Gambar halaman

any unreasonable delay took place in carrying such intention into effect.

The house then divided on lord Arden's

motion :

[ocr errors]

Non-contents 45

Contents 52 Proxies 39-84 32-84 Proxies The numbers on each side being equal, the non-contents, according to the usage of the house, carried it.-Upon the re-admission of strangers, lord Redesdale was on his legs, proposing to the committee, that the preamble of the bill should not be postponed; which was negatived without a division.

Lord Hawkesbury then moved, as an amendment, that the following words be inserted in the first clause of the bill, ⚫ until the 1st day of June, 1810.'

Lords Grey, Holland, and Spencer, opposed this amendment; but said that, rather than give up the bill itself, or risk the chance of losing it altogether, they should not be, if the sense of the house should be for the amendment, disposed to oppose

the bill so amended.

Lord Mulgrave entirely approved of the amendment; as, in the course of the time so limited, the public would have a practical experience of the advantages likely to result from the bill, and parliament would be enabled to ascertain how far the principle might be extended, and to what specific abuses it might be applied.

The Lord Chancellor disapproved of the amendment; and said that if his noble and learned friend on the cross-bench had thought proper to divide the house upon his amendment, he should have voted in support of it.

The question was then put upon the amendment, and the house divided:

Contents 21; Non-contents 59: Majority against the amendment 38.-The several clauses were then read and agreed



Thursday, March 10.

[KING'S MESSAGE respecting SwEDEN.] -Mr.Secretary Canning presented a Message from his majesty relative to the Swedish Treaty, being the same with that presented in the house of lords. Mr. Canning then moved, that the Message be referred to the committee of supply to-morrow; observing, that in the course of the present evening he should have it in his power to lay on the table of the house a copy of the Treaty.

Mr. Whitbread, remarking that the policy of the treaty might be a, subject of important deliberation, recommended that a longer time should be allowed to elapse after the house were put into possession of the treaty, before they were called upon to consider his majesty's Message.

Mr. Canning maintained the propriety of referring the Message to the committee If such a serious of supply to-morrow. difference of opinion should then appear to exist, as would lead to a protracted discussion, that discussion might be postponed.

The Speaker stated, that it was essentially necessary that a Message of this nature should be referred to the committee of supply, and it was a customary mark of respect to the sovereign, to make that reference at as early a period as possible. -The Message was then referred to a committee of supply.

[CONVENTION WITH SWEDEN.]-Mr. Secretary Canning shortly after presented to the house by his majesty's command, a Copy of the Convention between his majesty and the king of Sweden: viz. CONVENTION BETWEEN HIS MAJESTY AND

THE KING OF SWEDEN, Signed at Stock

holm on the 18th of February, 1808. "The consequences of the Treaty of Tilsit between Russia and France unfolding themselves more and more in such a manner as to threaten Sweden with a speedy invasion, for the purpose of forcing her to accede to the French system; and his Swedish majesty finding himself therefore under the necessity of bringing forward, to resist its effects, a greater force than he has at his ordinary disposal, his Britannic majesty, animated with the constant desire of contributing to the defence and security of his ally, and of supporting him by every means in a war undertaken for the mutual interests of both states, has determined to give to his Swedish majesty an immediate aid in money, as being the most prompt and efficacious, to be paid from time to time at fixed periods; and their majesties having judged it expedient, that a formal Convention with regard to their reciprocal intentions in this respect, should be concluded, they have, for this purpose, named and authorised their respective plenipotentiaries; that is to say. In the name and on the part of his majesty the king of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Edward Thornton, esq. his envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to his majesty the king of Sweden; and in the name and on the part of his majesty

the king of Sweden, the Baron d'Ehrenheim, president of his chancery, and commander of his order of the polar star, who, after having communicated to each other their respective full powers, have agreed upon the following articles :-Art. 1. His majesty the king of the united kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, engages that there shall be paid to his majesty the king of Sweden, the sum of 1,200,000l. in equal instalments of 100,000l. sterling each per month, beginning with the month of January of the present year inclusively, and to continue successively in course of each month, the first of which instalments shall be paid on the ratification of the present convention by his Swedish majesty. II. His majesty the king of Sweden, engages on his part to employ the said sum in putting into motion and keeping on a respectable establishment, all his land forces, and such part as shall be necessary of his fleets, and particularly his flotilla, in order to oppose the most effectual resistance to the common enemies. III. Their said majesties moreover engage to conclude no peace or truce, or convention of neutrality with the enemy, but in concert and by mutual agreement. IV. The present Convention shall be ratified by the two high contracting parties, and its ratifications shall be exchanged at London within the space of six weeks after the signature of the said Convention, or sooner if it can be done. In faith whereof, we the undersigned plenipotentiaries of their said majesties, have signed the present Convention, and have caused the seal of our arms to be affixed thereto. Done at Stockholm, the 8th of Feb. in the year of redemption, 1808. EDW. THORNTON. F. EHRENHEIM.

Separate Article.-The two high contracting parties have agreed to concert, as soon as possible, the measures to be taken, and the auxiliary succours to be stipulated for, in the case of a war actually taking place between Sweden and the Powers her neighbours; and the stipulations which may thence result shall be considered as separate and additional Articles to this Convention, and shall have the same force as if they were word for word inserted therein. In faith of which, we the undersigned Plenipotentiaries of their said majesties, have signed this Separate Article, and have caused the seal of our arms to affixed thereto. Done at Stockholm, the 8th of Feb. in the year of redemption, 1808. EDW. THORNTON. F. EHRENHEIM."

[PETITIONS FROM LONDON AND LiverPOOL RESPECTING THE ORDERS IN COUNCIL.] Mr. Alderman Combe presented a Petition from the Merchants and Manufacturers of London, interested in the trade to America, praying to be heard by evidence and council. The Petition was read by the clerk; it stated,

"That the petitioners contemplate, with the greatest anxiety and apprehension, the alarming consequences with which they are threatened from certain Orders in Council, purporting to be issued 'for the protection of the Trade and Navigation of Great Britain,' but on which they are induced, after mature consideration, to believe that they must be productive of the most ruinous effects; and that the petitioners are duly sensible of the necessity of making every sacrifice of personal interests to promote the strength and resources of the country in the present extraordinary crisis of public affairs; and, if the total change introduced into the whole commercial system of this country, and of the world, by the Orders in Council, could be conducive to so desirable an object, the petitioners, great as their losses must be, would submit without a murmur ; but, understanding that these orders are principally, if not wholly, recommended by an opinion that they will prove beneficial to the commercial interests of this country, they feel it to be their duty humbly to represent their conviction that this opinion is founded in error, and that, if the prayer of their petition be granted, they shall be able to prove, that they must be productive of the most fatal consequences to the interest not only of the petitioners, but of the commerce and manufactures of the empire at large; and that the petitioners will abstain from enforcing, by any details, their apprehensions that these measures are likely to interrupt our peace with the United States of America, our intercourse with which, at all times valuable, is infinitely more so since we are excluded from the continent of Europe; to this only remaining branch of our foreign intercourse we must now look for a demand for our manufactures, for many of the most important materials for their support, and for supplies of provisions and naval stores necessary for our subsistence and defence; and the petitioners feel assured, that they will be able to prove, to the satisfaction of the house, that the neutrality of America has been the means of circulating, to a large amount,

[ocr errors]

tions of their petition, or that the house will examine into the nature and extent of their grievances in any mode which may appear advisable, with a view of affording such relief as the house may think proper."

Mr. Alderman Combe moved that the Petition do lie on the table.

Sir W. Curtis did not rise to oppose the motion, but because he thought that the house ought to be acquainted with all the circumstances under which the Petition had been framed. For some days an advertisement had appeared in the public prints, signed by many respectable gentlemen, requesting a meeting on that morning of merchants, manufacturers, &c. interested in the trade with America. Above 1000 persons had accordingly assembled; a fair discussion took place; an amendment was moved to the original motion for presenting a petition to parliament; and on the division, the chairman candidly declared, that the amendment was carried by a majority. He had not himself been present, but he understood, from the most respectable authority, that at least three parts out of four of the persons assembled were against the petition.

articles of the produce and manufactures | duce evidence in support of the allegaof this country in the dominions of our numerous enemies, to which we have no direct access; and that the annual value of British manufactures exported to the United States exceeds ten millions sterling; and that, as our consumption of the produce of that country falls far short of that amount, the only means of paying us must arise from the consumption of the produce of America in other countries, which the operation of the Orders in Council must interrupt, and in most instances totally destroy; and that the people of America, even if they remain at peace with us, must, by a want of demand for their produce, and by the general distress our measures must occasion, be disabled from paying their debts to this country, which may fairly be estimated to amount to the enormous sum of 12 millions sterling; and that the neutrality of America, so far from being injurious to the other commercial interests of Great Britain, has promoted materially their prosperity; and that the produce of our colonies in the West Indies, of our empire in the East, and of our Fisheries on the banks of Newfoundland, has frequently found a foreign market by this means; and that, by the destruction of the neutrality of the only remaining neutral state, all possibility of intercourse with the rest of the world being removed, trade cannot 'possibly be benefited, but must necessarily be annihilated; and that the petiti-jority of at least two to one, declared oners, feeling as they do most sensibly with their fellow-subjects the pressure of a war in which their commerce has principally been aimed at by the enemy, would scorn to plead their distress in recommendation of measures inconsistent with the honour and substantial interests of their country; but they humbly rely upon the wisdom of the legislature, that this distress shall not be increased by our own errors; and they confidently believe, that if they are permitted to illustrate, by evidence, the facts they have stated, and to explain many others which they shall here refrain from enumerating, they cannot Mr. Alderman Combe observed, that fail to establish the conviction with which this last observation came with singular they are so strongly impressed, that the grace from the worthy alderman, who, Orders in Council are founded on the most during his mayoralty, had invited his mamistaken opinions of the commercial in-jesty's late ministers to his table, and as terests of the empire, and must be parti- the first toast after dinner, had drank succularly fatal to those of the petitioners; cess to them. and therefore praying, that they may be Mr. Alderman Shaw observed, that in heard, by themselves, or counsel, at the the peculiar circumstances under which bar of the house, and be permitted to prc- he was then placed, he had, on the occaVOL. X.

Mr. Alderman Shaw having been present at the meeting alluded to, felt it his duty to state, that the petition just presented was not the petition of the majority of the meeting. On the contrary, a ma

against presenting any petition, and in favour of the amendment, which stated, that in the present critical situation of the country, and pending the important discussions with America, it would be inexpedient to present a petition to either house of parliament. On the subject of the Orders in Council, as well as on the merits of his majesty's present servants generally, and particularly on the merits of the expedition to Copenhagen, he was convinced, that in the population of England 99 out of 100 were decidedly in their favour.

3 Y

sion alluded to by the worthy alderman, thought it his duty as chief magistrate, to invite all his majesty's ministers, and also his majesty's ex-ministers, who had been the ministers of the crown when he had been admitted into the mayoralty. For many of the members of the late administration he felt the highest respect, and in particular, he should never forget the eminent services of one noble lord, whose support of the interests of his country at a most critical period, would be ever remembered by him with gratitude.

[ocr errors]

he believed also their opinions were quoted by others who spoke after them.

Sir. C. Price said, he held in his hand a petition of a directly opposite description, from the merchants of London trading to the continent of Europe, who desired to express their confidence, that the Orders carried vigorously into operation would be the most likely means of inducing the enemy to abandon the system of exclusion to British commerce, which created the necessity of those orders.-The hon. baronet, however, was reminded by the Speaker, that the petition he proposed to offer must be deferred till the other was disposed of.

Mr. A. Baring, having been chairman of the meeting alluded to, thought it but proper to state what was his opinion con- Mr. Sharp should not have interfered in cerning it. The numbers, he should con- the discussion had it not been for what ceive, were between 4 and 500, and the had fallen from the worthy aldermen. majority about 4 to 3. If others had ob- One of these hon. members declared, that served the same forbearance with the wor- his information was, that the majority was thy alderman (Curtis), and had abstained equal to three to one. The other, who from attending a meeting with which they was present, that it was two to one. This had no connection, he had no hesitation in was a diminution in a moment of 50 per declaring that the result would have been cent. The same hon. gent. however, had very different from what it had turned out. made a wonderful discovery in conseThe argument with many persons who at- quence of the result of that meeting; for tended the meeting seemed to be, we although there, even according to his own are connected with the West Indies; the account of the matter, the majority was West Indies are connected with America; only two to one, it enabled him to make so we are entitled to attend this meeting this ingenious calculation; that 99 out of as persons interested in the trade to Ame- every 100 throughout the whole popularica.' The arguments of those who moved tion of the country, not only approved of and seconded the amendment, however, these Orders in Council, but of the whole he thought were somewhat curious, though conduct of ministers, and particularly of probably they might not be peculiarly the attack on Copenhagen. This, howgratifying to the framers of these Orders ever, only went to shew how great reliin Council. They did not oppose the peance was to be placed on the hon. gent.'s tition because they approved of these re-computation, as to the comparative numgulations, but because they were absurd bers at the meeting in question. and impracticable. hon. gent. who was the chairman of the Mr. Maryatt said, he was at the meeting meeting, had estimated them at four to of this day; and as the hon. gent. who three; and, for his part, he had no hesitaspoke last seemed to direct his eye so par- tion in thinking that he viewed them more ticularly towards him, he must explain accurately in stating them at six to five. why he thought he had as good a right Such, however, had been the monstrous to be present as the hon. member himself. calculations made by gentlemen who disHe said, he had property both in America approved of the petition! A great many, and Jamaica: he had commercial inter- too, of those who did attend, were not inests and family connections with America; terested in the trade. Even the two prinbut these should not induce him to forget cipal supporters of the amendment had his great and paramount duty to his coun- described the Orders in Council by a very try. He thought the meeting concerned harsh but characteristic expression, that all who had commercial interests or con- they were extremely foolish, but they nections with America, direct or circui- conceived the situation of the country to tous. Persons therefore had a right to at- be such as rendered it inexpedient to intend who had even no trade there. He terfere in the measures of government. believed a number not only of such persons, but of American citizens, were present; and they were heard with attention in the delivery of their sentiments; and


Mr. Whitbread was convinced the wor thy alderman opposite (sir W. Curtis), after the description he had heard of the gentlemen who composed the meeting,,

would regret much that he had not attended it. His mercantile transactions were certainly equal to those of most gentlemen; and in point of zeal for ministers he yielded to no man. Another worthy alderman (Shaw), who did attend the meeting, had favoured the house with a discovery which he had made, that not only the majority of that meeting, but that 99 out of every 100 of the population of the country, approved of the Orders in Council; not of them merely, but also of the conduct of the present ministers in general; not of the general conduct of the present ministry alone, but of the attack on Copenhagen in particular. The worthy alderman was well known to have a particular regard for the present ministers,' and to think that 99 out of 100 of the population of the country must approve of whatever they do. So he thought of the late ministers when they were the present ministers;' so he had now declared he did of their successors. It was to be hoped for the salvation of the country, that other ministers would again succeed to those now in office; and he had no doubt, if the worthy alderman lived to see that day, and were a member of that house, he would still continue to be eager in their praise, and ready to lend his testimony to the public feeling, in favour of the present administration.'

Mr. Hibbert said he had great interest in Jamaica, which was much connected with America; but still he did not feel himself entitled on that account to attend the meeting.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer thought the house was obliged to the worthy baronet for the information he had given it, as the petition might else have been supposed to have come from a numerous meeting, instead of being, as it was, the petition of a few individuals, who, however respectable, were unquestionably the minority of the meeting.

Mr. Gordon had formerly dealings with America; and though he had none at the present moment, he still thought himself entitled to attend the meeting, which he accordingly had done. He was mistaken, if, besides merchants trading to America, there were not at the meeting of this day, a number of American citizens.

Sir R. Peele did not attend the meeting, because conceiving it to be called especially for the purpose of petitioning, and being of a contrary opinion, he esteemed himself excluded.

Mr. Mellish had transactions with Ame

rica, and also lands there, of course he esteemed himself entitled to attend the meeting.

Mr. Baring said, that persons connected with the Spanish colonies could not be fit persons to attend such a meeting. The room was absolutely filled with persons not interested in the American trade, and some gentlemen even brought down their clerks to increase the number.

Sir A. Piggott thought, if thanks were due to the worthy baronet who started the present discussion, they were much more due to his hon. friend (Mr. A. Baring) who had furnished the house with so many im portant facts relating to the meeting; particularly, that it consisted, in a great measure, of persons not interested in the trade, and that the mover and seconder of the amendment, so far from thinking the Orders in Council to have displayed wisdom, treated them as foolish and impracticable. He put it to an hon. baronet (sir R. Peele) to say if there were not thousands of ma→ nufacturers at this moment without employment, or only with half employment? Sir R. Peele said that this was not attri butable to the Orders in Council, but to the measures or rather no-measures of the late ministers.

Sir John Newport said, what our manufacturers complained of was, that being distressed from other causes, their situation was made irremediable by these Orders of Council. He should, on a future occasiod, bring the state of Ireland, in consequence of these Orders in Council, before the house. It was impossible that America should be ignorant of the great quantity of flax-seed, the grand staple of Ireland, which she got from that country.

The petition was then ordered to lie on the table.-Mr. Alderman Combe moved, that the prayer of the petition for hearing counsel be granted. The Speaker stated, that by the forms of the house no two steps on the petition could be taken in one night. Mr. Combe then moved, that the petition be taken into further consideration to-morrow. Mr. Perceval wished it to be postponed, on account of the other important business which stood for that day. Mr. Combe said, he had discharged his duty, and he should not press it unnecessarily on the house.

General Gascoyne said, that he had a petition from the merchants of Liverpool to the same purport as that of the hon. alderIt was against the Orders in Council. He would take care not to fall into


« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »