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of the French court ought to be conclusive in our courts, By a nuinber of decisions it had been fixed that it was. The majority of the judges, however, were of opinion that the subsequent agreement between the parties destroyed the effect of this circumstance. The inajority for the respondent was fix to four.
The Lord Chancellor thought that the House ought 10 pause before it came to a final decision, and therefore proposed that the farther confideration should be postponed vill Thursday. Ordered.
The royal affent was given, by commission, to the Irish army of reserve bill, the lottery bill, the Scorch militia families' bill, the Irish workmen combination bill, and some others. The commissioners were the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lord Chancellor, and Lord Wallingham.
The Irish import and export bill were read a third time, and paffed.
The five million loan bill was committer, and reported.
Three bills were brought up from the Commons, among which was the Bristol port bill, by Mr. Bragge.
A petition, ligned by twenty thousand persons, was presenied against the principle of the woollen cluthiers' bill, Ordered to lie on the table. Adjourned.
HOUSE OF COMMONS.
MONDAY, JULY II, A message from the Lords intimated their Lordships' concurrence in the lottery bill, the Irish additional army bill, and Queen Anne's bounty amendment bill.
The Lord Mayor of London gave notice, that he would next day move for leave to bring in a bill to enable the city of London to raise its own quota of the army of seserve.
The Secretary at War.presented a bill for rendering subservient to military discipline all serjeants, drummers, fifers, and others who fhall receive permanent pay in any volunteer corps. Read the first time, ordered to be prinied, and read the second time next day.
A message was bronght from the Lords, requiring the at. tendance of that House to hear his Majesty's commission read, for declaring the royal alent.
Mr. Speaker atiended forth with, and being returned, reported ihe bills to which the royal affent had been declared,
Sir C. Pole moved for leave to bring in a bill for improving the fund of the chest at Chatham, for transferring the administration of the said fund from Chatham to Greenwich, and for ameliorating the situation of the pensioners.
Sir W. Elford thought that all reports from the commissioners on naval inquiry ought not only to thew what foundation there was for this measure, but also how far the matter in those reports authorised the establishment of the Board of Commirsioners of Naval Inquiry. It appeared to him that other circumstances did not warrant that establishment, or that the Ad. miralty had not brought before the Commissioners the cases of the greatest enormity. He admitted that great impositions had been practised under the name of agency.
Mr. Sturges objected to the removal of the chest from Chat. ham to Greenwich. It had been established, more than two centuries ago, by the seamen themselves, who wished to repose the trust in persons who should themselves contribute to the fund. There had never before been any complaint made respecting its management, which was indeed unexceptionable ; for last year its revenues amounted to 75,000l. and the surplus, after all payments and deductions, was 35,000l. The whole administration of the fund cost only about 1000 or 1200l. a year. Could there be a better management than this ? The report, it was true, charges the governors of the chest with culpable mismanagement: the only foundation for this charge was, that one of the estates belonging to the chest was let un. der its real value. This, however, was no reason for removing the cheft; for it did not appear that circumstance proceeded from corruption or any wilful neglect. The circumstances of the chest of Chatham did not escape the observation of the Committee of Inquiry, appointed in 1798; but though that Committee appeared to be convinced that the governors were too numerous, they desifted from recommending any change, from a respect to the arrangements adopted by the founders of the institution.
Sir W. Elford explained.
Mr. Courtenay thought there were some abuses connected with his establithment, which, though they implied no reflection on the governors, yet ought to be corrected. He instanced the hardship to which seamen living at a distance were under, in being obliged to appear at Chatham to receive their penfions. Many were obliged to come from the North of Scot. land for this purpose, and then spent more than they received VOL. IV. 1802-3.
in alehouses. It was also worthy of remark, that several estates left to the fund in the reign of Charles II. had only arisen 30 or 401. a year in value.
Admiral Berkeley was of opinion that this measure might have originated at the Board of Admiralty itself.
Mr. Kinnaird had one observation to make, which he cori. ceived to be of confiderable importance. He wilhed to know whether certain sums, stated in the report to be taken from - the chest at Chatham by order of the Privy Seal, were restored. It appeared that there had been a deficiency to the amount of 28,0col. in the accounts of a Mr. Jellico, the prin. cipal clerk of the Treasurer of the Navy, and that 24,800l. had on that account been paid to Mr. Dundas.
Sir C. Pole faid, that the loss of the sum alluded to did not fall on the chest of Chatham.
Mr. Rose recollected the circumstance alluded to by the hon. Gentleman. The clerk of the Treasurer of the Navy had embarked in trade, and so lost the suin mentioneil. : 1 he only question was, whether the public or the Treasurer of the Navy Mould sustain the loss; the transa&tion, therefore, underwent a severe investigation ; and as it appeared that it was not owing to any neglect in the Treasurer of the Navy, it was not thought fit that the loss Mould fall upon him. Leave was given to bring in the bill.
CAPT. BARLOW. The Secretary at War delivered to the House a message from his Majesty, “ That Capt. Barlow, of a royal regiment of guards, and a Member of that House, stood charged with improper conduet, contrary to the articles of war; and had been put under arrest, in order to stand his trial by a court martial for said charge.” The message being ordered to be entered on the journals,
The Secretary at War moved an humble address to his Majesty for his gracious message, and his regard thereby manifested for the privileges of this House.
Agreed to nem. con and ordered that the same be presented to his Majesty in the accustomed form.
ADDITIONAL FORCE BILL. The Secretary at War gave notice of his intention to de. fer till Thursday the motion relative to raising a further additional force, which he intended to have brought forward the day following:
Lord Caftlereagh rose to move for leave to bring in a bill for enabling the Directors of the East India Company to make additional allowances to the ship-owners who had taken contracts in their service, immediately previous to the publication of his Majesty's message declaratory of war with France. His Lordihip, in a speech of considerable length, explained the objects of the bill le proposed, as in conformity with the spirit of an act which passed fome years fince, enabling the Directors to make additional allowance to thip-contractors in their service, in time of war or immediate preparation for war, in consideration of the extraordinary rise which never fails on such occasions to occur on all articles connected with fea stores and navigation; and he observed, that many, if not all the contracts to which the bill would have reference, were not entered into during: a period of actual or implied war, because a considerable time previous to his Majesty's message in March laft, yet from a very short time subsequent to the signature of the definitive Treaty of Amiens, until the day of his Majesty's nieflage on the war, the country might be said to be in an actual state of preparation for that war which was then apprehended, and since that period proved to be inevitableand on these considerations, though the thip contractors might not have a claim for additional compensation, Itrictly within the letter of the former law, yet in equity their claim was fair upon the same principle; and to enable the Di. rectors to give them that compensation was the object of the propofed bill.
Nir. Ichnsione decidedly opposed the principle. The ship contractors were men, be faid, who very well knew how to take care of themselves; they made their bargain with their eyes open, and knew perfectly well how to guard themselves against all possible or "probable contingencies. If the Company had made with them an improvident bargain on the other hand, they would not be very ready to Jet them off that bargain. . Besides, in fact, those men, who had gained fo amply by the Company, had on this occasion no ground whatever to complain of loss; for they agreed for 211. 10s. per ton, which other proprietors were ready to execute at the current market price, which at the highest was but 191. 55, and might have been done by others at 171. 15s. How then could these men complain of an im. provident bargain, who were to receive fo much inore than 302
the current prices of their freight? The best principle of doing justice in this case, he conceived, was for every man to act in bis public duty as if he were disbursing his own private money; and upon this ground, he begged to ask, what individual, upon such a bargain, would feel himself called upon to give more than his contract price ; more especially when it was so far above the current rates of freight? In a contract for ship-building, no allowance would be made for the subsequent rise on materials, nor could he conceive it equitable or necessary, in this case, to give men, who were already considered gainers by the bargain, 5000l. per ship more of the public money, by way compensation for loires they could not fustain.
Mr. Francis, Mr. Wallis, and Sir W. Pulteney, opposed the motion much on the same ground.
The motion was supporied by Mr. Grant and Mr. Atkins; after which leave was given to bring in the bill.
Mr: Francis moved, that there be laid before the House an account of the amount of the capital stock of the East India Company, distinguishing the periods when each subseription was made, and the amount of the profits on the fame. Ordered.
Lord Caftlereagh presented the following Message from his Majesty :
" G. R. “ His Majesty thinks proper to acquaint the House of Commons, that in consideration of the eminent services performed in America by the late Geoffry, Lord Amherst, and particularly in the reduction of Canada, his Majesty was induced, on the termination of the war, to grant to Lord Amherst certain tracts of land in that province; but in consequence of some local circumstances that grant has not been carried into effect. His Majesty, therefore, relies on the justice and liberality of the House of Commons, that they will make to Lord Amherst such compensation as they shall think fit."
On the motion of Lord Caftlereagh, the message was or, dered to be taken into consideration on Friday next; and se. veral papers relative to the same were ordered to be laid be, fore the House next day.
On the motion of Col. Stanley, the further consideration of the report of the Committee on the cotton weavers' petition was put off till Thursday next,