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hon. gent. that France had sufficient bark | more modern times, we might recollect a for two years consumption, depreciated circumstance which was more immediately the whole of the other part of his argument. applicable. The French convention deEven on the shewing of the hon. gent. creed, that no quarter should be given; (Mr. Lushington) opposite, the price did the English government retaliate by of bark had risen considerably on the con- the passing of a similar decree ? no: What tinent, and the statement respecting the was then the consequence? The conse plentiful supply of sugar on the continent quence was, that the French soldiers rewas so improbable in itself, that it could fused to put the sanguinary order of their not be credited without the strongest evi- government into execution. Here, then, dence. A war of this kind was detestable, was an object of policy likely to be gained he admitted, but unfortunately it was the by mitigated rigour towards an enemy, only means left for procuring a solid peace. exclusive of all ideas of principles of huThe guilt rested with the enemy. manity. But the house would here pardon him for mentioning a circumstance which this brought to his recollection. He was informed, that soldiers were convicted of acts of gross misconduct whilst they lay before Copenhagen. He was not aware of the facts to which he now alluded, at the time of the Thanks being voted to lord Cathcart, or he should have mentioned them. For he was informed, that after these men to whom he alluded were tried and convicted, they were not only not punished immediately before the enemy, but they were released and suffered to go at large. This was a subject which required further elucidation, for the sake of the honour of the nation, which was sufficiently, he should have thought, tarnished by the attack itself, without such acts of aggravation.

Mr. Whitbread observed, that if the committee agreed to the proposition of endeavouring to prevent bark from reaching the continent, instead of throwing the odium of a want of humanity on the character of Buonaparte, we might most probably find that there would be too just ground for founding a reflection on the character of our own country. The emissaries of Buonaparte might go to the hospitals, and say, here is an English act of parliament; you see what it is that prevents you from obtaining a remedy for your complaints.' He put it to the honourable feelings of gentlemen on the opposite side, whether the enemy would not at least have an opening here against us? [Here some significant gestures were made use of by some of the gentlemen on the treasury bench.] He was not surprised that the editor of a celebrated Manifesto, or that the bombarders of Copenhagen, should express some disapprobation at the mention of this circumstance. For his own part, he recollected when it was generally supposed, and by some, he believed, it was hoped for, that the French army were likely to be destroyed by a dysentery; and if he, who was rather favourable to the old morality, were to be asked what he would do, if in such a case he was in possession of such medicine as would be likely to relieve them, he would answer, he would give it to them; he would do so not only from motives of humanity, but he was also convinced it would be beneficial, in a political point of view. Some gentlemen took up and laid down the cloak of morality so frequently, changing as it suited their purpose, that he could not say what might be their opinion at the present moment. But he would say, that in a book which a right hon. gent. last week despised, it was related, that at the siege of Jerusalem, the famished inhabitants were permitted to come out. In

Mr. Wilberforce was of opinion, that one consideration might alone decide the question. It was hoped, that we should be likely by this means in some degree to weaken the military force of Buonaparte. But, was it not to be fairly concluded, that he, both as an object of policy to preserve his strength, and with a view to increase his popularity with his soldiers, would at all events procure them this medicine if it were necessary. The odium would then be cast upon us, and his character would be exalted, so that the means were not calculated to accomplish the desired end. The general of a blockading army might fairly hope to make some impression on the besieged army, or that he should be capable of making the general of the garrison sympathise in the feelings of the suffering inhabitants; but could it be supposed, that a similar impression would be made on the feelings of that general who at present commanded the great garrison of the French nation? The measure might possibly excite a more general union of hatred against the English nation amongst all ranks of the French people; it might add

to the ferocity or unfeeling character of the contest, but it could not possibly be the means of putting an end to it. He therefore supported the amendment.

ders in Council, as consistent with the law of nations and the municipal law of the land, and consequently should give his support to the clause.

General Gascoyne observed, that with Mr. Tierney proposed to take the sense respect to the circumstances which an hon. of the committee on an amendment which gent. had related as having occurred at he should move, for leaving out the words Copenhagen, it was to be recollected, that" cotton wool, or yarn,' "after his hon. at courts martial appeals were frequently friend had taken the sense of the commade to the mercy of the commander inmittee on the propriety of omitting the chief; there might be some circumstances words "Jesuits Bark." in mitigation of punishment which had not reached the ears of the hon. gent.

Sir A. Wellesley reminded the house, that it was impossible to prevent acts of improper conduct at all times in an army. As to the facts alluded to, he believed that after the persons had been tried, some doubt remained on the mind of the noble lord who held the chief command. In that case it was not to be contended that the noble lord did wrong to hesitate, before he put judgment into execution. The case he was informed, was now under the consideration of high legal authority.

Mr. Whitbread stated, that he alluded to three distinct charges, namely, robbery, rape, and murder.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer said, that it would have been much less grating to the feelings of the noble lord, whose name had been mentioned, and it would give him a fairer opportunity of instructing some member of that house, as to the particulars, so that he might be able to speak in his behalf, if it was made the subject of a specific motion, of which notice should be previously given. As to the case which the hon. member alluded to,| there were some doubts as to a point of law, which was referred to the consideration of some of the highest legal authorities.

Mr. Whitbread then gave notice that he would, on an early day, bring the question before the house.

Sir C. Price asserted, that the price of bark at Paris was, at present, what it had been stated to be by the chancellor of the exchequer, 70s. per pound, and that there were unlimited orders at this moment in London, for any quantity of that article that could be supplied.

Mr. A. Baring observed, that gentlemen need not be so extremely tenacious of the provision, that was here alluded to; for if only one ship laden with bark were to arrive safe, it would be sufficient for the whole continent.

The Advocate General supported the principle of the Orders in Council, and the enforcement of these prohibitions, on the maxims of the law of nations, which authorised a belligerent to re-act upon its enemy the severity of its own means of annoyance.

Sir A. Piggott argued ably against the principle of the bill, as subversive of the essential interests of justice. He considered it nothing short of the most violent outrage, to arrogate a right of confiscation over an innocent neutral, although he had not violated the provisions of a blockade, or in any degree contravened the Orders this country had issued. Still such an effect did follow from the new system of ministers: and therefore he should take every opportunity of declaring his decided hostility to it.The question being loudly called for, a division took place, first upon the amendment of Mr. Whitbread, relative to the prohibition of Jesuits Bark, when the numbers were-Ayes 78; Noes 165; Majority against the Amendment 87.-A second division then took place on Mr. Tierney's amendment, relative to the


The Attorney General stated, in corroboration of what had been said by the hon. bart. that the powers of the commander in chief were now under the consideration of the highest legal authority in the king-hibition of cotton yarn, &c. when the dom, and the inclination of opinion was, numbers were-Ayes 76; Noes 167; that they did not authorise the execution Majority against the amendment 91. of the punishment. In a country governed by law, it could not be matter of surprise that when punishment could not be legally inflicted, the individuals, however morally guilty, should escape punishment.

HOUSE OF lords,

Thursday, February 25.

BRAZIL TRADE BILL.] On the second

Mr. D. Giddy spoke in favour of the Or-reading of the Brazil Trade Bill;

Earl Bathurst observed, that some misapprehensions had existed with respect to sugar from the Brazils coming into competition with the sugar from our own colonies, in the home market, and thus injuring the West India interests. This, however, would be effectually prevented by the high duties imposed upon foreign sugar. His lordship urged the importance of the trade with the Brazils, whence might be derived cotton, tallow, and various other articles, and which might also be of essential benefit to our colonies, as a vessel trading from this country to the Brazils might take in there a cargo of articles of provision and lumber, of the latter of which there was a plentiful supply in the Brazils, and carrying them to our colonies in the West Indies, it might from thence bring home a cargo of colonial produce.

Lord Auckland adverted to the state of the sugar market, hoping that it would not be still further depressed. His lordship stated from the information he had been able to procure, that the quantity of sugar produced in the Brazils, was about 73,000 hogsheads, the quantity produced in our own colonies, was about 280,000 hogsheads, the latter of which was already about 70,000 hogsheads more than our own consumption required, and with respect to the use of the surplus in the distilleries, he observed, that the whole distilleries of the united kingdom would not consume more than 12,000 hogsheads. With respect to cotton, he believed the produce of the Brazils to amount to 24,000,000 pounds, that of our own colonies was about 16,000,000 pounds he was ready to admit this part of the trade to be of very great value to this country.

|ceive it possible, that under the present circumstances of the Brazils, any attention could be paid to the cultivation of corn or the cutting of lumber, particularly under that system of cultivation which would be adopted there, namely, by means of slaves, continually imported; it was rather to be apprehended that, from the fertility con sequent upon breaking up new lands, so large a quantity of sugar might be produced, as greatly to diminish the price of that article. It was upon this system of importing slaves that he founded his principal objection to the bill. His lordship briefly recapitulated the proceedings of parliament with respect to the abolition of the Slave Trade; and observed, that that act would confer immortal honour on the parliament that agreed to it, and would be remembered when all party disputes and dissentions were forgotten. Ministers, he contended, ought to have followed up that act, and the address to his majesty then voted, by refusing to enter into any commercial engagements with the Portu guese government unless it consented to abolish the Slave Trade; otherwise British capital would be employed to a great extent in carrying on this detestable traffic to the Brazils, which would thus derive great benefit from which our colonies were excluded. The legislature had decided, that whatever commercial benefit might be derived from that trade, nothing could justify the inhumanity of its continuance. The Brazils must exist as an independent state, by the protection afforded by the British navy; was it then to result, that notwithstanding the act of the legislature, this trade was to be allowed to be carried on by British capital, and under the protection of the British navy; and this too for the still further increase of produce, of which there was, unfortunately, too. great an accumulation in our own colonies? Every consideration of humanity, justice and policy, required in his opinion, that ministers should have made the abolition of the Slave Trade a previous condition to entering into any commercial engagement with the Portuguese government.

Lord Grenville observed, with respect to the idea of making this country an entrepot for colonial produce, that it would be found impossible to force upon the continent, that quantity of colonial produce which it would consume under other circumstances, and with a direct trade. He did not view this bill precisely in the same light as his noble friend, and if considerations arising out of the situation of the prince regent of Portugal and his con- Lord Hawkesbury observed, that the nection with this country, induced him trade in the Portuguese colonial produce, not wholly to oppose it, he must still give had been previously carried on through a decided opinion with respect to some the mother country, and the colony having circumstances connected with it. As to become the seat of government, there was the idea of the noble lord, that corn and no principle upon which these commerlumber could be procured from the Bra-cial arrangements could have been rezils for our West India colonies, he thought fused. As to the Slave Trade, his opi it was not to be expected, nor did he con- nion upon that subject was well known;

The Lord Chancellor contended that the Order alluded to was not only not a breach of law, but actually within the comprehension of the very statute to which the noble earl applied the violation.

Lord Grenville observed, there was an end of the constitution of parliament, if the privy council assumed to itself the power of legislation.

but the abolition of that trade having be- | III. and the provision of the Order in come an act of the legislature, it became Council respecting the Isle of Man, conthe duty, and it was the wish of the exe-cluded by stating, that the latter was a cutive government, to carry that act into manifest violation of the former. effect, and to use every means to carry into effect the object of the address to his majesty, with respect to inducing foreign powers to abolish that trade. The circumstances in which the Portuguese government had been placed, and the departure of that government for the Brazils, had hitherto precluded any attempt to enter into negociation with a view to attain that object. It was scarcely possible to prevent British capital from being embarked in this trade, carried on to the Brazils; but no opportunity would be lost by the executive government, in endeavouring to procure the consent of the Portuguese government to abolish the trade. It could not be expected of him to enter into any discussion upon the supposition of a refusal on the part of the Portuguese government to consent to such abolition.-The bill was then read a second time.

[ORDERS IN COUNCIL.] The Earl of Carlisle made his promised motion relative to the illegality of the Orders in Council. He adverted to the point which he had before stated to the house, respecting a contradiction between the Order in Council of the 25th of Nov. and the act of the 7th Geo. III. c. 43. By that act, certain enumerated articles were prohibited to be exported from the Isle of Man, under the penalty of the confiscation of the vessel. By the Orders in Council it was declared, that any articles might be exported from the Isle of Man to any ports except those of this country. This he conceived to be clearly a contravention of the statute. Ile did not mean to charge ministers with any thing else, but he thought it was incumbent on them to come to parliament for a bill of Indemnity. He trusted that against this the king's war prerogative, of which much had lately been said, would not be urged, nor the right of retaliation. It might be said, that his objection was trifling; but it should be remembered that it was the first fissure in a bank which let in the overflow, and thus the first contravention of the law, by the privy council, however trifling in itself, ought to be met in a decided manner, lest it might lead to consequences injurious to the constitution. His lordship concluded by moving a Resolution, which, after stating the enactment of the act of the 7th Geo.

Lord Hawkesbury opposed the motion, and considered the principle of those Orders to have been fully discussed, and their execution approved of by the assent of parliament.-Lords Erskine, Auckland, and earl Grey, supported the motion, and contended that the law of the land had been violated without any ground of necessity that could entitle ministers to ask parliament for a Bill of Indemnity.-The motion was then put and negatived.

[PROTEST.] Against the rejection of the above motion of the earl of Carlisle, the following Protest was entered in the Journals :viz.


"Dissentient-Because the proposition stated in this motion is evidently and undeniably true.-We conceive the proper mode of interpreting the laws of our country, and the acts of its government, to be according to the plain sense of the word's therein contained. The words of the Or der stated in the motion expressly declare, That the articles therein mentioned may be exported to certain places there referred to; and the statute of the seventh of his present majesty does, in terms equally explicit, prohibit such exportation. "And we conceive that any case of an Order issued by his majesty in council, contrary to the statute law of the realm, is a matter of such importance as to require the most serious attention of this house. (Signed) Carlisle, Grenville, Erskine, Spencer, Lauderdale, Gray, Auckland, Wentworth, Fitzwilliam."


Thursday, February 25.

[EXPEDITION TO COPENHAGEN.] Mr. Sheridan rose and observed, that out of regard to the convenience of others, he had more than once postponed his motion; and there were many considerations which made against its being brought forward at so late an hour. But even if the hour

were later, he would now persevere, and submit to the house a proposition which appeared to him of the first importance. In rising, however, to lay that proposition before them, and to state the reasons on which it was founded, he confessed, at the outset, that he entertained no very sangaine hopes of success. He had no very sanguine hopes of success, because he had seen that motions founded certainly on as strong reasons as he could possibly urge, had been negatived; because he had observed a very peremptory determination on the part of ministers, and a very pliant acquiescence on the part of the house, to refuse the most essential information on the most important points. His hopes were, besides, not sanguine, because he had communicated the subject of his motion to his right hon. friend (Mr. Canning), at his request, and had received no very flattering expectations of a favourable result; and one could not help remarking that in proportion as the ministers manifested a determined obstinacy in withholding information, they insisted upon the courtesy of having previous notice of the different motions brought forward, under the pretence of putting them in a better shape; but he much apprehended, rather with a view to have a more exact knowledge of the particular subject of each, in order to defeat their object. The house being, then, disposed to agree so far with ministers in denying all material information, he did not think it necessary to detain them long, and he would tell them why; the house had never yet been pledged in any direct approbation or censure of the measures respecting Denmark. Ministers had, indeed, with a great deal of craft, on the different applications for information, turned the discussions to the question of the merits. In the motion which he had to submit to the house, he might take advantage of this practice, and enter at large into the general subject. But of this opportunity he was not disposed to avail himself, since an hon. friend of his (Mr. Sharpe) had given notice of a motion which was to come on so early as Wednesday next, when the merits would be brought regularly and fully under discussion; for, though the ministers had surreptitiously, he must say, on the first day of the session, procured an implied approbation, yet, certain it was, that the house had not as yet been directly pledged, either one way or the other. The time, however, was near when the VOL. X.

subject would come under the review of the house, and for that reason he would not enter fully into its merits at present. He had, he declared sincerely, entered with the greatest reluctance into the condemnation of the principle of the attack upon Copenhagen. He had before said, and said truly, that on the first day of the session he had come down to the house, with a most earnest hope that ministers would be enabled to justify themselves by some kind of information at least; for it must be odious to a man to be enabled to make out a case against his country. He had hoped first, that strong information would be given, which would prove the measure to be an act of necessity, or that some unequivocal instance of the hostility of Denmark would be shewn; or, lastly, that every proof would be produced, which could afford a tolerable pretext for their conduct. But, when he found that instead of this, they only made an aukward attempt to form something of a mixture out of the whole three; that they first pretended a strong state necessity; that on being driven from this, they tried to point out a variety of provocations on the part of Denmark; that they then said that it was necessary to do some stout act, which would prove to the world that they could imitate Buonaparte; and that the result of the whole was a total denial of all actual information whatever; he could not then disguise the unfavourable impression which had been made upon his mind. He maintained, that there never was a case in the history of England, when a war was commenced, with all the taxes and privations to which it subjected the nation, where such a denial of all information as to the causes and grounds of it had been manifested. The house ought not to run away with the idea that the granting of information was dangerous; an allegation which was ever ready on the lips of those whose purposes required concealment. It led, they said, to the exposure of the fortunes and lives of those who gave it, and the correspondence of our ambassadors ought not to be laid open to general inspection. But, admitting that the granting of information might sometimes be inconvenient, perhaps even dangerous, still they overlooked the vital principle of our free constitution. Publicity was the very essence of that constitution. Despotic governments certainly had some advantages from that secret lurking manner in which business might be there transacted. But we ought

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