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though he admitted the conduct of lord earl was not made out. The charge itChatham to be wrong and unconstitutional, self was too vague, undefined, and general; he did not wish to go so far as to put it in and it was not proved, that advice had the power of the House to exercise its been given. If lord Chatham had given discretion. He could wish, therefore, that any advice which had been acted upon, it a precise degree of guilt should be fixed, could only have been acted on through and then he would have the punishment the medium of some responsible adviser. somewhat moderated. Without something Lord Custlereagh said, that this was a done by the House, after what had been question on which he felt it most painful shewn of the transaction, their proceed to speak; and it was therefore with conings would appear very extraordinary. siderable reluctance he rose to address a The second resolution he would therefore few observations to the consideration of wish to see modified. He had drawn up the House. As it was his wish that the a few lines, not with any intention of enquiry should be complete and perfect, moving them himself, but for the purpose it would ill become him to interpose by of submitting them to the consideration of any proceeding of his between the House the House, for any honourable member to and inquiry. Although he was perfectly adopt who might approve them. He then prepared to admit that the manner in read his modification, to the following pur- which the noble lord (Chatham) had anport:~"
-- That the House saw, with regret, swered some of the questions was fairly that any such communication as the Nar- liable to remark, yet when he considered rative of lord Chatham should have been the limits which the situation of a privy made to his Majesty, without any know. counsellor imposed upon him, and the pridedge of the other ministers; that such vileges he felt as a peer, he thought the conduct is highly reprehensible, and de- answers he gave should not be so much a serves the censure of this House.”-This matter of surprise ; and that they did not was what he had taken the liberty to sug- naturally afford a presumption that there gest to the House, as conformable to his were papers which the House was bound ideas of the subject. The course pro- to solicit his Majesty to grant them coposed to be pursued, of getting rid of the pies of. As to private communications business altogether, was what he could by with his Majesty, he could conceive many no means agree to. He should, therefore, such communications, which would yet conclude at present by declaring that he not be of such a nature as that the House should give his vote against the previous could properly have the right to enquire question.
into. As, however, a paper so communiMr. Bathurst said, that he also would cated had now been laid before the House, have wished, that the resolutions proposed they must consider the question in such a had been more qualified in their expres- manner as was consistent with the constisions. He, however, felt it his duty to tution, and becoming themselves. For vote for them such as they were, but he his part, he from his heart discharged would never be a party to making them a lord Chatham of any ungenerous or unjust foundation for any criminal proceeding. motive in presenting this Narrative. It Short of that, he, however, felt it his duiy was evident that if he could have had to vote some censure. The ground upon such a motive, he had most wretchedly which he principally rested was this, that executed his purpose, in giving in this the commander in chief of an expedition, paper in the manner in which it had been availing himself of the access which he communicated to his Majesty, indeed in had to the royal person, as a peer and giving it in at all. It was, therefore, some privy counsellor, did present a narrative mitigation of the pain he felt in expressreflecting on the other branch of the ser. ing his sentiments on this question; that Vice ; and that this statement was not com- he could look at it in a dry constitutional municated to his colleagues, but kept a view. He did not wish to go a step beprofound secret. Such conduct did ap- yond what the best principles of the conpear to him to be an abuse of the noble stitution required; and he could not lord's access to the royal ear, and uncon- think of any crimination beyond an exstitutional. He was, therefore, perfectly pression of the sense of the House upon prepared to vote a censure, but not to in- ihe act itself. He could have no hesitastitute any further proceeding.
tion in pronouncing the act itself to be Mr. Owen contended, that the charge unconstitutional, and to be such an act as, which had been brought against the noble if brought into precedent, might produce most serious mischiefs. As to the senti- / sir R. Strachan; but, though he allowed ment which had this night been delivered it was highly improper, he could not by an hon. gent. (Mr. Bankes) that a agree that it was unconstitutional. He cabinet council was a thing unknown to saw no reason for concluding that the sethe constitution, he must say, that al- crecy was to be indefinite, nor did he though it was a doctriue he had heard think the paper contained a charge against before, it appeared to bim to be giving up any person, unless as far as an attempt to the substance of the constitution for the exonerate himself, on the part of the noble shadow. When the hon. gent. himself lord, might be supposed to imply blame gave his support to an administration, he in others. As to the proposition of the knew that the responsibility of the mea- | right hon, gent. opposite, it did not apsures of the administration lay principally pear to be particularly lenient. All who with the members of the cabinet; and had already spoken upon the subject, every body knew that the right hon. the seemed to have over-looked the best exChancellor of the Exchequer was in a cuse that could be offered for the noble much higher degree responsible for the lord in not communicating the Narrative measures of government than the gene- to his colleagues, in the first instance. rality of privy counsellors. This was a The excuse ought to have been, that, from responsibility which was perfectly under the situation of the government at home, stood, and which, he was convinced, the he did not know who his colleagues were, members of the cabinet would not shrink and under that impression, went to the from. It appeared in the case under dis- fountain head. He would vote, however, cussion, that on the 15th of January, lord for the motion of his hon. friend. Chatham had delivered in his Narrative The Chancellor of the Exchequer exto the King, not as commander in chief of pressed great surprize at the conclusion the Expedition to Walcheren, but in the of the right hon. gent.'s speech, as his arcapacity of a peer and privy counsellor, guments were all on one side, and the and that he did in that capacity advise vote that he said he would give was on his Majesty to keep it secret. A conse- the other. It was most surprizing to find quence that did result from this advice him ready by his vote to record a censure was, that the other ministers of his Ma- on the Journals against lord Chatham, jesty knew nothing of this Narrative, and whom, by the whole tenour of his speech, his Majesty was advised to state in the he appeared to be defending. As to the speech to his parliament, that he had di- secrecy imputed to the noble earl, he was rected papers to be laid before them, convinced that publicity and not secrecy which he trusted would be perfectly sa- was his object when he gave in that Nartisfactory. Now, however innocent the rative. In writing that Narrative, it was intention of the noble lord might be in unquestionably bis intention to make it presenting this Narrative, and giving the public at some period; although from advice to his Majesty to keep it secret, some particular circumstances at the existyet it was not to be supposed that the rest ing moment, he wished it for a short tiine of his Majesty's ministers would have ad- to be kept a secret. This Narrative was, vised such a speech to be made to parlia- undoubtedly, written as his statement and ment, if they had been aware of that cir- defence. It had appeared to many gencumstance. He never did understand the tlemen who had spoken, that the offence paper as meaning to throw blame upon was unintentional and venial. If so, the the navy ; and he only objected to it, as justice of the case might be as well satiskeeping back from his Majesty's confified without calling for a judgment, and dential servants a matter that they ought by adopting the previous question, which to have been informed of. Although he would imply that the offence was of a naagreed with the right hon. gent. below ture so slight as not to call for a serious him (Mr. Canning) that the most mode- judgment. A right hon, gent. (Mr. Canrate expression of the sense of the House ning) had considered that a question of this would be best suited to the present occa- nature, hanging undecided over the head sion, yet, in the discharge of a constitu- of lord Chatham, might tend greatly to tional duty, he could not avoid voting in prejudice the general inquiry. It appeared favour of the first resolution.
to him, however, that if this question was Mr. Windham thought the conduct of decided by a vote of censure, that would the noble lord wrong towards his col- do a great deal more to prejudice the noleagues in office, and still more so towards ble lord upon the inquiry, than the leave
ing it undetermined by agreeing to the thought the House and the country ought previous question, would prejudice the rest not to be so kept in suspence. Ministers of his colleagues. His official character appeared to wish for the shabby shelter and honour would certainly be deeply af- of the previous question, and were content fected by a vote of censure on the present still to appear the disjointed ministers of a occasion. He by no means considered disjointed cabinet, which had too long tlle present as a case of crime, but as a ve- misgoverned the country. Some hon. nial error, from which no practical incon- gentlemen had said, that they could not venience had occurred. If lord Chatham vote for these Resolutions, unless it was Irad merely delivered his Narrative to the intended to follow them up. He had exking without requesting secrecy, he would pressly told the House, that if they were contend, that there was nothing in it which carried, he should have another Resolution was in the least degree illegal or unconsti- to submit to its consideration. There was tutional. He, however, did conceive, that another hon. gent. (Mr. Bankes) whom it was unconstitutional to make this direct he had heard ihis night with amazement, communication with the charge of secrecy. and he believed the House participated in He did not see that otherwise there was the feeling. He had supposed that no any thing improper in his direct commu- gentleman's edition of the constitution nication with his Majesty. Although he was more correct than his ; but for the was directed by his instructions to corre future he must consign that hon. gent. to spond through the secretary of state when the same class of guardians of the constihe was abroad, yet when he returned to tution, as exhibited themselves in such England, those instructions could certainly abundance on the other side of the House. not interfere with that access to his ma- It was said however by the gentlemen on jesty to which he was entitled as a peer the other side, that publicity was the noand privy counsellor. If the contents of ble lord's object, and that he was de the Narrative had been communicated to termined that an inquiry should take his Majesty in a verbal conversation, no place, This determination could not, body could have said that it was improper however, be collected from the answer or unconstitutional. The only thing that to the city of London. When lord Chatappeared to him to lead to inconvenience ham said in his evidence, that he had was, that a cabinet minister employed as no copy of the narrative he first sent a general, united in himself the situations in to the King, he hoped that he did not beof master and servant, and afierwards, when lieve, at that time, that he had the origi. he approached the Sovereign and presented nal itself in his possession. If having the this Narrative, he appeared to unite also original, he answered in such a manner, the opposite characters of judge and party. it would be more against the character of He could not, however, agree that no per- the noble lord than even the unconstituson would be responsible for the advice tional act of which he complained. If that given in this inanner by lord Chatham. proceeding was intended to influence his Although the minister who signed any in- Majesty, and that influence remained unstrument was primarily responsible, yet diminished, he called upon the House to he was always ready to allow, that every record the fact on their journals. For his minister who concurred or consented to part, he considered, the whole proceeding any act was also responsible for it to the of such a nature-he thought the conduct public. He conceived, that all those who of lord Chatham so extraordinary-s0 did not think any farther proceeding hostile to the genius and spirit of the conshould be instituted if the Resolutions stitution, that in order to mark his sense of were carried, should vote for the previous it, he would propose to carry these resoquestion.
lutions to the foot of the throne, but withMr. Whitbread rose to reply. He ob- out any unusual form or ceremony, leaving served, that lord Chatham had been ar- it to his Majesty to act thereon as he raigned by him for unconstitutional con- might think best. But if he was not able duct, and had not found a single defender in to effect that, he trusted that at least he the House. Those whospoke most strongly should succeed in so recording the proceedin his favour admitted, that his conduct ing, as to prevent a possibility of the rewas erroneous ; but they wonld not allow currence of the offence. An hon. and that it was unconstitutional, As for learned Member (Mr. Stephen) on the keeping the question undetermined by opposite bench, had endeavoured to Voting for the previous question, he assimilate the conduct of himself and
to his ear,
his friends to that of the 0. P.'s ; but, before them. He had been condemned the 0. P.'s had the laws on their side ; for the contrast he endeavoured to draw so had he and his friends, and he trusted between the conduct of the late earl of they would carry the question. The hon. Chatham and the present. He was asked, member had great suavity of manners, a will you be so inhuman as to tear the brilliant imagination, and great power of stones from the monument of the father to argument; but yet instead of applying bruise the head of the son ? He could apthese to the substance of the question, and peal to those who had opportunities of endeavouring to exculpate lord Chatham, judging of his habits and feelings, whethey were employed to shew that this ther in private life he was capable of motion had less for its object the censure violating any of those social affections that of lord Chatham than the removal of mi-bound man to man. But there he was not nisters. His continued cry was you his own master; he would discharge his want to get them out; you want to get duty as an honest and independent servant them out;" why so he did, but he found of the people, and hold up the proud, noit impossible. Repeatedly as they were ble, and constitutional conduct of William knocked down still they got up again. earl of Chatham, as a glaring contrast witḥ He could kill a man, but he could not kill the suspicious, clandestine, and unconstitythis phantom of an administration. The tional conduct of John earl of Chatham. right hon. the Chancellor of the Exchequer He would
He would maintain, that the right hon. brought to his recollection a scene in a gent. had not answered one of his arguNeapolitan puppet shew, where a duel ments, and it was to him an auspicious takes place between Punch and his anta- omen that he should carry the question. gonist. Poor Punch is run through and He could assure the House, that he did through the body. His friend comes, and not act in a spirit of vengeance, but in with great signs of grief, applies his mouth the spirit of a representative of the people.
and asks him, " son' e morte,” | Advocates of lord Chatham, where were on which the latter springs up and cries none; but he stood there the advocate of “ Bah.” So with the right hon. gent. on millions of the people of England, who the other side, notwithstanding the repeat- insisted on the principle of responsibility, ed defeats he has sustained during the and who wished to make ministers or session, at the very moment that you ex- others answerably for whatever advice pect to hear nothing more of him, up they should give the Sovereign. He must jumps the little fellow, and says, “I am again repeat, that he trusted the House alive.”--Lord Chatham, in one part of his would not suffer the right hon. gent te examination, bad stated that the Narra- take refuge under the shabby shelter of tive was transmitted to his Majesty to meet the previous question, and give the counthe Narrative of sir R. Strachan; and yet try an opportunity of saying, that parliain answer to a question afterwards put to ment dared not do its duty. Should the him, he admitted it was within his know. first resolution be carried, it would then ledge that that gallant officer had presented be time for the House to consider wheno Narrative. There were other incon-ther they would adopt the amendment of sistencies which it was not now necessary the right hon. gentleman. for him to dwell on, as they had been so General Loft vindicated the conduct clearly pointed out by his right hon. of lord Chatham, and assured the Houre friend (Mr. Ponsonby.) When, therefore, the noble lord had expressed to him his he saw the noble lord give such inconsist- readiness to come back and answer to any enttestimony (which, if given without that points in his evidence that were supposed bar, instead of inside of it, the House to want explanation. would be bound to take notice of it) testi- General Grosvenor maintained, that lord mony that they would not have passed Chatham was perfectly justifiable in preover in any of the persons that appeared senting the Narrative to his Majesty, which at their baş last year, was he not justified | was merely a simple recital of the miliin calling on the House to assert its own tary operation in which he was employed, dignity, and to mark its sense of those and did not contain a single word of adshuffling and unconstitutional proceed-vice from beginning to end. He underings? Much had been said of the purity stood that sir R. Strachan had been desired of lord Chatham's intentions. With that to prepare and transmit his Narrative the House had nothing to do ; they were early in October. When lord Chatham to form their decisions only from the facts came home, at the end of September, he
found the whole country, men, women, and from his honourable friend on a former children, inflamed against him. What night, he could collect that some opdid he do? Why, he wrote a history of position was intended to his motion ; his conduct, and presented it to his Ma- before, therefore, he proceeded to any jesty; not for the purpose of throwing observations 'in support of it, he begged any blame on the navy, but to convince to remind the House of the manner in his Sovereign that he was not deserving which it had disposed of a similar motion of the public indignation and the calumny on the 10th of August, 1807. He therethat was so profusely heaped upon him. moved, that the Resolution of that date As to the inconsistencies in the noble should be read.- The Resolution was then lord's evidence, he had hoped that he had read by the clerk, as it was recorded 10 satisfied the hon. member in the conversa. have passed nem. con. “ That an humble tion he held with him at the bar, that Address be presented to his Majesty, pray- , there was nothing contradictory in his ing that he would be graciously pleased
His lordship gave his evidence not to grant any places in reversion, or to one of the days, he could not recollect two or more persons with right of survivorwhich, under the disadvantage of indispo- ship, until six weeks after the then next sition. He was fatigued by the length of session of Parliament." The resolution it ; in fact he was quite done up.
he had to propose in this instance was preAfter several explanations from Mr. cisely the same with that which had been Whitbread, Mr. Canning, Mr. Banks, read from the Journals; and he should and others, the House became clamor leave it to his right hon. friend, and to ous' for the question, strangers were or- those gentlemen who supported or agreed dered to withdraw, and a division took to the former resolution, to shew what displace the previous question tinction there was between it and the For it 188. Against it 221. Majority 33. resolution now proposed. A Committee of Strangers were not afterwards admitted ; that House had been appointed to exabut we understand Mr. Whitbread's first mine the Lord's Journals for any proceedresolution was carried, and he waved the se. ing respecting a bill for preventing the cond. Mr. Canning then proposed the granting places in reversion, lately sent up amendment mentioned in his speech; and from that House. The Committee had Mr: Whitbread seconded it.
performed that duty, but found no trace Mr. Whitbread next moved, that the of any proceedings upon the Journals of Resolutions agreed to be laid before his Ma the House of Lords upon the subject of rejesty by such members as were of his versions. There appeared, indeed, two Majesty's most honourable privy council; proceedings with respect to bills for preupon which some members exclaimed “ By venting the granting of places in reverthe whole House." This proposition sion-one, the bill lately sent up from called
up Mr. Wilberforce and Mr. B. Ba that House ; the other, a bill which had thurst, both of whom concurred in the been introduced into the House of Lords, wish that nothing of heat or personality and was precisely the same as a bill which should appear upon the preceedings of had passed that House in a former session the House. The main object had been without a dissenting voice. Both these obtained by recording on the Journals bills had, as appeared, been negatived on the sense the House entertained of the the second reading ; but the Committee transaction in a constitutional point of view, could discover no trace on their Journals and proceeding any further would not be of the grounds upon which the House of for the dignity of the House. -Mr. Whit- Lords was induced not to pass either. This bread coincided in the propriety of this led the Committee to consider what could observation, and declared himself perfectly have been the reasons which influenced satisfied in having carried the constitu- the decision of the House of Lords, but in tional question, which was all he had al so doing, they were left altogether to conheart. He should therefore cheerfully, jecture. It occurred to him that it might with the permission of the House, withdraw have entered into the head of some acute his motion ; which he did accordingly. and cavilling special pleader, that it was
a solid objection to the bill, that it was to
render perpetual a bill for suspending the Tuesday, March 6.
power of granting places in reversion. [OFFICES IN REVERSION.] Mr. Bankes Though he could not perceive the distincrose and said, that from what had fallen tion, yet there might be persons who
HOUSE OF COMMONS.