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List of the Nor-CONTENTS.







bill-and that after the address which had | Deuman
been unanimously agreed on by their Brougham
Lordships, the Government would have
been supported in the means which they De Freyne
took for carrying it into effect. He could
not help remarking, that it was very inju- Barham
dicious to call on the noble Lord at the Dinorben
head of the Admiralty, to divulge the Lilford
orders of the Board, and he complimented
the noble Lord for having divulged so
much of them, more upon his candour
than his prudence. No doubt the bill
might have some faults, but they would
be amended in Committee. He had in-
tended to rise to advocate the cause of
those officers and men who, in obedience
to the orders of the Admiralty, might ex-
pose themselves to great hazard; but their
claims had been so ably stated by the
noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack,
and eloquently urged by the noble and
learned Lord (Lord Denman) that he need
not attempt to add anything to what they
had said. Those noble and learned Lords
had stated, that these parties were wholly
unprotected-they could not examine into
the constitutional considerations connected
with any particular service-their duty
was to obey orders. Was it not ungene-
rous, then, to leave them to be tormented
by protracted law-suits, instead of passing
the close of their days in peace and com-
fort, and enjoying those domestic felicities
from which they had so long been sepa-
rated in foreign climes? It was for the
British Legislature to do everything they
could to put an end to the slave-trade as
now existing; and he trusted their Lord-
ships would allow the second reading of
the bill, in order that such alterations
might be made in Committee as were
deemed necessary. God forbid it should
go forth to the world, that the House had
refused to pass an Act of this description.
Their Lordships divided: - Contents
39; Not-Contents 28: Majority 11.

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Paired off.





The following Protest was entered against the second reading of the Bill.


1. Because the object of this bill is to authorize an officer of the Crown to order the adoption of measures of hostility against Portugal, and other operations of war, not founded upon any public declaration of the Sovereign, or message to this House in the usual form, announcing the necessity for such measures

and operations, and calling upon the House to give its legislative assistance to enable her Majesty to carry into execution and perform the same, if such assistance should be necessary.

2. Because this House has not before it the information to enable its members to judge of the expediency and necessity for these measures and operations; of the force necessary to carry into execution and carry on the same; of the probable resistance and retaliation of Portugal and other powers, and, in that case, of the means of resistance of this country for the protection of her Majesty's dominions abroad, and of the innocent and defenceless commerce of her subjects in all parts of the world.

3. Because the constitution of this kingdom and uniform practice have been, to leave to

the Sovereign, acting by the advice of her servants, the decision on all questions of peace or war; and to carry into execution such measures, and to order such operations, as the Sovereign might be advised.

4. Because the enactment by Parliament of measures and operations of war against a power of Europe is unusual and unconstitutional.

5. Because the enactments of the first clause in the bill enable the Lord High Admiral, or any one of her Majesty's Secretaries of State to authorize any person or persons, that is, in a privateer letter of-marque, or otherwise, to detain, visit, demand, search for, and examine the papers of any vessels engaged, or by such persons supposed to be engaged in the slavetrade; and in case such vessels should not have on board, or the master thereof should refuse, or neglect to produce on demand, papers showing that they are justly entitled to claim the protection of the flag of any state or nation, to detain, seize, and capture such vessels, and this, while the existing treaty with the King of the French, for the purpose of more effectually suppressing the criminal traffic called the slavetrade, stipulates that a mutual right of search might be exercised on board the vessels of each of the two nations within certain waters; but that the right of search shall be exercised only by ships-of-war, whose commanders shall have the rank of captain, or at least that of lieutenant in the Royal Navy. That the number of ships, invested with this right, shall be fixed each year by special agreement. That the names of the ships and their commanders shall be communicated by each of the Governments to the other, and information given of all changes. That the ships-of-war authorized to exercise the reciprocal right of search shall be furnished with a special authority from each of the two Governments. That the search shall be exercised only within the waters as described, that is to say, the west coast of Africa from the tenth degree of south latitude to the fifteenth degree of north latitude, as far as the thirty degrees of west longitude from the meridian of Paris; all round the Island of Madagascar, to the extent of twenty leagues from the island; to the same distance from the Islands of Cuba and Porto Rico, and from the coast of Brazil. That whenever a merchant vessel shall have been overtaken, being liable to suspicion, the commanding officer, before he proceeds to the search, shall exhibit to the captain of the merchant vessel the special orders which confer upon him, by exception, the right to visit her. The treaty then proceeds to specify the places to which shall be sent for adjudication French merchant ships detained by her Britannic Majesty's ships, being all of them places in which the jurisdiction was to be French.

But the first and all the clauses of the bill which enable the Lord High Admiral, or any Secretary of State, to authorize any person or persons to detain, search, seize, and capture

any vessels, require that the same shall be brought for adjudication in the High Court of Admiralty in England, or in any ViceAdmiralty Court within her Majesty's do


6. Because treaties to a similar purport, if not copies of the treaties with the King of the French, have been concluded for the same purpose with the following powers and states: The King of Sweden and Norway, the King of Denmark, the Queen of Spain, the King of Sardinia, the King of the Two Sicilies, the King of the Netherlands, the Hanse Towns, and the Grand Duke of Tuscany.

7. Because the fourth section of the bill particularly refers to the equipment of a merchant vessel which has negroes found on board, shall be considered as a primú facie evidence of the employment of such vessel in the transport of negroes or others for the purpose of carrying them to slavery, and requires that such vessels shall be brought to England, or elsewhere, to be adjudicated and condemned in a British court of justice, notwithstanding that the treaty with the King of the French contains a special stipulation upon this very subject of equipment, and provides that merchant vessels under French colours, detained and found to be so equipped, shall be sent for adjudication to a particular place stated, there to be adjudged by a French tribunal. The treaties with other powers contain similar stipulations.

8. Because the provisions of the bill convey powers to the Lord High Admiral and to the Secretaries of State, to give instructions to her Majesty's cruisers, and to give authority to all persons, which must occasion breaches of the stipulations of her Majesty's engagements with nearly all the powers of Europe, if exercised, as they may, and probably will be.

9. Because the exercise of the powers given by the bill to the Lord High Admiral, and to the Secretaries of State, may tend to the detention and search for papers; and the consequences of these acts on board the merchant vessels belonging to the citizens of nations or subjects of powers with which her Majesty is not engaged by any treaty for the mutual detention and search of vessels for the purpose of preventing the traffic called the slave-trade, may be that such detention and search may be resisted or retaliated, and eventually lead to other measures of war.

10. Because it is the Sovereign, with the advice of her Council, who ought to originate such measures likely to be attended by such consequences, if the honour or the interest of the country should require their adoption, and not the Houses of Parliament, whose duty it is to adopt proceedings in support of such measures, when regularly called upon by the Sovereign, by message in the usual form.

11. Because measures so unusual, and calculated to be attended by such consequences, are not necessary in order to obtain from Portugal the due execution of the treaties concluded with the Sovereigns of this coun

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12. Because the bill authorizes the capture and detention of Portuguese vessels, and natives of Portugal, subjects to the Crown of Portugal, and their adjudication before a British tribunal for a breach of treaty with the Sovereign of Great Britain and Ireland, and a breach of the law of Portugal; thus assuming a right to exercise a jurisdiction at sea to punish a foreigner by the sentence of the courts of this country, for a breach of the municipal law of his own country.

13. Because such proceedings as are authorized by this bill, are inconsistent with the ancient and honourable policy of this country, to maintain for ourselves peace with all nations, by respecting the rights, institutions, and in dependence of all, and cultivating their good will by friendly relations, to promote peace between the nations of the world in general, by our good offices and exertions, particularly

in favour of the weak.






Ormond Wicklow

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CONTINUANCE OF THE POOR-LAW COMMISSION.] Earl Stanhope, on the Order of the Day for their Lordships to go into a Committee on the Poor-Law Commission Continuance Bill, urged the postponement till to-morrow. He did not make this request on his own account, because, notwithstanding the lateness of the hour, and his own advanced age, he still possessed health, strength, and ability sufficient to discharge his duty, and would have no objection to remain in that House till the same hour to-morrow night; but he did ask it for the sake of the question itself. Noble Lords must be aware of the horror and indignation with which this realm viewed the continuance of the New Poor-law, and the powers of those by whom it was administered. Was it then decent, was it not adding insult to the injuries they had heaped on the people, to bring forward at that hour of the night, a measure necessarily involving so many important and interesting considerations? He felt it would be impossible for him to do justice to the question, but though he should expire in the attempt, he was at least determined, that at every single stage, the bill should meet with his decided opposition.

The Marquess of Lansdowne, considering the present period of the Session, and the temporary simple nature of the bill, which contained no new provisions, but merely continued the board of commissioners for another year, felt compelled to press the order for its committal. At another stage the noble Lord might state his objections, in which he apprehended he stood single in that House, to the entire principle of the bill.

Lord Wynford assured the noble Mar quess, that there was one more opponent of the principle of the bill besides his noble Friend. He appealed to the noble Marquess whether it was right at that hour of the night, to discuss a bill in which the public took so deep and general

an interest?

Order of the Day read. On the question that their Lordships resolve themselves into a Committee,

Earl Stanhope said, although the motion of the noble Marquess furnished him with an opportunity of going at length into the whole question then before the House, he was not disposed at that hour of the night to take so wide a range. He should, therefore, consider it more for the convenience of their Lordships to limit his observations on the present occasion, to the question whether the power of the three Poor-law Commissioners ought to be continued for another year. He was the more inclined to follow that course, because he was ready to admit, that any objections which might be urged against the bill itself, and which might be removed if the bill went into committee, would not afford a valid objection against the motion with which he intended to conclude his obsertions, namely, that this bill be committed this day three months. He felt that it was requisite that the discussion should be limited, as he had already stated, for no subject could long engage the attention of their Lordships, which embraced such important considerations affecting the rights and interests of a class of the community, which was not represented in the other House of Parliament, and which was therefore specially entitled to the protection of their Lordships. It was from a thorough conviction that in one discussion, to whatever length it might be protracted, it would be utterly impossible to go through the various parts of this subject in a satisfactory manner, that he thought it was desirable, that they should

body, the power of making rules, orders and regulations which were to have the force and validity of law. He did not state that as his own opinion, which might be of no value and have but little weight with their Lordships, but he stated it on authority which ought to be regarded even by them with due respect. Locke said,

"that the Legislature was empowered only to make laws, and not to make Legislators, nor was the executive to govern otherwise than by promulgated and established laws, not to be varied in particular cases."

Blackstone observes, in speaking of the legislative and executive powers,

"that wherever these two powers were found together, there was an end of public liberty, and that it was incumbent on the promulgators of the law to publish the same in the most public manner.'

be all submitted successively to the consideration of their Lordships. Limiting himself, therefore, to what he conceived to be the main purport of this bill, he should say nothing at present upon the annihilation of the ancient and inestimable right of the people to self-government, and upon the flagrant injustice with which vestries had been despoiled of all control in the management of their own concerns. He should also be silent as to the formation of Poor-law unions, some of which were of an extent and contained a population very inconvenient to the poor. Nor should he say anything of the appointment of those novel officers called guardians by a strange misnomer, who were not, however, the guardians of the poor, and in many cases not even elected by a majority of the rate-payers. He should pass over in silence those new prisons erected under the name of work- He would quote another authority, houses, which were intended as prisons, which was that of one of the wisest of and which, according to the expression of mankind, and whose representative their an assistant Poor-law commissioner, were Lordships then saw sitting among them built to inspire a salutary terror in the the great Lord Bacon. Lord Bacon minds of the poor. He should say declared, that nothing at present of the starvation dietary adopted in those prisons, or of the deaths which had ensued in them in consequence of it, especially in the Bridgewater workhouse. He should take no notice of the laws respecting bastardy, which had produced such demoralizing influence as was shown by the Parliamentary returns now on their Table, exhibiting but a small portion of the cases in which mothers who had been seduced, had murdered themselves and their offspring. Nor should he enter at present into a variety of other considerations of great importance. He should also be silent as to a point which he considered of very little importance, but which was nevertheless deemed very interesting by some of their Lordships-he meant the rapid increase of the amount of the poor-rates under an Act of Parliament, which was recommended to their approbation as a means of preventing the loss of their estates, but which he now said would produce at no distant period the entire confiscation of them. Preserving silence on all these points at present, he would state, that he objected to the appointment of these three Poor-law Commissioners, because their Lordships had no right or legal authority whatever to transfer to them, or indeed to any other

"If authority be given by the Sovereign to wise than by known and published laws, then any commissioner or other, to govern otherthe Sovereign conferred a greater power than he himself, or herself possessed: adding,

"and, thus, commissioners who will not administer justice by law, but by their own will, may seem rather to desire to be kings than to rule the people under the Sovereign'; and in giving such authority, the King ordains, not subordinate magistrates, but absolute Kings."

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There was no occasion for their Lordships to look through the pages of the new Poor-law to discover that the powers of the Poor-law Commissioners were unlimited, uncontrolled, and irresponsible. And yet when, on a former occasion, he had applied to them the title of dictators -a title which he should repeat whenever he had occasion to name them-a noble and learned Lord seemed quite amazed and lost in astonishment, could hardly believe his ears, and seemed utterly surprised and confounded, that such a term should be so misapplied. If that title was not rightly and properly applied to such persons, if it did not truly designate them, it ought to be expunged from the dictionary as devoid of sense. So unlimited, so extravagant, and

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so inordinate was the power of those three ever, were the responsible advisers of these Commissioners, that there was no restric- three Poor-law Commissioners? That tion as to the size of the unions they brought him to another argument, and might form, or of the quality of the food that argument was founded on the manner which they might introduce into them. in which the three Commissioners had vioSo that, if their Lordships imagined an lated the very words and intention of the extreme case-which in arguing an ab- Act itself with respect to the sanction to stract matter of principle they had a right be given to their general rules and reguto do there was nothing in the law, sup- lations. Their Lordships would find, that, posing that these commissioners were in- by the 16th section of the Act, any general clined to divide the whole of England into rules, which were to be applied to more two unions, one for the north, and the than one union, were not to operate until other for the south, and to condemn the 40 days after they had been laid before inmates of these new prisons to half an the Secretary of State for the Home Deounce of bread and a tea-spoonful of gruel partment. If in that time they were disa day; there was nothing, he repeated, in allowed by the Secretary of State, they the law to prevent them from doing so, or were not to operate at all; but if they were to remedy such an abuse of power after sanctioned by him, then they were to be they had committed it. Their Lordships all laid before the two Houses of Parliament. knew that there was no power of which Their Lordships would not have forgotten, Englishmen were so jealous as that of that, when objection was made elsewhere taxation. There was no minister since to these arbitrary powers of the three the days of Charles I., whose fate was Poor-law Commissioners, it was stated by well known-there was no Minister of a noble Lord, who had since taken his modern times bold enough to attempt to seat among their Lordships, that there exert that power without the concurrence could be no abuse of those powers, beof that body which called itself the House cause they were first to be sanctioned by of Commons; and yet, if commissioners the Secretary of State, and afterwards laid could be appointed with unlimited powers before both Houses of Parliament. Was of taxation if, for example, the noble it not, then, a mockery to find, that in Lord opposite, who was at the head of every year which had elapsed since the Treasury, and the right hon. Gentleman passing of the law, the Commissioners had who filled the office of Chancellor of the evaded it, by not making any general rules Exchequer, and that great political econo- at all? Their rules were all special, not mist, who had his whole life and being in general; and the reason, he supposed, finance, who wrote on no other subject was, that these worthy personages were but finance, who talked on no other sub- unwilling to be overwhelmed by the comject but finance, and who dreamt on no pliments which they would have received other subject but finance-he meant Mr. for their legislation from all parts of the Joseph Hume-if such a triumvirate could country. It appeared that about two be appointed commissioners to inpose years ago, on the motion of an hon. taxes, it would be less objectionable by Friend of his, the Member for Kent, a itself, it would be less obnoxious to the return was made for all the general rules, country, and it would be far less injurious orders, and regulations which had been in its results than this Act of Parliament, laid before the Home Secretary by the which conferred upon three commissioners, Poor-law Commissioners under the 16th despotic and irresponsible powers, which section of the Act. What were they? they were at liberty to exercise at discre- Orders about matters of no importance. tion upon the poor. Let their Lordships That return was not furnished voluntarily ; go another step farther. If it were legal, it was extorted from the despots by an if they had a right, if it were not an order of the House of Commons. There usurpation, which was in itself illegal, and had been a subsequent return, made by which could, therefore, be lawfully resisted, order of the Secretary of State for the to appoint such commissioners, why should Home Department, and which had been not the powers now vested in them be introduced very skilfully at the present vested in the Sovereign? That would be moment to smooth the way to the passing less objectionable than the present system, of this bill. Blackstone had said, that it for the Sovereign must exercise them un- was incumbent on the promulgators of a der responsible advisers. Where, how-law to publish it in the most public man

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