HC Deb 07 March 1808 vol 10 cc922-3
The Speaker

acquainted the house that he had received a letter from brigadier-general sir S. Achmuty, dated the 4th inst. in answer to one from him, transmitting the Resolutions of the house of the 16th of April last. He then read the Letter, which contained a brief but neat acknowledgment to the house, for the distinguished honour they had conferred on the general, on brigadier-general Lumley, and on the officers and troops composing the army that attacked Monte Video, all of whom felt highly grateful for this mark of the approbation of their fellow-subjects, thus conveyed to them through the medium of their representatives.—Mr. Simeon brought up the report of the Grampound Election committee, which declared the election for that borough to be null and void.—Mr. Wilberforce brought op the report of the Newcastle-under-Line Election Committee, which stated that the sitting members were duly elected, and that the petition that had been presented against them was not frivolous or vexatious.—Mr. Parnell presented a Petition from the Freeholders of the Queen's County, praying for a Commutation of Tittles. He observed, that the freeholders of that county amounted to 4,000; that this petition expressed the unanimous sense of the county, being no party business whatever; that it was signed by several beneficed clergymen, and that every clergyman with whom he had conversed on the subject, had declared his decided approbation of the object which the petitioners sought. He trusted, therefore, that the petition would meet with that attention from the house to which it was entitled, for he was convinced, that no measure that could be proposed would tend more effectually to allay the discontents in Ireland, than the commutation of the tithes of that country. Under this impression he gave notice, that if his majesty's ministers should not take up this subject, he would, on an early day after the recess, move that that petition be referred to a committee of the whole house: he would delay his motion, because he understood that several other petitions of a similar nature were in preparations, and particularly from some of the Grand Juries.—The Petition Was ordered to lie on the table.—On the motion of sir F. Burdett it was ordered, That there be laid before this house, an Account of the total sum issued under Warrants from his majesty, out of the registry of the Court of Admiralty, being proceeds of Droits of Admiralty, or of Droits of the Crown, since the 1st of Jan. 1792, to the latest period to which the same can be made out; and also of the Balance of the Registry, arising from the said Droits.

MUTINY BILL.]—The Mutiny Bill was read a second time, and on the motion, that it be committed to-morrow,

The Secretary at War

gave notice, that a noble friend of his would to-morrow in the committee move a clause to empower the enlisting men for life.

Sir John Newport

expressed his surprise, that a measure which was to undo the effect of the whole military system which had obtained the sanction of the legislature, was to be brought forward in the shape of a clause in the committee.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

saw nothing improper in the mode in which the alteration proposed was intended to be introduced by his noble friend, for two reasons; in the first place, because there was no other way in which it could be done; and secondly, because the change of system which had been introduced by a right hon. gent. (Mr. Windham) had been done precisely in the same way, namely, in a committee on the Mutiny Bill.

Mr. Calcraft

contended that it might have been done, if not in a different way, at least at an earlier period, so that the house might have had an opportunity of frequently debating the question.

Mr. Windham,

who entered the house shortly after, asked, whether it was true, that notice had been given of certain clauses to be inserted in the Mutiny Bill, the effect of which would be to overturn the military system which had been adopted some time ago?—On being answered by the Secretary at War, that some clauses altering the system of recruiting were to be proposed, he gave notice, that he would oppose them in every stage of the bill.