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son, the properefi time, because nothing it so essential to the conduct and prosecution os the war as the ■ frugal management of that supply by which only it can be carried on with any prospect of success. Nor ought the plan of ceconomy to be any longer delayed at the risque of a general bankruptcy; and from the history of this, as well as other countries, times of necessity have been always times of reform.
3dly. Because we conceive that the mode of a committee, which might act with a committee of the other House, and might, if necessary, be rendered durable, and vested with due powers by an act'of the whole legislature, might bring back the public expenditure to its constitutional principle, might, devise proper regulations for opening contracts to the proposals of every fair bidder for teforming the abuses of office, and the enormity of fees, with a variety of other abuses, particularly that of large sums of money lying in the hands of individuals, to the loss of the state.
An objection has been strongly urged on the ground of an apprehension expressed by some lords, as if they serioufly entertained it, of its producing a quarrel between the two Houses of parliament; in consequence of which, the.public business might be obstructed, by a claim on the part of the House of Corom ns to an exclusive right of Considering and providing for the subjects of this motion.
Soch a claim certainly cannot be supported, as a consequence of the claim of that House to originate money bills. Not a single Icj-d appeared to entertain an idea
that such a claim would be well founded. In troth, the objection supposes it to be ill-founded, and that therefore the House will resist it; and yet it assumes that the House of Commons will advance and persist in this ill - founded claim. We cannot discover any colour for such a supposition, unless we were to adopt the insinuations of those wh'i represent the corrupt influence (which it $ our wish to suppress) as already per. vading that House. Those who entertain that opinion of one House of parliament, will hardly thiuk less disrespectfully of the other. To them it will seem a matter of indifference, whether the motion is defeated by the ex. enion of that influence, to excite a groundless claim in the one House, or by a groundless apprehension of .such a claim in the other. But we, who would be understood to think with more respect of both, cannot entertain an apprehension so injurious to the House os Commons, as that they would at this time especially, and on this occasion, have advanced such a claim. K
The motion has likewise been objected to on account of its disqualilying persons possessing employments or pensions, to be of the proposed committee. We are ftr from supposing that the possession of place or pension necessarily corrupts the integrity of the possessor. We have seen, and the public have seen, many illustrious instances of the contrary; yet we cannot but suppose that the public expectation of advantage from this measure would have been less sanguine, if they had seen person' possessing offices selected to distinguise how far tbcir offices were useful or their salaries adequate; they perhaps would not think the posse/Tor of a pension or office the fitted judge how far that pension or office had been merited or was necessary. We cannot therefore think the motion justly exceptionable on this ground; it rather ap* pears to us to have been drawn with a proper attention to noble lords id that predicament, exempting them from a situation which they must necessarily wise to decline.
We conceive ourselves xvarranted in the mode proposed, by precedent as well as reason, and it was stated to the House to have been recommended by the most approved constitutional authors who have written since the revolution; bat having offered to meet any other proposition which might carry with it substantial remedy, and no such being offered, notwithstanding the time this proposition has Tain before the House, we cannot help considering the present negative as going to the substantial as well as formal part of the motion, and hold ourselves obliged to avail ourselves of our right of entering our protest against the rejection of the above proposition.
4thly. We are farther impelled to press this motion, because the object os' it has been seconded and called for by a considerable majority of (he people who are associating for this purpose, and seem determined to pursue it, by every legal and constitutional method that can be devised for its success; and however some may affect to be alarmed, as if such associations tended to disturb the peace, or encroach upon the delegated power
of the other House, we are persuaded they have no other view but to collect the sense of the people, and to inform the whole body of the representatives, what are the sentiments of the whole body of their constituents, in which respect their proceedings have been orderly, peaceable, and constitutional. And if it be asked, what farther is to be done if these petitions are rejected? The best answer is, that the case cannot be supposed; for although upon a few separate petitions it may be fairly said that the other House ought not to be decided by a part only of their constituent*, yet it cannot be presumed they will act in defiance of the united opinion of the whole people, or indeed of any great and notorious majority. It is admitted they have a power to vote as they think fit; but it it not possible to conceive that so wise an assembly will ever be rase enough to reject such petitions, and by that means cause thi« dangerous question to be broached and agitated, tVhttbtr they have not brtie tbtir trust? The voice of the people will certainly be complied with.
Ministers may, as they have done in recent instances, deprive any man of what he holds at their pleasure, for presuming to exercise his undoubted right of thinking for himself on these or other public subjects: but it will not be wise in them to treat these associations with contempt, or call them by thp invidious name of Faction, a name by which the minority in both Houses of parliament have been so frequently and so falsely calumniated, because the name so applied will recoil back upon themselves, when acting against
the the general sense of the nation; nor will they be able to represent these numbers, so respectable in rank and property (as they did but too successfully the discontented Americans), as a mob of indigent and seditious incendiaries, because the people to whom this is addressed, are the very people that are abused, and every man bears within himself the testimony of it: falsehood.
The ministers, on this particular occasion, cannot deceive the people. Fortefcue, Abingdon,
Harcourt, Pembroke and
De Fcrrars, Montgomery,
Camden, Rutland, ■
Coventry, Nugent Temple,
Richmond, Bohon, • •
Gral'ton, J. S. Afaph,
Portland, Wycombe, v
DiJsentUnte, without reasons, Radnor. • : >
For all the above reasons, except the fourth, Ofborne.
Die Luna, Mart. 6/s.
THAT whereas the Right Hon. the Marquis of .Carmarthen was dismissed from his office of Lord Lieutenant of the East-Riding of Yorkshire, on the morning ot the 8th of February, when his opinion was known concerning a question that was to be agitated in this house on the even
ing of that dayt and whereas the Rifcht Hon. the Earl of Pemb-oke was likewise dismissed from thte office of .Lord Lieutena t ot Wiltshire, a few days after he had given his vote upon the fame question; thee fore this house ha»e reason to suspect that they were dismissed in consequence of the said votes; it is lesolved therefore that an humble address be presented to bis Majedy, beseeching him to be graciously pleased to inform the house, whether he *w advised, and by whom, to disiniu the said two noble lord* for their cor.duct in parliament.
Aster a long debate, the question being put.
Contents 3t Proxies 8-39
Not contents 56 Proxies 36 • 91
I. Because we cannot entertain s doubt, but that the two noble lo di, whose removals from their lieutenancies have given life t» this motion, suffered this mark of his Majesty's displeasure for their conduct in parliament
The facts expressed of the notion were sufficient ia ir.eniic.vc. to satisfy any reasonable person, that this was the sole caofe of their dis; iffion, and might well hart justified an immediate censure on the advisers of that unconstitutional measure. But the motion, at the same.time that it was calculated to point the censure at tho'e advisers by name, if it should have been merited, gave them an opportunity of being exculpated if guiltless, by the solemn testimony which hit Majesty would, in such case, biwe given of their innocence.
II. Hecp.use the offer made by the noble lord who proposed this address that it should be wahdrawn, if any one of bis Maje**'*
ministers ministers would declare upon his honour, that these removals were for any other cause than 'that* which has been alledged, and the filenc,e with which ministers thought £t to receive this proposal, a'though called upon by alrnost every lord •ho spoke for the mounij, is ao additional reason sr confirming Si in our belies, that hi» Majesty his been advised to remove the two noble lords from their lieutenancies for their conduct in parliament. Die Femris, Jfrilis 14wo.
III. Because we consider this dismiffi-n of lord* from high and honourable offices, on account of their proceedings in paliament, to be i violation of the Bill of Rights, which declares, «' That proceedings ia parliament ought n .t to be impeached or questioned (much less punished) in any court or place out of parliament." And >ve ar* greatly apprehensive of the consequences, if this daring attempt to subvert one of the molt sacred principles of our constitution, should pass wish impunity and grow into pre<ctdent.
IV. Because the mischievous tendency of such influence is greatly augmented by the connection which tlie offices in question (lieutenancies .of counties) have with the proper constitution ot the militia. That important branch of the national defence has been so altered as to have almost lost fight of the original principles of an English miiitia The notorious abuses introduced into it, and the disregard paid to the few wholesome regulations remaining in it, would soon make the militia a dangerous instrument in the bands of the minister, were it not
for the exemplary zeal of those gentlemen, who, sacrificing every degree of domestic comfort, and submitting to unnecessary and distant removals from their counties , still endeavour to maintain! its purity in the character of its officers; and we consider these aher-itions and abuses as giving the more ju!t grounds of apprehension and jealousy, as they tend to assimilate the militia in principle and in habits to the standing arm*.-, in which also dangerous innovations appear daily taking place; innovations, which thcigh charged in the debate, were neither -denied nor defended. .
Lastly, because when ministers, in the fame moment that they are exerting the influence of the crown in a most corrupt and unconstitutional manner, think fit to assert, in contradiction to the evidence of all our senses, that it is nut increased, and is not formidable, we can have littse hope that such ministers will ever suffer that influence to be diminished, although its diminution is one of the principal objects of the prayer and petition of the people, founded on a seeling sense of the increased, increasing, and formidable extent of it.
TH AT the bill, intitled a bill for the exclusion of contractors From the lower house of parliament, be read a second time and committed.
After seme debate, the question being put, there appeared
For the commitment - 41
Majority - 19 It was then moved to reject the bill.
The question was pat thereupon, and resolved in the affirmative.
T. Because the commons, desirous of re establishing the reputation and authority of parliament, and of giving satisfaction to the peotle. at a time when the most cordial and unsuspicious confidence between the representative and constituent bodies is essentially necessary, have come to a resolution, * That it is necessary to declare, that the influence of the crown has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.'
. This resolution we conceive to be undeniably true, and highly seasonable. 1 he:r commencement of the diminution (which they have solemnly engaged to make) by the bill here rejected, is no less judicious. In the midst of a war, in. which nothing (among all its unhappy circumstances) is more remarkable than the prodigality with which it is carried o;i, jt appear* peculiarly necessary to remove from parliament the suspicion that the rath adoption, the obstinate continuance, and the corrupt
supply of military arrangements! are connected with the support of a court majority in parliament.
IT. Because the people, oppressed with actual impositions, and terrified with the certain prospect of farther and heavier burthegs, have a right to be assured, that none mould hare a power of laying those burthens, who have an interest in increasing them. Neither is it sit that they who are the principal subjects of complaint, mould sit as the controllers of their own conduct. Contracts can never be fairly made, when the parliamentary service os the contractor is a necessary, understood part of the agreement, and mast be reckoned into the price. But the most unexceptionable contract being a matter of great advantage to the contractor, it becomes a means of influence even when it is not a principle of abuse. It is the greatest of all the bribes a minister has to bestow; and one day's job may be worth the purchase of the fee of roost of the places and pensions that are held in that house.
III. Because no reasons have been a Signed for the rejection of this bill, but such as appear to ui frivolous or dangerous. It «ras argued as necessary to abate the phrenzy of virtue, which began to shew itself in the House ol Commons. This new species of phrenzy we look upon to be rather a charaefier of soundness, than a Ivniptom of insanity j and we fairly declare, that, as we frequently come into contact with the other House, we heartily wi(h that that distemper may become contagious. Another reason assigned against this bill, that it is not possible for