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already stated, I left the aforesaid bao lattee, $62,2491. 2s. 1d. of the current account of the treasurer of the navy, when I retired srom office upon the said 3:st day of July, 1803. — The woole of the above statements can be th cle 1 and verified by a reference to the pub'ic accounts of the office, which, posses ing internal evidence of the facts, I do not think it would have been necessary for gettlemen acting under the preseut, colnmission to have looked for ulterior evidence of the management of money which has not even been alleged to be deficient, at the painsul expense of an exposure of my private concerns, obtained through the means of my most confidential friends; and, I
trust, that no hesitation which I may have.
shewn upon the former part of my evidence may be considered as an admission of having acted improperly, but entirely as proceeding from the caution that every man ought to observe under circumstances which might eventually expose him to pains and penalties not apprehended in the course of business, but, a consequence certainly necessary to be guarded against at this time, from my ignorance of the motive
which has led to an investigation of my pub
lic conduct so strict and unexpected, extend. ing even to evidence drawn from my tanker of my private transactions, which I do not consider to be authorised by, your act of parliament 43 Geo. IIL. cap. 16); and I take this opportunity of protesting against any information, thus obtained upon trans
*ctions not connected with any of the public,
departments specified in the above act, and
ore especially from persons imperfectiv in
formed, who can only speak on belief or conjecture as to their nature.
(313.8ERVATIONS. , on the * ***going he roar asp Evides ce.
, Holding in veneration the good old rule, that nothing ought to be said of the conduct of any persons, while that conduct is under in estigation, in this work great care was **u not to aid in the circulation of the "mours disadvantageous to the above named Persons, during the iuqury carried on, re*Poeting their conduct, by the Commissionors of Naval Inquiry. Their partisans (for ** it seems there yet are) would fait, have 5- *he world continue their silence, even w "", mot perceiving, or, at least, not appear"&" perceive, that the inquiry is finished,
* *d the verdict. given in; and, they have
.***Presume, to learu, that, in this stage "of a trial, no public writer thinks it his duty
to adhere to
to abstain from offering to the public, such remarks as occur to him as being propet to be made opon any part of the facts that may have been brought to light. "Nevertheless, considering the high station filled by the first of these persons, and, more especially considerino, how desirable it is that nothing of a party spirit should discover uself in the discussion of what ought to be considered as a great question of state, it was my intention to have merely laid before my readers as great a portion of the Tenth Report, together with the accompanying documents, as I could have found room for, and to have made not a single observation thereon, till the matter had been finally settled by the parliament. But, from this intention I have been forced, absolutely driven, by the imprudent (it may be called criminal) zeal of those profligate writers, who have not only apologised for, but who have attempted to justify, that conduct which the Naval Com
missioners have so decidedly and so justy
reprobated. Justice, therefore, to those Commissioners, who have been labouring with so much zeal and ability in the public service, justice to my own sentiments with regard to such conduct as that imputed to the persons accused, demand of me to break that silence which it was my design strictly The writers, to whom I have alluded, have made their appearance in the OR a cle, the C.; U R is R. and the SUN. In the last of these prints (23d instant) it is, in no very equivocal terms, insinuated, that the Commissioners have, as to the TENTH REpont,acted underan unduebias, and that they have not been impartial. It is better to take the very words, “ But how stands Lord “ Melville What is proved against him “ Nay, of what even is he accused 2 The “ facts, as reported by the Commissioners, “ most be separated from the insinuations “ which may be thrown out, whether by “ them or by others. We rely upon the fi“ delity of their report; but their inferences “ are worth no inore than those of other “s men. We do not even accuse them of “ undoe hias; but, certainly, if in common
cap. 31) has not, in this case, been violated.
Little, one would thir": need be said upon this, especially to those who will look at the provisions of th; act, and at the report, and the resolution of the House of Commons, upon which the act, as appears by its preamble was expressly founded. The object of the act was, to prevent any Treasurer of the Navy, or any other person, from deriving, in future, any advantage whatever from the use of the money issued from the Erchequer to defray the erpenses of the Navy. This was the great, the well-known, the unequivocalJy professed, the universally acknowledged, object of the act; and, when the writers abovementioned talk of calling up from the grave the persons who framed the act, they seem to think that none of us are acquainted with the tact, that Lord Melville framed the act himself! The words of the act, even when considered by themselves, are as clearly expressive of this meaning as words can possibly be; and, when we take into view the report of the Commissioners of Accounts and the resolution of the House of Commons, upon which the act professedly was founded; recollecting, too, that Lord Har
rowby, Mr. Bragge, and Mr. Tierney all in
terpreted the act against the conduct of Lord Melville and his Paymaster; when we consider all this, to say nothing of the decided opinion of the Naval Commissioners, can there remain, in the mind of any man of common sense, even the shadow of a doubt as to the illegality of the conduct coinplained of by the commissioners Mr. Trot* The MoR NIN G Chronicle of Monday, the 25th instant, contains an article upon the subject of the Tenth Report, which article I could wish to be read by every man in the kingdom: ' Indeed, that print has, upon this as well as upon most other public questions of importance, discovered a spirit of independence rarely to be met with, and a degree of talent that does great honour to the press of this country. o
ter, in the paper which the Commissioners had the indulgence to receive from him, and to insert in the Appendix to their report, says, that the law put “no-ngative upon
his making such arrangements as those com
plained-of–And'here I cannot forbear stopping to observe how intolerably impudent and protligate those writers must be, who, with the fact of this indulgence, on the part of the Commissioners, before their eyes, can accuse those Commissioners of “an un“ due bias" against Lord Melville. What is now going forward will, perhaps, recall to the mind of the public, or, to that of Lord Melville, at least, the history of the proceedings against Sir Thomas Rumbold! .... Nay, start not man I Do you think that we are all such brutes as to recollect nothing that has past! A string of resolutions, 42 in number, were laid before the House of Commons by a secret committee of that House, upon which resolutions a bill of pains and penalties was proposed to be passed. But, before the resolutions were adopted by the House, Sir Thomas Rumbold requested that he might be permitted to submit certain papers, and that those papers, being necessary to his defence, should be taken into consideration along with the resolutions reported by the secret committee. This request wis objected to, and Sir Thomas was told, that “ it would be perfectly inconsistent to mix “ the defence with the accusation;” though, observe, the accusation (that is to say, the resolutions) had been printed, and had, of course, been read by the whole nation. Whether this refusal, on the part of the House of Commons was just, or unjust, we are not now called upon to determine; the coutrast between the conduct of that secret committee and of the present board of Costmissioners is what I wish the reader to beat in mind; and, I wish him not to forges, that the chairman of that committee; the person who reported the resolutions against Sir Thomas Rumbold; the person who rose. to object to “mixing the defence with the “accusation;" the person who proposed, supported, and carried a bill, by which Sir Thomas Rumbold was compelled to give evidence that might criminate himself, and
making the penalty, in case of refusal, so lony without benefit of clergy; this person;
this patriotic person; this lover of strict
justice; this champion of reform ; thismo,
tal enemy of peculators, was that identical
Henry fundas, then Lord Advocate of
Scotland and now Lord Admiral of England,
whose name so often occurs in the TENTH
REPort of the Naval Commissioners!"~"
* I earnestly reconnend to the reader to
says: “no negative is put upon my making “such arrangement by the only act (25 G. “ III. c. 31) that bears upon the subject.” The arrangement he is speaking of, is, the withdrawing of the money from the Bank of England and depositing it with a private banker. “ No negative " What! is this clerk a small lawyer too And, does he think that a miserable subterfuge like this will avail him ought in the decision of either the parliament or the public Is it necessary for every clause of an act of parliament to be expressed negatively as well as positively? And, shal no one be regarded as having violated it, unless the act has specified the particular manner of such violation ? First, the House of Commons, in June, 1782, pass a resolution, that, it is its opinion, that, in
future, the Paymaster-general of the Land.
Forces and the Treasurer of the Navy, shall not apply any sum or sums of money, drawn
from the Treasury by them, to any purpose of
advantage or interest to themselves, either di. rectly or indirectly. Next followed the recommendation of the Commissioners of Accounts, in December, 1802, the whole object of which was, that the Treasurer of the Navy never should have, at any time, any of the public money in bis bands. Last comes the act itself, expressly professing, in its preamble, to be grounded upon this resort of the Commissioners of Accounts. It enacts, That no money, issued from the Exchequer for the service of the navy, shall be placed in the treasurer's hands or possession, but that it shall be lodged in the Bank of England: That the Treasurer (or person acting for him) shall draw upon the Bank of En: gland for all navy services whatever, and shall specify, in each and every draft, the head of service for which the same is drawn: That none of the aforesaid money shall be paid out of the Bank of England, unless for navy services, which services shall be specifed in the drafts. Now, after all this, is it not a notable instance of assurance to pretend that the law has not been violated; that the law put “ no negative" upon the practice of Mr. Trotter in drawing out the
turn to the parliamentary proceedings in the case of Sir Thomas Rumbold. They will be found in Debrett's Parliamentary Debates, beginning in April, 1782. These proceedings are very interesting in themselves, and they will, when compared with what must soon pass under our eyes, enable people to judge of the characters of no small part of the leading men of the present day, many of whom took a distinguished part in those proceedings.
But, to return te Mr. Trotter's defence; he ,
been above stated, to specify the particular heads of service, for which such drafts respectively were given ; but, it appears, from the evidence of Abraham Newland, that the drafis were not so drawn. “ They formerly “ did,” says he, “ specify a service, but “ they afterwards changed that plan, and “ made the drafts parable to the sub“ accountants of the different branches, or bearers." These “bearers" were, as we have seen in the Appendix, usually the clerks of Mr. Coutts, or some person doing what those clerks might have done. Here, then, is another violation of the law; and, not only on the part of the treasurer and his deputy, but, as would appear from Mr. Newland's evidence, on the part of the Bank also ; and, if Mr. Newland's evidence be correct, the Bank is liable to reimburse the public a good round sum of money; for the act expressly says, that “.. no draft of the “ said treasurer, or the person or persons “ authorized as aforesaid, shall be deemed “a sufficient voucher to the said Governor “ and Company of the Bank of England, ‘ unless the same specifies the head of service “ for which it is drawn.” ... Mr. Newland positively states that the plan was changed, and that the drafts did not, after that change, specify any head of service whatever. Mr. Trotter, however, says, in his defence, that the act of parliament, was, in this respect, “ invariably followed.” The act of 2.5 G. III. c. 31, directed, says he, “ that all is“ sues to the Treasurer of the Navy from “ the Exchequer, should be placed to his “ credit at the Bank of England, and be “ drawn from thence by drafts, specifying “ the heads of service for which it was want“ cd. These directions have, accordingly, “ been invariably followed.” Now, if Mr. Newland, upon his oath, speaks truth, Mr. Trotter has here deliberately stated a talsehood. We must certainly believe Mr. Newland; and, as it was impossible that the Bank of England should not lose, in consequence of the violation of the law, few persons will be persuaded, that, as far as the Bank was concerned, the violation was va
** * * * * -* : * imutary. . . Indeed, it is, evident, that the - Bank acted, in this case, under an influence other than that of the minds, of the Gover... nor and Directors, and it would be truly vaa luable to the public to be able to trace this - influence to its source —The point last touched upon, however, as far as concerns Lord Melville and Mr. Trotter, is quite ionmaterial ; for it merely gives the accused a choice of offences. If the drafts did not specisy a head of service, they were guilty of a breach of the law in the omission; if they aid specify a head of service, they made a false specification, becau e the money was conveyed to a private banker's, and was made use, sometimes for public and sometimes for private purposes, as it might happen.-But, what appears most unaccountable, is, that any one should pretend, that no violation of the law has taken place, when Lord Melville himself says, that he “ did not de“ cline giving occasional accommodation from “ the fund, in the treasurer's hands to other .* services, not connected with his official-si“ tuation as Treasurer of the Navy.” And, Mr. Trotter gave the Commissioners to understand, that money “ applicable to navy “ services, which had been advanced by “ him to Lord Melville, was employed by “his lordship in the public service of the state; .*, and that he was led to this conclusion in “ consequence of a considerable sum, so “ advanced, having been returned to him by “ Mr. Long, one of the secretaries of the “Treasury.” Now, the act of parliament so often quoted positively says, that no mooney, which has been issued to the Bank from the Treasury, and placed to the account of the Treasurer of the Navy, slail be paid out of the Bank, unless for navy services. Indetd, the grand motive of the act was to prevent the applying to any other use the money issued for the naval service, even though that application should be of ever ..so short a duration; and yet, Lord Melville
and Mr. Trotter build their defence upon the
alleged fact of their having applied the naval money to other purposes than that of the na. val service " . If this be a jnstification for Lord Melville, most assuredly Mr. Trotter is quite clear; for, if notwithstanding ail the provisions of the act, the money drawn from the Bank for navy services could, at the discretion of the treasurer, be applied to any other branch of the public service, certainly, those provisions were altogether incompetent to the restraining of the same treasurer from fully authorizing Mr. Trotter to draw out the money from the Bank, to deposit it with a private banker, to speculate
in the funds, or to discount bills with it..
Observe, too, that neither Lord Melville nor
Mr. Trotter will tell what other branch of
the public service was thus occasionally *
commodated. Lord Melville refuses upon
the grounds of delicacy and cansdence, I
could not have given an account of it, says
he, “ without disclosing delicate and con“ fidential transactions of government, “ which my duty to the public inust have “ restrained one from revealing !” His lordship had been, during his retirement in Scotland, occasionally employed in assuring his papers, and in turning such as were useless, and, he tells the Commissioners that he is certain that he has not the materials necessary to enable him to make out an account of the money so advanced by him to other departments of the government. They next applied to Mr Canning, the prosent Treasurer, to know if there was, in his office, any nate or record of such transactions as those mentioned by Lord Mel. ville; but, none could be obtained. And, here appears to me to be the only insante
in which this inquiry could possibly have
been rendered more couplete thin it is, Mr. Trotter's opinion relosive to Lord Me!. ville's advancing the naval money occasionally to other public purposes was, as he stated, grounded upon the circumstance & “a considerable sum, so advanced, having “ been returned to him by Mr. Long, one of “ the Secretaries of t. Treasury." Here
as the clue. Mr. Long's evidence might have thrown great light open the mattes, Mr. Long might, it is true, have had do: licacy equal to that of Lord Melville, atd his motives might have been much about the same as those of his lord-issip.; but hu would, at any late, either have contradio ed or confirmed the statement of Mr. Trotter ; or, he must, like that gentlemao and his principal, have throwu himself upon the protection of the 5th clause of the act, under which the is quiry was in: stituted. Mr. Long might, too, have been asked, from what fund the re-inbursement came ; and he might ce. tainly have been required to say, whether he did or did not return the money to Mr. Trotter y order of the Lords of the Treasury, at the cadd whom Mr. Pitt then was, Deeply improsed with the words which I have chosen for my motto, I cannot refrain fom 3: pressing my hope, that the persog, of Pes' sons by whom, and the purposes for which this money was borrowed from the Treasufur of the Navy will, ere long, be made known to the parliament and the people, . The more one thinks of this part of the troo
actions, the more interesting it becoi
and, when we consider that the 5th co
of the Naval Inquiry Act would hio
sheltered Mr. Trotter from the effect of any question relative to the particular branch of the government that Lord Melville occasionally accommodated with advances of the navy-money, it seems hard to imagine why Mr. Trotter should voJuntarily name Mr. Long, except for the purpose of involving that gentleman and i. principal in the charge that was pre§§. and thus compelling them to deend Lord Melville, or to leave themselves without a deftnce, This was a deep stroke of policy; but, it will certainly fail of success, unless inasmuch as consolation is derived from having, in such situations, companions to keep one in countenance. The Su N, of the 25th instant, says, “ Lord Melville " now stands upon his trial before a just “ and competent tribunal,” I trust he is ; but, he stands not alone. There are others upon their trial as well as he. Twenty years of professions of purity are not to be forgotten in an hour; nor will the people sail to remember the fate of the T1 NMAN, and other petty villains, who have plundered, or attempted to plander, the public. Upon the occasion last alluded to, the Attorney General, when addressing the court against HAM LIN, said : * My lords, I think it due to the time in “ which we live, to state, what, indeed, * is universally believed, that there never * was a period in the history of this coun“ try, or any other, in which the characters " of persons in an eralted station of public * life overe so free from all suspicion of this “ picies of offence.” That this description may prove to have been as just as the learnedgettleman thought it, must be the sincere wish of every one, who feels that he has a share in the honour of his country; but, the day is certainly very near at hand when it will be put to the Aroof, and that too, upon a most extensive scale.—— The Secon D ground of defence, taken by the partisans of Lord Melville and Mr. Trotter, is, that, supposing them to have acted in violation of the law, the Aublic has sustained no loss therefrom. Indeed, this ground is taken upon the example of the modest Mr. Trotter, who, after stating that the whole of the money that ever came into his hands, on account of the navy, had been either finally paid away for navy services, or transferred to his successor, says that “the end of public satisfaction has been “thus attained.” Supposing, for a moment, that, upon the whole, the public has experienced no actual loss from Lord Melville and Mr. Trotter's having disobeyed the law, is it not new doctrine, that that fircumstance merely affords “public satis.
“fiction 2" A man forges a bank note; he gets inoney upon it; having effected his purpose with the money, he goes to the person who has the forged note, and refunds. But, is he not hanged for this. though no one has finally experienced any loss 2 There was, in Lord Melville and Mr. Trotter's case, the risk. The public, in consequence of their breach of the law, ran the risk of losing millions, And, if you put a man's property in jeopardy, do you not do him a wrong 2 Are you not liable to be punished for so doing, though. you may be able to prove clearly as daylight, that he has suffered no actual loss 2 And is not the law wise in this respect? is it not this principle of the law that operates so powerfully and so beneficently in the prevention of injury to persons and property; in the prevention of crimes and of the necessity of punishment ' The first object of inquiry in every judicial court, is, was the act committed at all ; next, was it committed by the person accused of it; and next, was it a violation of the saw. But, this last question would, if Mr. Trotter's principle were adopted, be quite impertinent : and, instead of it, the court should in. quire, whether any actual specific loss or in
jury was sustained by the act committed.
No, Mr. Alexander Trotter, this is completely subversive of justice, which always proceeds upon the maxim, that wherever the law has been violated, there either indivi. duals, or the public, or both, have received an injury, for which reparation ought to be made, or punishment ought to be inflicted. ——Thus, then, even supposing the public, in consequence of the violation of the act of 25 Geo. III. cap. 31, to have sustained no actual loss, that circum-tance can have very little weight in the defence of those, by whom the act was violated. But, this supposition is widely different from the real case. The public has sustained an actual lors; and, obstinate as was the refusal of several persons to answer the questions put to them, it is evident that that loss has been very great, in various ways. In the first place, we find, that Lord Melville, who was responsible for his clerks, obtained from he Lords of the Treasury a writ of privy seal exonerating him from making good 24,000 l. due from the defaulter, Jellicoe, the late Deputy Paymaster. We see, that this person was suffered to retain his office, after a detection of his delinquency tookálace, and that he thereafter added 9,000 l. to his defalcation; we see, that, when that detection took place, “great remissness “ was shown;" that security was not taken; and, indeed, it appears from the whole of the relation, that there was little pains taken,