« PreviousContinue »
HYDE PARK. Mr. Huskisson presented an account of the land revenues of the crown ; on the motion that it do lie on the table,
Mr. Windham, though not sure that the subject to which he was about to allude was within the cog. izance of the house, yet considered it well worth its aitention. He had heard lately that it was in contemplation to extend the buildings which had already been carried too far, still further into Hyde park Any contraction of that scene of public exercise and recreation would be extremely injurious to the health and comforis of the inhabitants of this great metropolis ; and though not prepared to make any motion upon the subject, as a representative of the people, he was enti led to bring a subject of so much importance to their health and interests under the consideration of parliament.
The Chancellor of the E.rchequer was at a loss to know what the right bonourable gentleman meant. Не was not aware that the house could interfere with the dispos:il of the property of the crown, where an improyeinent was intended. When the right honourable gentleman should give notice of his motion, then the house could judge of the question in some tangible shape. It could scarcely be the right ho ourable gentleman's pinion, that na improvement was to be made, or lodge built, in the royal donnains, till reprted upon by a special committee of that house. Some building bad during the present administra ion been erected in a corner of the park, not much used for the recreation of the public, which had led to others. But he could assure that right honourable gen. tleman, that he knew of no design to extend the buildings of the town so as to con ract the park.
Mr. Windham did not impute blame to any set of men, but still contended, that this was an interesting subject, and deserving the attention of the house.
Mr. Creecey corroborated what had fallen from his right honourable friend, and a serted that a correspond. ence had taken place between several of the nobility and Mr.Fordyce, on the subject of these buildings, and that Mr, Fordyce had been so accommodating, a to recommend to the crown, that they should be allowed to build the houses they proposed. If the precedent of the encroachment were once to be established, the public would, in the
end, be excluded from the park. This was a fit object of attention of that house. Besides, the recommendation might be a matter of favouritisin, of which that house should be jealous. He therefore gave notice, that he should move for copies of the correspondence he had alluded to.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer had stated only, that he knew of no plan for extending buildings so as to contract the park. Application however had been made to the treasury to have superior buildings, in the place of very inferior ones now existing.
Mr. Biddulph observed, that if the plan were to top there it might not be so objectionable. But he assured the house he had heard, in a casual conversation concerning improvement, of a plan for surrounding the parks with a belt of houses, the profits of which would defray the expence of building such a palace as would be suitable for a king of this country to reside in.
Sir Francis Burdett had not heard of any of the plans alluded to by the honourable gentleman wlio had just sat down, and sure he was, that they would not be counte. narced in any quarter. The access to the parks was so essential to the health and recreation of the people of this great metropolis, that any beginning of encroachment ought to be resisted. If it was inte:ded only to crect buildings on the site of the riding house, he should say that the riding house took up but a small space, whereas the mansion and offices of a nobleman would e. tend over a considerable space.
Mr. Huskisson observed, that there could not be any danger of favouritism, or of a beneficial grant to the individual now, in any case of a demi e from the crown. The surveyor general of crown lan-Is, was by law obliged to report the value of the land to be demised, estimated by professional surveyors, upon o1 h, to the ireasury. As to the reports which had gone abroad, they were idle rue mours, for which there was no founda'ion. He certainly had heard some which had not even the colour of probability, such as that lord Ponsonby and other noble lords were amongst the individuals ho were to have the privilege of crecting these buildings. The honourable gentleman then entered into an explanation of the improvement that bad taken place in the crown lands.
The paper was now ordered to lie on the table, : Sir Francis Burdett said it was bis intention at an early period of next session of parliament, to call the attention of the bouse to an interesting subject, the discipline of the army, which had been incidentally discussed in the present session. He gave notice therefore that he should to morrow give notice of a motion for returns respecting the state of that discipline. Adjourned.
HOUSE OF LORDS.
THURSDAY, JUNE SO. The royal assent was notified by commission to a great number of public and private bills. Among the former were the six millions exchequer bills bill, the lottery bill, the corn distillation prohibition bill, the Scotch local militia bill, the rice importation bill, the southern whale fishery bill, the Dublin police bill, &c.
The commissioners were the Lord Chancellor, Lord Bathurst, and Lord Walsingham.
A number of bills were brought back from the commons, with the concurrence of that house to the amend. ments made by their lordships. The house then proceed. ed to forward the bills on the table.
SPAIN AND SWEDEN. On the motion for the third reading of the stamp duties bill,
Lord Suffolk rose to express his disapprobation of the principle of the bill, and of the bardships to which it would expose persons already labouring under a multiplicity of distresses. The noble eart instanced the case of some tenants of his own, upon whom he knew it would press with peculiar severity:
Lord Landerdale would not detain their lordships with a repetition of the objections to the principle of the bill, which he continued to consider as most iiquitous. He should then, however, in the most regular and public manner, enter his protest against the bill.
The Duke of Norfolk did not rise to oppose the bill. Burdened as the country already was with a load of taxes, its situation was perbaps such as, under the present circumstances, to call for and justify some addition to that burdeu. His object in rising now was to avail bimself of the privilege of a peer of parliament, and of. fer some advice to his majesty's ministers which the present posture of affairs suggested to his mind. He hoped it might not be deemed irregular or unparliamentary to offer that advice, and put a few questions to his majesty's go. vernment, at a moment when parliament was voting sup. plies for the current services of the year. In stating, however, his opinion to the house, it was by no means his wisli to draw any answers from the ministers which they should not deem it perfectly proper and safe to make; indeed he looked for no answers or observations at all respecting the subjects he should touch upon, un. Icss his majesty's ministers thought it consistent with their duty and ihe present critical state of affairs, to enter into some explanation of them. The points to which he obviously alluded, and on which the public attention most anxiously hung, were the present situation of Spain and Sweden. The most wanton ambition, the foulest perfidy, the most cruel oppression, had lately displayed themselves in Spain, to a degree unparalleled, he believed, in any age or country. These excesses had fired the Spaniards with becoming indignation and resentment, and they were Dow endeavouring to resist the fate which was preparing to overwhelin them. Such a spectacle must at all times be interesting to Englishmen; but it must be peculiarly so at the present moment. There was no man but must wish success to a generous people thus struggling in the glorious cause of the maintenance of their independance; no man, he was sure, could more cordially wish them success than he did, or would more willingly concur in the proper ineans of proinoting and ensuring that success. But what were the best mode and the proper conditions by which Spain could be assisted? 'He did not pretend to know the particular circumstances in which Spain was placed, or the degree of hope that might be entertained of the success of those who were endeavouring to resist the sternest tyranny, instigated by the most desperate ambition, that ever was attempted to be exercised by
any potentaté over the indépendance of nations. Louis XIV. it is true, aspired to universal monarchy, bat in a milder way, and with meanis less terrible. More formi- . dable abilities, and more accumulated forces, were now to be contended against, and ihe issue was of the highest moment, not only to Spain, but to this country, to Europe, and the world. What part his majesty's ministers were prepared to act at so critical a juncture, he could not conjecture. They had at present in this country delegates from the brave people in Spain, who seemed determined to stem the torrent by which they were to be swept into servitude. From these, and other sources of information, he hoped they might be enabled to collect the best information of the real state of that country, and of the probability of success with which so bold and has zardous a struggle might be attended. With such information before them, what would be their conduct? This was the point which excited his anxiety. Would they hold out encouragement and assistance to the Spaniards who were now in arms against the invaders, before they saw any form of government established in the country with which they could communicate? Would they make common cause with the patriots of Spain, before they ascertained the principles upon which they were acting, and the ends which they were endeavouring to accomplish? He could not think it politic to embark in such a cause, without some previous knowledge of the designs of the Spanish patriots, without some more defi. nile determination of the grounds upon which they were proceeding to act. He hoped ministers would, in the present ca-e, take a lesson from past experience, and recollect the result of the interference of this country in La Vendée. He felt it his duty to throw out these hints, without expecting any detailed explanation of what might be the views and intentions of his majesty's government. He now begged leave to trouble their lordships with a word or two about Sweden. The situation of that kio dom and of its sovereign was also highly interesting; respecting the issue of the struggle which that gallant prince was making against the common oppressor, he coufessed he had his fears. Still he should have our best assistance, as if our hopes of final success were most san. guine. Such an example was to be supported and upe held. But should that spirited sovereiga be also duoined