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always be a sufficient security against abuse power alluded to had been exercised were of of every kind. It was the principle of the late extremely rare ; but the best eeffcts British constitution to separate every thing resulted from the existence of the power. odious from the crown, and to adorn it with Every part of the prerogative pushed to the heavenly attributes of mercy and the extremes would produce abuses such as in power of relief. It was an inconsistency with the making of peace or war.
But this was this principle that he wished to remove, by no reason for diminishing that prerogative. giving to the officers of the army the same An army independent of the sovereign was measure of justice enjoyed by the rest of the contrary
to common sense.
Such an community. It was by the army that the encroachment on the prerogative would crown was supported and the people pro- subvert the constitution. He allowed that tected, and why shonld the army be in a in former times officers had been deprived worse situation than any other part of the of their regiments for voting against mipeople in the essential point of justice ? pisters. But there were no instances of The army had now grown to such an ex. this abuse in modern times. He therefore tent, with a disposition still further to gave his decided negative to the proposiaugment it, that even in point of mere tion." numerical consideration, it was a large " Lord Folkestone adverted to the extra. portion of the people. And in the present ordinary manner in which the honourable critical and dangerous situation of the secretary had answered the arguments of the country, when our safety depended so much honourable baronet on his side. He had on the zeal and energy of the ofàcers of the complimented him first for not stating past army, ought they to be left in circumstances abuses, and then objected to the clause, bein which they might be whispered out of cluse no grounds had been laid for it. The their rank and situation, into poverty, dis- honourable secretary very well knew that grace, and ruin, and a thousand calamities there were instances of the most cruel opworse than any law could inflict, by the arts pression that might be stated. But the of a dark malignant assassin, who would honourable baronet below only looked to not dare to meet them in the open light of the future, and had laid irrestible grounds genuine British justice ? Courts martial for his proposition. He had stated bis ob afforded ample means
to punish every ject to be to protect the officers and the description of offence, and when it was crown itself from doing what was known considered that these courts were not like to have been done, and from the secret juries, bound to be unanimous in their whispers of slander and malice. His lordsentence, and how many descriptions of ship, however, expressed Bis hope, that the offences could be included under the very honourable baronet would withdraw his extensive and sweeping charge of ungentle-clause, and bring the subject forward in a man-like conduct, so often censured and separate bill, for so grave and important a punished by them, he was sure no latitude matter required the most serious deliberaof impunity could be apprehended, by tion and the fullest discussion. The hos giving every accused person the opportunity nourable baronet he allowed could not, of stating his case before such a tribunal. however, be liable to the charge of precipi. He moved a clause accordingly."
tation from the other side. The noble lord “ The Secretary at War complimented the opposite bad brought forward his clause in honourable baronet on the moderation which a manner equally sudden; and as the hohe had displayed; but objected to the clause uourable secretary had expressed so strongly because he had laid no grouud for it. He his aversion to changes, he, no doubt, urged the bad consequences of changes in would give his vote against the change pro the military system without the strongest posed by the noble bord near him. He Teasons for it; and the necessity that the earnestly requested the honourable baronet army should be dependent on the crown. It to withdraw his clause for the present, as was so necessary that even if it were not the he should regret extremely to be obliged to the case at present, he should have proposed give it his negative." it now for the first time. He would wish, if *Colonel Duckett opposed the clause, on it were possible, that the military should have account that it would be making the army the advantage of the common law; but it judges in its own cause; 31d also, as it prowas inconsistent with the constitution and posed to refuse, for the first time, the placdiscipline of the army. Tlie history of the ing confidence in the crown, when we had world proved the necessity of strict disci- a sovereign who of all others had best depline in an army, and for this it must look served it." it' a head. The instances in which the “ General Fitzpatrick said, that when be
bad proposed any change in the constitution no sovereign ever deserved confidence so of the army, he had always stated reasons well as his Majesty. That is a settled point. which appeared to him to make it a matter But, the worst of it is, that there will aiof necessity. The military laws were na- ways be nen tu say the same thing of every turally regarded in that house with a strong future sovereign, as there have been to say prejudice; and those who were particularly it of the past. Pope has a passage, the words attached to the principles of the constiile of which I forget, but the substance of tion, applied argumenis to these laws which which is, that the character whom he is dewere not at all suited to the nature of the scribing, always thought the king of the case. They were a vecessary evil, and time being the best; and, when one king ought not to be interfered with. The ho- died, could scarce be vext, so wise and granourable baronet had been complimenied cious was the next. But, the qualities of for his moderation, in not going into past the king had nothing at all to do with the abuses; but he was bound to make out matter. Sir Francis Burdett professed to the strongest case before a change of this wish for nothing more than to guard tbe ofkind could be for a moment conte:plated. ficers of the army for the future; and, The proposition, therefore, had his decided surely, to leave the fortunes, the character, negative."
| and ibe happiness of so considerable a part The motion was withdrawn, in order to of the nalion at the sole mercy of the milibe brought forward again in a separate bill. : tary adviser of the king is not very agreeable I have long wished to see this question to the spirit of those laws, which make up brought before parliament.. I wanted to what is called the constitution of Ergland. hear wbat they would say to it; and parti. I earnestly hope, that this subject will uncularly what the Wigs would say, those fine ' dergo an ample discussion. It is of infinitely old boys, those “ chanıpions of our rights," greater importance to the people of England, as a correspondent in my last (whom I shall than all the questions about commerce and answer in my next) calls them. General the law of natiens, which have cast the Fitzpatrick spoke for the whole, I suppose ; honourable members so many hard nights' and now, I should think, that the friends of work during the present session, and which Sir Francis Burdett may set their miuds have caused the printing of more papers at rest as to the support that he is to than any man living could read in a year, receive from the Whigs. I have before though he went over them with the volubility observed
upon the alteration, which of a law-stationer's cle:k. the increased state of the arniy his L'ORTUGUESE Merchants. I lose not made in regard to the prerogative in question. a momentin ende voaring to put the public When the whole of the peace establishment upon its guard against an attempt, which, was not above ten thousand men, there was according to a paragrapb in the Courier, of no danger in the prerogative; but, now, the 15tli instant, tiris description of persons when the number of commissiuned officers is are preparing to make upon the taxes. It is more than ten thousand; when one can there stated, that they have had a meeting searcely walk a hundred yards, in any street at the London Tavern, and have appointed a of any town, without rubbing against an committee to wait upon the Secretary of officer of the army; when no small part of State, in order to obtain indeninification for. the members of both houses of parlianent their losses, in their precipitate fligat from are ofticers of the army ; and when there is Lisbon. This is intolerable. What! are scarcely a family of any note in the whole we to be taxed to pay for the losses, which kingdom that has not some relation an of-. they have incurred in trade ? · Do we suffer ficer in the army, surely such a prerogative a bookseller, or a printer, to come to us must be very dangerous. England is now, a for losses, which he may have sustained by military country; it is so professed to be by fire ? As well night we indemnify the the ministry and the parliament; and, if this farmer for his losses by the sheep-rot or the be so, and if the king has the absolute turnip-fly. - Why did they not insure ? power of dispossessing, at his pleasure, and If abey could not do that, why did they not without reason assigned, every officer of the come away sooner? They had plenty of army of his means of existence as well as of notice. In short, this is as impudent as the his character, of whiat sort, I ask, is the go- | application of the adventurers to Buenos vernment of Englard?--Colonel Duckett's Ayres, and worse of it cannot be said observation, that the proposition refused to Upon one condition I would grant them inplace confidence in " a sovereign, who, of | deinnification. I would make each indiviin ali others best deserved it," was, to be dual give an account of his profits, since he sare, of great weight. Yes, without doubt, began trade with Portugal. Those protits he should then pay into the exchequer. I to believe that they must be productive of would then give him as much as he could the most ruinous effects. Your petitioners have earned, in the capacity of a labouring
are duly sensible of the necessity of making man, from the time he began to trade with every sacrifice of personal interests, to proPortugal until the present time, deducting mote the strength and resources of the counthe sum necessary for his support as a labour. try in the present extraordinary crisis of ing man, during that space. If he had
If he had public affairs; and if the total change intromade po profits, I would advance him out of duced into the whole coinmercial system of the taxes, the amount of 12 shillings a week
this country, and of the world, by the orfor a year, or, which would be much better, ders of council, could be conducive to so deperhaps, send him, at once, to the parish, sirable an object ; your petitioners, great as if he were unable to work. ---What in- their losses must be, would subunit without sufferable, what outrageous impudence ! a murmur; butunderstanding that these orders A set of nien leave their own country, are principally, if not wholly, recommended go to another to carry on a lucrative trade, by an opinion, that they will prove beneficontinue in that trade for years, and, at
cial to the commercial interests of this coun. last, when they can stay no longer, when try, they feel it to be their duty, humbly they can derive no longer any profits from to represent their conviction, that this opia trade, for the support of which their nion is founded in error ; and that if the country has dearly paid in armaments and prayer of their petition be granted, they subsidies, home they come and demand shall be able to prove, that they must be indemnification for the loss they have sus
productive of the most fatal consequences tained, in consequence of baving remained
to the interests, not only of your petitioners, to the last moment !
but of the commerce and manufactures of The American Merchant, whose letter the empire at large.--Your petitioners will came too late to be noticed, without great
abstain from enforcing, by any details, their inconvenience, shall see his letter and my apprehension, that these measures are likely answer, in the next number. In the mean to interrupt our peace with the United States while, I think, he will regard it but fair to of America ; our intercourse with which, give me his name, in consequence of the
at all times valuable, is infinitely more so base imputation contained in the last para
since we are excluded from the continent graph of his letter -Whether he send of Europe. To this only remaining branch his name or not, however, his letter shall of our foreign intercourse, we must now be inserted.
look for a demand for our manufactures, Botley, 17th. March, 1808.
for many of the most important materials
for their support ; and for supplies of pro: COBB ETT'S
visions and naval stores, necessary, for our
subsistence and defence.-Your petitioners Parliamentary Debates.
feel assured that they will be able to prove The Third number of Vol. X. is ready for to the satisfaction of your hon. house, that delivery. Complete sets from the com
the neutrality of America has been the mencement in the year 1803, nay be bad means of circulating to a large amount, artiof R. Bagshaw, Drydges Street, Covent- cles of the produce and manufactures of this, Garden, and of J. Budd, Pall Mall. country, in the dominions of our numerous
All Communications for the above enemies, to which we have no direct access Work, if sent to the Publishers in due time, -That ibè annual value of British manufacwill be carefully attended to.
tures exported to the United Siaies, exceeds MERCILÀNTS' PETITION. sumption of the produce of that country Dated 10th March, 1809 ---The petition falls far short of that annount, the only means of the undersigned merchants, manufac of paying us must arise from the consumpturers and others, of the city of London, interested in the trade with the United States couuitries, which the operation of the oro
tion of the produce of America in other of America, humbly sheweth That yor:r ders in council must, interrupt, and in most petitiones conteniplate with the greatest instances totally destroy That le peos anxiety and apprehension the alarming co- ple of America, even if they remain at peace sequences willi which they are threatened from certain orders in council, purporting to
with us, must by a waut of demand for
producc, and by the general distress our be issued “for the protection of the trade and measures must occasion, be disabled from ravigation of Great Britain ; but on which, paying their debts to this country, which they are indaced, anurmatore consideration, may fuirly be estimated to amount to the
enormous som of 12 millions sterling :- Claims on American Debtor's (Vol. X. p. That the neutrality of America, so far from 149, 297). I am doubtful whether to attribeing injurious to the other commercial in- bute this reported Speech to the Chmcellor terests of Great Britain, has promoted ma- of the Exchequer, or to the errors of the reterially their prosperity :-That the produce porter, but which soever it may be, the tenof our colonies in the West Indies, of our dency of the passage I shall notice is a tit. empire in the East, and of our fisheries on subject for reprehension, whether we consithe banks of Newfoundland, has frequently der the charge against the BoarI of Commisfound a foreign market by this means ; and sioners, or the false statement respecting of the only remaining neutral state, all pos vations to which I refer, was reported in the sibility of intercourse with the rest of the Morning Post of the 11th of Feb, arose out world being removed, trade cannot possibly of the subject of the arrangement wiit: the be benefired, but nust necessarily be an- Bank, and are as follows: “B'iiibt Coninihilated. --Your petitioners feeling as they “ mittee was in error in including in this do most sensibly with their fellow subjects, “ £475,000 part of 2000,000 placed in the pressure of a war in which their com- “ the Bank, in virtue of an arrangement merce has principally been aimed at by the so with the United Siates of Anierica. enemy, would scorn to plead their distress Though the claimants on this fund may in recommendation of measures inconsistent not have been as prompt in coming forwith the honour and substantial interests of vuard with demands as lefore, it was in their country; but they humbly rely upon “ the power of the trustees to vest the money the wisdom of the legislature that this dis- “ in Exchequer Bills, for the benefit of the tress shall not be increased by our own er- claimants, whenever they should come rors, and they confidently believe, that, if “ forward."--It will be necessary, Mr. they are permitted to illustrate' by evidence Cobhet!, that I trace the origin of the Claim the facts they are liere to state, and to cx. we have, rot upon the Board of Commisplain many vihers which they shall here re- sioners alone, but upon the nation, to repel frain from enumerating, they cannot fail this attack upon our want of promptitude, to establish the conviction with which they and that, I therefore travel to the comare so strongly impressed ;-That the or. mencement of the revolutionary war with ders of council are founded on the most America. It is not my intention to swell mistakey opinions of the commercial in- my present letter beyond the limits actually térests of the empire, and must be particu. necessary in the recital of our wrongs in the larly fatal to those of your petitioners.--- communication of the unprecedented treatYour petitioners therefore pray, that they ment we have received, by far worse than may be heard by themselves or council at that extended to very outcasts of society. I the bar Cf this hon. house, and be permit- shall briefly touch upon our situation from ted to produce evidence in support of the the year 1775 to the peace in 1783, and as allegations of their petition ; or that this hon. briefly state the sufferings we have underhouse will examine into the nature and ex- çone fion 1763 to the present time. At the lent of their grievances in any mode which time of the commencement of the war in ruay appear advisable, with a view of afford
1775, the American colonies stood indebted ing sach relief as this hon, house in its wis. to the British merchants 24,000,000 stele domu may think, proper. -And your peti- ling and upwards, which were withheld tioners will ever pray:
from them during the war, and which it was
expected would not be readily discharged CLAIMANTS' ON AMERICA.
upon the cessation of hostilities, and the Str, An aspersion upon the character consequent peace. This conclusion is eviof the merchants having Claims under the dent from the stipulation the administration Convention with America, which appeared of this country in 1783, when the treaty of in the Morning Post of the 11th of Feb. in peace was agitated, deemed it proper to irthe Report of a Specch which that paper has sist upon, and which was adopred, viz. the given as the Speech of the Chancellor of the 4th article in these words, “It is agred Exchequer, renders it necessary that the pub- " that creditors, on either side, shal) meet lic should be undeceived, and which I shall " with no lawful impediment to the recoattempt, as well as endeavour to do justice to “ very.of the full value in sterling money, myself, in common with my brother claim- " of all bonâ fide debts heretofore contractants, notwithstanding any increased age and ed;" and which not only included debts infirmities, since I last addressed some obser due at the commencement of hostilities in vations to you on the subject of the Board of 1775, but also those which had been incur.
red up to the day on which the treaty of single attempt was ventured upon by the lepeace was made. The right upon our part gislature or judiciary of America, or the loto insist upon the Americans paying those cal government of ihe respective states, to debts which certain laws of the respective lo- carry into effect the siipulations of the 4th cal legislatures of each state in which indivi- article of the treaty of peace, for several duals stood indebted to Britain, interdicted years after the peace; nor were the doors during one period of the war, was acknow- of the courts of law opened to the reception ledged, and our privilege to sue for recovery of cases of claims on the part of British creof our demands was considered to be re- ditors, in pursuance of the provisions of that vived, and not a doubt remained among the article, although the Lord Advocate declared principal part of my brother nierchants, but the communication from his constituents to that justice would be impartially, regularly, be bighly favourable. Yet, I know, and I and without delay administered to 119 ; so am sure, that the merchants of Glasgow had much were they impressed with this idea, reason to agree with me soon after his declathat the committee of merchants in London, | ration, that the debts paid were merely created for the purpose of superintending balances of a few shillings, and even that the interests of their constituents trading to those were only paid for the purpose of deAmerica, expressed their extreme satisfaction coying the merchants into ill placed confiat the stipulated provisions of the fourth ar- dence of their minutely exact conduct, and ticle of the treaty of peace; but hastily and to induce them to ship fresh cargoes of goods, rashly, indeed publicly declared their full impressed as they would be with the scruconviction, that the American courts of ju- pulous exactness of their old debtors, as dicature would instantly dispense even hand- well as that the “ securities” taken were of ed justice to the British creditors. That men no more avail than the original debts, beinured to difficulties, wants, and depriva- cause whatever objections there might be to tions, and accustomed to the frequent exer- the accounts current, would follow the bond, cise of evasions and subterfuges, as the and it is going ton far to contend, that the American debtors had submitted to during 8 mere act of giving a bond is of equal impor. years miseries of war, would instantlychange tance with the actual payment of a debt ; their acquired habits to pursue the path of although I know full well that such doctrine honour and honesty, was, I think, rather has been always the cresd of American more than could be believed by the most cre, debtors, who when pressed by their British dulous of tlae committee. This committee, creditors for payment, invariably have obhowever, expressed their conviction of the served, “I will pay you with my bond," future correct proceedings of the American and deem the payment of the debt to be debtors, and in which sentiment they were made fron the moment the bond is given. joined by the Glasgow merchants, who went This sort of payment, however, is not of the even further in their expressions of satisfac. nature that would pass current upon the tion at the stipulations of the 4th article of Exchange of London, to enforce which the treaty of peace, and their belief of the would take just as much time as would the correct proceedings which would take place original debt, unaccompanied with the sounder it in the American courts, and de- lemnity of wax aud printed paper, and still · clared that “ every thing has been procured liable to every objection that might be made for them which could have been expected, to the accounts current, for the balance of when all circumstances are dispassionately which the band might have been taken. In considered;" and even one of our legislators one part alone of the Lord Advocate's obsersuffered himself to be equally deceived into a vations I agree, for not only did some of the similar belief with his constituents; I mean Glasgow merchants hope that the Americans the Lord Advocate, who in the debates upon would be made to pay their debts, but, I the provisional articles of the treaty of peace, believe, nearly the whole of us; the events after adopting their sentiments with consi- which occurred, however, put an end to all derable stage effect, drew a letter from his expectations, whatever our wishes might pocket, when on the floor of the House of have been.---During the war a law was Commons, (I was present at the time) and passed in America, compelling British creobserved, " I have a letter from the mer- ditors, factors, and agents to leave the chants of Glasgow, requesting me to return colonies of Anierica, and innumerable other thanks to ministers for the care they have impediments were also created, to prevent a taken of their interests in the negotiation, British creditor from recovering his debts. for that some had been paid, some secured, One particularly in 1777, sequestering Briand some were in hopes of being paid the tish property, and which impediments were debts due by America to them.” Sir, not a at length completed by the total interdiction