Page images

without information on this subject, while it was clear that great injustice would result from the operation of the bill if it were passed. The interests of the landowner had been more attended to than the interests of the tithe-owner, and they might depend upon it, that if they, as land-owners, acted upon that principle, pesterity would condemn their legislation. The interests of the Church would be seriously affected were this measure carried into operation. It would also alter the liabilities of property, and he therefore contended that time ought to be allowed for further consideration, as the House had not sufficient information to enable them to come to a sound decision on the subject.

Mr. C. Wood said, that great injustice would be done if this measure were not passed.

Mr. E. Buller considered a measure of this kind necessary; but he thought, that tbey were dealing with too much haste with the important question of the liability of property.

Colonel Wood thought, the shortest way would be, to introduce a clause to exempt all future rent-charges from poor-rates; and at the same time make no additions to the tithe compositions for the rate. That would, he thought, settle the question of rating profits.

Mr. Aglionby observed, that it was said that in many parts of England, the farmers had been living upon their capital, and that the yeomanry were gradually disappearing; but whether that was the case or not, there would be great difficulty in ascertaining the rate of profits of farmers; because, in many parts of this country, farmers did not keep books. As to the Tithe Commutation Act, the general feeling in the north and west of England, was not that the landowners received any great benefit from that act.

Sir 11. tl. Inglis did not concur in the suggestion of his hon. and gallant Friend, but stilt he reoommended the reconsideration of this subject to the hon. Member for Hampshire.

Sir A« Suyden said, he had already Hated, ttmt ho Ml that the case of "The King o. Joiltlrvll" was not law, and that tho hill WH t'ujht I but ho voted against tho bill, uevmune it was very dangerous for that House, by Ionization, to reverse the decision* of courts of justice; he was afraid it would become u precedent, to

which they would hereafter find themselves bound to hold. But there was another objection; the bill appeared to him not at all adapted to meet the real difficulties of the case, and he thought it would be unwise to pass such a bill, because it must necessarily be inefficient. It was too late in the day to talk of rating profits.

The Solicitor General concurred in the views stated by the hon. and learned Member for Cockermouth, and could not think that the bill would interfere with voluntary commutations, or with those compulsory commutations which would take effect iu October next.

Clause agreed to. The House resumed, and the Bill was reported.

Public Records.] On the motion for going into Committee on the Public Records Bill,

Colonel Sibthorp objected to going into Committee at so late an hour. He moved, that the House do now adjourn.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer observed, that the hon. Member had stated that the Record Commission cost the country large sums of money. He should not then stop to inquire with which side of the House that commission had originated; but should then content himself with saying, that the object of the present measure was merely the improvement of that commission, and it would be for the House to judge of the consistency of the hon. Member, who had previously made such loud complaints of the expenses attendant upon the commission, and now at once proceeded to oppose a bill, the main object of which was, to place all matters relating to the public records under the unpaid control of the Master of the Rolls.

The House divided on the motion of adjournment;—Ayes 2; Noes 39: Majority 37.

List of the A y Es.

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

Thursday, July 19, 1838.

Mini'teso Bills. Read a first time:—Loan Societies
(Ireland) s Port of London s Coal Trade; County Trea-
surers (Ireland); Revenue Departments Securities;
Apostate Friends Affirmation; and Insane Persons (Eng-
land)—Read a second time :—Captured Slave Vessels;
Vagrant Act Amendment; Administration of Justice in
New South Wales.— Read a third time:—Qualification of
Electors; Judges' Jurisdiction Extension.

Petitions presented. By the Bishop of Hjbkford, from a place in his Diocese, by the Bishop of Salisbury, from Westbury (Wilts), and by the Bishop of Olocestkii, from Merchants, Bankers, and other Inhabitants of Bristol, from Norwich, from the Wesleyan Methodists of Maidenhall, in Suflulk, from St John, Ilampstead, from Birkenhead and its neighbourhood, aud from the Wesleyan Methodists of Salisbury, against Hindoo Idolatry.—By the same right rev. Prelate, against a continued support to the Romish College of Maynooth; from the Village of l'eckluun and its vicinity, from the Inhabitants of Derby, from Saffron Walden, in the county of Essex, and from Uie Protestant Association of London, against a Grant to Maynooth.—By Earl Cawdob, from the Commissioners of Supply of Nairn, and by the Earl of Haddington, from the Commissioners of Supply of Elgin, against parts of the Prisons (Scotland) Bill, and from the Commissioners of Supply of Dumbarton, to Uie same effect— By the Duke of Richmond, from Ossal (Sussex), and by the Duke of Svthbrland, from the county of Sutherland, for reduction of Postage.

International Copyright Bill.] The Marquess of Lansdotvne, in moving the third reading of the International Copyright Bill, stated that the object of the measure was to secure to the works of foreign authors in this country the same protection from piracy which British authors enjoyed, provided the governments of such foreign authors extended a similar privilege to the works of British authors in their respective countries. An arrangement of that nature could not now be made except by a specific treaty, which must be laid before Parliament. But it was provided by this bill, that her Majesty, by an

Order in Council, might give effect to any such arrangement. It was impossible to say what the operation of this Bill might finally effect, or how many countries would be willing to accede to such an arrangement as he had adverted to. But he could assure their Lordships that the subject had not been taken up without first ascertaining that there was a disposition on the part of several European Governments to concur in such an arrangement, which would be, he need hardly add, extremely beneficial to the general interests of literature.

Lord Ellenborough expressed his approbation of the principle of the measure, lie conceived that such an arrangement as was contemplated by the bill was most desirable both for this country and the other nations of Europe. But, in his opinion, the bill, in some points, required amendment. Looking to the first clause, it appeared that the bill applied to those authors only who divulged their names when they published their books. But the noble Marquess must know that some of the most valuable works were those which, in the first instance, were published without the author's name. Thus, in the case of Sir Walter Scott, when he originally published his novels his interests would not have been protected by this bill had it been in existence at the time, because he had not divulged his name to the world. Therefore, it appeared to him to be necessary that an alteration should be made in the bill so as to protect the interests of those who published their works without divulging their names. The noble Lord also suggested that alterations should be made in that part of the bill which related to the regulations connected with the importation of foreign works.

The Marquess of Lansdowne admitted, that the bill was only intended for the benefit of those authors who avowed their works. He was ready, however, to attend to the suggestion of the noble Lord.

Lord Ellenborough said, he did not mean to move any amendments, but he suggested the alteration to which he had adverted, as worthy of the consideration of the noble Marquess. The bill he considered to be of great value and importance.

Third Reading postponed.

Government Of India.] Lord Ellenborough rose to present a petition which had been placed in his bands a

[ocr errors][graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

this grievance, he had declined to present (
it. The case he considered to be. one of 1
such great hardship, that he could no I
longer refrain from pressing it upon their I
Lordships'attention. The petitioners com-
plained, that the entire business of pro-
viding for their parish church, and for all
that was connected with their spiritual
wants, depended upon the will of a lay
rector, who was totally exempt from epis-
copal jurisdiction. This lay impropriator
had not, for two or three years past, made
any provision for the discharge of minis-
terial duties in the parish; and the sick,
if visited at all, were visited by clergy
from the adjoining parishes. The entire
sum expended during that period for
spiritual purposes by the individual to
whom he referred was only 30/., although
he was in the receipt of nearly 600/. a year
from tithes. There were several noble
Lords present connected with Sussex, who
could bear testimony to the accuracy of
this statement. He would suggest, that
a clause should be introduced into the
Benefices and Pluralities Bill to provide
for the relief of these petitioners.

The Duke of Richmond felt it to be his duty, as a magistrate and land-owner in the county of Sussex, to corroborate the statement of the right rev. Prelate. This was a parish in the eastern division of Sussex, containing a population of 1,600 souls; and, in consequence of its having a lay rector, the people were not only deprived, frequently, of the advantage of having any church service, but they had not even the benefit of the attendance of clergy upon them during sickness, unless when some neighbouring clergyman attended from motives of charity. The petitioners, he would observe, were highly respectable. He trusted, that the most rev. Prelate, who had the charge of the Benefices and Pluralities Bill, would put in a strong clause upon this subject.

The Archbishop of Canterbury said, that there could be no doubt of the great hardship and crying scandal of the case which had been stated by the right rev. Prelate. There could be as little doubt, that the conduct of the impropriator was very much to be condemned. He was quite disposed to favour the very reasonable views which the petitioners entertained. Petition to lie on the table.

Prisons (scotland).] The Lord

Chancellor moved the second reading of the prisons (Scotland) bill, nd stated, that it was rendered necessary by the defective and insufficient accommodation in the prisons of that country.

The Duke of Hamilton lamented, that so little time had been given to their Lordsh ps for the consideration of this measure. It was only introduced into the House on Monday, and now, on the third day, they were called upon to assent to the second reading of the bill. It was for their Lordships to consider how far they would be justified in acting in so prompt and inconsiderate a manner.

The Duke of Richmond hoped that no long delay would be interposed to passing this bill. Bad indeed as were the prisons in this country, with a very few exceptions, those in Scotland were infinitely worse. The prisons in Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Aberdeen were very fair prisons, but there were many prisons in Scotland, in which males and females were confined together; very few of them had airing yards at all, and there was nothing like classification in any of the gaols. He should suggest to his noble Friend, the noble Duke (Hamilton), that if the bill were now read a second time, they might defer'going into Committee till that day week, and that would give the House time to look into the details of the measure. He did not think that the sum required was much—only 30,000/. —when it was considered, that the object was to endeavour to reform the prisoners of Scotland. He hoped, therefore, that their Lordships would permit the bill to be read a second time now, and then they could consider its details in Committee at a subsequent period.

The Duke of Buccleuch would not oppose the second reading of the bill, but if it were not for the very late period of the session, he should have requested that it might be postponed for a few days. The bill had been some time in the lower House of Parliament, and he did not understand why it had not reached their Lordships earlier. He was extremely sorry that so important a bill should have come ■ on at the very close of the session. If any i person was acquainted with Scotland, he must be perfectly aware that the prisons • in that country were in a most inefficient and improper state for the reception of criminals, and especially in cases where confinement was not only intended as a I punishment for an offence committed, but


of iife, Prisoner* in Scotland confined for conimen assaults, gainst '.he game iaws, or the excite 1 and these oersons were mixed vriih the most hardened offenders. As he bad already said, he should not oppose the second readingof the bill, but be hoped that sufficient time would be allowed for their Lordships to look narrowly into it. and consider it* provisions. Bill read a second time.

Affirmation* In Courts av Law ] Lord Dnmam, before moving the Order of the Day for the third reading of the Affirmations Bill, had several petitions to present in favour of that measure. The first petition was from certain inhabitant* of Manchester and its vicinity, who had formerly belonged to the Society of Friends, but who had now seceded from that body, and attached themselves to the Church of England; they still, however, retained their objections to take oaths, as required by the statute, and therefore could not now be received as witnesses in courts of justice. Under these cirenmstances, they prayed to be relieved from the situation in which, by their decision, they were now placed. The next petition was from 100 merchants and bankers of Manchester and its neighbourhood, men of great respectability and influence, who staled, that they knew a great number of persons, formerly Quakers, who had seceded from that sect; and the petitioners prayed, that for their security, lho»e individuals might be admitted to mnke affirmation, instead of being, as now, obliged to take oaths, to make lliem competent witnesses in courts of justice. The noble and learned Lord observed, that, witli reference to this subject, he had received a letter from Mr. Foster, a justice of the peace for the counties of Chester and Lancaster, for many years a police mugUtrute of Mancheater, ami iii'W chairman of tha Sulford qufxriur Kubiiioiu— <i yuuiluiuitii who, from his ettpuriuiictt, tut* iniiiiputuui lu lurm mi

(illilliiill nil lliu »u\j|i:. i. Tim lulUi vvas

almi H^umi !<> "tini KM^Mmtes.

of tin; iiuiuitj nl'L in. .au i, iiu.ltuliug the

cliuillll'lll III" ll"- M.'HIiif, |tl^ltt ,^,11

all llicn. (ji.iilli in> ti ot'il' 'I tIn n-, (.in ii.iiuh illut tcrmt ilu <•><■ . i 'ni'l m iU Ul 1(I

now piuilui I'ii, lis tin1 < vi'li.M' n "i" j,,,,,,

ulii> wui: •■»--». 1 > ti>"' ■ Ilin,i a!

vl'y i Ml lo Ih'im Imiiii* • H, j bii!,.


to affirm, instead of taking in oath; and they prayed, that for the ~ake of the public btnerit. and the due idministration of justice, the evidence of 'hose persons might be received under ilie irrangements made in the bill. The nobis md learned Lord also presented a petition from certain inhabitants of London and 'the neighDourhood. who stated, that they never had belonged to Fnends, bat. still thev opinion that oaths were feeling so, and refusing to take the a on to give evidence, they 1


and they urged, that in their scrupies, and the state of the law. persons were deprived of the benetit of their testimony, and that the ends of juslice were thus defeated, and though the petitioners felt that some of the provisions of the bill before the House were insufficient, still they prayed that it passed into a law.

The Earl of Wicklmo had the bill to proceed on the ground of objections to take oaths made by ] who formerly belonged to the < Quakers. It appeared, however, I last petition, that other persons claimed the same exception. To this he (the Earl of Wicklow) could not consent, though he would abstain from voting against this bill, if the noble and learned Lord would consent to confine its operation solely to those who had been Quakers but had now seceded from that persuasion.

Lord Dcnman, in moving the Order of the Day for the third reading of the bill, said, that he should be sorry to make the exclusion to which the noble Earl adverted, for one of the gentlemen on whose behalf he had moved in this matter, and to whom he had often before referred, never had been a Quaker, and yet had the same objection as was entertained by that body to the taking of oaths. That nentleman had declined a situation of 800/. per annum, in consequence of his objaoiion oven to administer an oath ; and Yd it that gentleman were called as a ttiwtusn before him (Lord Denman in the i nun of VJuoeu's Bench, to-morrow, he kltouU have no option but to send that I'-'iUvnuun lo prison for refusing to give

« PreviousContinue »