Title Page
 Table of Contents
 June 1830
 July 1830
 Subjects of debate
 Peers who have spoken

Title: Hansard's parliamentary debates
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00072012/00010
 Material Information
Title: Hansard's parliamentary debates
Physical Description: 361 v. : ; 23-25 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Great Britain -- Parliament
Hansard, T. C ( Thomas Curson ), 1776-1833
Publisher: s.n.
Place of Publication: S.l
Manufacturer: T.C. Hansard
Publication Date: 1829-1891
Subject: Politics and government -- Periodicals -- Great Britain -- 19th century   ( lcsh )
Dates or Sequential Designation: New ser., v. 21 (Mar./June 1829)-v. 25 (June/July 1830); 3rd ser., v. 1 (Oct./Dec. 1830)-v. 356 (July/Aug. 1891).
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00072012
Volume ID: VID00010
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 07655885
lccn - sn 85062630
 Related Items
Preceded by: Parliamentary debates (1820-1829)
Succeeded by: Parliamentary debates (1892-1908)

Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Title Page 1
        Title Page 2
    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
        Table of Contents 9
        Table of Contents 10
    June 1830
        House of Lords - Monday, June 7
            Page 1
            Page 3-4
            Page 5-6
            Page 7-8
            Page 9-10
            Page 11-12
            Page 13-14
        House of Commons - Monday, June 7
            Page 15-16
            Page 17-18
            Page 19-20
            Page 21-22
            Page 23-24
            Page 13-14
            Page 25-26
            Page 27-28
            Page 29-30
            Page 31-32
            Page 33-34
            Page 35-36
            Page 37-38
            Page 39-40
            Page 41-42
            Page 43-44
            Page 45-46
            Page 47-48
            Page 49-50
            Page 51-52
            Page 53-54
            Page 55-56
            Page 57-58
            Page 59-60
            Page 61-62
            Page 63-64
            Page 65-66
            Page 67-68
            Page 69-70
            Page 71-72
            Page 73-74
            Page 75-76
            Page 77-78
            Page 79-80
            Page 81-82
        House of Lords - Tuesday, June 8
            Page 83-84
            Page 85-86
            Page 87-88
            Page 81-82
        House of Commons - Tuesday, June 8
            Page 89-90
            Page 91-92
            Page 87-88
            Page 93-94
            Page 95-96
            Page 97-98
            Page 99-100
            Page 101-102
            Page 103-104
            Page 105-106
            Page 107-108
            Page 109-110
            Page 111-112
            Page 113-114
            Page 115-116
            Page 117-118
            Page 119-120
            Page 121-122
            Page 123-124
            Page 125-126
            Page 127-128
            Page 129-130
            Page 131-132
            Page 133-134
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            Page 137-138
            Page 139-140
            Page 141-142
            Page 143-144
            Page 145-146
            Page 147-148
            Page 149-150
            Page 151-152
            Page 153-154
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            Page 157-158
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            Page 161-162
            Page 163-164
            Page 165-166
            Page 167-168
            Page 169-170
            Page 171-172
            Page 173-174
            Page 175-176
        House of Lords - Wednesday, June 9
            Page 175-176
        House of Lords - Thursday, June 10
            Page 177-178
            Page 175-176
        House of Commons - Thursday, June 10
            Page 177-178
            Page 179-180
            Page 181-182
            Page 183-184
            Page 185-186
            Page 187-188
            Page 189-190
            Page 191-192
            Page 193-194
            Page 195-196
            Page 197-198
            Page 199-200
            Page 201-202
            Page 203-204
            Page 205-206
            Page 207-208
            Page 209-210
            Page 211-212
            Page 213-214
            Page 215-216
            Page 217-218
            Page 219-220
            Page 221-222
            Page 223-224
            Page 225
            Page 227-228
            Page 229-230
            Page 231-232
            Page 233-234
            Page 235-236
        House of Lords - Friday, June 11
            Page 237-238
            Page 239-240
            Page 241-242
            Page 243-244
            Page 245-246
            Page 247-248
            Page 249-250
            Page 251-252
            Page 235-236
        House of Commons - Friday, June 11
            Page 253-254
            Page 255-256
            Page 257-258
            Page 259-260
            Page 261-262
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            Page 265-266
            Page 267-268
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            Page 271-272
            Page 273-274
            Page 275-276
            Page 277-278
            Page 279-280
            Page 281-282
            Page 283-284
            Page 285-286
            Page 287-288
            Page 289-290
            Page 291-292
            Page 293-294
            Page 295-296
            Page 297-298
        House of Lords - Monday, June 14
            Page 299-300
            Page 301-302
            Page 303-304
            Page 305-306
            Page 297-298
        House of Commons - Monday, June 14
            Page 307-308
            Page 309-310
            Page 311-312
            Page 305-306
            Page 313-314
            Page 315-316
            Page 317-318
            Page 319-320
            Page 321-322
            Page 323-324
            Page 325-326
            Page 327-328
            Page 329-330
            Page 331-332
            Page 333-334
            Page 335-336
            Page 337-338
            Page 339-340
            Page 341-342
            Page 343-344
            Page 345-346
        House of Lords - Tuesday, June 15
            Page 347-348
            Page 345-346
        House of Commons - Tuesday, June 15
            Page 347-348
            Page 349-350
            Page 351-352
            Page 353-354
            Page 355-356
            Page 357-358
            Page 359-360
            Page 361-362
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            Page 365-366
            Page 367-368
            Page 369-370
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            Page 373-374
            Page 375-376
            Page 377-378
            Page 379-380
            Page 381-382
            Page 383-384
            Page 385-386
            Page 387-388
            Page 389-390
            Page 391-392
            Page 393-394
            Page 395-396
            Page 397-398
            Page 399-400
            Page 401-402
            Page 403-404
            Page 405-406
            Page 407-408
            Page 409-410
        House of Lords - Wednesday, June 16
            Page 409-410
        House of Commons - Wednesday, June 16
            Page 411-412
            Page 413-414
            Page 409-410
        House of Lords - Thursday, June 17
            Page 415-416
            Page 413-414
            Page 417-418
            Page 419-420
            Page 421-422
        House of Commons - Thursday, June 17
            Page 423-424
            Page 425-426
            Page 427-428
            Page 421-422
            Page 429-430
            Page 431-432
            Page 433-434
            Page 435-436
            Page 437-438
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            Page 463-464
            Page 465-466
            Page 467-468
            Page 469-470
            Page 471-472
            Page 473-474
        House of Lords - Friday, June 18
            Page 475-476
            Page 473-474
        House of Commons - Friday, June 18
            Page 475-476
            Page 477-478
            Page 479-480
            Page 481-482
            Page 483-484
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            Page 509-510
            Page 511-512
            Page 513-514
            Page 515-516
            Page 517-518
        House of Commons - Saturday, June 19
            Page 519-520
            Page 521-522
            Page 517-518
        House of Lords - Monday, June 21
            Page 523-524
        House of Commons - Monday, June 21
            Page 523-524
            Page 525-526
            Page 527-528
            Page 529-530
            Page 531-532
            Page 533-534
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            Page 571-572
            Page 573-574
            Page 575-576
            Page 577-578
            Page 579-580
        House of Lords - Tuesday, June 22
            Page 581-582
            Page 583-584
            Page 585-586
            Page 587-588
            Page 589-590
            Page 591-592
            Page 593-594
            Page 579-580
        House of Lords - Wednesday, June 23
            Page 593-594
        House of Commons - Wednesday, June 23
            Page 595-596
            Page 597-598
            Page 599-600
            Page 601-602
            Page 603-604
            Page 605-606
            Page 593-594
            Page 607-608
            Page 609-610
            Page 611-612
        House of Lords - Thursday, June 24
            Page 613-614
            Page 615-616
            Page 611-612
        House of Commons - Thursday, June 24
            Page 617-618
            Page 615-616
            Page 619-620
            Page 621-622
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            Page 681-682
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            Page 687-688
        House of Lords - Friday, June 25
            Page 689-690
            Page 691-692
            Page 693-694
            Page 695-696
            Page 697-698
            Page 687-688
        House of Lords - Saturday, June 26
            Page 699-700
        House of Commons - Saturday, June 26
            Page 699-700
            Page 701-702
            Page 703-704
        House of Lords - Monday, June 28
            Page 703-704
        House of Commons - Monday, June 28
            Page 705-706
            Page 703-704
        House of Lords - Tuesday, June 29
            Page 705-706
            Page 707-708
            Page 709-710
            Page 711-712
            Page 713-714
            Page 715-716
            Page 717-718
        House of Commons - Tuesday, June 29
            Page 719-720
            Page 721-722
            Page 723-724
            Page 717-718
        House of Lords - Wednesday, June 30
            Page 725-726
            Page 727-728
            Page 723-724
            Page 729-730
            Page 731-732
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            Page 765-766
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            Page 769-770
        House of Commons - Wednesday, June 30
            Page 771-772
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            Page 769-770
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            Page 829-830
            Page 831-832
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            Page 835-836
    July 1830
        House of Lords - Thursday, July 1
            Page 837-838
            Page 839-840
            Page 841-842
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            Page 835-836
        House of Commons - Thursday, July 1
            Page 857-858
            Page 859-860
            Page 861-862
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            Page 881-882
        House of Lords - Friday, July 2
            Page 883-884
            Page 885-886
            Page 887-888
            Page 881-882
        House of Commons - Friday, July 2
            Page 889-890
            Page 891-892
            Page 887-888
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        House of Commons - Saturday, July 3
            Page 945-946
            Page 947-948
            Page 943-944
        House of Lords - Monday, July 5
            Page 947-948
        House of Commons - Monday, July 5
            Page 949-950
            Page 947-948
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        House of Lords - Tuesday, July 6
            Page 989-990
            Page 991-992
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        House of Commons - Tuesday, July 6
            Page 999-1000
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        House of Lords - Wednesday, July 7
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        House of Lords - Thursday, July 8
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        House of Commons - Thursday, July 8
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        House of Commons - Friday, July 16
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    Subjects of debate
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    Peers who have spoken
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        Page xl
Full Text







YEAR 1803."




iJ'urttb, ant rondtruing, foltin of tbe '~,t) iou,

Printed by T. C. HANSARD Pater-noster-Row,



IlP Il llP J III 1111
3 1262 07360 045 3

*** As the GENERAL INDEX to this Work comprises the FIRST SERIES,
or the period between 1803 and the Death of George III in 1820, extend-
ing from Volume 1 to 41,-and also the SECOND SERIES, embracing that
from the Accession of George IV to the close of his Reign in 1830,
Volume 1 to 25,-the occurrence of a New Epoch afforded by the Accession
of his present Majesty, WILLIAM IV, has rendered it advisable to
commence a THIRD SERIES.

Mij It will be seen that a more ample TABLE of CONTENTS, and a
more general and complete INDEX, is given with the present
Volume than heretofore : and in future the Indexes will be
on the Plan now adopted.













June 7. The Bankrupt Laws-Petitions from certain Bankers of Devon-
shire ............................................ Page 1
Fees of certain Offices on the Demise of the Crown-Bill for the
Abolition of, second reading .......................... 3
Greece-Papers concerning the Affairs of-Line of Boundary, &c. 4

8. Employment of the Poor in Ireland-Petitions from the County
of Fermanagh .................................I.... 881
Draining of Bogs (Ireland) ............................. 85
Fees of certain Offrces on the Demise of the Crown-Bill for the
Abolition of .......................................... 86

10, Spirit and Stamp Duties (Ireland)-Petition from the County of
Down ............................................ 177
Fees of certain Offices on the Demise of the Crown-Bill for the
Abolition of .................... .................... 177
Drainage of Bogs in Ireland.............................. 178

11. Tithe Composition Bill................................. 235
Greece-Papers concerning the Affairs of ................ 237

---i-- ---- -- ----- ~-F -. --P-

June 14. Hickson's Marriage Annulling Bill-Petition of Thomas
Buxton ............................................ 298
Galway Town Franchise Bill-Petitions in favour thereof...... 300
Greece-Papers concerning the Affairs of .................. 301
Fees of certain Offices on the Demise of the Crown-Bill for the
Abolition of ........................... ............ 305

15. Forgeries Punishment Bill .............................. 347
Greece-Papers concerning the Affairs of-Letters of Sir Edward
Codrington ........................................ 347
Insolvent Debtors Bill ................................. 348

17. Galway Town Franchise Bill-Petitions against the .......... 414
Population Bill ...................................... 415
Money Bills-Mode in which the House of Commons asserts its
Privileges with respect to .............................. 415

18. Hickson's Marriage Annulling Bill ........................ 474

22. Forgeries Punishment Bill, second reading-Petition signed by
the Bankers of 214 Cities and Towns in the Empire ........ 580

24. Additional Papers connected with the Negotiations relative to
Greece ............................................. 612
Galway Town Regulation Bill............................ 615
East Retford Disfranchisement Bill....................... 616

25. Death of five Persons from extreme distress .............. 687
Galway Town Regulation Bill ............................ 689

SION OF KING WILLIAM THE FOURTH .................. 699

29. Message from the King-Death of his Majesty George the Fourth
-Condolence of the Peers ............................ 706
Distress in Ireland-Petition from Boyle against Increase of
Taxation in Ireland ........................ .......... 711

30. Stamp and Spirit Duties (Ireland) ............ ......... 723
The King's Message-Demise of the Crown .............. 724
State of the Public Business before the House .............. 768

July 1. Birmingham Free Grammar School Bill-Petitionsfrom Birming-
ham against the .................................... 836
Draining of Bogs (Ireland)-Report from the Select Committee
on ................................................ 838
The King's Answer to the Address of the House on the Death of
his Majesty George the Fourth ...................... 838
Forgeries Punishment Bill .............................. 838

2. The King's Answer to the Address ............ .......... 882
Shubenacaddie Canal Bill, second reading-Expense of Nova
Scotia .......... ............................... 883
Capital Offences (Scotland) Bill,,............,.,.. 8. 885,


July 2. East Retford Disfranchisement Bill................... Page 886

5. East Retford Disfranchisement Bill ...................... 947

6. Scotch Judicature Bill-Petition from certain Writers and
Members of the Scotch Bar residing in Glasgow, against the
Bill .............................................. 988
Sale of Beer Bill ...................................... 990

8. Finances of the Country ............................... 1081
Saleof Beer Bill ...................................... 1091

9. Arms (Ireland) Bill .................................... 1116
Distress in Ireland-Petition from the Owners and Occupiers of
Land in the County of Kent, complaining of the increase of
their Parochial Burthens from the number of Irish Poor, &c. 1117
Appropriation Bill-Printing of the Appropriation Act........ 1124

12. Court of Session (Scotland) Bill, second reading ............ 1145
Sale of Beer Bill, third reading ......................... 1158

13. Forgeries Punishment Bill-Petition from the Clergy and In-
habitants of Olney, in Buckinghamshire, praying for the
Abolition of Death in all cases of Forgery ................ 1160
Administrationof Justice-Accounts shewing the state of Business
during the last ten years in the Privy Council, and the Courts
of Equity and Common Law, in the United Kingdom ...... 1161
Forgeries Punishment Bill, third reading .................. 1161
Surrey Coal Meter's Bill ................................ 1164
Welsh Judicature-second reading of the Administration of
Justice Bill ........................................ 1164
Case of Sir Jonah Barrington-Examination of Witnesses-
Hearing of Counsel .................................. 1167

14. Stage Coach Proprietors' Bill-Petition against a clause therein,
from the Publishers and Booksellers of London............ 1214
Court of Session (Scotland) Bill.......................... 1215
Case of Sir Jonah Barrington-Examination of Witnesses .... 1216

16. Foreign and Domestic Policy-third reading of the Appropri-
ation Bill ........................... ............... 1217
Case of Sir Jonah Barrington-Hearing of Counsel .......... 1224

19. Colonial Slavery-State of the Slave Population in the West
Indies ............................................ 1224
Revision of the Game Laws ............................. 1236
Report of the Coal Trade Committee ...................... 1237
Madras Registrar's Bill-Petition from B. Hutchinson and others,
to oblige the East-India Company to pay the Money which
they had lost by the failure of the Registrar .............. 1238
East Retford Disfranchisement Bill ....................... 1239
Administration of Justice Bill ..,, ,,..,. ....... .. ., .... 1274


July 20. Case of Sir Jonah Barrington-Petition from Sir Jonah, com-
plaining that some parts of the evidence in his case had not
been expunged as their Lordships had directed, &c. &c.;
and Address to his Majesty to remove Sir Jonah from the
office of Judge of the Admiralty Court of Ireland, on account
of Malversation in the Exercise of his Judicial Functions.... 1274
Libel-law Amendment Bill ............................. 1275
East Retford Disfranchisement Bill ........................ 1283
Administration of Justice Bill............................ 1291

21. East Retford Disfranchisement Bill, third reading............ 1304

23. Prorogation of Parliament .............................. 1313
The King'sSpeech ................................... 1315


June 7. Mad Dogs-Petition from St. Mary-le-bone, complaining of the
Number of useless Dogs about the Streets, &c............. 14
Irish Absentees-Return of, and the Amount of their Property 15
Borris-o-kane Trials .................................. 16
Alterations in the Currency-Petition of Mr. Charles Andrew
Thomson .......................................... 16
Duty on Soap and Candles-Petition from the Manufacturers
of Tallow Candles of Aberdeen ........................ 18
Habeas Corpus Act in Ceylon-Sir Edward Barnes .......... 27
New South Wales-Charges brought against the Governor of-
Lieut. General Darling .............................. 27
Supply-Special Missions to the New States of South America 28
Forgery Punishment Bill, third reading of ................ 47

8. Greece, Affairs of-Petitions from certain Inhabitants of
London and Westminster, Members of the Metropolitan
Union, against any Interference on the part of this Country.. 88
Stamps on Medicines-Petition from the Chemists and Druggists
of London, Westminster, and Southwark, complaining of the
unjust vexations to which their Trade is subjected by the
Medicine Stamp Acts ................................ 89
Additional Churches-Petition from the Parish of St. Luke,
Middlesex, relative to the New Church Building Act ...... 92
Greece-Instructions sent to Sir Pulteney Malcolm by the Lords
of the Admiralty, relative to raising the Blockade of the Coast
of Greece by the British Squadron ...................... 99
The Currency Question ................................ 101
Forgery Punishment Bill, second reading .................. 175

10. Clyde Navigation Bill ................................. 179
Laws against People of Colour in Georgia .................. 181
Chancery Bill-Petition of the Solicitors of London and West-
minster I,,....... ...... .,. ,......... ..... 182


June 10. Regency at Terceira .............................. Page 183
Greece-Correspondence between the Reis Effendi and the
British Government, relative to the terms on which the British
Ambassador last year resumed his functions at Constantinople 184
Vestries in Ireland-Bill to repeal so much of the Statutes in
force in Ireland as enabled Parish Vestries to assess Rates for
the Building, Re-building, and Enlarging Churches and
Chapels, &c. &c..................................... 190
Suits in Equity Bill-Courts of Chancery-Appointment of a
Fourth Judge ...................................... 210
Hydrophobia-Bill to prevent the spreading of Canine Madness 235

11. Freedom of the Press-Petition from Mr. Green of Whitechapel
Road ........................................... 253
Convicts-Returns of the Expenses connected with the' Support
of Convicts at the Penitentiary at Milbank from 1820 to
1829, &c. &c .................................... 254
Committee of Supply-Consular Establishments ............ 258
New South Wales and Van Dieman's Land ................ 283
Law Commission ...................................... 289
Colonial Expenditure ................. ................ 293
Dean Forest Bill ...................................... 297

14. Supply-Case of the West-India Planters .................. 307
Sugar Duties......................................... 314
Excise Acts .......................................... 323
Supply-Colonial Expenses ............................ 323
Nova Scotia ...................................... .... 324
New Brunswick ...................................... 331
Bermuda ................................ ............ 333
Prince Edward's Island ................................ 333
Newfoundland ....................................... 339
Sierra Leone ......................................... 340
Fernando Po......................................... 340
Accra- Cape Coast Castle .............................. 340
Society for Propagating the Gospel in certain of the British
Colonies ....... ... ........................ ......... 341

15. Deserted Children (Ireland) Bill-Petition against, from the In-
habitants of the Parish of St. Paul, Dublin .............. 348
Spirit Duties (Ireland)-Petitions from Waterford, Kilkenny,
Armagh, and Youghall, against any Increase in the Duty on
Irish Spirits ........................................ 350
Conscientious Scruples of the Military-Petition from the Clergy
of the Presbytery of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, complaining of
British Soldiers being obliged to pay homage to the Super-
stitious and Idolatrous Ceremonies used in some of the Islands
of the Mediterranean ................................. 351
Protestants and Protestant Churches-Petition from Sutton, in
the County of Wexford, against Tithes, and also against the
Vestry Act ........................................ 353
Expense of the Metropolitan Police-Petition against, from the


Market Gardeners supplying the Metropolis, from Middlesex,
Surrey, Essex, Kent, and Hertford ...................... 355
State of the Public Business before the House .............. 364
Emigration-Petition from Frome for Means of Emigration for
certain Paupers who were willing to leave the Country ...... 366
Commercial Relations with Portugal ...................... 370
Sierra Leone-Unhealthiness and Expense of .............. 394
State of the Public Business ............................ 407
General Administration of the Law, &c ..................... 409

June 16. Ecclesiastical Leases (Ireland) Bill....................... 410
Toleration-Petition from Richard Carlile in favour of the Jews 412

17. Conscientious Scruples of the Military-Petition signed by
Twenty-two Clergymen of the Deanery of Rochester, complain-
ing that many of their Protestant fellow-subjects serving in
the Army abroad were obliged to attend to the Superstitious
Processions of Roman Catholic Countries, &c ............. 421
Courts of Local Judicature Bill ......................... 424
State of the Public Business before the House .............. 427
Labourers' Wages Bill-Petition from the Overlookers and
Operative Spinners of Manchester to secure to Workmen the
full Amount of their Wages .......................... 428
Duties on Rum-Petition from the West-India Merchants and
Planters of the City of Bristol, complaining of the Increased
Duty of 6d. per gallon proposed to be levied upon Rum .... 428
Right of the Jews to hold Landed Property ................ 429
St. Luke's New Church-Select Committee to inquire into the
Conduct of the New Church Commissioners with reference to
the Parish of St. Luke................................ 430
Conduct of General Darling, Governor of New South Wales-
Charges preferred by Mr. Wentworth.................... 436
Merchant Seamen's Fund-contributions for the Support of
Greenwich Hospital.................................. 450
Suits in Equity Bill-Court of Chancery .................. 452

18. Court of Session Bill (Scotland) .......................... 476
Administration of Justice Bill ............................ 497

19. Registrar at Madras Bill ................................ 518

21. Improvements in the Strand-Petition from the Inhabitants,
complaining of the Losses they had sustained in Trade by the
delay in carrying the Improvements into effect............ 524
Ways and Means-Sugar Duties ........................ 525
Sale of Beer Bill ...................................... 573

23. Privileges of the Commons-Bill for the Abolition of Fees .... 594
Treasury Dispensing Power-Money lent to the Corporation of
Londonderry to build a Bridge over the Boyne ............ 595
Labourers' Wages Bill-The Truck System ........... .... 595


June 24. Conduct of Mr. Daniel O'Connell-Petition from the Rev. Sir
Harcourt Lees, complaining of certain violent and inflammatory
Speeches made by Associations of Papists in Ireland......... 617
Suits in Equity Bill-Court of Chancery.................... 631

SION or KING WILLIAM THE FURTII .................. 699
Proceedings of the House of Commons on the King's Death.... 699
The Lord Steward of the Household ................... 700
The Corn Laws .................... ................... 703

28. State of the Public Business before the House................ 704
The Lord Steward of the Household........................ 704

29. Danish Claims-Petition from the Corporation of Cutlers,
Hallamshire, complaining that Property had been first Seques-
trated, and afterwards Confiscated by the Danish Government
at the Seizure of Copenhagen in 1807.................... 717
Distress in Ireland-Petition from the Parish of St. Peter's,
Dublin, complaining of Distress........................ 718
The King's Message-Death of his Majesty George the Fourth.. 718
Address in Answer to the King's Message .................. 718

30. Mr. Daniel O'Connell's Letter, Commenting on the Conduct of
certain Members of the House .......................... 769
Distress in Ireland-Petition from a Parish in Galway relative
to Grand Jury Assessments in Ireland.............. ...... 770
The Address in Answer to the King's Message .............. 771
Ways and Means-Sugar Duties.......................... 828

July 1. The King's Answer to the Address of the House on the Death of
his Majesty George the Fourth ....................... 857
Colonial Slavery-Petition from the Anti-Slavery Society...... 857
Report of the Committee of Ways and Means-Sugar Duties .. 858
Sale of Beer Bill,third reading........................... 862
Labourers' Wages Bill-The Truck System ................ 872

2. Stamps on Newspapers-Petition from the Letter-Press Printers
of the Metropolis, for a reduction of the Duties on Newspaper
Stamps and Advertisements, &c.-Reports of Debates...... 888
Supply-Four-and-a-half per Cents..................... 894
Vote of Credit ....................................... 918
Irish Estimates, &c .................................... 923
Ways and Means ...................................... 943
Administration of Justice Bill ............................ 943

3. Beer and Cider Duties-Report of the Committee on the...... 944
Arms (Ireland) Bill-Report on the ....................... 944
Labourers' W ages Bill.................................. 946

5. Public Grievances-Petition from the Free Burgesses of Colchester 949
Land Revenue of the Crown,........................... 4 949


July 5. West-India Spirit Duties Bill ....................... Page 952
Labourers' Wages Bill-The Truck System ................ 954

6. MockAuctions....................................... 998
Custom House Establishments in certain parts of the United
Kingdom .......................................... 998
Civil List-Reprinting of the Reports of the Committees on the,
published in 1803, 1804, 1812, and 1815 ................ 999
The King's Answer to the Address of the House of June 30th.. 999
The Regency Question ................................. 999
Libel-law Amendment Bill .............................. 1067

7. Mauritius-Petition from Louis Denis Lehent Delavallee, of
France, charged with writing a Placard tending to excite the
Black Population againstthe White .................... 1071
Courts of Law at Westminster ........................... 1072
Negotiations with the United States of America-Consolidated
Fund Act......................................... 1073
Opening of a Public way from Waterloo Place into St. James's
Park ............................................. 1073
Consolidated Fund Appropriation Bill-State of the Represent-
ation.............................................. 1073
Administration of Justice-Judges' Salaries ................ 1078

8, East-India Company-Seventh Report of the Committee appointed
to take into consideration the Affairs of the .............. 1107
New South Wales- Conduct of the Governor, Lieut. General
Darling-Petition from Patrick Thompson, complaining of
Grievances which he had suffered .................. 1110
Code of Laws ............. .......................... 1114

9. New South Wales-Proceedings against Dennis M'Hue, a
Prisoner of the Crown................................... 1124
Labourers' Wages Bill ........... .................... 1130
Consolidated Fund Appropriation Bill, third reading ........ 1130
Libel-law Amendment Bill.............................. 1132

13. Distress in Ireland-Want of Employment-Petition from John
Hughes, a Chelsea Pensioner, complaining of the Withdrawal
of his Pension ...................................... 1168
Slaveryin the Colonies................................. 1171

16. Committees on Private Bills-Petition from the Provost, Bur-
gesses, &c. of Dumbarton, complaining of the manner of
naming Committees on Private Bills, and particularly of the
nomination of the Committee on the Clyde Navigation Bill.. 1224
Slavery in the Colonies-Petitions for the total abolition of Slavery
from Brighthelmston, the general Baptists of Castle Donington,
and the Protestant Dissenters ofHuntingford ............. 1226
Rye Election-Petition from the Rev. Augustus Lamb, com-
plaining of the decision of the Committee appointed to examine
into the merits of this Election.......................... 1232
Existing Differences in Canada ..,,............ ... .... 1234


July 22. Fees on Private Bills............................... Page 1307
Administration of Justice Bill ........................... 1309

23. Prorogation of Parliament, and the King's Speech............ 1318


On the Death of his Majesty George the Fourth-House of Lords 706
On the Death of his Majesty George the Fourth-House of
Commons ................................. ...... 718
In Answer to the Address on the Death of his Majesty George
the Fourth-House of Lords .......................... 838
In Answer to the Address on the Death of his Majesty George
the Fourth-House of Commons ........................ 857
In Answer to the Address of 30th June -House of Lords...... 882
In Answer to the Address of 30th June-House of Commons.. 999


On the Death of his Majesty George the Fourth-House of Lords 709
On the Death of his Majesty George the Fourth-House of
Commons .......................................... 721
On the latter part of his Majesty's Message [See p, 707] respect-
ing the Public Service-House of Lords ... ............ 725
On the latter part of his Majesty's Message respecting the Public
Service-House of Commons ......................... 784


Protests Entered on the Journals of the House of Lords-
- of Lord Holland against the Rejection of his Motion to
Recommit the Punishment of Death for Forgery Bill.. 1163
of Lords Holland and King against the Rejection of Lord
Holland's Amendment on the Libel-law Bill........ 1281


On the Prorogation of Parliament ........................ 1315


Circular Letter addressed by Lord Bathurst to the Governors of
Colonies, respecting the Expenses of the Civil Government
being defrayed by the Colonies ........................ 293
Letter of Mr. Daniel O'Connell to the Editor of the Waterford
and Weekly Waterford Chronicles ...................... 617



I. Public Income, Appendix, p. ii. V. Unfunded Debt, p. xix.
II. Public Expenditure, p. viii. VI. Disposition of Grants, p. xx.
III. Consolidated Fund, p. xiv. VII. Arrears and Balances, p. xxv.
IV. Public Funded Debt, p. xvi. VIII. Trade and Navigation, p. xxv.


June 7. LIST of the Majority, and also of the Minority in the House of
Commons on the South American Missions.......... Page 45
of the Majority, and also of the Minority in the House of
Commons on the Forgeries Punishment Bill............ 78
10. of the Minority in the House of Commons on the Suits in
Equity Bill...................................... 210
11. of the Minority in the House of Commons on the Estimate
for the Consular Establishments...................... 282
14. of the Minority in the House of Commons on the Pension to
the Governor of Prince Edward's Island .............. 339
15. of the Minority in the House of Commons on the Vote for
the Society for Propagating the Gospel in certain of our
Colonies ........................................ 346
17. of the Minority in the House of Commons on the Motion
for a Committee to inquire into the conduct of the New
Church Commissioners ............................ 436
19. of the Minority in the House of Commons on the Adminis-
tration of Justice Bill .............................. 517
21. of the Minority in the House of Commons on the Sale of
Beer Bill ........................................ 579
30. of the Minority in the House of Lords relative to the King's
Message on the Demise of the Crown................ 767
of the Minority in the House of Commons on the Sale of
Beer Bill........................................ 870
-- of the Majority in the House of Commons against the Libel-
law Amendment Bill.............................. 1071
of the Majority and of the Minority in the House of
Commons on the Administration of Justice Bill........ 1080
-- of the Minority in the House of Lords on the Sale of Beer
Bill.......................................... 1164
of the Minority in the House of Commons on the Libel-law
Amendment Bill.................................. 1138
of the Minority in the House of Commons on the Motion to
take into consideration the State of the Slaves in the
Colonies in Great Britain, &c. ..................... 1214
of the Minority in the House of Commons on the Forgeries
Punishment Bill (Mr. Stewart's Amendment) ............ 1303
of the Minority in the House of Commons on the Forgeries
Punishment Bill................................. 1303

_ ___ r_~


Parliamentary Debates

of the United Kingdom of GREAT BRITAIN and IRELAND,

appointed to meet at Westminster the 4th of February,

1830, in the Eleventh Year of the Reign of His Majesty


[Jmourtb, antr Talt, alumn e of tbe stion.]

Monday, June 7, 1830.
MImrras.] Petitions presented. For a Revision of the
Penal Code, by the Earl of EssEX, from the Common
Council of the City of London. Against the Sale of Beer
Bill, by the Archbishop of YORK, from the Gentry and
Clergy of Beverley. Against compellingProtestant Soldiers
to attend places of Catholic Worship, by the Earl of
ELDON, from the Clergy of the Deaneries of Rochester and
Malling. For an inquiry into the King's Bench Prison, by
Earl Grey, from J. S. Tighe. For theAbolitionof Slavery,
by Lord B EXLEY, from the Under Graduates of Oxford :-
By the Archbishop of YORK, from Dissenters at Shipley;
and from the Inhabitants of North Bierly, of Bradford
Thornton-cum-Clayton, of Shepley, and of Kingston-upon-
Hull. Complaining of Agricultural Distress, by the Duke
of RICHMOND, from owners and occupiers of Land in the
Neighborhood of Grantham, and in the Neighbourhood
of Stamford and Folkingham. For a Revision of the
Laws regulating Cotton Factories, by the Bishop of
CHESTER, from Cotton Spinners in Blackburn, Dukin-
field, Newton, and Hyde Chester:-By the Bishop of
BATH and WELLS, from the Spinners in Oldham, Congle-
ton, Ashton-under-Lyne, Staley Bridge, and Mossley.
In favour of the Parishes Watching and Lighting Bill, by
the Marquis of LANSDOWN, from the Inhabitants of Calne.
Against the equalization of Stamp Duties, by the same
Nobleman, from Killaloe:-By the Earl of GLENGALL,
from the Freeholders of Tipperary. For the Repeal of
the Stamp Duty on Medicines, by the Earl of CARNARVON,
from the Druggists of Manchester.
Witnesses were further Examined as to the East Retford

Malmesbury, in presenting a Petition from
certain Bankers of Devonshire, complaining
that they had suffered great pecuniary loss
from the construction which had been put
on the Bankrupt Laws by the Court of
Common Pleas, observed, that these laws
VOL. XXV. {N. .}

were a proof of the haste and imperfection
with which the laws were sometimes made.
The Bankrupt-law passed in May 1825 : it
repealed all other laws on the same subject,
but did not come itself into operation till
the following September. Under these ci:-
cumstances, the Court of Common Pleas,
by a decision in certain cases, had deter-
mined, that from May to September there
were no Bankrupt-laws whatever. Of
that the petitioners complained, and as he
thought, with justice, for a more negligent
and botching piece of legislation he had
never heard of. While he was on his legs,
he would make an observation upon the
new Insolvent-bill which had been sent up
from the Commons. That measure con-
tained a most extraordinary provision:
first, it declared that a minor might lie
imprisoned--next, that he might declare
himself bankrupt and execute conveyances,
assignments, and warrants of attorney-
and thirdly, that if, after remaining in
prison six months he did not file his peti-
tion for the purpose, any creditor might
proceed to make him bankrupt as if he had
filed it. That provision entirely altered
the law, and he hoped their Lordships
would look closely into it before passing
the Bill.
The Earl of Eldon agreed in all that had
fallen from the noble Earl regarding the
new Insolvent Debtors' bill. He had never
seen a more objectionable measure, over-
turning all that had been the established

Greece. 4

law regarding minors. No duty could be
more incumbent upon their Lordships than
to watch closely the bills that were sent
up from the other House. On the subject
of the Petition, he must observe, that what
the noble Earl had stated of the decision of
the Court of Common Pleas, was correct,
though on what that decision was founded
he did not know. At any rate he thought
that the petitioners were entitled to relief,
and for that purpose he should propose that
the Order of the Day for the committee
on the Bankrupt-laws bill should be dis-
charged, in order that it might be fixed for
Monday; and in the mean time the case of
the petitioners, and others like it, might be
taken into consideration.
The Order of the Day was then dis-
charged, and the Committee on the Bank-
rupt bill was appointed for Monday.

Earl Bathurst requested the noble Earl
(Darnley) to postpone the second reading
of the Bill for abolishing the Fees of certain
offices on the Demise of the Crown, in con-
sequence of the unavoidable absence of his
noble friend (the Duke of Wellington).
Earl Darnley did not think he could
resist the postponement till to-morrow for
the reason stated, although the measure
pressed at this moment.
The Earl of Malmesbury did not oppose
the bill, or discuss its merits, but he com-
plained of the period at which it had been
brought forward, and he could discover no
reason why, if the remedy were required,
it had not been thought of during the last
eleven years. There was, unhappily, every
probability at present that their Lordships'
hopes that a certain event, though in itself
inevitable at some period, would not now
take place, would be disappointed; and as a
matter of delicacy and feeling he thought
that the bill ought not to be pressed, espe-
cially with such peculiar haste. He did
not mean at all to be understood as con-
tending that the fees ought to be preserved.
The Marquis of Lansdown remarked,
that if Parliament and successive govern-
ments for the last eleven years had been
negligent of their duty in this respect, it
afforded no ground for relinquishing the
measure now, and for calling the attention
of the public to the subject. If it were the
intention of Ministers to oppose the prin-
ciple of the bill, of course it ought to be
Earl Darnley hoped that no want of
delicacy would be imputed to him; the

bill had been brought from the Commons,
and, approving its principle, he had under-
taken to pass it through its stages in this
The Earl of Malmesbury begged not to
be understood as charging the noble Earl
with the slightest want of delicacy. All
he said was, that the time was ill chosen.
Earl Bathurst repeated, that his noble
friend, from particular causes, was unable
to attend, and it therefore seemed to him
desirable that the bill should be postponed.
An alteration of the present system would
not be opposed generally, but an objection
was felt to one of the clauses, and therefore
it was, that the postponement was requested.
Order of the Day postponed.

GREECE.] The Earl of Carlisle wished
to put a question to the noble Earl opposite,
with regard to the Papers lately laid upon
the Table of the House concerning the affairs
of Greece. He wished for information with
regard to the Line of Boundary which had
been at first agreed upon in March 1829,
and that which had afterwards been desig-
nated as the limit of the new Greek State.
In his opinion, the information already
furnished to Parliament was defective, and
it was his wish to have such Papers laid
upon the Table as would supply the defici-
ency. He wished to know from the noble
Secretary of State opposite, whether there
was any objection to furnish copies of
any correspondence that might have been
addressed by the Porte to the Plenipoten-
tiaries of the three Allied Powers, express-
ing the desire of the Porte for an alteration
in the line of boundary settled in the Pro-
tocol of March 1829 ? He found it stated
in a note written by Count Chabrol on
August 15th, 1828, that the Porte wished
the boundaries to be altered, and that was
the only mention he could find of the
reasons why the boundary was changed.
He was not aware that there could be any
objection to afford such information as he
wished to move for.
The Earl of Aberdeen said, he should not
object to afford the information required,
but would merely state his doubt whether
he could furnish the information exactly in
the form required by the noble Earl. In
point of fact, he doubted whether it existed
in such a form. That there was such a
desire expressed on the part of the Porte,
was undoubtedly true; but he could not at
that moment undertake to say, whether it
existed in such a form as that he could lay
it before the House as a distinct document.



He knew the desire had been expressed, many papers had already been furnished;
and of course it had been in some way re- and one noble Baron, in particular, had
corded. actually accused them of emptying their
The Marquis of Lansdown said, that trunks on the Table of the House. He had
with a view of preventing any unnecessary already said, that the only difficulty as to
delay, and of avoiding the obligation of producing these papers was this-that in
coming forward on another night to ask for substance, all the important points they
further information, he would then ask one contained were comprised in the Protocols
or two questions with regard to the extent drawn up at London. The Protocol of the
of the information these papers would con- 22nd March 1829, comprised all that was
tain, for if they did not give what informa- material upon the subject of the boundary.
tion he expected, he should undoubtedly He had not the least objection to produce
feel it his duty to ask for more. One of these papers in their more extended form;
the most important communications was and when they were produced, the noble
the Protocol of the date of the 2nd of July, Marquis would find that they did embrace
1828; it bore directly on the whole question the discussions entered into by the plenipo-
of the boundary, for it related particularly tentiaries with the Greek government, upon
to the subject of the eligibility of the fron- the question of the line of boundary. Vir-
tier tobechosen, with respect to the strength tually, they were precisely the same as those
of the new State, and with a view to secure now on the Table of the House, only that
its prosperity. With that view, in an early they entered a little more fully into details.
part of the instructions to the Ambassadors, The noble Marquis was mistaken in sup-
given on the 2nd of July, 1828, their line posing that in the papers now on the Table
of duty in this transaction was distinctly there was no allusion to this subject; for
pointed out. The instructions said "one it was expressly said, that what was there
of the most important and difficult questions proposed to the Porte was in compliance
for discussion will be the line of frontier to with the wish of the Plenipotentiaries as-
be proposed for the new State. It will be sembled at Poros. With regard to the
the duty of your Excellency, and of your blockades, the noble Marquis would find
colleagues, to collect the sentiments of the in the papers about to be presented, the
Greek government on this subject, to re- orders that had been given; and if the state-
ceivetheirwishes, to weigh their arguments, ment of the execution of those orders was
and to recommend such a decision as may desired, he should not object to produce it.
be most consistent with equity and justice." The papers would be most voluminous.
Now he had carefully examined the papers The Marquis of Lansdown certainly
already laid on the Table of the House, and thought it most desirable that the House
he had not been able to find any commu- should be in possession of the whole grounds
nication made to the Government in conse- on which the Porte had acted, of the com-
quence of these instructions, either as to munications between it and the Greek
any communication with the Greek govern- government, and, above all, of what passed
ment as to the nature of the boundary they between the Plenipotentiaries.
desired, or as to their opinion of what kind The Earl of Aberdeen should object to
of boundary was absolutely necessary for produce the whole of the negotiations be-
the safety of their new State. He wished tween these various parties, for they related
to know whether the information required to a variety of topics, differing materially
would be found in the papers that were from those on which the noble Marquis
about to be laid on the Table; whether it required information. They were very
would be found in the Poros documents; voluminous-they were all in French, and
and whether all the communications from for the purposes of the House they must be
ourAmbassadors were amongst them ? Per- translated.
haps the noble Earl would also state, The Marquis of Londonderry took that
whether, in the papers already laid on the opportunity of referring to the letters which
Table, there were any communications re- had passed between the noble Earl, the
lating to the interruptions of the Greek Foreign Secretary, and Prince Leopold. In
blockades ? the first printed letter of the noble Lord,
The Earl of Aberdeen was desirous of he observes to his Royal Highness-."' How-
furnishing every possible information on ever these sentiments may accord with the
this subject. It was not easy to satisfy all political objects of persons in this country,
parties. While some required additional by whom your Royal Highness may have
information, others complained that too been advised, I think your Royal Highness


{JUs E 7}

of Greece.

of Greece. 8

cannot fail to perceive, upon reflection, how
little such a course could contribute to the
real dignity and consistency of your own
character." Surely there must have been
some previous communications between the
noble Earl and Prince Leopold, before the
former could have ventured to allude to the
political advisers of his Royal Highness. If
there had been a little more of the suaviter
in modo in these communications there
would not have been such allusions. He
wished to know whether there had been
any, and what, correspondence previous to
January 31st, as to the alteration of the
pre-existing arrangements.
The Earl of Aberdeen scarcely knew
what answer to make to the noble Marquis's
observations. He would, however, answer
the question that had been put. There had
been no previous correspondence. If the
noble Marquis wished to go into a discus-
sion upon the propriety of his conduct, he
should be perfectly ready to meet it, pro-
vided due notice were given.
The Marquis of Londonderry could not
help thinking, that if there had been no
previous correspondence, the expression re-
ferred to was uncalled for, and therefore
The Motion of the Earl of Carlisle, for
copies of any communications addressed by
the Porte to the Plenipotentiaries, express-
ing a desire for the reduction of the bound-
ary of the Greek State, as fixed in March
1829, was then agreed to
Lord Holland could assure the noble
Secretary opposite, that he laboured under
a great mistake if he supposed that he
(Lord Holland) had blamed the Ministers
for giving too much information. On the
contrary, he was now about to ask for more.
It was true that he had used the expression
about emptying the trunks; but that re-
ferred to the little value of the documents
placed upon the Table, not to the unneces-
sarily large quantity of them. There were
two points on which he wished for inform-
ation, and on which that now furnished
was, in his opinion, most imperfect. The
first point related chiefly to the matter
treated of in the papers marked C, which
referred to the blockade of the Dardanelles,
and among the rest, to the raising of the
Greek blockades. It appeared, that a letter
had been written by Lord Aberdeen upon
the 29th of April, 1829, expressly with
reference to that subject. In that letter,
which the noble Lord directed to the Lords
Commissioners of the Admiralty, he stated,
that the Greeks could not be allowed to

exercise their blockades beyond a certain
extent. The French Charg6 d'Affaires had
complained of this order, had remonstrated
upon it, and the French government had
employed, as he believed, terms of remon-
strance, if not of menace; and a discussion
had ensued upon it which ended unfavour-
ably for this Government. An explanation
took place at Paris, and after much time
had been consumed, some part of the objec-
tionable matter was given up. He wanted
to know what had been the conduct of our
Government, and what the effect of the
remonstrance on the part of France. He
thought the noble Earl ought to furnish
the House with information upon that sub-
ject. The other point on which he wished
for information was of great extent, and
was more important in its nature-it re-
lated to the Isle of Candia. The informa-
tion furnished with respect to Candia was
most imperfect, and not only was it im-
perfect, but, so far as it went, it was in
contradiction-in almost direct opposition
-to what had been several times stated in
that House. They had heard from the
other side of the House many statements
relative to the condition of the people of
Candia, and to the state of that island;
but either those statements were incorrect,
or -the information furnished by these
papers could not be depended on. The
noble Duke, not then in his place,
had said, that if Candia was at all events
to form a part of the new Greek State, the
Allies must conquer it from the Turks,
who were now in full possession of it. The
noble Secretary differed a little from this,
for he acknowledged, on the contrary, that
it was not in a tranquil state, but was
much disturbed; and he attributed the dis-
turbances to the effect of the confederacy
among the Greeks. Candia, from the papers
on the Table, appeared to have been for
some time in a very convulsed state; and
it further appeared, that when that gallant
Admiral, to whom justice had not yet been
done, and who had displayed as much
ability as a negotiator as he had exhibited
gallantry, and spirit, and naval skill as a
commander-that when that gallant Ad-
miral had been engaged in negotiations
with the Pacha of Egypt, respecting the
return of the Greek prisoners, the Pacha
had answered, that no captives had been
made by his troops since the battle of Na-
varino, and that of the 1,900 prisoners who
had been taken before that time, 1,200
were Candiotes-a fact which spoke strong-
ly in proof of the attempts made by the



of Greece. 10

inhabitants of Candia to free themselves
from the Turkish yoke. Candia itself had
been blockaded by the Allied and the
British naval force, and these blockades
had been raised. He wished to see the
orders under which these blockades had
been instituted, and under which they had
been raised. There was one other little
question on which he wished to make an
observation, although, perhaps, it was but
of little importance. One of the objections
made by the noble Earl to putting these
papers on the Table of the House was,
that they must be translated. He wished
to ask that noble Earl, whether the same
translator was to be employed on these as
on the former papers? Their Lordships
must know that it had been again and again
stated in that House, that his Russian
Majesty had agreed to waive his rights as
a belligerent in the Mediterranean, and
they also knew, that a short time subsequent
to his declaration to that effect he had
exercised the rights he had agreed to waive.
He had looked to the translation of the
assurance given by Russia (it was to be
found in p. 223 of the papers marked A),
and there he observed the assurance, that
Russia would not exercise her rights as a
belligerent put into this form-" Now,
the Emperor declares, that Russia will
cease immediately to be so," &c. On turn-
ing back to the original, he found the
French to stand thus-" Or, 1'Empereur
declare, que la Russie cessera momentan?-
ment de 1'Otre." There was a great differ-
ence between the two, for the word mo-
mentanement meant "for a time" not
"immediately." To be sure it might be,
and perhaps was, a mere inadvertence on
the part of the translator, but these little
differences in such matters were sometimes
of importance.
The Earl of Aberdeen said, that in the
first place he had no other papers to pro-
duce respecting the raising of the Greek
blockades. Every thing that had passed
between the French government and his
Majesty's Government on that subject was
already on the Table of the House. The
tioble Baron had spoken of some consider-
able difference between the two govern-
ments on the subject, but he could assure
the noble Baron that he had been misin-
formed. It was not true that the French
government had made a remonstrance
couched in the form of a menace-it had
at first misapprehended what was done-
had applied for an explanation, and on that
explanation being given, had expressed its

entire acquiescence in the 'statement made
by his Majesty's Government. No orders
had been issued to the Admirals to insti.
tute the blockades referred to, and he could
only therefore say, with reference to that
part of the subject, that he had nothing to
add in explanation of that transaction.
The subject of Candia involved a question
of a much more extensive nature. The
condition of that island had varied much
within the last several years, and the papers
required by the noble Baron were such
that his wish could only with difficulty be
complied with, and the papers themselves
were not necessary for the object that the
noble Baron had in view. However, what
the noble Baron had observed as inconsist.
ent in the statements made in that House,
and in the papers laid on the Table, was
not at all the case, and the noble Baron
would himself perceive that there was no
inconsistency if he carried back his observa-
tions to the point of time in which the
declarations were made. At the commence-
ment of the Greek Revolution there was
no doubt that Candia did share in the
revolt, and engaged like the other States of
Greece in warfare against its Turkish
master. That was its condition as early as
1822, or 1823. Afterwards the island was
pacified, and remained in the possession of
the Turks till a blockade was established
there in the beginning of 1828. That
blockade had been established by the Eng-
lish Admiral in the discharge of his duty in
effecting a certain object. It was a part of
his plan of operations to interrupt the com-
munication between the Morea and Egypt,
and for that purpose he had instituted the
blockade of Candia. The effect of that
blockade was, to renew the insurrection,
and to place the island in the state in which
it was at present. The Greeks were now
in possession of the open country, and the
Turks held all the strong places in the
island. When, therefore, his noble friend
had said, that if Candia was at all events to
become part of the new Greek State we
must conquer it from the Turks, he had
said that which was perfectly true, for they
possessed the strong places, and without
conquering them the possession of the
island could not be transferred to the
Greeks. He would only add one word with
respect to the mistake imluted to the trans-
lator. The word certainly ought to have
been translated for the time," instead of
"immediately;" but it was true, in fact,
that his Imperial Majesty did consent im-
mediately to lay down the character of a

9 Pioundar~ies

{JUNE 7}

belligerent-the words in the protocol were The Earl of Aberdeen repeated, that the
"he does lay down"-" il depose" in the blockade had not been instituted in conse-
present tense. The mistake, therefore, was quence of any orders given to the Admiral
by no means one of material consequence. for that particular purpose. The Admiral
Lord Holland wanted a copy of the in- was ordered to assist in effecting the evacua-
structions sent to revoke the orders under tion of the Morea by the Egyptian forces.
which the blockade had been established. For that purpose he thought it necessary to
He wished also to have a copy of the in- institute the blockade of Candia, in order
structions issued by the Lord High Com- that he might interrupt the communication
missioner of the Ionian islands, with a copy between the Morea and Egypt. When his
of all the correspondence that had passed object was effected, and the Morea had been
between Captain Spencer and the Greek evacuated by the Egyptian troops, the ne-
Admiral in 1829. He wished particularly cessity for the blockade ceased, and he was
to know, whether any instructions revoking ordered to raise it.
the orders before issued to our Admiral, The Marquis of Lansdown then moved,
had been sent to him in consequence of the That an humble Address be presented to
remonstrance of the French government, his Majesty, praying that he would direct
The Earl of Aberdeen said, most expli- that there be laid before the House copies
citly, that he had nothing further to com- of all communications addressed by the
municate on the subject. The orders never Porte to the Plenipotentiaries of the Allied
were revoked, for no orders had been given Powers, expressing a desire to have the
to establish the blockade. He repeated, that frontiers fixed by the Protocol of March
the French government was satisfied with 22nd, 1829, reduced; and also, copies of all
the explanation which his Majesty's Go- Papers relating to the blockades established
vernment had given, by the Greeks, and to the raising of those
Lord Holland wished to see the orders blockades."
issued to the Commissioner upon this sub- The Earl of Aberdeen said, he should
ject. He wanted to know whether the have no objection to the production of copies
blockade was raised by force or not; and of the papers referred to, with such limita-
if so, what were the orders under which tions, however, as he should feel it consist-
that force was employed ? ent with his duty to exercise with respect
The Earl of Aberdeen could only repeat, to such portions of the papers as related to
that no orders had been given for establish- other matters.
ing the blockade; that it had been establish- The Marquis of Londonderry was sur-
ed by the Admiral himself; and that it was prised that the noble Earl should wish to
raised when the object for which it was put any limitation upon the papers he in-
first established had been gained, tended to produce, after his promise the
Lord Holland said, that particularly other night that he would give any noble
with respect to the blockade of Candia, he Lord these papers to his heart's content."
wished to know whether the noble Earl Now he thought that it was important that
had any objection to produce the orders all these papers should be produced; it was
under which the blockade was established, important the country should know whether
and those given for raising it? we were indebted to the three Allied
The Earl of Aberdeen answered, that the Powers or to Russia alone for what the
only order that was issued was for raising, Turks had conceded to the Greeks. In his
not for establishing, the blockade of Candia. opinion, from the information he had re-
There was, he distinctly repeated, no order ceived, we were indebted to the latter, who
given for establishing the blockade of that had interfered in order to establish a State,
place. The Admiral, in the exercise of his that, at some future time, must depend on
discretion as naval commander on that sta- her alone for support, and must, in the
tion, did institute a temporary blockade; course of events, afford scope for the grati-
when thenecessity for it had ceased,an order fiction of her ambition. Under these cir-
was issued to raise it. No other order had cumstances he should move for copies of
been given, such communications from our Ambassadors
Lord Holland trusted, that the noble Earl at Constantinople as bore upon the circum-
would not think him guilty of "pertina- stance that Russia had given up part of the
city," but what he wished to know was, indemnity she had demanded, and the effect
whether there had not been further cor- which giving that up had upon the conces-
respondence than that now on the Table on sions made by Turkey to the Greeks.
the subject of that blockade ? The Earl of Aberdeen observed, that it

of Greece. 12



Mad-Dogs. 14

was a little too much to say that he had
promised all these papers, when he had
distinctly reserved to himself the right of
withholding some of them if he should
think his duty called on him to do so. Some
of these papers were, in fact, on subjects of
an insulated nature, and consisted of various
detached negotiations on other points. The
information to which the noble Marquis
had referred was perfectly correct. There
was a negotiation between Russia and
Turkey on the subject of the remission of a
portion of the sum claimed by Russia as an
indemnity: and it was true, that the Em-
peror of Russia had signified to the Porte
that the amount of the indemnity would
be increased one million of ducats, if the
assent of the Porte to certain propositions
then made to it were not promptly given.
He saw no reason to object to the conduct
of the Emperor on that account-it was a
proceeding highly honourable to the wisdom
and generosity of his Imperial Majesty. He
was indeed glad that the Emperor of Russia
had had such an argument in his hands,
and we ought to be rejoiced that he had
employed it in such a manner.
Lord Holland did not think that the
subject now referred to was one of an insu-
lated and detached nature. From the
statement of the noble Earl himself it was
evident, that Russia alone had, either by a
bribe or by extortion, obtained that for
which the noble Earl wished to take credit
to the joint efforts of the three Allied
Powers. It was in fact quite impossible
even for the noble Earl himself to look at
what had been done-and especially to read
the Treaty of Adrianople-and then to deny
that Russia had, first by her arms, and
afterwards by her money, done that which
the three Allied Powers had not been
jointly able to accomplish, but the merits
of which they were very willing to claim.
The Earl of Aberdeen answered, that the
noble Baron was much mistaken if he
thought the Treaty of Adrianople had as-
sisted the object of the Allies. It had, in
fact, been an obstacle in their way.
The Marquis of Londonderry said, that
in fact Russia, by striking off from her de-
mand two or three millions of ducats, had
accomplished that which France and Eng-
land had in vain tried to effect. That single
transaction was sufficient to show the im-
mense power which Russia now possessed.
Turkey, too, had found out that her avow-
ed enemy would behave better to her than
her professed friends-France and England;
nAd 0o she gave to Bussia what ghe refused

to them. The noble Earl ought to have
granted all these papers at once, and then
he might have escaped these remarks, but
by attempting to withhold the information
he had brought these observations on him-
self. He should not press the Motion, as
he hoped the other papers might furnish
the information he required.
The Earl of Eldon was of opinion that
England would have reason to regret the
Treaty of the 6th of July. Turkey had in
consequence of it been deserted by her old
allies and placed in the power of Russia.
The Motion of the Marquis of Lansdown
agreed to.

Monday, June 7.
MINUTES.] Returns ordered. On the Motion of Mr. F.
BuxToN, all Reports made to the Government relating to
the Condition of the Hottentots:-Also, Copies of any
Correspondence between his Majesty's Government and
the Colonial Authorities, relative to the state of Gaols in
the West Indies, and in the British Colonies in South
America:-On the Motion of Sir G. MURRAY, Copies of
the Answersof the Governors of Upper and Lower Canada
to the Despatch of the Secretary of State for the Colonies,
dated Sept. 29, 1828.
Mr. F. LEWIS brought in a Bill to Amend and Consolidate
the Acts relative to the office of Treasurer of the Navy.
Sir G. MURRAY brought in a Bill to Amend the Law
relative to the Transportation of Offenders. Mr. DOHERTY
brought in a Bill to continue the Acts for the Relief of the
Insolvent Debtors; and a Bill to Explain and Amend the
Law relative to the Payment of Prosecutors and Witnesses
Petitions presented. For the Abolition of Negro Slavery,
by Lord MILTON, from Bradford, Horton and North
Brierly; from Dissenters at Horley, West Melton, Shipley,
Wilsden, Allerton, Bowling, and Clackheaton. For
holding Assizes at Wakefield, by Mr. MARSHALL, from
Stansfield:-By Lord MILTON, from Gunthwaste, Ing-
birchworth, Peniston, and Langset. Against the Duties
on Foreign Timber, by Sir M. W. RIDLEY, from a Ship,
builder at Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Against Stamp Duties,
by Mr. ASTELL, from the Druggists of Bridgewater:-By
Mr. W. DUNDAS, from the Principal of the Edinburgh
College:-By Mr. O'CONNELL, from Ballycallan and
Killaoe:-By Mr. M. FITZGERALD, from Kerry. For a
Revision of the Laws relating to Tolls and Turnpikes inr
Ireland, byMr. HUME, from Thomas Flanagan; and from
the Landowners of Dundalk. Against the Sale of Beer
Bill, by Mr. CALcRAeT, from the Retail Brewers of
London:-By Mr. BELL, from the Publicans of Alnwick.
Against the Northern Road Bill, by Colonel CHAPLIN,
from the Mortgagees of the Stamford Trusts. In favour
of this Bill, by Lord MORPETH, from the Convention of
Royal Burghs, Scotland. Against the Punishment of
Death for Forgery, by Mr. Alderman WooD, from G. E.
GREGORY:--By the Sheriffs of LONDON, from the Lord
Mayor and Common Council of the City of London:-
By Mr. LENNARD, from Croydon:-By Mr. F. BUXTON,
from Lowestoffe, Halesworth, and Hadleigh:-By Mr.
WARBURTON, from Bankers residing in London:--By
Lord J. RUSSELL, from Leighton Buzzard. For the repeal
of the Duties on Candles, by Mr. HUMs, from the
Candle-makers of Dundee.

MAD-DOGS.] Mr.Hume, in presenting
a Petition from certain Inhabitant House-
holders of the parish of St. 3i.a.-Ic-


{JtN~ 7}

15 Irish Absentees.

bone, expressed regret at not seeing the
Chancellor of the Exchequer in his place.
The Petition complained of the number of
useless dogs that were about the streets,
and urged upon the consideration of the
House the necessity there was that pre-
cautions should be taken to prevent the
mischiefs which those animals were likely
to occasion. The number of persons now
permitted to keep dogs free of tax
amounted to three-fold the number who
might hav. done so before the repeal of
the tax n small houses, as those not
assessed to the house duty were allowed
to keep a dog duty free. It was doubted
whether Magistrates had the power which
they ought to have of directing the destruc-
tion of dogs, and one had been prevented
from doing so by the threat of an action.
Mr. Alderman Thompson said, a short
bill ought to be introduced for the pur-
pose of remedying the evil complained of.
Mr. Hobhouse would support a measure
of that sort.
Sir M. W. Ridley thought the de-
struction might prove exceedingly vexa-
tious. A tax might be better.
To be printed.

tan moved for a Return of all Irish
Absentees, and the amount of their
Sir M. W. Ridley thought the difficul-
ties which stood in the way of such a
Return being made were insurmountable,
but he would not oppose the Motion.
Mr. Hume did not think that absentee-
ism ought to be prohibited by the Legis-
lature. Was a man to be made a prisoner
in a place merelybecause he hpd property
in it? He would act up to the old say-
ing, "those who did not like the country
let them leave it." If there were a pro-
perty-tax, he would levy that on the
Absentee's property, as well as the pro-
perty of others, but he would not levy
such a tax exclusively on their property.
He would punish no man for going out of
the country; and he would bribe no man
to stay in it.
Mr. O'Connell said, that if the hon.
Member near him knew the state of Ire-
land fully, he would-see that absenteeism
was an. evil of the highest magnitude.
It was a curse to Ireland to draw four
millions sterling a yea. out of it without
apy equivalent, ard by persons who con-
tributed nothing to the taxes, nothing to

the poor but increased pauperism, while
they begot in the Custom House returns
a great show of prosperity, in consequence
of the large exports that went abroad to
pay their Revenue. The absence of the
landed proprietors was, in his opinion, the
curse of Ireland.
Mr. Warburton differed from the hon.
member for Clare: and he did not see
how such a Return could be made.
Mr. M. Fitzgerald wished to know from
what office the hon. Member expected
those Returns ? If his object was to raise
a question on the subject, he thouglit a
better mode might be resorted to than
merely a Motion for Papers.
Mr. Grattan withdrew his Motion.

to a question from Mr. Doherty, Mr.
O'Connell stated, that he had abandoned
the intention of presenting any Petition
relative to the Borris-o'-Kane Trials.

Mr. Edward Davenport, in presenting
to the House the Petition of Mr. Charles
Andrew Thomson said, that the petitioner
was a gentleman who was once in very afflu-
ent circumstances, but he had been, as he
averred, ruined by the operation of several
Acts of Parliament. The Petitioner
stated, that his father, an eminent mer-
chant in the City of London, had, by
his industry, realized a large fortune,
which he invested in the funds, pur-
chasing 300,0001. consols-that this
sum stood in the name of his father in
the year 1791-that it had been pur-
chased at 92, but owing to the changes
wrought in the Currency, the funds fell as
low as 63, when the petitioner's father,
fearing further losses, thought it advisable
to sell out. The petitioner stated, that
during the period alluded to, he and his
fatherexperienced a lossof one-third of.their
capital, by the falling of the funds from 92
to 63, and at the same time the integral
value of the money, of which theresidue was
composed, was reduced in the ratio of from
20s. to 10s. in the pound. The petitioner
and his father, in the year 1810, finding
that their 300,0001. consols, which had
cost them about 265,0001. sterling, in the
ancient coin of the realm, were reduced in
selling-price to 180,0001., exposing them
to a loss of 85,0001.; finding, also, that
their 180,0001. of remaining money, which
their console would still produce, was so


The Currency/. 16

reduced in value, as, in reality, to be cause; and it was but just that that
worth only one-half of its nominal power which had been the means of theii
amount, or only about 90,0001., instead ruin, should endeavour to devise some
of 180,0001.; and finding their property remedy. It was not his intention to do
thus melting away, they became seriously more than move that the Petition do lie
alarmed, and determined to invest the on the Table.
remainder of their capital in the purchase Ordered accordingly.
of land. In the year 1811, the petitioner
and his father purchased the estate of DUTY ON SoAP AND CANDLUS.] Mr.
Northaw, in Hertfordshire, at the price of Sykes begged leave to call the attention
62,0001., which they paid in ready money. of the House to a Petition which he held
They then expended 10,0001. in building in his hand from the manufacturers of
houses and cottages upon the estate, and Tallow Candles, of Aberdeen,-and of
in bringing 200 acres of waste land into Soap, at Leith and Glasgow, respecting
cultivation. In the same year they pur- the duty on Soap and Candles. The sub-
chased several other estates, to the amount ject was one which he had been anxious to
of 33,0001., for which they also paid submit to the notice of the House, by a
ready money. The petitioner further formal Motion, at an early period of the
stated, that in the year 1811 he purchased Session, had an opportunity offered; but
the estate of Pontrylas, in Hertfordshire, when he fixed a day for bringing it on,
of Dr. Trenchard, for which he paid he was prevented doing so by an act of
60,0001. The title of the estate being the House which adjourned over that day.
considered not good, he brought an action It appeared that the duty on the manu-
against Dr. Trenchard, for the recovery of facture of soap amounted to 3d. per
the deposit money; but an order of the pound, and including the duty on tallow
Court of Chancery obliged him to com- and barilla, the whole duty on the article
plete his contract. In consequence of was at least 120 per-cent of the price. The
the altered state of the Currency, he was duty of Id. per poundon candles amounted
obliged to give a mortgage on his Northaw to about 18 per-cent. That both these
estate, to make good his obligations aris- articles were necessaries of life, and that
ing from the purchase of the other, and a heavy tax upon them fell chiefly upon
Dr. Trenchard was then suing the cre- that class of persons who were least able
editors of the petitioner to obtain both the to bear it would not be denied. He was
estates of Northaw and Pontrylass. The not insensible to the relief afforded by
petitioner being thus stripped of his whole the remission of the tax on Beer; but,
property by the law which raised the value without undervaluing the repeal of that
of the Currency in which his obligations tax, full as great relief, if not greater,
were contracted, without reducing in a would, he thought, have been afforded by
corresponding degree his obligations, had the repeal of the duty on soap and
been reduced to bankruptcy and ruin. candles. Besides, the Chancellor of the
His father, the petitioner stated, in conse- Exchequer would have avoided a battle,
quence of those unmerited sufferings, died not yet determined, with every brewer and
of a broken heart, and left him with seven victualler in the kingdoq. There were
children of his own, and seventeen bro- several criteria by which the fitness of a
others and sisters, looking up to him for tax might be judged. It should not be
support. A case of more flagrant injus- levied on articles of necessary consumption
tice, arising from the effects of Acts of -it should not fall on the industry and
Parliament had never been brought before labour of the poor, nor interfere with their
the House. By the effects of those Acts, comforts. If, however, the House were
property acquired by many years' honest to judge of the duty on soap and candles
industry, had been transferred to others in by any of these tests, it must appear most
a most unwarrantable and unjust manner, unjust and impolitic. They were taxes
The petitioner prayed that the House on articles of necessary consumption;
would appoint a committee to inquire into they checked'the industry, and diminished
the facts stated in his Petition, and to the comforts of the labouring poor, and
afford such redress as might appear just prevented that cleanliness which was
and right. There were thousands in the essential to health. It was no defence
same condition as the petitioner, whose of these duties to say that they were levied
misery had been brought aboutby the same upon the manufacturers of these-articlee

17 The Currency,

(JUNE 7}

Soap and Candle Duty. 18

19 Duty on Soap


and Candles. 20

for they were repaid these taxes, which
must necessarily fall on the consumers.
At the same time, the tax was a source of
great annoyance to the' manufacturer.
Another criterion by which the impolicy
of the tax might be decided was, it yielded
little revenue. The duties on the
articles used for soap, amounted to 100
per-cent, which encouraged an evasion of
the duty; and this was more particularly
the case with respect to candles, which
might be easily made in a private room, or
any other small place where detection could
be easily avoided; it was different with
respect to soap, the manufacture of which
required large premises, and could be
scarcely carried on without detection. The
facilities with which candles might be
made, gave encouragement to the evasion
of the duty; and an illicit trade in the
article was carried on to a great extent.
In Ireland, there was no duty on candles,
and he did not believe that any Excise
duty could be well collected in the one
country, on an article of general consump-
tion, when that article was duty free in
the other. It was impossible to expect
that an article which paid a duty of 100
per-cent in one part of the kingdom,
and was wholly exempt from duty in the
other, should not give rise to an illicit
trade to a considerable extent. The per-
sons engaged in the manufacture of
candles complained, and with great jus-
tice, of the different and arbitrary manner
in which the duty was collected: thus
in London and Brentford the duties were
required to be paid down at once, but in a
district as near town as Deptford, and
other parts of the country, a credit was
given of two months; in some places the
duty was paid in cash, in others it was
paid in private Bills of Exchange; an ad-
vantage was thus given to one person in
trade over the other, which was not fair.
Some regulation on this subject ought to
be made equally applicable to the whole
trade. Another point which he wished
to mention, was the drawback allowed
on the exportation of soap. In some
instances the manufacturer gave his bills
at two or three months for the duty;
he then entered the article for exportation,
and immediately received the drawback in
cash; so that, in fact, he received the
drawback two months before he paid any
duty at all. That was a practice which
ought not to be allowed, for it was a direct
fraud on the Revenue, In order to show

the impolicy of different Excise laws in
England and Ireland, he would mention
that some time ago, when Glass in Ireland
was free of Excise duty, the smuggling of
that article to this country took place to
an immense extent. When the Excise
laws were equalized in the two countries,
the result was a total cessation of the
smuggling. He had no doubt that the
same thing would happen if the laws were
equalized as to soap and candles. The
objection to the tax on the score of its
being vexatious, particularly that on
candles, was equally strong; notice must
be given of the hour the utensils were to be
unlocked, the weight of candles to be made,
the number of rods, the number of candles
on each rod, with many other particulars,
the breach of any of which subjected the
manufacturer to the severest penalties.
Such was the case of Mr. Hale, a most
worthy and respectable man, who was
thrown into the Exchequer, not for any
fraud, but because he had broken through
some trivial rules ; and this, not for his
own advantage or convenience, but to save
trouble to the Excise officers. He would
state to the House what were the duties on
soap between the years 1826 and 1829
inclusive. In 1826, they amounted to
1,253,7451.; in 1827, to 1,375,8441.; in
1828, to 1,385,9071.; and in 1829, to
1,357,6881. In the last four years, there-
fore, the duties on the article had been
stationary in amount, and in the last year
they had decreased 28,0001. Could the
House be surprised at this when it con-
sidered the temptations held out to the
illicit trader, and the facilities with which
the illicit traffic might be carried on ?-
The duties on candles for the same period,
amounted in 1826, to 475,7441.; in 1827,
to 475,2551.; in 1828, to 496,6501.; in
1829, to 472,1911.: here too there was a
falling-off in the last year. As to the
number of licenses for the manufacture of
soap and candles, in the three years ending
in 1828, there had been a diminution. The
number of licenses for making soap was, in
1826, 619; in 1827, 667; and in 1828,
626: being a diminution of 41, in 1828,
as compared with the preceding year. The
licenses for the manufacture of candles,
were in 1826, 3,793; in 1827, 3,694 ; and
in 1828, 3,509; being a diminution of
185 as compared with the preceding year.
All these facts proved the decrease of the
trade, which must be attributed solely to
the taxes imposed on the articles, and tho

restrictions under which the trade was other sources. He would not trespass
carried on. Having said thus much of the further on the attention of the House, ex-
nature of these taxes, of their pressure cept to declare that he would next Session,
upon the poor, and of their oppressive if he had a seat in Parliament, bring for-
operation on the manufacturer, he wished ward a substantive motion on the subject.
to state how the evil might be remedied. He moved that the Petition be brought up.
In the first place, he would take off the The Chancellor of the Exchequer did
whole 472,0001. per year candle duty. not think that a proper time to enter into
He would do away with the whole of that a discussion of all the topics which the
at once. He did not mean indeed to sub- hon. Member had brought under the notice
mit any proposition on the subject in the of the House. Indeed, he thought he
present Session; but he should propose should best consult the public interest,
that in the next. With respect to the soap and the convenience of the House, if he
duty, he would propose to repeal the half, were to refrain from taking any notice of
and he had no doubt that the deficiency the hon. Gentleman's remarks; he must,
might be made up by increased consump- however, express his dissent from many of
tion, and putting an end to that illicit the hon. Gentleman's propositions; and
traffic by which the dishonest man thrives when the proper time arrived, he should
at the expense of the honest tradesman, be ready to show that many of his argu-
to the injury of the revenue and the morals ments were unfounded, and his calcula-
of the country. The reduction of the tions inaccurate. It was very easy for any
duty from28s. to 14s. would, he believed, gentleman to take hold of any tax, and
have the most beneficial effects. The loss inquire into the restrictions which were
to the revenue by the illicit manufacture imposed in order to ensure its collection,
of soap and candles amounted to no less and then to make out a very strong case
a sum, he was warranted in asserting, than against that particular tax, as vexatious
617,3121. Taking the annual import of and oppressive. Hon. Members might in
tallow from Russia at 50,000 tons, and that manner go through the whole Excise
100,000 tons as the produce of home Laws, and find every Excise Duty vexati-
slaughter, there were 150,000 tons of ous and oppressive; nothing could be
tallow which ought to pay duty, in the easier. Hon. Members did occasionally
shape of the manufactured articles. Not enter into such statements, and after they
above 92,000 tons, however, paid duty. had made out their case, they each of them
There were 53,000 tons manufactured into called on him to consent to some pet tax
candles, 23,000 tons manufactured into being repealed. He had no doubt that
soap, and about 16,000 tons which areused every tax was an evil; and it would be
in manufactures. In the whole, only very desirous if taxation could be dis-
92,000 tons were accounted for as paying pensed with ; but the person who stood in
duty, so that there was a difference of the situation in which he unfortunately
58,000 tons, which he believed were illi- stood, who had to provide for the dis-
citly manufactured, and the duty upon charge of the interest on the National
which was annually lost to the revenue. Debt, and for the ordinary expenses of
The way he would take to supply any de- the Government, found it very often to be
ficiency of revenue would be, to levy an his duty to resist these applications for the
additional tax on tallow when imported, extensive reduction of taxation which, in
and he would say, that as Russia levied a his opinion, had been at present as much
very considerable export duty on this cor- reduced as possible. The hon. Member
modity, it would only be an act of self- said if the duty on soap and candles, in-
defence in us to levy an import duty on it. stead of the duty on beer, had been re-
A duty of 41. or 51. per ton would go a duced, the Government would not have
long way to fill up the deficiency occasioned been annoyed by all the opposition it had
by remitting the duty on the manufactured met with on account of the Beer Bill.
article. At any rate, the taxes he proposed But if the lion. Member thought other
to reduce pressed with great severity on taxes could be reduced, affecting different
the poorer classes, and on every species of interests, without opposition, he was much
industry. They affected every man in the mistaken. If he were to follow the hon.
country, but the poorest most. The loss Member's advice and abolish the duty on
to the revenue would be only 700,0001., candles, and impose an additional tax on
which the Government might replace from tallow,.granting' a drawback to those whg

21 Duty on Soap

{JUNE 7}

and Candles. 22

used it in manufactures, he should soon Mr. Alderman Thompson expressed his
find that the linen and woollen manufac- satisfaction at the luminous speech of the
turers, whose interests would be affected hon. Member who had presented the Pe-
by such a measure, would get up as vigor- tition, and thought the subject well de-
ous an opposition to a bill to carry the serving of attention. In particular he
hon. Member's plan into effect, as was complained of the partial manner in which
now got up against throwing open the the tax was levied. The manufacturers in
trade in beer. If the hon. Member were London and Southwark, in Brentford and
to try himself, he would find the subject Hammersmith, because they were situated
more beset with difficulties than he seemed in what was called the Home District, had
to apprehend. to pay their duties to the Excise every week,
Mr. Cutlar Fergusson knew that the while the manufacturers at Deptford,
various duties imposed by the Govern- Bromley, and places not further off, paid
ment had been under consideration in their duties only at the end of six weeks.
various counties of Scotland, and the peo- This was in his opinion very improper;
ple had all cometooneresolution-namely, and the manner of levying these duties
that there was no duty so oppressive and ought to be equalized. He knew a manu-
vexatious as the Excise duty on soap and facturer of the name of Hales, a constitu-
candles. He had presented a Petition on ent of his, and a very honest man-a man
the subject, complaining of the vexatious less likely to defraud the Revenue he did
prosecutions caused by these duties; and not know-who had suffered very severely
he was satisfied, that if all the offences from these Excise laws. A servant of Mr.
committed against the Excise laws im- Hales, with the concurrence of the Ex-
posing these duties, through ignorance ciseman, postponed commencing work
only, were rigorously prosecuted, such an beyond the time for which notice had been
extreme degree of wretchedness and given. For this he was prosecuted, and
misery would be created as had, perhaps, when carried in to the Court of the Ex-
never been equalled. He knew that if a chequer, he was advised by his own
farmer, or a peasant, made a candle out attorney to compromise the matter, which
of the tallow of a sheep that died, he was hedidfor 3001.,and his expensesamounted
liable to a penalty. The law allowed a to 1501. more. This was a case that ought
rush to be drawn once through the melted to have been stopped by the Commissioners
tallow; but if it were drawn twice through, of the Excise, and he thought if they were
the person who drew it was liable to a to do their duty, and look into the circum-
penalty of 1001., one-fourth only of which stances of cases before they prosecuted
could be remitted. If the persons who them, much vexation might be avoided.
were liable to commit this offence-who He knew that the right hon. Gentleman
were sometimes almost compelled to com- could not repeal these taxes, that they
mit it by their wants, and were frequently could not be spared ; but he might prevent
invited to commit it, by its offering an a great deal of evil by having the laws
honest means of supplying themselves, concerning them administered on a more
were to be prosecuted, they would be liberal system.
ruined, their property would be sold, Mr. Nicolson Calvert enforced the pro-
and they would be compelled to rot priety of levying a higher duty on tallow
in a gaol, because they could not pay the when imported. If Russia levied a high
penalties imposed by the Excise. He export tax on that article, it was our duty
acknowledged that the country was much to levy a large import tax, and encourage
indebted to the Chancellor of the Exche- the produce of our own soil.
quer for the reduction of taxation he had Mr. Hume wished to say a few words
already made; but he believed that the on the subject, as he had a Petition to
abolition of the tax on soap and candles present on it, and if he addressed the
would have been tenfold more advantage- House then, he should have no occasion
ous to the people than the abolition of the to do so at a later period. He would first
tax on beer. If the hon. Member brought say a few words on what fell from the
forward any motion on the subject, he Chancellor of the Exchequer. When th';
should have his decided support, which right hon. Gentleman said he could not
he knew would be agreeable to his spare the money-that he must deny-
constituents and to all the people of he had a surplus revenue of upwards of
Scotland. 2,0000,0001 which he might spare to give

23 1 Duty on Soap,


an~d Candles. 24

Mad-Dogs. 14

was a little too much to say that he had
promised all these papers, when he had
distinctly reserved to himself the right of
withholding some of them if he should
think his duty called on him to do so. Some
of these papers were, in fact, on subjects of
an insulated nature, and consisted of various
detached negotiations on other points. The
information to which the noble Marquis
had referred was perfectly correct. There
was a negotiation between Russia and
Turkey on the subject of the remission of a
portion of the sum claimed by Russia as an
indemnity: and it was true, that the Em-
peror of Russia had signified to the Porte
that the amount of the indemnity would
be increased one million of ducats, if the
assent of the Porte to certain propositions
then made to it were not promptly given.
He saw no reason to object to the conduct
of the Emperor on that account-it was a
proceeding highly honourable to the wisdom
and generosity of his Imperial Majesty. He
was indeed glad that the Emperor of Russia
had had such an argument in his hands,
and we ought to be rejoiced that he had
employed it in such a manner.
Lord Holland did not think that the
subject now referred to was one of an insu-
lated and detached nature. From the
statement of the noble Earl himself it was
evident, that Russia alone had, either by a
bribe or by extortion, obtained that for
which the noble Earl wished to take credit
to the joint efforts of the three Allied
Powers. It was in fact quite impossible
even for the noble Earl himself to look at
what had been done-and especially to read
the Treaty of Adrianople-and then to deny
that Russia had, first by her arms, and
afterwards by her money, done that which
the three Allied Powers had not been
jointly able to accomplish, but the merits
of which they were very willing to claim.
The Earl of Aberdeen answered, that the
noble Baron was much mistaken if he
thought the Treaty of Adrianople had as-
sisted the object of the Allies. It had, in
fact, been an obstacle in their way.
The Marquis of Londonderry said, that
in fact Russia, by striking off from her de-
mand two or three millions of ducats, had
accomplished that which France and Eng-
land had in vain tried to effect. That single
transaction was sufficient to show the im-
mense power which Russia now possessed.
Turkey, too, had found out that her avow-
ed enemy would behave better to her than
her professed friends-France and England;
nAd 0o she gave to Bussia what ghe refused

to them. The noble Earl ought to have
granted all these papers at once, and then
he might have escaped these remarks, but
by attempting to withhold the information
he had brought these observations on him-
self. He should not press the Motion, as
he hoped the other papers might furnish
the information he required.
The Earl of Eldon was of opinion that
England would have reason to regret the
Treaty of the 6th of July. Turkey had in
consequence of it been deserted by her old
allies and placed in the power of Russia.
The Motion of the Marquis of Lansdown
agreed to.

Monday, June 7.
MINUTES.] Returns ordered. On the Motion of Mr. F.
BuxToN, all Reports made to the Government relating to
the Condition of the Hottentots:-Also, Copies of any
Correspondence between his Majesty's Government and
the Colonial Authorities, relative to the state of Gaols in
the West Indies, and in the British Colonies in South
America:-On the Motion of Sir G. MURRAY, Copies of
the Answersof the Governors of Upper and Lower Canada
to the Despatch of the Secretary of State for the Colonies,
dated Sept. 29, 1828.
Mr. F. LEWIS brought in a Bill to Amend and Consolidate
the Acts relative to the office of Treasurer of the Navy.
Sir G. MURRAY brought in a Bill to Amend the Law
relative to the Transportation of Offenders. Mr. DOHERTY
brought in a Bill to continue the Acts for the Relief of the
Insolvent Debtors; and a Bill to Explain and Amend the
Law relative to the Payment of Prosecutors and Witnesses
Petitions presented. For the Abolition of Negro Slavery,
by Lord MILTON, from Bradford, Horton and North
Brierly; from Dissenters at Horley, West Melton, Shipley,
Wilsden, Allerton, Bowling, and Clackheaton. For
holding Assizes at Wakefield, by Mr. MARSHALL, from
Stansfield:-By Lord MILTON, from Gunthwaste, Ing-
birchworth, Peniston, and Langset. Against the Duties
on Foreign Timber, by Sir M. W. RIDLEY, from a Ship,
builder at Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Against Stamp Duties,
by Mr. ASTELL, from the Druggists of Bridgewater:-By
Mr. W. DUNDAS, from the Principal of the Edinburgh
College:-By Mr. O'CONNELL, from Ballycallan and
Killaoe:-By Mr. M. FITZGERALD, from Kerry. For a
Revision of the Laws relating to Tolls and Turnpikes inr
Ireland, byMr. HUME, from Thomas Flanagan; and from
the Landowners of Dundalk. Against the Sale of Beer
Bill, by Mr. CALcRAeT, from the Retail Brewers of
London:-By Mr. BELL, from the Publicans of Alnwick.
Against the Northern Road Bill, by Colonel CHAPLIN,
from the Mortgagees of the Stamford Trusts. In favour
of this Bill, by Lord MORPETH, from the Convention of
Royal Burghs, Scotland. Against the Punishment of
Death for Forgery, by Mr. Alderman WooD, from G. E.
GREGORY:--By the Sheriffs of LONDON, from the Lord
Mayor and Common Council of the City of London:-
By Mr. LENNARD, from Croydon:-By Mr. F. BUXTON,
from Lowestoffe, Halesworth, and Hadleigh:-By Mr.
WARBURTON, from Bankers residing in London:--By
Lord J. RUSSELL, from Leighton Buzzard. For the repeal
of the Duties on Candles, by Mr. HUMs, from the
Candle-makers of Dundee.

MAD-DOGS.] Mr.Hume, in presenting
a Petition from certain Inhabitant House-
holders of the parish of St. 3i.a.-Ic-


{JtN~ 7}

25 Duty on Soap

relief to the people, for the revenue ob-
tained by the tax on candles only amount-
ed to 45,0001. For this sum 2,500 manu-
facturers were kept under the rod of the
Excise, which was so severely laid on,
that 300 persons had given up the busi-
ness within a year. Last year 2,800
persons had taken out licenses to manu-
facture soap and candles, and this year
there was only 2,500. It was impossible
for the manufacturers to carry on their
business under such odious and vexatious
regulations. Nor was it possible for any
man, not the most honest man in the
country to carry on this business without
incurring very severe penalties every week,
if the Excise office acted up to the severity
of the law. He had consulted a manu-
facturer and an exciseman on this subject,
and he was satisfied that the business
could not be carried on in obedience to
the laws. As to the loss sustained by the
Revenue, that might be compensated by
an additional duty on tallow. At present
Russia levied a duty of 2s. 6d. the cwt.
on tallow exported, and we had a duty of
3s. 6d. on the import, making together a
duty of 6s. on the cwt. Augmenting the
import duty must give a greater Revenue
without costing so much to collect it. The
duty now received by the Exchequer on
candles did not amount to above Id. per
pound, but that imposed, in fact, a tax on
the people of 3d. or 4d. for every pound
of candles they used. The hon. Member,
it is true, proposed that the Motion
should be brought forward next year; but
at that time the right hon. Gentleman
might not be in his present office, nor
might he (Mr. Hume) be in Parliament-
God knew where they might be next year !
He knew that the right hon. Gentleman
would be happy to remain, but what
changes might happen before that time
could not be known, He would not,
therefore, if it were his business, postpone
the Motion till next year; he would bring
it forward this Session. The Chancellor
of the Exchequer said, he could not spare
the money. Let him but bring in the bill
to raise the duty on Russian tallow to 7s.
or 8s. per cwt., by which he might raise
200,0001. he would find no difficulty in
passing such a bill; and he might imme-
diately abolish the Excise duty on candles.
That was levied on the farmers, on manu-
facturers, and other persons who felt it
most severely. By abolishing this tax the
Government would relieve an extensive

manufacture from vexatious restrictions,
which impeded the progress of the manu-
facture, and raised the price of a necessary
of life to the industrious and poorest class.
These restrictions were the cause why the
manufacture was not improved. But he
would go further also, and reduce the
duty on soap. On it there was a direct
tax of 3d. per pound. There was also a
tax on tallow, a tax on barilla, a tax on
rosin, which made the taxes on soap direct
and indirect 4d. per pound, which every
man had to pay before he could use a
single pound of soap. There was another
inducement to lower the tax which he
would mention. He was anxious to see
the duties equalized in England, Ireland,
and Scotland. The taxes ought to be the
same in every part of the empire, but he
would never raise an Irish tax to the level
of an English one. He would lower the
English high tax to a level with the Irish
low tax. If the Irish Members, who were
in general very bad voters, would only at-
tend, they might, perhaps, get such a thing
accomplished. The Scotch Members were
bad voters, but the Irish were worse;
though, owing to a rebellion of the latter,
he had once the misfortune to be in a
majority. A bill was brought in relating to
Scotland, and the opposition carried its
point because, on that night there happen-
ed to be a rebellion amongst the Gentle-
men from Ireland. They were 100, and if
they would only attend and vote, no doubt
a question for equalising the duties in all
parts of the empire might be carried. But
the inducement he was about to speak of
was directed to the Chancellor of the Ex-
chequer. He found that the exports of soap
to Ireland, in 1827, amounted to 239,000
pounds; in 1828, to 859,000 pounds; and
in 1829, to 2,645,000 pounds. Why, if
the Irish used all the soap they imported
they must be the cleanest people under the
sun. Every individual who came over
here from that country would be as bright
as a new pin. The fact unfortunately
was, that the soap was not used by the
Irish, it was exported in such large quan-
tities only to be smuggled back into
England. It was sold in Cork for 21d.
per pound. The Chancellor of the Ex-
chequer then might benefit by lowering
the duties on soap and candles; and he
hoped that the Session would not be
allowed to pass away without commuting
these taxes for some other, if they could
not be, as he desired they should, abolish-

{JUNE 7}

and Candles. 26

27 New South Wales.

ed. He encouraged his hon. friend to
bringforward his motion even this Session,
and if it were supported as he had sug-
gested, he had no doubt that the Chancel-
lor of the Exchequer would come into
their terms.
Mr. Robinson said, that the right hon.
Gentleman had no reason to complain of
not having the means to reduce these
taxes, when there were masses of property
in the country, and numberless enjoyments
possessed by the rich for which no taxes
whatever was paid. Since the peace
twenty-two millions of taxes had been
reduced, but they were the Property-tax,
the tax on French wines, and various
taxes which affected the opulent, while
not one tax had been removed from the
necessaries of life, or from the articles
which were used by the poor and the in-
The Petition brought up, and to be
Mr. Sykes presented two other petitions
on the same subject, and expressed his
regret that he could not bring forward the
subject this Session, and if he were not
there next Session, he trusted some Mem-
ber more able would take up the subject.
The Petitions to be printed.

Mr. John Stewart, adverting to the discus-
sion respecting Ceylon on a former even-
ing, begged to ask the right hon. Secre-
tary (Sir G. Murray) if an order had been
sent out by Earl Bathurst, directing the an-
nulling of the regulation which allowed the
Governor to supersede a Writ of Habeas
Corpus, why was it that Sir Edward Barnes
had disobeyed that order ?
Sir George Murray said, that Earl
Bathurst had sent out the order, but it
proved deficient in some technicalities, and
Sir Edward Barnes sent it home in an
amended form, for the approbation of the
Government. He was confident, however,
that after an express order had been sent
out, disapproving of the practice which
existed before, no Governor would presume
again to adopt the same course.

NEW SOUTH WALES.] Mr. John Stewart
then asked, if it was the intention of the
Government to lay on the Table of the
House the charges brought against Ge-
neral Darling, the Governor of New South
Wales ?
Sir G. Murray said, it was not the in-

tention of the Government to lay the
charges before the House until General
Darling had an opportunity of putting in
his answer. He had always been of
opinion, that it was extremely unfair to
allow charges of this kind to go forth to
the public, and to be kept hanging over
the head of a public officer, subject to all
the comments and statements which might
be made on them, perhaps for twelve
months, before he had the means of know-
ing what was even alleged against him.
Sir James Graham, while they were on
the subject of the Colonies, begged to ask
if he had rightly understood the right hon.
Gentleman the other night, when he de-
clared, that after the Government Commis-
sion now sitting to inquire into the state of
the Colonies had made their report, it was
intended to present a regular financial
statement every year, for the colonies
exclusively ?
Sir G. Murray said, it was undoubtedly
the decided intention of the Government
to adopt the course mentioned by the hon.

SIONS.] The Chancellor of the Exchequer
alluding to the understanding that public
business was to commence as soon as pos-
sible after half-past six, moved the Order
of the Day for the House to go into a
Committee of Supply.
The House resolved itself into a Com-
mittee, Sir Alexander Grant in the Chair.
On the first Resolution, granting a sum
of 28,0001. to defray the expense of
Special Missions to the New States of
South America,
Sir James Graham expressed his surprise
that, although this Estimate was even
larger than the last, no explanation of the
items had been attempted by his Majesty's
Government. The House, he was con-
fident, would feel as much surprise as he
did when they were made acquainted with
the extent of the sums lavished on this
branch of the service. They were to be
found in a Return lately laid on the Table;
and although that Return included the
expenses of a period when the present
Government could not be said to be person-
ally accountable (the year 1825), yet many
of the Ministers he saw opposite were then
in power, and the Return was brought
down to a period beyond the year 1828,
since which, the present Government had
held uninterrupted sway. It was not his


Supply. 28

9 JUvx 71 Soulth American Missions.

intention to detain the House with many penses of the missions to Mexico in two
observations on the extravagance of spend- years were about 31,8571. He would
ing such sums on countries which could next call the attention of the Committee
not require so much parade and show on to the appointment of Mr. Cockburn on the
the part of the representatives of this mission to Colombia. On his appointment
country as some of the ancient monarchies, in 1825, he received 3,3251. for his out-
He should at once proceed to put the fit, and, in 1826, a salary of 6,3001.,
House in possession of the items of which making altogether 9,6001., although he
he complained, and the first he found on never went to Bogota, but passed three
the list was the Special Mission sent out months at the Caraccas, and three weeks
in 1825. In that year Mr. Morier was of it at the house of the English Consul.
despatched on a special mission to Mexico. Mr. Cockburn crossed the Atlantic twice
He remained five months altogether at his at the public expense. In 1827 (having
post, and he received 3,6561., with a sum returned to England), he received 3,7781.;
of 1,6701. for the expenses of his journey and when he went out again, therefore, it
home, making on the whole 5,3261. for was to be supposed that it was for the pur-
five months' service. In the next year Mr. pose of actively discharging his duties.
Morier was sent out again. He was three He never went to Bogota, however, and
months at his post, and he received 1,5061. returned to England the bearer of his own
going out, 7551. for travelling expenses despatches; for which, as he (Sir James
coming home, and 3001. for his passage in Graham) understood, the Foreign Office
a King's ship, making in the aggregate a did not think him justifiable. In the first
sum ofjust 8,9871. for eight months'service year of his mission, Mr. Cockburn had
in Mexico, The House would probably sup- been employed three weeks; in ihe: *cond
pose that a sum so large was all that was year nine weeks; and for those services
required for the proper representation of he received above 13,0001. It might now
England in the new State of Mexico, but it be expected that Mr. Cockburn and the
would not be a little surprised to find, that public were at least quits, While Lord
at the time these missions were sent out Dudley and Ward continued at the head
there was a resident Consul in Mexico- of Foreign Affairs that was the case; but
Mr. Ward-who received for his services when that noble Lord went out of office,
the following sums:-in the year 1825, he by some mysterious influence which he
received 10,9131.; in 1826, 55981.; in did not understand, a sum of 1,6641. was
1827 he received 2,5231. and 8281. for granted in 1828 to complete Mr. Cock,
passage-money; so that, in the space of burn's allowance" [a laugh]. Thus Mr.
twenty-five months, Mr. Ward's Mission Cockburn obtained in the whole a sum of
to Mexico cost 19,8621. Having thus 15,9751. for twelve or thirteen weeks' resi-
disposed of the first and second commis- dence at his post: or rather for not re-
sions, it might be supposed the expense was siding there at all; after which he fell
at an end; but then there came a third back on a pension of 1,6001. a year. It
person-a Secretary to the commission-- was but justice to a very unassuming in-
whose charge was more extraordinary still. dividual, Colonel Campbell, who had per-
This gentleman was at his post five months, formed five years' faithful service, and had
for which he received 5001. or 1001. a always been at his post, to state that he
month; but then came the extra-extra- had been superseded for the purpose of
ordinary portion of the charge-Mr. making room for other persons. After
Thompson,the Secretary, held the situation what had occurred, it might have been
of one of the clerks of the Ordnance Board, supposed that his Majesty's Government
and there was a charge for compensation to would shut the door against any further
the amount of 3801. for loss of what did the expense on this score. Not so. They
House think? of salary in the Ordnance- started afresh with Mr. Chad. Mr. Chad
office-for the loss of salary for the per- was appointed to proceed to Bogota in
formance of duties he could not perform, 1828; and received 1,6661. for his outfit;
because he was receiving 1001. a month and a delay taking place in his departure,
to perform duties elsewhere. This gen- he received 1,3341. more, making 3,0401.
tleman, too, not content with the salary in 1828. In 1829 Mr. Chad received
for his services in Mexico, had taken an i 2,0621. All this time he was residing in
excursion into Guatemala, for which he London. So that he received 5,1001. of
charged 6001.; so that altogether the ex- I the public money and never went at al,

29 ~Supply--

{COMMONS} South American Missions. 32

The third gentleman appointed was Mr. evitable, that the labouring classes were
Turner. Mr. Turner, in 1829, received suffering the most grinding distress. Under
2,5001. for his outfit; a third of his salary, these circumstances, they looked towards
amounting to 2,5001., the rent of a house the proceedings of that House with the
in Colombia, although living in this coun- utmost anxiety. He was sometimes afraid
try, and 5281. for his passage; making of pursuing the course which he neverthe-
altogether 4,9551. for Mr. Turner in the less felt it to be his duty to pursue. He was
year 1829. All this, be it observed, took sometimes afraid of laying too bare and
place under the control of Lord Aberdeen naked to the public view the abuses of the
and the other members of a government State, lest it should weaken the attach-
which affected to plume itself on economy, ment of the people to the institutions of
There was another item which it would be the country. But if all persuasion failed
unfair to omit. It related to an indi- to induce his Majesty's Ministers to adopt
vidual who was an old friend of his, and rigid plans of economy, there was no alter-
whom he allowed it was a meritorious act native but to let the people distinctly see
on the part of Government to employ-he the practices of which they were the vic-
meant Mr. Ietcirw Fox. Andyettheman- tims. The time for dallying was past;
ner in which that gentleman's appointment and he called on the House to mark, by
was managed rendered it a complete job. the vote that evening, the sense which was
When he was appointed, in 1828, to go generally entertained of the extravagant
out to Buenos Ayres, he was at Naples, expenditure in question. Let the House
and received 1,5001. for an outfit. At the recollect the circumstances of national
present moment.he was in Italy, and not difficulty and distress under which they
only had he rctied his salary in 1829, had met, and the recommendations to
but had received an advance of 1,0001. economy in the Speech from the Throne.
For Lord Strangford's special mission to Yet they had passed the Army Estimates
the"Brazils there was a charge of 6,7861. and the Navy Estimates, as proposed by
The object of that mission remained un- Ministers, without the reduction of a single
explained. As far as could be judged shilling; notwithstanding the numerous
from appearances, itwasof a nature hostile items which his hon. friend near him had
to therliberties of Portugal. He would pointed out as capable of being advant-
conclude by moving a reduction of the ageously reduced. Not a reduction had
proposed vote, and the following were the been made, with one solitary exception,
specific ground ..'f that reduction:- and that as paltry as the spirit which had
Surplus of the Estimate over that of last rendered it necessary-he meant the re-
year .. .. .. .. 579 duction of the pensions that had been
Lord Strangford's Special Mission .. 4,050 granted to the two sons of Cabinet Mi-
Mr. Chad's Outfit in 1829 .. .. .. 22,O63 1
Mr. Tuera's Outfit .. .. 2,200 nisters. The honourable Baronet con-
cluded, amidst loud cheers, with moving
.9,191 to reduce the proposed grant to 18,8091.
That was the sum which he should move The Chancellor of the Exchequer said,
to deduct froth the proposed vote. He he had listened with considerable attention
hal stated the facts of this extravagant to the grounds on which the hon. Baronet
expenditure; but he was bound also to proposed the reduction he had moved;
say, that if his Majesty's Government or buthe confessed that he could not see why,
the House fancied that the condition of because in the years 1825, 1826, 1827,
the labouring classes in this country had and 1828, there might have been an ex-
so improved of late that it became no penditure exceeding what the hon. Baronet
longer necessary to think of economy, they thought proper, that they should therefore
were in a most grievous error. It was true make in 1830 an arbitrary reduction, such
that the milder weather of the present sea- as the present. He would remind the
son, and some improvements in particular House, that if there had been no reduc-
branches of manufacture had somewhat tion by the House of the Estimates pro-
lessened the distress of the people. But posed by his Majesty's Government, that
still, the rate of wages was such, and the might, in some degree at least, be attri-
prices of the necessaries of life were so en- buted to the fact that the Estimates pre-
hanred by heavy taxation, by the operation pared by Government had fallen short of
of the Corn-laws, and by other circum- those of the preceding year by 1,100,0001.
stances, some of which were, perhaps, in- -a circumstance which had been hailed


{JUNE 7} South American Missions. 34

by several of the hon. Gentlemen op- three years of his appointment Mr. Cock-
posite as beyond their expectation. It burn had resided in England for eight
was not fair to cast a slur on Ministers months. Injustice, however, to Mr. Cock-
for not being economical, when they had burn, he must state the circumstances
thus incontrovertibly proved their dispo- which had occasioned his absence from the
sition to be so. They had been economical country to which he had been deputed.
also, not by weakening the force of the Mr.Cockburn,having been appointed in the
country, but by a diligent examination of beginning of 1825, received for his outfit
the expenditure in all the subordinate the usual sum of half his year's salary.
ramifications. He came now to the im- He proceeded to South America, and ar-
mediate question. Had there been shown rived at the Caraccas. It was true that
any disposition to reduce this particular he did not go to Bogota, the capital; but
estimate or not? What were the facts? he was sure the hon. Baronet must know
In 1826 the expenditure for diplomatic the grounds on which his absence was to
services was 459,5001.; and in 1829 it was be accounted for. Not long after his ar-
only 366,0001.; being within 7,0001. of a rival he attempted to proceed thither, but
reduction of 100,0001. Surely this was was prevented by a fever, which reduced
some indication of the attention which him to a condition of such imbecility that
Government had paid to the subject. But he was carried on board ship in a state of
did he say that Government was content complete insensibility, and it was thought
with the reduction already made? Far by those who were personally interested in
from it. But our ministers were dispersed him, that it was not possible he could sur-
in various parts of the world, and reduc- vive. He was conveyed to Jamaica, and
tion must be preceded by previous com- thence to England. When he presented
munications. The Government had shown himself to Mr. Canning, such was his
its disposition, and that disposition was altered appearance, that Mr. Canning not
still in active operation. By the arrange- only approved of his return, but prolonged
ments'which Lord Aberdeen was making, his leave of absence. According to the
he entertained great expectations that the hon. Baronet's opinion, because Mr.Cock-
expense of the diplomatic services of South burn was incapacitated by illness from
America would be brought within the sum fulfilling the duties of his office, he ought
charged on the Civil List for the European to have been deprived of his salary. Mr.
missions. So much for the general esti- On Cockburn's recovery, and on his return
mate. He would now proceed to parti- to South America, when he arrived at the
cular points. The hon. Baronet had begun Caraccas, he found Bolivar there. Being
with stating the expenditure of 1825 on the accredited to the country of which Bolivar
different missions to South America. He was the President, it was certainly not
(the Chancellor of the Exchequer) ad- very unjustifiable on his part to wait at
mitted that they were large. No one could the Caraccas with him, rather than to pro-
deny it who saw the accounts on the ceed up the country and wait for him at
Table. But when first the South American Bogota. From the Caraccas Mr. Cock-
States were called into existence, it was burn proceeded to Carthagena with Bo-
impossible accurately to estimate the ex- livar, and there had, with that distin-
pense of living in those countries. It was guished individual, various most important
thought by Mr. Canning, when Mr. Ward and useful communications-so important,
was sent to Mexico, that as it was a kind that he thought he should best consult the
of experimental mission, some latitude public service by a personal communica-
should be given to the individual engaged tion of them to his own Government; and
in it, by which Ministers might be subse- therefore, at the request of Bolivar, as well
quently enabled to ascertain the proper as on the suggestions of his own judgment,
amount. If, however, the expenditure of he returned from Carthagena to lay those
that period were brought forward now as communications before his Majesty's Mi-
a proof that Government were not at pre- nisters. It might or might not be that, in
sent disposed to economy, it appeared to so doing, Mr. Cockburn judged errone-
him to be a most inconclusive proceeding, ously; but the question for his Majesty's
The next point to which the hon. Baronet Government to consider was, whether the
had alluded was, the appointment of Mr. error was such as to entitle them to deprive
Cockburn to a mission to Colombia. It him of the salary, to which, in the ordi-
was undoubtedly true, that during the nary course of things, he was entitled up

33 Supply--

{COMMONS} South American Missions. 36

to the period of his arrival. The decision
was, that there had not been the criminal
misconduct which would justly subject him
to any such mulct. He now came to the
cases of Mr. Chad and Mr. Fox-As to the
appointment of Mr. Chad, there was no-
thing in it in the slightest degree irre-
gular; and it could not be denied that his
salary did by no means exceed the ex-
penses necessary in the situation which he
held. In reply to the objection respecting
his outfit, he had to observe, that an official
functionary going out there, had not only
to take with him mere matters of luxury,
but, in fact, every article of the most
common necessity; he therefore thought
the House would agree with him, that the
outfit in question did not exceed what it
ought to have been. He fully agreed in
all that had been said with respect to the
character of Mr. Fox, and he thought that
when his case was calmly and impartially
considered, it would be admitted, that what
had been done respecting him was not
done, as had been alleged, with any view
to promote party purposes. He was at
the present moment on his passage to
Buenos Ayres, and if he did not go thi-
ther on the instant of his appointment, it
was because the disturbance which had then
broken out at Buenos Ayres rendered it un-
advisable. The House, he was persuaded,
could not but feel that most of the ob-
jections raised to this vote were extremely
ill-founded; the more especially as it did
not exceed the votes of antecedent years.
Sir James Graham said, that 27,4211.
was the actual amount of the expenditure
of last year.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer said,
that though that sum might be the whole
of the money paid within the year, yet it
was not the whole of the expense incurred.
bills were drawn by the different function-
aries,allof which did not happen to fall due
within the year. The vote last year was
28,0001., and the estimate for the present
was the same; and, in the next year, the
whole expenditure would be paid out of
the money granted in the Civil List.
Sir Robert Wilson would oppose any
reduction of the reward granted to Mr.
Cockburn for his valuable services. In
consequence of the divided state of the
government of Colombia, it was necessary
to appoint some person whose prudence
could be depended upon, to negotiate with
Bolivar respecting matters which con-
cerned the interest both of this country

and that Republic. Mr. Cockburn was
selected to perform that delicate duty, and
in consequence met Bolivar at the Carac-
cas, and inspired that General with so
much confidence, that he considered Mr.
Cockburn the most fitting person to whom
to intrust that information which he wished
to communicate to the British Govern-
ment. He implored and conjured Mr.
Cockburn, as the friend of Colombia, and
the friend of his own country, to return to
England, and give to the Government
those explanations which he alone could
give. Mr. Cockburn hesitated for some
time, and even refused to comply with the
request; but at length, after accompany-
ing Bolivar to Carthagena, returned to
England. Under those circumstances, he
(Sir R. Wilson) thought that Mr. Cock-
burn had done nothing but his duty,
taking upon himself a responsibility which
no civil or military servant ought to refuse
to incur in the service of his country. He
therefore considered that it would be most
unjust and ungenerous in that House to
reduce Mr. Cockburn's income, as a pun-
ishment for his return to this country.
Colonel Davies said, that notwithstand-
ing the gallant Officer had risen to defend
Sir R. Wilson loudly denied that he
rose for the purpose of defending the
Government. He had only volunteered
to speak the truth, and that which was
just,-a course which he should pursue to
the last moment of his existence.
Colonel Davies had no wish to assign
a false motive for the gallant Officer's
conduct, but he asked the gallant Officer
whether, in defending his friend (for such
he presumed Mr. Cockburn to be) he had
not strenuously supported the arguments
of the right hon. Gentleman opposite.
However, the statement of the hon. mem-
ber for Cumberland (Sir James Graham)
still remained unshaken, and Mr. Cock-
burn's salary could not be called any thing
but monstrous and extravagant. He had
never heard a more inefficient defence than
that which the right hon. Gentleman
opposite had attempted to set up. The
extravagance of the items was monstrous.
Mr. Ward received,to defray his travelling
expenses from London to Vera Cruz, no
less than 1,7001. a sum sufficient to
have taken him round the world; and Mr.
Cockburn 6001. for house-rent in Caraccas
for three weeks. He could not agree in
the gallant Officer's view of the propriety


{JtUNE 7} South American Missions;

of Mr. Cockburn's departure from Co-
lombia. From the disturbed state of the
country, it might have been expected that
events of the most serious importance
would take place, and that his absence
would prove highly detrimental to the
interests of this country. The gallant
Officer complained of the injustice of
mulcting Mr. Cockburn ; but did not Lord
Dudley, who was well acquainted with all
the facts of the case, mulct that gentle-
man? But Mr. Cockburn's case was not
the only one respecting which the Go-
vernment ought to be censured for extra-
vagance. It appeared by the paper on
the Table, that the hon. Robert Gordon
received a whole year's salary as minister
to the Brazils while he was detained more
than the half of that year in London. In
conclusion, he regretted that the hon.
Baronet had not brought the Consular
Department under the notice of the House.
The subject was one which required the
serious inquiry of a committee, and the
conduct of the Minister through whom
such malversation had taken place ought
to be investigated.
An hon. Member thought, that Mr.
Chad having been detained in England
in consequence of the disturbed state of
Colombia, it would have been unjust to
have made him pay his own expenses in
London without remuneration, especially
when his salary there was only half of
that to which he was entitled on going
Mr. Hume said, the Government pro-
fessed economy, and in almost every in-
stance disappointed the expectations
which those professions excited. The
Amendment of his hon. friend,the member
for Cumberland, ought to be agreed to,
were it only for the purpose of showing
that the House disapproved of the conduct
of his Majesty's Government. He held
in his hand a memorandum made last
year, to which he should presently call
attention, but first he must be allowed to
observe, that nothing could be more pre-
posterous than the expense to which the
country was put on account of our diplo-
matic missions. In a comparison with
the American ministers, our ministers
had very little to boast of, and they cost
their country infinitely more. The memo-
randum made last year of the expectations
held out from the other side of the House
was in these words-" that measures were
in preparation by which it was expected

that in the ensuing Session considerable
reductions would be made in this depart-
ment." Now, instead of a reduction,
there was an increase; and he wished to
know how that was to he met but by a
refusal of the supplies? If the House
would but just pay a little attention to
the papers, they would see what all this
boasted economy of the Chancellor of the
Exchequer came to. In 1828 the sum in
this department was 445,0001. In 1829
it was put down at 407,0001., and for the
last year it was fixed at 366,0001., forming
an apparent reduction of 40,0001. But
the fair way of examining it was to see
what the average of the years from 1788
to 1793 was. The expenses in this branch,
at that period, were 113,0001. Even in
1816 they only amounted to 226,0001.,
which, though too much, was greatly less
than the amount charged of late years.
The point to which he wished to direct
the attention of the House was this:-
His Majesty's Ministers had promised
reduction; no reduction was made, and
any expectation that it would be made,
unless insisted on by the House, was per-
fectly hopeless.
Sir Stratford Canning said, there was
no man more sensible than he was of the
necessity of attending to economy, and of
reducing as much as possible the expendi-
ture of the country; and, under the in-
fluence of that impression, and bearing in
mind the distressed state of the country,
he had voted for a modification of the
Address to the Crown the first night of
the Session. But though the House was
bound to pay the strictest attention to a
question of this nature, yet he could not
avoid saying, that economising might be
carried too far; he rather recommended
the House to look forward to future re-
ductions in other years, than interfere with
the existing arrangements. The effort to
get everything performed at the' lowest
possible price, without due attention to the
manner in whiah the duties might be per-
formed, reminded him of an anecdote of a
man who expressed considerable surprise
on hearing the price of a very valuable
picture, that that quantity of paint and
canvass could cost so much money, igno-
rant of the years of toil, and the many
rare acquirements necessary to the artist
of a great work. He hoped he might be
allowed to apply this to the present case;
he begged, however, to assure the House,
that in doing so he always wished to see


{COMMONS} South American Missions. 40

the public service performed upon as
cheap terms as possible, and to see reduc-
tion carried as far as it possibly could.
He thought that it was in the minor ap-
pointments, rather than in those of ambas-
sadors, that the retrenchments might most
judiciously be made. In Naples, Den-
mark, Sweden, and Norway, where there
were maritime interests to support, it
might be very well to have ministers; but
there were other places where the general
opinion was, that there was no necessity
for a representative of this country. Tus-
cany was one of those instances; though
the noble Lord himself, who occupied
that station, had uniformly succeeded in
conciliating the esteem and regard of all
who came in contact with him. In Ger-
many, also, he conceived that there was
room for retrenchment. Bavaria, Saxony,
and Wurtemberg were places of so small
importance, that he thought this country
would be sufficiently represented in all
those places by keeping a minister at
Frankfort. From the assurances that had
been given by the Chancellor of the
Exchequer, he trusted that another year
would not be suffered to pass away without
retrenchment taking place, such as would
prove satisfactory to the House of Com-
mons. From what he had heard stated,
he thought that a satisfactory answer had
been given to the most important allega-
tions of the hon. Baronet. He was cer-
tainly most unwilling to believe that his
late lamented relative (Mr. Canning),
when at the head of the Foreign Depart-
ment, would have authorised any improper
expenditure. The first expenses that had
taken place with respect to South America
were all experimental; and necessarily so,
for it was impossible to calculate what
those expenses would be; of course a
great portion of them was obliged to be
left to the honour of those employed in
the service; and, unless there were par-
ticular circumstances to attract his atten-
tion, the Secretary of State could not look
into the charges with that minuteness
which he would in cases where the salary
was fixed. He would conclude by im-
pressing on the Government and the
House the necessity that there was for
carrying retrenchment into execution, not
only in that branch, but in every other
branch of the public service, though on
the other side, due care was to be taken
that every facility was afforded to the dis-
charge of their important functions.

Mr. Hobhouse said, he had no doubt
that the House would be extremely happy
to avail itself of the right hon. Gentleman's
information when the European missions
came under consideration ; but at present
the observations of the right hon. Gentle-
man were hardly applicable to the subject
more immediately before the House. To
the objections that had been taken to the
present vote, it appeared to him that no
answer had been given; and the case of
Mr. Gordon was one that most particu-
larly called for explanation; he certainly
thought that a Cabinet Minister ought to
be so good as to explain why 5,5001. had
been paid to that gentleman for doing
little more than nothing. He did not wish
to deny or depreciate the services of that
gentleman, but they were all aware of his
connections, and he was astonished that a
sense of decency and decorum had not
prevented the taking of such a step. He
should have thought that, under the cir-
cumstances, they would rather have been
disposed to cut away the salaries of rela-
tions than thus obtrude them upon the
country. He did not mean to say that
gentlemen, because they were the brothers
of Secretaries of State for the Foreign De-
partment, were to be deprived of their just
meed of reward; but when there was any
doubt in the case, he thought delicacy
ought to be allowed to have some little
weight, and that those who of course
followed politics for honour, and not for
profit, ought to tell their brothers that such
uncalled-for pensions could not be allowed.
With respect to South America, he was
one of those that wished that every en-
couragement should be given to its rising
Republics, and God knew that we had done
little enough for the cause of liberty; and
therefore, he had no desire to check any
countenance being afforded to those States.
But at the same time there was a medium
to be observed; and they were not to be
told every day, that because something
was going to be done, there was to be an
unlimited call upon the public purse. As
to this being a personal attack, such an
idea was quite out of the question ; on
the contrary, instead of persons of such
connections holding these situations, he
should be much better pleased if it were
Tom, or Dick, or Harry, whom nobody
knew, because they might then be able to
attack and expose such poor devils without
being alarmed as to what friends it might
summon to the field. He was not accus-


{JUNE 7} South American Missions. 42

tomed to meddle with these matters, but
certainly, on turning over the papers, he
had been struck with this as a most mon-
strous sum; and that it was a case incap-
able of defence appeared from no one on
the other side getting up to defend it.
That reduction to a certain extent had
taken place was true, and no one would
pretend to deny it; but at the same time
no one could conscientiously deny that it
was nothing to what ought to have taken
place. They were not there to revoke what
had been paid to Mr. Gordon or to Mr.
any one else. The money was gone, and
therefore, past praying for. But they were
there to try to persuade Parliament not to
trust too much to the representations of
Ministers. It was no personal object that
they had in view; all that they were
attacking was the system-a system of
confidence which had been too often shown,
and on which the House of Commons
ought never to proceed. He was ready to
admit that gentlemen sent from England
to represent it in foreign countries were
not exactly in the same situation as the
ambassadors of other countries. Such a
system might be wrong, but it had long
been in practice. But that system might
be carried too far; and when a gentleman
was sent to the Brazils, and it turned out
that, instead of being there, he was here,
he thought that it was impossible for the
House of Commons to allow such a vote to
pass till something like a security had been
given, that there should be no recurrence
of what had happened in this instance.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer ex-
plained to the hon. Gentleman thathe was
under a mistake when he said that Mr.
Gordon had been in this country all the
time. The fact was, that from the time
of his accepting the appointment, he either
was in the Brazils, or on the sea on his
journey, until September. From Sep-
tember to January, 1829, it was true that
he was ,in this country; but during that
period, though he was still engaged in
business connected with his appointment,
he only received half his regular salary;
and in January, 1829, his salary ceased
altogether, though it was not till April in
that year that he had ceased to be employed
in the affairs of his office.
Mr. Ward observed, that shortly after he
became a Member of that House, he recol-
lected Mr. Canning stating, that he felt it
to be his duty to enter on a series of ex-
perimental diplomacies to ascertain what

relations could be established between this
country and South America. He at the
same time stated, that it was impracticable
for him to define what the nature or ex-
tent of those diplomacies might be; but
he did state, that as the necessaries of life
were much enhanced in value in those
countries, it would be necessary to make
allowance for that circumstance. It was
with this view that we entered upon the
course then proposed. The new States of
South America standing chiefly in need of
maritime support, they naturally turned
their attention to England and America;
and while England felt that it would be
desirable to find in those States a market
for her exports, she could not help seeing
that in America she had a dangerous rival.
The right hon. Gentleman had at a former
period stated, that the exports from this
country to South America amounted to
nine millions annually. Either this was
true, or it was not; and on this chiefly
would depend the question for the consi-
deration of Parliament, whether our rela-
tions with those States ought still to be
maintained; and if the decision was in
favour of their being maintained, he hoped
that the Committee would not cut down
the estimates, as had been proposed by
the hon. Gentlemen on the other side.
Lord Howick said, that the question was,
not whether they should cut down the
missions to South America, but whether
they were to keep gentlemen nominally
there, but really at home, or else on the
high seas, pleasantly voyaging between
England and America, but doing no duty at
all. He could hardly be persuaded that
Government would refuse to consent to the
Amendment of the hon. Baronet, without
further reasons being given for that refusal.
The right hon. Gentleman had rested upon
the Estimates of last year; but his hon.
friend had taken a leaf from his own book,
and in the reductions he had proposed
to make, he had cut off nothing useful or
serviceable, but only such things as were
encouraging a profligate and shameful ex-
penditure. He agreed with the hon.
member for Westminster, that there was no
desire to attack individuals; on the con-
trary, he thought that those very indi-
viduals had no less right to complain than
the public, for they had a right to complain
-of being kept in London, and receiving
a salary for doing nothing. The mere
amount of money wasted in outfits was
enormous; from the documents it appeared,

41 Supply--

{COMMONS} South American Missions. 44

that the charge in four years had been no fairly stated the case of Mr. Cockburn.
less than 7,1661. It might be very true He referred to that case as an illustration,
that Mr. Cockburn's health was such as to because Mr. Cockburn ceased his func-
preclude his residence in South America, tions in 1828, in order to prove the ne-
and that there were very sufficient reasons cessity of the reduction he had proposed.
for not sending Mr. Chad or Mr. Turner His hon. and gallant friend was angry at
there, but all that could be said, if this the imputation ; he seemed to think that a
were the case, was, that there had been a reflection had been cast upon this gentle-
great want of care on the part of Govern- man's character; but he could assure his
ment in not managing their appointments hon. and gallant friend, that he was igno-
so as to avoid the expense of three outfits rant of the circumstance of Mr. Cockburn's
before one person was really sent out to illness. As to what had been said by the
undertake the duty. In the case of Con- right hon. Gentleman opposite (the Chan-
suls, the arrangement was, that if they cellor of the Exchequer), his own recollec-
were absent from their posts, a reduction tion was distinct upon the point, and it
from their salary was made for the support entirely agreed with what had been stated
of a deputy. Even in the case of Mr. by his hon. friend, the member for Aber-
Ricketts, whom ill health prevented from deen. Last year such a pledge as that he
attending to his duty, 9001. a year was mentioned, was given by the Chancellor of
deducted for a deputy. But no such thing the Exchequer; yet the right hon. Gentle-
was the case with Mr. Cockburn; and yet man now coolly came forward, and asked
this gentleman had his deputy too. Alto- for a grant even larger than that of last
gether his Charg6 d'Affaires had received year by the sum of 5701. As to Mr.
at the rate of 1,8851. a year; and on the Cockburn, it seemed to be implied that
whole it appeared, that the enormous sum he must have known that he was unwell;
of 17,7791. had been paid by the public, but he would repeat, that he had no such
for which Mr. Cockburn had only dis- knowledge, and indeed, he was persuaded
charged a few weeks of actual service, that both the House and his hon. and
Sir James Graham wished to say a few gallant friend knew him too well to imagine
words to the Committee before they de- that he would propose that a public officer
cidedupon the Amendment. In referenceto should be deprived of his salary when it
what had fallen fromthe right hon. Gentle- pleased the Almighty to deprive him of
man opposite (Sir Stratford Canning), he his health. He had stated what he
must say that his respect for the talents thought, namely, that it was rather too
and character of that right hon. Gentleman much to give 6,0001. a year to a gentleman,
would induce him to give every considera- for doing nothing, besides 6001. for a house
tion to his opinions. He had spoken of which he did not occupy. He did not ask
the conduct of his late right hon. relative the House to adopt any measure relative
as was natural and becoming. What to the extravagance of the last year ; all he
however was the conduct of that right wished was, that such extravagance might
hon. Gentleman; what was the course the not be continued. The specific ground of
late Mr. Canning pursued when an excep- the reduction he sought for was this-that
tion was taken to an expenditure of the in 1829, there was an expenditure of
description under the consideration of the 9,1911., which would not be necessary in
Committee ? Why, he at once said, I am 1830, unless similar events should occur,
desirous to have a committee of the or unless there was a determination to allow
House of Commons to examine into the abuses to continue. First, there was the
subject minutely, and I shall at once sub- sum for Lord Strangford, 4,0501., then
mit every item of the accounts." How there was Mr. Chad's outfit in 1829,
marked was the difference between the 2,0621., which, unless the South American
conduct of the present Ministry, and that ambassadors were to be kept in London
of Mr. Canning, who, although not boast- without doing any duty, would not occur
ing of economy as loudly as those now in again this year. Next came the outfit for
power, with the noble and gallant spirit Mr. Turner, 2,5001., and the excess of the
that distinguished him, stood forth at once estimate,5791., over thatof lastyear, making
the advocate of full and free inquiry, in- in the whole the sum he had before men-
stead of preventing explanation, and taking tioned of 9,1911. These were the grounds
every opportunity of suppressing informa- of his proposition. He did not wish to cast
tion, It had been said that he had un- any reflections, but he called upon. the

43 Supp~ly--

{JUNE 7} South American Missions. 46

House to decide whether the Commons
were not bound, under the present circum-
stances of the country, to prevent all un-
necessary expenses, whenever it was in
their power to do so.
The Committee then divided-For the
Amendment 99; Against it 118-Majo-
rity 19.

List of the Majority.

Alexander, J.
Antrobus, C.
Atkins, Alderman
Ashburnham, P.
Ashurst, J.
Arbuthnot, Rt. Hn. C.
Batley, C. H.
Burrard, G.
Bingham, Lord
Beresford, M.
Baillie, J.
Barclay, D.
Barclay, C.
Bramston, J.
Bankes, G.
Bastard, J.
Brydges, Sir J.
Brecknock, Lord
Beckett, Sir J.
Cartwright, W. R.
Clive, H.
Calcraft, Rt. Hon. J.
Calvert, N.
Calvert, J.
Campbell, A.
Clerk, Sir G.
Courtenay, Rt. Hn. T.
Croker, J. W.
Cape], J.
Cavanagh, Col.
Canning,Rt.Hn. Sir S.
Cradock, Col.
Corbett, P.
Castlereagh, Lord
Cooper, B.
Coote, Sir C.
Cripps, J.
Cockburn, Sir G.
Dalrymple, Sir A.
Dawson, M.
Darlington, Lord
Doherty, J.
Dundas, R. A.
East, Sir H.
Eliot, Lord
Fitzgerald, Rt. Hn. M.
Fellowes, W. H.
Gilbert, Davies
Goulburn, Rt. Hn. H.
Gurney, Hudson
Gordon, Hon. Capt.
Gower, Lord L.
Grenville, Hon. C.
Herries, Rt. Hon. C,
Holmes, W,

Hulse, J.
Hay, Lord A.
Hutchinson, R. (Tip-
Hardinge, H.
Hay, M.
Hope, H.
Innes, Sir H.
King, Sir J. D.
King, Hon. R.
Knox, Hon. T.
Knox, Hon. J.
Legge, Hon. A. C.
Lushington, Col.
Lewis, Rt. Hon. F.
Lumley, S.
Loch, J.
Lowther, Lord
Leech, J.
Maxwell, John
Moore, G.
Murray, Rt.Hn. SirG.
Maitland, Hon. A.
Maxwell, H.
M'Kinnon, C.
Manning, W.
M'Kenzie, Sir J.
M'Leod, N.
Martin, Sir B.
Norton, Hon. C. H.
O'Brien, W.
Petit, L. H.
Peel, Sir R. Bart.
Peel, W. J.
Peel, Col. J.
Powlett, Lord W.
Perceval, S.
Phipps, General
Prendergast, M. G.
SPlanta, J.
Ross, C.
Rochford, General
Rogers, W.
Rae, Sir W.
Saunderson, E.
Somerset, Lord G.
Scarlett, Sir J.
Sugden, Sir E. B.
Smith, G.
Smith, J. A.
Smith, C.
Sotheron, Admiral
Sturt, J.
Stuart, James
Thompson, Aid.

Tunno, IR.
Trench, Colonel
Thomson, L.
Van Homrigh, P.
Williams, 0.

Brown, J.
Buxton, T. F.
Benett, J.
Brownlow, Charles
Bernal, Ralph
Baring, Sir Thomas
Baring, F.
Beaumont, T. W.
Bentinck, Lord G.
Buller, C.
Blake, Sir F.
Buck, W.
Bankes, H.
Birch, J.
Coke, T.
Carew, Richard
Clifton, Lord
Calthorpe, Hon. F.
Curteis, E.
Colborne, R.
Davenport, Edward
Dawson, Alexander
Davies, Colonel
Denison, W. J.
Denison, J.
Dickinson, W.
Duncombe, W.
Ebrington, Lord
Easthope, John
Ewart, T.
Fazakerley, John N.
Fortescue, I-Ion. G.
Foley, J. H.
Fane, J.
Guest, J. J.
Grattan, Henry
Heathcote, Sir W.
Howick, Lord
Hume, J.
Hobhouse, J. C.
Honywood, W. P.
Howard, R.
Jephson, C. D. O.
Inglis, Sir R. H.
Kennedy, T. F.
Knatchbull, Sir E.
Lushington, Dr.
Labouchere, H.
Langston, J. H.
Lennard, T. B.
Latouche, R.
Mackintosh, Sir J.
Macdonald, Sir J.
Monck, J. B.
Marjoribanks, S.
Martin, John
Macauley, T. B.

Ward, W.
Wood, Colonel
Dawson, G. R.

Marshall, J.
Marshall, W.
Morpeth, Lord
Milton, Lord
Normanby, Lord
Oxmantown, Lord
Ord, Wm.
Osborne, Lord F.
O'Connell, Daniel
Philips, G. R.
Phillimore, Dr.
Palmer, C. F.
Pendarvis, E. W.
Price, Sir Robert
Protheroe, E.
Philips, Sir G.
Power, R.
Robarts, A. W.
Rancliff, Lord
Robinson, G. R.
Robinson, Sir G.
Rickford, W.
Rice, S.
Slaney, R.A.
Smith, V.
Strutt, Colonel
Sadler, M.
Sandon, Lord
Scott, Hon. J. H.
Trant, H.
Tynte, E. W.
Talbot, Colonel
Tufton, Hon. H.
Tomes, J.
Tennyson, C.
Taylor, M. A.
Thomson, C. P.
Wilbraham, G.
Warburton, H.
Webb, Col.
Wood, Alderman
Wood, J.
White, H.
White, Colonel
Yorke, Sir J.
Graham, Sir James
Calvert, Charles
Dundas, G.
Dundas, T.
Harvey, D. W.
Knight, R.
Poyntz, W. S.
Smith, Hon. R.
Western, C. C.
Wood, C.

FoaREba.] The House resumed, and

List of the Minority.


47 Punishment of Death

proceeded to the Order of the Day for
the third reading of the Forgery Bill.
The Bill was read a third time.
Sir James Mackintosh said, he had an
Amendment to propose to the Bill, which
was the same as that he had proposed in
the Committee. He was not aware that
the first question that night would be for
the third reading of the Bill; he con-
ceived that the motion would be for the
bringing up of the Report; and he in-
tended then to move his amendments,
but he must now introduce them in an-
other shape-that of a rider to the Bill.
The first clause he meant to propose to
add, would be the same as he had proposed
in the Committee. He intended by that
proposition to repeal the penalty of death
for all cases of Forgery, except the case
of forging wills, which he retained against
his own inclination, making a sacrifice of
his own opinion, out of deference to the
opinions of a great many Members, who
observed, accurately enough, that there
was some peculiarity in the crime. He
should propose, then, to repeal the capital
punishment in all cases of Forgery, ex-
cept the case he had mentioned, which
was distinguished from others. In place
of this punishment he meant to give a
power to every court before which a person
was convicted of forgery, to sentence
that person to imprisonment, with or with-
out hard labour, for any period not ex-
ceeding fourteen years. The same court
should also have a power to substitute for
imprisonment, banishment to any penal
colony, also for a term not exceeding
fourteen years. He should propose also
that the court should not only have the
power to inflict either of these punish-
ments, but to accumulate them both,
when the enormity of the offence should,
.in its opinion, justify such an accumula-
tion of punishment. He should also pro-
pose to vest a power in the Crown, to
make a regulation for the treatment of
persons transported for Forgery, so that
the crime might be marked as one of the
greatest enormity and danger, ranking
next after the crimes of personal violence.
He should wish, in addition, to take away
the power which was possessed by the
Governors of our penal colonies, at least
by the Governor of New South Wales, of
mitigating in cases of forgery, the punish-
ment inflicted for that offence. He pro-
posed this in order that persons of educa-
tion, such as those who generally com-


MONS} for Forgery. 48
mitted forgery, and who being very often
persons, on account of that education,
useful for public situations in a colony,
might not escape the punishment to which
they were condemned. He meant to take
away the power of remitting or relaxing
the punishment of persons convicted of
forgery, except it was obtained through
representations to his Majesty. He did
not intend to infringe on the prerogative
of the Crown, but short of its exercise no
remission of punishment should be granted
to persons convicted of forgery. These
were the objects of the clauses he meant
to propose. He should be prepared to
bring up these clauses in a few minutes,
and the first Amendment he should move
would be in the first paragraph of page
three, line seven, to the words "and shall
suffer the punishment of death," to be
left out. He would then, as the clauses
on account of being engrossed could not
be immediately brought up, formally pro-
pose that a clause for taking away the
punishment of death in all cases of
forgery, except that of forging wills be
Mr. Fowell Buxton rose to second the
Motion. He did not mean, he said, then
to enter into all the arguments that might
be urged on the general question; he
should apply his observations to remove
the strong impression which had been
made on the House on a former evening,
by the speech of the right hon. Baronet.
As that speech did not relate to party
politics, and as it had been said that the
subject was not discussed as a party mea-
sure, he trusted that his remarks would
not be looked on as dictated by the least
spirit of hostility. The facts on which
the right hon. Baronet had laid the most
stress-though he thought that right hon.
Baronet in error-but the facts on which
he had laid the most stress, and which
made the greatest impression on the House
on the last debate, were the enormous
amount of the transactions of the London
bankers, and the few cases of Forgery
which occurred in them. The right hon.
Baronet stated, that through the Clearing-
house, during four days in March, no less
than ten millions of money passed. The
right hon. Baronet also stated, in conjunc-
tion with the enormous amount of busi-
ness, that there were only four cases of
Forgery prosecuted by the London bankers
last year. Coupling this great amount of
money transactions with the few prosecu.

49 Punishment of Death

tions, he argued that the system worked
well; that property was, in fact, protected,
and the crime of Forgery prevented, by
the severity of the law. The right hon.
Baronet was not aware, he was sure, when
he made this statement of the facts of the
case, that this enormous sum of ten mil-
lions sterling all consisted of bankers'
cheques, which were not liable to forgery,
and which he might say it was almost im-
possible to forge. The House would see that
this must be so the instant he mentioned
it. In the City, it was well known, thatthe
cheques of the bankers, exchanged at the
Clearing-house, were not subject to this
species of fraud. These cheques were
generally drawn by some well-known per-
sons, and the bankers on whom they were
drawn did not pay them till the following
day. In the first place, then, there was
no chance of forgery, because the pro-
perty passed through the Clearing-house
consisted of cheques on bankers. In the
next place, they were drawn generally by
well-known persons; and in the third
place, the amount of them was not paid
till the following day. There was time to
inquire into the validity of cheques before
they were exchanged at the Clearing-house,
and forgeries of them when they occurred,
which was very rare, were always detected
before the cheques went to the Clearing-
house. But to remove all doubts on this
head, he would read a letter which he had
received from a person who, it would be
admitted by all who knew him, was well
qualified to give a correct opinion. It was
signed Wm. Thomas, who was a well known
bill-broker in Lombard-street. The writer
stated, that he had been for the last
thirty-nine years employed in the banking
business; for twenty years he had been
clerk in a banking-house, and for twelve
years he had been Inspector of the Clear-
ing-house. He stated, that while he was
in these two situations he had never known
a forged check paid in at the Clearing-
house, and in his opinion it was not pos-
sible that the bankers should suffer from
any forgery passed through the Clearing-
house. At the Clearing-house, then, it
was not possible that there should be any
forgery. It was admitted by intelligent
bankers, that they did not depend on the
severity of the law, but on the means they
employed of their own, for protection
against forgery. Some bankers in Lom-
bard-street would prosecute, and others
would not; and it was a curious fact,

which was well known, that the chief
forgeries had taken place on those who
would prosecute. The one class, relying
on the severity of the law, do not take
any means to protect themselves-the
other class, knowing that the severity of
the law is no protection, take means to
defend their property against forgery.
There was another curious fact he would
mention. One banker had the courage
to be examined before the committee to
inquire into the Criminal Law, and he
stated in evidence, that he would in no
case prosecute for forgery. He felt that
this was opening the door to fraud, and he
was apprehensive that the banker would
suffer from his statement. Ten years after
giving this evidence, he had asked him if
he had suffered from the evidence he had
given ? The answer was, that he had not
met with one case of forgery, and had
not paid one forged cheque. He considered
himself out of the pale of the law, and
had taken precautions sufficient to defend
his property from the attacks of the forgers.
Another fact on which the right hon.
Baronet had laid great stress, was the
great amount of business transacted by
the Bank of England. He had spoken of
the great sums it had in circulation,
amounting to upwards of 25,000,0001.,
and of the vast number of accounts kept
there, and he had added, that during the
present year there had been only two
forgeries committed on that great corpora-
tion. He did not at all doubt the fact-
that he was ready to admit-but he could
not agree to the inference the right hon.
Baronet had drawn. He had stated this
vast amount of property in conjunction
with few cases of crime, to prove that the
operation of the law was beneficial, and
that this obvious protection of property
was caused by the severity of the law. If
it were admitted that the severity of the
law operated to produce this protection,
the argument would be successful. If it
could be shown that the rarity of prosecu-
tions arose from other circumstances, this
argument would fall to the ground. If
the severity of the law in its operation had
brought about this result, that severity
must have had the same operation at all
times. It should have had the same effect
ten years ago as now. Since that time
the small notes have been withdrawn from
circulation. What was the effect of the
severity of the law when they were in cir-
culation ? Not only did it not prevent the

{JUNE 7}

for Forgery2. 50

51 Punishment of Death

commission of forgery, but that crime was
committed almost with impunity. There
were some curious facts, however, on this
subject, which were well known, and were
deserving of the attention of the House.
During the year 1817, there were no less
than 31,180 forged Bank-notes presented
at the Bank of England; 31,180 capital
crimes were committed, and committed,
in a great measure, with impunity. That
statement shewed, then, that the Bank of
England was protected, not by the severity
of the law, but by the withdrawal of the
11. and 21. Bank-notes. Another curious
circumstance which this illustrated was
the chance of escape. In general this
could be only vaguely stated, and could
not be determined with any precision ;
but in this case the circumstances were
known. He would state the facts. The
number of capital crimes was then 31,180.
Of these 142 were prosecuted, 60 con-
victed, and 14 executed; showing that
it was 200 to 1 that the crime would not
be prosecuted, 500 to 1 that it would not
be convicted, and 2,000 to 1 that the
person who committed it would not be
executed. This example shewed that the
severity of the law produced immunity,
and encouraged the commission of the
crime. There was another fact which he
would bring before the House, which was,
in his mind, more conclusive, and had
been sufficient to banish doubt from his
mind, whenever anything had happened to
unsettle his judgment, and convinced him
that capital punishment was not necessary.
What was the point at issue ? The argu-
ment urged in favour of capital punish-
ment was, that it protected property by
its extreme severity. He would banish
from his mind all notion of the unfitness
of the punishment, and of its dispropor-
tion to the offence. He would say nothing
of the right of the Legislature to inflict
death, though he must own it was a
point on which he felt strongly, he
agreeing with the language of the peti-
tion he had presented, which said "that
the Creator, the Lord and Giver of
Life, had not given to any Monarch or
Legislature, however legitimate, wise, or
powerful, the right to exercise unlimited
discretion, and inflict the punishment of
death for every offence it might think fit."
He did not intend to appeal to any feelings,
to any sentiments, he would grant for the
sake of argument that property must be
protected at the expense of justice and

compassion and at all hazards. Putting
out of view the precepts of humanity and
religion, he would put the question at
issue on the fact, whether the extreme
rigour of the law had the effect of repress-
ing crime and protecting property ? There
were some facts to which he would call
the attention of the House. A few years
ago the Legislature had acted at the same
time in two opposite directions. In the
one case it had made a crime which had
before been punished with fine and im-
prisonment a capital felony; in the other,
a crime that was before punishable with
death, was, about the same time, ordered
to be only punished with transportation.
He meant to call on the House to consider
the consequence of these changes. The
one case was for the protection of the Ex-
cise. By some omission or other of the
Legislature, the forging of stamps under
the Excise-laws was only subject to fine
and imprisonment; and when that omis-
sion was discovered, it was made punish-
able with death. What was the effect?
Mr. Carr, the Solicitor to the Excise, was
examined before the Committee of 1819,
and he was asked what had been the re-
sult of the alteration, and if the measure
had answered expectations? The reply
was No, we were better off as we were
before; the increased rigour of the law
has been a change for the worse. We
were better protected by the former lenity
than by the present rigour; and fraudu-
lent practices against the Revenue have
increased." The other case was the law re-
lating to bleaching grounds. In many
cases, where the severity of the punish-
ment had been remitted, the frequency of
the crime had fallen off in a proportion to
that remission. In the case of the linen
bleachers of the North of Ireland that
effect was most remarkable. The linen
bleachers, suffering from a long course of
depredations, applied to the Legislature
for a diminution of the punishment in-
flicted on those guilty of stealing in bleach-
ing-grounds. The Legislature gave them
the boon they required; and what was the
consequence ? Why, that the crime had
not increased, and that the number of con-
victions had increased. He had received
but the other day a communication from
a gentleman in one of thecounties of Ulster,
which placed this fact in a remarkable
point of view. That gentleman took two
periods of years from 1820 to 1829. In
the first five years, when the punishment


for PorPgery. 52

for Forgery. 54

-was death, there were sixty-one commit-
ments for offence. In the next four, when
the punishment was transportation, there
were thirty-seven commitments. The
right hon. Baronet (Sir R. Peel) seemed,
with some justice, to consider the con-
victions as a better criterion in these cases
than the commitments. Now the return
to that subject was more curious still.
Of the sixty-one commitments there were
only three convictions; of the thirty-
seven commitments there were seventeen
convictions, making just one-half the pro-
portion of the convictions to the commit-
ments, when people were brought to pro-
secute in the certainty that the capital
part of the punishment would not be in-
flicted. He thought this decisive of the
preference of a mild to a severe punish-
ment; and the only question was, why
it could be contended that the Bankers
were not entitled to the same favour as
that extended to the other classes of the
community. The petition of the Bankers
of England had been already read to the
House; but this petition, signed by 1,000
bankers, was so important, that he could
not refrain from quoting a passage of it:
-" Your petitioners find by experience,
that the penalty of death prevents the
punishment of crime, and injures the pro-
perty it was intended to protect." The
hon. Member then stated, that he had re-
ceived a variety of letters from bankers
throughout the country, which he had in-
tended to read, but they were too nume-
rous. All complained that the right hon.
Gentleman opposite (Sir R. Peel) had not
gone far enough ; that he could not be ac-
quainted with the situation of bankers in
the country; that forgeries were com-
mitted on them with impunity, for those
who were forged upon would not prose-
cute; whereas, if the penalty were less
than death, no consideration of trouble,
of expense, or of inconvenience, would
prevent them from prosecuting to convic-
tion. One of them said, I know of in-
numerable cases in which parties have
refused to prosecute," so that nothing sur-
prised him (Mr. Buxton) more than to
see, notwithstanding this repugnance, the
number of prosecutions. Many of the
parties to whom he referred complained of
the language he had used on a former
occasion, and that he had appeared to give
his approbation to the course which had
been pursued by the right hon. Secretary.
He had certainly given that support be-

cause he feltthat itwas deserved. The right
hon. Gentleman had been a very active
reformer of the criminal law, and had
cleared our Statute-book of a mass of
ancient rubbish. In one of his speeches,
the right hon. Gentleman had described
our criminal law as the most sanguinary
in the world; and he had observed, I
have been the instrument in many cases
of mitigating the severity of the law, and
I can assure the House that in no instance
has any obstruction to justice arisen from
such mitigation." He was now obliged to
admit that the right hon. Gentleman's
speech and his bill were at variance, as
appeared evident to himself, for he had
made an apology for not going further, by
saying that the public were not yet ripe
for the improvement. But the public
were now fully ripe; the bankers had
come forward and said, Give us the pro-
tection which would result from a milder
law." Then he hoped that the right hon.
Gentleman would consent to the reforma-
tion of his own bill, and would raise it to
what he (Mr. Buxton) believed to be his
own principle, as well as to whathad been
asked by the bankers of the country.
Mr. Lennard was acquainted with many
bankers, and had received many letters,
all agreeing in the sentiments contained
in the letters referred to by the hon. Member
(Mr. Buxton). There was one case of a
bankerwho had been often forged upon, and
he had paid the bills out of his own pocket
rather than suffer the offenders to be pro-
secuted. In another case, a banker had
been forged upon twenty or thirty times,
by the same individual, but in consequence
of the severity of the law, he had refused
to take any measures against him. There
never was a case more completely made
out than that of the unwillingness of the
public that this severe law should con-
tinue in force. The feeling had been en-
tirely on one side, for whilst the Table had
been loaded with petitions against the con-
tinuance of the existing law, not a single
petition had been presented in its favour.
The expression had not been confined to
any particular class; it had proceeded
from every class; and if hon. Members
would take a map of England, he would
defy them to put their finger upon any
place from which a petition had not come.
The public feeling was even stronger than
had been expressed. Many persons en-
gaged in trade had abstained from avow-
ing their sentiments, for fear that the

63 Punishment of Death

{JUNE 7}

55 Punishment of Death

knowledge of their unwillingness to pro-
secute would leave their property without
any protection. An attorney in the coun-
try had informed him, that he had several
clients who had been forged upon, who
refused to prosecute ; but they declined
appearing as petitioners to the House, lest
they might expose their property to depre-
dation. With respect to the Bill, headmit-
ted that it had some merit as being a good
digest of the law of forgery ; but as a prac-
ticalmitigation of the law, it wasof no value
whatever. It was only necessary to look
into other countries-France, for instance:
hardly any instance took place there of the
punishment of death for such a crime.
Let a forged Bank of England note be
passed in France, the utmost punishment
would be branding and the galleys for five
years. But if a forged note of France be
uttered here, we put the criminal to death.
Might it not be better to try the system of
the latter country ? Forgery was only a
species of robbery, and to punish it with
such severity was to confound the dis-
tinctions of guilt. The doctrine he held
was no novelty ; it was inculcated in one
of our oldest Statutes-a Statute of Henry
8th. Some allusion had been made on a
former night to the expense of prosecu-
tions. Let the right hon. Gentleman ap-
point a public prosecutor, or adopt any
other expedient to obviate the evil; but
unless it were accompanied by some miti-
gation of the criminal law, his reform
would not be effectual.
The Solicitor General began by com-
plaining that the hon. member for Wey-
mouth had strained facts and drawn ex-
aggerated conclusions not warranted by
the facts. Every man, both in the House
and out of it, must be so anxious not to
impose the slightest unnecessary punish.
ment, that it seemed invidious for a per-
son to advocate the continuance of the
law as it stood. It might be imagined that
his right hon. friend had proposed to ex-
tend the punishment of forgery instead of
diminishing it. If he had come down
and taken away the capital punishment for
any such offence, that would have been
treated as a great boon; but as the Bill
was a consolidation of the laws regarding
forgery, it seemed to be regarded as an in-
crease of the punishment. But he would
call the attention of the House to one
clause in the Bill, which abolished capital
punishment for forging deeds. He thought
that a dangerous alteration; but his right

hon. friend thought otherwise, and had in-
serted the clause. In advocating the law
as it stood, he had the satisfaction of
thinking that he was contributing to deter
persons from the commission of crime, and
doing what was just and right, in protect-
ing the property of those on whom forgery
was committed. The Legislature ought
not to reserve all its tenderness for the
offender; some should be shown towards
those who suffered from his crime. The
number and description of persons who
committed the offence went a long way to
justify the law. These persons were al-
ways men of education, and they calcu-
lated on the probability of escaping with
impunity. They were generally persons
deeply in the confidence, and familiar with
the habits of business and mode of writing
of those on whom they forged. Looking,
therefore, at the description of persons
who committed the offence, and at the
means and opportunities they had of com-
mitting it, if the punishment of death were
justifiable by the laws of God and man, it
was justifiable in reference to this crime.
Some of those who opposed the applica-
tion of this punishment to forgery, were
opposed to capital punishment altogether.
There could be no doubt that that re-
spectable body, the Quakers, had set their
mind upon doing away with the penalty of
death for forgery; but they were also pre-
pared for abolishing it as the punishment
for every other offence. Was the country
prepared for this? Was it prepared to
bring our criminal code down to the level
of the opinions of that respectable body ?
Because they had prejudices upon this
point, were the people therefore to have
this protection taken from them ? As to
the petitions being all on one side, the
reason was, that all the activity had been
on one side, and none on the other. All
this activity had arisen from the Quakers ;
but the opinions held by that respectable
body on this subject he could not hold.
He must say, that he thought the appalling
punishment of death, executed as it was
with so much ignominy in the public
streets, where criminals were suspended
before a gazing populace, was greatly cal-
culated to deter men from the commission
of crime. He had not, however, under-
stood his right hon. friend to bind himself
not to extend the lesser punishment to
other cases than were included in this Bill;
all he had understood his right hon. friend
to say was, that they must proceed with


for F~org~ery. 56

57 Punishment of Death

caution. He saw no secondary punish-
ment which could be expected to act so
strongly for the prevention of crime as
the greater punishment. His hon. and
learned friend opposite (Mr. Brougham)
had said, that out of 117 convictions, the
punishment of death had been inflicted
only in twenty-four cases; but he did not
think that the argument his learned friend
had drawn from this was a legitimate one;
for although the secondary punishment
was here inflicted upon so many, and the
capital punishment on so few, yet the ter-
ror of the greater punishment hung over
all. He did not think that, although the
chances might be nine or ten to one against
a man being hanged, the man would have
the less terror of that punishment. It was
the greatest of all punishments, and the
uncertainty attending the infliction of it
did not lessen the fear of it, much less
could the chances of nine or ten to one
have that effect. From the conduct of
the present Government there ought to
result the greatest confidence that the
utmost penalty of the law would only be
carried into effect in cases which required
it. If they took a secondary punishment,
it must be the maximum of punishment,
and then they would find it necessary to
relax again; for few men would agree that,
in every case, the maximum of punish-
ment, whatever that maximum might be,
should be inflicted. They had now se-
condary punishments for cases which re-
quired such punishments, and they had
also the penalty of death for extreme cases.
If they were to mitigate the law, as now
proposed, they would still have to contend
with public sympathy, and as there were al-
ready persons too conscientious to prose-
cute, because the penalty of the offence
might be death, so they would have others
refuse to prosecute because the punishment
might still be greater than, in their opi-
nion, the offence deserved. For his own
part, he should not now, and much less
if the punishment were mitigated, have any
hesitation in prosecuting for such an
offence; yet they had seen that others
were actuated by a different feeling. Such
were the Quakers, and other conscientious
persons, who could not bring themselves
to prosecute for cases to which the penalty
of death was attached; but, as he had be-
fore observed, it was impossible to tell how
far the scruples ofpersonsmight be carried,
even though other punishments should be
substituted for that of death.

Mr. Macauley said, that on a former
occasion the right hon. Secretary had
declared this to be no party or political
question, and had assured them that he
did not consider it to be a question on
which the supporters of Government were
expected to vote in favour of the Bill. If
this assurance were sincerely given, he
must say that the decision of the former
evening was a matter of astonishment to
him, for he thought the question must
have prevailed if it had been left to stand
or fall by its own merits. To-night,
however, that assurance would be put to
the test; and if the question were lost, he
confessed that he should find it very diffi-
cult to believe that ministerial influence
had not contributed to the defeat. In
advocating the mitigation of this part of
our criminal code, he begged leave to say,
that he proceeded not upon considerations
of humanity, and that he did not partici-
pate in that conscientious feeling which
prevented some persons from consenting
to the infliction of the punishment of
death. But while he disclaimed this com-
passionate sentimentality, allow him to
say, that it was far more creditable than
the vindictive sentimentality of the learned
Solicitor General,whohad condemned even
some of the mitigations of punishment con-
tained in the Bill of the right hon. Secre-
tary. He admitted that, for certain cases
of forgery, involving breach of trust, and
the ruin of widows and orphans, no
punishment was too severe. They might
deserve roasting at a slow fire, but such
individual cases ought not to determine
the Legislature to make a general law;
neither would it be right with compas-
sionating sentimentality to follow the cri-
minal into the condemned cell, and see
him horror-stricken at the fate which await-
ed him. That would be as improper a
basis for Legislation, as pointing to an
individual who had beggared numerous
families, and defrauded all who trusted
him. The vote he should that night give
would be founded on no such grounds,
but upon the conviction, that if they
meant the law to be executed, they must
mitigate the severity of it. They could
not punish forgery with death, and it was
vain for them to flatter themselves that
they could. They might bring in a paper
called a bill; they might read it three
times; they might send it up to the Lords,
who might agree to it, and read it three
times also; it might receive the Royal

{JUNE 7}

for Forgery.

59 Punishment of Death

assent; it might be sent to the King's
printer, and be placed among the rest of
the Statutes-and then they might say
that they had made a law which would
punish forgery by death. But if they
said so, they deceived themselves,-for
they would only have added another to
the number of those pages in our Statute-
book which were the scorn of criminals,
and the disgust of sober men-mere abor-
tions of laws, which were dead before
they were born. To make it a law they
must get it acted upon; but this, it had
been seen, was beyond their power. In
the first place, men would not prosecute.
It had been said, that the Bank of Eng-
land always prosecuted, and doubtless
that was true; but then the Bank was a
corporation, and Lord Coke told them
that a corporation had no soul. The
question was, would individual members
of society prosecute? Experience had
shewn that they would not. The right
hon. Secretary, indeed, had said that the
Bank prosecutions were a fair measure of
the number of prosecutions generally ; but
as it appeared to him, the contrary was
true; for the Bank prosecuted in every
case, and for this very reason, therefore,
its prosecutions could not be taken as a
fair measure of the whole. The right
hon. Secretary had admitted that a disin-
clination to prosecute did exist, and while
the right hon. Gentleman gave to some
the credit of acting upon conscientious
feelings, he said that many were hypo-
crites, and that they made their con-
sciences a stalking-horse to cover their
real motives, which were to save the ex-
penses of a prosecution. Now this, in-
stead of being an argument against the
mitigation of punishment, appeared to him
to constitute of itself one of the great abuses
of the present system; it gave people an
excuse which was universally admitted to be
good in the case of forgery, but which
would be at once laughed at if it were
put forward in cases of arson or murder;
and if there were as much of this counter-
feit coin abroad as the right hon. Gentle-
man supposed there was, it was a proof
that much sterling Currency must exist,
or the former could never circulate. But,
suppose they got a prosecutor, then the
case went before the Grand Jury, where
bills, though supported by the clearest
evidence, were constantly thrown out. It
was only the other day that Mr. Hobler
said this repeatedly occurred. However,

let the Grand Jury find a true bill, then
it went down to Court with the names of
reluctant witnesses on its back, and what
reception it met with in its next stage he
need hardly remind the House. By the
last papers connected with this subject
which had been laid upon the Table, it
appeared that during the nine years, end-
ing 1828, there had been 708 persons
committed on the capital charge of for-
gery, and that, out of these, no less than
334 had got off before the Grand Jury;
while, out of 558 who had been com-
mitted on the minor charge, not capital,
only fifty-seven had got off before the
Grand Jury. The learned Solicitor Gene-
ral told them that, with regard to the
punishment of death, the diminution of
the chances did not diminish the fear;
but allow him to tell the learned Gentle-
man, that the chance even of death might
be reduced so low that the fear of death
would have very little weight. Besides,
men saw these chances differently; for
instance, there was scarcely a gentleman
in Westminster-hall who would refuse to
go out as a judge to Bombay, and a man
who could not muster up courage enough
to fight a duel would forge you half a
dozen acceptance in no time. Yet the
climate of Bombay had been fatal to very
many, and there was more danger in
forging than in fighting duels. But the
objection to the law was, as he had before
stated, that it could not be executed.
The judges, the juries, the witnesses, ay,
and even the Secretary of State, too, were
against it ; for whatever ground the
Secretary of State might take in that
House, it had been shown that only one-
ninth of the persons convicted had been
executed. And yet this was an argument
in favour of the existing law, both with
the right hon. Gentleman and with the
learned Solicitor General. The latter too
thought that the ignominy of the punish-
ment was not without most salutary
effects; but when the drop fell, amidst
cries of "shame" and "murder," all
horror of the crime, all dread of the
punishment was lost in disgust at the
exhibition. To show to what extent this
sympathy was carried, let him remind the
House that, in the case of Mr. Fauntleroy,
the case which was so often quoted against
them, a petition, praying that the life of
that man might be spared, was signed by
no less than 8,000 persons. Now the
case of Mr. Fauntleroy was, one would


for Forgery.

61 Punishment of Death

imagine, the strongest possible. The
sympathy that it excited was, therefore,
the more remarkable evidence of the opin-
ions of the people with regard to capital
punishments for forgery. Whatever
punishment the offences of Mr. Faunt-
leroy might have been thought to have
deserved--(some might think he deserved
to be put to torture, or to be roasted by a
slow fire, or to be broken on the wheel,
and left to die of thirst)-yet that was not
the way in which legislators ought to
look at crime. The opinion of the people
ought to regulate the measure of punish-
ment. See what that opinion was, and
to what measures it carried men. Juries
and witnesses constantly acted in violation
of the oath they had taken. He did not
mean to say that such juries and such
witnesses were not guilty of a great moral
offence; but was he, while he admitted
this, to acquit those from whom the offence
came? He would not defend this con-
duct in juries, but, at the same time, far
be it from him to defend the constructors
of the law. If juries had become legisla-
tors in this respect, let the blame of so
great an inconvenience rest on the heads
of Ministers, who had forced men to
choose between perjury and what they
considered bloodguiltiness. They were
teaching the people to look to juries for
that laxity which, if it should become
common, would be one of the greatest
curses that could befall the country-a
curse, however, which they could not
avert, if they persisted in making popular
tribunals administer unpopular laws. The
knowledge and the extent of this evil
might be shortly illustrated by an occur-
rence which took place the other day.
In a prosecution of this nature, the coun-
sel for the Crown rose and intimated to
the jury that they need not be afraid of
convicting the prisoners, for, though it
was a capital offence, yet it was not pro-
bable the men would be hanged. The
counsel on the other side said, and said
very properly, that his learned friend had
no right to take such a course with the
jury. This occurrence showed the state to
which things had arrived; the feeling of
juries on these subjects were notorious,
as indeed, how could it be otherwise,
when they, answerable to no one, had so
frequently proved that they would commit
perjury and become legislators themselves
rather than do the bloody drudgery which
those who alone ought to legislate, thought

fit to put upon them? Of this feeling it
might be said, as the old chemists said of
water, that it is incompressible; they
might multiply restraints upon restraints,
but still it would have vent, it would
burst through every crevice, and ooze out
at every pore. The ancient principle of
legislation, which experience had proved
to be utterly fallacious, was, that the more
severe the law, the more effective it would
be. By acting on this principle they had
made the people combine to cheat the
Custom-house, and they were now making
juries combine to cheat the gallows. The
Commons often found themselves situated
with respect to the Upper House as they
now found themselves situated with respect
to their constituents. They passed a bill,
and sent it up to the Lords, where amend-
ments were made which were not liked by
those with whom the bill originated; but
the bill, with its amendments, was accept-
ed, because such an Act was preferable to
none at all, or such an alteration better
than the existing law. Let them pursue the
same course on the present occasion to-
wards their constituents, whose voice was
quite as powerful, though not so efficiently
expressed, as the voice of the Lords.
Their constituents had sent back to them
the law which had been passed on this
subject; they had now a favourable op-
portunity of re-considering it, and he did
implore the House-not on considerations
of humanity, but as they valued that
commerce, the protection of which they
professed to have so much at heart-to
remove from the Statute-books those
enactments which were a disgust to those
who did well, and a laughing-stock to
evil doers.
Mr. Cripps said, that he perfectly con-
curred with those who looked upon this
question as one stripped of all party and
political considerations. For his own
part he considered it purely on its own
merits. He had presented three petitions
from his constituents against the bill of
the right hon. Secretary; but he had told
his constituents that his own opinion did
not coincide with theirs. In opposing
the views of his constituents he knew
that he ran a very great risk, and particu-
larly at this time, but he thought that all
who knew him would acquit him of giving
his vote on this occasion because he wish-
ed to support the Government. He gave
his word and honour that he did not vote
for the Bill because he wished to support

{JUNE 7)

for Forgery.

63 Punishment of Death

Ministers, but really and honestly because
he thought it necessary to retain this
punishment. He had examined the right
hon. Home Secretary's Bill, and the right
hon. member for Knaresborough's Clause,
with his best attention, and the result at
which he arrived was, that the Bill suffi-
ciently discriminated between those cases
to which the extreme- penalty of the law
should or should not apply, and that the
clause provided no valid substitute for the
punishment of death in the more aggra-
vated cases of forgery. He therefore
should vote for the Bill, which indeed he
thought more decidedly based on princi-
ples of clemency than the proposition for
commuting the punishment of death to
fourteen years' transportation, with a pre-
vious long solitary confinement.
Sir C. Wetherell was one of those who
meant to vote for the right hon. Home
Secretary's Bill, and he should do so with-
out any fear of the imputation of being
enrolled among those who, it had been
said, were biassed in their votes by the
political influence of the right hon. Gen-
tleman. Such an imputation was most
unfounded, he would say, when the con-
scientious characters of many of those
who had voted on a former occasion, and
probably would vote that evening with the
right hon. Gentleman, was taken into
consideration. That bill was in the spirit
of moderate reform, which characterized
the several improvements in our laws, of
which the right hon. Home Secretary had
been the official instrument, and as such
was entitled to the support of every hon.
Member who had voted for those improve-
ments. He was aware that many of those
who were most eager to see his right hon.
friend's clause adopted professed to set
little value on the measures for the im-
provement of the administration of justice
to which he had just alluded, on the
ground that they did not go far enough.
The hon. member for Weymouth (Mr. F.
Buxton), for example, seemed to consider
them to be nothing more than a kind of
small-beer reform, and that nothing had
been done since the punishment of death
was inflictable for other crimes than mur-
der, for such, in fact, would be the effect
of his right hon. friend's clause, if adopt-
ed. Now this was a subject on which he
had bestowed more than ordinary consi-
deration. He knew that many, he was
free to admit, conscientious, theoretical
sentimentalists, had maintained that be-

cause in Revelation punishment of death
was not declared against any crime but
murder, that therefore it would be im-
moral, illegal, and irreligious, to inflict it
for robbery, or any modification of the
crime of property-spoliation. Such, how-
ever, was not the opinion of Paley, or
Kippis, or Blackstone, or any other high
authority in the ethics of jurisprudence.
They maintained, in his mind soundly,
that it did not follow, that because death
was not enjoined in the Scriptures as
the punishment of any crime except
murder, that therefore its being extended
in the progress of society to other
offences was not consonant nor con-
gruous with the divine law. For what
would be the consequence of following up
the theoretical principles of the class of
sentimentalists to their legitimate and
logically consistent extent, unless to dis-
arm Government of its powers, by doing
away with all the principles and institu-
tions of criminal law? [" No."] He
said yes; for did not the class to
which he had alluded not only maintain
that punishment by death was immoral,
illegal, and irreligious, but also maintain,
and, what was more, acted upon, the prin-
ciple that all litigation was unrighteous ?
[" No, no," from Dr. Lushington.] He
repeated, notwithstanding the civilian
"no" which had reached his ear, that the
class of sentimentalists to which he had
referred, did maintain and act upon these
principles, and therefore could not, in
consistency, be content till there ceased
to be any punishment at all. When did
the hon. and learned civilian see a Quaker a
suitorinDoctors' Commons, orin any Courts
of Common Law? But, to return, to his
right hon. friend's clause. He felt in re-
lation to that clause precisely as the hon.
member for Callington had on a former
occasion described himself to feel-that
is, he would willingly support its adoption,
were it first made clear to him that it pro-
vided a bona fide substitute for the pu-
nishment of death. But it did no such
thing; and while it went to take away
every existing scheme of vengeance which
the present law sanctioned, it provided no
substitute in its stead. What did the
clause propose? Why, that the crime of
forgery should be punished instead of
by hanging in any case-either by four-
teen years' solitary confinement, or by
fourteen years' transportation, or by both,
according to circumstances. With re-


for Forgery.

65 Punishment of Death

spect to the first of these propositions, it
appeared to him a sufficient answer to
repeat what had been said on a former oc-
casion. It was no punishment at all in
cases of large forgery spoliations, for
what was there to prevent the convict
criminal from carry out with him the
money in gold which he had defrauded
some person of, and thus rendering pu-
nishment by transportation a perfect moc-
kery of legal revenge ? Then with respect
to the fourteen years' solitary confinement
proposition, he should like to know whe-
ther public feeling, of which so much had
been said, as being scared by the specta-
cle of executions for forgery, would not
be still more scared by the sight of the
misery of the slow, tedious, wearing, ener-
gy-consuming, punishment of solitary
confinement? Would it not be, in fact,
generally felt that that species of punish-
ment was actually more severe than the
punishment of death? He maintained it
was, and that the existing law was far
more merciful in its tendency than such a
proposition. Then with respect to the
third remedy of his right hon. friend-the
transportation after solitary confinement
-all he should say was, that every ob-
jection to either punishment singly, applied
a fortiori to their union. What would
be its effect? Why, justly to make for-
gery-criminals the objects of public pity
much more than their execution at pre-
sent. Was a criminal, after his fourteen
years' solitary confinement, with hard
tread-mill labour, by which it might be
thought he had expiated his offence, had
in fact become an emeritus of his prison,
and therefore unrestrained by its regula-
tions, was he to be debarred from leaving
that prison, and told now your fourteen
years' transportation commences ?" That
would indeed be a pretty postscript to the
long letter of objurgation which the right
hon. Gentleman proposed first to send to
the criminal. Punishment of death would
be much more humane treatment. He
knew that the opinion that punishment
by death was as impolitic as it was
cruel, in offences against property, was
daily making way, was creeping over the
face of public opinion. Still he was not
a convert to it, and yet he would venture
to say, though not a Quaker, that he felt
as warmly and as deeply for the sufferings
of his fellow-creatures as any theoretical
sentimentalist of them all. But his was
no bastard inconsistent sympathy; he was

for no pseudo-morality-no small-beer
relaxation of the sternness of criminal
jurisprudence. He should like to know
from some of the sentimental theorists
how they reconciled the consistency of
abolishing punishment of death in cases
of forgery, with their keeping it in force
for highway-robbery or spoliation of pro-
perty? Surely, if it was objectionable in
the one instance, it was at least equally
so in the other case. If they believed
their principle to be good, they should, in
consistency, extend it to all offences
against property besides forgery. In-
deed, he thought forgery, in nine cases
out of ten, to be a much more aggravated
crime than the majority of robbery cases
that called down the severity of the law;
for the former was a deliberate, methodi-
cal, concerted violation of law, by persons
generally of education and less pressed by
want of the necessities of nature, while the
latter were too often the pro re nata off-
spring of want or drunkenness, or the in-
fluence of bad associates. The hon. and
learned Gentleman proceeded to argue, in
answer to the hon. member for Calne,
that there were two classes of forgery-
criminals-one in which there was a
breach of trust, and one in which there
was no such breach -between whom
the Bill before the House drew a very
proper line of distinction. The hon.
Member had alluded to the case of
Fauntleroy, and had admitted that not
only it was not too severely punished, but
that ingenuitymight, he thought, have been
exercised in devising some fitting torture
for that black criminal. Now, was it not
strangely inconsistent in the hon. Gentle-
man to make such an admission, and yet
contend that the clause should be adopted
without any qualifying exception? How
was he to provide punishment for other
Fauntleroys ? How could such an excep-
tion to the principle of the clause be
reconciled with the required practical con-
gruity and practical symmetry, and even
the theoretical homogeneity, of the law ?
Mr. H. Gurney should vote for the
Amendment. If that were lost, and the
punishment of death retained, he hoped
some distinction would be made be-
tween those great forgeries which shook the
very foundation of property, and those
minor forgeries that were mere pecuniary
frauds. The former might be punished with
death; the latter, the people never would

{JUNE 7)

for Forg~ery. 66

67 Punishment of Death

Sir Robert Peel said, that he would
at once approach that point which, after
all, was the main argument for the
remission of the punishment of death
in cases of forgery namely, that the
law, as it now existed, afforded no pro-
tection to property; but that if they
remitted the punishment of death in
such cases, a new protection to property
would be thereby created. If this posi-
tion were established by sound argument,
it would unquestionably have more force
with him than all the declamation which
he had heard on this subject, during the
present as well as on a former evening.
But he would ask, if the punishment of
death did not deter from the crime of
forgery, why did the right hon. and
learned Gentleman admit the propriety of
retaining that punishment in one particu-
lar case, that of forging a will ? If the
right hon. and learned Gentleman really
thought that, by remitting the punishment
of death, he gave additional security to
property, why did he retain that punish-
ment in this instance? The right hon.
and learned Gentleman said, that he
would not, to-night, go so far as he had
formerly done; and then, with what ap-
peared to him to be a great inconsistency,
he proposed that the punishment of death
for forgery should be abolished in all
cases except where the forgery of a will
took place. The hon. member for Wey-
mouth stated, that he would not support
the proposition of the right hon. and
learned Gentleman on any religious or
conscientious scruple which he might
himself entertain, but that he would defend
it on the ground of its giving anew security
and protection to property. Now, he
would again state that which he had
stated the other night, that it would, in his
opinion, have precisely the contrary effect.
If he were to look confidently forward to
his continuing to hold the office of Secre-
tary of State, he could assure those who
advocated the proposition of the right hon.
and learned Gentleman, that nothing
would be more agreeable to him than to
agree to a commutation of punishment, if
he could bring himself to believe that it
would be attended with beneficial effects.
It would unquestionably free him from
many very painful applications. In ar-
guing this question, he relied entirely on
facts connected with the mercantile con-
cerns of this city, and to these facts the
House, in his opinion, ought to attach

very great weight. He particularly se-
lected the case of the London bankers,
and of the Bank of England. He, however,
formerly declared, and he now repeated,
that he did not mean to retain this punish-
ment merely on account of the pecuniary
interests of the London bankers or of the
Bank of England, but because he felt that
the general interests of the public were
deeply concerned. In treating this ques-
tion formerly, he had found it necessary
to advert to the London bankers; and he
had first stated the immense extent of their
business. He had shown that thirty-six
banking establishments (forming the
Bankers' Committee for prosecuting for-
geries) had, in the course of three days,
in the month of May, transacted business
to the amount of 10,000,0001. That fact,
which he then stated, and which appeared
at the time to have astonished some Gen-
tlemen, he now confidently repeated. He
had also stated to the House, that four
private banking-houses in London had, in
the course of a year, transacted business
to the amount of 500,000,0001. But
then he was told that, as all the drafts
and Bills of Exchange must go through
the Clearing-house, an effectual security
against forgery was thus created. There-
fore, the right hon. and learned Gentle-
man argued that they ought to deduct
from the securities which were liable to
forgery, that they ought to deduct from
the general account, all notes and draughts
which went through the Clearing-house.
Now, he differed entirely from those who
advanced this as a valid argument. He
would contend that the Clearing-house
was not an effectual security against
forgery. He would contend that the
right hon. and learned Gentleman, and
not himself was mistaken as to facts. He
said that the banker was not called on to
pay on the day when the instrument was
presented, and that therefore he had an
opportunity of ascertaining its authentici-
ty. But, notwithstanding this, the fact
was, and he knew it, that forgeries had
on many occasions passed the Clearing-
house. A recent forgery for 5001. on
Messrs. Rothschild, did actually pass
through the Clearing-house. When a
London banker received a bill, he had,
no doubt, a day to ascertain its correct-
ness; but the fact was, that such skill
was evinced in the perpetration of for-
gery, that the fraud could not in many
cases be discovered without a perpetual


for Forgery. 68

69 Punishment of Death

reference to the party named in the instru-
ment. Why, it was but the other day
that a woman brought forward documents
signed, as it appeared, by Mr. Dunning,
Lord Chatham, and he knew not by whom
else. Now, he had no doubt that those
signatures, though well executed, were not
real; and if signatures were artfully
traced, as he believed those to have been,
how, except by personal reference, could
the forgery be detected ? Therefore he
would say, that the argument founded on
the Clearing-house was not worth any
thing; but that the fear of the punish-
ment of death did deter from the com-
mission of this crime was evident from
the fact, that though business had
been transacted, in three days, at the
counters of the banking establishments,
to which he had referred, to the amount
of 4,795,0001., there were, in the course
of the present year, but four forgeries
committed on them, and the amount was
only 4001. With respect to the Bank of
England, where an immense amount of
business was necessarily transacted, they
had only instituted three prosecutions for
forgery in the last Assizes, and in the
present there was not one name recorded,
in England or Wales, for forgery on that
establishment. The right lion. and learn..
ed Gentleman had said, that the Bank of
England was an unflinching prosecutor,
when it was supposed that the prosecu-
tion would serve its interest; but that it
was always guided by its legal advisers,
who never urged a prosecution, except
where conviction was sure to follow, and
that, therefore, many cases of forgery
might occur, which, being abandoned,
were unknown to the public. Now, he
had sent to the Bank of England for a
return, specifying the entire extent of
forgeries of which that body had received
notice during the years 1827, 1828, and
1829. He did not call for a mere return
of forgeries that were prosecuted, but for
a full return of the forgeries attempted on
the Bank of England, whether they suc-
ceeded or not, and what was theresult ?
In 1827 the total amount of forgeries on
the Bank of England was 2,1071. ; in
1828, the total amount, under the exist-
ing law, was 1971.; in 1829, a Magistrate
of the county of York forged three powers
of attorney to the amount of 6,5001. ; he,
however, not placing much confidence in
the unwillingness of juries to convict,
left the country the moment he had re-

ceived the money: but exclusive of that
particular forgery, the sum of which it
was attempted to defraud the Bank of
England by false instruments, in 1829,
amounted only to 3781. Could it, he
would ask, be argued, after this was made
known, that the present state of the law
afforded no protection to property ? The
hon. member for Calne argued, that the
Bank of England, being a rigorous and
inexorable prosecutor, thereby secured
its own property. But if Grand Juries
were so very unwilling to find true bills in
these cases, and if Petty Juries were so
anxious not to convict, as the House had
been told, how came it that the Bank of
England commanded this protection for
its property ? The two arguments were
completely opposed to each other.
After all he had heard, his conscientious
conviction was, that they would not be
promoting the protection of property, or
the cause of public morality, by substitut-
ing the punishment of transportation for
the punishment of death. One punish-
ment was privately mentioned to him as
very proper to be resorted to in the case
of forgery. It was suggested that the
culprit should be branded, and thus held
up to public disgrace. This, however,
had been formerly tried, with reference to
other offences, and it had failed. In
1669, in the reign of William and Mary,
an Act was passed by which the perpetra-
tors of burglary and larceny were directed
to be punished by branding them on the
face and hand; but six or seven years
after, in the reign of Queen Anne, that Act
was repealed, on the express ground that
the offenders who were thus driven from
society, instead of being in any degree
reformed, became more desperate; and
he was quite sure that any very severe
secondary punishment, if substituted for
death, would speedily be abolished. The
French, he knew, had secondary punish-
ments; but he was convinced, that if an
individual here were to be condemned, as
many were in France, to work for ten
years on the public roads, dragging a
cannon-ball at his feet, the Quakers, or
the sentimentalists, as the hon. and learned
Gentleman called them, would shudder at
such a punishment, and would feel just as
much reluctance to prosecute for the
crime of forgery as they did at present
on account of the infliction of death.
Much had been said about France; but
he must observe, that the punishment of

{JUNE 7}

fPor Forgery. 70

71 Punishment of Death

death for forgery was not abolished in
that country. The forgery of transfers of
stock, or of any documents bearing the
stamp of the government, was still sub-
ject to the punishment of death. Se-
condary punishments, though recognized
by the law, were not at all popular there.
The punishment of the carcan, for in-
stance, was denounced as cruel and de-
grading. In taking the course which he
felt it to be his duty to pursue, he was
actuated by no other motive than the pro-
tection of property, and the repression of
crime. If the House thought differently
from him, he must bow to its decision ;
but, under all circumstances, he would
act steadily upon the feelings and princi-
ples which a serious consideration of the
subject had created.
Mr. Brougham said, he would follow
the example of the right hon. Secretary,
and address the House as briefly as pos-
sible. With that view he would throw
away the shell and husk of the argument,
and come at once to the kernel. He would
strictly confine himself to what had been
said in the course of the evening, and he
would endeavour to state to the right hon.
Secretary and the House the reasons why,
unmoved by his argument and uncon-
vinced by his inquiry into facts, he meant
to support the proposition of his right
hon. and learned friend. The right hon.
Secretary argued, that great inconsistency
was manifested by his right hon. and
learned friend, because he had asserted
that the punishment of death afforded no
securityagainstthe commission ofcrime,and
especially against the perpetration of for-
gery, and yet, in spite of this declaration,
he was willing to continue that punish-
ment where the forgery of a will took
place : but did not the right hon. Secre-
tary hear the grounds on which his right
hon. and learned friend placed that ex-
ception ? If he did, the right hon. Se-
cretary must have seen that his right hon.
and learned friend was not at all incon-
sistent. His right hon. and learned friend
distinctly said-" I yield this point-I
concede it-I am driven to it. My own
opinion, and my own principle, I wish to
carry to the utmost extent; but out of
respect to others, from whom, however, I
differ, I am willing to retain the punish-
ment of death in this particular case."
But looking at the matter in another
point of view, it did appear to him that
he conduct of his right hon. and learned

friend was not so inconsistent as the right
hon. Secretary seemed to suppose; be-
cause he believed that so much art, so
much cunning, so much preparation, was
necessary in completing the forgery of a
will, that individuals in general looked
upon that crime with very different feel-
ings from those with which they viewed
the forgery of a promissory note or of
a draft for 41. 10s. With respect to
the right hon. Secretary's statement as to
the business of the London bankers, nei-
ther his facts nor his arguments supported
the case which he wished to defend. He
had told the House that these bankers
transacted business, in the course of three
days, to the amount of 10,000,0001. in
the Clearing-house, and 5,000,0001. at the
counter. Now, this would undoubtedly
give a gentleman an immense idea of the
transactions which were going on every
day they lived in this great capital; but
when they came to look to the bearings
of the case, they would find that the pun-
ishment of death did not afford security
to those multifarious transfers of property.
He would pledge himself to show, that all
that the right hon. Secretary had advanced
on this point was foreign to the question.
The righthon.Secretaryhad argued,thatthe
Clearing-house afforded no security against
forgery. On this point he was decidedly
at issue with the right hon. Secretary,
and he was sure that any one who was
acquainted with the nature of banking
transactions, would agree with him, that
the Clearing-house afforded very consider-
able security. The right hon. Gentleman
had stated the fact of certain forged checks
having successfully passed through the
Clearing-house; but surely when it was
considered to what an enormous extent
pecuniary transactions were carried on;
when the House reflected what traffic
in such a great trading capital as Lon-
don really was, it could scarcely be a
matter of surprise that one or two forged
checks should possibly have passed
through it and escaped detection. The
forgery in the case of Rothschild, where
by the rarest casualty the party had got a
foreign bill of exchange, owed its success
to the most singular and extraordinary
combination of accidents imaginable. He
should now beg leave to remind the House
of one of the grounds upon which the
right hon. Gentleman was generally be-
lieved to have founded his present mea-
sure with its provisions as it now stood.


for Forgery. 72

73 Punishment of Death

He was stated to have conferred with a
committee of London bankers, who were
associated for mutual protection against
forgery on their respective establishments,
some of whom came to the right hon. Se-
cretary in the greatest possible trepidation
and alarm, so soon as they understood it
to be his intention to remit capital punish-
ments altogether. Their earnest repre-
sentations that they should be left destitute
of all protection whatever, if he persevered
in his resolution, it was supposed had
induced him to abandon his original de-
termination, if such he had ever formed ;
and their alarm most assuredly was one of
the principal motives which had incited him
to adhere to his present imperfect measure.
Thus, if he might use such an expression,
there was at least a fact in the cause. But
what if it should appear that two of those
very gentlemen who were so sadly fright-
ened at the probable total abolition of
capital punishment, had themselves fur-
nished a marvellous instance of the im-
policy and inefficacy of a mere speculative
theoretical paper denouncement," as it
was niost properly called, within a few
months,-or he might rather say, weeks-
from the hour at which he was speak-
ing What if it had so happened, that
those who had so unintermittingly besieged
the Home Office had been forged on them-
selves,-had had evidence amply sufficient
for conviction in their power,-had had
the detected forgerwithin their very grasp-
and had, notwithstanding, suffered him to
escape altogether rather than have recourse
to the capital remedy Here was a notable
example in illustration of the fact, that the
best security to the property of the banker,
in his own deliberate opinion, was the
absence of capital punishment, and he
mentioned it the rather because the right
hon. Secretary thought facts were to be
preferred to mere declamation. The in-
formation was communicated to him, not
indeed on the authority of the parties
themselves, but had been attested by those
whose knowledge of what they stated was
to his mind as satisfactorily established.
Here was a committee sitting for self-
protection against fraud, whose experience
was quoted as unfavourable to the removal
of capital punishment; but he would ask,
did the opinion of their chairman himself
correspond with what they had heard of
the committee ? What was the language
of the hon. member for Tewkesbury ?
(Mr. Martin), He was a practical man, a

man of business and experience; no sen-
timentalist, no Quaker,"-for that was
the term by which all the advocates for
the abolition of an impolitic severity were
sneeringly designated. What was his
declared opinion as the representative of
that committee in the House? Why, he
avowed there, not in the Home Office, that
he had been brought to view the subject
in the same light with themselves-that
his opinion had undergone a change,-
that he was unfavourable to the continu-
ance of this punishment in any case of
forgery whatever. This, he could not
help thinking, ought to put an end at once
to the whole argument. They had first,
the actual practice of two out of four of
the committee who were seized with such
a panic when the reform began to be
mooted; they had, secondly, the personal
authority of their chairman himself; and
thirdly, not less than four committee-men
had attached their signatures to a petition
in conformity with the same opinion which
had been already presented to the House.
Then with respect to the country bankers,
who were all apparently very much ex-
posed to forgery, as they were so much in
the habit of receiving small bills in the
ordinary course of their business, had not
the whole body called on the House, as
with a single voice, urging the expediency
of such a change as he and those who
thought with him would have proposed ?
His learned friend, the Solicitor General,
had animadverted on what he was pleased
to term the sentimental reformers, who
pressed Government to carry the contem-
plated change of policy to its full extent,
professing to believe that the petition had
been got up by Quakers; but this notion,
he could assure him, was widely remote
from the truth. It was not got up by that
most amiable, intelligent, and respectable
body, nor was it signed by them; but he
was far from denying that they had very
much interested themselves in the success
of a cause which it was creditable to their
humanity to have embraced. He should
feel proud to be the first on all occasions
to render homage to their practical know-
ledge of business, their disinterested phi-
lanthropy, and untameable perseverance;
and he cheerfully confessed, if they would
permit him to adopt a phrase generally
employed in connexion with military glory,
-a paltry criminal glory which they de-
servedly despised-he cheerfully confessed,
he repeated, that they had now added a

{JUNE 7}

for F~orgerly. 749

75 Punishment of Death

new wreath to the garland of honour to
which their exertions against African and
West-Indian slavery had so justly entitled
them. On this occasion, however, they
had merely been active in putting the
question in a fair point of view before the
country bankers, whom they had solicited
to record their opinion on a subject of such
importance and interest to themselves.
This was all that had been done by the
Quakers, and it was on all hands agreed
that that body would have refused, one
and all, to interest themselves further in
the matter, or sign a single name to a
petition to that House, had the country
bankers, to whom they applied, thought
proper to differ from them in opinion.
The results, however, proved to be directly
the reverse, as the entire mass of the bank-
ing community soon participated in their
views and seconded their efforts. Was a
banker, he put it to the House, the man
who would be the least likely to attach
importance to his signature ? Would he
be readily induced to append it to a docu-
ment to which he was desired to affix it,
by being merely told, "here is a petition
that only relates to banks, billsof exchange,
promissory notes, cheques, drafts, for-
gery, and such matters, in which you can
have but little interest; put your name to
it ?" Was it necessary to say that he
assuredly would not ? Yet had 733 bank-
ers been induced to petition the House for
a total abolition of the punishment of
death in cases of forgery. Besides, he
was perfectly warranted in assuming that
these signatures represented the whole
body, as he might remind the House that
not even one had been presented on the
other side. It had been alleged that the
number of offences against the Bank of
England had diminished; but in order to
establish this assertion it would be neces-
sary to prove a great deal more than had
been made out, for an apparent diminution
could be very easily accounted for by the
late extinction of the 11. notes. Neither
had the Solicitor General forgotten to
recommend that they should suffer the
punishment of death still to remain, seeing
that they could at present rejoice in a
humane Secretary for the Home Depart-
ment, who bore his faculties meekly, and
a Government which would never be likely
to abuse the power with which it was in-
trusted, or to enforce a rigorous sentence
to the uttermost. This argument he be-
lieved had been also hinted by the right

hon. Gentleman opposite; but so egregious
and monstrous a doctrine it had never
been his fortune to hear in that House
before, although since he had enjoyed a
seat there, many extravagant doctrines had
been promulgated in his hearing. What !
were they to be told that they should
swerve from their opinions because they
might have confidence in the then existing
Government? Were they to be seriously
told, that because at a given moment they
had a moderate and liberal Home Secre-
tary, and a government which might dis-
charge its functions with popularity, they
should therefore, forsooth, confine their
legislation to those accidents of the hour,
and so dismiss all concern for past, pre-
sent, and future ? For that matter, God
only knew whether the Administration now
at the head of affairs would be in existence
for a long period or a short one, he did
not pretend to divine ; but certain he was,
that a more preposterous proposition was
never uttered, and he could scarcely credit
his ears when he heard the astute and
sagacious Solicitor General gravely ad-
dressing it to the House. Another argu-
ment which had been adduced was, that
the narrow Majority on a recent division
ought to be sufficient to give them an
assurance that the punishment of death
would be unfrequently resorted to. In
reference to this, however, he should make
one of the gravest and most practical sug-
gestions that had hitherto occurred to him
-one which he wished very strongly to
urge upon their attention. They had, it
appeared, pronounced an opinion by a
very narrow majority-merely twelve or
thirteen, in a full House -in favour of the
punishment of death. He did not desire
to say any thing of an invidious nature
with respect to that division,-he did not
intend to dwell on the discrepancy between
the professions that it was not a party ques-
tion, that every one should be at liberty to
vote according to his judgment,-and the
fact that all those who held office, or were
otherwise connected with Government, or
usually voted with the Treasury Bench,
had all, without an exception, cometo the
same opinion on the subject. No doubt
they had all voted, taking a sound, calm,
disinterested view of a great constitutional
question of criminal jurisprudence; no
doubt they had formed liberal and states-
manlike abstract opinions, which, no
doubt, they gave in free will, out of the
plenitude of their wisdom, and with mind


for Forgery. i66

77 Punishment of Death

perfectly unbiassed by prejudice or passion;
but so it was, they all, by a most singular
coincidence, voted the same way, and
voted with Government; yet, notwith-
standing, there was only a majority of
twelve. And were they after this to retain
upon the penal code a punishment which
had been so branded by the House of
Commons after an anxious examination
and deliberate discussion ? If the law as
it still stood had little weight in public
estimation before then, in what light was
it likely to be looked upon henceforward ?
If men's feelings rebelled against it before,
would not their opinions and prepossessions
be for ever rooted and confirmed by such
a division of the House of Commons?
Would it not operate practically on pro-
secutors, on witnesses, on jurors,-ay, and
on judges themselves ? Not six months
ago had a Judge declared to him, in refer-
ence to the probable change of the law as
it respected this offence, that, sitting as
Judge, he could not help revolting at the
idea of leaving a man for execution at a
time when Parliament was engaged in a
deliberation, the result of which might be,
that his blood would be the last which
should ever be shed for the crime of for-
gery. With so many reasons to induce
them to abolish this punishment, and so
little to encourage them to retain it, he
hoped that they would not hesitate to do
a service to humanity, and expunge it for
ever from their Statute-book.
Sir R. Peel, in explanation, stated, that
the members of the committee of bankers
to whom the hon. and learned Gentleman
alluded, had never spoken to him as a
body, or in any other capacity than that
of individuals on their own responsibility.
He could assure the hon. Member that he
must have been misinformed if he under-
stood that either of the individuals in
question had consented to forego a prose-
cution from motives of principle.
Mr. Brougham repeated that the fact
which he had mentioned was undeniable.
The parties referred to had detected-the
forger, had ample means of bringing home
the charge in their power, and yet had
declined to prosecute. He, of course, could
not undertake to vouch for their motives,
further than as they might be interpreted
by their actions.
The House then divided : For the Clause
abolishing the punishment of death for
Forgery 151; Against it 138-Majority
for the Clause 13.

Sir J. Mackintosh then brought up the
Sir R. Peel rose and said, that he
bowed to the sense of the majority of the
House, although he must repeat, that his
sentiments remained entirely unchanged,
and he believed they would soon have
reason to repent the decision to which
they had just come. As the Bill had taken
this turn, he now relinquished to others
the benefit of his labours, and bequeathed
the further progress of the measure to the
right hon. and learned Member, who had,
he took it for granted, well weighed the
terms of his clause, and given to it that
deliberate consideration which he (Sir R.
Peel) had not had the power of bestowing
upon it. On the right hon. and learned
Gentleman, then, devolved the responsi-
bility of this Amendment.
The clause was then read a second
time, and committed.
Sir J. Mackintosh (after a short confer-
ence with Sir R. Peel) then said, that as
he understood some verbal amendments
were intended to be offered, to reconcile
the clause with the contents of the Bill, he
had no objection that the further proceed-
ing should stand over till to-morrow, on
that account alone.
Sir R. Peel said, that he should not
take advantage of any thing like a thin
House to-morrow to rescind the vote of
that night.
Sir James Mackintosh did not wish to
delay the measure, but he thought it would
be necessary to consider how the amend-
ments would agree with the other parts of
the Bill.
Sir Charles Wetherell would undertake
to say, that not thirty of the Majority
knew what would be the operation of the
Sir James Mackintosh was not silent from
want of a good answer to give the hon.
Gentleman, but he would say nothing from
a much better motive.
List of the Majority, and also of the
Acland, Sir T. D., Bt. Bentinck, Lord Geo.
Anson, Sir George Bernal, Ralph
Baring, Sir F., Bart. Blake, Sir F., Bart.
Baring, Francis Browne, James
Batley, Charles H. Bramston, Thos. G.
Barclay, Charles Brougham, Henry
Barclay, David Brougham, James
Bell, Matthew Brownlow, Charles
Benett, John Buck, Lewis W,

{JUNE 7}

for Forg~ery, 78

79 Punishment of Death

Buller, Charles
Calvert, Nicolson
Calthorpe, Hon. F.G.
Canning, Rt.Hn.SirS.
Callaghan, Daniel
Cavendish, Hon. F. C.
Cavendish, Hon. C. C.
Cavendish, Wm.
Cave, R. Otway
Carter, John B.
Cholmeley, M. J.
Clifton, Lord
Clive, Edward B.
Corbett, Panton
Colborne, N. W. R.
Curteis, Edward J.
Davies, Col. T. II.
Dawson, Alexander
Dickinson, Wm.
Denison, J. E.
Duncombe, Hon. W.
Duncombe, Thos. S.
Dundas, Hon. Thos.
Dundas, lion. G. H.
Dundas, Hon. Sir 1R.
Easthope, John
Ebrington, Viscount
Ellison, Cuthbert
Evans, De Lacy
Ewart, Wm.
Fazakerley, John N.
Ferguson, Robt. C.
Forbes, John
Fortescue, Hon. Geo.
Foley, John H.
French, Arthur
Frankland, Robert
Fyler, Thos. B.
Graham, Sir James
Grant, Right Hon. C.
Grant, Robert
Grattan, Henry
Grattan, James
Guise, Sir B. W. B.
Gurney, Hudson
Gye, Frederick
Hancock, Richard
Harvey, D. W.
Heneage, Geo. F.
Horton, Rt. Hn. R. W.
Honywood, Wm. P.
Hume, Joseph
Jephson, C. D. 0.
Kekewich, S. T.
Kemp, Thos. R.
Kennedy, Thos. F.
King, Hon. W. (Cork)
Knight, Robert
Labouchere, Henry
Latouche, Robert
Lascelles, Hon. Henry
Lambert, James S.
Lawley, Fras.
Lennard, Thos. B.
Littleton, Edward J.
Lott, [larry B.

Lushington, Dr.
Macauley, T. B.
Macdonald, Sir J.
Mackinnon, Charles
Mackintosh, Rt. Hlon.
Sir J.
Marryatt, Joseph
Marshall, John
Marshall, Wm.
Marjoribanks, S.
Martin, John
Maxwell, Henry
Milton, Viscount
Monck, J. B.
Morpeth, Viscount
Normanby, Viscount
Norton, Gen. C.
Nugent, Lord
O'Connell, D.
Ord, Wm.
Oxmantown, Lord
Pallmer, C. N.
Palmer, C. Fysche
Palmerston, Viscount
Peachy, Gen. W.
Pendarvis, Ed. W. W.
Phillimore, Dr.
Philips, Sir G.
Philips, G. R.
Powlett, Lord W.
Ponsonby, Hon. F.
Ponsonby, IIon. W.
Pryse, Pryse
Price, Sir Robert
Protheroe, Edward
Rancliffe, Lord
Ridley, Sir M. W.
Rumbold, Chas. E.
Robinson, Sir Geo.
Robinson, G. R.
Russell, Lord John
Russel, -.
Russell, Lord W.
Sandon, Viscount
Sanderson, Richard
Sadler, M. F.
Shelley, Sir J., Bart.
Slaney, Robert A.
Smith, John
Smith, Hon. Robert
Smith, Wnm.
Spence, George
Stanley, Lord
Stanley, Hon. E. G. S.
Talmash, Hon. F.
Thomson, C. P.
Trant, Wm. H.
Tufton, Hon. Henry
Tynte, Chas. K. K.
Vyvyan, Sir R., Bart.
Ward, John
Wall, C. Baring
Warburton, Henry
Western, C. C.
Wilbraham, George
Wilson, Sir Robert
Wood, Alderman

Wood, John
Wodehouse, E.
Wynn, Rt. Hion. C.
Buxton, Thos. F.
Rice, Thos. Spring
Anson, Hon. Col.
Attwood, M.
Birch, Joseph
Beaumont, J. W.
Belgrave, Earl
Baillie, Col. J.
Calvert, Charles
Carew, R. S.
Coke, Thos. W.
Davenport, E.
Denison, Wm. J.
Dundas, Rt. A.
Ellis, Hon.G.J. W.A.

Fergusson, Sir R. C.
Guest, Josiah J.
Gordon, Robert
Howick, Lord
Hobhouse, J. Cam
Lumley, John S.
Power, Richard
Ponsonby, Hon. G.
Poyntz, W. S.
Rowley, Sir Wm.
Sykes, Dan.
Stewart, John
Taylor, M. A.
Townshend, Lord C.
Talbot, R. W.
Tennyson, Chas.
Tavistock, Marquis
Wood, Chas.
Webb, Col.


Alexander, James
Antrobus, Gibbs C.
Arkwright, Richard
Ashurst, W. IH.
Ashburnham, lHon. P.
Astley, Sir Jacob
Atkins, Ald.
Barne, Col. M.
Bankes, George
Bankes, William
Bankes, Henry
Bastard, Capt. J.
Bastard, E. P.
Baker, Edward
Beresford, Lt. Col. M.
Bernard, Col.
Bingham, Lord
Bourne, Rt. Hon. S.
Boyle, Hon. John
Brudenell, Lord
Brydges, Sir John
Burrard, Lieut. Geo.
Castlereagh, Visct.
Calcraft, Rt. Hon. J.
Carrington, Sir E.
Calvert, John
Campbell, Archibald
Capel, John
Chaplin, Col. Thomas
Chaplin, Charles
Clerk, Sir George, Bt.
Clive, Henry
Courtenay, Rt. Hn. T.
Coote, Sir C. H. Bt.
Corry, Viscount
Cockburn, Right Hon.
Sir G.
Cooper, B.
Cripps, Joseph
Cradock, Col.
Darlington, Lord
Daly, James
Dawkins, H.

Doherty, John
Douglas, W. R. K.
Downes, Lord
Domville, Sir C.
Drummond, Home
Dugdale, D. S.
Du Cane, Peter
East, Sir E. H. Bart.
Eastnor, Viscount
Egerton, Wilbraham

Eliot, Lord
Estcourt, T. H. G. B.
Estcourt, T. G. B.
Fane, Gen. Sir H.
Fellowes, Hon. H.
Fitzgibbon, IHon. R.
Forrester, Hon. G. C.
Garlies, Visct.
Gilbert, Davies G.
Goulburn, Rt. Hon. II.
Gordon, John
Grant, Sir Alex. Bart.
Greville, Hon. C.
Greene, Thomas G.
Hardinge, Sir Henry
Hulse, James
Hart, Gen. G. V.
Herries, Rt. Hon. J.C.
Hill, Sir George
Hoy, James
Holmes, Wm.
Hope, Henry J.
Hutchinson, J. H. (of
Innis, Sir Hugh
Inglis, Sir R. H., Bart.
King, Sir J. D., Bart.
Knox, Hon. J. H.
Langston, J. H.
Lewis, Rt. Hon. T. F.
Legge, Hon. A.
Lindsay, Col. Jas.
Lock, James
Lock, John


for Forgery. soO

81 Employment of the

Lowther, Sir J. Bart.
Lowther, John IH.
Lowther, Viscount
Lushington, Col.
Lygon, Hon. Col.
Martin, Sir T. B.
Malcolm, Neill
M'Kenzie, Sir Jas.
M'Leod, J. N.
Maxwell, J.
Moore, Geo.
Murray, Rt. Hn.SirG.
Neild, M.
O'Brien, Lucius
O'Brien, W. S.
Parnell, Sir H.
Penruddock, J. H.
Pennant, Geo. H. D.
Prendergast, M. G.
Pitt, Joseph
Planta, Joseph
Powell, Alex.
Rickford, Wim.
Rogers, Ed.
Ross, Charles
Scott, Henry
Seymour, Horace
Sibthorp, Col.
Smith, Vernon
Smith, J. Abel
Smith, George
Smith, S.
Sotheron, Admiral
Spottiswoode, A.
Sturt, H. C.
Thompson, Geo. L.
Tomes, John
Townshend, Hon. J.
Tunno, E. R.
Van Homrigh, P.

Walrond, Bethel
Wetherell, Sir C.
White, Henry
Whitmore, T.
Wilson, R. F.
Wood, Col. T.
Wortley, Hon. J. S.
Dawson, G. R.
Sugden, Sir E. B.
Arbuthnot, Rt.Hon.C.
Bernard, Thos.
Bright, Henry
Belfast, Lord
Beresford, Sir J.
Croker, Rt. Hn. J. W.
Corry, Hon. Henry
Carmarthen, Lord
Cooke, Sir H. F.
Dundas, Hon. H.
Dalrymple, Sir II.
Gower, Lord L.
Howard, Hon. H.
IIay, Lord John
Knox, Hon. T.
Lowther, Col.
Osborne, Lord F.
Pringle, Sir W. IH.
Peel, Col. J.
Phipps, Hon. Gen.
Roberts, W. A.
Rochfort, Col. G.
Smith, Christopher
Stewart, Sir M. S.
Trench, Col.
Vivian, Sir R. II. Bt.
Valletort, Lord
Williams, Owen
Wilson, Col.

Tuesday, June 8.
MINUTEs.] The Population Bill was brought up from the
Petitions presented. By the Marquis of DOWNSHIRE, for
the Repeal of the Duty on Sea-borne Coals, from the Dis-
tillers of Belfast; and in favour of Drainage of Bogs Bill
(Ireland), from the Society for Improving Ireland, and
certain Noblemen Landowners and others in Ireland. By
the Marquis of CLEVELAND, from the Company for
Smelting Lead with Coal, for an additional Duty on
Foreign Lead. By the Marquis of LANSDOWN, from
Persons resident in the County of Wexford, against im-
posing any Duty on Tobacco Grown in Ireland. By the
Earl of ESSEX, from the Inhabitants of Leominster,
against the Punishment of Death for Forgery. By the
Earl of HAREWOOD, from the Vicar of St. Helens, in the
City of York, to amend the Tithe Composition Bill.
Witnesses were further examined on the East Retford Bill.

LAND).] Viscount Lorton: My Lords,
in consequence of the unavoidable absence
of a noble friend (the Earl of Enniskillen),
I have been called upon to present to your
Fordships a Petition which I now hold in

my hand, and which has reached me this
day. It is from the Landed Proprietors
and. Landowners of the County of Fer-
managh, against the introduction of Poor-
laws into Ireland. Most decidedly con-
curring, my Lords, in the spirit and senti-
ments of this application, I however feel
that the time has arrived when it is
essentially necessary (indeed I may say
when it has become an imperative duty on
the Legislature) to effect a radical change
in the condition of the poor in that part of
the empire to which I more immediately
belong; and therefore I shall take this
opportunity of saying a very few words as
to the matter connected with this Petition.
In the first place, my Lords, I must pre-
mise that the expectations of the people
had been raised to the very highest pitch
by the enactment of what has been called
" the Relief Bill;" this, however, does
not now present to their view the benefits
they were taught to look for from the
passing of it; and, consequently, the dis-
appointment has been attended with the
most unhappy results. Much, my Lords,
might be said upon this topic, but as the
die is cast," far be it from me to endea-
vour to make things worse. No, my
Lords, I would rather say, let us put our
shoulders manfully to the work, make
the best of a very bad business, and enact
such laws as must carry with them relief
to the most distressed peasantry inEurope.
No effectual relief, my Lords, can be
afforded to the wretched and impoverished
inhabitants of Ireland,I mean permanently,
except through the medium of general and
regular employment, which can be ac-
complished but in one way, and that is by
the establishment of sufficient funds, aris-
ing from the aid of a land-tax. By this
mode the properties of absentees would be
rendered equally conducive as those of
residents to the general welfare; and no
reasonable objection can be brought for-
ward by that class of persons, many of
whom certainly cannot with any conve-
nience become residents upon their Irish
estates, and, consequently, must continue
to do as little as they have hitherto done
towards the amelioration of the condition
in which their tenants drag on a miserable
existence from year to year. In saying
this, I must distinctly declare, that it is not
my intention to reflect upon any body of
men; but this is the natural result of
non-residence, and should be counteracted
by the Legislature, if it is wished to raise

{JUNE 8}

Poor (Ireland). 82

83 Employment of the

Ireland from the state of poverty and
degradation in which she now lies. In
the strongest manner I would recommend
such a mode of relief for the most desti-
tute population, perhaps, in the world;
and if such were fairly adopted, your
Lordships would hear no more of the
starving Irish, or of the thousands that
annually visit this part of the empire for
the purpose of earning a hard and honest
livelihood, which they are unable to pro-
cure in their own country. My Lords, it
does not appear to me that there would
be much difficulty in arranging a system,
which eventually would be attended with
immense benefits to all descriptions of
persons, not excepting those who, from
their landed possessions, must be the con-
tributors to the employment of the poor,
as the improvements throughout the coun-
try at large would be incalculable, and
consequently the value of their properties
would be enhanced in an extraordinary
degree. In the event of thus relieving
the people of Ireland, it has struck me
that competent engineer officers might be
selected by Government, suppose one for
every two or three counties, whose duties
should be (after having made themselves
well acquainted with every circumstance
connected with their districts) to arrange
and lay out different works and improve-
ments, according to the amount of the
funds to be raised by the land-tax; and
here, my Lords, I would observe, that all
the usual works which have been carried
on by grand-jury presentments should
be merged in this mode of employment,
and a complete stop put to that method of
levying money which has been so much
abused, and has hitherto been considered
as a very heavy grievance. The engineer
officers should be perfectly independent of
the land-owners in their respective coun-
ties. This would tend much to prevent
ebullitions of party spirit, too prevalent in
Ireland; they should be instructed to
hold communication with the Government
alone, as to works and improvements
proposed to be carried on; an accurate
description of which should be furnished
twice in every year, or perhaps more fre-
quently, together with a return of the
men employed in each parish, and the
disbursements that had been made in every
preceding half year. Thus, my Lords,
you have my view (and a very cursory one
indeed it is) of the subject; but should
some system be established upon this

principle, our unfortunate people would be
employed in the very best manner, and
then there would be no doubt of a full
provision being made for those who, from
infirmities, are unable to work,-for in the
universe there is not a nation more ready
to relieve distress than the Irish, when it
is in their power to do so, and which
would be the case if a proportion of the
money of the country was circulated
amongst its inhabitants. Having now
thrown out these few ideas for the con-
sideration of his Majesty's Ministers, I
shall conclude with expressing my decided
conviction upon two points; first, that the
enactment of the Poor-laws in Ireland
would put the finishing blow to the de-
struction of that part of the empire; and,
secondly, that no measure of a partial
nature, which the Bog-drainage bill must
be considered, can possibly allay the dis-
tress which has long, very long indeed,
been one of the causes of all our misfor-
tunes, and the continuance of which must
affix indelible disgrace upon any govern-
ment, however well regulated in other
respects. My Lords, I move that this
Petition be received, and laid upon your
Lordships' Table.
The Earl of Wicklow said, that he did
not rise to make any observations on the
subject of the Petition which the noble
Viscount had presented, neither did he
intend to inquire into the merits of the
plan which the noble Viscount had re-
commended to their Lordships; but he
felt himself called on to declare his asto-
nishment at one expression which had
fallen from the nobleViscount in the course
of his observations. The noble Viscount
seemed to take itforgranted, that the great
measure of last Session had totally failed
in tranquillizing Ireland. He could say
that he had been in that country during
the whole of the summer, acting as a
magistrate, and he could assure their
Lordships that the good which had re-
sulted to Ireland from the Relief Bill had
far, very far, exceeded what could have
been expected in so short a time. He
could assert that, not only from his own
experience, but from the experience of
others, both of those who were in favour
of that measure, and of those who were
opposed to it; and the only individual
whom he had known to be of opinion,
that the bill had not tended to the paci-
fication, and, consequently, to the pros-
perity of Ireland, was the noble Viscount,


Poor (Ir~eland). 84

85 Draining of Bogs (Ireland). {JtU
Viscount Lorton was sorry that the
noble Earl had made that observation.
He had touched on the subject very
lightly, not wishing to go into it. But,
as the noble Earl had stated that the mea-
sure of last Session had tended to tran-
quillize Ireland, he felt himself bound to
assert, that he could bring forward, in
opposition to that noble Lord's statement,
hundreds of cases of the most atrocious
nature, which had happened within a few
months after the passing of the bill. He
had received a letter from a part of the
country which was formerly perfectly
tranquil, but which, since the passing of
the bill in question, had been one scene of
Viscount Clifden thought, that the less
said on this subject the better. He agreed
with the noble Viscount's proposition for
creating employment for the poor of Ire-
land, and narrowing the jurisdiction of the
grand jury. Something of that kind
might be most advantageously effected.
The whole subject was, however, a very
nice and delicate one. With respect to
the introduction of Poor-rates into Ireland,
what had been done in England did not
give any encouragement to pursue such a
system. At present that relief was given
to able-bodied men which was originally
intended for the sick and infirm. Taking
away from grand juries the power of ex-
pending large sums of money by present-
ment,-a system which generated much
dissatisfaction and discontent,-would be
attended with good consequences. As to
the great measure of last Session, it had
been successful in promoting the pacifica-
tion of Ireland; but it was impossible
that that object could be completely at-
tained at once.
The Petition was then read,and ordered
to lie on the Table.

Marquis of Downshire, in moving that
the Bill for Draining Bogs in Ireland be
read a second time, observed, that it was
of great importance to pass some measure
by which all the bogs of Ireland might
be drained and allotted. The quantity of
such land in Ireland was very considerable,
and to reclaim it would be a means of
providing employment to an almost inde-
finite extent for the poor of that country.
The Bill had received great attention in
the other House, and though there were
objections to some of the clauses, he

E 8} Abolition of Fees. 86
hoped that as a whole it would meet their
Lordships' approbation. That was not the
time to discuss its details, and he should
be glad to avail himself of any improve-
ment which might be suggested when the
Bill came before a committee.
The Earl of Wicklow objected to the
Bill in its present shape, and contended
that it was impossible so to alter it as to
render it unobjectionable. He should be
glad, he said, to see a measure, with a prin-
ciple not so open to mischief, for draining
the greater portion of the bogs and waste
lands of that country; but he never could
give his support to that Bill. It conferred
too great and even alarming powers on the
Lord-lieutenant, and on the commissioners
appointed under the Bill, over the whole
property of the country.
Bill read a second time.

ABOLITION or FEES.] The Earl of
Darnley said, that as the second reading
of the Bill for the Abolition of Fees on
the Demise of the King, of which he had
given notice last evening, was likely to
give rise to more opposition than he had
anticipated, he would not now press for
more than the second reading-trusting
that would be acceded to sub silentio. If
any noble Lord objected to the principle
of the Bill, there would be some fitter
opportunity of discussing that question in
a future stage of the proceedings. He
would now move the second reading.
The Marquis of Salisbury thought, with
those noble Lords who had spoken on the
Bill the preceding evening, that the
present was not the period for passing
such a measure. He did not rise, how-
ever, to oppose the second reading, but
merely to say, that by such an acquies-
cence he begged to be understood as not
pledging himself to the future course he
should take.
The Earl of Eldon hoped that his silence
would not be construed into an assent to
the Bill.
The Marquis of Lansdown did not rise
for the purpose of entering into a discus-
sion of the principle of the Bill, but of
expressing a hope that regard would be
had to a numerous body of persons, lest
they should be affected if the measure,
or a similar one, were not carried. He
trusted the body of individuals to whom
he had made allusion, would not be suf-
ferers by the omission of Government and
the Legislature. He spoke of all affected

87 Abolition of Fees.


Greece. 88

by the want of such a bill, more especially
of that class of individuals, he meant sub-
alterns holding commissions in the army,a
most deserving and meritorious body, who,
under the operation of the law, would be
severely mulcted, to the injury of their
families. He however trusted that such
a course of proceeding would not be
The Duke of Wellington said,'that he did
entertain some objections to the Bill, but
not to the principle. His objections ap-
plied to the details of the measure, and,
when the proper period for stating them
arrived, he would trouble their Lordships
with them. Care should be taken that
the interests of that body alluded to by
the noble Marquis should not be affected.
Earl Grey expressed satisfaction on
hearing that the noble Duke at the head
of his Majesty's Government did not enter-
tain any objection to the principle of the
Bill. Although he thought the principle
a right one, he could not forbear express-
ing his regret that the measure had not
been brought forward at an earlier period.
The Bill was then read a second time.

Tuesday, June 8.
MINPUTEs.] Returns ordered. On the Motion of the LORD
ADVOCATE, of the number of Causes tried before the Jury
part of Court of Sessions since 1815:--Copies of the
Report madeto the Secretary of State relative to Gaols
in Scotland:-On the Motion of Mr. F. BuxTo Extracts
or Copies of the Accounts of the Proceedings of the
Government of India respecting the Pilgrimage-tax col-
lected at Jugernaut, Orissa, Gya, Allahabad,Trefelty, and
other places:--On the Motion of Mr. BULLER, various
Accounts relative to the number of Newspapers sent from
London in a year, and the number of Stamps issued for
them:--On the Motion of Sir J. GRAHAM, Payments
made on account of Salaries and Pensions granted under
the 6th of Geo. IV. c. 88, in the years ending 5th of April,
1829 and 1830:-On the Motion of Lord MILTON, amount
of Duty levied on foreign Corn, distinguishing it from the
Duty paid on Corn grown in the Colonies of Great
Britain:-On the Motion of Lord F. L. GOWER, the Nine-
teenth Supplemental Report of the Revenue Commis-
sioners (Ireland).
Petitions presented. In favour of the Court of Session Bill,
by Sir J. MACKrNZIE, from the Heritors, &c. of Ross.
Against Grand-Jury Assessments (Ireland), by General
ARCHDALL, from the Cess-payers of Fermanagh. Against
the new Stamp Duties, by Mr. PowRn, from the Free-
holders of the County of Waterford:-By Mr. SYKEs,
from Hull:--By Mr. KEKEICHn, from the Druggists of
Exeter:-By Sir G. HILL, from the Chamber of Com-
merce, Londonderry:-By Mr. O'CONNELL, from Kil-
feacle. Against the Spirit Duties, by Mr. G. DAWSON,
from the Landed Proprietors of Londonderry. Against
Manor Courts (Ireland), by Mr. G. DAwsoN, from the
Landed Proprietors of Donegal and Londonderry. Against
the Punishment of Death for Forgery, by Mr. CURTEIS,
from Brighton. For the Abolition of Slavery, by Mr.
SYKEs, from Hull. Against the Duty on Coals, by Sir
0, IILL, ftom the Chamber of Commerce, Londonderry:

-by the Earl of BnLyATr, from the Distillers of Belfast.
For the Abolition of the East India Company's Charter,
by Sir G. HILL, from the Chamber of Commerce, London-
derry:-By Mr. BULLER, from the Inhabitants of the
Clothing District of Gilderstrone and Wilsden. To give
Magistrates the power to order Dogs to be destroyed, by
Mr. C. PALLSniR, from Kingston-upon-Thames.

GREEcE.] Mr. O'Connell presented
a Petition from certain inhabitants of the
Cities of London and Westminster, being
members of the Metropolitan Union,
against any interference on the part of this
country in the affairs of Greece. In the
prayer of the petition he fully concurred,
and pressed it upon the serious consider-
ation of the House as one well deserving
its attention.
Mr. Hume also concurred in the prayer
of the petition. He considered it highly
fortunate for this country that recent events
had extricated us from the risk we ran of
being mixed up too much with continental
politics. If Mr. Canning was entitled to the
gratitude of the country for one act more
than another, it was for having gotten rid of
the unfortunate connexion which this
country had with the Holy Alliance. It
was his opinion that the Greeks, and all
other nations, ought to be left, as much
as possible, to themselves, and it was only
right to inform his Majesty's Government
that the great majorityof the people of
England were opposed to any interference.
Mr. Hobhouse concurred in what fell
from the last speaker ; he also agreed with
those who thought that the resignation of
Prince Leopold was extremely fortunate
for this country : at the same time he
could not help saying that it would be
desirable to the utmost degree, were it
possible for us to do so with safety, that
we should use our influence for the purpose
of securing to Greece the freedom to which
she was entitled, having fairly conquered
it for herself. If there were any mode by
which we could do so without compro-
mising higher duties, he should heartily
rejoice at seeing some such measure
adopted. He confessed he knew no way
in which the House of Commons could in-
terfere except by addressing the Crown, and
in the present afflicting circumstances,
that was not to be thought of. He sincerely
wished to see the question regularly
brought before the House, that independent
Members would speak out, and not leave
all the merit to the other House of Parlia-
ment of acting in the matter.
Mr. H. Grattan said, that there had
been a shameful disregard of liberty in

81 Employment of the

Lowther, Sir J. Bart.
Lowther, John IH.
Lowther, Viscount
Lushington, Col.
Lygon, Hon. Col.
Martin, Sir T. B.
Malcolm, Neill
M'Kenzie, Sir Jas.
M'Leod, J. N.
Maxwell, J.
Moore, Geo.
Murray, Rt. Hn.SirG.
Neild, M.
O'Brien, Lucius
O'Brien, W. S.
Parnell, Sir H.
Penruddock, J. H.
Pennant, Geo. H. D.
Prendergast, M. G.
Pitt, Joseph
Planta, Joseph
Powell, Alex.
Rickford, Wim.
Rogers, Ed.
Ross, Charles
Scott, Henry
Seymour, Horace
Sibthorp, Col.
Smith, Vernon
Smith, J. Abel
Smith, George
Smith, S.
Sotheron, Admiral
Spottiswoode, A.
Sturt, H. C.
Thompson, Geo. L.
Tomes, John
Townshend, Hon. J.
Tunno, E. R.
Van Homrigh, P.

Walrond, Bethel
Wetherell, Sir C.
White, Henry
Whitmore, T.
Wilson, R. F.
Wood, Col. T.
Wortley, Hon. J. S.
Dawson, G. R.
Sugden, Sir E. B.
Arbuthnot, Rt.Hon.C.
Bernard, Thos.
Bright, Henry
Belfast, Lord
Beresford, Sir J.
Croker, Rt. Hn. J. W.
Corry, Hon. Henry
Carmarthen, Lord
Cooke, Sir H. F.
Dundas, Hon. H.
Dalrymple, Sir II.
Gower, Lord L.
Howard, Hon. H.
IIay, Lord John
Knox, Hon. T.
Lowther, Col.
Osborne, Lord F.
Pringle, Sir W. IH.
Peel, Col. J.
Phipps, Hon. Gen.
Roberts, W. A.
Rochfort, Col. G.
Smith, Christopher
Stewart, Sir M. S.
Trench, Col.
Vivian, Sir R. II. Bt.
Valletort, Lord
Williams, Owen
Wilson, Col.

Tuesday, June 8.
MINUTEs.] The Population Bill was brought up from the
Petitions presented. By the Marquis of DOWNSHIRE, for
the Repeal of the Duty on Sea-borne Coals, from the Dis-
tillers of Belfast; and in favour of Drainage of Bogs Bill
(Ireland), from the Society for Improving Ireland, and
certain Noblemen Landowners and others in Ireland. By
the Marquis of CLEVELAND, from the Company for
Smelting Lead with Coal, for an additional Duty on
Foreign Lead. By the Marquis of LANSDOWN, from
Persons resident in the County of Wexford, against im-
posing any Duty on Tobacco Grown in Ireland. By the
Earl of ESSEX, from the Inhabitants of Leominster,
against the Punishment of Death for Forgery. By the
Earl of HAREWOOD, from the Vicar of St. Helens, in the
City of York, to amend the Tithe Composition Bill.
Witnesses were further examined on the East Retford Bill.

LAND).] Viscount Lorton: My Lords,
in consequence of the unavoidable absence
of a noble friend (the Earl of Enniskillen),
I have been called upon to present to your
Fordships a Petition which I now hold in

my hand, and which has reached me this
day. It is from the Landed Proprietors
and. Landowners of the County of Fer-
managh, against the introduction of Poor-
laws into Ireland. Most decidedly con-
curring, my Lords, in the spirit and senti-
ments of this application, I however feel
that the time has arrived when it is
essentially necessary (indeed I may say
when it has become an imperative duty on
the Legislature) to effect a radical change
in the condition of the poor in that part of
the empire to which I more immediately
belong; and therefore I shall take this
opportunity of saying a very few words as
to the matter connected with this Petition.
In the first place, my Lords, I must pre-
mise that the expectations of the people
had been raised to the very highest pitch
by the enactment of what has been called
" the Relief Bill;" this, however, does
not now present to their view the benefits
they were taught to look for from the
passing of it; and, consequently, the dis-
appointment has been attended with the
most unhappy results. Much, my Lords,
might be said upon this topic, but as the
die is cast," far be it from me to endea-
vour to make things worse. No, my
Lords, I would rather say, let us put our
shoulders manfully to the work, make
the best of a very bad business, and enact
such laws as must carry with them relief
to the most distressed peasantry inEurope.
No effectual relief, my Lords, can be
afforded to the wretched and impoverished
inhabitants of Ireland,I mean permanently,
except through the medium of general and
regular employment, which can be ac-
complished but in one way, and that is by
the establishment of sufficient funds, aris-
ing from the aid of a land-tax. By this
mode the properties of absentees would be
rendered equally conducive as those of
residents to the general welfare; and no
reasonable objection can be brought for-
ward by that class of persons, many of
whom certainly cannot with any conve-
nience become residents upon their Irish
estates, and, consequently, must continue
to do as little as they have hitherto done
towards the amelioration of the condition
in which their tenants drag on a miserable
existence from year to year. In saying
this, I must distinctly declare, that it is not
my intention to reflect upon any body of
men; but this is the natural result of
non-residence, and should be counteracted
by the Legislature, if it is wished to raise

{JUNE 8}

Poor (Ireland). 82

89 Stamps on

the case of Greece, which had been sacri-
ficed by our Government.
Mr. O'Connell hoped that a discussion
on the affairs of Greece would be brought
forward. He wished to avail himself of
the present opportunity of expressing his
admiration of the conduct of the illustrious
Prince, who had denied being a party to
the plan to limit its boundaries, and
curtail it of its fair proportions.
Petition to be printed.

house rose, to present a Petition, of which
he had given notice yesterday, and to
which he begged the attention of the right
hon. the Chancellor of the Exchequer for
a few moments. It was from a very re-
spectable body of men, the Chemists and
Druggists of London andWestminster, and
the Borough of Southwark, complaining
of the unjust vexations to which their
trade was subjected by the Medicine
Stamp Acts. Similar petitions had already
been presented from Manchester, Norwich,
Lynn, and Exeter; and others were com-
ing from Oxford, Bristol, Birmingham,
Liverpool, Leeds, and other important
towns. The original intention of the Acts
which imposed a stamp duty upon certain
medicines was undoubtedly to protect
Patent Medicines from the fraudulent
substitution of quack compounds, but, by
the looseness of wording in some of those
Acts, it was left in the power of the Com-
missioners and Solicitors of Stamps to
make a much more general application of
their regulations than could have been
intended. To the 42nd of the late King
a schedule was appended, for the purpose
of designating all the medicines which
should be charged with stamp duty; but
such was the latitude of its wording, that
every possible medicine might be made
subject to duty, and if that duty were not
paid, the vendor was liable to a criminal
information. He had some days ago
moved for returns with a view to show the
operation of these Acts, and he must say
that they proved even more than he had
expected, It appeared from those returns
that in eight months and nine days no
fewer than 381 persons were served with
Exchequer writs for offences against the
Medicine Stamp and License Acts. Of
these 381 cases twenty-seven were dropped;
116 were still pending; and the remainder
-namely, 238 persons, or commercial
houses dealing in drugs, having memo-

rialised the commissioners, paid a miti-
gated penalty, varying from 81. down to
11. instead of the full penalty of 201.
and this for selling such things as Carbonate
of Soda, Tolu Lozenges, Friar's Balsam,
&c., without a label, or for being a few
days without a license. Now, of all these
381 cases, not one had come before the
proper tribunal, the Court of Exchequer.
Although the parties received several
letters informing them that, if they did not
choose to pay the mitigated penalty, they
would be compelled to pay the full penalty,
with costs; yet, where the individuals had
the firmness to hold out, three Terms were
passed over, and no further proceedings
were taken against them. Now, he should be
glad to know what were the shades of
distinction which induced the commis-
sioners to let some individuals off for 11.
or 101. while they compelled others to pay
nearly half the full penalty; and above
all, he complained that most lenity was
shown to those who resisted, and 'paid
nothing at all. The regulations adopted
in these Acts were attended with the most
vexatious consequences to the respectable
persons engaged in this trade. In the
populous city which he had the honour to
represent, it was astonishing what a number
of persons came into the druggist's shop for
a small quantity of Friar's Balsam-to cure
a cut, for instance. If the druggist sold
that article in a cup or in a spoon, without
putting it into a bottle, with a label, and
paying a duty on that label, he was liable to
a prosecution. Now, he complained that in
this, and other respects, the Commissioners
of Stamps and the Solicitor to the Stamp
Office, exercised a power which it was not
intended by the Acts to confer upon any
private individuals. Would it be believed
that lozenges of all sorts were subject to a
duty in the druggist's shop, while all the
confectioners in the same street could sell
them without paying any duty, and even
the manufacturer and wholesale dealer
was not called upon to pay duty ? In the
new Stamp Act the Chancellor of the Ex-
chequer retained all the medicines formerly
subject to stamp duty, and he also intro-
duced additional ones. Again, the venders
of drugs, not being allowed to export them
duty free, were undersold in all the foreign
markets by the Dutch and Americans.
The House would be astonished when he
stated the amount of the duty for the
sake of which all these vexatious regular
tions were adopted. The duty amounted

{JUNE 8}

Medicines. 90

Additional Churches. 92

to 37,0001. a-year only, and out of that
sum 12,0001. a-year was paid for soda-
water alone ; so that, deducting this sum,
there was but 25,0001. a year for which
the drug trade was subjected to these mani-
fold inconveniences. It was not so much
of the exaction of duty that these gentle-
men complained, but of the uncertainty of
the law, by which they were ignorant of
the articles that were liable to duty ; and
the respectable members of the trade were
confounded with those who would wilfully
defraud the Revenue. The petitioners,
therefore, requested that the medicine
stamp duty might be done away with, or,
if the Government would not consent to
that course, at least that the schedule
should be so drawn up that there could be
no doubt of the articles which it was in-
tended to comprehend. By doing away
with the duties, he was satisfied that the
Revenue would be improved. He did not
mean to say that persons would be likely
to take more medicine on that account-
[a laugh.] It really was no subject of
laughter to those who were dragged into
the Court of Exchequer. But what he
meant to say was, that the Revenue would
be increased in the articles of sugar,
spirits, and paper, which druggists used in
sending their drugs abroad. He begged
leave to bring up the petition, and, after it
should be printed, he hoped the Chan-
cellor of the Exchequer would allow him
to introduce to him some of the gentlemen
of this trade. They would not physic him,
because they hoped he did not stand in
need of it; but they would lay before him
such facts as would most probably induce
him to take the subject into immediate
The Chancellor of the Exchequer could
assure the gentlemen who had signed the
petition that he was quite willing to con-
sider any question for their benefit, which
should be consistent with the general in-
terest and the protection of the public. If
any such suggestion could be made, he
should be not only willing, but happy, to
consider it. As to the articles which were
subject to duty, they were specified in the
schedule; and, therefore, there could be
no uncertainty regarding them, except
what must arise from the inattention of
the parties. If they were more particularly
specified-for instance, if instead of vege-
table syrup, Velno's vegetable syrup, were
mentioned-the duty would not be paid at
all; for parties would not be likely to put

their names to medicines for the purpose
of paying duty. With regard to the pro-
ceedings not having been carried to their
full extent against certain parties, he could
only say that, if they had, the Government
might have been charged with harassing
the individuals with unnecessary expense
--while, if they made a distinction be-
tween what might be called venial errors,
and real attempts to defraud the Revenue,
they were accused of unjust favour.
Mr. Warburton complained of the
vagueness of the schedule, and of its com-
prehending many articles in which there
was no pretension to a right of patent,
or to any occult art. He did not see why
soda-water should be subject to duty.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer said,
that soda-water was not comprehended in
the new schedule.
Mr. Hume said, that since that was the
case, and since the Chancellor of the Ex-
chequer had given up 12,0001. of the duty,
it was not worth while to collect the small
remaining sum by such vexatious means.
If the Government did not choose to give
up the 25,0001. a year, let them reduce
one of the 120 regiments, or discontinue
the Governorship of Sierra Leone, or some
other of the Colonies-and thus save
enough to cover the deficiency. Hethought
the Chancellor of the Exchequer would
consult the public convenience by con-
verting the present system into a license
The Petition to be printed.

presented a Petition from the Parish of St.
Luke's Middlesex, relative to the New
Church-Building Act. When the power
had been given to the Commissioners
under that Act, it certainly had never been
expected or intended that they should
prove a nuisance, or plague to the country.
This, however, had too frequently been the
case, and in many instances the public
money that had been voted on this account
had acted like a firebrand. The petition
stated, that six years ago a chapel had
been built by the commissioners in the
parish of St. Luke; but so little was it
wanted, that it remained for two or three
years without even being fitted up. The
commissioners, notwithstanding the re-
monstrances of a part of the inhabitants,
and notwithstanding there was already
more church room in the parish than was
wanted, persisted in building another

91 Stamps on IMedicines.


87 Abolition of Fees.


Greece. 88

by the want of such a bill, more especially
of that class of individuals, he meant sub-
alterns holding commissions in the army,a
most deserving and meritorious body, who,
under the operation of the law, would be
severely mulcted, to the injury of their
families. He however trusted that such
a course of proceeding would not be
The Duke of Wellington said,'that he did
entertain some objections to the Bill, but
not to the principle. His objections ap-
plied to the details of the measure, and,
when the proper period for stating them
arrived, he would trouble their Lordships
with them. Care should be taken that
the interests of that body alluded to by
the noble Marquis should not be affected.
Earl Grey expressed satisfaction on
hearing that the noble Duke at the head
of his Majesty's Government did not enter-
tain any objection to the principle of the
Bill. Although he thought the principle
a right one, he could not forbear express-
ing his regret that the measure had not
been brought forward at an earlier period.
The Bill was then read a second time.

Tuesday, June 8.
MINPUTEs.] Returns ordered. On the Motion of the LORD
ADVOCATE, of the number of Causes tried before the Jury
part of Court of Sessions since 1815:--Copies of the
Report madeto the Secretary of State relative to Gaols
in Scotland:-On the Motion of Mr. F. BuxTo Extracts
or Copies of the Accounts of the Proceedings of the
Government of India respecting the Pilgrimage-tax col-
lected at Jugernaut, Orissa, Gya, Allahabad,Trefelty, and
other places:--On the Motion of Mr. BULLER, various
Accounts relative to the number of Newspapers sent from
London in a year, and the number of Stamps issued for
them:--On the Motion of Sir J. GRAHAM, Payments
made on account of Salaries and Pensions granted under
the 6th of Geo. IV. c. 88, in the years ending 5th of April,
1829 and 1830:-On the Motion of Lord MILTON, amount
of Duty levied on foreign Corn, distinguishing it from the
Duty paid on Corn grown in the Colonies of Great
Britain:-On the Motion of Lord F. L. GOWER, the Nine-
teenth Supplemental Report of the Revenue Commis-
sioners (Ireland).
Petitions presented. In favour of the Court of Session Bill,
by Sir J. MACKrNZIE, from the Heritors, &c. of Ross.
Against Grand-Jury Assessments (Ireland), by General
ARCHDALL, from the Cess-payers of Fermanagh. Against
the new Stamp Duties, by Mr. PowRn, from the Free-
holders of the County of Waterford:-By Mr. SYKEs,
from Hull:--By Mr. KEKEICHn, from the Druggists of
Exeter:-By Sir G. HILL, from the Chamber of Com-
merce, Londonderry:-By Mr. O'CONNELL, from Kil-
feacle. Against the Spirit Duties, by Mr. G. DAWSON,
from the Landed Proprietors of Londonderry. Against
Manor Courts (Ireland), by Mr. G. DAwsoN, from the
Landed Proprietors of Donegal and Londonderry. Against
the Punishment of Death for Forgery, by Mr. CURTEIS,
from Brighton. For the Abolition of Slavery, by Mr.
SYKEs, from Hull. Against the Duty on Coals, by Sir
0, IILL, ftom the Chamber of Commerce, Londonderry:

-by the Earl of BnLyATr, from the Distillers of Belfast.
For the Abolition of the East India Company's Charter,
by Sir G. HILL, from the Chamber of Commerce, London-
derry:-By Mr. BULLER, from the Inhabitants of the
Clothing District of Gilderstrone and Wilsden. To give
Magistrates the power to order Dogs to be destroyed, by
Mr. C. PALLSniR, from Kingston-upon-Thames.

GREEcE.] Mr. O'Connell presented
a Petition from certain inhabitants of the
Cities of London and Westminster, being
members of the Metropolitan Union,
against any interference on the part of this
country in the affairs of Greece. In the
prayer of the petition he fully concurred,
and pressed it upon the serious consider-
ation of the House as one well deserving
its attention.
Mr. Hume also concurred in the prayer
of the petition. He considered it highly
fortunate for this country that recent events
had extricated us from the risk we ran of
being mixed up too much with continental
politics. If Mr. Canning was entitled to the
gratitude of the country for one act more
than another, it was for having gotten rid of
the unfortunate connexion which this
country had with the Holy Alliance. It
was his opinion that the Greeks, and all
other nations, ought to be left, as much
as possible, to themselves, and it was only
right to inform his Majesty's Government
that the great majorityof the people of
England were opposed to any interference.
Mr. Hobhouse concurred in what fell
from the last speaker ; he also agreed with
those who thought that the resignation of
Prince Leopold was extremely fortunate
for this country : at the same time he
could not help saying that it would be
desirable to the utmost degree, were it
possible for us to do so with safety, that
we should use our influence for the purpose
of securing to Greece the freedom to which
she was entitled, having fairly conquered
it for herself. If there were any mode by
which we could do so without compro-
mising higher duties, he should heartily
rejoice at seeing some such measure
adopted. He confessed he knew no way
in which the House of Commons could in-
terfere except by addressing the Crown, and
in the present afflicting circumstances,
that was not to be thought of. He sincerely
wished to see the question regularly
brought before the House, that independent
Members would speak out, and not leave
all the merit to the other House of Parlia-
ment of acting in the matter.
Mr. H. Grattan said, that there had
been a shameful disregard of liberty in

93 Commissioners for building

church. The churches that were already
built were never half filled. The clergy-
man who served one of them, though he
was an able man, could not get half a
congregation. A correspondence had taken
place on this subject between some of the
parishioners who had been deputed by the
whole body, and the commissioners, which
was conducted on the'part of the latter
with very little propriety, considering as he
believed that most of these commissioners
were divines. Their conduct was most
imperious-they had refused to see the
parties who went to wait on them. The
hon. Member then read extracts from the
petition confirmatory of these statements,
and extracts of a memorial which the
parishioners had addressed to the commis-
sioners, as well as extracts from the answer
of the secretary to the commissioners,
stating that, as they had purchased a site
for the church, they saw no reason to
take the memorial into further considera-
tion. He should move that the petition
be referred to a Select Committee, to in-
quire into the facts stated in the petition,
and into the charges it contained. It was
important that the charges made against
the commissioners should be investigated,
and proved or disproved. The parish was
extremely poor, and would be reduced to
great distress by the conduct of the com-
missioners, who did not care about pro-
ducing great inconvenience to the public
for their own partial interests. He under-
stood that in the workhouse of St. Luke's
there were upwards of 600 persons, and
upwards of 800 paupers, in the parish.
The sum expended last year on casual
poor was upwards of 3,4001.,and the whole
expense for the poor last year was 24,0001.
There were other parochial burthens, which
altogether fell so heavily that the parish
was almost in a state of insolvency. This,
however, was no concern of the commis-
sioners, and they insisted on putting the
parish to greater expense. The hon. Mem-
ber concluded by moving that the peti-
tion be brought up with a view of refer-
ring it to a Select Committee.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer might,
perhaps, better reserve what he had to say
on this subject to some other occasion; but
as the hon. Member had moved for a
Select Committee, he would make a few
remarks. He was much mistaken if the
House would lend any support to the hon.
Gentleman's Motion, for, even on his own
showing, there was no ground for it what-

ever. All the charge that he had to bring
against the commissioners was, that they
would not receive certain parties, but what
the state of the question was when they
applied to be seen, was not stated. The
hon. Gentleman had probably not informed
himself, at least he had not stated to the
House, what were the reasons of the com-
missioners for refusing. It appeared, how-
ever, by the answer to the memorial, that
the application was not made till the site
was chosen. The hon. Member said, the
commissioners would not hear the parish-
ioners-that they were bound to hear them
-and for this he demanded that the peti-
tion should be referred to a Select Com-
mittee of the House of Commons. But
was it not very possible that they might
have previously obtained all the requisite
information from those who possessed the
best means of being acquainted with the
affairs of the parish ? The Crown had made
an unobjectionable selection of judicious
and respectable persons, who were known
to be fitted for discharging the duty of
commissioners; and he could not now
consent to have them put upon their trial,
day by day, before a Committee of the
House of Commons on the allegations of
any petition. He thought it would be
much better to repeal the bills altogether,
or to say at once that there ought to be no
churches at all. A certain sum of money
had been placed at the disposal of the
commissioners, for the purpose of enabling
the community to enjoy the advantage of
christian instruction, and fulfil the decent
offices of piety; but it was not to be sup-

posed that it was solely left to their own
arbitrary discretion to determine how it
should be appropriated. A rule had been
laid down by Parliament for their direction,
enjoining them to inquire in what parishes
room was wantingfor the adequate accom-
modation of the parishioners when they
assembled in the exercise of public worship,
to examine in what places there existed a
disproportion between the population and
the space allotted for divine service, and
provide accommodation in proportion to the
number of the inhabitants. In compliance
with these instructions, they had selected
the parish of St. Luke as legitimately
coming within the meaning of the said
rule. The population in 1821 was ascer-
tained to amount to 40,876, while there
was not accommodation in the places of
worship for more than 1,200 persons, and
the commissioners proposed to give ac-

{JUNE 8}

additional Churchies. 94

95 Commissioners for building {COMMONS} additional Churches. 96
commodation to 2,500 in addition to that who did not want more than they were in
number, making in all but 3,700, out of possession of already. The hon. Member
40,876, who were supplied with the means then adverted to the case of Manchester
of going to church. The assertion that which had occurred two years before,
the new church was almost empty, had no within his own knowledge, where after a
foundation whatever, if he might believe the parish had been peremptorily and unex-
testimony of the respectable clergyman pectedly summoned to provide a site with-
who officiated. The church was calculated in a given time, the church had been
to accommodate 1,600 persons; 400 pew- erected on the understanding that the in-
sittings were generally let, and the average habitants were to sustain no further ex-
attendance was 1,200, together with 500 pense and on whom heavy rates had been
children who were disposed of in another immediately afterwards levied for the sup-
part of the church ; so that if there ever port of the church, notwithstanding the
had been a proper case for the interference agreement which subsisted between them
of the commissioners, it appeared to be and the commissioners. The conduct of
this. It was correctly stated, that the these commissioners hitherto had shown
commissioners desired to build another them to be any thing but trustworthy, and
additional church. They certainly did he should therefore refuse to repose in
think another church necessary, and them additional power, seeing that they
had applied to the vestry for a site, which were not fit to exercise that which they
the vestry had refused. They, however, possessed. He thought that a Select
had subsequently provided a site them- Committee should be appointed to inquire
selves on the border of the poorest part of into the subject generally, as the gross
the parish,where accommodation was much ignorance of the commissioners had led
wanted, according to the representations them almost every where to select incon-
of those who were best acquainted with the venient sites for churches, and to be guilty
neighbourhood. With respect to the of other local abuses, which it was neces-
poverty of the parish, he should observe, sary to remedy or discontinue. He did
that poor parishes, above all others, had not mean as a dissenter to impugn the
enteredintothecontemplationofParliament Christian character of the established
when it made a provision for building new church, but he thought it had been already
churches. The parish in question seemed sufficiently endowed, and he felt that he
to him to have been peculiarly well selected, should best advance the true interests of
and he had no doubt that the portion of religion by resisting its further encroach-
poverty which had arisen from misconduct ments on the property of the people. In
and immorality, would be most effectually appropriating the church revenue, modern
removed by providing free access to reli- usage had widely departed from the
gious instruction, which was so much original intention of our ancestors, as it
wanted by the description of persons al- was formerly destined to the establishment
luded to; nor could he otherwise account of poor-houses and the maintenance of
for opposition to such an object, than by hospitality, both of which were now entire-
supposing that the parties who had raised ly neglected, that the whole revenue of the
it were inimical to religion, church might be applied to the support of
Mr. J. Wood said, he could only judge the clergy. He submitted, that he was
of the commissioners from their scanda- the best friend to religion who sought to
lous encroachments on the property of the prevent cant and hypocrisy-the besetting
people, and from local information rela- sins of the day-and recommended to the
tive to their abuses. They were con- church the adoption of greater Christian
tinually bringing in bills, which exhibited forbearance and humility. He concluded
a grasping and overreaching disposition; with hoping that the hon. member for
and their prodigality and extravagance Aberdeen would press for the appointment
were equally discreditable to those who of a Select Committee, which should be
passively suffered such excesses, and to authorized to inquire into the subject gene-
themselves who had committed them. rally, and not confine its labours to an
Their secretary had 1,0001. a year; and examination of this case alone.
the clerk, who no doubt discharged the Lord J. Russell deprecated the innuendo
whole duty, had 3501. In addition to implied in the speech of the right hon.
this wasteful expenditure, they persisted Gentleman, when he appeared to insinuate
in continually inflicting churches on those that the hon. member for Aberdeen was

{JUNE 8} additional Churches.

an enemy to religion. Such language
was both unparliamentary and uncour-
Mr. Trant said, he should have been
ready to support the hon. member for
Aberdeen, if he had made out a shadow
of a charge against the commissioners, but
he could not consent to grant an inquiry
into a case which was so manifestly frivo-
lous as that contained in the petition. If
a specific case were brought forward, the
House ought to give it every attention ;
but he hoped they all entertained too
lively a sense of justice to listen quietly to
mere unsupported imputations of ignorance
and fraud.
Mr. R. Colborne was favourable to a
repeal of all the enactments which had
been passed upon this subject, few parishes
having taken advantage of the provisions
of the Act in question without deeply re-
penting it. In the parish of St. George,
in which he lived, the inhabitants had been
unnecessarily saddled with an expense of
not less than 43,0001. for building
churches. The hon. Member further in-
stanced St. Peter's Pimlico, which cost
20,0001. and from which an income was
derived of 1,08 11. per year; out of that the
minister was allowed 7001., the clerk had
301. other expenses amounted to 501.
and the remainder went to form a fund to
build a house for the clergyman. What he
particularly complained of, and what he
hoped to see remedied by the new bill,
was the appropriation of the balance of
pew-rent after paying the clergyman and
the clerk. He would have that applied to
pay the expense of pew-openers, &c. and
whatever might remain after that, should
be applied to pay off the debt incurred in
building the church, not to provide the
clergyman with a house. If there was any
intention to propose a clause remedying
the evil to which he alluded, he should not
oppose the bill which the Chancellor of
the Exchequer had in his hand, in its fur-
ther progress through the House.
Mr. Serjeant Onslow wished that his
hon. and learned friend, the member for
Preston, had not forgotten, when he stated
the purposes for which the revenues of the
Church were originally given also to state
that a great part of those revenues had
subsequently been taken away by a rapa-
cious tyrant.
Mr. Hume, in moving that the Petition
be laid on the Table, said, he could not
but express his surprise at the manner

in which the right hon. the Chancellor of
the Exchequer had alluded to his having
treated some observations of the right hon.
Gentleman jocularly. He confessed that
he, as well as other hon. Members, had
laughed at the tone and manner in which
the right hon. Gentleman had said, by way
of rebutting the allegations of the peti-
tion, that the churches had been built
in obedience to the votes of a Christian
Parliament." Was a declaration of this
kind the way to meet a question of fact?
What churches, he asked, had been built
in obedience to the vote of a Christian
Parliament? None, unless he called
empty stone walls Christian churches.
There were 1,200 inhabitants of the parish
of St. Luke, paying an average rate of
301. per annum, who offered to prove at
the bar of the House, that so far from the
new churches of which they complained
being wanted, those they had were never
half filled. Who best should know the
fact of the necessity of this new church,
this or that bishop-this or that Mem-
ber of the commission, who knew nothing
of the wants of the parish, or 1,200 re-
spectable inhabitants necessarily best ac-
quainted with those wants, and necessarily
mostinterestedin theirremoval ? There was,
in fact, no parish in the metropolis better
supplied with houses of worship, or of
which the population was more truly
"church-going." Not less than 5,000
persons attended several of twenty chapels
which the parish contained every Sabbath
day; showing that there was no necessity
for building new churches. He repeated,
he could not but express his surprise at
the manner in which the right hon. Gentle-
man had met this important petition. He
talked of the inhabitants being dissolute,
and as such requiring additional means
of spiritual correction; and, as usual, in-
sinuated that those who ventured at all
question to the immaculate purity of the
church establishment were neither more
nor less than infidels. To this he should
only say, that the very worst enemies of
that church were the traders in cant and
hypocrisy, who unfortunately were too
numerous, and who had not been as much
unmasked as the public welfare required.
But this was an age of cant and hypo-
crisy ; it was not surprising, therefore, that
those who dealt much in both should be
ready to impugn the motives of those who
probably had more religion in their hearts.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer denied,

97 Commigsionersfor building

Greece. 100

that he had applied the term dissolute"
in the manner stated by the hon. Member.
All he meant was, that where dissolute
habits were owing to the poverty of any
set of parishioners, the best remedy for the
evil was the providing the means of im-
proving their morals.
Petition laid on the Table. Mr. Hume
gave notice that he should on Monday
next move that it be referred to a Select

GREECE.] Sir J. Graham moved for
returns of Copies of the Instructions sent
to Sir P. Malcolm by the Lords of the
Admiralty, in obedience to a despatch of
the Earl of Aberdeen, written in July last,
relative to raising the blockade of the
coast of Greece by the British squadron ;
and also copies of the instructions and
despatches sent to and from the Lord
Commissioner of the Ionian Isles. He
wished to know from the right hon. Home
Secretary whether Ministers intended to
lay before the House all documents re-
lating to the conferences at Poros, which
it was most desirable that the House
should be in possession of previous to
discussing the final arrangements which
had been adopted by the Allies with re-
spect to the new Greek territory ?
Sir R. Peelsaid, the fullest information
respecting the conferences at Poros and
their results would be shortly laid before
both Houses of Parliament. With regard
to the papers then moved for by the hon.
Baronet, he did not see what object could
be attained by the production of the in-
structions sent to Sir P. Malcolm, as they
were implied in the despatch of Lord
Aberdeen which led to them. He did not
throw this out by way of objection to pro-
ducing the papers, but as a suggestion to
spare the unnecessary multiplication of
Sir J. Graham thought that every do-
cument relating to the blockade by the
Greek fleet should be produced, as the
French ambassador would appear to have
acted under the impression that there ex-
isted some discrepancy between the de-
clarations of Lord Stuart de Rothsay and
the despatch of the Earl of Aberdeen on
the subject. He particularly alluded to
the interpretation of the term violence,"
as used respecting the raising of the block-
Sir R. Peel maintained, that no discre-
pancy other than verbal existed with re-

spect to the interpretation of the term
" violence" alluded to by the honourable
Sir R. Vyvyan was anxious to know
whether it was intended to lay before Par-
liament copies of the correspondence be-
tween the British Government and the
Court of St. Petersburgh, in relation to the
settlement of Greece previous to the sign-
ing of the treaty of July, 1827 ?
Sir R. Peel felt a considerable objection
to produce the correspondence which had
taken place before the treaty had been
signed, as he thought that not only no
good could arise now from its production,
but that the proper time for discussing the
policy to which it related had passed over.
Had the hon. Baronet, months since, when
the subject was under consideration, moved
for those returns, there could have existed
no objection to discussing the policy which
they illustrated.
Sir R. Vyvyan begged leave to remind
the right hon. Baronet, that the House had
forborne to press for those and other docu-
ments relating to the treaty of July, 1827,
at the suggestion of Ministers that the
proper time for their production would be
when the negotiations then pending had
been concluded. Those negotiations had
since been concluded, so that he saw no
reason for withholding any portion of the
correspondence which led to them.
Sir R. Peel was not insensible of the
forbearance evinced by Parliament at the
time alluded to by the hon. Baronet. Still,
Ministers were now bound to look only at
the public interests, and not to what had
or had not been done on former occasions.
In saying this, however, he did not mean
to express more than a strong doubt on the
expediency of producing the correspond-
ence alluded to by the hon. Baronet.
Lord Palmerston begged leave to sug-
gest to his right hon. friend the great ad-
vantage of laying before that House the
additional documents relative to the con-
ferences at Poros, which had been ordered
in the other House, but which he under-
stood were not, according to the letter of
the Motion, to be also, as a matter of
course, laid before the House of Commons
as well as the House of Peers. He wished
at the same time to remind his right hon.
friend of something like a promise on a
former occasion, to produce copies of the
correspondence which had taken place be-
tween the British Government and the
Court of St. Petersburgh, in the interval



101 Mr. Attwood's Motion on. {JUNE 8}

between the two Russian campaigns, with
a view to bring about a favourable termi-
nation of the hostilities between Russia
and the Porte. Both documents were
highly important and necessary to a per-
fect understanding of our conduct in the
Sir R. Peel had only to say, that if his
noble friend had been in the House a few
minutes sooner, he would have heard him
declare that it was the intention of Mi-
nisters to lay all the documents relative
to the conferences at Poros before both
Houses of Parliament. He could not take
it upon him to say that he had promised
the other papers alluded to by his noble
friend; but if he had, it must be on con-
ditions which he could not then recollect.
Ministers had no objection to the produc-
tion of every document essential to a
thorough investigation of their policy in
relation to the treaty of July, 1827, and
its consequences.

THE CURRENCY.] Mr. Davenport ob-
served, that as his hon. friend, the mem-
ber for Callington, had a motion for to-
night similar to one of which he had himself
given notice, he would with great pleasure
yield precedence to his hon. friend ; re-
serving to himself the right to throw out
such suggestions as might subsequently
occur to him on a subject of such vital im-
portance to the people.
Mr. Attwood.-Availing myself of the
courtesy of my hon. friend, and in dis-
charge of a duty which he would have
executed with greater ability, I rise to call
the attention of this House, distracted as
it has been with lesser objects, to a consi-
deration of that condition of difficulty
and distress, which prevails throughout
the country, and which it is the first duty
of the House to consider, to relieve, and
to remove. I propose with this view, two
measures, the effect of which will be to
lessen, in some degree at least, the burthens
and sufferings of the people,--to relax also
in some degree that pressure which our
present monetary system inflicts on produc-
tive industry; and which will mitigate,
in perhaps a greater degree, the violence
of those fluctuations, which have accom-
panied the introduction of our present
monied system, have kept pace with its
progress, and which will terminate, per-
haps, with its extinction alone. The mea-
sures I thus propose are, to affirm, by two
Resolutions-first, that it is expedient, by

making silver money a legal tender, to re-
establish that legitimate and ancient me-
tallic standard, which was suspended by
the Act of 1797, and which the Act of
1819 professed, but failed, to restore;
next, that it is expedient to assimilate the
laws of the whole empire with regard to
paper money, by rendering legal in Eng-
land the circulation of cash notes of less
amount than 51.; as that circulation is
now legal in Ireland and in Scotland. If
I had pursued the strong conviction of
my own mind, I should have submitted to
the decision of the House, on this occa-
sion, measures of a more comprehensive
character. I should have submitted to the
decision of the House the whole question
relative to our present standard of value,
both in its principles and its operation:
and the necessity and justice of an entire
revision of our monied system, as estab-
lished by the Act of 1819. But when I
see here the great parties of which the
House is composed,-or rather when I see
the individuals by whose opinions these
parties are guided, who have pledged (un-
fortunately in my estimation for the coun-
try) their political consistency to the main
principles of the Act of 1819; I adopt
the more limited, hut the more practicable
course,-I prefer the lesser, but the more
attainable good, and submit measures,
which, whilst they are in accordance with
the opinions of those who, with me, con-
demn altogether the present standard, both
in principle and policy, are yet also in ac-
cordance with those very principles on
which the Act of 1819 has been most
strongly advocated. I adopt this course
with the less reluctance, because, in ex-
plaining the connexion of the measures I
propose with our present system ; in
evincing their policy, in demonstrating the
justice and necessity of these measures;
it will be necessary that I should bring
under the review of the House, though I
abstain from submitting to its decision,
much of the whole question regarding the
effect of our monied system on the in-
terests of the country,-regarding the
justice with which that system can now be
maintained, and the necessity of its revi-
sion. I ascribe to that monetary system,
and to the measures by which it has been
established, the whole of the difficulties of
the country; the whole of those alter-
nations, as they have been called,-those
destructive reverses, which have accom-
panied its introduction. I see no just or

the Currency Question. 102

103 Mr. Attwood's Motion on {COMMONS} the Currency Question. 104

necessary reason, why there should pre-
vail any general state of difficulty or dis-
tress in this country at this time. There
is no difficulty, there has been no distress,
except what is plainly resolvable into this,
-a condition of pecuniary embarrass-
ment amongst the productive classes.
The source of the national distress is thus
directly pointed out: a deranged, defective
monetary system, a circulation inadequate
to the engagements and burthens of the
productive community. So manifest is
this origin, that if a scale be taken of the
pecuniary prices, of productions, of pro-
perty, and of commodities, for the last
fifteen, or the last thirty years, that table
will give an accurate index, a faithful
history of the prosperous or adverse con-
dition of the kingdom during these periods.
It would be seen by it, that when monied
prices have advanced in the markets, such
advance has not brought with it, as at
former times, privations, sufferings, and
distress, amongst the great body of the
community. On the contrary, when mar-
kets have fallen, then amidst that evidence
of plenty, according to all former experi-
ence, the means of subsistence have been
placed out of the reach of the labourer.
The evidence of plenty, and the sufferings
of famine, have gone together. Scarcity
has accompanied low prices; and this
condition of things, stated with whatever
exceptions any individual may please, but
incontestibly true in the main,-does it
not lead to the strongpresumption at least,
-I do not-say to the necessary conclu-
sion, for I desire no more at present than
to evince the important character of the
question now under consideration; does
it not lead to the strong presumption,
that to forced and artificial changes in the
value of money, we must look for the
origin of the public calamities It is in
vain to contend, that changes in the value
of money have been experienced at former
times. Our history affords one example,
and one only, of a change in money as
extensive as those we have witnessed.
That alteration followed the discovery of
the New World. Money fell then, as now,
in value; but its fall was permanent.
Money remained at the rate to which it
had fallen. From that period to the Bank
Restriction Act in 1797, no further great
change in money was experienced, as
measured in bread corn, its best criterion.
But we have seen,-first, that money fell
in value to nearly as great a degree as in

the instance I refer to. It did not remain
of that low value; moneyagain-advanced
to its original level. Then took place a
second depreciation, followed by a second
re-action, each as violent as the former.
And then a third depreciation, and another
re-action; until money, the standard of
value, the measure of property and of
contracts, has, by those successive alter-
nations, covered the country with bank-
ruptcies, against which no prudence could
guard, and has been the treacherous source
of ruin or injustice to all those who have
intrusted their fortunes to its security. If,
indeed, these changes have sprung from
natural causes, what reason is there to
expect that they will now terminate ?
And continuing; the continuance of the
career of this country in its commercial
and manufacturing greatness is at its close;
for manufactures and commerce cannot
co-exist with disorders such as these. But
I believe it not; I believe not that the
character of money has changed; I believe
not, that the character of the people has
changed, or that they have dealt less pru-
dently with money now than at former
times. And it is demonstrable, that our
proceedings have been calculated to lead
precisely to the calamities which they have
experienced. I will describe what those
proceedings have been, and I go back for
this purpose to the Bank Restriction Act
of 1797, on which Act rests our present
system, its justice, and its policy. The
Legislature by that Act established, for
the first time in this country, paper money,
strictly and properly so called; not paper
existing as the representative of money,
payable in other money, and limited in its
quantity by such exchangeability; but
paper, performing in itself the office and
functions of money, exchangeable into
nothing, representing nothing,-limited by
nothing but the will of the issuers, and
which no man who held it could demand
payment or exchange of from any other
person. It was then, for the first time,
that this description of money, a pure
paper money as it is denominated, was
known in this country. The Legislature
abolished at that time-suspended, indeed,
but abolished whilst it suspended-that
ancient metal standard, which for more
than two centuries, as regarded one of the
precious metals, the predominant standard
silver, had continued without variation,
the measure of property and of value
in this kingdom. Another standard was

105 Mr. Attwood's Motion on {JUNE 8}

then substituted-the paper money I have
described ; but the Legislature of that day
adopted no one precautionary measure to
protect the new standard from debasement,
or to maintain its value. The laws which
maintained the purity and value of the old
standard, had no reference to the character
of the new money, nor were any other laws
provided in their place. Thus established,
and thus unrestricted, depending for its
value on chance or accident, on the will or
judgment of irresponsible individuals, this
paper money became the sole practical
standard in which all the pecuniary en-
gagements of the people were formed, all
public and private engagements and bur-
thens contracted and imposed, for no less
a period than two-and-twenty years. At
the end of that long period, in 1819, this
standard of value, thus established with-
out protection, was abandoned without
inquiry; the metal standard was brought
back, and all the engagements of the one
standard made payable in money of the
other. I repeat it, without inquiry ; with
no inquiry into that which was the only
essential matter in an operation of this
character, into the extent to which the de-
basement of the paper money had been
carried; into the difference of value
between the two monies, in one of which
the contracts of the other were made to
be discharged. A committee indeed of
this, and one of the other House of Par-
liament, preceded by their labours the Act
of 1819. But they stated in their Report,
that it had been previously decided by the
wisdom of Parliament to re-establish the
standard of 1797, and that their duty was
confined to a consideration of the proper
time and manner to carry that into effect.
The directions given to this committee, a
committee sitting on a measure having the
most extensive bearing on all the interests
of the people were to inquire into the
state of the Bank of England, with refer-
ence to the expediency of proceeding to
cash payments at the period appointed by
law; and into such other matters as were
connected therewith." On its Report was
founded a law, the effect of which went
to substitute one value for another; in
every existing contract for money, rent, or
debt, or settlement, throughout the realm;
and the committee made no Report as to
what extent this difference in value would
go. It recommended this House,-the
guardians of the public purse,-to pass a
law, the necessary consequence ofwhih was

to make an addition, not to any particular
tax; not to the land, the malt-tax, or the
assessed taxes; but at once to make an
addition to every tax then existing, which
the war had imposed ;-to every tax which
the wars of two centuries had imposed ;-
all were to be at once increased; and the
committee did not think it a matter there-
with connected, to explain in their Report
to what extent this addition would thus be
carried ;-to what amount new burthens
were thus to be imposed on the people,-
new taxes given to the Crown. Such
were the characters of the inquiry which
preceded the Act of 1819. The com-
mittee was discharging a higher duty than
admitted of a reference to interests like
these ; they were in discharge of a task,
which, said they, previous Acts of Parlia-
ment had rendered just, and therefore ne-
cessary. I dispute not now that plea of
justice : for the present I admit it. Before
I sit down I shall have occasion to discuss
the question, and shall shew how utterly
worthless is that fallacious plea, and that
other plea which has been put forward, of
the ten years' continuance of the present
standard. But for the present I admit,
that justice and the national faith required,
in 1819, that the standard of 1797 should
be brought back. That being necessary
to be done, it was needless to inquire into
the cost, whatever that cost might be, or
to whatever extent the public interests
would be exposed to danger. I dispute
not now the justice of the Act of 1819;
but I take these two measures together; I
couple the Act of 1797 with the Act of
1819; I say, that by the one Act of Par-
liament was established in this country a
money and a standard of value which had
no protection from debasement; that, so
established, this money became the sole
practical standard of the people for two-
and-twenty years; that, in this money
were all pecuniary contracts, rents, settle-
ments, and mortgages founded; that all
the public burthens and taxes were in that
money, during all this period, contracted,
and imposed; that, at the end of this
period, was brought back an ancient and
an obsolete standard, unknown to the
transactions of, it might almost be said, the
then existing generation, unknown to all
their engagements ; and that all the con-
tracts of the one money were made pay-
able in the other, without any inquiry into
the difference of value between the two.
This is the character of these proceedings;

the Curpency Question. 106

107 Mr. Attwood's Motion on .{COMMONS} the Currency Question. 108

and let any man who considers them, and
who is desirous of understanding the real
nature of the difficulties of the country,
and their origin, turn his view from this
picture of the proceedings of Parliament,
to a consideration of the state of the
country, on whose interests these proceed-
ings were to operate; let him consider the
state of society in this country, connected
together by pecuniary engagements to an
extent never before known here or else-
where; let him consider the landed interest
-the land bound on one side by leases, on
the other by mortgages, and settlements,
all expressed in money; let him consider
manufactures and commerce, all depen-
dent on, existing by, one great and general
system of pecuniary credit; next the
public debts and taxes; and then I would
submit to the consideration of this House,
what appears to me to require no consi-
deration, whether in the history of the
country, whether in the whole history of
civilized legislation, there can be found
any courseof proceedings more calculated to
produce extensive disorders; more destitute
of all prudence, foresight, or wisdom; more
utterly regardless of all the rights and secu-
rity of property ; more framed to effect a
general confiscation of property; more
pregnant with derangement, disorder,
danger, calamity, and ruin. Hitherto I
have admitted the validity of that plea,
which urges the justice of returning, in
1819, to the standard which had, since
1797, been suspended. I have said that I
shall explain, before I sit down, on what
grounds that fallacy is founded ; and even
at present it is proper to remark, that those
who vindicate the sacrifices imposed by
the Act of 1819, on the ground that those
sacrifices were demanded by good faith and
j ustice,bring that defence forward under cir-
cumstanceslittle favourableto its authority.
That plea was not urged by its advocates
when the Act of 1819 was passed. The
House or the country was told nothing
then of great sacrifices which justice de-
manded, or of difficulties which it was ne-
cessary to encounter. The advocates of
the bill saw no difficulties; foretold no
sacrifices. They treated as men of gloomy
and visionary apprehensions those who
foresaw in the Act of 1819 the fatal con-
sequences with which it was pregnant.
There is none but a trifling difference, said
the friends of the measure, in the value of
the paper, and of the metal money. They
had provided themselves with an infallible

test, by which they could readily do that,
which the right hon. Baronet has since dis-
covered to be so difficult to do: by which
they could measure the varying value of
the circulating medium from time to time.
Paper they could put into one scale, gold
into another, and weigh the value of the
two with ease, certainty, and accuracy.
It was not till that test was found to be
fallacious, till its worthlessness could no
longer be concealed, till the consequences
of the tremendous error then committed,
had spread immeasurable ruin throughout
the country; not till then was the ground
changed, and we were told, for the first time,
that whatever was the ruin which should
follow the imposition of the old standard,
faith and justice required that standard to
be re-established, and that ruin to be en-
dured. But it is admitted, that the faith of
contracts required the standard, suspended
in 1797, to be brought back in 1819, and
imposed on all the engagements con-
tracted in two-and-twenty years, during
which period that standard was unknown.
I admit that statement, and I rest upon it
the first measure of relief which I now
propose. I affirm, then, that it is not the
standard suspended in 1797, which the
Act of 1819 has brought back. It is a
new standard, unknown till that hour to
the laws of this country. I affirm it de-
cidedly. The ancient standard of this
country, the standard which existed up to
1797,wasnotagold moneyof 31.17s. 10 d.
an ounce, and could never be so described.
There never existed a pecuniary contract
in this kingdom payment of which could,
until the Act of 1819, be enforced in
money of the present standard. There
never was a tax imposed which, till that
hour, the King could require to be paid in
money of the Act of 1819. The ancient,
legitimate standard of this country is a
gold money, coined after the rate of
31. 17s. 10d. of money to an ounce of
gold; or a silver money of 5s. 2d. of
money to an ounce of silver, at the option
of the payer. This is no immaterial dis-
tinction, but an essential part of the
standard. The two precious metals, gold
and silver, fluctuate from time to time, in
their value as estimated against one an-
other. Gold is at times the dearest of the
two; silver at other times. The laws of
our standard secured to the debtor the
option of the cheapest metal. For a con-
siderable period after our standard was
fixed, in the reign of Elizabeth, gold ad.

109 Mr. Attwood's Motion on {JUNE 8}

vanced, and became the dearest of the two
metals. In consequence, silver became, at
that time, the money in which the people
discharged their engagements, and was
the principal instrument of circulation;
and gold would have been driven from the
country, but it was dealt with as conveni-
ence required, and as I shall presently ex-
plain. About the time of King William
gold ceased to advance, it afterwards
began to fall; and, throughout the
greater part of the last century, gold be-
came the cheapest of the two metals:
people, in consequence, discharged their
engagements in gold; and silver, in its
turn, became less the instrument of
transactions, and was partly driven from
circulation. About the year 1783 the
course of the precious metals took another
direction, gold again advanced: it is now
greatly the dearest of the two metals, and
the interest of the debtor now is to dis-
charge his engagements in silver, according
to his undoubted right by the laws of our
standard as they have existed, from the
reign of Elizabeth down to the Act of
1819, or rather to 1816. I will shew to
what extent this change affects contracts;
and I rejoice that I see opposite the hon.
member for London (Mr. Ward), who
stated, on a former occasion, that he was
unable to understand the meaning of the
terms when men spoke of a double standard.
The hon. Member is a considerable author-
ity on these subjects, a great Exchange
merchant, a Director of the Bank; one of
those witnesses who misled the Committee
of 1819 (for that committee put questions
regarding the value of money, though they
made no report on such value) into the
fatal error they committed of taking bullion
as their measure of debasement; and I
will endeavour to explain to the hon.
Member, and, through him, to the House,
what the term double standard" really
implies. The first Lord Liverpool, in his
Letter on Coins, thus explains what he
understood by that term:-" Experience
has proved, (said he) that where coins are
made legal tender at given rates, those
who have any payments to make will prefer
to discharge their debts or obligations by
paying in that coin which is overrated,"
that is to say in the cheapest. This is
Lord Liverpool's notion of theterm" double
standard." My hon. friend and colleague
(Mr. Baring) in that very able paper which
contains his evidence before the Committee
of Privy Council on Coins, in 1828, gives

an explanation precisely similar. It is
this-" If gold and silver were concurrent
legal tenders at the old Mint regulations,
silver would, at present, be the practical
standard, as the debtor always acquits
himself in the cheapest metal he is enabled
to do by law." My hon. colleague found
no difficulty in piercing the mystery of
those terms which perplex the hon. mem-
ber for the City. The double standard is
an optional standard; and that view of it,
as it works in practice according to the
evidence of the two authorities I have
quoted, agrees precisely with the intention
and meaning of the law itself, from the
first introduction of two metals as money in
this kingdom. Ihaveherethe terms of the
first Act which legalised gold money, in the
reign of Edward 3rd., when coins of gold
were for the first time to any extent circu-
lated. That Act uses almost the very
words which my hon. colleague has adopted
in describing the practical working of the
double standard. "And where any agree-
ment had been made,"-by agreement
being signified a contract taking the nature
of a debt,-" where any agreement had
been made, it should be at the option of
the purchaser to pay money of gold or of
silver, as he should think fit." And this
option given by the law to the debtor, has
continued, I believe, without any inter-
ruption, to be the law of the Mint, and a
part of the standard, from the period I
have quoted down to the Act of 1816, for
establishing a silver coinage, when that
option was, for the first time, taken away,
and the debtor compelled to pay his debts
in gold, as soon as the Bank Restriction
Act should cease,-which it did by the
Act of 1819. But I will shew what the
result of the double standard will be in its
operation when again re-established. Let
it be assumed that my hon. friend the
member for London (Mr. Ward) is in
possession of an old mortgage on a landed
estate which he desires to call up; the
money was advanced, I shall assume, before
the Restriction Act; lent in the double
standard; the lender advancing the cheap-
est of the two metals, and knowing that
the law would allow the debtor to pay also
in whichever should be the cheapest metal:
and all mortgages which have dates before
1819, were either founded on this optional
standard, or on the still cheaper standard
of the Restriction Act. The mortgage is
called in. By that single standard, now,
for the first time,made law,-that standard,

the-Currency Question 110

111 Mr. Attwood's Motion on {COMMONS} the Currency Question. 112

the simplicity of which is so intelligible to
the hon. Member,-he is enabled to compel
his debtor to pay gold money of
31. 17s. 10d. an ounce; which, when he
carries to the bullion-market, he finds of
the full intrinsic value of 31. 17s. 101d. in
gold, and perhaps somewhat more; but
which, if he sell for silver bullion, will give
him five per cent more silver than the debt
paid in the ancient coin of the realm would
give him, according to the law of the
standard suspended in 1797; and he thus,
by the abolition of the legitimate standard,
has obtained an unjust advantage of five
per cent, to the equal injury, unjustly
inflicted, of his debtor. Now suppose
the legitimate standard re-established, that
double standard, which the hon. Member
finds it so difficult to understand, let him
be satisfied that his debtor will find no
such difficulty, he will see at once through
the mystery. The debtor will no longer
pay gold money as now compelled; he
will pay in silver money, of the ancient
legal coin-of 5s. 2d. the ounce; which,
when the hon. Member carries to the
bullion-market, he will be able to dispose
of at no more than 4s. lid. the ounce;
he will lose 5-per-cent, which his debtor
will gain ; or, in other words, will have to
give up an advantage of 5-per-cent, which
the present law has unjustly, and in vio-
lation of the faith of contracts, given to
all creditors over all debtors. My hon.
friend will thus, I think, be enabled to dis-
cover the meaning of the term "double
standard," though he may not be satisfied
of its propriety; neither is that a question
which the Legislature has now, or had in
1816, or in 1819, the right to interfere
with. It might, originally, have been just
or unjust, reasonable or unreasonable, that
debtors should have the power of discharg-
ing their engagements, either in one money
or the other, as one became cheaper than
the other: but this was a matter for con-
sideration when that power was given. In
the time of Edward 3rd, of Queen Eliza-
beth, of King William, or of George 1st,
it was matter for decision; but having
been decided, the power having been se-
cured by law, that law forming a part of
the standard and of the Mint, and being
.as absolutely a part of our standard, as the
weight or fineness of the coin forms an
essential part of it, that power cannot be
taken away from the contracting parties,
without a violation of faith and justice. I
will take the case of a tax, and all taxes

are contracts; for I know of no obligation
on any subject of this realm to pay any tax,
except that it is agreed to by his re-
presentatives, acting by and for him in
this House, that he shall pay such tax.
Take, then, the case of a tax imposed by
Parliament and given to the Crown: it
falls on a particular individual with a given
weight. Let this be assumed as 211. As
the law now stands, the King can compel
this individual to provide twenty guineas
of the old coinage, or twenty-one sovereigns
of the new, before he can obtain an ac-
quittal from this demand. But let the
ancient standard be established, that very
standard in which this tax was imposed-
for there does not exist a single tax which
was not either imposed in the optional
standard which I now claim or in the still
cheaper standard of 1797. The subject
will not then pay 21 sovereigns; he will
take hfs 21 sovereigns to the bullion-
market; purchase with them 85A ounces
of standard silver, at 4s. lid. which is the
price now, and which has been the price,
(or nearly so, for I speak not of fractions,
and I am establishing the principle, rather
than estimating the precise difference,) for
the last 5 or 8 years, of silver; and these
851 ounces he will carry to the Mint,
where, according to the laws of the Mint,
they will be restored to him in coin, of the
amount of 221. Is. 9d.; with 211. of which
he will discharge his tax, demand his ac-
quittance, and retain 11. Is. 9d. for him-
self, as a relief from the burthen of this
duty; and will pay the tax, not in base,
depreciated money, but in money of the
precise denomination, weight, and:fineness,
which, from the 43rd year of Queen Eliza-
beth, down to the Act of 1816, was the
legal coin of this realm, without variation
or interruption. But it may be said, as it
has been said, that this advantage of 5.per-
cent would not be realized; that the price
of silver would advance with the additional
demand which making silver a legal tender
would occasion. This would not affect
the principle I maintain. Give the op-
tion: the debtor is entitled to it. Neither
is it to be assumed, or is it probable that
silver would advance. The rise of gold as
compared with silver, which has taken
place here, is common to us and to France,
to the whole continent, and, I believe, to
the world at large. Silver which, by the
law of our Mint, ought to exchange against
gold, after the rate of 15- ounces of silver
to 1 oz. of gold, is given in the bullion-market,

{JUNE 8} the Currency Question.

at the rate of near 16 ounces for an ounce
of gold. At the same rate these metals
exchange in France; and as silver forms
the principal money of all countries except
this, it is not probable that such additional
demand for silver, as an alteration of the
law would occasion here, could have the
effect of changing the proportionate values
of gold and silver throughout the world;
and without this effect the price of silver,
as against gold, could not permanently
advance here. Neither, in point of fact,
would a great additional demand for silver
take place. Men would not, in effect, pay
their debts or taxes in bags of silver: they
do not now pay them in bags of gold.
Debts and taxes would be paid then as
now, in paper instruments of credit, bank-
ers notes and cheques ; but these, could
they to be discharged in silver, the cheaper
of the metals, would be discharged with
less burthen than in gold, the dearer of
the two. Bankers and others who issue
cash-notes, would find an advantage from
the cheapness and from the security which
the power of paying in silver would give
them; they would maintain a larger
amount of their paper-money in cir..
culation. The channels of circulation
would be more abundantly replenished--
money, in greater abundance, would bear
a less value; and to some extent, what-
ever it might prove, whether 4 or 6 or 7-
per-cent, the establishment of the ancient
standard would, in this manner, maintain
a higher average rent of all land, than can
be supported under the present standard;
and thus would give some advantage to the
landlord-a higher price would be estab-
ilshed for all agricultural productions,
which would give the farmer relief; whilst
an equal advance on the wages of labour
would be an equally necessary conse-
quence, and thus the labourer would
find some mitigation from the burthens
which the taxes impose upon him. The
consequences of the innovation introduced
into our standard in 1819, being such as
I have described,-such having been the
operation on pecuniary contracts, of sub-
stituting a single standard of gold for a
joint standard of gold or silver, it is some-
what hard to understand, what counter-
vailing benefit the authors of this change
proposed, or how they reconciled their
measure with what was due to the faith
of existing engagements. The first Earl of
Liverpool appears to have been the first
individual who urged upon the Legislature

the scheme of making gold alone, a legal
tender, and of abolishing the legal tender
of silver. In his well-known letter to the
King, on this subject, which letter was
published in 1805, and was originally
drawn up, as it is understood, to serve
for a report from a committee of Privy
Council, which sat in 1798,on the coinage,
is probably to be found the best exposition,
of the reasons which guided the Legislature
in changing the standard of value. Lord
Liverpool's report was not adopted by the
Committee of Privy Council of 1798.
Why it was rejected I know not. It has
been said, that it was rejected in conse-
quence of an opposition from the then
Chief Justice of the Common Pleas. The
grounds of that opposition I do not know;
but than this nothing can be more certain,
that since, in 1798, when the Committee
sat, the price of silver had fallen with re-
spect to gold, so as to give some advantage
to the debtor who should discharge his
engagement in silver-the power of doing
that if he pleased could not have been
even then taken away from the debtor,
without as gross an injustice-as gross
a fraud, if it be desirable to introduce
terms of this description into discus-
sions bearing somewhat of an abstract
character-as direct and as gross an in-
justice as was ever effected by any-the
most fraudulent debasement or enhance-
ment of the weight or fineness of the coins.
The labours of the Committee of Privy
Council on coins were suspended in 1798,
and not renewed till 1816. The second
Lord Liverpool, who had succeeded to all
his father's opinions, and to more than all
his power, was then successful in procuring
the adoption of the measure rejected in
1798. In his father's letter to the King,
the motives which influenced such adop-
tion are to be sought; they seem to have
been these :-Gold, accordingto Lord Liver-
pool, being a rich metal, is best adapted
for the standard of a rich country. When
countries are poor, he said, copper forms
for them the fittest standard; as nations
become richer, then silver comes into
operation, and is the best standard; and
when nations become very rich, then they
adopt gold; and some countries there are,
said he, so exceedingly poor, that metal
baser than copper would form the most
fit standard for such countries. Reasons
more fanciful, carrying with them so little
of solid weight were, perhaps, scarcely
ever before proposed as the grounds 9f a

113 M~r. Attwood's N/otion on

115 Mr. Attwood's Motion on {COMMONS} the Currency Question. 116

important legislative measure. They are
founded too on a false assumption of facts.
It is not true that nations proceed with
regard to money, as Lord Liverpool ima-
gined; all experience contradicts the
supposition.-Our own country-and it is
by our own former experience that the pro-
ceedings of this Legislature ought to be
mainly guided-this country never, when
most poor, did use any standard of a
cheaper material than silver. Silver
formed our standard, from the first intro-
duction of money amongst us; it con-
tinued a standard, according to our laws,
with no intermission, down to the time
of Lord Liverpool's project. Silver is
now a standard in France, as it always
has been; and as far as I know, there is
no country in Europe but our own, nor in
the world, however rich, where silver does
not continue to be a standard of value.
The advantages proposed, being such as
these, how did Lord Liverpool reconcile
to public faith the change from one
standard to another, in reference to exist-
ing contracts? It will be found that his
argument on this head overlooks altogether
the main fact connected with it. He
said, gold has already become practically
the standard of the people; as the country
became more wealthy in the course of the
last century, the people found, said he,
gold a more convenient money for their
increased transactions than silver; they,
therefore, made use of gold,-laid silver
aside; and having so acted, and for such
reasons, the Legislature can justly abolish
silver as a standard altogether:-it will
merely establish by law, the standard
which the.people have established in prac-
tice. All nations, he said, will act in this
manner as they become rich; they will
adopt gold without a law, or in spite of
any law. Now, that the people of Eng-
land adopted gold in the last century on
account of their wealth, is so far from
being true, that it might with more justice
be said, they so acted because of their
poverty. Gold, during the last century,
became the cheapest of the two metals.
It was to the advantage of every man to
pay his debts in gold; it would have been
a loss to the debtor, of sometimes 2-per-
cent, at other times, 5, 10, and even
12-per-cent, to pay his debts in silver:
and the poorer, therefore, the state of the
people,-the more they were pressed by
debts,-the more urgent was the necessity
of paying those debts in gold, according

to the option secured to them; and which
option, if continued, would now make it
advantageous to pay debts in silver. I
hold here a table of the price of silver, as
compared with gold, during the greater
part of the last century. For the first
twenty-five years of the reign of George
3rd, viz. from 1760 to 1785, debtors
would have lost 6-per-cent by paying in
silver money; that is the reason why they
paid their debts in gold. After 1785,
gold advanced; in 1798, and down to
1816, it became the dearest of the two
metals; and so it has continued to be
from 1816 to the present time; and an
indisputable right have the people of this
country to discharge in silver all their
public and private engagements-a right
which, without injustice, and a flagrant
violation of the faith of contracts, no law
can take away. We come, then, to 1816:
a Committee of Privy Council then again
sat, to consider of providing a new coin-
age of silver; it was a necessary measure;
the old silver coins had been melted.
But proceeding on Lord Liverpool's views,
the committee acted in direct opposition
to the facts before them. It was no doubt
necessary, to secure the new coinage from
the fate of our former silver coins which had
been melted down, or carried abroad, and
therefore to inquire whence that evil had
arisen, in order to guard against its recur-
rence. Now, by referring to the price of
silver and gold, from 1760 to 1785, we
shall perceive the grounds on which the
committee proceeded. The average price
of silver for the whole twenty-five years is
exactly 5s. 6d. the ounce, or 6J per cent
above the Mint price. The price of gold,
for the same period, is also above the
Mint price; but only about | per cent.
During this whole period there was a
profit, therefore, to be obtained by chang-
ing gold for silver, by bringing from
abroad gold bullion, procuring it to be
coined at the Mint, exchanging the money
thus produced into silver coins of the full
weight, and exporting those silver coins:
thus a profit would be procured of 6-per-
cent, and silver coins, it is plain, could
not remain in circulation under such cir-
cumstances. To protect the new coins,
therefore, it seems to have been thought
necessary to reduce their intrinsic value
by about 6-per-cent, and thus to leave no
profit on such operations as those de-
scribed; and in adopting this step, of
reducing the intrinsic value of the coin,

(JUNE 8} the Currency Question.

it seems to have been thought necessary,
also, that the new coins so lowered should
cease to be a legal tender: one measure
followed the other. Now, in thus reduc-
ing the intrinsic value of the new silver
coinage, in order to protect the coins,
a danger was guarded against, which for
a considerable period had not existed.
After 1785, silver had fallen in price; in
1798, it had.fallen to the ancient Mint
price. It was seen, indeed, that through-
out the French war, silver was high-as
high sometimes as 10-per-cent, and at
other times as 30-per-cent above the
old Mint price; but these were the
prices of depreciated paper. Estimated
in gold, silver had fallen throughout the
whole period of the Restriction Act; and
if the Legislature in 1816 had so formed
their calculation, it would have been
shewn them that, gold money again esta-
blished, silver coins at 5s. 2d. an ounce
would be as secure as at 5s. 6d., or any
higher price. The -result would have
justified that estimate; for in the whole
period since the cessation of the Restric-
tion Act, there would have been a loss of
about 5-per-cent in melting silver coins
of the old standard, for that standard is
5s. 2d. an ounce, and the market price of
silver has been 4s. lid. the ounce; and
thus, therefore, with no debasement of
the intrinsic value of the silver standard,
would the new silver coinage have been
as secure as it is now secure, or can ever
be, against the danger of melting or
exporting the coins. But in thus guard-
ing against a danger which had long
passed, the Legislature exposed the coin-
age to another danger, which an accurate
calculation would have shewn them was
imminent. By taking 6-per-cent from
the intrinsic value of the silver coins, they
offered a premium for fictitious coinage to
that amount; and this premium would be
of necessity increased by as much more,
as silver should fall in the market below
the old Mint rate. Silver in the market
is now 5-per-cent below the old Mint
rate; and a premium is now, therefore,
held out of 11 or 12-per cent on surrep-
titious coinage. Whether a false coinage
has really taken place to any considerable
amount, I do not undertake to say, nor is
it material to my argument; but it is yet
a matter of great public interest. A
general belief prevails that much of the
silver coin now in circulation is of Dutch
or American manufacture, The right

hon. Master of the Mint thinks different-
ly; but I do not consider the grounds he
has assigned satisfactory. He has inform-
ed us that an assay has been made at the
Mint, of coin supposed to be fictitious,
and that it has been found to be genuine.
But more extensive assays must be effect-
ed, before any assurance of the safety of
the coin generally can be derived. And,
further, I have to inform the Master of
the Mint, and my belief is founded on
the information of persons experienced in
metals, that it is practicable to manufacture
silver coin so nearly resembling the genuine
coinage, as that, being formed of the
same intrinsic alloy, it would not be pos-
sible for the officers of the Mint to discri-
minate between the real and the fraudulent
money-between the coinage of the King
andthe coinage of the Dutchman orAmeri-
can. And I would like'to ask the Master of
the Mint, whether, since the period when
additional coins have ceased to be issued
from the Mint, a large accumulation of
coins in silver has not been experienced at
the Bank of England; whether the Bank
has not expressed its opinion and apprehen-
sion, that this coin is much of it fraudu-
lent; and whether, in fact, the Bank has
not demanded payment from the Govern-
ment of 1l-per-cent on such coin, being
the difference between its real and its
current value? The Master of the Mint
admitted that silver had accumulated at
the Bank; but he said silver had nowhere
else accumulated. To that fact I doubt
if his means of information extend. Of
one part of the kingdom I can inform him,
where there is a great accumulation of
silvercoin. I can inform him of one estab-
lishment alone, where, within the last
few months, has been accumulated above
80,0001. of silver coin, the difference be-
tween the intrinsic and the nominal value
of which is about 10,0001. I do not urge
this part of the question; but if the fact
turns out to be, that silver money, Dutch
made, is supplied here of a value 1I I-per-
cent debased below its current rate-and
there exist no means of securing the pre-
sent coinage against such a substitution, of
necessity that coinage must be withdrawn,
and another adopted. Thus it is, step by
step, that we have abolished the ancient
standard of the realm, acting all along on
partial views, and never arriving at any
comprehensive understanding of the real
characterand importance of our operations.
Abolishing the option of two metals, we

117 Mr. A8ttwoodos Motion on

119 Mr. Attwood's Motion on {COMMONS} the Currency Question. 120

have bound all contracts to one metal,
and that metal the dearest. It is not
unimportant to compare these proceedings
with the course which, under circum-
stances nearly similar, this nation formerly
adopted. About the period of the estab-
lishment of our standard in the reign of
Elizabeth, gold advanced in price as
compared with silver; as it has recently
advanced. Let us then see what course
was adopted by the statesmen by whom
these questions were then regulated. I
am appealing to the best days of the
standard-to the times when the national
interests, dependent on this standard of
value, were protected by equal wisdom
and equal justice. But I cannot refer to
these times without saying, that no proceed-
ing could be more unfortunate for them-
selves, than when the individuals by whom
these important interests have been govern-
ed in our own times, have referred to
former experience, -have placed themselves
and their measures in juxtaposition,-have
invited the comparison,-have invoked the
authority, and appealed to the conduct of
those great statesmen and monarchs, and
greater patriots, and greater philosophers,
by whom our standard was fixed, and by
whom it was governed, from the time of
Queen Elizabeth, Lord Burleigh, Lord
Bacon, and Lord Coke, down to the time
of King William, Mr. Locke, and Sir Isaac
Newton. I am bound to tell them, no man
can examine the measures of those different
periods and be blind to the fact, that a
contrast more striking it is impossible to
find, between the prudence, the confidence
yet caution,the decision yet circumspection,
the sagacious foresight, looking to all con-
sequences, protecting all interests, guard-
ing against all dangers, which distinguish-
ed the series of former measures; and the
total absence of all these characteristics,
the narrow and timid presumption, the
short-sighted ignorance which belong to
the latter. Sir, immediately after the 43rd
Elizabeth, gold advanced as it has recently
advanced. The present advance of gold,
as compared with silver, is, taking five
years ending in 1830, and five years ending
with 1785, about thirteen percent; taking
twenty years ending with 1785, and five or
eight years ending with 1830, the advance
is about eleven per cent. From the lowest
price of gold in 1782, when an ounce of
gold exchanged against no more than about
13+ ounces of silver, to the present rate,
when it exchanges against 156 ounces of

silver, the advance of gold is more than
twenty per cent. So circumstanced, we
have rejected silver, and bound all contracts
to gold. In 1605, four years after our
standard was established, gold advanced
also, as compared with silver, eleven per
cent. What was the course adopted?
Lord Bacon and Lord Coke directed that
course: their proceedings were precisely
the reverse of ours. They adhered to
silver, and dealt with gold as I shall pre-
sently describe. Gold again advanced:
the advance in seven years more was ten
per cent. Gold continued further still to
advance: the advance in the whole had
reached thirty-two per cent by the time of
Charles 2nd. By King William's time,
gold had advanced thirty-nine per cent.
During all this period, all this derangement
of gold, the course of our Governments was
uniform. Silver money had been coined
by the 43rd of Elizabeth at 5s. 2d. the
ounce; gold money at 21. 15s. lid. the
ounce. By the 4th of James 1st, gold
money was lessened in weight; it was then
coined at 31. 2s. Id. the ounce: this was a
debasement of eleven per cent. In the
9th of James 1st, gold money was lowered
ten per cent by proclamation, which brought
the ounce of gold to 31. 7s. 7d. The gold
money was again debased one or two per
cent in the 17th of James 1st. In the
13th of Charles 2nd, gold was' coined at
31. 14s. 2d. the ounce, being a debasement
of eight or nine per cent; and at that rate
it continued, by the Mint indentures, until,
in the reign of George 1st, gold was coined
at its present rate of 31. 17s. 10dd. the
ounce. During all this period, silver
money was held immutable and invariable;
the same shilling, the same crown, pos-
sessing always the same weight and fine-
ness. But the sovereign of the 43rd of
Elizabeth, coined for 20s. as now, weighed
7 dwt. 4 grs., being nearly forty per cent
heavier than is the present sovereign. The
sovereign in four years was reduced in
weight eleven per cent, and called an unite;
seven more years elapsed, and the unite
was raised by proclamation to 22s. Then
the laurel was coined, of 20s., but in
weight having sixteen or seventeen per cent
more metal than has our present sovereign.
Charles 2nd took away eight or nine per
cent from the weight of the laurel, and
called it a guinea: the guinea being fixed
by the Mint indentures at 20s., passed
current for 21s. or 22s. amongstthe people.
During all these derangements, silver

121 Mr. Attwood's Motion on {JUNE 8}

money was never changed; the silver
standard, the ancient predominant standard
of the country, was adhered to. To this
was intrusted the faith of contracts; on
this standard rested the security of pro-
perty; and gold was dealt with as con-
venience required. It is, perhaps, difficult
to imagine any single course of proceeding
on which more essential interests were de-
pendent than on this. If the course we
have recently adopted of taking gold as the
sole standard had been then pursued, what
would the consequences, under such cir-
cumstances as I have described, have been ?
Every debt of the people, every contract,
every tax would have gone on increasing
during this whole period. With a constantly
increasing value of money, a constant
decline in monied prices, the improvement,
the prosperity of the country could not
have proceeded, nor those of any country.
Every man whohad then taken a lease, every
man who had then contracted a debt, would
have signed his own ruin; whilst all public
burthens would have received a constant
though silent addition. All the operations
of productive industry would have been
sacrificed and crushed. From these evils,
-which, by individuals who have devoted
their attention to such subjects, it will be
known that I have accurately described,-
the country was protected by the wisdom
of her statesmen. But, in our times, with
necessity a thousand times more urgent,-
with debts and burthens, that the most
sanguine amongst us will scarcely profess
that he is confident can be safely borne,
or that their security can be reconciled with
the safety of the most important classes of
the community;-so circumstanced, re-
gardless or ignorant of consequences, we
have adopted the opposite course, we have
abolished the old and the easier standard;
that which operated as a relief to the debtor
and to the productive classes generally;
and have bound all the burthens of the
State, and all private engagements, to that
metal, which is the most astringent, the
most capricious in its value, the most dan-
gerous, -a metal which is taken as its
standard by no other country than this ;-
that metal, which Mr. Locke, whose steps
we profess to follow, declared was not the
money of the world, nor fit to be so. These
are the main grounds on which I propose
the re-establishment of silver money as a
legal tender. But I call on the House
further to consider how this matter stands
with regard to the consistency of their own

proceedings. In returning to metal pay-
ments, after twenty-two years of paper
money,-in imposing a metal standard on
paper debts,-the House had a painful
duty to perform; and heavily has the dis-
charge of that duty fallen on the most
valuable classes of the community. Men
have been overwhelmed in ruin by thou-
sands and ten thousands, who knew nothing
of any difference in the value of different
standards of money; ruined by contracts
formed in ignorance-in excusable ig-
norance an ignorance in which this
House participated: and which was pro-
claimed to the country by a solemn vote in
1811. Whole classes of the people have
been sunk in indiscriminate confiscation
and ruin, and those the most valuable
classes; men the most skilful and indus-
trious; and the more skilful and effective
in their own peculiar pursuits, the less
likely to be instructed in the government
standard of value: they and their pro-
perty have been sacrificed and destroyed.
But the House, it is pretended, could give
them no relief. Were it proposed to miti-
gate the confiscation inflicted on these men,
by permitting only their paper engage-
ments to be discharged in silver money of
the coinage of 1816, the answer was ready:
-" The public honour is concerned; it is
a breach of national faith to the amount
of six and three quarters per cent;" to
allow that the gold sovereign should dis-
chargeadebtof twenty-one shillings; "that
would be a public fraud to the amount of
five per cent." No relaxation could be
yielded : not a jot or a tittle of abatement
made ; public faith, the national character,
required that the old standard of 1797
should without alteration be re-established.
Acts of Parliament were pledged; the
course of this House was straight; dictated
by justice; by blind, unmitigable, remorse-
less, inexorable justice. From that path
you pretend you had no power to deviate,
whatever consequences might follow,
though you trod down the people in your
course; though you sacrificed the landed
interest; though your laws swept down
the farmer like his wasted harvests; and
drove the labouring classes to pauperism
and to crime ; and to an extent appalling to
contemplate, has this consequence followed
on your measures, though you crushed
the labourers to the earth: yet you had no
alternative; by former acts of Parliament
you were invincibly bound; you could not
alter a decree established: other evils

the Currency Question. 122

123 Mr. Attwood's Motion on {COMMONS} the Currency Question. 124

would rush in; the bond to its letter must
be executed : that has been your plea; and
is it fit that this House-are there any men
who will advise such a course with these
pretensions recent on their lips-when that
part of the people, amongst whom you have
thus spread sweeping ruin, claims in its
turn justice; demands also the letter of
the bond: proves that with the letter the
spirit corresponds ; produces your acts of
Parliament; establishes that the bond
which could admit of no change for their
protection has been itself falsified for their
further ruin; will the House then be con-
tent to appear before the country in ano-
ther character ;-proclaim that its protesta-
tions of protecting faith and justice were
a mere hollow pretext in which it had
cloaked itself to conceal its deplorable
blunders and miserable ignorance; that
justice, when difficult, is beyond its power ;
that there might be a coinage to be destroy-
ed; that for ten years this wrong has been
committed; money all that time wrong-
fully paid on contracts, wrongfully received
in pensions and salaries; that to remedy
the whole of this wrong would be difficult,
-to grant all the remedy due would be
beyond the power of the House; that less
than all would not satisfy its character;
that therefore the injustice must remain ;
it has been inflicted ten years ; it must pro-
ceed,must become perpetual; and that this
House is the slave of political expediency
of the meanest kind? I have stated but
partially the violation of the legitimate
standard effected by the Act of 1819. The
ancient standard of this country cannot be
alone described as a gold money of
31. 17s. 10d. the ounce, or a silver money
of 5s. 2d. ; or both at the option of the
debtor. It is money of these two standards
at the option of the debtor; but money
protected also in circulation,-rendered
more easy of acquirement,-by certain
laws inflicting punishment and penalties
on the making or exporting of the coins.
The object of those laws, and their effect,
was, to maintain a greater amount of money
in circulation; and, consequently, to lessen
its value ; and these laws formed as essen-
tial a part of the standard, as the weight,
fineness, and denomination of the coin
formed a part of that standard, nor could,
without injustice on contracts, one be
changed more than the other. On what
pretence were those laws abolished ?-none
has been given but this:-the laws, it was
said, were not effectual; in spite of the laws

coin was melted or exported. But to some
extent these laws were effectual, and no laws
are perfectly effectual. The laws against
usury are evaded; but those laws, to some
extent, reduced, during the whole war, the
interest of money. The laws which protect
property from theft are not entirely effec-
tual: robberies are committed, property is
violated ; but property is more secure than
it would be without those laws; and those
laws are effectual in proportion to their
severity, always supposingthat their severity
does not go so far as to hinder the execu-
tion of the laws. That the laws for pro-
tecting the coin were, to some degree,
effectual-that they did maintain a larger
amount of coin in circulation than, without
them, would have remained there; and
that those laws, consequently, lowered the
value of money, and thus formed an essen-
tial part of the standard, I am relieved
from establishing, because I find it ad-
mitted in terms sufficiently express in the
Report of the Committee, on whose recom-
mendation those laws were abolished.
That Committee-the Committee of 1819,
-describes those laws acting as a seignior-
age. These are their words:-" The pro-
hibition, indeed, adds something to the
difficulty, and consequently, to the expense
of exportation, and may, therefore, be sup-
posed to operate in some degree, as a sei-
gniorage uponourcoin ; but it is a seignior-
age perpetually varying according to the
lesser or greater facilities for smuggling,
which may, at different moments, exist,
and affording, therefore, an uncertain, and
in point of fact, an inadequate protection."
Here is, then, a protection; not effectual,
but capable of being rendered more effec-
tual as smuggling should be repressed ; and
to some extent, still effectual, and to what-
ever extent, acting as a seigniorage. This
protection could not, without a violation
of existing contracts, have been taken
away; a violation as complete in principle
as would be the alteration of the coin itself.
The Committee of 1819, gives no estimate
of the amount to which this virtual sei-
gniorage went; but a reference to the
Bullion Report of 1810, will give reason to
believe that the Bullion Committee esti-
mated this seignorage at about two per
cent. I contend not for the accuracy of
any estimate, but adding this vague calcu-
lation of two per cent to a calculation of
the enhancement occasioned by abolishing
the legal tender of silver, we shall find a
violation of the standard of 1797 actually

125 Mr. Attwood's Motion on {JUNE 8}

carried into effect of from five to six, or
eight per cent by those who maintained
that public faith required the old standard
in its letter to be re-established. These
are then the grounds on which in justice, I
rest the proposition for re-establishing the
silver standard of value. I will now address
myself to its necessity; to the necessity of
giving that degree of relief to the country
which can be given consistently with
the principles on which the old standard
itself rests, and consistently even with
those principles, by which a metal
standard has been inflicted on paper con-
tracts. It will be necessary here to show
to what extent was the actual difference
in value between the paper and the metal
money-to shew what the extent of debase-
ment was to which the paper standard fell.
No inquiry into this most important mat-
ter has the House yet instituted; for the
Committee of 1819 rejected from their
duties any inquiry into the extent to which
the paper standard had become debased.
The only attempt of the Legislature to in-
vestigate this debasement was made in
1810. In 1810, thirteen years after the
establishment of a standard which had no
protection from debasement, a Committee
of this House was appointed to inquire
into the fact, whether it had become de-
based or not. That Committee was the
Bullion Committee, of which Mr. Horner
was the Chairman. The terms of its ap-
pointment expressed that it was to in-
quire into the state of the circulating
medium, and into the cause of the high
price of gold bullion." The Committee
reported that the circulating medium was
become debased. It expressed that fact
in these words, The paper money was in
excess." Excess in paper money is syno-
nymous with debasement. The Committee
did not report to what degree the debase-
ment had proceeded. It may be con-
jectured, from a perusal of this Report,
thattheCommittee, or some of its members,
measured the extent of debasement by the
price of bullion, on which price the Com-
mittee rested mainly its proof of debase-
ment. But if this were their opinion, they
were in error, and the bullionists fell in
taking the price of bullion as a measure of
the debasement of paper, into a mistake
similar to that of which they convicted
their opponents. The House and the
country was then divided, very much in-
deed, as at present, into two sects on these
questions. On one side were the bul-

lionists, or philosophers; on the other side
the practical men, or men of business: each
party then, as now, holding the opinions of
their opponents in some contempt; and in
this, at least, then, as now, I am disposed to
believe that both parties had reason on their
side. The Bullion Committee found certain
practical men, who told them that the
high price of gold bullion did not arise
from any debasement of paper money, but
was occasioned by many particular cir-
cumstances, such as wars on the Continent,
movements of armies there; a practice of
hoarding, and other similar events; to
which the bullionists answered, Cir-
cumstances, such as these, must, in a
greater or less degree, have taken place
at some other period than this; and yet,
no other period can be pointed out when
bullion advanced in value as it has now ad-
vanced. This advance of bullion must,
therefore, be ascribed to some circum-
stance peculiar to the present time. There
is no such circumstance, excepting the ex-
istence now of paper money, not payable in
metal; and to this paper money must, there-
fore, be ascribed the high price of bullion;
or, in otherwords, it is owing to thedebase-
mentof the paper." The bullionistsinthis,
perhaps, were right, but they were wrong in
taking the price of bullion as a measure of
thisextent of debasement. Bullion, severed
from money forming no longer even the
material of which money is composed, is
to be considered merely as an article
of commerce rising or falling in the market,
like any other commodity; whilst the value
of money is to be taken, not from the
price of any one commodity, but from the
price of all commodities generally. Now,
commodities in general had advanced
more than bullion. Bread-corn had ad-
vanced more than bullion; and if any one
commodity gives, by its price, a better
criterion of the general value of money
than any other, it is bread-corn, the main
subsistence of the labourer, always given
of necessity for every considerable average
period of years, in sufficient abundance,
to enable him to maintain his strength
and numbers, never, unfortunately, given
at any time in much greater abundance;
bread-corn, of consequence, corresponds
in its average monied price, with the
monied price of labour, with the monied
price in consequence of all the produc-
tions of labour; and thus becomes the
best measure of the general monied price
of commodities; that is, of the general

the Cucrrency Question. 126

127 Mr. Attwood's Motion on {COMMONS} the Currency Question. 128

value of money: and so it has been ac-
cepted and considered by all writers of any
weight on such subjects. Now bread-corn,
which, previously to the Restriction Act of
1797, had never advanced, under any cir-
cumstances, in this country to a higher
price than to the rate of about 50s. for a
quarter of wheat, for any average of five
years, did, in the paper money of the Re-
striction Act, advance to 70s., to 80s., to
90s. the quarter; and that for a consider-
able average number of years. The bul-
lionists asserted that this great advance of
wheat was occasioned by particular cir-
cumstances-by defective harvests, ob-
structed importations, by an increased de-
mand for wheat, by an increasing popula-
tion; facts somewhat at variance, it must
beadmitted,with each other; but theanswer
to these assertions is precisely.the answer
they gave to their opponents.-" Such cir-
cumstances as you describe, accurately or
not, cannot havebeenpeculiar to thisperiod.
In a greater or lesser degree, they must have
been witnessed before; and yet, as at no
former time, and under no combination of
circumstances, did wheat ever before ad-
vance beyond 50s. the quarter, for any
average period of five years ; so the whole
advance, which is beyond 50s., must be as-
cribed to the paper money in which wheat is
now measured: or in other words, it arises
from the debasement of the paper money,
and is the best measure of the extent of that
debasement." This is an important ques-
tion in its bearings on the condition of the
country, and as explaining the causes of
such condition. If, as is undeniably true,
the price of wheat, when paid in metal
money, never advanced beyond the average
of 50s. in this country---if the high price
of wheat during the Restriction is to be
ascribed to the debasement of the paper
money of that Act, then the re-establish-
ment of the metal standard necessarily
brings back the old price of 50s. for wheat.
And by establishing this matter, we clear
the subject from those absurd theories and
endless discussions with which this House
deceives itself and the country, on every
fall in the price of agricultural produce :
30s. or 35s. as the lowest, 70s. or 80s. as
the price of famine,-50s. on the average,
-are the rates we have fixed by our own
measures; and it is in vain,-when we
witness theinevitable consequencesof those
measures, when wheat descends to its
lowest price,-that we deceive ourselves
with accounts of harvests too productive.

A harvest or two more or less productive,
more or less defective, do no more than
anticipate the settlement of the price of
wheat. Whatever is the state of harvests,
the average price is fixed at 50s. by our
legislative measures. When this House
adopted a metal standard of value, and
imposed it on paper contracts, the House
did that which, whether prudent or im-
prudent, just or unjust, was perfectly
within its power to determine. But hav-
ing determined that question,-having
taken the precious metals for a standard,
and fixed their weight by law, the effects
to be produced,-the prices to be de-
termined,-it was out of the power of the
Legislature to control. The rate of prices
these metals will give, is determined by a
power beyond the reach of any law; by
the laws of nature, and by the proportion
in which nature has given the precious
metals for the use and convenience of
man. In this, nature has paid no regard
to our necessities, or mistakes, contracts,
debts, or taxes. The paper standard had
this advantage,-we could proportion its
quantity to the wants and engagements of
the country; but, abandoning that stand-
ard, all further power and control is gone;
our future prices must have reference, not
to our necessities, but to the prices of the
continent of the world at large, and to the
value of money there, by which solely
they must be governed. And what those
prices and that value are, I believe, may
be estimated from this:-That there has
never yet existed any period, or any coun-
try, in which the precious metals have
been found in so great abundance as that
a greater quantity of those metals, than is
contained of gold in about two of our
sovereigns and a half; or of silver in
about fifty shillings;-that is, about two-
thirds of an ounce of gold, or about ten
ounces of silver,-has been given in ex-
change for that quantity of wheat which is
contained in one Winchester quarter,
reckoning for any average period of five
or of seven years. But, if it be really
true, that to an extent which is thus to be
estimated, we have changed the real
value, whilst we have preserved the artifi-
cial denomination of money; if in the
proportion thus to be taken-the propor-
tion which fifty bears to eighty-we have
effected a substitution of one value for
another in every bond, and contract, and
burthen of a pecuniary character-doubt-
less an operation like that could not be

129 Mr. Attwood's Motion on {JUNE 8}

carried into effect without producing im-
measurable ruin.-Have not the conse-
quences been commensurate to the cause?
-the tremendous effects of these measures
to their monstrous character? The whole
history of the kingdom during these opera-
tions has been nothing more than an
exemplification of the effects of this opera-
tion-of the attempt to apply a metal
standard to paper debts, contracts, and
taxes-of the abandonment of that at-
tempt; returning to it; and repeatedly
attempting and abandoning that effort.
It is on no doubtful argument that this
assertion rests, but on the evidence of in-
controvertible facts-on an appeal to, and
on the evidence of, experience. I know of
no safer guide, either for nations or indi-
viduals, than an examination of their past
measures, as a rule for future conduct;
and I therefore proceed to bring under the
review of the House a consideration of
what our measures have been, and of the
consequences which have followed and
accompanied them. I go back to the war,
and to the state of the country during the
continuance of the war. That period was
prosperous ; with partial, with local dis-
tress, arising out of circumstances con-
nected with the war itself, and plainly
attributable to the events of war; but the
general career of the prosperity of the
country continued uninterrupted during
the whole period of the war. There never
was a year during that period in which the
strength of the people was unequal to the
burthens which then existed, or to greater,
if greater had been required. It is in the
nature of a depreciation of money, to con-
tribute to the prosperous condition of a
commercial nation. This is well known,
and universally admitted. Commerce,
manufactures, agriculture, population, are
all assisted and increased by a money
gradually undergoing depreciation. It
was in accordance with these principles,
which experience has established, that the
country should prosper in all its produc-
tive interests during the war. The peace
put an end to this state of things : it put
an end to the progress of depreciation.
The peace did more; it brought along
with it an Act of Parliament which pro-
vided not only that depreciation should
then cease, but that the value of money
should be forced back to its original level.
If depreciation of money yields prosperity,
a reverse operation,-an enhancing the
value of money,-must of necessity oc-

casion distress and misery. With the
peace an Act of Parliament came into
operation, which required that all the en-
gagements of the war should be discharged
in the money of 1797. To this Act
I call the attention of the House. It
is the Act by which it is contended that
the faith of Parliament was pledged to
re-establish in 1819, the standard which
was suspended in 1797; and pledged,
also, to the payment of all debts and con-
tracts in money of that old standard, and
without any inquiry into the extent in
which its value differed from the value of
the money of the war. This Act of Par-
liament was passed in December, 1803.
In December, 1803, the Bank Restriction
Act of 1797, which had been renewed
from time to time, temporarily, was made
perpetual during the war, and made to
expire six months after the establishment
of peace. The Legislature by this Act,
therefore, provided two things: they pro-
vided a standard of value for the war, and
a standard of value for the peace. For the
war,-however long,-a paper standard,
without limitation, without security for its
value; and for the peace,-however distant,
-a gold money of a value which even
then had been unknown for six years to
the transactions and engagements of the
country. Paper money depreciates by
quantity, as metal money depreciates by
adulteration. In its essential character,
therefore, this Act of Parliament was
equivalent to a measure which, being
adopted during the existence of a metal
coinage and standard, should take the
Mint out of the hands of the Crown;
which should place the Mint in the hands
of a body of irresponsible individuals;
which should say to these persons, The
Mint and its powers are in your hands;
deal with the coin at your pleasure ; adul-
terate, debase, diminish, as your judg-
ment, as your interest, as your integrity,
perhaps (but I do full justice to the in-
tegrity of the directors of the Bank; and
this nation owes to them a lasting debt
of gratitude, that they abused no more
than were abused, those powers which the
Legislature so recklessly placed in their
hands)-" your integrity may dictate. We
impose on you no responsibility; we sub-
ject you to no control; we shall follow
your steps-not, indeed, to control your
proceedings,--but to make our measures
correspond with yours. The more you
debase the standard, the more debts we

the Currency Question. 130

]31 Mr. Attwood's Motion on {COMMONS} the Currency Question: 132

shall contract; the more you adulterate it,
themore we shallputon taxes; themoreyou
take from the weight of the coin, the more
we shalladd to salaries, pensions, and allthe
expenses of the Government. And for all
these disorders, the remedy we provide is
this:--That when the war shall come to
a close, however long it may be, though
it endure for the fourth part of a century,"
-and the war did endure for eleven years
from that time, and it might until now
have endured, for it was brought to a
close by events which could not have been
foreseen by the wisdom of Parliament in
1803; it was brought to a close by the
early rigour of the winter of 1812 ; by the
elements ; by the stars in their courses
fighting against Napoleon ; but for which,
the war might be now raging;-when the
war shall come to a close,-was the virtual
language of the Act of Parliament:-
" However long it may endure; to what-
ever extent you shall have debased money
-whether to 10, or 50, or 100, or to
500 per cent; though your money be
debased so much, that instead of 80s.,
801. be given for a quarter of wheat,
into all this we inquire nothing, we leave
to our successors no power to inquire; we
provide one remedy and one alone, that
when these disorders are to cease, the
ancient money of the country shall be
brought back; and all contracts, loans,
settlements, debts, and taxes existing in
the country and contracted for in the one
money shall be paid in the other." This
is the character of that Act of Parliament.
If it were passed with a knowledge of its
true character, with a meaning such as
that now given to it, no measure of more
treacherous, more monstrous profligacy
ever disgraced the history of legislative
proceedings: its atrocity would be its
destruction. And if it were passed
in ignorance, it is invalidated by that
ignorance. Sir, it was in ignorance that
this Act was passed; the Legislature had
no such meaning as that which we now
ascribe to them; they knew nothing of a
difference of value between the two mo-
nies, one of which was to be substituted
for the other. They meant nothing so
monstrous, as that contracts and debts
made in money of one value, should be
paid in money of another value ; they ad-
initted of no debasement in the paper-
money, and knew of none. Eight years
after this Act was passed, in 1811, they
proclaimed to the country by a Resolution

of the House, that they knew of no differ-
ence between the value of the paper-
money, in which debts were then con-
tracted, and the gold money, for which
the paper was substituted in 1797, and by
which the paper was in its turn to be
supplanted at the peace. The resolution
of 1811 is decisive of this question. The
Legislature had no such meaning as we
now ascribe to it; and so far as the Act
of 1803 is to be considered in the light of
a contract; it must be executed,-as all
contracts must ever be executed, as long
as faith and justice govern the actions of
men according to the meaning-the palp-
able, clear, and undeniable meaning-of
those by whom the contract was made.
This Act of Parliament, incredible, mon-
strous as it appears, was carried into full
and complete effect. Immediately on the
close of the war, the Government carried
into execution this Act of the Legislature.
It is from the close of the war that the
present standard has its date, and not
from 1819. That standard was established
in 1816; abandoned in 1817 and 1818;
again established in 1819, 1820, and
1821; abandoned again in 1822, 1823,
and 1824; and brought back a third time
in 1826. It may take its date from 1826;
it may take its date from 1816; either
from its first establishment or its last; but
it cannot take its date from 1819. The
old standard was brought into full opera-
tion in 1816. The first difficulty was, to
obtain gold : none existed in circulation.
Our gold money had been sold to the
Continent; the merchants of the Conti-
nent had given us 51. 12s. an ounce for
the latter part of the gold sold them ; and
our Act of Parliament, dated eleven years
before, required that gold should exist in
this country, and remain in circulation
here, at the rate of 31. 17s, 10ld. an ounce.
How was this task to be accomplished ?
How were the nations of the Continent to
be induced to sell us gold at a lower price
than they had themselves given us for it?
This could only be effected byaforced and
violent action affecting the price of gold;
and, as gold then again became the mea-
sure of property, by consequences equally
violent and forced on the monied prices of
property. That task was performed,-the
paper-money was lessened in its quantity,
-raised in value ;-the prices of all pro-
perty were reduced,-the price of gold
was reduced with other prices ; gold was
brought back,--that very gold for which

({JUs 8} the Currency Question.

the Continent had given us 51. 12s. per
ounce-was brought back to us for
31. 17s. 10d. the ounce; gold money of
that value, circulating on a par with
our paper-money, became the measure of
property; all the debts, contracts, engage-
ments,1 and burthens, of the war, were
measured in money of that value; and the
disorder, the confusion, the ruin, the suf-
fering and distress, which followed, were
such, as never till that time, had been
known in the history of the country.
They were such as of necessity must have
followed from an operation such as I have
described. No other cause for the distress
of 1816 can be shown to have been in
existence at that time. The real state of
the country was indeed, by Ministers then,
as now, palliated or concealed; distress
there was, it was admitted, amongst the
people; but there had existed, it was said,
distress also equally urgent during the
war. Thus was it then attempted to
delude Parliament. Doubtless there was
distress during the war. A war such as
that was, could not be carried on without
great and severe calamities. The sudden
closing of ports and markets; the efforts
of France directed against English com-
merce, must of necessity have occasioned
great disasters. Ten millions of property
belonging to British merchants, seized in
six weeks in the Baltic ports in 1810, and
confiscated, must necessarily have inflicted
injury on our merchants and manufactu-
rers. But to the operations of war, were
the calamities of the war to be ascribed.
The severest and the most extensive
suffering which the country was exposed
to during the war, was occasioned by
our disputes with the United States of
America. Those States afforded then the
greatest market for British productions.
Seven millions annually of manufactured
goods were sold there. This market was
at once perfectly and entirely closed ;-
those goods were thrown back on the pro-
ducers, with no further demand. The con-
sequence of this was, great, extensive, and
severe distress throughout the manufac-
turing districts. The hon. and learned
member for Knaresborough, Mr. Brougham,
undertook, in 1812, the task of bringing
before the House the condition of the ma-
nufacturers, and of demonstrating the
origin of their misfortunes: for then,
also, was the existence of distress denied.
Night after night, were seen arrayed at
that bar, the deputies and representatives

of the manufacturing districts, giving
their evidence of the sufferings of the
towns from whence they came, and their
explanation of the cause from whence
those sufferings had sprung. Now, Sir,
I will give in evidence, the description
which the hon. and learned member
for Knaresborough,-the nearest observer
of the severest distress of the war,-
has given of the distress which fol-
lowed the peace. I cite here from a speech
of the lion. and learned Member, delivered
in January, 1817, describing the condition
of the country. It was one most por-
tentous difference," said the hon. and
learned Member,-" one most portentous
difference between the conclusion of this
and cf all former contests,-our calamities
had almost entirely began with the peace."
The distress of 1812 was but partial, and
he appears to have considered it as nothing
when brought into comparison with the
ruin of 1816. Each succeeding year,"
said he, since the war ended, only made
things worse; the distress, at first confined
principally to our agriculture, had spread
to every branch of our trade and industry,
and the national misery had reached a
height wholly without a precedent in our
history since the Norman conquest."*
These are the terms in which he, the
best witness-he, the nearest observer-of
the most extensive and severe distress,
which the people experienced during the
war, described the state of the country
which followed the peace. This state of
distress did not long endure. Fortunate
for the best interests and security of the
country was it that it did not. The people,
at that time less accustomed to calamity
than they now are-less patient under
sufferings-had recourse to the most dan-
gerous, the most desperate measures. But
the distress was relieved, and in what
manner? By reversing every one of the
measures by which it had been intro-
duced-by proceedings which broke down
and abolished the ancient metallic stand-
ard ; which abrogated the Act of 1803;
which drove back to the Continent every
guinea of that gold which had been
brought here during the distress of 1815
and 1816. Step by step, measure by
measure, every one of those operations
were reversed, which had prepared the
introduction of the gold standard. The
paper money of the Bank, which had been

See Parl. Deb. Vol. xxxv. p, 114.

133 Mr. Aliwood's Motionz onz

135 Mr. Attwood's Motion on {COMMONS} the Currency Question. 136

withdrawn, was again poured by forced
measures into circulation-poured into
circulation by means of loans to Govern-
ment; as by repayment of such loans it
had been withdrawn. The depreciation
of the war was renewed; the pecuniary
means of the people were rendered again
commensura e with their burthens; and in
1818, was established in this country, the
prosperity of the war in the midst ofpeace.
I have ascribed these alterations, these
changes in the value of money, the low
prices of 1816, the high prices of 1818, to
measures originating with the Government.
I hold here the evidence of that assertion.
I hold here in one short page the history
and evidence of the origin from whence
sprang these disorders. It is contained
in the evidence given by the directors of
the Bank of England before the com-
mittee of 1819. This is that evidence.
" Was not," it is asked, was not a great
reduction of the advances of the Bank to
Government made in 1815, and early in
1816, with a view to the resumption of
cash payments ?" And the answer from
the Bank is, Yes, there was a consider-
able reduction."-" For that particular
purpose ?" it is asked:-" I believe that
was the object." It is asked, "Was
it not then understood that the Bank ad-
vances were to be reduced to20,000,0001.,
and did not such a reduction take place?"
The answer is, "I think it did." Then
follows a question bearing on the conse-
quences,-" Was not 1816 a period of
very considerable commercial and agricul-
tural distress ?"-" Very great, indeed !"
answers Mr. Harman. Did not that
distress render it necessary to relieve the
public by an increased issue of Bank-
notes?"-"Yes."-" Werenot the advances
made in that year by the Bank to Govern-
ment a great instrument of relieving the
distress you have spoken of, by affording
more plentiful circulation?"-" Yes; in-
asmuch as they made money more plenti-
ful." Here then is a history of the origin
of the distress of 1816, and of its relief,
An evidence of transactions, by which
money was raised in value first, and then
lowered privately, and by measures de-
signed for those objects. This money was
Government money, at that timethe prac-
tical and the legal standard of the country;
a paper money suffering debasement by
increase of quantity, and enhanced in
value by diminution of quantity: these
transactions were measures of the govern-

ment, without the knowledge, without the
sanction of Parliament-concealed from
Parliament and from the country. Those
measures differed in nothing from measures
which should privately adulterate at one
time the legal metal coin, and enhance pri-
vately the value of that coin at another
time: and times there have been in the
history of this House, and those times
may again return, and return they will, if
the people obtain generally a knowledge of
the real character of the transactions by
which, for fifteen years, their property has
been confiscated, their contracts falsified,
and immeasurable ruin spread over the
country; if a knowledge of the real cha-
racter of these transactions be obtained
by the people, before the disorders spring-
ing from them are remedied by Parliament,
then will such times again return as there
have been; when this House, on such a
statement as I have now made-on the evi-
dence I give of its truth-would have pro-
ceeded to an impeachment of every man
engaged in those transactions. Of the
effect of these transactions on the country,
I can give other confirmation. Mr. Tier-
ney, a great authority on these subjects,
intimately connected with these ope-
rations, speaking at an after-period, in
February 1819, of the cause of the pros-
perity which followed the distress of 1816,
thus describes that cause:-" The right
hon. Gentleman, in the month of June,
1817, had come down to Parliament with
a smile of triumph, and told the House
that every thing was now restored to the
very condition in which he had long hoped
to see it,-that it would be soon found
that the revenue was increasing,-that
stocks were rising, public confidence flou-
rishirfg, &c.; and when every body was
looking for the realization of these gay
promises, three or four months afterwards,
down came a number of returns from the
Bank, that explained the whole mystery;
the secretof the triumph of the Chancellor
of the Exchequer was exposed at once;
for it appeared that the Bank had been
increasing its issues-that country banks
had followed its example, and that, in
truth, the state of prosperity was nothing
more than an increased paper currency."*
Nothing but increased paper money. But
prosperity it was, however; and occa-
sioned plenty to the labourer, profit to
the trader, productiveness to the Revenue,

* See Parl. Deb. Vol. xxxix. p. 218.

137 Mr. Attwoocds Motion on {JUNE 8}

and strength and security to the State.
We have dealt with our money more in
reference to the material which composed
the money, than to the functions it dis-
charged. Money of paper we have called
-money of rags-and have treated it
as we would treat rags or paper; and
forgotten, that in dealing with money,
however composed, we affected the most
important organ in the social body. I cite
another evidence, Mr. Vansittart himself,
the principal mover in these transactions.
Mr. Vansittart-speaking of 1816 and of
1818-in 1821, a period when the calami-
ties of 1816 were all renewed, and by
similar means, uses these words:-" The
peace followed, and that very standard was
restored, at which, by another process, the
country had since arrived. A second de-
preciation took place, which probably arose
from the large loan the Government had
of the Bank on account of the repeal of
the property-tax. It was never very con-
siderable."* Here, then, was the standard
restored, admitted by him who restored it in
1816; restored as in 1820 and 1821, and as
now. "Aseconddepreciation,itissaid, took
place:" It was never very considerable"-
not if the price of bullion be taken as its
measure, for Mr. Vansittart here falls into
the error ofthe bullionists. The depreciation
of money in 1818 was as considerable as at
any period of the war. The prices of
land, and of commodities were as high,
and the prosperity of the country as great.
But the prosperity of 1818 was transient.
Why did not that prosperity endure ?
Whence came it, that the prosperity of
1818 was not as permanent as that of the
war? The depreciation did not so long
endure. Does any man believe that the
prosperity of the war would not have ceas-
ed before the close of the war, if the Bank
Restriction Act had sooner ceased? The
prosperity of 1824 and 1825 also, the
right hon. Baronet opposite told us, was
short-lived. I will give him the reason.-
Because his bill was long-lived. The pros-
perity of the country, and the security of
his bill have not existed, and cannot exist,
together. Precisely as the prosperity of
the war was brought to a termination by
the Act of Parliament of 1803, put in
force at the peace, so was the prosperous
condition of the country in 1818 revers-
ed by Mr. Peel's bill of 1819 for restoring
the old metal standard. I fear no charge

See Parl, Deb, Vol. v. p. 131.

of exaggeration when I speak of the ca-
lamities immediately consequent on the
Act of 1819; that measure fell on the
calm prosperity, the tranquil labour, of the
people, on the thriving industry of the
country; to confound, disorder, and de-
stroy; the distress of 1816 in all its extent
and severity was renewed. The shock was
first felt by the manufacturing population:
without employment ; without wages;
without the means of subsistence; expos-
edto artificial famine in the midst of plenty;
ignorant from whence the blow came, the
dense population of the manufacturing
districts prepared for resistance. They re-
sorted to arms; by arms they were assailed,
repressed and subdued. By military force
was the government of this country upheld
whilst this measure was inflicted. In its
first progress the Act of 1819 was dis-
figured with blood. The blow descended
on the land. The farmers in a mass, to
a man, were ruined. Whoever shall faith-
fully describe the condition of the cultiva-
tors of the soil of England during this
dismal period, it will be thought of him
that he portrays the state of a nation
subjected to the wild savage, to the sweep-
ing confiscation, of some barbarian con-
queror, rather than the condition of a
people reposing under the shade of equal
paternal or civilized laws. History scarce-
ly furnishes a picture of more wide-spread
and universal ruin than is to be found
described in the evidence given by the
farmers themselves of the state of British
agriculture, before the committee which
sat in 1821 to inquire into agricultural dis-
tress. This committee was in fact composed
of the very men who, two years before, in
1819, had sat on that other committee from
which originated Mr. Peel's bill. On one
committee they had altered the value of
money: on the other they were called on to
witness the total failure of pecuniary con-
tracts. Of all the calamities brought under
their view, they had been themselves the
cause. I give here a description of the
country immediately consequent on the
passing of the Act of 1819, from one of
those pithy historical documents, called
King's Speeches. But first, on the same au-
thority, let us see what the condition of the
people was before that Act passed. In
January 1819, four months before the
passing of Mr. Peel's Bill, thus describes
the King the state of his people.-" The
Prince Regent has the greatest satisfaction
in being able to inform you, that the

the Currency Question2. 138

139 Mr. Attwood's Motion on {COMMONS} the Currency Question. 140

trade, commerce, and manufactures of
the country, are in a most flourishing
condition."* This was the state of the manu-
facturers in January, 1819. That agricul-
ture was equally prosperous, may be known
from this fact-that the price of wheat was
84s. the quarter, for the average of 1818 ;
and that, in 1818, the revenue increased,
with no new tax, no less than 4,700,0001.
Now, then, I quote the state of the coun-
try, as also described by the King, in No-
vember, 1819, little more than four months
after the passing of Mr. Peel's bill. The
King says,-" I have observed with great
concern the attempts made in some of the
manufacturing districts to take advantage
of local distress, to excite disaffection to the
institutions and Government of the coun-
try. A spirit is now fully manifested,
utterly hostile to the Constitution of this
kingdom, and aiming, not only at the
change of those political institutions
which have hitherto constituted the pride
and security of this country, but at the
subversion of the rights of property, and
of all order in society."t And then the
King proceeds to call on Parliament for all
their exertions, to protect the Constitution
and the law against the assaults of that
very population, in whom the Constitution
and the law had found their surest bul-
wark; who had stood fast by the Constitu-
tion and the law in the hour of their
greatest danger, when Europe and Ameri-
ca were arrayed for their destruction.
Again distress disappeared, and in con-
sequence of measures precisely similar to
those by which the distress of 1816 was
relieved. By a third depreciation-by
proceedings inconsistent with the existence
of the standard established by the Act
of 1819-by measures by which that stand-
ard was banished and abolished, and de-
stroyed. The prosperity of 1823, 1824,
and 1825, was not.co-existent in this
country with the standard of 1819. The
property of the country was not then mea-
sured in that money ; nor were its debts
and contracts then paid in it. The gold
which had been imported in 1819, 1820,
and 1821, for which gold the distress of
that period had been the price paid, was
driven abroad in 1824 and 1825. By the
end of 1825, not a sovereign was left in
the Bank; nor, if the prosperity of 1825
had endured six months longer, would a
*See Parl. Deb. Vol. xxxix. p. 19.
f Ibid, Vol. xli, p, 1,

sovereign have been left in the country.
The House will well remember the mea-
sures which, in 1822, were brought forward
to relieve the national distress. They con-
sisted mainly in this:-that more money-
Government money-state paper-the mo-
ney of the Bank-was to be forced into
circulation; to be issued on loans to Go-
vernment-on loans to parishes-on loans
to public works-on loans to the landed
interest,-which of them was immaterial,
the object was to force money into circula-
tion. The additional amount thus proposed
to be circulated was four millions. How
was an additional circulation of four mil-
lions of Bank-notes to relieve the national
distress ? By lowering the value of mo-
ney-by raising monied-prices, precisely
as a similar operation had relieved the
distress of 1816-as a similar operation
would now relieve distress. Four additional
millions of Bank of England notes could
not now be forced into circulation, and
distress or low prices long co-exist with
them : four millions is a material propor-
tion of the whole active circulation of the
Bank: the issue would be followed by
an equal proportionate addition to the
notes of the country bankers; to the
amount of bills of exchange; and to the
amount of all instruments of paper credit.
High prices, wages, rents, and profits would
follow: but then would come next, a
derangement of the currency : none of
these can co-exist with our present system
of currency and standard of money. All
measures of relief are temporary, worse
than useless, which are not founded on
some change in our standard law. The
Government, as that law stands, has no
power to increase the circulation perma-
nently by one single guinea, or to reduce
it. The permanent amount of our circu-
lation must be governed by the circulation
of the Continent, and our prices must con-
form to the continental level. The
Ministers seem in 1822 to have been
sensible of this, even whilst they adopted
measures inconsistent with such know-
ledge. Lord Liverpool, when he described,
in 1822, the steps proposed to be adopted
for relief, stated expressly that the means
proposed had been objected to as being in-
consistent with the safety of the monied
standard. These are his words on the 26th
of February, 1822:-1" The object of his
Majesty's Government was," he said, to
extend and quicken the circulation," and
then he goes on ;-" In order to prevent

141 Mr. Attwood's Motion on {JUNE 8}

the occurrence from this measure of any
inconvenience or difficulty, which might
affect the present system of our curren-
cy, it is proposed to be one of the regula-
tions accompanying it, that, in the event
of any unfavourable turn in the exchanges,
the Bank shall have the power of recalling
each million at an interval of three
months-a provision which, I conceive,
is fully adequate to guard against all
possible danger on that score."* To affect
"the present system of currency," is
to affect the security of the standard,
the security of Mr. Peel's bill. But if
the issue of four millions of Bank-notes
could relieve distress, must not the
drawingthese notes back bring this distress
back? The notes were to be issued; dis-
tress to be relieved, if this could be effected
consistently with the security of that
bill; but if the notes endangered that
bill, no relief was to be given. Here,
then, we see the prosperity of the country
fairly placed against the security of the
standard: the safety of the people put
into one scale, and the standard into the
other; and the preference given to the
standard. Compare, then, the state of the
country at the period when these measures
of relief were in full operation, with its
condition since they were abandoned,
and we shall see what is the cost we
have paid for the security of the metal
standard. I again take the state of the
country, as described in 1825, in the speech
of the King :-" There never was a period
(said his Majesty) in the history of this
country, when all the great interests of
society were, at the same time, in so
thriving a condition."t That state of the
people, contrasted with their condition in
1822, and with their present state, when
there exists no one great productive inter-
est which is not exposed to ruin,
exhibits the price we have paid for Mr.
Peel's bill, and for the metal standard.
I have quoted the apprehensions of Lord
Liverpool, that the money he proposed to
throw into circulation for relieving dis-
tress would be found inconsistent with
our monetary system, and the course he
proposed to adopt, if those fears should
be realized. I find a statement of Lord
Liverpool himself, which exhibits the whole
operation-which explains that the danger
he anticipated did take place-the money

SSee Parl. Deb. Vol. vi. p. 716.
SDIbid.Vol. xii, A, 8, p. 1.

issued for the national relief was effectual,
but it was inconsistent with the security of
the standard; it was withdrawn, and the
distress brought back. In February, 1826,
Lord Liverpool, speaking of the panic
then recent, and of these operations, says
-" In March, 1825, however, they (the
Bank) saw the necessity which was press-
ing on them"-danger to the standard I
may observe is synonymous with pressing
necessity to the Bank,-" and they then
did begin to draw in and reduce their
issues. In the month of March they re-
duced their issues 1,300,0001.; between
the 15th of March and the 15th of May,
they made a reduction of 700,0001.;
between August and November, they fur-
ther contracted their issues, making alto-
gether a reduction of 3,500,0001. in their
issues."* Here is thewhole history of this
operation, and of the state of the country.
Measures of relief, consisting of the issue
of four millions of Government paper,
commenced in the distress of 1822.
Relief was given; the paper was drawn
back in 1825 to protect the standard; the
last portion in November, 1825, and early
in December broke out the panic. The
condition of the people since that period,
is no more than the consequence of in-
flicting the metal standard on paper debts.
At this time, we are told, there are again
symptoms of reviving prosperity. I be-
lieve it: generally, throughout the pro-
ductive classes and districts, some slight
relaxation of the fatal pressure of 1819 is
felt. But paper money has to some extent
again been forced into circulation by the
Bank; I charge that distinctly upon the
Government; they are again tampering
with the circulation and the standard.
The slight improvement, but general,
throughout the country, is a consequence
of it. I know not to what extent the
paper money has been forcibly increased;
but I charge the Government distinctly,
that paper money has been forced into
circulation-that it exists in excess-that
it cannot be so continued in circulation-
that either these paper issues will break
down the standard and end in a Bank Re-
striction, or that the paper must be drawn
back; and whenever drawn back, the dis-
tress of 1819 will again be renewed; with
a panic probably, which I believe will be the
last, with all its dangers and consequences.
I revert shortly, Sir, to the result which

* See Parl, Deb. Vol, xiv, p. 454,

the Currency Questionl. 142

143 Mr. Attwood's Motion on {COMMONS} the Currency Question. 144

this review, and this experience, establish.
During the war the country was prosper-
ous; but gold money of our present
standard did not exist in conjunction
with that prosperity; the gold circulation
was destroyed. Again, in 1818, the
country flourished greatly in all its in-
terests-but then again our gold circula-
tion and standard was broken down.
Seven millions of gold, all we possessed,
was sent abroad, the whole of it, in 1818.
In 1824 and in 1825, all the great in-
terests of the country were again thriving ;
but necessity and danger pressed on thecir-
culation, the standard, and the Bank. In
neither of these periods was the prosperity
enjoyed by the people coincident with the
existence of a metal standard of the pre-
sent value. Let us examine them further.
In 1816 we had a gold circulation. The
standard was safe; but every great in-
terest was prostrate and ruined. In 1819,
1820, 1821, and 1822, the standard was
a second time restored-the national
misery was such as I have described. In
1826, the standard was a third time re-
established. I refer not to the condition
of the people then and since: it is known
-and if any appearance of improvement
at present exists, that improvement pro-
ceeds from measures inconsistent with the
safety of the gold standard. If then there
be any truth in the most indisputable
facts; any wisdom to be learned from ex-
perience; the conclusion which a consi-
deration of those periods establishes isthis
-that our present metallic standard of
value is not reconcileable with the debts,
taxes, and engagements, of the late war :
that whilst these paper engagements re-
main, metal money, of our present value,
is incompatible with the prosperity of this
country, and with its security. It is on
these grounds of policy, of necessity, and
of justice, that I rest the first of the two
Resolutions which I shall submit to the
House. Upon the policy and necessity of
giving to productive industry such relief,
at least, from the infliction of the present
system, as is consistent with the principles
on which that system has been established;
and by a measure which cannot be resisted
without the open abandonment of all those
principles. The principal advantage which
I propose from the measure recommended
in the second of the Resolutions now
offered is, that it is calculated to lessen, in
some degree, one of the tasks imposed on
the country by the Act of 1819. There

are at present, if the calculation of Mi-
nisters be correct, about twenty-eight
millions of sovereigns in circulation, ex-
clusive of those sovereigns which remain
in the cellars of the Bank. I believe that
calculation to be erroneous. A fair ex-
amination of those official returns which
are in the possession of the House, will
establish, I believe, the fact, that about
twenty or twenty-two millions is the pre-
sent amount of sovereigns in circulation.
The quantity of gold coin in circulation
prior to 1797 was calculated by Lord
Liverpool at thirty millions: that was the
lowest estimate any man had formed. Mr.
Rose's calculation was forty-five millions;
but I will assume the lowest estimate to
have been correct. If thirty millions were
necessary to support the prices and trans-
actions of the country in 1797; with an
increased population, larger transactions,
and greater burthens, it can scarcely be
estimated that a less amount than forty
millions or forty-five millions will be now
necessary to support even the prices which
preceded the war. If this be so, the
country has yet to draw ten millions or
twenty millions more of gold from the
Continent, before it will have effected the
task which the re-establishment of a metal
standard has imposed. And how is this
additional gold to be obtained ? The Con-
tinent will give no gold without some
equivalent. How have the twenty-eight,
or the twenty millions we already possess
been obtained ? The answer will give an
explanation of the mystery, which, in the
beginning of this Session, the Ministers
were unable to comprehend :-an explana-
tion of whence it was that, with an extra-
ordinary exportation of British produc-
tions, our manufacturers yet complained
of distress. Their goods were sent out to
bring back sovereigns. The law which
compelled that gold should be brought
here, and become the medium of our cir-
culation, dictated also, a forced, ruinous,
and extensive export trade. To drain its
bullion from the Continent, our produc-
tions must be forced on the continental
markets. Million by million, as the gold
leaves the Continent, our effort becomes
more difficult; carries more distress
amongst the nations with whom we deal,
and leavesmore ruin athome. Everymillion
we obtain advances the rate of the next mil-
lion; additional goods must be sent out at
prices continually falling. If, then, we
issue five, ten, or fifteen millions of small

{JUNE 8} the Currency Question.

notes, we have so much less of gold to
obtain-less embarrassment to occasion
abroad-less suffering to endure at home.
And, with regard to the objections which
may be made to this measure, I will not
descend to occupy the time of the House
by giving them an answer. I will not
combat such objections as that Bank-
notes under 51. cannot circulate in Eng-
land without danger and ruin (I have
shewn how the panic of 1825 was occa-
sioned), when these objections, if urged
at all, must be urged by men who are con-
tent that such notes shall circulate in Ire-
land and in Scotland. These, then, are
the grounds of policy, of necessity, and
of justice-of policy the most clear and
decided, necessity the most urgent, and of
indispensable justice-on which I rest the
measures which I submit to the decision
of the House. I have explained them in-
adequately, perhaps, and for that I owe
an apology to the House; but that I have
occupied with these questions, however
long, the attention and time of the House,
for that I offer no apology. Fit it is, that
the attention of this House, its labours,
its days, its sessions, should be given to
the consideration of the important ques-
tion I have brought under its review, and
to the bearing of that question on the
public interests-for it concerns deeply
the character of the proceedings of the
House; most deeply the character, and
the honour, and the vital interests of the
people. I humbly move, therefore,-" 1.
That it is expedient to repeal so much
of the Act 56 Geo. 3rd, c. 68, as declares
gold coins the only legal tender in pay-
ment of all sums beyond the amount of
40s., and to establish gold and silver coins
of the realm, coined in the relative pro-
portion of 15-yjf lbs. weight of sterling
silver to lib. of sterling gold, shall !be a
legal tender in all money engagements, as
directed, and ordered by the proclamation
of the fourth year of George 1st. 2.
That it is expedient to repeal so much of
the Act of 7 Geo. 4th, c. 6, as prohibits
the issue or re-issue in England of any
promissorynote, payable on demand to the
bearer thereof, for any sum of money less
than the sum of 51.; and also to repeal
the Act of 9 Geo. 4th, c. 65, entitled
'An Act to restrain the negotiation in
England of Promissory Notes and Bills
under a limited sum, issued in Scotland or
Mr, E. Davenport seconded the Mo-

tion. He regretted nothing in the able
speech which had just been delivered but
that it was too discursive. That could
not, however, be said of the Resolutions,
which were of so certain and specific a
character that they could not be met, as
motions for inquiry had been met, by
saying that they offered nothing practical
and useful. It was now shown, that the
present plan of Ministers was riot the plan
followed by our ancestors, but a plan fol-
lowed by nobody but the present Minis-
ters. He did not know by what argu-
ments they could defend their conduct.
It was not enough to say, because the
law had been made, that it was not to be
altered, for that would make the House
not only honourable but infallible. The
antiquity of the innovation, which was
dated fourteen years ago, could be no
reason for continuing the present standard.
During that period also it had been sus-
pended two or three times; and, in fact,
it did not come into operation fully and
completely, till the small notes were abo-
lished in 1826. He contended, therefore,
that the present standard had nothing to
recommend it but the assertions of Minis-
ters. That standard was also an innova-
tion on the previous practices of the
country. Silver was, according to Mr.
Locke, the universal measure of value,
and gold only a commodity. He could
support this view also, by the evidence of
the Ministerial member for Callington,
who had described our adherence to the
gold standard as pedantic and injurious.
Nothing was more injurious than to lower
the rate of profit and prices on the con-
tinent. The adoption of the gold stand-
arcd was reducing the prices here to a
level with prices on the Continent. What
made it more injurious was, that it en-
hanced taxation, while adopting a silver
standard would at once relieve the bur-
thens of taxation to the amount of six or
seven per cent. Other nations, such as
Venice and France, had tried to establish
a gold coinage, and had failed; but Buo-
naparte, he believed, who had given a
premium on gold coin, had more power
than any Chancellor of the Exchequer.
It would be less easy, then, for England
to do this, which gave no premium to
keep gold at home, and had less power to
retain it, than it was for France. The
present system also placed the nation at
the mercy of speculators in gold. It had
been lately seen that one money-broker's

145 Mr.T AttWOOd's Motion on1

147 Mr. Attwood's Motion on {COMMONS} the Currency Question. 148

house had reduced the House of Austria
to dependence on it, and had contracted
all its operations, degrading that illustrious
House, by a contest in which it was not
victorious, because it tried to borrow in
another money-broker's shop. Another
topic to which he would refer was the
great diminution of the quantity of metals
produced by the mines of South America.
Silver was reduced, he believed, four-fifths
in amount, and gold was reduced still
more in quantity. Notwithstanding this
lessened production of the mines, silver
had come much more into use than for-
merly-increasing the pressure felt by the
want of the precious metals as coin. The
hon. Member then referred to the opinions
of Lord Liverpool, Sir Robert Peel, and
Mr. Canning, to show that Ministers had
in 1819, professed a desire to return to the
ancient standard of value, which, in fact,
was the optional standard, either silver or
gold; but they had actually adopted the
single gold standard, which never before
was the standard of the country. He
called on the Ministers to make their
words good, and not adopt as the ancient
standard, a standard which was not so in
fact, and which was an exacerbation of
all the burthens of the country, to the
amount of eight per cent. He thought
Ministers were at least bound, therefore,
to support the first Resolution of the hon.
Member, and he hoped they would re-
member their former words, and with the
hon. Mover call for a restoration of the
real ancient standard.
Mr. Baring said, that Gentlemen, he
believed, rather listened to speeches on
the currency from a sense of its import-
ance, than from any expectation of hav-
ing their minds settled or confirmed by
what they heard. He thanked his hon.
friend, for attracting the attention of the
House to the subject, and he should beg
leave to say a few words on it. The two
Resolutions of his hon. friend were essen-
tially different-one related to the revival
of the small notes, the other to the use of
a concurrent standard; and it would be
very difficult to show that this concurrent
standard of the two metals was not the
old standard of the country. After a
debate of four days on the distress of the
country, it was somewhat extraordinary
that what caused the peculiar state of
things, of which all complained, was not
very clearly explained. That peculiar
state of things had existed ever since the

peace, for, with some slight exceptions,
owing, as he believed, and as his hon.
friend stated, to the banks having
pushed out paper-money, though he be-
lieved that his hon. friend attributed too
much to that cause,-but this peculiar,
and he might say extraordinary state of
things, had existed ever since the peace,
and during that period all the great inter-
ests of the country had been affected.
He had no doubt that this originated
chiefly, he would not say exclusively,
from the state of the currency, and from
the alterations which had been made in it.
It was impossible that a change so gene-
ral as had affected all classes, could have
been brought about, except by some gene-
ral cause; and why should they not attri-
bute it to the change in the currency,
which they knew had also been universal ?
It was known that money had increased
in value, and it was difficult to suppose
that this was not the cause of the general
depression. In his opinion the alteration
of the currency accounted for every thing.
When the value of money increased, that
was shown by a general fall of prices, and
this was the cause of that distress, which
began among the upper, and afterwards
extended to all classes. The prosperity
we had experienced during the war, was
owing to an opposite cause. It was
worth while to recur to that, and to state
that the description given of it by Mr.
Thornton, in the debate on the report of
the Bullion Committee in 1811, was the
very converse of the present condition of
the country. Money, it should be re-
membered, was then depreciated, and
there was a universal rise of prices. Mr.
Henry Thornton said on that occasion,
'' It was material to observe that there
had, since the beginning of the war, been
a continued fall in the value of money-
he meant of money commonly so called,
whether consisting of cash or paper.
There had been estimates by some at
sixty or seventy per cent, and certainly
it was not less than forty or fifty per
cent, which was on the average, two or
three per cent per annum."* This was
the remark of a gentleman who was a
great observer, not a theorist, not a specu-
lator, but a man of sound judgment, on
whose opinion he set great value. He
observed then, that the value of money,
whether the precious metals or paper, was

SSee Parl, Deb, Vol. xix. p. 904,

149 Mr. Attwood's Motion on

depreciated. He said, that in 1811, it
had sunk to sixty or seventy per cent in
some persons' opinion, but certainly not
less than forty or fifty per cent. The
most striking passage of the speech of
that Gentleman was, perhaps, that in
which he described the operation of the rise
of prices. It was a gradual fall, in the value
of money, of two or three percent, extend-
ing through several years, and was not
sudden. It was true," he said, that
men did not generally perceive that, during
a fall in the price of money, they borrowed
at this advantageous rate of interest; they
felt, however, the advantage of being
borrowers; the temptation to borrow
operating on their minds, as he believed,
in the following manner :-They balanced
their books once a year, and in estimating
the value of those commodities in which
they had invested their borrowed money,
they found that value to be continually
increasing, so that there was an apparent
profit over and above the natural and or-
dinary profit on mercantile transactions.
This apparent profit was nominal, as to
persons who traded on their own capital;
but not nominal as to those who traded
with borrowed money. The borrower,
therefore, derived every year from his
trade, not only the common mercantile
profit, which would itself somewhat ex-
ceed five per cent interest, paid by him
for the use of the money, but likewise that
extra profit he spoke of."* The case then
was, that every man of business who went
to sleep at night, found himself, when he
woke in the morning richer than he was.
Nothing was more influential on the pros-
perity of people than this continual rise
in the value of their property. They
were all continually getting richer. Now,
during the last fifteen years, the very
reverse of this had been going on. The
farmers, the merchants, capitalists of
every description, had seen their pro-
perty decreasing in value year after year.
On balancing their books at the end of
six months or twelve months, they found
their capital shrinking, falling away, and
that they were less wealthy than they
were. They were filled with despondency,
and with all the feelings of going to decay.
No doubt this was the effect of the
alteration of the currency, which began
with the resolution to get rid of the
paper currency and return to a metal-

See Parl, Deb, Vol. xix. p, 905.

lic standard, and of which the last act
was, the getting rid of the II. and 21.
notes. If the House considered the
extensive influence of the change in
the currency, it would have no doubt
that it was the cause of a state of
things the very converse of that de-
scribed by Mr. Thornton, and said to
arise from a gradually depreciated cur-
rency. It was attended with a phe-
nomenon which some persons thought
was singular and difficult of expla-
nation; which was, that during the
depression, our exports continued to
increase. This was, however, to be ex-
plained in this way. The merchants and
manufacturers, who balanced their books
every six or twelve months, on summing
up their transactions, found themselves
losers from carrying on their operations;
but at the sometime theysaw thatall other
things had got cheaper. They found
they could buy the raw material 5 or 10,
or 20-per-cent cheaper, and labour was
cheaper; and they hoped, in consequence
of the cheapness of the materials, that
they would make a profit the next year.
There was a necessity to find a new
market for these cheaper commodities,
more of which were produced than before,
and this led to the increase in the exports.
He saw no difficulty, therefore, in recon-
ciling our increased exports with our
falling prices and continued distress.
The case might be exemplified by the
farmers-they had been losing for some
time past; but as they lost, stock became
cheaper, they could stock their farms
cheaper than before, they were able, as it
were, to undersell themselves, and so they
were encouraged to continue their losing
trade. The same symptoms were every-
where observed, and they all proceeded from
the same cause. It was satisfactory to be
able to ascertain the cause of our distress,
for that might lead to avoiding it in future.
It arose, then, from touching the currency,
from tampering with the standard, from
altering the measure of value, which had
put to hazard and exposed to great risk
all the property of the country and all its
interests. He hoped that the lesson
which this taught us would not be thrown
away. He did not mention this, however,
that the Government and Legislature
should take it into their consideration, in
recognizing the cause of the present dis-
tress, whether or not they would again
Stamper with the currency. He did noQ

{JUND 8}


151 Mr. Attwood's Motion on {COMMONS} the Currency Question. 152

hold it out as any inducement for them to
do so, when the opinion of the House and
the opinion of the country were decidedly
against it. He at least hoped, having
now gone through many years of difficul-
ties, and having arrived at last, as he
believed, at nearly the end of them, and
having a metallic currency, that our money
was now placedon a secure basis. The with-
drawal of the small notes had, he believed,
caused a considerable increase of our
difficulties. It was not so much the
amount of that paper in circulation as the
facility it gave to carry on trade in the
country. It encouraged country bankers
-it established a local circulation-and
gave a great facility for carrying on coun-
try trade. The general currency, on the
contrary, tended to bring the whole cir-
culation towards Lombard-street ; it was,
perhaps, an advantage for London, but it
was injurious to the country; the with-
drawal of the small notes had then added
to the distress. At the same time he was
impressed with the great difficulty of
maintaining undepreciated our standard
of value as long as they formed a large
part of our circulation ; and being sensible
of that, he was willing to make a sacrifice
for the advantage of being able to main-
tain, in time of pressure, our standard of
value unaltered. When he remembered
what happened in 1825, and in the differ-
ent panics he had witnessed, he was
doubtful how far we should be able to
maintain our standard with many small
notes in circulation. The examples of
Ireland and Scotland were certainly con-
clusive as to the possibility, but it was
difficult to say how far that could be
with safety extended. Paper money
might be allowed in one English county-
it could not be limited to Scotland; but
the wider it was extended, the more diffi-
cult it would make the maintenance of
our metallic standard in a time of pres-
sure. It had been argued that the sol-
vency of the bankers who failed in 1825-
a great proportion of them having since
paid in full-was a proof that there was
no danger from a paper circulation; but,
in his view of the matter, the solvency of
these bankers was an argument against
the system. If it overthrew those who
had property to meet the demand on
them, was not that a proof of its being
dangerous ? His hon. friend proposed to
repeal the law for preventing the issue
of one pound and two pound notes, which,
in his view, might be somewhat hazardous,

To that part of the resolutions he was not
disposed to accede. The other object
proposed by his hon. friend was of very
great importance, and on it he would say
a few words. His hon. friend's proposi-
tion was, that the silver standard should
be concurrent with the gold standard.
That was a measure which, in the first
place, would cause some depreciation;
and, in the second place, it might be
right to inquire if this depreciation would
be justified. It might then be considered
what would be its effect in preserving our
metallic standard; and he must at once
say for himself, that he thought it would
greatly improve our chance of maintaining
our standard. As to the extent to which
it would cause depreciation, that he
thought would be perfectly justified.
The alteration would not extend beyond
5-per-cent, which, as it would increase
the facility for preserving the standard,
would not be a disadvantage. The hon.
Member then entered into a brief history
of our currency, to show that up to 1797,
silver and gold had been concurrently the
standard of the country. The Act of
1798 went to suspend the coinage of
silver, until an alteration, recommended
by a Committee, was effected; which
alteration, in consequence of the intro-
duction of a paper circulation and other
circumstances, never actually took place.
The case, then, as he apprehended,
stood thus:-Up to 1798, the debtor had
the power to tender a payment in. either
gold or silver, but after that time it was
suspended by the Act to which he alluded;
and it was not until the year 1816 that
the suspension of 1798 was declared, by
Act of Parliament, to be a permanent
exclusion of silver from the legal tenders
of the country. He said, then, give us
the same standard as that which existed
before the suspension of 1798; give us,
he would say, that power of paying either
in gold or silver, which existed before
1798, and which was suspended until the
coinage could be put on a better footing.
It might be said, however, and he did not
deny its truth, that the difference between
the gold and the silver payment would
be full 5-per-cent, and that those who
thus obtained the power to pay in silver
would gain five pounds in every hundred
which they paid to their creditors. But
if, in the present circumstances of the
country, and looking to the tremendous
changes which had taken place, all adjust-
ment of the claims of those who had con,

153 Mr. Attwood's Motion on {JUNE 8}

tracted engagements in the depreciated
currency was denied them, then he would
say that those who refused this adjustment
could not deny that the taking off 5-per-
cent in this way was a fair method of
making the debtor some remuneration for
his loss. Considering that England was
the only country in the world where such
a standard as that of gold exclusively was
to be found, and that every other country
on earth had in some way or other admit-
ted both metals for that purpose, he con-
fessed that he should not regret to see
that change take place, if it were merely
to arrive at that favourable conclusion for
the debtor which he had before described.
He thought, too, that if the old standard
were adopted, that standard which those
who clung to antiquity must surely ap-
prove of, there would be much less proba-
bility of those derangements of our mone-
tary system which a sudden change of
circumstances might now produce. He
knew that these things were much better
understood by calm examination in the
closet, than by explanation in that House,
or by evidence before a Committee; but
still he thought that such an examination
would do much to prepare the House for
the alteration. In reference to the silver
standard, he would just make one observ-
ation on a part of the question which
involved an objection, plausible enough
at first, but in his mind totally illusory
and unsatisfactory. It was said, then, by
the Theorists and the Philosophers-he
meant them no offence when he called
them so-that if you take the two metals
as a standard of value, you expose your-
selves to all the variations which at all
times prevail between these two things
which you have adopted as a standard.
The object of a standard, they say, is
fixity, and by adopting the two metals,
you take things which vary with respect
to each other; whereas, by taking any
one, you have a standard free from any
such objection. Now, it was a singular
thing, that those who started this objection
should have forgotten the example of
France, whose ingenious and scientific men
had applied themselves much to the ques-
tion of the variation of the two metals,
and who, although they were acquainted
with this objection of the Theorists, had
surmounted all the difficulties it presented,
and preserved the double standard with
all its objections. It was still more strange,
however, that these Theorists should not

see, that if they looked at the whole
medium of circulation, they would find
the variations greater in it than any which
could take place between the two metals.
They would find, in fact, that the variabi-
lity of the two metals, in reference to each
other, was as a mere drop of water in the
ocean compared with the variations which
frequently took place in the circulating
medium itself. Look, for instance, at the
Bank of England circulation-look at
the extensions and withdrawals of circu-
lation in the year 1825-and they would
find that the variations of that period
amounted to full twenty-five per cent. It,
was for these, and similar reasons, and
from the feelings he entertained on this
subject, that he felt bound to vote for the
first Resolution of his hon. friend (Mr.
Attwood). He adopted that course, too,
that he might mark his opinions on the
question, although he confessed he would
prefer, if he had his choice, recommend-
ing the whole question to be referred to a
Committee. He could not quit this sub-
ject without referring, however, to the
opinions once delivered by a Governor of
the Bank of England, with respect to the
two standards. He admitted that from
the manner in which that great commercial
Company generally conducted its business,
he was not disposed to regard as an au-
thority the statements of that corporation;
but it was different with the statements of
individual members; and there could be
no question that the experience and ability
of Mr. Harman, the gentleman to whose
evidence he alluded, was entitled to the
greatest attention. Mr. Harman expressly
declared, then, that if he could be brought
to believe there was a sufficiency of gold
for the circulation of the whole of the
United Kingdom, he should think the
gold standard the preferable one; but as
it was otherwise, he was inclined to
favour the proposition for making silver
also a standard. For his own part, 'he
thought an unlimited paper circulation
the greatest evil which could fall on a
country; and as he was anxious that, if
any such event as war did come, it should
find us prepared to meet its difficulties
without having recourse to such a device
as a paper currency, he thought the ad-
mission of the two metals as a standard a
measure much to be desired. He begged,
however, to be understood as proposing
any alteration in the present system with
the very greatest reluctance. He was

the Currency Question.

155 Mr. Attwood's Motion on {COMMONS} the Currency Question. 156

indeed unwilling, except from a strong
conviction of its propriety, to give his
vote for the appointment of a Committee;
because he knew well how likely men's
minds were to be unsettled by any pros-
pect of changes; but he was willing to
encounter all these evils, although he
anticipated their full extent, because he
thought the state of the circulation was
not a sound one, nor calculated to meet
the exigencies which might arise without
some alteration.
Mr. Herries said, that the hon. Member
(Mr. Attwood), in the very able speech
with which he had opened this discussion,
and the hon. member for Shaftesbury,
who had followed him, had, in his opinion,
taken-an entirely wrong view of the cause
of the thin attendance of Members, when
they attributed that thin attendance to a
want of feeling on the part of the House
to the wants and wishes of the country.
In his opinion, the absenceof hon. Mem-
bers during the speeches of those two Gen-
tlemen arose from a conviction in the
minds of a majority of the House,-and he
believed that the majority of the country
entertained the same conviction,-that this
question of the currency was now finally
set at rest, and that any motion that any
hon. Member might think proper to submit
on the subject would not have the effect of
producing any change whatsoever. Those
two hon. Members might depend upon it,
that if the majority of the House thought
there was the slightest probability of this
Motion ending in an alteration of the cur-
rency, the House would be crowded by the
fullest possible attendance of Members,
who would be drawn down for the express
purpose of preventing such alteration.
When he said that the hon. Member (Mr.
Attwood) had made an able speech, he did
not mean to say that that hon. Member
had said any thing new upon the subject.
For the benefit of those who had not
heard the hon. Member's speech, he would
just observe, that the hon. Member had
merely repeated (with great ability, cer-
tainly, and with still greater pains) all
that he had said upon former occasions,
re-stating the same facts, and re-urging
the same arguments; but introducing not
a single new fact, nor a single new argu-
ment. The main question raised by the
hon. member for Callington (Mr. Attwood)
was, whether we should recur to the double
standard,-for it was the double standard,
and not a double standard, as hon. Mem-

bers would quickly perceive. The position
which the hon. Member had endeavoured
to maintain, was-not that we should have
the two precious metals in circulation,-
but that we should have the two metals in
circulation at certain fixed proportions,
which condition must render the execution
of the hon. Member's proposition strictly
impossible. Let him not be supposed to
be mis-stating or overstating the argument
of the hon. Member. He called upon the
House to bear in mind that it was an essen-
tial part of the hon. Member's argument,
that the two metals should circulate in the
proportions of 1798. The hon. Member
said in so many words,-" Raise the de-
preciated silver to the same proportion to
gold as that in which it stood in 1798."
Not to detain the House with details upon
a part of the question which did not call
for them, it would be sufficient for him to
observe, that it was perfectly well known
that the proportion in which these two
metals interchanged now in the markets
of the world, was essentially different
from the proportions of 1798. In fact,
the hon. Gentleman had himself admitted
this: nay, the hon. Gentleman had gone
further, and told them that the difference
between the two was as much as five per
cent. This was not quite correct; the dif-
ference was not so great; but take it to be
as the hon. Gentleman had stated it, and
to what result did it lead them? Why,
the hon. Gentleman, ingenious as he
was,-practical as he boasted himself to
be,-had gravely and seriously recom-
mended that the Legislature should make
gold and silver equally a legal tender in
this country at the old Mint prices,
although, in the very same breath, the hon.
Gentleman acknowledged that these metals
differed in value from those prices, as much
as five per cent. He would venture to
say that such a proposal was never before
seriously made. The hon. Gentleman
had, with great pains and minuteness,
traced the history of our currency, and
had told them how our ancestors had been
obliged from time to time to adjust the
value of these two metals, in order to
keep them both legal tenders. Indeed,
this was the whole object of Sir Isaac
Newton's Tables; but the hon. Gentleman
derided the wisdom of Sir Isaac Newton,
and, in defiance of all these facts, which
by his speech he had proved he was not ig-
norant of, he had said, Let the two
metals be a common tender, and let the

157 Mr. Attwood's Motion on {JUNE 8}

debtor pay in which he pleases." Now,
what, of absolute necessity, must be the
first effect of such a measure as this?
The hon. Gentleman had told them,-and
it seemed to him (Mr. Herries) to be any
thing but a recommendation to the mea-
sure,-that every individual who owed
money would be enabled to pay five per
cent less than he was at present engaged
to pay. This would, of course, be quite
true, if the debtor had the opportunity
given him: but there was a difficulty in
practice here, which he was surprised the
other hon. member for Callington (Mr.
Baring) had not pointed out to his hon.
colleague. Suppose the Resolutions of the
hon. Gentleman to be agreed to, what
would be the inevitable result? Why, it
would be proclaimed to-morrow from one
end of the country to the other,-he need
not specify how,-that this House had
come to a Resolution, the effect of which
might be shortly stated thus,-namely,
that every man who had claims payable
upon demand, every man who held notes of
small or great value, every man who had
debts outstanding, would, if he secured
the amount of what was due to him before
this Resolution passed into law, get the
whole of his money; whereas, if he de-
layed beyond that period, he could only
get 951. for every 1001. It was terrible to
reflect upon the consequences which must
follow. What would become of the
Bank of England,-what would become
of every banking-house in the kingdom,-
what would become of all debtors who
were liable to pay upon demand all that
they owed? Would not all transactions
of commerce be suspended, and the whole
country present one continued scene of
confusion, and consternation, and ruin,
when the House of Commons proclaimed
to all who had debts due to them, that if
they did not collect them on the instant,
they would assuredly be losers to the
amount of five per cent? But if this
scheme were really practicable, as it evi-
dently was not, let them next consider
what was called the claim of justice; in
which the hon. Member who opened the
discussion had, very much to his surprise,
been followed by the other hon member
for Callington (Mr. Baring). Both these
hon. Members had appeared to think, that
previous to 1797 men could discharge
their debts in silver or in gold, at pleasure.
Now this was not the fact.
Mr. Baring said, that every man had

the right to do so, paying the silver by
Mr. Herries said, they could not, even
by weight. There never was so great a
mistake as to suppose that silver had been
the standard of this country throughout
the last century. The fact was, that in
practice, independently of the law, silver
had never been in a state to be used as a
tender during the period to which the hon.
Gentleman's motion referred. Latterly
the law had enacted that it should not be
a legal tender. His hon. friend (Mr.
Baring) was quite wrong in the case he
had put respecting the debt of 1001. which
his hon. friend contended ought in justice
to be discharged by 951.
Mr. Baring: I said, that if the law
were still the same, a man who owed 1001.
could discharge his debt for 951.
Mr. Herries was contented with that
explanation, and still denied that his hon.
friend was correct; for the law restrained
a man from tendering silver to a greater
amount than 251.
Mr. Attwood said, that the law which
limited the tender of silver to 251. regarded
silver coin only. By weight, silver was
tender to any amount.
Mr. Herries was very well aware of
that. He had not forgotten how the law
stood; but his argument was this,-
namely, that the silver had become so de-
preciated, that, practically, there was no
such thing as tender by weight, while the
law limited the tender in coin to 251. As
to the double standard, he must repeat,
it was clear that in 1792 silver could not
be the standard. The prices of commodi-
ties were, after the middle and towards the
close of the last century, in no inconsi-
derable degree affected by the worn state
of the silver coinage. He should wish
that we could avail ourselves of the double
standard of coinage to the extent that other
countries did, if it could be done without
danger; but he feared it could not be
done without great danger. There was,
however, a great error in supposing that
in any country the two metals circulated
equally. They did co-exist, no doubt, to a
certain extent, but they were not equal;
the one rose with respect to the other,-
one was the standard at the Mint, and the
other was taken at a value which was con-
ventional between man and man. If such
a regulation could be made, that a creditor
was obliged to take half his debt in one
standard, at the will of the debtor, and

the C~urrency2 Question. 158

159 Mr. Attwood's Motion on {COMMONS} the Currency Question. 160

that the debtor was not obliged to pay
more than half in one, and half in the
other, it might, perhaps, be practicable to
have the two; but he did not see how
otherwise the two could exist together.
He merely threw out that as a suggestion.
But to come back to the great point,-
the measure of 1819: the question was,
not whether that was the wisest and the
soundest course which could have been
devised, but whether we were now to alter
the standard of currency,-whether we
were to do this for the relief of those who
had to pay money. Supposing we were
to go that little way with the hon. Member
in mitigation of the suffering experienced
from the Act of 1819, was there any man
who thought that we could stop at that
little step ? Little," the hon. Member
called it, though he did not think so.
When the hon. Member had achieved that
little victory, was it not more than proba-
ble that the hon. member for Essex would
afterwards return to the charge he had
before made, and endeavour to bring for-
ward his plan of paper currency, and thus
bring about a political relapse, which
would be much worse than our former
condition, and would inevitably end in
panic, which would be the destruction of
all public and private confidence ? The
experiment of a small paper currency,
without a Bank Restriction Act, we had
already tried between the years 1822 and
1826; and how did it end ?-Was it not
in panic and confusion ? Would the hon.
Member have another trial of the same
kind? If he understood one part of the
hon. Member's speech rightly, there was
some mysterious kind of allusion to some
supposed understanding between the Bank
and Government as to the circulation of
paper. All he would say on that head
was, to pledge himself that no such under-
standing existed. Reverting to our pre-
sent state, and to what our state might
possibly be in future,though he meant not to
prophesy, for that would be dangerous on
a subject where so many had been de-
ceived but the hon. Member (Mr. Baring)
had said, that having passed the danger
of a decline of prices, we were now, at
last, got upon a safe landing-place.
He hoped we were so; but if we were,
what inconceivable boldness to depart
from that safe ground, to venture upon
that which must again bring us into un-
certainty and danger And yet the hon.
Member declared his readiness to vote for

one part of the Motion before the House,
which would take us from the certain
landing-place. To such a step, however,
he (Mr. Herries) could not consent. He
had expected to hear much of the question
of small notes in this discussion, but it
seemed to have been discarded as it were
by universal consent. The hon. Member
who opened the debate had omitted it, and
the hon. member for Shaftesbury had also
left it out of consideration, with some ex-
pression of regret that the two questions
should be at all mixed up. Under these
circumstances, he (Mr. Herries) might be
excused for not going into it. If, however,
it were necessary to do so, he could have
no difficulty in showing that a reintro-
duction of a small-note circulation would
be most objectionable, on many grounds.
He would only remark, that if the debtor
was to be relieved by paying less than
what he owed, for that seemed one great
object, he would rather attempt it, as a
choice of difficulties, by an alteration of
the standard than by an infusion of a
small paper currency. There certainly
would be less mischief, less confusion, and
less violation of faith in the former than in
the latter remedy. He must say a word as
to the temptations-no slight ones in such
an audience-which the hon. Member held
out in support of his plan: it was to raise
rents, to increase profits, to stimulate in-
dustry and commerce, and to relieve the
labouring poor. Admitting that it might
have the effect of raising rents and prices,
and thus assisting the rich, he was utterly
at a loss to conceive how the raising the
price of commodities could relieve the
poor. If the labourer were under pecuniary
obligations, he might be able to dis-
charge them in a cheaper currency; but
this was a condition in which he was not
likely to be placed: but that he could get
more wheat for the price of his labour,
was what he could not understand. After
all, the question came back to this-that
it would enable parties to pay what they
owed in a cheaper currency. No ground
for the adoption of the plan could be made
in the alleged want of a sufficient circu-
lating medium. He had had opportunities
of communication with those who were in
circumstances to employ labour to a con-
siderable amount, ard he had never heard
any complaint of a want of money from
the removal of the 11. notes. All those
with whom he conversed, not only said
that there was no such want, but expressed

161 Mr. Attwood's Motion on {JUNE 8}

their surprise that there could be any doubt
on the subject. Looking, then, atthe wants
of trade, the interests of commerce, and
the general stability of property, he could
see no ground for the adoption of a plan
which would benefit none of those interests,
except, as he had said, in the payment of
debt. But, taking that as a desirable ad-
vantage, he would beg the House to con-
sider at what a.price it was to be obtained.
See what were the contracts and obliga-
tions entered into since 1819, on the faith
of the measures then adopted, and would it
not be a greater evil to break those than to
leave some debtors without the relief which
they desired? Admit that injustice was
done to many-to all who had to discharge
pecuniary obligations by the measure of
1819, would the proposed remedy relieve
those parties ? No doubt it would not,
but it would injure others to just the same,
or perhaps a much greater, extent; and
then he would ask, were we now to do in-
justice to the one party because we had
heretofore done injusticeto another ? Such
a proposition was monstrous, and had
against it all the reasons which the hon.
Member (Mr. Attwood) had himself urged
against the measure of 1819, with this
additional, and, as it appeared to him, in-
surmountable objection,-that the measure
now proposed would in no way remedy the
practical evil of the former. For these
reasons, then, being opposed to the double
standard as not practicable without great
injury, and being satisfied that the
standard was now in the same state as
before 1797, he could not consent to a
motion which he felt would have, before
the setting of the next sun, an effect in
creating a panic and confusion, such as
could not be described, and which it would
then be too late to remedy. He must,
therefore, call on the House to join him in
giving a decided opposition to the hon.
Member's Motion.
Lord Howick said, that though he con-
curred in a great deal of what was said by
the right hon. Gentleman-though he ad-
mitted that the proposed measure would
not afford any practical relief from the
measure of 1819,-yet, when he reverted
to that, he must admit that great injustice
had been inflicted by that measure. At
the same time, he could not concur in the
view taken by the hon. Mover. The hon.
Member said, that the proposition would
have the effect of restoring the ancient
standard as it was before the year 1797.

It would not be very difficult to give an
answer to that statement, if the hon.
Member himself, in the most eloquent
part of his speech, had not given it a
most satisfactory refutation. The experi-
ence of the last half-century had afforded
practical illustrations of the danger of
altering the standard to relieve those who
were injured by former alterations. If,
however, the hon. Member had confined
himself to a motion for a committee up-
stairs to examine the subject, he should
not object to go into such an inquiry.
All that he had read, and all that he had
seen, induced him to be extremely cauti-
ous in giving any countenance to an
alteration of the existing system, with-
out due consideration and inquiry. But,
in refusing his assent to this proposition,
he could not agree with much of what
had fallen from the Master of the Mint,
because he thought that the measure of
1826 was no decisive security against a
recurrence of the same evil under which
the country had suffered. The fault of
our banking system, about that time, was
not to be traced to any deficiency of
solvent banks, because many of those
banks which had stopped payment, after-
wards redeemed their pledge. It was to a
mixture of both, to a mixture of banks
with property, and of banks without
property, that all the mischief was to be
traced. When confidence was destroyed,
there was, of course, a stagnation of credit;
and though the small notes were removed,
confidence was as essential to our present
system as to any other which this country
had known. In 1825, we were on the
point of a fresh Bank Restriction. And
how was that prevented ? Why, by the
forbearance of the Bank of France, and by
the generous conduct of some private
bankers and merchants at home. But for
the forbearance on the one side, and the
liberality on the other, we should have
been, as the right hon. member for Liverpool
had said, in a state of barter within forty-
eight hours. Now, if instead of a period of
peace and tranquillity, this had occurred in
a time of war and commotion, what must
have been the consequence? Had 11.
notes been issued, there would of necessity
have been a run on the Bank. It was
not necessary for him to argue whether
that state of things could have been
remedied or not. His argument was,
that, in point of principle, there was no
difference between a circulation of 51.

th~e Currency Question.

163 Mr. Attwood's Motion on {COMMONS} the Currency Question. 164

notes, and a circulation of notes below
that value. In each instance, the stability
of the system depended on the power
which the party issuing notes possessed to
meet the demand in specie. Before he
sat down, he could not but regret that the
right hon. member for Liverpool had not
taken this opportunity of moving for the
appointment of a general committee, to
inquire into the banking system of the
country, of which he had given notice.
He thought that the committee would
agree with him on the subject of 11. notes,
and would put an end to that strange
anomaly which allowed one system to
prevail in England, and another in Scot-
land and Ireland.
Mr. Ward said, that he had made in-
quiries relative to the supposed application
to the Bank of France, and he had been
unable to ascertain that any such applica-
tion had been made by the Bank of
England, or on its behalf. The fact was,
that the Bank of England had not suffered
any difficulty on its own account in con-
sequence of the panic, for it was perfectly
competent to meet all its engagements;
but its embarrassments had arisen from the
efforts which it made to relieve the diffi-
culties of others. No establishment could
be more secure against any inconvenience
of the kind, so far as its own immediate
concerns were in question; but when those
who were largely engaged in money
transactions found themselves embar-
rassed, the Bank exerted itself for the
benefit of others, and if it had not been
for the efforts made with that view, it
would have experienced no difficulty what-
ever. The hon. member for Callington
(Mr. Baring) said, that if a war were to
break out, we should run the risk of a
great embarrassment from having our cur-
rency limited to a gold standard; but he
would beg to remind the hon. Member
that it was not the last war which oc-
casioned the difficulty in the gold cur-
rency. It was several years after the war,
when various establishments had large
payments to make abroad, that a difficulty
was found in obtaining treasure. He did
not undervalue the difficulties of dealing
with the currency, but he thought they
were exaggerated by the hon. member for
Callington. He considered that it was
better that those who were to influence the
paper circulation of the country should be
regulated by one metal than by two or
three. If the Bank had the power to pay

in any one of three metals, the moment it
made a change from one to another, doubts
would arise as to its solvency, and a panic
would ensue. It was argued that gold
ought to be regulated by the price of corn;
but it should be recollected that, at one
period during the last war, the expense of
conveying corn to this country from abroad
was 52s. per quarter. So in scarce years
the standard would, by this regulation, be
subject to very great fluctuations. The
other hon. member for Callington ex-
pressed his regret at the withdrawal of the
11. and 21. notes. He was not delighted
at that measure, but he felt that if a panic
were to occur, its effect would be much
worse with those notes in circulation than
without them. The panic ought not to be
attributed wholly to the alteration of the
currency. It should be recollected that at
that period large speculations were entered
into, some of them very wholesome and
prosperous, but others of a different charac-
ter, which involved men in heavy engage-
ments at home and abroad, and these,
superadded to some little derangement of
the currency, had caused the panic; but
he could not help believing that the ex-
perience acquired on that occasion would
be attended with beneficial effects. The
nature of the hon. member for Callington's
second Resolution was, that we should undo
what had been erroneously done in 1826;
but he could not help thinking, under all
the circumstances of this country, that it
was not advisable again to issue small notes.
With regard to silver, it should be re-
collected that it was in greater abundance
since the period alluded to by the hon.
Member than before. On the subject of a
double standard, he meant to say that he
objected to it upon principle. More than
one standard would amount in effect to no
standard at all. If there were a double
standard in money, why should there not
be two bushels for measuring corn, two
yards for cloth, or two furlongs for
measuring distance. The principle would
be the same. Another objection which he
had was, that experiments were in progress
in the mines, the result of which it was
impossible to foresee. If there were a
double standard, an opportunity would be
given to persons owing money to discharge
their debts in the cheapest metal: and
should the result of these experiments be
to throw a considerable quantity of silver
into the market, the double standard would
then be dishonest as well as disadvantage-

165 Mr. Attwood's Motion on {JUNE 8}

ous. Whatever the standard might be, he
thought it ought to be placed on such a
basis as to guard against those fluctuations
which had recently occurred, and which
exposed the property of every man to risk.
He should vote against the motion of the
hon. member for Callington, considering it
totally unsuited to the circumstances in
which we were placed.
Mr. Poulett Thomson,though he greatly
admired the speech of the hon. member
for Callington, yet he could not help
thinking that the whole of it favoured the
very doctrine which he professed to oppose.
The point which the House was called
on to decide was this-whether or not it
would agree to' pass a Resolution, to the
effect that silver, at a depreciation of 5-
per-cent, as the hon. member for Calling.
ton thought, or, as he would say, at a
depreciation of 3 or 4-per-cent, should
be made the standard. If he were called
upon to argue the question whether, in
1819, the Legislature acted wisely or un-
wisely, in not going back to the ancient silver
standard, he should arrive at a very differ-
ent conclusion from that which he should
come to were the question put to him
whether or not they should now abandon
the gold standard, and have recourse to the
old standard of silver. He was of opinion
that silver was the best standard, and he
found himself supported and confirmed in
that opinion by the authority of Locke, of
Harris, and of others. The very fact of
silver being the standard in other countries
ought to recommend it. That circum-
stance of itself gave it a value as a standard
almost sufficient to turn the scale in its
favour, even if other circumstances were
equal. Again gold was more liable to
fluctuations-for example, the war in the
east raised the value of gold 1I or 2-per
cent. That fraction might appear of little
value in the eyes of some hon. Gentlemen,
but he could assure them that in the large
money engagements of such a country as
this, that fraction, small as it might ap-
pear, was a matter of considerable moment;
further, he could not be induced to think
gold a good standard, liable as it was to
so many causes of depreciation. Then the
state of South America should be borne in
mind, and the fact particularly remember-
ed, that very little was at present known
respecting the mines in that country,
though some information might speedily be
expected, which information would prob-
ably most materially affect the value of

gold, and it might become the cheaper
metal of the two. The debtor was en-
titled to due protection, as well as the
creditor; but how were they to pay due
respect to the rights of both, if they inter-
fered with the existing standard ? Gold
was now spread over the country, and
should the issue of notes take place, ten or
twelve millions of gold would instantly
find its way up to London and be exported,
and that would be succeeded by the series
of fluctuations which took place in 1824, 5,
and 6. For these reasons, and having
paid the price of the change which had
taken place, he should be averse to any
further change, and should, therefore, vote
against the motion of the hon. member for
Callington. He could not conceive the
possibility of a double standard. If they
adopted two, they, in effect, adopted none
at all. The other hon. member for Calling-
ton had said there was a double standard
in France, but the fact was, that standard
existed more in name than in practice.
Ever since 1785 gold was not practically
the standard, and there, as well as in this
country, before the war, silver was, in all
cases, the standard. He complained of the
measure of 1826, not as the repairing of a
system that had done much service, but
as the total breaking-up of the whole
machine. A paper currency which that
destroyed, was one of the greatest im-
provements of modern times, and a de-
parture from it, he could not but consider
as a return to barbarism.
Sir E. Knatchbull expressed his perfect
concurrence in the latter part of the speech
of the hon. Member, and also in that of
the noble Lord behind him (Lord Howick.)
He believed that the time would soon
come when the question of paper issue
would be forced on the attention of Go-
vernment, notwithstanding its repeated
declarations that it had been set at rest for
ever. Inhis own opinion, a limited paper
currency, founded on a secure basis, and
placed under proper regulations, would be
the best means of administering relief to
the people who had been so long suffering
from distress. But these questions might
be reserved for an early stage of next Ses-
sion, when they ought not to lose a
moment in entering at once into the
subject, when he had no doubt it would
appear that the principles advocated by
the noble Lord and the hon. Member were
sanctioned by those who were best in-
formed on the merits of the question, and

thie Currency Question.

167 Mr. Attwood's Motion on {COMMONS} the Currency Question. 168

who therefore were most competent to
form a correct opinion on our policy.
Mr. Cutlar Ferguson felt a difficulty
as to the Resolution respecting a double
standard, for which he could not bring
himself to vote. He was quite aware of
the immense advantage which commerce
would derive from a silver as well as a gold
standard; he acknowledged that it would
prove a great resource at a period of ca-
lamity; he was convinced that they might
have averted the public distress, a few
years ago, if they could in this respect
have followed the example of a neighbour-
ing country; but he principally objected
to the proportion which the hon. Member
had talked of establishing between gold
and silver. As to the other Resolution,
he could by no means allow that the re-
storation of the small notes would be the
means of depreciating the currency, or
would be likely to create any change of
price. A small currency was pre-eminently
useful in the retail trade, and a cheap and
secure currency would be most beneficial
for the country. The hon. Gentleman
concluded by saying, that he should vote
for the second Resolution of the hon.
member for Callington.
Mr. Huskisson assured the House, that
it was his intention to say only a very few
words on the subject before them. He
was perfectly convinced that the more
frequently it was brought under discus-
sion, the more clear-sighted would Mem-
bers become as to the danger arising from
an inordinate propensity to voyages of
experiment, which too frequently involved
the most fearful consequences that could
befal such a country as that for which
they were legislating. He'rose, however,
principally for the purpose of stating his
impression that the result of the present,
as well as of all former discussions on the
currency must be a general conviction that
they were now arrived, after all their suffer-
ings, at a state at which wise men would be
willingto stop, rather than place the whole
system once more in jeopardy, by a renewal
of unseasonable experiments. He entirely
acquiesced in the opinion already given
by the right hon. Master of the Mint,
and trusted that this subject, as well as
the Catholic Question, would be completely
forgotten in the next and all future Ses-
sions, although they had been but too often
obtruded on their attention hitherto. Both
of the resolutions submitted by the hon.
member for Callington he should feel

obliged to oppose, as the first would be
productive of bankruptcy and ruin, whilst
the second would lay the foundation of
future panic and public danger. He
agreed with the hon. Member opposite in
his estimation of paper credit and paper
circulation as one of the greatest improve-
ments of modern times. The noble Lord
near the hon. Member had alluded to his
intended motion respecting banking, with
reference to which he might take this op-
portunity of mentioning that he purposed,
before the expiration of the present Ses-
sion, to move a resolution to the effect
that they should institute an inquiry into
the whole banking system previous to a
renewal of the charter of the Bank of
England. He altogether concurred with
the Master of the Mint in thinking that, if
the House agreed to those Resolutions to-
night, there would be a general panic
amongst the people to-morrow, and that
before the lapse of a week it was probable
there would not be a sovereign remaining
in the country.
Lord Milton said, he should vote against
the first Resolution because it was in favour
of a depreciation, and not on account of
any objection to a silver standard. It
was his intention also to vote against the
second resolution, but he did so for reasons
distinct from those which influenced his
vote upon the other. He thought with the
right hon. Gentleman who had just spoken
that it was now high time for them to
desist from venturing on hazardous experi-

Sir R. Peel said, he should not detain
the House many minutes, and whenever
he made such a promise he invariably
kept his word. The extraordinary abuse,
however, which the hon. member for Cal-
lington had so liberally bestowed on the
bill with which his name was connected
he thought would be sufficient to justify
him in making a few observations; and
first, he begged leave to express his lively
sense of the obligation which he owed to
that hon. Member for having at length
brought forward what he called his prac-
tical measure, as by doing so, he had cer-
tainly that night contributed more to the
settlement of the question than by all the
merely theoretical speeches which he had
been delivering for years. Ever since
1819 had the hon. Gentleman been deal-
ing out diatribes and invectives against
the policy on which Government had then
acted, while he kept in the back-ground

169 Mr. Attwood's Motion on {JUNE 8}

his own notions as to what it behoved
the Government to have done if it wished
to relinquish the obnoxious and denounced
system of paper-money not payable in
gold. He had now, therefore, fairly
abandoned declamation, and concocted a
practical measure, which amounted to
neither more nor less than a plan to enable
every person to pay a debt of 1001. with
961., deducting four per cent. He con-
fessed he felt some surprise at seeing the
hon. Member take the course which he
was doing, as this was no proposal for a
double standard, his object being merely
to recur to the standard established by Sir
Isaac Newton 112 years ago. It was im-
possible that the scheme suggested could
be productive of any good whatever. He
was willing, for the sake of argument, to
concede that the bill of 1819 had been
the means of effecting all the injury which
its opponents had alleged it to have pro-
duced; but even assuming that to be true,
the hon. Member would do still further
injury to those who were supposed to have
been injured by the measure of 1819.
Many relying on the solemn resolutions
and assurances of Parliament, would have
wound up all their accounts prior to 1819,
submitting to the loss which they had
then incurred, and now therefore might
stand in the relation of creditor, and as
such would sustain new injury, instead of
experiencing any redress. But the pro-
position, in fact, carried its own refutation
with it at the very outset, for it could not
be acted on before a month from the pre-
sent time, so that the creditor might
clearly take advantage of the interval.
He was sorry to hear hon. Members speak
of opening this wearisome subject once
more next Session, because it ought now
to be left at rest if ever. Four changes
had taken place in the currency during
the last thirty years, and it was surely at
length time to try the effect of a con-
tinued adherence to one system. The
system at present in operation he was
confident presented as few objectionable
features as any other that could be pro-
posed, and had been strongly recom-
mended by the first Lord Liverpool while
the former system was yet in healthy
existence. The notion of a double stand-
ard was totally fallacious, and would be
found impracticable in effect, nor had it
been ever for a moment entertained by
Mr. Locke, or any others who had advo-
cated a silver standard. It was now ten

years since the measure alluded to had
been the law of the country, and engage-
ments and contracts had been entered
into which it would be the worst of policy
to unsettle or disturb, particularly as it
was now impossible to administer the re-
dress required. With respect to the 11.
note circulation in Ireland and Scotland
he could see no absurdity whatever in its
existence there while it was prohibited in
England, although it certainly might be
desirable to see it abandoned there also
if the measure could be introduced without
inconvenience. If they were to act as the
hon. Gentleman recommended, in the
event of a panic there would be a simulta-
neous call for gold ; the applicants would
not desist the more for being told that
those on whom they had a claim were
solvent and able to satisfy their demand if
they would consent to a temporary delay;
all would turn to confusion, and public
ruin must be the consequence. He should,
for these reasons, give his decided op-
position to the first resolution, because it
was unjust, and to the second likewise,
because, though less unjust, it was equally
Sir R. Vyvyan would vote with the hon.
member for Callington should he press his
resolutions to a division. The hon. Mem-
ber had not been fairly met: indeed his
arguments were irrefragable, and would
make their way to the conviction of every
unbiassed mind the more they were can-
vassed. It was absurd to say the ques-
tion of the currency had been set at rest
for ever. It was not set at rest-it could
not be continued on its present footing;
for the change which had been made in it
in 1819-which by the way was not com-
pleted so as to have unchecked operation
till the measure of 1826, abolishing the 11.
notes,-was the main cause of the distress
under which the country had so long
laboured. There was one class, and but
one class, who were benefited by the pre-
sent system of the currency, and who
would be injured by its being restored to its
ancient propercondition; namely, the pen-
sioners of the Crown and the great officers
of the State, who enjoyed, in the improved
metallic currency the increased allowances
granted in a depreciated paper one. Those
gentlemen had an interest in resisting the
hon. member for Callington's motion; but
the public at large, who paid those pen-
sions, particularly the industrious working,
classes, had a stronger interest in its urp

thea Currency- Question.

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