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but because they were recommended from quarters in which recommendation, on account of election interests, was irresistible. He meant not to cast any particular reflection on the present treasury board ; its conduct on this head was perhaps the same as that of all boards which had gone before it. All he meant was, that if a minister would dare to be bold in the cause of his country, he might make the customs infinitely more productive than they were at that moment.

Towards the close of this speech, Mr. Sheridan mentioned a hard case, perhaps little known, of a gentleman's coach and horses being liable to be seized if he took two pounds of snuff with him into the country; and that they were forfeited if seized after five o'clock. He declared that he saw no reason why the house of the honest, industrious manufacturer should not be as safe and as sacred as the proudest mansion.

He instanced the spirited conduct of Mr. Eddowes of Chester, who, at the expense of a great part of his private fortune, had maintained a contest with the corporation of Chester, on a public occasion, in which he had no other interest than a desire to check oppression, or what he thought oppression. That Mr. Eddowes (whom he could show to a foreigner, and say, this man has spent the income of a petty German principality to do a public justice), after being examined at the bar of that house, and saying, that he had been obliged to deceive the officers, was treated with an agreeable companion in a stage coach the next day, who proved to be an exciseman, and who, the day after their arrival at Chester, kept him fourteen hours in his manufactory weighing his stock. Mr. Sheridan conceived that the naval service of this kingdom might, with honour to itself, and great advantage to the nation, be employed in the collection of the revenue. Though he was of opinion that the tobacco act ought to be repealed, still he did not intend to make a motion to that effect; because the minister might then say that he would modify the act, and render it less objectionable ; but his object was to withdraw the tobacco totally from the management of the board of excise. Upon this principle, it was his intention to move a proposition which should show that it ought not to be excised at all. Mr. Sheridan now concluded his remarks by moving the following short resolution : “ That the survey of the excise is inapplicable to the manufacture of tobacco."

Mr. Pitt, Sir Grey Cooper, Lord Carysfort, Mr. Wyndham, Mr. Fox, Sir James Johnstone, Mr. Grenville, Colonel Fullarton, Mr. Dundas, Sir Richard Hill, Mr. S. Thornton, Alderman Watson, Mr. Thornton, and others, having delivered their sentiments,

Mr. Sheridan, rising a second time observed, that notwithstanding that he might claim a right to speak more than once in a committee, and not withstanding that it was usual, when the house was not in a committee, for it so far to extend its candour as to permit the mover of any proposition to rise in reply at the end of the debate, he was not insensible of the indulgence he had already experienced at the hands of the committee, and therefore should not long trespass farther on their patience; and it was, he thought, the more necessary, as in the course of the debate he iinagined that he had perceived some symptoms of members having made up their minds on the subject. He should begin with what had been said by an honourable baronet (Sir Rich. Hill) over the way, who had appealed to the landed interest to support the bill of the last year, and complained in bitter terms of the loud clamour made whenever the trade of the country was touched, saying, that if a single bristle was plucked, it grunted and made a strange kind of noise; but that the landedinterest was like a sheep; it stood still, and would let you fleece it again and again without a murmur. The honourable baronet unfortunately forgot that he was, in the very moment, furnishing an instance in his own person, that the landed interest was not always so passive, and he had forgotten likewise that he had paid the right honourable gentleman a curious compliment, by ending his speech with saying, that the right honourable gentleman had voted for the excise bill (of which he complained so loudly), because the administration of that day was tottering in their seats, and he saw that he should soon come into power. With regard to the situation which he had holden, when the case to which the honourable baronet alluded had taken plae, and which the honourable baronet had described as the most enormous extension of the excise laws ever practised, the honourable baronet had done him more honour than he merited, the place which he filled at the time being merely a subaltern and subordinate situation ; but he would not answer what the honourable baronet had so pointedly urged against the chancellor of the exchequer of that day with any argument, he would answer it with his name—it was Lord John Cavendish ; and the measure alluded to, which had been so well explained by the worthy magistrate near him, had been

received—whether by grunting or groaning he could not say— with as much unjust clamour as any measure ever experienced. The whole story, however, the honourable baronet had introduced with less novelty than generally belonged to his facetiousness of anecdote. Mr. Sheridan next proceeded to take notice of (what he termed) the misrepresentations of the right honourable the chancellor of the exchequer, who (he remarked) had treated him, the bill, and the manufacturers, all alike, having mis-stated his arguments, misrepresented the manufacturers, and misconstructed the act of parliament. Possibly the right honourable gentleman might think that he made rather an uncivil description of his argument; but the right honourable gentleman would recollect that he had himself, in the beginning of his speech, applied terms equally harsh and grating to what had fallen from him. The right honourable gentleman was the only person who had affected to disbelieve the manufacturers, although the manufacturers had, last year, delivered precisely the same evidence at the bar of that house, and afterwards confirmed it upon their oaths at the bar of the house of lords. If the right honourable gentleman had doubted the truth of the evidence of the manufacturers, it was his duty, in justice to himself, and in fairness to them, to have called other witnesses to have disproved what they advanced. Not having done this, he had no right to doubt the veracity of men as honourable as himself, and as incapable of acting dishonestly with respect to the revenue as the whole board of

itself. It was but justice to the manufacturers, that he should say thus much in their behalf, and at the same time complain of the unfair manner in which the right honourable gentleman had commented on the evidence of Mr. Postlethwayte, who had expressly stated at the bar on what principle he made his calculation of increases; and therefore, in his abstract of the evidence, necessarily and naturally adhered to the same principle, and separated what was termed the return from the roll tobacco. The right honourable gentleman, taking advantage of that part of his argument which reprobated the oppression and tyranny of the system of excise laws in general, had charged him with wishing to pull down the whole system ; and thus, at one stroke, anni. hilate six millions and a half of yearly revenue. This was a most unfair way of meeting his argument, and the right honourable gentleman seemed to have forgotten that, wherever any extension of the excise laws was under consideration, it was usual to argue

treasury itself.

the question in that house, not on the narrow ground of the particular hardship on the point of being inflicted upon the individual in the particular instance in question, but on the broad constitutional ground, with a view to the danger in which the extension of those laws threatened to place the freedom and liberties of the people.

This had been the case in the cyder tax, when, in the course of debate, it had been said non Cæsar pulsante manu—“ The winds of heaven and the elements may enter the cottage of the peasant, but not the king, without the peasant's permission.” This was not a mere flight of poetry, but at once a lively, fanciful, and forcible effusion of the mind, founded on what he considered as the good old English proverb, “ that every man's house is his castle," which was in fact the very essence of Magna Charta. He need scarcely add that the person who had used the expression which he had just quoted was the Earl of Chatham, who had not thought it wrong to argue the question of the cyder tax upon the general principle of the excise laws and their constitutional tendency. But there was a manifest inconsistency in that part of the chancellor of the exchequer's argument, in which he charged him with wishing to pull down the whole system of excise, and in the same breath had declared that he (Mr. Sheridan) was willing to leave the manufactures of soap, candles, starch, and all the rest of the manufactures at present subject to the excise under the oppression and tyranny of those laws. It was absolutely impossible, as the committee must see, for the two things to be true, because they directly militated against each other. Another point in which the right honourable gentleman had totally mis-stated him, and in which, indeed, his right honourable friend near him had also a little misconceived him, was, in respect to trial by jury; both imagining that he disapproved of a trial by jury, in cases of excise. He had expressly declared that if a general reform of excise laws were to take place, he saw that in such a case trial by jury might be applied to them as a part of that reform ; but he had asserted that he would not accept of trial by jury being proposed by a minister, in a singular and particular case, by way of decoy, and in order to delude the house and the public into an acquiescence with the application of the excise laws to the manufacture of tobacco. He would not graft, or approve of a graft of that kind, on so vile a being, convinced that that the tree could not produce such fruit, and that so beautiful and excellent a head as a trial by jury ought not, in that manner, to be annexed to so deformed a trunk. The right honourable gentleman persevered in maintaining that the manufacturers had kept back some intelligence from him, and had to thank themselves if he did not do them all the justice that their case might require. The fact was, that when he (Mr. Sheridan) found them in town, and prepared to propose a repeal of the act of the last session, he had, at their very first meeting, advised them not to apply to the opposition, but at once to the treasury, and endeavour to get redress through the medium of his Majesty's ministers, which, in all matters of revenue and finance, he was ready to confess, he thought the most proper hands for alterations of the revenue laws to come from. The answer they gave him was, that they had been at the treasury with the secretaries, and had seen Mr. Pitt, and that their reception did not encourage them to hope for success; and, therefore, they were determined to apply to parliament through the medium of opposition, wishing that their case should come before that house and the public. But the right honourable gentleman's mode of treating the manufacturers was curious. They go to him and tell him, “ that their objections to the bill were fundamental ; that no amendment, no modification of it will meet their ideas ; they object to the principle, and nothing short of an actual repeal can satisfy them, as they must, at all events, have the exciseman kept out of their manufactory.” Having stated this, the manufacturers ask the right honourable gentleman if he will consent to give up the principle? The right honourable gentleman answers “ No; the principle must not be abandoned; but, do you

inform me how I shall alter the bill.” This the manufacturers refuse; and they wisely refused it, in his opinion ; for, what was it but the minister's saying, “ I have a yoke to put about your necks, do you help me in fitting it on; only assist me with your knowledge of the subject, and I'll fit you with the prettiest pair of fetters that ever were seen in the world.” With regard to the right honourable gentleman's argument, that there was a great increase of revenue in consequence of the act continuing in force, he held that to be no argument at all. He never wished to count the money, when he was certain that the purse which contained it, with all its contents, were stolen. Every person knew that the right honourable gentleman could make out an account so as to give any calculations he chose to bring forward, at least

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