« PreviousContinue »
India. This bill had no smaller ob As this bill was totally laid by af-
long charges and defences were made The reasons urged in support of the between some gentlemen who were motion were, that the bad ftate of leaders of parties, or had consideraour affairs in India was owing to the ble influence in t'de India courts, and little power the court of directors had some others that had acquired valt to punish their servants, either for fortunes in the company's service adisobedience to their orders, or for broad. These matiers would have malpractices in their several depart- been of little consequence to the pubmenis; that nothing could contribute lic, if through the heat that attended more to those enormities, than that them, and perhaps, the animosity folecism in reason and policy, of al- from whence they proceeded, the lowing the governors of diftant coun. conduct and affairs of the company, tries to become traders and mer. and the transactions of her servants, chants; and that the judicature of had not been laid open in such a manBengal was eftablished when we had ner, as evidently thewed, that they only a small territory, and was total- merited a strict enquiry, and wanted ly unequal to the administration of much regulation. It also afforded an juftice, in so vast a dominion as we handle to its
enemies, which was not now possess in that part of the world. neglected, of attempting to shew the
It was faid on the other side, that insufficiency of the coinpany for the it was unparliamentary to bring in a government of fuch greai deminions, bill to redress a grievance, without and the necessity that government some prior proof that the grievance should take the whole under its immeexifted; that the house ought first to diate jurisdiction. enter into an enquiry concerning our On the day of bringpresent situation in India, and the ing in the bill, a motion Apr. 13th. causes that led to it; that it was to was accordingly made for be feared the enquiry would shew, a fele&t committee of thirty-one memthat the evils lay too deep to be re- bers to enquire into the nature and medied by the proposed bill; that it state of the East India company, and would be almost imposlible to pre- of the affairs in the Lalt Indies. The vent the company's servants from neceility of such an enquiry was trading, directly or indirectly; that ftrongly urged from a variety of conthe fending out a few persons learned fiderations, among which were the in the laws of England, as judges, following the present very precawas very inadequate to the purpose rious situation of affairs in india; the of executing the laws in fo valt a tract late ditiresses of the natives, and the of country, and that the mealure depopulation of the country; the opwould be premature, as we had not prelive and arbitrary conduct of the yet determined by what laws the in- company's servants; the great dehabitants should be governed. The create of the nett revenues in Bengal, notion was however carried, and a from various mismanagements, as bill was some time after brought in well as from great and unnecesary accordingly.
expences; the immense consequence result of these, and of the other ento this nation of preserving and well quiries that were made into the state governing those countries; and that of the East India affairs, will appear this could only be done, by making in their proper place, in the biftoria full enquiry into their nature and cal article for the ensuing year. itate, and then eftablish a regular and The ill temper which had so unpermanent form of justice and govern- accountably taken place between the ment.
two houses in the preceding session, Though the necessity of some en was continued during the whole quiry and regulation was evident, course of the present, and except in many objeéted to the beginning of the transmitting of bills from one to such enquiry so late in the setlion ; the other, there was no more comsummer was already appearing, and munication between them, than if its magnitude was such, and the dif- they had been the jealous councils of ficulties attending it were so great, iwo rival states. that it was evident the twentieth part
In this state of things, of it could not be gone through during the lords having, contra- Apr. zoth. the fitting of parliament. Many ob- ry to custom, fent a bill jected to the mode of enquiry by a to the commons by a master in chanselect committee; and though the cery and a clerk affiftant, the whole gentleman who made the motion was house seemed to take fire at the inunconnected with adminiftration, it dignity, and would not accept the was known that the minister would message till they had examined the have the virtual nomination of the journals, to know if there were any members who composed the commit- precedents for sending bills in such a tee. It was besides urged, that the manner. In the course of a hafty ard seiect committee was not accountable patsionate debate which ensued upon for its conduct; that an enquiry this occasion, several gentlemen mentherefore, by the board of trade or tioned, that on the first day of the privy council would be preferable, session, they had been rudely turned as they are amenable to justice; and out of the house of lords, even before that as the proceedings of such com- the speaker got out of the door. A mittees often are secret, and never motion was accordingly made for a entirely published, they are in no fear committee to search for precedents of of public censure, and are thereby the manner of bills being sent from free from that controul, to which the the lords, and also of the improper whole house is liable, all its transac- behaviour of the lords to the comrions being quickly known to the mons. Exceptions were however world. Besides it was urged, that taken to the word improper, as if it no plan had been mentioned; so that carried an appearance of prejudging tie boule which was about to vote the case, and after a warm debate, this rery delicate enquiry, could not the word was left out upon a divijudge to what objecis it was direct- fion. ed, or what ends it proposed to com Upon the report of the committee país.
being given in, which contained reNotwithlanding these objecions, folutions of inproper behaviour and the motion for a filecl commitee was a want of refpea, which ought to be carried witinut a division, and thiny relented, a motion was made to lend noe members were according to cho- back the bill to the lords, atligning 10 br balans. The fubject of their as a reaton, that it had been tent by inquitation 495 forsrious, and of to improper meßengers. This was epgreat an errent, that iher were obli- pored by admaitation, as it was ged 2 aspir for lease to contince iad ri might lay a foundation for a rattings esclavemet. Tae quarrel, which might not be easily
accommodated; and after a conside- bill; and that it was telling the peorable debate, the inotion was over- ple by their representatives, that ihey ruled upon a division, by 107, against were no longer to‘tax themselves: it 53. A motion was then made for a was however said, that money levied conference with the lords, which was by way of penalty could not possibly over-ruled in the same manner, and be considered in that light; but it was after long debates, and several pro- replied, that it was not the sum to be posed amendinents, the matter ended levied, nor the manner of levying it, ia a message to the lords, in which the but the precedent whichit might eltaimproprieiy of the messengers was blish, and the doctrines and princithe only complaint ftated, which it ples it might hereafter maintain, that was hoped would not be drawn into were the matter of confideration; and precedent; this produced an answer, that it was not for 405. the glorious that the bill had been ordered in the Hampden contended, but for the prousual manner, and that the matter of perties, privileges, and liberties of complaint was occafioned by the ill- ' his countrymen. The bills were nefs of one of the persons who Nould throw'n out with extraordinary marks, have presented it, that a good cor- of contempt. respondence was withed for, and In the speech from the throne, acthat it was not meant to introduce knowledgments were made of the any precedent contrary to establifhed temper and prudence which usage. Thus the fore was covered, had governed all their deli- June 9. if not skinned, for the present. berations; and particular
The inefficacy of the temporary thanks was returned for the fresh corn bills which had been passed in proof they had given of their affecevery session, for examining into, and iionate attachment in the additional considering the whole fate of the security they had provided for the corn trade, and of the corn laws, and welfare and honour of the royal fa-' for fraining fuch resolutions thercon,' mily. They were informed of the as might be the balis of a comprehen- pacific disposition of other powers, live and peripanentlaw, which should and that there was the Itrongest reatake in all pollible cases, with respect fon to believe, that the tranquillity to exportation, importation, prices of this nation was not in danger of and bounties, and thereby supersede being disturbed. They were heartithe necesity of temporary and im- ly thanked for the chearfulness and perfect regulations. Several resolu- dispatch with which they had granttions were then passed and approved ed the supplies, the ample provision of upon this subject, and the lateness that had been made for every branch of the scaloo only, prevented its be- of the public service; and that it was ing carried farther. . A bill was now feen with pleasure and approbation, brought in upon the same principles, that they had at the same time been and passed through the Houle of Com- able, by a proper disposition of the mons, the former resolutions being public money, to make some farther in a great measure the foundation progress in reducing the national debt. of it.
No doubt was niade but they would This bill, together with another, carry to their respective counties the for the levying of penalties on the same principles, and the sume zeal killing of gaine, were returned by the for the public good, which they had iurds with some alterations. This already manifefted; and that' they matter, in the present temper, occa would cultivate a spirit of harmony fioned a great fermeni; it was urged, and confidence among all ranks of the that the lords had no right to make people, to convince then, that, withthe sina!left alteration in any money
oul a due reverence for the laws, вь
neither their civil or religious rights ing a feudatory imposed upon them, could be enjoyed in comfort or secu- too proud and too powerful to be derity; and to assure them that their pendent upon the crown; the art of interests are considered as inseperably war through necessity was their chief connected with those of the crown; study, and their wonderful archieveand that his majesty is and ever was ments in Italy and Sicily shew the persuaded, that the prosperity and great excellence of Norman disciglory of his reign mult depend on his pline; by force they became masters of peftilling the affection and maintaining England, and force was to be used in the happiness of the people.
preserving it: the Scorch, who had
espoused the interest of the Saxon royExtrait from óbfervations on the al family, were to be held in observa
Power of Climaie over the Policy, tion; a descent of the Danes was with Strength, and Manners of Nations. reason to be apprehended; the Sax
ons, whom they had taken by surwith the chapter in which the red with the victors; brave by nature author delcribes the influence of the as themselves, they soon catched their enervaring causes, on the inhabitants noble ardour, and became matters of of South Britain, fome ages after the their discipline. The encrease of terNorman conqueft.
ritory accruing to our fovereigns by • The glorious reigns of the kings intermarriages with the houfes of Anof the Plantagenet race present an jou and of Aquitaine, enlarged their hoftile countenance to that people intercourse with the continent, and which I had endeavoured to establish the claims upon the entire kingdom from the effects of soil and situation of France, which devolved upon Edupon the inhabitants of Great Bri- Ward III. inright of his mother, opentain. I have wished to convey to my ing that intercourse still wider, laid reader an idea, that the temperature a foundation for almoft continual of our climate is favourable to the wars, and gave so bright a glow to growth of every virtue, but our foil the military spirit of England as to and situation are enemies to the pre- dazzle the eyes of all Europe. When fervation of them, ever working to the prosecution of those claims was their corruption as they rise to matu- at any time remitted, the great strugrity; that it accidents, lucky events, gles with the crown, the civil wars or good policy, shall remove the em-' of York and Lancaster, kept up the bariallinents of the enervating cir- national attention to arms; and when cuintances, and restore to climate a these principal causes were quiescent, freedom of acting, its genuine force the inroads from Scotland, the insurwill then disclose itself, and virtue a- rections of the Welch, or the trobles gain be the characteristic of South of Ireland, constantly agitating the Britain. What were the causes which people, made them ever warlike and restored ihis power to climate, and alert: these were no seasons to fit continued it almoft without interrup- down to a luxurious enjoyment of tion, from the Conqueft until the time the things the country afforded; they of Henry VUI. I thall now endeavour could not hug themselves in the secuto thew
rity which the fea presented them; · The Norman barons, from the ftrong continental connections had time their ancestors had seized upon broken their infularity of fituation; the province of Neuttria, were obli- inattention to the schemes of foreign ged to wage almolt perpetual wars courts was shaken off; the want of a with the kings of France, who were due information, which want had piqued, and with good reason, at fee- left the politics of England, during
the Saxon period, in a state of gross all their domestic contention spring imperfection, was supplied; and these from implicit obedience to their great will, I hope, be admitted as suffici- barons before the battle of Evesham, ent reasons why England through or from attachment to particular these ages could not, by yielding to branches of the reigning family, until the circumstances of soil and situation the distinction was lost in the union of sink into the soft down of Noth and the contending houses; it never arose luxury; she was then a body healthy from a just notion of civil liberty, and athletic from temperance and ex- which hath not the aggrandizement of ercise, by the absence of which invi- barons, the pretensions of particular gorating causes, she became in Tuc- families to a crown, for its concern, ceeding ages languid, swoollen, ur as the above causes being removed, wieldy and distempered.
we see them tamely submitting to • The civil wars of York and Lan- Henry VIII. the most bloody and bru caster had so called home the atten- tal tyrant that ever deformed the antion of the English, that Lewis XI. nals of a nation; we cannot point out seized the opportunity of rendering one well regulated effort in favour of their re-establishment in France im- liberty through the long course of his practicable for the future, for the reign; the religious prejudices of a duke of Burgundy, was destroyed ; bigotted nation given up, the properthey began to feel the influence of ty of the church peaceably transferrtrade however remote, and although ed to the crown and to a part of the Henry VII. was a narrow minded, laity, the fortresses of superftition encontemptible, avaricious tyrant, yet tirely disinantled under him and his not a spark of their former fpirit could successor; and to prove that the nahis oppressions Atrike out of the nati- tion did not fubmit from conviction, on; as to the important change of we have only to observe that what property occafioned by laws enacted was done in his and Edward's reign in his reign, it could not as yet have was immediately reversed, with the operated to the humiliation of the no- like consent of the people in the reign bles, for Oxford dismissed his retain- of Mary, whose glooiny and horrid ers through fear of Henry, not thro' cruelties were suffered until death rewant of means to support them; and moved her: these all are marks not of if the commons had acquired proper- national patience but of national inty, it did not add to their resolution, senlibility. As to Elizabeth, her for they endured the unwarrantable greatest admirers must allow her to exaétions of Dudley and Empfon with be no better than a sensible despot; a patience unexampled in former she had occasion for the affection of reigns : in short, so soon as peace, her people, and she had the address together with that commercial turn to.cajole them; but it is evident from which Europe had then taken, had what they had borne from her predefurnished the English with the means cestors, that if she had Philip for her of indulgence and ease, they would friend, insteadof his being her enemy, nor run the hazard of immediately the might not only have offended, losing them, by attempting to give a but oppressed them with impunity : check to this first of the Tudor race; as to the boafted glories of her reign, nor did the despotism of this family it is true lhe prelerved the peace of arife from any extraordinary courage England, but what figure would she in them, but from the abject submit- have made, if the had a principal part sion of the people: and here imparti- to maintain upon the continent, like ality must allow, that although the some of our former monarchs ; had foriner active periods had kept up the their extensive dominions in the courage of the English, yet did France to preserve? she who in the
B b 2