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Paris, 1st February, 1825. 1 “ Stuart, in his note to M. de Chateaubriand, Sir,
“ of the 4th of January, 1824, as being a vessel I hasten to transmit to the minister of ma." about to sail from Nantes, equipped for slaverine the documents enclosed in the letter which “ trade ; and that sir Charles Stuart gave a your excellency did me the honour to address to “ description of the vessels fitting out at that me on the 29th of last month. The dreadful “ port, and their equipment, and called upon acts attributed to captain Oiseau, commanding “ the French ministry to take measures for the French vessel, Le Louis, will be the “ preventing the voyage. The French minister, subject of a prompt and severe investigation : “ in answer to this representation, gave assur. this government joins in the indignation which “ ances in his note of the 10th January to sir such atrocious conduct cannot fail to excite, and “ Charles Stuart, that the government of the will not hesitate to make such an example as “ king of France did not feel an interest less shall prevent its repetition. I cannot but thank “ deep than that which was felt by the British your excellency for this communication. “ government, in the suppression of this odious
(Signed) THE BARON DE DAMAS. “ traffic, and would not neglect any means in On the 8th of March, 1825, Mr. secretary “ their power, permitted by the laws, for efCanning, in a despatch to viscount Granville, - fecting the object. The French laws on details the circumstances attendant on the “ this subject are, therefore, either not effective detection by H. M. S. Primrose, off the western " or not enforced.” coast of St. Domingo, of a slave ship, laden with In pursuance of the instructions which he 460 negroes; and of her subsequent liberation had received, viscount Granville addressed a on its being ascertained that she was a French note to the baron de Damas on the subject, and vessel called Les deux Nantois, of Nantes. received an answer, in which the baron acknow.
Mr. Canning proceeds to observe, “ I cannot ledges, that Les deux Nantois was one of the " conclude this account, which I beg that your vessels which had been described to the French " excellency will communicate to the govern- government by sir C. Stuart ; but observes, 6 ment of his most Christian majesty, without that when inquiries were made respecting her, “ desiring you at the same time to recall their it was found that she had sailed: no opportunity - attention to the wishes so often expressed on for any steps to be taken could occur until her " the part of his majesty, and the hopes held return to France, or until her arrival at any of 4 out by the government of France, that mea- the French colonial ports might enable the au. “ sures would be taken effectually to check a thorities to ascertain the nature of her expe. “ trade, which France has abandoned by treaty dition. The baron expresses the confidence of 4 and abolished by law, but which yet continues the French government, that the orders which 66 to be covered by her flag. Your excellency it had given on this occasion to the colonial 66 will remark, that Les deux Nantois is one authorities had been or would be punctually * of the vessels to which the attention of the obeyed. “ French government was drawn by sir Charles
COMMITTEES ON PRIVATE BILLS. committees are constituted, the suggestion of a Report from the Select Committee of the House
remedy would not properly find a place in the
observations of your committee. of Commons, on the Constitution of Committees
It is evident, however, that whatever portion on Private Bills.
of this mischief may be caused by an almost ex. Your committee, duly impressed with the great clusive attendance on committees by such memimportance of the subject, and convinced of the bers as are either directly or indirectly personuniversal and earnest desire of the house to ally interested in the issue of the proceedings, adopt some modification of the constitution of may be obviated by giving such a constitution its committees on private bills, equally with a to committees, as shall have a tendency to exview to the convenience of its own members and clude such as may be thus deeply interested, and to the satisfaction of the public, submit to the afford the best chances of an impartial, and, at house the following observations on the matter the same time, an adequate attendance. referred to their consideration :
Under the present system, each bill is comThe most frequent grounds of complaint against mitted to the member who is charged with its committees have been, that protracted and ex- management, and such other members as he pensive investigations have been attended solely may choose to name in the house, and the mem. by members whose constituents were locally bers serving for a particular county (usually the interested in the results, or, in some cases, by county immediately connected with the object of members who have themselves had an individual the bill), and the adjoining counties; and con. interest in the subject of bills ; while it has not sequently it has been practically found, that the unfrequently happened, that the final decision members to whom bills have been committed on the clauses and on the reports have, at the have been generally those who, in one or other very close of committees, been settled by nume- of the modes above specified, have been most rous other members, who, from their absence, interested in the result. have been ignorant of the information obtained If in the case of a projected canal, or a road during the earlier stages of the proceedings. passing through two or three counties, the But your committee feel it their duty to observe, friends of the bill discover, that among the at the outset of their report, that no small por- members serving for the division of counties to tion of this admitted evil is attributable to the which the bill is committed a majority are likely course commonly adopted by the litigant parties to support it, they rest satisfied with the consti. themselves, who, if their object be of a magni- tution of the committee; but the same reason tude to inspire either great hopes of profit or produces a very different feeling in the opponents apprehensions of loss, and the subscription fund of the measure, who never fail to procure some be large, will resort to every expedient and member to open the committee, by moving in device to protract inquiry, with the determina- the house, “that all who come shall have voices;" tion either to drive their opponents from the a step justifiable, and perhaps indispensable on field by expense, or to render it impossible, for their part, but which, far from diminishing the want of time, to pass the bill into a law. Such evil, not unfrequently augments it tenfold, by a course of proceeding renders a constant attend inviting all the interested parties in the house ance on committees almost impossible. While to take part in the business of the committee, it necessarily harasses and fatigues the members which necessarily terminates in the prevalence of the house, it is destructive of the ends of of the strongest party; for they who have no public and private justice, and loudly calls for interest of their own to serve, will not be presome specific, regulations, without which it will vailed upon to take part in a struggle in which be in vain to expect an entire cure of the evils their unbiassed judgment can have no effect. incident to the present system. But as this evil Injurious as such proceedings are to the ends of has not arisen from the mode in which such justice and the character of parliament, your committee are satisfied they are so naturally! It appears, however, worthy of consideration, incident to the present constitution of commit- whether a division of counties formed on a new tees, that no permanent improvement can be principle, accompanied by a permission in cer. obtained, except through some changes in the tain cases to strike a limited number of names formation of the committees themselves. from the list, might not be found to obviate
The first point, therefore, they would recom- much of the evil complained of. With this view mend to the consideration of the house, is the it is submitted to the house, that each bill should propriety of abstaining hereafter from complying be hereafter committed to the member intrusted with the motion, “ that all who come have with its management, and to the members' sery“ voices." It is important to observe, that the ing for the county or place immediately connected practice of opening committees by that process with the project, and to as many of the adjoinis of modern adoption ; and the inconveniencies ing counties as may contain, as nearly as may that have resulted from it have been so gene- be, sixty members : and that to this number rally felt and acknowledged, that it is unneces- should be added other counties containing about sary to offer any arguments against its longer sixty more members, taken indiscriminately continuance.
from other parts of Great Britain and Ireland. With respect to the precise form and manner If voices are no longer to be allowed to all who in which it may be advisable to re-model the attend committees, it seems highly desirable that committees, more doubts may exist. Abstract- provision should be made for the attendance of a edly considered, that mode would undoubtedly fair proportion of Irish and Scotch members on be most desirable, which should assimilate com- committees on English bills, and of English mittees, by a limitation of numbers, and an ex- members on Irish and Scotch committees. Ac- . clusion of all bias from interest, to the form and cording to the existing lists of the divisions of character of juries. But the accomplishment of counties, made under the direction of the speaker that which is desirable, must necessarily be con about twenty-five years ago, there are in some sidered with reference to practicability. And instances above two hundred members from adalthough, if it should ultimately prove necessary, joining counties at liberty to attend committees, every consideration of the personal convenience while in others there are not more than between of members should be disregarded, your com- sixty and seventy. By preserving the principle mittee are unwilling, in the first instance, to of committing bills to a limited number of memrecommend any plan which might be thought bers from adjoining counties, the house will reto draw too largely on their time, or to impose tain some security for an adequate attendance of labours which might be unwillingly submitted members, possessing local knowledge on the subto, or duties which might be imperfectly dis-ject, on its committees ; while the admission of charged.
an equal number of members from other parts of Most of the plans which have been brought Great Britain and Ireland, will have a tendency under the consideration of your committee, have to correct any prevalence of bias on the minds of been founded on the principle of ballot, accom- members serving for counties with which any panied, as it necessarily must be, by compulsory particular project may be connected. regulations for enforcing attendance. But the Should it be the pleasure of the house to necessary service on the numerous select com- adopt this suggestion, and to request of the mittees always sitting, charged with the investi. speaker that a new distribution of the counties gation of subjects frequently of the highest na may be formed on this new principle, especial tional importance, the official engagements of care should be taken not to include in any one many members of the house, the mercantile and list too large a proportion of members represent. professional avocations of others, the employ-ing any one particular description of interest ; ment afforded to many members representing and it may be well to remark, that with a view populous manufacturing counties and places by to prevent the supporters or opponents of any the local or commercial interests of their con- intended bill from submitting ex parte statestituents, the advanced ages of others, and, above ments to members before the assembling of par. all, the unavoidable occasional absences of mem- liament in each session, it would be expedient to bers from attendance in parliament, are so many make, sessionally, some alteration in the distri. reasons against the adoption of such a principle, / bution of the counties, to which neither party if any less objectionable can be discovered. could have access till after parliament had met. These considerations, added to those of the But as it might still happen in some cases of great number of private committees, which are committees so constituted, there might still be more likely to increase than to diminish, and found members who had deep personal interests the length into which the investigation before in the questions at issue, it appears right to your them will, under any regulations, be sometimes committee that an arrangement should be made, protracted, all conspire to render select com- by which any party petitioning in favour of, or mittees obtained by ballot, and kept to a forced against the whole or any part of a bill, who attendance by compulsory regulations, a question should among other matters pray that the comof doubtful policy and practicability.
mittee might be still further limited, should be
entitled to procure such limitation. The parties, ful and laborious work is now completed to their in such case might be appointed to appear at a satisfaction, the balance which remains due given time, and place, before the member in- should be paid to those who have been engaged trusted with the management of the bill, and in carrying it on. They also concur in Mr. there having previously selected some member, Rickman's recommendation as to methodising should, through his agency, be at liberty to re- and compressing into one volume the two duce the list by striking out, not exceeding fifteen volumes of Dunn's Index of the Journals from members on each side, which would then leave from 1774 to 1800. Having had an opportunity ninety at liberty to serve; a number which your of examining a synthetical table of the whole committee does not consider too large, when course of business in the house, which had been they reflect on the necessary absence of some arranged during the time that Lord Colchester members, and the unavoidable avocation of was speaker, they deem it a most useful addition others. They conceive that a number of mem- | to the improved index, and have accordingly di. bers sufficient to form a quorum, might be se- rected that it should be prefixed to the volume. lected from the list so struck, who might be pre- The committee speak in high terms of the acvailed upon voluntarily to undertake an impartial curacy with which the new index has been and judicial investigation of the points to be printed. brought before the committee, the proceedings of which would be entirely under their own di
PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE rection, and which would not be subject to be
ROOMS AND PAPERS. controlled, at the conclusion of a laborious inquiry, by an intrusion of members ignorant of Substance of the First Report from the Select all that had passed during the previous proceed
Committee of the House of Commons, appointed ings.
to inquire into the State and Condition of the Should a trial be given to the plan recom.
Printed Reports, and other Papers, presented mended, it is the opinion of your committee,
to that House, and who were instructed to that the members serving for the county, city,
consider and arrange such Reports as it may or place, from whence a bill may proceed, or
be proper to print in Volumes, in addition to through which a projected canal or road of any
those which have been already so printed, and description may pass, should in no case be liable prepare an Estimate of the Expense of Printa to exclusion from the committee on the bill.
ing the same ; also to consider of providing Your committee cannot close its report with.
some proper Place for the safe Custody of the out adverting to a practice which has grown up
printed Books and Papers, affording conin committees, and which they deem as contrary
venient Access to the same, for the Use of to the intentions of the house as it is manifestly
Members ; and who were also instructed to incorrect in principle. Measures have occasion.
consider the best Means of providing addi. ally been frustrated by committees striking out
tional Accommodation for Committee Rooms, of bills the essential clauses, or by adjourning to
with the least possible Delay. a distant day, and thereby abstaining from mak. The object to which the committee first di. ing any report. It would be unwise, even if it rected their attention was the committee rooms, were possible, to attempt to prescribe to the which they declare are wholly inadequate to the judgment of committees with respect either to existing necessity. On a single day, in the the rejection or the insertion of clauses; but the course of the session, four committees met on house is entitled in all cases to a report of the public, and thirty on private business ; nineteen proceedings of its committees, and it therefore of the latter having been fixed to meet in one appears necessary that the house should adopt room. They recommend the immediate addi. some resolution on this head.
tion of at least ten committee rooms. The 21st June, 1825.
confined space of the present library being also
productive of similar inconveniences, they also JOURNALS OF THE HOUSE OF recommend that a new, large, commodious, and COMMONS.
accessible library should be provided. The
site which the committee point out as the most Substance of a Report from the Select Committee
commodious for the new committee rooms and of the Ilouse of Commons, appointed to ex-libe
library is the court bounded by the Thames, amine the Progress made in the General Index to the Journals of that House, extending
the long gallery, the painted chamber, and
the house of commons. As it will be necesfrom the Union of Ireland to the Demise of his
sary to remove the official house of Mr. Ler, late Majesty, and in continuing a similar Form
form the clerk of the house of commons, the comof Index to the present Time.
mittee observe, that a temporary residence must The committee lay before the house a detailed be provided for that gentleman, and advise that account from Mr. Rickman, under whose direc- l a new official residence should be built for bim tion and superintendence the new index has in the space lying between the north entrance of been conducted, and recommend that as this use-Westminster Hall and the river.
The second report of the same committee annually printed and arranged, a certain num. contains the minutes of the evidence of Mr. ber of perfect copies should be preserved unBenjamin Spiller, George Whittam, esq., and broken. The necessity of some such arrangeJohn Soane, esq. The evidence of Mr. Spiller, ment will be apparent by a reference to the the librarian of the house of commons, esta evidence of Mr. Hansard, who has informed blishes the insufficiency of the library for its your committee, that only, one complete copy of purpose; that of Mr. Whittam, the clerk of these papers is at the present moment in his the journals, the insufficiency of the place of possession. Your committee recommend, that reception for the journals; and that of Mr. at the close of every session complete sets of the Soane, the expediency of selecting the spot, printed papers should be deposited iu the library comprehending part of Cotton Garden, between of the British Museum, the Bodleian and Camthe Long Gallery and the river, for the purpose bridge university library, the library of Trinity of building new committee rooms, and a library College, Dublin, and the advocates' library at for the house of commons.
Whenever the house shall conceive it ex. The following is the third report of the same pedient to direct a reprint of the reports, your committee:
committee conceive that the proceedings of com. In obedience to the order of reference, your missioners, whether appointed under statute or committee have proceeded to inquire into the in consequence of an address, should be included state of the printed reports and papers presented in the new edition ordered. Previously to the to the house. Referring to the report made by union with Ireland, few reports of this descripthe select committee, appointed for a similar tion were laid before parliament; but, since that purpose in 1803, they directed an arrangement period, many subjects of the greatest importance to be made of selected reports, similar to that have been subjected to this mode of inquiry; adopted in the collection of fifteen volumes and the same principles of selection should direct already printed. This arrangement will be the arrangement of the reports of commissioners found in the Appendix. The reports comprised and the reports of the committees of the house. in this catalogue have all been presented during A general index to the sessional papers has the period from the year 1801 to the present been prepared by Mr. Hansard, the printer to time. The importance of the subjects that the house ; your committee recommend its comhave engaged the attention of parliament during pletion to the accession of his present majesty, the interval, renders the reports, both of com- and consider it necessary that it should be printed mittees and of commissioners, of the greatest for the use of the house. public interest. In these reports various ques. The set of printed papers now deposited in tions are discussed relating to the administra- the custody of the clerk of the journals, being tion of justice, the privileges of parliament, more complete than that in the care of the arts and manufactures, agriculture and trade, librarian, your committee recommend that it education, criminal law, and police; and it is should be transferred to the library, as a place obvious, that the preservation of documents of of more convenient access and reference. this description, and their arrangement in such! Whenever a reprint of the reports is directed, a form as to be available for the purposes of the house will have to consider how far it is reference, are of the greatest importance. The expedient, in the new series, to adhere to the same motives which induced the house in 1803 size and arrangement adopted by the committee to reprint a selection of the reports then exist- of 1803. The difference of cost between an ing, appear to your committee sufficient to war- edition in the larger folio, and one of the same rant a continuation of the series. But as a size as the sessional papers, has been stated at very considerable number of copies of these re-fifty per cent; a consideration of considerable ports are still preserved in warehouses, your importance in a work of magnitude and ex. committee do not feel themselves warranted at pense. the present moment in recommending to the The classification to which your committee house the commencement of such an under have referred applies at present, except in a taking.
few instances, to reports only. It has occurred Three hundred and seventy-three volumes, to your committee, that a similar classification including all papers, have been printed by the might with much utility be adopted as to the authority of the house since the year 1800, of papers. Those of each session are arranged which the most valuable reports, both of com- with as much attention to similarity of subjects mittees and of commissioners, contained in this as the case admits; and, for the papers of each collection, might all be comprised in thirty folio session, perhaps no better arrangement could volumes.
be adopted. But it appears to your committee, A reprint of these reports your committee that where the papers of a period embracing consider deserving of the attention of the house several sessions are to be preserved, a classificaat some future period ; and they consider, that tion, similar to that which is adopted in regard with regard to the sessional papers hereafter the reports, that is, a classification by subjects,