Page images

was nothing specifically charged his conduct in office. It was abroagaint them in the amendment, lutely necessary, he said, for he must certainly oppose it on prin- preserving the due equilibrium ciple; much less could it be fup- preferibed by the constitution, posed that he would agree to the that the prince Aould have free implied censure upon himself, liberty to appoint those persons which was included in the general to the various executive offices, fequisition for new counsels and new who appeared to him the most counsellors.

proper to fill them; otherwise the One of the ableft advocates on government would degenerate into the fame fide observed, that the an aristocracy, and assume the address was totally onexceptiona. worft vices, without the virtues, ble in all its parts; that it went of a republic. If the prince were no farther in its tendency than to debarred of such a choice, either carry dp to the throne, those ex. the nobles would acquire a most pressions of duty and affe&ion, dangerous ascendancy over the which had ever been the lan- crown, or the commons, encirguage of parliament in their an- cling the throne, like a spider's fwer to the speech of the love web, with a ministry of their seign. There was not a word in own choosing, would throw every the address, which could imply thing into anarchy and confu. that parliament pledged itself to fion, and reduce us to the worst the support of any particular mea. and most despicable ftate of go.. fure, or to oppose or protect any vernment. particular description of men. Neither the course of reasonAlong with the usual terms of ing, the arguments, nor the afferrespect, it contained nothing more tions of the minifter, were fuffi. than a general profesion of union, cient to afford any satisfaction to on the common principle of self. the other side. They observed, defence.

that with his usual ingenuity, he On the other hand, the amend. had converted the heaviest charges ment, according to the explana. against his conduct, into the tions which had been given in its means of actual defence. The Support, implied a requisition, criminal neglect and fatal decline not only that his majesty would of the navy under his adminiftradismiss all his counsellors, whe- tion, illustrated and proved by ther guilty or guiltless, old or its acknowledged inferiority, and new; but that he would go ftill late indelible disgrace, afforded a farther, and adopt an encirely charge of fo alarming and capital new fyftem of government. On a nature, that it seemed to lay him this he obferved, that the confti. under an indispensable necessity of tation had placed the executive shewing, either, that it had not power of this government in the declined, or that the grants af. Tovereign, the official functions forded by parliament were not adof which are performed by per- equate to its support. But withfons of his appointment, each of out the smallest troable of that whom is personally responsible for fort, the minister applies that

[0] 2


very inferiority, which constitutes their own grievances and disturbhis most deadly crime, to the jur- ances. Such, they said, was tification of its shameful consethe mode of reasoning, with quence, the scandalous flight of which ministers and their advo.' the British Acet; and tells us with cates, in the present day, dared the greatest unconcern, that it to insult the understanding of parwould have been madness not to run liament." away.

-. But they demand proofs of The noble lord, they said, was their incapacity and misconduct. not less ingenious in the excul- Could any proofs upon earth expation of other parts of his con- ceed, or equal, a bare recital of duct, Administration were en- their acts, and of the consequentirely guiltless of all those ruinous ces which they produced ? Is not consequences, which can only be the unexampled ruin which, generated, by a long conjonction within a few years, their governof evil government and political ment has brought upon a counfolly.. The common union and try, so great, so glorious, and revolt of thirteen colonies, who fo flourishing as this was, at the never agreed in any thing else, commencement of the present with the loss of America, he ac- reign, the most conclusive possible counts for in one short sentence, evidence, either of the most by charging it to the rebellious wretched incapacity, or of wilful disposition of a people, who had design and treachery. But if ever been eminently diftinguished every other proof of ignorance and for their loyalty. If we are incapacity, and of the necessity abandoned, in a manner unex- of demanding from the throne ampled in history, at this perilous the removal of the present minimoment, without the allistance or sters and counsellors, were wanthope of a single ally, the minister ing, the noble lord himself had comforts us with the assurance just supplied the strongest that that it is no fault of his, but pro- could be given; and what, inceeds merely from the blind folly, deed, might well supersede all or strange ingratitude, of other other evidence. For, after the powers. The loss of our Weit- long notice he had received from India islands, is by no means to that house, the repeated warne be charged to the indolence or ings given him by the oppofition, neglect of ministry, but to the and the very alarming motives, ađivity and impudence of D’Ef which every day grew more artaing, who unexpectedly took gent, for his making a full and them from us. And if Ireland inmediate inquiry into the affairs, was flipping out of our hands, state, aud condition of Ireland, by a repetition of the same mea and duly weighing and consider. sures and conduct which loft A. ing the means, for affording a merica, still our immaculate mie proper and adequate relief to her nifters were totally free from wants, and providing a remedy blame ; for it was easily sewn by for her disorders, he had now this new logic, that the Irish candidly, but inadvertently conthemselves were the caufes of felfed, that he was equally ignorapt of the wants, the disorder, view of the antagonifts, that no and the core. Could the most advantage could be gained on ei. inveterate enemy, said they, have ther side, from any defect of ad. urged a better or stronger reason dress or ability on the opposite. for the dismiflion of a minifter, The debates were accordingly exthan was included in that confef- ceedingly interesting, embraced fion? Could any other evidence a variety of subjects of the great. be fo unexceptionable, or esta. est importance, and were carried blish fo full à conviction ? Or, on, without languor, through a after such a confeßion, was it pofli- length of time very unusual in ble for that house to hesitate a mo- that house. "Among other matment in voting for the removal of ters, the affairs of Ireland were such a minifter?


much agitated; and much unAfter very long debates, in qualified censure passed upon that which an infinite quantity and criminal neglect, as it was called, variety of public matter was can- to which their present dangerous vaffed, the question being put, ficuation was attributed. But no at a late hour, the proposed part of our recent public conduct, amendment was rejected upon a underwent a' more critical inves. division, by a majority of 233, tigation, or was more severely to 134.

condemned, than what related to The address was moved for in the disposition and government of the House of Lords by the Earl the army within the kingdom, of Chesterfield, and seconded by, and to the means of defence Lord Grantham, late ambassador adopted, or supposed to be neg. at the court of Madrid. The lected, doring the summer. On amendment was moved for, and this ground, the charges were so supported with great ability, by numerous, fo 'direaly applied, the Marquis of Rockingham'; and supported with such ability who, in a long speech, took a and knowledge of the subject, comprehensive view of the gene. particularly by the Duke of Richral policy of the present reign, as mond, that the noble lord at the well as of the particular circum- head of that department, nottances and public transactions of withstanding his habitual coolness the current year. The debate and command of temper, could was supported, on that fide, by not but feel some embarrassment; the Dukes of Richmond and and indeed it would have requirGrafton, the Earls of Shelburne, ed such habits of argument, and Coventry, and Efingham, with such a portion of eloquence, ab the Lords Camden, and Lyttel. are not often acquired by, nor freton. On the other side, the two quently the lot of military men, to great law lords in office, the two have successfully resisted their effect, new secretaries of state, the noble and entirely effaced the impression earl just placed at the head of the which they made. . . board of trade, and the marine As the charge of an . undue minifter, bore the weight of the system of government, and the cooteft.

ftri&tures upon the general policy It will be easily seen from a of the present reign, were prin

[D] 3

cipally cipally made in that house, the and living minifters, chofe now matters arising from those fub- in opposition, as well as those in jects were, of course, more par- office, must all bear an equal ticularly canvassed there; and Share of the blame. There was brought out much feverity and scarcely a lord, on the same fide bittercess of reply, The lords in with the noble marquis who movadministracion, besides an abso. ed the amendment, who had not lute contradiction or denial of been a member of one adminiftra. everything advanced on that tion or other within that period. ground, expressed the utmost af. They had all & share in those tonishment, at the new and ex- public measures, and in the suptraordinary language now held. port of that system, as it is affectThey said, that the proposed ed to be called, which they now amendment, along with the com- so bitterly inveigh against. Even ments and explanations by which the forbidden ground of America, it was attended, were replete with which is execrated as the source invective, and in reality a kind of all our evils and calamities, of libel upon government. That has been indifferently trodden by nothing could be more fallacious every administration since the year or invidious, than the contraft 1763. i drawn, and the manner in which The present minifters had nei. it was applied, between the degree ther passed nor repealed the ftamp of power, prosperity, and pre-emi. a&. They had not laid on those nence, attributed to the nation at the American duties, by which the time of his majesty's accession, and seeds of the present rebellion were the misfortune or danger of the pre- first rowed. And, whatever the fent period.

measures were, good or bad, wise It must indeed, they said, be or unwise, which they pursued, acknowledged, however it might they only followed up the line, be regretted, that too many of which had already been chalked. the unfortunate facts stated on the out for them by their predecesocher side, were too well esta. fors. Why then, this sudden and blished to be controverted; but violent cry, « of new counsels the deduction drawn from these and new counsellors?" Or what premises, that our public misfor- was meant by new counsels? It tunes were imputable to the pre. was evident from the speech befent minifters, did not by any fore them, that the objeet of the means follow. It would have present system of government was been more ingenuous to have at- to pursue the war with vigour and tributed these misfortunes, in a effect: would the noble marquis very great degree, to our internal and his friends have that system divisions, and to that incautious changed? Did they wilh to have it and violent laoguage, which was carried on with the reverse of vitoo frequently held in parliament. gour? Would they recommend to But if they were imputable to have it followed with weakness, and the present adminiftration, chey conducted without spirit ? If not, were equally so to every other what was the intent or purpose of during the present reign. Dead new counsels :


To this it was answered, thạt ministers persevered in direct oppo. fuppofing the facts to be fairly fition to all experience. Itated (which was not, how. The late resignations and ap. ever, in any degree the cafe), it pointments afforded an opportunity was a new and extraordinary mode to the opposition for much animad, of defence, to bring the errors, version and some satire. They vices, or crimes, of former minis- attributed the resignation of the ters, whether dead or living, in lord president of the council, to exculpation of the erroneous con- his disdain of continuing any duct, and deftructive measures of longer in office with men, who the present. It must afford much he found totally incapable of confatisfaction to the public, and be ducting the public business, and a matter of great comfort in their , of acting up to any fixed rule or present distresses, to be informe principle of conduct. The reed, that their ministers had only . cent bringing in of a noble lord, obstinately persevered, in despite to a Mort epiftle of whose writing of reason, warning, and ex- when formerly in office they die perience, in following up, to really charged the loss of Ame. the final extremity of ruin, to rica, was severely censured in foreign and domestic war, and both houses, as a measure which to the diffevering of the empire, tended to render all reconcilia. certain measures of absurdity and tion with the colonies ftill more evil, which had been either desperate. dreamed of in theory, or attempt But the spirit of that system, ed in practice, by some of their they said, which had so long gopredecessors. It was, indeed, ra. verned, and so long disgraced, our ther unlucky, that it was only in public counsels, was peculiarly such instances, that they ever at- operative in the busmess of aptempted to profit by example, pointments. When the measures, Upon other occasions, the maxims which eventually led to the loss and conduct of their predecessors of America, were first planned went for nothing. When it suit- under that fatal system, it had ed their own views, or the pur- been thought proper to create a poses of the arbitrary fyftem un- new office, under the title of se. der which they acted, they not cretary of state for the colonies, only readily over-stepped all an- in order to give a supposed de. tient and established rules of go- gree of weight, and the greater vernment, but they could, with eclat, to the intended proceedas much ease, make long strides ings. And now, in the fulness beyond the limits of the constitu- of the same spirit, and according tion itself. Bạt they wholly de- to the true wildom of that system, nied the universality of the charge when we have no colonies to take on all the ministers of this reign. care of, and that America no Some of them had no thare in longer forms a part of the British those measures, except in cor. empire, it is thought necessary to recting the ill consequences of create or renew another high and them; and none but the present expensive office, by adding, to

[D] 4


« PreviousContinue »