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sit in the Committee; but rather thought the Committee should be appointed by ballot.
Commodore Jobnjlone perfectly coincided with the right Commohonourable Chancellor. He could not admit that Mr. Fox John,i had been actuated by a principle of philanthropy, as stated 0 by the gentleman who made the motion, in bringing forward his bill for the government of India. That honourable gentleman had of late dedicated a great portion of his time to the consideration of India affairs; but he was much inclined to suspect that ambition had as great a share in prompting such ideas as a spirit of philanthropy, or any other motive whatever. The villanies perpetrated in India were a favourite topio with certain gentlemen ; but he was convinced as great villanies were committed in this metropolis. The Commodore then went into a long examination of the principles of Mr. Fox's India bill, and answered fully Mr. Eden's arguments.
Mr. Dempster expressed a wish that something decisive Mr.Demp. might be done for India, and that in the confusion of affairs st<r* at home that continent might not be neglected till it was totally lost to this country.
Mr. Fox asserted, that if India was lost to this country, it would no longer have any thing worth retaining, but would in fact perish along with it. He hoped the Chancellor of the Exchequer would quickly bring forward some scheme for the regulation of India; if not, he must once more take it upon himself.
Mr. Lushington said a few words in favour of the motion made by Mr. Eden. •
Commodore Johnstone replied; after which the motion was put and agreed to. .
Mr. Alderman Sawbridge moved for a Committee to take into consideration the state of the representation of the people; which, after some debate, was negatived by 141 against 93.
Appointed a Select Committee to examine the accounts of the India House.
A short conversation occurred on the first reading of the American Intercourse bill.
On voting the annual sum for Chelsea Hospital, Sir Cecil Wray stated the enormity of the expence; it amounted to 5 rl. 5s. a man: he wished therefore the house was pulled down, and an annuity given to the men.
A short conversation occurred again on the American Intercourse bill, sopported by Mr. Eden, Mr. Herbert, and Mr. Ritt..
The order of the day being read for the reports of the amendments made in the Committee on the American trade lord Shef- and intercourse bill, Lord Sheffield said, he always wished to field. avoid giving trouble, and was sorry to find it necessary to oppose the bill then before the House, in its last stage, but the distrust of the Minister, which he had expressed on a former day, was greatly increased by the requisition, to have the extraordinary powers contained in it, granted for so long a term as three months, at this period of the session especially, it was now extraordinary; the present Solicitor General, no longer ago than last year, had objected to it for more than three weeks. His Lordship said, he trusted the House would not think any bill of the kind necessary; that every measure in any degree complicated, appeared to the ignorant extremely difficult; but when these will give themselves the trouble of a little enquiry and examination, those which seemed difficult, would appear perfectly simple and easy-. . He, was sure it would prove ib, as to what was necessary to be done in regard to America; but if this was too much for the Minister, the present proclamations might have been thrown into a bill for the prefect, the Minister might have proposed such alterations or omissions as his knowledge might suggest; any other Minister would have studiously declined such extraordinary responsibility. If the present was not disposed t» desperate measures he must have done so ; his Lordship said he could not place such confidence in a man, whole greatest
admirers admirers did not pretend to any ground for their confidence, except his having done nothing; a child just bom'had the fame advantages, yet might not be fit to be Minister; but he was sorry he could not consider the Minister in such a harmless state of innocence.—Exclusive of his conduct towards this House, and the leading part he took in the laie peace,
there are acts by which he can be judged First, the bill he
brought in last year for the regulation of traoV between the American States and the subjects of Great Britain; every clause was altered ; but the principle was so ba'd, that at length the bill was dropt: It would have proved • ruinous to our navy and commerce; and Parliament rather chose to give an extraordinary temporary power to the King in council, of disposing of laws, the continuance of which powi r, lot A longer time, is now most unnecessarily demanded. -no-her transaction by which he is known is, the manner of ciicu'mventing the late Administration, perhaps the most capable and efficient this country has ever known; tba.r subject required no illustration.—The third act by which he may be judged is, his late ineffectual East-India bill; on which it Is only necessary to observe, that although many voted for it, as proceeding from theMinister.it was not believed a single member sincerely approved it. His Lordship added, that so far from admitting the Minister had yet done nothing, and therefore he should be tried, he thought him guilty of a high crime and misdemeanour, by making or keeping open a breach between the Crown and the representatives of the people. It is not necessary now.to comment on1 the words he has put in the mouth of Majesty, but the time may come when the measures of the Crown or Ministers may not he popular; this House, degraded and made insignificant as it is, will not be in a situation to step in between or support them, but in the mean time, because it is not subservient to every measure of the new Minister, because, it cannot change it? principles and alter its proceedings as quick and as often as Administrations are changed, it is to be dissolved; when that happens on such ground, there is an end of the Constitution, and there can be no change for the worse: but the young Chancellor of the Exchequer seems to fancy the existence of the empire depends on his continuing first Minister, when it is obvious to the world, that on his resignation of an office, for which he is so unfit, order would immediately take place of our present miserable, helpless state, and much impending mischief would be prevented. He will however find that Vol. XIII. Q.q evea even if he should have a majority in Parliament, he and his associates would not be capable long to carry on the business of the country. His Lordship concluded by saying, that not having any other acts by which he could judge of the Minister, those we knew should inspire every man with distrust instead of confidence; and he was justified in stating his reasons for not trusting him with the unnecessary and extraordinary powers now demanded, especially when it was known he wishes to promote and establish, thrduoh it, the principle of that destructive bill he introduced last year, which would "have ruined the marine of England, if this House had not refused to adopt it. •
Sir Adam Ferguson, Sir P. J. Clerke, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer took part in the debate ; and nearly the same arguments were brought forward as had been used on the former readings of the bill; after which the report was brought up and agreed to.
The report from the Committee of the whole House on Lord Mahon's bill, for preventing bribery and corruption at elections for members to serve in Parliament, was brought up.
Lord Mahon moved that the amendment be now read.
Mr. Minchin opposed the motion, and moved that/7* months be inserted instead of now.
After some debate the House divided upon Mr. Minchin's motion. For if, 49 ; against it, 70.
A clause was then proposed by Mr. Hussey, for providing, that nothing in the act should be construed to extend to the preventing of candidates from defraying all necessary expences of "voters from their homes, to the place of voting, and back again 5 still keeping up the principle that the voter, nor any one for him should touch the money; but it should be paid to those who had carried and fed the voters, The motion vyas afterwards modified; but the principle of it was parried, and the House adjourned.
Afar eh 22.
The See. at The Secretary at War moved the order of the day, w^ for going into a Committee of supply, on the estimates
for the extrordinaries of the army : the order was accordingly . read, and the Secretary at War then moved, "that the Speaker
do now leave the chair."
Sir Grey Cooper begged leave to say a few words before the Sir Grey question was put. He said it Was now generally understood, Co0Per* that the Parliament was to be dissolved: but so daring and unwarrantable a measure would a dissolution be under the present circumstances of affairs that he could not conceive how ministers had ventured to resolve upon it. The House, it was true, had voted the army; but how was that army to be paid? • He believed there was not a man in the House who would be bold enough to say that any money could be issued for the pay of the army, after the' resolution had beert pasted to the cor? trary, until an appropriating act: should have passed! a speedy dissolution would prevent that, and the mere voteSj both of the troops and pay, would be completely done away by either a prorogation or a dissolution. If therefore any money should be issued for the pay of the army after the dissolution, and before the pasting of the appropriating act, he would not hesitate to say that such a measure would be an infraction of rights* inasmuch as it would cause to be kept up and paid an army without the consent of Parliament; and Ministers must recollect, that when a bill of rights was presented to King William and Queen Mary, it was presented as the condition hy which they were to hold the Crown. Ministers might expect art act of indemnity i but they should beware how they establish the dangerous precedent of violating the Constitution, with the hope of being able to have such a Parliament returned as would indemnify them from the consequences of violation of the Constitution. As to a dissolution in the middle of the session, while so much business remained to be dispatched, it was a measure that had never been heard of. The dissolution in 1705, on account of the dispute between the two Houses in the Aylefbury cause, was not a cafe in point; for almost all the public business had been dispatched, the army and navy voted, the supplies, and the appropriating act passed, and the . session very far advanced, before the Parliament was dissolved.:
Mr. Harrison d\d not fee the smallest pretence that Ministers Mr. Harris had now for a dissolution. The gentlemen on his side of the si>"« House (the opposition side) had declared that they would not oppose the measures of Administration. Why therefore was. not the pubUc business brought forward? The reason was plain; Ministers knew that their popularity was founded only in delusion, and misrepresentation, and that the revolution of a few weeks would put an end to it; and therefore, they trusted for support, not to their measures and their popularity, but to a new House of Commons. If this was -not the cafe,
Q_q 2 they