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Answer to the address of the city of Lon- disgraceful in every point of view. This don from the convietion that no blame he was convinced they could not do, and was imputable to either of the com- he felt a persuation that nothing but their manders for the result of the Expedition. removal could relieve the country. He declared not only that he had never Lord Grenpille did not rise without re, ' seen or heard of lord Chatham's narrative luctance to address a few observations to until Feb. 24, but that he had never con- their lordships. As he diftered, however, ceived the possibility of the existence of on certain points from the noble lord such a document. He would however, (Mulgrave), he felt it necessary for him admit, that had he seen the narrative be- lo state these points of difference and the fore the address of the city of London was I grounds upon which they rested. He presented, he might have advised his Ma- was sensible of the situation of that noble jesty to give so far a different answer, as lord, when called forward to state, whe. to declare that the result of the Expedi. | ther he was or was not a party to the tion was in a state of inquiry; for al- charges insinuated against the gallant ad. though he conceived that in the original miral. He was glad to hear that noble dispatches would be found a complete an. lord make the avowal, that if he had ap. swer to the imputations contained in the prebended that the narrative was in exist. narrative, yet be thought it would have lence, he should not have advised his Mabeen but justice to the gallant admiral to jesty to return the answer which had been require from him a counter statement. It given to the address of the city of London. was this sense of justice to sir R. Strachan | He felt peculiar satisfaction at this admiswhich had induced him immediately on 1 sion because he had heard that it had been his having been made acquainted with the stated somewhere, and the noble secretary existence of lord Chatham's narrative had stated that night, that even though (even before he had himself read it) to that paper had been known to be in existe apprise sir R. Strachan of the circum- | ence the same answer would have been stance, although the rapidity with which I advised to be given to the city of Lonthe narrative was moved for, and produced I don. But the noble lord said, that if he in the House of Commons, would not per- had known of this narrative,, as he did of mit him to send a copy of it to the gal- the intention of an officer to oppose the lant admiral. Adverting to sir Richard | vote of thanks to the admiral of the chanStrachan's letter of the 27th of Aug., he nel fleet, he should have felt it his duty to declared that in his opinion it by no bring sir R. Strachan to a court martial, means bore the character of accusation of though perfectly convinced that no blame the military department of the Expedition could attach to that gallant admiral. with which it had been charged. It sim. What he particularly complained of in ply declared the readiness of the navy to the case of lord Gambier was, that withproceed; at the same time allowing that out any charge existing against him, and the question of procedure was purely a solely upon the avowed intention of a military one. He would repeat then what member of parliament to oppose the vote he had said on the first day of the session, of thanks to him, he had been brought to that in his opinion the want of success was trial-a circumstance not more unjustifipot attributable to any one. It chiefly able towards him than injurious to the inarose from the adverse winds and unfa. tests of the navy. But the present case Sourable weather; causes over which it did not rest upon the vague declaration of was impossible to maintain any controul. | opposition on the part of a member of He declared the anxiety which he always parliament on the loose representations felt to maintain the character of the gal. of rumour, or the uncertain and ambigu. lant officers in that department of the ser- | ous expressions of unauthorized com: vice over which he had the honour to pre-plaint, but was founded upon charges side. Not conceiving, however, that the preferred by the commander in chief of noble marquis had urged any just grounds a conjoint service against a particular for his motion, he should give it bis de branch of that service If the members of cided negative. .
the cabinet had been aware of this circumThe Earl of Darnley considered the ge- stance, he was convinced, that neither aonal conduct of ministers injurious to the from a regard to the honour and interests country, and called on them to stand for of their Sovereign, nor from a sense of ward, if they could, and deny that the duty to their country, could they have late Expedition had been calamitous and advised his Majesty to answer that no in.
quiry was necessary. It was, in his opi. I thought necessary. But in stating this, it nion, the duty of his Majesty's minister, was not his intention to utter a word in conwhen acquainted wiih this narrative, to demnation of lord Chatham ; no, God forhave called upon sir R. Strachan for his bid! Yet he could not but think that all these Narrative, and upon considering both, to circumstances afforded abundant grounds determine whether any further inquiry for a military inquiry. He besought their was necessary. But above all, it was the lordships therefore to consider seriously duty of the board of admiralıy to institute what had been the effect of an Expedition, such inquiry. It made no difference in which had wasted more men, consumed the case that lord Gambier had demanded more treasures and exhausted and debilio a court martial, because it was the duty of tated the means and resources of this coun. every officer, against whom a charge might / try in a greater degree than any Expediexist, to call for a court martial; but that tion which had cver taken place. It had was no excuse for the King's government, been directed to a point within four hours if, aware of sufficient ground for inquiry. sail of our coast, and within one month His Majesty's ministers were not to con- had been found inadequate to its ulterior sider whether or not officers liked to go objects. Yet the noble secretary of state before a court martial; it was their had asserted, that the failure had arisen bounden duty to call for investigation from a departure from the original plan. where inquiry seemed to be necessary. If that plan had been departed from, that He next came to ask, whatever might be departure was proper subject for inquiry. the opinions of the noble lord and his col- | But he should be very curious to learn leagues at present, upon what ground it from that noble secretary the reasons, was they had taken the resolution against why such departure from the original plan the inquiry, before they had advised the had caused that failure, and he looked answer to the city of London. The ques. upon that assertion as too sanguine, partion was not, whether they should have ticularly when made in presence of milia answered any thing or nothing. Before tary officers, who had been personally they declared against inquiry, they were serving in that Expedition. The noble bound to be in possession of all the infor- | secretary had talked in high sounding mation and documents upon which such a terms of the effect of personal responsiquestion could be founded. Much of this bility ; but he could not call to mind any argument he rested upon the information | case of such personal responsibility, exof a noble earl, who had served upon the cept that of sir John Moore, in which his Expedition. According to the statement Majesty's ministers attempted to throw all of that noble friend, it appeared that responsibility from themselves upon that much misapprehension had prevailed with illustrious officer. This, it might be said, respect to the dispatch of sir R. Sirachan, was the reason why lord Chatham had not which he was sure was never intended to been suífered to give in an official Narraconvey the slightest blame against the tive ; because, if the commanders by sca earl of Chatham. As to the fact of the and land should justify themselves, then precise time when the transports had the heaviest responsibility that ever atpassed a particular point, the land officers tached to any government would rest. stated one thing, and the sea officers ano- upon his Majesty's ministers.--At that ther. Even this difference of stateinent period of the debate he should not think he would contend was a good ground of of entering into a consideration of the inquiry. But upon the return of lord question, as it bore upon a service, which Chatham to England after the failure of was at once the pride and the bulwark of such an expedition, the government was the nation. But he could not avoid look. bound to call upon him for an explanation ing at it in a constitutional point of view, of its progress and results. The account when a noble lord at the head of the adfrom sir R. Strachan had not been re miralty thought that his ignorance of this ceived till September. At that period narrative, and that of the other members lord Chatham was in England, yet during of the cabinet, would be sufficient, as it the whole time no narrative was required were, to nonsuit his noble friend, or to from him. Nay, that nobie lord had induce bim to withdraw his motion. The been in England during the whole of Sep- noble lord had admitted that in this Nartember, October, November, and even rative was contained a substantive charge December; still no narrative had been against the conduct of the navy; but he called for from him, nor was any inquiry had forgotten to notice, that it also conVOL. XVI,
tained a heavy charge against the execu-, vests another set of men concealed from tive administration of the navy. In the public view, with all the effective powers case of such a charge, were their lordships of government. Such a system he should to be satisfied with a mere verbal contra- condemn in all cases, as rendering it imdiction of it? How came it, that the mili- | possible for any set of men, possessing the tary commander, being himself a member nominal powers of office, to discharge the of the cabinet, after having prepared such duties of the executive government, either a statement, could bring himself to decide with credit to themselves, or with advanthat no inquiry was necessary? The noble tage to the country. This was the first lords well knew, however, that all the time that their lordships had upon their members of the cabinet had not been par- table, any paper shewing the existence of ties to the answer to the city of London. such a system; and he had only to ex. Was it not fit subject for inquiry, that some press bis regret, that any set of men could members of government had not been par be found to countenance such a system. ties to this famous answer? Was it suffi. Thus much he had thought it necessary to cient for those who loved the constitution say in justification of his vote; and it was to be told verbally who had, and who had matter of surprise to him, how it could not been parties to that answer? The mo. have happened, that the King's answer to tion, he must strongly contend, ought to the city of London was directly co:itrary be agreed to, not only in order to discover to what it must have been, if this Narrathose who had advised the answer, but live had been known to bis cabinet mi. with a view to those future proceedings nisters. which it might be necessary to resort to. | The House then divided : Contents He was surprised to hear the noble secre- Present 41; Proxies 49-90.- Non-contary of state declare that no effects had tents-Present 70; Proxies 66—136. followed from the proceeding in this case. Majority 46. Good God! that no effects should have followed from the unconstitutional prac
List of the Minority. tice of an individual, possessing himself of the King's ear, and availing himself of} Dukes.
Besborough that pernicious privilege to instil poison | Norfolk
Darnley into his Sovereign's mind! That no effects
Carvsfort should have resulted from a person thus "MARQUISSES.
Breadalbane having the King's ear, taking advantage Lansdowne
Lauderdale of his Sovereign's favour, to insinuate sc. Staffords
VISCOUNT. all against cretly serious cbarges, as well against a |
BARONS gallant admiral, who had been a distin. |
Grenville guished ornament of his profession, and
St. John devoted the whole of his life lo the service
Carrington of his country, as against the whole ser Spencer
Keith vice over which he presided. Could the
Erskine noble secretary say that no effects had
King followed, when a Narrative, containing Lucan
Saye and Sele such charges, had remained so long where Donoughmore
Ponsonby it had remained, in the possession of his Rosslyn
Lilford other members of the cabinet? The noble
Dundas lord in the blue ribband had alluded to Bristol
Bishop of Oxford some event which occurred at a former
PROXIES. period. If it were possible for him to go
Carnarvon back to transactions which took place six St. Albans
Cholmondeley and forty years since, he had no doubt Deropshire
Fortescue that he should be able to give a complete
Carlisle and satisfactory answer to the observations
Eglinton of that noble lord. But he should have no Buckingbarn
St. Vincent difficulty in saying, that in every situation |
Cork and Orrers and in all possible circumstances he must
Fitzwilliama deprecate that system of double govern
Jersey ment which puts forward one set of men
Upper Ossory as the ostensible administration, but in Searbo
triumph, and a sound constitutional preThanet Montfort
Have I not reason also to conAuckland Guilford
sider those efforts successful in an unliGlastonbury Charlemont Cawdor
mitted degree, when I recollect that the Somers
decision was obtained in despite of all the VISCOUNTS. Ducie
power, all the persuasion and all the inBolingbroke Hutchinson
fluence of the ministry? And here I must Clifden
beg leave to intreat the House to look BARONG, Southampton
back to the conduct of the right hon. genAshburton Foley
tlemen opposite, to retrace and consider Stavel Bishop of St. Asaph
the course they have thought proper to Braybroke
pursue upon the occasion.
When the noble ear] (lord Chatham) HOUSE OF COMMONS.
upon whose conduct I felt it my duty
to animadvert was at the bar of this House ; Friday, March, 2.
and when it was endeavoured to extract [Tae EARL OF CHATHAM's NARRATIVE.) from himn a plain answer to certain direct Mr. Whitbread rose in pursuance of his questions, it was asserted by his Majesty's precious notice to make a specific motion ministers, that in consideration of the rank on this subject, and spoke to the following and privileges of that nobleman we had effect :-Sir, but seven days have elapsed no right to press him upon these points. since I felt it to be my duty to submit to In answer to this doctrine, it was contended the consideration of this House a certain by us, that there did and must exist in this proposition, founded upon a strong and House a right to extract from any indivi. justifiable suspicion, that a line of con-dual, brought before us as a witness, the duct most unconstitutional and improper fullest evidence upon all public transachad been pursued by a noble lord, at this tions to which our inquiries were directed moment a member of the King's cabinet, -that right we maintained to be indis. and late the commander in chief of the dis- putable, at the same time admitting that astrous Expedition to the Scheldt. I then ihe extreme cases for its exercise were contended, that it was not only the right, undoubtedly rare. But what course did but that it became the incumbent duty of bis Majesty's ministers propose ? What this House to call for the production of all line of proceeding did they in the spirit documents and papers, touching the im- of an affected candour recommend ? They portant inquiry in which it is engaged, I told us that there was an easy way to ex. which it had reason to believe were in | tricate us from our difficulty. That way possession of the crown, and most particu they stated to be, to proceed by an address • larly if they had been communicated in to the crown, calling for such documents in a way most likely to excite its constitu- / as we supposed to have been delivered : tional jealously, and call for its unbiased | and, in order to engage us more cheerfully and active vigilance, I had the proud to pursue their recommendation, they assatisfaction to find upon that occasion that sured us of an answer most propitious to my humble efforts were not ineffectual ; our wishes. Such was their recommenda· for to the immortal honor of this House | tion to us ; now mark the contrast which
let it be spoken, that, to the address, their subsequent conduct exhibits. When which it then agreed to have conveyed to this very address is proposed which they the crown, an answer has been since re- | themselves first recommended, do they turned, not only fully justifying the course fairly act upon their own recommendait then found necessary to adopt, but too tion? No. They pursue a line of constrongly illustrating and contirming the duct wholly inconsistent with their former suspicion, which it thought proper on professions ; they endeavour to defeat it that occasion to entertain. I must be al. I by every exertion within the grasp of their lowed to repeat that in that instance my ineffectual power. Why do I mention efforts were successful in the most ex this fact? I mention it, that this House tensive sense of the word ; for I most sin- should recollect it amongst the long and cerely, consider the decision of that night, disgusting enumeration of similar nueasures as forming a most important political æra of this administration. in the history of this empire-an ära to To return to the immediate object of which in distant times posterity will look my present motion-We now know, from back with national pride as a great political evidence unquestionable, that John, earl
of Chatham, in a most unconstitutional, desired by him who presented it, until the and clandestine manner, as a minion and 14th of February last. At least, it rea favourite, has abused the royal confi- mained wholly undisturbed until the 7th dence, at the same time, and by the same of that month, when for reasons as yet act, that he has violated the most sacred only known to the earl of Chatham, it was principles of the constitution. This | requested of the king to return it to him knowledge, I say, we are possessed of for correction. I say, reasons as yet only from undeniable evidence, and it only be- | known tɔ that noble lord, for I am sure comes this House to take the earliest op- / there is no man who can deny that the portunity of deciding upon that evidence | reasons since stated by him are so inconand of expressing, by its recorded resolu- sistent and contradictory, that it is imtions, its high reprobation and just indig. possible to assume that we are acquainted nation at such proceedings. Had it in with his real motives. On that day how. deed been an ordinary meinber of par | ever the noble lord applied to have the liament who had been thus guilty; had document returned to him, for the purpose it been an individual unprotected by of alteration. His request was acquiesced the privileges of elevated rank, there in; and what was the alteration which he would in such circumstances be no neces. | bimself has told you took place ? He told sity for the present motion. The case you that it consisted in the omission of a would have been long ago decided; the paragraph, containing an opinion an indignation of this House would have been opinion, observe--yet when solicited to before this time vented upon the offend state the nature of that opinion, he ing individual. (Hear, hear!) Am I declares his inability to communicate stating any thing which the examination that most necessary information. (Hear, of the noble lord does not fully warrant bear!) His examination proceeds; and me in stating? I am confident that I am the noble lord is asked, when this Narranot. Compare the examination of lord tive so altered was again presented to his Chatham, on the 22d of February, with Majesty ? Mark his answer. He states, his examination on the 27th of the same that it was tendered by him to his sovemonth; first with one another, and then reign upon the 17th of February. Struck with the answer, which his Majesty has with the peculiarity of the term “tendered,' been pleased to give to your address; and I myself immediately asked the noble shall not this House act upon that para-lord, what he meant by the expression he mount principle, that equal justice ought had thus used, and whether the Narrative to be administered, and that the higher | opon that day had actually passed into the situation of the oflender, the greater his Majesty's hands? To this his reply should be its indignation and its censure? was-that it had not. Here then was But the individual in this instance is a) a paper presented upon the 15th of Janupeer, invested with all the privileges of lary lastconveying at least twelve direct that exalted rank; still it is the right and charges against the gallant naval officer the duty of every mepaber of this House who commanded, with an opinion of the to observe upon his conduct, and that duty | noble lord's afhxcd. . An opinion! And I feel myself imperiously called upon to am I not bound to presume, that such opiperform.
nion, so communicated, now not recollec.' I find then, that John earl of Chatham, ted, by the noble jord, went to inculpate the late commander in chief of the expe-| the naval officer against whom this very dition to the Scheldt, did, without any | Narrative now revised, contains, as I consultation with his colleagues in the car before stated, twelve direct charges of binet, as I most truly believe--without misconduct? (Hear, bear!) intimating his intention to his brother of The House will recollect, that this Narficer who commanded the naval force | rative in the shape in which it was origiupon that expedition, and wholly un- nally presented, with an opinion alfixed, known, save, to the royal personage was for twenty-five days in the hands whose confidence he has abused, did. I of his Majesty—that there did not since say communicate to that personage a occur any conference, any retractionnarrative of his proceedings on that expe- / that even in its amended, or rather in its dition, so far back as the 15th of January | altered form, it was not read to the King ląst. I find that it lay in the possession of / -that it was not admitted to that royal that august personage, wrapped up in the personage to say to the noble lord, I find most impenetrable secrecy-a secrecy your lordship has changed your Narra