Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

gent. that it was not intended by the board | be evident to every member of the house, to send an annual supply: but in an imme- that it was impossible those estimates diate supply could the hon. gent. see could be printed by Wednesday. He renothing but a question of money? When gretted that the hon. gent. did not come ordnance was sent to a distant possession, forward manfully, and declare that to be would it have been expedient, by withhold-his object. For his part, he had no other ing ammunition, to risk the lives and objection to the motion, than that it would honour of his majesty's troops, and the postpone the discussion of that subject. şecurity of that possession, for a small and Mr. Rose was sure that there could be no temporary saving? The order for the disposition in the hon, mover to put off powder must first have been sent to the the debate on the army estimates. He was continent of India, and the powder have persuaded that they might be printed, and been thence transmitted to Ceylon; and delivered to the members by Monday. who could have insured its arrival at the Lord Howick, however anxious not to time of the arrival of the ordnance ? withhold from the house any means of obTherefore, although he allowed that pow- taining information which were unattended der was dearer in this country than in In- by unnecessary expence and inconvenient dia, yet he defended the policy of sending delay, would never be deterred by any it in this instance, and maintained that the taunts that might be thrown out by gentleboard of ordnance stood completely excul. men opposite, on what they conceived to pated, and were undeserving of the severe be a change of sentiments produced by a censure which the hon. gent. had thought change of situation, from doing that which proper to pass upon them. In future, as- he felt it to be his duty to do. It was true suredly, the powder for Ceylon would be that the estimates bad been printed two procured from India. As to the question years ago, but new military plans were then before the house, no inconvenience had in discussion. Had the estimates been arisen from the printing of the arıy esti- printed last year? No; the fair inference mates two years ago ; none was likely to then was, that experiencing the expence arise in the present instance, and be and inconvenience of printing such a voshould therefore vote for their being luminous mass of papers, the bouse had printed.

thought proper to contine its order to the Mr. S. Bourne, in answer tô the first ob- printing of the abstract. He denied the jection made to the motion by the right possibility of printing papers. containing hon, secretary, namely, that the estimates so many figures by Monday; nor could were extremely voluminous, declared, that he see the probability of their being prothat was the very circumstance which in- duced in time to be useful in the discussion duced the bon. gent. who had just sat of Wednesday, a discussion which it would down, two years ago to move for their be extremely incouvenient to postpone. being printed; it not being possible for Mr. Perceval, adverting to the determieach member to have recourse to the sole nation expressed by the noble lord, not to copy, which was on the table of the house. be deterred from any line of conduct wbich As to dangerous disclosures, the Abstract, he might think proper to adopt, was happy wbich on that evening had been ordered to to observe the reforming virtue which inbe printed, would convey to the enemy all duced the noble lord to abide by other the information that they could possibly principles than those by which till lately obtain from the estimates, for that ab- he had been actuated. This was inforstract stated the amount of our military mation which the country must be glad to force in different parts of the world. He receive. When the noble lord was in opcould not help thinking, that the change in position, he supported the motion made the side of the house on which some hon. by the hon. gent. near him, (Mr. Calcraft) gentlemen sat, had made a wonderful dif- for printing the army estimates. Hera ference in their sentiments on the policy of then was a precedent established of their producing and printing papers.

As no

What was the precedent against the mischievous effects had resulted from tbe motion ? Did it arise on the side of the printing of the estimates, be should cer- house on which he (Mr. Perceval) sat? tainly support the motion.

No. Last year an hon. general, no longer Lord Temple thought the motion was a member, (Gen. Turleton) had pressed for only an indirect attempt to put off the de. the printing of the estimates. The noble bate on the Army Estimates; for it mustlord seemed to think, that when new mili

own.

tary measures were instituted, it was wise Mr. Montague supported the motion. If to print the estimates. What was the case large expensive establishments were nem last year? Were not new military mea- cessary, he observed, and if in such cases sures adopted? Yet the noble lord resist- objections were made to motions which ed the proposition for printing. If it went to enable the bouse more easily to could be made out, that any communica- examine into the public expenditure, a pretions to the enemy would follow, no man cedent would be formed, wbich would renwould be desirous of pressing such a pro- der it impossible for the inembers of that position. But this did vot seem to him to house to do their duty by their constituents. be possible. The only remaining objec. The facility, therefore, which would be tion was the probability that these papers, afforded to them in doing their duty, would on account of the number of figures con- more than counterbalance any expence tained in them, could not be printed and that might be incurred by printing these delivered to the members by Monday or papers. The expence of printing such Tuesday. Admitting this, was it to be papers might well be saved, by economy maintained that the postponement of the in many other respects. For instance, if discussion of the army estimates, from the powder sent to Ceylon from this counWednesday to Friday, would be of such try had been purchased at Madras, we extreme injury that every other object should have had a saving, which would which tended to produce that postpone- have gone far beyond any expence that ment must be abandoned? A noble lord could be incurred by printing the estimates had insiduated that delay was the object of now before the house. He saw no good the hon. mover, and had said, that it would ground of objection to the motion. bave been more manly in him at once to Mr. Biddulph thought it incumbent on bare declared that object. What! a delay him to say a few words, as he had sefor two days! Had it extended to a fort- conded this motion. "He considered econight or three weeks, a desire might have nomy in the public expenditure, of so much been supposed to exist to obtain the in importance, that be would have been the fluence on the discussion which the pre- last man to have given his countenance to sence of additional members might pos- any thing that would be attended with exsibly occasion. But as it was, he could pence, had he not been satisfied that this not suppose that the noble lord was serious was one of those cases where the saving of in his remark.

a few pounds might lead to the loss of many Lord Howick, alluding to the congratu- thousands. It was absolutely necessary lation of the learned gent. on what he that every facility should be allowed to gentermed a change in his principles, explain- tlemen in enquiring into the public expened his former statement on that subject. diture. This, at the present moment, was What be bad said was, that because he had the most important of duties. He himself formerly supported motions under certain also wished to say something on the subject circumstances, he would not be deterred of these estimates, but it was utterly imposby any taunts that might be thrown out sible for bim to make bimself completely against him from opposing similar motions master of them, unless he was allowed to under different circumstances. He chal- take the papers home with him. But this lenged the learned gent. to point out an he could not do unless they were printed, instance in which he had abandoned a for in their present state they must lie on single principle of his political life. In the table till they came to be discussed. the session before last, a military arrange- He could not do his duty with satisfaction ment of great importance was in agitation, to himself therefore, unless the papers which rendered the printing of the esti- were printed, by which means he could mates necessary, but in the last session have a copy home with him. This was the this was not the case. In the year before reason why he had seconded the motion. the last, a sufficient time had been given as to the question of the powder sent to for the printing of the estimates, before Ceylon, he thought the board of Ordnance the discussion. Last year the printing could not possibly have refused under such was not moved for till the estimates had a requisition. But he hoped that in future been voted.

the supply would be sent from India. If Mr. Percevalexplained, that he had not said the board chose to enquire into the matthe noble lord had abandoned his principles, ter, they would get information in London but had abandoned his formerline of conduct. that the Indian powder was not only not

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

worse than ours, but that it was even the whole of the papers, from the feeling better.

and information with which bis former Mr.Calcraft observed, that an hon. gent. official babits possessed him. The Abstract (Mr. Montague) seemed to suppose that conveyed the complete substance of the it was always to be the system to send out Estimates, but treated less of the detail. powder to Ceylon from this country, when The only information which the papers he (Mr. C.) had expressly stated that it could convey to the enemy, was the quanwas intended in future to send it from India. tity of our military force, as divided into

Mr. Montague stated that that very pos- three heads, Guards and Garrisons; Forces sibly might have been a system, had it not in the Plantations; and Forces in India. been for the discussions that had arisen The abstract stated the gross force; the upon the subject.

Estimates, the regiments of which that Mr. Vansittart observed, that when gen- force was composed. The statement theretlemen proposed a delay of two or three fore, of the right hon. Secretary, that the days, they did not seem to understand the estimates would convey more dangerous course of the treasury. A million of money information to the enemy than the abstract, would be due on Friday next, and it was was unfounded. necessary to bave the vote passed before The Secretary at War denied having pothat time.

sitively asserted that great danger would Mr. Ruthven said, that if any informa- result" from the information which the tion injurious to the country could be con- printing of the Estimates would convey to veyed to the enemy by printing these papers, the evemy. He bad spoken doubtfully. he would have opposed the motion. But in every discussion in that house there was the printing of the Ordnance Estimates had some danger, for every discussion made á led him to believe, that no danger of this disclosure to the enemy in a certain degree. sort could reasonably be apprehended from The question always was, how could the printing the Army Estimates. The priot- house execute its duty consistently with ing of the Ordnance Estimates had been the object of concealing from the enemy advantageous, in as much as it had led to what it was desirable to conceal from them? an investigation, the result of wbich, in bis The estimates, by being more minute in opinion, bad done great honour to the Ord- the detail tban the abstract, must necesnance Board. When he said so, he begged sarily convey to the enemy more inforit to be understood, that he had no parti- mation. cular connection with any member of it. Mr. Johnstone would not have trespassed The ground on which he would vote for further on the time of the house, had it printing these Estimates was, that it was not been with a view to do justice to bimimpossible for every member to read themself in repelling the insinuations of a noble at the table before Wednesday, even sup- lord, who had hinted that he said one thing posing that they had begun from the time while he meant another. His object was of presenting them. No man could con- not to occasion delay, but to examine mitend that the house could be fully informed nutely those papers. He would have no as to the contents of the papers, unless they objection to grant some money on account, were printed. But it was presumed that if it was wanted immediately, as liad been all who came to this house to give their said by the secretary of the treasury. But votes, were.in full possession of the nature his object was, from a careful examination and merits of the case. Whether or not of the contents of the papers, to see whe. they could be printed, so as to afford suffi- ther there was not room for reform in the cient time for the house to be prepared to expenditure. The first argument of the discuss them on Wednesday he could not secretary at war was futile, and his second say, but he was satisfied that the attempt was not better. What was bis objectiou ? ought to be made.

Why, that these papers would convey inSir R. Williams thought, that when the formation to the enemy. Of what could secretary at war had declared, that to print they convey information? Delay was not these estimates would be to convey dan- his object. He was anxious to see how gerous information to the enemy, it was far the numerous pledges of economy which the duty of every independent member to the gentlemen on the other side had made resist the motion.

such a bluster about while in opposition, Lord Castlereagh said, he had moved for bad been redeemed. Their conduct might the printing of the Abstract rather than for not perhaps come to be discussed on the

1 1

present occasion. But other opportunities tails]. His hon. friend had informed him, would occur, when it would appear that that there was no material difference, and they had not attended to that economy therefore he would agree to the motion, it about which they had formerly talked so being understood that there should be no much, but that they had granted new and delay of the discussion; for to that he could extravagant salaries to themselves—(hear! not consent. hear!) On the principal points in these Mr. Johnstone observed, that he would papers there could not in the present cir- not oppose the vote of such a sum as might cumstances be much saving. But a great be immediately wanted, and this he condeal of saving might be made in many conceived would remove all inconvenience. tingent particulars. It was to the extra- Mr. Perceval said, that every one would ordinaries of the army that he wished to allow that it was necessary to see these turn his attention in a particular manner. papers in the nean time, in order to be On that point he wanted to be fully inform-enabled to enter upon a discussion with ed, and that was the reason why he desired respect to the contents. But if the vote the whole of these papers to be printed. should be passed on Wednesday, it must

Lord Howick observed, that he now un- be done without any one having an opporderstood, from the hon. gent. that he wish- tunity of examining the papers in the mean ed not for delay, but that all he wanted time, supposing they should now be sent was to be fully informed on this subject, in to the printer, and could not be finished order to see whether ministers had acted before the proposed time of discussion. But up to those principles of economy which what would do away all these difficulties they had'formerly professed, and whether would be to vote a considerable sum on they had shewn an inclination to redeem Wednesday on account, if the papers should their pledges to the public. If that was not be printed before that time. the ground on which the hon. gent. rested Lord Howick asked why the motion had bis motion, he would be inclined to with not been made sooner, and why they now draw his opposition. He was anxious that took occasion to press it at this late period? all the measures of the administration Full time had been given for any such moshould be carefully and minutely examined tion, much more than, to his knowledge, and canvassed. The hon. gent. had said had been given in some former years.

The that they had wasted the public money, only ground on which he could agree to and granted new and exorbitant salaries to the motion was, that it might afford an themselves. He wished that their conduct opportunity of sifting the conduct of mishould be sitted to the bottom, and hoped nisters, and of bringing the charges against that since these charges had been preferred, them to a discussion, if the hon. genthey would be speedily brought forward, tlemen should find any reason to prefer that the house and the country might have them. He could not consent to delay the an opportunity of judging of their validity. vote. Now, if it should be understood that the Mr. IVhitbread observed, that it was his discussion of the Army Estimates should intention at first to have supported the mo. not be delayed, though the papers should tion, for he was satisfied that these papers not be printed in time, he had no objec- could convey no material information to țion to withdraw his opposition with this the enemy. But he cougratulated the reservation. The noble lord on the other house and the country on the great change side had said that ihe abstract would an- which had taken place in the conduct of

purpose. If more was wanted, it the learned gent, opposite (Mr. Perceval), was unfortunate that the motion had not who was so ready with his charges of been made sooner. The hov. gent. had changing against others. The house and given no notice of it, and he was not pre- the country must be peculiarly happy to pared to say how far the danger of communi- tind, that he who formerly objected to all cating information to the eneiny might be information on these points, was now suda increased by printing the whole of the pa- denly become so zealous an advocate for pers. If, therefore, the hon. gent, would information. The learned gent. certainly postpone his motion till to-morrow, an op-wished for delay. Now, if the papers were portunity would be afforded of comparing to be printed with a view to the ulterior purthe papers. [The secretary at war here pose of the hon, mover, he would certainly mentioned to him, that the only difference not object to the motion. But he would was in the greater particularity of the de. vote against printing them, uniess it was

swer his

fully understood that there was to be no M'Donald, esq.; sir W. Lemon; nodelay of the vote.

minees; Hervey C. Combe, esq.; John Mr. Perceval said, that his only object Simeon, esq.-Mr. J. Smith, having been bad been to obviate difficulties.

returned for the town of Nottingham, and Lord Howick thought that the best course the borough of Midhurst, informed the would be for the bon. gent. to withdraw house, that he had made his election to sit his motion for the present, and leave the for Nottingham; and a new writ was os papers on the table till the vote was pas- dered for the borough of Midhurst, in the sed; after which he might have the papers room of Mr. Smith, Another writ was also printed, with a view to the ulterior object ordered for the borough of Midburst, in the for which he wanted them,

room of the right hon. W. Wickham, who Mr. Johnstone wished to know from the having been returned for that borough, and Speaker, how far it was reasonable to sup- Callington, had made his election to sit for pose that the papers might be printed be- Callington. The adjourned debate, on the fore Wednesday.

motion for enlarging the time for receiving The Speaker observed, that where there recognizances, on the petition against the were a great many figures, it was impos- return of the right hon. H. Grattan, was sible even for those most conversant with resumed, on the motion of Mr. S. Bourne, the business to calculate exactly. and the time ordered to be enlarged to the

Lord H. Petty observed, that the same 10th of February.-- The Secretary at War Teason, the multitude of figures, which ren- presented, pursuant to orders of the house, dered it difficult to print these papers in a an Account of the effective strength of his short time, also rendered it difficult to ex- majesty's regular militia forces; also, an amine them minutely. It would be better account of the vumber of men raised for to have the papers on the table in the mean the regular army in each montb, since the time.

He therefore suggested, whether 1st of Jan. 1805, exclusive of foreign levies the object of the hon. gent. (for he was an- or colonial corps. On the motion that xious that the minutest enquiries should they be laid on the table, lord Castletake place into all the branches of the pub- reagh submitted to the right hon. gent. lic expenditure), would not be answered by whether it would not be for the convenileaving the papers in the mean time, and ence of the house to defer the printing of moving to have them printed afterwards ? these papers, until after the discussion of

Mr. Fuller hoped that the abstract would the Army Estimates to-morrow. The pan at all events be printed in the mean time. pers were then ordered to be laid on the

Mr. Johnstone then stated, that he was table.-Mr. G. Johnstone adverted to a. ready to consent to what had been pro- practice that had been recommended in a posed, but he begged leave at the same former session, and had been acted upon, time to state, that it was perfectly in order of having duplicates of papers presented, so and consistent with the duty of any mein- that when one copy should be taken off to ber, to propose such a motion as the pre- the printer's, another should lie on the table sent one, which he should now, for the rea- for the use of members. The hon. memsons stated, withdraw for the present.ber submitted, whether it would not be The motion was accordingly withdrawn. desirable to adopt a similar regulation. The

Speaker observed, that it might be for the
HOUSE OF COMMONS.

convenience of the house to come to some
Tuesday, January 20.

understanding on this head. The practice [Minutes.] The house at its meeting, adverted to had prevailed to a considerable proceeded, pursuant to the order of the extent, though not universally, in a former day, to a ballot for a committee, to try and sessi It was for the house to decide determine the merits of the petition com- how its convenience would be promoted plaining of the election and return for the by such a practice, and if they were to come borough of Malden. The members re- to any understanding on the subject, the turned upon the reduced list, and who were clerks in the public offices would take care sworn as the committee, are the following: to regulate their conduct accordingly. R. M. Phillips, esq.; L. P. Jones, esq.; There were some papers on the table which hon. W. E. Eden; W. Biddulph, esq.; had been presented in that form, but the B. Hall, esq.; W. L. Hughes, esq. ; lord practice had not been observed in all. Lord Clive; sir G. Heathcote; hon, H. Caul. H. Petty admitted that it would be defield ; lord Forbes; R. Benyon, esq.; J. sirable that the practice should be con,

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »