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the petitioners believe that the chief that prevails between the House and the grounds and causes of this difference will people; and therefore praying, that the be found in the very defective mode of re- House will take into timely and serious presentation which prevails at present, in consideration the present state of the rethe number of placemen and pensioners presentation, and will adopt sach measures that have seats in the House, and in the of Reform as may be sufficient to restore duration of parliaments; and that it is to the House the confidence of the people, well known to the House, that many which is its truest dignity, and to makt boroughs returning members to Parlia- the House in practice and effect what it is ment are utterly decayed and become the constitutionally, the organ of the sense of property of individuals, and are now the its constituents.”-Ordered to lie upon the subject, like any other property, of barter table. and exchange ; by this means the people [Sir F. BURDETT'S PROCESS AGAINST find themselves excluded from the share THE SPEAKER.] The Speaker acquainted which they ought to have in elections; the House, that he was yesterday served and a body of men have been introduced with process, in an action at law by sir into Parliament that are an anomaly in Francis Burdett :- And the said Paper the constitution, being neither called by was, by direction of the House, delivered the king, nor elected by the people; under in by the Speaker, and read; and is as folsuch a state of things, the petitioners loweth, think that no exaggeration which was said
« K. B. Venire. in the House by a late distinguished mem
“ Middlesex.—Matthew Wood, esq. and ber, “ that no honest man can long remaio
“ John Atkins, esq. Sheriff of the minister of the country;" the petitioners
“ county of Middlesex. lament extremely, that, in the course of
“ To Henry Beaumont, sen. and Henry last session, two of his Majesty's ministers
“ Beaumont, jun. my bailiffs : were charged with being concerned in the disgraceful traffic in boroughs, and that having privilege of Parliament, to ap
« Summon the right hon. Charles Abbot, this practice, although reprobated by the pear before the king at Westminster, en learned and upright Sptaker of the House
« Wednesday next, after fifteen days of with becoming zeal and indignation, was
« Easter, to answer sir Francis Burdett justified as being as notorious as the Sun
« baronet, in a plea of trespass on the case at noon day; and that another ground of
.to the damage of the said sir Francis the constant and growing difference between the House and the people is the < (L. S.) Dated the 9th day of May 1810.
“ Burdett of thirty thousand pounds. number of placemen and pensioners that
by the same Sheriff." are permitted to have seats in it, by which
“(Endorsed.)- To the right honourable the influence of ministers is increased be. yond controul :-Upon any other suppo
“ Charles Abbot.--Served 9th.” sition the petitioners cannot conceive it Ordered, That the said Paper be repossible that his Majesty's present incapa. ferred to the Committee appointed to conble and arbitrary ministers should be still sider of the proceedings in the matter of permitted to carry on the government of sir Francis Burdett. the country, after having wasted our l'esources in fruitless expeditions, and hav
THE SERJEANT.] The Speaker also ac, ing shewn no vigour but in support of an- quainted the House, that the Serjeant at tiquated prejudices, and in attacks upon Arms had been this day served with fur: the liberties of the subject; and that, ther process, in an action at law by sir finally, the bold innovation of septennial Francis Burdett: And the Serjeant at for trienniad parliaments has not been Arms being called upon, delivered in the found to produce the salutary effects men said Paper, and the same was read; and is tioned in the preamble of the statute passed as followeth; in the first year of the reign of king George the First, but has certainly tended “ In the King's-Bench. to relax the tie, and to set at a wider inter- « Between sir Francis Burdett, baronet, val the connection between constituent and “ plaintiff, and Francis John Colman, representative, so that the same is hardly
esq. defendant, felt and acknowdedged ; and that these “ Sir; Take notice, that a declaration are the chief grounds and causes of the “ against you, as of this present Easter unhappy difference in opinion and feeling “ Term, is filed with the clerk of the do
" clarations in the King's Bench office, in he was authorised to state that they fülly • the Inner Temple, London, condition- sustained the charge advanced by captain
ally, until a common bail is filed at the Foskett. But he wished to have them of"suit of the above-named plaintiff, in an ficially laid before the House. If this " action of trespass, wherein the said plain proposition was objected to, what was the " tiff lays his damages at twenty thousand inference? Can gentlemen be unwilling
pounds; and, unless you appear, and to publish the statement of the duke of " plead thereto, in eight days from the Cumberland in his own defence against “ date hereof, judgment will be signed the charge of captain Foskett? Would
against you by default. Dated this 9th these gentlemen have it supposed that a
day of May, 1810. Yours, &c. JOHN prince's defence of himself was good for • Ellis, Plaintiff's Attorney.
nothing, or unfit to meet the light? If it « To Francis John Colman, esq:
were his object to criminate that illústria “the above-named Defendant.
ous personage, he could not require a Ordered, That the said Paper be re- greater concession than the withholding ferred to the same Committee.
such papers would imply. But he had no (CAPTAIN FOSKETT.) Mr. Lyttelton rose such object. The only use he meant to to bring forward his promised motion, make of the papers he alluded to, would feeling that the thinness of the House was be of a defensive nature, for the vindicano reason why he should postpone it. tion of captain Foskett; but they should His purpose was to obtain certain papers, not in any degree tend to induce him to the production of which he conceived to vary the motion he had originally probe necessary; but he declared, that any posed to bring before the House. The anxiety he felt for their production, pro- hon. member concluded with moving for ceeded more from a consideration for the official copies of the documents he had illustrious personage to whom they re- mentioned, which had passed from the ferred, and from a solicitude for the fair- 14th of May, 1806, to the 12th of Feb. ness and character of that House, than 1810. from any effect or weight which they Mr. M. Sutton objected to the motion, were likely to have upon the statement because he did not think that any fair which he was ultimately to make upon ground for the production of the docuthis subject. It was not his wish to en- ments referred to had been stated. The gage the House in any military discus- main object of the petitioner was to fix sion, nor to interfere with the proper au. upon the commander in chief the direct thority of any military tribunal." With breach of the law. But it it were meant this view he had on the outset narrowed to ground that charge upon the refusal of the question to the mere enforcement of promotion, and that the offices were to be military law. He begged therefore to ransacked for the production of papers to remind the House, that his objection was make out such a charge, he submitted to solely to enforce the execution of the 're- the serious consideration of the House, gular established law of the army, and that admission of such a precedent must not to legislate for the army.
tend to interfere with the whole system much to be regretted, that in the course by which the army has been so long and of the discussion which had taken place so advantageously governed. This moupon the admission of captain Foskett's tion confessedly arose out of the incidental petition, an hon, officer of high rank, (ge- observation of an individual in the course neral Craufurd,) had thought proper to of a former debate, and was that a ground throw out some reflections upon the con- for calling for papers, which, according duct and character of the petitioner, to the confession of the mover, were irrewhich 'made it necessary to call for cer- levant to the ultimate object? The comtain documents, in order to prove that plaint against the commander in chief those reflections were unfounded. Those for the non-execution of an article of war, papers were several memorials from cap- was the professed end of the petition. tain Foskett to the commander in chief But how did the case stand? The petiand to the adjutant general, together with tioner made various complaints. He first the replies from these officers, and also stated that an attempt was made to pro,, from the duke of Cumberland. Copies of mote a junior officer, but that that attempt all these papers were already in his hands; was not carried into effect in consequence and upon the opinion of some most re- of the interposition of the commander in speciable officers,whom he had consulted, chief; next the petitioner complains that
he was not allowed leave of absence when them, that the House ought not to consent required. But was it not surprising, that to the production of the papers moved for, an officer who had been 14 years in the by his hon. friend. When the question army, should make that a ground of com- for bringing up the petition was debated plaint, or was the idea to be sanctioned, as it had been, he left the House under a that that which was merely matter of conviction that if the House would permit courtesy, should be claimed as a matter of its being brought up, they would not right? Was it possible that any gentle agree to its lying upon the table; in that man acquainted with the conduct of the expectation, however, he was disappointarmy, or competent to judge of the prin- ed, and he must say, that the House in ciples upon which it ought to be governed, allowing a petition of that nature to lie would plead for the propriety of interfer- upon the table, had taken a step inconing with the discretion of any military sistent with the strict line of their duly. commander, upon a question of this na. He thought it altogether a new doctrine ture? The next ground of the petitioner's that this House was bound to interfere ia complaint was, that he was left at home, questions of military government between when his regiment was sent to Spain. But the army and the executive: he warned was it not according to the established the House to beware of any proceeding practice of the army upon such an occa- that could possibly admit the construcsion to commit the depôt for recruits at tion of any attempt on their part to wrest home to the care of some old and expe- from the executive that power, which rienced officer, who was, of course, to be constitutionally and properly belongs to selected by the colonel ? Of this appoint- it; nothing would tend more effectually ment, however, captain Foskett com- to relax that discipline that was so essenplained, and in consequence another offi- tial to the army, as the wresting from cer was appointed in his place and he commanders in chief all discretion whatwas to have gone to Spain, if the regiment ever : however beautiful the theory, that had not been ordered home. Thus then promotion should be regulated by senioriit appeared, that every complaint put iy, nothing would be found more illforth by the petitioner had been redressed, judged in practice than a strict and unsave that only which related to the con qualified adherence to such a rule. Even duct of the commander in chief, particu- admitting the alleged breach of the artilarly in the promotion of another officer, eles of war; still, he contended, that that to which promotion the papers moved for was no ground for that House assuming could have no reference. With that pro- to itself the right of judging and determotion, however, he presumed the House mining upon such a charge; as the party would ever be cautious of meddling, for it aggrieved had another quarter to apply rested upon a principle essential to the to for remedy and redress. With respect encouragement of merit, namely, that of to the duke of Cumberland, he thought promoting merit wherever it was to be him placed in a situation unprecedentedly found, even though it was not recom- severe, in consequence of the House agreemended by seniority of standing in the ing to receive the petition in question, army. He trusted, indeed, that the House because there remained upon their jourwould pause before it attempted to internals a record of grievances imputed to bis fere with the allowed exercise of the com- royal highness, which the House refusing mander in chief's discretion upon such a to go further into, must leave uncontrasubject. For it could never be deemed dicted on their journals. He should rote discreet, or at all admissible, that that against the motion. House should be made the tribunal of ap- Mr. H. Martin thought that now the peal for any officer who thought himself House had received the petition, they entitled to promotion, or that complaints were bound in common justice to the peshould be encouraged against that autho- titioner, to give him every opporiunity to rity in which, according to the long-es- substantiate the allegations contained in his tablished practice of the army, the right petition. of disposing of such promotion was vested. General Craufurd contended, that dan
Mr. Abercromby, though he could not gerous effects were to be apprehended concur in the sophistical arguments re- from the interposition of the House in a sorted to by the right hon. gent. who last question of the nature of that before them. spoke, yet concurred with him in the jast. With respect to the papers moved for. ness of one of the conclusions drawn from they were acknowledged to be not neces!
sary to make out the case of the petitioner. | pistol went off
, and this was insisted upon Here then the chief, if not the only reason as a shot, and he was obliged to stand as a for their production, had been given up ; log of wood to be fired at with hair triggers and it would be found, that the more the in aduel! Now, he (gen. Craufurd) thought, proceedings in this business assumed a that the second who permitted the setting detailed form, the more inconvenient and of hair triggers in a duel, deserved to be objectionable they would be. This, how- hanged upon the spot. And yet the man ever, he would say, that the defence of who had seconded in that duel complained the duke of Cumberland could be rested, of being barred of promotion. Had such without any apprehension of the result, a thing happened in bis regiment, he upon an ample admission of the facts them. would have broaght the officer 10 a courtselves. Here the gallant officer went into martial, and have rejoiced at his been caa detail of the grievances ailedged to have shiered for the same offence.
With rebeen suffered by captain Foskett, and spect to the charge of blasting the future proceeded to argue, that, upon the peti- prospects of capt. Foskett, he denied that tioner's own shewing, they were nugatory that could have been the intertion or the and groundless. With respect to the wish of either the commander in chief or charge of obstructing the promotion of the duke of Cumberland, as capt. Foskett captain Foskett, he denied, in the first in- had been offered a majority in another stance, that seniority of standing invaria- regiment. As to the exchange, where such bly gave right of promotion ; it gave a a circumstance happened between two claim, the strength of which, however, officers of different regiments with the might be either confirmed or destroyed approbation of their commanding officers, by the merits of the individual, of those the juniors in each hud oo ground for commerits the commanding officer of the re- plaint, for they remained as they were. giment was to judge. This discretion He justified the conduct of the commander could not be withheld without doing in- in chief in not laying the memorial before calculable mischief to the army; this then the King; first, because he had no griebrought the question to the justice of cap- vances to state, and next, that if he had, tain Foskett's military pretensions. Col. he had also a discretion to judge of the neSeymour had given his royal highness the cessity of laying them before his Majesty. duke of Cumberland his opinion of those Another fact he was anxious to state was pretensions, and this opinion was not a fa. this, that the commander in chief had ofvourable one ; captain Foskett had not fered captain Foskeit a majority in a rediscovered much knowledge of his pro- giment ihen serving in Portugal
, his anfession in the discipline and conduct of his swer was, that he sought for redress and troops. He was not considered as a good not for promotion : this was the answer cavalry officer. Col. Grant, than whom of a man complaining of his baving been no man was a better or more candid judge, debarred from the service of his King and had declared that capt. Foskett's troop was country, and professing his earnest anxiety in so bad a state of discipline, that it would for such service. He did not believe that be necessary to break it up : this was the there was another officer in the army who opinion of col. Grant, one of the best would have given such an answer to such field officers in England, or perhaps in an offer. He concluded with expressing Europe: There were upon the same ground his conviction, that capt. Fuskert had been objections to the propriety of letting capt. treated by the duke and the commander Foskett go out to Spain. Another serious in chief with unprecedented Jenity, forground of complaint was, the duel; the bearance, and moderation. circumstances of which he deemed atro- Mr. J. W. Wurd thought the speech of cious. The eldest captain in the regiment the gallant officer as far as it went rather (captain Foskett) went out as a second to an argument for the production of the a junior officer, a boy of 19 years of age papers than against it. · He, however, in a duel, between him and another boy | agreed, that the House could not be 100 about 17, the cornet and lieutenant; they cautious in interfering in cases of that fire three shots each, and then after having kind. He at the same time thought, that done so without effect, an agreement is the case of capt. Foskett was one of very made that they should advance towards considerable bardship, and one that reeach other a pace each shot; in the next flected any thing but honour on the illusfire, lieut. Wallace (he believed) was in trious personage concernedl; nor had that the act of setting a hair trigger, when his hardship been lessined by the sort of VOL. Xyl.
speech that had been delivered by the chief make a report to his Majesty, any gallant officer. (Hear !) Individual griev- officer of inferior rank could have his injuances, however, must fall before the para. ries redressed? mount plea of the public interests. If General Phipps observed, that as capt
. they heard this coinplaint, they would Foskett had been offered promotion in have 50 similar ones preferred to them, another regiment, no injury had been sus. and they should get another House of tained by him, and consequently the Commons to doibe business of the country, charges against his royal highness were while they would be engrossed in military unfounded. inquisitions ; besides, he thought, the Mr. Whilbread observed, in reply to the practice would have the effect, by fre- assertion, that since the duke of Cumber: quent interference, of considerably relax. land had the command of the 15th regiing the discipline of the army, by holding ment, the intliction of punishment had out inducements to discontent; for these considerably diminished, that he had also reasons he must, with great reluctance, made his inquiry, and the result was, tha: vote against the motion.
there was no such diminution of punishe Sir J. Pulteney insisted, that the case of ments, but, on the contrary, they had inthe petitioner was not a case of hardship, creased, and, until very lately, the prace because nothing had happened which was tice of picquetting, a practice wholly disnot consistent with the rules and practice continued in the service, was carried into of the army. If the feelings of the royal effect in that regiment. The hon. general person alluded to were to be consulted, he (Craufurd) had thought proper, in vindiwas sure that he would wish the papers to cating the conduct of the duke of Cum be produced; though, for himself, he berland, to indulge in the strongest asper could see no benefit that could result froin sions against capt. Foskett. He charged their production. It had been asserted that officer with conduct, which not alone by an hon. member (sir F. Burdett) last affected his character as an officer, and as session, that there had been a greater a man of sense, but as a gentleman. The number of punishments in the 15th dra- gallant general said, that capt. Fosketuhad goons since the duke of Cumberland had no grievance to complain of; that his owo the regiment than before. He had disbe- actions were the causes of the impedilieved it at the time, though not acquainted ments to his promotion; and that in ter with the facts, but on inquiry since, he spect to the promotion that was denied had found that the punishments were him, and his detention at home when his fewer since his royal highness has had the regiment were in Spain, they were both regiment than before.
attributable—the first to his being reportMr. W. Smith thought it rather unfortu- ed a bad officer, who had been guilty of nate that the House bad entertained this atrocious conduct; and the last to the inquestion, because blame must be imputed effective state of his troop. After sach to one or other of the parties. By the aspersions cast upon that officer
, would it conduct observed towards capt. Foskett, it not be an act of crying injustice to refuse was not only the individual but every the papers for which the hon mover bad junior officer of the corps (men who must called? If it was in the power of the galo be taken to be unquestionably innocent lant general to prove his statements, what and honourable), whose promotion was objection could he have to the production stopped. He agreed, however, wiib his of the whole of the evidence? But if the friend behind him (Mr. Ward) that much gallant general thought that papers should inconvenience would result from enter- be refused, why, in God's name, did he taining a question of this kind. lle did enter so uncalled for, and unnecessarily
, not, nevertheless, mean to say, that no into an attack upon the eharacter of capt
. case of this nature should be brought be- Foskett, at the very moment that he de fore the House. This gentleman com- clared his intention of opposing that moplained not of any one act, but of a series tion, which went to afford that officer the of injuries, any one of which might not opportunity of proving the truth of those amount to a serious injury per se, but all allegations of systematic oppression which of which having successively happened, be had brought against the royal duke shewed the unimus with which capt. Fos. Suppose that gallant general had been as kett had been treated. He wished to sailed, unjustly
assailed as it would be, fot know how, if no court martial should be any part of his conduct when with the ala granted to him, nor the commander in lied army, suppose that not only bis pro