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any one as of little importance. He held | should merely mention one circumstance in his hand a list of offices held in rever connected with this department, to shew sion in Ireland, which would completely to what extent abuses had been carried. demonstrate the fallacy of this opinion. About four years ago, when an act of parIle merely mentioned a few of them by liament was passed to transfer in future way of specimen. In the custom-house such causes as it had been usual to try, in department, there were no fewer than nine the court of exchequer in Ireland, to the offices held in reversion, to each of which court of king's bench or cominon pleas, a a salary of 3006. a year was annexed. commission was at the same time appointAnd here it was material to observe, that ed to inquire into the amount of fees which it was not the amount of the salaries which had been paid to the officers of the excheformed the most-objectionable part of the quer court, and a compensation was grantarrangement; but the serious part of the ed to them upon the average amount of evil was, that they presented an insur these fees for three years, out of the conmountable obstacle to reform in that de solidated fund; and this commission had partment. The office of storekeeper of been actually employed for three weeks the port of Dublin had been originally in considering whether a compensation granted for three lives, and was now held ought not to be made to the rat-catcher to for two lives (the two Beresfords), to which the board of ordnance ! In short, he would was annexed a salary of 21351. which take upon himself to prove, that compen. might be spared to the public, after pay- sation had been given in many instances ing a deputy for performing all the duties by a noble lord (Castlereagh), whom he of the office. And here also, the loss was did not now see in his place, and who not confined to the salary paid; but the never failed to make his
any existence of the office itself rendered it part of his conduct in Ireland was likely impossible to reform the present system of to be touched upon, merely to procure the storages, from which the public was a ma assent of the individuals who received it terial sufferer. Accordingly, he had pro
to the union between the two countries. posed to grant a compensation to the hold He should now mention one instance out er and expectant of the office, provided of many which he could adduce. About that they would give up their titles to it, a year before the union took place, he apto relieve the public from a loss to which plied to a noble lord to accept the office it was at present subjected, of more tisan of chairman of the Irish house of peers; six times the amount of the salary. It and upon that noble lord's pleading his ill would, he said, be quite endless to go state of health as an excuse, he prevailed through the list, and therefore he should upon him to comply, by assuring him that merely mention a few more by way of he would only have the duty to perform specimen. The office of craner and whar- for one year, and that he should have the finger of the port of Dublin, all the duties salary for life. All promises and engageof which were performed by a deputy for ments of this nature which the noble lord 3001, was held by two brothers of a noble had entered into, bad been most scrupumarquis, with the reversion to lord H. S. lously observed ; but, unfortunately, every Conway, with a salary of nearly 1000l. a promise which he had made to the people year. The office of comptroller of the seemed to be utterly forgotten. port of Cork was held by sir J. Lees, with Mr. Biddulph made a few observations the reversion to his two sons, with a salary in reply to some suggestions thrown out of 8001. a year, after paying a deputy for by Mr. Davies Giddy, for the establishdischarging the duty. The right hon. ment of a fund for the purpose of remu. baronet asserted, that if the house of lords nerating distinguished public services. wished to know upon what grounds the Mr. Tierney asked whether he was to bill was recommended by the house, it understand that the bill, in its present would be sufficient to send up the list form, would have the full and cordial supwhich he now held in his hand. The of- port of his majesty's ministers ? [No anfice of taster of wines, which had been swer was given.] dropped for two centuries, was renewed Lord Porchester contended, that after the in favour of the right hon. J. Beresford, abuses which had been enumerated by the with a salary of 10001. a year. If he were right hon. baronet (sir J. Newport), whose to go into the law department, there he accuracy could not be questioned, and could find places, not merely of 8 or 9001, which he had given as but a small speciþut of 9, 10 or 12,0001. a year. He men of those which he knew to exist, it
must be obvious that there was no part of sion which had fallen from the right hon. the prerogative which was more abused gent, which he had heard with a mixture than the power of granting offices in re- of surprize and indignation. He should version. The house of commons had been accede to the bill, in its present shape, frequently called upon in the course of hoping that, at a future period, it would the present and the late war, to grant re- be carried into effect without any limitawards to those who, by eminent and splen- tion of time. did services, had recommended themselves Mự. Wilberforce complimented his hon. to the gratitude of the country, and he friend (Mr. Bankes) for having, in the trusted that they would have many more conduct of the present measure, shewn calls of a similar kind to answer; but, he himself to be animated with the truest appealed to the recollection of any mem- spirit of patriotism. Those who wished ber of the committee, whether he remem- to prevent a breach between the two bered to have heard of such services being branches of the legislature, and who were rewarded with otfices which it had been anxious at the same time to carry into customary to grant in reversion; though effect an important measure of public rethe crown was certainly in possession of form, would, he was firmly convinced, the means of amply rewarding, from this agree with him in opinion, that for the fund alone, services the most conspicuous alterations which had been introduced into and brilliant. The chancellor of the ex the bill, his hon. friend was entitled to the chequer had said, that this was the cheap- thanks of that house, and of the country. est mode of remunerating public services, He asked those who seemed to object to and his lordship was very much afraid that any modification of the bill which might promises and expectations were too often tend to remove the objections which were the only way in which the meritorious ser- felt to the former bill in the house of lords, vants of the public were rewarded. With to bear in mind that there were two respect to the present bill, he thought branches of the legislature, and that it that the honour and character of the house was impossible to carry any measure into were staked upon the measure; and that effect without the concurrence of both. though it was important in itself, it had This being the case, if they really had it acquired an additional importance from at heart to do some effectual and substanthis circumstance, independant of its own tial good for the country, they must be intrinsic merits. The right hon. gent. desirous to pursue the object which they had told the committee (and his lordship had in view in the way which was least confessed that he had heard him with not objectionable, and which was least likely a little astonishment), that it was possible to shock the prejudices of the other house. for the house of commons to send up the How, then, did the matter stand? A bill, bill to the house of lords, in such a shape prohibiting the grant of offices in reveras not to merit even common attention sion, had been repeatedly sent up to the from their lordships. Such was the lan- other hoạse, and repeatedly rejected ; and guage held by that right hon. gent. who all that now remained for them to do, united in himself the two offices of chan- with a view to a more fortunate practical 'cellor of the exchequer, and of a zealous result, was to frame the present measure and strenuous advocate for the dignity in such a way as to obviate those objecand honour of the house of lords ! His tions which had produced the failure of lordship, however, reminded the com the two former bills. He was far from mittee, that the house of commons pos- thinking the present a measure of small sessed the means of enforcing attention to importance; because it was impossible to their measures; or, at least, if they did say to what length the vicious principle not, their ancestors had them. He hoped, wbich it went to eradicate might grow. therefore, that they would shew the people Pensions might come to be granted in rethat they were not wholly wanting in that version as well as places. There was spirit which had animated their forefa- another view in which it struck him as thers; and that they would persevere till important. The granting of reversions they had attained their object, with a firm was peculiarly liable to abuse, and on that determination to do their duty, discou- account singularly calculated to excite raged by no difficulties, and undaunted by public odium. When a place was bethe frown of princes. He begged pardon stowed only for one life, there was a barfor the warmth with which he expressed rier in public opinion against its being imhimself, but it was excited by the expres- properly conferred, because the character
of the person to whom it was given was nisters, who might be supposed capable of known; but it was otherwise with places judging, whether the measure would have in reversion, which might devolve upon the support of all his majesty's ministers? persons totally disqualified from holding But he could get no satisfactory answer, them, either by their characters or ta as the bill, though above a year under lents. Under a popular goverment, such discussion, had never been a subject of as that under which we lived, it was more cabinet consideration. A greater number material than under
other to guard of lords had, on a former occasion, strongly against the possibility of such abuses, and opposed the limitation in time, than opit was the duty of that house, not to leave posed the principle of the bill. How, any blots to which the finger of public then, could it be expected, that what they scorn might be pointed, because they so lately rejected with increased asperity, produced an effect upon the minds of the would now be acceptable to them. Some people beyond their real worth. In diffi- of their lordships had declared they would cult times, too, like the present, every not sanction such a measure for a day. thing ought to be done to lighten the The house of commons had the rights of vessel of the state, that it might ride more the people to maintain, and it was their securely in the midst of the storm. The duty to adhere to those rights. It was present measure he contended to be one certainly an evil, if any branch of the lebranch of a species of reform which it gislature was brought into disrepute. But, was completely in the power of parlia- what if this unworthy conduct was purment to accomplish. If there were no sued with respect to the very highest other reasons for acquiescing in the bill in branch, by a dark junto hid behind the its present modified shape, he was of opi- throne. Such practices had been known nion, that this consideration ought to have in the worst times of our history; but the weight with the house, viz. the impolicy junto had never till now, come forth and of holding out one branch of the legisla- arrayed itself against his majesty's ministure to public odium. It ought also to be ters. He had been told this language had recollected, that in a constitution such as been used to his majesty's ministers : that under which we had the happiness to They know who made them ministers, live, and which was composed of different and the same power might unmake them.” orders, it was the duty of the house of Indeed, the conduct of his majesty's micommons to meet the other house half- nisters towards their sovereign had been way: and such a line of conduct, he in- highly criminal. It was not his charge to sisted, would be much more creditable, defend the executive power. But, he was than pursuing the barren and unproduc- sorry to say, his majesty's name was now tive honour of merely preserving its own in circumstances in which no good man consistency.
would wish to see it placed. The right Mr. Tierney thought it an erroneous hon. gentlemen opposite had, indeed, comground of argument to suppose, that the menced their administration on the same alterations now made would conciliate the principle. The constitutional principle lords. There was no good reason to think was, that the king should have the credit of that would be the case. He gave full cre- every thing good and gracious, and the dit to the motives which had induced the ministers all the blame of what might be hon. gent. to make the alterations now of a different character. But the right before the house ; but he could not help hon. gentlemen opposite acted very difthinking these alterations an abandonment ferently, and introduced and allowed the of the principle the house had so frequently use of the sovereign's name, coupled with asserted, without any one thinking of conduct the most ungracious. He adverted limiting it in point of duration. If he to the address presented by the sheriffs of could be sure the bill, as amended, would the city of London, which was complipass, he would not press his sentiments. mented by his majesty as an example worBut he looked in vain for any thing like thy of general imitation. But, next day, such an assurance. He had a respect for the same sheriffs presented petitions to the lords, but he was bound more to re both houses in favour of this bill, which spect the feelings of the people; and the was thought so dangerous and disloyal as lords were as much bound to do so as he. wholly to undermine the prerogative. Both houses had the same means of judg- How was this inconsistency to be accounted ing of the feelings and sentiments of the for? Probably a whisper bad been given people. He had asked his majesty's mi- to one of the leading aldermen. This
mode of proceeding was not honourable. | as often as it expired, till the measure But, upon what occasion had the right could be carried. He again adverted to hon. gentlemen opposite expressed one the importance of the bill to the people; fair or manly sentiment in the whole course and the duty of the house to maintain it. of the proceedings on this question ? He He was most anxious for the rights of the knew well, that the only principle that people, but he was equally so for the hoactuated the right hon. gentlemen was how nour of the sovereign, which was materially they could retain their offices. The prin- implicated and compromised by the conciple of the measure was, that no offices duct his majesty's ministers had pursued. should be granted in reversion, and the After a short conversation between Mr. economic representation contained in his H. Martin, Mr. W. Smith, Mr. Bankes, majesty's Speech could allude to nothing and Mr. Whitbread, an amendment was but this measure. He preferred a resolu- inserted in the preamble of the bill, stattion of the house to be carried to the foot ing that the measure was adopted with a of the throne to a deformed bill, which view to promote, or encourage, an impormight ultimately be unsuccessful. No tant inquiry which was now making by dark junto could impede such a resolution. the house of commons; another amendHis majesty would, no doubt, give his ment substituted the term "suspending' faithful commons the assurance that would instead of prohibiting the granting of satisfy them on that head. This would be places in reversion. The proviso for a security for a year, and might be con- granting to the judges, &c. reservations stantly renewed, and the bill might be similar to those of the crown, Mr. Bankes continually pressed in the mean time, with proposed to extend to bishops and archthe chance of those advantages that ma- bishops, which, after a short conversation, ture reflection and the operation of exter, in which Mr. H. Martin and Mr. W. nal circumstances might give. But when Smith participated, was agreed to.—Vathis temporary bill should expire, suppos- rious verbal amendments were made in ing it in the first instance to pass, what the bill, and the house having been resecurity was there that a more violent op- sumed, the report was ordered to be reposition than ever might not be made to ceived to-morrow. the renewal ? Unless the bill was made a Mr. Whitbread gave notice, that as the government measure, there was no chance hon. gentlemen opposite persisted in their that it would pass, and it might be cast silence on the subject, he should persevere back at the close of the session, without in his original intention, and move toany
other effect from the concession made morrow such alterations in the bill, as by the commons, than the loss of that pub- would restore it precisely to the state in lic esteem and approbation acquired by which the last bill quitted the house for the perseverance with which the whole the house of lords. measure had been so repeatedly pressed The Speaker apprised the hon. gent. that on the upper house. The people were such a proposition would be contrary to attached to this measure, because it was the course of parliamentary proceeding. the corner-stone of a system of reforma - Mr. Whitbread then intimated, that he tion, founded upon plain and practicable should propose to make the bill literally principles, such as were acted upon by different from the last, though substantially the late administration, in their abstaining the same. to dispose of the reversion of a Tellership The Speaker still declaring, that it was which had fallen in, a short time before irregular to make such a proposition, their resignation. The proceedings now Mr. Whitbread stated, that he should adopted would leave nothing on the jour- probably move to extend the limitation to nals to mark the stand which it was the a term of 99 years. He expressed his deduty of the house to make. Why was sire, that the hon. gent. would postpone not a conference demanded, according to the bringing up of the report until Monday, the ancient constitutional practice ? If to give time for a due consideration of the lords were called upon to assign rea the most effectual steps for the attainment sons, why might not an amicable arrange- of his object. ment be entered into by both parties? But, Mr. Bankes replied, that is the subject there was a third party which was unfor- was one of great public interest, and one tunately too powerful. If the bill did not which had excited considerable public pass, he hoped a resolution would be car- attention, he was anxious that the bill should ried to the foot of the throne, and renewed proceed with as little delay as possible,
HOUSE OF LORDS.
The hon. gent. might submit any amend-, spectable ; as the latter were liable to be ments that he thought proper on the third actuated on such a subject, by prejudices reading
which he would denominate laudable preMr. Whitbread said, that he would pre-judices, but which would, nevertheless, pare himself with some suitable amend stand in the way of that complete measure inents for to-morrow, as he was determined which was wanted. With respect to trial not to allow the bill to pass through ano- by jury, he thought there ought to be a ther stage without submitting to the house stronger recommendation of it in the bill his opinion on the subject.
than there was at present, a stronger indication of the opinion of the legislature in its favour.
Lord Meloille referred to an opinion of Friday, April 8.
lord Mansfield, respecting a proposition, [SCOTCH JUDICATURE BILL.] On the to introduce gradually the trial by jury in question for the second reading of this bill, civil cases into Scotland, and observed, that touching the administration of justice in after the doubts expressed upon this subScotland,
ject by that eminent lawyer, he might The Lord Chancellor explained at some well hesitate with respect to the policy of length his views upon this subject, and introducing that mode of trial into Scatthe objects of the bill; which were to land. He thought that the recommendadivide the court of session into two cham tion of that mode of trial in the bill was bers of seven and eight judges, to give already rather too strong. those courts certain powers of making re The Earl of Lauderdale was unwilling to gulations with respect to proceedings, and enter into any discussion of the general with respect to interim executions, whilst merits of the bill, after the understandappeals were pending; and also to issue a ing of their lordships as to the proper commission to ascertain in what case it time. Still, he could not assent to the might be proper to establish a trial by changes which had taken place in the prejury. With respect to this mode of trial, sent bill, from that submitted to the house his lordship observed, that he had been on a former occasion. It was intended, upbraided out of doors with using lan that the two chambers of the court of ses. guage upon this subject which he had sion should not sit at the same time. This never applied to it; he joined in all those he considered unnecessary, or rather imeulogiums which had been passed upon proper, because, it was to be remembered, the trial by jury, and to which, in this that the great proportion of business in country, he felt that we owed our happiness actions in that court, was chiefly done in and our liberty; but it did not follow writing; and, therefore, the time of the that it was equally applicable to Scot- judges, whose presence daily was not want, lạnd ; nor was it a politic or proper ing, would be much better employed in mode of proceeding to force that mode reading the pleadings on the various causes of trial upon a country where, in civil upon which they would be subsequently cases, its benefits were not understood called upon to pronounce judgment. The or appreciated. He thought it would noble lord thought there was not that ne. require considerable deliberation and cau- cessity for caution and circumspection so tion to ascertain to what cases the trial by much recommended. This measure had jury might be properly applied. With obtained the fullest investigation of almost respect to the bill, he wished it to be com every description of people in Seotland, mitted before the recess; but that the It was debated ably and fully in that house should not stand committed by the house; and, therefore, as the eyil of the amendments then made, and therefore present system was acknowledged, the rethat the bill should be recommitted after formation and remedy ought to be prompt thę ręcess.
and efficient. The bill was then read a se. Lord Grenville still thought that it would cond time. be better to divide the court of session into [COTTON Bill.] On the third reading three chambers, than two. Upon a subject of the bill prohibiting the exportation of of this nature, he thought it was the pre Cotton, ferable mode to consult the interests of
Earl Bathurst observed, that in consethose to whom justice was to be adminis-quence of the embargo in America, there tered, rather than the opinion of those by had been some ground for apprehending whom it was administered, however re that a sufficient supply of cotton would Vol. X.