Page images

General Rodil embarked on board his Majesty's ship Briton, which has arrived at an English port. The Marquis of Torre Tagle, formerly president of Peru, but who betrayed the independence of his country, died in Callao previous to its surrender. There is now only one fortress in South America in possession of the Spaniards, viz. Chiloe, which, since the date of the above intelligence, has also surrendered. It is to be incorporated with Chili.

UNITED STATES.-Boston, April 14. The annexed account from the Philadelphia Democratic Press, of a duel fought between the Secretary of State and Mr Randolph, is confirmed in the most of its particulars by private letters. The chief variation in the account is, that Mr Benton Missouri attended Mr Randolph to the field, together with Colonel Tatnall.

"On Saturday afternoon, a duel was fought on the banks of the Potomac, between Henry Clay and John Randolph. General Jessup and Henry Johnson of Louisiana were the seconds of Mr Clay; Colonel Tatnall of Georgia, and Colonel Hamilton of South Carolina, were Mr Randolph's seconds. In the Senate of the United States, Mr Randolph had been permitted by the presiding officer, Mr Calhoun, on more occasions than one, to call Mr Clay a gambler and black-leg. Mr Clay gave Mr Randolph an opportutunity to explain, by calling upon him in writing, to know whether he intended to call him a political gambler, or to attach the infamy of such epithets to his private life? Mr Randolph declined any explanation. A challenge became inevitableit was sent by Mr Clay, and accepted by Mr Randolph, and the parties met at four P.M.

The first fire, Mr Randolph's pistol went off by accident, and Mr Clay declined to fire. The accident being corrected, both parties fired and missed. A second fire was had without effect, when Mr Randolph stepped up to Mr Clay, gave him his hand, and made the proper acknowledgments—and thus the affair ended."

The Cherokee Indians, in national council, have determined to establish a printing press at Newton, the seat of Government, for the purpose of printing the New Testament in their language, and the laws, &c. in English; and also to institute an academy for the youth of the nation; and have appointed the clerk of the council, Elias Boudinot, to receive donations for these objects.

WEST INDIES.-Two proclamations

have been issued by Sir Ralph Woodford, under the authority of the King's Government at home, addressed in a spirit of great liberality and kindness to the inhabitants of Trinidad:-The first of which secures to the free people of colour on that Island the rights and pri vileges of naturalization as subjects of His Majesty, in a more favourable manner than they had hitherto been permitted to acquire them; and the second rescinds an old series of coercive and mortifying regulations, which had borne with harshness upon the same class of free people of colour, but are now repealed, in consequence of their complaints to Government. Among those now condemned severities, was one which imposed the obnoxious office of Alguacil, exclusively, upon the above order of inhabitants; another laying a tax of 16 dollars upon balls (dances) given by these people of colour-surely, under such circumstances, miscalled "free;" and a third, compelling all people of colour, as well free as in bondage, to be at home by halfpast nine o'clock at night.


EAST INDIES.-It is with much satisfaction we have to announce the termination of the war with the Burmese, by a treaty, the terms of which are highly honourable and advantageous to the East India Company. An overland dispatch has also been received at the India House, dated the 4th February, from Bombay, announcing the fall of the fortress of Bhurtpore, which was carried by storm, by the army under the command of Lord Combermere, on the 18th January. Doorjun Sal and his son were taken prisoners; and the whole of that important fortress, with its troops, ammunition, and property of every description, had fallen into the hands of the British Commander. The military operations before Bhurtpore have occupied a period of little more than five weeks. The army took up a position before it on the 10th December, and all attempts to induce its surrender having failed, the trenches were opened on the 25th. The British loss during the siege, it is stated, amounted to 500 men, and 18 officers killed and wounded. The casualties from the 23d to the 28th December only have been published, which includes only five officers wounded, viz. Captain Chambers, 9th light cavalry, Captain Palmer, Captain Smith of the engineers, Lieutenaut Brooke, and Ensign Geils.


HOUSE OF LORDS.-May 1.-On the motion of the Earl of Liverpool, the Scotch Peerage Restoration Bills were read a third time.

8.-Lord Lauderdale, in presenting a petition against agitating the question of the Corn Laws from Ipswich, complained that Ministers had deceived the people and him, by pretending that they did not mean to bring on the subject in the present Session. He also presented another petition on the same subject from the Committee of the Norfolk Agricultural Society. It was read at length, and remonstrated against the discussion of the question when all parties were taken by surprise.

Lord Dudley and Ward presented a petition from several thousand Roman Catholics of the county of Roscommon, in favour of concession.

9. The Duke of Montrose presented a petition from the University of Glasgow, against the clauses in the Irish Prisons' Improvement Bill, which exclude doctors of medicine from being appointed medical attendant of any prison, unless they obtain a diploma from the School of Medicine established at Dublin.

The Earl of Lauderdale condemned the attempts which had been made to exclude all medical men, except qualified at Dublin. Laid on the table. On the motion of the Earl of Liverpool, the House went into a committee on the Criminal Laws' Consolidation Bill. After some verbal amendments, proposed by the Lord Chancellor, the bill was report ed, and the House adjourned.

10-Several petitions were presented against slavery by the Earl of Shaftesbury, the Bishop of Ferns, and Lord Calthorpe.

The Earl of Lauderdale said, no returns had been laid before the House as to the quantity of oats, barley, and rye, now in bond. He thought the House should be in possession of those returns prior to the discussion which stood for tomorrow on the subject of the Corn Laws.

11. Mr Anderson, writer to the signet, presented the return of the Scotch Judges to the order of the House, for examining the aged witnesses, in Scotland, on the Lovat peerage.

Lord Dudley and Ward presented a petition from merchants, manufacturers, and traders, in Glasgow and its vicinity, expressing their apprehensions at the intended measures for throwing open the


colonial markets, and praying that such measures might not be passed into a law. The petition was signed by 700 persons."

Lord King presented a petition from the journeymen cotton spinners of Manchester, praying their Lordships to release the foreign corn now in bond, and also to give his Majesty's Government a discretionary power of admitting foreign grain. His Lordship then presented a petition from the freemen of Worcester, praying for an alteration in the Corn Laws.


The Earl of Malmesbury rose for the purpose of moving the resolution of which he had given notice, and in doing so, he assured their Lordships, that he had undertaken the task with great pain and embarrassment. The noble Earl then entered into the subject at consider. able length, and in a speech of great mo. deration. He learned from the master manufacturers, that the present distress was occasioned by combination; from the workmen, that it arose from machinery. Old-fashioned people, like himself, thought that it might proceed from the new commercial policy adopted, and the unprincipled speculations to which it had given rise. Others ascribed it to the state of the currency. Was it not proper, therefore, when there were so many dif ferent opinions, to ascertain what was its real cause, instead of fastening at once on the Corn Laws, which he was conviuced had nothing to do with it? The noble Earl concluded by moving a resolution, which was to the following effect :-"That the House, although sincerely anxious to contribute to the fullest extent of its power to the relief of the suffering classes, thought it not expedient to pass any measures for the alteration or suspension of the existing system of the Corn Laws, without a previous inquiry into the alleged necessity for such an alteration or suspension, and into the effect which they might produce on the relative interests of the growers and consumers of British corn."

Earl Bathurst opposed the resolution, as ambiguous and unnecessary; and contended, that if an inquiry were once instituted, instead of a week, it would occupy months after months, and yet lead to no satisfactory result. The resolution of Lord Malmesbury was supported by the Marquis of Salisbury, the Earl of Limerick, Lord Ellenborugh, Earl Gros.

5 A

venor, Lord Falmouth, Earl Darnley, Lord Mansfield; and opposed by Lord Harewood, Earl Rosebery, the Earl of Aberdeen, the Earl of Westmoreland, Lord King, Lord Carnarvon, &c.

Their Lordships then divided, when there appeared-For the motion, 49— Proxies, 18-67.-Against it, 96Proxies, 70-166.-Majority against the motion, 99.-Adjourned.

12. The Duke of Montrose presented a petition from the planters and others, inhabitants of Glasgow, connected with property in the West-Indies, complaining of the deterioration thereof, and deprecating any interference with the property of slaves. Laid on the table. The Lord Chancellor said he had also two petitions to present to the same effect (one of them, we believe, was from Edinburgh.) He was one of those who thought that the abolition of slavery should be brought about by gradual and temperate means. He believed that those who had advocated immediate abolition only (added to the difficulties which were in the way.Laid on the table.

17.-The Yeomanry Cavalry Laws' Amendment Bill was read a third time.

18. Several petitions were presented against the measures now in progress for the admission of bonded, and the importation of foreign corn during the recess of Parliament. In answer to some observations, the Earl of Liverpool gave fresh assurances that the duty of twelve shillings now proposed was merely a temporary expedient, and would have no bearing on the general question or permanent settlement of the Corn Laws, which would remain as open after the passing of these bills as it now was.

19. The Warehouse Corn Bill, and the Importation of Corn Bill, were read a first time, on the motion of the Earl of Shaftesbury.

The House went into a committee on the Irish Prisons Bill. A discussion took place on the clause of the bill which provides for the nomination of medical men to fill situations in the different prisons. The Duke of Montrose expressed a wish that the nomination should be made to extend to the College of Glasgow. The Earl of Liverpool said, that he could have no objection to its reaching, not only Glasgow, but the Colleges of Edinburgh and St. Andrew's. But the bill, as it now stood, met with his approbation. After some farther discussion, the bill went through the committee without any amendment. Adjourned.

22.-Lord Ellenborough said, that, previous to the discussion which was to take place to-morrow, he wished for an

explanation from the Noble Lord opposite, relative to the last clause in the Bonded Corn Bill. A new interpretation, it appeared, had been given to the word "proportion," introduced into that clause, and he confessed it had puzzled him much to understand it. The Lord Chancellor said, that he was in the habit of doing nothing out of order, and he therefore could give no explanation at present.


23. Lord Liverpool moved the order of the day for the second reading of the Warehouse Corn Bill. The Earl of Malmesbury objected to the second bill, on the ground that it would not give any relief to the farmers of the country. The Noble Lord did not object to the first bill. The Lord Chancellor vindicated the bills, on the ground that they in no manner interfered with the general question of the Corn Laws. A long debate followed, in which the bills were supported by the Earl of Liverpool, the Earl of Harrowby, Lord King, and Lord Darnley; and objected to by Lord Grey, the Earl of Lauderdale, Marquis of Salisbury, the Earl of Carnarvon, the Earl of Limerick, Lord Redesdale, and the Duke of Somerset.

The Lord Chancellor then put the question on the bill relating to the bonded corn, on which the House divided, when there appeared,-Contents 84, Non-Contents, 23. Majority in favour of second reading, 61. On the second division as to the Importation of Corn Bill, the contents were 78. Non-contents 28. Majority 50—Adjourned.

24-Lord Fitzwilliam asked for some information respecting relief being afford. ed to the distressed manufacturers.

The Earl of Liverpool said, he had no difficulty in saying, it would be quite unprecedented to grant any pecuniary aid out of the public purse; the more proper mode would be, he had stated on a former occasion, to afford relief through the medium of private benevolence.

On the motion of the Earl of Liverpool, the House went into a committee on the Bonded Corn Bill, when the clauses were discussed seriatim; after which the bill was reported, with amendments, which were ordered to be taken into consideration to-morrow. The House the went into a committee on the bill giving power to Ministers to import corn, and after some discussion, the bill was reported without amendment.

25.-The House met, but there was no business of the slightest importance. 26. The Bonded Corn Bills, after a lengthened discussion, were read a third

time and passed. The House then adjourned till Wednesday the 31st.

PROROGATION OF PARLIAMENT. 31. The Lord Chancellor, the Arch

bishop of Canterbury, the Marquis of Conyngham, the Earl of Harrowby, and the Earl Shaftesbury, having taken their seats as Commissioners, at a quarter past two o'clock, Mr Quarme, the Yeoman Usher of the Black Rod, was directed to summon the Commons, who soon after attended at the bar. The Royal assent was then notified to the two Corn Bills, and to fourteen other public and private bills. The Lord Chancellor then read the following speech :

"My Lords and Gentlemen,

"His Majesty commands us to inform you, that the state of the public business enabling his Majesty to close the Session at a period of the year the most conve nient for a general election, it is his Majesty's intention to dissolve, without delay, the present Parliament, and to direct the issue of writs for the calling of a new

[blocks in formation]

“His Majesty has the satisfaction to inform you, that the distinguished skill, bravery, and success, with which the operations of the British arms, in the dominions of the King of Ava, have been carried on, have led to the signature, upon highly honourable terms, of a preliminary treaty with that Sovereign, which his Majesty has every reason to expect will be the foundation of a secure and permanent peace.

"His Majesty further commands us to repeat to you, that his Majesty's earnest endeavours have continued to be unremittingly exerted to prevent the break. ing out of hostilities among nations, and to put an end to those which still unhappily exist, as well in America as in Europe.

"Gentlemen of the House of Commons,

"His Majesty commands us to thank

you for the provision which you have made for the service of the year.

"His Majesty's attention will be constantly directed to the reduction of the public expenditure, in every degree that

may be consistent with the due maintenance of the security, honour, and interests of his kingdom.

"My Lords and Gentlemen,

"We are specially commanded to assure you, that his Majesty's paternal feelings have been deeply affected by the distresses which have prevailed among the manufacturing classes of his Majesty's subjects, and by the exemplary pa. tience with which those distresses have been generally borne.

"His Majesty trusts, that the causes out of which the partial stagnation of employment has arisen, are, under the blessings of Providence, in a course of gradual abatement.

"His Majesty is confident that your presence and example in your several counties will contribute to maintain and encourage the loyal and orderly spirit which pervades the great body of his people; and his Majesty relies upon your disposition, to inculcate that harmony and mutual good-will among the several great interests of the country, upon which the common prosperity of them all essentially depends."

A commission for proroguing the Par liament to the 14th day of June next was then read.


HOUSE OF COMMONS.-April 17.The House went into a committee on the bill for consolidating the Criminal Laws, in which Mr Peel explained at some length the clause which enables two Magistrates to admit to bail in doubtful cases of felony, the object of which is to prevent unnecessary imprisonment of the subject. The clause was agreed to, as were several other clauses, and the farther consideration of the bill was then postponed.

The House next went into a committee on the Larceny Bill, in which Mr Peel proposed several amendments, altering the law with regard to stealing in churches and chapels, increasing the sum from 40s. to £.5, for which it is a capital offence to steal in a dwelling-house, reducing the severity of the law on stealing fish, deer, &c., and altering the enactments with regard to obtaining goods by false pretences. The bill, as amended, was ordered to be printed.

[ocr errors]

18. Mr Whitmore, after a speech of great length and ability, moved that the House do resolve itself into a committee,

to consider the propriety of a revision of the Corn Laws. After a keen discussion in a full House, the motion was negatived by a majority of 169; 81 being for the motion, and 250 against it.

19.—Mr J. P. Grant obtained leave to bring in a bill to amend the Wrongous Imprisonment (Scotland) Bill, after the Lord Advocate had questioned the pro priety of bringing in so important a bill at so advanced a period of the Session,

Mr Peel obtained leave to bring in a bill to repeal the Alien Act. Mr Hobhouse, and other members of opposition, highly complimented Government on the liberality of this proceeding.


Mr W. Smith rose to bring forward his motion respecting the state of slavery in the colonies of Demerara and Berbice ; and after pointing out the vexatious and grievous oppressions under which the slaves laboured, concluded by a motion, to the effect that the Fiscal, Chief Jus tice, and other subordinate Officers appointed by Government at home, should be prohibited from having any property in slaves. A debate ensued, in which

Messrs Brougham, Denman, R. Ellice, Baring, and Canning, took a part, when Mr Smith agreed to withdraw his mo tion.

25.-On the motion of Captain Wemyss, the bill for improving the communication between Edinburgh and Fife was read a third time and passed.

The report of the Edinburgh Water Company Bill was agreed to, and the Invergordon Harbour Bill was read a third time and passed, on the motion of Mr

W. Dundas.

Sir A. Campbell presented a petition from the University and Apothecaries of Glasgow, complaining of the Irish Prison Laws Bill; the clause regarding diplomas, &c. for persons of the Faculty practising in such prisons,


Sir F. Burdett, in presenting a petition on this subject, said, he still admitted the force of those claims, and the policy and wisdom of enforcing them. They were claims that never could be set at rest till they were conceded.

Mr Brougham, in seconding the motion for bringing the petition up, admit. ted the continued strength of the claims, and approved of the judicious manner in which it had been presented. Petition read at length. It was that of the aggregate meeting, praying for Catholic emancipation.

Mr Bankes, jun. said, that he owed it to himself and to his constituents to de

clare that he and they remained of the same opinion on this subject.


Mr G. Lamb rose to bring forward the motion of which he had already given notice. He quoted numerous legal authorities in support of his view of the subject, and considered the bill of the Right Honourable Secretary for the Home Department as forming a strong precedent for his measure.

The Attorney-General rose to oppose the motion of his honourable and learned friend.

The motion was supported by Mr J. Williams, Mr Horace Twiss, Mr Scarlett, Mr R. Martin, and Mr Brougham; and opposed by Mr Peel, Mr Tindal, the Solicitor-General, and Mr Canning. On a division, it was rejected by a majority of 69, the numbers being 105 to 36.-Adjourned.

REFORM IN PARLIAMENT. forward his motion on the important sub27.-Lord John Russell rose to bring ject of Parliamentary reform. His Lord ship went over the same grounds which have been so often trodden, and concluded by moving," that the present state of the representation requires the serious consi

deration of the House." Lord Althorpe seconded the motion, and was followed by Mr Dennison (M.P. for Newcastle,) Mr Hobhouse, Lord L. Gower, Mr R. Martin, and Mr W. Lamb, when his Lordship replied, and the House divided, -for the motion 123, against it 247 ; majority 124.

The bill for registering aliens was brought in by Mr Peel, read a first time,

and ordered to be read a second time on Monday.

The Bank Charter Amendment Bill was read a third time and passed.

28. The Edinburgh Railway Bill was read a third time and passed.

The Edinburgh and Leith Water Works' Bill was read a third time and passed.

Mr J. P. Grant moved the second reading of the Wrongous Imprisonment Act Bill, for the purpose of postponing it. He had had communications with the Right Honourable Gentleman opposite, and he found it would not be possible to pass this Session. He wished the Home Secretary would take command of it,


May L-Mr Secretary Canning said, that, under the peculiar circumstances in the northern districts, he rose to give notice of a motion. The Ministers still remained of opinion of the inexpediency of agitating the Corn Laws; his proposed

« PreviousContinue »