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Cochrane, Sir T. J.
Bill to be read a
should be made applicable to foreign spirits only, and he should therefore move the omission of the words "foreign spirits" in the first clause of the bill, and on that he should take the sense of the House. The Chancellor of the Exchequer admitted, that the observations of the right hon. Gentleman were entitled to great weight at the hands of the House; but he thought that the effect of the proposed bill would only be to legalise that which was illegal at this moment, but which, in spite of its illegality, was done every day in the THE DUKE OF MARLBOROUGH'S PENcase of most wholesale dealers, and in the SION.]-The Chancellor of the Exchequer establishment of nearly every hon. Mem-said, that when the subject of the charges ber of that House; and he was sure that if he were to look over the monthly bills of any hon. Member, it would be found that small quantities, of whatever foreign spirits or liqueurs were required, were pur-ing it from the five shillings in the pound chased from the wholesale dealer.
Mr. H. Hinde thought if this bill was passed, the wine dealers ought to be subjected to the same liability as the publicans, such as having soldiers quartered upon them. The bill would, also, in his opinion, operate as a great hardship on the licensed victuallers.
on the pension of the Duke of Marlborough was brought under the notice of the House by the hon. Member for Oxfordshire (Mr. Vernon Harcourt), with the view of reliev
land-tax duty, it was determined that the matter should be referred to a committee to inquire into the subject. The committee reported on the facts, and the result was, that although the pension was charge. ble with the land-tax duty, yet that there could be no doubt that the duty of one shilling and sixpence in the pound on it was inconsistent with the Parliamentary grant. He should have been disposed to propose the remission of both these
Captain Pechell felt in great difficulty as to this bill, as his constituents were divided in opinion upon it. Had not the Chancellor of the Exchequer better post-duties, if he was as well satisfied that the pone it to next Session ?
Mr. Grimsditch was for a general revision of the law relating to the sale of spirits and wines, and opposed the bill as a partial measure.
The House divided on the question that the words proposed to be left out, stand part of the clause:-Ayes 28; Noes 19: Majority 9.
List of the AYES.
land-tax was improperly charged as he was
Mr. Hume thought that such a measure
Baring, F. T.
List of the NOES.
almost the close of the session, when but few Members were in attendance, and when there was no time for deliberation. He should therefore oppose the motion,
Mr. F. Baring said, that he had opposed the proposition of the hon. Member for Oxfordshire for the remission of the landtax of five shillings in the pound, chargeable on this pension, but this was very different from exempting it from the additional payment of one shilling and sixpence in the pound. The committee had recommended the latter, and he saw no reason for postponing the bill.
HOUSE OF LORDS,
Tuesday, August 13, 1839.
MINUTES.] Bills. Read a first time :-Poor-Rates Collection; Birmingham Police; Slave-Trade Suppression; Rogue Money (Scotland); Excise Licenses (Sale of Spirits); Militia Pay; Joint Stock Banking Companies. -Read a second time :-Soap Duties Regulation; Poorlaw Commission Continuance; New South Wales.-Read a third time:- Highway Rates; Unlawful Oaths (Ireland); Shannon Navigation. Petitions presented. By Lord Lyndhurst, from Individuals,
claiming Compensation under the Copyholds and Metropolitan Police Courts Bills.-By Lord Brougham, from Licensed Victuallers of Lancashire, against the Excise Licenses (Sale of Spirits) Bill; and from the Chairman of the General Convention, for an Address to her Majesty to Pardon certain Birmingham Rioters.-By Lord Ellenborough, from St. Luke's, Chelsea, against the Poor-law
Commission Continuance, and Collection of Rates Bills. -By Earl Stanhope, from several places, to the same effect; and for the Repeal of the Poor-law.
METROPOLITAN POLICE COURTS.] The Metropolitan Police Courts Bill was reported.
Lord Brougham moved, that the third clause be struck out, not because he objected to an increase in the salaries of the police magistrates, or to their being allowed retiring pensions. but because he wished those pensions to be introduced in a proper bill, which should be introduced at a period when it might receive due deliberation and proper attention.
Viscount Duncannon could not agree to the proposition of the noble and learned Lord.
Lord Lyndhurst believed, that the noble Viscount opposite (Viscount Duncannon), had last night given only two reasons for the introduction of these provisions- one was, that additional duties were imposed upon the magistrates by the present bill; and the other was the possibility of their labours being still further increased by a bill to be introduced in another Session of Parliament. Now, the clanse of the present bill, imposing additional duties, had been negatived by the House, and it would be time enough to make provisions respecting the prospective jurisdiction when the bill was introduced by which it was to be conferred.
Their Lordships divided on the question that the clause stand:Contents 30; Not-Contents 43 :- Majority 13. List of the CONTENTS.
The Earl of Wicklow said, it seemed to him that the only case in which the penalty of 51. was provided, was not where an individual had been proved to steal the sheep, but where a sheep was found in his possession, and he was unable to account for it. Possession was no proof of stealing. Would a man, on proof of possession, be liable to be hung or transported for life?
Lord Brougham: Most certainly. If the mutton or skin was found in his possession, and he was unable to account for it, on proof that it was the property of another person, he would be supposed to have stolen it. He (Lord Brougham) never knew a case of sheep-stealing in which there was any evidence of the taking.
On the question that the report be received,
Lord Brougham moved, that it be received this day three months. Agreed to.
Bill put off for three months.
IDOLATROUS WORSHIP, (INDIA).] The Bishop of London, on rising to move, pursuant to notice, for the production of certain papers relating to Idolatrous Worship in India, said, the question which he felt it his duty to bring under the attention and consideration of their Lordships was one of vital importance to this country, as affecting the Christian character of this country, and, as he firmly believed, of vital importance as regarded the permanency of British dominion in that vast country to which his motion had reference. He was aware that in this country there were persons who thought this question might affect the permanency of British dominion in India, but who did not entertain the same opinions as himself, because those persons thought, that the raising or mooting this question at all, was likely to bring the empire of Great Britain in the East into jeopardy. From that opinion, he entirely dissented, and, on the contrary, he thought, that nothing was so likely to shake the stability of our empire in India as the continuance of the existing most unsatisfactory state of things as to religion in that country; and, he could not believe, that a Government which not only tolerated, but sanctioned, the continuance of idolatry-which not only sanctioned and encouraged it among the natives, but compelled a Christian people to
give an unwilling sanction to it-could look for the blessing of Providence on acts which were so strongly opposed to the dictates of religion. It might be said, that the question of idolatry was one in respect to which the Government ought to observe a strict neutrality, and he admitted that the most effectual way of impeding the progress of Christianity was to offer violence to the prejudices and feelings of those amongst whom it was sought and desired to plant it. But, he believed it was the clear and incontrovertible duty of this Government, as Christians, and members of a Christian state, to do nothing, that should encourage the continuance of idolatry and superstition, still less, to sanction by acts, those proceedings which they knew to be inconsistent with Christianity. He believed the country at large, and he might include many of their Lordships in the category, were but little aware of these idolatrous proceedings in India. About the year 1831, the subject began to occupy a considerable portion of public attention; and in consequence of the representations made by religious people and by some societies, the Court of Directors, in 1833, sent a despatch, which did them the highest honour, and which embodied directions that would, if carried out in practice, have spared him (the Bishop of London) the necessity of now addressing their Lordships. That despatch, it was now well known, was the production of a nobleman eminent for his benevolence and pietyhe meant the noble Lord lately at the head of the Colonial department-who stated, in direct and distinct terms, the duty of the Government in India; and he could not understand why that Government had deviated from the principles there recommended. The despatch was signed by the chairman, and by 13 members of the Court of Directors, and he could not conceive that those individuals had not a bona fide intention that the instructions contained in it should be carried out. If, however, they had merely signed it in their official characters, and with their hearts in an opposite direction, he could only say, that they had trifled with their consciences, and deluded the Christian public. He, however, gave the directors full credit for entering into the spirit of the directions which emanated from the noble Lord to whom he had alluded. The despatch, so signed, went out: three
years elapsed, and it did not appear that country had been silent, the opinions of any steps were taken during that time to people in India would have made themcarry the directions it contained into selves heard. The people of India were effect; and, in consequence, the attention not aware of any such dangers as those of the proprietors of the East India Com- held out by the Court of Directors and pany had been called to the subject, and their friends, as likely to arise from carrya motion was brought forward by a pro-ing out the Christian directions of the des prietor, to the effect, that the directors be patch of the year 1833. One of the obinstructed to carry out effectually the direc-jections was, as to the connexion of the tions set forth in the despatch of the year 1833. That motion was, he believed, carried unanimously. After a further time, inquiries were again made as to what had been done in the matter, when it appeared that the directors had sent out to India for information as to the connexion which the government there had with the superstitions of the natives, in relation to the pilgrim-tax, as to the employing troops in religious processions and festivals, and as to the financial interests of the country, the political measures of the government, and on their public character. Now, these certainly were very proper inquiries to be made, but if the Court of Directors had been determined to carry into effect the directions of the despatch of 1833, they ought not to have suffered three years to elapse without requiring this important information. Their course of proceeding since the period to which he adverted, had been of a retrograde character, and he had, consequently, taken the liberty of calling the attention of their Lordships on two former occasions to the subject. On the last occasion, he had received from the noble Viscount at the head of the Government, the satisfactory assurance that a despatch, which should satisfy the public mind on this important subject, should go out to India. A despatch, it was true, had gone out, but, so far as he could understand, it was anything but satisfactory, and, in point of fact, it contradicted and contravened the despatch of Lord Glenelg, so far as it related to the compulsory attendance of troops in processions and at festivals. He thought it due to himself, after having spoken so strongly on these practices, to put their Lordships in pos
session of one or two features of the connexion of the Government with idolatrous practices to which he objected. But, first, he would observe, that there could not be a greater mistake than to suppose, that, amongst the experienced public in India, there did not prevail anything like unanimity on the subject; he was quite sure, that, even if the public voice in this
Government with the pagoda funds. There had been a misunderstanding between some priests, who had been thought heterodox by other orthodox Brahmins, and the Government had directly interfered, and had given a direct sanction to the idolatrous proceedings. Why not leave these pagoda priests to themselves? for it had not been even attempted to be shown that the slightest danger would arise from the Government divesting itself of the entire management of such matters. That had been done in one or two instances to the entire contentment of the parties concerned, leaving them to the civil courts of the country, if their rights were invaded. But why should he confine himself to the instances of one or two pagodas? for it had been done generally in the presidency of Bengal; there, things were as they should be; the connexion of the Government with idolatry had been got rid of without danger in that great province, which comprised a population of 50,000,000; and why could not the same thing be managed among 20,000,000 of people in Madras and Bombay? The next evil complained of was the sanction which the Government gave to religious processions and festivals, by the compulsory attendance upon them of Christian troops. He knew he might be told that this was done out of compliment to the native prince, when going to offer sacrifice in his temple. That was not the case. If a guard of honour was sent to accompany the Rajah in his progress, and to pause at the entrance to the temple, there would be not so much reason to complain, but it was not the Rajah alone that passed in procession; the idol came with him, and the idol was saluted by the troops. So far from the compliment being alone paid to the Rajah, he was sure, if a native was asked to whom the salute was offered, he would reply, "To the idol," and not to the Rajah. Such was the answer given by the Brahmins on these occasions. Was the course of proceeding consistent with the desire to bring the millions of be
tices as they were, would not take notice of this inconsistency? Why, they were in the habit of taunting our missionaries with these very things. He was persuaded, that if the known principles of the constitution of this country were regarded, we should more effectually advance and strengthen our influence with the heathen population, by something like a consistent and firm maintenance of them, coupled with moderation, than we could by a compromise of those principles. The kind of influence obtained by means of a compromise of principle, was such as their Lordships might be certain would not stand in the day of trial. At this period of the Session, he felt that he ought not to enlarge upon this subject, and, indeed, nothing but its great importance had induced him to press it upon their Lordships' attention. He would, however, just allude to the case of a distinguished individual who had been treated, in connexion with this important question, in a manner, he would not say unworthy of his character, but in a manner unworthy of a Christian Government, and in a manner which was calculated to impede the progress of Christianity. In consequence of the despatch to which he had alluded, Sir Robert O'Callaghan issued an order-and he was the more induced to do so, because of the unfortunate death of a sepoy at an idolatrous festival-that no troops should be so employed except as a guard of honour to the Rajah, thereby marking out the course of duty to be followed. When Sir Peregrine Maitland went out to take the command of the troops at Madras, having heard of the order of Sir Robert O'Callaghan-having considered with some attention, and viewed with some apprehension, the com
nighted people of that country to the pure they might be, and immersed in the most faith? Was it consistent to make profes-degrading superstitions and immoral pracsions of that desire, while, in practice, the Government was ready to assist in paying homage to stock and stone? But why should Christian troops be compelled to assist in these ceremonies, so revolting to their consciences, when Mahomedan soldiers were not liable? That this was the case had been proved lately in the instance of a Subahdar of a Mahomedan regiment in the British service, who refused to join in the processions, and had been brought to a court-inartial. He urged reasons which would not have availed a Christian officer, and had suffered no inconvenience from his refusal. And yet at that time, the officer whose name appeared in the papers for which he (the Bishop of London) was about to move, found nineteen Christian soldiers in confinement for having refused to perform a similar act, which was equally against their consciences. While India was under the government of Mahomedans, they never lent their troops in this way, neither did they interfere with the native religion, and he contended, that nothing short of that course by the British Government, would satisfy the public mind at home and abroad. What he wanted to see, was something like an advancement on the part of the directors towards that consummation so devoutly to be wished. But instead of this, they had retracted the orders they sent out in 1833; they first censured the practice, and then withdrew their censure. What conclusion could the people of England form from that circumstance, but that the Court of Directors did not feel disposed to fulfil the hopes of the public on this subject? There was another topic upon which he hardly knew how to speak in terms of moderation-he alluded to the offerings to idols made on the part of the Government. It was no-pulsory attendance of troops at idolatrous torious, that such offerings were made by a Christian Government. He had lately heard of an instance which was of so gross a character, that he could scarcely believe it true, and therefore he would not relate it at present. But there was no doubt of this fact, that offerings were actually made to idols in the most solemn and formal manner, by the servants of the East India Company on certain days of the year. Was it to be supposed, that the Hindoos, who were not wanting in sagacity, indolent and ignorant though
festivals, for it was no new subject either in this country or at Madras, and having received no new directions to depart from the instructions of the Court of 1833, he went out with the persuasion, that it was his duty to carry out those instructions according to their spirit. That distinguished individual also consulted one of the directors-the chairman, he believed, but certainly a leading person in the Court of Directors-on the principles which should govern his conduct of India. The gentleman whom he consulted, put into