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Rolls) had been arraigned in his absence, to name a member. Let the list, brought and blamed for baving entered on a justi. down by the hon. gent. opposite, and the fication of himself in circumstances that list said to be recommended by governso peculiarly led to it. He was sure, how- ment, be compared, and it would then ever, that he might say also in the absence be seen in which the principle of equam of that right hon. gent., that there never lization had been most closely adhered to. was a inan to whom the task of justifying Mr. Jekyll thought, that in the course of himself was more easy. or less necessary. the proceedings, he and his friends with He reprobated the terms that had been whom he acted, had reason to complain employed by some hon. gent. in speaking of want of candour from the right hon. of the committee, and thought his hon. gent, on the other side of the house. The friend (Mr. Lascelles) perfectly justifiable only question now before the house was, in resenting the general language of op- whether the noble lord opposite was a probrium that had been applied to it-fit person to be on that committee, siThey had been told by an hon, member tuated and connected as he was with the that he was far froni meaning to attach right hon. gent, near him, on whose con. any disrespect to his hon, friend, or to im- duct, as first lord of the treasury, that pute any disgrace to individuals of the committee was to sit in the nature of a jury. committee. What! said the right hon. The right hon. gent. had not, it seemed,
. gent., is it then no disgrace to belong to a entirely forgotten the early habits of his packed jury, such as they attempted to re- life, and had therefore talked in the lanpresent this committee? He was glad, guage of that profession, to which he was however, his hon. friend had taken an op- bred, “ of a challenge for cause. He portunity of having such broad imputa- begged, however, as a professional man tions contradicted. In regard to Mr. Ba- also, to remind the right hon. gent., that ker, for whom he had the greatest respect, there were in our låw two sorts of chalbe contended that he had been introduced lenges, and that the other of them was merely for the purpose of giving more " a challenge of the array," by which last weight to their objections against the noble the law provides that no public officer lord, and not from any real regard for that shall chose his own jury, and he was ashon. gent. They had proposed him in tonished the right hon. gent. should atform, not in substance. It was not to ob- tempt to take advantage of being tried by tain his assistance to the committee, but a tribunal of his own nomination. One to get quit of his noble friend, they had thing had also struck him most forcibly. brought: bim forward. Though to Mr. His hon, friend who brought forward this Baker, therefore, he could have no ob- motion had objected to the name of the jection, he regarded himself as bound to noble lord, and in the whole course of the resist the motion. His right hon. friend debate not one reason had been given had been represented as shrinking from against this objection. The simple quesenquiry, but how was that charge at- tion came therefore to this, would the pubtempted to be made out ? Was it by stat-lic be satisfied with the nature of this proing, as they had done, that he had with. ceeding? He did not think it would's drawn from the cognizance of the-coin-and, as he wished the house to revise mittee everything but what related to their decision in the appointment of this himself ? This, instead of shrinking from an committee, he should vote for the moenquiry, was more like courting it, so far tion, and hoped the noble lord's name at least as related to himself. His rt. hon. would accordingly be expunged from the friend indeed had always wished enquiry, list. and had originally contended for that very Mr. Windham said, that it was his inteninode of enquiry which the house had at tion to propose that his name should be last adopted, he meant a committee. As struck off from this committee, upon nearly to what farther respected lord Melville in the same grounds on which he meant the report, the house had already decided; to contend that the noble lord (lord that it was better to refer it to a court of Castlereagh) who was the subject of the law and to recover such monies as the pn- motion, was ineligible, namely, the friendly blic might be found to have a claim to. It footing on which he had been with the had been suggested by some gentlemen noble lord (lord Melville); as well as with that the committee should be formed by the riglit 'hon. gent., whose conduct was allowing each side of the house alternately also to be investigated. The official con:
nexion which he (Mr. W.) had had with which this committee was vested, comlord Melville, the social intercourse thence bined with the persons of which it was arising, and the impression made on his composed, he really did not think it was mind by the many amiable and estimable calculated to give satisfaction to the counqualities, which the noble lord was known try. And however little he might be disto possess, were all circumstances, which posed, or might wish that others at different tended to disqualify him for the duty times had been disposed, to enforce a devotmeant to be imposed on him. It was ed reverence for public opinion on great a duty which he did not wish to un- questions of general policy, upon which, dertake. As to the uature of the com- what was called the public was generally mittee, it ought in his judgment to be incompetent to judge; yet upon such an composed, not merely of impartial, unpre- occasion as this, the case was directly the judiced persons, persons who would receive reverse. Here public opinion was not and report truth when submitted to them, only entitled to peculiar attention, but but of those who would be disposed to go was itself a great part of the question. in pursuit of it, and would be zealous and The weightiest part of the charge against active in their researches. The committee the noble lord (lord M.) was the shock he was not meant for judicial decision, but had given to public opinion; and the first to collect and bring forth the grounds for a duty imposed upon the house, was to take charge, which should be submitted, after- such measures, consistent with justice, as wards, to the consideration of the house. might be likely to restore it. Where the The character of the committee was suspicions of the public were reasonable, rather accusatory than judicial. Was) whether they should ultimately turn out it not then singular, that the very per-j to be well or ill founded, they had a claim son accused, should himself nominate the to consideration and satisfaction. As Dr. committee that was examine the Johnson said of the partisans of Ossian, grounds of the accusation ? When a 'to revenge reasonable incredulity by refriend was thus appointed to pursue such fusing evidence, was a degree of insolence examination, he must be rather a sturdy to which the world had not been accusmoralist, who could use the necessary di- tomed! It was the duty and interest of ligence in order to seek out facts likely to the house to preserve itself from suspicion lead to conviction. The task was more in any part of its proceedings upon this deungrateful than ought to be imposed on licate question. The wife of Cæsar should any one, and the confidence was too much not only be pure but unsuspected. If the for the house to repose.--It was a trial committee were to be constructed according which he was not willing to encounter. to present appearances, his conviction realThe only argument that could be used ly was, that although the condemnation of was, that it was not so much lord M. the party accused by such a committee as the rt. hon. gent. (Mr. Pitt) that was the might have weight, their acquittal would object of charge, as the powers of the have no weight at all-[a cry of bear! committee were now limited. But this bear !] He conjured the house to take was only to change the person, leam such a course as should satisfy the public; ving the case the same. He once act- and though this was a phrase which, used ed with the right hon. gent., although too generally, would rather befit the prohe now disagreed with him ; and, in- prietor of a theatre or a tea garden than a deed, to speak correctly, even when he great and grave assembly; yet it was a fit did act with him he could not be said address to the house on this occasion. The properly to agree with him. The agree- public was the party to be satisfied, ment was rather comparative than abso- for it was the property of the public that lute--sather with reference to the senti- had been misapplied, and what was still ments of those than opposed to the right more to the purpose, it was the confidence hon. gent., and with whom he (Mr. W.) of the public, that had been shaken. If now concurred, than from a complete obliged by the vote of the house to become coincidence in the views entertained by a member of this committee, formed as ihe right hon. gent. Still his connection it had been, by ballot, and limited, as it with the right hon. gent. had been such was, in the abjects of its enquiry, he dethat he did not wish to be a member of a sired to be understood as engaging in committee appointed to arraign his con. it contrary to his inclination, and as enduct. In considering the powers with tering his protest against the proceeding.
Lord Castlereagh rose, expressing much turning to power again without his right reluctance in the necessity by which he was hon. friend, or that measure, it would be impelled to call the attention of the house, seen, from the discussion which would take when he was personally the subject of de place in a few days, whether he was under bate. He then applied himself to the charges any engagement that could preclude his acbrought against him by the hon. gent, who ceptance of office. The hon. member had moved to strike his name from the com- thought proper to make some allusion to mittee, and said, the hon. gent. in the allu- his conduct in another country, as connected sions he had made to himself, and the seve- with a great and important measure : the ral public topics with which he had been part he took in the accomplishment of it, publicly and officially connected, only exer- was the proudest circumstance of his life. cised a privilege to which, as a member of He would venture to say, that there never parliament, he was fairly entitled, and for was a transaction in which there was more which he felt not the slightest degree of meritorious sacrifice of political interest to animosity towards the hon. member. He public welfare. The charges made against totally denied the alledged analogy between him on that subject were professedly foundhis excusing himself upon oath from sitting ed on something which had fallen from a on election committees, which were attend- right hon. friend near him (Mr. Foster), ed with circumstances specifically required whose difference of opinion from him on by act of parliament, totally incompatible that great question he regretted as a misforwith the discharge of his official duties, and tune ; but he had only to say, that what had his competence to attend upon a committee fallen from that right hon. gent. on the of this kind, where a perpetual attendance night alluded to, by no means bore the conupon the whole of its sittings was not re-struction attached to it by the hon. member. quired, but might be optional, and more Upon the whole, he considered the ques. suited to his opportunities. If the present tion of this night not by any means as percommittee had required an attendance equally sonally directed against him, but an indirect close, he should have felt it his duty to state attempt to censure the decision of that house to the house, that his official avocations must by persons who only respected its decisions render that attendance impracticable, and when they happened to accord with their have claimed the indulgence of the house to own. He knew it was disorderly to allude be excused from serving on it. The house to former debates in that house; but as having done him the honour to name him those gentlemen had thought fit to allude to as a member, it would ill become him to them for the purposes of casting obloquy arraign its wisdom; and though he was upon him and his friend, he trusted he ready to avow his strong personal attach- should be indulged in a similar liberty of ment to his right hon. friend, and that if the recurrence, in order to remind the house of committee were to exercise a judicial power, the conduct of some of those gentlemen. possibly his time of life, and his little expe- An hon. member in particular, (Mr. Fox) rience in such investigation, might render who had, at no very distant period, thought him not so eligible to the duty as his right so contemptibly of that house and its decihon. and learned friend, the master of the sions, as to withdraw himself entirely from rolls; yet, considering it was the duty of parliamentary attendance, had at length the committee merely to enquire into the thought fit to revise his opinions, and contruth of facts upon proof; that it was in the descended to attend the proceedings of the power of no member of that committee tohouse. But he trusted the house had too conceal a single fact that should come out just a sense, and too strong a recollection of in the course of enquiry; that those facts that hon. member's conduct, ever to repose must be detailed in their report to the house, their confidence in him. He trusted that who, and not the committee, were to exer- no period would ever arrive when the dicise judicial decision; he felt nothing onrection of public affairs would be entrusted the situation, or the nature of his connec- to his hands; for, convinced he was, that tions with his right hon. friend, that could however the hon. member's principles may disqualify him from discharging the duties have been neutralized by any new connecimposed upon him by the nomination. With tions he may have formed of late, they were respect to the allusion made by the hon. still such as to render him totally unfit for member, to his having retired from power the confidence of the British nation. with his right hon. friend, on the circum- Mr. Grey said, that he could not remain stance of a great political measure, and re-/silent, when he heard the conclusion of the
noble lord's speech, which he considered the not merely a question regarding the concealmost unparliamentary and indecorous he ment of facts in the committee, but there had ever heard in that house; the whole, were other duties that regarded the investias far as related to his hon. friend (Mr. Fox) gation of abuses. It was a proper considewas a misrepresentation and perversion of ration, whether we should not avoid the apfacts. The noble lord had stated that his pointment of persons, who had been themhon. friend had no respect for parliament selves active in the matters complained of. but when it acceded to his wishes. Such a He wished to ask, upon a prima facie view declaration he considered unparliamentary of the question, whether it was not a strong The noble lord had also thought proper io objection to the appointment of the noble refer to the past conduct of his hon. friend. lord, that he was connected with the person To such a reference he should gladly sub- who formed the subject matter of complaint, mit the point at issue; he was not afraid of that it might turn out; that he was himself a the discussion which would arise out of that party concerned. The first charge against enquiry; he should even provoke it with the right hon. gent. was his knowledge of, great pleasure. His hon. friend did what he and connivance at the withdrawings of himself was obliged to do at the same time money from the Bank. The second was, time; he ceased to attend in his place in whether it had been withdrawn for the purparliament: this was what the noble lord poses for which it was voted, and applied, called desertion and abandonment of public as it was stated, to delicate services; and duty. His hon. friend abstained from at- the third charge regarded the acquittal of tending when he knew that his presence Mr. Jellicoe. He would insist, that the could be attended with no success; he did knowledge which the noble lord was likely not attend when he had experience of the to have of these transactions, and his coninutility of combating for the public good, nection with administration, were substanand promoting the interest of the country. tial grounds for his disqualification. The But when his hon. friend and himself had noble lord was himself a minister, and congiven up attendance in the house, they did nected with the noble lord who had been not leave the right hon. gent. (Mr. Pitt) un- adjudged a delinquent, and might himself be der any great embarrassinent, they left him implicated. The noble lord had been again in possession of the support, alınost the un pronouncing his panegyrics upon the Irish qualified support, of the house of commons, parliament, and had said, that there never and without opposition; he had the resources was a more meritorious sacrifice to public of the country at his command, without duty and the welfare of the country, than check or restraint. How then could the that which produced the union. That sanoble lord state that his hon. friend caused crifice, however, was obtained by the purany embarrassment by his non-attendance, chase of private boroughs with the public when that very circumstance afforded the money. His lordship had been charged right hon. gent. every facility to carry on with this: but he did not attempt a word his favourite plans of every kind without in his own vindication. As the noble lord being questioned as to their fitness or expe- denied that any charge had been preferred diency? The noble lord had misrepresent- against him by the right hon. gent. on the ed his hon. friend, as calling this a packed treasury bench near him (Mr. Foster); let committee. He might have said, the com- him, therefore, ask that right hon. gent. mittee was solicited by the right hon. gent. Whether the charge could be supported, he and he would ask him, whether it was con- did not mean to say, but that it had been sistent with a high sense of dignity, and very made was most certain and undeniable. honourable to his feelings? When the ques. The noble lord heard the charge at the time tion before the committee was that of abuse, it was made
by the right hon. gent. he heard and the conduct of the right hon. gent. the his hon. friend (Mr. Whitbread) also repeat subject of enquiry, was it honourable or de- it. He was charged with giving money for licate in him to endeavour to recommend the purchase of votes
. That charge stood the appointment of persons firm in his in- against the noble lord, let him answer it: terest, and connected with him in the go- would he screen himself, like vernment? The noble lord next complained refused to acknowledge their delinquency, of the manner of his hən. friend's bringing under the 5th clause ? He should, however, forward his motion. The argument he only say for the present, that the charge had wished to apply in this case, was respecting been made, and no answer whatever had the qualification of the noble lord. It was been given. With respect to feelings, were
he to change situations with the noble lord, conduct, but ought to have particular force and be accused and shrink from the charge, in this case. He, on the contrary, thought without giving an unequivocal denial, he it ought to have no influence on an inquiry should feel disgraced, and stand in the situ- into facts. The right hon. gent. said, the ation of a delinquent. Abuse of office was committee should be an accusing committhe subject of the present investigation. tee; but he thought, it should not be an acPublic corruption was the subject of this cusing comınittce to the exclusion of all disinquiry; he, therefore, would ask whether position to inquire into the means of acthe noble lord was a proper person to be quittal. An impartial committee would not upon that committee ? but when the ques- be had if the list of the hon. member oppotion was agitated, the gentlemen on the site to him had been adopted; for it conother side found it necessary to shelter them- sisted of none but members who had voted selves under the proceedings of the house, against ministers on the subject of lord and say that he and his friends were endea- Melville. The object of the committee vouring to vilify the character of the house, was indeed to inquire; but it was as much by objecting to certain names in the list for to inquire with a view to establish innocence the committee. If those names were liable as to detect guilt. Its object must be justo objections, there was no other way of tice, and its pursuit the discovery of truth, shewing that but by the mode his hon. and such, he was persuaded, would be the friend had taken, and for which he deserv- sentiment of the committee now before the ed the greatest thanks. With respect to house. He thought the right hon. gent. the mode of ballot, the theory which was (Mr. Windham) a fit member of that comused in the present case was not applicable mittee, notwithstanding he had endeavoured in any other. When the abuses of govern- to disqualify himself, for he had that sturdy ment were the matters of complaint; at a morality which he stated to be a requisite in . time when the people, loaded with taxes, a member of that committee; since he had were looking with the greatest anxiety to given proof that the sense he entertained of that house for redress, it was their duty to his public duty overbore the private esteem adopt the most efficient method of bringing he had for lord Melville ; in a word, the delinquency to light, and doing that justice right hon. gent. was in himself an epitome of which was expected at their hands. But what a committee ought to be; since he his chief objection was to the quarter from possessed, in an eminent degree, all the quawhence those lists had been circulated; a lities he himself required in that body. With quarter where the power was great, and in- respect to the other hon. gent. (Mr. Whitfiuence might be practised. The right hon. bread), who it appeared would do his duty gent. had said, that if lists were circulated, with more satisfaction if the committee was they were not obligatory; he would ask the appointed as he wished, he was satisfied their right hon, gent. if there was not great object was to discover truth, and detect danger of creating an improper influence? guilt. There was, no doubt, from the zeal, If in a court of justice, the accused party activity, and perseverance of that hon. gent. was to circulate lists among the jury who that they would be able to procure every who were to try him, would not the right information, and that the objects of the hon. and learned gent. the attorney general, committee would have their fullest effect, as fall immediately upon them, and expose it was now chosen. He therefore thought the criminality of their conduct? The de- the mode by which the committee had been fence that would not be accepted in a appointed was more calculated to attain court of justice, ought not to be received in their purpose, than the one proposed by the a house of commons.
hon gentleman. The Altorney General observed, that the Mr. Windham, in explanation, stated, that hon. gent. who had spoken last, had ex- he did not use the words alluded to by the pressed himself with great warmth, in de right hon. gent. in the sense attributed to fence of his political friends. In his opinion him. When he made use of the phrase, that part of their political life in which they “ accusing committee," he did not mean thought fit to abstain from attending their that it was to be so composed as the learned duty in the house of commons, was not very gent, imagined; it was not his wish to exhonourable or advantageous to their cha- clude impartiality from it, although he racter. The right hon. gent. opposite (Mr. wished that the valuable qualities of reWindham) had contended, that public opi- search, intelligence, and investigation should pion was not to be made a general rule of be amply discovered in it,