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Address of congratulation on the nuptials of his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, to which his Majesty Vas pleased to return the following most gracious answer:

"I receive with the roost cordial satisfaction this very dutiful and loyal Address which is peculiarly gratifying tome, as afresh proof of your attachment to my person and family, and of the warm interest you take ia whatever concerns my domestic happiness."

The Marquis of Titchfield acquainted the House, that the Gentlemen appointed to attend her Majesty on the same occasion, had attended her Majesty accordingly; and that her Majesty was pleased to say,


"I am very sensible of the real and attachment of the House of Commons, for the King and the Royal Family, on all occa sions; and do not in the least doubt that they take considerable (hare in the joy on the present occasion."

A message was received from the Lords, stating that their Lordships had agreed to several private Bills.


Mr. M. Robinson said, that a Noble Lord had some time since mentioned that there was a great number of wounded sailors and land officers confined in the prisons of France; if such Was the fact, as he had good reason to believe, some means ought certainly to be adopted in order to procure their release by an exchange of prisoners; and if no other Member, whos was better qualified, thought proper to take up the subject, he should avail himself of an opportunity to bring it forward at an early period.

Mr. Secretary Dundas said, that he would not have it understood that the subject was at all neglected; proper measures had been taken respecting it.


On the question being put, that the Franking Bill be read a third time, Mr. Porter proposed to bring up a clause to prevent the abuses of franking at the public offices, on which a conversation of some length took place -, but as a Committee had been appointed to examine into the subject, it was agreed that the debate on the clause should be adjourned till Monday se'nnight,


The Order os the Day was read for the House to resolve itself into a Committee of Supply. The accounts of the distribution of different sums for the service of the year 1794, were ordered to be laid before the Committee.


Mr. M. A. Taylor thought this a proper opportunity for addressing one or two questions of inquiry.—Near his house he had seen a board, which announced the erection of an office for the Transport Board, and he therefore desired, as he had never before heard of that department, to be informed whether its existence had been of long duration, or whether it was newlyestablished? and he likewise asked, whether the commissioners •were separate from those of the Navy Board, or under their direction?

Mr. Rose replied, that it was a department established upon the necessity of the times, and not without a due deliberation. An order of Council had first been issued, and it was afterwards confirmed by letters patent. The Navy Board had been so much employed upon other affairs during the war, that it was absolutely expedient to create a separate board for the transport service, if we were desirous of carrying our measures on with vigour and effect; and since this establishment the persons em, ployed in it have been fully occupied. It was not original, he said, for in so early a period as Queen Anne's time there was a similar institution.

Mr. M. A. Taylor said, that he was sorry to observe that while the expences of the country were increasing, the patronage of the Crown was also extended, and it was doubtful to him whether the country would long be able to support this accumulating pressure of expcnce aud patronage. If nothing more satisfactory was said on the subject, he should think it necessary to make it the subject of a future motion.

Mr. Rose stud, that there were only three commissioners, and they had been transferred from one Navy Board to the other.

Mr. M. A- Taylor said, that the Public derived no advantage from this diminution of commissioners at the one Board, if the whole arrangement was attended with an additional expence.

Mr. Secretary Dundas said that it had been instituted at the suggestion and desire of the Navy Board, and that the business at the Transport Board had from experience been found to be done well and ceconomically.

Mr. Fox said that he was not satisfied with this general sort of eulogium. He wished to know whether this new Board was attended with an additional expence, and if so, jn what manner it was defrayed.

Air. Secretary Dundas stated that the Board had been existing for some time, and had been regularly charged among the other accounts. Mr. Dundas acknowledged that they were to be defrayed by the Public, and furthermore affirmed he was both willing and ready to answer any other questions relative thereto, because there was no mystery in the business, but on die contrary, that occafion to refer to it has already happened in the carriage of stores and troops; It would not have been instituted if Government had not really found it necessary.

Mr. Fox admitted, that if neccss'.ry it was proper, but nevertheless it was the duty of the Secretary of State, or some other person, previously to have informed the House of the reasons and ground of its necessity, and not have first established it, and then involved the House in sucli a delicate embarrassment as the refusal of the supplies for it. It might be necessary, but ministers are responsible for stating that necessity. Perhaps, however, as it was not a new institution, the expences may already be defrayed; and if they were, he should be glad tq know in what manner?

Mr. Rtse replied, "By the extraordinaries of the navy."

Mr. M. A. Taylor feared that the establishments would continue in peace as well as war; and he was well aware that such an establishment must considerably increase the public expences, since there are not only commissioners, but clerks and secretaries, &c. to provide. Upon these conditions he thought it a branch of his duty always to inquire in such cafes, whether the offices were near his premises or those of the Right Hon. Gentleman, though he supposed the latter might be most in want of them.

Mr. Æc/I'then moved a resolution, that 740,0001. should be voted to his Majesty for the deficiencies of grants of last year.

Upon this a long conversation ensued, wherein Mr. Huffly stated that ioo,oool. was unaccounted for, and touched upon the withholding of the money in the Pay-office.

Mr. Fox, Mr. Montagus, Ger,t<r;il Macleod, and General Smith were the speakers in this conversation, when, upon the passing of the resolution, Mr. Rose promised to procure a more specific and particular account.

The suin of 848,9151. was next resolved on to be granted, after some slight observations from Mr. Fox, for making good the deficiencies in the consolidated fund.


On the question that the Scotch Onota Bill be read a tliird time, vGeneral Macleod, after ad» • ting to the thinness of the House, observed that the regulations of this Bill operated in the nature pf a land-tax, and were therefore in direct violation of the' articles of the Union, by which the land-tax for Scotland was limited to 4S,oool. and declared to be for ever fixed and irrevocable. Besides, the Bill would operate differently in Scotland, from what it did in England; by the Bill for England, the;

4 burden burden fell on all who inhabited houses not exempted from taxes { in Scotland it would fall entirely on the land-holders; his own sliare would amount-to about a hundred and fifty pounds. This was surely a partial and oppressive regulation. Not less oppressive was the mode by which the land-tax was raised in Scotland; any person who should refuse to pay, was liable to have soldiers quartered upon him, till such time as he should submit to the demands of the collectors. When the land-tax for Scotland was fixed at 48,0001. it was in the proportion of four shillings in the pound for England ; the additional expence of 34,6751. to which the land-holders would be subjected by the regulations of the present Bill, brought it up to rto less than a sum of seven shillings in the pound for Scotland. Such a gross infringement of the articles of Union on the part of ministers, was by no means calculated to afford an encouraging example to the other country (Ireland), with which the* were said at present to meditate a similar union. He concluded * ith moving that the third reading of the Bill should be put off till that day se'nnight, in order to afford time to contrive some more equitable mode of carrying its regulations into effect.

The Lord Advocate for Scotland said, that these objections to the principle of the Bill having been deferred to so late a stage, and full opportunity having been subsequently afforded for the consideration of the Bill, he could by no means consent to the proposed delay.

General Macleod said, that he had intimated his objections to the Hon. and Learned Gentleman at a meeting in Scotland* but had been necessarily prevented from attending the House during the former stages of the Bil!.

Mr. Courienc.y said, that he was no judge of the justice of thtf observations on the breach of the articles of the Union, yet he thought them sufficient to justify the delay.

The House divided on the question, that the third reading b« nut off till tliis day se'nnight:

Ayes 6

, Nott * , - * .35

Majority 29. The Bill was read a third time arid passed. Adjourned.


Monday, April 20.


Lord Kenjon moved for leave to bring in a Bill to amend an Act passed in the last session of Parliament, for the relief of insolvent debtors of a certain description. The primary object of this Bill was to give persons the benefit of the late Act, who were in equity entitled to it, and next, to make a few necessary regulations in the laws, as far as they related to actions of debt.

The Earl of Moira expressed his \vissi,at all times, to support any measure that had a tendency to the public good ; and still more qordially would he support one which went to the restoring of individuals to society, who were pining out a miserable existence within the walls of a prison. His Lordship said he was apprehensive that this Bill would not go far enough, as nothing short of a change of the present system could eradicate the numerous abuses that had crept into it. The Prince of Wales,he understood,had received petitions from various persons, praying that his Royal Highness would be pleased to use bis influence in promoting an Act of Grace. To the prayer of these petitions he understood his Royal Highness lent a favourable ear. If this report was well founded, an act of grace would be much more extensive in its operation, and would render the Bill nugatory, as far as it applied to the individuals who could not take the benefit of the late Act. At any rate he trusted this Bill would not be an obstacle to the humane interference of the Prince, if his Royal Highness should deign to become an advocate for the unfortunate. Leave was given> the Bill brought in, and read the first time.


The Bill for obliging persons wearing hair-powder to take out a certificate for permission to do the fame, was read a second time, and 011 the question being put for its commitment,

The Duke of Norfolk said, he observed a clause in the Bill, which, in his opinion, was sufficient to vitiate the whole, and to induce the House either to expunge that clause, or to rejectthe Bill in toto. He wiflied, therefore, to apprise their Lordstiips, that as he had not opposed the Bill in the usual stage, and aa he did not wish to take the House by surprise, he should move for the rejection of the clause subjecting masters of families to a heavy penalty for omitting to make a return of the persons under their roof wearing hair-powder without a licence. The Bill was ordered to be committed on Thursday next.


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