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HOUSE OF LORD S.
WEDNDSDAY, JULY 13. The exchequer bills bill for five millions, the Irish cuftom duties bill, the militia pay bill, the militia adjutants bill, the London port bill, the Blackburne paving bill, and two pri. vate bills, received the royal affent by commiffion.
All the bills on the table passed a stage each.
The order of the day for the second reading of the wool. Ien manufacture bill being read, counsel was called to the bar to be heard on the petitions againft the principle of the bill.
The Lord Chancellor asked which of the gentlemen apa peared on behalf of the petitions from the cloth hall at Leeds ?
Mr. Piggott said he did.
The Lord Chancellor desired Mr. Piggott to look at the petition, and he would see that the names were all signed on a separate theet of parchment, which had been tacked to the petition, and consequently that the petition had not been signed by any one of the persons whose signature appeared to the tack!
Mr. R. Jackson explained that it was done in the country ; that the petition had originally been a petition to object to the clauses, but that it was thought more convenient to the parties to be heard in that stage of the bill, and there. fore they had endeavoured to avail themselves of the expedient of altering the petition.
The Lord Chancellor said that very explanation proved, that the persons whose names appeared in the tack-lheet had never signed the petition, and therefore they could not be heard by counsel.
Mr. Piggott withdrew.
Mr. Serjeant Lens was then heard on behalf of the peti. tioners from Yorkshire, Wilts, and Somerset, and was followed by Mr. Randle Jackson, wlio, in a very able speech, urged a variety of strong objections, as well againft the form of the bill as against its principle.
Mr. Plomer was heard in support of the bill, and having strenuously contended for the necessity of repealing many of the acts to which it referred, very readily admitted, that those, whose object it was to have the bill entertained, would consent to any modification or amendment of its clauses. He said, that out of the thirteen acts alluded to in the bill, it was conceded on all hands, that ten of them ought to be repealed, because their provisions and regulations were, from the change of circumstances, customs, and manners, utterly obfolete and impracticable.
The Lord Chancellor interrupted Mr. Piomer, and desired the counsel to withdraw. His Lordship then left the woolfack and said, though he felt many objections to the bill, as it at present food, yet he had taken the liberty to interrupt the learned counsel, because he had heard enough from all the gentlemen at the bar, to convince him that, with all the imperfections of the bill, there did arise in it fufficient principle to entitle it to be read a second time, and he hoped. their Lordthips would concur with him in that opinion. Having said this, his Lordship proceeded to point out a variety of objections to the form of the bill, which be promised the House he would do very shortly; first, he shewed that there was an omission in the title of the bill of one of the many objects of its provisions, which must be amended, as the title ought to refer to all its separate objects. This would put the suitors of the bill to the expence of delay, but it muit be amended. His Lordship next objected to the reference of the bill to statutes of particular years of various reigns; whereas, instead of that general reference, it ought to have specified the acts themselves, with their exact title and date, and have pointed out the particular clauses of each, that had rendered the regulations therein provided “impracticable and useless,” and “ others which, if enforced, would create delay; and inconvenience in the carrying on the faid manufacture, to the great detriment thereof." These were matters which would require their Lordships most serious attention and consideration in the Committee, as it would otherwise be impossible for magistrates, and those whose duty it would be to enforce the bill, should it pass into a law, to act upon it. He mentioned the way in which it referred to the gig-mills, and said the proper mode of legislating would have been, to have repealed so much of the act of Edward VI. as referred to the improper use of . gig-mills, and to have eftablithed their use as to what actually was conducive to the expediting the manufacture, without injury to the material. 'Englithmen, he thanked God, pofféfred that most valuable quality, good fense, and he would trust to that good sense (which, however they might be puzzled at first, would generally set thein right at
laft) to prevent them from perfifting in any practice that ex, perience convinced them was prejudicial to their own interests. He had no hesitation, therefore, in believing, that they did not use the gig-mills in “burling and working the cloth they manufactured, since that practice had been found to be injurious to the manufacture. In the recital of the bill a moft extraordinary mode of realoning was adopted. The recital stated, that's doubts were entertained whether many of the aes (previously stated) were not repealed hy fublequent acts;" and, afterwards, it takes upon itself to refolve thote doubts, declaring the acts in question tc be repealed. His Luidihip stated several more objections, and after again ftating the great iniportance of the bill, and recommending its several parts, provisions and principles to the serious attention of their Lordships in the Cominittee, in order to fatisfy the petitioners that the House had acted honeftly, honourably, fairly, and faithfully by them, and paid due and serious attention to their objectiuns, moved that it be read a second time.
The Earl of Rosslyn rose and faid, the bill was the moft ill drawn and unparliamentary of any he had ever read in point of form. It was full of objectionable parts, several of which he stated'; in particular the want of the mention of the prosecutions and suits wbich might have been como menced and were now pending; in the title, the non-enume? ration specifically of the feveral acts of Parliament to which the bill referred, by mentioning the chapter of the respective acts that were deemed impracticable, as well as the particular clauses of the acts which it was complained by the suitors, teniled, if enforced to create delay and incon venience, to the great detriment of the manufacturer'; and the contradictory operation of the end of the first clause and the last clause of the bill, respecting costs on actions com menced the first of January lait. His Lordship also-objected to several of the clauses, referring only to the counties of Gloucester, Wilts, and Somerset; as if they were not legiflating for the counties of York and Lancaster, and indeed for the whole kingdom. He mentioned a former'act that took place in Chester, and its whole county, for ebvious reasons, vic. it'bore upon the adjoining manufacturing coun; ties of York and Lancaster. With regard to the objections that were taken at the bar to the act of Richard the Second, prolibiting the sale of plain cloths in certain countries tucked and folded, his Lordship said, he undesstood solely to relate VOL. IV. 1802-3, 3
to such cloths as were exposed to sale in open market here at home; but his opinion was, that thole manufacturers who made and exported their own cloths were within the law as it stood at present. After a number of other observations upon different parts of the bill, the noble Earl thought it was somewhat hard, after eight months consideration of the bill in the other House, it Thould be sent up to their Lordships with so many imperfections in it, and throw such a load of labour on the House, as the amending the bill in the Committee, and rendering it fit to pass, must necessarily amount to. There was, however, one advantage in its coming at so late a period of the session into that House, viz. that the professional men had most of them been set at leisure, and could attend to it. His Lordship, if we understood him correctly, had some doubt whether it might not have been the muft found and discreet course to have waited till another feffion before fo important a bill, a bill comprehending and embracing all the multifarious concerns of so great, intricate, and complicated a manufacture, was decided; he would not, however, oppofe its going to a Committee.
The Duke of Clarence faid, he would trouble the House with a few words only; he agreed perfe&tly with his noble and learned friend on the woolfack, and in a great measure with the noble and learned Earl who had just sat down. Whether he was favourable or adverse to the present bill, he muft wish that where a bill of so much importance came up to that House at fo advanced a period of the session, it should meet with the most serious attention and consideration of their Lordchips. He had no objection, liis Royal Highness faid, to confess, that he was inclined to be favourable to the principle of the bill, which seemed to be confessed on all hands to bę such as entitled it to go to a Committee, in which lie trusted it might be amended and rendered fit to be proceeded on. It was necessary to make some allowance on account of thofe who drew the bill being men of busipels, and perhaps drawing it rather with a view to the trade, than with a fit confideration of any judicial proceeding upon it,
The Lord Chancellor rose, to remind the noble and learned Earl who had mentioned the advantage of the bill coming so late into the House, that with regard to himself, this was, as the noble ånd learned Earl must be aware, the time when he was more'i particularly pressed upon by butiness,
than at any other period of the year, but he should not on that account negle&t his attention to the bill.
The bill was committed to the Lords present to make a part of the said Committee, and the Committee to meet on Friday morning. Adjourned.
HOUSE OF COMMONS.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 13. Mr. Plumer presented a petition from the prisoners confined in the gaol of Hertford, praying relief, which petition was ordered to lie on the table.
The Deputy Ulher of the Black Rod attended at the bar, and desired the attendance of the Speaker and Members at the bar of the House of Lords, to hear the royal affent given by commission to certain bills. The Speaker accordingly attended, and on his return informed the House that the royal assent had been given by commission to the five million exchequer bills' bill, the Irish export and import duty bill, port of London improvement bill, and the English mili. tia pay and cloathing bill.
A new writ was ordered to be issued for the election of a Member for Great Grimsby, in the room of A. Boucheret, Esq. who has accepted of the stewardship of the hundreds of Eaft Hendred in the county of Buckingham.
The Irish malt and distillery bill was read a third time and passed.
A person from the Excise Office presented an account of the quantity of home-made spirits permitted from the distillers, from the 13th June to 13th July 1803. Ordered to lie on the table.
On the motion of Mr. Hawkins Browne, the commitment of the bill for improving the Highlands of Scotland was postponed to Friday rext.
The Thames police bill was read a second time, and ordered to be committed the next day.
The third reading of the Guernsey corn bill was postponed till the next day.
A meilage from the Lords acquainted the House that their Lordihips had agreed to the East India dock bill.
Sir Francis Buidett moved, that there be laid before the House a list of all penlions granted, and now payable to natives and foreigners, from the first January 1800, to the prefent time. Ordered.
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