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scribed to be. His estate in Essex had been granted to his anoestors by Henry VII. He repeated the girection, was 4001. a year a compensation ? He had been told, thai the proprietors of the Grand Junction Canal thought it nee cessary to go through Lord Essex's park at Cashiobury. The canal was rather an improveinent to the park, and yet if he had had a fourth of the sum per acre allotted to him by government, that was paid to Lord Essex by the Grand Junction Canal company, he should have been more amply remunerated than he was. It was here that when he met the commissioners of military inquiry that morning, they had asked him why he felt hurt, and had disclaimed any intention on their part of imputing to him dishonourable conduct; but this was not enough ; he intreated that they would consent to have a fresh jury impannelled; he was ready to answer any questions; to give any explanation either at the bar of the House of Commons, or in a court of law, or in a court of justice, or wherever they might be demanded. The honourable baronet concluded by moving, that there be laid on the table of the House, a copy of the memorial presented to the commissioners of military inquiry by Sir 11. P. Mildmay, bart.
Mr. Sturges Bourne seconded the motion. Although he shared in the calumny with the honourable baronet, it had less effect on him, as the agitation which the House had just witnessed in the honourable baronet's manner of addressing them evinced. He was astonished at the kind of insinnation made by a noble lord opposite, the other evening, who had looked at the report in the newspapers instead of the report itself, that he was reported against as well as the honourable baronet, when the fact was, that in the whole report his name appeared but once, and then at the bottom of the letter which was contained in a note. We have been told that the age of misrepresentation and insinuation was past; if so, he was peculiarly unfortunate, for, during the last three weeks, no man had suffered more, both by misrepresentation and insinuation. It had been the practice also, a practice which, for the sake of others, he hoped would be discontinued, to ground public slander on private friendship. The honourable baronet had told the House that he (Mr. Sturges Bourne) had never any comection, directly or indirectly, with the transaction now before them. At the time wben it took
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place he was closely pursuing his profession at the bar, and of the details of the transaction he was totally igno, rant, until he saw them in the repori of the military commis-ioners. Nevertheless, under these circumstances, he had been charged with assisting the honourable baronet in obtaining exorbitant terms from the public, and also, with having authorised the laying out of 6501. in repairs, when only 2501. were warranted. On this, as on every other subject, he trusted, that he should always be ready to give a full account to the public. The whole of the transaction originated in the administration which preced, ed Mr. Pitt's. The first he knew of it was in February 1805. The barrack-master-general then applied to the treasury, to enable him to execute the lease. This appliçation was accompanied by a letter from the quarter-master-general, containing a recommendation from his royal highness the commander in chief. The object of the bar. rack-master-general's application was not to consult as to the policy of the agreement; it had no connection with the repairs, but it was merely to obtain the sanction of the treasury to execute the lease at the annual sum of 6431. without which sanction bis accounts could not be passed.' It fell to his lot, as secretary of the exchequer, to commu. nicate the sanction of the treasury to the barrack-mastergeneral ; And the charge against him now was, that he bad authorised the application of 6301, for repairs, instead of 2501. Although he by no means meant to say that he had been in the habit of sigoing letters without reading them, yet in an office, where so many letters were written, and amidst the bury of business, it was not very difficult to overlook inaccuracies which were unsuspected. On this subject he might refer to the experience of the noble lord ; it certainly did happen in the case of the letter which he had mentioned, that by a misrecital of the barrack-master-general's application an allusion was made to the repairs which ought not to have been made, and which caused an ambiguity of expression : this was “ the head and front of his offending." "He therefore left to the House to judge of the fairness, of the charity, of the justice of the way in which he had been treated. The noble lord opposite, when in the treasury, must have had ample opportunities of ascertaining the mode in which he had con. ducted himself. He called upon him to declare, if he had discovered the slightest trace of his (Mr. S. Bourne's)
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using his official situation, for the purpose of procuring the remotest advantage, either to himself, or to his connections. As to the foul slander that had been vented against him, he would much rather be the object of it than the author of it.
Lord Temple observed, that the statement respecting the transaction in which the honourable baronet was concerned, had been long before the House. The honourable baronet had that night made his statement, and move ed for a memorial which he had laid before the commissioners of the treasury, which, he supposed, contained all that the honourable baronet had stated in his speech. He must say, therefore, that in justice to the honourable baronet, they should wait till they should have that memorial before them, with the report, before they should make any further observation on the subject.
Mr. Martin considered the bargain as highly advantageous to the honourable baronet, and ruinous for the public, and therefore contended, that the matter should be inquired into. It appeared to him also objectionable, that the honourable baronet, in justifying himself, seemed to impute blame to the military commissioners. He did not mean to say, that the honourable baronet intended to · do so; but the consequence that would follow from his statement was, that the commissioners did not understand the transaction. The compensation of 13501, awarded by the jury for the first year for thirty acres, amounted to the fee-sim; le value of the land. The honourable gentleman made some further observations on the terms of the bargain, and contended that the matter should be inquired into. It was desirable, particularly at this moment, to shew that the reports of these commissioners were deserving of credit, when they had made so small a progress in the subjects they had to investigate. - He knew the commissioners to be men of as much honesty, integrity, and prin. ciple, as'any gentlemen in that House, and was sure they had no intention to make any unfavourable report against the honourable baronet. When the matter should again be brought before the House, he hoped the honourable barunet would be prepared to explain, why no person had attended on tbe part of the crown, to take care of the inte . rests of the public. He was much misinformed, or it was. the duty of the person who was counsel to the board of ordnance, to attend under the defence act, upon such oc
casions, if directed. This explanation would relieve bis mind from a suspicion, not of the honourable baronet, but of uie negligence of the public boards.
Mr. Secretary Canning declared, that in the discussion of a question of this nature, nothing could be so gratify-. ing as the candour of the learned gentleman. If the learned gentleman felt that the calumny publicly vented against his honourable friend was refuted by his satisfactory statement, that was a sentiment which he felt in com-mon with every other gentleman who had heard it. So far as the honourable baronet was concerned, the learned gentleman had admitted that he stood acquitted of every imputation or charge. But as to the further inquiry which he supposed was to be instituted by his honourable friend, he had not made any such declaration. When the papers should be before the House, it would then be competent to that learned gentleman or any other, to move for such inquiry, if they thought it necessary. Every gentleman ot, liberal feelings must reprobate the unauthorised calumnies which were circulated upon this subject. But his honourable friends near him, appeared to him to have given too much body and consideration to those out-of-door calumnies, until they received stamp and currency by their adoption by two noble lords opposite in that House. It was this that his honourable friends had felt themselves called upon to refute, and from this they had completely exonerated themselves. The learned member might be a very independent man,' but he seemed to leave altogetber out of sight the individual injury done to his honourable friend by the calumny. His honourable friends haying cleared themselves, not from the calumnies vented without doors, but from their adoption, it would be for any gentleman, wlio was not satisfied with their justification, to move for further inquiry. Nothing could be further from the intention of his honourable friend, than to throw any blame upon the commissioners, he having studiously avoided every thing that could be construed into an impua tation against them. He had professed a great regard for them, and represented them as having expressed their sur. prise, that he should suppose they meant to throw any blame upon him. His bonourable friend having acquitted himself of the charge made against him, there was no ground for the inference, that it would be necessary for
him to move for further inquiry, after the production of the memorial for which he had in this instance moved.
Mr. Martin explained.
Sir H. Mildmay disclaimed any the most distant idca of imputing the smallest blame to the commissioners.
Lord liowick should not follow the example of the right honourable gentleman, or adopt the discussion to which he had resorted. Whatever might be the feelings of gentlemen, there was no man who was anxious for the honour of the House, for the honour of persons of his own rank, or who was anxious that no man should lose any part of the reputation he enjoyed, that would not enter with considerable regret into a discussion, in which an individual was so personally concerned, as the honourable baronet was in the present question. But as the subject had been brought before the House, he, as an honest man, should state his opinion. He could wish to defer his opinion to another'opportunity, because he understood that the pa. pers moved for, contained the honourable baronet's justifi. cation. And here he must observe upon what had been said by the right honourable gentleman upon the course which, he said, had been pointed out by his learned friend, that as a paper had been moved for, an inquiry might be founded upon it; for the production of fresh documents, was the first step of a fresli inquiry. He had not, how: cver, understood his honourable friend to say, that the ho. nourable baronet was justified. In following the plain and manly course that became a member of that House, he should state in what he was, and in what he was not satisfied; he did not mean to say, that he might not hereafter be satisfied. In the first place, be did not blame him for rot replying to attacks in the newspapers. Ile had him. self, as much as any man, cause to complain of such ato. tacks, and every gentleman, who recollected the keen and cutting satire of the Antijacobin, must be sensible how far it was practicable to carry such attacks. , He could not blame a member of Parliament for disdaining to reply to any such attacks, except in his place in that House, when his character was concerned. As to the other bonourable gentleman, he had never imputed to him any thing more · than negligence, which might naturally be the consequence of a great multiplicity of business ; but he had satisfaction in saying, that so far as that gentleman was concerned, he was totally exculpated. He bad next a painful duty