Hide Articles List

8 articles on this Page



BUSINESS OF PARLIAMENT. -er-- THE proceedings1 of the House of Lords last v/eek were quite uninteresting. In the House of Commons on Monday Mr. Sergeant Onslow moved the second reading of a bill for a repeal of the Usury Laws. Mr. Davenport moved, as an amendment, that the bill should be read a second time that day six months, and w as seconded by Mr. B. Cooper.— Both gentlemen tpoke very warmly against the projected repeal. Sir J. Wrollcsley reprobated the measure, as likely to bring destruction upon the landed in- terest and Mr. Calcraft, contended that, however plausi- ble the repeal of the Usury Laws might appear in theory, in practice such a step must lead to the most pernicious consequences. The Sill was defended by Ah-, llmne, Mr. Grcufell. the Learned Mover, and A. Baring. The last-named Gentleman spoke at some length. He maintained that the repeal of the Usury Laws (which, as he admitted, were inoperative among capitalists and monied men) could not be other- wise than beneficial to the landed interest, and that it ought to be effected in order to remove a piece offalse legislation. The Chancellor of the Exchequer and Mr. Hvs- kisson avowed their in the principles of the Bill, and, on a division, the second reading was carried by a majority of 120 to 23. The House then went into a Committee of Sup- ply upon the Navy Estimates, when Mr, lIume made several charges against the conduct of the Admiralty, specifying among other topics of ac- cusation, the promotion of men of rank and birth out of course, and the disability of passing as Lieutenants imposed upon Masters and Masters' Mates. The lion. Member concluded a series of speeches by moving, that the proposed estab- lishment of the navy should be reduced from 29,000 to 2-3.01)0. Mr. Bemal coincided in Mr. Hume's censtires of the Admiralty"; but he could not, in the pre- sent state of Europe, assent to the proposed re- duction. Sir G. Clerk, Sit. G. Cockburn, and Mr. Can- ning, defended the promotion of men of rank in the navy, as conducive to the general respectabi- lity of the profession; and explained, that the order for the disqualification of Masters from passing as Lieutenants had become necessary, from the practice of appointing Masters directly from the merchants' service and that it only operated to preventMasters to take rank from an- ticipating the usual length of service. Mr. Hume withdrew his amendment. Mr. Goulbum then moved for leave to bring in a Bill to enforce the residence of the Clergy in Ireland, which he obtained, after a short conver- sation Tuesday night, Mr. S. Wortleymovcd for leave to bring in a Bill upon the subject of the Game Laws; the lIon. Member gave a slight outline of the measure to the following efreci, :-Ile would, he said, propose that every man, without distinction of qualification, should have the abso- lute right to kill game upon his own ground, and that every holder of land should have the power of imparting the privilege of sporting upon that land to one friend for every plough gate which he should hold. That he would propose to give to landholders a summary remedy, by fine at the discretion of a Magistrate, against intruders by day, and a security against night poachers by a scale of punishments, moderate at first, and ill- creasing with each repetition of the offence; any by holding convicted poachers to bail, and, fi- nally, that he would propose to legalise the sale of game by licensed persons. The motion was slightly opposed by Sir Jo. in Shellj/, and leave was granted without a divi- sion. Lord Nugent then brought forward his promis- ed motion for certain papers connected with the late proceedings of the British Government in Spain. The Noble Lord introduced the subject in a speech of very great length. He admitted that neutrality was the proper policy of this country, and that which the popular feeling indi- cated but he denied that the Ministers had been impartially neutral; and brought in proof of their bias against the Constitutionalists, the re- tirement of Sir Win. A'Court from Seville, after the King had been put under restraint; and Sir William's advice to General Alava, as a private friend, to withdraw from the ruin which threat- ened the Constitutionalists in Cadiz. Lord Nit- gent's speech was, as we said, very long but these were the only specific allegations contained in it. Mr. Sturgcs Bourne and Mr. Canning briefly defended the course taken by our Government, and the measures adopted by Sir Win. A 'Court (who acted in a great degree upon his own dis- cretion) and Lord Nagent's motion was re- jected, in favour of an amendment moved by Mr. Bourne, by a majority of 171 to 30. In the House of Lords on Thursday night Earl Grosvenor expressed great satisfaction at an effort for the amelioration of the Game Laws having been commenced in another place (the House of Commons), by a gentleman eminently qualified to prosecute it to a successful issue. I In the House of Commons, Mr. T. Wilson, in presenting a petition for a reduction of the duties on f oreign ines, took occasion to observe that the high scale of these duties really injured the revenue by either preventing the use of wine, or by encouraging smugglers. Mr. Grenfell then moved for returns of the Ba- lances of Public Money in the coirers of the Bank of England, with some other accounts of,details connected with these balances. The Hon. Mem- ber argued at great length, to shew that the ba- lances were unnecessarily large,and unreasonably profitable to the Bank and that that Corporation was paid a great deal too much for the manage- ment of the public debt. He concluded by assert- ing that by a revision of the arrangement with the I Bank, £ 280,000 might be annually saved to the public. The Chancellor of the Exchequcrbore testimony to the obligations which the Bank had imposed upon the public. Mr. Hume supported the motion, and observed that the balance of fiteen ion, due bv the Go- vernment to the Bank ought to be paid without delay, Sir N, Parncll hinted, that as the expiration of "the Bank Charter was not far distant, that op- portunity for a new arrangement should not be neglected. Mr. Manning defended the Bank. He said that for the profits of the Balances they had paid compensation; and that for the management of the public debt, they charged but sevenpeuce in a hundred pounds. Mr.Elliee complained that the Bank, bv lending money on mortgage, had departed from the orÍot nal purpose of its instruction, which was the ad- vancement of commerce. Mr. Baring vindicated the importance of the Bank, without the aid of which, he asserted the government of the country could not be carried on. He, however, expressed regret that the Bank had taken the "dead weight arrangement," by which the country had, in the difference of the 'price of Stock, lost one million and a lialf; and, he also lamented the advances made on mortgage tlw effect of which he said must be, in the event of a war, to lock up the capital of the Bank from tite public service, or to inflict a grievous op- pressiori upon the mortgagers, by a general revo- f nation of the mopey so advanced. ■BMI—■ II aBBgWi^—■ill'I III' 111 Mr. H. Gurney, Mr. Maberly, and Miftlonk, spoke shortly, and the return was orderec Mr. Peel then moved for leave tobri; in a Bill to amend the Gaol Act of last Sessioi The Right. Hon. Secretary explained, that tlobject of his Bill would be to diminish, as far as tssible the number of gaols, in order to establisVm uni- formity of discipline, and to afford oppitunity for constant andminute inspection. He ao stat- ed that he intended to introduce a clauseo pro- tect untried prisoners from the "tread ill la- bour." Sir Thomas Letkbridge concurred in theeneral views of the Right Hon. Secretary, but-coplain- ed of the expenee thrown upon the landed terest, by the charges for prison building. A similar complaint on the part of CoHVood, 4 led to a suggestion, by illi-, Peel, that wo or more small counties should unite for te pur- pose of building a prison. Mr. llobhoitse pronounced a warm nvctive ag-ainst the" Tread-mill." Alderman Wood mentioned, that theobtxioHS machine had been in use on the qllap>f the London Docks for a century, without ev- pro- yoking. any public indignation, or ti bourers to put it ia motion; lie added t.it die prison labour of Newgate was much mre se- vere. thanlhat of the tread-mill. Mr. Peel, admitting that this form of imish- ment was subject to some abuse, like evertliing placed in the hands of man, maintained mt it was less so than any other mode' Of disiplihe, and asserted that the reports on the sbject, and the iadisputed fact that the prisoner upon it improved in appearance and inorea>d in weiglit, was a sufficient assurance that was not injurious 10 health.-Leave was then gaired to bring in the bill. Mr. Peel next moved for the consolida on of the Jury Laws; these laws he described a scat- teretl fifty statutes, in which they were mingled wb h a vast variety of subjects with which ihey they had no na; Liral coiine-ioit. I Mr. Hume recommended the impaanellng of Jurors by ballot; and I Mr, (T. Lamb expressed some jealotsy if the consolidal ion of laws. Dr. Lushinglon referred the root 01 theevils in the Jury sys:emto the immense lmltipicily of our la-,vs.-Leave w,-ts given. Sir John Newport then moved for leaie to bring in a bill for the severance of Irish Eceesimtieal unions; however, after a short conversuionwidi Messrs. Goulbum and Dawson, he witldrev his motion. Mr. GraUan then moved for a se.ries)f re1 urns specifying the numbers of persons profssin* the Roman Catholic Religion, holding enrloyiiieins under the Crown. He explained "that ns object in moving for these returns, was to shov that in pracice, Catholics were excluded from ven those offices to which in law, ihev were eligble. The motion was supported bv Messrs.Uobhouse and Hume and opposed by the Chuncetor of the Exchequer, illt-. Gottlbttt-tt, Pert andVr. Can- ning, as leading to an inquisitorial invs'igaiion of the religious opinions of individuals, indT as an invasion of the prerogative of the Crom .—On a division the ino ion was rejected by aiiiojoi,itv of 30 to 11. J