« AnteriorContinuar »
imputed to him. He never asserted that punishment. The plain question is, whethe mode now proposed would wholly or ther the house thinks that enough has been necessarily fail of effect; he only said that done? If they think enough has been done, great difficulties might arise to obstruct they will vote for a civil process, in conthe end it attempted to accomplish. If cert with the right hon. gent. (Mr. Pitt). it was the object of the mover to obtain If they think the public expect that pupecuniary redress for the public, the court nishment should follow guilt, they will of King's Bench might not be able to adopt the criminal proceeding. With regrant that redress. It could not grant it gard to the questions referred to the comunless evidence was adduced of the dis-mittee, namely, how far the right hon. tinct amount of lord Melville's participà- gent., as first lord of the treasury, may be tion in the illegal profits. Otherwise an concerned, and two or three others, they enormous fine might be attempted to be are only so many episodes, while the main imposed upon him, which the court would story out of which they arise, is not to be not be able to make out. Better hopes touched. I lament that we are driven to of the recovery of the money for the pub- this course; but I think our character lic might be entertained, therefore, from and our duty to the public require that a civil than a criminal prosecution, and we should send viscount Melville to that from that persuasion he should vote for tribunal where justice may inflict punishthe adoption of the former. ment wherever convicted guilt deserves it.
Mr. Tierney.-I cannot agree in the Mr. Serjeant Best challenged any law scanty and restricted powers which some officer of the crown to state, that any good honourable and learned gentlemen will was likely to result from the mode they only allow to this house. I always thought, supported. The books and papers of that by the spirit of the constitution it third parties could not be called for. All possessed stronger inquisitorial powers that was wanted could be got by a crimithan any other tribunal in the country. The nal prosecution. If a man was not proright hon. gent. (Mr. Pitt) would have nounced guilty who refused to answer a it understood, that the house does not wish question, still no jury would be found to to proceed to any more punishment against declare him innocent who was a self-conlord Melville; but I contend, on the con- victed violator of the law. The wound trary, that the house has not shewn any inflicted was not much in point of fortune, disposition to stop here. We have voted considering the places the noble lord still that lord Melville has violated the law, for retained. It must then be sought in his private emolument. What then is the character. But if it was there, it was next question? Why give us the money strange indeed that, with such a wounded back again, and we have done with you? character, he should remain a private coun◄ But how are we to get the money? The sellor of his sovereign. The house then diattorney-general gives very little hope of vided on the question," that the words the mode proposed; and therefore I approve proposed to be left out stand part of this of a committee of the whole house as the question," Ayes 223, Noes 128, majobest mode of getting at the crime, the purity 95. The amendment was of course nishment, and pecuniary redress. I feel rejected, and the original motion carried. it an unpleasant task to rise for the purpose Mr. For then moved, "that the house of defending the dignity of the house. The do now adjourn;" and on this question house may not waste its time upon persons there was another division, Ayes 98, of inferior note; but I contend that there Noes 240, majority 142.-While strangers is no precedent of a minister, high in the were excluded, the report of the commitking's councils for many years, breaking tee appointed to examine the lists given in the law, and suspected of a corrupt motive on the ballot for the select committee was in doing so, being handed over to the at-brought up. On reading the report, it torney-general. I am confident there is no case nor precedent of the kind. I disclaim a vindictive spirit towards viscount Melville, and assert, that my conduct yields to no influence, except a sincere regard for Mr. Whitbread then stated, that it was the honour of the house of commons. I his intention to move that some of the think, therefore, that the house cannot names on this list should be expunged; stop here, but, that it must call for some but as that motion would probably occa
appeared that the names of the members chosen for the committee corresponded exactly with those in the list read on Friday by Mr. Whitbread.
sion some debate, he proposed that its con-bring forward. The attorney general said sideration should be adjourned until the next meeting of the house. Adjourned.
HOUSE OF LORDS.
Tuesday, April 30.
that it was still his intention to move for an amendment of the law alluded to; but he did not think right to do so, while discussions were pending in the Irish courts of law on the true construction of it with respect to that country.-Sir Andrew S. Hamond, pursuant to notice, moved, "that there be laid before the house a copy of the letter of the navy board to the admiralty, dated the 5th of April 1805, together with a copy of the memorial inclosed, relating to the answer of the navy board to the first report of the commissioners of naval enquiry." Sir Charles Pole did not mean to object to the motion, but to say, that he hoped, by the papers it would appear
[MINUTES.] Their lordships proceeded further in the Appeal, Blane, esq. Trustee for sir Andrew Cathcart, against the earl of Cassilis. Mr. H. Erskine was heard in continuation on the part of the respondent, after which the further consideration was postponed till Thursday. Several private bills were brought from the commons, and read a first time. Mr. Owen, from the East India house, presented certain accounts pursuant to act of parliament, which were ordered to lie on the table. that the navy board had recovered the The order of the day being moved for the money said to have been lost in that resecond reading of the bill for dissolving port. Two years had already elapsed the marriage of John Moore, esq. and Bar- since the report had been made. Sir A. bara Brabazon, his late wife, and for en-S. Hamond replied, that no time had abling him to marry again. Mr. Adam been lost by the navy board. They had put was heard as counsel for the petitioner. the matter into the hands of the law offiIt appeared that there was an inaccuracy cers of the crown. The papers were then in the recital of one of the clauses of the ordered; and were immediately after prebill, and on that account the party obtain-sented by Mr. Dickinson, and ordered to ed leave to withdraw it, for the purpose lie on the table and to be printed.-A petiof introducing a new one. The hearing tion of the proprietors of the Croydon of counsel was then postponed to Thurs- canal, was presented to the house, and read; day next.-Adjourned.
HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Tuesday, April 30.
noticing the bill for supplying the inhabitants of Camberwell, and parts of St. Mary's, Lambeth, and several other parishes and places in Surry and Kent, with water; and setting forth, that, by an act of the 41st of his majesty, the petitioners were invested with full powers for supplying the towns of Croydon, Streatham, &c. with water from the said canal, and that the powers proposed to be obtained by the said bill will materially injure the rights and interests of the petitioners under the said act; and therefore praying, &c. Ordered, that the said petition be referred to the committee to whom the said bill is committed; &c.
[MINUTES.] The Thames Tunnel bill was read a second time, and was ordered to be committed. Mr. Lee obtained deave to bring in a bill to supply cities and market towns in Ireland with water. -The secretary at war presented an estimate of the expences of volunteer and yeomanry corps, which he gave notice, would be referred to the committee of Supply on Friday next; in which committee Mr. -Pitt also gave notice, that he would move . the army extraordinaries.--Mr.J.Fitzgerald [MIDDLESEX ELECTION.] Mr. Henry called the attention of the house to an extraordinary construction (the arrest of judge Johnson) which had been put upon the act made for the purpose of arresting felons and traitors in any other part of the united kingdom. He was proceeding to comment with severity on this construction, when the Speaker informed him it was not regular to enter fully into observations of this nature, but that he should simply give notice of the measure he intended to
Thornton, pursuant to his notice yesterday, rose to move for the discharge of the order for taking into consideration the petition complaining of the want of qualification of Mr. Mainwaring, on Thursday the 2d of May. There were two ways of getting rid of the petition, either by withdrawing it, or by discharging the order.. As those who presented the petition had neglected to withdraw it, and as the time fixed for taking it into consideration was so near, he
thought it his duty to submit the motion of George, Hanover-square, that noblemen which he had given notice; and particu-and gentlemen should be included among larly, as sir Francis Burdett and his friends those who conducted the parish concerns. would not be precluded from being heard Mr. Calcraft and Mr. P. Moore protouching the charge contained in the peti-nounced the bill a mere job, which was tion before the committee to whom the abandoned by the members of the county, petition and the merits of the election had by whom it was brought in, as it was been referred. It would be contrary to the against the general wish of the parishioners. spirit of the act, that the same matter They also objected to the bill on the should be tried before two different com- grounds that the directors appointed their mittees. successors, and even the auditors of their own accounts; and it was a mere job, that
Mr. Crectey suggested, that it would be the more proper way to have the consi-ought not to be countenanced by the house deration of the petition adjourned.
Mr. Thornton observed, that when the petition was presented, Mr. Mainwaring was a member of the house, and being so no longer, the house was of course capable of discharging an order which now was useless.
Mr. Creevey considered the point in question to be a new one, and said he should take it as a favour if the hon. gent. would defer his motion till to-morrow.
The Speaker said the proceedings in the affair amounted to this: the petition was presented against a member on the ground of disqualification. That member had been dispossessed of his seat, in consequence of another petition, and therefore the petition did not apply. The only question therefore was, whether the house had the power of disembarrassing itself from it?
Mr. Thornton said the petition was perfectly useless, as the house could not proceed upon it.
Mr. P. Moore said the petition looked to an eventual circumstance, and might therefore be applicable at another time, and he was commissioned by the parties who signed it to say, that deeming Mr. Mainwaring disqualified, they wished their petition to go collaterally with another, which was still depending.
of comnimons. Very great malversation had occurred, which was to come the eusuing term before the King's Bench; and therefore the house, they had no doubt, would not entertain the present bill.-The house then divided for the second reading, Ayes 42-Noes 30. The bill was then read a second time, and was ordered to be committed.
[STIPENDIARY CURATES' BILL.] The Attorney-General, pursuant to notice, rose for the purpose of moving for leave to bring in a bill for encouraging the resi dence of Stipendiary Curates on their cures. The bill was the same as one which had already received the sanction of the house, though from its having had, when it passed before, a clause in it for making provisions for such curates as should be deprived of their curacies by the effect of the rectors' residence bill, it had been considered in the other house as a money bill, and on that ground rejected. His learned friend (sir William Scott) who had introduced that bill, had since brought forward another without the exceptionable clauses, but had been prevented, by his professional duties, from attending to its progress. The same cause still prevented him from bringing forward the measure, and in consequence the duty had devolved Mr. Thornton replied, that should that on him. His object was not to alter the be the case, sir Francis Burdett's friends laws as they stand at present with respect would still have a right to be heard before to livings under 4001. per annum, the a committee.The order of the day was bishops having power to enforce a resi then discharged. dence; but when the living exceeded that [PANCRAS POOR BILL.] Sir T. Met-sum, he thought there could be no objec calf moved the second reading of the Pancras Poor bill, which, he observed, was for the purpose of remedying the defects in the act passed last session. If any objections were made to any parts of the bill, these, he observed, could be rectified when it was referred to a committee. His object was to place the parish of St. Pancras on the same footing as the parish of St.
tion to a clause for obliging the vector to provide a resident clergyman, with a salary of 2007. a year. He therefore shoved for leave to bring in a bill to encourage the resi dence of stipendiary curates on their cures.
Sir John Newport expressed his hopes that Ireland would not be excluded from the benefit of the act proposed, esthere was no other part of the empire where the
regular residence of the parochial clergy | customs of the house to circulate such lists; was more wanted. Those who were apt so that that he believed it would be deemto complain of the increase of one religion, ed a breach of order in him to say that and the decrease of another, should con- the treasury were guilty of so doing; and sider the effect produced in that part of therefore he should endeavour to abstain the United Kingdom, by the suspension of from so expressing himself; though it was those parochial duties. a fact of which he entertained not the smallest doubt. He would appeal to the right hon. gentlemen themselves whether or not they could venture to deny the fact to him. It was a conduct which, no doubt, appeared highly discreditable to them. Let the house recollect in what situation the right hon. gent. opposite (the chancellor of the exchequer) then stood. He (Mr. Pitt)
The Chancellor of the Exchequer said he understood that provisions to the effect alluded to would be made in the bill proposed to be brought in by an hon. and learned gent. (Dr. Duigenan).
Mr. P. Moore hoped it was meant to make the duty of residence mandatory on the clergy.
Mr. Creevey apprehended that the in-had boldly come forward and taken upon tended provision to curates was rather too limited.
himself a very great responsibility as to the country. Intimately connected with lord The Attorney-General agreed with sir J. Melville, he had appealed to the house and Newport, that if there was any soundness the country as to the purity of his conduct. of principle in the bill, it applied with The right hon. gent. had, by his own acequal strength to Ireland as it did to Eng-count, his hands pure and his character land; but he possessed too little local in- unimpeached; and this assertion he (Mr. formation respecting that country, to un- W.) was not disposed at that moment to dertake such a measure. of himself; and call in question. He could not but obhe had heard it argued, on a former occa-serve, however, that a considerable deal of sion, that it would be too hard to compel curates to reside in parishes where no residence was appropriated to them.
Dr. Duigenan said, that the bill he had the honour to move for would embrace the objects alluded to by the hon. bart.-Leave was given to bring in the bill.
suspicion was created by the manner in which that right hon. gent. had prepared himself to go to trial. The persons who were to judge of his conduct were such as were appointed by himself. This surely was a circumstance not very creditable to that right hon. gent., and, in short, it ap[BALLOT FOR A SELECT COMMITTEE ON peared perfectly ludicrous to see a man THE ELEVENTH NAVAL REPORT.]. The stand up and say, here I am, ready to Chancellor of the Exchequer moved the order meet any accusation the house may think of the day for reading the report of the com- proper to bring forward against me, or call mittee appointed to examine the lists of me in question from the beginning to the end twenty-one persons given in for the pur-of my political career. Who are to be my pose of constituting a select committee on judges? Let them be declared in the face the tenth naval report. The names were of day; let them be named by ballot." This accordingly read, with the number of the votes for each.
conduct really appeared like a sham fight, in which that right hon. gent. had marched Mr. Whitbread then rose and said, that his troops out beforehand, and had seemthe reading of those names which the house ed confident of being victorious. Let the had just now heard, completely justified house recollect the situation in which the him in the very serious motion which he business stood. Lord Melville was a prinshould have the honour of submitting to cipal object of the tenth report. He has them, according to the notice he had given been withdrawn from it, and the right hon. the other day, provided that these names gent. has said, that there was nothing in turned out the same as those he himself any one page of that report which in the had formerly read to them. It did so hap-least impeached his own character. He pen that they identically corresponded with begged leave to differ from that right hon. each other. This shewed that the reports gent. and to state, before the appointment which had gained ground without doors, of that committee, that he stood under as to a list of names having been industriously circulated, for the purpose of composing that important committee, were well founded. The house had already decided, that it was no breach of the orders or
very suspicious circumstances, particularly with regard to the delicate and confidential transactions of government, and the quietus that was granted by him to lord Melville, on the case of Mr. Jellicoe disclosed in
that report. An acknowledgement had | hon. gent. himself, whether he really wished, been made by that right hon. gent. that he or thought it was for his advantage or that was actually in the knowledge of such of the country, to have such a committee a committee of that transactions. It was natural to suppose, appointed? It was that the knowledge which he must have had right hon. gent.'s recommendation, if of most of the transactions under the cog-not nomination, (a cry of no! no!) He nizance of lord Melville, would have im- should wish to know if those gentlemen plicated him in some degree, and required who were crying on this occasion, no, no, that he should be regularly and openly were willing to go to proof with him upon freed of any suspicion. Now, that lord the subject. Perhaps he might think of Melville has been withdrawn, up starts calling some of them as witnesses to prove the right hon. gent. and says, that the right hon. gent. had circulated the person who is the object of the en- these lists among his friends. He should quiry." It was particularly necessary to put it again to the right hon. gent. standenquire, whether any representations were ing, as he had done, in the place of lord or were not made to the chancellor of Melville, and appearing magnanimous and the exchequer with regard to the with-gallant on the subject, whether it was a drawing of the money from the bank. Such proper situation for the first minister of were the circumstances under which he the country to stand in? and whether he (Mr. Pitt) had come down most magnani-himself should appoint the committee inmously to move for a select committee for an enquiry. To whom were the house to confide the investigation of this important question? The right hon. gent. had named, amongst others, three persons who had made oath at the table of the house, that they thought it would be very much to the detriment of public business if they were obliged to attend on election committees. The first person he should mention was lord Castlereagh, who had positively sworn, that he conceived that it would impede his official business if he attended on a committee. The master of the rolls had sworn, that he could not attend on a similar com
tended to investigate his own conduct? He had heard of persons playing at cards naming their own trumps, but the right hon. gent. carried this principle somewhat further, because he was taking upon himself the privilege of naming the whole of his own cards. He meant no personal disrespect to the individuals, but he had great objections to their political connections with the right hon. gent., which he thought, rendered them unfit persons. He thought on such a charge, the right hon. gent. should not have thought of making his own political friends his judges. That might not be the and the safest way seemed to mittee, without creating inconvenience to be refused by the right hon. gent. He, for the suitors in the court of chancery. Sir himself, in such a situation, would not. William Scott swore, that it would be at- have desired to be tried by his coadjutors, tended with difficulty for him to attend, in a case wherein his oldest and steadiest on account of his avocations in the court political ally had, as it had been expressed of admiralty. Now, there were these three in this very enquiry, become a disgraced persons who were thus disqualified from and punished political friend and associate. attending on this select committee, which Especially he objected to the noble lord disqualification was proved by their own (Castlereagh), whose conduct, for many unfit person. There depositions on oath, on account of their years, rendered him an having occasion to attend to other public was also another noble lord, from the same business. The oaths which he had men- country, who held an office under the pretioned were not taken on a peculiar case, sent adininistration (lord Dunlo). There such as the Middlesex committee, requir- was a right hon. gent. too in a place of ing their immediate and constant attend-high rank (Mr Foster), and the master of ance, but it had been their regular prac- the rolls, and sir W. Scott, who could not tice hitherto. He apprehended that every attend without public detriment. He had member appointed upon such an important rather, whatever respect he might have for committee as the present, should be per- them, ses two country gentlemen in their fectly efficient, and able in every point of places, though their talents and knowledge view to devote his time and attention to of business might be inferior. The noble such an important enquiry. Much suspi-lord (Castlereagh) was not merely a placecion was attached to the formation of this man, but a perpetual placeman. Nothing committee. He would appeal to the right could move him. He was not to be shaken VOL. IV, 2 L