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such provision for this purpose as may be freeholders of Middlesex, protesting against fuitable to the rank and to the misfortunes the power, assumed by the House of Comof a Prince so nearly allied to his Majesty's mons, of imprisoning for libel, and praying throne, and for whom his Majesty's feelings' the House to liberate from confinement Sir are so strongly interested. « G. R." F. Burdett, and Mr J. Gale Jones, and to ex-"

On the motion of the CHANCELLOR of punge from their journals all their declarathe ExcheQUER, his Majesty's most graci- tions, orders, and refolutions on the subject, ous message was ordered to be referred to a and concluding with a strong recommendaCommitte of the whole House on Thurs- tion for a reform in Parliament. day.

Mr Byng then moved that the petition Tuesday, May 1.

do lie on the table. Mr P. More presented a petition from

Mr Mellish said, that although he Mr Sheridan, for re-ereding Drury-Lane should second the motion of his Honourable Theatre, which was laid on the table, and colleague, he did not feel himself bound to leave given for a bill, according to its prayer. fupport the petition. The resolution to grant L. 400,000 to

The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER the King of Sicily was agreed to, after an thought the petition was an experiment to ineffe&ual opposition from Mr Lambe, &c. try how far the fordearance of the House on the ground that the British commerce

would go in the sufferance of language fuch was not favoured in Sicily.

as it contained. Upon that part of the peSir S. Romilly moved, that the bill for tition which commented upon the manner amending the privately stealing act should in which the officer had proceeded in exe-, be engrofred. 'A debate of considerable in cuting the order of the House, he should at terest ensued. The advocates for the bill present for bear to say any thing. There contended, that the present criminal law, was nothing in the petition which approachwhich implicated death upon every theft, ed in any degree to the character of a rewas too fevere; the consequence was, that it fpe&ful appeal to the authority of Parliawas seldom executed, the prosecutor, the ju.

ment. It did appear to him, therefore, that ry, the judge, and his Majesty's advisers, all it was high time that a line should be drawn combining to prevent. Thus the law was fomewhere, and the present was a fit occaa kind of dead letter, and, from the uncer. fion for that purpose. He therefore subtainty of its executions, lost its effect in mitted to the discretion of the House, prevecting crimes. The advocates for the whether the present petition, for the causes criminal law, as it now stands, contended, he had stated, ought not to be rejected. that the great object of laws was to prevent

Mr Alderman Combe said, he understood crimes, and that the very severity on pre

the petition wag unanimously voted by a fent criminal laws contributed powerfully very numerous and respectable body of freea a preventative, by deterring bad men

holders; and as he did not know to what from committing crimes, by the fear of consequences its rejection might lead, he death; while the discretionary power lodged thould vote for its' reception. with the judges, the pardons frequently if

Mr CALCRAFT did not view the present fued by his Majesty, and the lenient difpofi- petition in the very objedionable light ftationis of the juries, prevented the criminal ted by the Right Hon. Gentleman, and laws, however severe in the abstract, from fhould therefore vote for its reception. operating more severely than was absolute Mr H. BROWNE was also for rejecting lý necessary in the community. They de- the petitiop. precated the alterations which Sir S. Romil Mr D. GIDDY thought the objectionable ly meditated, and pointed at the French Re. words in the petition in a high degree difvolution as a warning to those who were respe&ful and insulting to the House. If fond of innovations. The speakers in favour they were passed over on this occafion is of the bill were, Sir J. Newport, Mr Davies would only lead to additional insults till Giddy, the Master of the Rolls, Mr Morris, more reprehensible. As to the numerous Mr Wilberforce, Mr Canning, and Sir s. and unanimous meeting from which this peRomilly. The speakers again it were, Mr tition proceeded, every body who lived in Herbert

, Mr Windham, the Attorney.Ge the vicinity of great towns must know how Deral, Mr Frankland, the Solicitor-General, such meetings were brought together. and the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The

Mr Hibbert said, if the petitioners fele House divided. For the bill 31-Against warmly on the subject of which they com

plained, it was natural to expect their lanWednesday, May 2.

guage should be warm. Perhaps the ex. Ms Byxo presented a petition from the preslions in quellion might be a little un


it 39.


mannerly; but he did not think they amount ris, Lord Archibald Hamilton, & Mr Byog, ed to a sufficient cause for reje&tion. were for receiving the petition, which was

Mr Baruam thought the matter was of opposed by Mr W. Smith, Mr Wilberforce, too much importance to be decided abrupte Mr Ellison, Col. Wood, and Mr Stephen. I ly, and in fo thin a House; and therefore The House at last divided-For receiving he was for adjourning the debate to a fu- the petition 58—against it 139—majorirysi. cure day; and he moved that it be adjourned.

Sir J. NEWPORT made his motion relaMr GRENFELL seconded the motion. tive to the condud of the Irish Government,

Mr SUMNER agreed with those members in advancing large fums to various persons, who had already declared the petition an under the heads of incidents, but which insult to the House, and thought the House were in scality nothing better than jobs. ought to mark its indignation by rejeding The first instance he noticed was, that of a it without delay.

grant of L.1000 by the Board of Excise, to Mr LAMBE was against rejeding the pe- John Croker, Esq. as furveyor-general of tition ; because, after the House had already Dublin, for extraordinaries. The next was received so many petitions equally obje&ion- the Right Hon. W, Forward, creasurer to able in their expresfions, the rejection of this the post-office, who was allowed to retire on would not be topping the evil in limine. full pay, although he had been only eight

Colonel WARDLE thought, that as there years in office, and had never performed its was a prayer annexed to the petition then duties. The next cale was that of granting before the House, it came more distingly L.5,760 to Sir George Shee, as a compenunder the nature of a petition than that fation for the loss of emoluments as receiver. which they had already received. He would general. The government afterwards grantbe the last man to abet any intention of of- ed him L.1800 a-year for himself and clerks, fering infule to the House ; but believing in additiou to L.1000 a-year falary already that asembly to have assumed a power fo- given. He then moved certain resolutions, reign to the popular rights, he conld not be exprellive of his sense of these tranfa&ions. angry with the plain, downright, popular Some explanations were here made by expression of that opinion.

Mr Croker and Mr Folter, relating to the Mr ABERCROMBY supported the petition, first refolution, with which the Hou, Bart. pot because it was couched in decorous lan. declared himself satisfied. guage (for the language was not decorous), On the next resolution.relating to the subuc because he could not expect to have perannuation of the Hon. W. Forward, late found the feelings of the petitioners couched ireasurer to the post-office in Ireland, a conin language of any other form.

versation ensued, in which Sir J. Newport, Mr STEPHEN was desirous that there Mr Ponsonby, Mr H Thornton, Mr Tierfhould be the fullest acrendance of members, ney, and Mr Fitzgerald, suppor:ed the sea when such a question was discussed, that the solucion, and Mr W. Pole opposed it. decisive opinion of the Houfe might be A division then took place— For the reknown.

solution 26--Against it 83— Majarity 57.. After a few words from the CHANCEL

Friday, May 4. LOR of the ExchEQUER, the debate was ad.

In consequence of some observations from journed.

Mr C. Dundas, on the serious grievances Thursday, May 3.

complained of in the collection of the affelThe House having refumed the adjourn- fed taxes, and on the subject of which he ed debate on the Middlesex petition, had poftponed his intended motion, the

Mr BARHAM rose, and expressed his re Chancellor of the Exchequer declared that folution of opposing the petition, because it he had prepared a bill, which would shortly must have been intended by the framers of be laid before the House, and which, in all it to offer an infult to the House, and be- probability, would answer the purpose de cause in reality it was not a petition, but a fired by the Hon. Gentleman. protest. He moved the following refolu A notion, by Sir Samuel Romilly, for an tion:-" That this House is at all times address to his Majesty, to give directions for willing to receive the petitions of the peo- laying before the House a return of persons ple; but that it cannot, under the name of convicted, executed, & acquitted, with their a petition, receive that which is in fact a different offences, at the various sestions and protest againīt their proceedings."

aslizes, was ago Mr GRENFELL feconded the resolution, A motion,

by Mr Creevy, for papers reand a debate of confiderable length ensued. Speding the late difturbances in India, was Mr Ponsonby, Mr M. Fitzgerald, Mr Mor: agreed to.


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against this petition, that it was signed but transportation unfortunately operated as a by a small number ; but he believed it was sentence for life, as they could not work the practice, in the cities of London and their partage home. He concluded by fla. Westminister, that only a few should sign ting, that one of his leading objects was, that their petitions. If the House hould reject no convicts should be transported but for this petition, he was seriously of opinion, that life; the substitution of penitentiary houses at the same time fome form of petition, like in place of transpor ation for a term less than ly to meet its approbation, should be held life. He passed an eulogium on Mr Hox. out to the public.

ard, and expressed a wish that the admirMr WILBERFORCE found something in able plans he had proposed would be adoptthe language of the petition, which shewed ed. He then moved that an humble address it to be the object of the petitioners to bring be presented to his Majesty, that he would that House in the language of the law,“ in- be pleased to give directions for carrying to hatred and contempt, to vilify and de- into effect so much of the act of the 19th grade it."

of the King as related to the transportaMr PONSONRY then entered at consider- tinn of convicts to New South Wales; and able length into a vindication of the conduct also for carrying into effect so much of the of the Opposition, which had of late been the 34th of the King as related to the establishobject of lystematic attack. It was the ob ment of penitentiary houses within Great jedt of this plan to represent an aflembly Britain. composed of men of the highest rank, the Mr Secretary Ryder did not oppose the greatest property, of the most honourable motion, but wished for time to inform himprofessions, men whose whole lives had self perfectly on the subject. After a few hitherto been passed, not only without ble observations from Colonel Frankland, Mr milh, but without fault; to represent such Wilberforce, and others, Sir S. Romilly men as considering their estates, their hom withdrew his motion for the present, exnour, and their character, as of less confe- pressing his intention to bring it on again quence or value to them than the pofleflinn on the 25th. of the offices which were stated to be the

Thursday, May 10. objects of their ambition. But he was far

Mr SIMEON presented a petition from indeed froin thinking that the British public the inhabitants of the borough of Reading, was imposed upon by these means, or belie

in the county of Berks, praying the release ved any of these inisrepresentations. He was of Sir Francis Burdett, and Mr John Gale convinced that there was much integrity Jones, from their present imprisonment. and honour in that House. He was for re

He stared, that this meeting, although very ceiving the petition.

numerous and respectable, did not confitt The House then divided-For the petition 'wholly of those inhabitants of the borongh, 96_Against it 138—Majority 102.

who had a right of exercising the elective

franchise, but of all the inhabitants dwellSir S. Romilly said, in considering punish. ing within the borough and its liberties proments as they operated to the prevention of miscuously. crinies, he thought they might be divided The petition was read, and ordered to lie into three classes. The principle of the first on the table. was, that the punishment of the individual Mr Suaw Lefevre then presented a peshould operate on society in the way of ter tition from the inhabitants of the same bo. ror. The second was, to put it out of the rough, praying a reform in the Commons power of the person offending to commit Houle of Parliament. He observed, that crimes in future, either for a certain time the objects stated, and the grievances comfpecified in the sentence, or for ever. The plained of, were of three diftinct kinds.principle of the third was, the resormation The first was, An unequal and inadequate of the offending party. A favourite system representation of the people in the Comhad, he thought, most unhappily been adopta mons House of Parliament; the second was, ed in the transportation of convicts to New That too many placemen and pensioners South Wales. He complained of the great were permitted to hold feats in that house ; injustice done to the convicts in transporting and, thirdly and lastly, That the continuathem at a period considerably later than that tion of the Parliament was prolonged to too of their conviction, to that it has sometimes long a period, and thould be altered from happened that but one year of the term was septennial to triennial Parliaments. The unexpired by the time they were embarked. meeting at which these resolutions were fo He next adverted to the case of semale con- vnanimously agreed to, was legally conve. victs, on whom a sentence of seven years ned by the Mayor, upon a requisicion sign


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