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the immediate advantage of a particular interest. He thought also that there would be a great risk of difficulty and injustice in passing this measure, on account of the manner in which it would affect the rights ofa Duke of Cornwall whenever he should be in esse. He had not as yet seen any sufficient grounds for their Lordships concurring in this bill.
The Marquess of Lansdownc said, that j if there was any reason to apprehend that the interests of the Crown, or of the Duke of Cornwall when in esse, were injuriously dealt with in this bill, their lordships would do right to pause before they passed it. But he believed, that there was not the slightest danger of this kind, the Crown being amply indemnified upon an average of the net receipts of the last ten years. With respect to the imposition of 19,0001. a-year upon the consolidated fund, he thought it very well applied as a substitute for two taxes very odious in character, and very detrimental in their effects—the one a local tax regarding Cornwall, the other a general tax affecting the whole community, and tending naturally to keep up the price of an article of very common use. He urged their lordships, therefore, not to refuse a remission of taxation which the House of Commons had almost unanimously acquiesced in, and which was looked forward to with confidence by all the commercial interests affected by it.
Bill read a second time.
Business Of The House.] The Marquess of Salisbury said, that as a motion had been made in the other House of Parliament for a return of the number of bills rejected by their Lordships, the only object of which would be to cast a slur upon their Lordships, it became their duty to show, that they had not been unduly negligent or precipitate in the examination of those measures which had been submitted to them for consideration. Their Lordships, it was true, had very few opportunities of properly considering the bills which were sent up to them from the Commons. It was perfectly notorious, that most of the Commons' bills required their Lordships' serious attention, if it were only for the purpose of carrying into effect the intentions of the framers. The public unfortunately suffered the greatest inconvenience in consequence of the postponement till next Session of measures of great importance, That was not the
fault of their Lordships. It was the only course left open to them to take. The returns would show the times at which the different bills were sent up. He found, that during the present year there had been 103 bills sent up. Fifty-eight of these had been sent up within the last six weeks, or rather up to the 8th of August, for several had been since brought up. During the whole of the preceding part of the Session there had been only forty-five sent up. The blame did not rest with their Lordships, nor so much, indeed, with the other House. When he recollected the number of days upon which there was no House formed, it occurred to him, that, perhaps, the Government might have an object in keeping bills back till a late period of the Session, in order to give themselves the opportunity of making a charge against their Lordships for either rejecting or postponing them. The noble Marquess concluded by moving for a return of the number of bills brought up from the House of Commons during the present Session, distinguishing the months and the number brought up in each.
Viscount Melbourne did not believe, that the motion which had been made in the other House was made with the view or intention of casting any slur or imputation upon their Lordships. The mere rejection of a number of bills was nothing in itself; the question was, whether they were wisely rejected or not. He entirely denied, upon the part of the Government, that there was any intention to take advantage of their Lordships, by bringing in bills at a late period of the Session. The delay was altogether unavoidable, and arose from a variety of causes—from the nature of the business, from the nature of the constitution, and of popular assemblies, and chiefly from the great increase of business which had taken place within the last few years. Then came the great party battles of the Session, which were generally fought within the last weeks. These necessarily absorbed and arrested all attention, and business became suspended until it was decided who the Government was to be.
The Earl of Wicklow observed, that the return moved for in the other House was not for the bills which had been brought up, but for those which had been rejected. Coupling that with various other little circumstances, it was easy to collect what the animus was which influenced the mover of that return. So far, however, from
Lordships heard what that was, they would see the necessity which existed for not pressing the measure forward. That point related to religious instruction. His feeling was, that every plan of national education should embrace religious instruction, and that as a part of the system the reading of the authorised version of the Scriptures should be introduced. On that point, he found some scruples were entertained by conscientious Roman Catholics. Their objection, however, could be met by the insertion of a clause, declaring that Roman Catholics and Jews should not be compelled to be present when the Scriptures were read. With such a clause as that, he entertained hardly a fear that the bill would be approved of, for he had witnessed much liberality of feeling amongst the English Roman Catholics and the Jews. Another point of objection rested on the same principle. It related to teaching the church catechism, and the thirty-nine articles. Now, he meant that, to meet this objection, it should be distinctly provided, that Jews and Roman Catholics should not be compelled to be present when the catechism and the thirtynine articles were expounded. He wished, throughout his measure, and those with whom he had had communication participated in the sentiment, strictly to adhere to the wise and benevolent maxim—in essentialibus, unitas; in non-essentialibus, libertas; et in omnibus, caritas. Bill postponed.
Commercial Relations.] Lord Lyndhurst rose, pursuant to notice, to present a petition from Glasgow, signed by nearly 600 persons, complaining of the depressed state of our foreign trade at the present moment. He was informed by individuals who were perfectly acquainted with the fact, that the petition spoke the sentiments of the most respectable, wealthy, and intelligent bankers, merchants, and manufacturers of that great city; and, with their Lordships' permission, he would read one or two passages from it. The petitioners said—
"We again have to approach your Lordships' honourable House (ihey had a year or two since petitioned the House on the same subject) to express the anxiety and alarm with which we view the distressed condition of our foreign trade. From time immemorial, this country has been unrivalled in mercantile greatness; but that greatness lias latterly been
much impaired by the injuries inflicted on our merchants by foreign powers, through the infraction of treaties, and by other acts, against which her Majesty's Government should have provided. It is only by the sacrifice of our power, and the abandonment of our rights, that the commercial relations of Great Britain have been thus crippled and endangered, and we call on your Lordships to inquire into the circumstances of the case, and to afford us such redress as you may in your wisdom deem proper."
It was not his intention, in presenting this petition, to enter into a detailed consideration of the subject to which it referred, because he was well aware that their Lordships would listen with impatience, at that period of the Session, to anything that was not connected with the necessary and immediate business of the House. He should, therefore, direct their Lordships' attention, very shortly, to the different matters that had been especially pointed out to him by these petitioners, reserving to himself the right, in the next Session of Parliament, of bringing those various points that were referred to more distinctly under the notice of her Majesty's Government and of their Lordships' House. That the persons who signed this petition were not without some just grounds of complaint, would, he thought, appear evident on making reference to a document which had been laid before the other House of Parliament. It appeared by that return, that the total amount of exports for the year 1836 was 91,000,000*. whilst, in the last year the total amount was onlv 85,270,000/., making a difference of nearly 6,000,000/. The total official value of manufactures exported from Great Britain to foreign parts in 1837 was 77,932,617/., and in the last year 72,312,207/., making a decrease of 5,620,410/. When they came to enter into the details of this subject, they would find ample matter for serious reflection. In 1837 our cotton exports amounted to 50,249,212/., and 1838, last year, they were only 41,403,110/., making a decrease on the export of cottons of 8,746,792/. If they referred again to another staple manufacture, that of woollens, the exports in 1837 amounted to 7,535,064/.; while last year the exports only amounted to 4,680,247/., making a decrease of 2,854,817/. In our linen manufacture there was a decrease of 1,000,000/. on the exports of last year as compared with 1837, On the exports of