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the employment of spies, he would sure he should libel such persons. It say that in all times, and under all was a conspiracy of the mob against governments, in ancient or modern the government, and such were altimes, such persons were ever found ways the most atrocious. Such a necessary, and all the state trials in conspiracy would soon find lead. this country showed that they were ers: and if it was a conspiracy of founded on the information of such the lower orders, he would say, so persons, without which it was im- much the worse; for it was not the possible that conspiracies could be chiefs that led the people, but the discovered. The house must beaware, people that led the chiefs. On the that in the civil list act, there was a whole, he considered the character clause which enabled the secretary of the disturbances totally different of state to employ secret service from the view taken of it by the money, either for detecting combi- noble lord. If they could make nations abroad or conspiracies at Manchester like Moscow, and de. home. Here, then, the principle of stroy all the sources of our prospeemploying such persons was recog- rity—if they

uld have done so, nised by the statute books of the he would say, they would they house. In answer to the observa. would have done so if they had not tions of the noble lord respecting been prevented. And if Manchesthe person who had lately given evi- ter had assumed a different characó dence, he could assure him that the ter since March, it was through the person in question never was em- operation of the measures that had ployed in those transactions as a spy been taken. If there was any rea

government. Respecting Oliver, son why he called on the house to he did not deny that he had been adopt the measure now, it was be. employed, but he was confident he cause he considered it essential to was discouraged from sowing the the preservation of property and seeds of disaffection in any way morality, and to afford protection whatever. The statement, however, against all the anarchy and disorder was an ex-parte one, and ought not that would arise from a revolution. to receive full credit on such autho- The marquis of Lansdowne conrity as had been offered. Nothing sidered the measure to rest on had been said to invalidate the point grounds entirely new, and going to that a general rising was intended introduce a new precedent. The to take place after the question of a house ought not to part with that reform in parliament; and the ar. which was given into their hands to rangements for it had been made protect. He had endeavoured to before ever this person had appear- satisfy himself how far any conscied amongst them. The noble lord entious member could reconcile it continued to advert to historical to his mind to part with the liberfacts to show that when our popula. ties of his country; and as he found tion was small and the power of the that the reports did not show that crown great(the times of Richard II.), any connected conspiracy existed, a mob, headed by a blacksmith, had extending its ramifications throughcommitted all manner of outrages, out the country, he saw no reason and brought the country almost to for the measure in question. The the brink of ruin. Were he to say noble marquis proceeded to argue, that the French revolution was led that opinions were not to be put on by people of consequence, he was down by the personal detention of



155 the parties unfortunately concerned liament to rest their final decision in them. With respect to the report, on such information as they might he niust speak of it with respect and receive as to what had actually taaffection, but he found in it no ken place; and his opinion was, data that justified him in consenting that the facts were such, that proved to this measure. Were those govern- there existed a conspiracy, for purments with whom such powers exista poses that had frequently been deed the most free? In the occur- tailed in that house. It had been rences of the French revolution, the said, that the prevention of crimes mob had proceeded to action, but was infinitely better than punishthe revolution had been brought ment; and on this very consideraabout by people of influence. Af- tion he supported the measure. The ter many historical comparisons, noble lord adverted to the excesses the noble marquis argued that the committed by the rioters in 1780, quality of the danger was not such and was of opinion that the same as a measure of this kind was calcu- outrages might have ensued, if the lated to remove. It was incumbent riot of the 28 of December had not on every man to array all the vir. been checked at its commencement, tue and morality in the land against and the turbulent spirit kept down the disaffection, by uniting the ma. by the preventive measures that jority who were the well disposed, were subsequently adopted. He with the few who were disaffected; was not bold enough to say, that if to appeal to their reason, and to these preventive measures were sufconvince them that they had justice fered to expire, the same dangers to expect so long as they supported might not recur. He thought the the laws, instead of endeavouring to dangers alluded to in the last cenoverturn them. We should ask tury beyond all comparison less from the people of the whole coun- than those that now existed, and he try the preservation of their laws; had no doubt the suspension of the and he could not think so low of habeas corpus act in 1745 was a the sound population of the coun- wise and necessary measure, any try, as to suppose it was not capa. more than he had that it was neces ble of crushing any rebellion that sary at the present moment. On might show itself amongst a part of the whole, he had abundant reasons the people of only five counties. for being satisfied, that it was his The constitution might therefore duty to give his earnest support to safely be left to the protection of the the measure. laws, which would unite with pub- Earl Spencer agreed with the nolic liberty the preservation of the ble lords opposite, that the prevenpublic peace.

tion was better than the punishment Lord Grenville, in an elaborate of crimes; but the measure under speech, (through which our limits consideration did not appear to him will not enable us to follow him,) calculated to effect either. The strongly defended the measure on experience of the last three months the ground of its necessity to pro- had induced him to alter his opinion tect the liberties of the country, and as to the efficacy of the measure. that invaluable constitution, from Their lordships should consider, in which the happiness and prosperity agreeing to the bill, they would proof the country were inseparable. He long arbitrary power in this coun. contended it was the duty of par. try. The principle of the bill he held to be wrong; and he was house of commons. The three preaverse from leaving, for any length ceding reports, relating only to proof time, an arbitrary power in the posed retrenchments, we have not hands of men, or at least longer given ; but the substance of this we than what was proved to be abso. shall insert, as it presents what-in lutely necessary. There would be the opinion of the committee-will no responsibility, he thought, an- probably be the future revenue and nexed to this power, for he would expenditure of the country: venture to foretell, if this bill were It embraces a view, Ist, Of the passed, a bill of indemnity would in total public income and expenditure consequence be found necessary. In for the year ended 5th Jan. 1817; this view of the case, he should give 2d, Of the probable income and exhis negative to the motion.


penditure for the years 1817 and The duke of Sussex said, that af. 1818 respectively. ter the numerous able arguments The committee state, that the their lordships had heard against total receipt of public income at the the measure, he should beg leave exchequer of Great Britain in 1816 only to submit one additional refleco was 65,176,1761. ; and of total extion, which had forciby struck him penditure issued from the exchein a moral point of view. It was this: quer 70,380,2681. he had witnessed the effects of arbi- [Thisgross sum includes 1,959,0901. trary power upon the subjects of applied to the discharge of navy other countries, and he observed debt, which was thereby reduced that poison and assassination were from 3,694,8211.at which it stood on prevalent amongst them. Here, the 5th January 1816, to 1,753,7311. these dreadful practices were scarce- its annount on the 5th January 1817; ly known. But if the expressions of it includes also a sum of 1,267,7321. popular sentiment were suppressed applied as the sinking fund on unor circumscribed, as it might be by provided exchequer bills, 5 per cents. such measures as that under consi. 1797 paid off, and the debentures deration, it was much to be feared, paid off.] that it would endeavour to find vent There is in the above gross total some other way. Should this mea. sums issued and received, an excess sure pass into a law, it would be his of 5,204,0921. of issues beyond the duty to submit to it; but, until it receipts," which would at first sight did, he would oppose it in every indicate an increase of debt, though stage.

the difference must have been proThe question being then pretty vided for ; but this sum being loudly called for, the house divided. deducted from that proportion Contents


of the foregoing issues which has Proxies.

81 been applied in the discharge of Total

-190 debt, amounting in the whole to Non-contents

27 14,602,2381. it will appear that Proxies....

23 there was a diminution of debt on Total

50 the 5th Jan. 1817, as compared with Majority for the second

the 5th Jan. 1816, of 9,398,146l.; reading of the bill........

140 the only circumstance which may in On the same day the fourth re- a degree affect the precise accuracy port of the select committee of fie of this result, being the increase or nance was laid on the table of the diminution which may have taken


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place in the balances at the exche- and the more especially as all these quer at the beginning or close of the causes of distress appeared to have year.

been felt by most of the nations The committee proceed to a view of the continent in a similar, and of the estimated income and expen- by many of them in a severer den diture for 1817 and 1818.

gree. “ Your committee have, in the 6. The fact has, indeed, correfirst place, been led to consider in sponded with the principles upon what degree the produce, in the last which this expectation was founded. year, of the taxes and duties com. But although these concurring evils posing the existing revenue, could have not failed to produce, in a mawith propriety be assumed as the terial degree, their natural consemeasure of their future annual pro- quences, yet your committee, in duce.

'contemplating the utmost extent of « In directing their attention to them, and in comparing them with this essential part of their inquiry, the depression which the revenue your committee could entertain no has experienced in former instances, doubt as to the general result to when affected by the single calamity which it would necessarily lead. of a deficient harvest, are disposed The nature and extent of the distress to consider it as a striking proof of which has prevailed throughout the substantial strength and wealth those classes of the community of the country, that its consumption which constitute the bulk of the po- should not have been diminished in pulation, were too strongly im. a greater degree under the accupressed upon the minds of your com- mulated circumstances of embar. mittee to admit of the supposition, rassment which have pressed upon that under such circumstances the the last year. revenue could have been productive

"Your committee are well aware, in an ordinary degree. It is obvious that in addition to the general causes to reason, as well

as consistent with affecting the usual consumption of all former experience, that the re- taxed commodities in the year 1816, venue derived from articles of the some part of the diminution of the most general consumption, must be revenue must be attributed to the injured by the calamity of a defi- diminished consumption of the gocient harvest; and when the com- vernment itself. But, in opposition mittee considered that the distress to this circumstance, they consider proceeding from this cause had fol. that the cessation of so large a porlowed immediately that rapid fall tion of the taxes (viz. 17,500,0001. of prices by which the agriculture per annum) as expired in the last of the kingdom had been so greatly year, although their collection condepressed, and had come in conjunc- tinued to operate during the retion with the effect produced upon mainder of that year, cannot fail, the commerce and manufacturing when the full benefit of the addition industry of the country, by the sud. thereby made to the means of indi. den changes which had occurred in viduals is generally felt, to encouthe political state of Europe ; they rage an increased expenditure and were fully prepared to find a very consumption by the community at considerable deficiency in the pro- large; a consideration which is to be duce of the principal taxes in the set against anyinference to be drawn year ended the 5th January 1817; from the necessary diminution in the


demands and consumption of go- is already manifesting itself through. vernment.

out the country.

And when your “ Your committee being there. committee contemplate the great fore fully impressed with the belief, advantages possessed by this nation that the unfavourable returns of the over all those which have suffered revenue in the year 1816 are essen- and are still suffering by the calatially referable to the general di- mities peculiar to the present period stresses of the country, are necessa- -in the substantial resources of ac. rily led to the conclusion, that ac- cumulated wealth, and of solid and cording as these distresses may be extensive establishments for the em. removed by the recovery of trade ployment of labour and the mainand agriculture, from the shock oc- tenance of industry—they cannot casioned by the sudden change in but indulge the most confident hope the money value of commodities, that a melioration once begun will and in proportion as the industry be rapidly accelerated. They there. of the labouring classes may receive fore conceive that they shall not relief from more extended or more be exhibiting a too favourable view productive employment, coupled of the future revenue from the prewith the blessing of a more favour- sent taxes, when they assume the able season than the last ;-in the average productiveness of the last same proportion and degree may it two years (corresponding, nearly, be confidently expected that the as they have already shown, with public revenue of the country will the average of the three preceding return to its average rate of pro- years), as the foundation of their ductiveness.

estimate, “Of the degree in which some The committee estimate the future melioration may already have taken produce of the public income at place, and of the period within

£52,505,364 which a full recovery from our late And the expenditure difficulties may be anticipated, it for 1817 at ..67,817,752 would be premature, and perhaps for 1818 at ...65,216,675 presumptuous, in your committee « The probable average income

“ to attempt to state any distinct opi- in the years 1817 and 1818, is nion. They have, however, thought 52,505,3641. which being deducted it right to call for such information from the estimated totals of the exas could be acquired upon this very penditure in each of those years, it important point, from some of the would appear that there would re. persons most conversant, practically, main to be provided by extraordiwith the manufacturing and com. nary resources, to make good the mercial industry of the country ; difference between the total income and the opinions of these persons as and expenditure, in the year 1817, to the actual commencement, or the 15,312,3881.; and in the year 1818, early prospect of returning activity 12,711,3111, independently of any are, upon the whole, encouraging addition to the annual charge, by and satisfactory. Your commitee reason of new debts which may be feel warranted, by the concurring created in either of those years. sentiments of these witnesses, as well “ To this statement your comas by all other indications within mittee have to add, that in the their

own observation, in expressing former of these years the sums to a belief, that a favourable alteration be applied (forming part of the


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