenay, T. P.
Courtenay, W.
Cranborne, lord
Cumming, G.
Cust, W.


Cust, E.
Cust, P.
Dent, J.
Dobson, J.
Domville, sir C.
Dowdeswel), J. E.
Drummond, J.
Elliot, hon.W.
Ellis, C. R.
Estcourt, T. G.
Finch, G.
Fleming, J.
Forbes, C.
Gladstone, J.
Gordon, R.
Grant, A. C.
Graves, lord
Grosett, J. R.
Hardinge, sir H.
Hare, hon. R.
Hart, W.
Hill, sir G.
Holford, G;
Holmes, W.
Hotham, lord
Huskisson, W.
Innes, sir H.
Irving, J.
Lester, B.
Lewis, W.
Lockhart, E.
Long, sir C.
Lushington, S. R.
Luttrell, H.
Macnaughten, E. A.
Marryat, J.







201] Civil Orfices in the Ordnance Department. APRIL 12, 1821.


Martin, sir B.
Martin, R. (Galway)
Metcalfe, H. J.
Money, W. T.
Monteith, H. G.
Musgrave, sir J.
Nolan, M.
Nightingale, sir M.
Onslow, A.
Osborne, lord
Paget, B.
Palmerston, lord
Pearse, J.
Penruddock, J.
Percy, hon. H.
Phipps, hon. E.
Pitt, W.
Pitt, J.
Pole, rt. hon. W.
Prendergast, W. G.
Rae, sir W.
Ricketts, C.
Robinson, F.
Rocksavage, lord


Russell, J. W.
Scott, H. J.
Shaw, R.
Shiffner, sir G.
Sneyd, N.
Somerset, lord G.
Sotheron, F.
Stewart, W.
Strutt, J. G.
Suttie, sir J.
Townshend, -
Twiss, H.
Vansittart, rt. hon.N.
Walker, J.
Wallace, T.
Walpole, lord
Ward, J. W.
Wemyss, J.
Wetherell, C.
Wyndham, W.
Yarmouth, lord
TELLERS.
Goulburn, H.
Ward, R.


MINORITY.


Allan, J. IH.
Althorp, vise.
Barratt, S. M.
Benett, J.
Bennet, hon. II. G.
Birch, J.
Bright, H.
Bury, vise.
Cavendish, H.
Chetwynd, G.
Colburne, N. R.
Crespigny, sir W. D.
Davies, T. H.
Denman, T.
Duncannon, vise.
Ellice, E.
Fergusson, sir R. C.
Gordon, t.
Graham, S.
Grant, J. P.
Grattan, J.
Guise, sir W.
Haldimand, W.
Hamilton, lord A.
Heron, sir R.
Hobhouse, J. C.
Hornby, E.
Hurst, R.
Hutchinson,hon.C.H.
James, W.
Jervoise, G. P.
Johnson, col.
Lambton, J. G.


Lennard, T. B.
Mackintosh, sir J.
Marjoribanks, 8.
Martin, J.
Monck, J. B.
Moore, P.
Palmer, C. F.
Pares, T.
Parnell, sir H.
Ramsden, J. C.
Ricardo, D.
Rickford, W.
Ridley, sir M. W.
Robarts, A.
Roberts, G.
Rumbold, C.
Scarlett, J.
Smith, hon. R.
Smith, W.
Smith, J.
Stewart, W.
Stuart, lord J.
Sykes, D.
Taylor, M. A.
Tierney, rt. hon. G.
Whitbread, W. H.
Whitbread, S. C.
Williams, W.
Wyvill, M.
TELLERS.
Bernal, R.
Hume, J.


SCOTCH MALT TAX.] The Chancellor
of the Exchequer moved, That the
several petitions presented to this House
during the last and present Sessions of
parliament, complaining of the additional
aluty on malt in Scotland, or of its effects
*


in increasing illicit distillation, be refer-
red to a select committee to examine
the matter thereof; and to report their
observations thereon to the House."
Mr. Monck opposed the motion, upon
the ground that England and Scotland
ought, as regarded the duty, to be upon
an equality. He hoped, in a future ses-
sion, to see the tax overcome by the
united efforts of both countries.
Sir G. Clerk observed, that the question
as it regarded Scotch barley was very
distinct from the general question of the
malt tax. A motion respecting the ad-
ditional duty exacted from Scotland had
been brought forward by the noble mem-
ber for Lanarkshire. On that occasion
the chancellor of the exchequer had
pledged himself to take the subject into
consideration.
Sir R. Fergusson said, he knew the
course he was about to take was unpopu-
lar; but, as he believed the committee
was proposed, not with a reference to
the merits of the measure itself, but as
a boon to the Scotch members to vote
with the minister, he would oppose the
motion.
Mr. Mackenzie denied the assumption,
that the present measure was intended
to induce the Scots to vote with the ad-
ministration. It was too much for gen-
tlemen to oppose a committee on such
an opinion as that. The leading object
of the committee was, to enquire whether
the statements of some of the Scots coun-
ties were correct. If their claims were
not well grounded, he was sure the House
would not listen to them.
Mr. J. P. Grant supported the motion
though he confessed it was brought for-
ward under very suspicious appearances.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer said,
he had given his promise to accede to a
committee so early as last session.
Sir M'. W. Ridley said, he would vote
for the motion, if the chancellor of the
exchequer would give a proof of his
sincerity, by allowing the committee to
consider the case of the growers of infe-
rior barley in England also. In North-
umberland they suffered as much under
the tax as in any part of Scotland. The
House divided: Ayes 56; Noes 17.
List of the Minority.
Allan, J. H. Fergusson, sir R.
Althorp, lord Graham, S.
Bennet, hon. H. G. Hobhouse, J. C,
Bright, H. Hume, J.
Colborne, R. Johnson coL







63] HOUSE OF COMMONS, Newiigton Select Vestry Bill Committee. [61


in the year 1792 and 1820, but did not
consider that in 1792 every ship was
manned and employed, but that at present
great numbers are not employed, and
consequently not manned, for which he
made no allowance in his estimate. I
greatly doubt whether we have a single
British seaman more now than we had in
the year 1792, and think it important to
explain this point.
Mr. T. Wilson rose to correct a misap-
prehension under which the hon. member
for Shrewsbury laboured. He could as-
sure the hon. gentleman, that though he
had an interest in the subject, yet he was
as independent as any member in the
House. He contended, that the view
taken of the subject by the two hon. ba-
ronets opposite, was the true view of the
subject. He could not agree with the
member for Portarlington, that it was a
matter of indifference whether the return
for foreign timber was made in goods or
specie. He had lived long enough to
know that a bird in the hand was worth
two in the bush, and he should feel dis-
posed to trade with a country which
would take his own goods in exchange,
rather than demand it in specie.
Mr. F. Lewis supported the amend-
ment; and after a brief reply, from Mr.
Wallace, the committee divided four times;
viz.
First-On lord Althorp's amendment
in favour of Norway deals: Ayes 24.
Noes 75.
List of the Minority.
Beonet, hon. H1. G. Lewis, F.
Browne, Dom. Monck, J. B.
Burrell, sir W. Ord, W.
Claughton,T. Palmer, C, F.
Denison, W. Parnell, sir H.
Duncannon, visct. Ricardo, D.
Folkestone, visct. Robertson, A.
Gordon, Rt. Townshend, lord C.
Grant, J. P. Wells, John
Harbord, hon. E. Wyvill, M.
Hobhouse, J. C. IELLER.
Hume, J. Althorp, viscount.
Lawley, F.
Second-On Mr. Marryat's amend-
ment, against reducing the duty on fo-
reign timber: Ayes 17. Noes 71.
Third-On sir M. W. Ridley's motion
to reduce the proposed duty on Colonial
timber from los. to 5s. per load; and to
take off only 5s. per load from the foreign
duty: Ayes 15. Noes 70.
Fourth-On sir H. Parnell's motion to
equalize all the duties at the end of five
years: Ayes 15. Noes 54.


List ofthe Minority.
Astell, Win. Gordon, It.
Bennet, hon. H. G. HIume, J.
Browne, Dom. Hobhouse, J. C.
Burrell, Walter Monck, J. B.
Buxton, T. Ricardo, D.
Claughton, T. Wvvill. M.
Denison, W. TELLER.
Duncannon, visct. Parnell, sir H.
Folkestone, visct.

HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Friday, April 6.
NEWINGTON SELECT VESTRY BILL
COMMITTEE.] Sir R. Wilson addressed
the Chair on the subject of some most
disorderly and irregular conduct which
had taken place that morning in a com-
mittee up stairs appointed by the House.
The House would remember the circum-
stances under which the present commit-
tee on the Newington select Vestry Bill
was appointed. It had been the opinion
of the last committee on that bill, that
the preamble of the bill was not true, in
consequence of some of the standing
orders of that House not having been
complied with. Upon receiving this re-
port, the House was induced to appoint
a special committee, to examine whether
the standing orders alluded to had been
infringed or not. That special committee
having reported that the said orders had
been sufficiently complied with, the
House again appointed a committee on
the bill, with power to send for persons,
papers, and records. This was the his-
tory of the transaction up to that day,
when on the assembling of the committee,
his hon. friend, the member for the Bo-
rough, thought fit to make a proposition
to send for the report of the special com-
mittee, which motion was carried by a de-
cided majority; but, notwithstanding
that, the chairman (Mr. H. Sumner)
was the means of preventing the decision
of the committee from being carried into
effect. Under these circumstances, he
(sir R. Wilson) moved an adjournment,
in order that they might have the benefit
of the Speaker's advice; for their exclu-
sion from sending for the report by which
they were authorised to sit, appeared to
him to be a gross violation of justice, and
of the orders of the House. That ques-
tion was carried in the negative, and thus
they saw themselves deprived of the
means of ascertaining the extent of the
powers with which they wereinvested. He







65] Netaington Select Vestry Bill Committee.


was aware that great disorder prevailed
in the committee; but he begged to ask
who were the cause and origin of it?
Those undoubtedly who refused to send
for the papers demanded by the commit-
tee in the first place, and then opposed a
reasonable proposition to refer the ques-
tion at issue to the Speaker. He was
confident the House would bear out the
decision of the committee, by ordering
the paper in question to be referred to it.
For these reasons he should move That
the report made by the committee on the
standing orders, with respect to the New-
ington select Vestry Bill committee, be
referred to the said committee."
Mr. Sumner said, that in the committee
that day a proceeding had been resorted
to, which was one of the most extraordi-
nary, and, in its consequences, the most
important that could occur, so far as it
affected the course of proceeding before
a committee up stairs. To the present
motion he had not the slightest objection,
but in an hour he would call the attention
of the House to tlhe other part of the pro-
ceedings which had occurred in the com-
mittee.
The motion was agreed to. After which,
Mr. Hume said, that having attended
the committee, of which the hon. member
who spoke last was chairman, he felt it
necessary shortly to detail the circum-
stances which took place there. The
committee was very fully attended, there
being 50 members present; a question
was put whether the report of a former
committee should he read for the inform-
ation of the members. The hon. chair-
man, without waiting for an opinion on
either side, opposed the motion; the
question being put, the committee pro-
ceeded to a division, and a majority was
declared to be against the motion. A
motion was then made for an adjourn-
ment, in order that time might be afforded
to ascertain the sense of the House; and
on the question being put, three hon.
members who stood at the door having
made their appearance, the chairman in-
sisted that they should not be allowed to
vote. One of the hon. members said,
that they had a right to vote, because the
question was improperly and irregularly
put before strangers had withdrawn, and
therefore the chairman had no right to
profit by his own irregularity; they there-
fore desired that the question should be
put again. This, the hon. chairman
would not listen to; he insisted that he
VOL. V.


was right, and that the members of the
committee were wrong. This decision
produced much confusion. The hon
chairman, with that suavity of temper,
that mild forbearance-and perfect com-
mand over himself, for which he was so
remarkable, having insisted that none of
the three members should vote, another
division took place on the question of ad-
journment-a noble lord, the member for
Westmorland, and his hon. friend (Mr.
Bennet) were tellers; the tellers agreed
on the number; but when the report of
the numbers was handed by the clerk to
the chairman, the hon. member threw the
paper out of his hand, saying, I will not
read it;" an altercation then arose, during
which his hon. friend (Mr. Bennet) very
properly refused to report a second time,
and the chairman persisted in conduct
as little conciliating as he ever saw from
any man in any situation. Language on
both sides passed which was extremely
intemperate; but all that occurred was
occasioned by the want of temperance,
and the irregular conduct of the hon.
chairman. The hon. gentleman con-
cluded by moving, That the conduct of
H. Sumner, esq. member for Surrey, was
intemperate and irregular, whilst presiding
as chairman of a committee on the New-
ington Vestry Bill, and that such intem-
perate and irregular conduct had led to
much riot and disorder in the said com-
mittee."
Mr. Wynn remarked upon the anomaly
of calling upon the House to pass an
opinion upon a subject of which they
could know nothing. If the motion were
entertained, the House would be occupied
in hearing contradictory statements which
could lead to no satisfactory conclusion.
Mr. Hume declared his readiness to
withdraw or delay his motion.
The Speaker pointed out the inconve-
nient shape of the motion. If the ques-
tion for the consideration of the House
were some abstract point as to the duties
of chairman of a committee, under any
supposed circumstances, there would be
no difficulty in the House entertaining it.
But when the question was a charge
against an individual for his personal con-
duct in the discharge of the duties of his
situation generally, he did not see how
the House could make their way clearly
through it. At all events, if a proposition
of that nature were to be entertained, it
would be necessary to have the Minutes
of the committee in question.
F


APRIL 6, 1821. [66







67] HOUSE OF COMMONS, Newington Selet Vestry Bill Committee. i(8


Sir J. Mackintosh animadverted upon
the conduct of the chairman of the com-
mittee, who ought, he thought, to have
furnished rather than withheld any inform-
ation which might be deemed necessary
for the understanding of the committee.
For the chairman, without any instruc-
tions from the committee, to have given
notice of a motion of a criminatory
nature against any of its members, did
certainly appear to him not a little extra-
ordinary. To say the least of it, it was
very unusual. It was, in point of discre-
tion, a very ambiguous act, and seemed
to show, on the part of the chairman, a
remarkable deviation from prudence. It
appeared to have led to great intemper-
ance and irregularity; and though the
chairman might have been happily exempt
from that impatience and irritability of
temper which so unfortunately prevailed
in the committee [a laugh], yet still it
was imprudent of him, who should have
stood impartially between all parties, to
have, in the heat of the confusion, given
notice ofa criminatory proceeding against
any of the members of the committee.
There was one thing quite clear-that in
the present temper of members at all
sides, this business could not be investi-
gated as calmly as it ought: he should
therefore suggest to the hon. member to
withdraw his notice of motion, and let the
other party, whose conduct was purely
defensive, do the same. The sooner the
whole matter were dropped the better.
Mr. Sumner said, he did not use the
term criminatory" in his notice, which
was merely intended to show that the
orders of the House had been contravened
by members in the committee. He
thought the subject was of great import-
ance, and ought to be thoroughly investi-
gated. He was either prepared to pro.
ceed with his motion as chairman of the
committee, or with his defence in reply to
the hon. member opposite.
"Mr. Wynn recommended that the mat-
te should be allowed to drop.
Mr. Denison agreed in the recommen-
dation.
Mr. Sumner could not consent to flinch
from the exposition of the whole transac-
tion, after the language used by hon. gen-
tlemen opposite.
Mr. Bennet said, that as he was one of
the parties, he could not, if the inquiry
were to be proceeded upon at all, consent
to one hour's delay. He was most ready
to admit, that great heats and animosities


had arisen in the committee. He was
still ready on Monday to forget them all,
and go into the committee to discuss
the bill coolly and dispassionately. fle
assured the House that they would derive
little further information as to the cause
of difference by postponing the question;
for, whenever it came on, the House
would find 25 gentlemen on each side
flatly contradicting each other, It would
be quite as well that the whole matter
should be now postponed sine die.
The Speaker was of opinion, that no
party would compromise his feelings by a
delay that should conduce to mutual con-
ciliation. With reference to the formsto
be observed in committees, they ought to
correspond in most instances with the
forms of the House itself. No member
was entitled to vote in either who had not
heard the question put, the question was
generally put whilst strangers were with-
drawing; but it did not follow that be-
cause a member came in whilst strangers
were withdrawing, he was on that account
entitled to vote, for he might not have
heard the question. As to the receiving
the numbers of the division, there could
be no question but that they must he re-
ceived when the tellers agreed upon
them. Suppose an error to be made by
the clerk in setting down the numbers;
suppose that he transferred the numbers
from one side to another; it must appear
quite obvious in that case, that the refer-
ence must be immediately made to the
tellers, and the moment they had decided,
the error must be rectiBed by the clerk.
The clerk was not the teller of the commit-
tee. He hoped the House would not be
displeased at the statement he had made
on this subject. He did not know but that
he had gone farther than he ought to
have done; but he had proceeded
from a conviction on his own mind, and
he believed on the mind of the House
generally, that the most perfect confi-
dence was, in the outset, placed in the
judgment of those to whom the, proceed:
ings of committees were intrusted; that
in the second place, if they had misjudged,
the House would lend its assistance to
rectify the error, without casting an insi-
nuation on any party; and, thirdly, that
if any of the points to which he had ad-
verted had operated, either in part or en-
tirely, to produce this disappointment in
the committee, the House would perceive,
if they concurred with him in any of
those points, the necessity of having a







69g Metropolis Roads Bill.
fair and temperate-decision. They would
concur with him in the propriety of arriv-
ing at a temperate judgment on the ab-
stract points, without any personal leaning
on one side or the other.
Here the matter dropped.

METROPOLIS ROADS BILL.] Mr. D.
Gilbert, in rising to move the second
reading of the Metropolis Roads bill,
went into a history of the modes of de-
fraying the expence of the maintenance
of roads, which had prevailed in this and
other countries. He approved of the
system of supporting the roads by tolls
on them, as well as of the management
by trusts, but the vice into which this
system fell, was the minute sub-division,
by which economy in procuring the ma-
terials, and the employment of scientific
aid was rendered impracticable. He
urged the benefits which would arise
from the present bill, which would re-
medy these inconveniences, while it re-
tained the advantages of the toll and trust
system.
Sir E. Knatchbull spoke against the
measure, which he conceived quite unne-
cessary, from the improved state of the
roads in the vicinity of the metropolis.
He therefore moved, that the bill should
be read a second time on that day six
months.
Mr. Denison seconded the amendment,
deprecating any attempt to cast a reflec-
tion upon those at present invested with
the several trusts in the neighbourhood of
the metropolis, by whom the roads were
kept in the best possible state.
Mr. Curwven regarded the bill as one of
the most extraordinary measures that had
ever come before the House. He was of
opinion that the hon. gentleman who
bought it forward had been imposed
upon by false information with respect to
the trusts of the several roads.
Mr. F. Lewis hoped the bill would not
be disposed of, in the summary manner
recommended by the amendment. The
magnitude of the sums collected by the
several courts made it imperative upon
the House to take the business into their
owrn hands.
Mr. Calcraft said, he could not help
stating that the trustees considered this
riYiure as a bill of indictment against
them. Out of between fifty and sixty
tru~ts, the holders of at least thirty had
pitidtl6d against it. He could see no
reason WhtAt&r fo extnding thi provi--


APrIL 6, 1821. [70
sions of the bill to those larger trusts, of
the execution of which no complaint had
been heard, and against which there was
no charge of corruption or improper con-
duct,
Sir H. Parnell thought the bill was ren-
dered necessary, both by an excess of
expenditure, and a total want of science
evinced in the execution of the present
trusts. The roads might be kept in ex-
cellent condition for'one half of the tolls
now collected.
Mr. Sumner was of opinion that after
the committee had sat two years, and had
at length brought forward a mature plan,
it would be extremely ungracious to shut
the door upon it at once. Although he
did not approve of it, yet he should vote
for the second reading, with a view of
subsequently moving for its being referred
to a committee up stairs.
The House divided: Ayes 83. Noes
16. The bill was then read a second
time.

MOTION RESPECTING COMMITTEES OF
SUPPLY.] The Chancellor of the Ex-
chequer having moved the order of the
day, for going into a Committee of Sup-
ply,
Mr. Creevey rose to oppose the motion.
The course which he was about to take
might not, be said, be very agreeable to
the right hon. gentleman opposite or to
the House, but he felt it necessary, in
the discharge of his public duty, to op-
pose the motion for going into a commit-
tee of Supply. Instead of going on, he
thought it was the duty of the House to
retrace its steps. There had been sup-
plies enough voted; and what good bad
been hitherto effected? Notwithstanding
all the petitions from all parts of the
kingdom, complaining of the greatest dis-
tresses, and praying for the strictest eco-
nomical reform, the House had still gone
on voting away millions of money, and
all the labours of his hon. friend the mem-
ber for Aberdeen (Mr. Hume) had not
produced the diminution of one single far-
thing in the public expenditure. Under
these circumstances, nothing could induce
him, as far as his vote or influence in that
House went, to go again into a committee
ofsupply. The members of that House
had been called the trustees of the peo-
ple, but they differed from all other trus-
tede, for they themselves lived upon
thle' profits of the estate. When the affairs
[of S friWitte genttetaaih Wete detniged;






71] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
the first thing his trustees did was, to cut
off all needless expenses, and to discharge
all the useless dependents and hangers-on.
But here the trustees of the people were
themselves the useless servants andhangers-
on. He had often thought that as the peo-
ple of England found it was of no use to
petition that House, it would be a good
thing, and certainly an entertaining one,
to see them represented by delegates at
the bar of the House. What would be
the natural language of delegates so sent
to assert the rights of the people? They
would say, We are come here to talk
to you, and we are bold to say, that we
entertain a shrewd suspicion that you
make avery good thing of us. Weareaware
that there are snug places to the amount
of 150,0001. a year, which you enjoy, and
which you will never consent to forego to
relieve the distresses of the people. This
may be a very pleasant arrangement for
you, but it is no laughing matter for us."
Such was the language which the dele-
gates of the people would naturally use.
Supposing the people to be so represented,
le should like to have seen their delegates
in the House during the last ten days.
When his hon. friend the member for
Essex obtained leave, about a fortnight
ago, to bring in a bill for the repeal of
the malt-tax, this was considered a great
triumph-it was hailed as the beginning
of better times. But he should never for-
get, and the people of England would never
forget, the language of the noble lord
who was manager of the trustees. Do
not triumph too soon," said the noble ma-
nager, do not halloo before you are out
of the wood." The noble lord, however,
had made good his threat, he had brought
up the trustees of the people from all parts
of the country, and his hon. friend's majo-
rity of 25 was converted into a majority of
98 against him. This fact spoke volumes;
but it was not all; a noble lord, a great
northern grandee, the thane of Cawdor, had
fallen a victim to his honest vote; he had
lost 8001. a year by it. This was a direct
attack upon the privileges of parliament,
What had become of the hon. member for
Yorkshire (Mr. S. Wortley)? Where
was that redoubted champion of privilege
the member for Montgomery (Mr.
Wynn) ? The printer of some poor pa-
ragraph against the House would instantly
have been laid by the heels by them for a
breach of privilege; but let the Crown
make the grossest attack on the rights of
parliament, and they were dumb and sub-


Mr. Creevey's Motion against (72
missive. Was not this enough to make a
man sick of the word privilege and much
more sick of its champions ? In the reign
of Elizabeth, sir John Fortescue, on an
occasion somewhat of this kind, replied to
an objection to supply-" All is the
queen's by right:" and it might be now
asserted that all is the king's by force :"
yet there was much more decency in par-
liament even in the reign of Elizabeth
than now [Cheers from the ministerial
benches.] That was rather an interested
shout: it was very easy to know from
whom it came. It was an historical fact,
however, that sir John was treated very
roughly for his assertion; the house
coughed loudly, and finally smothered his
voice in an indignant and continued hoot.
Yet, then, it possessed such men as sir
Walter Raleigh and sir F. Bacon, and
then no man had ventured to tell the
people not to halloo before they were
out of the wood." He had drawn up a
resolution on the subject expressive of
his sentiments, and which he submitted
for adoption, though without much hopes
of success. The hon. gentleman con-
cluded by moving the following Resolu-
tion, by way of amendment:
That during the present session of
parliament, petitions have been presented
to this House from every part of this
kingdom, and from every description of
its population, containing statements of
distress hitherto unheard of in this nation,
and uniformly demanding, as one species
of relief to their sufferings, the strictest
possible economy in the expenditure of
the public money; that the statements so
made, have, in every instance, been fully
confirmed by the local information of the
different members of this House, who
have presented such petitions; and yet,
notwithstanding such universal applica-
tions for relief, the different Estimates for
the public service for the year have
hitherto been proceeded in, and millions
of money voted for such purposes, without
any the least possible reduction whatever
by this House, although repeated efforts
have been made to effect the same:-
That this House entertains the strongest
possible opinion, that this marked indif-
ference of the representative body to the
sufferings of its constituents, is mainly at-
tributable to the following fact, viz. That
a very numerous body of the members of
this House derive for themselves, their
families, connexions, and dependents,
large pecuniary provisions from the taxes







going into Committees of Supply:


of the people; and as such provisions for
the most part are made either for offices
altogether useless or grossly overpaid, and
therefore the fittest objects for immediate
extinction or reduction, so the holders or
disposers of them in this House have a
direct personal interest in resisting every
species of economical reform whatsoever:
-That, in addition to this great perma-
nent bar to all economical reform, the
House has lately witnessed, with the
greatest indignation, the influence of the
Crown displayed by its ministers in this
House in a manner the most arbitrary,
and with the express and avowed object
of interfering with its members in the
discharge of their duty to their consti-
tuents; the earl of Fife, who lately held
the office of one of the lords of the bed-
chamber to his majesty, having recently
declared in his place in this House, as
one of its members, that he had been dis-
missed from his office as lord of the bed-
chamber to his majesty, in consequence
of having voted in this House in favour of
a bill to repeal a tax upon malt:
That, under all these circumstances,
this House is of opinion it will better con-
sult its own honour and the interest of the
public, by immediately inquiring into the
facts before mentioned, than in going any
longer into Committees of Supply to vote
away the money of the people without the
slightest possible prospect of relief to the
country."
Mr. Hobhousse rose to second the mo-
tion. Nothing could be more constitu-
tional than the course pursued by his hon.
friend. It was not necessary to go back
for precedents so far as the reign of queen
Elizabeth; for, in the early part of the
reign of Charles ]st, before the struggles
between that monarch and the parliament,
sir T. Wentworth, afterwards lord Straf-
ford, moved a resolution in that House,
that supply and grievances should go
hand in hand. The individual who adopted
this sentiment :=as a man of the first rank
and talent in the country, and not liable
to the imputation of being a heated en-
thusiast. In tne parliament, called the
Pension Parliament, the attention of the
House was called to what was then
considered an extraordinary fact, that
2,400,0001. were voted in 24 hours; but
that House was grown familiar with in-
stances in which much larger sums were
voted away in 24 hours. He did not state
this from any wish to exaggerate the
grievances of which the people had reason


to complain, and he begged to call the
attention of the House to a declaration of
lord Grenville in the other House of Par-
liament in 1816, that if parliament con-
tinued to support the keeping up of a
large standing army, and to lavish the
public money as they did, he would not
trouble himself to take a part in debates
which he could regard as nothing less
than a farce." In the time of the Pension
Parliament 24 members were posted as
individuals who received pensions from
the Crown. Now he, on a recent division,
had himself counted no fewer than 47
pensioners in a very small majority. Such
was the difference in this respect between
the present parliament and the notorious
Pension Parliament, the measures of which
were denounced by Andrew Marvel as
calculated to leave neither liberty nor
property in the country. As to the dis-
missal of lord Fife from his office of lord
of the bed-chamber, in consequence of
the vote which he gave in that House, it
was a measure taken in direct opposition
to the spirit of the constitution, and in
violation of the Bill of Rights, which de-
clared, that freedom of speech in debates
or proceedings in parliament ought not
to be impeached or questioned. If the
speech of a member of that House could
not be questioned, still less ought his vote
to be made the subject of animadversion;
and if the ministers of the Crown could
not get up in their places, and deny the
charge, he had no hesitation in saying,
that they were liable to impeachment for
their conduct.-The hon. member then
proceeded to observe upon the operation
which the influence of the Crown had in
that House, which had been growing up
for many reigns, and threatened to over-
lay all public spirit, and utterly destroy the
efficiency of parliament as the organ of
the national will. On this subject, he
quoted a passage from a famous pamphlet
on Hush-money,* published in the reign
of William 3rd, which complained of the
manner in which the House was officered,
the effect produced upon its suffrages by
emolument and expectancy, the decep-
tions practised upon honest, mistaken
country gentlemen, and other conse-
quences of influence which enabled the
king to baffle any bill, quash any com-
plaint of grievance, and carry any measure
that the administration might think expe.

See this pamphlet in the New Parlia.
mentary History, Vol. 5, Appendix, No. IX.


APRIL 6, 1821. [74







753 HOUSE OF COMMONS,
dient. It stated, that 200,0001. had been
employed for these purposes, to influence
the votes of members by gratuities to them-
selves and relatives. But what was the
case now? Why 150,0001. a year was
devoted to the tame purpose, and raised
upon the people to be divided among
those who were to vote against the peo-
ple's interests; it was impossible that
such distribution of the public money
should not have a bias on the minds of
those who enjoyed it. He hoped the
House would consider seriously of the re-
solutions before them: he was certain that
his hon. friend had not proposed them as
any impediment to the public business,
but strictly to remind the House of what
were its duties, and what the people ex-
pected from them.
Mr. Calcraft alluded to the statement
made in the House by the earl of Fife,
with respect to his removal from office.
He contended, that the noble earl stated
the ground of his dismissal was, the vote
which he gave for the repeal of the malt
tax. He understood it to be so ; and was
sorry the words had not been taken down.
He agreed with most parts of the resolu-
tion of his hon. friend. It could not be
doubted that in the present session, the
petitions of the people had been totally
disregarded. It was equally true that no-
thing like economy had been attended to
in the estimates. It could not be denied
either, that establishments were kept up
much larger than circumstances could jus,'
tify. He likewise agreed, that the in-
fluence of the Crown in that House was
too mighty and too powerful, to allow any
real effect to the representation of the
people. But he could not agree with that
part of the proposition which went in a
sweeping way to deprecate the represen-
tation of the executive offices of govern-
ment in that House. He was of opinion'
that those offices ought to be represented
there, and he did not think the public
officers too highly paid. However,. al-
though he could not agree with that part.
of the proposition, he could not withhold,
his assent to the proposition in general.
Lord Castlereagh said, he did not con-
sider that he should perform his duty, if
he suffered himself to be led into a debate;
by the motion of the hAn. member which,
seemed to, bring back almost all the sub-
jects which had already occupied the at-
tention of the House this session. This
species of opposition seemed to be a duty
imposed upon that hen. member, and-itv


Mr.Creeey's Motion against [76
was the more singular coming from him,
as he believed, during the discussion of all
the estimates hitherto, the hon. member
had never pointed out any one item as too
large, or proposed any specific reduction.
His business, on the other side, seemed
to be confined to that of protestor-general
against the measures of government, and
libeller-general of parliament. The hon.
member had got up this prologue to the
committee of supply in such a manner, and
had attempted to support it by such comi-
cal arguments, that he (lord C.) had de-
termined not to offer a word on the sub-
ject. He had not made this determina-
tion from any personal feeling to the hon.
member. The hon. member had held a
situation in the Board of Control, and no
doubt had there discharged the duties of
his office faithfully; but it was a little
worthy of remark, that while the hon.
member held that situation, he had never
considered it his duty to complain of the
influence of the Crown in that House.
Not a word on the subject was heard
from him during that time; but ever
since he had been out of office, he had
taken up his present plan and new occu-
pation-in the exercise of which he
wished he might long continue. He had
come now, for the third time, with his
plan against going into the committee of
supply. After long preparation he had
brought out his prologue to the committee,
with little variation from his former ones;
but it would not induce him (lord C.) to
appear on the stage; nor would he have
offered: a word on the subject, but for a
charge which seemed to be made against
himself in the speech of another hon.
member, as if he had done something
against the privileges of that House. He,
however, would not admit, that he was
bound to offer any explanation on the
subject alluded to, It wae, he maintained,
the prerogative of the Crown to dismiss
its servants' at pleasure; and he, as a
minister of the Crown in that House,
could no more be called upon to explain
such dismissal, than he could be to ac-
count for the appointment of ani individual
to office by the Crown. He thought that
such a charge as this came with a bad!
grave from hon. members on the other
side of the House. They should be the
last to make any such charge, in which
must be inculpated some of their most
distinguished friends, of whose services'
the: country had been' deprived at a time'
of great public' daager, because they
l *







going into Committees of Supply.


would not accept office unless they got
with it the appointment of the officers of
his majesty's household, alleging, as they
did, that the want of such patronage
wodud go to show that they had not the
full confidence of the sovereign. He did
not mean to blame them for that deter-
mination, as he considered such appoint-
ments to be the legitimate patronage of
ministerial office; but he thought that
such being the doctrine of that school of
which the hon. member (Mr. Calcraft)
was so able a disciple, any argument
against the principle came with a bad
grace from him. He must then, protest
against being called upon to explain any
dismissal from office, when such was
merely the exercise of the undisputed
prerogative of the Crown. The hon.
member would not say that ministers
were bound to advise the continuance in
office under the government of parties
who pulled different ways. [Hear.] He
would not pretend to support the doc-
trine, that an administration could be
effective where this principle was ad-
mitted. The noble lord (Fife) himself
had spoken in the House of his dismissal,
and had given reasons for it; but he had
only put those reasons hypothetically,
and had not directly asserted that it was
for his vote. Now, though he did not
admit that the dismissal of the noble lord
had taken place in consequence of any
vote of his in that House, yet he would
never admit that ministers had not a right
to expect that all who held particular
situations under the Crown should be
agreed with them in general principles.
He did not mean to say that the question
of the malt tax was in itself one of para-
mount importance; but it formed a part
of those measures upon which ministers
had staked their official existence; as
they had declared that they could not
continue to administer the government of
the country, if such measures were carried
as would oblige them to break faith with
the public creditor; and any man who
voted for the abolition of such a tax was
in fact voting for the dismissal of ministers.
Taking every view of the circumstance,
he could not see that he was called upon
to offer any explanation on the subject.
Mr. Calcraft said, he had not com-
plained of the removal of lord Fife, but of
the cause assigned for the noble earl's
having been removed.
Mr. Tierney said, he was never more
surprised than when he heard the pre-


sent resolution submitted to the House.
He thought when he came down to the
House that night, that they were going
at once into the consideration of the esti-
mates. He had thought so, because the
industry of an hon. friend of his had
brought such details before the House,
that it would be enabled to go into those
estimates with greater facility than it had
ever done before. Instead of which he
found a motion embracing a variety of
topics, upon which he was called upon to
vote without the least consideration. He
might not possibly object to the contents
of that resolution in detail; but to be
called upon to vote for it altogether,
under such circumstances, was more than
he deemed consistent with his duty. He
would agree with his hon. friend, that pe-
titions had been presented to the House
from all parts of the country, complaining
of distress, and praying for relief, and
that these petitions had not met with the
success to which they were entitled. He
admitted that there had not been that
economy in any branch of our expendi-
ture which the people and the situation
of the country had called for. So far he
would agree with the resolution of his
hon. friend. He would support any rea-
sonable proposition, as far as he could:
and indeed he had laid himself open to
the charge of giving his support to some
matters, which in the opinion of many
were not reasonable. He thought that
strict economy ought to be attended to;
for he was convinced that no set of mi-
nisters would deserve the confidence of
the country, who did not seriously set
about the work of economy and retrench-
ment, But along with these subjects
came that of lord Fife. Now, how could
he make up his mind upon this subject;
He was not in the House when that noble
lord made the statement alluded to. He
found no mention of it on the votes, as the
words were not taken down. He had no-
thing before him but unsupported asser-
tion on one side met by assertion on the
other. How then could he vote on such
a question ? If the noble lord had com-
plained to the House of a breach of pri.
vilege in having been deprived of his
office in consequence of his vote upon a
particular question then there would be a
ground for discussion. But it was said
that the noble lord opposite had given no
explanation on the subject. Really, be
did not know how government could be
called upon at present to give any expla-


Asti 6, 1821. [78







79] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
nation. If it were clearly made out that
the dismissal had been in consequence of
his vote, there would be ground not only
for complaint, but impeachment; but no
such charge was here made. The noble
lord apposite had, in the course of his
speech, alluded to some of his (Mr. T's.)
friendswho had refused totake office unless
they got also the appointment of the offices
in his majesty's household. If the noble
lord meant this as an explanation or justi-
fication of any thing which had recently
occurred, he was entirely mistaken. The
two cases were as different as light and
darkness. It was true that the individuals
alluded to, had refused to take office on
the ground mentioned, and for this reason
that, if they had not such appointments,
there would be two jarring interests in
that House-one of the Crown, and the
other of the members of government-
giving rise to an inconvenience which the
noble lord himself must admit. If the noble
lord could show that those individuals
had refused to take office unless they
were allowed to dismiss all those in office
who should vote against them, the case
would be quite different; but no such
thing was contended, or could be shown;
and therefore there was no analogy in
the case whatsoever. The noble lord had
alluded to his hon. friend not having the
same view of the power and influence of
the Crown when he himself held office;
but surely the noble lord would not con-
tend, that because a member once held
office, he was never after to open his
mouth in favour of any reduction of ex-
pense, when the country was in circum-
stances which called for such reduction?
He hoped his hon. friend would withdraw
his resolution, and bring on the subjects
to which it referred in detail; as they
now stood, he could not give them his
support.
Mr. Bennet contended, that the mode
adopted by his hon. friend was consistent
with the sound constitutional practice of
our ancestors, who spoke of grievances be-
fore they consented to any vote of supply.
Could any man deny that it was the cor-
rupt influence of the Crown which con-
tributed to the majorities in that House ?
The reason was, that so many in that
House held offices under the Crown. He
did not allude to the way in which the
members of that House were returned;
that was another question; but to the
way in which they were paid. That it was
which occasioned the great grievances


Mr. Creevey's Motion against [80
which were felt. But for the way that
members were paid, such estimates as
had been submitted to that House would
never have been passed. With respect
to the manner of dismissing lord Fife, the
noble lord opposite admitted and justified
it. The earl of Fife had stated, that he
had been turned out of office for the vote
he had given, and that he had it from the
highest authority that his dismissal had
been a punishment to himself and an ex-
ample to others. Now, what offence had
the noble earl committed? The people
of Scotland had suffered in the severest
manner from the operation of the tax on
malt; and the noble earl, from an ho-
nourable feeling of humanity and moral
sympathy, had felt it his duty to lend his
aid to remove such a pernicious law. He
hoped his hon. friend would press his mo-
tion to a division. He was anxious to
have his vote given in support of it.
Lord A. Hamilton said, that what he
understood with respect to the statement
made by lord Fife was, not that the giv-
ing of his vote against the Malt-tax was
the ground of that dismissal, but merely
that his impression was so; he therefore
could not agree to a resolution, one part
of which he conceived not to be consistent
with the fact. Without meaning any dis-
respect to lord Fife's successor, he should
like to ask what degree of credit and
character would attach to that successor's
votes in that House ? Would it not be
considered by the country, that he held
his office by the tenure of supporting all
the measures which his majesty's govern-
ment might choose to recommend? The
noble lord urged the House to have re-
course, in the present embarrassed state
of the country, to every possible reduc-
tion in the public expenditure, and more
especially in the military part of it. On
this subject, the country was extremely
indebted to the hon. member for Aber-
deen, who, notwithstanding the taunts of
the noble lord opposite, had proved him-
self to be a most industrious, diligent, and
valuable member.
Mr. Creevey said, that in the resolution
he had merely stated the fact, that lord
Fife had declared in his place, that he
was dismissed from his office for the vote
he had given.
The question being put, That the
word proposed to be left out stand part of
the question;" the House divided: Ayes,
120. Noes, 36. Majority against Mr.
Creevey's motion; 84.







going into Committees of Supply.


Barrett, S. B. M.
Bennet, hon. II. G.
Benyon, B.
Bernal, R.
Bury, lord
Calcraft, J.
Chaloner, R.
Crompton, J.
Davies, col.
Denison, W. J.
Fergusson, sir R. C.
Graham, S.
Harbord, hon. E.
Heron, sir R.
Honywood, W.
Ilume, J.
James, W.
Johnson, col.
Lushington, Dr.
Martin, T.


Milton, lord
Monck, T. B.
Nugent, lord
Palmer, C. F.
Parnell, sir H.
Philips, G. jun.
Ricardo, D.
Rickford, W.
Robinson, sir G.
Sefton, lord
Smith, J.
Stuart, lord J.
Western, C. C.
Wlitbread, S. C.
Wilson, sir R.
Wyvill, M.
TELLERS.
Creevey, T.
Hobhouse, J. C.


The question being then put, That
Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair,"
Mr. Hume expressed his regret at the
division that had taken place among the
gentlemen near him, on the late question.
He regretted to see hon. gentlemen, who
agreed on a main fact, differ on the words
in which that fact was described. It was
difficult to couch a motion in terms
palatable to two hundred hon. gentlemen:
many of whom were, perhaps, anxious to
find out a justification for not voting for
it. Notwithstanding all that had passed,
however, he was about to submit to the
House a motion from which he challenged
any hon. member to withhold his consent,
who regarded his own character, and the
interest of the country. Adverting to
the civil department of the army, he
intreated the House to look at the in-
crease that had taken place in that de-
partment. In 1792, the expense of the
civil department of the army was
44,9001. at present it was 133,0001. being
an increase of 88,0001. When it was
considered that this increase took place
in the seventh year of peace, and when
the distress which the country was suf-
fering was taken into the account, this
fact was monstrous. Until the House
pledged itself to revise the establishments
of the state, and to adopt a principle of
economy, wherever that principle could
be adopted, he would make motions from
day to day to compel it to that issue.
For the present occasion he had selected
from the Sixth Finance Report, a recom-
mendation, which he meant to move
should be referred to the committee.
That Report he begged leave to observe,
SVOL. V.


List of the Minority.


although drawn up either by the chan-
cellor of the exchequer, or with his con-
currence, and although recommending
various important considerations con-
nected with the army, the navy, and the
ordnance, had remained on the table of
the House for four years, a dead letter.
His motion would be,
"' That it be an instruction to the com-
mittee to take into consideration the
recommendation of the Committee of
Finance to this House, in their Sixth
Report, contained in the following terms:
-' What your committee therefore
earnestly recommend is this, that the
Slords of the treasury should call for a
return of the present establishments of
'all the civil offices in the state, the
salaries of which have been increased
within the last fifteen years; and, with a
reference to the circumstances now
stated, and such other considerations as
the altered situation of the country and
the peculiar nature of each establish-
ment may suggest, that they should
make a revision of the same, and direct
such prospective reductions therein as
may appear to them reasonable, without
impairing the efficiency of the service :
-Your committee trust, that the obser-
vations which they have submitted to the
House, in this and their former reports,
are sufficient to show the expediency of
this revision: it is not their intention to
pursue the subject further at present,
except to remark, that the system adopted
of late years in some, and now extended
to most of the public offices, of a pro-
gressive increase of salary by reason of
length of services, if not in all cases ob-
jectionable in principle, is at least liable
to great abuse in practice:-The several
scales which have hitherto come under
the view of your Committee vary so
much, both as to the length and periods
of service which shall confer the first and
each successive addition of salary, and
the proportions which such additions
bear to the original salary, that your
committee feel convinced the whole ar-
rangement has grown to its present extent
without any well-matured plan, or suffi-
cient consideration of the consequences.
One proof of this they have already had
occasion to advert to in their report on
the Ordnance department, in which this
practice has been carried to the greatest
length, and applied to classes (such as
messengers, barrack masters, and others)
not entitled to the benefit of it in any
G


APRI.L 6, 1821. [62




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