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because our affairs were in a more critical mendation contained in his majesty's conjuncture, than they had ever been in Speech, without examining whether the before? Or was it because the question measure in itself was right or wrong? He was more interesting and more important did not now ask the right hon. gent. to than any that could be canvassed, that give up his measure ; let him only confess even the most common precautions were that he had been guilty of an omission; not to be adopted, and a decision passed and let its progress be suspended till the with unprecedented precipitancy? In this house had put itself into a situation to country, from the existence of a body of judge of its merits. If, however, in spite merchants of liberal education, enlightened of his suggestion, the right hon. gent. perviews, unrivalled probity, and great expe- sisted in carrying it through, all that he rience, the house of commons could com- would say was, that he admired the boldmand means of information upon such a ness, not to use a harsher word, of the subject, of which no other government was right hon. gent. He must be sensible that in possession? Ile wished to know the opi- the house was now acting upon no better nions of the merchants upon this subject. ground than blind and implicit confidence There were many persons, it was true, in his judgment; and if he happened to belonging to this respectable class in the err, the last hope of the country was gone. house of commons, but they were pre- For if the measure should fail (he did not vented, probably, by the circumstance of pretend to say whether it would or not), their not being accustomed to deliver their but if it happened to fail, to what sources sentiments' in public, from giving their did the right hon. gent. look, to supply opinions. These, however, they would the defalcation in the revenue which would give before a committee. This infor- result from it? The right hon. gent. mation he wanted, and to this informa- seemed to think, that it would be the tion he was entitled. The right hon. means of compelling the enemy to congent. had this very day moved for a clude a peace; but this was simply an opiCommittee to inquire into the present state nion, and if it failed in producing this effect, of the West India trade; and not only was he sure that it would not diminish our that, but every other question, shrunk into means of carrying on the war; and if it nothing when compared with the pre- should cripple our revenue, what would he sent. Mr. Tierney said, he did not know then have to say for having refused inon what information the right hon. gent. formation to that house? It would be a had proceeded in issuing the Orders in poor consolation then, that the right hon. Council

, but sure he was that he needed gent. had taken all the responsibility to information. However well entitled that himself; and that the blame rested upon right hon. gent. was to the praise of great his shoulders. The right hon. gent. at three acuteness and much ability in many re- o'clock last Friday morning, had refused spects, yet he could not be supposed to be to accede to the smallest delay, but in the greatly conversant with commercial sub-course of the next twelve hours, he had jects; and the fact was, that there was not found it necessary to recede from his deone individual in the present administra- termination, and he (Mr. T.) was confition to whom the country looked up in dent, that as he proceeded, difficulties matters of trade. It was but fair, there would press upon him at every turning. fore, that the house should know from He even now ventured to predict, that he what quarter the information came upon would be obliged to divide the bill into which they acted. Trade was a subject two parts, and to refer both back to a with which the imagination had nothing committee. He wished for nothing that to do, and on which all theories might would savour like a triumph over the right be fallacious: here experience was the hon. gent.; on the contrary, he declared, safe and only guide. He called upon upon his honour, that he was actuated the house to bear in mind, that they might solely by a wish to promote the interests soon, if the course of proceeding was not of the country. Every person must conarrested, be passing a bill, of the merits of fess, that now they were wholly in the which they would be completely igno- dark, and the house owed it to the country rant; and if the other house should sonch to inform themselves respecting the tendown a message, requesting to be in- dency of it proceedings. It owed this to formed on what grounds they had acted in the country upon many grounds, but upon so doing, what answer could they give, but none more than to shew that it was alive that they had complied with the recom- to the distresees of the people. Only forty-eight hours ago a petition, stating tant interests.' To this proceeding Mr. T. these distresses, had been presented to the shewed there could be no objection, whehouse, signed by 30,000 people. (p. 692.) ther he considered it as a question of ges He was far from rejoicing that peti- neral policy or merely as a question of retions of this description were presented, venue. But as it was, the right hon. gent. but when petitions such as that were pre- had first issued the Orders, then he had sented, and, as had been justly remarked advised the prorogation of parliament, by a right hon. gent. not now in his place lest it should have an opportunity of (Mr. Canning), couched in the most re- taking cognizance of them too soon, and spectful and becoming language, they afterwards, when it did meet, he would not were surely on that very account entitled give the house of commons an opportunity to greater consideration. It ought never of discussing them. This was the course to be out of the mind of that right hon. which the right hon. gent. had pursued, gent, nor out of the mind of the house, that and instead of blaming, he ought to thank there were 30,000 individuals in the coun- him (Mr: T.) for endeavouring to turn him try who were in want of bread. .. The from it. - He assured the right hon. gent. right hon. gente might say, perhaps, that that it was idle to attempt to run a race of these petitions were determined on before privation with the French; in the first the Orders in Council were issued, but place, because they were better accustomthey surely were a sufficient reason for 'ed to privations than we were, and in the paying greater attention to every thing vext place, because he knew no class who which might tend to give relief to the were more susceptible to any species of sufferers, and for avoiding any thing which hardship than the merchants, who would might have the effect of aggravating their be first affected by this measure. He did sufferings. And was the right hon. gent. not mean to say that they were at all desure that the present measure would not in- ficient in loyalty, or that they were backcrease the number of these sufferers from ward in contributing their full share to the 30,000, to 300,000. Was he fully aware wants of the country. But in order to of their tendency to produce a war with make these contributions, they must have America; and had he taken into his calcu- profits, and without profits it would be lation the injury which would accrue from vain to make an appeal to their patriot* such an event to the industrious and manu- ism. The right hon. gent. did not con. facturing classes of the people? Here Mr. tend that the measure was calculated to

Tierney adverted in terms of the highest mend the present state of our commerce. praise to the able pamphlet of Mr. Baring, [Here the chancellor of the exchequer and asked if any merchant would take upon seemed to dissent.] Well, said Mr. T. so him to controvert the statements and op:- I understood him; but if he really thinks nions which it contained? He called then that it will improve our trade, why is he upon the right hon. gent, to look at the situ- unwilling that evidence of this should be ation of 30,000 men, who told him that given before a committee? Does he they were in want of bread, notwithstand tend to "do good hy stealth, and blush to ing the advantage they derived from living find it fame?"-But all that he underunder the most indulgent masters, who stood him to expect was, that it would were smarting under the pressure of every open a profitable career of smuggling, and kind of difficulty, and when he did that, he should be glad that his expectations to say, whether he would persist in re- were even so far well founded. In short, fusing to refer to a committee a measure he confessed himself totally at a loss even by which it was at least possible, if not to divine the motives of the right hon. probable, that this difficulty might be gent. for his present mode of proceeding; greatly enhanced? Was not this such an but, whatever this might be, which he had extensive question of trade as to require no means of knowing, he conjured the house the most extensive investigation? To this before granting its sanction to a measure question he begged that he would say aye of such magnitude, to avail itself of the inor no. If he was of opinion that it would formation which it had the means of obtainbe better to discuss it in a select or secret ing, and which was essential to regulate its committee, he (Mr. T.) should have no judgment instead of putting every thing to objection to either; but do not let him hazard by a hasty and precipitate decision. bold out the house of commons to the He called upon the right hon. gent. in parcountry as careless.and indifferent about ticular, who was prevented by scruples, a subject consected with its most impor- which he was most ready to admit were

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sincere and conscientious, from conciliat- were lying on the table of the house praying the people of Ireland by a liberal and ing for peace, was it becoming to shew an generous system of policy, at least not to indifference to peace, or to a subject so encrease their present irritation by a mea- materially calculated as the present must sure which might seriously affect their be to affect the situation of the persons so trade. He concluded with moving, " That applying? The right hon. gent. however, the house do resolve itself into a committee at the very same time had anticipated the of the whole house, on to-morrow se'nnight, answer to his own question, by supposing to consider of Trade and Navigation.' that he (Mr. P.) might say, that though

The Chancellor of the Exchequer said, if these petitions had not been presented till the objections so repeatedly made to the after the passing of the Orders in Council, Orders in Council were only to prove vex- they had been prepared long before. This atious to himself, he should not much re- was his answer, and he thought it sufficient gard them. With respect to these Orders to prove that the Orders in Council could they were expressly laid before the house, in no respect have contributed to the for the purpose of some practical ineasure grievances complained of in these petibeing adopted upon them. He had been tions. When, therefore, the right hon, of opinion that this measure should be the gent. stated, that the government of this imposing of certain Duties, and he had country was running a race of privations accordingly moved, that they be taken with our enemy, he could not sufficiently into consideration in a commiitee of ways express his admiration and astonishment. and means. The right hon. gent. had The privations which the people of this said, it was sufficient to satisfy him if a country suffered, arose from the measures fair opportunity was given for discussing of the enemy. The measures since adopted the measure. Now, he would venture to by this government were not resorted to say, that no man could have witnessed the for the purpose of running a race of priproceedings in that house without acknow- vations with the enemy, but to make him ledging that such opportunity had been abandon the measures he had adopted, afforded in the most ample manner. How and to cause him to feel what must otherfar these Orders in Council were agreeable wise have been alone felt by this country. to law; how far they were consistent with He, the right hon. gent. declared, if he policy, not only had been open to discus- thought the course pointed out better than sion, but had actually been repeatedly the one which the house already had, and discussed. On the first day, when he must still have, in the course of the difmoved to have them referred to a com- ferent stages of the bill to pursue, he mittee of ways and means, both these would not be withheld, by any idea of false points had been argued. It was there dignity, from agreeing to it. As he had open to any member of that committee to stated, however, the house had already move any measure he chose upon them, had full opportunities of arguing the ques and to endeavour, in any manner he tion, and three more would occur in the thought proper, to prevail on the .com- course of the bill now before the house : mittee to adopt his view of the case. Sup- so, unless there was something in the ob- posing the committee to have been of opi- jection as to the want of form, which could nion that the Orders in Council were so not be got over, he was of opinion the impolitic that they ought not to be acted motion of the right hon. gent. was unneon, could there be a doubt that they might cessary. As to the point of form, he was have refused to sanction them, and might thoroughly convinced there was nothing have ordered such information as they peculiar in a committee of ways and deemed necessary to support the opinion means, which precluded gentlemen from they had formed ? But the right hon. there discussing the merits of the measure, gent. said, that ministers had acted with un- and as to the observation addressed to the becoming boldness in taking this measure, chancellor of the exchequer for Ireland, intirely on their own responsibility. He he could only say, that he did not esteem denied they had done so. He referred to that the proper course of proceeding, and the house if, on the contrary, they had not should not recommend it to his right hon. submitted arguments to the house to shew friend. that the measure was justifiable in law, and Dr. Laurence said he should be happy if consistent with sound policy. The right by the discussion of the present question hon. gent. had said, when petitions with one day of reflection could be gained to 30 or 40,000 names adhibited to them, the house to consider of the ruinous mea

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gure they were about to adopt. Form, he | means. If he contended, that was not was of opinion, should at all times be re- the proper place. To discuss the question garded; it was often the only barrier to with propriety three different heads preoppose to rashness and overweening con- sented themselves finance, legálity, and fidence. Was not the present a measure policy. How was it possible that the two which went to overturn every part of the last of these could be at all considered in Navigation Acts? It was at the same a committee of ways and means, where time so much of an experiment that the nothing but finance was cognizable? He right hon. gent. himself could not even should state a fact, which, in his opinion, give a name to the amount of the duties was decisive of the question. In the year which it might be supposed to produce. 1731 it was found necessary to change the If he could not tell us this, it was impossi- duty on Irish linen from the fund in which ble he could tell us what the effects of the it then stood to the aggregate fund. It measure would be in other respects: and was impossible that any thing could were we not, before we allowed every have a greater relation to finance than thing to be put upon the cast of a die, to this, yet; by the advice of a gentleman inquire if it was likely to answer any good who then såt at the table of the house, purpose ? Something had been said as to than whom none was ever more compeihe Petitions for Peace, now lying on the tent to point out the proper table. He was one of those who never ceeding, it was resolved that the house could recommend such petitions, being should in the first instance go into a Comsatisfied that they had a tendency rather mittee of Trade, to which it was properly to put to a greater distance the object they considered that every thing relating to had in view. But was it not of consequence trade, though it migħt latterly become a that we should hesitate when such petitions subject for financial regulation, primarily were before us, and not run headlong into belonged. He should suppose a case, that an act calculated to lead us into a new his majesty might be advised to make an war, and that, too, with almost the only alteration in our courts of justice, and to power with whom we were now at peace? connect with such alteration a question of

Mr. Adam could not agree with the revenue. He would ask, would it be alright hon. gent. opposite (the chancellor lowed, would it be borne, that such proof the exchequer), either in the answer he posed alteration should be taken into conhad given to the speech of his right hon. sideration in a committee of ways and friend, or in the advice he had given to means? He felt himself called on to say, the chancellor of the exchequer for Ire- if the house laid it down that the measure " land. He thought the house had com- in question had been properly taken into mitted an error which it should correct; consideration in the committee of ways and that it would commit another error if and means, and that a similar mode of it followed the advice of the right hon. proceeding ought to be adopted as to Iregent. as to Ireland. The Grand Com- | land, it would lay down a principle which mittees belonging to this house were in- would equally apply to the Grand Comtroduced in the best days of our parlia- mittees of Justice, Religion, &c. ment. To involve the Committee of Fi- Mr. Rose thought the hon. and learned nance, or the means of making good the gent. had confounded the Grand ComSupply to his majesty, with the Committee mittees with the 'Standing Orders of the of Trade and Navigation, was to root up house. When there was any material inand destroy one of the most salutary privi- | novation made, then it was proper that leges of that house. · When any measure the measure should go through a comwas to be brought before the house, they mittee of the whole house. Here there knew its different stages for discussing the was no innovation: it was only a due principle and detail. But when Grand exercise of the king's prerogative. He did. Committees were established,one additional not say that the exercise of such prerogastage was granted, attended with this ad- tive was not to be inquired into by parvantage, that members were not limited as liament; but here opportunities of doing to the number of times they might speak so had been afforded. on the principle of the measure in one Mr. Ponsonby said the practice of the sitting. The question was, had this been house had been, that questions of navigadone in the present instance in the proper tion, trade, justice, religion, &c. should committee ?" It was said, it had been dis- be considered by committees of the whole cussed in the committee of ways and house. The right hon. gent, who spoke VOL. X.

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last had supposed that the present measure , business had been conducted directly in
stood in a different situation in consequence the face of the regular proceedings of the
of its flowing from the king's prerogative. house. It was impossible, in a committee
He would ask, could any exercise of the of ways and means, to enter into the merits
king's prerogative be figured in which of these Orders in Council, or to judge in
that house not only was not intitled, but that place, whether his majesty had been
even in which it was not absolutely bound properly advised in the exercise of his
to interfere, in order to see that his ma- prerogative. The justice or propriety of
jesty had been well and properly advised the measure could never, there, be decided
Here his majesty had expressly referred on with effect. In a committee of ways
the Orders in Council to the house. His and ineans, nothing could be examined
inajesty had not desired, or even suggested into which was not referable to duties.
to the house, wbat sort of measures it was What his right hon. friend had said was per-
his wish should be adopted, but had sim- fectly apparent, that this was a question
ply referred them to the consideration of of the greatest importance, infinitely more
parliament. In that situation it became so than that of a treaty of navigation and
the duty of the house to proceed to the commerce. In the present reasure all the
consideration of the business in the most world was interested; yet here we had
regular and parliamentary manner. Jle neglected what we had done in cases of
should state a case from the Journals, much less importance.
arising out' of one of the most unexcep- Mr. Tierney, in reply, did not deny that
tionable and undoubted prerogatives of the house had had opportunities of discuss-
the crown, which he believed did exist, ing the question as to the merits of these
and which he presumed to think was not Orders in Council; what he complained
by any means so important in its nature of was, that they had never been allowed
as the present—namely, the making of a an opportunity of deciding on them. In
treaty, which sufficiently pointed out a coinmittee of ways and means they could
the mode of proceeding in such cases. have 110 means of deciding on any ques-
In his majesty's Speech in the year 1787, tion. They could not command any
he found a passage stating, that his ma- materials for that purpose, nor could they
jesty had concluded a treaty of Naviga- effectually touch on any thing unconnect-
tion and commerce.with his most Chris-ed with finance, unless they had received
tian majesty, and that he recoinmend- special instructions to that effect.' It had
ed to parliament to adopt the best means been said, that there was nothing in this
of carrying it into effect. How did par- measure contrary to the navigation laws.
liament act in consequence of this refer- He would ask, was it nothing contrary to
ence? Did they carry it into effect, as the navigation acts to force a vessel out of
· ministers had now done Did they pro her tract to this country, and then to tell
ceed to bring in a bill directly ? Or did her you may proceed to the place of your
they refer the treaty to a committee of destination, but you must leave the most
ways and means ? They did neither. They valuable part of your cargo behind you
proceeded in the way that was proper and | This he considered to be not only a no-
established. They resolved that the house velty, but also to be a novelty which was
should, on a given day, resolve into a com- perfectly disgraceful to this country. He
mittee of the whole house to consider so still maintained, that merely because the
much of his majesty's speech as related to measure related to trade it must originate
navigation and commerce; and they refer- in a committee of the whole house, and not
red to that committee to see, if the king in a committee of ways and means. If the
had been properly advised in the exercise committee of ways and means, where no
of his prerogative in concluding that in struetions had been given, would enable
Treaty. On the 21st of Feb. following, all proper steps to be taken for deciding
the committee of the whole house ap- on the justice and policy of the measure,
proved of the exercise of the royal prero- as well as on its financial merits, then he
gative, and appointed a committee to pre- was wrong ;. if it could not, then he was
pare an address, notifying to his majesty right. He recollected a bill having been
their approbation of the exercise of his introduced by the lord advocate of Scot-
prerogative. They then referred to the land, during the last parliament, for alter-
committee of ways and means, for the pur- ing the practice as to Teinds in Scotland,
pose of enacting resolutions of finance. in which the Speaker interfered, and put
There was no doubt, however, that the the learned lord to rights as to the form;

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