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future debate, since the avowed object was were not such, as to excite a spirit of muto bring the general question under the tiny among the soldiery, the motion itself notice of the House. In his opinion, I was replete with every danger. It was imnothing but the most trying necessity possible to allude to the punishments of the could justify the discusssion of military army; the bare mention of flogging was affairs by the legislature, and yet the pre- it seemed the watchword to discontent; sent was the third or fourth time that gen- and those who were disposed to avert this tlemen had volunteered to introduce the danger would oppose every motion which' subject during the present session. To / in any way interfered with the management this it was answered, that resistance to the of the army. Where was the consistency motion provoked discussion. How could of the hon. member for Yorkshire ? In the it be avoided? For gentlemen finding that same breath he had declared himself unbecause they should not have the docu- willing to interfere at all with the army, ment required to debate upon on a future and pronounced an eulogium on the late day, had taken this opportunity of de- / Mr. Windham, whose plans began and claiming, not on the point before the ended in the amelioration of the army. House, but upon the general question of He had pointed out freely the abuses of the propriety of flogging in the army. all kinds which existed in his time the An hon. and learned gentleman (sir S. enlistment of individuals intoxicated or Romilly) had set out with recalling the under age into a state of service or slavery attention of members to the true matter for life. But no such motives were ever at issue, but led away by the warmth of imputed to Mr. Windham. It was rehis feelings, and by the wide scope the served to the present question to hear arsubject gave to his eloquence, had wan- guments of such a nature brought forward. dered from the line he had in the begin- Why, there was not a single session in ning chalked out, and had entertained the which parliament did not interfere with House with highly wrought pictures of the army, and in which they did not dismiseries attending corporal punishment. cuss questions which had a tendency to If, therefore, the return were made, the agitate the passions of those of which it consequence would be to ensure two de- was composed even more nearly perhaps bates, instead of getting rid of the subject than the present. To whom were the in one. The hon. baronet had repeated army to look up but to parliament? now what he had before stated, that be. / Who paid them? Every thing, however, cause we had a local militia, Great Britain belonging to the army was not a prowas a flogged nation. It might as truly per subject for parliamentary discussion. be said that we were a banged nation, They could not with propriety venture to because all were subject to the criminal sit in judgment on the shape of a button, laws; and doubtless the hon. baronet (as or on the cut of a whisker or of a coat, bewell as others) could point out many in-l cause this being a more weighty business, dividuals who, on this account, would wish required abler heads than could be supthis punishment also to be abolished; it posed to be found in parliament; but the might be urged too with much greater rewards which the army ought to receive truth, that many persons bad banged and the period at which they should be themselves, rather than undergo the same discharged; the commissariat, also, that ceremony by the hands of a public, execu- most delicate subject, were matters that tioner. He concluded by expressing his came with propriety before them. The determination to give his decided nega- retreat to Corunna, and the expedition to tive to the motion
Walcheren, where thousands and tens of Sir S. Romilly, in explanation, pointed thousands of our countrymen perished, out several misrepresentations in the speech were subjects upon which the House had of the right hon. the Chancellor of the deliberated; but never, till this day, did Exchequer, which misrepresentations he those who wished to scare them from enwas astonished to find cheered by the hon. quiry, resort to such arguments as those gentleman opposite.
of that night. Not even the planner of Mr. Brougham supported the motion.-- the Walcheren expedicion, ner bis coadju. He was astonished at the line of argument tor, who caused ihe question to be disadopted by the Chancellor of the Exche cussed with shut doors, ventured to hold quer and the hon. member for Yorkshire. such a language to the House. If such a
The House were told, that if the motives of ground for the refusing of papers was lis. those who supported the present motion, tened to, then there would be an end of
nine subjects out of ten, which were dis- | usual complement of garrison punishment. cussed in the House of Commons. In a How could this punishment be inflicted all time of scarcity, no man would dare to at once? Other complaints were made of speak of grain, for fear of a tumult. The dividing 500'lashes in such a way, as that hon, member for Yorkshire would not 250 lashes should be given on the lower have carried his question of the abolition part of the back, and 250 on another part of the Slave Trade. No man would have of the body. No man could deserve such a dared to describe freely and eloquently, punishment. A trifling violation of duty as that hon. member had described, undoubtedly merited some punishment, but the miseries of the West Indian slaves, not flogging; and in cases of mutiny, or though the tortures which they suffered, personal violence offered to an officer-if he was sorry to say, were not greater than the officer were knocked down and trodden those suffered by our soldiers. Then the upon, which happened in the case alluded dangers of enquiry might have been urged to by him, then a severer punishment than with greater plausibility, when a few | flogging ought to be adopted. But this scattered whites were exposed to all the severe punishment degraded man to a evils of a negro insurrection. The ques. brute, and harrowed up and cauterized the tion was, whether a document which would feelings of all who witnessed it. Could shew whether the powers entrusted to any thing be more abominable, than to set courts martial had been temperately or apart a class of our fellow-citizens, and immoderately used was to be produced. demand from them a callousness and The right hon. gentleman said, “ Don't insensibility which we would not allow in enquire; I tell you all is well." But any other class in the British dominions. were they, he would ask, afraid to look while we cherished all the kindly affecinto the facts of the case ? Were they | tions in every other branch of the com. to close their eyes to it? And were those munity, and doomed a particular class to out of doors who ventured to enter upon it, such'a rigorous and unfeeling system, had not to be met by argument but by per we not reason to apprehend the effects secution ? Would any one who witnessed either in after times, or in times nearer the irritability wbich the mention of this our own ? If the soldier ought to be set subject always excited, not be almost apart as little as possible from the citizen, led to the conclusion that all was not so how could they justify a punishment well as it should be? Now, what would be which was confined exclusively to - tbe the consequence of the production of this soldiers, a punishment which debased paper? It would either prove the state. those who suffered, those who inflicted it, mént of the right hon. gentleman oppo- | and those by whom it was witnessed. It site, which was so favourable to the Com. was his firm conviction, that if our solmander in Chief, or it would disprove it. diery had not been trained and accustom The right hon. gentleman's eulogy of the ed to the system of flogging, they never reduction of flogging was quite unintelligi. would have been seen to lend themselves ble. He first denied the abuse, and then as they did in a certain reign of terror in he said, " for God's sake do not ask for a neighbouring kingdom, which he hoped the paper, as it will be productive of the yet to see investigated. Adverting to the most dangerous consequences." Was navy, he said, that he had in his possession not this conduct much more dangerous a book of punishments in one sbip in 1809, than openly and manfully at once to enter kept by the master of arms; and, in six upon the discussion of the question ? So months there were upwards of 14,000 far it would appear from severity of pu- lashes inflicted! This was enormous, nishment being done away, there were when the proportion as to severity of instances of persons suffering four several flogging in the navy was considered. In times before they could receive the whole one part of the book, a person was entered of their punishment, and that very lately. as having leaped overboard, and been He had a letter dated the 10th of Febrü. drowned, to avoid three or four dozen of ary, 1812, from one of our North Ameri- | lashes. can settlements, in which a complaint was Mr. Robinson could conceive nothing a made of a Major-General, a German offi- greater insult to the service, than such alcer there, who very properly, as the law lusions to flogging in the navy as had been stood, had caused 700 lashes to be in- just made by the hon. and learned gentleflicted on a man. This was not a soli- man, without giving the House the means tory instance, for it was stated to be the of ascertaining their truth, by a statement of names. They were little less than a might thus have to pay his own rent, and libel on the whole nary. He could tell the rents of ten people above bim. This the hon. and learned gentleman that there was a genuine oppression, and it bad oc. was nothing to which the Admiralty paid curred as such to other people's minds. so much attention, as Corporal punish- | The noble earl here alluded to a corments; that returns of all the punish- respondence between two greal law auments inflicted in each ship were sent to thorities, which he had seen, and which them; and that had such a case occurred, described the practice as likely to be it would have met with their severest re highly oppressive. The consequence of prehension.
enforcing the law, according to the preMr. Brougham professed himself willing | sent system, was the certain beggary of to deliver up the book which he had al- the tenant, whose ordinary rent was the luded to, to the Admiralty. He believed utmost that his labour could extract from it might be of service to them.
the ground, and who, of course, when a Mr. Long corrected an hon. baronet double or a triple rent was demanded from (sir F. Burdett) in an assertion he had him, bad no resource but abandoning all, made respecting an order of the com- and wandering to beg his bread, with his mander in Chief, refusing pensions to per- wife, and not unfrequently, an infirm and sons labouring under blindness. That had infant family. Was it to be wondered at, occurred only where there was proof of that in a country where there were no deception.
poor's rates, such a man should be discoriMr. Brougham wished to be informed tented, as he must be beggared ? It might by an hon, gentleman, at what time re not be so bere, where there were poor's turns of Corporal Punishment were or- rates, and where the whole parish would ex. dered by the Admiralty?
claim against the landlord whose cruelty Mr. Robinson could not recollect when should expose them to such a burthen of
Mr. Lambe, though not prepared to con- pauperism: but, in Ireland, this happened cur entirely with the hon. baronet (sir F. frequently, the peasant was forced to seek Burdett),or his hon. friend (Mr. Brougham), his daily bread from cabin to cabin ; and wished to vote for the motion, because the was it to be wondered at, that he should production of the paper was necessary to seize the first rusty pitchfork, and use it the case of gentlemen on the other side of vindictively at the moment, or treasure the House.
| up his revenge till it could be certain ? Mr. Bennet shortly replied, when the | The noble earl said he would instance a House divided.
case communicated to him, on the credit The numbers were-Ayes 17-Noes of a great land-proprietor. He should 49. Majority 32.
arrange the classes of lessors in the order
of the alphabet, and they stood as follow: HOUSE OF LORDS.
B paid to A, the original lessor, a rent of
901. ; B let this to C for the sum of 7001. Thursday, April 16.
C to D for the sum of 7501.; and D to IRISA PEASANTRY.) Earl Stanhope rose about twenty tenants, who might be called to make his promised motion on this sub E, for about 9401. The whole of these ject. He protested against the idea of sums might be demanded by distress, from making a long speech; for when the ob. the tenants E as the law now stood. Was ject was plain and clear, the explanation there any thing more necessary to be said might and ought to be brief. He had to on the subject. The noble earl said he was call the attention of the House to a train most anxious to see this grievance taken of sufferings not exceeded, perhaps not pa up by the legislature: but, in bringing it ralleled, by those of the slave,-in allcases before them, he had only the merit of in. equally unjust, and in most equally at. | tention, the great merit was due to countended with horrid and calamitous circum- sellor O‘Dedy, the author of a most ex. stances. He alluded to the state of the cellent and feeling pamphlet upon the Irish Peasantry under the present laws, subject. He would then state as ihe suli. as they related to the recovery of rent. stance of the first clause of his Bill, that it In that country there were gradations and should be enacted, that no remedy of disclasses of those pernicious holders called | tress should lie against any tenant but at middle-men; and the distress for all their the suit of his immediate lessor, saving the consecutive rents might be levied upon original lessor of the land. The second the peasant who tilled the ground. He clause was one which provided, that whatever som the tenant paid to the original | land, the remedy of ejectment was not allessor by distress, should be accounted as ways sufficient. Suppose land let for lives, part payment to his immediate lessor. or a very long term, such as one thousand The noble earl proceeded to reason at con- years, and sub-let three deep, it would be siderable length upon this part of the Bill. very difficult to get the rent by ejectment, He trusted, that nobody would be so whim- and therefore they were compelled to resical as to say that the original landlord sort to the remedy of distress. Yet, by would be injured by this proposal, when in the plan of the noble lord, this remedy reality, he would be benefited. By this would be rendered, in a great measure, measure the under middle-man could not nugatory. Take the instance which he distrain till he bad paid the original rent, himself stated, for example, of land let by and the other could not distrain at all. He A to B for 901. ; by B to C for 700l. ; and concluded by moving, that the Bill be read by C to D for 7501. In this case C could a first time.
not distrain for his 501. perhaps the whole Lord Redesdale admitted the existence of of his means of subsistence, till he had the evil, but whether an adequate remedy paid 90l, to A and 7001. to B, which it could be applied, he very much doubted. might be utterly impossible for him to While he resided in Ireland, his mind do. In Ireland, he was sorry to say, the bad been very much occupied with this remedy of distress was more commonly subject. He had often reflected upon it, applied than in England. Almost every and endeavoured to find out some suitable estate had what was called its driver. remedy; but it involved so many impor- | The occupiers, unfortunately, often took tant considerations, and was altogether a the lands at more than they could pay, matter of so much difficulty, that he had except in plentiful years; and only the never been able to come to any satisfac- produce of the land remained to pay the tory conclusion. From the difference, as rent. This gave occasion to many frauds to improvement in the state of Ireland in removing that produce; and these, he some time ago, and now, and from other was sorry to say, had a bad effect on the circumstances, he could very well con. character of the Irish Peasantry, which ceive that land might, at no very distant was not what one would wish it to be. period, have been let at gol. per annum, They had, in general, no capital, the which might now yield 9401. a year. He rent could only be paid out of the produce himself knew an instance, where a gen. of the land, and a bad season consequently tleman had let 13,000 acres for lives, or a disabled them to pay. This made the relong term of years, reserving 800 acres of medy of distress so much more common demesne lands; and now he had a greater than in England. It was not, therefore, rent from the 800 acres, than from the any difference in the law that produced the 13,000. But these grants of long terms at evil, but the difference of the circumstances low rents, had been very prevalent at of the two countries in other respects. one time; and a great proportion of the He could not exactly agree with the noble Irish tenures were of this description. I lord in his suggestion, that it was enough They had, indeed, been considered as al- ' for the middle-man to have his remedy most equal to grants in fee simple, so far upon his contract, without being permitted as they went. Where such small rents to resort to the land. To take the example had been retained by the original land before alluded 10, B had a good title to the Jord, the lands would naturally sub-let, land, paving 901. to A; and if he had the perhaps, six deep, the rents rising pro- right to sub.let to C, and chose to reserve gressively. His friend, the gentleman to his power of distress, it would be a violawhom he alluded, did not use the remedy / tion of the laws of property to deprive of distress, but of ejectment, which was him of it. If, therefore, the noble lord's sufficient to procure the payment of such provision on this point was intended to be a small rent. But in Ireland, a whole retrospective, it would be the cause of year's rent must be due before the re- gross injustice to many persons. Indeed, medy, by ejeciment, could be effectual; the mischief might be more extensive for after the landlord had got possession, than some were at present aware of. if, within the subsequent six months, the Suppose C in the instance stated, died in. tenant filed a Bill in Equity, and paid the / solvent, or assigned his interest; the noble rent and costs, he again got his land. It lord's plan in cases of that nature, might was clear, therefore, that in the circum. be the means of great injustice, and create stances of the landed proprietors of Ire- a prodigious new subject of litigation. The noble earl said, that the under-tenant | The Earl of Clancarty very much doubtwas no party to the contract. This was a ed whether any adequate remedy could mistake, he was a party, and in that view be provided : and as to the measure prothere was no injustice in keeping him to posed by the noble earl, he was sure that that which he had accepted with his eyes | he himself must see the difficulties which open. His title to the land mnst be de. stood in the way of its adoption. The rived from those above him, and he must, noble earl said, that the middle-men might therefore, be a party to that upon which be left to their remedy upon contract inalone his right was founded. This, how. dependent of the land, because the subeyer, was a very important subject, and he tenants were no parties; but it must be hoped their lordships would consider well remembered, that the sub-tenants were of it. Every one must wish that the evil like purchasers, with notice of the fact. should be removed ; but they ought to They knew the powers of those above take care not to legislate rashly, lest they them, and took the land subject to the might do more mischief in one way, than burthen. To deprive the middle-men of they prevented in another. They might their rights by an er post facto law, would cast about in their minds, whether the sub.be gross injustice; but he believed, that demising of land, with a power of distress, the practice of creating these middle temight not be checked; whether it might nants, was very fast going down, from the not be provided, that afterwards no sube landlords better understanding their own letting, with such a power, should be als interest, and the value of their property, lowed. That, he thought, was the utmost It also became less the interest of those extent to which they could go; that in who might be disposed to put themselves subsequent sub-demises, the power of dis- l in the situation of middle-men to have any tress should be either taken away or mo- thing to do with such leases, for the profits dified. He himself happened to hold some were but very small, compared with those land in Ireland, and had expended a good of former demises of that nature. The deal of money upon it. When he left practice had arisen, or at least, attained that country, no purchaser could be found, ihe great height to which it had reached, and if he had not had the power of sub- from the peculiar circumstances of Iredemising, with the remedy of distress, he land: but since the late improvements in should have had no remedy at all, and the that country, the evil was diminishing, property would have been of little value. and he trusted, would soon be done away. This was owing to the unfortunate state of He would not, however, oppose the printIreland. The disturbea situation of that ing of the Bill. The subject was worthy conntry gave occasion to the frequency of the most attentive consideration ; but of the instances in which this remedy was if the noble earl meant to restrict subresorted to. If the country were perfectly letting, he wished him to consider what tranquil, the evil would soon remedy itself. would be the effect, especially in large Those who, without capital, were now the towns, such as Dublin and London, if the tenants of the soil, would then be labourers provisions of the Bill were to be extend. on the farms of others, and the mischiefed to both countries, as he understood would be done away, or at least exist only they were. in the same degree as in England. In. The Earl of Suffolk agreed, that it was deed, the practice of sub.demising was al. most desirable that a remedy should be ready beginning to be less frequent. | provided, but doubted whether this one Landlords now began to understand that it could be adopted. He was glad, however, was their interest to grant leases with a to hear from the noble lord who spoke condition not to sub-let, and the evil was last, that the practice of sub-demising was gradually diminishing. But, however, the going down. He himself happened to subject deserved the most serious con- have come to the knowledge of an insideration, and he certainly should not op. stance which so far corroborated that pose this Bill at present. He should be statement. A gentleman of great propermost happy if a remedy could be pro- ty in Ireland, had sent his steward to survided, but he confessed that he could not vey his estates there. The steward found see any method by which the evil could it necessary to have a considerable guard be effectually cured. He could at this in going round the property. But after moment, he was sorry to say, conceive no the survey, he resolved to put an end to plan which would not do as much mischief the practise of demising to middle tenants, in other respects, as it would do good in this. and the people were so well pleased at