Billeder på siden



Sir H. Hardinge said, it was impossible the facts to the House. To those facts for any military man to sit silent under I refer, and I will not add one syllable such an imputation as had been cast on the whole army by the hon. member. If Mr. Hume did not speak of a commisthey remained silent, then, indeed, they sion in existence now, but of a commismight deserve to be considered as slaves. sion in existence at the time when the Fortunately, however, observations of this arrest took place. nature, coming from the hon. member, Sir H. Hardinge said, he was astonished were perfectly harmless. Colonel Arthur, that the hon. member should, after the under the circumstances stated by his noble luminous explanation of his noble friend, friend, had an undoubted claim to the after his unequivocal statement, that such situation of commandant; and if lieut.- a commission did exist, reiterate his quescolonel Bradley had entertained any doubt tion. It was little less than doubting the on the subject, he ought to have waited veracity of the noble lord. until his reference to England, with re- Mr. Hume was of opinion that the noble spect to the assumption of colonel Arthur, lord's answer was evasive. It did not had been answered. But lieut.-colonel directly meet his question, which related Bradley said, “ no, I will at once depose to a commission not of the present day, you, and take this authority on myself.” but issued some years ago. This was unquestionably a disobedience of Lord Palmerston said, it was impossible discipline, that could not be palliated. for him to be answerable for the extreme He, at the same time, admitted, that col. obtuseness of understanding possessed by Arthur had acted with less leniency than the hon. member. He would venture to he ought to have done; because he kept say that no other man in the House enlieut.-colonel Bradley too long under ar- tertained any doubts as to the clearness of rest; and a court of law, in consequence the explanation which he had given. He of that circumstance, had most properly had stated not only on the present occagiven a verdict in favour of the complain- sion, but in the last session, that there ing party. This had, however, nothing was such a commission ; but, beyond that, to do with the main question. Half-pay he had then read the paper which he now officers on the staff, under the circum- held in his hand; namely, a letter from stances stated by his noble friend, had a colonel Arthur, of the date of 1820, in right to exercise the same authority which which he quoted this disputed commission, colonel Arthur had assumed.

as his reason for exercising the authority Mr. Hume rose and said, he would rest which he had assumed in 1814. The the whole business on this question- commission was in existence in 1814, as “ Did colonel Arthur, when he placed appeared from that letter; and if the hon, lieut.-colonel Bradley under arrest, possess gentleman's intellects were so deeply obany authority from general Fuller, which tuse, as to require these numerous repejustified him in adopting that measure?" titions and explanations—repetitions and (Lord Palmerston, “ Yes."] He wished explanations more numerous even than to know whether the noble lord would those in which the hon. gentleman was in admit the letters of colonel Arthur, in the habit of indulging—if it were neceswhich he allowed that he did not possess sary by these means to soak into his unsuch a power, to be received as a proofderstanding, as it were, the comprehenthat the statement on this point was not sion of the most simple fact, he must leave false. Would he allow those letters to be the hon. gentleman to that impenetrable received in contradiction to the charge of darkness which dwelt within the interior falsehood ? Colonel Bradley did not, as of his brain, and leave his statements to had been asserted, act precipitately. For the judgment of other gentlemen whom three successive months he demanded to he had the honour of addressing. It was know what commission colonel Arthur a matter of indifference to him whether held, and from whence it had been re- the hon. gentleman understood him or not. ceived; but he could procure no satisfac- He addressed himself to the House of tion. He now asked, what authority ge- Commons, not to the hon. member for neral Fuller had to supersede the king's Aberdeen [hear, hear). commission, which was in the hands of Mr. Hume said, he had been long enough colonel Bradley ?

a member of that House to know, that an Lord Palmerston, I have already stated | angry tone was not an answer. An at tempt to abuse could not give satisfaction | not a pleasant thing for a military man to to any beyond the few who thought proper be told, because he did not agree to the to encourage it. If he was obtuse in his wild theories -he might say, absurditiesunderstanding, it was his misfortune, not which were put forth by the hon. gentlehis fault; and perhaps he devoted as much man, that the officers of the army were of his time as the noble lord, to get rid all slaves. He felt that he was justified of that mental darkness with which he in the language which he had used ; and had been accused. If he could not un- if the hon. gentleman, or any other perderstand, or see through, the lucidity of son, made the same assertion, he would the noble lord's statements, he regretted have no hesitation in using the same lanit. But he would ask, what his obduracy, guage, because he thought that such an his obstinacy, his obtuseness, his ignor- assertion deserved it. ance, his stupidity—the noble lord might Mr. Hume.- If individuals in the king's call it what he would—had to do with the service are to be deprived of their situacase of the petitioner ? Surely the petitions without the decision of a courttioner ought not to be visited with his im- martial or inquiry of any kind, then, I perfections ! But, he again asked, was say, that under such circumstances, every what the noble lord said with respect to officer in the army is a slave. That was him any answer to the claim of justice? my observation. He had no hesitation in saying, that the Sir H. Hardinge. The “ if's” of the documents would bear him out in his view hon, member render his statements very of the case.

He would take some trouble, harmless. now that the noble lord had come to the The motion was negatived. specific point, to produce colonel Arthur's letter; and if it did not directly negative ARIGNA MINING COMPANY.) Mr. R. the noble lord's statement, he would admit Martin said, he had intended to move, it to be inferred, that he was so obtuse, so that an addition should be made to the stupid, so dark in intellect, as not to un- members of the select committee apderstand the meaning of the plainest words. pointed to investigate the proceedings of He received the abuse which had been the Directors of the Arigna Mining Comdirected against him, as others would do, pany; but he had abandoned that intenwith utter contempt. It would not for- tion as his hon, friend (Mr. Brogden) had ward the object which the parties had in expressed himself perfectly satisfied with view. It would not alter the circum- the committee as it stood. stances of the case; cheered as it might Mr. Brogden said, he certainly had exbe by the gallant officer who sat behind pressed a wish, when he read the list of the noble lord. His advice would be, that the committee, that some alteration should they should keep to temperate language be made in it. He had wished that some on all occasions. If he ever exceeded the persons more conversant in the business of proper bound he regretted it. It was the the city should be placed on it. He now, effect of a momentary impulse. But he however, desired no alteration. He felt

. could safely say, that he never came himself perfectly safe in the hands of down to the House with the deliberate in those to whom the investigation had been tention of attacking any person. He left, intrusted. without

any regret, to the noble lord and his friends, any feeling of triumph which

HOUSE OF LORDS. they might indulge in on this occasion. For his own part, he rested himself on the

Monday, Dec. 11. good sense of the House.

INDEMNITY BILL-Oats IMPORTASir H. Hardinge observed, that those TION.] Earl Bathurst, in rising to move who threw stones first, had no right to the third reading of the bill for granting complain if stones were flung at them in an indemnity for the admission of Foreign return. The hon. member had used an Grain, stated, that in the absence of his expression towards the army at large, to noble friend, whose continued indisposition which he had deemed it his duty to reply; prevented him from attending to his duties but he had not come down to the House in that House, it became his business to for the purpose of speaking on this ques- state to their lordships the reasons which tion; nor was he aware that it would induced ministers to advise his majesty to come under discussion. Certainly it was I issue an Order in Council, permitting the importation of oats, peas, rye, and barley, therefore not one shilling would be paid into this country, under certain restrictions, without the approval of parliament. at a time when by law they could not have The question now was, what was the duty been admitted. Their 'lordships were to be imposed by this act? That duty was aware that the importation of all grain one of 2s. He should now state to their depended upon the averages struck on the lordships two objections which might be six weeks from the four periods of the raised against that duty. One objection year ; namely, from the 15th of August, was, that it was too low, and the other, the 15th of November, the 15th of Febru- that it was too high a duty; and, in order ary, and the 15th of May. According to to meet both these objections, he would the averages struck on the 15th of August state what were the duties under the existlast, oats and the other species of grain ing act. Under that act the importation could not by law be imported. The of oats was prohibited until the average average price at which the grain in ques- price was above 27s. If the average price tion could be imported was 278., and being should be above 27s. and below 285., a so, their lordships would perceive, that, duty of 4s. per quarter was imposed; beaccording to the construction of the law sides which, there was an additional duty to which he alluded, grain could not of 2s., which the importer was obliged to be admitted into this country for home pay for three months from the 15th of consumption until it reached' that price. November, making upon the whole, a

The consequence was, that up to the 15th duty of 6s. per quarter. This was the of November no oats could be imported. operation of the act of 1822, which was The state of the harvest, with respect to the act on which the Corn-laws now corn, was known early, on account of the depended. If, on the other hand, the very early season. It was reported to be average price was above 28s. and under partially deficient in some places, but the 30s., the importer was to pay 2s. per deficiency of oats was reported to be uni- quarter, and also 2s. additional duty, from versal. With respect to Ireland, the crop the 15th of November to the 15th of of oats was very bad; which formed, in the February, thus making a total duty of 4s. northern parts of that country, the chief Therefore, it was wrong to contend, that a subsistence of the poor. At the same time higher duty was imposed on the importer, there was every reason to apprehend that than he ought to have paid. It was assertthe scanty crop of that food, on which the ed, that there had been so large an importalower orders in Ireland subsisted, would tion, in consequence of the low duty, that be still further diminished by importation the supply exceeded the demand; in other into England, to supply the deficiency words, that the supply was so great as to of the harvest in this country. In the be injurious to the market. However, northern parts of Scotland the crop was instead of the importation being prejudicial also deficient. A similar deficiency was to the market, he would assert, that the experienced in Lancashire and Lincoln- only question was, whether the present shire. With respect to the hay-harvest, market price was not higher than it would that was, unfortunately, also very scanty; have been, had the Corn-laws been left to and the farmer looked with anxiety for the their regular course of operation. He means of procuring fodder for his cattle. therefore considered that a duty of 2s. was Thus the admission of foreign produce into not too low a one. That it was too high a this country furnished an additional supply one was asserted. Now, the average prices to the English farmer of food for his cattle. on the 15th of November being below 30s., Under all these circumstances, his majesty the foreign importers would have been was advised to issue an Order in Council

, obliged to pay 4s. per quarter ; and it could, to allow the importation of oats for home therefore, be no hardship to them to come consumption under certain regulations. under an obligation to pay 2s. In conImportation of foreign grain was permitted, clusion, he would observe, that the power on the condition that the importer should of admitting grain when prohibited by law give his bond for the payment of a certain was one which ought not to be exercised duty, in the event of parliament approving but on occasions of necessity; and such of that duty; but unless parliament should necessity, he conceived, had occurred, and approve of it, the obligation of paying any justified the issuing of the Order in thing would cease, as that obligation Council. depended on the consent of parliainent, The Earl of Lauderdate was desirous'



that he might not be understood as joining but the consequence of issuing that Order in the panegyrics which had been lavished was, that many merchants who had sent on this Order in Council. In arguing the abroad for oats, found that they had to present question with the noble lord, he pay 2s. more for them than they expected. was sure they should not differ about the All that ministers did by this measure was grounds on which the Order in Council to inform those who held grain in foreign had been issued, nor the law of the land countries of the deficiency. He certainly as regarded importation. The noble lord did not intend to object to this bill of inhad stated, that the only ground his demnity, because he was sensible that majesty's ministers took for issuing the ministers meant well in issuing the Order Order in Council was necessity. This in Council ; but he could not help saying, was very proper; but their lordships would that the only effect of their measure had recollect what had passed in the last ses-been, to make the merchants pay a higher sion, when it was proposed to sanction the price for the grain they purchased, and importation of 500,000 quarters of wheat. consequently to check their importations. On that occasion he had said, why grant The Order in Council could operate in any such extraordinary power? He had no other way than that of giving to contended, that it was in the power of foreign merchants that information in a ministers to admit any quantity they thought prompt and an authentic form, which would fit, provided the necessity of the case otherwise have come to them in a slow and justified the opening of the ports; and he uncertain manner. He would contend, had further argued, that limiting the im- that the rate of duty fixed by the Order in portation to 500,000 quarters might appear Council was entirely too high. In fact, at io be limiting the power of the government | 27s, no duty at all should have been imto that quantity; whereas ministers might, posed upon oats, and were he an importer on their own responsibility, have admitted of that article he would resist the payment, grain to any extent. But it was stated, and see what a court of justice would do that ministers knew that there would be a afterwards, if the case were brought before late harvest, and a deficient one of wheat; it. His lordship proceeded to review the and that, therefore, they considered it their act of the 3rd of Geo. 4, and to contend, indispensable duty to apply for a discre- that by that act, neither by an Order in tionary power. Now, as to those reasons, Council

, nor by any other document, it did so happen that the only grain of should a duty have been imposed when which there was an abundant crop was oats were as high as 27s. He did not wheat, and that the harvest, so far from mean to assert, that in the course they had being late, was the earliest ever known. pursued, ministers were influenced by any So much for prophetic legislation. His improper motive, but he denied that the majesty had been advised to open the effect of the Order had been an increase of ports, and the noble lord said very truly, the amount of oats brought into British that the ports were shut on the 15th of ports. August; but did he mean to say that there The bill was read a third time and was any thing to prevent the ports being passed. open by the 15th of November? He believed there was no person who had at

HOUSE OF COMMONS. tended to the subject who would not say, that if it had not been for the Order in

Monday, Dec. 11. Council, the ports would have been open King's Message RESPECTING PORat that time for oats; that is, that the TUGAL.) Mr. Secretary Canning presented, price of oats would have been above 27s. at the bar, the following Message from his Ministers, therefore, knew, or might have Majesty, which was read by the Speaker: known, as every man in the country did, “ GEORGE R. that if they had allowed the law to take its His Majesty acquaints the House of course, the ports would have been open for Commons, that his Majesty has received oats on the 15th of November. The mer- an earnest application from the Princess chants foresaw this, and had made arrange- Regent of Portugal, claiming, in virtue of ments for sending abroad and making the ancient obligations of alliance and purchases. He himself well knew that amity subsisting between his Majesty and before the Order in Council was issued, the Crown of Portugal, his Majesty's aid many commissions had been sent abroad; I against an hostile aggression from Spain.

His Majesty has exerted himself, for upon a former evening he gave notice of some time past, in conjunction with his his intention to bring the state of PortuMajesty's ally the King of France, to pre- gal under the consideration of parliavent such an aggression; and repeated ment, he was influenced by a sincere and assurances have been given by the Court honest desire to enable the government, of Madrid, of the determination of his if it had any hesitation, to uphold with a Catholic Majesty neither to commit, nor to strong hand the honour and interest of the allow to be committed, from his Catholic Crown, which in this country were inseMajesty's territory, any aggression against parable from the honour and interest of Portugal.

the people. He could assure the right “ But his Majesty has learnt with deep hon. Secretary, that in giving that notice, concern, that, notwithstanding these as he was influenced by no party motive. The surances, hostile inroads into the territory gentlemen with whom he acted knew of no of Portugal have been concerted in Spain, party but their country, where its honour and have been executed under the eyes of and its interest were at stake. He felt Spanish authorities, by Portuguese regi- great happiness in hearing the communiments, which had deserted into Spain, and cation which had just been made to them, which the Spanish government had re

and declared that it rendered unnecessary peatedly and solemnly engaged to disarm the proceeding whịch he should otherwise and to disperse.

have deemed it incumbent to take. “ His Majesty leaves no effort unex- Mr. Canning said, it was out of the hausted to awaken the Spanish govern- power of his majesty's ministers to make ment to the dangerous consequences of this any earlier communication to the House apparent connivance.

with regard to the inroad of the Portu“ His Majesty makes this communica- guese refugees, as the official despatches tion to the House of Commons, with the had arrived only on Friday night last. full and entire confidence, that his faithful The motion was agreed to. Commons will afford to his Majesty their cordial concurrence and support, in main

HOUSE OF LORDS. taining the faith of treaties, and in securing against foreign hostility, the safety and

Tuesday, December 12. independence of the kingdom of Portugal, King's MESSAGE RESPECTING PORTUthe oldest ally of Great Britain.

GAL.) On the order of the day being « G.R.”

read, for taking into consideration his After the Message had been read, Majesty's Message,

Mr. Secretary Canning rose, but in con- Earl Bathurst rose, he began by obsequence of indisposition, he spoke in tones serving, that in proposing to move an so feeble, that his words were very indie- humble Address to his Majesty, he thought tinctly heard. He said, that in pursuance it necessary to state to their lordships the of the custom usually observed on occa- grounds of the royal Message which he sions of this kind, he should now give yesterday had the honour of bringing notice that he would to-morrow move an down to the House. As in doing this, he Address to his Majesty, thanking him for should have to enter into some detailed the communication which he had made explanations, he could not sufficiently reto the House, and affording him the gret that this duty should be in the abstrongest assurances of the cordial support sence, from indisposition, of his noble and co-operation of his faithful Com- friend the earl of Liverpool, imposed upon mons. It would be contrary to the prac- him; but fortunately, he was surrounded tice hitherto followed, for him to enter by colleagues, who would correct any inat present into any statement of the reasons advertency or mistake into which he which had induced his majesty to make might fall, and who were ready and able to the House the communication they had to supply any of his omissions. Their just heard, and besides it would be unfair lordships were aware that sir Charles to the House itself, as it was totally un- Stuart, who had gone on a mission to the prepared for such a discussion. He would court of Brazil, had proceeded from Rio therefore confine himself to moving, that de Janeiro to Lisbon, with instructions his Majesty's Message be taken into con- from the emperor of Brazil, relative to the sideration to-morrow.

settlement of the government of Portugal, Sir Robert Wilson observed, that when after the death of his father. Sir Charles

« ForrigeFortsæt »