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should think proper to vacate his seat in parliament by ace cepting the stewardship of the Chiltern Hundreds, and Mr. Wilkes, now that his outlawry has been reversed, and bis consequent Incapacity to fit in Parliament has been removed, should again stand for the county of Middlesex, and again be chosen their representative by a great majority, (as I trust and hope he would ;) and should be permitted to take his seat in the House in consequence of such new election, I conceive that the whole transaction would do his Majesty'3 minifters great honour, give general fatisfaction to the people, and, in short, prove a happy means of reconciling men's minds to government, and of winding-up this unlucky business that has kept the whole nation in a ferment, and soured our old English good-humour for more than two years past.
I am, Sir,
Draft of an Axt of Parliament to disable Outlaws and Perfons legally confined in Prison from licing chosen Members of tbe Commons House of Parliament; and to secure to the Freeholders and other Electors of Great Britain their Right of free Election, notwithstanding any antecedent Expulsion of the Perfons they fall elect for their Members.
WHEREAS certain doubts have arisen, and may arise, concerning persons confined in prison in execution of the judgements of a court of law, or for other just and lawful causes, and likewise concerning persons outlawed, whether they are capable of being elected to fit and vote in parliament aś members of the Commons House of parliament : and whereas it would be highly inconvenient and prejudicial to the publick business transacted in the said House of parliament that such persons should be chosen members of it, because they would not be able to attend their duty in the same ; and the counties, cities, and boroughs, for which they should be chosen, would thereby be unrepresented in parliament during the continuance of such impediment to their attendance ; it is therefore declared and enacted by the King's most excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and the Commons in this present parliament assembled, that no person outlawed in due course of law, either upon a criminal or a civil prosecution, nor any person legally confined in prison in execution of any judgement of a court of justice, ought at any time heretofore to have been deemed, or shall at any time hereafter be deemed, to be capable of being elected to serve in the British House of Commons, as a member thereof, for any county, city, or borough, in either England, Wales, or Scotland, during the continuance of such outlawry or legal confinement. Any custom, resolution of the House of Commons, precedent, or opinion, or other thing, to the contrary hereof in any wife notwithstanding .
And whereas great discontents have arisen in the minds of many of his Majesty's faithful subjects on account of a resolution of the Commons House of parliament passed on the 17th day of February, in the year of declaring John Wilkes, Efq. who had, on the 28th day of March, in the year 1768, been duly chosen and returned a knight of the shire to serve in this present parliament for the county of Middlesex, and afterwards on the 3d day of February, in the year 1769, had been expelled from the faid Commons House of parliament by a majority of the
Lord 1769, members thereof, and then on the 16th day of the fame month of February, had been again duly elected and returned a knight of the Thire to serve in this present parliament for the said county ; to have been at the time of the re-election, and to be still at the time of passing the said resolution, incapable of being elected a member to serve in the faid parliament; from which resolution many persons have concluded that the said Commons House of parliament meant to declare that his said incapacity of being chosen a member of the said House of parliament arole merely from his said expulsion from the same, and not from the circumstance of his being at that time legally confined in prison in execution of a judgement of the court of King's Bench for having published two criminal writings, and his consequent inability to attend his duty, and serve his conftituents in parliament, though this had been mentioned as a principal ground for his expulsion :—and whereas it would be an unnecessary restraint upon the exercise of the right of election in the freeholders and other electors of Great Britain, and would greatly diminish the value of that important franchise, if they were to be precluded froin freely choosing for their representatives in parliament any persons that they shall think worthy of so high a trust, and esteem best qualified to serve them, who are not rendered incapable thereof by some known and general law, or some positive act of parliament in that behalf made and provided : IT IS therefore enacted by the King's most excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and the Commons in this present parliament assembled, that no expulsion of any member of the Commons House of parliament by the said House, whether already passed, or hereafter to be made or done, shall be construed, or taken to have created, or to create, any
pacity in the person so expelled to be again chosen into the said Commons House of parliament, either for the same place for which he had been chosen before, or for any other : but the person fo expelled shall remain capable of being re-elected to fit in the same parliament; and, if he shall be so re-elected either for the same or any other place, and he be otherwise duly qualified to be chosen according to the known laws of the land, he shall fit and vote in the faid Commons House of parliament in the same manner as if fuch expulsion had never happened, or he had then been chosen a member thereof for the first time.*
* Though no Act of Parliament of the kind here recommended has ever been passed, yet the Resolution of the House of Commons, formed on the 17th of February, 1769, for excluding Mr. Wilkes from bis seat in the House after his expulsion from it, on the preceeding 3d dag of February, and his Re-election on the 16th by the freeholders of the county of Middlesex, to wit, “ That John “Wilkes, Esquire, having been, in this session of Parliament, ex“pelled this House, was and is incapable of being elected a memher " to serve in this present Parliament," was afterwards rescinded by a subsequent House of Commons, in the spring of the year 1782, when Lord North retired from his offices of First Lord of the Treasury and Chancellor of the Exchequer, and was succeeded in the former of those offices by the Marquis of Rockingham, and the Earl of Shelburne was made Secretary of State. It seems reasonable, therefore, to conclude, “ That, as the law now stands, an expulsion of a “ Member of the House of Commons by the House, does not render
son expelled incapable of being elected again to serve in the same parliament.”
A PROPOSAL FOR A RECONCILIATION WITH THE RE. VOLTED PROVINCES OF NORTH AMERICA, WITHOUT EXEMPTING THEM FROM THE AUTHORITY OF THE
IN THE YEAR 1775.
IN the first place, to repeal the Quebeck-A&, and thereby re-establih the King's proclamation of O&tober, 1763, wit respect to the province of Quebeck, and reduce the extent of the said province to what it was before the late Quebeck-A2; or, perhaps, (if it shall be thought neeeffary, upon a full inquiry into the matter by the testimony of Sea-officers acquainted with Newfoundland, and the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, and the fisheries carried-on in those parts, and by the testimony of merchants acquainted with the same subje&s,) to enlarge the former extent of the province of Quebeck, as settled by the proclamation of October, 1763, by the addition of the coast of Labrador, which, by the said proclamation, was made part of the government of Newfoundland; but, by no means, to put all the interiour part of North-America into the province of Quebeck.
SECONDLY.-After thus repealing the Quebeck-Ad, and reviving the King's proclamation of O&ober, 1763, and reducing the province of Quebeck to a reasonable and moderate extent, capable of being governed by an Assembly, in pursuance of the promise in the said Royal proclamation, To ascertain the laws of the province. This should be done by expressly mentioning and confirming the Petition of Right, the Habeas Corpus Act, the Bill, or Declaration