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fore be guided by the opinion of the house, tween December 1801, and June 1803 ! whether he was bound to abide by his for- They have suppressed all knowledge of the mer notice in bringing forward his question stores purchased in the Red Sea, and of to-morrow, if the letters-moved for by the those supplied at Madras, as well as of her hon. member should turn out to be of such repair and refit when she was dọcked at a nature as to place his intentions in a view Bombay, in the months of October and in which they ought not to stand, or in- November, 1802;' notwithstanding they volve any new matter that required farther bave, in that very paper, given credit for deliberation, or rendered necessary the pro- eight months stores which were brought, duction of other documents, in order to the home in her, and must of necessity hare fullest and most mature discussion of a been received at one of these places; and subject so highly important. To vindicate that it appears (page 114), “ a frigate could his own conduct, as well in first proposing not have come out of dock at Chatham, to bring forward the enquiry, as in perse - by two tides, had it not been for the Romvering to that end, he begged leave to read ney's sea store of copper!” They cannot the following passage from the letter of Mr. plead ignorance of these transactions; the Tucker to the board of admiralty, so strong purchases in the Red Sea have been reand so clear upon the subject, that he was ported on by the navy board to their lord.at some loss to conjecture how the navy ships (page 378), and the repairs at Bomboard, by any letter of theirs, could refute bay have proved on oath (page 99), by the statements evidently made upon the ground carpenter of the ship at Chatham, before of their own reports and accounts:“ ha- the junior surveyor of the navy! These ving, I trust, fully vindicated every part of facts, sir, speak too plain to require any my conduct through the whole of this in- comment from me, or to be susceptible of vestigation, I think it my duty to their satisfactory explanation any where, but at lordships, to the country, and to the house their lordships' table, or at the bar of the of commons in particular, to call their at- house of commous.-) Iaving shortly adtention to one of the papers which has been verted to this passage of Mr. Tucker's laid by the navy board before the house of letter, he begged leave to ask tlie hon. commons, dated the 19th February, 1805, member, Whether the vindication he pro(page 301,)'purporting to be “ an account posed to bring forward, applied merely to " of the expences of the Roinney, from the this part of ihe letter of Mr. Tucker, or " 25th Nov. 1800, to the 2d June, 1803, to the whule ; and to this question be re
as nearly as can be ascertained at the navy quested to call the attention of the house, “office,” in order that their lordships may for it was of much importance to know, whejudge,whether that paper could have pos- ther the vindicatory letters were intended sibly been drawn up with any other vier to cancel the errors stated in this parathan to deceive and inislead the judgement graph, or whether they took a wider scope? of parliament. That account is declared 10 it to this only, he should bring forward his be framed, so as to bring under one point motion te-morrow. But if to the whole of view.“ how much she exceeded the pro- subject of enquiry, he should think it inportion of the vote of parliament allowed decent to press bis motion, until the house for wear and tear, or came within that had full time to consider the subject of sum.” Sir, in that statement there are those letters, and be prepared for any
subs omissions of the most extraordinary nature ject of discussion they were calculated to and magnitude ; and I must take the liberty introduce. to add, in the language of the navy board, Sir A. S. Hamond answered, that althat I scarcely think there ever were such thoug! the letters in question were certainextraordinary means resorted to, to pro ly directed to the leading subject of the duce a particular effect! Willthe navy board lion. gent.'s motion, yet surely there were pretend that they have not examined other topics to which it was equally necesthat account before they signed it, and that sary to direct refutation. He could assure their confidence has been a second time him, however, the letters were so short as misplaced, and upon whom will they charge to require no delay for consideration, and it? Or, sir, will they continue to vouch for might, he hoped, be printed in time, or the fairness and truth of that paper? might lie on the table for the perusal of Sir, in that paper they have omitted, by members; and as to the delay of the navy what accident they best know, all her re-board in writing to the admiralty to refute pairs, and the stores supplied to her, be- the assertions of Mr. Tucker, no avoidable Vol. IV.
delay had occurred; for when the hon. mem. I now seemed to be in the contemplation of ber was iuformed that the navy board were gentlemen, namely, an open discussion by unremittingly employed in their avocations the whole house; but that it would be much from ten in the morning till six in the more proper to refer the question, with all evening every day, he would perceive they the documents thereon, to the investigahad little leisure to answer the long letter tion of a committee, who should be inof a geutleman who had nothing to do. structed to report the evidence, with their lle begged to observe, tbat the navy board opinions thereon, to the house, and such be were brought into this question in a very undersood to bave been the original intenextraordinary way. The hou, officer, who tion of the hon. member wbo proposed was the object of the enquiry, had stated the question. But if it was to be an open himself to be extremely anxious that it discussion, he could see no inconvenience should come forward, but on reading the that would arise from the delay, if necesoriginal report, he stated that there were sary, of a few days; but however that considerable inaccuracies in it, and re- might be setiled, he would take leave to ferred for revision to the navy board; say, it was quite impossible that any unupon which revision it appeared that there derstanding on the subject should be arwere such inaccuracies. It was then upon rived at to-day, as to any arrangement that this report that the imputations of Mr. might appear expedient on to-morrow. He Tucker were founded; but he trusted the hoped the house would not, however, pronavy board would not be refused the right ceed to any decision without a fair hearing, of producing correct statements for their and affording a full opportunity to the gallant own vindication, which he pledged him-olficer to bring forward every proof neces. selt would prove those imputations to be sary for clearing his own character. It was unfounded.
not nierely the character of the hon. offiMr. Kinnaird said he should persevere cer, it was not merely the character of the in bringing forward his notion ; but he navy board, that were at stake; there were begged the lion. member to recollect, that other persons, in other quarters, whose the original report was made six weeks characters depended on its result. It was ago, and that no attempt had been made a matter that involved some of the dearest to correct its alleged inaccuracies until rights of the constitution of this country, alter the suggestions of the hou. officer and materially concerned the exercise of (of whose vindication he should be as proud prerogatives, which involved the safety of as any man) and on the very eve of bring, every man. A right hon. gent. seemed to ing forward tbe question upon the original think the subject one which could occupy report.
no great length of discussion, but let it not Mr. Tierney thought it would be right be imagined, that the subject the question maturely to consider upon which of the involved was to pass sub silentio, for it was two reports the house was to found its de- one which demanded the fullest investigalibcrations. He thought to-morrow too tion. , soon, however, to bring the question for- Mr. Tierney was as anxious as the right vard, as the documents now proposed to non. gent. to sift the subject to the very be brought forward might render it neces: bottom; feeling, as be did, that the navy sary to move for others. He could not board stood in a situation of such high and see that the discussion, as it related to sir important trust with the country, that it Home Popham, was likely to extend to ought not to remain a singlc hour in adubious any great length; for such was the nature light. lle was therefore inclined to oppose of the several items for cousideration, any delay of the discussion not absolutely that it was impossible for any men but na- necessary; but as to the hon. officer, he val oficers, professionally and technically could have no sort of objectiou to allow acquainted with them, to be competent to him every fair opportunity for his vindicathe discussion. lle hoped the hon. mem- tion. ber would postpone his motion for a few Mr. Kinuaird said, he was far from abandays, more especially if the letters should doning the charge he had made, founded as turn out to be such as to require farther it was upon the reports of the navy board time for consideratio:).
themselves ; but it was impossible not to The Chancellor of the Exchequer was in- see that the navy board themselves were clined to think, the proper mode of pro- connected with the charge, for they as. seeding in this case was not that which sumed to themselves that wbich only ride
meant to refer to the conduct of an hon. vessels in commission, either home-built, officer. The motion of sir A. Hamond was or captured from the enemy; the like of put and agreed to; and shortly afterwards vessels, manned and equipped for general the letters were laid on the table by Mr. service, and those for harbour service: Dickenson, and ordered to be printed. these with a view of coinparing the state
[NavAL ADMINISTRATION OF EARL ST. of our navy during the administration of VINCENT.] Mr. Jeffery (of Poole), earl St. Vivcent; and those which precedagreeably to the notice of a former day, ed his lord ship's appointment, and immerose to bring forward his promised motiun, diately followed bis resignation. for the production of several papers, re
The Chancellor of the Exchequer said, lating to the naval departinent, during the that as to the first motion of those proadministration of earl Si. Vincent; and posed by the hon. member, he had no though, he said, they were certainly volu- great objection; but he was by no means minous, there was not one aniongst them prepared to judge of the propriety of agreeidle, frivolous, or unimportant; but such ing, at the moment, to so long a string of as would not fail to make a strong impres- motions, involving such a variety of subsion
upon the mind of the house, and fully jecis, many of which, upon malure delito account for the depressed and degraded beration, it might be utterly improper to state to which the British navy was at this comply with. He therefore hoped the moment reduced; and which, bad lord St. hon, member would not be inclined to Vincent continued at the head of our navul press such a series of motions, without affairs to this day, would have sunk to a giving some farther time for the house to state still lower, and less competent to consider the propriety or impropriety of meet the formidable enemy with whom we agreeing to them. had to contend. He lamented that the Admiral Markham assured the house, task of bringing forward a motion of so that nothing could possibly give to the much importance should have fallen to the noble lord, whose conduct was the avowed lot of a person so humble and incompetent object of the notions just proposed, higher as bimself; but seeing no other gentleman pleasure than the production of every doattempt to take it up, he felt it his duty to cument, and the fullest investigation of bring it forward. He was conscious there every circumstance that in any degree conwas no department in the country inore cerned his character or conduct. That important than that of the navy, or that noble lord was conscious of nothing in his more urgently demanded strict vigilance conduct that he could have the slightest and minute investigation. He hoped his wish to conceal; and, therefore, on bezeal
upon this point had not carried him half of the noble lord, and so far as he too far, or led him to endeavour to disclose was personally concerned, he had not the too much, for secrets there certainly were, slightest objection to the production of which ought not to be exposed to the pos- all the documents just specified, prosible knowledge of an enemy. Having, vided the frieuds of the noble lord were however, explained to the house the object to be at liberty to move afterwards for of the motion he meant to submit, it would the production of such other documents be for their wisdom to decide how far it as they should think necessary on the other was right to grant his request; but if the side of the question. But with respect to documents he should require should be the motions, generally, he presumed the allowed bim, he would himself undertake hon. gentleman was not aware of the exto prove, to the conviction of every man tent and tendency they would go; not who heard him, the position he had laid merely to the conduct of earl St. Vincent, down. The hon. member then proceeded but of the whole British navy, since 1793, to detail to the house a series of eighteen to the present time. As to the distinction motions for returns of the state of the between ships built in the king's yards, or navy, from the year 1793, to the present the merchants' yards, he had very strong time, under the several heads of ships of objections, because it would disclose a histhe line and frigates, built in the king's tory of the supplies of timber for our navy, yards, or those of the merchants, distin- and the sources whence furnished, foreign guishing the periods when contracted for, and domestic. And though the enquiry and when finished, or likely to be finished , was certainly a most desirable one, there the like of such vessels, broke up, or sold, or very strong objections to a public lost by capture or accident; the like of such disclosure of the result. The hon, admiral
was ready to admit, our nary was not alto- entirely owing at this momer gether in quite so good a state as could ligence of the noble lord. be wished; where the blame rested, he did however, to bring no char not wish to say, but certainly it was not papers were before the house, with the noble lórd, upon the whole of that charge was to arise. I whose conduct, so far was he from depre- see his
before he made cating enquiry, that he anxiously desired but if it was not founded and courted it.
ments for which he moved, he Mr. Grey agreed perfectly with the hon. readily acknowledge his error admiral; and as the friend of the noble to apologize to the house an earl, and on his behall, declared, that he lic officers for giving them courted enquiry. But he would put it to trouble. With respect to i the discretion of the bon. member, whether quired by the British nav the advanced period of the session, and the noble lord's administration many important topics still pending discus- attributable not to bis directie sion, were circumstances which rendered eminent state of perfection it advisable for him to introduce, or pro- found that navy on his suco bable that the house could possibly enler- direction. It was then a na tain so voluminous a string of resolutions, tain to possess, and compe the most numerous he believed ever pro- and yanquish her enemies in posed at any one time in that house by an of the globe; but was that il individual member. The production of periority and perfection i the papers required, might render it neces- under the auspices of the no sary to move for others quite as volumin- never contracted for inore th ous; both must be printed, and what time ing of two ships of the line? could then remain of the sessions to read, way to keep up the superiority to consider, and to discuss them? Much or was it not the certain roa better'would it be for the hon, member, if gradation to which it had sin he had any charge to make against earl disclaimed vindictive motiSt. Vincent, to bring it at once. Let it be voted with the glorious maj referred, with all the documents, to a com- degradation of lord Melville, mittee, and let them report their decision; in this instance from motives and if there appeared parliamentary ground He was cheered without do for accusation against the noble earl, let it men of character for his int be followed up in a parliamentary way. this head, and he knew many The hon. member had talked of the dis- members who, though they graceful and degraded state of the British fit themselves to bring forw navy, during the administration of the ness, yet were glad to see the noble earl. Upon what circumstance in forward. He had no objec the affairs of the navy, during that period, to postpone his motions to a the hon. 'member had founded bis asser- day, if the house wished. tion, he (Mr. Grey) was yet to learn; but Mr. Grey replied, that the he begged to ask the hon. member in what had made out no charge aga period of our naval history was the British friend, save by his own asser flag, more signally decorated with laurels charge must rest -upon other in every quarter of the globe, than during Mr. Jefjery answered, the the period of the noble earl's administra- rise out of the papers. tion? If the lio!), member had any charge Mr. Ticrney wislied the hi to make against the noble earl, let him to fis what day he would bri bring it forward. It was an enquiry de charge. sirable to the house, and to the country, Mr. Jeffery answered TH and to none more so than to the noble lord. till then he bad no objectio On behalf of the noble earl, therefore, he his motions,— Withdrawn wi challenged ihe enquiry, and loped it would house. not be relinquished.
The Chancellor of the Exci Mr.: Jeffery replied by saying, he did many of the motions contain not bring forward these motions lightly. revealing of which might be It was no light charge for him to state the public service, he hoped that the degraded state of our navy was tleman would give him a cop
HOUSE OF LORDS.
that he might be able, in the mean time, to a measure with so thin an attendance of lay consider how far it might be proper to peers, and with such a body as presented grant them; to which Mr. Jeffery agreed.- itself on the reverend bench, be despaired Adjourned.
of having his objections properly attended to. One or two of the reverend prelates
having observed, that not many minutes IVednesday, May 8.
ago there had been a remarkably full at
tendance of lay peers, the noble earl oh[Minutes.] The committee of privi- served he was aware of that; their lord. leges appointed to search for precedents ships were tired out by listening to a very relative to the message from the house of long conversation: he intimated an intencommons respecting lord Melville, sat from tion to move to have the bill postponed. two o'clock till five, during which time no The Lord Chancellor observed, he should strangers were admitted.-Prayers were deem it incumbent on him to oppose such then read, after which the lord chancellor a motion : the noble earl should recollect, presented a petition from the university of that the bill, both in principle and detail, Oxford, praying that the restrictions on had been again and again discussed ; with the Catholics might not be repealed, which respect to the objection of the thin attendwas ordered to lie on the table.-The lord ance of lay peers, a great number were in chancellor notified his intention of coming attendance not ten minutes before, who, forward on an early day next week, with a if they, thought with the noble lord, with motion for having some record or entry respect to the operation of the bill on the made on the journals, of the principle lay patronage, would most probably have upon which the proceedings that hitherto remained to express such apprehensions. obtained in the case of Mr. Justice Fox Some few remarks, in the way of explaproceeded; or, at least, as far as such nation, were afterwards interchanged beprinciples were understood by some of tween the earl of Suffolk and the noble and their lordships. He was apparently about learned lord, in which the latter observed to move for a simmons in reference to his there might be some peers who preferred contingent intention for Monday, but was their dinner to their duty; and the former, informed, that a summons already stood seeming to think, as the proceeding then for that day.
stood, it would be preferable not to trouble (UNIVERSITIES, Advowson Bill.] On their lordships further at present, accordthe order being read for the re-commit- ingly quitted the house. ment of this hill,
Lord Sidmouth expressed his-thanks to The Earl of Suffolk rose, and made se- their lordships for having so readily deveral observations expressive of his hosti- ferred the recommitment of the bill from lity to the bill; he particularly deprecated Monday until that day, in consequence of the discussion of a measure, which would his inability to attend; however, it was not so injuriously affect the lay patronage of his intention then to trouble the committee the country, in so thin an attendance of with the discussion of the clause he inlay peers. He thought, therefore, the contended to propose, as he believed many of sideration of the bill ought to be postpo- their lordships, who had so recently retired, ned, until a fuller attendance of the lay withdrew upon an understanding that what peers should be obtained. There was an- he meant to bring forward would not be other objection which struck him forcibly discussed that night.. lle therefore should with respect to the bill, namely, its in- not press it; not that he intended, after trenching so materially, in his opinion, what passed, to interrupt the progress of upon the statute of Mortmain. Though, the bill, but to take the opportunity of a he thought, in the present state of things future stage, to propose what he intended, and of religion in this country, great ac- possibly on the consideration of the report, quisitions to the church may not be ex- the third reading, or, if such may be deempected from such a consideration; yet, ed more convenient, as to a certain extent, from persons in a dying state, particularly it would be more regular to discuss his inwomen, something in that way may be re- tended propositions in a committee, and quired. Yet still, its operation with re- with that view to recommit the bill. spect to that statute was, he thought, a ma- The Bishop of Oxford was anxious to terial consideration. He again pressed the shew that he never opposed any procrastiidea of its being improper to discuss such nation of the bill, as far as such procrasti: