Слике страница
PDF
ePub

make the complaint the object of a mons did not appoint a comunittee of specific motion at some future pe- their own for the purpose of investiriod. The Speaker addressed ihe gating the complaints of the petition,

e neither the petitioners nor the country house in refutation of the charge of:

" would be satisfied. The honourable partiality.

gentleman had thought fit to attribute - Mr. Canning afterwards moved a improper motives to the petitioners, vote of approbation of the upright, because they had not addressed themable, and impartial conduct of Mr. selves to the secretary of state before Abbot, in the chair, and it was car- applying to that bouse. But he thought ried with the solitary negative of

ive of that 'the business had been quite long Mr. Tierney.

enough in the hands of government. It

was first brought forward in 1799, since Thursday, March 17.

which nothing had been done to redress * Mr. Sumner moved that the reports

those grievances complained of, and he of the grand jury, who in February exa

did not wonder that those who were mined Cold Bath Prison, as also a re

subjected to them despaired of obtainport of a committee of the magistrates

ing auy relief from that quarter. Neiof the county, on the same subject, tha

me subject, ther was he astonished at the objecshould be referred to a committee ap- tions which had been started to the pointed by government, to inquire into

• appointment of a committee of the the petition complaining of abuses in

u house of Cominons by Mr. Perceval,

house tbat gaol.

aware, as he niust be, of what would . Mr. Perceval thought that the busi

be the result of a public investigation. ness should be left in the first instance

Restricted, as were the powers of the to government, though he had no ob

former commission, because it had no jection to the motion. .

authority to make retrospective inquiry, Sir F. Burdett confessed, that he

and, notwithstanding the long warning stood in the predicament of differing in

and time which had been given to the sentiment with those who had spoken

gaoler to prepare for their inquiry, it upon the subject. In the first place,

appeared from the report then made, he protested against the doctrine of

that he had set at nought the regulations

the har Icaving the grievances of the people to of be redressed by what one honourable the laws. And by the late report of the

of the magistrates, and the autbority of gentleman had pompously denominated

members of the grand jury, it appeared His Majesty's government, or in other that the vrison

that the prison weights were short of the words, by the administration of the lecol

ne legal standard--that innocent men were day. The honourable gentleman who confined in irons--that the quoler vas in had brought forward the present mo

the habit of whipping and beating the tion, seemed to entertain the most per

prisoners by his own authoritythat he verse notions of the nature of the peti

was in the hatit of borrowing money, tion which it was possible to enter into and accepting bribes from the prisoners, the head of man. A petition presented or, as the report expressed it-that to that house praying for a redress of the wrisoners had found out the secret of grievances on the part of the people, he suiting their proposals to the wants of had construed into a charge against the the governor.' The honourable baronet magistrates of the county, and the only said also, that he should be able to prove reason he adduced for inquiring into something respecting the governor's the matter of the petition was the vin- daughters, which, till proof is brought dication of the characters of these ma

na- in support of the allegation, we shall gitrates. He contended on the con- forbe

forbear to state. He concluded with trary, that the petition had nothing to expressing a hope, that the house would do with the characters of the magis- interfere

S of the magis, interfere in a business which was at all crates of the county, and that if any of times inportant, but which was partithe magistrates wero implicated, it cularluso

cularly so at the present time. was the committee, at the head of Mr: Mellish spoke in favour of the which was Mr. Mainwaring, and whose motion, and denied several of the duty it was to superintend the due charges which had been brought against execution of the regulations for the Governo

e Governor Aris. management of the prison. He was Mr. Sumner's motion was then agreed convinced, that if the house of Com- to.

Mr. Sumner then moved that a report to which miserable wretches were con made by the grand jury in February fined, excluded from air and common last, on the state of the prison, should light, and he never could have known he laid before the committec.

or suspected these facts but from some Mr. Sheridan contended that he was private intelligence he had received reborne out in saying, that the second specting a prisoner of the name of report of the grand jury corroborated Jones, whose situation bad been der generally the complaint of abuses con- scribed to him, and when he asked for tained in the petition which he had him, the jailor and turnkey seemed formerly presented. He then alluded surprised he should have known of his to the case of the foreigner mentioned being there. On his being brought in that petition, and contended that out, he found him with his lead bound there was every reason to suppose that up, and in a very emaciatert state. He the severe treatment he had met with said, that Mr. Aris had beaien him, had occasioned his insanity.

which Aris did vot deny, but said he Mr. Sumner said, that this foreigner would creat every felbow so who should .. had been taken up as a spy, and cove behave with the insolence that the pria fined under the provisions of the alien souer had donc. He thought the house act.

was bound to consider the mischiefs Sir F. Burdett was of opinion, that of this new mode of imprisonment; even though a committee should be and what effect such a system must appointed, no report of theirs could produce in the minds of the people if clear the character of Aris, the jailor, it were allowed to be persisted in. He who had himself confessed inany of the would therefore submit to the house to enormities of which he had been guilty, take into its consideration what was Indecd be doubted whether tlie super- the best mode of aineliorating the pitiintendence and investigation of any able condition of these poor and miscro committee whatever could prevent able creatures, who were pining in abuses in a prison só constructed, these abodes of wretchedness and woe, where there were at least 300 cells, and hitherto without pity and without rewhere all their wretched inhabitants dress. were subject to the caprice of the Mr. Perceval was of opinion, that it jailor. It was the very nature and coną was not the business nor the province stitution of the prison which he chieffy of the house to appoint the officers who found fault with. It had been first were to have the direction and actual erected upon the plan recommended management of the prisoners. He con. by the late Mr. Howard ; but the exe sidered that this fell under the jurise perirent had completely failed of suc. diction of the magistrates for the county cess. There appeared to him some of Middlesex. Notwithstunding the thing astonishing in the protection allegations which had been thrown out which hung about Aris, He knew it to against the conduct of Mr. Aris, noi be a fact, thut that man had been a fucts were brought forward to prove that collector of parochial tures for a cere he exceeded the due bounds of his authotain parish, and that having become a rity, or the practice usually observed in defauller, he had been recommended by the treatment of the prisoners; on the that parish to fill the situation which he contrary, it was not to be denied that now held, from the hope that he would the governor hud shewn every act of thus he able to make good the sums in kindness and good treatment towards which he had been deficient. Such was them, thut was coinpatible with his situ. the man to whoin the reform of two ation! He therefore thought that there or three hundred individuals had been were not sufficient facts before the house entrusted. But the principal object to justify it to appoint a commitlee to which he should have in view in all enquire into the grievances complained discussions on this subject, would be of, but that the better mode would be to put an end, if possible, to that scan. to appoint commissioners for that pur. dalous, and absurd species of solitary pose. imprisonmeni exemplified in this prison, Sir F. Burdett, in explanation, said. and which was so inconsistent with the that the grierances complained at, and free spirit of our constitution. He so necessary to be redressed, did not himself had visited it three or four full so properly under the inspection of times before lie discovered the dungeons

n commission as that of a committee of bill, after a division of 73 tỏ 30, the huuse.

was read'a third time and passed. Ford Fölkstone saw much reason for Counsel was heard in support of appointing a coinmittee in preference ton commission, and he trusted the the Loudon, Liverpool, and Manhouse would be also of this opinion, and - chester petitions against the orders that the hon. baronet (Sir F. Burdett) in council; and Messrs. Paliner, would be one of the committee.

Glenning, and Bell were examined Mr. Wilberforce could not form any in support of the allegations cone, particular judgment respecting the real tained in them.--The further examiexistence of the grievances complained

nation was deterred till Tuesday, of, from the general arguments which were advanced in proof of their reality.

Adjourned to Monday. It was, however, possible they did ex

Monday, March 21. ist ; 'yet he could not belp doubting of Mr. Baring alluding to what had the truth of the charges which were fallen from Mr. Rose on a former brought againgst the governor of the night, that the export trade of this prison. On the whole a commission, country had increased, instead of appointing well qualified persons to ju- be

being diminished, by the orders in spect the prison and to report, seemed · to him preferable to a committee of the council; moved, for the purpose of house.

ascertaining this fact, that there be Mr. W. Smith thought that there was laid before the house an account of something very mysterious in the ma- the real value of all merchandize nagement of the concerns of the prison, exported from Great Britain from and he believed that it was owing to the 10th, of October 1307, to the party feeling that Mr. Aris was at this

15th. of March, 1808, distinguishmonient the governor of that place. He thought a committee infinitely prefer. ing the port froin whence exported. able to a commission to carry the in- Mr. Rose denied that he had said quiry into effect.

the exports had increased.He had Mr. Brand spoke in recommendation only said they were greater in the of a commitcee.

9 weeks prior to the issuing of the Mr Sheridan having restated that no orders than in the corresponding 9 steps had been taken in consequence of

weeks of the preceding year. He the report of the commission, and having mentioned that a poor man of the "

he had no objection to the motion, nanie of Dickie was now in prison, and which was agreod to, was likely to continue so for life, for

COPENIAGEN. damages given against him for a libel Mr. Shurpe rose, and said that on Mr. Aris, notwithstanding the facts the public had a right to call for stater in the commissioners' report, the most ample information respect. moved, that thic petition on the table

e ing the actual hostility of Denmark be referred to a select committee. Mr. Perceval opposed the motion.

to this country, which had induced Mr. Whitbread contended that there his Majests to forbear and abstain did exist sufficient grounds for the sus. from hostilities until the very last pension of Mr. Aris from his office, on moment. At least the country had account of the grievous complaints a inost unquestionable right to learn which were preferred against liin. He the

He the grounds upon which such idea supported the appointment of a com

of hostility had been founded. Mimittee of enquiry...

The question was then called for; and, nister's had captured the Danish the house divided, when there appeared ships and the arsenal with stores. For the committen 50 Against it 75.. That was an important fact, but it

Friday, March 18. 'in was a libel on the people to refuse Cols Stanley presented a petition to show the grounds on which minifrom Manchester, having nearly sters justified such an act. The peus 50,000 signatures.

ple had a right to know why we had The Peruvian 'bark prohibition bombarded the capital of a nation,

with which we were in a state of Whitbread's acrimony -and invecstrict neutrality. He denied that tive, tending to the degradation of ministers had any genuine informa- the ministry, whom he was always tion in regard to the immediate or caluin niating most forcibly, and apultimate views of Denmark; and plauding the wisdom and vigilance that they had acted upon, a most of Bonaparte.' He should profit by wild and vague presumption that the hon. gentleinan's precepts but Denmark was driven into hostility disdain his example. The house din against this country. He contend- vided-For the motion 64 ; against ed that 'there was no shadow of it 924.-Majority 161. Mr. Wortevidence to the contrary and if there tey then moved a vote of approbawas, ministers would readily pro- tion of the conduct of ministry with duce it in their exculpation. He respect to the Copenhagen expedithen descanted forcibly upon the in- tion. The previous question on this ability of Denmark to enter into a was moved and negatived.—They war with Great Britain, urging at then divided on Mr. W's. motion the same time that ministers were Ayes 216, noes 61.Majority 155. fully apprised of that inability, and [For an account and Remarks on also of the disinclination of Den- the above debate, see Polit. Review, mark to enter into such a struggle. p. xlim---xlix.]. All that ministers had got by the

Tuesday, March 22. '" expedition was 16 hulls of ships of Sir C. Pole, after stating the comwar,' valued at 81. a ton. After mission of King William in favour some further remarks, the bon. gen- of Greenwich Hospital, and the tleman concluded a speech ihat clause in the charier granted by his lasted two hours and a half, by mo- present Majesty, stipulating that'no ying a long address to his Majesty, officers should be employed about condemnatory of the conduct of his the hospital, unless they were seaministers in regard to the expedition faring men, or men who had been to Copenhageu.

disabled in the service, moved an MIr. Wortley moved a negative to address to his Majesty, 'beseeching the address, and proposed a vote of hiin to order that the charter should thanks to his Majesty's ministers. in future be strictly ácted up to..

Mr.W.Orde supported the notion, Mr. Perceval approved of the inand said he was astonished that nol- tention of the hon. member, but withstanding the ministers had been doubted the adequacy of the proposo often called upon to give some sition now made to secure the ends proof of lhe disposition of Denmark in view. He therefore moved that in favour of France, the house was the offices of surveyor, auditor, orstill left without a shadow of evi- ganist, and brewer, be excepted dence with respect to their hostile from the general rule; that with attack on Copenhagen.

these exceptions no landsmen 'be Mr. Whitbread in a long and im- competent to hold a situation' in pressive speech supported the mo- Greenwich 'hospital, unless, after tion of Mr. Sharpe, and censured previous advertisement, no seaman all the conduct of ministers in re- properly qualified should offer; and gard to Copenhagen which he con- that an address be presented to his demned in 1010.-Why, he asked Majesty, praying him to alter the according to the new morality, were charter accordingly. This was unathey so sbabby in their iniquity ? nimously agreed to. : Why did they not seize the flotilla of liednesday, March 23.. Sweden ??.... . te 9.1! ! 6 Col. Longfield presented a peti

Mr. Canning complained of Mr. tion from Cork against the orders in

council.- Ordered to lie on the la- man reported progress, and obtained ble. Farther evidence was adduced leave to sit again on Tuesday. in the petitions against the orders in . Friday, March 25. council.

The Attorney General brought in : Thursday, March 24. a bill to amend the act of the 26th.

Evidence was beard on the petin of the King, touching informations tions against the orders in council, and indictments filed in England which being concluded so far as the against persons resident in Scotland, petitioners are concerned, the chair- &c. also concerning the transfer of

bail bonds. Read a first time.

ORIGINAL CORRESPONDENCE.

REMARKS ON A PAPER, PUB- in the North of Germany, in the LISHED IN THE MONTHLY MA- year 1806, and which the narrator GAZINE, RESPECTING THE' is said to have been an eye witness EXCESSES OF THE FRENCH of. I cannot refrain from making ARMIES, IN THE NORTH one or two extracts as a specimen OF GERMANY.

of the whole.

" It is well known, that the To the Editor of the Political Review. French soldiers have a standing per

In the few lines which I am about mission, in an enemy's country, to to address to you, it is by no means take any provisions, or any money my intention to take part in the they can get at : hence, they have controversy between your corresnot the leust idea, that, in plunderdondent J. S, and yourself : your ing, they commit un act of injustice. readers have no doubt, already After having ransacked a house, formed their opinion upon that sub- broken open every drawei, cupject. I mean to advert only to a board, &c. we are informed, they curious paper, quoted by J.S. (Pol. descend into the cellar, where their Rev, p. 42) in support of his heavy " science,"* is exerted in the followcharges against the conduct of the ing manner. French Emperor, and the profligacy “ If any part of the ground appear of bis soldiers.

uneven, it is dug up immediately; This paper, which your corres, but when even that is not the case, pondent refers to in support of his they ascertain by the following exbad opinion of the French, appeared periment ---whether the ground or in the Monthly Magazine* for Den flooring of the cellar has recently cember 1807, and is said to have been dug up? They cast water upon been communicated by a person of different places, and observe whethe highest respectability, lately are ther it be absorbed in one place rived from the continent. It informs ' quicker than another ; wheresoever the public of numberless atrocities committed by the French soldiers * On the excesses detailed in this pa

per, J. S. makes the following reflection. * That a paper of this description ir Plunder is reduced to a system, and should be the leading article of a num science made the instrument of villany.** ber of the Monthly Magazine, is a I conjecture J. S. was led to the use of striking and sorrowful proof of the great these tertns, in imitation of the writer falling off, in that once intelligent and from the North of Germany. Vide the deservedly popular publication. words in Italic, in the above extraci.

« ПретходнаНастави »