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of the motion, he would not be one of hold.] May 1. It was moved, that the those who would give his vote in favour Bill « for the better support of his Maof any positive resolution of parliament, jesty's household, and of the honour and to exclude the people without doors to dignity of the crown of Great Britain,” tally; and if the power could be totally be committed : which being objected to; vested in the Speaker, and committed to after a short debate, was resolved in the his discretion, he might perhaps risk a affirmative. little of the strictness of his ruler's doc- “ Dissentient trines.
“ Because though I admit and zealously Sir W. Meredith said, that none but contend, that the splendor and dignity of members ought to be present during the the crown of Great Britain and the credit debates of that House; there were votes of the royal household, ought, for his Ma. published under the Speaker's authority, jesty's personal satisfaction, no less than which sufficiently declared the sense and for the honour of the nation, to be maindetermination of the House of Commons tained by liberal grants of parliament (lie on every important question. The argu- beral beyond the charge of parsimony, or ments, the motives, the policy, and influ- a minute calculation of the demands of ence that might induce those decisions, government), yet when no consideration were out of the pale of popular enquiry, is had, and no account whatever given in, The world at large, even our immediate of various productive funds of which his constituents, had no just claim to be ap- Majesty's servants are in tne receipt, and prized of all the minutiæ of debate; but which never are accounted for in parliaif gentlemen wished to let in strangers, they ment, I must insist, that all calculations should first learn to preserve better tem- of a deficiency in the assumed sum of per, to lay aside inflammatory declama- 800,0001. only, are fallacious and absurd. tion, personal animosities, and indecent “ Because these funds produce either freedom of speech; then, perhaps, all the sum of 78,000l. or more or less. If parties might coincide in an opinion to ex- they produce that sum, the produce more tend the indulgence that was now asked | than liquidates the present stated debt: if for, as far as it could go, without impeding they produce less, but yet produce somethe business of the nation, or molesting the thing, the accounts upon the table cannot members in the possession of their seats in be true, for such produce would then either the body of the House.
have been accounted for in diminution of The Speaker finished the debate, by this debt, or such produce is still in hand, calling on the House to instruct him on and the means of discharging such debt this delicate occasion how he was to act. remain; or there has been some secret He said, if it were to meet the sense of expenditure to which it has been applied, the House, and he could be allowed to and which administration have not thought admit strangers impartially, and according fit to mention. If they produce (as I to a general rule agreed on by all parties, cannot but think they do produce) consihe should be far, for his part, from having derably more, it surely rests on adminisan objection to such indulgence; but he tration to shew the application, rather than wished not to have a discretionary task becomes the credulity of parliament to acassigned to him in an affair of this kind, cept these accounts as complete, or its gewhere he was apprehensive that the best perosity to supply with such readiness, meant complacency, and unbiassed dis- and consequently encourage the wantonpensation of his power, would fail of givness of their profusion as to the amount, ing that unanimous satisfaction which was and perhaps their criminality in destination the first object of his ambition.
of these sums. The House divided :
“ And because when, exclusive of the Tellers.
enormous sums stated' to be lodged with certain persons,
who are members of the Mr. Temple Luttrell YEAS Mr. Fox
:} 16 House of Commons, for secret and special
services, (words calculated to perplex, and Nors Mr. George Onslow .
:} 83 not inform), the extravagant amount of
salaries and acknowledged pensions, (to So it passed in the negative.
which parliamentary jealousy claims a
right of making a large addition, on acLord Radnor's Protest against the Bill count of the general belief, amounting for the better Support of the King's House- with many persons to an internal convic
tion, of considerable disbursements for se- Ordered, nem. con. That Mr. Speaker cret and unacknowledged purposes), is be desired to print the Speech by him considered, I hold it my duty as a member made to his Majesty in the House of of the legislature, to withhold the addi- Peers, this day, upon his presenting to his tional means, afforded by this Bill, of cor. Majesty the Bill for the better support of rupting the integrity of parliament. his Majesty's Household, and of the ho
“ RADNOR." nour and dignity of the crown of Great
Britain, which then received the royal MR. SPEAKER NORTON'S SPEECH TO assent. THE KING ON PRESENTING THE BILL FOR THE BETTER SUPPORT OF HIS MA- Debate in the Commons on a Demand JESTY's HOUSEHOLD.] May 7. The made by the Landgrave of Hesse for the King being seated on the throne, adorned Expences of Foreign Hospitals during the with his crown and regal ornaments, and late War.] May 8. In the Committee attended by his officers of state (the Lords of Supply, Lord North moved, “ That being in their robes), commanded the 41,8201. be granted to the Landgrave gentleman usher of the Black Rod to let of Hesse Cassel, to make good expences the Commons know, “ It is his Majesty's of foreign hospitals during the late war: pleasure they attend him immediately, in that 32,9341. be granted for a like sum this House.” Who being come,
distributed among his Majesty's subjects Mr. Speaker Norton addressed his Man in America, for the losses they have sus
tained since the commencement of the jesty as follows: “ Most Gracious Sovereign,
present troubles in that country.” On
the first Resolution, the Committee di“ The Bill, which it is now my duty to vided, Ayes 38, Noes 20. The second present to your Majesty, is intituled, An
was agreed to without a division. Act for the better support of his Ma.
Colonel Barré condemned the conduct jesty's Household, and of the honour and of administration in very severe terms, dignity of the crown of Great Britain :'
particularly for what he called their public to which your Commons humbly beg profusion, and the House for its tame acyour royal assent. “ By this Bill, Sir, and the respectful minister, however scandalous and bare
quiescence in every thing proposed by the circumstances which preceded and ac. companied it, your Commons have given ceurs the German princes had received,
faced. He enumerated the several dou. the fullest and clearest proof of their zeal in order to induce them to a mercenary and affection for your Majesty: For, in a bargain for the sale of human blood, to be time of public distress, full of difficulty and spilt in a quarrel they had no more evendanger, their constituents labouring under tual interest in, than in that now waging burthens almost too heavy to be borne, between the Turk and the Sophi of Persia, your faithful Commons postponed all
or the scenes of murder, oppression, and other business ; and, with as much dis- pillage, acting within the Mogul empire. patch as the nature of their proceedings Every request, however unreasonable, was your Majesty a large present supply, but granted; every offer, however preposter
ous and humiliating, was made to those also a very great additional revenue ;
petty princes, to induce them to forward great, beyond example ; great, beyond the schemes of a set of men, who were deyour Majesty's highest expence.t
termined to extirpate our subjects on the But all this, Sir, they have done, in a other side of the Atlantic, or compel them well-grounded confidence, that you will to submit. They had double subsidies, apply wisely, what they have granted levy-money, ordnance, and staff: they liberally: and feeling, what every good were paid for killed and wounded men, subject must feel with the greatest satis- and still their corps were to be recruited faction, that, under the direction of your to their full complements previous to their Majesty's wisdom, the affluence and return to Hesse and Brunswick, so that grandeur of the sovereign will reflect dig. they were doubly paid, doubly officered, nity and honour upon his people."
and were to have double subsidies. Levy* This is an exact copy of the Speech as
money was even paid for their officers, a pablished by the Speaker.
circumstance unknown, he believed, in the † Several members, who took notes of this military annals of mankind. He observed, Speech, Wrote wants instead of espence. that fourteen years had elapsed since the
state claim, now revived, was first made ; | ber" The fruitful parent of a hundred that a commission was appointed to take more.” All Germany will daily teaze the whole of the German demands into with importunities, or stun this House consideration, to examine and liquidate with its after-claps. We shall never be them; that after the most laborious inves- easy; we shall never have done granting, tigation, several of the claims, among nor they asking, while we have a shilling which the present was one, were totally left to grant. He was severe on the mirejected, neither being properly vouched nister for urging a matter of so much connor authenticated; and of those that had sequence when there was so thin an attena colour of justice to support them, the dance. commissioners thought they acted gene- Lord North allowed, that the account rously by liquidating the demands at 11d. was of a long standing; and wished it had in the pound discount ; that is, instead of been made earlier. That, he observed, paying the German princes 20s., they gave however, was the only objection that could them just 20d. An expression had fallen be urged against it; for he was of opinion from him in a former" debate, which he that the account was clearly stated, and now begged leave to retract. He had that the demand was just, and ought to said, that that House held the public purse. be paid. Fool, that he was, for being so deceived ! Mr. T. Townshend spoke warmly against He might have long since learned, that the motion. He observed, that the Gerwhatever sum the minister thinks proper man accounts were made up most iniquito ask is instantly voted without hesitation, tously; and that that able and honest without account.
man, the late Mr. Grenville, being minister Mr. Cornwall said, he was one of the at the time the commission was appointed commissioners who were appointed to li to enquire into, and to liquidate them, set quidate the German demands ; but denied his face against them. He instanced one that the charge for hospitals was totally, or two particulars of gross imposition, and or at all rejected. It did not properly observed, that although the defalcation come under the cognizance of the board, made by the commissioners might not be because it depended upon another account, quite so much, as that stated by his hon. not at that time made up, that of Mr. friend, he was pretty sure that it amounted Bishop, who was purveyor to the hospitals. to full two-thirds, if not more. He inSo far from the demand being stated, it stanced one article of 70,0001. being enwas kept up from the time it was first in- tirely rejected; whether the claim now curred, to the present year, in a regular made was included in that sum, he knew official manner; and when it came before not; but he was certain the whole affair the commissioners, it was neither refused had a very disgraceful appearance. nor reprobated, but was merely postponed, Sir Charles Bunbury said, he should as not being regularly before them. From certainly give his negative to the resoluwhat appeared then, as well as what he tion; an account examined and settled, had learned since, he was convinced the should never again be brought forward, claim was a just one.
unless proofs, which were out of the power Mr. Burke said, he always understood of the creditor, accompanied it. Nothing that the German accounts had been set- like that was pretended; no new light was tled many years ago; parliament and the spoken of; the only reason assigned by nation, he presumed, understood so too. the minister for complying with the deIf he was mistaken, he was mistaken in mand was, merely that it was made, and was, that the commissioners, among whom An explanatory conversation now took he might include his hon. friend, had not place between lord North and Messrs. done their duty. This demand, which, it Barré, Cornwall, Townshend, and Burke ; seems, was known to every one but those in the course of which, nothing could be who ought to have been thoroughly ac- drawn from the Treasury.bench, but that quainted with it, lay sleeping for upwards the honour of the nation, founded on its of two years, and now came waking to good faith to all the world, particularly to that House, which, indeed, seemed, like its allies, rendered a compliance with the the claim, to be slumbering over the in- present demand indispensably necessary. terest of the nation. If this demand was
Mr. Burke denied that the good faith, paid, the certain consequence would be, or national honour, was at all concerned. its being followed by others beyond num. On the contrary, he thought that they were both so much concerned, as to re- entitle it to the attention of that House. ject the motion with contempt. If we He should say a word or two on each of gave money, we should give it spontane- those heads. As to the staleness of the ously, and not be bullied out of it. The demand, the contrary was manifest, for it Hessians were now maintaining a ministe- was included in the gross sum which came rial war in America. Honour, dignity, before the commissioners, but not thinking even decency was to be sacrificed to this themselves authorized, the matter, so far favourite measure.
Hesse availed them. as it concerned them, was postponed, not selves of the glorious golden opportunity, rejected. Applications were then made and extorted the sun now demanded; through an official channel, where it was or, he presumed, threatened to withdraw answered, that until Mr. Bishop's actheir troops. He laughed at the dignity counts, who had the superintendancy of and honour of the nation, and the good all the hospitals, were received, nothing faith observed by it towards its allies; and could be done. When those accounts concluded with predicting, that the king were passed, the foreign hospitals made a of Prussia would again renew and press his part of them. They were accordingly reclaims relative !o the arrears of subsidy ferred to the auditor of the imprest, where due since the late war; and, in his opi- being audited and passed, they were renion, was much better entitled to be gra- ferred back to the Treasury board. So tified, than the landgrave of Hesse, though the affair stood in 1773 or 1774, when the he did not mean to consider the justice of last steps were taken in this matter. Other his Majesty's claim in any other than a business of greater importance, or accicomparative view.
dent, prevented any thing more being done, The Resolutions were then agreed to. till the treaties with Hesse were entered The Speaker having resumed the chair, as into: and from that time till the account soon as the first Resolution was read, was ultimately examined and approved of,
Sir Henry Hoghton said, that no person nothing particular passed on the occasion. would be readier to support the good faith The discharging the demand made no part of the nation than himself; but he could of any public or private stipulation. When never consent to the granting a sum of the Treasury board received that degree money, which exactly resembled a foreign of satisfaction, and those regular official tribute, extorted from us on account of documents it always requires, administrathe distracted situation of our public af- tion for the first time determined to bring fairs. He was certain, that no example of the matter into that House. , The claim, such a requisition was known in the annals then, being neither a stale nor dormant of parliament, thať a debt should be de- one, he could with justice say, that it was manded at the end of 14 years; and that never rejected. The reason why the comat such a critical season, that, he pre- missioners declined having any thing to do sumed, those who made it imagined that with it, was this : Mr. Bishop's accounts, it could not, nor would not be denied. in which those of the foreign hospitals were For his part, however ready he was to give included, not being passed in the official strength and vigour to government, he forms, it was impossible for them to detershould do all in his power to disappoint so mine on the affair of foreign hospitals, ungenerous an expectation; and as he without directly taking upon them to despoke, he should most certainly vote cide on Mr. Bishop's accounts, which was against it. He could not help expressing clearly out of their province. And as to some degree of indignation at an attempt, the last objection, that the accounts were which bore every appearance of endea- neither clear nor properly vouched, if even vouring to impose on the nation by means true, it did not remain to be now discussed. the most unprecedented and unjustifiable. If they were improperly passed, that might
Mr. Cornwall said the affair had been to be a subject very proper for the House to tally misunderstood in the committee. examine into, as applying to the conduct The demand was represented as a dormant of the officers; but, as against the claim, claim, now revived, though suffered to it availed nothing. The demand was sleep for 14 years; that it was rejected by made in time; it was regularly examined, the commissioners appointed to liquidate and officially passed ; and consequently, the German demands, during the admi- as between this country and the landgrave nistration of Mr. Grenville; and that, in of Hesse, it had every sanction which the its present shape it wanted that degree of law or constitution could give it. authenticity, which it ought to have, to Sir George Howard observed, however ingenious the hon. gentleman's arguments to the humiliating situation of being dicmight be, they were nevertheless far from tated to, and bullied, by every petty prince bringing home conviction to his mind. He on the German continent, into the most well remembered, that when he was in mortifying and disgraceful concessions. Germany, frequent applications were made This, he said, with numerous others of the to him on the subject, but he could never same tendency, were the blessed fruits of be prevailed upon to give his countenance endeavouring to reduce our subjects in to what he all along had reason to believe America to a state of the most wretched was conducted in a very suspicious, is not slavery. fraudulent, manner. He recollected hav. Mr. Cornwall said, when the matter first ing several conversations with Bishop, came to his knowledge, he retained some which, with what he learned himself, were doubts whether it could be entertained, the causes why he entertained the disap- or be properly brought before parliament; probation he now expressed; nor could he but when, upon further enquiry, he dissee how the passing of Bishop's accounts covered the true state of the transaction, totally precluded the commissioners from as he had represented it, the noble lord entering into any enquiry into the justice who moved the resolution in the committee, of the demand, but by resorting to the as well as himself, were uf opinion, that true cause, which was, that the claim was the money might have been paid without really and truly rejected : or that if it had bringing it into parliament, or previously been pressed at the time, it would have procuring its consent, as an out-standing been found to be unsupported by truth or arrear, regularly vouched, audited, and justice. In every light, therefore, he con- passed. sidered the claim, and from the mode of Mr. Burke was extremely jocular on the bringing it forward, he had still more rea- hon. gentleman who spoke last. The hon. son to think it cught not to be complied gentleman, said he, first had his doubts, or with.
rather was of opinion, that the application Mr. Baldwin opposed the receiving the should have been rejected; and I think report, chiefly on account of the staleness with great justice. His doubts, however, of the demand. The debt, on which the on further enquiry, began to vanish, and demand was founded, was contracted 16 at length running from one extreme to the years ago. A regular demand was made; other, his mind suddenly became so encommissioners were appointed to decide lightened, that he thought the noble lord whether it was or was not a just one; the might pay the demand without even so issue of their enquiries was a positive re- much as consulting this House, but only jection.
inform us he had paid it. This, I confess, Mr. Booth said, the present was a claim is a most extraordinary alteration of sentihe could never consent to; and the mode ment. I should be glad to know from the of bringing it forward, so late in the season, hon. gentleman the ground of his doubts, and when so many of the representatives when they began to vanish, and what it is of the people were absent, not expecting that at length wrought this mighty change. such an after-clap, rendered the affair still Did the hon. gentleman's doubts proceed more disagreeable.
from his opinion that the claim was absoSir Grey Cooper insisted, that nothing lutely rejected by the very commission uncould be more clear than the accounts, der which he acted ? If they did, what nor nothing more satisfactory than the new lights has he since received ? I will manner in which they were vouched and appeal to himself if he has a single word passed. That whatever reluctance some of information now, more than he bad then. gentlemen might have to the staleness, If this be the case, how is it possible to acthere did not a single objection subsist count for this sudden illumination of his against the justice of the demand; and as mind, but by supposing that he looks for. for its being of so long a standing, when ward to the possible consequences of a reit was considered that it could not have fusal, and sanctifies the means by the end, been otherwise, that objection must share that of keeping the landgrave in good the same fate, as proceeding entirely from temper. But there is something still more necessity.
unaccountable in the hon. gentleman's Mr. T. Townshend contended, that the conduct in another particular, than even present sum, if voted, would be in fact an any thing I have yet mentioned; that is, additional subsidy; and lamented those though he and the noble lord are both fatal measures which had thus reduced us perfectly satisfied that the money demanded