Slike strani


course to the unconstitutional mode of troduced, to do away the salutary provie raising inoney he had adopted, appeared sion of the act of William and Mary. most extraordinary. He had had votes This was a mode of raising money contrary of credit of more than double the amount to the principles of the constitution, and of any former grant. Under such cir- in this way more money had been raised cumstances the House ought to be more by the present minister, than ever had careful ; for the more they granted him been by any other minister before the expenditure of which they could Last year, a loan of unusual magnitude see nothing but failure, the more rigid was voted. In September, the chancellor should their examination be. There was of the exchequer entered into a negotiaanother forcible objection against the tion, which, in any mercantile house, conduct of the minister in raising money would have been considered as an act of in the course of the present war. bankruptcy. In October he was obliged Money advanced to government by the to meet parliament for a new loan; and bank might undoubtedly receive a par- in February a vote of credit was demandliamentary sanction; it was, nevertheless, ed to pay off part of the arrears. a mode of raising money which had, from maintained, that 14,500,0001. would be time to time, been limited by the consti- left unprovided for at the end of the tutional jealousy of parliament. When year. parliament recognized the establislıment These things, however important, were of the bank, they did so upon principles not so material as many other points of public utility. No maxim was better which would arise out of the examination understood in that House than this: of the subject. When the House voted “ That no advance shall be made to go- money, they naturally expected it to be vernment by the bank in anticipation of applied to the purposes for which it was the revenue.' The caution was good, it specifically voted. Here the case was, was wise; it tended to prevent the over- reversed ; money was voted and not apgrowing power of a minister, by furnish- plied to purposes in the contemplation by ing him with money without the know- parliament, in violation of the provisions ledge and against the consent of parlia- of an act of parliament. This formed a ment. This was not a maxim merely, it serious charge against the chancellor of was expressly provided for by an act of the exchequer. The disposition paper parliament, and that for a double pur. did not give the House such an account pose; first, to prevent the minister from as they could depend upon. The money, having a command of money without the for instance, for the pay and clothing consent of parliament; secondly, that a of the militia, which had been voted, and sufficiency of money might always re. which ought to have been issued at Midmain in the bank, to answer the purposes summer, 1794, had not been issued yet. of those commercial dealings for the sake Money to an enormous amount had been of which the bank was instituted. No advanced by agents to government. He man had ever infringed these salutary understood also, that money was due to provisions so much as the right hon. geri- officers on the staff

, and a great part of it tleman. He seriously believed that this was owing to them for duty on the contiwas the great cause of the inability of the nent. These arrears ought to be inquired bank to assist the commercial credit of into, as well as the cause of them.-- What, the country, in their usual manner. On then, would be the situation of the counthe 31st of December, 1795, they were in try, even supposing us to obtain peace advance to government 11,613,0001., and immediately? With our present debt, also upon two votes of credit. Certainly our peace establishment could not possithe money was not advanced without the bly be less than 22 millions a year. Our authority of parliament. The sums he present income, allowing it in every had stated were advanced on bills of ex. branch to answer its estimate, could not change from the treasury, authorized by possibly be more than 19,500,0001., and a late act of parliament. This practice therefore, supposing our debt not to inwas never permitted before the 5th or 6th crease another shilling, we should have to of William and Mary, nor since, until the provide annually by taxes 2,500,0001. late act. To the astonishment of the more than we pay already. Let gentlewhole world, however, when a bill upon men reflect upon this, and then, if they a vote of credit came to be passed through could, refuse to inquire into the state of that House, a clause surreptitiously in our finances. It was easy to say that the wolf was not at our door yet; the wolf | quiry, unless on strong and very substan. must, however, come at last. An end tial grounds. Such grounds had not now there must inevitably be to our resources. been proved, and that such did not exist, He entreated the House to look at the he trusted he should be able to show. pressure which was at this time felt by The general accusation was against the their constituents, and the still greater conduct of ministers in the present war: pressure which they unavoidably must its extent was said not to be so great as feel. He called upon the independent that of other wars, though the expenses country gentlemen to vote for the inquiry. attending it were far more considerable. The great danger they had to dread was, But every war had been more expensive the overgrowing influence of a minister, than the war preceding it ; and according whose conduct was hostile to the princi- to the wealth, extent, and prosperity of ples of our constitution, and which influ- the nation, the increase of expenses in ence it was the duty of that House to succeeding wars was inevitable. An imdestroy :

partial survey of the nature of the con“Non Hydra secto corpore firmior test we were engaged in, would amply Vinci dolentem crevit in Herculem."

prove that the expenses incurred by its It was a monster, which if that House operations were such as need not dread did not destroy, would assuredly destroy the charge of prodigality. The expenses the country. He called upon the House attending the prosecution of a war, should to exercise its most valuable function, the be estimated by the private expenses to inquisitorial power of the Commons of which, at certain times, every family was Great Britain, and concluded with mov- exposed. If at present every article of ing, “ That this House will resolve itself provisions cost nearly double their forinto a Committee of the whole House, to mer price to individuals, must they not consider of the State of the Nation." be proportionably expensive to govern.

Mr. Jenkinson said, that it was pecu- ment? If the exertions of the enemy liarly the province of that House to keep a were great, and the means they employed jealous and watchful eye on the state of mighty, must not a proportionate scale the finances, and on the mode in which of expense be adopted by those who opthey were conducted, and the services to posed them? The enemy with which we which the supplies ought to be appro. had to contend, had sacrificed the whole priated, no man would deny. The House of its commerce, and spent five-sixths of possessed a legislative, and an inquisito- its specie to carry on the war. If the rial power; and to the latter belonged war was just and necessary, and that it a control over the management of the was he would ever avow, he did not see public purse. These two capacities im- why the expense attending it should be plicated two duties opposite in their na. deemed a sufficient ground for instituting ture, and which should be exercised when the inquiry called for. The present state adequate occasions called for their inter- of the country was to be judged of by ference. In no administration, however the state of our revenue and commerce. wise and perfect it might be esteemed, In every other war, the new taxes always should a blind and implicit confidence be failed to produce the full amount at reposed; but a certain degree of confi- which they were stated : and the old dence was due to every administration, taxes particularly fell off from their ac. as long as their conduct betrayed nothing customed produce. On an average of that justified suspicion. If suspicions the three years before the war, and the should arise, and those suspicions appear- first three years of the war, the difference ed to stand on strong and substantial between the permanent taxes was only ground, then, indeed, it would be crimi. 246,0001. and the new taxes were at least nal in parliament not to grant an inquiry, equal every year to what they had been such as was that night proposed; it

, on stated. The commerce of the country the contrary, the grounds adduced for was in a state still more satisfactory. The that investigation were equally trivial and average of the exports during the three unfounded with those urged in the pre


years of peace, was 22,585,3321. The sent case, it was the duty of parliament average of the last three years of the to resist it.

present war, was 24,453,3381. So that On the first glance at the present cir. the exports of the war exceeded those of cumstances of the country, many objec- the peace, annually, 1,868,0001.— The tions must arise against instituting an in- next topic was the mode taken to borrow money to defray the necessary expenses , try would be amply repaid by the crippled of the war, and here it was natural to ex. state of the French navy.-It was true, pect, that in proportion to the magnitude there was a large unfunded debt ; that, of the sums borrowed, the interest must however, was provided for in the ways increase, yet even in this particular the and means of the year. If the war was money had been borrowed during this confined to one point, then it would be war, at an advantage of 1} per cent. in practicable to present clear and satisfacfavour of the country, when compared tory estimates ; but as we had never been with the loans made during the American engaged in a war which was carried on war. The hon. member had adverted to in so many different quarters, it was imformer times as a reason why the House possible to frame estimates more satisfacshould agree to his motion for a commit- tory. The hon. member had adverted tee of inquiry; but he had not given the to the erection of barracks ; as if that was chancellor of the exchequer any credit a subject to which parliament was a for the plan he pursued, for appropriating stranger. It would, however, be recolthe annual million towards the sinking lected, that the account of the annual exfund. The present war he must ever pense for the last five years had been conconsider as one on which depended the stantly laid on the table. The system liberty of the subject, and the very exist was one which parliament had conceived ence of the constitution. Considering to be prudent and wise; and of course the present contest as such, posterity the House must have been prepared for could not, in justice, exclaim against the the estimates on which the hon. member burthens which they would have to de- had so much enlarged. The hon. gentlefray; for the war was entered into and man had asked, what had been gained by continued, not more for the purpose of the war, and why it was carried on? It preserving ourselves, than for handing was carried on for national objects; and, down to future generations, our constitu- as a naval war, we had gained great action unimpaired, and our liberties invio- quisitions. Did the hon. gentleman conlate. The next question was, how far sider the skill and valour displayed in the the exertions of ministers had been pro- war as nothing? Did he hold our acquiportioned to their expenses. Let gentle- sitions in the East Indies, the Cape of men look at the number of men this Good Hope, the Dutch settlements, the country had brought into the field, and post of St. Domingo, the island of Marthe number of ships put into commis- tinique (which marshall Bouille prosion, and the charge of improvidence nounced to be the key of the West India against government must vanish. During islands), and Corsica, as nothing? He the American war there were 314 ships defied any gentleman to show that there in commission; at present there were ever had been a more glorious and suc368. The number of men in the army . cessful war. Mr. Jenkinson said, he had increased in the same proportion heard constantly of the parliamentary We had a much larger force employed jealousy in the reigns of George 1st and than on any former occasion, and it par. 2nd. but he kuew nothing of it. History took, from the nature of the contest, as taught him that a larger share of confi. much of a continental as it did of a ma- dence had been given to ministers in ritime war. Reason dictated to us, that those reigns than in any other, when a when at war with France, to engage the million and a half had been used for secontinental powers in our favour was cret service money for ten years, and no politic. He therefore maintained, that proceedings passed upon it; and afterthere was no prodigality in subsidies. wards, when parliament required an acThe Austrian loan had been called im- count of the expenditure of the secret politic; and some gentlemen had gone service money, the minister advised the so far as to say that a subsidy would have king to refuse it. It was impossible for been better ; but those opinions had al-him fairly to examine the whole of the ready been found groundless, the interest hon. gentleman's arguments; but he had been punctually paid ; and the gua. would maintain, that for the last twelve rantee of this country for the sum was years this country had enjoyed more ponot impolitic. What was the consequence litical liberty than at any former period, of that loan? It had diverted the atten. and that the people had had a larger tion of the enemy from its marine ; and share in the constitution. Upon these even if it was never liquidated, this coun- grounds, he would negative the motion. [VOL. XXXII.)

[3 N]


Mr. Curwen said, he had listened at- it could be procured. He did not think tentively to the hon. gentleman's speech, it was by gentlemen opposite pestering and could have wished to have heard ministers with repeated motions every him justify, upon fair grounds, that sys- week, that peace could be obtained. He tem, so ably reprobated by his hon. friend. was therefore for the war, and would not When the conduct of France was selected enter into the consideration whether the as the fit object of continual abuse, it be- loan was a favourable one or not. He came a fair question for that House to disapproved of the motion. If the situaconsider, whether we had made those ex- tion of the country was critical, there ertions which we had the means of doing, was the more danger from public invesand whether the accounts on the table tigations. The debates got abroad, and were fairly and properly made out? if they were known in France, might reWhat could a member of parliament say tard negotiation. It was not our business to his constituents, after having imposed to confess our poverty if we were poor, additional burthens upon them, without nor to spoil our own trade by crying being able to tell how the money voted stinking fish. was applied ? Such was their situation at Mr. Steele said, that the hon. mover present ; and, if no inquiry was granted, was justified in asserting, that the exthey might come back and find the bur- penses of the public services had of late thens doubled. During the American years exceeded the estimates; but the war, it had been thought necessary to in- amount was not equal to his statement. stitute committees of inquiry, because The navy estimates in the three years of the expenses of the war were deemed to the had

amounted to about be improvident and misapplied. If that 15,000,0001. the debt during the same was the case when the amount was only period had increased somewhat more than nine millions, what could justify resisting 13,000,000!. but this debt could not inquiry now, when the amount was more fairly be stated to have been incurred than double that sum? As to the boasted without the sanction of parliament. It acquisitions, he considered most of them, had been the practice, from the Revoluif not all, as misfortunes. He rather tion to the present time, to vote the sum wished that some system could be pursued of 4l. per man per month, according to that would keep us rid of colonization, the number of seamen to be employed ; which tended to weaken the country. this allowance, had not, for some years, He denied that continental wars had ever been found equal to the expenditure, even been useful to this country. He was in time of peace. The great causes of pointedly severe on the erection of bar- the excess in time of war were the high racks. Should ministers persist in the price of provisions, the price of naval line of conduct they had pursued, they stores, and the expense of transports. would compel the people to speak for After the first year of the war, therefore, themselves, not from any love of French his right hon. friend, on opening the principles, but from the burthens, cala- budget, had found it his duty to state the mities, and distresses of a ruinous and debt he had incurred in consequence of expensive war. If all inquiry was to be this excess, and the means which he had resisted, it was of no consequence for provided for discharging it; and the the representatives of the people to call House, by its proceedings upon the statethemselves such, or to remain there; ments of his right hon. friend, had given perhaps they might do better to retire. an indemnification and sanction for what

Mr. M. Montagu said, that war was he had done. His right hon. friend had always attended with unforeseen ex- provided for the discharge of the whole penses ; but it was not optional with mi- of this 13,000,0001. of navy debt, except nisters whether those expenses were large one million and a half. On the opening or small. He thought much praise was of the budget in the present session, his due to them for the manner in which they right hon. friend had informed the House had provided for the exigencies of the that the navy debt bad increased war. By a continuance of their exer- 1,500,0001. which remained to be provided tions, the French must at last be brought for, and the House acted upon it. After to their senses.

that information, he could not imagine Sir G. P. Turner lamented the ex- his right hon. friend had proceeded withpense of the war, and was very desirous out the authority of parliament. - The for peace, but confessed he knew not how hon. gentleman had stated the estimates

Noes Mr. Steele

of the army at 17,600,0001. which was these grounds he objected to the motion. provided for by the funded debt; and the The House divided : extraordinary expenses, or unfunded debt,

Tellers. incurred during the last three years for the army, he calculated at 9,000,0001., to Yeas {Mr. Christian Curwen

} 45 which he added the votes of credit, making in all 14,000,0001. and upwards of un

Mr. Jenkinson

207 funded debt for the army, unauthorized by parliament. This, however, was not So it pased in the negative. the true state of the case ; for the vote of credit had received the sanction of par- Motion for Anatomizing the Bodies of liament. From the sum of 9,000,0001. Felons executed for Burglary or Highway ought also to be deducted one million and Robbery.] March 11. Mr. Joddrell rose, an half, arising from the repayment of a pursuant to notice, to move for leave to large sum which had been advanced to bring in a bill to increase the punishment general Clerfait, and from savings on the inflicted by law in cases of burglary and grants for the years 1794 and 1795, which highway robbery. Those crimes, he said, having been applied towards payment of had of late obviously increased to an of the extraordinaries, reduced the real alarming degree, and consequently, it beamount of those extraordinaries to came a duty of the legislature to take 7,500,0001.-Comparing the 7,500,0001. some means to check this growing evil. therefore, with the unfunded debt left to In the plan which he should submit to the be provided for at the end of every House for that purpose, he had taken the former war, he stated it at his belief that act of the 25th Geo. 2nd, cap. 37, for his we had expended less in extraordinary model. The House would recollect, that expenses than in any former war. It had the object of that act was more effectually been next contended, that there was a to prevent the horrid crime of murder. direct violation of the law of appropriation. The principal provisions in that act were, If his right hon. friend had violated the that the person convicted should be exeappropriation act, he had done no more cuted the next day but one after his conthan his predecessors had done before viction, except that should happen to be him. By that act, certain sums were to Sunday, and, in that case, on the Monday be estimated and provided for under such following, and, that after execution, the and such heads : but there had always body of the criminal should be given for been certain expenses incurred, which dissection. The first part of this act, ministers had not been able to lay under viz. that which ordains a speedy execuany head of estimates, which were after- tion, he did not think necessary to adopt wards brought' before parliament, under in the bill which he should propose to the the head of extraordinary expenses, and House; because, though he wished to as they had always been justified and ap- increase the punishment in cases of burproved by parliament, he did not see that glary and highway robbery, yet he wished any blame could attach to his right hon. to preserve a discriminating line between friend. By the loan of the present year them and murder ; but the next clause, provision was made for the repayment of viz. that which enacts that the body shall 2,600,0001. to the army service of the be given to the surgeons for dissection, year 1795. This sum had been already appeared to him to be one which might, voted by parliament, and repaid to the with great propriety, be applied in the army, and with the addition of the far- two crimes to which he had alluded. By ther extraordinaries that remained to be another clause in the 25th Geo. 2nd, the voted, he pledged himself there would be person convicted of murder was to be money more than sufficient to pay the kept from the time of conviction till exe. whole of the army, and not to leave six-cution, upon bread and water. This was pence in arrear.-It had been urged, that a severity which he did not see the neces. the vote of credit had been misap- sity of adopting; for nothing could be plied, and that it was voted to answer any further from his principles than to introunforeseen demands during the recess. duce more severity than the urgent necesThis he denied. The estimates and the sity of the case called for. The regula. vote of credit had made but one purse, tion he suggested was not unknown to and both were made use of indiscrimi- the law, as -a statute of Henry 8th ennately for the public service. Upon acted, that the bodies of felons executed

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