lordship concluded with an high eulogium on the many public and private virtues of the deceased earl; and it was with difficulty we could determine, whether he acquitted himself best as a sound reasoner, an affectionate and warm friend, or an able advocate. Lord Ravensworth spoke against the Bill. He said, if the noble earl had fully merited such favours, why had not his friends generously moved for them in his life-time, that he might have enjoyed them : The nation, allowing it owed a great deal to the deceased earl, was not indebted to his family. He came into parliament with him, upwards of 40 years since, and was acquainted with him when in the possession of all his powers of oratory. He was ready to confess his great abilities as a public speaker, and though he could not deny that they convinced the majority, both without and within doors, they had never convinced him that he was properly qualified as a statesman to direct the affairs of this country. He had always considered the deceased earl’s talents, and that daring spirit of enterprize, on which his reputation was chiefly built, as a very great misfortune to this country. Even the successes of our arms under his direction of the state machine, were not sufficient to alter his opinion. He considered those successes as ruinous, and he could not but still think, that the enormous debt incurred during his lordship's administration, led us into those difficulties which were the true cause of our present perilous situation. In fine, they came into arliament together, and sat in the other }. for 14 years, and he was persuaded, that it would have been happy for this country, if the deceased earl had never aspired to a public station; for though not the immediate, he was the mediate cause of all our subsequent misfortunes. The Earl of Radnor defended the Bill upon one of the grounds on which the last noble lord stated his chief objection, which was, that the noble earl was no more, to whose memory the annuity was a grateful tribute. The noble lord, he observed, said, he should not have objected had the noble earl been living; but that was an essential difference in the case now. In his opinion, the argument made directly the other way; for however reluctant se might be to heap honours and emoluments on the living, especially at a time when the example of gratitude could not from the na

ture of things operate, either to the injury #

of the constitution or the state, but on the contrary, might materially serve the latter without violating the former. There was this difference between the present case and that of the duke of Marlborough, which prevented them from being considered as ultimately tending to the same effect. When the queen's message, in 1702, was delivered to the Commons, the earl of Marlborough had been then just created a duke, and he was in a great degree of personal favour with his sovereign, and in possession of high posts and emoluments. Parliament were perfectly desensible in acting with suitable caution. At present, there could be no danger of establishing a bad custom; because parliament had their eyes open, and would at all times be able to see where pretences were only created, or where the claim was sufficiently well founded to confer a similar favour. His lordship acknowledged the infinite obligations of this country to the deceased earl. He only recollected one instance in his public conduct which tended to lessen those obligations, and that was a few years since, when his lordship, in the character of minister, set up the authority of a proclamation over that of an act of parliament. That glaring error, he confessed, he never could forgive; but when he said so, he meant merely as a public man, for notwithstanding any weight he might lay upon this circumstance, the services of the deceased earl were sufficiently important and conspicuous to warrant the passing of the present Bill; and he could not but wonder at the opposition given to it on the score of oeconomy; for let the noble duke but turn his attention or recollection to the snug and lucrative sinecures enjoyed by some lords living, whose ancestors had taken advantage of their situation as ministers, and he would find, that two or three of their sinecures would purchase the fee simple of the paltry 4,000l. per annum, about which his grace has said so much. His lordship apologized to the House for having given it so much trouble, and in so unprepared, indigested a manner; declaring, that he had delivered his sentiments merely as they arose in his mind since his entering the House; and he felt it incumbent upon him to say thus much for two reasons; first, because he thought the Bill in point of retrospect, extremely proper as an act of national gratitude towards the memory of a faithful and able servant, and no less necessary at this cri

tical season, as an encouragement to the exertion of abilities in the public service. His lordship added, with some degree of energy, that if the Bill should meet with an opposition, sufficient to defeat its real objects, or that it should happen to be totally rejected, he would enter a protest on their lordships' Journals, in which the main reasons, those of precedent and oeconomy, so forcibly urged by the noble duke, should be .#; a motive which, if it should prevail in this instance, would, he believed, be neglected in every other. Lord Lyttelton rose, he said, to set the noble lord right respecting the error he had imputed to the deceased earl, an error which had never happened in the manner his lordship had stated. So far from lord Chatham attempting to defend the proclamation, he had effered to answer for it with his life, and pleaded in excuse the dire necessity which occasioned it. This was the true state of that matter; and if his recollection did not mislead him, he heard the deceased earl make use of the strong expression, of being willing to expiate by his head, if the parliament did not think that the particular necessity was an ample justification. He was, it was true, but a boy at the time, but he could not forget the desponding state the nation was in, and the unsuccessful efforts which had been made in order to remove it; he recollected, that lord Chatham, then Mr. Pitt, was at the time but little known but as a public speaker; yet by the mere force of his abilities, accompanied by an almost unparalleled integrity, he at once broke the parties which would have held him back from participating in the public counsels, and soon united all ranks of people; restoring at the same time energy to government, and destroying, or at least silencing faction, by which means affairs soon took a favourable turn ; in so much, that victory was soon brought to our side, till at length our enemies were abashed, the national spirit rouzed, our prowess acknowledged and felt, and our glory established in every quarter of the globe; those powers who had in the outset assured themselves of success, having been obliged to sue with the most abject and mortifying humility for peace. These were facts well known, not only to their lordships, but to all the world; they were matter of historical record, being of that degree of credibility, as i. not to admit of, or at least, call for any species of proof. He said, he was far from contending,

that the deceased earl was infallible; that his opinions were always well founded, or his parliamentary declarations always consonant and justifiable. He had more than once himself, weak and inferior as he confessedly was in point of oratory to the deceased earl, opposed his arguments in that House. He was convinced the late earl had held out erroneous doctrines occasionally, but he could not therefore agree that his services to his country did not merit what the present Bill proposed. The noble earl, whose memory the nation were unanimous in honouring, to an extraordinary vigour of mind, added a most sovereign contempt of money; he had gone through offices which generally served to enrich his predecessors, without deriving a shilling advantage from his situation. When he was paymaster general, a subsidy to the king of Sardinia passed through his hands. The usual perquisite amounted to more than 20,000l. The noble earl refused to touch it. The whole sum was found in the bank years afterwards; it was then offered to the earl of Chatham as his right; the earl nobly refused it, and the money was applied to the public service. This act alone was sufficient to mark the noble-mindedness of the earl’s character, and to recommend him to the favour of all who were capable of admiring what was great and superior to the common conduct of mankind. A great deal had been said about precedent, and the ill example the passing of the Bill would create. Good God! was this country so desperately reduced, so totally lost to its ancient spirit, that it was no longer capable of rewarding the services of its best subjects? Were the minds of lords so depraved, that they were ready to confess they trembled at granting an annuity of 4,000l. to a family, the father of which had restored the empire from the most abject and wretched condition, to a state of eminence, to a state of the most exalted honour and glory ! Let noble lords turn to the history of Greece, let them recollect the conduct of the Athenians respecting Aristides. Years after that patriot was no more, it was discovered that his widow and family were in distress; the state assembled, and in gratitude to the memory of Aristides, who had essentially served his country, made a noble provision for his family. Was the British empire less grateful than Athens? or was she less capable of doing justice to merit than that petty state 2


He hoped no noble lord would impute what he had offered as arising from blind zeal, or any improper predilection, for all he meant was no more than this; that when the noble earl’s services were fairly estimated and balanced against whatever might by his strongest opponents be objected to his conduct, he doubted not, but justice and public gratitude would unite in reponderating the scale in favour of the %. He hoped the noble lords who had opposed the Bill, would re-consider the foundation of it, and if they did not find it agreeable to them to vote for it, would at least suffer it to be carried without a division, and without a negative. The Earl of Radnor said, he always understood the matter of the proclamation to be otherwise. He did not pretend to contradict the facts now stated; but he should ever think, that a proclamation was not sufficiently valid to supersede an act of parliament; and be the urgency ever so pressing, it was, in his opinion, establishing a very pernicious precedent; notwithstanding therefore what the noble lord had said, the impression on his mind was not removed. Lord Camden rose to explain this busimess relative to the proclamation. He began by confessing, that he was principally concerned in issuing the proclamation, and if there was any blame due, it was rather merited by him than his deceased friend. The fact was, the harvest had failed throughout Europe; there being a short crop, and a rapid exportation,

there was the strongest reason to appre

hend, that the consequence would be a famine within the kingdom. A council was immediately called, as without some speedy remedy, a dearth was looked upon to be inevitable : for no parliament was then sitting or likely to sit for forty days. It was debated in council what was the wisest step to take, and it was resolved to issue a proclamation, laying an embargo on the shipping, and preventing any corn from being exported. That measure was pursued from an idea that the day could never come, when parliament would seriously censure the only line of conduct possible to be adopted, in order to save the nation from being starved. He had, he declared, at the time consulted that great philosopherand politician Mr. Locke: whose Treatise on Government was one of the wisest books ever published; he did not know a single line of that work which he would not most willingly sub

scribe to. Mr. Locke spoke clearly and fully upon the point. Ministers always act at their peril; they must, in cases of great emergency, take such steps as the

exigency of affairs required, without hesi

tating as to the strict legality of their measures: and they must afterwards stand the judgment of parliament, and abide by the censure and applause of the legislative branches of the state. I looked upon it, said his lordship, to be such a case of necessity, as that stated by that truly great man, which justifies the interposition of the prerogative, between the laws and the people; a right to preserve, not to enslave or destroy; a right, I shall ever maintain the constitutional exercise of; and the abuse of which, I shall ever be as anxious to resist and punish: in short, I believed the safety of the state to be at stake. I advised its salvation, and can never be persuaded, when I did so, that I was committing a crime. Having the honour to be then in a very high post, (lord chancellor) I was more particularly consulted; and if it was an error, I was solely to blame. As soon as parliament met, an indemnity was proposed; for my part, I was against it; because I thought it unnecessary. I was then persuaded, I acted right; nor have I had since any reason to retract my first opinion. His lordship owned that his defence on the occasion was a bold one; he had declared the issuing the proclamation was a strictly justi

fiable act of prerogative, an act of prero

gative not only warranted by particular necessity, but supported upongeneral principles. Bold as his defence was, he was still willing to maintain it; and he assured the noble earl the fact was strictly as he had stated it; and in order to set him further right, respecting the conductofthedeceased noble earl, he assured him, he had been misinformed; for he well recollected, in the course of the debate, when his lordship was pressed for his opinion, his answer was, “If I must speak, I think the proclamation was illegal.” His lordship renewed his argument in support of the present Bill; and after a variety of praises of the deceased earl, spoke particularly of the noble contempt of money for which he had been remarkable. His family had suffered by it materially; and latterly, the noble earl had, in consequence of that contempt, been almost left without a servant to attend his person. And so far was his pension from being an ample provision, it was little, better than a clear 2000l. per ann. His lordship went more at large into the affair of the earl of Chatham's refusal of the office-perquisites upon the subsidy, than lord Lyttelton, and declared that when the earl, in Mr. Charles Townshend's chancellorship of the exchequer, refused to take it, he was scarcely master of a thousand pounds. The Duke of Richmond begged leave to differ from the two noble lords who spoke last, in respect to the conduct of the deceased earl, concerning the embargo laid on the exportation of corn, contrary to the express orders of an act of parliament. The conduct of the learned lord o was precisely as he stated it; but that of the deceased earl very different; for instead of acknowledging the illegality of the proclamation, he persisted to the last in defending it; and he remembered that as well as the noble and learned lord, who now faithfully stated the transaction, so far as he was concerned himself, he treated a parliamentary indemnification as totally nugatory and unnecessary. The Earl of Shelburne rose, and spoke to the qusstion at large. He said in particular, that no man ever regarded money less than the deceased earl; and ridiculed the argument of the learned lord who spoke first, for supposing that the deceased earl had performed no services for his country, because he was not in actual employment: he said, he continually turned his thoughts to the service of his country, whenever his state of health would permit him; and that he imagined no man who had observed the conduct of public affairs for some years past, would be easily persuaded to believe, that remaining in office was performing any service for his country. As a further proof of the gemerous disposition of the deceased earl, and how much he was above every selfish motive, when put in competition with the good of his country, he assured their lordships, that there was not any one time, from his last resignation to i. death, in which he might not have come into power, and that on his own terms. He was courted and adulated by every party and description of men; he resisted them all ; and always acted a disinterested and independent part. He despised faction, whether in a court or elsewhere ; and always set his face against the narrow prejudices of party. At a time, when this country was in a desponding state; when it was torn by factions, he raised it [VOL. XIX.]

to the highest pitch of fame and prosperity. He healed those factions, and restored unanimity; and by that means rendered the exertions of the nation irresistible; and he made no doubt if God had prolonged his life, and restored to him his talents, but he would once more have saved the British empire, if called into power. The two noble lords who opposed the Bill, said, that his services had ceased, since he ceased to act in a ministerial capacity; the contrary was well known: at the very instant when the stroke of death overtook him, he was in the act of attempting to save his country from the ruin which he saw impending; and which he feared, if not timely prevented, must involve it in certain destruction. His lordship observed, that the objections to the Bill were supported on two grounds; the danger of the precedent, and the distressed state of the public finances. As to the first, there was nothing more evident, than that the precedent must of necessity prove serviceable to the state; and could be attended with no bad consequence; and as to the second, it fell of course. His lordship then went into the history of the motives which induced the Commons, in queen Anne's time, to refuse making the duke of Marlborough's annuity perpetual, in the first instance, which he attributed to factious motives and Tory principles. Even a Tory majority, in the other House, had now joined in an unanimous vote for the present Bill. Was there a party or description of men, or even an individual in the nation, who had not at some one period applauded his conduct, and courted him 2 His merits were acknowledged, by every side, in each House; whence, then, could the present opposition originate?. If the state of the finances were the real objection, which he much doubted, their situation could not be mended, but by the exertion of such men (if any such there were) and how could their lordships expect that men of abilities would come forward, into difficult situations, to the neglect of their own immediate concerns, while the fate of this Bill, should it receive a negative, would present to them so mortifying a proof of national ingratitude 2 He begged leave to assure the noble duke (of Richmond), that however people might differ, as to the propriety of the proclamation, the urgent necessity of the measure was so apparent, that there was not a second opinion in council, when the [4 L]

embargo on the exportation of corn was proposed. It was the only expedient left to prevent the people from starving, and if it was a mistaken measure, it was a mistake on the humane side. As to what subsequently passed in parliament on the subject, he could not precisely say; but as well as he could recollect, the deceased earl did not defend the legality of the proclamation, but merely the necessity. His lordship then entered into several strictures on the conduct and sentiments of the noble duke who opposed the Bill: however insignificant his grace deemed himself, he was a person of singular weight in that House: his voice went a great way, and was heard by some persons with particular attention. He felt it frequently, and more than once was a witness to his moving the previous question in matters of great difficulty to ministers. He remembered, upon a very particular occasion, upon the determination of a matter of property, the noble duke's leaving his learned friend (lord Camden) in a minority, by which means he was sorry to find that the House had now for three years, on most occasions, lost the assistance of the learned lord’s abilities, in the decision of learned questions. He was pointedly severe in this part of his speech on the conduct of the noble duke, and the unhappy interference of great court lords on such occasions, who never failed to vote with a majority at their heels; because it would discourage suitors from appealing to the judicature of that House, in the last resort. He would have been mueh better pleased to see the noble duke exert his great personal influence, in removing the causes of the present distressed state of our finances; in enquiries into the expenditure of public money, than in opposing the only particular instance he recollected, in which a pension or annuity had been properly bestowed. Why did not the noble duke, when the addition to the civil list was granted, move for such an ‘. would the noble duke move for rescinding that vote, and enter into the enquiry, and on finding what were the real exigencies of the crown, and what would be fairly adequate to supporting it with splendour and dignity, confine the addition to that, and that only? would he move for enquiry into the profits of places and sinecures 2 If he would, he should most readily assist every one of his endeavours; he would immediately second the motion—His lordship, after reverting to

the necessity of holding out encouragement, by setting examples of national generosity, mentioned the Congress, who, he said, gave daily proofs of this species of policy. After giving them great credit for the wisdom of their proceedings, which, he said, was inferior to none, that ever appeared; observed, that rewarding those who deserved well, was the surest means of being well served. It was a maxim as old as time itself; and he was astonished how any noble lord should so far forget it as to oppose the present Bill, The Duke of Chandos complained of being very uncandidly treated in the course of the debate. He said, he had been accused of voting for a sum of money to pay the King's debts, in this and the last sessions; he certainly had so voted, and were the question again in agitation, he would again give his vote for the addition which had been made to the civil list, because he knew the receipt was not equal to the expenditure. The noble duke, and the noble earl who spoke last had asked, whether he would go into an enquiry relative to the perquisites of placemen; he knew not that the King's servants now had larger emoluments than those who held the same offices before them ; until that was proved to be the case, he certainly would not enter upon any such business; and as to the superfluous sinecures, the noble duke and the noble earl knew much better than he did what such sinecures were, as they had been in place; and if they knew that the country was unnecessarily burthened, they were criminal in not endeavouring to lighten the public load. The noble earl had attacked him in a very personal and severe manner, on account of his attending law appeals. He had ever considered it as much his duty, as a peer of England, to attend legal decisions as political debates ; but he felt himself shocked to death that the noble earl should charge him, in the face of the public, with having rendered the property of individuals less secure than it otherwise would have been. He had never given a vote respecting law or politics, which had not accorded with his conscience. He could not help expressing his surprize, that any person should quote the conduct of the congress of America as an example for the British parliament. Were there no instances of an opposite nature which could be found in Europe? If there were not, the argument wanted its main support—that of precedent. Having repeated his objec

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