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Roman Catholics, he did not indeed apprehend much danger from that quarter, but still he thought that such a measure as the present would open the door to farther applications, and to farther indulgencies. The elective franchise would next be demanded; the right to fit in Parliament next; the exemption from the double Land Tax, &c. With regard to the Proteítant Diflenters, the only definition he knew of them was, that they did not conform with the established Church of England; and therefore, Jews and Turks, and other non-conformists, mig it be reckoned as well as the commonly termed Dissenters and Catholics ; and he feared, that religious scruples were too often made the pretext for factious principles. He had learned, however, that the Anabaptifts (or, as they styled themselves Particular Baptists) were a distinct body, and had a government peculiar to themselves. He wished, it the Test Act was to be atcacked, it might be done fairly, and not by a fide wind, and pledged himself to oppose its repeal at all times, and in every Itage.
The Duke of Norfolk widely differed from the Learned Prelate, whose fervid eloquence correíponded to the season of the year which he had referred to. It had too often been found, that when a religious party got the upper hand they oppressed those who differed from them in opinion. His Grace said, it had been found absolutely necessary to dispense with the oath, and to admit Catholics to serve as common men in the West Riding of Yorkshire, which there were other Lords in the Houte knew to be the fact as well as he: if men of that deIcription were allowed, what possible reason could there be for refusing to trust men who had property to defend. There were, no doubt, Catholics at this moment serving in the army and navy, nay, to be found among the guards; and he thought it would be better to abolish a law, than every year pass a Bill of Indemnity for a breach of it. Without this Act palled, Catholic and Disienting Gentlemen, who were loyal, willing, and able to serve their King and Country, would be excluded för a religious scruple, and unjustly ftigmatized : what could be the iendency of such conduct, but to alienate and disguft them? He corrected the Learned Prelate by stating, that the Roman Catholics were now exempted from the double Land Tax; had his Lordship been in Parliament, he supposed his elo quence would in like manner have been exerted against that in. aulgence ; but he trusted it would have proved as fruitless upon that occafion, as it would in the present case. The Diflenters aifu were a respectable and deserving body of men ; they were friends to the Hanover Succeffion, and he thought thein very illiberaily treated by the Reverend Prelate, when he described
them as nursed in faction. He concluded by giving the Bill his support.
Lord Hawke stated that he was Chairman of the Justices in Yorkshire, where many Catholics and Dissenters were, and that it was the opinion of the Justices, that it would be expedient to take off the restriction from their serving in the Supplementary Militia. He professed himself therefore friendly to the Bill.
Lord Sydney avowed that he entertained no disrespect for the Roman Catholics and Dislenters. He had repeatedly in Parlia. ment strengthened their application for relief from the Test and Corporation Laws ; at the same time he did not with the present measure to be pressed upon the House at this late period of the Session ; but he could not help thinking, however, that when it was better understood, the objections against it would be found not well founded.
The Bishop of Bristol condemned persecution, and thought restraint only justifiable where religious principles became dangerous to the civil Constitution of the Country. He approved of the Test Laws, and felt himself bound to oppose the present Bill.
The Lord Chancellor complimented the last Speaker on the moderation of his sentiments. He feared, that the undue warmth which the agitation of this measure might occasion, would be of more injury, than the object of the Bill might be useful. He certainly did not entertain those apprehenfions which the Learned Prelates did; he viewed the measure as totally distinct from a repeal of the Test Laws, nor was it logical to argue, that if this Bill passed, the principle would lead to make dangerous facrifices. The Bill went to call for the hands and hearts of all descriptions of Christians, of whatever denomination, to repel an invading foe, who would daih all Christianity to the ground. The services required would be only temporary, and suited to the exigency of the moment; it did not affect the existing Test required of Officers of the Army or regular Militia. But though he thus far approved of the measure, yet, for the reason he had mentioned, he should vote for the Motion of the Learned Lord.
Lord Auckland was for the adjournment of the Bill.
Lord Carlife thought the rejection of the Bill would tend to irritate the Roman Catholics in Ireland, at a time when conciliation was fo necessary. It was a Bill moderate in its nature, and useful in its tendency.
Lord Grenville did not think it could have any effect of that kind, since the Government of Ireland had made much greater indulgences to Catholics than this Bill went to convey; he adNo. 46.
mitted that it was a repeal of the Test Act, as far as it went, but he would not admit that many of the conclulions drawn by the Duke of Norfolk and Bishop of Rochester, were warranted by the fact : he, however, had no objection to the Motion, being convinced that it was made with the purest intentions.
The Bishop of Rochester said, the Noble Duke had mistaken him when he supposed he meant any reflection upon the Presbyterians; he knew them well attachment to Government, and that they were as much disliked by the Diflenters as the Church of England; as one of their favourites says, “ there is no more difference between Presbytery and Episcopacy, than between a kept mistress and a common strumpet that walks the streets.". Upon the division the numbers were,
For reading the Bill this day three months, - 23
Majority against the Bill, 17 Adjourned.
HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Tuesday, July 11.
RESIGNATION OF THE CLERK. · The Speaker informed the House, that he had received a let
ter from Mr. Hatsell, the Clerk of the House, which he should not be able to read to the House without experiencing feelings of great regret and confiderable pain. He then read the letter, which stated, that he had diligently served the House in the capacity of Clerk during the term of thirty-seven years, and that it was now his with to retire from that situation. He was happy in acknowledging, that during all that time he had invariably experienced the indulgence and kindness of the House, and hoped they would now agree to his request, that John Lee, Esq. the present aliistant Clerk, may be appointed his Deputy. The Speaker begged leave to decline reading the remainder of the letter, as it chiefly consisted of the expression of acknowledgments and favourable sentiments relative to himself.
An order was made appointing -Mr. Lee, Deputy to the Clerk, pursuant to Mr. Hatlell's request.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer said, that every Member then in the House was fo weil acquainted with the great merits of Mr. Hatfell, both in regard to talents, affiduity, and inderatigable exertions, that it would be altogether unnecessary for him to enter at large upon the subject. He ihould therefore
then to enter at with moving, ite a letter
" That Mr. Speaker do write a letter to Mr. Hatsell, inform“ing him of the high and just sense which the House entertain of
“his distinguished and exemplary services, and returning him “ their thanks for the same.”
The Master of the Rolls seconded the Motion, and the same was agreed to nem. con.
Mr. Serjeant Adair presented a petition from a Mr. William Wilkinion, now and for three years past confined in the King's Bench Prifon. The petition Itated, that he had been a merchant in Antigua, and had there been relieved by a Colonial Act of Insolvency from the very debt he was now confined for. That he came over to England on an invitation from certain commissioners of accounts, in order to give information, where he had been arrested for the same debt, and so long confined. That the sum was above the limitation of the present Act, and therefore, as his health was very bad, he humbly supplicated to be relieved by the Bill now pending in favour of Insolvent Debtors, on account of considerable services rendered to this country. Ordered to lie on the Table.
The Bill to perpetuate an Act of the 5th year of his late Majesty, to prevent the committing of frauds by bankrupts, was read a third time and passed.
The Insolvent Debtors' Bill was read a third time and passed.
The Southern Whale Fishery Bill was read a third time and passed.
DUTY ON WATCHES AND CLOCKS.
On the question of the Speaker leaving th: Chair,
Mr. W. Bird opposed it on the ground that the Bill would not he beneficial to the revenue, and would, nevertheless, be highly injurious to the interests of a great body of manufacturers, not only of Watchmakers, but of others who were concerned in articles which were attached to them, such as feals, chains, &c. which would be entirely left off if Watches were not worn, as he contended would be the case if the Bund passed. He said allo, that it was a great hardthip upon the Watchmakers, as they might in some fort be said to have been taxed already during the present Sellion, a duty of eight shillings an ounce having been imposed on the kind of gold of which they made the watches. It also imposed on the masters of families a sort of inquititorial power, and rendered them liable to a disagrecable relponúbility for those who were their servants and inmates, and who might not tell them the truth as to their watches, unless they had also the still more odious task assigned to them of making a search to know who did not wear watches, as well as those who did wear them. Mr. Folliffe said, the tax had not the least chance of being
productive productive, and wished that instead of having been proposed as a lubítitute for the tax on turnpikes, that the latter had taken place. He conceived that it would be a confiderable hardihip on Gentlemen who kept servants, to be obliged to inquire which of them kept watches; and in case oi their denying that they had watches, to be under the necefiity, as it were, of rummag. ing their pockets. It would also be extremely severe on servants, who had no interest in supporting the war, to be forced to pay half-a-crown a year for that which they had acquired by the favings of years. The tax would affect the husbandmen, whose situation made it necessary for them to know the hour of the day.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer wished that the Honourable Gentleman had waited till the Bill had gone into a Committee, when he would perceive that his objections were partly removed by exemptions being made in favour of many of those descriptions of persons he had been mentioning. What was the severity, he would ask, which matters of families were to labour under? It was no more than that of putting questions to their servants and inmates, on whom a penalty was to attach if they gave an untrue answer; and the master was responsible in nothing else, except in giving in a false account. He did not expect to hear such a proposition advanced in that House, as that there was any one clals of subjects who had no interest in the welfare of the country; and he could not see that it was any great grievance to make a livery servant contribute so small a sum as half-a-crown yearly to the public service. With respect to those who might part with their watches, he knew very well that there were many persons who felt such a degree of peevilhness at being called on to contribute any thing towards the public service, that they would at first refuse to pay this tax; but their personal convenience would soon oblige them to do it : and he did not suppose there was any man, who, for the sake of 2s. 6d. a year, would lay afide his watch. With respect to a stop being put to the manufacture of new watches and clocks by this Bill; he did not conceive such a thing would take place, as he had reason to believe the manufacture for exportation to be much greater than for home consumption. As to the panegyric passed by an Honourable Gentleman on the tax lately proposed on turnpikes, he supposed, that if the present Bill was relinquilhed, a similar panegyric would be palled on it also. In short, there could be no tax which fell less heavy on the public than the present, and a certain description of persons was to be exempted.
General Tarleton said he had a letter in his hand from a body of his Constituents desiring him to oppose the Bill, on account of the great injury it would do to a very numerous class of men in and about the neighbourhood of Liverpool, who were makers