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nature of the measure which he thought most likely to meet the exigency of the times, to propose the postporement of the question for a week or a fortnight, in order to afford Gentle men lime to turn the subject in their minds, and to form a. sound and deliberate judginent on it. The House would recollect, that he was not then pressing the question precipitately forward, but anxious to bring under its serious consideration an important discussion after repeated notices. Ho was dilpoled, therefore, to propose an amendment, by substituting Wednesday ic'onight or fortnight for Wednesday ; but thould forbear moving it, till he should hear what further reasons the rignie hon. Gentleina: bial to urge in fuppori of his motion.
Mr. Secretary Yorke kated, that when he had proposed on Wednesday last to deter the Committee on the bill, he was induced to fix it for the first open day. He had intended to have proposed Monday, another iinportant question having then stood for this day, and when the arrangement relative to that question took place, he felt no objectio: to fix the Committee for this day, hoping that the new clauses would be then prepared. It was necesary to frame those clauses with great nicely and precision, and therefore the more time was requi. red. It was important that the discussion of this measure should not be postponed further than was absolutely unavoidalble, and therefore he could noi consent to poftpone the confi. deration of it longer than Wednesday. It would, nevertheless, be open to the right hon. Gentleman to urge his reasons to the House for a further delay on that or any other day, and to explain the plan which appeared to his mind inore likely to be effeclual to the public service, in ord:r, if it should appear to the House preferable to the one now before it, to get rid of that altogether.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer hoped the right hon. Genthem in would not press his dinendment; his object was to obtain a further delay than was propoled, and might very corifistently be pressed if the motion of his right hon. Friend was for the House to go into the Commiitee that day. The right hon. Gintk man could not be fettered nor embarrassed by agreeing to the present motion ; because it he found think delay nec: flary, he might propose it on Wednesday, on the question for the Speaker's leaving the chair. The right hon. Gentleman had certainly, in compliance with what he had flated to be the wishes of his Majesty's Ministers, consented to defer his proposition until after, the measure in their contemplation thould undergo a discussion. No discussion had yet taken place on that lubjeci, and as he understood the 322
right lion. Gentleman to have consented to postpone his proposition until that thould take placc, he did not think he would press it in this instance. But he thought an acquict. ence in the motion of bis right hon. Friend due to a circunstance to which he could not regularly advert, but the fact was, that many Gentlemen who had intended to take a part in the discussion, were absent in consequence of an intinztion from his right hon. Friend, that it was his intention to apply for this delay. This was really the fact, and it was cere tainly not attributable to any unfair motives. If; however, he could asce.tain the general sense of the House to be for proceeding with the bill, he should not object to it, though, it would be recollected that the words of bis right hon. Friend “ he hoped to have the clauses ready by this day” implied a doubt whether he could be prepared to proceed with the bill. · Mr. Fox thought the very reverse was the case; and that in place of feeling doubts as to this day, the right hon. Secietary had been on a former day prepared to proceed with the discussion, which he had put off expressly in confideration of the application on the part of the right hon. Gentleman Mr. Pilt), unless, perhaps, being determined to defer the contide. ration of it, he thought he might as well make a compliment of the delay. (A laugh.) But if he was less ready on this than on a former day to proceed, was there not realon to funpose that on Wedneidlay he should be less prepared to proceed than at present? In this case, he was of opinion that there was no sufficient reason for the House to defer the difcution. But the question was in much abler hands than his, and he should not interfere further.
Mr Secretary Yorke replied that when the day was fixed for the Committee, he had expressly declared that he could not be prepared with the clauses on Thursday, but hoped to have them ready on this day; and as the hon. Meinber tras not present on the occasion, he appealed to the hon. Member (Mr. Long) who had made the application.
Mr. Long assented.
Mr. Pilt observed, that one of the reasons which induced him to press the discussion, was a desire to consult the convenience of the House. Another was, his with to bring forward the discussion on this subject previous to any of the other discullions of which notice had been given. It was with reluctance, therefore, he consented to his amendment; but as he had the strongest desire to accominodate thote whose duty it was to bring forward and arrange the public measures, he should not press it in this instance. He must
sav, however, that he did not yield to arguments. He cera: tainly could not perceive any appearance of a thin attenido, ance, and if all public measures were to be marked in the progress by the attendance of such numbers, there would be no reason to complain of the Legislature. He did not think it regular, nor altogether confiftent with the respect due to the opinion of the House, to anticipate its decision ; buwhen the Gentlemen on the bench below hini declared, that they were not ready to meet the discussion as they wilhed, it was not his desire to urge them to it. But as they had precipitately produced the ablence of certain Gentlemen who had meant to attend, be trusted, that from a regard to the convenience of those Gentlemen who were then present, no further application would be made for delay, for he looked to this discussion as a most important object, in laying the foundation for an efficient regular army, both now and hereafter.
The Committee was then postponed to Wednesday.
Lord Porcheiter gave notice of a motion for copies of any, and what orders had been sent out to officers commanding in India to detain French vefleis, &c. for Friday next,
Mr. Fox gave notice of a motion for an account of the transports that had been taken up for bringing over the Hanoverian troops, for the lame day.
The House went into a Committee on the report of the Connittee for carrving into effect the act for making an inland navigation between Inverness and Fort William, in Scotland. The Committee came to a resolution, that a bill should be brought in for making a further provision for making and maintaining the faid navigation. The House being resunied, the report was brought up, the resolution agreed to, and a bill ordered accordingly.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer gave notice, that in the Committee of Supply on Monday, he should move a grant for making a provision for that purpose.
EXCHEQUER BILLS. Mr. Alexander brought up the report of the Committee of W'ass and Weans.
The question on the issue of Exchequer bills being moved by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, · Mr. Johnsione objected to the further issue of these bills. He considered 24,800,0001. the sun in this form now in the money market, and that it was much too large a sumn 10
answer the purposes of national expedience. At the time the loan will be proposed, the quantity in the market will ? probably be 25,000,0001, and the effect of this enormous quantity, it continued, muft neceffarily be greatly to reduce their value. It thould be recollected, said the hon. Niem. ber, that last year, when the financial negociations were commenced, we had only 20 millions in Excliequer bills, and we should paule before we departed froin the elabü:hed maxims of state policy which had been bitherto regarded with fo much advantage. It was the more wise at this tine to economize the pecuniary resources, as we might be led into a prodigious expenditure. We may be constrained to call out the volunteer force, and to support, in consequence, the expence of this immense military body. Nole's a fum than 16 millions is to be railed between the present tiine and the 5th of April next. Another motive for the prefetence of a large loan to a small one, to excufe the itlue of Exchequer bills, is, that the loyalty loan is to be provised for. If the amount of Exchequer bills were to be so extravagantly increased, we could not rely up ned this resource for that and similar emergencies; and next year, if the Winifter proceeded as he had done, we lhould bave to fund. for Exchequer bills in addition to the periodical loan thie neceffities of the state will require. Exchequer bills are dow, and have been for the last month, at a discount. He withed, that iniead of eight millions in this way, only three millions Whould be issued. It would, perhaps, be said that the itsue of Exchequer bills is not now greater than at some former periods. Looking, however, at the four last budgets, the quantity was never so burthensome as at present in that interval. It was true, that under the fornier Administration they had been extended to 36 millions; but the impolicy was icon discovered, and as foun as poilible the dimimuiion was effccted. On every view of the cate he could not discern any reason why the loan might not in the pretent instance be incrcalcd, and the bills dininished five millions. If there was a plaufible objection, it was, that the public had been Icd io expect the approaching loan should not cxceed 10 millions ; but he was confident the right hon. Gentleman would not baller away the fi.bftantial interests of the country to avoid disappointing this expectation. He was fure the Chancellor ofile Exchequer had ihe beacfit of the state neareil his heart, and would be equally difpored 70. lacritice private feeling or popular applaule to flomote it.
Mr. Vanfrart agreed in the general principle, that an exceifive illue of Exchequer bills would be injurious to the country, but denied that that was the case in the present instance. There were no bills outstanding of an earlier date than April 1:03, and from the quantity discharged, the inarket required a new issue. Thote now outstanding would be materially diminished this year, and as the whole cxpenditure of the year was to be provided for by the ways and ineans of the year, without including Exchequer bills, a large amount of them would be paid off in the course of the vear, and the quantity in the market, at any period, would never exceed the quantity at any furmer corresponding period.
Ulr. Johnstone stared, that, from an attentive investigation of the price current, he had found tliat Exchequer bills bad been at a discount of one per cent. from 11t January to the present time.
Mr. Dent also asserted that they were at a discount.
Mr. Vanfittart and the Chancellor of the Exchequer explained, that she bills that had been at a discount were only ihofe thai bore an interest of three-pence a day; none of those illued by the prefent Government bcaring an interest of 3 d. a day, were at a discount.
The resolutions were agreed to, as well as those respecting the pay and clothing of the militia, and the allowance to militia officers. Bills were ordered accordingly. .
CATHOLICS IN THE IRISH MILITIA. Mir. Dillon said, he was not aware when he gave bis voten in favour of the Irish militia offers hill, that the Roman Catholics in the Irish militia, as soon as they caine over here, would be subject to the penalties of the statute of Geo. 1. He wished to know, whether the right hon. Gentleman opposite had provided any remedy for such Roman Catholic militiainen, against those penalties. If not, he 1hould, on an early day, submit a motion to the House onthe subject.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer replied, that the hon. Gentleman might have answered his own question. He could not have provided any remedy, but by a legislative measure, of which the hon. Gentleinan would have been awarc, if it had been brought forward. He had only to obferre, that there was nothing applicable to the Irish militia, which was not equally applicable to the Irish Catholics in