Page images
PDF
EPUB

was made in Feb. 1801, was remembered " object it is to deceive and mislead just as last July, when an immense addition was best answers his purpose."

With lanmade to the grants for the Civil List, and guage and professions like these it was that when an addition of 1,500l. a year was made he began his career; that he gained the confi. to Lord Melville's salary for the sinecure dence of the people of England; that he beplace of keeper of the signet. --The next came prime miuister of the crown, and that speech I shall quote from was the second he he seared himself so hirmly as to be able to made. It was upon the subject of a Board set all his opponents at defiance. At a moment of Commissioners of Accounts, and on the of more leisure, I shall, probably, trace bim 31st March, 1801. What is it that onwards from the year 1782, under the title

gives the House of Commons its im of the “ Patriot'S PROGRESS;" wbich, I

portance ? What but the power of the am inclined to think will bear no very faint ~ purse? Every branch of the legislature resemblance to the “ Progress of Love." " has something to distinguish it, and that For the present, I must leave the reader “ which at once gives the character and to the assistance of his own memory, which “ elevation of the Commons House of will, doubtless, furnish him with an abun« Parliament, is, that they hold Ibe dance of facts applicable to the present scene ~ strings of the national purse, and are of things.--I shall conclude wiih begging “ entrusted with the great and important the reader's attention to one short remark “ power, first of granting the money, and upon a passage from the memorable Adding" then of correcting ihe expenditure... tonian pamphlet by the “ NEAR OBSERVER." “ How humiliating how mi: erable a picture | That writer atıributed to the New Opposition “6 of parliamentary power is it now wished the clamours against the inquiry instituted 10 " to be exhibited! So, then, all the power reform abuses. ". The insurrection of job" of parliament, with respect to the allevia. "bers in the dock yards," says be, “ was « tion of national burdens, the redress of abelled and defended, and the rebellion of “ grievances, the reform of expense, the “ boards and departments encouraged and

economy, the system, the elucidation of promoted." I have once before denied this, “ office, is sunk into a disgraceful negative ! as far as relates to persons in the opposition, and One positive power, indeed, remains ; tbe I now deny it again. My work was regarded “ odious power of taxing the people, whenever as an opposition print; and I defy any one to “ the minister thinks proper. The odious point out a single sentence of iny writing “ power of making them pay for his wild defending any jobber, or other suspecied « schemes and lavish corruption..... person; or, in anywise blaming Lord St. Bravo! But, let us take breath a little, for Vincent for his endeavours to bring them there is something still better coming.. to justice. The letters of several corres“ The minister has disregarded the report pondents. having, perhaps, such an object

of the Commissioners, a report delivered in view, were published by me; but I am " in upon oaib, and having all the facts sta sure my readers will recollect, not only that “ ted in it ascertained upon the oaths of a I was always ready to admii, but ihal lai. 5 variety of witnesses, and has preterred the tually did admit, several very long articles “ loose conversation of a public board, suf on the other side. Indeed, I never, in any

fering them to become the unsworn witnesses single instance, refused admittance to an ar« in their own cause!...... And, here I ticle sent me in defence of any part of the s must remark, and I verily believe it, on administration of Lord St. Vincent. And,

my credit, my honour, and my conscience, as to the members of the opposition, we “ that the minister means and designs, that shall now have an opportunity of comparing " the Commissioners shall spend their time their seniimenis, and what is more, therr

in inquiring into tristes, without going into conduct, with that of the persons, who look

an examination of any great, extensive, so much credit with he country for having " and important object, the better to con instituted the Board of Naval Inquiry. All titue ibe deception, and to carry on the hy- public men are now upon their trial; the pocrisy and deceit that have already led whole nation are the spectators, and are " the House into so many votes disgraceful | waiting most anxionsly for the result. .... to themselves and ruinous to the public. (Several other subjects, ihe Elevento Be

n.... I earnestly conjure the House to PORT, the Affairs in the West-Indies, &c. use their own eyes, and to consult their &c. wonld claim attention ; but, till we see

owo understandings; to return to a sense what ive have in future to expect as 10 mal“ of their duty to the people; to act like bo ters like that which now fills the minds of nest independent inembers of parliament, all men, all other concerus are, compara► and no longer implicitly pin their faithe tively, of little moment.] upon

The sleeve of a minister, whose sole
Printed by Cox and Baylıs, No. 75, Great Queen Sirart, and publisired by R. Bagshaw,

Bow-Street, Corcus Girilen, where fcimer Numbers may be liarli solit alois J. Budd. Crosso and Mitre. Pull-Mall.

Vol. VII. No. 15.]

LONDON, SATURDAY, APRIL 13, 1805.

[Price 10n.

[ocr errors]

An ant there is, whose forward prate

In justice to the public wea), Controll'd all matters in debate :

Thus spoke“ The nation's hoard is low. Whether he knew the thing or 10,

“ From whence does this profusion fiow? His tongue eternally would yo;

“ I know our annual fund's amount. For he had impudence at will,

" Why such expence, and where's th'account?" And boasted universal skill.

With wonted arrogance and pride, Ambition was his point in view.

The Ant in office thus replied. Thus, by degrees, to pow'r he grew.

“ Consider, Sirs, were secrets told, Behold himn now his drift attain

" How could the best schemed projects hold ? He's made the treas'rer of the grain.

“ Should we state mysteries disclose, But, as their ancient laws we just,

" "Twould lay us open to our foes. A: punish breach of public trust,

My duty and my well known zeal To sas order'd lest wrong application,

“ Bid me our present schemes conceal. Siculd stierve that wisc industrious nation) “ Consider, when invasion's near, The gran’ry keeper should explain,

" Intelligence must cost us dear; And balance his account of grain.

And in this ticklish situation, He broughe (since he could not refuse 'em) “ A secret told betrays the nation. Some scraps of paper to ainuse 'em.

" But, on my honour, all th' expence, An honest pismire, warm with zeal,

" Though vast, was for the swarm s detenice."

Gay's Fables, Part II.-Fab. IV, 515)

[546 PARLIAMENTARY CENSURE and furlber legislative proceedings, which are

now become obviously necessary to the

safety of the nation.--On Monday, the LORD VISCOUNT MELVILLE.

8th instant, Mr. Whitbread, agreeably to Previous to any remarks upon this impor potice before given, entered, in a speech of tant proceeding, it may not, with respect to great length, in!o the subject of the conduct foreigners, and even with respect to many of Lord Melville, as exhibited in the Tenth of our own countrymen, be unnecessary to Report of the Naval Commissioners, at the observe, that the person, now known by end of which speech he submitted the folthe title of LURD VISCOUNT MELVILLE, lowing resolutions to the House. is that Henry DUNDAŞ, Esq. who was for 1. That it appears to this Committee, that merly a lawyer in Edinburgh; who became on the 18th of June, 1782, the House of Lord Advocate of Scotland during the Ame. Commons in a Committee of the wbole rican war; who was a supporter of Lord House came, amongst others, to the followNorth's administration; who was made ing Resolutions :—That it is the opinion of Treasurer of the Navy at the same time that this Committee, that some regulations Mr. Pitt first became Chancellor of the Exche ought to be adopted for the purpose of quer, in Lord Shelbarpe’s administration; lessening and keeping down the balances who again became Treasurer of the Navy of public money which appear to have in the administration of Mr. Pilt, in 178.4; usually been in the hands of the Treasurer who afterwards became President of the of the Navy: and it would be beneficial to Board of Control for India affairs, and after. the public if the first and other Clerks in wards Secretary of State for the depart the different branches belonging to the said ment of war, retaining all the three ofices Office were paid by fixed and permanent in his own person, 'till the year 1800, when salaries in lieu of all fees, gratuities, and he

gave up the Treasurership of the Navy, other perquisiles whatsoever. That it is still

retaining the other two offices, till ho the opinion of this Committee, that from resigued together with Mr. Pitt and the rest henceforward the Paymaster Generalf of that ministry in the month of March, his Majesty's Land Forces, and the Tre 1801, This is the person, who, being surer of the Navy, for the time being, shall again brought into place by Mr. Pitt, and not apply any, sum or sums of money imput in possession of greater power than prested to them, or either of them, to any ever, has now been degraded by a censure, purpose of advantage or interest to them. inficted by a solemn decision of the Com selves, either directly or indirectly.idons House of Parliament, of which pro That it appears to this Committee, that the ceeding I shall first give an account, and Commissioners appointed to examine, take shall then trouble the reader with such re and state the public accounts of the kingmarks as appear to me calculated to turn dom, have, so far as appears from the re. bis allention iowards those further inquiries ports which they have hitherto made, dis

charged the duty entrusted to them with on the service of the Navy;" but Mr. great diligence, accuracy and ability; and Douglas, who was raymaster, being dead, if Parliament shall carry into execution those and his Lordship having refused to answer plans of reform anci regulation which are any questiong on this head as aforesaid, no suggested by the matter contained in the evidence has been obtained as to the appliReports of the said Commissioners, it can cation of monies issued for the service of not but be attended with the most bereli the Navy, or the made of drawing the same cial consequences to the future welfare and from the Bank during this period. prosperity of this kingdom.

VI. That the Honourable C. Towns II. That in furtherance of the intention liend, now Lord Bayning, held the office of of the House of Commons expressed in such Treasurer of the Navy, from the IIth April

, resolutions, his Majesty by his warrant dated 1783, to the 4th of January, 1784, and that June 26th, 1782, directed that the salary of from the examination of his Lordship it ap ihe Treasurer of the Navy should be in pears that during his Treasurership no part creased to the sum of 4000 l. per annum,

in of the money issued for the service of the full satisfaction of all wages and fees, and Navy, was applied to his private use or adother profits and emolumenta theretofore vantage, and that he does not believe that enjoyed by former Treasurers.

Mr. Douglas, who acted under him as pay. III. That it appears to this Committee, master, derived any profit or advantage that during the Treasurership of the Right from the use or employment of the public Honourable Isaac Barre, the conditions of money, except the money issued for the pay: the aforesaid warrant were strictly com ment of Exchequer fees. plied with; that the whole of the money is VII. That the Right Honourable Henry sued from the Exchequer to Mr. Barre for Dundas was re-appointed Treasurer of the paval services was lodged in the Bank : Navy on the 5th of January, 1784, and conthat it was never drawn from thence pre tinued in the said office until the ist of viously to its being advanced to the Sub June, 180o. Accountants, io be applied to the public VIII. That in the year 1785 an Act of service : that during the time Mr. Barre Parliament was passed 25 Geo. 3. chap. 31, acted as Treasurer and Ex.T:easurer, he intituled “ An Act for better regulating the had not in his possession or custody any of Office of the Treasurer of his Majesty's the public money, and that neither he nor Navy;" whereby it is directed, that no the Paymaster of the Navy did derive any money shall be issued from the Treasury to profit or advantage from the use or employ the Treasurers of the Navy; but that all ment thereof.

monies issued for naval services shall be IV. That the Right Honourable Henry paid to the Bank on account of naval serDundas, now Lord Viscount Melville, suc. vices, and placed to the account of the ceeded to the office of Treasure of the Na Treasurer of the Navy, and bali not be vy on the 19th of August, 1782, when a paid out of this Bank unless for naval serfúrtlier addition was made to the salary of vices, and in pursuance of drafts signed by the said otice, in order to produce a net an the Treasurer, or some person or persona nual income of 4,000 l. after the paynent of authorised by him; which drafts shall spe. all tases and charges on the same; and cify the heads of service to which such that this additional salary was considered sums are to be applied, and that the reguby the said Lord Viscount Melville as lations under the said Act shall take plce granted to him in lieu of all

wages, fees,

from the zist July, 1785. profits and other emoluments enjoyed by IX. That the execution of the said act former Treasurers.

was postponed till the month of January, V. That the said Lord Viscount Melville 1784, and that, from that time till the month continued in the said office till the ioth of of June, 1800, when Lord Melville left the April, 1783 ; that being asked whether he ofice of Treasurer, contrary to the practice derived any advantage from the use of the established in the Treasurership of the public money during that period, he in his Right Honourable Isaac Barre, contrary to examination before the Commissioners of the resolutions of the House of Commons, of Naval Inquiry, declined answering any the 15th of June, 1782, and in defiance of question on that head'; but that he has in the provisions of the above-mentioned Act, fotter'since written to the said Commission of the 25th Geo. III. Chap. 31. large sums ers, and dated the 25th of March last, de of money were, under pretence of Naval clared that previous to 1786, “He did not Services, and by a manifest evasion of the derive any advantage from the use or em. Act, at various times drawn from the Bank ployment of any money issued for carrying and invested in Exchequer and Navy Bills,

а

lent upon the security of Stock, employed necessity of further inquiry, previous to any in discounting private bills, in purchasing decision on the part of the House; and, in Bank and East India Stock, and used in va order to mske such inquiry, he proposed to rious ways for the purposes of private eno appoint a select committee consiszing of lument.

members of the House. The motion he X. That Alexander Trotier, Esq. the proposed was as follows : " That a select Paymaster of tire Navy, was the person, by con mitte be appointed to consider the whom, or in whose name the Public Money " Tenth Report of the Commissioners of was thus employed, and that in so doing be “ Naval Inquiry, and the documeots ibereacted with the knowledge and consent of 66 with connected; ibat they examine the Lord V. Melville, to whom he was at the samie, aud report ibeir opinion thereon." same time private agent, and for whose use This motion Mr. Fox objected to altogether, or benefit he occasionally laid out from 10 because, if it were carried, the resolutions 10 20,000 l. without considering whether he of Mr. Whitbread would not be recorded in was previously in advance to his Lordship, the journals of the House. Whereupon Mr. and whether such advances were made Pitt agreed first to move the previous quesfrom his public or private bilance.

tion. Lord Henry Petty (son of the Marquis XI. That the Right Honourable Lord of Lansdowne) opposed the motion of Mr. Viscount Melville having been privy to, and Pitt, and, in a very animated and masterly connived at the withdrawing from the Bank speech answered the arguments of that genof England, for purposes of private interest tleman. The Attorney General followed or emolument, sums issued to hiin as Trea Lord Henry Petly, and took the side of the surer of the Navy, and placed 10 his ac. ministers. Mr. Tierney spoke on the side count in the Bank, according to the provi

of Mr. Whitbread. Mr. Canning (the presions of the 25th of Geo. III. Chap. 31, has sent treasurer of the pavy) spoke for the been guilty of a gross violation of the law, ministers ; Mr. George Ponsonby spoke and a high breach of duty.

against the minisiers. The Master of the XII. That it further appears, that subse Rolis followed on the side of the ministers; quent to the appointment of Lord Melville, Mr. Fox spoke against the ministers; Lord as 'Treasurer of the Navy in 1784, and Castiereagh (the presideot of the Board of during the time he held that office, large Cortroul) for the ministers; Lord Audover Sims of Money issued for the service of the against the ministers; Mr. Wilberforce Navy, were applied to other services, and against the ministers ; Sir C. Price against that the said Lord Me vil'c, in a leiter, The ministers; Mr. Wallace (one of the written in answer to a Precept issued by the lords of the admiralty) for the intuisters; Commissioners of Naval Inquiry, requiring Lord Archibald Hamiiton against the mian Account of Money received by him, or nister3. mes division then took pluie any person on his account, or by his order For Nir. Pitt's morion of the previous from the Paymaster of the Navy, and also question

216 of the time when, and the persons by whom Against it

216 the same were returned to the bank, or The numbers being even, the Speaker, after Paymaster;' hassleclared that he has 114 ma a short and dignified speech, in which he terials by which he could make up such an stated the reasons for the vote he was about Account, and that if he liad materials, he lo gire, gave his vote against the motion of could not do is without disclosing delicate Mr. list; ad thus were the ministers left in and confidential transactions of Govern a minority of ons. -The House then rement, which his duty to the Public must turned 10 Mr. Whitbread's resolusions, the have restrained him from revealing.

first ten of which were carried without opXIII. That Lord Melville in applying position ; but, when the Speaker put the Monies issued for the service of the Navy eleventh., Mr. Piit moved, by way of amendto other services, stated to bave been of so ment, to leave out the words, delicate and confidential a nature, that in , tion of the law and a high breach of his opinion, vo Account can, or ought to be duty,” and to insert in lieu of them, the given of them, has acted in a manner in words, contrary to the intention of the consistent with his duty, and incompatible 66 law." Ontbis a debate of short speeches with those securities which the Legislature took place. Mr. Grey contended for the has provided for the proper application of original resolution ; and Mr. Pitt withdrew the Public Money.

his amendment, and moveci to jesert, after The Speaker having put the question up the word " emolument," the word,' “.30 on the first of the resoluiions, Mr. Piti rose, « Mi. Trotter." Sir William Pultney said, and, in a speech of several hours, urged the he thought this would be reasonable, pro.

Gross viola.

as

v led the words, acknowledged by iefrained from urging his motion, and cota 'Lord Nielwille,

were inserted after the tented himself with moving, that the lean words

"Bank of England." Mr. Whit- lutions of Monday be presented to His Mabread having no particular objection to this, jesty by the whole love; which muun the resolution was then read from the chair, was agreed to without a division. ------ Alle and stood as follows. That the Ri. Hon. same time, Mr. W bitbread gave poliet, tha', " Lord Viscount Melville laving been privy | after she Easter redess, he should subnit

10, and coonived al, the wi hdrawing from two motions to the House one for the pura < the Bank of Eng'and (as acknowledged by pose of obtaining the appointment of a coniLord Melville) for purpo-es of private mittee to inquire further into the stil at “ interest or emolunient, to Mr. Trolter, manier of the Tenth krport of the Naval

sums issue] to him as treasurer' of ihe Commissioners; and, the oiber, for or

navy, and placed 10 his account at the dering the Allorney General to pros-cute “ Bauk, accrrding to the j rovisions of the Lord Melvilie and Mr Trolter for in order « 251h Geo. III. cap. 31. bas been guilly of 10 recover that which ihe public had lost by

a gross violation of the law, and a high Their conduct, and, in the mtanrime; fur 6. breach of duty." Mr. Windham posi restraining their persons and properly:tively objected to these amendments, and Mi. Serje:an: Best gave notice of a normal contended, that the risolution ought to be upon the subject of the usb reporl.--left as it originally stood. Nr. Fox took the The remark, which have to seart same ground, and Mr. Wilberforce, rising upon these proceedings will, perlaps, (7-18with the exclamation, “Sir, this is too bad!" tain litile that can have auy claim to novele said, that not to brand the transaction as a ly; but, it is, atier the close of a widely ts. gross violation of the law would be ignomi. tended discu-sion, always of some use nious to the House. Mr. Sheridan, Mr. bring the principal points into one view, and Bastard and Mr. Grenville said the same. so tv arrange then, thiat persons, not having Mr. Pitt did, however, persist in liis amende the command of all the cliannels of informament, but the question being put, on the ori. rion, shali be able to form a clear notion oi ginal motion, and the Speaker declaring each, and a correct judgmrnt upon the whole that the

ayes

had it, Mr. Pitt shrunk froni of the subject. Wirba virw of attording the division. The twelfth and thirteenth this aid to my readers, particularly those al 3 resolutions were not put, as they belong distance from the metropolis, Ishall divine to a subject of future discussion. what I have to say under the following Mr. Whitbread then said, that he had, heads: 1. The conduct out of doors, of of cours, a motion to make for an address those who have maintained ihe justice of 3 to His Majesty to remove Lord Melville vote of crosure against Lord Melville. 2: from his presence and councils ; but that The object of the proposed select committee. the hour was now too laie. Mr. Pilt moved, 3. The fact of a wilful violation of the law that the House should adjourn to Wednes- by Lord Melville: 1. The actual pecuniary, day the 10th instant; but Mr. Fox thought, loss to the public from the misconduct of seeing that the country was now in the hands Lord Melville. 5. Lord Melville's carelessof a disgraced ministry, the House onght not ness of wealih. 6. The fact of Lord Nelto adjourn over a single day. At length, it ville's participating with Mr. Troiter. 7. was agreed, that tbe adjournment should be The misemployment of the Naval monry ull Wednesday, provided that no oiher bo with the condivance of Mr. Pill. Frast: siness should be entered on previous to the it appears to me an outrageous insult to the resuming of that which was now in hand. public, to a burdened and a i ronged peo

On Wednesday, when the House met, ple, 10 ascribe their resentment agaiur Lord Mr. Pitt informed them, that, in consequence Melville to any thing but a due sense of the of the resolutions of the House, passed on injuries they bave suffered at bis hacds

. Monday, Lord Melville had tendered his re Nir. Canning conjured the House “nur 10 signation to His Majesty, by whom it bad “.be led away by prejudice within and by been graciously accepted. Mr. Whirbread " intimidation and cianitar from willoui." thereupon said, that it would, nevertheless, What could that gentleman mean by clamos be necessary to address the King to remove aod intimitation What clamour bas been that Lord from his presence and councils for heard? What attempt at intimidation has ever ; but, it appearing to the House, that been made? But, let us frear Mr. Pitt. " that object was already substantially secured, " complain," said he, “that tbe hon. gent. and Mr. Pitt declaring, that it was to be, " has endeavoured to mislead the public by as a matter of course, understood, that Lord "'endeavouring to eirculate the notion that Melville never could again enjoy any post of great additions have been made to the public trust or contidence, Mr. Whitbread " public burdens, when no such additica

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »