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been thrown away upon a subject We have thus given at considerwhich was not before the house, able length the principal speeches, and to which there was no reference both in the house of lords and house either in the original address or the of commons, on the motions for amendment. He (Mr. T.) avowed the addresses, because, in the first himself a friend to reform, but not place, in these opening speeches, to annual parliaments and universal both ministers and their opponents suffrage ; but thought it required come forth fully prepared for atmature and serious deliberation. tack and defence; and secondly,

After some desultory conversa. because, from the speeches on these tion, Mr. Preston rose to speak; occasions, may be collected more but the question being loudly called full and minute information refor, the house divided

garding the views which each For Mr.Ponsonby's amendment 112 party entertain of the state of the Against it

204 country, than from any succeeding Majority in favour of the ad- debates, dress

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CHAPTER II.

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Message from the Prince Regent-Debates on it-Committees of Secrecy

appointed-Debates in the House of Commons on the Appointment of a Select Committee of Finance-Report from the Secret Committee of the House of Commons-Committee appointed to inquire into the Poor Laws

-Debates in both Houses on the Suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act, &c.-Petitions respecting the Poor Laws-Ir. Broughan's Motion on the Commerce of the Country-Lord Holland's on the Treatment of Bonaparte-Mr. Littleton's against Lotteries First Report of the Committee of Finance- Adjournment. OUSE of lords, Feb. 3.- tions, in the metropolis, and in dif

Viscount Sidmouth presented ferent parts of the kingdom, evia message from the prince regent, dently calculated to endanger the similar to that noticed in the pro- public tranquillity, to alienate the ceedings of the commons. affections of his majesty's subjects

In the commons, the same from his majesty's person and goday, lord Castlereagh appeared vernment, and to bring into hatred at the bar with the following and contempt the whole system of message :-“ George P. R. His our laws and constitution. His royal highness the prince regent, royal highness recommends to the acting in the name and on the house of commons to take these behalf of his majesty, has given papers into their immediate serious orders that there be laid before the consideration. George P. R." house of commons, papers contain- House of lords, Feb.4.- Viscount ing information respecting certain Sidmouth, in moving that the practices, meetings, and combina. prince regent's message be taken

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into consideration, said, that their til the report of the committee lordships might believe that it was should be laid before the house not without the most painful feel. All that he had to request in the ings that his royal highness found .mean time was, that their lordships himself under the necessity of ma- would abstain from making up their king such a communication. It was, minds until the whole subject should indeed, a most afflicting circum- be investigated. There was only stance both to that illustrious per- one other point to which he felt it sonage and to his advisers, to feel his duty to call the attention of their themselves called upon, by their lord hips, as it was material that it sense of duty to the country and should be noticed. The atrocious the constitution, to inform their outrage lately committed against lordships' house that there did exist the prince regent was certainly remeetings and combinations in dif- garded with the utmost horror and ferent parts of the country, for the reprobation by an overwhelming purpose of endeavouring to alienate majority of the nation ; and he felt from his majesty the affections of it his duty to state, that the present his subjects, to bring his person communication was not at all conand government into hatred and nected with that outrage. Though contempt, to endanger the liberty that atrocious, that horrid outrage of the subject, and to overthrow against the royal dignity had not the whole scheme and system of been committed, his royal highour laws and constitu'ion : and. ness's advisers, with the information their lordships might easily believe in their possession, would have still that such a communication would felt it their indi pensable duty to not have been made without the have brought forward this proceedstrongest conviction of its urgenting, originating in a message from and indispensable necessity. Their the prince regent, to be followed up lordships would, he had no doubt, by a reference of the papers to a concıir in the address which he committee of

secrecy. should have the honour to propose Earl Grosvenor said, that the in answer to the message, as it papers must go to a committee; would pledge their lordships to no- but he was convinced that meetthing except to an examination of ings and combinations, if they did the evidence; for, as to the ulterior exist, were mainly provoked by the proceedings, he not only did not conduct of the ministers, who had call on their lordships to give any set their faces against ceconomy and pledge, but he would not choose to retrenchment. be himself considered as pledged. Lord Holland remarked, that When this motion should be dis- minis'ers must not only prove that posed of, he should propose that such meetings and combina ions the papers communicated by his existed, but that a remedy for he royal highness be referred to a com- evil was not to be hind from the miciee of secrecy.

After having ordinary law of the land; for 10said this, he need not state that he thing short of this would jus:i'y did not purpose at present to enter their calling for the interference of into particulars. He wouid refrain parliament. from all reference to any ulterior Lord Liverpool denied that there proceedings, and recommend that was any charge of disloyalty or disnothirg should be said or done un. affection intimated or insinued in

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the speech or message against the scene of turbulence and depredation general body of the nation. A vast never existed, his majesty's govern. majority was, no doubt, sincerely ment could not have avoided to adattached to the laws and constitu- vise the present message, without an. tion ; but many even of the well- abandonment of those high duties disposed, but misinformed, might that they owed the house and the be misled by the artful and design- country. ing, and more particularly in a sea- An address of thanks to the prince son of general and severe presssure. regent was voted ; and lord Castle

Earl Grey and the marquis of reagh having stated that the preBuckingham spoke to the same ef- cedent of 1794 would be strictly fect as lord Holland.

followed, it was agreed that the An address to the prince regent papers should be referred to a comwas agreed to; and the papers on iniltee of secrecy, and that the comthe table ordered to be referred to mittee should consist of twenty-one a committee of secrecy, consisting members, to be chosen by ballor. of eleven lords, to be then chosen Feb.5. The names of the members by ballot.

returned as the coministee of seIn the commons, lord Castle- crecy were read as follows:-Lord reagh, in calling the attention of Milton, Mr. Ponsonby, Mr. William the house to the prince regent's Elliott, lord Castlereagh, lord L:5. message, said, that the proposition celles, Mr. C. Bathurst, noncurable he should submit could not be pro-, Mr. Lamb, sir Arthur Piggott, Mr. ductive of any discussion. It had F. Robinson, sir John Nicholl, the no other tendency than merely to attorney-general, the solicitor genecall upon the house to acknowledge ral, Mr. Geo. Canning, Mr. Charles the gracious communication it has York, Mr. Wilbraham Egerton, Mr. received, and of its intention to pro. Wilberforce, Mr. Bootle Wilbraceed to the examination of the do- ham, Mr. W. Dundas, Mr. Rose, cuments that his royal highness had sir W. Curtis, admiral Frank. ordered to be laid before it. All he In a committee of supply the had to request was, that parliament following sums were granted : would preserve a mind free and un- 11,000,0001. to pay exchequer bills biassed, until it shall have received issued in 1816; and 13,000,0001. the report of that committee to for the same purpose; 1,436,0001. which it was intended, under the in Irish currency, for exchequer bills confidence of the house, to refer the issued in 1816 in Ireland ; and examination of the documents. 4,080,0001. for the same purpose. There was, however, one point on Feb. 7. A sum of 24,000,000). which he was solicitous fully to ex- was voted for the payment of outplain. A rumour had been propa- standing exchequer bills. gated that the present message had Mr. Calvert presented a petition grown out of the late tumultuous of the corporation of London, prayoutrage in the metropolis-an out- ing for a reform in parliament. rage on which there existed but one On the motion of lord Castle. sentimenton every side of the house. reagh, the house went into a com-When the house was in posses- mittee on that part

of the regent's sion of the proper information, it speech which related to the finances would feel, he had no doubt, sa- of the country. The labours of the tisfied, that had that disgraceful committee, he was convinced, would

be

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last year

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be directed to the same object dinaries of the army last year were which his majesty's government 10.56 1,000!.—for the present they had in view, a system of practical would amount to 9,230,0001. The economy, commensurate with the ordnance for interests, and at the same time with 1,696,0001. ; it would now be the security, of the country. The 1,246,0001. These reductions would estimates intended to be submitted make a total saving of 1,781,000). for approbation would include the The house would be aware that in army in France and India ; the this expense were included the halfformer of which was supported by pay, pensions, &c. so that the real the contributions of that power, and prospective vote for the army was the latter by the government in under 4,000,0001. excluding the India. The amount voted last year half.pay, &c. to which the faith of was 99,000 men; that is, for the parliament is pledged.—The noble united empire 53,000, for colonial lord then adverted to the navy purposes and abroad 46,000. The charge last session; the number of estimates for the present year would seamen voted was 33,000, looking proceed upon a reduction in point to a reduction of 10,000. Since of numbers and expenses; in the then the pressure of the times had home service the diminution would induced a further reduction, and be 5,000 ; in the colonial, a dimi- instead of 23,000, the establishment nution of 13,000, making an actual would be 18,00C, or taking it reduction of 18,000; thus leaving roundly at 19,000, because the the army at 81,000 instead of royal marines would not be dimi90,000 men. The reduction had nished. The charge for this branch been made under a strong sense of last year was 10,114,0001. now it the pressure of the moment, and would amount to 6,397,0001. The from a conviction that the military noble lord having recapitulated the defence might be dispensed with, items observed, that the total charge and the protection of the colonies was 18,372,0001. to be provided intrusted to the police. With re- for. In framing the estimates, spect to home defence, the house, government had in veiw, as far as perhaps, would not think any price consistent with our safety, to bring too high which should secure its the expenditure of the country safety, particularly at a moment within the scale of its means in the when the civil magistrates could course of the present year.

He not administer the laws without the trusted the house would feel it no aid of the military. The total discouraging prospect, that, after amount of the force voted last year, so tremendous a struggle in war, with reference to the contingent ministers should have been able, in alliance, was 150,000. This

year the first year of peace, to remit he should only call for 123,000, or eightcen millions of direct taxation; 81,000 for home and abroad, rank and so soon after, to make still and file. The charge of the army, further reductions to the amount he at present, was 6,538,000!. ; for had already stated. He trusted the disembodied militia 220,0001.; and house would see that these estimates for regiments abroad 220,0001. ; were cast in the scale of economy making a total of 7,050,0001. The and retrenchment. Still it could commissariat department would not be concealed that this was a amount to 500,000). The extraor- year of peculiar pressure ; and that

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no individual in the Mr. Tierney was glad that minicountry, however high or low, but sters at last saw, what every body who must feel the hand of Provi. else had long seen, that the expenses dence upon his means. This dis of the country should be reduced to stress was general through Europe; some rea-onable proportion with its and perhaps it had been less feltliere

From the best estimate than on the continent. Still the dio which he could make, he had no stress of the people had been very reason to believe that his results great, but the hand of benevolence differed from those of the noble had kept pace with it. He could lord; there would be, under all assure the house that in no place circumsiances, a sum of three milhad more anxiety been shown to lions to be made good. relieve those distresses than in the glad to hear that the sinking fund highest quarter of all. The regent was to be spared. Nothing but evihad come to a determination not to dent and absolute danger, nothing accept more of the civil list than his but the prospect of peril threatenconfidential servants would advise ing the very existence of the state, him to take for the dignity of the could induce him to consent to crown. For that reason he was to have recourse to that sacred fund. give up one-fifth of the civil list, – The example in the highest quarwhich would amount to 50,000!. a ter had certainly come laie, but it year. His highness would have was well that it had come. His given more; but his ministers could royal nighness had doubtless long not advise him, without endanger. felt for the public sufferings, and ing the dignity of the crown, and ministers should have sooner adembarrassing the civil list. It was vised this honourable step. They also the intention of the regent's must the more regret this delay, public servants to give up a sum because the earlier adoption of the of 90,0001. from the

government, measure would have very much al. army, and navy, &c. It was but layed the discontent which had so a small sum in proportion to the turbulently prevailed. He also distress of the country, but he trust thought it wonderful, that the reed the people would receive it, as it ductions in the salaries of public was meant, in the pure spirit of eco- officers had not been sooner adopt. nomy and retrenchment. He pro- ed. They merited no praise for it, posed that a select committee be ap- for it had been clearly extorted

a pointed to inquire into the financial froni them. And this proved that state of the country, and that a com- if the real majority of the nation mittee should be formed by ballot was firm and unanimous, the house for that purpose. He trusted both would comply with its wishes; sides of the house would consider which was perhaps the best answer the question as for the public good, to those pretended reformers who and not as a means of triumphing talked of a pure representation.over one another. He then moved As for the proposed committee, the for a select committee to consider country must not be mocked with the receipt and expenditure for one which was to investigate every 1817,18, and -19; and to report thing and do nothing; they must from time to time what reduc- do something real; the people tions might be made in the expen. would not be content with the mere diture.

show of a remedy; the committee

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should

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