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bound as an honest man to declare, unexpectedly agreed to. The that the influence of the crown had amended question then stood increased far beyond the ideas of thus,—That it is the opinion of à monarchy ftrictly limited in its this committee, that it is now ne. nature and extent.
cessary to declare, that the influ. Such doctrines and opinions, ence of the crown is increased, in. coming from such an authority, creasing, and ought to be dimi. could not but produce some con- nished. fiderable effc&t. The speaker like. The committee divided about wise observed to the committee, 12 o'clock, when the motion fo that it might poflibly be very galla amended was carried by a maing to them to be informed of their jority of 18; the numbers being duty by the petitioners; but they 233, who supported Mr. Dunhould recollect that it was entire- ning's proposition, to 215, who ly their own fault. He was sorry, voted with administration against in one sense, to see those petitions ic. Thus the minister, a second before them; because he was of time in this session, found himself apinion, that the house, conscious in a minority. 01 its own duty, should have pre- Mr. Dunning then moved his veoted the neceflity. What the second propofition, “ That it is petitioners now demanded, hould " competent to this house to exahave osiginated within their own “ mine into, and to correct abuses walls; and chen, what now would « in the expenditure of the civil bear too much the appearance of " lift revenues, as well as in compulfon, would have been re. “ every other branch of the pub. ceived with gratitude on the one “lic revenue, whenever it shall bide, and conferred with credit and “ seem expedient to the wisdom a good grace on the other. But at « of this house fo to do.” any rate they were to consider, that Although the minister requested they were then fitting as the re- that the committee would not propresentatives of the people, and ceed any farther that night, the folely for their advantage and be. question was notwithstanding put, Defit; and that they in duty stood and carried without a division. pledged to that people, who were Buc the new majority, after the their creators, for the faithful dif- vexation of so many years labour charge of their trust
in the ineffective effo ts of a mi. The Lord Advocate of Scotland, nority, were now determined to in order to obtain a negative to make the most of the advantages the motion, proposed to strengthen afforded by their new situation. the propofition in such a manner, Mr. T. Pitt, accordingly (who as, he thought, muft of neceflity had taken a moft active and spi. occafion its rejection. He accord- rited part in the debates of the ingly moved as an amendment the day) moved the following resolu. following words, ". That it is tion, That it is the opinion of this “ now necessary to declare," an a committee, “ that it is the duty mendment wbich the opposition « of this house to provide, as far (uodoubtedly from a sense of their « as may be, an immediate and frength) readily, and perhaps « effcctual redrels of the abuses
66.complained of in the petitions confidered, and the manner in "iprefented to this house, from which they were carried, is atten. " the different counties, cities, cively viewed, scarcely any thing e and towns in this kingdom." .more important seems to have.
The minister again intreated been so proposed and carried since and implored, but with no better the revolution. The fyftem of the success than before, that the com- court was taken to its foundamittee would not proceed any. far- tions. Without doors, the joy ther for that nighi. No ground of and triumph in most parts of : argument being taken against, nor England, as well in most of the opposition whatever made to this counties that did not petition, as conclufive motion, it was carried in those that did, was great and in the affirmative without an appa. general; and though not dilrent diffent.
played in the same manner, would The business was not, however, not perhaps have been exceeded, yet over. The house being re. on occagon of the most decifive sumed, Mr. Fox moved, that the victory over a foreign enemy. resolutions should be immediately It can be no matter of surprize, reported. This was opposed by that under the pressure of such the minister, with all the force he circumstances, and pushed without yet retrained, as being unusual, mercy, on all fides as he was, the violent, and arbitrary. But the minifter. Should in some instances. torrent was too strong to be re- be thrown off his guard so much, filted. The resolutions were feve- as to Thew strong marks of: indig. rally reported and received; and, nation and resentment ; more ef. after being read a first and second pecially when keen personal. reeine, were agreed to, and con- proach was superadded to the gefirmed by the house, without a' neral sense of misfortune. This diviGon.
effect was particularly produced by Such was the complete and de- the severity of some strictures cifive victory gained, in behalf of thrown out by Mr. Thomas Pitt; the peritions, by the opposition, on who observed, that there could that extraordinary and nemorable not be a more indubitable proof of day. The exultation and triumph the enormous and destructive inon one side of the house, was only' fuence of the crown, than that equalled by the evident depresion noble Icrd afforded in the poffeland dismay which prevailed on fion of bis present office, after so the side of administration. In many years of loss, misfortune, deed the appearance of things was and calamity, as had already fufficient to Afrike the boldelt with marked the fatal course of his ad. dismay; nor does it seem, that ministration. He aked, wherber any proposition could have been that noble lord bad not loft Amc. brought fairly before the house on rica? Whether he had not fquanthat night, which, in the spirit dered many millions of the pubthat the prevailed, would not lic money, and wasted rivers of have been carried against the min blood of the subjects of Great nifers. When the nature and Britain. And yet, though the the tendency of the queftions are whole country with one voice cried
out against him, and execrated his opposed; the principal grounds of American war, the noble lord ftill argument being, that the comheld his place. Could this pof- mons passing resolutions, which fibly be ascribed to any other cause were in fact tests, 'might occasion tban to the overgro'vn influence of fome difference with the other the crown, along with that dar- house; and the old doctrine, of ing exertion of it, which sets the the indelicacy of supposing, that voice and the interests of the peo. men of honour and character ple at pooght? The noble lord, could be bialled in their public he said, had funk and degraded opinions and votes, by the confi. the honour of Great Britain; the deration of any paltry emolu. name of an Englishman was now ments. There were however overno longer a matter to be proud of; ruled, and the resolution carried the time had been when it was the without difficulty. envy of all the world: it had Mr. Dunning then noved, That been the introduction to universal the persons holding the offices of respect, but the noble lord had treafurer of the chamber, treasurer contrived to sink it almost beneath of the housold, cofferer of the hourcontempt. He had rendered his hold, comptroller of the housold, countrymen and their country des- mafter of the houthold, clerks of the picable in the eyes of every other green cloth, with all their deputies, power.--It must have required be rendered incompatible with a more than a common share of phi- seat in that house. Thus avowed. lorophy to remain unmoved, un- ly endeavouring to remedy, so far as der such a weight of invective, it could now be done, the failure of and under charges of such a' na- that clause in Mr. Burke's eitah. tore.
lishment bill, which went to the On the next day of total abolition of those very offces. ' buliness, the house be. This motion was warmly opposed, ing in a committee on the subject and brought out some considerable of the petitions, M:. Dunning, in debate, in which the propriety of pursuance of his plan, moved a place bills, with the several quali. sesolurion to the following pur. fications and exceptions to the port, That in order to secure the principle, were much and ingeniindependence of parliament, and oully agitated. It was, however, to obviate all suspicions of its pu- more ftrenuously opposed in act, in rity, that within seven days after the ftruggle of an exceedingly the meeting of parliament, every close division, than even in argufeffion, there be laid before that ment. The quefiion being called house, by the proper officer, an ac- for at a late hour, the motion was count of all monies paid out of carried, in a very full house, by the civil list, or any part of the a majority of two only; the numpublic sevenue, to or for the use, bers, upon a division, being 215, or in trust, for any member of to 213. This was the minister's parliament, since the last recers, third minority. However, he by every perfon who mall have seemed to gather strength. paid the same.
Thus far, the new majority hrad This motion was but faintly kept their ground. Experience, however, soon taught them, that out restraint; the option either they could only hold it on certain of holding his place, or of exercirquestions, and in certain seasons. ing. his franchise, would always
The firit check they re. lie with himself. 1311. received was on the second The bill was, however, thrown reading of Mr. Crew's bill, for Out upon a division, about ten at excluding revenue officers from night, by a majority of 224, to voting on the election of members 195; fo well was the house attendof parliament. As this bill was on ed at this time. The illness of the same principle with that which the speaker, on the following day, had been brought forward by the occa Goned a sudden cessation. The late Mr. Dowdeswell about ten house was adjourned unto the 24th years before, the ground of argu- day of the month. ment was necessarily the same on During this interval, the conboth sides which we then itated; tractor's bill brought out long and with this addition on one, that very confiderable debates in the the present bill weni to two of the House of Lords. Upon the segreat objects of the petitions, to cond reading, the i diminish the influence of the Duke of Bolion hay. Apa "4". crown, and to restore or secure ing moved that the bill should the independence of parliament; be committed, a powerful and the opposition from thence con- determined opposition on the fide tending that the house was of adminiftration immediately ap. bound by its own late determina. peared, in which the secreta. tions to support the biil. The ries of ftate, and both the great debate was long, and the question law lords in office took a principal Crongly argued on both fides. share. The one, holding out the ir jul. The court lords in Gifted, that · tice and cruelty of depriving a the principle of the bill was false, great body of men of their fran- and that it proposed manifest in. chises, without any crime proved justice. It was likewise a direct or alledged to justify the forfei. infringement of that great preroturc; and the other infilting, that gative of the crown, which lets it she bill would deprive them of no above all controul whatever, in franchises, for that no revenue the articles of making and conofficer, while he continued such, ei- ducting war. The principle was this did or could posless a free vote: false, in fuppofing dishonesty and so that instead of injustice or cruel. corruption without any manner of ty, it would be a great relief to evidence. It was cruel and unjutt, these people, as it would save them in inflicting punishment without from the hard neceffity, of either proof of criminality or guilt. It voting againt their inclination and would deprive a respeEtable body cor.science, or of losing their of men of their patural rights, as places ; the bill did not deprive, well as of their municipal franit only suspended the officer's chises, without the smallest charge, franchise, until he was in a litva. or even pretence, of their having tion which would admit of his ex- committed any act which could inercising it properly, that is, with. cur a forfeiture. Indeed it reached
to those who could commit no act, stores or neceffaries which were for it decreed punishment to men wanted, would be attended with yet unborn.
the most ruinous consequences : With all its other enormities, and such a public advertisement the bil,' they said, went to the would besides afford direct intordirect fubverfion of the constitu- mation to the enemy of the nature tion, by depriving the people of and delign, of whatever expedi. England of their inherent and in- tion or enterprize was then in convaluable right, of choosing those templation. It was frequently nepersons whom they trusted and cessary, they said, to provide for liked, to be their representatives fulore as well as present exigencies in parliament. Nor was its ten- in contracts. Their very nature dency more unjust to individuals, often forbids their being public. more injurious to the prerogative, The mode of public advertisement or more inimical to the conftiiu now proposed, would likewile entinn, than it would be found per- hance the prices of the commodity ia nicious to the public service of the such a degree, that the executive flate in time of war. For it would officers of government would be indeter all repucable merchants and capable of carrying on the public gentlemen of character, who had business. a nice sense of honour, and who Were then, they said, the were not disposed to forteic the gentlemen, who performed such common rights and franchises of eminent and effential forvices to citizens, from supplying our fleets their country, as the provision of and armies, upon any terms, with thole fupplies, without which thofe necesaries, which it would fleets and armies are inefiectual, ia frequently happen, that no others te, for that reason only, debarred could furnish. And at any rate, from serving it in another inanner, it would throw the business en. for which, by their fortunes and tirely into the hands of men, who abilities, they might probably be either wanted means and ability no less qualified ? Was it a part of to fulfil their contracts, or inclina- the syitem included in the present tion and honelty to fu:61 them rage of novelty and reform, eiher properly.
to ban th the mercantile interest froidi The bill indeed provides, that ihe House of Commons, or to place those who become contractors at a the existence of our feets and arpublic bidding, after 2; days pre- mies in the hands of leggars and vious notice given in the Gazette, bankrupts ? Mall not be subject to its penalties; They reprobated in high terms that is, they will not be rendered the indignity offered to che huincapable of a seat in the House of man heart and underllanding, in Commons. But the circumstances fupposing that men of character, and exigencies of war are frequently fortune, and fenie, would forfeic luch, as to require the greateit their good name and reputation, poffible dispatch, and the most in. and sacrifice those public intereits violable fecrecy. It may fre. in which they were lo deeply quently happen that the loss of concerned, by prottituting' their half that time in providing the votes in parliament for the palery