Page images

nied that any such existed. If it did, it never had been stated. In the case of Lord Chatham, the House had, much to their credit, in his opinion, gone greatly farther than voting a monument to his memory; they amply and liberally provided for his family, and small as the (hare he had in that transaction, there was no vote he had ever given that afforded him more satisfaction. "What was the conduct of the House upon that occasion? did any body think of searching for precedes s? No; the only precedent mentioned was that of the Duke jf M.irlborough; but in his cafe it was because he had been a successful General, and by his victories had essentially served his country; the House of Commons, however, did not look to this as a rule or precedent, but considering that Lord Chatham had likewise rendered essential services to the state, were unanimously of opinion that all who equally promoted the interests of the nation were equally entitled to the honours and rewards which their services merited. He concluded by warmly exhorting the House to support the original motion, and to resist the adjournment, for the purpose of appointing a Committee of Inquiry, as derogatoiy to the honour and character of a British House of Commons, and highly unpopular and disgraceful in the eyes of the nation.

The Secretary at War said, that Gentlemen could find no difficulty in combating arguments which they themselves created for the purpose of opposing them; yet nothing that had been said could alter his opinion, that however meritorious and gallant the conduct of Captain Faulknor had been, and nobody felt more than he did a proper fense of that brave officer's merit, yet he must contend and insist that in all former times our ancestors had been guided by some rule and precedent; the question therefore was not now, whether that was a good or a bad rule, which might be afterwards discussed, but whether it would not be wise to follow the line chalked out by those who had gone before them. Some Gentlemen had despised negative rules, but he really thought a negative rule might be as strong as an affirmative rule. He recurred to the many instances of bravery and good conduct that had passed unnoticed, such as Captain Courtenay's. Why had that warmth to pay the tributes due to their valour never appeared? The words of this motion, by stating the particulars of the services, seemed to indicate that the gentlemen themselves knew that such motions were not common in similar circumstances. With regard to the instance of Lord Chatham, it ought to be remembered that there were few or no instances of statesmen being rewarded in that manner then, and that instances similar to Captain Faulknor's, of good and gallant 1 conduct conduct in officers, were numerous, and happened daily both in this and former wars. He considered his motion as not only prudent and necessary, but as proper in every respect, and denied that the delay could be disgraceful to the House or dishonourable to the memory of Captain Faulknor, whether the result of the inquiry turned out that the object of the motion ought to be granted or refused.

General Tarleton said, he had never been a servile observer •of rules or precedents, particularly with respect to the conduct of officers; it had always been his wish that their conduct should be canvassed when living, and honoured when dead. It did not belong to their character to court obscurity* the more notorious and public their conduct was made, the more it would be to their honour, and for esample to others if right, and the more to their disgrace, if wrong; he spolce highly of Capt. Faulknor's merits, and strenuously for tlic -original question.

"The Solicitor General passed an high eulogium on the merits of Captain Faulknor, but thought the adjournment of the question proper; because when his cafe was fully investigated, if it-was found that the fense of the House was to agree to the original motion, it would rather add to than diminish the degree of respect to be paid to his memory.

Sir William Pulttney was altogether against the adjournment of the debate, and for the original motion: The arguments he had heard respecting rules and precedents, Sir William thought were too bad even to be listened to fora moment \ and as to the other argument, that those, or the friends of those who had been neglected, would complain if this tribute was paid to Captain Faulknor's memory, be denied it. However great their services had been, could they rife from their graves to fee this motion pass, he was sure their ghosts would fay, " Certainly, erect a monument to this brave man's memory; though true, that we were neglected, yet none of us would wish that he mould be so too." This was the military seeling, and he believed the feeling of the House. He very much disliked the idea of getting rid of such a motion as the Hon. General's, by a stiew of good words, and a conduct so diametrically opposite to that which he thought the honour of the House and the country demanded.

Mr. Ceurtenay could not help remarking, that from a speech of a Learned Gentleman, it was necessary that an officer, however gallantly he had behaved, or even if he had lost his life in battle, must make up some sort of title-deeds to his merits before they could be recognized by that House. And thus it was that the Gentlemen opposite thought it necessary to check the growing spirit of that House, to pay honour to the memory of Captain Faulknor, whose conduct was loudly praised from all sides; as if, by waiting for three or four days, it might be found that somebody else had acted as well, and not been noticed, which would be a precedent either for rejecting the motion, or enhancing its value by the inquiry. He gave his Right Hon. Friend (Mr. Windham) full credit for his manly and liberal feelings; and believed, that if he had been placed in the fame situation with Captain Faulknor, there was no man more likely to have acted as he did. He rather felt the more for his Hon. Friend, who considered it as a duty imposed upon him to oppose the motion. He regretted this for two reasons; first, the Hon. Gentleman being in no office which could make it his duty; and secondly, the absence of the Secretary of State: And by the way he believed he was purposely absent, wishing to expose his Hon. Friend to all the difficulty and odium that must attend even an official opposition to such a measure in a British House of Commons. He adverted to the difference between Captain Courtenay's cafe and Captain Faulknor's; the first was entirely the single cafe of an individual—the other was placed in a situation in which it was thought not individually possible for him to do what he had done. He followed his Hon. Friends in what they had hid of Lord Chatham's cafe, and observed that negative rules had not been thought of in those days. It might have been said that Lord Godolphin, Lord Somers, and others, had been great and useful statesmen, and had passed unnoticed by monuments or pensions; but no such arguments were used at that time, nor did they become the House at present.

General Bruce was decidedly for the original motion, and would have voted against the Order of the Day, but he could not fee any objection to the proposed adjournment, thinking that as the House would be better attended, it would add respect to the vote they gave.

Mr. Robinson said a few words against the adjournment.

Mr. Lechmere entered into a warm eulogium on the merits, services, and general character of his much lamented and in;imate friend Captain Faulknor, whom he had long known, and. whose loss this country would long have to regret. He was decidedly for the original motion; the pride of being handed down to posterity for great and gallant actions, was one of the. chief inducements to perform them. He reckoned it the glory of his family, that an ancestor of his had fallen gloriously in an action at sea, in the reign of Queen Anne; and though lie could not be positive, he rather thought that he might state as a precedent, that a monument had been erected to his

Vol. III.- F memory memory by Parliament, and was now to be seen in St. Andrew's Church,—[the name of the town he mentioned was not heard in the gallery.]

General Smith having replied with great spirit and propriety to the remarks of different Speakers, and fully acquitted himself of taking the House by surprise, stated that an Hon. Gentleman had told him the Secretary of State would not be in the House; he asked then if it was wished he should postpone his motion, and was told no; therefore it was unfair to make any such charge against him. The House divided on the question of adjournment:

Nees 2<)
Ayes - « ■* 25

Majority 4

After some further conversation, the original motion was put and carried: And the remaining Orders of the Day being gone through, the House adjourned at half past eight o'clock.

Wednesday, April 15.

the Marquis of Salijbury having stated to the House, that bis Majesty had signified his pleasure to receive the Address of Congratulation upon the Prince of Wales's nuptials this day, their Lordships went in the usual form to St. James's to present the same:

Adjourned till *Friday.


Wednesday, April 15.

The Mary-lc-bone Paving Bill was reported, and Bill 6rdered.

Petition against Chelmcr Navigation Bill was presented and referred to a Committee on the Bill.

After some private business was gone through, Mr. Rose proposed a modification of the Bill enacted in savour of Friendly Societies.—^i'hcse societies, he said, were found to be os infinite service to the industrious part of the community, and not less than 300,000 people were members of them j but ns there was one regulation which was detrimental to such of their members as entered into the service of

the the army or navy, he proposed ro introduce a clause in their favour, whereby they might, at their quitting the service, by paying up the deficiency to the societies to which they respectively belonged, be still entitled to partake of the advantages derived from them.

The other Orders of the Day were deferred till Friday. The House then adjourned, after which they proceeded, with the Speaker at their head,- to present the Address of Congratulation on the Prince's marriage, to his Majesty.

Friday, April 17.

The Earl of Mansfield informed the House, that he had waited
»pon his Majesty, with their Lordships Address; to which his-
Majesty returned this most gracious Answer:

"My Lords,

"I thank you for your congratulations upon the marriage of my son, the Prince of Walei. Nothing can be more acceptable to me, than the repeated proof* which I receive of your affectionate attachment to me and jry family."

His Lordship added, that he had waited upon her Mar j est y with the Address, and received, in return, a most gracious answer." V

An apology was made for the Duke of Leeds, who was,to have waited upon their Royal Highnesses the Prince and Princess of Wales, but who was prevented through indisposition, The order was discharged, and a new one made, in which the Earl of Carlisle, Lord Grenville, and Lord Mulgrave, were appointed to carry the Address to their Royal Highnesses.

Several public and private Bills were brought from the Commons, and read a first time. The Stamp Duties Bill, the County Quota Bill, Hair-Powder Bill, the Militia Pay Bill, the Navy Bills Bill, and the Highgate Road Bill.


Friday, April 17.

The Speaker stated, that on Wednesday he had waited on his Majesty, attended by several of the Members, with the>

F 2 Address


« PreviousContinue »