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by political storms and tempests, they only ever so severe and honest, the public would bound him more firmly to his post. That not be satisfied with such a committee, noble lord seemed invulnerable; he laugh- after such a charge which he (Mr. W.) ed at the convulsions of government and offered to prove. He reckoned, therefore, parties. Nothing short of an earthquake such a motion not extraordinary, after what could shake him. He had been already had happened, though not precedented.celebrated for having two strings to his The hon, member then alluded to his own bow, and he kept his bow always strung, name, and observed, that he would gladly He seemed not to have two strings only to withdraw from such a committee; but if it his bow, but as many as a certain person was appeared the general wish for him to remain noted for having to his knees. He was in on it, he should certainly take care to atpower in the right hon. gent.'s last adminis- tend to it. Let him, however, be struck tration. He performed him some services off, if any person thought his conduct in at the union ; after the union leaving Ire- this business rancorous; if they considered land, he came here, and was in place again. him a persecutor instead of a prosecutor ; That administration went out on a specific or if they could see the folly he was acpublic ground, and another came in on a cused of, respecting the alleged changes in directly opposite principle; but still the no- the order of his motion. He liked his ble lord clung to office, and kept in place. conduct the better for the censures he reThat ministry was turned out by the help ceived from some persons. After dwelling of his right hon. friend; but then was the with great force on the modes attempted noble lord again in power, and now he is to screen lord Melville, and the limitations in a new coalition. He did not question the of the power of the committee, he mainpurity of his principles, in all those evolu- tained, that with the first majority of one, tions by which he contrived to maintain his and the minorities since, the people of position and keep himself where he was: but England, Scotland, and Ireland, went hand would the country think him a proper per- in hand, and applauded their justice and son to investigate the conduct of his pa- spirit. Was all talent gone? Could no tron? He and his patron, no doubt, de- independent gentlemen be found to make served each other's friendship, for their up a committee for such a purpose as this? mutual services. He would give his lord- He would put it to the gent. of the opship credit for manly policy, and gratitude posite side, whether they would make this to the right hon. gent.; but though this committee a screen, or a stalking-horse? might be very gratifying in private life. | Would they have the public consider it as it rather disqualified him for the situation a cloak to cover lord Melville? He thought to be allotted him. For what was the coin- he could náme a gentleman, even in the mittee to examine into ? Delicate and se- place of the Master of the Rolls, though cret transactions! The noble lord had been less able, yet whom the country would like engaged in similar transactions in Ireland better; and this would apply more largely already, and his palate may have become to the other objectionable persons. He vitiated in these matters, and the public could find persons as competent, and posand he entertain very different ideas on the sessing more of the faith of the public. Inuses and abuses of public money. He stead of the name of the noble lord, he might refer to some late matters. The would propose a gentleman whom he had noble lord had been charged by the right loved and respected from youth, but whom hon. gent. now sitting beside him (Mr. he had almost constantly opposed in poliFoster) with a scandalous misuse of money, tics, both in and out of that house; with in payments to persons in Ireland, to carry whom he must have sometimes had the the union, and had 'sat mute. He felt con- heats and even the bitterness of contest vinced that the right hon. gent. opposite a bitterness of zeal and not of acrimony; could not, from his usual accuracy, have one who had given the right hon. gent, an made the charge, could he not have proved independent support for years:
genit. It was repeated last night. He would tleman he had even within these few refer the noble lord to his right hon. friend. months opposed actively in bis election If he denied it, what if he examined Mr. to serve in that house, and he did not reFoster at the bar? What might not turn pent 'of it: he might do so again.
He out in these" delicate transactions” of lord meant Mr. Baker, of Hertford; a gentleNielville? Was the noble lord a person fit man of talents, and anxiously laborious in for that committee ? Let the enquiry belevety thing relative to public advantage;
and commanding every respect from all hoped he should never again have occawho knew him. He should therefore con- sion to recur to. He could confidently clude by moving,
" that the name of lord assert he had never given the sanction of Castlereagh be struck out, and that of Mr. bis authority (humble, indeed, it was) in Baker substituted in its room.”
the support of any principle, of which, in The Master of the Rolls said, if it were his conscience, he disapproved. If he were necessary that every member of a com-objected to for his deportment, it must be mittee should constantly attend the duty, in the house, not in the committee; the many of those now proposed ought to be members of these select establishments excluded; but this was not considered ex- had no option, they had only to exercise pedient. He had never represented bim- common sense on the evidence that was self as so absorbed in business, that he had no produced before them. Ile apologised to moment and no day which he could devote the house, the rather because he did not to this branch of his parliamentary engage- rise to speak to the question, but to that ments. He had frequently acted in such part of the hon. gentleman's address which situations: he was named for one on the appeared to convey some imputation on civil list; for another of considerable con- bis (the Master of the Roll's) character, sequence relating to barley grain in Scot- but at the same time he acquitted' that hon. land; and he had sufficient time to form geutleinan of any design either to misrehis opinion, and to assist in the prepara- present his conduct or his motives. tions of the report. He trusted then he Mr. Whitbread lamented he had been so was not to be considered as unqualified, unsuccessful as not to make himself underand he hoped it was not thought on every stood; he thought it was impossible for frivolous pretence he was disposed to any man to apply a construction, on what abandon any duty, which it was fit that a was said, in the smallest degree disrespectmember of that house should perform. ful to the right hon. and learned gentleman. Certain he was, that he had never deserted Mr. Wortley Stuart observed, that whatany situation of this kind in which he was ever influence the treasury might have used called upon to act, but on account of its in circulating lists, it certainly had not interference with his indispensable engage- done more than the hon, gentleman had ments in some other place. He was on a done by circulating the lists which he had secret committee in 1794, upon another in brought down the other day. In his list, 1799, but if he were untit for such a charge every man named had voted against lord as that now proposed, he should with great Melville; and did this shew a greater degree pleasure submit to the direction of the house. of impartiality than that list which had Many years he had enjoyed the honour of been ascribed to the treasury ? being a member of that house, but he had Mr. Fox was at all times happy to pay never made extravagant professions; he was due deference to the usage of the house, convinced his character must depend, not when it was governed by the fit respect to upou self-applause, but
upon conduct. If he the principles of the British constitution. had never vaunted of high qualities to the The attempt of an individual to force a list disparagement of others, he had not wholly for a committee upon the house, would be disclaimed party feelings and party princi- culpable; but it was in a much higher deples, and he should rather think the worse gree criminal for any such experiment to of that man who was destitute of either. It, emanate from the treasury, accompanied by the peculiar circumstances he was now with the influence that must be presumed called upon to vindicate his own honour, from that quarter. If his hon, friend (Mr. he would publicly proclaim, that he never in Whitbread) had brought down a list, he that house uttered a sentiment he did not should have voted for it, provided he apconscientiously feel; when he expressed his proved of it; but if his own conduct were opinion, that the Sheritt's of Middlesex the immediate object of investigation, he should not be punished before they were should have been utterly ashamed of himheard by their counsel, whatever might be self, if he did not take all possible means attributed to him, he was influenced by no of shewing to the public, he would have no party bias; he imputed to neither side im- share in recommending a single individual, proper motives; he had a more fit employ- for the purpose of such an enquiry. If his ment in regarding the purity of his own. friend should produce to him a list, where He was discussing a most unpleasant topic, be (Mr. Fox) was then personally concernihe was speaking of himself-a subject, le cd, he would say, “ I will have nothing
to do with the nomination of my own | When this was proposed, in the pursuit judges," and he would not condescend to of his present design, the hon. geut. (Mr. inspect it. If his eye were to stray upon Whitbread) should have proposed that all the paper, and he should discover in the persous in office should be excluded from list the name of his bon. friend, he should the ballot. He should have gone farther, enquire if his friend meant to surrender his and have insisted, that all gentlemen who affection, and to insult bim by such a pro- condescended to honour him (the chanposition; much less could he do such an cellor of the exchequer) with their private act in a clandestine manner; in such a friendship, should also be excluded. Such case every name must be submitted to the were the extraordinary propositions by observation of the house, and be exposed which these wild notions of personal deto its solemn decision. Considering the licacy and private honour must be inainconduct of the right hon. gent. (Mr. Pite) tained, that bis (Mr. Pitt's) colleagues in was implicated in the charge, it was niost office, as well as those with whom he was indecent that his own colleagues should be convected by the ties of affection, were to appointed to the committee. He could be deprived of their parliamentary privionly say, that to place himself in such a leges. On the other grounds of objection, situation, was diametrically opposite to after what had been so ably stated by his every sentiment he (Mr. Fox) could in- right hon. and learned friend, it was not dulge; but if the right hon. genileman necessary for him to detain the house. could accommodate his feelings to such a This was not an election committee, where condition, he (Nr. Fox) siucerely congra- it was required that the members should be tulated him on the convenient effect of his present during every moment of the pro. insensibility.
ceedings; and if he were not resisting the The Chancellor of the Exchequer said, that motion of the hon. gentleman, he should on this subject the feelings of men seemed now have been proposing a quorum for to lead them to extraordinary extremes. the committee, to render such constant atIf he was to be sent on his trial where no tendance wholly unnecessary. , Would charge had been exhibited—if he acceded gentlemen then say, thal because sonie to this, what they required was, that his members, from their other important dujury slould be entirely composed of men lies, could not devote the whole of their whom he could challenge for cause. This time to such an enquiry, that they were might be their notions of justice, but if he never to be uominated upon committees, had any thing to apprehend from the ef- and were to be excluded from so essential fects of the spirit of party, the only way to a branch of their parliamentary functions ? determine the point properly was to take What would be the consequence? Those care that the majority should not be com- persons who were best acquainted with the posed of those whom habit, if not convic- business of finance would be precluded tion, might lead to find him guilty. He from sitting on committees in that imporwas not so chimerical in point of honour, tant department; those best versed in leso forgetful of the principles of reason, gal subjects would be prevented from justice, and the law of England, as to put giving the assistance of their learning in himself in the situation which they pro-juridical investigations; those who were pused, for the perilous chance of acquir- most informed on the great political inteing their approbation. Nor was the prac- rests of states, would be incapacitated from tice of parliament on this occasion so in- affording their light on that important consistent, as had been represented, with branch of enquiry; and thus the country the maxims of the British constitution. would be deprived of the benefit of that The committee had been appointed in the mass of talent, the application of which way most usual on such occasions. It was would be most conducive to its glory and true that the mode had often been object- happiness. Then it was said the house was ed to, yet, upon argument, it had been to look to what the public expected of it: approved. Committees so appointed had the house certainly was to attend to what produced reports most satisfactory to the the public ought to expect; and that would house and to the națion, and he was not, be best indicated by a calın, firm, and reupon old exploded reasoning, disposed to solute discharge of its duty. But a party renounce what had been so long establish cry, which assumed to itself the voice of ed. Had not the house already decided the people, was not to be mistaken for the the committee was to be chosen hy ballot? | popular sentiment, in order to annihilate
the acknowledged privileges of a member if possible, yet more objectionable. Could of the legislature. These were examina- it then be said (he would repeat the questions proceeding on the general principles tion) that no cause was shewn for the chalof justice ; every honourable man was lenge? It was extremely suspicious, that therefore a fit member of such committees; the first person proposed by his hon. friend the joint talent of the house, when col-(Mr. Whitbread), being a partizan of the lected, would most effectually conduce to ministers, should be resisted, and the prothe elucidation of truth. Was the intro- position for the ballot immediately sucduction of one party only the best way to ceed. The right hon. gent. said, “ shall procure a fair, and the exclusion of the I be stripped of my friends ? Is no percontrary side the most probable means of son in office, no one connected with me to obtaining a wise, decision? Undue influ- appear in the committee ?" It was not ence ought not to be employed; but to required that no colleague in place should say that lo suggest a list to the inspection be on the committee, but it was demanded, of a member, was the use of undue influ- that the members should not be pestered ence, seemed an assertion not at all correct, with treasury lists. Could the right hon. because it could by no means be disco- gent. not trust to the league of private afvered if the party had had not voted fection? And if his confidence were defiaccording to that intimation. The matter cient there, could he not repose in the exon the whole appeared to him so plain, pectation, that, for the many favours rethat be felt it difficult to vindicate himself ceived, and the many more in reversion, for speaking so long; but his leading de- bis connections would not be unmindful sire was to rescue the house and its pro- of his security? It was not fair to say, ceedings from the imputation which had the exclusion, on some important occabeen justly directed against both. sions, of persons in place, was unknown
Mr. Sheridan said, there was a warmth to our law; this was the case under the intruded into the discussion, which did not circumstance of appointing committees on belong to it. The real question was, which delinquency in the East Indies. Who side of the house most conduced to sup- brought in the bill by which this was enport the character of the house, and to ful- acted ? Lord Melville. This was the pubfil the just expectations of the public. In lic reformer who was so lately libelled by some degree the right hon. gent. seemed to the house of commons; this was the man have a correct notion of the subject, but who was chairman of the committee, and in order to justify himself, he presumed who prosecuted the unfortunate delinto call the opinion of the nation a party quents with extraordinary severity. But cry. Were the resolutions of the City of this was not an Indian delinquent, it was London a party cry?
Were the meetings the person advanced to the head of the all over the kingdom a party cry? Was king's government.
How much more exthe vote of the house of commons, sup-pedient then was it, that this great officer ported by the independent spirit of its of state, if guilty, should not be protected speaker, a party cry? It ought to be known, by the companions in his crimes ? The that the time was at hand, when it was right hon. gentleman forgot himself. He necessary to encourage the friends of the (Mr. Sheridan) told him he was himself state, by the loud voice of the people. upon his trial, but he replied, that there The gent. on his side of the house did not was no charge, no report against him. The challenge the individuals proposed for the right hon. gent. prescribed three things, committee without cause. They distinct- which the committee were to try, and it ly said, no one holding a place under the was extremely unlucky that in all three crown, is a proper person to nine the he himself was inplicated. The first was, conduct of the first lord of the treasury. if he had authentic information of the purThey said, a person like the noble lord, pose for which the money was drawn out who had since the union acted with the (that was, if the first lord of the treasury minister, went out with him, came again had such intelligence of the proceeding of into office with him, and remained to open lord Melville and Mr. Trotter). The a back door for the right hon. gent.'s ad- second was, if the money was withmission, is not a fit man to be employed drawn for the purposes for which it on such an occasion. Perhaps, the ire was voted, and applied to the deliamantium, of which gentlemen had heard cate services which had been adverted to. within these few hours, rendered him, It was curious to see a person put on the
committee, of whom it was said he had man that to all those to whom he had corrupted the Irish parliament. If he any public objection, he had mentioned would commit such practices with regard his objections, and that he never could to one legislature, his iuclination at least have entertained the slightest to him indiwould not be deficient to do the same to vidually. On the contrary, he appealed another. On this charge of the misapplica- to himself, to say whether he had not tion of the money, the right bon. gent. asked his advice as to the names he should was to be tried, and if it should be found himself put down in the list, and his conthat the first lord of lhe treasury autho- sent to insert his own name? sised such conduct, it would be no wonder Mr. H. Lascelles acknowledged the hon. if the subalterns iu office took advantage gent. had done so, and he felt himself of it to effect their own purposes. The much obliged by the compliment ; but third regarded the discharge given to lord he did not allude to him, but to what had Alelville, on account of the defalcation been said by Mr. Sheridan. of Mr. Jellicoe. Was it not then most ob- Mr. Sheridan disclaimed all idea of the vious, that the right hon. gent's purity smallest objection to the hon. gent. and was the question to be determived in all said that his objection did not go to these? Then bis hon. friend very natu- the committee, but to the mode in rally enquired what would a man of ho- which it had been appointed by the right nour do if placed in such an unhappy hon. gentleman. predicament? The right hon. gent., when Mr. Fuller said, though he felt a great the subject was started, made no objection respect for the hon. members who comto the committee. Ile felt himself so posed the committee, he was afraid, from closely touched, su sore when his conduct the way in which it had been appointed, was doubted, that he would have the the public would not think it so impartial matter fully examined, and, to use his as it ought to be. It was known, he said, own words, he would have it sifted to the as well as the sun at noon-day, that his bottom. Then said his hon. friend truly, a side of the house wished the right hon. man of honour, in such a disposition, would gent. out of office; and it was have no concern with, and if possible, known that he would endeavour to keep no knowledge of the parties by whom the in as long as he could. He was sorry to enquiries were to be prosecuted. But see him proceedingin such a way, to obtain what was the course of the right hon. an enquiry into his conduct. He thought gent, ? He said, “I will prescribe the the committee he had recommended the line of your march. I will appoint the other night would have been a much fairer commanders in the field.” He drew up one, viz. the taking one alternately from the indictment by which he was to be each side of the house, and all those to arraigned, and then nominated the jury whom he had since mentioned it were of before whom he was to be tried. He would the same opinion. Why were not the tell the right hon. gent., in such a proceed- names of two hon. gentlemen below in ing he had consulted his own honour; this list; gentlemen of the most noble the people of England would be disappoint- and independent principles, and who had ed, and they were entitled to a fair, full, for many years past supported the meaand impartial investigation.
sures of the right hon. gentleman ? He Mr. H. Lascelles said, he wished to mentioned Mr. Bankes by name (and there trouble the house with but a very few was a cry of order! order!). The other words indeed, to which he was induced gent. alluded to was Mr. Wilberforce. by what had fallen from the hon. gent. He was afraid, he said, their names were opposite. He had said that he thought left out, because they had dared to vote the committee was very objectionable from against him on a late memorable question. the mode in which it had been balloted He exhorted those gentlemen, however, to for, and that all the members inight be go on, and one day or other the country supposed to be partially inclined. He would most assuredly reward them. He did not wish to go into a committee con- said, if the hon. and learned gent. (the cerning which such impressions prevailed, Master of the Rolls) was always quibbling and he thought it necessary to ask whe- in another place as he was here, he would ther the hon. gent. had any objection to not give a farthing for his arguments. him ?
Mr. Canning complained that his right Mr. Whitbread assured the hon. gentle-hon, and learned friend (the Master of the