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in which he was to bring forward his fpecific charges be poftponed to Friday fe'nnight.
Major Gilpin was then called to the bar, and went through an examination of confiderable length on the subject of the Princeffes of Oude.-Adjourned.
Mr. Dempster moved several refolutions for placing light-houfes in certain parts of the coafts in the North Seas, which he flated to be of the utmost importance to the safety of the navigation in many places on the coaft of Scotland, where veffels were frequently loft for the want of fuch lights.The refolution paffed nem. con.
The House then went into a further confideration of the whale fishery bill.
Mr. Huffey animadverted at fome length on the importance of that fishery, not only as an article of commerce, but as a nursery of feamen for manning our navy, and, as fach, deferving every encouragement. He was of opinion, that inftead of diminishing the bounty formerly given, it ought to have been increafed at any rate; that the fum now proposed of 30s. per ton was by far too fmall; he would therefore, if the House should be of the fame opinion with him, propose a fmall addition to that bounty.
Mr. Jenkinfon objected to any alteration of the bounty in the prefent ftage of the bufinefs. It had already paffed the Committee, and the report had been received.
Mr. Thornton fpoke a few words in favour of an additional bounty.
The bill was then read with amendments, and passed.
The Houfe was next refolved into a Committee of Ways and Means, when Mr. Pitt propofed to the Committee, that an additional duty of one penny per pound be impofed on all hair-powder manufactured in Great-Britain.
The refolution passed.
The House refolved itself into a Committee of the whole Houfe to confider further of the fupply granted to his Majefty. Refolved, That 6,500l. be granted to his Majefty for purchafing certain lands in the Ifland of St. Vulcent's-6,3561. for compleating the purchase of the Bahama Islands -62,059l. 55. to make good the money ilued to American fufferers-8,7501. 145. to pay fees on the receipt of 150,000l. granted laft feffion for American loyalifts 2,4261. gs. for the paffage of Mr. Dundas and Mr. Pemberton, Commiffioners for American Claims, to Nova Scotia 16,0611. 16s. 3d. to difcharge bills drawn on the Treafury by the Governor of Nova-Scotia, New Brunswick, &c. and for other purpofs 21,5601. gs. 7d. for the expence of maintaining convicts on the River Thames oool. to replace that fum flued to the Sc
cretary of the Commissioners of Public Ac
Mr. Burke faid, that on confideration of what had fallen from the Right Honourable Chancellor of the Exchequer, he had adopted the mode recommended by him, and inftead of preffing the House to a general vote of impeachment on the whole of the charges against Mr. Haftings, as had formerly been his intention, he fhould propofe a feparate queftion on each several article of charge, and then move for a refolution of impeachment grounded on them all. That he should begin on Tuesday fe'nnight with the Rohilla war.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer present❤ ed the bill for transferring certain duties on wines from the Customs to the Excife; which being read a first time, was ordered to be printed.
Mr. Sheridan rofe to make his promised motion for the printing of the bill imposing a tax on perfumery goods. The practice of printing bills was but of late date, not above ten or twelve years. Some perfons had pretended to argue againft the printing of tax bills on the fame principle that had induced the Houfe on all occafions to refift the fuffering evidence or counfel to be heard against them to prevent the House on occafion of every new tax from being embarraffed by the applications of thofe who, whether the tax was a good or bad one, would be fure, from motives of private intereft, to give it every oppofiti n. Was it, faid he, le's neceffary for the Houfe to underftand the principles of a tax bill than one of an ordinary nature? Here he argued to the experience of the Houfe-that it had always been remarkable that tax bills of all others required the greatest alterations and amendments in every fubfequent feffion. He drew a humorous title for a bill to remedy the defects of former bills, which he faid was often found nearly to copy the words of the school-bo.'s tale of This is the houfe that Jack built. First came a bill inpoting a tax-th-n came a bill to amend that bill-next a bill to explain the bill that next a bill to remedy the defects of the bill that explained the bli that amended the bill. and fo on, he faid, ad infinitum. He compared the tax bills to a thip built in the dock, which every voyage difcovered a new fault, and was obliged repeatedly to be brought into dock to be repaired-first it was to be caulked, then to be new ribbed, again to be careened, and generally at length to be broke up and rebuilt.
amended the bill
When the laugh occafioned by this ftatement bed fubfided, Mr. Sheridan proceeded to point out feveral abfurdities in the tax bills which had been lately paff d, and which, he cantended, might all . ve been avoided, if the bills, by being printed, had
been fubmitted to a full and public difcuf fion. In the horse tax bill, for instance, there was a claufe which required a stamp to be placed, not indeed on the animal, but on fome part of his accoutrements. This claufe, on a little confideration, had been abandoned. There was, however, inferted another fo abfurd, that it was never carried into execution; he meant the clause by which it was enacted, that the numbers and names of all the horses in each parish should be affixed on the church door! The churchwardens were alfo required by the fame act to return lifts of the windows within their diftricts to the Commiffioners of Stamps-for the purpofe of detecting those who had not entered their horfes. If horfes were in the habit of looking out at windows, this might poffibly have been a prudent and judicious regulation; but under the prefent circumftances there was fome little occafion for wonder how thefe ideas came to be affociated in the minds of thofe who framed the bill; unless it was that they wished to fink the bufinefs of legiflation into contempt, even with thofe who were appointed to carry the laws into execution. A happy encouragement to fmuggling was given in the act which enjoined the ftaving of all fpirits that fhould be feized: as confumers must be again fupplied, the fmugglers were emboldened to proceed in their business, and, be prefumed to say, drank in grateful libations the health of the Minifter which framed the bill, with three times three.
In fact, every bill of the prefent adminiftration had gone through as many transformations as the infect in its progiels to become a butterfly; and every one of them afforded a fubftantial argument for the neceflity of his present motion.
He next condemned the propofed tax on perfumery; and enumerating the articles of lavender, milk of roles, &c. faid that the Commiffioners in diftinguishing the various particulars of taxation, must be gifted by nature with the nofes of pointers; and then, alluding to Parliament, quoted the following paffage from Pope's Rape of the Lock: "Our humble province is to tend the fair, Not a lefs plafing, tho' lefs glorious care; To fave the powder from too rude a gale, "Nor let th' imprifon'd effences exhale." Mr. Sheridan concluded by moving, "That the bill relative to a tax on perfumery be printed."
Mr. Rofe faid, he had no particular objection to the motion, but thought it was illtimed, and would be of very little fervice.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer expreffed himself happy that the days of taxation were nearly at an end, as the revenue of the country was confiderably improved. If any good could be derived from the prefent mosion, he would not oppofe it; but from a
consciousnefs of its futility, he was of opi
Mr. Beaufoy and fome others fpoke, after
Ballotted for a Committee to try the merits of the Carlisle petition.
The House went into a Committee on the Perfumery bill. Mr. Sheridan, Mr. Hussey, Mr. Courtenay, Lord Surrey, and Mr. Fox, feverally spoke against certain clauses in this bill, which in their opinion were not only abfurd, but even oppreffive in fo high a degree, that prefeription could not foften them, or plead in their favour; particularly that provifion which invefted the Excife with power to enter at pleasure into the House of the subject, and to examine at will fuch and fuch places, and to force the purchase of ftamps.
Mr. Rofe contended, that this clause had for precedent the fourth of George II. On which the House divided, for the clause 45: against it 15; majority 30.
Mr. Sheridan, with others, infifted that the penalty of 100l. in default of felling any article without the ftamp was too high, which gave birth to the fecond divifion for the 100l. penalty: for it 37 ; against it 18; majority 21. Some new claufes were received, and the blanks filled up.
Mr. Rofe, Mr. Dundas, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and the Attorney-General, &c. fpoke in favour of the original clauses
Mr. Rose presented a bill for better fecuring the duties on starch. As foon as it was read the first time,
Mr. Sheridan obferved, that any gentleman who attended the Committee of vefterday, would be convinced of the neceffity of printing tax bills; he therefore moved, that the bill for regulating the duty on starch be printed.
Mr. Pitt oppofed the motion.
The question was then called for, and the gallery cleared; but it was given up without dividing.
The metlage from the Lords being read, for the production of fuch papers and documents as they required from the Commons, to confider of the means of the public revenue whereby they are enabled to appropriate one million annually for the reduction of the national debt,
A motion was made, "that a message be fent to the Lords, to acquaint their Lordships that the Commons have taken their Lordfhips' meffage of Tuesday, relating to the bill for vefting certain fums in Commiffioners towards discharging the national debt, into confideration; but conceive that it has not been the practice of Parliament, for either House to defire of the other the information
on which they have proceeded in paffing any bill, except where fuch information has related to facts ftated in fuch bill as the ground and foundation thereof; and that the Commons think this reafon fufficient for not giving, at this time, any further answer to their Lorships' meffage."
Mr. Fox did not approve of an anfwer in fuch general terms; he argued that their Lordships, who were to confirm by their affent the funding bill, fhould, in order to guide their decifions, be furnifhed with matter to convince them that the public means were adequate to fupport this measure; and if they did not fee the report of the CommitIce upon which this matter was grounded, they had no pofitive proof before them, whether the public were equal, or not, to the propofed measure.
Mr. Grenville made fome obfervations on the mode by which the public would be enabled to fupport this fyftem in future, and then the motion was affented to by the Houfe. On the third reading of the bill for repealing certain claufes in the late India bill, and for regulating the judicature of India,
Mr. Fox rofe, not he faid to oppofe the bill in this late ftage, but to enter his proteft against it. It met with his diffent as eftablishing a judicature anomalous and unknown to the conftitution, and as doing little where much was to be done-as repealing but a fmall part where nearly the whole was objectionable. On the prefent occafion he did not rife to argue, but to proteft; but he could not but obferve, that minifters in removing the claufes which were repealed by the prefent act, he fhewn on what flight grounds they proceeded to the most desperate measures. The compulfion on gentlemen returning from India to make a full difclofure of their effects, if not juftified by ftrong neceffity, was a piece of tyranny, for infance, unexampled in the hiftory of legiflation. That neceffity, it appeared from their prefent conduct, did not exift; and from that conduct it was plainly to be inferred, that no confidence could be placed in an adminiftration, which from flight caufes could proceed to fuch dangerous innovations.
Mr. Dundas defended his conduct in introducing the prefent bill. The Right Hon. Gentleman, he obferved, had himfelf alledged that fome change in the former bill was neceffary. The alteration was now produced, and before his objections were made, he ought first to have tated why, in the courfe of two years, he had not introduced fomething better himself. The repeal of a claufe enforcing the difclofure of property was occafioned, he faid, not by any conviction of its impropriety, but merely on account of the difguft which it had occafioned
Mr. Fox replied, that it was a strange mode of reafoning to fay, that a perfon who EUROP. MAC,
was not in the habit of bringing bills into that Houfe, fhould, by omitting to bring in a billon any subject, be thereby disqualified from ftating his objections to what was brought forward.
Mr. Grenville faid, it was imagined that the claufe refpecting the difclosure of property would not have occafioned any difcontent, as it afforded gentlemen returning from India an opportunity to exempt themselves from calumny and reproach. He mentioned the conduct of Lord Macartney as a proof of the juftice of this obfervation.
The Speaker put the question, when the bill paffed without a divifion; and Mr. Dundas was ordered to carry it up to the Lords.
The Houfe then refolved itself into a Committee on the militia bill, when feveral amendments were made; after which the Houfe adjourned.
Mr. Gilbert, in a fhort speech, ftated the immediate neceffity, in many points of view, of revifing the poor laws, which, he faid, fhould be the fubject of another motion, to which the one he was about to make was only preparatory. He therefore moved for leave to bring in a bill for the purpose of requiring the overleers and churchwardens to make im mediate returns in each of their respective parishes of the charitable donations thereto bequeathed, from time to time, within a certain number of years therein named.
Mr. Dempster conceived, that the order of the Houfe was fufficient for this purpose, independent of an act.
The Speaker thought so too.
Mr. Hulley could not affent to the motion, unless he knew the object of it. In his opi nion, it fell little fhort, in every respect, of the bill for the difclofure of private property.
Lord Beauchamp conceived the motion to be a very proper one. In his opinion, is carried the object in the face of it; it was no torious, that public charities were made a job of, infomuch that they were become in that fenfe proverbial-He did not doubt but the order of the House was in itself sufficient; but left it should not prove fo, he did not fee the harm of paffing a bill that might enforce the command of the House in this particular, which in his idea was not unworthy of their attention; as he did not doubt, on ex mination, things would appear in this line much to their furprize, and far beyond their conception.
Mr. Gilbert faid, as to the object of the bill, it was to fee how far the perions entrusted with charitable legacies had fulfilled the will of the donor, as many things had come to his knowledge, that urged him to the enqui ry in queflion; but that when the bill fhould be printed, it would, in his opinion, meet the approbation of every bofom that could fympathize with the diftreffed, or that wished
to redrefs the cause of the injured, unable to procure redress in any other mode fo speedily, and perhaps, above all, fo effe&tually.
The Matter of the Rolls agreed not only in the propriety, but in the humanity of thofe -Charitable donations were in
creafed, if his information was right, above two-thirds, within the last thirty years; he therefore wished to give every fuccour to the bill, which, in his opinion, it was entitled to, in every fenfe.
On the introduction of the Greenland Fishery bill, a fhort converfation took place betwixt Mr. Sheridan and Mr. Jenkinson in point of order, which the Speaker decided. After which,
Mr. Huffey infifted, that this bill gave immediate employment to a multitude of the poor, which ought to be the first object in every well regulated flate; he then pointed out the many advantages that would arife from the continuance of the bounty on / this fishery, as a nursery, or rather academy for our feamen, whom a noble Lord (Mul grave) gave the preference to, in point of skill and hardine fs. The principal arguments urged on this fubject in a former debate, were recapitulated in this.
Mr. Dempiter argued very ftrenuously against the diminution of the bounty, which he reprefented as trifling, in comparison to the profits that refulted from it. In the account of this trade, the whalebone was left out, he obferved, which brought in a very large fum, as he was well informed, by Mr. Fall, of Dunbar. He infifted, that in the courfe of last year, the quantity of oil or blubber imported, amounted to above 10,000 tons, one half of which came from Greenland; with many other remarks, particularly withing that witneffes might be heard at the bar of the Houfe on the fubject.
Mr. Sheridan fpoke to the fame purpose. Mr. Huffey then moved, that the further confideration of this bahinefs be deferred till this day fe'nnight, on which the Houfe divided, for the motion 36-against it 86. Majority 50.
Mr. Dundas prefented a petition, requeft ing that leave be given to bring in a bill to enable the East India Company to make ufe of their credit, &c.
Mr. Fox objected to the manner in which the bill was werded, as the reafons that gave birth to the requeft, were not fet forth therein.
Mr. Dundas then explained the reafons The Company, in confequence of the commutation act, had been enabled to enlarge their demands beyond their laft eftimate; - with many other reafons which fatisfied the Houfe, The request was granted.
Alderman Watfon prefented a petition from the Wine Trade, requesting to be heard by counfel on the principle of the faid bill
He urged many reafons to fhew that the perfons interested in this bill were little acquainted with the spirit of it, and that he thought fome time ought to be allowed for that purpose.
Mr. Rofe declared, that he had done every thing in his power to diffuse the principle of it; in particular, that on Tuelday lat Mr. Moody, a refpectable wine merchant, had waited on him for that purpose; that he had given him the bill for the direct purpose of fubmitting it to the meeting at the London Tavern.
Mr. Fox, Mr. Sheridan, Mr. Dempster, and Mr. Martin, dwelt on the impropriety of hurrying the bill through the Houfe, which precluded at leaft the neceffary information to those who were mostly interested in it.
The petition was then received, and Counfel ordered to be heard to-morrow on the bill. Alderman Watfon moved, that inftead of to-morrow, Tuesday next be inferted. On which the Houfe divided. For the motion
After which the Houfe proceeded to the remaining claufes of the perfumery bill. Adjourned.
As foon as the Speaker had returned back from the House of Lords, to which the Commons had been fummoned by the Yeoman Ufher of the Black Rod, to attend his Majelty,
The Chancellor of the Exchequer faid, he had just drawn up a motion, which he believ ed would meet the unanimous concurrence of the Houfe; and therefore he would not urge any argument in fupport of it; he then moved that the Speaker be requested to order the fpeech which he had this day made to his Majesty at the bar of the House of Lords, on prefenting the new Sinking Fund bill for the Royal Allent to be printed. The motion paffed nem. con.
Upon the order of the day for the fecond reading of the Wine bill,
It was urged by Mr. Fox, Mr. Sheridan, and Lord Beauchamp, that the counfel who had been retained by the wine merchants to oppofe the principle of the bill, had not received any of their inftructions till laft night; and that they had declined appearing at the bar fo early as this day, for this reafon, which they alledged, that it was impoffible for them, in fo fhort a space of time, to prepare themfelves fo, that they should be able to acquit themfelves to their own credit, and the advantage of their employers. That the ground on which they meant to op pofe the bill was not, that it was oppreflive to extend the provifions of the Excife laws; but that fuch was the nature of the wine trade,
that however applicable the Excife laws might be to fpirits or other liquors, they were wholly inapplicable to wine: and in order to make out this pofition, it was neceffary that the Counfel fhould have time to receive ample inftructions relative to all the minutiæ of that trade, which could not poffibly be the cafe in the interval of a few hours.
Mr. Pitt, Mr. Dundas, Mr. Steele, and the Attorney-General, on the other hand, contended, that as notice had been given be fore the Eafter recess, of the Chancellor of the Exchequer's intention to put part of the wine duties under the management of the Board of Excife, the wine-merchants could not be faid to be taken by furprize; on the contrary, they had full time to take the principle into confideration; and if they had neglected fo to do, it was their own, and not the fault of that Houfe; and the more fo, as they had had the bill in their poffeffion for a fortnight. It was alfo thought neceffary that the bill fhould pafs through the Committee before the Whitfuntide recefs, which it could not do, if the second reading fhould be poftponed to Tuesday. Mr. Fox, ftill anxious to procure the delay, offered to bind himself not to debate the principle of the bill till after the fecond reading; Mr. Sheridan made a fimilar offer; and Mr. Pitt feemed willing to gratify them; but as these two gentlemen could bind themfelves only, and not the rest of the Houfe, Mr. Pitt felt him felf obliged to urge the second reading this day. The Houfe accordingly divided on the motion for that purpose; which was carried by a majority of feventy-four. Ayes 110-Noes 26.
The bill was accordingly read; and an order was made that it be committed on Tuefday next.
The Lord Advocate of Scotland moved for the fecond reading of a bill for granting the privileges of British-built fhips to two fhips belonging to a houfe in Glasgow, that were built in Amèrica fince the peace. Mr. Jenkinfon opposed the motion, as it might open the door for too many fimilar applications, and it was loft.
After this, a fhort converfation between Mr. Pitt, Mr. Burke, and Mr. Francis took place on the mode of producing certain papers with respect to the fubject of Mr. Haftings' impeachment; and an order was directed to the Eaft India Directors, to deliver them to the House.
Mr. Burke entertained the Houfe in his reply to the arguments of the Attorney-General, with a ftory that drew forth a general laugh:- He faid the Hon. and learned Gentleman, he believed, poffeffed two forts of law wine; he had fupernaculum for the other Hoafe, whenever he went there; and he had his inferior fort, which he thought would do for fuch uninformed men as himself. He reminded him, he declared, of that Bishop who
fent to his wine-merchant to order a pipe of indifferent Port, as it was for the ufe of his inferior clergy; whereupon the wine-merchant fent him a pipe adapted to his order, accompanied with a note, declaring, that if the Bishop could find a more ind fferent pipe, he would give it his Lordship for nothing. MAY 31.
Mr. J. C. Jervoife, Chairman of the Committee appointed to try the merits of the contefted election for Carlisle, reported to the House, That the Committee had found John Lowther, Efq; was not duly elected; that J. Chriftian, Efq; ought to have been elected and that the faid J. Chriftian is duly elected. Mr. Gilbert prefented his bill for the better regulating of charitable inftitutions, and obliging thofe entrusted with the diftribution of donations, to be refponfible for their conduct in the exercife of the truft repofed in them. The bill was read a first time. When the Speaker was about to read that claufe which empowers the Church-wardens and Overseers of every parish to examine all bills, in order to discover whether or not any fum remained to be applied for the purposes of the institution,
The Attorney-General imagined that the power meant to be granted was too extensive, therefore he fhould oppofe it.
Mr. Gilbert declared that there was an abfolute neceffity for fuch a claufe. Any gentleman who took the trouble to read the bills would, he was convinced, readily concur with him in that opinion. In order, however, to make it more generally understood, he moved that it should be printed. Agreed
The Houfe having refolved itself into a Committee of Ways and Means, the Chancellor of the Exchequer moved feveral refolutions. One was relative to the lottery intended for the next year. The tickets are to be fold at 131. 15s. 6d. The number 50,000. and the fum to be raifed, 688,750l.
The Attorney-General referred to the cafe of Mr. Mortlock, refpecting the names of the Commiffioners of the Land Tax for Cambridge. The report of the Committee was read, and a motion made for discharging the further confideration of the business. The Attorney-General then moved,
That the alteration, now deemed reprehenfible by the House, had been made without the confent or knowledge of Gen. Adeane.
That any breach of a fimilar nature should in future be deemed by the Houfe as highly criminal.
That no alteration should take place without the orders or concurrence of Parliament.
That the proper officers fhould deliver in to the Houfe a correct duplicate of the lift, to be regularly filed, and open for the infpection of any member.
These motions were feverally put, and agreed to. Lila