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COMMITTEE ON THE EAST-INDIA LOAN BILL. Upon the question that the Speaker should leave the Chair,
Mr. Wallace rose, and entered into a summary detail of the state of the East-India Company's affairs, with a view to shew that they were not in such a condition as could make it at all hazardous on the part of Government to advance the loan required. After a variety of further remarks, he moved that the House should resolve itself into a Committee on the East-India Loan Bill.
Mr. Creerey conceived, that instead of having Indian accounts stated viva voce, those accounts ought, in the absence of the budget, to have been brought forward in the shape of Resolutions. At a time when the country was so severely pressed, and in the opinion of many persons the loan lately contracted for would be the last which it would be able to raise, he would not consent to advance a large sum to a company, who had fulfilled none of their engagements to the public, which had been the conditions of their charter. He then entered into an historical review of the Company's affairs, for the purpose of shewing that they had declined, ever since the Company became territorial sovereigns. He declared he thought the Revolution had been dearly purchased, for it was immediately subsequent to that event that the funding system, the Bank, and the East India Company, were established. To support the first every man was taxed 10 per cent., the second 25, and the latter very considerably, in a variety of taxes. The House then divided, For tbe motion
38 Against it
29 In the Committee, Lord A. Hamilton opposed the seventh clause, on the ground that it pledged the country to the responsibility of the Company's debt.
Lord Castlereagh, Mr. Wallace; and Mr. Vansittart, defended it, and contended, that the Company was the best ally which this country ever possessed.
Mr. Howarth and Mr. Whitbread supported the objection, and commented on the language of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who had observed that the credit of the country was labouring,
Mr. Vansillart then replied that he had not meant to say the resources or credit of the country were mater ially impaired, On a division there appeared : For the clause
HOUSE OF LORDS.
MONDAY, JULY 6. In the remaining branch of the Roxburgh case, relative to the feus, the Lord Chancellor delivered his opinion at considerable length, concluding by a motion to remit the cause back to ihe Court of Session, with a Resolution of the House, calling upon them to review their judgment, and state specifically their reasons for that judgment.
The Earl of Lauderdale spoke in support of the motion, which was agreed to.
Earl Stanhope presented a Petition against the Leather Tax, which was objected to by the Earl of Liverpool and the Lord Chancellor, it being contrary to the usage of the House to receive Petitions against Tax Bills; and the question for the Petition being read, was negatived.
In answer to a question from the Duke of Norfolk, the Earl of Liverpool stated his intention of moving the second reading of the Leather Duty Bill tbis evening, and its com. initment to-morrow.
MR. PALMER'S CLAIMS. Earl Moira moved the order of the day for the second reading of Mr. Palmer's Compensation Bill. His lordship urged the justice of Mr. Palmer's claims, founded upon an agreement with the Government to receive 24 per cent. on the increase of the revenue of the Post-Office, in consideration of his invention for conveying the letters in mail coaches; contending that nothing existed to impeach the justice of these claims, whilst at the same time the revenue of the Post-Oflice had been greatly increased, and the public most materially benefited, in ihe convenience afforded by the carrying into cúfect Mr. Palmer's plans.
The Earl of Suffolk thought it material to the discussion of this question, that the contract between Government and Mr. Palmer should be produced.
The Earl of Ilarrowby observed that no such contract existed; that the agreement with Mr. Palmer was in consideration of bis services to be afforded in superintending the execution of his own plan; and that his dismissal, for misconduct, precluded all claim on his part under that agreement. In consideration of the merits of his invention, 90001. a year was given to him, which be (Lord Harrowby) considered an ample remuneration,
The Marquis of Lansdowne contended for the justice of the claim, and that nothing done in a moment of irritation ought to be considered as precluding Mr. Palmer from that remuneration to which, from the justice and the honour of the country, he was fairly entitled, under the agreement made with Mr. Piti, in consideration of which he gave to the country the benefiis of his invention, and had thus produced the greatest advantages to the public.
The Earl of Lauderdale maintained that the agreement in tact made by Mr. Palmer with the then Government was, that he was to be appointed Comptroller of the Post-Office, to superintend the execution of bis own plans, with the per centage, in addition to his salary, but which per centage depended upon his continuing to employ bimself actively and zealously in that superintendance. His subsequent misconduct, which led to his dismissal, he (Lord Lauderdale) contended, took away his right to make any further claims for the per centage.
The Earl of Carnarvon supported the Bill, contending that the country was bound in honour to make good the original agreement with Mr. Pitt, upon the faith of which Mr. Palmer gave to them the advantages of his invention.
Lord Walsingham said a few words, for the purpose of shewing that Mr. Palmer bad every facility given to him at the Post-Office, for the purpose of carrying his plans into effect.
Viscount Montjoy quoted some passages of the evidence in the Report of the Committee, for the purpose of shewing that Mr. Palmer's integrity was unimpeacher!.
Lord Erskine urged, that the spirit of the original agreement made between Mr. Palmer and Mr. Pitt required, in justice and honour, that the claims of Mr. Palmer should be granted, although those claims could not be maintained in a Court of Law, and that Mr. Palmer's dismissal from office could not affect his claims to the per centage.
The Lord Chancellor said, if the Bill passed its present stage, he should have important amendments to propose in its subsequent stages. One important consideration arose out of it, as affecting the Post-Office revenue, which was the hereditary revenue of the Crown. Supposing this Bill, charging the revenue of the Post-Office with 98001. a year, during ihe life of Mr. Palmer, and to be consented to in the name and on the behalf of his Majesty, who if Mr. Palmer's life were to last longer than his Majesty's, was then to consent respecting this hereditary revenue of the Crown. He thoughi it would be a very bad precedent, if the Bill was suffered to pass, and contended that Mr. Palmer had no just claim wbatever, having forfeited his claims by his misconduct.
Lord Redesdale was of opinion that the written agres ment between the parties superceded all previous verbal communications; and that under that written agreement, namely, the appointment to the office of Comptroller of the Post-Office, with the per centage, Mr. Palmer bad forfeited all further claim by his misconduct.
Lord Holland observed, that they were not discussing a question of technical law, but a claim upon the honour ard justice of a country, for the remuneration of a meritorious individual, for an invention, the advantages of which had been generally felt, and which he had given to the country under the faith of an agreement with the then Government.
The Earl of Liverpool contended, that a contract never was entered into in the terms suggested by the supporters of the Bill; that the per centage was given to Mr. Palmer rith a view to his services in superintending the carrying his plans into execution; and that by the misconduct which rendered his dismissal necessary, all further claim to that per centage was forfeited.
Earl Moira, in reply, contended, that nothing had been urged to affect the justice of these claims, as arising out of the original agreement, upon the faith of which Mr. Palmer gave his invention to the country.
After a few words from the Earl of Lauderdale in explanation, the House divided : Contents for the second reading
TAX ON LEATHER,
Lord Liverpool moved the second reading of the Excise Duty Bill. · The Duke of Norfolk opposed the clause in the Bill imposing a tax on Leather. He objected to the impolicy generally of putting a tax on the raw material of any ma. nufacture.
Lord Suffolk said, that if proper attention was observed in the mole ot collecting the Income Tax, no additional taxes would be necessary.
The Earl of Liverpool thought the tax the best existing oircumstances admitted of-the Committee would be the proper stage for opposing the tax upon Leather.
Lord Fitzwilliam thought an additional duty on Leather very objectionable.
Lord Lauderdale wished to know if it was the intention of Government to propose any countervailing duty on hides and skins in Ireland ?
Lord Liverpool was not aware of any such intention on the part of Government.
The Bill was then read a second time and committed for to-morrow.
The House having gone into a Committee on the Court of Chancery and Court of Appeals Regulation Bill,
Lord Lauderdale opposed the Report.—Lori Redesdale supported it.
The Lord Chancellor and Lord Erskine concurred in the opinion that no man living could go through the business of the Court of Chancery and of Speaker in that House.
The other orders of the day were then disposed of, and the House adjourned.
HOUSE OF COMMONS.
MONDAY, JULY 6.
The Lottery Bill was read a third time and passed.
Mr. Brougham wished to know from the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether any compensation was to be made to those merchants whose property had been seized at Copenhagen, out of the Droits of the Admiralty ? VOL. Ill.--1812.