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faid, that the filence preferved was not a wilful one; but he hoped in a few days to be able to make a communication on the subject which involved the feelings of the country. The motion was agreed to.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 20. On the order for confidering the report of the Nottingham Committee, Mr. Fox faid, it did not appear that any blame could be attached to the Magiftrates.

Mr. H. Browne, after fome remarks on the different refolutions, gave notice, that he should move to bring in a Bill for the better Regulation of Elections at Nottingham. He faid, the fcenes of wickednefs during the late - election exceeded all defcription.

Some farther converfation took place on the conduct of the Magiftrates, in which Mr. Fox strongly infifted that the Magiftrates had made every endeavour to fupprefs the riots.-Leave was then given to bring in the Bill.

Mr. Browne then moved, that no new writ fhould iffue for Nottingham till this day three weeks, in order that the Bill might pafs.-Agreed to.


On the motion of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, for confidering that part of his Majefty's Speech relating to commercial accommodation,

General Gascoyne faid, that from a printed paper iffued by the Treafury, it appeared, that the prefent duties upon commerce were to be augmented: he perceived that an increase of the revenue was in contemplation, as an addition of 34 per cent. was to be made to fome articles, and in other inftances it would amount to 15 per cent. He was apprehenfive that the object of this meafure was to provide ways and means to defray the expences of the prefent armament; and he concluded with hoping the Bill would not be prefled till the state of affairs was made known.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer faid, the object of the measure was only to fimplify and confolidate the mode of collecting the revenues, and it was fimilar to that adopted in 1787. The prefent measure was intended only as a first part of a general system for every branch of the revenue, and was intended to confolidate all the duties on cuftoms; among other regulations, it was propofed that a small duty fhould be laid on the importation of articles that were at prefent im

ported duty-free; and all articles from the West Indies, except fugar, were to be fubject to a trifling impofition. He concluded with faying, that he wished the Bill to be paffed before the end of the Seffion, as the schedule of the whole plan was nearly ready.

On the fecond reading of the Bill for managing the Property of Lunatics, Mr. Fitzgerald, Prime Serjeant of Ireland, withed for a general affimilation of the laws for the protection of property in England and Ireland; and obferved, that fuch a claufe could not be confidered at a more favourable opportunity than while Lord Redefdale was in this country. It was agreed to confider this claufe in a Committee.


A Committee was appointed for con. fidering the powers granted to County Juftices for erecting Bridges, &c.

Some converfation took place on the Ilchefter election, in which Mr. Smith ftated, that a fyftem of bribery and corruption had existed in the borough, and urged the neceffity of profecuting Mr. Davison, the Mayor, and other perfons.

Several Members spoke in defence of thefe perfons; and amongst them Mr. Fox and Mr. Sheridan.

The Malter of the Rolls had doubts as to the propriety of the House ordering profecutions for offences that were cognifable by common law.

At length the refolutions were agreed to; and farther proceedings ordered for Monday fortnight.

A Select Committee was appointed to examine into the report on the Highlands.


Mr. Fox prefented a Petition from the Mayor and Aldermen of Nottingham, praying to be heard against the Nottingham Franchise Bill. Ordered for confideration on Friday,

A new writ was iffued for Nottingham, in the room of Lord Bentinck.

Mr. Simpfon, the Mayor of Great Grimsby, was ordered into cuftody for improper conduct during the election.

The Edinburgh Road Bill, being contidered oppreffive to the farmers, was thrown out by a majority of one. TUESDAY, APRIL 26.

Sir R. Buxton moved that the Order for the Lifts of difputed Voters in the Middlesex Election to be exchanged


before the ft of May be difcharged, the confideration of that Petition being put off till next Seffion.

Mr. Grey spoke in favour of the Order.

Sir F. Burdett faid, it would be hard not to defer the Order, if the Petitioners had not fufficient time to prepare; but their object in requiring further time was, to prevent the oppofite party from making an adequate defence.

After fome further converfation, the Order was difcharged.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27. In a Committee on the Coroners' Bill, it was agreed, that the fum fhould remain at 9d. a mile, with a power vested in the Magistrates to grant the additional fum of 18d. on extraordinary occafions.


Lord Folkstone moved for papers to obtain information as to the Cape of Good Hope: he observed, that he had no wish to interfere with the Negociation, nor to call for improper information; fo that if Minifters would fay his motion interfered with the Negociation, he would drop it. In difcuffing this fubject, he premifed, that as the public had been kept in fuch total ignorance, he should be obliged to refer for information to the French Papers. He had heard that at different times different orders had been fent out at one time it was deter mined to give it up, and at another it was to be kept, without any reason being affigned. After the fignature of the Treaty of Peace, orders were fent out to deliver up the Cape; but in the month of October, when there was a confiderable ferment in confequence of the invafion of Switzerland by France, orders were fent, that the Cape thould not be given up.


did not know thefe circumftances from any official account published by Minilters, but from the accounts pub. lished in the French papers. He then took a view of the other accounts that had appeared in the foreign journals, as to Malta, Egypt, &c.; and concluded with moving for "Copies of all Orders fent to the Cape of Good Hope, respecting the furrender of that Colony, fince the fignature of the Treaty of Peace, together with Copies of all Difpatches relative to the Surrender or Detention of that Colony, as received by the Commander of the

British Forces by Land and Sea there, and the times when they were received from Minifters.-Alfo, An Account of all Difcuffions, if any, which had taken place between Minifters and the French Government, respecting that Colony, fince the Signature of the Treaty, previous to the laft Order fent out for the furrender of the fame.”

The Chancellor of the Exchequer adverted to the inconfiftency of the mover, in declaring that he did not with for information as to the Negociation, and then moving for the dif cuffions relative to the Cape; and concluded with advifing him to bring his motion in the shape of an Address to the Throne.

Mr. Windham defended the manner in which Lord Folkftone had proceeded.

Lord Hawkesbury had ferious objections to the motion, inasmuch as it interfered with the Negociation.

Mr. Fox made a long fpeech, the purport of which was, to fhew, that if the Houfe thought proper to enter upon an inquiry into the State of the Nation, then this motion would be premature.

After fome obfervations from Mr. Martin, the Houle pailed to the Order of the Day.

Lord Castlereagh moved to bring in a Bill to enable the Faft India Company to defray the expence of raifing and paying two Companies of Volun teer Corps.-Ordered.

FRIDAY, APRIL 29. The Ilchester Election Recognizance was enlarged for thirty days.

The Dublin Univerfity Committee reported, that George Knox, Efq. is duly elected.

Mr. H. Browne presented a Petition with 1500 fignatures, in favour of the Bill for fecuring the Rights of Freeholders at Nottingham; and

Mr. Fox prefented one against the Bill, figned by 4000 inhabitants.Ordered to lie on the table.

On the motion by Mr. Browne for the fecond reading of the Bill,

Mr. Fox made an animated fpeech to oppofe it; he deprecated the infulting language of lenity which the framers of the Bill had held towards the Magif trates of Nottingham; and contended, that if they were guilty, they had a right to be heard in their defence. He glanced at the conduct of the Magiftrates of London at the time of the

riots in 1780, when Parliament did not think proper to make an inquiry; and ftrongly infifted that Nottingham was well governed. After a long defence of the Magiftrates, Mr. Fox concluded with oppofing the general principles of the Bill.

Mr. Bond fpoke in favour of the Bill, and defcribed the treatment which the unpopular candidate experienced at the election, as well as that fhewn to the churchwardens, &c. who are difliked by the people. It appeared, that the voters were attacked by the popu lace, who "fpencered" them, i. e. cut off their fkirts, &c.

After fome further remarks from different Members, the motion was agreed to.


A debate took place refpecting the Nottingham Bill, between Mr. Fox and Mr. Bond, in which the former accufed the latter of having taken his tatements refpecting the profanation of religion, &c. from a pamphlet.


On the motion for the third reading of the Nottingham Election Bill, another debate occurred, refpecting the conduct of the Magiftrates, &c.

Mr. H. Browne, Mr. Bond, and Mr. Fox, were the principal fpeakers: but on the question being put, there appeared a majority of 135 for the mo tion: the Bill was confequently paffed.


Lord Clements took the oaths and his feat for Leitrim.

Sir H. Mildmay, on making his motion relative to the proceedings of the new Naval Commiffioners, faid, that it lay with them to thew caufe why they had omitted to furnish the Houfe with information as to the refult of their investigations; particularly as the Act enjoins them to report the progrefs of their inquiries; but befides the powers that it gave them, and which were unlimited, they had affumed that of violating it. When they were clothed, four months fince, with the ftupendous powers of this Act, repeated affertions were made by Minifters and their confidants, of the enormous abuses of the Navy department; but the public gained no information. He then alTuded to a curious circumftance, as a proof of their progrefs, viz. that the Board had refufed to continue the contracts that had for years exifted with Mr. Taylor, for providing blocks;

but finding that no other person would provide them fo cheap, they folicited a renewal of his propofals; which he refufing, the public had fuftained a material injury. He wished to know where was the boafted Navy of fifty fail of the line, that, according to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, could be prepared for fervice in a month; but above all, where were the men? After dwelling for fome time on thefe points, he moved that the Commiffioners do report progrefs, &c.

Sir C. Pole vindicated the conduct of the Board; and faid, they were contantly occupied in their functions from five to feven hours per day.

Captain Markham confidered the attack on the Board extremely unjust as to the reports propagated concerning our Navy, they were not only malevolent, but unfounded; he de clared that we had now a force for any emergency, and far beyond any that the French poffefs: "indeed," said he, "what force do we require to meet fifbing-boats?"

The Chancellor of the Exchequer deprecated the motion, and denied that the Board had given any ground for blame. He infifted, that fifty fail of the line could be prepared within a month after any emergency; and our prefent force was much greater than ever was known at any fimilar period.

Mr. Canning juftified the mover, and obferved on the inconfiftency of Captain M. who faid we had only to meet fithing-boats, while the King's Meffage told us there were many armaments in the ports of France and Holland.

Captain Markham explained, that by the words "fishing-boats," he only fpoke as in profeffional contempt of the Naval Power of France. He had imbibed the term from his earliest day, and Gentlemen knew that failors were not expected to be orators. After fome farther explanations, the motion was withdrawn.

THURSDAY, MAY 5. The Taunton Committee reported, that the fitting Members were duly elected.

A Committee for the Relief of Scotch Schoolmasters agreed, that their falaries fhould be raised from a minimum of 100 to 200 Scotch marks, and from a maximum of 300 to 400.

Mr. Calcraft's motion for the release of J. Simpfon, Mayor of Grimsby, was negatived, it being proved, that instead


of this man being poor and deftitute, he is now building an elegant house, &c.

On the proceeding of the Clergy Refidence Bill, Sir W. Scott propofed a claufe which gives the Rector a leave of abfence for three months: this was ftrenuously oppofed by the Attorney. General; after which

Sir W. Scott entered into an hiftorical vindication of the whole of the Bill. A divifion enfued, by which an amendment of fix weeks, propofed by the Attorney-General, was loft, and the original claufe adopted.

FRIDAY, MAY 6. RUPTURE WITH FRANCE. The Chancellor of the Exchequer faid, that on Monday (to which day he thould move an adjournment) he confidently expected to be authorized to lay before the Houfe a Meffage from the Throne. He then tated the fact of the intended departure of the Ambaffadors; adding, that, according to probability, Lord Whitworth had quit ted Paris fome days fince; and concluded with his motion.

Mr. Fox oppofed the adjournment on the fame principle as Lord Spencer in the Upper House.

Lord Hawkesbury faid, that no official communication could be made previous to Lord Whitworth's arrival, which could not happen before tomorrow evening.

Mr. Grey thought Minifters laboured under too great a refponfibility to fuffer an adjournment of three days, and moved the amendment of "To.mor


Mr. Canning fpoke to the fame purpole as Mr. Grey.

The Secretary at War faw no reason for the House to fit on an unusual day, because the French Ambaffador had demanded paffports.

After a long difcuffion, during which the galleries were cleared, the original motion was carried by a large majority.


After fome private business,

The Chancellor of the Exchequer craved the indulgence of the Houfe, and made the fame apology for deferring his communication as that adduced by Lord Pelham in the House of Peers.

No reply or oppofition whatever was made to his addrefs.


The Kirkcudbright Committee reported, that P. Heron, Efq. the fitting Member, was not duly elected; but that M. Stewart, Efq. was duly elected.

After fome debate on the Coroners* Bill, refpecting the emoluments, of which many Members were of very oppofite opinions, a division took place on an amendment for reading it this day fix months; the refult of which was, that the Bill was thrown out.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer moved to adjourn all Election Cominittees after Thursday: he obferved, that 15 Committees had already been ap pointed, and given their decifions; 350 Members had ferved on thefe Committees, 50 had not yet taken their feats, and 40 were petitioned against: adding to these the vacant feats, there would remain only about 135 Members who could be expected to fit on future Committees. After the Committees to be appointed on Thurfday, there would remain no more than 105 or 106 Members for the others.

Mr. Cooper opposed this motion, on the ground that the delay might occa fion improper perfons to retain their feats for two Seffions.

After fome obfervations from Mr.

Fox against the motion, the Chancellor withdrew it.

On the progrefs of the Clergy NonRefidence Bill, Sir W. Scott propofed as an amendment, that the exemption fhould extend to beneficed Clergymen being Chancellors of Diocefes, Vicars General, and Surrogates. After fome converfation, the Houfe divided on this claufe-Ayes 47, Noes 14.

Another debate arofe on an amendment, that the Minor-Canons of Cathedrals should be exempted, which was agreed to.


An order was made for a return of

all Freeholders of the refpective Counties of Ireland.

Mr. Fitzgerald wished that the provifions of the Bill for preventing vexatious arrelts could be extended to Ireland; which might be done by the infertion of a few words.

The Eaft India Volunteers and Lunatic Eltate Bills were read a third time, and paffed.

In the progress of the Irish Courts of Law Bill, many objections were made to the claufe which grants a compenfation not exceeding 3000l. to perfons


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On the motion of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Bill for affording Facilities to Mercantile Tranfactions was ordered to be taken into confideration on Monday.

Much argumentation arofe on the Clergy Bill, relative to the repairing of Parfonage-houses.


The Attorney-General moved to bring in a Bill to indemnify thofe who have been inftrumental in executing the orders of Council relative to the prohibition of the exportation of Naval Stores: he stated the circumftances which led to the prohibition; which were, that application having been made by the Danifh Amballador to permit the exportation of corn to Norway, permiffion was granted: but advantage being taken of the liberty, the exportation was reftrained. The fame advantage had been taken with refpect to the exportation of falt-petre, which led to the fame confequences; though he admitted the prohibition was illegal.

Mr. Coke oppofed the Bill, confidering it as one of patronage: he complained that the landed intereft had been neglected by Ministers.

Mr. Fox thought, that unless a general law was provided for the exportation of corn, the Houfe could not judge on the fubject. He cenfured the proceeding as injurious to our agricul


Leave was given to bring in the Bill.

FRIDAY, MAY 13. The Militia Relief and Irish Courts of Law Bill, were read a third time, and paffed.

Lord Gower moved, that the Houfe should not adjourn till Monday. Al luding to the proceedings of laft Friday, he noticed, that the conjectures of the following day had been in contradiction to all the "conjectures and probabilities" of Ministers; and thought his prefent motion warranted by the hourly expectation of important intelligence.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer oppofed the object of the motion, and thought Lord G. had been ill-advifed with respect to it; as to its form, it was

quite unparliamentary. He peremptorily denied the affertion respecting the intelligence of Saturday contradicting the conjectures of Minifters; but admitted that his opinion of Lord Whitworth having left Paris originated from the application made by General Andreoffi for paffports. During the week, new occurrences had taken place to caufe delay; but he begged to abstain from any explanation on the fubject. As to the motion," he was convinced that there was no probability of any arrival in the course of Saturday which would enable Minifters to make a formal communication." He should therefore oppofe it.

Mr. Canning obferved, that the Minifter had not stated, with fufficient precifion, what was the nature of the intelligence on which he would found his long-promifed communication.

The Chancellor, in reply, observed, that a communication from the Throne to Parliament can be founded on only one of two circumstances-the fatiffactory fettlement of the pending dif ferences between the two countries on the one hand, or, on the other, the actual arrival of Lord Whitworth in London.

Mr. Grey oppofed the delay, on the ground that the intelligence might ar rive to-night or to-morrow. He ob. ferved, that feveral Members knew of the ftoppage of Lord Whitworth while Minifters were in total ignorance of the circumftance; and thought it too much to keep the Nation fo long in a state of fufpence,

After fome further converfation, Lord Gower withdrew his motion. MONDAY, MAY 16.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer prefented a Mellage from his Majesty, informing them of the unfuccessful termination of the difcuffions, &c. *; was ordered to be taken into confideration on Monday next.


In a Committee on the fubject of the Meffage relative to Mercantile Traníactions, the Chancellor of the Exchequer faid, it was propofed to make confiderable alterations in the rates of duties. Thofe on wine would be augmented 30s. per pipe on its importation in London and all the ports in the kingdom; the duty on fkins and furs would be increased, as well as those on

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