HL Deb 26 June 1806 vol 7 cc834-6

On the question for the third reading of the Temple-Bar and Hill Lottery bill,

The Duke of Norfolk rose ,

and expressed a variety of objections against the measure. The bill in question arose out of circumstances which had nothing to do with the real principle of a lottery, and would go to extend an injurious spirit of gaining among all ranks of people. There were now no less than three regular state lotteries, which the exigencies of the state, and the financial benefits derived therefrom, were grounds for tolerating. There were, however, other grounds, but of rare occurrence, on which he deemed an expedient of the kind not objectionable. He meant, in cases of rare or costly works of art or ingenuity, where the parties were not able to procure a sale or market for them, save by an extraordinary or peculiar measure of this nature. But, to enable persons who speculated in buildings, and which they might not be able, from a variety of circumstances, to dispose of, to come forward to parliament for a lottery to assist them, was what he could not approve of. The case of Mr. alderman Boydell's lottery being one upon the rarely-occurring principle he had alluded to,he offered no objection to it, but the present measure was one of a very different description. His grace then adverted to some points which had transpired in the committee on the bill; and proceeded to observe, that the present bill would almost to a certainty, generate a future application for another lottery, inasmuch as it was intended to extend these improvements to the south side of St. Clement's church, which now were only carried into effect on the north. Upon the whole, he saw no adequate grounds for the parties coming forward to parliament for a lottery, in the present case. He would, therefore, give his negative to the measure.

The Lord Chancellor ,

much as her espected whatever fell from his noble friend, certainly differed from him materially, on the present occasion: the lottery proposed by the present bill, was undoubtedly one of that description, in which the lower orders of the people could not venture, and therefore it was impossible it could operate injuriously with respect to them. On the contrary, those who would speculate in the lottery proposed by the bill in question, or were persons of some property or substance, engaged in some beneficial branch of trade, With respect to what the noble duke observed relative to lotteries in favour of the disposal of rare and costly works of art, he cordially agreed with his noble friend. In the case of the Boydells, for instance, in the then state of things, there was no hope whatever for a mart or issue for such articles, particularly upon the continent, where many of the prints or pictures used to be disposed of at the great fairs. As things then stood, they might as well expect to sell so many cobwebs, as pictures. It was, therefore, necessary to have recourse to the expedient of a lottery to enable the worthy proprietors to dispose of the valuable articles alluded to. With respect to the case of Bowyer's history of England, the principle was the same. The history of such a country as England must be valuable; and to have that history illustrated in the splendid manner of the history alluded to, highly desirable. To a certain extent, this principle certainly applied to buildings, in cases where great improvements, or ornamental decorations were included. In the present case both these estimable objects were united. The speculation was entered into with such a share and mixture of public spirit, as did the projectors great credit. Much of what the parties had to complain of arose from sudden breaking out of the war, by which the prices of all materials were greatly increased, and those of labour in a still higher proportion; so that it was impossible the parties could go on without plunging into gulph of bankruptcy. On these grounds, he submitted to his noble friend, whether he would carry his disapprobation so far, as not to yield to the consideration of unavoidable circumstances; besides the bill had been sent up from the commons, and had passed through every stage among their lordships, save this very last. He would again submit to the noble duke, whether it would not be better to consider the observations he had made as a kind of caveat in future against applications of the kind, from mistaken or interested speculations? The ruin of the parties might be the consequence of the rejection of the bill; of men who had come forward with a degree of public spirit, in an undertaking tending to improve and beautify two important avenues in this great metropolis, and which circumstance redounded to their honour. For his part at his advanced time of life he should rather wish to see these improvements hastened than retarded, in order that he might see some of them carried to perfection. On the whole, his sentiments of the measure were such, as fully to justify him in urging their lordships to pass the bill.

The question was then put and the bill read a third time.