Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

of his hopes. Had ever such a tax pre- his majesty to different persons, and the vailed in England? There ought to be a several resolutions were agreed to.-A messimilarity of situation and regulation with sage from the lords informed the house, regard to the trade of every quarter of the that their lordships had agreed to the Proempire. The union was founded on a prin-perty Duty bill, Salt Duty bill, Mutiny bill, ciple of equality, and of similarity of situa- and several private bills, without any amendtion; and of this the assimilation of the cur- ments.-Mr. Foster brought up the Irish rency of the two countries furnished some Export and Import Duty bill, Inland Duty proof. bill,. Stamp Duty bill, Postage Duty bill, and Malt and Spirit Duty bill, which were severally read a first time.—Mr. W. Dickinson brought up an account of the rates of exchange of the bills drawn by admiral Blanket and sir H. Popham, during their stations in the Red Sea. Ordered to lie on the table and to be printed.-The report of the Royal Marine Mutiny bill was brought up and agreed to.-The Sugar Drawback bill was committed.-The Exchequer Bills bill, and Expiring Laws bill, were read a 2d time.-Adjourned.

Mr. Hawthorne could not assent to the motion. The tax was a bad one in every view of its operation and tendency.

Mr. Princep entered his solemn protest against a tax notoriously bearing on the industry of the individual, so as to lead to his ruin. The question being called for, the house divided: for the 6 per cent. impost duty 107, against it 44, majority 63.-The other resolutions were then read, and agreed

to.

[LEGACY DUTY BILL.]-The Chancellor of the Exchequer moved the order of the day for going into a committee on the Legacy Duty bill. As he had learned since he came into the house, that some difference of opinion existed respecting this measure, he should only observe then, that there were other stages in which it might be discussed.

[MINUTES.-The Royal Assent was given by commission to the Pleasure Horse Duty bill, the Salt Duty bill, the Property Tax bill, the Mutiny bill, and 3 private bills.

Mr. Dickinson, jun. brought up the Royal Marine Mutiny bill, and two private bills, which were severally read a first time.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer had not heard any thing to induce him to alter his opinion, or to give up what would be the most material part of the tax, amounting to 200,000l. He was ready to pay every attention to any observation on the subject. The bill then passed through the committee, and the report was ordered to be received on Tuesday.-Adjourned.

Mr. For stated that there would be a considerable difference of opinion relative to that part of it which imposes a duty only on legacies to children. However, as there would be other stages for discussing it, heLord Melville, pursuant to his intimation should forbear for the present from any op- on a former evening, presented a great numposition, reserving that for the report. ber of naval documents. These, after some conversation between lord Darnley and the noble viscount, were ordered to lie on the table.-The duke of Clarence intimated his intention to move for the production of further documents to-morrow, for which day it was understood their lordships were summoned.-Mr. Parnell, from the Irish treasury, presented an account of the sums remitted from England to Ireland, during the year ending the 1st of last month.-Adjourned.

:

HOUSE OF LORDS.

Saturday, March 16.

[MINUTES.]-The Salt Duty bill, the Property Duty bill, and the Mutiny bill, were read a 3d time and passed, and a message sent to the commons to acquaint them therewith--Adjourned.

HOUSE OF COMMONS.

Saturday, March 16. [MINUTES.]-Mr. Alexander brought up the report of the committee of supply respecting the sums voted in pursuance of addresses of the house, and sums issued by

HOUSE OF LORDS.

Monday, March 18.

HOUSE OF COMMONS,

Monday, March 18.

[MINUTES.]-The Speaker informed the house that he had been in the house of peers, where the royal assent was given by Commission to the Pleasure Horse Duty bill, to the Salt Duty bill, and to the Property Tax Amendment bill.-On the mo tion of Mr. W. Dickinson, an amendment was inserted in the Marine Mutiny bill, empowering provisional courts martial to ad

Tuesday, March 19.

[ROMAN CATHOLICS OF IRELAND.] Lord Grenville acquainted their lordships, that he should. have, on Monday next, to present a Petition to the house, on the part of his majesty's Roman Catholic subjects in Ireland. He was aware that it was not usual to give notices relative to the presentation of petitions; but that mentioned by him was upon a subject of so grave, weighty, and important a nature, that he had taken the liberty previously to mention it. The

minister oaths. The bill was then read a third time and passed.-Mr. Johnstone from the office of chief secretary of Ireland, presented Returns of all Compensations for Boroughs, &c. which were ordered to be printed. Mr. Francis gave notice of his motion relative to India for Monday next, but on the suggestion of lord Castlereagh, deferred it till Monday se'nnight.-Mr. Rose presented Minutes of the privy council with respect to licences for exporting goods to France and Spain.-Mr. Foster moved the 2nd reading of the Irish Drawback bill. After a few words from Mr. Dawson, Mr. | Ker, and Mr. Corry, the bill was read a 2nd time; as were likewise the Irish Excise Duty bill, the Irish Stamp Duty bill, the proceeding was not, he thought, likely to Irish Postage Duty bill, and the Irish Spirit induce any discussion, nor did he mean to Duty bill. On the motion of Mr. Steele, aay any thing then upon it; but, should any new writ was ordered for Bath in the room further motion or proposition be intended of lord John Thynne, who had rendered to be brought forward upon the subject, due his election void, not having duly qualified notice would be given of such intention. himself by taking the oaths, &c.-Mr. Steele obtained leave to bring in a bill to indemnify lord John Thynne for having sat and voted in the house, without having previously qualified himself. The bill was accordingly brought in, read a first time, and ordered to be read a 2nd time to-inorrow. The Chancellor of the Exchequer moved, that a committee be appointed to examine and report the joint charges of the United Kingdom of G. Britain and Ireland, from 1st of Jan. 1801, to 1st of Jan. 1805; what proportion belonged to each country respectively; what are the balances now due; and what would be the best mode in future of ascertaining such balances at the expiration of each year. The motion was agreed to, and a committee appointed for those purposes.-The Chancellor of the Exche quer gave notice, that in the committee of ways and means on Friday next, he should move for certain taxes, to supply the place of the rejected Agricultural Horse tax. He likewise gave notice, that he should move for rendering permanent the present temporary tax on wine.-Mr.Alexander brought up the reports of the committees on the Irish Sugar Drawback, and on the Expiring laws, which were agreed to, and bills ordered accordingly.-Mr. Alexander brought up the Report of the Committee on the Irish Drawback bill, which was agreed to. -Mr. Huskisson obtained leave to bring in a bill to repeal that part of an act of last session which prohibited the issuing of Pro-matters so originated, unless upon matter of missory Notes on demand, under the value record, or by petition, or entertained as of 51.-Adjourned. matter of privilege. Secondly, that such

[CONDUCT OF JUDGE Fox.]-Lord Auckland adverted to the motions which he intended to make, namely, for a committee to search for precedents of proceedings in that house against individuals, upon complaints made by peers upon their own statements, founded upon information derived from others, and to consider how far it was consonant with law for proceedings to be instituted in that house against individuals otherwise than upon petition or matter of record, in support of which motions, his lordship argued at considerable length. The mode of proceeding hitherto adopte:1 was one which he highly disapproved in other points of view, beside those of its being productive to the parties of great expence, delay, an vexation. It would be necessary, in some degree, to tread back the steps they had taken; but did it appear to' be consistent with the honour, the dignity, and, above all, the correctness of their lordships' proccedings, he thought there could be no hesitation to do so. What he had to propose for the adoption of their lordships would be resolved into various propositions: the first was, for the appointment of a committee to search for precedents of cases of any charge brought forward of high crimes and misdemeanors against any individual by a peer of the realm, upon his own personal statement of facts, &c.; and how far it is consistent with any law or statute, or usage of parliament, that house can proceed upon

HOUSE OF LORDS.

committee should search for precedents of any such charges being made against any of his majesty's judges, previous to the Act of W. III. Also to enquire into proceedings adopted on the ground of petitions, alledging charges of high crime and misdemeanour; and also whether charges preferred against any person proceeding from individual assertion, can be, under the operation of the statute of H. IV. regularly or legally entertained or acted upon in that house? In considering the general subject, their lordships would have to consider what change has really been made in the situation of the judges, by the acts applying to them; and, with respect to the particular case before them, whether, with reference to the acts he alluded to, such a charge could, regularly and properly, be made in that house? In arguing against the correctness and propriety of the proceedings which had hitherto taken place, his lordship made frequent references to the provisions of the Act of H. IV. and adverted to several cases which had obtained, of charges being made, and of the line of proceeding adopted upon them, which, he contended, bore him out in saying, that such proceedings could not, /properly, originate in that house. Referring to the acts respecting the judges, he contended generally, that to act upon principles contrary to what he had laid down, would be to place the judges in a different situation from that of any of their fellow subjects; the benefit of a full and free administration of justice; benefits which the application of the provision quam diu se bene gesserint did not exclude them. His lordship argued with great ability against the propriety and correctness of the proceedings hitherto adopted, in the particular instance before them; and, that cases of the kind could not regularly originate in that house. He referred to some prominent considerations in the particular case, some of the charges being of a very weighty and serious nature, and which were made on information given by a third person. Besides the great considerations of public and private justice in the case before them, his object in coming forward was to afford the house a regular ground, and the necessary information, previous to their deciding upon a case, in every point of view, of such great importance. He concluded by moving his first proposition, viz. " for the appointment of a committee for the purposes above stated."

The Lord Chancellor replied to the argu

ments adduced by the noble lord, expressing his decided opinion, that, having gone so far, it was a duty they owed to the public, and to the learned judge against whom charges were made, to bring the investigation to a conclusion with as little delay as possible; he therefore upon this ground objected to the noble lord's motives, as tending to create unnecessary delay. He could not see what possible benefit could arise from a search after precedents of proceedings previous to the act of W. III. as they could not apply to the case which was under the consideration of the house. As to any precedents since, there were none, for to the honour of the judges, not a single instance had occurred since the passing of that act, where it was necessary to recur to an address of both houses of parliament to remove a judge. He would ask how they could have proceeded otherwise than they had in the case of the learned judge alluded to? It was his opinion, that supposing the charges to be true (with respect, however, to their truth or falschood, he wished it to be distinctly understood that he gave no opinion whatever) a scieri facias would not have touched them, or affected the patent of the judge, as what he was charged with having done was not done in the execution of his office, as a judge of the court of Common Pleas, but on a special commission on the circuit. Suppose an impeachment had taken place, could the judg ment have been, in case the charges had been proved, a judgment of removal from office? he doubted it, and if not, an address from that house, in conjunction with the house of commons, must have been resorted to, which must have been moved by some individual peer. Supposing an address of that nature to originate in the house of commons, still on its being brought to their lordship's bar, they would not take it as a proof, but would proceed upon the motion of some individual peer to investigate the subject themselves. Upon the whole, his lordship strongly objected to the motions, which he considered, as tending to create an unnecessary delay.

Lord Grenville could not bring his mind to concur with the noble and learned lord, that further investigation upon this subject was unnecessary. He had expressed his opinion at an early stage of the business, and, whatever might be the law of parliament, every consideration, both of wisdom and justice, called upon the house to deliberate upon the question. His lordship in

sisted on the necessity of searching for precedents, and adverted to the case of the earl of Bristol, and several others, which he had looked into, and from which his lordship's mind had, he said, derived great assistance. The course which the house was then pursuing, he considered a direct violation of the law, and of the fundamental principles of the constitution; the proceedings, so far as they had gone, were entered upon the journals of the house, and was it to be said that a veil was now to be drawn over those proceedings, and what had been entered upon record, handed down as precedents to posterity, for their example? It was impossible therefore to put off this question, without some farther investigation; there were ample precedents in the house to authorise it to go into such investigation, and the arguments used against it, by noble lords on the other side, were not founded either upon law, upon justice, or upon principle, but were merely a detail of minute distinctions wholly unworthy consideration; he, therefore, trusted their lordships would be allow-grounds, indeed, for such a proceeding; for ed to receive that assistance from prece- that learned judge had been charged with dents, and that a committee for that pur- no less a crime than having used seditious pose might be appointed, language from the bench. This was certainly a charge of sufficient importance to ground an impeachment on, if it could be proved. He wished the house, in the present case, to conform itself to its established usages and precedents.

Earl Spencer contended that a committee ought to be appointed, and that the constitutional mode of enquiring into the misconduct of a judge was by impeaching him. If the accusations brought against the learned judge, who was now the defendant, could be substantiated, there were very strong

parliament claimed as their peculiar privilege. In the course of that impeachment which was still in their recollection, the impeachment of Mr. Hastings, it would be recollected, that many such difficulties did arise. He certainly felt that a measure of such importance as addressing his majesty to remove a judge, ought not to be adopted without grave and weighty reasons, but if their lordships should be convinced by cogent reasons that a judge was unfit to hold his office, he could see no reason why the houses of parliament should forbear from presenting those addresses for his removal which the act of settlement expressly stated as sufficient ground to remove a judge from his office.

Lord Hawkesbury observed, that the of fice of a judge had been by the Act of W. III. rendered as freehold, with a condition annexed to it, namely, that the judge should be removable upon the address of both houses of parliament. He considered the mode of proceeding adopted with respect to the learned judge alluded to, to have been perfectly regular, except in the instance of laying the articles of complaint upon the table. He admitted that no judicial proceedings could originate in that house upon the complaint of a peer against any individual, except upon matters of privilege; but he contended, that the case of the learned judge was totally distinct, and did not come within the meaning of such judicial proceedings. He thought a search for precedents, as moved by the noble lord would be wholly unnecessary, and could lead to no useful purpose; it was well known that no precedent existed since the passing the act of settlement, which bore upon the present question. Neither could he by any means agree that the remedy by impeachment was so simple and free from difficulties and obstacles as the noble lord had represented. Whoever would take the pains of studying the history of impeachments in this country, would see that a great many difficulties did always arise respecting what each house of

Lord Mulgrave could not see that there could be any necessity for appointing a committee to consult precedents, when it was well known that no precedent which could be found would come near the present case. When the judges were made independent of the crown, it was clearly stated, that they were only removable by address from both houses of parliament, or by impeachment. The precedents therefore of cases which happened before the passing this law, could have no application to the present case, and he could not conceive any other ground that could be required for those addresses, except the clear conviction of both houses of parliament on due and weighty consideration, that it was proper to present those addresses. If the house should, therefore, now think it impossible for them to proceed without finding out precedents, the same reason would always apply against addressing for the removal of any judge.

Lord Carleton allowed that it was competent to either house of parliament to originate the question; and that since the passing of the act of W. III. it was as constitu

tional for parliament to proceed by the way of address as by that of impeachment, which, of course, could not originate in that house,

but must come from the commons.

from their offices, and rendered incapable of ever more voting in parliament. His lordship thought, therefore, that the house should consult all such precedents as could give the least insight into the case, and as such, would vote for the motion.

Lord Eilenborough said, that highly as he respected the opinion of his noble and learned friend, he could not help differing from Lord Auckland rose to reply. The noble him on the present question. He thought lord observed in forcible terins, on the cruelthat in an enthe new case, as this confessed- ty of bringing the learned judge, whose case ly was, and when the house was called on was under consideration, with his witnesses, to decide on an act of parliament that had from above 400 miles distance, to answer never yet been acted upon or brought into such serious charges as were alledged against consideration-an act of parliament of such him, before the house had fully deliberated immense importance to every subject of and decided upon the proper mode of prothe empire, because it went to no less acceding to investigate those charges. That mode was not, he maintained, as yet discovered; and he very much apprehended that should the house proceed farther in the course recommended by the opponents of

The Lord Chancellor in explanation statted, that he did not mean to insinuate that the object of this motion was to create delay, or to impede the progress of the inves tigation to which it referred; but he would beg noble lords to be assured, that whatever impediments might be thrown in the way, this business should not end until complete justice was done between the country and the individual concerned.

point than the removal of the judges from their places, he thought it was necessary their lordships should have the advantage of the opinion of the 12 judges. He thought also, that, in a case like this, their lordships his motion, their lordships would find themcould not proceed with too much caution; selves in the aukward and degrading dilemand, therefore, that they ought to have thema of being obliged to retrace their steps. advantage of all the precedents which our ancestors had made the rule and guide of their conduct, antecedent to the time of the act of settlement. He well remembered | the time when he was obliged in duty, in the line of his profession, to object to the proceedings of that house, when they went from thence to the place below, day by day, for 7 long years; yet he was more pleased to see even such a proceeding, according to the established rules and customs of the coun- Lord Auckland observed, that if the noble try, than he would be to have witnessed an lord who had just sat down meant to say that attempt to enter upon any measures, which the object of his motion was merely to creshould seem like an innovation on the esta-ate delay, such language was not parliamenblished laws and customs of the land. It tary, and if the noble lord did not mean to had been said, their lordships could not be say so, his observation was altogether unnecertain that the commons house of parlia-cessary. In vindication of his motives for ment would exercise their privilege of im- the proposition he submitted to the house, peachment; and, therefore, that house ought he should only mention that he had no kind to proceed by way of address. He could of acquaintance whatever with the learned not, however, suffer himself to think, that person who was the object of this investigaany subject whatever of such importance as tion, and that he was actuated solely by a the present, could be agitated in that house, sense of duty, and a desire to do justice.so as that it should be apparent it deserved The question being put, a division was called impeachment, but that the commons would for, and the numbers were, contents 17, immediately take it up and prosecute it ac- non contents 29; majority 12.-On the recordingly. It had been said, that proceed-admission of strangers, lord A. gave notice ing by way of address was not a criminal of a motion upon the same subject for Moncharge; but he thought otherwise. Was day next, for which day the lords were ornot the removal of a man from so high and dered to be summoned.-Adjourned. distinguished an office as that of judge, a criminal charge? Was not divesting him of honour, rank, and high official station, the strongest mark of a criminal charge? In proof of this, his lordship referred to the cases of Lionel, earl of Middlesex, and lord Bacon, who were, on addresses, removed

HOUSE OF COMMONS.

Tuesday, March 19. [MINUTES.]-On the motion of sir W. Young, the account presented to the house of ships and their tonnage, cleared out from Ireland to the West Indies, was ordered to

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »