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tive, have you also changed your opinion? of its mischief! Vain has been the past Is not this an offence of the most aggra- efforts to resist or to expose it. Though vated nature against the first principles of certain in the realization of its views, it our constitution ? Is it not an offence that if disappeared before it was detected. Whosuffered to escape without the recorded ever were the ostensible servants of the animadversion of this House, is pregnant crown; however great and salutary the with the most incalculable evils?. Look principles of their policy, or the objects of at the period, when the House of Com- their administration, their labours were mons is called upon to exercise its duty counteracted ; their just expectations disupon such transactions. We are now ap- appointed. However incessant the toil proaching the close of a long reign of a to weave the web, in one night, in one monarch, who above all others, has lived hour, this invisible power was able to unin the hearts and affections of his people. ravel it. It like But as a monarch has his peculiar vir
-the drudging Goblin sweat tues, so has every reign its characteristic To earn his cream-bowl duly set, features. Most iruly can we say of the
When in one night, ere glimpse of morn, revered Sovereign of these realms, that
His shadowy fiail had thresh d the corn
That ten day-labourers could not end; his virtues are his own, and that whatever
And stretch'd out all the chimney's length, evils have occurred, are to be attributed Basks at the fire his hairy strength, to the servants who have been succes- And cropful out of doors he flings, sively in the enjoyment of his confidence. Ere the first cock his mattin rings. What then has been the characteristic fea- That his Majesty is not in any degree ta ture of this reign? Have we not been told blame, I am ready to admit, and ihat his by authorities the most entitled to vera- sacred feelings are not to be violated by the city and confidence, that from its very course which I propose, is what I also concoinmencement there has existed a secret, tend. If his honour and his interests have mysterious, and unconstitutional influ. | been too long sacrificed to such an unconence, which has set at nought that respon- stitutional influence, it is right that his sibility which the constitution demands eyes should be at length opened ; opened from the advisers of the crown? Has not at the moment when this power is delertsuch'a communication been made within ed in its criminal influence, and unconstithe walls of this House, by him who bad tutional exercise. It is right that Parliacarried the reputation of this country to ment should declare that the constitution the zenith of its glory-by him, who, by of this country never will admit of any bis unsullied and exalted patriotism, had other advisers, but those who are the avowacquired that title superior to what united ed, ostensible, and responsible servants kings could bestow, namely, that of the of the crown. The House of Commons, first commoner of England; I mean him, now, that it has exposed to its view the exafterwards created William earl of Chat- ercise of this influence, should take care ham? In power, and out of power, in fa- by the manifestation of its indignation, to vour and in disgrace, that ever to be ve- warn others from a siinilar course in fu. nerated statesman felt the malignant in- ture. But in the present instance, is the fluence of this secret and monstrous con- danger of such an offence limitted to a spiracy, which, as he declared existed mere abstract violation of the constitution? behind the throne, and was greater than Is it a simple sin, not aggravated by the the throne itself. Has he not published it consequences of any actual evil? See in those speeches, which we have autho. what the noble lord has done, and extend rity to consider as his own; and yet we your thoughts to what might have prolive in times, when for the very same de- bably been the consequence of such conclaration, men are actually suffering in duct. Could he have devised any thing your gaols. But, if its existence was more likely to produce dissentions between heretofore problematical, we have it now the military and naval service, and all that before unmasked and unravelled. frightful train of evils to which such a caStrange fatality! that in the son of that very lamity would lead ? It has been the glory man who first made the bold and awful an- of latter tines, that between the two de nunciation, we should find one of the scriptions of our public force, upon all agents of that occult influence which the occasions, where the interests of the empire father so long depreciated and so long re- called for their combined exertion, the sisted.--Long has that fatal influence been most zealous co-operation has been manibut too successful in the accomplishment fested. Daring this long and disastrous war,
disastrous as I may say, when applied to the , (the noble lord is asked,) for selecting that attainment of our original objects, this coun- day for this simultaneous operation be. try has enjoyed the happiness of finding tween you and the naval commander? He upon no one occasion, the least recognition bad none. Had you any previous comof those complaints which did unfortunately munication with that officer :-No. exist at other periods of its history, and Were you called upon to produce such a which, if they had now existed, would staten :nt ? -No. Was sir R. Strachan have been felt in the loss of thousands of -I believe not. But you did deliver one our gallant defenders: but, on the contrary, on the 14th of February ? -- I did. Did we have vniformly witnessed the same sir R. Strachan ? I believe not. zeal, the same energy, and heroic devotion, Compare these statements with what we animating both descriptions of our defence, now know to have passed before, and each adding to the glory of the other, by there is, I contend, no necessity for comthe reciprocal assistance afforded when ment. Compare his examination on the their conjoint operations were demanded. 22d, with his examination on the 27th,
I will not directly charge the noble and there is, I contend, no necessity for lord with the intention of creating any
comment. Yet, after all these statements, disunion between the naval and military shall it be contended, that though twelve branches of the service, but I beg leave to direct accusations are conveyed against the call this House to the contradiction which navy, there existed no wish or intention exists between his own statements, toge- upon the part of the noble lord to impute ther with their variance with the truth, blame to that quarter? What! Is the noble which his Majesty's answer has unfolded. lord then to throw firebrands in sport ? InFirst, let it be recollected, that the noble deed if it could be supposed that in the mili, lord determined upon his unconstitutional taryservice minds could be found liable to course, at a time when no inquiry into the be imposed upon, and deluded by such a Expedition to the Scheldt was intended ; proceeding, then it were almost impossible when in place of such a measure being to calculate upon the consequent evils. intended, his colleagues in the cabinet had But I confess, as circumstances have now declared a contrary intention ; when he unfolded themselves, I am not at all apmust have known that they would exert prehensive of such consequences; now all their power and influence to resistor that the dark and clandestine intrigue is evade it; when he could not contemplate exposed in open daylight, no difference that the public spirit of this House, in uni- between the two branches of the public son with the public voice of the country, service can exist. But both, will, I trust, would wring it from a reluctant but discom- continue to proceed, evincing the same fited ministry. It was at such a moment, zeal, cordiality and valour as have heretoand under such a state of things, that the fore characterised their combined operanoble lord seized the opportunity of darkly tions. That I may not waste the time of and secretly stabbing the constitution of this House, or prevent abler men from ad. his country, or if not the constitution, of dressing more persuasive arguments to its stabbing the naval repotation of sir R. consideration, I now beg leave to conclude, Strachan. But he tells you, that on the not without some emotions of anxiety 14th of February, he first presented this not an anxiety proceeding from any doubts Narrative to the King. Why that particu- or fears that I entertain as to the propriety lar time? Because it was a levee day. of the conduct which I have felt it my When questioned further for his reasons duty to pursue ; but an anxiety created for delivering it at all, he states, that he by the apprehension that I have not done understood it was the intention of sir full justice to my country-an anxiely I R. Strachan to present a Narrative of his feel for the decision of this night. I still proceedings. He is further interrogated, however, cannot anticipate one hostile oband his answer is, that he was anxious that jectiou to the resolutions I shall propose, both Narratives should be presented on the when I remember what your recent consame day, as he was unwilling not to de- duct has been when you addressed the
liver his before that of sir R. Strachan. crown, even upon the suspicion of an un. · Let the House remember, that the 14th of constitutional proceeding. When, there.
February was fixed upon by the noble lord, fore, you find that the deed which you susat a time when this House was ignorant, pected has been done ; when the undeniaas were his colleagues, of any previous ble proofs are before you, not to pass a presentation. What were your reasons, vote of censure upon him who has oftended,
would be not only inconsistent with your ed to him in voting against the Address former vote, but would be as highly des after he had stated it to be the proper rogatory from your character, as it would course to address the throne on such occabe incompatible with your most imperative sions, the hon. gent. himself did away the dulieś, subversive of the most vital princi- charge while he made it.-He had said, ples of the constitution. (Hear! hear!). On that he would always maintain the right, the contrary, should the vote of this night but always contend for using it with discrown the labours of your former struggle cretion. Saying this, he admitted it to against all the influence of power and fa- be a fair question, whether or not that was vouritism, you will give the best answer a time, at which it could be used with dis. to whatever has been stated to your pre- cretion? He therefore, thinking it improjudice, exemplifying an integrity of prin-per, could consistently oppose it. With ciple, and a spirit of patriotism, which respect to the motion, he hoped the House could not be exceeded in any reformation would not be precipitate, and vote the Rewhich others, or I myself, would wish to solutions proposed without due considerasee effected in the constitution of this House. tion. On Thursday, when he was informa The hon gent. concluded with moving. ed that notice had been given of such a "1. That it appears to this House, that motion, he had asked if it was just that the John, earl of Chatham, having requested evidence given at their bar should be can. his Majesty to permit him to present his rassed before it had been printed. It was report to his Majesty, and having also re- not fair to select one or two questions from quested that his Majesty would not com- the evidence, for the purpose of creating a municate it for the present, did, on the discussion. If that course were to be pur15th of January last, privately transmit to sued, of what use was it to print the his Majesty a paper, bearing date the 15th minutes of the evidence, as gentlemen, day of October preceding, and purporting who on that account did not regularly atto be a Narrative of his proceedings as Com- tend, could not be prepared for the demander in Chief of his Majesty's land | bate. The hon. gent. seemed, indeed, in forces in the late Expedition to the Scheldt; some measure aware of the impropriety of and that he withheld all knowledge there taking up the subject in such a manner, as of, both from his Majesty's ministers, and he had expressed an intention of putting the admiral commanding in the said Ex- the evidence out of the question. But pedition, whose conduct is materially im- had he not raised considerable prejudices plicated in the said Narrative; that the against the individual whose conduct he same was, on the 10th day of February had so fully discussed, by contrasting the last, returned to him by his Majesty's com- evidence given by him on the 22d with mand, in consequence of his own request; that of the 27th, where it appeared to be and that, on the 14th of February, he again of an unfavourable nature. Was it too tendered the said Narrative to his Majesty, much to require a short time to consider the same having been previously altered by of it? Would it be well to hurry them the suppression of a paragraph, containing selves on an occasion, which might conmatter of opinion, the substance of which, sign the character of an individual to suck this House by the examination of the said obloquy as the resolutions went to throw earl of Chatham, has been unable to ascer- on the noble lord? What advantage tain.-2. That the earl of Chatham, by could there be in passing those resolution's private communication to his Majesty, ac- on a Friday, that might not be gained if companied by a desire of secrecy, did un- they were not decided on till Monday? constitutionally abuse the privilege of ac- Would it not be better to postpone them cess to his Sovereign, and thereby afford till then, that they might at least have the an example most pernicious in its tendency appearance of deliberatively considering to his Majesty's service, and to the ge- the subject before they gave their vote? neral service of the State."
It was not well to decide on that evidence The Chancellor of the Exchequer com- which had bnly been put into their hands plained that a most unfounded misrepre- since entering the House that day.. The sentation had been given by the hon. gent. hon.
had commented on the evidence of his conduct. He had contended, that given by lord Chatham on the 22d and it was inconsistent to ask a privy counsel- 27th of February; but could it be suplor and a cabinet minister to reveal what posed that the House was prepared to enter by oath he was forbidden to disclose. ) into the subject? If the conduct of the With respect to the inconsistency imput-noble lord had been such as had been im
puted to him, he should think the resolu- | natural for the noble lord 10 think it would tions submitted to the House not sufficient not be prudent 10 produce his case or dely severe. If lord Chatham had endea- fence, before he knew what counter-statevoured secretly to blast the character of ments were to be made, that such might sir R. Strachan, he would readily admit not appear to answer his. Again, he that no censure the House could pass on wished the House to observe that he was such conduct would be too severe. But not the advocate of the noble lord; though was there any thing in the conduct of lord in the view he took of bis conduct he could Chatham that could give a colour to such see error; he could not consent to bestow a charge ? Was there any thing in bis the epithets proposed; he could not accharacter that could justisy such an impu. cede to the resolutions. He did not wish tation? He would have ihem try it by to evade the subject; he merely wished dates and by, circumstances. If it had to give the House a fair opportunity of been his object to gratify any malignant reviewing the whole of the evidence. He motive, he was of opinion he would have had no objection to state what line of conadopted very different
duct he intended to pursue on Monday. not the advocate of the noble lord; under He should move the previous question. all the circumstances, he thought his con- -The Narrative had been spoken of as if duct in presenting the Narrative such as it had been constructed with a view of no man could thoroughly approve; but it creating differences between the arıny and remained to be seen what degree of cen- navy? There were no more grounds for sure he might deserve. He would try the such a statement than if the substance of dates to see whether or not any malignant that Narrative had been given in evidence motive towards sir R. Strachan could be at the bar. The hon. gent. had stated fairly imputed to him. If his Narrative the paper to have been drawn up by the was intended to injure the character of noble lord at a time when he knew that that officer, why in the name of reason and ministers were determined to grant no of sense, did he keep it back at all? On inquiry. He denied the truth of that what principle could it be supposed that assertion. It was determined to give the he delayed io present it till the 15th Jan.? House such papers as would prove that no If it were intended to injure sir R. Strachan culpability attached itself to the army or privately, would lord Chatham ever have navy, long before the paper was delivered. recalled it with a view to have it publish. It was for the House, then, to determine ed? For the situation in which the noble on calling for more if it should think more lord stood, he felt himself to be in some necessary, but, unsolicited, it was the degree responsible; and unless his mind intention of government to give so much changed very much, he would never place at least. Gentlemen, however, on the an officer in a similar situation, to unite in other side thought they had notbing to do himself the cabinet minister with the gene but to wait to see what government did, ral officer.—The inconveniences arising and then whatever line of conduct they out of that circumstance, which he had might adopt, condemn their measures, not anticipated, were of such magnitude, and assert, that had the contrary course that he would never again blend ihe two been pursued all would have been well. characters. If at a future period a mem- | If the noble lord had meriied the imputaber of the cabinet should be thought a tions thrown out against bim, he (the proper person to conduct an Expedition, Chancellor of the Exchequer) would he would wish his functions as a cabinet bave said that he ought no longer to have minister to be suspended for the time. been a colleague of his. But under the The noble lord, acting as he did, was cer- present circumstan: es, if ministers had tainly not correctly right, but it was not acted so, and said he should no longer fair thence to argue that on any question have remained one of their number, it he could not give advice without bis col. would directly have been imputed to them leagues being acquainted withahe circum- that they had basely taken advan‘age of stance. He might have been in some de. the slip of their colleague, and sacrificed gree driven into the measure by the popu- him as a peace offering to the people, lar feeling excited against him. It was for that misconduct which ought io have not too niuch to say, that afier the evi- been visited in vengeance upon the whole dence had been given at their bar, the of his Majesty's goveroment. He h.:d no current of public indignation running un- difficulty in saying, that under such cir: justly strong against him, it was not un- cumstances in a balanced case,
support a colleague. He begged, how- sume to interfere to the prejudice of a over, not to be misunderstood: he did
gallant and meritorious naval commander. not mean to say if a colleague was wrong Mr. Batahurst said, if this was a question, he should, under any circumstances, be both of a constitutional nature and one supported But in a ballanced case, affecting a private individual at the same where a colleague was-merely in error, he time, it was desirable, that in attending thought by deserting his cause, he should to the one, the other should not be prebe exposed to more merited reprobation judged. He therefore wished the debate than could otherwise fall to his share, to be adjourned, not that he thought it justice, decency, and propriety alike material, if the question were taken on called on them to postpone coming to a the broad principle, but because he saw decision on the resolutions that night ; he both the Narrative and the Evidence adtherefore concluded by moving an ad- verted to in one of the motions. Genjournment of the debate till Monday. tlemen, who were not present, might
Mr. Brand said, that in his opinion the attach some importance to this, and he proposition now submitted to the House wished, that there should be no excuse went no farther than as being confirm for saying, they had acted without evi. atory of the facts contained in his Majes- dence. He was free to admit, if he did ty's message. Having said so much, he not hear something much stronger than should, notwithstanding, have no objec- he had yet heard in the way of apology tion to adjourning the discussion till Mon for the noble lord, he should not be able day. He could not forbear remarking, to find an excuse for his conduct, but, however, on the mode in which the Chan- however reluctantly, must view it as cellor of the Exchequer had conducted making much more strongly against him the defence of a Cabinet Minister, in a than his right hon. friend seemed disposed matter submitted to the House as a great to admit. His right hon. friend said, he constitutional question, but which he wisho trusted the House would see it to be their ed to reduce to a mere personal consider- duty to pass it by, and agree to the preation. Instead of treating the subject in a vious question. This was what he could high tone, he thought, his hon. friend not agree in. If any thing of weight had introduced it with the greatest mo
should be adduced, he should then have deration. He was of opinion that the con. an opportunity of altering his opinion; duct of the noble lord had been highly but to this doctrine he could not at present unconstitutional. A great man, now no agree. He did not wish to procrastinate, more (Mr. Burke) had described the but he wished it should be impossible to secret influence of the advisers of the say, that this had been treated like a crown as destructive to the best interests party question, seeing it was so much of the country. On this principle he beyond it, being one of great constitucontended, that in the present instance tional importance, in the consideration of the constitution had been outraged. which time was no object. He was deHis hon. friend had therefore, properly sirous that no person should have it in his treated the question as affecting the power to say, he had been taken by surconstitution. It
was in fact, a ques- prise. tion of constitutional law, not at all one Mr. Whitbread stated, that he undera of personal application. If the evidence stood it had been adjusted in his absence, delivered that day had gone to affect this that his motion was to proceed that night. constitutional question, he should have He thought himself justified in bringing been the most eager to postpone the con- it forward to night, without the evidence sideration of it. As it stood, he confessed being before the House, as it would be the evidence could have little effect upon sufficient for him simply to refer to a few his decision. A splended victory might lines of the minutes lying on the table. apologize for a general's overstepping his It was somewhat strange in the right hon. duty ; but here a favourite of the court gent. to ask the discussion to be postponed was seen availing himself of the ear of his till Monday, and at the same time to state, Sovereign, to prepossess him against ano- that he would then move the previous ther officer, in another branch of the question. He was willing to consent, how. service. The navy was the grand bulwark ever, that the debate should be adjourned to which we must trust for bumbling our till Monday, on this express condition, enemies, and it was the duty of the House which gentlemen would think he acted to see that no court favourite should pre- not injudiciously in stipulating for, that VOL. XVI.
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