« AnteriorContinuar »
received, by the post, several peritions, purporting to be tranfmitted from different ships of the Channel Fleet. They were all exact copies of each other, limited solely to a request for an increase of pay, that the seamen might be able to make better provision for their families; decently expressed, without any fignature. His Lordship could not reply to applications which were anonymous; nor acknowledge the receipt of them to parties unavowed and una certained. About four or five of the petitions first received, though little different in the hand-writing, were obviously dated by the same person: and his Lordship had therein farther reason to think they were fabricated by some malicious individual, who meant to insinuate the prevalence of a general discontent in the fleet. Not resting, however, on this conclusion, his Lordship wrote to the officer at Portsmouth (to whom he was naturally to expect such appplications would, in his absence, he addresled), to inquire whether any such dissatisfaction exifted in the fleet. The answer was, that no such appearance had been heard of there, and it was supposed the pe. titions had been framed for the purpose he suspected.
On the morning of the 22d of March, the day after his Lordfhip was able to come to town, one of the Lords of the Admiralty, now absent on service, happening to call upon him, he (Earl Howe) related these particulars to him, shewed him the petitions, and fent them the same day to his house in the Office, that they might be communicated to the Noble Earl who prefides at that Board. Of the subsequent events he had no other knowledge than such as was to be obtained in the daily papers ; and demands for an increase of pay, by a fleet or army on service, were not to be discussed, his Lordship apprehended, in an anonymous correspondence.
His Lordship concluded by making some remarks on the effect of his former observations, and vindicated the character of the British scamen in general, whom he described as open-hearted and generous, but too easily misguided. Adjourned.
HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Wednesday, May 3.
COUNTY RATE BILL.
The Marquis of Titchfield stated, that in objecting to this Bill he had no desire to controvert the principle that the burdens of a county ought to be borne in fair proportion upon its several parts; but he thought that certain districts merited fome exemptions, where, under the implied faith of Parliament, the proprietors had expended sums of money in improvements, which otherwise they would not have done, if they had supposed the rates would have been altered. He therefore should propose an amendment, that instead of the word “ now,” “this day three months” should be inserted.
Mr. William Dundas seconded the Amendment.
Mr. Sheridan objected to the Amendment; and thought, as the Noble Lord had stated, that Parliament was pledged, he should have thewn where. He then entered into the detail of the inequalities of the rate, and hoped the Noble Marquis would withdraw his Amendment.
Mr. Courtenay made an ironical speech against the Bill. The Bill must have been framed by Jacobins, for the petition against it stated it to be founded on the visionary basis of equality. He had haard it said that King William had given that district to an old active whig in the revolution, who had been a zealous allertor of liberty in this country, and had co-operated to bring Irea land into that state of freedom and happiness which it now enjoyed; and therefore to attempt an innovation there, was obliquely to attack the principles of the Constitution. Besides, if the Noble possessor had sold any part, he had an increased price for it on account of the lowness of the rates; therefore, if they were altered, he was convinced Bills in Equity might be fled to make him refund a proportion. He understood all the lawyers supported the bill, doubtless because they know they were procuring lawsuits for themselves. He was allo glad to see so numerous an attendance on this important business, much more numerous than usually attended upon the trilling business of voting away two or three millions of money, and did not doubt but they, in support of the Amendment, would divide in a majority equal to that which gave away our money to the Emperor.
After a few more observations in favour of the Bill from Mr. Mainwaring, Mr. Curwen, and Sir W. Young; and the Speaker stating that the objections of the Noble Lord might be urged in a Committee, and if the Bill did not meet his approbation when so amended, that he then might oppose the whole on the Report on the third reading, the Noble Marquis consented to withdraw his Motion.
MESSAGE FROM THE KING. The Chancellor of the Exchequer brought down a message from his Majesty, which was in substance as follows:
That his Majesty had agreed to a marriage between the Princess Royal and his Serene Highness the Duke of Wirtemberg, and that he thought fit to communicate the same to the House, being fully perfuaded that an alliance with a Protestant Prince, of such high rank and exalted station, connected with his Majesty's Family by a common descent from the Princess Sophia of Hanover, could not fail of being highly acceptable to all. From the many proofs of affectionate attachment which his majesty had received from his faithful Commons, he could not doubt but that they would concur in making the usual provision, for the marriage of the eldest daughter of the Royal Family of England on luch an event.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer said, that the subject was of such a nature as he was fure made it unneceilary for him to say a word on the complexion of the address which the House should make in return. He therefore should move an humble address, and that the House would proceed to consider it immediately which passed nem. con.---The address was an echo of the meslage.
LOAN TO THE EMPEROR. Mr. Fox rose to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, after the intelligence which Ministers he believed had received, and of which the public were now in poffeflion, it was his intention to go on with the Loan to the Emperor ? He wished to know whether, after the Emperor had concluded a separate peace, after they saw the situation of affairs on the continent; when they law the delusive hopes held out by the Right Honourable Gentieman blasted, and the statements on which he had proceeded proved to be false, was it possible for those who had trusted to his declarations, was it possible for the House, in such circumstances to go on? When the Report of the Committee of Supply was agreed to last night, this important intelligence he understood was known to Ministers, though they had given no such information to the House; and he wished to know whether it would make any difference in their measures upon chis subject? He wished for some delay at least before the matter was pressed further ; at all events there were future stages on which it would be submitted to the confideration of the House.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer said, as to any intelligence on the subject alluded to, Government had none but through the medium of French papers, but the accounts which they contained of preliminaries being figned, were not sufficiently detailed to warrant any positive conclusion, or to determine what line of conduct Parliament was to pursue. There were future stages for the discussion of the measure of the Imperial Loan.--Farther he declined saying.
Mr. Fox laid that he meant to sav that Ministers were in porfefsion of the information now before the public, at the time when the Report of the Imperial Loan Resolution was agreed to, though nothing had then been said of it.
The Chancelor of the Exchequer said that he had then seen none of the French papers. He understood subsequent to it that French papers were in England with accounts of preliminaries
being signed, but though he had known all he knew now, he would have done just as he had done.
Mr. Sheridan wished to know whether the House might understand that no money would be sent to the Emperor till the truth of the information was ascertained ?
The Chancellor of the Exchequer said he meant to proceed with the Loan Bill to-morrow.
Mr. Jekyll said he was not satisfied with the answer the Chancellor of the Exchequer had made. He wished to know whether any money had been sent to the Emperor since the vote of last night?
The Chancellor of the Exchequer made no answer.
Mr. Jekyll then said, he should move for an accouut of the money fent to the Emperor fince the vote of last night.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer said, he was willing to second this Motion.
WASTE LANDS. The Report of the Committee on the cultivation of Waste Lands was brought up.
The Speaker observed, that one of the Resolutions of the Committee, stating, that it was their opinion, that a Bill ought to pass, was wholly irregular, as it was, in a manner, dictating to the House.
After a short conversation, the Bill was ordered to be recommitted for Friday next. .
Sir John Sinclair said, it was with the utmost astonishment he saw the manner in which this Bill had been received. He had expected, that every Gentleman who valued the prosperity of the Country,' would have been anxious to give it every support. He hoped, that Gentlemen would look into the Report; and he was sure, if they did not agree with the meafure now proposed, they would see the necessity of proposing fome other in its room. 1
. ADVANCES TO THE EMPEROR. Mr. Jekyll said, it so feldom happened, that any proposition of his met with the support of the Right Honourable Gentleman opposite, that he could not fuffer this opportunity to país, of cal. ling upon the Right Honourable Gentleman to perform his promile. He should, therefore, move, that there be laid before the House, an account of all the sums advanced to the Emperor, and now outstanding.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer said, that, although he should not oppose the Motion, yet he begged to observe, that the Motion now made, was very different from that which he had promised to second. The Honourable Gentleman at first said, he only wanted an account of the sums advanced to the Emperor No. 34
mile. "Pon the he couupport.com h
. since the last discussion took place. He, however, had no objection to the House being in possession of all the facts upon the subject; and they would then see, whether it was for the motive afiigned by the Honourable Gentleman, that he had declined giving him an answer.
The Motion was then agreed to.
WAYS AND MEANS. · The Chancellor of the Exchequer moved, that the sum of 1,500,000 be granted for the service of Ireland. He ftated, that this sum was included in the Loan which had been contracted for. .
The Resolution was agreed to. Mr. M Dowall moved, that leave be given to bring in a Bill to continue the Scotch Small Note Bill, passed this Selfion.---Agreed. Adjourned.
HOUSE OF LORDS.
Thursday, May 4. The Order of the Day being read for taking his Majesty's Message into consideration, respecting granting a further Loan to the Emperor, and raising a sum for the service of Ireland,
Lord Grenville faid, that he should only detain the House for a few moments. Of the propriety of sending 1,500,000l. to Ireland in the present state of affairs in that country, he supposed that none would be disposed to doubt. The 1,600,000l. which had been already advanced for the service of the Emperor, he also conceived that their Lordships could have no objection to make good. And when the present situation of Europe was considered, and the object of an honourable and permanent peace kept in view, he was convinced that no measure could be adopted which would tend so effectually to promote that object as guaranteeing a Loan for the service of his Imperial Majesty to the amount of 2,000,000l. more. He therefore proposed an Address, which was the echo of the King's Message, and which was agreed to nem. diff.
Adjourned. : . : : HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Thursday, May 4. á This being the day for the consideration of the petition complaining of an undue election for the Borough of Malmesbury, there only being 95 members present at four o'clock, the . House Adjourned.