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"Now with respect to the documents which I move for j they cannot, I think, betray any secrets of state, for if there existed a plot of which Government wished to explore the different ramifications, before they promulgate their information, I think die yerdict of lunacy is effectually done away. A conspiracy headed by a madman can be no very trejnendpug object, nor do I think his accomplices could have so long lain hid when their chief was iu confinement; and if this supposed conspiracy lay in his books, why, after the open warning I gave three weeks ago, has no f^ep, been taken to impede their circulation? al..!. .1
"The examination before the Privy Council, I ani pretty well assured, maybe published without any danger; all was politeness, candour, and good fense in that quarter; and though curiosity might be gratified by the publication, no new article would from thence be added to the catalogue of treason.
"Of the verdict of insanity I have little to say; the jurymen themselves are not very consistent in their accounts of-it, which may a little palliate the error I have acknowledged j but if their proceedings are granted to my motion, opinion will then have something solid to rest on. , . . ,
"I now conclude—most earnestly entreating Gentlemen, to consider themselves as representatives of the whole British nation, to be meritoriously employed in redressing, where it may be possible, the accidental oppressions of any one British individual, however obscure—and I hope that a man who has creditably served his King and country, in the royal navy, the pride and the bulwark of the empire, will never appeal in vain to a British House os Commons.
"I therefore move, Sir, that 3 copy of the Warrant of the Secretary of State, for the apprehending of Richard Brothers, be laid before this House, together with a copy of the information on which this motion was grounded."
Mr. Halhed having given in his motion,
The Speaker asleed, " Who seconds this motion?" There being no answer, he said, that as it was not seconded, the motion could not be put from the Chair.
MOTION FOR PEACE.
Mr. Witter/one said, that as an Hon. Member had alluded to him as to his intention of bringing forward a motion in conformity to his notice, he could fay he had made up his mind on that subject. The object he had in view was tq facilitate the obtaining of pence. When he should move it, he could not precisely tell. He thought it would be better
H 2 near near the end of the session than at present—" When, when?"' was whispered through the House. To which Mr. Wilberforce answered, u perhaps this day fortnight."
Mr. Eftt moved, that the Order of the Day on the Bill for preventing the vexatious removal of poor persons be discharged.—Ordered. He then moved, that the Bill be committed on Monday.—Ordered.
He next gave notice that he should move to discharge the order for hearing counsel on that day.
The Speaker gave notice that he should take the chair at 11 on Thursday morning, to be ready to proceed on the trial of Mr. Hastings.
HOUSE OF LORDS.
• The House having resolved itself into a Committee on the Bill enacting that every person who wears hair-powder, shall take out a certificate, the Duke of Norfolk desired that the clause, subjecting masters of families to a penalty, on conviction of having sailed to give in a correct list os their servants wearing powder, and of having knowingly suffered a servant to wear powder, whose name was not in the list he had given in, might be read. The clause having been read at length,
The Duke rose, and objected to the clause, not only on the ground of its being oppressive and.severe in its tendency, but as being so to no purpose whatever. His Grace said, he had ever understood it to be an invariable principle in all Tax Bills, that any clause imposing a penalty, should necessarily conduce to promote and secure the object of the Bill. The clause imposing a penalty os 20I. on masters of families, which had been just read, his Grace contended, was unjust and oppressive jri the extreme, and that without any reason, as it did not tend in the smallest degree whatever to further the object of the Act. It obliged a master to turn informer against his own servants, exposed him to the disgrace of being proved guilty of what no Gentleman would be guilty, viz. of having signed his name to a falsehood, or rendered him liable to a heavy expence. He put the supposed case, that, a master of a family stiould once accidentally meet a servant powdered, whom he neither knew nor wistied should wear powder, and having forgot the circumstance, fliould omit to insert the name of that servant in the
"a '• list list he gave in, suppose that a third person happened to stand by when the servant wearing powder as above described was seen fay the master, and should be brought to prove, that after 'having given in his list, his list was defective in respect to the omission .of the name of the servant in question; in that case the master must either turn informer against the servant, or pay the penalty. His Lordship said, no man was more ready t» confess his approbation of the principle of the Bill, than he was; he thought the tax a wife one, and likely to be efficient, but he saw no reason why it should be thus arranged in the mode of collecting it. Few masters of families knew, or were likely to know if all of their servants wore powder. He did not mean to be ludicrous, and therefore he would not talk of female servants, because he saw what whimsical ideas might be imagined to be alluded to, whereas he meant to treat the subject seriously and gravely, to call their Lordships attention to a real grievance and act of injustice, for such the clause would unavoidably prove in its operation, if it were suffered to stand. His Grace added further observations, and at length concluded with moving that the clause be rejected.
Tht Lord Chancellor said, he felt very differently upon the subject from the Noble Duke. The tax was not only in itself a good one, but he had pretty good reason to believe it was in the consideration of all men a favourite, and particularly so with those who were to pay it, viz. the servants themselves. It was not only to be praised as a tax on vanity solely, but as a tax likely to prove extremely efficient and productive. So far therefore from there being any propriety in their Lordships interposing to impede die Bill in its progress through the House, after it had passed the House of Commons, he thought it in the highest degree unbecoming, being persuaded that it would be a most unjust stigma on their Lordships, if any such imputation could be brought against them. The impression that it must necessarily make upon the public mind, to find that their Lordships, of all descriptions of men, were those alone who chose to throw an obstacle in the way of a tax, popular in the extreme, as he verily believed this tax to be, so far from being favourable, must be unpleasant and highly injurious. The largest description of the immediate objects of the Bill, the servants in families of persons of rank, who chose to be waited on by servants well dressed, he had no doubt were glad that some means had been resorted to in order to distinguish and mark their superiority over servants of a different description. His Lordship begged leave positively to deny that the clause would operate in the manner in which the Noble Puke bad conceived it likely to operate. The master of a family mily was not rendered liable to a penalty of 20I. unless he was himself wilfully neglectful of complying with the conditions of the statute. He was only called upon to give in a list of such of his servants as he knew to be liable, nor could he be convicted Unless it were proved that he inoivingly gave in a false list. Every mailer of a family was presumed to know what the style of dress of his servants was; in the line of life subordinate to that filled by their Lordships, where a man had apprentices, it was his duty that his apprentices were clean on a Sunday, and decently dressed; if they wore powder against his will, he could resort to a remedy; if he chose they should wear powder, it coukl be no hardship upon him, as he could not complain of hardship or oppression if he wete called upon to pay the amount of the tax for each of his apprentices who with his consent wore powder. His Lordship said, some consideration was due to the time stated in the Bill for the commencement of its operation. -It wa6 clearly a money Bill, and the possible effect of any alteration in it by their Lordships was well known. He did not mean to give rife to a discussion on that point, as it might lead to length, and was not at all necessary to the subject matter of debate. Their Lordships had undoubtedly a right to make any alteration they thought proper in each individual Bill that came before them, but he confessed he should be sorry to see such an Act lost, and most particularly to see it loll by any interposition of their Lordsliips, whose opposition to the measure would, as it struck him, appear most ungracious, and repugnant to the people. In short, he saw no occasion for rejecting the clause, and in fact, the Bill would in his mind be most materially defective, if the clause were thrown out.
The Duhe of Leeds said, there appeared to him to be a part of the operation of the Bill, which reoftiircd explanation. Supposing that a servant, who wore powder, and for whom his master had paid for a certificate, should leave his service soon afterwards, and anotlier servant is taken in his place; is the master to pay for another certificate, and thus pay the tax twice?
The Earl of Gtiildford said, he could not help differing from his Noble and Learned Friend, and rising to support the Noble Duke's argument. He considered the" Bill as likely to prove extremely opprfslivc and highly injurious to masters of families, who would he subjected to the payment of a heavy penalty, in many instances where they could not possibly avoid incurring'lrV So far from thinking with the Noble and Learned Lord that every muster of a family must necessvrily know whether all or which of his servants wore powder, he mustcontesd that the very reverse was the state of the cafe. Waiten of families, who had large establishments, knew whether their principal men servants who attended upon them personally wore powder or not; but their Lordships would have the goodness to recollect that the female servants did not usually appear before them. Neither could he coincide in the opinion that it must be the wish of any master that all his servants should wear powder. His Lordship, after further reasoning, said, that one strong, and, in his mind, insurmountable objection struck' him, viz. that the clause in question must be nugatory for the ensuing year. By the Bill, masters of families were called on to give in lists of such of their servants as wore: powder between the l oth of April and the 19th in each year, and the 1 oth of April in the next year, a thing impossible to be done the present year, as the tax was not to take place and commence its operation till the 5th of May next, consequently a month would have elapsed of the present year. His Lordship concluded with declaring, that he should vote with the Noble Duke, if he thought proper.to take the sense of the House.
Lord Hay (Earl of Kinnoul) said, he thought the tax a most . eligible one, and that it particularly behoved their Lordships to give it their most cordial support. He had listened to the arguments urged against the clause in question with great attention, and he feared there was something valid in the Noble Duke's objection to the clause, in which case, he flxould wish to have it altered, but should feel great pain, if so popular a tax Bill, all circumstances considered, were lost.
The Earl of ALira said, he felt very differently from every Noble Lord who lwd spoken on the subject. He not only objected to the particular clause under consideration, but to the principle of the Bill itself. He thought the subject of the Bill, not only an improper subject of taxation, but peculiarly ill timed for the imposition of duty. The present moment was perhaps of all others the most unfitly chosen to draw a line of distinction between the high and low, the rich and poor. Such a line of distinction, in its nature invidious and disgusting, was at all times to be avoided, but most to be avoided just now, because most unwise under the peculiar circumstances of Europe. Their Lordships would not therefore be surprised at hearing him declare that the Bill, generally considered, revolted his feelings, and he would fay, his judgment likewise. So decided was his opinion on the subject, that if he should happen to be present on the third reading, he would certainly give it his negative.
If the objections of the Noble Duke were met, and the clause in question were modified, it would certainly make the Bill less unpalacablc to his mind. But even that could not do