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fact, that every species of iron manufac: ture, in particular, was actually exported in incredible quantities to Ireland. He shewed from other instances, as well as the present, how hastily and erroneously manufacturers are liable to form their opinions upon subjects of this nature; and upon what slight grounds alarms are raised, and o propagated amongst them. Particularly, when, some years ago, a Bill was brought in for the free importation of woollen yarn from Ireland, an universal alarm was excited, and petitions were sent in from every quarter, stating and complaining of the ruinous consequences which it would produce; the Bill, however, passed into a law, and now, upon a full experience of its effects, they both feel and acknowledge its beneficial tendency. But it was absurd, he said, to think that a participation of manufacture would be detrimental to this country. Had we not seen the woollen manufactory lanted in different parts of this country; and had we not also seen that it throve by the competition? He concluded with lamenting that it could happen in any one instance, that his conscience should direct him to take a part contrary to the opinion of his constituents. It had been his invariable aim to protect their rights and interests, and to act at all times as became the senator and representative of the people. In this instance he had dared to act contrary to the wishes, though, he was sensible, not to the interests, of his constituents. And if, from his conduct in this business, he should be deprived of his seat in that House, as he apprehended he might, his conduct being disapproved by many of his chief friends and supporters, as well as by all who had opposed him at his election, he had the satisfaction of being perfectly assured, that he should suffer in the very cause of those who had inflicted the punishment. He should not blame them if they did reject him; the event would af. ford a very useful example; on the one hand, of a senator inflexibly adhering to his opinion against interest, and against popularity; and, on the other, of constituents exercising their undoubted right of rejection; not on corrupt motives, but from their persuasion, that he whom they had chosen had acted against the judgument and interest of those he represented. The question being put, That the Bill
- be now read a second time, the House.
May 19. The House went into a Committee on the Irish Importation Bill.
Mr. Gascoyne, when the enumerated articles came to be necessarily mentioned, in order to fill up the blanks, moved, That woollens, woollen cloths, whole or mixed cotton, and cotton goods, whole or mixed painted and printed lineas, gunpowder, and several other articles of inferior consequence, be exempted.—He next moved, That whatever goods or merchandize, &c. which should be permitted to be exported under this Act, should have duties laid upon any of them, or the ingredients which composed them, equal to those already subsisting in Great Britain, and likewise of any of the said export duties. This clause being agreed to, sir W. Bagot proposed a clause, that no iron, manufactured, should be permitted to be exported under this Act, till a duty of 21. 10s. per ton be laid upon all foreign iron imported into Ireland. These clauses being agreed to, sir, T. Egerton moved, That the liberty given by this Act to export checks from Ireland, do not take place till the parliament of Ireland shall take off the duty of one halfpenny perpound on all linen yarn exported from that kingdom.
The question being put, the committee divided; Ayes 33, Noes 79.
May 25. The House resumed the adjourned debate upon the motion made on the 15th instant, “That the Bill to permit the importation of certain goods from the British plantations in America, or the British settlements on the coast of Africa, into the kingdom of Ireland, be committed.”
Sir George Yonge moved, “That the debate be further adjourned till this day two months.”
Lord Newhaven said, he was anxious to embrace the first moment to convince the House, that his dividing the House about a week ago on this question did not pro
ceed from a desire to give trouble, but to ...} with the conviction of his own mind; thinking it much better to determine the fate of the Bill there than to feed the hopes of the people of Ireland for ten days longer, * then reject it; which could only aggravate the disappointment, if it did not pass into a law. That, if it did not pass, he must lament that it ever came into the House; for, as it had not the most favourable reception, the expectations of the people of Ireland were raised to the highest pitch, and would now be plunged into the deepest despair. That, while nothing was done, they still had hope to cherish them, that some time or other something might be done; but if this Bill was rejected, the curtain of despair must be drawn on their hopes for ever. That the evidence at the bar and the counsel who pleaded for them urged, that if this Bill passed it would take something from England; though in the same breath they tell you that something ought to be done for Ireland: but that that something must not be any thing taken from England. Arguments too absurd, futile, and ridiculous to be seriously refuted. He said, he had read all the petitions upon the table against this and the other Bills, in which were enumerated various articles in which the petitioners thought they would be injured; but at the same time they sum up the whole of their apprehensions and ter. rors in this one sweeping objection; that from the cheapness of labour the Irish would underself them at all foreign markets. . He urged, if this argument was admitted, and that Ireland was never to receive any benefit till Great Britain could work as cheap as her, it must strike every man that Ireland can never receive any indulgence, from England; and without advantage in trade Ireland must ever re; main in its present state of indigence, and labour be for ever cheaper than in England. All which shewed clearly that the postponing the Bill could gain it no advocates; for the argument of the petitioners . it would be the same next year as this, and so on for ever, while the poverty of Ireland and the jealousy of England existed. That if this Bill was rejected, it was at once telling the people of Ireland, You have soil, you have climate, you have millions of inhabitants that you could turn to lawful industry, you are blessed with harbours where your fleets of commerce may ride in safety, and your isle, by the hand of Providence, is better situated for
the commerce of the western world; but all this shall avail you nothing; America shall be exempt from taxation, they shall be the arbitrary despots of their own soil; but Ireland must continue for ever to smart under the proscribing hand of Great Britain. - The House divided, on sir G. Yonge's motion: the Yeas went forth.
Tellers for the Yeas, sir G. Yonge, sir P. J. Clerke:
Lord Newhaven was appointed one of the Tellers for the Noes ; but no other member remaining in the House to be a second Teller for the Noes, the Yeas returned into the House; and Mr. Speaker declared the Yeas had it. So the question was resolved in the affirmative.
June 2. Earl Nugent declared it to be his intention, early in the next session, to move for the Irish Importation Bill; and for this plain reason, because the Export Bill, without it, would avail them nothing. Ireland could not afford to give long credit, which, however, she must be necessitated to do, unless in her commerce with our plantations she was permitted to barter for, and import their commodities: contending at the same time, that their present national necessities demanded this indulgence of the English parliament.
Sir George Yonge said, he should oppose the Bill, because the present necessities of Ireland were created by her voting sums of money to government which they were unable to pay.
Lord Newhaven said, he should move early in the next session for the Import Bill to be brought in, not even excepting sugars, though he found, the noble j was inclined to give it up.
Mr. Gilbert said, he should propose an enquiry into the trade of both countries, i. he voted for any more commercial Bills at all.”
* “In consequence of some compromise between the supporters and opposers of the Irish Bills, although the former shewed a great superiority of strength, it was notwithstanding thought necessary to give up, for the present, most of the advantages that were oriinally intended for that country. Some enrgement, however, was given to the linen trade, particularly in the article of checks; and some openings given in the African and West India trades which did not before exist. Thus the measure, at its final transit through parliament, might be rather considered as an opening to future service, and an earnest of good intention, than as affording any immediate benefit, or even as holding out any future advantage, of any great importance to Ireland.” Annual Register.
Debate on Sir George Savile’s Motion for the Repeal of the Quebec Government Bill.] April 14. Sir George Savite made his promised motion for the repeal of the Act of the 14th of his present Majesty, intituled, “An Act for making more effectual provision for the government of the province of Quebec.” Among a variety of arguments adduced in support of this motion, he urged that the Bill for regulating the government of Canada had from the beginning been considered, by the other }. in America, as inimical to their iberties, both from the discordant seeds of religion and government, which it was to sow between them and the inhabitants of Canada, and from its evident object in extending the limits of that province beyond its former bounds. The jealousies raised by this Act had produced a petition against it two years ago from the oiher provinces, which unhappily for this country ministry had too rashly rejected. The revolted provinces had considered this measure of government as the first link of those chains which were intended to bind them in the most ignominious slavery, therefore it was absolute folly to think of their listening to any terms of accommodation till that link was broken. Whilst that Bill was unrepealed, it was impossible we should ever persuade them that we were earnestly disposed to leave them in the undisturbed enjoyment of liberty. He strengthened his deduction by quoting the opinion delivered a few days ago in that house by governor Johnstone, one of the commissioners now going out to America. That gentleman, even after his appointment, had declared that the Quebec Act ought to be repealed. It was one of the most necessary concessions to be made by this country. Besides the consideration of our other provinces, he insisted that the Act was never a popular one, even among the Canadians themselves: it had indeed given so to the little noblesse who Jerived a few superior privileges from it; but he had been assured, that it was far from being agreeable to the generality of the people. After he had stated the various disadvantages produced by this Bill; the effect it had in promoting the revolt in America, and the impediments
which it would now of necessity throw in the way of accommodation between the provinces and tile mother country, he anticipated the grand objection which he apprehended would be urged against the immediate expediency of its repeal. It would probably be said, that no form of government had yet been planned for us to establish in its stead; and that it would be most irrational to put an end even to a bad government before there was a good one ready to replace it. But this evil would be avoided, and yet every other purpose fully answered, if the effects of the repealing Bill were not to take place till after the next session. The Americans would be instantly satisfied that the injurious measure would be done away as soon as possible, and before the Act should take place, a mode of constitutional government could be laid down for them, and ready to be carried into execution, so that no interval of anarchy was in any respect to be apprehended. He concluded by a warm exhortation to the House not to treat this motion with the same indifference that they had so long persevered in shewing to every advice that came from that side of the House; for that the fate of it would bear a very near relation to the fate of our proposed treaty of accommodation. Mr. Jolliffe objected to the propriety of repealing an Act, whose operation was so extensive, without any petition or evidence offered against it, without any complaints from the inhabitants of the province, without any kind of proof that it was injurious in its effects, or disagreeable in any degree to that people for whom it was framed: in short, that he had not heard a single argument to induce his assent to the motion; and he thought that as people without doors were so read to find fault with their representatives, it should be their study within doors not to give an opportunity for its being said, “you make laws ignorantly in one session, which you repeal in another.” Mr. Fielde wondered it could be asserted that no argument had been adduced to warrant the repeal of the Bill, or that no complaint had been made against it. He asked the hon. member, if the opinion of governor Johnstone, one of the commissioners going out to treat with America, was no argument? Did not the petition presented two years ago contain complaints? And had not the hon. gentleman who made the motion given reasons suffi
cient to evince the good policy of the re- opinion upon the measure in agitation ? peal he moved for? The Americans, he He was as sensible as any man to the milisaid, were alarmed at the first passing of tary merit of that great man; he admired the Bill. They looked on it as a sample his virtues, and felt the strongest indignaof that despotic mode in which they should tion at the ungrateful treatment he had be hereafter governed themselves; and if received at the hands of administration ; tliis Act was one of their first incentives but, notwithstanding those sentiments, he to revolt, was it to be presumed in the could not help considering him as a prejupresent state of affairs that they would diced judge on this occasion, as the Bill not insist on a repeal of it? or that our re- which was now to be repealed was framed fusing to do it now'would not confirm in- by the advice of that gentleman; it was a stead of allaying their alarms?
favourite Bill of his, and his former incliSir George Howard was against the mo- nation for the principle of it might bias his tion, as he had been assured, from the best present opinion of its operation. Besides, authority, that in the present disposition though he allowed much to the judgment of the Canadians it would be highly dan- and experience of that governor, yet he gerous. Such was the opinion of sir Guy had a strong instance of his being deceived Carleton, a man for whose understanding in his ideas of the Canadians, which he and abilities he had the greatest respect, begged leave to recall to the memory of and who from a long experience of the the House. He had been exàmined at the habits and temper of that people should bar about four years ago, * when the Bill be supposed well acquainted with the sub- was about to pass that House; and he ject. The Americans, he said, had in. then declared that he had very little relivaded Canada at the beginning of the con- ance on the English settlers there, but he test. They tried force and persuasion in had great confidence on those who were vain to gain them over to their interest; stiled the Croix de St. Louis, and improwould it now be prudent or generous in perly the noblesse of that country. Yet us to sacrifice the inclinations of that pro. on the invasion of that province by the vince to the wishes of the others? It was Anglo-Americans, those English, of whom allowed that the noblesse, at least, approved he was so diffident, were the only persons of the present mode of government, though who saved Quebec from falling into the the rest of the people disliked it; was this hands of Montgomery, It had been urged then a crisis to hazard experiments ? In a that there was no peiition against the Bill; word, so far was he from agreeing in the but had there not been a petition against expediency of the motion, that he appre- it two years ago, when the repeal of it was hended there were but two things likely moved for by the same hon. member? to cause the loss of that province to this There was indeed no petition now before country; the one was, the repeal of this them, for the ill-treated Americans were Act; the other the recall of sir Guy Carle- | no longer our petitioners. Those who ton from the government of Quebec. As wanted argument in favour of the motion, to the circumstance of recalling that ge- he referred to the opinion of a man whom neral, he had no kind of certainty whether ministers themselves shewed their reveit was determined on or not; but if it was, rence for, by appointing him their comhe should fear much for the consequence. missioner, though he had always opposed
Mr. T. Townshend avowed the greatest their measures, and denied their abilities to respect for the merits of sir Guy Carleton, I govern: it was a disgrace, to be sure, to as well as for the last speaker, though he enact laws ignorantly, as the hon, member was not so happy as to agree with them in had said, but it was the more honourable that instance. He also saw the danger to to repeal them. which our possession of Canada was ex- 1
1 The House divided : posed by the recall of that general; but he was surprised to hear that his recall was
Tellers. yet a matter of doubt with any person.
Mr. Thomas Townshend Was not general Haldimand appointed in
YEAS 3 Mr Fielde
- - - - his stead? And had he not delayed a few
s Sir George Howard - days too long on a visit to his friends in
s Mr. Robinson - Switzerland, would he not this day have been in his government of that province, So it passed in the negative. whilst sir Guy would probably have been then at the bar of the House, giving his
* See Vol. 17, p. 1367.
Debate in the Commons on the King's Message for a Vote of Credit.] May 5. Lord North presented the following Mespage from his Majesty:
“, George R.
“His Majesty, relying on the experienced zeal and affection of his faithful Commons, and considering that, in this critical juncture, emergencies may arise, which may be of the utmost importance, and be attended with the most dangerous consequences, if proper means should not be immediately applied to prevent or defeat them, is desirous, that this House will enable him to defray any extraordinary expences incurred, or to be incurred, on account of military services, for the service of the year 1778, and to take all such measures as the exigency of affairs may
require.” rt }. North moved, That the Message be referred to the Committee of Supply. Sir George Yonge considered it very improper, in the present crisis of affairs, to vote indefinite sums of money to an administration so incapable of expending the ublic revenue with oeconomy and effect. H. thought the emergencies ought to be ascertained to the House, the sums specified, and authentic documents laid upon the table. Mr. Turner was of the same opinion : the House ought to sit and vote the money gradually, as the wants and occasions arose. Mr. Townshend said, it was no secret, that the Toulon squadron, consisting of 12 ships of the line, and several others of inferior force, had sailed from that port on the 13th of April, in order, as was supposed, to strike some decisive blow in the western world. Yet what had been the conduct of administration ? To keep our fleet idle at home, or for no other purpose but to be exhibited as a public spectacle, to gratify the curiosity of those who were inclined to waste their time and money. He then pointed out the very defenceless state of our several dependencies in North America and the West Indies; and said, he trembled for their fate. As soon as ministers had notice of the forwardness of this armament, they ought to have dispatched a sufficient force to watch their motions, and have taken such a certain station as would have put it out of the power of D'Estaing to elude us. What was the case now 2 The fleet was sailed; but whither, no man could tell; whether to Halifax, the Delaware, Quebec, to attack our West India islands, or to make a
conquest of the East Indies. He asked, whither is the spirit of o fled? Where is the wisdom that used to pervade her councils? Where are the terrors gone with which she was wont to fill the bosoms of those who dared to insult her 2 Britain, he feared, was betrayed; treachery and corruption vied with each other to see which should first effect her downfall and disgrace. He was remarkably severe upon those who, he said, affected to fill the rank of ministers, and directly charged them with ignorance, laziness, incapacity, and treachery; and lamented, that while our pageant shews and streamers were wantoning in the wind at Spithead, our glory was tarnishing; our coasts were insulted ; and the British flag for ever disgraced. Lord North hoped, that when the hon. gentleman knew the preparations that had been made, and the care taken to protect this country from invasion, he would not so hastily condemn the ministry as treacherous and incapable. The utmost exertions had been made; and though no fleet bad yet sailed to oppose the Toulon squadron, that could not be o laid to the charge of ministerial incapacity, since the French had it at all times in their power, by their mode of supply from their register, to man out a fleet sooner than we had. Mr. Adam congratulated the nation on the recovery, in some degree, of that worthy spirit which had on so many occasions signalized the nation. The example in the hon. gentleman (Mr. Townshend) shone so bright, that he hoped it would be followed. Mr. Pulteney begged the House to remember that the advice of the sailing of the Toulon fleet, came to the administration on Monday the 27th ult. and no privy council was summoned until the Wednesday following. The wind was fair for sailing even till Saturday last, and the opportunity was neglected. The motion was agreed to.
May 6. The House went into a Committee of Supply; in which a Vote of Credit to his # of one million was moved.
Mr. F. Townshend drew a picture of our national defence, having, as he said, a militia without arms, who were gone to be encamped without tent equipage; and a navy, either not manned, or not victualled, but lying embayed at Spithead for the mere parade of a naval review, while the Toulon