HL Deb 21 January 1819 vol 39 cc20-35

The Prince Regent's Speech having been again read by the Lord Chancellor, and also by the reading clerk at the table,

The Earl of Warwick

said, that in rising to require the concurrence of their lordships in the points contained in the Prince Regent's most gracious speech, he felt no inconsiderable reluctance, from a consciousness of his own inability to treat on such important subjects in a suitable manner; but he was encouraged by the assurance, that it required no very able advocate to secure their unqualified assent to the address he should hare the honor to move, where every topic, save those with which the speech commenced, was calculated to excite feelings of gratification. The lamented indisposition of his majesty had ever been a cause of sorrow to their lord-ships; the continuance of it, therefore could not fail to call forth the sincerest expression of their sympathy. They had also now to pay the mournful tribute of their sorrow to the memory of her late majesty, who, for so long and so eventful a period, had presided over the court of Great Britain, adorning it by her eminent virtues, and preserving its purity by her own proud example. During that period, the court of this country was the object of universal esteem and admiration; and now that it had lost her presence, by whom its character had been so highly elevated, it became every person in the country to mourn that event as one that claimed their deepest regret.—He then alluded to the other points touched upon in the speech from the throne, and observed, that on whichever side their lord-ships turned their attention, whether foreign or domestic, the whole scene presented a most cheering prospect. In adverting to the negotiations at Aix-la-Chapelle, he could not but rejoice that the result had been such as to prove the con-cord and agreement subsisting between the sovereigns of Europe, from which; added to the evacuation of France by the army of occupation, under the circum stances in which it had taken place, the most pleasing anticipation might be formed of the continuance of tranquillity in Europe—a result which could scarcely have been looked forward to some time since, but which was the more pleasing, and so much the more a subject of congratulation to the Prince Regent, whose only object had been the happiness of the country. And it was so much the more a pleasing subject for congratulation, that the only object of the great contest in which we had been so long engaged, and which had so happily terminated, had been the welfare and tranquillity of the country. Had it been a warfare, the result of which was merely to gratify individual ambition, then, indeed, the bloodshed at Waterloo would have been shed in vain. As the contrary, however, was the case, the contest was carried on to secure the tranquillity, uphold the justice, and support the best interests of the country; and it was a proud and gratifying reflection, that by our high deeds in arms, the happiest result had been achieved, and that by means of the subsequent negotiations, there was every reason to anticipate for a, considerable time to come, the continuance of peace and tranquillity throughput Europe. Whilst Europe thus afforded a pleasing subject for contemplation, no less gratifying was our prospect in Asia, Where our Indian possessions had been amply secured by means of the judicious measures of the marquess of Hastings, and the valour of our troops. In America we had the gratification of finding that a renewal of our treaty with the United States had taken place, and that the other subjects in discussion between the two powers had been satisfactorily arranged. All their lordships must, of course, rejoice in the improvement of our revenue, and in the increase of our commerce and manufactures, which was announced in the speech from the throne. Having now gone through all the topics which presented themselves to his notice, he had only to conclude by moving a dutiful address to his royal highness the Prince Regent.—His lordship then read the Address at the table; which was, as usual, an echo of the speech from the throne.

Lord Saltoun rose

to second the address, and observed, that after what had been said by the noble earl, he did not think it necessary to take up much of their lordships' time; but in what he did say, he trusted to receive their usual indulgence. In adverting to the melancholy topic of the demise of the queen, although he could not add to what had been already said by his noble friend, he felt himself called upon to eulogize, as they eminently deserved, the private and domestic virtues of her late majesty, which had had, as an example, so highly beneficial an influence, but which also, at a time when demoralization had spread its baneful effects in a neighbouring country, became a splendid and a memorable example to Europe; nor ought the extensive charities of her majesty to be passed over—charities which, little known during her life-time, had become fully and eminently displayed after her demise. He would not take up the time of their lordships in commenting upon the important treaty concluded at Aix-la-Chapelle: when the papers themselves were laid upon their lordships 'table, it would be time enough to discuss their merits in a full and ample manner. It remained only for him at this moment to congratulate their lordships on the conclusion of such a treaty, and to express an ardent hope, that the peace which followed it would be as substantial as it was advantageous to the country. France was now independent of all control, and her king was beloved by his people. The army of occupation was removed; and he believed that it would be acknowledged on all hands, that the manner in which the military had conducted themselves had been highly praiseworthy. Peace and tranquillity was now looked for on every side; and he saw no reason to doubt, but that the French nation were equally anxious with the English for the continuance of tranquillity. After commenting upon the amicable spirit which had been displayed by the cabinet at Washington, and after congratulating the House upon the many advantages which would result from the commercial treaty concluded with America, he adverted to the war in India. A series of depredations, which had been committed by the inimical powers, rendered it necessary that some decisive steps should be taken to quell their audacious spirit. This had been effected by the most brilliant achievements, and the war had now been happily terminated. He then congratulated the House upon the prosperous state of the manufactures and commerce of the country, and upon the important reductions which had been made in the military and naval establishments, and concluded with seconding the Address.

The Marquis of Lansdowne

did not feel himself called upon to offer any opposition to the address, which had been supported with great propriety by his noble relation who moved it, as well as by the noble lord who seconded it. It was with great satisfaction he made this declaration, because, painful as it was at all times to oppose an address to the throne, it would have been infinitely more painful to have resorted to such a course on the present occasion, when part of the proposed address consisted of condolence on an event, with respect to which there could be but one sentiment in that House. In giving a general concurrence to the address, he, however, regarded himself bound at the same time to state a few considerations which the communication from the throne presented to his mind, not as objections to the motion now made, but as having reference to topics which had been omitted. Those topics were numerous; but as the framers of the communication had, among the various subjects which presented themselves, selected only what they perhaps thought the most important, so he might be permitted to follow the same course in calling their lordships' attention to the omission. He must, however, previously observe, in reference to that part of the address which offered congratulations on the maintenance of the peace and tranquillity of Europe, that he participated in all the sentiments expressed by the mover and seconder. In what degree the hope of the duration of that peace might be well founded, he could not venture to give a positive opinion, until the relations of the states which formed that balance of power by which the peace was to be maintained should be better known. He was ready to admit, that our relations with at least one great member of the alliance appeared at present to be such as were favourable to tranquillity; but what he chiefly relied upon for the continuance of that blessing was the state of France. He therefore most sincerely concurred in all that was stated in the address relative to the evacuation of the French territory. He rejoiced to see France restored to her proper rank in the system of Europe; for he was one of those who were of opinion, that it was impossible to rely on the continuance of peace if that country remained long in the state in which it was left by the late treaty of Paris. He was happy to find that the principle of rendering France a member of the great European confederacy was adopted that was a course of policy which the state of Europe required. It was also with much pleasure that he perceived what had been done by treaty, well seconded in France by the adoption of a system of internal policy best calculated to give popularity to the government which wisely sought its preservation and security, by the establishment of those free institutions on which the happiness and prosperity of the country must ultimately depend, For these reasons, he relied for the continuance of peace, far more on the state of France itself, than on relations subsisting between this and other countries.—Having said thus much with respect to the treaty concluded at Aix-la-Chapelle, he could not dismiss the subject without adverting to another point of great importance connected with these negotiations. The communication from the throne would have afforded him infinitely more satisfaction had the information respecting the conclusion of the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle been accompanied by an assurance that proper steps had been taken to complete the abolition of the slave-trade. Happy should he have been to have heard that this great object had been accomplished by the general agreement of all the powers, and in particular by the establishment of that right of search without which nothing effectual could be done. This subject was one which must have occupied the consideration of the ministers assembled at the congress: it was one which his majesty's ministers would not fail to urge on the attention of that assembly; but the silence of the speech too plainly indicated that the result had not been successful. He was sorry, however, that nothing was said on the subject. He should have been glad to have heard it declared, that his majesty's ministers were continuing their efforts for the accomplishment of this great object, and that they would not relax until a final blow should be given to that traffic, the abolition of which was called for, not only by humanity, but by the interests of all civilized nations. The state of the revenue formed another topic of the message; and what was said on that subject afforded him satisfaction. He was happy to find that the state of things which he anticipated last year was realized, and that there had been a revival of commerce and industry, which was necessarily accompanied by an improvement of the revenue. That improvement was, indeed, chiefly valuable, as the index of that revival of active industry which was the basis of all national wealth and prosperity. Whether the effects of the revival of trade had as yet reached those to whom it was of the greatest importance it should extend, namely, the labouring and agricultural classes, was still doubtful. In the mean time, while admitting the advantage which the prospect of an improving revenue afforded, he must remind their lordships, that the prospect was by no means such as to relieve them from anxiety respecting the state of the finances, or to induce them to relax in their endeavours to reduce the expenditure of; the country to a more economical scale. The improvement of the consolidated fund, as compared with former years, had been stated at 3,000,000l.; but the actual surplus was only between 200,000l. and 300,000l., and that was more than swallowed up by preceding deficiencies. Their lordships must besides recollect, that even calculating the improvement of the revenue to its fullest extent, it would not exceed 53 or at most 54,000,000l., while the expenditure amounted to 68,000,000l. Thus, notwithstanding the improvement which now formed a subject for their Lordships' congratulation, there would remain a deficiency of 14,000,000l.: this was a sum equal to the amount of the income of the sinking fund, if the application of that fund to supply the deficiencies of the revenue should ever be considered justifiable. As to what might be done in the way of reduction, he could at present form no certain opinion; but he did not anticipate that ministers would carry them beyond 4,000,000l. The state of the finances was, however, such as to call for the immediate and earnest attention of their lordships. It would be their duty to take a careful review of the whole of the expenditure, in order to ascertain what reductions could be made, and how far it might be practicable to diminish the burden of that debt which so powerfully counteracted industry, and the evil of which would be so strongly felt, were another war to call on the country for the exercise of its energies, and the full developement of its resources. Having now noticed what appeared to him to be the principal topics introduced into the speech, he had to regret that it communicated nothing on a subject of far greater importance than the improvement of the revenue: he meant the state of the currency. This was a subject of far more importance than any increase of revenue, inasmuch as the basis of a system was of more importance than the actual state of the superstructure raised upon it. There could be no permanent improvement of the revenue without a full and careful revision of that system which had for years been the temporary law of the country. Here he was aware he might be told that there was no necessity for any information on this subject: it might be said, that he had only to look at the Statute-book; that he would see that the act which restrained the Bank from paying in specie would expire in the course of the present year, and that the currency would then return to its former state. In answer to this he had only to refer to the past. Assurances had before been given that the act would be allowed to expire; and yet, in spite of those assurances, it had been renewed. He would ask, whether, after all that had happened, any one who heard him, any man in the country, could rely on the resumption of cash payments. Was it possible for any person to entertain a confident opinion on the subject? In such a state of uncertainty, no speculation in property could be entered on without there being reason to apprehend that the calculations on which it was founded would be deranged by this system. The state of the currency, their lordships would recollect, was not a financial question of an ordinary kind. It went to the foundation of all property: it embraced the consideration of the safety of all classes; and it was for the interest of the Bank Directors themselves, as well as of any other individuals in the country, that a prompt decision should be adopted. It was full time to come to a determination on this subject. Was it or was it not the intention of ministers to propose to go on with the system? If they made no determination now, those interests which had already been materially affected by the restriction on cash payments would become still more deeply involved. The bearing the system had on the state of the poor laws was another consideration which carried with it a strong motive for a speedy decision. It was also to be recollected, that whenever their lordships directed their attention to this system, they would have also to take a view of that severe and dreadful penal code, by which the system of paper currency, if it longer existed, must be upheld. Upon the question of expediency of Continuing the present currency, would depend that of maintaining in force laws which huma- nity and the opinion of the country had condemned. He knew it might be said, that there would be time enough for the consideration of these subjects, and that the Bank Restriction Act would not expire for some months. It was sufficient for him that he was persuaded from what had already occurred, the probability was, that when the month of May should arrive, without any one alteration in the state of public affairs having taken place which might warrant a change of determination, it would be discovered, that some concealed poison lurked in the prosperity which was now the subject of their lordships' congratulation. It would be found that that prosperity carried with it something which so far destroyed all its beneficial effects, as to render it impossible for the richest country in the world to command the use of the precious metals, or any thing of intrinsic value as a foundation for its currency. France, Italy, Switzerland, all other countries, however varied their forms of government, however different their social institutions, were able to command a circulation of the precious metals; but this country, where labour and industry were carried to the highest pitch, had none of the signs of that labour which was employed in producing silver and gold. The richest and most commercial country in the world was in this respect in a worse situation than the poorest and least industrious. Any further uncertainty on this vital question would be attended with dangerous consequences, and he therefore felt himself now bound to call for a distinct explanation of the views of ministers. If their intention was to allow the act to expire, the sooner that intention was known the better. The same observation applied to the opposite alternative; for it was of all things most important, that the state of doubt which at present prevailed should be removed. He should not detain their lordships much longer, but he could not sit down without adverting to the reference made in the speech and the address to the relations subsisting between this country and the United States of America—a nation, of which he always wished to speak with that respect and esteem which he sincerely felt. He learned with great satisfaction, that the treaty with these states had been renewed; but in noticing this topic at all, it was impossible not to recollect transactions which had lately occurred, in the course of certain military operations of the troops of the United States, and which transactions were of a nature to produce no slight sensation in this country, as they involved the sacrifice; of the lives of two individuals who were British subjects. He alluded to transactions which had taken place in the course of hostilities between the United States and the Indians, within the Spanish settlements. Until, however, the government of the United States avowed or attempted to justify these transactions, he should withhold any positive opinion. He could at present only speak from what had been published as the proceedings of the military commission, or court-martial, as it styled itself, by which these persons were tried. The principle on which that court-martial proceeded, if consistent with military law, was one which could scarcely be expected to be enforced by such a government as the United States. There might be a pretence for applying such a law to Ambrister, who was taken with arms in his hands; but with regard to Arbuthnot, there appeared no pretext whatever. It appeared to be one of those naked acts of violence which disgraced those by whom it was committed. He had no doubt, however, that a distinct explanation would be received from the United States, as the nature of these transactions was inconsistent with the genius and free institutions of that government. He hoped the proceedings of the court-martial would be formally disavowed. With respect to the war in India, as far as he could at present form an opinion, it appeared not to have been undertaken from a spirit of conquest, but in resistance to aggression; and the manner in which it had been conducted and brought to a conclusion, he was happy to acknowledge, did honour to his majesty's arms. He had thought it necessary to make these general observations. He gave his concurrence to the address, but could not help regretting that some important, points of internal policy, which must necessarily soon come under the consideration of their lordships, had been omitted in the Speech,

The Earl of Liverpool

said, he had heard with great satisfaction what had fallen from the noble marquis. He was happy to observe the liberal view which the noble marquis had, in a manner so creditable to himself, taken of the speech and the address. The House, he was sure, would participate in the satisfaction he experienced on perceiving that nothing was likely to occur to disturb that unanimity which on such an occasion as the present was particularly desirable. Before he adverted to the topics which the noble marquis had justly stated to be such as must demand the early consideration of their lordships, he must observe that it was naturally the desire of his majesty's ministers to avoid subjects on which a difference of opinion might arise. This was a course which he was confident their lordships would approve, at a time when they were called upon to express sentiments of condolence for the loss of a sovereign who had reigned for nearly sixty years in the hearts of the people. Unanimity on such an occasion was a mark of respect which their lordships would doubtless wish to show to him to whom the address was to' be presented, while it also was a tribute due to her who was the subject of it. It was not an act of mere ceremony their lordships had to perform. It was not a mere act of private feeling, of respect to private virtues, but an important public duty. They lived at a period when the private virtues of persons in high stations formed, by their example, the best security for good morals and public virtue. With reference to this topic then, independent of any other consideration, their lordships would be well pleased to find, that no ground for difference of opinion had been afforded. The noble marquis had enumerated several other topics into which the speech might have entered, in addition to those to which it had alluded; but the House must be aware, that many of them could not have been introduced without provoking that kind of discussion which it is desirable at all times to avoid in addresses to the throne. Among these topics was the evacuation of France by the allied troops, a measure on which the noble marquis looked with approbation. He (lord Liverpool) partook in the feelings which had been expressed. The evacuation of France, coupled with the circumstances in which it took place, and the manner in which the resolution regarding it among the allied powers was adopted, afforded matter of congratulation to every man in this country and in Europe. In the first place, it was desirable that France should offer no grounds on which the military occupation of her territory could be any longer enforced. It was stipulated by treaty, that that military occupation should cease at the end of three years, if circumstances were such at that period as to render a continuance of it for five years unadvisable, when it was stipulated that at all events it should be at an end. By the most speedy termination of it, therefore, the allies showed that it was not their wish to continue it so long as they might have done, and that consequently the measure appeared to them originally one of necessity, and not of choice. From the time that the military occupation of France was determined on, he had always looked forward to the evacuation as a measure which, to be advantageous and agreeable to that country itself, must appear voluntary and cordial on the part of the allies. By shortening the term, such a result was obtained. The evacuation thus appeared more a matter of choice than necessity. The allies thus showed a desire to fulfil their engagements in the manner most favourable to the power with which they were contracted, and a disposition to forego those advantages to which they were entitled, by withdrawing their armies two years before the time stipulated. The noble marquis, in alluding to the conduct of our government, in its relations with the allied powers, in other respects, said he would not pronounce an opinion, and he (lord Liverpool) approved of his forbearance. Future opportunities would occur in which a discussion of our foreign policy would with more propriety, and with fuller information, take place. He felt, however, bound in conscience to declare, that so far as he knew, there never was a period in the history of the world when so general an anxiety prevailed to preserve the peace, when the causes of disturbance were so completely removed—when nations and sovereigns were more divested of ambition and the love of undue influence, and when the necessity of repose and the spirit of conciliation were more thoroughly acknowledged or acted upon over the European community. The noble marquis had done the government no more than justice in admitting that they had left out of the Speech any mention of the negotiations regarding the slave-trade at Congress, from no desire to shun discussion, but from an opinion that the present was not the most proper opportunity for entering upon it. He felt as strong a desire as any man, that the great work of the abolition should be completed; and he was of opinion that it could only be done by such a well-regulated right of search as would effectually prevent the traffic. What had been done at Congress on this subject would be laid before their lordships on a proper opportunity. He congratulated the House on the improvement in the revenue, which had been progressive, and which had taken place principally in such articles as, while they contributed to the necessities of the state, afforded, by their consumption, the means of estimating the amelioration of the circumstances of the people. Into such details it was not now the proper time to enter. He admitted that it was the duty of the administration to endeavour to effect such reductions in the public establishments as would place the country on a solid foundation in point of revenue, by bringing its expenditure within its income. This was an object which ought never to be lost sight of, and which had never been out of the view of ministers. The reductions which had taken place since the peace were great and unprecedented. It was not common for any taxes to be abolished during the first years of a peace; but since the last peace no less than 17,500,000l. had been remitted. Whether such a reduction of taxes, at a time that the public debt was so great, indicated a wise policy or otherwise, was a question on which he would not now enter, but the fact was such as he had stated. The question of our finances was one that ought to be looked to with anxiety, not only with a view to the improvement of our revenue but the reduction of our expenditure. He hoped that it would appear from the papers to be laid on the table, that no unimportant beginning had been made in this great work. It would then be seen that the country was by no means in an unsatisfactory condition regarding its finances. In alluding to this subject, the noble marquis had made some observations on our currency, and had blamed the omission of it, as a defect in the Speech. Now, he thought it would have been more extraordinary to have mentioned it. Such subjects were generally left to the spontaneous conduct of the ministry, and were brought forward and supported by them at the opportunity which they judged most proper, rather than introduced into the king's speech. He was free to say, that there was no man in the country more anxious than he was to see our currency restored to coin, or paper convertible into gold at the will of the holder: he had always expressed this wish, and had always maintained that our currency could not be restored to a sound state, till it was realized; but, at the same time, he had felt a difficulty with regard-to the most proper occasion of putting an end to the system on which we had hitherto-been acting, both during the progress of the war and after the return of peace During the war it would have been impossible to have returned to cash payments, in the circumstances in which the country was placed; but he had always looked forward with pleasure to a time when such a return would be practicable without any danger. The noble marquis had expressed a hope that this session would not pass away without a full consideration of the subject, and a resolution in favour of cash-payments. He himself had stated his opinion on this subject last session. He then entertained a confident expectation, that but for certain contemplated operations in foreign loans, our currency might have been restored; but he thought there would be great danger in returning to cash-payments during the progress of these operations. There was another difficulty that occurred then, and which, when it did occur, would always have its influence—he meant an unfavourable state of the exchanges. There were some who maintained, that the state of the exchanges might be altered by the Bank, and a favourable one created. Into the discussion of this opinion he Would not now enter, nor would he deny its justice; but he would say, that if attempted under such circumstances, it might pro duce much embarrassment and distress He had no hesitation in saying that, considering the present state of the exchanges, and the progress of the pecuniary operations alluded to in last session, he thought it impossible that cash-payments could with safety be restored on the 5th of July next. If such should be found to be the case, it would be prudent to extend the Bank Restriction act till the succeeding session, when the whole question might be deliberately weighed and finally decided on. With regard to what the noble marquis had said about the Bank prosecutions for the forgery of their notes be had only to observe, that a committee had been appointed on the order of the other House, and that this committee had pre pared a report, stating that plans had been presented to them, by which if forgery could not be rendered impossible, it could at least be rendered extremely difficult. The no- ble marquis had alluded to the execution of our countrymen, Arbuthnot and Ambrister; and the nation was aware, from the public prints, of the circumstances in which that execution took place. When the proper period arrived for discussing this subject, he would enter into the fullest explanations. At present he felt the impropriety of producing details which could not be deliberately examined. To quiet the minds of their lordships, how ever, he did not hesitate to state that the execution took place without the authority of the American government, that the act was done without their consent, and even without their knowledge.

The Earl of Lauderdale

said, he could not feel the extreme satisfaction proposal to be expressed in the Address, at the flourishing state of the country. There had not, in his opinion, been such pain: taken to reduce our expenditure as if was the duty of government to have taken. We had now 30,000,000l. of taxes, without including those war taxes which had been rendered permanent. How was it possible to imagine the continuance of such a load of taxation during peace? In the course the American war additional taxes had been laid on to the amount of 5,000,000l.; but so far were the ministers or the parliament of that time from considering such an increase of the public burdens as a matter of course, that the most rigid inquries Were instituted by committees of the House into the necessity and expediency of such an increase. There was another thing which he must also notice. The commerce of England could not increase, without causing a corresponding increase in the commerce of other nations. The Speech did, it was true, mention the continuance of a commercial treaty between this country and the United States of America; But it was not mentioned, that in the treaty concluded at Aix-la-Chapelle, which was hereafter to be submitted to their lordships, any commercial arrangement whatever had been made with our allies on the continent. This was a circumstance which he could not help deprecating; for no commercial treaty could be made between two nations which would not prove beneficial to both the parties interested in it. Indeed, he would defy any statesman to make any such arrangement, without benefitting them both. The absurd regulations of the French government, whilst under a man of whom the noble earl opposite had often expressed the greatest abhorrence, were not more adverse to the free principles of commerce than the want of such arrangements. He must express a hope, that his majesty's ministers intended to recommend some fixed plan to the notice of the House on this point, because it was a point which deeply involved the interests of the community.—The consideration of the commerce of the country naturally led him to another subject intimately connected with it—he meant the paper currency. He had submitted to the House the propriety of an inquiry into the state of it during the last session of parliament, and he should feel it his duty to renew such a motion in the present. The noble earl opposite had then said, that the Bank Restriction act should expire on the 5th of July, and had held out expectations to the House and to the country that he was serious in making such a promise. What effect the noble earl's promises had produced on others, he could not tell; but this he knew, that though the noble earl might have taken others in by them, he had never taken in him. He had always been of opinion that the Restriction act could not expire at the period which was then stated; nor could any body give any security with regard to the time when it would ultimately expire, unless an inquiry were made in both Houses of Parliament into the present circulation of paper-money. He was not singular in this opinion; on the contrary, he was supported in it by-many well-informed men; neither was it an opinion which he had lately adopted, but one which he had long and uniformly maintained; because he was convinced, that until some alterations were made in the present Mint regulations, it was quite vain to expect the expiration of the Restriction act. The noble earl might indeed prophecy and express hopes to the contrary; but he himself entertained a firm conviction, that the evidence which would result from such an inquiry as he contemplated, would decidedly prove the total impracticability of such hopes and such prophesies. Indeed, we had now dealt so long in paper-money, that we had almost forgotten every thing relating to a metallic currency. The Bank had, indeed, in April last, put 3,500,000 sovereigns and half-sovereigns into circulation; but it had since withheld the circulation of them, because it had disco- veted that each of them could be disposed of in-the market at six pence profit. His lordship then quitted this subject for awhile, and alluded to the disturbances which had lately taken place in the manufacturing districts, regarding the re-duped state of wages, and expressed his satisfaction that they were now over. In his opinion the wages of the manufacturers were sufficiently reduced already; and with a view to their advantage and the advantage of the different branches of the navy, he had proposed, and should again propose, that they should be paid in no other coin except the coin of the realm. A time of peace was a fit time for such a discussion; and he should therefore call the attention of the House at an early period of the session to the present mode of paying the navy in bills, which sometimes rendered the receiver of them liable to a loss of 35 per cent. He trusted that ministers would not give the go-by to such a question, by meeting it, as had been of late too much the custom; by the order of the day, but would go fully and fairly along with him in such an investigation, which to him appeared of the highest importance.

The Address was then agreed to nem. dis.