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Sir John Newport explains.

sum of 20,000l. was paid annually for the support of vagabonds. Dublin being considered as the centre, all the other counties entirely neglected them. If the bill were, as he supposed, intended to compel Grand Juries to extend their powers in this respect, he should vote against it; and particularly, as he thought it by far too late in the session to press a measure of such delicate importance, which had been so frequently agitated and rejected by the Irish Parliament. Mr. Bagwell said, there were houses of Industry in other places be sides Dublin, but that they were supported by pri vate subscription.

Sir John Newport explained, that if the Right Hon. Gentleman (Mr. Foster) had attended to the bill, he would find, that it expressly provided, that one-half of the houses should be appropriated to the correction of vagabonds and sturdy beggars, and the other half to the relief of the needy poor. The Right Hon. Gentleman was also wrong in supposing, that this was the first time levies for, this purpose had been made compulsory upon Grand Juries, of which he quoted two or three instances, and the only compulsion was on the counties, which had houses of Industry, to maintain them. As to the charge of bringing it forward so late in the session, he appealed to the recollection of members, whether he had not made the same proposition last year. In the early part of the session, he was for a time kept out of his seat, by what he must ever think a very improper proceeding. Since then, his time had been fully occu

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pied, as would be proved by the great mass of business he had already brought forward; and late as it then was, he hoped he might be permitted to go on with a measure, which he felt to be so essential to the welfare of his country.


Mr. Alexander said, that however disagreeable Mr. Alexit might be to oppose a measure, the object of which was professed to be humane and charitable, he must object to all new and partial schemes; as hitherto the relief, holden out to one class of the poor in Ireland, fell heaviest on the other poor part of it. The greatest part of the taxes of the North of Ireland, was paid by people inhabiting houses of about 51. a year, and as no other property there but lands and houses contributed to the payment of the poor, he was desirous of having some more general measure. Mr. Parnell said, it was impossible to travel over the high roads in Ireland, without being sensible of the necessity of this measure; and as to the objection of its falling heavy on the land owners; they were a description of persons in that country the best able to afford it. The bill was then read a first, and ordered to be read a second time on the morrow.


poses the measure.


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It appeared during the first session of the Par-The new liament, that the new ministers studiously avoided, as much as possible, any interference with Ireland. land, and The public mind was nearly engrossed with the im- the Parliapeachment of Lord Melville in the House of Lords, (where he was acquitted) the pending and ultimåtely unsuccessful negociations for peace with France, the unfortunate expedition under General


Whitelock to Buenos Ayres, and other matters not particularly affecting Ireland. The Parliament was prorogued on the 23d of July 1806, and the King's Speech was delivered in the House of Peers by the Lord Chancellor, as the head of the commission appointed by his Majesty for that purpose. It did not even obliquely hint at Ireland. It expressed his Majesty's satisfaction at his Parliament's unremitting attention to the most important interests of his Empire: viz. the permanent improvement of the various branches of the military system, and the regulations for the speedy and ef fectual audit of the public accounts. It thanked the House of Commons for the liberal supplies they had voted for the various exigencies of the public service, by which a large proportion of them was provided for within the year. His Majesty was particularly sensible of that fresh mark of their attachment to him in the provisions they had made for enabling the younger branches of his family to meet the necessary expences of their stations. In referring to the pending negociations for peace, his Majesty looked with confidence to the continuation of that union and public spirit among all ranks of his people, which could alone give energy to war, and security to peace.

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It was fondly imagined by the great body of pectancies Irish Catholics, that the prorogation of Parliament would afford the Irish government leisure and time to attend to those internal improvements in the execution of the existing laws, upon the promise of which, they had refrained from bringing

tholics in Ireland.


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their claims before the Parliament during the late session. Mr. Ponsonby the Chancellor, and Mr. Elliott the Secretary, had in the mean while frequent interviews with such of the leading Catho lics, as were supposed to have the most influence over the city of Dublin, and the country at large. None of them placed confidence in Mr. Elliott : Had he the power, they doubted his inclination to serve their cause. Not so with Mr. Ponsonby, They all knew he commanded the power, and few doubted the sincerity of his inclinations in their favour. As the object of these interviews evidently was to induce the Catholics to keep back their petition, Mr. Ponsonby assumed all the courtesy and attention, which could be shewn; his table was open to several, as his closet was to all. These interviews and consultations of the Chancellor with the different Catholic gentlemen for a considerable time, bore the appearance of secrecy, anxiety and mystery. As there existed differences of opinion amongst those Catholics, whom he saw and conversed with about the manner and season of bringing forward their claims, it is to be presumed, that the different representations of the feelings of the Catholic body made to him, probably in very different manners, left him under a perplexing embarassment. Mr. Ponsonby had not, like Mr. Fox, offered his best energies to support their petition, if they thought proper to bring it forward, at the hazard of his situation... No other public measure, which (even indirectly) affected the great Irish population, was attempted during

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the first 10 months of the new administration, than the refusal of a commission for the county of Armagh to Mr. Wilson, and the before mentioned unsatisfactory moves in the magistracy of Wexford and Carlow.

Reforms in



Great activity appeared in the fiscal system and the financial official attentions to the revenue, in consequence of Sir John Newport's personal investigation into every department depending in any manner upon the Chancellorship of the Exchequer. Some movements and alterations were made in consequence. The Board of Commissioners was divided into Excise and Customs. In the new commission* was prominently placed Mr. Alexander Marsden, whose continuance in the office of confidential Secretary was too loudly clamoured against by the nation, to be unheeded by the new managers of the old system. His claims upon them for having supported that system through a great variety of changes with perseverance, zeal and dexterity, were too strong not to be handsomely rewarded: he was accordingly appointed to the lucrative situation of a commissioner of the inland excise and taxest. Two of the vacancies in the commission

The new commissioners were Mr. A. Marsden, Mr. Edward Taylor, Mr. Terry, The Hon. Abraham Hutchinson, Mr. Dundas, and Mr. George Mackay.

Mr. Marsden was like other great public characters, exposed to the ungrateful shiftings of the popularis aura. At the quarter assembly of the city of Dublin, an address of thanks, which had been voted by the Lord Mayor and Board of Aldermen to Alexander Marsden, Esq. late Secretary in the civil de partment at the Castle for his conduct, whilst in office, was pre

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