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to receive such explanation, I shall respectfully wait your royal highness's commands.--I have the honour to be, With the utmost deference and
Your royal highness's most dutiful and devoted servant,
Downing Street, Tuesday Night,
Dec. 30th, 1758.
To this communication, the Prince of Wales, not deeming it expedient to enter into a personal correspondence with Mr. Pitt, caused the following answer to be delivered to the lord chancellor.
« The Prince of Wales learns from Mr. Pitt's letter, that the proceedings in parliament are now in a train, which enables Mr. Pitt, according to the intimation in his former letter, to communicate to the Prince the outlines of the plan which his majesty's confidential servants conceive proper to be proposed in the present circumstances.
Concerning the steps already taken by Mr. Pitt, the Prince is silent. Nothing done by the two houses of parliament can be a proper subject of his animadversion ; but when, previous to any discussion in parliament, the outlines of a scheme of government are sent for his consideration, in which it is proposed that he shall be personally and principally concerned, and by which the royal authority and public welfare may be deeply affected, the Prince would be unjustifiable, were he to withhold an explicit declaration of his sentiments. His silence might be construed into a previous approbation of a plan, the accomplishment of which every motive of duty to his father and sovereign, as well as of re
gard for the public interest, obliges him to consider as injurious to both.
“ In the state of deep distress in which the Prince and the whole royal family were involved, by the heavy calamity which has fallen upon the King, and at a moment when government, deprived of its chief energy and support, seemed peculiarly to need the cordial and united aid of all descriptions of good subjects, it was not expected by the Prince, that a plan should be offered to his consideration, by which government was to be rendered difficult, if not impracticable, in the hands of any person intended to represent the King's authority, much less in the hands of his eldest son, the heir apparent of his kingdoms, and the person most bound to the maintenance of his majesty's just prerogatives and authority, as well as most interested in the happiness, the
prosperity, and the glory of the people.
- The Prince forbears to remark on the several parts of the sketch of the plan laid before bim; he apprehends it must have been formed with sufficient deliberation to preclude the possibility of any arguments of his producing an alteration of sentiment in the projectors of it. But he trusts, with confidence, to the wisdom and justice of parliament, when the whole of this subject, and the circumstances connected with it, shall come under their deliberation.
“ He observes, therefore, only generally on the heads communicated by Mr. Pitt-and it is with deep regret the Prince makes the observation, that he sees in the contents of that paper a project for producing weakness, disorder, and insecurity in every branch of the administration of affairs -- a
project for dividing the royal family from each other, for separating the court from the state; and therefore, by disjoining government from its natural and accustomed support, a scheme for disconnecting the authority to command service, from the power of animating it by reward; and for allotting to the Prince all the invidious duties of government, without the means of softening them to the public, by any one act of grace, favour, or benignity.
“ The Prince's feelings on contemplating this plan, are also rendered still more painful to him, by observing that it is not founded on any general principles, but is calculated to infuse jealousies and suspicions ( (wholly groundless he trusts) in that quarter, whose confidence it will ever be the first pride of his life to merit and obtain.