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of the several acts above specified, to the redemption of the national and endeavoured to show that the debt ; and for making further pro, plan proposed was entirely incon- vision in respect thereof," was sistent with the spirit of that of moved on April 7th. The debate 1802. He concluded by moving, on this occasion presented nothing “ That a select committee be ap- new in argument, and the bill pointed to take into consideration passed the House. the acts passed for the more ef- The second reading of this bill fectual reduction of the national in the House of Lords was moved debt, in the 26th, 32nd, and 42nd by the earl of Liverpool on April years of bis majesty's reign, and 12th, in a speech which recapituto report to the House whetherlated the substance of that of the due regard being had to the just Chancellor of the Exchequer. claims of the holders of shares in The Marquis of Lansdowne adthe several public funded securi- vanced some objections, chiefly ties, purchased subject to the ope- founded on the injury to the serations of the said acts, any and curity of the public creditor, which what part of the monies placed to would result from this measure. He the account of the commissioners did not mean, however, to give it for reducing the national debt, can a pertinacious opposition. now be placed at the disposal of The Earl of Lauderdale spoke in parliament.”
depreciation of the sinking fund The Chancellor of the Exche- altogether, and declared himself to quer contended, that on no former be one of those who held all plans occasion of a similar kind had a of finance very cheap, in compacommittee been previously ap- rison with an effectual plan of pub. pointed to investigate the details lic economy. of the subject. He made various No other proceedings are recordremarks to show that his plan in- ed concerning it in the House of volved no breach of the public Lords, and it soon after passed into faith, and said that he should dis
a law. sent from the motion.
In connection with financial After some observations on each matters, it may be proper to notice side from different members, the the renewal of an attempt to bring Attorney General rose to give a in a bill respecting sinecure offices legal opinion as to the effect of the upon the same principles with that proposed measure on the three acts which had been rejected in the of parliament referred to, and held last session of parliament. It was that there was not the smallest moved in the House of Commons violation of good faith, or infrac- on Feb. 12, by Mr. Bankes, who tion of the law, in its operation.
introduced it with some general The House at length divided; observations on the nature of the for the motion, 59; against it, 152; intended measure, for the informmajority, 93.
ation of the new members. Its The third reading of the bill, essence was the gradual abolition the title of which was, “ To alter of sinecure, offices as they should and amend several acts passed in fall vacant, with the provision of his present majesty's reigo, relating a permanent fund for the adequate
reward of meritorious public ser. 94 to 80, and it afterwards passed vices. Leave being given to bring that House. in the bill, it was read the second Its reception in the House of time on March 29th, when its Lords, May 18, was not more faprinciples were combated with the vourable than in the preceding same arguments as those employed year; and on the motion being in the former discussions on the put for the second reading, it was subject. On a division, however, negatived without a division. it was received by a majority of
Bill on the Weymouth and Melcombe Regis Election.—Bill for the better
Provision of Stipendiary Curates.-Bill for the better Regulation of Ecclesiastical Courts in England.-Bill for the Relief of Persons impugning the Doctrine of the Trinity.
MONG the more interesting The Speaker suggested, that for
of the parliamentary proceed. the sake of dispatch, only so much ings of this year, were those re- of the minutes of the evidence as specting the election of represen- referred to the above resolution, tatives for the united boroughs of should be laid before the House ; Weymouth and Melcombe Regis, and the motion was modified actogether returning four members. cordingly. A select committee of the House A conversation ensued, in which of Commons having been appointe some members considered it as a ed to try the merits of a petition suspicious circumstance that much complaining of an undue election anxiety was manifested to keep for these boroughs, Mr. Alderman back a part of the evidence; and Atkins, on Feb. 26, informed the strongly objected to leaving the House, that only one of the candi- minutes of evidence to be selected dates was duly elected, and that and garbled by a clerk; and it was the committee had passed the fol- hinted, that the cause was, that ve.. lowing resolution : “ That the ry improper interference has been right of voting in the said town exercised by an illustrious per. and borough appears to be, among sonage. After a long discussion others, in persons seised of free- on the subject, the Speaker obholds in the said borough; that served, that there were two ways gross abuses have of late been of meeting the apparent wishes of practised within the said borough the House : either to get the enby persons claiming and exercising tire of the minutes and deliver a right to vote upon nominal re. them immediately to the commitserved rents, arising out of free- tee, to enable them to amend their holds split and divided into the report ; or to refer the report back most minute fractional parts, un- to the committee, which should der wills either real or fictitious; be constituted a committee for that and that it further appears to the purpose, with power of sending for committee, that such evils can only persons; papers, &c. The latbe effectually remedied by the in- ter mode, on a division, was aterposition of the legislature.” He dopted. then moved, that the whole of the On March 30th, Mr. Alderman minutes of the evidence be laid Atkins having moved the second before the House.
reading of a bill for regulating the
Weymouth elections, Mr. Wynn rent. It was not designed that the made some objections to it; on bill should deprive those of their which Mr. Bathurst observed, franchise who had previously exthat the thing complained of was ercised it without dispute, but a novel practice of splitting votes should provide against the abuse by will. There was an act in ex- in future. The bill was then read istence against the splitring of a second time. votes, but it did not anticipate the On April 1, Lord A. Hamilton possibility of doing it by will; ac- rose in pursuance of notice, to cording, however, to the spirit of move that the remainder of the that act, all devices for that pur- evidence taken before the Wey. pose ought to be null and void, in mouth committee be laid before the same manner as conveyances the House. Much of this evidence were rendered.
applied to a point not hitherto Sir John Newport said, he held openly noticed, the improper and in his hand a petition from the in- illegal interference of his royal habitants of Weymouth, praying highness the, duke of Cumberthat the House would not inter, land. If the House wished to prefere with the independence of the serve its own purity, or to mainborough. He was advised that the tain the respect in which it was · real operation of the bill would held by the people, it behoved it be, to lodge the power of returning very seriously to consider the prefour members in 30 or 40 persons. sent case. Before he proceeded He was extremely anxious that the further, he should desire the clerk House should do nothing which to read the part of the petition of might produce an impression on the burgesses of Weymouth comthe public, that such was the anti- plaining of the interference of pathy of parliament to every princi- peers of parliament, and likewise ple of reform in the representation, ihe two resolutions entered into by that although they had uniformly the House at the commencement of resisted every extension of the each session relative to the illeelective franchise, they had no ob- gality of such interference. This jection to employ every plea of being done, the noble lord said, he convenience for narrowing it. should call upon the House to give
Mr. Alderman Atkins said, that him documents to bring home the it had appeared to the committee, fact to the persons charged with that the only remedy in this case, the offence. If their resolutions without disfranchising the inhabi. against the interference of peers
in tants, was, to designate the value elections were never to be acted of the rents which in future should upon, he could only say that they be deemed a sufficient qualifica- were calculated to form a snare to tion. There were now, no votes himself and others bringing foracquired by device which were of .ward similar measures, and to be a higher value than five shillings a subject of derision to the counannually,
of sixpence, try. He then read from a newsand one witness had been called paper a letter from 'his royal who enjoyed eight votes, altoge- highness to J. F. A. Stewart, and ther of the value of two-pence a part of the evidence, in which VOL. LV.
it was proved that his royal high- had been for the convenience of ness had a private conference on the election; and that it had been the subject of the election with a forwarded with all possible discandidate. He would state one patch. more fact proving interference, Mr. Wynn said, that the duty which was, that the duke of Cum- of election committees was, to deberland had got into his possession cide concerning the seat, and with the writ for the election, and had that decision their judicature closed. paid the price for it. After some Any other resolution they might
. other observations, he concluded come to, it was not imperative on by moving, “ That there be laid the House to receive. They had before the House such parts of the in this instance received a further evidence given before the commit- report, and part of the evidence, tee of the Weymouth and Mel- and he was of opinion that the combe Regis election, as are not whole ought to have been proincluded in the special report of duced. With respect to obtaining the committee to which the report possession of the writ, though it was referred."
was no offence in a commoner, Mr. Long treated the motion as was such in a peer. a dangerous novelty. When the Mr. Bathurst argued against the House referred a petition to an motion chiefly on the ground of election committee, they referred the discredit it would throw upon the whole matter connected with committees, acting on oath, if the it to its deliberation; and nothing practice were encouraged of recould be more obviously wise than forming their judgments upon that they ought as seldom as pos- their special reports. Even were sible to re-investigate the evidence the committee to be in an error, on which a determination had it would be better that it should be been made by those to whom they left so, than that by the interferhad delegated their authority. He ence of the House it should be then made some observations re- placed in so obnoxious a situation. specting a charge which had been Mr. Rose believed that there brought against himself on this oc- was no one instance to be found in casion; and as that was utterly the records of parliament in which unfounded, he inferred that there that House had required the prowas probably misrepresentation or duction of any thing beyond that exaggeration in that brought which was submitted to them by against the duke of Cumberland. their committee; and it would be He therefore moved as an amend- highly inconvenient to have such ment to pass to the order of the a precedent established. The splitday.
ting of votes was an abuse which Mr. Alderman Atkins spoke in called for the interference of the justification of the committee for House; but he could not see what omitting to report on that part of that had to do with the concern the petition which charged the im- any peer might have taken in the proper interference of peers. With election. regard to the possession of the writ Mr. Whitbread said, that the by his royal highness, he said it whole gist of one right hon. gen.