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that act in fufpcuding the qualifications constitutionally required of officers entering than previouíly to that act, he should have no objection to its renewal; but if otherwise, he thought it very improper- upon flight grounds to depart - from the constitutional principles of the militia system. He : objected also to the bill as it contained no clause to indem
nity those who have received commiffions in the militia under the operation of the foriner act, and who being unqua- lified, are liable to fines since the 25th of March lall, when the adt expired.
· The bill was then read a second time, and ordered to be ..committed on Thursday. : Mr. Vanlittart moved that there be laid before the House
the accounts of the charges on the consolidated fund; which i were accordingly ordered,
Loid W. Rullell moved that the report of the flatute duty - bill be taken into further consideration. He afterwards mov
ed that it be recommitted on Thursday se'nnight, which was accordingly ordered.
A perion from the office of the Chief Secretary of Ire, Jand presented an account of the Treasury bills outstanding
for Ireland, on the ist of January 1804. . As also an account of the returns to the Treasury of the different fums affelfed by the grand juries of Ireland.
Mr. Ormsby brought up the report of the Dublin police bill, which was orderred to be engrossed.
The Secretary at War brought up the army estimates, . which were ordered to lie on the table.
A message was received from the Lords, intimating their concurrence with the Irish priests and deacons orders bill. - On the motion of Mr. Corry, the Irish linen manufactory ; bill was read a third time and passed. ' - The Chancellor of the Exchequer gave notice, that he .. would move in the Committee of Supply, for an issue of nine 9 millions and a half of Exchequer bills. to cover the c!eten
millions issued for the service of last year.
HOUSE OF LORDS. .,
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 18.. 5 . Counsel was heard in the appeal from the Court of Selisjon * in Scotland, John Hunter, Esq. against the Earl of Kinngul. " Poftponed till Monday. ? On the motion of the Lord Chancellor, the judgmdos of
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the Court of Session in the cause Fleming against Abercrom, by, was affirmed. On the third reading of the
' VOLUNTEER REGULATIONS BILL, Lord Grenville apologized to their Lordships for the neceffity that he felt himself under of trespasling on their tiine, · while he adverted to the clause which had been proposed by
à nuble Baron (Lord Auckland) on an oppusite bench, and which lead been adopted by the House, and incorporated with the bill then before them. He meant to allude to that claufc which enacts, that in future all rules and regulations for volunteer corps should be transmitted by the commanding officer to the Lord Lieutenant of the county, and, by him, if he should approve of the fame, to the Secretary of State, for his Majesty's approbation. It was his intention to move, that that clause be expunged from the bill, not because he wholly disapproved of it, but because it did not, to his mind, fufficiently meet the evil it was intended to check and counteract. It must be in the recollection of noble Lords, that so far back as November last, that House had been unanimous, he believed, in condemning the practice of committees in volunteer corps, and of repelling that dangerous and monstrous proposition, that men with arms in their hands fiould ever be converted into deliberative bodies. It was unneces. sary for him to enter anew into the feelings or reasons which induced that House to a general disapprobation of that principle, wliich, if once tolerated, there was an end to the conftitution. That worst of all species of government, a milie tary one, was the natural and incvitable result of such a prin. ciple, and military government, sooner or later, as it was well proved by historical fact, invariably terminated in der. potism. To guard against the possibility of the establishment of a principle so anomalous to the practice of our free conftitution, and pregnant with so much danger to it, was a duty most imperiously demanded; and he challenged the House, he individually challenged every noble Lord who agreed with him in reprobating that principle on a former occasion, to declare now, in a positive, decided, and manly way, that the Legislature of this kingdom would not tolerate, in the finallest degree, the practice of deliberation by armed bodies of men. With respect to the clause before the House, his principal objection to it was, that it was not
retrospective in its effe&ts. It provided, in some mealure, .but not, in his judgment, as fully as it hould have done, s. Vol. II. 1803-4.
against againft the mischief of regulations, sometimes formed by the officers, sometimes by the privates, and frequently by the union of both characters. He much wished that Governa ment had declared their determination at once, in that diznified and manly mode that became them, to crush the seeds and bud of these committees. He kriew of no authority in the constitution which had the right of originating and prescribing regulations for the conduct of military bodies, but the executive power, or the authority of Parliament. The public force was placed by the practice and principles of the constitution, under the sole control of the regal authority, and neither by its letter nor fpirit was it crer recognized to reside in any other. 'He wished that the clause had gone the length of declaring that no vules or regulations, either actually existing, or in future to be formed. Thould be deemed valid, without having been submitted to his Majesty for allowance or disapprobation. Many of those regulations could not at present, upon any principle of in tice, be enforced. No volunteer, except he had given his individual consent to the rules of his corps, or had bv fome act implying such consent, expressed bis adherence to them, could, as the law stood at present, be muléted, or hare any penalty inflicted on him for disobedience of them. If any magistrate should issue process for levying any tine on such volunteer, in consequence of regulations to which he had not either specifically, or by implication, expressed his consent, the courts of law would annul the decision of such magistrate, and a jury would give the volunteer aggrieved da. mages for a civil wrong. It was to avoid such consequences that he wished, and that he yet hoped, Parliament would think proper to declare, that all existing regulations for volunteer corps should be submitted in his Majefty, for his approbation or disallowance. As a prospective measure, the clause introduced by the noble Baron was not altogether satisfactory to his mind, inasmuch as it seemed to countenance the idea, that in future it would be competent to volunteer corps to originate rules and regulations for their con. duet. Against that, as a principle, he begged leave to enter his most fulenin protest. He was always of opinion, where the Crown did not interfere in the formation of such regulations, they should originate from the commanding on ficer, and from him alone. That opinion was the conte. quence of his thorough convi&ion, iliut no principle : more dangerous and opposite to the effence and true frivit of the conftitution, than that an armed body ihould assume
to itself a deliberative capacity. To put down, and annihilate at once the possibility of such a monster arising in this country, was the privilege of the Legislature, and he trufted that Parliament would not be intimidated from the performance of a great and nccessary dury, by any apprelienfion of futuie consequences. He thought too highly of the spiric and loyalty of that great and meritorious body, the voluntcers, to suppose that they would not readily and cheerfully acquiesce in any regulations that the wisdom of the Executive Government Thall prescribe for them. He would not detain their Lord/hips any longer, but move, that the clause be expunged from the bill, for the purpose of introducing one which would cmbrace the ideas he had taken the liberty of fubmitting to the House.
Lord Auckland felt himlelf under the necellity of diffenting from the motion. He thought that noble Lords should pause a little before they rejected the clause of which they were in possession, and without being fully acquainted with the nature of that the noble Baron may propose to substitute in iis place. He did not much relish the idea of being thus fent to open sea without chart or compass, and he therefore wilhed that the noble Baron had fallen upon some mode of informing the House to what precise point their course was to be directed. He law much mischief and confusion likely to result from the retrospective operation of the clause, nor could he agree with the noble Baron, that the existing commilices were pregnant with the conditutional inconvenien. cies he had so tirongly described; and above all, he deprecated the posibility of setting ihe volunteers loose from ihe re. gulations they were acting under, even improper as in fonie instances they pollibly might be. He could not concur in the exaggerated picture the poble Baron had drawn of the dangers to be apprehended from a deliberative capacity, relid. ing under certain restrainis and qualifications in a body of men lo patriotically and loyally constituted as the volunteers. There was no wound, there was no fore that required the extraordinary application recommended by the noble Baron, who seemed to think that there existed in this part of the tolunteer sy liem,
- -Medicabile vulnus
Cuncta prius tentanda. He would not fubfcribe to that opinion, and seeing, there was no neceflity for carrying the principle to the uimost ex
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tent that it was meant to itretch it, he would oppose the mos rion of ihe noble Baron.
Lord Grenville, explained, that he could not, consistent with order, submit his ideas on the subject in the form of a motion to the House, until the clause objecied to had been previously expunged, nor could he regularly communicate it to the noble Lords unless he had read it as part of his specch. However, with the permission of the House, he would flate the substance of what he meani to propose, in case his morion for expunging the clause Mould be carried. It was; ift, that the rules and regulations of all volunteer corps, actually embodied, Thould, within one month from the palking of the bill, be transınitted through the commanding officer and the Lord Lieutenant of the county, to the Secretary 01-State, for his Majelly's approbation: 2dly, that for the future no regue : lation by a volunteer corps hould be valid wjihout such al: lowance on the part of the King: and, lastly, that all, such regulations (hould originate with the commanding officer, and none other. He was particularly anxious with regard to. the establishment of his last proposuion, because he thought he could perceive a disposition in the noble Baron lo conipro- : mise the practice, and to admit that although it would be pro. per that the originating power should reside in the commands: ing officer, yet that cases may arise where it would be pru. dent in him to consult and refer to the collective opinion of the corps.
Lord Hawkesbury agreed in many of the opinions of the noble Baron. He wished that those segulations had never existed; but as Parliament, for some years past, had acquiesced in them, he could not see upon what principles of confiftency or public faith it could now be endeavoured to put an end to them. The mischiefs which the noble Lord apprehended from those regulations were noi, he would come rend, so probable as were supposed, and for this strong reason, that whenever they should be placed on permanent duty, of called out in case of appearance of invasion, there would be an end to all their rules and regulations, and they would, in either of those two instances, he subject to the operation of the muriny laws, like the rest of his Majesty's forces. As the clause of his noble Fricnd sufficiently provided against furuse dangers, and as from the iried prudence and loyalty of the volunteers he was justified in preluining that by far the greatest part of them would be ready to recast their regularions, or to adopt such alterations as his Majefty thould