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on the time of the House no farther with preliminary matter, but move,
"That an humble Address be presented to his Majesty, praying that his Majesty will be graciously pleased to order a monument to be erected in St. Paul's Cathedral to the memory of Major-General Thomas Dundas, who died in the service of his country," &c.
Mr. Manning seconded the motion in a few words, expressive of his fense of the merits of the illustrious commander, whose conduct, he said, had impressed the inhabitants of the West Indies with general respect and esteem for his character.
General Tarleton added his testimony to that which had already been given in honour of General Dundas, and referred to an action in America in 1781, in which the deceased General by his superior skill and determined valour particularly distinguished himself, when opposed to the Marquis La Fayette.
Mr. Wilbersorce said, that he rose with some difficulty in one respect, though in another with no difficulty at all: He had no difficulty in agreeing most cordially with the vote of thanks to General Dundas, of whose conduct he spoke in the highest terms; neither had he any intention to impute particular blame to Sir Charles Grey or any other commander, by what he was going to add; he thought it his duty, however, to notice a clause in the proclamation issued in the West Indies, by which all slaves found in arms in the defence of a French island, on ■which we made an attack, were threatened with being transported to Africa, is taken, certainly not with the view of restoring them to their respective homes, but "to take their fate," as it was expressed in the proclamation; and it was even added, that all free blacks who might be taken in like manner should, on account of the impossibilityof distinguishing them, be transported also. Mr. Wilbersorce said, he was persuaded that the commanders in the West Indies having their minds occupied with the chief objects of their expedition, were not to be supposed to have deliberated particularly 011 the point he had spoken of, but had admitted, perhaps inadvertently, the clause in question, in compliance with some sentiments in the West Indies. It should be considered, however, that many slaves might be obliged to take up arms in defence of the French islands, by their own superiors, and perhaps under pain of death; and that many free people of colour, of respectable character, and possessed of property, might be in arms for the defence of that property also. He thought it, therefore, very unbecoming in the first place, in point of humanity, for us to put the blacks under the distressing dilemma of either refusing to take arms, perhaps under the pain of death on the one hand;
3 C£_2 or I
or else, if they should take up arms, of being thrown on (hor*; on Africa (a fate that might be nearly the fame as death), which was the only other alternative. He was proceeding to observe further on the effects of his conduct, when
Mr. Caivthome said, that-the Hon. Member was disorderly by diverging into irrelevant matter.
The Sprain- said, that if the observations of the Hon. Member had to make on the proclamation were connected with the conduct of the deceased General Dundas, he was orderly in making them.
Colonel Mnitland spoke to order. He expressed his surprise at the digression, as he was convinced the Hon. Gentleman would be the last in the House to calumniate, by a side wind, the conduct of the osstcers in question.
Air. Wilbersorce said, that it certainly might be stated to have some connexion, though he did not wish to put the House in mind of that connexion, for obvious reasons. He had taken the present opportunity of mentioning the subject, because he wished not to make a specific motion upon it, but merely to. notice it in the course of debate, with a view of preventing any like proclamation in suture.
Mr. Wilberforce having been interrupted again, said, that he did wish to press the matter further on the House at present, and that he by no means meant to derogate from the praise given to the commander whose conduct was under consideration.
Mr. Al. Robinson called him again to order. The tenor of the proclamation, he observed, had nothing to do with the mo-? nument of General Dundns.
Air. Grey said, that whenever that proclamation was di-r rectly and fairly brought before the House, he sliould find no difficulty, he trusted, in justifying it from the peculiar circumstances of the war in which we were engaged.
The motion then passed tieinine contradicente.
Sir Charles Dundas begged leave to return Iiis warmest thanks for the honour they had done to the memory of his deT ceased brother. He had lest behind him a numerous family; he hoped that they would emulate the virtues of their father. By the motion which they had now passed, the House had restored to his family the comfort which had been wrested from • them by the wanton attack of an individual, (alluding (o the conduct of the French commandant at Guadaloupe.)
PROCEEDS OF THE DUTCHY OF CORNWALL. The Chancellor of the Exchequer brought up an account of the proceeds of the Dutchy of Cornwall during the minority of the Prince of Wales, an abstract of the debts of his Royal Highness, and an account of the application of 25,000!. for the finishing of Carlton-house.—Ordered to be laid upon the table.
General Smith said, that the papers for which he intended to move having been laid upon the table, his motion would of course be unnecessary. He should therefore now content himself with moving that these papers be printed.
Mr. Rolle said, that in consequence of what had dropt from the Hon. Baronet (Sir Charles Dundas), he should have something to move with respect to a provision to be granted to his family.
Sir Charles Dundas said, that nothing which had dropt from him had been intended to lead to any such suggestion.
PRINCE OF WALES'S DEBTS.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, after some preliminary observations, said, that before the question could be submitted to the Committee, what proportion of the income voted to the Prince of Wales should be set apart for the payment of his debts? it was necessary that the House should ascertain whether they would incur the contingent risk of defraying such portion of those debts as might remain unpaid on the event of the demise of his Royal Highness—but from the belt authorities with whom he had conversed, he sound great difficulties in the way. Instructions hid been given to the Committee to form a clause for the appropriation, with a blank for the sum; but in the present stage of the business, the House ■were not cognizant to determine how that blank was to be silled up; the only way, therefore, of giving the Committee instruction was in way of proviso. Is then the House should agree to take the chance of burdening the Public with the residue contingent on the life of the Prince, the Committee must be instructed—but as it was a new burden, no instruction could, consistently with the rules of the House, be given without the previous sanction of a Committee. It was intended, he said, to propose that the sum to be appropriated for discharging of the debts should be the 6j,oool. additional income voted, which, with the proceeds of the Uutchy of Cornwall, or 13,000!. in lieu of it, would payoff the whole in about nine years. In cafe of the demise of the Crown, the 65,0001. should be charged on the hereditary revenues of the Crown; but if both the King and the Prince should die before the liquidation of the whole (a circumstance fortunately not very likely to happen), it would not be thrown upon the civil list, burdened as it would be with the amount of the jointure to the Queen, and another to the Princess of Wales, for in that event the civil list would be subject to greater burdens than it is at present! He would therefore mqve,
"That !t be an instruction to the Committee of the whole House, to whom the Bill tor enabling his Majesty to fettle an annuity on his Royal Highness the Prince of Walts, during the life of his Majesty, and the life of his said Royal Highness; for making provision for the payment of any debts, that may be due from his Royal Highness, out of his revenues; fcr preventing the contracting of the like debts in future; and for reguhting the mode of expenunuie of the said revenues, is committed, That they kave power to make provision in the said Bill for the appropriation of an anaual sum out ot the hereditary revenues of the Crown, during the life of feis Royal Highness, for the liquidation of such of the debis, now owing by bis Royal Highness, as may remain unpaid on the demise of the Crown."
And also, "That this House will, on Monday next, resolve itself into a Committee os the whole House, to consider of providing for the appropriation of an annual sum out of the consolidated fund, for the liquidation os filch of the debts, now owing by his Royal Highness the Piince of Wales, as may remain unpaid, iu the event of die decease of his Rnyal Highness."
Mr. Powys observed, that the object of this motion was to prevent any eventual charge on this nation, and to lay the burden on the hereditary revenues of the Crown, on the Prince of "Wales's coming to the Throne before the whole of his debts should be paid. The civil list provided for certain offices, and it must be commensurate and adequate to every one of the purposes to which it was applicable; if it was not, would not the country be bound in some way or other to make up the deficiency? He understood that at the commencement of every reign, the hereditary revenue was commuted for a certain civil list. As he viewed the subject, therefore, the mode of proceeding then proposed by the Hon. Gentleman, would be attended with no relief to the Public, since, if the civil list should be found inadequate, the deficiency must be made good by Parliament.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer stated the hereditary revenue to be that to which the Prince of Wales would succeed upon the demise of his Majesty. It had been thought proper for several reigns to commute that hereditary revenue for a certain civil list, but the mode of proceeding which he proposed, was the only one calculated to give security to his creditors, or in the event of his accession, to render his Royal Highness responsible for the payment of his remaining debts, as he would then haven less hereditary revenue to offer in exchange for a civil list.
General Smith wished to know whether the account laid upon the t-.ible, included the whole proceeds of the Dutchy of Cornwall, during the minority of the Prince. He was desirous that it mould be known that his Royal Highness had a I claim claim to so large a sum, which was still undecided. He remarked that the estate under the guardianship of the Court of Chancery would have, during the minority, produced 350,0001. and under the care of a gentleman, by being employed at compound interest, 380,000!., and that at present it would amount altogether to a sum of 6oo,oool. He should avail himself of a future opportunity to take the sense of the House on the subject. Without adverting to what had taken place in that House, he should only remark that out of doors a great deal of odium had been very ill applied to his Royal Highness, who might eventually be entitled to claim either from the Crown or the Public a sum almost equal to the demands of his creditors.
Mr. Anstruther said, that the account laid upon the table included the nett produce of the income, except the expence of the establishment, which was necessary to be kept up during the minority, as well as at any other period, and a sum of 25,0001. which had been granted by order of his Majesty for public purposes in the county of Devon.
Sir William Milner compared the case of the Prince of Wales, with respect to the Dutchy of Cornwall, to that of a son, who had an estate lest him during his minority. What father would not, in such a situation, conceive himself bound by every tie of honour and affection to take care of the estate, and employ it to the utmost advantage for the benefit of his son?
Mr. Sheridan remarked that the Hon. General (Smith) had accurately calculated the interest upon the accumulated revenue of the Dutchy of Cornwall. He conceived that the Prince had hitherto been well advised in making no claim upon his Royal Father. But, if it was true, as he was well persuaded, that he was entitled to the produce of the revenue from his birth, he had at present no option. The accumulated sum belonged neither to the Prince, nor to the King, nor to the Public, but to the creditors of his Royal Highness.
The question upon the first instruction, with respect to the remainder of the debts being chargeable upon the hereditary revenue of the Crown, in the event of the demise of his present Majesty, was put, and carried.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer said, that in proposing the second instruction, the question was, whether, by refusing their countenance to this provision, they would render all their other liberality ineffectual. All other provisions, except that which he was about to propose, would be inefficient both as to the security of the creditors, and the comfort and ease of his Royal Highness and his illustrious consort. It was certainly attend