《焦点访谈》谈中国经济疫情组合拳 闪送多举措被关注

Up to this point, the whole Government and magistracy seemed as much stupefied as the poor wretches who had perished in the flames of the distillery. The king was the first to awake from this fatal lethargy. He summoned a Council on the morning of the 7th of June, at which he presided, and demanded what they had to propose for the suppression of these disorders. At the king's question the Cabinet appeared dumb-foundered. It was the general opinion that no officer could proceed to extremities against a mob, however it might be breaking the law, until an hour after the Riot Act had been read by a magistrate. This was a monstrous perversion of the meaning of that Act; but, had even this been zealously followed out, the riots must have been promptly suppressed. Luckily, at this moment Wedderburn, the Attorney-General, answered the king's interrogation boldly, that the Riot Act bore no such construction as was put upon it. In his opinion, no single hour was required for the dispersion of a mob after the reading of the Riot Act; and not even the reading of the Act at all was necessary for the authorisation of military force where a mob was found actually committing a felony by firing a dwelling-house, and could not be restrained by other means. Encouraged by Wedderburn's contention, the king declared that that had always been his own opinion, and that now he would act upon it. There should be, at least, one magistrate in the kingdom who would do his duty. The Council, gathering courage, then concurred, and a proclamation was issued, warning all householders to keep within doors with their families, the king's officers being now ordered to put down the riots by military execution, without waiting for any further reading of the Riot Act.

As the French now made vigorous preparations for war, George II. began to tremble for Hanover, and put out all his energies to accomplish fresh alliancesof course, at the cost of fresh subsidies to be paid by England. Hesse-Cassel, the Empress of Russia, and even his old enemy, Frederick of Prussia, were applied to, and engaged, by promises of English money, in defence of Hanover. George was especially afraid of Frederick, who was bound by no ties where his interest was at stake, and who, if not retained at a high rate, might fall on Hanover as he had done on Silesia. In gaining Frederick, however, George lost his old ally, Austria, which, forgetting all past obligations, immediately made alliance with France.

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The movement going forward in the Established Church of Scotland during this reign related almost exclusively to the subject of patronage. This church, though drawing its origin from Switzerland, a thoroughly Republican country, and rejecting bishops, took good care to vest the right of presenting ministers to parishes in the clergy. The Government insisted on this right continuing in lay patrons; but for some time after the Revolution the people asserted their right to choose their own pastors, and continued to carry it. But in 1698 the General Assembly took the opportunity, when it had been accused by the English Church of throwing the office of choosing ministers amongst the people, to repudiate all such notion on their part. They declared unanimously that "they allowed no power in the people, but only in the pastors of the Church, to appoint and ordain to such offices."

In order to enable the revenue to furnish the required million surplus for the Sinking Fund, Pitt found it necessary to propose to extend the excise laws to foreign wine, which had hitherto been under the jurisdiction of the Custom House. He contended that, on a moderate calculation, the sum lost to the revenue by the frauds in the trade in wine amounted to upwards of two hundred and eighty thousand pounds per annum. To remedy this, and to prevent at once smuggling and the adulteration of wine, the excise officers were to have free access to the cellars of all who sold wine, but not into private ones. To abate that repugnance to the law which excise laws awaken in the public mind, Pitt stated that the change would not amount to more than thirteen thousand pounds a year, and that not more than one hundred and seventy additional officers would be required, who could add little to the influence of the Crown, as they were by law incapable of voting at elections. He carried his Bill with little difficulty through the Commons; but in the Lords, Lord Loughborough made a decided set against it, and pointed out one most shameful provision in itnamely, that in case of any suit against an exciseman for improper seizure, a jury was prohibited giving more damages than twopence, or any costs of suit, or inflicting a fine of more than one shilling if the exciseman could show a probable cause for such a seizure. Lord Loughborough declared justly that this was a total denial of justice to the complaint against illegal conduct on the part of excisemen, for nothing would be so easy as for the excise to plead false information as a probable cause. It was a disgraceful infringement of the powers of juries, and Lord Loughborough called on Lord Camden to defend the sacred right of juries as he had formerly done. Camden was compelled to confess that the clause was objectionable; but that to attempt an alteration would destroy the Bill for the present Session, and so it was suffered to pass with this monstrous provision.

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