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it, though he confessed himself much less qualified for such a task than the hon. gentleman; he had at first said, he would give his assent to every enquiry that could be made into his conduct; he would stand to his word, nor wish to screen himself from a scrutiny which he was convinced would terminate to his honour: the noble lord for the American department had authorised him to assure the House, that he would not make the least opposition to the motion. Having strong objections to the time of making the motion, however inclined he might be to support it when carried, the House would do him the justice to acknowledge that he was by no means instrumental in bringing forward the enquiry: he insisted the more strongly on this, as his delicacy was not a little concerned in it; some gentlemen having been induced to think, from an expression in general Burgoyne's letter, that he put the affair upon this issue, that either the mimistry or himself were wrong. As this was construed into an oblique reflection on administration, he would not be supposed to act from pique or passion: he therefore repeated it, that he expected the House would do him the justice to bear testimony hereafter, that he did not wish to promote the enquiry at that season. The motion was agreed to.
Debate on a Motion%. the Exclusion of Strangers from the Gallery of the House of Commons.] Jan. 29. Colonel Luttrell rose, and premising his intended subject with a few remarks on the injury of misrepresentation and abuse, or perversion of words, of a member of that House in his official capacity, complained, that in a certain morning paper, which he held in his hand, but which he did not name, he had been grossly misrepresented, and charged with having, on a late occasion, behaved unparliamentarily, and that for so doing he had received the censure of the House. He insisted a good deal on the calumny of such a charge, made many severe strictures on the conduct of the editor of that paper in thus aggravating and misstating facts, which he hoped had been witnessed to be otherways by every member present on the occasion, and thereby rendered him infamous in the eyes of the public. He considered such conduct as too heinous to be forgiven, and therefore he informed the House, that, for his future
safety and protection, he was determined
to move, that the standing order of the
House for excluding strangers from the gallery should be strictly carried into execution. He next endeavoured to exculpate himself, from the charge of being disorderly; and said, the hon. gentleman (Mr. Fox) did not call him to order, but observed, that he was very near descending to personalities, and that consequently he was going to be disorderly; but that the hon. gentleman had very good-naturedly prevented him, by interrupting him, when he perceived he was beginning to grow warm. On the whole, he wished to be understood, that it was the editor of the paper alluded to, not he who was the occasion of shutting the gallery doors. Mr. For rose to say so far in justification of the hon. gentleman, that he did not call him to order for any unparliamentary assertion levelled at him, but because he seemed to insinuate, that as the motion came from his side of the House it must be rejected. The House at large conceived this in the same manner with himself, and the hon. gentleman accordingly was called to order. If this, then, was the only accusation he had against the editor complained of, he did not think it so enormous: and though he was no advocate for news-paper exposure, he did not look upon it as a sufficient reason for excluding him, among other strangers, from the House. He was convinced the true and only method of preventing misrepresentation was
‘by throwing open the gallery, and making
the debates and decisions of the House as public as possible. There was less danger of misrepresentation in a full company than a thin one, as there would be a greater number of persons to give evidence against the misrepresentation. The shutting of the gallery could not prevent the proceedings of the House from finding their wa to public view; for during a certain o when the gallery was kept empty, the debates were printed, let the manner of obtaining them be what it might; and in fact, the public had a right to know what passed in parliament. The Speaker begged to have the sense of the House to direct his future conduct. Mr. Rigby confessed, that he wished to have the gallery shut, not only against gentlemen but ladies; as the latter as well as the former, might dabble in party disputes, and have their predilections and preferences for one party before another. He thought at this time it was very necessary to exclude every stranger, since in the course of next week a most serious enquiry would take place, that might perhaps affect the lives ...? properties of individuals. He confessed, it might be thought odious to make the motion, nevertheless, if the motion was made, he would second it. Mr. Turner intreated the hon. gentleman to give up his intention of making the motion. He did not like a man that was afraid of having his speech published; a man that weighed his words. He wished to see gentlemen warm when circumstances required it; their fathers were warm before them ; they were warm themselves, and he hoped their children would be so *After them. For his part, he should be always happy to see the gallery crowded; and if one door was shut to exclude all the men, another should be opened to let in all the women. The Speaker said, that the conversation did not a little affect him, for there was a standing order to keep the gallery shut against strangers, and he had, with the acquiescence of the House, relaxed it. He should therefore, as the affair happened to be mentioned, be glad before the House rose, that they would come to some deterImination. Mr. Burke paid a very generous compliment to the Speaker, for having relaxed in some measure from the rigour of a strict decree; in so doing he had acted wisely and politicly.
and sported with at pleasure. Mr. Vyner thought, that while every member had it in his power to order the strangers to withdraw, whenever it might be inconvenient for them to remain, either from want of room or from secret business on the tapis, there was no need of taking away the right entirely. General Conway spoke a few words to the impropriety of shutting the gallery; and as a proof that it was not one indivi
He was sensible no doubt that summum jus was summa injuria; and
exposure, he mentioned a falsehood asserted of himself, which he laughed at and despised.
Mr. T. Townshend declared it to be unconstitutional to shut the doors of the House generally against the people whom they sat there to represent; he mentioned the exceptions when it was necessary, and the rules of the House could not be dispensed with, and at the same time, he passed a very severe censure on all shameful misrepresentations of the proceedings of the House, and of the speeches of members.
Colonel Luttrell owned, that the arguments of the hon. gentleman |’. Burke) had staggered and influenced his former judgment, and he was now convinced, it would be odious to carry the order to its rigour. He therefore should not press his motion.
Debate in the Committee on the State of the Nation, upon the Duke of Richmond's Motion, “ That no more of the Qld Corps he sent out of the Kingdom.”] Feb. 2. The order of the day being read for taking into consideration the State of the Nation ; and for the Lords to be summoned;
The Duke of Richmond rose. His grace began with a solemn appeal to the House, whether the public affairs were not in a most perilous and truly alarmin state 2 Whether the war with America ha not cost upwards of twenty millions of money, and the lives of many brave men 2 Whether three campaigns had not passed without affording us the least prospect of a change of circumstances in our favour? And whether it was not most materially incumbent upon their lordships to be perfectly aware of the condition and resources of the kingdom, before they sanctified any parliamentary measure tending to authorize the hazard of more men and money, in the continuance of a war which had already proved so expensive and calamitous 2
His grace recapitulated the various arguments which had before fallen from him,
relative to the impolicy of continuing the
contest, the probability of an attack from the House ..? Bourbon, and the necessity of immediately putting the kingdom into a state of defence. He then spoke particularly to the business of the day, complained of the late delivery of some of the papers on the table, the deficiencies of many, almost every one which had been presented. Several were only brought in that very day, although the motion for their being prepared had been made nine weeks since; and some of those which had been only then delivered, had been before the Commons for many days. Others which he considered as very material, had not been brought at all to either House. He pointed out the difficulty that there was to understand many of them, particularly the returns of the army, from the totals stating the gross complement of each corps although several of them were not full ; and in proof of what he asserted, mentioned the return of the artillery corps serving in Gibraltar, which was returned at 500 and odd, its full complement: whereas, the number actually fit for duty was short of 250. After adducing various proofs of his arguments from the papers themselves, the duke shewed that it was impossible to go fully into the enquiry that day; he should, therefore, content himself with speaking to a single and very material point, relative to which the information afforded the House was adequate and complete. His grace then moved, “ That their lordships resolve themselves into a committee of the whole House,” which being agreed to, lord Suffolk moved, that the papers on the table be referred to the said committee, and then the duke named the duke of Portland as chairman. The lords in administration almost at the same instant named lord Scarsdale for the same office. This gave rise to a debate. The Duke of Richmond, in support of his nomination, said, he had no particular reason for naming the noble duke, but that his character and abilities entitled him to every honour their lordships could bestow; and as it was always usual for the person who moved for a committee of the whole House to be complimented with the nomination of the chairman, he wished the nomination might be adhered to, more especially as it would be a kind of insult to the noble duke were it set aside. The Earl of Denbigh called loudly for lord Scarsdale, and said, as the business of the committee would be arduous, and the noble lord had been for years used to do the duty, be conceived he was the fittest person to preside then, and he did not doubt but the noble duke who had been nominated, would himself be of the same opinion. The Earl of Sandwich said, it was a
dual alone who suffered from news-paper and the want of precision and plainness in | *
rule of that House for one person always to take the chair on such occasions. Lord Scarsdale had often presided with great dignity and credit to himself, and it would imply a tacit idea of his not having discharged his duty to the satisfaction of their lordships, if he were now set aside. The earl said, he had, for a great many years, sat in that House; that he remembered when lord Delaware was the constant chairman of the committees, and he never knew an instance of their lordships appointing a new chairman when the old one was present.
The Duke of Richmond said, it was an"
ill omen to the important business before their lordships, to enter upon it without the cordiality and amicable union of sentiment, with which he hoped to find every lord inspired; that he was sorry to see party spirit so early burst forth, and declared their lordships had offered no solid objection to the noble duke's taking the chair. Lord Camden contended, that there was no necessity for the chairman being a person of o sagacity and exalted talents. That there was not in either House, a person of the meanest capacity who was not fully equal to the discharge of the duty; that the business was extremely simple and within the comprehension of every one, but that as the duke had been first nominated, it was but just that he should take the chair, and that the lords in administration opposing it, augured ill to the enquiry, o savoured of the want of candour, and that inclination to give proof of personal prejudice which he, for one, detested, and had hoped would not have appeared in the course of the ver important business then before their lordships, The Duke of Grafton asserted that there was no order or resolution of the House which entitled one lord to be chairman more than another, but that, in strict duty, each of their lordships ought to discharge the office in his turn. The Earl of Effingham said, if lord Scarsdale had so often done this duty, it was an argument why he should not then be troubled, but that the House ought to thank him for what he had done, and resolve to relieve him from the like trouble in future. Earl Gower observed, that the usage of the House was in favour of the noble lord, who always presided in committees of the whole House; that if, as had been as
serted, it did not signify who took the pences already incurred in the prosecution chair, and that the office might be dis of this destructive war, and our resources charged by the meanest capacity, why in men and money, for another campaign. then depart from the established mode of This would be doing business properly ; it proceeding ? and if the present contest, would inform us, what we had spent, and who should fill the chair, predicted any | what it would cost us for the next year. thing, it must be, that the noble duke It would lead us to enquire, what we were meant to create a difference of opinion likely to get in return; but, above all, it about a matter, which he and his friends would urge us to consider seriously of the acknowledged was of no sort of conse probability of succeeding, and instruct us, quence.
if what we sought was equivalent to what Earl Talbot saw no reason for proposing we were about to risk, or if equivalent, a new chairman, but now the noble duke whether the object was attainable. was proposed, it would imply some degree His grace acquainted their lordships, of disrespect to reject him. He was sorry that the part of the enquiry, which be to see a difference of opinion arise upon a intended to enter into this day, would be matter of little consequence, and recom. confined to the state of our military demended his noble friends to consent to the fence within these kingdoms. He then first nomination.
proceeded to the performance of this Lord Dudley allowed, that in the other task with a solemnity suited to the great House it was usual for the member who interests which were to be taken into conmoved for the committee, to name the sideration; and, with a candour, coolness,
chairman, but in that House, the usage and precision, no less calculated to fix the had been uniformly otherwise ; because attention, than to conciliate the good opithe chairman in committees of the whole nion, and court the confidence of those House, if present, is looked upon in the who might be supposed to differ from him, light of perpetual chairman. Such being opened the leading objects which he meant the rule, in his opinion, those who at. to obtain in the course of the intended tempted to depart from it, testified a spirit enquiry. His first observation was, that of party, not those who wished to adhere at no time were the affairs of this country, to it.
in a more alarming and critical situation. Their lordships then divided upon the The very business their lordships this day question, whether the duke of Portland went upon was the most irrefragable proof should take the chair, when the numbers of it. It imported, on the very face of the were, Contents 33; Not Contents 58. order now read, that their lordships were – As soon as lord Scarsdale had taken the convened to enquire into, to deliberate chair of the committee,
| and decide upon, the present tremendous The Duke of Richmond rose. He in- state of the country. He never meant to formed their lordships, that he had suffi. conceal, because he looked upon it to be ciently explained the importance and his duty, as taking a leading part in this great objects of the present enquiry, and great business, to explain to their lordafter the best judgment he was able to ships the objects he wished to obtain by form on the great outline of the army, his several motions for papers; and the they would be to enquire what the force grand object of all, to determine on the was in America in 1774, the year preced- most safe, honourable, and speedy means ing the breaking out of the American of putting an end to the American war. war, what were the troops foreign and na- In the first instance, it would be proper tive, sent from hence the three succeeding to point out some preliminary matters, years ; and by comparing the latest re. well worthy the consideration of the turns with the whole of the troops in Ame. | House. Our ability to carry on the war, rica, or sent thither in 1774, 1775, 1776, so as to obtain the final object to which it and 1777, whatever the deficiency might has been hitherto avowedly directed, that appear, that would be the real loss of men of compelling our colonies to yield to un. by death, wounds, captivity, sickness, and conditional submission; and supposing, slain in battle; and deducting out of this contrary to the most decisive experience, deficiency, those sick or captives, the re- that that object was clearly attainable, the mainder would give the total and actual danger of wasting our resources of men loss. A similar mode of computation and treasure ; and while, in the act of exwould answer for the navy. Next, it hausting both, the danger of leaving these would be proper to enquire into the ex. kingdoms in a defenceless state, and of
course at the mercy of foreign powers. If, in the course of the enquiry, it should come out, that the first was totally impracticable, though no other impediment, more than had hitherto obstructed the execution, should arise; if the interference of foreign powers, as to the second contingency, should break the thread of the measures pursued for the last three years; in either of these events, it would follow, that the plan was impracticable. Out of both those considerations, another would most certainly arise, not directly connected, though originating from the American war; that was, the opportunity it would give our rivals in power and greatness to avail themselves of the weak state of the home defence; and from the circumstance of our fleets and armies being on the other side the Atlantic, meditate some blow which might endanger the safety, if not strike at the very existence of this country. The greater part of the |. here stated was in proof on their ordships’ table, particularly relative to the impracticability of conquest, and the weak state of our internal defence; and he presumed, the just suspicions we had a right to entertain of the conduct of the House of Bourbon, would not seem illfounded, when that very construction was given from the highest, as well as most authentic authority. It was the language of administration in one of their most solemn acts. The very construction now made was delivered from the throne. The words of the King's Speech were, “that his Majesty had ordered a considerable augmentation of his naval force, on account of the armaments still continued to be carried on, in the ports of France and Spain.” He would now proceed to apply the reasoning to the facts. He would, from the papers on the table, satisfy their lordships |. after three unsuccessful campaigns, nothing had been effected towards the conquest of America. He would shew, that we had employed, during that period, the whole of our strength to no purpose; that our greatest exertions this year would fall considerably short of the two preceding; that we should not of course be able to effect, with a smaller army, what we were not able to do with a greater: and that, too, against an army considerably strengthened by numbers, improved by discipline, and rendered confident by success. That the last assertion was incontrovertible, though we almost
stripped this country to the last man; that supposing, for argument sake, our force in America, without calling any more troops from the home defence, would be equal to what it was on the opening of the last campaign; yet, the passage in the speech . to, holding out strong suspicions of hostile intentions from France and Spain, pointed out the necessity of procuring a suitable defence for these kingdoms. His grace then proceeded to explain to their lordships his particular plan. The returns of the present state of the armies in America would shew the numbers of effective men serving there at the conclusion of the last campaign; and what would be ready to take the field early in the next; on which this plain question would arise; What additional forces could be spared, either to recruit the losses already sustained, or augment the whole army; so as from what has happened, to give a rational prospect of success in the ensuing campaign 2. This would involve in it another question, which could only be ano by administration. What treaties, or if any, with foreign powers ? If there are any, will the troops taken into our pay make up the deficiencies: or are they to be made up out of the old corps in the kingdom, or the new ones, now levying 2 If it should come out that there was no aid to be expected from the continent, then of course either the troops within the kingdom, or the new levies, must be sent to make up the deficiency caused by the last campaign; or finally, the measure of Ame. rican coercion must be totally abandoned. Ministers declared the contrary; the war against our subjects in the colonies was intended to be pursued with all possible vigour. The inference was then evident, that some one or other, or all the methods mentioned, must be adopted. He hardly believed that foreign aid was much to be relied upon. He less expected that raw, undisciplined troops, could effect what veteran troops were unequal to. Consequently, the deficiency and losses which the army in America sustained in the course of last year, were to be supplied from the old corps; which conclusion fairly imported, that naked and defenceless as we are, it was intended to render us more so, by stripping us of our old corps. To point out the necessity of rather adding to, than diminishing our home defence, the Resolution he meant to propose this day would be more particularly directed.