« ZurückWeiter »
now a matter for your consideration. The believed that I have administered the affairs question is, the fact of the use, and of the of the country with integrity; money for motive for that use ; for nothing is crimi secret service has been confided to me to an nal but what proceeds from the heart. immense amount ; and this very sum which
Actio non est reus, nisi mens sit rea. I kave taken, which has done to the coun.
“ If I shew that the noble Lord has re try an extraordinary benefit, has been rejected at a stroke L. 34,000, which has turned to its coffers. The fulness of time may gone to the coffers of the state ; if I shew, come when I may reveal its application ; ihat from an early period of life, when toil until that period does arrive, I ought to be ing in a laborious profession, he rose to above suspicion? Thus, my Lords, I have the higher political dignity to which he placed Mr Pitt in the precise situation of ascended; if I shew, and my memory will the noble defendant, and I ask if that emienable me to do so, that the habits of his
nent person would, on such an explanation, life were open, liberal, and generous ; if all have been put upon his trial on a charge of this be true, it will require a great deal of corruption? proof to convince your Lordships that he “ In the year 1996, the explanation of has searched in holes and corners, that he the truth would have not only involved the ransacked the dead bank note office; that destruction of individuals, but might have he dealt in small purchases of stock; and been the ruin of the country, exposed as it that having overdrawn his banking account was to a destructive war, and when the a trifling sum, he took up the public mo jaws of bankruptcy were opening upon us. ney to turn the balance, where no interest My Lords, the time arrived when circumwas charged. It would be a stretch in
stances were altered, and Mr Pitt thought deed to arrive at the conclusions they draw; right to reveal the fact. It was disclosit would be a stretch indeed to find his ex ed, and its application has been admitted ; alted mind guilty of corruption; to detect but the case might have been extremely Lord Melville filching a miserable pittance different; and then enquiries might have from the public monies
been pre-sed with the same activity as on “ With regard to the first 1..10,000, the the present occasion, and yet the safety of charge is, that being a public accountant, the country would have required, that the he would not disclose how he had dispos- silence of death ought to be preserved... ed of this money; the next is, (the impli- The grave itself would not have been more cation) that he made use of it for his own rigid in this observance than the late Chan. emolument. With regard to this sum, he cellor of the Exchequer; and who would did not withhold the return of it to the not have presumed his innocence ? De te public. At the time he made the declara- fabula narratur. Who was Mr Pitt? tion, which is alledged as a distinct crime, The intimate friend of Lord Melville, adop-, he had long before, returned the money to ting the same political maxims ; a friend in the coffers of the state. This seems to me public, and in private pursuing the same to be very material. How the money was object; possessing the same confidence; employed in the intermediate time, it does sitting together in the assembly of the renot appear to me to be incumbent on the presentatives of the people; and participa. counsel of Lord Melville to explain, and I ting together in the esteem, respect, and confess, feeling convinced of this, I am not support of that assembly. What is the difable to understand this part of the charge ; ference you are required to make with rehe has returned the money, and where is spect to these two characters so long united the criminality of not disclosing the chest, in the same cause ? You are not only to or the individual with whom it might be de withhold the same confidence from Lord posited.
Melville, but you are expected to infer « The channel thro' which the 40;0col. guilt. Lord Melville, then, with Mr Pitt, passed, is now known. Supposing the dis had obtained this money for secret services, closure of this had been called for before and having so obtained it, restored it; the the death of that illustrious statesman account was within the assigned balances; whom we all revere, what would have no injury whatever was suffered by the been the answer of that great man? Would public; and when the fulness of time. ar. he have sacrificed the public interests rived, the whole was explained. Their into his own character? and would all this dividual acts were the same; and whatconjecture, which the learned Manager ever opinion your Lordships, or 1, may enhas applied, have been directed to im. tertain on the wisdom of these acts, the popeach the integrity of the late minister? I licy forms no part of the consideration. can easily suppose the sort of reply this ar These two friends enjoyed the public condent friend of Lord Melville would have fidence for a term of eighteen years, and made to such an enquiry. •You have trust. the inference of corruption, from this seed in me for twenty long years; you have crecy of Lord Melville, is most unnatural,
when the whole conduct of his life, when the conduct of the Noble Defendant, as to his character so long established is directly his alleged inaccuracy in accounts – He opposed to it. It is, in short, against nature, was accurate enough to make up his own and supported by nothing in the history of salary to 4000l. a-year; and, in his statethe individual.
ment of the India Budgets, he was always “ I have to return to your Lordships my sufficiently lucid and unembarrassed to resincere thanks for the indulgence you have pel the idea that he was not capable of acgiven me. When you come, my Lords, curacy in accounts. It was argued, that it to examine more at leisure this evidence was impossible to disprove all the objecwhen you contemplate the liberality of the tions to the conduct of a man who had noble Defendant when you recollect that been 24 years in office. Mr Douglas was his heart was never debased by avarice dead; he could have explained all during when you consider the whole tenor of his his time, it was said; they then came to a life, and compare every part of his history later period; then all the papers were burnt with the allegations contained in these char. which could throw a light on the transacgese I am fully persuaded that his inno. tion. Could Douglas have been called ? cence will be completely established in Could the destroyed papers have been proyour minds, and your Lordships will pro duced? How much might they not susnounce the verdict of Not guilty. I admit pect they would have been able to have that the warrant signed by his Lordship proved, judging from what they had been might expose him to civil obligations, but able to prove. The Learned Counsel had whatever may be the extent of this con attempted to ridicule the fact of tracing tract, it is of no importance to the noble the bank notes, but if the history of all the Lord on a criminal charge. I say, he has bank notes could have been unravelled, not been proved corruptly, intentionally, what a history might it not have disclosed! or at all to have taken a sixpence of the They all heard of the book called Chrypublic money, and hence it is unnecessary sal, or the Adventures of a Guinea. Supto reason on the operation of the warrant. pose some such communicative guinea copid I contend also, that the argunient from the now be found. It might tell them it found statute is as clear as the reasoning from the its way from the Exchequer into
Mr Swaffacts, and that both in law and fact he is field's iron chest at the Navy Office; from clear of all guilt. The mens rea is what a thence, it might say, “ I expected to be lone can establish hisconviction in this coun transported to the pocket of some brave seatry, renowned for the humane policy of man, or seaman's widow; but judge of my ats penal code. I have endeavoured to shew, surprise, when I was taken out to pay a my Lords, the honourable silence of the bill of the Treasurer of the Navy. Soon noble Defendant, from his sense of public afterwards I found myself in the House of duty, personal honour, refinement, and de Commons, and, to my astonishment, heard licacy; and I have contrasted these senti. Lord Melville say he had applied me and ments with the silence of Mr Trotter, from 10,000 others to public purposes, but which the motives by which it was dictated. he would never name. Subsequent to that, The character of Lord Melville is now to
when I had made a few more transitions, I be restored to him by your decision ; he found myself in Westminster-hall, in the has borne his calamities with fortitude ; and pocket of a Counsellor, who was pleading conscious of his own integrity, he will a
the cause of Lord Melville, who was most wait that decision with a tranquil mind.” strictly endeavouring to controvert both Fourteenth Day-May 16.
the law and the fact; but what surprised
me most was, to hear another Counsellor, The Attorney General replied to the professed to be on the same side, contralegal doctrines advanced by Mr Plomer,' dict his colleague point blank." Here the and remarked, that they were as erroneous guidea tale must end. The books about as they were novel and dangerous. He which the Learned Gentleman differed it then entered at great length into the mean was impossible to open; no more than the ing and import of the several statutes re spirit Giblyn could open the book of the gulating the office of Treasurer ; and in Abbøt of 'Melrose. "The Hon. Manager sisted that it was impossible for the most contended, as he went along, that the evi. subtile reasoner, or expert casuist, to con dence was conclusive of the guilt of the vince their Lordships that Lord Melville Noble Defendant, and concluded his speech had not violated the act of 1786.
of this day with declaring he had no feelMr Whitbread coincided perfectly in ings of personal animosity. His duty done, the law as stated by his learned Colleague, he should retire, and he trusted his name, and thought it sufficiently answered the in going down to posterity along with the learned Gentlemen on the other side. cause, would not be dishonoured; but that Mr Whitbread proceeded to comment on which was honourable in itself would de
rive some lustre from the effulgence of the many modes of communicating ideas bee glory of that Court.
sides by words. When our immortal bard Fifteenth Day-May 17. represents King John as wishing the death Mr Whitbread resumed his speech. He of his nephew Arthur, without daring to commented at length on the confession of speak his wishes direct to Hubert, he thuş the Noble Lord respecting the application addresses himof 10,000l. to purposes which he avowed
« If thou couldst see without eyes, he would not disclose. He then adverted
“ Hear without thine ears, and make reply to the demeanour of Mr Trotter in giving
“ Without a tongue, using conceit alone his evidence, and insisted that, from his
“ Without eyis tears, and harmful sound of manner, as much was to be inferred as
words, from the plainest testimony. He argued from the 4th and sth clauses of the act of
« Then in despite of blooded watchful day,
“ I would into thy bosom pour niythoughts." 1786, and contended, that they were notoriously violated by the Noble Defendant. Similar, most likely, was Lord Melville's With respect to the want of care in the directions to Trotter, respecting India Noble Defendant in examining his accounts, Stock; but if any doubt remained as to this it did not appear that such was his charac- point, surely there could be nene to those ter by his subsequent conduct. He had had sums which the Noble Lord admitted he the caution to insert an unusual clause in had applied contrary to the purposes of a release for the destruction of all vouch- the act. In conclusion, the Hon. Manager ers, and he had not neglected to perform adverted to the manner in which the Coun. that agreement. What would the Noble sel had attempted to defend their client, Lord have said, when in office, to any of Instead of attempting to rescue his imhis inferior agents, if he had come to him peached honour, and restore his character, with such excuses as the Noble Lord. now they had only attempted to save him from offered to the Court on behalf of himself. punishment. “Oh! miserable man, to be so With regard to the removal of the money defended, said the Honourable Manager, from the Bank to Coutts's, it was argued Every one of the charges which the Ma. that the Noble Defendant had done it for nagers have presented against you have reasons of official convenience when the been completely substantiated.
By your Pay Office was removed from Broad-Street own confession, you have shown that you to Somerset House. But in fact, it was in háve illegally applied a large sųm of the 1786 that the money was removed to public money, and for that alone we are Coutts's, and the office was not removed justified in seeking a verdict of condemna. until the year 1787–the falsity of that
tion against you. You 'expressed your tence was there most evident.
readiness to swear that you did not derive The Hon. Manager next adverted to the any profits from the public money, during refuge taken by the Noble Lord under the the paymastership of Douglas, and we have sth clause, and refusing to answer the Com- proved that you did. You kave also demissioners of Inquiry. He considered this clared that you derived no profits during as strongly indicative of what were the the paymastership of Mr Trotter, and we Noble Lord's feelings--He fled to the sth have proved that you did. And whai has clause, and exclaimed in the words of the been deposed by our evidence, not a single
" Throw your auld cloak a witness has been called on your part to bout me." If a conduct such as the Noble
We therefore claim from your Defendant's could be overlooked and es Lordships the just reward of our success cape punishment, it would have the most a verdict against the Noble Defendant." baneful public infuence. It was little mat. The Lord Chancellor asked the learned ter comparatively how this case ended; Counsel for the Defendant if they wished but the example was most terrific. No to say any thing upon the cases quoted by public accountant hereafter need dread any the Attorney General.- Mr Plomer merely responsibility, should the Noble Lord stand observed, that he thought the case of Bremacquitted. He then entered into a detail of bridge and Powell did not apply-The the transaction of 1800 with much spirit, Attorney General stated that he quoted the and observed, had not that loan been nego case for the principle it established, which tiated, the Noble Lord would not probably he insisted was analogous to the present have been enabled to pay his balances, and the public must have suffered a loss. In ad. The Court then adjourned to the Cham, verting to the conversation stated to have ber of Parliament. passed between Lord Melville and Trotter, The Lords spent several days in discus. he observed, that though the latter could sing the evidence.' In the course of their miot recollect any of the conversations with deliberations, three questions on the point precision, it was not to be doubted but that of law were agreed to be put to the Judges; they understood each other, there were to which the following answers (which
comprehend the whole questions) were stated in the question, to apply any sum of unanimously returned :
money imprested to him for navy services, 1. Answer -- That monies issued from to other uses, public or private, without the Exchequer to the Governor and Com express authority for so doing, so as to con. pany of the Bank of England, on account stitute a misdemeanour, punishable by inof the Treasurer of his Majesty's Navy, formation or indictment. pursuant to the Act of 25th Geo. III. c. zí. On the rith of June, at the last private may be lawfully drawn from the said Bank deliberation of their Lordships, a roll of by the person duly authorized by the Treas the Peers names who had attended the surer to draw upon the Bank according to trial was made up by the Clerks of Court, the said Act, the drafts of such person and an order made that this roll be called being made for the purpose of discharging over next day on giving their final judge. bills actually assigned upon the Treasurer ment, and Do Peer whose name was not before the daces of such drafts, but not contained in this roll should have a right actually presented for payment before such
A motion was made, that Lord drawing, and that such nonies su drawn for Melville should not be present while the such purpose may be lawfully lodged and Peers were de ivering their votes, but this deposited in the hands of a banker, other motion was over-ruled. than the Governor and Company of the Bank, until the payment of such assigned
Sixteenth day June 12. bills, and for the purpose of making pay, The anxiety to hear the final determi. ment thereof when the payment thereof nation of this most important case attracted shall he demanded, and that such act in so crowds beyond what had been present on drawing such monies, and lodging and de- any former day, and many hundreds who positing the same as aforesaid, is not in the had procured tickets were obliged to go law a crime or offence.
away without being able to effect an enII. Answer. If, by the expression “ for trance. The Peeresses attended in such the purpose of being deposited in the hands numbers that there was scarcely accomof a private banker, or other private de modation for them. About a quarter bepository," is to be understood that such fore eleven, the Managers, followed by the was the object or reason of drawing the other Members of the House of Commons money out of the Bank of England, the and after them by the Speaker, entered. Judges answer, that monies may not law- The Lords were closely shut up until fully be drawn out of the Bank of England twelve o'clock, during which time the by the Treasurer of the Navy for such pure several articles of impeachment were read; pose, although the money be intended to
and the final arrangements made for pas he, and may in fact be, ultimately applied sing judgment in the High Court of Parliato 'naval services: But if, by that expression, ment. Their Lordships then proceeded in it is to be understood that such interme. the accustomed procession to the Hall. diate deposit in the hands of a private ban Silence being proclaimed, the Lord Chanker or depository, is to be made bona fide cellor addressed their Lordships in the folas the means, or supposed means, of more lowing words: conveniently applying the money to navy “ Your Lordships having fully considesservices, in that case the Judges answer, ed and deliberated upon the several articles that monies issued from the Exchequer to of impeachment exhibited against Henry the Bank of England, on account of the Viscount Melville, and the evidence ad'Treasurer of the Navy, pursuant to the . duced in support thereof, are now to proact of the 25th George III. c. 31. may be ceed to pronounce judgement on the' selawfully drawn therefrom by drafts drawn
veral questions, and the first question is in the name and on behalf of the Treasu
this." His Lordship then stated the charge rer, in the form prescribed by the said act, contained in this article. for the purpose of such monies being ulti His Lordship then put the question to mately applied to navy services, although, the youngest Baron on the first article, and in the mean time, and until the same shall in succession to every other Peer, up to his be required to be so applied, the money may Royal Highness the Duke of York, the be deposited in the hands of a private banker, Prince of Wales not being present. The or other private depository of such monies, manger of putting the question was this in the name and under the immediate sole “ John Lord Crewe, is Henry Viscount controul and disposition of some other per- Melville guilty of the high crimes and misson or persons than the Treasurer hiniself.
demeanours charged in this article or not III. Answer-To this Question the Jud. -Answer, Not Guilty, upon my honour." ges replied That it was not unlawful for The Peer in giving his vote stood up, the 'Treasurer of the Navy, before the act and inclining forward placed his right hand 251h Geo. III. although after the warrant on his heart. The Lord Chancellor ham
ving collected the other votes On each VII. Charging him with
receiving charge, gave his own in this form :
20,000 l. of the publis money, without in. “ ì Thomas Lord Erskine having fully terest, from Alexander 'Trotter : considered and deliberated upon the mat Not Guilty 85 ter in the first article, am of opinion, that Guilty 50-35 Henry Viscount Melville is not guilty up VIII. Charging him with receiving on that article, upon my honour."
from Alexander Trotter, 22,000 l. of the All the votes being taken upon the first public money, for which the defendant was article, silence was again proclaimed, and to pay interest : the question put in the same manner on Not Guilty the remaining charges, till the whole was Guilty 14-107 gone through. About ten minutes before
IX. Charging, that while the said A. four, the numbers being all cast up by the lexander Trotter fransacted the business of clerks, assisted by the agents of the parties, the defendant as his agent, he, the said A. the Lord Chancellor spoke as follows: lexander Trotter, was from time to time THE JUDGEMENT.
in advance to said Viscount Melville, in • The Majority of the Lords have AC that respect, to the amount of from 10,000). QUITTED Henry Viscount Melville, on the to 20,000 l. which sum was partly taken impeachment preferred against him by the from the public money, and partly froni a House of Commons, and of ALL THINGS mixed fund of public and private money :contained therein; and, Henry Viscount Not Guilty Melville, I am to acquaint you, that you are Guilty 13-109 Acquitted of the Impeachment preferred X. And last Ar charging him against you by the House of Commons, with taking, at divers times, between 1787 and of all things contained therein." and 1784, and between 1784 and 1986,
The following is an abstract of the 27,000 l. of the public money, and convertcharges, with the votes upon each, taken ing the same to his private use :from the Journals of the House of Lords. Not Guilty 123
1. On the First Article, charging Lord Guilty Melville with applying 10,000l of the
General Abstract of the Votes. puhlic money to his own use, previous to
Guilty. Not Guilty. Majority,
First Charge 15
31 II. Charging him with permitting Alex
135 135 ander Trotter to apply sums of the pub
129 lic money to his own use, and conniving at
88 such fraudulent application :
85 Not Guilty
13 142 109 III. Charging him with permitting A
Tenth lexander Trotter to draw the public money
123 from the Bank, and place it in the hands of
The following is a list of the Names of the his bankers, Messrs Coutts and Co. in his
Peers voting, and of the manner in which
Guilty on the following charges.
Lord Chancellor, 2, 3, 6, 7,
Lord President, E. Fitzwilliam,1,2,3,6,7,10
Lord Privy Seal, V. Sidmouth, 2, 3,6,7,8,
St. Albans, 2, 3,6,7. · Not Guilty 13%
Marquis-Winchester, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9
Headfort, 2, 3,6,7.
Carlisle, 2, 3, 7. profit made of the public money :
Oxford, 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 10.
Cowper, 2, 6, 7, 8.