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DEFENCE OF THE COUNTRY. The Chancellor of the Exchequer moved the order of the day for the second reading of the Bill for enabling his Majesty to provide for the defence and security of the Realm. The Bill was read a second time.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer said, that as the principle and object of this Bill had been to fully opened last night, and had met with the unanimous approbation of the House, it was totally unnecessary for him to say any thing upon it at present. The principle of the Bill having been approved of, he supposed that any discussion which took place would be in the Coma mittee. He should propose that the Bill should be committed the next day, and he understood that the Gentleman who had given notice of a Motion for that day, was willing to give way to business of such importance.
The Bill was ordered to be committed. Leave was given to bring in a Bill to empower Commissioners. to ere:t lights in the northern parts of the kingdom. Adjourned.
HOUSE OF LORDS.
Thursday, March 29.
HOUSE OF COMMONS..
Thursday, March 29. On the Motion of Mr. Ryder, several papers were referred to the Committee for promoting the British Herring Fisheries. Among the rest a Report of a Committee in the year 1788. Adjourned.
HOUSE OF LORDS.
Friday, March 30. Their Lordships read the Bills upon the Table, in their several ftages, and adjourned.
HOUSE OF COMMONS..
Friday, March 30.
DEFENCE OF THE REALM. The House resolved itself into a Committee upon the Bill for the better defence of the realm.
Mr. Dundas said, that several verbal alterations and omissions would be proposed, in consequence of suggestions which had been made. He therefore hoped that Gentlemen would attend to them, in order to see whether those suggestions had been properly attended to.
The blanks in the first clause were filled up with the words Afteen years and sixty years.
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The exceptions of particular persons were omitted, under the idea that the Bill was perfectly voluntary in its principle.
Mr. Tierney wished by no means to disturb the unanimity of the House upon the present occasion. He could not, however, agree to the first clause as it now food, because it did appear to him, that though the clause did not compel a man, yet, it put him in an invidious situation. If a return of names was to be made, and these returns were to be put up on the church doors, the Committee would see in what situation a man would be placed. What he wished was, that this should be wholly a voluntary service. He conceived that the Bill was for the purpose of enabling his Majesty to know who would ferve. If, however, the Lord Lieutenants were to make returns of all persons ready to serve, he conceived that it would tend to create divisions, particularly in places distant from London. If this suggestion were attended to, he would make no more objections to any other parts of the Bill. With respect to driving the country, that he thought might have been done by proclamation. But however the only objection he had was, that many well-meaning persons, who were as attached to their country as others, would be put in an invidious situation, which he did not believe to be in the intention of Government. ' If such were their intention, it could only apply to the disaffected. But this went to place a man who from his domestic affairs inight not be able to enrol his name for the purpose of being trained, in the same fituation as if he were dilaffected to Government.
Mr. Hobhouse said that the measure had his cordial approbation. The mode of expression might perhaps be rendered better, but a considerable part of his objections had been remedied by the omission of the exceptions.
Mr. Dundas stated his reasons for not conceiving the objections advanced to be well founded. In the firlt place he must set out with repeating what he had said on a former day, that with respect to the gener al effect of the measure, it was a Bill which left every thing to the voluntary sense of the country. That was the impression which he had of the principle of the . measure. If he differed with the Honourable Gentleman (Mr. Tierney), it was not upon the general principle : but that Gentleman must perceive, that unless these regulations were made, it would be impossible for the officers to know where they were to resort to, and in what manner the force was to be applied. Many counties had already adopted what he now proposed, and if he were to shew the nature of the steps which they had taken, the Honourable Gentleman would immediately see the necelsity of what was now submitted to the Committee. In Kent,
or any other county, 100 persons in a parish might say they wished to serve their country, but that they desired to be exercised in the use of arms. Others might lay they did not know how to make use of arms, but that they liked their own pitchforks ; a third class might with to serve as waggoners. It muft therefore be obvious, that in order to make a proper use of their services, the Government must be acquainted with the particular way in which they wished to serve. This was also indispensible with respect to the distribution of the force. These were the objects why returns were necessary.
Mr. Tierney conceived that he ought to be satisfied with the leaving out that part of the clause respecting the names. He understood then, that the names were not to be put up on the church doors, but that Government merely wished to know who were ready to serve. .
The Chancellor of the Exchequer said, that Government merely wished to know the numbers willing to serve.
Sir William Pulteney observed, that many persons might not be prepared to answer on the first application ; fome, who were not at first disposed to come forward, might afterwards change their minds, and some might be prevented by difficulties and circumstances that might cease to operate. The first return made by the Lord Lieutenants of Counties, could not be conclufive of the number willing to serve, and they had no power to make a second. He therefore thought they should be enabled to make returns from time to time.
Sir William Geary was of opinion the service of persons under this act should be confined to their respective counties.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer faid, that such an amendment was unnecessary, because they had the power of specifying the terms of their services, and stated instances in which such a limitation would be felt a great hardship.
General Tarleton also opposed the proposition. Suppose, said ne, the English should be victorious'; are the pursuers to stop in their pursuit, as they come to the bounds of their parishes or counties?
Several other clauses were agreed to. Mr. Tierney moved, that the clause which enacts that the acceptance of any commission under this act shall not vacate the leat of any member returned to serve in Parliament, be Omitted.
The Solicitor General observed, that the profits on such commiilions would not be of such an amount as to be likely to have any influence upon Gentlemen of that defcription. Mr.
Mr. Buxton wished the Honourable Gentleman would not persevere, as the consequence of his motion, if adopted; would injure the service.
Mr. Tierney replied, that he did not wish to deprive the country of the benfiet of any Gentleman's service; he merely wished to prevent its going abroad, that when Parliament part ed an act of this kind, they had any view to derive any benefit from it.
The clause was put and agreed to.
In the clause respecting the penalties against persons obstruct, ing the execution of the act, the blank was filled up with the following words, “a sum not less than five pounds, and not ex. ceeding one hundred.”
Mr. Dundas brought up a clause prescribing the mode of enforcing the penalties, which, with all the others, were agreed to, and the report ordered to be received next day. Adjourned.
HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Saturday, March 31. . Mr. Douglas brought up the Report of the Committee upon the Bill for providing more effectually for the defence of the nation,
Several additional clauses were proposed and adopted.
Mr. Secretary Dundąs said, that several suggestions had been made to him by the farmers and others of the County of Kent, that they laboured under considerable difficulty by the present Bill rendering them liable to be called out by the Lord Lieutenant or his Deputy on every alarm of danger of invasion ; that they wished it to be understood that their services would be ready in such cases of alarm in which the Commanding Officer should think it necessary to order the driving away of the cattle from the coast. That feeling the propriety of such suggestion, he should, on the third reading of the Bill, introduce a clause to that effect, Adjourned.
HOUSE OF LORDS.
Monday, April 2. The Bills on the Table were forwarded in their respective stages. Adjourned.
HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Monday, April 2. The Lord Mayor presented a Petition on behalf of the Go. vernor and Company of Merchants trading to the Levant Seas, stating that they had laid out soool. in their plan, and could not proceed without Parliamentary aid, &c. Ordered to be laid on the Table.
REDEMPTION OF THE LAND TAX. In pursuance of the Order of the Day, the House resolved ittelt into a Committee for the purpose of taking into consideration an Act passed this Seslion, for granting an aid to his Majefty by a Land Tax.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer rose, and spoke in substance as follows :---" The subject which I am now about to submit to the Committee, has of late excited contiderable attention, and given rise to contiderable enquiry. As the ultimate judga ment which the Committee will form upon it must depend upon the confideration of a great variety of details, it is not my intention to call upon you for any decision this day. I trust, however, that the principle upon which the measure is founded, only requires to be very shortly stated, in order to engage your attention, and to recommend itself to your notice. That in the prelent dituation of the country every measure which tends to Invigorate public credit, which will facilitate the means of supporting that itruggle into which we were driven for our necesa lary deience, and which has been prolonged by the obstinate amition of the enemy; that every measure which will furnith teh relources to animate the courage of the nation, and to enable us to maintain that character which Englishmen have ever diplayed, has a fair claim to the favour of the Legislature ; I
Warranted to pronounce, froin the experience of the predie seilion, the unanimity you have shewn upon former occa
$, and the recent exertions you have made for the public Elence. When I recollect, then, the temper which Parliaut has to uniformly manifested, I am fenfible that it is needolay any thing in recommendation of the principle, pro
the measure itlelf be practicable. The leading object of plan which I shall have the honour to propole, is to absorb Seat quantity of stock, to traisier a considerable portion of unded securities into landed security, and by the redemp
the present Land Tax to purchaie a quantity of stock han equivalent to the amount of the tax. That tax will due applicable in the same manner as at present, but the tion of stock it will purchase will be one-fifth larger, ting at once a considerable pecuniary gain to the s and an advantage to the individual by whom the
on thall be made. The chief recommendation of the wever, is, that it will diminish the capital of stock, and
Chat which preffes more leverely upon us than any inchience with which our situation is attended. It is a truth
Fally felt; a truth which the enemy have acknownd which faction itfelf will not venture to deny; that, itage of the war, the state of every part of our
be made applica
redemption shall be ma
remove that which prel
Now universally felt; ledged, and which fact even in this stage of the