The first Parliament of Queen Anne: Third session - begins 14/4/1707

Pages 68-70

The History and Proceedings of the House of Commons: Volume 4, 1706-1713. Originally published by Chandler, London, 1742.

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Third Session. ; The Queen's Speech to both Houses.

'My Lords and Gentlemen,

I was willing to give you an Opportunity of coming together again, to consider if any thing can properly be done to prevent the Inconveniences that may happen to our Trade, by too great an Interval between the Rising of the Parliament and the first of May; and I need not add, that whatever is to be done of that kind, will require to be dispatched in a little time.'

Petition of the Merchants against importing of Goods into Scotland.

The Commons being return'd to their House, received and read a Petition of the Merchants, on Behalf of themselves and many others, concern'd in the Importation of Wines and Brandy from Spain, Portugal, and Italy, and of other Goods from Holland, &c. complaining, 'That (as the Petitioners were credibly informed) great Quantities of French Wines, Brandies, Silks, Prunes, Rosin, &c. of the Growth and Product of France; Whale-bone, Linnen, Drugs, Coffee, Spices, &c. from Holland and from France, directly were brought, and more intended to be imported into the Kingdom of Scotland, in order to be brought thence and imported into this Kingdom of England, after the first Day of May, to avoid the English Duties, to the great Detriment and Loss of some, and the utter Ruin of other the Petitioners, who had imported, and were importing into England the like Commodities from Spain, Portugal, Italy and Holland, paying the high Duties upon them; which Commodities had been chiesfly purchased abroad with the Woollen-Manufactures, Corn, and other Products of England; and praying, that the House would prevent the Importation of the said Goods and Merchandizes, the Importation whereof, without being made subject to the English Duties, would be a great Damage, not only to the Petitioners, but to her Majesty's Revenue of her Customs; or otherwise to provide for the Petitioners Relief in the Premises, as the House shall think fit.'

The next Day, the Commons, in a Committee of the whole House, came to these Resolutions, viz.

1. 'That it is the Opinion of this Committee, That the Importation of Goods and Merchandizes of the Growth and Produce of France, and other foreign Parts. into Scotland, in order to be brought from thence into England after the first of May, and with the Intention to avoid the Payment of the English Duties, will be to the Damage and Ruin of the fair Traders, to the Prejudice of the Manufactures of England, a great Loss to her Majesty's Revenues of the Customs, and a very great Detriment to the Public.

2. 'That it is the Opinion of this Committee, That the Exporting of Goods and Merchandizes from England into Scotland, that are intitled to a Drawback, with Intention to bring the same back again into England after the first of May, is a most notorious Fraud, to the Damage and Ruin of the fair Traders, to the great Loss of her Majesty's Revenues of the Customs, and a very great Detriment to the Public.'

The Bill to prevent the Frauds in importing Goods into Scotland dropt.

These Resolutions being immediately reported and agreed to, a Bill was ordered to be brought in upon the same; which was accordingly done, and after the second Reading, the said Bill was ordered to be engrossed. The Bill on the 19th was passed, and sent up to the Lords for their Concurrence; but it being apprehended, that this Law would give Offence to the Scots, and the most eminent Lawyers, who were consulted about it, not agreeing in their Opinions, the Court thought fit to let it fall: Considering, that the first Day of May was near at hand, and that the Practices of the fraudulent Traders, had, in some Measure, been prevented, by the Terror of this intended Law: Hereupon the Queen came to the House of Peers, on the 24th, and the Commons attending, her Majesty made the following Speech to both Houses.

The Queen's Speech to both Houses.

My Lords and Gentlemen,

'I Return you my hearty Thanks for the great Zeal and Affection which you have shewn for my Service, and the Public Good, in the several Affairs which have been before you, especially in that of the Union with Scotland, which I doubt not will prove a lasting Blessing to this Island.

'Gentlemen of the House of Commons,

I am to thank you in particular, for the great Dispatch you have made in providing the largest and most effectual Supplies that have ever been given to the Crown for the current Service in any one Session of Parliament. I am very much concern'd that the Public Occasions require the raising of such great Sums from my People. I will take Care they shall be applied to the Uses for which they are given; and I hope, by God's Blessing, we may obtain Advantages from them answerable to so great an Expence.

'My Lords and Gentlemen,

'It is proper for me, before we part, to communicate to you, that I think it expedient that the Lords of Parliament of England, and Commons of the present Parliament of England, should be the Members of the respective Houses of the first Parliament of Great-Britain, for and on the part of England; and therefore I intend, within the Time limited, to publish a Proclamation for that Purpose, pursuant to the Powers given me by the Acts of Parliament of both Kingdoms, ratifying the Treaty of Union: And, after we have so fully compleated this Great Work, I assure myself that when you return to your several Countries, you will omit no Opportunity of making my Subjects sensible of the Security, and the other great and lasting Benefits, they may reasonably expect from this happy Union.

'This will conduce very much to make it prove so, and be a good Preparation to the Success of our next Meeting, when, I hope, we shall all join our sincere and hearty Endeavours to promote the Welfare and Prosperity of Great Britain.'

The Parliament prorogued.

After which the Lord-Keeper of the Great-Seal, by her Majesty's Command, prorogued the Parliament until Wednesday the 30th.