Page images


plea for not affording timely re- demands of Ireland, or of being lief to Ireland, because the par- driven to the direful necessity of liament of that country was not opening another civil war, when then fitting. As if they said) we are already surcharged by the British legislature was inca- France, Spain, and America? pable of thinking juftly,' or act. On the other hand, the miing rightly, with respect to the niftry endeavoured to turn the tacommercial interests of both king- bles on the opposition. Here, doms, until they were illuminat. said they, is the uniform course ed by those beams of wisdom and opposition faithfully holds, withknowledge which were to be re- out any deviation from the estaflected on them by the Irish par blilhed precedents of all their liament. If the charge of inca- forefathers in faction. Compacity was confined to the minis- pulfion, concession, things done, ters, friends and foes, all man- or things left undone, are alike a kind, they said, would readily subject of clamour. If measures concur in acknowledging the of vigour for support of authojustness of the application; but rity are adopted, a cry is raised with regard to the British parlia- as if tyranny were going to be ment, the reflection was not only established. If, for the sake of uncivil, but indeed constituted a peace, concessions are to be made, libel of a new and singular na then the dignity of the nation is ture. They said, it was entirely sacrificed. If measures are prompt needless to take the trouble of and spirited, the ministry are acentering at all into the question cused of precipitation; if they relative to the necessity of the ri- are inaturely weighed and contifing of parliament; for there bad dered, then the charge is timidity, been more than sufficient time, irresolution, and procrastination. between the rith of May, when Finding it impossible to please the business was first brought be these gentlemen, they would disfore them, and the 3d of July, charge their consciences, and when the prorogation took place, would do what they trusted would to bave done every thing that was be both pleasing and beneficial to then necessary with respect to the England and Ireland. That, the affairs of Ireland. But if they loyalty of that country was too would not forward, why did they clear to be shaken by all the enoppose the relief? Ministers them- deavours of facions either there selves, said they, acknowledge, or here; although attempts were that one half of what must now not wanting, by comparing her be yielded to Ireland, would then cafe to that of America, to bring have afforded fatisfa&tion. What on the like confusions in Ireland atonement can they then make, to The armaments in Ireland were their sovereign, to parliament, or to folely directed against the com- ** their country, for reducing them mon enemy; and they knew that to the hard alternative, of either the concessions which would be lacrificing the supreme authority proposed and they hoped adoptof the British legislature, by a ed) in parliament, as they would compelled compliance with all the be adequate to the neceflities of

[E] 4


[ocr errors]

Ireland, would be satisfactory to any detraction of his former fpiher wishes. If they were not, rit. both nations would know who to The question being put at half thank for the consequences. The after twelve o'clock, the motion ministers had long and inveterate was rejected, upon a division, by a prejudices to deal with in this majority of 173, to 100. kingdom, which obliged them to An unexpected motionth defer relief to Ireland, until made on the following day by 7". England saw the propriety of it. the Duke of Richmond, brought on When such prejudices prevailed, a considerable debate in the House it was necessary perhaps that some of Lords. The noble duke having inconveniences thould be felt ftat-d the vast combination of force from the prevalence of similar which was formed against this prejudices in others, and thus, country, which was left without that the opposite passions of nien friend or ally; the suspicious or balancing each other, might unfavourable appearance of some bring them all at length to rea.powers who were not in declared son. History confirmed this prin- enmity, and the total indiffe. ciple; and it has been seldom or rence, at beft, of all others; then ever known, that one narrow felt." entered into a detailed statement interest in states has been got the of our present vast military eftabetter of, but in the conflict with blishments by sea and land; some other. It would be hard to which, including the late augmake the present ministers answer. mentation of above 20,000 men able for the natural course of to the land force, would not fall things.

much short, he thewed, in both The debates were long, vari- departments, of 300,000 men. ous, and interesting. All the wit, He proceeded to argue, that it ability, and eloquence of the op- would exceed the ability of any pofition, were thrown out without power whatever - in Europe, to measure or reserve against the mi- fupport, for any continuance, nisters. On their fide, they ex- this prodigious force, by sea and erted themselves much more land, at the enormous expence than they had done in the House which it created to this country. of Lords. The two great lead. Without at all taking into the acers and speakers of the opposi- count, that the commercial loftes tion in that house took a large of this country, including those share in the debate, and were as of all kinds which proceeded from usual difinguished. The appear- the defection of her colonies, far ance of Mr. Fox, after his reco- exceeded in extent, what could very from the wound which he well have fallen to the lot of any had received in the late duel, oc- other state. calloned by fomething that had He then proceeded to examine fallen from him on the first day the tiate of our resources, and of the fellion, afforded matter of laid down the a&ual expences of much general curiofily; and that the war. He shewed, by a numincident seemed now to have pro- ber of calculations, that if the duced a renovation, rather than war only continued to the end of


the ensuing year, and was only support of the war. How dif. to consume the provision which ferent was the conduct in this parliament was now making country. Instead of any attempt for its support, it would, by towards the practice, or even any that time, complete an addition profession or pretence of economy, from its beginning, of fixty-three our expenditure was so shamefully millions to the former national lavish, as to surpass all recorded debt; the whole then amounting example of waste and mismanage. to very little short of two hundred ment, in the weakest and most cormillions. And, that as the mi- rupt governments. nister had given on an average Our affairs were now, howabout fix per cent. for the new ever, he said, arrived at such a debt, the standing interest of the point of distress and danger, as u bole would not amount to less laid us under an absolute necesii. thao eight millions sterling an- ty of recurring to that nevernually; a tribute, to the pay- failing source of wealth, æcono. ment of which, all the landed my. We could not otherwise property in England was to be hope to work out our national for ever mortgaged.

salvation. It must begin someSuch, he said, would be the where, and in so trying a season state of this country with respect as the present, he could not but to its finances at the elose of the be of opinion, that the example following year; and it would should come froin the sovereign. only be better by twelve milli. It would then have a great and ons, were peace to be concluded general effect; and he could not at the instant he was speaking. doubt, that after such a beginUnder so vast a burthen, an ex- ning, there was one of their lordpenditure constantly increasing, ships, who would not cheårfully and which already exceeded all relinquilh such a part of their measure and example, the most public emoluments, as his maexact and rigid public economy, jesty might think proper to realong with the most liberal exer- commend, The example would tions of public spirit, were abso. go ftill farther. It would spread lutely necessary for our preserva- through the different departments tion. Our formidable neighbour of the state; it would influence and enemy had set us the exam. the conduct, and excite the public ple of economy. Whilst the En- spirit of individuals; and it would glish were bent down to the earth likewise, in its effect, tend to reunder the pressure of their bur- ftrain that boundless profusion in thens, and the industry of our the public expenditure which at minifter was exhausted, in mul- present prevailed. He did not tiplying new and vexatious, but with to abridge the crown of any unproductive objects of taxation, thing which was necessary to sup. Prance, through the ability of her port its splendour and dignity, minister, by a judicious reform in He was certain his intended mo. the collection and expenditure of tion could not at all produce that her finances, had not yet laid a effect. Parliament had, a few fingle tax on her people for the years before, augmented the civil


It woulde fiets and such a beira

lift to the enormous amount of he may hold, as his majesty in his 900,000 1. a year. His motion royal wisdom may think proper to could go no farther, in its utmost make. presumed extent, than to bring it The lords in administration again to that state, in which both agreed in general with the noble the honour and Splendour of the duke, as to the representation of crown had been well supported, in public affairs which he had laid much happier times and more prof. down as the grounds of his moperous seasons.

tion. We were certainly involvHe accordingly moved for an ed in a dangerous and expenfive address to the following purport- war, and obliged to contend with To beseech bis majesty to reflect one of the most formidable confe. on the manifold dittreffes and dif. deracies that Europe had ever ficulties, in which this country' beheld. They likewise acknow. is involved, and too deeply felt to ledged, that there had been some fand in need of enumeration want of economy during the preTo represent, that amidst the fent adminiftration, but they ra. many and various matters that re- ther considered this circumstance quire reformation, and must un. as incident to a state of war, than dergo correction, before this coun- as being peculiar to the ministers, try can rise superior to its power. They, however, wished, that a ful enemies, the waste of public more clear and satisfactory mantreasure requires instant remedy- ner was adopted in stating the pubThat profusion is not vigour; and Jic accounts, and that the strictest that it is become indispensably aconomy should be practised in the necessary to adopt that true aco- public expenditure. pomy, which, by reforming all But they opposed the motion, useless expences, creates confi- with respect to its direct and prindence in government, gives ener cipal object, on various grounds; gy to its exertions, and provides particularly from a convi&ion that the means for their continuance. it could not be of any service, -Humbly to submit to his ma- and considering it, besides, as be. jesty, that a considerable reduc. ing of an improper tendency. tion of the civil lift, would be an The mode, they said, was totally example well worthy his majetty's inadequate to its object, of extri. paternal affection for his people, cating us in any degree from our and his own dignity; could not present difficulties ; at the same fail of diffusing its influence time that it conveyed a censure through every department of the upon the former proceedings of state, and would add true lustre that House, in the augmentation to his crown, from the grateful of the civil lift. It was inconfeelings of a diftrefled people.- fiftent and unjust to attempt to And, to assure his majesty, that withdraw froni his majesty what this House will readily concur in bad been so unanimously granted promoting to desirable a purpole; to him by parliament. It would and that every one of its members be paltry and mean to tax the 13will chearfully submit to such re- laries of the servants of the crowo ; duction of emolument in any office and the revenue fo raised would


[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

be trifling, and totally incompe- The noble lord at the head of tent to any of the great purposes the law encountered the motion, of national expenditure. If we with all the weight of his own were reduced to such an extremi- great natural abilities, as well as ty of distress as rendered the mea- with that refined fubiilty and sure indispensably necessary, let acuteness of argument, which may the contributions from the public in some degree be considered as benevolence or spirit be general professional. He asked, who knew and optional ; let us follow the of those distresses which were stated example of Holland in such a fi. in the motion? How were they tuation, where money was receiv- before the House ? From what ined, without any specification, in vestigation of their lordships, as the public treasury, and without a house of parliament, was such its being in any degree account- a result drawn? Another assertion, able for.

he said, was surely of too much Whatever system of economy importance to be hazarded on might be adopted, it should not mere speculation. The motion by any means, they said, begin stated that “the waste of public at the crown; the splendour of treasure required instant remedy." which fhould at all events be If the fact were fo, the departmaintained, as including in it the ment of government ought to be honour and dignity of the em- direAly pointed out, in which the pire. @conomy should be direc- waste of the public treasure lay ; ted to the various departments otherwise the charge was unjust, which were connected with the because it applied alike 'to all public expenditare, 10 that their public offices. If the fact were respective business might be pru- not true, the injustice was manidently and honestly administered. feftlyftill greater. No kind of They were all interested in sup- proof had been offered; much porting the honour and dignity of lefs had the fact been even atthe crown; and they must all par- tempted to be established in partake in the satisfaction of that in- liamentary form. Such being the crease of the royal family, which case, he submitted to the House, increased the neceflity of an am. how far it would be decent, how ple revenue. Were we fallen to far it would be just, to vote an adthat deplorable and abject ftate, dress, which, in any part of it, conto be under a necessity of publish- tained a general and undefined ing to all the world, that we charge against the king's servants. were unable to continue that in- As to the main propofitions, come which we had so freely which included the substance of granted to his majetty ? Such a the motion, he objected to the proceeding would fink and de. want of specification, as he did grade us to much in the eyes of to the defect of proof with respect all Larope, that instead of afford to the preceding affertions. What ing any benefit, it would be pro. was to be understood by the words Gactive of great national preju- confiilerable reduftions. Did they

signify a moiety, or two thirds


« PreviousContinue »