Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 12, 1666-1675. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1767-1830.
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DIE Mercurii, 19 die Aprilis.
London Streets Bill.
Poor Prisoners Bill.
Small Feefarm Rents Bill.
The Amendments and Provisos which the House of Commons sent up to the Bill concerning Fee-farm Rents, were read Thrice, and the Provisos marked A. B. are Agreed to; but the Proviso marked C. not Agreed to.
Message from H. C. with the Poor of London Bill, for Discovery of Frauds.
To return the Bill for Discovery of such as have defrauded the Poor of the City of London of the Monies given for their Relief at the Times of the late Plague and Fire, and for Recovery of the Arrears thereof; and to acquaint their Lordships, that the House of Commons agrees to their Lordships Amendments therein.
Report of Reasons and Precedents for a Conference with the H. C. on the Bill for additional Impositions on Foreign Commodities; and about the Lords making Amendments inMoneyBills.
The Earl of Anglesey and the other Lords as were appointed to prepare Reasons and Precedents, and what else is fit to be offered at a Conference with the House of Commons, to maintain the Resolution of this House, made the 17th of this Instant April, and also to consider of an Answer to the Objections made by the House of Commons to their Lordships Amendments made in the Bill for an additional Imposition upon Foreign Commodities, reported, First, an Answer to the Objections against the Abatement of the Rates upon Sugars, as followeth:
"1. The Lords say, The Reasons delivered at the Conference do not convince their Lordships to alter their former Opinion, That the Proportion of 2 & ½ is the best Medium for converting Brown Sugar into White; and it is affirmed to their Lordships, that when Sugar is brought hither from the Plantations White, there is not ⅓ of the Cask saved, nor ½ of the Carriage from the Plantation to the Waterside, and not a ¼ of the Freight; and that, though the Planters do pay no Wages to their Slaves, yet they cost very dear, considering the Price they buy them at, and the Charge they are at to maintain them; and besides, it seems to their Lordships most equitable, to lay the Imposition according to the Proportion of the Materials, and not according to the Skill or Advantages of the Manufacturers thereof.
"2. It is affirmed unto their Lordships, That in all Barters made in the Island of Barbadoes, 2 & ½ is the Medium Proportion between the several Sorts of White Sugars that pay Customs as White here, and Muscavadoes; and that Superfine Whites are seldom made there, unless designed for a Present.
"3. It was affirmed unto their Lordships, and made appear by the Planters Accompts, that 1 lb. of Whites did not yield and produce as much in Value at this Market as 2 and ½ Pounds of Muscavadoes: And it was also made appear to their Lordships, that there were Errors in those Accompts presented them by the Merchants, to shew that 4lb. of Muscavodoes did not clear so much as One Pound of White Sugar; and it was also affirmed, That the Refiners did sell Refined Sugar of a better Standard, than the best Clayed Whites (of which Sort is Nine Tenths of the Whites) that comes from the Plantations, and all that come from Brasile for less than 2½ Times, as much as they gave for the Muscavodes to make it with; which plainly shews that 2 lb. & ½ of Muscavadoes will make more than 1 lb. of Whites, or the Refiners are Losers by turning Brown Sugars into Whites.
"4. Though the former Imposition in the Book of Rates should have been unequal, yet the Custom on Whites thereby being but 3s. 6d. per Cent. more than upon Browns, the Planter did endure it much better than it is possible to expect upon this additional high Impost, which will make White Sugars of the Plantations pay 10s. 6d. per Cent. more than the Browns, and, is much to be feared, will cause the Planter to make little or no White Sugar.
"6. It is true, Brown Sugars at present are the Money of The Barbadoes, but it were to be wished it were not; for then the Kingdom would be better enabled to beat Foreigners out of the Trade, and the Planters manage their Plantations to better Profit; there being no Sugar Planter so mean, nor any considerable additional Charge needful to hinder any One Planter to manufacture so much of it, as is proper, into White Sugar, and so reap the Benefit thereof himself, and not be obliged to other Men for the venting their Muscavadoes.
"7. A very few additional Hands will clay and whiten Sugars, which is the greatest Profit of the Planters, and in which most of them are concerned; and the Plague (doubtless) will impoverish the Country; which makes it much compassionate, as well as our Interest, to give them Ease and Encouragement.
"8. Their Lordships conceive, that though the Planters should be encouraged to make more White Sugar, yet there would be nothing or very little less Cask or Ships used in that Trade. And the Planters affirm, that they do already use more Coals than the Refiners. And it is said, the Sugar Bakers employ not very many People, and those are capable of using their Industries in other Trades as useful to the Kingdom, and consume as much Victuals, and pay as much Excise, as now. The Fire Hearths perhaps might not be so many; but the Prejudice to His Majesty's Revenue thereby is too inconsiderable to be mentioned.
"9. The Plenty and Cheapness of White Sugars of our own, must beat Foreigners out of the Trade; and we see our English Refiners themselves are afraid of being beat out of the Trade, if we should too much encourage our Plantations; which confirms their Lordships to think, that Foreigners will receive as much or more Damage by such Encouragement given to our Sugar Planters, and consequently it is likely to contribute much to the Design of making this Kingdom Masters of the Sugar Trade."
"This Conference was desired by their Lordships upon the Subject-matter of the last Conference, concerning the Bill for Impositions on Merchandize, &c. wherein the Commons communicated to the Lords, as their Resolution, "That there is a fundamental Right in that House alone, in Bills of Rates and Impositions on Merchandize, as to the Matter, the Measure, and the Time." And though their Lordships had neither Reason nor Precedent offered by the Commons to back that Resolution, but were told "That this was a Right so fundamentally settled in the Commons, that they could not give Reasons for it, for that would be a weakening of the Commons Right and Privilege;" yet the Lords in Parliament, upon full Consideration thereof, and of that whole Conference, are come to this Resolution, Nemine contradicente.
"That the Power exercised by the House of Peers, in making the Amendments and Abatements in the Bill, intituled, "An Act for an additional Imposition on several Foreign Commodities, and for Encouragement of several Commodities and Manufactures of this Kingdom," both as to the Matter, Measure, and Time, concerning the Rates and Impositions on Merchandize, is a fundamental, inherent, and undoubted Right of the House of Peers, from which they cannot depart:
"1. The great Happiness of the Government of this Kingdom is, That nothing can be done in order to the Legislature, but what is considered by both Houses before the King's Sanction be given unto it; and the greatest Security to all the Subjects of this Kingdom is, That the Houses, by their Constitution, do not only give Assistance, but are mutual Checks, to each other.
"2. Consult the Writs of Summons to Parliament; and you will find the Lords are excluded from none of the great and arduous Affairs of the Kingdom and Church of England, but are called to treat and give their Counsel upon them all, without Exception.
"3. We find no Footsteps in Record or History for this new Claim of the House of Commons; we would see that Charter or Contract produced, by which the Lords divested themselves of this Right, and appropriated it to the Commons, with an Exclusion of themselves: Till then, we cannot consent to shake or remove Foundations, in the laying whereof it will not be denied that the Lords and Grands of the Kingdom had the greatest Hand.
"4. If this Right should be denied, the Lords have not a Negative Voice allowed them in Bills of this Nature; for, if the Lords, who have the Power of treating, advising, giving Counsel, and applying Remedies, cannot amend, abate, or refuse a Bill in Part, by what Consequence of Reason can they enjoy a Liberty to reject the Whole? When the Commons shall think fit to question it, they may pretend the same Grounds for it.
"5. In any Case of Judicature, which is undoubtedly and indisputably the peculiar Right and Privilege of the House of Lords, if their Lordships send down a Bill to the Commons for giving Judgement in a Legislative Way, they allow and acknowledge the same Right in the Commons to amend, change, and alter such Bills, as the Lords have exercised in this Bill of Impositions sent up by the Commons.
"6. By this new Maxim of the House of Commons, a hard and ignoble Choice is left to the Lords, either to refuse the Crown Supplies when they are most necessary, or to consent to Ways and Proportions of Aid, which neither their own Judgement or Interest, nor the Good of the Government and People, can admit.
"7. If positive Assertion can introduce a Right, what Security have the Lords, that the House of Commons shall not in other Bills (pretended to be for the general Good of the Commons, whereof they will conceive themselves the fittest Judges) claim the same peculiar Privilege, in Exclusion of any Deliberation or Alteration of the Lords, when they shall judge it necessary or expedient.
"8. And whereas you say, "This is the only poor Thing which you can value yourselves upon to the King;" their Lordships have commanded us to tell you, that they rather desire to increase, than any Ways to diminish, the Value and Esteem of the House of Commons, not only with His Majesty, but with the whole Kingdom; but they cannot give Way that it should be raised by the Undervaluing of the House of Peers, and an Endeavour to render that House unuseful to the King and Kingdom, by denying unto it those just Powers which the Constitution of this Government and the Law of the Land hath lodged in it, for the Service and Benefit of both.
"9. You did at the Conference tell us, "That we did agree a Book of Rates, without so much as seeing it; and that never Book of Rates was read in the Lords House; and that the said Book of Rates was signed by Sir Harbottle Grimston, then Speaker of the House of Commons, and not sent up, lest the Lords Speaker might sign it too." The Book of Rates instanced in by the House of Commons was made in a Way different from all former Books of Rates, and by an Assembly called without the King's Writs, and which wanted so much the Authority of Parliament, that the Act they made was no Act till confirmed by this Parliament: Though the Work which happily succeeded in their Hands, for Restoration of the ancient Government of the Kingdom, will ever be mentioned to their Honour, yet no Measure for Parliamentary Proceedings is to be taken from this One Instance, to the Prejudice of the Right of the Crown in making Books of Rates, and of the Lords in having their due Consideration thereof when they shall be enacted in Parliament; which was so far from being according to former Usage, that the Lords, considering the Necessity and Condition of that Time, and there being no Complaint, passed that Bill upon Three Readings in One Day, without so much as a Commitment, little imagining the Forwardness of their Zeal to the King's Service in such a Time would have created an Argument in the future against their Power; and if the Lords never did read Books of Rates in their House, it is as true that the House of Commons do not pretend, nor did shew, that ever any was read there but this."
"Though, where a Right is so clear, and Reasons so irrefragable, it is not to be required of those who are possessed of the Right, to give Precedents to confirm it, but those who dispute the Right ought to shew Precedents or Judgements to the contrary (not passed sub Silentio, but) upon the Point controverted; yet the Lords have commanded us to offer and leave with you these following Precedents:
"1. That the Lords and Commons have consulted together, and conferred one with another, upon the Subject of Supply to the King, and of the Manner how the same may be levied; as, 14 E. III. N. 5. Apres grand Tret & Parleance entre les Grandz et les ditz Chivaliers et autres des Communes esteans eńdit Parliament, est accordes et assentus par tous les Grandz & Communes, &c. That they grant to the King the Ninth of Corn and Wool.
"29 E. III. N. 11. 51 E. III. N. 18. certain Lords there named, from Time to Time, to confer with the Commons, for their better Help in consulting for the Raising of Money; and this sometimes by the King's Command, as, 22 E. III. N. 3; sometimes by Motion and Appointment of the Lords, as 5° E. III. N. 8. and in the Case of the great Contract for Tenures and Purveyances, 7° Jacobi, 14 Feb. 1609; sometimes by the Desire of the Commons; as, 47 E. III. N. 6. and 4 R. II. N. 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, upon a great Sum demanded for the King, the Commons come to the Lords, and desire a Moderation of the Sum, and their Consideration how it should be levied; and hereupon was granted, by Lords and Commons, Twelve Pence of every Man, &c. It is observable that N. 13. 'tis said, "The Lords sent for the Commons several Times before them, and proposed to them the Manner of levying the Money; and afterwards it was given." And again 6° R. II. N. 14. And in the Case of the great Contract before mentioned, 7° Jacobi, 18 June, 1610, the Commons, at a Conference, desire to know what Project their Lordships will propound for levying that which shall be given, other than upon Land. And afterwards, at another Conference, by the Commons, Answer was made to the Lords Proposal; agreed, that the Manner of levying it may be in the most easeful and contentful Sort that by both Houses can be devised. See the whole Proceedings of this intended Contract, which doth in several remarkable Instances shew that the House of Commons themselves did allow the House of Peers their Part in treating and debating on the Subject of Money to be levied for His Majesty.
"2. That, in Aids and Subsidies, the Lords have anciently been expressly joined with the Commons in the Gift, as in the First we can meet with in our Statutes, that in the Body of Magna Charta, Cap. 37. "The Archbishops, Bishops, Abbots, Priors, Earls, Barons, Knights, Freeholders, and other Our Subjects, have given unto Us the 15th Part of all their Moveables" (which must include Merchandizes). This Style the ancient Grants of Subsidies and the modern Ones too do retain (the troublesome Time of the Wars between the Houses of Yorke and Lancaster only excepted, and even then 'twas, "The Commons, by Advice and Assent of the Lords, do give and grant,)" till the Beginning of King Charles the First. By the Words, "We Your Majesty's loyal Subjects in Parliament assembled," implicitly; or by the Words, "We the Lords Spiritual and Temporal and Commons in Parliament assembled," expressly; the Lords are joined in the Grant, as by Perusal of the Statutes will appear.
"3. That, in Subsidies of this Nature, videlicet, Customs, the Lords have joined with the Commons in the Grant of them; and that at the very Beginning of these Impositions, as when Forty Shillings on every Sack of Wool (a Home Native Commodity) was granted to E. 1st, in the 3d Year of His Reign, to Him and His Heirs, the Grant is, Magnates, Prelati, & tota Communitas concesserunt. See Pat. Roll. 3 E. I. M. 1. N. 1. And other ancient Rolls do also shew that the Lords joined with the Commons in the Gift of Monies; as, Close Roll, 3 E. I. M. 12. in Dorso 3. Grant of a Fifteenth, and Pat. Roll. 3 E. 1. M. 6.
"4. And more particularly in Impositions of this very Species, Tonnage and Poundage, the Lords were even at the First Beginning joined with the Commons in the Grant, as the Parliament Roll in the 47 E. III. N. 10. the First Establishment of it by Act doth declare, where it is expressly, "The Lords and Commons do grant." And this Stile did continue in Acts of this Nature till the End of R. II. After which, in those troublesome Times, the Stile was various till King Hen. VIIIth's Time; and then the Stile of Acts of Tonnage and Poundage was, "We the Commons, by Advice and Consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, do give and grant." This Form of Gift in Tonnage and Poundage lasted E. VI. Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth, and King James's Time, as the Statutes themselves do declare.
"5. And to prove most undeniably that the Lords have their Share in the Gift of Aids and Supplies to the King, see the Act of 9° H. IV. commonly called, "The Indemnity of the Lords and Commons;" which provides, "That the Lords shall commune apart by themselves, and the Commons by themselves;" and at the latter End enacts expressly, "That the King shall thank both the Lords and Commons for Subsidies given to Him."
"6. That the Lords may make Amendments and Alterations in Bills which grant Tonnage and Poundage (the very Question now between us), appears in an eminent Book, Case 33 H. VI. Fol. 17. (which was a Consultation of all the Judges of England, and the Master of the Rolls and Clerk of the Parliament, called to inform them of the Manner of Proceedings of Bills in Parliament), where it is said, "That if the Commons grant Tonnage and Poundage to endure for Four Years, and the Lords grant it but for Two Years, it shall not be carried back to the Commons, because it may stand with their Grant, but must be so enrolled." And that the Lords have made Amendments and Alterations in Bills granting Tonnage and Poundage, appears by the Stat. of 1 E. VI. and 1° of Queen Eliz. even in the very Point now in Dispute, such Amendments as do lessen the Sum to the King, as the 1st of Hen. VIII. read the Proviso, &c.
"We have seriously consulted our Judgements and Reasons, to find Objections, if it were possible, against this Power of the Lords; and are so far from finding any, that we are fixed in Opinion that the Want of it would be destructive to the Government and Peace of the Kingdom, and the Right of the Crown, in the balancing and regulating of Trade, and the making and preserving Leagues and Treaties with Foreign Princes and States; and the Exercise of it cannot but be for the Security of all, and for the Ease, Benefit, and Satisfaction of the Subject.
"Their Lordships are very far from desiring to obstruct this Gift, no not for a Moment of Time, much less for ever, as was hinted to them at the last Conference: And therefore they desire the House of Commons to lay it to Heart, and consider, if it should so happen (which they heartily wish it may not) that there should be an Obstruction upon Occasion of this Difference, at whose Door it must lie; those that assume to themselves more than belongs to them, to the Prejudice and Diminution of the others Right, or theirs that do only exercise that just and lawful Power which by the very Nature and constant Practice of Parliament is, and for many Ages hath been, vested in both Houses.
"Their Lordships had under their Consideration and Debate the desiring a Free Conference with your House, upon the Reasons of the Amendments in Difference between the Houses; but when they found that you had interwoven your general Position with every Reason you had offered upon Particulars, it seemed to them that your Judgements were prepossessed; and they hold it vain and below the Wisdom of Parliament to reason or argue against fixed Resolutions, and upon Terms of Impossibility to persuade; and have therefore applied themselves only to that Point which yet remains an Impediment in the Way of Free and Parliamentary Debates and Conferences, which must necessarily be first removed, that so we may come to a Free Conference upon the Bill itself, and part with a fair Correspondence between the Two Houses."
Amendments in the Bill for additional Impositions on Foreign Commodities.
After this, the Lords took into Consideration that other Part of the Conference with the House of Commons, concerning the Amendments made by the Lords in the Bill for an additional Imposition upon Foreign Commodities, &c. and not agreed to by the House of Commons.
Which being read, and the Reasons of the Commons for their not agreeing, and also the Reasons of this House in Answer to them being read; the Lords are not satisfied with the Reasons of the House of Commons, but approve of the Reasons prepared by the Committee.
The Lords agree to let the Clause concerning the exporting of Corn stand in the Bill, to the 20th Line of the 14th Skin; and insist upon the rest of their Amendment, leaving out the Proviso marked B, concerning the Discharge of Goods by Two Justices of the Peace.