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of which was sanctioned by the highest names. He was far from wishing to see the House stand still upon questions of moral improvement, but he trusted that it would not be led away by the refinements of a spurious and false morality, which would seek to connect every tax with some deterioration of character among the people. For his own part, he believed that such views were not calculated to promote the real interests of virtue in society, Many abuses in the lottery system had been corrected; but if the details of individual life were to be gone into, no doubt some instances might be produced in which, by transactions of this nature, persons had brought suffering on themselves. But in every line and pursuit, imprudence or vice might be discovered, and were commonly followed by similar consequences. There was no branch of revenue which would remain, if its operation in sometimes leading to a voluntary sacrifice of individual happiness was to be considered as a sufficient condemnation of it. His right hon. friend was fully aware of the importance of public morality, and regarded it as one of the most sacred deposits with which a government could be entrusted; but he knew also that the strength of the country ought not to be sacrificed, that its revenue was its strength, and its strength the best security for its morals.
Mr. F. Douglas said, the House he hoped, would recollect, that it was conceded by ministers that they had no other way of raising the sum of 250,000l. than by adopting a measure, which tended to subvert the morals of the country. A right hon. gentleman had challenged those who opposed this tax to find a substitute for it. They had found substitutes for it-they had done so, four years ago, when they proposed a diminution of the army-they had done so on every occasion, when they called on ministers to adopt some measure of retrenchment. If their advice had been taken, ministers would not now have been compelled to defend this measure on such weak and futile grounds. The right hon. gentleman had complimented the chancellor of the exchequer on his virtues, and had complained, that an attempt had been made to cast ridicule upon him. He did not mean to ridicule those virtues for which the private character of the chancellor of the exchequer was said to be remarkable; but he begged leave to ob
serve, that, if such an attempt had been made, it was not peculiar to that side of the House from which he spoke; for he believed the right hon. gentleman who made the remark, had often indulged in the same propensity, at a time, indeed, when he was not the colleague of the present ministers. The chancellor of the exchequer, in arguing this question, threw himself on the commiseration of the House. He admitted all the evils to which the tax gave birth, but he pleaded the necessity of the state. The right hon. gentleman and the noble lord defended the measure, on the ground of its antiquity and its generality. But the slave trade was as old and as extensively patronised, before England took the first step towards its abolition, and declared that she would not be bound by precedent, where morality and justice were concerned. The noble lord said, that the drinking of spirits might produce all the evils which were derived from this mea sure. This was very true. The evil, in that case, however, flowed from the abuse; but the lottery was clearly an evil in itself. When gambling-houses were licensed abroad, the tax was laid on the keepers of them; but here the chancellor of the exchequer was himself the keeper of the gambling-house, and received the profits for the use of the
Mr. W. Williams deprecated in strong terms the encouragement of lotteries, as giving rise to a spirit of gambling, and tending to demoralize the lower classes of society. They were condemned as a nuisance by an act of king William, and he doubted, therefore, whether their antiquity could be very great. He strenuously supported the resolution.
Mr. Colclough said, that although a residence of five and twenty years on the continent might, in some degree, have affected his fluency, his sentiments on the subject of lotteries was perfectly unaltered. He recollected being asked by certain foreigners, in the year 1795, what price the public, in this country, paid for the lottery, and what benefit they were entitled to reap from it? On calculating, he found, that the lottery in England cost the public about one-third. He then looked to the Genoese lottery, which was introduced into France, and on which Mr. Professor Bertram, at Geneva, had written a very curious treatise. That lottery consisted of 90 numbers, of which
five were drawn every month, and those five numbers, as combined or taken separately, were prizes. This cost the public but one-fifth. He next examined the lottery of the Hanse Towns of Germany and of Switzerland, and he found the expense only one-tenth. Comparing this with the English lottery, which cost onethird, ministers could not maintain it on a financial principle. In Italy, the whole sum received was expended in prizes and the person claiming a prize, paid onetenth on receiving it at the office.
Mr. Ricardo supported the motion, and pointed out the evils which arose from the drawings of the lottery so often in the year. He quoted the resolutions of a society to which many of the ministers belonged, deprecating the lottery; and observed, that they were thus condemning, as individuals, the law which they came to support by their votes.
Mr. Tierney said, he would vote for this motion, not because it was brought forward by his hon. friend, or by any person who was in the habit of thinking as he did on political subjects; but deliberately, from the best consideration he could give the subject, connecting the morals of the country with its financial arrangements. He conceived so trifling a sum as 250,000l. was badly, not to say disgracefully purchased, by a measure which had so pernicious an effect on the morals, comfort, and peace of society. No man was less willing to take from the resources of the country than he was, knowing the greatness of the expenditure, and nothing but the immoral effect of this tax could induce him to call for its abolition. The sum was trifling; and, if the ordinary loan for the year were to be 20,000,000l. there could be no great difficulty in adding 250,000l. to it. The right hon. gentleman said, that those who opposed the tax ought to find a substitute for it. That was not the case; but, if there were an addition of this kind made to the loan, they certainly were bound not to oppose it. The president of the board of control had said, that the chancellor of the exchequer was not to be charged with any evils that flowed from the lottery system. He denied the position; for lotteries now were very different from what they had been. The same right hon. gentleman said, the chancellor of the exchequer would have no objection to withdraw the sixteenth shares. But he was sure the right hon. gentleman would
not agree to any such thing. What he greatly objected to was, that the right hon. gentleman left the arrangement of the lotteries solely to the contractors, who were at liberty to deal out the prizes just as they thought fit. It was a singular thing, that this was the only measure that had been brought forward on which his majesty's ministers acted together. The question was, the morality of the country in one scale, and the money in another; and on this point ministers were all agreed. "Take the money," said they," and let morality provide for itself." But the chancellor of the exchequer had gained a great prize-he had drawn a prize more pleasing to him than the 250,000/-he had excited the admiration of the president of the board of control!-He advised him, however, not to be too much elated; for he rather thought, if the right hon. gentleman embarked in that little-go he would live to repent it [A laugh!].
Mr. Huskisson said, that under the present plan of the lottery there were only 12 days of drawing, however they might be divided; but under the old plan there were 40 days of drawing in London, besides another lottery with 40 days drawing in Dublin, and in each place insurances were effected on the lottery in the other. The evil of these insurances was, as had been proved to a committee of the House, fifty-fold as great as those which arose out of the lottery itself, and it was on that account that the present system was adopted. He argued, that the rage for gambling was not created by the lottery, but would, if the lottery were abolished, break out in some other direction; that the evils of smuggling were as great as those of the lottery, and might also be remedied by abolishing all taxes. It was easy to say, add 250,000l. to the loan. When it was proposed to abolish the window tax in Ireland, it might be said, add 300,000l. to the loan; but the persons who lent their money would expect to have their interest paid, and the question still remained, How the necessities of the country were to be supplied?
Mr. Lyttelton replied. He said, it would be impertinent in him to attempt to add any thing to the forcible arguments which the House had heard against the lottery. He had not appealed to the virtue of the right hon. the chancellor of the exchequer, or founded his argument on his character as a man of piety. He had purposely abstained from such appeal,
and he wished it to be so understood. The report of the committee in 1809, of which the late Mr. Whitbread was chairmain, stated the lottery to have been productive of" idleness, dissipation, and madness." Was the tax which produced such evils to be compared to the leather tax? He called upon the House to put stop to what destroyed the morals of the country, and would finally destroy its The House then divided. Ayes, 84; Noes, 133. The other Resolutions were negatived without a division.
List of the Minority.
Abercromby, hon. J.
Colburne, N. R.
Kennedy, T. F.
Morland, sir S. B. Macleod, Rod. Monck, sir C. Mildmay, P. St. John Manning, Wm. Newport, sir John Ord, Wm. Parnell, sir H. Parnell, Wm. Plunkett, rt. hon. W. Philips, George Philips, Geo. jun. Phillipps, C. M. Price, Robt. Primrose, hon. F. Phillimore, Jos. Power, Rd. Palmer, C. F. Prittie, hon. F. A. Pares, Thos. Ridley, sir M. W. Ricardo, David Sefton, earl of Smith, Sam. Stewart, Wm. Tierney, right hon. G. Thorp, John Thos. Waithian, Robt. Wilberforce, W. Wood, Matthew Williams, Wm. Whitbread, W. Walpole, hon. G. Williams, sir R. Wodehouse, hon. col. Wilkins, Walter Wilson, sir Robt. White, Luke
TELLERS. Lyttelton, hon. W. Bennet, hon. H. G.
Duncannon, lord Mackintosh, sir J. Hughes, W. L. Madocks, W.
HOUSE OF LORDS.
PETITIONS FOR AND AGAINST THE
CLAIMS OF THE ROMAN CATHOLICS.] The Bishop of London presented petitions against the Catholic claims from the archdeaconries, of Colchester, Essex, Middlesex, and St. Alban's; and from the clergy of the city of London. The reverend prelate observed, that the petitioners had uniformly expressed themselves desirous that every degree of toleration consistent with the safety of the church and state should be granted to the Roman Catholics and Dissenters of every description; but they wished to guard against any concessions, by which the security of our establishments might be endangered.
The Earl of Donoughmore rose to present a number of petitions from Ireland, with which he had been intrusted. They were chiefly from their lordships Catholic fellow subjects, who prayed that they might be completely raised from the state of degradation in which unjust laws had placed them, and relieved from the unfair exclusions and deprivation of civil rights which they continued to experience. It would not be proper for him to enter into the merits of the question on the present occasion; but with respect to the petitioners themselves, he could with truth say, that they represented the sentiments of the whole of the Roman Catholic population of Ireland. They were couched in language which was respectful to the legislature, and becoming for the peti tioners to offer. From the petitions which had already been presented, and which remained to be offered, it appeared that the number of applications in favour of the Catholics increased, while those against them diminished. The number of petitions to parliament praying that the Catholic claims might not be granted, were few and weak, compared with those which had been presented on former occa. sions, notwithstanding extraordinary endeavours had been made to procure petitions hostile to the Catholics. An attempt had even been made in the city of Dublin to array his majesty's forces against his majesty's Catholic subjects, by procuring the signatures of the military to a peti tion. These attempts were, however, counteracted by the petitions of large bodies of Protestants in different parts of Ireland. He had a petition to offer to
their lordships in favour of the Catholics | been on any occasion an application made from the city of Cork: one had already to their lordships which was more intitled been presented from the city of Dublin, to their serious consideration. It was not signed by the lord mayor himself, and necessary, nor was this the fit time, for persons of the first consideration in that him to repeat the arguments he had city. Having said this much, he should formerly urged for inducing their lordproceed to present the petitions. ships to acquiesce in the prayer of this would not trouble their lordships by the petition; nor should he in any degree reading of the whole: as they were all anticipate what properly belonged to the couched in proper terms, and had all the discussion of the question of which his same object, it would be sufficient to hear noble friend near him had given notice. one or two of them at length. The first He would only now say, that the truth of petition was signed by lord Fingal, by sir the opinions on this subject, which he had Thomas Esmond, the first baronet of Ire- so often unsuccessfully urged, became by land; and by a great number of persons every thing which had passed over his of rank and fortune. Another petition head, by every consideration he gave to was signed by a name of great weight the question, more deeply impressed on and respectability in Ireland-he meant his mind. And though the English Mr. Owen O'Connor. The noble lord | Catholics had hitherto been unsuccessful then presented petitions from the Roman in their applications for relief from the Catholics of Dublin, Roscommon, Cork, oppressions under which they labour, Tipperary, Waterford, Monaghan, Done- he was not without hope that they would gal, and Cavan, and about 20 more peti- finally and speedily succeed. This hope tions from other places. He also prewas founded, not only in the conduct of the Catholics themselves, but in the conviction that the opponents of their claims daily diminished. Those who had hitherto been most hostile to the Catholics were ready to acknowledge their merits as fellow subjects. Indeed, who could deny their loyalty and attachment to the constitution, their liberal employment of the wealth they possess, or forget that many of them were the descendants of men who had contributed to give lustre to the brightest periods of British history? Many pernicious doctrines which had been attributed to the Catholics were now admitted to have been improperly urged as grounds of exclusion. It was admitted by a noble earl, whom he saw in his place, that the doctrine and moral character of the Roman Catholics afforded no reason for refusing the prayer of their petition; and it was now acknowledged that the whole question turned upon the point of foreign supremacy. It was contended that the Catholics were incapable of giving a full and perfect allegiance in a country where the king is the head of the church as well as of the state. This objection, he doubted not, would also in its turn give way to the progress of reason, and the increase of information on the subject. He was encouraged in entertaining this hope, not only from the advantage which had been gained by the Catholic cause from the admission to which he had alluded, but from the recollection of a measure of very considerable relief having
sented one from the Protestant freemen, freeholders, and inhabitants of the city of Cork, praying the repeal of all civil disabilities which operate against the Roman Catholics.
Earl Grey rose in consequence of its being once more his duty to present to their lordships the petition of a most respectable class of individuals, praying to be relieved from the oppression of many penal laws to which they were subject, for no other reason than a conscientious adherence to the religion in which they had been educated. They, therefore, again came forward to request that their case might be taken into consideration, and that they might be permitted to enjoy the full benefit of the British constitution, in common with their Protestant fellow subjects. This was, in nearly the same words, the same request which was humbly and respectfully made three years ago, and which he then had the honour of submitting to their lord ships. The present petition was also signed by the same description of persons, namely, the nobility, gentry, great landholders, and clergy of the Roman Catholic religion. It would be found, as he was instructed to state, to contain a faithful representation of the Roman Catholics of England; and whether this petition was regarded with respect to the character of the parties from which it came, the nature and object of the prayer, or the time at which it was presented, there never had
leges of the British constitution. And what time could be more propitious to the performance of such an act of justice than the present? The head of that religion, so long placed under the power of a military and ambitious chief, and therefore represented as likely to exercise a dangerous influence in this country, had been restored to his temporal authority chiefly by British efforts. All apprehension on that ground was therefore done. away; and it was to be presumed that gratitude to this country would induce the head of the Catholic church to accede to every regulation which might be found necessary for the security of this country. Fully correspondent with this state of the Catholics were the sentiments and feelings of the most enlightened portion of their Protestant fellow subjects towards them. His noble friend had presented a petition numerously and respectably signed by Protestants in Ireland in favour of the Catholic claims.. Many other petitions to the same effect had come from different quarters. In this country the cause which he advocated was rapidly gaining ground, and their lordships could not overlook what had happened on Monday night in another place, where a motion in favour of the Catholics had been lost only by a majority of two. This was a decision which could not fail to recommend most strongly the prayer of these petitions to their lordships serious consideration. The peace, he trusted, would be of long duration; but their lordships surely could not have forgotten the many embarrassments which had, during the late contest, been experienced in consequence of the divi sions that subsisted in the country. He hoped that the prospect of war was remote; but, as statesmen, they could not avoid looking forward to the possibility of such an event. With France on the one side, and America on the other, would it be wise to expose ourselves to all the evils of internal discontent, along with the chances of war with either of these powers? Who could be certain that the refusal to listen to just demands might not some time or other produce move. ments of despair? Such a result was consistent with human nature. He wished, therefore, to impress it on their lordships consideration, whether it would be wise to defer to such a period the making a at the
would be received as a boon. The measure would then lose all the grace with
already been conceded by parliament. Their lordships might remember, that, in 1816, on the last occasion when he had the honour to present a petition from the English Catholics, he had stated a case of great hardship which had occurred in the naval service. He alluded to the case of captain Wright-a gentleman, who, after six of his brothers had fallen in the cause of their country, had at last, by a long service and his own merits, obtained the appointment of master and commander. But from this reward so dearly purchased he could reap no advantage, without taking an oath which amounted to the abjuration of his religion. When he had stated this case, the hardship was generally acknowledged; and, in 1817, a noble viscount on the opposite side introduced a bill for the relief of Roman Catholic officers of the army and navy, by putting them on the same footing with other dissenters who are relieved from their disabilities as a matter of course, as regularly as the year comes round. He had seen with great satisfaction the silent progress of this measure, which passed without any opposition. He felt the more gratification at seeing this measure pass unopposed, when he found it to be in substance and effect neither more nor less than that for the proposing of which the administration of 1807 went out of office. He stated this for no other reason than to show, that strong prejudices, resting on grounds which reason could not avow, were sure to be ultimately overcome, and to warn their lordships not to admit, with out inquiry, assertions of the impropriety of granting relief to the petitioners; for from what had happened, they must see that the same measure which was at one time asserted to be fraught with the greatest danger to the church and state, might be granted at another as an act not only of justice but of security. This measure had certainly afforded great relief to Catholics in general; but the English Catholics, whose petition he was about to present, still remained subject to several oppressive laws, from the operation of which their fellow subjects in the sister kingdom were free. That the Roman Catholics of both countries should be placed on the same footing was what he believed no reasonable man would deny. But it was not for that degree of relief he should for looked forward nothing less than the admission of that unjustly oppressed class to all the privi