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“ have in the smallest degree taken place, “ for he knows that not a shilling has been “ lost to the public — (Hear! Hear !)—that no allegati n of any such loss has been “Inontinued in the report, and that, in fact no uischief whatever has traulted fron, this 1 ransaction – (A roor of Hear! Hear! from the opposition benches).—Sir, the “ House must no sensib” that it is very little cousistent with the moderation and candour that ought to accompany a se rious charge of this nature, to proceed with such violence and interrupt a menber with canour. But they need not expect to interrupt no. with such noise, which I must consider as an attempt to influence the passions of the Ilouse ; and I have the less doubt on the subject, when I recollec; the numberless misrepresentations both in and out of the 1souse on this “ at ir; misrepresentations which have been atten led with no little mischief. It has been stated, not only that a very can siderable loss has been sustained, but that our ramen have, in consequence of the transactions now before us, been prevented front receiving in proper time the money due to their valour and tòeir me, itorious services. (No! No 1 from the opposition ) There has not been the slightest grounds for saying any such thing, for can safely aver that the delay of an ivour h is never taken place in paying such money, and I do, therefore, most grievously, and justly complain, that this affair has not been treated with proper candour and modera“ tion." As to the question of actual loss to the public, and consequent additional burdens, these topics belong to a subsequent head; but, who, 'till this speech was inade, ever heard of any “clamour out of doors?" Who ever heard, that it was represented, that the sailors' pay was, on account of these malversations, detained foom them : I never heard of any such thing; and, if such a notion was really entertained and propagated, who was to blame for it, and who would have been answerable for the consequences : Who but those, whose criminal conduct had alsorded the grounds for the suspicions, whence such a misrepresentation arose Eu!, after ail, was it a misrepresentation If bills drawn upon Somerset House, for provisions for the navy, were not duly paid, if those, who ought to have paid bills upon the sick and lor boards, did not duly pay those bols; if this was the case, and for years together, is it * possible, at least; nay, will any one say, that it is not likely, that demands for sea"en's wages may have been delayed At *y tale, the misrepresentation, if any, can
be fairly attributed to nobody but the persons, whose established malversation created he suspicion. As to the press, let any one, wbo is able, point out the passage, where the conduct of Lord Melville has been misre:esented to his disadvantage. The Morning 2hron cle, The Times, and The Morning Advertiser, have, with a degree of talent and zeal that does them great honour, espoused the cause of the nation; but, has Lord Melville and the ministry been without their advocates ? Has not the Morning Post, the Sun, the Oracle, the Courier, and the Morning Herald, been engaged in a defence of his lordship from the monent his conduct
..was attacked * Will it be believed that the
means of procuring defenders of this sort have been spared And, as to “clamour,” let the language of these latter prints be reverted to ; and, if any thing half so clamorous, so abusive, so onesiacing, so evidently intended to intinidate, can be found in any other priors, upon any occasion whatever, then will I confess, that slord Melville has been us, fairly treated. Of pamphlets none has been published against Lord Melville. Even the Tenth Report itself has found no bookstoler bold enough to furnish an edition to gratify the curiosity of the public; but, Lord Melvide has not wanted a pamphleteer to take up lis cause, and, from his performance, issuing from the shop of a bookselier professedly ministerial, I will make a few extracts, whence the public will be able to judge of the reasonableness of the complaint of Mr. Canding and Mr. Pitt. The publication alluded to is entitled, “ Strictures on the Tenth Report, &c.” The writer ascribes the report to “ the malice, ig“ word ove, or foly, of a quorum of cold-blood. “ eit in positors." He talks of the “ca'um“ nics of accredited official reports.” Men in power, he says, “wil not find that the “ loose litels of the Tenth Report have had “ the effect of turning every mind in the “ country from an experienced statesman, “ so as to wish him removed from office, “ only to give place to some tyrant of the “go.:rter ... k ....... if the Tenth Report “ be ta.mous, so are the acts of Nero and “ Cali, n.a. . . . Already have they” [the Coinoissioner-j “ pro inced little less than “ mutinics in most of the d-p ortcients in the naval service. . . . . . The Tenth Report is, from beginning to ead, almost a tissue of calumnies. It is a ro, ort levelled, not merely at the reputa ions of the first and ables, ionisters of the Crown, but at he “peace and we's being of the county. . . .
“ It has visited the tool, for victims, to saiiate the list for standa', of a faction of
* * * * 4 : **
in coobat as if they were really brave. The first lood at the Ottoman Admiralty 13 oard may, in this way, be as ārave as Lord St. incent . . . . . . At the Admiralty Board it was with him as a fish out of •va or The halt, the lame, and the bon l, were alike indiscriminately objects of a crgeance --- The Admiral y will long be “tained with the blood of its victims. The eign of the Jervis's and the Markhams will long be notorious. . . . Que of tile first practical statesmen of our age and nation is to be disgraced on the columnics and overcharged reports of a bach of gentiemen eco onlists of the St. Vincent school. . . . On my food, I do most conscientiously believe I have done the Commissioners oo sort of i'justice." After this,
relative to the abuses that had been brooght
to light in the Treasurership of the Navy.
Their Mayor made them wait three days for
an answer, and then po poned the convening
of H; H is for ten or twelve day, longes.
It has not yet been convene: ; but we have heard no c(amotor. A requisition has been in ide, it is said, to the Sheriff of Middlesex to call a county meeting. It has not been called ; yet, can any man say, that these has been a clamour in Middlesex 2. If, indred, to Melviiie and Pitt had been w:itten top on the doors of the parliament house, aud upon all the walls leading to it, as “ i.o “ popery" was written immediately after the Roman Catholic petition was presented by Lord Grenville and Mr. Fox, then, in: d ed, there might have been some ground for the complaint about clamour ; then, inceed, it might have been said, this some doik, under-hand, cowardly hir-ling had been at work to prepossess the minds of the peo: ple, to mislead them, to raise a popular outcry, to prevent the members of the parliament from following the unbiassed dictates of their minds, and thus, by the basest of all arts, to stille the voice of truth and justice. But, by those who have espoused the cause of the nation, against its mighly plunderers, no such arts have been used. Appeals have been made to the people and to the parliament ; but, the cause has been much too good to stand in need of the aid of misrepresentation. It has, indeed, been no party matter, either in or out of doors. Those amongst us, who have not felt that we had an interest in prolonging abuses in protecting the plunderers of the nation, have, in truth, been pleading each of us his own cause ; for, we all know, that if there be plunder, we must contribute towards it, every one in proportion to his means. Upon this part of the subject, Mr. Pitt did, indeed, receive a most seasonable rebuke from Mt. Wiiberforce : “ If the right hon, got." said he, “ really regards it as claimear, he “ deceives himself most grievously. It is not clamour ; it is the voice of the sober, the bonest, the thinking part of the community, calmly, but, at the same time, firmly, expressed.” Sup: pose, however, there had been a little, and even a great dea!, of camour, upon this occasion, could the people have been blamed : Must not some of them recollect the time when Mr. Pitt end Mr. Dardas were the champions of reform of rigid integrity in office; of strict adherence to law; of economy even to pence and fif things Nay, must they not recollect
that it was upon professions of this sort that
those two persons rose to the topmost heights of power and emolument? We have not clamoured. Not a man of us has clamoured. We have only demanded justice; and, we have, as we had a right to do, demanded security for the future. We have been, and we are, ready to make any sacrifice that the safety and honour of our country requires ; but at the moment, when we are called on for those sacrifices, shall we b: accused of clamouring, of indulging in “Vulgar passion,” if we complain, nay, if we bitterly inveigh, against conduct like that of which Lord Melville has been convicted 2 And, shall we be told this, too, by Mr. Pitt, the person who calls on us for those sacrifices, and by Mr. Canning, who does us the honour to receive a salary of four thousand a year as treasurer of the navy, and, probably, six hundred a year more for the sinecure place mentioned in the “ PLAIN REPLY,” and whose sisters are, in that publication, stated to receive each of them a pension from the public exchequer * The Seco ND point to be remarked on is, the object of the proposed select committee. And, to know what the real object must have been, we have not much more to do, than to recollect, that it would have been composed of persons, to none of whom the ministers would have bad any objection. What could any committee have discovered to add to the reasons, upon which the House passed a censure on Lord Melville Nothing. He had been guilty of a gross violation of the law. He acknowledged it. So far, therefore, the information was complete. Whether he had actually participated in the profits of Mr. Trotter was not quite proved; but it was not necessary to prove that, in order to justify the resolutions proposed to the House. But, the proposed committee would have been overy thing to Lord Melville. It would have procured a long delay. Other objects of importance would have come before the public. Fresh pieces of chalk would, probably, have directed our attention to * no " popery" upon the doors of the Parli ment House. In short, it is very likely we should have heard no more of the Tenth Report, at last during the present session of parliament.--THE THIRD point relates to the 1NTENTio N of the violated law. The Master of the Rolls stated the main object of the Committee to be, to inquire what was the oal intention of the act of the 25th of the
ing, chapter 31, and whether that had * violated; and if violated, whether it had been done wilfully. Of this, too, Mr. Cinning said much ; and, it will be recol
lected, that Mr. Pitt proposed to introduce, into the eleventh resolution, the words, “ contrary to the 1NT ENtion of the law,” instead of the words, “gross violation of “the law, and high breach of duty.” This is a most material point; for, if there were room to suppose it at all probable, that the law was misunderstood by Mr. Dundas, now Lord Melville, I should hold myself extremely unjust in expressing myself as I have done respecting that person's conduct. But, if the reader will follow me through a brief sketch of the history of the act in question, I am persuaded he will entirely acquit me of having shown, in this respect, any want of that fairness which should ever distinguish discussions of this sort.——Towards the close of the American war, when the nation became sorely oppressed by the burdens occasioned thereby, petitions were, from all parts of the country, presented to parliament, praying for a reform in the expenditure of the public money. Some steps, towards accomplishing this object, were taken previous to the dismission of Lord North. In the
year 1782, Lord Rockingham being prinue
minister, and Mr. Fox one of the secretaries of state, a set of resolutions were moved by Lord. John Cavendish, and were passed by the House of Commons, of which resolutions the following related to the office of treasurer of the navy. “That it is the
“ opinion of this committee, that from hence
“ forward the payinaster general of His “ Majesty's land forces, and the treasurer of the navy for the time being, shall not ap‘ply any sum or sums of money imprested “ to them, or either of them, to any /iu/.ose “ or advantage or interest to them elves, either “ directly or indirectly.” Observe, that this
resolution was passed on the 18th of June,
1782, Lord Melville them being engaged in the correction of abuses in India, and Mr. Pitt being one of the loudest in the House of Commons against all sorts of malversation and of lavish expenditure. In the month of July, 1782, a change of ministry took place. Lord Shelburne became first lord of the treasury ; and then came together, never to se. parate in this world, the Right Honourable, William Pitt and the Right Honourable Henry Dundas, the former chancellor of the exchequer, and the latter treasurer of the navy. That administration did not last fo many months. It was followed by that of the Duke of Portland, Mr. Fox being one of the secretaries of state, Mr. Burke paymaster of the forces, and the Honourable Charles Townshend, now Lord Bayning, treasurer of the navy. The leader will re. member, that that ministry was overset by
Mr. Pitt and Mr. Dundas; and, -that the chief means by which they effected their purpose, was, an opposition to the bill proposed by Mr. Fox relating to India, an op
position grounded on the assertion, that, if
the bill passed, the East-India Company would be reduced to a cypher; that very Company, which, as the Directors have now openly declared in parliament, bas-been really reduced to a cypher by the measures of Messrs. Pitt and Dundas!——To return to the Duke of Portland's ministry : short as its duration was, Mr. Burke found time for introducing the bill relative to the office of paymaster of the forces, which bill has been acted upon in that office ever since ——I shall here in . sert all that part of this bill which will apply to the present purpose; and I beg the reader to observe, that, in order to form a true judgment, it will be necessary for him to read, all these documents with great attention. . - “AcrxXII. Geo. III. CAP. 81. An act for the better regulation of the office of paymaster general of bis Majesty's forces. . HEREAS it appears, by the resorts W V made by the commissioners appointed to eramiue, take, and state the public accounts of the Hingdom, that the paymasters of the forces have beretofore been accustomed to a comulate large sums of public money in their hands, beyond what was necessary for carry ing on the services in their departinent, and to take and carry out of office with them, usion their resignation or removal, large balances of public money, which they have retained and kept in their bands many years after being out of office : and whereas it is highly expedient ihai a remedy should be provided fr these inconveniences; be it therefore enacted by the King's most excellent majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the lords spiritual and temporal, and commons, in this present parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, That from and after the first day of January, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-three, the paymaster general of his Majesty's forces for the time being, in all memorials to be by him presented to the treasury for money for army services, shall pray that such sum as he requires may be issued to the governor and company of the bank of England on his ac: count, specifying, in every such memorial, the sum he requires, and for what particular service or services; and the commissioners of his Majesty's treasury for the time being, by their letter from time to time shall direct the auditor of the exche
quer to issue to the governor and company
of the bank of England, on account of the paymaster general of his Majesty's force, maining such paymaster general for the time being, the sum, for, which such letter shall be drawn upon the unsatisfied order at the exchequer in favour of the said pay. master general, for which the receipt of the cashier or cashiers of the said governor and company shall be a sufficient discharge; and all sums for which such letters of the commissioners of his Majesty treasury shall
be drawn, shall be issued to the governor
and company of the bank of England, in like manner as they have been heretofore issued to the paymaster general of his Ma. jesty's forces; and all such monies so to be issued to the governor and company of the bank of England, shall be placed to an ac, count to be raised in the books of the go. vernor and company of the said bank of England, and to be intituled, The Aagant of the Paymaster General of his Majesty's Ford; inserting the name of such paymaster ge. neral for the time being. - II. And be it enacted, That no fees what. soever shall be paid at the exchequer of
treasury for or by reason of the transactions
aforesaid, beyond the amount of what hath usually been paid upon imprests and accounts hitherto made, according to the for. mer custom of transacting business between the exchequer, pay office, and bank severally. III. And be it further enacted by thead. thority aforesaid, That from and after the said first day of January, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-three, no money for the service of the army shall be issued from his Majesty's exchequer to the paymaster ge. neral- of his Majesty's forces, or shall be
be deemed a sufficient voucher to the said governor and company of the bank of England, unless the same speci'ies the service for which it is drawn, and bas been actuall, paid by the said governor and company of the bank of England. . . . • W. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, 'That the monies so to be o bank of England, on account of the paymaster general of his M. jesty's forces, shall not be paid out of the bank unless for the army services, and in pursuance of drafts or cheque papers, to be drawn on the governor and company of the Bank of England, and signed by the paymaster general of his Majesty's forces for the time being, or his deputy, or the person or persons authorized as aforesaid : in which drafts shall be specified the heads of service to which the suins tierein mentioned are to be applied; and which drafts so drawn shall be sufficient authority to the bank to pay such noney to the persons mentioned in such drafts, or to the bearer of them." This act was, it will be perceived by the o grounded upon the reports of a oard of Commissioners, appointed to examine, take, and state the public accounts of the kingdom, which commissioners have usually been denominated, the Commissioners of Accounts. These same commis.
bioners, sering that the parliament had
adopted regulations, such as they had recommended, relative to the office of paymaster of the forces, recommended, in one of their subsequent reports, the adoption of sinilar regulations in the office of the trea surer of the navy. The words, which have been once before quoted by me, of the report are as follows : “ The legislature have, in “ the last session of parliament, introduced into the office of the paymaster general of the forces a regulation, which, as it seems to us, may be aft/lied as beneficially to the offive of the treasurer of the navy. The custody of cash applicable to the navy services may be transferred from the “treasurer to the Bank of England, and the account only of the receipts and payments be kept in bis office; all the sums now received by him may be received by the Bank; sums from the Exchequer may be imprested to the Bank; sums directed by the letters of the different boards to be paid to him, may be directed to be paid into the Bank; all bills assigned upon him for payment may be paid, and all extra payments may be made by his draits upon the Bank; the payment of the seamen, the artificers and labourers
to the governor and company of the .
in the yards, and the persons-in the hospital ships, and on the half-pay lists, must “‘be carried on in the same manner it is “ now : these men cannot be paid by drafts, “ they must have cash, and with that cash the pay-cleaks must be entrusted as they are at present; and the treasorer must continue to be responsible for them, as “ for officers of his appointment, and under his controul ; but this will be no obstruc“tion to the regulation. The maney may be “ all issued to the pay clerks by the drafts of “ the treasurer upon the Bank, according to “ the requisition of the Navy Board, in like “ manner as many of these sums are issued “ at this day; and, upon the death or resig“ nation of a treasurer, the balances of his * cash in the Bank, and in the nanos of his “ pay clerks may be struck immediately, and carried over to the account of his succes“ sor. In this situation, the treasurer, neither receiving nor paying public money bim“self, can be neither debtor to, nor credi“tor of the public, eveept as far as he may “ be responsible for his clerks. On passing “ his accounts, the bill indorsed, or requisi“ tion of the Navy Board, is both his autho“ rity and voucher for his draft; the draft “ indorsed is the voucher for the Bank to “ prove their payment. If these accounts “ agree (and they ought frequently to be “ compared together) it is highly probable th to they are both right.”——Now, I ask, if any man of common sense, supposing his intentions to be honest, had been required to found an act of parliament upon this, would he not have so worded the act, that it should have prohibited the Treasurer of the Navy, or any one for him, from ever holding any of the public money in his bands 2 Such is the object, which the Commissioners had in view ; and, their reason for wishing to see this object accomplished, was, that, by preventing him from holding any of the public money in his hands, he, and all others, would, agreeably to the previous resolution of the House of Commons, be effectually prevented from deriving any profit or advantage from the use of the public money; and, so to prevent him was become quite just and reasonable, because his salary had been augmented to the clear sum of four thousand pounds a year. Under all these circumstances ; with the sense of the nation, long and loudly expressed upon the subject ; with the resolutions of the House of Commons; with the repeated reports of the Commissioners of accounts; and, lastly, with the Paymaster's bill, as a drast to engross from ; with all this before his eyes, Mr. Dundas himself sat down to prepare the act of the