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asked the noblè lord, whether our fortifications were in such a state, that if Buona parte were to see them he would pull off his bat to them with respect ? The noble lord had replied that the fortifications of the coast were in some places complete, and in others advancing to completion ; and also that the other military arrangements for the distribution of our force were of such a nature that every person might lay his head upou his pillow, and sleep in security. He would trouble the house with a few words on what had fallen from the right honourable gentleman respecting the return of sir Jobn Moore. Every body knew that a small risk onght to be run for a great object; but all hough it might have been very advisable to leave Sicily for a short time undefended, he confessed be could not divine why the force under sir John Moore did not return from Gibraltar to the defence of that island, instead of a fresh force being sent out from this country for that purpose. He had always been given to understand, that the return to England of sir John Moore, had been occasioned by a mistake which might happen to any administration ; but the right honourable gentleman had claimed the blame for his majesty's ministers, by declaring that the return of that gallant officer was in conformity to his instructions. In his opinion, a great risk had been incurred for a little object; for certainly it was a great risk to leave Sicily undefinded for such a length of time. He was very happy to learn, that the come mercial arrangements between Great Britain and Sweden were of such a satisfactory nature. He would take it for granted (although the right honourable gentleman had abstained from touching on this part of the subject), that it was intended to put the orders of council into full activity in this country. If so, and if facilities were to be given to their operation in Sweden, then on the comnience. ment of the next session of parliament, the country would see, without the possibility of evasion, whether those orders had been founded in wisdom, as asserted by his ma. jesty's ministers ; or whether, as it was asserted by his side of the house, they were an instance of the grossest political absurdity that was ever committed. The ques. tion would be fairly at issue. Undoubtedly it was the wish of his friends, and of himself, that they might be mistaken upon it. He was proceeding to advert on the fength of the session, when he was called to order by
Mr. Canning, who observed that the honourable gen tleman was going beyond all bounds of explanation.
Lord Castlereagh denied that his right honourable friend (Mr. Yorke) had exhibited any discouraging view of the military means and resources of the country. He bad merely called the attention of his majesty's govern.. ment to a species of defence which the house knew very well could not be brought to perfection in a limited s: acc of time. The honourable gentleman opposite would have acted but fairly if he had congratulated the house on the great accession that had been made to the military strength of the country in other respects. To this accession his right honourable friend bad done justice, when he stated, that he could not flatter himself ibe army would ever be carried to a higher pitch than that at which it had arrived. The hononrable gentleman opposite, amidst the various topics of his speech, might have stated, if he had chosen, that his majesty's ministers in eight months, had added 40,00 effective men to the regular force of the country, On the next meeting of parliament he had no doubt that he should have to congratulate them on the success of the other efforts that were making for the increase of the means of nilitary defence. Adverting to the return of sir John Moore, he observed, that there were various considerations in distributing the force of the country, which had in duced his majesty's ministers to garrison Sicily with fresh troops, rather than with those that had quitted it for Pertugal. The return of sir John Moore was in obedience to his orders. It was the effect, not of chance, but of design.
Mr. Whitbread obseryed, that the right hon urable gentleman (Mr. Yorke) who had spoken so ably a few evenings ago on the military defence of the country, after having dwelt on the prodigious military power of France, had expressly contended, that the navy of England ought not alone to be depended upon for our defence, and that it was the duty of government by every means, and more particularly by an increase of fortification, to add to our security against any sudden danger that might arise.
Mr. Dundas replied to those observations of the ho nourable gentleman, which related to the affairs of the East India company. The honourable gentleman had asked whether the account between his majesty's governineix
and the East India company had been brought fo a final close ; ad whether the sum that had been already vited was all that it was intended to propose on that subject ? Undoubtedly, in his apprehension, as far as related to the account of which the balance was struck, with the exception perhaps of some items, of which only a rough estimate had been given, for want of the necessary documents But it should be observed, that the account between government and the East India company was an account current, and that if the balance were struck at a particular period, the account still going on, theʼresult must necessarily alter. The honourable gentleman supposed that the aids to the company would be sufficient to carry them on till the reassembling of parliament. The fact was, that at the commencement of the present session, circumstances led him (Mr. Dundas) to suppose that the company 'would require further aid ; but the balance dne to them from government turning out to be larger th:22 was imagined, and the company's affairs assuming a more favourable aspect, as far as related to their sales at home, he had now no hesitation in declaring, that his decided opinion was that the company could go on very well without further assistance unti the reassembling of parliament. He had therefore not felt authorised to come to parliament for any further aid during the present session. Whether parliament would be called upon in the next session for further aid he knew not, but if they were, he thouglit they would do well, not merely to consider the pecuniary circumstances of the company, at the tiine when such aid might be required, but to look into all the bearings of their affairs, and to consider how far such aid might be accompanied by regulations, which would , lace the company in a better situation than that in which they were now placed.
The amendments were then agreed to, and the bill was ordered to be read a third time to-morrow.
Mr. Barham, after enumerating the various measure's that had been adopted and recoininended for the relief of the West India interest, and commenting upon their value and efficacy, moved, pursuant to his notice, that the bousc do resolve itself into a committee of the whole house, to take into consideration the second and third reports of the West India committee.
On the question being put,
Lord Binning rose to second the motion, and regreited that the motion should have been made in so thin a house, as the subject was of sufficient importance to entitle it to a fuller attendance.
Mr. Rose regretted that the honourable gentleman should, at this stage of the session, have thought proper to bring forward a question of this description. The honourable gentleman, from his speech, seemed to have brought forward the motion with a view to give him an opportunity of stating that all the measyres which had been taken for the relief of the West Indies were not effectual to their object. The right honourable gentleman then entered into a statement to shew that the measures adopted were, and would be, beneficial to the West India interests.
After a short conversation between Mr. Marryat, Mr. Ilibbert, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr. Ellis, Lord Henry Petty, Mr. Barker, and Mr. Rose, the motion was negatived without a division,
The assessed taxes bill was read a third time on the motion of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and passed.
The Westminster improvement bill was read a third time, and after a short conversation upon the subject of a clause proposed by Mr. William Smith, to empower the commissioners to purchase certain grounds where a fire had lately occurred, and which were contiguous to the ground already purchased by the commissioners; Mr. Bankes having opposed the clause, which was supported by Mr. Long, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Mr. Rose, the clause was brought up and added to the bill
of rider, after which the bill passed. Mr. Huskisson brought up Mr. Palmer's arrears bill, which was read a first time.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, in moving that it be read a second time to-morrow, stated it to be his intentio' to give every support to this bill for carrying it through that house. But if the honourable gentleman who was concerned in the measure did not wish that it should proceed furber, he should feel that he had done his duty in bringing it in, and the honourable gentleman might, if he thought it right, suffer the order of the day to dropa
Mr. William Smith exculpated the right honourable gentleman (the chancellor of the exchequer) from any blame, for having given his majesty's consent to the introduction of this business into the house, at the time that he candidly declared his intention to oppose - the claims.
After a few words from Mr. Adair, Mr. Bankes, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the bill was ordered to be read a second time to-morrow.
The Lord Advocate of Scotland moved the order of the day for the third reading of the Scotch judicature bill. On the question being put, that the bill be now read a third time, - Mr. Adam made some observations against the measure, which was defended by the Lord Advocate. The bill was then passed.
The woollen penalty suspension bill was read a third time, and passed :
Also the hop-bag bill, the sugar-distillery duty bill, the Irish spirit countervailing duty bill, and the oyster fishery bill. Adjourned.
SATURDAY, JUNE 25, In a committee of privileges, Mr. Brougham was heard for lady Essex Ker, and sir Samuel Romilly for sir Ja es Innes, on the right of Mr. Bellenden Ker and lady Essex Ker, to be heard in the claim for the Roxburgh peerage. : The objection to hearing lady Essex Ker seemed in a great measure to be abandoned, and the Lord Chancellor stated, that he should endeavour, in the course of Monday, to consider the question as to the right of Mr. Bel. lenden Ker, so as to state bis opinion at the sitting of the committee of privileges on Tuesday.
The royal 'assent was afterwards given by commission to the Irish bank bill, the pilo's' regulation bill, the Cape of Good Hope trade bill, ihe expiring laws bill, the bill for regulating the trade between Great Britain and the Portuguese territories on the continent of South Americà, the British white herring fishery bill, and several others. The amendments of the commons to the Scotch judi. VOL.III.-1808.