Saturday, 18 February 2012

18th February 1812: Nottingham Peace Bill debated in the House of Commons

A debate about the Nottingham Peace Bill took place in the House of Commons following the debate about the Frame-breaking Bill on the same day.

Mr. Secretary Ryder: moved that the House do resolve itself into a Committee of the whole House, upon the Bill for the more effectual preservation of the Peace within the county of Nottingham, and the town and county of the town of Nottingham.

Mr. C. W. Wynn: suggested the propriety of extending the provisions of the Bill to any other county where similar disturbances existed, or were likely to exist.

Mr. Leigh Keck: wished that they might be extended to the county of Leicester.

Mr. Secretary Ryder: observed, that the Bill had been suggested by, and drawn in the county of Nottingham, and then sent tip to him. After it had been revised by the law officers of the crown, he had sent it down again to the county of Nottingham, in order that he might be assured, before he submitted it to the House, that it had received the concurrence of the magistracy of that county. If any hon. member would declare that the magistrates of the county of Leicester, or of any other county, were desirous to have the provisions of the bill extended to them, he should have no objection to move an instruction to the committee to that effect; but it ought not to be forgotten that those provisions imposed a heavy mental and bodily duty on those who were to execute them.

Mr. Leigh Keck: although certainly he was not distinctly authorised on the subject, had yet no hesitation in declaring, en the part of the magistrates of Leicestershire, that they were ready to execute the provisions of the act; and he was sore that they would do it ample justice.

Mr. Babington: was persuaded that his hon. friend was completely justified in the declaration which he bad just made. The magistrates of Leicestershire were never disposed to shrink from their duty.

Sir O. Moseley: pressed the necessity of extending the provisions of the bill to Derbyshire, and mentioned several instances of extreme outrage in that county. He certainly could not pledge himself for the opinion of every individual magistrate in Derbyshire, but he, for one, would use all possible exertion to enforce the measure.

Mr. Secretary Ryder: after what he had heard, felt no reluctance whatever in moving that it be an instruction to the committee that they be empowered to extend the provisions of the bill to any other county in Great Britain.

Mr. C. W. Wynn: could (not see the impropriety that would attend the extension of the bill to all the counties in Great Britain, in which the magistracy might deem it expedient to put the provisions of it into execution.

The instruction to the Committee was then agreed to. On the motion that the Speaker do leave the Chair,

The Chancellor of the Exchequer: observed, that the suggestion of the hon. and learned gentleman who had last spoken, was one which, in his opinion, might be attended to with advantage.

Mr. Horner: asked whether it was intended that the measure should be permanent or temporary; and whether there was any intention of extending the provisions of the bill to the counties of North Britain.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer: replied that whatever might be ultimately considered as expedient, in the first instance he conceived that the measure ought to be only temporary. It might be wise to extend the provisions of the bill to North Britain, but in that case it would be necessary to submit them to legal opinions in that country.

Mr. Horner: agreed with the right hon. gentleman that the measure ought to be temporary. But was it meant to confine the operation of the bill to such outrages only as those in which the necessity for it originated, or to extend it to other outrages? If there was any intention of extending the provisions of the bill to the counties of North Britain, such a measure would require deliberation. In his opinion a separate bill would be necessary.

Mr. Secretary Ryder: remarked, that he had been induced, in the first instance, not to propose the extension of the provisions to all the counties of Great Britain, from the consideration that the provisions of it were chiefly, if not solely, applicable to the description of disturbance which they were framed to repress.

The House then resolved itself into a committee on the bill. After discussion the blanks were filled up, and the House having been resumed, the Report was brought up and ordered to be taken into consideration on Monday.

No comments:

Post a Comment