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General Alculeod said, he understood from public rumour, that on account of the present dearness of provisions, his Majesty had given directions for an allowance of nine-pence a week to all non-commissioned officers nnd privates. The General wilhed to know of the Secretary at War if that rumour wasiighr? If it was, he should have something to observe to the House upon the subject. ■
The Secretary at War said, he did not precisely know to what order or direction the Hon. Member alluded. It had been proposed that bread should be given to the soldiers in kind, instead of money to purchase it, by way of avoiding the inconvenience arising from the deafness of it-, .and that was the only thing he knew of, that seemed to apply to the subject to which the Hon. Member alluded.
General Mucked said, that the allowance he alluded to, was supposed to have been ordered within this week.
Sir 'John Frederick moved, that the Order of the Day, for the second reading os the Dead Body Bill, be postponed until the other Orders of the Day were gone through.—Ordered.
Dutch Property Bill.
This Bill went into a further Committee.
Mr. Ryder then opened the general nature of the Bill. It was an amendment of the Bill of this fe (Ron for Ttgulating the importation, &c. of Dutch property.
General Macleod did not oppose the Bill, but he wished the House to observe that ministers had been molt culpably negligent in not bringing it forward sooner; if they had, great advantages would have arisen to this country out of it; for by the general derangement of the public affairs of r.lmost all the powers of Europe, England mi^ht have become the depot of the chief of the moveable property of Holland.
Mr. Ryder said, that if tile Hon. Gentleman had happened to attend his duty in Parliament, early in the present session, he would have known that" Administration had done the very thing-whiuit he Jiow accused them of neglecting. They had taken the earliest possible opportunity for regulating the mode of legally importing property from Holland. They had gone further, they had-advited the issuing an order of Council for that purpose, before an Act could be passed, a thing in itself illegal, but which was justified by necessity, ami therefore the parties concerned in advising it were indemnified. : General Macleod felt no difficulty in believing the account of the illegality of the conduct of his Majesty's present advisers; but he laid, he would (till assert what he wished the Public, « . ."' through through the medium of that House, to know, that in consequence of the negligence of ministers, a great deal of Dutch
Eroperty, which ought to have come to England, went to Hamurgh and Dantzic. He defied ministers to deny this assertion.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer moved the Order of the Day, which was to go into a Committee of the whole House on the Bill for augmenting the Royal corps of Artillery, and for providing for the navy seafaring men out of the militia.
The House being in a Committee, he proposed three clauses. The first had for its object the regulating the power of officers, during the absence of the commander: The second for regulating the law, with regard to those who were officers in the militia, and officers also in the fencibles: The third, restoring to his Majesty the power os dismissing officers in certain cafes out of the militia, a power which the Crown had ever fince the establishment of that body, until the passing of (he Bill in the year i 786. That power of the Crown was then omitted, whether inadvertently, or by design, he was unable to learn; but he saw no reason for the omission; on the contrary, he thought it a necessary power.
Upon each of these clauses there was some conversation. On the last, General Macleod said it was a dangerous power to be trusted in the hands of the Crown. It was well known that one of the most splendid orations that was ever made by the late Earl of Chatham, was against the use of the prerogative of the Crown, in dismissing an officer in the regulars. If it was a dangerous power over the regulars, what must it be over the militia?
Colonel Sloam; Mr. BaJIard, Mr. Loveden, and other officers in the militia, approved of the clause; Mr. Courtetuiy was against it; after a short conversation, the Committee divided, For the Clause - - 45
Against it 8
The Bill then, with all the clauses, passed the Committee.
The Bill for preventing delay in the election of Members of Parliament for Scotland pasted the Committee.
The Report was received immediately, ordered to be taken into further consideration on Tuesday next, and to be printed.
DEAD BODY BILL.
The question was then put, that the Dead Body Bill be now read a second time.
Sir John Frederick observed that the House was too thin to proceed on this business. It had been delayed from time to
K 2 time $ time; bur 1 • was determined to bring it forward as early as •pofiiSle; anc for that purpose he moved that this Bill be read a second time on Tuesday next.
Mr. Taylor moved that the House be counted.
There being only i\ Members present, an adjournment necessarily took place immediately.
HOUSE OF LORDS.
RECAL OF THE VICEROY OF IRELAND.
After several Bills had been received and read, and thf business of the day dispatched, as far as regarded Bills, &c.
Earl Fitziuillicim said, it was impossible for him to appear in that House, without taking the earliest opportunity of endeavouring to procure an investigation into the cause and cirr cumstanceo os his sudden recal, in the midst of a molt arduous and critical session of Parliament, from a neighbouring kingdom, where he had the honour to fill the high ossice of Lord Lieutenant, and representative of his Majesty. So extraordinary a circumstance as his sudden recal, when matters of the highest importance v/ere depending in the Irish Parliament, so singular an occurrence had not escaped the notice of the Public of both kingdoms; and although it was not known whether he had done any thing inconsistent with his trust, or against the interests of the kingdom, or whether his Majesty's ministers, who had recalled him, were to blame—it was obvious to every man that blame was imputable somewhere. To say nothing, therefore, how much a matter of moment and importance it was to institute an investigation in justice to the feelings and honour of an individual, insignificant like himself, it would surely be admitted, that it was of the utmost moment and importance to set the public mind at rest on a matter that had much engaged their attention, and created a great deal of ill-humour in both countries. Ministers had in both Houses of Parliament declared, that no imputation of blame, on account of his sudden recal, would on inquiry be sound to attach to them. He rose as proudly to assert on his part, that he defied his Majesty's ministers to proveth at imputation of blame in the smallest degree belonged to him. Ministers by their declarations had given their Lordships, the House os Commons, and the Public, to imagine that he had been to blame. He peremptorily denied it. Ministers had thrown down the gauntlet—-he accepted it.
1 ' Tire The Public had formed an opinion one way or the other; it remained with ministers to bring the question at issue to the test, by instituting ah investigation, and thereby enabling the Public to decide on just grounds. He did not by any means wish to interfere with public business, and therefore he could only express his earnest wish that the most early open day might be appointed for the purpose of inquiry into a matter, that had been the subject of so much conversation, and excited so much uneasiness; but as ministers alone could know when it would be least inconvenient for them to attend, without injury to their other important duties, it rested with them to name the day.
Lord Grenville said, he had scarcely ever felt more real concern, more anxiety, or more uneasiness, than at finding himself under the necessity of rising to say any thing on a subject, which he had hoped would not have been brought under public-discussion. With regard to the declaration of ministers in both Houses of Parliament alluded to by the Noble Earl, those declarations had been necessarily and indeed unavoidably called forth in refutation of charges urged agnintt them by others, and which it was incumbent on them either to repel, or, by tacitly submitting to them, to appear to admit their validity. . In saying this he begged to be understood, as referring merely to what passed in that House, to which most of their Lordships were witnesses. He knew nothing, nor did he undertake to fay what had passed elsewhere. He did not conceive, that the mere fact of ministers having advised his Majesty to recal a Viceroy of Ireland, warranted the inference that it implied blame on either party, afforded cause os public complaint, or was of itself a sit ground for Parliamentary •discussion and proceeding. H iving therefore no charge to bring forward against the Noble Earl, of course he had no day to propose for an investigation of which he saw no necessity. If therefore, unfortunately, :he Noble Earl should persist in calling for an inquiry, the naming of the day for it, and the proposing the mode of proceeding, must rest with him.
Earl Fitzivilliam expressed his surprise at the Noble Lord's conceiving that no investigation was necessary into the cause of the sudden recal of a Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, in the midst of a most important and ctitical session of Parliament in that kingdom—when matters of the utmost moment to its most essential interests, brought forward under his countenance, were in agitation. It was, he said, notorious, that for a whole week together he had been held out to the Public as having been guilty of the grossest misconduct in his situation of, Viceroy, and that it had been even iaiil, that Le was
pin suing pursuing measures in Ireland, not only injurious to the interests of that kingdom, but subversive os all governments whatever. These charges he could not take upon him to assert had been made by ministers themselves, but they had at least been connived at and countenanced, by having been acquiesced in and suffered to pass unContradicted. The Noble Secretary of State had said, that no charge had been brought against him, and that ministers had made their de» darations in Parliament merely in their own necessary defence. Did the Noble Secretary of State really think, that the sudden recal of a Lord Lieutenant under such circumstances, eircumstances so deeply involving the tranquillity and order of the people of Ireland, and perhaps the safety of that kingdom, amounted to no charge? Were ministers to be informed that they drew the indictment and preferred it against him before the grand jury of the Public, when'they sent him his recal? They must have had strong grounds for so strong a measure; they could not have recalled him from motives of personal dislike, because they would equally have operated against his appointment in the first instance; nor could he suppose that their conduct originated in trivial causes. If they could induce themselves to believe, or imagined they should be able to make the Public believe, that it was a matter of flight importance, he flattered himself they would find themselves mistaken. Having been arraigned on their indictment, he was anxious to come to trial. He felt his own honour implicated in the event at issue between them, and he therefore implored his Majesty's ministers to do him that justice which he had a right to expect, and by naming a day as early as poflible for investigation, assi-rd the means of doing that which was certainly of no small importance, set the public mind at rest upon a point respecting which the public mind had undoubtedly been a good deal agitated. He hoped therefore, notwithstanding what had fallen from the Noble Secretary os State, he would condescend to name as early a day for the investigation, as the nature of public business would admit.
-The Earl of Moirn said, he entirely agreed with the Noble Secretary of State, th;'t the rh.inge or recal of a Viceroy of Ireland did not necessarily implicate either the person removed, or those who advised the change, in any bhme 3 neither was it of itself either a sit or a necessary ground for a Parliamentary proceeding; but in the case of the Noble Earl, who had that day called upon ministers to institute an inquiry in justice to his own honour, and in order to satisfy the Public, it could by no means be considered as a simple recal of a Viceroy.