HC Deb 21 June 1815 vol 31 cc915-8

The House resolved itself into a Committee of Supply, in which

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

said, it was known to the Committee, that by the supplemental engagement at Chaumont, this country had engaged to maintain 75,000 men on the Continent, during a year after the conclusion of the Treaty of Paris, or to pay a certain sum towards the maintenance of a force by the Allies. The sum required to comply with this engagement was 355,000l. The subsidiary payments to Austria also had not been completed. These sums together would amount to about 1,631,000l.; but as the payments were to be made in foreign money, which would vary according to the state of the exchange, the sum which he should propose to the Committee at present was 1,451,000l. He accordingly moved a vote of 1,451,000l. to provide for subsidiary engagements with foreign Powers previous to the year 1815.—Agreed to.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

then proposed a vote of 10,000l. for the extension and improvement of the public buildings of the University of Edinburgh. This vote, he said, was due to this body, as a mark of the gratitude of the country for the benefit derived from that establishment by the numerous medical gentlemen whom the army and navy had received from it; and an additional claim was given on account of the want of room, principally for the library, which had greatly increased in extent.

Mr. Wynn

did not disapprove of the vote; but observed, that as the ground for it was said to be the extension of the library, it was material to observe how that had taken place. It was by a rigorous exactment from Stationers-hall of a copy of every book entered there. A list of these books had been laid before the House—among them was "The Epicure's Calendar, or the Almanack of Good Living"—as the University intended, as appeared from their demand for a copy of this book, to extend its studies to that science, it might apply, perhaps, for a vote for the erection of a room to carry on a practical course in this branch of knowledge. It was said, on a former occasion, that it was an insult to the Universities to suppose that they would sell the books which they exacted from the publishers; but it was equally an insult to their taste, to suppose they could load their shelves with every book that was published. If the call for every book published was persisted in, he should, in the next session, move for an account off the disposal of these books.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

allowed, that it would be a great abuse of the Act of Parliament if the books demanded under it were sold; bat he should be surprised if any such practice was found to exist.

Mr. Giddy

observed, that when the present Act was in progress through the House, it was held out as an inducement to members to agree to the Bill, that the privileged bodies would not rigorously exact copies of all books published; but the Universities of Cambridge, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh, and St. Andrew's and Trinity College, had required a copy of every book published, and Oxford and Sion College had given notice that they should in future make the same demand. He, however, heartily approved of the grant, and recommended that the buildings should be made fire-proof. It was to be regretted that the British Museum was not in that condition.

Sir Egerton Brydges

complained of the oppression under which booksellers laboured, and thought it required the attention of Parliament.

Mr. Horner

hoped that care would be taken for the due application of the money thus voted. Not only architects should be consulted, but also the professors of the several branches of science, whose accommodation ought to be particularly consulted.

Mr. W. Dundas

agreed in this opinion, and felt assured that the suggestion would be attended to.

Mr. W. Smith

congratulated the country on the mental improvement so visible. He looked back to the time when such a grant would have been refused, and contemplated with great satisfaction the anxiety now so prevalent to afford every assistance to literature.

The Resolution was then agreed to.

Mr. V. Fitzgerald

proposed a vote of 3,373l. for the Depôt barracks at Cork.—Agreed to.

Mr. Horner

took the opportunity of observing, that the encouragement given to emigration from Scotland, had been productive of pernicious consequences in that country, by depriving the country of many useful hands, and by producing disquietude among people who before had been perfectly satisfied with their condition. He instanced the estates of a noble friend of his in the north of Scotland. He was happy to hear that those encouragements were not continued, but it would be proper that a distinct declaration to that effect should be made. A more pressing cause for his having brought the subject before the House was, that many of the persons who had applied to emigrate, had been kept in the sea-ports from April to the present time, and had consumed the little stores they had collected by labour, as the means of establishing themselves in the New World. One man with nine children, who had saved fifty guineas, was kept at Glasgow with his family till his store was consumed, and was now obliged to subsist on charity. Something would, he hoped, be done for these persons.

Mr. Goulburn

said, that no encouragement had been given to emigration; but as the danger in which Canada was during the last war, had arisen from its scanty population, the object of the Government was merely to divert those determined to emigrate from the United States, and change their destination to his Majesty's possessions. As many transports-were to have been sent out to bring home out troops after the conclusion of the war, that circumstance was taken advantage of; but the change of circumstances had changed the destination of those transports, and the facilities were not continued. So far from any undue encouragement being given, the Government demanded a sum for passage-money, and out of thousands who had applied, only 86 families persisted when they knew the terms. As to those who were waiting in Glasgow for the departure of the transports, they had an adequate daily allowance from the day of their arrival there.

Lord Binning

was glad that an explanation had been given, and hoped no encouragement would be given to emigration.

Mr. Horner

said, the measures taken for diverting emigration from one place to another, were necessarily encouragements to emigrants in general.

The House resumed, and the Report was ordered to be brought up to-morrow.