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Earl Grey excused the trouble he was giving by repeated questions, but he could not avoid asking whether Governo ment did not propose to themselves, in the delay of the Act, something more worthy of the nation than the pitiful object of bringing in a few American vessels, only to condemn them if the Non-Intercourse Act was not repealed? This was directly opposite to the tone and spirit of conciliation; it was utterly unworthy the dignity of a great empire. But the conditions of the repeal of the Orders implied a strange ignorance of the subject. The President of the United States had no alternative. The Non-Intercourse Act must be repealed by law on the repeal of the Orders; but by this annexing of conditions to our repeal, we only threw suspicion on our sincerity, and impediments in the way of America, that might make it still a question with the President, whether he was authorised to repeal the Non-Intercourse Act. He wished to be understood as having, in all this, no feeling of party; his object was to obtain sufficient information on a subject of great national importance; and to advise that whatever was done, should be done in a manner not unbecoming the sincerity and spirit of a great nation.
The Earl of Lauderdale discussed the whole policy of the Orders, and concluded a speech of some length by stating it as his firm opinion, that the conduct of Government had been from the beginning weak, ignorant, and obscure.
The Earl of Liverpool was so convinced that the proper time for the discussion was, when the instrument alluded to was made public, which would be in a few days, that he should only detain the House for a moment. As to the delay of the operation of the repeal, there were reasons which he thought clearly sufficient, for making its commencement here and in America as nearly contemporaneous as possible. The distance of America made it difficult to appoint a particular day for the receipt of this communication; it would be otherwise if that distance were less, If, for instance, it was not more than that of France, a day might be distinctly fixed, from which the Orders were to cease; but they were to cease before we had received any announcement from America, that the Non-Intercourse Act had been repealed in consequence. This he said to amend the misconception of the noble lord (Lauderdale).— His other questions bad reference to other discussions of other times, and therefore he (Lord Liverpool) must be excused answering them. The noble lord (Lauderdale) happened to have uiterly miscon
ceived the spirit of the declaration issued on the French repeal of the Berlin and Milan Decrees; it implied no abandonment of the Orders in general, but merely on terms which were known and stated. Another misconception bad been, that our repeal depended on the will of the French Government. There was no doubt that farther and future arrangements between France and America might occasion the revival of the Orders, but as this must be with the consent of both powers, the mode in which the revival would operate, must be determined with reference to each, by their mutual sbare in such arrangements. The present moment was, bowever, the least fit for going into the subject, and he should say no more until the authentic instrument, which pledged Government, was before the House.
The Earl of Rosslyn thought that the delay of even a month must be extremely prejudicial. The great shipment for America was the Full shipment, which took place in July, which would be impeded most injuriously by the doubtful state of the repeal. As to the reduction of the American shipping, what was it in comparison of the immense quantity that would be in American ports, ready to be seized on the first appearance of any similar attempt on our part?
Earl Fitzwilliam observed, that the manufacturers had stated in evidence that they would ship goods to America immediately on the repeal of the Orders in Council, from the confidence they had that the repeal of the Non-Importation Act would immediately follow. But if the revoca. tion was to be accompanied with these conditions, he was convinced that not a bale of goods would be shipped, and that the distresses of the manufacturers would not be removed for some time.
Lord Holland strongly disapproved of the petty, undignified manner in which this revocation took place, and repeated what had been said by a noble lord near him, that since the Ministers took their measures, they onght to execute them in their manner. These conditions had no other use than to shew that the thing was done with reluctance. This ungracious mode of proceeding might make it doubtful with the President of the United States, whether it was intended really to do the thing at all, and occasion à suspicion that our Government wished only to get credit for the attempt, without the odium of a failure, and that therefore they had made the attempt in a way not likely to
succeed. What would be the situation of our manufac turers in this state of doubt?
The Earl of Lauderdale said, that if the Orders were tevoked without these conditions, it was imperative on the President to repeal the Non-Importation Act; but if the revocation was to be attended with such conditions, the President might think it questionable whether he had the power. He again adverted to the different characters which these measures bad assumed; being, first, retaliation apon an enemy; then measures of commercial monopoly; and now, in case the conditions were not complied with, they were to be measures of retaliation upon America, for the adoption of internal regulations, with which we had no right to interfere.
The Earl of Liverpool slated, that the notification of the French Government, as to the repeal of the Berlin and Milan Decrées, as far as respected America, had been, that they were so far to be repealed at a distant day; yet the President had acted upon this repeal.
The Marquis of Lansdowne asked whether the admission of British merchant ships with goods, into the ports of the United States, as well as that of ships of war, was a condition to be insisted on?
The Earl of Liverpool answered that it was; that it was required of America to repeal all the regulations consequent on the Orders in Council.
CURATES' BILL. The House then proceeded to the consideration of the Report of the Curates' Bill.
Lord Harrowby stated, that the object was, that the Curates should have 801. a year in every case; where the population of the parish amounted to 500, 1001. a year; and wbere it amounted to 1000, 1501.; and in each of those cases where the profits of the livings did not amount to these sums respectively, the Curates were to have the wbole.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Bishops of London and Exeter, saw many objections to the Bill.-The Lord Chancellor had some strong doubts as to the propriety of some of its provisions.—Lord Holland opposed it altogether. The Earl of Liverpool and Earl Stanhope supported it. The Bill was then ordered to be recommitted on Tuesday. Adjourned.
HOUSE OF COMMONS.
THURSDAY, JUNE 18. At four o'clock the Speaker counted the House, when only 36 Members being present, it stood adjourned till tomorrow.
HOUSE OF LORDS.
FRIDAY, JUNE 19. The Sinecure Offices Bill was brought up from the Commons by Mr. Bankes and other Members.
The Duke of Athol rose to ask whether the pamphlet which he held in bis hand (the Correspondence and Doou. ments relative to the late Negociation for forming an Administration) contained authentic copies of the Correspondence and Documents which had been alluded to in that House, and whether the point on which the last negocia. tion broke off was in that pamphlet truly stated ?
The Earl of Moira stated, ihat the pamphlet alluded to did contain authentic copies of the Correspondence and Documents which had been referred to, and that the point on which the negociation broke off was there truly stated. His lordship was proceeding to observe that he gave the fullest credit to his noble friends for the public motives by which they had been actuated, when
Lord Ellenborough rose to order, and moved that strangers do withdraw.
. The Lord Chancellor immediately ordered strangers to withdraw.
The House continued sitting about two hours with closed doors, and then adjourned.
HOUSE OF COMMONS.
FRIDAY, JUNE 19.
CATHOLIC QUESTION. Mr. Canning gave notice, that he should renew his motion on the condition of the Catholic Population of this country, for Monday next.
The Report of the Committee of Ways and Means was brought up, and upon the question of its being read,
Mr. Brougham rose, and requested that it might be deferred a few days, to allow time for those who had any objections to make, to state them. He himself,' he said, intended to oppose the tax on leather, and that upon horses and servants employed in husbandry.
Mr. Vansittart said, that any delay would be injurious to those who had contracted for the Loan. He thought the several Resolutions, to which no objection was to be made, might be read and agreed to, leaving those that related to the New Taxes till another day. This was accordingly done, and leave was given to bring in Bills pursuant to those Resolutions, the remaining ones being deferred till Monday.
UNLAWFUL OATH BILL.
Upon the question that this Bill should be committed, some objections were made by Mr. Ponsonby and Sir John Newport, because many Members were absent who wished to speak upon the subject : but Lord Castlereagh urged it, as he had some Amendments to propose, which he apprehended would obviate the objections of some honourable gentlemen. One of his Amendments was, to make the administering of a lawful oath a capital felony in the administerer, but only a clerical one in the receiver.
The Speaker suggested that the Bill might be committed pro forma, the Amendments proposed, and then re-commilted. This course was accordingly pursued.
The Bahama Trade Bill was read a second time, and ordered to be committed this day,
The Militia Subaltern and Adjutants, &c. Bills, were severally read a second time, and ordered to be committed.