§ On the motion for the first reading of this bill,
The Earl of Moira
said he could not suffer it to pass its first stage without making some observations upon its general merits. Highly as he respected public opinion, and desirous as he was of always exhibiting a willingness to accede to its judgment, he still did not see any ground to change the opinion he had on a former occasion given upon this subject. It had been totally misunderstood by the public, and he was one of those who could see no danger from giving to the executive government that laudable influence, which in the end provided for the concerns of the public. He was ready to admit, that when the right of granting reversions was vested in the crown, it was an abuse, but ftill it was to be recollected, that the practice had existed for 300 years, and had the sanction of ancient usage. If, indeed, any corrupt grant of this nature had been made, or if there were others which stood in the way of a salu- 32 tary and wholesome regulation, the existence of such circumstances constituted a just ground for their particular modification. The whole tenor of his majesty's reign proved, that in his beneficent mind there predominated no feeling for a rigorous exercise of the prerogative, where that exercise trenched upon the true interests of his people. At present, he had no motion to submit on this subject, but more strongly to impress the opinion he before stated, with respect to their lordships seeking a conference with the house of commons, to ascertain their views upon that measure, and particularly because, in one part of this bill, there was a reference to further objects of reform and retrenchment.
said, in the second stage of this bill he should certainly feel it his duty to advert to the observations of the noble earl. He then only wished to know, when it was intended to read this bill a 2nd time?