Billeder på siden

10,000 crowns. The governor refused it The motion was agreed to.
twice, but at length this mark of favour
was forced upon him by the legislative as-
sembly. The hon. member had also HOUSE OF LORDS,
stated, that the persons employed in the
Ionian Islands by the governor, were not

Monday, February 26. of the first respectability. Would the Law or Treason-Ireland.] Lord hon. member admit that those whom the Holland, pursuant co notice, presented a Russians employed were respectable ? If bill for extending to Ireland certain provihe admitted that, then he (Mr. Goulburn) sions of an act of William 3rd, relative to would be ready to show that the others trials for Treason. His lordship observed, were of the highest consideration, though, that great part of the provisions of the perhaps, not of the greatest fortune. The act alluded to, which were undoubtedly right hon. gentleman proceeded to de- wise and humane, had already been exfend the act of remitting 44,000 dollars tended to Ireland. There remained, due from the island of Santa Maura, however, two provisions which had not which sum had been applied to pro- been so extended; namely, one reviding the temporary means of exist. quiring an act of treason to be proved by

for the expatriated Parguinotes. two credible witnesses, and the other The course recommended by the hon. enacting, that a prosecution for treason member of imposing the expense of the must take place within three years after military protection of the islands upon the the commission of the act of treason. inhabitants, would have been most unjust The latter provision rested entirely upon and oppressive, as well as a direct breach this act; it never having been before a of the treaty, and would have induced the part of the law of England. With reIonians to consider their connection with gard to the former enactment, the history Great Britain a curse rather than a bless. of it was more complicated; by an act ing. He concluded by declaring, that to of Edward 6th it was declared that every some parts of the motion he should agree, act of treason must be proved by two but to others he could pot; for it would competent witnesses; but by an act of be to exercise a control over an indepen- Philip and Mary all the acts respecting dent government, not fairly amenable to treason were repealed, and it was enacted the orders of that House.

that that offence should be tried accordColonel Davies said, that at a moment ing to the common law. The question when economy was so indispensable, it then arose, whether, under the common ought to be as rigidly pursued in the law, it was necessary for an act of treacolonial establishments as in any others. son to be proved by two witnesses, and He corroborated the statements of bis hon. it subsequently appeared, that all the friend, and lamented that matters of such judges, with the exception of lord Coke, moment should be discussed in so thin a were of opinion, that two witnesses were House.

not required. This question, however, Lord Castlereagh said, that the House was set at rest in 1695, so far as regarded ought to be obliged to the hon. gentle England, by the act alluded to of Wilman who brought forward this question liam 3rd; and it having been decided by because it enabled his right hon. friend the judges of Ireland, that the common to justify and defend the measures of sir law did not require two witnesses to T. Maitland. As the information sought prove an act of treason, he was anxious for would be granted, he suggested to to assimilate the law upon this subject in

to discourage his praise-worthy industry in matters of public economy, the propriety warmest thanks to the noble lord for of abstaining from attack until he bringing forward his measure. It was had first got his information. Than sir most desirable that Ireland should be T. Maitland there could not be a more placed on the same footing with England honourable man: he had been a blunt in every respect. Nothing would teod soldier, before he became a statesman ; so much to conciliate the people of Ireand so far from being a person who would land as the conviction that the same law tolerate, there was not in existence a and the same rule applied to both coun. greater enemy to jobbing than that gallant tries. officer.

The bill was read a first time.


portionably reduced. HOUSE OF COMMONS,

It was upon the

same principle, that the present compenMonday, February 26.

sation was proposed; for, as the practice Scotch COURT OF ADMIRALTY- still prevailed of taking out what was COMPENSATION CLERKS.] The called an extract in the Admiralty court, Lord Advocate moved the order of the it was deemed material, to assimilate the day for the further consideration of the practice of that court to that of the report on the compensation to the clerks other courts in Scotland. This assimilaof the Admiralty court of Scotland.—On tion would reduce the fees in that court the motion that the resolution be read to a very inconsiderable sum. But, by a second time,

that reduction, the clerk of the court who Mr. Crcevey said, he should move as an held a patent office under the Crown, amendment, that it be read a second would sustain a diminution in his receipts time this day six months. The resolu. of 6 or 7001. Upon what principle of tion stated, “ that it is expedient that equity, then, could this gentleman have compensation be made to the clerks of so much perquisite taken from him the Admiralty courts of Scotland for any without compensation, especially as this loss they may sustain by any regulations privation of fees was to take place, not in that may be made in the said court." consequence of any fault of his own, but Such a proposition as this was what he in order to establish an arrangement for conceived the House would never agree the public good? If the House should to. There were bills before the House agree to the resolution, a bill would be by which fees in other courts were taken founded upon it, and when that bill was away and salaries given; but they differed brought forward, gentlemen might fully materially from the abstract declaration enter into the discussion of the proposal of of the present resolution-that compensa- compensation. tion should be given if they happened to Mr. Creevey said, that from what had lose their fees. The only foundation for fallen from the learned lord, he would this measure was, the fourth report of the not persist in his motion, although he parliamentary commission of 1814. The felt ihat no compensation ought to be only thing that was said in that report granted in this case, was this, that the chief clerk of the Ad. The resolution was agreed to. miralty judge of Scotland had emoluments amounting to 1,2001. a-year, and that for Corn Averages.] The House having thirty years he had done no work; that resolved itself into a committee to which he had a clerk depute, who did the bu- the Corn Averages acts were referred, siness, and who received, by emoluments Mr. Robinson said, that he thought he of one kind and another, 4001. a-year. The should best discharge his duty by concommissioners recommended that when a fining himself to the immediate point to new chief clerk was appointed, a condition which the resolution with which be proshould be added, that he should do all posed to conclude would refer, without the duty, and that he should have 6001. entering at all into the more important a year, and no clerk depute; and cer- question as to our agricultural distress. tain funds were pointed out, from which With respect to the averages, as taken herethe 6001. might be paid. What the pre- tofore, it was known that a great deal of insent resolution had to do with that re- tricacy and confusion prevailed upon the commendation he could not see; unless subject ofthe laws relating to those averages. it was supposed that Scotland had taken The laws alluded to were the acts of the the alarm at the abolition of one sinecure 31st, 330, 44th, and 45th of his late maoffice.

jesty. As to the latter, they had for The Lord-Advocate observed, that in some time been repealed in practical other courts of Scotland a practice had operation. Then with regard to the acts obtained of receiving great fees for of 1791 and 1793, it was rather difficult, suitors; for instance, it was common for upon reference to the act of 1791, to asa suitor to pay 2001. for what was called certain what the state of the law really an extract of the proceedings. By an If the committee should agree to act of parliament, that practice was the resolution which he had to submit, it abolished; but, by the same act, com- was his intention to propose a bill for pensation was granted to the officers of embodying all the useful provisions of the the courts whose perquisites were pro-existing law upon this subject. The laws, at present, were extremely volumi form an addition to the existing law, nous as well as confused, and it was his although it would produce no influence intention, in the bill which he proposed, upon the averages was, to include the to reduce the bulk, as well as to simplify counties of Kent, Essex, and Sussex, the meaning of those laws. His bill among those from which the averages would not, indeed, amount to more than


were to be taken. Hitherto the average one-third the extent of those laws. That prices were received from those counties, bill would, however, comprehend not but not inserted among the general aveonly omissions but additions; the latter rages from the maritime districts, the were founded principally upon the recom- average of London alone being deemed mendation of the committee of last ses

sufficient for these counties. But why sion, before which evidence had appeared these counties were omitted he could not to show the evils belonging to the pre-comprehend, particularly as they were so sent system. By that system, the average largely engaged in the Corn Trade. The was taken in each of the twelve maritime next addition which he had to propose districts, and from these, collectively, the referred to the power vested in the king general average was fixed. But, to form and council for the appointment of those the average of each district, the average

towns from which the averages were to was previously taken in each town of that be taken. By the existing law the king district that is, the total of the corn sold in council was empowered to transfer the in each town, as well as the total of the taking of averages from one town to anoprice paid for such corn, and the one di- ther, upon the representation of the mavided by the other, constituted the aver- gistrates at quarter-sessions.

But he age, and the same division as to the corn

of the and the price in the aggregate of those king, incouncil should be enlarged, towns, constituted the average of the dis. and that his majesty should be authorised trict. Such also was the system by to omit one town without inserting anowhich, in dividing the total of the corn ther, as well as to insert any town which, by the total of the prices in the twelve with the advice of his council

, it might districts, the average of the kingdom be deemed expedient to select, from inwas fixed. Thus the general average de- crease of trade and population. Now as pended upon the average of each of the to the ounission; it was proposed to omit towns comprehended in each district, and altogether the taking of averages in the hence it was clear, that the price of corn, midland counties, and in Scotland; for in a particular town of any district, might those averages were not deemed material, have a very undue influence upon the as the averages in the maritimè counties general average. This influence was

would form a natural criterion of the found, in some instances, to erate very prices in those districts, the return of aveunjustly, where speculators had gone to rages from which, heretofore, had never particular towns to purchase corn on such had any influence in fixing the general terms as to produce a fictitious price. average. Besides, by this omission, a Such instances had, indeed, occurred, not certain seving of expense would accrue unfrequently. Hence, it was perfectly to the public, through the abolition of the evident, that the object of the law as to office of inspectors in such places. But averages was defeated; that object being while some inspectors were to be reto ascertain the general bona fide price of moved, a somewhat better provision this article. He proposed, therefore, to should be made for those inspectors who abolish the plan of taking the averages

were to be retained; for heretofore an from the twelve maritime districts, and to inspector was allowed only 131. a year. substitute that of taking them from mari. The advance of salary which he proposed, time counties and towns, to fix the gene- he meant to be paid from the public ral average from the aggregate of the purse, and not from the county funds. corn sold in the whole, divided by the He did not mean that in any instance it total of the price paid for it. The object should exceed 301. a year. The commitof this arrangement was, to defeat such tee were aware that at present every speculations as had been entered into dealer in corn was bound to give informawithin the last year for the purpose of tion within one month subsequently to unduly influencing the settlement of the the time at which he might begin to act. average. Another alteration which he considerable inconvenience and much meant to propose, and which would loss had been sustained by the circum.

stance of the dealer's not being bound toate considerable anxiety, as well among give such information till after the lapse the agricultural classes as the consumers. of that period. Last year it happened Policy as well as justice should have prethat dealers in corn, or persons calling vented the agitation of this subject; seethemselves dealers, went abroad from ing that the system of taking averages market to market, purchasing corn in was understood to have been settled upon large quantities, sometimes with money, the discussion of the last Corn bill. 'He and sometimes without any intention of was'the more surprised at the proposition, payment; but always for the purpose of as it was an opinion pretty generally setproducing a fictitious price in the returns. tled, that the import of foreign corn had There was then no way of finding these nothing whatever to do with the distress persons out. He therefore proposed to of the country or that of its agriculture. give that discretion, for the future, to the The proposed bill, was calculated not inspector, as should authorize him to re- only to create uneasiness among the conquire that the party making these returns sumers, but to inspire the growers with should previously to so making them, have false hopes. signed a declaration of the kind be had Mr. Irving said, that if the public already alluded to. By the bill which he looked for any relief from the measure proposed to introduce, it was intended they would certainly be disappointed. that the inspectors of corn returns should Mr. H. Sumner said, that the measure in future be in the appointment of the would, in his opinion, protect those who Board of Trade, and not in the Treasury, were now subjected to fraud. as heretofore. They would in future be Mr. F. Lewis disapproved of joining incorporated as a distinct branch of the the average amount of Irish corn to that Board of Trade. It was also intended, of this country, because the Irish corn that the Isle of Man should be included was of an inferior quality to the English. in the returns. By the former laws upon Mr. Curwen said, that the House was this subject, returns were received from not aware of the injury which the country that place, and he saw no reason why suffered by the frauds which had been they should not at present ; for it was practised in the mode of taking averages. very possible that large quantities of fo- He was sure that, within a very limited reign corn might be imported into that period, the country had lost at least a island, and from thence into England. million by the frauds which had been

Another part of the bill would be the in- committed. Large quantities of corn cluding Ireland in the returns. It was were imported from Denmark into the known that large quantities of corn were Isle of man, and from thence shipped off imported from that country, some of it to England. The greatest injury resulted of the best quality. By the spirit of the to the English farmer from the introduclate acts, Ireland ought to have been in- tion of foreign grain. cluded; but by a technical misconstruc- Mr. Ricardo conceived that the effect tion of the word “ British,” at the Cus of the measure would be to raise the im. tom-house, Ireland had not been included portation price. An hon. member had in the returns. He would conclude with spoken of the injury which an accumulamoving, “That it is expedient that the tion of foreign corn accasioned in the several acts, passed in the 31st, 330, 44th, English market. That might be so; but and 45th years of his late majesty's reign, the only remedy for this evil was, for for regulating the importation and ex- this country to lower the prices of corn portation of corn, grain, meal, and flour, nearly to the standard of the prices of into and from Great Britain, be repealed, the continent. The only way to keep out and other provisions made in lieu thereof, foreign corn, was by putting high duties for the United Kingdom."

upon the importation of it. Now, supMr. Calcraft sạid, he had looked upon pose a year of scarcity had arrived, and the averages as settled by the late acts. that a high duty had been placed on the The bill ought to be viewed with jealousy; importation of foreign corn, would any and he would therefore watch it in every minister at such a time of distress, attempt stage.

to enforce that duty-and shut out relief Mr. Baring could not but express his from a starving people? Impossible ; and, regret that the right hon. gentlemap had therefore, the ports would be left open brought forward the subject at this par- and free, and the immense importation ticular period. It was calculated to cre- which the hon. gentleman looked upon


as so great a misfortune, would take place. Mr. Nolan contended, that the case of Much had been said as to a remedy for Bellingham was directly against the hon. the distress of the agriculturist: he was gentleman. Counsel had there, as in all of opinion, that the only remedy for that similar instances, been allowed to make distress was the total repeal of the corn and support the application for delay, laws and, sooner or latter, a measure of He hoped the House would make no ale that sort would be adopted.

teration in the most humane system of Mr. Lockhart could not see that any jurisprudence that ever existed in any alteration in the mode of taking the ave- country of the world. The subject of rages would at all relieve the agricultural the motion had engaged the attention of distress. The high state of the taxation, the bar. It was unquestionably one that at a time when the value of the land was might give rise to a diversity of opinion. so depreciated, was the great cause of the But the result of the opinions which he evil. That evil was, no doubt, greatly had been able to collect, was, that the increased by the measure which a right purposes of justice were best attained hon. member (Mr. Peel) had introduced under the present system. There was into that House, If the system which seldom or never a case in which the that measure sought to establish was not judge did not act as counsel for the prideparted from, the consequence must be absolute ruin and convulsion.

Leave was given to bring in the bill. The resolution was agreed to, and a bill ordered to be brought in.


Tuesday, February 27. Mr. Martin, of Galway, said, that the METROPOLIS TURNPIKE

Trusts.] motion he had to make was a proposition Mr. D. Gilbert rose to move for leave so self-evident, that he had equal diffi- to bring in a bill for the better regulation culty in finding arguments in iis favour of the Turnpike Trusts in the vicinity and against it: it was so reasonable that of the metropolis. It was well known merely to mention it was sufficient to pro- that the roads about London were the cure it the strongest support. It was “ for worst regulated in the kingdom; and leave to bring in a bill to permit persons though the dues levied on thein amounted charged with capital crimes, to make to nearly 200,0001. a year, yet still they their defence by counsel.” The reverse were a disgrace to the metropolis and to was, in his view, so utterly inconsistent the country. He was happy to say, howwith the benignity of our criminal code; ever, that none of the committees who it was so completely unjust to refuse to a had investigated the subject had found prisoner the advantage enjoyed by the reason to believe that any of the trustees Crown, that he would not attempt to argue had abused their trusts. He had in a it. Mr. Justice Blackstone bad called it former session brought in a bill to conone of the anomalies of the English law, solidate all these trusts; but it had been for which he was unable to account. He thought that such a plan would not have should move for leave to bring in the bill. answered. What he now proposed was,

Mr. Lockhart said, that there were to divide the roads around London into many solid objections to the measure, and three districts, one of them comprising dwelt particularly on the delays that the roads to the south of the Thames, might result in the administration of jus- another those to the north-east, and the tice from a change of the existing system. third those to the north-west. In each At present, the court was counsel for the of these districts he would have a limited prisoner, and he was not aware that within number of trustees always ready to attend the last century any disadvantage had the necessary meetings; while there should resulted from the exclusion of prisoners be occasionally general meetings of the accused of capital crimes from the use of trustees of all the three districts. The counsel.

number of the trustees, he thought, Mr. Martin maintained that the court should be considerably restricted; for it did not act as counsel for prisoners, but appeared that the roads were in the worst remained neutral. He referred to the condition where there was the greatest case of Bellingham, where the court had number; and he proposed that they refused to allow delay for the arrival of should be selected by those who at prewitnesses to prove insanity.

sent held the trusts from among the meni. VOL. IV.

3 P

« ForrigeFortsæt »