HL Deb 15 March 1808 vol 10 cc1087-8

On the order of the day being read, for the third reading of this bill,

Lord Redesdale

renewed his former objections to it. His lordship in the course of his speech entered into a defence of himself against a charge made against him on a former evening, of political bigotry, and argued, that political bigotry was rather to be found amongst those who called themselves Friends of the People.

The Duke of Norfolk

defended the bill, Which he thought rather tended to support than to attack the king's prerogative.

Earl Grey

combated the arguments of lord Redesdale, and observed, that political bigotry consisted in a blind adherence to old notions, and bringing them forward in opposition to reform rendered necessary by an alteration of circumstances. From the arguments advanced by the noble and learned lord, he must, on the same principle he now urged, have opposed the abolition of the star chamber, as an innovation most dangerous to the constitution. The noble earl vindicated himself and his friends from the attack made upon the Friends of the People by the noble and learned lord, and observed, that he had always been and still remained the advocate of moderate and temperate reform; which he considered the best means of maintaining the constitution, and of averting the danger which might ultimately arise from long continued abuses.

Lord Hawkesbury

said, that the proposed amendments having been rejected by the committee, he must give the bill his decided negative.

The house then divided on the question, that the bill be read a third time:

Contents 26 Non-contents 69
Proxies 22—48 Proxies 59—128
Majority against the bill 80

[PROTEST.] "Dissentient, 1st, Because the bill does not in our opinion invade any of the legal prerogatives of the crown, or diminish any of its constitutional influence, but tends rather to secure both, by removing the temptation to negligence or abuse in the disposal of offices. 2d, Because it appears to us to be necessary in this and every other instance, to secure to the subjects of this country, suffering under the pressure of an unprecedented accumulation of taxes, the means of economical retrenchment, and reform of such offices, as can either be reduced in their emolument or entirely abolished, without injury to the dignity and powers of the crown, or to the interests of the public. 3d, Because with respect to places granted in reversion, all means of retrenchment and reform are taken away so long as the lives for which they are granted shall continue. 4th, Because reform and retrenchment in the public expenditure have been recommended to us from the throne, and because we are apprehensive, that the rejection of the present bill may be con- sidered by the people of the United Kingdom, as indicating a disposition in this house, not to give erect to that wise and salutary recommendation. (Signed), Essex, Jersey, Vassall Holland, King, Cowper, Ponsonby of Imokilly, Lauderdale Grey, Albemarle, Ponsonby, Stafford, Carrington."—"Dissentient for the 1st, 2d, and 4th reasons: Spencer, Clifton (Earl of Darnley)."