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make the consideration of an answer from His Majesty td fupercede all other business. He then stated the various delays that had been thrown in the way of public business; when it was expected that the navy estimates would have been brought forward on Wednesday last, a noble Lord moved to adjourn. This day, when the fame, business was again expected, the fame noble Lord moved to adjourn; and on Monday, the consideration of the King's speech would be brought forward, still to put off the business of the supply; where would this end? Gentlemen were desirous to be thought ready to grant the supply, but that readiness was to be found only in their lips, not in their actions. .
Mr. Powys said, he was one of those who thought delaying Mr, Pd#y»i was not refusing a supply; and, whatever might be thought of his conduct, he would vote for the adjournment; for he did not think that any business should be brought on, until the House should have come to some resolution upon His Majesty's answer. For his part, he was ready at that moment to deliver his opinion of that answer; but as the House had thought- proper to put off the consideration of it td Monday, he would reserve himself for that day. An, ho- . nourable Baronet had said, that the franchises of the freeholders of Susiex were affected by the question which was to decide upon the right of a noble Lord to a feat in that House; but a far more momentous question was now to be agitated; a-question which would affect the rights and privileges of all the freeholders of England, whose rights were attacked in the persons of their representatives. Another honourable Baronet wished that the House might take into , consideration the situation of persons who deservedly had forfeited their liberty, and were confined by law: but a far more important question awaited the decision of the House— ■whether the people of England, who now enjoy liberty, shall be deprived of it by prerogative, or maintained in the enjoyment of it by the efforts of their representatives?
Lord Mahland observed, that though the question relative Lord Maiu to the office of Constable of the Tower stood for Tuesday, land, he sound himself obliged to postpone it for some time longer, until he should move for some more papers on the subject; for within the last two days he had discovered, that though the Constable of the Tower was said to have been paid by warrant from the War Office, very considerable sums passed from the civil list, through the hands of that officer.
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Mr. Steele. Mr. Steele said he thought, that as he had already assured the House that the present Constable of the Tower would not vote, until the question relative to his right to vote should have been decided, the views of the noble Lord would' have been sufficiently answered, as by that time probably the present contest might be at an end. When he said that the Constable of the Tower was paid by warrant from the War Office, he meant that he received his salary through that channel, and not that money might not also pass through his hands from other quarters. He concluded, by severely censuring the late adjournment. L«f<i Mait- Lord Maitland, with much warmth, desired to know by what right the honourable member spoke of the views of a member of Parliament, who was on his duty in that House: it very ill became any member, connected with Administration, to ascribe sinister views to men, merely because their proceedings did not appear friendly to Administration. Mr. Sheri- Mr. Sheridan said, that the late adjournment had not been proposed without the knowledge of a worthy Alderman of the city of London, much in the interest and confidence of the present Minister; and that gentleman, on being aflied, said he had no objection to the adjournment. Mr.Alier- Mr. Alderman Town/end said, he was the magistrate man Town- anU(}e(j t0 . that he had been consulted on the occasion; and his answer was, that he cared not if the House adjourned never to meet again. p.arlNugent Earl Nugent condemned the adjournment, because it threw a delay in the way of public business. He mentioned a report he had heard of a short Mutiny bill, but he hoped no such measure was serioufly in contemplation, for'it was unprecedented in the annals of this country. He charged the majority of the House as responsible for all the consequences of delay, and wished that gentlemen, laying aside all party animosity and punctilio, would heartily unite for the good of their country; the union-flag had been reared, but hitherto he was sorry to find few had rallied to it. 14. North. Lord North said a short mutiny act was not more unprecedented, than a short memory • if the noble Lord had a good memory he might have recollected, that in the very last session two short mutiny acts had passed; and that the present act, which would expire on the 2 jthof March, was in fact the third that passed last session. He thought a dissolution of Parliament Would produce most serious consequences, which ke was desirous to avert, by passing a short mutiny bill; he
wished that this Parliament might not soon be dissolved; and he wished it for this as well as for many other reasons, that the people of England might have time to make themselves acquainted with and understand the nature of the contest in which thtir representatives are at present engaged with the prerogative of the Crown, for he was convinced that the people would soon understand it; and he was as fully convinced that when they did understand it they would support their representatives. He had been told once that the borough of Banbury, which he had the honour to represent, had condemned his conduct by fending up an address of thanks for the dismission of the late Ministers, but he had the consolation to say that not one of his constituents had signed the address. The noble Lord ascribed to the majority all the bad consequences that the delay of public business might produce: but he knew very well that the right honourable gentleman on the floor (Mr. Pitt) might prevent all these consequences in twenty-four hours, by a resignation. How the majority could have been maintained, if not by principles of regard for the Constitution, he could not tell; for it was well known what very laudable endeavours had been used by threats to some, and by promises of honours and emoluments to others, to ease the majority of many of the members who compose it. It was imagined, he presumed, that a majority ought necessarily to attend upon a Minister, without any regard to principle and to honour; so that a majority having supported one Administration, it ought of course to be handed over as a kind of heir-loome to the succeeding Ministry. And the majority of the present House of Commons having had the presumption to break through ^his opinion, and the audacity to act with freedom, with sirmness, and with consistence, was justly stiled a faction; a set of rebels who had the temerity to raise their voice against the Minister, and carry a complaint against him to the foot of the Throne. When such a majority appeared against an Administration, it was absolutely necessary that either the Parliament should be dissolved, or the Ministry dismissed; for he might say with truth—Mors Conradi vita-Coroli—Vita Conradi mors Caroli: but as he said before, he wished the Parliament might not be soon dissolved, and he would not hesitate to say, that the Parliament and the people would soon be one. He wished for union as earnestly as any man, (though by the bye if there was no union, he would have some chance of getting again into office; whereas he had resolved to take himself out
Gg 2 of of the way, in case an union should not be otherwise found practicable) for he knew that union alone could be the salvation of the country. But the dignity of the House, and its weight in the Constitution must not be sacrisiced. He had been a witness to a circumstance on Wednesday last, the like of which he had never seen before; he had seen a member of that House hissed within the very walls of the palace, while attending his duty, in carrying up the address of the House: he had often heard of popular huzzaing and hiffing in the streets, of which by the bye in no circumstance did be ever approve, and which, he compared to that war in Paris in the time of the great Conde, called la guerre des pots de chambre; but he never remembered to have heard that even a common councilman had been hissed, or insulted under the roof of Majesty, where he had seen a member of that House insulted by contemptuous behaviour and hisses. He did not mean-to fay that Ministers encouraged such insults; but gentlemen would easily see how petty officers, and the most insignisicant persons about the Court can catch the manners of their superiors, when they sind that it is fashionable to run down the House of Commons, and sink their consequence in the country.
The hon. The Honourable Charles Marjham said he would vote for Char. Mar- the adjournment ; but he would not have it understood .that fram- he meant to refuse the supply; he knew it was the wish of the people that the supplies should be voted; he wished therefore the Minister would propose the loan, and bring forward his supplies, and he assured him, that on that head, whatever might be his opinion of his conduct in other respects,. he fliould have his support. JUr.Fox. Mr. Fox begged the House would remember, that though the majority had .been once already charged with having refused the supply, merely because it had been postponed, the charge was refuted by the subsequent grant of it: the majority thought it improper, in the sirst moment after an ungracious answer from the King, ro vote the supply, until a measure had been previously taken by the House, to secure its own honour. By this precedent, he intended to regulate his future conduct; and when the House should on Monday have agreed to some previous measure, lhat might secure its own honour anc! consequence, he would then vote the supply, without even waiting to know what would be the effect of that measure. . .
Mr. Loveden observed he had, in right of himself and sa- Mt, Lotb. mily, the misfortune to be a great public creditor, and was of den' course an enemy to procrastination. But whatever became of that property, he trusted another kind of property would remain to him, which would give him a constitutional right to enjoy a seat in the House, as long as he wished to continue it, and support his independence there. That having unhappily been prevented from attending his duty when the resolutions were agitated, which some gentlemen thought a regard for the honour of the House required them to support; and as he never had enlisted under the banners of party, and wouldgive his reasons for supporting the present Ministers, in preference to those who had recently been dismissed, he hoped a country gentleman might pretend to some knowledge of the constitution of that government under which he lived, and might express some concern for the good of his country, without intruding on the particular department of some gentlemen, who arrogated to themselves all constitutionalknowledge, who were zealous and most disinterested advocates for the public good, and who thought their claims to public favour, sounded in their warm profes.sions fpr the public weal, superior to those of others who had done real benefit to the state. He did not distrust the attention of the House to sentiments which flowed in unadorned language spontaneously from his heart, notwithstanding it was frequently amused, and its judgement misled by fine speeches, abounding with the choicest flowers of rhetoric, which rivalled the antient oratory of Greece and Rome. Mr. Loveden said, the happy form of government under which we lived had ever claimed universal admiration, and justly received the. historian's penegyric through every age and nation. That it was their indispensable duty, who felt and enjoyed its blessings, to resist with all their might the smallest attempt to injure or introduce an innovation in that system which even foreigners looked up to with veneration. That it was their care, their sacred charge, to deliver down to their posterity that inestimable blessing which had descended to them from the virtue of their ancesters. That the welfare of their country and the happiness of its subjects ever had depended upon the due exercise of the function adapted by the Constitution to the three component parts of the Legislature, King, Lords, and Commons. That our liberties were in danger, when either branch stepped beyond its natural bound's, for then it must invade the privileges of another.