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was true that his majesty had granted a certain sum out of the proceeds of such property to each of the junior male branches of the royal family, and to the duke of York amongst the rest.
Sir F. Burdett thanked the right hon. gent. for the frankness of his answer, and intimated his intention to bring the subject before parliament on a future day.
[CONDUCT OF MARQUIS WELLESLEY.] Lord Folkestone moved, That the several Papers presented to the house in January, Feb. March, June and July, 1806, and in Feb. 1807, relative to the Affairs of the Province of Oude, be taken into consideration on Monday the 22d inst.
Mr. Creevey took this opportunity of ex
the said act of the 47th of his present majesty, it was enacted, that all persons who, upon or at any time after the first day of the said last session of parliament, were or had been the lawful incumbent of any benefice, should, notwithstanding they have er had accepted any such augmented cures, remain and be the incumbents of such benefices until the fortieth day of the next session of parliament; and that the petitioner was on the said first day of the last session of parliament, the lawful incumbent of the said rectory of Brampton Bryan, and was nominated to the said curacy now above 3 years ago, and accepted the same, with the perfect approbation of the said patron of Brampton Bryan, who immediately upon the petition-pressing his opinion, that the best mode er's acceptance of the said curacy, be- of proceeding would not be that which came the petitioner's tenant of certain the noble lord had stated, but that it tythes belonging to the said curacy, and would be better to refer the papers to a has so continued to the present time; and committee, to arrange and make their retherefore praying, that the said bill may port. The papers already printed were not pass into a law, or that the petitioner so voluminous, that it was difficult indeed may have such other relief in the premises for the house to understand the subject, as to the house shall seem meet."-The unless the necessary papers were selected Petition was ordered to lie upon the table. in this manner. The subject was very [DROITS OF ADMIRALTY.] Sir F. Bar- comprehensive, extending to the whole dett, seeing the chancellor of the exche-system of policy in India for a considerquer in his place, wished to put a ques-able time. It would be recollected, that tion to him, in order that he might be satisfied, upon authority, of the truth of certain rumours which were in circulation. It had been stated in the public prints, that his majesty had granted large sums, out of the proceeds of property belonging to nations not at war with this country, to several branches of the royal family, and particularly to the duke of York. What he wished to know was, whether this statement was correct; and if so, upon what ground it was that his majesty could seize the property of nations not at war with this country?
with respect to the policy of the marquis Wellesley's government, the East India directors had, with an unanimity unprecedented against the opinion of government, decided by a majority of 23 directors out of 24, against the noble marquis. When government afterwards sent marquis Cornwallis to succeed him, they evidently disapproved of his administration. He thought it was necessary that the dispatches of marquis Cornwallis, expressing his opinion of the conduct of his predecessor, should be before the house. Mr. R. Dundas thought it was unusual The Chancellor of the Exchequer was wil-to interfere with any hon. member in the ling to give the hon. baronet every infor- manner in which he might think proper. mation he required on the subject. But to bring forward any business before that first he must apprise the hon. baronet of a house. When the noble lord should bring misapprehension which he seemed to la-forward his Resolutions, that would be the bour under, with respect to the principle upon which his majesty's right to the property in question was founded. It was true that the property had been seized previous to his majesty's formal declaration of war, but war had since been declared, and the question respecting the property had been referred to the competent tribunal and condemned. The right of his majesty, therefore, grounded upon such a decision, was incontrovertible. It
proper time for offering such observations as occurred to any hon. gent. on the subject. It appeared to him, that as those papers had been already nearly four years before the house, it would be the best way to proceed to a vote upon those papers. The general policy of the system of government in India would be brought before the discussion of the house in another shape.
Sir A. Wellesley said, that it had always
been his wish, and that of all the friends of the noble marquis, that the house should come to a decision with as much speed as was consistent with due consideration. His noble relation was in a most unpleasant situation. Four years had now elapsed since the subject was first introduced, and it was nearly two years since the noble lord had moved for papers. It must be painful to the feelings of any individual to have such charges hanging over his head for an indefinite length of time; and the consequence which he thought would be likely to proceed from appointing a committee would be, that the house would be four years longer before it came to a decision.
Mr. Lushington observed, that the right hon. general was under a mistake, in saying the business had been four years before the house, as it had been introduced in May, 1806.
Sir A. Wellesley admitted, that he had not been exactly correct, but the hon. member was less so; for instead of May, 1806, it was May, 1805.
Earl Temple said, he felt still the anxiety that he had always expressed, that this business should be brought to a speedy He thought it injustice to the feelings of any individual to have such charges hanging over his head for a great length of time; and therefore he wished that the question should be put to rest, and that lord Wellesley's character should be settled one way or the other. It would be recollected, that he formerly pressed anxiously for a decision, but was at that time opposed by the friends of the noble marquis on the other side of the house.
Mr. Windham said, it appeared to him that the best way of understanding the whole of the subject, was to refer it to a committee, to select out of the voluminous papers which had been printed, those which were most necessary for the consideration of the house.
Mr. Wellesley Pole expressed some surprise, that gentlemen opposite should now propose to go into a committee upon this subject, as if the topic never had been before the house was it forgotten that it had been in discussion repeatedly, ever since 1805?. He heartily approved of the mode proposed by the noble lord, and concurred in his motion for the papers he had moved for; but he was averse to the mode of proceeding by a committee.
Lord A. Hamilton spoke in favour of the
Lord Folkestone lamented the unfortunate predicament in which he stood, in having those only to approve of his plan of proceeding who, he knew, were against him on the merits, while, again, those who were with him on the merits of the question, objected to his mode of bringing it forward. He must, however, adhere to the mode he had laid down for himself.-The motion was then put and carried.
Mr. Creevey, with a view to the general discussion of the affairs of India, moved, that there be laid before the house copies of all letters sent by the late marquis Cornwallis to the Secret Committee of the Court of Directors, subsequent to his arrival in India in 1805. These letters contained the opinion of the noble marquis on every prominent part of the administration of our Indian empire, and the information they would give would be most important in directing the judgment of the house on a subject that every day called more loudly for a general and par ticular investigation.
Mr. R. Dundas consented to the production of all the letters but the last, which was not signed by the marquis, and from that and some other deficiencies, such as want of date, unfilled blanks, &c. could not be considered as a fit document to be laid before parliament. The committee which he meant to move for shortly, was merely to consider the Financial Affairs of the East India Company. After some conversation, it was agreed that the Papers should be produced, with the exception of the unfinished letter.
Mr. Creevey then gave notice, that as the right hon. gent. meant to call the attention of the house to the Financial affairs of the East India Company only, he would move for a general inquiry into the state of our Indian empire, territorial and political.
HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Wednesday, February 10.
[DROITS OF ADMIRALTY.] Sir F. Burdett rose to move for an address to his majesty, praying that he would be graciously pleased to order that there be laid before the house an account of all captures made at sea, which remained at the disposal of the crown, from the commencement of the late war in 1792, to the present time, together with an account of the produce of the same, and the manner in which it had been disposed of.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer wished | of that date confirmed all tenures of that the hon. baronet to give a notice rather nature then existing. The subsequent forthan to make his motion now. This was feiture was not sufficiently published, and more consonant to the practice of the remained unknown and unnoticed till house. The motion would furnish an op- now brought forth to inflict unreasonable portunity for discussing the doctrines that hardship. Mr. Scott might have obtained were afloat on this subject. A notice was a dispensation if he had had notice. But the best mode of proceeding, as it would the case was not Mr. Scott's alone, others cause the persons concerned to turn their had equally suffered; and the hardship attention to the matter, and to ascertain would be general if parliament did not inhow far the motion could, with propriety, terfere. It was certainly but little to ask, be complied with. If the hon. baronet that the short period of the Suspension act would give a notice, he would come pre- which was to run, should be allowed for pared either to aid in forming the motion the consideration of the means of remedyin the most convenient shape, or to give ing a grievance of so serious a nature. reasons why it should not pass.
Sir F. Burdett had no difficulty in consulting the convenience of the right hon. gent. by giving the notice for to-morrow. [CURATES SUSPENSION REPEAL BILL.] Mr. Dickenson moved the order of the day for the second reading of the bill for the repeal of the act of the last session, suspending the penalties and forfeitures affecting persons accepting augmented Curacies. He stated, that the penalty of forfeiture attached by law to persons not resident accepting augmented curacies, if these persons were not resident or had no dispensation. The case of Mr. Scott, which was the sole one on which the Suspension act of last session was grounded, was exactly under the circumstances that worked this forfeiture. It was not enough that Mr. Scott pleaded ignorance of the law. That ignorance was no excuse for the breach of the law, was one of the fundamental maxims of British justice. Mr. Scott, holding the rectory of Brampton Bryan, had accepted the augmented curacy of Titley; and his rectory being thereby forfeited, the patron had granted it to Mr. Graham, who had been inducted with all the proper forms. Mr. Graham had given notice not to pay tithes under the act of last session. That act had passed by surprise.
Mr. Lockhart defended the Suspension act of the last session, which was brought forward, not from reference to any private case, but from a regard to the general state of the clergy, whose titles were very generally threatened by the penalties and forfeitures unguardedly incurred under the act of 1796. That act had received in its last stage a clause and a title, which entirely changed its effect, without giving sufficient notice to those interested. These curacies had always before been considered as tenable with benefices, and the act
Mr. Lushington argued against the Suspension act on all the former grounds, and contended, that it would be an unwarrantable exercise of the power of parliament to interfere with the right of the patron (lord Oxford) to whom the rectory lapsed by the default of Mr. Scott, and Mr. Graham, who legally enjoyed it under the presentation of that patron, confirmed by all due forms.
Mr. Whitbread denied that the Suspension act of last session had been passed by surprise. That was impossible while the chair was filled as it was now. Was it possible that it could have passed the bench of bishops also, in the upper house, by surprise. The hon. gent. then went over the circumstances of Mr. Scott's case, which he contended called for relief from parliament, and for the continuance of the Suspension bill, the means of that relief could be prepared and considered.
Dr. Laurence argued for the repeal. He repeated that the Suspension bill had passed the house in a great hurry at the close of the last session. He had made some objections to it, on first discovering it by accident in its passage; but before he could be prepared to deliver his senti ments properly it was gone to the lords.
Mr. Sheridan finding the bill before the house, regarded it as a sort of reprimand from the lords, and a sort of episcopal repartee from the bishops, for having passed the Suspension act, and thought the house ought to receive it somewhat indignantly. If the bishops and the lords wished to stultify the house by making it indecorously undo its own act, the house ought not to shew any desire to make itself a party to that stultification. But it happened also, that the lords and the bishops could not stultify the house of commons without stultifying themselves, who had joined in the Suspension. He
entered into the circumstances of Mr. | the Bank. In another letter it was stated,
Scott's case, and insisted on the propriety of continuing the Suspension, to afford an opportunity of devising some relief. The case was general, and one noble lord had declared, that if he chose to act on the same principle, he could vacate upwards of 200 livings.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer thought that parliament had no right to interfere with the discretion of the patron of the rectory of Brampton Bryan, even though he should exercise his right in a manner that might not be agreeable to many. But it was not the right of lord Oxford and Mr. Scott alone, but the right of Mr. Graham, the present incumbent also, that was to be considered in this case. What appeared to be hardship in the exercise of discretionary right, would often appear to be no hardship, if it were necessary or convenient to give the grounds of the exercise of discretionary and absolute right. The lords by passing this bill acknowledged their share of the error in passing the Suspension act, and called upon this house for a like recantation. He should vote for the repeal. The bill was then read a second time.
[ARRANGEMENT WITH THE BANK.] Mr. Huskisson moved the order of the day, for going into a committee of ways and means, to which the Correspondence between the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Governor and Deputy Governor of the Bank, relative to the late Arrangement between the Bank and the public, was to be referred. (see p. 282.)
Lord H. Petty wished for some explanation on a point which was not sufficiently clear upon the face of the Papers before the house. The Resolution of the Court of Directors on which the resolution of the company of the Bank of England was founded, agreed to lend to the public 3,000,000l. without interest, during the war, on condition that the balances of the public money should be continued in the Bank in the usual manner, though they should even exceed 10,000,000l. He wished to know, whether this condition had been acceded to. The answer to the letter in which the condition was specified, stated that it was not intended to alter the course of proceedings between the Bank and the Exchequer, or to take from the Bank any advantage that it now enjoyed by law. He wished to know, whether by this it was meant that the government acReded fully to the conditions proposed by
that the arrangement now entered into would not preclude a different appropriation of the balances above 10,000,000l. and a discretion was reserved to parliament to that effect. These statements were not easily reconcileable, and therefore he wished for some explanations with a view to a right understanding.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer said, the noble lord would find that what had passed between him and the Bank was all recapitulated in the note of the 19th Jan. (p. 250.) The words on the particular point alluded to by the noble lord were, that the Bank should, on the 5th of April next, advance 3,000,000l. for the public service, free of interest, the principal to be secured by exchequer bills, to be deposited in the Bank, payable in six months after a definitive treaty of peace. It was certainly not intended that any part of the advantages the Bank now enjoyed by law, should be withdrawn during the present war, nor that any alteration should be made in the general course of proceedings between the Bank and the Exchequer. But it was possible, that some reduction might be made in the amount of balances, by other arrangements pointed out by the committee of Finance, without violating the tenour of the agreement now made between the Bank and the public. The principal point. on which this part of the subject turned, was a direct application of some monies from the exchequer itself to the public service., This, though withholding the money, pro tanto, from the Bank, would not alter the course of proceedings between the Exchequer and the Bank.-The house having resolved itself into the committee,
The Chancellor of the Exchequer rose again. He had the satisfaction, he said, to call the attention of the committee to an Arrangement, which it had been his good fortune to make, under circumstances so advantageous to the public, and at the same time so fair towards the Bank, that he was confident on explaining them to the committee he should have its full approbation. The Papers before the committee contained the details of the correspondence between him and the governor and deputy governor of the Bank. It was therefore only necessary for him to state the origin and conclusion of the arrangement which he had now to submit. The committee would be aware, that this arrangement was first suggested by the
Committee appointed last year, to enquire faith in such compulsory reduction, would into the means of reducing the public ex- be an injury to the public far more than penditure. The Second Report of that sufficient to outweigh the benefit by the Committee turned upon the management reduction of the rate of management. of the public debt by the bank, and the Whatever allowance the bank was entimanner in which the bank was connected tled to under any act of parliament, could with the public revenue and the public not be taken from it, otherwise than by expenditure.* This subject resolved it- the consent of its own body. The consent .self into three heads; 1st, the Manage- was given in this case, with as large an ment of the Public Debt; 2dly, the Ba- abatement as could be expected under lances of the Public Money in the hands the consideration of all circumstances. of the bank; and 3dly, the Unclaimed The next head of the arrangement, was Dividends. On all these heads the com- the advance of 3,000,000l. by way of loan mittee had presented such facts as afford- to government without interest, till six ed opportunities of considering how those months after the conclusion of a definitive matters might be conducted with a saving treaty, in consideration of the advantages to the public. The allowance that had of management, and in participation of the been first made for the management of benefit of the balances. The Committee, the public debt, the times and degrees in to whom he was indebted for being enawhich that allowance had been altered, bled to bring this subject distinctly before and the causes of the alteration, were all the bank and the house, had stated that specified. The great increase of the the average amount of balances of the amount of the public debt since the last public money in the bank was about alteration, was mentioned as a proper 11,104,9197. But the committee was in ground for revising the last arrangement, error in including in this 475,000l. part of with a view to a saving to the public. On 600,000l. placed in the bank, in virtue of this point the agreement between the bank an arrangement with the United States of and himself rested. It was agreed that America. Though the claimants on this the allowance for management should be fund might not have been as prompt in 340l. per million when the debt should coming forward with demands as before, amount to 400 millions, and from that to it was in the power of the trustees to vest 600 millions inclusive; 300l. per million the money in exchequer bills for the benefor all debt above 600 millions, the 600 fit of the claimants, whenever they should millions continuing at 340l.; and 450. come forward. The fair sum at which per million between 300 and 400 millions, the amount of balances might be taken in the event of the public debt being redu- was about 10,600,000l. or 10,500,000l. ced so low as that amount. Under this From the economic attention that had of head alone the saving to the public by the late been put in force, these balances present arrangement would be from 62 to would not rise above 10,000,000l. from 65,000l. a year. He trusted the commit- year to year during the continuance of tee would see the propriety of the arrange- the war. The committee that had sugment on this head; and as from a bare gested these improvements that were now reference to the state of the public debt to be carried into effect, had shewn one at the present time, better terms of ma- principle on which advantage may be reanagement might be expected by some, he sonably claimed for the public. Mr. Pitt, wished gentlemen to bear in mind the dif- in his arrangement with the bank, had asferent engagements and contracts with the serted the right of the public to particibank prior to this, which could not possi-pate in the advantages derived by the bly be got rid of without the consent of the bank to a new arrangement. In 1791, an agreement had been entered into for the management of all the public debt at 450l. per million, and neither the public, nor the house of commons, would be disposed to force a supposed advantage by bringing down the bank from the rate of this contract, otherwise than by its own free will. The appearance of a breach of
* See vol. ix. Appendix, p. lxxxvii. VOL. X.
bank from the management and balances; and that whether this participation should be in the proportion of one-third, onefourth, or one-half, it would be greatly to the advantage of the public. This shewed that not more than a participation was intended, and therefore, as the proportion of one-third, being the middle rate, was what was most looked to, and probably considered as most equitable, that proportion was agreed to. Calculating that proportion of advantage, he would now state 2 E