Page images
PDF
EPUB

this subject, in particular, Mr. tween three and four; when 10Fox expatiated with infinite wit thing being concluded, it was put and felicity of thought and ex- off to another day. The illue of preflion. .

the business was, that the bill was The minifter supported his no- finally carried through both houses, mination, by observing, that as and received the royal aflent. All the accounts of the army would that the opposition got by their form a great and principal object struggle, was the exclusion of the of examination and enquiry with gentleman in office, to whose perthe commisioners, he thought it Ional character they liad not the a matter of great moment, that a smallest objection, general officer, of Sir Guy Carle- The extraordinaries of the army ton's high character, great expe- coming under confideration, in rience, and consequent knowledge the committee of supply, on the in such subjects, should be placed at following day but one, Colonel the head of the commission. That Barré, who had taken great pains he should a&t upon the fame prin- in investigating that subject, afier ciple in the nomination of others; stating the result of bis enquiries, some of the gentlemen he intended with his observations on them, to to propose being drawn from the the committee, moved resolutions law, and others from the mercan- to the following purport :--That tile profeflion. The former were, the sum of 1,588,0271. 2s. is stated for the greater part, masters in in the papers presented to this chancery. These the minister sup- house, to have been applied to the ported, as from their knowledge service of the land forces in North in stating and settling accounts, America, from the 31st of January, being particularly suited to the 5779, to the 1st of February, 1780, business. The oppofiion exceed- of which sum no account whatsoever ingly ridiculed this idea, and has been laid before parliament. asked, whether their remarkable The faid sum being over and quickness in bringing private ac- above the pay, cloathing, provicounts to a settlement was what re- fions, with the expence of freight commended them to that othce ? and armament attending them,

The next nomination made by ordnance, transport service, oats, the minifier was a gentleman in blankets, expence of Indians, pay ottice, although placemen were ex- of certain general and staff officers, pressly excluded by a provision in pay of several commissaries, and the bill. This threw the opposi- other allowances for the said forces, tion, who were sufficiently ditiatif. That the sum of 3,796,543 1. has fied before, into a violent flame, been applied to the service of the and a motion w3s immediately land forces in North America, in Inade for the chairman's quitting the year 1775, 1776, 1777, 1778, the chair. After much heat and of which fum no satisfactory acdebate, the question was put, and count has been laid before parlia. rejected, upon a close division, ment. The said sum being over the numbers being 1953 to 173. and above the sums stated in the Though it was then two o'clock, accounts for pay, &c. including, the debate was continued till be with the addition of rum, all those

con

[ocr errors]

contingents which we have stated An ineffectual attempt was in the former refolution. That it made by General Conway, to sto is the opinion of this committee, bring in a bill for restoring peace that the practice of incurring and with America. The bill did not paying extraordinaries of the army, come fully up to the ideas of opto lo large an amount, without position, although it went beyond either explanation or satisfactory those of administration; but so account, and without the autho- eager were the former, as they derity of parliament, is not war- clared theinfelves, for taking up ranted by precedent, is a dange- any measure which at all tended rous invasion of tbe rights of this to that desirable event, and likehouse, and one of the gross abuses wise considering that it might be in the expenditure of the public moulded in its progress to such a money, complained of in the peti- form as they conceived would be tions of the people. That it is more adapted to its purpose, that the opinion of this committee, that it brought out confiderable dethe creation of new, unneceflary, bates ; and upon a motion to get or Ginecure offices in the army, rid of it, without a direct nega. with considerable emoluments, is tive, by calling the order of the a profuñon of the public money, day, they brought the question to and the more alarming, as it tends a division, in which it was carried to iacrease the unconstitutional in- against them by a majority of 123, fluence of the crown.

to 81. There -motions, supported with Information having somç time the greatest ability, and most per- before been received by the oppofect knowledge of the subject, by fition, that on the day of a great the mover, drew out the usual meeting of the electors of Westmincourse of debate, and upon the ster, upon public affairs, at Weftfame ground which we have here- minster-hall, and where several per. tofore seen taken, or other at- fons of the firft rank and distinction tempts of enquiry into the ex- in the kingdom attended, private perces of the American war. The orders had been given for a large first resolution was rejected, upon body of the military, particularly a division, by a majority of more the whole, or a part of the 3d regithan two to one ; the numbers be- ment of guards, to be armed and ing 123, to 57.-The second and in readiness, who were likewise third resolutions received a nega- unusually provided with a confitive without any division; and derable quantity of powder and the fourth was withdrawn. The ball, it had been more than once debates lasted till between one and taken notice of in the House of two in the morning. The mover Commons, and brought out no received great applause from some small degree of warınth and shardof the petitioning bodies, as well ness of observation. On the other for the motions themselves, as for fide, the fact was at first denied, the labour and perseverance with and it was asserted that no such which he had surmounted. the nu- orders had been given ; but aftermerous difficulties that had ob- wards, it was partly acknow. fructed the course of his enquiries. ledged, and attributed to the buiy,

or

[ocr errors]

or impertinent application of a The committee on the line Weftminster justice. As that de remaining clauses of Mr. scription of men were not held in Burke's establishment bill being the highest estimation, such an au- resumed, that for abolishing the thority was not at all acknow- offices of master of the buckledged, as any juftification of so hounds, fox-hounds, and barriers, extraordinary a measure. The sub. was rejected upon a division, by ject was however of a nature, which a majority of 75 to 49. rendered the obtaining of any evi. The clause for enacting, that dence on which to proceed excced, the places of lieutenant and en. ingly difficult.

fign, and all other inferior offices in : This difficulty being at belonging to the body of yeomen Oude length overcome by Sir Wilof the guards, after the determiliam Meredith, he made a niotion, nation of these offices in the prefor the proper oihcer to lay before fent pofleffors, and also, all comthe house, a copy of any requifi. miflion and other offices belonging tions made by the civil magifirates, to the band of gentlemen penand by whom, for any of the foot fioners, thould not be sold, but or horle guards, to be in readiness filled by officers of the army and from the 5th to the 7th of April latt. navy on half pay, and of fifteen

This motion brought out some years service; was agreed to.. exceedingly warm animadverfion, The clause for abolithing the and strong language ; (which at office of paymaster of the penfions, this time became more common and its dependencies, was rejected than ever) and it was openly de- on a divifion, by a majority of 79, clared, that if the people, legal. to 64. ly and confiitutionally assembled The clause against the private arpon their own affairs, were to payment of the penfions during be surrounded by bodies of armed pleasure, was better attended, men, and those too of a defcrip. and of course rejected by a greater tion particularly inimical and dan- majority; the numbers, upon a di. gerous to the constitution and vition, being us, to 79. them, it was become neceflary, The clause for limiting the fethat the people thould provide for cret service money, was rejected tbeir own fecurity, by going effec. without a division. tually armed to such meetings. The clause for regulating the The ground of argument ou the order in which payments were to other fide, was the right of the be made to the civil officers of the civil magitirate to call in the aid fiate, including all the orders of of the military under any appre- the houshold, was rejected, upon a hention of riot, and the pecetlity divifion, by a majority of 110 of that power for the preservation to 58. of the public peace. The motion The claute for enabling certain was rejected on a division, by a specified great officers, to call the majority of 133, to 91.

several public accountants befort The house now began to be them, in a fummary way, and to very badly attended, as will ap. examine and audit their accounts, pear from the siate of divisions. was.rejceted by 68 to 31..

MF,

· Mr. Burke then declared, that On the following day, the Re. he would not divide the house up. corder of London moved a refoluon any of the remaining clauses, tion in favour of the petitioners, but defired that they might be amounting in substance, to the not read over and negatived as expe- granting of any farther sums of ditioudly as possible, in order that money for the public services, unthe committee might be diffolved, til the grievances stated in the and his bill no longer remain petitions of the people were reeither an eye-fore to his adversa dressed. Although he supported ries, nor an object for demand his motion very ably, in a specchi ing the tiresome and fruitless at- of confiderable length, and (teintendance of his friends. About ed to be very attentively listened half of the members immediately to by the house, it brought out no quitted the house upon this uotice; manner of debate; for just as the but one solitary clause, relative to minitier had risen to reply, the the exchequer, having the fortune question was so inceisantly called to attract the regards of the mi- for by the court party, that it was nitter, he wished it might be poft- accordingly put ; and the motion poned to another day; for though was rejected, upon a division, by a he liked the object extremely, it majority of 89, to 54. was not dressed entirely to his . The last effort in behalf of the talie ; upon which account, he petitioners, though going only a proposed that the chairman should small way indeed to meet their exreport a progress, in order to keep pectations, was a motion by Mr. the cornmittee open.

. Dunning, in the com. v. The framer of the bill replied, mittee of the whole May 2011.

· May 26th. that his patience and his fpirits house on the consideration of the were both exhaufied ; and he re- petitions, that their own two reloquefied of the noble lord to-be solutions of the roth of April, should kind and merciful, as to put an be then reported. This brought end to his sufferings, and nega- out very warm debates, in which tive this, as he had done the pre- most of the principal speakers cediog clauses. His plan, if a- on both sides took a part. A modopted on the large scale on which tion was immediately made on the he had laid it down, would, he other side, for the chairman to said, bave saved to the nation, quit the chair, amounting to a direaly and in its consequences, diffolution of the committee. above 2 million per annum; and The question being put, the it was scarcely worth his lordship's chairman was voted to quit the while to keep him any longer on chair, by a majority of 177, to the torture, under the pressure of 134. this unfortunate clause, for any While these matters were agitrifling laring which it might pro- tated with so much warmth in and duce. Both sides being obstinate, out of parliament, and with so the question was brought to a di. many extraordinary turns of fore vifion, which being carried by the tune, an affair totally separate was minifter, the committee was still 8t the same time carried on, for kept open.

a long time, with little notice ;

.but but which, in due season, broke matters relative to religion and the out with so much fury and vio. 'danger of popery, as the caprice lence, as entirely to bear down with which he divided the house all designs, either for reforming upon questions, wherein he ftood or for Iirengthening government; nearly or entirely alone, were pasand at once overwhelmed and bore fed over, along with other finguaway before it both majority and larities in his dress and manner, minority, with an irresistible tor- rather as subjects of plealantry, rent of popular fanaticiim and thau of serious notice or reprehenphrenzy.

fion. Even when he involved matEvery body knows the cireum- ters of state with those of religion stances, as well as the event, of in a strange kind of language, this shameful and unhappy attair*; boasting that he was at the head of and that Lord George Gordon, 120,000 able men in Scotland, who who had been early placed at the would quickly remedy their own head of the Scotch Allociation grievances if they were not otherfor the support of the Protestant wife redrefled, and little less than religion, was likewite appointed holding out destruction to the prelident to an allociation in Lon- crown and government, unless full don, formed in imitation or emu- fecurity was given to the affocialation of the former. The pub- tions in both countries, againti lic summons in the new-papers, thote' imminent dangers with by which he atřembled fifty or fix- which they were inmediately ty thousand men in St. George's threatened by popery. Such things, Fields, under an idea of defend- and others, if poflible, ftill more ing the religion of the country extraordinary, were only treated against imaginary danger, by ac- merely as objects of laughter, It companying the prefentment, and is, however, possible, that this enforcing the matter, of a peti. carelessness, or complacence in the tion to parliament, demanding house, was at length carried too far. the repeal of the late law, which Besides the advertisements and afforded fome relaxation of the resolutions, the inflammatory bapenal flatutes against popery, are rangue of the president at the prelikewise frelh in every body's me. ceding meeting of the Protestant mory.

Allociation, was publithed in the 'The extraordinary conduct of news-papers, and was full of mat. that noble person in the House of ter which might well have excited Commons during the prefent ser- the most instant attention and fion, and the frequent interrup- alarm. In that piece, the prefitions which he gave to the business dent informs his enthufiaftic ad. of parliament, as well by the un. herents,' among other extraordiaccountable manner in which he nary matter, That, for his part, continually brought in and treated he would run all hazards with the

• For a particular detail, and, we suppose, as far as it exterids, tolerably authentic account, of this whole affair, see the Appendix to the Chronicle, page 254, of our present volume.

- people;

« PreviousContinue »