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tended to pursue; and certainly such information should be given. Respecting the report from the Committee on the estimates, he would observe, that the House was not then full enough to debate so serious a question as whether the supply should be stopped. He would, therefore, after the report should be received, move that it be re-committed^ to-morrow, and the House might afterwards receive the report on Thursday. Mr. Fox. Mr. Fox observed, that if by stopping the supply, the right honourable gentleman meant refusing a supply, he would tell him that nothing was farther from his intention: ,but if by stopping he meant suspending, he would tell him he thought that the House ought to suspend it until His Majesty's intentions mould be known. Lord Beau. Lord Beauchamp said that he was already in possession of cj>amp. jjoufe for-to-morrow, as he had given notice of an in
tention to move on this day some resolutions, which the attack upon the privileges of the Commons by the House of Lords rendered absolutely necessary. As to the estimates, he had strong exceptions to give, as they were founded on a system of defence totally new in this country, namely, a system of defending the coast by fortifications, which, in his opinion, would cause to be neglected the defence of the country, the navy. But if the work* were ever so necessary, the service could not suffer from a fliort delay at present, before the estimates mould be taken into consideration, because the works could not be carried on at this season of the year. *
After a tedious Conversation, it was at last agreed that, the report should be re-committed to-morrow, and that Lord Beauchamp's resolutions should be proposed on Thursday. . ,
Mr. Demp- Mr. Dempster concluded the conversation by observing, ftcr. that cver since the Revolution, a' principle had obtained in this country, which had made the public business go on smoothly, and without interruption: it was a principle of moderation which had prevented the prerogative of the Crown, and the privileges of the House of Commons, from being brought'into collision. If the Crown and people should ever be engaged in a struggle between prerogative and privilege, he, as one of the people, would have no difficulty to determine which side to take i but his mind looked forward with horror to the event.
9 v February 11. if
Mr. Eden rose to make a report from the Committee which Mr. Eden. is appointed to take into consideration the frauds which are daily taking place in the revenue. In doing this he referred to an expression he had dropped on a former occasion. He had then called the present Ministry a nominal Ministry, which he thought still no improper appellation, for men who stood .merely on the footing of a simple nomination from the Crown, but which nomination could npt render them an efficient Ministry. The right honourable gentleman had denied the propriety of the term, but it struck him as not in the least affected by that commentary. The only way, in his opinion, to fliew that it was a misnomer, would be to (hew that the present Ministry is something more in reality than a name. Hs would not pay the House so poor a compliment as to suppose they could possibly see His Majesty's servants in a light more respectable. He would only^emind them in proof of the dreadful situation to which their obstinate remaining in place had reduced this country. The state of India, of public credit, of our commerce, . . especially with America, and os our connection with foreign powers, were so many demonstrations that the government of this country was a weak, an imperfect one; and to him it appeared peculiarly necessary at this time, that we should have a strong, an energetic, and indefatigable government. Every thing connected with public affairs pointed to the fame object,; and sensibly augmented the pressure which the people at large, which the House of Commons,. and which individuals for themselves.felt on this important crisis. He sincerely and earnestly wished gentlemen would consider the question coolly and thoroughly, as the most momentous and interesting that ever occupied the minds of Englishmen. How long were the affairs of a .great commercial nation to exist under their present derangement? The Committee on which he sat were daily convinced more and more how indispensable such an Administration was now become, in order to prevent the ruin of the revenue.. It had already come out in the course of their enquiry, that not less than two millions sterling, were annually lost by a connivance with, or inattention to this great object. The evidence for this estimate might be demanded — It was large, multifarious, and K 2 involved
involved — Such as it was, however, the Committee had 'examined, or were examining, and ready to produce. The articles of which it consisted were uumerous, and when brought forward would undoubtedly sill the House with astonishment. In the mean time he should not encroach more on the time which had been allotted for other business, but content himself with simply stating this resolution—" That it appears to this Committee, that the , illicit practices used in defrauding the revenue have increased in a most alarming degree; that those practices are carried on upon the coasts and in other parts of this kingdom, with a violence and with outrages which not only threaten the destruction of the revenue, but are highly injurious to regular commerce and fair trade, very pernicious to the manners and morals of the people, and an interruption of all good government; that the more secret illicit practices in the internal excise of this kingdom have also greatly increased; that. the public revenue is defrauded to an extent of not iess than two millions per annum; and that these enormities and great national losses well deserve the earliest and most serious attention of Parliament."
Mr. Ch»n- Mr. Chancellor Pitt said, he did not by any means whatedlorFitt. evgr rjfe t0 controvert; so plain a .proposition, as had been just stated by the honourable gentleman. Much less had he any inclination to enter into a critical difcuffion with him on what ideas he meaht to assix to the word nominal. These verbal sort of nicities he would leave f6r:the honourable gentleman to settle as he could in the sirst political dictionary he should publish for the use of his-party. He only wished the House to understand or be made sensible, how necessary it was at this time to bring forward the business of the public; and in the course of that business the honourable gentleman would have an opportunity of spaking more at large, on the several points to which he had alluded; and when that opportunity offered, he trusted he should sind him ready to meet him; but in his mind the present was not the period for entering into a debate on those grounds. Mr. Hussey Mr. Hujpy, wished just to say a few words on the subject now started. * He had sat on that Committee, and could vouch for the truth of what fell from the honourable gentleman. The fraudulent practices which had come under the inspection of gentlemen were incredible and enormous.
mous. Excesses had crept in which it became Government to suppress. In every thing abuses multiplied. To remedy this glaring and fatal evil, an efficient and united Administration could no longer be deferred with any prospect of relief or even of salvation to the country. The right honourable gentleman (Mr. Pitt) in his eye, he trusted very sincerely, would not let any obstacle, which lie had power to remove, stand in the way of bringing matters to an iffue. He hoped the fame complying and accommodating^dispofition from the right honourable gentleman (Mr. Fox) on his side of the house. Much and laudably as a very respectable body of the House had laboured to effect this object, it was still at a distance. He most ardently wished gentlemen on both sides would, by such conceHions as they could make, cordially and manfully give way, not to each other only, but to the calls and exigencies of their country; which, while they were contending, felt the consequences to its vitals. An honourable gentleman in his eye (Mr. Marsham) who filled the chair in the meeting to which he alluded with exemplary propriety, he trusted would read to the House the resolution to which they had that day come; and he wished the House might seriously attend to it. . ,
The honourable Charles Marjham thought it by no means The Hon. agreeable to be called upon in a manner so very explicit, but disagreeable as it was, coming from so very respectable "am* a member as the honourable gentleman, he deemed it his duty to comply. He then expressed what he thought to be the cordial, the unanimous, and the genuine fense of the gentlemen who met at the St. Alban's. They were earnest and ardent in desiring a union of all the virtues and abilities which the country possessed, in order to effect something like an adequate remedy against the various evils under which it laboured. No man had a higher idea of both the two right honourable gentlemen (Mr. Fox and Mr. Pitt) opposite to each other than he had. Their principles, their virtues, and their abilities were in his opinion great, and might do honour to any government in which they could cordially unite. This was the government in which the wishes he trusted, of the whole house, the whole nation, and every one who entertained any regard for the constitution most undoubtedly centered j and to such an idea all the resolutions which the meeting at the
St. Alban's had yet formed were directed; and none more than the last, which had been then so particularly called for by the honourable gentleman who spoke last, and to every word of whose speech he gave his most cordial and unreserved approbation. He then read the resolution which was something to this effect: "That an Administration, founded on the total exclusion of thtf members of the last, or of the present Administration would be inadequate to the exigencies of the public affairs." Mi. Fox. . Mr. Fox rose visibly impressed with the same ideas which had been urged by the former speakers concerning a general and substantial union of parties. The desire, in his opinion, which went to this capital object, was as laudable as it was general, and what little cduntenance it could derive from him, he would give it openly, completely, and unequivocally. It was obvious there could, at least on his part, be no personal animosity or spleers which might be thought operating to that effect in the least. He had been generally, and especially of late, rather too apt to give way where any thing like personalities subsisted; and he trusted it would ndt be imagined his mind could be less yielding, where there never was nor ever could be any such thing — If there were, and those of a more palpable and irreconcileable nature than any thing he could imagine, this was not a time to cherish or indulge them — Duty to the community at large, demanded every sacrisice which a man of honour and os principle could possibly make-— This was not a period that admitted of any adjustment1 that related to the little punctilios of personal importance, and he trusted every public man, who seriously felt the increasing pressure of public affairs, would think as he did. He would not now insist on the various necessities which urged from every quarter some decisive and immediate remedy. The news which had so lately arrived of a sinal adjustment between the Empress of Russia and the Porte was an object of great consequence. He would not discuss at this time the policy which he foresaw it might produce; but it required no great discernment to see that it would go a great way to sixing the consequence of this country in the 1'cale of Europe. Our connection with foreign coiirts consequently held forth a most important object os political attention to us, which required a management to which the considence of this House was essential; and which, actording as we acquitted ourselves, might be productive