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HOUSE OF COMMONS.
nation might be expected to throw fuller had been so unhappy as to draw upon them light upon the question ; but in acceding the displeasure of the house by their conto the proposition of the noble lord, who duct at the election for Middlesex, in 1802, hud an essential amendment to propose, he at which they had presided as returning trusted that no further impediment would officers; for which offence they had been be thrown in the way of the subsequent committed to Newgate on the 13th of progress of the bill.. The result was, that March, and praying leave to express their the report of the bill was ordered to be re- sincere sorrow for their said offence; and ceived to-morrow, and an apparent under. as longer confinement would be prejudicial standing, that on Monday, the bill should to their health, and their private concerns, be read a third time.
to intreat the indulgent consideration of The Lord Chancellor presented a bill, the the house. The petition having been read principal effect of which was, to encourage by the clerk, was ordered to lie on the tathe cultivation, planting, &c., of church, ble; and Mr.Fane gave notice that he should college, and hospital lands, and to provide to-morrow move that the sheriffs should regulations with respect to the growth, fel- be brought up the following day to the bar ling, &c. of timber on the same. All he in order to be discharged. - The Irish Post should propose at present would be, the Road bill was reported; to be read a third first reading, and printing of the bill, intend time to-morrow. --The Irish Bank Token, ing it should lie over for consideration; and Irish Promissory Note Bills, were read and, in the mean time, he should consult a third time and passed.--Mr. Huskisson the opinions of the reverend personages op- brought up a bill for rendering the last posite to him, and which he meant to take duties on wine permanent; another for previous to his proposing any thing farther repealing so much of the 34th of the king upon the bill. The bill was forthwith read as exempts slates under 20s. per ton from a first time, and ordered to be printed.-duty; and the Spanish Wine Importation Adjourned.
bill; which were severally read a first time, and ordered to be read a second time to-morrow.—The Land-Tax Commissio
ners Name bill passed through a commitWednesday, May 8.
tee.-Mr. Dent gave notice of a motion, [MINUTES.) An account was ordered of for an account of the officers who had the number of bushels of malt made from been promoted during the administration, barley in Scotland from the 5th of July, of lord Spencer and lord St. Vincent, in 1803, to the 5th of July, 1804, with the duty the department of the admiralty. The thereon; and from the 5th of July, 1804, to committee on the Thames Ballastage bill the 5th of April, 1805. Also, of the num-was discharged, and the bill referred to a ber of bushels of malt made in Scotland select committee:- A new writ was, on the from bere and bigg, with the duty thereon, inotion of Mr. Grey, ordered for the counwithin the same periods.-A. person from ty of Galway, in the room of lord Dunlo, the office of the chief secretary in Ireland now earl of Clancarty, an Irish peer.—A presented at the bar an account of the ex- select committee was, on the motion of the pences incurred by state prosecutions in chancellor of the exchequer, appointed to Ireland for the years 1801, 2, 3, and 4, re-consider of the state of the accounts bea spectively. Ordered to lie on the table, tween the East India company and the and to be printed.-The Irish First Fruits public; and an order made that niue be a bill passed through a committee.-Sir W. quorum. Dolben presented a petition from the chan- (I risu Stamp Duties.] Mr. Foster, cellor, masters, and scholars of the univer-on moving the order of the day for going sity of Oxford, against the prayer of the into a committee of ways and means, acCatholic petition on the table of the house. quainted the house, that pursuant to his Ordered to lie on the table.--Mr. Lee declaration, when he had the honour to brought up a bill for the more expeditious submit to the house the statement of the recovery of small debts in Ireland, which Irish finances, he pow proposed to bring was read a first tinie.—Mr. F. Fane pre-forward bis arrangement for an augmentasented a petition from sir William Rawlins, tion of the stamp duties. The various knight, and Robert Albion Coxe, esq. late heads on which he proposed an increase sheriffs of London and Middlesex, stating, were as follows:-A considerable addition " that, owing to unfortunate advice, they on the stamps on admission of attornies
and clerks; a rise on the indentures of ap- to oppose his motion for the appointment prentices, in proportion to the fees paid; of the committee, on the part of the gentleà rise on letters of attorney giving power men opposite. It would be unnecessary for to grant leases; on letters of attorney to him, therefore, to take up the time of the receive rents; on all leases for a reserved house by any prefatory observations, and rent above 201. or on a fine of 1001., pro- he should therefore content bimself by reportioned to the amount of the fine or ferring to the inany important documents. rent; on probates of wills, the stamps on contained in the volume before them for which would not be so high as in this coun- the ground of his motion. At present be try; on legacies; on almanacks, the stanıp should confine himself to moving, “ That dutyon which he proposed to raise from 6d. the several papers presented to the house, to gd. each ; and, lastly, on insurances of relating to the repairs of the Romney and property against fire, which in some in- Sensible while under the command of sir stances were higher, and in others lower Home Popham, be referred to a select comthan the duties payable; and, according mittee.” On the motion being put,
' to his arrangement, would be made exactly Sir Home Popham rose, and declared that equal, in all instances, to the rate of duty he would not make a single observation on in this country.--The house having resolv- the present motion if he did not apprehend ed itself into the committee,
that a silent acquiescence might be conSir John Newport said, he did not mean strued into a tacit acknowledgement that to make any objection to the resolutions, the motion rested on an actual charge exin this early stage; but he apprehended, isting against him. If the hon. member that the stamp duty upon the indentures of had made his motion on that ground, or attorneys' clerks might operate against the with a view to such an object, he should freedom of election, as these persons, after have felt himself bound to give it every serving their clerkships, were at present opposition, because there was nothing of possessed of the right of voting for repre- the nature of a charge against him in the sentatives in parliament, upon which it was papers which he could not completely and by no means desirable that there should be satisfactorily refute. There were, he would any additional restraint. He hoperl, there not dispute, several matters contained in fore, that the duty would be so modified, these papers, which it was desirable to as not to be productive of the injurious ef-have referred to a committee, and consefects he apprehended from it.
quently he was not disposed to object to Mr. Foster replied, that he should be the motion, provided that in so doing, he very ready to accede to any modifications should not be considered as giving any acthe hon, bart.
propose knowledgement of any well founded charge for the purpose of obviating all his appre against himself. Many gentlemen, no doubt, hension. The resolutions were then agreed had read the whole of the papers, and from to, together with an additional one, that the being acquainted with their contents were foregoing duties be paid in English curren-competent to decide whether such a step ey. He further moved, that an allowance was not expedient. His object in rising of 71, 10s. per cent. be made to all statio- had been to state a general outline of his ners in Ireland who sold stamps without any conduct, by adverting, if he should be peradditional charge for the paper; which was mitted, to what had passed on a former agreed to.
night. The hon. member (Mr. Kinnaird) (CONDUCT OF Sır HOME POPHAM.] Mr. had on that occasion stated, that he had Kinnaird, pursuant to his notice, rose to been treated conformably to the usual pracmake his motion on the subject of the pa-| tice of the navy ; that he had been treated pers before the house relative to the con- in the same manner as three gallant and duct of sir Home Popham. He had come hon, officers who'n he had mentioned by down to the house prepared to make such name, sir Richard King, sir Richard Bicka statement as be trusted would induce the erton, and sir Andrew Mitchell. He had house to agree to the motion which he been extremely surprised to hear this asshould have the honour to propose, for the sertion, and though he knew that each of appointment of a committee to examine these officers had attended the different the very large body of papers that had been boards, he had been so nervous that he laid before the house on this subject. could not bring himself to contradict an Since he had been in the house, however, assertion so confidently made. But he had ke bad learned that there was no intention yesterday received a letter from sir R. King, confirming his own opinion, and stating chor, upon which so much stress had been that that gallant officer, on his return from laid, it now appeared that the whole matIndia, had had occasion to attend and ter was a mistake of the navy board. He correspond with the different boards on the owed it to the curiosity of a brother offisubject of his accounts. The navy board cer, who hearing so much about this cirwere justified, therefore, in the conclud-cumstance, had examined the original reing paragraph of their letter, wherein they cords at Chatham, and found that the ring had stated, that in his case there had been and shank of the anchor lost in the Indian a deviation from the ordinary practice of sea had been returned to that arsenal, that the board, and that he had been singled this mistake was corrected ; his own-letters out as the victim to such a course. He to the navy board on the subject baving had felt it necessary to advert to this cir- been among the papers lost. When he had cumstance, because of the impression that sailed for India, he had a strong westerly might have been made on the house by the breeze, and he found the ship so crazy, so statement of the hon. member, and be- rotten, and so leaky, that he was obliged cause at the time of making it, the hon. to put into Portland Roads, and if it had gentleman had held in his hand, as a do- not been for the importance of the service cument, the scurrilous pamphlet that had on which he was proceeding, he should not been published reflecting on him. That have ventured in her. lle then proceeded it was usual for officers to attend the dif- to the Cape, afterwards to the Red Sea and, ferent boards on such occasions, he proved to Calcutta, where she was near sinking, as by reading an extract from a letter of the would appear from the papers. He trustnavy board to captain Sauce, contained in ed that the bad and lecky state in which the papers,
in which that officer was called his vessel was there, would be a satisfac'on to attend them on the Friday after the tory reason to the house for the repairs date of their letter. In another letter, she bad undergone. From the first mothey called on him to explain why he had ment of his hearing that an unfavourable provided the Sensible, at Calcutta, with a impression was entertained of his conduct greater quantity of stores than were al- by the admiralty, he had pressed earnestly lowed for ships of that class; and in a for a hearing. He had passed, under the letter it was stated that such increase had inputations that followed, the strongest arisen from an alteration of the establish- and severest ordeal that any officer ever 'ment of that vessel. The fact was, how-had. This would be evident from a referever, that he had never given orders for ence to the strange accounts that had such alteration, nor had it ever taken place been made up, as would appear from the in the establishinent of the Sensible. His letter of the navy board by Mr. Tucker. letter to the navy hoard would prove that They had been told in that of criminal prothe Sensible had been nearly a wreck in the secutions, and if those should not answer, Red Sea ; and he had given directions to of the matter being carried into the exchecontract for two sets of sails for her, pro-quer. But he contended that the law that vided, however, that if she foundered at ought to have been appealed to was marsea, or should not arrive, no expence should tial law; that law which had upheld the navy accrue to government: as to the establish- of England. He ought, if supposed guilty, ment of the vessel, he had given orders to have been brought to a court martial, that such a provision of stores should be rather than to have been made the subject made as would fit the vessel for any esta- of a paper war. He should have met the blishment which the lords of the admiralty court martial with the same fortitude that should think proper. General Baird, on his be had shewn in meeting the scurrilous arrival in the Red Sea, had proposed to pamphlet to which he had before alluded, him a plan, by the desire of the governor- which, from a letter in bis possession, that general, for attacking, in the event of the he was almost ashamed to read, he had expulsion of the French from Egypt, and reason to think had proceeded from a the return of the Indian army, either the source which ought nat to have stooped to Mauritius or Batavia. He was not pre-such unworthy expedients. The hon. mempared to say, that the force under bis com- ber here read a letter signed John M'Namand at the time was adequate to such an mara, stating, in answer to a question put expedition, but he was anxious to have it by him to that gentleman, that he had in such a state of equipment as to be ready beard, from the publisher of the pamphlet, for any service required. As to the an- that it had come from lord St. Vincent's
board of admiralty. Before he should touch the three branches of the legislature, and upon the other points, he begged leave to that they could not answer his question. advert to a letter written by the navy board, He had in every instance retrenched exdated 11th of Feb. 1802, to capt. Mitchell, pences, but on a scale deserving the attencomposed of exhortations and tbreats, and iion of an officer. As to the canvass, which affording an extraordinary instance of an did not exceed in value i 21. and the junk not attempt to influence the evidence of an 211. though the account occupied 3 pages inferior officer. This letter called on in the report, neither could be supposed capt. Mitchel seriously to exhort his boat- worthy of notice. He had deemned it neswain to state all he knew, and to inform cessary to advert to these topics, and him, that from the state of his accounts might have expressed himself with some his evidence might have very serious con- warınth, but he was sure tiat would be sequences. This was a call upon him to overlooked, when it was considered how rack bis memory.
long he had been exposed to the calumuies Mr. Kinnaird here called the bon. mem- so industriously propagated against him, and ber to order. He had a right, no doubt, how severely his own and his family's feelto read the passage from the letter, but he ings must have been affected. In the whole did not conceive it orderly to put the of the expenditure he had been regulated meaning into another form of words; which by a desire to have his ships as highly and appeared to him to be rather a comment as well dressed as they could be. He had than a quotation.
given orders in drawing for money that no Sir Home Popham appealed to any learned bills should be drawn at a higher exchange member in the house, whether he had put than 2s.6d. which was lower than the rate a construction on the words which any of exchange on bills drawn by admiral Blancourt of law would not allow. They called ket, who had also been in the Red Sea. upon an inferior officer to rack his memory In the rations also there yas a saving. The for any thing during the course of two years diminution in the extravagant expence of that could be brought against the conduct transport tonnage had been very consideraof his captain. He should not deny, and ble. On his arrival in the Red Sea he had it was what might happen to any officer, taken upon himself the management of the that he might have committed some irre. whole of the company's transport tonnage, gularities; but he was sure, he had not been and in a short time made a reduction in guilty of any criminal irregularities, that the expence to the amount of 17,000l. per could call for, or warrant the criminal in- month, which he had followed up till the dustry that had been employed to decry bis saving amounted to 27,0001. He did not character. The whole transaction had been advert to these circumstances as instances submitted to the commissioners of naval en- of any great merit on his part; what he quiry, whose conduct had been so ably ar-had done was only his bounden duty. He gued, and so universally applauded in that could not, however, but .confess that he house, that he should feel a pride in abiding might have been a little extravagant with by the issue of their examination of Mr. respect to his flying sails; but he trusted Lewis, and in their report thereon to the an additional expence of a few pounds for house. The hon. gent. in his opening speech such an object would not be looked upon on this subject, had stated that he would feel as a ground of disapprobation of his conas much pleasure as any hon. gent. if the duct. He had the testimony of the marinvestigation of the business should be fa- quis Wellesley as to his measures of revourable to the person who was the object form and retrenchment, together with an of it. Nothing could so completely excul- assurance of every assistance to enable him pate him from the calumnies that had been to continue them. Thus far he had thought propagated against him, as a proof that it necessary to state the outlines of his there was no collusion between him and the whole conduct, and, as he had stated at naval officer alluded to. On this subject first, he had no objection to the appointbe had written a short and pithy letter to ment of a committee, provided his acquithe naval commissioners, calling on them to escence should not be construed into an state, whether, even from inference or mis- admission of the validity of any charge representation, it appeared by the exami- against liim. The report of the committee, nation of Mr. Lewis, that any collusion ex- he trusted, would be as favourable to his isted between himself and that officer. They character as he could wish. If he had replied, that they had made their report to erred, he had the satisfaction to know, that VOL. IV.
he had not.erred from principle. He did not to shew great and exemplary merit. His mean to say, that ignorance was any jus- merits, he knew, were not confined to that tification of an officer's conduct, but be particular service, but had been displayed was of opinion that that conduct should be on other occasions. The papers were so considered on a great scale, and with a numerous, complicated, and detailed, that just attention to every part of it. He was they could not be advantageously discussed sensible that he was addressing the most li- but in a committee, when it would be proberal and enlightened assembly in the world, per also to consider other collateral matand except the moment that should re-ters. There were various points respectstore him to the service in which being the admiralty and navy boards, and gloried, the moment of referring his the short examination of one single witness whole conduct to their decision was the to wbich their attention might be directed. happiest of his life. If he had gone too There was likewise the circumstance of the much at length into the particulars, he publication of the report from one board trusted to the indulgence of the house for to another. The loss of the vouchers was having taken up so much of their time and a matter fit for enquiry, as well as the sin. attention.
gular manner in which an English subject, Colonel Hutchinson said, that as he had an officer of the navy, had been impressed. paid considerable attention to these papers, He should forbear entering into details ; it became him to offer a few words. The but all these matters deserved examination, impression which a careful perusal of these and those points should be left open to the papers had made on his mind was, that the committee, for their report to the house. hon. officer had discharged his duty, not As the motion was worded, it did not emonly with great fidelity, but witla great abi- brace enough for this purpose, but only lity. He lamented that he was not able to respected the repairs of the Romney and convey in words the strong opinion which Sensible. He should suppose there would he had of his merits. He thought that the be no objection to an amendment to this charges against him were of a very serious effect :- That the committee should exe nature, first, that he had defrauded the amine the matters of the repairs of the public, and then he was almost ashamed Romney and Sensible, and the proceedings to state it) made use of a false document of the admiralty and navy boards, and comto screen himself. This appeared to him mission of naval enquiry thereou, and also certain, that a very partial investigation enquire into the circumstances of the unbad been made, and very arbitrary pro-authorised publication of Feb. 20, 1804 ; ceedings adopted against the hon. baronet, the loss of the vouchers; and the circumand then that he had been refused permis- stances of impressing Mr. David Evan Barsion to attend, and denied the opportunity tholomew; and report to the house, with to prove his innocence. Whether this was such observations as arise to them from the ordinary practice, he had yet to learn. the consideration of the whole." But if it was not, the persons who had begun Mr. For objected to the word unauthoit deserved the severest censure. He would rised, and the chancellor of the exchequer vote for this motion, not because he thought agreed to the omission of it. that there was a case made out against Mr. Jeffery (of Poole) said, that the the hon. officer; on the contrary, he not hon. officer, in what he had that night so only was of opinion that he was innocent, clearly and eloquently stated, had conbut that his conduct was meritorious, but vinced his mind that he had discharged because he thought that many other points the important and arduous duty entrusted in these papers required investigation. to him, in such a manner as reflected the
The Chancellor of the Exchequer observed, highest honour on his zeal, his talents, that as it was likely the house would come and his perseverance, and he was happy to an unanimous vote for the appointment in the opportunity of paying this small of the committee, he should just remark, tribute to his merits. He thought, from that he did so under the impression of similar every thing that he had observed, that the sentiments with those so forcibly delivered hon. officer was a highly oppressed man. by the hon. niember who spoke last. There The charges against hini were frivolous, was nothing contained in those papers from vexatious, and litigious in the highest de which any imputation of guilt could be gree. The whole rested upon about 121. drawn against the gallant officer; but, on worth of canvass and some oakum, while the contrary, there was much that tended nothing was said of the great saving he