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be had, whether the conduct of Sir Charles Grey and Sir Joha Jervis in the West Indies should be inquired into, because this might be made evidence hereafter in the course of that inquiry, if it should be instituted. He was aware an affidavit had beea produced in that House, but that was made under circumstances very different from this. That affidavit was not made after a view of the proceedings which had been already had in Parliament upon this subject, and was of a date prior to such proceedings; but the present affidavit was of a date subsequent to the debate in that House upon that business, and seemed to have been procured rather in consequence of that debate, and circulated pretty industriously among the Members of the House, and in the city, and conveyed a direct attack on officers who were not present to defend themselves. Instead of this affidavit, he should like to see Mr. Malespine giving his evidence at the bar of that House, if the inquiry was instituted. His difficulty arose on the question of the regularity of admitting papers of this nature, not that he had any objection to the affidavit being laid upon the table, because he did not hesitate to state roundly that the affidavit in question was from one end of it to the other a gross and scandalous perjury, and he hoped it was not so loosely worded, but that the author of it might be brought to condign punishment, for which purpose proceedings were to be instituted in a court of law.
Sir William Tomtg agreed with Mr. Grey, that bringing up the affidavit would be in every respect in the teeth of precedent. /
Mr. C. Dundas said, he also would confirm the assertion of Mr. Grey respecting the affidavit of Mr. Malespine, and evidence was then attending who would contradict every part of it. He had made inquiry into the character of another officer (General Dundas) who had been attacked, and whose reputation was dear to him—he meant his brother, now no more. The result of his inquiry had been such as to prove, that that brave man had never acted so as to call for censure on his conduct. He was no more, and he requested those Gen-tlemen who were about to move for an inquiry, that they would not let any'salse delicacy, or any respect for the ashes of the dead, prevent them from bringing his conduct also to an examination. He asked this, because he felt the full confidence that the result must do honour to the character os that gallant officer, by a triumphant victory over the assailants of his fame. He asked this also, because he saw his character shamefully attacked in the state papers of another nation. ViBcr Huet, the commissioner, in his public dispatches, had carried , enmity beyond the grave, and had basely insulted the memory of a man, whom he had feared to meet when living. He implored those who called for examination, to let it extend to the length he asked, and thereby do justice to the reputation of a gallant officer, whose conduct never was before impeached.
Sir W. Scott observed, that this affidavit could not regularly be laid before the House; it was not evidence of any thing positive even in the court where it was taken, for it only stated the opinion of the person who made it, and as what he be* lievea, not what he knew.
Air. Barham said, he had asked for no other papers but what were necessary to ground his motion upon. He should act solely upon the evidence before the House, and confine himself to the papers upon the table. In respect to what had fallen from an Hon. Gentleman, concerning a gallant officer now dead, he challenged the recollection of the House, whether he ever had said a word imputing blame against him, When he did not blame him, it was not through a delicacy of reverencing the dead; it was because he believed none of hit actions ever merited censure.
Air. Sheridan said, that it was with him a matter of regret that this affidavit could not, according to the rules of the House, be laid before them; but that, however, was in some measure compensated by its being in the hands of almost every Member. His Hon. Friend had said, that this affidavit was a gross perjury from the beginning to the end: He had very little doubt of that, for upon examination it would be found to bear strong internal marks of perjury, from its inconsistencies.
Mr. Thtlluffan said, that his brother had been charged on a former occasion with having made a wilful misrepresentation in his memorial on this business; and this affidavit was made in consequence. He then gave a history of the proceedings of the Committee of which his brother was the chairman, and maintained that his brother had done nothing for which he was not justified.
Air. JodJrell stated, that the affidavit was in a great measure misrepresented, and did not contain the inconsistencies pointed out to the extent that Gentlemen described them.
Mr. Fax said, his objection was simply this, that he did not like to take the affidavit of a man, who, if he gave evidence at all, ought in this cafe to give it at the bar of the House, But as this affidavit had been circulated so much, he thought it ought to be commented upon in the course of the debate upon this business, otherwise two great officers, of high character, would be treated in a very unbecoming manner \ for they certainly were calumniated grossly in this extraordinary affidavit. He could have wished that this affidavit might have been laid upon the table, especially if there was to be no inquiry into the conduct of these officers, because if the affidavit were on the table it would be regular to discuss it.
Mr. Alderman Lu/hington said, his Hon. Friend had been re* gular in his proceedings. This was a great question to a commercial country; it was a question of policy, not of guilt* His Friend, Mr. Thellusson, had been called upon to do as he had done. When the facts stated in those affidavits were made known to him, as he had no reason lo know the character of M. Malcspine to be bad, he could do no otherwise thaa present the remonstrance which he did.
Mr. Whitbread spoke against the affidavit in express terms; fie was certain, he said, of an Hon. Gentleman's assertion, that lie could prove the falsehood of the memorial, and the affidavit, which was manifestly founded on it. Should the affida* vit be received, it would be establishing a dangerous precedent. The character of the officers whom it tended to criminates was highly deserving, and the more it was investigated the greater lustre would be added to it.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer observed, that Gentlemen werepretty nearly going into a debate upon the subject, which they should not do until it was opened by the Hon. Gentleman who had given notice of bringing the subject forward that day.
The question for laying the affidavit before the House was then put and negatived.
Mr. Secretary Dundas said, he had troubled the House on various occasions to attend to certain regulations respecting the payment of the wages of seamen; those regulations had been adopted, and he trusted that the beneficial effects of them had been already felt. He had an object at present in view of q similar nature; it related to halt-pay officers of the navy. They were a set of men who were subject at present to intolerable hardships. When called upon to go irn to actual service, they found themselves in a very awkward situation: The pittance that was paid to them was so small, that it did not answer the purposes of sitting them out for the service; the consequence r^f which was, that they found themselves involved in great difficuliics. They had occasion for money to fit them out, for which purpose they usually went to an agent, to whom they paid five percent, interest, to which was to be added money for commission, and for assurance of their livts when they are going upon an hazardous enterprise; so that altogether out of this miserable pittance, the deduction was not less than eighteen per cent. His object was to remove these difficulties, and put an end to this enormous expence; for which purpose he should propose, that they should have three months wages in advance, when called into actual service; and that they should be allowed to draw bills at three months, six months, or twelve months, as they might think fit to suit their convenience, which bills would be regularly paid without any of the expence which he had already specilied. Another point which he had in view was, that of a regulation of the payment of widows pensions, lie proposed that they should be paid by bills drawn for that purpose, without any expence or inconvenience at their own «loors. He concluded with moving for leave to bring in a Bill for the more ready and convenient payment of the wages of the half-pay officers of his Majesty's navy, &c.
Colonel Maitland did not oppose this; on the contrary, he declared he was extremely happy that the subject was brought forward. The half-pay officers of the navy were unquestionably objects highly worthy the attention of that House; but he was of opinion also, that something should be done in favour of the subalterns of the army, whose case was at present a very hard one; and he was sorry that aster provision had. been made this session, for several objects, and one very large and extensive, to a certain high character, that still the subalterns of the army should have been neglected.
The Secretary at War denied that there was any inclination in his Majesty's ministers to neglect the subalterns of the army, as seemed to have been just insinuated. It was easier «o talk of relief in general terms, than to procure it; and the Hon. Gentleman had not stated any specific remedy, nor made out any specific grievance in the c.ise to which he alluded.
Colonel Maitland said, he thought it was sufficiently specified, to state that the subalterns of the British army ought to have some provision made for them. The fact was so; nav, he would venture to fay that every Gentleman in that House gave more reward to his footman annually, than some of the half-pay officers in the army received from the Public.
General Smith approved of the motion of Mr. Dundas. The regulations he proposed he thought perfectly salutary, and such as must meet the approbation of every man who had the interest of the British navy at heart. He wished, however, that the care of the Right Hon. Secretary would also extend to the India officers, who were equally deserving of their country.
, Colonel Rolle approved of the motion.—The case of midshipmen, at the conclusion of a war, was, he observed, peculiarly hard, and merited some salutary relief.
Mr. Jekyll wished to know whether the Right Hon. Secretary meant to include marines in his regulations? to which Mr. Dundas signified assent by gesture.
General Macleod said, he was not much in the habit of be* stowing praise upon the Secretary of State; therefore, as hedid so now, there would be the. less reason to doubt his sincerity. He certainly applauded the Right Hon. Gentleman very highly for his motion. He also hoped that the cases of the other persons alluded to would have the minister's attention. —The motion was then put and carried, as was also a motion for a Bill to regulate the payment of the widows pensions.
CONDUCT OF SIR CHARLES GREY AND SIR JOHN JERVIS.
Mr. Barham proceeded to call the attention of the House to the subject of which he had given notice—he meant the conduct of Sir Charles Grey and Sir John Jervis in the Weil Indies. He trusted it would be unnecessary for him to fay any thing in vindication of himself, for rising upon this occasion. He was aware of the manner in which accusations of that kind were generally received in that House, particularly when charges were made against characters which every one had been used to admire, and whom therefore most would naturally wish to protect. He felt also that this was a subject which was not likely to bring popularity to those who conducted it,' and that there were several persons whom lie perhaps could have expected to have joined him, would not be very ready to divide with him the unpopularity of this business. He was aware also he should not receive that assistance which he most wanted, from a quarter where once he had great hope of it. Notwithstanding all this discouragement, the subject was of such a nature, that he could not, consistently with his duty, abandon it. He was fully convinced that the conduct in the West Indies of which he complained, was such as to demand the interposition of the House, whether they considered the commercial interest of the country, or the recovery as the national honour. If he should hear any thing of delay in this business, and the delay was imputed to him, he should be ready to meet it; for although it was undoubtedly true that he took blame to himself upon a former occasion, for becoming a principal in this business,yet it was true also, that the motion with which he intended to conclude, could not, consistently, be made one day sooner than that on which he was speaking. Jt was necessary he should state that application had bgen niad.e