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HOUSE OF COMMONS.
the forenoon : They there discovered,
that all the loaves found by them (each of Friday, February 19.
which ought to contain 16 ounces, and to PETITION RESPECTING THE COLD-Bath- be distributed daily, at 10 o'clock in the Fields Prison.]-Mr. Sheridan held in his morning) were greatly deficient in point, hand a Petition similar to that which he of quantity, as will be seen from the anhad yesterday withdrawn, in deference to nexed statement on the part of one of the what seemed to be the sense of the house. magistrates of the city of London : That Yet though he had given way he could the prison weight demanded and used not help thinking that there was no suf- upon the present occasion, for trying the ficient reason for refusing to receive the loaves in rotation, proved also deficient, as petition. The doors of parliament ought was fully demonstrated in both instances to be thrown open as wide as possible, on the same day, when compared with for the reception of the petitions of the the standard at Guildhall, in the presence, subject representing his grievances; and first, of sir W. Leighton, knight, then lord if a petition was to be rejected merely be mayor; and afterwards of R. Phillips, esq. cause at the moment of presenting it the then and still one of the sheriffs of London petitioners were not in the precise situa and Middlesex, as well as of four of the tion in which they described themselves late grand jury; and, moreover, that the to be, merely because they did not desig- scales of the said prison were false and nate themselves properly, that designation fraudulent." "Copy of a letter from Mr. being wholly immaterial to the subject of Sheriff Phillips to William Mainwaring, the petition, it would give rather an un- esq. chairman of the quarter sessions, favourable impression as to the disposition &c. Sir; I consider it a duty which I which it was proper that parliament should the public to inform you, as chairbe known to have to attend to all just man of the quarter sessions, and, I becomplaints. The petitioners were, in part, lieve, one of the committee for conductgrand jurors of the county of Middlesex ing the business of the prison, that I was on the day on which the petition was ' present when an appeal was lately made signed, the 3d of Nov. last, but on that by the grand jury of the county to the day they ceased to be so.
'standard weights in Guildhall; that I petition was from the foreman of that " witnessed the examination of the pound grand jury, Mr. Stephens, in his individual weight for weighing meat and other capacity. He wished to know however, provisions in the house of correction, whether he might not this day again offer Cold-Bath-Fields, when it was found to to the sense of the house the petition which • be seven-eighths of an ounce too light ; he had withdrawn yesterday.
and that on weighing some loaves which The Speaker recommended the right were found in the same prison, by the hon. gent. to acquiesce in the sense of the grand jury, they appeared also to be conhouse expressed yesterday, as to the pro- siderably too light, one or two of them priety of admitting that petition.
being from an ounce and a half to two Mr. Sheridan submitted, but he declared • ounces under weight." I should comprohe would never again acquiesce in what ‘mise the feelings which I bear towards he felt to be wrong. He then presented the respectable magistracy of the county the petition, which was as follows: of Middlesex, if I were to omit to make
“To the knights, citizens, and burgesses this formal communication. I have the of the honourable house of commons, of honour to be, &c.—R. Phillips, SheG. Britain and Ireland, in the united parlia-riff;-Bridge-street, Nov. 13, 1807.'— ment assembled : The Petition of Alexan- | Your petitioner, together with other gender Stephens, of the honourable society tlemen, late members of the grand jury, of the Middle Temple, and Park House, also discovered, that several of the liege in the county of Middlesex, esq. humbly subjects of this realm were committed to sheweth, That certain persons lately serv- close custody in cells destitute of fire, 8. ing the office of grand jurymen for the feet 3 inches long, by 6 feet 3 inches county of Middlesex, to the number of wide, two of them in irons, although sick; about nine, having visited the House of some, if not all, of these were innocent in Correction for the said county, commonly point of fact, as all were then innocent in called the Cold-Bath-Fields Prison, on point of law, being detained under the Tuesday, Nov. 3, in the year of our Lord pretext of re-examination, and conse1807, between the hours of 11 and 12 in quently uncondemned by the legal judg
ment of their peers, or even the accusatory / tervention' of the grand inquest of the verdict of a grand jury. Of this number nation, most humbly and earnestly solicits were a mother, a daughter, and a son, of this honourable house to take the premises creditable appearance; the two former in into consideration, and by a public and one cell, so situated as to be exposed to a open examination at its bar, or any other continual current of external air, without mode, afford such relief as may seem meet. the possibility of obtaining, even during
A. STEPHENS." the severest frost, an artificial warmth by Mr. Sheridan, in moving that the Petimeans of fuel, while the convicts below tion should lie on the table, felt it unnecesenjoyed all the comforts of an open roomy sary to recommend it to that attention ward, with occasional access to fire. That which he was sure his majesty's ministers in one of these lonely cells was closely would be disposed voluntarily to pay to confined a foreigner of some rank, the it. But he begged more particularly to Chevalier de Blin, who, as we were told, recal to the recollection of those gentleby one of the jailors, while so immured, men the Report of the committee of the had been deprived of his reason, and who house of commons, in the year 1800. The presented to your petitioner, after com- facts and suggestions contained in that remunicating with him for some time in the port were yet unapplied in the way of reFrench language through the key-hole, formation or relief. and demanding entrance, a memorial on The Chancellor of the Erchequer contendhis knees. That in this place, originally ed, that the house could not with propriedestined for the improvement of the morals ty, have received the petition of last night, of petty offenders, a female prisoner, as on account of the petitioners presenting we have learned, has been lately de- themselves under a designation which did bauched by the son of the chief jailor, or not properly belong to them. If the house governor, who then held an office of trust were once to admit the principle of petiin the prison, and has since had a child, tioners approaching them under any other now, or at least lately, burdensome to the character than that to which they were parish of Kensington, in the county of strictly and properly entitled, it was imMiddlesex. That four debtors were shut possible to say what abuses might follow. up in this house of correction, the only Having stated thus much on the point of communication between whom and the form, he would now state to the house world, appears to take place occasionally, what had passed between him and the by means of two iron gates, at upwards of gentleman who had represented to him six feet distance from each other, with a the matter contained in the Petition offerjailor walking in at intervals, so as to pre-ed to the consideration of the house. He clude complaint; and that from the ex- told that gentleman, that if he would give amination of a debtor, and also, by a letter him the facts in an official form, he would from him, both in the possession of your lay them before the secretary of state for petitioner, it appears that he was shut up the home department, with the strongest with persons guilty of robbery, and un- recommendation which he could give, natural crimes. And, lastly, that six in- though he was sure no recommendation nocent persons, the bills against whom had would be required to call the attention of been thrown out by the grand jury, were that noble person to a case of such a nadragged from Cold-Bath-Fields Prison to ture, coming in a proper authenticated Hicks's-hall, in open day, at the close of and tangible shape. The communication the session, first manacled, and then fast- was, in fact, made to his noble friend: but ened together by a rope, to be discharged it came in an unofficial form, marked 'priby proclamation. Your petitioner, there- vate,' and he could not feel himself warfore, conceiving that such gross instances ranted in taking any public step upon it, of fraud, coupled with such an open vio- not holding himself at liberty to mention lation of the laws, and even of the express the name, or to designate the source from orders of session, are calculated to bring which he had derived his information. his majesty's government into contempt, He sašv no necessity in' presenting this and cast an unmerited odium on our most petition, unless it were with a view to inexcellent constitution; thinking also, that sinuate that his majesty's ministers were if such malpractices were detected in a inclined to neglect what they were in fact casual and slight survey, of less than two perfectly disposed to do, if they were hours duration, far greater abuses are supplied with proper materials to proceed likely to be brought to light, by the in-upon.
Mr. Secretary Canning stated, that he | the supply, there be laid on the exportaalso had received a letter upon this subject, tion of all salt to the continent of Europe, which he had transmitted to his noble a duty of 9d. per bushel ; and on the exfriend the secretary for the home depart- portation of all salt to distant parts in the ment.
world (with the exception of British coloM. Sheridan wished to know the dis- nies) a duty of 3d a bushel.'-A convessatinction taken in this case between an offi- tion ensued, in which Mr. Ponsonby and cial and unofficial form of communica- lord H. Petty disputed the expediency of tion. The individuals concerned could these propositions. The Chancellor of make the communication, as it appeared the Exchequer and Mr. Huskisson mainfrom all that had been said, only as pri- tained the expediency of them. On the yate persons.
latter proposition Mr. Davenport and · The Chancellor of the Exchequer said, that gen. Gascoyne recommended caution and when a communication was marked pri- deliberation. Mr. Baring was apprehenvate, no disclosure could with propriety sive that these duties on salt would act as be made of its contents, nor of the name of protecting duties on the salt of American its author, nor could it in any way be used manufacture, and that when we had once as a public document.
lost the market for that article, we should Mr. Sheridan said there must have been be unable to regain it.-In answer to a some mistake on this head, as such privacy question from lord H. Petty, the Chancelcould never have been intended by those lor of the Exchequer staied, that he meant who put themselves so pubiickly forward the duty also to apply to the exportation in this and in other places, to correct the of salt from the Bahamas to America. grievance.
The Resolutions were then agreed to. Mr. Mellish said a few words in vindi- ORDERS IN Council Bill.] The Chancellor cation of Mr. Mainwaring, who had, in of the Exchequer stated, that in consequence conformity with his duty, referred this of an amendment which he intended to inmatter to the magistrates.-The Petition troduce into the Orders in Council bill, was then ordered to lie on the table. he should propose that the bill should that
EXPORTATION OF Cotton.] The house night go through a committee, pro forma ; resolved itself into a committee of ways that the report should be received on Monand means, Mr. Wharton in the chair. day, and that on Tuesday a recommit
The Chancellor of the Exchequer proposed ment should take place, when the bill might to lay the same duty on the exportation from be discussed. this country of cotton wool, the produce of Mr. Ponsonby expressed his satisfaction British colonies, as now existed on the ex- that the right hon. gent. had changed his portation from this country of cotton wool, opinion on the subject since 3 o'clock on the produce of any other part of the world. that morning. His objection, however, to His object in proposing this was, not for the principle of the bill was so strong, that the purpose of raising a revenue, but to he could not allow the Speaker to leave the effect a prohibition in the only way it chair without taking the sense of the house could be effected. He had, therefore, upon it. calculated the duty so as to be just under The Chancellor of the E.rchequer said it the amount of the insurance which mer- was not his intention to protract the dischants would pay for the risk, if the arti-cussion of this measure. He was not until cle were prohibited. He therefore moved, this day aware, that alterations were ne• That towards raising the supply there be cessary. If the right hon. gent. had a delaid on every pound of Cotton Wool ex- sire to take the sense of the house he might. ported from this country, being the pro-It appeared to him, that the reason for duce of British colonies, the duty of nine-taking the sense of the house' upon the pence.”—The article of salt was in great present occasion might be, that the right demand in the north of Europe, where it hon. gent. looking at the strength of the could not be dispensed-with. By the mea- house might think, from the thinness of sures of the enemy the exportation from what were called the ministerial benches, this country would be increased, rather that he was sure of a triumph. than obstructed, for those measures em- Mr. Ponsonby explained, and denied any powered the country by the law of retalia- such motive. tion, to prevent the continent from getting Mr. H. Martin thought the measure was salt any where but from G. Britain. He one of such paramount delinquency, that therefore moved, • That towards raising every opportunity should be taken to exVol. X
pose its injustice. He was surprised at the Matthew Russell, the rev. John Buller, insinuation thrown out by the right hon. clerk, John Evans, gent. John Stephens the chancellor of the Exchequer against Croft, and Isaac Toby, delivered in a his right hon. friend, who he knew was statement as follows: · The petitioners incapable of the motive attributed to him. contend, that the Right of Election of He was satisfied the right hon. gent. could members to serve in parliament for the mnárshal his troops with much more celeri-borough of Saltash, is in every person ty than could be effected on his side the seised of an estate for life, or some greater house. A division then took place, when estate, in an entire ancient burgage tenethere appeared,
ment, situate in the borough aforesaid, For the postponement
118 • whereon an ancient dwelling house now Against it,
32 • stands or formerly stood, and in no other Majority
-86 persons.' —That the counsel for the petiWhen strangers were re-admitted, we tioners W. Henry Fremantle and Tho. found the chancellor of the Exchequer on Francis Fremantle, esquires, delivered in a his legs, assuring the right hon. gent. (Mr. statement as follows: "That the Right of Ponsonby) that the division had convinced · Election for members to serve in parlia. him, that he was mistaken in the insinua- ment for the borough of Saltash is in the tion he had previously made, with respect mayor and fi'ee burgesses of the said to any wish of taking an unfair advantage. borough, being members of the corpora
«tion within the same, and in no other per
• sons:'-That upon thestatement delivered HOUSE OF COMMONS.
in by the counsel for the petitioners, the Monday Feb. 22.
said W. Henry Fremantle and Tho. Fran[MINUTES.] Col. Stanley brought up cis Fremantle, esquires, the said committhe report of the Evesham Committee. The tee have determined; “ That the Right of report stated that the sitting member, sir Election, as set forth in the said Statements M. Lopez, bart, was not duly elected, and is not the right of election for the said boought not to have been returned; that the rough of Saltash:” That upon the statepetioner, H. Howorth, esq. was duly elect- ment delivered in by the counsel for the ed, and ought to have been returned; and Petitioners James Buller, esq. and others that the opposition of the said sir M. the said committee have determined ; Lopez, bart. to the petition of the said H. “ That the Right of Election, as set forth Howorth, esq. was not frivolous or vexa- in the said Statement, is the right of eleca tious.
tion for the said borough of Saltash, so far (SALTASR Right OF ELECTION.) Order- as the said right is therein described:” ed, That Mr. Wharton do 'make the Re- That the said committee having duly conport from the select committee appointed sidered the said statements, and the evi. to try and determine the merits of the Pe- dence adduced before them, touching the tion of James Buller, esq. Arthur Cham-right of election for the said borough of pernowne, esq. Matthew Russell, esq. the Saltash, have determined; « That the
Jokin Buller, clerk, John Evans, gent. Right of voting for members to serve in John Stephens Croft, and Isaac Toby, each parliament for the borough of Saltash is of whom are seised of an entire ancient in every person seised of an estate for life, Burgage Tenement, situate within the Bo
or some greater' estate, in an entire antient rough of Saltash, whereon an ancient dwell- burgage tenement, situate in the borough ing house now stands or formerly stood; and aforesaid, whereon an antient dwelling also of the Petition of W. Henry Fremantle house now stands or formerly stood, and in and Tho. Francis Fremantle, esquires, re- no other persons.” And the said determispecting the Right of Election for the said nations were ordered to be entered in the borough.-Mr. Wharton accordingly from Journals of the house. the said committee in forined the house, Petition FROM BOLTON. 'FOR PEACE.] That the said committee required the Col. Stanley presented a Petition from the counsel for the several parties to deliver inhabitants of Bolton in Lancaster, setting to the clerk of the said committee state- forth, “That the petitioners suffer great ments, in writing, of the Right of Elec-privations on account of the depressed tion for which they respectively con- state of the manufactures, whereby the tended: That, in consequence thereof, price of labour is reduced in the most una the counsel for the Petitioners James precedented degree, and thousands of the Buller, esq. Arthur Champetowne, esq. petitioners threatened with the want of
employment: that, in the judgment of the of which they complain, the mode of obpetitioners, the great sụspension of cointaining that cure which they have adopted, merce arises chiefly from a want of the must necessarily retard its acquisition. customary intercourse with the continent While I allow that it is perfectly natural of Europe; and that the depressed reduc- for the petitioners, experiencing the pris tion of trade reduces thousands of the pe- vations which they do experience, to looks titioners to the most extreme distress : eagerly to any remedy that appears to that many useful enterprising and inge- promise them relief, yet, on the part of nious manufacturers, have been reduced those who ought to take a more extensive from afluence to complete poverty, the view of the subject, I must deprecate any consequence of which is, that number of accusation of bardness of heart, if they de the petitioners have been reduced to the clare their firın opinion, that, should they absolute want of the necessaries of life for be driven to a negociation under circumthemselves and helpless offspring; and that stances in which they must feel fettered the present situation of affairs still threat and embarrassed, such would unquestion, ens the petitioners with additional sufferably not be the mode of obtaining the ob. ings to those they now experience: that, ject prayed for by the petitioners, namely,. in the opinion of the petitioners, the pre- a peace, consistent with the security and sent evils under which they so severely honour of the country. In expressing suffer, are owing to the continuation of the these sentiments, sir, I ain sure I speak present war, which causes the extensive those of my colleagues. We are anxiouş depression of foreign commerce, which to avail ourselves of the best means to acthe petitioners humbly presume can only be complish this desirable end. Our duty restored by the blessings of Peace: that the and our interest unite to induce us, if poss petitioners are not induced to petition the sible, to obtain a peace consistent with the house on the subject of Peace from any security and honour of the country. We dread of the enemy, but from a desire that have missed no fair opportunity for that no opportunity may be omitted to enterinto purpose. Sir, I am anxious to repeat, that negociations for that purpose; and that we feel most strongly the distress of that the petitioners, should the enemy, from situation from which the petitioners wish ambitious motives, be induced to make to be relieved; but we are bound to ad, demands inconsistent with our national vise his majesty conscientiously to the best honour and independence to grant, will of our judgment, and we are satisfied that, ever feel it to be their duty, with one by a premature negociation, or one come heart and mind, to think no sacrifices or menced on any grounds but those of paprivations too great when made for the fect equality and independence, not only honour and security of their king and would the object of the petitioners fail of country; and therefore praying, that the being realized, but any subsequent hopes house would, in its great wisdom, recom- which they might be led to entertain mend to his majesty, that no means be would be disappointed, in a manner the omitted, consistent with our national ho- most injurious to them, and to the country nour and security, for restoring to his faith- at large.”—The Petition was then ordered ful subjects the blessings of Peace.”—On to lie on the table. the inotion, that the Petition do lie on the [TREATY WITH SWEDEN.] Mr. Ponsonby table,
observed, that on the first day, of the sesMr. Secretary Canning said,—"Sir, I do sion he had noticed a passage relating to not rise to object to the motion, satisfied as Sweden, in the Speech of the lords comI am of the propriety of the terms in missioners, and having inquired of the right which the petitioners have claimed the hon. secretary, whether by that passage it attention of the house to a subject so was implied, that the house should make highly interesting to the whole country; good a subsidiary treaty with Sweden, the although I cannot but, at the same time, right hon. gent. had replied, that he exfeel that it is a subject which must always pected shortly to have his majesty's combe in the contemplation of this house, and mands to lay on the table of that house, a of those whose duty it is to advise his ma-. subsidiary treaty with Sweden. Above a jesty. I trust, sir, I shall not be considered month had elapsed, but no such treaty bad as deficient in feeling for the situation of been produced, although it was rumoured, the petitioners, if I express my sincere on what authority he knew not, that a conopinion and conviction, that even were siderable sum of money had actually been peace to be the immediate cure of the evils sent from G. Britain to that country. He