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the arbitrary and despotic doctrines brought have brought forward those tyrannical, desforward by my hon. and learned relation be- potic, and oppressive doctrines which he sups hind me (Mr. George Ponsonby); but as poses me to have delivered. Of having my hon. and learned relation is himself so uttered any such language as could convey competent, it is not necessary for me to trou- the idea of arbitrary principles or practices, ble you with many observations. But I I am utterly unconscious. I was followed may just be permitted to ask, whether there by a right hon. gent. who is unquestionably be any thing extraordinary or inconsistent one of the most sound and constitutional with justice, any thing inconsistent with the lawyers, and a judge in one of the highest character of a British lawyer, any thing at all courts in the kingdom, and it is rather retyrannical or despotic, in having a person markable that he took not the least notice of accused of a most aggravated crime secured these supposed arbitrary doctrines, though previous to his trial? Could this be called a he did me the honour to allude to several prejudging of the cause? As well might we parts of my speech. If such doctrines had be accused of prejudging a criminal, because been contained in what I then advanced, it we found it necessary to shut him up in a is next to impossible that they should have prison previous to the proofs of his guilt escaped the observation of his penetrating being fully or fairly considered. Here, and comprehensive mind.
If I did lay however, we were talking of a person not down arbitrary doctrines, they are the same accused, but found guilty. I put it to the doctrines which many of the most eminent house, whether, after the circumstances of lawyers that this country ever saw have not Trotter's conduct were known, it was at all scrupled to avow. The right hon. gent. decent to employ him in a situation which however, tells me that if I were a British he had previously employed to the most im- lawyer, I could not possibly avow the prinproper purposes. If Trotter was not disciples he imputes to ine. I am not ashamed missed, he ought surely to have been sus- at any time, sir, or under any circumstances, pended from his office, till the inquiry in this of my country, and I hope I sliall never be house was closed. The right hon. gent. has guilty of an action which will give my advanced nothing to shew that it was not his country cause to be ashamed of me. As, duty to have followed this course. His however, the right hon. gent. rests so much whole speech, indeed, was nothing but idle on my not being a British lawyer, I beg rant and fury, containing nothing addressed leave to inform him, that I have as good to the reason of the house, nothing which British blood flowing in my veins as the right affords the least proof that the motion of my hon. gent. can boast of in his. I cannot hon, friend should not be adopted, as the na- boast of having arrived at so early 'a period tural consequence of the previous resolu- of life as the right hon. gent. at the honours tions. Conceiving, then, this to be the and rewards which the right hon. gentleman case, I shall support the motion as called for now enjoys. What I have earned of hoby every principle of honour, every demand nours and rewards have been the result of of justice, and every feeling of regard for our long labours and painful exertion; but this character.
I can safely assure the house, that never till Mr. George Ponsonby-Mr. Speaker; af- now have I been accused of being an arbiter being so pointedly and personally alluded trary or unconstitutional lawyer. I said, sir, to by the right hon. gent., I hope I shall be alluding to the case of Mr. Trotter, that cirfavoured with the attention of the house cumstances had been disclosed which shewfor a few - moments. Since first I had the ed that he onght not to have been employed honour of a seat in this house, I will not in the office of paymaster of the navy, and attempt to deny that it has ever been my I am still of the same opinion. But on ardent wish to stand high in the esteem of what principle is it that the right hon. gent. all the members of whom it is composed. accuses this declaration as inconsistent with After the vote of Monday, however, a vote the principles of justice? What are these so honourable to the character of this principles ? they are plaisly these :--that assembly, a vote which has exalted its cha- Mr. Trotter had, by his own evidence, prov. racter among all orders in the state who value ed his guilt; and that the testimony of his independence and worth, I confess, that to friend and patron, lord Melville, instead of stand well in your opinion has become a weakening, strengthened this opinion. I matter of the utmost anxiety. The right ask, then, after such evidence was given bion. gent. has chosen to say, that if I had before the commissioners, if it would have . þeen a British lawyer I never could possibly been at all extraordinary or unjust to have
suspended Mr. Trotter till his innocence or country continues such as it now is, I proguilt was sully ascertained ? I say, in such fess that I am not satisfied that we have a suspension there was no prejudice. There gained what our grand struggle of Monday was, on the contrary, that strict regard to so justly entitled us to expect. Let me sup
1 the proper application of the public money, pose that this intimacy continues, and that with which the employment of a person the minister employs his influence to misreeven suspected of malversation does not present and vilify the decisions of this house. appear to me to be very consistent. If the
Let me suppose that the press is hired into right hon. member had acted in this way I the service, and that the public are told, in an fully sensible that neither the house nor publication after publication, by the friends the country would have blamed him for his and creatures of ministers, that lord Melville arbitrary or despotic proceedings. I enter- has been run down by a desperate faction in tain a sincere respect for the right hon. gen- this house--that he has been condemned tleman's talents. Indeed it is not conceiva- unheard that he offered to call evidence to ble that without great talents he should, at prove the falsity of the accusations against so early a period of life, have risen to that him, but was refused—that, in short, he is elevation in the state in which he is now a much persecuted, and much injured man. placed. With all my respect for his abili- Let me suppose that, by these delusions, ties, however, I must insist, that when he the strong sentiments of honourable indignanext honours my observations with his no- tion which now actuate the public mind are tice, he will take a little pains to state ac- a good deal deadened, and that the minister, curately what I say, for I protest, with all availing himself of these favourable changes, my'esteen for his talents, I should not relish should, during the recess of parliament, the idea of his making speeches for me, venture on the daring measure of once more Having said this with respect to the arbi- recommending lord Melville to the service trary doctrines of which he accuses me, I of his sovereign, and that his majesty, shall, before I sit down say a few words on fatally yielding to this recommendation, the general question before the house. My should once more receive himn into his counhon. friend seems to me to have framed his cils. Let me suppose this, which is not by motion on the most consistent principles. any means an impossible case, and what He very properly says, that though the right then is to become of all our resolutions, of hon. gent. opposite (Mr. Pitt) has intimated all our efforts to stem the growth of corrupto us the resignation of lord Melville's situa- tion, of all our exertions to bring peculation of first lord of the admiralty, he has tors, however elevated their rank, or exnot told us, what is much more important, tensive their influence, to an ignominious what is much more intimately corinected punishment? It is to guard equally against with the resolutions of Monday night, that this and any similar case that I am inclined lord Melville has closed his political life; to support the motion of my hon. friend. that he is never more to have any share in The right hon. gent, strongly recommends the administration of the affairs of this great to us the propriety of leniency in our proempire. We all know what are the con- ceedings; I am no enemy to leniency when nections of the noble lord, how far extend properly exerted, and I have no wish that ed are the resources of his influence. None the noble lord should be treated with un
are ignorant how intimately he necessary severity ; but, before I can be possesses the confidence of the ministers of lenient, I must know that the cause of pubthe crown, and how anxious they would, at lic justice is secure. I must be satisfied that any time, be to receive his advice and sup- the noble lord shall not again have it in his port. We have, independent of a motion power to have any weight in our national similar to that of my hon. friend, nu security councils. I wish to have the public money agaitst his return to power, a thing totally placed safely beyond the reach of the corinconsistent with the resolutions of Monday, rupt and profligate. I am willing to shew and which would render them mere waste as much tenderness as possible to the noble paper on the journals. But even admitting lord, though I confess I never had the honihat lord Melville did nominally retire, let our to exchange one word with him in the it be kept in mind that he still continues a whole course of my life; but I shall be a privy concellor, as my hon. friend below party in lenity to no man till I have providme (Mr. Grey) has already very properly re- ed against peculation among great public marked. While the connection of the no- men. I am clear, sir, for making every ble lord with the auministration of the public delinquent refund what he has un
justly obtained out of the public purse, and f' navy office had assured the hon. member, I shall certainly support my hon. friend in that after every research in his power, and all his motions for carrying through this to the best of his recollection, no draft had glorious work of reform. While I shall ever been paid without specifying the sersupport the motions for calling lord Melville vice. Since August, 1803, the mode of and Mr. Trotter to a strict account, I shall conducting the business had been varied, and be equally a friend to any investigation of sums were written off at once by the bank the control exercised by the treasury over from the treasurer's account to that of the the inferior offices. It is the duty of the sub-paymasters of the navy, which accounts treasury to see that negligence and waste were kept also with that corporation.—The do not exist in the inferior departments. hon. gent. mentioned that allusions had I do not impute corrupt practices to the right been made to certain communications in hon. gent. at the head of the treasury, for I which he was reported to be a party : but do not like to impute corruption to any one herein he begged to set the house right, and, without strong evidence; but I do see from as far as respected him, he could assure the report, that the superintendance of the them they were founded in mistake. What treasury has, in many instances, been cri- might have passed with any other gentlemen minally relaxed. The rank of the commis- they could themselves best explain. With sioners is not to screen them from inquiry ; respect to Mr. Trotter and Mr. Wilson, and I trust the future proceedings of the every apprehension that they could any house will fully prove the truth of this opi- longer abuse the confidence of their emnion. Though I am a representative for ployer, or misapply the public money, were another part of the kingdom, I shall feel no at an end. The right hon. gent. (Mr. Canhesitation in saying that I consider myself as ning) had sent an order this morning to the much a representative for Great Britain as bank, prohibiting any money being given to for Ireland, and on all occasions shall endea- any person connected with the naval devour to act on this liberal principle. If the partment, without a draft signed by himself. motion is persisted in, it certainly shall have --The hon. gent said, that he had voted in my cordial vote.
favour of the resolutions, because he thought Mr. Canning explained, and stated that it his duty, because the noble lord, in his lord Melville was as effectually excluded opinion, had committed abuses; but he was from his majesty's councils, by what had al- unwilling to go farther till he should obtain ready taken place, as he could be by any more evidence than the house had yet before resolution of the house to that effect. them of the inotives from which that noble
Mr. Samuel Thornton rose, in consequence lord had acted. That his lordship bad per-
and could serve no useful purpose. The quiries were also to be instituted. He part which he himself had taken in that dis- should be told that it was to prevent the nocussion he had been prompted to by what ble lord from ever again returning to his he had ai that time conceived to be a sense majesty's councils ; but there was no proof duty, however painful he had felt the bability, in his opinion, that he would again task. The two noble lords, however, had be restored. Indeed, he said, it might not been amply acquitted by a vote of the house, be impossible but farther inquiries might and had since justified the good opinion of lead to discoveries that might render an the public. In regard to the question pow impeachment necessary. He did not by before the house, he thought this step moved any means say that such would be the effect by the hon. gent. absolutely necessary to of farther inquiry, but that such might be carry into effect the resolutions formerly the effect was not impossible. Should such, voted. It was by such a measure only they however, be the effect, it would then be could tell his majesty that such persons were time enough to have recourse to such meaimproper to hold any office of trust or con- sures, for at present he deemed them prefidence. This opinion, he maintained, ori- mature. It had been said, that the resoluginated in no motives of personal animosity tions of the former night would prove inefto the noble lord. Hardly any, he believed, fectual, would be attended with no material had fewer enemies than that noble lord, and advantage, unless followed up by a measure far should he be from supporting any mea of the desoription of that proposed by the sure that he thought had its origin in the hon. gent.; but it was generally understood smallest degree from a rancorous or perse- that night, he contended, when those resocuting spirit. On the contrary, this, he lutions passed, that no farther measures were maintained, was a measure of justice, and to be adopted. Had this motion immediateessential to the honour and dignity of the ly followed the resolutions, it might have house. He hoped, therefore, the motion been considered as a necessay corollary to would be persisted in.
those resolutions, and might, as such, have Mr. Bankes disavowed any political con- met his support ; but the necessity of the nexions that could warp his judgment on measure no longer existed. The step proany great question of justice or policy. The posed to the house was, besides, contrary to vote he had given on Monday night had ail the precedents with which he was acbeen purely disinterested, and had not arisen quainted. So far as his knowledge or exfrom the influence of any party. He dis- perience extended, it never had been the approved of the abuses that had taken place, usage of the house to address his majesty and had voted accordingly. He would take against persons out of office. Such was the the liberty, however, though unconnected case in respect to sir Robert Walpole, lord with any party, to recommend to the hon. Kanelagh, and others whom the hon. gent. gent. not to persist in his present motion. I mentioned, against whom no address of reWas the hon. gent. certain that the circum- moval had been presented to his majesty, stances of the case, taken in the whole, though previously perhaps in the contemplawould warrant such a measure ? · At any tion of parliament, when no longer in ofrate, he thought it extremely ill-timed ; and fice. Indeed the very idea was sufficiently the same sense of duty that had prompted absurd, because it was not possible to remove him to vote with the hon. gent. on Monday from office those who were in no ottice. night would also induce him to resist the At all events, if the matter was to undergo present motion. The design of the ad- a full discussion, as intimated by the hon. journment on the former night, was avowed- gent., he would much rather delay any farly to decline any measure on the part of the ther proceedings till the result of those inhouse till they should see if his majesty quiries should be ascertained. When the would, from the suggestions of his own royal house should have the whole before them, breast, take any step that might supersede they could then more justly estimate the the necessity of any further operations on degree of odium that was to be attached to the part of the house. The result had been a conduct which, though irregular, and in favourable to the wishes of the house, and violation of an act of parliament, might yet had rendered, in his opinion, this measure admit of many circumstances of mitigation. unnecessary. But why, he asked, such In such a discovery he declared he would eagerness to follow up the blow that had have much more pleasure than he experienced been already given? for this, he understood, before in the vote he gave in favour of the was but a part of the measures that were resolutions. intended to be adopted, and that other en- Mr. Windham, though not generally in the habit of agreeing with the hon. gent. , best judgment should therefore not be given who had just sat down, (for he and the hon. up under less than an express pledge for gent. were rarely on the same side of the what was implied in the resolution of the question, though they often sat on the same former night. It was, therefore, necessary bench,) agreed with him in one point at to follow up the resolutions, in order to have present. If the qualification proposed could security for the future. A right hon. gent, be acceded to, consistently with the feelings (Mr. Canning) had said, that it ought to be of the house, the motion made by his hon. a rule not to proceed with passion and viofriend should not be brought forward. What lence; a good rule, certainly; but extremegentlemen would have agreed to on the last ly ill observed on the part of the right hon. night was exactly the same they were so de- yent. himself. Had they gone beyond the sirous to put off this night. The only object line? If they had, let it be shewn by arwas to ascertain whether the proceeding re- gument, and let it not rest upon the intemcommended was in substance the same as perate assertions of the right hon. gent: the motion, which was more consistent with | Parliament had made a great effort, such a the custom and regular form of the house. one as, he was persuaded, would entitle them He censured those who had recourse to ar- to the thanks and gratitude of the whole gument founded on delicacy and soft senti- kingdom ; he wished that they should conment, which should never be introduced or tinue those efforts; he wished to take secountenanced in a grave assembly. He was curity against their falling off. It would be less interested for the noble lord from private a lamentable instance of the mutability of motives than many others, though he was opinion, if they should forfeit, by indifnot uninterested. But when that interest ference or langour, the high honours which was made use of to influence the decision of their conduct on the preceding evening had a question, of which was the best mode for the obtained them from all sorts of people, house to do its duty, he could not listen to it. If honours " which should be worn now in . this resolution was a necessary corollary the their newest gloss.” The right hon. gent. other night, he saw no reason why it should had indulged himself in the use of some nut be a necessary corollary now. The strong expressions against the force of pomotion went far beyond what had been done, pular prejudice, and clamour; in that he inasmuch as what had been done was no fully coincided with him. To yield upon security for the perpetual exclusion of the any occasion to public clamour, so far as to noble lord, though it was to be expected he condemn any one upon it, would be, in his would not be reinstated. The only excuse opinion, one of the meanest and most unjust that could be offered to the public for not acts of which a deliberative body could be following up the resolution agreed to on the capable. But as the noble lord had not, as other night was, that in the progress of the he would contend, been condemned under future investigation matter of extenuation the influence of public clamour, he conceived may come out. He did not think that could it the duty of the house to proceed and folbe. He thought the house justified in the low up their resolutions of Monday, by vote of the last night, because the whole of agreeing to the motion of his hon. friend. the case was before them. If he did not Leaving out of the question all idea of parthink so, God forbid that he should object ticipation in the profits derived from the use to any thing that could place the case in a of the public monies, and looking only to fuller or purer view! There was nothing to the abstract crime, the bare and naked vioimpeach the decision then made on the lation of an act of parliament, still he would fairest motives : he should, therefore, re- maintain, that the house was in duty bound, quire a promise or declaration, which would if they valued consistency, if they valued render it impossible to restore lord Melville. the maintenance of their own honour, to Otherwise, he had such a hold of those who proceed and to pass the motion made by his were in power; they were so linked and hon. friend as a necessary inference and coconnected together, that an attempt may be rollary from the resolutions to which they made to counteract what the house had had agreed on Monday. Gentlemen would done. One instance was well known, in do well to recollect, that they were not in a which, after a censure more strong than that court of strict judicial proceedings, but in now passed upon lord Melville, the noble per a court where the interests, the honour, and son recovered his situation, and the highest the feclings of the people were to be conhonours of the country were slowered on sidered. They were not to be fettered by him. What the house pronounced in its the ordinary maxims of the judicial tribunals,