Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

525) PARL. DEBATES, JAN. 23, 1807.-Petition of the Electors of Lancaster, fc. (526

bis publication of the North Briton; he also thought, therefore, that it would be desirewell remembered the question agitated res- able to make the words of the motion larpecting the same individual in 1769,0n which ger, in order to come at the main spring occasion he was in the minority. It must be upon which the house acted in such cases, in the recollection of many members of which would enable them to discharge the bouse, that in 1789 the expulsion pre- their painful duty in this instance. The viously voted had been reversed, and all bod. gent. suggested to enlarge the words the resolutions respecting it expunged from of the motion to all cases of expulsion, the journals by a majority, of which he distinguishing those in which the expelled was one. Though this was not a case in members had been again returned. point, yet he apprehended that it settled Lord Howick adopted the suggestion of the law of parliament on the subject of the hon. gent., and moved, “ that, a comexpulsion. Having made these loose ob-mittee be appointed to examine the jourservations with a view of bringing the nals of this house, and records of parliaquestion only before the house, he should ment for precedents of cases of members conclude therefore with trusting that' the who bave been expelled by this house, and motion of the noble lord would be adop- for what causes they have been so expelted, being the best in any point of view led, and also of cases in which members, which could, in his opinion, be suggested. having been expelled by this house, have

Mr. Hurst was astonished that a person been again returned ; and to report the of the ability of the learned gent. who same to the house, together with the prospoke last, should say that there was no ceedings thereon :" which was agreed to. distinction between principle and precedenti [PETITION OF THE ELECTORS OF LANThey were far as the poles asunder. Pre-CASTER RESPECTING MR. CAWTHORNE.) cedent might illustrate, but did not con- Lord George Cavendish proposed to prestitute a principle. He would support the sent a petition to the house from a very motion for searching precedents, however, considerable number of the freemen of as they would shew what had been done in Lancaster. Jt had been put into his bands similar cases, if there were any. If there as he came into the house, and he thought were no precedents, then we must resort it his duty to present it. But in do. to the principle, and make a precedent ing this he would not pledge himself for the future.-The motion was then to any opinion upon the case. As he agreed to, and the sentence of the court had been a member of the court marmartial, and the proceedings of parliamenttial whose sentence had been alluded thereon in the session of 1795-6 read in to, he should abstain from taking any brief; after which it was moved by share in those discussions. Of the contents

Lord Howick, that a committee be apo of the petition he was ignorant, but if the pointed to examine into the journals of house would consent to receive it, they that house, and the records of parliament, would be enabled to judge of its contents for precedents of cases, in which members when it should be read at the table. The had been expelled by that house, who had petition was then ordered to be brought up been returned to it, and to report thereon and read. It stated, “that the petitioners to the house.

have been informed, that some measure, Mr. Spencer Stanhope, in seconding the not being a petition from any party intermotion, thought it his duty to abstain from ested, is depending before the house, ba giving any opinion upon the case by antici- ving for its object to prevent them from pation, one way or the other.

being represented in parliament by John Mr. Bankes perfectly agreed with the Fenton Cawthorne, esq., one of the meranoble lord as to the course of proceeding bers obosen at the last general election so which he recommended, but thought, that represent the borough of Lancaster in as the motion was worded, it would nar- parliament: That the petitioners submit, Tow the view of the case. Gentlemen (ibat, according to the uniform practice in conversant with the records of that house, such cases, the legality of any election of would be aware, that of casos similar to a member of the house cannot be ques the present there were none, and of analo- tioned, unless the same is made the sube gous cases extremely few. There were ject of a petition presented to the house many cases to be found, which, as the within 14 days from the first meeting of nuotion was worded, the committee would parliament after such election ; and that think themselves bound to report. He any attempt to invalidate such election, 527] PARL. DEBATES, JAN. 23, 1807.---Petition of the Electors of Lancaster,&c. (32&.

by any other means than such as are spe- sons of character. He could only say, like cified in the several statutes in such case most members who presented petitions, made and provided, must be contrary to that he believed it to have been subscribed law, and ought to be discouraged by the by those whose names appeared to it. house : but, if it is not intended to bring Mr. Cawthorne observed, that the hon. into question the legality of the election of gent. had taken up the question very the said J. F. Cawthorne, and the same is warmly, ,but appeared to be totally unacadmitted to be a legal election, then the quainted with the circunstances of the petitioners humbly submit, that the house case. He could shew him an alphabetical has no jurisdiction to exclude from the list of the subscribers to the petition, which privilege of sitting and voting as a mem- had been taken from the list of the freeber of parliament any person who has be- men of Lancaster, and transmitted to him. come a member of the house by a lawful Amongst them were the names of the chairelection, except for some matter arising man and magistrates of the quarter sessubsequent to such election to disqualify sions, and many land-owners in the hunsuch member from sitting and voting: dreds about the town. It was not by any That the petitioners having elected the said personal considerations that he was infiuJ. F. Cawthorne, with a full knowledge of enced on this occasion, but by a regard to all the circumstances which they are in the rights of the gentlemen who had sent formed are now to be made the grounds of him to that house. his expulsion, submit, with the greatest Mr. Spencer Stanhope observed, that this confidence, that unless such circumstances was a petition against a motion made, amounted to a legal disability to sit in the though no proceeding had taken place on house of commons (in which case the pe- the subject to which it alluded, till a few titioners submit that the question ought to minutes ago. This was strange conduct, be tried upon a petition, and before a select for which he did not think there was any committee,) the exercise of a power by the precedent, house of commons, to defeat such election Lord Stanley was of opinion, that this would be subversive of the rights of elec- petition was of a nature so dictatorial, that tors in general, and highly injurious to the it ought not to be suffered to remain upon petitioners, who insist they have a right to the table of the house ; but he would not return to the house any person as their agree, that it would justify, a disfranchise representative not previously disqualified ment of the borough, because that would by any known rule of law: and therefore confound the innocent with the guilty. praying, that no such measures may be The petition was in the hands of the noble adopted by the house, and that they may lord before any motion was made on the be heard against any such measure, by subject, or the petitioners could know themselves, or their counsel, at the bar of whether their rights would be affected the house.". On the motion that the petithereby. The petition was dictatorial, and tion do lie on the table,

presumed to lay down the law, and thereCaptain Herbert asked the noble lord tore ought not to be laid on the table. who presented it, whether it was really the Mr. š. Bourne entered his protest agaiust petition of the freemen of Lancaster? If the doctrines that had been laid down by it was, it appeared to him not to be in the the noble lord, and by the bon. gent, who light of a petition, but as a dictatorial and had contended, that the language of the insolent attempt to controul parliament. petition was so improper, as to justify the The last paragraph appeared most repre- disfranchisement of the borough. The pehensible, where they acknowledged that titioners had a right to petition, if they they were acquainted with all the infamy apprehended, no matter upon what ground, that was the object of the motion. This that their rights were in danger of being admission would almost justify the house in invaded. The language of the petition disfranchising the borough. (A loud cry was the same with the language recorded of no no!) There certainly could be no upon the Journals of the house, that an doubt that a person declared incapable of attempt to invalidate a return, where the serving his majesty in any capacity, was person was not legally disqualified, was not fit for any trust.

subversive of įhe rights of electors. Had Lord G. Cavendish replied, that it had not the petitioners a right to use the same bren put into his hands by persons of re- language as the house? He had riseu only spectability, and was signed also by per- to protest agaipst such novel and uncon

stitutional doctrines, in order that it might|30th of Sept. took in the estimates but for not be supposed, if they were suffered to three-fourths of the year, and it was not pass unnoticed, that they were assented 10 for him to decide competently until furnishin that house.

ed with the remaining quarterly account, Mr. S. Stanhope appealed to the speaker, ending the 31st Dec. In time of war the whether it was consistent with the forms levies for each succeeding month are reand practice of the house to receive a pe- gulated by the report of the past month's tition against any proceeding not im- recruiting, which however in such a crisis puediately under consideration of the is never to be checked beyond a certain house,

limit. It was a great satisfaction to him The Speaker, as he had been appealed to, to state to the committee, that it appeared felt bimself bound to declare, that he had al- by this last quarter's estimates, that the ways understood, and had collected from the number of British seamen exceeded proceeding of that house, that they opened 126,000 men, and that this considerable their doors wide for receiving the petitions increase had taken place within the last of all his majesty's subjects, whether with five months. It might appear a question, respect to grievances, real or apprehended, why, if the numbers had exceeded by more and that the only indispensable requisite in than 6000 the ordinary supply, there a petition, to intitle it to the consideration should now be a further demand for an of that house was, that it should be couch- additional 10,000. When gentlemen came ed in language not offensive.

to consider the variety of increased exLord Howick agreed in the sentiments of penditure in the department relative to the hon. gent. opposite (Mr. S. Bourne), the marines, they might be led to think and entirely concurred in the doctrine, this difficulty sufficiently obviated. And laid down by the chair, that a petition here he would take occasion freely to state from the subject was entitled to the atten- bis sentiments upon a subject that had not tion of that house, provided it was not been as yet, in his opinion, satisfactorily couched in offensive language. The lan-propounded. He alluded to the present guage of this petition seemed not to be of mode of submitting to the house the naval that description, for the petitioners humbly supplies, and contended that, according submitted that the apprehended proceed to that mode, it was impossible that the ing would be subversive of the rights of nembers could be put in possession of all electors. They should not construe too the information that was indispensably netechuically the letter of the petition.- cessary to their forming a right judgment The petition was ordered to lie on the upon the estimates required; the mode of table.

proceeding hitherto adopted seemed to be {Navy Estimates.] On the motion of grounded upon a scale of arithmetical reaMr. T. Grenville, the house went into a soning, which could not be brought to apcommittee of supply upon the Navy Esti- ply; at present the allowance for the mates for the current year.

120,000 voted was at the rate of 76. per Mr. T. Grenville rose, in pursuance of man ; before the session of 1797, it was his motion, to move for a vote of 10,000 but 41. per man; and until the allowance was beamen, in additjon to the 120,000 already increased, the naval debt was progressively granted. In moving a resolution to that increasing to a most inconvenient disproeffect, he felt it necessary to make some portion. As he thought that gentlemen observation in reference to a charge of sup- should be possessed of the most minute posed neglect that had come from the details, he took this opportunity of acother side of the house, upon the ground quainting the committee that he had in of the necessity of this additional supply contemplation so to arrange the statement not having been foreseen, when the late of the naval estimate in future, (should he grant was made, for that nothing possibly have the honour of again submitting the could have occurred since the late de estimates to any future committee) as to

mand was complied with to justify a sub- render them clear and intelligible to every : sequent demand for an additional vote of gentleman who might be auxious* to ex,

seamen. It would be found, however, amine them minutely; he was at the saine upon examination, that his conduct had time aware that there were estimates of a been, in this instance, strictly regular, and nature that made it impossible to give was to be justified upon the usual grounds such in detail-as, for instance, allıhose of proceeding; the account; ending the arising from the unforesewn damages, lusa

Vol. VIII.

2 M

ses, and accidents, to which the sea ser-f that an abrupt stop to their labours bivice was so peculiarly liable. Gentlemen therto should not now defeat the result of inust see that in cases of such uncertainty, them; to such an application the hon. there could be no room for calculation, member said, that he thought it his duty even of a general kind, much less of an to concede, though at the same time he exact detail of the minute expences. He must say, much as he individually respecfelt confident in saying, that where it was ted the talents and experience of the genadmissible, the plan in contemplation tlemen composing this commission, still would be found to be eminently qualified he thought the commission inconvenient in for removing all the many difficulties that its operation, and not the most infallible. had hitherto precluded gentlemen the ne- in some of its suggestions. While the cessary information, and he spoke with same person was at the head of the admi.. more confidence in its praise, because the ralty, and this commission, no such inconlabour had not been his own. To give venience was to be dreaded. He could gentlemen a clearer idea of the advanta- vot approve of the report, that considered ges expected to result from the proposed general establishments of pay, as connecplan of statement, he should trouble them ted with the pay of all officers whatever, with an enumeration of the distinct heads or that recommended increase of pay to under which the different articles of de- the officers in the dock-yards. The right tail should be arranged. The first should hon. gent. then concluded with moving be a reference to wages to officers; 2d, his first resolution. That it is the opinion seamen ; 3d, marines; 4th, and 5th, pilo- of this committee that 10,000 additional tage and wages; 6th, wear and tear, seamen be raised for the service of the which would be found to be a most im- year 1807, including 2,400 royal marines." portantand comprehensive head of expence; Mr. Johnstone thought the right hon. 7th, pensions ; 8th, salaries to the admi- gent. certainly satisfactory in the clear and ralties, &c. ; 9tii, workmen in yards, &c.; comprehensive view he took of his propoJoth, rebuilding ships in merchants’ yards sed improvement in the way of presenting by contract; 11th, hired arined ships; the navy estimates for the future to that 12th, the most difficult branch of all others house. He, however, did not think the to detail, purchase of stores to replenish gentleman equally satisfactory in explaiyhis majesty's magazines, an article in itself ing why this additional grant of seamen requiring no less a sum than 3,600,0001. ; had not been moved for when the 120,000 the 13th head he should entitle bills of men were voted. lle could not reconcile exchange; 14th, incidental expences; and it to bis mind that it was satisfactory to 15th and last, the victualling board. Un-hear that the first lord of the admiralty did der the above 15 heads, it was proposed not know upon the 30th of September the that every minutia of charge should be number of seamen in the service. He fully retailed, each classed under its re- was, however, glad to hear this promise of spective article, so that any gentleman an- detail, and hoped it would be extended to xious for minute examination, would have articles of expenditure, as well as of syponly to turn to the index, that would refer ply; be hoped that ihe estimates might be him at the instant to the point upon which prioted, aut did not see why (if the meahe wished for information. As a proof of sures suggested by the commission of revi. the' necessity of such an arrangement, be sion were censurable) the right hou. gent. would beg leave to mention ove instance, acceded to them the indulgence of six that of ihe navy estimates, including a months' grace. charge of 600,00:51. for the victualling

Mr. Rosc maintained that there was nobills for the army in garrisons: abroad. thing either new or difficult in the way of This surely was going beyond the naval makmg up the estimates as proposed by department, and consequently introducing the right hon. meniber. lle bad it within much confusion in the public accounts. his knowledge that it might be effectedwithThe last estimaie he had to submit to the in a few days labour. committee, was six montlis' salary due to Mr. Perceval thought it. no ground for the commissioners of naval revision. This not continuing the commission of review, commission would have expired in Decem- to say that its suggestions were not approber last, but as the gentleinen composing ved of by luis majesty's ministers, because it had applied to him for further time, spe- nothing was more possible than that that cilying that it wouid be of importance, commission might suggest measures as

wise as bis majesty's ministers could do. reflection upon those who had preceded

Lord H. Petty said, that the commission him in office. He could assure gentlemen of revision had never been recommended that he had no intention whetever to act by the commissioners of naval enquiry. with any such hostility. The right hon. He thought, however, his right hon. friend gentleman who bad just sat down had staright in not putting an abrupt close to the ted, that such accounts as he desired for proceedings of the commission, particular- the information of parliament, were made ly as it had been stated that the said pro- out in the offices for several years back, ceedings would be brought to their desired and had gone out of the house to produce issue within six inonths. With respect to a paper to shew that; but all that he could what had fallen from a right hon. gent. say to that was, that he could never find such opposite (Mr. Rose), as to the facility of accounts in any of the offices. The old and stating the accounts iu the form proposed, ordinary mode of making out the accounts be begged leave to ask why the gentleman was all that he could discover, and that he himself bad not before adopted a method wished to amend. And surely that wish which so easy and so desireable?

it appeared was in direct consonance with Adiniral Markham said, that when he ap- that which the right hon. gent. alleged to plied upon a former occasion for the ac- have been the practice, in a way that did counts of repairs done iu ship-merchants' not officially appear, could not be deemed yards, the answer he received from gentle- any reproach either upon himself or his men then in power was, that it was a thing predecessors, by whom the right hon. impossible to be effected.

gent. ascertained that wish was entertained Mr. Perceval denied that he had said and ucted upon. that the commissioners of review had been Mr. Rose disclaimed the suspicions innreeommended by the naral enquiry com- puted to him. The right hon. gent. was missioners.

not among those whom he supposed caMr. Rose, to prove the justice of his al- pable of censuring the conduct of his legations, was willing to lay before the righ: hon. friend. All he meant to say house a minute statenient of all the char- with respect to the accounts referred to, ges for the last 8 or 10 years he was in was this, that his late right hon.. friend office.

had been in the habit, for several years, of · Mr. T. Grenville asked, if it was fair or obtaining similar accounts from the office consistent, in the same instant, to censure of the comptroller of the navy. bim for laying the accounts before the com

Mr. Vansitiart declared that he had ne. mittee in elre usual way, and wlien he pro- ver seen such an account in the treasury, posed a fuller and more satisfactory way and maintained that such an account as of doing the same, to charge him with that ailuded to by his right hon. friend, neglect, because he had not sooner made was continually necessary, in order to enathe discovery. As to granting a longer ble ministers to make out correct estiexistence to the commissioners, he did not inates, and also to render to parliament feel that it involved him in dilemma: the a correct account of the public expendicommissioners required time to wind up ture. their labour, and he should have thought Şir J., Newport took occasion to comit a waste of all the former time and ex- plain of the conduct of public officers in perce, if they were not continued the six not leaving in their offices any official documonths longer.

ments which might be communicated to .. Mr. Rose read at the table a detailed ac-them. He was sorry to say that this concount of the items of charge for foreign duct was particularly remarkable in the and home stores, &c. from the 12th of office wbich be had the honour to occupy, March, 1798 ; and contended from it, that as upon his accession to it he did not find he had already done that which was now a single paper relative to previous official to be called a new discovery.

proceedings, at least on this side of the Mr. T. Grenville was astonished at the channel. Papers which contained any suspicion which seemed to be entertainer official information, and which were comby the gentlemen on the other side, that municated for public purposes, ought, as because he wished to have the accounts of appeared to him, to be in no case remothe navy laid before parliament in a inore ved from the proper offices, as they belonged detailed and intelligible shupe than they not to the persons who might occupy any had hitberto been, he therefore meant any particular office, but to the public.

« AnteriorContinuar »