HC Deb 29 April 1812 vol 22 cc1119-20
Mr. Lockhart

moved the order of the day for the third reading of this Bill.

Sir W. Curtis

said, the principle of this Bill was such, as to call for general approbation; yet there were clauses in it which, in his opinion, would completely overbalance any good effects which might result from it. He should, therefore, give his vote against its passing into an act.

Mr. Wilberforce

said, he was really going to see whether the opposition of the worthy alderman was given with a grave face or not. He saw it was, although he observed a smile on the countenance of the worthy alderman, at which he was not surprized, when he recollected that the only objection which induced him to oppose the progress of the Bill was, the fact of there being no exemption of the Charities of the city of London. He begged to assure the hon. member, that there was not the slightest suspicion entertained of the honour of the different guilds of the city of London; but if they were exempted from registering their donations, the same privilege would be claimed by other corporations, and the great object of the Bill would be defeated. Indeed, such claims had actually been made from Bristol and other places, but they had been studiously resisted, as interfering with the main principle of the measure.

Mr. Lockhart

expressed his surprize at the objection which had been urged by the hon. baronet. The more especially when he considered that there had been but one single petition presented against the Bill, and that from the Merchant Taylors' Company; which, while it approved of the principle of the Bill, objected to provisions therein which did not in reality exist. The regulations proposed were extremely simple, and such as no honest man could fairly dissent from.

Mr. Wrottesky

stated, that he had received a letter from the Merchant Taylors' Company, calling upon him to oppose the Bill, as unwise and unnecessary; but on examining its merits, so far was he from concurring in the opinion that it was unwise or unnecessary, that he conceived it of great importance, and likely to be productive of the utmost benefit to the public, as it would prevent those abuses in the disposition of charitable donations which had so long existed with impunity. He should give it all the support in his power.

Sir James Graham

conceived the Bill wholly unnecessary, and only calculated to put money in the pockets of the persons with whom the registries were to be made.

Mr. Thompson

supported the Bill.

Mr. Herbert

wished that royal hospitals should be exempted.

Sir W. Curtis

said, the objection to the Bill did not arise with the corporation of London, but with the twelve companies.

The question being then called for, the House divided—For the Bill 32; Against it 11; Majority 21. The Bill was then read a third time, and passed.