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may be established under the authority of tensive war renders it necessary to adopt government, because the ideal difficulty every means for augmenting the revenue; of the collection of taxes, in the event of and when our existence as a nation dethe trade being divided, is fully obviated pends, in a great degree, on the mainteby the known safety with which the duties nance of our naval superiority, the Petiare levied on articles of West Indian and tioners apprehend it to be not only highly American produce, and because the ima- expedient, but indispensibly requisite, to gined hardship of depriving the Company open up every legitimate channel of trade of the only lucrative branch of their mono- for the preservation of our commercial, poly will be alleviated by the wealth, influ. maritime, and financial interests; and that ence, kaowledge, and experience, which the Petitioners, satisfied that the injury
, in their united capacity, they will still be arising from every monopoly must be proenabled to oppose to the unassisted efforts portionate to the extent of the trade thus of private merchants; and that the natural confined; convinced of the importance, effect of throwing open the charter will be and even the necessity, of a free intercourse to excite a fair emulation to bring all the with the rich, populous, and extensive produce of the East to its proper level in countries in the East, as well those formerly this country, to enable our manufacturers, acquired by the company, as those lately with more advantage, to exert their skill subdued by his Majesty's arms; and, disand industry to produce new sources of claiming all interference with territorial trade, and thus to give full employment rights and political privileges of the comto the operative classes of the community; pany, humbly pray, that the House would and that the system of confining the take this most important matter into their East India trade to the port of London the consideration, and, by allowing the monopetitioners would beg leave humbly to poly to fall on the 1st of March 1814, open represent as unnecessary, unjust, and im- the commerce of the countries lying bepolitic; unnecessary, because the duties tween the Cape of Good Hope and the may be collected with equal ease and less Straits of Magellan on equal terms to the loss, by pilferage in the out ports; unjust, merchants trading from every port of the because every mercantile place in the united kingdom.” united kingdom is entitled to the same Ordered to lie upon the table. privileges; and impolitic, because the superior economy and dispatch which PETITION FROM LIVERPOOL RESPECTING prevail in the out ports, are requisite to WEST INDIA PRODUCE.) A Petition of the secure an equality in the competition West India planters, merchants and others with foreign nations; and that the very at the port of Liverpool, interested in the existence of a beneficial prosecution of trade to the British West India colonies, the East India trade, by this country, was presented and read; setting forth, seems now 1o depend on the restoration « That, notwithstanding the temporary of its freedom, as it is proved, by unde- relief afforded to the growers and importers niable documents, that if it be allowed to of sugar, by the Act of the present session continue, under its present restrictions, it of parlianient prohibiting the distillation of will languish, decay, and pass into the spirits from grain, and the admission of hands of other states; and that the dan- sugar as a substitute, the Petitioners canger supposed to arise from excess of spe- not but recollect their past distresses, nor culation at the commencement of an open contemplate without alarm, the period commerce with India, the Petitioners would when this prohibition may cease, and the humbly represent to be imaginary, be- ruinous depression of the price of sugar cause the enterprize of individuals is uni- that must, in all probability, ensue and be formly circumscribed by their means and consequent thereupon; and that, in antisuccess; because any evil of this nature cipation of this possible, and, in the minds is temporary, and checks itself; and be of the Petitioners, not improbable event, cause the very worst that can occur, in they humbly beg leave to refer the House the event of the abandonment of the trade to the suggestion contained in the report by the public, would be, that matters again of the committee who were appointed to would return to their present state ; and take into consideration the commercial that, at a time when the anti-commercial state of the West India colonies, and to systein of France has been successfully report their proceedings from time to time, exerted to exclude us from the continental wbich repori was ordered to be printed on markets; when the prosecution of an ex- the 24th of July 1807, videlicet, To extend the principle which has been adopted on PetitION FROM BLACKBURN RESPECTthe contingent increase of duty from 27s. ING THE STATE OF Public Affairs.] Mr. to 30s. per hundred weight, so that, from Blackburn presented a Petition from sethe maximum of duty then fixed on a gross veral inhabitants of the town and neighprice of 80s. per hundred weight affording bourbood of Blackburn, in the county of sos. duty, and 50s. to the planter and im- Lancaster, setting forth,“ That, in the ex. porter, the duty should be thrown back ercise of those inestimable rights with on a similar scale, in proportion to the de- which the constitution of the country has pression of the market, till the price ar- invested them, the Petitioners venture to rives at 60s. gross, leaving 20s. (the origi- lay before the House their sentiments and nal daty) to government, and 40s. to the feelings on subjects of the highest importplanter and merchant, or, in other words, ance to their national and individual wel. a reduction of one shilling duty on a re- fare; and that in the institution of the duction of two shillings gross price from authorities of the House, the Petitioners the average then fixed for the imposition behold that link which unites them to the of the new duty, as far as 20s. per hundred throne, and to the House, as the Repreweight,' such regulation to continue until sentatives of the people, they direct their the conclusion of a general peace; and confidence and expectations ; the immethat the Petitioners also beg leave to call diate connection of the House with those the attention of the House to the distresses whose suffrages have entrusted to them under which the coffee planters have la. the preservation of the interests of the Pe. boured for some time past, from the want of titioners, naturally emboldens them to a market for that article, in consequence look to their sympathy for commiseration, of which they have no other prospect be to their wisdom for direction, and to their fore them than that of ruin to themselves measures for redress; they will therefore and their families; and that, from these state, with respectful submission, the cirdistresses, during the continuance of the cumstances on which their claims to the war, the Petitioners see but one mode of attention of the House are founded, and, in relief, which is, to encourage, by every making this appeal to them, they are perpossible means, the consumption of coffee suaded, that not only are their own conin this country; and, in looking to this victions expressed, but the known undisobject, the Petitioners have found consi- guised and arowed convictions of thou. derable obstacles, not only in the still too sands in every part of the united empire; high rate of duty charged on coffee taken for and that the Petitioners reside in the most home consumption, but in the regulations populous of the manufacturing counties, which are adopted for the due collection and unhappily possess the means of accu. of that portion of the duty which is placed rately observing the effects of protracted under the superintendance of the board war and restricted commerce ; in ascerof excise, by obliging all retailers of taining those effects, it will be sufficient eoffee to take out licences for their stocks, for them to state the high price of all the and all purchasers to take permits for its necessaries of life, the unparalleled and removal from place to place; and praying long-continued reduction of wages, the the House to take the case of the Peti- frequent interruptions of labour, the con. tioners into consideration, and to pass a sequent difficulty of obtaining a bare subBill for levying the duties on sugar accord- sistence, the rapid advancement of paro. ing to the scale suggested by the Commit-chial rates, the increasing deficiencies in tee in the report referred to, for repealing the collection of assessed taxes, the exthe Excise duty now payable on British haustion of the little stores by which the plantation coffee taken for home consump- more laborious and provident formerly tion, and for removing the Excise regula- hoped to obtain a trifling elevation above tions on the sale and removal of coffee, or absolute poverty, the gradual disappearto adopt such other measures, adequate to ance of the middling classes, which are the permanent relief of the Petitioners in fast melting down into the lower orders of the premises, as to the House may seem the community, and the certain prospect meet.”
of evil still more injurious to the indivi. Ordered to lie upon the table.
dual sufferers, and to the interests of the
country at large; these are some of the HOUSE OF COMMONS.
consequences of that state of things which tioners pray that the House will take into the East India trade has been limited to immediate and dispassionate considera- an individual incorporation, in the metrotion; in thus adverting to the afflictive polis of the kingdom, should be annihiprivations of the poor, the Petitioners by lated when the present period of its monono means wish it to be inferred that they poly shall expire, and that, on the princiare the only sufferers; it must be obvious ples of liberal economy, the advantages 20 the House, that the unprecedented num- of that trade should be enjoyed without ber of failures and bankruptcies in the exclusion or limitation; but they espehigher departments of commercial society, cially entreat that measures towards ihe and in all its descending gradations, are pacification of Europe may become the immediately owing to those causes, which, subjects of the immediate deliberation of in their ultimate but severest operation, the House, who will thus obtain a truly affect the labouring and mechanical dignified elevation in being the first to classes; they could easily amplify this sheathe the sword when no object of utility general statement by a minule detail of can be effected, when war can be no painful events ; but the members of the longer subservient to that which is its only House are sufficiently acquainted with the legitimate object, the security of peace ; numerous and increasing accumulation of the House will thus obtain at least a tema facts in support of the account wbich bas porary cessation to the miseries and disa been presented ; what those causes are to tractions of a bleeding world, they will which evils of such enormity and magni-excite afresh the powerful energies of a tude may be traced, it is not difficult to commercial people, they will furnish emascertain; the Petitioners submit that they ployment and subsistence to an immense may be discovered in the impolicy which population at home, they will give stability suggested, adopted, and still continues un- and consolidation to our colonial depenrevoked, the Orders in Council, in the ab- dencies abroad, they will raise the tone of sence of conciliatory measures towards national character in the estimation of the United States, and in the want of surrounding countries, and connect the clear, prompt, and satisfactory explana- remembrance of our pacific achievements tions in diplomatic negociations with that with the gratitude and attachment of milcountry; but they are imperiously com- lions for whose weal they legislate, and pelled to specify what, in their apprehen- whose prosperity is inseparably combined sions, is the primary cause of their suffer- with our own; the Petitioners are aware ings; as natives of a country professing that an appeal to the feelings of sensibility, the Christian religion, they deplore the or the power of imagination, would be inmoral effects of war; as men, they la. congruous, but they humbly solicit the ment the miseries of their fellow-creatures; attention of the House to higher and as Britons, they feel convinced that war more definite principles; and that before is inimical to their interests; that its con
is so poignantly to be deplored, and the Friday, March 20.
causes and removal of which, the Peti.
the evils which now press so severely tinuance is more injurious to a commercial on the various classes of society are exa country, like our own, than to one which tended and multiplied beyond the possipossesses, within itself, greater physical bility of endurance, the Petitioners beseech resources; that the subjugation of the the House to investigate their causes, to enemy is more impracticable than ever; ascertain the effectual means of counteracand that bis power is more firmly com. tion, and, from motives of policy, patriotpacted by the opposition he has encoun- ism, and justice, to administer ihe approiered ; supported by these facts, in the priate remedies.' opinions they form of the consequences of Ordered to lie upon the table. the present war, the Petitioners feel the most urgent solicitude, arising from con- London Theatre Bill.] On the order victions which are every day confirmed of the day for the second reading of the and increased, that the House should di. Bill for erecting and maintaining a new rect its attention to the revocation of those Theatre for Dramatic Entertainments, decrees, which, in imitation of an ene- within the Cities of London and Westmy's policy, bave accomplished the ob- minster, or liberties thereof, ject of that policy instead of their own, Mr. Whitbread requested that the noble and which, by their continuance, present lord who had the conduct of the measure, the main obstacle to the amicable adjust- would put off the second reading until ment of differences with America; they Monday, in order to give an opportunity also submit, that the restrictions by which for a right hon, friend of bis. (Mr. Sheri
dan) who was indisposed, to be present at amusements, which was not, nor could not the discussion.
be the case under the present system of Lord Ossulston replied, that he did not monopoly. Indeed, the present monopofeel authorised to postpone the second lists had completely over-shot their mark reading of the Bill, and must therefore in their anxiety to accommodate the move that the Bill be now read a second greatest possible number of spectators. time.
They had built play-houses, in which a Mr. Peter Moore rose to give his decided great many could see, but no one could negative to the motion.
He was fully hear. The consequence was, that we could prepared to say, that no adequate ground no longer enjoy those admirable performwhatever had been laid for the proposi- ances which had been the delight of our tion now submitted. It had been said, ancestors, and were favourable io morals. that the population was greatly increased, Instead of them we had dogs, elephants but it could be proved that the enlarge- and horses introduced on the stage, to the ment of the theatres had more than cor- disgust of every rational man. Another responded with the real increase in the objection to theatrical monopoly was, want number of play-going people. An account of encouragement for meritorious perof the receipts and disbursements would formers. Now for instance, that Coventeven shew, that this number of late had garden was the only national theatre, no diminished, while on the contrary the ex- man, whatever might be his merit, could pences of representation had greatly aug. expect to be admitted into the company, mented. But there were other objections if the line of his profession interfered with to the Bill, inasmuch as it went to super- the parts allotted to Mr. Kemble, and in sede the royal prerogative of granting that case country theatres were his only licences for dramatic exoibition. The resources : on these grounds he would patents now existing had been granted for give his hearty assent to the Bill, or to any national purposes, and ought to be de. Bill for increasing the number of places of fended against the encroachments of those rational amusements, which he considered who, on the plea of an increased popula- as conducive to good morals. tion, were only seeking their own private Mr. Whitbread was sorry that the noble advantage. He concluded by moving, lord could not consent to put off his moThat the Bill be read a second time that tion, during the indisposition of his right day six months.
hon friend, who was so rauch interested in Lord Ossulston supported the Bill in a the question. He owned that he was, as speech of considerable length, but in a tone he had been represented by the noble lord, of voice altogether inaudible.
a most zealous promoter of the re-building Sir T. Turion opposed the Bill, as ill- of Drury-lane, solely through motives of timed, when Drury-lane was rising like a friendship, and of course he might be naphænix from its ashes. The delay men- turally expected to oppose the present tioned in the amendment, could not go the Bill. In the arduous task he had thus length of rejecting lotally the principle of undertaken, he had, however, received the Bill, but would give the House time to some encouragement from the speech of see, whether or no the public would be the hon. gentleman who spoke last, and well accommodated at Drury-lane; and provided Drury-lane could be built in the in case that establishment did not answer commodious way recommended by the the expectations which had been formed, hon. gentleman, and which he hoped then he firmly believed, that the Bill should be the case, he trusted that the hon. would not want support. He had no obe gentleman would recommend him some jection to new speculations in theatres, or of those excellent tragedians, which, acany thing else ; but, it should be recol. cording to him, were so easy to be found, lected, that the framers of the Bill had and which he probably kept behind the grounded their first application on the curtain until proper encouragement should improbability of Drury-lane being ever be offered. The hon. gentleman had comrebuilt, but now the progress in the re- plained, that in many parts of the town, construction had surpassed the most san- people were too far from the theatre. guine expectations. 'He should, in conse- This objection might be pushed a great quence, vote for the amendment.
way indeed, perhaps as far as to furnish a Mr. Holme Sumner maintained that the theatre to each particular individual, inhabitants of this vast metropolis had a Three years ago the House was petitioned right to be amply provided with rational for a third theatre, the petitions were the (VOL. XXII.)
referred to the crown, and their claims, | With respect to the introduction of horses after being considered by the Privy Coun- and elephants, was it not notorious, that cil, were rejected. Last year the peti- the taste of the people must be followed tioners came again to the House, on the sometimes as well as guided? Were not pretext that there was little or no chance the same complaints and censures made in of the restoration of Drury-lane theatre. the Augustan æra itself, and did we not If they would agree to wait another ses find Horace satirizing the introduction of sion, should that theatre be not then com- the very animal lately exhibited. • Sive pleted and open, he certainly would wave Elephas albas vulgi converteret ora.' all his objections to this Bill, and vote The greatest actor ihat ever lived, Mr. neither the one way or the other. If this Garrick, had resorted to the same expeBill should now pass, though it might not dients, and it ought not to be forgotten prevent, yet it would probably seem to that Mr. Kemble had done much for the retard the full restoration of the old stage in reviving many of our best dramas, theatre. It would tend to shake the confi- and particularly those of Shakespeare, in a dence of the public, and renew the diffi- style of unusual taste and splendour. As culties from which they had been recently an example he might advert to a play now extricated. They had already advanced acting, in which he himself performed the a great way, and there were but very few principal character with an excellence outstanding claims which were not in a which, if equalled, had never been surtrain of being satisfied. His noble friend passed. It had been said that young
canhad, he was sorry to say, refused to give didates for dramatic honours were not the very short delay of postponing his fairly treated. He was disposed to think motion till Monday next, when he might that if no monopoly existed, and no limit expect the attendance of a right hon. to the increase of theatres, the ambition gentleman peculiarly interested in the or vanity natural to new performers would question. He had not, however, to com- lead them all to assume principal characplain of any gentlemen within those walls, ters, and that we should have as many but he had to quarrel with those who had Hamlets as we could desire at 41. a week circulated gross misrepresentations with instead of 201. The consequence must be, out, affecting to know that of which they that we should have many bad actors and were quite ignorant, and perverting what not one good play. Under all these con. they did know. If the persons who were siderations, he should support the motion now speculating in a third theatre should for deferring the Bill to this day six succeed in their application, he had no months. doubt they would zealously oppose a fourth, Mr. Browne supported the Bill, and and talk of the violation of that property thought that those interested in Drury. which had been embarked under the sanc- lane theatre opposed this application with tion of parliament. With respect to what a very bad grace, when it was considered had been said, as to a redundancy of po- how much parliament had done for them, pulation, he presumed it would not be to get them out of their embarrassments. said that the theatres were not large Their monopoly alone would not have enough to receive the inhabitants of those enabled them to re-build their theatre, if parts to which they lay contiguous. But it had not been for the assistance of parthe terms of the Bill implied the whole liament. extent of London and Westminster. Were The House then divided on the amend. they sure that the city of London would ment, for postponing the second reading permit the erection within their precincts, to this day six months, which was carried or was it purposed to build it in the parish by a majority of 58 to 35. of Marybone. He apprehended that neither was the case, and that if built at all, this Prince Regent's MessAGE RESPECTING third theatre would be built in some situa- A ProvISION FOR THE PRINCESSES.] The tion not far removed from the scite of the Chancellor of the Exchequer presented old ones. The bon. gentleman who pre- the following Message from the Prince ceded him, had cast an imputation on Mr. Regent : Kemble, which was altogether unde- “ George P. R. served. He believed that he had never “ His royal highness the Prince Rebeen guilty of suppressing any talents, gent, in the name and on the behalf of distinguished as his own were among the his Majesty, thinks it necessary to acfirst that had ever adorned his profession. quaint the House of Communs, that in