Imatges de pÓgina
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of a hundred pounds in the reduced, amounting to 871. gs. 6d. the value of which in money is 461. 12s. 34d. The payments are to be made between this and February in four inftalments; and as the public fervice does not require prompt payment, there will be no difcount. In lieu of the difcounts then, there will be a bonus to the contractor of 13s. 4d. making the whole of what he receives 991. 15s. 3d..lefs, by about 4th, than the market price. Since that period stocks have rifen, and the premium on the loan is now 2 per cent. Thus it will appear, that the reasons for poftponing the bargain for the whole loan at the prefent period, were founded in prudence, I fhall detain the committee no longer, but content myself with moving, "that it is the opinion of this com"mittee, that the fum of three millions be raised by way of fannuities."

Sir John Sinclair faid, that he perfectly approved the bars gain which had been made for the public. He only wished to know whether taxes were immediately to be provided for this fum of three millions now to be raised, as had always been the practice on former occafions.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer faid, that what the hon. Baronet had ftated, that it had been customary to provide taxes for the interest of the loan on the fame day the loan was voted, was not historically true. He himself was the firft who introduced that practice, previous to which often a confiderable space elapfed between the vote of the loan, and the provision for the intereft by taxes being stated. The worthy Baronet, however, ought to have recollected for how finall a proportion of the whole loan of 14 millions, it would be necellary to provide permanent taxes. Ten millions of it were intended to be extinguished by the produce of the new measure of finance, which had been propofed. The whole fum, the intereft of which was to be provided, was four millions and a half, fo that though he had called for feven millions more, he would not have been neceffarily called upon to make provifion by taxes for the intereft. He hoped, therefore, he need make no apology for not laying the proposed taxes before the Houfe to day. It would be more conve nient for the House to have the whole at once, when the intereft of the four millions and a half was to be provided.

Sir John Sinclair faid, that both from the hon. Gentleman's practice and the practice of the Houfe, it was natural to expect that the taxes would have been immediately provided.

VOL. I. 1798.

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Sir Francis Burdett faid, he rofe in conformity to the notice he had given the other day, of an intention to bring forward a motion, which, but for the obfervations of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, he fhould at that time have fubmitted to the confideration of the Houfe; and which motion appeared to him ftill to be neceffary. He was fully aware, he faid, how formidable any objection must be, when coming from the Chancellor of the Exchequer, to any meafure whatever in that Houfe; and yet, fuch was the motion he had to fubmit, that he flattered himself with fome hopes of fuccefs. The Houfe was already in poffeffion of the fubftance of the motion he was about to make; and he trusted the House would feel it their duty to fupport a demand fo moderate, and a measure fo effential to its own character and intereft. He thought he might look to the concurrence of all parties in the motion he had to fubmit, unconnected as it was with any party politics, and touching, as it did, the fafety of every individual in the country; he might therefore, under fuch an impreffion, look for the unanimous approbation of the House.

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He was ready to admit that fome perfons might difapprove of the extent of the principles of liberty which he profeffed; and although there might be many men of honeft intentions, who thought that certain principles, of even liberty itself, led to defpotifm, yet he could not conceive that they would oppofe the motion with which he intended to conclude. There might be fome, indeed, whofe minds were fo bafe as to have a predilection for arbitrary power; but he trusted, they would not oppofe the motion he was going to fubmit; because, however right they might think it was for Government to have a certain power for the fake of preferving peace and tranquility, yet it was neceffary, even for them to procure information, for the fake of making men eafy, inftead of keeping them in a state of conftant inquietude; and to fhew that the ftate affords fome protection to its fubjects. He therefore thought he had fome reafon to hope for the fuccefs of his motion even in this view of it.

The whole of the queftion he had to fubmit, lay in a very narrow compafs. That Houfe had judged it fit (and he was not now difputing its judgment) to entrust to the difcretion of the minifters, an extraordinary power, the granting of which could only be juftified from the particular circumftances of the country; a power which ought not to have been granted to any minifter under any circumftances, for a

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day, or hour, or a minute, beyond its actual neceffity. The power to which he alluded, had now been in the hands of minifters for, he believed, the term of four years; it commenced, if he remembered rightly, in 1794: certainly in 1794 or 1795; but he was not fure which. After this length of time the Houfe would hardly think it. too much to demand of the minifter an account of the use that had been made of fuch power. Certainly when the Houfe granted that power, it did not mean that no account whatever thould be given of it. If the House, after looking at the matter gravely, confented to leave the fubjects of this country: naked and defenceless, and open to the attack of uncontrolable power; and if minifters would not give any account of the exercise they have made of that power; if fuch was to be the ftate of things, better would it have been for this country. to have fubmitted quietly to all the arbitrary prerogatives, and affumed power of the Houfe of Stuart; better would it have been that every right should be fubmitted to the Will of the Crown; better would it have been for our ancestors to have preferved their blood in their veins, and not to have fhed it for the principles of a conftitution which were afterwards bafely refigned to, and continued for a time, at the will of the Throne. He thought he fhould be doing an injury to the Houfe to ftate there was any ground of fufpicion that the Houfe would neglect its duty, and therefore he fhould take it for granted, the information he wanted, would be given. Indeed, he thought that minifters themselves would have rendered his motion unneceffary, by laying on the table of the House a lift of thofe on whofe behalf he was going to move. Without introducing, therefore, any extraneous matter, he fhould now move, "That there be laid on the table of this House a lift of the names of the perfons who are detained under and by virtue of an act, entitled, "An act to enable his Majefty to fecure and detain fuch perfons as he fhall fufpect to be confpiring against his perfon and government," and of the prifons in which they have been confined."

The Chancellor of the Exchequer faid, that when on a former day he had thrown out an objection to the intended motion of the hon. Baronet, the principal object of that objection was, that fuch a motion fhould not be permitted to pass by unnoticed merely as a motion of course, and in that light only did he then object to it; and, had he not now reafons in his own mind for not oppofing it, he would not, perhaps,

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from the explanations offered by the hon. Baronet, and from the grounds upon which the motion was fupported, be fo eafily inclined to give it his affent. Indeed, on whatever grounds the motion might have been brought forward, he had no difficulty in saying, that the act fo pointedly alluded to by the hon. Baronet, had been productive of the most falutary confequences, and therefore it was matter of much serious confideration whether it were fafe to lay afide its operation. As to the ufe made of it by Government, they did not fear to avow it, though they would not make any fuch avowal from compulfion; but in the prefent cafe, as far as the object of the motion involved no inconvenience, no objection would be made to the disclosure of the names, &c. now called for. He, for one, felt that it might be extremely adviseable that fuch names fhould be laid before the House, and even the reafons for their imprifonment, though not, perhaps, on account of the motives which actuated the hon. Baronet's motion; for he was far from being adverse to letting the House and the public fee what use had been made by minifters of the difcretionary power entrusted to their hands. Upon the whole, he was confident that the country had derived the most effential fervices from it fince laft Seffion; and however they might feel exempt from doubts or apprehenfions, yet he could not fay that the crisis of danger was fo far paft as to leave us without a wish to see the same power revived and continued; but upon this fubject, he would take an early opportunity to entertain the House: at prefent, he would only fay, that much of our present security and profperity had arifen from the wife precautions hitherto adopted, and a due regard to that fecurity and profperity fhould make us hefitate about precipitately relinquishing that wife precaution. This the Houfe would the more anxiously attend to, were they acquainted, as they one day, and foon, fhould be, with the alarming dangers that threatened even this country; dangers which nothing but the extreme vigilance of adminiftration could have fuccefsfully warded off.Great and ample, indeed, were the powers with which Government had been armed; but the nation, he trusted, was fenfible that this power had been wifely and faithfully employed. Upon the topics, however, he would not now enlarge, but content himfelf with obferving, that, for the reafons he had advanced, the prefent motion had his moft perfect acquiefcence.

The Speaker obferved, that the motion, on account of the

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matter it contained, fhould be put in the form of an address to his Majefty, which obfervation was adopted.

The motion was then put and agreed to.

The House went into a committee on the Small Notes Bill, upon the motion of Mr Wibe force Bird; on the clause that the fmall notes be made as low as 5s. a conversation took place between Mr. Pitt and Mr. W. Dundas, who oppofed the claufe; and Mr. W. Bird, who fupported it: upon which a divifion took place

For their remaining at 20s.
For their defcending to 5s.

105

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Majority

100

The bill for reviving the 37th of his prefent Majefty, allowing the admiffion of certain goods in neutral veffels to the Cape of Good Hope, &c. &c. was committed, and the Report ordered to be received the next day.—Adjourned.

HOUSE OF COMMONS.

TUESDAY, DEC. II.

A meffage from the Lords informed the House that their Lordships had agreed to Lord Nelfon's Annuity bill without any amendment.

Leave was given to bring in a bill for rendering more commodious the Port of London, &c.

The bill to empower his Majefty to make certain regulations in the trade to the Cape of Good Hope, was read a first time, and ordered to be read a fecond.

The Scots Small Note bill was read a third time.

Mr. i. Dundas brought up a claufe, which was made part of the bill, providing that no notes under 5s. fterling hould iffue after the 15th of January next. The bill was then paffed.

The Secretary at War brought up the Mutiny bill, which was read a first time, and ordered to be read a second.

The report of the English Small Note bill was agreed to, and the bill was ordered to be read a third time the next day, if then ingroffed.

Mr. Hobart brought up the report of the committee of ways and means; the refolutions were all read and agreed to, and bills ordered to be brought in in purfuance of them..

MOTION

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