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nisters, as the only means by which such a government might be formed, as all parties had unanimously voted to be necessary: with a view therefore to this, he moved the insertion of the following words, after the words " measures as" in the original motion: "by removing any obstacle to forming such an Administration as the House has declared to be requisite in the present critical and arduous situation of affairs." He was of opinion himself that a direct address to the King Would be better than a resolution; but as the latter had been preferred by the right honourable mover, he would not attempt to alter it.
Mr. Minchin seconded the motion for the amendment; but it was merely with a nod, and without a speech. Sirwilliam Sir William Wake opposed the motion generally: he said Wlkr' that the tide of popularity unquestionably ran in favour of the right honourable gentleman at the head of the Ministry, though he would not say that there were not places, one of which he knew very well, where the public opinion was in favour of the late Administration. The House of Commons, indeed, was against the Minister; but what was a small majority of that House, compared with the other two branches of the Legislature, and the voice of the people. The House had pasted some resolutions, injudiciously, in his opinibn, and now made it a point of honour to adhere to them. A mistaken fense of dignity in the American war had nearly ruined this country; and it would be a fatal dignity indeed, if it should, on the present occasion, be productive of those mischiefs that might be apprehended from it. Mr Powyi. Mr. Powys said, that seeing by the countenances of gentlemen, that they wished to know his opinion on the amendment proposed by the right honourable gentleman, he would make no difficulty to gratify the House on that head. He 'confessed that the amendment did not appear to him at all necessary, because, as he said before, he had the firmest reliance th&t His Majesty would yet lend a favourable ear to the requests of the House. He made no doubt but the right honourable gentleman, high in office, would avail himself of the delay of two days between this and Monday, to re-con'sider with his colleagues, the resolutions that the House had . already laid before His Majesty; and he flattered himself that the answer would still be favourable. It was with this view, and not with an intention to refuse the supply, that he voted for postponing the consideration from the Committee on the Ordnance estimates. But after having said this, he was ready to declare, that if the right honourable gentleman presled his % amend
amendment, he would vote for it: he voted for the resolutions to which it referred, and he would not shrink from any vote that he ever gave.
Mr Banks thought himself bound in truth and in justice Mr. Banks. to fay that he believed the motives of the honourable gentleman who moved the original question, were as pure as he described them to be; that he meant by voting to postpone the supply, not to refuse it ultimately; and that his motion this day was dictated by the purest love for his country. But while the honourable member claimed to himself the merit of acting from the dictates of his judgement, he knew his candour would not suffer him to arrogate that to himself which he was not willing to allow to another. With respect to the question, as it had been originally moved, it did not strike him as he heard it read, that there was any thing in it that might be called objectionable, and therefore he probably might have voted for it, had it remained in that shape; but lince the right honourable gentleman had moved an amendment, the nature of the question was materially altered; and whatever he might have thought himself bound, through consistency, to give to the question in its sirst shape, he could not hesitate for a moment relative to the vote he would give if the amendment should be carried. The House would recollect that two resolutions had been laid before his Majesty, one of which most certainly pasted unanimously; but the other was carried only by a small majority; now the right honourable gentleman who moved the amendment, very ingeniously and dexterously engrafted the latter upon the former; in hopes, no doubt, that the House from having unanimously pasted a question, which in point of principle was the fame with one part of the amendment, might be induced to agree to another, which was taken from a resolution that had been opposed, and carried only by a small majority. But the House, he trusted, would make a due distinction, and reject that part which had been opposed before, if it was expected that the other might be pasted now. The honourable member who opened the debate, touched upon three grounds on which he said the unpopularity of the late Administration was founded. Xhe receipt tax; the India bill; and the coalition. With respect to the sirst, the honourable gentleman had asked if the present Ministers would wish to rest their popularity on the support they had given to the receipt tax; he would answer him, that the part which his right honourable friend took, (Mr. Pitt) when the tax was sirst proposed, was no secret j he made no secret of
it; he gave his opinion on it when it was first opened; he supported it openly in the face of the country, from which he never disguised it: it was clear, therefore, from this, that the popularity of the present Administration did not arise from an opinion now prevailing among the people, that his right honourable friend was an enemy to that tax, and that he would take the first opportunity to repeal it. The second point and ground of unpopularity to the late Ministry, stated by the honourable gentleman, was the India bill, which unquestionably appeared to the public of a very alarming nature indeed; but the honourable gentleman said the poison had been extracted from it: the patronage which had been the greatest cause of alarm was to be so fettled, as to remove the objection to the bill arising from that point. But how did the House know this? -Let the bill be first brought in, and then printed; the House would then be able to judge how far that dreadful evil was removed; at present, jt could not be expected that the House would go the length of saying that now there was no objection on the score of patronage; that would indeed be premature, it would be time enough to make such a declaration, when the bill, in its new form, should have been printed and put into the hands of the members. For his own part, indeed, he would go so far before hand, as to fay that if the article of patronage should be disposed of in such a manner as that it should not endanger the Constitution, undoubtedly the principal objection that he had to the bill would be removed. As to the third point, the coalition, it certainly was not dead; it was still in full vigour; if the Chancellor of the Exchequer was to unite with it, he should only make himself a sharer in that unpopularity which attended the coalition; on that head he would ask one question, the answer to which would be applicable to his right honourable friend: the question wac, would the right honourable gentleman declare, that it he had seen the unpopularity the coalition had since drawn upon his head, he would nevertheless have formed it? If he answered in the affirmative, he would of course point out to his right honourable friend, that he ought not to think of coalescing. The addresses in Charles the Second's days need not have been mentioned, unless the addresses of the present days had been to pray the King to restore those Ministers who had attempted to shake the foundation of corporate bodies, and rob them of their charters! But the anecdote was certainly inapplicable on the present occasion, when the addresses contained thanks for .the dismission of Ministers who
had attempted to invade and trample upon chartered rights. With respect to the motion, he said before, that he objected strongly to the amendment; and therefore, if it should be carried, he would oppose the whole motion so amended.
The Hon. Charles Mar/ham declared, that notwitstanding The hon. the odious interpretation that had been put upon his con- Ch"* duct, when he voted for postponing the supply; he still ilum' maintained that he never meant to refuse it ultimately. He wanted only a short delay of forty-eight hours, to take breath, after the message which had been delivered by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to the House, and from which it appeared that the wishes of the House, contained in the resolutions that were laid before his Majesty, had as yet produced no effect. To have voted the supply unconditionally after such. a message, without explanation, and without taking'any notice of it, would, in: his opinion, have been a proceeding that would have funk for ever the consequence of the House of Commons. and he was sorry that a respectable Baronet on the other side of the way had spoken so triflingly of the dignity of that House, as to call it a " fatal dignity." When the dignity of the House of Commons should once be destroyed, there would be an end of its consequence in this country, and consequently there would be an end of its constitution; for if the representatives'of the people were to be considered as comparatively of less weight than the King and Lords in the Legislature, it would no longer be looked up to, and consequently would fall into contempt, and of course into disuse.
Sir William Wake said, that he was very far from wishing Sir'w«u to insult the dignity of the House: he meant only to say, Wakethat it was a miitaken fense of dignity that had plunged the House into the support of the measure of the American war; and when he reviewed all the disasters that this war brought and entailed upon the country, he could not help saying, that it was a fatal dignity to the kingdom. In this and in no other fense did he mean it; for no- man could be more desirous to support the consequence of the House of Commons,. without which this Constitution could not be maintained. But when he considered the smallness of the majorities by which the different resolutions had been carried, he could not help repeating that such majorities were not of much weight, when compared to the two other branches of the Legislature, supported by the opinion of the people at large.
Sir Horace Mann was extremely obliged to the honourable Sir Hor»c* meinber, /Mr. Banks^ for the very handsome and liberal Mww'
manner in which he did justice to the character of bis honourable friend (Mr. Powys) who was certainly a man above duplicicity, and would not fay he meant only to postpone, if he intended wholly to refuse the supply. He hoped the House would think as favourably of himself; for though he held that the House had not lost that constitutional weapon of the Commons, the refusal of supplies; stijl he wi/hed not to employ it, except when absolute necessity called for it: jhe present was a crisis when the House was called upon to make a spirited stand in defence of those privileges inherent in them by the Constitution, and without which they would be a cypher in this country; but he hoped that what had already been done for postponing, would render it unnecessary for the country to go any farther in that way. He hoped that vote, and the resolution then before the House, which he trusted would be carried, would rouse Ministers from their lethargy, and convince them that a Ministry could not stand against the fense of the people. Various arts had been used to terrify numbers into a support of the present Ministers; the sword of dissolution had been suspended over their heads, like the sword of the Sicilian tyrant; but though it had some effect, still he rejoiced that a body sufficient to constitute a majority, had remained sirm and inflexible: and whatever might be his fate, for the conduct that he had held in this business, he would always esteem it as the principal honour of his life, to have belonged to a Parliament that had overturned two Administrations ; and which the terrors even of dissolution did not move. Gentlemen had said much about the sense of the people, which they stated was to be collected from addresses; for it was merely from the circumstance of addresses, that the friends of the present Ministers assumed a right to fay they were popular in the country: as for addresses, they never had much weight with him; he knew a bell-man had collected signatures, without any meeting or discussion. But whether fairly or otherwise obtained, he must unlearn all that he was taught about the Constitution of this country, if he was to believe that the fense of the people of England was to be collected any where but in the House of Commons. Addresses and speeches might speak the language of individuals, but the collected voice of the nation, constitutionally speaking, was to be learnt only within the walls of that House.
Mr. H. Dundas wissied to consider the resolution as an address; and he also wished that the amendment might be put