moved the order of the day for the consideration of the report of the committee on the claim of the Duke of Atholl. The order of the day being read,
§ Mr. Curwen rose,
and spoke as follows:— I rise, sir, to state my objections to the report made by this committee. It is, I conceive, impossible they could have come to these conclusions had they adverted to the whole of the evidence laid before them, and since submitted to the house: part of that evidence, highly material in itself, has passed unnoticed: other parts will be found in direct contradiction with their report.—The individual conduct of a member of this house, on any subject in which the public interest is concerned, needs no apology: but if I wanted one for the part I think it my indispensable duty to take on this occasion, I should feel myself entitled to the indulgence of this house when defending the interest of the house of Keys of the Isle of Man, acting under an unanimous vote; the interest of 1300 respectable land-owners of that island, whose petition lies on your table, and of 30,000 unrépresented persons, its inhabitants, whose interests must materially suffer were the measure his grace of Atholl seeks to carry, unfortunately for them, to receive the sanction of parliament.—It is obvious how sincere must be the wish, how greatly it would be the interest, of the inhabitants, to stand on fair terms with time noble petitioner: to oppose his wishes must be matter of sincere regret to them, and nothing but the strictest sense of duty could induce the house of Keys, or the people, to give 211 opposition to those wishes.—No interest of a private nature have they, sir, or have I, in opposing the present claim—and I trust we shall hear no more of rumours which have circulated, that the opposition to this measure arises in prejudice, or in motives of a personal nature.—To put the house fully in possession of the present case, it is necessary to call their attention to certain previous transactions now known but to few. Of these transactions, but for particular connexions, and the circumstances that have led my attention to the subject, I should, like others, have remained ignorant.—In 1774, the present noble claimant entered on the possession of the island.—In 1780, a petition, appears, to have been presented by him to this house, complaining of injury sustained in consequence of the act by Which this island was vested in his majesty.—It seems to have been the design of the noble petitioner to get back certain objects, unnecessarily, as he maintained, and unintentionally, taken from his family. Of these the value did not, I believe, amount to 300l. a year. But this petition had further objects; as to the creation of courts independent of the sovereign (the judges of which his grace sought to have the nomination of himself), and many other feudal and manerial regulations. On this petition a bill was founded. Considerable alarm was excited in the island. By the direction of the treasury, references took place to the attorney and solicitor general of the day; earl Rosslyn, then Mr. Wedderburne, and Mr. Wallace, names high in estimation; and also to the insular attorney-general, sir Wadsworth Busk (a man to whose honour, integrity, and ability, all who know him can with me bear witness), and to the other crown officers of the island. Their several reports were highly unfavourable to his grace's then objects, and the bill was laid to rest.—In the following year it re-appeared: again it was referred to the succeeding attorney and solicitor general, Mr. Wallace, and the now chief justice Mansfield: and again the report was unfavourable.—The same bill, however, little to the credit of this house, was suffered to pass to the lords. There the house of Keys opposed it, and on the second reading it was withdrawn. Its fate, sir, I now regret: had it been stripped of its obnoxious clauses as to game, manerial courts, &c. the objects his grace sought of a pecuniary nature might perhaps have met with little 212 opposition: the bill might have passed into a law, and we, probably, have been saved the mortification of witnessing and the island of contending against still more extraordinary measures which have followed it; the last of which we are now considering.—In 1783 a petition, pointing in nearly the same terms at the same objects, again appears on your journals: but I do not observe that any further steps were taken upon it.—Now, in these three several applications made to this house, what distinctly appears to have been the object sought by his grace? To explain and amend that very act, of the operation and effects of which he is still complaining: to raise objections to and seek relief against injurious consequences resulting, as he asserts, from that measure. — And what says his grace of inadequacy of compensation? of the incompetence of parliament to legislate for his island? of force or threats used to compel the proprietors to part with it? Was the inalienability of this property then urged as a foundation for any claim, or for the revision of the transaction? On these topics not one word is said.—Recollect, sir, his grace had been six years in peaceable possession of this fair domain; that he had attained the age of from five to eight and twenty; that he had, apparently, most diligently looked into his titles, and obtained the most accurate information and advice. Can it then be endured that he shall at this day contend he is dissatisfied with the price, or the mode on which his family parted with the property? The objects he now seeks might then more reasonably have been urged, and would have been urged, had his grace conceived any such claims to have existed. I do not accuse the noble duke of putting forward this bill of 1780, as a prelude to others; that he meant to employ it as a step-ladder to his other claims. I do not impute to him such disingenuousness. No, sir, I affirm that his grace must have been, as he now ought to be, well content with a compact so beneficial to his family and himself, however he might complain of incidental stipulations in it.—But I am not left to inference and conjecture as to his grace's then sentiments on the bargain made in 1765. I have the best authority on that subject to produce, namely that of his grace himself. If I am to blame for he opinion I form, the noble duke has been the person to mislead me. Here is his bill. He states, "that the so- 213 vereignty, ports, and commerce were no otherwise required to be revested in the crown than as they interfered with revenue; and, considering the liberality with Which the said treaty was conducted, it was meant the reservations should be full secured to his family." Now, can it be possible that he who uses these words can pretend he was dissatisfied, that the bargain was void or compulsive, or even harsh! These transactions occupy three years: can it be supposed that the opinion here avowed was lightly held or inconsiderately expressed! No, sir, I rely on it as incontestable proof, that there was no opinion then entertained by him or his family, that the bargain was other than beneficial.—In 1790, I do admit, that opinion appears changed. Twenty-five years after the transaction are disclosed the first symptoms of discontent on the part of the noble duke; for that period of time he and his family had been in the enjoyment of those advantages which the compact with government secured to them. Then it first occurred to him to advance a claim of addition to that price, which appears to others not merely adequate but most liberal.—To account for this change of sentiment is not difficult. Between the first petition in 1780, and that of 1790 which we now have in view, considerable addition had been made by parliament to the insular customs; their gross produce in 1780 was but 3,200l.; in 1790, it approached, within a few pounds, to 7,000l.—Here then, sir, is the source of his grace's dissatisfaction. Here the grounds of his present hopes of further compensation!—After glancing, then, at this new discovery of the compensation paid twenty-five years previously, being inadequate, the petition asks the appointment of commissioners to enquire into the nature and value of the rights and species of property necessary to remain vested in the crown for the security of the public revenue, and as to the injury alledged to be done to the petitioner's remaining interest.—How modest and humble this request! How great the contrast with the petition of the present day! such as it was, however, his grace utterly failing in making out any case, the decided hostility of the house to the principle sought to be established, induced the right hon. gent. opposite me to withdraw the bill.—In the following year commissioners were sent, under the authority of the king, to institute these enquiries on 214 the spot. And here I desire to do justice to the selection made; there were on that commission men of the highest character for candour, abilities, and integrity. With the result of their labours, the island, as well as his grace, had reason to express, and each expresses, perfect satisfaction.—Here, then, it would naturally have been expected that every litigated object, every dormant claim, every possible subject of dispute, would have been brought forward, canvassed, and sifted to the bottom. Serious cause of complaint have I, sir, against the noble claimant, that when this opportunity offered of discussing a most prominent object in this report, from that discussion he shrunk. Had he then urged that monstrous claim on which the committee and his grace's other friends have so much dwelt, of a despotic power in the lord to impose on commerce what taxes he pleased, he could not have found a person competent to speak on the subject, who would not have witnessed against his claim, and to the reputation of the right being in the whole legislative body. This claim of arbitrary power in the lord proprietor, to ransom his vassals at discretion, with no limit but his moderation and their ability, would have met in the island with neither friend nor supporter.—Is it just, is it even decent, sir, to decide a subject so grave and momentous as this, without hearing the whole of the evidence; without giving to the house of Keys an opportunity, before some legal tribunal, of being heard? This body derives its origin from the remotest periods of antiquity: it is perhaps the only Celtic institution remaining upon earth. The insular records go back four centuries. At their commencement the house of Keys existed; but how long anterior it existed under the same appellation, is unknown. Before the revestment, the power of legislation, in all cases whatsoever, they claimed and possessed in union with the lord-proprietor and his council. The mode of election into that house certainly I shall not defend. But however objectionable in theory, no instance whatever of their abuse of power can be adduced. More faithful guardians of the people's rights could not have been found. In every dispute with the lord they have ever steadily been found on the side of the people. When these commissioners were pursuing their enquiries in the island, there were members of the Keys, and other persons then living, whose memory could go back 215 half a century or upward, who could have stated the traditions of this subject, and explained difficulties, if any there were. To such sort of evidence his grace did not think fit to resort. The merit of this discovery was reserved for the labour and diligent researches of this committee.—However valuable the report made, and the evidence collected by these commissioners of enquiry, little good has yet resulted. There lies their report; and the most important suggestions of improvement they have offered, sleep with it.—From 1790, the date of his grace's last application to parliament, he appears to have given these poor islanders a long respite. Not till 1801 do we hear again of his claims. In that year comes his petition to the privy council.—The course of proceedings on that first petition, deserve attention and applause. As often as the conduct of the administration of that day comes under consideration, so often will it demand my warm approbation. It was an administration in which the public purse was husbanded; but at the same time that it was a government of less cost, it was, in my opinion, one of more vigour than the present.—The then minister, combining a just regard to the claims of an individual with the duty he owed the public, sent those claims for investigation to the attorney and solicitor-general. Their report is in all hands. It is the most satisfactory discussion of a mixed matter of law and fact that ever came under my consideration.—One of the subscribers of that report now fills a more elevated situation; from what we saw of him, when a member of this house, we are all, I trust, convinced that he will execute the duties of that station with honour to himself and advantage to his country. The other subscriber I sincerely regret, sir, not having the satisfaction of seeing this night in his place, but we all know him to be a man too honourable to permit me to reason from his report, if he had changed the opinions on which it is founded.—Able and masterly as that report is, it cannot but produce conviction with every man who brings an unprejudiced mind to its perusal.—Not so, it seems, thought the present claimant. To the attorney and solicitor general his grace himself replies! This is not, I presume, very usual his memorial was however accepted; and the privy council proceeded to deliberate and consider the case.—They came to a decision, and made 216 a minute of council.—It was not without difficulty we succeeded in bringing before the house this valuable document: it negatives, most completely, his grace's claims.— The next step to which the noble claimant resorts is to suggest to the privy council, that he had still another supplemental petition to present, containing new matter of importance.—The same principle of equity and moderation which characterised that administration, influenced it to suspend the report till this further evidence was produced.—Then comes a most material and fortunate occurrence for the noble duke—a change of administration! Mark the difference of their conduct. On this supplementary petition of the duke of Atholl, which turns out to contain not one single fact that can weigh a feather in the scale; without reference, as before, to the attorney and solicitor general; without giving them an opportunity of investigating the contents of this precious supplementary paper; of defending or abandoning their former opinion; the privy-council come to a report in direct opposition to the former, ratifying his grace's claims, and recommending the compensation being granted on the insular revenues; employing in this investigation not many more days than the preceding administration had done years.— On this report the present proceedings are founded.—Before I proceed, sir, to the consideration of the subject of the report of this committee, I must enter my solemn protest against the policy of the present measure. We are reversing the very purpose and principle of legislation: setting property afloat; rendering bargains insecure. Nothing but positive proof of violence or fraud could justify parliament in entertaining such a measure. It must hereafter be uncertain up to what period possession may be considered as a bar against claims that may be advanced for further compensation. It is not for us, after the lapse of forty years, to examine whether the sale on the part of this family was provident or improvident. Were time no bar, we are precluded from entering into that enquiry by his grace of Atholl's own avowal at the commencement of his career, of the liberality with which the treaty was conducted. If the principle be admitted, that the increased value, in the course of forty years, of any one object whatever sold, be it to the public or to an individual, affords a fit and just claim for the seller's demanding an addition to his price, 217 then, sir, there is an end to the security of property.—To this measure in particular, sir, I object, because we have now but one party in our view. We consider it but with relation to the individual. The interests of the public, the injuries which provoked the servants of the crown to resort to the measures that were supposed to have led to the sale of the island, are now forgotten and unknown. Those who are now guardians of the public purse, no longer feel that sense of duty which impelled the illustrious minister of that day to act as he did in putting down that nuisance. We are now discussing this question as if against an innocent person; as if the country had no cause of complaint against his noble predecessors. It is scarce in recollection, that a yearly sum of 350,000l. was asserted to be lost to the revenue. If this was true, in ten years the public must have sustained an injury of three millions and a half of money. But certain it is, a gain had accrued to the proprietor of at least 50,000l. beyond his fair legal revenue.—It is quite immaterial to me whether all this was done with or without his knowledge; he might, and ought not only to have known, but to have prevented it. His duty, as a good subject, forbad his being accessory to a violation of the laws of the parent-country.—Why should not the descendants of the dukes of Richmond and Grafton, or various others, demand a review of their contracts? If the country proceeds in a progressive state of improvement, there will be a greater disproportion in forty years between the amount of the revenue they sold, than there is in the present instance; but with this material difference, that what they sold was their right. That which is now claimed springs from what the duke of Atholl had not to sell; and from improvements resulting from British trade, and marks industry.—To come then to this report, which seems to me to rest on four allegations: 1st, Precipitancy in carrying into execution the agreement. 2d, Inalienability in the objects conveyed. 3d, Incompetency in parliament to legislate for the Isle of Man. 4th, The notable discovery, recently made, of uncontrollable, despotic power in the fedual proprietor of the Isle of Man; of an absolute monarch created by a limited one. On the first head, this alledged precipitancy. If the charge be not founded on an arraignment of the usual form of proceeding in parliamnt, it appears com- 218 pletely unfounded.—More time than usual, indeed, appears to have been given. It was the noble personages' own fault if they had not more discussion as well before this, as another branch of the legislature.—But were I to couple the charge his grace makes of hurry and precipitance at one time, with the admission he makes of perfect liberality at another, this charge might be converted into an argument for defalcation, instead of increase of the price he has received.—On the next head, of inalienability, and some supposed defective formalities; as I have not received a legal education, it would ill become me to say a word. The house may probably hear from those who have had that advantage, opinions little according with his grace's. I have, indeed, been informed, that besides the sovereignty alienated to the crown, the family have, from time to time, parted with tithes, and other heads of property. These titles are held perfectly safe, and never have been assailed by the duke of Atholl.—But exercising only one's common sense on this allegation, how perfectly irreconcileable it is with the present attempt! his grace of Atholl asks more money. Why? because what he brings to market cannot be sold; because he can take no price for it; because it must be his and his family's property to the end of time. Excellent reasons these for restoring, but the worst possible for further compensating. It is a claim that money cannot satisly.—But did he come to parliament on his first, second, or third application, with this allegation? Had he so done, it might have afforded fit matter for examination. This is neither the place, nor the time for fresh investigations. I am convinced, indeed, it is not wished we should look into them. This and the former allegation are merely thrown out as help to amuse those who do not examine minutely.—They have no bearing whatever on the question of further compensation.—On the next head of the alledged incompetency of parliament to legislate for the Isle of Man, I shall not presume to offer any opinion of my own, armed as I am by the attorney and solicitor general of England with the opinions of lord Coke, and Mr. justice Blackstone; I cannot but agree with them in thinking it a question on which no doubt can be entertained. By lord Coke it has been held that by special name an act of parliament "may extend to the Isle of Man;" and sir W. Blackstone 219 adds, "that this right has not rested in theory, but has been frequently acted on in parliament." To the instances cited by the attorney and solicitor-general, I beg leave, however, to add another, even somewhat prior in time, to any adduced by them: this is the 33d Henry VIII. called "The bill for Cross-Bows and Hand-Guns;" which imposes penalties on the use of weapons of certain descriptions. Amongst other places the Isles of Wight and Man are exempted; provided these weapons are not used against deer, and other enumerated animals.—If so used, the penalties clearly attached: here therefore, distinctly appears an act of interior domestic legislation for the Isle of Man.—The 5th of Elizabeth, c. 5th, affords an instance of the exercise of the very power repeated in that act of the 5th of the king, chap. 39, which the duke of Atholl and his committee affect to term the mischiefact.—French wines are forbidden to be imported into the realm of England, or any part of the same, except in English vessels: two exceptions are admitted; of Rochelle wines into Wales; into the Isle of Man, of 100 ton of French wines at the most. For the queen's duties on these excepted wines, express provision is made.—It is evident that the Isle of Man, and Wales, are here considered in the same point of view, as members of the realm of England; that, it was equally competent to parliament to legislate for the one as for the other; and that the importation of more than 100 ton of French wine by foreigners, was therefore illegal.—The 7th of Geo. I, prohibiting the importation into the Isle of Man of East-India goods, except from great Britain, important as it is in every point of view, has wholly escaped the, attention of this committee.—In that act we see another legislative measure, directly affecting the commerce of the island.—The 12th Geo. I, forbids the importation from the Isle of Man, into great Britain or Ireland, of any goods not its own produce, and inflicts the penalty of forfeiture, as well of the goods, as of the ship conveying them, superadding fine or imprisonment on the persons concerned in the landing. This statute also authorizes the treasury to treat with the proprietors for their claims over these regalities.—The act passed in the next reign, imposing on the seamen of the island the payment of Greenwich-Hospital money, and authorizing the collection of it by the servants of 220 the crown within the island, is equally decisive. "Abundantly sufficient," we may well conclude with the attorney and solicitor general, they are to show that parliament has, in fact, again and again, exercised that right of legislation which lord Coke and sir W. Blackstone so justly attribute to it: Here is both theory and practice. Nor has it ever been disputed by the inhabitants of the island, or by any person, or at any time that I have heard, except on the present occasion, by the noble claimant.—If ever the time was when the competence of parliament on this head, if unfounded, should have been disputed, it was in 1765, when the act for putting down smuggling was proposed.—The noble proprietors then petitioned against it. A most eloquent speech, of which the memory still lives in tradition, and has been perpetuated by the press, was then delivered; a case on behalf of the petitioners, of which a copy is now in my hand, was then printed. Does any one of these documents breathe the slightest doubt as to the power of parliament?— At that period the proprietors had also the benefit of the professional assistance of another most eminent advocate, Mr. Madocks. But above all, they were aided by one whose judgment and sagacity are known wherever our tongue is spoken, by one of the greatest statesmen and lawyers the country ever produced, in short, by lord Mansfield. Is it possible that this argument, if maintainable, could have escaped his penetrating mind: that it would not have been urged with equal force and more effect than any adduced by the advocates acting for the noble petitioners.—Before I advert to the last claim this report states on behalf of the noble duke, of the power of arbitrary taxation existing in the feudal proprietor, I beg leave again to refer to the same valuable document, containing the case submitted to this house in 1765, by those proprietors.—Many years ago I discovered it by accident among the papers of a deceased parent. Little could I then dream, that I was this day to produce it as containing a complete refutation of this despotic claim; an unanswerable proof of the right of co-legislation enjoyed by the house of Keys, of which I have the honour to be a member.—The petitioners there state the insular government as composed of three estates: 1st, "The lord, who bath ever retained the rights of the ancient kings in assenting or dissenting to the laws pro- 221 posed;" 2d, "In the governor and council;" and 3d, "the Keys, who are the representatives of the commons.—Their triple concurrence makes the law." "The laws of the island," the petitioners add, "have established a book of rates."—Now, sir, were I required to furnish a distinct, clear definition of the power of legislation as it then existed, I could not do better than refer to that prepared by the noble claimant's father. But I ask whether his statement be not as distinctly and clearly irreconcileable with the claim now advanced by this committee? Were further proofs required of the latter's claim being utterly unfounded in reason and in fact, those proofs are furnished by that very committee themselves.—In the very first page of their printed proofs they state, from the report of the commissioners of enquiry, as an allegation of his grace, that his family had the power of increasing the duties, with the consent of the legislature.—Next they state, in the third page, as collected from the whole of the evidence, that it is not probable that consent would have been given without an equivalent.—Really, sir, I am at a loss to conceive how the claim of arbitrary taxation in the lord can, even in their own opinion, have one moment subsisted in contradiction to proofs so decisive as these.—But, say the committee, "they have not discovered, nor were they referred to, any other instance of the interference of the Keys, as to books of rates, or duties on importation or exportation," except one in 1736.—Again I say, sir, I appeal to their own evidence. In page 42 they themselves insert an insular statute of 1734, imposing duties for 21 years on importation of arrack, equal in amount to the duty before payable; duties on all other spirits; on wines, coffee, tea, India goods, in short, on all foreign goods whatsoever, applicable to the repair of their harbours.—This statute, sir, (which has of course the consent and signature of the Keys) I produce in particular, detached from the others, as being in point-blank contradiction to this most unguarded assertion of the committee, "that they had not discovered or been referred to any other instance of the interference of the Keys as to duties on importations or exportations."—The intervention of the Keys, as the committee still more broadly assert, was confined to matters of internal regulation, and assessments for local purposes.— From their own evidence I will again, sir, 222 prove the direct contrary. It short, it is impossible, I must repeat, that the framers of this report can have, read the proofs on which they ought to have formed it.—Before I look more. minutely into these proofs, part of which was laid before the committee by myself, I think it incumbent on me to notice the expression of surprise with which an hon. and learned bart. has been pleased to accompany his remarks on the part I took on this occasion; as if it were a private, ex parte transaction, in which my interference was improper.—I have sat in this house nearly 20 years. On all transactions in which the public has an interest I have constantly thought it the duty of members of parliament to pay attention, and, if in their power, to afford information. This I have considered not merely as excusable, but as their duty. High as the authority may be of the hon. and learned bart. I shall require authority still higher than his before I forego this opinion, and this practice.—In proof of the indubitable, and, till now, undisputed, right of the house of Keys to interfere in all matters of legislation without exception, I shall now proceed, sir, to call the attention of the house to the several acts of the insular legislature, termed acts of Tynwald, which the report of this committee lays before us.—The first legislative act in order of time, of which a record now exists, is in 1417, within a few years after the grant from the crown to the Stanley family. By this act penalties are inflicted, or declared, against the receiving felons by certain inferior barons; or on persons concealing themselves within these petty jurisdictions. To to this act the Keys are, eo nomine, parties. Objections, I know, may be taken to the form of this instrument. Its style is that of "indenture," but the effect and substance of it are clearly legislative: penalties are imposed by it on the subject. Allowance must be made for defects of form in barbarous times, where the rude and ignorant inhabitant possessed no other language than, his own dialect of the Celtic.—Next, sir, I would beg to draw the attention of the house to the first book of insular rates, dated in 1577, which the committee asserts to have been made by the lord of the isle.—Again, I say, sir, the direct contrary appears on their own showing. These rates appear, in their very front, to be but "allowed and confirmed" by Henry earl of Derby. How can a man allow and confirm his own act? Is it not most palpable 223 that this act must be tern act of others? that it was complete when presented to him for confirmation? It is not pretended that the lord was sole legislator on any other head but imposing port-duties. How is it possible he could be in this, when he himself, in the very first instance on record, claims to be, not imposer and maker, but merely as giving his allowance and confirmation?—Safely as the case might here be left, I do [not leave it here. An assembly of the legislative power of the island is called once a year, or oftener, of which the Keys are constituent members. This is termed the court of Tynwald. Here all legislative acts are proclaimed; and until proclaimed, they are not received as law. Certain customs by the lord's commandment, put in writing by the Deemsters, appear to have been thus proclaimed on the 13th of July, 1577. Now, sir, I defy the noble claimant to show me one solitary instance of any law whatever, founded on the will of the lord, being thus proclaimed. A proclamation at a court of Tynwald, or of a court of Tynwald, must necessarily and essentially be of the acts of that court; the Keys were indispensably members of it: and, after careful research, I cannot find one instance of the lord, absolute as he endeavoured to make himself, though certainly never so absolute as is here pretended to have been, ever attempting to obtain the sanction of this solemn proclamation to his own mandates.—Next, sir, I will point to the solution given of a doubt which appears to have arisen on the interpretation of this book of rates. A fee of one penny had been fixed by it for the entry of every boat; a dispute arises to whom the penny belonged. It is decided to belong to the captain's clerk. By whom decided? Why, by the Deemsters and Keys. Now, sir, I ask whether this does not most distinctly negative the assertion that the lord was the single maker of the rate? Would not litigating parties have resorted to the lord to expound what he had himself made? Would not the person whose claim was rejected by the Deemsters and Keys, have complained to the lord of their invasion of his prerogative? would the lord himself have acquiesced in that invasion?—To my understanding, these circumstances, even separately, but taken together, most indisputably evince the very contrary of the committee's assertion, and prove the lord proprietor not to have made the rate in 224 question.—In 1692, I am ready to admit, the lord proprietor, by his own and his council's authority, did innovate on this book of rates. The commissioners of enquiry warn us of similar strides of power having been attempted. They tell us of a few "exceptions in which the commands of the lord proprietor, have been obtruded as laws on the people." Between these acts of power, and the constitutional laws of the country, I have already observed, there is this evident mark of distinction: the latter are invariably proclaimed as laws in a court of Tynwald: the former never were. The alteration made in the book of rates in 1692 never was: therefore, I say, it never was the law of the land.—Gentleman speak of the house of Keys not having opposed this obnoxious measure. At this distance of time I know not the fact, whether they did or did not. But if not, even at this day motives of excuse for their forbearance may readily be imagined. These, sir, were day of calamity to the Isle of Man: they had other more important subjects of dispute with their lord. He had pressed forward claims to all their lands. The island was then deeply depressed in poverty, and it would have been imprudent to irritate the lord proprietor on a subject of comparatively, and at the moment, little importance to them. These duties were of trivial amount; paid by strangers; and it was not then foreseen how much, and by what means that amount was afterwards to be augmented.—Even in 1706, it appears, sir, by an act of Tynwald, stated by the committee, that "the poverty and mean circumstances of the people" had prevented the payment of the lord's fines; and that to raise on the island an assessment of so small a sum as 1601. a delay of three years was necessarily given.—Where then could the Keys have looked for the resources to enable them to enter into new contests with this powerful lord proprietor? They might be silent; but "it was their poverty, not their will," consented.—The motives, or length of time, of this acquiescence, are now of little moment. I shall convince the house, that the lord has solemnly renounced this supposed right. And renunciation of an assumed right proves ten times more strongly against the renouncer, that it was unfounded, than if he never had assumed it.—An act of Tynwald of 1736, after stating, "that the present book of rates had not hitherto had the consent 225 and concurrence of the 24 Keys," "ordains, consents, and enacts by the authority aforesaid, that the rates modified and altered should be levied without alteration or any additional duties, customs, or other impositions to be laid on any goods exported or imported for the future." His grace's friends evidently feel that this act of Tynwald is decisive on the question. They say the Keys "claimed, or assumed to themselves the right of confirming the rate." This is not correct: it was not assumed; their right is admitted. If it could be pretended that the proprietor himself was then unapprized of the extent of his prerogative, does he not appear to have been surrounded by his officers and magistrates? Seven of them subscribe this law. Can it be possible that this despotic power could have had an existence in right, and none of these persons whisper in the lord's ear that he was imposed on? can any man believe that they would all be parties in a robbery of the lord; and not merely of the lord, but of themselves? The rates of 1692, appear to have been imposed; not by the lord singly, but by the lord and council: what could induce the council to combine with the Keys against the lord by whom they were appointed, to deprive him and themselves of power unlimited, but legal?—Decisive evidence has, I think, been given, that this right of arbitrary taxation never resided in the lord. But if there were a doubt, a fit occasion offered when the commissioners were on the spot, for its solution. At the proper time, in the proper place, and before competent judges, his grace of Atholl did not think it convenient to institute this enquiry. Sir, I must infer, and any man must infer, he did not, because he knew it would be decided against him.—But admitting for a moment the arguments adduced against this odious claim not to be satisfactory; that the evidence on either side was balanced; still I should hope this house must come to a decision favourable to the Keys. It is probable, the practice in this island must have been analogous to that in the surrounding kingdoms. In ours, I deny there ever existed a right to tax the people without their own concurrence.—Some modern historians attempt to fix the period when representation began. Vain the attempt! It was not the gift of an Henry or an Edward. From our Saxon progenitors we derive it; and coeval with our representation was the right in the popular assembly to grant or to with- 226 hold taxes from their sovereign.—Such a claim as the present seems at war with the very fundamental laws of society. And here, sir, let me appeal to the authority of one, whose name gives weight to all he has written; to whom the general admission of his own and every succeeding generation, has allowed a place amongst the most enlightened of men. The works of this great man have been thought worthy the particular attention of a prelate, as distinguished by his piety, as he was eminent by his learning and talents. Presiding over one of the colleges at Cambridge, he encouraged the study of the work to which I allude, as the best foundation for the forming pure public principles. Often has he to me inculcated the utility of its frequent perusal; and happy I am in this opportunity of expressing my veneration for the memory of this worthy prelate; my gratitude for his kindness; and the pride I feel in claiming him as my relation. I allude to Locke's immortal treatise on government, as edited by bishop Law. "If any one," he says, "shall claim a power to lay and levy taxes on the people by his own authority, and without consent of the people, he hereby invades the fundamental law of property, and subverts the end of government; for what property have I in that which another may by right take when he pleases to himself?—But to return to the labours of this committee; they have asserted, sir, that the intervention of the Keys was confined, in all instances but one, to matters of internal regulation. Extraordinary assertion! look at their own evidence. On the 3d August, 1711, you find an act of Tynwald for "preventing frauds in her majesty's customs;" this is an insular mischief-act which originated in the suggestion of custom-house officers there resident. Had it not been at a subsequent period suspended, this act alone would have cut up smuggling by the roots. The only boon the Keys asked in return, was the liberty of vending their native produce among their wealthier neighbours. It was refused them.—I am sorry, sir, here to remark the contrast between the then conduct of this little community, and that of the servants of the crown, the wisdom of the insular legislature, in preferring the advantages resulting from regular industry, as a more certain road to prosperity than the specious profit of illicit commerce. A more enlightened policy would have induced the treasury to comply with so reasonable a 227 petition; to have conferred it as a favour, if not as a right. Conceiving, then, that no alternative remained but to smuggle or starve, in 1713 the insular legislature suspend the former beneficial law; and probably the smuggler soon resumed his ancient habits.—After the feudal proprietor had once consented to the abolition of illicit traffic, it would ill have become him personally to sanction its renewal. To relieve him, perhaps, from this odium, the plan was adopted of granting a lease of his customs to two strangers. The tempting offer was made of a rent of 1000 guineas; and the magnificent idea put in practice of resorting to foreign India companies for a supply of teas and other commodities to smuggle on our shores.—Then followed the act,of the 7th Geo. I. inhibiting such importations, except from the mother-country: and within a few years the drawback on goods exported to the island was disallowed.—The lessees' profits from farming these customs being thus curtailed, they offered to surrender their term. It was accepted. But does it appear that the feudal proprietor claimed indemnity for the diminution of his profits? A defalcation then probably took place in his income from this source, of 800l. a year, nearly equal to 3000l. at the present day. But we do not find that any complaint was uttered, any allegation made, of wrong done him by parliament in thus abridging his customs. Again, in 1726, the court of Tynwald pass and proclaim a law, approved by the lord, restraining the exportation of salt. Within five years after occurs a strange measure, indeed, for this puissant monarch of man, possessing powers greater than the sovereign of England. Our king can circulate copper coin by proclamation: but here it appears that the feudal proprietor was obliged to go to the house of Keys, for leave to give currency to a few hundred pounds worth of halfpence.—On the whole, sir, on this head of the subject, I appeal with perfect confidence and perfect security to the evidence collected by this committee themselves, as proving the direct contrary of their assertions.—The last subject, sir, to which I shall entreat the attention of the committee, is that of the revenue under the feudal proprietor. I must hero also begin with entering my protest against treating this object by any means as private property, transferable from hand to hand, or to be made a subject of sale. It is undoubtedly the right of the people; 228 paid for their benefit; and not to be considered, at any time, or under any circumstances, as merely a source of profit to an individual.—By the Derby family it was never probably so viewed. Their princely fortune put them above the need of the miserable produce of these duties. The legislature must have intended them as a small aid toward the defraying the expences of civil government, then wholly incumbent on the proprietor's land-revenue. This his grace retains, liberated from the burthen of civil or military expenditure.—Another circumstance I must notice, as placing this subject in a false light, which is the calculating the probable amount of the proprietor's duties in 1765, on present produce, present consumption, or present actual importation. The population in the intermediate time has arisen one half. The degree of increase taken place in the wealth of the island it is difficult to calculate. A comparison between the rents paid then and now would indicate an advance from four to eight times the amount in 1765. With the increased numbers, and the increased means of the inhabitants, how great must be the increase of duties on imported luxuries !—But as we must take some criterion, let us even take this most favourable one to the noble claimant. Pursuing it with the attorney and solicitor general, it turns out, that the revenue to the lord, on the most favourable year that had then occurred, according to the antient scale of duty, would have produced 846l. 19s. To which, it is admitted, should be added, the average produce of a duty on herring-boats, a salmon fishery, &c. 222l. Making together 1068l. 19s.—I have also, sir, two calculations, one on an average of seven years, of the actual importations, which, with the addition of the 222l. still does not amount to 1000l. The other, formed on the importations of 1802, the year in which the largest importations ever known were made into the island. With the same addition, this would amount to 1270l. The calculation given in by his grace to the committee makes the licensed articles produce 686l. 3s. 9d. The ad-valorem articles 2199l. Now, sir, it is pretty remarkable, that on a head which can be ascertained, namely, the duties on licensed articles, we agree so closely; but on another, which is not reducible to the same certainty, his grace should differ so widely from every other computation. The same regard to candour which induced the 229 attorney and solicitor general to give the due credit for the last sum of 222l. would also have induced them to notice their omission, on the other hand, had they been aware of it, to deduct from the amount, the expenses of collection, of the civil government, and all the other charges on the sovereign. In the same, or in a higher ratio, these must have advanced. In 1765 they appear to have amounted to 777l. currency. At this day it is probable they would have absorbed every shilling of these duties.—Another observation I must make, Mr. Speaker, is, that these receipts and payments are but in Manks currency; that is, one seventh less than sterling.—Thinking, as I do, any reference to present circumstances, in order to draw results applicable to a state of things forty years ago, to be fallacious in itself, and injurious to the cause of the public and the island, still, sir, I cannot avoid making a few further remarks on the computations thus founded.—On behalf of the duke of Atholl, a paper of calculations was laid before the committee, applying, as it is said, the rates of 1692, to the importations of 1802.—Beside the articles of licensed goods, the present great source of the insular revenue, it appears that in 1802, upon non-enumerated goods, paying certain per-centages, varying from 15 to 2½ per cent. arose a revenue of 2198l. 16s. 10d. From that same source, I am informed, his grace computes the propriety per-centage at 2199l. In no case, I believe, but with regard to corn as a matter of regulation, did this exceed 2½ per cent. on goods now imported free of duty, or subject to a per-centage.—Now, sir, premising that a large proportion of the island, probably a third, perhaps a half, is mountain; assuming the number of productive acres at 160,000, and their average rent at ten shillings; in both instances I doubt exceeding the truth, the amount of rent will be 80,000l.—Next, sir, calculating what would be the value of goods to be imported in one year to produce at 2½ per cent. 2199l. I find it to be 87,960l. So then beside the principal fund from which these customs arise, namely, duties on licensed goods, the great articles of importation, and which can be ascertained, it is necessary for his grace's case to assert, that the value of non-enumerated goods imported into this still slenderly-peopled island, and which cannot be exactly ascertained, probably exceeds by the sum of 7960l. its whole rental.—We see, then, 230 that to support his grace's case, proofs are resorted to, which in strictness do not apply: when these fancied proofs are examined, they are found, not disputable, not improbable, but, I verily believe, morally impossible to be true.—To show how fluctuating the insular revenue is, and ever must be, when governed by a casualty so great as the good or ill success of the herring fishery, I must remark, that the gross amount of revenue in 1804, appears to have been 10,473l. 5s. 3½d. The fishery of that year failed. Had it been as successful as that of 1802, when the bounties amounted to 4001l. 6s. 1d. then, after payment of all charges, the surplus would have been 2625l. 15s. 5d. A pension of 300l. has since, it is said, been imposed on this revenue, which would therefore reduce this year's apparent surplus to 2325l. 15s.5d.—The policy of the mother-country, sir, the interests of the island itself, require that its staple, the fishery should receive every possible encouragement. With more hands, and more capital employed, it may yet be considerably extended. The bounties that may hereafter be claimed may call for the whole of the apparent surplus. I understand, indeed, that this event is by no means improbable. The continuance, the extension, or the increase of these bounties, would find in the duke of Atholl, of necessity, a constant enemy. But, sir, on the other hand, his utmost care has been, and would continue to be, exerted to augment the customs. The accounts on your table prove the fluctuation of these customs: at present they are on the decline. The committee state, that the revenue of 1802 produced more than 1801, but of 1803 and 1804 they say nothing. Why? Because the inferences to be drawn from those years, though more to the purpose, do not suit their views of the subject.—But, sir, each of these years, and every year, presents a too favourable view of the insular finance. All the commodities there imported are not, I fear, there consumed. I wished to call before the committee these receivers-general, to obtain from them the proof, that no inconsiderable proportion of duties arises in the Isle of Man, on commodities paying low duties, afterward clandestinely re-shipped and smuggled back again.—Were the suggestion of the commissioners of enquiry adopted, of transferring to the board of customs the super-intendance of this revenue, their habits of attention, and their experience would soon 231 check these frauds.—Among other evils resulting from its being placed in the hands we now find it, in the committee's report I observe the extraordinary admission that a sum of upward of 20,000l. arising from these customs, is suffered to remain in arrear. Where are we to look for this sum? Are we to advertise for it? Why is it not paid into the exchequer? Has not parliament precisely directed it to be so paid? But we are, I am grieved to say it, so habituated to the violations of acts of parliament, that we discover another flagrant instance, without any emotions of surprise.—If this revenue were under the management of the customs, it is by no means probable its produce for so many years would be thus withheld; nor can I understand why this should be permitted.—The present claim, by one of its supporters, who appears to admit it to be unfounded in justice, is put on some vague grounds of generosity or liberality. Sir, I am not ashamed to say, that as a member of parliament, as one of the guardians of the public purse, I do not comprehend the term. The liberality of an individual, out of that which is his own, I do understand, and know how to prize and honour. But how can I be liberal out of that which is riot my own? How can the guardian display his fine feelings at the expense of his ward? The member of parliament, out of the pockets of his constituents? But, sir, this act of liberality is attempted to be exercised, not out of the pockets of our constituents, but out of the pockets of those who have no representatives; who exclaim against it; who think it not liberality, but an act of profusion and injustice.—So far from giving the present claimant further compensation, they say they are as well entitled to compensation as himself. They have had none, but would think it doubly hard to be exclusively subjected to this second and every further claim of compensation, the already compensated seller thinks fit to advance.—We ought not, sir, to drop out of our view in what case the noble claimant himself is placed. You compensate a claim he alledges to be well founded out of an uncertain and fluctuating revenue: you put his interest in direct and constant opposition to the welfare of the island. It will be for ever the interest of him and his descendants to extract the utmost possible amount of duties, to depress as low as possible its necessary expenditure. The bounties to its fisheries, the charges of erecting 232 and improving public edifices, and every other public improvement; may be so much taken out of his rent-charge. It has been, for instance, thought that some of the insular magistrates and officers receive inadequate salaries. What hope can they have of increase? In short, what measure attended with increased expence will hereafter be effected, if the surplus becomes the joint property of the crown, and an individual? Do you not continue this family, of necessity, either their own enemies, or the hereditary and constant opponents of the island, benefiting by its charges, losing by the sums expended for its advantage? Do you not make it their interest to be perpetually proposing new taxes? Even with regard to the mother-country, the situation may not be void of danger. It will be the interest of the family to encourage, by every means, the largest possible importations; but perfectly indifferent in point of interest it be to them, whether these importations are consumed at home or elsewhere. Is this a situation in which a man ought to be placed?—But if it be determined, sir, to admit this claim, if it must be compensated out of the means of those on whom last of all this burthen should be imposed, in the name of God do it at once! Exercise your omnipotence. Take what you please: you may do it with impunity. But do not, create, do not leave behind you a constant source of dissatisfaction. Do not erect a land-mark of discontent, by imposing perpetual burthens, which will at the same time perpetuate those feelings of indiguation which the present measure has excited. Consider how harsh it is to force these islanders to contribute for ever, to a cause which they disclaim and disown.—Look, sir, at the case as applied to ourselves. Never was there raised in any country so great a revenue, when compared with its population. No man can pretend but that it is severely felt, yet, sir, it is paid with cheerfulness. Were even greater burthens necessary, so long as the exigencies of the state require it, and we have the means, those burthens we shall manfully bear. And why? Because we have the conviction that they are paid for our own benefit: that we are by that payment secured in the enjoyment of those advantages no other country possesses. Proudly conscious of the pre-eminent and inestimable blessings we enjoy, we are ready to contribute up to any amount the public exigencies may re- 233 quire. But I would ask the right hon. the chancellor of the exchequer, would these burthens be endured, it there were as general a conviction that they were applied to purposes of individual advantage? Again; would it be safe or prudent to impose the charge of remunerating an individual for services, however brilliant, on this or that town, or this or the other parish? What must be the feelings of the district on whom he was thus quartered? But still more, if its inhabitants considered the burthen imposed on them as arising from other motives than the merits of the favoured individual.—The strength of the Isle of Man is its weakness. Its reliance is on the generosity and magnanimity of parliament. If you do them this wrong, and the effect he but momentary, in time they may forget it. The remembrance of past kindness, the hope of your returning favour, will afford sources of consolation: but do not, let me adjure you, do not inflict a wound that is to rankle and fester for ever.—No grant exactly of the nature now proposed has ever, I believe, been made. However objectionable some of those the most nearly approaching it may have been, they are lost because coming out of the general mass. Why desert this policy? Why impose on one speck in the empire a burthen intended for the benefit of idividuals?—On the whole, I would observe, that the allegations in this petition are unproved and unfounded; that the feudal proprietors did not possess an arbitrary power of imposing taxes; that neither Henry IV. nor James I. in fact, granted, or could grant it; that if it had been attempted to be granted, that it would have been an abuse of power in the grantor; void and illegal in itself; that the duties of 1577 might be legal; but those of 1692 are clearly against law, and fraudulent, till confirmed by the insular legislature; that even at this day the revenue transferred by the proprietors to the crown, certainly could not on its gross produce have averaged 1200l. a year; and probably would not have covered the expences which were incumbent on it; that the present improvements of the island, from which even that revenue would be extracted, are the result of boons granted by the British parliament: that the right of legislation constantly exercised by parliament over the islanders, is founded on the best legal authorities: that the revenue, parliament imposes, the islanders pay cheerfully; but 234 had they resisted its first imposition, what hope could they have entertained of success? Abandoned by their natural protector; without a friend! with the just odium upon them attaching to this nefarious traffic, that resistance must have been fruitless.—The surplus of their revenue they perceive set apart by parliament, undoubtedly for their use. Other proofs of the moderation of parliament toward them they acknowledge, and of the exercise of this branch of its power they do not complain.—As to compensation to the noble claimant, this has already been given most amply, as far as money can be its measure. The last proprietor of this regality, weighing the solid advantages to his rent-roll, by parting with the island, against the gratification to be derived from its possession, preferred, and I think wisely, that which was beneficial to his family, to the pride of grasping in his hand a barren sceptre. But if the thing must be done, let it be done in the way least offensive to the feelings of the payers. I trust, however, it will not be done. On the part of the people of the Isle of Man, I protest against its injustice. As a member of parliament, I protest against such a waste of the public money. Never was there a period when it behoved us more narrowly to watch its expenditure. On these grounds I move, "that the further consideration of this report be put off to this day three months."
§ Sir W. Burroughs
replied to the arguments of the hon. gentleman, and supported the claim of the duke of Atholl for an additional compensation. He attempted to prove by a reference to lord Coke, that the, lord of the Isle of Man was formerly an independent monarch, and that the house of Keys was not a legislative but only a judicial body. The members of that house could not be termed representatives of the people, for they were self-elected. The lords of the treasury in 1765 had been authorized to treat with the representatives of the lords of the island, without any supposition that any other parties were entitled. The Duke of Atholl refused to alienate his rights. It was not till the government of this country shewed a disposition to abridge those rights that the alienation was agreed to. The commercial pretensions of this country to legislate for Ireland and America were abandoned; there was no better right to legislate for Man, except as the holders of the rights of the lords. The customs 235 revenue since 1798 had increased from 6,000l. to 16,000l. a year, and the compensation which was to be regulated by the result of the experiment was claimed accordingly. The sum of 70,000l. with the pension was an inadequate compensation. He adverted to the purchase of the heritable jurisdictions of Scotland, which were very highly paid for, from the consideration of the honours surrendered. He trusted the minority of the present duke, when the arrangement was made, would give force to these arguments, and dispose the house to consider the claims now made as valid.
§ Mr. Bond
said, when he opposed the present reception of this report, he did it on the principles laid down by lord Coke, sir Wm. Blackstone, and by the attorney and solicitor general, who had all concurred in the opinion, that the authority of parliament was paramount, and that it had an unquestionable right to legislate for the Isle of Man. Whatever ingenious reasoning might have been employed by the hon. and learned baronet, there were no facts to shew that the duke of Atholl was independent of this control. The commissioners appointed to enquire into this business said, that if the custom duties were increased, it must have been with the consent of the Claves Insulœ, who would require a return for such a concession. How, then, could the duke obtain an increase of revenue from this source to the extent that had been pretended? The only question of importance was, if the compensation already made to the house of Atholl was grossly inadequate: if it were not, there could be no sufficient reason for opening what had so long been closed. The increase of profit, from the advance of population, and the improvement of the state of society, could not be any fit ground for such a proceeding. He was in the privy council when this subject was before it, it was not, therefore, wholly new to him. The matter was at that time referred to the law officers of the crown, and their report was received with the respect it deserved. To this report the noble duke was permitted to reply, by the exercise of unusual indulgence, in the form of a memorial; and before the decision of the council was laid before his majesty, his grace applied to submit some new facts, to which also the privy council condescended, with the express injunction, that these new facts should not only be new 236 but important. When he (Mr. Bond) was no longer a member, the privy council came to a resolution, that the remuneration was inadequate, but he knew nothing of what led to this change of sentiment, and had in no respect altered his opinion on the subject. If it were not competent, the onus probandi was with the duke, and that burthen he had not thought proper to sustain. The memorial stated that the revenues of 1802 were much greater than those of 1765; but should the compensation be governed by the present state of the income, and not by the produce at the time the contract was made? This was an application, it should be remembered, not to the liberality, but to the justice of the house; and on no principle of justice could it be supported.
asked, if the opinions of the attorney and solicitor general were to be considered as law; or that they were supposed to be binding on any member of that house; lord Coke's opinion was erroneous with respect to, the right of England to legislate for Ireland at that time, as had been declared afterwards in effect by the act of 1782. His opinion relative to the Isle of Man was equally unfounded. Yet the attorney and solicitor general had only pronounced a negative opinion on the case; they had never come to any positive decision. For his part he thought that, from a consideration of all the circumstances of the case, if he was on a jury upon the merits of the case, he should be bound to say, that at least it was entitled to re-consideration.
observed, that the business had the appearance of a job; and, of all times that could possibly be pitched upon, the present was the most unpropitious to a measure of that sort. Seeing the very heavy burthens to which the people of England cheerfully submitted for the necessary expences of the state, he would not think of voting away their money to any individual, however highly respectable, merely because the revenues of the Isle of Man had increased since the bargain was made. If the first contract was a close bargain, as had been urged, he conceived that a much greater compliment could not be paid to his revered relative (Mr. George Grenville), who was then the minister, and had been so provident of the public money. For these reasons he felt himself bound to support the amendment.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer
sup- 237 ported the original motion. He considered the compensation in a two-fold aspect, as a compensation for dignity, and as a compensation for revenue. The original sum of 70,000l. might be considered as nearly exhausted by the compensation for dignity, leaving but a small surplus for revenue. He urged the claims of the duke also on account of the increase of revenue since that period.
§ Mr. Windham
considered the business as what was vulgarly called a "job". He thought that a case had never occurred, which involved so unwarrantable and shameful an abuse of the public money.
Lord De Blaquiere and Mr. Rose
supported the petition, and spoke at great length in favour of the original motion.
§ Mr. Sheridan
said, he would detain the house only with a very few words, and the rather he should be disposed to confine his remarks, because, excepting from his right hon. friend below him (Mr. Windham), he had heard very little that was applicable to the question. The committee in which these claims were considered, had been treated as indecorous, irregular, and even clamorous. It had the general defects of all open committees, and this was all that could be stated justly against it. The whole of the present debate was out of time; the gentlemen who had discussed the subject ought to have attended in the committee of which they complain, and to have assigned their reasons for the conduct they would now pursue. The question now before the house was, whether the report of the committee should be taken into consideration; and it was absurd, on such an enquiry, to examine into the general merits. The whole affair had been charged as a ministerial job. He should not easily be suspected of conducing to any project of this kind, and the doubt to was not what the duke of Atholl should receive in remuneration, but whether the house of commons should preserve that dignity and justice in its proceedings, by which it should be ever characterised. Much of the argument had been applied to the sovereign rights of the house of Atholl. He should have been extremely glad to have seen the right hon. the attorney-general in his place, to have denied the existence of such rights, and as he did not appear in his place to support his former opinion, he might at least be permitted to 238 conjecture, that the right hon. and learned gentleman had abandoned his former sentiments. He reluctlantly opposed the friends with whom he was accustomed to concur, but he felt it is duty to vote for receiving the report.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer
then proposed that the committee be appointed for Wednesday next, as the first open day, which was opposed by Mr. Curwen and Mr. Peter Moore, who moved an amendment, to insert the words on Monday se'nnight. The house then divided. Against the amendment 40; for it 14; majority for the committee on Wednesday 26. The other orders of the day were then disposed of, and the house adjourned at half past three o'clock to Monday.