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hon. gent. that France had sufficient bark more modern times, we might recollect a for two years consumption, depreciated circumstance which was more immediately the whole of the other part of his argument. applicable. The French convention des Even on the shewing of the hon. gent. creed, that no quarter should be given; (Mr. Lushington) opposite, the price did the English government retaliate by of bark had risen considerably on the con the passing of a similar decree no: What tinent, and the statement respecting the was then the consequence? The conseplentiful supply of sugar on the continent quence was, that the French soldiers rewas so improbable in itself, that it could fused to put the sanguinary order of their not be credited without the strongest evi government into execution.
Here, then, dence. A war of this kind was detestable, was an object of policy likely to be gained he admitted, but unfortunately it was the by mitigated rigour towards an enemy, only means left for procuring a solid peace. exclusive of all ideas of principles of huThe guilt rested with the
maity. But the house would here par. Mr. Whitbread observed, that if the com don him for mentioning a circumstance mittee agreed to the proposition of en which this brought to his recollection. deavouring to prevent bark from reach- He was informed that soldiers were coning the continent, instead of throwing victed of acts of gross misconduct whilst the odium of a want of humanity on they lay before Copenhagen. He was the character of Buonaparte, we might not aware of the facts to which he now almost probably find that there would luded, at the time of the Thanks being be too just ground for founding a re voted to lord Cathcart, or he should have flection on the character of our own mentioned them. For he was informed, that country. The emissaries of Buonaparte after these men to whom he alluded were might go to the hospitals, and say, 'here tried and convicted, they were not only is an English act of parliament; you see not punished immediately before the ene what it is that prevents you from obtaining my, but they were released and suffered a remedy for your complaints.' He put to go at large. This was a subject which it to the honourable feelings of gentlemen required further elucidation, for the sake on the opposite side, whether the enemy of the honour of the nation, which was would not at least have an opening here sufficiently, he should have thought, taragainst us? (Here some significant gestures nished by the attack itself, without such were made use of by some of the gentle acts of aggravation. men on the treasury bench.] He was not Mr. Wilberforce was of opinion, that one surprised that the editor of a celebrated consideration might alone decide the ques. Manifesto, or that the bombarders of Co- tion. It was hoped, that we should be likely penhagen, should express some disappro- by this moans in some degree to weaken the bation at the mention of this circumstance. military force of Buonaparte. But, was it For his own part, he recollected when it not to be fairly concluded, that he, both as was generally supposed, and by some, he an object of policy to preserve his strength, believed, it was hoped for, that the French and with a view to increase his popularity army. were likely to be destroyed by a with his soldiers, would at all events prodysentery; and if he, who was rather fa cure them this medicine if it were neces. vourable to the old morality, were to be sary.
The odium would then be cast upon asked what he would do, if in such a case us, and his character would be exalted, so he was in possession of such medicine as that the means were not calculated to acwould be likely to relieve them, he would complish the desired end. The general of answer, · he would give it to them; he a blockading army might fairly hope to would do so not only from motives of huma- make-some impression on the besieged nity, but he was also convinced it would army, or that he should be capable of be beneficial, in a political point of view. making the general of the garrison symSome gentlemen took up and laid down pathise in the feelings of the suffering the cloak of morality so frequently, chang- inhabitants; but could it be supposed, ing as it suited their purpose, that he could that a similar impression would be made not say what might be their opinion at the on the feelings of that general who at prepresent moment. But he would say; that sent commanded the great garrison of the in a book which a right hon. gent. last French nation? The measure might posweek despised, it was related, that at the sibly excite a more general union of hatred siege of Jerusalem, the famished inhabi- against the English nation amongst all tants were permitted come out. In ranks of the French people; it might add
to the ferocity or unfeeling character of the ders in Council, as consistent with the lew contest, but it could not possibly be the of nations and the municipal law of the means of putting an end to it. He there- land, and consequently should give his fore supported the amendment.
support to the clause. General Gascoyne observed, that with Mr. Tierney proposed to take the sense respect to the circumstances which an hon. of the committee on an amendment which gent. had related as having occurred at he should move, for leaving out the words Copenhagen, it was to be recollected, that “cotton wool, or yarn,' after his hon. at courts martial appeals were frequently friend had taken the sense of the commade to the mercy of the commander in mittee on the propriety of omitting the chief; there might be some circumstances words “ Jesuits Bark.” in mitigation of punishment which had not Sir C. Price asserted, that the price of reached the ears of the hon. gent. bark at Paris was, at present, what it had
Sir A. Wellesley reminded the house, that been stated to be by the chancellor of the it was impossible to prevent acts of im- exchequer, 70s: per pound, and that there proper conduct at all times in an army. were unlimited orders at this moment in As to the facts alluded to, he believed London, for any quantity of that article that after the persons had been tried, that could be supplied. some doubt remained on the mind of the Mr. A. Baring observed, that gentlemen noble lord who held the chief command. need not be so extremely tenacious of the In that case it was not to be contended provision, that was here alluded to; for that the noble lord did wrong to hesitate, if only one ship laden with bark were to before he put judgment into execution. arrive safe, it would be sufficient for the The case he was informed, was now under whole continent. the consideration of high legal autho The Advocate General supported the prin rity. :
ciple of the Orders in Council, and the Mr. Whitbread stated, that he alluded to enforcement of these prohibitions, on the three distinct charges, nanely, robbery, maxims of the law of nations, which aurape, and murder.
thorised a belligerent to re-act upon its The Chancellor of the Exchequer said, enemy the severity of its own means of that it would have been much less grating annoyance. to the feelings of the noble lord, whose Sir A. Piggott argued ably against the name had been mentioned, and it would principle of the bill, as subversive of the give him a fairer opportunity of instruct- essential interests of justice. He consiing some member of that house, as to the dered it nothing short of the most violent particulars, so that he might be able to outrage, to arrogate a right of confiscaspeak in his behalf, if it was made the sub- tion over an innocent neutral, although he ject of a specific motion, of which notice had not violated the provisions of a block. should be previously given. As to the ade, or in any degree contravened the case which the hon. member alluded to, Orders, this country had issued. Still such there were some doubts as to a point of an effect did follow from the new system law, which was referred to the consider- of ministers : and therefore he should take ation of some of the highest legal autho- every opportunity of declaring his decided rities.
hostility to it.-'I'be question being loudly Mr. Whitbread then gave notice that he called for, a division took place, first upon would, on an early day, bring the question the amendment of Mr. Whitbread, relative before the house.
to the prohibition of Jesuits Bark, when The Attorney General stated, in corrobo- the numbers were
e-Ayes 78; Noes 165 ; ration of what had been said by the hon. Majority against the Amendment 87.-bart. that the powers of the commander in A second division then took place on Mr. chief were now under the consideration of Tierney's amendment, relative to the prothe highest legal authority in the king hibition of cotton yarn, &c. when the dom, and the inclination of opinion was, numbers were-Ayes 76; Noes. [67; that they did not authorise the execution Majority against the amendment 91. * of the punishment. In a country governed by law, it could not be matter of surprise that when punistiment could not be legally inflicted, the individuals, however morally
Thursday, February 25. guilty, should escape punishinent.
Brazil TRADE Bull.]. On the second Mr. D. Giddy spoke in favour of the Or- reading of the Brazil Trade Billy
HOUSE OF LORDS,
Earl Bathurst observed, that some mis-ceive it possible, that under the present apprehensions had existed with respect to circumstances of the Brazils, any attention sugar from the Brazils coming into com could be paid to the cultivation of corn or petition with the sugar from our own colo- the cutting of lumber, particularly under nies, in the home market, and thus injuring that system of cultivation which would be the West India interests. This, however, adopted there, namely, by means of slaves, would be effectually prevented by the continually imported; it was rather to be high duties imposed upon foreign sugar. apprehended that, from the fertility conHis lordship urged the importance of the sequent upon breaking up new lands, so trade with the Brazils, whence might be large a quantity of sugar might be proderived cotton, tallow, and various other duced, as greatly to diminish the price of articles, and which might also be of essen that article. It was upon this system of tial benefit to our colonies, as a vessel trad importing slaves that he founded his prining from this country to the Brazils might cipal objection to the bill. His lordship take in there a cargo of articles of provi- briefly recapitulated the proceedings of sion and lumber, of the latter of which parliament with respect to the abolition there was a plentiful supply in the Brazils, of the Slave Trade; and observed, that and carrying them to our colonies in the that act would confer immortal honour on West Indies, it might from thence bring the parliament that agreed to it, and woul home a cargo of colonial produce.
be remembered when all party disputes Lord Auckland adverted to the state of and dissentions were forgotten. Ministers, the sugar market, hoping that it would he contended, ought to have followed up not be still further depressed. His lord that act, and the address to his majesty ship stated from the information he had then voted, by refusing to enter into any been able to procure, that the quantity of commercial engagements with the Portusugar produced in the Brazils, was about
guese government unless it consented to 73,000 bogsheads, the quantity produced abolish the Slave Trade ; otherwise British in our own colonies, was about 280,000 capital would be employed to a great exhogsheads, the latter of which was already tent in carrying on this detestable traffic about 70,000 hogsheads more than our own to the Brazils, which would thus derive .consumption required, and with respect to great benefit from which our colonies were the use of the surplus in the distilleries, he excluded. The legislature had decided, observed, that the whole distilleries of the that whatever commercial benefit might united kingdom would not consume more be derived from that trade, nothing could than 12,000 hogsheads. With respect to justify the inhumanity of its continuance. cotton, he believed the produce of the Bra- The Brazils must exist as an independent zils to amount to 24,000,000 pounds, that state, by the protection afforded by the of our own colonies was about 16,000,000 British
navy ; was it then to result, that pounds : he was ready to admit this part notwithstanding the act of the legislature, of the trade to be of very great value to this trade was to be allowed to be carried this country.
on by British capital, and under the proLord Grenville observed, with respect tection of the British navy; and this too to the idea of making this country an en
for the still further increase of produce, trepot for colonial produce, that it would of which there was, unfortunately, too be found impossible to force upon the con- great an accumulation in our own colonies? tinent, that quantity of colonial produce Every consideration of humanity, justice which it would consume under other cir and policy, required in his opinion, that cumstances, and with a direct trade. He ministers should have made the abolition did not view this bill precisely in the of the Slave Trade a previous condition to same light as his noble friend, and if con- entering into any commercial engagement siderations arising out of the situation of with the Portuguese government. the prince regent of Portugal and his con Lord Hawkesbury observed, that the nection with this country, induced him trade in the Portuguese colonial produce, not wholly to oppose it, he must still give had been previously carried on through a decided opinion with respect to some the mother country, and the colony having circumstances connected with it.
As to become the seat of government, there was the idea of the noble lord, that corn and no principle upon which these commerlumber could be procured from the Bra cial arrangements could have been rezils for our West India colonies, he thought fused. As to the Slave Trade, his opis it was not to be expected, nor did he con non upon that subject was well known;
but the abolition of that trade having be- III. and the provision of the Order in come an act of the legislature, it became Council respecting the Isle of Man, conthe duty, and it was the wish of the exe- cluded by stating, that the latter was a cutive government, to carry that act into manifest violation of the former. effect, and to use every means to carry
The Lord Chancellor contended that the into effect the object of the address to his Order alluded to was not only not a breach majesty, with respect to inducing foreign of law, but actually within the comprehenpowers to abolish that trade. The cir- sion of the very statute to wbich the noble cumstances in which the Portuguese go- earl applied the violation. vernment had been placed, and the de Lord Grenville observed, there was an parture of that government for the Bra- end of the constitution of parliament, if the zils, had hitherto precluded any attempt privy council assumed to itself the power to enter into negociation with a view of legislation. to attain that object. It was scarcely Lord Hawkesbury opposed the motion, possible to prevent British capital from and considered the principle of those Orbeing embarked in this trade, carried ders to have been fully discussed, and on to the Brazils ; but no opportunity their execution approved of by the assent would be lost by the executive govern- of parliament.—Lords Erskine, Auckland, ment, in endeavouring to procure the con- and earl Grey, supported the motion, and sent of the Portuguese government to abo- contended that the law of the land had lish the trade. It could not be espected been violated without any ground of neof him to enter into any discussion upon cessity that could entitle ministers to ask the supposition of a refusal on the part of parliament for a Bill of Indemnity. The the Portuguese government to consent to motion was then put and negatived. such abolition. The bill was then read a [Protest.] Against the rejection of the second time.
above motion of the earl of Carlisle, the [ORDERS in Council.) The Earl of following Protest was entered in the JourCarlisle made his promised motion relative nals:viz. to the illegality of the Orders in Council. “ Dissentient— Because the proposition He adverted to the point which he had stated in this motion is evidently and un: before stated to the house, respecting a deniably true.-We conceive the proper contradiction between the Order in Com- mode of interpreting the laws of our council of the 25th of Nov. and the act of the try, and the acts of its government, to be 7th Geo. III. c. 43. By that act, certain according to the plain sense of the words enumerated articles were prohibited to be therein contained. The words of the Ora exported from the Isle of Man, under the der stated in the motion expressly declare, penalty of the confiscation of the vessel. That the articles therein mentioned may By the Orders in Council it was declared, be exported to certain places there rethat
any articles might be exported from ferred to; and the statute of the seventh the Isle of Man to any ports except those of his present majesty does, in terms equalof this country. This he conceived to be ly explicit, prohibit such exportation. clearly a contravention of the statute. Ile * And we conceive that any case of an did not mean to charge ministers with Order issued by his majesty in council, any thing else, but he thought it was in contrary to the statute law of the realm, cumbent on them to come to parliament is a matter of such importance as to refor a bill of Indemnity. He trusted that quire the most serious attention of this against this the king's war prerogative, of house. (Signed) Carlisle, Grenville, Erwhich much had lately been said, would skine, Spencer, Lauderdale, Gray, Aucknot be urged, nor the right of retalia- land, Wentworth, Fitzwilliam." tion. It might be said, that his objection was trifling ; but it should be remembered that it was the first fissure in a bank which let in the overflow, and thus the
Thursday, February 25. first contravention of the law, by the privy [EXPEDITION TO COPENHAGEN.Mr. council, however trifling in itself, ought Sheridan rose and observed, that out of reto be met in a decided manner, lest it gard to the convenience of others, he had wight lead to consequences injurious to the more than once postponed his motion; constitution.
His lordship concluded by and there were many considerations which moving a Resolution, which, after stating made against its being brought forward at the enactment of tbe act of the 7th Geo. so late an hour. But even if the hour
HOUSE OF COMMONS.
were latèr, he would now persevere, and subject would come under the review of submit to the house a proposition which the house, and for that reason he would appeared to him of the first importance. not enter fully into its merits at present. In rising, however, to lay that proposition He had, he declared sincerely, entered before them, and to state the reasons on with the greatest reluctance into the conwhich it was founded, he confessed, at the demnation of the principle of the attack outset, that he entertained no very san upon Copenhagen. He had before said, guiae hopes of success. He had no very and said truly, that on the first day of the sanguine hopes of success, because he had session he had come down to the house, seen that motions founded certainly on as with a most earnest hope that minister's strong reasons as he could possibly urge, would be enabled to justify themselves by had been negatived; because he had ob- some kind of information at least; for it served a very peremptory determination must be odious to a man to be enabled to on the part of ministers, and a very pliant make out a case against his country. He acquiescence on the part of the house, to had loped first, that strong information refuse the most essential information on would be given, which would prove the the most important points. His hopes measure to be an act of necessity, or that were, besides, not sanguine, because he some unequivocal instance of the hostility had communicated the subject of his mo of Denmark would be shewn; or, lastly, tion to his right hon. friend (Mr. Canning), that every proof would be produced, which at his request, and had received no very could afford a tolerable pretext for their flattering expectations of a favourable re- conduct. But, when he found that instead sult; and one could not help remarking of this, they only made an aukward atthat in proportion as the ministers mani- tempt to form something of a mixture out fested a determined obstinacy in with of the whole three; that they first preholding information, they insisted upon tended a strong state necessity; that on the courtesy of having previous notice of being driven from this, they tried to point the different motions brought forward, out a variety of provocations on the part under the pretence of putting them in a of Denmark; that they then said that it better shape ; but he much apprehended, was necessary to do some stout act, which rather with a view to have a more exact would prove to the world that they could knowledge of the particular subject of imitate Buonaparte; and that the result each, in order to defeat their object. of the whole was a total denial of all actual The house being, then, disposed to agree information whatever; he could not then so far with ministers in denying all mate- disguise the unfavourable impression which rial information, he did not think it neces had been made upon his mind. He mainsary to detain them long, and he would tained, that there never was a case in the tell them why; the house had never yet history of England, when a war was combeen pledged in any direct approbation or menced, with all the taxes and privations censure of the measures respecting Den- to which it subjected the nation, where such mark. Ministers had, indeed, with a great a denial of all inforınation as to the causes deal of craft, on the different applications and grounds of it had been manifested. for information, turned the discussions to The house ought not to run away with the the question of the rierits. In the motion idea that the granting of information was which he had to submit to the house, be dangerous; an allegation which was ever might take advantage of this practice, and ready on the lips of those whose purposes enter at large into the general subject. required concealment. It led, they said, But of this opportunity he was not dis to the exposure of the fortunes and lives posed to avail himself, since an hon. friends of those who gave it, and the correspondof his (Mr. Sharpe) had given notice ence of our ambassadors ought not to be of a motion which was to come on so laid open to general inspection. But, adearly as Wednesday next, when the merits mitting that the granting of information would be brought regularly and fully might sometimes be inconvenient, perhaps under discussion; for, though the ministers even dangerous, still they overlooked the had surreptitiously, he must say, on the vital principle of our free constitution. first day of the session, procured an im- Publicity was the very essence of that plied approbation, yet, certain it was, that constitution. Despotic governments certhe house had not as yet been directly tainly had some advantages from that pledged, either one way or the other. secret lurking manner in which business The time, however, was near when the miglit be there transacted. But we ought VOL. X.