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utmost caution. He said, that hy cluded by saying, that, if their lord- all such proceedings the constitution ships meant not to dethrone their was changed, and was now deplorasovereign, and exclude themselves bly corrupted. The system of spies from the house, they would pass was hostile to all free states, but the bill, which he entreated them especially to our English liberty and to do if they would secure that laws. He siated the fatal effects .constitution preserved to them by of such an establishment, formed to the blood and virtue of their an- create hostility between the go. cestors; nor fear those acts done vernors and governed; and quoted for posterity as well as for them- a passage in Tacitus, in the reign selves.

of Tiberius--that age of Roman Lord Rawdon (earl of Moira) corruption. opposed the bill, as dangerous. He Was it consonant with the Enhadexpected its object to be explain- glish law that the accused should ed; and heard with much surprise a not meet his accuser, and thus.prove noble bord stating gravely to the hisinnocence? -He then mentioned house that he conceived no such ex- the powers given by the suspension planation necessary. But for want of habeas-corpus, which had been of it, he said, he must himself coilect grossly abused; and mentioned twa the motives for the bill. He had cases, the one of an ingenious fo. perused the report whence the bill reigner taken up only for not give originated, and wished to give it ing up some particular papers and all credit ; but the conclusion was plans:--the other of lord Cloncurunfavourable. It showed the bad ry, who had been twice in custody, effects of martial-law in Ireland, from and the second time closely conthe suspension of the habeas-corpus, fined with the utmost rigour. and the other measures pursued. Though suffering under the most This proved not its necessity. At paintul indisposition, he was never all times the poor wanted the pos- permitted to be in a room alone; sessions of the rich, but what then? not allowed to arrange his affairs, Were there no judges formerly to though the death of his father had repress them? Why act differently left him greatly embarrassed. Was now! The noble and learned lord not this conduct inhuman. How preceding him had dwelt much on could he consistently agree to a bill a conspiracy here, and the neces- destroying all national justice ? sity of extraordinary measures. Were it once passed, all justice But had not the common operation would be unsettled; and the con of the law, with other powers of fidence in the laws would be degovernment, been sufficient former- stroyed, which liad enabled the ly to repress rebellion and sedition, people to resist dangerous princiBut if the ordinary law could not, ples. If once agreed to, it would a specific punishment might be pro- he decisive, and support every vided. He knew not any conspi- enormity and oppression. He would racy for which there was no ade- not term the present ministers ty. quete punishment. He proceedied rannical; they had not the energy to the mode of appointing the com- of tyrants, but they followed their mittee-itspartiality; and, knowing measures in the present instance, that the opinions of those composing which might serve the worst pur, it had been long decided, their re- poses. Once admit this principle, port ought to be received with the and law and justice would be per



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pehially misconstrued. Of all the der the act upon treasonable perarrangements of Providence, the None but the secretary of most beautiful was, that no one state (who signed warrants and could be happy in schemes destruc- commitinents) could be called to tive to his neighbour. He cau- account. Noble lords who opposed tioned their lordships against a bill the bill seemed not to comprehend to silence the unfortunate, and in- its object. They were only called demnify oppressive acts. The Irish to answer for the principles of the report mentioned the robbery of bill. Had those who thought it needa mail-coach as a proof of rebellion; less forgotten the events of the last but these robbers were no other ten years, and the affair of O‘Conthan militia. He thought, that, if it nor the country would be always was possible to lessen theattachment grateful to those who had preserved of the people to the constitution, them from such dangers. The Briit was by this measure. It was not tish constitution suited the powers a partial sacrifice of liberty to secure of government to the occasion, and the rest, but a fatal change in the granted extraordinary powers when constitution. There were no proofs requisite; but in times of peace reof a general dissatisfaction. He ad- called them--as happened in Anverted to the war, and saw no pro- cient Rome. Spies and informers spect of peace, but rather an ex- had been severely censured, yet tention of hostilities ruinous to the but for them many of those he then country's finances.

In such ex

saw around him would have lost penses was it wise or politic to their lives by the schemes of the bring forward such unconstitutional conspirators.' Was it better to arbills? At all events, the object rest a few persons, or suffer the would be fully answered by limit- whole nation to be deluged with ing it to a year, or till the end of blood ? Great lamentations had the war, and then their lordships heen lavished on those who were might review their own proceed- imprisoned, but none on those whose ings.

lives had been sacrificed for their The earl of Westmoreland said loyalty, the lords OʻNeal, Montjoy, this bill was sanctioned by prece- Dr. Hamilton, &c. the protestants dents (which he quoted), and re- murdered at the bridge of Wex, quisite from sound policy. To show ford, &c. Let their lordships rethat the first indemnity bill since collect their feelings when the the revolution was similar to this, country was threatened by assas he read the preamble to the act of sins from France and Ireland, by William III. (1694), where it was invasion and rebellion, a mutiny deemed wise to indemnify acts of in the fleet, and a fear of the illegal severity. to prevent inva- army. This bill then was due to sion and rebellion. Jacobinism those who had warded off these had given occasion to the bill, and dangers. if rejected the worst would follow. The duke of Bedford was still at It would not protect cruelty or a loss for the specific grounds of oppression, but only secure against the measure after all that had been vexatious suits. It would not said. The arguments of the learned screen ministers' from impeach- chancellor applied more to the sument; but they were not account spension of the habeas-corpus than able for the conduct of those who to an indemnity for those exercising had sanctioned severities used un. the powers given under such su


spension. He admitted, that since ments theirs. · They had indeed the French revolution there had resisted the bad system and consebeen great cause for aların : but quences of the late administration, the question was, if it were consis. and endeavoured by all means to tent with the constitution to grant arrest them in a ruinous carcer; an indemnity for the use of special but he disclained unequivocally all powers given them for eight years? such sentiments as had been imBy this bill noble lords were called puted to them. He and his friends, on to deprive Englishmen ofa great felt as much for those who had constitutional privilege for ever

fallen in the war as those noble to stigmatise those who had never lords who talked so much of their been tried, and ruin their credit in feelings-deploring that fatal conevery future part of their lives. He test whence so many ills had wished them to attend to the dis- flowed. tinction between their conduct who Lord Thurlow spoke decidedly were obliged to adopt immediate against the bill. It was contrary measures for national security, and to the grand and fundamental printhose who had exercised powers ciple of law, which was to support given them by parliament for eight innocence against oppression. From years. In onc case, the emergency this principle he was ready to concur was such that the innocent might

in passing severe laws against conbe confounded with the guilty, and spirators; but as guilt should be dian indemnity not fairly refused; but stinguished from innocence, the in the other, matters were wholly latter should be protected from ardifferent, and no claim of indem- bitrary imprisonment. Were the nity existed. His grace, after ani- criminal laws here duly adminimadverting on the committee's re- stered, they were enough to conport, and urging all the former ob- troul all attempts against the state ; jections, said he was unsatisfied and why should a man be impriwith the conclusions drawn from it. soned for eight years, praying for He dwelt on that part of the report, trial, and be refused it? A noblo that those formerly imprisoned were carl had said, that persons suspected now active in rebellion, while it of treason deserved no compassion; was well known that scarce any but he himself must pity those linwere in custody. Then how was gering in a prison for a series of there

any just charge against them? years, anxiously soliciting a trial And if so, part of the report (and nor could he think them guilty till that important) was talsitied. How- proved so. He saw no striking ever, he wished not to oppose a

resemblance of this bill totheformer; limited duration of the bill ; but, as they being passed" Magrante bello.". perpetual, he felt it his duty to op- Ilis lordship quoted a part of the pose it most decidedly. He re- preamble, from which heconcluded ferred to the earl of Westinoreland's that the bill had assumed a wrong observations on the compassion felt name, and, instead of a bill of inon his side the house for those su- demnity, was a bill to suppress spected of trcason, while insensi- actions and suits against informers. ble to their fate who had fallen Two other clauses were inconsis. for their country. He repelled the tent with each other. The first gave charge; arguing, that the noblelord the defendant double costs, recovermust know nothing of their cha- able in the usual way. In the latter, racter, it he thought such sentia these costs were to be recovered in

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a summary way under a judge's nisters claimed not indemnity for order. This was preposterous; and themselves, but such was neceshe thought the drawer of the clause sary for other persons — magidid it in a passion. However, he strates, instruments of the police was willing to agree to it for a cer- assisting in apprehending, committain period; but a perpetual bill of ting, and detaining the persons apindemnity was monstrous, and sub- prehended, &c.

Lord Rawdon versive of the liberties of English- was mistaken in his two cases. men.

The first was a commitment under The earl of Rosslyn defended the alien act, and concerned not the bill from the attack of the last treason. The other of lord Clonlearned lord. He said it was the curry was attended with lenient same that was to be found in the circumstances. Upon giving his statute book, both in form and ex- word that he would surrender when pression. If they were not the best restored to health, he was suffered words, they were such as had been to go home ; and his noble father, often used before, and perfectly struck with the kindness of miniintelligible in our courts. He named sters, had written to him (lord severalacts of indemnity in thereigns Rosslyn), expressing his warmest of Richard II. Edward VI. Charles I. gratitude. As to the quotation William and Mary, and George I. ; from Tacitus, relative to the reign adding, that when extraordinary of Tiberius, the application of the circumstances happened, such as passage was misunderstood. Tain 1792, and thence to the pre- citus was not speaking of spies and sent day, indemnity bills had usually imformers in the sense pretended: passed. Without such an act, a go- by delatores he meant public acvernment would be debarred from cusers. This office was often abused, acting with vigour and effect on and accusations brought maliciously emergency, especially when theacts and falsely against the enemies of to save the country were illegal. those who patronised them, or He had been a member of the late whom they hated. Abstract and administration, not shrinking from plausible argument, though pleasresponsibility; if guilt was imputable ing to the ear, was impracticable to them, it was so to him. “But he here where penal statutes had swelfelt no fear for having done his duty led our statute books. Spies and always; and the rest of his majesty's informers were absolutely necesministers had done theirs, he could sary, and especially in these times. testify. If he had fallen short of His lordship, after other arguments meriting thanks, they were entitled in support of the bill, and in answer to the country's gratitude, which to objections, concluded with rethey had saved from that ruin and solving to vote for it as a measure anarchy overwhelming almost eve- of common justice. ry state in Europe. He observed, On the question for reading it a that in such perilous times it was second time, the house divided nearly impossible for ministers to Contents

40 avoid falling into some error, by ap


14 54 prehending persons on suspicion, Non-contents

10 and erroneously detaining innocent Proxies

-17 individuals. Such were certainly entitled to some recompense. Mi

Majority -37




Bill for the Relief of the Poor--Debates on that Subject.-Bill for preventing

the Forgery of Bank Notes. - State of the Clergy with respect to Residence on their Livings---Bill for their Relief--Debates on that Suloject--in the House of Commons-in the House of Lords.--Plan for a Afilitary Cole lege-Debates on that Subject,

THE other transactions of par. certain rent, not over 5h. or there-

liament were of but little in- abouts, and that they should mako portance; but a few of them we affidavit of their incapacity to pay shall briefly notice. The distresses the poor's rates to obtain relief. of the lower' classes of house- Heconcluded with moving to bring keepers, in consequence of the in the bill accordingly. scarcity of provisions and the prese Sir Charles Bunbury seconded sure of taxes, had extended to such the motion. an alarming excess, that humane Mr. Rose said he should be very minds became interested in pro- sorry to object to any measure for curing for then some further relief the relief of the poor, but was than the laws in being had pro- afraid that the bill proposed would vided. To the honour of the Bri- be attended with difficulties that tish aristocracy, lord William Rus- overbalanced its advantages. It sell was the first to introduce a bill would inflict a great burden on to this effect; and, on the 25th of the magistrates, and would hold February, he rose to bring forward out an invitation to the poor to a motion he had promised on the come forward with their aftidavits. preceding day. He said, that the Mr. Jollitie wished the bill to be necessity of a measure to release a printed, that the house might excertain class of persons from the amine its merits. poor's rates was very well known. Mr. Perceval objected to the bill To procure that relief was his ob- as it was presented. He thought ject. Should the house agree to it would be better for the noble his motion, his wish was for the lord to attend the committee for bill to be read a first time; and on examining the high price of prothe second reading its merits might visions, and to state his plan. At be discussed; and, if nothing incon- all events the house should wait the sistent with sound policy and jus- events of their inquiries before tice should appear in it, then it they consented to the measure. might be committed, and undergo Mr. Manning, Mr. Shaw Lewhat modifications should seem ne- fevre, Mr. Buston), colonel Elford, cessary. The object of the bill and Mr. Ellison, opposed the bill was to invest magistrates with the as an innovation upon the poorpower of relieving such persons laws, investing magistrates with from paying the rates as should as power to interfere with the overappear deserving of such escep- seers of the poor; who already extion; but, in order to guard against empted those housekeepers from thie abuse of that discretionary poor's rates who seemed unable to power, such relief should be con- pay. Tliey feared, that if certain fined to those who paid under a housekeepers were relieved from

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