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with Lord Shelborne for a. peace, which he considered as a good one.
The Speaker put the honourable gentleman in mind that Thr Speahe was deviating altogether from the point in question, and ktrinsisted on attending to the order of the House.
Mr. Fax then said he meant not to blame any one who Mr. Fox. signed the addresses, as giving any opinion not their own.He doubted not but those whose address it was, had there expressed what they thought; but he contended that they could not be understood to express more ;' and in his opinion 160 was not a majority of above 10,000; nor could the address of only the former, by any decent interpretation whatever, be called that of the latter. He therefore wished gentlemen would not consider themselves as affronted, when in the course of conversation those topics were discussed in which individuals, from the late ievolutions in politics, might have acted with those with whom they acted 110 moie. By indulging such a spirit as this, it.would be absolutely impossible to debate any point without affecting almost every person both in the majority and minority. He believed his colleague as well as himself had not uniformly pleased his constituents. The noble Lord seemed to blaine him much for a difference in sentiment, for which he did not, nor could take any blame to himself. He had been called to meet the noble Lord in Westminster Hall, and there account for those things which had lately been laid to . his charge. It had not often been imputed to him, that he had been very shy of appearing publicly. Some people had rather blamed his forwardness in that respect. . However, he would always consult those on whose judgments he depended, with regard both to the time and place of such meetings. He hoped at the fame time that the moment would soon come when the sense of the people would, on the subjects of present contention, be fully understood; that Englishmen would be sensible whenever they could obtain full information of the danger there was in embracing the new doctrine of there being another representation than in the House. of Commons. For his part, if they could admit an hereditary representation, the matter was all over, and the dispute at an end. These misrepresentations he was therefore obliged to refuse. He would advise the noble Lord not to push them too far, for mankind were not always to be deceived; and they would not be so in the present case for any length of time.
Lord Mahon attempted to explain what he had formerly advanced, but the House would not listen to him.
Mr.Po xys. Mr. Powys affirmed that the conduct of members without doors was no official ground of charge against them in the House. If gentlemen were to found charges of this kind, and on such bottoms, it would be but to adjourn to Westminster Hall, or the Court of Requests.
Lord John Laid John Cavendish informed the House, that several
Csv^ndisl>. misrepresentations had obtained respecting the York meeting, of which he had obtained authentic information.
Sir Cecil Sjr Cecil Wray said, that he had not the same sentiments "5, of the present distractions with his honourable colleague. He informed the House that he . had attended a meeting of his constituents at the Shakespeare on Thursday last. He had there met with a reception from some gentlemen which he might not have expected. He called for the reasons of their conduct, but had obtained no satisfactory ones. He owned that he might, amidst the present political distractions, have lost some old friends, but to compensate for this be had obtained some new adherents; and he did not doubt but that his colleague was precisely in the same predicament.
Sir J. Wrottefley affirmed that that he had presented was fairly obtained.
Mr. Fox. Mr. Fox said, that 160 people were by no means the proper representatives of a body consisting of 10,000. The motion was carried.
Mr Eden. Mr. Eden reminded the House, that a report was nowlying on the table from the Committee appointed to enquire into the illicit trade carried on in this kingdom. There was a cafe which ought to be deemed part of the object of the enquiry of that Committee, but on which it did not venture to give an opinion, because there was actually pending in the House a .bill, which he hoped would answer every purpose that the Committee could wish. The bill he alluded to was for the better enforcing the payment of the Receipt tax: that bill, however, owing to the present state of. the nation, had been too long suffered to remain unnoticed; and yet it was a matter of the greatest magnitude, as the tax, if properly enforced, would produce so considerable a sum as 5000J. a week. He did not
mean to embarrass the present nominal Administration •with questions on this subject; it was one in which every member of the House was interested, and therefore he lioped that both sides would concur in bringing forward, •without any farther delay, a bill, through the want of ■which this country was weekly a loser to a great amount. He called, therefore, upon the noble Lord who brought in the bill, to inform the House when he intended to move to take it again into consideration.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer said, that as the bill was The Chan, originally introduced by the noble Lord, his predecessor, «,loro^e he thought it not decent to take it out of his hands: for xc e1*CT* his own part, he thought that if it was the opinion of the House the tax should be supported, it certainly would be proper to send the bill to a Committee.
Lord John Cavendish observed, that though the tax was Lord John unpopular, it was not upon that account he had hitherto Clvcn<i"11' refrained from bringing the bill forward •, but because the country, in the first place, was in a state of distraction, and in the next, because there' were some difficulties in the clauses, which he hoped the gentlemen of the long robe would enable him to remove. For his own part, he thought the tax a very good one; the people had been taught to dislike it, before they felt the smallest inconvenience from it: but while he was satisfied in his own mind that it was good, he was ready to take his share of the unpopularity of enforcing it, and therefore, with the leave of the House, he would take up the farther consideration of the bill on Thursday next.
Mr. HuJJey called upon the Chancellor of the Exchequer Mr.Hufliy. to declare whether he was a friend to the bill or not; for 1 if he was not, it would be a very singular circumstance indeed to see a member out of office attempt to carry a question of finance in that house, contrary,to the sense of His Majesty's Ministers: he did not hesitate to fay, that he was himself a decided friend to the tax: he wished only to know whether the bill was to have the support of the Minister of Finance.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer thought he had already The Chair, sufficiently explained himself on the subject, by saying he ""°rot the had no objection to the commitment of the bill. If the * ,u tax was to subsist at all, and :he House seemed to have decided that point before Christmas, it was proper it should be made as efficient as possible y and therefore a bill which
had for object to make it so, ought unquestionably to be taken into consideration. When it should get into the Committee, there he would deliver his opinion upon it;. but more he would not fay at present; and he thought it not a little strange that gentlemen should thus question a Minister.
Mr. Fox. Mr. Fox said, that every thing in that House was now so new and singular, that it was not matter of surprise to him that the right honourable gentleman should think the question put to him a singular one: but formerly when Ministers and the House were both the defenders of the constitution, the former thought it not singular that a respectable and independent gentleman should put a question of a public nature. to a servant of the public; and what question did the honourable member put? A question of sinance — To whom? To the Minister of sinance. The Minister certainly acted as if he did not like the question; and he answered it just as if he wished to conceal his opinion; for he used iss instead of positive assertions. If the House thought the tax should subsist. That was not the language of a Minister who had a decided opinion. He knew that when the tax was sirst proposed by his noble friend, the right honourable gentleman gave it his support; but he believed he was not in the house when the division took place before Christmas, on the question for repealing it. The tax was certainly unpopular; and he believed it would be impossible to sind a tax that should not be unpopular, if it was esficient; but it was the duty of every man to face unpopularity, as he and his noble friends were determined to do, in support of a measure which they conceived to-- be advantageous to the state.'
Sir Harry Sir Harry Hogbion said the tax was unpopular it was true;
Hoghton. but y,e knew tl,at ;n his part of the country it was very well liked by all the thinking and more opulent fort of people.
Mr. Burke, Mr. George Onflow, and Captain James Luttrell, said a few words on the subject; and it was at last determined that the House would on Thursday take the bill into consideration.
The Chan- The Chancellor of the Exchequer then moved. that the re
Exihequer6 Port ^rom tne Committee on the ordnance estimates be brought up.
Mr. Fox. Mr. Fox said, that if the intention of gentlemen in ossice was to bring up the report this day, and leave It to be considered by the House on some other day, he would not op. ♦ . _' pose pose the motion: but if it was their intention to take them then into consideration, he would most assuredly vote against it. In the present situation of affairs it was not surely expected that the House would proceed to vote supplies until it should be known what answer his Majesty would give, or whether he would give any at all, to the resolutions which had been communicated to him. When some information on that head should have been given, then it would be for the House to consider what measures ought to be adopted: but in the present case, to give the sanction of the House to the resolutions of the Committee of Supply on the ordnance estimates, would be to carry on the most important business, and to execute the highest, and, as yet, the only undisputed privilege of the House os Commons, (bow long it might remain so he could not tell) that of voting money, while there was in reality no Government in this country; or, what might be deemed worse, a Government existing in desiance of that House. The privilege which this House still possessed, distinct from the other two branches of the Legislature, was that of voting money, as the representatives of the people; but when bills were afterwards brought in, to carry these grant* into law, then the House was acting merely legislatively, and discharging a function which was not peculiar to the Commons, but was common to the three estates, namely, that of making laws. It was the vote, therefore, of the House, ratifying the resolutions of the Committee of Supply, which granted money, and not merely the bill or bills sounded upon this vote, which were only methods to enforce, by the authority of the Legislature, the payment of money already voted by the House of Commons; so that in fact the vote upon the report now offered would be conclusive, and pledge the House, and consequently it Ought not to be called for until His Majesty's answer should be known. He understood there was an intention to re-commit the report; to this-he had no objection; but he hoped no motion would be made that the report should be taken into consideration before Friday.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer replied, that though it The Chanmight not be expected that a formal answer should be given ""orof th« by 'His Majesty, in consequence of the communication lately made to the Throne, as in cafe of an address; still no doubt it was necessary, that by some means or other the House should' be informed what line of conduct His Majesty in
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