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of the most pernicious consequences. The very report of. the Committee under consideration, demanded an immediate and an esfectual attention. If two millions of money could be saved to the revenue, it became a question how it had not been saved, and the consequences of having lolt it? The.modes by which frauds to such a large amount had heen practised were various, and must have operated on the public to a great extent, and with some degree of advantage. Wherever, and on whoever this money may be recovered, a burden new and extraordinary must unavoidably be laid. The reform meditated must asfect certain parts of the country. However necessary that reform might be, these parts can hardly be supposed to acquiesce in it cordially. How then could it be effected? How could the regulations it implied, how could the measures on which its efficacy and success depended, be executed without a Government acting with the consent and sanction of that House as well as the Crown? He trusted gentlemen would attend to these circumstances; the credit of the country called for every species of support which could be given it. This would inevitably occasion taxes to a very unprecedented extent. — He, for one, saw no other prospect of relief than by such impositions as would infallibly producs it. What Administration, destitute of the considence and support of Parliament could effect such an octject i The unpopularity attending such measures as could no longer be withheld in consistency with public safety, would destroy the most able, active, and industrious Ministry this country ever saw, without a very great majority of this House at its back. These particulars, and a great variety of others, he stated with no other view in the world than to urge the necessity of an immediate union of parties. He, for his part, saw no personal objection on either side, and he trusted the right honourable gentleman saw none. The House seemed so generally interested, and in some measure agreed in the idea of a coalition, that he thought them entitled to as full an explanation on that head as he was able to give them. He paid many compliments to the right honourable gentleman's abilities — He respected what he had always understood to be his political principles — None of these did any one whom he had consulted wish him to renounce. The union he wished to see take place was an union of principle, and he should not be the more sure of any man's principles from his readiness to appear
implicit. implicit in the adoption of his. There could in his apprehension be no personal contention between the right honourable gentleman and himself. Whatever might have occurred in the heat of debate, he trusted they were both alike sensible, meant nothing personally disrespectful oa either side. It was obvious the right honourable gentleman was not slavishly attached to the emoluments of osfice; he never thought he was, and he rejoiced that a late instance had so fully evinced that he was not. He trusted the House would also give him some credit on that score. No action, at least of his life, could be brought up which in the least would fasten any very interested charge against him. So far their dispositions were not dissimilar. What was the right honourable gentleman's ambition? Was it not glory? A reputation grafted on the advantage which he trusted the country might one day reap from his exertions in her service. A nobler, a more magnanimous passion he would say never sired the human breast; and whoever was not animated by such a principle, did not, in his opinion, deserve any share in the public considence; was no proper object of popular approbation; was not an eligible candidate for Englishmen's attention and applause. Here also he was not without hopes he would be permitted to put in his claim for some degree of considence on the fame principle. He protested that every other consideration was in his opinion trivial and of no weight; that no sacrisice was too great to be -6ffered at such a shrine; and that he would go any lengths with any man who would Ihake hands with him in this truly glorious, truly patriotic, and truly constitutional ground; and he was ready to own, that the right honourable gentleman had alwys appeared to him as aiming at the fame great and desirable object. As on this subject, however, he wished to conceal nothing, he would say the only suspicion he entertained, and which had originated in the mode by which the right honourable gentleman obtained and kept possession of power, was, that he entertained an opinion that the Crown might appoint a Ministry, and persist in supporting them, who had not the considence of the House. He wished he might sind the suspicion ill founded, but he dreaded to sind it true; for then an union on such a principle was impossible. It went to deprive this country of an executive government, in which the people had any concern, over which they could
exercise exercise any control. All the instances of voting money was on a principle of confidence. The Minister's influence in the House depended on what confidence they had in him; he was their trustee; to them he was responsible for every article of public expenditure. The very estimates to be considered this night were instances of the fame principle in the Constitution; and every sum of money voted for the Ordnance, was voted by gentlemen incapable of judging for themselves whether these sum9 were properly applied or not; but in confidence that Lord Townstiend^' the Duke of Richmond, or any other whose province it was to direct the business of that very important department, were competent to pronounce on the fitness of the objects' for which this money would be applied. He did not well apprehend where the difference between the right honourable gentleman and him, in respect to measures, could lie. That concerning their several plans for the government of India, though decided already by the House, he was ftill willing to accommodate as far as possible. His bill, he thought at the fame time, would be a loser by the new modifications to Which he was willing to submit it; but he would gladly have it possessed of as much public confidence as possible. He was therefore happy to assure the House, that whatever seemed most objectionable with regard especially to patronage, would at least in a great measure be removed; Few exceptions on this very material point at leasts wouldj he persuaded himself, remain, in consequence of the plan which he had now under contemplation ; but notwithstanding this, should any discordance of opinion still continue on that head, he saw no impropriety in submitting everi that to the discussion of Parliament. The only obstacle, then, which still remained, was the present situation of the right honourable gentleman. He declared the personal attentions or situation of his noble friend (Lord North) would prove none. But there could be no cordial, no firm or efficient union, till the right honourable gentleman and his party submitted to the constitution of the country. The expedient referred to in the Duke of Portland's letter was, that they should cease to be the Ministers of this country, but continue to support the etiquette of office till a proper arrangement could be made. He declared, however, that, as a man of honour, he saw no other hindrance to the union which had been urged than that now stated; that he could not treat with men while they refused to treat on constitutional Vol.. XIII. O grounds i grounds; that he meant only to support the constitutional consequence of the people of England; and that a hegoeiatidn which admitted a precedent so destructive of it, was inconsistent with his personal honour, and with his duty to his country.
The Chan- The Chancellor of the Exchequer said there Was one ground cellorofthe on ^hich gentlemen seemed principally to wish for art Exchequer. un|on . an(i tnat waS> tnat if tne present Ministry was dismissed, and the late one restored, the opposition that he would give to the measures of that Administration would prevent the members of it from acting with all that vigour and efficacy that the state of affairs required; on this subject he would have s;tid this much, that he should not be found in any opposition to any measure which should appear tohim calculated for the public good; he knew heavy burdens must be laid on the people, let who will be Ministers; and to those burdens he would not object, if he should see they were laid on with judgment and discretion! As to union, it was not possible that any man could wish for it more sincerely than he did, provided it could be effected upon principle and with honour. The right honourable gentleman spoke last of personal situations, and he did right; for if they could agree upon every thing else, it was impossible they could dister on that head. There might, indeed, be persons, against whom he had no personal dislike whatever •„ whose private character he respected and revered; whose abilities were eminent; and yet, notwithstanding all this, they were persons of that description, with whom he could never bring himself to act in the cabinet. [It was Lord North only Mr. Pitt had in view.] The right honourable gentleman said, an union might take place, in which one Minister might look to the right for support and confidence, and another to the left; but he thought a Minister ought to look to both t he ought to look for the confidence of his Sovereign, and for the confidence of that House; he would go farther, he ought to look for the confidence of the' House of Lords and of the people. He had said to the House before, and he would repeat it again, that there was no law in this kingdom, which made it criminal in him to remain in office, notwithstanding a resolution of the House of Commons. He would, however, admit, that the confidence 6F. that House was absolutely necessary, and that an Administration could not last that did not possess it. He did not, however, agree with the right honourable gentleman in opinion, that there Was any similitude between the resolution of
. ,' > the the 16th of January last, and that principle of considence jyhich money was voted in that House. It was certainly necefl^ry that the Commons, in matters which, being entirely'professional, they were nqt able to judge of, should conside for the propriety of them, in the Minister from whose department the estimates came; as, for instance, in the cafe of the Ordnance estimates, which were to be voted that evening, the House must of course repose a considen.ee in the Master General of the Ordnance, whose duty and profession it was to fee and judge that the estimates were proper; but surely the right honourable gentleman would not declare that this was the kind of considence the House had in view when the resolution of the 16th of January pasted. With respect to .the resignation which the right honourable gentleman looked fpr as 'a preliminary to a treaty,' he was ready to fay this much, that he and his colleagues were ready to resign the moment there should be a prospect of an Administration being formed by whom the country might be esfectually served. But when he considered the duty he owed to his Sovereign and to the people, he could not reconcile it either to that duty or to his own honour, to resign sooner. With respect to the Jndia bill, there were points which he had hitherto maintained, and frorn which he feljt not the least disposition to recede; and if the part he had taken in coming into office, had produced no other good than that of defeating a measure that threatened even the Constitution of the country, he should ever think he had done a meritorious service. If such alterations should be made by the right honourable gentleman as would remove the grounds of his apprehensions for the .Constitution, he would sind great consolation even in this, though other parts should remain in the bill to which his objections were as strong as ever.
Lord North spoke to the following esfect: L»rd North
I ypas not here at the commencement of this debate, but. I can easily see from what has pasied since 1 came into the House, that i have formed a considerable part of the subject of what has been said. Give me leave therefore, Sir, to say a few words upon a subject which I am sure I do not wish to make the .topic of debate here, but which were I to pass over, now that it is brought forward, I should do injustice to myself, and sliould be wanting in respect to the House. Sir, it is impossible for me not to perceive that the right honourable gentleman who spoke last, alluded to me, as the person with whom he could.not act. I beg leave to say, Sir, that whatever that gentleman's opinion may be, from whatever individual quarter that language may come, with whatever flow of 1 O 2 words