Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

to

mittee ; and they appeared to him to be be guided by the views of others, who conclusive against the arguments of the were not interested in the subject of dis.! shipping-committee, + He therefore held pute. Now, he begged the court to mark it to be impossible, that they could have the view which the legislature took of the read this report correctly (at least rea- case, when they granted the act nt 1803, soning on it as he did), or they would by which the directors were impowered not have made quotations from it, which to make the additional allowance. When were decidedly against the adoption of the company went to the House of Coms"? the measures they recommended. Their mons, praying for that act, the legisla proceedings appeared to be almost & ture felt it was an affair in which they contradiction. It was perfectly inexpli- were not peculiarly interested. "Here, cable to him. The shipping committee said they, “ is a body of men calling on said, " The reasoning is so strong in us to pass an act for their own benefit? the case of 1803-it is so completely but we see the danger to which it mag applicable--that we do not deem it at lead them back-and we must endeavour: all necessary to reason on the subject; to provide against it.”. In consequence but we call on you to look to the argu- of the application made to parliament, ments of the special committee.” Now, the act of the 43d of Geo. III. was passed he would also · request the court of pro- on the 11th of August 1803. It containprietors to examine those arguments, ed only two sections the first of which and having done so, he would ask, was gave the discretionary power to the dia there a single reason be found rectors. The second section set forth amongst them, that could induce a de- “ Provided always, that nothing in this cision in favour of the proposition ? act contained be constituted hereafter to He would say that if ten men sat authorise or admit any departure from down to select arguments against the the provisions of the said recited act of resolution, they could find none more the 39th of Geo. III ; and shall not sancs powerful than those contained in the tion any claim, in addition to the fixed report that had been quoted-nor, on allowance of peace freight, described in the other hand, could any thing be pos- the company's contracts, in consequence sibly brought forward, more forcible, of any variation in the price of stores, or more clear, or more consistent with the on any other account whatsoever, except principle of the systein on which the com in case of war, or preparation for war.' pany bad advantageously acted, but which Now, this was the precedent, this was they were now called on to overturn. the point they were directed to found And yet the shipping committee adduced their decision on; and, therefore, dethe facts and the reasoning of that report, manded a 'very serious investigation. Let as the ground on which the proprietors the court examine the statement of the were to agree to the measure recommende ship-owners. They told the company, ed by them. He was quite at a loss to that the price of stores had not fallen find out a single argument in that report that the rate of wages had uot fallen favourable to that proposition-but he that the value of the articles to be pur could readily discover an immense body chased in India and China had not fallen of reasoning against the measure. It - but they did not attempt to 'say, that might be asked, " what induced the ge this country was in a state of preparation neral court, on a former occasion, to come for war. They did not hint at such a to the very same resolution, without a thing. Therefore, considering the clause debate, if it were so improper?" He could of the act of parliament which he had only suppose, that its nature had not been just read, it did appear to him, that even considered. If it were otherwise, such a if the court of proprietors agreed to give resolution, so hostile to the interests of the powers asked for by the directors, the the company, would not have been agreed House of Commons would not grant their to. But, allowing that it had passed consent. They would observe,“ did we then, surely it would be very wrong to not say, before, that this might lead to a suffer a bad precedent to lead them to act breach of your system and did we not improperly a second time. He, however, expressly guard against any future appli conceived he had clearly shewn, that there cation of the principle ?". When once a was, in fact, no precedent. There was breach was made in a system, it was easy no pretension to similarity between the to resort to precedent, and to increase it." two cases--they bore no resemblance to But the legislature, knowing the constieach other. In the present case, there tution of the country better, in all probaar! was a prospect of a very long peace, whilst, bility, than those who advised the depara o in the former, every one looked forward ture from an established principle, said, 9 to the prospect of an approaching war. distinctly," there shall be no

plea foroi Therefore, he denied that the similarity pursuing this course hereafter and, its pontended for, existed in fact. Mankind you make the application, we will not"? were likely, at times, in matters of ditia listen to it." Let the court, :therefore, in culty, where doabts were entertainedz to look to the situation in which they would

be placed, if they concurred in the reso would continue, in time of poace, to pay lution. There was no precedent, evident war allowances to the present owners,

who ly, for going, to parliament they were applied for relief. So that the company neither at war, nor making preparations would have the immense advantage, of for warrand, therefore, very little atten- paying war-freights, at a time when protion would be paid to their application, found peace reigned throughout the world, After quoting the case of 1803, as a pre- in consequence of departing from the escedent-after stating facts, and adducing tablished system. arguments, which instead of supporting, The Chairman—“Will the hon, promilitated against the measure, the com prietor quote the words to which he remittee informed the proprietors, that the fers ?” managing-owners declined signing their Mr. Hume." The words are, 'to concharter-parties that they were unable to tinue, for the present season, the mode of sail at the existing rates. . What, then, fixing the increased expenses of outfit, on did they recommend to the proprietors, each voyage, on the same principle as has. after the most mature deliberation ? they been adopted in time of war, since the did not recommeņd the adoption of any year 1804.'” principle which could be fortified by the The Chairman.-“ Nothing is there experience of former times-no, they said about war allowances. The principroposed the recognition of a principle ple may be acted on, although the same which all their reasoning tended to inva allowance may not be granted.” lidate. He hoped he had satisfied the Mr. Hume, —". That is my argument." court, that the precedent adduced was The Chairman,—“No, the hon, pronot applicable to the measure under con- prietor assumed, that war allowances sideration-and, if it were not, the rea would positively be given to the shipsoning connected withịt fell to the ground; owners." so that, in fact, as far as concerned the Mr. Hume proceeded.-What he aspresent case, there was no favourable rea serted was this, that the committee laid soping at all. He had shewn, not merely it down as a principle to give increased from his own arguments but from the expenses of outfit to the ship-owners, in opinion of the court of directors, and time of peace. If the expression meant from the expressed sentiments of the le any thing, it meant this. "He should be gişlature -- that if a different state of glad, however, to hear it differently interthings existed, when the discretionary preted. But many parts of the report repower was formerly granted ; therefore, quired that those who wrote it should exwhen the committee called on the pro- plain what it meant; for the great mass prietors to agree to a similar measure of those who read it, did not understand NOW, under circumstances wholly differ it. Why, should the coinpany alone, in ent, their statements and their reasons time of peace, be subject to war contining became quite irrelevant, But the gencies, when the act of parliament—the committee went farther. They were ask contracts themselves—and their bye-laws ed, “what do you mean to do?” The -all pointed out the regular course for answer was, we think it necessary to their adoption ? The directors had not an give you an outline of the plan we intend argument—not one, at least, in writingto adopt. We propose, if the court should to reconcile the court to this anomally, agree to the resolution, to fix, for the and show them why they should agree present season, the increased expense of to the resolution. He trusted, on the an outfit, on each voyage, on the same other hand, that he had not failed in layprinciple as was adopted in time of war, ing before the proprietors a great variety since 1804.” The meaning of which was, of reasons-not merely those which orithat the ship-owners were to receive high ginated with himself, but others drawn war allowances, on certain voyages, they from the best authority—that operated being called on to pay particular penal strongly against the proposition. But it tjes. He thought it strange, however, would be necessary to go a little farther. that, in tiine of peace, they were to be He had heard it said of an individual, placed on a war establishment, Still, that he frequently listened to arguments, that was what they were called upon to which altered his opinion, but never do. Was ever any thing so monstrous ? changed his vote. Now the friends of the In time of peace they were to pay war ship-owners might probably think his arrates. It appeared, that the committee guments very cogent, at the same time wished to follow the example set in ano. that they had determined to give their ther place, where it was settled, that at a suffrages to the other side. He, however, period of profound peace the country was hoped they would not act thus. He now to be burdened with an immense war es, came again to the great point-was there tablishmept.-(Hear, kear. They cer any one fair argument in favour of the tainly, acted as if they approved of this measure? They were told that it would example, and meant to follow it up. If only be called for this once, . So they were the resolution were carried, the company told before. When the proposition was

last made, it was only for “ this once ;?? no common magnitude of no trifling inbut it appeared a second application had terest. He had already shown how corfollowed it. What then, was to be ex rect the committee of shipping were in pected from this plea of “ for this once their reasoning, and he had now. to call only?To have it in a tangible shape, the attention of the court to a very proit inust be under hand and seal. There minent part of their recommendationi. would be then some hope that the pro- They proposed, “ that the owners should mise would be adhered to, but experience be called upon to forfeit the amount of taught them, that the verbal assurance the penalty bonds, for the performance of was good for nothing. But, as others their contracts, which announted for each might examine, narrowly, the mode of ship, to from 50001. to 10,0001.” Now arrangement in this case, he could not what was the fact ? the committee laid avoid viewing the danger of setting this on the table a statement of six ships, for precedent for placing a discretionary power

which additional allowances were claimin the hands of the directors. A twelve ed. But the proprietors were not infor: month had not elapsed, since a proposi- med, that relief was claimed for twenty. tion was made, which he opposed, to ena eight ships, comprising 26,440 tons. Now, ble the company to become ship-owners to of the six ships relative to which a statel a great extent. He deprecated the sys ment had been made, (namely, the Wartem-because, in consequence of it, ren Hastings, the Asia, the Marchioness freights would perhaps be raised to 35l.or of Ely, the Phenix, the Prince Regent, 401, a ton. If they continued, the trade to and the Astel,) there was a penalty only India would necessarily become a losing for one. The owners of the Warren Hasconcern; and, therefore, he stated, that tings alone had entered into a penalty it was an act of very doubtful policy, to ad- bond. (Hear, hear.) —This proved, that here to that which might be taken away

the farther the court examined these afin another year.

A noble lord had since fairs, the less reason would they find for moved, in another place, for a series of satisfaction. For the Asia no security papers, to clear up this point-to see whe was required, and the Prince Regent was ther the India trade was profitable or not.

in the same situation. In the case of Should it turn out to occasion loss, in one or two of these ships security was destead of producing gain, was that a time manded, but it was not ultimately taken. for the company to proceed in their ship- This being the true statement, he thought ping scheme? Was that a time to send the committee, before they spoke of peout particular ship-owners on a principle nalties, thould have well considered how of favouritism ? He then said, but the ob the matter stood. He had been led to be servation was treated very lightly, that be- lieve, that there would have been petalforetwelve months had passed, there would

ties for the whole twenty-eight ships be a chairman's captain—a deputy chair- that there would have been twenty-eight man's captain-and a captain for every

times 5 or 10,0007. ; instead of that, it apmember of the committee of correspon- peared, that there was only at the rate of dence.-(A laugh.)“What was the one penalty, for six ships'; and for any event? The resolution on the subject was thing he knew to the contrary, when the scarcely dry, when a code of regulations whole was examined, there would not, made its appearance, pointing out the perhaps, be so many. But, supposing manner in which this patronage was to they received one penalty for every be disposed of--by which each gentleman sixth ship, the amount would be about would know how to conduct himself. 25,0001. ; while the loss that would The chairman was to appoint his captain be sustained, by granting relief, would -the deputy chairman had the like pri- not be less than 2 or 300,0001.-(Hear, vilege—and the members of the commit- hear.) The committee, therefore, ought tee of correspondence were not forgotten. to have left penalties altogether out of They had then only two ships--but seven the question, unless they stated their were now contracting for, so that the pa amount fairly and exactly. By the reso tronage would be considerable. The lution moved by his learned friend, on eommittee of correspondence consisted of the 21st of January 1795, which he had nine members, so that the two youngest read, it was agreed that no tenders should were rather unfortunate. They must be received, unless proper securities were wait until two additional ships were call given ; but here it appeared that no secued for, and they also would have their rities were taken--that necessary part of captains. The question in itself, exclu- the contract' was completely neglected. sive of its consequences, was such as re Let not the court, therefore believe, that quired their most serious consideration. they were to receive penalties from the One circumstance he would now state, twenty-eight ships now calling for extra which rendered the case of much greater allowance. If they did, they would nicet importance than it had heretofore appear- with a great disappointment, since they ed to be, although it could not be denied, were likely to receive little or nothing, that, on the very first view, it was one of The committee of shipping. 'contender,

1

that it was sound policy to grant relief, saving one for the company--it has:oper, under , existing circumstances, to the ated unequally with respect to the ow: owners. He viewed the matter in a very ers; to some it has been beneficial to different light, and could not avoid sta others injurious. But my tender being ting his opinion, that it was, in every refused, I have a right to expect, that respect, bad policy to break the existing those who underbid me will not receive, tender and contracts. He would advise at a future time, any additional allow, them to support their system, to abide ances.” Surely those persons who, havby the regulations on which it proceeded ing made a correct calculation, were uns --that was the true way to uphold it ; successful on that occasion, would have .but he could not repress his astonish a great reason to complain, if this resoment, when he was seriously told, that, lution were carried. Certainly, if those by breaking in upon those principles, on who had tendered at very reduced rates which the shipping system had been so were now let in to reap the advantage of long conducted, they were taking that large supplementary allowances, the gene course which was most likely to strengthen tlemen whose fair estimate was rejected, and preserve it. What did the special would have a very strong ground of recommittee say upon this point? Would monstrance--but he hoped the court it not, they observed, be a monstrous would never allow such partiality and iuthing to suffer low bidders, who had got justice. into employment, in consequence of their He should now advert to the circunoffering at rates which they knew would stances under which the Prince Regent not remunerate them, to ship into the and Asia were taken up. The adreradvantage of the old system, and procure tisement of the court of directors was supplementary allowances, by represent- dated the 1st of March 1797-and the ing afterwards that the terms on which tenders were received the 7th of April. they had tendered their ships, were in- On that occasion fifteen owners sept in adequate?. The observation that had their proposals. No objection wbatever been made ou a former day by an hon. could be made to any of them, in point of member of that court (Mr. R. Smith) who respectability Mr. Mangles, Mr. Mes was himself an owner, had made a very taer, Messrs. Cleland and Co. Mr. Brough, deep impression on his mind, and occa Mr. Palmer, Mr. Wigram, Mr. Moffat, sioned him to examine the subject closely. Mr. J. Atkins, Mr. Hunter, Mr. Humble, The first shipping transaction to which Mr. Princeps, and Mr. Woodhouse, were he would call their attention, was the the competitors. The names of many of taking up of the Warren Hastings. . On these gentlemen were well known; and the 8th of April 1801, the directors ad one would have supposed, that the ten, vertised, that they would receive propo- ders of some of them, whose experience sals, in writing, for a number of ships, in calculations of this kind, and whose a permanent peace freight to be stated in character for fair, honourable, and uptheir tender. In consequence of that ad- right dealing had long been established, vertisement, on the 21st of May follow. would have been received. But no such ing, the court received nineteen tenders, thing was done. The ships of Mr. Humfor ships, to go six voyages; of these, ble, who was not known at the time, six tenders only were accepted. The rate were taken up. His tender for three of freight, specified in the tenders that ships being the lowest, it was imperative were accepted, varied from. 161. 148. 3d. on the court to receive it. Here a great to 171.; the thirteen teuders wbich were irregularity occurred; although Mr. Humrejected, varied, with respect to the price ble tendered but three ships, the court of freight, from 171, 10.191. 198. per ton. of directors took up four from him on The difference arose probably from the that day. Two of these very ships which charge made for war-contingencies. Who, were built by Mr. Humble, who had unhe asked, were the gentlemen that offer- derbid all his competitors, were amongst ed tenders on that occasion ? They were the vessels for which relief was now Mr. Mestáer, Messrs. Wilkinson, Messrs. claimed. After he had made these stateAnderson and Co. Mr. Larkins, Mr. R. ments, which were founded on the reWigram, Messrs. Easterby and Chapman, cords of the court, he would call on the Mr. J. Atkins, Mr. James Thomas, Mr, proprietors to consider the gross injustice T. King, Messrs. Bonham and Russell, which would be doue to those individuals, Messrs. Cleland and Co. Mr. J. Rogers, whose tenders were rejected, if the court Mr. J. Woodhouse, Mr. R. Lewis, and sanctioned the additional allowances now Messrs. W. and H. Palmer. The tenders demanded by those who were employed of the first six geptlemen were received. in consequence of their haviug proposed He had an opportunity afterwards of rates which they now discovered would speaking to one of tlie individuals, whose pot answer their purpose. The next proposals were rejected—who expressed ship for which relief was, claimed, was himself in these terms :-" The system the Phoenix, The tender of her owner of taking up ships by tender has been a was accepted on the 16th of June 1803..

[graphic]
[ocr errors]

of voyages which the Princess Amelia upon the same for and on which

the rate bargained for 211.008. per. ton. agree with the owners of such ship, so She was built in alien of the old ship, lost, to build another ship for the service Princess Amelia, and had two voyages to of the company, to be employed by them perform having first fulfilled the number at the same freight and demurage, and

up, contormably with the act of parliament, number of voyages originally conwere to be completed at the lowest rate tracted for, or

r, as the owners should of the season, which was 261. per ton, agrée; that, at the expiratiout of the reand from this the owner required to be re- maining voyage or voyages, such new ship lieved. He (Mr. Hume) thought that 261. should continue in the service of the said per ton was below what the owner could united company, until she shall have perafford to take, if he were now to make a formed her six voyages,”' &c. Now, on tender. But, if the vessel was afloat on the principle clearly laid down in this any day after the preceding Wednesday act, the new ship,

the Asprovisions of the act of parliament, per- the Prince of Wales, was not entitled to form her voyage at the rate of the last receive higher terms than those ou which ship taken up. Here, instead of 211. 108. the latter

ship had been hired. He conper. ton, which was the original bargain, ceived the court of directors had no right the act of parliament enabled the owner to grant any additional allowance to her to get 261. ; but he wanted more than the owners. The opinion given by Mr. Adam, legislature had sanctioned. This was the in 1803, was, that the act of parliament nature of one of the applications now be- debarred the directors from granting reford the court. The applications were lief. And what did their present standvarious in their nature--they were not ing counsel, Mr. Bosanquet, say on this simply confined to one or two classes point? “I am of opinion that the court Those who examined them would find of directors cannot lawfully do that indithat they consisted of five or six. In the rectly, which they are prohibited from case of the ship Astell there was a posi- doing directly. The 39th George III. cap. tive deviation from the express provisions 89 has prescribed a particular mode in of the act of parliament. What was the which ships shall be taken up for the rewas built on bottom of the Prince of tract for six voyages, at a certain peace Wales, belonging to Mr. Mestaer, that freight, with liberty to agree for the pay, vessel having been lost on her first vox ment of further charges, if in a state of age. Her peace freight was 201. 178. per war, or preparation for war. Any course ton, and she was engaged for six voyages. of proceeding that violates this principle, The tender was accepted on the 26th of is illegal. If, then, ships which are now March 1801, at which time, twenty under contract to perform six voyages at tenders, made by various respectable ship- a certain peace freight, should be released, owners, were rejected. The war con- either gratuitously, or for a compensatingencies were from 111. 58. fo 91. 55., tion, and afterwards engaged at a higher being an average of about 101. per ton. freight than that which is agreed for, by Thus, therefore, the permanent charge the existing contract, the principle preunder the contract, would be 301. 178. scribed by the legislature would be comper ton. When the Prince of Wales was pletely evaded.” What then was the lost, the owners applied to the court of conclusion to be drawn from the providirectors, observing, that it would be a sions of the act ? That, if leave were very great hardship on them, if they given to build on the bottom of the Prince were obliged to build a ship on the terms of Wales, it followed that the new ship for which the Prince of Wales had been should perform the remaining voyages at hired. It would be very oppressive, if the original rate contracted for, viz. 201. they were confined to 107. per ton, for 178, per ton, peace freight, and 107. per war contingencies, when 181. and 201. ton, war contingencies. But, it appearwas the general rate; and they conclud- ed, that Mr. Adam had, at a later peed by praying the court of directors to riod, changed his opinion on this point. relieve them. What success did this ap- On the 9th of January, 1807, when the plication meet with? The prayer of the application of the owners of the Baring, applicants, as in the case of the Baring, United Kingdom, and Marchioness of United Kingdom, and Marchioness of Ex- Exeter, was under consideration, he eter, was complied with, though it ap- stated, that the court of directors did peared to him in direct contravention of possess the power of releasing from conthe act of the 39th of George III. cap. 89. tracts. It therefore appears to me, By that statute, it was enacted, (when said Mr. Adam, “that the court of direc a ship was, lost, and no blame attached tors have a discretion to release and rer to the officers or owners) that " it shall gulate contracts, where the bargain was be lawful

for the court of directors to originally, or has by intervening circumAsiatic Journ.-No. V.

VOL. I. 3 Q

[graphic]
« EdellinenJatka »