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HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Monday, April 20.
Received a message from the Lords, that they will proceed further in the trial of Warren Hastings, Esq. on Thursday next, in Westminster Hall ; and that they had agreed to several Bills, and passed several private Bills.
The Report of the Committee of Supply being brought up, a short conversation took place between the Chancellor of the Exchequer and Mr. Htifley, relative to the deficiency of grants which were mentioned on a former day ; after which the resolutions were read and agreed to.
Mr. Httjfty moved, that there be laid before the House an account of the amount of payments on the loan, together with discount thereon, the issues and application thereof, &c.— Ordered.
Mr. Hussey then moved, that there be laid before the House an account of the deficiency of the land and malt for the last year. The reason which induced him to make this, he said, arose from a circumstance which made him apply with more than usual assiduity to the manner of taxing the Public, A gentleman applied to him respecting the duty about to be imposed on tea. He took him down to the House, and by the votes, he understood that the duty on that article was to take place at a future day. After this a sale of tea took place at the India House. For the first three days, the tea fold, passed without the additional duty. All the other tea fold was subject to that duty. He feared that some persons might be admitted into the secret, and others kept out of it. This was benefiting private individuals at the expence of the Public.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer said, he did not see any connexion between the motion of the Hon. Gentleman and his observations on tea. There was no secret in the case, because all had access alike to the votes of the House; and the House could do no more than had been done in that case ; for as the resolution of the Committee did not respectively name a day, it must be a subsequent one to the passing of the Bill; and from the proceedings of the Lords and uncertainty of the day of giving the Royal Aliens, that House could not ascertain the day on which the tax would operate.
Mr. Htijsey said, that from all that appeared in the proceedings of the House, the Public, from the confidence they had in the ministers, and without a certain portion of which it would be impossible to transact business in that House, thought that the duty would only commence on the day of sale.
VOL. III. G General General Smith agreed with Mr. Hussey.
Mr. Fox thought that the House did not do their duty in omitting to inorm the Public as to the time on which the additional duty on tea should attach. This, the minister could have informed them. It was not new to fix a particular day when the tax should operate before a Bill passed. This was done in the tax on tea. With regard to the uncertainty of the time of giving the Royal Assent, it was known to be like the rest of the King's public acts, the effect of the advice of his ministers.
The motion was then put and carried.
The House in a Committee of the whole House passed several resolutions by way of amendment to the Act of the present session os Parliament, relative to Dutch property.
Report to be received next day.
The Bill for preventing delays in elections for Members to serve in Parliament for Scotland, was read a second time, and ordered to be committed for Thursday.
Mr. Halhedgave notice that he fliould on a future day have several motions to make relative to Mr. Brothers. The first with respect to the warrant of his commitment and examination before the Privy Council. Secondly, the proceedings before the jury. And if they should be successful, a motion for a Committee of that House to inquire into the existing cause of his present confinement.
Mr. Henniker Major postponed his motion relative to costs pf suit on misdemeanours, &c. to that day se'nnight.
Mr. Rose moved for leave to amend the Friendly Society Act j which was agreed to.
HOUSE OF LORDS.
Tuesday, April 21.
Their Lordships having gone through the different Bills on the table, adjourned to next day.
HOUSE OF COMMONS. Tuesday, April 21. Mr. Grenville moved, that Mr. Fox be appointed one of the Managets, to make good the articles of Impeachment against Warren Hastings, Esq.
The question was unanimously agreed to.
Mr. Fox then said, that his duty compelled him in this stage of the business to fay, that although he would accept with pleasure the honour of the commands of the House, he could not help observing that there was something singular in the proceedings upon this subject. There was a difference of mode in this cafe, from any ^hat were to be found recorded* From the proceedings in the House of Lords, there were some things which appeared to him to beof so extraordinary a nature in the course of this Impeachment, that he should be justly ac cusable of offence to the House, if he did not state what he understood to be the mode of conduct adopted in the House of Lords. He knew that one House of Parliament could not, with* out irregularity, assume a knowledge of wh.it passed in the other; but he wished to know, if the Commons had any means of arriving at accurate knowledge upon that subject, without an inspection of the Journals of the Lords. He understood that their Lordships had agreed to a set of questions to be put to the Lords in Westminster Hall, and caused them to be printed. Whether such a proceeding was or was not necessary upon this cafe, he did not mean to discuss; but when many of those who f c an interest in this subject, came to examine the questions settled by the Lords, he believed they would be surprised at some of them. Many different parts of some of the . charges, Mr. Fox said, ought to have been taken separately, to render the whole more intelligible. This was the cafe in the fourth and sixth article particularly; and those who had attended with regard to the sixth, would acknowledge the necessity of dividing it under different heads. With regard to the sixth, they had omitted stating the question on some of the most important points in the article, lie meant the points of the bonds and presents. With respect to the second and third articles they had acted totally different. They had stated in the lump the charges on the Benares and the Begums, and it was well known that they consisted of a great variety of charges; he was not saying whether the charges they contained were well grounded or ill grounded, but they consisted of a variety of charges, as well as the fourth and the sixth articles. Those who were acquainted with the Benares charge, knew it was divided into different heads. The Lords had, nevertheless, lumped them all together, as also the Begums, and by the manner they were now to be determined on, their Lordships would have no opportunity of giving judgment distinctly. On the seventh and the fourteenth articles, which he had the . honour to state to their Lordships, it did not appear that any question was to be put on them unless in a sweeping way. Mr. Fox said, he thought it necessary to state these circumstances
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to tlic House, standing as he did, in the situation of a Manager. He did not wish to take any step on his own part for the inspection of the Journals of the Lords. But he felt it incumbent on him to mention these things, because they might have consequences in this country of a very serious nature. He therefore thought fit to state the circumstances under which the Managers were bound to enter upon this subject in the present stage of it. The mode of proceeding adopted by the Lords upon this, was different from any other Impeachment * that ever was carried by the House of Commons. The novelty of the proceeding made him state it to the House; and a question might arise whether that point might not be worthy of consideration in that House, or whether it should be suffered to pass entirely unnoticed. The House of Commons was the guardian of the constitution of this country. Its duty, amongst other things, was to watch over the proceedings of all courts of justice in this kingdom, and the proceedings of the House of Lords were not superior in that point of view to the force of that function in the House of Commons. He had on his own account nothing to move upon this subject; but in whatever way this affair should end, he was proud to fay it would not appear, that the Managers had been inattentive to their duty in the prosecution of it, or in defending and maintaining what appeared to them to be the honour of the House of Commons.
The question, that Mr. Fox be a Manager, was then put and carried ; as were also the motions that Mr. Sheridan and other Managers be appointed, and that the standing orders of the House, made on the 6th of February 1788, be observed.
The Bill for the more effectually executing the Act of Parliament for determining controverted elections, was read a lecond time, and ordered to be committed on Friday.
MANNING THE NAVY.
The Chancelhr os the Exchequer moved the Order of the Dav, which was for the second reading of the Bill for augmenting the Corps of Artillery, and for transferring to the navy those of the militia who are seafaring men ; which was, after a few wonls from Mr. Taylor and Colonel Sloane, agreed to.
Mr. Hobart brought up the report of the Committee on the Dutch Property Bill. The resolutions were read and agreed to.
• Thit Impeachment certainly has been an anomalous proceeding j ard therefore it is somewhat singular, that a man of Mr. Fox's known quickness of uwleriianding should talk of other proceedings under Impeachments
PETITION FOR PEACE.
Mr. Grry presented a Petition signed by the Common Officer of the Guildery of Dunfermline, against the war.
Mr. Grey then said, that he should move for this Petition being laid on the table with other petitions; which, in his opinion, called for the immediate attention of the House. An Hon. Gentleman had given notice of his intention of bringing forward, before the end of this session, a motion on the subject to which this petition referred. Mr. Grey said, he should rather see that subject in that Gentleman's hands; but if he did not bring it forward, Mr. Grey said he should bring it forward himself.
The Petition was then ordered to be laid on the table. . Air. flatbed proceeded to the following effect:
"When I had the honour to make a motion in the Housethis day three weeks relative to the books written by Mr. Brothers, it cannot be supposed that the actual situation of the author was out of my mind—very far from it: I had, indeed, on that day designed to bring forward the subject in the form and manner in which I now present it, but altered my plan in consequence of a desire from - an Hon. Member, my particular friend, and whose opinion has always great weight with me. When I had so deviated from my original idea, I had the misfortune to be told by the most respectable and most respected authority in this House, that the motion I was about to make was exceedingly objectionable in point of matter. In this situation, which way can I turn myself? What rule shall I adopt for my conduct ?—None; none but my own sense of duty; a conscientious discharge of those functions which the British Constitution, so justly venerated by all of us, has consigned to that branch of the Legislature, of which I form an unworthy part, must and shall be my guide. Independent on principle, and attached to no party, I will not flinch from the talk imposed on me by the hand of Providence. But I will certainly, by every conciliatory argument, endeavour to divest disapprobation of its frown, and disarm prejudice of its severity.'
"Sir, the papers which, according to my notice of yesterday, I shall this day move to be laid on your table, are the Warrant from the Secretary of State for the Home Department, by which Richard Brothers was arreltcd on the 4th of last month, on suspicion of treasonable practices, together with the information on which the warrant was founded; a:id thirdly, the minutes of the whole proceedings, held at