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The Earl of Lauderdale enforced the inapplicability of revenue statutes to the common law of the country, and argued that the advantages felt in carrying these revenue statutes into execution, would by no means enable us to judge how far similar or equal good was to be expected from an extension of the system. If we were once to embrace this doctrine, we might expect to see the facilities afforded by the income tax, which is a revenue statute, sought to be extended to the effect of forcing persons, at all times, to make a disclosure of their property, on the pretence that thereby bankruptcies might be diminished. Many other provisions of an equally dangerous nature might be grounded on the principle here laid down, which, on the whole, had his most decided opposition.

Lord Lolland confessed that some of his objections had been removed by his noble friend (lord Ellenborough, and by the noble lord on the woolsack; but still he continued so decidedly hostile to the preamble, and to the general principle of the measure, that he could not vote for the second reading of the bill.

The house then divided on the second reading:

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HOUSE OF COMMONS.

THURSDAY, MAY 19.

A message was received from the lords, acquainting the house with their lordships' concurrence to some pri vate bills.

Mr. M'Leod presented a petition from the freeholders of the county of Ross, against the measure now in con templation, for prohibiting distillation from barley, which was ordered to lie on the table.

Mr. Sturges Bourne brought up a bill for the better pre servation of timber in Dean and New forests, which was read a first time and ordered to be read a second time to

morrow.

A person from the court of king's bench brought to the
VOL. III.-1808.

L

bar a copy of the record in the cause Paxton versus Popham, which was ordered to lie upon the table.

Mr. Lyttleton put off his motion relative to military courts martial from to-morrow till Monday.

The Lord Advocate of Scotland presented the report of the committee appointed to inspect the journals of the house of lords, relative to the Scotch judicature bill, which was ordered to lie upon the table.

POOR LAWS.

The order of the day for the second reading of the poor settlement bill being read, Colonel Stanley moved that the bill be read now a second time.

Mr. Curwen disapproved of the bill, as being a partial measure, and moved that it should be put off till this day six months.

Mr. Lockhart thought that as all the attempts to improve the general system of the poor laws had failed, a measure which proposed a partial improvement of that system ought not to be opposed merely because it was partial. At the same time he disapproved of some of the provisions of the bill, as extremely inhuman; but as there were other provisions in the bill which he considered to be of a beneficial nature, he hoped that the house would suffer it to go to a committee.

Mr. Davies Giddy was of opinion, that the whole of the poor laws should be repealed, but that as the present bill might be attended with partially beneficial effects, it ought to be suffered to go to a committee.

Mr. Horner objected to the bill, as going entirely to change the law of settlements, and to introduce a new field of litigation; and as far as it related to the removal of Scotch and Irish poor, going to confound vagrants with those who were unable to support themselves. He should therefore vote for postponing the second reading of the bill till this day six months.

Sir Samuel Romilly also reprobated the bill, as tending to increase the difficulty of obtaining settlements, which was already too great. Instead of increasing this difficulty, he thought that no person could divine a more beneficial measure than one which should have for its object to facilitate the attainment of settlements, because the law, even as it stood at present, induces parishes to consult their own individual interests at the expence of the community.

Mr. Graham made a few observations, but we could not collect the purport of what he said.

Mr. Whitbread coincided in opinion with sir Samuel Romilly respecting the law of settlements, and announced his intention of renewing his endeavours to procure some modification of that law. As to the bill before the house, he was of opinion that it might become an instrument of dreadful hardship and oppression.

Colonel Matthew and Mr. Croker both declared themselves hostile to the bill.

Colonel Stanley said, that he was fully sensible of the weight of the objections which had been stated to the bill, and had himself stated them to those who had put the bill into his bands, but he thought himself bound to take the sense of the house upon it.

Sir Robert Peele defended the bill, and wished at all ee nts that it should go to a committee. The house divided upon the amendment:

Ayes
Noes

114

11

Majority against the bill 103

The Indian papers which were ordered to be produced were laid upon the table.

Mr. Dundas hoped, if it was in the contemplation of any honourable gentleman to move that they should be printed, that he would give proper notice of his intention.

Sir John Anstruther stated, that the papers moved for on the affairs of India consisted of no less than 5800 folio pages, and that the printing of them would cost 12,000l.

Mr. Bankes said, that the expence of printing papers was a growing evil which ought to be corrected, as it amounts now to no less a sum than 90,000l. a year. He hoped that it would be left to a committee to make a selection of such as it might be thought expedient to print.

Mr. Whitbread protested against the doctrine, that the members of the house of commons should be debarred from information, because this could not be communicated without incurring a certain expence. Was there any man, for instance, who would regret the expence which had been incurred, in printing the papers relative to the transactions in the Carnatic? He admitted, that on the present occasion, it might not be necessary to print the voluminous

mass of papers now upon the table; still, however, he thought that it would be better even to expend 10,000l. in having them printed, than to assent to the proposition of the honourable gentleman who had just sat down, of entrusting a special committee with the power of selecting such as they might think proper to print; a proceeding which was contrary to all parliamentary usage, and from which very bad consequences might result.

The papers were ordered to lie upon the table.

Mr. Dundas moved, that there be laid before the house an account of the revenue and charges of Prince of Wales's Island, in the years 1804, 5, 6, and 7, with the estimates for the said years. Ordered.

The account was afterwards brought up and ordered to be referred to the committee on Indian affairs.

Mr. Ward rose pursuant to notice, to move for a bill founded upon the recommendation of the committee of naval inquiry, and the object of which would be the encouragement of the chaplains of the royal navy. The living of Simonbourn was a very valuable one, and as it was in the gift of the commissioners of Greenwich hospital, it was thought that by dividing it, it might furnish the means of providing for six naval chaplains. It was as extensive as the county of Rutland, and the present incumbent, Mr. Scott, was arrived at a very advanced age; he should therefore move for leave to bring in a bill to empower the commissioners of Greenwich hospital to cause a survey to be made of the parish of Simonbourn, and in case of a vacancy to prevent the presentation to the living from lapsing for a time to be given. Leave given.

Mr. Bernard moved for leave to bring in a bill to enable grand juries in Ireland, to sell or exchange grounds which have been occupied by old court-lrouses and gaols. Leave given.

Mr. Wardell begged leave to ask his majesty's ministers, whether it was the intention of government that the clothing for the local militia should be provided in the same way as for the regular army?

The Chancellor of the Exchequer replied, that he wished the honourable gentleman to postpone his question, till some person connected with the department of the army clothing was present to answer it.

Mr. Wardell gave notice, that to-morrow he will move

for a letter from the lords commissioners of the treasury in 1780, respecting the clothing of the army, and for somet other papers on the same subject.

COTTON WEAVERS.

Mr. Rose rose to move for leave to bring in a bill, to limit the excessive depression of persons employed in the weaving of cotton. He was induced to this step, not from a conviction of the propriety of fixing the minimum of wages, but in compliance with the wishes of a numerous and respectable class of persons who were now suffering peculiar hardships, and who were at the same time supporting them with a patience and resolation which did them credit. The measure was proposed with the consent of the masters as well as of the journeymen, and he was sure that the house would be anxious to grant them every possible relief.

Mr. Patterson asked, whether it was meant that the operation of the bill should be general, or that it should be confined to those places where the weavers had petitioned

for relief?

Mr Rose replied, that it was intended, that its operation should be limited to those places from whence the petitions had been received.

Mr. Davies Giddy declared his opinion that the bill for which the honourable gentleman had moved, would, if carried into a law, have the most mischievous tendency, not only to the cotton manufacture, but to the persons for whose relief it was intended. Much of the distress that was at present felt by the cotton weavers, he conceived to arise, not from the wages being too low, but because at one time they were too high, a circumstance which induced more people to adopt this trade than there was a demand for, or than it could support; and were a minimum of wages now to be fixed, he was afraid that it would prove an inducement to ignorant persons to bring up their children in this line, and still further to overstock the market. He should be most happy could any other proper mode be devised of granting relief to the sufferers, but that now proposed he considered so objectionable, that even in this early stage of the business, he was resolved to take the sense of the house upon it.

Mr. Horner agreed with almost every thing which had been said by the Itonourable gentleman who had just sat

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