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placed at the mercy of a capricious measure; for they were told that the new bill was nothing but an experiment. The right hon. gentleman said, the intention of this provision was, to prevent the mixture of different sorts of beer. The petitioners, however, said, "only postpone the measure for a year, give us an audience before a committee, and if we do not satisfy you, introduce any bill you please. At present, the penalty for mixing beer is 2001. If that is not enough, make it 400/., or make the offence finable by a forfeiture of goods. If that is deemed insufficient, punish the crime with transportation."Surely nothing could more clearly prove that the intentions of these gentlemen were honest. If, however, the right hon. gentleman did not like this mode of proceeding, let him take the tax from the beer altogether, and place it on the malt. This would place the poor man and the rich on an equality. At present, the poor man, who could not brew his beer, paid a tax from which the rich man was exempt. Was this just or fair? If the tax were placed on the malt, instead of the beer, all the expense of collection would be saved to the public. By adopting the measure which he had recommended, the agricultural interest would be benefitted; since a much greater quantity of malt would be consumed.

Mr. Ricardo could see no reason why the tax should not be imposed on the malt. If that were done, individuals would be at liberty to brew what quality of beer they pleased. The hardship was very great on the poor man, who was obliged to purchase his beer at a high rate from the public brewer; whereas all those who possessed facilities for brewing were exempted from the burden.

Mr. Maberly said, the bill was most unjust towards the brewer. It took from him, in the first place, the sale and consumption of the ordinary sort of beer, and next prevented him from making up his loss, by declaring that he should not brew any beer of the intermediate kind, unless he built new premises. The bill, it appeared, was an experiment. To the brewer it was certainly a very expensive one. He must either submit to lose his trade, or he must erect new buildings at great cost. If the right hon. gentleman had gone into a revision of the excise laws, it must have struck him that the duty on beer was improper. The duty ought to be placed on the malt. The duty

on malt was now collected at 2 per cent; and if the entire duty were placed on the malt, it would not increase the price of collection 1s.; at the same time that there would be a saving of 267,000l. a year to the public.

Alderman C. Smith could not see why the brewers should not be allowed to brew the new beer as well as table beer. He hoped the bill would not pass.

Mr. Bennet was surprised that the chancellor of the exchequer should persevere in a measure, in favour of which not one voice had been raised, and which bore on the face of it the greatest injustice. In order to condemn it, it was enough to say, that it was a measure to fix the price of an article of trade. By retaining the duty on beer, instead of converting it into a duty on malt, the rich man escaped with less burthen than the poor man.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer said, that upon the last discussion he had endeavoured, to the best of his ability, to reply to all the objections started by the hon. member who had last spoken; and, as other opportunities of discussing the measure would arise, he did not feel himself called upon to enter upon it at present.

Mr. Hume said, that a capital of upwards of one million was embarked in the trade in question, and therefore it required more consideration than was intended to be given to it. He maintained, that a sum of 250,000l. might be saved by a different course of policy. It was a singular fact, that although our population had increased, no increase had taken place in the consumption of malt. He hoped the chancellor of the exchequer would himself introduce some remedial measure upon the subject.

Mr. R. Colborne thought that the bill had been introduced more with a view to benefit the public than to increase the revenue.

Mr. F. Palmer was of opinion that the bill, with certain modifications, would be better than the continuance of the existing law.

Mr. Monck said, that the bill, in its present state, inflicted injustice not only on the brewers, but on the public. He wished to see it modified.

Mr. Maberly wished to ask whether there would be any objection to the appointment of a committee, to consider the propriety of placing the duty upon malt, and thereby saving, in the ma

Mr.

chinery of the collection, 267,000l. a-year? | alive, in certain quarters, a hope which Mr. Brougham expressed his surprise as it could not be realized, could only be and regret that no answer had been given productive of irritation and discontent. to the question of his hon. friend. The House were guilty of a crying injustice to the poor, in thus continuing to make the labouring man pay 50s. per quarter for his malt, while the rich had it at 20s. | To the poor man this beverage was a necessary; to the rich man it was a superfluity. He felt it necessary to make these few observations, from a conviction that the more these facts were known, the more impossible it would be, to continue so crying an injustice to so large a portion of the community.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer said, he would be ready to meet the arguments of the gentlemen opposite when the bill came regularly under the consideration of the house.

Ordered to lie on the table.

SPITAL FIELDS SILK MANUFACTURE.] Mr. F. Buxton, seeing the president of the Board of Trade in his place, begged to ask him a question or two upon a subject, in which the interests of a large and respectable portion of the inhabitants of this metropolis were involved. He understood it was the intention of the right hon. gentleman to introduce a bill for the repeal of certain restrictions upon the silk manufacture. What he requested of the right hon. gentleman was, that he would first consent to the appointment of a committee of inquiry up stairs, or if he refused that, that he would not press the measure until after the holidays.

Mr. Huskisson said, he certainly would not oppose the appointment of a committee if he thought it could be productive of any beneficial result, but he could entertain no such opinion. He had been in constant communication with the parties who opposed this measure, and had uniformly held out to them the same expectations; therefore, the measure now in contemplation could not be said to have come suddenly upon them. Fom all he had been able to learn, he felt convinced that the trade would be much more flourishing than it was at present, if the restrictions in question were totally removed. If he obtained leave to bring in the bill to-night he would move the second reading on Friday, and proceed in the other stages after the holidays. He did this from a conviction, that any delay would only have the effect of keeping

IRISH INSURRECTION ACT.] Goulburn said, that when he last proposed to the House the propriety of continuing the Insurrection Act, he had ventured to express a hope that it was a measure which was not likely to be again called for. He had ventured to make that statement, not upon his own authority, not upon any vague and uncertain accounts, but upon the reports of men best acquainted with the state of the country, and upon whose judgments he could most firmly rely. It was with sincere regret that he now felt it necessary to recommend a further continuance of the provisions of that act. From the returns before the House, it appeared that the disturbances, particularly in one district, continued to increase; that there was still manifested among the peasantry the same disposition to outrage, the same hostility to property, the same imposition of illegal oaths, the same general contempt of the laws of the country, and the same wish to substitute laws of their own. He lamented that, notwithstanding the liberal and laudable exertions of the people of this country to relieve the distressed peasantry of Ireland, and, notwithstanding the praiseworthy liberality of the Irish resident gentry in seconding the efforts of the British people, there still prevailed, in certain districts, a state of insubordination which imperiously called for the further continuance of this extraordinary power. He begged to be understood as not advocating this measure as one by which a country ought to be permanently governed. On the contrary, he considered it objectionable, taking it in the abstract, and only to be justified by the emergency of the case. The simple question then for parliament was, did a sufficient urgency exist to justify the continuance of this law? It was not his intention to go at length into a detail of the outrages which formed the justification of the measure; for these were developed in the papers which had been laid upon the table of the House. In these papers, the state of parts of Munster was described; and it was difficult for gentlemen to picture to themselves the condition of the resident gentry in the disturbed districts of Ireland, who were endeavouring to maintain themselves amid this state of things,

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with a constancy and courage which did viduals were prohibited from leaving their them the highest honour. This was the dwellings or from going into uncontamimore difficult when it was recollected nated quarters. The party offending in that the system of intimidation carried on this particular would not be said to be was calculated to defeat the operation of guilty of any moral offence, but still it the law. With such force and severity was necessary, for the general welfare, were those threats carried into execution, that he should be punished. And he that, unless the hands of government were would ask, could the necessity be said to considerably strengthened, it would be be less in the prevalence of a moral pesti. impossible the law could take its course. lence? The punishment of those who This was no fancy picture. Its truth was could not give an account of themselves proved by the evidence of melancholy during the preceding night was, no doubt, facts. It would be admitted, that the a severe one; but it was unfortunately the first step towards enforcing the law would only one which could afford adequate probe to prove the crime against those who tection to the peaceable and well-disposed were concerned. In other parts of the part of the community. He might perkingdom there existed a disposition to haps be asked, if this law was so effectual support the law, and to give evidence for repressing disturbances, why any existagainst its violators; but in the disturbed ed in the country where it had operated? districts the reverse of this principle pre He would answer, that it had been provailed. Every feeling was in favour of ductive of very good effects where it had the offender, and the only efforts made been called into operation. It had been by the great portion of the people were, carried into operation in the county of to screen him from discovery. Justice Limerick, and in that county disorders of was defeated in every possible way. even a more violent nature had prevailed Where the criminal was secured, the than now existed in Cork. More violent, witnesses for the Crown were either re- because, in the former county, in addition moved on the approach of his trial, or, to the destruction of property, they had such was the influence of terror, that it to lament the loss of many lives by barwas found impossible to induce them to barous murders. In Cork, much as the give evidence. At the late assizes at outrages were to be deplored, they were Cork, the number of persons who were generally confined to the destruction of allowed to go at large, in consequence of property; but in Limerick, where the the impossibility of producing evidence disorders had been carried on with such before the grand jury, was little short of violence, order had been, comparatively the number of those who were prose speaking, restored by the operation of cuted. He mentioned these facts as proof this law. In the county of Clare also, the of the melancholy state of the country; good effects of this law had been appaand he trusted that parliament would on rent; for in some parts of that county, this occasion exercise its discretion, as it where the greatest disturbance had prehad before done in similar circumstances, vailed, the operation of the Insurrection and so strengthen the hands of the Irish act had restored comparative quiet. In government as to give them the means of Tipperary the greatest alarm had for a punishing the guilty, in a more steady and time prevailed, lest the disposition to riot effectual manner than they now could. manifested in some places should spread. As the law now stood, it left the loyal The effects of the partial application of and peaceable part of the population un- the Insurrection act had been felt in that protected. All he asked was, the power county; from many parts of which goto put down those who defied the law. vernment had recently received accounts The bill which he would introduce would of the peaceable disposition of the people. have the effect of confining persons to He mentioned these circumstances to their dwellings for the greater part of the show, that if the provisions of the Insurnight. This in itself was a hard mea-rection act were duly administered, they sure; but it was rendered necessary by the circumstances in which the country was placed. For a violation of the regulations in this respect the parties would be punished. The principle of this law was not a new one in the legislation of the country. In cases of pestilence, indi

would be effectual in restoring the tranquillity of Ireland. It was with this view that he now proposed the renewal of the act. He did not feel himself called upon to enter, at the present moment, into any inquiry as to the causes, more or less remote, to which some gentlemen might

attribute these disorders. He thought it better, in this moment of alarm and danger to abstain from any topic which might tend to create a division of opinion, because he trusted it would be admitted, that, acknowledging the danger, as he be lieved all must do, the first step which a wise legislature would take would be to devise means by which to prevent its spreading. This was the principle which he wished to impress upon the House. He wished them to give the government the power of checking the immediate danger. After they had done this, let the wise and the good consult as to the remedies which they might think proper, to correct the evils out of which those disorders arose. It was, in fact, impossible at the present moment to point out their immediate causes. Let the House first give the government of Ireland the power of putting down those disturbances which were only paralleled by those which on a former occasion called for similar measures, and then let them devise measures which may have the effect of preventing their future recurrence. The right hon. gentleman con. cluded by moving "That leave be given to bring in a bill to continue the Irish Insurrection act for a time to be limited." Lord Althorp said, he could not remain silent consistently with his feelings of public duty. Year after year measures of severity had been introduced, yet, so far was the tranquillity of Ireland from being restored, that her disturbances had been increased, and her misfortunes aggravated. It was the duty of the House, with the experience they had had since the Union, to look more deeply into the state of Ireland, and to take other and different measures to cure her disorders. He confessed he felt disappointed at the speech of the right hon. gentleman. He thought the right hon. gentleman would have entered more at large into the question, particularly after the expectation held out, that the situation of Ireland would be discussed. Measures of coercion had failed. It was therefore the duty of the House to adopt towards Ireland acts of justice, of encouragement, and of conciliation. The right hon. gentleman had said, that the present was not the time for discussion. Was there not time, at all events, between this and the first of August? Could nothing be done during that time, to ascertain the real causes of the deplorable state of things in Ireland?

But he did not mean to go that length. All he asked for, was a pledge on the part of the government, to enter, at no distant period, into a consideration of the state of Ireland, with a view to ascertain the causes of its sufferings. It was lamentable to see the present state of Ireland; to see that, English law, so justly considered a blessing in this country, was looked upon in Ireland with hatred. Something must be wrong in the system of government, where effects so unac countable were produced. Such, indeed, was the lamentable state of Ireland, that it was at present almost a misfortune to this country to be connected with her. All other countries with which England was connected, more or less added to her strength; but Ireland, in consequence of the manner in which she had been governed, reflected little credit upon herself, and brought but little strength to the empire. Ireland, above all other countries, was the most difficult to govern. She required the strongest union of sentiment on the part of her governors, as to the leading principles of policy; and yet it was a curious fact, that the only principle on which the Irish Government was form ed, was a principle of compromise. The president of the Board of Control had been attacked on a former night, because he was supposed to have stated, that the laws had not been administered until lately with an equal hand. But, where laws were themselves unequal, it was impossible that their administration could be just, even-handed, or popular. To enable a government to act with justice and with impartiality, there must be laws which gave equal protection to all his Majesty's subjects. He was not at present disposed to refuse to government those powers which might be deemed necessary to put down the outrages which prevailed; but it would be only on the condition, that it would give a pledge to inquire into the causes of the present discontents. It was impossible to give an unqualified sanction to measures of so much severity as those proposed-measures which had been tried, and which had failed to restore tranquillity to the country, or confidence to the government. An inquiry into the state of Ireland was absolutely necessary. He therefore called upon ministers fairly to meet that point, and to institute an inquiry, as the first step to the establishment of permanent tranquillity in that country; In order to produce this inquiry, he would

move by way of amendment, "That it is the opinion of this House, that the coercive measures which have been repeatedly adopted since the Union, have failed to secure tranquillity in Ireland, or to better the moral condition of the people; and that no solid improvement can be expected from a continuance of the system of compromise acted upon in the government of that country, strengthened as it has been by such temporary expedients; but that it is absolutely necessary to take into serious consideration the whole system of the laws, and of their administration, with a view to such a reform as shall secure the permanent peace of the country, and the equal constitutional rights of the people." If this amendment should be carried, he would then submit to the House the following resolution:-" That this House, while it looks only to a permanent remedy in a revision of the whole system of measures by which Ireland has hitherto been governed, feels itself called upon to arm the executive government with all such temporary powers as may be necessary to suppress the present existing spirit of insubordination, which is daily producing such alarming outrages and daring violations of the law in that portion of the empire."

Mr. John Smith rose to second the amendment. He said, he could not but express his surprise at the course which the right hon. Secretary had pursued. The right hon. gentleman had endeavoured to impress upon the House the necessity of suppressing the riots and outrages which now prevailed in Ireland. Those riots he admitted ought to be put down, but the right hon. gentleman had not said a word as to the cause of those disturbances. It was melancholy to reflect that, in looking to the history of Ireland during her long connexion with this country, he found that she was always discontented, always the prey of factions, and that the laws were constantly set at defiance. This was not the case in any other part of the united empire. It was not the case in Scotland. When that country was visited with almost a famine in 1817, there was no riot, no disturbance. That extraordinary people, as he must call them, had looked upon the calamity under which they were suffering as a dispensation of Providence. What was the cause of this difference between the two countries? It was this-in Scotland the people had the benefit of moral and religious instruction,

He

the basis of every thing good in society. In Ireland the want of this instruction was visible. He meant no imputation against the people of that country. Some of his dearest friends belonged to it. He respected the Irish. He believed them to be a people possessed of the most grateful feelings. Their gratitude approached almost to extravagance, even for the smallest favour. Indeed it was so great as even to be troublesome, for they were ready to lay down their lives for those from whom they derived benefits. At all events, this practice showed the seeds of future improvement under a mild treatment. Why had he not heard something that promised such treatment? would not say that the proposed alteration of the tithe system was not something, for the tithes were a fertile source of evil; but he would say, that the people of Ireland required, and were capable of, great improvement. From the opportunities of communication with that country which he had had on a recent occasion, he found that a great deal might be done for her by encouraging the manufacture of coarse linen. This had been suggested by the archbishop of Tuam and other benevolent individuals; and it was intimated, that if small advances by way of loan were made for the purchase of looms, it would be productive of the best effects. From the situation of Ireland labour must be very cheap, and many must be anxious to procure it. In order to afford this relief, the Irish committee had advanced a certain sum, which had been already productive of the best effects. Employment had been given to thousands of industrious poor, who otherwise must have been left destitute. This had been done at an expense of some 30,000l. or 40,000l., and he asked, would not the measure now sought for cost more than that sum? The House knew that the Insurrection act could not be carried into effect without a very considerable expense. Why was not something which would be less expensive and more effectual done for that country? Let it not be forgotten that to Ireland we owed not only a great part of our military glory, but also of our present security. He wished to ask the right hon. gentleman, whether this continued coercion would not tend to degrade the people, and protract their moral improvement? He should like to hear government say, "We have long tried coercion, and it has failed; let us now try what may be effected by con

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