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was sure no blame could aitach either to the Executive Government, or to his Majesty's Commander in those feas upon that account. In fact, Admiral Rainier was apprised of the probability of the recommencement of the war when the French squadron arrived at Pondicherry, and it was actually under consideration to deiain Admiral Linois, when he was so fortunate as to make his escape.
The Earl of Carnarvon--If there was no argument adduced , but what mav be drawn from the unwillingness in Government to produce papers whose dates of transin:fion and receprion are the principal objects desired, and against which the flighielt objection is not pretended, I should strongly be of opinion that ihe House should require their production ; but more substantial grounds to support my noble Friend's motion cannot exist than that of a general prevalent opinion that Admiral Rainier was left till the 12th of August, without an official communicarion of the situation in which this country was involved, and wishout instructions for his conduct, and that this omillion enabled Admiral Linois to escape with his squadron from the situation in which he might have been de. tained. The noble Secretary of State has sufficiently confirmed the supposed fact, by confining his affirmation to the information which he says Admiral Rainier had of the rupiure with France, without starting it to be official; and cer. tainly it was not accompanied with inftrucrions how to ait ; for the noble Secretary infers the knowledge of Admiral Rainier, from the uncertainty and doubt prevailing in his mind how he should act, under the circumstances of probable hostility, Admiral Linois' squadron being in his power. The result of this is, that report has probably accurately ftared the fact, that Admiral Rainier received private information of a rupture, long before he received official difpatches, which were sent by a frigate impeded by its convoy, and directed to touch at various places in its way; and that he did not receive official information and instructions till". Admiral Linois had received official information, and in confequence departed suddenly and privately at midnight.. This, if true, is a gross neglect, which merits the most rerious inquiry. The capture of the French fleet commanded by Admiral Linois inust have been of the vimost importance. The mischief which our trade may suffer from their escape is the probable consequence of this criminal neglect; and Itrong reporis exist that our India trade has greatly suffered ; other mischiefs which may follow are incalculable. It is admir
ted by the noble Secretary that private information did arrive in time, but not of sufficient authority to enable Admiral Rainier to have detained Linois' squadron in port. It is clear from his acknowledged doubts and uncertainty, that he had noinstructions how to act, which occasioned his uncerlainty and he loss of that advantage. That Admiral Linois received his official infor. mation sooner, his escape and a midnight depariure pioves. Privale information received (which could have no other ef. fect ihan strong and probable report) is a pront ihat official information mighı have been received ; and privaie or even official information received, which left hin in uncertainty how to act, is a proof that no proper instructions were seni. I am therefore fully satisfied, that the motion of my noble Friend thould be supported, and ihat the ministerial molive for withholding the information is the criminal matter they will expose.
Lord lları owby declared, that on ihe first view of the mat. ter he was inclined to thick the motion not sufficiently war. ranied. From the grounds, however, which had since been ftared in support of it, he could not help giving it his decided support. The Houseihen divided on Lord Carlife's motion :
Majority against Ministers,
TRISH MILITIA. · Lord Hobart, previous to the second reading of ile bill to enable his Majesty to accept the services of the Irish militia, nioved that his Majesty's message on the loyal and spirited 'offers of the Irish militia should be read.' His Lordfhip then declared, that he presumed there would be no difference of opinion in that House, with respect to the principle which gave rise to the present bill, and which, carried to a furiber extent, would sanction the policy of occasional interchanges of the militia of the two countries. But that, was not the question now before them. The prudence or necesa fity of such reciprocity was not now to be discussed ; but as it appeared on the face of the bill before the House, ober were called upon merely to determine, whether they would
ordinis collecould at
or would not enable his Majesty to avail himself of the spirited offers that had been made to him from motives of loyalty to his perfon, and of kindness and attachment to the welfare and inierests of this part of the empire. As he presumed there could be no difference of sentiment on that point, however there may be on others, he would no longer derain Their Lordships, but move that the bill be read a second time.
Lord Boringdon felt himself under the necesity of opposing the second reading of the bill, upon many considerations, but principally two, which in his mind were decilive against the measure. One was, that it would tend, in some measure, to subvert the principles upon which the militia force was originally establithed; and the other was, that it was withdrawing a force which, however inconsiderable in itself, was necessary for the defence of Ireland, and could afford no material addition to the force already collected for the defence of Great Britain. His Lordthip was no enemy to the principle that all parts of the united kingdom should allilt each other reciprocally, but he would rather see that dispofusion manifested by other ineasures than a mere interchange of their several militia forces. He wilhed really to see the principles of the union fairly acted upon. It was now four years since that great political change had been effected, and what, he would ask, had the Government done for Ireland ? If he could argue from certain facts, when he considered the correspondence ihat had passed between a noble Peer of that House (Lord Redesdale) and the Eail of Fingal, and that the former noble Lord ftill remained in a high official filuation in that country, he was justified in eniertaining some doubis of the intentions of Ministers towards it. If Ministers approved of the conduct of that noble Lord, why not declare 10? If they did not, it was incumbent upon them to disavow the opinions he had promulgated, and to recall him. But this, however desirable in point of justice or of policy, he despaired of seeing accomplished, when he recol. lected that the great viral and elfential principle upon which The present Ministers held their official situations was oppofition to the only measure that could give latistaction or permanent vanquilliy to Ireland.
The Duke of Cumberland would occupy but a very finall portion of ineir Lorothips' time. He rose for the purpose of expressing his approbation of ihe bill, as tending to eliablith · Vol. II. 1803-4.
that principle, which he hoped to see, within a short lime, extended much further. It was his anxious wish, that the two cuunties, which had but one c'mmon intereit, ihould, whenever it was necessary, interchange their militias. Since they were become one united kingdom by law, he trusted that they would not be separate either in sentiment or prac. rice. He thought no more distinction, in any respect what. ever, should exist between them, than between any two neighbouring counties of Great Britain ; and, therefore, as this ineasure would send to establith thai cordiality and acquaintance between them, that was so desirable in every point of view, it had his hearty concurrence. · The Marquis of Healfort supported the bill, and expresied
his regret, that the great Minister who had brought abou: ihe measure of union, was not at present at the head of his Majesty's councils.
Earl Fitzwilliam opposed it, as interfering with the principles upon which the militia of England was originally formed, and by which they were governed, and as derogaiory from the honour of the nation, which posselling 380,COo volunteers, 70,000 militia, and 44,000 intantry, with a due proportion of artillery and cavalry, still was represenied 10 be under the necellity of accepting ihe services of 10,000 lrich militia.
The Duke of Norfolk would vote against the measure upon conftitutional grounds, alihough he acquitted Ministers of any blame whatever in the transaction, which was in some measure, he had reason to suppose, forced upon them. He could not concur in the wish of a noble Marquis for the return to power of a Member of another House, much less in his opinion of his merits as a minister. He thought that the conftirution had been more violated, the country more opprelied and impoverished by taxes, and the state of Europe reduced to more disgrace and humiliation by his measures, than by the rathness or incapacity of all the administrarions that had preceded him.
The Earl of Limerick supported the bill, and retorted with much force the arguments advanced by a noble Earl, that the practice of volunteering tended to countenance that inost dangerous of all principles 10 a free Government, the principle of delibera:ion by armed bodies. He was sure, when the noble Lord had made that observation, that the extraordinary resolutions entered
inio by a number of militia colonels at the Thatched House, in which the noble Earl bore so conspicuous a party did not offer themselves to his recollection. He could see no difference between deliberation by commanders, and delia beration by common soldiers. The bill had his concure rence, because it would promote that which was the earnest with of his heart, the full political identity of both parts of the kingdom.
Lord Carleton readily admitted, that such was the fate of detence in which this part of the united kingdom was placed, that there did not exist any absolute necessity for the transfer of 10,000 militia from Ireland. Yet he was decidedly of opinion, that when a voluntary offer of service was made, like that which had occurred in the present inItance, it should not be rejected. It would, in fact, mate. rially tend to the consolidation of the act of union, by 1howing the mutual confidence with which different parts of the same empire were animated.. With respect to the ob. servations which had fallen from a noble Lord, on the correspondence that had passed between two noble Lords in Ireland, one of whom filled a most important office, he had merely to remark, that such comments were not warranted by the incidental mention of the correspondence, since it was not fairly before their Lordships, and could not be made, he groundwork of a charge.
The Lord Chancellor felt himself peculiarly called upon to address a few words to thcir Lordships in consequence of the allufion which had been noticed. The cha.' racter of that noble Lord, with whom it was one of the greatest pleasures of his life to live on terms of the strictest intimacy, stood as liigh for honour and integrity as any other in the united kingdom ; and whatever observations the correspondence might have given rise to, he was confident that there was nothing in any of the circumstances which could in the slightest degree contribute to injure the distinguished reputation his noble friend was universally acknowledged to poiless. It was, he could not avoid saying, one of the characteristics of the times, that a correspondence which in former instances could not, unlets tolen fiomthe pocket of either of the noble Lords, have found its way into tlie world, should now be made public as a matter of courle. It was also extraordinary, that a charge thould be preferred against bis noble' fiiend, upon grounds which were clearly surreptitious, and which could not, with any propriety or constency, furnish a* 3 X 2