Page images

wished to know whether any money had | in this instance was, that it might ultibeen so transmitted? and if it had, whe- mately be the means of introducing other ther it was under the conditions of a treaty articles into the continent. He moved, subsisting prior to the observation in the that the house should go into a committee speech, or in consequence of the conclu- to consider of the prohibition of the exsion of a more recent treaty?

portation of Cotton Wool and Jesuit's Bark. Mr. Secretary Canning replied, that the - The Speaker left the chair. The resolureason why the passage in his majesty's tions were put and agreed to; the report speech had not been followed up by the received; and bills ordered. presentation of the treaty was simply this: [ORDERS IN Council Bill.] The report until within these few days there had been of the Orders in Council bill was brought no arrivals from the continent. No less up. than eight or ten Gottenburgh mails had Mr. Tierney objected to the bill on the become due. Within these few days, how- ground of informality. This was a bill not ever, dispatches had been received from only for imposing duties, but for the rethe British ambassador at Stockholın, stat- gulation of trade. But it was provided by ing that the Treaty with Sweden had been

a standing order of the house, founded actually signed. His majesty's govern- upon that of 1703, that no bill for the regument were in daily expectation of receiv-, lation of trade should orginate, except in a ing it, and within as short a period as pos- committee of the whole house, called a sible after the arrival of the treaty, he Committee for the Protection of Trade and should feel it to be his duty to bring it Navigation. That part of the bill which down to the house. It was unquestionably went to the regulation of trade, ought true, that a sum of money had been sent therefore, in his opinion, to have origito Sweden, not in pursuance of any prior nated in such a committee. He had treaty concluded with that country, but looked for precedents, and found one in the contemplation of the treaty that exactly in point in the Convoy Duty act. had recently been signed.

The course which had been pursued by [EXPORTATION OF COTTON WOOL AND the right hon. gent. opposite (Mr. Rose) JESUITS BARK.] The Chancellor of the Er- in that instance was this—that part which chequer stated, that he understood, by re- was matter of commercial regulation was presentations from various quarters, that referred to a committee of trade ; that it would be more acceptable to have a di- which regarded the duties was referred to rect prohibition of the exportation of cer- a committee of ways and means.

The retain articles, the produce of neutral states solution of the ways and means was first as well as of this country, which it was in reported and a bill ordered. : The other tended to have prohibited by duty. The resolution was then reported, and an inmode of prohibition under the Orders in struction given to those appointed to bring Council was certainly generally intended in the Duties bill to make provision purto be that of imposing duties. However, suant to that resolution. The present was as a direct prohibition of the exportation a bill precisely of the same nature, and the from this country of such articles as were same course ought to have been pursued. produced by America as well as our own The right hon. gent. opposite (Foster) was colonies appeared to be considered the to move resolutions of the same sort with preferable mode, he should adopt it. He respect to Ireland; and he would ask him, would, therefore, move for leave to bring whether he would not feel it his duty to in a Bill to prohibit the exportation of adopt the course which he had described? Cotton Wool and Jesuits Bark; with a The Chancellor of the Exchequer replied, proviso, however, that licences might be that all that was required by the Standing granted in certain cases for such exporta- Order of 1772, which had taken place of tion. As to the prohibition of the expor- that of 1703, was that any regulation as to tation of Bark, he was led to it by the in- trade should originate in a committee of formation that the severest pressure was the whole house, and a committee of ways already felt on the continent from the and means was such. But, besides this, want of that article. It was of great im- there was a clear difference between the portance to the armies of the

enemy. He Convoy Duty act and the present bill. understood that at Paris it had risen from There the alteration in the trade was the 108. to 70s. per pound, and that attempts work of the legislature : here it was the had been made to procure it in spite of all work of the king, and to make the alterobstacles. The object of the prohibition ation, he contended the king was fully


[ocr errors]

competent. All that the legislature had The Chancellor of the Exchequer admitted, to do with it was to impose the duty, and that there was something in the argument for that the committee of ways and means respecting forfeitures. He would therewas the proper place.

fore not object to the dividing of the bill Mr. Tierney mentioned some of the when it came to the committee.—The reclauses which went to make new regula- port was then received, and the bill ortions in trade, and touched incidentally up- dered to be re-committed on Wednesday; on the pernicious custom the house was and, on the motion of Mr. Tierney, it was getting into, of overlooking the principle agreed, that there should be an instruction of confining the ways and means within to the committee to divide the bill if it the limits of the supplies. The words of thought fit. He also gave notice, that he the Property Tax act placed the proceeds would then move for the reference of the from time to time in the hands of ministers, matter of regulation to a committee of so that they might have the supplies under trade. that act without any committee of ways (Great Grimsby Election.] Mr. Horand means at all. The war-tax act placed ner rose to move that the order for taking some millions in the hands of ministers into consideration the Petition complainbeyond the estimated supplies. On the ing of the undue election for the borough principle he had stated, he strongly ob- of Great Grimsby, should be discharged. jected to the bill going forward without The grounds upon which his motion rested an estimate of the expected amount of were, that the standing order of the house the duties imposed. Returning to the es- had not been complied with by the petisential ground of his objection, he said, tioner in the last session; that order rethat the king might regulate the mode in quiring that the petitioner should give in which ships were to come to England, a statement of his qualification within 15 but he could not regulate the mode of days after notice to that effect had been their going out. There was also a clause served upon him, subsequent to the pre, for remitting forfeitures which could not senting his petition. Such notice had been be regulated by the crown. The bill, there- given to the petitioner last session, but no fore, ought to be divided in order to pro- qualification had been accordingly given ceed in the proper way.

in; and thus the qualification had, within Mr. Rose said, that there was a radical the regular time after the renewal of the difference between the case of the Convoy petition in the present session, been reDuty bill and the present. There a dis- turned to the house, in the absence of any tinct alteration in trade was made by the precedent, since the enactment of the legislature, here it was made by the crown. Grenville act, that the house should be The regulations in the bill were minute governed by the analogy of its practice, points, and it was customary in the com antecedent to the passing of that act, which mittee of ways and means to allow such would be fatal to the claim of the petitioner regulations as were not essential, in addi- to be heard. He therefore moved that the tion to the duties.

order be discharged. The Speaker stated, that it was customary The Solicitor General stated, that he in the committee of ways and means to agreed with the learned gent. as to the interfere in regulations respecting trade, practice of the house antecedent to the such as in the instance of the expiring passing of the 10th of the king, the Grenlaws. Though the committee of ways and ville act. . But he contended, since the means was the only place for duties, yet, enactment of that statute, which transferred since 1772, the house had been in the all jurisdiction on matters of controverted habit of admitting there of certain minute election from the house to the committees regulations closely connected with these chosen under it, it was not competent to duties. Unless they were thus connected, the house to discharge any order for a the house would order a separate bill, ori- committee to determine the merits of an ginating in another committee. This was election, in any other manner than as prethe principle, the house would apply it'as scribed by the act. The whole jurisdicit thought fit.

tion rested with the committee, which Mr. Tierney said, that the question was, alone was to decide upon the question rewhether the regulations in question were specting the qualification, and therefore such as the Speaker had said might be the house could not have power to dis, adopted in the committee of ways and charge the order pursuant to the motion of means, along with the duties?

the hon. gent. After a few words from

Mr. Croker, the motion was negativeding into consideration the model upon without a division.

which it was formed. The justification of [CONDUCT OF MARQUIS WELLESLEY.] some of them was the perfidy of the prince Lord Folkestone moved the order of the day who was dethroned; but would it be confor taking into consideration the papers; tended, that all the princes who had fallen and on the question that they be now the victims of his policy were equally pertaken into consideration,

fidious? And if a general view was taken Mr. Creevey rose to give his negative to of the whole policy of his administration, the proposition, for two reasons: in the what light, he would ask, was there to first place, because it was impossible for guide the house in forming its decision? the house to come to a decision upon the The hon. gent. quoted the opinion of the conduct of the marquis Wellesley, without court of directors, as it was expressed in at the same time deciding upon the general a printed dispatch that had been published, question of Indian policy; and in the se in which that court, while it expressed a cond place, because it was quite impossi- high consideration for the talents of marq. ble that gentlemen could so have digested Wellesley, condemned in the most pointed materials which would fill seven volumes, terins, the general tenor of his administra, and which had been collected from the tion, as contrary to the existing laws, as an

administration of that country, during a open defiance of the authority of the direcperiod of 17 years, which had been tors, and as an attempt, on his part, to moved for by ditferent persons, and convert the government of India into a with different 'views, and which brought simple despotism. In the same dispatch into comparison the administrations of lord the profusion of his expenditure was cen. Teignmouth and the marquis Cornwallis sured, and the whole of his conduct to with that of the marquis Wellesley, as to foreign powers reprobated, as a departure be able to decide upon the merits of that from those principles of moderation by complicated system with which the con- which they were desirous that the goduct and character of the last mentioned vernor-general should be actuated. Here nobleman were inseparably interwoven. The Chancellor of the Erchequer called The papers were in such confusion that it the hon. gent. to order, upon the ground was indispensible that they should be ar- that at the opening of a procecding, in. ranged before they could be perused, so stead of arguing upon matters of fact, he as to convey the information necessary to was bringing forward the opinions of those enable the house to form a judgment upon who were to be considered in the light of the facts to which they related; and though accusers. he was pretty generally acquainted with Dr. Laurence on the other side, conthem, he had not met with three gentle- tended, that his hon. friend was completely men who had read them. The course, in order, because in stating his objections therefore, which he would recommend to the proceeding, it was certainly com. was, that they should be referred to a petent for him to mention the grounds of committee. He did not care how that those objections, and his reasons for thinkcommittee was formed. He had no ob- ing that a different course should be jection that the three brothers of the noble adopted. marquis should be members of it, and it The Chancellor of the Excheguer asserted, should be appointed exclusively by the that it was irregular to refer to opinions hon. gentlemen on the treasury bench. which were not before the house. As matters now stood, the house could not The Speaker then decided, that if this enter into a discussion of the question, be- parliament had retised the document which cause it was connected with a variety of the hun. member was quoting, it would others which required a detailed examina- never consent to receive that indirectly tion. The question before the house was which it had directly refused. But if the the propriety of the treaty by which the paper had not been refused by this parNabob of Oude was dethroned and stript liainent, he was of opinion that the hon. of his territory. But this was not a soli- gent. was perfectly in order when he made tary instance of this species of policy. use of it in the course of his argument. He had concluded many treaties of the Mr. Creevey proceeded to read another same kind, and each was referred to in his part of the dispatch, in which the system instructions to his agents as a model for adopted by the marquis Wellesley, for exthe other. They could not, therefore, tending the territory and increasing the decide upon one treaty without also tak- revenues of the company, was reprobated as unjust, illegal, and impolitic. He con- men who had not made themselves masters tended, that it would be extremely rash of the papers, who, he was convinced, for the house, in the face of an opinion so formed a large majority of the house. decidedly pronounced by those who were Sir John Anstruther called the attention the best judges of the subject, and with an of the house to the present state of the unanimity almost unparalleled (this dis- proceedings. Three parliaments ago, a patch having been signed by 23 out 01 24 charge had been brought against marquis Directors) to come to a decision with their , Wellesley, by an hon. gent. (Mr. Paull) present inadequate means of inforination, who was no longer a member of that house; directly the reverse of this opinion, which all the evidence necessary for supporting would be the effect of a resolution of ac- the charge, had been moved for and grantquittal, passed in favour of marquis Wel- ed; an inquiry had been challenged by lesley. It ought to be considered, too, the friends of the noble marquis, the charge that the very circumstance of the marquis originally brought forward had been abanCornwallis having been sent out to super- doned, but upon the papers that had been sede marquis Wellesley, then in the prime produced, other accusations had been of life, in the government of India, was a founded by a noble lord, and this night proof that a disapprobation of his conduct had been fixed for the house to pronounce was not confined to the court of directors, upon the justice or injustice of these accubut that government likewise participated sations. Nothing had been said of any in it. It had been said, that any farther deficiency of evidence, or of any

confudelay would be extremely hard towards sion of papers, till about ten days ago. lord Wellesley. He admitted that it was He contended, that the delay now propohard upon lord Wellesley. But was there sed, was neither more nor less than an atnot a third party who likewise merited tempt to arrest the course of justice, in as some consideration ? Would it not be far as lord Wellesley was concerned, hard on the East India Company to be for the purpose of entering into a detailed defrauded of their possessions, in conse- examination of the affairs of India, and to qunce of his mal-administration? or would blend two subjects which were totally difit not be hard upon the country if, in con- ferent and distinct. The Dispatch which sequence of his measures, its Indian domi- had been read, ought to have no more nions should be severed from it for ever! weight with the house, than the opinion of What he wished was, that this question 24 printers, and it would have been only should be examined as all other Indian fair in the hon. gent. when he read it to questions had been examined. For if the the house, to have read also the Answer to noble marquis had, during his administra- it, which was made by the Board of Con: tion, furnished more materials for discus- troul, whose opinion he thought was fully sion than any other governor, it would as valuable

upon such a question as that of scarcelybe maintained that, on that account, the Court of Directors. Upon the genea decision should be more speedily adopted. ral merits of lord Wellesley's administraHe thought that one of two expedients tion, he should be ready to meet either the should be recurred to, either that the hon. gent. or any other person, when they house ought to follow the same course came to be discussed. At present, that that had been pursued in 1772 and 1782, question was not before the house, and afand that a committee ought in the first ter the delay which had already taken place to be appointed to make a compleat place, he thought the house could not conrevision of the affairs of India, or that if sent to postpone their decision upon the lord Wellesley's condnct was to be dis- particular and personal charges, without eussed separately, that the evidence before committing an act of gross injustice to the them should be previously arranged by a noble and distinguished individual whose select committee, so as to render it intelli- character was implicated in them. gible; which it was not in its present form. Mr. Robert Thornton professed his deciWere parliament to come to a decision ded disapprobation most highly of many upon the conduct of that noble person by of the political measures of the noble marthis night's vote, he asserted it they would quis, at the same time he wished that the commit an act of injustice to the noble house should decide upon the charges that marquis, and that it would be wanting in had been brought against him with disits duty both to itself and to the country; patch as well as :with boldness. For this and in proposing some farther delay, he reason he was against the appointment of fully expected the support of those gentle-' a committee, betadse that mode of proceeding would tend to postpone a decision another course of proceeding, he was not which had already been too long delayed. prepared to resist it. He hoped the house He animadverted with severity upon the would not judge of the conduct of the backwardness which had been shewn by court of directors on an er parte statement, some gentlemen at a certain period, to pro- but that their case, as well as that of the secute the charges which they had pledged noble marquis, would be considered with themselves to institute, and alluded par- reference to the whole of the circumstanticularly to the conduct of Mr. Sheridan, ces. in declining, while in the last administra- Mr. Windham rose, amidst a loud cry tion, to bring forward the Carnatic ques- for the question. He said that he certion, because he found that it would not lainly should not be deterred from deliverbe agreeable to some of his colleagues. ing his sentiments on this occasion by any His wish was, that the character of lord such cry, more particularly as it was this Wellesley should be either cleared by a importunity for the question which he was vote of the house, or that the censure should desirous to combat, and which he hoped be passed upon him which his conduct had to be able to do with somewhat better armerited. He denied that the Directors of gument than mere clamour. He confessthe East India Company appeared as the 1 ed, however, that he had little to say, on accusers of lord Wellesley, but he, along the present occasion, in addition to what with many of his colleagues, had disap- he had stated on a former evening. The proved of many of his measures, and it question now before the house was, whewas necessary, in their own defence, that ther it would come to a decision now upon they should state the grounds of this dis- a subject of the greatest magnitude and approbation.

importance, or defer that decision till Mr. S. Lushington contended, that the they were competent to judge of it? If it only mode of doing justice either to mar- was asked, why the house was not compequis Wellesley, to the injured natives of tent to decide upon it now, he would leave India, or to the character of the British it to every gentleman to give an answer nation, was to institute a general inquiry for himself. He believed, that not one in into all the measures of the noble marquis's 20 members had read the papers, and if administration,

this was the case, it was a sufficient reply Mr. Halá thought that if the house had to all that had been said on the opposite any sense of national justice, or any re- side. He allowed that marquis Wellesley gard for its own character, it would not was a man of high rank, of considerable suffer any further delay to retard its final talents, and that his conduct had been decision upon this question.

arraigned; but none of these circumstanMr. S. L. Lushington asserted that already ces was sufficient to counterbalance the British India had to lament the measures material consideration of the incapacity which had lately been adopted in this of the tribunal in its present state of incountry. The charge in the present in- formation, to pass a decision upon the stance he maintained was personal, and charges which had been brought against therefore ought to be decided without him. The accusations which had been further delay.

lodged against him were what were inci· Lord A. Hamilton was of- opinion, that dent to the lot of every great man. They as gentlemen were not very forward to were taxes wbich greatness and distinction encounter the obloquy of taking up such had to pay, nor was the noble marquis so charges, and the noble lord had under- destitute of friends, or so run down in the taken this with such laudable attention, world, that they bore upon him with any the business ought not to be taken out of peculiar degree of weight. On the conhis hands. If his hon. friend should here- trary, if his conduct was arraigned it after propose a committee to inquire into ought to be recollected that it was in the the transactions in the Carnatic, or at Fur- nature of that conduct to beget friends. ruckabad, he would be ready to support He denied that there had been any unhim; but in the present instance he thought necessary delay. It was not fair in calcuthe course proposed by his noble friend lating this to count the number of parliashould not be rejected.

ments since the subject was first intro- Mr. Grant would have supported the duced to notice, for the present parliament motion for a committee, if that had been was not supposed to be acquainted with originally proposed; but as the noble lord the proceedings which had been instituted had taken up the question with a view to by any preceding parliament. And when

« PreviousContinue »