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Summary of Proceedings in the present Sefion of Par.iament. 323 Mr. Beaufoy presented a petition from got through his reply to the fingle Mr. Wilkinson, a great iron manufac- charge relative to Nundcomar. He de. turer near Wolverhampton. It stated, fended his conduct relative to that Rathat the petitioner, after having, at in- jah on many legal grounds : the authocredible expence, established an exten- rity of the supreme court, he admitted, five manufacture for extracting iron did not extend over all the inhabitants from ore, and manufacturing it on the of the English provinces in India, but spot, had reason to apprehend that, in over the inhabitants of Calcutta it did. consequence of the powers given by the The Rajah had not been tried as a native poors' laws, his plans would be defeat- of Bengal; but as an inhabitant of Caled, and his endeavours to serve the cutta, where he resised, where he compublick and himself totally frustrated : for mitted the crime, and where, of course, while he was at the trouble of collect. he was amenable to the laws of the ing good workmen from every quarter, place. The law too on which he had the parith-officers, fan&tioned by the been tried, was not an ex post facto law; Jaws, might disperse them, under the for, though the supreme court of judiidea of their becoming burdensome to catuie in Bengal was not in existence the parish. He prayed, therefore, that when that law passed, yet it extended he might be permitted to propole a plan, to India in consequence of the charter by which, without any incumbrance tó of justice of the late king, fent over in the parish, he should be enabled to keep the 26th year of his reign. This he his men together. His scheme was, that proved by a strong circumftance, viz. all perfons employed in his manufac- that in 1765 a native Indian had been ture might be incorporated, and bound tried and sentenced to be hanged at Calto provide for their own poor by sub- curta for forgery, but was respired, and scriptions among themselves; that, for afterwards pardoned by his Majesty. this purpose, the district in which they While Sir Elijah was proceeding in his lived should be made extra-parochial, so defence, he was interrupted by far only as related to the poors' rates, and Mr. Pirt, who wished that the further that the parish might in no degree be hearing might be adjourned, as the liable to maintain any of them. He Gentleman at the bar must be nearly proposed to make the buildings he had exhausted by the exertion of speaking erečted at an expence of 52,0001. and for fo many hours. He could have the estates on which they food, an wished, he said, that the Gentleman swerable, which would render it scarcely had made his defence in writing, that it possible that the parish should incur any might be delivered to the clerk, io orcharges on account of his men; the der to spare him the fatigue of speaking. property he was ready to fake being A converfation here arose concerning worth ten times more than the expence the manner of giving in the defence; of maintaining them would amount to. and it was agreed, that Sir Elijah thouid Mr. Beaufov moved for leave to bring be called in, and asked whether he in. up the petition ; which being granted, tended to submit his defence in writing it was read, and, on the motion of the to the House. same gentleman, referred to a commit Sir Elijah said, he had minutes, but tee of the members for the Midland and that in the progress of his defence lie Weftern counties.
found it impotlible to speak from them; Mr. Kenrick presented a petition from it was noi, therefore, in his power to Sir Elijah Impey, ftating, that he was give in minutes of his defence. Sir then attending the House; and praying, Elijah being again withdrawn, that he might be heard in reply to the * Mr. Burke laid, this was a great adcharges which had been exhibited a vantage to the acculed, and as great gainst him. The petition having been disadvantage to the accuser ; the latter read, the Journals were consulted for a had delivered in his charges, which precedent, when that relative to Mr. could not be altered or amended; but Hastings was adopted; on which Sir E. the former, not having committed his Impey was called in, and informed that defence to writing, gentlemen mult arthe House had resolved to hear him. gue from memory, which he might
Sir Elijah appeared in black, full- charge with error, and thift the ground dressed, with a Tword and tie-wig. At as often as he plealed. This, however, half paft four he entered upon his de. he observed inerely as it might make it fence; and though he did not ftop till a
difficult tor other gentlemen to compare quarter after eight o'clock, he had not the charges with replies in perfectly re
collected : for his own part, he had able sums of money due to them from made this business his ftudy so many the Cherokee Indians, which not being years, that he thould be at no lofs; his able to recover, the petitioners prayed mind' had long lince been made up on that such relief might be afforded them the subject.
as to the wisdom of Parliament should Mr. Pirl thought this declaration im- seem meet. The petition stated, that prudent in the present stage of the busi- those Indians, finding the usual rencfs, as it would not suffer gentlemen sources for bartering, and of course for to form a very favourable opinion of the discharging their debts, beginning to justice of a person who, before he had fail by the decrease of those animals heard the defence, could have finally which were the objects of their chace, and irrevocably made up his mind upon and whose furs were the only acquired the merits of the case.
wealth the favages poffeffed, proposed Mr. Fox vindicated his right hon. to cede to their creditors a large tract of friend, whose words would not bear the country in discharge of those debts confiruction which the latt speaker had which they were unable by any other put upon them. He had not said, that
means to pay. The creditors readily he had made up his mind finally and accepted the offer, and would have isrevocably; much less had he said, taken possession of the lands, if they had that he had made up his mind without not been oppoled on the part of the hearing the defence : he had fimply Crown, his Majesty disapproving of any faid, that, after having made this busi- cesion of lands by the Indians to Euroncts his ftudy for many years, he had peans. This business had been under long since made up his mind upon it. discussion many years, and, owing to
Aster some little sparring, it was a the interference of Government, their greed, upon the motion of Mr. Pill, debes stiil remain unliquidated. that the further hearing of Sir Elijah Lord Maitland was of opinion, that thould be adjourned to Thursday. their claim was well-founded; the pubTuesday, February s.
Tick had injured the peritioners, and A few private petitions and bills were ought therefore to repair the damage. presented, and read.
Those people had for 18 years been enMr. Pelham presented a bill for li- deavouring to obtain redress under vacensing a theatre at Brighthelmstone, in rious luccessive administrations, but in the county of Suflex, which was read vaio: they had been frequently referred the first time,
to America for justice, and as often reMr. Grenville's bill, for regulating ferred back to England ; and at last the intercourse between Newfoundland they were come to Parliament, as their and the United States of America, was last resort, for the recovery of their un. read a second time, and ordered to be doubred right. committed.
Mr. Pili observed, that it was rather Mr. Bafiard gave notice, that, on this premature to affeit, before investigation, day for night, he intended to make a and without proof, that the right of the motion respecting the late promotion of petitioners was clear and undoubted. flag-officers. He gave this early no No more could be said after the most tice, that those who were interelicd in minute enquiry, and the establishment the business might be sufficiently aware of that right on the molt unquestionable of his intention. He did not know at evidence. present whether he should bring it for. The petition laid upon the table. ward in the shape of a resolution, or a Ald. Waifon moved, that the order of specific address to the throne, that those the day be read, for the House resolve officers who have been overlooked maying itself into a committee of the whole be restored to their rank : but, what. House, to consider the petition of the ever mode he thould adopt, it would be corn-distillers of England. his endeavour to demonstrate to those The Houle being accordingly refolve gentlemen, that, however individuals ed into a committee, Mr. Rose in the may act towards them, the nation at chair, and countel being called to the large preserved a grateful sense of their bar in support of the Scorch diftillers Services.
against the petition ; Ald. Watson presented a petition from Mr. Ald. Watson stated to the House, some British traders of South Carolina that the distillers of Scotland had, by and Georgia, who had, previously to misrepresentation, obtained an act for the lots of the colonies, many consider, taking the duties on Scotch Spirits by a
Summary of Proceedings in the present Seffion of Parliament. 325 licence of sl. 105. per gallon on their and the examinations having lasted till stills, instead of charging so much per eleven o'clock at night, gallon on the spirits actually distilled. Mr. Pitt moved, that the chairman This duty was intended to be equiva- should leave the chair, report progress, lent to a charge of 10d. per gallon on and ask leave to fit again. The motion the spirit manufactured. But the Lon- pailed without debate ; the House was don diftillers complained, that though then refumed, and immediately adthe calculation had been made upon the journed. supposition of a ftill being worked only Wednesday, February 6. once in 24 hours, the Scotch distiller's Mr. Frederick Montagu, chairman of had worked theirs from four to fix times the committee appointed to inspect the in the 24 hours; by which means the building ere£ted for the trial of Mr. quantity of spirits actually distilled ex. Hattings, and to see what accommodaceeded thc lupposed quantity in the pro- tions were prepared for the Hou!c of portion of from four and fix to one; and Commons, reported, that the committee thus the duty, which was intended to had found in the building a place set have been icd. per gallon, did not apart for the members, in which 400 amount to more than id. or, at most, could fit commodioully. ad. So that the Scotch could underrell He then moved leveral resolutions, the London distillers even in the Lon- copied from those which had been adon market; into which, within the dopred previously to the trial of Dr. Saspace of one year, they had actually cheverell, such as that, when it should imported above 900,000 gallons, a be time for the members to repair to quantity exceeding by 90,000 gallons the court of peers in Westminster-hall, the supposed produce of the whole di- to attend the trial, the House should be ftillery of Scotland; and thus these called over by counties--that the mem90,000 gallons, together with the entire bers should not leave the House before home consumption of the country, paid their names were called--that they no duty.
should repair to the Hall in the order in On ihe other hand, it was contended which they are called, except the by Messrs. Grant and Campbell, coun Speaker, who should stay lait in the fel for the Scotch distillers, that, if their Houfe, that he might see all the others clients distilled four times in 24 hours, proceed regularly. --These resolutions their ftills were frequently burnt, and palled without debate or division. their spirits damaged, which often oc. Mr. W. Grenville gave notice, that in cafioned a fulpenfion of work for four the course of a fortnight he would bring or five days, while the damaged stills in a bill for settling the commercial ito were repairing. These were draw- tercourse between this country and Abacks upon their profits, which ought to merica. be taken into account. It was said that Mr. Baring wished that so important the London distillers paid a duty of 25. a business might not be brought forward gd. per gallon; but the Scotch insisted in the present Parliament, which probathat the duty was only 25. 6d. It was bly would soon die an untimely death. adınited that the Scotch paid 2d. per Mr. Gren ville did not know that the gallon at home, and 25. on the impor- present Parliament was near its diffolutation into the port of London; they, tion; but he knew the necessity of therefore, without any possibility of a bringing forward a bill for the purpose fraud, paid full 25. 2d. upon every gal, he had mentioned, and thouid not, son of ipirits that was actually distilled therefore, alter the determination ne by them. Whereas it was notorious had come to respecting it. that great frauds were committed in A peririon was prelented in behalf of London upon the revenue; so that if, the proprietors of Sadler's Wells, prayout of the 2s. 6d. paid by the London ing leave to bring in a bill to enable his diftillers, was deducted the lofs sustain. Majesty to grant them a patent for coned by the revenue, in consequence of tinuing their prefent amulements. The concealments from the Excise officers, petition was ordered to be referred to i it would be found that the Scotch pay committee. infinitely more, instead of less, chan the The House having resolved itself into diliillers of London.
a committee of the whole House on the Witnefles were examined on both corn-dittillery, and Mr. Rose having Ides, to prove their several allegations; taken the chair,
The Chancellor of the Exchequer ob- don market at a much lower duty than served, that, from what had been stated the London diftillers paid, then they in evidence last night, it was clear the aimed at an advantage which Parliament Scotch distillers enjoyed in the London never intended they thould enjoy; and market advantages over the London therefore they could not complain of a distillers, which it was not the intention breach of faith, if the legislative power of the Legislature to allow them when should deprive them of an advantage, the aêt palled for altering the mode of which it would be injurious both to the collecting the duties on distilled spirits publick and to individuals that they in Scotland. The Legislature, indeed, should continue to enjoy. intended that the Scotch distillers fhould Mr. Pulteney, Sir Adam Fergufer, derive, under that act, an advantage in and the Marquis of Grabam, agreed the Scorch market; but it never meant that, though Scotchmen, they thought that they should be able to sell their spi- Mr. Pitt's equalizing duty equitable in rits in London on better terms than the its principle, and, they believed, just London diftillers. It was his wish to in its calculation. mediate between them, and to equalize The Minister's resolution was then the duty as fairly as possible : he knew put, and carried without a division; af. that this was a delicate task ; and that, ter which the House was refumed, and by attempting to please both, he might immediately adjourned. be so unforiunate as not to please either.
Thursday, Feb. 7. However, his duty to the publick com Petitions were presented from Rippelled him to niake an effort. The
pon in Yorkshire, and Maidstone in London distiller paid 2s.gd, per gallon; Kent, praying the abolition of the slavethe Scotch norninally rod. but, in rea trade. lity, not more than from 2d.} to 3d. to Mr. Marsbam moved for leave to which the import duty of 2s. being add present a petition from the supervisors ed, the whole would make 25. 3d. or and other officers of excise, praying for thereabouts : he proposed then, in order an increase of falary. 10 equalize the duty in both kingdoms, Mr. Pitt objected to the petition, as that an additional duty of 6d. per gallon informal, in not having obtained his fhould be laid upon spirits distilled in Majeity's concurrence; and it was reScotland, and imported into England. je&ted accordingly. He concluded with saying, that it was Sir Peter Burrell moved, that he might the opinion of the cominiilce, that this have leave to attend the House of Lords, additional import duty of 6d. per gallon at the trial of Mr. Hastings, as Lord be laid upon Scotch spirits.
High Chamberlain ; leave was granted. Sir Wm. Cunyngbame was of opinion, Sir Grey Cooper presented a petition that as the present duty was settled by from a class of American loyalists, who, the mutual content of both nations, and he said, stood in a very different predifunctioned by an act of the Legislature, cament from that of all their brethren, the faith of Parliament was pledged and whose claims would be found, upon that the act Mould remain in force the enquiry, to be as Itrong upon the justice full time for which it was originally of this country, as those of their paffed. The Scotch distillers had, upon brethren was upon its humapiry. The The faith of this act, laid out great sums me'n he alluded to were those, who, of money, and consequently inult be during the progress of the war, had, on great lofers by any itcp io baften the the requisition of the proper officers, diffolution of the act, which of itself supplied the British armies, at different would expire in the month of July. times and places, with stores and store
Mr. Pilt replied, that if the Scorch houfes to a very considerable amount. bad availed themselves of the pew mode At the end of the war they had app:ied, of collecting the duty on fpirits in Scot- in common with other claimants, for Jand, for the purpose of supplying their reparation; but what was their surprize, own market, they would then have en on being told by the first commissioners joyed an advantage which the Parlia- for investigating the claims of American ment intended they should poffefs. But Loyalists, that they were not considered when they worked their itills three as coming within their cognizance! Uptimes oftener in the 24 hours than it on every tresh commission instituted up. was thought they would, or than, ac on tha: business, they had renewed their cording to the spirits act, they ought, applications without effect to this day. for the purpose of supplying the Lon. They therefore now laid themselves at
Summary of Proceedings in the present Seffion of Parliament.
327 the feet of Parliament, fimply praying Hastings himself. If that copy was laid of them, that an enquiry may be infti- before the House, as in justice to his tuted into the justice of their claims.- charaéter it ought to be, he would The petition, after a short observation pledge himself to give a full and satisfrom Mr. Pitt, was received.
factory answer to the infinuations throwa The resolution of the committee on out by Sir Elijah ; and he would suffer the Scorch distillery duty bill was his name to be handed down to pofterity brought up by Mr. Rose, read, and agreed with infainy, if he should fail' in that to by the House, and leave was given to apswer. He then moved, that Sir Elibring in a bill founded on that refolu- jah Impey be called in, and required to tion; it was brought in immediately, deliver to the House the papers which and read the first time.
he had read in his defence purporting to Sir William Cunyng hame moved for be a translation of a petition from the leave to present a petition from the Scots Rajah Nundcomar, and delivered by distillers at large, the former petition General Clavering to the supreme counhaving been from only a small number cil of Bengal in the month of August of them; praying leave to produce evi. 1775: dence, and to be heard by counsel against Mr. Pitt, the Solicitor General, Mr. the allegations on which the bill was Hardinge, Mr. Scott, and the Master of founded.
the Rolls, insisted, that it would be un. The Chancellor of tbe Exchequer obe just to oblige an accused man to give jected to hearing evidence to the same out of his pofleffion a paper that he purpose with that already heard, as might think necessary for his defence.tending to introduce a system of delay They admitted, however, that it would that would extremely retard business. not be improper to ask him for a copy of
The Speaker was of the same opinion; it; and agreed that, if he refused it, the and said, there was no precedent for House ought to throw away from its receiving a petition under such circum- recollection whatever part of the deItances.
fence should te grounded upon that paIt was, however, after some conver
per. sation respecting the point of order, a On the other hand, Mr. Fox, Mr, greed that a new petition should be pre- Burke, and Mr. Adam, maintained, that pared ; and that, if a precedent could the very paper itself, and not a copy, be found, the petitioners hould be heard should be produced ; and that, if Sir on the second reading of the bill. Elijah should refuse to produce it, he
Mr. Francis observed, that when Sir ought to be compelled to deliver it. The Elijah Impey was last before the House, House had not ordered him to attend at he had read a paper, less calculated for their bar; he had voluntarily appeared, the purpose of exculpating himself, than to flate reasons that might induce the of criminating the supreme council of House to drop the acculation against Bengal, or at least the three members of him, and not to read it up to the Lords. it (Sir John Clavering, Col. Monson, In the course of theie realons he quored and Mr. Francis) who at the period al a paper that might have great weight Juded to constituted the majority of that with the House-perhaps to much as 10 council. Sir Elijah's object in reading induce them to drop chat charge : but that paper was to fhew, that the council was it not poffible that the paper might had approved of the proceedings of the be a forgery? and would it not there. supreme court of judicature in the case fore be absurd to drop the accusarion of Nundcomar; and consequently that upon the authority of a paper which the he (Mr. Francis), the only survivor of accused would not permit ihe House to the majority of that council, was incon• examine, in order to form a judgement sistent in now condemning what he had of its authenticity? formerly approved so much, as to have Mr. Piti, adhering ftil to his own moved, that the dying petition of Nun l. opinion, moved an amendment to Mr. comar fhould be burnt by the hands of Francis's motion, that instead of" be the cominon hanginan at Calcutta, be required to deliver," the following words cause it was a libel on the judges who mould be inleited, “ be asked it he has had tried Nundcomar. Sir Elijah had any objection to deliver.” After a long informed the House, that ihe original convertation, the Hyule divided upon petition was burat by the common hange this amendment, which was carrieu by a ma); but that he had a copy of the majority of 63-dves 107--065 44. Lanilaiton, altcred and corrected by Mr. Imincdia:ety arici ti cvila, S: E.