« AnteriorContinuar »
liament to the subject, this commission tion concerning the affairs of Ireland, he had now been existing for several years, thought the opinion of the attorney and so without really having any thing to do, and licitor general of that part of the United seemed still determined to go on. The Kingdom ought to be taken also. commission consisted of four persons, each Mr. Kinnaird thought the bon. gent. of whom received a salary of 1,2001. per who spoke last bad made an extraordinary year, and it was now above three years proposition by desiring to have the opi. since the commissioners wrote a letter to nion of the only two gentlemen in the the lord lieutenant, stating, that their kingdom, who, by the rules of law and business was so much diminished that they common sense, were necessarily excluded had no occasion to meet every day, as they from giving it, because it was a case upon had previously done, and requesting that their own claim. The motion was then they might be called on to meet only put and carried. every Monday. In order to contrive some [LORD' MELVILLE'S LETTER TO THE appearance of employment, he understood COMMISSIONERS OF NAVAL EXPIRY,] that those commissioners prolonged an in- Mr. Williams, secretary to the commissioquiry upon a particular claim for several ners of naval enquiry, presented a Copy of months, dividing the inquiry between a Letter from lord viscount Melville to the them two and two alternately, Monday commissioners of naval enquiry, dated the alter Monday. It really struck him as 28th of March, 1805, and of the answer matter of surprize and shame that such a thereto by the commissioners. commission should have been so long tole- The Chancellor of the Exchequer moved, rated, and there appeared no disposition that these papers do lie upon the table whatever to put an end to it. Indeed, ac- to be perused by the members of the cording as it went on, it was likely to con-house;" and he said he should immediatem tinue for ever, unless something was done ly afterwards move that they be printed. to terminate its existence. Feeling that Mr. Francis wished to know whether a any expenditure of the public money that motion could not be made to print them could be avoided under the present cir- immediately, so that there should be no cumstances of the country ought to be delay in inaking them known to members. preveuted, and that this commission was The Speaker observed that the motion, now become unnecessary, he should take that these papers do lie upon the table to occasion very soon to call the attention of be perused by the members of the house, the house to this subject.
must be disposed of before any thing else Dr. Duigenan said, that he was a memn- could regularly be done. ber of the commission alluded to at the The Chancellor of the Exchequer said they time stated in the motion, and that he could be printed without diffculty by todid not recollect any such case as the hon. morrow. bart, alluded to. - As three of the com- Mr. Alderman Combe, by way of giving missioners were lawyers he did not think to the house the contents immediately, they required any advice from the law offi- moved au amendment, instead of laying cers mentioned in the motion, or from any them on the table, “ that these papers be other persons as to the mode of perform- now read." ing this duty. The learned doctor added, The Chancellor of the Exchequer had no that he had long since resigned his place in objection, and therefore consented to withthe commission.
draw his motion for the present to make Sir John Newport said, that it had been way for that of the worthy alderman. They already stated by the commissioners them were accordingly read by the clerk at the selves, that such case had been laid before table, and are as follows: the attorney and solicitor general of Eng. Copy of a Letter from Lord Melville to the land, and all he wished was, to see the Commissioners of Naval Enquiry, dated opinion which had been given upon the the 28th of March 1805. case so stated.
Gentlemen; having read your Tenth Mr. Sturges Bourne was ready to Report, and observing particularly the pay attention to the opinions of eminent following paragraph in the 141st page gentlemen at the bar, on cases fairly stated “ However the apprehension of disclosing to them, and especially those who were so « delicate and confidential transactions of eminent in their profession as the gentle-government might operate with lord men alluded to; but as this was a ques- "Melyille in withholding information res * specting advances to other departments, you proceeded to inquire whether I had " we do not perceive how that apprehen- ever any understanding expressed or. im*.sion can at all account for his refusing to plied with Mr. 'Trotter respecting any par"state, whether he derived any profit or ticipation of advantage derived from the " advantage from the use or einployment custody of the public money, or whether w of money issued for the services of the I at any time knowingly derived any ada
navy. If his lordship had received into vantages to myself from any advances of “his hands such monies, as were advanc- public money, I should have no hesitation "ed by bim to other departments, and in declaring, as I now.declare, that there "hact replaced them as they were repaid, never was any such understanding, nor “ he coull not have derived any profit or any thing like it, between Mr. Trotter " advantage from such transactions, how- and myself; that I never knowingly deriv, “ever repugnant they might be to the ed any such advantages; and whatever * provisions of the legislature, for the safe emolument accrued to Mr. Trotter in the " custody of public money." I think it conduct of the pecu ni iry concerns of the necessary to state the following observa- office was, so far as I am informed, ex. tions, in order to place in their just view clusively his own. With respect to any the grounds on which I declined answering advances wbich Mr. Trotter might make your question, and which you appear not on my private account, I considered my to have accurately understood. Wheu self as debtor to him alone, and as standyou first called upon me for informa. ing with regard to him in no other predi: tion, I stated to you that I had nocament than I should have done with any materials on which I could frame such other man of business, who might be in an account as you required me at that time occasional advance to me in the general to prepare; and, in a communication with management of my concerns entrusted to Mr. Trorter, before my examination on him. It is impossible for me to ascertain, the 5th of Nov. last, I learved, for the from any documents or vouchers in my first time, that in the accounts he had hands, or now existing, what the extent kept respecting my private concerns, he of those advances might have been at any had so blended his own private mouies particular period. The accounts which with what he had in his hands of public you have inserted in your Report, I never money, that it was impossible for him to saw till I saw them in the Report itself, ascertain with precision whether the ad-They are no accounts of mine, por am I rances he had occasion to make to me in pariy to them. They contain a variety of the course of his running private account sums issued nominally to me, which never with me, were made from the one or from came into my bands, and they give no the oiber aggregate sums which constituted credit for various sums received by Mr. bis balance with Messrs. Coutts. This cir- Trotter on my private account from eumstance, which I understood Mr. Trot- ny salary as treasurer of the Navy, and ter had distinctly communicated to you, other sources of income, of which he was made it impossible for me to return any in the receipt, nor do they take any notice other answer than I did to the general of the security of which he was in possesquestion which you put to me- Whether sion, for the re-payment of any balance at Mr. Trotter bad applied any of the money any time due to bim from private funds. • issued for carrying on the current ser- With respect to the sums of naval money . vice of the Navy, for my benefit or ad- advanced to me, and applied to other ser
vastage?' and to this circumstance I uni- vices, I do not feel it necessary to make formly referred in my answer to other any additional observations, except to dequestions respecting the manner in which clare, that all those sums were returned Mr. Trotter applied the money in his to the funds from which they were takeli, hunds.When you put the question to having in no instance been withdrawn from me, “ Whether I did direct or authorise it for any purpose of private emolument or “ Mr. Trotter to lay out or apply, or advantage.-Before I conclude, I wish to
cause to be laid out or applied, any of correct an inaccuracy which I observe in "the inoney issued for carrying on the one part of the evidence in Appendix ** current service of the Navy, to my be- No. 7, page 192. The question is put to * nefit or advantage?" my answer was, me, you derive
any profit or ads ' to the best of my recollection I never vantage from the use or employment of + did' Tyat answer I now repeat, Had" money issued for carrying on the current
"service of the Navy, between the 19th parties to whose'conduct that Report relates. “ of Aug. 1802, and 30th of April, 1803; We were occupied several months in inves“or between the 1st of Feb. 1784, and tigating the mode of conducting the busi" 31st of Dec. 1785, during which periods vess of the office of Treasurer of the Navy. " you held the office of Treasurer of the Those who were examined by us bąd the “ Nary?" Which question I there answer fullest opporunity of stating and explaining by a reference to the answer given to a all things which related to the management similar question put to me before. This of that department, or to the share which answer is inaccurate, in so far as it con- they respectively bad in it; and of cortains a reference to Mr. Trotter's mode of rectig, at any timre, during the progress of blending his funds in his private acenunt the Inquiry, any mistakes which might with Messrs. Coutts. Mr. Trotter was not inadvertently have been made. Our opipaymaster till the year 1786. The circum- nion and observations upon the irregulastances, therefore, relative to Mr. Trot- rities and abuses which we discovered were ter's account, which precluded my return- formed and drawn up with the utmost care ing an answer to your former questions, do and deliberation ; and they are now subnot apply to the periods specified in that mitted to the three branches of the legismentioned, and I can, therefore, have no lature, as the act, by which we are apdifficulty in declaring, that during those pointed, requires. If it could be inade to periods I did not derive any advantage appear upon a representation to then that from the use or employment of public mo any thing has been omitted on our pari, ney issued for carrying on the service of that any misunderstanding or error had the Navy. Having stated these facts, it is occurred, and that a further inquiry is almost unnecessary to add, that I am at adsiseable, upon these, or any other any time ready to verify them upon my grounds, it would be for them to direct oath. I have the honour to be, gentle- such farther inquiry, and to decide by men, &c.
(Signed) MELVILLE. whom, and in what manner, it should be Answer of the Commissioners of Naval En- prosecuted; but, in the present circum
quiry to the above Letter, dated Office of stances, it appears to us that we cannot Naral Enquiry, Great George-street, with propriety resume it. We have the April 9, 1805.
honour to be, my lord, &c.&c. (Signed) My Lord-We have received your lord Ch. M. Pole, Ewan Law, John Ford, H. ship's letter of the 28th of last month, by Nicholls, W. Mackworth Praed. which you intimate that we appear not to The Chancellor of the Erchequer then buve accurately understood the grounds moved, that these papers do lie upon the on which you declined answering our ques- table for the use of the members of this tions, and submit to us some observations house, and also that they be printed. ORin order to place those grounds in their dered. Adjourned. just view; and also express a wish, before you conclude, to correct an inaccuracy in
HOUSE CF LORDS. one part of your evidence, and a readiness
Thursday, April 4. to verify by your oath the facts stated in [MINUTES ] Counsel were farther beard that letter. If it be the object of this com- relative to the Scots Appeal, Cathcart, munication, that we should again require bart v. the earl of Cassilis, viz. Mr. Adami, your lordship's attendance, for the pur- in continuation, as leading counsel for the pose of being examined, touching these respondent. On the motion of the earl of matters, and that we should make a sup-Suffolk, lord viscount Melville's letter plemental Report upon the result of that to the Commissioners of Naval Enquiry examination, and such other examivation was ordered to be laid before the house. as we might thereupon judge necessary, The bills upon the table were forwarded in there can be no disinclination on our parts their respective stages.On the second (as far as we are concerned in the pro- reading of Bowyer's Lottery bill, Lord ceeding) to meeting your lordship's wishes: Ellenborough made a few observations: But it appears to us that the Inquiry, though he was by no means favourable to which is the subject of the Tenth Report, the general principle of lotteries; yet, uphas attained that period when it would der the circumstances of the case, the prenot become us to adopt such a measure sent bill was one which might, without merely upon the suggestion of any of the much risk of injurious consequences, be
assented to by their lordships. After sonie (ple of the bill, at any time it should seem remarks from lord Walsingham, of a ten- proper to their lordships. He had reason dency favourable to the measure, the bill to believe, that he should be able to prove was read a second time, and ordered to to their lordships, that it was a measure be referred to the consideration of a con- extremely necessary, and unattended with mittee. Lord Grenville mored that any of tbe disadvantages which were aptheir lordships be summoned for the 10th prehended as likely to result from it. of May, on which day, 'he said, it was Lord Grenville expressed his opinion his intention to offer a motion relative to that the bill, to which he was favourably the Roman Catholics of Ireland. Lord inclined, was one of considerable imporAuckland expressed his opinion, that on a tance. He was aware of the beneficial topic of such peculiar importance, as that tendency of a mixed patronage with respect adverted to by the noble baron), some idea to clerical preferments; at the same time, should be given as to the nature of the in- he saw no necessity for restraining the tended motion. Lord Grenville, in reply, universities from their due share in that observed he had no objection unreservedly patronage; as no body or corporation to state, that at present, his intention was whatever could, he conceived, exercise an to move on that day for a committee to extensive right of patronage more benetake the petition into consideration.-Lord ficially to the interests of religion, or of Auckland announced his intention to learning, and, with respect to the interest bring forward some farther propositions, of the latter, he conceived that a quick in reference to the pending case of Mr. succession to the livings would be advanJustice Fox, and moved, that their lord- tageous. ships be summoned on the occasion, but on The Earl of Suffolk took occasion to adwhat day we were unable to collect. The vert to the bill which passed not long since, order for the exclusion of strangers was for ameliorating the condition of the poorthen enforced, and the door closed for er orders of the clergy. The leading proabout twenty minutes. In the interval, as visions of that bill, he understood, were we could collect, their lordships were en- as yet nugatory; and it was his intention, gaged in their judicial capacity, in investi- on a future day, to bring the subject begating the circumstances of a case of a fore their lordships. He had several letpersonal, and very particular nature, viz. lers from curates upon the subject; some some very gross and Aagrant misconduct of which, without stating vames, he inof the coachman of a noble peer on Mon- tended to communicate to the house. He day night last, to one or two of the officers expected more letters on the subject; and inferior servants of the house; two of perhaps what he then said would operate the marshalmen, and some of the persons in some degree as an advertisement to that alluded to were shortly interrogated upon body of men to send him more commuthe subject, and the result was, that pro- nications of a similar nature, per persons were dispatched to take the The Duke of Norfolk expressed his undelinquent into custody for the purpose of derstanding that some important modi. his being brought to the bar of the house, fications to the bill were intended.
(UNIVERSITIES ADVOWSON BILL.] Lord The Bishop of Oxford, in explanation, Hawkesbury, after adverting generally to the observed, that he had consulted those the nature of this bill, which stood for commit- most competent to advise upon the subment that evening, said it was a proceeding ject; and had maturely considered it himwhtch, if entered upon according to the self; and the result was, that the bill was order, would materially interfere with the produced in its present form. It may, discussion of business of great national however, admit of some modifications; importance. The bill, he conceived to be but, in his mind, it needed none; and that of that nature as urgently to require a the exigency of the case required such speedy discussion. He would therefore an act should be passed.--The question move, and to which he hoped no serious was put, and the committee on the bill objection would be entertained, that the deferred till the above-mentioned day. committee on the bill be deferred till Fri- [MILITIA ENLISTING Bill.] The day, the 26th of April.
order of the day for the second reading of The Bishop of Oxford had no objection the Militia Enlisting Bill being read, to enter upon the discussion of the princi- Lord Hawkesbury rose, and stated, that
after the thorough and repeated discus-principle admitted, the mode of reduction sions the subject had hitherto undergone, was comparatively of little importance; it would not be necessary for him to take the execution of the present measure was, up much of their lordships' time, or to in the first instance, confided to militia enter into any general considerations of officers themselves, who, he trusted, would the subject. He would first observe, that feel the great public importance of the when the immense number of men who duty entrusted to them. A measure simiwere in arms in this country was consi- lar to the present was adopted in the dered, their lordships would soon be aware course of the last war, but desiitute of the that no military force whatever could be advantageous provisions of use present more respectable than that of the united bill. The great importance of its object kingdom. The only difference of opinion being generally admitted, he trusted its which could arise, was as to the arrange- details would, on discussion, in the regular ment and composition of this force, and opportunity, be found equally unobjecthe most effectual means of increasing the tionable. Any farther commentary on the disposable force of the country. There merits of the measure he should leave to was a general admission that this descrip- other noble lords more conversant than tion of our military force should, under himself in the particular subject. He the present circumstances, form a much should now content himself with moving larger proportion, particularly with respect their lordships to give a second reading to to infantry, of the whole, than it did at the bill. present. The object of the bill now before The Marquis of Buckingham said, he could their lordships was to effect that; and the not give a silent vote upon the occasion. He principal question which could arise, was denied that any similitude existed between as to the means adopted. The mode pro- the present bill and that alluded to, as posed by the bill, was to allow a certain enacted during the late war; there was then proportion of the militia forces to volun- an imperious duty upon them so to enact, teer into the regular forces, and into the and the circumstances of the country were royal marines. It should be considered, widely different as to its defensive situation that the present militia establishment was and the naval power of the enemy; the calculated without a reference to a volun- present measure would, he contended; teer force, at the immense amount at prove inefficacious, and it was odious and whicb it stood at present. The principle disgusting to the militia officers in general; of reducing the militia had been more and all the military measures of the prethan once recognised by parliament, espe- sent ministers were injurious to the militia cially by the act of last session, and the system. In the former instance, the miquestion that remained, therefore, was, litia were in number too great and unwhether, under all the circumstances of wieldy to be conducted on true militia the country, it would not greatly conduce principles, and the preamble of the bill he to the public benefit, to permit men to alluded to, declared that a great defensive volunteer from the militia into the regu- force was no longer necessary in the counlars, under the restrictions proposed by try. There existed at that time also a the bill, so as to increase our disposable legal necessity for diminishing the militia. force to the desired amount. He was a In all these particulars the country was at real friend to the militia system, but, he present in the reverse, or in a very different must contend, that on true militia princi- state, and ministers themselves must feel, ples, the present number and proportion that the defensive force of the country of that force were too great to be kept up. could not be safely diminished. The The present state of the militia, with respect measure, taking it in every point of view, to its officers, was also a matter of serious had his decided disapprobation. consideration, and in these a great defi- The Earl of Derby followed on the ciency, to an aggregate, he believed, of same side, and supported the arguments of between 400 and 500, particularly of the noble marquis. He censured the officers duly qualified, at present existed. measure in question as unjust in its prinThe present volunteer system not a little ciple, and unlikely to produce the desired contributed to affect the officering of the effect. It was a miserable expedient tu militia. This latter force, with a reference think of robbing one branch of the milito the true militia principles, should not tary force to supply another. Some of the be suffered to exceed 40,000 men, That provisions of the bill would tend to defeat