« PreviousContinue »
The bill was then reported, and ordered to be read a third time to-morrow.
It was next moved to go into a committee upon the bill for new-regulating certain stamp duties, &c.
Lord Holland inveighed against the principle of this bill in the severest terms, li went to oppress those who were alre::dy labouring under circumsiances of distress and dificuly, by increasing the dutics, on deeds of conveyance, which besides must fall with peculiar hardship on the proprietors of land. The bill would also severely affect attorneys, and he should never approve of any principle of taxation that tended to press with peculiar weight on any farticular class of the community,
Lord Hawkesbury observed, that under the urgent ex igences of the present moment, it was necessary to have recourse to every possible resource of revenue. The principle of the present bill had long been acknowledged and acted upon by parliament; and the increase of the duties in ihe present instance was only a further extension of that principle. That principle did not bear harder on the, landed than on the comincrcial interest; on the coun trary, it must weigh heavier on the latter than on the former, as transfers of property were more frequent among commercial men than among landed proprietors. It more : over will operate equally on the bayer and the seller.
Lords Rosslyn and Lauderdale contended, on the contrary, that the hardships of the increased duty would fall almost entirely on the seller, who, from urgent circumstanęs, was compelled to transfer his property. Indeed the principle of the bill was in every respect iniquitous aud unjust.
After a few words from Lord Hawkesbury, the house resolved itself into a committee on the bill; after which, the report was received, and the bill ordered to be read A third time to-morrow. Adjourned,
HOUSE OF COMMONS.
WED VESDAY, JUNE 29. The minor estate bill was read a second time, and or dered to be coinmitted.
A person from the office of the chief secretary for Ireland presented, pursuant to order of the house, an account, shewing ihe manner in which 500,0001. granted for the inland na vigation of Ireland had been disposed of. Ordered to tie on the table and to be printed.
! A person from the tax office presented a statement of the expences incurred by salaries 10 clerks in the office of the commissioners for the redemption of the land tax, Ordered to lie on the table.
The inspector-general of exports and imports presented an account of the quantity of articles which had been imported and warehousel, and exported in the present year, up to the 2) of May. Ordered to lie on the table; and after a few observations from Mr. Tierney and Mr. Huskisson, to be printed.
A person from the commi-sioners of Westminster bridge, presented their forir quarterly accounts for the year ending the 5th of April 1808, together with the minutes' of their proceeding,
Ordered on the motion of Mr. Tierney, that there be laid before the house, copies of all orilers given by the lord chamberlain of his majesty's household to the board of works, for the improvement of the avenues leading to Westminster hall, an'i the two buses of parliament, since the first of Janury 1800; also an account of all works done in execution of the e orders in the saine perio:l; and lastly, an account of all sums of moey wiich ha:t been issued by the lord chamberlain to the board of works for such purposes, specitying the sale of each issue, from the Ist of January, 1800, to the present time.
Mr. Long presented the report of the committee appointed to consider of the report of the commissioners to whom the memorial respecting the improvement of Westminster had been referred. Ordered to lie on the table, and to b printed.
Lord Archibald Hamilton rose to put a question to the right honourablo gentleman opposile (the chancellor of the exchequer), on a subject to which he had long since called the attension of the house, and the prosecution of which he bad on that occasion relinquished, in consequence of an assurance given to him and to the public, that the proper steps were in train for procuring justice to ihe public. The subject be alluded to was, the matter of one of the reports of the commissioners of military in, quiry respecting the conduct of Mr. Alexander Davison. It was now near twelve months since he had received the assurance that proper measures were to be pursued on this bead, and yet all that the house: knew at present was, that an inquiry had been instituted, and it was manifest that very great irregularities, to say the least, had been committed. The question he had to put was; to ascertain by the an-wer, to what extent the measures, which it might have been more desirable to resort to, had been or were acted upon. If the answer he should rea ceive should not prove satisfactory to him, be should feel it his duty, in an early part of next session, to bring the subject in some shape, or other before the house. He had but one more observation to add to what had been stated, and which was rather of a nature personal to bimself. It had been intimated to him from several quarters, that, if he had not taken up the matter, it would have been in the hands of others, who would not bave lost sight of it, and consequently he was bound to bring it under the con, sideration of the house,
The Clancellor of the Exchequer could not have the smallest objection to the production of the fullest inforanation on the subject of the inquiry to which the noble lord had alluded. The noble lord could not be unaware that a parliamentary commission had been appointed, to whoin he whole of Mr. Davison's accounts had been rc, ferred. That commission had from time to time, made reports upon the subject of the inquiry intrusied to them, to the treasury, which regularly subinitted these reports to the law advi:('rs of the crowil for their opinion, whether a civil or criminal process should be founded there. on. It appeared upon some of thein that the inquiries were not suflicient; upon others, on the contrary, it was considered that a legil deinan:! existed on the part of the naiion, to be recovered by civil process; and in every such case, application had been made to the party, as was clk tomary in all private transactions, for payment of the sum deraanded before the commencement of a civil
suit, witlr directions, in case of non-compliance with the application, to resort to legal process. As the inquiries were still in prosecution, the noble lord might, in the next session, if he desired information upon the subject, apply to the treasury, and he had no doubt the business would thet be in such'a state as to allow of the whole proceedings being laid before parliament. For the prisent, he was sure the noble lord would not expect him to explain further, but of this he could assure liat noble ford, that the subject had never been lost sight of by his majesty's ministers..
Mr. Martin wished to know in what manner the sums granted for the service of the island of Ceylon were accounted for. 1. After a short conversation between Mr. Marta in and Mr. Huskisson, it was ordered, on the motion of Mr. Martin, that there be laid before the house an account of the money issued to William Huskinson and Courtenay; Esqrs. as agents for the island of Ceylon, or otherwise, for the service of said island, from the year 1796, to the present time.
Mr. Creevey gave notice, that as no part of Mr. For. sythe's debt to the public, had been liquidated within the last three years, he should at an early period of next Bession, call the attention of the house to that subject.
A message from the lords informed the house that their lordships had agreed to the Irish jail, the Woolwich water works, the southern whale fishery, the Tower hamlets indemnity, M Dougall's estate, the Irish vote of credit, the coffee customs, the excise duty reduction, the spirit import duty, the silk duty, the six millions exchequer bills, the bop bag, the Irish spirits duty, the scamen's encouragement, the Madeira and Brazils postage, the Cinque ports, and the privately stealing bills, without any amendments, as also the Danish prize bill with an amend. ment, and the Scotch local militia bill with several amend ments, in which they desired the concurrence of that house.'
Sir Thomas Turton stated, that as the papers which he had moved for in the course of the last and present sessions were voluminous, and would, if ordered w be print. ed, be productive of great expence; and as he was not sanguine enough to expect, after what had passed, that the prosecution of the business would lead to any result consonant to bis views respecting all the circumstances of the ca e; it was not his intention to move that those papers should be printed.
FINANCE COMMITTEE. Mr. Bankes presented from the bar the third report of the committee of finance.
On the report baving been read,
Mr. Bunkes rose to move that it do lie on the table, but before he should make that proposition, he felt it necessary to address an observation or two to the house. He hoped that gentlemen would not be alarmed at the enore mous mass of papers which he had brought up, because under the instructions which had been given to the committee, he had conceived it necessary to communicate all the returns upon which the report of the committee was founded. Only a small part, however, of the papers before the house, would be necessary to be printed, and he trusted, from the part he had taken in the discussions respecting questions about the printing of papers, that the house would give him credit for not wishing o have more printed than were absolutely necessary io put the house in possession of the subject. It was only a small part therefore of the papers which he had brought that he shonld move to be printed. On presenting a report, which had occupied so large a portion of the attention of the committee, he was afraid that the house might suppose that much time had been lost in preparing it. But he could say, as well for hiinselt, as on the part of the oiher members of the committee, that they had not been wanting in their duty. The delay, and that of some months, in presenting the report, had, arisen from the contrariety of opinion which had arisen in the coramittee, owing perhaps to its being composed of too numerous an assemblage of members. If it should be the pleasure of the house, that the committee should be renewed in another session, it would be a question, founded upon the experience of the present session, whether it ought to be coin posed of so large a nuinber. Though this was the only report which the committee haul presented in the present session, he assured the house that they had attended to other subjects, upon which they had made some progress, though under the instruction given to them by the house, they had looked upon themselves as bound to suspend such in.