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ENLARGED AND IMPROVED,
FOR JANUARY, 1785.
THE HISTORY OF THE SECOND SESSION OF THE SIXTEENTH PARLIAMENT OF GREAT-BRITAIN.
Begun and bolden at Westminster, on the 25th of January, 1785.
N the course of the recefs nothing had occurred to disturb the tranquillity of the cabinet. Some fmall changes had been made by the confent of all parties; and Lords Shelburne and Temple were engaged by additional honours to fupport the miniftry. The new taxes were found to be more productive than had been expected, and, though heavy, were borne by the people without murmuring. In Ireland, the people, with their ufual inconftancy, feemed weary of purfuing a parliamentary reform, or to defpair of fuccefs. The fpirit which at firft engaged them in that purfuit was evidently on the decline; and the Irish parliament, which was just affembled, promifed a ready concurrence with every measure of government. On the continent, the claim of the Emperour to the free navigation of the Scheldt engaged the attention of Europe. Negotiations for a compromife were still carried on, while both parties made vigorous preparations for war. If the difpute fhould be ultimately decided by arms, it would evidently involve the leading powers of Europe. Great-Britain alone appeared but little interested in the event, and to have it in her power to preserve an advantageous neutrality.
Jan. 25. His Majefty opened the feffion with the following moft gracious fpeech from the throne:
My Lords and Gentlemen,
AFTER the laborious attendance of the laft feffion of parliament, LOND. MAG. Jan. 1785.
it has given me peculiar pleasure, that the fituation of public affairs has admitted of fo long a recefs.
Among the objects which now require confideration, I muft particularly recommend to your earneft attention the adjustment of fuch points in the commercial intercourfe between GreatBritain and Ireland as are not yet finally arranged. The fyftem which will unite both kingdoms the most clofely on principles of reciprocal advantage will, I am perfuaded, best enfure the general profperity of my dominions.
I have the fatisfaction to acquaint you, that, notwithstanding any appearance of differences on the continent, I continue uniformly to receive, from all foreign powers, the strongest affurances of their good difpofition towards this country.
Gentlemen of the Honfe of Commons,
I have ordered the estimates for the enfuing year to be laid before you. I confide in your liberality and zeal to grant the neceffary fupplies, with a juft regard as well to the economy requifite in every department, as to the maintenance of the national credit, and the real exigencies of the public fervice.
My Lords and Gentlemen,
The fuccefs which has attended the meafures taken in the laft feffion towards the fuppreffion of fmuggling, and for the improvement of the revenue, will encourage you to apply yourfelves with continual affiduity to thofe
important objects. You will, I truft, alfo take into early confideration the matters fuggefted in the reports of the commiffioners of public accounts, and fuch further regulations as may appear to be neceffary in the different offices of the kingdom.
I have the fulleft reliance on the continuance of your faithful and diligent exertions in every part of your public duty. You may at all timest depend on my hearty concurrence in every measure which can tend to alleviate our national burthens, to fecure the true principles of the conftitution, and to promote the general welfare of my people.
When his Majefty and the Commons had retired, the Marquis of Buckingham and Marquis of Lanfdown were introduced; and the Lord Chancellor having read the fpeech, the Duke of Hamilton and Brandon rofe to move an addrefs of thanks. He was forry that a duty fo honourable was not to be difcharged by an abler person; but he trufted in the goodness of their lordfhips that they would indulge him for a minute, while he declared how much he approved of the speech which they had heard. The fettlement of the commercial connection between this country and Ireland was an object of fuch ferious concern, that he knew their lordships would agree with him in thinking that it could not be more zealously recommended from the crown than it would be chearfully taken up by the Houfe. It must be highly pleafing to their lordships, as well as creditable to his Majefty's minifters, that, at a time when alarms were given of contefts on the continent, we had fo borne ourselves, as to receive pacific affurances from all the neighbouring powers. The fuppreffion of fmuggling was an object the moft defirable, and the reforms fuggefted by the commiffioners of public accounts, whofe la bours did them fo much honour, were productive of fuch obvious benefit, that he was fenfible their lordships would be happy to give his Majefty affurances of their readiness to fecond his gracious ideas in that refpect. On the whole of the fpeech he was con
vinced there needed no argument to induce their lordships to agree with him in the propriety of an addrefs of thanks. He, therefore, fhould content himself with moving, that an addrefs be prefented to his Majefty, in the ufual terms of acknowledgement and affurance of their readinefs to fulfil his Majefty's wishes, as declared in the fpeech.
Lord Waffingham faid, that, in feconding the motion of the noble duke, he fhould prefume only to trouble their lordships with a few fentences, in addition to what his grace had fo forcibly and fully recommended to their notice. The topics held out to the attention of parliament in his Majefty's moft gracious fpeech were fo worthy of their moft ferious regard, and were in themselves fo important, that he was confcious there needed not the weighty influence of his Majesty's recommendation, to induce their lordfhips to take them into their view. The full and final accomplishment of a liberal fyftem of commercial connection between the two kingdoms of England and Ireland was a thing which every good man of both countries must be anxious to behold. Their lordships would, no doubt, be most ready to give his Majefty affurances, that they would co-operate with his Majefty in his patriotic views on this fubject; and that, from their earnest efforts on this head, they might hope to fee a fyftem formed, fo broad and liberal, fo becoming the enlarged fentiments of an intelligent people, and framed on fuch principles of juftice and wifdom, as might at once be beneficial to the two countries refpectively, and conducive to the general in terefts of the united empire.
The conduct of his Majefty's minifters, in fo wifely and advantageously preferving us from all share in the dif ferences which appeared on the continent, was highly deferving the thanks of that House. Relieved fo lately from a war which had coft us fo much, and panting for repofe, their determined neutrality had been dictated by the beft policy; for by these means we fhould have leifure and opportunity to