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to it as a resolution worthy a great body of English citizens assembled under the presidency of a name the most illustrious in the annals of the ancient greatness and glory of our country. I urge it upon you with the greater confidence because it prays for right and justice, not upon exclusively Roman Catholic grounds, but on the broad inclusive powerful ground of universal religious emancipation, of public liberty, and universal toleration. "Resolution passed at a general meeting of British Catholics. The duke of Norfolk, earl marshal of England, in the chair. Resolved. That firmly attached as we are to the great principles of religious freedom, without which all civil liberty is imperfect, and maintaining as we do that liberty of conscience is the inalienable right of all men, and detesting every principle or law which persecutes or deprives, on account of his religion, any person whomsoever of any right or franchise, whether enacted by Protestant or Catholic; we declare, publicly before the world, that we will continue to use every legal exertion in our power to obtain a repeal of those laws by which, for conscience sake, we are hourly degraded in society and deprived of the political privileges of the constitution." Sir I will not weaken by any words of mine the effect of such a declaration.

Sir, one of the merits of the question now before you, if I at all understand my own bill, is, that it in no respect compromises any opinion for or against the Catholic claims. I have never made it in any respect dependent upon them. At the very outset I began by separating them. To the friends, indeed, of the greater measure, to those who profess to favour the principle of complete equality of privilege among all, of whatever religious tenets, need I say any thing in support of this bill? As a question of policy, as one highly beneficial to the objects of the great measure, I have never disguised from the House that I view it. I have not disguised from the House that I brought it forward in this spirit and no other. I think it is a bill to facilitate and advance universal religious emancipation, because it is a bill to soften prejudices and to reconcile differences, by uniting men in the common service of their country. Because it is a bill to show that in England, as in every other country in the civilized world, men may worship God apart and yet serve their

country together. Because, in short, it is a bill founded in policy, liberality, and justice; and because from my soul I believe that the great cause of universal religious emancipation must and will advance with the advance of the principles of policy, liberality, and justice. I say, then, reverse this legislative taint, and you advance these principles. And if you look forward to the day, which I trust and believe is not now very far distant, when every subject of these realms will stand a free man, unshackled by restrictions on account of faith, and uninsulted by religious tests, when we may all stand together in the enjoyment, as we do now in the inheritance, of these rights, then pay them now a small dividend at least of the great debt you owe them of toleration and freedom. To those who are adverse to the Catholic claims I should say, if you are resolved to pass sentence of perpetual exclusion against your Catholic fellow subjects, at least equalize their condition with each other, and be just to all, up to what are your notions of justice. Sanction, at least, your own opinion of what the law should be, by making it an impartial and an universal law. I say again, I trust this is not the spirit in which the majority in this House will vote upon this bill. I only say it is the spirit in which those adverse to the Catholic claims cannot refuse to vote for it.

You have restored the rights of property as well to the British as to the Irish Roman Catholics. Give, then, representation to property. You have redeemed them from active persecution. Give them the protection of the elective franchise. Do not continue to join in a plunder of rights which does not increase your store of franchise, but deprives, unjustly, unconstitutionally, cruelly, and capriciously, deprives, a very deserving portion of your people of their share in the general stock of representation. The idea of freedom is closely interwoven with that of privilege. If you redeem from bondage, give privilege. And, above all, do not think that in legislating for the happiness and for the affection of people born and educated in a free land the middle course of legislation is always therefore the safe one. "Quod si media via consilii caperetur, id quidem, mea sententia, ea est quæ neque amicos parat neque inimicos tollit." This country will be truly secure, it will be truly a free and an united, and

therefore a happy, country, we shall justify the boast, we are so fond of making, of the universality throughout Great Britain of what we call the English spirit and character, just in proportion as we encourage and indulge those feelings which make men thirst after a participation in these common-law rights.

Mr. Secretary Peel said, that being friendly to the general principle of the bill, he conceived this to be the proper stage at which to offer his objections to the course taken by the noble lord. The objects of the bill were three-fold; first, the elective franchise; secondly, the qualification for certain offices; and thirdly, the qualification for a place in a corporation. With respect to the first, he had no objection whatever that the Roman Catholics of this country should be placed upon a footing with their Irish brethren in that respect: but it should be observed, that they now enjoyed the elective franchise, unless indeed one of the candidates should propose to the sheriff to put the oaths of supremacy and allegiance to the voters. For himself, he had no possible objection to the repeal of the 7th and 8th of William, by which the Catholics of England were affected. But the motion of the noble lord went to repeal the oath of supremacy in England, leaving only the sacramental tests in force; now, this was not placing the Irish and English Catholics upon the same footing, inasmuch as all persons in Ireland who filled the higher offices were obliged to take both. With respect to the oath of abjuration also, there could be no objection; as it only called upon the parties to declare that no foreign potentate or power held, or ought to hold, spiritual or temporal authority in these realms, contrary to the laws and constitution of the country. With respect to the other tests, why, he would ask, should a magistrate refuse to take the same oaths which were imposed upon the lord chancellor and the other officers of the first distinction in this country? If he might presume to advise the noble lord, he would recommend him to divide his bill into two parts, separating the clause which went to give the elective franchise from the other parts of the mea

Lord Nugent said, it was his intention to introduce a specific clause with respect to Scotland.

Mr. W. Bankes opposed the bill, because he considered it as the first step to ulterior and dangerous concessions.

Mr. Brougham thought the hon. mem. ber for Cambridge had better reserve his objections until the bill went into a committee. He agreed with the right hon. secretary, that the bill ought to be divided into two parts, which might be effected by moving in the ordinary way an instruction to the committee for that purpose. There could be little doubt that the first part of the bill, relative to the elective franchise, would pass if it formed a separate measure. If the other part of the bill should not pass, the Catholics would have lost nothing; they would be in precisely the same state as before.

Mr. H. Bankes opposed the motion. The principle of extending the elective franchise formed his strong objection to the measure.

Mr. Canning recommended the noble lord to divide his bill into two parts. The question respecting the elective franchise would then be discussed on its own merits. He would also recommend the noble lord to confine his bill to the precise principle stated in his notice; namely, to place the English Catholics on the same footing with the Irish Roman Catholics.

Mr. Wetherell opposed the motion.

Lord Nugent rose, merely to say, that in consequence of the suggestions of the right hon. secretary of state for the home department, and feeling the value of his support, he certainly should shape his proposition in the manner that would ensure it his entire support. He (lord N.) cared but little as to the machinery by which these measures of obvious justice were to be gained, in the prin. ciple of which the right hon. gentleman had expressed his concurrence with him. Looking only to the substantial benefit to be gained by the measure, he should certainly conform himself strictly to the suggestion the right hon. gentleman had thrown out. He disliked as much as ever, the imposing any particular form of oath upon the Roman Catholics excluHe hoped, indeed, that the noble sively. But he did not see any great ob lord would confine himself to the princi-jection, if the right hon. gentleman wished ples upon which he grounded the intro- it, to the making the Roman Catholics duction of the bill. The noble lord had repeat, for the privilege of enjoying office, been totally silent with respect to the Ca- the oath which they now took, or were tholics of Scotland. supposed to take, for the privilege of exVOL. IX. 4 D

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emption from the penal laws. He should therefore move, That it be an instruction to the committee to divide the bill into two bills."

The motion was agreed to, and the House resolved itself into the committee.

LOTTERY.] The House having resolved itself into a committee of Ways and Means,

the Victualling Board. The petitioner stated, that he had claims on the board and he complained of cost which he had incurred to have his accounts investigated. Petitioner had written to the board, from India, forty-nine packets, containing one hundred and twenty-four letters, and he had received but one answer from the board. The petitioner stated that he came to England for the purpose of getting rid of all delays, the board having required him to produce not fewer than 9,000 duplicates of papers. Scarcely any of the originals were lost, and petitioner believed this demand to be made solely for the purpose of caus ing delay. Upon the examination of his accounts, the board claimed a balance of 9,129., the payment of which they required in a month. Upon a further investigation, they admitted that 5,806/. were not due; thus reducing the balance to the sum of 2,3221., of which they required the peremptory payment in the space of five days. For a part of this sum the petitioner was prosecuted in the court of Exchequer. The charge made against the petitioner was for two items, one for the

The Chancellor of the Exchequer observed, that he had stated in an early part of the session, that it was not his intention, after its termination, to propose any thing in the nature of another lottery. He had expressly intimated, however, that he should have to bring forward a lottery proposition on the present occasion; and, remembering what was the apparent feeling of the House when he had last mentioned the subject, he trusted no objection would be taken to the resolution he had now to submit: more particularly as it was but just, that the parties principally interested in this department of the public revenue should not be taken, as it were, by surprise. He would therefore move," That towards raising the supply granted to his majesty, the com-rate of interest on money lent; the other missioners of his majesty's Treasury be authorised to contract with any person or persons for the sale of any number of tickets, to be drawn in one or more lottery or lotteries, not exceeding 60,000, at such price, and under such rules and regulations, as the said commissioners shall think proper."

Mr. Leycester opposed the resolution. He observed, that the chancellor of the Exchequer had endeavoured to recommend his proposition, by stating that it was the last session in which he should have to bring it forward. But why was the country to be infected with this moral pestilence for another year, seeing the misery and vice which it disseminated in every part of the kingdom.

The resolution was agreed to.

HOUSE OF COMMONS.

Tuesay, June 24.

PETITION OF THE HON. BASIL COCHRANE COMPLAINING OF THE CONDUCT OF THE VICTUALLING BOARD IN THE EXAMINATION OF HIS ACCOUNTS.] Mr. Denman said, he rose to present a petition from the hon. Basil Cochrane, complaining of the irregular and oppressive mode of doing business, as pursued by

for the charge of one per cent commission. After a procrastination of the proceedings for four years, and the petitioner being exhausted in mind and body, he offered the board to accept an annuity of 7531. for eleven years, in lieu of the commission, which they agreed to accept. Further investigation then took place, and the final result was, that a balance was struck in favour of the petitioner, to the amount of 902/. 11s. 34d. more than his claim for commission. Thus was he upder prosecution in the court of Exchequer for four years, and demands made against him at one time for 9,1291.; at another for 3,3221.; and he was called on in the most peremptory manner, to pay this latter sum in five days, and finally he was found to be a creditor, and not a debtor. The costs to which he was incidentally exposed in the course of the proceedings, amounted to 3,000l. He had surrendered his claim to 5,000l.; for otherwise the board would not pay him the balance which he had mentioned. The hon. and learned gentleman said, that in his opinion, the charge was of a most serious nature, and required immediate investigation. The petitioner could not mislead, for he referred in every step to documents which could not deceive. The

circumstances of the case shewed a great irregularity in the board. It was a fair specimen, he presumed, of the manner in which they transacted the public business; and he trusted, that hon. members who paid particular attention to such matters, would have this petition printed, and give to it all that attention which it so well deserved.

demands; and this sum had been paid him. These are the circumstances of the case; and the House would perceive, from the documents themselves, that the hon. Basil Cochrane had no just cause of complaint against either the Victualling, board, or the law officers of the Crown, for the steps which had been taken under their direction and advice.

Sir I. Coffin said, that the passing of the public accounts required much time, and was attended with great difficulty.

Sir Joseph Yorke said, that he had the Mr. T. Wilson thought, that the charge honour of a seat at the board of Admi- of delay on the part of the victualling ralty, when this transaction was under board, remained untouched. The system discussion. Business had been done to pursued by the board was at once oppresthe amount of a million and a half; forty-sive to the individual, and prejudicial to nine packets of letters had been written the public. on the subject, it was not, therefore, singular, that it should be a case of difficulty. The accounts had been often discussed. It appeared to him to be like an amicable suit between the parties. The petitioner had been contractor in India since the year 1794, and he had charged one and a half per cent commission, and twelve per cent interest for money lent to government. These demands could not be complied with; he knew the board to have been most anxious for the adjustment of all the accounts: and he lamented that the settlement had been deferred to the year 1822.

Mr. Grey Bennet thought, that the public was always a loser by the slow passing of accounts. He thought that the public offices had been much stinted with regard to clerks, and hoped that this inconvenience would be remedied next session.

Sir G. Cockburn wished to remind the House that the delay had not taken place in the office; the accounts having been settled in the year 1811. The delay, down to the year 1819, had been occasioned by the law proceedings.

sake, a greater degree of indulgence had been shown to the petitioner than was consistent with strict propriety.

The Attorney General said, that the petitioner did not arrive, as he asserted, from India in the year 1806, but in the year 1807; neither was he sent for. He came of his own accord, and he knew his accounts were the first investigated.

The Solicitor General expressed his as- Mr. Croker agreed fully with the hon. tonishment, that the hon. and learned mem- member for Shrewsbury in his ideas. The ber who had presented the petition, did accounts even had not been in dispute not state why the original balance against since the year 1794; they were brought the petitioner was reduced from 9,129. to into the office in the year 1808. For his 3,322.; the fact was, that 5,8067. were part, he could bear the most unequivocal paid for him by his agent, on account of testimony, not only to the integrity, but this balance. Of the other items, he had also to the celerity and zeal of the Victualclaimed 400%. commission, and 1,8002. in-ling board. He thought, that, for peace terest, and he had also demanded a half per cent for what he called his contingent account. These claims were not allowed. He also required twelve per cent interest, which was refused. The board sued him in the court of Exchequer, and before the cause was brought to trial, it was referred to the arbitration of two counsel; one was the lawyer employed by Mr. Cochrane, the other was employed against him. The arbitrators had power to call in an umpire, if they differed. They did not differ: they decided against the petitioner: his claim of 12 per cent interest was reduced to five; his demand of onehalf commission was still undecided, when he had made a fresh claim of 3,000l. He had also started a new demand of 15,000l. An ultimate arrangement was, however, made, that the petitioner should receive a sum of 1,2001. as an equivalent for all

Mr. Hume thought, that this was a fair specimen of the manner in which the public accounts were passed.

Mr. Denman was of opinion, that what had been said by the law officers of the Crown did not satisfactorily account for the delay that had appeared in the transaction. He would therefore move, "That the petition be laid on the table and printed."

The Petition was then read; setting forth,

"That the petitioner was contractor | furnish them with duplicates of all the and agent for victualling his majesty's vouchers he had obtained during his squadron in the East Indies for a period transactions with them; that the said reof nearly twelve years, namely, from quisition was made solely for the purpose September 1794 to March 1806, during of delay, and to prevent a settlement of which time the petitioner disbursed public his accounts; for the petitioner aftermonies to the amount of 1,500,000l., and wards discovered, that out of nine thouupwards; that during the whole of the sand vouchers sent by him to the said said period, the petitioner kept his ac- victualling board, only one hundred and counts with the utmost regularity, and eighty-one were required to be again transmitted quarterly statements thereof, furnished by the petitioner; that upon reaccompanied by vouchers and letters ex-ceiving the said requisition, the petitioner planatory of the same to the victualling board in London; that so great was the negligence of the said victualling board with respect to their accounts, that although the petitioner sent to them forty-nine packets, and one hundred and twenty-four letters, he received only one letter from them; and the said victualling board made no other acknowledgment, save as aforesaid, either to the petitioner or to his agent in London, to whom the petitioner referred the said victualling board for any explanation that might be wanting in respect of his said accounts; that the said agent of the petitioner having repeatedly requested the said victualling board to enter into the examination of the petitioner's said accounts, at length informed the petitioner, by a letter dated 5th September, 1805, that the said victualling board had only then begun to examine his account for the year 1794; and the petitioner, conceiving that his presence might materially assist in such examination, did, immediately upon the receipt of the said letter, write to the said victualling board, requesting them to apply to the lords commissioners of the admiralty, to permit the petitioner to return to England, with a view of facilitating a final settlement of his accounts, and also to appoint agents to act for him during his absence from India; that in the correspondence which took place upon the occasion, between the victualling board, and the lords of the admiralty, previous to the petitioner's arrival in England, the said victualling board acknowledged the regularity with which the petitioner had transmitted his accounts, and also that they had received from the petitioner a regular series of vouchers in support of his charges; that while the petitioner was making arrangements with Messrs. Balfour and Baker, the gentlemen who were to act for him during his absence, he received a letter from the said victualling board, calling upon him to

resolved to resign his contract, and to lose no time in procceding to England, and having obtained permission from sir Edward Pellew, the commander in chief, to leave India, and to appoint the said Messrs. Balfour and Baker his successors in the contract, instead of being merely his agents, set sail for England, where he arrived in the month of April, 1807: that between the years 1807 and 1809, the petitioner used every endeavour to induce the said victualling board to enter upon the investigation of his said accounts; he attended at the victualling office, and furnished the deficient vouchers, and every paper and document which could throw any light upon his said accounts, or expedite the examination thereof; and further proposed to the said victualling board, that if they would allow him the assistance of two clerks, he would undertake to go through, and explain, the whole of his accounts in a fortnight; that after repeated and vexatious delays on the part of the said victualling board, the petitioner's accounts were, in the month of March, 1809, at length taken up for examination by the committee for cash and store accounts, and between that time and the beginning of the year 1811, the greater part of them were examined, approved, and closed; that in the month of April, 1811, the said victualling board sent the petitioner their audit upon his accounts, which was comprised in fortyseven different statements, and on the 31st July following, they wrote to the petitioner, stating that they had formed their final balances, amounting to 9,1297. Os. 1d.; that they would allow him one month to pay it, and if he failed, would institute legal proceedings against him, and thus give him the benefit of a legal decision; that the petitioner having with difficulty obtained a further delay, did satisfy the said victualling board that he was not accountable for the sum of 5,806/. 16s. 9d., part of the alleged ba

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