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dresses, that might lead to consequences of whieh they were not aware, he said, “ Are your resolutions to be a dead let; ter? Or are they to be followed up with other measures :"> And surely this could not be called disrespectful language to the House. The right honourable gentleman had faid, that there was a design to lessen the consequence of the House of Commons : but those, said Mr. Dundas," who know what I was, and what I am, will never think that I, of all men, could ever entertain á defign to lessen the dignity of this House : for whatever little consequence and distinction I have, if I have any, I derive entirely from this House ; and I know, that if the House of Commons was to cease to be what it now is, a branch of the Legislature, and a check and control upon the executive power, I must again return to the obscurity of a dull and laborious profession. He was surprised the right honourable gentleman should now think so ill of a learned Lord, with whom he had once formed a part of an adminiftration, and whom he used to call a very
manly man. Mr. Fox. Mr. Fox replied, that he did not always remember his own
expreffions : but he might have called that learned Lord by that name; and perhaps there was not a better proof in the world that it was well bestowed, than that that noble and learned Lord had been bold enough to hold out such language in public, as was that to which he alluded. He then did the right honourable gentleman at the head of the Treasury the justice to say, he did not believe him to be one of those who aimed at the life of the House of Conimons.
The question was at length put, and carried without a di
vision. Lord Beau. Lord Beauchamp then delivered a list of members to the
Speaker, and moved, that they be the Committee to inspect the Lords' Journals, and that they fit to-inorrow.
This inotion passed of course,
February 9. Lord Beau. Lord Beauchamp, after referring to the report of the Coma champ.
mittee (which was read) appointed on Thursday to inspect the Journals of the House of Lords, asserted, that the House of Cominons had acted in every reípect agreeable to its former consuetude on subjects of a similar nature; and that
Felther Houesercife of difere any bods Houte." which his
this point might be the more fully evinced, he would move, " That a Committee be appointed to examiñe into the usage of either House of Parliament to interpose touching the exercise or non-exercise of discretionary powers vested in the fervants of the Crown, or in any body of men for public purposes, and to report the fame to the House."
The motion being seconded, a Committee, of which his Lordship formed a part, was appointed accordingly. • The order of the day being called for, Commodore John. Commos
Aone rose and said, that before the House came to any farther dore Johns resolutions, or went into farther confiderations on the state conc. of the nation, he wished the honourable gentlemañ below him (Mr. Fox) would bring forward and exhibit his India bill, He had alledged it was ready ; it was in his pocket. Why did he not produce it? It was to his obftinate refiftance on this subject that the present stagnation of public business' was to be attributed.' His Majesty, his Minifters, the Country, the Parliament, and the Company, looked with expectancy for the production of this new system of reform; and till it was exhibited, he did not fee either how men in office could quit their stations, or the business of the nation be executed,
Mr. Fox contradicted the assertion, that public business Mr. Fox was interrupted because his bill' was not exhibited. He would tell the honourable gentleman who spoke laft why the affairs of the nation were at a stand. It was because a Miniftry perfifted in the retention of their offices, notwithstand ing the House had declared that they did not possess its confidence. Confidence is the ground of every government; and without confidence no government can be conducted, 'no administration can exist. At the present crisis there was a · Ministry, but there was, in fact, no' Government at all. How long a desperate set of men might think proper to disturb the public happiness, to interrupt the progress of the great national affairs of this kingdom, he could not say: bub he wished it to be understood, that it was to them, and to their obstinacy, that all those disasters were to be attributeding which at present presented themtelyes under so many alarming afpects to the people of this country. He wilhed the House to proceed with caution, with deference to Majesty, and with becoming moderation at the present threatening crisis. No circumstance could render their procedure either more respectable or more efficacious than this.. The Sove. reign had declared his most gracious, intention to take into VOL. XIII.
confideration the resolutions of the House of Commons intimated to him. He wished, therefore, that the House would wave all farther procedure on points of so much delia cacy, till the effect of its former resolutions on the Royal mind were fully known. This was a mode of procedure which he thought became the dignity of the House; and till fuch time as it was known what His Majesty's deterinina
tions were, whether he was resolved to follow the example , of his illuftrious forefathers, or to pursue a different line of
conduct, he thought it would be fit to poftpone the order of the day to Friday or Monday next, as might seem molt
agreeable to the sentiments of the House. Lord Ma. Lord Mahon said he did not by any means rife to oppose hon.
the adjournment which had just been moved. He only withed the right honourable gentleman, (Mr. Fox) to explain some particulars of his conduct, and to speak the same language in the House. The subject was the voice of the people. He had lately said, that their voice was to be heard within these walls. There was a time when he reprobated that doctrine. The noble Lord held a paper in his hand, which contained a resolution of the Westminster Committee, which he would read to the House. It was to this effect, and it was. dated from the King's Arms tavern ; that Lord North's saying the voice of the people of England was only to be heard in Parliament was unconstitutional. This resolution was signed Charles-James Fox. This inconsistency he would be glad the right honourable gentleman would explain. There was still another point on which he thought his conduct required to be explained. He had heard him some time ago fay, that it was not the intention of the House to stop the fupplies: but a very different sentiment had escaped him last Thursday, in answer to the right honourable gentleman. (Mr. Pitt) over the way; for then he had said, that it was, in his apprehension, very improper to go on with the supplies. These were things in which the noble Lord should be glad to be set right, especially as he conceived no inconsiderable majority of the right honourable gentleman's constituents thought as he did. He had put these questions, because he wished to act openly, and to bring forth an answer from the right honourable gentleman's own mouth. He should also like to debate the matter with him in the face of his confti. tuents to-morrow, where he hoped the right honourable gentleman would come forward and give them an opportunity of putting such interrogatories to him as it becomes the member of such a city to answer; and there he trusted the right
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were, that intce now read, with the resolwere now madware for
honourable gentleman 'would learn from his reception, that the majority of his constituents condemned his conduct. ,
Mr. Fox begged only to say a few words in reply to what Mr. Fox.. had fallen from the noble Lord, as he was well aware for what purpose these misrepresentations were now made. The circumstances connected with the resolution of the Westininfter Committee now read, which his Lordship had not stated, were, that he was at that time Chairman of the Committee, and often obliged to figii refolutions which he did not approve ; that the noble Lord, on those violent measures, al. ways voted against him, though he had no right to vote at all, and that consequently he might have signed the resolutions now mentioned, though he had voted against them. He did not, however, mean to deny the opinion imputed to him in that instance : but because he thought it improper to say, that the voice of the people was only to be heard in Parlia. ment, did that imply, that therefore he adopted the converse propofition, that their voice was never to be heard there? Such a conftru&tion of his words was contrary to common sense ; for he ever did, and he trusted he ever had held the House of Commons the natural and conftitutional organ by which the collective voice of the people was to be gathered. But then he begged to know whether the House of Commons was now the came with what it was when this resolution was produced? Had all that was done to purge the representation of what they thought unconstitutional been of no avail? Had all those struggles in which he had acted with the noble Lord, and other of his old friends, terminated in leaving the House of Commons in the same corrupt state in which they found it? and with all that load of influence against the weight of the People in the scale of the Constitution, which, under the period and administration referred to, deprived it of its necessary popularity? The meaning, therefore, of the noble Lord was, that now the influence of the Crown was reduced, the House was less the organ of the people's sentiments than when that was the case. The difference consequently between the noble Lord and him was, that he contended for the People's influence, and his Lordship for that of the Crown. It was by this sort of equivocal language that the noble Lord was likely enough to impose on many of his constituents; and these were the miserable artifices by which the party who opposed the majority of that House were affiduous to interest the public in their favour : but he was happy that it fell to his share in this manner to oppose the sense of the People to that of the Crown. It was the line of conduct he had al1 M 2
afted Arancesin tothing He woas not easy mighould not us
ways and uniformly pursued, and in which, with some resolution, in opposition to much importunity and intereft, he had always perfifted ; and he trusted those who differed from him on constitutional ground would never have any better plea. The noble Lord's other accusation about the House's stopping the supplies, was just as loosely and un, correctly stated as his former. The statement at least now made had not accorded at any time with his ideas on the Lubject; and he would rely on the recollection of the House, whether any words which had fallen from him could bear such an interpretation. Most certainly the term of fop, for example, had not been used by him on the occalon. It was a resource which the Constitution placed in the House for its own defence, but which ought not to be acted from but when authorised by emergencies of the laft importance. It was, indeed, an effc&tual redress, but a redress which nothing but some great and presling neceffity could render eligible. He would not say such an incident might not take place, as it was not easy to say in what the present circumstances of the country might terminate, But undoubtedly it was a ftep to which he would not consent for one, while it was in the power of the House to adopt any other measure more moderate and pacific. : His language, therefore, in answer to the right honourable gentleman, was misrepresented. He had used the word poftpone, not fop ; and on what principle had he done this? Because he could perceive no disposition on the part of Minifters to consult the honour, the consequence of the House, which is in fact the confequence of the people in this country: Much zeal, he understood, was used to pro, cure addreffes from various parts of the kingdom, that they might at least give an appearance of popularity to the present Ministry." But these addresses, considering by whom they were signed, and to what purpose, should not be considered by him as decisive. He defired any one who doubt, ed this only to consult the Gazette, in which, those especially from such places as Wolverhampton and York, the numbers in both bore no proportion to the populace which
these places contained. Sir Harry Sir Harry Highton did not like this mode of speaking, as · Hoghton. he thought it contained reflections on his conduct yery un
defervedly: He had acted with the noble Lord on the American war till he thought matters were pushed too far, and then he had withdrawn his support. He had also voted