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not as yet, even so much as the colour of | as we were in 1769, without any account.. an answer been given. There was one He next attacked lord North on his deny. article however, which he could not pass ing he was minister when he brought a over without mentioning; and presumed, like message, eight years since, and ob. it struck every gentleman present as well tained the object of his errand. This he as himself with astonishment. It was the treated as the most shameful and bare. sum of 513,0001. stated under the head of faced evasion. He declared the senti., the Board of Works, in the course of the ments of that administration, which from last eight years, without telling to whom his post of Chancellor of the Exchequer, the money had been paid, on what account of which he formed a part, he stood thereit had been paid, or on what palace, house, fore doubly bound, both as an individual, park, garden, or place, the money had and a member of the cabinet. In the next been expended. He observed the conduct place, as he was the bearer of the message, of the minister, in 1769, though the noble he stood pledged as the messenger, or the lord now disclaimed the appellation, was representative of the sovereign. The mesmuch less reprehensible than now. He sage was to demand a certain sum of money then acted openly, and came boldly to to pay the King's debts ; the condition that parliament to demand a round sum, with accompanied it, though not contained in out account. “ I want the money ; I can- | the message, was, that no applications of a not wait; grant it now, and you shall have like nature would be made hereafter. Who the account next year.” On this occa- was to impart them to the House? The sion, parliament had the option to grant bearer of the message, and no other. But, or refuse; to take his word, or disbelieve allowing that the noble lord was neither it. New men, new measures; the noble bound, as a member of the cabinet, an inlord tells you this day, very gravely, that dividual, or messenger representing his he was not then first minister, but that sovereign, he stood nevertheless in a mixt since, he has become one entirely on his official and ministerial situation, from which own bottom; that accounts ought to pre- it is impossible for him to recede; he came cede the grant; but when the accounts to parliament, as the minister of the House come to be examined, what do they turn of Commons, and Chancellor of the Exout? No accounts at all; but a detail of chequer. He was responsible as minister, arbitrary sums, for ought we know, set for his ministerial assurances, as much down according to the fanciful ideas of then, as at present; and as Chancellor of several persons who wrote them; and all the Exchequer, he was bound by the na. consolidated into one round sum, which ture of his office to know that his assuwe are called upon to grant out of the rances were founded in truth. Take, then, purses of our constituents, without being the matter in the noble lord's own way; satisfied that a single item is fairly or per- does he not stand on the precise ground fectly stated; unless we trust to the in- he did then? Did he not come in 1769, as tegrity of ministers, and the fidelity of well as in 1777, as minister of the House their subordinate instruments. Well, tak- of Commons and Chancellor of the Exing it for granted, that the sums are truly chequer, not as first lord of the Treasury, stated, why trouble the House with such and prime minister? But convict the noan account at all, unless to add mockery ble lord on any or all of these grounds, to contempt, and blend insult with deri. and he still imagines he can evade his pursion. When we had no account, we trusted suers. He says he never gave any such to ministers. Now that we have an ac- promise. Will his lordship rest his justicount, we are equally compelled to be sa- fication on that alone? If he does, I pledge tisfied with their bare word. So, that myself to prove he did ; if he will not, but taking the matter in its true light, the pre- will contend, that he is not bound in one sent proposition is neither more nor less, event by a promise, which he denies in the than a demand the minister makes on par- other, I submit whether in the opinion of liament for 618,0001. which he says was all impartial men, the noble lord be not expended in the public service; but of the in fact convicted on both grounds. If, reality of such expenditure, we properly however, he should still rest his defence, know no more than we do of any sum of a on his not being responsible for any acts Jike amount, expended by any prince in of his, ministerial or official, he would Europe. We are precisely as well in- nevertheless on the present occasion, out formed now how this debt was incurred, of regard to his own honour and character, by the curious account lying on the table, recommend to his lordship, to consent to
the proposed Committee of Enquiry; be
CUMBERLAND. cause, if any malversation in office, any | County, Henry Fletcher. waste of public money should have hap
Carlisle, Walt. Sp. Stanhope. pened, the blame would fall of course on
Cockermouth, James Adair.
DERBYSHIRE. his lordship, as Chancellor of the Exche.
Derby, lord Fred. Cavendish. quer. Not supposing that there existed
DEVONSHIRE. the least ground for any such imputation, | County, J. Parker, J. Rolle Walter. he looked upon it to be peculiarly incum- | Honiton, sir G. Yonge, Laur. Cox. bent on his lordship, cheerfully to go into | Exeter, sir C. W. Bampfylde. an enquiry, which, he presumed, would
DorseTSHIRE. turn out so much to his lordship's honour.
County, Hump. Sturt. He perceived that the charge of ambas
Bridport, T. Coventry. sadors was a very heavy one; besides, en
Wareham, right hon. 'W. G. Hamilton.
Poole, Jus. Mauger. voys and ministers were sent to every petty
Shaftesbury, H. W. Mortimer, state; he knew the disagreeable predica.
DURHAM. ment a minister, willing to make a reform, | Durham City, J. Tempest. would stand in, were he to attempt it on
YORKSHIRE. his own strength. It would be prodi. County, sir G. Savile. giously irksome to be obliged to say to a Aldborough, Wm. Baker. secretary of state, who has so few appoint. | Beverley, sir J. Pennyman, G. F. Tufnell. ments in his gift, « I must strike off such
| Heydon, hop. L. T. Watson.
Knaresborough, lord G. Hen. Cavendish. and such envoys who are in your depart
Malton, Wm. Weddel, Savile Finch. ment, the state of the Civil List requires | Northallerton. Hen. Peirse. it, &c.” While, on the contrary, if a par Thirsk, T. Franklapd. liamentary enquiry was set on foot, and York, lord J. Cavendish. arrangements made to take place in con
Essex. sequence of such enquiry, in order to re County, J. Luther. duce the expenditure, the blame would be
GLOUCESTER. shifted from the minister, and the super
County, sir Wm. Guise. fluous branches of the Civil List might be | Tewkesbury, sir Wm. Codrington, J. Martin,
HEREFORDSHIRE. pruned, or totally lopped off, without giv
County, sir G. Cornwall. ing any direct offence to those who might,
HERTFORDSHIRE. on the mere personal interference of the County, Wm. Plummer, Thomas Halsey. minister, look upon themselves pointed at, St. Albans, J. Radcliffe. and ill treated.
KENT. The House then divided on lord John County, bon. C. Marshain. · Cavendish's Motion :
Canterbury, Rd, Milles.
Lancaster, lord Rd. Cavendish.
Mr. Thomas Townshend? 14 | Literpool, Rd. Pennant.
LEICESTERSHIRE. ... SMr. Charles Townshend - 7
County, J. P. Hungerford. Noes - Mr. Robinson - .
Leicester, hon. B. Grey.
Grantham, lord G. Sutton.
Lincoln, lord Lumley.
County, J. Wilkes, J. Glynp.
London, J. Sawbridge, Rd. Oliver, Rd. Boll, Bedford Town, sir William Wake.
County, sir Ed. Astley, T. W. Coke.
Lynn, hon. T. Walpole, Crisp Molineux.
Yarmouth, hon. Rd. Walpole. Buckingham, James Grenville.
Norwich, sir H. Harbord.
County, T. Powys.
Peterborough, Rd. Benyon.
Northampton, bon. Wilb. Tollemache, sir G, County, sir Wm. Lemon.
Robinson. Liskeard, Samuel Salt.
Higham Ferrers, Fred. Montague. Bodmyn, G. Hunt.
NORTHUMBERLAND. Fowey, Phil, Rashleigh.
County, sir Wm. Middleton,
Newcastle upon Tyne, sir M. W. Ridley. I 2. That for the better support of his Berwick, Jacob Wilkinson.
Majesty's household, and of the honour NOTTINGHAMSHIRE.
and dignity of the crown, there be granted Retford, sir C. Wray.
to his Majesty, during his life, out of the Newark, G. Sutton.
aggregate fund, the clear yearly sum of OXFORDSHIRE, County, lord Wenman.
100,0001., to commence from the 5th day of SHROPSHIRE.
January 1777, over and above the yearly County, Noel Aill.
sum of 800,0001. granted by an Act made Shrewsbury, Wm. Pulleney.
in the 1st year of his Majesty's reigo.” Bridgenorth, Tho. Whitmore. SOMERSETSHİRE.
April 18. As soon as sir Charles WhitTuunton, Alex. Popham, J. Halliday.
worth came to the bar, in order to present Milborne Port, hon. T. Luttrell.
the above Resolutions, Bristol, Edmund Burke,
Mr. Dempster opposed the bringing up HANTS. Whitchurch, lord Midleton.
of the report, and recommended a comStockbridge, hon. J. Luttrell.
mittee of enquiry, as well into the manner, STAFFORDSHIRE.
and by what means the debt was incurred, Litchfield, Geo. Adams Adson.
as what might in future be a competent Stafford, Hugo Meynell.
provision, for the maintenance of the SUFFOLK.
honour and dignity of the crown. He Dunwich, sir G. W. Vanneck,
said, with whatever confidence ministers Aldborough, T. Fopnereau.
might be emboldened to come to parliaBury, sir C. Davers. SURREY.
ment, from repeated experience, there County, sir J. Mawbey.
had been always, till the present occasion, Blechingley, sir Rt. Clayton, Fred. Standert. some little decency, some formality, some Sussex.
attention paid to office usage, and the Shoreham, C. Goring.
etiquette of parliament. 'Applications Steyning, Filmer Honey wood.
were usually accompanied by the motives Lewes, Thomas Hay.
which gave birth to them. If an aug. WARWICKSHIRE.
mentation of funds was required, the County, T. G. Skipwith, sir C. Holte. - WESTMORELAND.
cause of the deficiency was stated; if the
deficiency was ascertained, the mode of Appleby, G. Johnstone. WORCESTERSHIRE.
raising that deficiency was pointed out. County, Wm. Lygon.
But how was it on the present occasion ? Wilts.
Deficiencies were stated without shewing County, C. Pepruddock, Amb. Goddard. the increase of expenditure that caused Salisbury, hon. W. Hev. Bouverie.
them; and a fund was desired to be created Calne, right hon. Is. Barré, John Dunning.
| by parliament, without a single proof of Malmsbury, bon. C.J. Fox.
the necessity of such a provision. He Heytesbury, gen. A. Ashe. Luggershall, lord G, Gordon.
could not, without astonishment, see an in
crease of near half a million on four artiDownton, J. Cooper. CINQUE PORTS.
cles unaccompanied by a single voucher Dover, J. Trevannion.
to authenticate them. The heads of exWinchelsea, Wm. Nedham.
penditure he particularly adverted to, WALES.
were those of the Cofferer, Treasurer of the Carnarvonshire, T. A. Smith.
Chamber, Master of the Horse, Secret Merionethshire, E. L. Vaughan.
Service, and Pensions. No man would Montgomeryshire, Wm. Mostyn Owen.
more cheerfully co-operate in relieving his SCOTLAND.
Majesty from his domestic embarrassDundee, G. Dempster. * TELLERS.
ments; nay at all events, to pay his MaWhitchurch, T. Townshend.
jesty's debts; but while his zeal would Wigan, G. Byng.
prompt him to go thus far, his duty as a
member of that House, must compel him The House then resolved itself into a to know in what manner those debts were Committee of Supply, and came to the fol. contracted. Supposing an act of oblivion lowing Resolutions :
were to take place in respect to what had 1. That the sum of 618,340l. 9s. 64d. already passed ; allowing that the debt be granted to his Majesty, to discharge ought to be paid, without retrospect or the Arrears and Debts due and owing enquiry; the second Resolution, which upon the Civil List, on the 5th of January was to lay an additional burden of 100,0006 1777.
per annum on the nation, demanded the most serious attention parliament ought to know, whether all, or any part, or a greater sum, were necessary to support the dignity of the crown. That could never be known, till the real outgoings were satisfactorily ascertained; till necessary expences were distinguished from those that were unnecessary; and till the people were satisfied, that the burdens borne by them, were not to answer the purposes of corruption, by influencing the conduct of their representatives in parliament. On the whole, he observed, that much the greater part of the excess of expenditure, arose under the five or six heads before mentioned; upwards of 400,000l. was written off in a few lines. Whatever inclination, therefore, he might have, out of respect to his Majesty, to pay the debt already contracted, he could not in conscience consent to add 100,000l. to the 800,000l. a year, at present settled on the crown, if the friends of the augmentation did not first consent to go into a committee of enquiry. The accounts before the House were defective; and where they were not, they were obscure, and unintelligible; he should, on these several grounds, oppose the bringing up of the report, till an enquiry was first had to shew that such an augmentation was necessary. Sir Edward Astley, as a country gentleman, could never agree to lavish the property of his constituents in such a profuse manner, without knowing how it was disposed of. In 1769, ministers acted both more modestly and consistently: they asked for money only to pay the King's debts, they desired no augmentation, because they said none would be wanting. They produced no accounts; they said the debt was contracted; it must be paid; but it should not be so in future. What is the conduct of ministers on the present occasion They pretend to produce an account, which is in fact, no account, because it is neither vouched nor documented, nor can it be understood. They adopt the language of 1769, that the debt must be paid; and they demand an augmentation, without adducing a single proof that it ought to be granted. Mr. Stanley, to explain how the excess in the cofferer’s office had been caused, said, it was not the business of that office to examine into the detail; the warrants being the only vouchers. The cofferer issued the money directed to be paid; his
account properly contained nothing more than the receipts and disbursements; when, therefore, money was issued by the cofferer, it was no part of his duty to know for what particular service the money was paid, but whether the order came properly authenticated to his office. Lord North observed, that if the accounts were defective, it was not the fault of administration; they were made up pursuant to the precedents of office, except in a few instances, those of the treasurer of the chamber, &c., which he had so fully explained in the committee, to have been occasioned by the papers being taken away by their predecessors in office, which only could have afforded the satisfaction now so earnestly sought. Throughout the arguments used by gentlemen on the other side, it was taken for granted by them, that the extra revenue of the crown was something very considerable. That, he said, was the most mistaken idea that could be well conceived; for except the duchy of Cornwall, he scarcely knew of any benefit his Majesty drew from the extra revenue. Governor Johnstone, after taking a review of the principal arguments which had been employed by those who supported the propriety of discharging the debt and voting the augmentation, said, he was against both measures. It was a current expression from several parts of the House, “The King's debts ought to be paid, but we will not grant an augmentation of the Civil List;” but I say no, the objection lays equally against the debt and augmentation. If the debt has been fairly contracted it ought to be paid. If it has been fairly contracted, the incurring such a debt can only be justified on the ground of necessity; and, if that plea will stand the test of enquiry, then an addition to an incompetent revenue will follow as a matter of course. But how are the premises to be ascertained 2 Not, surely, by the accounts now lying on your table. They tell us nothing; they leave every thing in obscurity; or they are manifestly calculated to impose and mislead. When, therefore, I say I am equally against paying the debt, and granting the augmentation, I would be understood, that I cannot, consistently with my duty, as a member of this House, agree to either, till I receive that species of information, that may lead to shew that the debt was in the first instance necessarily incurred; and that the addition is a necessary consequence of that expenditure, which experience has shewn the maintenance of the honour and dignity of the crown requires. If this be not fair reasoning, I should be glad to know, what would the negative go to prove ; but that the minister for the time being might lavish the public treasure as he pleased ; or incur debts to any amount he thought proper; and then come to parliament without any account, or with any account, however imperfect, and desire that the debt thus incurred might be discharged. Is not the latter precisely the case at present? Was not the former exactly the case in 1769? Standing, therefore, on this ground, I shall resist every proposition for a grant of public money, which is not accompanied by the reasons which support it, and the propriety, if not necessity of granting it; because, if some stated rule be not adhered to, the argument would come to this: that a mere incurring of a debt would establish a claim for its payment; and he, in whom this unlimited power of virtually pledging the public to the payment of whatever debts he might contract, was placed, would certainly hold the public purse, to use it at his pleasure.—-Thegovernor made several observations on the encouragement such a parliamentary doctrine would give to future ministers, if assented to in the extent he heard it argued the other night. The noble lord in the blue ribbon knew the full operation an addition of 100,000l. a year would have on the understandings of some idle or sceptical members; and how effectually it would serve to oil the wheels of government, now and then apt to run heavy. His lordship was fully apprised how many had tasted of the sweets extracted from the Civil List revenue; how many wished to partake more bounteously of them; and what a new supply the proposed addition would afford. Yet able as his lordship was, and ready to oblige his friends, he suspected the augmentation would operate contrary to his expectation, in more instances than one ; it would create solicitations for favours; it would render the hungry and unsatisfied dependants of the court, more pressing and enormous in their demands, whereas, voting against the measure, and defeating it, would be the only means of proving to them, that all their resources, through that channel, were cut off. In these days, a sum of nearly 200,000l. a year was looked upon as a trifle; yet trifling as it might appear, when laid down on the large scale of millions, if members [VOL. XIX.]
were yet to be bought at the current established price, some few years since, at 600l. per annum, 200,000l. prudently laid out, would purchase a clear decisive majority of that House, without even the assistance of the present standing corps of pensioners and placemen, already retained by their places, pensions, and annuities, in the service of government. But if administration, already strong enough in numbers, should think better to lay out a part in the purchase of the venal rotten boroughs all over the kingdom, this 200,000l. a year might be most usefully employed, and the court have it in its power to make members, and not be at the trouble of bribing them. The noble lord had confined the whole income of the extra revenue to the duchy of Cornwall. This was a language totally new to him. He should be glad to know what was become of the revenue formerly drawn from the principality of Wales, of the 44 per cent. duties, on the produce of the Leeward islands; of the revenues of the bishopric of Osnaburgh, and those drawn from the duchy of Lancaster and from Ireland. His lordship, the other night, seemed to be quite certain of recovering America, and counted on his Majesty’s hereditary revenue in that country as a matter of course. If so, the rents there would gradually increase; and would augment the extra revenue, which, with the other branches of it already enumerated, would in a few years, if prudently managed, create an additional fund, that would form an ample revenue for the first crowned head in Europe. In the account of the secret service, it appeared, that within the last eight years the enormous sum of 600,000l. had been lavished under that head of expenditure, a great part of which was directly issued to sir Grey Cooper and Mr. John Robinson, secretaries of the Treasury; and he presumed, if common sense was to govern, if probabilities were to prevail, it must be concluded, that all, or the greater part of the money paid into the hands of those gentlemen, was distributed among members, in order to influence their voices in parliament; or at least, in order to regulate their parliamentary conduct, by enlightening their understandings. Nay, said he, I will not stop here, I will say, that all this money has not been distributed among the members of this House; part of it has gone to my countrymen, in the other; and yet finally operated within these walls. It has been distributed in a