SPEECHES
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TUC


SPEECHES


o.


THE RIGHT HONOURABLE


CHARLES JAMES FOX,


HOUSE OF COMMONS.


IN SIX VOLUMES.


VOL. I.


D17.7


LONDON:
PRINTED FOR LONGMAN, HORST, REES, ORME, AND B-ROWS,


rATERsosTz-:R-il OW ;


AND J. runowAy, PICCADILLY.




Strallan and Preston,
Printers-Street, London.


INTRODUCTION.


THE Speeches of Mr. Fox contain such a
various fund of political information, that


however imperfect the reports of them may be,
it would have been a great public loss if any of
them had been suffered to perish, or if, by
being scattered through the parliamentary his-
tory of the country, for the long space of nearly
forty years, they could not, without difficulty,
have been brought under one view, or be rea-
dily referred to, as the subjects of them might
occur hereafter.


With these impressions, the Editor was in-
duced to set about a collection of Mr. Fox's
Speeches, from his entrance into Parliament in
1768, to the period of his death in 1806 ; pre-.
fixing to each Speech, as he went along, such


A 2




iv


an historical sketch as, while it rendered the
subject of the Speech intelligible, should, at the
same time, present the reader with a correct
and undisguised view of the parliamentary
conduct, on all great questions, not only of
Mr. Fox, but of the party of which he was,
for so many years, the leader.


When the Speeches were at length collected
together, the Editor, before he resolved to
publish them, requested permission of Lord
Erskine to send them to his Lordship, that he
might judge whether, with all their imperfec-
tions, they were worthy of publication. Lord
Erskine, after obligingly saying in answer, that
at his earliest leisure he would look at them,
wrote the following Letter to the Editor, which
he has obtained his Lordship's permission to
publish, and which renders any further preface
unnecessary.


J. WR I GHT.
Wanton Square,


May 10. 1815.


LETTER.


rRom


LORD ERSKIN
To the Editor.


SIR, London, May I. 1845:


I HAVE received your letter with the Speechesof Mr. Fox, which you have sent for my
consideration.


In proposing me as the arbiter of their pub-
lication, after the great trouble which must have
attended the collection and arrangement of
them, you abundantly manifest the good faith
of the application ; because, having lived in the
most affectionate friendship with that truly great
man, having the utmost reverence for his me-
mory, and having heard from his own lips many
of the speeches, the notes of which you have
sent me, you must have supposed I should be
likely, above most others, to lament, that the
utmost care and attention could give but a very
faint representation of their merits. The ex-
pression of this regret is, however, no preface
to my wishing they should be suppressed. — Far


A 3




vi


from it. Many of them I know to have been
preservedby Mr. Perry,personally attached to Mr.
Fox, and better qualified by his talents and. habits
than any man I know, to do them justice ; one
or more with great ability by Mr. O'Bryen ; and
even those which have been collected from the
published debates of the day, with such assist-
ance only as your own industrious care may
have provided, are well worthy of preservation.
Indeed, I cannot conceive a more difficult
or painful exertion of the human faculties,
than that by which the proceedings in parlia-
ment are generally preserved, and so far from
being disposed to peevish criticisms upon their
imperfections, I have always thought that where
malice or undue partialities could not be fairly
attributed to them, they were entitled to the
utmost encouragement and indulgence.— It
would leave a wretched blank in our his-
tory, and might in the end be fatal to our liber-
ties, if they were prohibited, or should {1111 into
disuse.


They must, of course, come very short of
preserving, in their original lustre, those extra-
ordinary specimens of eloquence, which but
rarely occur even in this accomplished country ;
but, if they approach as near as is practicable,
without the aid of short hand, which in its per-
fection is a most rare talent, and which in par-
liament can seldom be resorted to, they are still
highly valuable. — It would be an absurd objec-


vii


tion to a bust of Demosthenes or Cicero, that
the vigour of the eye was lost in the marble,
and the lips cold and silent, which were the
fountains of their fame. — It would be as strange
a criticism on a Cabinet of Natural History,
that rare animals, however ingeniously pre-
served, were but feeble representations of them
when living ; — that though we observed the .
form of a lion, we could not hear him roar, nor
see him stalking over the desart in the tremen-
dous majesty of his dominion ; or that though.
we could , not but admire the form and plumage
of an eagle, we should account it nothing, be-
cause his vast wings were not hi motion, nor
his prey flying dismayed under their shadow.


Such feelings are, happily, not natural. — It is
folly to expect what is unattainable, and no less
so to reject or undervalue what we may enjoy
by art and contrivance, because the highest art
and contrivance can neither reach nor approach
to nature. I am, therefore, highly gratified
with your projected publication, and you are
welcome to publish this opinion, if you think it
will be useful to its reception with the public.


These observations are, however, more appli-
cable- to the best memorials of our debates in
parliament, or of the pleadings in ()Ur courts of
justice, than they would have been to those of
the ancient world. — The great orations of anti-
quity were composed with the utmost labourr.


A 4




viii


were carefully worked upon and refined by their
few great authors, and pronounced in public
after all the previous study which is necessary
to bestow perfection upon the impassioned de-
clamations of the stage : — but these splendid
compositions, though they have conferred an im-
mortal fame upon eloquence, though they have
been the sources of the purest taste, and have
given the happiest direction to British genius,
have nevertheless produced in England a. cha-
racter of public speaking entirely different, and,
in my mind, beyond all comparison superior.
The great affairs of a free government like
that of England, could not be usefully dis-
cussed in public, by men coming forth from
their closets with written discourses, however
sublime or beautiful — In our parliaments, it is
impossible to anticipate the circumstances or
arguments upon which the most vital interests
of the country may stand for immediate consi-
deration ; and in our courts of justice, whose
decisions • so often depend upon the oral testi-
mony of witnesses, and which are to be pro-
nounced in the instant, the talent of composition,
further than as it gives strength and correctness
to unpremeditated speaking, would be still
more useless.


British eloquence is of a. much highercharac,
ter It would be blown down in a moment, if
it stood only upon common knowledge, though
ornamented 1y the happiest talent for composi-


ix


tion and delivery. — A British statesman or law-
yer ought to have a consummate acquaintance
-with all that belongs to real life, in the almost
infinite combinations which arise amongst a
people having attained the highest summit of
civilization : their stile must not derive its lus-
tre from studied preparation, but from their
having worked into their minds, from earliest
life, the great models of taste and genius which,
b y a kind of human instinct, have united all
ages and nations in universal admiration : for
the rest, and that by far the most important
part of true eloquence, they must trust to the
spontaneous, or rather accidental effusions of
the divine spirit of man, struck out like fire
from its ethereal and immortal nature, when its
energies are excited by the great duties which
God has imposed upon the few whom He has
eminently qualified for the direction and go-
vernment of mankind.


These general observations may appear to be
wandering from the subject of • my letter, but
they are no departure from my view of it ; be-


• cause, if I were to be asked what was the nature
and character of Mr. Fox's eloquence, I should
answer, that it was only asking me in other
words what I understood to be the nature and
practical character of eloquence it-sef, when ap-
plied to the transactions of British Government
and. Law.




x


This extraordinary person, then, in rising
generally to speak, had evidently no more pre-
meditated the particular language he should
employ, nor frequently the illustrations and
images, by which he should discuss and en-
force his subject, than he had contemplated
the hour he was to die ; and his exalted merit
as a debater in parliament, did not therefore
consist in the length, variety, or roundness
of his periods, but in the truth and vigour
of his conceptions ; in the depth and extent
of his information ; in the retentive powers
of his memory, which enabled him to keep
in constant view, not only all he had for
merly read and reflected on, but every thing
said at the moment, and even at other times,
by the various persons whose arguments he was.
to answer ; in the faculty of spreading out his
matter so clearly to the grasp of his own mind,
as to render it impossible he should ever fail in
the utmost clearness and distinctness to others;
-- in the exuberant fertility of his invention;
which spontaneously brought forth his ideas at
the moment, in every possible shape by which
the understanding might sit in the most accu-
rate judgment upon them ; whilst, instead of
seeking afterwards to enforce them by cold, pre-
meditated illustrations or by episodes, which,
however beautiful, only distract attention, he
was accustomed to repass his subject, not me-
thodically, but in the most unforeseen and fasci-


xi


noting review, enlightening every part of it,
and binding even his adversaries in a kind of
spell for the moment, of involuntary assent.


The reader must certainly not expect to be.
so carried away by the sketches now before me.
Short hand alone, secured too at the moment,
against the numerous imperfections inseparable
from following the career of so rapid and vehe-
ment an elocution, could have perpetuated their
lustre and effect: but, still the correct, and
often the animated substance remains, which
preserves from oblivion more that is worthy of
preservation, than by such means would apply
to almost any other speaker in the world. —
Eloquence, which consists more in the dextrous
structure of periods, and in the powers and
harmony of delivery, than in the extraordinary
vigour of the understanding, may be compared
to a human body, not so much surpassing the
dimensions of ordinary nature, as remarkable
for the symmetry and beauty of its parts : — if
the short hand writer, like the statuary or pain-
ter, has made no memorial of such an orator,
little is left to distinguish him, but, in the most
imperfect reliques of Fox's speeches, THE BONES
OF A GIANT ARE TO BE DISCOVERED.


This will he found more particularly to apply
to his speeches upon sudden and unforeseen
occasions, when certainly nothing could be more
Interesting nor extraordinary than to witness,




xii


as I have often done, the mighty and unpre-
pared efforts of his mind, when he had to
encounter with the arguments of some pro-
found reasoner, who had deeply considered his
subject, and arranged it with all possible art, to
preserve its parts unbroken.—To hear him begin
on such occasions, without method, without any
kind of exertion, without the smallest impulse
from the desire of distinction or triumph, and
animated only by the honest sense of duty, an
audience, who knew him not, would have expect-
ed but little success from the conflict : as little
as a traveller in the East, whilst trembling at a
buffalo in the wild vigour of his well protected
strength, would have looked to his immediate
destruction, when he saw the Boa moving
slowly and inertly towards him on the grass.
But, Fox, unlike the serpent in every thing but.
his strength, always taking his station in some'
fixed, invulnerable principle, soon surrounded;
and entangled his adversary, disjointing every
member of his discourse, and strangling him in:
the irresistible folds of truth.


This intellectual superiority, by which my-
illustrious friend was so eminently distin-
guished, might nevertheless have existed in
all its strength without raising him to the
exalted station he held as a public speaker.
The powers of the understanding are not of
themselves sufficient for this high purpose.
Intellect alone, however exalted, without strong


feelings, 'without even irritable sensibility, would
like an immense magazine of gunpow-be only


der, if there were no such element as fire in the
natural world—It is the heart which is the spring
and fountain of Eloquence — a cold-blooded
learned.man, might; for any thing I know, com-
pose in his closet 'an eloquent book ; but, in
public discourse, arising out of sudden occasions,
could by no possibility be eloquent.


To carry on my ideas of oratory, by continu-
ing to identify it with Fox — He possessed,
above all men I ever knew, the most gentle and
yet the most ardent spirit ; a rare and happy
combination ! — he had nourished in his mind
all the manly and generous sentiments, which
are the true supports of the social world ; he
was trembling alive to every kind of private
wrong or suffering, and, from the habitual and
fervent contemplation of the just principles of
government, he had the most bitter and unex-
tinguishable contempt for the low arts of poli-
tical intrigue, and an indignant abhorrence of
every species of tyranny, oppression, and in-
justice.


It has been said, that he was frequently care-
less of the language in which lie expressed
himself; but I can neither agree to the justice,
nor even comprehend the meaning of that cri-
ticism — He could not be incorrect from care-lessness ; because, having lived from his youth




xiv


in the great world, and having been familiarly
conversant with the classics of all nations, his
most unprepared speaking (or if Critics will
have it so, his most negligent) must have been
at least grammatical, which it not only uniform-
ly. was, but distinguished by its taste : more
than that could not have belonged to it, without
the very care which his habits and his talents
equally rejected.


He undoubtedly attended as little to the
Musical intonation of his speeches as to the lan-
guage in which they were expressed — his em-
phases were the unstudied effusions of nature —
the vents of a mind, burning intensely with the
generous flame of public spirit and benevolence,
beyond all. controul or management when im-
passioned, and above the rules to which inferior
things are properly subjected : his sentences
often rapidly succeeded, and almost mixed
themselves with one another, as the lava rises
in bursts from the mouth of a volcano, when
the resistless energies of the subterranean world
are at their height.


These last remarks require, however, some
explanation ; that I may not appear to depre-
ciate the executive part of public speaking,
which is worthy of the utmost care and cultiva-
tion — No man admired it more than Mr. Fox,
nor was a juster, though always a liberal and
indulgent critic of performances upon the stage.


X V


Theatrical representations, which demand the
talent of Eloquence, are generally the works of
great poets, with which the cultivated parts of
the audience are familiar, which they have, of
course, almost present to their memories, and
which, involving no consequences beyond the
emotions they are calculated to administer, ex-
act the most perfect representations — In such
cases, the least departure from the justest ex-
pression of the passions, the smallest defects in
voice or gesture, diminish the fame of the actor ;
but, upon the real stage of life, where the great
affairs of the world are transacted, and where
men speak their own sentiments in their own
natural language, the case is somewhat different.
No man, in either House of Parliament, or in
our Courts of Justice, ever felt as if he were in
a box at Covent Garden or Drury Lane ; and,
even upon the stage itself, it will be found, after
all, that the rare talent of the actor has its seat
in the superior sensibilities of the mind, which
identify him for the moment with the characters
he represents — Yet, certainly, neither the actor
nor the orator can be said to have reached the
summit of their arts without the utmost atten-
tion to all the delicacies and graces of the most
perfect delivery ; not, indeed, thought of at the
moment, which would be utterly unworthy of a
great statesman engaged in the mighty concerns
of an empire, but to be insensibly acquired by
studious observation, and wrought as it were
into the habit, so as to be as much a compon-




xvi


tint part of the man as his countenance or his
address — I thought it necessary to introduce
these observations, lest I should appear to under-
value such essential parts of public speaking as
utterance and action — Demosthenes seems to
have thought them almost every thing ; •and,
even with our habits, so different from those of
the ancients, they would be to most men immense
advantages, though nothing at all to Mr. Fox.


My admiration of his talents, and my zeal for
the lustre of his memory, have already led me
much farther than I intended when I began my
answer to your letter ; yet I find it difficult now
to close it without saying something upon the
principles which uniformly characterize his
speeches, after he had arrived at that maturity
of thought and reflection, which laid the foun-
dations of his exalted character as a statesman.
It is not my intention to examine them in their
order, nor in their details, but to advert only,
and very shortly, to such of them as most strik-
ingly illustrate the distinguishing features of.
them all.


The spirit which will be fbund to pervade and
animate them is the pure but regulated, spirit
of liberty, which he justly considered to be, not
only the prime blessing of private life, but the
fulcrum upon which every civil establishment
must rest for its security. — For my own_ part, I
_have always been convinced, that the laws which


xvii


govern the natural world are not more fixed and
unalterable, than those which preside over the
safety and happiness of man in a state of society.
Mighty powers indeed, must be vested in all
governments, however constituted, and manye,
restraints must be sanctioned by the wisest and
most indulgent system of laws ; but it should be
the constant aim of every human authority to
ascertain by cautious experiments how few re-
strictions are necessary for the support of order
and obedience, and by what liberal extensions of
rights and privileges, affection and confidence in
the great body of the people may be best criated
and preserved. Indeed, if I were now consider-
ing how I might best illustrate our own inesti-
mable constitution, I should say that in one
short sentence, I had faithfully described its
principles and pointed to the cause of its being
preserved and reverenced throughout the world,
whilst principalities and powers, strangers to,
or neglecting the grand secret of conservation,
have been convulsed and overthrown. No
man better understood the powers of this
great political talisman than Fox ; and, it is
both curious and beautiful to observe, with what
Stubborn constancy he for ever rejected the harsh
instrumentality of power, when opposed to the
surer effects of liberal trust, of mildness, and
conciliation.


In governmehts, constituted like that of England, upon
the genuine principles of freedom, few serious resistances will


VOL. I.
a




xviii


No man, for example, was more deeply ac-
tjuainted with the spirit, and even the practice of
our laws, nor sought less to undermine the con-
stitutional authority of the Judges ; but, he
thought for a long season they wereundermining-
it themselves, by usurping the functions of the
Jury in cases of libel — On that principle, he
proposed his celebrated Act of Parliament,
which put an end, in a moment and for ever, to
all conflicts between the two parts of our tri-
bunals, always intended to form one harmoni-
ous whole ; bringing back the country to repose
with confidence in the wisdom and learning of
the Courts, and securing to the people their un-
questionable privilege, of an unsophisticated Trial
by Jury in this as in other offences — Before the
Libel Act, when nothing was left to Juries but
the mere fact of publication, whilst they were
nevertheless called upon to pronounce judg-
ments involving the determination of guilt, it


be likely to take place ; but, whenever they do, there is but
one course to be pursued. Mildness and conciliation will not
do for such insurgents ; because that is proved by the very
insurrection against the authority of so mild a government.
In that case, the most bold and decisive execution of the
laws must be instantaneously resorted to,, and persisted in
without pause until the evil is subdued. Mildness in the prin-
ciples and firmness in the administration of government, where,
it is resisted in its just and lawful course, is the perfection of
human wisdom in the management of mankind. I have
added this Note, that Mr. Fox's authority may not be applied
to in ca,ws where it has no application.


xix


frequently required but little skill or eloquence;
to defend the most defenceless libeller : the
offence was generally kept in the back-ground,
and a stand made upon the injustice of asking
condemnation without examination ; but when
the functions of the Jury were, by this whole-
some statute, restored to them, I can speak from
my own long experience, that the task became
justly most difficult, or rather hopeless ; juries
considering the cases brought before them, with
the greatest good sense and reflection, consult-
ing their own understandings, as they ought to
do, upon the nature of the accusation, and the
intentions of the accused, but receiving at the
same time the learned assistance of the Judges,
free from all that jealousy of their own inde-
pendence, which, until it was secured by law,
had frequently entangled their consciences, and
perverted their judgments. In this instance,
therefore, by following the ruling principle of
his mind, Mr. Fox conferred the highest benefit
upon public authority, as well as upon popular
privileges— in doing so, he looked to no stan-
dard of his own, but to the genuine principles
and precedents of British Law, which in this
deeply important instance, had been oversha-
dowed and. misunderstood.


No man was also a greater friend to our ec-
clesiastical establishments, but he thought that
an undue support of the Church became the
parent of dissent, when restraints of any kind.


a2




0


XX


were imposed upon Dissenters of any descrip-
tion on that ground, as well as upon the
right of universal freedom in religious opinion's,
he was the advocate of Catholic Emancipation,
and for the repeal of the Test Act.


Here, again, Mr. Fox's ruling principle deserves
the utmost consideration. If the Church of Eng-
land were vulnerable in her doctrines, or in her
discipline, maintaining her ascendancy, like the
Romish Church, by the ignorance and dark-
ness of her' adherents, her security might, in
some measure, depend upon the penal discou-
ragement of dissent ; but, when I reflect upon
the unexampled Wisdom of her original refor-
mers, in all that they abolished, as well as in all
that they preserved; when I consider the mani-
fest foundations of her faith upon the sacred
authorities of Scripture; the simplicity and beau-
ty of her Liturgy, assimilated by time as well as
by its own intrinsic excellence, to the feelings.
of the English people ; when I advert to the
general learning and morals of her ministers,
and their usefulness throughout the country, I
doubt with Mr. Fox, whether the restraints and
disabilities originally set on foot for her protec-
tion, and which are now insensibly wearing
away under the indulgent administration of our
government, may not have been the nurses, if
not the parents of Sectaries in every part of the
kingdom Their foundations were laid when
there was much less toleration than at present;


xxi


and if the Church feels any serious alarm from
their expansion, she should lend her hand to
the discouragement of their. communities, by.
inviting the Legislature to let the law pass over
them without the very knowledge of their exis-
tence — So little of restraint is now left, that
even if it were the sound principle of support.
to our ecclesiastical system, it would be utterly
useless ; whilst the exclusion from civil incorpo-
rations, bestows a kind of corporate character -
and perpetuity upon religious dissents, which
would otherwise have a tendency to dissolution.
These observations are,. however, addressed only
to the ministers of the church, and not to those
'of the state — the great body of dissenters are,
I believe, fully sensible of the liberal disposition
of the government towards them ; as enlight-
ened men, they know how to appreciate the
difficulties which have attended the best wishes
for them ; and speaking, of course, of the great
and well known bodies of Dissenting Protes-
tants, I am happy in this occasion of expressing
my perfect conviction of the fidelity of their
civil allegiance, and the sincerity of their reli-
gious persuasions.


Mr. Fox's principle receives, however, a still
more striking illustration from those who differ
from me regarding them, and who falsely im-
pute to them republican principles — They- un-
doubtedly cherish the doctrines of civil liberty
with peculiar warmth and feeling, the inevitable.


a 3




consequence of any species of jealous disability
or restraint; and on this account there are sonie
.who would be sorry to see that spirit destroyed,
by breaking up their exclusions, and throwing
them without distinction into the oblivious mass
of the people.


The moral certainty of this obvious conse-
quence deserves the utmost attention in the
consideration of the Roman Catholic question.
Educated myself in an almost superstitious re-
pugnance to that religion, (though I have the
highest opinion of, and the most sincere regard
for very many of its members,) I found it diffi-
cult at first to bring up my mind to the admini-
stration of this only specc JO?' its gradual de-
cline and extinction : but I shall now never hesi-
tate a moment for applying it; independently of
all the other great principles so powerfully in-
sisted upon by Fox in the volumes now before
me ; but I never can admit that there is any
foundation whatsoever for emancipating their
Spiritual Pastors from that dependence upon
the civil government which is submitted to by
our Protestant Bishops and Clergy, and even
by Catholics themselves in the Catholic states.


In 1793, we find Mr. Fox equally conspicu-
ous in support of the same principles, when in
a season of great alarm, new laws were pro-
posed for the punishment of sedition and of
traitorous correspondence


nothing could be


more false or wicked than the calumnies of that
day, which represented him as sheltering the
disturbers of the public tranquillity — his object
was quite the reverse — it was to remove the dis-
turbances by the vigorous administration of our
ancient laws, which he held to be sufficient for the
emergency : it was to put to shame the false-
hood of French principles, by holding up those
of England in their undefiled, unsullied beauty,
and to oppose a spirit of change and revolution,
by changing nothing, without urgent cause, in
our own venerable constitution.


This principle even strikingly distinguishes
his speech, when in 1793, he supported a mo-
tion to reform it ; and nothing certainly which
the wit or wisdom of man ever prompted, il-
lustrated its value with greater force or truth,
than when he said, " that if by a peculiar in-
" terposition of Divine Power, all the wisest
" men of every age and every country, could be
" collected into one assembly, he did not believe.


that their united wisdom would be capable of
" forming a tolerable constitution."— What re-
buke could be greater to the ignorance and pre-
sumption which characterised the time he spoke
in ? What stronger pledge that his purpose was
to preserve our own ? A constitution, not con-
structed by assembled theorists, but growing up
from natural and often accidental causes, through
the lapse of many ages, to maturity ; a consti-
tution which, therefore, mocks and puts toy.


a4




xxiv


shame every abstract, theoretical reformer, and
which can suffer no alteration but in conformity
with the whole, and that only which the most
obvious use and even necessity justifies. Mr.
Fox's purpose, in his own words, was " not to


pull down, but to work upon it, to examine
it with care and reverence, to repair it where
decayed, to amend it where defective, to prop
it where it wanted support, and to adapt it
to the purposes of the present time, as our
ancestors had done from generation to gene-
ration, always transmitting it, not only unim-
paired, but improved, to their posterity."


Nothing can be more happily expressed than
this short sentence, because it keeps in view
what has ruined the cause of reform,


-when lost
sight of— that our whole history, from its begin-
ning, has been a perpetual and gradual system
of reformation. If all who mixed themselves
with this delicate and momentous subject, had
held this sound and safe language, and had
acted with good faith . upon the principles so
justly adopted and illustrated upon that occa-
sion by Lord Grey, whose speech, both for wis-
dom and eloquence, was of the highest order,
the cause of reform, in spight of all obstacles,
would have become popular ; but it received an
almost deadly blow in the very outset from the


CC


4G


4C


C'


C'


C'


* See Vol. V. p. 109.


XXV'


rashness of great numbers of mistaken peo-
ple, who, instead of following in his well chosen
path, sent forth from every part of the kingdom,
such unprincipled, inflammatory, and ignorant.
reflections upon the other branches of the go-
vernment, and indeed upon its whole frame and
structure, as to alarm and disgust the great body
of men of rank and property, without whose
support no useful reformation in the govern-
ment of any civilised nation can ever be brought
about.


These few instances may furnish, I think,
a sufficient clue for following Mr. Fox through
the many other questions of domestic policy,
which are the subjects of these volumes. in
the debates regarding our external relations, in
which the characters of great statesmen are
more prominent and important, the reader will
find everywhere the same principles; the same
contempt for every system of artifice or vio-
lence, and the same reliance upon the effects of
good will and plain dealing, of openness and
kindness, which apply as universally, and as
surely to the restoration of peace between con-
tending nations, as they notoriously do to all
differences between individual men.


In all the questions, therefore, regarding Ire-
land, whether they related to our connection
with her when a distinct people under her own
Parliament, or drawn into our bosom by the




CC


LC


c6


xxvi


union which has happily taken place, the same
opinions illustrate and characterize Mr. Fox.
He was an enemy to all artificial restraints when
put in the scale against liberal i • tercourses —
thought with Mr. Burke, "that our affidavits and
" our sufferances, our dockets and our clearances,
" were not the great securities of our commerce;"
that the earth was large enough for the full and
overflowing prosperity of all nations ; and that a
partnership never could be thriving, which im-
poverished any branch of it.


We find him also, in the ripeness of his civil
wisdom, strenuously opposing himself to the
insane policy, which gave birth to the revolu-
tionary war with America and to her United
States — yet such is often the dominion of
prejudice and error, even in the most enlight-
ened communities, that I am old enough to
remember the immortal orations of Burke upon
that momentous subject, delivered to the almost
empty benches of the House of Commons, filled
only by her infatuated majorities when his
warning voice had ceased ; yet, now that time
and events have pronounced their awful judg-
ments, no man would hazard his character irt
the .most private circle by supporting opinions,
which, for a long time triumphed in Parliament,
and enflamed the great body of this people,
until one half of out empire was severed from
the other. " So paltry a sum as three pence in
" the eyes of . a financier .— so insignificant an.


article as tea, in the eyes of a philosopher,
shook the pillars of a commercial empire that
circled the whole globe."


Upon the same principle, Mr. Fox, had he
been now living, would have rejoiced in the
peace which has been recently made ; he would
have exerted all his eloquence to secure its con-
tinuance, and would have counselled the pe-
remptory duty of forbearing from every topic of
irritation, of rejecting a narrow system of policy
regarding her, and of opening our parental arms
to renew the feelings of confidence and affection,
which " common names and kindred blood "
might yet restore and perpetuate. England
has declared by her Ministers in Parliament,
that she claims no rights, but those which are
common to all nations.


• Such rights cannot
be doubtful, since what they are, the universal
voice of nations must pronounce ; and, in cases
where their exercise may become harsh and
inconvenient, HE will approve himself the best
statesman and the truest friend of both coun-
tries, who shall devise the best means of putting
at an endless distance every cause of strife.


Another conspicuous subject of Mr. Fox's
eloquence, was the portentous phenomenon of
the French Revolution ; and on this mighty
question of national interest, which, from its
new and extraordinary nature, could not but
produce strong differences of opinion between
the best private friends, and amongst the most




xxix


honest and enlightened statesmen, it was my
wish and my design to have been altogether si-
lent, more especially as we are at this moment,
I fear, in the very midst of the storm, and as I
was besides, most anxious to avoid even the ap-
pearance of a wish to revive political contro-
versy. In raising this humble, but affectionate
monument to his memory, I felt that I ought
not only to guard it from being defaced, but
should invite it to be surrounded by honest
and enlightened men of all parties and opi-
nions ; at the same time, when I came to
consider how very important a part it formed
of his public character, I found it indispen-
sable to touch, though slightly and generally,
upon this difficult, delicate, and complicated
subject. — I shall, therefore, very shortly advert
to his opinions, but without any argument in
their support — they are already, indeed, mat-
ter of history ; and as they cannot at all
govern our present duties, under circumstan-
ces so very different, I shall leave them.
" without impatience, to the vicissitudes of
" opinion, and the impartiality of a future
" generation."


It was the constant theme, then, of Mr. Fox,
as will appear over and over again throughout
these volumes, that the true policy of this
country regarding France at that period, inde-
pendently of not interfering with the internal
government of any nation, was to leave her to
the good or evil of her own revolution — He-


thought, whilst her desperate and distracted
factions were balancing, and almost daily des-
tdir eloecy


le


one another, that whatever they might
or publish, or however, in the frenzy of


ianrgoment, they might denounce the govern-
ments of surrounding nations, they had no
power to enforce their threats ; and that so far
from there being any danger of France, so cir-
cumstanced, overpowering her neighbours by
conquest, she was likely herself to sink in the
storm she had raised. He was convinced, that
if the states of Europe had acted upon this opi-
nion, contenting themselves with taking secu-
rity by prudent councils against the contagion
of disorganising principles so much appre-
hended, husbanding their finances, and stand-
ing upon their guard against invasion by
great military establishments, instead of in-
vading France, she could not, upon any hu-
man calculation, have so suddenly extended
her dominion over so many mighty nations. I
purposely avoid all design of considering or
questioning her aggressions at that period, or
of disputing the justification of war against her,
if it was prudent in that manner to wage it.
To enter upon this would be raising the very
spirit of controversy which I !have disclaimed.
I am only recording Mr. Fox's sentiments, and
shall, therefore, content myself with the fact,
that the Duke of Brunswick published his fatal
manifesto, and invaded France. At that period,
and under those circumstances, Mi. Fox, in




XXX"


his letter to his constituents,* ridiculed the idea
of her conquest, and he was justified by the
event — By this ill-timed assault upon her terri-
tory, accompanied by the disgusting threat of
utterly exterminating the principles and authors
of the revolution, contending factions were an-
nihilated by a common danger to all ; the citi-
zens of Paris who had been cutting one another's
throats in the streets without knowing where-
fore, knew then, to a. man, that they must unite
for their existence as a people ; and the world
exhibits no parallel to the exertions of France :
she dug into the mansions of the dead for the
fabric of her powder, and forged the irons
which surrounded her churches and public edi-
fices into weapons of war : the spirit which
inspired her was not merely the spirit of free-
dom, always undaunted however misdirected,
but was inflamed and elevated by terror and
despair, when caught in the moment of dis-
organization by the numerous armies which
surrounded her, proscribed as she was by the
whole European world It did not, in my
opinion, require Mr. Fox's sagacity to predict
the result of this unequal contest. — The nations


,of Europe at that period, whatever they might
have had to fear, had then actually siffered
nothing from the French revolution ; so that
whilst on the one hand, the French armies,
however undisciplined, were in fact a people


1" See Appendix to Vol. IV.


in arms, the invading force was only brought
up to the charge by the cold and lifeless
principle of military discipline, without a
national object, and by subjects rather disgust-
ed with their own governments, than with
the changes they had only heard of in France.
Well, therefore, might Mr. Fox on that occa-
sion, when the conquest of France was antici-
pated, exclaim against the feeble pencil of Cer-
vantes —from the very course then pursued to
conquer her, he conceived, she became invul-
nerable; because having no means left of exis-
tence as a nation, but by forming her popula-
tion into a vast camp, and depending for her
security upon military skill and exertion, she
was not at all likely to be the victim of any com-
bination amongst the old governments of Eu-
rope, jealous of one another, and not excited
by a counteracting motive, of an equally pro-
jectile force.


When her government was thus established,
no matter whether for good or for evil, and
war had arisen from resisting it in its commence-
ment, Mr. Fox still more strongly reprobated
as a monstrous proposition, that she was in-
capable in the pure abstract of maintain-
ing the usual relations of peace and amity.
He admitted, of course, most distinctly, that
Great Britain and all other powers were well
justified in looking to their own securities, but
he thought they should come at once to the de-




vision of the securities they required, and not
have acted upon a declaration so vague and so
unexampled.


To this policy, which he condemned as erro-
neous, Mr. Fox imputed the disasters which
followed in his time France, being thus put
under the bairn of an undefined proscription,
a looser rein was undoubtedly given by it to
to her impetuous and dangerous course ; and
in faithfully recording Mr. Fox's principles
and opinions, it is impossible to refrain from
saying, that for a season at least there was too
much colour for her invasion of other nations.
What other security had she for her own inde-
pendence? Since not only no terms were offered
to her, but she was even denied the privilege
of offering any herself.


To the same policy we owe, perhaps, the
arduous but justifiable contest now preparing
against the military Ruler of France. No
republican, nor any other free system of govern-
ment, above all, commencing in the storm of a
revolution, had any possible chance of a con-
tinuance amongst a people so circumstanced —
a great military nation must be ruled by a great
military captain, and Napoleon happening to
return from Egypt at a most critical period, was
invested with the consular dignity ; a station
which, however faithfully it might have been
given or accepted as a civil magistracy, was


5 '


likely to end, as it did, in his becoming the
Imperator, whose purple he afterwards


assumed.


But when this vague system of warfare was
at last abandoned, when peace was offered upon
the ordinary principles of security, when the
treaty of Amiens was actually- made, and. when
(without at, , all discussing the immediate causes
or principles of its short continuance) Buona-
parte more manifestly began to pursue the most
audacious, unprincipled and unbounded system
of ambition — when he conducted himself with
such violence and injustice to Holland, that to
use Mr. Fox's own words " were he master of the
" use of colours, and could paint with skill, he


would take the darkest to delineate his conduct :"
when, to use his own words again, as to the


oppression of Switzerland, from which, he said,
" by treaty as well as upon every principle qf
" justice, lie was hound to withdraw his troops,—to


leave the country to itself, even under the mise-
rable government he had given it, and to re-


" spect its- independence ; lie nevertheless had44
. "established a dominion utterly repugnant to the


" principles and odious to the feelings of that
4, people --L., when, afterwards, by a ccnripli- -
cated system of fraud, treachery, and violence,
he overran and butchered the Spanish nation,
.endeavouring, after ages of darkness, to vindi-
cate and assert


. her own independence, and the
VOL,




XXXV


general cause of freedom : — when, to leave
details which serve only to weaken the view of
his odious and unprincipled plans of universal
mischief, he became in his own person what
it had been before absurd to predicate of a
nation — the whole principle and character of
the war was altered. Its origin, politicians
might still continue to remove from them-
selves and cast it upon their opponents ; but
its prosecution was no longer matter of choice
but of painful and cruel necessity. For a
long and dreadful interval, France continu-
ed to be the proud, revengeful, and desolat-
ing assailant ; whilst the surrounding nations,
discomfited by their unsuccesful contest when
they were in the wrong, had not yet ac-
quired the just confidence which almost always
belongs to those who are in the right — hence
they were every where overthrown ; and if,
after the subjugation of so many kingdoms, and
the defection of others from the confederacy,
he had stopped short in his hostile career, when
the independence of France and his own se-
curity had been asserted by his unparalelled ex-
ertions, his dynasty, whatever might have
followed from it, would, in all probability, have
been as well established as any other in Europe
or in the world. — By his divorce from Josephine,
and his marriage with Maria Louisa of Austria,
he appeared for a while to have adopted this
peaceful policy ; but the restless and unprin-


cipled character of his mind betrayed him he
was an evil spirit at variance with the social
spirit of the world, and persisted without due
reflection in his pernicious course: how else
could he have hoped to enforce his Napoleon
system, which demanded of all nations the
surrender of every source of their prosperity ?
Men will submit to very evil systems of govern-
ment, whilst they are left in possession of their
property, and with the free and necessary in.-
tercourses of the world ; but they will not con-
sent to be starved by au arbitrary system of
unmitigated restriction and exclusion, imposed
upon them by a foreign force, directed to
no object in which they have an interest, and
of which they cannot but be the victims.


To this almost insane delusion, Europe
owed the first dawn ings of her deliverance.
Sovereigns not absolutely subjugated could
not possibly submit to it, and their ruined
people would not long have endured their
submission : their resistance enflamed the
temper of a man till then, EXCEPT BY WEL-
LINGTON IN SPAIN, not successfully resisted,
and the grand and final catastrophe of Europe
was decided upon : but when France, now
become lost to every idea of honor and freedom,
had thus given herself up, without a pang, and
even with a delirious exultation, to the do-
minion of one man, who, not contented with


b 2




her base and ignominious subjection, endeavour-
ed to bend all the kingdoms of the earth to
his dominion, imposing upon their subjects
greater privations than they had ever felt under
the most defective of their own establishments,
nothing was then wanting but some highly
favourable opportunity for overthrowing so in-
tolerable and deeply-rooted a tyranny. — Such
an occasion, however, might never have pre-
sented itself, and in my opinion never would ;
but from the seemingly predestinated infatuation
of persisting in his odious system of proscription,
and of his total forgetfulness of times and sea-
sons in the execution of his gigantic projects :
but when they failed at last, and the tide of war,
impelled by the elements, pursued him in his
retreat, it was the war of united, justified, in-
dignant nations, and the aven ging elements ofb
heaven; — Sovereigns were then no longer un-
principled invaders at the head of reluctant ar-
mies, but patriot leaders Of their insulted and
injured people, repelling in their turn, like the
French at the period of her revolution, an un-
principled invasion. The submission, therefore,
of France to her conquerors at the- gates of
Paris, instead of lessening Mr. Fox's authority,
in my opinion establishes and confirms it — On
the very same principle that, in his time, France
could not be successfully invaded by the nations
of Europe, she could not lately resist their in-
vasion ; and I entertain no doubt at all that if


he had been then living, his sagacity would
have predicted the event.


My reason for this last observation was only
to vindicate the truth of his prediction that
France was invulnerable, from the charge often
made of its having turned out to be unfounded
when she submitted to her invaders. For the
truth, however, of my remark, nor for any
reasonings of my own on which it was founded,.
he is in no way responsible — his memory
must in no manner be implicated by opinions
which he never delivered, and which could be
built only upon events that he did not live to
see — as little can I presume to support by his
authority, the view I entertain of our present
situation, on which, however, I cannot with
safety be altogether silent, lest whilst from the
warmth of friendship I have been illustrating
Mr. Fox's principles, I might be supposed here-
after to have departed from my own,


None of his opinions, then, regarding the
French Revolution, which I have referred to in
my letter, in all of which I concurred with him
in Parliament, and still maintain inviolate, have
in my judgment, any bearing whatsoever upon
our relations at this moment with France, nor
can govern or affect the momentous question of
peace or war. The policy of the one or the
other, as most likely to promote in the end the:


b3




tranquillity of the world, it would be wholly be-
side my purpose to touch upon: How far the Em-
peror Napoleon, after having seen the ruinous
consequences of his past misconduct, might not
be as likely to preserve peace in Europe, as any
other government, established by force of arms ;


whether, supposing that expectation to be
irrational and the Allies to be again at the gates
of Paris, greater difficulties might not arise than
even occurred before, in dealing with a nation
of such vast power, extent, and population ; —
or whether, supposing the comparative safety
of war to be obvious and unquestionable, great.
obstacles may not present themselves hereafter
to its successful prosecution, from the internal
state of our country, are momentous considera-
tions which the proper forums must decide : —
but these difficulties ought not to be increased
by any doubt regarding the principle of the con-
test ; because, supposing the Emperor Napoleon
to be at this moment the universal choice of the
French people, of which there is no sufficient evi-
dence, Great Britain and her Allies would still
have a justifiable cause of war against France.


No man can hold more sacred than I do, the
right of every people to the government of their
own choice, nor is prepared more constantly or
more firmly to resist all interference by force
with the internal concerns of AN UNOFFENDING
NATION ; but no writer upon public law has


ever denied or doubted, that states are justified
in combining to resist aggressions, and in tak-
ing security against their recurrence, by hostile
invasion and conquest -- this was precisely the
late condition of the combined powers of Eu-
rope with regard to France — after repelling her
from their invaded territories, they followed
her into her own, and hostilities were closed by
a treaty under the walls of her capital, when
they might have dissolved her government by
the sword.


Whatever opinions divided us in other pe-
riods of the war, it is surely now too late to
deny, that to this confederacy our country
became a legitimate party — indeed, the whole
pressure upon the states of Europe, which they
combined to resist, was only that we might be
wounded through their sides — the Napoleon
system, as it affected their commerce, was of no
value to its author, but as it might involve the
destruction of ours — On that clear, national in-
terest, our accession to the confederacy was
supported in parliament ; the most alarming
demands upon our finances were upon no other
principle submitted to ; and when the great
object .of it was apparently accomplished, the
victorious sovereigns, and the great men em-
ployed in their service, were received amongst
us with an enthusiasm, which, if we had not


b 4




xl


been deeply interested in their achievementsf
would have been the height of folly, and, if not
sanctioned by the justice of their cause, would
have been a national degradation.


They had not achieved (though it was in
their power) a sanguinary conquest ; but, to
avert the destruction of property and the shed-
ding of innocent blood, had proposed, in the
language of the Emperor Alexander, to acknow,-
ledge, and even to guarantee any government
which should be the. choice of the French
people, zeith the exception only of the Author of
so many evils and calamities, and all the members
of his family : — subject to that exception, they
invited the constituted authorities, which had
been appointed, by himself, to form a provisional
government, and .


to prepare a constitution the
most advantageous for France.


Under these circumstances, their right to sti-
pulate such terms cannot possibly be denied ;
they were warranted upon every principle of
public law, nor can their justice or moderation
be disputed ; — but, what ends all question con-
cerning them, they were accepted and acted
upon by all who could be considered the repre-
sentatives of the nation. The Municipal Coun-
cil of Paris, in answer to the Emperor Alexan-
der's declaration, after the preface of a furious


xli


anathema against Napoleon, with a detailed
catalogue of his enormities, and of the miseries
they had brought upon their country, declared
unanimously, that they formally renounced all
obedience to him, and expressed their ardent
wish that the French monarchy should be re-
established in the person of Louis the 18th.
and his lawful successors.


The Conservative Senate followed immedi-
ately in the steps of the Municipal Council, and
whoever refers to it, as well as to the former, will
find the denunciation of a greater aggregate of
crime, and of just forfeiture of all trust or con-
fidence, than could be collected from the lives
of all the tyrants ever existing upon earth ; —
they then declared that he had forfeited the
throne, that the hereditary right established
in his family was abolished, and the French
people and their armies relieved from the oaths
of fidelity they had sworn to him.


Me Provisional Government soon afterwards
adopted the same course, by the publication of
an address to the French armies, concluding in
these emphatical words : " You are no longer
the soldiers of Napoleon, the Senate and all
France relieve you from your oaths."


To these solemn acts of exclusion, Napoleon
soon afterwards became a party ; and for him-




xlii


self and his heirs formally renounced the thrones
of France and Italy.


These acts of all the French authorities even
now, with a few exceptions, representing the.
French nation by Napoleon's own consent,
deserve the utmost consideration. If their
public declarations just referred to had been
founded, like the Emperor's own act of abdica-
tion, upon the mere pressure of necessity; — if,
after expressing their affection for his person,
their duty to his sovereignty, and their deep re-
gret at the surrender of its advantages, (a pre-
amble to which the Allied Powers, if they at-
tained their object, could have framed no rea-
sonable objection) ; — if after such a preamble
they had then submitted to his exclusion for
the great object of national safety, they
might now have had some foundation for tell-
ing other nations, that they . embraced him
again on his return as the constant object of their
choice, and that the principle of his exclusion
was unjust ;—they might now, with some coun-
tenance, have denied the dangerous principles
imputed to him by other governments, and
have insisted upon the still greater injustice of
again combining to dethrone him, under the
new circumstances which had taken place. — But
whoever peruses the documents by which they (the
French people), proceeded to exclude Napoleon
from the throne, will there find (and they ought


to be read by every man in Europe and in the
world), that France now proclaims her deter-
mination, against her own national treaty, to be
ruled by a man whose government she herself in
the great public acts by which she destroyed it,
had solemnly declared to have been utterly in-
compatible with her own liberties, and with the
security of all oilier states.


I may, perhaps, be excused as a lawyer for
a comparison of this claim of a nation with the
utmost extent of private right, under the freest
system of law — A man may keep in England
any kind of animal he pleases for his own use or
amusement, and if impleaded on the charge of
his being mischievous, may defend himself by
proving it to be false ; — but no judge or jury
would sit to hear his evidence, if he himself had
written and published, and placarded the very
walls of the court with a declaration, that his
favorite had bitten all his neighbours, and that
he verily believed him to be mad.


It is not, therefore, necessary to have re-
course to the proclamation of the allies for a
justification of renewed hostility — it is to be
found in these proceedings of France — She


They may be all seen in the appendix to a most able
pamphlet, addressed as a letter to Lord Erskine, " On the
" present situation of France and Europe; accompanied by


official documents." Printed for Murray, Albemarle Street.




1


xliv


herself has proclaimed to the universe, in the most
public acts of her government, that there was no
trust or coqfidence to be reposed in her Chief.


This was the true principle of the original
convention which demanded his exclusion : —
the evils which Europe had suffered from his
dominion were in my opinion, its only justifi-
cation — nations whose securities are not
clearly and essentially affected by revolutions in
other governments, have no right whatever to
make them the foundations of war, or to over-
throw them by conquest — the ministers of
this country who made war upon Francein
1793, professed no such principle : — Lord
Grenville would, I am persuaded, disavow it.
They justified the contest upon their assumption,
that our own safety, and that of all Europe, was




at that period deeply affected by the F•ench
'revolution — a proposition of fact, which was
denied by MR. Fox.


It is no answer to say, that all these acts of
the French authorities, and the abdication of
Napoleon, were acts of compulsion and neces-
sity — undoubtedly they were — but does not
that very view of it replace the allies in their
original position also ? When a ship strikes
her colours, is it not equally an act of necessity
and compulsion ?— but if she hoists them again
after faith given to her submission, by the laws.


)dV
of war she may be sunk. This is precisely the
condition at this moment of the allied Sovereigns
who invaded France — the very soul of the
convention was the exclusion of .Napoleon and
his family from the throne —with their swords
in their hands they would accept no other
terms for their security ; and the terms were
agreed to. — How, then, can it possibly be con-
tended, that his return to Paris, because unre-
sisted by those who were bound by their solemn
engagement to resist him entitles France to re-
main unquestioned under his dominion, in
violation and contempt of a treaty by which her
conquest had been averted? Such a doctrine
would be obviously subversive of the law of na-
tions : — but on the other hand, this clear prin-
ciple of the confederacy, though the most un-
bounded success should attend it, ought not to be
overstepped : — the securities demanded for
Europe should not be ideal, or arbitrary, but be
supported by facts and experience ; — the inde-
pendence of France must- not be struck at, nor-
the opinions of her people disregarded when
compatible with the peace of the world.


It is impossible to .close this review of
Mr. Fox's parliamentary exertions, without
adverting to the object of his very last motion
in the House of Commons ; an object for
which he had laboured with many eminent men
of all political parties and opinions, for nearly




xlvi


twenty years its accomplishment which fol-
lowed but a few months afterwards, would have
raised our country, even if she had no other
illustration, to stand unrivalled amongst nations,
and to look up to God Himself to pronounce


" Well done thou good and faithful servant"
the ABOLITION OF THE SLAVE TRADE leaves


every other triumph of humanity and justice
almost out of sight behind it, and well entitled
Mr. Fox to declare, "that if, during the forty


years he had sat in parliament, he had been
so fortunate as to accomplish that object, and
THAT ONLY, lie should think lie had done
ENOUGH, and could retire from public life with
the conscious satisfaction that lie had done his
duty."


One short sentence more belongs imperiously
to this subject the name of WILBERFORCE
cannot ba separated, from it — it is of the ut-
most importance to mankind perpetually to
remember, that immortal honor and reputation
are the sure rewards of those by whose virtu-
ous, patient, unconquerable perseverance, the
blessed cause of universal freedom has been L
advanced, and the lingering progression of the
world urged on in its slow and mysterious
course.


Being now brought to the conclusion of my
letter, and running it over (too hastily I fear )


5


xlvii


before I could venture to comply with your re-
quest that it should be published, I cannot but
look back as to the happiest and most honor-
able circumstance of my life, that I thought
and acted with Mr. Fox, through so consider-
able a part of his time, and that now, in my
retirement from the world, (for so I have
considered it since my professional course has
been closed for ever), I have had the opportu-
nity of thus publicly expressing my veneration
for his memory — When I followed him to the
grave, I was unable from sorrow to support with
decent firmness the high place which my sta-
tion at that period assigned me in the mourn-
fill procession, and even now, when thus en-
gaged in the review of his splendid and illus-
trious career, I cannot but feel the most affec-
tionate and painful regret : — seeking a kind of
consolation with his numerous friends, from his
being in a manner still living in the Represen-
tative of his Family. LORD HOLLAND'S personal
resemblance has strikingly increased as his age
has been advancing to the period of Mr. Fox's
meridian — in private life we find in him the
same popular manners, arising from the frank-
ness and simplicity of his character, — the like
rare union of ardour and gentleness — that
singular cast of mind, stimulated as it were
by a never-ceasing and fervent interest in every
possible subject connected with public spirit
or private justice ; and in parliament we see


LC:


LC


44




him, like - Fox, the honest advocate for univer-
sal but well-balanced liberty, and distinguished,
like hi gh, by a bold, manly, vigorous, and im- CONTENTS
petuous eloquence.


or


I am, Sir,


To Your obedient Servant,
Mr. J. Wright, ERSKINE.


Panton Square.


THE FIRST VOLUME.


Page
Jan. 9. Middlesex Election
Feb. 12. Bill for disqualifying certain Revenue Officers


from voting for Members of Parliament 2
Dec. 6. Mr. Serjeant Glynn's Motion for a Committee to


enquire into the Administration of Criminal
Justice, and the Proceedings of the Judges in
Westminster Hall in Cases relative to the
Liberty of the Press, and the Power and
Duties of Juries 3


1771.
Feb. • 27. Bill to repeal a Clause in the Nul]um Tempus


Act
March 25. Debate on committing the Lord Mayor and


Mr. Alderman Oliver to the Tower, for dis-
charging the Printers apprehended by Order
of the House of Commons


Clerical Petition for Relief from Subscription
to the Thirty-nine Articles


Royal Marriage Act ..... L 16


Motion for a Committee to consider of the Sub-
scription to the Thirty-nine Articles ....


17


The Reverend John Horne's Libel on the
Speaker of the House of Commons


19
Mr. Fox's Complaint of a Libel on the Revo-


lution of 1688
23


Boston Port Bill 26
Repeal of the American Tea Duty Bill


27
Bill for the better regulating the Government


of 1VIassachuset's Bay
28


The Same


29
VOL. 1.


6


1772.
Feb.
6.


March 9.
i773.


Feb.
23.


'774.
Feb.
1.


x6.


March 23.
April


22.


May 2.




CONTENTS.


Page
the Bill for the better Support of His
Majesty's Household 84


The Budget 88
East India Company's Affairs - Deposition


and Imprisonment of Lord Pigot
Address on the King's Speech at the Opening


of the Session
92


Mr. Fox's Motion for an Enquiry into the State
of the Nation


95


Exclusion of Strangers from the Gallery of the
House of Commons


Mr. Fox's Motion in a Committee on the State
of the Nation, " That no more of the Old
Corps be sent out of the Kingdom"


Mr. Fox's Motion on the State of the British
Forces in America


Lord North's Propositions for Conciliation with
America


Mr. George Grenville's Motion respecting a
Treaty between France and the revolted '
Colonies in North America


Mr. Fox's Motion relative to the failure of the
Expedition from


Mr. Powys's Motion for declaring the Ame-
ricans Independent


Mr. Hartley's Motion against the Prorogation
of Parliament, and for putting a Stop to the
American War


Mr. Thomas Townshend's Amendment to the
Address on the King's Speech at the Opening
of the Session


Contractor's Bill
Mr. Fox's Motion of Censure on the Conduct


of the Admiralty, in sending out Admiral
Keppel with too small a Force


Mr. Fox's Motion on the State of the Navy upon
the breaking out of the War with France


Mr. Fox's Motion of Censure on Administration
for not sending out Reinforcements to Lord
Howe at New York


Mr. Fox's Motion for the Removal of the Earl




of Sandwich, First Lord of, the Admiralty
Enquiry into the Conduct of the American War
The Same 00/04e


0 2


90


Ioi


502


112


114


I i 8


120


122


I3o


139


140


151


16o


164.
171
175


29.


3.


May 14.
25.


Nov. i 8.


Dec. 2.


1778.
Jan. 29.


Feb. 2.


4.


17.


March 16.


19.


April IO.


May 28.


Nov. 26.


1779.
Feb.
12.


March 3.


8.


22.


April 19.


May


1777•
1775.


Jan. 23. Petitions for Reconciliation with America
27. The Same


Feb. 2. Address to the King upon the Disturbances in
North America


13. Augmentation of the Forces


2o. Lord North's Proposition for Conciliation with
America


March 6. Bill for restraining the Commerce of the New
England Colonies, and prohibiting,


their
Fishing on the Banks of Newfoundland




May 15. Mr. Burke's Motion for bringing up a Repre-
sentation and Remonstrance from the General
Assembly of New York




4.5
Oct. 26. Lord John Cavendish's Amendment to the


Address on the King's Speech at the Open-
ing of the Session


Nov. 1. Returns of the British Army in America
2. Bill for embodying the Militia




2o. American Prohibitory Bill


Dec. 8. The Same


Nov. 22. Mr. Fox's Motion for an Account of the Ex.
pence of the British Army in America




Mr. Fox's Motion for an Enquiry into the
Causes of the ill Success of the British Army
in North America


April 24. The Budget


Oct. 3 1. Lord John Cavendish's Amendment to the
Address on the King's Speech at the Opening
of the Session ........ ...... ................ ...... . .....


Nov.




6. Lord John Cavendish's Motion for the Revisal
of all the Laws by which the Americans
think themselves aggrieved


62.
5777.


Feb.
so. Bill for suspending the Habeas Corpus Act in


America, &c. .........
............


17. The Same
April 16. Arrears of the Civil List




29. Birmingham Play-House Bill


30. Admission of Strangers into the Gallery of the
House of Commons


May 9- Motion for an Addition to the Incomes of the
Dukes of Gloucester and Cumberland




Mr. Fox's Motion respecting Mr. Speaker
Norton's Speech to the King, on presenting


1 CONTENTS.


Page
3o
31


33
35


36


3s


1776.
Feb. 2o.


43
46
47
48
50


51


55


ss


66
69
74
8o


-


81


82




lli CONTENTS.


1779.


13. Enquiry into the Conduct of the American War 178
Page


x8. The Same
181


June x t. Motion respecting Peace with America


185
21. Bill for doubling the Militia




191
22. The Same


193
July 2. The Same


199
Nov. 25. Lord John Cavendish's Amendment to the


Address on the King's Speech at the Open-
ing of the Session


201
Dec. 6. The Earl of Upper Ossory's Motion on the Dis-


contents in Ireland


213
15. Mr. Burke's Plan of Economical Reform




222
1780.


Feb. 8. Petition from the County of York for an Eco-
nomical Reform in the Public Expenditure... 225


15. Sir George Savile's Motion for the Pension List 229
23. Mr. Burke's Bill for the better Regulation of


His Majesty's Civil Establishments, &c.
March 2. The Same


8. The Same
1 3 . 'Westminster Petition for an Economical Re-


form
21. Renewal of the East India Company's Charter


April 5. Army Estimates - New Levies


24. Mr. Dunning's Motion against dissolving the
Parliament, or proroguing the Session, until
Measures shall have been taken to diminish
the Influence of the Crown, and correct
Public Abuses


258
June zo. Repeal of the Bill for the Relief of Roman


Catholics
6


Nov. x. Mr. Thomas Grenville's Amendment to the
Address on the King's Speech at the Opening
of the Session


278
13. Mr. Adam's Complaint against the Resolutions


of the Westminster Committee of Association 288
1781.


Feb. 1. Mr. Fox's Motion relative to the Appointment
of Sir Hugh Palliser to the Government of
Greenwich Hospital


295
23. Motion respecting the Omission of the Word


" Ireland," in the Mutiny Act


307
March 7. The Budget - Terms of the Loan - Motion


for omitting the Lottery Clause


316
26. Sir George Savile's Motion for an Inquiry into


the Distribution of the Loan „.„.. .......
321


178z;


May 8.


CONTENTS.


Sir George Savik's Motion for referring the
Petition from the delegated Counties, for a
Redress of Grievances, to a Committee of


liii


Page


the whole House 332
14. Mr. Burke's Motion for an Enquiry into the


Seizure and Confiscation of Private Property
in the Island of St. Eustatius 353


30. Mr. Hartley's Motion for a Bill to restore Peace
with America 359


June I I. Public Accountants' Bill 370
12. Mr. Fox's Motion for a Committee to take into


Consideration the State of the American War 377
May 28. Mr. Fox's Bill for the Repeal of the Marriage


Act 398
June 7. The Same 400


15. The Same 405
20. The Same 418
27. The Same 419


Nov. 27. Mr. Fox's Amendment to the Address on the
King's Speech at the Opening of the Session 421


30. Mr. Thomas Pitt's Motion for delaying the
Supplies 440


Dec. 20. Motion for an Adjournment - Conduct of the
Earl of Sandwich, First Lord of the Ad-
miralty




443


c3


233
235
237


249
251


253




INDEX or REFERENCE
TO THE


LEADING SUBJECTS,
AND TO THE


VARIOUS MATTERS INCIDENTALLY REFERRED TO


IN MR. FOX'S SPEECHES.


A


ABATEMENT of an impeach-ment by a dissolution of par-
liament, IV. 125.


Abolition of the slave trade, iii. 387.
I I. 180. 376. V. 55. 193.384.


vi. 116.157. 400. 648. 658.
Adam, Mr., duel between him and


Mr. Fox, i. 204. ii. 252.
Addresses, nature and extent of par-


liamentary, to the King, iii. 298.
Additional force bill, vi 569.
Administration, motion for an ef-


fcient one, ii. 365. 397.
Aids, voluntary, to government, ii.


106.347. v. 226.
Alien Bill, v. r.
America, impolicy and injustice of


taxing her, i. z8, 2 9 . 42. 53. 89.
V. 1


-, petitions for reconcili-
ation


, Lord North's propositions
for conciliation with, i. 36. II+.


, Billforrestrainingherfish-
. ery, 3s.


artily
in, i,ex. psi.-ietce of the British


41111S in,
5


, je.ng2u.iry into the causes
of the ill success of the British


, independence of, i. 6o.
65. 95. 102. 112. 114. 122. 126.
359. 377. 426. 11. 29. 37. 97. 107.
1 °9• v. 110. '


, state of the British forces
112.


America, peace with, 185. 359.
h. 29. 37. 97. 119. 126.


American war, i. 42. 44. 46.48.50.
52.55.59. 63. 71.88. 92.95. roz.
112.114. 118. 120.126. 135. 160.
171. 185. 206. 216. 282. 3 59 . 377.
426. ii. 29. 37. 97.


independence, i. 6o. 65.
92. 95. 102. 112. 114. 122. 126.
3 5 9 . 377. 426.11. 29. 37. 97. 107.
109.
prohibitory bill, i. 48.
Arcot, debts of the Nabob of, iii. 45.
Aristocracy, iv. 228.
Armed neutrality, vi. 424.
Army, augmentation of the, v. 178.


355•
-, limited service in the, vi. 651.


Assessed taxes, vi. 370.
Auckland, Lord, his memorial to


the States General, v. 4.r.84.
Austria, v. 488. vi. 190.


B


Bank of England, stoppage of cash
payments at the, vi. 286.


Barracks, v. 49 . vi. 149. 229.
Bastile, destruction of the, iv. 427.
Bedchamber lords, ii. 272. iii 452.
Bedford, Francis Duke of, his cha-


racter, vi. 466.
Belgium, vi. 277. 282.
Benevolences, ii. 106. 347. v. 226.
Bill of rights, v. 232.
Blackstone, Mr. Justice, vi. 637.
Boston port bill, 26.




lvi INDEX OF REFERENCE.
INDEX OP REFERENCE. 'VII


Bourbon, house 4111.2 4. 335. v. 472.
vi. 96. 184. 39 1.


404.
459 .


464.
Boyd, Messrs., terms of the loan


contracted with, vi. 132.
British constitution, ii. 17 2 . 32 . iv.


52. 222. 234. 41 0, 411. 450. 461.
v. 1o. 29. 109. 286. 3 12. 349 . 391.


8.1 4. 4 2. 45 . 224. 347-
Brunswick, house of, Iii. 420. IV. 5.


453.
Brunswick, Duke of, his manifesto,


iv. 447 . v. 156.
Buonaparte, vi. 409 . 449 . 462. 464.


494 . 497 .
522.


Burgoyne, General, i. 173. 181. 351.
Burke, Mr., i. 351. iii. 3o6. 465.


43. 51. 69. 72. 200. V. 4. 112.
vi. 65. 188.


, his plan of economical
reform, i. 222. 233.


, Mr. Hastings's com-
plaint of words spoken by him in
Westminster Hall, iii. 465.


, difference of opinion
between him and Mr. Fox respect.
ing the French Revolution, iv. 32.


, separation between
him and Mr. Fox. iv. 200.


Camden, Lord, v. 187.
Canada, failure of the expedition


from, i. 120.
Catholic emancipation, see Roman


Catholics.
Charles the First, i. 261.
Charles the Second, reign of, vi. 54.
Chatham, Earl of, i. 45 . 206. 315.


374. 396. 425. 11.321. 342. 344•
v. 225. vi. 68. 159.


Christian religion, iv. 57. 66. 145.
v. 255.25 7 . 291, 292. Vi. 395.


Church of England, iv. 5, 6. 64. 71.
242.420.


Civil list, arrears of the, i. 74. 83.
246. 111. 214. vi. 473.


Clergy, iv. 66. 71.
Coalition of parties, ii. 13o. 140, 141.


1 53 . 2 5 2. 3 1 9 . 346- 35 2. 373- 381.
401.


Coalition between Mr. Fox and Lord
12


North, ii. 122. 130. 140. 142. 155.
252. 346.


Commercial credit, interference of
parliament in support of, v. 91.484,


Committal of the Lord Mayor to the
Tower, for discharging the prin.
ters,
8.


Commutation act, iii. 15.
Constitution, British, h. 172. 321.


iv. 52. 222. 234. 4 10, 4 11. 450.
461. v. to. 29 . 109. 286. 312. 349.
391. vi. 8. 14.42. 45. 224. 347.


Constructive treason, i. 312.
Contraband of war, vi. 428.
Continental connections, i. 189. iii.


331 . vi. 534. 5 3 7. 621.
Contractor, and the minister, mutual


obligation between the, i. 139.
Contractors for government, impro-


priety of their sitting in the House
of Commons, i. 139. ii. 35.


Corn regulation bill, iv. 179.
Corn, high price of, v. 5 05. Vi. 405. 4
Cornwallis, Earl, ii. 209. 298.
Corporation and test acts, iii. 310.


iv. 1.55. 147. 241. 418. 459.
Corsica, v. 323. 338.
Criminal justice, administration of,


.


Criminal law of Scotland, v. 218.
Crown, influence of the, i. 79. 224.


243. 258. ii. 176. 345.


Debating societies, iv. 461.
Defence of the country, Mr. Fox's


motion on the, vi. 551.
Delegates, petition of the, for a re-


dress of grievances, i. 332.
Dissenters, protestant, iii. 316. iv. 4.


Go.
Divorce Bill, Williams's, ii. 163.
Dock Yards, motion for fortifying


the, iii. 198.
Dramatic exhibitions, utility of, i. 81.
Dumourier, General, v. 199. 379.


East India affairs, i. 9o. 251. ii. 1o6.
187. 192. 196. 111. 110. , 173. 239•
iv. 102. 139. 270. 302. 370. V. 64•


East India Company's charter, re-


East India bills, Mr. Fox's, ii. 196.
newal of, i. 252. V. x 8.


283 . 1 73 . 2 39 . 374.
- bill, Mr. Pitt's, ii. 324.


iii. 1. ' declaratory bill, 368.
Economical reform, i. 222. 225.


233.250.
Edward the Third, statute of the


25th'of, v. 77. 79. 82. 50. 75.


33°.
Egypt, 509. 513.
Ellenborough, Lord Chief Justice,


his appointment to a seat in the
cabinet, vi. 631.


Erskine, 253. V. 12.83. 343.
vi. 10.


Established church, iv. 237. 420.
Eustatius, St.,confiscation of private


property in, i. 353.
Excise laws, iv. 22. 26. 79.


Falkland Islands,
F


iv. 114.
Family compact, iii. 277. iv. 142.
Fayette, M. De La, imprisonment


of, v. 1 99 . 212. 380. 416. vi. 192.
Fitzwilliam, Earl, ii. 254.259. V. 424..


456. vi. 309 . 444• .45 1 - 609.
Fox, Mr., causes of his resignation


in 1782, ii. 7 3 . 91.
. , his addresses to the electors
of Westminster in 1784, ii. 437.


his letter to the electors of
Westminster, v. 485.


Foreign troops, i. 48. 111. 338. v.184.
190.


Foreigners, employment of, in mi-
litary trusts, v. 184. 245.


Forfeited estates, restoration of the,
iii. 14.


France, wax with, in 177 8, 1.132.137.
, peace with, in 1783, ii. 120.


126. 188.
, treaty of commerce with,


iii. 253. 260. 332.
conduct of, towards Great


Britain, iii. 254..273. 2 77* 332•
-, the natural political enemy


of Great Britain, iii. 254. 273.


France, Revolution of, iv. 36. 41.
51. 65. 77. 194. 199, 200. 215. 295.
4 11. 426. 466. 470. v. 318.


situation of the royal family
of, iv: 481.


----, war with, iv. 454. 466. V.12.
1G. z6. 38. 136. 153. 246. 293.
326. 412. vi. 178. 484.


---, Mr. Fox's motion for send-
ing a minister to Paris to treat
with the provisional' government
of, iv. 473.


, Mr. Fox's resolutions against
the war with, v. 38.


Mr. Fox's motion for the
re-establishment of peace with,
v. 136.


---, Mr. Whitbread's motion for
a separate peace with, v. 195.


-, Mr. Fox's motion for put-
ting an end to the war with,
v. 293.


-, finances of, v. 335. 490.
vi. 97. 195.


---, peace with, iv. 473. v. 136.
1 95 . 2 93 . 337 . 3 6 7 . 46 7 . 498•
VI. 8 9 . 106. 263. 319. 383. 455.


, Mr. Grey's motion for peace
with, v. 367.


, Mr. Wilberforce's motion
respecting peace with, v. 467.


--, king's message respecting
a negociation with the republic of;
vi. 89.


, Mr. Grey's motion for peace
with, vi. io6.


, Mr. Fox's motion on the
conduct of the war with, vi. 178.


-, king's message respecting
the rupture of the negociation for
peace with, vi. 263.


, Mr. Pollen's motion for
peace with, vi. 319.


, overtures of peace from
the consular government of, vi.
383.


-, address on the preliminaries
of peace with the republic of,


455.
--, king's message relative to


the war with, vi. 484.
Francis, Mr., iii. 349.




Iviii INDEX Or REFERENCE.


Franklin, Dr., i. 397.
Free bottoms, vi. 428.
French republic, iv. 47o. 473•
French Revolution, iv. 36, 41. 51.


65. 77. 194. 199. 200. 215. 295.
411. 426. 466. 47o. v. 318. vi.
184. 465.


French principles, v. 6. 22. 88. 108.
154. 330.502. vi. 196. 464.


Funding system, iii. 156. 163. 206.
21 3




374 .
439,


REFERENCE. lix


Loan for 1781, terms and. distri-
bution of the, i. 3 16. 321.


-- for 1783, terms of, ii. 166.
-- to the Emperor of Germany,


374 . 475 . vi. 237. 252.
---, terms of the one contracted


with Messrs. Boyd, vi. 132.


G


Gallery of the House of Commons,
propriety of admitting strangers
into the, i. 57. 81. mi.


Game laws, vi. 140.
Genoa, v. 411. vi. 398.
George the Second, his reign de-


scribed, i. 7 9. 134. comparison
between it and the reign of
George the Third, i. 79.


George the Third, plan of govern-
. ment adopted during the reign
of, i. 206. 209. vi. 14.
, comparison be-


tween his reign and that of Henry
the Sixth, i. 209.
, his claim to the


throne founded upon the delin-
quency of the Stuart family, i. 2Ic.


German despots, v. 380.
Germany, Emperor of, loan to the,


v. 374 . 405 .
475.


, advances to,
without the consent of parlia-
ment, vi. 237. 252.


Gibraltar, ii. 102.
Gordon, Lord George, 344.
Government, in what the differ-


ence of an arbitrary and a free
one consists, i. 141.


Grattan, Mr., i. 216. ill. 97. v. 465.
Grenada, relief to the merchants


of, v.483.
Grenville act, ii. 45 2.


479.Grey, Mr., iv. 286.
Grievances, petition for the redress


of, from the delegated counties,
i. 332.


Habeas Corpus act, suspension of,
i. 66. 69, 7o. 72, 73. v. 270. 340.
363.


Hanover, iii. 176.
Hardwicke, Earl of, vi. 6,6.
Hastings, Mr., ii. 198. iii. 6. 13. 179,


216. 244. 304. 346. 363. 465. v.
126.


, his complaint of
words spoken by Mr. Burke in
Westminster Hall, iii. 465.


Hesse Cassel, subsidiary treaty with,
iii. 338.


Holland, 332. 336. iv. 336. v. 18.
138. vi. 189. 275. 495.


Horne, Rev. John, his libel on the
Speaker of the House of Com-
mons, i. 19.


Horseley, Dr., iv. 66. 424. vi. 23.


I


Impeachment, abatement of an, by
a dissolution of parliament, iv.
125.


Impey, Sir Elijah, iii. 355. 392.
Indemnities, system of, vi. 400. 492.


647.
Influence of the crown. i. 7 9. 224.


243. 258: ii. 176. 345.
Influence, secret, ii. 273. 278. 281.


363.
Invasion, vi. 219. 228.
Ireland, i. 1 92. 211. 213. 307. ii. 49.


57 . 59 . 11 4. iii. 54 . V. 22. 422.
429. 456. 305. 344. 444. 465.
616.


, motion on the discontents
in, i. 213.
-, motion respecting the


omission of the . word " Ireland"
in the Mutiny Act, 307.


, motion respecting Earl
Fitwilliam's recal from the govern-
ment of, v. 456.


Mr. Fox's motion on the
state of; vi. 305.


Labourers in husbandry, wages of,
vi. 103.


Legacies of personal estates, duties
on, vi. 145.


Lewis the Fourteenth, iv. 35o. v.
16o. 391.


Lewis the Sixteenth, iii. 25 5. 274.
iv. 481.


16. 34. 138.
Lewis the Eighteenth, vi. 418.
Libel on the Speaker of the House


of ome
Commons,


's,
i. 19. the Rev. John


Home's,
on the Revolution of ,688,


Mr. Fox's complaint of, 23.
on the managers of the im-


peachment of Mr. Hastings, iii.
363. iv. 90. v. 131.


constitution,


270.o
vi. So.


Libel bill, Mr. Fox's, iv. 244.Libels, iv. 464. 479.


----, Mr. Reeves's, on the British


iz d


-, Sir Elijah Impey's complaint
of sundry, published against him,


_ 355. aga
Liberty


6 of the press, i. 236. iv. 246.
raite


service in the army) vi.65/,


M


Macartney, Lord, iii. 174.
Mackintosh, Mr. vi. 366.
Majorities in parliament., iii. 427.
Malta, vi. 507. 510.
Marriage act, Mr. Fox's bill for the


Mediation of Russia, vi. 519. 524.


repeal of, i. 398.
, royal, i. 16.


530.Melville, Lord, proceedings against,
vi. 577.


Members of parliament, utility of
tests to, i. 263.


Methuen treaty, iii. 258. 265. 268.
280. 286.


Middlesex election, iv. 76. vi. 18.
Middlesex Justices bill, iv. 429.


i. 47. 191.
Ministerial responsibility, iv. 109.


308. vi. 223.
Ministers, motion of censure on,


ii. 39. , motion for withdrawing
the confidence of parliament from,
ii. 43.


, motion for the removal
of, 343 . 377 . 4 1 4. 431-the king's refusal to dis-
miss them, ii. 387.


, Mr. Grey's charges
against, relative to the expen-
diture of the public money, vi.
165.


Ministry, change of, ii. 46. 71. 142.
303.


Monarchy, distinction between an
.absolute and. a limited, ii. 277.
368.


nature of; iv. 65.
Montesquieu, Baron de, vi. 637.


INDEX. OF


Irish associations, account of them,


icnoriniicnaleturcriealbpill,roli)io. 11siti4.0ns, iii.
$4. 264.


J


Justices, Middlesex, iv. 429, 430•


K


Keppel, Admiral, i. 169. 296.
King's illness, 111. 398.
--'s recovery, address on, iii. 458.
King of England holds every thing


in trust for the people, i. 243.


, murder of; v.




INDEX OF REFERENCE. lxiIX


INDEX OF REFERENCE.


Monument to the memory of Cap-
tain Faulknor, v. 433•


Muir & Palmer, trials of Messrs.,
V. 202. 221. Vi. 58. 78.


Mutiny bill, i. 307.


National debt, iii. 206.
Navy, state of the, i. 164. v.


351.
-, enquiry into the ill success


of in 1781, ii.
Nootka Sound, iv. 85. 114.
North, Lord, coalition between him


and Mr. Fox, ii. 122. 13o. 140.
142. 155. 252. 346.


Norton, Mr. Speaker, his speech to
the king on presenting the House-
hold bill,
84.


Nullum Tempus act, 1. 6.


0
Opposition, systematic, ii. 257.


Paine, Thomas,
P
iv. 409..


Paley, Dr., iv. 2 42. 421. 588. 609.
Palliser, Sir Hugh, 1. 287. 293.


295.
Papist, iv. 152.
Parliament, beneficial effects of' the


inquisitorial power vested in, i.
143.
-, right of, to controul


and resume the grants to the
crown, for public purposes, i. 238.


-, sale of scats in, v. 117.
Parliamentary addresses to the king,


nature and extent of, iii. 298.
Parliamentary reform, ii. 67. 171.


370. 411. 476. 490. 494. iii. 23.
1 45. Iv. 7 6. 407. v. 97. 102. vi.
339•


Parliaments, duration of, i. 274.
172.


, triennial, v. 116.
Party, ii. 255. V. vi.


Parties, coalition of, 130. 40,
14.1. 153. 252. 319. 346. 352.373.
381. 401.


Penal statutes, iv. 242. 418. 43 3 . 459.
, respecting rel igious




opinions, bill to repeal certain,
iv. 418.


Pension list, Sir George Savile's
motion for the, i. 23o.


Pensioners and placemen, motion
for taxing them during the war,
v. 239.


People, voice of the, 4. 8. 256,
ii. 68. 4o4.
, sovereignty of the, v. 23.115.
, right of the, to cashier their


governors, v. 23.
Personal estates, duties on legacies


of, vi. 145.
Petition, right of, iii. 352. v. 97.


vi. 5. 337.
Pigot, Lord, deposition and im-


prisonment of, i. 9o.
Piluitz, treaty of, v. 17. 157. 197.


vi. 185. 386.
Pitt, Mr., funeral honours to the,.


memory of, vi. 6z5.
Placemen and pensioners, motion for


taxing them during the war, v. 239.
Poland, iv. 4.57. V. 20. 3 9


. 42. 47.
88. 139. 159. 197. 309. 332. 404•
vi. 115. 201. 206. 396. 490.


Police magistrates bill, iv. 429.
Popish plot, iv. 458.
Portland, Duke of, v. 3.
Portugal, 258. 265. 268. 280.i


286.
Prerogatives of the crown, ii. 315.


v. 75.
Price, Dr., iv. 68.
Priestley, Dr., iv. 68. 297.
Printers, committal of the Lord


Mayor to the Tower for dis-
charging the, i. 8.


Privileges of the House of Cony
mons, i. 265. 358.


Promotions in the army and navY).
i. 254. iii. 382.


Property tax, vi. 374 . 575 . 649..
Protestant association, i. 292.


dissenters, iii. 316. iv,
6o.


Frussja, V : 260. 298. 402. V1. 61.king's message on the
4


war


with, vi. 641.
Prussian subsidy, v. 26o.
Public accountants, 37o. 182.
Public revenue, state of the, iii. 155.


iv. 18.311.
Public meetings, vi.


esPublic money, Mr. Grey's charg
against ministers relative to the
expenditure of, vi. 165.


- Quebec government bill, iv. 200.
Quiberon, expedition to, v.493.501.


Receipt tax, ii. 495.
Reeves, Mr., his libel on the British


constitution, vi. 80.
Reform, economical, in the public


expenditure, i. 222. 225. 233. 25o.
Reform of parliament,


494 .32.37o. 4 11. 476. 49o.
1 45 . iv. 76. 407.


339.
V. 97. 102.


Vi.
Regency, iii. 398.
Relief to the merchants of Grenada


and St. Vincent's, v. 483.
Religious liberty, iv. 149:
Religious persecution, iv. 5 7 . 421.


V.291.
Religious opinions, bill to repeal


certain penal statutes respecting,
iv. 418.


Representative and constituent bo-
dies, connection between, ii. 336.


Representatives of the people, how
far bound to complycomply with the
wishes 2 es.


V i.




of constituents, 10.


their attendance,
R
_epublicanism,, iv. 452.


nefoernilie.r7ly). paid for




Republicans


72.


levellers, Mr.
Reeves's association against, iv.45 2 . v. 6o vi
86.Resistance, doctrine of, vi. 22. 30.3 2. 61. 66. 150.


Revolution of 1688, iv. 53.
, Mr. Fox's com-


plaint of a libel on, i. 23.
Revolution of France, iv. 3 6. 41. 51.


65. 77. 194.. 199, 200. 215. 295.
411. 426. 466. 470. v. 318. vi.


465.
Rights of Man, vi. 5.
Right of petition, iii. 352.. V. 9 7 . vi.


5 . 337•
Right of search, vi. 430.
Riots in 1780, i. 344. ii. 404. iv. 75.
Robespierre, v. 497. vi. 96.
Rockingham, Marquis of, ii.7 . 139.


2 54 . 348.
Roliella war, iii. 220.
Roman catholics, iv. 3.58. 144. 424.


V. 458. vi. 307.1111. 586.
Roman catholics, bill for the relief


of, i. 276.343.
Roman catholic dissenters' relief'


bill, iv. 144.


petition, Mr. Fox's mo-
tion respecting the, vi. 586.


Rose, Mr., complaint against, for
abuses committed at the West-
minster election, iv. 3 66. 413.


Rousseau's Social Contract, v. 115.
Royal burghs of Scotland, iv. 402.
Royal family, policy of making a


suitable provision for the branches
of the, i. 8 3 . iv. 360.


Royal family of France, situation of
the, iv. 481.


Royal marriage act, i. 16.
Russia, iii. 170, 171• iv. 171. 194.


275.280. 291. 320. 3 29. 455. vi.
424. 519.324. 530. 62o.


, war between her and the
Porte, iv. 173. 1 94. 275. 280. 291.
320. 329.
Empress of, iv. 358.
Russian armament, iv. 1 94. 275.


280. 291. 32o. 329.
- mediation, vi. 519. 524. 53o,


Sandwich, Earl
S
of, motion for the


removal of, from the Admiralty,
i. 164.


--, conduct of, 1. 436. 443. ii. 2.




INDEX OF REFERENCE.lxii INDEX OF


Sardinia, v. 175. vi. 297.
Scotland, iv. 469.
, royal burghs of, iv. 402.
, criminal law of, v. 218.
Secession from parliament, vi. 370.
Secret influence, ii. 2 73 . 278. 28i.


363.
Sedition, v. 223. vi. 77.
Sedition bills, vi. I. 329.
Seditious writings, iv. 435. 45f . 453.


479.
, King's proclamation


against, iv. 435. 451.
Seditious practices, motion relative


to the existence of, v. 58.
, king's message respect-


ing, V. 270. 314.
Shelburne, Earl of, ii. 81.86. 98. 1 to.
Sheridan, Mr., v. 308.
Shop tax, iii. 202. 319. 379. 461.
Sinecure offices, motion for the re-


duction of, vi. 3co.
Sinking fund, in. 156. 163. 206.


21 3 . 374. 439.
Slave trade, abolition of the, iii. 387.


iv. ft. 180. 376. V. 55. 193. 384.
vi. 6. 157. 400. 648. 658.


Slave trade, white, vi. 400.
Slave importation bill, vi. 648.
Slaves in the West Indies, Mr.


Francis's motion respecting the
regulation of, vi. 156.


Soldier, a man by becoming one
does not cease to be a citizen, iv.
34.52'


Sombreuil, Count de, V. 494.
Sovereignty of the people,v. 23.115.
Spain, iv. 87. 103. Ho : V. 406.
Standing army, i. 48. ii. 143. iv. 52.


V. 51.
State of the nation, Mr. Fox's mo-


tion on the, v. 389.
, Mr. Grey's motion on the,


REFERENCE.


Supplies, postponement of the,
3 8 7 . 398.
k


, power of withholding th
the privilege of the Comraor;


440. ii. 3 8 7 . 398.
Switzerland,
397 .


493•


T


Test and corporation acts, 111. 'Aio,
IV. I. 55. 147. 240. 418. 459.


Test act, as far as it extends to
Scotland, iv. 237.


Tests to members of parliament
i. 263.


Theatrical exhibitions, utility of
i. 81.


Thirty-nine articles, i. 25. 17.
Thurlow, Lord, i. 349. ii. 41.145.
Toleration, universal, i. 277. iv. 10


57. 146, 147. 152. 225. 237.
418. V. 465.


Tory principles, ii. 406.
Toulon, v. 167. 079.
Trading justices, iv. 430.
Traiterous correspondence bill, v.66.
Treason, i. 312. V. 77.79. 82. vi.5o.


75 .
330.


Treason and sedition bills, vi. 1.329.
Treaties, subsidiary, iii. 334.
Trial by jury, v. 366.
Triennial parliaments, v. 1i6.
Tyranny, iv. 150.


U


Unclaimed dividends, iv. 155.
Universal suffrage, v. 1 07, x o8.


289. vi. 27. 364.
Utrecht, treaty of, iii. 275.


V


Vincent, Earl St., vi. 442 . 546.
Voice of the people, 1. 4 . 8•


ii. 68. 404.
Voluntary aids to government,


ii. fo6. 347.
226.


Volunteer system, vi. 539.
Vote of thanks to Lord Howe for th e


victory of the first ofJune, V.311.


Vote of thanks to Lord Hood f hi
conduct in the expedition to


or
Cor


s
-


Votes ofa' v. 3c2e2n.sure, true nature of,
i. 165.


Wages of labourers in husbandry,
vi. 103..


Wales, Prince of, iii. 2 1 4 . iv. 365. V.
43 8. vi. 482.


43 8. vi. 482.
, Prince and Princess of, es-


tablishment for, v. 436.
Walpole, Sir Robert, iv. 28. v.53.
War, justifiable grounds of, v. 24.


40. 496. 489.Washington, General, v. 172. vi. 416.
Westminster petition for an econo-


mical reform, i. 249.


Westminster committee of associ-
ation, i. z88.


---, scrutiny, iii z6.
, Mr. Fox's addresses to


the electors of, ii. 437.
election, complaint


against Mr. Rose for abuses com-
mitted at, iv. 366. 413.


, Mr. Fox's letter to the
electors of, iv. 485.


Whig principles, ii. z81.406. 440.
Whitbread, V.197. 380. v1.417.
White slave trade, vi. 4co.
Wilkes, Mr., vi. 331. •
Windham, Mr., iv. 96. 469. V.2. 208.


Y


York, Duke of, v. 167.
-, establishment of the Duke and


Duchess of, iv. 360.
York petition, for an economical


reform, i. 225.


vi. 422.
Subscription to the thirty-nine ar-


ticles, i. 15. 17.
Subsidiary treaties,
334.


Succession to real estates, duty on,
vi. 163.


Suffrage, universal, v. 107. fo8. 285.
289. vi. 27.364.


Supplies, Mr. Thomas Pitt's motion
for delaying the, 440.


, his debts, iii. 321.




1


SPEECHESL,
OF THE


RIGHT HONOURABLE


CHARLES JAMES FOX,
8cc. cS'e.


•••n11.1111MR.Ilaid


pt. FOX took his seat in the House of Commons at the
1 A. opening of the first session of the thirteenth Parliament of
Great Britain, which met on the loth of May, 1768. He was re-
turned for Micihtirst, in Sussex, a family borough, anti was
introduced into Parliament when he was little more than 19 years
of age, and consequently ineligible.


II.0n•••nn•MMOCIERIIKO•rndll•


MIDDIA:SEX ELECTION.


January 9. 57 70.


HE first speech made by Mr. Fox in the House of Commons,
of which any account has been preserved, took place at the


opening of the Session on the 9th of January 177o. In the course


The following is a List of the Administration at this time:
First Lord of the Treasury and Chancellor of the Exchequer — Lord North.
Secretaries of State—Viscount Weymouth, Earl of Rochford, Earl of


Hillsborough.(Colonies).
Lord Chancellor—Lord Camden. Succeeded, Jan. 17. 1 770, by the Hon.


Charles Yorke, created Lord Morden, but died on the following day,
before the seals were put to the patent of peerage. Upon this, the
great seal was put into commission, until the 23d of Jan. 1 77 1, when.
Lord Apsley was appointed Lord Chancellor.


Lord President of the Council—Earl Gower.
Lord Privy Seal—Earl of Halifax.
First Lord of the Admiralty— Sir Edward Hawke, K. B.
Secretary at War — Lord Barrington.
Paymaster-General of the Forces — Right Hon. Richard Rigby.


VOL. I.




REVENUE OFFICERS' BILL. [Feb. 2.
of the debate on the King's Speech, Sir George Savile, in allusion
to the decision with regard to the Middlesex Election, accused
the House of having betrayed the rights of the people. Upon
this; Sir Alexander Gilmour rose up in great anger, and urged,
that in times of less licentiousness, members had been sent to the
Tower for words of less offence. Sir George Savile repeated the
offensive words. " Let others," said he, " full down and worship
the golden image which Nebuchadnezzar has set up ; I will own
no superior but the laws, nor will 1 bow the knee to any but.
Ilim who made nie." Sir George was defended by Mr. Ser.
jeant Glynn. Mr. Burke spoke on the same side, and challenged
the ministry to punish Sir George, if he was a delinquent. He
said, the people abhorred the present ministry, and asked the
Speaker if he did not feel the chair tremble under him. Sir
William Meredith observed, that one part of the Address, namely,
thanking the King for his approbation of .the conduct of the
House, would be construed without doors, that His Majesty
approved of the resolutions of the House in respect to the Mid-
dlesex Election.


Mr. Fox observed, that from the licence gentlemen had
taken in their language that day, it seemed as if the old
decent freedom of debate was at an end, and that they were
endeavouring to establish new firms. The expression in the
Address did not allude to any particular measure of Parlia-
ment, nor to every measure; as no one could suppose His
Majesty approved of every resolution taken by the House,
hut only of the general tenor of their actions.


BILL FOR DISQUALIFYING CERTAIN REVENUE OFFICERS FROM
VOTING FOR. MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT.


February I2. I 77o. '"
IN a committee on the state of the nation, Mr. Dowdeswell
-16- moved, " That a bill might be brought in for disqualifying
certain Officers in the Revenues from voting for Members of Par-
liament." In the course of the debate, the Lord Mayor, Mr. Al-


Treasurer of the Navy Sir Gilbert Elliot.
Attorney-General — William De Grey, afterwards Lord Walsingham. Suc-


ceeded, Jan. 23. i771, by Edward Marlow, Esq. afterwards Lord
Thurlow.


Solicitor-General — Joseph Dim ning, Esq. Succeeded in March 1 770 by
Edward Thurlow, Esq.; who was also succeeded, Jan. 23 . 1 771 , by
Alexander Weddcrburn, Esq., afterwards Lord Loughboroug,h.
On the 13th of February 1770, Mr. Fox was appointed one of the


Lords of the Admiralty.


ADMINISTRATION OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE.
1 7 70] 3
derman Beckford, advised Mr. Rigby to recollect, that the
Revolution was brought about by the remval of Judges at
pleasure ; and that a great law officer, the Solicitor General,(gr. Dunning,) had been just removed for his vote in that


Fox said: —I am against the motion. Correct
1.1 o ie.


abuses and welcome; but do not correct one abuse, by
causing many. Remedy the influence of the peers at.
elections: that is the fatal influence of the crown. As to
the removal of the law officer alluded to, it was the
saying of a great minister, that he who would not remove
11. man that was undermining administration " 4 was a
pitiful fellow." An honourable gentleman has talked about
removing the Judges, as an unconstitutional and arbitrary •
measure. But it is a pity he did not consider the difference
between Judges and a Chancellor ; the Judges are in neither
House, therefore they • cannot influence nor undermine; a
Chancellor may do both : the Chancellor may equitably
and constitutionally be removed : the Judges cannot.


MR. SERJEANT GLYNN'S MOTION FOR A COMMITTEE TO
ENQUIRE INTO THE ADMINISTRATION OF CRIMINAL JUS-
TICE, AND THE PROCEEDINGS OF THE JUDGES IN WEST-
MINSTER HALL, IN CASES RELATING TO 'rrn LIBERTY OF
THE PRESS, AND THE POWER AND DUTIES OF JURIES.


December 6. 177o.
R. SERJEANT GLYNN moved, " That a Committee be


12- appointed to enquire into the Administration of Criminal
Justice, and the Proceedings of the Judges in Westminster Hall,
particularly in Cases relating to the Liberty of the Press, and the
Constitutional Power and Duties ofJuries." Mr. Alderman Oliver
seconded the motion, and expressed his desire, that the committee
should have for a particular object of its enquiry, the conduct of
the chief delinquent, whom he believed to be Lord Chief Justice
Mansfield. A great display of legal knowledge was made by the
learned mover, and by Mr. Dunning, in support of the motion.
Mr. Serjeant Glynn affirmed, that a general belief prevailed of the
Judges being unfriendl y to juries, encroaching on their constitu-
tional .


power, and laying down false law in order to mislead them
1,1


1 their verdicts. Sir George Savile defended the motion warmly.
If you reject it," said he, " it will render you not only odious, butdespicable. You will be thought possessed of no faith, no honour,


no conscience. Your name will become the ridicule and laughing,-
B 2




4


ADMINISTRATION OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE. [Dec. 6.
stock of the rabble. The House will be exposed in songs, and
ballads, and ditties, in every street : Flebit et tiizsizzis tota can-
tabilur urbe.' The authorlings and printers and printers' devils,
will be all in motion. The press will labour and groan. News-
papers, pamphlets, puns, and pasquinades, will increase and mul-
tiply. Grub-street will pour out its thousands, and Paternoster-
row its tens of thousands ; and the land will be one scene of
anarchy and confusion." The arguments in favour of the Motion
were combatted by Mr. Attorney-General De Grey, and Sir
Gilbert Elliot; and Lord Mansfield's character was strenuously
defended by Lord Clare and Mr. Jenkinson. Mr. Burke and
Mr. Wedderburn, while they supported the motion, disclaimed and
reprobated all those asperities of diction which had been used in
speaking of the Lord Chief Justice, and paid a tribute of applause
to his extraordinary talents and conspicuous integrity.


Mr. Fox spoke as follows :
Sir, we are told by the abettors of this motion, that jea-


lousies, murmurs, and discontents increase and multiply
throughout the nation ; that the people are under terrible
apprehensions that the law is perverted, that juries are
deprived of their constitutional powers, that the courts of
justice are not sound and untainted ; in a word, that the
Judges have, like a dozen of monstrous Patagonian giants,
either swallowed, or are going to swallow up both Iaw and
gospel. And how do they prove the truth of these allega-
tions ? The manner, Sir, is pleasant enough. They refer w;
to their own libellous remonstrances, and to those infamous
lampoons and satires, which they have taken care to write
and circulate. They modestly substitute themselves in the
place of the nation, and call their own complaints and
grievances the complaints and grievances of England. Their
meaning is plain enough, and we understand perfectly how
all their grievances might be redressed.


For my part, Sir, I am not disposed to take the voice of a
miserable faction fin', the voice of my country. Were the
people really dissatisfied, I should be glad to know how I am
to ascertain the reality .of that dissatisfaction ? I must freely
confess that I know no other way but that of consulting this
House. Here the people are represented, and here is their
voice expressed. There-is no other criterion but the majority
of this assembly, by which we can judge of their sentiments.
This man, in order to answer one purpose, and that man, in
order to answer 'another, will tell you, that a general cry has
gone abroad against certain Men and certain measures: but
will you be so credulous as to take him upon his word, when
you can easily penetrate his interested views, and find him the
original and prime mover of all the clamour ?


ADMINISTRATION OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE.1.77o.J
Sir, I could easily trace the authors of the outcry raised


agams
• .t the Judges; and I would point them out, had not


tl as well 03 their selfish ends, been already exposed in all
their deformity. Why, then, should we hesitate to puta ne-
gative upon a question, which sprang from such a low source ?
From dirt it carne, and to dirt let it return. As to myself; I
certainly shall vote against the motion, as I can never acknow-ledge for the voice of the nation what is not echoed by the
Majority of this House; and I do not find that the majority of
us entertain any suspicions, much less terrible apprehensions,
of the Judges; though, if there were any just foundation for
complaint, we must certainly have been better informed of it
than the people.


Indeed, Sir, if the adoption of this inquiry would answer
any good purpose, I should not be such a violent opposer of it,
convinced as I am that the Judges are blameless. But I am
fully persuaded that would not be the case. For, as I have
shewn, it would be an attempt to remove discontents which do
not exist but among those who have generated, fostered, and
reared them up to their present magnitude, and who would
not, therefore, be satisfied, though justice, though Astrea her-
self, should descend naked from heaven to exculpate our
Judges. And, what is more, it would, on their own principles,
prove fruitless and nugatory, even if we suppose the people to
be really discontented. For what have they been doing for
these two last years, but ringing constantly in our ears the
contempt in which we are held by the people • Have not they
made these walls incessantly echo with the terms of reproach,
which they alledged were cast upon us by men of every de-
gree, by high and low, rich and poor, learned and unlearned?
Were we not, and are we not still, according to their account,
held in universal detestation and abhorrence ? Does not the
whole empire, from one end to the other, reckon us equally
weak and wicked ? In a word, are we not become an abomi-


this


in the land? Such is the language of the minority.
How then can they, with a serious face, desire us to undertake


enquiry, in order to satisfy the people? The people, if
their former assertions are to be credited, will receive no good
at our hands. They will regard what we say no more than
the prattle of a knot of coffee-house politicians. 'We are too
ridiculous as well as odious to do any thing that will appear
gracious in their eyes.


What, Sir, is the conclusion to be drawn ? Why, this. Let .
ussatisfy ourselves. Let us act according to the dictates of.
honour and conscience, and be at peace with our own minds.
It is thus that we shall sooner or later regain the confidence of


3




6 NULL UM TEMPUS ACT.
[Feb. 27.


our constituents, if we have lost it; and not by humouring, as
foolish nurses humour great lubberly boys, the wayward whims
of a misled multitude. The characteristic of this House
should be a firm and manly steadiness, an unshaken perseye-
rance in the pursuit of great and noble plans of general utility,
and not a wavering inconstant fluctuation of councils, regu-
lated by the shifting of the popular breeze. If we are not to
judge for ourselves, but to be ever at the command of the vulgar
and their capricious shouts and hisses, I cannot see what ad-
vantage the nation will reap from a representative body, which
they might not have reaped from a tumultuous assembly of
themselves, collected at random on Salisbury-plain or Runny-
mede. And it is very well known, Sir, that such an irregular
and riotous crowd are but ill-qualified to judge truly of their
own interest, or to pursue it, even when they form a right judg-
ment. They are but very unsteady guardians of liberty and
property. Do you want proofs ? Consult the English history,
and you will find them in every page.


Mr. Serjeant Glynn's motion was negatived upon a division ;
YEAS 76.
Noxs 184.


BILL TO REPEAL A CLAUSE IN THE NULLUM TEMPE'S ACT.


February 27. 7 7 I .


IIE Nullum Tempus Bill, or the act for quieting the posses-
sions of the subject against all pretences of concealment


whatsoever, which was first brought into the House of Commons,
by Sir George Savile in 1768, and passed in the following: year,
owed its rise to a grant from the Treasury to Sir James Lowther, of
a considerable estate and very extensive royalties, which had been
granted by King -William •to the Portland family, and had been
in their possession from that time. A clause had been inserted in
that act, by which the grantees or lessees of the crown were
allowed a year from its taking place, for the prosecution of their
chhns ; and though that Bill had been brought in and supported
by the Duke of Portland's friends, and his particular case had
shewn the necessity and was the origin of it, no opposition was
made to the clause in question. The general opinion, indeed, at
that time seems to have been, that the matter in contest had been
only thrown out to answer certain election purposes, which, being
now over, it would no more be thought of; especially as the
principle, upon which such claims were founded, had been just
condemned, in the most public manner, by an united act of the


771.] NULLUIU TEhIPUS ACT. 7


whole legislature. However plausible these opinions were, the
consequence showed they were ill-founded. A most expensive
suit was not only commenced against the Duke of Portland, but
the whole county of Cumberland was thrown into a state of the
greatest terror and-confusion : 400 ejectments were served in one
day; and though a great many of the causes were afterwards
withdrawn, it was notwithstanding said, some time before the matter
was debated in the House of Commons, that there were fifteen
bills in equity, and 225 suits at common law, then open. Nor
were these mischiefs confined to those whose titles to their lands
were immediately derived from the Portland family ; for as the
royalties were very extensive, and their antient limits and jurisdic-
tion undefined, no length of prescription could afford security, nor
goodness of title prevent the consequences of a ruinous law-suit.
In these circumstances, singled out by that clause from the rest
of the nation, and exposed as victims to satiate the last rage of
exploded prerogative, the terror was great through all that part
of the kingdom. Accordingly, on the xi th of February 1771,
Sir William Meredith moved for leave " to bring in a Bill to re.
peal a Clause in the Nullum Tempus Act, which protects such
Rights, Titles, or Claims, under any Grants or Letters Patent
from the Crown, as are prosecuted with effect, within a certain
Time therein limited." Leave was accordingly given, and the bill
was brought in. It was supported by Mr. Constantine Phipps and
Mr. Cornwell ; and opposed by Mr. Dyson, Mr. Serjeant Leigh,
Lord North, Governor Johnstone, and Mr. Fox. On the 27th,
upon the motion for going into a Committee,


Mr. Fox said :
Sir, I take great shame to myself, that I have not risen


sooner to declare my sentiments on this important question :
for I think it disgraceful in any man to sit silent on such an
occasion, who ever had the use or faculty of speaking in this
House ; but, Sir, my silence has been owing to ! my astonish-
ment. I was astonished. I was amazed. For though I
viewed this Bill at first in the same light in which I now
behold it; yet, when I looked round me, and . saw who the
Honourable Gentlemen are who introduced it; that they are
men of character, men of ability, men of knowledge, men of
reputed integrity; I hesitated, I strove to persuade myself,
that I must rather be mistaken myself, than that any thing so
bad, so violent, so lawless, so monstrous, could be advanced
by men such as those who proposed this Bill. But I could
not long remain undecided ; I soon beheld the proposition in
all its naked, genuine deformity : then,' Sir, as I was at first
struck dumb with astonishment, I was seized with horror and
indignation : for who that has a reverence for justice, a sense
of liberty, or a regard for the constitution, can listen, without.
feeling an honest zeal to defeat a proposition, which, at one


1 4




1


8 COMMITMENT OF THE LORD MAYOR, R [March 2S-
blow, destroys our constitution, our liberty, and our laws ?
Gentlemen are loud in their clamours against ministerial in-
fluence. I avow the systematic support of that minister in all
his measures, who has my good opinion and confidence; hut
that minister shall never have my support, who shall dare to
propose what these gentlemen, who are so proud of their op-
position to ministers, now propose.


Mr. Speaker, it is under the law that every man holds his
property, and enjoys his liberty in security and ease. But I
firmly believe, as far as I am informed, that no man can have
a better title to his estate, than the very title which the crown
has vested in Sir James Lowther to the estate in question. If
that title is to be taken away by act of Parliament, why not
bring in an act to take away any other part of his estate ?
Why not of another man's ? For, if Bills are thus to pass for
transferring the property of one man to another, there can be
nothing sacred, nothing secure amongst us. 1 wish, therefore,
Sir, that the gentlemen who brought in this Bill, would, for
their honour's sake, withdraw it. Sure I am, that my con-
science would never suffer me to be at rest, were I to per-
petrate the injustice intended by this Bill. As to myself; Sir,
the same conviction, which dictates my present opposition,
shall carry me on to oppose the Bill in every step, through
every stage. But if it should succeed here, it cannot succeed
elsewhere. I do therefore again deprecate the honour and
justice of this House, that we may not suffer the scandal of
passing this Bill to lie at our doors, and give the honour of
rejecting it to the other House of Parliament.
The question, " That the Speaker do now leave the chair,"
being put, the House divided :


Tellers.
Tellers.


EAS {Mr. Seymour r. OnslowY
Byng {


M
Mr. Charles Fox} '64.


The Bill was consequently lost.


DEBATE ON COMMITTING THE LORD MAYOR AND MR. AL-
DERMAN OLIVER, TO THE TOWER, FOR DISCHARGING THE
PRINTERS APPREHENDED BY ORDER OF THE HOUSE.


March 25. 177 I.


nN the 8th of February, Colonel George Onslow made a com-plaint to the House, of Thompson and Wheble, two printersa newspapers, for misrepresenting the speeches, and reflecting on


1771.1 AND MR. ALDERMAN OLIVER. 9
several of the members. The obnoxious passages being read,
Colonel Onslow moved, that the printers should be called to jus-
tice for infringing the standing order. After some debate, the
printers were ordered to attend. When the Serjeant at Arms
went to the houses of the printers, they were constantly denied ;
which being reported to the House, Colonel Onslow moved an
address to the King to issue a proclamation for the apprehension
of the offenders. In consequence of which proclamation, Wheble
was taken ainl carried before Alderman Wilkes, who not only dis-
charged him, but took recognizances for prosecuting the person
by whom he was apprehended. Thompson was similarly arrested,
and discharged by Alderman Oliver.


On the izth of March, Colonel Onslow preferred a fresh com-
plaint against six other printers for the same offence. They were
ordered to attend the House : four presented themselves ; a fifth
could not attend, being in custody in Newgate, by order of the
House of Lords ; the other, whose name was Miller, refused to
obey the summons, and an order was issued for taking him into
custody by the Serjeant at Arms. When the messenger appeared,
Miller refused to submit to the arrest, and violence being used, a
constable, prepared for the purpose, took charge of the officer,
and carried him to Guildhall, to-answer for the assault. Mr.Wilkes,
the sitting alderman, having finished the business of the day, re-
fused to take cognizance of the affair, and the parties were con-
ducted to the Mansion-House. The Lord Mayor ( Alderman
Brass Crosby), attended by Aldermen Wilkes and Oliver, admitted
the parties ; Mr. Miller made his complaint, and the Lord Mayor
asked the messenger what offence the printer had committed, and
by what authoriry he presumed to assault him ? The messenger
pleaded, that he acted under the direction of the Speaker, and
produced his warrant, The Deputy-Serjeant now announced
himself, and said he came there by the Speaker's command, to
demand, not only the messenger, but Miller, his prisoner. His
application was refused, and Mr.Miller discharged. The assault
was next proved : the messenger refused to give bail, and a war-
rant for committing him to the Compter was signed by the Lord
Mayor and the two Aldermen. When the matter had proceeded
to this extremity, and the officers were ready to take away the
messenger, bail was given.


The Deputy Serjeant at Arms immediately related these transac-
tions to the House. Orders were issued for the Lord Mayor and
Alderman Oliver to attend in their places. The Lord Mayor was
heard in his defence; after which it was resolved, that. the discharg-
ing Miller out of the custody of the messenger, the signing a war-
rant against the said messenger, and the holding him to bail, were
breaches of the privileges of the House. Mr. Alderman Oliver
was then heard in his defence. He declared that " he owned and
gloried in the fact laid to his charge ; he knew, that whatever
punishment was intended, nothing he could say would:avert it. As
for himself, he was perfectly unctmcerned ; and, as he expected
little from their justice, he defied their power." Upon this,




10 COMMITMENT OF THE LORD MAYOR, [March 25.
Mr. Welbore Ellis moved, 4 4 That Richard Oliver, Esq. be for his
said offence committed to the Tower." The motion was supported
by Mr. Attorney-General Thurlow and Mr. Fox ; and opposed by
Sir George Savile, Mr. Serjeant Glynn, Mr. Alderman Townshend,
Mr. Barre, and Mr. Dunning. Mr. Fox spoke in answer to thelatter gentleman.


Mr. Fox said :
Sir, notwithstanding what the Honourable arid Learned


Gentleman who spoke last has been pleased to urge with
regard to the divided views and the divided interests of the


'b -
House of Commons and the people, he has riot been able to
convince me, either that the authority of this House is not the
best security of the national freedomnor that our welthre can
possibly be separated from the welfare of the public.


Sir, the Honourable Gentleman is pleased to say, that the
voice of this House is not the voice of the people, and he sets
the language of clamour without doors in opposition to our
deliberations, as if we were not especially appointed by the
constitution, the only revealers of the national mind, the onlyjudges of what ought to be the sentiments of the kingdom. I
say, Sir, what ought to be, because many laws are highly
necessary for the public safety, which excite the discontent of
the people. If we were never to pass a law, until it obtained
the sanction of popular approbation, we should never have a
settled revenue to support either the establishment of our
domestic policy, or to defend ourselves against the invasion of
a foreign enemy. You never see a tax instituted, Sir, without
hearing loud impeachments of parliamentary integrity. The
uninformed zealots, who seem animated with an enthusiastic
love for their country, generally charge us with having sold
them to the minister; and we are accused of venality for im-
posing those burdens, which we know to be absolutely
necessary, and to which we ourselves, if the House of Com-
mons is supposed an assembly of the first property in the
state, must always be the largest contributors.


Sir, it may possibly appear strange, .that a representative
of the people should not deem it more meritorious to comply
with the wishes of his constituents, than to counteract them;
and it may possibly be urged, that it is his duty, upon all oc-
casions, to act in conformity to those wishes, however repug-
nant they may be to the sense of his own conviction. Sir, I
will not diftbr with the Honourable and Learned Gentleman
about the idea he annexes to his term of 4 the people ;' I will,
for argument-sake, allow that nine-tenths of the people are
at this moment in opposition to government. But I shall
at the same time insist, that we have higher obligations to


'AND MR. ALDERMAN OLIVER.
1771.]


-justice than to our constituents ; we are chosen the delegates
of the British electors for salutary not for pernicious pur-


P4ses
to auard, not to invade the constitution n, to keep


p'rivilegCs of the , very freemen we represent, as much
within their proper limits, as to controul any unwarrantable
exertion of the Royal authority, We are bound to promote
their true interests in preference to the clearest desires of
their hearts, and the constitution makes us the sole arbiters
of those interests, notwithstanding the imaginary infallibility


of
To people


,e Sir, the propriety of this reasoning, let us
suppose that the people, instead of this mixed monarchy,
which we celebrate as equally the pride and envy of the
universe, should instruct us, their representatives, to intro-
duce a democratical form of government; should we act as
good subjects to our King, or as faithful guardians to our
country, if we complied with so dangerous an instruction ?
We have sworn to maintain this constitution in its present
form ; to maintain the privileges of Parliament as a necessary
part of that constitution, and' neither to encroach upon the
legal jurisdiction of the peers, nor the just prerogatives of the
Sovereign. Shall we, then, do what we are sensible is wrong,
because the people desire it ? Shall we sacrifice our reason,
our honour, our conscience, for fear of incurring the popular
resentment, and while we are appointed to watch the
Hesperian fruit of liberty with a dragon's eye, be ourselves
the only slaves of the whole community ?


Perhaps the Honourable and Learned Gentleman will tell
me, that nothing but the "soul of absurdity" could suspect
the people of a design against their own happiness. Sir, I do
not suspect the people of any such design, but I suspect their
capacity to judge of their true happiness. I know they are
generally credulous, generally uninformed; captivated by ap-
pearances, while they neglect the most important essentials,
and always ridiculously ready to believe, that those men who
have the greatest reason, from their extensive property, to be
anxious for the public safety, are always concerting measures
for the oppression of their own posterity. Sir, if I misrepre-
sent the people, whence spring those eternal terrors of being
ruined in the midst of the most unbounded prosperity ? Have
we not tottered, if popular clamour is to be credited, upon the
verge of ruin, since the first moment of our existence as a na-
tion ? Indeed, at the period of the Revolution, patriotism itself
acknowledges we were saved; yet from that period let us only
read the works of our greatest politicians, and we shall find
ourselves utterly undone ! Even our glorious deliverer was


Is




12 COMMITMENT OF THE LORD MAYOR,
[March 25.


scarcely seated upon the throne, when the grateful people,.
whose liberties he had restored, began to consider him as
an enemy, to the constitution. In every succeeding reign it
was asserted that we were destroyed, and at this moment,
although exulting in all the pride of a felicity never knovm to
our ancestors, we are gravely told, that we have reached the
deepest abyss of destruction !


Let us look around, Sir, let us survey the monuments of our
ruin, and then ask what credit is due to the representations of
our political screech-owls ? Observe the magnificence of our
metropolis—the extent of our empire—the immensity of our
commerce—the opulence of our people. Survey the unfor-
tunate citizens of London, Sir and you will find every shop-
keeper of any consideration, with his elegant villa", and his
variety of equipages. Consider only the present opposition
of the city of London to the whole body of the British legis-
lature, and then judge how it must be oppressed ! To spew
you farther the 'ruined state of the kingdom, let me remind
you that our territories occupy no more than the largest, the
most valuable space of any European dominion in the four
quarters of the globe; that our trade is proportioned to this
superiority of empire, and that our subjects, from the burning
regions of Indostan, to the chilling mountains of Canada,
exceed the subjects of every other power in greatness of
wealth, and certainty of freedom. These, Sir, are the proofs
of our declining fortune ! May our calamities of this kind
hourly increase, though the people should still continue to.
murmur ! and may we always remain the happiest nation
under heaven, however offended our patriots may be because
we are not happier than is consistent with the lot of hu-
manity !


Prom what I have advanced, Sir, with respect to our
duty as representatives of the people, it naturally follows,
that we are by no means to act against our own Judgment
merely to gratify their ill humour or their caprice. InCharles the 'First's time, the unlimited indulgence of the po-
pular wish occasioned the destruction of the constitution ;
and, if the present allegations of popularity deserve the least
weight, they spew what incompetent judges the people are of
the public'prosperity. The last Parliament, Sir, was as ob-
noxious to the people, as the one in which we are now sittingi
they approved what it is fashionable to term an infamous'
peace, and they expelled a profligate libeller of their lawful
Sovereign; yet, with all this weight of delinquency upon their
heads — reviled and- execrated as they were by the people —
look round, and gee who the people have chosen in their


AND MR. ALDERMAN OLIVER. z 3177 I.]
room. If we except deaths and promotions, Sir, are not the
former traitors, nearly to a man, again the representative body
of the legislature— again trusted with the freedom of the
subject — again the express election of the people ? When
we behold these things, Sir, we are immediately struck with
this alternative — either the people are not judges of their
own welfare, or they have sold themselves for an infamous
price, to their members. In either case, the conclusion
proves the little regard which ought to be paid to their com-
plaints, against the sense of our conviction. If they arc vir-
tuous, they are not wise and if they possess wisdom, they
have no right to find fault, since every oppression they
groan under is the natural result of their own scandalous.
dishonesty.


It is urged, Sir, with great gravity, by many gentlemen in
opposition, that the House of Commons, as the creatures of
the people, have no right whatever to exercise an authority
over their constituents. This position, Sir, breathes the
spirit of freedom with a vengeance, for it lays the axe to the
root of all subordination at once, and puts an entire end to the
whole system of - constitutional government.


No doctrine, Sir, was ever yet broached in this kingdom,.
either so dangerous, or SO ridiculous, as that which seriously
insists that the House of Commons, because elected, is
without jurisdiction, and that the people, because the origin
of all power, must therefore be exempt from all obedience.
The people make the laws, as well as the legislators; but
will any advocate of licentiousness presume to say, because
they are the. fountain of authority, that they are of con-
sequence discharged from a submission to legal institutions ?
The law, Sir, is as much the creature of their formation
as this House; yet, surely, it will not be said, that they are
to tread it under foot, or to launch out into the barba-
risms of their natural •state, after solemnly forming a com-
pact of civil society.


The only point, therefore, remaining to be discussed is,
Whether the people at large, or this House, are the best
judges of the public welfare? For my own part, Sir; I
shall not hesitate to pronounce positively in favour of this
House. What acquaintance have the people at large with
the arcana of political rectitude, with the connections of
kingdoms, the resources of national strength, the abilities
of ministers, or even with their own dispositions ? If we are
to believe the very petitions which they have lately presented
to the throne, they are unequal to those powers which the
constitution has trusted to their hands. They have the




brought up, the House


Tellers.
Sir It. Newdigate 1
Mr. Jenkinson 2 I7.


4 COMMITMENT OF THE LORD MAYOR. [March 25.


power of electing their representatives; yet you see they
constantly abuse -that power, and appoint those as the
guardians of their dearest rights, whom they accuse' of
conspiring against the interests of their country. For
these reasons, Sir, I pay no regard whatever to the voice
of the people : it is our duty to do what is proper, without
considering what may be agreeable : their business is to
clause us ; it is ours to act constitutionally, and to maintain
the independency of Parliament. 'Whether that independency
be attacked by the people or by the crown, is a matter of
little consequence; it is the attack, not the quarter it pro-
ceeds from, which we are to punish ; and if we are to be
controuled in our necessary jurisdiction, can it signify
much, whether faction intimidate us with a rabble; or the
King surround us with his guards? If we are driven from
the direct line of justice by the threats of a mob, our exis-
tence is useless in the community. The minority within
doors need only assault us by their myrmidons without, to
gain their ends upon every occasion. Blows will then carry
what their arguments cannot effect, and the people will he
their own agents, though they elect us to represent them
in Parliament. What must the consequence be? Universal
anarchy, Sir. Therefore, as we are chosen to defend order,
I am for sendina those magistrates to the Tower who havesending
attempted to destroy it: I stand up for the constitution, not
for the people ; if the people attempt to invade the con-
stitution, they are enemies to the nation. Being, therefore,
Sir, convinced that we are to do justice, whether it is
agreeable or disagreeable to the people, I am for maintaining
the independency of Parliament, and will not be a rebel to
my King, my country, or my own heart, for the loudest
huzza, of an inconsiderate multitude.


The question being put for the committal of Mr. Alderman
Oliver to the Tower, the House divided :




Tellers. Tellers.
YEAS {Mr. Onslow 7o. — NOES {Mr. PulteneyMr. W 1hately Mr. Hussey 38'
So it was resolved in the affirmative ; and the House adjourned


at half past three on the morning of the 26th. A similar motion
passed with regard to the Lord Mayor, on the 27th.


1772.] SUBSCRIPTION TO THE THIRTY-NINE ARTICLES. I 5


DF,DATE ON TIIE CLERICAL PETITION FOR RELIEF FROM SUR-.
SC RIPTION TO THE THIRTY-NINE ARTICLES.


relmany 6. 77 2.


QM
WILLIAM MEREDITH moved for leave to present a Peti-


tion from certain of the Clergy of the Church of England, and


a


in of the Professions of Ci4 Law and Physic, praying for re-
icierftfrom the Subscription to t• larty-nine Articles. Sir William
read the petition, and spoke v.'..rmly in its behalf. He was sup-
ported by Lord George Germain, Mr. Thomas Pitt, Lord John
Cavendish, Mr. Thomas Townshend, Sir George Savile, Mr. Soli-
citor-Genera l Wedclerburn, and Mr. Dunning. The speakers . on
the opposite side were Sir Roger Newdigate, Mr. Fitzmaurice,
Lord Folkestone, Mr. Byrne, Lord North, Mr. Fox, Mr. Burke,
Mr. Dyson, Mr. Jenkinson, and Mr. Hans Stanley.


Mr. Fox said, he was against rejecting the petition, if that
rejection was intended -as a mode of skewing contempt; but
that he must be against receiving it, as a reception would be
a. kind of engagement to proceed; which he hoped would not
be done : that the Articles, savouring as they did of Christian,
charity, nevertheless taught such mysteries as ought not to be
forced down the throats of young persons; that at Oxford,
where the oaths of supremacy and allegiance could not be
administered before the age of sixteen, an assent to the Thirty-
nine Articles was required by statute, however young the
person might be who was admitted; that he hoped the uni-
versities would, as he understood they could, relieve in that
particular; and that a minister who would subscribe the
Articles, and afterwards preach against them, would make little
Impression on his audience.


divided question, That the Petition be4i


Tellers.
yEA s Sir W. Meredith


Sir H. Hoghton / — NOES
So it passed in the negative. -I-


* For an interesting account of the origin and progress of the Clerical
Petition, see Mr. Belsham's Memoirs of the Rev, Mr. Lindsey. See
also New Parliamentary History of England, vol. xvii. p. 245.


1 Mr. Gibbon, in a letter to Mr. Holroyd, dated Boodles, February 8.
1772, says " I congratulate you on the late victory of our dear mamma
the Church of England. She had last Thursday 71 rebellious sons, whoPretended to set aside her will on account of insanity : hut 217 worthy
champion's, headed by Lord North, Burke, Hans Stanley, Charles Fox,
&e. though they allowed the thirty-nine clauses of her testament were
.!)surd and unreasonable, supported the validity of it with infinitt humour."
See Gibbon's Miscellaneous Works, vol. i. 447.




ROYAL MARRIAGE ACT. [March 91


ROYAL MARRIAGE ACT.


March 9. 1772.


IN the stunmer of 1771, the Duke of Cumberland, one of the
King's brothers, privately married Mrs. Horton, widow of


Christopher Horton, Esq., of Catton Hall, in the county of Derby,
and daughter of Lord Irnharn : :when the match was publicly an-
nounced, His Majesty forbad them the court. The displeasure
shewn by the King on this occasion, did not deter the Duke of
Gloucester, in the ensuing spring, from avowing as his consort the
Countess Dowager of liValdegrave, whom he had espoused in 1766.
On the zoth of February 1772, the King sent a Message to both
Houses; stating, " That the right of approving all marriages in
the Royal Family had ever belonged to the Kings of this realm
as a matter of public concern, and' recommending them to take
into consideration, whether it might not be wise and expedient to
supply the defect of the laws, and by some new provision, more
effectually to guard the descendants of George the Second, from
marrying without the approbation of His Majesty, his heirs, or
successors." In consequence of this message, a bill was brought
into the Lords, by which it was declared, that none of the Royal
Family, being under the age of 25 years, should marry without the
King's consent ; after attaining that age, they were at liberty, in
case of the King's refusal, to apply to the Prify Council by an-
nouncing the name of the person they were desirous to espouse, and
if, within a year, neither House of Parliament should address the
King against it, the marriage might be solemnized; but all persons
assisting in, or knowing of an intention in any of the Royal Fa-
mily to marry without fulfilling these ceremonies, and not disclos-
ing it, should incur the penalties of a premunire. The Bill passed
the Lords after much opposition. In the Commons every clause
was debated with great warmth. On the 9th of March, Mr. Dow-
deswell moved, " That it does not appear that the proposition
offered in His Majesty's Message, viz. That the right of approv-
ing all marriages in the Royal Family has ever belonged to the
Kings of this realm as a matter of public concern,' is founded in
law, or warranted by the opinion of the Judges of England. Upon
this motion, Mr. Welbore Ellis moved the other orders of the
day. A long and violent debate ensued, in the course of which,


Mr. Fox entered on the matter in debate. Fie said, that it
gave him much pain to be obliged to differ from a minister
whose -general conduct he so much approved, arid whose


-political principles he admired; a minister who, with unex-
ampled resolution, had stood forth in the most critical
and dangerous moment to save his country from that anarchy
and confusion into which it was about to be plunged by fac


-tious and ill-designing men. But since, by some wiaecount-


1172. ] SUBSCRIMION TO THE THIRTY-NINE ARTICLES. 17


able fatality, that same minister had become the promoter of
a Bill which seemed big with mischief, and likely to bring
upon the country that very anarchy and confusion from which
his former conduct had rescued it, no consideration of regard.
or good opinion should prevent him from giving his most de-
termined opposition to every part of the Bill in every stage of
its progress. fie then entered into the argument, and in the
remainder of his speech there was nothing personal to Lord
North. When Lord North rose to speak in the course of the
debate, he took notice of what Mr. Fox had said with regard
to him, and observed, that he fhould always lament when a
gentleman of whose abilities and integrity he bad so high an
opinion differed from him, and that the manly, open, and
spirited mariner in which that gentleman had, from the first,
communicated to him his objections to the Bill, and his inten-
tions of opposing it, had increased instead of lessening the
esteem in which he held him.


The question being put, That the other orders of the day be
:now read, the House divided:


Tellers. . Tellers.
{Mr. Charles Fox -t 1 40.




{Mr. Onslow }YEAS Mr. Cooper zq. -- NOES Mr. Seymour iMr. Dowdeswell's motion was consequently lost. The Bill was
passed, on the 24th of March, without any amendment.


MOTION FOR A COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER OF THE SUBSCRIP-
TION TO THE THIRTY-NINE ARTICLES.


February 23. 1773.


CIR WILLIAM MEREDITH having moved the order of the day,
" for the House to resolve itself into a Committee of the whole
House, to consider of the Subscription to the Thirty-nine Articles
of the Church of England, or any other Test now required of per-
sons in either of the two Universities, several Members were for
putting an immediate negative thereon, and called loudly for the.
question, whether the Speaker should leave the Chair, Sir Wil-
liam acquainted the House with his general reasons, as well as
what appeared to be the sense of the House last year, on the im-
propriety of imposing Tests upon youth at the time of matricula-
tion ; and assured those gentlemen, that. if they were determined,
to put a negative upon the proposed inquiry, in the first instance,
he intended to transfer the debate from the present motion, to
another question; namely, Whether this House be competent to


VOL. I.




18 SUBSCRIPTION TO THE THIRTY-NINE ARTICLES. [Feb. 23,
judge of the propriety or impropriety of any Subscription or Test
established at our Universities? The motion for • the Speaker's
leaving the Chair, was opposed by Sir Roger Newdigate, 1\1%
Welbore Ellis, Mr. Cornwall, Mr. Jenkinson, Sir William Dolden,
and Lord North ; and supported by Mr. Dowdeswell, Mr. Grey,
Mr. Frederick Montagu, and Mr. Fox.


Mr. Fox said : I rejoice, Sir, to find that we are at last got
into a debate from which I was afraid we were altogether de-
parting. As the matter has been managed, the question before
this House is simply, Whether it be at all expedient for the.
legislative power to interpose in an affair of this kind ?


I was exceedingly young, Sir, when I went to the Univer-
sity; not however so young but that the matter of Subscrip,
lion struck me. At the age of twelve, youth, when matricu-
lated, are required to subscribe, ' Articuli fidei duntaxat,' but
at sixteen, they arc to subscribe the oaths of allegiance and.
supremacy : now, Sir, whether it be supposed that their po-
litical creed is of more importance than their religious one, I.
will not take upon me to determine, but it should seem that
the institution supposes them not capable of understanding
the sublime mysteries ofpolitics until sixteen, though at twelve
it is apprehended that they can both understand, relish, and'.
swallow down the sublimer mysteries of religion ! As to the
distinction which has been laid down by. a right honourable
gentleman who spoke some time since, that " it is only sub-
scribing to what they are hereafter to be instructed in, and
means no more than a repetition of a creed," Sir, this sub-
scription, as well as repetition, is a solemn thing ; it is a seri-
ous attestation of the truth of propositions, not a syllable of
which, according to the right honourable gentleman's own
confession, the youth who subscribes can understand. Why,
therefore, attest the truth of what he is ignorant ? Is not this
to teach our youth to prevaricate? And will not a habit of
prevarication lead to the destruction of all that prompt, inge-
nuous frankness, which ought to be the glory and the pride
of youth ?


This House, Sir, is accustomed to accept of the simple af-
firmation of witnesses; and is it not a dangerous doctrine to
teach, that becausean oath is not administered, a person may
solemnly bear attestation to the truth of what may, for aught
he can tell, be entirely false? I, Sir, can relish no such doc-
trine; I think it has a highly injurious tendency; and I should
therefore wish that the


highly


should leave the chair, in
order that we may discuss the advantages which can redound
to the state, us well as to individuals, from. our ,youth being


12


1773.] LIBEL ON THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS. 19


trained solemnly to attest and subscribe to the truth of a string
of propositions, of which they are as entirely ignorant of
as they are of the face of the country said to be in the moon.


The question being put, That
the House divided :


Tellers.
Ens Mr. C. James Fox}


Mr. F. Montagu
So it passed in the negative.


THE REVEREND JOHN HORNE'S LIBEL ON THE SPEAKER OF
THE HOUSE OF COMMONS:


February II. 1774•
THE SPEAKER, Sir Fletcher Norton, complained to the House,


of a Letter which had been addressed to him in the Public,
Advertiser of that day, ligned " Strike—but Hear," charging him.
with injustice, and with a predilection for Mr. De Grey, in the
progress of the Tottington Inclosure Bill. Sir Edward Astley and
Mr. Alderman Sawbridge, who were fully acquainted with the
progress of the affair, denied all the facts charged in the Letter,
and asserted that there had not been the least partiality in the
Speaker, as the whole business had been transacted according to
the usual forms. The House was now silent for the space of
two minutes, and the order of the day was going to be read, when
Mr. Herbert, conceiving that an attack of such an atrocious na-
ture upon the character of their Speaker was not to be passed
over without exposing the privileges of the House to the utmost
contempt, moved, That H. S. Woodfall, the printer of the Public
Advertiser, do attend that House. Sir Joseph Mawbey thought
the Letter was written with a view to injure the liberty of the
Press, and set His Majesty again at variance with the City : he,
therefore, wished the House to abstain from noticing the Libel,
and referred the Speaker to the courts of law for redress.


Mr. Fox said, he agreed with the worthy baronet, that the.
Letter was written with an intent to injure the liberty of the
press, for it was full of such flagrant falsehoods, that no
flan of sense who read it, could put the least belief in its..


A copy of the Libel will be found in the New Parliamentary :History,
Yo)• p. roo6. It is of considerable length. It accuses Sir PletcherN a scandalous violation of his dangerous trust, and of gross and


e


the Speaker do leave the chair,


Tellers.
Sir R.NewdigateNOES Sir Wm. Dolten j159'




ON THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS. 2120 THE REVEREND JOHN HORNE'S LIBEL
[Feb. i r;


He likewise agreed, that the motion might be productive of
unpleasant effects; but, was any member of that House, and
much more their Speaker, to be libelled in so gross a man-
ner, and be obliged to descend to a law-suit ? No ! he hoped
they would always preserve their privileges, and protect them-
selves; for it would be an absurdity to appeal to an inferior
court for protection. Would the Court of King's Bench,
for instance, apply to the Court of Common Pleas? The
honourable baronet dreaded the consequences that might
arise from the motion ; and with reason. For the printers,
from the lenity they had experienced when they were last at
the bar *, seemed to imagine, that they had a right to libel
any of the members, and if suffered to go on at that rate,
would next claim, as one of their privileges, the right of
libelling whomsoever they pleased. The House was now
warm in the matter, and now, therefore, was the properest
time to discuss and ego through with it.


After a debate of some length, the House resolved, " That
the said Letter to Sir Fletcher Norton is a fidse, malicious, and
-scandalous Libel, highly reflecting on the character of the Speaker
of this House, to the dishonour of this House, and in violation
of the privileges thereof;" and the printer was ordered to attend
on the r4th. Mr. Woodfall obeyed the summons, and on being
interrogated, informed the House, that the Reverend John Horne
was the author of the obnoxious paper. The House resolved,
that the Printer was guilty of a breach of privilege ; and Mr.
Herbert moved, that he might. be taken into the custody of the
Serjeant at Arms. This occasioned a debate :


falsehood. It concludes thus : " Sir, I am free to acknowledge that such
language as this I hold to you, and in such a disreputable channel,
should not in a policed nation be suffered even to a private individual,
much less to the first great officer of the people. But, alas ! we are
not a policed nation ; for the laws have lost their edge towards the „.
guilty, and are no longer the refuge of the innocent. You are not the
officer of the people ; for though you bear that respected and awful
name, yet yourself and all others know that you owe your ,


situation
to the corrupt influence of that accursed plan of power, which has left
us no right but that of lamentation. This right I will freely exercise in
this country, until the tongue shall cleave to the roof of my mouth.
All sorts of punishment, I know, are at the discretion of your employers;
and, according to their fancy or policy, they will, when they please, in- •
flict it. But I shall think myself well rewarded, if I can only awaken
from their lethargy some few honest members of the House of Com-
mons, to watch over the wickedness which von are daily perpetrating
under the pretence of form. And whatever happens to myself, I will,
with the patient Greek of old,


" STIIIKE but awl."
* See page 9.


I


17741
Mr. Fox said, he was not against spewing lenity to any


man; but to a person who had been proved to be guilty of
an atrocious crime, he thought the bare commitment to


the custodycustody of the Serjeant at Arms was not sufficient : ithis intention to move that he be committed toy,v-aes4itteei:efreabst,b e proper place where offenders should be sent
to, although hints had been thrown out, that the sheriffs of
London would not admit him. He said, that the printer,
for the purpose of shewing the House how much he regarded
the Speaker's order, had, on Saturday morning last, printed
verbatim the Resolutions of the House. Tie then moved
his Amendment, by leaving out the words, " taken into the
custody of the Serjeant at Arms attending this House,"
and inserting the words " committed to Newgate" instead
thereof.


Lord North said he was sorry to hear Mr. Fox mention, that
hints had been thrown out of what the Sheriff' • of London would
do. He hoped there were no persons who would dispute the
power of the House, and would therefore move, that the printer
be committed to the Gatehouse, as he thought it would be
highly imprudent to force themselves into a contest with the City.
As to shewing lenity, he had no objection, provided the printer
would afterwards petition ; but it was necessary, for the honour of
the House, that he should be committed to some gaol. Captain
Phipps was surprized to hear the word honour mentioned in the
House ; he thought it had been discarded : he knew of no honour
they ought to contend for, but the honour of doing the duty of
their constituents : if they acted consistently, they need never he
afraid of their conduct being arraigned ; but he was sorry to say
they had lost the confidence of the people.


Mr. Fox insisted, that the members had not lost the con-
fidence of the people by the conduct they had pursued with
regard to the Middlesex Election, as had foolishly been ima-
gilled, but by tamely submitting to the numerous insults that
had been offered to the Sovereign and to the House. Had
he his will, he declared that the Aldermen and others who
had presented their Remonstrances to the throne, should have
been taken into custod y. A few years ago, the House had
sent two Aldermen of London to the Tower *, but had suf-
fered a paltry printer, J. Miller, to hold them in contempt :
the man had not vet obeyed their summons, and, he sup-
Posed, never would. By these means it was, that the mem-
bers had forfeited the good will of their constituents; but he


* See p. 14.
c 3





II


22 THE REVEREND JOHN IIORNE'S LIBEL, &C. [Feb. I


hoped they would now prove, that no man in the kingdom,
the House of Peers excepted, had a right to disobey the or-
der of that House; for if they had a right to summon per-
sons for information, they had a right to summon them for
any thing.


After some further debate, Mr. Fox withdrew his motion
Lord North moved his amendment ; and the question being put,
That the words " taken into the custody of the Serjeant at
Arms attending this House," stand part of the question, the
House divided :


Tellers.
Tellers.


YEAS Sir Ed. AstleyMr. Phipps 5 152.— N°"
5


Mr. C. J
Lis


. Fox
burne *




Lord / 68.


Mr. Woodfall was accordingly taken into the custody of the
Serjeant at Arms; and the Reverend John Home was ordered to
attend the House on the 16th. After some demurs relative to
the summons, Mr. Horne was brought before the House. He
extricated himself from the accusation with great dexterity :
having attempted to remove the imputation of contumacy, he
desired to know whether what Mr. Woodfall had said at the bar
was the only evidence and charge against him ? The Speaker
said it was the charge. Mr. Horne then said, it was very droll,
for he had a charge against him. He concluded with saying, that
he should plead there, as in every other court of justice, Not
guilty. The House was embarrassed. Mr. Woodfall was again
called in, and confronted with Mr. Horne; but as he was im-
plicated in the guilt of the publication, his testimony was not
deemed admissible, and three of his journeymen were ordered to
attend. They attended accordingly, on the 18th, and were exa-
mined, but their evidence not going to fix the Libel upon Mr.
Horne, Mr. Herbert apologized for the trouble he had given the
House, and added, that as the evidence had not proved Mr.
Horne the author of the Libel, to evince his impartiality, he.
should move, That he be discharged out of the custody of the
Serjeant at Arms.


Mr. Fox, though he was not against the discharge of the
prisoner, hoped the failure of evidence would be a caution to
the House in their future'proceedings; and particularly that


A few days after this debate, namely, on the 28th of February, while
Mr. Fox was actually engaged in conversation with Lord North on indif-
ferent subjects, in the House of Commons, the following laconic card
of dismission from the Board of Treasury was delivered to him by one
of the door-keepers :


" His Majesty has thought proper to order a new Commission of Trea-
sury to be made out, in which I do not see your name.


NoLTH."


17741 LIBEL ON THE REVOLUTION OF 1688. 23


might not think the printer deserved any lenity for
to%eyobeying the summons, or giving- up the author of the libel ;
seeing that he had done no more than his duty. The author,
Mr. Fox observed, was no object to him; the printer who had
inserted so infamous a libel, he was the greatest culprit, and
ought to have been committed to Newgate, as was at first
moved. He should, however, reserve his sentiments, until
the printer thought proper to petition the House for his dis-
,charge.


On the zd of March, Captain Phipps begged leave to present
.a petition from Mr. Woodfall, praying- to be released from his
.confinement.


Mr. Fox said, he should not oppose the petition being pre-
sented, but he thought the noble lord (North) who had shone
so amazingly in this business, and who was so great a lover
of the liberty of the press, ought to have been present, and
likewise the original mover of the business. He said, it was
pitiful in them to depute another person to declare their will:
it seemed as if they were ashamed of their proceedings, which
the noble lord had no occasion to be; for no one could yet
tell, by his declarations, which side he meant to espouse.
The noble lord, on the first day of the business, had declared,
that should the prisoner petition at ever so early a period, be
would not be against it ; yet, after a week's confinement, he
did petition, and the noble lord went from his word, not out
of any regard for the privileges of the House, but merely to
please an individual.


The petition was then presented, and on the motion of
Captain Phipps, Mr. Woodfall was brought to the bar and
discharged..


MR. FOX'S COMPLAINT or A LIBEL ON THE REVOLUTION
OF 1688.


Feb •ztary 1 6. 1774.


Mr. Fox rose and said :
MR.


-L.
SPEAKER; ER; the part I have hitherto taken in the


matter of libels that has recently occupied the attention
of this House, calls upon me at present to take notice of a
fresh libel of a nature, if possible, still more mischievous and


c4




24 MR. FOX'S COMPLAINT OF A LIBEL
[Feb. 16.


detestable; than that for which you have already punished one
printer. Sir, the paper I allude to is one that I have in my
hand; it is a letter in the Public Advertiser, and also in the
Morning Chronicle, of this morning, signed " A South Bri-
ton
Sir, I esteem it one of the highest and most atrocious


The following is a copy of the said letter :
" Sir ; the following curses are by God denounced in holy writ : cursed


is he that curses father or mother ; cursed is he that removeth his neigh-
bour's landmark ; cursed are the unmerciful, covetous persons, and extor-
tioners. Now, as to the first, surely that man must lie under that curse,
who by force drives his father from his possession, and hires people
with his father's money to murder him. As to the second curse, if it is
a damnable sin to remove a neighbour's land-mark to defraud him of a
bit of ground, how great, how tremendously great must that man's curse
be, who, although he lets the land-mark stand, yet by force defrauds
him of his whole ground and property ! And that man who is guilty
of the above must certainly be an unmerciful, covetous, extortionable
man. This day 84


years, just at the very time the curses of God were
by his lawful ministers pronouncing in almost every church in England,
Scotland, and Ireland, an herald was proclaiming two undutiful children
King and Queen of England, &c. But peace to their manes : they, in a
short time afterwards,. were obliged to appear where rebellion, perjury,
fraud, cunning, arid deceit would stand in no good stead. Bet let us see
and consider the advantages the subjects gained by that glorious day's work :
before that period the subjects were not encumbered with so much as one
penny national debt ; and the whole of all their taxes united together
scarcely amounted to threepence in the pound. Now take all our taxes
of every sort united, they amount to about zss. in the pound, three parts
of our whole property (the undoubted cause of provisions being dear), and
as the King goes on, the remaining fourth must soon follow ; and suppose
the national debt to be 1 4o millions, which funded and unfunded I believe
will amount to that sum, then for every single day since the Revolution we
have been blessed with an accumulating debt, amounting to upwards of'
45 6 51. 19s. 8-:}d. per day ; a blessing on us and our posterity for ever, so
sure as the Revolution was a blessing, if otherwise a curse and burthen on
us and our latest posterity ; and all the aforesaid millions were expended
to make the poor and distressed states of Holland become rich, high, and
mighty, the poor electorate of Hanover rich and wealthy, and the subjects
of Great Britain and Ireland in poverty, distress, and slavery ; and since
the aforesaid period our governors have coaxed us to part with the major
part of our money they did not take be force, and in the room thereof to
give us bits of paper ; so that the major part of °tn• remaining, wealth is
now in their hands ; by which means they keep up the following standing .
armies to keep the subject in awe, poverty, distress, and slavery : a stand-
ing army of great placemen, a standing army of excisemen, permit-men,
custom-house officers, with the other innumerable company of little place-
men, a standing army of devouring locusts, called pensioners, and a stand-
ing arm y of soldiers ; by ail which means our liberties are become barely
nominal, and our paper property of every sort whenever the — pleases
ern be wiped out with a sponge.


" If we consider religion,- the church of England flourished before that
period ; but since that time popery and fanaticism have encrcased, espe-
cially of late years, to such a degree, that, without the spirit of prophecy,
we may foretel that in a few years the church of England will be dxtinct,
unless God in his great mercy preserves us.


ON THE REVOLUTION OF 1688.17741 25


calumnies ; one of the vilest libels on the constitution of this
country, that ever was published. It is not an abuse of this
person or of that person, but of the constitution of this king-
dom: it is a libel upon the glorious Revolution in 1688, and
terms it expressly a rebellion against King .Tames. Sir, I
am so much an enemy to all libels — to all licentiousness of
the press — though a friend to the legal liberty of it — that I
am induced to bring libels of all denominations on the car-
pet. I am expressly for putting a stop, and an effectual one,
to so scandalous a practice. And this which I hold in my
band is of such an abominable nature, that I am confident
there is not a gentleman in the House who will disagree with
me on this occasion. I think, Sir, the motion with which I
shall conclude will occasion no debate. I am sure it will be
a dishonour to the House, if there should be a debate upon
it. The glorious Revolution was the rent of the liberties —
of the happiness of Britain. It was an cent which demands
every tribute of honour and applause that the heart of man
can give; • and ill does he deserve a seat in this House, who




can tamely sit and see the most infamous libels, the most
licentious scurrility, daily exercised upon the event, to which,
of all others, this country is the most indebted. I therefore
request, as a foundation for a motion, that the papers may be
read. [The Public Advertiser and Morning Chronicle were
accordingly delivered in, and the letter read.] Now, Sir, I
move, " That the said Letter is a fidse, scandalous, and trai-
torous Libel upon the Constitution of this Country, and tend-
ing to alienate the Affections of Iris Majesty's subjects from
his Majesty and his Royal Family."


The motion was not objected to, but Mr. Thomas Townsend
regretted that this poor, despicable South Briton should be pu-
nished, after so many more pernicious libellers were permitted to
walk at large. From the conviction and punishment of Dr. Sheb-
beare to the present moment, no papers of this sort had been
taken notice of: the revilers of the revolution, and the principles
of the revolution, had been applauded, revered, and even pen-
sioned : Drs. Shebbcare and Johnson had been pensioned, while
this wretched South Briton was to be prosecuted. Upon this,


" If' we look into morality, our governors since that period, by their
wicked examples of bribery, corruption, dissipation, gaining, and every
species of wickedness that can be committed, have so debauched the morals
of the people, that morality is in the same deplorable condition of liberty,
property, and religion, viz. almost vanished from these once happy isles !
On the whole, if a tree is to be known by its fruits, who dare say the rebel-
lion against King James was not a glorious revolution ?


" I am, . A Solfrii BRITON."'




BOSTON PORT BILL.
[March 23.


Mr. Fox said : Sir, I cannot subscribe to the propriety of
coupling Dr. Johnson and Dr. Shebbeare together. I should
be very much against persecuting a man of great literary
abilities, for any opinions which he might happen to drop in
works not professedly political. I know not the 'passages
which the right honourable gentleman alludes to, but I must
make an eternal distinction between the Cases which he re-
presents as the same. The peculiar opinions of men of great
literary abilities, who have accidentally dropped them, are not
what I think ought to meet with persecution. To- do so
would be to injure the cause of literature, which is ever best
encouraged under a free government.


The motion was carried. After which it was ordered, on the
motion of Mr. Fox, " That Mr. Attorney-General do forthwith
prosecute the author, printers, and publishers of the said
scandalous, and traitorous libel." *


BOSTON PORT BILL.


March 23.


ON the 14th of March, Lord North moved, " That Leave-be'given to bring in a Bill for the immediate Removal of the
Officers concerned in the Collection and Management of His Ma-
jesty's Duties and Customs from the Town of Boston, in the Pro-
vince of Massachuset's Bay, in North America ; and to discontinue
the landing and discharging, lading and shipping of Goods, Wares,
and Merchandize at the said Town of Boston, or within the Harbour
thereof." Many debates took place during the progress of the bill.
On the 23d the House went into a committee. On the question
upon the clause, which vests in the crown the power to restore the
port,


The trial of Mr. William Woodfall for printing the said libel in the
Morning Chronicle came on in the Court of King's Bench upon the xrth
of July tb]lowing, before Lord Mansfield and a special jury. The trial
lasted about an hour, when the jury went out, and after staying five hours,
brought in their verdict, guilty. Immediately after came on the trial of
Mr. S. Woodfall fbr printing the said letter in the Public Advertiser,
-which lasted half an hour, when the jury went out, returned in half an
hour, and brought in their verdict, guilty. They were afterwards sentenced
to pay each a fine of zoo marks, and suffer three months' imprisonment in
'`-te King's Bench.


x774.] REPEAL OF THE AMERICAN TEA DUTY BILL. 2 7


Mr. Fox said, he should give it his negative, as it was
trusting the crown wi th that power which parliament were
afraid to trust themselves with : and if he did not succeed in
his negative to this clause, lie should object to the one follow-
ing, which seemed to militate against the measure adopted
in this ; as a restraint was there laid upon the crown until
the East India Company were indemnified for the loss they
had sustained. This bill, he said, was calculated for three
purposes ; the first fbr securing the trade, the second for pu-
nishin g the Bostonians, and the third for satisfaction to the
East India Company. He said, the first clause did not give
a true and exact distinction by what means, and at what pe-
riod, the crown was to exercise the power vested in it; he
thought Unit application fbr relief should come to parliament
only, and that the power of affording such relief should not
be lodged in the crown. The quarrel was with Parliament,
and Parliament was the proper power to end it ; not, said he,
ironically, that there is any reason to distrust His Majesty's
ministers, that they will not restore the port when it shall be
proper ; but I want to hear the reason why this clause should
be so left in the judgment of the crown, and the next clause
should be so particularly ;ranted, with such a guard upon His
Majesty, to prevent him from restoring the port until the East
India Company should be fully satisfied.


The clauses objected to passed without any division.


REPEAL OF THE AMERICAN TEA DUTY BILL.


Apra 19.


ENTERAL members who had voted for the bill to shut up the
ii port of Boston, were nevertheless of opinion, that something
of a conciliatory nature should attend this measure of severity ;
that parliament, whilst it resented the outrages of the American
populace, ought not to irritate the sober part of the colonies ; that
if they had satisfaction in the matter of taxes, they would become
instrumental in keeping the inferior and more turbulent in order ;
and that this sacrifice to peace•would be made at no considerable
expence. On the t 9th of April, therefore, Mr. Rose Fuller
moved, " That this House will, on this day sevennight, resolve
itself into a Committee of the whole House, to take into consider-
ation the Duty of 3 d. per pound weight upon Tea, payable in all.
His Majesty's Dominions in America, imposed by an Act made in




BILL FOR THE BETTER REGULATING [Aprir 22.


the 7th Year of His present. Majesty,.intituled, An act for grant-
ing certain duties in the British colonies and plantations in Ame-
rica, for allowing a drawback of the duties of customs upon the
exportation from this kingdom of coffee and cocoa nuts, of the
produce of the said colonies or plantations, for discontinuing the
drawbacks payable on China earthenware exported to America ;
And for more effectually preventing the clandestine running of
goods in the said colonies and plantations.'" Upon this occasion
it was, that Mr. Burke made his celebrated speech on American
taxation. In the course of the debate,


Mr. Fox said : Let us consider, Sir, what is the state of
America with regard to this country ; the Americans will be-
come useful subjects, if you . use them with that temper and
lenity which you ought to do. When the stamp act was re-
pealed, murmurs ceased, and quiet succeeded. Taxes have
produced a contrary behaviour ; quiet has been succeeded by
riots and disturbances. Here is an absolute dereliction of the
authority of this country. It has been said, that America is
not represented in this House, but the Americans are full as
virtually taxed; as virtually represented. A tax can only be
laid for three purposes ; the first for a commercial regulation,
the-second for a. revenue, and the third for asserting your
right. As to the two first, it has clearly been denied that it
is for either ; as to the latter, it is only clone with a view to
irritate and declare war against


• the Americans, Which, if you
persist in, I am clearly of opinion you will effect, or force them
into open. rebellion.


The House divided : Yeas 4.9 : Noes 182. So the motion was
negatived.


BILL FOR THE BETTER REGULATING THE GOVERNMENT or
MASSACHUSET'S BAY.


April 22.
NORTLY after the passing of the Boston port act, a bill wag


Li brought in " for the better regulating the Government. of
.Massachuset's Bay." The purpose of this bill was to alter the
constitution of that province as it stood upon the charter of King
William ; to take the whole, executive. power out of the hands of
the democratic part, and to vest the nomination of counsellors,
judges, and magistrates of .all kinds, including the sheriffs, in the
crown, and in some cases in the King's governor, and all to be
removeable at the pleasure of the crown. On the' second reading


1.774.] THE GOVERNMENT OP MASSACHUSET'S BAY. 29


of the bill, upon the 22d of April, Mr. Rigby declared, that Great
Britain had a right to tax America ; that he was not for putting
on any new tax at that particular crisis ; but when things were
returned to a peaceable state, he would then begin to exercise
the right. He added, that we had a right to tax Ireland, if there
was a necessity so to do, in order to help the mother country. In
reply to this speech,


Mr. Fox said :
Sir, I am glad to hear from the right honourable gentle-


man who spoke last, that now is not the time to tax America :
that the only time for doing that is, when all these disturb-
ances are quelled, and the people are returned to their duty;
so, I find, that taxes are to be the reward of obedience; and
the Americans, who are considered to have been in open re-
bellion, are to be rewarded by acquiescing to their measures.
When will be the time that America ought to have heavy
taxes laid upon her? The right honourable gentleman tells
you, that that time is when the Americans are returned to
peace and quietness. The right honourable gentleman tells
us also, that we have a right to tax Ireland ; however I may
agree with him in regard to the principle, sure I am that it
would not be policy to exercise it. I believe we have no more
right to tax the one than the other. I believe America is
wrong in resisting against this country, with regard to its
legislative authority. It was an old opinion, and I believe a
very true one, that there was a dispensing power in the crown,
but whenever that dispensing power was pretended to be
exercised, it was always rejected and opposed to the utmost,
because it operated on me, as a subject, to the detriment of
my property and liberty ; but, Sir, there has been a constant.
line of conduct practised in this country towards America,
consisting of violence and weakness. I wish such measures
to be discontinued; nor can I think that the stamp act would.
have been submitted to without resistance, if the administra-
tion had not been changed. The bill before you is not what
you want; it will irritate the Minds of the people, but does
not correct the deficiencies of the government of Massachu-
set's Bay.


The bill was then committed.


May 2.
On the order of the day for the third reading of the bill,


Mr. Fox said :
I take this to be the question, Whether America is to be


governed by force, or management ? I never could conceive




30 RECONCILIATION WITH AMERICA.
[Jan. 23.


that the Americans ought to be taxed without their consent.
Just as the House of Commons stands to the House of Lords,
with regard to taxation and legislation, so stands America
with Great Britain. There is not an American, but who
must reject and resist the principle and right of our taxing
them. The question, then, is shortly this, Whether we ought
to govern America on these principles ? Can this country
gain strength by keeping up such a dispute as this ? Tell
me when America is to be taxed, so as to relieve the burthens
of this country. I look upon this measure to be in effect
taking away their charter : if their charter is to be taken
away, for God's sake let it be taken away by law, and not
by legislative coercion : but I cannot conceive that any law
whatever, while their charter continues, will make them think
that you have a right to tax them. If a system of force is to
be established, there is no provision for that in this bill ; it
does not go far enough ; if' it is to induce them by fair means,
it (Toes too fin. The only method by which the Americans
will ever think they are attached to this country, will be by
our laying aside the right of taxing. I consider this bill as
a bill of pains and penalties, for it begins with a crime, and
ends. with a punishment; and I wish gentlemen would con-
sider, whether it is more proper to govern by military force, or
by management.


The House divided on the third reading of the bill : Yeas 23 9 :
Noes 64.


PETITIONS FOR RECONCILIATION WITH AMERICA.


January 23. 1775.


ABOUT this time numerous petitions were presented from thegreat mercantile cities and towns, praying Parliament to
desist from those proceedings which had occasioned the American
association so prejudicial to commerce. On the first petition
from the merchants of London, a strenuous debate arose. Mr.
Alderman Hayley, who presented it, moved that it should be
referred to the committee who were appointed to take into con-
sideration the papers relating to the disturbances in North
America. This seemed to be so natural, and so much a matter
of course, as scarcely to admit of a controversy. Ministers, how
ever, opposed the motion. A separate committee for the con-
sideration of the Merchants' Petition was proposed, and Sir Wil-


1775.3
RECONCILIATION WITH AMERICA.


ham Meredith moved, that it should be referred to a Committee
on the 27th, the day succeeding that on which the Committee was
to take the American papers into consideration. The conduct of
ministers was severely arraigned, and much ridicule was thrown
on the proposed Committee, which Mr. Burke called a Coventry
Committee, and a Committee of Oblivion.


Mr. Fox repeatedly called on Lord North to know, who
was the man that advised the late acts against the Americans ;
for he it was who had created the disturbances, he it was who
had placed General Gage and his troops in the ridiculous
situation in which they at present were, and he it was who
ought to answer to his country for the mischievous conse-
quences that might ensue. He attacked the minister violently;
pointed out his delays before Christmas, and his speed after.
He said that the Committee now proposed was no more than
a mere farce to delude the merchants, as he was certain that
nothing serious was intended.


The House divided : For the Amendment 1 97: Against it St.


January 27.


The merchants of London, displeased with this reference, pre-
sented a second petition, lamenting the late decision, by which their
former petition was referred to a separate Committee, and by which
they were absolutely precluded from such a hearing in its support,
as could alone procure them that relief which the present de-
plorable state of their trade required. Mr. Alderman Hayley
moved, " That the order for referring the petition to a separate
Committee should be discharged, and that it should be referred
to the Committee of the whole House appointed to consider the
papers relating to the disturbances in North America." The
motion was opposed by Mr. Hans Stanley and Mr. Jenkinson,
and supported by the gentlemen in the minority. The necessity
of hearing the petitioners was warmly pleaded by Mr. Burke. He
lamented the national calamities about to befal this devoted coun-
try. Besides the horrors of a civil war ; besides the slaughtered
innocents who were to be victimated to the counsels of a ministry
precipitate to dye the rivers of America with the blood of her
inhabitants ; besides these disasters, an impoverished revenue,
famished millions, the stagnation of manufactures, the total over-
throw of commerce, the. encrease of the poor's rate, the accumu-
lation of taxes, innumerable bankruptcies, and other shocks which
might make the fabric of public credit totter to its basis — these
were all depicted in the strongest colours by Mr. Burke. He
professedly reserved himself, however, for that day when, if pro-


h
perly supported by the people, he vowed by all that was dear to


im here and hereafter, he would pursue to condign punishment


Ze




32 RECONCILIATION WITH AMERICA.
[Jan. 27,


the advisers of measures fraught with every destructive conse-
quence to the constitution, the commerce, the rights and liberties
of this country.


Mr. Fox spoke on the same side. He arraigned, in the
severest terms, the acts of the last parliament, as framed on
false information, conceived in weakness and ignorance, and
executed with negligence. We were promised that, on the
very appearance of troops, all was to be tranquillity at
Boston; yet so far from subduing the spirit of that people,
these troops were, by the neglect of those who sent them, re-
duced to the most shameful situation, and dishonourably
intrenched within the lines of eircumyallation, which a ne-
cessary precaution for their own safety obliged them to farm.
He said, that the contrary effect of what the minister had
promised, was foretold; but that the minister, fbrsooth, in
his usual negligence, avowed, that when he was pursuing a


-measure of the last degree of importance, though it were
treasonable in him, (the strength of the words he afterwards
disavowed) yet he thought it would be blameable in him so
much as to enquire what the effects were to be of his mea-
sures. He believed it was the first time any minister dared
to avow that he thought it his duty not to enquire into the
effects of his measures; but it was suitable to the whole of
the noble lord's conduct, who had no system or plan of con-
duct, no knowledge of business. He had often declared his
unfitness for his station, and he agreed that his conduct
justified his declaration; and that the country was incensed,
and on the point of being involved in a civil war by his in-
capacity. He pledged himself to join Mr. Burke, in pursuing
the noble lord, and bringing him to answer for the mischiefs
occasioned by his negligence, his inconsistency, and his in-
capacity : he said not this from resentment, but from a con-
viction of the destructive proceedings of a bad minister.


Lord North in the course of his speech observed, that Mr.
Burke and Mr. Fox constantly made a point, not only of attack-
ing, but even of threatening him. As to general charges, he
could only answer them in general terms ; and when that black,
bitter, trying day should come, which had been prophecied by
one of those gentlemen, and lie should bring any particular charge
against him, he trusted he should be able to give it a particular
answer. As to the other gentleman, who found so many causes
of censure, and who disclaimed all resentment, he was sure,
though the honourable gentleman now discovered in him so much
incapacity and negligence, there was a time, when he approved of,
at least, some part of his conduct.


075.] .ADDRESS ON THE DISTURBANCES IN A:INIERICA. 33


Mr. Fox, in reply to Lord North, said : That my private
resentments have not influenced my public conduct, will be
readily believed, when I assert that I might long since have
justly charged the noble lord, with the most unexampled
treachery and falsehood. — Here Mr. Pox was called to or-
der, and the House grew clamorous. He sat down twice or
thrice, and on rising each time, repeated the same words;
but at length, assuring the House he would abstain from
every thing personal, he was permitted to proceed. He then
repeated his former charges of negligence, incapacity, and
inconsistency; and added, that though he at one time ap-
proved of part of the noble lord's conduct, lie never approved
of the whole. He charged all the i •esent disputes with
America, to his negligence and incapacity, and instanced his
inconsistency in the case of the Middlesex election. It was
true, he said, the noble lord had often conissed his incapa-
city, and from a consciousness of it, pretended a willingness
to resign ; but the event had proved that whatever his con-
sciousness might have been, his love of the emoluments of
office had completely conquered it.


The House divided on the motion for the discharge of the ,or-
der : Yeas 89 : Noes 25o.


ADDRESS TO THE KING UPON THE DISTURBANCES IN NORTH
AMERICA.


Februzy 2.


THE House being in the Committee appointed to take into consi-deration the papers relating to the Disturbances in North Arne..
rica, Lord North moved, " That an humble Address be presented to
His Majesty, to return His Majesty our most humble thanks, for
having been graciously pleased to communicate to this House, the
several papers relating to the present state of the British colonies
in America, which, by His Majesty's commands, have been laid
before this House, and from which, after taking them into our
most serious consideration, we find, that . a part of His Majesty's
subjects in the province of the Massachuset's Bay have proceeded
so far to resist the authority of the supreme legislature, that a
rebellion at this time actually exists within the said province ; and
we see with the' utmost concern, that they have been counte-
nanced and encouraged by unlawful combinations 'and engage..
meats, entered into by His Majesty's subjects, in several of the
other colonies, to the injury and oppression of 11:1Py of their


VOL.




34 ADDRESS ON THE DISTURBANCES IN AMERICA. [Feb. 2.
innocent fellow subjects resident within the kingdom of Great
Britain and the rest of His Majesty's dominions ; this conduct on
their part appears to us the more inexcusable, when we consider
with how much temper His Majesty and the two Houses of Parlia-
ment -have acted, in support of the laws and constitution of
Great Britain ; to declare that we can never so far desert the
trust reposed in us, as to relinquish any part of the sovereign
authority over all His Majesty's dominions, which by law is vested
in his Majesty and the two Houses of Parliament ; and that the
conduct of many persons, in several of the colonies, during the
late disturbances, is alone sufficient to convince us how necessary
this power is, for the protection of the lives and fortunes of all
His Majesty's subjects ; that we ever have been, and always shall
.be, ready to pay attention and regard to any real grievances of
any of His Majesty's subjects, which shall in a dutiful and consti-
tutional manner be laid before us ; and whenever any of the colonies
shall make a proper application to us, we shall he ready to afford
them every just and reasonable indulgence ; but that, at the same
time, we consider it as our indispensable duty, humbly to beseech
His Majesty, that His Majesty will take the most effectual mea-
sures to enforce due obedience to the laws and authority of the
supreme legislature ; and that we beg leave, in the most solemn
manner, to assure His Majesty, that it is our fixed resolution, at
the hazard of our lives and properties, to stand by His Majesty,
against all rebellious attempts, in the maintenance of the just rights
of His Majesty and the two Houses of parliament." This motion
occasioned a spirited debate. It was supported by the Attorney
and Solicitor General, and opposed by Mr. Dunning, Mr. Gren-
ville, Mr. Cruger, Captain Luttrell, Mr. Burke, and Mr. Fox.


ilt


Mr. Fox, who upon this occasion is stated to have spoken
better than usual, entered fully into the question. He
pointed out the injustice, the inexpediency, and folly of the
motion ; prophesied defeat on one side the water, and ruin
and punishment on the other. He moved an amendment to
omit all the motion, but the three or four first lines, and to
substitute the following words : " But deploring that the in-
formation which the papers have afforded, serves onl y to


3convince this House that the measures taken by His Ma-
jesty's servants tend rather to widen than to heal the unhappy
differences, which have so long subsisted between Great
Britain and America, and praying a speedy alteration of the
same."


4 Mr. Gibbon, in a letter to Mr. Holroyd, dated February 8. 1775. says,
" I am not damned, according to your charitable wishes, because I have
not acted; there was such an inundation of speeches, young speeches in
every sense of the word, both on Thursday in the Grand Committee, and
Monday on the Report to the House, that neither Lord Georgo Germain


1775.]
AUGMENTATION OF THE FORCES. 3 5


The Committee divided upon Mr. Fox's amendment : Ayes 105 :
Noes 304.


AUGMENTATION OF THE FORCES.


February 13.


(IN the loth of February, a Message was presented from His
%-j Majesty, stating that "His Majesty being determined, in con-
quence of the _Address of both Houses of Parliament, to take the
most speedy and effectual measures for supporting the just Rights
of his Crown, and the two houses of Parliament, thinks proper to
acquaint this House, that some addition to his Forces by sea and
land will be necessary for that purpose : and His Majesty doubts
not but he shall have the concurrence and support of this House
(on whose zeal and affection he entirely relies), in making such
augmentation to his Forces as the present occasion shall be
thought to require." In consequence of this Message, Mr. Buller
moved, on the 13th, " That an additional number of zoco men
be allowed for sea service for the year 1775." In the course of
the debate arising out of this motion,


Mr. Fox contended strongly, that taking the affairs of
America on the very footing upon which ministers had thrown
them, their conduct betrayed nothing but incapacity; that
the gentlemen on the treasury-bench were repeatedly telling
the House of the rebellion of the Americans, and how strongly
they were persuaded that they meant to throw off all de-
pendance on this . country. How then, said he, arc we to
account for that slothful, dilatory conduct of administration,
in sitting quiet for so many months, and seeming in their
management to have no idea that force could ever be used or
would ever be necessary? If administration were really per-
suaded of the views and intentions of the Americans, if re-
bellion was written among them in such legible characters,
Why did they not take the earliest opportunity of preventing
those intentions and of stiffing that rebellion ? Had they
conducted themselves upon the principles of common sense
they certainly would have been earlier in their intelligence to


nor myself could find room for a single word. The principal men both days
were Fox and Wedderhurne, on the opposite sides ; the latter displayed his
usual talents; the former, taking the vast compass of the question before
us, discovered powers for regular debate, which neither his friends hoped,
nor his enemies dreaded." Miscellaneous Works, vol. f. p. 489.


n2




36 PROPOSITION FOR CONCILIATION WITH AMERICA. [Feb. 20.
Parliament, earlier in their application, and more vigorous
in their measures. But this, he said, was under the suppo-
sition that they knew the rectitude of their intentions, and
approved of their own conduct. He then deviated into a
personal attack on Lord North, but was uncommonly spirited
throughout.


saaixoreokamegc......awas.:-...,sst


LORD NORTH'S PROPOSITION FOR CONCILIATION WITH
AMERICA.


February 2 0.


Vv/HILE the Bill for restraining the Commerce of the New
England Colonies, and prohibiting their Fishery on the


Banks of Newfoundland, was yet depending, and while nothing but
defiance Was hurled at America on the part of Government, Lord
North, to the surprize of Opposition and of many of the adherents
of Ministers, brought forward his famous proposition for concili-
ating


the differences with America. Adverting to the terms of the:'
recent Address to the King upon the Disturbances in North Ame-,
rica, he observed, although Parliament could never relinquish
the right of taxation, yet if the Americans would propose means
of contributing their share to the common defence, the exercise
of the right might without hesitation be suspended, and the pri-
vilege of raising their own portion of contribution conceded to the
colonists. This being the sense, and, he believed, the very words


Resolution:,proAdd
" That it is the opinion of this Committee, that when the Go-,..
in which he moved the ress, he roposed as a Resol :,


vernor, Council, and Assembly, .or General Court, of any of His
Majesty's provinces or colonies in America, shall propose to make
provision, according to the condition, circumstances, and situa-
tion, of such province or colony, for contributing their proportion
to the common defence (such proportion to be raised under the
authority of the General Court, or General Assembly, of such
province or colony, and disposable by Parliament) and shall en-
gage to make provision also for the support of the civil govern-
ment, and the administration of justice, in such province or colony,
it will be proper, if such proposal shall be approved by His Ma-
jesty and the two Houses of Parliament, and for so long as such
provision shall be made accordingly, to forbear, in respect of such
province or colony, to levy any duty, tax, or assessment, or to
impose any farther duty, -tax, or assessment, except only such
duties as it may be expedient to continue to levy or to impose for
the regulation of commerce ; the nett produce of the duties last .
.mentioned to be carried to the account of such province or,


1775.] PROPOSITION FOR CONCILIATION WITH AMERICA. 3 7


colony respectively." This proposition gave rise to a long debate;
in the course of which,


Mr. Fox said :
I congratulate my friends, and I congratulate the public,


upon the motion which the noble lord has now produced.
He,who has been hitherto all violence and war, is now
treading back his steps to peace. I congratulate my friends
and the public on those measures which have produced this
effect. It is now seen what the effects are which a firm and
a spirited opposition will produce; it is the opposition which
has been made in this House, although ineffectual to oppose
the measures of ministers, whilst they were pleased to be
violent, yet has had that effect, that they now find it their
interest and their safety to be otherwise. 'I he noble lord
has receded from his proposition of violence—has begun (I
mean if he is sincere) to listen to reason ; and, if the same
spirit of opposition continues to resist violence, and to sup-
port the liberties and rights of the colonies, he will grow
every day more and more reasonable. He has quoted, as an
authority, the conduct of nations towards each other ; that,
in the outset of their demands, they claim more than they
arc willing to accept; the noble lord has clone the same,
and, I dare say, will on a future day be as ready to recede
from what he has now proposed, as he has now been humble
enough to give up what he before so strenuously defended.
I say this upon the supposition that the noble lord is sin-
cere; but I cannot believe it. Besides the opposition which
the noble lord found obstructing his way, he felt, that even
his friends and allies began to grow slack towards the vigour
of his measures; he was therefore forced to look out for
some propositions that might still induce them to go on
with him, and that might, if possible, persuade the Americans
to trust their rights to his candour and justice. What he
has now proposed to you, does accordingly carry two faces
on its very first appearance. To the Americans, and to
those who are unwilling to proceed in the extremes of vio-
lence against them, he holds out negociation and recon-
ciliation. To those who have engaged with him on condition
that he will support the supremacy of this country unimpaired,
the proposition holds out a persuasion that he never will relax
on that point : but, Sir, his friends see that he is relaxing,
and the Committee sees that they are all ready to withdraw
from under his standard. No one in this country, who is
sincerely for peace, will trust the speciousness of his ex-
pressions, and the Americans will reject them with disdain,


D 3




BILL FOR RESTRAINING AMERICAN COMMERCE. [March 6.
The Committee divided : For the Resolution 2 74 : Againstit 88.


.7.1n••••••n
••n41.111i.767s..3•10.111.


BILL FOR. RESTRAINING THE COMMERCE OF THE NEW ENG.
LA ND COLONIES, AND PROHIBITING THEIR FISHERY ON
THE BANKS OF NEWFOUNDLAND.


Mardi 6.


ON the loth of February, Lord North obtained leave to bringin a Bill " to restrain the Trade and Commerce of the Pro-
vinces of Massachuset's Bay, and New Hampshire ; the Colonies
of Connecticut and Mode Island, and Providence Plantation in
North America, to Great Britain, Ireland, and the British Islands
in the West Indies ; and to prohibit such Provinces and Colonies
from carrying on any Fishery on the Banks of Newfoundland,
or other Places therein to be mentioned, under certain Conditions,
and for a Time to be limited." The principal arguments in sup-
port of the Bill were, that as the Americans had refused to trade
with this kingdom, it was just to prevent their commerce with
other nations: whatever distress they might feel, their own con-
duct left them no right of complaint : they had begun the practice
by an association calculated to ruin our merchants, impoverish
our manufacturers, and starve the West India Islands. The Op-
position urged the impolicy of destroying a trade which could
never be restored : God and Nature, they argued, had given the
Newfoundland Fishery to New, and not to Old England. The
penalties confounded the innocent with the guilty ; nor was it
possible for Government to issue such a proclamation as would
afford security to all who were well-intentioned. The Bill was
calculated, they said, to irritate the Americans and starve four
provinces; and the danger of the Americans withholding the
debts due to British merchants was strongly urged. During
the progress of the Bill, petitions were presented from the Ame-
rican merchants in London, from the merchants of Poole, from
the Quakers, and from the merchants of Waterford. They.were
referred to a Committee, and many witnesses examined. On
the 6th of March, upon the motion that the Bill be engrossed,


Mr. Fox said, that the bill must ha ye..been calculated to
put an end to all that remained of the legislative authority of
Great Britain over America ; that it must be intended to
chew to the colonies that there was no one branch of supreme
authority, which Parliament might not abuse in such a man-
ner, as to render it reasonable to deny, and necessary to resist
it. To prove this he went through the history of the several


1 BILL FOR RESTRAINING AMERICAN COMMERCE. 391775.J


spsteby which the authority of Parliament had been denied,because it had been abused. At first, the Americans being
,:ed by Parliament not chusing to leave them their old


Pre- sileffe 'whether that privilege was by law, custom, or mere
indulgence, of taxing themselves internally, denied only ourpri
right of internal taxation. However, it was soon proved to


by argument and practice, that an external tax could
them, by to answer all the purposes, and to produce all the
mischiefs, of internal taxation. They then denied the right
of taxing for supply. Parliament next proceeded violently
to deprive them of their charters, and to make other acts for
the regulation of their government; then they denied your
power of internal legislation. But still in the midst of all,
their violence and all their provocation thereto, they had
never hitherto formally rejected the power of Parliament to
bind their trade. But the British legislature was now to con-
vince the Americans, that if but a single branch of legislative
power were left to this country, we could make that single
power answer all the purposes of a power to tax. This bill,
which was to restrain their commerce until they submitted,
until they ceased to resist our taxing authority, and, indeed,
whatever else was thought fit to be imposed on them, would
convince, he said, the Americans, that this power, thus used,
might be made by far the most oppressive, and worse than
any of those they had hitherto denied. He was quite satis-
fied, that the bill was meant for nothing else but to exasperate
the colonies into open and direct rebellion. Hitherto rebel-
lion was only asserted, and that ambiguously, of one colony.
It would from this bill probably become apparent, and univer-
sal in all; and thus give an opportunity for drawing the
sword, and gthrowin away the scabbard. He indeed ac-
quitted the ministry of a design of raising a rebellion for the
mere purpose of havoc and destruction; but said, that as by
their injudicious measures they had brought the colonies into
a state of the greatest disobedience, disorder, and confusion,
without being at the same time within the legal description of
rebellion, this was a state of things full of the greatest diffi-
culties, and in which it required the utmost nicety to conduct
government. But when things were brought to the length of.


the course of proceeding, however desperate, was
csiumirn8si ple and obvious: and as by this act all means of ac-
l a livelihood, or of receiving provisions were cut off,
no other alternative was left, but starvation or rebellion.


The motion was supported by Lord Howe, the Solicitor-General
of Scotland (Mr. Henry Dundas), and Mr. Jenkinson ; and op-
Posed by Mr. Fox, Mr. T. Townsl:end, and Mr. Burke. The


D 4




40 BILL FOR RESTRAINING AMERICAN COMMERCE. [March 6.
question being put, that the Bill, with the Amendments, be in-
grossed ; the House divided :




Tellers. Tellers.
y EAs ( Lord Lisburne}
Mr. T. Tow nshen d 612 I 5. — NOES




' 'Mr. Dundas
Mr. Burke


SSo it was resolved in the affirmative.
On the 8th of May, the bill being read a third time, Mr. Hartley


moved, that the following clause be added by way of ryder :
" That nothing in the act shall extend to prohibit the importation
into any or either of the said provinces, of any fuel, meal, corn,
flour, or victual, which shall be brought coastwise from any part
of the continent of America." This motion brought before the
House, in aggravated colours, the question of involving in one
common famine the friend and the foe of government ; the resist-
ing adult, the feeble infant, the pregnant female, and the decrepid
elder. The clause was opposed by Lord North, Lord Clare,
Governor Pownall, and Mr. Henry Dundas. Mr. Burke observed,
that the bill not only had taken from these people the means of
subsisting themselves by their own labour, but, rejecting the clause
now proposed, took from them the means of being subsisted by
the charity of their friends. " You had reduced the people to
beggary," said he, " and now you take the beggar's scrip from
them. You even dash front the mouth of hunger the morsel which
the hand of charity would stretch out to it."


Mr. Fox said : I think, Sir, you have now, by refusing
this proposition, completed the system of your folly. You
had sonic friends yet left in New England. You yourselves
made a parade of the number you had there. But you have
not treated them like friends. Rather than not make the
ruin of that devoted country complete, your friends are to be
involved in one common famine ! how must they feel, what
must they think, when the people against whom they have
stood out in support of your measures, say to them, " You
see now what friends in England you have depended upon ;
they separated you from your real friends here, while they
hoped to ruin us by it ; but since they cannot destroy us
without mixing you in the common carnage, your merits to
them will not now save you ; you are to be butchered and
starved indiscriminately with us ! What have you to look
to for support but resistance? You are treated in common
with us as rebels, whether you rebel or not. Your loyalty has
ruined you. Rebellion alone — if resistance is rebellion —
can save you from famine and ruin." When these things
are said to them, what can they answer? What part have
they to take? They must resist in common with those with
whom you have united them in ruin. I thought your mea-
sures were intended to divide the people. But when you
mean to destroy, you unite all, because you wish to 'destroy


I775'] REMONSTRANCE FROM NEW YORK.
41


all. Thus much I thought it right to say, that I might mark
the spirit of your measures.


On the motion; that the said clause be read a second time, the
House divided :


Tellers. Tellers.
Lord Stanley }YEAS I Mr. Hartley } Igo.58. — NOES { Mr. CooperMr. Byng


So it passed in the negative. The Bill was then passed. Before
the House was adjourned,


Mr. Fox took occasion to say, that the noble lord (North)
from the beginning had taken care to lead the House blind-
fold ; and would, he was certain, continue to do so, till he
found some personal convenience in acting otherwise. He
pronounced confidently, that the bill just passed could not
succeed; and desired the noble lord to recollect his words,
and at the same time not to come to Parliament, and tell them,
though the measure miscarried, it was their measure, for, if
they had not framed, they had, after the fullest deliberation,
approved of it. The fact was the very reverse, as the noble
lord had been both the framer and approver ; for by the arts
of misinformation on one hand, and the want of any material
information on the other, Parliament had been persuaded into
an approbation of his measures.


MR. BURKE'S MOTION FOR BRINGING UP A REPRESENTATION
AND REMONSTRANCE FROM THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OE
NEW YORK.


Mew 15.


R. BURKE acquainted the House, that he had received a.
paper of great importance from the General Assembly of the


province of New York ; a province which yielded to no part of
His Majesty's dominions in its zeal for the prosperity and unity
of the empire, and which had ever contributed, as much as any,
in its proportion, to the defence and wealth of the whole. He
observed, that it was a complaint, in the form of a Remonstrance,
of several Acts of Parliament, some of which, as they affirmed,
had established principles, and others had made regulations, sub-
versive of the rights of English subjects. That he did not know
whether the House would approve of every opinion contained in
the paper ; but that as nothing could be more decent and respect-
ful than the whole tenor and language of the Remonstrance, a





I


4 2REMONSTRANCE FROM NEW YORK. [May I s.
mere mistake in opinion, upon any one point, ought not to prevent
their receiving it, and granting redress on such other matters a3
might be really grievous, and which were not necessarily eon.
nected with that erroneous opinion. He represented this direct
application from America, and dutiful procedure of New York,
in the present critical juncture, as a most desirable and even for.
tunate circumstance ; and strongly urged, that they never had
before them so fair an opportunity of putting an end to the un-
happy disputes with the colonies as at present ; and he conjured
them, in the most earnest manner, not to let it escape, as possibly
the like might never again return. He then moved, " That the
Representation and Remonstrance of the General Assembly of the
Colony of New York be brought up." It was contended, in
opposition to the motion, that the honour of Parliament required
that no paper should be received by that House, which tended to
call in question its unlimited authority ; that they had already
relaxed in very essential points, but they could not hear any thing
which tended to call in question their right of taxation ; that the
Declaratory Act must be repealed, before such a paper was ad-
mitted to be brought up ; that the House never received even
petitions of that nature ; but that here the name of a petition was
studiously avoided, lest any thing like an obedience to Parliament
should be acknowledged. Lord North accordingly moved an
amendment, which was an indirect though effectual negative upon
the motion, by inserting after the word " Remonstrance" the
words " in which the said Assembly claim to themselves rights
derogatory to, and inconsistent with, the legislative authority of
Parliament, as declared by the said act." The amendment was
supported by Mr. Cornwall and Mr. Jenkinson, and strongly
opposed by Mr. Cruger, Mr. Aubrey, Mr. Fox, and Governor
J ohnstone.


Mr. Fox said, the right of Parliament to tax America was
not simply denied in the Remonstrance, but only as coupled
with the exercise of it. The exercise was the thing com-
plained of, not the right itself When the Declaratory Act
was passed, asserting the right in the fullest extent, there were
no tumults in America, no opposition to government in any
part of that country : but when the right came to be exer-
cised in the manner we have seen, the whole country was
alarmed, and there was an unanimous determination to oppose
it. The right simply is not regarded; it is the exercise of it
that is the object of opposition. It is this exercise that has
irritated, and made almost desperate several of the colonies ;
but the noble lord (North) chuses to be consistent ; he
determined to make them all mad alike. The only province
that was moderate, and in which England had some friends,
he now treats with contempt. What will be the consequence,
when the people of this moderate province are informed of
this treatment? That Representation which the cool and


ADDRESS ON THE KING'S SPEECH. 431775•]
candid of this moderate province had framed with deliberation
and caution, is rejected, is not suffered to be presented, no,
not even to be read by the clerk. When they hear this,


be inflamed, and hereafter be as distinguished bywil
violence, as they have hitherto been by their moderation.


It
the only method they can take to regain the esteem and


tclitOee


i is the
of their brethren in the other colonies, who have


been offended at their moderation. Those who refused to
send deputies to the congress, and trusted to Parliament, will
appear ridiculous in the eyes of all America ; it will be
proved, that those who distrusted and defied Parliament, had
made a right judgment ; and those who relied upon its mode-
ration and clemency, had been mistaken and duped. The
consequence of this must be, that every friend the ministers
have in America, must either abandon them, or lose all
credit and every means of serving them in future.—The
noble lord acknowledges the Quebec duties are not laid
exactly as they ought . to be. This matter is not introduced
into the Remonstrance on account of its being a grievance ;
but to chew how extremely ignorant the present ministers are
of the proper mode of American taxation. What is there to
hinder the people of New York from trading with the interior
country as before ? Every thing is just the same ; there are
no troops to hinder their passing and repassing as usual. Is
there so much as an officer to receive that duty which is
directed to he paid ? It is mentioned, to convince you of
your ignorance in taxing America. You make an act of
parliament to raise a revenue in that country, and you not
only make a capital blunder in it, but stumble at the threshold
of collecting it.


The House divided on Lord North's Amendment : Yeas 186 :
Noes 67 . So it was resolved in the affirmative. After which the
motion for bringing up the Remonstrance was negatived.


.IMIZIOAlaapar.S.z.m1.1/111.•••2,-7,5q,


AMENDMENT TO THE ADDRESS OF THANKS ON THE KING'S
SPEECH AT THE OPENING OF THE SESSION.


October 26.


AT the Opening of the Session on the 26th of October, an Ad-dress of Thanks being proposed, and which, as, usual, was an
echo of the Speech from the Throne, Lord John Cavendish moved




44 ADDRESS ON THE KING'S SPEECH. [_Oct. 26.


an Amendment, by leaving out the whole, except the introductory
paragraph, and substituting the following : " That we behold with
the utmost concern the disorders and discontents in the British
colonies rather increased than diminished by the means which have
been used to suppress and allay them ; a circumstance alone suffi-
cient to give this I-louse just reason to fear, that those means were
not originally well considered, or properly adapted to answer the
ends to which they were directed.—We are satisfied, by expe-
rience, that this misfortune has, in a great measure, arisen from
the want of full and proper information being laid before Parlia-
ment of the true state and condition of the colonies, by reason of
which, measures have been carried into execution injudicious and
inefficacious, from whence no salutary end was reasonably to be
expected, tending to tarnish the lustre of the British arms, to bring
discredit on the wisdom of His Majesty's councils, and to nourish,
without hope of end, a most unhappy civil war.—Deeply impressed
with a sense of this melancholy state of the public concerns, we
shall, on the fullest information we can obtain, and with the most
mature deliberation we can employ, review the whole of the late
proceedings, that we may be enabled to discover, as we shall be
most willing to apply, the most effectual means for restoring order
to the distracted affairs of the British empire, confidence to his
Majesty's government, obedience, by a prudent and temperate use
of its powers, to the authority of Parliament, and satisfaction and
happiness to all his people.—By these means, we trust, we shall
avoid any occasion for having recourse to the alarming and dan-
gerous expedient of calling in foreign forces to the support of His
Majesty's authority within his own dominions, and the still more
dreadful calamity of shedding British blood by British hands."
This Amendment brought on a series of long and interesting de-
bates, which were conducted with the utmost eagerness and un-
ceasing energy on both sides.


Mr. Fox described Lord North as the blundering pilot
who had brought the nation into its present difficulties. Ad-
ministration, he said, exult at having brought us into this
dilemma. They have reason to triumph. Lord Chatham,
the King of Prussia, nay, Alexander the Great, never gained
more in one campaign than the noble lord has lost—he has
lost a whole continent. Although he thought the Americans
had gone too far, and were not justifiable in what they bad
done, yet they were more justifiable for resisting, than they
would have been had they submitted to the tyrannical acts of


British parliament :—for, when the question was, whether
a people was to submit to slavery, or to aim at freedom by a
spirited resistance, the alternative which must strike every
Englishman was, the choice of the latter. He took occasion
to speak of his father, and the fluctuation of ministers at the
commencement of the last war. He said, that his father was
secretary of state only four months, when finding himself


1775.] ADDRESS ON THE KING'S SPEECH. 45
without power, and merely a nominal minister, he had done,
as every man of spirit should do on such an occasion—he had
given up his place. He then applied this observation to the
noble lord on the treasury-bench, and in a very pointed man-
ner intimated, that it was high time a change of men should
take place, in order that a change of measures might accom-
pany it. He took occasion to mention the political distinction
of Whig and Tory, and, describing the present ministers as
enemies to freedom, declared they were Tories. He made a
comparison between the conduct of administration and the
conduct of America, shewing the weakness, error, and impru-
dence of the former, and the firmness, spirit, and just pursuits
of the latter. He combated the argument in the King's
Speech, which inferred that America aimed at independency;
and by a chain of reasoning, sheaved, that to be popular in
America it was necessary to talk of dependance on Great Bri-
tain, and to hold that out as the object in pursuit. He rallied
Lord North on the rapid progress he had made in misfortune,
having laid out nearly as large a sum to acquire national dis-
grace, as that most able minister Lord Chatham had expended
in gaining that glorious lustre with which he had encircled
the British name. He did not approve of every thing that
had been done by Lord Chatham, but all must confess his
great and surprising talents as a minister. He declared oppo-
sition to be cordially united in every part. He retorted on
administration for their having last year roused the younger
part of the House by their appeals to the spirit of Englishmen
to enforce vigorous measures, and asked whether that spirit
was discernible in the pitiful party of the military sent to Bos-
ton, or in the vigorous measures of that party; declaring, that
if the spirit the ministry had appealed to was still in existence,
it would not be possible for them to keep their places. After
severely rebuking them for endeavouring to' shift the blame
from themselves to General Gage, he concluded with advising
administration to place America where she stood in 1763,
and to repeal every Act passed since that period, which
affected either her freedom or her commerce.


At four in the morning the House divided upon the Amendment.:
Yeas ics : Noes 278. The original Address was then agreed to.
When the report was brought up on the following day, Mr. Corn-
wall took occasion to make some remarks on the conduct of the
late Lord Holland, when secretary of state, at the beginning of
the late war, in allusion to what had been said by Mr. Fox on the
preceding evening, and concluded by an attack on the Duke of
Grafton for his desertion. Upon this,




46 RETURNS or THE BRITISH ARMY IN AMERICA. [Nov. I.
Mr. Fox rose in order to vindicate his father, and defend


the noble duke; but as he Quoted the speech the noble duke
had made the night before in the House of Lords, he was
called to order. He protested that he had been deceived by
the minister; he had been taught to believe that Government
had so many friends in America, that the appearance of a few
regiments there would secure an obedience to our laws, and.
ensure peace; that upon this principle he voted for sending
over the forces last session : peace was his object in that mea-
sure; but now that the minister declared himself for war, he
could not but oppose his proceedings. He could not consent
to the bloody consequences of so silly a contest about so silly
an object, conducted in the silliest manner that history, or
observation, had ever furnished an instance of; and from
which we were likely to derive nothing, but poverty, disgrace,
defeat, and ruin.


RETURNS OF THE BRITISH ARMY IN AMERICA.


November I.
fl OLONEL Barre moved, " That there be laid before the


House an Account of the last Returns of the number of effec-
tive men, in the several regiments and corps in His Majesty's ser-
vice., serving in North America, together with a state of the num-
ber of sick and wounded ; distinguishing the several places where
the said troops are stationed." The secretary at war, Lord Bar-
rington, said, he knew of no precedent of such a motion being
agreed to. To call during a war, for the returns of an army, had,0 --
indeed, been attempted, but was always opposed, as a practice
which might prove exceedingly inconvenient. Mr. Thomas
Townshend contradicted the noble lord, and produced a precedent
completely in point.


Mr. Fox said :--It is evident from what has passed, that
the plea of acting contrary to precedent will not avail the noble
lord. What, therefore, is the true reason for the ministers
refusing to lay the information called fin• before the House?
Merely, I assert, to keep Parliament in ignorance. Was the
fair truth to be laid before the House, the demands of minis-
ters would be found to be inconsistent with the facts they pro-
duced. This was the case last session ; they have kept back
all information, and have imposed on the House in order to
get the cry of the people before the extent of the evil was


14


177 5'3 BILL FOR EMBODYINtIr
THE MILITIA. 47


known. But, said he, they have taken care, to a degree of
affectation, to inform you that it is the rights not of the Crown
but of Parliament, for which they are fighting; and yet, with
an inconsistency worthy only of themselves, they will not
allow Parliament the least information to know how to fight
for those rights which they say are peculiarly its own. This
is the conduct, Sir, which has driven front them some of the
most manly and respectable characters in the kingdom. They
were deceived ; they openly tell these men who call themselves
ministers, " You deceived us; you would not let us know the
state either of America, or of the force you had there to quell
the disturbances : acting thus in the dark, we were led into
error, but we will not persist in it; we know your intentional
deceit, and we leave you." This, Sir, is also the case with
parliament; and the only remedy is for Parliament to imitate
the conduct of those manly characters, by refusing to vote
away the money of their constituents for measures about which
they are absolutely in the dark.


The House divided ; Yeas 63: Noes i 7o.


BILL FOR EMBODYING THE MILITIA.


November 2.


T" in his Speech to both Houses at the Opening of theSession, informed them, " That he had sent to the garrisons
of Gibraltar and Port Mahon, a part of his Electoral troops, in
order that a larger number of the established forces of this king-
dom might be applied to the maintenance of its authority ; and
the national Militia, planned and regulated with equal regard to
the rights, safety, and protection of his crown and people, might
give a farther extent-and activity to our military operations." In
consequence of this passage, a Bill for embodying the Militia was
brought in. On the motion for the second reading, the Bill was
warmly opposed by Mr. Dunning, Mr. Thomas Townshend, Mr:
Burke, and Mr. Fox.


Mr. Fox declared he did not think so meanly of the under-
standings of the present ministry, as to suppose they would
leave this country without an army of some kind. He ap-
proved of a militia as a succeclaneum for an army, but by the
present bill they were evidently to serve as a part of the army
itself. He then entered into a definition of the original




[48 AMERICAN PROHIBITORY BILL. Noy. 20.


meaning and intention of the English militia, and laid it down
as a doctrine, that formerly a militia-man was merely armed
and disciplined, that he might, when danger was at his door
and pressed upon him, defend himself. He said, that he
should certainly be against the introduction of foreign troops,
and was also against a standing army; that the purpose of the.
present bill was to create a standing army, and to increase
the power of the crown ; that he saw no difference between a
standing army of regulars, and a standing army of militia,
whom the King could call out whenever he pleased ; for that
in this country, and every other extensive dominion, there
would always, in some part or other, be a riot, which the mi-
nister might think proper to call a rebellion. There might
be a disturbance among the negroes in Jamaica, in Bengal,
or in any other distant place, which might serve as a pretext
for embodying the militia. That many gentlemen would fre-
quently be embarrassed who served in it, by being put upon
disagreeable duty; and that at present; if he was a militia
officer, he would resign. He concluded with declaring, that
administration were taking advantage of the present situation
of affairs, to put the people under martial law ; that all the
late American acts tended to increase the power of the crown,
and to demolish the rights of the people ; and that as the pre-
sent bill evidently would have that effect, he should oppose it.


On the motion for the second reading, the House divided : Yeas
259: Noes 50.


•n••••••=s0MINIM


AMERICAN PROHIBITORY BILL.


November 2o.


LORD NORTH moved, " That leave be given to bring in aBill, to prohibit all trade and intercourse with the colonies of
New Hampshire, Massachuset's Bay, Rhode Island, Connecticut,
New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, the three lower counties on
Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina,
and Georgia, during the continuance of the present rebellion
within the said colonies respectively ; for repealing an Act, made
in the t4th of his present Majesty, to discontinue the landing and
discharging, lading or shipping, of goods, wares, and merchandize,
at the town and within the harbour of Boston, in the province of
Massachuset's Bay ; and also two Acts, made in the last session of
parliament, for restraining the trade and eowtnerce of the colonies


1775'1 AMERICAN PROHIBITORY BILL. 49


j,, the said Acts respectively mentioned : and to enable His Ma-
iestv to appoint commissioners, and to issue proclamations in the
.'ose's and for the purposes therein to be mentioned."


?Jr. Fox said, that this proposition was cutting off and de-
stroying all trade with America.. Even if the noble lord's
ether measures had not done it, this would effectually. Though
the House had not at present the manufacturers at their door,
he prophesied they would have them next year. The true inten-
tion of this Bill was, to break up the manufacturers, who, through
went of subsistence, would be obliged to enlist, and thus the
noble lord thought he should be enabled to fill the ranks of that
arinv which would not otherwise be recruited. As the noble
lord had now proposed the repeal of three oppressive Acts, he
begged to ask him, as a man of honour and a gentleman,
whether he did not wish that lie had adopted the opinion of
the noble duke (of Grafton) who was first lord of the trea-
sury, when the repeal of the tea duty was moved in that
house, and supported it? He repeated, that there were dif-
ferences of opinions amongst persons high in office at that
time ; and he asked the noble lord whether he did not now
wish he had been of opinion with those who were for repeal-
ing that duty, because they saw, and therefore wished to avoid,
that chain of misfortunes, which the continuance of it had
drawn after it ? This proposition of peace, he said, like that
of last year, was meant to lead on this country under a delu-
sion of flattering hopes of peace; and to endeavour to deceive,
which it would not do, the Americans into a belief; that this
country wished for a peace of the description which the noble
lord held out, or was unanimously determined to prosecute
the war, if such peace could not be effected. The whole was
insidious, and therefore could have no other effect upon the
Americans than to. destroy their confidence in government, if
any such yet remained. If the Americans should believe the
spirit of this country was unanimous against their rights, they
had nothing to do but prepare immediately for war, as their
only defence against a system of despotism. This proposition,
therefore, was a declaration of perpetual war; and were he to
give his vote for it, he should consider himself as giving his
vote for a declaration of war. However, as he had always
said that he would support any measure of reconciliation, he
should go so far with the noble lord, as the repeal of the three
Acts he had mentioned. Therefore he should move the thl-
lowing Amendment: To leave out from the word " Bill" to
the words " for repealing," and from the words cs respectively.
mentioned," to the end of the question.


VOL. I.





"0 AMERICAN PROHIBITORY BILL.
[Dec.


This Amendment, which went to the omission of Lord North
proposition, except what related to the repeal of the Boston Po
the Fishery, and the restraining Acts, occasioned very warm dr.
bates and much animadversion, which continued till after midnight
when the Amendment was rejected upon a division, by a niajori
of 192 to 64.


December 8.
The order of the day being read for receiving the Report of


American Prohibitory Bill, Lord North moved, that the Amend-
ments made in the Committee be agreed to. Upon this- occasion',


Mr. Fox said :—I have always given it as mu opinion, th.
the war now carrying on against the Americans is unjust; ba
admitting it to be a Just '


war, admitting that it is practicabl
I insist that the means made use of; are not such as will obta
the end. I shall confine myself singly to this ground, an
show that this Bill, like every other Incas


-urn, proves the want
of policy, the folly and madness, of the present ministers. I was
in great hopes, that they had seen their error, and had given
over coercion; and the idea of carrying on war against Ame-
rica by means of acts of parliament. In order to induce the
Americans to submit to your legislature, you pass laws against
them, cruel and tyrannical in the extreme. If they complain
of one law, your answer to their complaint, is to pass another
more rigorous than the former. But they are in rebellion,
you say; if so, treat them as rebels arc wont to be treated.
Send out your fleets and armies against them, and subdue them;
but let them have no reason to complain of your laws. Shew
them, that your laws are mild, just, and equitable, that they
therefore are in the-wrong, and deserve thepunishment they meet
with. The very contrary of this has been your wretched policy.
I have ever understood it as a first principle, that in rebellion
you punish the individuals, but spare the country ; but in a
war against the enemy, it is your policy to spare the indivi-
duals, and lay waste the country. This last has been inva-
riably your conduct against America. I suggested this to
you, when the Boston Port Bill passed. I advised you to
find out the offending persons, and to punish them ; but what
did you do instead of this ? You laid the whole town of Bos-
ton under terrible contribution, punishing the innocent with
the guilty. You answer, that you could not come at the
guilty. This very answer, shows how unfit, how unable you
are, • to govern America. If you are forced to punish the in-
nocent to come at the guilty, your government there, is, and
ought to be at an end. But, by the bill now before us, you
not only punish those innocent persons who are unfortunately


1775,3 MOTION ON THE BRITISH ARMY IN AMERICA. 51


mixed with the guilty in North America, but you punish and
islands of unoffending people, unconnected with,


andv eseparated from them. Hitherto the Americans have se-
p a r a t e d the right of taxation the m


form
your


er,
le
th
giyeslative authority


have denied have lac',l -
the latter. This Bill will make them deny the one as
lthe other. " What signifies," say they, " your giving


tii


right of taxation, if you are to intbrce your legislative


lcte:l tiolei


as


tceiiro t


authority in the manner you do. This legislative authority
so inforced, will at any time coerce taxation, and take -from us
whatever you think fit to demand." The present is a Bill
which should be entitled, a Bill for carrying more effectually
into execution the resolves of the Congress.


The question being put on Lord North's motion, the House di-
vided : Yeas 1 43 : Noes 38. s


Mu. Fox's MOTION FOR AN ACCOUNT OF THE EXPENCE OF
THE BRITISH ARMY IN AMERICA.


November 22.


R. FOX moved, 44 That there be laid before this House,
an Account of the Expences of the staff; hospitals, ex-


traordinaries, and all military contingencies whatsoever, of the
army in America, from August !773 to October 1775, inclu-
sive." He said, he had drawn up the motion ill these words,
because it would lay open an astonishing scene of ministerial
delusion held out by the pretended estimate laid before the
House a few days ago. It would bring the staff into the full
glare of day, -Which had been hitherto artfully held back ; it
would show, that the expellee of the ordnance this year had
exceeded any one of the Duke of Marlborough's campaigns,
while in the midst of repeated victories, he was immortalizing
the British name; and it would convince the greatest court
infidels, of the temerity of the minister, who, to the very last
day of the session, insisted and declared, that the military
service, in every branch, and under every description, was
amply provided for; that all his arrangements were made;
and who thus durst, in the bare article of the ordnance alone,
incur a debt of upwards of 240,0007. He said it would be a
farce to sit any longer in that House, if accounts of this nature
were refused ; that the motion was parliamentary ; that it


F.2




3 2 MOTION ON THE ILL SUCCESS OF THE [Feb. 2
would convey no secret to the enemy ; and within his own
knowledge or reading, he never heard of an instance where
such information was denied, unless in cases where it was
impossible to comply with them; such as the accounts desired
not having been received, or officially made up. Aware o f
this, he would be perfectly satisfied with copies of those
already come to hand, or of gross computations made by esti-
mate, and wait with pleasure for the remainder, till the minis-
try could venture to face the public, and an ensured majority,
with the disgraceful contents.


The motion, after being opposed by Lorth North and Mr. Jen-
kinson, and supported by Mr. Thomas Townshend, Mr. Hartley,
Mr. Burke, and Sir George. Savile, was negatived without. adivision.


MR. Fox's MOTION FOR AN ENQUIRY INTO THE CAUSES
OF THE ILL SUCCESS or THE BRITISH ARMS IN NORTH
AMERICA.


February 20. 1776.


THE intelligence received from America in the course of thisSession, gave rise to several motions for papers and for en-
quiry. The first effort was made by Mr. Fox, who this day
addressed the House as follows:


Mr. Fox said, that he should not trespass on the patience
and good sense of the House, by recapitulating the cause of
the present unhappy disputes with America. He should not
develope that system, whence the measures now carrying on
were supposed to originate. He should forbear to animad-
vert upon a system, that in its principle, complexion, and in
every constituent part, gave the fullest and most unequi-
vocal proofs that its ultimate design was the total destruc-
tion of the constitution of this free form of government.
These were assertions that might be disputed. People who
had, or perhaps had not, the best opinion of the abilities of
those in power, might have a confidence that they intended
nothing ill. Others, though they disapproved of their ge-
neral conduct, might think them the dupes of their secret.
supporters; and even such as thought the most indifferently
of them would be disposed to look upon them rather as tools,
than arraign them as principals in so unnatural and horrid


1776.3
, conspiracy against the liberties of their country. But what
alright be the secret designs of a junto, or the venal alacrity
-


of °the despicable cyphers they employed to effect their trai-
torous purposes, was, he said, to be no part of the subject
of enquiry that day. He did not mean to teazc or insult the
House with idle surmises, with vague suspicions, leading to
partial deductions or speculative charges, conceived and
spun out of his own brain; but wished to draw their atten-
tion to certain well known, indisputable, uncontrovertible
facts. His proposed enquiry would not be directed to as-
certain the rights of Great Britain, or the subordinate claims
of America; to explain the constitutional connection between
taxation and representation; what was rebellion, or what
legal resistance; or whether all America ought to have been
punished and proscribed for the intemperate zeal or disobe-
dience of a Boston mob. He (lid not even mean to dispute
or controvert the expediency; nor in short, a single minis-
terial ground, on which the present measures respecting
America were taken up, pursued, and defended. Those were
all, for this day at least, to be absolutely laid aside. For
argument sake he would allow, that administration had acted
perfectly right; but while • he granted this, he would take up
the matter from the very instant administration had agreed
upon a plan of coercion. - This a2ra lie fixed at the time the
minister first proposed certain Resolutions to the House in
February 1774, as a ground of complaint, and followed it
with the famous Boston Port Bill.


He then entered into an historical detail of the means em-
ployed to carry this plan of coercion into effect, in which he
painted in the strongest colours, and held to -view in the most
striking lights, such a scene of folly in the cabinet, of servile
acquiescence in parliament, and of misconduct and ignorance
in office and in the field, as had never before disgraced this
nation, or indeed any other. He added, that our ministers
wanted both wisdom and integrity ; our parliaments, public
spirit and discernment; and that our commanders by sea
and land, were either deficient in abilities, or, which was the
most probable, had acted under orders that prevented them
from executing the great objects of their command. No man
could say but there had been mismanagement and misconduct
somewhere. It was the chief object of his intended motion,
to gain that species of information, which might be the means
of discovering the true causes of both. Public justice de-
manded such an enquiry. The individuals on whom the
obloquy rested, were entitled to be heard in their own de-
fence. To withhold the information necessary to their jus-
tification, would be an insult to the nation, as well as an act


E 3


BRITISH ARMS IN NORTH AMERICA. 53




54 MOTION ON THE ILI, SUCCESS, &C. [Feb. 2o,
of private injustice. None but the guilty could wish to evade
it. No man as a soldier or sailor, be his rank ever so high,a
was sure of his honour a single minute, if he was to be buried
under public disgrace, in order to protect, or palliate the
blunders and incapacity of others. If the ministers had
planned with wisdom, and had proportioned the force to the
service; if the great officers in the several efficient depart-
ments, had clone all that depended on them, ably and faith-
fully, then it was plain, that the whole of the miscarriages
that had happened might be deservedly imputed to our naval
and military commanders, If, on the other hand, the latter
had acquitted themselves according to their instructions,
and bad carried on their operations in proportion to the
force given them, it was no less plain, that the cause of all the
disgraces the British arms had suffered, arose from ignorance
in those who planned, and incapacity and want of integrity
in those to whom the carrying them into execution was
the first instance entrusted.


He then recapitulated a variety of circumstances to prove
his general allegations, and entered into the conduct of ad-
ministration respecting Canada, and repeated several argu-
ments used at the time of passing the Quebec Act, predicting
what had since literally happened. He concluded by making
the following motion : " That it be referred to a Committee,
to enquire into the Causes of the ill Success of His Majesty's
Arms in North America, as also into the Causes of the De-
fection of the People of the Province of Quebec."


The Ministry seemed exceedingly embarrassed in this debate.
The weight of defence, or rather of evading the enquiry, fell prin-
cipally upon the gentlemen in inferior or less responsible office.
Lord Clare moved the previous question, and was supported by
Lord Mulgrave, Sir Gilbert Elliot, Mr. Welbore Ellis, the Soli- I
citor General, and Lord North. The principal objections to the
enquiry were the unfitness of the time, the unfortunate situation
of ministers, who had preferred trying measures of lenity to absolute
force, and bad thus afforded the Americans many advantages.
A powerful fleet and army were now to be employed, and would
doubtless crush the rebellious, or bring them back to a proper
sense of duty. Lord North appealed to the candour and recol-
lection of the House : nothing had been transacted in a corner,
but openly, and under the sanction of-their repeated approbation.
It was not candid, he said, in an early period of the dispute, to
state objections against the conduct of administration, which were
only applicable to a state of hostility and open rebellion ; the
ground was changed, and the measures would necessarily vary.
Mr. Fox's motion was seconded by Lord Ossory, and supported
by Mr. Thomas Townshend, Mr. Fitzpatrick, Mr. Dampster,


II


THE BUDGET.i ]76.3 55
Mr. William Adam, Governor Johnstone, Mr. Cruger, Mr. Burke,


d Colonel


The previous


Barre.T


question
being put, That the slid first prcyoscd


question be now put ; the House divided :


an


Tellers. Tellers.
Mr. Fox 1 I04._NoE f Lord Mulgrave




24C.
f


YEAS 'Sir J. Lowther I t Mr. C. 'Townshend jSo it passed in the negative.


THE BUDGET.


-April 24.


IN a Committee of Ways and Means, Lord North opened the
I annual Budget. As soon as the noble lord had moved his
Resolutions, Governor Johnstone rose and observed, that it was
a little extraordinary that the Gallery of the House should be
open on that day, seeing that it had been shut upon almost every
other, since the commencement of the session, on which matters
of importance had come under discussion. He assured the House
he was always pleased to see the Gallery as full as the convenience
of the members would permit ; but the admission of strangers on
sach a day as this, which gave the minister an advantage over
his opponents, by giving any sentiments as his own, and imputing
any sentiments he pleased to others-, fully convinced him that the
noble lord's influence extended to every matter relative to the
conduct and ordering of that Home, be the occasion ever so
trivial or important. If strangers were to be shut out one day,
none could be at a loss to know whence the mandate originated :
if the gallery was to be open on another day, it was equally evident
to whom the public were indebted for the indulgence.


Mr. Pox animadverted with some humour and great as-
perity, on the irregular conduct of the House respecting the
opening of the gallery doors, asserting that the public had a
right to hear in what manner their representatives discharged
their duty ; and that the gallery being open or shut should
depend on the will of' any one or two persons, was exceedingly
unfair. He dwelt a considerable time on this point, and after
declaring that he knew that the gallery had been opened on
a whisper from the noble lord, when he was prepared to say
any thing likely to produce a popular effect; he went so far
as to assert, that in his opinion it was a breach of the con-
stitution to prevent the public from hearing their proceeding's.
To the Resolutions offered by the noble lord, he said, he


E 4




56 THE BUDGET. [April 2a.
should give his flat negative, and that not because of any
particular objections to the taxes proposed (although there
might be suflicient ground for urging many), but because he
could not conscientiously agree to grant any money for so
destructive, so ignoble a purpose, as the carrying on a war
commenced unjustly, and supported with no other view than
to the extirpation of freedom, and the violation of every
social comfort. This, he said, he conceived to be the strict
line of conduct to be observed by a member of parliament;
and to show that it was justifiable, he found himself necessi-
tated to state the case of the American quarrel, for as strangers
were admitted but for one day, it was necessary for him to
repeat what he had often urged. This he acknowledged was
rather out of order, but the noble lord must expect that the
irregularity of his own conduct would give rise to an irregular
debate. Mr. Fox then, in a very masterly manner, panned
the quarrel with America as unjust, and the pursuance of the
war as blood-thirsty and oppressive. He said, it had been
repeatedly urged that the Americans aimed at independence,
and therefore ought not to be treated with till they laid down
their arms: nothing could be more absurd than this sort of
argument; it would have been just as ridiculous, if in our
war with Louis the 14th, who was said to aim at universal
monarchy, we had declined to treat respecting the provinces
of Alsace and Lorrain, on account of the report of his aiming
at universal monarchy.—After expressing his opinion of the
quarrel, and justifying America with that rapid flow of words
and that spirit and force.of argument, for which Mr. Fox was
distinguished, he at length took notice of the Resolutions
offered by the noble lord, and in particular spoke of the in-
tended additional stamp on newspapers, which he urged as
impolitic and unfair while the ministerial brochures remained
unstamped. He said he was far from being a friend to the
licentiousness of the press, although he revered its freedom.
The papers were intolerably licentious, and injurious to the
peace of private families; but the noble lord had given rise
to their insatiable rage for calumny, by suffering his hirelings
to abuse the gentlemen in opposition in terms of the most
daring nature. He observed, that the press at this time
teemed with ministerial publications, many of which deserved
the, severest censure; and that the pamphlet, entitled, " A
History of the Thirteenth Parliament of Great Britain," was
a libel on that House, a libel of the most impudent kind, and
yet it had passed unnoticed. The noble lord had very tri-
umphantly held up, as a proof of the freedom of the press,
the information that twelve million and upwards ,of news-
papers were stamped in one year; he begged the noble lord


1776.3 THE BUDGET. 57


to consider that there were nearly twelve million of people in
the kingdom ; the noble lord, therefore, only proved, that
every man in the realm might buy one paper in the course of
the year.—This was the first time he had ever heard that a
law-suit was a luxury, but the noble lord had clearly made it
appear, from the flattering picture of our resources which he
had just presented, that the war with America was a luxury,
and a luxury of the most frivolous and reprehensible kind ;
for the noble lord told the House we were able to provide
supplies equal to any necessity, and vet he was pursuing an
inhuman, unnatural war, for the sake of a trifling and un-
certain revenue. He, however, rather believed what the
noble lord had said in the house when strangers were not in.
the gallery, than what had been so triumphantly stated by
him this day; fin- he was sure his declaration of the people's
wealth could only be proved by admitting the doctrine, that
when, by any tax, four shillings in the pound were taken from
a subject he was greatly obliged, as he was in fact given the
remaining sixteen shillings. After a great deal of very poig-
nant matter, Mr. Fox sat down, repeating, that he gave his
flat negative to the Resolutions.


The Speaker rose, and observing that from what had Wen from
the two honourable gentlemen, his conduct might appear blameable,
respecting the opening of the gallery, begged to explain the
reason of it, and to take the blame on himself, if there was any.
The standing order of the House was known to every gentleman,
and it was his duty to enforce it, whenever it was desired to be
read. An honourable gentleman had, at an early period of the
session, desired it to be read ; he had ever since punctiliously kept
to it : but, as this was a day of money business, when it was usual
to admit strangers, he conceived the House would wink at a relaxa-
tion from the general rule ; had therefore told the Serjeant to
admit strangers into the gallery ; but if he had gone too far, he
asked pardon of the Committee.


Mr. Fox said, he by no means blamed the Speaker, as he
was conscious no officer acted with more uprightness and im-
partiality ; but he was sure the gallery ought to be opened,


.0 •
and he heartily wished the House would follow the example of
the other assembly, who now admitted strangers. He sincerely.
wished the standing order to be rescinded or amended, and if
neither could be done, he wished the present bad method
should be pursued, in preference to a total prevention of the
kdmission of strangers.




ADDRESS OF THANKS ON THE KING'S SPEECH. [Oct.3


AMENDMENT TO THE ADDRESS OF THANKS ON THE KING'S
SPEECH AT THE OPENING OF THE SESSION.


s 8


October 31.


'HE Session was this day opened with a Speech from the
Throne. The King declared that, " Nothing could have


afforded him so much satisfaction as to have been able to state,
that the troubles which had so long distracted the colonies in North
America were at an end ; and that his unhappy people, recovered
from itheir delusion, had delivered themselves from the oppression
of their leaders, and returned to their duty. But so daring and
desperate was the spirit of those leaders, whose object had always
been dominion and power, that they had now openly renounced
all allegiance to the crown, and all political connection with this
country: they had rejected, with circumstances of indignity and
insult, the means of conciliation held out to them under the au-
thority of our commission ; and had presumed to set up their
rebellious confederacies for independent states. If their treason
was suffered to take root, much mischief must grow from it, to
the safety of the loyal colonies, to the conunerce of the kingdoms,
and indeed to the present system of all Europe. The success of
the British arms gave the strongest hopes of decisive good conse-
quences ; but notwithstanding this fair prospect, it was necessary
to prepare for another campaign : he recapitulated the pacific
assurances of the European powers, and observed, he could have
in this arduous contest no other object but to promote the true
interest of his subjects. No people ever enjoyed more happiness,
or lived under a milder government, than the revolted provinces,
a fact proved by their progress in the arts, their numbers, their
wealth, and strength by sea and land, which inspired an over-
weening confidence. He was desirous to restore to them the


''


blessinus of -law and liberty, equally enjoyed by every British sub-
ject, which they had fatally and desperately exchanged for the
calamities of war, and the arbitrary tyranny of their chiefs." An
Address of Thanks, framed in the usual manner, was proposed by
Mr. Neville. To this an amendment was moved by Lord John
Cavendish, and seconded by the Marquis of Granby, totally al-
tering all the sentiments of the original. It began by affirming,
that the disaffection and revolt of a whole people could not have
taken place without great errors in conduct towards them. These
errors were imputed to a want of sufficient information in par-
liament, and a too implicit confidence in ministers. Hence schemes
for the reduction and chastisement of a supposed inconsiderable
party of factious men, had driven thirteen large provinces to
despair : a hearing had been refused to the reiterated complaints
and petitions of the colonists ; and commissioners, nominated for
the apparent purpose of making peace, were furnished with no
legal power but that of giving or withholding pardons at plea-
sure. His Majesty, instead of sending out commissioners ? ac-


6 ADDRESS OF THANKS ON THE KING'S SPEECH. 59
177 •


cording to the promise in his speech at the beginning of* the
last session, as speedily as possible, had not dispatched them till
seven months afterward ; consequently the inhabitants of the
colonies, apprized that they were put out of the protection of
government, and seeing no means provided for their return, were
'urnished with reasons but too colourable for breaking off their
dependency on the crown of this kingdom. It concluded with
the following declaration ; " We should look with the utmost
shame and horror, on any events that should tend to break
the spirit of any large part of the British nation ; to bow them to
an abject unconditional submission to any power whatsoever ; to
annihilate their liberties, and to subdue them to servile principles
and passive habits, by the mere force of foreign mercenary arms ;
because, amidst the excesses and abuses which have happened, we
must respect the spirit and principles operating in these commo-
tions. Our wish is to regulate, not to destroy them ; for though
differing in some circumstances, those very principles evidently
hoar so exact an analogy with those which support the most va-
luable part of our own constitution, that it is impossible, with any
appearance of justice, to think of wholly extirpating them by the
sword, in any part of His Majesty's dominions, without admitting
consequences, and establishing precedents, the most dangerous to
the liberties of this kingdom." Governor Johnstone reprobated
the minister's Speech, as an entire compound of hypocrisy. The
Amendment was also supported by Mr. Wilkes, Mr. Temple Lut-
trell, Mr. Thomas Townshcnd, Colonel Barre, and Mr. Fox.
Lord North repelled the charge of hypocrisy, so freely advanced
against that part of the Speech, which stated the King's desire to
restore to the Americans law and liberty. Instead of bein g absurd
or hypocritical, it was supported by fact and sound logic :law and
liberty were fled from America, but the debate of the day had fully
proved, they had not quitted this country. Those who had thrown
so many reflections on administration, would have found a grievous
difference, had they dared to make so free with the congress. It
had always been the wish of administration to bring matters to an
early issue, and avoid bloodshed ; to use success and victory with
prudence and moderation, rather as means of cementing lasting
unity and amity, than as objects of triumph, instruments for forging
the chains of slavery, or excuses for tyranny and oppression. Lord
George Germain expressed his conviction, that General Howe
would he able to put New York at the mercy of the King, after
which, the legislature would be restored, and an opportunity would
thereby be given to the well-affected to declare themselves.


Mr. Fox said, that every circumstance that had fallen out
in America, was one aggregate proof, that Opposition had
been right last session in all their prophecies, and in every
motive they had laid down as the cause of their conduct : no-
thing could be so farcical as calling for unanimity, in approv-
ing measures, because those measures had been uniformly
attended with the mischiefs that had been predicted: instead




6o ADDRESS OP THANKS ON THE KING'S SPEECH. [Oct.3o
of applause and approbation, administration deserved nothing
but reproach—for having brought the Americans into such a
situation, that it was impossible for them to pursue any other
conduct than what they had pursued. He went into the in-
dependence declared by America, and said, that the Ameri-
cans had done no more than the English had done against
James the Second. When James went out of the kingdom,
the En g lish declared the throne to be abdicated, and chose
another king. 'When the late severe laws were passed against
the Americans, they were thrown into anarchy; they declared
we had abdicated the government, and were therefore at
liberty to choose a government for themselves: He was asto-
nished at the sense which the noble lord in the blue ribbon
had put upon his conciliatory motion. He affirmed, that the
motion contained no such proposition as that now asserted by
the noble lord, nor could such a construction be put upon any
words in the motion. Ile desired that the Resolution of the
27th of February 1775 might be read; which was done
Well, Sir, continued Mr. Fox, is it not clear, that no such
proposition was held out by the motion ? and is it not ex-
traordinary, that every body should understand the motion,
but the author of it ? As to the noble lord who spoke last,
priding himself on a legislature being re-established in New
York, it is the highest absurdity. Who can suppose, that,
with an army of 30,000 men there, a legislature will not be
found that shall express just that spec'es of law and liberty
which the other noble lord wishes to establish in America,
and which kings may naturally be supposed to wish to flow
from popular assemblies. Sir, it has been very well said, that
the Speech is an hypocritical one; and in truth there is not a
little hypocrisy in supposing, that a king—I except His present
Majesty, who really loves liberty—but that a common king


" Resolved, That when the governor, council and assembly, or general
court of any of His Majesty's provinces or colonies in America, shall propose
to make provision, according to the condition, circumstances, and situation
of suchprovince or colony, for contributing their proportion to the com-
mon defence, (such proportion to be raised under the authority of the
general court, or general assembly of such province or colony, and disposa-
ble by parliament,) and shall engage to make provision also for the support
of the civil government, and the administration of justice, in such province
or colony, it will be proper, if such proposal shall be approved of by Ms
Majesty and the two Houses of parliament, and for so long as such provi-
sion shall be made accordingly, to forbear, in respect of such province or
colony, to levy any duty, tax, or assessment, or to impose any further duty,
tax, or assessment, except only such duties as it may be expedient to con-
tinue to levy or to impose for the regulation of commerce; the nett pro-
duce of the duties last mentioned to be carried to the account of such
province or colony respectively."


076.j ADDRESS OP THANKS ON THE KING'S SPEECH. 61


should be solicitous to establish any thing that depended on a
popular assembly. Kings, Sir, govern by means of popular
^assemblies, only because they cannot do without them ; to
cuppose a king fond of that mode of governing, is to suppose a
chimera. It cannot exist. It is contrary to the nature of
things; and it is hypocrisy to advance it.


But, Sir, if this happy time of law and liberty is to be re-
stored to America, why was it ever disturbed ? It reigned
there till the abominable doctrine of gaining money by taxes
infatuated the heads of our statesmen. Why did you destroy
the fair work of so many ages, in order to re-establish that by
the sword, which prudence, and the good government of the
country, had seemed to fix for ever? But, Sir, how .is this
blessed system of law and liberty to be established? By the
bayonets of disciplined Germans. The noble lord who spoke
last, seemed to pride himself upon the Americans of Long
Island making a precipitate retreat. They were out-generalled.
Discipline triumphed over the enthusiasm which liberty in-
spires. Did the noble lord triumph ? I pity his feelings.
Sir, something has been said on the case of General Clinton:
I wish that matter had been more fully explained; as it stands
at present, the Gazette account is an infamous libel on the
character of that gallant officer. Let administration stand
forth, and avow that representation : they will not do it; they
dare not do it; they skulk from an open and a fair repre-
sentation.


We have been told, that it is not for the interest of Spain
and France to have America independent. Sir, I deny it ;—
and say, it is contrary to every principle of common sense. Is
not the division of the enemy's power advantageous? Is not a
free country engaged in trade less formidable than the ambi-
tio» of an, old corrupted government, their only formidable
rival in Europe? The noble lord who moved the amendment,
said, that we were in the dilemma of conquering, or abandon-
ing America: if we arc reduced to that, I am for abandoning
America. What have been the advantages of America to this
kingdom ? Extent of trade, increase of commercial advantages,
and a numerous people growing up in the same ideas and
sentiments as ourselves. Now, Sir, would those advantages
accrue to us, if America was conquered? Not one of them.
Such a possession of America must be secured by a standing
army.; and that, let me observe, must be a very considerable
army. Consider, Sir, that that army must be cut off from the
intercourse of social liberty here, and accustomed, in every in-
stance, to bow down and break the spirits of men, to trample
o
n the rights, and to live on the spoils cruelly wrung from the
weut and labour of their fellow subjects;---such an army,




62 MOTION FOR REVISING THE LAWS
[NON%


employed for ,such purposes, and paid by such means, for snp,
porting such principles, would be a very proper instrument to
effect points of a greater, or at least more favourite importance
nearer home; points, perhaps, very unfavourable to the liber,
ties of this country.


The House divided upon the Amendment : Yeas 87 : Noes 242,


LORD JOHN CAVENDISH'S MOTION FOR THE REVISAL OF ALL
THE LAWS BY WHICH THE AMERICANS THINK THEMSELVES
AGGRIEVED.


November 6. 1 7 7 6.


T ORD JOHN CAVENDISH called the attention of the House


to the extraordinary Declaration issued by Lord Howe and
his brother, on taking possession of New York, which had appeared
in the public prints of that day, and called upon the ministers to
tell the House whether it was genuine or not. The authenticity of
the Declaration being avowed by Lord North and Lord George
Germain, Lord John Cavendish, though astonished at the contents,
and the extraordinary manner in which they were imparted to the


The following is a Copy of the said Declaration
'' By Richard Viscount Howe, of the kingdom of Ireland, and William


Howe, Esq. General of His Majesty's forces in America, the King's Com-
missioners for restoring peace in His Majesty's colonies and plantations
in North America, &c.


DECLARATION.
Although the Congress, whom the misguided Americans suffer to direct


their opposition to a re-establishment of the constitutional government of
these provinces, have disavowed every purpose of reconciliation not conso-
nant with their extravagant inadmissible claim of independency; the King's
commissioners think fit to declare, that the .7,, are equally desirous to confer
with His Majesty's well-affected subjects upon the means of restoring the
public tranquillity, and establishing a permanent union with every colony
as a part of the British empire. The King being most graciously pleased to
direct a revision of such of his royal instructions as may be construed to lay
an improper restraint upon the freedom of legislation in any of his colonies,
and to concur in the revisal of all his acts by which his subjects there may
think themselves aggrieved, it is recommended to the inhabitants at largeto
reflect seriously upon their present condition, and to judge for themselves,
whether it be more consistent with their honour and happiness to offer up
their lives as a sacrifice to the unjust and precarious cause in which they arc
engaeed, or to return to their allegiance, accept the blessings of peace, and
be secured in a free enjoyment of their liberty and properties, upon the true
principles of the constitution, Given at New York, the 1 9th September, 1776.


" HowE,
cr W. Howe."


1776.1
AGAINST THE AMERICANS. 63


public, congratulated the House on the gleam of peace and con.


cul
liation. Parliament, he said, had been treated with the most


iortifying contempt ; commissioners were sent out with powers
only, to grant pardons,. and receive submissions ; yet, wonderful to
relate, parliament is informed, through - the channel of a news-
,p2r, that those commissioners are authorized to answer di-


rectly for the sovereign, and obliquely for the concurrence of
the other two branches of the legislature, in revising all acts, by
which the Americans are aggrieved. Parliament were reduced
to cypbeys. in the whole conduct of the business ; they were called


by way of requisition, to sanction acts which would renderon,
diem abhorred by their fellow subjects in every part of the em-
pire; but when an appearance of lenity is shown, all the merit was
attributed to the king and his ministers. Yet if' the proposals
were sincere, he would not found objections on mere punctilios ;
to give the negotiation more weight and efficacy, parliament ought,
as the first proof of a pacific disposition, to co-operate in so
desirable a work. It would, besides, restore ministers to con-
fidence ; their professions were disbelieved in America ; the mo-
tion, therefore, he was about to make, would be the means of
removing the almost universal opinion that prevailed in America,
that every ministerial promise was given with some insidious in-
tention of treachery, deceit, imposition, or to divide them, in order
the more easily to break their strength, and subdue them. To
remove so strong an impediment to peace and conciliiiiitsioLno;rdtio.
chew we were in earnest, and wished sincerely for both ;
ship moved, " That this House will resolve itself into a committee,
to consider of the revisal of all acts of parliament, by which Hifi
Majesty's subjects in America think themselves aggrieved." The
motion was seconded by Mr. Burke, and supported by Mr. Byng,
Mr. Dunning, and Mr. Fox. Lord North, Mr. Solicitor General
Weclderburn, Mr. Rous, and Lord George Germain, complained
of it as a surprize, a sudden and unexpected manoeuvre, no business
of consequence being expected before the recess.


Mr. Fox observed, that however absurd and inconsistent:
administration had slimed themselves in other respects, iii
their measures relative to America, and their professed con-
tempt for parliament, they had been perfectly uniform and
consistent. They had all along manifested the most con-
temptuous treatment of that House. He was always with the
majority of the Liouse in one point, though not upon other
occasions, in supporting its dignity, privileges, and conse-
quence with the people; which, in every measure relative to
America, had been most shamefully violated ; every info:-,
nuttion was denied, or purposely held back. 'The operations
of war, it was true, were communicated with all possible
ostentation and parade; but the only proper objects of par-
l iamentary attention were totally neglected, and left to be
collected from chance, vague reports, or a newspaper, while




11111
(54 MOTION FOR IZEVISING THE LAWS [Nov. 6.


the negociations for peace, in which parliament and the nation
were much more deeply interested, as the welfare of this
country more immediately depended upon them, were kept
in a state of concealment, as if ministers were ashamed to
own, as well they might, that after all the blood and treasure
which had been spent in the unhappy contest, they were obliged
to offer those very conditions which they had some years
since rejected, with every mark of displeasure and disappro-
bation. The account from New York, he observed, was re-
ceived late on Saturday, night; an Extraordinary Gazette,
announcing the retreat of the provincials from that city, was
published early on Monday morning; another Gazette fol-
lowed it the succeeding evening; and yet a syllable of the
Declaration never transpired. He first heard it at the Opera
the preceding evening, and read it that morning in a news-
paper; still doubting its being genuine, till he heard it au-
thenticated by the two noble lords on the opposite bench.
He begged to be understood, that he did not make a. charge
of intentional concealment; but he contended, that ministers
were no less culpable than if they concealed it from design;
particularly, when the omission included in it the most ma-
nifest and mortifying inattention to parliament, whose sen-
timents the penner of the above Declaration had virtually,
and, he would add, audaciously, engaged fur; there being
but little or no essential difference, according to the present
well known pliable disposition of that House, between a royal
promise to concur in the revisal of certain acts of the British
legislature, and an actual solemn engagment of the whole le-
gislature, for its due and faithful performance. In America,
he said, all was peace, conciliation, and parental tenderness;
in England, nothing was heard of but subjugation, uncondi-
tional submission, and a war of conquest. With that view
administration had procured a pamphlet to be written and sent
to America, where thousands of them were distributed gratis;
while in England the title was not so much as known, till •
after the publication on the other side the Atlantic. Pub-
lications of a very different tendency were encouraged here.
America was to be subdued; taxes were to be obtained; char-
ters were to be modified or annihilated at pleaslare. These
doctrines secured a party, and the bulk of the people on this
side of the water, while the most moderate measures and
fascinating promises were held out on the other, in order to
insidiously trepan and deceive. — He returned to what he
called the shameful inattention and neglect which ministers
had shewn in their conduct towards parliament; and said,
that as government had taken so much pains to conceal the


AGAINST THE AMERICANS.; 7 7 6
proclamation alluded to, he had strong reasons to suspect,
that other matters of a similar nature were suppressed, and
never permitted to see the light. If there had been ally such,
why had not parliament been made acquainted with them?
Was it not reasonable, that this House should know them ?—
ije then addressed the Treasury-bench, and asked, if every
supply they demanded had not been granted ? 'Why, then,
in this, as well as every other instance, keep back informa-
tion, or, which was the same thing, neglect to give it to par-
liament, which had acted so openly, and put such confidence
in ministers ? What was the return ? Either a downright, de-
signed imposition, or the most gross nonsense. 'What do
the commissioners promise in the King's name? That " being
most graciously pleased to concur in the revisal of all Acts,"
Scc. Does his majesty, at any time, or upon any occasion,
concur in the revisal of any Acts of any kind ? He may con-
cur in the repeal of an Act, or in any amendment made in
an Act which conies in the shape of a Bill, waiting for the
royal assent; but as for promising to concur in the revisal
of a law, which implies examination and amendment, in stages
in which lie can possibly take no part, it is rank ignorance
or gross deceit. Besides, though ministers were serious, the
promise could not be fulfilled, without supposing, that the
opinion of parliament was just what ministers pleased to dic-
tate; for what signifies what his majesty's good dispositions
may be, since parliament, it is well known, thinks differently ?
It, therefore, revisal meant any thing, it meant a repeal, which
it was impossible to expect from the present parliament, as
they had so frequently refused any proposition, tending even
that way.—He concluded with observing, that the commis-
aioners, especially Lord Howe, were known to be friends to
conciliation ; and for that reason, were not sent out till so late
in the season, that government knew the Americans must
have declared for independency, before they arrived. He
declared it as his firm opinion, that there could be no peace
in America, without a complete relinquishment on our part
of the claim of taxation ; that the congress might well call
the propositions of the court of Great Britain insidious, if the
House of Commons refused to support the declaration of the
commissioners : that the expressions in the declaration were
complained of as not being clear ; but that whenever an ex-
pression was represented as not clear, the act accompanying
it must be taken as its commentary. If then, the declaration
h1 question was not clear, how must America understand it,
ashen by the vote of this House, this day, should the noble


motion be negatived, they shall plainly perceive, that
the Commons of Great Britain had peremptorily refused tQ


toI I. r




66 SUSPENSION OF THE HABEAS CORPUS ACT.


concur in rendering his majesty's gracious
effective.


The House divided :
Tellers. Tellers.


YEAS I Mr. Fox I f Earl Lisburne47.—NOEs } 1°9.:
-Mr. Byng iMr. Charles Townshend


So it passed in the negative.*


BILL FOR SUSPENDING THE HABEAS CORPUS ACT, IN
AMERICA, &C.


February to. 1777.


ON the 6th of February, Lord North brought in a bill "empower his majesty to secure and detain Persons charged
with, or suspected of, the Crime of High Treason committed in
North America, or on the High Seas, or the Crime of Piracy." The
progress of this Bill was contested with a warmth and pertinacity
proportioned to the magnitude of its objects, and the importance
of the habeas corpus, that inestimable privilege, which it was'
intended to suspend. Lord North, on the motion for introducing
it, observed, that during the war many prisoners had been made,
who were in actual commission of high treason ; and many might
be taken in the same predicament, but perhaps for want of evi-
dence could not be legally confined. It had been customary on
similar occasions of rebellion, or danger of invasion, to enable the
King to seize suspicious individuals ; but ministers, at present, did
not demand a confidence so extensive ; there was no domestic
rebellion, nor any prospect of invasion ; but as the law stood, it
was not possible, officially, to apprehend the most suspected per-
son ; prisoners made from the rebels, and in the act of piracy oh
the high seas, could only be legally confined in the common gaols,
a mode which their numbers would render impracticable. It was
necessary the crown should have a power of confining them like
other prisoners of war. On the second reading, upon the loth,


From this time a great number of the minority, particularly of the
Rockingham party, began to relax in their attendance upon parliament in
either House; or rather to withdraw themselves wholly and avowedly upon
all questions which related to America, and only to attend upon -such mat-
ters of private bills or business, in which they had some particular concern
or interest. This conduct was so marked, that some of the principal leaders
of Opposition, after attending the House of Commons, in the morning, upon
private business, as soon as a public question was introduced, took a formai
leave of the Speaker, and immediately withdrew.




1777.] SUSPENSION OF THE HABEAS CORPUS ACT. 67
Mr. Fox said, that the bill served as a kind of key, or


index, to the design that ministers had been for some years
manifestly forming, the objects of which they rendered visible
from time to time, as opportunity served, as circumstances
proved favourable, or as protection increased and power
strengthened. It resembled, he said, the first scene in the
fifth act of a play, when some important transaction or cir-
cumstance, affecting the chief personages in the drama, comes
to be revealed, and points directly to the denouement. This


an had been long visible, and however covertly hid, or art-•
fully held back out of sight, was uniformly adopted, and_
steadily pursued : it was nothing less than robbing America
of her franchises, as a previous step to the introduction of the
same system of government into this country ; and, in fine, of
spreading arbitrary dominion over all the territories 'belonging
to the British . crown. He contended, that nothing but the
most inevitable necessity could justify the present measure ;
such a concurrence of circumstances, as happened at the Revo-
lution, when the people of England were compelled to em-
brace the alternative of submitting passively to the will of a
base, perjured tyrant, or of trusting to the dangerous experi-
ment of appointing a dictator to preside over them, in the
person of the Prince of Orange, till a new constitutional
establishment could be formed, and legally recognised. This
perilous state of things was but of short duration; it was
running, to be sure, a great risk; but then, it was to preserve
the liberty of this country from eternal destruction.—He
dwelt a considerable time on the invaluable advantages de-
rived from the habeas corpus a61, which he called the great
palladium of the liberties of the subject ; expressing, at the
same time, his astonishment, in the boldest and most ani-
mated terms, at the insolence and temerity of ministers, who
could thus dare to snatch it from the people, by a mandate
manufactured by themselves, though sanctioned by the sign
manual; and not only attempt to deprive the object of their
envy, resentment, or fears, of his liberty, but send him cut of
Great Britain, to the most remote part of the British domi-
nions. Who knows, said he, but the ministers, in the full-
ness of their malice, may take into their heads, that I have
served on Long Island, under General Washinp:ton ? 'What
would it avail me, in such an event, to plead an alibi; tp
assure my old friends, that I was, during the whole of
the autumn American campaign, in England ; that I war
never in America, nor on any other sea but between Dover
and Calais; and that all my acts of piracy were committed on
the mute creation ? All this may be • very true, says a mi-
nister, or a minister's understrapper, you :ire for the present


F 2


[Feb. 10 j


dispositions




G8 SUSPENSION OF THE HABEAS CORPUS ACT. [Feb. i
suspected, that is sufficient. I know you are fond of Scoff
land ; this is not the time for proofs; you may be, and very
probably are innocent; what of that? this bill cares not a
fig whether you are guilty or innocent. I will send you, under
this sign manual, to study the Erse language in the Isle of
Bute; and as soon as the operation of the bill is spent, you
will be at liberty to return whither you please ; and then you
may, if you like, call on your accusers, to prove their charges
of treason in America, and of piracy on the high seas ; but
they will laugh in your face, and tell you they never charged
you, they only suspected you ; and the act of parliament will
serve as a. complete plea in bar ; it will answer a double end;
it will be at once your redress and our justification.-0, but
says the learned gentleman, it is not possible to tell how far
constructive treason may extend ; or whether it may not reach
such as have aided and abetted the American rebels, by send-
ing them arms and ammunition, by corresponding with them,
&c. It is, it seems, lucky for me, that I have no connection
in America; if I had, though they could not so decently
suspect me of being on Long Island in August last, when they
knew the contrary, they might say, that I held a treasonable
or a piratical correspondence with them. Suppose, for instance,
I had an old school-fel low, or intimate companion : I should
most probably have kept up a correspondence; and when
writing to him, should have told him, " that the Whigs, and
those that were friends to the Revolution, were looked upon
now_as factious persons, for these are the times that large
strides are taken, not only to destroy the liberties of America,.
but of this country likewise." Would not such a paragraph
as this furnish a good ground for suspicion ? But weakness,
cruelty, suspicion, and credulity, are almost always insepa-
rable; at least they are often found in the same company.
Ministers are credulous in the extreme, because they are.
fearful; and they are fearful from a consciousness of their
crimes. Suspicions, however ill founded, upon tales, how-
ever improbable, are received by them as filets not to be con-
troverted ; witness the information of Richardson against
Sayre, some time since; and the 'recent affitir of John the
Painter, relative to the improbable story of his setting fire to
the rope-house at Portsmouth. I am not surprised at any
thinp,'. The tone of the minister is become firm, loud, and.
decisive. He has already assured us, in this House, that he
has nearly subdued America; and by what we are able to
collect from this bill, we may presume, he means to extend
his conquests nearer home.


The House divided on the motion for the second reading of the


SUSPENSION OP THE HABEAS CORPUS ACT. 69
777'1
bill : Yeas 195: Noes 43.The alarm excited by this bill, recalled
a few of those members who had of late absented themselves from
the House. The debates became long, animated, and highly in-
teresting, and were not unfrequently intermixed with the severest
animadversion. On the 44th, the order of the day being read for
bringing up the report,


Mr. Fox was against receiving the report. He said no man
was safe an instant, should the bill pass into a law. It would
arm the most profligate of the human species; and give them
a power over the best men in the nation. No man would be
safe under it, unless one could suppose that a country magis-
trate understood more law, and was more sagacious; or
trading justice had more honour and equity in him, than
the Chief-justice of Chester (Mr. Morton). That learned
gentleman was of opinion, that the bill gave the powers now
attributed to it; and if so, it was clear that it meant something
very different from what it was said to import.


Februau 17.


ON the order of the day for the third reading of the bill, Mr.
Dunning, who first laid open its principle and tendency, and had
since been indefatigable both in his general opposition, and his
endeavours to disarm it of some of those powers which he con-
sidered as the most dangerous, proposed a clause to be added to
the bill by way of rider. He introduced the amendment with a
speech fraught with legal and professional knowledge, in which he
went through and examined the whole course of controversy on
both sides, and having combated the arguments which had been
used in support of the bill, and pointed out the evil consequences
to be apprehended in its present state, moved an additional clause
to the following purport: " Provided also, and be it hereby de-
clared, that nothing herein contained is intended, or shall be
construed to extend to the case of any other prisoner, or prisoners,
than such as have been in some one of the colonies before
mentioned, or on the high seas, at the time or times of the offence
or offences, wherewith he or they shall be charged." Mr. Corn-
wall agreed to receive the clause in part, if the mover would
admit an amendment of his own to be interwoven with, and added
to it ; namely, that the words, " In some one of di,: colonies,
or on the high seas," should be left out, and the words, " Out of
the realm," inserted in their room ; and that the following words,
" Or of which they shall be suspected," should be added to, and
conclude the original clause. If this amendment did not afford all
that was wished, the acceptance of the clause, even in its present
form, was, however, an object of great consequence with the mi-
nority, who now considered the bill as having neiviy lost two of
Its most clangorous fangs •


'


the last, though not entirely diawn,
being now tolerably blunted.


P 3




70 SUSPENSION OF Tim HADEAS CORPUS ACT. [Feb. 17.
Mr. Fox, after reprobating the principle of the bill, and


declaring that he thought if even the clause were agreed to,
as first moved by his honourable and learned friend, he should
he called on to give the bill a most hearty negative, said he
must desire to draw the attention of the House, to the conduct
of the court of France, respecting our disputes with America.
He affirmed, from his own knowledge, that we were on the
eve of a war with France, immediately preceding the meeting
of the present session, in the month of October. He was of
opinion, that administration were extremely negligent in
respect of home security and national defence; particularly
in not calling out and embodying the militia, when it was
well known what a defenceless state we were in at the time,
and still, he was sorry to say, continued to be. At present,
the disposition of France, he allowed, was much changed.
The courts of Versailles and Madrid, whatever their latent or • -
remote intentions might be, took care carefully to conceal
one, or had prudently postponed the other, (which was the
most probable supposition,) till they were sufficiently prepared
to strike a decisive, perhaps a fatal blow, which was certainly
not. the case at present. Their peaceable demeanor, their


_11
promises and appearances, were most assuredly the conse-
quence of necessity, not choice. The disposition of the French
nation in general, and the sentiments of such as turned their
thoughts to foreign politics, respecting the civil war in Ame-
rica, bore testimony how much they considered that war as a
matter that promised to be extremely favourable to their
interests, in the final event. He had other proof, which
confirmed the conclusion now made, in a much clearer man-
ner; that was the disposition of the French cabinet, which
daily manifested itself in a variety of circumstances. Ile did
not mean to enter into details; but the filets he was about to
mention, were important, and such, too, as would not leave
a doubt of their tendency ; he alluded to the conduct of
the French ministry to two of the members of the American
Congress, now resident at Paris, Dr. Franklin and Mr. Silas
Deane. He was warranted in affirming, from his own know-
ledge, that they both appeared publicly at Paris and Ver-
sailles; they were known to hold conferences with the King's
ministers, to treat and negotiate with them, and to be received
by them substantially on the same footing as the represen-
tatives.


of any independent power in Christendom. The cor-
-respondence held between them was of the same nature with


that usually carried on between two powers, where one
of them seeks for assistance, and the other, from motives
of' policy, listens, deliberates, and determines


. , -upon , the pro-
priety or impropriety of adopting the schemes, or entering


SUSPENSION OF THE HABEAS CORPUS ACT.
1777.3


into the measures of the power, which thus applies for succour.
Sometimes Franklin and Deane received greater encourage-
ment, at other times less, according to the tone of the court,
and the prevailing sentiments and opinions at the time. But
howevhowever these might vary, one important truth might be
gathered from the whole, that France was secretly hostile to
Great Britain; that she publicly and privately received, treated,
and negotiated with the members of the American Congress, or
with persons authorised and deputed for them. — He next
attacked what he called the shameful, disgraceful, and im-
probable falsehoods that the only paper, published by autho-
rity in this country, was filled with, upon every occasion,
given in the accounts received from America. lie said, he
had been in ycompan, at Paris, with an American lately
arrived in that capital, who informed him that our London
Gazette gave long details, from 'time to time, of successes


g
ained by our troops, which never had any existence but on


paper. He assured him in particular, that the lists of the
killed,


e,


wounded, and prisoners, since the commencement of
the campaign, amounted to nearly as many as the Congress
had enlisted, mustered, or arrayed : but as the nation were
to have something in return for the blood and treasure so
shamefully lavished on our side, something to balance against
new debts, accompanied with new taxes, he could not say
but he much approved of the device, as he was infinitely better
pleased to see men killed upon paper, than be convinced that
they had fallen in battle. He then took a general view of
the situation of affairs in America, the state of the respective
armies, their number, &c. and contended, from the present
appearance of affairs in that country, that we were no nearer
conquering America now, than we were three years ago. If
it should ever be effected, he was satisfied it would be the work
of time, perhaps of many campaigns. Though France had
altered her intention of taking an early and decided part,
and would not venture to break with us, till her navy should
be put upon a respectable footing, yet a peace resting on so
precarious a foundation, was in fact no peace, and was more
hurtful, in its remote consequences, than war actually de-
clared. The Dutch were nearly twenty years struggling
against their tyrannical oppressors, before they procured any
assistance from foreign states ; our strength would be there-
fore gradually decreasing, and we might probably find our-
selves engaged in a bloody and expensive war, when we least
expected it, and were least prepared for it.


Lord North exculpated himself in particular, and administration
in general, from every intention of establishing any unconstitutional


4


7




SUSPENSION OF THE IIABEAS CORPUS ACT. [Feb. 17•
'precedents, or of seeking or wishing any powers to be entrusted,
either to the crown or to themselves, which were capable of being
employed to bad or oppressive purposes; disavowed all design of
extending the operation of the bill beyond its open and avowed
objects ; said it was intended for America, not for Great Britain ;
that as he would ask for no power that was not wanted, so he
would scorn to receive it by any covert means ; and whilst he ex-pressed his concern for the jealousy excited by any ambiguity that
appeared in the bill, hoped that the present amended clause would
afford full satisfaction to the gentlemen on the other side of the
House, and that the law would now meet with the approbation of
all parties.


This unexpected conduct caused great dissatisfaction on his own
side. Those who had been the avowed supporters of the bill,
thought themselves particularly ill treated. Mr. Wiliam Adam
thought the measures now pursuing by government would have
been more efficacious, in all probability, had they been taken up
earlier ; and when they were taken up, had they been carried into
execution with more spirit and alacrity. No man was farther from
approving of sanguinary measures than he was ; and he always
thought. that the surest means in such cases, of preventing the ef-
fusion of blood, and all .


the dire calamities of a civil war, was by
adopting vigorous measures in time, and executing them season-
ably. The Solicitor General said, he did not see any necessity
either for the clause or amendment, yet he should have had no
objection to it, if its friends had been contented with carrying it
early in the day; but as the gentlemen who moved and supported
it, had been indulged with an acquiescence on the part of adminis-
tration, and still continuec




to debate the principle of the bill, he
,should now most certainly vote against it.


Mr. Fox said, he admitted the candour and condescension
of the learned gentleman, in granting the favour of permitting
the clause to make part of the bill, if the terms in which the
favour had been asked had been accompanied with that degree
of gratitude and submission which the granting so high a boon
deserved ; if the debate had not been prolonged to that late
hour, when it might be -supposed the learned gentleman's
presence might be more useful, and more eagerly sought. Yet,
upon consideration, nice as the learned gentleman's feelings
were, eager as he was to get out of the crowd, careless as he
was of his duty in that House, and indifferent as he seemed to
be to the consequences of the bill ; in either or any event, he
imagined his resentments against conquered America, his na-
tive hatred of rebellion, his zeal for government, and his per-
sonal loyalty to the family on the throne, might have been in
some degree gratified, without pushing this bill to the extent
he seemed to desire. It might allay the learned gentleman's
thirst for public chastisement, and exemplary punishment,
when he could satisfy himself with the pleasing reflection that


1777.] SUSPENSION OF THE HABEAS CORPUS ACT.
seven rebels had been shoved into a room in New York, and
there burnt




still, if possible, more zealous and loyal,
(Mr. Adam,) might feast himself with contemplating the glo-
rious deeds daily and hourly achieved in our southern colonies
and back settlements, where the savages came down in great
numbers, (if the accounts received by administration themselves
from that country were to be depended on,) and massacred the
innocent settlers in cold blood ; and the slaves were merito-
riously employed in the murder of their unprepared and un-
suspicious masters, through the encouragement of an adminis-
tration which had been this day so unjustly arraigned, as
sluggish and inert, as wanting spirit and alacrity, in the glo-
rious work of blood and carnage ; of planning nothing but
tame and indecisive measures, still more tamely and indecisively
executed !


The question was put on Mr. Dunning's motion, as amended by.
Mr. Cornwall, and agreed to without a division.


Mr. Fox wished the House much joy, and felicitated the na-
tion in general on the escape they had had from, at least, a state
of temporary tyrannic dominion, which perhaps, all in good
time, was meant to be rendered perpetual. He congratulated
the minority in particular, on their success that day; who, he
said, had corrected this very reprehensible bill : though a mi-
nority, they had accomplished this alteration ; the ministers
were not only convinced, but ashamed, and had accepted of
the alteration. It was no compliment to their friends the
majority, for they were ready to pass the bill as it was brought
in. It was the minority, he repeated, who; though a minority,
had corrected this bill, which the noble lord had brought in
crude and indigested, imperfect and erroneous. The noble
lord was obliged to his friends the minority, for digesting,
altering, and correcting his bill, not to his friends the ma-
jority, who were ready to swallow it with all its original crudi-
ties, cruelties, and errors. He then enlarged in a humorous,
ironical strain, on the power of the learned Solicitor General,
who threatened to damn the clause totally, and blow it out of
the House, if he was any ctloner teased with the noise and
nonsense of his opponents, and detained from his social enjoy-
ments half or a quarter of an hour beyond his time ; and
painted his own fears very humorously, lest some of the over-
zealous friends of the clause should rise, and provoke the
learned gentleman to carry his threats into execution. He
was two or three times rising to speak, he said, but happily
repressed his feelings, as he watched the countenance of thG




71 ARREARS OF THE CIVIL LIST-
.


[April 16
learned gentleman, and imagined he could perceive a glow of
honest zeal, and determined resentment overspread it, which
denoted the most inevitable destruction to the clause, and
terror, dismay and defeat to all its supporters. He said, he
must seriously congratulate the House, and the nation at large,
on the preservation of the constitutional freedom of this coun-
try, from the stab that had been predetermined, and covertly
aimed at its vitals, by the bill as it stood before the clause was
agreed to ; for if it had passed in that form, he could with
confidence affirm, that no Englishman, as long as it remained
in force, (and God knew how long that might be!) would have
had the shadow of liberty left, or could be a minute secure
against the most cruel attacks of public oppression, or private
malice and revenge. He then argued against the principle of
the bill, and said it was a dangerous and unnecessary bill,
even in its amended state ; that still any man who for pleasure
or business happened to be out of the realm, lay at the mercy
of ministers, of his private enemies, or of public informers.
On the whole, his fears being at an end respecting the clause,
he was now at liberty to express his sentiments freely; and
under that sanction he totally disapproved of the principle of
the bill and of the clause ; he looked upon the bill as a dan-
gerous precedent; and learning the true disposition and de-
sign of administration, from their conduct throughout,
should give it a most hearty negative.


The question being put on the third reading, the House divided:
Yeas I Iz : Noes 3 3 . The bill was then passed.


ARREARS OF THE CIVIL LIST.


April 16.


ON the 9th of April, Lord North delivered a message from theKing, in which much concern was expressed by the Sove-
reign at being obliged to acquaint them with the difficulties he
laboured under, from debts incurred by the expences of the house-
hold, and of the civil government, which amounted on the 5th of
the preceding January to upwards of 600,ocoi. That he relied on
the loyalty and affection of his faithful commons, of which he had
received so many signal proofs, for enabling him to discharge this
debt, and that they would, at the same time, make some further
provision for the better support of his household, and of the honour
and dignity of the crown. The bmessao. -e was attended with a nu


ARREARS OF THE CIVIL LIST. 75


beg


causes
during


i I
r
e 07 f. P papers, of . containing various accounts of the expenditure, and


a comparative statement of the whole amount of the present civillist establishment, from the year 176e, with that of the produce of
former revenues, which had been appropriated to that service,


the same period ; the former being intended to explain the
excess in the expenditure, and the latter to shew, that


the crown had been a loser by the bargain which it then made with
parliamen t. A motion was then made, and carried, that the mes-
sage should, on the i 6th, be referred to the consideration of the
committee of supply. On the adjourned day for taking the mes-
sage into consideration by the committee of supply, a motion was
made by Lord John Cavendish, that the order of reference of the
9th instant might be discharged. The view of this motion was,b .
that instead of carrying the question directly into the committee of
supply, there to determine at -once by a vote, whether provision
should be made for supplying the whole demands, the accounts of
the expenditure, the causes of the excess, the means of preventing
it in future, and the propriety of complying in the whole or in
part with the requisitions, should first be examined accurately, and
considered with due deliberation, in a committee of the whole
House. This motion accordingly, which was, in effect, whether
the Speaker should leave the chair, brought out the whole force of
debate, which was long and ably supported, most of the considera-
ble speakers on both sides having distinguished themselves in its
course.


Mr. Fox, after describing what he termed the wanton pro-
fusion of ministers for a series of years back, in the several
great departments of the state, and the shameless prodigality
that prevailed in the disposition of the revenues of the civil
list, predicted a day of reckoning, when probably ministers
would not be permitted to pass such accounts as those now
lging on the table. He told the House, that he should not
,go over the items which had been already mentioned; and to
which, there had not as yet even so much as the colour of an
answer been given. There was one article, however, which he
could not pass over without mentioning; and he presumed, it
had struck every gentleman present as well as himself with
astonishment. It was the sum of c 13,0001. stated under the
head of the Board of Works, in the course of the last eight
years, without telling to whom the money had been paid, on
what account it had been paid, or on what palace, house, park,
garden, or place, the money had been expended. He ob-
served that the conduct of the minister, in 1769, though the
noble lord now disclaimed the appellation, was much less re-
prehensible than now. He then acted openly, and came
boldly to parliament to demand a round sum, without account.
" I want the money; I cannot wait; grant it now, and you
shall have the account next year." On this occasion, Par-




76 ARREARS OF THE CIVIL LIST.
[April


liament had the option to grant or refuse; to take his word,
or disbelieve it. New men, new measures; the noble lord
told the House this day, very gravely, that he was not then
first minister; but that he had since become one, entirely on
his own bottom ; that accounts ought to precede the grant;
but when the accounts came to be examined, what did they
turn out? No accounts at all; but a detail of arbitrary sums,
for ought we knew, set down according to the fanciful ideas
of several persons who wrote them ; and all consolidated into
one round sum, which we are called upon to grant out of the
purses of our constituents, without being satisfied that a single
item is fairly or perfectly stated ; unless we trust to the inte-
grity of ministers, and the fidelity of their subordinate instru-
ments. Well, taking it for granted, that the sums are truly
stated, why trouble the House with such an account at all,
unless to add mockery to contempt, and blend insult with de-
rision ? When we had no account, we trusted to ministers.
Now that we have an account, we are equally compelled to be
satisfied with their bare word. So that taking the matter in
its true light, the present proposition is neither more nor less,
than a demand the minister makes on parliament far 618,coa.
which he says was expended in the public service; but of the
reality of such expenditure, we properly know no more than
we do of any sum of a like amount, expended by any prince
in Europe. We are precisely as well informed now how this
debt was incurred, by the curious account lying on the table,
as we were in 1769, without any account.—He next attacked
Lord North on his denying he was minister when he brought
down a like message, eight years ago, and obtained the object




of his errand. This he treated as the most shameful and
barefaced evasion. He declared the sentiments of that admi-
ninistration, of which, from his post of chancellor of the ex-
chequer, he formed a part ; he stood therefore doubly bound,
both as an individual, and a member of the cabinet. In the
next place, as he was the bearer of the message, he stood
pledged as the messenger, or the representative of the sove-
reign. The message was to demand a certain sum of money
to pay the King's debts; the condition that accompanied it,
though not contained in the message, was, that no applications
of a like nature should be made hereafter. Who was to im-
part them to the House? The bearer of the message, and no
other. But, allowing that the noble lord was neither bound,
as a member of the cabinet, an individual, or as a messenger
representing his sovereign, he stood nevertheless in a mixt
official mid ministerial situation, from which it was impossible
for him to recede; he came to parliament, as the mini§ter of
the House of Commons, and chancellor of the exchequer.


1777.]
kle was responsible as minister, for his ministerial assurances,
as much then, as at present; and as chancellor of the ex-
chequer, he was bound by the nature of his office to know that
his assurances were founded in truth. Take, then, the matter
in the noble lord's own way ; does he not stand on the precise
around be did then ? Did he not come in 1769, as well as in


7777, as minister of the House of Commons and chancellor
of the exchequer, not as first lord of the treasury, and
prime minister ? But convict the noble lord on any or all of
these grounds, and he still imagines he can evade his pur-
suers. He says lie never gave any such promise. Will his
lordsh i p rest his justification on that alone? If be does, Ipledge myself to prove he did ; if lie will not, but will con-
tend, that he is not bound in one event by a promise, which
he denies in the other, I submit whether in the opinion of all ,
impartial men, the noble lord be not in fact convicted on both
grounds. If, however, he should still rest his defence, on his
not being responsible for any acts of his, ministerial or official,
he would nevertheless on the present occasion, out of regard
to his own honour and character, recommend to his lordship,
to consent to the proposed committee of enquiry ; because, if
any malversation in office, any waste of public money should
have happened, the blame would fall of course on his lordship,
as chancellor -of the exchequer. Not supposing that there
existed the least ground for any such imputation, he looked
upon it to be peculiarly incumbent on the noble lord, cheer-
fully to go into an enquiry, which, he presumed, would turn
Out so much to his lordship's honour. He perceived that the
charge of ambassadors was a very heavy one; besides, envoys
and. ministers were sent to every petty state. He knew the dis-
agreeable predicament a minister, willing to make a reform,.
would stand in, were he to attempt it on his own strength. It
would be prodigiously irksome to be obliged to say to a secre-
tary of state, who has so few appointments in his gift, " I must
strike oft' such and such envoys who are in your department,
the state of the civil list requires it, Etc." While, on the
contrary, if a parliamentary enquiry was set on foot, and ar-
rangements made to take place in consequence of such en-
quiry, in order to reduce the expenditure, the blame would be
shifted from the minister, and the superfluous branches of the
civil list might be pruned, or totally lopped off, without giv-
ing any direct offence to those who might, on the mere
personal interference of the minister, look upon themselves
pointed at, and ill treated.


The House then divided on Lord John Cavendish's motion :


ARREARS OF THE CIVIL LIST. 77




ARREARS OF THE CIVIL LIST.
[April 16.


Tellers.
Tellers.


171;A s Mr.T.Townshend Mr. C. TONVII Sh end 1Mr. Byng


/14.—NoEs Mr. Robinson
S 281.


So it passed in the negative. The House then resolved itselfinto a committee of supply, and came to the following resole,
tions : " That the sum of 618,3401. 91. 6id. be granted to
his majesty, to discharge the arrears and debts due and owing
upon the civil list, on the 5 th of January. 2. " That for the
better support of his majesty's household, and of the honour and
dignity of the crown, there be granted to his majesty, during
his life, out of the aggregate fund, the clear yearly sum of 100,0001.
to commence from the 5th day of Jannary 1777, over and above
the yearly sum of 800,000l. granted by an Act made in the i4
year of his majesty's reign." On the loth, as soon as Sir Charles
Whitworth appeared at the bar, in order to present the above
resolutions, Mr. Dempster rose and opposed the bringing up of
the report. This occasioned another debate. The gentlemen of
the minority insisted, that the accounts which -had been laid before
the House carried the fullest conviction, that they were fabricated
to perplex, not to inform ; that the facts, which under their title
they were bound to disclose, could not bear the light; and that
a great and royal revenue was squandered in so shameful a manner,
and applied to such pernicious purposes, that the ministers dared
not to avow its disposal, nor venture to commit so dangerous a
knowledge to the public. They were unaccompanied by any
voucher, by any collateral, or explanatory observation that could
give them even that colour of authenticity, which was fitting for
their appearance before parliament, or to render them worthy
of its attention. On the other side, the ministers, and official
members, attributed the defectiveness imputed to the accounts,
to the conduct of their predecessors in office, who had carried
away, from their respective departments, those papers and do-
cuments, which would have been necessary to afford that unusual
degree of specification and accuracy, which was now demanded.
They said, that the treasury had done every thing in their power
to remedy that cl=_ficiency ; they had spared no pains, by examining,
and comparing the warrants with the books, to give every satis- 14'faction in their power to parliament.


Mr. Fox said, there was a very material difference between
producing vouchers for each article, or even small sums paid
to petty tradesmen, and not producing a single authority or
document which was sufficient to satisfy the House, that the
.gross sums charmed were faithfully expended under the heads
in which they were charged ; and he defied Lord North, with.
all his wit and ingenuity, to shew by any true criterion of
distinction, the least shadow of difference between an account
thus unvouched, and no account at all. He begged the atten-
tion of the House to this single illustration of the subject of
debate; what substantial difference did it make, whether the


ARREARS OF THE CIVIL LIST. 7,
1777*J
618,0001. was written off in a single line, in twenty, or in five
hundred, when the several sums came totally unaccompanied


hers? He next drew a comparison between the presentroueIministration, and that of the late Duke of Newcastle;
lia(nd so pushed it back to the commencement of the late
reign, which he contended was the most glorious this na-
rration ever beheld. It was a reign of principle throughout;
the sovereign was honest, steady, and sincere. His ministers
sought his personal satisfaction and domestic quiet; and.
maintained the honour and dignity of the nation. Even the
different parties who caballed for power, were open in their
p
rofessions, faithful to the doctrines they professed, and to


the persons with whom they associated. What was now the
case? Corruption and patronage had overspread the land.
The King's name was frequently prostituted by his ministers,
to purposes which he was certain the sovereign was too good
a man, and too great a King, ever to have sanctioned, if he
had previously discovered the concealed but plausible motives
whence they originated. Ministers disdained to pursue such
appearances. Majorities were found to support the worst
measures with as much alacrity as the best. The influence
of the crown derived additional strength from its power over-
the treasury, and majorities were now called upon to make
good the very rapine and plunder they had long since shared;
and to create a find in future for the same purposes. To
finish the comparison, and bring the two reigns into a com-
plete counterview, all principle, as well in politics, as morals,
had been, since the commencement of the present reign, en-
tirely exploded. That very formidable phalanx which now
lines the Treasury-bench, have thrown aside their opinions
the day they accepted of their appointments. Corruption
sweeps every thing before it. Its power or influence, or what-
ever else it may be called, is almost irresistible. It is now
got to its zenith. Sir Robert Walpole, it was said, was the
father of corruption; the present minister is his equal, if not
in abilities, at least in his art of managing parliaments. He
has improved on the founder of this corrupt system ; he has
carried it to an infinitely greater extent. But then, he has
had the address to lose half the empire, as one of the first
happy consequences of his experimental improvements !


ded:
The first resolution was agreed to. On the second, the House-


divi
Tellers.


Lord J. Cavendish
Y EAS' {Lord Lisburne Mr. Fox Joe.Sir G. Cooper 1 3
So it was resolved in the affirmative.


7 8




80 DIRMINGHAM PLAY-HOUSE DILL.
[April 29,


BIRMI.NOHAIVI PLAY-HOUSE BILL.


April 29.


N consequence of a petition presented to the House by Mr.jI Yates, leave was given to bring in a bill for enabling His Ma-esty to licence a play-house in the town of Birmingham. The
bill was accordingly brought in and read a first time. On the
motion for the second reading, Sir William I3agot opposed it,
because he disliked licensed theatres in manufacturing towns.
By way of proving the fatal tendency of establishing theatres in.
discriminately in any kingdom, Sir William adverted to the time
of the Romans, when he declared the giving theatres was the
cause of the decline of the state. He said, that to acid to
the dissipation of the people was always the maxim adopted by
those who meant to enslave them, and that the common means-
of fixing slavery on any people was by giving theatres. He bid
the House recollect the ancient medals, on the reverse of which
was a theatre, with the words Ludi instituti. These were melan-
choly instances of the truth of what he had asserted, as it appeared
from the words round the edges of such medals, that the Romans
were also obliged to establish granaries of corn, and to give the
people bread at the same time ; this latter, he feared, would be
the next step with Birmingham, if the House gave them a theatre.
Here Sir William introduced an apostrophe on the subject of the
Roman medals, appealing to the House how much more glorious
it wag to cast medals on any conquest, and how much better the
inscriptions of De Germanis, or De Britannis appeared, than that
of Ludi instituti. Mr. James Luttrell also opposed the bill. He
spoke warmly against Mr. Yates, the petitioner ; he said the peti-
tion was impudence, and the application ingratitude ; and there-
fore, if discretionary powers ought to be given to any man, Mr.
Yates was the last person Birmingham could approve of, or that
the!House could with decency listen to.


Mr. Fox objected to the asperity of the terms used by the
honourable gentleman who spoke last, as improper for the
place, the subject, and the person to whom they were applied.
He had always retained a grateful sense of the entertainment
he had received from actors of Mr. Yates's acknowledged
merit; and he could perceive nothing in his conduct, on the
present occasion, to justify such epithets. If the party to whom
they were applied, had been in a higher rank, it would, to
say no worse, have been extremely indecent to have so treated
him; and it must be very unpleasant and mortifying to any
man. He therefore thought it extremely wrong, and could
not be a silent auditor of such severities against a person who
had only exercised that right which every other mangy had of
applying to parliament. He declared himself for the second,


1777.
ADMISSION OP STRANGERS INTO THE GALLERY. 81


le
ading of the bill, and sending it to a committee, when the


true sense of the inhabitants might probably be collected.
If any thing could be decided, one way or the other, hethought the probability was, that the majority of the inha-
bitants were irr favour of the -bill, from the open and continued
encouragement they had given to theatrical entertainments
for such a number of years back. In his opinion, dramatic
eXhibitions had their use every where, and ()hen drew the
attention of the common people, and prevented them from


''


wastin a their time and money in employments of a muchdangerous and pernicious nature. In. general, they
tendeded to civilize and polish the manners of nations; and sofar were the institutions of theatres from being the fore-
runners of slavery, or the badges of despotism, that they were
most encouraged, and flourished best, in free states. He
ridiculed what had fallen from Sir William relative to the
Romans medals. He said, he had much rather see such
medals now struck, than political medals; for there could
be no disgrace in shewing by the words Ludi instituti, that
our manners were polished; but there might be sonic in
having medals with the inscription De Britannis Colonis,
which would tend to throw a ridicule on our late glorious
campaign in America !


The bill was also supported by Mr. Dempster, Mr. Burke, Mr.
Wilkes, and Mr. Harris. It was then read a second time. On the
motion, that it be committed, the House divided :


Tellers.
YEAS Mr. Fox 1 8 NT


° 1
Es I Sir William


u9*
Bagot1


Mr. Dempster S Sir Henry Gough
So it passed in the negative.


ADMISSION OE STRANGERS INTO THE GALLERY OF THE HOUSE.


April 3o.


MR. TEMPLE
LUTTRELL moved, That the orders made


upon the xSt of November last, " That the serjeant at arms
attending this House do, from time to time, take into his custody
any stranger or strangers that he shall see, or be informed of to
be, in the House or gallery, while the House, or any committee
of the whole House, is sitting ; and that no person so taken into
Custody be discharged out of custody, without the special order
of the House ;" Also, " That no member of this House do pre.
some to bring anv stranger or strangers into the House or gallery,"


VOL. I.




MOTION FOR AN ADDITION TO
[May 9•


might be read. And the same being read accordingly, he next
moved, " That the said orders be taken into consideration in a
committee of the whole House." The motion was supported by
Mr. Wilkes, Mr. Thomas Townshend, and Mr. Fox ; and opposta
by Lord North, Mr. Rigby, and Sir William Meredith.


Mr. Fox expressed his hearty approbation of the motion,
and was glad the honourable gentleman who introduced it,
had not urged an absolute discharge of the uniform and ne-
cessary orders of the House, established for good government
and decorum. He wished the House would decline to enforce
those orders with such reprehensible rigour ; and was sure,
that if a committee were to take them under candid consi-
deration, some method might be devised fully to answer the
end proposed. He dwelt on the expediency of letting in
young men of parts and education, that they might cultivate
and improve their understanding, and become early habituated
to the conduct of state affairs, and to political argumentation.


The House divided :
Tellers.
Tellers.


s Mr. T. Luttrell}
a RAS


/ Mr. Fox


i6. NOES {Mr. G. Onslow 83.Mr. Robinson
So it passed in the negative.


MOTION FOR AN ADDITION TO THE INCOMES OF THE ROYAL
BRC'I'HERS.


May 9.


QM JAMES LOWTHER moved, " That an humble address
be presented to his majesty, to express the just sense this


House entertains of his majesty's regard for the lasting welfare
and happiness of his people ; and, as this I-louse cannot omit any
opportunity of sheaving their zeal and regard for his majesty's
honour, and the prosperity of his family, humbly to beseech his
majesty, that, in consideration of the high rank and dignity of
their royal highnesses the Dukes of Gloucester and Cumberland,
he would be graciously pleased to make some addition to their
annual income, out of the revenues cheerfully granted his majesty
for the expellees of the civil government, and better supporting
the honour and dignity of the crown ; and to assure his majesty,
that this House will enable his majesty effectually to perform the
same, as nothing will more conduce to the strengthening of his
majesty's government, than honourably supporting the dignity of
the different- branches of the royal fl.tmily." Sit James stated with


4


4


THE INCOME Or THE ROYAL BROTHERS. 83
1777.]


energy, and described with affecting sympathy, the causes which
led to this motion, and the particular circumstances of situation
which rendered such an address necessary ; circumstances which
were unfortunately so conspicuous, as to be publicly known in
every part of Europe ; and which he represented as not less affect,
ing le national character and honour, than the royal dignity..T.•.
r‘e on was supported by Sir EdwardAstley, Gove'rno'rGove'rno'rJohn.


ti


stone, Mr. Wilkes, and Mr. Fox,,..


Mr. Fox said, he thought the motion was right, proper,
blright, that those who were so nearly alliedand seasonable ;


to the crown should have part of the public munificence,
intended to promote every thing which might add to its splen-
dour and dignity ; proper, because no persons were more
competent to j udge of the disposal of money, than those who
granted it ; and seasonable, because no time could be better
to urge the crown on such a subject, than when the sense of
its own necessities, and the generous conduct of parliament,
might promise to make a favourable and grateful impression.
He dwelt on the increased price of provisions, and the com-
parative value of money now, and during even the last reign ;
and observed, that though this argument was much relied on.
in support of the augmentation of the civil list revenue, it
applied much stronger ill the present case, because the in-
creased value of the necessaries and conveniences of life, had
a much stronger comparative operation ; he believed, in the
proportion of full three to one, on an income almost totally
expended in those uses, than on a revenue, the greater part
of which was issued in round sums, with which neither the
splendour, dignity, nor immediate expellees of the crown
were at all concerned : this he instanced in the several heads
of salaries, pensions, secret service money, ambassadors, Ste.
He then stated several general reasons in support of the
motion, such as the increase of salary to the judges, the over-
plus between the real expenditure for the last eight years, and
the necessity there was to enable the royal dukes to support
their high rank, both as peers of the first order, and as being
so nearly allied to the throne. He said, it had been always
the policy of this country, to make a suitable provision for
the different branches of the royal. family ; it rendered then/
independent of ministers ; and bound them by interest and
sentiment to preserve that constitution under which they
enjoyed such pre-eminent and solid advantages. On the
other hand, a royal family, in narrow and dependent cir-
cumstances, were compelled to look up to the throne for pro-
tection and support; and from the very nature of their
situation, were liable to become the instruments of the crown


forging chains for their country. This, he was Certvtin,
G




84 MR. SPEAKER NORTON'S SPEECH TO THE
- KING. [May 9•


was at present entirely out of the case; the King was as averse
to employing them in effecting purposes so far from his heart,
as they would be to comply with them, had he entertained,
sentiments of a different kind. He .concluded, by observing,
that there were many public and private reasons for wishing
to see every branch of the royal family happy and easy in
their domestic circumstances.


The motion was opposed by Sir J. G. Griffin, Sir George How.
ard, and Mr. Rigby, upon the ground of propriety, and the pre-
vious -question immediately moved. The difficulty, as well as
impropriety, of discussing a question of so nice and delicate a
complexion, were principally insisted on. It would be breaking
in upon the domestic affairs of the royal family ; and venturing to
inquire into matters of so tender a nature, as the conduct observed,
and the transactions that passed in private life, between the sove-.
reign and his brothers. The previous question was then put, and
the House divided. The Noes went forth :


Tellers. Tellers.I Sir J. LowtherYEAS
L Capt. Johnaone I .4_5. — OES Si r


, {Sir J. G. Griffin
Sz G. Howard


152
So it passed in the negative.


MR. Fox's MOTION RESPECTING MR. SPEAKER NORTON'S
SPEECH TO THE KING, ON PRESENTING THE BILL FOIL
THE BETTER SUPPORT OF HIS MAJESTY'S HousEnoLD.


May 9.


I N the course of the preceding debate on the incomes of theI royal brothers, Mr. Rigby turned with vehemence towards the
Chair, and arraigned the conduct of the Speaker with great acri-
mony. He said, that although our burthens were heavy, and our
expences immense, our situation had been grossly misrepresented
in a place, and in the presence of those, where nothing but truth
should be heard : that the sentiments declared at the bar of the
other House, to be those of this, were never so much as thought of
here ; that the Commons of this kingdom knew better ; that, for.
one, he totally disclaimed them; he was certain that a very
great majority of that House did so too. He trusted, that before
the House rose, it would be proved whether the House thought
with the chair, or with him, whose sentiments, he said, were di-
rectly contrary to those delivered in the name of that House at
the bar of the House of Lords, on Wednesday last. As soon as
the division was over, the Speaker rose in his place, and begged
leave to draw the attention and recollection of the House, to n'hat


1777.] MR. SPEAKER NORTON'S SPEECH TO THE KING. 8s


had fallen from Mr. Rigby. Previous, however, to his taking; any
particular notice of the censure that right honourable gentlemanhad passed on his conduct as Speaker of that House, he begged
that his speech to his majesty at the bar of the House of Lords,Wednesday last, might be first read by the clerk ; and the same
onbeing read accordingly # , he then appealed to the journals for the
cote of thanks, which followed on his return, to shew, that the
sentiments which he expressed to his majesty, when he presented
the bill for the better support of his majesty's household, were the
sentiments of the House, and not his own particular sentiments,
ass had been asserted by the last-mentioned right honourable gen-tleman. While the Speaker was yet on his legs, up rose Mr.
Rigby, who adhering to what had fallen from him in the former
debate, spoke of the chair in tennis very nearly bordering on dis-
respect. He insisted that he had a right to animadvert on the
Speaker's speech, or on his conduct, within or without that House,
if he thought it improper. He was certain the speech now read.
did not convey his sentiments, whatever it might those of the 281.
who voted for the augmentation of the King's civil list. He said
he had a right to appeal to the chair, and from the chair, and
would never be intimidated, or led by any inducement, to forfeit
the privileges of a British senator. The Speaker was no more than
another member, and he was as free to differ from the chair as
from any other individual in that House. He proceeded to great
heat, which seemed to make the Treasury-bench uneasy.


Mr. Fox replied to the right honourable gentleman, and
observed, that he had brought the matter to a direct decision;
that was, lie had rendered it necessary for the Speaker to seek


The following is a copy of the speech as published by the Speaker
" Most gracious Sovereign,


" The bill, which it is now my duty to present to your majesty, is
intituled, An Act for the better support of his Majesty's Household, and


of the honour and dignity of the crown of Great Britain :' to which your
Commons humbly beg your royal assent.


" 13y this bill, Sir, and the respectful circumstances which preceded and
accompanied it, your Commons have given the fullest and clearest proof
of their zeal and affection for your majesty. For, in a time of public
distress, full of difficulty and danger, their constituents labouring under
burthens almost too heavy to be borne, your faithful Commons postponed
all other business ; and, with as much dispatch as the nature of their pro,.
eeedings would admit, have not only granted to your majesty a large
present supply, but also a very great additional revenue ;—great, beyond
example; great, beyond your majesty's highest expenee.4


" But all this, Sir, they have done, in a well-grounded confidence, that
you will apply wisely, what they have granted liberall y ; and feeling, what
every good subject must feel with the greatest satisfaction, that under the
direction of your majesty's wisdom, the affluence and grandeur of the
sovereign will reflect dignity and honour upon his people."


z2Szez. 1 members who took notes of this speech, wrote wants, insteadof ,,,


0 3




86 MR. SPEAKER NORTON'S SPEECH TO THE KING. [May 9,
the sense of the House, as the charge was open and direct.
The Speaker had either misrepresented the sense of the
House, or he had not; as an individual, he had disclaimed
the sentiments of the Speaker, as far as the same respected
himself; and had plainly hinted that it was the opinion of a
majority present : it was coining to the point at once, and
bringing the ,


matter to a fair issue. For his part, he sus_
pected the Speaker did not deliver the sentiments of the
majority, though it was plain he did the sense of the House;
because he was immediately thanked on his return, nem. con.
as appeared by the journals. The question, then, which
remained to be decided, was, whether the Speaker had done
his duty. The truth, he believed, was, that the court thought
he had exceeded it, by their so highly disapproving of
the speech. He was resolved, however, to take the sense
of the House by motion, which, if negatived, in his opinion,
the Speaker could sit no longer in that chair with reputation
to himself; or be further serviceable in his station, after having
been publicly deserted, bullied, and disgraced. He then
made the following motion :—" That the Speaker of this
House, in his speech to his majesty, at the bar of the House
of Peers, on Wednesday last, and which was desired nenthiejcontradicente, by this House, to be printed, did express withust and proper energy, the zeal of this House, for the sup-
port of the honour and dignity of the crown, in circumstances
of great public charge."


The Speaker assured the House, that he meant to deliver nothing
but their sentiments. He thought he was justified in what he said,
considering the time, the occasion, and the various current cir-
cumstances which combined to stamp what he offered with peculiar
propriety. Conceiving, therefore, that he had discharged his
duty, and that the same had been afterwards publicly approved
of, he could not think of remaining in a situation where he could
be no longer serviceable ; which must be certainly the case, if the
present motion should be rejected. Mr. De Grey did not approve
of the word wants, in the speech. He said, such an expression
was disrespectful to the sovereign ; and, in his opinion, the whole
speech conveyed a very improper idea to foreign powers in particular, lir
who, presuming on its contents, might be tempted to disturb the
public tranquillity. The Speaker replied, that be thought he did not
make use of the word wants, as it could mean nothing. As to what
effect his speech might have in foreign courts, or any other poli-
tical consequence which might arise from it, he never considered.
He wished to express the sense of the House; he imagined lie had
done so ; and he could never think of sitting longer in that chair, •
than while he was in the exercise of his duty. Mr. Welbore Ellis
said, he presumed the Speaker delivered his own sentiments with
great candour and sincerity ; and in so doing, he acted a very


delivering the


Speaker


1777.
1 MR. SPEAKER NORTON'S SPEECH TO THE KING. 87


c But as probably he spoke without notes, and


might dropped
a word or expression without any intention,


i eslnlieadabtlieiarph t motion might be withdrawn, and the affair
beDave




d
ated ; for though the Speaker might imagine he was
the sentiments of the House, from hurry and inad-


possible, he might not even have delivered his
said, he understood that great pains had been


taken without doors to represent
thehis speech as not conveying


lvt eenrit


m


s eseelticorYfi ithe


Hwas p


ouse.


oss


For his part, if he erred, he did not err in-
tv,i


e ni nally ; he meant to convey the opinion of the House, and


o.


in


looked upon himself fully justified both in point of fact and pre-
cedent. If he misrepresented what lie meant faithfully to convey,
he trusted the House would excuse him. He knew such addresses
to the throne had been frequent ; he was sure they were proper.
Be said, he thought it incumbent on him to let his majesty know
what was the sense of the House ; and, in so doing, imagined he
was acting in the faithful discharge of the trust committed to him
if the House thought otherwise, he could not, nor would not,
remain in that chair. Mr. Dunning said, the dignity of the House
was gone, if the chair was permitted to be degraded. It was plain
the blow was ultimately aimed at the House through the chair ;
and that the present was an experiment, made purely with a view
to see to what a pitch of humiliation and disgrace the House would
bear to he humbled and let down. It was, in filet, an attempt of
a court faction, to render the representatives of the people despi-
cable, as well as detestable, in the eyes of their constituents.
Mr. Attorney General Thurlow entered into a kind of dissection
of the speech. He insisted, that it neither contained the senti-
ments of the House, nor 'was it strictly supported by fact ; for,


the large present supply, &c. great beyond his majesty's highest
wants, &c." did not exceed 14,0001. which was represented in
the speech to be " a very great additional revenue." The great
stress laid on the overplus might have been better spared, as it
would have been extremely mean, when they were voting. the
augmentation, to withhold the difference between the expenditure
and the grant. He contended, that the Speaker spoke his own
sentiments, not those of the House. He recommended, that
tale might icr 0ht go no farther, but that the motion might be with-d


Mr. Fox spoke in justification of his motion. He said,
the right honourable gentleman (Mr. Ellis) had given, what
he should call the watch-word ; which had been followed by
the attorney general. He observed, that those gentlemen had
founded their argument for withdrawing the motion chiefly
on the speech not being the sentiments of the House ; whereas
the contrary was the fact, and the journals gave evidence of
it. But, however, if those gentlemen and their friends thought
differently, as the framer of the motion, he was ready to come
to issue on that point with them, and doubted not but he
should prevail. He was satisfied that the House wonld never


G 4




88 THE BUDGET. 39
1777.1


THE BUDGET.


[May 14.
consent to their own degradation and disgrace in the person
of their Speaker, nor would submit to contradict on a Friday,
what they had approved on the 'Wednesday immediately pre.
ceding. Among the many censures, and more numerous
insinuations, thrown out against the speech, it was said not
to be grammar. He should not enter into nice grammatical
distinctions, or trouble himself or the House about a choice
of words, or elegancies of expression ; but he was sure, if the
Speech was not grammar, it abounded in good sense, which
was of infinitely greater value, and conveyed the true, un-
biassed sense of the House, and of every man on either side,
till he was bought over to a sacrifice of his principles and con-
science.


Mr. Rigby still adhered to his former opinion, and justified
his conduct on his right to deliver his sentiments freely on every
subject arising in that House, or out of it, if it was a matter
properly cognizable there; but he disclaimed the least intention
of making any personal reflection on the chair; and moved " that
the House do now adjourn." This motion was opposed by Go-
vernor Johnstone, Sir George Savile, Mr. Sawbridge, and Sir
George Tonge. Mr. Solicitor General Wedderburn wished the
affair might be suffered to pass off without taking the sense of the
House upon it. Upon which, Mr. Rigby said, if it was the sense
of the House, he was ready to consent that the motion of adjourn-
ment should be withdrawn. He had no intention of driving the
Speaker from the chair ; nor, if he were ever so desirous so to do,
was he of power or consequence enough to effect it. He main-
tained the right of private opinion, and freedom of speech ; he
meant no more from the beginning ; and, as a member of that
House, in so doing, he presumed, he had not exceeded his duty.
The motion of adjournment was then withdrawn, and the question
being put on Mr. Fox's motion, it was carried without a division,
almost unanimously. As soon as the motion was carried, Mr.
Serjeant Adair moved, " that the thanks of this House be re-
turned to Mr. Speaker, for his said speech to his majesty," which
was likewise agreed to.


THE 13 I'DGET.


May 1 4.
LORD


,-NORTH having opened the Budget,


Mr. Fox rose and observed, that the great object of the war
was a revenue to be drawn from America. Experience had now


c
onvinced all men of common sense, let the present campaign


be
over so prosperous in point of victory or negociation, that no


revenue ow, nor hereafter, was to be dra`wasp
n, r even so mu ch


s
expted, from America. The ide scouted by his


glo.rdship
ec's warmest friends; yet the noble lord, to amuse the


gentlemen, talked of relief from that quarter. 0 urcountry gentlemen
were to be shifted on the shoulders of our Americ an


brethren. He doubted much whether the noble lord had
ever any such serious expectation. Ile might have an imme-
diate interest in affecting to think so ; but whatever might be
his motives then, he was certain the noble lord would not
roundly assert, that he seriously expected America would
ever afford any other revenue to Great Britain but what might
be derived from her trade in amity, even in the event of a
successful war, or an amicable negociation. He appealed. to
his lordship, if the tea-tax was not the cause of the present
war? Was it consistent with common sense, that America,
with a powerful fleet and arm y, would enter into a ncgo cia-
tion to pay a tax which they had spent so much blood and
treasure to resist? It was preposterous to hold out such ideas
to a society of grown persons. }Es lordship must surely by
this time have learned, that even that House began to be
tired ; the sensible men, the noble lord's own friends, are
grown sick of war, and the expellee attending it. Con-
tractors and placemen, and their dependents, only wished
for its continuance. If they are ashamed to take the task
upon themselves, the Lords may do it for them. They will
liays. been the means of repealing the plate-tax, why not dis-
pose of that on tea in the same manner ? He endeavoured
to prove, that the nation would be a loser of above ten per
cent. upon the loan, which was J1.111 half a million : and that,
considering all circumstances, it was the most scandalous bar-
gain that ever was made for the public. He was certain, he
said, that a shilling would never be got from America; for,


• after the repeated successes which he had often heard dwelt
'upon in that House, our troops had gained in America, and
the cry in consequence of those successes, that America was
conquered, and all was over; what was the case? On the very
first action in which America had the advantage, and de-
feated the Hessians in their post at Trenton, the American
array increased immediately ; our 'army was obliged to give
way ; nor had we force to protect or avail ourselves of the
advantages we had gained, so as to be able to keep our ground.
From this single circumstance, he had a right to infer two
things; that our force was not equal to conquest, and that it
was impossible we could expect to bring America over by
fair means, while we continued to insist on taxing her. He




Ito


111


9C I
EAST INDIA COMPANY'S AFFAIRS.


[ May 21.
W: IS very severe on the inhuman conduct of the Hessians, in
pl underina the innocent natives, and abusing the aged and


1pless. Our own troops were almost as culpable, with this
di fference, that the English spent the spoil, and the foreign
ba xbarians hoarded it. He could venture to inform the
House, that America had raised a very formidable force
against the next campaign, with little or no difficulty, while


tr army would be considerably weaker than it was at the
opening of the last. He had frequently heard the paper


aney of the colonies depreciated by the noble lord ; but he
doubted, notwithstanding the painted outside held forth this
da y, whether it would not be found security equally substan_
tia I with any one fund the noble lord could devise.


E. tsT INDIA COMPANY'S AFFAIRS.
—DEPOSITION AND IM-


PRISONMENT OF LORD PIGOT.


May 2 I.


T HE House being in a committee of the whole House, on the
affairs of the East India Company, Governor Johnstone


moved several resolutions, upon which, if carried, he intended to
found a bill for the better securing our settlements in the East
Indies. The resolutions went to a strong approbation of Lord
Pigot's conduct, as governor of Madras; to a confirmation of those
late acts of the Company, which had been either passed in his
favour, or in condemnation of the conduct of the faction at Madras;
and to annul the resolution for his recall. The motion was strongly
oppos ed by the friends of administration, though most of the prin-
cipals were upon this occasion absent. On the other side, Mr.
Rous, Mr. T. Townshend, Mr. Fox, and Mr. Burke, were on this
day particularly distinguished.


Mr.. Fox opened with a remark as to the objection of bring-
ing on the business at that time of the year ; lie desired gen-
tlemen to remember that it was in the month of May they
voted away the liberties of America, that it was in the month
of May they voted the Quebec establishment so contrary to
Our Constitution; and he thought no time so proper as the
present for the business before them. When a noble lord
(Pigot) had suffered a violence unknown' under any legal go-
vernment in the world ; had been thrown from his seat of
office, arrested, imprisoned, and his life threatened by the mi-
litary power, trampling upon the civil, it was necessary to


1777.]
make an enquiry how this dark transaction had been con-


iived,
and by whose influence, those who were the principal


actors and agents in it, were encouraged both at home and in
He said it was evident the nabob of Arcot wanted to


be master of the East India Company's affairs; and this he
could not effect, without removing a governor sent out ex-
pressly to controul his power. Lord Pigot was the only go-
vernor in any part of his majesty's dominions who had gone
out without the approbation of the minister, therefore he must
be removed, therefore the agent of the nabob must be counte-
nanced here, and a resolution to recall him be contrived for
the purpose. For his part, he saw it was impossible for the
muscles of the human face to be kept composed, while such
an absurd resolution was read: he never had met with any
one man, of any party whatever, who approved it. He had
heard, ever since he knew any thing of public affairs, that
Tanjore was a rich country, that all the other parts of India
had been plucked till they could hear no more, but Tanjore
still remained to be fleeced, and would afford fine pickings for
the nabob of the Carnatic and his party in England and in
Asia. He saw a chain of connection established long since
between the nabob and administration, which was now made
public by the arrival of the nabob's ambassador, who had not
yet declared himself in form, but had been perfectly well re-
ceived. He justified Lord Pigot principally upon the justifi-
cation and representation of his enemies and persecutors ; upon
the accounts transmitted home by Mr. Stratton, and the other
counsellors, who stood in the same predicament. He con-
tended, that this was evidence not to be controverted, or ex-
plained away. It was a record against the parties, the truth
and authenticity of which they could not now dare to appeal
from. • He said, the effect of this evidence throughout, led to
the most certain self-conviction. He passed the highest enco-
miums on the virtues and military talents of Lord Pigot; and
was so very able, pointed, convincing, and severe, that several
of the members, in a transport of approbation, forgot them-
selves so far, as to testify it in accents of Bravo Hear him !-
which they accompanied with a clapping of hands [a conduct
unprecedented.] He observed, that there was a remarkable
deficiency of members in the House, which sheaved the opinion
that men in office had of the business. One learned gentle-
man, the attorney general, was ill; the next in the law (lid
not choose to be present, to risk the defence of such a pro-
ceeding as that now condemned; he supposed he too was ill.
A noble lord (George Germain), who was upon every occa-
sion so anxious to discountenance rebellion in the west, might
have been supposed an equal enemy to it in the cast,—but lie


EAST INDIA COMPANY'S AFFAIRS. 9E




9 2 ADDRESS ON THE KING'S SPEECH. [Nov. 18.
also was absent. Many, however, as were absent from this
dirty business, there were enough, he feared, present, to insure
its success.


The question being put at one o'clock in the morning, the coin.
mittee divided : Yeas .67: Noes 90. A motion was then made, that
the chairman do now leave the chair, which was agreed to without
a division. So that the resolutions were lost.


ADDRESS ON THE KING'S SPEECH AT THE OPENING Or THE
SESSION.


November 18.
THE session opened on the 18th of November. The speech


from the throne expressed great satisfaction, in having re-
course to the wisdom and support of parliament in this conjunc-
ture, when the continuance of the rebellion in America demanded
their most serious attention. The powers with which parliament.
had entrusted the crown for the suppression of the revolt, were
declared to have been faithfUlly exerted ; and a just confidence
was expressed, that the courage and conduct of the officers, with
the• spirit and intrepidity of the forces, would he attended with im-
portant success: but under a persuasion that both Houses would
see the necessity of preparing for such further operations, as the
contingencies of the war, and the obstinacy of the rebels, might
render expedient, his majesty was, for that purpose, pursuing the
proper measures for keeping the land forces complete to their pre-
sent establishment ; and if' he should have occasion to increase
them, by contracting any new engagements, a reliance was placed
on their zeal and public spirit to enable him to make them good.
Although repeated assurances were received of the pacific dispo-
sition of foreign powers, yet as the armaments in the ports of
France and Spain were continued, it was thought advisable to
make a considerable augmentation to our naval force ; it being
equally determined not to disturb the peace of Europe on the one
hand, and to be a faithful guardian of the honour of the crown on
the other. The Commons were informed, that the various services
which had been mentioned, would unavoidably require large sup-
plies ; and a profession was made, that nothing could relieve the
royal mind from the concern which it felt for the heave charge
they must bring on the people, but a conviction of their being ne-
cessary for the welfare and essential interests of these kingdoms.
The speech concluded with a resolution of steadily pursuing the
measures in which they were engaged, for the re-establishment of
that constitutional subordination which his majesty was; deter-
mined to maintain through the several parts of his dominions; ac,


1777.3


leetion of the blessings .of their former government, and. a. compa-
r n with the miseries of their present situation; and a declaration,


Lord Hyde, and seconded by Sir Gilbert Elliot, the Marquis of


jesty-, that this House does most humbly advise and supplicate his


dress in perfect unison with the speech having been moved by
Ccii.s1 1 1- 1Pc'ouli multit


ude


sures to be taken for restoring peace in America; and that no time


0 putt' lb"


majesty to be pleased to cause the most speedy and effectual mea-


unhappy causes of this ruinous civil war, and by a just and ade-
quate security against the return of the like calamities in times to


Granby moved the following amendment : " To assure his ma-


may be lost, in proposing an immediate cessation of hostilities
there: in order to the opening of a treaty for the final settlement of


t
hat the restoration of peace, order, and confidence to his Ameri-


the tranquillity of those invaluable provinces, by a removal of the


141i -


conic: and this House desires to offer the most dutiful assurances
to his majesty, that they will, in due time, cheerfully co-operate
with the magnanimity and tender goodness of his majesty, for the


ment was seconded by Lord John Cavendish, and was warmly


preservation of his people, by such explicit and most solemn de-
clarations and provisions of fundamental and irrevocable laws, as
may be judged necessary for ascertaining and fixing for ever, the
respective rights of Great Britain and her colonies." The amend-


oval or continuance of the former hope, that the deluded and


supported in general by the Opposition.


colonies, would be considered by his majesty as the greatest


lied with to
stop a p t


ro
he


fe
effu
ssio


si
n


on of'
of bei


subj ct


s
of his life, and the greatest glory of his reign. An ad


a s


t would return to their allegiance, upon a


ADDRESS ON THE KING'S SPEECH. 93


the
thng watchful for an opportunity


bl hisofdoo s -


Mr. Fox asserted, that the idea of conquering America was
absurd ; and that such an event was, in the nature of things,
absolutely impossible. He proved his assertion from the
situation of the country, the disposition of the people, and the
distance from Great Britain. He said, • that though the re-
sources of this empire might be such as to enable us to carry
on the war for several campaigns more, there was a funda-
mental error in the proceedings, which would for ever prevent
our generals front actin :,°. with success : that no man of coin-
nion sense would have placed the two armies in such a position
as from their distance made it utterly impossible that one
should receive any assistance from the other. That the war
carried on by General Burgoyne, was a war of posts : that the
taking of one did not subdue the country, but that it would be
necessary to conquer it inch by inch : that his army was not
equal to the task, for the numerous skirmishes with the enemy,
and the natural difficulties of the country, would so retard his
motions, that the campaign must be ended before the object
of it was fulfilled; and that if he was happy enough to join
.Sir William Howe, it must be with nothing more than the shat-




94 ADDRESS ON THE KING'S SPEECH.
[Nov. /8,


tered remains of an army mouldered away, which might have
been of some service to the cause, if by the blunders of the
ministry they had not been sent where it was impossible they
could act, unless under the greatest disadvantages ; such as
must be obvious to a man of the meanest abilities, and which
could escape no one but the inauspicious minister for Ameri-
can affairs.—He was severe on Lord George Germain : he
declared that ever since the day that nobleman forced himself
into administration, our affairs began rapidly-to decline. That
it was the measures which he dictated to the ministry, that
drove the Americans to a declaration of independence; and
that as he was the cause of the continuance of the war, so he
ought not only to be removed from the management of our
officers, but be made to know, that a minister was accountable
to the nation for the orders he gave, and the measures he ad-
vised. He expressed the greatest horror at arming the Indians,
and letting them loose, not only against the troops of America,
but also against the defenceless women and children, whose
bodies even death could not rescue from the insults and bar-
barity of the savages. He said, he wondered how a. prince so
famed for his humanity, benevolence, and sanctity of manners,
as his present majesty was, could abet or suffer such mis-
creants to remain in his camp, when it was well known that
brutality, murder, and destruction, were ever inseparable from
Indian warriors. He took a cursory view of the operations of the
several campaigns ; shewcd how little we had gained, and of
course how little we might expect to gain ; and expressed his
hearty wishes that we were now in as good a state, as when the
noble lord found us, in iris. He asserted that France was
the directress of our motions; that we went no farther than
she thought proper to permit us; and that the fate of the
American contest depended on her councils; that if she de-
clared war, the immediate consequence must be an evacuation
of America; our troops and ships must be called home to de-
fend ourselves, and America of course become free. He re-
probated all the proceedings : and asked for what purpose
hostilities were commenced ? If it was to maintain the naviga-
tion act, why were so many French bottoms employed in the
river? If it was to raise a revenue, he observed, that the mi-
nistry took a very curious step to effect their purpose, by
plunging the nation into a new debt of fifteen millions. If
they intended to secure the commerce of America by arms,
they bad most happily hit upon a plan, that not only deprived
us of the benefit of it, but had thrown it all into the hands of
our enemies. He said, if terms were offered to the Americans
before it was too late, they might perhaps accept them : that
at least it would be doing no more than jtIstiee Squired A


r
1 ENQUIRY INTO THE STATE OF THE NATION.


I 77
9;


ur hands;c
that it would detach many of them from the Con-


°


1.ess, and by dividing them, facilitate a conquest; that he
could


not wish to see them reduced to unconditional sub-
mission; which it was not more unjust to require, than hn


c -


possible to force them to. He concluded by giving his hearty
nsent to the amendment.


The House. divided on the amendment :
Tellers.Tellers. 1Mr. C. Townshendlf Mr. Fox } 86.-- NOES Mr. Robinson 243.YEAS Mr. Byng


So it passed in the negative. After which the original address
was agreed to.


MR. Fox's MOTION FOR AN ENQUIRY INTO THE STATE OP
THE NATION.


December 2.IN pursuance of the notice he had given,
Mr. Fox rose to move the House, that on a future day they


should form themselves into a committee of the whole House,
to consider of the state of the nation. He thought it ne-
cessary, he said, to explain the meaning and extent of the
several motions he meant to propose, which he would do in
is very few words. He meant, then, that the committee should
consider the expellees that the nation had incurred in con-
sequence of the American war, and the resources that we
possess to raise the supplies necessary for its continuance.
In the second place, the loss of men from that war. Thirdly,
the situation of trade, both with regard to America and the
foreign markets. Fourthly, the present situation of the war,
and the hopes that we might rightly entertain from its con-
tinuance, and the conduct and measures of the present ad-
ministration, of a lasting peace, and also our present situation
in regard to foreign powers. And fifthly, to consider what
progress Sir -William and Lord Howe had made in con-s, -sequence of the powers intrusted to them as commissioners,
by an act of the 16th of his present majesty's reign, for
granting pardons, &c. for the purpose of bringing about a
peace between Great Britain and the colonies, Under these




96 ENQUIRY INTO THE STATE OP THE NATION. [Dee.


general heads, many other enquiries would arise, and it woul
dbe the business of the committee to follow every path


thatpromised to lead to a thorough investigation and discoveryof the real state of the nation. If; continued he, it appears
that the nation is in a bad state, and that the late and presen tmeasures of administration have reduced us to an extremity,which he was afraid they certainly Lad, a new system must
be introduced, and a new set of ministers appointed ; but


if;
on the contrary, the nation should be found in a flourishing
state, and the present measures likely to prove successful, the
present system should be, by all means, continued, and the
present ministers remain in power; for none, he was assured,
but the present ministers, could prosecute the present system.
He concluded with moving, " That this House will, upon
Monday, the 2(1 of February next, resolve itself into a com-
mittee of the whole House, to consider of the state of the
nation."


lord North said he cheerfully agreed to the motion, and woulddo all in his power to promote the great end he had in view,
Nothing would give him more true delight, than to convince the
House that the state of the nation was much more flourishing than
many of the opposite side actually did, or affected to believe. At
the same time he wished to he understood, that his ready com-
pliance with the motion should not preclude him from objectingto Papers


being laid before the House that might prove incon-
venient, or hurtful to the country. The motion was agreed to:a.nd the


House was ordered to be called over on the 2d ofFebruary.


Mr. Fox rose again, and moved, 46 That there be laid
before this House ; i. An Account of all the men lost anddisabled in his majesty's land service (including marines
serving on shore, and all foreign troops in British pay) by
death, desertion, captivity, wounds, or sickness, in any pro-
vince of North America, since the 1st of November, 1774;
distinguishing each year, corps, and service. 2. A List of the
different ships and vessels of war, and hired armed vessels,
whieh have been employed in his majesty's service in North
America, since the 1st of November 177 4 ; together with the
number of men lost or rendered unserviceable in each ship
or vessel respectively, by death, desertion, captivity, wounds,
or sickness; distinguishing each head. 3. General Returns of
the hospitals in North America, made up from the 1st of
November 1774, to the 1st of October 1777; together with
the state of them, according to the last returns; distinguish-Mg the numbers of men of all denominations which have diedor recovered during the above-mentioned period, 4. All AQ-


r777'
ENQUIRY INTO THE STATE OF THE NATION. 97


of the ships of war and armed vessels, appointed as
count to the trade of this kingdom and Ireland, since the
convoy's the 166 of his present majesty, the Americanpassin„prohibition Act ; distinguishing the names and force of the
ships appointed, and the particular dates and services upon
which they were so appointed as convoys; together with the
notices given to the traders of which they sailed respectively.


5 . An Account of his majesty's ships of war which have
been employed-, since the passing of the said Act, as cruizers
for the protection of the trade of this kingdom and of Ireland,
the stations of such ships, and how long ordered to continue
thereon, with the times of their going to sea, and returning
into port. 6. Copies of the last general monthly return of
the forces in Great Britain. 7. Copies of the last general
monthly return of the forces in Ireland. 8. Copies of the
last general monthly returns of his majesty's forces, as well
foreign as British, in North America and the West Indies." —
All these motions were agreed to. He next moved for " Copies
of all such papers as relate to any steps taken for the fulfilling
of that clause of an Act, passed in the 16th year of his pre-
sent majesty, intituled, ' An Act to prohibit all trade and
4 intercourse with the colonies of New Hampshire, Massa-


chuset's Bay, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New
Jersey, Pennsylvania, the three lower counties on Delaware,
Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and
Georgia, during the continuance of the present rebellion
within the said colonies respectively; for repealing an Act,
made in the 1 4th year of the reign of his present majesty,
to discontinue the landing and discharging, lading or ship-


'. b
ping of goods, wares, and merchandise, at the town and
within the harbour of Boston, in the province of Massa-
chuset's Bay; and also two Acts, made in the last session
of parliament, for restraining the trade and commerce of
the colonies in the said Acts respectively mentioned ; and.
to enable any person or persons, appointed and authorized
by his majesty to grant pardons, to issue proclamations
in the -cases, and for the purposes, therein mentioned;' by


which, persons, appointed and authorized by his majesty,
are empowered, under certain conditions, ' to declare any


colony or province, colonies or provinces, or any county,
town, port, district, or place, in any colony or province,
to be at the peace of his majesty ;' and also that his


majesty would be pleased to direct, that a return of such
colony or province, colonies or provinces, county, town, port,
district, or place, in any colony or province, as has or have


VOL. I.




9 8 ENQUIRY INTO THE STATE OF THE NATION. [Dec. 2.
been declared to be at the King's peace, pursuant to the
powers of the said Act, be laid before this House."


This last motion was opposed strongly by Lord North, upon the
ground, that the producing and exposing of any papers relating to
a negociation during its existence, would be a proceeding not only
contrary to all established forms and practice, but totally subver-
sive of the business in hand, and probably attended with the
greatest prejudice to the cause in general. He declared him.
self ready and willing to grant every reasonable information in
his power ; but he also declared, that he neither could nor would
consent to make discoveries, which would not be less inconsistent
with all sound wisdom and true policy, than prejudicial to govern.
meat, and contrary to the real interests of this country. Mr.
Burke complimented the minister's candour and generosity
agreeing to the first motion ; but compared his subsequent con,-
duct to that of a man who executes a bond, but inserts a defea-i
zance with a power of revocation, retracting every grant lie had`,
made. This conduct reminded him of the situation of Sancho
Panza in the government of Barataria; a table plentifully pro-
vided, was placed before him, but on various pretences every dish
was removed, and the unfortunate governor obliged to dispense
with his dinner. Mr. Dunning contended in favour of the demand;
and Mr. Attorney General Thurlow was answering his arguments,
when intelligence was circulated in a whisper, that the very papers
in question had been just granted in the other House, on the
motion of the Duke of Richmond. The Attorney General was
for a moment disconcerted, but declared, whatever might be the
conduct of ministers, he, as a member of parliament, never would
give his vote for making public the circumstances of a negocia-
tion during its progress. Lord North, somewhat irritated at a
triumphant laugh which prevailed among the members of opposi-
tion, said, that whatever effect the anecdote might have on the
House, he should adhere to his former opinion. It was disorderly
to mention the decisions of the Lords in order to influence the
determination of the Commons; who, as an independent body,
should not change their sentiments on a mere unauthenticated
report. Colonel Barre bantered the minister on the unusual cir-
cumstance of losing his temper.


Mr. Fox observed, that the only argument which had been
offered against his motion, was now overturned by the vote
of the Lords, namely, the danger of betraying secrets. These
secrets were to be laid open by the resolution of the Upper
House: it was, therefore, no longer an argument to be re
futed. He would riot recede from the liberal extent of the.
motion. The instructions to our commissioners, which the
noble lord wanted to conceal, were a principal object to him.
He was told of a pending negotiation ; it had already been
pending for two years, and if it were to continue for twenty


ENQUIRY


o ha


INTO


d


THE STATE OF THE NATION. 99


:1311
se


I 7 7
re the same reason would hold good till then, against art


cr intothe effect
e
reasons why


n
it hod en


i
rnotd


ce
succeede


grantt in
As


g
yet,


g d e from the
led° except the income of ool. a-week to each oft.


commissioners. The noble lord said, he had mentioned
h t those instructions had been moved for before, and re-


filejtil:stevidtilsifbithe reason now advanced: it was not right to dis-
close them at that time.Is that, then, never to be granted,
which has been once refused ? Is the glorious right of being
ignorant of public affilirs never to be given up ? Are we to
jell our constituents, we are not fit to be trusted with theknowledge of public transactions, —that they are only to be
communicated to the House of Lords? I may be told, said.
he, we are contending for a very trifling matter, and that
when all the steps taken towards a pacification are laid before
us, they will amount to nothing : their effect will, of course,
be nothing. Yet, I contend, that those two nothings will
amount to something. You know, Mr. Speaker, that in your
profession there is a form of returning a writ nihil ; yet, Sir,
von well know, that a return of two nihils amounts to a scire
facias, which is a powerful something. Now, the something
that would be produced by the two nihils which may be re-
turned to us upon the present enquiry, will be a conviction
to the nation, as well as to this House, of the incapacity or
absolute disinclination in administration to put an end to the
distractions with which this empire is torn; and enable us to
apply an effectual remedy to those disorders, before the folly,
madness, or wickedness of ministers shall have brought us to
a state of irretrievable ruin. By showing us the causes why
past negotiations have failed, it will point out a mode of pro-
ceeding, which may be free from those difficulties that have
caused our past miscarriages. Convinced, perhaps, of the
inefficacy of violent remedies, we may learn, though late, to
prescribe lenitives. For the two years that a certain noble
lord (George Germain) has presided over American affairs,
the most violent, scalping, tomahawk measures have been
pursued — bleeding has been his only prescription. If a
people deprived of their ancient rights are grown tumultuous,—
bleed them ! If they are attacked with a spirit of insurrec-
tion, — bleed them ! If their fever should rise into rebellion, —
bleed them, cries this state physician ! more blood! more blood !
still more blood ! When Dr. Sangrado had persevered in a
Similar practice of bleeding his patients, —killing by the very
means which he adopted as a cure, ,— his man took the liberty
to remonstrate upon the necessity of relaxing in a practice to
Which thousands of their patients had fallen sacrifices, and
Which was beginning to bring their names into disrepute.


Ii 2




I00
ENQUIRY INTO THE STATE OF THE NATION. [Dee.%


The Doctor answered, " I believe we have, indeed, carried
the matter a little too far, but you must know I have written
a book upon the efficacy of this practice; therefore, thouoil
every patient we have should die by it, we must continue the
bleeding for the credit of my book." — He asked the noble
lord, who had often held Mr. 'Washington and his army very
cheap, what idea lie entertained of their courage and abilities
since he read the accounts arrived that very day ?— He said,
a few days ago he dropped a suspicion of some division in
administration, conceived from the circumstance of reading
the King's Speech at the house of a certain noble lord on
the day before it was delivered in parliament. The premier
then contradicted him, and talked largely of their unanimity;
but, now, his words were verified, from the different sen-
timents of ministers in the Upper and Lower House : and
hence he was warranted, lie thought, in drawing this con-
clusion, — that he, whose sentiments seemed most reasonable,
was the most inconsistent in his conduct. The noble lord
at the head of the treasury always professed a disposition for
peace; yet would not give any proofs that he had taken a
single step towards obtaining it : but the minister in another
House had ever declared, that it was his opinion nothing
ought to be clone by us towards a pacification; he, there-
fore, spewed no objection to produce papers, which, in tes-
timony of his consistency, would skew that nothing had been
done. — The honourable gentleman concluded with a sug-
gestion to those members who talked_ sometimes of being
independent in their principles, though they constantly sup-
ported administration; — telling them, if they did not on
this occasion stand up for the dignity of the House, they
could never after wipe away the imputation of being mere
puppets of the minister, without one principle of reason,
pride, or honour.


The House divided on Mr. Fox's motion:
Tellers.
Tellers.


Mr. Fox


NOES Mr. Rice89.YEAS }Lord J. Cavendish
L


G. Cooper
So it passed in the negative.


1778.] EXCLUSION OF STRANGERS FROM THE GALLERY. I 01


E.KcLus ioN OF STRANGERS FROM THE GALLERY OF THE
HOUSE.


January 29. 1778.


COLON
PI. John Luttrell complained, that in a certain morning


paper, which he held in his hand, but which he did not name,
he bad been grossly misrepresented, and charged with having, on
a late occasion, behaved unparliamentarily, and that for so doing
lie had received the censure of the House. He insisted a good
deal on the calumny of such a charge, made many severe stric-
tures on the conduct of the editor of the paper in thus aggravating
and mis-stating facts, and thereby rendering him infamous in the
eves of the public. He considered such conduct as too heinous to
be forgiven, and therefore he informed the House, that, for his
future safety and protection, he was determined to move, that
th Standing Order of the House for excluding Strangers from
thê. Gallery, should be strictly enforced. Upon this,


Mr. Fox took occasion to observe, that he was convinced
the true and only method of preventing misrepresentation
was by throwing open the gallery, and making the debates
and decisions of the House as public as possible. There was
less danger of misrepresentation in a full company than in a
thin one, as there would be a greater number of persons to
give evidence against the misrepresentation. The shutting
of the gallery could not prevent the proceedings of the House
from finding their way to public view; fbr during a certain
period, when the gallery was kept empty, the debates were
printed, let the manner of obtaining them be what it might;
and


liiament
n fact


.


, the public had a right to know what passed in
par a


Mr. Burke was of Mr. Fox's opinion. He said he had not a
doubt about the propriety of opening the doors to strangers ;
considefing it either as the channel of information to the con-
stituents of the members, or as a school for the instruction of
Youth. Nay, as the source of information and amusement to the
ladies, it was a matter of very serious concern, and ought not to
be done away and sported with at pleasure. Colonel Luttrell


ot sr
motion.


owned, that the arguments of Mr. Burke had staggered his
former and he was now convinced, it would be odious
to carry the order to its rigour. He therefore should not press
h




IO2
COMMITTEE ON THE STATE OF THE NATION. [Feb. 2.


MR. FOX'S MOTION, IN A COMMITTEE ON THE STATE OF mt
NATION, cc




NO MORE OF THE OLD CORPS BE 2,St.OUT or THE KINGDOM."


February z.


THE order of the day being read, for the House to resolveitself into a Committee of the whole House, to consider of
the State of the Nation ; the several estimates, papers, and accounts
which had been moved for, were referred to the said Committee.
The House then went into the Committee, Mr. Pulteney in the
chair. Upon which,


Mr. Fox rose, and after an apology for the trouble he was
going to give the Committee, and noticing his own personal
good fortune in having his audience reduced*, being per-


* " This day, a vast multitude assembled in the lobby and environs of
the House of Commons, but not being able to gain admission either by
intreaty or interest, they forced their way into the gallery in spite of the
door-keepers. The House considered the intrusion in a heinous light,
and a motion was directly made for clearing the gallery. A partial clear-
ing only took place; the gentlemen were obliged to withdraw; the ladies,
through complaisance, were suffered to remain : but Governor Johnstone
observing, that if the motive for clearing the House was a supposed pro-priety, to keep the state of the nation concealed from our enemies, he
saw no reason to indulge the ladies so far as to make them acquainted
with the arcana of the state, as he did not think them more capable of
keeping secrets than the men ; upon which, they were likewise ordered
to leave the House. The Duchess of Devonshire, Lady Norton, and
nearly sixty other ladies were obliged to obey the mandate." London
Chronicle.


" When a member in his place takes notice to the Speaker of strangers
being in the House or gallery, it is the Speaker's duty immediately to order
the Serjeaut to execute the orders of the House, and to clear the House
of all but members; and this, without permitting any debate or question
to be moved upon the execution of the order. It very seldom happens
that this can be done without a violent struggle from some quarter of the
House, that strangers may remain. Members often move for the order
to be read, endeavour to explain it, and debate upon it, and the House as
often runs into great heats upon this subject; but in a short time the con-
fusion subsides, and the dispute ends by clearing the House; for if any one
member insists upon it, the Speaker must enforce the order, and the House
must he cleared.


" The most remarkable instance of this, that has occurred in my me-
mory, was et a time, when the whole gallery and the seats under the front
gallery, were filled with ladies; Captain Johnstone of the navy (commonly.
called Governor Johnstone) being angq, that the House was cleared of
all the " men strangers," amongst whom were some friends he had intro-
duced, insisted, that " all strangers" should withdraw. This produced a
violent ferment for a long time; the ladies sheaving great reluctance to
comply with the order of the HouSe; so that, by their persderance, bu-
siness was interrupted for nearly two hours. But, at length, they too


T77 8


COMMITTEE ON THE STATE OF THE NATION". 0.3
177v.-)
social he should not have answered the great expectations
vibich had brought them down to the House, stated


time
motion he was about to make, and the grounds of it, in the
following, but much more correct, elegant, and energetic,


manner is my intention to enter this day only into the minor
part of the business, which I hope will undergo the considera-
tion of this committee; — a committee, Sir, appointed for the
important purpose of considering the present alarming State
of the Nation. I must, however, beg not to be considered
as the mover in this momentous concern; it is the nation
that calls for this enquiry, and I ant only one instrument in
the bringing it about. What I have to beg of the House,
is not to mix this day's business with any thing that has passed
before, but to go plainly and directly to the business, to con-
sider what is the actual state of the country, and how Great
Britain can be saved from the critical situation in which she
now stands. And in considering the subject, I would wish
gentlemen would agree with me at least so far, as to divest
themselves of all former opinions, of all favoitrite ideas, and
of all prejudices which may have been contracted in the
course of past debates, and take them up anew as they are
the result of the present enquiry, and the fair deductions
from the information now conveyed to the House. I would
wish gentlemen to forget their animosities, and consider them-
selves neither as friends nor enemies to America, nor that
country either with love or%hatred, but regard it with a calm
and dispassionate mind, as a part, and a very considerable
part, of the British empire.


Sir; the method I have chalked out to myself; as the most
likely way to bring men to a right understanding of the
present state of the nation, and to point out what conduct
it is our interest in future to pursue, is to state facts as they
appear from the papers on the table; first, with respect to
the Army, that in the years 1 774, 775, 1776, and I 777,
there was such an army, consisting of so many thousand
men, and that such and such operations were performed ;


were compelled to submit. Since that time, ladies, many of the highest
rank, have made several powerful efforts to be again admitted. But Mr.
Cornwall and Mr. Addington, have as constantly declined to permit them
to come in. Indeed, was this privilege allowed to any one individual,
however high her rank, or respectable her character and manners, the
galleries must be soon opened to all women, who, from curiosity, amuse-
ment, or any other motive, Wish to hear the debates. And this to the
exclusion of many young men, and of merchants and others, whose com-
mercial interests render their attendance necessary to them, and of real,
use and importance to the public." Hatsell's Precedents, vol. 4. p. 171.


H 4




104 COMMITTEE ON THE STATE OF THE NATION. [Feb. 2.
I shall, secondly, state the impossibility of increasing that
army ; and, thirdly, the enormous expellee that has already
been incurred. The resources in men and money thus fail-
ing us, the conclusion naturally is, that there must be some
sort of negotiation, and in this part of the business I cannot
too much lament, that my motion for papers relating to what
has already passed on this subject was rejected. This would
have enabled the House to judge of the impediments that
have hitherto prevented such negotiations from taking place,
and to provide some adequate remedy.


After having stated these facts, and drawn this conclusion, au
which, I think, may fairly be deduced from them, I shall go
retrospectively, and shew that the Ivar has been mismanaged,
even on the principles of those who undertook it. It will be,
then, a proper time to look back, and see to what our want
of success has been owing, as I believe I may lay it down as
an incontrovertible axiom, that, when a country falls, within
the short space of a few years, from the highest pinnacle of
glory to which any country, either in ancient or modern
times, ever arrived, there must have been some radical error
in the government of it : though at the same time I will allow,
that if it should turn out that there is a radical error, it is not
of itself a proof of the criminality of ministers. I am inclined
to think, that there has been a radical error in carrying on
the war at all, and likewise that there have been errors equally
great in the conduct of it.


Sir ; I shall not now enter into any more of the proceedings
relative to America, than are necessary to shew the imme-
diate steps which have brought us into our present situation.
Without discussing the various questions which have been for
many years agitated in parliament, I shall take up the mea-
sures relative to America in the year 177 4, when the riots at
Boston first called for the attention of this House: papers
were, indeed, called for and granted, but there were some
things that tended that year to shut. the eyes of ministers to
the true state of that country, and the true interest of this,—
which was to prevent, rather than stimulate and increase the
general discontents in the colonies; every body must allow,
that the agreement with the East India Company was a most
unfortunate one, and the immediate source of all the troubles
that have since followed ; every body knows what happened.
Here began a capital mistake of the ministry; they mistook a
single province for a whole continent ; they mistook the single
province of Massachuset's Bay for the American -empire. .-




Virginia, a colony. no less jealous of its rights, nor less warm
in its assertion of them, was entirely forgotten : it was not.
thought possible that any other colony should unite With the,


..




COMMITTEE ON TEE STATE OF THE NATION. 105
1778.]
gassachuset's ; now, whoever fights against ten men, and
thinks he is contending only with one, will meet with more
difficulties than if he was aware of the force brought against
him: for I believe I may lay it down as an undoubted maxim
ill politics, that every attempt to crush an insurrection with
means inadequate to the end, foments instead of suppressing
it. The case here was, you took a great object for a small
one, you took thirteen provinces for one ; and not onl y that,
you imagined the other twelve were with you, when the very
act you were -then doing, made those twelve equally hostile ;
for another misfortune at this time was the taking a violent
step against the town of Boston. If America was not before
sufficiently united in a determined resistance to the claims of
this country, this measure made all America combined; they
were all from that moment united with the town of Boston,
which might have been before the object of the jealousy of
the rest. Another mistake was the altering the government of
the province of Massachuset's Bay, whereas the acts of all
the other colonies, as well as this, plainly slimed it was not
the form of government 'in that province which occasioned
the commotions there, because other provinces, which de-
pended more on the crown, and which have the appellation
of royal governments, were not less early or less vigorous in
their opposition and resistance. Now, Sir, if the form of
this government was not itself the cause of the troubles in
that country, then the alarm given by the alteration of that
government was certainly a most capital mistake; because it
gave the whole continent reason to think, and to fear, that
they had no security in the permanency of their government,
but that it was liable to be altered or subverted at our plea-
sure, on any cause of complaint, whether real or supposed;
their natural jealousies were awakened ; by the same reason-
ing, the governments of the other colonies, though much more
dependent on the crown, might be rendered entirely despotic,
and they were all from thence taught to consider the town of
Boston as suffering in the common cause, and that they
themselves might very soon stand in need of that assistance
which they were now lending to that unfortunate town.


But, Sir, there was another circumstance which tended to
mislead the House, and for which the ministers and not the
House were entirely to blame, and that was the partial man-
ner in which they laid papers before the House; they laid the
accounts of facts, but no opinions of people upon the spot as
to the extent of the resistance, the temper of the people, or
any other circumstance concerning it. Now, Sir, if men are
endued with passions, if they are not mere machines, the
knowledge of facts is nothing, unless it is accompanied with a




o6 COMMITTEE ON THE STATE OF THE NATION. [Feb.


knowledge of the springs and motives from whence such
actions proceeded. Suppose, for instance, a person in a
distant country had no other wa y


of judging of the temper of
this House, and of the motives of their conduct, but from
our printed votes ; could such a man form any judgment of
the reasons why such a line of conduct was approved, and why
such a one was rejected ? Sir, it would be ridiculous in the
extreme to suppose it. Now, Sir, I will venture to affirm,
that this House was not in the year 17 74


informed of the spirit
of opposition there was in America, and of their prejudices
against taxation. If they had, I should hope they would have
thought it wise, if not just, to have applied such remedies as
might have healed rather than irritated the distemper. But,
instead of any thing of this sort, other bills were immediately
passed, shewing that all was of a hostile nature, and that
nothing was to be expected from this country but coercion
and punishment, particularly the Act, as it is called, for the
more impartial Administration of Justice; I mean the Act
for sending over persons to be tried here in England. This
gave the idea of a great and effective army, as a provision
for the consequences of much bloodshed and slaughter. And,
after all, what sort of an army was sent ? As that Act ex-
cited their terror as well as indignation at our injustice, so
the army that was sent excited their derision, without at all
lessening their resentment. It taught them to contemn the
power of this country, as much as they abhorred its injustice.


But, as if all this was not sufficient to irritate and provoke,
the Quebec Act was passed, the contents of which every body
knows. The principal purpose of this Act was to form a
great interest in Canada, to be a perpetual check upon the
southern provinces, and to keep them in awe; it was con-
sidered in this light in America, and was held up by the
violent party in that country, as a specimen of the form of
government that might be introduced and established in every
part of that continent. Hardly any man after this would say
a word in favour of the British legislature ; every remaining
friend to government, as he was called, that is, every man
less violent than the most violent, had nothing to say in
favour of the good intentions of the mother country. After
this Act passed, it put an unanswerable argument in the
mouths of all parties, that the intentions of Great Britain
were vindictive in the extreme. The makers of the Quebec
Act, whoever they were, thus became the friends to the vio-
lent party in America. If they had not thus seasonably
interposed, there was a chance of America being divided, or
at least of there being different degrees of resistance in its
colonies. This made them all not only more firmly united,


1.0


177
COMMITTEE ON THE STATE Of THE NATION. 107


but equally- zealous and animated, equally determined to go


1
11 lengths rather than submit. Now, Sir, the passing of


That. Act at that time, had the same effect that, for instance,
the repeal of the Test Act would have had in King William's,
time; for however great a friend I am to universal toleration,
I should certainly have been against it at that period, because
it would have disobliged one party, more than it would have
served another; it would have joined a great body of Tories
to the enemies of the Revolution, who were already sufficiently
numerous. From the moment, Sir, this Quebec Act passed,
there was only one party in America ; it stoPt the mouths of
the moderate pary, if any such were still left.


Another extraordinary idea, Sir, was at this time taken
up, namely, that the coercive Acts passed in that session
would execute themselves. The only argument in favour of
the ministers on this head is, that they thought the army there
sufficiently strong to enforce the execution of these Acts.
This is another instance in which the parliament confided
absolutely in ministers, as I allow must sometimes be the case;
it may not be fit on all occasions for parliament to know,
while an important business is in execution, every step and
every particular; there must lie a certain degree of confidence
reposed in ministers: that confidence was reposed here, and
ministers are therefore answerable if it should appear that
they have abused it. Sir, in 1 7 75, ministers began to be
afraid, that more ill consequences might follow ; they then
found, for the first time, that the cause of Boston was the
cause of America ; they therefore passed more laws, and sent
out a capital reinforcement, with three able generals. The
Americans, on the other hand, became still more united; the
name of a party was, however, yet kept up, and, notwith-
standing all the violent measures of this country, and the
armies that were. sent out for the purpose of supporting the
friends of government, the Tories, as they were called, and
punishing the Whigs, yet the Tories suffered more than the
Whigs, their friends more than their enemies.


But, as if all this was not enough to exasperate, and to
prove they had no resource left but in self-defence, we
rejected, before the end of the session of 1775, the Petition
from New-York,''' drawn up in the most affectionate and
respectful terms that could be, considering the state of the
contest: this was the last effort of the moderate party, your
Own friends, who were told, on the news going back to Ame-
rica, " You see what dependence is to be put in Great


See p.




o 8
COMMITTEE ON THE STATE OF THE NATION. [Feb


. 2.


Britain : how will she treat us, when she has thus treated
yon ?" Sir, a few weeks before the arrival of the reinforce,
ments, the civil war began. Then followed the battle of
Bunker's-Hill. This ought at least to have been a lesson to
the ministry, that America was unanimous, and determined
to put every thing at stake. Sir, there is one circumstance
I omitted to mention in its place, and that is the Conciliatory.
Proposition of the noble lord (North)" ; I need not go into
this now; it has been often considered, and without saying
any thing more about it at this time, I will only say, what
every body must allow, that this House was left to judge of
the quantum, which was one of the very principal objections
urged by the Americans, that they did not know how far this
claim of ours might extend; it was, in fact, not only asserting
the right, but establishing it in practice. Now, Sir, I beg
leave to stop here for a moment, and ask this question, does
any man seriously think it better to give up America alto-
gether, unless we can exercise the right of taxation in the
uncontrouled and unlimited manner in which we claim it ?


Mr. Fox then ran over the various operations of our army
in America, after the arrival of the troops from their being
cooped up in Boston, to their being obliged ultimately to
leave it. He then described the conduct of America. What,
said he, was the language of America at this time ? They
send a petition to this country, couched in the most respectful
terms, disclaiming every idea of independence, which had
been, in the course of the preceding session, objected to their
conduct, and desiring no concession that would be in the
least dishonourable to the mother country, but supplicating
his majesty, that he would be pleased to point out some mode.
Flow was this petition received, and what was the answer ?
All that was said, was, to this petition no answer will be
given. But the ministry gave out, that the petition was all
a farce, for the Americans wanted independence. If this had
been really the case, which I in my conscience do not believe,
what occasion was there for saying so ? Why not have tried
the experiment, and by this means have shewed to all the
world the unreasonableness of your enemies and your own
moderation? Suppose, for instance, you had been treating
with Lewis XIV. who, every body allows, aimed at universal
monarchy ; suppose you had been treating with him about a
petty town in Flanders, would you have told him, 46 Ay, it
is impossible to treat with you, you aim at universal monar-
chy, you never mean to give up this town, for you will not


See p. 36.


M8 ] COMITI THE STATE ON STATE OF THE NATION. 1.09-


be
howit


coilltented you get them all." But, Sir, least of all


s
this have been objected by those who say the govern-


ment have a great party in America; that the friends to
government are still numerous and powerftd there;


Bfbli:itisii'
tlese arguments militate against each other. If hide-.


pendence was a popular pretension in America, why should
America have unnecessarily disclaimed it? Yes, but it is
said, it was meant to deceive America;—why, then, if it was
necessary to deceive America, she did not mean independ-
ence, otherwise it would have been deceiving her into the
belief of a thing which she did not approve. But, if Ame-
rica was averse to independence, was it not worth while to
try pacific measures ?


Instead, however, Sir, of any thing of this sort, a change of
administration at this time took place, which plainly shoved
there was no chance left but in war; and now, for the first
time, Sir,—I allow it,—real, vigorous measures were adopted ;
the whole force of this country was to be exerted; every nerve
was to be strained. The first event, however, of this cam-
paign,—I mentioned it before,—was General Howe's being
driven out of Boston; and now, Sir, only to shew the versati-
lity of some people, and, as an instance how ready the men
who caused all these calamities are to adapt themselves to the
unfortunate consequences of their own conduct, as soon as the
news came over of General Howe's evacuating Boston, they
congratulated each other on the event, they were glad of it, it
was a lucky step, though, by the bye, there is still the greatest
reason to believe, it was matter of necessity, not of choice.
Fifty-five thousand men had been voted; Sir William Howe's
army was completely reinforced. Every body knows what
passed. He makes himself master of Long-Island ; he takes
New York, 8Lc.- Here were two or three battles gained; here
was a sort of victory, though not an absolute extinction of the
enemy's army. What followed? All promises of taking the
moment of victory for proposing terms of accommodation were
forgot. But this was the moment in which the Americans
declared themselves independent states. Did this look like a
termination of the contest? If it did, there was a circumstance
that passed in the latter end of the year 1776, from which you
might, at last, have learnt that it was impossible -to reduce
them by mere force. I mean the affair at Trenton. The
sudden manner in which this army was gathered together, the
success that attended it from the nature of the country,
plainly shewed it was impossible entirely to reduce them.
But, to shew the deafness of administration to every proof of
the true disposition of America, and to shew likewise the uni-
form conduct of gentlemen on this side of the House, a mo-




110
COMMITTEE ON THE STATE 011


THE NATION. [Feb. t.
tion was made in the latter end of the year 1 776 fora revision
of the laws by which the Americans might think themselves
aggrieved. To revise the Acts that had been passed wasr.,t)
surely as gentle a word as could be made use of, and indeed
was the expression made use of by the commissioners them-
selves in a proclamation they issued in America. I need not
say, Sir, that this motion was, for•


various reasons, but without
one solid argument, rejected.


Sir ; as to the events of the last campaign, I shall touch
them very slightly. It is sufficient to say, that no decisive
stroke has been (riven. We have got possession of three towns
instead of one, but of no more extent of country than is just
within a small circuit round those towns. With regard to
General Burgoyne's expedition, I will only say,—that it failed.
The expedition itself is of such a dye, that it deserves a sepa-
rate consideration. It should be reserved to itself.


Sir ; after having passed resolutions concerning the various
facts and events during the period I have been describing, the
House will naturally form an opinion concerning their future
conduct, and I shall then ask, whether any man can imagine it
possible to go on with an offensive war ? If it should appear,
that our means are inadequate to the conquering them, and
that the having gone on so far has shaken the credit of the
nation, more than it was shaken at the end of a six years' war
with France, then it will be for the House to consider what is
to be clone in the present moment. It seems to me that the
inference will be, that force alone is not sufficient, and that we
must call in negotiation to its aid. But, Sir, this is a subse-
quent consideration. Another question likewise with regard
to the alliances of this country: if it shall appear that we are
strong in alliances, then it is very true we may venture some-
what further than we might otherwise venture. This is a very
proper thing to be considered.


Sir; I sat out with acquainting the House, that I meant to-
day to begin with a very small part of the business; it is only
to draw an inference from the papers on the table, that in the
present situation of things it will be very imprudent to send
any more troops out of the kingdom. The peace establish-
ment of troops in Great Britain has been 1 7,00c. Now, Sir,
I do not mean by'what I say to approve of that establishment.
I think it too high ; but such it has been of late years; 17,000
for Great Britain; 12,000 for Ireland; 3,500 for Gibraltar,
and 2, 3 0o for Minorca. These make altogether 34,800.
This is the establishment in time of profound peace. But va-
rious reasons conspire to make us apprehensive of war ; the
conduct of France, the state of public credit, His Majesty's
Speech at the opening of the session, are alone sufficient to


171 83
COMMITTEE ON THE STATE OF THE NATION.


.pr
ove that there is the greatest reason to prepare for a foreign


N v Sir if 34,000 men are necessary to be kept up inwar. \ 5Buie of peace, I think no gentleman can be of opinion, that
„.e should


have less than that number at the present moment.
gr. Fox then shewed from the papers on the table, that the
number of the troops now in Great Britain, including the
officers, non-effective, &c. did not exceed is,o00; in Ireland


8,00o; in Gibraltar and Minorca 5,000;
so that there was


now an actual deficiency in the peace-establishment of 6,000
men. I think, Sir, it appears from this that it would be mad-
ness to part with any more of our army. As to the new levies,
I do not now consider whether the levying them without the
approbation of parliament, be legal and constitutional ; that
will be to be considered another day; but I speak on a sup-
position of their being levied. And if they are, I should hope
it is not intended that the safety of this country is to be left


Sir, it appears to me that if gentlemen areto thientheOn
le whole,


not blind, they will see that the war is impracticable, and that
no good cab come from force only ; that the lives that have
been lost, and the treasures that have been wasted, have been
wasted to no purpose ; that it is high time we should look to
our own situation, and not leave ourselves defenceless upon an
idea of strengthening the army in America, when, after all, it
will be less strong than it was last year,—a year which pro-
duced nothing decisive, nor in the least degree tending to com-
plete conquest.


Mr. Fox concluded with moving, " That an humble Ad-
dress be presented to his majesty, that he will be graciously
pleased to give orders, that no more of the Old Corps be sent.
out ofthe kingdom."


To the great surprize of every body without doors, who had seen
so full a House drawn down to attend the result of an enquiry of
so much expectation, no debate ensued, nor was the smallest reply
made to Mr. Fox's Speech. In this singular situation the question
was called for, and the Committee divided : For Mr. Fox's motion
165: Against it 259.




I 12 STATE OF THE BRITISH FORCES IN AMERICA. [Feb.


MR. Fox's MOTION ON THE STATE OF THE BRITISH FORCES
IN AMERICA.


Feb •uau I I.


THE House went into a Committee on the State of the Nation.Before the Speaker left the Chair, Lord North said, he should,
on the 17th instant, propose to the House a Plan of Conciliation
with America. Mr. Pulteney having taken the Chair,


Mr. Fox rose, and stated a number of facts relative to the
British Army serving in America, which facts were founded
on conclusions drawn from the information on the table. He
observed, that there was such a number of effective men in
America (6,864) in the year 1774 ; that by comparing the re-
inforcements sent out the next year, added to the forces then
on the spot, with the returns at the conclusion of that year, it
would give the total deficiency, which under its several heads
amounted to the total loss; so with the years 1776 and 1777:
thus, by adding to the number of men serving in America the
first year, the reinforcements and recruits of each successive
year, and comparing the amount of those several totals with
the last returns, the difference between the latter and the
former shewed exactly the loss of men slain in battle, or dead,
or otherwise incapacitated for service, by wounds, captivity,
and sickness.


This, he observed, was the first part of his plan, to ascer-
tain the loss of lives, and loss of service, under their respective
heads; the other part of it would be, to estimate the loss of
treasure, which he computed, at the lowest calculation, to he
full 25 millions spent, which, with 20,000 lives lost, that
being the difference, he said, between the troops serving
America at the commencement of the war, and the whole of
the embarkations, he appealed to the judgment of the commit-
tee, whether it was not full time,—(considering that we had
gained nothing, or next to nothing, by this fatal contest
hitherto, but a powerful, numerous, and well-disciplined enemy,
instead of an undisciplined rabble, to contend with,)—to think
of the critical and alarming situation of public affairs? ViThe-
ther our resources of men and money were equal to the diffi-
cult and hazardous task of conquest; or if that should appears
on enquiry, to be totally impracticable, whether parliament
should not, and that immediately, devise some means for put'
ting an end to our public calamities, and endeavour to avert
those imminent dangers with which we are threatened on every
side ? If ministers, while they hold out the plan of conciliation,


-8.]
MOTION ON THE BRITISH FORCES IN AMERICA. I 1 3


7
„ill at the same time have the candour to acquaint the House,


h treasure has been wasted, how many lives have


been


ewn much


already spent, or the faith of the nation has been


how many disgraces have been brought on the


pledged for


nation, by this mad, . improvident, and destructive war, he


d:rvoeb, ceal\lvaay to no manner of purpose; but, if at all practi-


would most certainly join them ;—that 2 5 millions of money
the expenditure ; and that 20,000 lives have been


c
able, to make conciliation infinitely more difficult than if the


s
word had never been drawn, a shilling spent; nor a life lost.


He gave the most ample testimony to the bravery and good
conduct of the generals; and contended, that they bad mis-
carried, not for want of skill in their profession, nor from neg-
lect of duty, but merely because they were employed in a
service, in which it was impossible for theih to succeed; for
if ministers had shewn any trace of wisdom throughout their
whole conduct, it was in their choice of the officers they sent
out, though they now basely insinuated, that it was only in the
choice of generals that they were deceived ; and that it was to
their fault alone, that all our miscarriages in the prosecution
of the measures could be justly imputed.


He said, he had been informed, that it was intended to send
Ma other generals, and on that ground that great expectations
were formed from the next Campaign : but, for his part, he
expected, that whoever should succeed to the present gentle-
men in command, would just meet with the fate of their pre-
decessors; they would be. one day charged with indolence,b
inactivity, and want of spirit; with a designed procrastination


s ‘ Iitsh
of the war, from motives of lucre and private interesti terest; and the
next, v


the intended
l


antler


knight-errantry, and exceeding the in-tioi


found d


. which they were to act. He turned again to


and assured his lordship, that if his plan was a fair, open one,
:A .proposition of the noble lord in the blue ribbon,


hrearty
incipl


e
ees in justice and good policy, .and warranted by thep


description;


of the constitution, he would venture to answer forg.o°
his side of .1


the sai eTurience.


c o t ie House, that it would meet with their most
y, li-e, feared,


it would not answer this
e i ti


idea of tyranny, cruelt qnd meanness were inse


l


)arable, that
dutiful


)ecause he could hardly be persuaded, unless the


remonstrances with haughtiness and contempt, could
who had rejected the most humble petitions and


those rierlint"
eVer c ,


by the , ilistli
rights


'


which they had all along attempted to annihilate)7 e
andon;


sword, thereby adding tyranny and cruelty to oppres-sion


olninsent jto holde. out any plan which was meant to secure


II' then -. I hiswhich


c t i lea( ns everal Resolutions,
tiler_ was


to twelve in number; and which stated, that
as such a number of troops in America in 1774, seVo L. J.


.1


Pi




PROPOSITIONS FOR CONCILIATING AMERICA. [Feb. 17,
-many sent in 1775, total of that year, and so 1 on with 1776
and 1777, which ought, on the whole, in the latter year, to
have amounted to 48,000 effective men ; that by the last re.
turns, foreigners and British included, they did not amount
to more than 28,o0o, consequently the loss was 20,00 0


men,
Whence he drew this conclusion, that if with such a number
of troops So little could be done, it was clear, that the carry.
ing on the war, either lo terrify the Americans into obedience,
or to subdue them, was impracticable. His first Resolution
moved was, " That it appears to this Committee, that in the
year 1 774, the whole of the land forces serving in North Ame-
rica did not amount to more than 6,864 effective men, officer
included."


I14


LORD NORTH'S PROPOSITIONS FOR CONCILIATION WITH
AMERICA.


Februau 17.


THIS day Lord North submitted to the House a new plan ofconciliation with the American colonies. in introducing this
measure, he took occasion to state, that lie had been uniformly
disposed to peace. The coercive Acts appeared necessary when
they were proposed, but finding them unproductive of the intended
effect, he essayed conciliatory measures, before the sword was un-
sheathed. He then thought (nor was his opinion changed) those
propositions capable of forming the happiest, most equitable, and
most lasting bond of union between Great Britain and her colo-
nies ; but by a variety of discussions, a plan originally clear and
simple, was made to appear so obscure as to go damned to Ame-
rica. Congress conceived, or took occasion to represent it as a
scheme for sowing divisions, and introducing a worse species of
taxation than had previously existed, and accordingly rejected it.
He never expected to derive any considerable remenue from Ame-
rica; in his opinion they should contribute in a very low propor-
tion to the expences of the state. Few taxes would prove worth
the charge of collection; even the Stamp Act, the most judicious
and most highly estimated, would not have produced a considera-


I


The motion was opposed by Lord Barrington the secretary at
war, Lord North, and Lord Nugent, and supported by Mr. George
Grenville, Mr. Burke, and Colonel Barre. Lord Nugent moved,
" That the Chairman report progress ; upon which the Committee
divided : Yeas 263


: Noes 1 49 . Mr. Fox's motion was conse-quently lost.


1778.] PROPOSITIONS FOR CONCILIATING AMERICA. 11S


confederacy against the use of stamps would have
produce, while it increased the confusions of the


annihilated America already taxed, when he unfortunately
came into administration. The Act, enabling the East India Com-
pally to send teas with the drawback of the whole duty, was a re-
lief instead of an oppression ; but the disaffected, and those engaged
in contraband trade, endeavoured to represent it as a monopoly.
Be never intended taxation in the last Tea Act, nor in the conci-
liatory proposition, but as a medium of union and concord ; his pre-
cent proposition would therefore be found consistent with his former
conduct. One of the bills he designed to move would quiet Ame-
rica on the subject of taxation, dispel all fears, real or pretended,
that parliament would attempt to tax them again, and annul the
right itself, so far as it regarded revenue, The Americans had de-
sired a repeal of all the Acts passed since 1763 : were this requisi-
tion granted in its full extent, several statutes, highly beneficial to
themselves, granting bounties and premiums, or . relaxing formergrievous regulations, must be rescinded. The late Acts which oriu
ginated in the quarrel should cease with it ; and commissioners
should be authorized to adjust, in a satisfactory manner, all other
disputes. The powers granted to former commissioners had been
considered more limited than in reality they were : he should take
care now to be explicit, granting full authority to discuss and con-
clude every point, treating with the Congress as if it were a legal
body, and would so fur give it authenticity as if its acts and con-
cessions would bind all America. They should be empowered to.
treat with provincial assemblies as at present constituted, and. with
individuals in their actual civil capacities, or military commands ;
with General Washington or any other officer : they might sus-
pend hostilities ; intermit the operation of laws ; grant pardons,
immunities, and rewards; restore to colonies their ancient consti-
tutions ; and nominate governors, council, judges, and magistrates,
till the King's further pleasure should be known. A renunciation
of independence would not be insisted on till the treaty had re-
ceived final ratification by the King and parliament. The com-
missioners should be instructed to negotiate for a reasonable and
moderate contribution towards the common defence of the empire,
when re-united : but to obviate every pretence against terminating
tins unhappy difference, the contribution should not be insisted on
as a sine pa non of the treaty. If such had always been his sen-
timents with regard to taxation and peace, why, it would be asked,
had he not made the proposition at a more early period ? His opinion
had ever been that the moment of victory was the proper time for•
offering terms, and at the beginning of the session he had declared
those sentiments ; he then thought the victories obtained by Sir
NN. dliam Howe more decisive, and was unacquainted with General
Burgoyne's misfortune. These terms were in substance the same
he would offer in the height of victory; lie saw no reason for pro-
tracting the war, the effusion of blood, and the immoderate ex-
pence, and therefore now offered the same propositions. The
events of war had not corresponded with his expectations ; but his
concessions were from reason and propriety, not necessity. Eng-


1 2




I i6 PIWPOSITIOiiS FOR CONCILIATING AMERICA. [Feb,17


land was in a condition to prosecute the war much loner ; new
armies could easily he raised, the navy was never in greater strength,
and the revenue very little sunk. With these observations he sub.
mined the whole plan, together with the propriety of his past and
present conduct, to the judgment of the House '*.—As soon as the
minister had concluded,


Mr. Fox rose. He said, that he could not refuse his assent
to the propositions made by the noble lord; that he was very
glad to find that they were, in the main, so ample and satis-
factory, and that he believed they would be supported by all
those with whom he had the honour to act. That they did
not materially differ from those which had been made by an
honourable friend of his (Mr. Burke) about three years ago;
that the very same arguments which had been used by the
minority, and very nearly in the same words, were used by
the noble lord upon this occasion. He was glad to find, that
the noble lord had wholly relinquished the right of taxation,
as this was a fundamental point; he was glad, also, that he
had declared his intention of giving the commissioners power
to restore the charter of IVIassachuset's Bay; for, giving the
satisfaction which the noble lord proposed, it would be neces-
sary for parliament to give the same security, with regard to
charters, which it had given with regard to taxation; that the
Americans were full as jealous of the rights of their assem-
blies, as of taxation; and their chief objection to the latter was
its tendency to affect the former.


" A
dull melancholy silence for some time succeeded to this speech. It


had been heard with profound attention, but without a single mark of ap-
probation to any part, from any description of men, or any particular man
in the House. Astonishment, dejection, and fear, overclouded the whole.
assembly. Although the minister had declared, that the sentiments hg
expressed that day had been those which he always entertained, it is certain,
that few or none had understood him in that manlier ; and he bad been.
represented to the nation at large, as the person in it the most tenacious of
those parliamentary rights which he now proposed to resign, and the most
remote from the submissions which lie now proposed to make. It was
generally therefore concluded, that something more extraordinary and
alarming had happened than yet appeared, which was of force to pro-
duce such an apparent change in measures, principles, and arguments. It
was thought by many at that time, that if the Opposition had then pressed
him, and joined with the war party which had hitherto supported the
niinister, but which was now disgusted and mortified in the highest degree,
the bills would have been lost. But, in fact, they took such a hearty part
with the minister, only endeavouring to make such alterations in, or addi-
tions to, the bills, as might increase their eligibility, or extend their effect,
that no appearance of party remained ; and some of his complaining friends
vexatiously ,


congratulated him on his new allies. These new allies, how-
ever, though they supported his measures, chewed no mercy to hit conduct."
tlnaual Register.




t;783 PROPOSITIONS FOR CONCILIATING AMERICA. 113


He wished that this concession had been made more early,
1,1n1 upon principles more respectful to parliament. To tell
then) , that if they were deceived, they had deceived them-
selves, was neither kind nor civil to an assembly, which, for so
many years, had relied upon the noble lord with such unre-
servedconfidence; that all public bodies, like the House of
Commons, must give a large confidence to persons in office; and
their only method of preventing the abuse of that confidence
was to punish those who had misinformed them concerning
the true state of their affairs, or conducted them with negli-
gence, ignorance, or incapacity; that the noble lord's argu-
ments upon this subject might be all collected into one point,
his excuses all reduced into 011(1 apology,—his total ignorance.


The noble lord hoped and was disappointed. He expected
a


great deal, and found little to answer his expectations. He
thought America would have submitted to his laws, and they
resisted them. He thought they would have submitted to his
armies, and they were beaten by inferior numbers. He made
conciliatory propositions, and lie thought they would succeed,
but they were rejected. He appointed commissioners to make
peace, and lie thought they had powers, but he found they
could not make peace, and nobody believed that the y had any
powers. That he had said many such things as he ha.d thought
fit in his conciliatory proposition ; he thought it a proper
mode of quieting the Americans upon the affair of taxation.
If any gentleman would give himself the trouble of reading
that proposition, he would find not one word of it correspond-
ent to the representation make of it by its framer. That the
short account of it was, that the noble lord in that proposition
assured the colonies, that when parliament had taxed them al
much as they thought proper, they would tax them no more.
He would vote for the present proposition, because it was
much more clear and satisfactory; for necessity had forced the
noble lord to speak plain.


But if the concession should be found ample enough, and




. ,


should be found to come too late, what punishment would be
sufficient for those who adjourned parliament, in order to
make a proposition of concession, and then had neglected to
do it until France had concluded a treaty with the independ-
ent states of America? He said he could answer with cer-
tainty fbr the truth of his information ; it was no light matter,
and came from no contemptible authority; he therefore.wished
that the ministry would give the House satisfaction on this
interesting point, Whether they knew any thing of this treaty,
and whether they had not been informed previously to the
making of their proposition, of a treaty which would make


I 3




8 TREATY BETWEEN FRANCE AND AMERICA. [March /6,
1that proposition as useless to the peace, as it was humiliatht,


to the dignity of Great Britain.


At the close of the debate, Lord North moved, 1. " That leave
be given to bring in a Bill to enable His Majesty to appoint con,
missioners to treat, consult, and agree upon the means of qui eting


• the disorders now subsisting in certain of the colonies, plantations,
and provinces of North America. 2. That leave be given to bring
in a Bill for declaring the intentions of the parliament of Great
Britain, concerning the exercise of the right of imposing taxes
within His Majesty's colonies, provinces, and plantations, in North
America." Which were agreed to without a division.


n•••n••••n•••n
••••••n•n•n•nn11.1.m..•0".


MR. GEORGE GRENVILLE'S MOTION RESPECTING A TREATY
BETWEEN FRANCE AND TIIE REVOLTED COLONIES IN NORTH
AMERICA.


tN
March 16.1 R. George Grenville moved, " That an humble Address beY


-& presented to His Majesty, to desire that be will he graciously
pleased to order that there be laid before this House, copies of
communications from His Majesty's ambassador at the court of
France, or the French ambassador at this court, touching any
treaty of alliance, confederacy, or commerce, entered into between
the court of France, and the revolted colonies in North America."
Mr. Burke warmly seconded the motion. The present situation of




our affairs he declared to be to the last degree desperate. The
stocks, the political pulse of the nation, were so low, that they
plainly demonstrated the weakness of the state; they were already
sunk as much as in times of foreign war ; and afforded the most
gloomy prospect. Sunk as the nation was, robbed of her treasures,
injured in her honour, she had a right to take every step that could
lead her to a discovery of' the counsels, and of the persons who
had given them, by which she had been reduced from the pinnacle
of honour and power, to the lowest ebb of wretchedness and
disgrace.


Mr. Fox took a retrospect of the various measures which
had been adopted by the present administration, and pointed
out the causes to which their failure ought to be attributed.
He insisted that the ignorance of the ministry was the source
of our misfortunes; and from their incapacity to conduct a
war with the poor, pitiful provinces of America, as be.affect
to call them, he inferred, that the complicated Business Of.


„8.1 TREATY BETWEEN FRANCE AND AMERICA. 119


7-
foreign war with the most powerful princes in Christendom


must o
f course so tar transcend their .abilities, that the nation


must absolutely be undone if the administration of affairs was


to
continue in their hands. Melancholy . as was the prospect


t
hat a war afforded us, it would have this good effect; that it
would rouse the nation to a sense of the wrongs they had been
made to suffer, by being made to feel at once all those cala-
mities, for which the ministry had prepared them by degrees,
by their destructive measures, which, though they did not


preci
pitate the nation into a foreign war, had, by a slow pro-


cess, inevitably brought it on. The House had been made to
act ft fool's part. Conciliatory bills had been passed, and
commissioners appointed to treat with the Americans, even
after they had been acknowledged an independent state by
France. Ignorance of such a circumstance was unpardonable;
and the contempt which it served to bring on the House-
called aloud for resentment. Ministers, he said, could never
execute their duty to their country, nor counteract the schemes
of her enemies, if they did not procure intelligence of the
measures adopted for our annoyance. He asked the House,
if a set of men ought to be any longer trusted with the reins
of government, who received the first positive assurance of a
treaty concluded by France and America, from the French
ambassador ? Their supineness, folly, and ignorance, in that
one instance, sufficiently proved them to be unworthy of their
employments. But to declare them only unworthy would not
ibiegiditosi,ngairfficient justice to the people : the violators of whose


and the despoilers of whose property the parliament
was bound to punish : they should likewise be. made to account
for the injuries done their country: the only means of deter-
mining


ntitherefore


egtfhree quantum of guilt, and where it particularly lay,
could not be well ascertained without the papers in question :


wished strongly to support the motion.


Lord North moved the previous question, giving as a reason,
that the exposure of the papers demanded would be a most unpar-
donable and pernicious act of treachery to those, who, at the
greatest risk, had communicated secret intelligence to government.
?Nlr. Grenville offered to prevent an effect which he abhorred, by
inserting the words, " or extracts," after copies, in the motion ;
hut the minister insisted that no amendment could be received
after the previous question had been moved. This conduct was,


of,


e al


however, reprobated with so much indignation on the other side,
and represented as an act of quibbling and chicane, so unworthy


gridthuelfiattghalg


in moved, the


place, that the minister withdrew his mo-
being and the amendment was received. The previous question


t House divided :
14




120 EXPEDITION FROM CANADA.
EMarch xiT.




Tellers. Tellers.
.v


YEAS {Mr. Grenville}, NT
Mr. Baker




ii.i.o.--...NOES Mr. C. Townshend/{Sir Grey Cooper 5 231'So it passed in the negative.


MR. Fox's MOTION RELATIVE TO THE FAILURE or Tirn
EXPEDITION FROM CANADA.


March 19.


THE House went into a committee on the State of the Nation,
in which the subject of the recent expedition from Canada


was taken up by Mr. Fox. The papers which he had moved for,
having been read,


Mr. Fox rose. He stated the plan of the expedition as
wrong and impracticable; not being directed to any point, nor
in any sense the right way. Though the minister of the
American department (Lord George Germain) might say,
and he understood did say, that he took the idea and the plan
from General Burgoyne; yet he would venture to affirm the
contrary. The plan was not General Burgoyne's; it differed
from General Burgoyne's ; and wherever it did so, it blun-
dered. This expedition was not a plan of diversion in our
favour, but a diversion against ourselves, by separating that
force which ought to have been united to one point, that of
dispersing the rebel army; instead of which, it left General
Howe too weak, upon the plan the noble lord suggested to
him ; and sent General Burgoyne, with a still lesser army,
to a place where the enemy were much stronger. He said
this only fbr the sake of argument, to shew that the measure
was originally wrong in the design; and added, that he
should move something on this point. But the matter upon
which he, should make his present motion, was that part of
the execution which belonged to the minister,not to the officers.
The principal, and indeed sole design, of sending General
Burgoyne from Canada, was that he might force his way to
Albany, and make a junction with General Howe. This was
a plan of co-operation, in the execution of which two parties
were concerned, but orders had been given only to one party;
the other party was left ignorant of the design: This ap-
peared from the minister's letters. to the commanders, and
from the commanders' letters to each other. It was like
intending two men to meet at one place, but giving orde•i


EXPEDITION PROM CANADA.1778.]
only to one to go there ; and then blaming the 'execution,
because the other, who did not know he was to go there, did
not meet him ; but who, on the contrary, had acquainted the
person with whom the orders lay, that he was going another
way. Upon these grounds, he insisted, that the whole dis-
concertion and failure of General Burgoyne's expedition was
owing either to the ignorance or negligence of the secretary
of state who had the direction of ; by which one of his
majesty's armies had been cut off, and in consequence of it
thirteen provinces bad been lost, to the utter ruin of this
country. He moved, that the committee should come to
three resolutions, which were in substance, that the plan of
the expedition from Canada had been ill concerted ; that,
from the measures adopted, it was impossible it should suc-
ceed; and that the instructions sent to General Howe to co-
operate with General Burgoyne had not been such as were
necessary to insure success to the latter. After which, he
said, he should offer a fourth resolution of censure upon Lord
George,,Germain.


This motion brought on the longest debate that had taken place
during the session. Mr. Fox was thought to have transcended his
customary style of exertion ; and his friends by no means lost any
ground in their support. On the other side, the ground of impro-
priety, in bringing in the business during the absence of those
generals, who, until the contrary was established, must be con-
sidered as principal parties in the charge, was again taken. That
there had been a fault, and a great one, somewhere, was univer-
sally allowed. A whole army had been lost. The nature and for-
tune of the war thereby totally changed. A new, and most dan-
gerous foreign war was the immediate consequence ; the loss of
America, and even more, might possibly be the final. The causes
that led to such a series of fatal consequences, they said, required
undoubtedly the strictest investigation; and the fault, wherever
it lay,,might demand even more than censure. But the gene-
ral acknowledgment of a fault or crime could by no means imply
the minister to be the guilty person ; nor could the enquiry be pro-
perly conducted, nor the charge fixed as justice directed, until all
the parties were present, and all the evidence. The direct charges
made against the American minister by the Opposition, however,
necessarily called forth some direct defence ; and no pains were
omitted to shew- that the northern expedition was, in the first
place, a wise and necessary measure ; that it was capable of suc-
cess, and the design evidently practicable ; and that Lord George
Germain had omitted nothing which could be done by an attentive
minister to insure its success. They also endeavoured much to
controvert a point insisted on by the Opposition, that General
Burgoyne's orders were peremptory with respect to his advancing


Albany. They said, that however peremptory the letter of
inaructions might appear, a discretionary latitude of conduct, to


I21




2 2 MOTION FOR AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE. [April Ie.


be regulated by circumstances and events, was always necessarily
implied and understood. The question being at length put, the
first resolution was rejected upon a division, by 164 to 44. The
event of this division was resented by Mr. Fox, with an unusual
degree of warmth, and an appearance of the highest indignation.
He not only declared that he would not propose another motion,
but, taking the resolution of censure out of his pocket, tore it in
pieces, and immediately quitted the House. As soon as Mr. Fob
was gone, the Solicitor General moved, " That it does not appear
to this Committee, that the failure of the Expedition from Canada
arose from any neglect in the Secretary of State." The resolution
was agreed to by the Committee, but was never reported to the
House."


MR. Powys's MOTION FOR DECLARING THE AMERICANS
INDEPENDENT.


April I o.


TI;T the Committee on the State of the Nation, Mr. Powys, after
a speech, in the course of which he maintained, that from the


exhausted state of the finances of the country, and the great
expence into which the American war had plunged it, nothing
could be more necessary to us than peace with America, moved,
" That the powers of the Commissioners appointed to treat with
America be enlarged ; and that they be authorized to declare the
Americans absolutely, and for ever independent."


Mr. Fox said, he had formed a decided opinion upon the
present question, and if he should happen to differ in his
sentiments from a venerable character, whom he honoured
and revered, (Lord Chatham,) the committee would give him
credit that no early prejudice, no infant pique, directed his
judgment, or influenced his mind. Ile had considered this
matter, abstracted from every other object, and his judg-
ment was formed upon logical, as well as natural reasoning
and deduction. The dependency of America he thought it
impossible, from our situation, as well as from the nature of
the object, for us to regain. She had joined with France in
an amicable and commercial treaty. The latter had recog-
nized her independency, and both were bound in gratitude
to defend one another, against our resentment on the one
hand, or our attempt to break it on the other. If by con-
cession or coercion we attempted to recover the dependency
of America, we should have the powers of France and Ame-
rica, and perhaps Spain, to encounter with. If we attempted


MOTION FOR. AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE. 123078.J
to punish France for recognizing the independency of Ame-
rica, America would join her, and we should have, in either
case, two, if not three powers to combat with. It was pro-
bable, that the greatest part of Europe would join in the
recognizance. Gratitude on the one hand, and obligation on
the other, would unite them in one bond, , and we should
experience the joint efforts of all, if we attacked one. on
the contrary, the committee agreed to the motion, and thereby
recognized the independency of America, we should be no
longer bound to punish the European powers, who had
alread y, or who might do the same; and we should probably
secure a larger share of the commerce of the Americans, by a
perpetual alliance on a federal foundation, than on a nominal
dependence


could not avoid lamenting the language at present used
in the House of Commons; namely, that the Americans were
not generally inclined to independence. Now, could any
thing be more distant from probability ? Had we not seen
proof upon proof exhibited to the contrary ? Had not the
provinces, one and all, entered into the most solemn bond
not to depart from, or rescind their vote of independency ;
and had not even thousands of them, in the province of
Carolina, as well as in others, taken an oath before Heaven
to maintain it? The Congress and the people were the same.
Distinct opinions, party distractions, and disunited interests,
had not been formed in America, with regard to the great
point in which, by their unanimity, they had succeeded. He
laughed to hear the contrary asserted; but he hoped sincerely
that the honourable gentleman near him, (Governor John-
stone,) and the other commissioners, had more solid grounds
to go upon, and more rational hopes of success. He viewed
the dependency of America as a matter of very little moment
to any part of this country, other than the minister and his
dependants. He understood that the appointment of go-
vernors, and other officers by the crown, was an object of
their contemplation, and one which they esteemed of great
consequence.It was meant, he supposed, as an addition to
the weight in the scale of government, and this circumstance
deserved the most serious attention of the House. The three
st t of parliament could no longer be the security and


defence of our constitution, than while they remained in an
equipoise with regard to one another. If one preponderated,
the executive over the legislative, or the legislative over the
executive, the superstructure must fall. It was a melancholy,
bet a certain truth, that the power of the executive had been
gradually exerting itself to a predominancy for some years
Past) and its growth was already dangerous to our constitu-




I /4 MOTION FOR AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE. [April to,
tional existence. The further advantage that would be thrown
into the scale, by the weight of America, would:ii,e


that


turity to its growth, and perpetual dominion to it over the
legislative; because, by the exemption from taxation, no de,
gree of weight whatever was added to the legislative state.
Taxes were so far necessary to our constitution, seeing
they engaged the people narrowly to watch and resist the
influence of the crown. Their lives and properties could
only be in danger when the crown became despotic. A se-
curity against that danger destroyed their fears; and not
being concerned in the advancement or depression of the
crown, they did not regard its progress. Good God ! then,
could Britons with their eyes open, and, sensible of the clan-
ger arising from the predominancy of the executive power,
wilfully throw so great an addition of strength into it, as the
power of appointing the officers to the government of Ame-
rica must necessarily create ? Had we not appointments,
douceurs, sinecures, pensions, titles, baubles, and secret-
service money enough already? Did not the creatures of
government swarm in every department, and must we add
to their number?


He could not see that American independency would so
soon rise as the honourable gentleman imagined, to maritime-
pre-eminence. The Americans could have no inducement to
hunt for territory abroad, when what they quietly possessed
would be more than they could occupy and cultivate. They
would find the advantages of conquest unequal to those of
agriculture; and remembering that man had naturally a pre-
dilection for the enjoyment of landed property, they would
find it impossible, in a country where land was to be had for
nothing, to propagate a spirit of manufacture and commerce.
Every American, more or less, would become the tiller and
planter, and the country might, in some future and distant
period, be the Arcadia, but it could never be the Britain of
the world.


He reverted to the arguments of an honourable gentleman
near him, (Mr. Pulteney,) in regard to the finances of this
country. He never was more surprized than he was at hear-
ing a man of sense introduce such a puerility. The inter-
nal opulence of the country might be introduced as a figure
of shew, to delude the ignorant into an extravagant idea of
our resources; but the people must know that it was a mere
delusion. If we were reduced to such an emergency as to
have reference to the fundamental opulence, so might our
enemy; and comparing the one resource with the other, we
must acknowledge that theirs, in that respect, was treble our
own. Our natural resources, he knew, were superior to those


a


..8.] MOTION FOR AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE. 125
17


enemy, in proportion to the extent of country ; but
of our
`no- ought to remember, that theirs were capable of more im-
prO


vements without injuring the people than ours. Would
ministers but abolish the extravagant method of collecting
their revenues, the voluptuous manner of expending them,
ond the enormous extent of the royal expenditure, what a
superiority, in point of revenue, might they not effbct?


i-fe condemned the Conciliatory Acts as totally inadequate
to the object, and declared, that if They produced any good
end,dlie should attribute it solely to the influence of the ho-


nourable and worthy gentleman (Governor Johnstone) who
was last joined in the commission. He hoped the committee
would consider seriously of the matter before them : there
had been enough of treasure fruitlessly wasted ; and that they
might not waste more on an inadequate commission, he begged
them to extend its powers, and thereby secure its success.
He could not avoid adverting to the conduct of the ministry,
in regard to the French " aggression." He knew not from
whence the word came, but he supposed it meant " insult."
Himself and others were termed pusillanimous, because they
attempted to stem the torrent of rage, that rushed from the
bosoms of the ministry on that occasion; — they were called
pusillanimous, because they were calm; but could they not
now, with double energy, send back the term on those men
who had confessed that the nation was insulted ; who had
made the King and the parliament of England confess that
they were insulted ; and who, for a whole month, had
pocketed the insult, without preparing to punish it, or taking
a single step for the defence of the nation ? He begged the
Committee to observe, that the ministry, conscious of their
own inability, were obliged, when they wanted service to be
performed, to call to their assistance the very men who had
condemned their measures, and uniformly despised them.
But if a peace was to be negociated, or a war to be under-
taken, (meaning the appointment of Governor Johnstone in
the one case, and Admiral Keppel and Lord Amherst in the
other,) they were obliged to employ the men on his side of
the house.


i\tr. Burke supported the motion. Mr. Pulteney, Governor John-
stone, and Mr. Dundas, opposed it. Mr. T. Townshend thought
the motion premature, and moved, that the chairman do leave the
chair; which was agreed to without a division.




I26 MOTION AGAINST THE CAlay 28,


MR. HARTLEY'S MOTION AGAINST THE PROROGATIO
or


PARLIAMENT, AND FOR PUTTING A STOP. TO THE AM•RIcAN
WAR.


May 28.


R. HARTLEY moved, " That an humble Address be pre.
rented to His Majesty, to intreat His Majesty, that he will


be graciously pleased not to prorogue the parliament, but that he
will suffer them to continue sitting for the purpose of assisting
and forwarding the measures already taken for the restoration of
Peace in America ; and that they may be in readiness, in the
present critical situation and prospect of public affairs, to pro-
vide for every important event at the earliest notice." In a warm
speech which General Burgoyne made in support of the motion,
he advanced matters and opinions which could not fail of being
exceedingly grating to the ministers, and which were resented
accordingly. Particularly, his describing them as totally insuffi-
cient and unable to support the weight of public affairs in the
present critical and dangerous emergency. To the general know-
ledge of this incapability, he attributed the diffidence, despoil,
dency, and consternation, which were evident among a great part
of the people ; and a still more fatal symptom, he said, that torpid
indifference to our impending fate, which prevailed among a yet
greater number.


The drift of the general's speech was to shew the necessity of
complying with the motion, in order, besides other great objects,
that the presence of parliament might restore the confidence, and
renew the spirit of the nation ; and, he said, that if the King's
ministers should take the lead in opposition to the motion, and
use their influence for its rejection, he should hold them to be
the opposers of national spirit, opposers of public virtue, and
opposers of the most efficacious means to save their country. Mr.
Rigby said, that the honourable general being a prisoner, was in fact
dead to all civil as well as military purposes, and, as such, had no
right to speak, much less to vote in that House. He then threw
some degree of ridicule, in his state of it, upon the general's appli-
cation or wish for a trial. The honourable gentleman, he said,
knew, when lie desired a trial, that he could not be tried ; he was
upon parole ; he was, as a prisoner under that parole, not at liberty
to do any act in his personal capacity. The Solicitor General,
Mr. Wedderburn, took the same ground of argument, and made
it an object of serious discussion. In a speech, fraught with ge-
neral knowledge and ancient learning, he endeavoured to establish
from the example of Regulus, in the Roman history, and other
precedents, that the general (the convention of Saratoga being
now broken) was merely in the state of a common prisoner of
war ; and that, consequently, lie was not sui Janis, but the im-
mediate property of another power. From whence lie insisted,
that the general, under his present obligations, was totally in-


PROROGATION OF PARLIAMENT. 127
778'3


bie of exercising any civil office, incompetent to any civil


fiiiic
; qnd incapable of bearing arms in this country.


Fox confessed he saw the greatest reason in the world
fitto:lieetitlii_mclelioaopnt:gii eig the measure of the Address, and not one against


Remembering how fatal the last long recess had been,


'
be could not conceive how any man, in the least interested


welfare of his country, could think of trusting again to
ement of the ministry. At the very instant, when
were about to think of a conciliatory plan, it was


adjourned for more than six weeks, and in that fatal time,
I'vhat was the conduct of the ministry ? Though they knew
that they were about to yield up every thing they had before
denied, and by the intimation of which, in due time, they
might have prevented the effects that had ensued, yet they
never made the least intimation, but gave time for France to
conclude a treaty, by which every hope of bringing America
back to dependency was lost for ever. They filled up that
space in levying armies, without the knowledge or controul
of parliament, and for that reason, truly, we were to trust
them again, as holly and implicitly as we should do a ma-
jority of parliament. Ready on all occasions as that ma-
jority was to obey the will of the minister, inattentive and
negligent as some, and dependent as most of them were,
yet still he preferred their votes and measures to those of
the administration. An honourable gentleman had said, that
they were carrying on war at this very time, to the best of
their understandings, against France and Spain. Looking
back to their conduct, lie found equal reason for being dis-
pleased with their understandings here too. What stroke
had they struck; or what active enterprize had they executed?
They had moved an address to the throne, and they had
recalled their ambassador ! This was the extent of what their
understandings had produced. In more than two months
they had been able to execute these mighty objects, and their
understandings assuredly deserved credit for the happiness
of the contrivance, as well as for the accomplishment of these
two things. It was said, by a learned gentleman, that his
majesty had it in his power to convene parliament in four-
teen days; but so he had after an adjournment; and it was
better to trust to adjournment, in this case, which would cer-
tainly convene us, than to a prorogation; which might not do


" Aye, but," said the learned gentleman, " by a pro-
rogation we shall have a new session, and then we may repeal
the Acts of the present." Then, said Mr. Fox, it may be
fairly concluded, that we are to repeal the Acts of the present
session. That learned gentleman is the key to the cabinet;




I2t
AIOTION AGAINST TRE


D4428.
he knows the secrets of state, and lie says we must, in


titnext session, probably repeal every thing we,have don
e j ethe present; he knows that the propositions of peace .


4not be accepted ;' lie is not sanguine enough, to flatter biln_self that they will ; he knows that the plan is inadequ ate;the concessions, however humiliating, not sufficient; we h
al.brought ourselves so low, that kneeling before them


c
oncession in our hands, cannot procure us the peace -wo.


Pant
, with


for,in. and we must repeal them before we succeed. I
agr6e


-with the learned gentleman, that the plan we have
proposedis inadequate: but if in the present session we cannot


repeal,.we may vary; and as we do not mean to restrain the
Amesricans in any degree, the variation that may be n ecessary willbe in our power. — The situation of his honourable friend(General Burgoyne) was an incentive towards


continuing thesession, of the most powerful nature. The honourable ge.neral was unfortunate, —singularly unfortunate; and it wasthe business of the House to enquire into the causes of
hismisfortune, and charge them on the true author,


whoeverhe might be. It was to his honourable friend
a matter ofconsolation, though he knew him too well to suspect that he


preferred private consolation to the good of his country; yet,
he said, it might console him to think, that he was not the
only unfortunate man who had served the present adminis-t •


ation. It was the lot of every man who had served them
to be unfortunate. Every officer in America was an instanceof the fact. General Gage had not reaped any laurels in
their service, nor had Admiral Graves


any reason to rejoiceat his success. Sir William Howe had not escaped the mis-
fortunes that had overtaken their servants; though crowned
with repeated conquests, he had lost by his success. LordHowe's


character could not be much hurt by their insinua-
tions, rancorous as they had been; but he had gained no
additional honour frofn his exploits in their service. The
manner in which the other gallant officer, Sir Guy Carleton,
had been treated, needed no comment; it was


upon record,and would stand an example in future, ih• the instruction of
all those who might be hazardous enough to attempt to serve
their country, under the auspices of men who were obliged
to cover their ignorance and inability, and screen themselves
from ignominy and contempt, by throwing blame upon the
men who were unwise enough to act as they were instructed.
The concealment of intelligence delivered to them, under
any form, was criminal to the highest degree, when the cha-
racter of a soldier depended upon the disclosure. He knew
not how to speak of their conduct and preserve his


s
temper.He wondered how the people


could hear of it, and withhol


OT PARLIAMENT.129
1778.1




sentment. He could not avoid adverting to a ciratheir le
ciostance, which he confessed was new to him. It was a
subject of praise to a noble lord, whose ingenuity he seldom
bad cause to applaud; just, however, to merit in every in-be could not be blind to it in this ; where invention


it was politic to cherish the first appearance of
attention might promote its growth, as good


careful cultivation, made even a barren soil
if::rt::IibitcfsteolAani. 'rile noble lord in the blue ribbon had most inge-
niously created a new species of oratory, and that of so divine
and specific a nature, that it would serve every occasion, and
refute every argument. When we attempt, said Mr. Fox,
to charge to that noble lord's negligence or inability, the loss
of America, and thereby the destruction of national gran-
deur, national interest, and national credit, he replies, in his
newly-invented language, " Well, you may say this, and say
that; but I do say again and again, I did not lose America."
This reply is irrefutable. What can be urged against it?
We must alter our accusation, and, instead of throwing it on
the noble lord, 'condemn General Washington, as the only
cause of our having lost America. His superior abilities had
frustrated every effort; we did all that men could do, but he,
like the arm of Heaven, overthrew our strength, and made
us yield to his superiority. Arguing in like manner, we
ought to say, it was not owing to the head or the heart of
king James, that he lost the crown of Great Britain, but
the wickedness of the times. He did all that man could do,
but his enemies were the more powerful, and he was forced
tosubmit. In the same manner, if the fleet that sailed six
weeks ago from the port of Toulon, had attacked and taken
the most valuable territory of the empire, destroyed our fleet,
and made captive the army in America, we must not condemn
the ministry as the cause of our misfortunes ; they could not
avoid it; they did all that men could do, but the winds of
Heaven were against them, and the winds of Heaven were
alone the destroyers we ought to condemn. It has been re-
peatedly urged by the noble lord, that it is not possible for
administration to defend all our extended empire from the
encroachments of the enemy. True: but is there any one
part of the empire at this moment defended, except Ports-
mouth? Have the ministry put their own defensive plan into
execution ? Ridiculous and inadequate in our situation as a
defensive plan is, have they even begun upon that? Nature
has assisted them most materially in this task. The Gut of
Gibraltar is a kind of general protection for our Mediter-
ranean dominions; a fleet stationed there, prevents those of
our enemies from sailing ;—and yet, so blind and indifferent


1,




1_30.
ADDRESS ON THE KING'S SPEECH.


ENOv.26.


have ministers been, that no fleet is stationed
.
there for tha


purpose. We cannot, as the noble lord says,' number slipwithwith France and Spain. This superiority is multiplied by
our acquiescence. It is not the greater number of ships tha


ts state actually possesses, but the number employed in action
that constitutes superiority. If France has twelve line of
battle ships at sea, while we have forty-two in port, she is
superior. Instead of defending, let us attack. One great
stroke of policy must now be attempted, as one great, sudden,
unexpected stroke can alone, in our present situation, save
us: such a one as that which determined the late of the
last war, and such a one as might now be effected. Need
I say that the capture of the Spanish flotilla would be an issue
to the conflict. To effect such an object, the hands of go-
vernment must be strengthened, great, prodigious supplies
must be granted, the nerves of war must be "strained to their
extent, and, for that purpose, this House must and ought
to continue to sit. Money will be wanted in the course of
the summer, and it will be necessary for the House of Com-
mons to find it somewhere. Deplorable as our situation is,
it is nevertheless not desperate, for Great Britain cannot
despair, provided her ministers are as able to plan as she is.
to execute.


The House divided on Mr.Hartley's motion:
Tellers.
Tellers.Mr. Fox
Sir William Gordon /YEAS




53.-- Nos / j tos;'{Mr. Turner} Mr. RobinsonSo it passed in the negative.


AINIENDAIENT TO THE ADDRESS ON THE KING'S SPEECH AT.
THE OPENING OP THE SESSION.


November 26..


THE King opened the session with a speech from the throne;
replete with complaints of the unexampled and unprovoked


hostility of the court of France. With regard to the events of
the war, it was short and inexplicit ; grounding the hopes of suc-
cess on future exertions, on the state of preparation, and on the
spirit of the people, more than on the actions of the campaign;
which were alluded to with a coldness that might easily be con-
strued into censure. Notice was, however, taken of ,


m
the pro-


tection afforded to commerce, and of the large reprisals made upon
the injurious aggressors. The professions of neutral powers were


I2


ADDRESS ON THE KING'S SPEECH.
1778.3


13 I


represented as friendly ; but their armaments suspicious: the fai-
lure of the conciliatory measures was regretted : the necessity of
active exertions by sea and land, pointed out by the situation of
affairs, was urged in general terms, without specifying any plan
of operations: with regard to the American war, a total silence
was observed. The Address of the House of Commons, with the
usual professions of attachment and support, repeated, in nearly
the same expressions, the sentiments contained in the speech.Kr. Thomas Townshend moved, to substitute in place of part
of the address the following amendment: " To assure his majesty,that with the truest zeal for the honour of the crown, and the
warmest affection for his majesty's person and we are
ready to give the most ample support to such measures as may be
thought necessary for the defence of these kingdoms, or for frus-
trating the designs of that restless power which has so often dis-
turbed the peace of Europe: but that we think it one of our most
important duties, in the present melancholy posture of afrairs, to
enquire by what fatal councils, or unhappy systems of policy, this
country has been reduced from that splendid situation which, in
the early part of his majesty's reign, made her the envy of all
Europe, to such a dangerous state as that which has of late called


. forth our utmost exertions without any adequate benefit."


Mr. Fox rose and said:
I rise, sir, to second the amendment made by my right


honourable friend, because I wish as much as he does to
promote an. enquiry into the misconduct and incapacity of
his majesty's present ministers. I know that views of suc-
ceeding to some one of the offices filled by them, will be
assigned as the motives of my conduct in opposing them, but
we are now in a situation which obliges me to neglect all such
considerations. I think myself so loudly called upon by my
duty to my country, that I will freely expose my character
to public animadversion, while I pursue that line which my
duty marks out. Nobody is more sensible than I am of the
necessity of unanimity at this juncture, and I wish I had the
opportunity afforded me of supporting the ministry with jus-
tice to the country : but that, Sir, can never be the case with
the present. I know them too well to do so, and shall feel
it my duty to give them every opposition in my power. I
know that doing so will be called clogging the wheels of go-
vernment at a time when they ought to be assisted by every-
man; but, Sir, they have reduced us to that paradoxical
situation, that I must choose one of two evils, for they have
not left us the power of choosing any good: it is a paradox
in fact, and I will take that part which appears to me to be,
though bad, the best; I must, consequently, use all my ex-
ertions to remove the present ministry, by using every means
in my power to clog them in this House, to clog them out


K 2 .




4
92 ADDRESS ON THE KING'S SPEECH.. [Nov. 26
of this House, and to clog every thing they engage in while
they continue in office; and I will do so, because I consider
this to be less ruinous than to submit any longer to their
blundering system of politics.


What, Sir, is our situation on entering into the present
war with Prance, compared with what it was at the begin.
zing of the last ? England was then at the height of her hap-
piness, and I may add of her riches and commerce; all her
resources were fresh and untouched, and in the full vigour
of strength; but at the beginning of this we have been en-
gaged in a four years expensive, ruinous, fruitless war ; and
now that, by a complication of blunders, ministers have
brought us to this point, they impudently call upon us for
unanimity, and desire we should continue them in office, (for
that is the object of the address) to blunder in a second war
as they have done throughout the first.


His majesty, in his speech, tells us, that our efforts have not
been attended with all the success which the justice of our
cause and the vigour of our exertions seemed to promise.
The speech is allowed on all hands to be the speech of the
minister; it is parliamentary so to consider it; and I will
tell the noble lord that this assertion is not founded in fact, —
that the speech is false: that you have had more success than
you deserved, and that you ought to be happy at the issue
of your exertions, and contented that things are no worse;
you have had every success that could be expected from the
measures of the noble lord, and more, — for you have escaped.
Your fleet was sent out under that brave and able commander
Admiral Keppel, twenty sail only to meet thirty ships of the
hne, that fleet on which your existence depended, and which
_alone stood between you and an invasion; the noble lord
gave every chance of its being destroyed by inequality of
numbers, and your navy at one blow totally ruined : it es-
caped; that could never have been expected. M. D'Estaing
left Toulon and went into the Mediterranean ; when his
destination was no longer doubtful, no fleet was sent after
him to where he might have been effectually stopped : he was
suffered to go out again, and to proceed with the treaty and
the French ambassador on board, which the noble lord well
knew; he had an uncommonly bad passage across the At-
lantic, and thereby you escaped in America; an event that
could not have been expected. Admiral Byron was sent
out to America at such a time that it was barely possible he
should arrive in time to succour that brave and excellent com-
mander, the noble lord whom I am happy to see now in his
place : by his conduct he was able to preserve the fleet under
his command, such as it was, and it escaped; — that too could


ADDRESS ON THE KING'S SPEECH.i775.] 133


rot have been expected. I say, therefore, that you have had
better issue in every quarter than could possibly have been
hoped for, and that consequently the speech not only asserts a
falsehood, but throws an unjust, an illiberal censure upon the


• commanders employed in the service of the crown, which ought
Alone to fall upon the ministry.


What, Sir, does the speech next insinuate? That the com-
missioners sent out to America have been equally censurable
in not executing the 44 conciliatory measures planned by the
wisdom and temper of parliament." What were those plans
of parliament? for I never heard of them before. That the
commissioners should be sent out in the dark as to every thing
intended—was that the plan of parliament? That Genera
Clinton should leave Philadelphia without giving the commis-
sioners two hours warning, and that distrust should be saddled
on them the moment of their arrival—was that the plan of
parliament? That they should offer terms of reconciliation
equally degrading to this country and unlikely to be listened
to by congress—was that the plan of parliament? I'never
heard of these plans before, and I now disclaim all share in
them. Parliament formed no plans, but the ministry did, and
we now see what they were; the speech is a libel upon parlia-
ment when it attributes to us such pitiful plans; the speech is
slanderous and libellous in calling them plans of parliament.


Sir, of all the commanders employed by the present minis-
try, of all the officers who have served under them, let me
ask whether there is one who has not quarrelled with, and left
them in disgust? In what single instance have the ministry
succeeded ? And surely no ministry was ever uniformly un-
successful that did not plan unwisely? But there is a spirit of
discord among them that frustrates every thing ; the moment
any person is appointed to a command, from that moment
the ministry set themselves against him, from that moment he
is counteracted, and at last forced to throw it up ; happy if
he can retire from their service before his reputation is lost in
those expeditions which they first absurdly plan in the teeth
of every difficulty, and afterwards will not suffer to be executed.
There is a spirit of discord in the constitution of the present
ministry which must ever have the same effect, and for ever
prevent any thing succeeding under their hands; that spirit
of discord in the administrations of this country has been the
characteristic of the present reign, but it never flourished in
greater perfection than at present; the ministry of to-day have
exceeded all that went before them in that respect: that spirit
has pervaded every branch of the service of the country, and,
weak and disunited among themselves, disjointed and torn
asunder, they laugh at opposition, and call upon us for una-


k- 3




I
1 34 ADDRESS ON THE KING'S SPEECH.


[Nov. 26..
nimity. His late majesty was not one of those princes who
history dignifies with the title of hero; yet this country never
was at a higher pitch of glory than during the latter part of
his reign; because it was governed by a ministry so formed as


-


to have in its constitution the principles of success ; a ministry
who knew the interests of their country, who were unanimous
in the cabinet, mid supported by the confidence of the people.
What a melancholy contrast does the situation of the empire
under that ministry form with the present ! Flow will it ap-
pear under the pen of some future historian, whose subject
shall be, not the glory, but the fall of the British empire !
Have the ministers no regard to the fame of a master who
has. sacrificed every thing to their emolument or ambition?
Will they entail infamy upon his name, after having robbed
him of one half of his people? Instead of being celebrated for
those virtues and -abilities which have extricated states from
dangerous convulsions, how will it sear the. eye-balls of the
prince to see the decline of his empire dated from his acces-
sion, and its fall completed within his single reign ! His pri-
vate virtues will in the lapse of time be forgotten, the character
of the man will be lost in the character of the monarch, and
he will be handed down to the latest posterity as the loser of
his empire.


His majesty, in the speech, takes a great deal of pains to
shew that there is good cause for arming against France; his
majesty might have been spared that trouble; there is cause,
and cause enough, to go to war with France; there was cause
long enough ago; and that correspondence with America,
which the speech calls " clandestine," has been known for
years to every one of his subjects: when was it the ministry, '-
in their penetration, found out this clandestine correspond-
ence? But now that they acknowledge it is necessary to go to
war with France, what power have we to assist us? I see none; ,
mentioned, I hear of no alliance : No man has a higher opi-
nion


of the spirit or resources of this nation than I have; but
you cannot enter into a new war alone; this nation is not
able to fight the whole world at once, and yet you hear not a
word of any ally or of any support. This one circumstance,
if there were no other, is such a damning proof of the incapa-
city oltho present ministry, that I never will give my vote for
an Address which pledges this House for the support of mea-
sures which they are to advise and direct.


Look at your situation now and what it was this time last
year. What did the ministers then say, and what have they
since done? They told you in the month of November that
there were 35 sail of the line then ready, and tilt seven more
would be fit for sea in the month of December. Now, this


1778'1 ADDRESS ON THE KING'S SPEECH. 135


account must have been false; for in March you had only
twelve sent to America with Admiral Byron, and Mr. Keppel
had only twenty; that makes 32 only—ten short of the num-
ber they themselves stated to you, so that the account given of
them must have been false; or if they will say that it was not
false, and that the other ten went to different stations, which
I do not believe, then was the admiralty sitting idle from No-
vembe • to March, without putting one more ship in forward-
ness, for more than three months, during which time France
was employed in fitting out fleets in all quarters such as she
never had before. They stated your fleet then to be in-
finitely superior to that of France, or of Spain; superior to
them both together, but infinitely superior to either of them
separately; that you were infinitely superior to them on every
station : and yet, notwithstanding all this superiority at home
and abroad, Mr. Keppel was sent out with only 20 sail to
meet 30 ships of the enemy, and every possible chance given
them of being destroyed. Notwithstanding our superiority
and forwardness, Mr. Byron was not sent after M. D'Estaing
(who went out on the 13th of April,) until the 5th of May :
and notwithstanding our superiority in every quarter, the
noble lord who commanded in America was left without rein-
forcement, without even notice of the motions of the French,
to fall a prey, if fortune and his own conduct had not pre-
vented it, to the fleet of France. But the whole of their con-
duct is well known to the world : need I mention the sending
of a fleet of transports into the Delaware after Philadelphia
had been evacuated, a fleet upon which the existence of the
army depended, and which nothing but the most extraordi-
nary accident could have saved: need I mention the abandon-
ing Philadelphia, the taking and keeping of which had cost so
much ;—but, indeed, I will give some degree of merit to that,
as far as it was undoing what had been done, those are the
only measures in which the ministry every had my approba-
tion :—yet, if it was to be done, Sir, why did not the commis-
sioners know it? why were they sent out in ignorance, and
exposed as wanting the confidence of their employers? On the
moment of their appearance they were landed among the peo-
ple with whom they were to enter into a negotiation of mu-
tual faith, with the seal of suspicion fixed upon their commis-
sion. Here again broke out the spirit of the administration,
that spirit of discord which we never lose sight of. What opi-
nion after this must America have of the commissioners?
How were they to venture to treat with them? There was
only one of the commissioners who could have had the ear of
the people in America ; he alone of the commissioners had
been their friend iu Great Britain; he was acquainted with


K 4




136 ADDRESS ON THE ICING'S SPEECH.
[Nov. 26.


the temper of the province of Pennsylvania; he built his hopes
in going out entirely upon the temper of that province, and
the moment he was landed you left it; you carried him away
with you, and left those who were ill-judged enough to be
your friends to fall an undefended sacrifice for their attach-
ment : there again, the spirit of distrust and discord appeared ;
no steps were suffered to be taken towards a reconciliation;
no plan was formed, no .


hopes conceived on any side, except
the hopes, by amusing the House, of getting over the session
Here at home.


How all the schemes of the ministry have been formed,
judge from their issue; but consider for a minute how criti-
cally ill-timed has been every attempt. Terms of reconcilia-
tion were offered—when? at a time when you had been baf-
fled, at a time when you were subdued, at a time when they
had ordered your army into such a situation that it was
obliged to capitulate: was that a moment to be chosen to offer
terms? But look back to what the noble lord has told you
himself; " he always intended a reconciliation, he always
looked after a peace, and kept it in view." Did he, then, en-
gage you in a civil war with your brethren in America till he
should be tired of an active scene of administration? Where
was the use of entering into a war for a peace which you had
offered to you without it? But he will tell you, No, it was to
find the best time to make your peace, to find the best ,moment
to propose your terms : he looked for that moment, he was on
the watch for still a moment, and you see the glorious golden
opportunity he fixed upon for the deliberate execution of a
concerted plan. Good God, Sir, are these hands into which
you will trust the fate of your empire ? Who can listen to
such facts without indignation and contempt? And what man
will join in an address to keep ministers in office who are ca-
pable of such mismanagement ?


You have now two wars before you, of which you must
choose one, for both you cannot support. The war against
America has been hitherto carried on against her alone, un-
assisted by any ally; notwithstanding she stood alone, you
have been obliged uniformly to increase your exertions, and
to push your efforts to the extent of your power, without being
able to bring it to any favourable issue; you have exerted all
your strength hitherto without effect, and you cannot now di-
vide a force found already inadequate to its object : my opinion
is for withdrawing your forces from America entirely, for a
defensive war you never can think of; a defensive war would
ruin this nation at any time and in any circumstances; an of-
fensive war is pointed out as proper for this country; our
situation points it out, and the spirit of the nation impels us to


1 778.]
ADDRESS ON THE KING'S SPEECH. 137


rather than defence; attack France, then, for she is
attack
voter object: the nature of the war with her is quite different;
t}re war against America is against your own countrymen ;
that against France is against your inveterate enemy and rival :
every -blow you strike in America is against yourselves, even
though you should be able, which you never will be, to force
them to submit; every stroke against France is of advantage
to you; the more you lower her scale, the more your own
rises, and the more the Americans will be detached from her
as useless to them: even your victories over America arc fa-
vourable to France, from what they must cost you in men and
money; your victories over France will be felt by her ally ;
America must be conquered in France; France never can be
conquered in America.


The war of the Americans is a war of passion; it is of such
a nature as to be supported by the most powerful virtues, love
of liberty and of country, and at the same time by those pas-
sions in the human heart which give courage, strength, and
perseverance to man; the spirit of revenge for the injuries you
have clone them, of retaliation for the hardships inflicted on
them, and of opposition to the unjust powers you would have
exercised over them ; every thing combines to animate them
to -this war, and such a war is without end; for whatever ob-
stinacy enthusiasm ever inspired man with, you will now have
to contend with in America : no matter what gives birth to
that enthusiasm, whether the name of religion or of liberty,
the effects are the same; it inspires a spirit that is unconquer-
able, and solicitous to undergo difficulties and dangers; and
as long as there is a man in America, so long will you have
him against you in the field.


The war of France is of another sort; the war of France is
a war of interest; it was interest that first induced her to en-
gage in it, and it is by that same interest that she will measure
its continuance; turn your face at once against her, attack
her wherever she is exposed, crush her commerce wherever
you can, make her feel heavy and immediate distress through-
out the nation, and the people will soon cry out to their go-
vernment. Whilst the advantages she promises herself are
remote and uncertain, inflict present evils and distresses upon.
her subjects; the people will become discontented and cla-
morous, she will find the having entered into this business a
bad bargain, and you will force her to desert an ally that
brings so much trouble and distress, and the advantages of
whose alliance may never take effect.


What, Sir, is become of the ancient spirit of this nation?
'Where is that national spirit that ever did honour to this


Io


il4




I', 8 ADDRESS ON THE KING'S SPEECH.
[Nov. 26.


country ? Have the present ministers exhausted that, toot
with almost the last shilling of your money? Are they not
ashamed of the temporizing conduct they have used towards
France ? Her correspondence with America has been "
destine ;" compare that with their conduct towards Holland
some time ago :—but it is the characteristic of little minds to,
exact in little things, while they shrink from their rights in
great ones :—the conduct of France is called clandestine ; look
hack but a year ago to the letter of one of your secretaries of
state to Holland, " it is with surprize and indignation" your
conduct is seen—in something done by a petty governor of an
island—while they affect to call the measures of France clan-
destine; this is the way the ministers support the character of
the nation, and the national honour and glory ! But look,
again, how that same Holland is spoken to to-day; even in your
correspondence with her your littleness appears


" pauper et exul uterque,
" Projecit ampullas, et sesquipedalia verba."


From this you may judge of your situation; from this you
may know what a state you are reduced to. How will the
French party in Holland exult over you, and grow strong !:
She will never continue your ally while you meanly crouch to
France, and dare not stir in your own defence; nor is it ex-
traordinary that she should hot, while the present ministers
remain in place. No power in Europe is so blind; none
stupid enough to ally itself with weakness, to become partner
iu bankruptcy, to unite with obstinacy, absurdity, and imbe-
cility. For these reasons, Sir, I am against the Address upon
your table, and most heartily concur in the Amendment of
my right honourable friend.


After a long and vehement debate,
morning divided on the Amendment :


Tellers.
Mr.T.Townshend


YEA s Mr. Fox


107.—NoEs


So it passed in the negative : after
agreed to.


1779'1
CONTRACTORS' BILL. 139


CONTRACTORS' BILL.


Februau 2. I 7 79.


the tzth of February, Sir Philip Jennings Clerke obtained
leave to bring in a Bill " for restraining any person, being a


member of the House of Commons, from being concerned himself,
or any person in trust for him, in any contract made by the com-
missioners of his majesty's treasury, the commissioners of the navy,
the board of ordnance, or by any other person or persons for the
public service, unless the said contract shall be made at a public
bidding." The bill was shortly after brought in, and read a first
and second time. On the II th of March it was moved to commit
the bill ; a debate ensued, in the course of which,


Mr. Fox rose chiefly to observe on a remark that had been
made, that the bill was a personal attack on those who now
held contracts. For his part, he did not see it in that light ;
but if the gentlemen in that situation present considered it as
such, they should have retired, as Lord George Germain had
done on a former question respecting himself. He main-
tained, that if the newly created office was not within the
spirit of the Act of Queen Anne, the contractors were; for
persons holding great emoluments from government were
within the clause. The parliamentary effect of contracting
was two-fold, and both the action and the re-action tended to
destroy the independence of that House. He then stated the
mutual obligation between the contractor and the 'minister.
The minister, in the first place, said to the contractor, " I
give you a good contract, on condition that you give me a.
good vote ;" and in the second place, the contractor re-acts
upon the minister, " I have given you a good vote, give me a
good contract; I voted for you the other night, in direct con-
tradiction to my senses ; I voted, that we had 42 ships ready
for sea, when we had but six; and, I voted that the French
fleet did not consist of 3 2 ships, when Admiral Keppel had
but 20 ; though both the facts lay upon the table. I have
voted all this to do you service, and I expect you will not
hesitate to give me a good thing ; therefore, you must not
quarrel with me for twopence a gallon on rum, or a farthing
On a loaf of bread." And says the minister to another, " You
know I gave you an advantageous contract, worth to you
20,0001., therefore, 1 must have a sure vote in,you." Here
was the worst of all tics, a double influence, a reciprocity,
which this bill was intended to remedy. But perhaps the in-
significant advantage of 75 per cent. was nothing in the esti-


the House at two in the


Tellers.
Mr. Rice
Sir J. GoodrickeS1 226'


which the Address was




1 40 MOTION OF CENSURE ON THE ADMIRALTY. [March 3.
Illation of a huddling treasury board, who had currency and
sterling always at their elbow !


The question being put, that
the House divided :


Tellers.
1 Mr. T. TownshendiYEAS Mr. Grenville


1
So it passed in the negative.


this House will, upon this day
committee upon the said bill :"


MR. Fox's MOTION OF CENSURE ON THE CONDUCT OF THE
ADMIRALTY, IN SENDING OUT ADMIRAL KEPPEL WITH TOO
SMALL A FORCE.


March 3.


THE order of the day being read,
Mr. Fox rose :—He began with remarking, that the orders


of the House had been disobeyed ; that the papers moved for
some days ago, being copies of those found aboard the Pallas
and Licorne French frigates, had in part been withheld; and
such of them as had not, were not produced till since the
House met, by which means the members were prevented from
knowing any thing of their contents. The papers alluded to,
had been transmitted by his honourable 'relation, (Admiral
Keppel) to the admiralty-board; and though moved for on the


st instant, and though they could be copied in a few mi-
nutes, they were withheld. Such a conduct would fully jus-
tify him, in postponing his motion, that gentlemen might have
time to peruse the papers; but as he meant to state them as
part of his speech, it would answer the end he proposed, which
was to shew the comparative strength of the respective squa-
drons, at the time the honourable admiral quitted the channel.
There was still something which had a worse appearance than-
the mere delay; and that was the omitting entirely the letter
from the admiral, which accompanied the enclosures.


He then proceeded, and, in a prefatory discourse, after stat-
ing the seeming advantages which governments merely mo-
narchical had over those limited or mixed, made the following
observations. The general opinion which prevailed was, that(


3779.3
MOTION OP CENSURE ON THE ADMIRALTY. 141


in governments merely arbitrary, or where the direction of
the power, force, and resources of the commonwealth were
vested in a single person, oy in a few, all the functions of go-
vernment were performed with greater facility and dispatch,licularly in times of war. Secresy, which was the life of


qnsel, was secured; dispatch and vigour were only bounded
b) the abilities of the state. The blow was struck, or the ne-
cessary precautions were taken, as it were, before the cause
was known ; and the people acquiesced in the power and wis-
dom of their rulers. On the other hand, in governments
where the political machine consisted of different movements,
where its parts were more complex, and the motion of the
whole depended upon a combination of various movements, its
motions were slower; they were regular, but less vigorous ;
they were liable to be defeated, because their stated progress
was made public, before the proposed effect could take place.


This was a speculative proposition, that no man could deny.
Indeed, on the first hearing, it commanded assent. It was an
abstract proposition, equally clear, that those advantages aris-
ing in arbitrary governments were balanced by others enjoyed
in free governments. The latter were better calculated for
times of peace. Men were more effectually protected in their
persons and properties ; they gave encouragement to the exer-
tions of private individuals; they called forth talents out of
obscurity, into the service of the state ; they were favourable
to mercantile adventure, to the extension of trade and com-
merce; they inspired a love of country, and a spirit of honest
independency ; in short, free governments, while they put
every man upon a level, and rendered him independent of
every thing but the law, combined every member of the so-
ciety in one common interest, and created a personal, as well
as public pride, which, when properly directed and judiciously
restrained, was the strongest excitement to great and glorious
actions.


Such were on one hand, the advantages that in theory were
supposed to be annexed to governments, where the whole
power of the community was vested in, and exercised by, a
single person ; and such on the other, were the distinguishing
characteristics of governments constituted upon the broad basis
of public freedom. But, although in theory, each proposition
seemed equally evident, experience held a different language.
The truth was, that the arts of peace had not, at all times,
been more successfully cultivated in states republican and free,
nor yet those of war, in countries purely arbitrary and despotic.
No nations had been more successful in war than those in
which the body of the people had a share in the public
counsels ; none had oftener failed, than those who excluded


.1.


the speaker do now leave the chair;


Tellers.
Sir John Irwin24.—Nors Mr. Robinson i65


-


Lord North then moved, " That
four months, resolve itself into a
which was agreed to.




MOTION OF CENSURE ON THE ADMIRALTY, 143
1779'i


MOTIO'N OF CENSURE ON TIIE ADMIRALTY- Nardi
3•


them entirely from interfering in the administration of public
affairs.


The ancient republics of Greece and Rome exhibited the
strongest proofs of the former. This country would remain a
monument to the end of time, of the fortunate and almostirresistible 'exertions of a mixed government. Holland and
Switzerland Ihrther confirmed the truth of this proposition,
that no form of government is so well calculated for the hap..
piness of its subjects, for internal prosperity, and external
strength, as that in which the power is delegated by the
people, and exercised by the executive power under their
controul.


The reason which struck him was this : the legislative and
executive powers of the state, being separate and distinct, the
crown and its ministers are conditionally vested with as much
power as is necessary for the discharge of the trust committed
to their care. The executive power may make peace and
war; may enter into alliances; may incur expellees; may, in
short, adopt every measn•e, which the terms of such a trust
can be supposed to imply, in as frill and ample a manner as
they think proper ; Ibllowed only with this single condition,
that they are responsible to parliament for their conduct., If
they act negligently, corruptly, or traitorously, they do it at
their peril—at the hazard of their lives, honours, and for-
tunes ; whereas, in arbitrary governments, where men are
subject to the same failings and vices, being not subject to- a
like controul, or to be called to any account for their conduct,
their conduct being directed by the only person in whose
power it is to disgrace or punish them, so long as they pre-
serve the confidence of the sovereign they have nothing to
fear, or to deter them from giving the most pernicious counsels
their ambition or personal interests may prompt them to.
They have no accounts or after-reckonings to settle with the
public, whom they have oppressed or betrayed; if they have
been able to flatter a weak prince into a favourable opinion of
their services, or to persuade a wicked one, that their inca-
pacity was the effect of a zeal for his person, and an 'implicit
obedience to his commands, they are sure to be honoured and
caressed at court, while, perhaps, they are execrated and de-
tested throughout the nation.


How far the doctrine of a free government, retaining a.
dernier controul over the executive power, was applicable to
the constitution of this country, was a subject worthy of the
particular attention of the House, because it was a matter
most intimately connected with the subject of debate of the
present day. The controul lie alluded to, was the inquisi-
torial power vested in that House; a controul, which he pre-


slimed gentleman entleman present would deny had been so bone-.ficially and successfully exercised upon many former occasions.
It amounted fairly to this : we have confided in administra-
ti for the effecting such and such purposes, which can be


be°tItier brought about by the few than the many; the trust is
conditional; we, who have delegated the power, reserve a.
night to withdraw our confidence, when we discover that it


Os been improperly bestowed or abused ; a want of ability orintegrity, equally disqualifies the persons intrusted, and sub-
jects them to punishment or dismissal, according to the parti-
cular circumstances of the case. He said, parliament might
forbear the exercise of this right of punishment and enquiry,
but they could not divest themselves of it, it being of the
very essence of the constitution they had a right to exercise
it in two ways; the one by way of prevention, the other
judicially. It was the duty of parliament to remove, upon.
good grounds, in order to put a stop to further evils. Wicked
and weak counsellors were proper objects of removal, in the
first instance; of condign punishment upon a constitutional
investigation, and legal proceedings, in the second. Parliae
meat stood between the people and the executive power ; and
it was only through that medium the people could constitu-
tionally seek, or legally obtain, redress.


He was free to acknowledge, that the motion of the present
day was founded strictly in the principles he had now laid
down; it looked immediately to removal as the first step to
enquiry, and consequent punishment. It might be said, and
he expected to hear it urged with all imaginable confidence
and plausibility, " What ! criminate without cause, and pu-
nish without proof ! Would you condemn a person absent,
and unheard ?" The proper answer to these questions would
depend upon the sense of the House. It would rest solely
with the House to judge whether the facts he should state
offered good ground of crimination. If they did, it would
afterwards rest with the House, whether the proofs were suf-
ficient to support a public accusation, or parliamentary
impeachment. It would rest with those whom the consti-
tution had appointed to decide in the last instance, to declare
whether the party or persons accused were guilty ; and to
direct the nature and extent of the punishment.


Ministers had hitherto evaded every thing which could pos-
sibly- lead to an inquiry into their conduct, by refusing every
document necessary for their acquittal or conviction; every
thing which might lead to proofs of their guilt or innocence.
The papers which he had moved for some days since, relative
to any information they might have received concerning the
equipment of the Brest squadron, afforded a recent proof of




44 MOTION OF CENSURE ON Tilt ADMIRALTY. [March 3,
the truth of this assertion. The fate of that Motion was, that
it received a negative; and he presumed that many gentlemen
who voted in the majority on that occasion, voted merely


on
the reason assigned by the noble lord in the blue ribbon:
" that the disclosing secrets of state, which must be the case
if the papers then moved for were granted, would be daa..•
gerous, and might prove of the worst consequence." This
plausible objection would be removed. The information ne-
cessary to support the motion he meant to make, would be
grounded on the evidence on the table, which contained no
secrets of state ; secondly, the answers he expected to receive
to the questions he proposed to put .to his honourable relation
near him, would supply, he trusted, what was deficient in
the papers ; and, thirdly, nothing would or could come out
but what was known to all Europe, and consequently to
every gentleman present, who had turned his thoughts to the
subject.


He then proceeded to state his facts, and point to his con-
clusions. His facts were, that although administration, or he
would speak out, he meant the Earl of Sandwich, the first
lord of the admiralty, had, in the month of November, 1777,
not by a casual expression, which dropped from him in
debate, but repeatedly in answer to doubts started and asser-
tions to the contrary, made by several persons in a certain
respectable assembly, solemnly affirmed, and pledged himself
in his official capacity, that there were then 3s ships of theline ready for sea, and fit for actual service, and 7 more in
great forwardness, which would be ready for sea in a fort-e,
night ; notwithstanding which, early in the month of March
following, when the honourable admiral, by the desire of his
sovereign, went to Portsmouth to examine the state and con-
dition of the ships, there were not more than 6 ships of the
line in a state fit to meet an enemy. That after that period
great diligence was used ; yet, in the month of June, the
force actually ready for sea was little superior, if at all, to
what it had been stated in the preceding November. That
early in the month of June, Admiral Keppel was sent to
cruize off the coast of France with 2o ships of the line only,
though by the papers on the table, taken aboard the Pallas
and Licorne, it appeared there were then 27 ships of the line
lying in Brest water, and 5 more in great forwardness; so
Much so, that the whole 32 were at sea early in the month of
July ; which force was accompanied by a much greater pro-
portion of frigates than the British squadron,off munber
being is, including those which were cruizing off Brest har-
bour. He then corroborated the facts stated in this narrative,
by reading such parts of Admiral's Keppel's defence upon his


MOTION OF CENSURE ON THE ADMIRALTY. 1 4 S


as directly applied to, or served to confirm them. He
the papers taken aboard the Pallas and Licorne,
an order for providing anchorage in Brest water


tc.i.:110°1stni.°1 717rinscilgil of the line, stating their rates, the flags to be


Uorne
aboard them, and that anchorage would be likewise


t for five more, not then ready. The line of battle
Nvarix_
consisted of one of 113, one of o6, eight of 84 and 8o, 20
of 74 and 64, one of 5 6, and one of so guns.The conclusion which this state of facts supported was
obvious to the most moderate capacity, and must equally
strike the meanest as the most enlightened understanding,


that when Admiral Keppel sailed from Plymouth
w
oililitelhie was, of June, with 20 ships, with orders to cruize off
Ushant for so many days, the admiralty board must have
Imown that there were then 3o ready to proceed to sea in
Brest water, or they were ignorant of the fact. If the former,
it was an act of the highest criminality, to risk the fate of this
country on so great a disparity of force; nay, allowing that the
French had but 27 ships ready for sea, the admiralty board
were no less blameable. Had an engagement happened, which
must inevitably have been the case had not Admiral Keppel
returned into port, the consequences would probably have
proved fatal to the naval power of this country. If the western
squadron had been defeated, it would have probably gone to
the exterminating the seeds of a navy of this country ; our
trade would have been ruined, our coasts would have been
insulted, and there would have been nothing to prevent
M. D'Orvilliers from burning and destroying our two great
naval arsenals, Portsmouth and Plymouth. On the other
hand, presuming that the first lord of the admiralty was
ignorant of the real naval force of France in the Bay, would
not the consequences to the nation have been the same ?
And was not his conduct equally criminal ? Negligence in
persons in high trust, to whom the safety and protection of
the state are committed, was not like negligence on ordinary
occasions; negligence in such men amounted to criminality ;
and for persons in high and responsible situations to plead
ignorance, in justification of their misconduct and neglect,
was, in fact, acknowledging themselves guilty. But his pre-
sent motion not being immediately directed to punishment,
but removal, it was enough f6r him to maintain and prove,
that the fate of this nation was committed to an unequal con-
test, and that those who had wilfully or undesignedly loci the
nation into so hazardous a situation, ought instantly to be
removed, as unworthy of, or unequal to the trust committed
to their charge.


It might. be said, is not removal a kind of punishment




had no direct communication with the sovereign; as they were


%I.


t admitted to his councils; as their advice was never sought
taken; as no one part of the proposition stated in the


:notion, though fully proved, could reach them ; he did expect
gentlemen occupying seats at that board, would not


that thetake up the defence of their own conduct, as a proof of the
innocence of the first lord of the admiralty. If they could
controvert the facts, or justify them, in that case the subject
lay open to them, as it did to every other member ; but as
they were not answerable for the state of the navy in June
last, or at any preceding period ; as it was not by their advice
the squadron under Admiral Keppel was sent to sea; as they
could not, in the usual exercise of the powers or functions of
their office, be acquainted with the state and condition, the
number and strength of the Brest fleet; in fine, as they were
ignorant of the counsels which dictated the measure of sending
Admiral Keppel to sea, they must, from these several ci •cum-
stances, be exculpated from all blame on that account; at
least, from any thing which at present appeared to the con-
trary. The measure, whether wise or injudicious, presented
itself to them, after it had been considered, matured, and
determined upon elsewhere. They might retain contrary
opinions, but, as a matter of state, previously decided upon
in his majesty's councils, they had nothing to do but to obey.
The noble earl at the head of the admiralty, having all
necessary information, could only decide, and be alone re-
sponsible, and consequently he expected to hear that sort of
justification which went to the measures and conduct of the
noble lord, only relied upon.


He did not wish to be understood (for he was persuaded ot.
the contrary), that even if Admiral Keppel had been defeated,
and a descent had been made on this kingdom in conse-
quence of that defeat, a conquest would have ensued; but he
submitted to the House, the very perilous situation this na-
tion, in such an event, would have been reduced to ; and how
incumbent it was upon the House to pass a marked censure,
and express the strongest displeasure at the conduct of those
who had staked the fate of this country on the issue of so
perilous a contest. In the first instance, the possibility of
having the seeds of all future navies, as it were, exterminated;
in the second, putting us to the hazard of contending for our
all with a raw, undisciplined militia, just embodied, and a
very inadequate military force, mostly composed of cavalry:
He would not carry his ideas as far as those entertained by
the French, that a landing once made, the contest would only
be, who should possess the Tower of London; but he would
nary thus much, that without an army, without fortresses to


L 2


^
MOTION OF CENSURE ON THE ADMIRALTY. 147


t 179-1


.11.6


MOTION OF CENSURE ON THE ADMIRALTY.
[March


In some instances it certainly was not. Here it was
meant a,some degree of punishment, or rather leading to it. he


objec
removal was i


ncidental, not directly personal, because the


objec


t was the pr
eservation of the state; the measure of Ile


moral was the measure adopted to the attainmen
t of thatt. He said, the journals of parliament contained


severalprecedents of motions of removal, not proceeded -with upo
evidence amounting to criminal conviction. Such were the
cases of the Duke of Lauderdale and Lord Danby, in the
reign of Charles If.; of Lords Orford, Somers, and Halifax,
in that of King William ; of the Bishop of


'Worcester, in theQueen's reign ; of Lord Oxford in the reign of George the
'First ; and of several others, whose names he did not


imme-diately recollect".
. The propriety of the proceeding


wasmanifest ; for if the mischief was great and the. evil
alarming,and no other timely remedy could be applied, removal was


The only step that could suspend, or put a period to the evil.
in the present instance, therefore, if' the grounds of com-
plaint were stifficient to support the resolution, it called for
nothing more to justify removal. It might be said, are pro-
ceedings to stop here ? By no means. His motion


was this,he said : " that it appears to this House, that the
sendingAdmiral Keppel, in the month of June last, to a station off


the coast of France, with a squadron of
20 ships of the line,and four frigates, at a -time when a French fleet,


consisting,as there is great reason to believe, of 32 ships of the line, and
certainly of 27,


with a great number of frigates, was at Brest,
and ready to put to sea, was a measure greatly hazarding the
safety of.


the kingdom, without any prospect of an adequateadvantage." He was free to acknowledge, that if he carried
this motion, he would follow it with another for the removal '
of the first lord of the oda:drafty ; and it would then rest with
that House, whether the facts stated in his motion would not
peach anent.
furnish matter sufficient to found upon it a parliamentary im-


He had thus declared his objects without reserve: he looked
upon Lord Sandwich to be the head and mouth of the admi-
ralty board, and of course, in every


sense': responsible for itsconduct: and he was the


more urged to say so, because it
would serve to shorten the debate, and prevent the


severalmembers of that board who were present in their places, from
mitering into personal justifications. In their judicial andministerial capacity they were only


responsible: but as they


See New Parliamentary- History, Vol iv. pp. 62 5 . 628. , Vol. v. pp. 1257-1z66. 1299. Vol vi. p. so. Vol.
IN- 74.




48 MOTION OF CENSURE ON THE ADMIRALTY. [March.


interrupt them in their march from the water-side, our situs,
tion would be indeed terrible. No man trusted more to


thspirit and native bravery of Britons than he did; yet he
couldnot help thinking, that in the two possible, nay probable,events, of a partial destruction of our naval force, and s


itinvasion under the circumstances described, the ruin of
ourtrade and commerce then returning from the four quarters of


the globe, to the amount of many millions, our want of mili-
tary preparation and internal strength, the effect the


wholemust have upon public credit, the fiicility of landing on our
coasts, and of pouring in troops from time to time, to almost
any amount, the means of supplying them with provisions in
a few hours, till they had gained a footing in the country,
all these held out such a correct picture of what might have


jbeen the consequences of a defeat at sea, as fully justified the
highest censure of that House, on the authors of a measure
which risked at once our dearest interests, our independence,nay, our very existence as a free nation.


He c
ommented on the part of the admiral's defence which


he had read soon after he rose, and contended next that the
treachery of ministers to their country, the persecution and
prosecution of his gallant relation, demanded the utmost indig-
nation of that House. He went into a variety of argumen-
tative proofs to strew-, that instead of trusting to an inferiority
in any engagement in the narrow seas, on which the fate of
this country might possibly depend, we ought, as an


,
act of


necessary prudence and policy, always to endeavour to have a
decided superiority. Our insular situation, the nature of our
internal defence, demanded such a precaution, nay it was the
very idea of the noble earl at the head of the admiralty him-
self, who had said, that we ought not only to be superior to
France alone, but that no person was fit to preside over


,
the naval department, who did not, at all times, take care to'
have a naval force superior to the whole House of Bourbon
united.


He begged leave to repeat, that he wished for the fullest
proofs of the truth of the facts stated in his motion; but
ministers had refused them under various pretences. The
House acquiesced in that refusal, and he had no more to say
on the subject, so flu' as it respected what had passed. The
noble lord in the blue ribbon, besides saying that the papers .
called for would give improper information to our enemies, said,
that those papers would be necessary for the justification of
ministers. The moment was then arrived, when they were
called upon by the nature of the motion, to produce them in


facietheir own defence. If they refused it, would it not be primaevidence, that the production of them would make
against and not for them ? They were refused in a very thin


MOTION OF CENSURE ON THE ADMIRALTY. 149
1779.1
Mouse, but from the present full appearance, he trusted that
the House would call for them, or draw the obvious conclu-
sion. Be that as it might, if he could not procure the very best
proofs, he had submitted to the House the next best evidence,
namely, the papers taken aboard the Licorne and Pallas,
further corroborated, confirmed, and explained, by the tes-
timony of the honourable admiral in :his place. With that
intention, and with the permission of the House and his
honourable relation, he would put such questions to him, as
he thought were necessary to prove to its satisfaction, the two
leading facts stated in his motion, that of the number of ships
under the honourable admiral, and the force under the com-
mand of M. D'Orvilliers, the day the former sailed from
Plymouth.


Admiral Koppel then gave personal testimony' on the subject.
Mr. Fox put several questions to him, which were answered sub-
stantially as he had stated them in his speech. The admiral pre-
faced what he said by a few observations on the delicacy of his
situation. He avowed the facts stated in his defence, respecting
the condition of the fleet on his repairing to Portsmouth-in March;
but acknowledged the subsequent exertions of the admiralty
board to have been meritorious. He said he was never more dis-
tressed than when, in consequence of the information acquired
from the Pallas and Licorne, he was compelled, for the first time
iu his life, to turn his back on the enemy.


Mr. Fox declared he was perfectly satisfied with the
proofs contained in the answers given by his honourable
relation, that the fleet sent under his command was con-
siderably inferior to that of France then preparing to sail
from Brest. He descanted on the negligence, obstinacy, or
designed treachery of ministers ; their credulity in trust-
ing to the assurances of France, when so often warned from
that side of the House, and when they had actual information
of the formidable naval armaments going on at Brest and
Toulon ; and their unpardonable inattention to the measures
necessary for our home defence, and the security of our
distant possessions. The only defence administration could
set up was, either to plead that they did not know the
effective strength of France, or that they did ; in either of
which cases, he should leave it with the judgment of the
House, whether their conduct was not highly culpable ; and
whether, in the first instance, they ought not to be imme-
diately removed, particularly the noble earl (of Sandwich),
who was, from his office, more especially responsible for the
measures pursued and adopted in the naval department ?
His motion, as he observed before, did not go so far as the


L 3




ISO
MOTION OP ant= ON THE ADMIRALTY. [March 3.


noble lord's removal; but, if it should meet with the approbation
of a majority of the House,. he meant most certainly to fol-
low it with a proposition to that effect. He then moved,
" That it appears to this House, that the sending Admiral
Keppel, in the month of June last, to a station off the coast
of France, with a squadron of zo ships of the line, and 4
frigates at a time when a French fleet, consisting, as there is
great reason to believe, of 32 ships of the line, and certainly
of 27, with a great number of frigates, was at Brest, and
ready to put to sea, was a measure greatly hazarding the
safety of these kingdoms, without any prospect of an adequate
advantage."


Lords North and Mulgrave defended the conduct of govern,
meat. The written documents, they said, were loose, indefinite,
without date, and. did not prove the existence of the ships for which
they required anchorage, but rather the contrary ; and Admiral
Keppel's defence was of?


no weight, being founded only on the
information derived from these vague and deceitful papers. The
testimony respecting the state of the fleet in March, was erro-
neous; as the motion was limited to June ; and official documents
proved, that in July, 48 or 49 sail of the line were ready for
service. When Admiral Keppel sailed with zo ships, D'Orvilliers
did not venture to encounter him, but remained at Brest till the
8th of July, and notwithstanding the admiral's return, his sailing
produced the advantage of facilitating the arrival of the home-
ward-bound fleets. The retreat was, however, censurable, being'
founded on false information, and adopted without calling a coun-
cil of officers. Admiral Keppel made several explanatory replies ;
he urged that the information obtained from the French frigates
Was proved true, by the engagement of the 27th of July, when
the very ships, manned and armed as described in those papers,
were opposed to his squadron. Although he had not formally
called a council, yet he consulted several officers individually, who
:concurred in the propriety of returning to port.


The question being put on Mr. Fox's motion, the House di-
vided :


Tellers,
Tellers.Mr T. Townsli end I
{Lord MulgraveYEA


s Sir 204:Sir P. J. Clarke S
Mr. Robinson .1So it passed in the negative:


*4 " This was an unusual division on the side of the minority ; and the
minister slimed a degree of passion and vehemence in different parts of
this debate, which was not at all customary with him. It was observed by
some, who, from long experience, think they may form an opinion on the
appearances of things in that House, that the question would probably have
been carried in the affirmative, if the noble lord at the head of adminis-
tration, having equally perceived the same indications, had not imMediately
applied himself to prevent their effect. For that minister, observing strong


7791


FOI's MOTION ON THE STATE OF THE NAVY, UPON THE
BREAKING OUT OF THE WAR WITH FRANCE.


• March 8.


THIS day at half past four, the House being, if possible, more
crowded than it was on the 3d instant,


Mr. Fox rose in pursuance of the notice he had given.
Ile opened the grounds of his motion, which, he said, in
several respects, resembled . that which he had submitted to
the House on the 3d instant. The difference between both
motions was this; the principle was the same, but the former
one was particular and specific. It stated a fact which he was
sure no gentleman in that House doubted of who had spent
a single thought upon it; nay, he would venture farther ;
fact of which neither of the noble lords themselves (North and
Mulgrave) who so strongly combated the motion, disbelieved,
" that Admiral Keppel went out in June with 20 ships of the
line, though there were then 27 certainly, if not 32, lying in
Breast water." The present proposition was a general one :
it contained matter of public and universal notoriety ; it called
for no specific or narrowed proofs ; he would trust it to the
feelings and convictions of every honourable gentleman pre-
sent. That was the evidence he would adduce : that was the
just tribunal he would appeal to; on that testimony, which
every thinking man must secretly submit to, and every honest
man avowedly declare, he trusted the fate of his motion. He
would not examine this gentleman to the number of -ships fit
for Channel service at the. time; he Would not trouble his
honourable relation to inform the House again, how many he
had under his command when lie fell in with the Licorne
and the Pallas ; he would not trouble the noble lord over
the way (Lord Howe) to prove our inferiority in America;
nor the whole world to prove, that we had totally abandoned


marks of defection, particularly among that part of the country gentlemen
who support administration, recalled both them and his other wavering
friends to the standard, by openly declaring, that the motion of censure
against the first lord of the admiralty went directly to himself, and to all
the other ministers; that there could be no discrimination; as they were
all equally concerned in the conduct of public aflitirs, they were all equally
liable to answer for the consequences; there could be no separate praise
or censure; whatever reached one, must reach the whole. Notwithstand-
ing this defeat, Mr. Fox did not abandon, he only shifted his ground; and
keeping his object still steadily in view, brought the business-forward under
another form a few days after. As he hail given early notice of his intoat-
Lion, administrationrallied all their forces." Annual -Register.


L 4


MOTION ON THE STATE OF THE NAVY.




152 MOTION ON THE STATE Or THE NAVY. [March 3
our trade and commerce, our consequence and fortresses, illthe Mediterranean. No; he should avoid any of these form


sso necessary to substantiate charges where there was the most
glimmering ray of doubt or hesitation, whereon to hang a loop.
But, was that the case here? No; he was certain it


was not.He should hear every &et and argument resorted to, but that
of the terms of the proposition being not literally and sub-
stantially true. He should not hear a syllable of the con-
tents controverted, but a great deal about, " Why come to
this vote at this time? If true, the danger is passed. Why:
criminate without the necessary forms of legal or judicial pro-
cess ? And above all, what madness to come to a vote, when
that very vote goes eventually not only to a censure of the
admiralty board, or rather the first lord of the admiralty; but
to the final overthrow of administration, and those imme-
diately connected or dependent upon it?" Before he pro-
ceeded further, he begged leave to testify his entire appro..
bation of the conduct of the right honourable gentle/mut
under the opposite gallery (Mr. Rice), for his prudence, sa-
gacity, and foresight. The right honourable gentleman gave
notice, on a former day, that lie would oppose the bill moved
by an honourable friend respecting contractors, but he had
declined the combat. He perceived, by the complexion of
the House, that a certain description of men, who came down
that day to give the minister their countenance and support
on the present question, would withhold it on the other. He
admired the right honourable gentleman's prudence. It
would not be pleasant for the noble lord and himself to re-
main in a minority; it would have an alarming appearance,
and might in the end be productive of several very disagree-
able circumstances.


Such being the ground of public notoriety, such the un-
interrupted current of public fame, such the acknowledg-
ments of administration themselves, he could scarcely recon-
cile it to respect for that House, to go into any detailed proof
whatever, were it not as well to thew what ministers had not
done, what they had neglected, and the promises they had
repeatedly made, as the means which the nation and that
House had put into their hands, and the sanguine expecta-
tions they had to form upon such means and such assurances.


To lay this as part of the basis on which his motion was
to rest, he begged leave to state a few particular frets from
the papers on the table, which contained a series of five years
of peace at two respective periods; the one including the five
years following the treaty of peace entered into at Aix-la-
Chapelle; the other the five years of peace preceding the year
1 775 . These


zQ
he read in his place, by which it appeared,


1779.]
that the naval peace establishment which took place in 17499
upon an average of the five years taken together, amounted
to no more than 938,0001. while the average of the latter five
years amounted to 1,738,0001. per annum, or an increase of


Yearly
double. This, then, led him to compare the expence


of the navy at the commencement of the two succeeding wars,
to the peace establishments already mentioned. In the year
175 6, the first of the late war, the expellees amounted to no
more, including navy cxtraordinaries, &c. than what was
voted in 1778, with this difference, however, that the navy
debt of the fbrmer period was but 1600,000t.; whereas the
navy debt of 1 7 78 was considerably above two millions. Thenit was in proof, as well in point bringing conviction home
to gentlemen's minds, as supported by every mode adopted
for discovering legal truth, that our peace establishment cost
us nearly double in the latter period to what it did in the
former ; and that the whole of our naval expenditure in 1778,
exceeded what it was in 1756, by full half a million.


If; then, our peace and war establishments, latterly, were
superior in point of expence, the next obvious consideration
would be, whether our naval preparation and effective strength
was proportionably superior, which might be reasonably ex-
pected; or whether it was even equal, which could hardly
entitle those who had the management of it to any praise; or,
lastly, whether it was considerably inferior, and furnished just
cause for the censure of that House, and the well-founded
resentments of the people at large. By an authentic paper
which he held in his hand, it appeared, that the ships of the
line of battle in 1756, were no less than 8 9, while the present
first lord of the admiralty, in the first year of his war esta-
blishment, was not able to make out above 42 ships of the
line, with a very deficient proportion of frigates. He should
speak more particularly to that circumstance in his further
progress; but he could not avoid making the proper use of
these facts, thus contrasted, because they went to prove a part
of his motion, which stated one of the grounds for desiring
the House to agree with the vote of censure, that the state of
the navy was not adequate to the sums voted ; because the
sums voted during the last peace, were nearly double what
they were the preceding, while the naval force, at the break-
ing out of the former war, was more than double what it
was at present.


As the assertions of ministers formed another ground of
his intended motion, that consideration would bring him back
to the number of ships actually ready for sea at the begin-
ning of the year 1778. Towards the close of the preceding
year, in December 1/77, it was asserted. by a noble lord in


MOTION ON THE STATE OF THE NAVY. 153




154 MOTION ON THE STATE OF THE NAVY. [March 8.
the other House; he would not forbear to name him, thefirst lord of the admiralty : it was Lord Sandwich who as.,serted, not in the w


armthof debate, nor in a hurry or pas,
sion of any kind, but coolly, gravely, and repeatedly in his
official character, that we had then 3 5


ships of the line readyfor immediate, actual service, and seven more would be ready
in a few days; and doubts having been started of the col..
redness of this statement, as often as they arose, his


lordshipfollowed them up with this observation, " That avno personwas fit to be intrusted with the conduct of the nal affairs
of this country, who did not at all times take care to have
a navy equal to cope with, or superior to the whole united
force of the House of Bourbon." This was the language of
the noble lord in the months of November and


December1777; yet, in upwards of six months after, the whole naval
force of Great Britain hardly amounted to the number stated
by the noble lord; in March there were but six actually ready
and collected; and even in June, when his honourable


relationbelow him (Admiral Keppel) sailed, there were little more
than the number mentioned in December, attended with thisadditional cir


cumstance, that, instead of being able to cope
with, or being superior to the united force of the House of
Bourbon, we were not, at the beginning of June and July,
even equal to France alone. On the 8th of July, the French
fleet, consisting of 32 ships of the line, with a


considerablenumber of frigates, sailed from Brest; on the 9th,
AdmiralKeppel sailed with only 24, though six had joined or fol-


lowed him, between that and the 23d of the same month.
He did not confine these assertions to the noble lord in the


other House; for he had heard them frequently repeated,
confirmed, and stamped with the superscription 'of-ministerial
authority, by the noble lord in the blue ribbon, and very often
urged and pressed by almost every member and friend to ad-
ministration in that House. He was likewise at liberty to
add, that this motion neither tended to nor expressed any
exclusive censure on the first lord of the admiralty, fartherthan mere removal, on the grounds already mentioned,


hisincapacity or wilful neglect; the general censure was directed
to all the ministers equally. If he had retained any doubt
upon the subject, the conduct of the noble lord (North) onW


ednesday put it beyond a question, or the least degree ofu
ncertainty. The noble lord generously stepped forth, with


all his popularity and interest in that House, to do what ?
To shield his friend, to share his misfortunes, to rescue himfrom his enemies, or to perish gloriously in the


attempt.Formerly, the noble lord was content to share only so 'inuch
of the blame or credit of every measure: " He had nothing


MOTION ON THE STATE OP THE NAVY.
779.1


to do in any office but that in which he presided. lie was
no minister but in his own department." But now the noble
lord has totally changed his language : he has taken at least
part of the responsibility upon himself, and divided the rest
among his colleagues in office. Be it so ; he has' pledged
himself, and his cabinet friends, to all attoin.cileirigti3rre. s of the
admiralty board. The motion is framed
honourable gentleman will now know how to conduct him-
self. If he votes for the motion, he will give it his assent on
the degree of truth which it presents; if he perceives its ten-
dency, and sees that it involves a censure upon all his ma-


jesty's confidential
servants, then all will be open to him; the


question will present fairly the alternative, " Are such men
to be longer confided in, or is it better to trust to further
contingencies, or at once withdraw our support ?" The noble
lord, by his conduct, or rather popular confidence, the last
night, brought the point to the issue now described; and,
for his part, he was perfectly content, as he thought it much
better, as it respected every side of the House, that gentlemen,
when they were desired to vote, should know the full extent
to which the proposition made was intended to be carried.


He then proceeded to his conclusions, which were, that
our navy was not in a better and more formidable state at
the end of the year 1778, than it was in 1754; that in 1756,
the expences of the navy were less by half a million than in
1778; that in 1756 nevertheless, we had 89 ships of the line,
though in 1778 we had not more than one half the number ;
that instead of being able to cope with, or being superior to
any-force which France and Spain united could send against
us, we were not equal to France alone. This he endeavoured
to show was the case in the month of July, in respect of the
home defence, of our force in America and in the Mediter-
ranean. In June, and in the early part of July, we were
manifestly inferior to M. D'Orvilliers; in the Mediteranean,
the inferiority. was clearly evident, and in America Lord
Howe was manifestly inferior to M. D'Estaing. Hence it
was evident, that not only the ends were not proportioned to
the given means, but that the first lord of the admiralty and
ministers in that House had broken their faith with the public,
and were no longer worthy of public confidence.


He begged leave to anticipate one of the noble lord's great
arguments, or rather pillars of debate. Says the noble lord,
" I was not the author of the American war. America re-
belled. I am not answerable for the events of the French
war ; it was the perfidy of France that' made that kingdom
Abet our rebellious subjects. I did not encourage the Bos-
tonians to destroy the tea, nor to rise, nor to fight, nor to




'10


u'd


I 56 MOTION ON THE STATE OF THE NAVY. [March 8,
declare themselves independent, &c.": though the noble lord
is conscious that he did not take a single step through the
whole business, that the next, on the part of America, or
France, was not literally foretold, which amounts just to this,
the noble lord confounds the cause with the effect, he presumes
that the effect took place before the cause, and the cause fol-
lowed the effect.


While he was upon this part of the subject, he
.said, it


would not be quite foreign to touch a little on the repeated
. assurances given by other ministers, as well as the noble earl


in the other House. When the first disturbances relative to
the destruction of the tea sent to America broke out in that
country, the language of the noble lord in the blue ribbon
was, " pass the Boston Port bill, and the necessities of the
people will compel them to submit." Well, the noble lord
was mistaken, the people did not submit. Says the noble lord
again, " send a few regiments; and force the Port bill down
the throats of the discontented and mutinous with powder and
ball." That recipe not proving efficacious, says the noble
lord, " we will hold out terms to them," which gave birth
to his lordship's conciliatory proposition. The conciliatory
proposition was, however, treated with the contempt and
derision which it merited. It imported this: " give us as
much as you please, we will accept of it, and take afterwards
as much as we think fit, in addition ;" that is, " give us me-
thing, and we will then scramble for as much more as we can
plunder you of, either by force, or stratagem." The noble
lord finding himself baffled in all his plans, at length grew
disgusted and angry. The whole force of this country was to
be tried, the most vigorous measures were to he made; every
thing was to be carried by the hand of strength, and America
was to be brought to the feet of Great Britain, and submit to
" unconditional submission." This high, this boastful lan-
guage proved as vain-glorious, and the attempt as unpros-
perous as every other, to bully and deceive, to cheat and
frighten. The people of America had too much good sense
and resolution to submit to either.


In these several stages, gentlemen on his side of the House
were not unmindful of their duty. As friends to their coun-
try, they reasoned, they argued, they ventured to predict.
They did not perhaps they could not bring that species of
proof which was required to support a criminal charge in a
court of law— they did not attempt to criminate, censure, or
impeach ; they stated the facts which they heard; they were
persuaded of the truth of many of them; they reasoned li-
berally, they foretold the probable consequences, they, con-
jured, remonstrated, and threatened. They unluckily spoke


1779'3 MOTION ON THE STATE OF THE NAVY.
157


with a prophetic spirit ; and when every day's misconduct
brought us into that precise situation which openly invited the
interference of foreign powers, what was the language they
adopted ? "Take care of France and Spain." And what were
the uniform answers? " The finances of France are exhausted,
her income is not equal to the expences of her peace establish-
ment: her navy is annihilated : she is on the eve of national
bankruptcy: she is taxed to the utmost extent she is able to
bear: she is without internal resources or credit. Spain is in
a condition equally imbecile, and is incapable of assisting
France, or of performing the terms of the family compact.
France or Spain, however well inclined, will not set so dan-
gerous an example to their own colonies; they will not en-
courage, foment, or support rebellion in the British colonies,
lest the contagion may spread to those possessed by themselves
in the New World. But allowing the worst that can possibly
happen; grant that they should be instigated by motives of
mistaken policy, of revenge, of false and dishonest ambition,
their state of weakness and total inability, with our decided
superiority, will be our best security. They know it is in our
power to chastise them. France or Spain know better; and
if they were inclined to combine or unite against us, they are
not so blind as not to foresee, that such a combination would,
nay, must, terminate in their ruin and disgrace."


'A time however arrived, when conjecture seemed to receive
some countenance from actual appearances. Mr. _Deane arrived
at Paris in the summer of 1776. I happened to be in Paris
soon after his arrival ; when I mentioned the circumstance in
this House, I was laughed at. The noble lord and his friends
on his right and left hand observed, " that Mr. Deane might
have taken this trip for his amusement, or for business, or for
curiosity, or at most in the character of a mere merchant ;" in
short, every motive was assigned but the true one. All did
not end here. Dr. Franklin soon followed, but ministers still
continued infidels, or affected it. Said they, " the doctor is
an enthusiast; he is zealous in the cause which he has himself
produced into being. But whatever his errand might be, sig-
nified very little, the appearances of the court of Versailles
were such as might b.e trusted to with safety; they were of the
most sacred and solemn nature. Dr. Franklin was treated
coldly, and . with manifest neglect, nay, with contempt. The
court of France refused to receive him in a public character."
in short, the opposite benches treated even every suspicion of
the kind, as the mere effect of visionary fear, or originating in
faction, till that gentleman was known to have transacted busi-
ness with the French King's ministers.


So matters rested till a new scene unfolded itself, till the




158
MOTION ON THE STATE OF THE NAVY. [March 8.


Tobacco contract was publicly known and acknowledged 6the French court. Even then the appearance of delusion wa'kept. up; for it could be no more. The lame and ridic idoi—lsapology made by that court, was instantly adopted by
ministehin that House: " It was only a commercial contract, dictatedby necessity. It had nothing political in it, nor any seed


s ofhostility in its nature. Tobacco must be had, to secure to th
e-


- crown one of the most beneficial branches of its revenu
e ,Great Britain could not, in the present situation of affirs.supply the commodity, and a supply must be sought, whee'


only it could be had." So the delusion was kept up, till the
signing of the treaty between France and the congress del
rates could be no longer concealed; not when it was known


in that 'House, far


lie had communicated it in his place, in ten
days after it Was signed ; but when the rescript delivered by
the Count de Noailles, almost four weeks after that com-
munication, rendered the further concealment totally imprac-
ticable.


The folly,
madness and delusive arts of the noble lord in


the blue ribbon, and dminis ters in both Houses of parliament,
were nevertheless exerted as strongly during the intermediate'
period, between the actual signing and the delivery of the
rescript, as at any former one. " No such treaty," it was
said, " existed. France had neither the will nor ability to
carry it into execution." And to conclude the whole of this
political, farcical delusion, they desired parliament to agree to
the passing of certain acts, and to the delegating certain
powers to commissioners, though ministers, as it had since
come out in actual proof, knew at the very instant they pro-
posed them, that they must prove totally nugatory, and serve
only to render this country despicable in the eyes of all Europe.


He presented this argument in a variety of lights, and drew
the following inference; that ministers acted under the domi-
nion of the grossest and dullest ignorance, and were therefore,
unworthy of public trust or confidence; or from sinister, cor-
rupt, and concealed motives, and further urged by some
powerful criminal influence, operating upon their minds, had
wilfully misled, and by a studied series of delusions and a
preconcerted plan of impositions, had imperceptibly dragged,
or rather allured, this infatuated country to the very verge of
destruction. This was a dilemma from which neither the blind
confidence nor studied plausibility of the noble lord in the blue
ribbon could extricate him. The alternative was, that minis-
ters were either ignorant or treacherous. If ignorant, was
there a gentleman in that House who would trust his dearest
and nearest concerns to such men ? If treacherous, where was
the person who would be mad enough to trust his most lai-


r 6


MOTION ON THE STATE OF THE NAVY. 159


portant concern
s to men who, he was persuaded, would sacri,


flee
them to their own dishonest and corrupt views?


Fie again returned to the substance of his motion, and en-
telt, into ' to further particulars in support of it. He observed,April, France detached twelve ships of the line, though


en
Arenot able to detach an equal number till about the


tss‘lall'icaee


w r




their purpose, had not the elements so remarkably
time in the month of :lune. We gave France full time


totbefriended us, which must have at once destroyed our naval
force in America, and as the consequence of such an event,
viva her a decided superiority in the European seas. If M.


b'Estaing had not remained so long in the Mediterranean,which was occasioned by adverse winds, it was probable that
he would have reached the coasts of America befrore Mr.
Byron left Plymouth. There were papers on the table which
shelved. that ministry were acquainted with D'Estaing's desti-
nation before he even sailed. Knowing that circumstance, if
they were able, why did they not detach as soon as the fact
came to their knowledge; or if they were not able, which he
believed was the truth, why did they not) send out a few ships,
at least, to put the noble lord over the way (Lord Howe)
nearly upon an equality with D'Estaing? On the contrary,
the noble lord was left to chance, to meet an enemy infinitely
superior, and the fate of the fleet under his command, and the
army of course, exposed to imminent danger. The superior
genius of the noble lord, it was true, stood unrivalled; for, by
an effort which had exalted him in the opinion of those who
thought most favourably of him, and had, if possible, rendered
him i more dear than ever to his grateful country, lie rescued it
f o a blow which, if it had proved successful, must have•pro-
duceadpsconsequences


never
which
be retrieved;retri


it mist have h
but
ave long


notwithstanding
and


nwg
which


p ap
noble


ent
fleet arrived
fessional skill wouldll


ii:.le'csi. but even bravery and ability, had the French


no have been sufficient, He must, with
the whole of his evensf


it
h


x clays sooner, his experience and pro-


little orce, have fallen a sacrifice, and with
, perhaps, the naval power and glory of Great Britain.


-,°:theFnoirotunnc, indeed, had been very kind to us. We had hadte


the merit


in almost every quarter of the globe. She had
coocen our constant attendant. The ministry, on a former night,


fairly
, L tat score, though lie was persuaded that fortune had


Lam (.
mplained of ill luck ; but he would balance the account with


leclared on their side. He would therefore try them
rit and wisdom of their measures. The noble lord


already alluded to could soon satisfy the House on that head.
He could readily inform the House how inferior we were to


17791


Pr •ranee 111 America, as it was HOW well known and acknow-




16o
CENSURE ON ADMINISTATION.


[Mara 22.


lodged, we had been in Europe. How did this accord with
the opinion of the noble earl in the other House, who


pre-sided at the admiralty board, " that the minister ought to lose
his head, who had not a fleet equal, if not superior to the
combined fleets of France and Spain?" That assertion was


,
and ever would be, alive in his memory. That noble lord had
forfeited his word to the public; he had pronounced his own
condemnation ; nor did he see upon what ground those who
had hitherto supported the present administration, could con-
tinue to support them in the pursuit of measures which, from
the very commencement, were impracticable; which were ren-
dered still more so in their progress; and, above all, how that
House could put a further trust in men who had forfeited all
future confidence, from repeated breaches of public faith, and
that in instances, where the honour, interest, nay, the very
existence of this country were most materially concerned.


The honourable gentleman concluded with moving, "That
it appears to this House, that the state of the navy, on the
breaking out of the war with France, was very unequal to
what this House and the nation were led to expect, as well
from the declaration of his majesty's ministers, as from the
great sums of money granted, and debts incurred, for that
service, and inadequate to the exigencies of the various services
for which it was the duty of his majesty's ministers to have
provided at so important a crisis."


The motion was opposed by Lords Mulgrave and North ; and
supported by Lord Howe, Admiral Keppel, Sir Horace Mann,
Mr. Temple Luttrell, Mr. Grenville, Mr. Byng, and Mr. Burke.
At one the House divided on Mr. Fox's motion


Tellers.


"


Tellers.
YEA S I Lord J. Cavendish 1 Lord BeauchamMr. T. Townshendi -171-"Ns t Mr. C. Townshenpd s 246.So it passed in the negative.


Ma. Fox's MOTION OF CENSURE ON ADMINISTRA'T'ION FOR
NOT SENDING OUT REINFORCEMENTS TO LORD HOWE AT
NEW YoRK.


illarch 22.
ON tlie order of the day being read,


Mr. Fox rose. He began with observing, that possibly the
resolution he should have the honour of proposing to the


CENSURE ON ADMINISTRATION. 161
070
kjouse, would, by the noble lord in the blue ribbon, be called


strange one; for so he observed it was the fashion with the
noble lord to term every motion which was proposed from that
s
ide of the House; and which did not immediately meet the


,,•shes of the noble lord. He should nevertheless proceed to
open his motion, or rather his two motions, to the House; for
he had two to propose, and which, as they in a manner de-
pended upon each other, he had thought it right to propose
and speak to on the same day; at the same time assuring the
House, that he meant not to trouble them with any other mo-
tion till after the holidays, when he should offer one more,
which would generally refer to all that he had already had the
honour of moving in that House. He observed, that he had
made several propositions, stating that our navy was not ade-
quate to the necessary services, from time to time; which had
been negatived, on the grounds stated by the King's servants,
that xve had 3 5 ships ready for actual service in November
1777, and seven in a state of preparation so as to be ready for
sea in a fortnight, and that in June 1778, our naval force was


`such as to be adequate to all the services required. He had.
made a motion directly the reverse, but the opinion of the.
House was against him. His present motion would be en-
grafted on this negative, which lie knew to be false, viz. " That
our navy in the month of June last was adequate to the im-
portant crisis." This being the ground of his first motion,
and of his second, it would be productive of this dilemma ;
that our force having been adequate, and not properly em-
ployed, administration were deserving of censure ; or, if ade-
quate, that then it must follow of course, that the House, in
putting a negative on his motion, had resolved what could not
he supported either by fact or reason.


His first motion, lie said, was, that the not sending a rein-
forcement to Lord Howe at New York sooner last year, was a
gross piece of misconduct and neglect in his majesty's servants :
his second, that the not sending a fleet to the Mediterranean
last year was also a piece of gross misconduct and neglect.
The two propositions wer6 substantially, he said, the same,
though directed to two different objects; because, if Dyed
RQWC had been reinforced, or the Streights of 'Gibraltar
watched, in either event the effect would be similar ; that of
securing to Lord Howe the full advantage of the force under




his command, or giving him a superiority in case the•Toulon
squadron was permitted to cross the ocean. Here, then, the
alternative was, that either our naval force was adequate in the
months of February, March, &c. to these services, or it was
not; if adequate, the not reinforcing Lord Howe was, in the


VOL. I.




162
CENSURE ON ADMINISTRATION.


[March 22 .
terms of his motion, a gross piece of misconduct and neglect;if inadequate, which he had no doubt was the fact, the ce4,
sure contained in his motion was equally well merited.


Having surrounded ministers with this dilemma, froulWhich he contended it was impossible to extricate them, he
proceeded to explain what he deemed to be the true point at
issue, from what had fallen from gentlemen within doors, and
from what he had heard in conversations without ; that some
independent part of the House voted with administration, net
because they believed the force adequate, but upon motives of
conscience and justice. Said they, " We have brought mi..
sisters into a dirty lane; we have encouraged them to prose-
cute the American war; let us bring them through, and not
basely desert them in the moment of distress, occasioned by
measures of which we have been the authors." This mode of
reasoning, he said, was apparently mistaken, and the motives
misconceived; they had not brought ministers into the Ame-
rican war, but ministers had led them into it by misrepresent-
ations of all kinds, by promises broken as.often as they were
made, by false hopes, false fears, and by every species of poli-
tical delusion. He then made a particular application of the
whole of the measures respecting the American war, the pro-
mise of a revenue, of obtaining unconditional submission, and
finally, with giving up every object contended for at the out-
set, and promised in the future progress of the business. He
charged the noble lord in the blue ribbon with an act of pub-
lic perfidy, with a breach of a solemn specific promise. He
reminded the House, that in February 177 5, his lordship
moved his Conciliatory Proposition ", and pledged his honour
to the House and nation, that he would never agree to any
measure which should go to enlarge the offers therein made;
yet, at the end of three years, after sacrificing thirty millions
of money, and 3o,coo lives, his lordship, in the same assembly,
not only solemnly renounced all claim to superiority, revenue,
;Ind internal legislation, but consented, by the mouth of his.
commissioners, to the giving up the monopoly of the Ameri-
can trade, the appointment of governors, and all subordinate
officers, and the royal prerogative of keeping up or sending an
army in any part of the empire his majesty might think proper.
From this state of filets he drew this conclusion ; that ministers
had led the parliament into the war, and had broken the pro-
mises which induced parliament to adopt the measure; that
the motion, as stated by him, involved a dilemma which in-


See p. 36.


s779.] CENSURE ON ADMINISTRATION'.


163


controvertibly proved the
en


charge o misconduct and neglect
and of course, that those gentlemen who voted uponneglect,-
pendent principles were neither bomid by previous engage-
ments, subsequent measures, nor any obligation of honour, to
vote against their conscience and conviction.


He then animadverted on the conduct of the noble lord,
whose arrogance, he said, was unpardonable. His unreserved
contempt of the whole body of the people of England, without
doors, was no less indecent than ungenerous. To treat his
best benefactors in so haughty a stile as to lump them indis-
criminately under the appellation of 44 populace, and coffee-
house readers," was a language that did not become any
member of that House, much less a minister, who, to be able
to serve his country, should always endeavour to be popular,
and secure the good opinion of the people in his favour ; much -
less, a minister who had led them by the arts of specious de-
lusion into those dirty ways, which it would be very difficult
to wade through, without the utmost danger from surrounding
perils. He presumed, the noble lord included every person
who differed with him under the contemptuous description of
populace and coffee-house readers; but he begged leave to
remind his lordship, that his former motion was supported by
174 independent members, while those who voted with him
were either persons who, from their situations, were in a great
measure obliged to support him, or were composed of those
gentlemen who erroneously imagined that they were bound in
honour to get him through the dirty lane, into which his lord-
ship—not they—had led the way.


Speaking of the present ministers in general, he said, they
were so lost to every sense of shame, that they exerted their
influence in that House in a manner equally disgraceful to
themselves, and to those who supported them. Their argu-
ments in controversion of his late motions — motions which
were founded on indisputable facts—facts which were admitted
every where but within those walls reminded him of
what he had once read in a book written by a man of acknow-
ledged abilities, though his principles were not much admired.
The writer he alluded to was Mr. Hobbes, who in one of his
prefaces speaking of the powerful operation of self-interest in
all matters of controversy, said that there were men who for
the sake of argument, when -upon that argument depended
their emolument, would strenuously contend that three angles
of a triangle were not equal to two right a gleis;_u aiiiiic)1 that
sooner than give up their interest they would their
reason, and hold arguments directly repugnant to every prin-
ciple of reason or common sense. He applied this quotation
to the conduct of ministers and their adherents.


M 2




164 MOTION TO REMOVE THE EARL OF SANDWICH. / ,{April 19,
He declared, that his motion warranted a great deal more


of argument than lie had used, but as he had taken up the
time of the House, perhaps too much of late, and as in the
discussion of the several motions he had the honour to offer
within the course of the last four weeks, the substance of his
present motion, and of every thing which referred to it, had
been introduced into debate, he would no longer trespass on
the patience of gentlemen or mis-spend the time of the House.
He therefore read his motion, " that the not sending any rein-
forcement to Lord Howe before the month of June last, was an
instance of neglect and misconduct in his majesty's servants."
His other motion was, "that the not sending a fleet to the
Mediterranean, was an instance of misconduct and neglect in
the king's servants, especially considering the early intelligence
they had of the equipment of the Toulon fleet."


The motion was opposed by Lord Mulgrave, Lord North, Mr.
Dundas, Governor Johnstone, and Lord Germain • and supported
by Mr. Burke, Lord Howe, General Conway, and Colonel Barre.The House divided on the first motion : Yeas 1 35 : Noes 209.The second motion was withdrawn.


MR. Fox's MoTioN FOR THE REMOVAL OF THE EARL or
SANDWICH, FIRST LORI) OF THE ADMIRALTY.


April 19.


HE order of the day being read,
Mr. Fox rose to make his promised motion, which lie gave


notice of before the Easter recess, for the removal of the first
lord of the admiralty from his office, and from his majesty's
presence and councils. He observed, that lie would take up
very little of the time of the House. He meant only to recapi-
tulate the facts which he had brought forward in support of
his former propositions. It would be sufficient barely to state
them, for the purpose of calling them back to the recollection
of the House, and present them anew in two different forms :
namely, as the state of the navy in 1778 bore a relation to the
naval power of France, and its comparative strength with that
of a former period of naval preparation and war in this country.
To the motion itself; as a proposition to which the assent of
the House was desired, he expected to hear one plausible and
general answer given. He expected to hear it objected to as


n 3 MOTION TO REMOVE THE EARL OF SANDWICH.


165
177Y.


destitute of any proof to support it. It would be said,totally destitut
not the facts, or presumed facts, which have been


urged
on former occasions, been rejected by so many distinct


negatives, in the manner they were separately proposed? That
is, shall we now agree to come to a general vote of censure,
upon an accusation which has been negatived in all its consti-
tuent parts Shall we, in the capacity of judges, proceed to a
direct censure of the party accused, though we have given a
previous opinion, that not one of the allegations is true ?" The
reasoning, lie confessed, had something in it, otherwise he
should not have given the House or himself the trouble of
taking notice of it; and he would meet it in this way :


That although the House did not concur in a vote of censure
on any one of the separate grounds of . accusation, it might
well concur upon the whole charge collectively taken. The
great waste of public money, the promises of the noble lord,
our inadequate state of defence in June, the neglect of rein-
forcing the noble lord (Howe) over the way, when the fate
almost of America depended upon it; the abandoning the
trade and fortresses in the Mediterranean, &c. might not con-
tain singly sufficient cause of removal in the opinion of a
majority of that House; but taking them in the aggregate,
they would furnish matter well worthy of the vote of censure,
which be was about to move, on the ground of wilful neglect
or gross incapacity.


The reason of such a mode of determining upon a complex
charge was obvious, and was plainly within the inquisitorial
power of the House. The House was competent to enquire,
to examine, and censure. Their jurisdiction could not extend
to punishment. They might accuse, but could not punish
any man, much less any one of their own body, in any other
way but by expelling him. When criminal charges, reciting
specific offences, were made, they could only be decided upon
in courts of criminal justice. On these occasions the House
of Commons, upon impeachments, acted as the grand inquest
of the nation. The present proceedin g was of a different na-
ture, and did not call for that specification and certainty, which
the law justly and wisely required when a man was questioned
in a court of criminal judicature, and put upon a trial, on the
issue which might depend his honour, his property, and
leislife.


Such being the true nature of votes of censure, for removal
only, as contradistinguished from accusations specifically made
and crimes distinctly alleged; it followed that the same degree
of proof was not necessary ; and such had been the usage of
that House upon similar occasions, some of which be had
mentioned in a former debate in cases of votes of removal,


31 3




166 MOTION TO REMOVE THE EARL Or SANDWICH. [April rg.
'Without relying totally upon former precedents, in support


of the doctrine now laid down, though of an age too young
to entitle him to a seat in that House, he remembered, that
he had been present at several debates on the Middlesex elec..
tion, when an honourable gentleman, now a member of that
House (Mr. Wilkes) was expelled upon an aggregate charge,
such as that on which the present motion was founded. He
was charged in the original motion, for publishing the North
Britain, No. 45


; for writing an impious and profane pain-
phlet, intituled An Essay on Woman ; for writing a libel on
a noble viscount (Weymouth) then in high office, relative to
the transactions in St. George's Fields, on the loth of May,
1768 ; and for being outlawed. Here, then, were four se-
parate charges collectively taken as a good ground of expul-
sion. The argument of those who supported the propriety of
the vote, when pressed to take the sense of the House upon
the several charges mentioned, was, would it be proper to ex-
pel him for any one of them ? No ; none of those charges
separately considered, would justify the vote, but collectively
taken, they were sufficient.


He remembered the persons who took the lead in that busi-
ness: they were the seine who he expected would oppose the
present motion. He hoped, therefore, that they would either
decline any opposition on the present occasion, or acknow-
ledge that they acted unfairly and unjustly in the instance
alluded to. Whatever his hopes might be, he had very little
solid reason to expect so much candour at their hands; at all
events, they would stand convicted in the opinion of every im-
partial person ; they would stand convicted of making their
avowed doctrines and principles give way to their conve-
nience.


But independent of the precedent he had just mentioned,
his motion would stand fully justified from its nature and the
object it pointed to ; for the question would shortly amount to
this, without the shadow of criminality attending it—is the
first lord of the admiralty equal to discharge the functions of
his office with safety to the state and with honour to the na-
tion? Has he done it; or what reasons have parliament to
suppose, if he has not performed his duty heretofore, that he
will act more wisely or capably hereafter ? In fair argument
and common sense, the strong probability is, that he will not.
Suppose the noble lord ever so indefatigable, ever so zealous
or well inclined, the obvious deduction is, that according as
the difficulties increase, his inability to provide against them
will likewise increase. It would, indeed, be absurd, romantic,
nay monstrous to presume, that the author of our very alarm-
ing situation, should be the only person in the nation, to rescue


1,779.] MOTION TO REMOVE THE EARL OF SANDWIC1-1. 167


us from the consequences of that situation. It would be the
last degree of folly and. madness to expect, that a person, who
by his ignorance and gross misconduct, had brought or suffer-
ed this country to fall from the highest pinnacle of fame, re-
spectability, and naval glory, to the last stage of national
degradation, weakness, and disgrace, contrary to every prin-
ciple of public opinion and experience, was nevertheless equal
to the very arduous task of acting as the saviour of his country,
and the guardian of its interests, prosperity, and reputation.


He next proceeded to enumerate the several charges of
misconduct, incapacity, or wilful negligence, which he had
brought against the noble earl in his three motions before the
holidays. He observed, that the noble lord had asserted, in
another assembly, on the zoth of November, 1777, in reply
to a noble lord since deceased (the Earl of Chatham), that
there were on the preceding clay, to wit, on the 19th of No-
vember, 42 sail of the line ready and almost ready for sea ;
3 5 actually ready, whose complements were 20,300 seamen
and marines; 18,000 and a considerable fraction of which
were already aboard, and upwards of 3,000 seamen and ma-
rines not shipped, which would more than supply the defi-
ciency ; that there were seven more ready to take their
complements aboard, which could be easily procured in a very
few days upon an emergency, by calling in the protections and
issuing press-warrants. This was the noble lord's solemn as-
surance in another place, but what truth there was in that
assurance might be easily gathered from this circumstance;
that when Admirals Keppel and Byron went to sea in the month
of June following, his greatest efforts in the course of seven
months, the last of which was a. period of war preparation,
produced no more than 42; twenty being sent under Mr.
K.eppel, thirteen under Mr. Byron, and nine sent upon mis-
cellaneous services, to the West Indies, North America, &c.


He arraigned the bad policy of totally neglecting the Medi-
terranean, and not sending a squadron there on the first
notice received of the formidable armaments going on at Tou-
lon ; and if that measure was thought hazardous, there was
not, he said, even a colour of cause, for not detaching, in
order to reinforce Lord Howe.


He condemned the sending out Admiral Keppel with 20
ships to go in search of an enemy greatly superior : and con-
tended, that it was big with danger, and might have terminated
most fatally, had not the honourable admiral most for-
tunately fallen in with the Pallas and Licorne French frigates,
and taken them, by which means lie discovered, to his utter
astonishment, that ministers had risked his whole fleet, in
order to preserve appearances which they meant to keep with


iv 4




168 MOTION TG REMOVE THE EARL OF SANDWICH. [April 19.


the people. They supposed, that Admiral Keppel might pos..
sibly not meet with the enemy, or if he should, that whetherflight or defeat was the consequence, they might be enabled by
their arts, by their emissaries every where, and their hirelings
in print, to shift the blame off their own shoulders, and lay it
upon the admiral, the officers, and seamen. Their subsequen


tconduct proved their disposition towards the admiral, and
their real intentions. For when they found themselves no
longer able to impose on the people, by its being known that
the admiral returned for a reinforcement, they were urged by
rage and disappointment, and sheaved every mark of it in the
whole of their subsequent conduct. The first lord of the ad-
miralty never thanked the admiral for returning, nor either
approved or disapproved of his taking the two frigates; but
permitted him to go to sea again without giving the least token
of approbation whatever, further than a cold official letter.


The noble lord, however, did not long conceal his senti-
ments under the mask of coolness and indifference. His
lordship soon acted in an hostile manner; fb•, though he
knew that Sir Hugh Palliser had accused, in a public print,12y a letter signed with his own name, his commander-in-chief;
and though his lordship afterwards knew, that the vice-admiral
of the blue had declined to call for a court-martial to enquire
into his conduct, merely on the pretence of not obstructing
the public service; yet in a few days after, when that gentle-
man preferred an accusation, without any cause whatever in-
tervening, the accusation was received, and instant orders the
same day given to the admiral to prepare for his trial.


How was it possible, for any man of honour or spirit, to
serve with any safety to his person or character under such
men, whose whole conduct was fraught with oppression and
malice ? It was a situation no independent man would submit
to. It was a situation from which every wise and prudent
man would ily with horror and disgust. The consequences
were already felt in some instances; Lord Howe and Admiral
Keppel were driven from the service; the whole body of sea
officers were discontented; and that zeal, spirit, union, and
confidence, which was the very life of military enterprize and
success in war, was fled, and the whole navy divided and split
into factions. How the whole would terminate was more than
he could venture to predict; but one thing was pretty evident,
that the discontents among those to whom the defence of the
country was entrusted, bore a very alarming and ominous ap-
pearance; and if some remedy was not speedily applied, he
foresaw, that ministers would finally accomplish that ruin, by
their faction and intrigue, the foundation of which they had
laid by their incapacity.


1779.] MOTION TO REMOVE THE EARL OF SANDWICH. 169
After dwelling for a considerable time on these circum-


stances, he mentioned several others of a less important na-
ture ; one in particular, to show the predilection which the
admiralty-board had manifested in respect of ordering Admiral
Keppel to be tried, though his accuser, Sir Hugh Palliser,
the next clay but one, after the order was issued for that pur-
pose, acknowledged in the face of the nation in that House,
that he brought his accusation merely from motives of self-de-
fence, and to exculpate himself from a charge of disobedience
made by his commander-in-cliief.


As a farther proof of the partiality of the admiralty-board,
which lie considered to be entirely influenced, or rather direct-
ed by the noble earl, he said, four of the members sitting upon
the trial of the vice-admiral of the blue were persons, who on
the former court-martial, had given the most fitvourable testi-
mony respecting his conduct in the action off Lrshant; and
likewise, that the persons summoned to give evidence were
such, who either knew least from their distance from the
Formidable, or were otherwise less positive or direct in their
testimony.


This led him to the effect probably intended to be pro-
duced by this trial, which originated in motives of revenge to
his honourable relation Admiral Keppel ; for if by any ma-
nagement, the vice-admiral should be acquitted, the inference
would be, that having done his duty, there must have been.
misconduct somewhere, which he was persuaded they would
endeavour by this oblique manner to lay to the account of the
commander-in-chief


When he said this, he begged that gentlemen might un-
derstand, that he meant not to throw the least suspicion, much
less a direct imputation upon the officers alluded to. He
stated the fact as it struck him ; and it was fair to argue upon
it and reason by analogy to the conduct of other tribunals.
He understood it was a good ground of challenge to a juror,
if he was even suspected of entertaining a bias one way or
other. He thought it a very proper precaution, and the rest
son was obvious; because the law presumes, that the juror is
wholly to be guided by the evidence of the facts alleged or
controverted, and not by any pre-conceived opinion of his
own. The tenor of his oath is the same with that taken by a
member of a court-martial, who is restricted by it, to give a
verdict according to the evidence adduced in court, and not
from any opinion formed upon his own knowledge or pre-
sumed knowledge.


As a farther reason for his being persuaded, that the noble
earl all along acted from the same principle of secret enmity
and resentment to his honourable relation, be observed, that




170 MOTION TO REMOVE THE EARL OF SANDWICH. [April 19.
after one of the most respectable courts-martial that ever sathad pronounced the charge brought by the vice-admiral of
the blue to be malicious and ill-founded, ministers took no
one step to shew, that they were convinced of the justice


ofAdmiral Keppel's acquittal, or of the infamy with which his
accuser had been branded by that passage in the sentence of
acquittal, nor would since, if he had not given notice, that lie
meant, as the next day, to make a motion, which they learned
was intended for the vice-admiral's removal. When that day
arrived, instead of ex pressing a syllable of d isapprobation ofSir Hugh Palliser, a noble lord (Mulgrave) who enjoys a seat
at the admiralty-board, rose and acquainted theHouse, that
Sir Hugh had sent in his resignation, and that the board had
accepted it. Still, however, he retained the lieutenant-gene-
ralship of the marines, and his government of Scarborough
castle, till ministers again learned, that a motion to remove
him from those two posts was meditating. -Here they found
themselves compelled to do what they feared might have been
forced upon them. Accordingly the noble lord in the blue
ribbon, with no small share of visible reluctance, found out,
that Sir Hugh Palliser had tendered a resignation of his com-
mand in the marines and his government, and that his ma-


- jesty had been pleased to accept them. In short, he believed,
there was not a second instance in the annals of this or any
other country, of a person who had been so publicly disgraced jbeing permitted to retain places of such rank, emolument,
and consequence, without any intention of removing him, till
by an unexpected address to the throne for his removal, the
consequences of which his majesty's advisers did not think
prudent to risk, they found themselves obliged to acquiesce.


He laughed, he said, at the pompous accounts of our suc-
cesses in the East and West Indies, which made their way
into the London Gazette, and said, they were of very little
consequence, when it was considered how dearly they were
purchased; particularly the latter, where one half of the
troops were dead or dying in hospitals; nor did he think the
news just received from Georgia, was of consequence sufficient
to balance the hazard and expellee attending it. He said, he
understood that Colonel Campbell was arrived from Georgia
the night before, and had brought an account of a victory
aainecl over the Americans, but this victory came accompa-
nied with a requisition for an immediate reinforcement. Our
very victories and successes were nearly as fatal as our defeats.
The troops under General Grant, the finest and best disci-
plined in the world, must return to America or Europe, or
remain only to fall a prey to disease and the effects of a
noxious climate ; and the return of the second (Deicer in corn-


ENQUIRY INTO THE AMERICAN WAR. 171
1719']


/
stand from Georgia, was a demonstration, that the expedition
to that province was planned in weakness, and under the mis-taken idea, that the body of the people were attached to the
British government. He said,. that the force was inadequate
either to effect conquest, or give that degree of protection
which- was necessary to unite the loyalists or neutrals to the


°Y;41e stpai-Odtaels.ctled before he sat down, that lie entertained no
personal pique or resentment against the noble lord at thebead of the admiralty. His motives proceeded from his zeal
f'or the good of his country. Uninfluenced by factious or
party views, he stood forth in behalf of the state, which, if not
rescued out of the hands, to whom the reins of government
were entrusted, must certainly be ruined, he feared irretriev-
ably undone. The part he had taken, was disagreeable and
painful on many accounts; so much so, that nothing could
have urged him to it but a thorough persuasion, that the pre-
sent or some similar motion, presented the only probable
means for saving the nation, and for the recovery of its former
power, reputation, and glory. He finally moved, " That an
bumble address be presented to his majesty, that he will be
graciously pleased to remove from his presence and councils
John Earl of Sandwich, as first commissioner of the admiralty,
on account of the general ill state of the navy, under his ad-
ministration, at the most critical seasons."


The motion was warmly supported by Admiral Keppel, Mr.
James Grenville, Lord Howe, Mr. Thomas Townshend, Colonel
Barre, and Lord John Townshend ; and opposed by Lord Mel-
grave, Governor Johnstone, Lord North, Mr. Welbore Ellis, and
Captain Walsingham. The House divided on the question at a
late hour, when Mr. Fox's motion was rejected by a majority of


221
tt()lt;:8, who voted for the removal of the first lord of the
d.dmiri


ENQUIRY INTO THE CONDUCT OF THE AMERICAN WAR


April 29.


THE House having resolved itself into a committee to enquireinto the conduct of the American war, Sir William Howe
moved for the examination of Earl Cornwallis. The question was
put to him, " Upon what points he meant to interrogate the
noble lord?" to which the general replied, " to the general con-
duct of the American war; to military points generally and par-




ENQUIRY INTO THE AMERICAN WAR.
[April 2I 72


ticularly." These words were eagerly seized by Lord North
who, working them up with the original into the form of
amendment, under that colour nearly framed a new motion, which,.
he knew carried its own rejection along with it. The words of the
motion in that state were, " That Lord Cornwallis be called in
and examined relative to general and particular military points,
touching the general conduct of the American war."


Mr. Fox said, that the intended effect of the motion, was
a public avowal of ministers to suppress all enquiry into their
conduct. How was it possible to judge whether they acted
right or wrong, until it was first known whether their plans
and instructions were founded in wisdom, or were in them-
selves practicable? How could that be known but by thejopinions of officers serving on the spot, who were the bestudges how far the plans were practicable, or the force tide,
quate ? America was lost; forty millions of money and
30,000 lives had been already expended ; the correspondence
on the table contained opinions diametrically opposite to each
other ; the commander-in-chief says in his letters to the noble
lord, the secretary of state for the American department, 44 I
want 20,000 men for the ensuing campaign, and I cannot ex-
/let to succeed with a less reinforcement." 44 No," says the
noble lord in his answer, 44 I cannot let you have so many : I .
can let you have 6 or 7,00o. You are going to Pennsylvania,
where great numbers will resort to the royal standard ; you
may by that means recruit your army to the necessary com-
plement." Well, the honourable commander proceeds, at the
head of a force he deems inadequate ; his army is not recruit-
ed in the manner foretold by the noble lord ; the operations
miscarry. How, then, can the House judge on this affirma-
tive and this negative ? Only by knowing from officers of rank
on the spot, which of the two honourable persons was in the
right ; he that said such a force was adequate, or he that said
such a force was not ? It put him. in mind of two lines in an
old song, " You know you're in the right, I think you in the
wrong." After examining several other passages in the cor-
respondence, in the same manner, and demonstrating in se-
veral instances a contrariety of opinion between those who
planned, and the person who was to execute, lie laid it down
as the only test to lead to a proper judgment, on the whole of
the conduct of ministers and generals, to examine witnesses
viva voce, to prove to the House who was wrong and who was
right. A refusal on the part of administration to admit such
evidence, he contended, was a clear acknowledgment of guilt ;
they dare not face the enquiry, because they knew it would
lead to their conviction; and they now by the most .shafrieful
evasion, and a mere trick of debate, endeavoured to avoid it,


I779']
ENQUIRY INTO THE AMERICAN WAR. 173


under the most scandalous pretence, that the House was not
competent to receive or decide upon evidence respecting the
conduct of military commanders. The noble lord in the blue
ribbon, who had recourse, because he was driven, to this piti-
ful shift, well knew that the question fairly before the commit-
tee was, whether the plans were practicable, or the instruc-
tions such as could be defended ? Afraid to meet the issue,
his lordship raised an objection, which he knew, if carried by
the amendment, would amount to a dissolution of the corn-
inittee.


What did the papers on the table present? a string of con-
tradictions between the general and the cabinet. The minis-
ter at the head of the finances, after several breaches of pro-
mise and fillse predictions, tells the House, that the whole
strength of the nation shall be exerted ; that 7o,000 men and
a suitable navy shall be the consequence of those exertions.
The general and admiral accept upon those conditions ; the
men and ships are voted ; 70,000 men appear upon paper,
while little more than half the number ever appear in array.
America is lost ; the general is blamed for not performing im-
possibilities, and impossibilities previously and timely stated
by him ; but when a proposition is made, to know which party
is wrong, or which is right: No, say the offenders and au-
thors of our misfortunes, the truth can only be known in one
mode by the means of a particular species of proof; and that
we are'determined you shall not have.


Such was the case of his honourable friend near him (Gene-
ral Burgoyne). That gentleman undertakes a certain service
with a certain force ; he never gets half that force; he desires
discretionary powers ; he is refused them. By a letter on the
table, he disapproves of employing savages ; he is compelled
to employ them. The noble lord, who approved of the ori-
ginal plan, who neglected to perform his part of it, who struck
out of it the discretionary power desired, who forced savages
instead of veteran troops upon the commander, refuses the
testimony of military men, for the best reason in the world,
because lie is convinced, that if Military men were to give their
opinions on those particulars, they would and must decide
against him. The officers who served under his command
would, lie knew, bear testimony, that savages, independent
of the barbarity and horrid cruelty of employing them, were
not to be depended upon ; that the force was totally inade-
quate to the service ; and that all the difficulties and misfor-
tunes that followed, down to the surrender at Saratoga, were
imputable solely to the peremptory orders which the general.
understood himself bound to obey, by the striking out of his
original plan the discretionary power proposed, which would




1 74 ENQUIRY INTO THE AMERICAN WAR.
[April 29


have left him at liberty to vary his operations, according to
times and circumstances.


He attacked the noble lord at the head of the Arnericari
department, and the whole cabinet, for their insidious cone
duct towards the honourable general near him. He Called
upon the subordinate instruments of administration to stand
forth like men and avow their sentiments. One learned gene.
tleman (Mr. Dundas) on the first proposition for a committee,
had spoken of the expedition from Canada in very strong and
decided terms, and had, without a tittle of proof, censured
the conduct of the honourable general who commanded it;
the same learned gentleman had, more than a year since,
found limit with the operations of the grand army to the
southward. An honourable friend of his (Governor John-
stone) had not been backward or shy, in publicly declaring
his opinions upon both the naval and military conduct of the
American war; so had several other gentlemen in that House.
He should forbear to lay any stress on the pamphleteers, run-
ners, whisperers, and coffee-house emissaries of administra-
tion; they had all received the lie direct from the noble lord
in the blue ribbon. It was now pretty clear that his lordship
was riot their employer; but as to those gentlemen, members
of that House, who, by their respectable situations and inde-
pendent spirit, had publicly avowed their opinions, he expect-
ed they would have the candour either to renounce them from
conviction, or maintain them upon those laudable principles
on which they had affected to adopt, or were willing still to
adhere to them. They were specially called upon to forward
the enquiry in its fullest extent, or honestly recant, and sub-
scribe to the creed of the noble lord in the blue ribbon : "that
the noble admiral and the honourable general had acquitted
themselves with the utmost bravery, fidelity and skill; that the
honourable general's narrative brought home conviction to
every impartial mind ; and, that it would be wasting the time
attic committee to no manner of purpose, unless the object of
future enquiry was meant to be directed to an examination in-
to the conduct of ministers." If, therefore, the noble lord
should obstinately persist in his motion, he made no doubt
but such gentlemen as had censured the military conduct of
commanders in their absence, would be the first, if they
should not have changed their former ()pillions, to give an
opportunity to those gentlemen to exculpate themselves, and
of course vote against the amendment proposed by the noble
lord.


He dwelt some time on the praises bestowed on the com-
mander-in-chief by the ministers ; there was scarcely a letter
which did not contain the .most flattering expressions. But


14


1779.] ENQUIRY INTO THE AMERICAN WAR.
175


be mentioned that circumstance only to shew the treachery of
one, if not all of them. The noble secretary, while he was
iloading the general with encomiums on his zeal, activity, and
talents, was secretly undermining him ; for the whole corre-
spondence chewed that he never had his confidence. When
the general gave an opinion, the secretary answered him in
the negative; he had his spies and informers on the spot ; he
trusted to their information, not to that of the commander-in-
chief; so that while he made the general responsible for the
events of the war, he was, by means as foolish and preposte-
rous as they were base, endeavouring all in his power, to de-
feat the very measures he seemed so anxious to carry into
execution. He said, the noble lord's amendment went to an
actual dissolution of the committee, and an implied acknow-
ledgment of guilt in administration, by putting a stop to au
enquiry which they dared not meet.


The question was put on Lord North's amendment, and the
committee divided : Yeas 159: Noes 155. The debate was again
renewed on the main question, whether the motion so amended
should pass, when the question being called for, it was rejected,
although by a smaller majority than on the preceding division, the
numbers being. iSo to 158. Colonel Barr then moved, in the
terms of tire original order of the House, " That Lord Cornwal-
lis be called in, and examined respecting the subject matter of
the papers referred to said committee." This motion was nega-
tived without a division. And thus the enquiry seemed to have
been laid to sleep for ever. The committee was not, however,
dissolved.


May 3.


COLONEL 13arre again introduced the business by a
recital of the transactions which had passed in the commit-
tee, and a renewal of the motion for the examination of Lord
Cornwallis. Mr. Dunning seconded the motion, which was sup-
ported by Mr. T. Townshend, Mr. Fox, General Burgoyne,
and. Sir William Howe, and opposed by Lord. North, Lord
George Germain and Mr. Rigby. Earl Nugent opposed the
motion, principally on the ground, that matters of great con-
sequence were yet to be brought into parliament ; that the at-
tention of ministers would be drawn not only from them, by dis-
tracting it with such a variety of objects, but that the very being
and preservation of the nation, from the hostile attacks of a power-
ful foreign foe, must be neglected, while the whole time of minis-
ters was spent in that House upon a fruitless enquiry.


Mr. Fox answered that part of the noble lord's speech,
which rested the impropriety of the present enquiry upon the
supposed interruption it would give his majesty's confidential




176
ENQUIRY INTO THE AMERICAN WAR.


May 3•
servants, in planning and executing measures for the good of
their country. He believed that the noble lord, and every
other person in that House who had the honour or interest
of his country at heart, were perfectly convinced, that they
had very strong and cogent reasons to lament that the present
ministers had ever planned or ever executed. It would have
been a most fortunate circumstance for the nation, if the
noble lord in the blue ribbon, and the noble American secre-
tary near him, had been in the situation supposed by an ho-
nourable friend ; if they had been asleep in that House or
out of it, the day that 011C or both of them planned this ac-
cursed American war ; if they had been embarrassed with
debates in that House, while they were deliberating upon
measures of ruin, folly, and national disgrace. He believed
in his conscience, that it would have been happy for their
country if they had never been born. But, surely, the
noble lord is not serious in the motives he has assigned for
putting a stop to the present enquiry ? Does his lordship
pretend to believe or foretel, should the present enquiry go
on, that ministers will be less indolent, less incapable, or re-
gardless of the public concerns ? His lordship is better inform-
ed ; experience has long since convinced him of the contrary.
He secretly smiles, when he talks in this strain. The rea-
soning built on such a supposition, is indeed highly laughable,
and can make no impression on those who see the noble lord
rise in that House and gravely urge such an argument, but
sentiments of mirth and good humour; for instead of being
in town, when effective measures, directed to vigorous exer-
tions, and a proper employment of our national strength and
resources, ought steadily to engage their attention, the two
noble lords and the rest of their brethren in the cabinet will
fly from the fatigues of office; they will be amusing themselves
at their country-seats, for weeks, perhaps months together ;
and the great business of the nation will be left to the care of
a few clerks in office ; or if they should in their respective re-
treats turn their attention at all to public affairs, it will be
only to devise means, not for the defeat of their enemies, but


- to defeat enquiries into their blunders, incapacity, and neglect
in parliament. The last summer in particular, when the very
fitte of this country was at stake, when we were threatened
with an invasion, he was well informed, that for weeks toge-
ther, there was not a single cabinet minister so near town as
fifty miles : but if they had been nearer, was it not preposte-
rous to suppose that persons who were to consult, deliberate,
and determine by common consent only, could consult, delibe-
rate, and advise their sovereign, when they were thus separate?
If any man could suppose, that any good could proceed from


ENQUIRY INTO THE AMERICAN WAR, I77
1779.]


he pitied him, if he was sincere ; if not, he
slick counsels, to give his opinion of the principles of such a


roan.He then stated the necessity there was for going into an
The noble lord in the blue ribbon had repeatedly


staked to that House on the issue of the AmericanHe had called for a large fleet and numerous army ;


tlaery. were granted; but America was lost, 25,000 lives had been
thrown away, and upwards of 3 o millions had been expended.
But to come directly to a later period, the noble lord at thehead of the American department, when he came into office,
bad specially pledged himself to that House, not merely to a
general promise of success, but afterwards, in different stages
of the business, had pointed out the means. Such an army
under Sir William Howe; such an army under General Bur-
goyne, from Canada, to co-operate with the grand army ; the
people in the colonies were loyally disposed ; 'Washington
could not recruit ; he had offered 3 o/. a man, but could pro-
cure none to enlist, even upon such exorbitant terms. Sir
Guy Carleton would have a force under his command suffi-
cient to protect and defend the province of Quebec; and
afterwards the expedition down the North River would consist
of a chosen corps of veterans of 12,000 effective men ; besides
the great advantages which would be derived from the assist-
ance and friendship of the Indians in the neighbourhood of
his intended route. When questioned upon the great line of
public measures, (having declared his intention to breathe a
different spirit into those which prevailed when lie was called
into his majesty's councils,) what force he meant to employ ?
his answer was, " 4 Whatever force the general thinks may be
adequate." After the first campaign, when asked what ap.,
pearances of success there were ? his lordship answered,
" every appearance of a successful and decisive campaign."
Now, if neither the force was adequate, and his lordship
knew that he could not expect a successful campaign, it would
follow, that he not only deceived the general, and concealed
his sentiments, but by so doing, he acted a most criminal
part, and was responsible to the House and the nation, for
alT the blood and treasure we had thrown away. What was
one of the objects of this enquiry ? To hear the evidence of
men on the spot, in high command; to strew in the first in-
stance that the general was not culpable, because his force was
not adequate, and that the noble lord had deceived the House,
because when he told them that he had everTprospect of a
successful campaign, he had a letter in his pocket from the
general, telling him, " that no successful campaign, nor any
endvotL.O war, could be expected, unless the noble lord sent




178 ENQUIRY INTO THE AMERICAN WAR.
[May 13,


out a very considerable reinforcement to his assistance;"
which reinforcement, at the time he promised a successful
and decisive campaign, he was pre-determined not to send.
The evidence contained in the papers went directly to those
facts. The noble lord's correspondence shelved that he enter-
tained opinions diametrically opposite to those stated in the
general's letter. How, -then, was it possible to come at the
truth without examining those who were in high command,
and were present on the spot? The testimony of Lord Corn-,
wallis was necessary to prove the truth or fallacy of those con-
tradictory assertions. That noble lord could describe the
country, together with the obstructions and difficulties the
commander-in-chic,' had to contend with. In fact, he and
his brother officers, so far as their testimony applied to the
force requisite to insure a successful campaign, were compe-
tent, and the only proper evidence to determine the opinion
of the House on the measures of ministers, and the means
they furnished for carrying them into execution, and of the3
possibility or impossibility of executing them.


The motion was carried without a division,


May 13.


From the unexpected latitude which the examination of' wit-
nesses, in the Committee on the Conduct of the American War,
had assumed, the ministry found themselves under the necessity of
appealing to


counter-evidence to disprove some of the statements.
Accordingly, Mr. De Grey moved for a summons directing the
attendance of ten witnesses, which occasioned violent exclamations
on the part of Opposition. Mr. Burke decried the proceeding as
irregular and unfair ; ministers, he said, afflicted to applaud the
military conduct of Sir William Howe, and now, by a side-wind,in a late


stage of the examination, endeavoured to invalidate and
defeat evidence which they could not pretend to disbelieve...
Against this mode of argument, the former declarations of the
name party were successfully urged ; they had begged only for
inquiry ; if the inquiry proved merely ex parte, that would be the
fault of administration ; they might call evidence in their own
defence, if they deemed it necessary ; but now, these improper
objections were raised. Lord George Germain declared he had
no disposition to accuse General Howe ; he principally desired
evidence to disprove the statement, that America was almost
unanimous in resisting the claims of Great Britain.


Mr. Fox expressed his surprise, that his honourable friend
near him, (Mr. Burke,) could waste a single moment upon a
matter, which, to say the worst of it, could only be considered
as a mere informality in the mode of proceeding. Let the


ENQUIRY INTO THE AMERICAN 'WAR. 179


e
nquiry, in God's name, proceed. Let the most ample infor-


mation be received from every quarter, and through every
-channel. Let every man of every description, who was in a
situation either in America or Europe, which gave him an
opportun i ty of knowing any thing relative to the subject-mat-
ter of the papers on the table, be called upon to give his
testimony at that bar. If he knows a fact, let him relate ft ;
if he has an opinion, let him give it. What shape does the
whole subject, taken in a fair and impartial view, present
itself in? 'We have lost America. We have lost 25,000
men. We have spent upwards of 3o millions by this ac-
cursed American war. Who has been the cause of its mis-
carriage? Is not that the question? Who led us into this
war? Ministers. What were our motives for entering into
and prosecuting it hitherto ? The repeated assurances of
ministers, that the war was practicable; that the means for
insuring success were adequate; that the issue would be cor-


respondent.When called upon, what do ministers urge in their justifi-
cation ? The war was practicable; the means you gave us
were adequate to the attainment of the given object. The
war, had the plans been as well executed as they were wisely
conceived, would, nay, must have been crowned with success.
We have kept our faith with parliament, so far as it depended
upon our own exertions; and if the war miscarried, it has not
been our fault. Still more; what was the conduct of the
noble lord at the head of the American department, the last
day this business was agitated in this House ? Did not the
noble lord, instead of defending his own conduct, accuse the
commander-in-chief 'with special acts of misconduct and
neglect ? Did not he charge him with wasting his time to no
purpose in the Jerseys, and with going round by Chesapeak
instead of going up the Delaware; and conclude that from
the delay occasioned by these measures, the advantages which
might be derived from the campaign of 1777 were lost, and
Our victories rendered of no avail ; in short, that we com-
menced the campaign in Pennsylvania, when we. should have
been ahinking almost of providing winter quarters? What,
on the other lama, has been the answer of the honourable
commander? I could not have proceeded up the Delaware.
I was compelled to go by Chesapeak. J could not have forced
the enemy at Quibble Town, without suffering a great and a
certain loss, and running infinite hazard. Why so? Because
my force was inadequate. I told the noble lord frequently,
that it was inadequate, and for that reason, that no decisive
campaign could be expected.


What is the language of the noble lord? You say you want
1.`i. 2




7 80 ENQUIRY INTO THE AIVERICAN WAR. [May 13•
a reinforcement of 15 or 20,000 men ; but I know you mustbe mistaken : you want




no such force. I have better infor..motion than you. You can recruit your army in Perms3d,vania. You might have sent a stronger detachment to
theHighlands, or have carried on your operations by the North


River. You lost a month from your retreat from
QuibbleTown, till you embarked at Staten Island ; and you


lostanother month by your going by sea, or at least going
roundby Chesapeak, instead of debarking at Newcastle or


higherup the Delaware.
'What, then, is the object of the present motion ? to bring


witnesses to your bar. And for what purpose? to prove
thatthe noble lord, the American secretary, was right — to


provethat the honourable commander and the noble lord
theadmiral were mistaken. The motion is therefore, in my


opinion, extremely proper, for several reasons. It
willamount to a fair issue, and the examination of the witnesses


intended to be moved for, will form one part of the
evidence.I must confess that, till the noble secretary stood forth, our


proceedings bore rather an aukward appearance. It was a
committee moved for by two respectable members of this
House, concerning their military conduct in high


situations
of command; they called and examined several witnesses to
several material parts of their conduct. But still something
was wanting. Ministers gave high testimonies in their favour.No man accused the noble admiral and honourable general;
or if there was any thing which could be fairly interpreted
into an accusation, the fact or facts were not specified. It
amounted to no more than loose desultory conversations. The
noble secretary hitherto remained silent. His lordship, how-
ever, at length adopted a much more manly part; when he
found that the House had determined to proceed, he boldly
stood forth as an accuser in the manner I have just been
describing. One thing more only remained to be done, that
was an avowal on his part, of his intention to prove as well as
accuse. His honourable friend has, with his permission,
taken the first introductory step in this business; he has


movedfor the attendance of General Robertson, for the purpose of
examining him touching military matters; adding, that he
means to move for the attendance of several others in the
military and civil line. I like this for my part, because it
looks as if the noble lord was in earnest ; that he was deter-
mined to throw himself upon the opinion of the House, mid
not trust to a corrupt majority in his favour, and to screen
himself by means so dishonourable and disgraceful.


We ought not to prejudge the noble lord, the honourablec
ommander, the noble admiral, nor administration. We


ENQUIRY INTO THE AMERICAN WAR. 8 x
1770
ca


nnot without manifest injustice, without betraying the ho-
pour of parliament, and sacrificing the clearest interests of this
country, judge till we hear all parties ; nor then, unless we
resolve with one intention to judge without prejudice or par-
tiality. As matters now stand, it will, in point of form, beto allow, that the claims of this country over the
necessary
colonies were well founded ; that the measure of coercion was
a wise one; that it was practicable in the execution, and that
the means were adequate. I know, however, that America
is lost, and the nation apparently on the eve of destruction ;
but as to the cause of our disasters, I shall suspend all opinion
till I hear the evidence on both sides ; then and then only will
it be competent for me to decide, and draw a fair line between
accusation and recrimination.


The motion was agreed to.


May 18.


The evidence on the part of Lord and Sir William Howe being
closed, Mr. Eden gave notice that he would proceed to examine
the witnesses that had been moved for by Mr. De Grey, when the.
committee should next meet. General Burgoyne said, he was not
prepared to proceed in the enquiry relative to the northern expe-
dition, not having any expectation that the evidence of the ho-
nourable general and noble lord would have been so suddenly
closed. Mr. Eden moved, that the committee be adjourned to
the zoth. Earl Nugent condemned the whole enquiry from the
beginning to the end, and moved that the chairman do leave the
chair. General Burgoyne appealed to the justice of the House,
whether, after the frequent calumnies, specific charges, and cri-
minal accusations made against him, it would be proper to put an
end to the committee ? Mr. 114;by rose up in great heat, and
after giving his reasons why he thought the committee ought to be
dissolved, the conduct of the noble and honourable commanders
having, in his opinion, been perfectly cleared to the satisfaction of
the House, launched forth into criminatory expressions of the
military conduct of General Burgoyne.


Mr. Fox rose, and most earnestly implored the justice of
the House in favour of the honourable general. The first
point to be considered was, can the honourable general be
tried by a court-martial, situated as he is ill respect of the
Congress? Or, if he cannot, will it be proper to enquire
into his conduct in this House till he is released from his
present engagement to the Congress? In his opinion, we
could send him to a court-martial by making a suitable return
in either number and quality; that we most clearly could
proceed against, try, and punish him, for state or criminal


N




I 82 ENQUIRY INTO THE AMERICAN WAR.
[May


offences; and even if we could not, that the enquiry ought to
go on ; and if further proceedings relative to the honourable
general should be thought necessary, they might be suspended,
till the only impediment, real or pretended, which at present
stood in the way, should be removed.


He had heard no one sound reason yet urged to shew, that
the honourable commander might not be tried this instant.
He knew no law which exempted an officer from a military
tribunal. The right honourable gentleman had charged him
with offences of a very criminal nature indeed: with disgracing
the arms of his country, with rendering into the hands of its
enemy, a whole army. He would just make one supposition
more, equally well founded, he was inclined to believe, with
any of those he had enumerated. He would suppose, that
to the other imputed disgraceful offences, the honourable
commander had been charged with treachery, what would be
the effect of the right 'honourable gentleman's doctrine?
That after betraying his country, he might return to it when
he pleased with impunity; and it would nevertheless be in the
power of those to whom he betrayed it, to protect him by
refusing to release or exchange him. This case, which as to the
fact of treachery, had often happened before, and might again,
plainly pointed out the absurdity of contending that a military
man, as soon as he becomes a prisoner, is no longer a mem-
ber of the community, owes it no allegiance, and stands exempt
from every species of punishment, be his crimes ever so base
or atrocious, if the party to whom he has surrendered himself
a prisoner, thinks proper to protect him in his infamy and
guilt.


But, says the right honourable gentleman, on the second
bead, that of civil enquiry and subsequent punishment, What
signifies expelling him ? what signifies addressing the crown
to dismiss him from his post and command in the army ?
Such punishments are by no means adequate to the mag-
nitude of his crimes, should the charges be made good ; and
as to an impeachment, what an idle farce it would be to
impeach a man, when you cannot punish him ! Here the
right honourable gentleman was, indeed, extremely unfor-
tunate and hard set to keep up even the colour of an argu-
ment; expulsion is nothing; dismissing him from his station
in the army is nothing ; an impeachment, he confesses, would
be something, if the hands of justice were not tied. You
may impeach perhaps, but you cannot punish.


Here, then, were a string of assertions, equally contra-
dictory to the feelings and judgment of mankind. Who but
the right honourable gentleman would gravely assert,. that
expulsion was no punishment, or depriving an officer of the


ENQUIRY INTO THE AMERICAN WAR. 03.3
1779.3
fruits of four or five and thirty years service, the rank of lieu-
tenant-general in the army and a regiment of cavalr


y, attended
with circumstances of disgrace, were no punishment? Or,
how was it possible to conceive that the same power which
could impeach could not punish ? On the contrary, was it
not self-evident to the most moderate capacity, that at this
instant the honourable general was amenable to the laws of
his country, and was as liable to Ve tried and punished for a


' breach of them as any other man in this kingdom? It was,
indeed, a most extraordinary argument, that the worst or
most vicious man, as soon as by management or treachery he
became a prisoner, had no more to do than instantly to return
to his own country and commit every crime the most corrupt
heart might suggest, and yet evade the punishment annexed
to the commission of such horrid offences.
. He was ashamed to spend a moment of his time, or that of


the House, in refuting such palpable absurdities. If the
honourable general was amenable to inferior tribunals, he was
of course amenable to the first tribunal of criminal justice in
the kingdom, that of parliament, where he was liable to be
tried on an impeachment preferred by one House to be heard
and decided upon by the other, or by a bill of pains and
penalties; so that either principle was equally fallacious and
ill founded. He might be tried for treachery or disobedience
of orders by a military tribunal ; he might be expelled; he
might be dismissed. He might be tried in a court of cri-
minal justice for offences properly and solely cognizable there;
or, he-might be tried and punished by parliament.


The right honourable gentleman, with that confidence and
authority in which he usually delivers his opinions, says, the
honourable general sits and votes in that House at the will
and by the permission of a rebel Congress; but, as in all the
foregoing instances, he has forgot to adduce a syllable of proof
in support of his assertion. What book is it on the credit
of which he hazards such an opinion? Is it on the authority
of any great writer on the law of nations? He was certain
not. - On the contrary, it was well known, that a noble lord
(Frederick Cavendish) who was made prisoner at St. Cas, on
the coast of France, during the late war, having entertained
some doubts whether, being on his parole in England, he was,
as a prisoner, at liberty to attend his duty in parliament, and
having communicated his doubts on the subject to the court
of France, the answer he received was, that sitting and voting
in parliament would be no more a breach of his parole, than
getting his wife with child.


He then proceeded to the last point, that of going on with
the enquiry, on the supposition that the honourable general


IC 4




AID
1.84 ENQUIRY INTO THE AMERICAN WAR. Difay
could not be punished till released from the convention


ofSaratoga, and suspending any further proceeding till that
event should take place. This, though an unnecessary con..
dition, if there should appear any thing even doubtful, would
answer every end. If the honourable general's conduct should
call for a. military tribunal, a very few weeks (perhaps at this
jectvery instant he stood disengaged to the Congress) would sub-him to an enquiry ; or, on the other hand, if in the opi.:
Mon of .the House, it should be found that no blame was
imputable to him, but that the miscarriage of the expedition
from Canada was owing to the ignorance and incapacity of
the ministers who planned it, and not to the general intrusted
with its execution, then it would be proper that the justice of
the nation should take place, and those men who had been
the cause of the loss of America, of so much blood and trea-
sure, a foreign war with a powerful enemy, mid a threatened
war with another powerful enemy, be brought to condign
punishment.


He allowed, it would be rather premature to give an opi-
nion one way or the other : but if ministers persisted, and by
their irresistible influence and power of numbers should carry
the question against any farther enquiry, it would be to him
the fullest demonstration, that they were conscious of their
own guilt, and on that account, and that alone, fled from the
enquiry.


The noble lord who moved the present question, moved it
for the third time. The noble lord in the blue ribbon, more
reserved, but equally desirous to prevent it, refused to co-
operate, but took care as effectually to defeat the proper object
of the enquiry as if he had moved for its dissolution. When
the motion for resuming the same question was moved by his
honourable friend near him (Colonel Barre) the same noble
lord moved the order of the day, and was openly abetted by
the noble lord in the blue ribbon. The right honourable gen-
tleman below him, who this day took such different ground,
differed from his friends, and the two noble lords were obliged
to submit; now for the third time, the same noble lord had
made a similar attempt, and the noble lord in the blue rib-
bon affects a kind of sullen silence or indifference; but whe-
ther the noble lord shall rise or not, the principle and object
of these various attempts have been uniform, — that of de-
feating the enquiry, and thereby evading the justice of the
nation.


He conjured the Finitse, as they regarded their own ho-
nour, their character without doors, and the opinions of man-
kind, at least to preserve appearances. If, at all events and
hazards to themselves and the public, they were determined


079.j MOTION RESPECTING PEACE WITH AMERICA.


to
support the present set of ministers in power, he recom-


wended them to do so by a vote of acquittal after enquiry;
and not, by a servile acquiescence, sacrifice the very appear-
ance of justice, and the forms of their proceedings.


Before he sat down, he begged that the right honourable
gentleman


who took so conspicuous a part in the present
debate (Mr. Rigby,) would reflect a little, and endeavour to
reconcile his present conduct to that adopted by him the last
day the question was discussed ; otherwise it would have a
very- strange appearance, to be for suppressing an enquiry,
the necessity of which lie had so warmly urged but a few
days since; nay, indeed, it would be little short of a direct
desertion of all his former principles and professions, respect-
ing the conduct of the American war, for the last eighteen
months or two years; for as often as the question was
agitated, his constant language was, that there was blame
somewhere; and that it was of course highly becoming that
House, and an indispensable duty to trace it to its source,
and discover who were the authors of our national misfortunes.


After a long debate, Earl Nugent's motion was negatived, and
Mr. Eden's agreed to.


MOTION RESPECTING PEACE WITH AMERICA.


June I I.


SIR William Meredith moved, " That an humble address be
presented to his majesty, to assure him, that his faithful Com-


mons, knowing that it must give his benevolent and royal mind the
highest satisfaction possible, to remove the calamities of war from
his colonies, and the burdens of sustaining that war from his Bri-
tish subjects, beg leave to express to his majesty their great
concern, that the commission which was issued by his majesty,
with the authority of parliament, tb • the wise and salutary ends
of accommodating our unhappy disputes with America, has failed
of success : — that there is no example of any nation that ever sent
fleets and armies of such strength and magnitude on so remote a
service as those which Great Britain has poured into America;
yet they are not found upon trial to be adequate to the purpose of
establishing a government by three over that country. That look-
ing to the situation of affairs in Europe, we cannot but apprehend,-
that our resources may become altogether necessary to repel the
Hostile designs, and the armaments prepared against this kingdom;
confident, however, that the hearts of his people are animated by


as'




186
.
_.1%10TiON RESPECTING PEACE WITH AMERICA. [June


a true spirit and zeal for his majesty's service ; and that means will
not be wanting to defend his sacred person, his family, and h isdominions, against all hostilities.— That in this situation of affairs
we most sincerely lament that the commission for restoring peace
(which was in force till the 1st of June only) has expired,


withoutany declared or apparent intention of opening a door to
reconcile.ment.— That his faithful Commons think it their indispensableduty most humbly to implore his majesty to direct those confi-


dential servants, on whose advice his majesty relies in matters of
the greatest importance, that they do immediately deliberate upon,
and concert such measures as may prepare the way for peace with
America." Mr. David Hartley seconded the motion. Lord North,
Governor Johnstone, Mr. Eden, Lord George Germain, and Mr.
Dundas opposed, and Mr. Fox and Mr. Burke supported it.


Mr. Fox recapitulated the several measures taken against
America since the commencement of hostilities. He con-
demned the coercive laws passed by Great Britain in the
hour of her insolence; and the tame submission with which
the right of taxation, and even the Act of Navigation,
was given up by the same ministers, who with a handful of
men had talked of bringing America upon her knees. He
then took notice of General Robertson's evidence before the
committee of enquiry into the conduct of the American war,
and said, if it were to be credited, it was the severest libel
on administration that ever was made public, seeing that it
loaded them with the whole guilt of having continued a most
expensive war Oith America, when


.
they might whenever they


pleased have put an end to it. For, what had General Ro-
bertson said ? That the majority of the people of America
wished well to this country, and longed to return to their
allegiance. If this were true, the guilt was transferred from
the shoulders of the officers who had been employed, to the
shoulders of,


' ministry, and they were answerable to their
country for not having takereatiyantage of the circumstance.
He, however, was one who did: not credit the evidence of
General Robertson ; he believed him to be a man of inte-
grity and honour, as well as a brave and judicious officer;
but the reason why he did not credit his evidence was, be-
cause the general bad told the House, in the very beginning
of his examination, that he spoke not from his own know-ledge of facts as they now were, but. from his knowledge of
the sentiments of America twenty years before the


war com-
menced, and he thence inferred that the same sentiments
prevailed now. In proof' of this assertion, lie read a few of
the questions which had been put to the general, together
with the general's answers, and said, that his evidence,


con-fiequently-, was of little import. The better to bring this..


177.9.] MOTION RESPECTING PEACE WITH AMERICA. , • 1 87


cgs
ric to the minds of his hearers, Mr. Fox parodied the


by putting it thus : suppose he had withdrawn from
parliament soon after the beginning of the war, and hadbeen out (*the kingdom ever since ; if a person was to ask
him, what were the sentiments of parliament, respecting Ame-
rica, and whether he thought they would give up taxation, and
agree to any concession on the part of England ? he should
certainly have replied, 4 4 No, by no means; the British par-
liament will never make peace with America till she-is at
their feet; they will never give up the right of taxation; they
will listen to nothing short of unconditional submission."
Let gentlemen see how ill this argument would agree with
truth, and how opposite it would be to the real state of the
case. And yet, who that had given the minister credit for
his assertions in that House four years ago, would not have
thought himself warranted to talk in that style? He, there-
fore, for one, had paid no attention to General Robertson's
evidence, because after what he heard the general say in the
beginning of it, he was convinced it could not be relied on.


Having argued this point, he recurred to the testimony of
General Gray, which he said was every way worthy of credit,
and plainly shewed that the ministry were to blame, because
they had continued from time to time to send over reinforce-
ments short of the amount which the officers emplo yed to
carry on the war had declared to be absolutely necessary to
make a campaign decisively successful. He ridiculed the
language that had been held to invalidate General Gray's
evidence, and particularly the argument of one of the com-
missioners, who had declared that General Gray, having
been but seventeen months in America, was incompetent to
judge of the sentiments of the people, and of the real state of
affairs there. He said, he thought the general, after seven-
teen months actual service in America, was at least as capable
of judging of the sentiments of the people, as any of the com-
missioners, who were there but for four, or at most six months, -
send confined during that time to the two cities .of New York
and Philadelphia.


From this he proceeded to review the terms offered by the
commissioners, and reprehended them m the severest. lan-
guage, as such as went to sacrifice the rights of the British
legislature, and to offer propositions which parliament had
neither authorized, nor was likely, even had they been ac-.
cepted, to ratify. In particular, he objected teethe oiler, that
agents from the respective colonies should have a scat in the.
British parliament, and the offer to pay the debts of Ame-
rica, contracted by an offensive war against this. country.
With regard to the latter, the minister who either suggestedtt,r.)




f 88
MOTION RESPECTING PEACE WiTH AMERICA. [June I I.


or meant to ratify such a proposition, deserved impeachment;
and as to the former, it was the most degrading and mmeces-
sary proposition that ever he heard; unnecessary, because
among the catalogue of boundless concessions made by the
commissioners to the Congress, we had expressly given up
all right of legislation over AMerica ; and degrading, because
having given up that right, we meanly courted the agents of
America to become a part of the legislature of this country
He defended the conduct of Congress in having made the
reply that they sent to the commissioners, by observing, that
they were then in actual alliance with France, in consequence
of which the King of France had sent them a fleet and an
army, and furnished them with money to carry on the war
Let gentlemen consider that the terms offered by the commissi•
oners were not definitive propositions, but mere terms of treaty,
terms of discussion, and terms ad rfferendum, which had the
Congress been weak enough to accede to, might not have
been ratified ; exclusive, therefore, of betraying the rights
of their constituents, which they would have done had they
agreed to the terms offered by the commissioners, after hav-
ing engaged in a treaty with France, it would have been the
extreme of folly to have taken themselves out of the arms of
France, to have given up the advantages they actually pos-
sessed, and to have trusted to the faith of ministers, notorious
for having dealt treacherously with them, and deceitfully with
the British nation. Added to this, the preliminary proposals
of Congress were neither, in his judgment, improper for them
to lay down, nor for Great Britain to listen to. Perhaps
many good reasons might be urged, why we ought not ex-
pressly to acknowledge the independency of America. But as
one member of parliament, he was very far from being averse
to the other proposition, namely, that of withdrawing our
fleets and armies from America. So far from it, he thought
that measure the wisest that could be adopted, and the sooner
it was adopted the better : so fully convinced was he of this,
that he was ready to intreat ministers to come into it, and
even to beg it of them as a boon. As a proof that such a
measure was..really necessary, he referred to the evidence that
had been given at the bar by several of the witnesses who had
been heard in the course of the enquiry, which amounted to
an express declaration, that it was impossible to subdue
America, or reduce her to allegiance by force of arms. To
what end, then, should we continue our chief military force
across the Atlantic when it was so much wanted at home ?


He took a review of our plan of operations during the last
war, and remarked, that it had been pretty generally the lan-
guage of 'that day, that our continental connections were ex-


16


1779.1 MOTION RESPECTING PEACE WITH AMERICA. 189


ceedingly expensive and improper. It was very true, that our
army in Germany was a considerable call upon the resources
of this country ; it drained us severely both of men and of
money; but then it was to be remembered, that it rendered it
necessary for France to have a large army there likewise, and
that it kept those troops of France engaged in Germany which
might have annoyed us elsewhere, and in places where, if
they met with any success, the consequence would. have been
much more fatal to Great Britain. At present we had a
large army in America, and the French had no army there.
The British troops were incapable of acting offensively, and
in fact were in a state of inactivity : in that state they were
likely to remain. Upon this ground he argued, that it was
madness to suffer the troops to continue any longer at New
York; he therefore wished to make peace with America on
almost any terms, and to carry on the war against France with
all the vigour, and all the exertion possible. If France offered
advantageous proposals of peace, certainly it was the duty of
administration to accede to them, because, as the resources of
this country now stood, exhausted as we were by the long and
ruinous war in which we had been involved, a peace, on pro-
per terms, was certainly a very desirable object ; but ministry
ought never to make peace with France, either upon the con-
dition of ratifying her treaty with America, suffering her to
continue her connections with the United States, or giving up
any part of the British dominions.


He contended, that as the late commissioners held out
terms and conditions to all America, the public faith was
pledged for giving America the same terms whenever she
chose to accept them, notwithstanding what the noble lord,
the American secretary, had on a former occasion thought
proper to say upon the subject. He also contended, that the
faith of this country was pledged to protect all those, whether
bodies of men or individuals, who had come in under the
commission, and returned to their allegiance. He said, if
there was but one man of this description, we were bound in
honour and in justice to make good the conditions to that
individual : that the commission having expired on the 1st of
June, it was indispensably necessary to give his majesty par-
liamentary authority to make peace, — an authority which did
not exist, and without which it was dangerous to trust to the
hazard of a whole summer's passing. In speaking to the
design of repealing the prohibitory act, he declared it to be
the most obnoxious of any that had been passed against Ame-
rica, and that it ought to be repealed. He read extracts
from the letters sent by the noble lord at the head . of the
American department, in which the writer had recorrunended




790 MOTION RESPECTING PEACE WITH AMERICA. [June III'
it to Sir William Howe and the noble lord his brother, to
prepare to carry on the war in such a sort, as should con-
vince America of the determined purpose of this country to
prosecute it with unremitting severity. Upon these passages
Mr. Fox commented, and declared; that the plain meaning
of them was, to prosecute the war in as sanguinary a manner .
as possible. He said, he understood that the war was car-
rying on in that manner at this time; he did not mean, how-
ever, by a general and loose assertion to criminate ministry
farther than they deserved, he would therefore state to what
he alluded: it was this ; that the southern Indians had been
excited to rise and attack the back settlements of Virginia and
Carolina. He did not mention this as a fact, he really. did
not know whether it was so or not, but such was the report,
which he hoped to God was ill-founded; he had mach rather
that Mr. Stuart should have put the many thousands which ,


s'
he had drawn upon the treasury for, into his own pocket,
than employed the public money in such a way; he had
rather he had made a job of it, and hoped he should see him
soon return to this country to live at his case and in splendour
upon the money he had so pocketed, and he wished so for this
reason; it was evident, that the Indians could hardly be re-
strained from acts, of the most horrid cruelty, even when they
were under the awe of so large an army as that commanded
by General Burgoyne, an officer as distinguished for his
humanity as his bravery; to what extent, then, might they
not carry their barbarities, when they were unaccompanied by
any army, and strangers to every idea of discipline'? The
savage massacre of aged and defenceless men, women, and
children, would, be unlimited ; the very conjecture of it was
shocking.


. , He was free to allow, that Indians might be
employed in the service to advantage, but then it must be
when they had an army to direct and regulate their efforts.
Having spoken to a variety of other points, Mr. Fox con-
cluded with declaring, that he thought the motion made by
his right honourable friend every way laudable, and should
therefore give it his hearty support.


The motion was negatived without a division.


i779.]
BILL FOR DOUBLING THE MILITIA. 191


BILL FOR DOUBLING THE MILITIA.


June 21.


'THE
'THE first and great measure of national defence, adopted by


ministry, in opposition to the consequences of that dan-
gerouscombination, now first openly avowed by the Court of Spain,
was a proposal in the House of Commons for increasing the mi-
litia to such a degree as should double its present amount. Lord
North having this day moved for leave to bring in the bill,


Mr. Fox contended, that as the motion made by the noble
lord was an alarm to the whole kingdom, and an acknowledg-
ment that parliament thought the country in the extreme
moment of peril, it would be idle to adopt the measure unless
it was known that the proper exertions of another nature had
been previously made, and that doubling the militia was not
the single point on which his majesty's ministers rested the
security of the country. He then discussed the situation of
our naval strength, mentioning the force of France and Spain,
and the force that we now had, as well the squadron sent out
under sir Charles Hardy, as the ships of the line at home and
elsewhere, and asked if preparations were carrying on with
the necessary vigour and dispatch to reinforce . Sir Charles,
declaring that much depended on the ability of that fleet to
cope with the fleets of the House of Bourbon, and that every
ship-carpenter, every labourer in the dock-yards, every man
in the kingdom, capable of holding an adze or driving a peg,
ought to be employed in fitting out those five or six ships,
which he understood to be nearly ready, and which were de-
signed to be sent to Sir Charles.


He said, with regard to the proposition of doubling the
militia, it certainly might be one of the means that ought in
the present exigency of affairs to be adopted; he believed,
however, that it was a measure liable to sonic objection, and
riot so practicable as the noble lord in the blue ribbon seemed
to imagine; men might possibly be got, but it might not be
an easy matter to find officers ; he did not mean, by saying
this, to throw impediments in its way; he should not oppose
the motion himself, nor any motion calculated in any manner
whatever to strengthen and add to the defence of the king-
dom. God knew this was a moment of great public danger,
arid every means of every sort which were in the least likely to
enable us to resist our enemies, were proper to be adopted,
and should have his hearty support.


With regard to the militia, many considerations respecting
them might occur in the course of the progress of the bill. It




192 BILL FOR DOUBLING THE MILITIA.
[June 2r.


might be a question, whether in a time of so pressing and cri..
tical a nature as the present, it would not be right to give the
King a power of sending a part of the militia over to Ireland,
to defend that country. As affairs now stood, it was to many
gentlemen a matter of expectation, that the French would at_
tack us in that quarter. Was Ireland in a proper state of
defence ? Ireland and England he considered as one and
the same. Their interests were, or ought to be, mutual, and
the defence of the one was as worthy the consideration of par-
liament, as the defence of the other. He called upon minis-
ters to know why, as they could not but have foreseen the
present danger, they had put off the defence of the kingdom
to the last moment ? Why, if the measure the noble lord had
now proposed, appeared to them, upon due deliberation, to be
so proper and so necessary, they had not come with it to par-
liament sooner ? It would have been idle to have argued,
that it would have given the kingdom any unnecessary alarm,
It could never be wrong to throw out an alarm in time, be-
cause, however for the moment it might operate as a shock on
the people, their panic would be less when the danger really
came, and when the enemy were at their doors, they would
be better prepared to resist and repel them.


He said, he would not, in a moment like the present, men-
tion names, or go into personal attack upon the ministers;
but could they tell the people that the fleets and armies, upon
the effectual operations of which the preservation- of the
country depended, were in the hands of the best and ablest
officers? Was or was not every officer, to whom the people
had been accustomed to look up to with a perfect confidence,
driven from the service ? Were they all in employment, and
cheerfully acting as they ought to be in the service of their
country ? After a variety of questions of this sort, Mr. Fox
declared, that while the present ministry kept their offices, the
people would despond, and despair of any success in the very
important war that was impending: for what good could they
expect from the conduct of those very men whose measures
had already lost us America, and incited France and Spain to
pursue those hostile steps that they were now taking against
us ? He complained of the state of the navy as scandalously
unequal to the present exigency of affairs, after the immense
sums that had been voted for it, and the repeated assertions
that it should be superior to the united fleets of France and
Spain, and urged a great many strong arguments in proof
that the ministry ought not to be trusted any longer.


The bill was brought in and read a first time.


1779.]
BILL FOR DOUBLING THE MILITIA. 1Q3


June 22.


on the motion for the second reading of the bill, a debate arose.
In consequence of the support given to the measure by the Oppo-
sition on the preceding evening, Earl Nugent took occasion to
ov, that though we had no foreign ally, we bad the best of all
allies, unanimity at home. We were allied among ourselves. The
alliance lately entered into by the gentlemen on the other side of
the House, and those on which he stood, did the former the high-
est honour. After urging the necessity of great exertions, his
lordship was proceeding to. state some plan of operations for the
navy, when the Attorney-general begged to prevent the noble
lord's zeal from carrying him too far, by moving that the question
might be read. Ile said, gentlemen would certainly act laudably,
in suggesting any scheme of defence of the -kingdom that had re-
ference to the question ; but on that day it would be improper to
go into other topics of deliberation; and perhaps to go into such a
detail as the noble lord was proceeding to enter upon, might be
dangerous.


Mr. Fox said, lie had no intention to rise that day; but
what he had lately heard from the noble lord, and the learned
gentleman over the way, rendered it highly necessary that he
should say a few words; and first, he would pay his respects
to the learned gentleman, who had not only interrupted the
noble lord in the midst of his speech, but had declared, that
on a day like the present, when that House was considering
the best means of defending the kingdom from the imminent
peril in which it stood, gentlemen were not to deliberate and
weigh every circumstance, not only of the danger itself, but
every circumstance in the scope of possibility and human pru-




dence, at all likely to avert that
n


danuer. This doctrine he
thought had been lately exploded, a d he little expected to
have heard parliament told, (on a day like that, when, if they
Were not actually sitting in a committee of supply, they were
sitting in a something very like a committee of supply, be-
cause they were debating a proposition which, however effec-
tual it might prove, and however practicable it might turn
out, would, certainly and at all events, be a great national
btiuLt, hen, as well in point of inconvenience as in point of ex-
Pence,) " that they were to confine themselves to the ques-


and that the question was merely whether the bill upon
the table should be read a second time or not." in a mo-
ment like the present, every thing which every man could
suggest for the better defence of the kingdom was worth listen-
ing to ; the country stood in need of all its resources, and all
Its wisdom; and however the learned gentleman might wish to
screen the guilt of his friends, and therefore might think.


VOL. I. 0




z 94 BILL FOR DOUBLING THE MILITIA.
EJUIle


_


proper to interrupt the noble lord when he was
spealtia,,plain truths, gentlemen would not be thus rendered du/4


opinions he trusted would be freely given ; and as the
presentadministration were the immediate cause of all our rnisfors


tunes, he hoped no gentleman would keep back his sentimentsrespecting their conduct.
Having said thus much, he would now speak to that point


which principally occasioned his rising that day, and that was,
his finding, from what the noble lord read said, that his having
voted the preceding evening in favour of the bill had been
much misunderstood. He had been far from meaning to have
it conceived that he thought, and far indeed from conceiving
himself; that the mode of raising the force of the country, held
out and proposed by the bill, was preferable to tl-at of raising
regiments agreeably to the handsome offers of noblemen and
others, which had been made to government. He had not
said a syllable which led to such an idea, and the reason why
lie had not, was, because he entertained no such opinion.
The offers that had been made by the Duke of Rutland, the
Earl of Derby, the Earl of Harrington, and others, were so
liberal, and upon such advantageous terms to the public, that
it was impossible to impute the relbsal of them on the part of
government to any thing else than the remains of that miser-
able partiality to the Scotch which had so long disgraced this
country. Last year, when Scotch noblemen offered to raise
regiments, the offers were greedily accepted, and warmly en-
couraged; the public were even put to the expence of levy
money on the occasion. The conduct of government had
been very different now : there was a motive, indeed, to which
he could impute their refusal in one instance, and that was,
the finger of persecution was pointed at one of the noble lords
who was among those that made the offer. That persecution
was aimed at his whole family, and had been instanced on
more than one occasion. The House pretty generally calling
upon Mr. Fox to name the person alluded to ; he said he
would speak out, he alluded to the Earl of Derby, who, on ac-
count of his unfortunate family connection,--unfortunate
merely in that point of view, but highly honourable in itself;
because every man in the kingdom would have been happy to
have been allied to General Burgoyne,—was proscribed and
was never to be forgiven : by never to be forgiven he meant,
as long as the present administration had any power. To
chew that he was warranted in asserting that the present
ministry were determined to persecute the noble earl and his
family, he mentioned their having three separate times


refinedthe noble earl's brother the lieu tenant-coloneley of the Liver-
pool regiment : a situation and a sort of rank which he had a


:BILL FOR DOUBLING THE MILITIA. 19;
1779.]


r
ialit to expect, especially in the last instance that occurred


(„C
a vacancy, because he was then the oldest major in the


. How different was the conduct of ministers respecting
corps
t
he Scotch new raised regiments ! The Scotch lords who
raised them were suffered to appoint their own officers, and.
the ministers never once interfered in the appointments. He
Enid it was this sort of treatment


of noblemen and gentlemen
ofthe most respectable characters, that gave such disgust, and
made the noble lord in the blue, ribbon so odious in the eyes


of ith e nation.4c that neither now, nor before, was he inclined
to give the preference to the mode of raising the militia as
offered


by the bill then under consideration : but there was a
point of infinitely more consequence, a point the noble lord
who spoke a short time since, had grossly Iris-stated, to which
it was highly necessary that he should give the most flat and
peremptory denial. The noble lord, after owning that we had
no foreign alliances, had triumphantly spoken of unanimity, -
and congratulated gentlemen on that side of the House, upon
having allied themselves with those who sat on the other.
This was an assertion for which there was not the smallest
foundation, and it was impossible for him to state, in any
phrase that language would admit of; the shock lie felt when
the noble lord ventured to sumrest what was most exceedingly,
grating to his ears, and he doubted not to those of every gen-
tleman who sat near him. What ! enter into an alliance with
those very ministers who had betrayed their country ; who
had prostituted the public strength, who had prostituted the
public wealth, who had prostituted what was still more valua-
ble, the glory of the nation The idea was too monstrous to
be admitted for a moment. Gentlemen must have forgone
their principles, and have given up their honour, before they
could have approached the threshold of an alliance so abomina-
ble, so scandalous, and so disgraceful i Did the noble lord
think it possible that he could ally himself with those ministers
who had led us on from one degree of wretchedness to an-
other, till at length they had brought us to the extreme moment
of peril, the extreme verge of destruction? ally himself with
those ministers who had lost America, ruined Ireland, thrown
Scotland into tumult, and put the very existence of Great Bri-
tain to the hazard ! ally himself with those ministers who had,
as they now confessed, foreseen - the Spanish war, the final mis-
chief which goaded us to destruction, and yet had from time to
tune told parliament


that a Spanish war was not to be feared !
ally himself with those ministers, who, knowing of the prospect
of a Spanish war, had taken no sort of pains to prepare for it !


1.13r himself with those ministers who had, when they knew of
0 2




196 BILL FOR DOUBLING THE MILITIA.
[June 2z.


a Spanish war, declared in parliament no longer ago than last
Tuesday, that it was right for parliament to be prorogued, for
that no Spanish war was to be dreaded, and yet had eorne
down two days afterwards with the Spanish


rescript !himself with those ministers
'


who knowing of a Spanish war
and knowing that they had not more than thirty sail of the
line ready to send out with Sir Charles Hardy, had sent ou


tAdmiral Arbuthnot to America with seven sail of the line,
and a large body of troops on board ! ally himself with those
ministers, who knowing of a Spanish war, had suffered seven
ships of the line lately to sail to the East Indies, though two
or three ships were all that were wanted for that service,


andthe rest might have staid at home to reinforce the great fleetof England
. ! ally himself with those ministers, who knowing


of a Spanish war, and knowing that the united fleets of the
house of Bourbon consisted of at least forty; perhaps fifty,


•and possibly sixty sail of the line, had suffered Sir Charles to sail
on Wednesday last, the day before the Spanish. rescript was,
as they knew, to be delivered, with not thirty sail of the line,
although if he had staid a week longer, he might have


beek.reinforced with five or six, or, as ministry themselves said; '
seven or eight more capital ships ! To ally himself with


mencapable of such conduct, would be to ally himself to disgrace..
and ruin. He begged therefore for himself and for his friends,
to disclaim any such alliance ; and he declared he was the ra-
ther inclined to disavow such a connection, because from the
past conduct of ministers he was warranted to declare and to
maintain, that such an alliance would be something


worsethan an alliance with France and Spain, it would be an alli-
ance with those who pretended to be the friends of Great
Britain, but who were in fret and in truth her worst enemies.


Having urged this in a most impassioned tone, Mr. Fox
declared, that he should support the present bill, or rather
he should not oppose it, because, in the situation that affairs
then stood, every measure which tended to call out the strength
of the country was proper. He could not however but own,
it was a measure of a more spirited nature than he ever
thought the present ministry would have 'proposed, because,after their repeated assertions that the country was in no dan-
ger, that Spain meant to stand neuter, and that a war with
the united forces of the House of Bourbon was not to be
dreaded, he did not think any men had arrived at such an un-
common pitch of assurance, as to have stood up


themselves
and proposed a measure which gave the lie direct to all they
had been saying during the whole session of parliament.


At the same time, however, he declared he should vote
for the bill, he meant not to give ministers the least grounds


BILL r OR DOUBLING THE MILITIA. 197
1719•]
for


eal
sup


hog
os


est in thot s
at, h


ucc
e pl


ess
aced


oragnyood
confid


to
e


thee
in-
counthtry


em


from
, or h


any
ad


t ehp
thing they could


possibly do for it. He owned himself to be
completely despondent, and though there was the utmost una-
nimity in the gentlemen who acted with him, it was not the
sort, of unanimity the noble lord had alluded to ; it was unit-
DiMity to exert every nerve, and to touch upon every string
likely to contribute, in any manner whatever, to rescue the
country from that peril in which the ministers had involved
it, but it was not an unanimity which rested upon confidence
in administration, or the least expectation of success from
their measures. The zeal, therefore, of his friends in the
cause of their country, was the more eminent, because they
offered their lives and fortunes even under those men whom
they could not trust, and under whom, officers of such exalted
character, and such eminent military talents as Admiral Kop-
pel and Lord Howe, declared they could not, consistently
with their honour, serve.


The noble lord, who spoke some time since, had said we
had no foreign alliances, and had declared to God he knew
not why. This was a severe charge upon the _noble lord in
the blue ribbon and his colleagues ; for what was it but con-
fessing that we were deserted and abandoned by all Europe,
and by implication, declaring that the conduct of ministers
must have been unaccountably bad, to have occasioned an
event not to be imagined possible to have happened. He,
however, would tell the noble lord why we had had no foreign
alliances. All Europe saw the wretched and disgraceful state
into which ministers had plunged us ; and could it be expect-
ed that any court in their senses would ally themselves with
misery and ruin ? The noble lord, however, had forgot 'that
we had allies in Germany, the Landg,Tave of Hesse and the
Duke of Brunswick were our allies. Let gentlemen look at
that part of the conduct of ministers. They had bound us
down by treaty to assist mitt-support both or either of those
princes whenever they were attacked. The faith of the na-
tion was now pledged for this, and in case of a rupture be-
tween the courts of Hesse or Brunswick, and any other
power, in case of a war being lighted up in Germany in the
Progress of our present contest, (no very improbable circum-
stance,) what must be the consequence ?, The faith of this
nation must be broken, for it would be morally impossible for
Us to adhere to the treaty. This was one among many of the
precious consequences that had attended our eagerness to en-
ter upon the accursed American liar, our haste to cut the
throats and pick the pockets of our brethren across the
Atlantic.


3




w914, BILL FOR DOUBLING THE MILITIA.
[June


He took notice of the assertion of his right honourable
friend (Mr. Thomas Townshend) the preceding day, relative
to the treachery and corruption which had been stated to pte..
nail in the cabinet. Though he had no proof of such a charge,
this he would however say, that the noble lord in the blue an
bon must certainly have sold his own opinion, and adopted
that of other men, or he never could have acted in the man.
ner he had clone. He verily believed what he now said, and
added, that it was perfectly indifferent to him whether the
noble lord had sold his opinion to the king of France for.
French gold, or whether he had sold it to any other person,
or disposed of it to his colleagues in office for their fine words,
and their promises of honour and emolument. It was im-
possible it could be otherwise; it was impossible that men no.
torious for their being men of sense, of judgment, of acknow.
ledged talents, should. pursue a line of conduct so opposite to
sense, so grossly weak, so ignorant, and so absurd. The
noble lord in the blue ribbon had great natural abilities;
those abilities had been matured and improved by an excellent
education; he had in that House given repeated instances of
his talents; he had charmed frequent audiences with his wits
his humour, and his reasoning; how, then, was the opposi-
tion between his language and his conduct to be reconciled?
it Was true, indeed, that speaking and doing were distinct
and very different things, but let gentlemen look at the con-
duct of the ministry as private men. Had they let their own
estates go to ruin ? Had they given any signs of personal ne-
glect or inattention to their own interests ?— quite the con-
trary. They had taken good care of their wealth ; they had
increased their riches.


He concluded with repeating, that though he voted for the
bill, he did not mean it to be understood as a token of his pre-
ferring the raising the militia to raising new regiments,
agreeably to the offers of the two noble dukes and noble earls.
That he had not the least confidence in the present ministers,
and that so far from being ready to enter into an alliance with
them, he thought they merited punishment ; and although
there were among them individuals for whom he had the
highest personal respect, yet he thought their official conduct
collectively so infamous, and so prejudicial to the interests of
their country, that were the times ripe for bringing them to
punishment, he would join most heartily in supporting the
measure.


The bill was read a second time. It afterwards passed the Com-
mons, but in the Lords, the clause enabling the king to double the


-.militia was rejected by a considerable majority. It was remark-


9°3
BILL PUB. DOUBLING THE MILITIA. 199


07


0
e, that Earl Gower, lord president of the council, and both


able


secretaries
of state, voted against the compulsory principle of


the bill.
Jay 2.


Thus disembowelled of all its original substance, the skeleton
of the bill was returned to the Commons, with nothing of efficacy
remaining, except supplemental clause .added .by Lord Beau-


cham,
p for the raising oi volunteer companies. Sir Grey Cooper


having
moved, that the amendments made by the Lords be taken


into consideration, a debate on the point of privilege ensued. •


IVir. Fox said, he would take the opportunity of saying a
farewell word or two to the minister for the present session.
1-Ic then attacked the noble lord in the blue ribbon, on the
repeated calls upon the House, which were made by those
who sat near him, (when the bill then before them was origi-
nally brought in,) to act with unanimity and spirit. He
stated the reception the bill had met with in that House, every
man agreeing to it, or rather forbearing to oppose it, not be-
cause they approved of it, but because they were not willing
to embarrass administration when they offered a measure pro-
fessedly designed to call out the national force, and to add to
the security and defence of the kingdom in an hour, when the
ministers themselves stated it to be in the most imminent clan-
, ger of invasion. It had passed that House unanimously; but
what was its reception in the other? Where was the spirit
and the unanimity which the noble lord in the blue ribbon
had preached up ? Were the members of the king's cabinet
unanimous? Were they ready to adopt the measure as a
measure of good policy, and to carry it into execution with
spirit? No such thing. No two lords of the council were. of
one opinion ; the divisions of the cabinet respecting the mea-
sure had followed the bill into parliament. The lord presi-


dent,
so far from feeling that unanimity which the noble lord


in the blue ribbon had recommended, had openly declared
his fears that the bill was impracticable, and had proposed a
plan totally different from every idea suggested in the bill.
He begged, therefore, that ministers would not again have
the impertinence to talk of unanimity and spirit ; for, un-
doubtedly, it was impertinent and insulting to the last degree,
for any set of men to recommend that to 'Others, of which they
were themselves incapable of holding out an example.


Having said this, Mr. Fox went into a consideration of the
little hope there was of any good from the present ministers,
and asked where could a set of gentlemen now be found that
would say they had any confidence in administration? The


0 4




200
BILL FOR D OUBLING THE MILITIA.


bill which had been that day brought from the other Rou
se


was a proof that they were shamefully indecisive and h idirferent; that so far from having sufficiently digested their
"flea,sures before they came to parliament to propose them, they


had not even ascertained their practicability. The
oppositionin the other House was chiefly made by the lords lientenar


4of counties, the very persons into whose hands the execution.
bill would necessarily devolve, and who of all men we4


the most capable of judging whether it was or was not practi.
cable. He desired to know why ministers had not


consultedthe lords lieutenants of counties respecting it, before they pro-
posed it to parliament, and said, if the idea of contemning
aristocracy had prevailed so far, as to prevent such a necessary
consultation from taking place, it was a futile and improper
objection. With regard to the present remnant of the bill
which they had sent up to the Lords, (lb• a remnant it was,
and a most inefficacious remnant, the very vitals of the bill as
it originally stood, having been taken out,) it was to all intents
and purposes a money bill; and to argue that it was not so,
merely because it did not originate in . a committee of supply,
or a coimnittee of the whole House, was the most childish dis-
tinction that he had ever heard. bid not the bill, as ori-
nally framed, contain dclause, enabling his majesty to augment
his militia, a power which imposed a burthen on the subject,
and for the expence of which their money was appropriated
by another bill, to which this especially referred ? Who,
then, would say that it was not a money bill; and who
would be so weak as to advise the amendments of


-
the Lordsto be read, when, even if the motion were agreed to, it would


only carry the House a step farther, at which they must neces-
sarily stop, and at which the bill must inevitably be thrown
out and rejected ? It were better to proceed regularly; to throw
out the bill then, and to begin de novo; the difference of par-liament continuing to sit a few days longer, was nothing in
comparison of the mischiefs, of the dangerous consequences to
the nation, which might ensue, if that


dangerou
acquiesced in aviolation Of its privileges in any one instance.


Having enforced this strongly, he recurred to his attack on
administration, and said it was evident they acted better, and
more wisely when they were opposed, than when they were
left to themselves. While that side of the House continued
to harass them, and to throw obstacles in their way, it served
as a spur to their activity, and gave them a degree of firmness,
of caution, of "unanimity, and of spirit," which it was now
evident was not their natural characteristic. In the present
case, their calls upon gentlemen to be unanimous, had been
listened to on both sides of that House, and listened to, not,


1779'3
as he before said, from any approbation of the bill, but from


wish to suffer them, in one instance, to act of themselves,
01 to try, by giving them rope enough, (he wished to Godthey had made a proper use of the rope !) whether they were
or were not capable of proposing any one salutary measure,
find carrying it through parliament. The result was, a fresh
evidence of their incapacity, and the manner in which the
noble lord in the blue ribbon had treated the bill in its pro-
°Tess through that House, as well as the readiness with which
fie


was willing to adopt the wretched remnant of it sent down
from the Lords, showed incontestably that indifference which
marked every part of his conduct. To that indifference he
ascribed all the mischiefs that had befallen this devoted
country, and declared that the fate of the bill would not be
a slight one'; ministers alone, however, were answerable for
it, Opposition, for the reasons he had stated, having no share
in the responsibility; and he trusted the matter would be seen
in its true light by Europe and all the world.


The bill as amended by the Lords was curried, on a division, by
V. majority of 63 to 45.


ADDRESS ON THE KING'S SPEECH AT THE OPENING OF THE
SESSION.*


November 25.


THE King opened the session with the following Speech
" My Lords and Gentlemen ; I meet you in parliament at a


time when we are called upon by every principle of duty, and
every consideration of interest, to exert our united efforts in the
support and defence of our country, attacked by an unjust and un-
provoked war, and contending with one of the most dangerous
confederacies that ever was formed against the crown and people


A few days before the meeting of parliament, Earl Gower, ldrd pre-
Wlent of the council, resigned that high office, and was succeeded by Earl
Bathurst. Lord Weymouth likewise resigned his office of secretary of




state for the southern department, and was succeeded by the Earl of Hills-
borough. Lord Stormont, late ambassador at Paris, was appointed to the
northern department ; the business of which bad been conducted by Lord
Weymouth, since the death of the Earl of Suffolk. And the old place of
first lord of trade and plantations, which bad. been absorbed and includedin the new office of secretary of state for the colonies, was now separated,
p nd bestowed upon the Earl of Carlisle.


ADDRESS ON THE ICING'S SPEECH. 201




ADDRESS ON TI1E RING'S SPEECH. 203202 ADDRESS ON THE KING'S SPEECH.
[Nov. 25.


of Great Britain.—The designs and attempts of our enemies to
invade this kingdom, have, by the blessing of Providence, been
hitherto frustrated and disappointed. They still menace us with
great armaments and preparations ; but we are, I trust, on our
part, well prepared to meet every attack, and to repel every
I know the character of my brave people: the menaces of theirenemies, and the approach of danger, have no other effect on theirminds, but to animate their courage, and to call forth that national
spirit, which has so often checked, and defeated, the projects of
ambition and injustice, and enabled the British fleets and armies to
protect their own country, to vindicate their own rights, and at the
same time to uphold, and preserve, the liberties of Europe, from
the restless and encroaching power of the house of Bourbon-4n
the midst of my care and solicitude for the safety and welfare of
this country, I have not been inattentive to the state of my loyal
and faithful kingdom of Ireland. I have, in consequence of your
addresses, presented to me in the last session, ordered such papers
to be collected and laid before you, as may assist your deliberations
on this important business ; and I recommend it to you to consider
kin
what further benefits and advantages may be extended to that


gdom, by such regulations, and such methods, as may most ef-
fectually promote the common strength, wealth, and interests of all
my dominions.


" Gentlemen of the House of Commons ; The proper estimates
shall, in due time, he laid before you. I see, with extreme con-
cern, that the necessary establishments of my naval and military
forces, and the various services and operations of the ensuing year,
must inevitably be attended with great and heavy expences ; but
I rely on your wisdom and public spirit, for such supplies as the
circumstances and exigencies of our affairs shall be found to
require.


" My Lords and Gentlemen ; I have great satisfaction in re-
newing the assurances of my entire approbation of the good con-
duct and discipline of the militia, and of their steady perseverance
in their duty ; and I return my cordial thanks to all ranks of my
loyal subjects who have stood forth in this arduous conjuncture,
and, by their zeal, their influence, and their personal service, have(riven confidence as well as strength to the national defence.t,Trusting in the Divine Providence, and in the justice of my cause,
I am firmly resolved to prosecute the war with vigour, and to
make every exertion in order to compel our enemies to listen to
equitable terms of peace and accommodation."


An Address in approbation of the speech being moved by Lord
Lewisham, and seconded by Lord Parker, the following amend-
ment was moved by Lord John Cavendish : viz. " To beseech his
majesty to reflect upon the extent of territory, the power, the
opulence, the reputation abroad, and the concord at home, which
distinguished the opening of his majesty's reign, and marked it as
the most splendid and happy period in the history of this nation ;
and, when he shall have turned his eyes on the endangered, impo-
verished, distracted, and even dismembered state of the whole;
after all the grants of successive parliaments, liberal to profusion)


1170
,„a trusting to the very utmost extent of rational confidence, his
,„esty will expect to receive the honest opinion of a faithful and
4iAectionate parliament, wo should think they betrayed


distinctly


t majesty, in words, what the world has seen in most calamitousidisgraceful effects ; that if any thing can prevent the consum-
mation -of public ruin, it can only be new councils and new coun-
sellors, without further loss of time, a real change, from a sincere
conviction of past errors, and not a mere palliation, which must
prove fruitless." The amendment was opposed by Mr. William
Adam, Lord North, Mr. Dundas Mr. Jenkinson, and Mr. Attor-
ney General ; and supported by Mr. Hartley, Mr. James Grenville,
Mr. Thomas Townshend, Admiral Keppel, Mr. Pox, Mr. Burke,
and Mr. Temple Luttrell.


Mr. Fox rose, he said, to express his astonishment at the
paradoxical mode of reasoning adopted by an honourable
gentleman (Mr. Adam,) who introduced his speech with in-
forming the House on which side lie intended to vote when
the House should come to a division, namely, in favour of
administration. The motives which induced that honourable
gentleman to change sides, were rather curious, and of the
first impression. At the beginning of the last session he
thought the ministers wrong, but the operations of the last
campaign bad taught him to think that ministers were right ;
or in other words, that having once thought Ill of them, a line
of conduct, still more disgraceful, more infamous, more de-
atructive and ruinous, had at once clone away the bad impres-
sion which their less humiliating and less mischievous conduct
challenged, and had determined him to support them ! This,
he would be bold to say, was soaring to the very summit of
political paradox, and parliamentary enigma. The honour-
able gentleman had said, that there were men in administra-
tion who were possessed of great abilities, and who enjoyed
the confidence both of their sovereign and their country.
NA/There was he to seek for them? Would the honourable
gentleman be so kind as to direct his steps, and enlighten his
researches? -Was he to look for them at the head of the
army? There he would find an officer, who, he was certain,
had entirely lost the confidence of the whole body over whose
interests and immediate government he had been raised, fbr
the apparent purpose of protecting and regulating, and that
by a partial distribution of favours,.military rank, and refusing
military merit its just and dear-bought reward ; because scarce
an instance had happened, since; on an unfortunate and ill-
omened day, his lordship was appointed commander-in-chief;
in which he did not finnish repeated proofs, that, military re-
wards were snatched from the well-entitled veteran, and con-
ferred on those, who had no other recommendation to hi*




Z04
ADDRESS ON THE KING'S SPEECH. CNA


notice than an influence, which he should, as the fiitho'arid
protector of the army, have set his face against in the niost,
unreserved and direct manner. Was it in the


secretary ofstate's office, that he was to search ? There, indeed, he oun.bt
to find a man, whose knowledge of foreign courts and


interestsmight render him an able negotiator. But there again hewould be d
isappointed ; for no such person was to be found


in that office. Was it at the treasury or admiralty-boards
that his enquiries were to meet with the satisfaction


sought?Alas ! lie had little reason to look for success at either. After
a fruitless search through all the departments of the state, thehonourable gentleman had led hint to the court of


chancery.There, indeed, he acknowledged that a noble and learned
lordsat, of the first abilities, who did infinite honour to his bench;


his lordship was in full possession of public confidence, but it
was a confidence in the chancellor, in the noble lord's


pro-fessional abilities, not as a minister; for the people did
notsuppose that his station, his habits, or the duties of his


.office,
allowed him much time to turn his attention to the political
interests of the nation, or fitted him for the task.


The honourable gentleman had taken an admirable method
of commending ad


ministration, by saying, that there were men
more incapable among those who aspired to their places. He
did not know how ministers would receive this aukward


andparadoxical compliment, but he knew that if he were a mi-nister, and a man should come to hint and say,
44 Sir, I can-


not defend you on the ground of your own conduct, it is so
replete with blunders, absurdities, and inconsistencies, that all
my abilities cannot even palliate them; but I will tell you
what I can do to serve you : I will inform the world, thatmen who oppose you are more ignorant, more inconsistent;;.,
more infamous, and more disgraceful than yourself:"—on


heareing such an address, for his part, he would instantly reply,
" Begone ! begone, wretch ! who &lightest in libelling man-kind, c


onfOunding virtue and vice, and insulting the man
whom thou pretendest to defend, by saying to his face; that he
certainly is infamous, but that there are others still more so."


The c
onsequence of this speech was a duel between Mr. Fox and Mr.Adam, in which Mr.


Fox was wounded. The quarrel is sufficiently ex-plained by the following letters and statement, which were published atthe time by authority :


Mr. ADAM to Mr. Fox.
St. Alban's Tavern, Saturday, 4


o'clock afternoon, Nov. 2 7, r779,eMr. Adam presents Ids compliments to Mr. Fox, and beg leave to re=
present to him, that upon considering, again and agailia


n what had- passed . l'between them last night, it is impossible for him to
ve his character


079'3


seine gentlemen have been pointed out in the general in-
vective alluded to, and high as his opinion of their abilities
was, he believed, it was not in their power to save their coun-present, at least without an absolute change of systems;
try ata measures as ,-well as men ; bottomed on the full and unre-


cleared to the public, without inserting the following paragraph in the
newspapers.


" We have authority to assure the public, that, in a conversation that
passed between Mr. Fox and Mr. Adam, in consequence of the debate in


“ the House of Commons, on Thursday last, Mr. Fox declared, that, how-
ever much his speech may have been misrepresented, he did not mean to
throw any personal reflection upon Mr. Adam."
Major Humberston does me the honour of delivering this to you, and


will bring your answer.
Mr. Fox to Mr. ADAM.


Sir, I am very sorry to say that it is utterly inconsistent with my ideas
of propriety, to authorise the putting any thing into the newspapers relative
to a speech, which, in my opinion, required no explanation. You, who
heard the speech, must know, that it did convey no personal reflection
upon you, unless you felt yourself in the predicament upon which I ani-
madverted. The account of my speech in the newspapers is certainly in-
correct, and certainly unauthorised by me ; and therefore, with respect to
that, I have nothing to say.


Neither the conversation that passed at Brookes's, nor this letter, are
a secret nature, and if you have any wish to relate the one, or to show the
other, you are perfectly at liberty so to do. I am, &c.


Mr. ADAM to Mr. Fox.
Chesterfield Street, half past three, Sunday, November 28, T779:


Sir, as you must be sensible, that the speech printed in the newspapers
reflects upon me personally ; and, as it is from that only that the public can
have their information, it is evident, that unless that is contradicted by
your authority, in as public a manner as it was given, my character must be
injured. Your refusal to do this, entitles me to presume that you approve
of the manner in which that speech has been given to the public, and jus-
tifies me in demanding the only satisfaction that such an injury will admit of.


Major Humberston is employed to settle all particulars ; and, the sooner
this affair is brought to a conclusion, the more agreeable to me; I have
the honour to be, <W.


STATEMENT.
Monday, Nov. 29.


In consequence of a previous misunderstanding between the honourable
1\ ft% Charles Fox and Mr. Adam, they met, according to agreement, at.
eight o'clock this morning in Hyde Parks After the ground had been mea-
sured out, at the distance of fourteen paces, Mr. Adam desired Mr. Fox' to
fire ; to which Mr. Fox replied, " Sir, I have no quarrel with you ; do you
fire." Mr. Adam then fired, and wounded Mr. Fox, which, we believe,
was not at all perceived by Mr. Adam, as it was not distinctly seen by either'
of ourselves. Mr. Fox fired without effect. We then interfered, asking
Mr. Adam if he was satisfied ? Mr. Adam replied, " Will Mr. fox de-
clare he meant no personal attack upon my character ?" Upon which Mr.
Vex said, this was no place for apologies, and desired him to go on. Mr.


ADDRESS ON THE KING'S SPEECH. 205




206 ADDRESS ON THE KING'S SPEECH.
[Nov. 25,


served confidence of the sovereign on one side, and every
assistance which such a constitutional confidence could give;
nay he believed that if even the great Earl of Chatham were
alive, a man in whom the people believed to reside a quoddam
diainum, he would be found unequal to the task of restoring
the glory. and dignity of the British empire, if the present
ruinous system were not first done away, and the very seeds of
it exterminated. The words of the amendment were taken,
he said, from that noble earl, when he first heard his opinion
on the necessity of a real change, a change that would effec-
tually bring about the purposes for which it was designed ; a
change of system, without palliatives. He confessed he did
not then clearly understand the noble lord's meaning, but he
had been since fatally convinced of its true import, which
strengthened the former opinion lie entertained of that great
- b •
man's political penetrationnand transcendant abilities. He
saw very early indeed, in the present reign, the plan of go-
vernment which had been laid down and had since been in-
variably pursued in every department ; it was riot the mere
rumour of the streets that the king was his own minister; the
fatal truth was evident, and. had made itself visible in every
circumstance of the war carried on against America and the
West Indies. There was not the least intelligence in the
West Indies perceptible between the king's officers in the
most kindred departments. Had not all such intelligence
been destroyed by an invisible cabinet influence, could it ever
have happened that there should he in one of our lately cap-
tured islands 150 pieces of ordnance, and only 4o men to
work them ? Could there have been in one place cannon
without balls, and in another balls without cannon ? In short,
could mere ignorance in ministers produce of itself so many
complicated blunders as the last seven years have furnished,
to render the present reign the most disgraceful period in the
annals of this country.


He then asked, what was become of the American war?
that war which had cost this nation so many millions, and so
pinch bloodshed from our brave countrymen ! Was it too


Adam fired his second pistol without effect. Mr. Fox fired his remaining
pistol in the air : and then saying, as the affair was ended, he had no diffi-
culty in declaring, he meant no more personal affront to Mi. Adam than he.
did to either of the other gentlemen present ; Mr. Adam replied, "
you have behaved like a man of honour." Mr. Fox then mentioned that
he believed himself wounded ; and, upon opening his waistcoat, it NV,ts
found lie was so, but to all appearance slightly. The parties then sepa-
rated; and Mr. Fox's wound, was, on examination, found not 'likely to
produce any dangerous consequence.


RICHARD FITZPATRiCK.
T. MACKENZIE HUMBERST014


1779.] ADDRESS ON THE KING'S SPEECH. 20"


trifling a subject to challenge any part of his majesty's atten-
tion, or to have the least notice taken of it in the speech from
the throne ? or was it totally extinct and given to oblivion?
The American war was now, it seemed, treated with the same
:silence in his majesty's speech as he would treat the war of
ancient Troy, with which he had nothing to do. But he wish-
ed ministry would speak out and say whether the American,
like the Trojan war, was totally past, and no longer to be re-
membered in that House? If that was their determination,
where was the British army under Sir Henry Clinton ? why
were our brave countrymen to be kept in a state of disgusting
inactivity where no war was to be carried on ? If there was
no American war in fact existing, except in the swelled cata-
logue of our public accounts, why was an army of 6o,000 men
suffered to moulder away at New York, and be the painful
witnesses of the enemy's unrepelled attacks ? to see their near
posts carried by the enemy without an effort on their part to
preserve them? If it was true that General Clinton had an
army of Americans only, who exceeded the number of
Washington's whole force, how was this inactivity to be ac-
counted for?


He next took a short review of the naval and military
operations in the \Vest Indies. He displayed the weakness
of administration in sending out 3500 men with Admiral
Arbuthnot, to reinforce an inactive army, already sufficiently
numerous, if they were themselves to be believed, when with
that force our islands, now in possession of the enemy, might
have bid defiance to the descent of Count D'Estaign. He gave
praise most liberally to that part of the British fleet which en-
gaged the count; but inveighed strongly against the authors
of the unfortunate circumstance respecting the powder, by
which our seamen saw their balls fall harmless into the water
short of the enemy, whilst our ships received the greatest
damage at the same time from their shot. He expatiated
very powerfully upon the neglects by which our coasts and
docks were exposed to danger during the late alarms of inva-
sion : and made many severe comments upon the operations
of the navy on that occasion ; particularly on the dishonour-
able circumstance of their flight from an enemy, superior to
them indeed, but which became so, by the shameful folly of
administration, in not preventing the junction of the fleets of
Bourbon.


The minister had ventured to assert, that we were now in a
better state than we were in at the close of the last session.
And how does he prove his assertion ? said the honourable
member. " The enemy intended to invade us and they have
not clone it." (At the same time, by the bye, the noble lord




25 ,
208
ADDRESS ON THE KING'S SPEECH.


[Noy.
had expressed -his wishes, that they had landed.) Now the
only better prospect the noble lord has in view for his country
next spring is, that they may again attempt and happily that


- they may then be able to effect their purpose. If so, that this
year we were in more danger because the enemy did not land;
the next year we shall be in less danger, because they pro-
bably may be more successful, and actually effect a landing.


He then adt-erted to the mismanagement of the army;
mentioning the general dissatisfaction that prevailed amongst
the.


officers, on account of the mode of promotion in the new
levies. They did not murmur at little partialities shewn to
a Rutland or a Harrington ; the usage of the army suffered
some little deviation fiorn the strict rules of promotion in fa-
Your of such men, and to attach them to the service; but when
officers of long service are told by a secretary at war, " You
cannot have this or that promotion, because you are in the
army ; but it may be givei•to such or such a person, because
he never was in the army," who can wonder at their universal
disgust ? A very worthy friend of mine,' said he, (Lieu-
tenant Colonel Campbell,) being under orders to go to Jamaica,
applied for the rank of colonel upon that service, but was an-
swered that it could not he granted to him, but it was granted
to lord such a one.' " Very true, but he never had any rank
before, and he will only hold it during the war." The rea-
soning deducible from this answer is not incurious; and: the
conclusion is most worthy of remark. Says the secretary at
war, he that never served before, and is presumed to be igno-
rant of the military profession, shall command you that are
skilled in the art, during the war, when military abilities are
so essentially necessary in command ; but make yourself easy
about that, for when the war is over, and military skill is be-
come less necessary, you shall command him. The absurdity
of this reasoning is only to be equalled by the ingenious finesse
which has been introduced by somebody, to obviate the diffi-
culty with respect to officers on half pay, who consent to a
temporary forfeiture of a lieutenant's rank on the old estab-
lishment, in order to obtain a company in one of the new regi-
ments. - The officer subscribes a paper, by which he engages
to give up his rank as a lieutenant ;or ever ; and the com-
mander-in-chief signs a defeasance at the bottom of it, by
which he engages that the officer shall be restored to his rank
at the end of the war He concluded this subject by chal-lenging the commander-in-chief or the secretary at war to
say, whether either of them or whether any one was respon-
sible for the array department.


.


It was asserted in the speech from the throne, thdt the
nation had to contend with one of the most dangerous con-


7 9'] ADDRESS ON THE KING'S SPEECH.
209'


federacies that ever was formed against the crown and people
of Great Britain ; and in so perilous a moment the minister
avowed that government had not a single ally to look to for
assistance. But that was not the fault of administration ; it
was owing to the ingratitude of the European powers. All
America had revolted from us ; but that was not the fault of
administration ; it was the disloyalty of the colonists. We
had lost a considerable part of our West-India possessions ;
but that was not owing to the indolence of ministry ; it was
owing to the activity . of D'Estaing, who took them from us I
Ireland was in a tumult, and Scotland began to grumble ; but
our immaculate ministers were still without blame ; the Scotch
and. Irish were themselves the causes of their own distur-
bances. This was another mode of reasoning with which
ministers and their advocates insulted the understanding of
parliament.


The noble lord in the blue ribbon had disclaimed the doc-
trine held out by the followers of administration, relative to
the King's being his own minister, but yet it was most certain
that such a doctrine was daily dispersed by his followers, pro-
bably with an intention of paying their court to him, by pro-
pagating opinions the most disagreeable to their patron. The
doctrine, however, was in itself highly- dangerous to the con-
stitution, as it tended to take responsibility from the shoulders
of the ministers and place it on a personage who could do no
wrong, and could not be called to account. However, he
would observe, that though, in general, the evils of a reign
were attributed to the wicked counsels of an abandoned
ministry; yet, when those evils reached to a certain height,
ministers were forgotten, and the prince alone was punished.
Thus it was with the royal House of Stuart: Charles and his
son James had both wicked ministers, to whom, no doubt,
the errors of their reigns ought to be chiefly ascribed ; and
yet they themselves were punished, the one with loss of life,
the other of his crown. This should be a lesson to sovereigns,
and teach them to check their ministers, and not suffer them-
selves to be blindly led by them, as they themselves may, for
their ministers, bear the whole weight of their people's indig-
nation.


There was not, he observed, in the whole history of this
country, a period that resembled the present, except the reign
of the unfortunate Henry VI. His family, like that of his
present majesty, did not claim the crown as their hereditary
right; it was by revolutions that they both obtained it,
Henry was an amiable and pious prince ; so was his present
majesty : Henry was the son of the most renowned monarch
that had ever sat upon our throne; George was the grandson


VOL. I.




210
ADDRESS ON THE KING'S SPEECH.


[Noy. 23,
of a hero : Henry lost all his father's conquests, and all iris
hereditary provinces in Trance: George had already seen the
conquests of his grandfather wrested from him in the West
Indies, and his hereditary provinces of America erected into
an empire, that disclaimed all connection with him.


Ilis majesty had set out in life with the brightest prospects
that a young man could have wished for : possessed of im-
mense dominions, and the warmest affections of his people, his
accession to the crown was completely flattering both to him-
self and his subjects. How sadly was the scene reversed !
his empire dismembered, his councils distracted, his people
falling off in their fondness for his person ! He said he only
spoke within doors the language that


.
was held without : the


people were beginning to murmur, and their patience was not
unlimited : they would at last do themselves justice : there
certainly would be insurrections; and though it was impossible
that the calamities4hat would attend them could be justified,
or compensated by any good that could be obtained by them,
yet they certainly would take place.


It was not a secret to that • House, that the present sove-
reign's claim to the throne of this country was founded only
upon the delinquency of the Stuart family; a circumstance,
which should never be one moment out of his majesty's re-
collection. It was true, indeed, that the unfortunate race of
that name, was universally detested in this country ; and there-
fore his majesty had little to fear from their pretensions : but
he should ever remember that it was the conduct of wicked
and ignorant ministers that excited that detestation for them.
If there was at this day one of that unfortunate House remain-
ing, what a scope for upbraidings and remonstrance could he
not find in the present reign ! Could he not say, <G You
have banished my ancestor from the throne, and barred the
sceptre from all his progeny for the misconduct of his minis-
ters, and yet the ministers of the present reign are ten times
more wicked and more ignorant than those were ; and whilst
you all agree in giving to ,our present sovereign the title of
best of princes, his ministers have rendered his reign beyond
any degree of comparison, the most infamous that ever dis-
graced this nation." The minister, though with such a loadtt,
of national censure and national calamity on his head, has the
hardiness to boast of his innocence; but it was not a conscious
rectitude of mind that could excuse a minister from criminality.
-What he called innocence might be another name for igno-
rance, and ignorance in a minister was a crime of the first
magnitude. But the wide ruin: that the counsels of achninis-
nam had spread through this great empire, and the miserable
state to which they had reduced it in the short space in which


1779'1
ADDRESS ON THE KING'S SPEECH, 211


the present parliament had been sitting, was so'fat beyond the
natural effects of mere ignorance, that he could not help
adopting the opinion of his honourable friend (Mr. T. Towns-
hend) that there was treachery at the bottom of the national
councils. The noble lord might flatter himself as much as he
pleased in the protection of a majority, or in the security of
the law; but when a nation was reduced to such a state of
v,Tetchedness and distraction that the laws could afford the
people no relief; they would afford a minister who had caused
the evil but little protection. What the law of the land
could riot do, the law of nature would accomplish ; the people
would inevitably take up arms, and the first characters in the
kingdom would be seen in their ranks.


After drawing a picture of the narrow and impolitic system
of the present reign, and contrasting it with the freedom and
glory of this country in the reign of our great deliverer, the
immortal William the Third, he turned his observations to
the state of Ireland, which he said at present afforded one of
the most critical situations, in which the two kingdoms ever
stood with respect to each other. Every evil that threatened
us from that quarter he imputed directly to the bad policy of
administration last session. He did not mean, then, to offer
any opinion upon what steps were proper to be taken in such
a crisis. Circumstances were arrived at that nice point,
that even the power of deliberation was almost taken away
from liras House. The situation of affairs was so very deli-
cate, that it was not easy for members to treat the subject in
a becoming manner. They were almost as effectually barred
from giving a free opinion on the case, as the members of the
Irish House, who had the bayonet at their breast, and were
sworn by compulsion to vote as the people dictated. But
though he would not deliver his opinion in that House, neither
should any man know from him then what he thought ought
to be done ; he would venture to point out three lines of con-
duct, one of which he was certain must be adopted. Eng-
land must resist altogether the demands of Ireland, or she
must grant them in part or in the whole. If administration
intended to resist their demands, he counselled them for the
sake of mercy to do it instantly, and with every possible effort
of their force : if they meant to grant the whole of their de-
inands, lie as earnestl y advised them to do it without hesita-
tion; although he could not but say, that even their readiest
-compliance would not now be considered as a concession ; the
refusal of their more reasonable requests in the late session,
and the loud voice now raised in that country, would suffi-
viently mark it with the stamp of necessity.


If they should deem it proper to grant their demands only
P 2





212 ADDRESS ON THE KING'S SPEECH.
[Nov. 25;


in part, he asked if they thought Ireland would now be con.,
tent with what she asked last session, and which was then fa-
tally denied to her? As he believed every man in that House
would answer the question in the negative, he desired admini.
stration would draw from it this lesson, not to adopt the same
little line of conduct that they had pursued with respect to
America, and not deny in one session what they offer with addi-
tions tile year following, yet still continuing to make little
bargains until they had nothing left to bargain for. He
then appealed to the House upon the propriety of their voting
an address of thanks to his majesty for his " attention to the
state of his loyal and faithful kingdom of Ireland," and chal-
lenged ministry to point out a single instance in which that
attention had been manifested. The noble lord at the head
of the treasury could not surely be in earnest when he de-
clared that the American war had nothing to do with the af-
fairs of Ireland. Did not that ill-fated project appear most
conspicuous in every circumstaine of the present condition of
that kingdom ? What stripped Ireland of her troops ? "Was
it not the American war? What brought on the hostilities
of France and put Ireland in fear of an invasion ? Was it
not the American war ? 'What gave Ireland the opportunity
of establishing a powerful and illegal army? Certainly the
American war. When he called the associated forces an
illegal army, he did not mean to cast any odium upon the
associations. He was equally ready to acknowledge the ne-
cessity and the merit of the plan : but it was the accursed
American war that made that measure necessary, and render-
ed illegality meritorious.


If he might be allowed to hazard a conjecture upon the
determinations of government with respect to Ireland, he.
thought it might be fair to believe, that they were disposed to
make large concessions. The appointment announced that
day, of the Earl of Hillsborough to be one of his majesty's se-
cretaries of state, was the ground of this opinion. It was but
lately that his lordship had communicated the thanks of the
Irish parliament to their associated companies; and it was ge-
nerally said, that he had accepted the office upon the royal
promise, that Ireland should have an equal trade. How a
certain learned member (the attorney general) could bring
himself to support the man whom he had once Menaced with
an impeachment, he could not easily divine. He was equally
at a loss to assign any reason for the supernumerary appoint-
ment of another noble earl (of Carlisle) to the board of trade.
There appeared no reason for increasing the number of com-
missioners at that board, at a time when the object of its busi-
ness was not only decreased, but almost totally lost, except


DISCONTENTS IN IRELAND. 213
1779.3
the most prodigal waste of the public money. At the
Same time, he thought it his duty to say, that he entertained
a very great respect for that young nobleman's private cha-
racter, though he considered his public abilities much too
highly rated for his years and experience. He remarked how
depraved, indeed, that administration must be, when those
who had supported them through so many dirty measures,
were ashamed to associate with them any longer, and made
room for the changes which had happened that day. But it
was not by such changes that the nation could be relieved,
and its constitution restored. Such changes were but pal-
liatives, and nothing but an implicit compliance with the
amendment then under consideration could save us from ruin,
restore the empire to prosperity, and add lustre to the
prince on the throne, by making him the happy sovereign of
a free and affectionate people.


The question being put on the amendment, the House divided :
Tellers. Tellers.


YEAS SL.J.Cavendish} 134..—NoEs S Lord Hinchingbroolc}
233.


1 Mr. Byng LMr. Robinson
So it passed in the negative. The original address was then


agreed to.


THE EARL OF UPPER OSSORY'S MOTION ON THE DISCON-
TENTS IN IRELAND.*


December 6.


HIS day the Earl of Upper Ossory moved, " That it is highly
criminal in his majesty's ministers, to have neglected taking


effectual measures for the relief of the kingdom of Ireland, and to


" The parliament of Ireland met on the rata of October, and soon
hewed that they lied received a portion of the general spirit of the nation.


They declared in their addresses to the throne, that nothing less than a free
and unlimited trade could save that country from ruin. The addresses
were carried up with great parade amidst the acclamations of the people.
The Duke of Leinster, who commanded the Dublin volunteers, escorted
the Speaker in person upon that occasion ; whilst the streets were lined on
both sides, from the parliament-house to the castle, by that corps, drawn
up in their arms and uniforms. That nobleman had also moved for the
thanks of the Lords to the volunteer corps throughout the kingdom, which
was carried with only one dissenting voice.


" The associations and people at large, full of anger and jealousy, mani-
fested strong apprehension s of political duplicity on this side of the water ;


P 3




21 4 DISCONTENTS IN IRELAND.
[Dec. 6'.


have suffered the discontents in that kingdom to rise to such a
height, as evidently to endanger a dissolution of the constitutional
connection between the two kingdoms, and to create new embar-
rassments to the public councils, by division and diffidence, in a
moment, when real unanimity; grounded on mutual confidence
and affection, is confessedly essential to the preservation of what
is left of the British empire.' The motion was seconded by Lord
Midleton„ and supported by Mr. Burke, Mr. Thomas Town-
shend, Mr. Fox, Colonel Barre, and Mr. Dunning. It was op-posed by Sir John Wrottesley, Lord Beauchamp, Earl Nugent,
Mr. Dundas, Mr. Macdonald, Lord North, Mr. Welbore Ellis,
Lord George Germain, and the Attorney General.


Mr. Fox* rose immediately after Mr. Dundas. It would
be a Vain attempt to endeavour to follow the honourable gen-
tleman through a speech which took an hour and a. half in
the delivery, and which was delivered with a rapidity of
utterance, a flow of language, and in a strain of oratory rarely
equalled. He felt, he said, the utmost indignation at a pas-


s


and, perhaps, did not place a perfect confidence in the steadiness or perse-verance of their own parliament. They were afraid, that they would be
amused by fair and empty promises, until they had resigned their power
along with the national purse, by granting the supplies for the two follow-
ing years, according to the customary mode in that country; being
no longer necessary to government, a sudden prorogation woud put an end
to all hope of, at least, amicable redress, for the present. Under this op-
prehension, a short money bill,. for six mouths only, by which means parlia-
ment would still continue indispensably necessary to government, became
the general cry of the nation.


"TM this innovation upon established form and method, was strongly op-
posed, particularly by the court party, the Du blin mob thought it necessary
to shew their zeal in the public cause; they were accordingly guilty ofgreat 7
and violent outrages, as well in their endeavours to enforce the measure, as
in their punishment of the refractory. Although the Irish parliament used
proper measures to express their resentment, and to maintain their dignity
upon this occasion- yet many of themselves being inclined to a vigorous
proceeding, and the rest borne down by a cry almost uni y9rsal in the na-
tion, the representatives found it at length necessary to comply, and the
short money bill was accordingly passed on that side : a necessity equally
convincing, secured the passage of that humiliating and mortifying act inEngland." Annual Register.


" This was the first time Mr. Fox had appeared in the House since the
duel with Mr. Adam. The debates were long, various, and interesting.
All the wit, ability, and eloquence of the Opposition, were thrown out
without measure or reserve against the ministers. On their side, they- exert-
ed themselves much more than they had done in the House of Lords. The
two great leaders and speakers of the Opposition in that House took a large-
share in the debate, and were as usual distinguished. The appearance of
Mr. Fox, after his recovery from the wound which he had received in thelate duel, occasioned by something that had fallen from hint on the first day
of the session, afforded matter of much general curiosity ; and that incident
seemed now to have produced a renovation, rather than any detraction of'his former spirit." Annual Register.


7 7 9 DISC44ENTS
IN IRELAND.


215


sage in the learned member's speech, who had dared to
arraign gentlemen on that side of the House, with causing
by their inflammatory speeches, the misfortunes that this
devoted country had already felt; and the much greater that


t
hreatened them of all men, whose inflammatory
harangues had concurred in bringing parliament and the
nation into those calamities, which he had the confidence to
attribute to persons who had all along done every thing in
their power to prevent the predicted consequences : he, whose
inflammatory harangues had led the nation, step by step,
from violence to violence, in that inhuman, unfeeling system
of blood and massacre, which every honest man must detest,
which every good man must abhor, and every wise man con-
demn : he, who had dealt in nothing but in exaggeration, in
the most inflammatory expressions, in incitements to revenge,
and the horrid catalogue of monsters which follow in its train;
—that such a man dared to impute the guilt of such measures
to those who had all along, in each successive step of its
progress, tbretold the consequences ; had prayed, intreated,
and supplicated, not even for America, but for the credit of the
nation and its eventual welfare ; to arrest the hand of power,
meditating slaughter and directed by injustice; to reflect a
single moment, and after counting the possible gain, compare
it with the certain loss ; a loss of national reputation, of na-
tional hmanity, of national justice, and, in fine, if nothing
but interest was to sway the authors of this diabolical scheme,
of national interest and national safety. What was the con-
sequence of the sanguinary measures recommended in those
bloody, inflammatory speeches? Though Boston was to be
starved; though Hancock and Adams were proscribed ; yet
at the feet of these very men, the parliament of Great Britain
were obliged to kneel, to flatter, and cringe; and as they
had the cruelty at one time to denounce vengeance against
those men, so they had the meanness afterwards to prostrate
themselves before them mid implore their forgiveness.


Was he who called the Americans " Hancock and his
crew," to reprehend any set of men for inflammatory
speeches ? Or had sad experience, though not a real refor-,
mation, so far altered his sentiments, that be found it necessary
to express himself in more favourable terms of Perry and his
crew [The Speaker of the Irish House of Commons]? The
softened, guarded language adopted by the learned gentleman,
might be easily accounted for. Perry and his crew had used
arguments particularly conciliating, convincing, and persua-
sive, and they were no less powerful. The arguments of
Perry and his crew consisted of 42,000 bayonets.


Ile would repeat, that this mode of defending administra-
I' 4




216 DISCONTENTS IN IRELAND.
[DOC. 6.


Lion, by libelling those who differed in opinion from them,
was, to the last degree, infamous and contemptible, and, in the
particular instance, remarkably so. " The complaints," said
the learned gentleman, "have originated on this side of the
water, and have been sent over to Ireland." Was that the
case? Most certainly not; the charge was Use; he could give
it no other epithet. It was false and infamous; it was scan-
dalous. Were there no distresses in Ireland ? were there no
discontents before gentlemen on this side of the House hadzn- •
.spoken on the subject? were there no men of understanding
in Ireland ? Had. there been no pamphlets written in that
kingdom, or newspapers published, or essayists, who discussed
the subject in print there ? If there were, and they had all
united in the same opinion, and in much stronger terms than
any thirc• which had come from the side of the I-Touse on
which he had the honour to sit, what would the wond think
of the man who dared to avow in his place, that the topics of
complaint had been suggested by a particular description of
men in that House, and from thence had made their way to
Ireland? He was ashamed to dwell upon so trifling a circum-
stance, but. he could not help expressing his resentment, when
he reflected on the injustice of the charge, and the purposes
which it was apparently brought forward to promote. Were
there no men of abilities in either House of Parliament in
Ireland ? Were Mr. Serjeant Burgh, Mr. Grattan, and several
other characters equally well known, and when known highly
respected, solely governed by what had fallen in debate in that
House; or had the distresses of the country created a princi-
ple of union, directed to a general redress, which nothing but
the native feelings of the Irish nation gave birth to ?


After having made several pointed animadversions, on what
he called the inflammatory part of the learned gentleman's
discourse, he endeavoured to trace the origin of all our evils
to its grand source, the American war. It was that accursed
war that had led us, step by step, into all our present misfor-
tunes and national disgraces. What was the cause of our
wasting forty millions of money, and sixty thousand lives ?
The American war. What was it that produced the French
rescript, and a French war ? The American war. What was
it that produced the Spanish manifesto and Spanish war? The
American war. What was it that armed


42,00o men inIreland, with the arguments carried on the point of
42,000bayonets? The American war. For what were we about to


incur an additional debt of twelve or fourteen millions ? That
accursed, diabolical, and cruel American war.


He was not present the other evening when a very intellir
gent and ingenious gentleman below him (Mr. Hartley) had


1779'] DISCONTENTS IN rrit!e:
_


217


asked the noble lord in the blue ribbon, whether ministers
intended to persevere in the American war. He could notpretend to speak with precision, but he was informed that the
noble lord answered in the affirmative. It was this accursed
war that had already lost us the empire of America. It was
this war, that caused the disgrace of the British flag, and had
already stripped us of some of our most valuable 'West India
possessions. It was this war that had already rendered us
contemptible to all Europe, which caused us to be deserted by
our friends and allies, and despised and trampled upon by our
enemies. It was this ruinous war that had brought on the
distresses of Ireland. It was this war that had obliged the
government here to abandon that of Ireland. It was this war
that had consequently armed Ireland, and, in short, induced
the people there to associate, in order to defend themselves, as
well against their domestic enemies, the ministers of Great
Britain, as their foreign foes.


But to all this I expect to hear the noble lord shortly rise,
and say, it was not I that caused America to resist ; their re-
sistance was rebellious, and they, not ministers, were the cause.
It was not I that brought on the French war ; France united
with our rebellious subjects. It was France therefore was to
blame. It was not I that was the author of the Spanish war ;
Spain joined France, and it was France and Spain that were
•to blame. After anticipating for some time the presumed de-
fence the noble lord would make, he then attacked him very
severely on account of his obstinacy, indolence, and general
incapacity, and adverted to the recent resignation of two great
officers of state (Lords Gower and Weymouth). Was it
merely the language of that side of the House, that the minis-
try were incapable and neglectful, and the minister so habitu-
ally indolent and inattentive to the duties of his office, that one
of the noble lords alluded to (Earl Gower) speaking to the
very question, which was - the subject of the present motion,
after declaring that the truth of it was clear to him, added,


but it is impossible to say what may be deemed a criminal
neglect in some men ; for some men are so overwhelmed with
habitual indolence and inattention, that what may be deemed
criminal in others, may only be a mixture of nature and habit
in them." Were the speeches made on that side the House
singular in their tenor from the general opinion which pre-
vailed without doors? He believed not. He was persuaded,
there was hardly a man out of that House, or indeed in it,
however he might vote that evening, who doubted of the total


ihnacclately
acit of ministers. What did the noble lord, whom he


alluded to, say in the other House, a noble lord,
v, ho lately presided in his majesty's councils, but " that lie




2 8
DISCONTENTS IN IRELAND.


[Dec. 6.


could no longer, having seen such things, remain there with
honour or conscience." Was this the voice of faction, or the
random assertions of partial and uninformed men ? On the
contrary, was it not the candid explicit declaration of a
person who had presided in those councils, who had been a.
witness to what was every day going forward there, who had
yet declared himself of no party; and, speaking like an honest
man, spoke out, saying, that beholding such things as he daily
saw transacting there, he could no longer continue a specta-
tor, accountable to his Country, his sovereign, and himself,
with honour or conscience ?


The learned gentleman had said, that the distresses felt by
Ireland were not brought on them by the present ministers,
but by the restrictive and other trade laws, passed in this
country. As a general proposition, he was ready admit it
in part, though many of the internal grievances, he was ready
to prove, originated from government alone; but would the
learned gentleman say, that the total loss of the American
trade, the most valuable part of the Irish commerce; the em-
bargo of the only export they had but linen, the increased




taxes, and a variety of other causes, had not accelerated those
distresses, if not entirely created them ? The learned gentleman
had industriously endeavoured to shew, that the present mo-
tion was incapable of proof, or so indefinite, as not to admit of
it. This was the most strange perversion of reasoning he had
ever heard. The proof lay within a very narrow compass.
Was not the address of that House, and the king's answer,
evidence of the duty imposed upon ministers ? Would minis-
ters say, that they had performed that duty ? They could
not; they dare not. The learned gentleman's fallacious mode
of stating the question, evidently involved the grossest absur-
dity; for the proof was clearly put upon them, that they had
discharged the duty so imposed upon them. The onus lay
upon ministers, to shew what they had done in consequence
of the address, or if they had done nothing, thawhey acted to
the utmost, as fin- as circumstances would permit.


He allow4d, however, that it was impossible to prove the
proposition otherwise than by proving a negative. He might
state which minister advised his majesty to do this or do that,
but it would he an extreme difficult undertaking, to prove
who had advised his majesty to do nothing. Negligence was .
the most direct negative, and a negative could only be proved
by an alibi. For instance, if a man was charged with com-
mitting a murder at York, he might establish a defence by
proving, that at the time the fact was charged to have peen
committed, he was in London. Let, then, his majesty's mi-
nisters prove, that it was not in their power to attend to the


4


DISCONTENTS- IN IRELAND.779.] 2 19


affairs of Ireland, because they were busily employed in more
essential matters; with the defence, for instance, of Great
Britain against the meditated invasion of our foreign enemies;
with the naval operations at home; with the war in the West
Indies, or the war in America : but if they had been so negli-
gent as to attend to no one part of their duty, and to have
done nothing the whole summer, the only defence they could
set up was taken away.


If the censure of ministers should not prove advantageous
both to England amktreland, he wished for no punishment
against any of them;,Wliich could only originate in resentment
or revenge. He wished that punishment to operate as a pre-
ventive; for when it was taken up on any other ground than
by way of prevention in future, by being rendered exemplary,
it most clearly degenerated into personal enmity and revenge.
He could say fairly, that he had no enmity whatever to the
noble lord in the blue ribbon, nor to any member of admini-
stration : what made him so anxious was solely the good of his
country. It was the general calamities of the empire that had
made Ireland poor; but it was the incapacity and negligence
of government, that had rendered her bold and daring. It
was, therefore, incumbent upon parliament, to shew their
fullest disapprobation of that indolence and incapacity, and
convince Ireland that they were as ready as themselves to re-
sent and punish the cruel treatment, which they had received
from ministers. Ireland would see by such a conduct, that it
was not this country but its ministers who were blameable ;
which would, in his opinion, prove the surest means of once
more binding both countries in the most indissoluble ties of
friendship and affection. This was the motive which ought
to operate with Great Britain at the present minute. It had
been frequently urged in that House, that the strength of
government had been broken, its measures impeded, and its
efforts rendered weaker by the struggles of party. He said,
he knew but of two parties in the kingdom. His majesty's
ministers supported by the influence of the crown, against all
Great Britain. These were the two parties. The people for-
merly divided, perhaps, on points of mere speculation, had at
length united; all divisions and subdivisions of men were at
length embodied. Experience of what had passed, and the
dread of worse that might happen, had melted them into one
mass. He was happy to have it in his power to affirm, that
the friends of the people and of their country, had but one
opinion, both in that and in the other House. The first
men of rank, fortune, and character, in both Houses, had
firmly and virtuously resolved to .set their faces against this
increasing, this alarming influence of the crown, and never to




DISCONTENTS TN IRELAND.
[Dee. 6.


co-operate upon any terms with men, who did not feel it them
e


selves, but had endeavoured all in their power to render it pre-
valent and extensive. They bad resolved to act in concert, and
nothing would ever content them, but reducing the i nfluence ofthe crown within due and constitutional bounds. The sense of
danger had brought about this coalition ; they were the friends
of the constitution, the well-wishers of his majesty, but the
avowed and determined enemies of this dangerous influence,
which grew proportionally strong, as the empire grew weak;
and was in a progressive state of increase, as the fame, wealth,
and possessions of the British empire were gradually diminish.
ing, and sinking into a state of internal imbecility and exter-


majes
nal contempt. It was a lamentable contest in which his


ty was engaged; a contest not with a disaffected parts',
inimical to his government or family establishment, or who
thirsted after power or place; not with a faction"tvho were
enemies to his ministers in person, but a contest with the
whole body of his subjects, who saw, that the further support
of such ministers would, if not timely prevented, terminate in
the ruin of the empire.


After pursuing a very wide circuit, and taking a transient
view of almost every measure adopted since the commencement
of the American war; he adverted again to the question, and
observed, that such was the miserable dilemma this country
was reduced to, by the gross misconduct of ministers, that


justi
the British parliament could not now act upon principles of


ce or sound policy with a good grace. The dignity of
the British parliament was gone, and they would be now
compelled to grant what would in the end, they foresaw, be
extorted from 'them. He mentioned the circumstance of Mr.
Alderman Horan's application at the custom-house of Dublin,
to make an entry of Irish woollens for Holland. What might
have been the consequence of the clerk's refusal, had it not
been for the temperate interference of the gentlemen who lead
the country party in that kingdom ? The consequence would
have been, that Mr. Horan would have shipped hI goods for
exportation, contrary to several British acts of parliament
still subsisting; his majesty's cutters would have seized them,
as being contraband; the second edition of Boston violence
would have been published, and Britain, at a most critical and
tremendous moment, would, to the rest of her numerous and
formidable foes, have had Ireland to contend with. This,
but for the reason already assigned, the temper and mode-
ration -of the leading men in that country, controuling and
softening the indignant resentments of their brethren, would
have been the consequence of the criminal conduct Of those
against whom the present motion was directed.


T79"3
DISCONTENTS IN IRELAND. 221


S
The Irish Associations* had been called illegal : legal or


illegal, he declared he entirely approved of them. He ap-
proved flewhat manlydetermination which, in the dernier
resort, to ar


d
ms in order to obtain deliverance. When


the last particle of good faith in men was exhausted, they
would seek in themselves the means of redress ; they would
recur to first principles, to the spirit as well as letter of the con-
stitution ; and they could never fail in such resources, thoughthe law might literally condemn such a departure from its ge-
neral and unqualified rules ; truth, justice, and public virtue,
accompanied with prudence and judgment, would ever bear
up good men in a good cause, that of individual protection
and national salvation.


God knew, that he sincerely lamented the cause which pro-
duced this sad, he could Clot but say, this perplexing and hu-
miliating alternative. fie most heartily lamented that any
cause had been administered which seemed to justify violence


Lord Sheffield, in his " Observations on the present State of Ireland,"
published in r 785, gives the following account of these extraordinary Asso-
ciations: " It is necesshry to notice a phenomenon which now began to
appear. The like never has been observed in any country, at least where
there was an established government. To describe it strictly, it may be
called an army, unauthorized by the laws, and uncontrolled by the govern-
ment of the country ; but it was generally known by the name of Volun-
teers of Ireland. Their institution bore some semblance of a connection
with the executive power. Arms belonging to the state, and stored under
the care of the lieutenants of counties, were delivered to them, upon the
alarm of foreign invasion. So far they seemed to be countenanced by
government, but in a short time they caused no little jealousy and un-
easiness. The arms issued from the public stores were insufficient to supply
the rapid increase of the volunteers. The rest were procured by themselves,
and the necessary accoutrements, with a considerable number of field-
pieces. It answered the purpose of Opposition in both countries to speak
highly of them, and the supporters of government in both countries men-
tioned them with civility. The wonderful efforts of England in America
were somehow wasted to no purpose of decision. American successes
inflamed grievances which had been long felt in Ireland. Ireland, in truth,
had infinitely snore cause for complaint, and had been infinitely more op-
pressed than America; the latter had never submitted to half the hurtful
restrictions in which the other had for many years quietly acquiesced.
But now, petitions, remonstrances, popular resolves, and parliamentary
addresses were vigorously urged, and in about four years Ireland was hap-
pily relieved from many commercial restraints, which should have been
removed lonf, before, and gained several other points which she thought
essential to her welfare. The volunteers preserving a degree of reserve
and decency, kept at a certain distance, but were never entirely out of
sight. They had been serviceable in supporting the civil magistrate ; fewer
castles, houses, or lands, were kept by forcible possession ; sheriff's were.
enabled to do their duty; fewer rapes and other enormities were com-
mitted than usual ; and here, if the volunteers had stopped, and we had
seen no more of them after the establishment of peace, their page in his-
tory would have been fair and respectable."


220





222
PLAN OF ECONOMICAL REFORM.


Mee, is.


or resistance; he dreaded the consequences, however justi-
fiable in their origin, or moderately or judiciously conducted;
but whatever the effects might be, he was ready to acknow-
ledge that such a power was inherent in men ; as men and
citizens it was a. sacred trust in their hands, as a defence
against the possible or actual abuse of power, political trea-
chery, and the arts and intrigues of government; and when
all other means failed, resistance he should ever hold as per-
fectly justifiable.


Towards the conclusion of his speech he was, for the second
time, extremely severe on the noble lord in the blue ribbon
as minister. He did not pretend to guess at his plan, but
from past experience, and his general conduct, he had no
doubt but what he would propose would be exactly the reverse
of every thing he had hitherto done respecting Ireland ; and
he was persuaded, the only chance that the noble lord had of
being right was when he departed from, or rather expressly
contradicted, his general line of conduct, it being always the
fortune of the noble lord to set out wrong, and trust to chance
for striking into the right road. He reminded parliament of
what had fallen from his honourable friend (Mr. Burke) and
some others, who had spoken early in the debate, that it was
the noble lord in the blue ribbon, and he r


only, in point of
real effect, who had prevented the relief intended to be given
to Ireland the two preceding sessions, more particularly the
last. This he confirmed in the strongest manner, by referring
to what had been urged by him on that occasion, and desired
the House to recollect what he had then predicted, and what
had since literally come to pass, namely, augmented armed
ftssociations, sufficiently formidable to dictate to and direct an
acquiescing British parliament.


At half past twelve the House divided :
Tellers.
Tellers.




YE A s Ossory
The Earl of Upper 1 00,...N.6 E s 1 Mr.C.Townshend{
Mr. T.Townshen d
L Sir Grey Cooper




192.


So it passed in the negative.


MR. BURKE'S PLAN OE ECONOMICAL REFORM.


December 15.
Ar R. BURKE briefly opened the outlines of his celebrated plan


of economical reform, and gave notice that he would bring
forward the business as souu after the Christmas holidays as pos-


PLAN OF ECONOMICAL REFORM. 223


Bible. Lord John Cavendish, Mr. Dempster, Mr. Fox; Mr. Gil-
bert, and Colonel Barre spoke shortly in approbation of the plan.


Mr. Fox said cannot, Sir, prevail on myself to be
entirely silent upon such an occasion as this. I shall, however,
trouble the House with but a very few words. I have some
knowledge of the plan of my honourable friend ; and, in
general, it has my hearty approbation. I thank him for the
pains he has taken for the public service : I thank him as
much for his endeavours to vindicate the honour of this House.
1 am just come from another place, where the first men in
the kingdom, the first in abilities, the first in estimation, are
now libelling this House. Every instance they give—and
they give many and strong instances —of uncorrected abuse,
with regard to public money, is a libel on this House. Every
argument they use for the redu ion of prodigal expellee —
and their arguments are various . id unanswerable—is a libel
on this House. Every thing they state on the luxuriant
growth of corrupt influence — and it never was half so flou-
rishing —is a libel on this House.


But, Sir, this House will be brought, by proper means,
to wipe off all these imputations. The people for a long time
have been slow and torpid. The noble lord on the floor
doubts whether they have virtue enough to go through with
the plan of reformation, which my honourable friend has to
propose. But the virtue of necessity will animate them at
last ; and through them will it animate and correct this House.
The virtue of necessity — sure in its principle, and irresisti-
ble in its operation is an effectual reformer. It awakens
late ; but it calls up many other virtues to its aid; and their
joint exertion will infallibly bear down the greatest force, and
dissipate the strongest combination that corrupt men have
ever formed, or can ever form against them.


There is amongst us but one mind upon the subject. I
hope and trust, that no man or description of men, none who
look to the public, none who wish the public ever to look up
to them, will be so lost to all sense of their own reputation,
and to all discernment of their true interest, as at any time,
upon any terms, or upon any pretences, to accept of the
management of the state, without securing the execution, of
the plan of my honourable friend, or of one similar to it.


Au interesting debate had this day taken place in the House of Lords,
on a motion made by the Earl of Shelburne, relative to the alarming
addition recently made to the national debt, under the head of Extra=
ordinaries.




214 PLAN OF ECONOMICAL REFORM. [Dec.
If they should do otherwise, let them come into office with
what intentions they may, they will sink in character faster
than they can rise in power. That very influence, which
they are prevailed upon to cherish as.


their means of strength,
will become the source of their weakness. They will find,
that the influence is not at their disposal. They will find
every good design which they may form, traversed and frus-
trated. This influence will even appear in avowed opposition
to them. It will be employed first to embarrass, and at
length to destroy them. Whoever wishes for ability to serve
their country, must get rid of that kind of instrument.


My honourable friend who spoke last says well, that his
duty and allegiance to the king are strong motives with him,
for wishing success to this proposition. Certainly they must
be so to every good subject. Can the king possibly enjoy the
affection and confidence of his people, when l interest is
wholly dissociated from theirs, and put upon a bottom per-
fectly separate? It is but one and the same principle which
cements friendship between man and man in society, and
which promotes affection between king and subject ; namely,
that they share but one fortune; that they flourish by the
same prosperity; and are equal sufferers under the same dis-
tress; that the calamity of the people is the depression of the
prince. On any other terms, there can be fio sympathy be-
tween men in any relation of life. Can any thing be more
unseemly, more calculated to separate his majesty from his
people, and to alienate his people from him, than to find,
that when the landed estates are sunk one-fifth in value, when
their rents remain unpaid ; when manufactures languish and
trade expires; and in that condition, burthen upon burthen is
piled upon the fainting people; when men of all ranks
are obliged to retrench the most innocent luxuries, and even
such as were rather grown by habit into a kind of decent con-
venience, and to draw themselves up into the limits of an aus-
tere and pinching economy, that just the beginning of that
time should be chosen, that a period of such general distress
should be snatched at as the lucky moment for complimenting
the crown with an addition of no less than too,000/. a-year ?
that the king should rise in splendour upon the very ruins of
the country, and amidst its desolations should flourish with
increased opulence amidst the cries of his afflicted subjects ?
It is something monstrous, something unnatural : an outrage
to the sense; an insult on the sufferings of the nation.


I hope, therefore, for the sake of the public, for the sake of
all public men, for the sake of the crown, and for the sake of
the king upon the throne, that my honourable friend, will


-A


1780.] PETITION FOR AN ECONOMICAL REFORM. 22S


add perseverance to the diligence he has alread y employed in
his plan for lessening the public expellees and reducing the
ruinous influence. of the crown ; and that no time after the
holidays will be lost in producing it. He has my hearty ap-
probation, and shall have my warmest support.


PETITION FROM THE COUNTY OF YORK FOR AN ECONOMICAL.
REFORM IN THE PUBLIC EXPENDITURE.


17, ebruau 8, 17 80.
rr HE business of public meetings, of petitions to parliament, and


of associations for the redress of grievances, was commenced
during the Christmas recess ; and the adoption of these means for
procuring a rim in the executive departments of the state, not
only became soon very general, but the minds of the public being
agitated and warmed by these meetings, the views of many, and
those persons of no mean weight and consequence, were extended
still farther ; and they gradually began to consider, that nothing
less than a reform in the constitution of parliament itself, by shor-
tening its duration, and obtaining a more equal representation of
the people, could reach to a perfect cure of the present, and
afford an effectual preservative against the return of similar evils.
The great, populous, and opulent county of York led the way,
and set the example to the rest of the kingdom. A very nume-
rous and respectable crmeetin of the gentlemen, clergy, and free-
holders, including persons of the first consideration and property
in the county, and in the kingdom, such as perhaps never was as-
sembled in the same manner in this nation, was held at York on
the last day but one of the year. There a petition to the House
of Commons was unanimously agreed upon, and accompanied with
a resolution, that a committee of sixty-one gentlemen be appointed
to carry on the necessary correspondence for effectually promoting
the object of the petition ; and likewise to prepare a plan of an
association, on legal and constitutional grounds, to support the
laudable reform, and such other measures as might conduce to re-
store the freedom of parliament. The petition was this day pre-
sented to the House of Commons by Sir George Savile, setting
forth,


" That this nation bath been engaged for several years in a
most expensive and unfortunate war; many of our valuable co-
lonies, having actually declared temselves independent, have
formed a strict confederacy with France and Spain, the dangerous
and inveterate enemies of Great Britain ; that the consequence of
those combined misfortunes hath been a large addition to the
national debt, a heavy accumulation of taxes, a rapid decline of
the trade, manufactures, and land rents of the kingdom : alarmed


VOL. 1.




226 PETITION , FOR AN ECONOMICAL REFORM. [Feb
. 8,


at the diminished resources and growing burthens of this countr,and convinced that rigid frugality is now indispensably necess
arC'in every department of the state, your petitioners observe, .k ithgrief, that notwithstanding- the calamitous and impoverished con.


dition of the nation, much public money has been improvi dentlysquandered ; and that many individuals enjoy sinecure plac
esefficient places with exorbitant emoluments, and pensions


unmerit
,


-


ed by public service, to a large and still increasing amount ;
whencethe crown has acquired a great and unconstitutional infiuence,which, if not checked, may soon prove fatal to the liberties oefvtehri


;
country : your petitioners, conceiving that the true end of
legitimate government is not the emolument of any individual, but
the welfare of the community, and considering that, by the con-
stitution of this realm, the national purse is intrusted in a peculiar
manner to the custody of this honourable House, beg leave farther
to represent, that, until effectual measures be taken to redress the
oppressive grievances herein stated, the grant of any additional
sum of public money, beyond the produce of


.eAe present taxes,
will be injurious to the rights and property of the people, and
derogatory from the honour and dignity of parliament : yolarpe
titioners, therefore, appealing to the justice of this honourableHouse, do most earnestly request, That, before any new burthens
are laid upon this country, effectual measures may be taken by
this House, to enquire into and correct the gross abuses in the
expenditure of public money, to reduce all exorbitant emolu-
ments, to rescind and abolish all sinecure places and unmerited
pensions, and to appropriate the produce to the necessities of the
state, in such manner as to the wisdom of parliament shall seem
meet."


Sir George Savile supported the petition in a speech fraught
with much good sense and plain and perspicuous reasoning. Lord
North did not oppose the reception of the petition, but was for
postponing its consideration till after that of the ways and means
for raising the supplies.


Mr. Fox said, that he had not intended to speak at this
time on the subject of the petition before the House; but he
could not refrain from making a few observations on the po-
sitions that had now been laid down by the noble lord. The
consideration of the petition, says he, may very fitly be post-
poned till after that of the ways and means for raising the sup-
plies. Compare this language with the generous and Mag-
nanimous admiration of ministers, when they applauded and
admired the conduct of the associations in Ireland, who re-
fused to grant supplies for more than one half year, before
their grievances should be redressed, before the prayer of
their petition for a free trade should be granted. Is there,
then, one law for th9.„ associations in Ireland, and another
for those of England? No. The noble lord is- a


man of ac-
curacy and consistency. He must therefore mean, whatever


1180.3 PETITION FOR.
AN ECONOMICAL REFORM. 227


bp ma:VI-lave said in the heat and hurry of debate, that the
associations in England, in imitation of those in Ireland,
ought to grant no supplies, to pay no


taxes, until their peti-
tion shall be treated with proper respect ; until its prayer
shall be fully granted. I am at a loss to conjecture the threats
that the noble lord says have been hinted by the honourable
gentleman, meaning thereby to fix a stigma on this and other
petitions. The people are not in arms, they do not menace
civil var. They have in their power, legal, constitutional,
peaceable means of enforcing their petition. It is to these
means the honourable gentleman alludes, when the noble
lord supposes that he throws out threats of another kind. -No,
Sir, let not the mild but firm voice of liberty be mistaken for
the dismal and discordant accents of blood and slaughter. The
evil the honourable gentleman presages, if this or other peti-
tions are spurned with contempt and insolence, is of another,
though noTa less formidable, nature. The people will lose all
confidence in their representatives, all reverence for Parlia
ment. The consequences of such a situation I need not point
out: let not the contemplation of necessary effects from cer-
tain causes be considered as a denunciation of vengeance.
I wish most anxiously that gentlemen would consider what
they are when they sit in this House. Insignificant of them-
selves, they derive their importance from the appointment of
their constituents. It is the duty of members of parliament
to conform to the sentiments, and in some degree, even to
the prejudices of the people. In their legislative capacity, the
wishes and wants of the people, ou ght in this land of liberty
to be their grand rule of conduct. I say in their legislative
capacity ; for I make a distinction between that and their
judicial capacity; in which last the y must give judgment ac-
cording to the letter of the law, and in this, too, they con-
sult the interests of liberty. Suppose the people should
be of opinion that there is no longer any need of a very
expensive board of trade and plantations, when that trade
and those plantations, for the sake of which the board
was first established, no longer exist, would it not be-
come the noble lord's duty, to sacrifice his particular opinion
to theirs, and to act agreeably to their notions and instruc-
tions? The noble lord has been very severe upon the ho-
nourable gentleman, on the supposition that he had entered
his caveat against even taking time to enquire into the alle-
gations contained in the petition. The honourable gentle-
man has himself sufficiently repelled the attacks of his noble
opponent, by reminding him that what he apprehended was
not a real but a mock enquiry. But one thing, said Mr.
Fox, cannot but remark; The ideas of an enquiry, and,


Qz




228 PETITION FOR AN ECONOMICAL REPoam.
[Feb. 8,


an intention to defeat its object, seem SO intimately connected
in the noble lord's mind, that it is not in his power to disjoin
them : so closely associated, that he cannot think of the one,
without. confounding it with the other. I cannot imagine,
that any objection can possibly be made to the petition. But
some may say, " 4 Are we sinners above all that went before
us, like those on whom the tower of Shiloh fell ? Are we
more corrupt than other parliaments who were never pestered
with petitions of this kind ?" No, I do not suppose you are ;
but though former parliaments were as bad as you, and you
know the severity of that comparison, yet the people did not
know it. Now they do not perhaps see it, but they feel it; they
feel the pressure of taxes ; they beg you would not lay your hand
so heavily on them, but be as economical as possible. We on
this side of the House recommend and enforce their applica-
tions. Let ministry hearken to the petitions of the people,
even though they are recommended to their favourable regard
by members in opposition. Let them grant their requests,
and the whole glory of so popular a compliance will be theirs.
Their praises were sounded in loud strains for granting to &mat,
people of Ireland, what that people made good for themselves
by their own muskets. I will put the controversy between the
ministry and gentlemen on this side of the House, on the same


on which the wisest of men, Solomon, rested the determi-
Lation of the dispute between the two women, each of whom
;z:laitned the living child, and disavowed the dead one. We
say to ministry, you misapply the public money ; nay, you
do worse, you apply it to bad purposes : ministry say to us,
you want our places; and thus the charge of corruption is
given and retorted. Come now, let us see whose child cor-
ruption is; Opposition are willing, are desirous, that it should
be sacrificed ; ministry have often made similar professions;
the time is come to prove the sincerity of both ; see who will
now acknowledge ; see who will father this dear but denied
child, corruption ! On the whole, economy will strengthen
the hands of government, relieve the people from hardships,
be a source of fame and triumph to ministry over their adver-
saries; fbr who will dare to say, or who will not be abhorred
for saying any thing to the prejudice of so honest and upright
an administration, as those men Who shall redress in so satis-
factory a manner the grievances of an oppressed people ?
The people of England only pray to be on a footing with the
subjects of Prance, whose government have voluntarily re-
scinded unnecessary places, thus Opening a source of strength
in a tender and in a wise plan of economy.


The petition was ordered to lie on the table.


17 8°.3
MOTION FOR THE PENSION LIST.


229


SIR GEORGE SAviLE'S MOTION FOR THE PENSION LIST.


February


CM George Savile moved, " that there be laid. before the House
tel an account of all places for life or lives, whether held bypatent or otherwise ; specifying the dates of such patents, or other
instruments by which such places arc held, the names of the per-
sons who hold the same, and the salaries and fees belonging
thereto ." By this account, he said, the House, and of course his
constituents, would be able to judge of the services done to the
state in return for the salaries paid by it. The motion was agreed
to without any opposition. Sir George next moved, as part of his
plan, and a prime object of the county meetings, " that there be
laid before the House, an account of all subsisting pensions granted
by the crown, during pleasure, or otherwise; specifying the amount
of such pensions respectively, and the times when, and the per-
sons to whom, such pensions were granted." A strong and deter-
mined opposition to this motion was immediately apparent ; but
the debate was broken off by the sudden illness of the speaker,
and the business lay over to the following week. On its revival,
upon the 2 1st, Lord North moved an amendment, restricting the
account to those pensions only which were paid at the exchequer ;
but this he afterwards enlarged, to the giving the general amount
of all pensions, but without any specification of names, or parti-
cularity of sums, excepting in the first instance. The proposed
amendments brought out very long, and exceedingly warm dee
bates ; in the course of which the minister had the mortification'
of discovering much matter of apprehension and alarm ; and of
meeting such an opposition as he had never before encountered..
He grounded his opposition to the motion, in the first instance,
on a principle of delicacy. To expose the necessities of antient
and noble families, whose fortunes were too narrow for the sup-
port of their rank, to the prying eye of malignant curiosity, he
said, would be not only wanton, but cruel. To expose the man
who had a pension, to the envy and detraction of him who had
none, and by whom he was therefore hated ; to hold him up as au
object for the gratification of private malice and the malevolence
of party, merely as a price for the favour conferred on him by the
crown, would surely be a proceeding, in its nature, equally odious
and contemptible. Yet these were the certain effects which must
proceed from an indiscriminate disclosure of the pension The
motion was also opposed by Mr. Dundas, and the attorney gene-
ral. Mr. Dundas said he believed, that if the petitioners for an
economical reform could be brought to the bar of the House,
they would one and all declare, they did not wish any enquiry
into the list of pensions. Mr. Dunning considered the motion as
one of the most important that ever came before the House. Mr.'
Thomas Townshend also supported it, and attacked Lord North
severely for suffering the pensions of the Duke of Gloucester, and


3




V


[Feb, ts.
the Earl of Chatham, which had been paid out of the four and
half per cent. duties on the West India ceded islands, to be


ne -glected, because those duties no longer continued.


Mr. Fox followed Mr. Townshend in arraigning the corkduct of the minister respecting the Duke of Gloucester and
Lord Chatham, whose pensions were now seven years
arrear• With regard to the question, he agreed With his
honourable and learned friend before him (Mr. Dunning),
that it was the most important that could be brought before
the House. He severely reprobated the assertion of anotherlearned gentleman (Mr. Dundas), that the petitioners, if at the
bar, would disapprove of the motion ; an assertion which was
monstrous, and too gross for any one to use, but the person
tvlio had used it; because, to strike off all unnecessary and


objec
unmerited pensions, was certainly going directly to the two


ts of the petitioners, which were, a reduction of the pub..
lie expences, and a decrease of the influence of the crown.
The honourable gentleman, in terms the most poignant and
expressive, displayed in various, (Efferent shapes, thin.gentians conduct of the minister in adopting Sir George
Savile's expression, and taking it upon himself, declaring to


rejec
the House, over and over again, that the motion ought to be.


ted, because it was a new one, though he knew at the
same time, that it was not a new one, and there were prece-
dents for it. The noble lord snaked his head, but he would
appeal to the House for the truth of what he had said, and
for the pitifid subterfuge of the noble lord, when detected, of
sheltering himself under the word unusual. If the Opposition
had been guilty of such a meanness, such a baseness, they
would never have heard the last of it:


He next adverted to the conduct of the minister in confin-
ing the motion to the pensions paid at the exchequer, and by
the paymaster-general, as if he did not know there were other
pensions which the Hcuse wanted to get at. As to pretend-
ing it was indelicate to give the pension list, that was to the
last degree ridiculous, for the pension list of Ireland was every
year given. A learned gentleman too, had called upon Opp°,
sition, to name the person they suspected to be undeserving
of the pension he received, and yet was determined to keep
back the pension list, which was the only thing that could en,
able them to do it. As all great things were only to be done
by detail, it was preposterous for the noble lord to reject this
and that branch of the intended reform, because it would not
make any great saving to the public. Yet it bad been said,
that a total abolition of the pension list would save the peoplebut 48,0001., as if a number of such savings (and a number !Of


4


1780.]
them might be made) would not make up a very great sum
total.


'With regard to the denying the pension list, because it
would be interfering with the civil allowance given to the
king, he was of opinion, that it ought to be exploded as falla-
cious, for though the money was given for the use of the
crown, the House were competent to see whether it was pro-
perly expended. The king had his prerogative, and yet no
one would say he might not abuse it, or that the House could
not, on a suspicion of such abuse, enquire into the fact. It
was now incumbent on the minister to produce the list called
for, for he challenged him to find any six members of the
Mouse, that would get up and declare his belief that the pen-
sion list was not abused, or that persons were not hired and
paid for attacking the constitution, and vilifying its best
friends. That all the abuses were not to be laid to the charge
of the present minister, he would allow; but the noble lord had
SO refined upon them, as to have made them almost his own.Some well-directed strictures were then applied by Mr.
Fox, to the pensions or salaries paid at the exchequer to the
commissioners of the police in Scotland; he said it now cost
the nation as much to keep the Scotch in good humour, as it
had done to suppress the late rebellion. The honourable
gentleman here entering into the nature of that rebellion,
denied that it had failed, as was the language so familiar with
many. It had, indeed, failed on the part of the pretender ;
but his adherents had gained their point; they had got an in-
fluence here by the event, and from time to time improved it,
he feared to the utter destruction of the British empire. The
honourable gentleman then touched upon America, and said,
it had cost the public ten thousand times more to lose America,
than it had to gain it. He called upon the minister in the
most pressing manner, to give the people satisfaction, for they
believed the majority of the House to be under the influence
of the crown; and he entreated the members to do their duty,
and enforce justice, to consider who they were, and from
whence they came, for that the people made them, and would
certainly unmake them when they found they could no longer
confide in them.


The honourable gentleman, with some pleasantry, and a
great deal of satire, adverted to the speech made by Mr.
Smelt, at York, and vindicated him from the suspicion of
being a bad man. The honourable gentleman understood
and believed him to be a good character ; but he had less pru-
dence than some men. He came to the York meeting warm
with the prerogative of the crown, and he could not help be-
traying those sentiments of loyalty he always heard amongst


4


230 MOTION POR THE PENSION LIST. MOTION FOR THE PENSION LIST.
T




V
23 2


MOTION FOR THE PENSION LIST.
[Peb. /3,


those he associated with. He excused him from having any
greater dislike to the liberties of the people than other cream.
tures of the court; all that could be said was, that he had been.
weak enough to disclose what others were prudent


enourrhkeep to themselves. With respect to the influence co? the
crown, the people, he knew, would have it lessened, however
it might be resisted; and, for his part, he was of opinion it
ought to be entirely destroyed.


The honourable gentleman next indulged himself in point-ing out, with infinite ingenuity and humour, the
characteristic


-versatility of the minister. In the course of the present de-
bate he had said and unsaid a hundred times :


sometimes themotion was new, and sometimes it was unusual: the noble
lord was so adroit at this kind of tergiversation, that there was
no one, however watchful, that would not -be foiled in the
attempt to detect him. The petitions, fbr instance, his lord-
ship approved of exceedingly; but he liked the protests, never-
theless, although they decried these very petitions as libellous.
As to Mr. Burke's plan for an economical reform, he gave the
whole of it his sincere approbation; but there was no prartifit that he did not in reality dissent from.


-Who, too, was therein the House, that had not oftentimes been led to think, from
the noble lord's words, that peace was upon the point of being
made with America, though after the debate ended, they pre-
sently understood that nothing but war was meant ?


The learned gentleman (Mr. Dundas) had declared it high
time for every gentleman to speak out: he wished to God the
learned gentleman had himself done so, and plainly told the
House what the ministers really intended. If any thing of his
Opinion could be collected, it was that the petitions tended to
subvert the c


onstitution, which was as much as to say, that
the constitution was corruption, for the petitions only prayedfor


the removal of abuses. But no sooner were
petitionspresented for abolishing pensions and sinecure places, than strait


a hue and cry was raised, and the
constitution was said to bein danger, as ifpensions and sinecure places were actually the


co
nstitution. This, the honourable gentlernan pronounced a


damnable doctrine; it was an hypothesis that was not true,
and lie trusted the constitution of his country would not be
found to stand upon such a basis of mud and dirt. The
honourable gentleman further


- justified the petitioners bydrawing an analogy between the state and an individual.
Thepetitioners, he said, came to go


vernment, and argued thus:you are engaged in a heavy and
expensive lawsuit, and we be-


seech you to make every saving you can, to enable you to
defray the expellees of it, and go through it with effect. Upon
the whole, he insisted upon it, that ministers were bound to


II


MR. BURKE'S ESTABLISHMENT BILL.
.0801


233


(dye the pension list, otherwise they were insulting the people
of fl


gland, and had acted ridiculously in allowing their peti-
tions to be brought up.


At half an hour past one the House divided upon Lord North's
amendment.


Tellers. Tellers.
Mr.T.Townshendi} ' U.—NOES 186.


.S.r A 8 r 1j1°o1biiifil'es on 1Mr. ByngThe motion in its amended state was then agreed to. Sir
George Savile then declared, that as the !notion, in its present
state, was totally changed from that which he had proposed, and
was rendered utterly incapable of affording that information for
the people, which it was both his wish and his duty to lay before
them, he should therefore give the matter entirely up, and should
no longer give himself or


gi
friends any trouble, by fruitlessly


opposing ministers in any point which they were determined to
`1' carry .*


....*•••n•*•••n••


MR. BURKE'S ESTABLISI-IMENT BILL.


February 23.


MR. BURKE presented to the House his celebrated bill, " For
-L-Vi the better regulation of his majesty's civil establishments, and
of certain public offices ; for the limitation of pensions, and the
suppression of sundry useless, expensive, and inconvenient places ;
and for applying the monies saved thereby to the public service."
The bill being read a first time, Mr. Burke mentioned the z9th
instant, as a proper day for reading it a second time, and begged
Lord North to inform the House, whether or not he intended to
oppose it on that day. Lord North did not yet know whether he
should oppose it or not. It was a bill of the utmost importance,
and required time and leisure to determine on its propriety. The
29th, therefore, he thought too early a day. Mr. Burke observed,
that in a moment when the minds of men were held in suspense,
and when the nation was looking with anxiety and suspicion to


" This was, however, an extraordinary division. But the loss of the
question was the more vexatious to the Opposition, as they conceived they
had strength in town fully sufficient to have carried it; and even attri-
buted the disappointment to the accidental absence of some particular
friends. On former occasions this would have been matter of triumph;
but they were grown more difficult since their late increase of strength;
and complained bitterly, that volunteer troops can never be brou'dit to
pay that strict attention to duty, which is practised by trained and dis-
ciplined bands, who have been long habituated to the punctual observance
Of a regular command." Annual -Register.




234 MR. Minxes ESTABLISHmEN'T BILL.
[Vt,b


• -23.
the conduct of Parliament, on the subject of their petitions, del


a,would be dangerous, and ought to be studiously a voided. Wedid not wish to quarrel with the noble lord for a day. The
billwould be printed, and in the hands of the members before th
attime ; and if it was agreeable to the House, he would move f
or


'Wednesday next. Lord North still persisted the time was rather
too short, and wished that it should be adjourned over the


nextweek.


Mr. Fox said, he could not conceive ivhy the noble lord
should wish to have so much time. The temper of the peo.
pie was not such as would admit of subterfuge. 'There was
something exceedingly suspicious in the noble lord's conduct.
His plea of ignorance was absurd ; he had not indeed studied
all the parts of the bill; it was not possible that he could
have so done; but the general principle was well known to
him, and the subsequent detail was the business of the com-
mittee. Did not the noble lord know whether or not he
was to oppose the principle of the bill, or when he was to
oppose it? He thought it would be becoming in the noble
lord to declare his intentions; for bp firmly believed


no
3member who could possibly attend would be absent on the


day when the bill was to be debated. The member who
wilfully or negligently absented himself on that day would
pay little regard to his duty, and to the general


-Coke of thepeople of England. If the noble lord would speak out, and
say whether or not, or when, he intended to debate the bill,
members would come prepared, and the point would be
fought with fairness. But as it was, the House must be upon
its guard, and that they might not be taken by surprise,
they must come prepared for the onset on the first day. The
noble lord had also given very strong reasons for alarm inhis wish to put ofF the business to a late day. What security
could the people of England have of the proposed system
being adopted, if the House permitted all the supplies to be
granted before the bill had passed ? The parliament might
not be dissolved, but it was very possible that it might be
prorogued before the business was concluded ; and he looked
upon this to be the reason why the minister wished to post-pone it.


Mr. Burke said, that the principle of his bill was simple, and
required but little time for deliberation. It consisted but of two
parts, the first was, to curtail a variety of useless and burthensome
offices in the king's civil list, and other departments of government,
in order to apply the savings to the constitutional services of the
state; and the second, to provide against the revenues voted for
the maintenance of the king, the provision of his family, and. the


BURKE's 'ESTABLISHMENT BILL. 23 5i
78o'


ME.


e


ase, dignity, and independence of his life, being diverted to the
uses of a minister, and applied to the corrupting of parliament.
Lord North said it was true the principle was plain in appearance,
but its truth and propriety could only be ascertained by an exa-
mination of the parts, and this required time and study. The bill
was ordered to be read a second time on the ad of March.


March 2.


The bill being read a second time without opposition, just after
Lord North had announced his plan for a commission of accounts,
Mr. Burke moved, that it might be committed for the following
day. This was opposed, on the ground, that as it was necessary
all bills, and more especially those of great moment, should be
proceeded through with caution and circumspection, so the usage
of parliament was, on that account, against the sending of bills
directly from the second reading to a committee. If this was the
rule in other cases, how much more necessary was it. with respect
to a bill of such magnitude, which took in such a variety of objects,
and in the event of which so great a number of individuals were
interested. An amendment was accordingly moved by Lord
Beauchamp, by which the following Wednesday was to be sub-
stituted in the place of the ensuing day. Lord North supported
the amendment : the bill was, he said, of the most complicated
nature, and required such mature consideration, that Wednesday
was, in his opinion, as early a clay for sending it to a committee,
as the House could well think of appointing.


Mr. Fox accused the noble lord of attempting an unne-
cessary delay. It was absurd to pretend that too early a day
was proposed for the going into a committee. The noble lord
had, indeed, asserted it, but had given no good reason for
postponing the business, and he called upon him to lay his
hand upon his heart, and say, if he was not now ready to
go into a committee, as far as a knowledge on his part of the
bill was necessary. It was not supposed that the whole of
the bill was to be immediately considered, but a part only;
and what was that part? Whether the third secretary of state,
namely the secretary of state for the American colonies, was
not an office altogether - useless, and as such ought to be
abolished ? This was the first part of the bill to be inves-
tigated, and it was so simple a question, that there required
no more preparation than had been taken to decide upon it.
The other noble lord (Earl Nugent) had argued in a very
curious way. When Opposition complained against govern-
ment for an undue use of power, the noble lord was ready
to exclaim, What would you have ! we have lost thirteen
colonies, and surely we have reduced the influence of the
crown as much as you ought in reason to require He denied
'in the most express terms, that it was true, that the influence




236
MR. runrcE's ESTABLISHMENT BILL. [March 2,


of the crown had not been extended, and adverted, in the
most happy vein of satire, to the argument used by Lord
-Nugent in contradiction to that fact. The noble lord also
said, that all places, pensions, and sinecures were in the gift
of the crown, and that the crown acted constitutionally in
giving them away; so that the noble lord meant, if he meant
any thing at all, that when a member solicited a place, a pen-
sion, or a sinecure, he was, in so doing, supporting the con-
stitution.


As to the fact, whether the crown had extended its power
or not, he sincerely wished the question could be fairly put,
and the sense of the House impartially taken upon it. The.
minister had often complained that Opposition were actuated
by interested views, and the calumny had been echoed through
the ministerial circle into the world. If this was the case,:
how did the present conduct of the side of the House on
Which he ranged himself correspond with the charge ? If they
really wanted places, how was it that they had brought in a
bill for cutting off so many of them ? If they wanted pensions
and sinecures, how happened it, that they had prowl an
abolition of them ? Did they want money too ? Then why
were they struggling for economy in the expenditure of the
public money? In fine, he contended, that by the bill in
question, the Opposition removed every suspicion of selfishness,
and he said, he could not but call to mind the observation
of an honourable gentleman, not a member of the House,
who took the chair at the Wiltshire meeting, that the bill
went to make the Opposition honest, as well as the ministry.


He then took notice of some expressions that had fallen
from the other side, respecting the liberty of the press having
been carried to a great degree of licentiousness, and confessed
he was apt to think our present situation in a great measure
owing to the bad use that had been made of it by those hired
by government, whose system it was to mix all ranks together,
to bring them to a level'


with each other, and to impress the
people with a notion that there were no virtuous men in the
present age. This vile and damnable heresy, he exploded
with great warmth of' expression, and thought it done merely
to set the public against the liberty of the press, and traduce
those very men who were proving their integrity by pro-
moting the bill under discussion. He hoped, that as the
thirteen colonies were now actually lost, for the noble earl
(Nugent) had at length admitted it, the public was to have
a great saving, and he expected to hear that the pensions


b
Given to the American governors would be discontinued, and
particularly that granted to Governor Hutchinson, who bad
been the forerunner and very firebrand of the rebellion on


MR. BURKE'S ESTABLISHMENT BILL.)780.]
23']


the side of the Atlantic. He urged the going into ft
committee on the bill the next day; and charged the minister
with


an intention either of putting it totally aside, or of ren-
de •ing it nugatory, by dissolving the parliament after opening
the b udget.




dget.F}i eu question being put, that the words, " to-morrow," stand
Fart of the question; the House divided.


Tellers.Tellers.
Lord Beauchamp}Tr.T.Townshend 230.


i95'Ots "Mr. Robinsont Mr. FoxSo it passed in the negative. And the question being put, that
the words " upon Wednesday next," be inserted instead thereof;
it was resolved in the affirmative.


March 8.
Before the order of the day was put for going into a committee


nn the bill, Mr. Rigby rose and started an unexpected question,
upon the incompetency of the House to enter into any discussion
whatever relative to the king's civil list revenue or establishment.
The right honourable gentleman, who had hitherto spoken rather
ambiguously with regard to Mr. Burke's plan of reform, after ex-
pressing now his highest approbation of' some parts of it, con-
demned, in terms equally explicit, those which reached in any
degree to the civil list; as well as the interference of parliament
at all in that expenditure. He said, that for his own part, he had
ever considered, and ever should, that the civil list revenue was
as much and as fully his majesty's as any determinable estate,
enjoyed by any person present, was his immediate property. That
wevenue had been settled on his majesty, at his accession, for life ;
which was an interest no power on earth could deprive him of
without manifest injustice ; consequently, that part of the bill,
which went to the controul of the civil list, and to an appropriation
of the supposed savings to arise from the reform, was an attempt
no less contrary to precedent than to justice. It would not only,
in its consequences, degrade the sovereign, but it would reduce
him to the state of a precarious pensioner ; whose uncertain sti-
pend, lessened at will, would be at all times liable to still further
reduction. And to what purpose was this violence and injustice
to be offered? — to lessen the supposed influence of' the crown.
He had heard a great deal of the influence of the crown; but he
believed that influence was never less known or felt than during
the present reign ; and this he could speak from experience.
He declared, that he had neither consulted the noble minister, nor
any other person within or without the House upon the subject..
it was his own opinion, and lie was determined to avow it, without.
any expectation or wish of support, further than what it might be
entitled to on its own intrinsic merit. He was apprehensive that
he was rather disorderly, as the order of' the day for going into a
committee, stood. in the way ; bur it was a subject on which he




233 MR. BURKE'S ESTABLISHMENT BILL. [March g.
wished to take the sense of the House; and he applied to the
Chair for directions, in what manner to bring it forward. Lord
Beauchamp highly approved of the doctrine laid down in the
proposition suggested by Mr. Rigby ; and was much pleased at
the manly and able manner in which he had delivered his semi-


-,ments, but confessed himself always averse to meeting abstract
questions.


Mr. Fox said, he could not avoid testifying his fullest
approbation, of the very open, direct, and manly language,
adopted by his right honourable friend on the floor. He
had delivered his sentiments with that firmness and candour
which so uniformly characterized his conduct in that House.
He thanked him most cordially for the opportunity it afforded.
both parties of coming to issue. It would spare much time,
and infinite trouble. It militated directly against the bill on
the table; for, certainly, if that House was not competent to
enquire into, or controul the civil list expenditure, the bill
was founded in the most glaring injustice. But when he gave
credit for the direct open manner in which the right honour-
able gentleman who suggested the proposition had supwed
his opinions, he must confess that it involved doctrines of
a most alarming nature, and appeared to him, to be utterly
subversive of the first principles of the constitution : he sin-
cerely hoped, that before the House proceeded further, they-
would consent to let in the proposition of the right honour-
able gentleman, and proceed to discuss, it; for it would be
equally nugatory and ridiculous, to go into the committee on,
the bill, till the sense of the House was taken upon that ques-
tion. It must be first got rid of; before any one clause in
the bill could be taken into consideration. He could not help
declaring, that if it should be resolved and determined, that
parliament had not a right to interfere, to reform, arrange,
and, if necessary, to resume the grants they bad made to the
crown for public purposes; in short, to see to the proper
application of the monies they had granted; there was at once
an end of the liberties of this country. Such a vote would,
in its consequences, amount to a dissolution of the govern-
ment as modelled at the period of the revolution ; and would
prove a stab given to its very vitals; for though we might
continue to assemble in that House as usual ; though we
might be called upon to vote supplies according to the pre-
scribed forms of the constitution; the right to vote and deli-
berate without the right to superintend and controul the
expenditure of the money so voted would avail nothing; and
we should become as mere slaves in reality, as any in Lurop,e.
Give princes and their ministers the exclusive right of dis,


1780.] MR. BURKE'S ESTABLISHMENT BILL. 239


posing of any considerable part of the treasure of the nation
without controul or without account; and our liberties from
that instant would be gone for ever.


If such a vote should be agreed to by a majority of that
House, he should look upon his toils and labours to be at
an end; and the people would have recourse to other means
of redress, when parliament had precluded all possible ex-
pectations through the ordinary methods prescribed by the
constitution; they would have recourse to other arguments,
than those which might be urged in the course of debate in
that House, in order to rescue themselves and their pos-
terity from the chains which were forging for them. He
would not presume to point out the means the people in this
last extremity would resort to : he was persuaded they would
be wise, salutary, and adequate to the object proposed to be
attained. Should such be the necessity, he never would again
enter that House ; his presence there would be of very little
consequence. He would unite himself with those out of that
House, whose sentiments corresponded with his own. He
hopedhe should acquit himself like a man; and he knew of
nothing in his own disposition, which would prevent him.
from bearing him out with firmness and perseverance in the
struggle. He was persuaded the measures adopted by the
people would be peaceable; but at the same time suited to
the exigency of the occasion ; in such measures he was pre-


- a.pared to co-operate; and he did not doubt but the friends
of legal liberty and the constitution would prevail in the
contest.


He could not help taking notice of what had fallen from
his noble friend (Lord Beauchamp). His noble friend main-
tamed the propriety of the proposition suggested by the right
honourable gentleman on the floor; but assigned two


n


rea-


ofsons for pre eing the going into the order of the day. The
first was, that he was against voting an abstract question, a
matter totally improper and unnecessary ; the other, lest, if
it should be voted in the affirmative, the people out of doors
might be so far misled, as to believe that such a resolution
was meant as putting a negative on the prayers of the seve-
ral petitions. In answer to the first argument, it was suffi-
cient to observe, that the proposition, as connected with the
bill, was no abstract question ; because it amounted to a
direct and specific denial of its principle, which was a thorough
reform in the whole of the civil list expenditure; and as to
his noble friend's caution, for fear the people without doors
might be misled; surely it could mean nothing more than an
exercise of the noble lord's ingenuity. How, in God's name,
could the people or petitioners be misled? Could the most




240 MR. BURKE'S ESTABLISHMENT BILL. [March 8.
factious person, within or without that House, add or di-
minish a single word, or put any interpretation upon the
proposition, but what it evidently admitted ? The petitions
on the table were not yet declared to be the sense of a ma-
jority of that House. He trusted they shortly would ; but
they were the avowed sentiments of the petitioners. What
cild the petitioners say? That useless and sinecure places
ought to be abolished; that exorbitant salaries and perqui-
• b
sites ought to be reduced. 'Where did those evils originate?
In the expenditure of the civil list. Where was the reform
recommended to take place i»? Most clearly, where the evil
existed : to argue therefore, that the proposition should not
be resolved, lest the voting of it might affOrd an opportunity
of misconception, misinterpretation, or popular delusion, was
a farce, and the greatest of all delusion; because it was evi-
dent, that if the proposition should appear to be the sense of
a majority of that House, it would be a full answer to the
petitioners, and a decided opinion on the subject matter of
the petitions themselves. It would comprehend one or other
'of these answers, " we are of opinion that your petitions are
ill-founded; or we think them well-founded; but °A hands
are tied up. We voted the civil list revenue for Nfe; by
that vote it is become the private property of the crown, as
much as any part of your private property is your own.
'What you seek is therefore improper in itself; no such re-
form is necessary, or, if it be, it is not in our power to give
you any relief." Such being the case, in his opinion, it was
those who fled from the question, who endeavoured to impose
upon and deceive the people by holding out hopes and ex-
pectations, which they never meant to realize; and which
if complied with, would be fraught 'with injustice; and not
those, who wanted to come to some specific point, which
would tend to inform the people, whether they were to have
any redress or not> If, however, the forms of the House
would not admit the proposition to be entered into then, the
House might proceed' in the usual course, and resolve itself
into a committee, postponing the consideration of the right
honourable gentleman's proposition to the next, or some future
clause in the further progress of the bill.


Mr. Burke, Mr. Townshend, General Conway, Mr. Dunning,
and other distinguished members of Opposition, took and supported
nearly the same ground ; diversified according to the character and.
genius of the several speakers. The question now before the
House, and on which both parties were to bring forward their
utmost force, was, whether, according to the order of the day, it
should be resolved into a committee on Mr. Burke's bill, or whether
they should first enter into.a discussion of, and decide upon, Mr.


780.3 MR BURKE'S ESTABLISHMENT BILL. 241


Rigby's proposition. The question being put about nine o'clock,
the resolution for the order of the day was carried, by a majority
of six only, the numbers being 205, to 199. This division was
marked by the singular circumstance of Mr. Rigby's voting in the
minority, and in opposition to all his friends in administration.


The House then resolved itself into a committee on the bill.
When the chairman came to the words in the first clause, for
abolishing " the office commonly called, or known by the name
of third secretary of state, or secretary of state for the colonies,"
Governor Pownall suggested an amendment ; observing, that the
words were not sufficiently descriptive, for the description should
be simply that of third secretary of state. Mr. Burke had no
objection to omitting the words pointed out by the honourable
gentleman. He had adopted both descriptions, lest one or the
other singly, might appear untechnical, or not descriptive of the
office, proposed to be abolished. Lord George Germain observed,
that the clause as first worded, was not descriptive of the office,
which he had the honour to fill, for it was neither that of third
secretary of state, nor secretary of state for the colonies ; but
" one of his majesty's principal secretaries of state." He wished
most sincerely, if the committee should determine to abolish any
one of the three offices, that it might be the one he had the honour
to fill. The clause being amended agreeably to this idea, a very
warm debate ensued. The clause was opposed by Lord Beau-
champ, Mr. Jenkinson, Mr. Dundas, and Lord George Germain ;
and supported by Mr. Thomas Townshend, Mr. Burke, and Mr.
Fox.


Mr. Fox said, he should not be deterred by the lateness of
the hour from going into the debate. It was on a subject
the most important and interesting ; and if he should detain
the House ever so late, he should not think that he stood in
need of making an apology. In the first place, he could not
but be surprised to hear so much said against the abstract
proposition suggested by a right honourable gentleman, who
had so frequently been alluded to in the course of the evening.
There was nothing he wished for more than for the House
to come to a determination upon that great constitutional
question, whether they were competent or not to interfere in
matters that respected the King's civil list ? It was a point
upon which men's minds seemed to dwell, and in the issue of
which the whole nation was so essentially concerned, that he
could not for one, but wish most heartily to have it before the
House in a debateable shape, and decided upon as soon as
possible; and, indeed, he should have liked the right honour-
able gentleman (Mr. Rigby) better than he did ; he should
have thought him more fair, and the justice of the people
better dealt with, had he taken a proper opportunity, as he
surely might have done, of submitting .the question, of which
he professed himself so sVarm an advocate, and not have started.


VOL. I.


Ii




T


242 MR. BURI(E'S ESTABLISHMENT BILL. [March
it to the House, at a time when he knew it could not be
moved regularly, nor decided one way or the other.


But the right honourable gentleman impressed the principle
of the resolution he had broached, and the principle was to
pervade the whole bill; so that when any clause came under
discussion, it was to operate against it, as if the principle
really had been accepted of by the House. Gentlemen did
not like abstract propositions, and a noble lord (Beauchamp)
reprobated speculative questions, because they did not like
unparliamentary proceedings, and because those questions
were only made for the purpose of being spread abroad to let
the public know what the House was doing. Was it possible.
to conceive any thing more shameful and absurd ! For his
part, he declared, and he took a sort of pride in declaring it,
that he wished to have those very abstract propositions de-
cided, and that for the purpose of letting the people of Eng-
land know what they had to expect ; and he was resolved to
use every means in his power that the public might know what
the House did, and what the members individually did, in
order that the people might understand properly' as they
ought to do, who were to be trusted, and who were n But
gentlemen shrunk from the proposition respecting the King's
civil list ; they were afraid to meet it ; and even the boldest of
the ministerial phalanx were afraid to hazard it, though some
of them had not scrupled to adopt the principle, and to sup-
port, in their speeches, the proposition that the House had no
right to interfere in it. Good God ! had he been asleep !
how had he been lost to himself! to what little purpose had
all his education, his knowledge, and his experience been
attained, if that was really the fact ! But, surely, it would
never be a doctrine established in that House, that the King
was to be uncontrouled in his civil list ! Did men know what
they were.


asserting, when they held such language? Did
they really see no danger in it ? Or were they so truly ig-
norant or so lost to the will of others, as not to know, or
knowing, not to stand up and fairly tell the House, that they
were competent to the purpose, and that the king was only a
trustee for the people, and liable to have his accounts in-
spected by parliament? Had not such a practice been the
uniform practice of parliament ? How was it with James the
Second ? Had not that unhappy king, Who preferred a
wretched, miserable pension from the court of France, to the
law of his subjects. on constitutional grounds, his whole re-
venue taken from him ?


He was amazed to hear any opposition made to so plain an
axiom, a power so rooted in parliament. For, had the pre-
'Sent king any hereditary right? Parliament, indeed, had


1780.3 MR. BURKE'6 ESTABLISHMENT BILL.


243


made him the successor the throne, but hereitar y right he
had none. He was, as anto honourable friend near him (Mr.
Burke) had declared, the mere creature of the people's insti-
tuting, and held nothin g but what he held in trust for the
people, for their use md. benefit. Could gentlemen, then,
think so absurdly as to conclude, that the King's civil list
revenue was given to his majesty to expend just as he should
think fit ? No, it was given him for the service of the pub-
lic; and the people's representatives had at all times a consti-
tutional authority to enquire into the expenditure of that
allowance, to reduce it, and, indeed, to take the whole of it,
or in other words, to resume the whole of it into their hands
again, whenever the abuse of it, or the exigencies of the times
should require it. The King, it was true, was the sovereign
of the people, but the King was to hold the crown only as
long as the people should choose, This, he trusted, he might
advance without offence. He felt himself warm, and he
knew it. But he trusted he was neither unparliamentary, nor
disorderly. He again asserted that the King was no longer
king than while he should be found to wear the crown for
the good of his people, for that all power lodged in the crown,
or elsewhere, could only center in that one great and funda-
mental point.It was a certain maxim, however, laid down, and there
were those preposterous enough to support it, that touching
the King's civil list, would be meddling with private property.
This he absolutely denied. But admitting for a moment the
fact; was that not often done


'


when the good of the public
called for such a sacrifice? In making turnpikes and new
roads, was not private property meddled with; and did not
parliament do it every week in the course of the session?
And why was not the private property of his majesty; if the
King's civil list really was private property, to be curtailed,
when the necessities of the state called upon parliament to
do it?The influence of the crown had been said to have arisen,
not from any increase of the civil list, nor an improper use of
it, but from the large augmentation of the navy and army
and gentlemen were not, with a candour he did not wish to
imitate, to ask the side of the House on which he ranged,
why they would attack the civil list to reduce the influence
they complained of? He was aware of the subtilty of the
reasoning, and was ready to meet it. The naval and mi-
litary arrangements, however extensive, were insisted upon
as necessary. They naturally brought a prodigious influ-
ence with their establishments, and. yet they were not to
be lessened. How, then, was parliameht to check the in..


a




2 44 ma. BURKE'S ESTABLISHMENT BILL. [March 8
.




fluence of the crown ? Not by reducing the navy o
rthe army, for they were requisite and natural infl uences .What way, then, was there to narrow that influence bu tby striking off part of the civil list ? Parliament elyiadwenroeother way of doing it, they had no alternative ; h


to reduce the influence in a manner within their power,and they had no other mode of getting at it but through the
civil list.


An honourable and learned gentleman (Mr. Dundas) had•denied the influence of the minister to be greater than hereto-
fore, because his majorities in parliament were not larger
than the majorities of other ministers. The majorities of the
present minister were become very small indeed, but the
learned gentleman did not see the true cause. It was not
because the minister used less influence than he had done,
but because gentlemen saw better than they used to see; and
if he was to estimate the degree of corruption and influence
of the minister, by the size of his majorities, he was inclined
to believe that he would soon have reason to think him very
•virtuous and poor indeed. If, however, the learned gentle-
man meant, when -he said the minister used no inNence, to
confine it to his conduct of the present day, he wouldtordially
agree with him, for he had, indeed, used none. When the
right honourable gentleman near him (Mr. Rigby) threw out
Ins favourite proposition), that the House could not interfere,
with the King's civil list, the noble lord used no influence to
make the House accept it. No, the minister shrunk back to
•his native modesty, and left the House to their own choice.
Nay, the right honourable gentleman himself, who wishes so
ardently to put the question, had exercised as little of his
power. Though he wanted the question put, he had used
none of his influence; he had left his friends and relations to
themselves, and to vote for the order of the clay, by which
the possibility of putting his resolution was all at once done
away. Even the right honourable the deputy-paymaster,
(Sir T. Caswall,) had at length voted against him, and yet so
little disposed was he for using any influence, he dared to
swear he would readily forgive him. He trusted he should
,not find him turned out of office for it, but that the thing
would be considered with all that perfect -candour, liberal
sentiment, and ready reconciliation, so congenial to the
right honourable gentleman's mind.


But, to speak seriously, was there really no undue or un-
constitutional influence ? Was there not a monstrous influ-
ence that pervaded every department of the state? How
happened it, that such a scandalous dismission had taken
place of the lords lieutenants ? Had not the influence of the


DIR. BURKE'S ESTABLISHMENT BILL./730.]
245


been harshly used in that respect? The Marquis of
cramCar arthen and the Earl of Pembroke had their lord lien-
tenancies taken from them, and for what ? Why, because
the noble marquis had written his sentiments on the York
petition, and the other noble peer had presumed to vote
agreeably to his conscience in parliament ! In time of peace
some reason might be offered, or some pretext set up, for the
removal of lords lieutenants, but to make such dismissions
when we were at war, and the militia might- every day be
wanted for service, and to make noblemen of the first and
oldest families in the kingdom the objects of such dismissions,
was, in his opinion, a plain and open indication, that the
army was to be employed in a way in which it ought not to


yeedn'Some gentlemen had asked, was there any proof to he
b e e pi og
adduced that there really existed any undue influence of the
crown? As to proving an undue influence of that kind, were
gentlemen in earnest when they called for proof? How was
the influence of the crown to be proved ? He had almost
made a blunder, for he was going to say, that the influence of
the crown sheaved itself only in the dark, or it appeared so
rarely in the light, that it was not one of those things so
capable of proving any otherwise than by the notoriety of the
fact.He would now apply himself more immediately to the ques-
tion under consideration ; and he wondered much that some
gentlemen should make it a ground of objection to it, that it
was unfair, taking it for granted that a reform was necessary,
that the king's civil list should be attacked in the first instance.
Good- God ! how could such assertions escape men who
valued at all their candour and their understanding? Had
not Opposition endeavoured by every means in their power to
retrench the public expellee? Had they not attempted over
and over to stop the present unnatural war against America,
or, if it was to be continued., to withdraw our troops front
thence, so that they might be emplo yed where they were
really wanted, and an immense load of 'debt thereby avoided?
It had been said, too, what new oppressions or injuries do you.
feel? Was it possible for such - a question to be coolly stated?
Was the loss of America nothing new ? Was the loss of our
West India islands nothing new? Had we no new taxes?
And were not all these things new injuries and oppressions ?


With respect to the office of third secretary of state, it
surely ought to be abolished. Not one single argument
had even been attempted to prove that there was any utility
to arise from continuing it. If, indeed, only 4,5001. would
be saved to the public by taking away the office, that was, in


It 3




246 MR. BURKE'S ESTABLISHMENT BILL.
[March


his opinion, no reason why it should not be clone. The samoobjection might be brought against every clause in the bill,
it was to be admitted as an argument against it, that it Iva
only to save such a specific sum of money : 4,5004 taken hys
itself, was, perhaps, not so great a sum ; but when a


numberof those sums were added together, they would amount to a
very great sum total, and it was in the aggregate, that the
reform in the public expenditure was proposed in the bill
before the House. It was not by abolishing the third office
of secretary of state that they should save so much money,
but strike off so much of the influence of the crown, which
was, and ought to be, the primary object before them.


And now he would ask the House, if the King's civil list
allowance was not to be proportioned to the situation of the
times ? If the House had now to fix the amount, would they
give his majesty so enormous a sum as 900,0001. a-year ?
Would any gentleman, even for the sake of argument, for it
could be used for no other end, venture to contend, that the
civil list should be disproportioned to the ability of the public?
Indeed, it had been pretended, that 99o,occ/. was now no
more than equal to 700,0001. in the reign of KineVilliam,
but he reprobated the computation as idle and fallacious. The
price of provisions, it was true, was higher now than then ;
but did the price of provisions affect the royal household so
materially ? He wondered it should be touched upon; but
admitted the fact, namely, that 900,0001. was now no more
than what 700,0001. was. But was this reign like King
William's ? Parliament, indeed, allowed that glorious prince
an ample income; but had he not occasion for their liberality?
Good God ! was this reign to be compared with the reign of
that glorious and puissant prince, who had such just and ex-
tensive wars upon his hands ; who was engaged in great and
noble undertakings, and while he had the state at home to
settle and adjust, was forming the most valuable alliances with
foreign powers ?


The civil establishment for the present King had been,
indeed, most liberally considered by parliament upon his acces-
sion to the throne. They held him, as he professed himself,
a. free-born Briton, and made him a settlement equal to the
predilection they hadformed in his favour. They took forgran t


-cd every thing he promised, and did not know what he really
meant. They had not the least suspicion of the system by
which his government was to be regulated, and did not know
those calamities and miseries they were about to experience
from an American war. Parliament little expected what 010'
have since so badly relished. But great as the sum of 900,0°1
is, with what sort of face is it that even that is the King's civil


1780.]
MR. BURKE'S ESTABLISHMENT BILL. 247


list?
Does he not come to parliament time after time pray-


'lig them
to pay off what he is in arrear ? Are not the debts


lef the
crown, even in this gigantic, overgrown allowance, as


regularly voted as new taxes? Even at present, the civil list,
he understood, was behind hand no less than three quarters,
so that another application for paying off the debts of the
crown might soon be expected ; nay, a noble lord had openly
said, that the King's establishment would want a still furtherincrease as the branches of the royal family grew up.


In order to spew that the House had no right to interfere
with the civil list, the same noble lord had asked him, what
right lie had to question him about his style of living? As
the case stood at present, he would readily allow him, that he
had none. But if he was living beyond his income, and he
was to pay his debts contracted thereby, he should think he
had a just right to enquire into his conduct, and to say, you.
surely might lop off this or that article of extravagance. And
how, otherwise, did the Opposition mean to deal with the
King? And yet any strangers present, to hear the argu-
ments used by the ministerial side, would conclude, that the
House was moved to take away the King's private purse, and
not reduce the civil list, the allowance of which was only
granted to him by parliament, in trust for the people, for their
use, and not for his own private occasions, to do with it just as
he might choose.


That the motion before the committee was perfectly agree-
able to, and in support of the petitions of the people of Eng-
land, he strongly contended. They prayed for a diminution
of the influence of the crown, and the abolishing of one of the
secretaries of state tended directly to that point. In support
of the motion itself, he thought every thing might be said, that
need be said. Experience was better than theory, and it had
been proved, that two secretaries of state were sufficient, for
Lord Suffolk had been dead nearly twelve months, before a
person was appointed to succeed him.


He was sorry the minister and his friends were afraid to
meet the question, whether the House had a power to con-
troul the civil list or not ? Though, should they put it, he
should not think himself bound to acquiesce in it. He would
resist it to the utmost of his power. He trusted he did not
speak disorderl y, for parliament had not said any thing like


\it:ha: fist


they should at any time, he should conceive the com-
pact between the King and people totally broken, and this.
Country reduced to the most downright despotism that could
be brought to practice. In such a case, he would not say


e would do, but he should not think parliament a place
x 4




• "I


248 MR. BURKE'S ESTABLISHMENT BILL.
[arch


in which he should be able to serve the people, who knew,
he trusted, that they were not born to be slaves.


He alluded, in 'very strong terms, to an honourable and
learned gentleman (Mr. Mansfield) amongst others, who were
sometimes standing forth as advocates for the crown, and
sometimes for the rights of the people. He exclaimed, in the
genuine warmth of patriotism, against the pretence that pal--
tiament were bound at the period


-of the Revolution, not to in-
terfere in the expenditure of the King's civil list, which he
called a new and damnable doctrine, and infamous to a degree;
he meant as far as it argued, and not personally, to the right
lonourable gentleman who had that day ventured to advance
it. He plainly saw it was the intention of ministry to treat
the petitions with contempt, and to irritate the people of Eng-
land to acts of violence; but he trusted they would avoid them,
for he hoped there were sure and certain constitutional means
by which they could relieve themselves, and punish the au-
thors of their calamities.


Could he possibly be brought to think, that the Revolution
had established so vile a maxim, as that the Kit 's civil list
was to be used independent of parliament, or thaarliament
were to be precluded from controuling the power of the crown
in all eases whatsoever, he should think that he, and all the
people of England, were bound to curse and execrate the Re-
volution. But did he think so absurdly of the Revolution ?
Could any one think so absurdly of it? How shamefully was
the Revolution libelled and traduced ! He had sometimes
heard, that a rebellion tended to strengthen the hands of go-
vernment. He was now convinced, it was a very possible
case ; for if the maxim, that the House really had no power
over the civil list, should he established, a rebellion, and no-
thing but a rebellion, could possibly save the constitution, and
restore it to that state, from which the establishment of so vile
a. doctrine would inevitably reduce it, But why would


.
not


ministry stand forth, and fairly try the Question ? The friends
of the constitutien were ready, were waiting anxiously to
combat it. But the minister, though he would persist in pre-
judicing the House with the principle of it, shrunk back, in a
dastardly manner, and loathed the question in a debateable
shape. For his part, he liked that kind of conduct worse than
the right honourable gentleman's, for he did not sculk behind
his partizans, but came boldly forth, in an open, manly manner,
and he liked the person that was honest enough to come out
in the day-light, and attack him at once unmasked. He de-
clared, however, that should the question be ever put and
carried, he would alone contest it, and seek some other place
in which he would endeavour and hope to serve his country.


17801
At a quarter before three o'clock in the morning, the committeedivided, when the office of Third Secretary of State was preserved


by a majority of seven only ; the numbers being 201, in support of
the clause of reform, to 208, by whom it was opposed. Such was
the


issue of one of the longest and hardest fought days, that per-
haps ever was known in the House of Commons ; nor was the
labour greater than the ability, or the parliamentary skill and
generalsh ip displayed on both sides.


WESTMINSTER PETITION FOR AN ECONOMICAL REFORM.


March f3.


MIL FOX presented a petition from the city of Westminster.
setting forth, " That this nation hath been engaged for several


years in a most expensive and unfortunate war ; that many of our
valuable colonies, having actually declared themselves independent,
have formed a strict confederacy with France and Spain, the dan-


quenc
erous and inveterate enemies of Great Britain ; that the conse-


e of those combined misfortunes bath been a large addition
to the national debt, a heavy accumulation of taxes, a rapid de-
cline of the trade, manufactures, and land rents of the kingdom :
alarmed at the diminished resources and growing burthens of this
country, and convinced that rigid frugality is now indispensably
necessary in every department of the state, your petitioners ob-
serve with grief, that, notwithstanding the calamitous and impo-
verished condition of the nation, much public money has been im-
providently squandered, and that many individuals enjoy sinecure
places, efficient places with exorbitant emoluments, and pensions
unmerited by public service, to a large and still encreasing amount,
whence the crown has acquired a great and unconstitutional in-
fiuence, which, if not checked, may soon prove fatal to the liberties
of this country: your petitioners, conceiving that the true end of
every legitimate government is not the emolument of any indivi-
dual, but the welfare of the community, and considering that, by
the constitution of this realm, the national purse is entrusted in fp.
peculiar manner to the custody of this honourable House, beg
leave further to represent, that, until effectual measures be taken
to redress the oppressive grievances herein stated, the grant of any
additional sum of public money, beyond the produce of the present
taxes, will be injurious to the rights and property of the people,
and derogatory from the honour and dignity of parliament : your
petitioners, therefore, appealing to the justice of this honourable
House, do most earnestly request; that, before any new burthens
are laid upon this country, effectual measures may be taken, by
this House, to enquire into, and correct, the gross abuses in the
expenditure of public money, to reduce all exorbitant emoltr-


.


PETITION FOR AN ECONOMICAL REFORM.
249




250
PETITION FOR AN ECONOMICAL REFORM. [March 13.


ments ; to rescind and abolish all sinecure places and unmerited
pensions ; and to appropriate the produce to the necessities of the
state, in such manner as to the wisdom of parliament shall seem
meet."


Mr. Fox said, that the petition was from the gentlemen,
clergy, and inhabitants of the city of Westminster, paying
taxes. The persons who had subscribed it, had set their
names to it voluntarily, and from a full conviction of the neces-
sity of a general reform in the expenditure of the public
money. He had had an opportunity of going amongst the
petitioners, and though the taxes were in particular burthen-
some to the cities of London and Westminster, yet he knew
that they would bear them without murmuring, could they but
think the amount of them were properly applied. He trusted
no gentleman would deem the petitioners factious, for the
House had not thought them so. They had already produced
sonic good effect, and he believed the House would not. dare
to reject their prayer. When he used the word ' dare,' he
did not mean to threaten the House; he only said they would
not dare, because he knew they saw that they not to
refuse the petitioners satisfaction. He said the diArent com-
mittees had held a general meeting, and had laid down a
grand plan of association. The great object of redress would
be pursued peaceably, but firmly. The members were deter-
mined to act agreeably to the constitution, but with a proper
spirit. He ridiculed the minister's appointing a. commission
of accounts, and pronounced it a farce. The noble lord would,




in a commission so constituted, be his own judge : for he was
to nominate the commissioners, and to pay them. The noble .)
lord only having the idea of pension or place, could not think
of filling up the commission with a placeman or a pensioner,
though in fact the persons to be appointed under the present
act, must be rewarded for their trouble. They would be
placemen with large salaries, as soon as they entered upon
their offices; they would be pensioners ever after, till they were
provided for; and lie knew of more than one instance where,
after a pensioner had been provided for, by giving him a place,
his pension was nevertheless continued to him. He adverted
to the rum contract, and to a speech of Lord North's, in
which he challenged the House to call upon him, and re-
marked that the noble lord wished to be an evidence as well as
judge for himself. He had frequently been charged in the
face of parliament, with entering into a fraudulent contract
with Mr. Atkinson; but how did the noble lord exculpate him-
self? He told us, that he was imposed upon by Atkinson.
What means did the noble lord take to bring the offender to


1780.3 EAST INDIA COMPANY'S CHARTER.
251


justice ? By instantly entering into another contract, at a
higher price. His first contract was the same as that made
by the victualling office ; his second was still nine-pence a
gallon dearer. In the last instance, the noble lord said, he
mistook currency for sterling ; but now at the end of two or
three years, what step had the noble lord taken to bring this
public defaulter to public justice? No one step whatever.
His only answer was, a general evidence given by himself; of
his own integrity and innocence. He again stated to the
House, the necessity of paying a proper attention to the peti-
tions of the people of England ; he said, the one he had just
now presented, was signed by upwards of five thousand elec-
tors. They were temperate, moderate, and peaceable; but
they were unalterably firm in their resolution of obtaining
redress. They called for reformation, and a full and satisfac-
tory reformation they were determined to have. The noble
lord in the blue ribbon might, through his influence in that
House, flatter himself, that by throwing out his honourable
friend's bill (Mr. Burke's) this year, he would be enabled to
defeat the great objects of the petitioners, a reform and reduc-
tion of the expenditure of the civil list, in order to diminish
the influence of the crown; but he assured the noble lord, that
his attempts would be in vain : he might procrastinate the evil
day : he might eke out his wretched administration for an-
other year; but he was perfectly satisfied, that neither he, nor
any other minister who should be appointed to succeed him,
could stand long against the voice of the people. In the end
they must prevail in their just, legitimate, and honest desires,
because no parliament dare refuse them. He repeated, that
he did not mean to menace parliament; but when he said they
dare not but comply with the prayer of the petitions, he wish-
ed to be understood as saying, that they dare not, because it
would be unjust to refuse it.


RENEWAL OF THE EAST INDIA COMPANY'S CHARTER.


March 21.


LORD NORTH informed the House, that the East India Com-
pany not having made such proposals for the renewal of their


charter, as he had deemed satisfactory, he should accordingly
move the House, for the Speaker to give them the three years' no-
tice ordained by act of Parliament, previous to the dissolution of
their charter, that the capital stock or debt of 4,200,0001. which




252 EAST INDIA CO.MPAYY'S CHARTER. [March 21,


the public owed to the company, should be fully paid, on the 5th
of April, 178 3 , agreeable to the power of redemption included in
the said act.


Mr. Fox rose to give a negative to the motion. He asked
whether the noble lord was not content with having lost Ame-
rica? Or was he determined not to quit the situation he held
until he had reduced the dominions of the crown to the con-
fines of Great Britain ? What good could the present motion
be attended with, or rather, what evil might it not produce ?
The motion was a threat, and the idlest of all possible me-


•naces, because it was made at a time, when the noble lord knew
in his own mind, that he neither intended nor was capable of
carrying it into execution. Why, then, throw it out, unless
the noble lord wished to ruin the East India Company's pos-
sessions in India, and to deprive this country of the ample
revenue she received through the commerce and trade of that
company ? It was ridiculous, it was dangerous to threaten,
when men dared not perform what they threatened. Let the
noble lord, let the House, turn their eves to the probable'
consequences of that threat. Good God 1 what a scene of
anarchy, confusion, distress, and ruin, would it not occasion !
Supposing even for a moment that the noble lori. really in-
tended to put his threat in execution, and was apable of
doing it, must not the public suffer considerably ? How was
the money to be paid off? Did not the noble lord know he
was obliged to pay the debt at par, and therefore as the
4,200,0001. stood at the interest of 3 per cent. and the 3 per
cents. were at 6o, the public must necessarily lose a clear 4o
per cent. by every 1 ool. they paid off? But how was the
noble lord to secure the revenues which the public were to de-
rive from the territorial acquisitions of the Company ? How
was he to get them home ? Did not the noble lord know
that the company was the best medium through which they
could possibly pass? Had he a plan for any new company,
and had he a design to establish a new company on the ruins
of the present ? Was that the noble lord's gratitude to those
to whom the country was so highly obliged, as the present
East India Company ? The noble lord must know that he
could not by law grant an exclusive trade to a new company;
and where would his new company, if any such project he had
in view, get their capital ? He must know that the company
would laugh at his idle menace ; at least he hoped to God
they would, and not take' it as a serious matter, meant to be
followed by the paying off the 4,20o,000/. If they did, woe
be to the revenue, woe be to the public, woe be to all our ac-
quisitions in India ! The company, if they expected a di:?so,-




I7130.] ARMY ESTIMATES — 2,TEW LEVIES.
253


lution, might put every thing in India to the risk, in order to
aet home as large a stock as possible, that their ultimate divi-
aend might be swelled. Thus their present industry, service-
able and beneficial as it was to themselves and to the public,
would be directed from its course, and be rendered dangerous
to the public in the extremest degree.—He said, he had seen
in newspapers, the propositions agreed on by the general
court of proprietors and rejected by the noble lord. They
certainly were not altogether such as he should approve, but
comparatively considered with a dissolution of the company,
they were most advantageous and desirable. The one must
lead to certain ruin, the other to great wealth and great reve-
nue. He imputed the bad understanding between the com-
pany and the noble lord, to the noble lord's having attempted
to possess himself of the patronage of the company, and hav-
ing, by the means of his secretary, endeavoured to carry
every thing his own way in Leadentall-street, declaring that
he supposed they would not, on that account, treat with the
noble lord at all. — After a variety of warm expressions, all
tending to supportathe idea that ruin would follow to the reve-
nue derived from the commerce of the company, and that we
should lose all We had acquired in India, if parliament broke
with them, and seriously gave them the notice the noble lord
had moved, he concluded, with earnestly exhorting the noble
lord to change his intention, and not to act hostilely against
the company, at least for the present.


Mr. Burke also opposed the motion with great animation-, and.
concluded with moving the previous question ; upon which, after
a long debate, the House divided :


Tellers. Tellers.
oEs Sir E. BayntunN Sir George Yongel




/ Mr. Robinson Sir W. Meredith
The original question was then put and carried.


ARMY ESTIAIATES=.--NEW LEVIES. 114


April s.
HE army estimates being laid before the House, and a in,otion


-I- made for referring them to a committee, much warm debate
arose upon the subject of the new levies, and of the innovations
with respect to rank and promotion, which were charged by the
Opposition to have taken pioce in the army,




255254


ARMY ESTIMATES-NEW LEVIES.
[April g.


Mr. Fox threw out a variety of pointed sarcasms on clerks
and commis being suddenly converted into officers of high rank,
and ridiculed the idea of the appointment of an honourable
gentleman (Mr. Fullerton) being excused, on the plea of its
being merely during the war, and that when peace came, he
and other gentlemen preferred to the rank of colonels at once,
would become private men again. He asked whether the
time of war was not the time when officers of experience were
most wanted by their country, and rank in the army most
estimable? What did it signify in time of peace, who was a
colonel, or who was not ? 'Rank then, was only the instru-
ment which procured officers, whose services merited a com-
fortable and honourable provision. The army was at all
times an object, of which it well became that House to be ex-
tremely jealous; but most particularly so, when new regiments
were raising in such abundance, and the commands so extra-
ordinarily bestowed, that it warranted a suspicion that sooner
or later the army was intended to be employed against the
liberties of the people. There had scarcely been an offer ac-
cepted or rejected, within the last eighteen months, which
did not prove either a scandalous partiality, or a most,,I,mwar-
rantable refusal. Let gentlemen consider the handsnie offer
of the Earl of Derby, to raise a regiment, and the manner in
which it had been refused. Let them recollect that the only
objection insinuated, was the earl's having desired permanent
rank, but that he had afterwards waved that claim. As an
evasion, it had been said, there was no letter from the Earl of
Derby, specifying that he had so waved it ; and though it
was allowed that he had made the declaration publicly in the
House of Lords, it was pretended that no notice could be
taken by office of what was there said. This, however, would
strike every man of candour as a pitiful quibble, and would
make the conduct of ministry appear rather worse than better.
Let the House remember the answer given to Major Stanley,
who died as much in the service of his country as if he had lost
his life in action at the head of his regiment. Let them remem-
ber likewise the refusal to Lord Chatham, and the refusal given
to Mr. Thomas Grenville, brother to Lord Temple, and to
Mr. Wyndham, brother to Lord Egremont, both ensigns in
the guards. What had been the plea in their cases? That
they were in the army, and could move but one step at a
time; so that ,the absurd system now pursued in the military
line, was, that those who, from having been bred up in the
army, and having served, were best qualified for high com-
mands, had no chance of obtaining them, while unprofes-
sional men, men employed as under secretaries of state, and


4


1780.] ARMY ESTIMATES -NEW LEVIES.
in civil capacities all their life-time, might have them for
asking for.


He declared he objected to various parts of the estimates.
If the men who had been raised on one condition to serve in
the troop of horse (Colonel Holroyd's), and who were after-
wards put upon a different footing, and re-attested, as he un-
derstood, for that purpose, had not had a free alternative of
either being re-attested or discharged, as they thought pro-
per, they had not been fairly treated. He then entered into
an argument on the respectability and antiquity of the family
of the Earl of Derby and others, whose offers to raise regi-
ments had been refused, deducing from the premises, that
such men were best attached to the constitution, and most
likely to preserve the liberties of the people; inferring, that
he was warranted to suspect from their offers having been re-
jected, that the new regiments were designed to do something
adverse to those liberties. He took occasion in this part of
his speech, to advert to the antiquity of the Scotch families,
and ridiculed them. He said further, that he had no objec-
tion to the Scotch ; that among his friendships, many of them
were with gentlemen of that country whom he esteemed and
loved ; but still he could not help now and then reflecting on
what had passed in former times. Forget and forgive, was
an easy maxim to speak, but a hard matter to practise. When
he considered what had happened twice within a century; that
the most dangerous attacks on the constitution had come from
the northern part of the kingdom, he could not but be alarm-
ed, when he saw the partiality daily shewn to Scotchinen.
He could not but recollect, that at one time, in order to ob-
tain power, the Scotch had agreed to give up what they held
most dear, their religion, and to swallow popery, —such was
their eagerness to establish an absolute monarch, and to
exercise their love of tyranny. Reflecting on these matters,
therefore, he owned he was alarmed at the number of Scotch
officers, who had of late got into the army, more especially
the number of those who had obtained. the commands of new
raised regiments.


Mr. Dundas retorted on Mr. Fox for his reflectioniton the
Scotch. He said, he was sure the honourable gentleman did not
feel those animosities and prejudices against Scotland, which he
had thought proper to revive in the course of the debate, but
that he had chosen to adopt the illiberality of others, because it
served his present purpose ; he could not however but imagine,
that the honourable gentleman had mistaken the day and the place
in which he had been speaking. The honourable gentleman had,
when he was younger, been much wiser ; there was a time, and


0.




256 ARMY ESTIMATES—NEW LEVIES.
[April $,


he might very well remember it, when he sat on the treasury_
bench, and maintained, that the voice of the people was to be
collected no where but in the House of Commons. But he doubt_
ed not a time would come, ere long, when the honourable gentle-
man would be wise again, and agree with him in opinion, that the
present mode of proceeding used by Opposition could be produc-
tive only of anarchy, disgrace, and confusion.


Mr. Fox rose, in answer to the attack that bad been s0
personally directed against him, by the learned gentleman
who spoke last. He expected that such an attack would be
made, and that it would come from such a quarter. The
learned gentleman had talked of what he was totally ignorant,
since the assertions to which he alluded were made before the
learned gentleman had a seat in that House. The learned
trentlemnn had been misinformed, and had spoken a greeably6
to that misrepresentation. No man who was in the House at
the time, and who heard the opinion that he gave, would
have dared to misrepresent him in such a manner; but speak-
ing in consequence of the report which he had received, the
learned gentleman had dared to do it, and he was excusable,
because he did not know whether he was right or not. ,Jn the
second or third speech which he had ever made in his4e, and
at a time when he was only twenty-one years of age, perhaps
expressions might drop from him which were loose and unde-
fined; but it would be very unusual indeed to examine such
expressions with rigour. He, however, wished that every
assertion which he had made should be fairly tried; all that
he wished for was that his words should be fairly represented,
and that men who were not in parliament at the time should
not take the report of newspapers, nor of informers, as evi-
dence against him. He appealed to the recollection of every
man in the House who was present at the time, whether he
did not, in the opinion which he gave in the affairs of the
Middlesex election, build all his argument in the power of the
people. Every topic which he urged was founded on this po-
pular and proper doctrine, and was intended to maintain the
power of the people in opposition to that of the crown and the
House of Lords. On this ground he had changed no opi-
nion ; but he said that the voice of the people was to be col-
lected in that House ; andin the newspapers it was added, that
he had said that the voice of the people was not to be collect-
ed in petitions. Such an expression could not fall from him;_
it would have been as inapplicable as unjust. There were
not any petitions then before the House. There was no topic
relating to such a subject ; but that the voice of the people
was to be collected in that House he had said, and he still


ARAIY ESTIMATES—NEW LEVIES.
1 78b


257


said so. It was to be collected in that House, until they acted
in opposition to the voice of the people in the original capa,
city. In all ordinary cases it was the most practicable and
.expeditious means of declaring the sense of the people; but
when the representative body did not speak the sense of the
constituent, the voice of the latter was constitutional and con-
clusive. This had been his opinion, and it would still be so,.
He said there was no man who had been more systematic in
his opinions and in his conduct, than himself. The noble
lord in the blue ribbon would do him the justice to say so.
It was his fault, and his misfortune to be too stubborn in his
temper, too much indisposed to the courting of popularity,
and too much matched and wedded to his opinions. whey.
formed. He would be bold to say that the noble lord in the
blue ribbon would not assert that lie had ever heard his pub:-
lie doctrines at variance with his private, though he knew
well that he had often been surprised at opinions which the
noble lord had given in public after hearing his private senti-
ments. The honourable gentleman remarked with infinite
humour on what the learned gentleman had said respecting
himself, and his countrymen in general.


The question for going into the Committee was carried, and
the Speaker left the chair. On the resolution for defraying the
expences of Mr. Fullerton's corps,


Mr. Fox took occasion to say, that of all men breathing,
no one entertained fewer prejudices than himself. He detested
them. He had many valuable friends in Scotland, and he
had the pleasure to say that many noble persons in that
country went hand in hand with England on the present
occasion. He wished, for his part, to unite every part of the
empire, and to lose, it' possible, the very names of distinction.
It had been the system of this unfortunate reign to maintain
itself by division and discord. Divide et impera had been its
favourite plan. It had accomplished the divide, but the
impera he hoped would never follow. Ireland had been
divided from England, England from Scotland, and America
!.'coin Great Britain. This system of division and discord had
set brother against brother, man against man, and connexion
against connexion. He wished to see that system superseded
by one of family concord, which had a f eye to every part of
the empire, and proscribed nothing.bu• inability and demerit,


VOL. L.




258 MOTION AGAIN'ST DISSOLVING PARLIAMENT. [April 24.


MR. DUNNING'S MOTION AGAINST DISSOLVING THE PAR.-
LIAMENT, OR PROROGUING THE SESSION, UNTIL MEASURES
HAVE BEEN TAKEN TO DIMINISH THE INFLUENCE OF THf:
CROTVN, AND CORRECT PUBLIC ABUSES.


April 24.


ww IL DUNNING moved, " That an humble address be pre.
IVA seated to his majesty, praying, that he will be graciously
pleased not to dissolve the parliament, or prorogue the present
session, until proper measures have been taken to diminish the
influence, and correct the other abuses, complained of by the
petitions of the people.




He sarcastically alluded to the unusual
fulness of the House, hoping the new comers would show their
zeal for their country, their regard for the people, and their
abhorrence of undue influence, by supporting the motion, and
that the 233 of the Gth of April would' receive an augmentation of
twenty or thirty. Mr. Thomas Pitt, who seconded the motion,
read the resolutions of the Cambridge county meeting, approving
the late proceedings, and conjured the house not to repress the
budding confidence of the nation, and inspire popular rage ir when
the people were once inflamed, who could stop them,Or say,
" thus far shalt thou go and no farther ?" Mr. Adam was the
most conspicuous opponent of the motion, and made a speech of
extraordinary ability, for the purpose of showing the improper
foundation of the petitions, and the error of those who had devised
an appeal to the people. He painted,. in animated terms, the
dangers of beginning a reformation by means of the people, and
cited the memorable


-days of Charles I. to prove, that although
human intellect and virtue were then, at their greatest height ;jthough the patriots who began an Opposition to the court wereustified by the most imperious motives, yet they were compelled
by increasing licentiousness to withdraw from active interference,
and doomed to view the overthrow of the constitution, and the
establishment of the most oppressive and arbitrary despotism that
had ever cursed a nation.


Mr. Fox rose immediately after Mr. Adam, and introduced
what he had to say, with a most eloquent exordium. It had
been his fate, he observed, in common with others, since he
had sat in parliament, to 'witness the most important debates
that had occurred within the present century,—the debates. on
the American war, the debates on the war with France, the
debates on the war with Spain. That great and serious as
those topics were, he had Mt his mind at ease, and playful
as it were, in comparison to his feelings on the present occa-
sion ; that now it was impossible for him to describe the awe
and horror with which he was impressed. That the subject
was of the utmost importance, and involved in it the fate Of


780.]
MOTION AGAINST DISSOLVING PARLIAMENT. - • 259


the empire. The honourable . gentleman who spoke last had
described the troubles of. the:. last century with so much


ability, SO much warmth, and so much force of
expressi01),


that until the conclusion of his speech he could not. be . per-
suaded but the •honourable gentleman had intended to vote
for the question, and not against it. The honourable gentle-
man had asked to have it ascertained what degree of influence
the petitions of the people ought to have in that House ; the
honourable gentleman had surely forgot, that the question he
asked had already been determined. Co remind the honour-
able gentleman that it had, he begged the three resolutions of
the 6th of April might be read. They were accordingly


by the clerk at the table.* . .
. .


He. said, that if it were 'clear what the propositions NN•ere,
which would be adopted in compliance with the prayers of, the
people, he Ibr one should ol?ject to the present notionn


asunecessary ; that his _learned friend could only propose, it
remained for the House to adopt or to reject, and that it
would unavoidabl y be a work of some time. He rejoiced that
the Opposition had once been unpopular, because he said
they. had borne all the obloquy, all the odium, all the cen-
sure with patience, and had lived to see every one of their
doctrines agreed to, and adopted by those who had opposed
them when first proposed, and had helped to load them
with obloquy, with odium, and with censure. Viewing the
matter thereibre as a party man,..it must be matter of triumph,
matter of satisfaction; but viewing it in.the light in which he
really did view it, namely, as all Englishman and a member
of parliament, it was matter of lamentation; matter of melan-
choly and heart-breaking compunction, because what consti:-
tuted the glory and the triumph of Opposition, was the ruix
and the disgrace of his country.


Having thus described the general importance of the times,
and enumerated the various great topics that had come under
discussion since he sat in. the house, he insisted, in most


4


The following is a copy of the said resolutions :---,
" i. That it is the opinion of this Committee, that


it .is necessary to


declare that the influence of the crown has increased, ii


increasing, and
ought to he diminished.'


" 2. That it is
competent to this House; to examine into, and to correct


abuses in the expenditure of the civil list revenues,. as well-
4S, inevery other


branch of the public revenue, whenever
it shall appear expedient to the


wisdom of this House so to do.
" 3. That it is the duty of this House to provide, as far as may be, an


immediate and effectnatredress of the abuSeS complained of in the petitions
presented


s
to this House, from the different counties,


cities, and towns of


t s kingdom." .•
.


, 4,2:




266 MOTION AGAINST DISSOLVING PARLIAMENT; [April 24;
expressive terms, on the superior importance of the motio4


"then before the committee, to every other subject that had
been discussed in the. present parliament. He said he was
fair to own, and he believed his honourable and learned friend
who made the motion would agree with him, that what the
honourable gentleman who spoke last had said respecting this
motion being new, was perfectly founded ; he believed there
was no precedent for it, and that the act of 164 1 did not apply
to it. But (said he) as the circumstances of the times are
new, the situation of this country is without precedent. The
miserable slats to which we have been brought by the igno.
ranee and folly of those who govern the country, the increased
influence of the crown, the grievances of the people daily
increasing, call for new and unprecedented means or redress.
The honourable gentleman had desired his learned friend to
come forward with his system, and to unfold the extent to
which he meant to go in reformation and change. Had not
the House declared the necessary alteration already? Did
not the resolution come to by 233 gentlemen, prove it to be
the sense of this House, that the influence of the troyn had
increased, was increasing, and ought to be Had
not the same majority declared, that early means must be
taken to redress those grievances? That those means must
be adequate to the end no one can doubt; it is not therefore
an unknown system, but a system founded on the determine,
tion of the committee, and adopted by the House. If the
House mean to keep their word with the people, to whom
they have solemnly pledged themselves to destroy that baneful
influence which Undermines the liberties of the country, the
House must proceed further. Unless they agree to the pre-
sent motion, they betray the people, by leaving it in the
power of the minister, (who spews himself an enemy to the
people, by his conduct here, and by his directions to others
in another place, to put .


a stop to one of the means of re,
dressing the abuses complained of; by throwing out the Con-
tractors' Bill) to prorogue or dissolve the parliament before
the means of redress are applied. If the motion should pass,
though it did not bind the crown, there still remained in the
eXecutive . power the ability to dissolve the parliament, or pro,
rogue the present session : yet, he believed no minister would
be .so rash or so wicked, as to advise his majesty to dissolve
the parliament, when that House had addressed him not to
do it. He trusted there was yet enough of weight and of
power in that House, to make good its own resolutions, and
to carry- them into effect; that the respect in which the exe-
cutive power held its advice, was too great to admit 'of .a
conduct contrary to its wishes, properly and humbly expressed,


So.] MOTION AGAINST DISSOLVING PARLIAMENT. 16!


He then alluded, in the most glowing expressions of rhe,
tonic, to the situation of the country, and said, that upon the:
fate of the present question depended, whether this constitu-
tion


'


which had been the prideand glory ofglory world, which
the honourable gentleman Who spoke last had described with
such ability and eloquence, was to remain the boast of man-
kind; or whether Englishmen were again to fight for their
liberties, were again to take the field in opposition to arbi-
trary power ; and whether the days of anarchy and despotism,
which the honourable gentleman had gone over, were to recur,r),
and, after a scene as mortifying 'as that struggle had taken
place, a restoration was to follow upon those abject terms of
servility •and ;leanness, which was perhaps more disgraceful
to this country, than the scene that preceded it, on bringing
back Charles II. without terms or stipulation.


In short, he said, the question now was, whether the British
constitution, " that beautiful fabric, raised by the steadiness
of our ancestors, and cemented by the best blood of the
country l"—these were the old, the trite, but nevertheless,
they were the best words he could use on the occasion, they
expressed most perfectly all that could be said of the constitu-
tion ; he could invent none so good, he would therefore adopt
them, as meeting the feelings of every Englishman—whether
that beautiful fabric, raisedby the steadiness of our ancestors,
and cemented by the best blood of our country, was to be
maintained in that freedom, in •that purity, in that perfection,:
in which those ancestors had delivered it to us, and for which
that blood had been spilt; or whether we were to submit to
that system of despotism, which had so many advocates in
this country, which was evidently meant to be promoted, to
be established, and to be fixed. He declared, that during the
course of what the honourable gentleman who spoke last had
said, when he employed his oratorical talents in so well de-
scribing the miseries of the last century, -and the unhappy times
of Charles the 1st, a prince 'whom his subjects could not trust,
in whom his best friends and most faithful ministers could




place no confidence ; whose character for insincerity' and ob-
stinacy was his own ruin,. and the ruin of his country ; ose
deceitful conduct betrayed him into every -error; whose fatal
and unconquerable obstinacy never allowed him to recede:
who pursued unrelentingly the same .fatal system—while thehonourable gentleman, he said, was describing that history, he
could not help thinking, till the very last part of his speech,
that the honourahle.gentleman meant to vote for the motion.


Surely the honourable gentleman knew that if that unfor-


4
•unate,. misguided monarch, (in whose character a mixture of


Stinacy and insincerity .was the leading feature,) had wisely
3




.162 MOTION AGAINST DISSOLVING PARLIAMENT. [April 24.
•yielded to the just grievances of the people, had given way to
'the just prayers of the petitions, and redressed those abuses iii
the early part of his reign, all that final anarchy, all that hot.:
:rid despotism, all that dreadful scene that ensued, would have
been avoided; and the unfortunate end,' to which that prince
brought himself, by his obstinate resistance to the complaints


'of his peopled and his stubborn refusal to redress the grievances
that he had caused, by his Unwisely persisting in illegal levies
of money, and by the arbitrary-proceedings of ecclesiastical
courts, would have been prevented. He expected therefo


re ,that an honourable gentleman Who had described so patheti-
cally, with so midi feeling and force of expression, those


-disasters, would have concluded With him in agreeing to the
-.motion, as a means of averting those evils of which he seemed
so apprehensive. He said the honourable gentleman had
made an observation relative to the tendency of the motion,
which he did expect would be made, namely, that it supposed
a necessity upon the part of parliament. implicitly to comply
with what the:petitions of the people of tngland required, and


- that that House, or another House of Parliament, b refusing -
-the bills proposed for the redress of those abuses,


uld pre-
4


.
-vent any advantage from the motion being carried. He here
'stated, that the motion was to address the king, not to pro-
rogue the session, or dissolve the parliament, till some mea-
sures • were taken to redress the abuses complained of in the-
petitions of the people. He then asked, whether the taking
of some measures required that parliament should do any


• thing that was improper for parliament to do? Must not
something be done ? must not some measure be taken to corn-
'ply with those petitions? And was it not necessary, if they
meant to grant the people their just requests, to keep parlia-
Teent sitting till such time as that was done? But it was said,
-that bills might be refused, if not here, in another House.
; Was it not nevertheless possible to effect the redress of some
abuses, by means independent of a bill ? For instance, was- it
incompetent to that House to address his majesty to instruct
his ministers not-to give a contract to a member of parliament?
and would it not be a matter that the executive power would
hardly choose to deny upon an address of that House? But
suppose it to be clone by bill, —an honourable friend of his
brought in a bill to redress the grievance. complained of, by
revenue officers voting for members of parliament; that bill
-had been rejected by the House. Another honourable gen-
tleman had brought in a bill for the exclusion of placemen ;
that .


bill might possibly be rejected ; other gentlemen, w40
wished well to the reduction of influence, might also bring in
other bills to the same end; and it was hardly to be. supposed


I 1


i-780.] MOTION AGAINST DISSOLVING PARLIAMENT. 26'


that the Ministers, with alought majority, would reject them
: the grievances of the people would be heard, ought to be


heard, nay must be heard.
He then went on to say, that though he did upon some ac-


counts regret the recess, which the nustbrtune of the Speaker's
ill health had occasioned, yet there was one thing that made
him happy that it had taken place; it had given him an oppor-
tunity of reviewing calmly and deliberately the present situa-
tion of the country ; it had given him time to consider,
whether those steps, that were meant to be taken, were wise
and proper, and whether this was the time to propose them;
it gave him an opporttanity to prepare his opinion upon a sub-
ject of such magnitude and importance; lie had


therefore
offered himself early to the Speaker's eye, for the purpose of
delivering that opinion without any allusion to any thing that
had been said, but had nofbeen so lucky as to be seen by him.
He said, his wish had been to avoid the heat and personality
which replying to the arguments of others was very apt to be-
tray him into. If he did not, therefore, allude any more to
the arguments of the honourable gentleman who spoke last,
he trusted that the honourable gentleman would not impute
it to disrespect for him or his abilities: he knew him to be a
man, he respected his talents, but he wished to keep strictly
to opinions which he had deliberately considered. He begged
leave however to allude to one thing that had fallen from the
honourable gentleman, before be had done with his reply.
The honourable gentleman had talked of tests to members of
parliament being unconstitutional. He begged leave to say,
that though they had been talked of, they had not been adopt-
ed but in three places, Yorkshire, Middlesex, 'sand the city of
'Westminster. [Here Sir Joseph Alawbey said, and Surry.-i
Well, then, four places have agreed to tests. But, continued
he, suppose them general, is it remarkable that those who are
going to vote for members of parliament, should be desiro!is
of knowing the sentiments of the person they are to elect, upon
any particular and important subject that is to come under
parliamentary discussion? Take


the American war for in-
stance; it will serve the purpose of illustration as- ell as any
other subject; suppose then, a person is to give his vote
for a member of parliament at a general election, and that the
great subject of parliamentary discussion is, whether we should
go to war with America? Would it be uurrodsonable for the


elector to . endeavour to discover, whether the person he was
to vote for, was for or against the American war ? A test, then,
is only a means to come at the opinion of those we are to
choose for members of parliament.


He then went on to the discussion of the subject, as he had
54




264 MOTION AGAINgr IMOLVING PAIMIAMtNT. [April 24,
considered it independent of reply, in which he threw out a
•brcat variety of matter, both relati \:e to the propriety of the
motion, and the intention of ministers to frustrate the redress
of grievances, and establish arbitrary power ; and added many
observations on the means they had taken to vilify Opposition ;
together with many arguments to induce the 233 to vote with
h .


The ministry themselves, and their prostitute followers, he
said, had spared no pains, had scrupled at no means to tra.
duce, Calumniate, and lower the character of those who op.:
posed them. They had aimed their poisoned arrows at them
equally as public men and private individuals. They had
raked into every part of their lives to find some personal
weakness, in order to use it as an instrument of Calumny:
The follies of youth, and the foibles of age, had been held out


"i:to the public as the most enormous crimes. Some had been 4
abused for being too rich, others for being too poor. Even
the indiscretions of some had been 'Ought forward against
all as serious accusations. Nor had this task been undertaken
by the lowest of the tribe Of abusers; grave and distin 'wished
characters, men elevated in rank, and exalted in stati ; men
in high office had harangued a great assembly, on of the
highest assemblies in the kingdom, on those indiscretions.
The Earl of Hillsborough had done this. The Earl of Hills-
borough, who had reprobated the conduct of the House Of
Commons on the most important occasion, and who, when
perhaps the House of Commons most deserved the applause
and gratitude of the people at large, had deemed that conduct
the phreuzy of virtue, and virtue run mad, had contrasted a
public mischief with a private vice, and had set up the gaining
of individuals with their Own fortune, against the gaming of
public men with the public purse. He was as ready as any
man to own that gaming was a vice, but surely he had a right
to say, it was a vice countenanced by the fashion of the times,
a vice into which some of the greatest characters had given;
in the early part of their lives, and a vice which carried with
it its own punishment, and entailed a curse upon those who
were addicted to it. As public men, he said, Opposition had
been deemed a faction, and had been described as a faction of
the most Obnoxious kind ; a faction who were enemies to the
welfare of their country. At one time they were called Ame-
ricans, at another time Frenchmen, at another time Spaniards,
arid now the phrase was, that they were Dutchmen. In short,
they were at all times any thing but Englishmen !
- Having delivered the above in the most animated stile of


oratory, he declared, that he had been eleven years a member
*If parliament, and he had lived to see all . those principles that


13 -.


780.] MOTION AGAINST DISSOLVING PAELIAKENT. 265


he had been taught by the men who undertook
to instruct him


in his early youth, when he was yet to learn the duties of a
member of parliament, overturned and contradicted. When
he came into that House, the noble lord in the blue ribbontaught him to consider the privileges of the House of Com-
mons as the first and most necessary part of the constitution.
The noble lord had told him that the House was the palladium
of British liberty, 44 there it was that the rights of the
people were to be supported, and the privileges of the House
of Commons were to be maintained, and to be


kept up, be=
cause it was in that House that the liberties of the people of
Pena-land were to be preserved !" Good God, how had the
noble lord kept to that pAeiple ! . How basely had he


de-
serted that ground, and left the privileges of the House to be
trampled upon ! How was the doctrine changed with :re,
spect to the other House of Parliament ! , It was not manyyears since that House had solemnly voted it improper for
them to take into consideration any thing relative to the right
of the seat of a member of the House of Commons. How
had they changed their conduct and opinion by the rejection
of a bill that related to the members of the House of Com-
mons alone ! And if lie was to judge from the protest of theLords, on the rejection of the Contractors' bill, and he con-
ceived he was intitled to judge from that protest, the Lords
had rejected the bill upon reasons the most futile, the most
ill-founded, that could well be imagined : but did not every
part of that business chew that ministerial influence had in-
terfered, that the noble lord in the blue ribbon had rejected
that bill contrary to the sense of the majority of hereditary
and independent peers, and that the rejection had been car-1
vied by the Scotch lords and the bench of bishops? Gentle=
men argued about the right of the House of Lords ; they had
aright, but would it be permitted, would it be allowed:by that
House, would the other House dare to counteract the
wishes of the people in matters in which they themselves had
no concern ?


He said the vote of the 6th of April, that glorious vote
which established a foundation for the liberty of this country,
Could not be carried into execution without agreeing to the
present motion. He therefore argued, that the 233 gentle-
men who had voted that the influence of the crown had iits
creased, and ought to be diminished, must adopt the present
motion as the only means of carrying any thing in execution;
For what was the situation of those gentlemen and of that
House ?--.--They had pledged themselves in the most solenin
manner to redress the grievances complained of in the pee.;
tions of the people of England. Like the case of ,an




266 MOTION AGAINST DISSOLVING PARLIA1IENT. [April 24,
dual who enters into a bond to pay a sum of money, or incurs
a penalty, they had solemnly entered into a bond with the
people of England, to reduce the undue influence of the
crown, and to destroy that enormous overgrown corruption,
and the penalty, in case of non-performance, was a forfeiture
of the affections of the people of England. That most dread-
ful calamity, that most melancholy circumstance that could
attend a House of Commons, the loss of the affections of those
for whose advantage, and to promote whose happiness they
were chosen, would be the fatal consequence of not fulfilling
the conditions of the bond into which they had entered
But, said he, it is impossible that this can take place. ' Magna
est Veritas et pienvalebit'


• no truth of what that House had
determined, the solemn manner in which they had declared
influence too great, and consequently dangerous, must prevail
over every attempt to corrupt; and those who had solemnly
bound themselves to redress the grievances complained


cf,
would, in the end, overcome the purchased votes of a minister.


He answered the objections made to the motio on the
ground that it tended to an infringement on the 1v's pre-
rogative, by shewing, that so far from assuming ai power
derogatory to that prerogative, it fully acknowledged it; and
in reply to the argument urged against the motion, on the
idea that parliament might, if the motion were carried, con-
tinue sitting for two years together, lie said those fears wile
groundless and absurd, for that parliament would die a natural
death in October 1781; and as the motion only proposed that
the House should sit, till proper measures were taken to dimi-
nish the influence of the crown, and correct the other abuses
complained of in the petitions of the people ; it was in the
power of the House to put an end to the session, whenever it
pleased, and if heartily and sincerely disposed to listen to the
voice of the people, a very short time would suffice for effect-
ing all that was necessary.


There was an old precept, lie said, which in one sense was
profoundly wise and admirable, but which in that in which ad-
ministration practised it, he detested as the most destructive
and wicked principle of government. In the opposite sense,
in that in which he could explain it, lie revered and respected
it as one of the best maxims that could direct the conduct of
mankind. Divide et impe


•a, in the common acceptation of
the words, and as those who advised his majesty had adopted
them, was the miserable principle to which he traced back all
the innumerable calamities of this unfortunate reign. It was
to that diabolical principle of divide and conquer, as practised,,
not against the enemies but the friends of the constitution,
that had produced our present situation, which a noble lord


7 8 0.3
MOTION AGAINST DISSOLVING PARLIAMENT. 267


(Earl Nugent) who spoke early, so well described—a ruinous
war, a bankrupt treasury', and an impaired constitution I
But as he would explain it, it was a principle that would estab-
lisli freedom, maintain the constitution, and promote the hap-
piness of England. To divide the good from the bad, to sepa-
•ate those who loved the constitution from those who abused it,
to divide the uncorrupted and the virtuous from the bought
and corrupted, to divide those who loved freedom, from those
who wished the establishment of despotism—su ch a division,
forming an union of the great and good, would lay the foun-
dation for all those reformations that' were necessary to re-
store the freedom of an impaired constitution. But the wicked
system (a system as weak as it is wicked) of those who had
divided every other part of the empire, and now wished the
division of the people of England, in order to maintain that
fatal power which had cursed this country, and reduced it to
its present melancholy situation, was to be withstood. He
trusted, therefore, that 233 honest and unbought men would -
not allow themselves upon this occasion to be operated upon
by that weak and wicked maxim, but that pledged as they
were to the people, they would fulfil every engagement they
had brought themselves under.


He interspersed these observations with frequent replies to
Mr. Adam, particularly upon the argument he had made use
of to chew, . that the negativing the present question did not
infer a necessity of adopting the measure of immediate disso-
lution or prorogation. This he answered by saying, that it
did however leave an administration, hostile in every point
to the petitions of the people, with the power of prorogation
and dissolution in their hands, if they chose to make use of it.
He likewise made some observations upon annual parliaments
and increased representation, not supporting them, though at
the same time not condemning them, but rather stating that
the present motion was unconnected with that consideration.
He then went again into the doctrine of the popularity and
unpopularity of Opposition ; he reprobated the attempts of
ministers to abuse them by means of the press, and thanked
God they had overcome all their calumnies, and were now
as popular as their enemies wished them the reverse. He
said, with respect to the . American business, he rather be-
lieved that they had not acted at first altogether agreeably
to the popular opinion ; but if they were 4


that ground an
Unpopular opposition, he gloried in the circumstance, if he
considered it as a party man, but he regretted it as an English-
man. Had not every event proved, had not the conviction of
that House, had not the conviction of the country, and the
scandalous disgrace of the present ministers, who had given





268 MOTION AGAIN-ST DISSOLVING PARLIAMENT. [April 24.
un,every point they had formerly contended for, proved, that
though unpopular, they were right in all their opinions ? The
glory of Opposition, therefore, was the disgrace and ruin of
Great Britain ; points which every true Englishman must re-
.gard with horror, and in whose eyes all ideas of popularity
must appear insignificant, and trifling indeed, when seriouslY
compared. This ground he laboured with his usual vehe--
mence and ability, and concluded for the motion, as being so
material for the great object the House had pledged itself to,
that he could not bring himself to believe that it would be
refused.


The motion was reprobated by Lord George Germain, as an
proper mode of abridging the royal prerogative. Mr. Dundas
ridiculed it as a recruiting officer sent out by Opposition to beat up
for grievances, and enlist motions. At eleven o'clock the House
divided.
YEAS .Sir .1 ames LOwther}Mr. GascoyneMr. Byng


203.--
NOES {Mt. Robinson 254.


Mr. DUnning's motion was consequently negatived.


As soon as the members were told into the House, sev(,.ral gen,
tlemen repaired to the table, to settle the orders relati o tlieit
respective propositions before the House ; among the fest Dir.
Dunning moved, that the committee of the whole House, to take
the petitions of the people into consideration, be deferred till that
day sennight ; and Mr. Burke,that the committee on the civil list
bill be deferred till Friday next. The House began to thin apace,
particularly from the Opposition side ; when


Mr. Fox rose. He said he had a few words to o14'er, which
he wished gentlemen who acted with him should hear before
they went away. He said, the call of the House, which stood
for that day, and.Which Ire promised to have strictly enforced,
would, he believed, be better postponed, as numbers had quit-
ted the House, forgetting that their presence was necessary
while their names were calling over. He had resolved, in his
own mind, to move the order of the day should his learned
frienWs motion be negatived ; but as he understood that his
learned friend had moved to have the committee on the peti-
tions deferred till Monday next, he thought it better to make
one further trial, as well out of respect to his learned friend
and some other gentlemen who had taken an active part in the
petitions, as to give those gentlemen who had separated from
their friends on the question just decided, an opportunity of
fully and unequivocally declaring their real sentiments; for he
could not believe that it was


. possible for those who supported
the resolutions of the 6th of April, no sufficient Cause nOf.


_90,1 MOTION AGAINST DISSOLVING PARLIAAIENT.'


'269
-J


colour or shadow' of apology intervening, to desert and. repre,
bate the principles which they maintained on that ever memor-
able night.


He was proceeding, but during the whole time he was on his
legs there prevailed a shameful disorder in the House, great num-
bers. standing and talking on the floor, and about the table. Sir
Thomas Frankland during this confusion called frequently to order,
_as did likewise the Speaker, but, to little or no effect. At length
Sir Thomas called on the Chair to exercise its authority, and if pos-
sible to restore order. The Speaker then called on every side of
the House with great vehemence ; commanded the serjeant to
clear the bar, and insisted that gentla}nen should take their places.
Order was not yet restored; at length


Mr. Fox rose, and the members taking their places, as he
entreated an hearing, he said, since he had first sat in that
House he never felt himself so hurt, mortified, and filled with
indignant resentment as he had done that night; so much so,
that, but for the circumstance already alluded to, relative to his
learned friend, and his adjourning over the committee, he, for
one, was determined, so far as related to himself; to adjourn




over the business of the present session, and never more enter
that House, so long as the majority entertained similar senti,
ments to those they apparently embraced by the vote they had
given that night. It was a scandalous, treacherous and disgrace-
ful vote [called to order by .the Treasury-bench.] He did not
mean to say that it was scandalous or disgraceful in those who
opposed the vote of the Gth of April to oppose the address
moved by his learned friend; on the contrary, he thought
they acted consistently, like men. Most .clearly those 215
gentlemen who declared their opinion that the influence of
the crown was not increased, and ought not to be diminished,
had pursued an open, direct, and consistent conduct .: they
differed from him ; he was sorry for it ; but they differed from
him upon principle. They declared roundly and expressly
what they thought upon the subject ; and they would- have
been guilty of the most shameful versatility had they abandoned
that principle which they had so recently avowed. But who
could contemplate, but with a, mixture of surprize .and indig-
nation, the conduct of another set of men in that House, who
on the same night resolved that the influence of the crown was
increased, and ought to be diminished, and that the grievances
and complaints of the people ought to bvedressed ; and who
pledged themselves to that House, to theliation, to their tong
stituents, to the people at large, and to themselves, that it was
their duty to redress_ the grievances complained of; but who
QD, the, only two occasions that offe,red, shamefully fled from




270 moTioN AGAINST*DLSSOLVING PARLIAMENT. [April 24.
that solemn engagement, by rejecting the means proposer
It was shameftil, it was base, it was unmanly, it was trea-
cherous


. The gentlemen he alluded to surrounded him;
they sat on his side of the House; he was sorry for it.
They were those who voted with him on the 6th of April,
and who voted with the minister that night. No man held
those who were at the devotion of the minister in greater
contempt than he did; they were slaves of the worst kind,
because they sold themselves; yet, base as the tenure of
their places was, they had one virtue to pride themselves
on, that of fidelity, gratitude, and consistency; to all their
other demerits they had not added the absurdity and trea-
chery of one day resolving an opinion to be true, and the
next of declaring it to be a falsehood. They had not taken
in their patron, or their friends, with false hopes, and delu-
sive promises. Whatever their motives or sentiments might
be, they had adhered to them, and so far as that went their
conduct was entitled to his approbation. He could forgive
the man he saw voting regularly with the minister, through
thick and thin, upon every question; he could behold hint,
in his servile state, with pity, he could forgive him for cringing di
and bowing at the levee of the prince or the minis Ar, without
exciting in his breast any other sentiment; but c the other
hand, when he beheld the conduct of some men, affecting
different principles, supporting a minister who had very fitirly,
he would acknowledge, opposed and denied that the influence
of the crown was increased, and ought to be diminished, it
filled him with horror. 'What breast but must be filled with
the warmest resentment and the keenest contempt to see those
who pretended that the complaints of the people ought to .be
redressed, that the influence of the crown had increased ;
who had pledged themselves that they would reduce one, .-and
remove the cause of the other, vote in a majority with those
who denied that either existed, •and that the petitions were
only fabricated by faction, and ought not to be attended to
He was at a loss for words by which he could give vent to
what he felt on the occasion. Why had not those who voted
on the 6th of April in the majority,. explained themselves?
If they approved of the general tendency of the resolutions,
why had they not proposed some effective Measures? Why
had not they described the fabric they meant to raise, or
which they wished to have erected on that basis ? Why did
not they, when propositions were moved, which' they could
not approve of, manfully stand forth in support of their own
sentiments, and declare to those who united in opinion upon
the general declarations contained in the resolutions, thefl
moved and carried;- ct We agree with y014.


respecting .
the


j,; SQ.] MOTION AGAINST DISSOLVING PARLIAMENT. 274


ground-work, but as to the propositions you would raise upon
it, we differ totally with you. We meant this, and not that ;
we will agree with you in such and such measures, but we
must dissent from those you now offer." This, in his appre-
hension, would have exculpated them from all blame; would
have wiped away all suspicion. A difference of opinion might
arise, but it would be such a difference as was agreeable to
that liberty of assent and dissent which every man was entitled
to, whose opinion could be deemed free. But, to agree to
certain general propositions, and to refuse to propose any
effective ones, or agree to those affixed, was a paradox, he
believed, in party and politic. It was taking in their friends.
He was taken in, deluded, and imposed on. [A loud laugh
from the opposite benches.] fie acknowledged it; for, in
his conscience, he thought the assistance of such men did
more harm than good. It tended to lull the nation into a
dangerous security, to impose on the petitioners, and, in
short, to spread through the nation every species of popular
delusion.


He thought it his duty, while on his legs, to declare, that
the defection which heha'd alluded to, originated chiefly among
the county members, many of them of great weight and respect ;
but however high they might stand in the estimation of their
friends in their counties, or in that House, he should ever
judge of men by their conduct, and not by their professions.
He doubted not but they had their reasons for voting contrary
on one day to what they had resolved the preceding. The
last vote, most probably, was agreeable to their real senti-
ments ; the vote of the 6th of April was to answer ends
merely personal. We were on the eve of a general election ;
the gentlemen alluded to would soon go down to their consti-
tuents: the first and most natural question would be, " What
have you dope in consequence of our petitions ? Is the in-
fluence of the crown diminished? What redress have you
procured for us? Has a more econominal expenditure of the
public money been determined upon and adopted? Have
our burdens been lightened ? Are all useless - and sinecure
places abolished? And have you established a reform in the
expences of the king's household?" " No: but look at the
resolutions Of the 6th of April; you will there find that I and
my colleague have voted, that the influence of the crown has
increased and ought to be diminished; you will find it likewise
resolved, on the same day,by me and 232 other friends of their
country, that it was our duty to redress thekrievances stated
in the petitions." He trusted, however, that such gross ter-
giversation would never pass without detection, nor fail to be
followed by-the indignant contempt with which it deserved to




271 MOTION AGAINST DISS.OLVING PARLIAMENT.
"[April-24,


be treated.. He did not yet despair but the people would not
only continue to see their own interest, which they had already
done, but that they would besides know how to -distinguish
between their open friends and fbes, and learn to discover
their worst of enemies,—their concealed ones. From their
open ones they had nothing to fear or hope : by their secret
and determined enemies . they might be deceived ; they had
been often betrayed by them ; but he hoped they would not
be able to do it now, by votes which meant nothing if not
followed up by efficient measures, and worse than nothing,
when thus shamefully abandoned almost in the very instant in
which they were given.




For his part, 'he was determined, after Monday next, to
absent himself from that House. He would make one trial,
one effort more, in expectation that those who had deserted
their principles would endeavour to retrieve their public cha-
racter. If that last effort should miscarry, he should then
know what to do ; he would exert himself without these wails,
as he had continued to do within them, as long as he ex-
pected that any benefit could be derived from it. He pm-
sumed his learned friend would propose some measure which i,
would come in the form of an ultimate test; for his part, he
should propose none himself, though he would support any
which might be proposed, to the best of his abilities. If this
last trial should meet with a similar flute to that of his learned
friend's motion that night, he would quit thaHouse, and


INleave ministers responsible for the consequent s. [A great
cry of hear ! hear !] He was persuaded that the gentlemen
who cried out so vociferously in the exultation of victory,
hear ! hear ! would be very glad of it ; but he begged leave to
assure those gentlemen, that not one of them wished more
sincerely for such an emancipation from a fruitless attendance
there than lie did. If those gentlemen, however, imagined
that his future conduct would be directed to measures pro- *
motive of public confusion, they were very much mistaken ;
the people had resources still left; they were furnished by the
constitution. A general election was approaching, and then
the people, by the choice they might make, would have it in
their power to obtain that redress, by sending only such
representatives to parliament as entertained sentiments cone
genial to their own. There would be no occasion for armed
committees or warlike associations. The constitution was not
so imperfect as to compel men to take arms in support and
defence of their rights; the means which a general election
gave them were strictly consonant to peace and good order;
and if those means were resorted to, and judiciously and
firmly exerted, he did not despair; nay, he was perfectly


1780.] MOTION AGAINST DISSOLVING PARLIAMENT. 273


convinced, that the next parliament would give that redress
to the complaints of the people which every good and inde-
pendent man wished for, and which it would not be in the
power of the influence of the crown to defeat or prevent.


Lord North extended the protection of his eloquence to those
who had drawn on themselves this severe attack. He said, Mr.
Fox's language was such as no provocation could justify ; it was
indecent and improper ; an invective, and not a parliamentary
speech. He bantered the leader of Opposition with considerable
humour and effect, on his irritability at finding himself in a mino-
rity again, after having, for a short moment of his life, been in a
majority, and contrasted it with his own philosophical calmness,
when he stood in so unexpected and novel a situation. He did
not think himself justified in rising in the anguish of defeat and
disappointment, and accusingothose who had frequently voted
with him, of baseness, treachery, versatility, and other improper
motives, and he advised Mr. Fox not to be, for the future, so
rash and hasty,


Mr. Fox rose to explain what he meant by the words base,
scandalous, and disgraceful, as applying to the vote given by
those on the 6th of April who divided against the motion made
that . night by his learned friend. He said, when he made
use of those epithets, he applied them in this, and in this way
only. He did not mean to say that they bad acted disgrace-
fully, shamefully, &c. that night ; he meant to convey this
idea, that the gentlemen who voted on the 6th of April, that
the influence of the crown had increased, and ought to be
diminished, and that it was the duty of that House to redress
the grievances complained of in the petitions, were bound and
stood publicly pledged to perform one or the other of these
two things ; to support such measures as might be suggested
in consequence of those resolutions; or if they appeared to be
such as they could not conscientiously vote in support of,
that then they were bound to propose some other resolutions
or measures, conformably to the ideas they entertained when
they gave the vote of the 6th of April. If they refused to do
that, or neglected in time to do it, so as that the measure pro-
posed might at the late period of the session have a fair pros-
pect of passing into a law before any prorogation or dissolution
of parliament should take place ; in such a possible event lie
was prepared to re-assert and repeat, that a conduct of that
kind amounted to an abandonment of their declared principles,
of their solemn promises plighted in that House to their con-
stituents and the people at large ; and in trla light were
scandalous, base, treacherous, shameful, and disgraceful.


VOL. I.




2 74 BILL FOR SHORTENING [May 8.


BILL FOR SHORTENING THE DURATION OF PARLIAMENTS.


May 8.


expence ?


every honest, independent country gentleman, if tie minister
'WAS


to have the power of starting a court candida against him
every year, or every three years ? What fortune Could bear tha


many great families even now were ruined by_their endeavours to
get into that House, and had spent their whole fortunes in election
contests ? Was it to be learnt how hard would be the case of


was not confined within those walls ; if it were, we should be a
great and happy people. It was the influence of the crown with-


was the great source of influence. Had gentlemen forgot how


Mr. Thomas Pitt said he was fully convinced, that, so far from
diminishing the influence of the crown, annual or triennial parlia-
ments would considerably increase it. The influence of the crown


out doors that was so alarming. The increased public revenue


to, as totally impracticable in the present state of public affairs.


would principally be engaged with soliciting votes, and making
interest against the next election. Annual parliaments he objected


wholly in hearing petitions on elections; in the second year the
House would be able to do business; and in the third, the members


for the counties ? And if they were not, the power of the crown,


either annual or triennial. He had converse4 with Mr. Speaker


and that great man had told him the proposition was an absurd at-
one ; because it' it were adopted, the first year would be taken up


he said, would be considerably increased, if parliaments were


then to take away from the crown the right of appointing sheriffs


Onslow on the subject of triennial parliaments some years ago,


Nugent opposed the motion, and asked if they were prepared just
1'1'1 in a bill for shortening the duration of parliaments. Earl
X fi, R. ALDERMAN SAWBRIDGE moved for leave to bring


a


Mr. Fox said he should be under the necessity of speaking
more fully to the present question than he otherwise would
do, because, as he had for years voted uniformly against the
question, and as he meant now to vote for it, it was due to the
House, and due to his own character, that he should state
the reasons of this difference of conduct. He said, he re-
vered those wise and great men who brought in the Septennial
Bill; because the principle on which they acted, in promoting
that measure, was every way laudable, and every way justi-
fiable. At the time of the passing of this bill, the House of
Brunswick had been just called to the throne, by the una-
nimous voice of the people, in defence of their liberties, and
in order to protect them from the alarming attempts of a
pretender, whose family was deservedly become odious ,for
their tyranny, and by their repeated endeavours to subvert


1THE DURATION OF PARLIAMENTS. 2757 80.]
the constitution, to change the religion of the country, and to
bury the liberties of the people under the fabric of arbitrary
power, which it had been their constant wish to introduce and
to erect. George the First was a prince beloved by both
Houses of parliament, and looked up to as their guardian and
protector ; it was very natural, under these circumstances,
to take every precaution to keep out a third person, a pre-
tender to the throne, and to maintain the House of Bruns-
wick in possession of it. With this view it was, that the three
branches of the legislature had agreed to take such measures
as were most likely to exclude the pretender. And what
measure could promise to be more effectual than the passing
of the Septennial Bill ? 6Thereby keeping together that Par-
liament who were so well disposed towards George the First,
and who doubtless had no idea that a day could ever come
when the liberties of the people would be in danger from the
House of Brunswick; who5lever could suppose that the in-.
fluence of the crown would be SO, increased in the reign of a
prince of that House, that it should be voted by the House
of Commons, that it had increased, was increasing, and ought
to be diminished. They had therefore acted wisely, and he
had ever admired and revered such men. It was from this
admiration and this reverence, that he had uniformly voted
against shortening the duration of parliament. But what was
the case now ? The people of England, in whom the sole
right of the duration of parliament lay, called upon that House
to shorten it. The people of England made this requisition—
a requisition which they alone could make, and which, like
every other requisition that came from the same quarter, he
should ever hold himself bound to comply with, and to obey.


He then answered Lord Nugent's question about the she-
riff's,, and said, undoubtedly if the bill now moved for should
be passed, an act must necessarily pass to make that altera-
tion. He also turned off the objection urged by Mr. Pitt,
relative to the frequency of elections, and the enormous ex-
pellee which would unavoidably follow to private families,
and honest and independent men, if parliaments were chosen
either annually or triennially; skewing, that even now par-
liaments had no-certain time of duration, for that it was in
the power of government to put an end to them, whenever it
should be most for the purpose of government so to do ; and
that consequently government might harass individuals at
present, as much as they could do then. One of the argu-
ments upon which Mr. Fox principally rested was, that an-
nual parliaments would lessen the influence of the d4own,
declaring, that if any of his constituents were to ask him what


T 2 e




276 BILL FOR THE • RELIF.F OF ROMAN CATHOLICS. [June
„our present misfortunes were ascribeable to ? he should say,
the first cause was the influence of the crown, the second, the
influence of the crown, and .the third, the influence of the
crown ; to that, and that:.only, in his mind,. could it be owing,
that au unpopular and unsuccessful ministry, whose i neasm.eshad ruined their country, kept their offices. He ridiculed
Mr. Onslow's opinion as stated by Lord Nugent, and said,
that the noble lord's whole speech was a sample of that con-


. temptuous conduct, which ministry assumed whenever they
thought themselves secure; their way constantly was to be
afraid, when they first heard of any thing that looked like
danger approaching them, and as soon as they began to think
themselves safe, to turn the object of their former terror into
derision. So it was with the petitions of the people ; at first
nothing could be more humble than the language of ministers


,
respecting them ; they had promised every thing ; but now
having again their majority, they affected to laugh at, and
to deride that, which they had most seriously dreaded.


The motion was also supported by Colonel Barre and Mr. Tho-
mas Townshend. Lord North, Mr. Rigby, and Mr. Burke spoke
againstit. After which the douse divided;


Tellers.
Tellers.Mr. SawbridgeYEAS


Sir Ralph Payne 1 s2.Mr.Byng
9°'
t Mr. Robinson SSo it passed in the negative.


lo• n•n•nn
•,,,........./em•vent,resssiweva


REPEAL OF THE BILL FOR THE RELIEF OF ROMAN CATHOLICS.


June 20.


THE House resolved itself into a committee of the whole House
•,to take into consideration the numerous petitions against the


act of the 18th of his present majesty, intituled, " An Act for
relieving his majesty's subjects professing the popish religion, from
certain penalties and disabilities, imposed on them by an act
made in the I Ith and 12th of the reign of Williamthe 3d, intituled,
An Act for the further preventing the growth of popery." In
order to quiet the minds, and to remove the apprehensions, of
such well-meaning but ill-informed persons, as might be among
the petitioners, the- following resolutions were moved by Lord
Beauchamp; " That it is the opinion of this committee, that
the effect and operation of the act passed in the z8th year of the
reign of his present majesty, intituled, " An Act for relieving his
majesty's subjects professing the popish religion, from certain


1780.] BILL FOR THE RELIEF OF ROMAN CATHOLICS. 277


penalties and disabilities, imposed on them by an act made in
the mith and Lath years of the reign of King William the 3d,
intituled, An Act for the further preventing the growth of popery,"
had been misrepresented and misunderstood. a. That the said
Ref, passed in the 13th year of the reign of his present majesty,
does not repeal or alter, or in any manner invalidate or render
ineffectual, the several statutes made to prohibit the exercise of
the popish religion, previous to the statute of the I fth and math
years of King William the 3d. 3. That no ecclesiastical or spi-
ritual jurisdiction or authority is given, by the said act of the
18th year of the reign of his present majesty, to the Pope or the
See of Rome. 4. That this House does, and ever will, watch
over the interests of the protestant religion with the most un-
remitted attention ; and that all attempts to seduce the youth of
this kingdom from the established church to popery, are highly
criminal according to the laws in force, and are a proper subject
of further regulation. S. That all endeavours to disquiet the
minds of the people, by misrepresenting the said act of the 18th
year of the reign of his present majesty. as inconsistent with the
safety, or irreconcileable to the principles of the protestant reli-
gion, have a manifest tendency to disturb the public peace, to
break the union necessary at this time, to bring dishonour on the
national character, to discredit the protestant religion in time eyes
of other nations, and to furnish occasion for the renewal of the
persecution of our protestant brethren in other countries." There
was rather much discourse than debate upon the subject, very
little having been said on the part of the petitions. The question
was, however, solemnl y, and very largely spoken to, and with the
greatest eloquence. The chief speakers were Lord North, Lord.
Beauchamp, Sir George Savile, Mr. Wilkes, Mr. Burke, and Mr.
Fox. These two latter spoke for three hours each. For the first
time they all spoke on the same side ; and supported the doctrine
of toleration, on grounds much larger than those on which the bill
complained of stood. - In the course of the debate,


Mr. Fox said, that his objection to the House of Stuart,.
had he lived at the period of the revolution, would have been,
not because that House had embraced popery, but because
popery had embraced the House of Stuart ; that the latter was
supported in its attempts on the liberties of the nation, by po-
pery in general. But now there were no such dangers to be
apprehended; the pretender was out of the question ; besides,
every papist was obliged to abjure the pope in ternporals, be-
fore he could avail himself of indulgencies. He could not
think the-vopish religion incompatible -with government, nor
civil liberty; because, in looking round the world, he saw
that in Switzerland, where democracy reigned universally in
the fullest manner, it flourished most in cantons professing
that religion. He was a friend to universal toleration, and
an enemy to thAt narrow way of thinking, that made men come


T 3




278 ADDRESS ON THE KING'S SPEECH.
[Nov. I .


to parliament, not for the removal of some great grievances
which they themselves felt, but to desire parliament to shackle
and fetter their fellow subjects. He wished to know the
number and sort of names affixed to the petitions which de-
sired persecution, and called upon the House fbr an exercise
of its judgment merely, instead of desiring grievances of their
own to be removed. He wished to know who the petitioners
were. He observed that many signed their marks; and
saw that men who could neither read nor write, found their
blood fired that a Roman Catholic should read and write !
He confessed he had no predilection for the signatures of the
clergy ; for he was convinced, that if at the period of the re-
formation their opinions could have decided, we should have
had no reformation ! It was not likely that men whose inte-
rests in general were against the reform, should have been
eager to obtain it. He went through a variety .of reasons in
favour of general toleration, and declared himself against the
repeal of the bill, and against every thing that had the least
tendency to bridle and restrain liberty of conscience.


The resolutions were agreed to by the committee, and Sir
George Savile was instructed to move the House, for leave to
bring in a bill for affording security to the protestant religion from
any encroachments of popery, by more effectually restraining pa-
pists, or persons professing the popish religion, from teaching, or
taking upon themselves the education or government of the chil-
dren of protestants. The bill passed the Commons, but was
thrown out by the Lords as unnecessary.


MR. THOMAS GRENVILLE'S AMEND3IENT TO THE ADDRESS
ON THE KING'S SPEECH AT THE OPENING OP THE
SESSION.


November I.
THE King opened the New Parliament with the following


Speech to both Houses:
" My Lords and Gentlemen ; It is with More than ordinary sa-


tisfaction that I meet you in Parliament, at a time, when the late
elections may afford me an opportunity of receiving the most cer-
tain information of the disposition and the wishes of my people, to
which I am always inclined to pay the utmost attention and regard.
—The present arduous situation of public affitirs is well known ;
the whole force and faculties of the monarchies of Fr


• ice andSpain are drawn forth, and exerted to the utmost to support the


1780.] ADDRESS 03 THE RING'S SPEECH.
279


rebellion in my colonies in
North America, and, without the least


provocation or cause of complaint,, to attack my dominions ; andthe undisguised object of this confederacy manifestly is to gratify
boundless ambition, by destroying the commerce, and giving a
fatal blow to the power of Great Britain.—By the force which the
last Parliament put. into my hands, and by the blessing of Divine
Providence on the bravery of my fleets and armies, I have been
enabled to withstand the formidable attempts of my enemies, and
to frustrate the great expectations they had formed ; and the signal
successes which have attended the progress of my arms in theto t


prho-
vinces of Georgia and Carolina, gained with so much honour e
conduct and courage of my officers, and to the valour and intrepi-
dity of my troops, which have e qualled their highest character in
any age, will, I trust, have important consequences in bringing
the war to a happy conclusion. It is my most earnest desire to
see this great end accomplished ; but I am confident you will agree
with me in opinion, that we can only secure safe and honourable
terms of peace by such powerful and respectable preparations,
shall convince our enemies, that we will not submit to receive the
law from any powers whatsoever, and that we are united in a firm
resolution to decline no difficulty, or hazard, in the defence of our
country, and for the preservation of our essential interests.


" Gentlemen of the House of Commons ; I have ordered the
estimates for the ensuing year to be laid before you. I see and
feel, with great anxiety and concern, that the various services of
the war must, unavoidably, be attended with great and heavy ex-
pellees ; but I desire you to grant me such supplies only, as your
own security and lasting welfare, and the exigency of affairs, shall
be found to require.


" My Lords, and Gentlemen ; I repose an entire confidence in
the zeal and affections of this Parliament, conscious that, during
the whole course of my reign, it has been the constant object of my
care, and the wish of my heart, to promote the true interests and
happiness of all my subjects, and to preserve inviolate our excellent
constitution in church and state."


An Address, adding the usual reassertion of all the propositions
contained in the above speech, and such compliments as the events
of the day suggested, was moved for by Mr. De Grey, and se-
conded by Sir Richard Sutton. An amendment was moved by
Mr. Thomas Grenville, and seconded by Colonel Richard Fitzpa-
trick, proposing to leave out the whole address, excepting the
complimentary part, and to substitute in the place of the subse-
quent clauses these words, " That in this arduous conjuncture we
are determined to unite our efforts for the defence of this our
country ; and we beg leave to assure your majesty, that we will de-
cline no difficulty or hazard in preserving the essential interests of
this kingdom." The amendment was opposed by Mr. Pulteney, Sir
Horace Mann, Mr. Welbore Ellis, and Lord George Germain ;
and supported by Mr. Thomas Townshend, Mr. Fox, Admiral
Keppel, General Smith, and Alderman Newnham. The friends
of administration inferred topics of consolation from the heteroge-


T 4




280 ADDRESS ON THE KINGS SPEECH. [Nov. r.


neous combination of France and Spain with America; the impossi-bility of cordiality in such an union, or of happy results to a
cause, supposed to be that of liberty and the protestant rel igion,
when protected only by bigoted catholics, and powers from
whose vocabulary the word ''freedom was expunged. It was re-
presented as a great advantage that England was without allies
since no league against a power compact within itself, and combin
ing its energies by unanimity of council, had ever yet been crown
ed with success. The contest with America was represented a
more prosperous than at any previous period since the convention
of Saratoga. General Smith denied the assertion : the circurn
stances of the country, he said, were infinitely worse ; and, since
the affair of Trenton, every military man had clearly discerned,
that all attempts to subdue America were fruitless prodigalities of
blood and treasure.


Mr. Fox rose just as the question was about to be put;
and, in a speech of considerable length, went over the whole
ground of complaint which had been urged by Opposition
the
against the Kings servants, as well respecting the conduct of


American war, as with regard to a great variety of other
topics.


He began with observing, that the amendment moved and
secondedbegan his two honourable friends, had been very ably
supported by them ; and that no answer whatever, at least
nothing like an argument, had been advanced against it. The
best thing that had been attempted to be urged in support of
the address, was what had fallen from the right honourable
gentleman over the way (Mr. Welbore Ellis), namely, that it
was something like the amendment. That, however, certainly
was not a sufficient reason to induce the House to prefe\\Ahe
address to the amendment, if they meant to convince the peo-
ple at large that they were governed by reason -and fair argu-
ment, and not by private motives, and that undue influence,
which the last parliament, almost in its last moments, had
declared "had increased, was increasing, and ought to be
diminished." The address, he said, it was true, did not
directly pledge the House to go on with the American war,
but considered altogether, it amounted pretty nearly to that
idea. Ministers had thought proper to word it differently
from the address agreed to by the other House on the ist
instant. The lords in their address, had expressly declared
their readiness to go on with the war. Ministers had shewn
so much deference to that House, that they had not in the
address which had been then read, pledged the House
directly; but then gentlemen would observe, that in a subse-
quent paragraph, the matter was brought in ; and upon the
whole, there was sufficient cause for suspicion and distrust,


780.3 ADDRESS ON THE KING'S SPEECH.


281
1


sufficient cause to fear that ministers meant to plunge this
country deeper in ruin, than they had already sunk it, by a
continuance of that mad war.With regard to the King's speech, which for the sake of
freedom of debate, was properly termed the speech of the
minister, was there in it one gleam of comfort, one hope, or
the least prospect of better conduct in the King's servants ?-
Did it not begin with assuring parliament, that his majesty
wished to know the sense of his people, and in the same para-
graph,- did it not contain the greatest mockery and insult
upon the people, by telling them that his majesty hoped to
receive the information he wished for through the medium of
the late elections ? Were those elections free? Was the disso-
lution previously announced, the time of it properly chosen?
He hoped to God this circumstance would become the subject
of an enquiry in that House, and that ir might be known
which of the Kings servants it was, who had dared to advise
his majesty to dissolve 'his parliament just when the dissolution
took place : a time when most gentlemen were taken by sur-
prize. To him, indeed, it had no such effect: he had long
accustomed himself to watch the measures of administration,
he knew the ministers thoroughly, he understood their de-
signs, and he was aware, that if one moment was less pro-
pitious to the people, and to the freedom of election, than
another, that was the moment most likely to be chosen by
them for the dissolution of parliament. He had, therefore,
expected it even before it happened, and he should not have
wondered, if it had taken place in the midst of the harvest.
As it was, it took place when the majority of that House,
especially of those who had uniformly opposed and reprobated
the mad and destructive measures of ministers, were in camp,
and at a considerable distance from the places they repre-
sented; so that instead of consulting the wishes of the people,
instead of rendering it as little injurious to the internal peace
and quiet of the kingdom as possible, .ministers had taken
pains to render the dissolution of parliament as calamitous an
event as could have happened.


As to the beginning of the address, he said, he had no ob-
jection to congratulate his majesty on the increase of his
domestic happiness. Long might his domestic enjoyments
continue to increase ! They were the only enjoyments his
majesty possessed. Unfortunate in every other respect, un-
fortunate abroad, and unfortunate in the conduct of civil of airs
at home, he was happy in domestic life ; and on this happi-
ness in his family, he would congratulate his majesty sincerely..
But at the present moment of embarrassment and distress,
when the brightest jewel was torn from his diadem, when




282 ADDRESS ON THE KING'S SPEECH.


[Nov.


America was dissevered from the British empire, never to be
re-united; when discord and dissention raged among these
parts of the empire which yet remained, but which seemed
prepared for revolt, to approach the throne with gratalatory
addresses, was not loyalty, but cruel mockery and insult. But
what said the honourable gentlemen over the way? "Will
you refuse to acknowledge, with gratitude, the blessings we
enjoy under his majesty's government ?" How long, replied
Mr. Fox, shall the sacred shield of majesty be interposed for
the protection of a weak administration ? ' This word majesty
was a kind of hocus pocus word, which was turned into all
shapes, and made subservient to ever y


legerdemain trick,
and every illusion which convenience dictated. If by the
" blessing of his majesty's government" were understood his
majesty's virtues, he was ready to acknowledge his majesty's
personal virtues with respect and with reverence. But if by
the blessings of his government he was to understand the acts
and projects of his majesty's ministers, he detested and repro-
bated them. The present reign had been one continued
series of disgrace, misfortune, and calamity. What blessings
were we called upon to recognize in the address? First, the
happy effectof this new parliament, in giving his majesty an
opportunity of knowing the sentiments of his people. As an
honourable friend of his had asked, was there no trick, no:
deceit used in order to garble a new parliament ? In words,
ministers disclaimed the abridgement of the duration of sep-
tennial parliaments; in actions they approved it. He did not
expect ever to see a septennial parliament die a natural death.
Six years ago he had the honour to sit in that House, when
the subject of debate was precisely the same that it waYthat 4
night, namely, the justice and expediency of prosecuting the t,
American war; and he made no doubt, but that if he should
have the honour to sit in the next parliament six years hence,
at the opening of it, the same subject would he under discus-
sion. It would have been presumption in him to have made
such a prediction six years ago, and nobody would have cre-
dited him. Past experience now made it no longer so, and
therefore he scrupled not to prophesy, that if the war wasjcontinued, its propriety and its expediency would be the sub-ect of discussion on the first opening of the next parliament.
What had we gained by the American war in that period ?
We had exchanged Boston for New-York, and Philadel-
phia, the capital of Virginia, for Charles Town, the capital
of South Carolina. Oh. ! but we-had gained of late a most
signal victory at Camden. Generals Gates and Sumpter had
been routed by Lord Cornwallis and Colonel Tarleton.
These victories were but omens and forerunners of greater


to


1780.] ADDRESS ON THE KING'S SPEECH, 283


ones. Such was our sanguine expectation, when in the be-
dinning of the war the British troops defeated the Ameri-
cans on Long Island. The success of Brandywine was to
be followed by the immediate reduction of the provinces,
and not a rebel was to be seen in all the continent of North


jcat e-.akin of Ticonderoga was a splendid affair; and
AnTtelie


that, too, was to be followed by the most important conse-
quences. The event perpetually belied our sanguine pre-
dictions, yet now, with all our experience, we talked of fol-
lowing up with alacrity, our late victory in Carolina. That
victory was a glorious one, he readily allowed, to the general
officer, and all the officers and British troops who gained it;
but the glory of that victory was due to the army only, and
the disgrace of reducing Lord Cornwallis to that dangerous
situation which made his victory a miracle,Joias the minister's.
The only fruit of the reduction of Charles Town, was the
dangerous situation that led necessarily to the engagement.
The success of that engagement was owing to the army.
That affair seemed farther alarming to him in another point
of view. It was a proof that the majority of the Americans
were not, as had been said, friendly to this country; but, on
the contrary, that they were almost unanimously attached to
the cause of Congress. For no sooner did General Gates ap-
pear among the Carolinians, than those very men flocked to
his standard, who had taken the oaths to our government,
carrying along with them, the arms that had been put into
their hands by our general, which reduced Lord Corn-wallis
to the cruel necessity of putting them to death, and rendered
that a necessary measure, which all who knew Lord Corn-
wallis, knew must have given him infinite pain. Hence he
argued, that every gleam of success had been the certain fore-
runner of misfortune. The loss of the whole army followed
the capture of Ticonderoga; the evacuation of Philadelphia
followed other success; and no sooner did we hear of the
surrender of Charles Town to his majesty's arms, .than we
prepared to receive intelligence of some new disaster ; and a
very short time afterwards, news arrived of the loss of Rhode
Island, which he was warranted to say was the only good
winter harbour in all America.


Not that he meant to contend, that no advantage was to
be derived from the late success obtained by the wonderful
good conduct and gallantry of Lord Cornwallis. Great ad-
vantages might be derived from it; it might be made the
foundation of an honourable and happy peace.. Let, minis-
ters but seize and improve the advantage, and they would
deserve the thanks and applause of their country. But had




2$4 ADDRESS ON THE KING'S SPEECH.
[Not


they given us any hopes of it? On the contrary, did not trio
address now moved for, prove to the conviction of this House,
that they meant to pursue the war ; they dared not give it up ;
the unpopularity of it was their security ; that, and that only,
kept them in their places. An honourable friend of his, who
moved the amendment, had said, we had fbught bravely,
we had exerted our vigour, but still our exertions had pro-
duced no essential advantage. Other gentlemen had praised
the efforts which this country had made in the course of the
war, and had argued well from that circumstance, declaring that
we had astonished. all Europe by our exertions. It was most
true. The war was begun madly, the ministers had made
war blindfold, and the efforts of this country, so directed, and
so planned, like the efforts of a madman, which were always
more powerful than those of a reasonable being, had asto-
nished all Europe. But what good had they done? They
had only weakened and reduced our resources. They had
exhausted the spirits of the people, and had almost mini-'
hilated the power of future exertion. An honourable gen-
tleman had said, that it was improper to term the war unjust,
excepting only within those walls : he must beg leave to differ
with him in opinion. He thought the war unjust, he had said
so repeatedly in that House, he had said so elsewhere, and he
would say so whenever and wherever he had the opportunity.
He would say so to the whole world, if his voice had power
and extent enough to communicate the idea. But according
to
alluding,


the argument of the honourable gentleman to whom he was
what was unjust in its origin became just in its


advancement and prosecution. The honourable gentleman
thought now he had got justice on his side, that he h got
all. Did the honourable gentleman think that the AniciRans, Apo
once driven by our injustice to assert their independency,
ought, in justice, to relinquish that independency, and to
alter their established government, and rely on our word for
the performance of our promises ?


With regard to the argument of another honourable gen-
tleman (Sir Horace Mann) that, without an ally Great Bri-
tain had an advantage over a confederacy; if that doctrine
were true, Great Britain was the most flourishing nation in
the world. The reasoning of his honourable friend, from
whom he was sorry to differ in opinion on the present point,
from the League of Cambray, was certainly far from being
conclusive. FOr Venice had been left in the circumscribed
situation, to which nature had limited her, according to his
'own words, and such would be the fate of Great Britain ;
situation to which it was the express object of the powerful'
confederacy of France, Spain, .and America, .to reduce her,'.


7 80-3 ADDRESS ON THE KING'S SPEECH.


285


as his honourable friend on the floor had very properly and ,
truly stated. The grand alliance, in the reign of Louis the
Fourteenth of France, had not indeed been so successful, on
account, he would say, of the impolicy of England, as might
have been expected ; but it gave a check, a wound, to the
growing power of France ; a blow from which nothing but
the wretched conduct of such a ministry as ours could have
recovered it. It was common danger and distress that chiefly
endeared nations, as well as individuals, to one another; and
this tie, for the present, united the French and Americans
in the closest friendship. But if we held out to the Ame-
ricans something that might be a separate interest, and that
might be a security to them, by removing the common danger,
we should dissolve the friendship, and have a chance of treat-
ing with her.


The honourable baronet who seconded the address, had
talked of the good faith of America being plighted to France,
and had argued that her obligations to.her ally would render
her unwilling to treat separately, and that therefore there
were no hopes, but from a vigorous war carried on against
her as well as against the House of Bourbon. Now, had he
held this language himself, and dwelt so much on the good
faith of America, it would have been in all the papers to-
morrow or the next day, that he was a friend to American
rebellion, and to the enemies of this country ! But, without
ascribing to the Americans any extraordinary degree of gra-
titude or perfidy, and considering them merely as men, whose
conduct would, like that of other mortals, naturally be go-
verned by a mixture of both reason and passion, he thought
they might be detached from the cause of the House of Bour-
bon, by omitting to pursue offensive hostililies against them.
What would be the consequence of withdrawing the troops
from America? American independence, undoubtedly. This
would be the means of obtaining peace. If the American
war could be given up without her being independent —let
ministers do it; but they could not. They were therefore
wasting the blood and treasure of this country, without an
object.


He repeated the argument, that ministry had perverted
nature, and by their singular ill-conduct of the war, had given
France all the advantages of an island, and had reduced
Great Britain to the inconveniences of a continent. We
were, he said, at a hundred times more expellee in our
American operations, than they were; and we might carry
on the war with greater success, by calling all our forces from
America, and pouring them into the French settlements.
AS it was said in the last war, that France was conquered




286
ADDRESS ON THE KING'S SPEECH.


[NO. T.


.


Germany,
erma
conquered


so,
in


if- Fever
rance


America was to be conquered, it
mustb


Gentlemen, he observed, had used a great many hard word
srespecting France. He saw no great harm in it, though i
tcould not answer any very good purpose. It served, bw-


y
ever, to bring an


ine old
ld


such
saying to


g
his
truths that


mind; and
the


ollvdousladyinotzsometi s
casionally obtrude themselves on men's minds. The old say-
ing he alluded to, was this : 44 Let us not rail at Alexanderbut let us beat him." That was exactly his feeling ww:.
regard to the House of Bourbon. He was for beating France
rather than for railing at her; and, as he thought the best
way to do that effectually, would_ be to pursue the war with
America no longer, he was for turning the arms of this
country solely against the House of Bourbon.


The honourable gentleman who moved the address, had
bestowed a particular commendation on a long list of officers;


Quern virum aut heron lyra vel acri
Tibia sumes celebrare ? —


above all, he had praised
• the valour and conduct of Earl


Cornwallis, who, he was ready to own, deserved the highest
applause. But a right honourable gentleman had asked,
would gentlemen refuse to thank Lord Cornwallis, and his
officers, for their extraordinary gallantry at Camden ? In
answer to that question, he for one, made no scruple to
declare, that he most certainly would. He would not thank
his own brother, who was now serving in America, for any


joinsuccess he might obtain. As long as he lived, • he never wouldin a vote of thanks to any officer, whose laurels veregathered in the American war; and his reason was that
he hated and detested the war, he regarded it as the fountain-
head of all the mischief and all the calamities which this
miserable country laboured under at this moment.


He took occasion, in the course of his speech, to advert
to many topics not immediately connected with the address.
He reprobated ministry for the ill use they bad made of the
army last summer. The military was, he said, a force at
all times inimical to liberty, and therefore it behoved every
Englishman ,to watch the army with a jealous eye. A few
months since it was not safe for him, or any man in that
House, to speak their sentiments; but now the storm was
over, it was their duty to speak out. The army were, it


wastrue, called in upon pressing necessity, and used to great
advantage in the metropolis, and so far the matter was lau-
dable; what he alluded to as reprehensible, was, the King's
servants having dared to send orders to officers in all the


ADDRESS ON THE KING'S SPEECH. 2 870-80°3


towns the kingdom, giving them power to act at discre-


t
without waiting for the authority of the civil magis-


Entlse"s, and this as well in towns where quiet was perfectly
restored and tumult had subsided, as in towns where there ha-d-
not been the smallest proneness to tumult. And these orders
had not been withdrawn, till almost every election was over.
This was an alarming violence to the,constitution, and called


ibrHeieigulalso severelyerely arraigned ministers for the insult they had
put upon the navy, in appointing a -Irian to a most honour-
able and lucrative post, who stood convicted of having pro-
duced a false and malicious charge against his superior officer.
There could, he said, be only one of the King's servants, so
abandoned, and so lost to all sensibility and honour, as to
have dared to advise any such measure as the giving the
governorship of Greenwich Hospital to that object of univer-
sal detestation, Sir Hugh Palliser; a man who was himself so
conscious of his own unworthiness, that he had resigned all
his employments, and by retiring from the sight of mankind,
seemed as it were to have courted oblivion. 'Were had never,
he believed, been a precedent of a Vice-Admiral having
Greenwich Hospital. The cause • of its being given to Sir
Hugh Palliser he did not doubt, was not his conduct on board
the Formidable, but his subsequent behaviour, his conduct
against Admiral Keppel, his attempts to ruin the reputation
of that gallant officer; and he felt the less wonder at this,
because it was the characteristic of the present reign to run
down, vilify, and defame, great and popular men, and to set
up, support, countenance and reward the infamous. The
late promotion of Sir Hugh Palliser, was on a par with the
promotion of a man, (Lord George Germain,) to one of the
highest civil employments in the state, who had been pub-
licly degraded last war, and declared incapable of serving
again in any military capacity, at the head of every regiment
in the army.


He alluded to what Lord Loughborough had said in his
charge to the jury at St. Margaret's Hill, in last June, re-
lative to the statute passed in the 13th year of Charles the 2d,
c. 5. enacting, " That no petition to the King, or either
House of Parliament, for alteration of matters established by
law, in church or state, (unless the matter thereof be approved
by three justices, or the grand jury of the county,) shall be
signed by more than twenty names, or delivered by more
than ten persons;" and said, that the doctrine shewed very


t See Howell's State Trials, vol.2,in p.458.




28 8
WESTMINSTER CO3f MITTEE OF ASSOCIATION. [Nov. 13


plainly what system prevailed, and what were the wishes of
administration, if those wishes were not resisted and pre-
vented in time.


He also alluded to Mr. Dunning's quondam character of
the persons who governed this country, under the legal de-
scription of he, she, or they, and rung the changes for some
time very laughably at the expence of adthinistration, on
those words, and their conduct, characterizing the first, un-
der the words, he, she, or they, and the second under the
words him, her, or them.


At length, after touching on a great variety of topics, he re-
curred to the famous vote of the late parliament, relative to
the influence of the crown, and said it was the last dying
speech of that corrupt assembly—the death-bed confession
of that wicked sinner; and it reminded him of the death-bed
confession of other abandoned profligates, who after having
heaped guilt upon guilt, just before they parted with the last
breath, sent for a priest, and made confession of their manifold
sins and transgressions, saying "although our gang stood so
firm together, and all agreed in stiffly denying the many atro-
cious facts we committed, particularly our greatest crime, and
most mischievous offence, it is very true we were guilty, and
we hope our fate will prove a warning to those we leave be-
hind us, and induce them to lead better lives, and not by fol-
lowing the same bad courses which we have pursued, come to
the same premature and Miserable end."


The question being put, that the words proposed to be left out
stand part of the question, the House divided :


Tellers.
Tellers.


Mr. De Grey )
{Mr. T. Grenville/YEAS { Sir Grey Cooper S 2I2.—NOES Mr. 13yng




; 30.
Mr. Grenville's amendment was consequently lost. After


which the address, as at first proposed, was agreed to.


MR. ADAM'S COMPLAINT AGAINST THE RESOLUTIONS OF THE
WESTMINSTER COMMITTEE or ASSOCIATION.


November 13.


THE of Westminster, who had chosen Mr. Fox to representthem in parliament, in a manner so singularly spirited and
noble, were not a little proud of their choice, nor inattentive to the
manner in which their popular delegate discharged his duty, and


780.] WESTMINSTER COMMITTEE OF ASSOCIATION. 289


executed the trust thus reposed in him by his constituents. On
the commencement of the session, his animadversion on the ten-
dency and intention of the address proposed in answer to the King's
speech, was powerful and convincing beyond their most sanguine
expectations. Some mode of testifying their satisfaction, with a
conduct so spirited and meritorious, they thought it now especially
became the friends of liberty and the constitution to adopt. And
the committee of association, embracing the opportunity of Mr.
Fox's absence, adopted the following Resolutions in his favour,
which were immediately published in the newspapers :


' " Westminster Committee of Association, King's-Arms
Tavern, Palace-yard, November io, 780.


" Resolved, That the thanks of this committee be given to the
Honourable Charles James Fox, for his conduct in the House of
Commons on Monday last., on which day, with a firmness becoming
the representative of a free people, he exposed the pernicious prin-
ciples and destructive measures of an abandoned administration,
and afforded the fullest evidence, to his constituents, that neither
the temptations of men in power, nor apprehensions of their treat-
ment, could cause him to deviate Am that line of parliamentary
conduct which he had hitherto pursued with so much honour, or
induce him to desert the cause of the people.


" Resolved, As it is reasonable and just, that public approbation
and support should be afforded to those men who defend the public
cause, that Mr. Fox, by his conduct on that day, bath farther en-
deared himself to his constituents, and, in the strongest manner,
interested the inhabitants of this city and liberties in his welfare.


" Resolved, That this committee, being sensible that the firm,
constant, and intrepid performance of his duty, will probably ren-
der 'him, in common with other distinguished friends of liberty,
the object of such attacks as he has already experienced, and to
which every unprincipled partizan of power is invited by the cer-
tainty of a reward, most earnestly exhort the inhabitants of West - .
minster to do their utmost, by every legal measure, to preserve to
the great body of citizens by whom he has been elected, and to his
country, the benefit of his services, and the inviolable security of
kis person. " JOHN CutraeniLL, Chairman.'"


To this advertisement Mr. Adam called the attention of the
,I-louse, by reprobating the proceedings of the committee as vin-
dictive and injurious to his character. He congratulated Mr.
Fox, in a vein of irony peculiarly elegant and pointed, on the ex-
clusive privilege, with which he was thus invested, of dealing out
what personal abuse he should please. He was far, however,
from thinking Mr. Fox capable of. taking advantage of any thing
his popularity might afford him not consistent with the strictest
honour. He wished him joy of the inviolable security given to his
person; It was an instance of extraordinary attention in his con-
stituents and countrymen. It had no precedent except in the
remote ages of antiquity. Pisistratus, the Athenian, had a body-
guard, aIp. pointed by the people of Athens for the security of his




290 WESTMINSTER COMMITTEE OF ASSOCIATION.- [Nov. I3,
life, and by their means ultimately overturned the liberties of Ith


,
country. He would therefore bail Mr. Fox—Pisistratus the
Second. Fie would hail him King of Westminster ; but, at the
same time, was at a loss, whether most to rejoice with him, or
condole with his country on account of those internal feuds and
animosities which originated in committees of association. Mr.
Adam then said, that he was going to touch upon a subject, by
mentioning his own character; in which he might possibly incur
the imputation of vanity ; but when a person's character was basely
and falsely traduced, not to mention it was to act with timidity;
that few men knew the nature of his life, which was private and
retired, but that he could boast a strict and regular system of do-
mestic economy, which enabled him to live wholly independent
upon the fortune which had fallen to his share. That the princi.
pal happiness and ambition of his life was to discharge the private
duties of a pTivate situation with honour and integrity, to he a good
son, a good husband, a good father, and a faithful friend. That
he could not brag of a long line of ancestry, whose vices were to
degrade, or whose virtues were to adorn the page of the historian.
But that circumstance made him more anxious to maintain his
character unspotted, and to repel every attack that was made upon
it. He concluded with saying, that he looked upon every person
who adopted the resolutions of that committee as base and in-
famous calumniators of his character, and unworthy the protection
of a civilized country.


Mr. Fox rose to reply, and began with declaring, that as
to any expressions personal to himself, which had Ehnen from
the honourable gentleman, who felt so sore at the paper which
he had read to the House, he should not take the least notice
of them ; but in regard to the advertisement itself, he did
assure the honourable gentleman and the House, upon his.ihonour, that he was not present at the drawing it t , and
that it was published without his consent or even kn ledge.
Bad he been at the committee when it was drawn up, he
should undoubtedly have used all the persuasion that. he was
master of, to have prevented the committee from coming to or
publishing any such resolution as the one particularly objected
to; because though the resolution was evidently founded in
zeal and affection to him, it was, in his opinion, an imprudent
resolution ; and he could appeal to his honourable friend be-
low him (Colonel Fitzpatrick) to vouch for this having been
the opinion he declared when he first saw it. He said, he.
had imagined some persons would be induced to put the same
construction upon it. With regard to the ridicule the ho-
nourable gentleman had thought proper to throw upon the
committee, and upon himself, that was matter of perfect in-
difference to him, and the more so, because the gentlemen who
formed that committee, were great and respectable charatters;
men who, he doubted not, had well weighed every word used


780.] WESTMINSTER COMMITTEE OF ASSOCIATION .2 291


in the resolution, considered its import fully, and were pre-
pared to justify the advertisement and the resolution with
their honour and their reputation. And, after all, what was
the resolution complained of with so much warmth by the
honourable gentleman ? A form of words evidently flowing
from the good opinion the Westminster committee entertain-
ed of him, but which seriously and duly considered, conveyed
no personal charge against any man, nor warranted any man's
taking them up angrily or resentfully : besides, in what way
was the House to treat a matter introduced in the very extra-
ordinary manner in which the honourable gentleman had
thought proper to introduce the advertisement to which he
was then speaking, without making it the subject of any mo-
tion whatever? If the honourable gentleman really thought
himself warranted to treat the resolutions of the Westminster
committee seriously, why did he not complain of the paper to
the House as a breach of privilege? If the honourable
gentleman thought proper to adopt that mode of proceeding,
he was ready to meet it on that ground. and to defend the
resolution. If the honourable gentleman chose to make it the
subject of another sort of process elsewhere, and to charge it
as a libel, he would find that the Westminster committee were
ready to take it up when so charged, and to defend the lega-
lity of their proceedings. The honourable gentleman had
chosen to laugh at him, and to turn him into ridicule, under
the character of Pisistratus. . In what, he begged to know,
had he ever shown a desire to obtain illegal honours? In what
had he attempted to set himself above the laws of his country,
or to aim at receiving any other honours, than such as he was
perfectly competent to receive? The honourable gentleman,
after flourishing a great deal about his body-guard, and other
matters of that sort, had talked of the Westminster com-
mittee proceeding, by and by, to constitute him King of
Westminster. The Westminster committee, he would tell
the honourable gentleman, as well as the whole body of in-
habitants of that most respectable city, wished for no other
king, than the king now upon the throne; they loved that
king, and they revered the , constitution, by which he reigned;
and it was out of a foolish partiality to himself, and because
they rashly, perhaps, thought him the best qualified to sup-
port that king and that constitution, to maintain the glory of
the one, and preserve the other in safety, that they had chosen
him their representative in parliament, in the noblest and most
spirited manner, in direct defiance of the avowed and unre-
servedly exercised influence of the crown. It was, perhaps,
from a weak and ill-founded partiality in favour of his abili-
ties, that the electors of the city of Westminster had done


t; 2




292 WESTMINSTER COMMITTEE OF ASSOCIATION. [Nov. 13.
him that honour; all that he could do in return was to de•
dare, that his conduct should be an example of the most sin_
sere and perfect gratitude. It could not, however, surely be
warrantably advanced, that


•om this circumstance he was
imitating Pisistratus, or that he was endeavouring to obtain
illegal honours ! The electors of Westminster thought well of
his efforts in that House, and this naturally shewed itself in
acts of affection