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great number, which sanctified the entire- ingly to form resolutions upon matters of ly overturning a motion, by moving an rumour; they could not proceed to decide amendment, the form and purport of sine teste et sine judice ; they must always which were directly opposite to the intent have facts, matters proved to the satisfacof those words whose place in the motiontion of the whole House to be facts, as the amendment was intended to supply ; the ground of their proceedings. With but however such parliamentary craft regard to the motion of the noble earl, it might be supported by usage, when a was a mere allegation without a proof, question 'was seriously proposed with an thence liable to challenge, liable to conintention to investigate a point worthy | tradiction : for one, he discredited it; he the attention of their lordships, he could could not believe that money was raised not but be of opinion, that it was more by the meeting of the London Tavern noble, wise and candid, to canvas the either illegally or unconstitutionally; that merits of the question fully, and get rid of it was raised for the service of the King, it by a negative upon a division, than thus he verily believed; and who should gainto prevent its being entered upon by movo say it ? Every man might give the King ing an amendment, and rendering that the money, as was well known; it was equal. subject of debate. Having said this, his ly well known, that every man might lordship declared, he wished the noble either give or leave the King land ; it had lord who moved the amendment would been often done, and no person ever adopt his sentiments, and withdraw the dreamt of its being illegal. amendment, which, if he thought proper,' With regard to the second proposition, he might afterwards renew in the form of the very terms of it were inapplicable; a motion; and urged their lordships to supposing the fact to be, that money was debate it, when the noble earl's proposi- raised as the first proposition stated, could tions were disposed of, either by being car. such subscriptions be deemed benevoried affirmatively, or lost on a division. lences? The donations so nominated in
The noble earl said, as he was upon his ancient times, though called free gifts, legs he would speak a word or two rela- were notoriously the contrary; men were, tive to the propositions made by the noble when a commission for public benevolences earl, and which he meant to have given his to the crown was issued, compelled to consentiments upon, had they stood the only tribute, and if they refused, or with-heldsubjects of debate. They were in their their proportion, they lost their liberty, . nature and form two-fold. The first stat. I and were sent to prison. At the same ed a fact; the second grounded a resolu- time let the noble lords consider for what tion upon that fact. He had several ob was the present subscription made-to jections to each, and some that went to assist the King with levy money; a matboth. With regard to the first, it was not ter often practised, and always essentially regular in point of form; it stated a sup- serviceable to the state. The King, by posed fact, namely, that money was raised his prerogative, was empowered to levy illegally and unconstitutionally. Where was men and raise an army. When men were the proof? How was the allegation made raised, the new levies were reported to out? Upon what had the noble earl rested parliament, whose duty it was to provide it? In the opening of his speech he had for their subsistence, in case they did not produced--what? A public newspaper, I think the levies improper, and pass a cenfrom which he had read an advertisement, sure upon them by giving their negative, intimating, that a meeting of merchants The nation could not be injured in the and others had been held at the London present case, the professed purpose of the Tavern, when a subscription was entered public subscriptions was to furnish addi, into for the purpose of raising money to tional levy money to make the bounties strengthen the hands of government. The larger than government generally gave, words of the motion had no reference to and by that means to quicken and render the newspaper, or if they had, was that more easy the filling of the old corps, and ground for their lordships to proceed upon ? | completing the army. Supposing even Was newspaper authority, and that vague that more men were raised than were ly introduced, proof sufficient to establish enough to complete the number, what a fact to the satisfaction of that House? would be the consequence? The King Did the newspaper shew that the money must apply to parliament for more subwas raised illegally and unconstitutionally?sistence money. It was in the power Their lordships would act most unbecom- of either House to negative the new le
vies, and what then Why then, as many of the new levies as parliament negatived, must be disbanded, the money subscribed by individuals would be lost, and what mischief would be done the nation, or what injury would the liberty of the subject, or the privilege of parliament sustain In answer to the argument urged, that parliament ought to be consulted as to the raising of men, previous to new levies of any kind, long experience had shewed the impolicy of such a custom, and therefore it was never practised. The King in raising an army, as in making a subsidiary treaty, never applied to parliament till after each was effected ; and it had for ages been deemed a sufficient security to the constitution, that parliament had a power to disband the one, or set aside the other, by passing its negative upon either.
The noble ear! further said, that the question contained in the second proposition was by no means new to him; he had heard it agitated before, particularly in the year of the rebellion, when twelve noblemen raised regiments, when voluntary subscriptions were frequent in all parts of the kingdom, and when the public spirit was so far roused, that in some parishes persons went from house to house, collecting and receiving contributions for the service of government. This latter matter, the noble earl declared, was thought highly improper by many, and for this reason—it in some sort approached the nature of the benevolences formerly obtained; for although it did not compel contributions from individuals under pain of imprisonment, it was so far compulsory, that those who refused were marked persons, and held out to their neighbours as such. But even under this idea, it never was deemed a violation of the privilege of parliament, or unconstitutional; on the contrary, a very great magistrate, a very sound constitutional lawyer, and a most upright man, the lord chancellor Hardwicke, who, as the House would, his lordship said, he
doubted not, readily believe, was not apt
to give his opinion without due consideration, had taken occasion, previous to the condemnation of the three lords who suf. fered for their assisting in the rebellion, to deliver his sentiments upon the legality of raising men by voluntary subscriptions of levy-money in the most clear and emphatical terms, in the language of truth and conviction, in the very words which had in the course of the debate been read to the
House by the noble earl who moved the
amendment: nor was the practice merely to be traced to that era; a more recent instance had occurred in the year 1759, when the common council of the city of London met in form, and voted levymoney.” The subscription, indeed, was not very great, amounting only to about 7,000l.; it was followed, however, by other subscriptions of the great companies, merchants, &c. and sufficiently shewed the spirit of the people; and what then ensued 2 Was it reprobated as unconstitutional 2 Were the subscriptions deemed dangerous and illegal 2 No. Mr. Secretary Pitt wrote a very florid letter back to the city, thanking them for their zeal, and applauding them for their loyalty and public spirit. The letter would be found to contain the secretary of state's approbation of the measure conveyed in the strongest terms that language would allow. After a great variety of arguments, most of them supported by precedents, in proof that assisting the King with levy-money in moments of public exigency, was neither unconstitutional nor illegal, nor an infringement of the rights and privileges of parliament, the noble earl concluded with declaring, that he highly approved of the o subscriptions for that purpose; that
e thought the individuals who subscribed, acted a very meritorious part, and deserved every encomium their lordships could bestow upon their conduct.
Lord Camden spoke in reply to lord
Mansfield, and began with observing, that had the noble earl early in the debate given his sentiments on the irregularity of quashing the motion, by moving an amendment totally foreign to the purport of it, he should have been exceedingly happy, as it might have assisted their lordships materially, by bringing on a debate on the question really before the House, and which was of too important a nature to be taken up hastily, or by the bye, as the noble earl had done. His lordship declared his aversion to speaking to any motion which was not fairly and fully before the House; he could not, however, consistently with his feelings, forbear saying a few words in answer to the positions of the noble earl, who had, as it were, thrown out his opinion casually, although that opinion, unresisted and unreplied to, gave their lordships a colourable pretext for passing a negative on the motion of the noble earl who had made the two propoSlt1 OnS.
* See Vol. 15, p. 943.
With regard to the matter of fact on to prevent them? Would either or both which the first proposition was grounded, houses of parliament, or even the three he appealed to their lordships, if any branches of the legislature combined, find one of them felt the least doubt of there it in their capacity to stop the mischief? having been a meeting held as the adver. These were not the sentiments of a lutisement in the newspaper specified, of a natic mind, they were sentiments warsubscription having been agreed on and ranted by sound reason and common sense. made at that meeting, and of that sub- History afforded instances of the danger scription being intended for the purpose of a large body of forces being raised by of raising men without the sanction of par. individuals; hence the caution of our foreliament. The points were too evident fathers against standing armies, hence the either to be argued away, or painted in jealousy of parliament, and hence the wary any colours which would so disguise the eye with which parliament had always truth, as to prevent its being obvious to guarded the attempt of individuals to raise every one of their lordships. The great men. In times of great public danger, in matter, therefore, for the consideration of times of uncommon exigency, what at the House was, whether the money so other periods might be not only impruraised and applied, was a legal and con. dent, but at all times illegal, might be stitutional act, or whether it was not a warrantable. The tyrant's plea, state neviolent infringement of the rights and pricessity, had sanctioned many measures not vileges of parliament? The noble lord who strictly justifiable with regard to their respoke last had contended, that the money ference to the constitution. On this ground was raised merely to be given in aid of the the raising regiments and other acts in the levy money; a matter which, in his hum. service of government in the time of the ble conception, so far from being provable, last rebellion, as mentioned by the noble could not in any shape be maintained. lord, were to be excused; rebellion then On the contrary, the professed purpose of stalked with giant steps towards the methe meeting of the London Tavern was to tropolis ; it penetrated the heart of the subscribe money to raise men, a position kingdom ; it was approaching the door of daringly illegal and truly alarming. It was the king's palace; and it was certainly true, since the intended motion of the no- right, in such a moment, to provide for ble earl had been made public, the com. the public safety, by the best means the mittee who managed the London Tavern nature of the case would admit: but, in subscription had already altered their tone, his opinion, the case was widely different and had advertised, that upon due consi- now, nay, so jealous was he of injuring deration they meant to apply the subscrip- the constitution, by adding to the inflution merely to the purpose of increasing ence of the crown, already most dangerthe bounty money ; but this was an act of ously great and extensive, that his lordtheir own, not sanctified by, and expressly ship declared that he did not think a war contrary to the design of their constituents in a distant part of the dominions a justiwhen they became subscribers. The pre. fication of the King's increasing his army sent was a question of the most serious without the consent of his parliament. importance that could be agitated before With regard to the present subscriptions, their lordships. Every gift to his Majesty he said he had not a doubt of their falling for public purposes, was an aid, and had directly within the meaning of the noble long since been wisely marked out, as a earl's motion, each committee for raising breach of the privileges of parliament. / money to be used « as the King should in Nor was the doctrine, that no mischief his wisdom think fit,” that at the London could arise supposing that more levies | Tavern, and that at Bristol, had assumed a were made than parliament would approve, legislative power, and had acted in that by any means a justification for raising capacity in which the parliament only were them without the consent of parliament, empowered to act, agreeable to the spirit even were the assertion true in fact, and of the constitution and the meaning of the let the noble lords ask their own feelings Bill of Rights. if it were so. When a numerous army His lordship declared that he suspected was raised, might they not defy parlia. | the meaning of the subscriptions, and the ment? Might not armeď levies resist the use of the regiments raised, the rather besilent votes of the senate? Might they not cause the contributors to the first were turn public plunderers, and assume the chiefly contractors, men who gave a penny legislative power? And who would be able to the public purse with the view of rob. [VOL. XIX. ]
bing it of a pound; and the latter were were good times. There had been a raised in Liverpool, Manchester, Edin studious endeavour in ministers to avoid burgh, and Glasgow, in each of which a public decision of constitutional ques. places it was notorious many of those tions, and yet there had been more con. principally concerned in the last rebellion stitutional questions brought forward in resided; he said, he could not therefore this reign than in many preceding periods. but be jealous of the sincerity of such These were so many proofs that jealousies loyalists, and rather think they had aban- had prevailed amongst the people; men doned the man in whose cause they for- were become suspicious of their liberties; merly were so active, than either the cause the increased influence of the crown caused itself or the measures most advisable to them to consider the throne in a metaphofurther it. His lordship concluded with rical light of a monstrous Leviathan, observing, that however he might admire which was always ready to swallow up professions of loyalty and attachment to their liberties. The Nullum Tempus Bill, the person of the King, he never could which would have lain dormant in any approve of such professions when they other, had been agitated in this reign. were accompanied with sentiments of pas. There was no end in specifying the evils sive obedience and non-resistance.
of the times; they crowded on the recolEarl Gower observed, that there was lection; they followed each other like something in stigmatizing men now living, misfortunes; we could only lament the with the errors of their ancestors, more hasty advances they were making on the disingenuous than he could have expected ruin of this country. from the noble lord. He was a neighbour Lord Lyttelton observed, that he was of those places, and had all the reason in not influenced at present to put a negative the world to believe them perfectly loyal. to the motion by any arguments concern
The Duke of Grafton was pathetic in / ing its legality, or illegality; but because his repetition of lord Camden's arguments. it was most undoubtedly founded on cir. He added that there was much to be ga. cumstances that did not appear; and that thered from history, and that war was at therefore it might induce their lordships our elbows. Benevolences originated with to condemn by anticipation, a measure Edward 4, and were very pernicious prac. which might in the event prove perfectly tices. The present mode of raising troops laudable. It was agreed on all hands, that by subscription, without the authority of they were the concomitant circumstances parliament, might lead to serious conse- which rendered the thing culpable, and quences. It might end in a civil war. therefore, these circumstances not being Encouraging private individuals to aid the at present explained, their lordships crown with troops, might afford a tempta- would be premature in their disapprobation to accept offers from eastern princes | tion, to censure what they did not underof a dangerous nature to the liberties of stand. For this reason, he would vote this country. The noble duke averred on against the motion at present, and so he his honour, that some alarming offers of would for the amendment; for as he would the kind had been made by the nabobs of not censure, neither would he approve the east.
without understanding; and in both cases, The Marquis of Rockingham said, that he was equally in the dark with respect to the amendment was no more than a dis- those circumstances that could render the ingenuous trick to get rid of a motion, the measure a subject either of applause or merits of which ministers did not choose to condemnation. discuss. They were desirous of evading Lord Suffolk then withdrew his amendthe arguments which they could not con ment. After which the House divided on
nd against. This had been the usage the earl of Abingdon's motion. Contents of administration for some years. How 30; Non-Contents 90. many tricks of office had been practised to evade a decision on the illegality of ge Debate in the Commons on Mr. Fox's neral warrants! The case of the Middle-Motion for General Burgoyne's Instrucsex election had been craftily evaded. tions.] Jan. 27. Mr. Fox rose, and preThis was an inauspicious reign. To say mised his motion with lamenting, that the that these were bad times, would be to noble lord (G. Germain) was not in his censure ministry most severely, and yet, place; especially as he understood, that without the most false eulogium on their his absence arose from a family misfortune. conduct, it could not be said that these The reason however, which induced him
to make his motion, arose from a calamity of a higher and more extensive nature, no less than the calamity of his country. His motive for troubling the House was to inquire into the total loss, or rather extinction of a British army. He should, therefore, make no apology for renewing his motion, because he was sufficiently satisfied, that though the noble lord could not attend, his particular sentiments on the matter were well known. He humorous! observed, that as he wished well to his motion, so he could not possibly find a more proper person to second it than the noble lord in the blue ribbon, who last week confessed himself a friend to it: though the noble lord experienced sad reverses in other places, yet in that House he never appeared in any other character than that of a conqueror; he therefore recommended his motion to his patronage, as under his protection it would infallibly be insured against misfortune: he then moved, for “Copies of all Instructions, and other papers, relative to the Expedition from Canada, under lieut. general Burgoyne; and also, a copy of such parts of the Instructions given to general sir William Howe, as relate to any intended co-operation with lieut.general Burgoyne.” Colonel Luttrell expressed his abhorrence of principles which led gentlemen to support rebellion; a rebellion which should meet with every loyal subject's execration; a rebellion, for which any man should blush to be an advocate; a rebellion, the promoters of which ought not to shew their faces, but to conceal them in dens and lurking holes. He could not, consistent with the duty which he owed his sovereign and the constitution, remain silent, when he saw a set of men combined together to betray their country. Placemen without places; orators who spent their time in studying inflammatory speeches, and expending their incomes in having them published in the news-papers; rhetoricians, who got their livelihood by publishing their speeches in parliament; abet. tors of treason and rebellion, combined purposely for the ruin of their country. [Here he was violently called to order.] Mr. Charles Turner repeated the words of the colonel which had given so much offence, which he had taken down in writing; and after shewing the very great insult offered to a respectable number of gentlemen, he, to mend the matter, and shew where the fault lay, said, that in his conscience he was convinced that the
ministry were combined to betray their country. Mr. For hoped the House would believe, he did not rise to take notice of the gentleman-like epithets thrown out by the hon. colonel; he considered them unworthy either of his attention, or the notice of the House. But, independent of all this noise and passion, he could not but be surprised, that because a motion came from his side of the House, it was to be disregarded. This was a matter of serious concern, and, if once admitted, would preclude all further debate. Colonel Luttrell said, that the hon. gentleman had always declared himself a friend to revolted America; a friend to the revolted, without any particular friendship for them, must certainly be a friend to the revolt; what then, could he call such people but traitors? [He was again called to order.] Mr. For urged the great difference between a friend to revolted America, and a friend to Hancock and Adams, and the other seditious leaders of the revolt. He stood, he said, in the former predicament; and the minister in the latter. He would have conciliated the affections of America in time, and prevented at once the dismal consequences, which have resulted from opposite measures; but the minister, more a friend to Hancock and Adams, and their adherents, than to America or Great Britain, had taken every possible step to unite the colonies in the plan of independence; and to aggrandize those men, who, without the assistance given them in almost every act of government, must have remained at this day in the situation of private gentlemen, instead of acting, as they do now, one of the greatest parts on the great theatre of the world. As to the accusation of his being an orator by trade, it was evident by the hon, colonel's words, it was a trade he did not live by, as he was pleased to describe him as a placeman out of place; and as to the guilt of oratory, he presumed the charge would fall as justly upon the noble lord at the head of the Treasury, who had been as guilty of speaking with eloquence, as any gentleman on his side of the House, and who besides had committed the crime to as great an advantage as any placeman out i. place could possibly be suspected of olno. ...a North took upon him to accept the office imposed on him by the gentleman who made the motion, namely, to second