Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

ceive no injury by it: the act that he Mr. Burke replied to Mr. W. Piic's himself had brought in bad fully fs- argument. He said, the hooks of the cured; for no cash could remain with Pay-office had formeily been considered them or him; he therefore withed that

as private property; and the books of all enquiry might be suffered to rest till office, when Lord Chatham filled it, after trial, as the distraction in which he A were now in the posseflion of his execuhad seen one of the parties (Powell] bad cors; but that he had eftablifhed a di overcoine hin.

ferent regulation. Mr.W. Pitt fated the danger to which Mr. Arden contended strongly for prothe public would be expofed, by having ducing the minutes. He protested against again in office persons who had been the consequences of fuch an example, ditinified under strong fufpicions of frau: Bưlich would lead the public without dulent delinquency. He thought it a 'doors to believe, that any criminals, howBcw and dangerous doctrine, that be

ever atrocious, might be screened and cause a criminal profecution was about with-held from julice by the firong hand to be io ficuted against a fate-defaulter of ministerial power. in Weftininiter-hal, therefore his con Mr. Sheridan observed, as not a little duct was not a proper fubjed of enquiry remarkable, that such an idea hould be in that House. Gentlemen surely are Cthrown out on the prefent occafion, not aware to what a length such a doc- when the only part Government acted trine may lead. The cathier and ac was that of the prosecutor, which, ke comptant of the Pas-office have all the

believer the candour of the Houfe would books of office, as well as caíh, com- . admit, was not the way to screen a crimimitted to their care: and, should they nal from justice. combine together to make erasures or Sol. Gen. [Mr. Lee] assured the House, insertions, what binders their fup. that erery honcurable means of carrying porting any defence which they may bed on the prosecution fhould be exerted; minded or advised to set up in their own and, as a proof of his fincerity, he invited junification:

the late Attorney and Solicitor-General Mr. Fyx acknowledged, that his wor to his affiliance; and in the mean time thy friend Mr. Burke had not studied would advise his hon friend io suspend prudence in reinstating the two unfor: the upfortunate gentlemen till the illuc

men, because he inust know of the trial fhould confirm their innoit would raile a clamour;, but, as no person attempted to charge bim with any E Col. Barrè infifted, that the cashier and unworthy motives, they must attribute

accountant were officers of public tref it, at the worit, to a miltaken love for and responsibility; and, in reply to Mr. humanity.

Burke, said, the late regulating bill Id Atv. faid, Mr. Burke, in his took the responfibility from the Pay; opinion, would have acted more wilely, mafter, but left that of the cashier and and in a marper more friendly to Mcfirs. accountant as it had always stood. Powell and Bembridge, had he suffered The House divided, for discharging them to resign, as they requested, be. F the order 161, for enforcing the order fore the debaie came on.

137. Majority 24. Lord Nortis supported the old argu

May 20. iment, that it was cruel to fend men to Mr. Rolle gave notice, that on some trial prejudiced by that House; and future day he would bring the same bufThewed the absurdity of a combination nels before the House in some other to alter the books in their poflerion to shape. support a fraud without being detected. Mr. Burke affured him, be thould

Mr. Keyon said, it was more absurd G never find him unprepared to meet him. to talk of crucly in prejudging delin

May 21. quen's by calling for papers ; by parity Mr. Rolle seeing the Paymaster-Geneof reasonins, it was cruclty to take up a ral takс his fent, desired he would inform highwayman and charge him with robbery the House, whether he fill persevered in betore he is tried.

keeping Metīrs. Powell and Bembridge Mr. Maz field contenelec that the cases, in their places. This brought on a full were lo ka parallel. A lighwaymanH discuition from could no o:berwild be brought to trial; Mr. Burke, who declared that, when but it was pain the wo unfortunate he was appointed Pay matter General, he gentlemen coului be tried without the went into office with the fixed resolurion iniourc: in quellion,

to intioluce into it every reform that

tunate

cence.

[ocr errors]

he should find necessary and practi- height of inhumanity, and fabınited cable; but he was like those who were to the confideration of the House, whe. thrown upon an unknown coast. Mr. ther they ought not to allow Mr. BemPowell and Mr. Bembridge were his bridge to coutinue the exercise of the most faithful guides; and notwithstand- A functions of accomptant.

A ing the most sanguine hopes be enter Mr. Arden objected strongly against tained of the power of reducing to prac. his continuance. He stated the charge tice the reforms he had proposed in agzinst him to be that he had suffered theory, he took heaven to witness, that, certain interpolations and insertions to be Bhad it not been for the alliduity, fidelity, made in accounts delivered in to the and industry of those two gentlemen, he auditor, and concealed certain matters never could have been able to introduce B which he knew of, and which it was his the reforms which he now saw estab-duty to discover, affecting the public to lished. 'To thew the inerit which the a very confiderable amount. two unfortunate gentlemen had with the Mr Burke, after long debate, rose to public, in rendering the theory practi- take the sense of the House, with respect cable, he stated the balances, which for to the two unfortunate gentlemen, whe-i merly lay in the Pavmaster's hands, to ther he was to accept their retignations, be, one year with another, too, oool. and Cor to be respongible for their conduct. in one year 1,100,000l which at 4 per Mr. Powys was 'of opinion, and cent, produced at leaft 34,000l. a year, wished it might be held as an ettablithed and with the salary made the place of principle, that no person under profecuPaymaster worth at least 28,000l. a year, tion should, during that prosecution, which was now reduced to the bare sala- kold any office of trust. ry of 4000l. a year; here was of course a Mr. Rolle said, the resignation of the saving of 24,000l. a year to the public, cwe officers would make any motion he which, with other large sums which for- Dintended to make unnecessary. merly brought no superlucration to the Mr. Burke faid, in that case, he was public, at prefent, from the reform in not to be conlidered as responsible for che Pay-office, effceted a saving to the the consequences of the delays in orice Exchequer of 23,000l. a year; so that which their resignation would occation. the whole saving amounted annually to Mr. Kenron role to give notice, that, 47,cool. owing chiefly to the conduct of when the legal process was determined, those unfortunate men who were the he should move for the minutes of the fubje&t of the present conversation ; men, E Trealury, he said, indefatigable in business, of re Ld yohn Cavendif faid, if when the ligious integrity, whom he ever found trial at law was decided the learned.genjust in their accounts and attentive to tleman meant to revive the business, their duty, and, when he went out of he might do it; but he could not help office, he knew mo men in whose hands saying that his opinion had never beca he could so fafely trust the remaining very inuch in favour of the House; and balances; confequently, seeing no ac a part of it had, in his opinion, lowered count of misconduct against thein, he Fittelf confiderably by their conduct in certainly confidered himself as justified in the butinels that had been so much agirestoring them to their places. He en. tated. Jarged upon their virtues, drew a very Mr. Arden, in some warmth, replied, pathetic picture of their prefent distress, that a part of the House had, in the judge particularly that of Mr. Powell, who ment of the public, thewņ much zeal in was so exceedingly affected, that he could a bad cause. He left it with the noble give no rational answer to any thing that Lord to draw the infcrence. was said to him, and was truly an object

G The order of the day for the second of pity. He concluded with submitting reading of the Custom-house bill, when their case to the humanity and justice of Mr. Daubeny moved, ihat it be dethe House.

ferred for tliree months. Mr. Rigby rose in defence of the two Mr. Gascoigne, jun. feconded the mounfortunate gentlemen, to whose con tion, and objected frongly to the prinduct, he said, he had been witness for thir. ciple of the bill. He faid, it was cruel teen years, during all which time their y to take away the places of the deputies to conduct had been uniformly just and at patent offices, as they were by no means tentive to their duty. He thought, to tinecure places; all of whoin would have offer any further motion on the lubje, to seek their bread by means which they afacr what had paligd, would be the had yet to learn. He described chose des

puties

away.

puties as a set of honest, industrious, but one that complained of the enormity deserving individuals, many of whoin of the fees--the grievance that affected bad spent the greater part of their lives them was the complicated nature of the in the service of the public, and had 'uni- duties. If they ivere fimplified, the mer: formly acted in such a manner as to de- chants wouid be contented. At present serve the protection of Parliament, and , there was icarée à merchant in London not its defcrtion. To turn these inen A chat could make out what his duties adirift, without a pruvision, was, he amounted to, not one merchant's clerk faid, equally inhuman and unjust. He could do it. His Ldp observed, that ihe observed, with relpiet to the principle of reform, as it was called, would diminish the bill, 'that it appeared to hiin alcu: the land-cax in the ward where the Cul lated very much to diminith the influence tom-houle stands, in the sum of 7,500l. of the Crown; and he left it with the The removal of other public offices had Jouse to decide, whether that influence B occasioned a deficiency in the receipt of was not too much diminised alreads. the city land-tax of Soool. a year.

Mr, Mincbin was of opinion, that the 'Sir Estow. Affley observed, that, when bill, so far from being an economical ever a propolition of reform came from bill, would prove the reverse. The com; one fide of the House, it was always oppenlation that must be given to those pored løy the other: which he supposed persons whose places wcie to be taken would ever be the case, so that no ina. away, would be a frelh mcans of bur-Cterial reform could ever be expected. dening the public with taxes.

There' was always, he laidl, a var dils 1. Mr. Ambler was of the same opinion. ference betwcen the conduct of the fame He thought the better way would be to gentlemen, in and out of office, relative let the present bolders continue while to reform. He said, if this or some such they lived; but that after their deaths bill did not pass, there were lo many no more patents should be granted.

patent places already in reverfion, that Mr. Holdef worib supported the bill, on Dihe heir apparent, when he came to the the ground of the enormous fees paid by Crown, would have nothing to give che merchants to expedite their business.

Mr. W. Piti tuled his motives for Mr. Brickdale observed, that, in point bringing in the bill would be allowed to of mercantile experience,' she Ld Mayor be just, however objectionabit some of of London ouglic to have the preference, the clauses might be. He therefore wish. In conversing with the inerchants of ed it to go to a committee, where every London, his Lup had found one who claufe might be fairly argued, and what E

approved the bill. In conrerfing with älterations might be thought nccellary the merchants of Bristol, he had not been inade. He said, he was senlible the bill fo furtunate, for he had not found one was far from being perfect; but that that approved it. the fees taken at the Custom-house were Mr: Fox was for letting the bill go to enormous, burthensome to trade, and the committee. If in the committee good served in a great mealure as covers for and substantial reasons fhould he given corruption. He owned the compensa- F that a much better bill might be formed, tion to be made would increase the pre- he would take upon luim to say that the Sene burdens; but left it withi the House Rt. Hon. Geot. who patrovized it would to consider, whether it were better to consent to poltpone it to another session. buffer a temporary burden, than to con In reply to the remark of the hon, Barr. tinue the present enormous practice. He [Sir Ed. Alley) he mul lay, it was by answered every other objection, and con no imeans just with respect to him or the cluded with pretting the House to let G friends with whom he acted; for the the bill go to the coinmittee, and if, when reform which his friend Mr. Burke had it canse out, it thould be thought neces. 10 ably contended for while out of office, sary to postpone it to another tefiion, he as soon as he came in was instantly put should make no oljceton.

in force; and he defied any person to Ld Mayer (Mr. Newnham opposed prove, that any one promile had been the bill, on the ground of dinioithing the inade whilft out of office, which they land.cax, and increasing, the influence of hliad not endeavoured to carry into executhe Crown. He said the compentation “lion fince they came in; if there was, would be enormous, and estimated the let it be named, and they would immediabolition of one patent place only at ately let about it. 28,000l. He said, in a conversation Sir E. Afley did not particularly charge with an assembly of merchants, lic found the pretcut Administration; but he pere

feetly

May 23,

fedly well remembered that the reform ris, between this country and America: bill of the Rt. Hon. Gent. who first suggeste, which the right hon. Secretary did not ed is, mentioned the abolition of a linecure chuse to answer explicitly. place (the dutchy of Lancaster), which, Mr. Sheridan made some motions for however, was no sooner in the power a papers; and of the gentlemen who patronised the bill, A ' Lord Mahon, willing to give the House than they filled it with one of their own no farther trouble about the bill which friends, 'Mr. Dunning, (the late Lord he had brought in some time ago, rela Athburton.] Opher instances he produ, tive to bribery and corruption, and which ced, and concluded with alle ting his inde- had gone through the committee with pendence, his contempt of office, and his amendments that had been reported and love of his country. He had often, he said, opposed by him; he therefore prayed for sored with the Rt. Hon. Secretary, and

B

leave to give it up, and to bring in anthould have been glad to have continued other bill, not exa&tly the same, but more his support, had he not coupled himlelf agreeable to what he understood to be the with others who had involved the British sense of the House. Accordingly, his empire in complicated ruin.

Lordship moved for leave to bring in a Mr. Marfam did not think the bill bill “to prevent bribery and expence at a goed bill, but yet was willing it should “ elections for members of parliament, go into a committee.

which was granted. The order of the Mr. Daubeny withdrew his inotion.-day for going into a Committee on Ways The bill was read a second time, and and Mcans being read, ordered to be committed.

Lord John Cavendish cntered upon

the

arduous talk of opening the budget of Mr. Maurice Lloyd rose, and said, he taxes; of which an account has alrcady was happy to see one of the directors of been given in p. 447. the Bank (Mr. Ewer) in liis place, as he Lord Mabon obferved, that, among all could probably give the House some in. Dthe taxes proposed, the noble Lord had forination on a subject which he wished not provided for the deficiencies of his might be explained. In searching into predecessors. He expceted, he said, to the accounts of the Bank, he found there have heard that such great and enormous were large sums on which no interest had deficiencies were inmediately to have been paid for more than 17 years; there. been made good. fore, if that sum (1,280,000l.) was pro Lord John Cavendish frankly owned. perly applied, it might be a great relief that he thould not be able to provide to the publick. He therefore would take E ways and means to supply the deficienthe liberty to move, That the Governorcies of the war-taxes in the course of the and Company of the Bank of England present session; but one thing he had the do lay before she House a copy of all the satisfaction to atsure his Lordship, that sums of inoney on which dividends are the taxes in question were in an improvedue, and bad not been paid up to the able Itace, and, he did not doubt, would usual settling day of the year 1780. in time produce the sums at which they No person could be found, throughout

were rated. the House, to second the motion, which F Lord Muhon observed, that there were dropped of course.

two great objects which a Chancellor of The bill to punish idle and disorderly the Exchequer ought always to have in perfons, or whom implements of housea view; one, the diminution of the nati-breaking might be found in the night- onal debt; the other, increasing the retime, came to committee; and two pa venue by taking off fome of the taxes. troles and a thief-laker were called to the 'This, he said, at first sight might appear ...bar, and produced several offensive wea.. paradoxical; but, on second thoughts,

pons, taken from thieves in the night: Gnothing could be more clear. To illusafter which they were disınilled, and the trate his argument, he thewed, by offibilt was debated. The Committee cial papers, the four articles of brandy, went through the fiveral clausus, with wines, made-wines,and British spirits, pro- amendments, and the Speaker resumed duced, on an average for several years behis (cat.

fore the last duties were laid upon them, May 26.

1,300,cool.; but since that, they have falLord Newbaven, seeing Mr. Fox in len short of that sum by near 400,00ol. his place, rose to ask him fome questions Other articles he enuinerated that had - relative to a conmercial treaty, which, fallen in proportion. An old smuggler, he understood, was in negociation at l'an who had got rich in France, had told a

fricad

friend of his Lordship, that Lord North Sir Edw. Afley approved of the Bewi was his best benefactor; for, by impoling taxes in general, but objected to that on fuch heavy duties on the articles usually waggons and carts, as farmers were als fmuggled from France, he had made ready sufficiently burthened. fmuggling so profitable a trade, that a Lord J. Cavendish said, if any gentleman could scarce fail to inake a fortune

A

man chose to object to the clause when by it. Hence, he said, he would recom the bill came in, he should not oppole mend it to the Committee to apply to the

an exemption of such as were employed House for leave to take into confideration in hubandry., the feverat acts by which the new duties Mr. Sheridan obferved, that the poble were impofed upon the articles he had Lord [Mahon) could claim no merit for enumerated. The Committee might then the part he had acted that day. Govern. fst again to consider of the propriety of ment had under contemplation the defitaking off thofe taxes; in order to which B ciencies alluded to, which, he had authohis Lord'hip moved, That the chairmanrity to say, had undergone a mof serireport progress, and ask leave to fit agaia. ous investigation.

Mr. For compared his Lord thip's node Mr. Hilberforce wondered, if the faa of increasing the revenue, by letlening the

was true, that the noble Lord at the head taxes, to Lord Shelburne's scheme, in of the Exchequer had not once mentionthe other House, of borrowing money to ed them in his speech. lellen the national debt. That high'du Lord Mabon' withdrew his motion ; ries were friendly to smugglers, he was C but said, if Ministry neglected what they free, he said, to confess; but what smugo pretended to have in view, he would cer gling had to do with the taxes now pro tainly bring the matter on again. pored, he was at a loss to conceive. He

[Here the debate ended, and the fere. sould not help confidering it, as not ral resolutions were agreed to ] only unwife, but highly criininal, for any

May 27. man, at such a moment as the present, The resolutions of the day before were to fuggeft ideas to the people, that, if reported. When the resolution relative their burdens were taken off, the reve- Dto bills of exchange came to be read, nue would be increased. He treated his Lord Newbaven asked if foreign bills Lordlip's notions with a mixture of ri

were to be subject to duty. dicule and feverity.

Lord J. Cavendisb said, bills drawn in Mr. W. Pitt, in reply, charged Mr. England on foreign parts would certain. Fox with such inhumanity to the people ly be subject to duty; but bills drawn of Engłand as to deny them any enquiry abroad would not. whatever into such of the taxes impoled When the resolution relative to wheels upon thein as might probably appear to Ewas read, be such as it would be more adviseable Sir P. 7. Clerke objected to it as a to take off than to continue.

check upon agriculture. Many farmers Mr. Fox infilted that his argument had carriages which they seldom used, was wholly milunderstoud. He ever did, and most of them had more carriages and ever would, approve of enquiries. than they could use at the same time; it The idea wlrich he meant to impress on would therefore be hard indeed upon the House was, that to stop the business F them to pay for carriages from which of the Committee, by a proposition un. they derived neither pleasure nor profit. connected with the motion before them, Lord Mahon opposed it, not so much and totally of another complexion, was as a tax, as the seed of a tax. Why reimpolitic, improper, and imprudent. gifter all carriages, if not to open a door

Lord North, in the most pointed irony, for Ministers to exhaust the whole reridiculed Lord Mahon's theory of finan- fources of the country? By a former ciering Having already so fertile a ge.. law, the carriage of goods was taxed; by nius, when his Lordthip comes to be this, an additional import is to be laid upChancellor of the Exchequer, with im on the carriage of goods. With all thele proved experience, what a shining orna incumbrances how are the people to live! ment wili he be to his couniry!

Mr. Sheridan replied, that when the Mr. Dempfier approved of the taxes bill came to be framed, many of the obmuch. He thought they would be paid ječtions might be removed. As to the without a murmur. At the same time noble Lord's objection to it as the feed hc thanked Lord Mahon for having H of a tax, that might be seasonable when brought forward the deficiencics of fore it came to grow up; and then his Lord

ship

mer taxes.

« ElőzőTovább »