HC Deb 20 May 1835 vol 27 cc1290-1

Sir James Graham moved the second reading of the Seamen Enlistment Bill. He was aware that it was the intention of the hon. Member for Sheffield to take the sense of the House upon one point of the Measure; but as that hon. Gentleman had determined to postpone the Motion to that effect, of which he had given notice, until another stage of the Bill, he (Sir James Graham) was sure that the House would agree with him in the propriety of postponing any observations on the subject until that stage.

Mr. Wallace

objected to the principle of the Bill altogether. He could never consent to the sanction of that House being given to the clause, declaring that Impressment was part of the law of the land. It was a practice to which no class whatever of his Majesty's subjects should be liable; but if any one class were to be liable to it, all classes should be so. He was persuaded that in the event of a war, it would be impossible to enforce Impressment, without the occurrence of scenes which it made the blood curdle to think of. The sentiments which he felt and expressed on this subject, were in strict conformity to those of his constituents.

Mr. Buckingham

observed that he had given notice of an Amendment on the second reading of the Bill, but it had since occurred to him that it would come with more propriety at another stage of the Measure. He entirely agreed with the honourable Member who had just spoken; and he would now give notice that on the Motion for the Bill's going into the Committee he would move that it be an instruction to the Committee to omit all that part of the Bill which gave any legal power to the Crown to enforce the practice of Impressment against any class of his Majesty's subjects.

The Bill read a second time.