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CALL OF THE House.) Mr. Bennet, in of the House justified,-a full attendance the absence of his right hon. friend (sir was desirable, on a variety of subjects. John Newport, who was prevented by With respect to the Property-tax, he illness from attending in his place), rose to should not have thought the call necessary move for a call of the House of which his solely on account of that nieasure ; but at right hon. friend had given notice. He the same time he thought it proper that said the present state of Europe, and the the sense of the House should be fully great nnmber of important matters which taken on it in one of its stages. He proclaimed the attention of the House, and posed that it should be read a second time particularly the Bill for reviving the Pro. ihat day, committed on Friday, and that perty tax, against which there had been the report on the third reading should be more petitions than had ever been pre-made, when the call would take effeet. sented against any measure that was to The motion for the Call of the House engage the attention of the House, required was then agreed to. that all the members who were not pre- On the order of the day for the second vented by illness, or other unavoidable reading of the Property-tax Bill, sir M. misfortunes, should be present. Those W. Ridley said he opposed the second numerous petitions, indeed, more than any reading, and would oppose the Bill in other cause, rendered this motion the more every stage. The Bill was then read a necessary, because it would thereby enable second time, and ordered to be committed the people to ascertain wbich of their re- on Friday. presentatives attended to their complaints, and which did not attend to them, but in Alien Bill.) On the order of the day direct opposition to their sentiments sup. for going into a Committee on the Bill ported a measure that had been shown to being read, be so universally odious and obnoxious to Mr. Bennet wished to make an observathe whole mass of the people. He con- tion on the burried manner in which it cluded by moving, “That this House be was attempted to pass this Bill. The Bill called over on Monday next.”
was read a second time on Friday last; Lord Castlereagh agreed in thinking that and the members did not receive their in the present state of Europe, it was de- their copies of the Bill till after that stage. sirable that there should be the fullest Although he lived near the House, be did attendance of the House. Adverting to not get his copy till Saturday morning. several notices on the Order Book, if he During the whole of the last century, in might be permitted in his turn to put a which there had been two civil wars, and question to an hon. and learned gentleman a war with our colonies, no measure of the opposite, he wished to know whether he kind had ever been resorted to, till the meant to bring forward the motion of time of the French Revolution. He was which he had given notice, respecting Na- not one of those who thought it even thea ples, on Tuesday next; and if he knew necessary; but would any man say that whether the motion of his hon. and learned there was any resemblance between the friend respecting Genoa would come on present period and the period in question? upon Thursday next?
It was a ridiculous dread that was enter. Mr. Horner assured the noble lord, that tained, or affected to be entertained by he would generally obtain a prompt an- bis Majesty's Government, of foreigners swer from himself or his friends. His hon. in this country. More information was and learned friend (sir James Mackintosh) derived from our newspapers respecting meant, as he understood, to bring forward our affairs, than from all the spies put tohis motion on Thursday next; and he him- gether. But the measure vested the Go. self should bring forward his motion re- vernment with the power of sending out specting Naples on Tuesday next; and such foreigners as might render themselves his motion respecting New Orleans the obnoxious to them, or those persons whom first open day.
they wished to favour. It was converted Mr. Bennet wished to know in what man into an engine of the most oppressive per, as to time, it was proposed to carry tyranny. He had heard of a meeting in the Property tax through the House? Suffolk-street, of a few miserable fralians, He was anxious it should be discussed in assembled to celebrate the prospects which a full House.
they thought were brightening up for their The Chancellor of the Exchequer, under country, that had been lately dispersed existing circumstances, thought the call by a familiar of the Alien-office. Wbat: were those unfortunate foreigners guilty to take measures for strengthening his of, that could warrant their being sent off forces by land and sea, they ought not to from the country at a moment's notice? arm the Government with those civil He understood that one of them had held powers which might make such exertion's a sort of correspondence with his Majesty's more effective. He hoped, therefore, the Government as agent of Murat; and it was House would agree to go into the compossible that he might be in possession of mittee. some of the correspondence which had Lord Archibald Hamilton said, there was lately been published. All sorts of abuses a great difference between the present pehad taken taken place under the Alien Act.' riod and that of 1792, because we were Every one had heard of a Lord Chancellor's then at war with almost all Europe, and sending a foreigner out of the country be- now we were in alliance with them all cause he conducted himself ill in a law- except France. He objected to granting suit; foreign clerks had been sent out of such extensive powers, which had been the country because they were in love with abused in the case of Mr. De Berenger lheir masters daughters. It was a system and others, and therefore should oppose more like the Inquisition of Madrid than the going into the committee. any thing else. There were Alien-office Mr. Addington said, that he imagined familiars going about in every quarter, the hon. gentlemen opposite were hardly pursuing unfortunate foreigners. Those aware of the immense influx of foreigners unfortunate exiles from the Spanish go- within the last few months. No less than vernments of Europe and South America, 1600 had arrived since the landing of Buo. were in the greatest stale of alarm lest naparte in France was known, and most of they should be burried out of the country. them with passports signed by BuonaFor these reasons he opposed the Speaker's parté's government. Was there no realeaving the chair.
sonable ground for apprehension, espeMr. Bathurst said, the hon. gentleman cially when it was known, that many of had complained that the Bill had not been these persons had commissions to purchase printed before the second reading. The arms for the adherents of the new governBill, as he formerly stated, was almost a ment of Fraoce ? He did not pretend to copy verbatim et literatim of the former say, that this measure would enable miAct; and, therefore, the printing of it had nisters to discriminate between the innonot been so necessary as if it were a new cent and the guilty, but it would do the measure. It had, however, in point of fact, next best thing it would give power to been printed before the second reading, detain them until inquiries were made into though it had not got into what the hon. their characters and conduct. He had gentleman might call proper circulation. some apology to make to an hon. gentleIf the measure were at all proper, he man for having come into the House while thought it must be felt that it ought to be be was speaking; and there was part of the passed as soon as possible, and it would hon. gentleman's speech respecting some therefore have been improper to delay the Italians in Suffolk-street, which he was just second reading of it till a printed copy concluding, and which he would be obliged could be in the possession of every mem- to him to repeat. ber. The influx of foreigners into this Mr. Bennet said, he wished to know whé. country was known to have been very ther it was true, that about eighteen Itagreat for some time past. Many of these, lians who met in Suffolk-street, among it was probable, came with hostile views, whom was the Chevalier Stocco, the agent sent by the present French government. of the king of Naples, a person of the It was for the House to determine whe- name of Petroni, and others, had been arther, under such circumstances, it would resied by order of Government be improper to adopt a measure which Mr. Addington replied, that he was alwas first brought forward as applicable to together unacquainted with the circuma state of war, the principle of which had stance. been recognized in peace, resorted to a The House then went into a Committee, second time when the late war broke out, the blanks in tbe Bill were filled up, and and again recognized last year in a state it was ordered that the Report should be of peace. The House would determine, if brought up to-morrow. such an act was not necessary in the pre. sent state of things, and if, having called Navy EstimaTÉS.] The Chancellor of vpon the Prince Regent, in their Address, the Exchequer moved, that the House (VOL. XXX.)
should resolve itself into a Committee of felt confident no charge would be more Supply, and that the Navy Estimates, cheerfully voted than that which was in. together with the estimates for several tended to provide for the comfort of those miscellaneous services, be referred to the whose gallant exertions had borne us said Committee. The Speaker having left triumphantly through a long and arduous the chair,
The next great head of expendiSir George Warrender rose. He said, he ture in these estimates, was for building thought it unnecessary for him in bringing and repairing ships; the extensive paral forward the Navy Estimates to go into any war in which we had been engaged, bad great length of detail. Any explanation made it necessary, at the close of ihe con. that the Committee might require he would test, to have great naval repairs immeendeavour to afford. The sums expended diately commenced. * This, with a view for the service of the Navy were divided 10 public economy, it was found proper to under two heads, the one consisting of commence without loss of time. This expenses connected with ships afloat, the had caused a considerable expense ; but a other with the pay of the civil offices and great reduction, to the amount of 236,0001. all expenses connected with ships not had been effected by the arrangements afloat. A great reduction had been made made with respect to the King's-yards. in the general expenditure of the Navy, He congratulated the Committee on these by reducing the number of hands, and by arrangements, which would in future fure placing officers on half-pay. This, how. nish the country with an adequate supply ever, caused a very considerable excess of large ships. It was unnecessary for him to be created under the head of half-pay, to speak of the public works, which had amounting to 436,3961. This excess arose already been brought before the House. from three causes; from the increased He should not enter on these, unless infor. number of persons placed on half-pay-mation were called for. Great sums had from the increased amount of the balf-pay been thus expended, and in particular on itself, and from the extensive naval pro- the Breakwater at Plymouth Sound, which motion, which had taken place. The had cost 250,0001. These expenses, howHouse would recollect the plan which had ever, he trusted would be found to have been formed for better rewarding long and been wisely incurred, and the great work meritorious services. The inconveniencies he had just mentioned he had every reason which it was feared would attend it, he to hope would answer the purpose for had the pleasure to say, had not been ex- which it was to be constructed. The perienced; the happiest effects had been estimates he had explained, made together found to result from it, and it had given 3,405,4001. being 200,0001. less than the general satisfaction. The mode of reward corresponding estimates of last year. He ing masters mates, and midshipmen, which had to propose an additional vote for had been preferred to giving them half- for 20,000 men. Last year 70,000 men pay, had been found more beneficial to were voted for the navy, to these, in the them, while the country was spared such present instance, he, as he had already an expense. An arrangement had been stated, meant to call for an addition of made, by which, in time of peace, they 20,000 men. The total expense of the would all have been employed; and, in navy from the papers produced last year, addition to this, an extensive promotion to had been 17,265,0001.". The estimates bethe rank of lieutenant had taken place fore the House in the present year made from among the masters-mates and mid- it 12,526,7781. giving a difference of shipmen. This promotion, much to the 4,739,000l. He was bappy to say the honour of the noble lord at the head of the navy was in as good a state as it had been Admiralty, had been made in the best in at any period of the war. It was in possible way; as those who had been pro- such a state of efficiency, that should the moted were selected on no grounds what. service of the country require a very large
but those of merit and service. fleet, it could almost immediately be Having briefly explained the causes of the brought forward. It might be satisfactory excess which appeared for half.pay, he to the Committee to learn, that all the thought it unnecessary to enlarge on the public ship-building had been transferred subject, as the House bad always been from the merchants to the King's yards, ready to bear testimony to the distin. from which a great future saring might guished merit of those who were bene- be anticipated. He concluded, by moving fitted by it; and large as the sum was, he for a supply for 25,000 men (including 5,000 royal marines), for ten lupar months. , nature, he was only surprised that it was
Sir M. W. Ridley wished to put a few not more. To meet some of these roundlyquestions relative to some of the items in stated sums, according to Mr. Bankes's these accounts : for instance one of 5,0001. Bill, the fees of several offices were in for parish duties, lamps, and other expen- part applied, and there were two audits for ditures for public use ; another was their regular examination. The amount 14,0001. for disbursements of a similar of this branch was certainly smaller than description; and a third of 10,000l. it had been last year. The telegraph There were other sweeping sums for the estimate stood over since last December, navy departments at Deptford and Ports and was for actual service; the reason of mouth, upon which some explanation, be its being deferred was, that it should have yond stating the round sums, was due. the benefit of discussion with the other Whilst looking to unexplained large points, parts of the public expenditure. The he could not but lament a reduction in telegraphs had since been pulled down, one which ought to be liberally maintained but they were now in active preparation -he meant the superannuated or compas. for renewal. The old stores disposal was sionate list. With reference to public in other hands than his for execution. He works, he could not overlook the uncertain could only answer, thal full and ample mode in which estimates were inserted; publicity was given before each sale, and several of these were rated at uncertain it was competent for any person who had sums. In proof of this, he adduced the any complaint to make of this matter, to sums expended upon Plymouth chapel; state such complaint to the Navy Board or during the present year 5,400l. was voted the Admiralty. For his own part, he for that purpose. The works thus inde- never heard that any malversation had finitely marked, amounted to 229,0001., been complained of. 38,000l. of which had been thus expended. Sir M. 'W. Ridley, though glad to hear He had no doubt that the public service of good regulations, thought there could might require such appropriations; he be no objection on the other side, to proonly complained of the loose way in which duce or obtain general estimates of the they were stated.
public works in hand. Sir G. Warrender observed, that the Mr. W. Smith thought the income of preparation of distinct general estimates 6001. per annum given to the paymaster had only been the practice since many of widows pensions, seemed more like a public works had been commenced. As provision for the person than the proper to the Dock-yard items, they were more pay of the office. He felt this the more, immediately within the department of his when he compared it with the small hon. friend, the Secretary to the Admi. income of the Astronomer-royal, a person rally, who would doubtless give the neces- who must stand high in point of education sary explanation.
and science, and who must hold an extenMr. Gordon solicited an explanation of sive correspondence in every quarter of the sums of 1,000l. 500l. &c. for Sheer- Europe: his salary was but 2921. per ann. ness, and other contingencies; also 5,0001. and 1001. for an assistant. To such an for parish duties, lamps, &c. There was office he would be glad so see an augmenanother expense of 500l. for the Inspector tation. The chaplain-general of the fleet of Telegraphs; now this salary, he thought, had 500l.: to this he certainly did not should have expired with the duty for object. He complained of the expense of which it was given, for the Telegraph the naval hospital at Yarmouth, which had service must have ceased during the last cost 100,0001., besides 20,0001. for buildyear. The 526,0001. credit for old stores, ing an officer's house near it. The hosrecalled to his recollection the circum- pital was constructed to hold 500 patients, stance that great mismanagement pre- yet had never at one time—not even when vailed in the mode of disposing of this the patients of other hospitals near had species of public property : this ought to been carried to it, while they were being be inquired into, and remedied.
repaired-had more than 150 in it. The Mr. Croker replied, that as to the 5,000l. regular average was considerably under for small items, the estimate was taken 100; he believed about 70. He did not from the details of the last year, and ex- know where the blame lay, but it appears posed to two checks, which of course coned to him the sums laid out upon that trolled it properly. It was reduced to the building, were much greater than the ad. lowest possible sum, and, considering its vantages to be expected from it; and for those actually derived from it, he thought officers so employed, and that the office the public paid ten to one more than they was sometimes a good one, and at other ought, and that the expense of the officer's times the reverse, Now, upon inquiry, house might have secured the whole of the be found that the et ceteras in this case benefits obtained from this expensive were no less personages than tbe duchess establishment to the nary.
of Oldenburgb, the prince royal of WirMr. Croker explained. He said the temberg, prince Hardenberg, the Russian situation of paymaster of widows pensions and Prussian ambassadors, generals Bulow, was first regulated under a charter of and Yorck, with their several suites. George the 2nd. A great deal of trouble Mr. Ponsonby rose to do justice to the was involved in the duties annexed to it; feelings of captain King, wbo would be for the parties were paid quarterly, and in the last man in the service to take money their several places of residence. An for a duty which he did not perform, or lo alteration had lately been made in this make a demand which was not strictly office, and the present remuneration was and honourably correct. Now, the fact agreed upon, in lieu of the emolument was, that instead of his having made one arising to the paymaster from the use of trip from Dover to Calais with those illusthe public money which he occasionally trious personages, he had made four or held, and which left him a greater profit five, and was actually out of pocket several than his present income. The sum in the hundred pounds, over and above what be estimates was paid to the Astronomer. had been allowed for that duty, royal for a nautical almanack, and formed Mr. Croker said, that the circumstance but a small part of his emoluments. The of the item having been annexed to the hospital at Yarmouth, if not much used name of marshal Blucher alone, might now, before the expedition to Copen- have arisen from his name being first on hagen, while the Dutch fleet was strong, the list in the warrant, and that it was and France had a formidable naval thought unnecessary to insert the whole. establishment at Antwerp, at that time as Mr. R. Ward said, that as to the emoluthe eyes of Great Britain were anxiously ments of the Astronomer-royal, they were fixed on the north, was likely to be of derived from three sources from the Ad. great importance. Had thai state of miralty to the amount mentioned in the things continued, it was likely that hos, estimate, from the Ordnance the sum paid pital would bave caused a great saving not was 1001, with coals and candles, and the merely of money but of human life; and Royal Society paid about as much; so that, any expense in forming this establish- in all, the salary amounted to 7 or 800l. a ment was well incurred, to avoid having year, together with Flamstead. House. recourse to those wretched places formerly Mr. Giddy said, that the salary of the in use,-he meant the temporary hospitals. Astronomer-royal had very properly been
Mr. Gordon would wish to know whe- increased since the death of Dr. Maske. ther there was any diminution in the ex. lyne, who had a large private fortune; and penses of the inspection of telegraphs be thought a still greater increase would There were twenty clerks employed in be advisable. If the establisbment at time of war, and surely so many could not Flamstead-house was increased, so as to be necessary in time of peace.
form in some sort a school of astronomy, Mr. Bennet wished to know what was the expense would be amply repled by done to compensate captain Usher, or the beneficial influence of such a mea. whether there was any measure in progress sure upon astronomical science, as far as 10 do him justice.
it was applicable to naval purposes. Sir Charles Pole said, that captain Usber Mr. Whitbread observed, that the miwas an officer of the highest merit, and nuteness of the estimates was truly laudthat bis services and his wounds deserved able, and was carried to such an extent from his country the greatest attention. that 41. was inserted as the expense of
Lord Castlereagh said, that the business catching rats-(A laugh). He was ao tsorwith regard to captain Usher was in a state prised at this item; but from the multitude of progress.
of rats' in that department, he had exMr. W. Smith took notice of the sum of pected to have found another item of 401, 6021, paid to captain King, for carrying for burying those which bad been taken. marshal Blucher, &c. &c. from Dover to But, passing over to larger matters, be Calais. He had heard there was a mode wished to point the attention of the Secreof average struck for the remuneration of tary of the Admiralty to the notorious fact,