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never once begged of bim to mention it that government could shew him, by the to the government; so much was it a length, the zeal, the talents and the intematter of right and so little a matter of grity of his public life. favour. But he had other grounds of com
The Chancellor of the Exchequer thought plaint against these commissioners ; they that Mr. Croker had great ground of comhad not stated, that this case had been re- plaint against the commissioners for having ferred to the solicitor of the board, and made so incorrect a report, which had that he had made a Report decidedly in heen suffered to rankle in the public mind favour of the right which accrued under to the prejudice of that gentleman since the warrant. It might also have been February 1809. He thought the right hon. expected, that, in point of fairness, bart. before he brought the charge, would when they were about to inake this have done as well to have looked into the Report, they would have examined Mr. report, and not have taken the word of Croker himself upon the subject ; but the commissioners, not one question did they ever put to
The two first Resolutions were then him upon the subject, though they had withdrawn. On the question being put daily opportunities of doing it. He con- on the third Resolution, cluded with stating, that he trusted he had Mr. W. Pole said, he trusted the House made out a clear case, and that he had would indulge him for a few minutes while done justice to Mr. Croker. With respect he answered the attacks which the hon. to the character of that gentleman, the bart. had made upon the Irish government, gentleman opposite to him, had spoken of for the transaction respecting the post it in terms which left him nothing to wish office. What had passed upon the preupon the subject. If any thing more had ceding resolution should be a warning to been necessary, he believed he might him in future to be cautious how he safely appeal to the right hon. gent. who brought forward charges affecting persons filled the chair. He believed Mr. Croker of high character, and how he applied attracted that gentleman's notice when he such epithets, without taking care to be in was in Ireland, and he believed also, that full possession of the facts of the case. he owed that notice to the high character He flattered himself that in this case he which he possessed. (The Speaker assent- should convince the House that the hon. ed.) Mr. Croker concluded by trusting the bart. was as completely mistaken, with House would pardon him for feeling on respect to the facts, as he was in the last. such an occasion the desire of doing jus. The hon. bart. had began by stating, that tice to the character, not only of the in- when this subject was before under disdividual, but of the Board of Excise, and cussion, he (Mr. Pole) had got rid of it of the government.
by the previous question, and had skulked · Sir J. Newport disclaimed any idea of from the fair discussion of the decision. wishing to throw blame on Mr. Croker, This language of the hon. bart: would whom he admitted was a highly merito teach him in future not to show so much rious officer. Being now apprised of the courtesy as he had done upon the occacircumstances just stated by the hon. gent., sion alluded to. The House would recolwhich were perfectly satisfactory, he lect, that when the hon. bari. brought forshould withdraw the two first Resolutions. ward his Resolution respecting the Irish At the same time he must still consider Post Office, on a former night, he mixed the board of excise as very negligent. it with so much fact, that he (Mr. Pole)
Mr. W. Pole, referring to the report, from mere courtesy, did not think it right observed that if the right hon. bart. had to propose a direct negative, but had taken the trouble to read it, he would have moved the previous question.
He would found in the Appendix that Mr. Croker take care, however, how be shewed such stated in his memorial that his claim was courtesy again.
He did not mean to acproper and legal, and the commissioners, cuse the hon. bart. of doing any thing unin their report, bear him out, by stating parliamentary, but certainly it was not that he was entitled to a moiety of the sum usual to bring a subject a second time in question by law.
under discussion when it had been once Mr. M. Fitzgerald considered the giving decided. He had very little to state upon of a moiety of the fines to the informer not this subject now more than he had urged as an equitable principle. He bore testi- on a former occasion ; but as many genmony to the merits of Mr. Croker as a tlemen who were present now had not public officer, who deserved every favour heard his former statement, he would, with
the permission of the House, shortly re-ward with a sinecure situation of 5,000l. a peat it.-The right hon. barta had fallen year, and the use of the public money, into an error respecting the case of Mr. they took from him very properly the Forward, into which he had been led by public money, but they never thought of the Report ; he had stated, that that gen making him do the duties of his office : tleman had been superannuated, after only they left him in possession of it, and of the 8 years service. That was not the fact: the salary. The hon. bart. had talked of precase was shortly this. In 1800 Mr. For tended reforms having been made in the ward was, by patent, appointed Treasurer Post Office, but if the hon. baronet had of the Post Office, an office which was taken the trouble of reading the Appendix considered as a perfect sinecure. He re- to the Report, he would have found that he mained in it never doing duty, until 1808, (Mr. Pole) was justified in speaking of when the office was reformed. During a These reforms in the manner he had done, part of that period the right hon. bart. and and that they were real and substantial his friends were in office, and they had reforms. (Mr. Pole then read an extract never called upon Mr. Forward to do any from the Report, speaking in high terms duty, so perfectlydid they consider bisoffice of the efficient reforms which had been as a sinecure. The Commissioners in their effecied in the Post-Office.)-Such was report, had stated, as a principle, that pub- the opinion of the Commissioners upon the lic officers should not be remunerated except reforms effected, and yet the hon. bart. had for long services, but that gentleman had called them pretended reforms. lo the been remunerated after a service of only course of his speech, the hon. bart. had aleight years.
Now there was the more luded to something which the Commisunfairness in this statement, because it was sioners had brought forward in the shape partly true and partly false. They ought of a charge. They stated, that while they to have stated, that this office of Ár. For were prosecuting their inquiries, they disward's was a perfect sinecure, that upon covered something improper in the Post the reform of the office he had been re- Office, and that an attempt had been made moved, in order that the office of Treasurer to conceal it from them; and the hon. of the Post Office might be made efficient, bart. had mentioned the subject as if goand that they had been remunerated as vernment had been apprised of the improwas always the case when patent officers priety,and had connived at theconcealment. were removed. There was in this Report, if the right hon. bart. wished to be informed as there was in the Report respecting the of what government knew relative to this case of Mr. C.'s materials given in the subject, he had not the slightest objection to Appendix, out of which a fair statement lay all the papers concerning it before the might be made; but the Commissioners House, for he had no wish for concealment thought proper to frame their Report in on that or any other subject. At present, the way he had mentioned. They had however, he would state ibe case from meused the word superannuation, as applied mory, as correctly as he could :- A rumour to Mr. Forward, and used it most impro- some time ago reached him that there was perly. That the word was not used in the great malversation in the department of order for granting him his salary, it was the clerks of :he roads in Ireland, he of “ compensation," and that was the term course endeavoured to ascertain whether which the Commissioners ought to have that rumour was well or ill founded, and he used. It was singular that the principle of received a statement of every thing which not calling upon sinecure patent officers had been discovered respecting their misto do any duty, or in cases where a light conduct. There were in Ireland four clerks duty was annexed to the office, to do more of the roads, and the chief perquisites of than they had been accustomed to do, was their office arose from newspapers sent recognized by the hon. bart. himself, in to different parts of Ireland. At the time of an act which he brought in for abolishing the Union they presented a Petition, setting offices that were useless, or in part useless. forth that their emoluments had been That was the principle upon which the greatly reduced, and praying for compenIrish government acted in the case of Mr. sation. An inquiry was made into the Forward, and yet the right hon. bart. now amount of their emoluments, and their made it a ground of accusation. When salaries were fixed at the average of their the right hon. bart. and his friends were in emoluments for the three preceding years. office, they attempted something like a - The perquisites which they had before reform in this office, they found Mr. For- received were ordered to be paid into a
HOUSE OF LORDS.
fund, out of which their salaries were to Mr. H. Thornton observed, that what be paid ; if that fund was deficient, that de- he had heard upon the subject would ficiency was to be made up by govern- make him more than ever solicitous for ment; if there was a surplus, it of course
the abolition of sinecures, and more espewent to the public account. In consecially of those secured by patent. quence of this arrangement the clerks paid Mr. Ponsonby remarked that the word in what they called their receipts into this patent appeared to carry in the hon. gent's fund, but it appeared that there was every apprehension some magical power. It year a deficiency. Last summer an in- was merely the evidence of the great seal quiry was made into the business, and it to a grant, and could not secure that which was found that they had been guilty of it was illegal to bestow. great frauds; but as they were before been A division then took place considered as men of good characters, For the resolution....... 25 they were perinitted, by the post office, Against it..........
82 to resign their situations, on making good
Majority ...........-57 the deficiency.-When the lord lieutenant found what had been done, he ordered the whole matter to be made public immediately. The whole case was laid before
Friday, May 4. the law officers of the crown, with a di. [Poor CLERGY.] Lord Holland rose to raction to them to investigate the business give a notice relative to a subject which fully, and to prosecute the parties, if it had been alluded to in his Majesty's speech could properly be done. This order was at the opening of the session, namely the given within 24 hours after the papers making provision for the poorer clergy. had reached his hands. The prosecution He trusted he should be enabled to prove did not take place, because it was the opi- that they were entitled by law to a pronion of the law officers that it could not be vision out of funds which were at present carried on with effect. These were the appropriated by the higher clergy to their circumstances of the case; but how it own use.
He should not now, of course, happened that they were not laid before enter into the discussion; but it was due, the commissioners he did not know. He in fairness and candour to the House, to would not dwell longer upon this subject state the nature of his intended motion. at present ; his object was only to shew It would embrace four objects, namely, that great reforms had been made in that the first for an account of the amount of office, that the government of Ireland were the first fruits and tenths known by the adopting regulations for making it as per- name of queen Anne's bounty, which had fect as possible. A penny post had been formerly been received by the court of established, after the plan of the one in Rome, were afterwards granted to Henry this country, and other improvements had the 8th; and finally by the bounty of been made. He would not take up more queen Anne were, by act of parlianient, of the time of the House, but he trusted converted into a fund for improving the that gentlemen would bear in mind that situation of the poorer clergy ; secondly this was not a new question; that it had | for an account of the application of this been discussed before : that the hon. fund, thirdly, for an account of the real baronet had taken advantage of his value of all bishoprics, prebends, rectories, courtesy in not giving it a direct negative and all benefices of whatever description; before; (Sir John Newport said, across and fourthly, for an account of all parishes the table, he was afraid.] “ Afraid !” | in towns and corporations which had said Mr. Pole, “ I am sure the right hon. been united under an act of Charles 2d, baronet does not mean to say seriously, He intended to make these motions on that I was afraid to meet his resolution Friday, for which day his lordship moved with a negative. However, if he does that the Lords be summoned. think that I was afraid upon the former The Archbishop of Canterbury observed occasion, I will convince him that I am not that, with respect to two of the points now, by giving his resolution a most direct mentioned by the noble lord, namely the negative.'
amount of queen Anne's bounty and its Sir J. Newport made a short reply. He application, he believed the information read a leiter from Mr. Forward himself, in was already before the House ; as to the which it appeared that that gentleman third point, he should not now enter into did not consider his situation a sinecure. the discussion; but he imagined that the
noble lord must lay a very good ground that the subject was one which had ocfor such a motion before the House would cupied his attention ever since the hon. accede to it.
gent. had communicated with him upon it, Lord Holland observed, that the inform- and that he had a bill in preparation, which ation alluded to had not been presented he trusted he should be able to produce to this session. The motion was then agreed the House very shortly, and which he
hoped would meet the objects which the hon. gent. had in contemplation.
(Property Tax.) Mr. Grenfell observed HOUSE OF COMMONS.
that he had given notice before the holiFriday, May it.
days, of its being his intention to submit [PRIVATE Bills.) Upon a motion at an early period after the recess, a motion being made that the committee upon the to the House upon the subject of the proEversden inclosure bill should have time perty duty laws. Such continued to be until Monday se’night to bring up their his intention; but as it would be upbereport,
coming in bim to occupy unnecessarily The Speaker took occasion to notice a any portion of the time of the House; and subject to which he hoped gentlemen as the legislative regulations which it was would turn their attention, in order to in his contemplation to submit to parliaarrange by the next sessions some plan ment might be offered when the bill of for the better economy and management | the right hon.gent. upon the subject of the of Private Bills. It appeared that bills of Assessed Taxes, just mentioned, should be this description were sometimes, three before the House, he should abstain at premonths before the House, during which sent from making any distinct proposition the parties bringing them forward were upon the subject; reserving to bimself, incurring expence by keeping their wit- however, at the same time, the power, if nesses in town, whilst those who meant to the bill of the right hon. gent. should be oppose them declined to present any pe- delayed to such a period of the session, as tition until within a few days of the day to make it improbable that his regulations fixed for bringing up the reports. Thus would be discussed this year, to bring forthe parties applying were subjected toward, by a separate motion, such propogreat embarrassment and expence, to sitions as the importance of the subject to which they ought not to be liable. With the public might appear to him to require. a view, therefore, to guard against such (Spain.] Mr. Sheridan, after alluding inconveniencies, which were not at all to the notice of his right hon. friend (Mr. necessary to any just end, it might be Canning) that he would early after the re. proper that petitioners should be called cess move for the production of papers upon to come forward within a certain upon the subject of Spain, if those upon time, at least before the day finally fixed the table should not answer his purpose; for bringing up the reports. The inotion look occasion to move for copies of the corbefore the House was perfectly in order, respondence already laid before the other but he hoped the suggestions he had felt it House of Parliament, to which he did not his duty to throw out, would excite at understand that there was any objection, tention, and that some provision would be and therefore he would move without 10. made against the evil referred to.
tice. In addition to those papers he The motion was agreed to.
would also move for copies of the dis(ASSESSED Taxes.) Mr. C. Dundas, see- patches addressed to lord Wellesley upon ing the Chancellor of the Exchequer in recalling him from his mission to Spain, his place, begged to observe, that having together with that noble lord's answer, before Easter given notice of a motion, and also his address to the Spanish Junta with a view of correcting certain abuses upon that occasion. and vexations in the mode of collecting The Chancellor of the Exchequer said, the Assessed Taxes, he felt it incumbent that it was through inadvertency alone upon him to ask the right hon. gent. whe- that the papers alluded to were not now ther it was his intention to bring forward before the House, but they speedily would, a bill upon the subject, within such a time and therefore he apprehended there was as would in all probability secure its pass- no occasion for any motion upon the subIng into a law in the course of the present ject. As to the other motions mentioned session.
by the right hon. gent. he took leave to The Chancellor of the Exchequer obserred suggest the propriety of a notice,
Mr. Sheridan accordingly gave notice occasion which referred to the fate of 7 or. of a motion for the day upon which his 800 persons, who were annually placed right hon. friend (Mr. Canning) had an- by the existing laws at the discretion of nounced his intention of bringing forward the judges, and expressing his surprize a motion upon the same subject.
that all the gentlemen in the ministerial ¥ [EXCHANGE OF PRISONERS. ] Mr. Sharp bench should have so completely concuradverting to a notice which be had some red in opposing his motion, although it time since given upon the subject of the had no connection with any party mea, negotiation with regard to the Exchange of sure, being purely of a speculative nalure Prisoners, said that understanding this the learned gentleman concluded with negociation to be now extremely active, submitting his motion, namely, for a return he did not wish to interfere by any motion of the number of persons committed lest it should affect its progress; and hop- throughout England and Wales, in the ing, that its success would take away the years 1805-6-7-8 and 9, both at assizes grounds of his intended motion.
and petty sessions, stating the crimes (CRIMINAL LAws.] Sir S. Romilly rose with which, those so committed were pursuant to notice, to move for information charged-the number against whom no which he thought it extremely desirable bills were found—those discharged by to have laid before that House, if it were proclamation-those convicted-those ac. only with a view to ascertain, if he might quitted of the capital part of the chargeso express himself, the state of the moral the sentences pronounced, and the execu: health of the country. But it was peculi- tions which took place within the periods arly expedient to know the result of the alluded to. experiments made by the enactment of Mr. Secretary Ryder expressed his discertain penal laws to know, for instanee position to comply with the wish of his whether it was necessary that. capital pu- learned friend, and assured him that nonishments should attach to particular of thing should be wanting on his part to fences. Upon a recent discussion he ob- promote the object of his learned friend, served that gentlemen on both sides of the which he could not, however, pretend to question could only deal in presumption say, was attainable. as to the number of persons convicted of Sir T. Turton was sure that the thinness certain offences, who had really suffered of attendance alluded to by the learned the sentence of the law'; which presump- gentleman, was owing to the circumtion could, of course, be no guide for form stance of so many of the members being ing a correct judgment. It was, therefore, engaged at the several sessions, otherwise bis object to get at the fact. From the there could be no doubt that the motion of returns in secretary of state's osice no cer- the learned gentleman, or indeed, any meatain data could be collected upon this sub- sure, brought forward by him, would seject, for many material points were not cure a full attendance. mentioned in those returns. He was aware The Chancellor of the Exchequer denied that the information he sought for could, that party spirit had any influence whatnot be obtained without difficulty. But ever upon the vote of gentlemen on his that difficulty could, he had no doubt, he side of the House, on the occasion alluded got over, as there were only six persons into by his learned friend. Indeed, the susEngland, namely the clerks of assize, and picion of any party influence was com four in Wales, to whom it would be neces-pletely negatived by the very thin attendsary to make application upon the subject. ance complained of by his learned friend. Independently of the value of the infor- For surely if party spirit were at all exmation which bis motions had in view to cited, a much greater number would have the general police of the country, which been likely to attend on either side of the value indeed was such, that in his opinion House than the whole who voted upon the a regular register should be established motion of his learned friend. for public reference of committals, convic- Sir S. Romilly again expressed his sorrow tions and executions throughout the king- that upon a question so materially concern.dom, he confessed that he was induced to ing the administration of justice and the -bring forward these motions with a view lives of men, the attendance should have
to the renewal, next session, of the pro- been so tbin. He justified the expression position wbich had been lately rejected by of his suspicion as to the conduct of the 80 small a majority. After deploring the other side of the House by observing that thin attendance of the House upon that two thirds of those who voted against his