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not be obtained for the consumption of If the cotton-manufactures of the enemy this country: there was, however, he was were destroyed, what would then be the happy to state, no ground for alarm upon consequence ? All cotton goods in the this subject; there was a considerable territories of the enemy must then imstock on hand, and there was now every mediately be known to be British, and reason to believe, that a sufficient supply instead of finding a sale, would meet with would be obtained, even supposing the a prohibition. The variableness of taste embargo to be continued. The continent was well known; and if the cotton-manuof Europe had been cut off, by recent factories of the enemy were destroyed, events, from its supply of cotton; and was there not reason to fear that taste orders had actually been sent from Ger- might again vary, and some other articles many to procure cotton from Turkey, by be substituted for cotton? It was a most land-carriage; a species of cotton of an mistaken policy to suppose, that by deinferior quality, which the manufacturers stroying competition we should destroy here would not use. Under these circum our own manufactures. The contrary was stances, he thought there could be no the truth; manufactures thrived best by doubt as to the policy of securing to our competition; this was proved in the case selves a sufficient supply of this article, of our exports to the United States, which, by prohibiting the export. If, however, in the article of cotton goods, had become there should be a surplus, licences would nearly double since America became a be granted to export it. With respect to manufacturing country, of what they were the objection to the principle of licences, before. He objected decidedly to the made by his noble friend (lord Grenville) | power vested in the crown of granting on a former night, he thought it inappli- | licences, as it went to make every mercable; inasmuch as the trading under li- chant in the kingdom dependant upon the cence was sanctioned by various prece-executive government: added to this was dents, and by several acts of parliament the inconvenience experienced by merin the last war as well as in the present. chants at the out-ports in procuring liThree, successive administrations, since
The noble earl had spoken of the commencement of the present war, this power being properly exercised by had exercised this power; and he saw no three successive administrations, and had reason why the same credit should not be called for the same confidence. He did given to the present administration as to not distrust the noble earl, but he objected the former ones, for its due exercise. The to the principle; and if the argument of trading to the ports of the enemy was at the noble earl went to any thing, it went all times illegal, except under licence to this, that every honest man ought to be from the king in council. The whole entrusted with arbitrary power. So far continent was at present our enemies, with from seeing this bill in the point of view the exception of Sweden and Sicily; and in which it had been placed by the noble as in these countries there were no cotton- earl, he thought it tended deeply to injure manufactories, the export of cotton to a most valuable and important branch of them must be intended ultimately for the our manufacture. enemy. Under these circumstances, the Lord Auckland thought the ground urged extension of the prohibition to neutrals ap- by the noble earl in support of this bill peared to him perfectly justifiable, in order fallacious, inasmuch as the market here to prevent a great export to the continent would by the operation of the bill beof an article of which they stood so much come glutted, the price of cotton would in need, and thereby leave us without a consequently fall, and thus the growers of sufficient supply.
it, particularly in our own colonies, would Lord St. John contended that the real be seriously injured; nor was it to be supground upon which this bill had been sent posed that after that had taken place, any to that house was, that it was the intention
more cotton would be brought here, where to injure the manufactures of the enemy, the market was already over-stocked. upon the supposition that our own would Lord Redesdale supported the bill as a thereby be benefited by ensuring to them measure conducive to the interests of our a monopoly. It was, in this point of view, manufactures, and as a check on the growone of those visionary measures, some of ing cotton-trade of the enemy. which had been already before the house, The Earl of Lauderdale remarked, that and which could only tend to the injury the noble earl, at the head of the board instead of the benefit of our manufactures of trade, had given up the present bill
as a measure of warfare, and had con as indicative of the opinion of the mersidered it solely in relation to its ef- cantile interests of this country, on the fects on our commerce. In this view subject of the Orders in Council. If he of the case, he considered it as an ex wished to meet the evidence which had tremely dangerous principle, to allow been adduced at the bar of the house, and to the government for the time being, to refute the gentlemen there examined, the privilege of saying, what individual who regarded the Orders in Council as deshould be indulged in carrying on a trade structive of our commerce and manufacand manufacture, and who should not. To tures, why did he not bring forward his compel ships laden with cotton to come witnesses to contradict them? Why did into our ports, while the export of that he not bring forward merchants of Lonarticle was prohibited, and while our ma don and Liverpool, to say that their trade nufactures could not procure a market, was equally or more flourishing than it was improperly to reduce the price of the was previous to the passing of these orders? raw material.
Our manufacturers might or manufacturers of Manchester to say, that wish to procure cotton at a cheaper rate; their orders were equally numerous and but they were at the same time aware of great as they had formerly been; and the impolicy of reducing the value of the persons in the shipping interest to declare raw commodity so much as to render it a that their carrying trade was undiminishmatter of indifference to the grower of the ed? So far from having done this, was article, whether he did or did not bring it it not a fact, that the evidence before to our market.
the house went to shew a complete failure Lord Hawkesbury, in alluding to the in all these branches of trade, in consepower conferred on the government of quence of these Orders in Council ? His granting licences to certain persons, stated, lordship therefore hoped, that in arguing that this had been the practice for the last this subject, the noble lord on the other 14 or 15 years. He had never heard that side would not allude to any private testiit had been abused, and he trusted the mony in favour of these Orders in Counpresent government might receive equal cil, which he himself might possess; but credit with their predecessors, for not enter- which, unlike gentlemen in the other house taining any intention to act with favour or of parliament, he had declined laying bepartiality, in granting this privilege where fore the house. As to the idea that the meait might seem to be required. His lord sure would have the effect of incommodship did not intend at present to enter into ing France by preventing the requisite supthe merits of the Orders in Council, though ply of cotton, this his lordship considered as he must protest against the interpretation altogether absurd. There were various put by the noble lord who spoke last, on tracts of country in which cotton could be what had fallen from his noble friends, as grown, and did actually grow at this moif they had given up the present bill as a ment, of which it was impossible for this measure of warfare. They had not done country, by any act it might pass, to de
It was well known, that there was a prive Buonaparte. In the Levant, consideficiency of cotton in France, and, at derable quantities of cotton were grown, the same time, that one of the most increas- particularly in Italy and Sicily, over ing trades in that country was the cotton which the ruler of France now had, or in manufacture. An opportunity, however, all probability would soon have, the comof canvassing this subject would occur, plete dominion. In fact, it was quite in when the noble lord opposite (Grenville) the power of France, from the territory it brought forward his promised motion ; at now commanded, to procure cotton in which time he should be at no difficulty whatever quantity it chose. If this counto shew, that there were more mercantile try wished to preserve its cotton manufacmen in this country who approved than ture, and to command a constant and sufthere were who disapproved of the Orders ficient supply of the raw material, the of Council.
plan was, to give a free aud unlimited The Earl of Darnley concurred in the ar- power of import and export. The advanguments against the bill.
tages our harbours held out to the AmeriLord Grenville begged to be understood, can grower, would thus ensure us a conas objecting in the most pointed manner stant supply, convinced as they would in to the noble lord's (Hawkesbury) bringing that event be, that a ready market for forward any secret information of which their commodity would be found, if not he might suppose himself to be possessed, with us, yet in some other quarter. The
noble lord concluded with expressing his that by the prohibition to export cottonconviction that the government would act wool, the value of that article will suffer a the wiser part by forbearing to interfere diminution to the amount at least of one in matters of trade, and leaving it to be million sterling. It is plain, therefore, that regulated by the natural influence of its if his majesty can, by granting licences, own operation.
supply the markets to which cotton-wool The question on the third reading being went before this unwarrantable interrupcalled for, the house divided : Contents 44; tion of the trade,--as the commodity, with Not-Contents 13 ; Majority 31.
the restoration of demand, must resume its [Protest agaiNST THE Cotton Bill.] value, this immense sum may be corruptly “ Dissentient; 1. Because, as this bill pro- distributed by the executive government, hibits the exportation of all cotton wool, by giving licences to persons whose poliand the Orders of Council of the 11th and tical conduct it may wish to influence.25th of Nov. 1807, force into British ports 4. Because we think there is just reason to the whole of that commodity sent by believe, that this measure is adopted with America for the supply of foreign states, a view to create the undue influence with the quantity brought by these and other which it arms, the executive government; means into the British market must be so for the following clause, which tends to do great, in proportion to the demand, as to away the influence the bill confers, withreduce the value of that commodity to a out deranging the system it means to éstrifle. When we consider, therefore, that tablish, was rejected by the house : the usual exportation of cotton wool from Provided always, that when his majesty America, is 250,000 bags, amounting, at shall determine, by licence, to authorize 121. per bag, to the value of 3 millions the exportation of any given quantity of sterling, we conceive that this is not only cotton-wool, the board of trade shall ana gross violation of the law of nations, but nounce such determination in the Gazette, the most substantial injury ever inflicted together with the regulations, restrictions, on a friendly and independent state. 2. and securities, intended to be specified in Because this reduction of the value of cot- the licence; and the name of every person ton wool, will discourage the growth of it who, within a week, shall state in writing to a degree that, on the return of peace, to the secretary of the said board, his dewhen the demand for our cotton goods sire to export the quantity of cotton meant revives, must deeply injure this extensive to be exported under the conditions sti. branch of our manufactures, by producing pulated, shall be put into a glass jar; and a deficiency in the supply, and consequent at 12 o'clock on the ninth day after the dearness, of the raw material. 3. Be- advertisement shall have been inserted in cause, much as we regret the unwarranta- the Gazette, the secretary of the board of ble provocation given to the U. States of trade shall, in the presence of such of the America, and the injury thus inflicted on persons desirous of exporting cotton-wool our manufactures, we feel with still deeper as may choose to attend, after mixing the affliction the evil with which this bill names in a manner to preclude all suspi- . threatens the constitution of our country. cion of preference, draw out of the said Whilst it prohibits the exportation of cot- jar one of the names therein contained, ton-wool, it permits his majesty, by licence and his majesty's licence shall forthwith under his sign manual, to authorize any be granted to the person whose name is person to export from Great Britain any so drawn.'-5. Because, recollecting that quantity' of cotton wool, under such regu- within these few days the two houses of lations, restrictions, and securities, as may parliament have received an unanimous be specified in the licence; and thus con- petition of the common council of the city fers on the crown a legal right to arrange of London, declaring that the burdens and share out the trade in a most valuable borne by the people of this country have commodity; a principle which, if extend been considerably augmented-by gross ed to other articles, must create a new and abuses in the management and expendialarming source of influence, almost bound-ture of the public money, and by a proless in the extent to which it may be car- fusion of sinecure places and pensions, ried.Even when confined to the present which have not only greatly added to their instance of cotton-wool, it appears to us a sufferings, but created a pernicious and most dangerous extension of the patronage dangerous influence, corrupting and un. of the crown.
We believe there is no dermining the pure and free principles of intelligent merchant who must not think, the British constitution, we dread that
HOUSE OF COMMONS.
the passing of this bill must give rise to as without selection, and certainly without serious and alarming discontent, when it discretion ; for, not only were some dig. is known that it may eventually arm the patches published which never ought to crown with the power of distributing a have been published, but it would have sum equal in amount to the sum allowed been difficult to have found any thing in for detraying the expenditure of his ma- the course of the correspondence more jesty's civil list, unaccompanied by any unfit for publication than some of the check to prevent its being used for the papers which had been submitted to parpurposes of augmentiog to an unparalleled liament, uncalled for and unexpected. degree that " pernicious and dangerous These papers certainly furnished abundant influence" which has so solemnly been matter of inculpation against the ministers stated to parliament by his majesty's of the day; but the man who was at the faithful and loyal subjects, the corporation head of that administration, of as splendid of London, as • corrupting and undermin- talents as this or perhaps any other couning the pure and free principles of the try had ever produced, died. After his British constitution. (Signed,) Lauder- death, his colleagues in office resigned the dale, King, Albemarle."
reins of government, in consequence of his decease, and no discussion ever took place upon the subject of that treaty. He did
think that the noble lord ought to have Friday, April 8.
been one of the last persons to have called [PAPERS RELATING TO Russia.] Mr. the attention of the house to the events of Whitbread rose, pursuant to notice, to that time, considering that he was the sole move for certain papers which had been manager in the formation of that confedealluded to by the noble lord (G. L. Gower), racy, and considering how fatally it terin a debate which took place on the 29th minated for the interests of all the parties of March, upon a motion of an hon. friend connected with it. The noble lord had at of his (Mr. Sharp). The house had heard that time conducted the negociations with a great deal of discussion respecting the so much secrecy, that they were wholly propriety of quoting from any documents unknown at Vienna till the treaty was connot before the house. He should not now cluded, so that he was deprived of the adgo into a question which had been so often vice of sir A. Paget, and of the informaand so fully discussed; but he appre- tion which he might have derived from hended, that the right hon. gent. would him respecting the state of the Austrian agree with him in thinking, that commu army, and of the heart-burnings and party nications, in whatever form they were spirit which were at that time felt in the made, should be made by his majesty's court of Vienna. But, though the noble confidential ministers, and by no one else, lord had kept secret not only from our under any pretence whatever. The noble ally, but from a minister of his own court, lord, therefore, after communicating the the articles of the treaty which he was information to which he alluded in debate, then concluding at St. Petersburg, he had whether in a more official or less official on his late mission held out the refusal on shape, to his government at home, had put the part of Russia, to communicate the it beyond his own controul, and ought not secret articles of the treaty which that publicly to have disclosed it. The mo power had concluded with France, as a tion which he meant now to propose, sufficient ground for refusing its mediation pointed to two objects; the first of which between Great Britain and France, even was, the production of a paper which ac- though the emperor had assured lord Hutcompanied the treaty of alliance between chinson, that it was his opinion that we this country and Russia, in 1805; the ought to enter into negociation with France, other was connected with a communica- not, as that noble lord had represented, tion made by the noble lord to his majesty's because it was proper that we should make secretary of state, in the course of his last peace with France on any terms, but bemission in 1807. After the overthrow of cause he (the emperor of Russia) knew the confederacy of 1805, and the conclu- that the terms of peace which the emperor sion of the peace of Presburgh, a large mass of the French was ready to offer were such of papers relative to that confederacy had as he believed lord Hutchinson would be been thrown upon the table, by lord Mul- of opinion that this country ought to acgrave, then foreign secretary of state, per- cept. At the time of negociating the feetly unsolicited, but quite as voluntary treaty of 1805, the noble lord had also
consented, by his own confession, to anger l'Angleterre pour le moment.' The article by which it was stipulated that the noble lord had alluded to this communicapowers of Europe should go into a con tion in debate, for the purpose of shewing gress, in which the law of nations should that Russia was determined to go to war be formally discussed, and in which the with this country before the expedition maritime pretensions of this country would, was undertaken against Copenhagen; but of course, as forming a part of that law, before the house could judge whether the have come under discussion. (Lord G. fact was relevant to the argument which L. Gower, from the other side of the house, he grounded upon it, it was important to said he had never done any such thing.) know who was the person who made use The noble lord, Mr. Whitbread said, de- of this expression, and whether it was o nied the allegation; but as the maritime used in conversation with the noble lord, law of this country was not positively ex or with a third person; because, if it was cluded from the operation of this provi- dropped in conversation with a third persional article of the treaty, he contended, son, it must be evident to every one, that that it was virtually included in it. But it might have no effect whatever in sup. if such was not the interpretation which porting the proposition or opinion which the noble lord put upon this article of the noble lord meant to establish. It was the treaty, how, he asked, did Russia alleged, that this communication was made understand it! Had not the noble lord | in a private letter to the secretary of state, himself stated, in a former debate, that and very probably it was so; nor did he a notification was made to him, before mean to question the propriety of a secrethe Russian ministers were permitted tary of state keeping up a correspondence to sign the treaty, that his mājesty, with ministers employed abroad; but the the emperor of Russia, would instruct his noble lord ought not to have made use of minister to use his endeavours at the gene- the communication for the purpose of inral congress, which it was then in con- fluencing the decision of the house, if it templation to assemble, to endeavour to was of such a nature, or if it was procure a modification of such regulations made in such a way, that it could not be of our maritime code, as might be found to laid before the house. He did not wish be inconsistent with justice? The question that the whole of the letter or dispatch of maritime rights was supposed to have which contained the communication should been settled in the treaty concluded be- be made public; all that he desired was, tween this country and the northern powers that the house should be put in possession in 1801; but was it not evident from this of that part of the dispatch which related Declaration, that there was still subsist- to this particular communication. He ing a rankling in the mind of the Russian concluded with moving, That an address government upon
the very question ? Mr. be presented to his majesty, that he would Whitbread contended, that this was the be graciously pleased to order that there fair interpretation to be put upon the de- be laid before the house a copy of the Declaration; and that, at present, when the claration delivered to his majesty's amcontest with these powers might be said to bassador at the court of Petersburg, notibe but beginning, it was desirable that the fying that his imperial majesty would inBritish house of commons should be put struct his plenipotentiary at a general conin possession of any document which | gress, to endeavour to procure a modificatended to throw light upon the pretensions tion of such regulations in our maritime which they set forth. Of the substance code as might be found to be inconsistent of the communication the house was al- with justice; and likewise of a copy or ready in possession; but he insisted upon abstract of a letter or dispatch, transmitted the propriety of their being put in pos- by his majesty's ambassador to his masession of the communication, not merely jesty's foreign secretary of state, between incidentally, but formally, and officially. - the months of June and Nov. 1807, as far The other paper for which he meant to as such letter or dispatch may refer to an move, was the communication made by expression, ` il faut menager l'Angleterre the ambassador of this country to his pour le moment.' majesty's secretary of state, which had Lord G. L. Gower said, that the house been also alluded to in debate, and in could not be surprised at the anxiety which which it had been stated by the noble he felt to express his sentiments upon
the lord, that a person high in authority had present motion, after the representations made use of the expression, il faut mena which had been given of what had fallen