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at first dashed, and wore a broad hat, Aap- | negroes against the inhabitants of the proped, to hide his face, and did not like the vince of Virginia ; and excepting whatever wheelbarrow, but now wears a small hat, hath been paid out of the said extraordicocked, did not seem ashamed, and at naries, specified in general Carleton's cor. tended his work like the rest of his bre respondence, for 100 Crosses, and five grose thren. He said some of them broke away of Scalping Knives, the said expenditure from their keepers, and as soon as they being disgraceful to religion and humanity." got loose, fell to their old trade of robbing He said, that his reason for doing so was, and housebreaking. The worst of their that he hoped an English House of Com. punishment was a want of room and air, mons would never consent to pay this sum, which made them liable to illness and dis- which had been advanced to purchase tempers.
hatchets, tomahawks, scalping-knives, Mr.Gilbert said, the Act was meant as a razors, sputs, &c. for the savages of Ametemporary law, and as such he was for conti- rica to butcher, torture, scalp, and massanuing it, till something else was substituted cre old men, women, children, and infants in its place.
at the breast.
21 Mr. Whitworth said, he had been aboard
Mr. F. Montagu was for sending the Debate on Colonel Barré's Motion for a Bill to a committee. He said, he expected Committee to enquire into the Public E.tupon
much larger plan ; but in the penditure.] Colonel Barré rose. He bemean time, if that should not be practica- gan with observing the enormous sums ble, he thought the present Act ought to which had been granted for army extrabe continued.
ordinaries for the three last years, and Mr. Burke said, the felons ought to be how shamefully they had been squandered. transported to Canada, Nova Scotia, and He read the sums granted; the detail of the Floridas.
each year's expenditure; the particular Sir Richard Sulton moved for a com-services; and the persons who had permittee to inquire into the measures which formed the contracts. He said, when the had been adopted for carrying the Act first extraordinaries of 800,000l. came beinto execution. This was agreed to, and fore that House, in 1776, he endeavoured lord North's motion withdrawn.
to get explanations. The answer was, We
have no vouchers; those cannot be had Mr. Burke objects to the Charge for till the next year.
We have as yet proScalping Knives, &c. in the Army Extraor- cured no more than an account of the dinaries.] On the motion for agreeing sums issued, to whom issued, and the serwith the Resolution of the Committee of vices for which they were issued. All these Supply, that 1,406,9237. be granted for are not vouchers to the House; the the Army Extraordinaries,
vouchers shewing in what manner the Mr. Burke moved an Amendment, by money thus issued has been expended will adding these words, “ saving and except come the next year. So it happened, he ing the sum of 160,8371. which appears, said, the following, and so it has happened by sir Guy Carleton's accounts, laid before this year. This House has each succesthis House, to have been expended for the sive year been told, that they are to have carrying on of a Savage War in a manner the vouchers of the preceding; none have contrary to the usage of civilized nations, been as yet produced; but the noble lord, against the English colonies in North after his repeated and solemn promises, America; excepting also the sum of has thought proper to keep the parliament 16,0001, which appears to have been ex. and nation in the dark. The same confipended for the same purpose in the south-dence, he might call it shameful confiern department of Indians; excepting also dence, and delusion on one side, and the the sum of 5,0001. which hath been ex- same shameful and traitorous servility on pended in carrying on a war of insurgent the other.
He said, it was not even the money that i relative to his rum contract, and agency was thrown away ; but that that was per- for the line of transports for the treasury. mitted to lie in the hands of favourite He contended, that the rum contract was placemen, favourite agents, and favourite full 50 per cent. too much ; that the transcontractors. In some instances, this port service, including the commission, money was permitted to lie in the hands was a loss of 20 per cent. to the public; of men, answering to those several descrip- and that the contract for remitting money, tions, for 15 or 20 years, while this ruined and accepting bills given to Harley and distressed nation was borrowing money at Drummond, would be a waste of public upwards of 5 per cent. He remarked, money, little short of 30,0001. that a thousand lame apologies were made contract had been referred to three merday after day; such as, that there were chants of the first reputation in the city, not clerks enough in the auditor's office. by the treasury; the result of which was, Why not have clerks enough? Such, again, that after the merchants had made the was the shameful pretence in the navy- most ample allowance, there remained an office, that they could not undertake the excess of profit or douceur, for somebody, hiring the transport victuallers. Why not of full 30 per cent. He supposed, a reaemploy additional clerks, surveyors, &c. : sonable share to the contractor for his But these were mere Aimsy pretexts to trouble and risk. He said, it was well blindfold the nation, and prevent them known that the price of rum in the island from discovering the iniquitous jobs that is seldom more than 1s. 9d. the gallon; were daily carrying into execution. If that 5d. for profit and freight was a great clerks, surveyors, and commissioners were allowance; but did not wonder that great wanting, and that the precious agent and sums had been devoured by contracts, contractor, Mr. Atkinson, was able to sup- when the noble lord in the blue ribbon ply them all, in his own person (that, for was so criminally ignorant as not to know aught that appeared, being the case ), why currency from sterling. But, surely, if the not employ this worthy gentleman to audit noble lord was ignorant of the difference, the accounts? He next turned his atten- was it not culpable in him and his coltion to Mr.
Gordon, the inspector of pro- leagues at the treasury-board not to envisions at Cork, who had only at the rate quire of some person who was capable of of upwards of 10,0001. a year for his informing them on the subject ?trouble,
for what might be as well, he Lord North rose in great warmth. He would not say better, executed for half so said, he was pretty sure it was sterling; many hundreds. But he was apt to suspect but gentlemen cried no; and he, to huthat poor Mr. Gordon had not all the mour them, acquiesced, though afterwards, profit set up to his account.
upon enquiry, it proved to be sterling, and The colonel next proceeded to state the that he was right. expences of the respective years of the Colonel Barré reprehended the noble late glorious war, and compare them with lord severely for his disorder, in a strain of the first, second, and third years of the irony. The noble lord, said he, seems to present disgraceful, ruinous, and inglori- be in a passion. I am not surprised at it. ous wr; and proved, that when we had I should be surprised if he did not feel; more than half Europe to contend with, but only mark his lordship's philosophic our expences were not near so great. command of temper, he has not been the Where was the balance? What our con- least disorderly in interrupting me; not quests? Where were our prizes? Where in the least disorderly, to be sure. were our victories? We had been beaten, Lord North rose again, and was prodefeated, or baffled, in every attempt. We ceeding in a high tone, when he was called had spent, or would spend, by the close of to order. Continuing still on his legs, the the present campaign, upwards of thirty cry of Chair! chair! succeeded. The millions; and, to fill the measure of na- Speaker told his lordship, that the proper tional calamity, we were on the eve of a time to reply, would be when the hon. war with France and Spain, as well as gentleman had sat down. America. Here he took a more particu- Colonel Barré resumed. He said, the lar view of agents, contractors, splitting of motions he meant to propose might seem profits, &c. particularly of the contracts rather new, because not lately practised; and agencies of Harley and Drummond, but there were nevertheless several preon the Spanish, Portugal, and British gold cedents in the Journals in their support, coin; and the self-denying Mr. Atkinson, particularly in 1653 and 1667; and is
1694 and 1697, as well as several others. | which a spirit of freedom, and legal and He next observed on several other parts constitutional liberty, inspired. He conof the account. He said, there was the cluded, by strongly recommending public sum of 5,000l. paid to sir Thomas Mills æconomy; that dissevered as the empire for an office enjoyed in Quebec some years was, we had no right to the expensive since. He could not possibly see how pomp belonging to a great state ; that we this sum happened not to be paid before. were become a little one; that we should He said, 23,000l. were charged for carry. æconomise the little we had left; but that ing on war against the Caribbs. He had the very men, who had brought us to this enquired of several gentlemen, who had situation, would probably that very night property in the island of St. Vincents, who reject the means of doing it. He then had heard nothing of any war existing in moved, “ That the Accounts of extraordithat island since the last troubles. He nary services incurred and paid, and not said, in Messrs. Harley and Drummond's provided for by parliament, which have account, there appeared a want of been laid before this House in the years vouchers for 80,0001. “That there was a | 1776, 1777, and in the present session, be charge of 108,0001. for sheep, and for referred to a Committee, to consider and cabbages, and other vegetables, exclusive examine the same; and to report their of another monstrous charge for sour opinions thereupon to the House." crout; besides the enormous of Lord North said, he was still right; for 40,000l. paid to lord Cornwallis, without it was not currency, but sterling. If he account.
had been ignorant of that circumstance, He said, that the last war in America, he did not expect to hear it imputed to commissioners had 101. a day; but now him as a crime. He said, if governors they were paid at the rate of 1001. a day. abroad drew bills on the treasury, how He said, that America, perceiving our could it be helped ? They had no money luxury, dissipation, and extravagance; there, and money must be expended in and seeing us immersed in corruption, re- building barracks, forts, &c. and in raising solved to separate from us; and he was defences within their respective governwell assured, that that was one of the mo- ments. They must account for what they tives for her erecting herself into a sepa- had drawn; and though they liad overrate and independent state. His reflec- drawn, the present was rather too delicate tions were very severe upon ministry in a time to protest their bills. He had no general, and pointedly so upon lord North. objection to the proposed committee, but The colonel painted in the strongest co- should wish not to have it above stairs ; lours, our gloomy prospect; said that because he could not attend there, op acBristol had already felt the fatal effects of count of public business; but if in the this war; that Liverpool had done the House, could and would attend, and should same; and that London itself was so op- wish to know before-hand, to what heads pressed with the misfortunes of it, that of expenditure the hon. gentleman meant she had not courage even to complain. chiefly to direct the enquiry, that he might He quoted Raynal, that if the English be enabled to give a proper answer. ever have their manners so corrupted, and Mr. Cornwall said, the estimates were their principles of liberty so changed, as to formed above 100 years ago, and that all attempt to put fetters upon the colonies, the materials used in ship-building, rethey will soon become slaves themselves; pairs, stores, &c. were increased treble in that all Europe used to look upon England ihe value. This circumstance would fully as her pride, but that she now turned from account for the extras, and the great inher, and cherished that pride in the West, crease of the navy debt. He said, acthat phenix rising out of our ashes. counts were confused things to look into;
He observed, that the noble lord had but the treasury had done every thing that the drum beat in that House, and the could possibly have depended upon them, standard of war hoisted against Ame- to inspect and regulate them. Ever since rica; and looked upon none as his friends he sat at the treasury-board, he disliked but such as enlisted on the terms of com- governor's accounts; but what could be pelling - America, by the point of the done? He thought it extremely improper sword, to a surrender of her liberties. to refer the rum contract to the merchants, The noble lord's power was great, and his without telling them the real price of the means of preservation greater ; but they rum; instead of which, they fixed an arbiall proved too weak for that resistance trary value on it, much below the real
price, which was the reason that all their | lege of office; and that the rapacious condeductions were wrong. He added, that tractor would receive it as a licence for public affairs could not be transacted with plunder; that the valour of our officers more care and attention than they were and soldiers could not alone save the coun. at present; that therefore he could not try; that there must be a sırict attention see the least occasion for adopting the me- to the application of public money : that thod proposed; particularly as the con- without this, even another Marlborough or tractors would refund to the treasury what another Wolfe would not avail us; to use they had taken beyond a fair price, and the words of one who was a great states.' that the treasury would look to that and man, as well as a great poet, receive it accordingly; that the nation “ To vaio cloth valonr bleeil, was not, at present, in a proper temper;
“ Wbile av'ı ice and rapine share the land." and that this would only add to the calum- Mr. Jenkinson said, he was for the monious spirit of the day.
tion in part, but against the opinions of Governor Johnstone otserved, that the the committee being reported ; that upon very reasons assigned by the hon. gentle condition that the motion was amended man who spoke last, were the strongest according to that idea, he should vote for that could be possibly given in favour of the select committee. He said, he knew the enquiry into the public accounts; be the Treasury-board was always very exact cause he had acknowledged that the ac- in making enquiries before it entered into counts were intricate, and difficult to li- any contract; and made no doubt but the quidate. The treasury had been greatly board had been equally circumspect on imposed on in the rum contract, and he be- the present occasion. He said, he did not lieved knowingly so; for if they had think this a proper time for the committee made enquiry, they would have found that of accounts. The House was not in the current price of proof rum in the temper to go into such a tedious, difficult islands is ls. Ild. and 4d. or 5d. at most, examination, and it might be productive of was fully sufficient for freight, leakage, &c. great mischief, by disseminating ill-founded and was what any fair trader, or honest charges, calumnies, &c. man, would be fully content with. He Mr. Burke replied, that to appoint the ridiculed lord North’s self-sufficiency, in committee would be the best means of preobjecting to its being a secret committee, venting, calumnies, and of refuting illlaying so much stress upon his own pre-founded reports. The calumnies, if they sence being essential to the carrying on deserved that appellation, were already the business in it; said, that for his part, spread; enquiry, leading to a disclosure were he to judge of the effect the noble of truth, was the surest way to detect falslord's presence would bave upon any fu- hood. If I had to do with a man, said he, ture business, by what it had had upon all who suspected me, and I was conscious of past, he should wish his absence from the my own innocence, I would desire, I would committee. The situation of the affairs his intreat'; and, if I could not otherwise perlordship has hitherto bad the immediate suade him to do me justice, I would, if management of, was but little inducement in my power, compel him to examine into for the House to give much weight to the my conduct or accounts. He said, he dif. objection made by him to the secret com- fered in sentiment, as to the opinions not mittee.
being reported from the committee, with Mr. Aubrey thanked the hon. gentle. the facts, but he did not afterwards insist man who made the motion, to whom he upon his objection ; said, that he could was sure the House in general, and every not see the great necessity there would be, country gentleman in particular, was for the noble lord's being present at the much obliged. The papers on the table committee, or even the particular use there abounded with such instances of extrava- would be in it, unless to brow-beat some, gance, that it plainly appeared there was and support prevarication in others. no other method of checking the profusion Lord North said, he would repeat again, of ministers, but the one moved for; that he had no objection to a committee, but not to comply with the proposed enquiry, not up stairs : or if the House liked a select would be a breach of the trust reposed in committee better, he would be perfectly us by our constituents; that if it was put content. off, not only the present ministers, but all Mr. Harley said, that the part of the future ones, would regard it as a declara- public accounts relative to him, would take tion, that impunity is a confirmed privi- up very little of their time. (VOL. XIX. ]
Mr. Alderman Bull. Sir, during the late have been, to aggrandise and enrich peace, administration paid off eleven mil themselves ; to plunder, to impoverish, lions of the national debt ; the public, and to enslave the people. however, did not, nor could they perceive Col. Barré's motion having been any advantage they gained by this reduc. amended by Mr. Cornwall, by leaving out tion of the debt, the taxes continuing the the words, “ to report their opinion same, until they were told, that if we thereon," the colonel said, that from the should be again involved in a war, they select committee in 1773, much was exwould then be able to borrow the amount pected and little came forth; that he should of the sum paid off, without laying fresh wish to withdraw his motion, rather than burdens upon the people. Sir, we have hang out to the public hopes of redress, had a war, and how have these ministerial and afterwards disappoint the public exassurances turned out? Instead of fact, pectation, by being able to effect nothing, they were all delusion. The first moment as the matter was to be decided in the supplies were required, new taxes were House, where the parties concerned were proposed : 2,150,0001. were funded the certain of a majority. year before the last ; for this small sum Mr. Stanley said, he did not approve of (compared with eleven million) fresh taxes the committee, hecause it implied a censure were levied upon the people. The last without a tittle of proof, that that censure year five millions were funded, and pro- was well founded. portionable taxes were imposed. Part of Mr. Bayley repeated what he had often the additional load of the present year, said respecting the rum contracts; that he our task-masters have indulged us with the had offered ministers better, or at least as knowledge of. I must add a word upon good, rum, for half the price they had the subject of the present unhappy war. charged to the public. My opinion has ever been the same ; I Sir George Tonge, for the committee, think it founded in injustice, and exe- said, that the papers on the table concuted in inhumanity. I hope the peo- tained the charge, and that it was incum ple will be roused to a contemplation of the bent on those it might be supposed to af. perilous state in which they now are : fect, to endeavour to refute it. there may not be a week between us and The motion as amended was then agreed total ruin. We have lost America; our to. And a Select Committee of 21 wat madness has driven her to independency: afterwards chosen by ballot. and that independency, in defiance of our resolves, I am confident she will support. Debate on the Earl of Effingham's MoBesides this, we have to lament, and mi- tion relative to the State of the Navy.] nisters to answer for the loss of many thou- March 31. The Earl of Effingham begsands of valuable lives, and many millions ged to trouble their lordships with a few of money, which no success in such an motions which he had drawn out, and by iniquitous war can ever repay. These, which the House would be enabled to asSir, are some of the fatal effects of the certain the real state oi' the navy, and the wisdom of the present ministers. Delusion mode of expenditure and application of the has succeeded delusion, and disgrace has various large sums which had been voted succeeded disgrace, till little remains to be for the different departments of the naval added to the catalogue of our calamities. service. It had been already proved, that The hon. gentleman who made the motion the public money had been not more libe. has said, that the citizens of London are rally voted, than lavishly spent. It be. now so depressed, that they hardly dare hoved their lordships, therefore, to look complain; yet, Sir, though a citizen of into the accounts presented to them with London, I dare to give my opinion in this a wary eye, and by closely examining the House, and in the hearing of certain noble several totals, to discover the propriety of lords. This opinion I have long held, and each article of expenditure ; to lessen for in which I am more and more confirmed by the future such as were larger than occaevery day's experience. I am the more sion required; and to put a negative upon ready to declare this opinion, because I do such others hereafter as should appear to most firmly believe it to be the opinion, the House to be altogether unnecessary. not only of the minority, but the majority This he considered as an act of duty of this House also. I mean, Sir, that the highly incumbent on their lordships. It great objects of the present administration, was, however, totally impossible for the their aiders and abettors, are, and ever House to acquit theräselves either to their