Imágenes de páginas

mined to relinquish the idea of pressing that tax, after the great opposition that had been made to it at so late a period of the Sellion, yet he by no means was of opinion that it would not be a very proper object of future taxation, in case the situation of the country should require taxes hereafter to be laid on to any considerable amount, and therefore, he begged to be understood, that, notwithstanding he had abandoned it at present, he had not altogether relinquished it. Having however given it up for the present, he now rose, in order to propose other taxes by way of substitute. In doing this he had endeavoured to select such taxes as should press leaft upon the lower orders of the people. The first tax he should propose was, an additional one on male servants, and in this he had avoided the least addition to the burdens of those who only keep one servant. He proposed that on every male servant above one an additional duty should attach of ros. each ; on those who keep three, and not more than four, 155. each; and one pound for every one above that number. This tax, he said, would amount, according to estimate, to 34,cool. The next tax he had to offer to the consideration of the Committee was, an additional one on pleasure horses, in which he had also avoided touching those who kept no more than one. The addition he meant to impose was 55. on all horses kept for pleasure except one, which he estimated to amount to 24,000l. These two sums, taken together, amounted to near 60,000l. and he said that 20 per cent, on the whole of the taxes on horses for agriculture, which he had not mentioned before, would amount to 30,000l. which was, altogether, the 90,000l, he had estimated the tax on Inland Navigation to produce. These were the taxes he proposed as substitutes for the one he had given up, and he made no doubt they would be deemed as proper as any which could now be devised, both by the Committee and the public.

The Resolutions were read and agreed to.

The Attorney General rose, in pursuance of the notice he had given yesterday, to move for leave to bring in a Bill to prevent the administering of Illegal Oaths. He said the common law already affixed a considerable punishment on this offence; and when it was considered how much this horrid practice had lately prevailed, to the great injury of the Government and the country, he thought it his duty to point out to deluded men what the nature of the crime, and the punishment attached to it, were by a direct statute. The practice had certainly prevailed to a very alarming degree of late, and he scarcely knew how to express his feelings at the attempts of those evil-minded perfons, who by such means endeavoured to subvert the constituted and constitutional authorities of the country. Those feelings

1o E 2

would would be easier conceived than described. It certainly could not too soon be put an end to. He concluded by making his M tion to the above purport.

Mr. Hulley desired the Learned Gentleman would inform him what the crime was at present by the common law.

The Attorney-General answered that it was a misdemeanour.

Mr. Nicolls faid, he did not see any necessity for the Act, unless it was intended thereby to inflict a punishment beyond what the common law prescribed.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer saw the subject in a very different light from the Honourable Gentleman who had just sat down. He differed somewhat also from his Honourable and Learned Friend. He was desirous to make known to the Public not only what the law was, but the punishment also. It was absolutely neceflary to subdue that intolerable and destructive spirit of disaffection which had, in too many instances, thewn itself. This was brought to its full growth by means of oaths secretly administered for the purpose of fraternizing against the interests of the State. This practice was one of the strongest and most effective engines of Treason, was used to destroy che liberties of the country, to villify our holy religion, and to overthrow our invaluable Constitution. The motion was agreed to, and the Attorney and Solicitor General, with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, ordered to bring in the Bill.

Mr. Rose brought up an Estimate of the proposed additional allowance to the Volunteer Cavalry.

'The Bill imposing a Stamp on Deeds was read a second time, and ordered to be committed on Monday.

The General Inclosure Bill, by agreement, was read a third time and passed.

Mr. Dent postponed his intended Motion on the Dog Tax till next session, but gave notice that he intended then to move for a Bill to authorize the farming the produce of the Tax. Adjourned.


Monday, July 1o. The India Judicature Bill and the Affefied House Duty Bill were read a third time and passed.

SUBSIDY TO THE QUEEN OF PORTUGAL. The Report of the Committee of Supply was brought in, the Resolutions read and agreed to, and a Bill ordered to be brought in for enabling his Majesty to grant 200,00ol. by way of Sublidy, to the Queen of Portugal.

The House resolved itself into a Committee of Supply, to

[ocr errors]

was of ch Wichected

which the account respecting the Corps of Volunteer Cavalry was ordered to be referred.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer said, it was a fact that hitherto all the expences of the Clothing and Accoutrements of the Volunteer Corps of Cavalry had been defrayed by voluntary subscription; it could not, however, be expected that that expence should be so defrayed in future. With respect to these Corps, the continuance of them was of the utmost importance; at present, however, it was not his intention to propose any thing permanent upon the subject, but to reserve any propofition which he might have to make to another Seflion. In whatever fituation that Session found the country, whether under the continuance of a War, or in the Session of Peace, in either alternative the Nation could not, he trusted, be inclined to part with these Volunteer Cavalry Corps. In pursuance of this hope and belief, he should next Session submit something permanent even in the times of Peace; at present he should only propose to defray the expence of the Clothing and Accoutrements, which, fupposing the Clothing to be found once in four years, which was often enough, considering the short time the Corps were on duty, 'would amount, one year with another, to 31. per year per man. The number of these men was 10,000, a number which he trusted would be increased rather than diminished: the expence therefore would be 30,000l. When any thing permanent was adopted, he should hope that the expence might be defrayed by each county out of the Land Tax. Mr. Pitt concluded by moving, that there be granted to his Majesty the sum of 30,000l. towards defraying the expence of the Clothing and Accoutrements of the Volunteer Corps of Cavalry.

After some conversation between General Tarleton, Mr. Jolliffe, and Mr. Burdon, the Motion was agreed to.

In a Committee of Ways and Means,

The Chancellor of the Exchequer moved, that towards making good the Supply granted to his Majesty, there ihould be issued and applied the sum of two millions out of the Consolidated Fund. Agreed to.

INSOLVENT DEBTORS. The Report of the Insolvent Debtors Bill was brought up and read.

The Attorney General proposed a clause to extend the provifions of the Bill to persons not having had the benefit of the Act of Insolvency of the 34th of the King, provided the debt or debts of such persons did not exceed in the whole the sum of 3pool.

Mr. Serjeant Adair objected to this proviso, and was against any limitation of the sum. There was a clause in the Bill which


he particularly approved of, viz. that no person should have the benefit of this Act who had taken advantage of the last Insolvent Act. He therefore moved, as an amendment, that the whole of the proviso, “provided such debt or debts do not exceed, in the whole, the sum of 3000l.” should be omitted.

The amendment was agreed to, the proviso was accordingly ftruck out of the clause, which in its amended state was carried and made part of the Bill. .

Mr. Serjeant Adair called to the recollection of the House, that eight persons who were Quakers, had been long confined in York Jail, for non-payment of Tythes, at the suit of the Rev. G:orge Markham, Rector of Charlton, in the West Riding of Yorkshire. These unfortunate persons must lie in Jail for an indefinite term, be ause they could not conform to the provisions of the Bill. He therefore proposed a Clause, to extend relief to them. The Clause was adopted, and made part of the Bill. The Report was then agreed to, and the Bill ordered to be engrossed.

Mr. Anftruther and Mr. Brogden presented Petitions from several Merchants of Manchester, London, Westininister, Surry, Berry, Bolton, and Aylesbury, against the Ship-owner's Relief Bill.

A Petition was likewise presented from the Merchants of Nairsborough against the said Bill. They were all ordered to be laid on the Table. Adjourned.


Tuesday, July 11.

ASSEMBLING PARLIAMENT. Lord Grenville observed, if the country was in a tranquil state, and we lived under our happy Constitution, it was folely owing to the firmn is of Parliament, which had been so repeatedly manifested upon the most trying occasions ;---to this firmness the people looked up as their greatest security, and therefore he had been induced to bring forward the Ad he then held in his hand, which had been drawn up by a Noble Lord, of whose assiduity to serve his country no man could doubt, and whose absence at present was to be attributed to his being upon his military duty. Without entering into the reasons why it was determined to give so long a period as forty days notice for the meeting of Parliament, it was sufficient for him there was no neceflity for it at present, and since, under the peculiar circumstances of the country, the King might with to have a speedy communication with Parliament, this Act went to enable him to call them together in the space of fourteen days. By the Act of Quen Anne, it had always remained a matter of doubt how


Parliament should assemble, if the demise of the Crown should
take place after a diffolution, and before its meeting, or whe-
ther the new-elected or old Parliament ihould meet, a doubt
which this Act was also calculated to remove, by making it a
part of the Constitution, that, in that case, the new Members
ihould allemble the day after Writs were made returnable.
· The Duke of Norfolk wished to know if the innovation on our
Conftitution was to be permanent or only temporary.

Lord Grenville replied, permanent; and he did not think the
people would much complain if our Conftitution received no
other innovation than that of enabling his Majesty to consult
the more ealily with his Parliament.
The Act was read a first time, and ordered to be printed.

TEST ACT. Upon the Order of the Day for the second reading of the Bill for allowing Roman Catholics and Protestant Diflenters to serve as Officers in the Supplementary Militia,

Lord Kenyon rose to express a with that their Lordships would not pass a Bill which tended in a great measure to alter the established Laws of the Land, without the most solemn and ferious consideration, and that too at the very end of one of the longest and most arduous Sessions of Parliament that we had ever known in this country. And when so many Nobles and Prelates were necessarily ablent. He avowed his own attachment to the established Church of England, and considered the present Bill as trenching upon the Test Act, which was conlidered as a bulwark of the Constitution ; he thought therefore it would be but fair, to give such as were of his opinion sufficient time to state their objections: therefore, without entering into the policy, but for these reasons only, he should move that it be read a fecond time this day three months.

The Bishop of Rochester said, that the Motion had his hearty, concurrence. He was much surprised to find a Bill introduced during the dog-days, which affected the bulwarks of the Constitution, and which the experience of above one hundred years had proved so serviceable to guard against the designs of the various Sećtaries and Dislenters from the established Church of England, Most of the Epifcopal Bench were necessarily abfent in vifitation of their diocetes, and he thought it indecent to agitate such a meafure in the absence of those who were placed in Parliament to watch fuch subjects as might injure the ecclesiastical fabric of the Constitution. He loved to speak out plainly, and was equally indifferent to contempt and the aura popularis. He would meet the queltion fairly, and fay, that he for one could by no means approve of the adınission of Diflenters to hold commillions in the army, &c. With regard to the native-born


« AnteriorContinuar »