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nine subjects out of ten, which were dis- / usual complement of garrison punishment. cussed in the House of Commons. In a How could this punishment be inflicted all time of scarcity, no man would dare to at once? Other complaints were made of speak of grain, for fear of a tumult. The dividing 500 lashes in such a way, as that hon. member for Yorkshire would not 250 lashes should be given on the lower have carried his question of the abolition part of the back, and 250 on another part of the Slave Trade. No man would have of the body. No man could deserve such a dared to describe freely and eloquently, punishmeni. A trifling violation of duty as that hon. member had described, undoubiedly merited some punishment, but the miseries of the West Indian slaves, not flogging; and in cases of mutiny, or though the tortures which they suffered, personal violence offered to an officer-if he was sorry to say, were not greater than ihe officer were knocked down and trodden those suffered by our soldiers. Then the upon, which happened in the case alluded dangers of enquiry might have been urged to by him, then a severer punishinent than with greater plausibility, when a few flogging ought to be adopted. But this scattered whites were exposed to all the severe punishment degraded man to a evils of a negro insurrection. The ques. brute, and harrowed up and cauterized the tion was, whether a document which would feelings of all who wirnessed it. Could shew whether the powers entrusted to any thing be more abominable, than to set courts martial had been temperately or apart a class of our fellow.citizens, and immoderately used was to be produced. demand from them a callousness and The right hon. gentleman said, “ Don't insensibility which we would not allow in enquire; I tell you all is well.” But any other class in the British dominions. were they, he would ask, afraid to look While we cherished all the kindly affecinto the facts of the case? Were they tions in every other branch of the comto close their eyes to it? And were those munity, and doomed a pariicular class to out of doors who ventured to enter upon it, such a rigorous and unfeeling system, had not to be met by argument but by per- we not reason to apprehend the effects secution ? Would any one who witnessed either in after times, or in times nearer the irritability which the mention of this our own? If the soldier ought to be set subject always excited, not be almost apart as little as possible from the citizen, led to the conclusion that all was not so how could they justify a punishment well as it should be ? Now, what would be which was confined exclusively to the the consequence of the production of this soldiers, a punishment which debased paper? It would either prove the state those who suffered, those who inflicted it, ment of the right hon. gentleman oppo- and those by whom it was witnessed. It site, which was so favourable to the Com. was his firm conviction, that if our solmander in Chief, or it would disprove it. diery had not been trained and accustomThe right hon. gentleman's eulogy of the ed to the system of flogging, they never reduction of flogging was quite unintelligi- would have been seen to lend themselves ble. He first denied the abuse, and then as they did in a certain reign of terror in he said, - for God's sake do not ask for a neighbouring kingdom, which he boped the paper, as it will be productive of the yet to see investigated. Adverting to the most dangerous consequences." Was navy, he said, that he had in bis possession not this conduct much more dangerous a book of punishments in one ship in 1809, than openly and manfully at once to enter kept by the master of arms; and in six upon the discussion of the question? So months there were upwards of 14,000 far, it would appear from severity of pu- lashes inflicted! This was enormous, nishment being done away, there were when the proportion as to severity of instances of persons suffering four several flogging in the navy was considered. In times before they could receive the whole one part of the book, a person was entered of their punishment, and that very lately. as having leaped overboard, and been He had a letter dated the Toth of Febru- drowned, to avoid three or four dozen of ary, 1812, from one of our North Ameri- lashes. can settlements, in which a complaint was Mr. Robinson could conceive nothing a made of a Major-General, a German offi- greater insult to the service, than such al. cer there, who very properly, as the law lusions to flogging in the navy as had been stood, had caused 700 lasbes to be in- just made by ibe hon. and learned gentleflicted on a man. This was not a soli- man, without giving the House the means tory instance, for it was stated to be the of ascertaining their truth, by a statement
of names. They were little less than a might thus have to pay his own rent, and libel on the whole navy. He could tell the rents of ten people above him. This the hon. and learned gentleman that there was a genuine oppression, and it had ocwas nothing to which the Admiralty paid curred as such to other people's minds. so much attention, as Corporal Punish- The noble earl here alluded to a corments; that returns of all the punish- respondence between two greal law auments inflicted in each ship were sent to thorities, which he had seen, and which them; and that bad such a case occurred, described the practice as likely to be it would have met with their severest re highly oppressive. The consequence of prehension.
enforcing the law, according to the preMr. Brougham professed himself willing sent system, was the certain beggary of to deliver up the book which he had al- the tenant, whose ordinary rent was the luded to, to the Admiralty. He believed utmost that his labour could extract from it might be of service to them.
the ground, and who, of course, when a Mr. Long corrected an hon. baronet double or a triple rent was demanded from (sir F. Burdett) in an assertion he had him, had no resource but abandoning all, made respecting an order of the com- and wandering to beg his bread, with his mander in Chief, refusing pensions to per- wife, and not unfrequently, an infirm and sons labouring under blindness. That had infant family. Was it to be wondered at, occurred only where there was proof of that in a country where there were no deception.
poor's rates, such a man should be discorMr. Brougham wished to be informed tented, as he must be beggared ? It might by an hon. gentleman, at what time re- not be so here, where there were poor's turns of Corporal punishment were or. rates, and where the whole parish would ex. dered by the Admiralty?
claim against the landlord whose cruelty Mr. Robinson could not recollect when. should
expose them to such a burthen of Mr. Lambe, though not prepared to con- pauperism: but, in Ireland, this happened cur entirely with the hon. baronet (sir F. frequently, the peasant was forced to seek Burdett),or his hon.friend (Mr. Brougham), his daily bread from cabin to cabin ; and wished to vote for the motion, because the was it to be wondered at, that he should production of the paper was necessary to seize the first rusty pitchfork, and use it the case of gentlemen on the other side of vindictively at the moment, or treasure the House.
up his revenge till it could be certain ? Mr. Bennet shortly replied, when the The noble earl said he would instance a House divided.
case communicated to him, on the credit The numbers were-Ayes 17-Noes of a great land-proprietor. He should 49. Majority 32.
the classes of lessors in the order
of the alphabet, and they stood as follow: HOUSE OF LORDS.
B paid to A, the original lessor, a rent of
901. : В let this to C for the sum of 7001. Thursday, April 16.
C to D for the sum of 7501.; and D lo IRISA PEASANTRY.) Earl Stanhope rose about twenty tenants, who might be called to make his promised motion on this sub- E, for about 9401. The whole of these ject. He protested against the idea of sums might be demanded by distress, from making a long speech; for when the ob- the tenants E as the law now stood. ject was plain and clear, the explanation there any thing more necessary to be said might and ought to be brief. He had to on the subject: The noble earl said he was call the attention of the House to a train most anxious to see this grievance taken of sufferings not exceeded, perhaps not pa- up by the legislature : but, in bringing it ralleled, by those of the slave,--in allcases before them, he had only the merit of inequally unjust, and in most equally at- tention, the great merit was due to countended with horrid and calamitous circum- sellor O‘Dedy, the author of a most exstances. He alluded to the state of the cellent and feeling pamphlet upon the Irish Peasantry under the present laws, subject.---He would then state as the subas they related to the recovery of rent. stance of the first clause of his Bill, that it In that country there were gradations and should be enacted, that no remedy of disclasses of those pernicious holders called tress should lie against any tenant but at middle-men; and the distress for all their the suit of his immediate lessor, saving the consecutive rents might be levied upon original lessor of the land. The second the peasant who tilled the ground. lle clause was one which provided, that what
ever som the tenant paid to the original | land, the remedy of ejectment was not allessor by distress, should be accounted as ways sufficient. Suppose land let for lives, part payment to his immediate lessor. or a very long term, such as one thousand The noble eari proceeded to reason at con- years, and sub-let three deep, it would be siderable length upon this part of the Bill. very difficult to get the rent by ejectment, He trusted, that nobody would be so whim and therefore they were compelled to resical as to say that the original landlord sort to the remedy of distress. Yet, by would be injured by this proposal, when in the plan of the noble lord, this remedy reality, he would be benefited. By this would be rendered, in a great measure, measure the under middle-man could not nugatory. Take the instance which he distrain till he had paid the original rent, himself stated, for example, of land let by and the other could not distrain at all. He A to B for 90l.; by B to C for 7001. ; and concluded by moving, that the Bill be read by C to D for 7501. In this case C could a first time.
not distrain for his 50l. perhaps the whole Lord Redesdale admitted the existence of of his means of subsistence, till he had the evil, but whether an adequate remedy paid 901. to A and 7001. to B, which it could be applied, he very much doubted. might be utterly impossible for him to While he resided in Ireland, his mind do. In Ireland, he was sorry to say, the bad been very much occupied with this remedy of distress was more commonly subject. He bad often reflected upon it, applied than in England. Almost every and endeavoured to find out some suitable estate had what was called its driver. remedy; but it involved so many impor- The occupiers, unfortunately, often took tant considerations, and was altogether a the lands at more than they could pay, matter of so much difficulty, that be had except in plentiful years; and only the never been able to come to any satisfac- produce of the land remained to pay the tory conclusion. From the difference, as rent. This gave occasion to many frauds to improvement in the state of Ireland in removing that produce; and these, he some time ago, and now, and from other was sorry to say, had a bad effect on the circumstances, he could very well con- character of the Irish Peasantry, which ceive that land might, at no very distant was not what one would wish it to be. period, have been let at 90l. per annum, They had, in general, no capital,—the which might now yield 9401. a year. He rent could only be paid out of the produce himself knew an instance, where a gen- of the land, and a bad season consequently tleman had let 13,000 acres for lives, or a disabled them to pay. This made the relong term of years, reserving 800 acres of medy of distress so much more common demesne lands; and now he had a greater than in England. It was not, therefore, rent from the 800 acres, than from the any difference in the law that produced the 13,000. But these grants of long terms at evil, but the difference of the circumstances low rents, had been very prevalent at of the iwo countries in other respects. one time; and a great proportion of the He could not exactly agree with the noble Irish tenures were of this description. lord in his snggestion, that it was enough They had, indeed, been considered as al- for the middle-man to have his remedy most equal to grants in fee simple, so far upon his contract, without being permitted as they went. Where such small rents to resort to the land. To take the example had been retained by the original land before alluded to, B had a good title to the lord, the lands would naturally sub-let, land, paying 901. to A; and if he had the perhaps, six deep, the rents rising pro- right to sub-let to C, and chose to reserve gressively. His friend, the gentleman to his power of distress, it would be a violawhom he alluded, did not use the remedy tion of the laws of property to deprive of distress, but of ejectment, which was him of it. If, therefore, the noble lord's sufficient to procure the payment of such provision on this point was intended to be a small rent. But in Ireland, a whole retrospective, it would be the cause of year's rent must be due before the re- gross injustice to many persons.
Indeed, medy, by ejectment, could be effectual; the mischief might be more extensive for after ihe landlord had got possession, than some were at present aware of. if, within the subsequent six months, the Suppose C in the instance stated, died in. tenant filed a Bill in Equity, and paid the solvent, or assigned his interest; the noble rent and costs, he again got his land. It lord's plan in cases of that nature, might was clear, therefore, that in the circum. be the means of great injustice, and create stances of the landed proprietors of Ire a prodigious new subject of litigation. The noble earl said, that the under-tenant The Earl of Clancarty very much doubt. was no party to the contract. This was a ed whether any adequate remedy could mistake, he was a party, and in that view be provided : and as to the measure prothere was no injustice in keeping him to posed by the noble earl, he was sure that that which he had accepted with his eyes he himself must see the difficulties which open. His uitle to the land mnst be de- stood in the way of its adoption. The rived from those above him, and he must, noble earl said, that the middle-men might therefore, be a party to that upon which be left to their remedy upon contract inalone his right was founded. This, how dependent of the land, because the subever, was a very important subject, and he tenants were no parties; but it must be hoped their lordships would consider well remembered, that the sub-tenants were of it.
Every one must wish that the evil like purchasers, with notice of the fact. should be removed; but they ought to They knew the powers of those above take care not to legislate rashly, lest they them, and took the land subject to the might do more mischief in one way, than burthen. To deprive the middle-men of they prevented in another. They might their rights by an er post facto law, would cast about in their minds, whether the sub- be gross injustice; but he believed, that demising of land, with a power of distress, the practice of creating these middle temight not be checked; whether it might nants, was very fast going down, from the not be provided, that afterwards no sub- landlords better understanding their own letting, with such a power, should be al interest, and the value of their property. lowed. That, he thought, was the utmost It also became less the interest of those extent to which they could go; that in who might be disposed to put themselves subsequent sub-demises, the power of dis. in the situation of middle-men to have any tress should be either taken away or mo- thing to do with such leases, for the profits dified. He himself happened to hold some were but very small, compared with those land in Ireland, and had expended a good of former demises of that nature. The deal of money upon it. When he left practice had arisen, or at least, attained that country, no purchaser could be found, the great height to which it had reached, and if he had not bad the power of sub- from the peculiar circumstances of Iredemising, with the remedy of distress, he land: but since the late improvements in should have had no remedy at all, and the that country, the evil was diminishing, property would have been of little value. 4 and he trusted, would soon be done away. This was owing to the unfortunate state of He would not, however, oppose the printIreland. The disturbed situation of that ing of the Bill. The subject was worthy country gave occasion to the frequency of the most attentive consideration ; but of the instances in which this remedy was if the noble earl meant to restrict subresorted to. If the country were perfectly letting, he wished him to consider what tranquil, the evil would soon remedy itself. would be the effect, especially in large Those who, without capital, were now the towns, such as Dublin and London, if the tenants of the soil, would then be labourers provisions of the Bill were to be extendon the farms of others, and the mischief ed to both countries, as he understood would be done away, or at least exist only they were. in the same degree as in England. In- The Earl of Suffolk agreed, that it was deed, the practice of sub-demising was al. most desirable that a remedy should be ready beginning to be less frequent. provided, but doubted whether this one Landlords now began to understand that it could be adopted. He was glad, however, was their interest to grant leases with a to hear from the noble lord who spoke condition not to sub-let, and the evil was last, that the practice of sub-demising was gradually diminishing. But, however, the going down.
going down." He himself happened to subject deserved the most serious con- have come to the knowledge of an insideration, and he certainly should not op- stance which so far corroborated that pose this Bill at present. He should be statement. A gentleman of great propermost happy if a remedy could be pro- ty in Ireland, had sent his steward to survided, but he confessed that he could not vey his estates there. The steward found see any method by which the evil could it necessary to have a considerable guard be effectually cured. He could at this in going round the property. But after moment, he was sorry to say, conceive no the survey, he resolved to put an end to plan which would not do as much mischief the practise of demising to middle tenants, in other respects, as it would do good in this. and the people were so well pleased at
this, that they could with difficulty be to suggest amendments and alterations. prevented from taking the horses from his The Union with Ireland had existed for carriage, and drawing it themselves. He several years; and he recollected one agreed that this was a subject which de- great argument for it was, the profound served the most serious consideration. attention which would be given the affairs
Lord Holland, after observing that his of Ireland. It was with pain that he wit-, noble friend deserved the thanks of the nessed how little that expectation had, country for having brought forward this been answered. He was sorry to see so question, said, that he did not think his thin an attendance on a subject of so much proposal had been fairly treated. Con- importance to that country. But it might, sidering the magnitude of the subject, he perhaps, be some excuse to Ireland, that thought the noble lords on the other side the attendance was likely to be equally ought to have waited till they had the thin on a subject of no less importance to printed Bill in their hands before they met this country, the discussion of which was the plan with so many expressions of de- to have come on that night (alluding to spair, as to its propriety and capability of the Insolvent Debtors' Bill.) The object remedying the evil complained of. That in both cases was similar-it was to rethe evil was of a most serious nature, no move an evil which produced a mass of one could doubt; and if it was possible human misery and oppression. In both that any remedy could be applied without cases, the existence of the evil was acviolating the furdamental laws of pro- knowledged: the difficulty was to property, there could be as little doubt butvide the remedy. But they ought to it ought to be adopted. The noble and struggle the more against that difficulty learned lord, (Redesdale) had admitted if there was any possibility of its being the existence of the evil, but had dwelt surmounted. chiefly on the difficulty of applying a The Earl of Clancarty in explanation cure. That, however, was reason maintained, that he had supported the Bill against entertaining the subject, and the alluded to by the noble lord, on the objections to it had better be reserved till ground of preventing the tenant from beanother time. The noble lord over the ing ground to the dust by being called way (lord Clancarty), had adverted to upon to pay more than he ought to be the effect which such a plan might have compelled to pay, under the equity of his on existing contracts. That objection did contract. not come well from him, who had voted The Lord Chancellor said, that the subin favour of a measure formerly proposed ject unquestionably deserved the most seby his noble friend, (ibe Bank-Note Bill), rious attention; it involved many consiwhich went to violate all subsisting con- derations with regard to the law of landed tracts. How happened it that the noble property, which had not as yet been alJord did not then think of an objection, Iuded to. The law was the same in Engwhich applied much more to that mea- land and Ireland, and it ought to be resure than to this ? He could not conceive membered, that the landholders there had how the noble lord could consistently it in their power so to contract as to make this objection now, when he had render this Bill unnecessary. disregarded it in the other case. It was The Bill was then read a first time, and clear that the practice in question was ordered to be printeil. one great cause of the disturbed state of Ireland, and of no small degree of cppres.
IIOUSE OF COMMONS. sion. If he had wanted any confirmation of this, the statement of the noble and
Thursday, April 16. learned lord opposite would bave been PETITION FROM DUBLIN AGAINST sufficient to convince bim ; for the state. CLAIMS OF THE ROMAN CATHolics.) Mr. ment was, that the middle-men were com- Shaw presented a Petition from the lord pelled by a regard to their own interest, mayor, sheriffs, commons, and citizens of io have frequent recourse to the ruinous the city of Dublin, in common council measure of distress. He agreed that they assembled, Toth April 1812, setting forth, ought to proceed with caution and cir- “ That the lord mayor, sheriffs, commons, cumspection, but the forms of the House and citizens of the city of Dublin, whose were a sufficient security for that. If the loyalty to their most gracious sovereign, principle of the Bill should be found to and his royal ancestors, monarcbs of these be good, the committee would be the place realms, has ever been firm and unequivo