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the necessity of inserting a much larger amount of advertisements.
Further consideration of the amendment postponed.
Parliamentary Burghs (sootLand).] The order of the day for the second reading of the Parliamentary Burghs (Scotland) Bill having been read,
Lord Lyndhurst said, that he was surprised that the bill should be brought forward. He had been told, that it would not be pressed.
Lord Brougham said, that this was an entirely new Municipal Bill for Scotland, consisting of seventy clauses, with two or three schedules, one of which contained the names of thirteen towns. He had not heard before of the existence of the bill. The noble Earl had not said one word to him about the alteration of the bill of 1833, which had been wholly in his (Lord Brougham's) charge. The noble Earl had never wished him to pay any attention to the former bill; and as he had not time to pay due attention to it now, he hoped that the House would agree to the motion that he would make, that the bill should be read a second time that day three months. During those three months he would direct his attention to the subject, and he thought it would have been but common decorum to have consulted him upon the bill before it was passed. He supposed that he would next hear of an amendment to be proposed in his Slave Trade Felony Act, without having had the opportunity of looking at the proposed amendment even for one hour. He would say nothing of common courtesy, because that had long passed and gone; but parliamentary decorum required that so important a bill as the present should not be read a second time, without a previous consultation, on the 10th August, on the very eve of the prorogation; and for these reasons he would save the noble Earl the trouble of going through the particulars of the bill, by moving that it should be read a second time that day three months.
The Earl of Minto replied, that the noble and learned Lord had rather inverted the order of proceeding by moving the rejection of the bill before the second reading itself had been moved. He wished, however, to state that the bill had no new object in view, it was only intended to work out the principle of the former acts, and to enable tho burghs to raise fundi
which were essentially necessary to carry out the objects of the Legislature in conferring the municipal franchise. Some of the clauses in the bill were precisely the same as those in the old bill, and the others were intended only to effect the object which he had stated.
Lord Brougham said, that he wished to consider the bill, to know whether the proposed alterations really were amendments to his own act; for, judging from some recent proposals with respect to Scotch bills coming from the same quarter, he was not satisfied to take it for granted that the new bill would amend the old; and unless his noble and learned Friend opposite (Lord Lyndhurst) particularly wished for the bill, he (Lord Brougham) would certainly persist in his motion.
Lord Lyndhurst said, that so far from wishing for this bill, he was anxious to compare it with the other, to see whether the clauses in the new bill were in reality superior to those in the old; and he thought that it was rather too late in the Session, on the 10th of August, to read such a bill a second time.
The Earl of Minto felt that there was considerable force in the objection founded on the lateness of the period at which he wished to proceed with this bill, and under the circumstances he would consent to postpone it till the next Session.
HOUSE OF COMMONS,
Minutes.] Bills. Read a third time:—Private Bill Deposits; and Spirit Licences.
Petitions presented. By Mr. Dottw, against the Sale of Beer Act.—By Dr. Lushinoton, from a place in Kent, against the Encouragement of Idolatry in India.
Trade With French Africa.] Dr. Lushington said, it was not his intention to trouble the House at any length on the motion which he now rose to bring forward, and which he regarded as of very considerable importance to a large class of merchants in this country. His object was to obtain, if possible, the aid of the noble Lord, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, in improving the state of the negotiations now going on with the government of France relative to the terms on which our commercial intercourse with the possessions of that power in western Africa was conducted. It would probably be known to some lion. Members (hat
ing seizures made by French authority of British vessels and cargoes on the coast of Africa in 1S34 and 1835, and also relating to the blockade imposed by the French government on the coast of Africa at Portendic.
Viscount Palmerston said, that the subject to which his hon. and learned Friend had drawn the attention of the House was undoubtedly one of considerable importance—in the first place, as affecting the interests of a certain number of individuals who had very severely suffered in consequence of the transactions to which the motion related—and next, os bearing upon some questions of international right materially connected with the commercial interests of this country. At the same time, however, that he admitted, that the subject was one which his hon. and learned Friend was perfectly justified in bringing under the consideration of the House, he hoped, on the other hand, that his hon. Friend would feel it would not be consistent with his duty as a Minister of the Crown to consent to the production of the correspondence he had moved for, consisting of unfinished communications and negotiations between this Government and that of France. If the negotiations had terminated in a manner unsatisfactory to the Government of this country, then undoubtedly his hon. and learned Friend would have a good and sufficient ground for calling on Government to produce the correspondence, with the view of founding on it such a motion as he might think fit to submit to Parliament; but it would be a departure from the general practice, and attended with obvious inconvenience to those interests at stake if the whole proceedings of a negotiation yet pending were to be produced. For the same reason it would not be proper for him to state the precise condition in which that negotiation now stood, nor would he enter into any discussion of the several points adverted to by his hon. and learned Friend. He did not ihink this would be the proper time for him to state to the House the view Government took of the various questions arising out of the treaties concluded with FYance respecting the commerce of the African coast, as for instance whether the trade at Portendic ought to be carried on under the provisions of the treaty ef 1783, or whether that treaty should be considered as no longer in force, having been terminated by the war of 1793, and
not renewed in 1814. These were very material questions, but for the reason he had stated, he would not now discuss them. He could only express his hope, that the French government would not fail to give this question their earliest and most serious consideration, and he was quite sure, there was nothing either in the amount of the sums claimed as compensation for losses or in the character of the local interests affected which should induce the government of France to deny justice to the subjects of this country. From the complicated nature of the questions to be discussed, this negotiation had occupied a considerable time, and would probably occupy more; but he could not but express his belief and expectation, that it would end in a manner satisfactory to both countries.
Mr. Alderman Thompson was much disappointed, that the noble Lord had refused to produce the papers moved for. There were individuals whose property had been destroyed to the extent of nearly 100,000/., so long ago as the year 1835, and whose wrongs were still unredressed. He should not desire the production of the papers if that step would tend to embarrass the negotiations, but he deeply regretted, that the noble Lord had not expressed a stronger opinion as to the justice of the claims made by the sufferers for compensation. British ships had been seized under pretence of a blockade of which no notice had been given. One of the merchants to whom they belonged, hearing of the sailing of a French man-ofwar to the African coast, communicated the fact to the noble Lord, and urged the necessity of having an explanation from the French government relative to its destination. The French government being applied to, declared, that there was no intention of establishing any blockade, but, notwithstanding, the blockade was enforced, and British ships seized. Yet it was well known, that while this blockade was established, the French merchants were carrying on an extensive trade on the coast. The French government, he had no doubt, were actuaied in what they had done by a desire to get the whole of the gum trade into their own hands, and he was very much afraid from what he had heard, that there was no disposition on their part to meet this question in the spirit of fairness or candour. He trusted, that if it were not settled before I he next
tion. What was that purpose? To raise the price of food, in order to raise the rent of land, with the view to a profitable monopoly to the owners of land, in utter disregard and neglect of the wants and interests of the rest of the community; and this wns the moment to call their attention to that object, when wheat had sold in some places, as he was informed, for 80s. a-quarter, and when most men expected, with the prospects of a bad harvest, and the known scarcity on the continent, that it would reach 100s. before the end of the year. The corn-laws were, indeed, then answering their purpose, and working well as it was called. And this was the time when a county Member came forward to ask them to raise the duties on other artiticles of necessary consumption, to afford further protection to the produce of land. He hoped the public would ponder well upon this attempt, and consider the prospects which were offered to them by this House. The hon. Member complained, that his constituents were unjustly treated, because they had not the same protection as other interests; and he said, that all he demanded, without reference to the principle of free trade, was, that while there was to be protection, that it should be extended equally to all, and that one interest should not receive more protection than another. Why, did the hon. Member know, that it was of that very inequality of the protection given to landowners which he supported, as compared with every other interest, that the public had so much reason to complain, and that while no interest received a protection of more than 30 per cent., and many not more than 10 per cent., that the landowners were enjoying a protection of 80, 90, or 100 per cent.? Let him, then, tell his constituents, who have urged him to moot this matter, why the House give no credit to his advocacy of the principle of equality of protection, when it is known that he is a supporter of the corn-laws. Let his constituents tell him to vote for an alteration of those laws, and, if he succeed, then they will have little reason to complain of the reduction of duty on foreign fruit, and will at least be in a situation to demand equal justice for themselves; but as a supporter of a monopoly of the very worn kind, he came with a poor face to demand favour against the public for his constituents. He was astonished that the hon. Member should, at this particular
moment, have thought it right (o propose anything so prejudicial to the community, oppressed and suffering as they were from the corn-laws. He hoped, however, it would have the effect of increasing the interest which that subject was at this moment necessarily exciting in the public mind. He was glad to think, that the forms of the House prevented the lion. Member persevering in his schemes, which must be so injurious to the public at large.
Mr. M. Philips thought it would have been just as reasonable to have called for the imposition of a higher duty on foreign corn, as on the articles mentioned in the hon. Gentleman's motion.
Captain Wood briefly replied, and said, that all he required was, to put the marketgardeners on the same footing as the manufacturers, by affording them a protection of 30 per cent, duty on the importation of foreign fruit.
HOUSE OF LORDS,
Minutbs.] Bills. Read a third time: —Consolidated
HOUSE OF LORDS,
Minutes.] Bills. Read a third time: —County Trcasu-
Canada—Declaratory And IndemNity Bill.] Lord Broxigham said, thai in consequence of what passed on Friday, it became his duty to move the third reading of the Canada Government Act Declaratory and Indemnity Bill. He ought