« PreviousContinue »
of the committee by the names. He not so proceed, it would be the greatest hoped the right hon. gentleman would of all possible delusions-a mere farce to put those members upon the committee, enable the government to ride over the who, on whatever side of the House present session, and to gain a vote of conthey might sit, had most attended to the fidence for the support of our present financial concerns of the country. If the overgrown establishments. committee was fairly chosen, and did its The report was then brought up. On duty, it would strengthen the government the question that it be read, and satisfy the country. As the right Mr. Hume declared his intention to hon. Secretary had broken silence that oppose this vote in every stage, until some night, he hoped his hon. friend would pledge was given that the expenditure withdraw all opposition.
should be examined into, and should be Mr. Warburton could not agree with reduced as much as possible. He comthe hon. member, that the House or pared the opposition, which some hon. the country would be satisfied with gentlemen on the Treasury bench made to the pledge which the names of the com- him, to the charges which the wolf brought mittee afforded. He should look to the against the lamb, describing himself as powers proposed to be given to the com- the lamb, which the wolf, at all events, was mittee not to the names of its members. determined to make out to be guilty ; for
Mr. Spring Rice said, that as they had they first accused him of overstating the been told that the committee was to expenditure, and when beaten on that have the same powers as were intrusted point, they declared in general terms, that to former committees of finance, he he knew nothing about the matter he was would refer the House to the resolution talking of. The hon. member then went under which the finance committee of into statements which shewed that for 1817 had sat. Reference had been made many years the force of the navy had to the finance committees appointed in been near twenty thousand men, and that, 1786 and in 1797. Now he would ac- at the present moment, it was thirty thoucept with pleasure the pledge of the sand men, including the royal marines. right hon. Secretary if he were allowed The American Fleet, destined to protect to refer to the powers granted to the their commerce, amounted to twenty-eight finance committee in 1817, but not if ships, while ours amounted to one hundred he were called upon to adhere to those and forty sail. He recommended that we granted to the two earlier committees. should follow the example of the AmeriFor he found, by the journals, that very cans, who were preparing for war, not as different powers had been given in the we were, by continuing an enormous extwo cases. The resolution which ap- penditure, but by keeping their expenses pointed the earlier committees excluded within ten millions of dollars per annum, from their inquiries all subjects of first- and by paying off in peace the debt they rate importance: whilst the resolution contracted in war, which was now reduced which appointed the finance committee to sixty-four millions of dollars. He reof 1817 embraced every object to which peated, that the American navy consisted inquiry should be directed. He thanked but of twenty-eight ships, of which one, the right hon. Secretary for the expla- the Delaware, was a line of battle ship; nation which he had just given, and four were forty-four gun frigates of the contended that his hon. friend near him first class, and two of the second class; had gained by it the full object for which nine sloops of war of the first class, and they had been arguing. He thought the eight of the second class and four row present discussion had not been most pro- boats attached to the sloops. The whole perly brought on; for not an hour ought to cost of this navy was 670,0001. per have been lost in warning the country, if it annum, while ours cost us six millions had really been stated from authority, that and a half of pounds. He contended, the finance committee was not to have that the true honour and glory of a country the right to inquire into the extent of consisted not in the expensiveness of her our establishments, civil and military. armaments, or in her always being ready to That committee must be fairly appointed go to war at a moment's warning, but in and honestly conducted, and must pro- maintaining her credit, which was only to ceed right onwards in its duty, to merit be done by economy; and he concluded the confidence of the country. If it did by moving, by way of amendment
“ That it is desirable, before this Hou e present circumstances of the country, and vote any part of the naval and military when it had been stated, on authority establishments for the year, that the ex- from the Admiralty, that thirty thousand tent of these establishments, and the esti- seamen and marines were necessary, he mates for them, should be laid before this could not take upon himself to refuse the House, together with a statement of the vote. He, however, supported the resoways and means by which these estimates lutions of the committee, in the full unand the permanent expenses of the coun- derstanding that the spirit and letter of try are to be provided for; particularly as the treaty of July last would be carried the expenditure of the country, for the into execution, two past years, has considerably exceeded The House divided on Mr. Hume's the total income, and which yearly excess amendment Ayes 8, Noes 52. of expenditure has been provided for by an issue of Exchequer-bills, and conse-of
List of the Minority. quent increase of the unfunded debt of Dawson, A.
Wood, alderman the country
Maberly, John Wood, John. “ That the best interests of the country Marshall, W. require that its resources should be reno- Monck, J. B. vated and strengthened by retrenchment Palmer, C. F. Hume, J. and economy in time of peace; whereas
Warburton, II. the amount of interest-charge of the funded and unfunded debt has been increasing HOUSE OF LORDS. yearly for the last three years. That
Thursday, February 14. In the year 1825 the charge was £28,060,288 1826...
Catholic CLAIMS-TREATY OF LI
28,239,848 IERICK.] Lord Clifden presented a pe“ That the total expenditure in the year tition from the Catholics of two parishes 1792, for the support of his majesty's in Wexford, praying for relief from the excivil list; for the charges on the consoli-isting disabilities. The petitioners comdated fund; for the expense of the navy, plained of the gross breach of the Treaty the army, the ordnance, the militia, the of Limerick; and he would say that there miscellaneous services, and appropriated could not be found a treaty under which duties, did not amount to five millions and the one country gained more, or which a half in that year; whilst the expenditure had been more unjustly violated by the for the navy, ordnance, and miscellaneous other. If ever there was a clear and exservices (and exclusive of two millions for plicit treaty it was that ; if ever there was the civil list and other charges on the con- a treaty most shamefully violated it was solidated fund), was
that. An hon. member of the other In 1825.
• £17,211,920 House had given notice of motion on the In 1926. 19,344,418
subject; and it was his intention to do the In 1827. .19,069,061"
same on an early occasion. In his opiThis amendment was negatived without nion the day must soon arrive when all a division. Mr. Hume then moved the tests with regard to religion would be following amendment on the second reso- abolished; for never could any thing be lution :
more unwise. He hoped that the Dissen“ That it is the duty of this House, in ters would be successful in their appeal to the present state of the finances of the the other House ; but if they were not, country, before voting thirty thousand sca- then they would unite with the Catholics, men and marines for the service of the and their lordships would have to sing in navy for the ensuing six months, to take a very different key. into their consideration what peculiar circumstances of the country can warrant GAME Laws.] The Marquis of Salisthe vote for so large a number, when it bury rose to move the second reading of appears that sixteen thousand seamen and the Sale-of-Game bill. He should not marines were by parliament deemed suffi- have thought it necessary to say another cient for the naval service of the country word, had he not understood that it was in the year 1792, and nineteen thousand the intention of his noble friend to move for the service of the year 1817.” as an amendment, that a committee might
J. Wrottesley said, that under the be appointed to take into consideration the whole subject of the Game-laws. He of the third year one of his bills was passed, therefore must call to their lordships' re- but was rejected by their lordships. He collection what had passed on a former was ready to listen to the suggestions, and occasion, to justify the objection he felt to to give way to the prejudices, of noble the appointment of a committee of inquiry: lords; but he entreated the House, not to Some years ago, in another place, he had take a step which would render a complete moved for the appointment of such a com- reform of the Game-laws more difficult. mittee, and the result of the inquiry of Let their lordships look to the principle that committee convinced every one, that of this bill. They were asked to pass a the sale of game existed to an enormous bill to make game saleable in the hands extent; that the market was fully supplied; of certain individuals who had the qualifiand that in many instances game was cation to kill it. So that in order to get thrown away, because a price could not rid of a monopoly which existed at present, be obtained sufficient to remunerate the they were to create another monopoly from hazard of selling it. Under these circum- a motive ten times more base- that of stances, unless a material change had turning the game into hard cash in their taken place in the supply of game, he pockets. Thus, the great landholder thought it would be perfectly useless to go might say to the small one, who had game into a further inquiry. The subject of the on his land,“ though the animal eats your Game-laws, taken altogether, deserved crops, yet not having 1001. a year, you their lordships' serious attention ; but he shall not sell that animal.” A law that did not conceive that they would obtain gave such power was unjust and intolerfrom a committee any information which able. He would ask any of their lordwould enable them to proceed to a legis- ships, supposing they were small landlative measure.
If they once embraced holders, whether they would rest satisfied the subject of the Game-laws, their lord- under such a law? No. Humanity ships must examine witnesses from all would incite them to kill the game, and parts of the country, and the inquiry sell it in spite of his noble friend's bill. would not end this session. Their lord- If he were convinced, that the proposed ships knew that poaching existed to an measure would be a step to other alteraalarming extent; that it caused bloodshed tions, making the game belong to the perand murder; and this state of things son resident on the land, he should not called for some measure which, by legal object to it. He was, however, satisfied ising the sale of game, would diminish the that it would have a contrary effect. Who crime of poaching. All their lordships were the parties who felt the warmest on had agreed to the principle of this bill, for the question of the Game-laws ? The it made part of every measure introduced great landowners. There was much diflifor the improvement of the Game-laws. culty in persuading them that all was not If it passed, it could not possibly have quite right about those laws. There was, any bad results ; the worst which could be however, a considerable class of landholdanticipated from it would be, that it would ers who would have no objection to the remain a dead letter. He expected good Game-laws being amended so as to suit from it. When the sale of game was legal, them, and would be exceedingly anxious no respectable tradesman would buy of the to get the privilege of selling game, for poacher; and the poacher, no longer find the purpose of paying the expense of ing a ready market, would discontinue his keeping it. Under these circumstances, trade.
what were the reasons for supposing that Lord Wharncliffe thought that the bill the extensive and dreadful practice of so far from advancing, would retard any poaching would be put an end to by a improvement in the Game-laws. He was mere bill for the sale of game? He was sure that a bill for the mere purpose of al- doubtful whether it would introduce more lowing the sale of game-leaving the other game into the market for the consumption evils of the system untouched-was, as a of individuals than was at present confirst measure, the worst that could be sumed. Those who now preserved game adopted. For six years he had been en- killed as much of it as was consistent with deavouring to bring about an alteration in keeping up the breed; and none of what the Game-laws, without success. Three they killed was thrown away. They made
he had tried to effect his object in presents of it, or consumed it themselves ; the House of Commons, and at the end at any rate, it was all consumed. But if
allowing game to be sold would not in- | before their lordships, which shewed what crease the quantity, it would increase the crimes the Game-laws gave occasion to, demand for it. Do away the penalties on and which no gamekeepers could prevent; selling game, and many persons more than for they could not resist without endanat present would be ready to buy it. This gering their lives :-On December 31st, additional demand would, in fact, be an last year, a party, consisting of forty additional temptation to those poachers poachers, assembled near Pontefract, and who would find means to get through the resolved to kill the game of a gentleman clauses of his noble friend's bill, and in that neighbourhood; they proceeded poaching would be more extensive than to their work, the gamekeepers being quite ever. It was likely, he also thought, to unable to resist them, and there being no make the now onerous and oppressive force in the neighbourhood to render asGame-laws less agreeable to the small sistance. After killing all the game they freeholders and land-owners. The prin- could find on this spot they proceeded cipal reasons why they now put up with along the high road, in open day, to sir them were, that those laws were a remnant John Ramsden's, who had fifteen keepers of feudal times, and were a part of the and guards. On the keepers approaching, amusements of their superiors. If they they heard a voice command the poachers were not allowed to kill game, yet the to leave off firing, to draw their shot, and great landowner was not allowed to sell load with bullets. Sir John Ramsden's it; he gave it away—he distributed it people retired, and left the poachers to kill among his tenants or friends, or consumed as much game as they could. He would it in hospitable entertainments to his also refer to the case of sir G. Armitage's neighbours. Now, he was to be allowed keeper, whom the poachers shot at and to sell that game which had been fed on killed; but, the very night after, the spot their crops; the land-owner was to be al- was again frequented; which shewed that lowed to turn the game into money, and no terror, no ordinary motives, could thus the only reasons which reconciled the operate to restrain these people. He smaller freeholders to the Game-laws thought the evil very deep seated, and would be done away. He felt strongly on that it was their lordships business to the subject, and he disliked very much probe it to the bottom. He did not wish that any measures should pass their lord- to adhere to the plan he had brought forships, which had the appearance of legis- ward last year; but he wished their lordlating for their own advantage, and not for ships to take the matter fully into their the general benefit.—He wished to say a consideration; and if they did that, he did few words on the state of society occa- not doubt but they would fall upon some sioned by the Game-laws. He would only measure which would satisfy the House. refer, however, to what happened in the He should not think it necessary, if a north of England during the last Summer committee were appointed, to examine assizes. There were, he believed, several much evidence on the subject; but he cases of game-keepers who were convicted should propose to verify on oath a few of of murder. He had a great respect for those facts which had recently thrown so the learned judge who presided; but he much light on the working of the Gamecould not believe, on his dictum, that it laws. He only wished that those most was the law of the land, that a game-keeper interested in the question might meet, not was not allowed to carry agun; that nobody as in that House, but in a private room, but the actually qualified person was al- where they might talk over the measure; lowed to carry a gun. He did not think and he had no doubt they would come to this was good law, though it was so laid a conclusion which would be satisfactory down by the judge. But this did not to all parties. He could assure his noble alter the nature of the Game-laws, which friend, that he would find there were cercaused evils peculiarly their own. The tain persons in the other House who wishevils and crimes caused by those laws ed for no alteration in these laws, and who could not be suppressed, except by a com- were always strong enough, by uniting plete alteration of the laws. In Yorkshire, with one party or the other, to defeat the poachers met in large bodies, and set- every improvement. He thought the tled among themselves what part of the measure of his noble friend would enable county they should overrun. He would these persons to defeat all improvement in lay a particular case of this description the whole code of Game-laws; and thereVOL. XVIII.
fore, he would move,
" that the bill be stances. If their lordships began by read a second time this day six months.” legalizing the sale of game, it would be
The Earl of Falmouth said, he had easy to extend the qualifications afteropposed the bill brought in by the noble wards, and then that would have its operbaron last session, because that bill had ation immediately on the bill before them; for its object not merely the prevention for that bill gave the right of selling game and diminution of crime by making game to all who possessed the right of killing it. saleable, but the further object of giving From the present state of things, it was new rights to every owner of a field or garden impossible for their lordships to legislate -rights which he had never purchased or a great and extensive scale. He inherited, and prejudicial to their habits agreed in the observation that, if any inof industry and usual occupations. With fluential member of the other House would respect to a Committee of Inquiry, he get rid of his prejudices so as to bring that thought no good could result from such a House to re-consider the whole of their course as the subject had been repeatedly standing orders, he would confer the greatest discussed by parliament. As to the present benefit on his country. It was unjust bill, he saw no reason to change his opinion towards their lordships, that they should since last session. He could not think be precluded from making penal acts; that the making of game saleable would since, by the constitution of that House, prevent or diminish crime. To him it their lordships were better able than the appeared, that the opening of a market for other House to frame a bill connected with game held out more temptation to poachers, jurisprudence, from their having the capaand made detection more difficult. But, city of a court of justice, and having so as it was believed by many persons, that many law lords among them. The great the making game saleable would prevent object of our ancestors in framing those or materially diminish the crime of poach- rules, arose from a jealousy of grants to ing, the present bill, perhaps, would be the Crown; and it would be a great adthe safest way to put that argument to the vantage if the other House, still keeping test of experiment. He should not, there the grants of money to itself, would give fore, oppose the second reading.
up nominal privileges. A clause, reguThe Duke of Richmond perfectly agreed lating a toll, made a bill a money bill; and with lord Wharncliffe as to the expediency after individuals had been put to great of a complete alteration in the Game-laws. expense in bringing up a private bill, their Game was not preserved by law, but by lordships had only the option to put an armed force. On this subject, he was a end to it by making an amendment, or to great reformer.
He would repeal the permit the bill to pass, though it might whole of those laws, and substitute a sum- contain positive injustice. As things stood, mary act in their stead.
any attempt to introduce a bill on a large The Earl of Carnarvon thought if a and extensive scale would, from the nature Committee of Inquiry was appointed, its of things, be fruitless. He regretted exfirst measure would be, to put an end to cecdingly, the depredations committed all the prohibition of the sale of game. He over the country in the pursuit of had never heard any alteration in the game, and was not sanguine enough to Game-laws proposed, which did not con- believe that any alteration that their lordtain the principle of the sale of game. ships could make in the Game-laws would The only objection to the present bill was, produce a material improvement. It apthat though it gave the right to sell game, peared to be the fashion to impute every it did not give it so extensively as the crime committed under the Game-laws to noble lord near him wished. But that the operation of the laws themselves; but noble lord was wrong in stating, that the the present state of the Poor-laws and of bill would only give that right to great the labouring classes throughout the south land-owners. It went much further. It of England-rendered it absolutely imgave the right of selling game to any man possible that the extent of those crimes possessing land to the amount of 1001. a. could be diminished by any revision of the year, and perhaps there were a hundred Penal-laws. He could state, from what thousand who possessed that right. Be- had happened within his neighbourhood, sides, a clause might be added, by which that, during almost the whole of last winter, the qualifications might be extended to there was scarcely any employment for the occupiers of land, under certain circum- / unmarried men. It usually happened,