Page images

prince of Orange, James II. having abdicated the throne, there was no regular government left; the establishment of a new government was the result of the discussions which then took place. In the case also of Scotland, in the time of our Edward the First, the enemy was in possession of the competitors to the throne, and still the people fought for their independance. Upon this subject he felt, in common with every man in the country, the greatest anxiety as to the result; and a great anxiety also to know, as far ás it could with propriety be known, what line of policy ministers would adopt.

Lord Hawkesbury said, with respect to Sweden, that the most satisfactory assurances had been received from the court of Stockholm, of the disposition of that court to give every effect to that system which been adopted in our orders of council. He would not now argue the question respecting these orders, as it had been argued over and over again ; but he would merely state, that his opinion with respect to the policy and expediency of that measure, remained the same as he had repeatedly expresse ed in that house. The noble lord seemed to misapprehend the policy of the system adopted under the orders; inasmuch as it was merely intended to extend it to powers at war with his majesty, and to countries occupied by their arms. With respect to Spain, the prisoners, as stated by the noble lord, had been released, and upon that subject he could assure the noble lord, that it was the wish of his majesty's ministers to give every assistance to the Spanish nation that was consistent with the utmost generosity and liberality, without intermixing any partial feelings or selfish objects; every assistance that could tend to insure to them success in the glorious struggle in which they were now engaged. It was the sentiment of every man in the country, whatever might be his opinions upon other subjects, that every possible assistance should be given to the Spaniards in the contest in which they were now engaged, and bis majesty's ministers were disposed to render that assistance in the spirit of generosity and liberality, and with a hope that it might lead to that ultimate success which it was the wish of every man in the country should be the result. The present situation of Spain derived ad. ditional interest from that congeniality of sentiment which bad for centuries existed between Spain and this country, aid of which additional proofs had been derived from the recent communication with the Spanish nation. Their wars had no reference to any difference of sentiment, the congeniali y which had so long existed still remained, and excited a strong additional interest in the event of the struggle.

The Earl of Lauderdale adverted to a former statement of the noble secretary of state, with respect to the disposie tion of the court of Stockholm to give effect to the system adopted in the orders of council, and observed, that it might have been expected by this time that some engage ment would have been entered into, or that some treaty would have been signed, which might have been laid on the table of the house, and which would have been a bete ter proof of the dispositions of that court. With respect to the effect of those orders, he complained that the returns which had been some time since moved for, of the exports, imports, &c. at different ports, had not yet been laid before the house, so that they were unable to judge of the effect of those orders upon the trade of the country; but from those papers not being laid upon the table, they had at least a right to conclude, that they were not fa vourable to the conclusion which ministers wished to draw from the operation of those orders.

Lord Holland observed, that the noble secretary of state appeared to have misconceived a part of what he had said with respect to the operation of the orders of council on our intercourse with Spain. Spain, in her present anomalous state, was not, it was true, an enemy; but still she could not be considered as a neutral, and thus, under the operations of the orders of council, her ports would be blockaded with respect to the rest of the world. What he was therefore anxious to learn from ministers was, whether they intended to deal, upon this occasion, in the sale of Licences, which he considered as narrow and unwise po. licy; and whether they intended to revoke those orders, as far as they regarded the ports of Spain.

The Earl of Lauderdale adverted to the document upon the table, containing a statement of the exports and im ports at the port of London for the quarter ending the 5th of April 1808, to shew the decrease, compared with the corresponding quarters of 1807 ; the exports of British manufactures in the latter being 5,100,0001., and in the former 4,900,0001. ; and the imports, and also the ex: ports, of foreign produce, decreasing in proportion; to prove thereby the injurious effects of the orders of council,

Lord llawkesbury observed, that the amount of the exports and im orts was no criterion in itself; the question was, were they greater or less than they would have been if the measure of the orders of council bad not been resorted to ? With respect to what had been said by the noble lord (Holland), he now clearly understood the object of that noble lord to be to ascertain, wbether it was the intention of ministers to revoke the orders of council so far as regarded the ports of S. ain ? He could only state, that if the noble lord would suspeod his curiosity for a few days, he would find that ministers had not omitted the consideration of this part of the subject, and he had no hesitation in saying, that in this respect, as well as in others, it was their wish to act with the utmost generosity and liberality towards the Spanish nation.

The Earl of Darnley expressed a hope that the narrow policy of taking possession of a few ships, would not be the only stimulus to induce ministers to afford assistance to Spain. He considered the cause of the Spaniards entitled to all the aid and protection this country could afford.

Lord Holland expressed himself satisfied with the ex. planation given by the noble secretary of state.



FRIDAY, JULY I. At four o'clock the Speaker counted the house, when, only twenty-four members being present, the house necese sarily adjourned.


LORDS. SATURDAY, JULY 2. The royal assent was given by commission to the appropriation, the assessed taxes, the stamp duties, the an. nuities, the ale licences, the oyster fishery, the Scotch judges' salaries, the court of session stock, and several other bills. The commissioners were, the Lord Chancellor, the Duke of Montrose, and Lord Walsingham. The other business was forwarded. Adjourned.


SATURDAY, JULY 2. The Speaker attended in the house of lords, and on his return informed the house that he had heard the royal assent given by commission to a number of public and private bills (for which see the lords).

The sugar distillery biil was brought from the lords, with an amendment, to which their lordships desired the concurrence of the commons. : Mr. Dundas moved, that the house do agree to the dords' amendment in this bill. The bill, in fact, now stood in the precise state in which it was when it left that house. An alteration had surreptitiously been made in the bill in its passage from that to the other house of parliament, by substituting the words Great Britain for the word England, and the amendment of the lords only brought back the bill to that state in which it was when last before them. The amendment was accordingly agreed to.

Mr. Dundas then gave notice of a motion, early in the next session, for the discovery and punishinent of the person through whom the alteration bad been made.

Mr. H. Martin inquired of Mr. Huskisson if there was any prospect of the accounts he had moved for, relative to the island of Ceylon, being presented during the present session.

Mr. Huskisson was sorry to say, there was not.

Mr. Perceval having moved the usual grants to the officers of the house, &c. and among others the sum of 12001. to Mr. Wharton for his trouble in acting as chairman of the public committees of that house,

Mr. Biddulph took occasion to repeat the objections he had more than once urged to this grant, which was equal to the allowance made to the commissioners of customs and excise. - The duty to be performed by these gentlemen was constant, whereas the labour of the chairman of the committees of ways and means ceased with the session of parliament; which it was also his duty to attend, independantly of any emolument. If, therefore, 12001. a year was a sufficient remuneration for a commissioner of customs or excise, he was of opinion it was greatly too much to be paid for the discharge of the duties of chairman of the committees of supply and of ways and means. The different votes were then put and agreed to, also the sum of 52001. to carry on the additional buildings for the British museum.

Sir John Sinclair stated that the board of agriculture had been engaged for some time in collecting reports of all the different parts of the country, which were to be made the groundwork of one general report, exhibiting a com plete detail of the internal state of agriculture of the king. dom. This, it must be admitted, was a very important object, and one of great public utility. To complete this object, only 15001. would be required, a sum, which, as it was no to be annual, but was merely an accidental expence, he was convinced the house would not think of any moment, when compared with the advantages to be expected from the report. He therefore moved, that an humble address be presented to his majesty, praying that he would be graciously pleased to order, that the sum of 15001. be paid to the board of agriculture, to enable them to complete the reports, which they were now engaged in collecting from the different parts of the country, for the purpose of framing a general report of the state of agriculture throughout the kingdom. His majesty's consent being signified to this application, the address was agreed to.


Mr. Sheridan said he should have felt it to be his duty to address the house at considerable length on this subject, did he not understand that the inquiry which it was his intention to propose, would not meet with any opposition. He should, iberefore, abstain from any of those details which, if entered into, could not fail to disgust the feelings of the house, and might provoke irritation among those people who were more immediately the objects of suffering. He was satisfied that an inquiry into the evils complained of would do ministers credit, and he would rather have seen them enter into it voluntarily, than when urged on to the investigation. In bringing for

« PreviousContinue »