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would be thought of such a sum being de- | to the captors. of the droits, however, vised by will to persons out of the coun- which had accrued during the present try? In the year 1763, his Majesty acted war, very large sums had been given to with respect to those droits of admiralty the captors, and at one time a million was in a manner that he wished his ministers given to the public service. He still had now advised him to act. He then thought that as it seemed to be admitted gave up the whole of it to the public ser-by his Majesty's ministers, that there was vice. An hon. friend of his (sir F. Bur- a considerable disposable fund derived dett) had on a former occasion made a mo- from those droits, the consolidated fund tion respecting those droits, and had in- should be indemnified from thence for the tended, if it was not for the circum- additional burthen which was now to be stances which prevented his attendance in thrown on it. parliament, to renew the subject in the Mr. R. S. Dundas maintained the strict course of this session. Many sums had, right of the crown to dispose of this fond it was true, been granted out of the civil in any manner that it might think proper. list, and among these sums was a grant of As to the fixed allowance which has been 25,0001. to sir Home Popham. When it made 10 support the King's civil list, it was considered how this House had, over had been always found insufficient, as it and over again, assisted the civil list; was impossible that the same sum of mowhen it was considered how they had, ney could now support the same estabover and over again, made the niost libe- | lishment, which was reckoned necessary ral provisions for every branch of the to support the due splendour of the throne royal family, and even what large sums it about half a century ago. The consehad voted to pay their debts, he thought quence was, that frequent applications had that no unnecessary burdens ought now to been made to parlianient to defray the be laid upon the country, but that the debts necessarily contracted in the maindroits of admiralty ought to be applied tenance of the civil list. He thought the in the present instance.

droits of admiralty might best be applied Mr. Huskisson said, that notwithstanding in supplying the deficiencies of the ciril the commutation by which his Majesty list, and preventing future embarrassreceived a fixed income in lieu of the ments, or applications to parliament." crown lands, there were many other Mr. Brougham represented it as a most branches of his revenue which he held jure dangerous doctrine and unconstitutional coronæ which he had not given up. in principle, to permit the crown to amass Amongst them were the 4 per cents. and, large sums of money, over which the as he conceived, the droits of the admi- parliament should have no controul. It ralty. Nevertheless, if there did appear would have a tendency to make the crown any specific fund which was adequate to independent of the parliament. A King the payment of the pension, the House might go to war for droits of admiralty, might well take that into their considera- It was no imaginary case. Charles the tion before they threw the burthen on the second had gone to war for the purpose of consolidated fund. When the House obtaining the Smyrna fleet. Parliament agreed to transfer the pension of 9,0001. should always have the right to know of the late duke of Gloucester to the con- what were the sums composing this fand, solidated fund, it was from the considera- and how they were applied. He agreed tion that the 4{ per cents. on which it was that some provision should be made for previously settled, would not secure the the duke of Brunswick; but the question regular payment of the pension; but if was, whether the country was to be called there could at that time have been point- upon to supply it from its own pocket, at ed out a large fund, such as the droits of such a time, or whether it would not be admiralty were at present, it was by no better to resort to the alternative pro means clear that the House would have posed! He would support the motion, agreed to transferring it to the consolidated even if there were no other grounds to go fund. If there was a large disposable fund upon than the breaking in upon the droits in the hands of the crown, ministers ought of admiralty, which had in a former case to advise his Majesty to apply part of it tended in a great measure, to plunge the to the purpose stated in the motion. In country into a war, the most disgraceful 1763, it was true that the whole of these and disadvantageous to it. droits were given to the service of the Mr. G. Johnstonc said, that the droits of public generally, but nothing was given admiralty had been considerably in


hon. gent.

creased in value since the change with right hon. gent.'s aid and support upon a respect to the emoluments of the captors proposition to that effect. The cases of of prizes had taken place; and that, in the duchess and duke of Brunswick were consequence of that change, the sum could very different; and if the former was be easily reimbursed to the consolidated allowed most liberally, that was no reason fund. The liberality of the House had that the latter should meet with the same been fully evinced by the various grants treatment. He was firmly convinced that that had been made to those who had not the crown was possessed of money suffici. claims of so strong a nature as the duke of ent to reimburse the consolidated fund ; Brunswick; and, from whatever fund the and therefore was determined to take the sum would be eventually paid, he was sense of the House upon the question. convinced that that liberality would suffer | The House then divided, when there apno diminution.

peared. : Mr. Hawkins Browne agreed in the For the motion............56 principle of not increasing the burdens of

Against it ........ 103 the people, but conceived that the droits


...-17. of admiralty were not the fund which should be meddled with upon the occasion of the grant to his serene highness. He conceived that, perhaps, if the right hon.

Tuesday, May 15. (Mr. Tierney ) had asked [Gas Light Bill.] The Earl of Lauderfor the full amount of the droits of ad- dale objected, that from the largeness of miralty, his purpose would be satisfac- the capital of this company a complete torily answered.

monopoly would be insured to theon, to Mr. Tierney said, that the Chancellor of the detriment of those persons who had the Exchequer had only made one or two expended considerable sums of money in objections to the motion, and those objec- making experiments, and those who at any tions were utterly destitute of arguments. future period might make experiments, He had never seen a greater instance of It would also be seen by the evidence rethe uneasiness of a person who wished to lative to this bill, that in the quarter where get rid of a question, and who could not this mode of lighting had been tried, a succeed, than the right hon. gent. ex- most disgusting nuisance had been created, hibited. The House had been asked for and it was to be observed that, under the a grant of 7,000l. per annum, that grant provisions of the bill, if any district or was agreed to, and it was observed, that parish made application for this mode of there existed means of a reimbursement lighting, that the company were to have a of that sum; the House was then surely monopoly in such district or parish for 14 very pardonable in seeking the means by years, and to be at liberty to open their which such reimbursement should be ef- streets to lay down their pipes : confected. If the crown possessed a capabi. | ceiving, therefore, that this would be in lity of repayment, that addition of burden fact a very improper monopoly, and that should be taken from the people. It had a great nuisance would be generated, his been said that his conduct in the framing lordship moved to postpone the second of his address, was such, as to give offence reading for three months. to the crown.

no such thing. The Duke of Athol contended, that the If the crown would not speak to him, he capital of the company being limited to would speak to the crown. If ministers 200,000l. there was no danger of a monowould not interfere upon the occasion, in poly; as to the evidence referred to by suggesting to bis Majesty the proper mode ihe noble lord, he urged that it could not of conduct to be observed, he would him- regularly be commented upon, as there self make such suggestions; but no dis- was no evidence before the House relative respect was by any means intended to his to the bill. With respect to the objection Majesty. It had been said, that if a ge- of nuisance, he conceived that if any neral address for the application of the nuisance existed, there were legal means droits of admiralty to the relief of the of getting rid of it. All he wislied at the public burthens bad been moved, more present moment was, that the bill should certain success would have been the con- be allowed to go to a committee, in order sequence. He certainly agreed in that that their lordships might hear evidence assertion; and he would lay aside his respecting it, and thus be enabled to form present motion, if he was certain of the an opinion upon its merits.

It was

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The House divided on the question, that so, was, that on attentively reading the the word now stand part of the question. papers to which he had alluded, he did Contents 32. Non-Contents, 12. The ihink that Mr. Erskine had not complied bill was then read a second time and with the letter of bis instructions; and he committed.

also thought that any individual by whom those papers alone were read would be justified in entertaining the opinion that

Mr. Erskine had not acted up to the spirit Tuesday, May 15.

of his instructions. Yet he for his own (Dispute with America.] Mr. Whit- part altogether agreed in the vindication bread seeing the late Secretary of State of his conduct, which had been offered by for foreign affairs in his place, would Mr. Erskine in a dispatch which was now beg leave to say a few words with regard published, but which had not been before to the opinion he had formed apon the the public last year; and thought, that the correspondence between that right hon. spirit of the instructions taken altogether gent. and Mr. Erskine relative to the late had been complied with. But the innegociation with America which had been structions themselves appeared to him to laid before the House in the present session have been drawn up and framed without a of parliament, and be trusted to the in- due attention to the power vested in the dulgence of the House to be allowed to executive government of America, and state it, although he certainly did not without adverting to the specific provisions intend to conclude with any motion. The of an act of congress. Moreover, if the statement made by that right hon. gent. right hon. gent. had continued in office (Mr. Canning) had been, that Mr. Erskine he should perhaps have thought it right had not only not acted in conformity with, to make some motion upon these papers; but had acted in direct contradiction to because it appeared to him that another his instructions; and in another letter he favourable opportunity of placing this had asserted, that Mr. Erskine had de- country and America upon that amicable parted widely both from the letter and the footing upon which it was most desirable spirit of his instructions. This from every they should stand, bad been lost by the shing which he then knew, he had taken total rejection of Mr. Erskine's arrangethe liberty to question, and then the right ment, by the right hon. gent. But as he hon. gent. said, that the question as re- understood the negociation between this lating to himself was neither more nor less country and America to be still pending. than whether he had told a direct false and that it had been conducted lately in a hood in the face of Europe and the world. manner perfectly smooth and satisfactory, To this he could answer, that no such and the more satisfactorily because that charge had ever been made, or ever in- right hon. gent. was not in office, on pubsinuated, against the right hon. gent. He lic grounds he should think it unad sisable was not aware

to agitate any question relative to America The Chancellor of the Exchequer spoke to at present. And as for Mr. Erskine he order. If the hon. gent. had no motion did not think it necessary any specific to submit to the House, such observations motion should be made, as his vindication as those which he was making were cal- of himself was now before the world. He culated only to produce an irregular dis- imagined the right hon. gent. would be cussion.

satisfied also with his own exposition of Mr. Whitbread allowed, that if the House his own case ; if otherwise, it was comstood on their precise forms, he would be petent to him or to any other member to precluded from making any further ob- make such motion he might think proper servations ; bal he threw himself on their on the subject. indulgence, to which he conceived himself Mr Canning appealed to the justice of to be the more entitled, as his object was the House, on the extraordinary situation to shew why he was desirous, on a consi- in which he had been placed by the corderation of all the circumstances of the duct of the hon. gent. On the last day case, that no motion should be made on before the holidays, tbe hon. gent. (havthe subject to which he had called their ing before in no obscure terms binted at attention. He presumed that the House the same thing), declared that he (Mr. C.) would grant to the right hon. gent. (Mr. had asserted that which was not true when Canning) a similar liberty in reply. What he had stated that Mr. Erskine had acted he would say, if he were permitted to do contrary to his instructions. After suck a declaration he thought, that he was in official disapprobation from those whom titled in fairness to expect, either that the he most loved, if they appeared to him hon. gent. should support his declaration deservedly to incur it; nor had he ever by arguments and facts in a manly manner, gone out of his way to express that disor that if convinced of its fallacy, he should approbation, because the individual on come forward and candidly disavow it. whom it fell was of political opinions difIn stating it to have been represented by ferent from his own. He was confident that hon. gent. that his assertions were not that on that ground his character and contrue, he had never meant to say, that that duct while in office would bear the strictest expression was applied to him personally, examination. When so many months had or in a way that affected him as a gentle. elapsed after the return of Mr. Erskino man, but only in his official capacity, during the whole of which time the most importantly as affecting the interests grossest misrepresentations had been cirand character of the country, and also in culated against him, and when the docus , another view (which' he should be one ments, by which the whole affair was elu. of the last to disregard), as traducing the cidated, lay on the table, was it just that character of another individual. That be (Mr. Canning) should be left without individual he had neither traduced nor either an opportunity of publicly refuting misrepresented. He had affirmed, and it, or a retractation of the charge ? On armed with the documents on the table the one hand, the discussion would enable he would fearlessly re-affirm, that Mr. him himself to prove the fallacy of the Erskine had acted in direct contradiction accusation preferred against him, or on to his instructions, and bad deviated both the other hand a frank avowal of that falfrom their letter and from their spirit. lacy by his accusers would prove to the Mr. Erskine had not only done that which world how unfounded had been the charge. he was directed not to do, but from that He returned the hon. gent. therefore no which he had been directed to do, he had thanks for the little mixture of candour in abstained. This he was ready to establish his observations. The fact was that the by argument, whenever Mr. E.'s friends or hon. gent, could not, dare not, maintain his his own accusers would give him an op- original position. He was ready to meet portunity of doing so. If the hon. gentle him upon the subject whenever be chose. man opposite were not more satisfied with That was the sort of reception which he. the documents than his speech that night gave to the overture of the hon. gent. to showed him to be, he would tell him ex- pass the matter by without debate. If plicitly that he would accept of no com- the hon. gent. should change his mind, ha promise. Labouring as he had done so repeated that he was ready to meet his are long and so anxiously under circumstances guments whenever he might chuse to ada of peculiar provocation, he had carefully vance them; or the arguments of any avoided using a single word of unkindness other friend of the hon. gent. in question, or disrespect towards the individual who respecting whom he trusted that no diswas the subject of the present observations. respectful expression had escaped him, al His business with Mr. Erskine was merely though he had felt it his duty to advise with a gentleman acting under him in his his Majesty to recal a minister who had official capacity. So far was he from per- so directly disobeyed his instructions. He mitting any political differences to induce should have given his Majesty expressly him to advise the recal of Mr. Erskine, the same advice, had that minister been or the substitution of another minister in connected with him by the closest ties of America, that he appealed to Mr. Erskine friendship or consanguinity. He begged himself, whether those who felt most pardon of the House for having presumed warmly for bis interest and honour could to trespass so long upon their indulgence, have treated him with more kindness, at- but trusted they would recollect that the tention and indulgence ? But whether charge which had been preferred against Mr. Erskine, to whom he was a stranger, him was of a most serious nature. He or the dearest friend that he had upon had been accused not of official miscon. earth, were involved in a question con- duct merely, but of conduct which, if it nected with the public interest, committed could be established, would prove him to his care, he never could allow any wholly unworthy of that office, the funcprivate consideration to interfere with the tions of which it would in that case aplaithful and conscientious discharge of his pear he had most grossly misused. public duty. He had never withheld his Whether the hon. gent. brought forward VOL. XVI.

3 X

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the question, or left it where it was, he i submit to the consideration of the Comtrusted that he should now stand equally mittee a general statement of the supplies justified in the opinion of the House and and ways and means of the year. In the country

doing this, and laying before the ComMr. Whitbread declared that he had mittee, as it was his duty to do, a detailed offered no compromise whatever to the exposition of the financial circumstances right hon. gent. His thanks he did not of the country, he should not confine what expect, and he was surprised at his allow- he had to say to the bare statement of ing that he (Mr. W.) had mixed even a the revenue, but at the same time exhibit little candour in his observations. He a general view of the trade and conimer. should not bring forward any motion, on cial şituation of the country. The ac. the subject, because he did not think that counts on the table, which had been reMr. Erskine required any more to be said fered to the Committee for consideration, in his vindication. But if the right hon. would, he was persuaded, in this respect gent. feeling that his own conduct re- be found highly interesting in their general quired further defence, and regardless of results, and particularly applicable to the existing circumstances between the the subject to which he was now to draw two countries, was disposed to submit to the attention of the Committee. He the House any proposition upon the sub- thought that they would not only afford ject he should always be ready to meet it. the best means of forming a correct judg.

Mr. Morris begged to say a few words, ment how far the country was able to although he was aware that a regard to support its present burthens, but that they the forms of the House would render it would be the best answer to those who impossible for him to go into the subject were accustomed to take gloomy views of as he wished. He expressed his surprise the financial situation of the country. that the right hon. gent. had treated the They would shew, that so far from there question as having at any time assumed being a reason to apprehend any thing the aspect of a personal difference between like decay or failure in our firrances, the that right hon. gent. and Mr. Erskine. more we looked at them, the more rea. He had never so understood it.

He cer

son would we have to be satisfied with tainly did always consider that the right their growing improvement and prospehon. gent. ought to have laid on the table rity. It would be highly satisfactory to all the documents upon this subject, or know, that such had been the produce of that

our revenues in that year—that very year · Mr. Canning spoke to order. There when men of great weight and authority was a regular charge preferred against in that House anticipated a failure, that him of official misconduct in a discussion instead of the deficit they apprehendert, studiously divested of the forms of debate. there had actually been a very consider: He had never treated the question as one able increase. Those points however be of a personal nature between Mr. Erskine should not then stop to examine as he and himself, but

should have occasion to dwell on them a: The Speaker here interposed, and pre- more length in another part of his speech vented any further conversation. He as more immediately connected with the expressed his hope that what had occurred ways and means. He should, therefore, would induce the House in future not to without further preliminary observation entertain any discussion without a distinct proceed to state the supplies already voted question before them, and would convince and also the ways and means by wbich be them of the practical wisdom of their own proposed to cover them. rules upon that subject.


Navy (exclusive of Ordnance Sea Ser.
Wednesday, May 10.


19,938,008 [BUDGET.) The House having resolved Army (including Barracks

and Commissariat)...... 13,953,606 into a Committee of Ways and Means, lo Ditto Ireland .

2,992,057 which were referred the account of the Ditto Extraordinaries, Public Debt, and the otber Public Ac- England ... 2,750,000

Ireland counts usually referred to that Committee


200,000 $

Unprovideil ditto last year.... 441,417 20.337,000 preparatory to the Budget,

4,411,000 The Chancellor of the Exchequer rose to Miscellaneous (about) ......



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