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thus doing away the power of banishing
Sir J. Mackintosh said this was only a more insidious way of enabling the court to do the same thing.
Mr. W. Smith thought the longest duration of banishment should be for seven years.
Lord Castlereagh dissented from this proposition.
Mr. G. Lamb observed, that the present Ministers thought banishment a mild punishment. Those of Queen Elizabeth bad a different opinion, when they enacted ba nishment as a punishment of greater seveverity than setting a culprit in the stocks, cutting off both his ears, branding him on the forehead, and making him a slave for two years. The Committee then divided on the whole of the clause, when it was carried by 109 to 30.
The rest of the clauses being gone through, the House was resumed, and the Report received.
Mr. Alderman Heygate moved for leave to bring up a clause, limiting the duration of the Bill to three years. The motion was seconded by Mr. Denman, and opposed by Lord Castlereagh, and negatived without a division.
The Libel Bill, after some observations against it by Sir R. Wilson and Sir H. Parnell, was passed.
Mr. Irving presented a petition from certain merchants and bankers in London, setting forth the general distress of the commercial and manufacturing classes, praying for an inquiry into its causes, and that such relief should be granted as might be deemed most effectual. Mr. Irving stated that the petitioners wished the atteation of Ministers to be directed to the removal of the numerous restrictions on our intercourse with foreign countries. The shipping and mercantile interests might, it was supposed, be let in for a share of the trade between China and the continent of Europe, which was at present almost exclusively in the hands of the Ame. ricans. In the progress of the Bank towards the resumption of cash-payments, it was conceived that it would be of great advantage to the commercial interest to have the first price at which the bullion was to be issued extended over the whole payments. No relief could be looked for from a revision of the corn-laws, or an alteration of the poor-rates; nor could he agree to Mr. Ricardo's plan of paying off the national debt, in which, so far was there from being any novelty, that it had been repeatedly suggested and discarded within the last 100 years.
Mr. Grenfell expressed his surprize at the presenting of such a petition on the
eve of a long adjournment. It was represented to some of the parties applied to to sign it, as having come from Lord Castlereagh. He conceived the real secret of the petition was, that it was wished to get rid of the late regulations respecting the currency, which had crippled speculations in the funds and over trading.
Mr. Irving and Mr. J. Smith denied that the petitioners had any sinister or selfish motives in view.
Mr. Ricardo deprecated any alteration in the regulations made last Session for the resumption of cash payments. He conceived much evil had resulted from the corn-laws; inasmuch as by raising the price of subsistence they increased the reward of labour, and diminished the profit of capital, thereby occasioning its transfer to other countries. He saw no reason to change his opinions as to the beneficial operation of a tax on capital, to be applied towards the reduction of the national debt.
Mr. Finlay admitted the respectability of the petitioners, but thought a Committee of Inquiry into the subjects of the petition would produce no good.
Mr. W. Douglas supported the petition. Mr. Brougham was in favour of inquiry; but to render it beneficial, it must be cordially supported by Ministers. Mr. Ricardo's plan for reducing the national debt was one which would have the effect of throwing all the property of the country, for five or six years to come, into the hands of solicitors, conveyancers, and fortune-hunters.
Lord Castlereagh was convinced, that to enter into so wide a field of inquiry would strengthen, the confidence of the commerhave the tendency to shake, and not to cial world; but if, on the re-assembling of Parliament, any Member should propose a specific remedy for any of the existing evils, Ministers would be found ready to meet the proposition fairly, and to act with a full view of their own responsibility. With regard to the currency, he deprecated any doubts as to the permanency of the arrangement already adopted.
Mr. Ellice regretted that the business of inquiry was not to originate with Ministers.
Mr. Alderman Wood said, that at least a dozen of the petitioners were favourable to the late regulations as to the currency.
Mr. Alderman Heygate had declined signing the petition, on account of its being couched in such general terms. The withdrawing of 9,000,000l. from the curmuch commercial embarrassment; but he rent circulation could not but produce believed that the greater part of the mischief had already taken place, and was convinced that trade and manufactures would revive as soon as the country clearly saw to what point the diminution in the value of our currency would extend.
HOUSE OF LORDS, Dec. 27. The Earl of Donoughmore presented a petition against the Libel Bill, from the Edinburgh booksellers.
Lord Sidmouth having moved, that the amendments made to the Bill by the Commons should be read, the Earl of Donoughmore moved that they should be read this day three months. The latter motion was negatived, and the amendments were read.
Lord Ellenborough objected to the amendment substituting banishment for transportation.
The Lord Chancellor did not approve of any of the amendments, but would agree to them, rather than lose the Bill.
The Earl of Donoughmore disapproved of both the original punishment and the amendment: the cruelty of either was
Viscount Melville, adverting to the petition from the Edinburgh booksellers, said the present Bill made no alteration in the law of Scotland.
The amendments were then agreed to. Lord Sidmouth then moved the second reading of the Newspaper Stamp Duty Bill, and entered into a detailed explana. tion of its provisions, which, with the other measures lately passed, were, he contended, regarded by the great body of the people, as important safeguards of religion and public tranquillity.
Lord Donoughmore opposed the motion. He considered the measures alluded to as forming a system of pains and penalties inflicted on a distressed and suffering people.
The Duke of Athol expatiated on the dangers which threatened the religion and constitution of the country, and justified the measures taken to arrest those dangers. He called upon the Noble Earl to disclaim any personal allusion to him, or impeachment of his motives, when be thought fit to describe a large portion of their Lordships as the instruments of his Majesty's Ministers.
The Earl of Donoughmore and the Duke of Athol severally explained.
Lord Harrowby and the Lord Chancellor supported the Bill, which was then read a second time.
HOUSE OF LORDS, Dec. 29.
The Earl of Liverpool moved the third reading of the Newspaper Stamp Duty Bill. Lord Erskine opposed it, as imposing severe and unnecessary restraints on the press, and particularly objected to the recognizance clause as an anomaly in the British code. He predicted, however, that Bill would not answer the purpose of its projectors, for rather than publish under its provisions, the authors of the publications it sought to put down would continue
them in numbers of more than two sheets, or print them monthly, instead of at intervals within 26 days.
Lard Liverpool had no doubt as to the operation of the Bill.. It should be remembered, that in order to continue the obnoxious publications in their present shape, they must pay the duty in addition to the present price, and the other modes suggested by the Noble Lord would make them equally dear, or less frequent. The recognizance clause would occasion no difficulty or embarrassment to the respectable part of the press.
Lord Ellenborough supported the Bill, as tending only to curb the pauper press, from which so much mischief had arisen to the lower orders.
The Bill was then read the third time, and passed.
The Royal Assent was given, by Commission, to the Libel Bill, Newspaper Stamp Duty Bill, Bakers' Regulation Continuance Bill, and two private Bills.
In the House of Commons, the same day, Mr. Williams presented a petition from certain Irish labourers residing in the parish of St. Giles, complaining of the distress in which they were involved for want of employment, and praying the House would adopt some step for their relief. The petition having been read, was or dered to be printed.
Lord Castlereagh having moved that the House should, on its rising, adjourn to the 15th of February.
Mr. Grenfell took the opportunity of observing, that in what he had said of overtrading on a previous evening, he had been misunderstood. He could never have intended to apply it to such houses as the Barings, Smith, English and Co. and the seventy or eighty other respectable firms whose signatures were affixed to the pattion which called forth his observations.
Lord Castlereagh said that, on the occasion alluded to, Mr. G. had spoken so as to imply some doubt as to the stability of the system adopted last session, as to the currency. He would again assure the House, that there was no intention whatever of interfering with the arrangements then made.
Mr. Calcraft begged leave to enter his protest against any adjournment of the House, without instituting an inquiry into the means of relieving the distresses of the country.
The motion was then agreed to.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, in reply to a question put to him by Mr. Maberley, as to the statement made by him on a former night, said he had no objection to repeat that statement. He then stated,
that between the 10th of October and the 10th of December, there had been a falling off in the revenue of 150,000l. as compared with the corresponding term of last year. This was taking the old and new duties together, and not including Ireland. Since that period, there had been a considerable improvement. He had been misunderstood as to another part of his statement; he had been represented as saying, that he expected there would be an excess above the expenditure of 5,000,000. He did not mean to say so. The arrangement of last session only contemplated an excess of 2,000,000/.The rest was to proceed from the new taxes, which he did not contemplate would produce the full 3,000,000. the first year. On the contrary, he did not expect they would yield within that pemore than 100,000%.
Sir H. Parnell, in moving for several accounts relative to the salaries and expences of several public boards, observed, that the charges for collecting and managing the revenue fell little short of
6,000,000% a year, the means of reducing which enormous expenditure ought certainly to occupy the serious attention of the House.
Mr. Vansittart assented to the motions of the Hon. Baronet, but was not very sanguine as to the practicability of much further savings than had already been effected.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer gave notice, that after the recess the Chief Justice of Chester would move for leave to bring in a Bill to provide for the employment of the poor of the Metropolis. He at the same time signified, that the object of the plan was to employ them in the cultivation of Dartmoor.
Sir W. De Crespigny and Mr. H. Davies expressed their satisfaction at the notice now given; and the latter praised the generosity of the Prince Regent, who had refused to grant a lease of Dartmoor, and reserved it for the purpose of contributing, as far as he could, to the relief of the poor.
Adjourned to the 15th of February.
On Tuesday, Dec. 28, the Chamber of Peers agreed to the Projet de Loi of the provisional collection of six-twelfths of the taxes, according to the assessments of 1819. After this business had been dispatched, a Report was made by the Committee of Petitions: one of the Petitions, from a Sieur de Vincens, praying that the law of the 16th January 1816, which banished the Regicides, might be repealed as unconstitutional, incurred the high indig nation of the Peers; which they manifested by ordering the petition to be taken out of the Chamber and torn to pieces; and it was further resolved, on the motion of Marshal the Prince of Eckmuh! (Davoust) that the Committee should for the future take no notice whatever of any petitions of a similar character.
On the 3d instant the case of Savary, Duke de Rovigo, came on before the First Permanent Council of War of the First Military Division, at Paris. The question was, as to the validity of the judgment awarded against him par contumace, on the 24th December 1816, by the Council of War. It was, somehow or other, pretty well understood, before the Duke of Rovigo surrendered himself to abide the event, that this judgment against him would be set aside. All the requisite forms, however, were gone through, and a very able speech was made in his behalf by his Advocate, M. Dupin. The result was, that the Council, after deliberating GENT. MAC. January, 1820.
for three quarters of an hour, unanimously acquitted the Duke of Rovigo, and ordered him immediately to be set at liberty.
The King held his usual Court on the 9th inst. which was attended by the Ministers, the Marshals, a great number of General Officers, Peers, Deputies, &c. Marshal Soult, Duke of Dalmatia, was introduced, and received from the hands of his Majesty the baton of a Marshal of France. The Prince de Talleyrand has been indisposed for some days; and the Ex-Director Barras is dangerously ill.
Under the head of Berlin, in the French papers, is the letter of a Prussian Professor, M. Wette, to the mother of Sandt, after his assassination of Kotzebue; con. soling her for the fall, and apologizing for the deed of her son! His Prussian Majesty has dismissed the Professor from his chair, on account of this detestable production.
The greatest activity is exerted, and means, not of the most creditable kind, employed by the Liberals, to excite the petitioning zeal of the electors against any change in the law of elections.
The King, on the 6th, received, on the occasion of the new year, the Queen of Sweden, who will reside at Paris, under the title of Countess of Gothland.
On the recommendation of the Duke de Berri, several establishments have been formed in Paris, for distributing cheap soup to the poor and indigent
The females of Paris are still kept in a
continual state of alarm by the monsters who prowl about the streets, inflicting wounds upon women; and who, strange to say, have hitherto escaped detection by the police. A lady has also been wounded in a church at Bourdeaux, and another at Soissons.
There appears a strangely mutinous spirit in the great schools of France. The Schools of Medicine and Surgery at Toulouse are now rehearsing the scenes of turbulence and riot which broke out last year among the Law Students of Paris. It was found necessary to call in the military.
The Bourdelais ship of discovery, has, after a voyage of three years and a half, arrived in Bourdeaux. This ship has traversed the Pacific Ocean, and collected at the Sandwich Islands some interesting accounts respecting the fate of the unfortunate La Peyrouse and his companions.
A private letter from Naples says, "On the 1st inst. snow fell here, accompanied with much thunder. About the middle of the night, the inhabitants were awakened by a subterraneous noise; and soon afterwards one of the most dreadful eruptions of Vesuvius commenced that has been witnessed for twenty years. The inhabitants of Torre del Greco, of l'Aumenziata, and even of Portici, experienced the greatest disquietude, apprehending the fate of Herculaneam and Pompeii. The lava, however, fortunately divided itself into five torrents, and flowed to the foot of the mountain for the space of a league. The crater is much enlarged, a part of its brink having fallen into the gulph. On the 7th the lava still continued to flow.
M. Steewen, a Quaker celebrated for acts of philanthropy, lately had an au dience of the Pope, at Rome. As the prin-ciples of his sect did not permit him to take off his hat, he suggested that some one might do this for him in the anti-chamber; and it was done by M. Carrecini, of the Secretary of State's Office.
A Circular Letter has been addressed by the Pope to the Irish Prelates on the subject of the Bible Schools. Among other severe animadversions he remarks, that the "Directors of these Schools are, generally speaking, Methodists, who introduce Bibles, translated into English by "the Bible Society," and abounding in errors; with the sole view of seducing the youth, and entirely eradicating from their minds the truth of the Orthodox faith." But notwithstanding this order, and though a rescript issued by the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Tuam, in accordance with it, is in circulation in his diocese, still the Bible is sought for in the counties of Mayo, Sligo, and Galway, with the greatest avi'dity by the Roman Catholic peasantry. Mr. Walsh, Roman Catholic Bishop of Waterford, has lately addressed an Apos
tolic charge to his diocese, peremptorily enjoining every member of the communiou carefully to peruse the Holy Scriptures; pointing out also, that the difference of translation between the Douay and English Bible should be no hindrance, as they are all alike in matter.
An expedition, consisting of the Liverpool frigate, Captain Collier, Eden, Catron, and Curlew sloops, and four Com'pany's cruisers, with 4700 troops under Major-General Sir W. Keir, sailed from Bombay last September, to root out the pirates in the Persian Gulph.
It appears that Lord Amherst is not the only Ambassador who has failed in an embassy to the Chinese Court. The Russian Government, in 1805, dispatched a Count Golowkin, on a mission thither; when the offensive ceremonial of the Kou-tou being insisted on, the Count returned to his own country without reaching Pekin.
Letters from Tripoli, dated the 11th November, announced, that the pacific system adopted by that Regency is producing the happiest effects. its commerce and navigation are flourishing. No Corsair has issued from the ports of Tripoli since the 1st of July 1818; and the Dey has solicited the mediation of England, to make his peace with all the Christian powers. He offers to engage never more to molest any foreign flag.
It appears by recent accounts from Cape Coast Castle, that that part of the coast of Africa was infested by swarms of pirates of the very worst description; who frequently, not content merely with plundering the vessel, murdered the crews also. This happened to a Dutch ship, called the Drie Vrienden, in Dexcore roads, which was boarded during the night; when the captain, mate, and all the crew, were inhumanly butchered; and the ship was afterwards blown up by the marauders.
Letters have been received from the Cape of Good Hope of the 30th of October. Lord Henry Somerset, up to that date, 'was still engaged in treating, it was reported, with the Caffre Chiefs for the cession of a large portion of their territory. The late military operations have terminated in the total discomfiture and dispersion of the savages.
Advices from the United States say, that some important commercial arrangements have lately been entered into between the Government of the United States and the King of Prussia.. By these, all vessels belonging to his Majesty are placed on the same footing, as to tonnage, as those of America; and also as to the duty on goods imported by them, being the produce or manufacture of Prussia. An order had been issued from the Trea
sury Department at Washington, addressed to the Collectors of the different ports of the Union, for carrying these regulations into effect.
Notwithstanding the prohibitory laws of the American Legislature, two vessels sailed from New York on the 1st ult. wholly laden with arms and ammunition, known to be for Lord Cochrane's squadron, and other Patriot armaments. The car-` goes were paid for in hard dollars.
King Christophe, of Hayti, has taken the prudent course of securing the attachment of his troops, by conceding to them grants of land, and advancing to them the means of cultivating them; while they are still within the reach of a summons to mihtary duty. Conscious of his strength, the King rejects all overtures from France, that shall not come to him, with the recoguition of his independence, as from one brother King to another.
The two Houses of Congress met on Monday, the 6th ult. In the Senate, the proceedings were confined to the appointment of some standing committees, and other matters of regulation. In the House of Representatives, an election took place for the office of Speaker; when Mr. Clay, of Kentucky, was re-chosen, by a majority of 147, out of 155 votes. Mr. Clay, in his address of thanks, observed, that "daring the Session which was about to open, there was every reason to anticipate, that the matters which the House would be required to consider and decide would possess the highest degree of interest."The Houses having dispatched preliminary business, on the next day the President, Monroe, transmitted to the Congress the opening Message, or Speech, which presents an interesting view of the political state of the Union, with reference to its external relations and domectic economy.
The President commences by congratulating Congress on its once more being enabled to meet in the Capitol, in consequence of the restoration of the public buildings.
He next notices the sickness which has lately, ravaged some of the principal cities; the health of which, he now assures them, is completely restored - the unusual
drought which has prevailed in the Middle and Western States; but says, the harvest, though less abundant than usual, will be sufficient for home consumption, and will even leave a large surplus for exportation -and the derangement of some of the monied institutions, which has, however, diminished by being left to those remedies which its obvious causes suggested."
The President then directs the attention of Congress to concerns with Foreign Powers. The negociations with Spain relative to the cession of Florida, being primary in point of interest, have the
precedence; and it may be seen from the context of the Message, that the fate of Florida is determined. The President, in justification of the conduct of the American Government, enters into an historical narrative of the wrongs sustained by American citizens from Spain some twenty years ago, and of the engagements entered into by the Spanish Government for making compensation to the Americans for their losses. The negotiations on these points are represented to have been conducted on the part of Spain with all the wily hypocrisy which, unhappily for the interests of mankind, too frequently distinguish the diplomatic intercourse of rival States, and were protracted until the year 1818, when Don Onis, the Spanish Minister to the United States, with the full concurrence of his Government, concluded a treaty with the United States; by which, among other points, Florida was to be ceded to the Americans. The King of Spain has hitherto refused to ratify the treaty; alleging, that the Government of the United States has attempted to alter the effect of the 8th article of the treaty, relative to some private grants of land in Florida; and also, that it encouraged the buccaneering expedition which some time since seized upon the province of Texas. The President replies to the first charge, that these grants were actually antedated, in order to come within the treaty and if so, this, it will be acknowledged on all hands, was a transaction so much in the nature of a fraud, that it ought not to be suffered to stand for a moment against the fair sense and honourable construction of the treaty. The second allegation is met by a positive denial on the part of Mr. Monroe; who declares, that every sort of discouragement had been shown to such adventurers, whose project had utterly failed. The President having argued the merits of the case, aud shown not only that Spain was bound by good faith to ratify the treaty, but that the opinion of France and Great Britain had been unequivocally expressed in favour of the ratification, he suggests to the Congress the propriety of considering, "whether it will not be proper for the United States to carry the conditions of the treaty into effect, in the same manner as if it had been ratified by Spain, claiming on their part all its advantages, and yielding to Spain all those se cured to her." He admits, however, that the case forms a strong appeal to the candour, magnanimity, and honour of the United States:" that "much is due to courtesy between natious;" and, above all, that " by a short delay they should lose nothing; and thence concludes, that it "might be proper to make the law proposed for carrying the conditions of the treaty into effect, contingent; to suspend