« PreviousContinue »
60,0001. Was this then to be stop- was, however, one passage in the ped by a pecuniary penalty? If they address proposed by the honourable succeeded in one voyage out of five and learned gentleinan, of which he they would have an abundant profit. could not so entirely approve, as he If they fitted out 10 or 20 vessels did of all the rest. The passage to and succeeded with only three or which he alluded was, that which four their profits were ample; while went to pledge the house to the adopwhether successfulor not, they spread tion of some specific measure next devastation over Africa. While you sessions. The very different views levied your pence they would pocket different men who agreed as to the their pounds, and laugh at your two- object might take, as to the efficacy penny penalty. He next adverted or propriety of the means proposed, to the severity of the 10th, of George made it desirable to omit any pasII. with respect to watermen over- sage that went to pledge the house to loading their boats with people, in a specific plan. He should therewhich cases, if one was drowned by fore suggest to the learned gentleman any accident, the boatman was to be the propriety of altering that pastransported for seven years. The sage. punishment would be much more Mr. Marriat and Mr. W. Smith applicable to the slave merchant. spoke to the necessity of enforcing. It had been said that the divine le- as far as it could be done, a general gislator had not forbidden this crime. co-operation on the part of neutrals He would show that he had. “ Who- in support of the abolition. They " soever stealeth a man and selleth concurred in thinking that bis Ma“bim shall be surely put to death," jesty's government might have made and our gloss on that was, Whoso. the co-operation of their Spanish and cver stealeth, tortureth, and selleth Portugueze allies the preliminary of a man for interminable slavery, shall of their treaty with those powers, be fined 201. He hoped the house and the condition of their assistance. would leave nothing unattempted Mr. Stephen spokc against the slave to give full efidct to the abolition trade, which he denounced as an act, which he called the most holy unnatural species of commerceequalof laws, and concluded by moving, ly impolitic and iniquitous. He vinthat an humble address be presented dicated, in warm terms, the zealous to his Majesty, stating in substance, and active sincerity of his Majesty's that the abolition law had not been government in their efforts to second attended with the desired effeci in the object of the legislature in inviputting an end to this traffic, be- ting the co-operation of foreign powsecching his Majesty to take further ers to repress and destroy that abo. steps for promoting this great ob- minable traffic. Ile denied that the ject, &c. &c.
carrying on that trade in the coloMr. Perceval approved of the lead- nies of other powers, would ultimateing sentiments of the speich of the ly prove injurious to those of Great honourable and learned gentleman. Britain ; but whether it would or He concurred with him as to the would not, he would be at all time's experiency and propriety of the ob- ready to thank his God that this ject he had in view, and expressed great commercial country had taken himself inost anxious to embrace a lead, worthy of her eminence and rvery rational means to carry into ber morality, in giving to the rest full effect the provisions of the abolic of the world a suitable example, by rion acr-a measure which always abandoning that odious traflic. had, and ever would have, his sin Mr. Canning, in a short specch, cere and zealous support. There vindicated the sincerity of his own efforts, when in power, to arrest the
VOTE OF CREDIT BILL. progress of that trade. With respect Mr. Whitbread, on the question to the requiring the Spanish and Por- for the third reading of the vote of tugueze powers to give their co-ope- credit bill, rose and said, that anxration, he contended that it was iin- ious as he was to bring before the possible, at such a delicate crisis, to house some distinct questions upon have made with effect any such re- the state of the nation, he had, on quisition.
account of the late period of the Mr. Hibbert thought that there sessions, and the consequent thinness was a political expediency in keep- of attendance on the part of the inem. ing down the slave trade of foreign bers, thought it better to take the colonies, since we had abandoned it opportunity the present question afin our own. Ile said that since the forded him, of offering to the house passing of the alolition act, a single those observations he had to make slave had not been introduced into upon, that subject. And his first Jamaica.
observation was that the present sesMr. Brougham said, that as there sions, though long and laborious, bad been in the course of the discus- has been much too short; for the sion no material opposition given to business which was to be done in the what he had stated in his speech, he last fortnight, in the course of which should not feel it necessary to make gentlemen attended, night after night, any reply; he would explain, howe expecting their respective questions ever, in one or two points, respect to come on, and so attended in vain, ing which he had been misundere was a sufficient proof of this. The stood. lle did not intend to reflect right hon. gentleman (the Chancela at all upon the sincerity or diligence lor of the Exchequer) seemed to be of his Majesty's government, in se- so scnsible of this, that he had exe conding the act of abolition, he was pressed his intention of introducing willing to give them credit for both. some regulation next sessions for the It had been said that American slave making notices and orders have reships had frequently been in the ha- ciprocally precedence on alternate bit of sailing under the protection of days. Ilow far such a regulation government licences. This he dis would be found desirable he would tinctly denied upon the authority of not say, but he should certainly be those best competent to know, whe- adverse to any proposition that would ther that statement was true or false, interfere with the undoubted right and whom he pronounced to be men of every member to make a motion of as high honour, rank, and infors on the sudden. The occasions for mation, as any connected with that such motions must be rare, but the government; after some further ob- principle was nut for that reason to servations, he concluded with ex- be given up. Ilaving said thus burting the housc not to delay re- much, he would now observe upon sorting to such measures as in their one or two subjects, respecting which wisdom would appear best calcula- he had had an opportunity of speakted to prevent the evasions and vio- ing before in the course of thai seslations of the act. He concurred in sions. The first was, lhat of Jeffery the propriety of the suggestion of the scaman. lle had made every Dr. Perceval, and substituted in a inquiry respecting the fate of this resolution for the word "adopt," ihe nan, and in the prosecution of these words “ will take into their conside- inquiries, acknowledged himself to ration such measures, &c. &c." have been much aided by the prompt
The address and resolution, so al. assistance of the board of admiralty, tered, were then carried nem, con. . and the result of all was, that he had
every reason to believe that Jeffery hecame necessary. The right hon. was alive, and earrying on his trade gentleman had formerly stood in a of a blacksmith, in Beverly, in Ame different situation. He had been rica. He hoped that the noble mar- secretary of state under a former adquis at the head of the foreign de ministration; when that administrapartment would take effectual means tion stood in a majority of no more to have Jeffery brought home in safe- than 34 they thought proper to withty to his native country and to his draw from the management of pubfriends. The next subject was that lic affairs. The administration, howof the Report of the committee on ever, and the circumstances of pubthe exchequer bills funded. He had lic affairs, were now different from the honour of being chairman of that what they were at that period; and committee, and from his personal there was, besides, something pecuknowlege of all that passed, he felt liar in the mode in which the right himself constrained to say, that he hon. gentleman (Mr. Yorke) had vadid not think, though the age of the cated his seat, and had been elected person alluded to might render him to another. He vacated his seat a fitter object of lenity than punish just before the ministers were left in ment, still he could not think that the minority on the question for go. that person, Sir John Peters, ought to ing into an inquiry on the Walchecontinue any longer in office as pay- ren expedition. The right hon. gen., master. At the same time he was wil. tleman returned to parliament on ling to do the same justice in a way the first division of the committee on more agreeable to his feelings to ano. the affairs of public finance, in which, ther individual, Mr. Planta. He though the ministers had a majority thought Mr. Planta an honest man in point of numbers, yet that majoand a meritorious officer. He could rity was so trifting that it was sur. not say the same of Mr. Paylethorpe. prising that ministers should have He thought it very questionable whe- thought of retaining their places.ther that gentleman should be suf. Still, however, they continued to do fered to retain his situation. In- so. The votes on the ministerial deed, for himself he had no doubt side of the house were often carried that Mr. Paylethorpe ought to retire by a very small majority, often by from the office he held--so much as the very narrowest majority, and to the persons involved in that report. sometimes even ministers were left in
During the present session many the minority. In the bullion comthings had been expected which had mittee, of which the Chancellor of not taken place. Among others, the the Exchequer was a member, be Icast expected, surely, was not the had been defeated in the very, prindissolution of the present ministry. ciple of that grand and interesting The first lord of the admiralty must question, which went oven to affect be aware that a change of opinion in the vitals of the present system, the administrations of this country The Chancellor of the Exchequer's had taken place. He had vacated minority on this opinion was 4 to his scat for Cambridgeshire for the 14. In the time of Mr. Pitt, in the sinecure of teller of the exchequer; year 1797, such a hint would have he had afterwards been rejected by been esteemed sufficient to purchase his former constituents at the county a resignation. Now, however, the of Cambridge, and was returned for house reposed too much confidence the borough of St. Germains; but ' in ministers, and this was the use being afterwards raised to the situa- made of it. The right hon. gentle tion of first lord of the admiralty, man (Mr. Perceval) had too long his re-election for St. Germains again postponed the meeting of the present
parliament.. He now proposed that army had encountered in Spain, it should rise too early; and there that, in fact, we had been treated was equally little doubt that parlia. as if we had gone into an hostile ment wouid not again assemble till the country. The Spaniards were not latest possible period for the meeting true to themselves. He wished to of any session, or till the last guinea see Lord Wellington and his brave was spent, or the disaffections of the army in England. When he fought cabinet rendered their meeting neces- he was convinced the battle would sary. Last year the whole vote of be glorious ; but at the same time, credit granted was three millions, he feared it would be similar to what when the war with Aústria was just Lord Wellington said as to the batcommenced. If three inillions were tle of Talavera- it would be a fruitthen all that were required, why less victory. Spain seemed to be a should we now require an equal sum, gulph fur swallowing up the arms when we had no place on the conti- sent to her relief hy England, for, nent to go to; or for what purpose no sooner were they put into the could it be employed except to pro hands of the Spaniards than they tract the meeting of parliament.- found their way into those of the He proceeded to notice the papers French. The honourable gentleman relative to Mr. Erskine, and main next alluded to the attempt to steal tained, that, though the documents away Ferdinand the Sevenih, a piece did not justify him in making the of absurdity unworthy of the noble motion be had intended, still it by lord who sanctioned it; which had Do incans appeared that Mr. Erskine not even the consent of Ferdinand had acted in contradiction to the himself, of whom they would not spirit of his instructions. Fortue have known how to have disposed, nately the steps lately taken by the even had they succeeded in stealing French against America gave reason him away. South America, he was to expect a recommencement of of opinion, might be of the greatest friendly relations between that coun- importance to this country, after the try and this. As to Sicily, he beg- continent of Europe was lost to us. ged to enforce on ministers the pre- The conquest of it was not to be decarious nature of such an alliance. sired, but its commerce was great. This connexion could only exist be. The grant of the money, however, tween us from day to day, and could not be for this object, and France, from being the least, might, therefore he was against the bill, in consequence of the late marriage, though he should not press it to a become the most favoured of all na. division. tions. Besides, the principle of the Mr. Canning contended, that when court of Palermo was at all times ministers had so conducted them. proverbial; and there was reason to selves, as to be able to manage the believe, that the English bayonets kept government of the country during the people from attacking the governo the session of parliament, it should ment! If then the vote of credit was not be left without the ordinary not meant for America or Sicily, he powers of government at the expiry begged to ask, was it to go to the relief of the session. It could not be the of Spain and Portugal? He regrete meaning of the hon. member to arted that the session should have been gue, that because an administration allowed to pass without some ques. was weak, it ought to be deprived tion having been agitated on this of these ordinary means. To argue subject. He proceeded to take a so, the hon. gentlemaui having so view of the various disappointments often postponed the present question, and causes of complaint which our would be to admit that he had been guilty of what he was not very apt point.--He still thought, that up to to do deserting his duty. He ex- the invasion of Spain, the continuance pected the hon. gentleman would of the war was SOLELY OWING TO have introduced his motion for peace, THIS COUNTRY. For the termination 2s he had done on former years. He of that war he still naturally wished probably had changed his opinion and hoped, and he confessed that his on this subject; or if it was only an hope of peace was considerably encouomission, that was a convincing raged by the circumstance of the right proof that the subject had made a hon. gentleman's exclusion from the more faint impression than usual on cabinet. As to the misconduct or the hon. gentleman's mind. The cruelty' ascribed to Bonaparte, he beright hon. gentleman argued strong. lieved that nothing of the kind could ly on the propriety of our supporting erceed that actually comunitted by Lord the cause of Spain, even were we to Wellesley in India. It did not, there'be governed by motives purely dis- fore, become the friends of the noble interested. But supposing our ino- marquis to be so forward and loud lives to be interested, even then, he in their complaints against Bunacontended, we were the more impe- parte. In concluding, the hon. memriously called on to guard the out. ber took notice of the omisssion of works, and not wait till our very ministers to advert to the singular citadel was attacked. He concluded attempt to steal Ferdinand the Sewith observing, that Mr. Erskine venth from France, an attempt which had violated the letter and spirit of these ministers could not deny or bis instructions: the former, inas- venture to justily. much as having been directed to do Sir H. Montgomery, perceiving a certain thing, he had done ano that the hon. gentleman having no ther; and the latter, inasmuch as personal knowledge, must have dehaving been directed to concede only rived his irformation relative to the upon terms of reciprocity, he had Marquis of Wellesley's conduct in conceded without any reciprocity India, from other sources, undertook whatever.
to say, that such information was Mr. Whitbread in explanation, ad- totally false. verted to the general scope of the 'Mr. Whitbread asked whether the right hon gentleman's speech, which hon. baronet could deny, or would was in fact, no answer to him, but attempt to vindicate, the conduct which seemed to have been prepared practiced towards the Nabob of Arrather as a reply to a speech expect. cot, who was given into the hands ed from a right hon. friend of his, of his enemics, and never more heard who had announced his intevtion of of, on the invasion of the territory, bringing forward a motion upon the with all its consequent cruelties? subject of Spain. That, motion, Sir H. Montgomery asserted that, however, was abandoned; but yet to his knowledge, Lord Wellesley the right hon. gentleman was resol- was 2400 miles from the spot when ved that this prepared speech should the Nabob of Arcot was so surrennot be lost, and therefore the house dered. had been entertained by his display Mr. Whitbread observed, that such of eloquence. With regard to the might be the case, but that none of allusion made by the right hon. gen. the crueltics which took place in eleman. to his opinion respecting Spain were upon the same principle peace, he could assure the right hon. altributable to Bonaparte. For they gentleman, that he had not abjured, were not committed by him but by as he seemed to suppose, any opi- the army. Probably, indeed, Bunanion he had ever expressed upon that parte was as little concerned as Lord