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tial than to the decision of any other that act of parliament (the vote of credit) Court. He concluded by approving of which was passed every session, as soon the original motion as it stood.
as the committees of ways and means A division took place on the amend. had closed. In this act the sums of mo. ment, when there appeared
ney were specified, and the services to Against it
108 which they were to be applied, and it For it
was forbid by the appropriation act to.
apply them to other purposes. Of this Majority 96. sum there remained due 644,000l.; there The Colonel was of consequence ex was another account of 34,3131. to ofpelled the house.
ficers serving abroad. There were many 5. After a short conversation, the other fums that ought to have been paid House went into the committee on the out of the vote of credit of 1795 ; these new wine duty bill.
remained due, and were answered out By a clause in the bill the duty is to of the vote of credit of the present year, take place ihe 17th of April, 1796. in open violation of the act of appropria
Mr Sheridan faid, that laying on such tion. For this, he thought minifters a duty was equal to a prohibition, and would not easily find an excuse: the onthat it would never answer the purposes ly plea they had, was that of public neof revenue.
cuffity, If so, in this case they should Mr Pitt said, that if there were to be have avowed it, come down to the House, three months previous notice, every one and claimed a bill of indemnity, and by might buy in wine to ferve him nine doing so, the principles of the Constitumonths; the end of the tax would there. tion would have been safe ; but instead ot, fore thus be defeated. The hon. gentle. doing so, they had presented false acman had said, that laying on too great a counts to the House, in open violation tax was equal to a prohibition; no tax, of the laws. The only plea they had he said, laid on for the purposes of reve now was, that of extraordinary expences: nue, was equal to a prohibition. in the American war, the extraordinary,
Mr Sheridan moved an amendment to expences, amounted to little more than one of the clauses, “ that the 17th of two millions, but in the present they as July” be inserted instead of the “ 17th of mounted to fixteen millions odd. April.”
Mr Grey concluded a speech of con: The amendment was negatived, and liderable length, by moving the firft
. -rethe original clause carried without a divi- folution, viz. “ that it is the opinion of fion.
this Houfe, that at all times, and under, 6. Mr Grey, in consequence of the all circumstances, this House ought to fresh notice which he gave yesterday, fuperintend the public money, and en rose to make his promised motion, rela- force the application of it, &c.” This tive to the impeachment of his Majesty's resolution he followed up by a long ftring ministers, and which would, perhaps, of other resolutions, founded principally not be reconcile able to the ideas of ma on the misapplication of the public mony gentlemen in that House. He could ney, and which be stated to be a high not proceed without first calling their at- crime and misdemeanour. On the first tention to the expenditure of the public resolution being put, money; and he trufted, that it would The Chancellor of the Exchequer rose. not be necessary to request more particu- He allowed that the Act of Approprialarly their attention to the public ac- tion had been paffed every year; he wishcounts, as that was one of their chief du- ed as much as any other gentleman that ties. He would now call the attention no law should be infringed or violated of the House to a plain fact, whether but as little as possible, yet it was almost they would suffer a dispensation of the impossible to conduct a war withont, in laws on the part of his Majesty's minifa fome small degree, infringing that act. ters, ånd whether they would suffer such He took a view of the extraordinary ex. a power to pass without punishment? pences incurred during the American He should not take any notice of the war, war, which, instead of amounting to ona but would in the first place charge mi- ly 2,000,000l. as the hon. gentleman had nifters with producing false accounts to ftated, amounted to 23,000,000l. when the House; and by fo doing, with vio. the expences of the present war amountlating acts of Parliament. He would ed to no more than 16 or 17,000,00ol, first call the attention of the House to Sterling. He concluded a very able de
fence, by submitting the matter to the to point out a mode of extricating it from candour of the House.
the present embarrassments. He would Mr Fox spoke after Mr Pitt, and an- not go farther back into history than the swered his arguments in a very able and American war, which he was sure was ingenious speech.
fresh in the recollection of many gentleA division took place, when there ap- men in that House. In the conclusion peared for the order of the day 209, a. of that war, it became the business of gainst it 38, majority 171.
Government to consider not how it was 9. Mr Pitt moved, that the House do kindled, but what was the most effectual refolve itself into a Committee of the mode of extinguishing it. The best mode whole House to consider farther of the of doing this, was by looking retrospecSupply. Mr Pitt moved, that a sum not tively to paft errors, and until the House exceeding 500,000!. be granted to his of Commons had done this, the war lastMajesty towards discharging the debts ed; but from the moment that was done, of the navy, which was agreed to. He steps were taken for immediate peace. next moved, that a fum not exceeding He did not wish to go into periods of 1,370,000l. for extraordinary expences history that were too remote, he would for the army for 1796, be granted to his only advert to the opening of the budget Majesty: Agreed to. And that the sum in the year 1792, in which there had of 438,0351. be granted for foreign troops. been made a splendid display of the hap
Mr Wyndham moved, that 290,000l. py situation of the country; on that day be granted towards defraying the expen- the minister had stated the affairs of this ces of erecting of barracks.-15,000l. was country to be in a situation that gave samoved and granted towards assisting the tisfaction not only to himself, but to the Veterinary College. The report to be whole House. He had belides stated, received to-morrow.
with more than usual confidence, the STATE OF THE NATION.
prospect of public peace. In this year 10. Mr Fox, agreeably to the notice the French nation had imprisoned the he had given, rose to state his opinion on King in Paris, destroyed the titles of no. the present subject. After the many de- bility, and feized the revenues of the feats he had experienced whenever he church. From this period to the 14th attempted to bring forward an inquiry of July of the same year, every thing had of this nature, he was not very fan- passed on without notice, until they had guine in the fuccefs of his propofition, fet their King on a splendid pillory, and particularly when the whole system of even after this, a confiderable time elapministers met with his moft marked dif- sed, and peace was ftill held out to this approbation. There were circumstances country. In order to thew that miniwhich had lately taken place, which, ffers thought so little of this revolution however, ought to have but little weight; in France, they had not thought of bringhe meant the late negotiation that had ing about a counter-revolution; and mibeen attempted at Bale in Switzerland, nisters seemed to promite the nation a whatever view the fe might be taken in, period of peace at leatt of fifteen years, whether serious or the contrary, they which was as great as any period of were transactions of such a nature, as to peace for the lait century, and he agreed call the mind of every thinking man with ministers, that the revolution in more than ever to consider the state of France was no cause of disturbing the the nation. The consideration of these tranquillity of this country. Though transactions were of such a nature, as to France was internally agitated at this leave us no prospect of peace. Whether time, and was on the eve of declaring this was owing to the unreasonable de- war against Austria, and huttilities were mands of the enemy, or to the infinceri. about to take place, yet ministers did ty of the minifter, there was no prospect not conceive there was any cause to emof a speedy peace. It was always the broil this country in continental quarlanguage of the Executive Government, rels. He could take a nearer vicw of the not so much to consider the causes of subject; would the expuision of the house the difficulties into which they had got, of Bourbon from the throne juhify ikis. as the best mode of extricating them- coun:ry in declaring war againt? France ? felves. He hoped, therefore, that he looking at the history of this family, he should not be considered as failing in his rather thought their expulsion froin the duty to the country, if he endeavoured throne as a subject of exultation to this
country, as that house had been the by this country to be the Government of cause of much bloodshed to it, and of all France. Mr Pitt then went into a hilthe debts under which it now labours. tory of the circumstances that preceded Austria and Pruffia entered into a con- the declaration of war by France against vention at Pilnitz, which they could ne. England. He glanced at the death of ver have carried into effect without the Louis XVI, the recall of Lord Gower, aid of this country. This was the pe. and the refusal to acknowledge Chauveriod when this country ought to have lin after the death of Louis. But bę ftepped forward and offered her media- afferted a disposition to try if any means tion, instead of countenancing the mea- of accomodation were itill left, was sures of these two powers, and by this shewn by the British Cabinet, in appointThe would have preserved the tranquilli- ing the ambassador at the Hague to hear ty of Europe, and her own neutrality. the propofitions of General Dumourier, Mr Fox having, in a speech of four hours and a determination in the French to and a half, replete with the most forcible break with England, in declaring war argument, reprobated the intentions and with her while that negociation was acviews of the allies in general, and of tually pending. He then entered into a Prusia and Ruflia in particular, in de. more particularexamination of the charge stroying the balance of power by the of the injustice of this war, and infifted, partition of Poland; and having taken a that it was not only, barely juft, and or. view of the tyranny of the Emperor of dinarily necessary, but that it included, Germany, and King of Prussia, towards in its objects, all that was just and of the Marquis and Marchionefs de la Fay- value to man, as well as the completest ette, which had been worse than the ty- neceffity that could be imagined. It was ranny of Robespierre, he concluded by not peace, but stable secure peace, that making a motion of confiderable length, was the object; and viewing the queswhich was an abstract of his ipeech, the tion on that true ground, no man he fubftance of which was as follows, viz. hoped, would regret, that he wa: not “ That an humble address be presented ready to negociate in 1793, before the to his Majesty respecting the conduct of trade of France was annihilated-her his ministers in the present war, repre- capital swallowed up-her foreign dosenting the very flourishing state in which minions lott-before she received an ir. this country was at the commencement reparable blow to her navy--and, above of it, and the deplorable state to which it all, while her principles were unmitie had been reduced by the bad counsels of gated. It was an ill policy to demand a incapable ministers; and praying that he precise object of the war. The object would give directions to them to purfue was fecurity; and what would afford a line of conduct diametricaily opposite security would depend on the temper of to what they had done, and to retract the French nation rather than on any their former errors, &c.”
precise state of the war. He next exaMr Pitt denied, that the declining to mined the question of the restitution of become mediators between France and monarchy, and said, that was not only the powers who had subjects of compiaint a good cause for security, but a good against her, without the invitation of and proper substantive cause. But be those powers, was a proof of a hostile denied he had ever refused to treat till determination. Mr Pitt then came to monarchy should be restored. The de the circumstances which he flated to struction of Jacobin principles, and the have produced the war. He adverted establishment of a regular government, first to the decree of the 19th of Novem- were the only necessary objects to feeuber, which, he faid, was an outrage on rity. He concluded by saying, be hoped the rights of civil society. They had no the business of this day would have no sooner started from the earth, and seized tendency but to divide France and unite on the reins of power, than they threat- England. ered to sweep away all regular govern Mr Fox replied. He infifted, that ments for ever. He then turned to the none of the alleged causes of the war dispute relative to the Scheldt; and said, were valid, because ministers denied Mr Fox's argument went to prove, that France all opportunity of explanation, these aggressions, on the part of France, byrefusing to acknowledge a government were to be excused, because they were competent to treat of grievances. He committed by men rot acknowledged was allo convince d by Mr Pitt's argi
ments that evening, that the oftensible mult be refilted. I wish these great pro-
is only to destroy the liberty of their fel-
the bill being put, the House divided :For it
Ayes 48 ; Noes 46. Majority 2.
Mr Sheridan then moved, that it be 12. The order of the day was read for read a third time on this day three the third reading of the real estate fuc- months; when the House again divided : ceffion bill.
Noés 54 ; Ayes 53. Majority 1. Mr Francis said, Mr Speaker, I should The Chancellor of the Exchequer then indeed be forry that this pernicious bill moved, that it be read a third time tothould finith its progress through the morrow, when a third division took House, without my having had an op place :--Ayes 54 ; Noes 54. portanity of expreffing my opinion of it The Speaker accordingly being called more explicitly and distinctly than by a upon for his vote, gave it for the third filent vote. My objections are on princi- reading to-morrow. ple, and they are fundamental ; they are The Chancellor of the Exchequer then the result of the moft careful attention said, that, finding the bill was liable to and consideration which I'am capable of fo many objections, he would decline giving to any fubject. It appears in a pressing the third reading to-morrow, form which never was assumed, and acts and discharge the order for that day two on principles which never were avowed months. The bill was of courfe 'within this House before. The effential qua- drawn. lities of the bill are these, first, That it 19. The House met át half past two does not operate immediately, nor with o'clock, and at half patt'three a message all its force, but applies to cates and was sent down by Sir F. Molyneux, Gensituations, which do not instantly exist, tleman Usher of the Black' Rod, comand which, therefore, individuals may manding the attendance of the Commons hope are remote from themselves, and at the Bar of the House of Lords. They may never reach them. Of course it forthwith attended, and the Speaker, on annihilates that juft and rational check, his return, read to the House a copy of which the conftitution relies on, in fa. bis Majesty's speech to both Houses. vour of the firbject; namely, that the The Houte then dispersed without representative will not impofe exorbi. any question of adjournment. tant taxes, without clear neceility, on his constituents, as long as he shares innmediately and alike with those who are
HOUSE OF LORDS. to pay. But the most dreadful of all NATIONAL EXPENDITURE. confiderations is, that the tax is to ope. May 2. The Marquis of Lanfdosune rose rate, not now, but hereafter.
What to make his promised motion for an inguard, then, have we left against the quiry on this subject. He prefaced it most profligate extravagance anxl waite with a long barangue, in which he went of the public fortune, if no part of the very much at length into a great variety burtien, whatever it may be, is to be of fujects. He fet out with alluding to borne by ourselves? This tax touches the commillion of public accounts, which property in great masses, and this tax was appointed in the year 1980, to inVol. LVIIL
quire into, and suggest remedies for, the any object or end!! such objects only abuses existing in public offices and de- excepted as had arisen from the misconpartments. He complained that the duct of ministers.--That such an Inqui. measures recommended by these com- ry was unavoidable from the exhausted missioners, 14 years since, had not yet state of our finances, which compelled been adopted. He instanced particular. the government to resort to taxes which ly in the case of five revenue boards, had been formerly repealed. He trust. which the commissioners had recom- ed, that minifters would not refufe 'an mended to be consolidated into one, but inquiry into these topics, which had for. which still remained distinct. He allud. merly been granted as a matter of course. ed to the mode of keeping the army ac. If they did, he left to them the consecounts, as purposely indistinct and con- quences. fused. He next passed to the state of the Lord Grenville opposed the motion. unfunded debt--to the patent officers in Ministers, he observed, were called upthe customs—the mode of transacting on to answer for not having followed business at the mint-the state of the up the propositions for reform of the crown lands--the erection of barracks, commissioners of accounts. For himself which he stiled inland fortresses--the ex. he would observe, that he was not even traordinary expences of the army, and in parliament at the period when their their uncontrouled appropriation-the report was made. He would, notwithrenewal of the office of third secretary anding, remark upon the feveral proof state-the newly created board of positions: the first complaint was, that naval architecture, (which, however, he the five revenue boards were not confoapproved)—and the board of transports, lidated into one, by which fifteen places All these he considered as blameable, out of twenty-five would be saved. This and requiring reform-the increase of he would ever resist as a moft pernicious places having made the red book a cheft measure. The detail of those boards of corruption. The Noble Marquis next was so various, and the labour of them expressed his disapprobation of the new lo very great, that it would be an un. police act, and thought that an elective wise facrifice to æconomy to resolve police would be as sufficient for West. them into one. The second was, the inminster as London ; and that such a man troducing fimplicity into the army acas Alderman Skinner was more likely to counts. This had been adopted. Mr keep the peace, than any briefless barri. Burke and Colonel Barre fucceffively infter. He then proceeded to animadvert troduced reforms into the paymaster's on the connection between the minister office. The proposition was made in and the Bank; which he considered as 1780, and the reform made in 1782. The unconftitutional. The late check on dif. third article of complaint was the uncount had, he observed, induced some funded debt. But on this ground, the to suppose that the well had a bottom; present minifters might challenge all for. and, among other inconveniencies result- mer ministers. There were two more ing from it, he alluded to one which he subjects of complaint-the mint and the had learnt from a letter sent him by crown lands. Great progress was made fome persons wio had half of one of the in a plan to reform the former. But it 20,000l. prizes, which they had discounts would be attended with an enormous ed før 9000l. while the office-keeper, on expenditure in the firft inftance; and it the extension of the discounts by the was a question whether, even in time of Bank, had afterwards cashed it for 200l. peace, 'it would be expedient to incur The Noble Marquis moved a very long the expence. As to the crown lands, it resolution, purporting" That an In- would be impertinent to state, that meaquiry fould be made into the conduct fures had been taken to turn them to na. of minifters in not reforming the abuses tional profit. So that if the objects of ftated by the commissioners of accounts. coinplaint, which were five in number, -That an account should be furnished three were actually done away; and one of the new offices with salaries created of the other two, the mint, waited onin the last ten years; of salaries prolong- ly till it should be prudent to incur the ed beyond the services; of monies iGued expence attending the reform. Lord by warrants, &c. That this inquiry was Grenville then entered into a defence of moft necessary, when we were engaged the barracks. He contended the fyftem ir a bloody and expensive war, without was fancționed by precedent, and that