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that there was something like a connection with party in the opposition to the question.

Lord Binning said a few words in reply; and Mr. M.Leod spoke amidst such a general cry of Question, that it was impossible to collect the purport of his speech. A division then took place, and the numbers were: Ayes

163 Noes



S6 When strangers were re-admitted, after the division, we found the house in a committee, discussing the propriety of coming to an adjourninent on the question, as recommended by Lord Millon, Mr. Whitbrcad, Mr. Williain Smith, and Mr. Coke. The proposition was for some time resisted by the Chancellor of the Exchequer; he at length, however, declared that he would accede to the proposition of an adjournment, provided the rules of the house would admit of such a proceeding, under the circumstances of the case.

The Speaker then acquainted the committee, that there was one inode which was perfectly regular, if the house Thought proper to adopt it. That was, to agree to the whole of the resolutions pro forma, with an understanding, that the two first resolutions (those upon which there appeared to be the greatest difference of opinion) should be recommitted on some other convenient day.

After a few words from Sir George Hill, the suggestion of the speaker was adopted, and the debate was fixed for Friday:

On the motion of Mr. Sheridan, the adjourned debate on the Carnatic question was ordered to stand for Wednesday.

The other orders were tlien disposed of, and the house adjourned.


TUESDAY, MAY 24. The corks duty bill was read a second time, and committed for to-morrow.

The Earl of Lauderdale moved the rejection of a bill

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for alulishing holidays, and regulating the hours of attendance, in the customs of Ireland, and for regulating certain fees; on the ground that, there being a moneyclause for imposing a new duty, instead of the old one, on flax-seed imported, (namely threepence instead of sixe pence,) the bill was contrary to the standing order made against biils of supply having maiter in them different from and foreign to the supply,

The motion was opposed by Lord Hawkesbury and the Lord Chancellor, on the ground that the bill was not one to which it was necessary to apply the standing order ; and was supported by Lord Holland.

The question was for the second reading. The Earl of Lauderdale moved to insert the word “ rejected" instead of“ read a second time;" which was negatived, and the bill was read a second time.

The Duke of Norfolk moved for copies of the returns made to the privy council respecting the residence of the clergy, for the years 1804, 1805, 1806, and 1807. Or. dered.

On the second reading of the assessed taxes bill a short conversation took place between Lords Holland and Hawkesbury and the Earl of Darnley, respecting its further progress. . It was arranged that the bill should be committed to-morrow, and read a third time on Monday.

Lord Holland observed, that his noble friend lord Gren. ville had some fear lest it should be thought from what he said on a former occasion, that he intended again to postpone his motion on the catholic petition. He therefore wished it to be understood that his noble friend intended to make that motion on Friday.

INDICTMENT BILL. On the question for going into a committee on this bill,

Lord Erskine thought it his duty to oppose the motion, considering the bill as he did, an alteraiion in tbe law of the land without any necessity whatever being shewn for it. It had hitherto. been invariably the practice of the constitution to draw a distinction between an indictment found by a grand jury, and an information filed by order of court of king's bench, or by the attorney-general ex officio. It was now for thic first time to be declared, that on informations as well as indictments, the parties were to be held io bail. The practice had hitherto been,

on information, to summon the party by subræna ; and if he did not appear, to issue an attachment, but not to hold him to bail, the attachment being discharged the moment the party put in an appearance. Under this bill, on the information being certified, the party might immediately be held to bail. To such an alteration he could not consent unless some strong necessity was shewn; but not a word had been stated in favour of this bill, to prove any such necessity. It was nothing to the point, that the present attorney-general would not counnit any abuse of his power. They were to consider what future aitorney generals might do under this bill." The king might be deceived, and a worthless person might be appointed attorney-general: or an attoriey-general might be deceived, and might file informations ex officio for expressing opi, nions which every man had a right to express ; and persons might, under the operation of this bill, by being held to bail, be grierously oppressed at a time like the present, when the people must necessarily bear great bur:lens and endure great privations, and when there was every proba bility of their being called upon to bearstill greater burdens and endure greater privations. - Ile therefore thought it unwise and impolitic to run the risk of exciting discontent by altering that law and that practice of the constitution, which had been established by our ancestors and had continued for centuries, by placing the attorney-general on a level with a grand jury. The bill, by the powers which it gavę, tended to abridge the freedom of the press; and though he, as much any man, wished the licentiousness of the press to be checked, lie objected to this bill, because it tended to fetter the freedom of opi. nion, by placing those who uttered opinions disagreeable to the governnicnt, in the power of an officer of the


Earl Stanhope also, in strong terms, declared his disapprobation of the bill.

The question being about to be put,

Lord Hollanıl expressed his astonishment that those noble lords vi ho supported the bill did not attempt to de. fend it. It might sometimes be thought better to do a wrong thing than to speak in its favour, but such conduct was both unwise and impolitic. His lordship supported the arguments of lord Erskine, and expressed his deter, mination to oppose the going into a conimittee.

The house divided on the question for going into a committee : Contents

15 Not contents



9 In the committec, Earl Stanhope proposed an amendment; to exclude from the bill informations filed ex officio by the attorney-general; which was negatived, as were also some other amendments proposed by his lordship.

The house having resumed, the bill was reported with gut amendment. Adjourned.



TUESDAY, MAY 24. The house had to ballot to-day for a committee on an election petition. There were 117 members present; but. only twenty-two who were liable to serve, and the act requires forty-nine. The house of course adjourned.


WEDNESDAY, MAY 25. Several private bills were brought from the commons by Mr. George Vansittart, lord Charles Manners, Mr. Sumner, Mr. Byng, Mr. Graham, and other members, and read a first time. : The corks duty bill passed through a committee, and was reported.

The Irish glebe house bill was ordered to be read a third time to-morrow.

Lord Harrowby moved for some returns respecting ang. 'mented livings, which were ordered.

The Earl of Suffolk renewed his question respecting the droits of admiralty, as to their appropriation.

Lord Lawkesbury observed, that if the noble lord made a motion on the subject, it would then be for the consideration of the house w bether any account of the nature al. luded to should be produced,

The house went into a committee on the assessed taxes bill,

The Earl of Darnley thought that the restriction in killing rabbits might prove injurious to agriculture; these restrictions, however, being confined to killing rabbits in warrens, in some measure obviated this dhjection. He objected, however, to making continually trifling alterations in the game laws, but thought that they might be much improved by making ganie property on the land where it was found, and legalizing its sale.

Lord Hawkesbury observed, that no alteration was marle by this bill in the game laws, except transferring the certificate to the assessed taxes, and extending a little the oper ration of those laws. With respect to the plan of the noble earl, something similar was some years since in contemplation in the other house, but it was then thought that it-would lead to so much harshness and inconvenience that it was given up.

The bill passed through the committee, was reported, and ordered to be read a third time on Monday.

Earl Stanbope observed, with respect to the indictment bill, that he should wish to move that it be read a third time this day eight months, but as that motion would not be carried, he must confine himself to fixing a day, in order that noble lords might be aware of it, and when he hoped they would attend. He therefore proposed Monday. His lordship observed, with respect to trying a man in bis absence, that a jury, if they foun) the de. fendant was not present to take care of his own defence, might acquit him, and that a jury would not be suba ject to an attaint for an acquittal. After quoting at some length some law cases, and reading several extracts from acts of parliament, for the purpose of proving the former practice and usage of the constitution, his lordship concluded by moving that the bill be read a third time on Dionday, and that the lords be summoned. Ordered.

Adjourned till Friday.


WEDNESDAY MAY 23. Sir Sainuel Romilly brought in a bill for mitigating punishments in cases of certain capital offences. Read

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