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The question was then put, and carried without a division, that the further reading of this Bill be postponed to this day three months.
Several public and private Bills were read in their respective stages.---Adjourned.
HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Monday, July 17.
An Address was ordered to be presented nem. con. to his Majesty, to recommend the Rev. Wm. Buíby, the Chaplain of that House, to some preferment as a reward for his services.
Addresses were also ordered to be presented to his Majesty, to recommend his Majesty to order 14091, to be iflued to Mr. Hughes for 1500 copies of the Journals of the House, froin 1774 to 1790; 210l. to Mr George Williams, for an Index to the Votes ; a compensation to the persons appointed to examine the accounts incurred by the Trial of Warren Hastings, Esq. and 1000l. to Mr. Samuel Dunn, as a final compensation for his trouble, pains, and expence, in compiling an Index to the Journals of the House, and the House would hereafter make good the same.
A new Writ was ordered for the town of Northampton in the room of Thomas Powis, Esq. who has accepted the Steward. ship of the Chiltern Hundreds.
Resolutions of the Committee on the East-India Budget were reported and agreed to.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer moved, that the Committee on the Wet Dock Bill should report the minutes of evidence in order to have them printed, which, after a desuitory conversation respecting the regularity of such a proceeding, was ordered.
The Pleasure Horse Duty, Sinall Notes, Scotch Election, Stamp Deed Duty, Provisional Cavalry, Confolidated fund, and Legacy Bills, were read a third time and passed,
Upon the Order of the Day being read, for the House to refolve itself into a Committee to consider of the Bill enabling his Majesty to call Parliament together within fourteen days,
Mr. Wigley objected. When it came into the House, it was read a first and second time immediately, and upon his inquiry whether there was any particular occasion for the Bill, he was told there was none; and yet, to his surprise, soon after, the Right Honourable Gentleman, (Mr. Pitt) moved to have it printed, to make it plausible as having received the due coníderation of Parliament. Had it not been for the delay of Public Business, which he should thereby have caused in conseNo. 46.
of the Daywitment of the Bihis day mo
quence of the thin attendance, he would that day have divided the House upon the Motion for the second reading; and that was the reason why he had this day moved to have the Order for the commitment of the Bill postponed till the other Orders of the Day were disposed of. By the Militia Laws, in case of Invasion or Rebellion, his Majesty was at present enabled to convene Parliament in 14 days after having called out the Militia, and therefore he saw no neceflity for the Bill. He objected also for a different purpose, because he knew no statute law to summon Paliament antecedent to the time of prorogation, though a precedent for such measure appeared on the Journals, in the 19th of Charles II. when Parliament was prorogued from the 26th of June to the roth of October, and yet met in the interim on the 25th of July, being convened on account ofthe general fear of an invasion, though no invasion happened. By the Act of Geo. II. such power was not repealed. He had no objection to any temporary alteration, if neceslary; but he did not wish to make such a power permanent invasion, for although he did not suspect Ministers of any bad intention in the persent instance, he feared it might be dangerous in future. In caie of a demise of the Crown, he observed, there must be a diffolution of Parliament, and then 14 days would not be sufficient, nor would it be sufficient if the notice of re-assembling Parliament was published within a day or two after the prorogation. The measure he conceived too great for discuilion at lo late a period of the Session, and there. fore unless Ministers deemed an immediate diffolution of Parliament to be necessary, he should move to have the commitment put off to that day three months.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer was surprised at the Honourable Gentleman's jealousy of Ministers upon a Bill which gave them no extraordinary powers. In the Honourable Gentleman's view, 14 days were sufficient for enforcing a Call of the House, and since, from an alteration in various circumstances, there was a greater facility of communication than formerly, he did not see why a Proclamation could not travel as fast as a Summons. If there were any time when luch measures were necessary, it was when the Executive Government felt the necessity of having recourse to the other branches of the Legislature, and without stating any peculiar circumstances of the present moment, such great and important events had al. ready happened, and might possibly happen again, as he trusted must to every person justify the Bill.
Sir William Pulteney objeated to the general principle of the Bill, because in many cases it would be dangerous, by adding to the influence of Ministers, when Gentlemen found it diis ficult to quit their families in a remote corner of the kingdom, as if they were under a military government, upon such a sudden notice as that of 14 days. He wilhed the Bill therefore at most to be extended to a limited time only, and to specia! circumstances, and upon that he said he should divided the House.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer explained.
The House then divided, and as it contained not more than ten or a dozen Members, of course immediately Adjourned.
HOUSE OF LORDS.
Tuesday, July 18.
HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Tuesday, July 18. The Report of the Wet Dock Committee was brought up and read.
A Message from the Lords informed the House that their Lordships had agreed to several Bills.
Upon the question for the Speaker's leaving the Chair, previouily to the Commitment of the Bill for enabling his Majesty to call Parliament together in fourteen days, Sir W. Pulteney objected to the Bill, not as a temporary, but as a perpetual measure. In the first place, he hoped that the House would entertain a greater respect for their ancestors than to suppose they had acted wrong for such a number of years. It had been said that fourteen days were a sufficient notice: but was the notice all that was r.quired for a Member of Parlia:nent? It was re. ver intended that the Representatives of the People should be drudges to their public duty, and ready to attend the Minister's call at a moment's notice, like a military corps fummoned to the parade. The intention was that the Parliament should control the Executive Government; 'and as in the Militia it would be impossible to procure respectable Officers, if the Mi. litia were to be embodied in time of Peace, so would it be impoffible to procure independent Gentlemen to sit in Parliament, if this regulation were to be adopted, which would harass men, and prevent them from paying a proper attention to their privale affairs. It was putting the Parliament under a kind of Martial Law. Besides, Gentleman would recollect from what quarter the measure had proceeded; it had proceeded from the Lords. Was it fit that it should come from the Aristocracy of the country? And indeed the bringing it in at this late period of the year was extremely exceptionable. It was indecorous and indecent, and was not to be justified by any of the practices or principles of our ancestors. It should, above all, have been temporary in the first instance. The Militia Bill, though so
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falutary falutary a measure, was temporary in the first instance. Mr. Grenville's bill was the fame. No man could foresee the confequences of these kinds of regulations respecting Parliament, and therefore he was decidedly againit the measure.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer said, the worthy Baronet had yesterday slid it into a metaphor, that the giving the King the power to aflemble Parliament in fourteen days, was putting the Parliament under Martial Law. He had slept upon it since, and had to day brought it forward, gravely, as an argument; whac refemblance was there between the two cases, the only difference created by the present Bill was, that the King would have the power of calling Parliament together in 14 days instead of 40. Was a notice of 14 days sufficient or not? That was the question. The worthy Baronet had told the House that such was not the custom of our ancestors, and that it would be unfale to trust to these new lights. Probably in many great points it would. But if modern times had produced any better lights than the old, they Irad certainly produced them in two initances; in the quick conveyance of letters, and in the more speedy communication between different parts of the kingdom. Thele circumstances had made 14 days notice equivalent to what 40 days were formerly. But the fact was, that the measure merely gave the King the power to have the speedier recourse to the advice of the Ripresentatives of the People. The worthy Baronet had faid, will Gentlemen thus bz drudges to their Public Duty ? and fhail they be prevented from going abroad? Would there be any danger that such a number of Members would go abroad as to prevent a full attendance of Members ? The only other circumstance related to the Bills originating in the House of Lords. How was this indecorous ? Had the worthy Baronet forgotten that a Prerogative applied to the Lords as well as to the Commons ? In his own opinion, if there was any point in which less jealousy should be entertained of the Lords than another, this was the point. Mr. Wigley was against the Bill. The Houle divided.
For the Question - 39
HOUSE OF LORDS.
IVednesday, July 19. His Majesty's Royal Affent was given, by Commission, to the Insolvent Debtors Bill, the National Debt Bill, the Horse Duty, the Clock and Watch Bills, and several other Public and Private Bills.
The Commissioners were, the Lord Chancellor, Earl Spencer, and the Earl of Westmoreland.
The East India Judicature Bill was received from the Com-' mons, read a first and second time, committed, read a third time, and passed. Adjourned.
HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Wednesday, July 19. The Speaker, attended by leveral Members, went up to the Houle of Peers, to hear his Majesty's assent given, by Commillion, to several Public and Private Bills. Among the Public Bills was the Insolvent Debtors' Bill.
New Writs were ordered to be issued for the election of Members to serve in Parliament for the following places :
For Dover, in the room of Charles Small Pybus, Esq. who is appointed a Lord of the Treasury.
For Penryn, in the room of Thomas Wallace, Esq. who is appointed a Lord of the Admiralty.
For Newark, in the room of Tho. M. Sutton, Esq. who is appointed a Welch Judge.
For Orford, in the room of Lord Castlereagh ; and for Arundel, in the room of Sir G. Thomas, both of whom have accepted the Chiltern Hundreds.
A Message from the Lords informed the House, that their Lordships had agreed to several Bills. Among them were the East India Judicature Bills--with amendments.
The Speaker drew the attention of the House to these amendments. When the Bills passed the Commons, it was stated, that the Pensions should have the sign manual of the King, and be countersigned by the First Commissioner for the Affairs of India. The alteration made by the Lords was, that they should be countersigned by the Secretary of State. As this amendment might contingently affect the revenue of this country, it could not be agreed to consistently with the privileges claimed by the House. There were two ways of acting in the present case, the one was to desire a conference with the Lords, the other to reject the Bills altogether.
Mr. Dundas acquiesced in the propriety of the above remarks, and moved, that the consideration of the Amendments should be postponed to this day three months. But as both House were agreed substantially upon the Bills, he should afterwards propose to bring in another Bill, comprising all those parts of the two Bills in which the two Houses concurred, and omitting the parts upon which a difference of opinion existed. The Motion was agreed to.