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to his coinmand. He then adduced the cose relative to the Perthshire fencibles; a charge had been brought against some subalterns, who, aft'r a long and impartit
trial, had reason to expect (and it was publicly expected) that they would liave been honourably acquitted, but
from that day to this no man could say he had official knowledge of that sentence, for it was toally ! pressed, and there was great reason to suspect that that suppression was owing to the great interest exerted on behalf of the colonel, who had brought the chary's, and whose chajacter would have been seriously impeched in the acquital of the accuel, and the manner of that exculpazion, lle asked then, if any system so liable to abuse dni not imperion-ly require parliamentary interference to correct and impro'e it? He submitted ihen to the consider. ation of the house, with great bumility, the following motio:, : bich bad lony occupied his most serious attention. . lle movist that leave be given to bring in : biit to expedie the issile of courts-martial trials and other military inquiries, and to prevent any due interference in impeding or delaying the result beren!.
The Secretary cul sur said, that as he could föresce no way by which the bill proposed could be rendere loss objectionable in any of its subsequent stages, than it appeared to him to be now, he should oppose the introduction of it altogether. Independant of the many objections in der tail, there was one to the principle, that was in itself ivre surmountable; the oath injoineil by the mutiny bill that was passed but the other day to be taken by all officers sitting on courts martial, not to reveal their sentence till that. sentence had been a proved of by his majesty ; and that objec'ion could not be obviated by any alteration or aruendment in roduced into the mutiny bill, is no such eould be introduces for the space of vite yer, lill the aummal revivil of that act. After stating this one and insritionntable objection, it would not be necessary to go into any length in reply to the other argurenis of the honourable gentleman. There could be in argument drawn from analogy between the navy and the army ; they were services of a nature so essentially different, ile did not see for what end the bongtrable gentleman had cited ille cases which he had submitted to the house. The case of colonel Cochrane Johnstone would not have been bettered it the riglic of revision had not existed; for if
doubts had arisen in the ray breast as to the propriety of that genileman's conduct, hose suspicios might have as effectually retarded the profissional advancement of that officeri ile should certainly oppose the motion.
Sir Francis Burdet! said that no such right of revision existed in the navy, and he did not hear any thing like an argument from the honourable gentleman why it should not likewise be dispensed with in the regulation of the army. The honourable mover had giver to the house several strong cases of great hardship and gross abuse, which had ot been attempted to be justified or palliated by the honourable secretary:
Sir Arthur I'ellesley said that, in addition to the sea rious objections founded upon the mutiny act, there was another which renileren should attend to, namely; the present bill could not be passed into a law, without an.essens tial alteration in the articles of war.
General Fützpatrick was jealaus of any motion that tended to interfere with the right of the crown, in the constitutional controul of the army. He did not think it should be tampered with. There was no analogy between the navy and the army, in relation to their respective regulations; there were, for instance, many regulations in the army that would not be admissible in the Navy; and, vice versa, many in the navy that would be ruitrous in the army. What honourable gentleman would vest in the commaniler of a regiment, the de: potic powers $o necessarily submitted to the discretion of a captain of a ship of war ? Toargue this, therefore, was to argue upon a strained analogy. He should be obliged to resist the motion.
Mr. Lyttleton then shortly replied. Ile acknowledged he had not been aware of ifie insurmountable objection stated by the secretary at war. For the present, there. fore, he should withdraw the motion. The motion was accordingly withdrawn.
The Secretary at War obtained leave to bring in a bill to oblige certain parish officers and clerks of subdivisions to account for all money received by them in trust, for bounties, fers, and penalties.
On the notion of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, it was ordered that the house, at its risiug, should auljourn to Wednesday next.
Sir John Newport moved that the memorial of miss Simmons, complaining of the detention of certain Irish woollen good, at Liverpool, under the demand of a duty contrary to the articles of union, should be printed ; and it being obvious that the charge of breach of the articles of union was made good by them, he gave notice that he should make a motion on the subject on Thursday next.
SUGAR DISTILLATION. Lord Binning having moved the second reading of the sugar-distillation bill,
Mr. Brand opposed it, on the principle that all poli. tical interference of the legislature with the industry and general pursuits of the country was bad. He would al. low that particular circumstances might occur which would justify such interference. It might be allowed under well-founded apprehensions of scarcity, or as a measure of temporary policy. He knew, however, of no scarcity either existing or to be apprehended, which call. ed for the present measure. Wheat, which may be con. sidered as the principal food of man, was hardly ever known at a more steady, stable price than it has been for several months past. In case, however, that a scarcity should actually take place, he then wished that the crown shuold possess the power to stop the distilleries by a proclamation. At present he thought there was no reason to apprehend scarcity. Wheat had for a long time been at a low price, and a price so low as to be hardly adequate to repay the farmer. He therefore felt it bis duty to resist the second reading.
Mr. Marryalt said that as to the general principle of leaving agriculture to itself, and not interfering with it hy any legislative provisions, that principle would, in justice, be as applicable to the interests of the West India planters, or to the commerce of the country, as to its agriculture. But it was known that the interests of the West India merchants had, in point of fact, been much interfered with by the legislature. Although by the contract under which our islands were cultivated, the planters were to have the monopoly of supplying the empire with sugar; yet, when we occupied St. Domingo, we received 100,000 hogsheads annually from that colony, in competition with the produce of our own colonies, and
in violation of the contract riadle with them. Again, when it was rrprisented that the planters hild up the Price of their sugar too high, parliament interfered, and let in East India sugar in competition with it. At the time that parliament resolved on this measure, lie did not recollect that a single country gentleman raised his voice agirnst the interference of the legislature with the price of the produce of the West India cultivation. If the principle was good in the one case, why was it not also good in the other? Those country gentlemen, who now laid it down so broadly in their lectures on polirical economy, never thought of such a principle, un'il their own interests were touched. One honourable gentleman, a great land proprietor (Mr. Coke, of Norfolk), hadd on a former occasion, compared the West India islands, in value, to ozier islands in the Thames. llc would teil the honorable gentleman, however, that the commerce of the West Indies did most materially incrense the wealth and prosperity of this country, and that the increase of national wealth and prosperity had increaseul very much the reuts and value of Iris great estates. The country genilemen who oppose this bill seemed not only to have formed a science of political economy for themselves, but they had formed a new mode of arithmetic for themselves. By the common notions of arithmetic, the more you subtract from a thing, the less remains; but by the arithmetic of the country gentlemen, the more you take away from the stock of corn in the market, the more you destroy in distilleries, or in any other way, the more will be left to secure the country against scarcity. They knew, however, that this was proposed merely as a temporary measure, and that if any practical ill eífects should follow from it, ministers would have it in their power to suspend the operation of this act at any time. Tie thonghi, that when tlie inersure was brought forward as a West India question, it was brought forward as a British question ; for he conceived that the planters and cultivators of our West India colonies were as much British subjects as the inhabitants of the metropolis. Alhough the Atlantic rolls! between us and them, yet their interests were united with ours ; their habits and feelings were British ; they were proud of being governed by British laws. It was in this country that they looked to end their days; their affi'c. tiu!is were tūrired to Britain, and, they called it their nisol Vol. III.-- 1903.
ther country. He hoped then that the mother country would not act the part of an unnatural parent, At pre sent there were but about thirty-five thousand hogsheads of sugar at the West India docks, but by October, when the next crop came in, there would be above 300,0001. The average produce of our settlements for any years had been iwo hundred and seventy thousand hogsheads, and thirty thousand would surely come in from the Danish islands we had lately captured. The consumption of the British empire had never been more than two hundred thousand hogsheads annually, and therefore it was most evident that the planters must be reduced to great distress as long as the accustomed markets are shut against their prodluce. Against the next year, both the West India cultivators and the British farmers would know how to calculate the exertions that they should make. The great oljects of Buonaparte were, first, to ruin our commerce through our calonies; and secondly, to starve the people of this country into submission. If relief was refused to the West India merchants, it was probable that both these objects would be obtained. The colonics would certainly be ruined, and the first bad harvest might go near starsing the country, as long as there is no place to import frow. He thought that the measure would not at all prevent the farmers from geting a fair price for their corn, 'alihough it might prevent them from getting a most exo bitant price.
Mr. Eden spobeat some leirgth against the bill.
Mr. Buthurst thi, cyht that the general principle which was laid dowri aburit the impropriety of legislative interfererce, must be applicable only in general cases.
The some principle was equally applicable to the commerce of the country as to iís agriculture; and yet, in practice, it was found absolutely necessary for the legislature often to interfere in the affairs of commerce.
The evils under which we liboured at the present moment were these : we were excluded from importing (as we had been accustomed) the surplus corn of o her countries to meet a failure of the harvest, and at t!ic. same time we were presesc with a glut of West india produce. Those temporary evils could not be remedied by the application of any general abstract principle. He thought the present measure well calculated to relieve the West India planters, and at the same time to diminish the aların wbich pre