Page images

considered r. as question of railing money from the subjects, and ei tirely different from making a provision for the Prince of Wales. He was against pledging the House or the Public in any way whatever, that might eventually or contingently lead to fixing a burden upon them to pay those debts, with which he thought they had nothing to do -, and the amendment moved was ihe best way to avoid giving any such pledge.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer defended himself from any intention of -wishing to treat the Hon. Gentleman or the House unfairly; on the contrary, he thought that the manner in which he had worded the instruction, by giving room for the proposed amendment, was the fairest public way of discussing the subject. He agreed, that undoubtedly during the progress of any measure in that House, they might alter any former resolution come to upon it; but until that was done, the last resolution was always considered to be the fense of the House. He had stated before that on the event os his Royal Highness's death, some other fund was to be made chargeable for the remainder of the debts. He would vote against the amendment proposed.

Mr. Fox contended, that by the instruction proposed, they were not voting money for the Prince's debts, nor pledging the Houso to pay them. That was to be a future consideration, and one upon which he thought an arrangement might easily be made when he knew the resources which the Prince possessed, and the assistance which lie might derive from the munificence of his father. The House, by agreeing to the instruction moved, were not pledged for one farthing of the debts-, and as to the mode of bringing the subject forward, every one must allow, that where so many questions were involved, there was a difficulty in determining which should be first discussed. He lamented the necessity for setting apart any precise quantum of the Prince's income for the payment of bis'debts; because that ought to be determined by him; but the difficulty which he felt on that point was obviated by the message which the House had just received, and the substance of which, he trusted, would be still more distinctly avowed in some future communication. Upon this point some new Instruction might be necessary, and he trusted that due notice would be given when it was to be brought forward.

The Chancellor os the Exchequer agreed in what had been said by the Right Hon. Gentleman.

Mr. Martin rose, in consequence of an observation that had fallen from the Secretary of State early in the debate. That Right Hon. Gentleman had said, that if the present

motion motion was not agreed to, there would be much public disapprobation; this, he had every reason to believe, was not the cafe, and though he felt every respect for the Royal Family, as far as they were connected with the constitution of the country, he did not think that applications like the present were likely to favour them in the pinion of that House or the country.

Mr. Sheridan said, it certainly was not his intention in that stage of the business to enter into any long discussion; when the proper time came he would speak out plainly, without courting popularity on one side, or fearing displeasure on the other. That the House, by agreeing to the motion before them, were in no degree pledging themselves for the payment of the Prince's debts, he differed from his Right Hon. Friend. But he differed still more from the Right Hon. Gentleman opposite. The only question that ought lo be before them, was simply, whether the debts were to be paid or not? By the mode in which it had been brought forward, this direct question might be evaded. The reasoning of his Right Hon. Friend with regard to an annual income to be allowed to the Prince might be true, but it could not be so with the King's minister; for if he required 125,000!. as an adequate income for the Prince, certainly he could not mean to pay his debts out of it; and if, on the other hand, a part was to be paid out of that sum, the House was pledged to pay those debts under the evasion of making a suitable provision for his Royal Highness.He would rather have preferred addressing the King upon the subject than the mode that had been followed. As to the language that had been used, reprobating this application to Parliament as a breach of promise, and other observations of that sort, he would not at that time give any opinion. The Public certainly never would believe that the King's minister proposed an annual income of 125,000!. for the Prince, without any reference to the debts, and they ought Dot to be trifled and quibbled with, by being told at the fame time that theywere not pledged to pay them; they ought not to be deluded, humbugged, and deceived in that way, but fairly and at once let to know whether they were to pay the debts or not. That night it was not his intention to vote either way—this seemed to surprise some Gentlemen opposite, but; to those who generally made up their minds upon all questions before they came into the House, it was to be expected they must be astonished that he had not made up his after he was in it. He was against giving any instructions to the Committee, relative to the payment of the debts, yet he would give it as his positive opinion, that they ought to be paid immediately, for the

dignity dignity of the country, and the situation of the Prince. He ought not to be seen rolling about the streets in his state-coach as an insolvent prodigal: But, while he ought to be relieved from his embarrassments, the Public should not be burdened trith the pressure of a hair, in affording him that relief. By coming at all to that House to pay his debts, the Prince had been ill advised; and he sincerely believed the King had not an honest minister about him, or else they never would have heard of such an application to Parliament.

The debts might and ought to be paid. If it was meant to keep monarchy respectable in the eyes of this country, and of the world, a different conduct should have been pursued. The sum os two or three hundred thousand pounds he reckoned trifling, when compared to the unbecoming situation of an Heir Apparent to the Crown, without independence, and, what was worse, without character. In the course of those discussions, Gentlemen had applied bold and strong languag' to that illustrious Prince; but there were other high and illustrious characters, who, in future discussions, mult be told as plainly what the Public have a right to expect from them, and ■what their conduct ought to have been upon the present occasion, however ungracious the task might be.

The Chancillor as the Exchequer said, he could not in point of Order reply to the Hon. Gentleman's speech, nor did he mean it. This certainly was a question in which the Hon. Gentleman felt himself very much interested, chough he had told the House he did not intend to vote upon it either way, because he had not made up his mind. He must take the liberty to fay that if the Hon. Gentleman had given his attendance to the former discussions on the subject, as he ought to have" done, in his place, or even had he been earlier in his attendance that night, he would have heard enough to make up hia Blind upon.

Mr. Sheridan said, it was unnecessary for him to state to tnc House the reasons * which prevented his attendance, and were he to state them, they most probably would be unintefii^ble to that Right Hon. Gentleman. His reason for giving no vote was, because he did not approve of the morion before the House; it was a measure confused and indirect. When the positive question, "Whether the debts ought to be paid or not?" was before the House, he would have no hesitation in'deciding. >• s.

* Mr. ShfiiJan had married within a wtek or two, and had bten absent stum il,s House on that aecouw


The House divided on the amendment:

Ayes ... 52
Noes - - - 266

Majority 214
The House then divided on the original motion t
Aves - - - 242
Noes - 46

Majority 196

The Report of the Committee on the Emperor's loan* and the other orders of the day, were postponed till Wed* nesday.

Adjourned at eleven o'clock.

List of the Minority on Mr. Siimner'i Amendment.

Langston, John Bridgewater

East, Edw. Hyde Great Bedwin

Gregor, Francis Cornwall
Sh^uckburgh, Sir

George * Warwickshire

Baker, W. Hertfordshire

Sturt, Charles Bridporr

Dent, J. Lancaster

Clayton, Sir R. Blechingley
Whitbread, Snm.

jun. Bedford

1 Bin don, R. Durham Co.

Mai tin, James Tewkfoury

Bastard, J. P. Devonshire

Byng, George Middlesex

'Hussey, W. New Sarum

Smith, W. Camelford

Blsckbume, J. Lancasture

Milnes, R. S. York

Dundas, C. Berkshire

Wharton,J. Beverley
Maitland, Hon.

Thomas Jedburgh, &c.

Buxlon, R. J. Thetford

Plumer, W. Heitfordstiire

Portman, H. B. Wills, H. York Co.

Barclay, G. Briduort


Sumncr, George Guildford
Grey, Charles Northumberland

(Joke, V. f.
Halhed, N. B.
Pierrepoint, C.
Mainwaring, W.
Popham, A.
Stanley, J. T.
Robinson, M.
Buller, John
Glanville, F.
Lemon, Sir W.
Littleton, Sir E.
Wigley, E.
Raslileigh, P.
Pierse, Henry
Trevelyan, Sir J.
Folkes, SirM.B.
Philips, J. G.
Church, J. B.
Sheridan, R. B.
Duncombe, C.
Stanley, T.
Fletcher, Sir H.
Macleod, Gen. N.
Kempe, X.
Wynne, R.W.
Western, C. C.
Bouverie, Hon. B.

Middlesex ,
Wootton Basset
Fowey ,
King's Lynn
Inverness Co.


Vol. IIL


Tuesday, June 2.

In a Committee of Privileges, heard evidence further in the claim of Stapleton to the Barony of Beaumont.

The Royal assent was given by commission to several public and private Bills.

Lord Hny (Earl of Kinnoul), on account of the absence of a Noble and Learned Lord (Thurlow), withdrew his notice of a motion relative to a Handing order of the House, and gave a new notice for a future day.

Heard counsel on an Inclosure Bill.


Tuesday, June 2.

Mr. Rose moved for leave to bring in a Bill to remove doubt» relative to an Act made this session of Parliament respecting certain duties of excise; which, after a few words from General Smith, was granted.

The Hostse, in a Committee, came to a resolution to grant leave to bring in a Bill for the importing of fine silk from any country now in amity with his Majesty.

The Friendly Society Bill passed the Committee, and the Report was ordered to be received next day.

Mr. Ryder moved for leave to bring in a Bill to enable woolcombers to exercise their trade in any town in Great Britain, &c.— Granted.

A message from the Lords informed the House that their Lordships had agreed to several private Bills.


On the motion of Mr. Thellttffbn that a copy of the affidavit of, Mr. Malespine, verifying certain facts, &c. be laid before the House,

Mr. GVvy said, he had never shewn an unwillingness to the production of papers that tended to elucidate the subject to which thk. affidavit referred, or which any person might think necessary. But he must state to the House what were his doubts as to the regularity of producing this affidavit before some decision should

« PreviousContinue »