Page images
PDF
EPUB

lordship think it wise to talk. Yes; to Mr. Piir, written on the 28th ultimo. All talk of this poverty is a very good thing. that. I bave hitherto said respecting it is Used in this way, it is a most useful quality fully applicable to its contents; only, that The being consiantly dunned, and now and I proceeded upon the supposition, that his then sueil for a trifiing sim, are excellent lordship had now offered to swear positive. proofs of a minister's purity and disinterest ly, that he never did derive any profit or edness! This trick is, however, almost worn advantage from the use which was made of out." Every thing' has its day; and, I am the public money, passing through his ofper uaded, that the years are drawing nigh, fice. This is not the case ; and, indeed, when, to acquit a minister charged will except as the means of procuring a short peculation, something more than preten- delay, it is very hard to conceive what pursions to poverty will be required. Men pose this letter could be expected or intendwill recollect the parable of the unjust ed to answer. Such as it is, however, I steward, and will look not merely at the shall bere iosert it, aod then trouble the wealth amassed by a minister himself, but reader with a very short observation or two at that which has been amassed, in so short upon its contents. Having read your a space of time and so unaccountably, by Tenth Report, and observing particularly his relations and close political adherents; " the following paragraph in the 141st and, they will clearly discover that, while page,

“ However the apprehension of he sufiers all around him to plunder, it disclosing delicate and confidential would be perfect folly in him to become a 66 " transactions of governme: t might opeplunderer in his own name.--Withie "rate with Lord Nielville in with-holding spect to Mr. Trotter, the plea of poverty “ intormauon respecting advances to other has not been urged ; but, we are told, by " " departinents, we do not perceive how Lord Melville himself, of the inadequacy of "" that apprehension can at all account for his salary. Viewing Mr. Trotter, scated "" his retu.ing to state whether he derived in his splendid mansion, with a fortune of " "any profit or advantage. from the use a million, or more, ne naturally look

or employment of money issued for the upon his salary of sool. a year, now aug

ró services of the oavy. if his lordship mented to 8001. a year, as a mere trile; " " had received into his hands such moespecially, when we see him annually "“ nies as were advanced by him to oldier charged in Mr. Coutt's books with from “ "departments, and had replaced theo 2001 1 3001 for Christmas beris! But,

as soon as they were repaid, he could ktrip Mr. Trotter of these appendages; 66 " not have derived any profit or ad make an estimate of kis intrinsic talents vantage from such transactions, howand merits; and you will find, that his " " ever repugnant they might be salary, together with a dwelling house, “c of the provisions of the legisia: ure for the perhaps, with coals and candles, were quite " " safe custody of public money."--I as much as it was proper to allow him. “ ihink it necessary to state the following And, as to the " responsibilty," of which u observations, in order to place in their $0 much has been said, the Commisjoners just view the grounds on which I declined have very justly observed, that if the law answering your question, and which you þad bren obeyed, there would have been ilo appear not to have accurately understood. responsibility resting upon him.' The plain -Wheo

you

first called upon me for statement of the case, then, is ; that, by “ inform tion, I stated to you that I had not risking the public money, and by augment. " materials on which I coul frane such an ing the public expenses, he first amasses account as you required me at that time immense sums, and then he claims those to prepare, and in a communication with sums as à just compensation for his reo " Mr. Trotter, before my examination on spmibility; which is, I take it, in no re " the 5th of November last, I learnt, for the spect interior to the conduct, spoken of by “ frist tiine, that in the accounts he bad Swift, of Lord Peterborough's steward, “ kept respecting my private concerns, he who pulled down a house, sold the ma “ had so blended his own private monies terials

, pocketed the money, and then with what he had in his hands of public charged his lordship with repairs! ... money, that it was impossible for him to Since the foregi ing part of thi article ascertain, with precision, whether the adwas written, the LETTER OF LORD MEL vances be had occasion to make lo me VILte to the Commissioners has made its “ in the course of his running private ac: appearance in the Sun newspaper. It has count with me, were made from the one No date; but it must be iaken for granted, or from the other aggregate suns which Ahat it was, agreeably tự the statement of constituied his balance with Mcssrs.

to

un

66

[ocr errors]

“ Coutts. This circumstance, which I " of the Navy, and other sources of income, u derstood Mr. Trotter had distinctly coin of which he was in the receipt, nor do “ munícated lỏ you, inade it impossible for they take any notice of the security of "'me to return any other answer than I did “ which he was in possession for the re* to the general question which you put to payment of any balance at any time doc

me_* Whether Mr. Trotter had applied “ To bim from private funds.With re“ * any of the money issued for carrying spect to the sums of baval money advanced

“ on the current Service of the navy for to me, and applied to other services, I do * “ my benefit or advantage?" and to this " not feel it necessary to make any addie “ circumstance I uniformly referred in my « tional observations, except to declare, anstvers to other questions respecting the “ that all those cums were returned to the “ manner in which Mr. Trotter applied the “ funds from which they were taken, having “ money in his bands.

When you put

« in po instance been withdrawn from it “ the question to me, " Whether I did di for any purpose of private emolument or “ i rect or authorize Mr. Trotter to lay out " advantage.----Before I conclude, I'wish • " or applý, or cause to be laid out or ap “ to correct an inaccura y which I observe

plied, any of the money issued for 'car “ in one part of the evidence in Appendix

rying on the current service of the navy, " No. 7, p. 192. The question is put to " " to my benefit or advantage?" My “ Did you derive any profit or ad

answer was, To the best of my recol vantage from the use or employment of “ “ lection I never did." That answer money issued foc carrying on the cur"I now repeat. Had you proceeded to “ rent service of the navy between the inquire whether I ever had any under. 19th Aug. 1782, and 301h April, 1783; es standing, expressed or implied, with Mr. or between the 1st Feb. 1784, and 31st « Trotier respecting any participation of "“ Dec. 1785, during which periods you b. advantages derived from the custody of “ “ held the office of treasurer of the oavy?" " the public 'money, or whether I at ang 6 which question I there answer by a res time knowingly derived any advantage to “ ference to the answer given to a similar “ myself fom any advances of public mo question pui to me before. This answer

ney, I should have had no hesitation in “ is inaccurate in so far as it contains a re« declaring, as I now declare," that there “ ference 10 Mr. T.'s mode of blending his

never was any such understanding, nor any “ funds in his private account with Messrs. thing like it, between Mir Trotter and " Coutts. Mr. Trotter was not paymaster myself: that I never knowingly derived ". till the year 1786. The circumstances,

any such advantages; and that whatever “ therefore, relating to Mr. Trotter's ac“ emolument accrued to Mr. Trotter in the count, which precluded my returning an “ conduct of the pecuniary concerns of the answer to your former questions, do not “ office, was, so tar as I an informed, ex apply to the periods specified in that men

clusively his own ------With respect 10 " tioned, and I can therefore bave no dif. • any advances which' Mr. Trotter might « ficulty in declaring, that during ibose pe“ make on my private account, I considered riods I did not derive any advantage from “ myself as debtor to him alone, avd as " the use or employment of public money "standing with regard to him, in no other " issued for carrying on the service of the

predicament than I should have done navy. Having stated these facts, it is al" with any other man of business, who " most unuecessary to add, that I am at “ might be in occasional advance to me in any tinie ready to verify them upon my " the general management of my conceros u oaih. I have the bonour to be, Gede “ entrusted to him. It is impossible for “ tlemen,-MELVILLE," FIRST; js.it

me to ascertain from any documents or not strange, that Mr. Dundas should never, “ vouchers in my hands, or now existing, till called upon by the Commissioners, harc “ what ihe extent of those advances might known in what manner his accounts were " have been at any particular period. The kept by Mr. Trotter ? Secondly, is it not si accounts which you have inserted in your equally strange, that Mr. Dundas sbould Report I never saw till I saw them in the

possess no book, or paper, that could enable “ Report itself. They are no accounts of him to ascertaio wbåt ibe extent of Mr. Trot“ mine, nor am I a party to them. They ter's advances to him, at any one time, “ contain a variety of sums issued nominal might be ? One can easily enough conceive

ly to me, which never came into my that Lord Melville is perfectly right in dis.. “ hands, and they give no credit for various claiming all acquaintance with the accounts "sums received by Mr. Trorter on my pria extracted from the books of Mr. Coutts ; “ vate account froin my salary as Treasurer but, one must suppose the connexion beer

to

tween him and Mr. Trotter to be of a recollection upon such a subject: in such a case, very singular nature, before one can pos “ he who deliberates is lost." This, Lord. sibly account for his having - no do Melville now appears to have discovered: coment whatever enable him to the impression up in the public mind bas ascertain wbat sums Nr. Trolter advanced been perceived ; but, it is not to be res him!-THIRDLY (apd, this, is, indeed, che moved by au explanation like that upon jer of the letter) how is the case mended, bythe which we have been rema: king. The same introduction of the words, understanding may be said of the answer to that plain, and and." KNOWINGLY!" Being asked, upon pithy question : did you ever derive ary, oatb, whether Mr Trotter had ever applied benefit or advantage from the misappli any of the Naval Money for his (Lord Mel cation of the naval money? To this villes') benefit or advantage, ke refused to an question, if all had been right, what swet, for. fear of criminating bimself; but need was there of any, answer, but that Row he says, ihat, if the Commissioners had which is contained in the afore-mentioned gone on and ask.d him, whether he, at any monosyllable?

monosyllable? •NO,' was all that ought time, knowingly derived any such advantage, to have been necessary, unless the impahe should have had no hesitation in de. tience of the answerer had hurried into a claring, as he now declares, that he never repetirion of that negative. No, No, NO!" knowingly did Aod, why, if they did not might have been expected; but, certainly put the question in this precise form, did he no one ought, in such a case, and from not answer in this form. Why did he not such a person, to have expected hesitation, say: " Knowingly I never did?" They ask much less a refusal, grounded on a fear of ed him whether he ever directed Trotter to self-crimination, and an exposure to ains lay out the public money for bis advantage ; or penallies. What, as to this question, 10 which he answered : " To the best of my was it to Lord Melville how Mr. Trotter's " recollection, I never did." Why not give accounts were kept ? Lord Melville augur a qualified answer in the other case also? TO HAVE KNOWN that he never pocketed Why this after-tbouzhr in one case and not in any money but bis ou'n; and, this was all that the ouber? Why seek refuge under the act was wanted to enable him at once to answer as to the deriving of advantage, and not seek the question of the Conmissioners. There that refuge as to the giving of Trotter posi needed, in such case, no qualification ; no tive directions to procure for him such ad recourse to the saving word " knowingly;" Vantage?. Upon the term " understanding" a and, what must have been the connexion remark presents itself. When asked upon between these two men, if Mr. Dundas oath, whether he ever directed or authorised did not know, at any one time, whether he Trotter to lay out any of the Naval Money was pocketing the public money, or not? for his (Lord Melville's) benefit or advan Is it meant to be insinuated, tbat Trotter tages his lordship answered: “ To the best was in the babit of lending him large sums of " of my recollecrion I never did." So, you money, and that, as these loans, were' adsee, after having had from June to Novem vantageous to him, he might, unknowingly ber to think about it (except the little time receive advantage from the misapplication that was taken up with the Catamaran pro of the public money? But, first, how ject) he could not positively swear, that he caine Mr. Dundas to think of borrowing métier had directed Trotter to lay out the pub large sums of money from a clerk whose lie money to his benefit or advantage! This. salary was only cool. a year. This is, inhe now explains by saying, that, if they had deed, a most miserable subterfuge ; for, asked him, whether he ever had any what is it to the public whether he received

derstanding with Mr. Trotter respecting the advantage in the shape of simple parti" any participation of advantages," he should cipation with Troiter, or whether Trotter instantly have answereil, that he never had conveyed it to him under the name of loans ? any such understanding with Trotter. But, -This poor knowingly " is an afterunder correction of Lord Melville, this is thought; but, it ooly makes the malter quite another question ; for, wbo does not worse, for it now shows us, that even four perceive, that he might have directed Trot months of reflection, aided by the aniter to lay out the public money for bis ad madversions of the public, have not enabled vantage, without letting. Trotter participate the accused to jovent any thing that makes with him? When a person of high rank and in his favour.--I has been asked, by the station is asked, did you ever direct any one partisans of Lord Melville, how we can to misapply the public money for your ad

account for his refusing to swear at once vantage,' we expect him to answer, • NO;' (though falsely, suppose.) ihat he never We naturally expect, ibat be shuuld need do derived any profit or advantge from the

1471

[ocr errors]

10

misapplication of the public money : they h.ve perceived; and, they have according. have asked u, how we can possibiy at ly defeated it by answering, very truly, that tribute this refusal in any thing but his loid it would not become them to re-open the ship's conscientiousness ; and, say they if examination upon the subject of the Tenih you allow him to be so conscientious; how R-portmere'y, upon the suggestion of any of can you believe him guilty of peculation ? the parties to whose conduct ibe Report solales

. This, if we were to adınit the primises, Toey were, they say, occupied several is by 010

means a legitimate conclus on months in the inquiry; those who were ex. But, we never have inade such an admission. amined by shem bad the fullest oppoitouiWe never pratended to look for any motive ties of correcting, at any time, doriog the in bis lordship's fefusal other than that progress of the inquiry, any mistakes which he p'ofessed to ac: trom, namely, which might inadvertantly have been the fear of criminating himself and ex

made. But, is it, i would ask, reasonable to posing himself to pains or penaliies į and ibis he might do in two ways, first, by

* Answer of the Commissioners, dated acknowler!ging himself guiliy of peculation. 2d April, 1808 My lord, -We bave reo and, secondly, by swearing falsely, and ceived your lordship's letter of the 2015 of thereby'incurring ibe punishment due to wil last month, by which you intimate that we ful perjury. Tlus latter cousideration was, appear not to have accurately understood one would think, quite sufficient to account the ground: on which you declined awtr• for his refusal to swear that he never lading our questions, and submit to be some derived any advantage from the misuse of observations in order to place those grounds the public money. Besides, if his lordship in their just vicw; and also express a wib, did touch a part of Mr. Trotter's litile pro

before you conclude, 10 correct an inaccuratits (and he is not even yet prepared to cy in one part of your evidence, and a rea; swear that he did 120t), can it be supposeri; diness to verify by your oth the facts stated that Mr. Troiter would have been very well in ihat lettet,

-f it be the object of this pleased at being left alone ? Can it be communication, that we should again re, supposed that Mr. Tro ter would have quire your lordship's attendance, for the parstomacbed that? No; Mr. Trotter would poie of being examined, touching ihese matcertainly have thought himself ill-used, if iers, and that we should make a SuppleThe shield of the nighty sorthern chieftain mental Report upon the result of that esnad thus been withdrawn from him. In amination, and such other examinations as such case, God knows what Mr. Trot we might thereupop judge necessary, there Itt might have been templed to do, or can be no disinclination on our parts (as far at least, to say! Mr. Trotter would have as we are concerned in the proceeding) 10 had no notion of becoming the 'scape- meeting your lordship's wishes :--but it grat;' and one could have blamed

appears to us that the inquiry, which is the gim. We see, indeed, that he has been subject of the Tenth Report, has attained Created with great indulgence. Some of the that period, when it would not become us Dundas partisans, who have more zeal than to adopt such a measure, merely upon the knowledge, have attempted to throw all the suggestion of any of the parties, 10 whout burden upon Trotter. But, Lord Melville conduct that Report relates.

We were akes care, rot to countenance any such en occupied several months in investigating the Heavour. He knows belter. - And, let it be mode of conducting the business of the of remembered, that, notwithstanding all that fice of Treasurer of the Navy: those ybo pas been discovered, Mr. Trotier is still pay were examined by us had the fullest opporo inster; re-instated by Mr. Canning after he tunity of stating and explaining all things nad been turned out by Mr. Tierney! There which related to the management of that he is; still in that same office; still posing department, or to ibe share which ihey reind insulting that public, millions of whose spectively had in it; and of correcting, at

pings he has so freely handled ! any time, during the progress of the is De advantage, afforded by Lord Mel.

quiry, any mistakes which might inadvert: ride's letter, is, that his partisans have no ently have been made. Qui opinion and longer any justificatory matter to bint at. observations upon the irregularities and The whole of this matter is now before the abuses, wbich we discovered, were formed aliament and the public. Indeed, the and drawn up with the utmost care and des iling was complete before; and, it is ima liberation; and they are now submitted to ?ssible to at!ribute this letter to any other The three branches of the legislature, as the motive than that of obtaining a delay. This act, by which we are appoined, requires

. If e leject the Commissioners appear clearly to it could be made to appear upon a represez

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

suppose, that ihese Commissioners are to be “ upon the table by him, and necessary for called back again to ask a mao such quer

" his defence, be referred to the same comtions as he ball wish to have put to himself! " millee." To this his accuser. Mr. DunAod, observe, 100, that ibis takes place, af das, objected : Because," said he, " it ter the report has been printed; after the " would be perfectly inconsistent 10 mir tbe comments of the people bave been beard ; " defence witb the accuation; and, in fact, atter it has been ascertained wbat parts inf "' the Baronet cannot make a defence till be the examination have produced the greatest “ be charged, for the resolutions at present effect, and stand, therefore, the most in need are to be sure strong facts against him, of explanation? Is it reasonable, or rather, is it " but'nothing is yet decided on; and, agree- 110t grossly ab urd, to snpose, that such was "ably to the parliamentary, formi, the pios the use, 10 wbich this Commission was to be per time for his defence will be on the sea applied? I cannot conclude without re. "cond reading of the intended bill of pain's peating, that very great, and, in my opi. " and penalties nyainst him, when he will nion, much too great indulgenre, has been " be allowed the five use of counsel,' and grante: to Mr. Trotter and his principal. every kind of evidence he may think Mr. Trotter was perimited to subjnin a writ. proper to 'adduce, This was the docten paper to the evidence which he had given, trine of the very man, in whose behalf Mr. and to the questions which he had refused' Pitt has now insisted upon the right of preto answer upon oath. The Com:vissioners senting to the House of Commons a justifi. have pointed out ihe extreme modesty of ihe calory paper to accompany a R-port nadie person, who, to avoid the danger of crimi against his conduct. But, times are changed! nating hims-f refused explanations required | The doctrine above cited was ille doctring of him, and afterwardi onered a ju tification of 1782. Ii wa the doctritie of those days on his own terms; and, their remarks upon when the pure virgin star first made its apthis topic would apply equally well to their pearance in the political horizon

I feel an present noble correspondent. It is, besides, uncom n degree of pleasure in looking an indulgence unheard of. When evidence back at those times of maiden modesty and is given, it cannot be recalled. A man can innocence. Hence it was that I fell upon not, cither by explanation or otherwise, be the admirable passage, which I have chosen permitted to unswear that which he has as a motto for the present sheet; and, I

To perniit a defence to be made in beseech the reader to bear with me, while I this way is, 'moreover, enuire'y without a further indulge in the delighiful task of precedent; and, the reader will remember, making some furi her 'extracts from thies that I last week referred to the case of Sir speeches of the same immaculate perso!:Thomas Rumbold, who asked to have bis nage. I will begin with his very fi:sc justificatory papers presented to partianent speech. The subject was the retrenchment in company with the report of the Commit of the expenses of the civil list; for, next tee that had examined evidence relative to to liberty and purity, economy was his tabis conduct, and whose request was positive

vourite :opic. “ It is the immediate duty ly refused, and that, too, by the very person,

“ of the Commons House of Parliameut in who belialf Mr. Pitt is now demanding to guard the liberties, the lives, and a siınilar step as a right. Sir Thomas Rim. " the properties of the people. The lasť bold was himself a member of parlianient, “ obligation is the strongest; it is more in. and, when the resolutions of the Commilice "mediately incumbent upon them to guard were brought forward for the sanction of " the properiies, because they are more the House, hertored, “ that ihe papers iaid “ liable to invasion by ibe secret and subile

" attacks of influence, thin either their tation to theip that any thing has been " lives or their liberties. It will be no dimi. omitted on our part, that any misunder “ notion of true grandeur to yield to the standing or error had 'nccurred, and inal 2 “ respectful petitions of the people. This further inquiry is advisable upon these or " tulelage of this House may be a har.1 any other grounds, it would be for them to “ terin; but it cannot be disgraceful to a direct such further inquiry, and to decide by u constitutional king. Magniticence is not whom, and in what manner, is should be « inconsistent wiih econory, but, on the prosecuted; but, in the present circum "' contrary, in a time of necessily, and of slances, it appears to us that we cannot with common exertion, solid grandeur is de: propriety resume it. We liave the lio. pendent on the reduction of expense"; nour to be, my lord, your lordship's most “ and, it is the general sentinient that ecoobedient bumble servants. --(Signel) Cit. nomy is, at this time, essentially neces. M. Pole, EWAN LAW, JOHN FORD, H. " sary to national salvation."--I will not NICHOLLS, W. MACKWORTH PRAED. stop liere to ask whether this speech, whicb

SWOTO.

« PreviousContinue »