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votes which would have been questioned ther from his intention than to find fault by the petitioner. Nothing was more dis- with the decision of that committee. He tant from his mind than to call in ques- might take upon himself, however, to tion, either the decision of the committee, state, that in consequence of the standing or any part of their proceedings; but he order of the house, the majority of that thought it extremely important, that the committee had found themselves placed standing order of the house, upon which in a very unpleasant situation. The prothe decision was founded, should be al- | gress of the business was this; a resolution tered, not merely by a resolution of the was passed by the house at the commencehouse, but by act of parliament. And, ment of every session, that when a petition as a specific ground on which he should was lodged against a sitting member, the afterwards move for leave to bring in a petitioner should call upon the sitting bill for this purpose, he now moved, That member to exchange lists of the votes the minutes of the proceedings of that against which he meant to object, 21 days committee should be laid upon the table before ihe triał of the election; and, vice of the house.
versa, that the same rule should be obThe Chancellor of the Exchequer was of served by the sitting member towards the opinion, that before the house acquiesced petitioner. Mr. Fuller, in the present inin the motion which had been now sub- stance, gave a written notice of his intenmitted to them, they should be put in pos- tion not to defend his seat, so the petitioner session of facts different from those with had not thought it necessary to comply which the hon. gent. had prefaced his mo- with this rule. Some of the electors, howtion. It was not usual for the house to ever, who had voted for Mr. Fuller, anagree to such a motion, except upon some nounced their intention of defending it for resolution of the election committee, or him. In consequence of this notice, a upon some report made by this committee motion had been made in the house for an to shew its propriety or necessity. With exchange of lists, which was negatived; respect to the decision of that committee, and on the debate which took place on he was certainly as averse from question this motion, the right hon. the chancellor ing its propriety as the hon. gent.; and if of the exchequer had opposed the motion, he were to deliver an opinion upon the on the ground that the committee would subject, he would say that they had acted not be bound by that decision of the right in paying attention to the resolution house, but would be left at liberty to cal of the house. Whether the standing order whateverevidence they might think proper, ought to be altered was another question, though on this evening he had given it as and one which might be discussed, whe- his opinion, that they did right in attendther the minutes of the committee were or ing to the resolution of the house. After were not before the house ; because, if a the committee met to decide upon oath on doubt existed, either respecting its proprie- the merits of the election, and when Mr. ty or interpretation, the proposed alteration Sergison's counsel tendered a list of 500 might take place, as well upon the exist- votes to which he meant to object, the ing doubt as upon the proceedings of a counsel for the other party objected that committee, in their application to the in the committee, by the standing order of dividual case. He was of opinion, that the the house, could not admit any evidence proceedings now moved for were not only upon the inadmissibility of these votes, unnecessary, but that their production because the lists had not been previously would be attended with considerable in- exchanged; and the committee, he beconvenience : because the debate which lieved from the most honourable momight afterwards take place upon them, tives, had sustained the objection. Under would then involve the propriety of the these circumstances, the committee had decision of the committee, which, agree only to choose between one of three deably to the spirit of the Grenville act, cisions": to declare the election void, ought in no case to be called in question. which they could not do because this
Mr. Tierney said, that as he had been a was not a prayer of the petition, or that member of the committee on the Sussex Mr. Sergison ought.to have been returned, election, he should shortly state to the which they could not do because his oppohouse the circumstances under which that nent, Mr. Fuller, had a majority upon the committee decided upon the merits of the poll; or to do what he believed they did petition ; and this statement he prefaced most conscientiously and sincerely, to dewith a declaration, that nothing was fur-cide that they felt themselves obliged to
declare Mr. Fuller duly elected because who was the subject of the motion, would they did not consider themselves at liberty, acquit him of any personal disrespect toconsistently with the order of the house, to wards him, and would believe the motion enter into an examination of the votes, to be directed, as it really was, and not against which Mr. Sergison meant to ob- against him, but against the office of chairject, and by overthrowing which he was man of the committee of ways and means. firmly convinced that he should be able When he had originally the honour to sugto establish his own election. Such were gest such a committee to the house, he the circumstances in which the committee pointed out the propriety of excluding all was placed: a situation which, he was persons holding places under government convinced, a majority of that committee from any share in its deliberations; and had felt to be a very unpleasant one: and accordingly, when it was nominated, and in these circumstances his hon. friend had it happened that a poble viscount, not now moved for the minutes of the proceedings in his place, was named as one, his appointof the committee, with a view to ground ment was afterwards done away, on this upon those proceedings an act of parlia- specific ground, that he held a sinecure in ment for the purpose of remedying a Ireland. The hon. inorer was aware it hardship which seemed to be felt on all might be argued, that the hon. gent. to sides, by enacting, that in future the lists whom he objected, was not appointed to the of objectionable votes between the peti- situation he held, by the government, but tioner and the sitting member shall be by the house. The motion which he had to peremptorily exchanged.
make, was so framed, as to acknowledge The Chancellor of the Erchequer explain this fact. But, surely, it must be allowed, ed, that when he said that the committee that the treasury bench designated and had done right in attending to the reso. marked out the person to fill that situation, lution of the house, he did not mean the who might be said to be under the patrodecision of the house with regard to an nage of the chancellor of the exchequer, exchange of lists in the present case, but The hon, member confessed that the chairthe standing order of the house regulating man of ways and means was elected by a their exchange to 21 days before the trial vote of the house, but still it could not be of the election.
denied, that he was proposed and supported Sir T. Turton allowed that there was a by the chancellor of the exchequer; and great hardship in the present case, which he wished, and the public had a right to ought to be prevented from recurring in expect, that the inembers of the Commitfuture, by an alteration in the law : but he tee of Finance should be like Cæsar's wife, objected to the present motion, as tending not pure merely, but unsuspected. If to call in question the decision of the com- persons once appointed members of a Committee, and thus to destroy the purity, of mitte of Finance, were not to be removed the Grenville act.
on account of any change in situation After some observations from earl Tem- which they might undergo, we might see ple, Mr. Graham, and Mr. Ponsonby, the before the termination of a parliament, 24 house divided upon Mr. Wynne's motion: or 25 men, who had been appointed memAyes, 29; Noes, 56; Majority, 27. bers of that committee because they held
[Finance COMMITTEE.) Mr. Biddulph no office nor place under government, all rose, agreeably to notice, to move that Rd. enjoying places or pensions before they Wharton, esq. having been elected chair- came to make their report. If these men man of the committees of
and means were to continue members of the commitand supply, be excused from giving his tee, it would be equally proper that placeattendance on the Committee of Finance, men should originally have been eligible; of which, previous to his appointment to or, indeed, that no committee had been apthe chair of the public committees of this pointed. . As to the office of chairman house, he had been a member, and that the of the committee of ways and means, he. name of John Williani Ward be inserted conceived it to be equally objectionable as · as a member of the Committee of Finance any other. He regarded it as being an in his place. The hon. gent. in allud- office so completely at the disposal of the cing to the appointment of Mr. Wharton to treasury bench, that the duties of it might .. the chair of the public committees, expres- well be discharged by any one of the
sed his confidence that there was no ma- members of that bench who had lớåst io nagement in that nomination; and also do; and if he found that the report of the expressed a hope that the hon, member Finance Committee, from its tone and
manner, warranted him in expecting any ment to office, a member vacated his seat support to the motion, he should once in the house, and consequently in a comcall the attention of the house to that sub- mittee? and that on his re-election (should ject. He could not suppose a man, hold- he be re-elected), the house had it in their ing such a place as this, could be a jealous power to reinstate him in the committee guardian of the public expenditure. On or not, as they thought proper? Inthe score of the duties he had to perform deed, there had been instances since as chairman of the committee of the house, the establishment of the Finance Comthe hon. member was satisfied, Mr. Wħar- mittee, of individuals who, having acton might well be excused from giving his cepted offices, had been sent back to attendance up stairs at the Committee of their constituents, and who had been Finance. He had never seen him there re-elected, but who had not been rebut once ; but he must be allowed to say, appointed members of the committee. that, in consequence of his attendance that He was far from being ready to admit, day, a report would be submitted to the that because his majesty thought proper house from that committee, different from to confer an office on any member of the what it would otherwise have been. The house, he ought therefore to be considered hon. gent. concluded by moving, - That as disqualified for any duty to which any Richard Wharton, esq. having been called other member of the house was competent. to the chair of the committee of ways and He denied that because a person was in means, be excused from giving further office, he must necessarily be distrusted. attendance on the Committee of Finance.” He did not know what were the hon. gent's
The Chancellor of the Exchequer had sup- views of public life ; but if he were desirposed that the hon. gent would have ad- ous of having the opportunity of discharg
. duced some precedent, or would have ing any great public duty with fidelity, made out some strong case, ere he had he did not think that he ought to fall in submitted to the house a motion which the estimation of the world were he to emsemed to cast no slight imputation on brace such an opportunity if it were afthe hon. gent. against whom it was di- forded him. Of this he was sure, that the rected, more especially when it was con- hon. gentlemen who surrounded him were nected with one of his last observations.not of that opinion, and that they thought By that observation it appeared, that aa man pursued the noblest road to fame by majority in the Committee of Finance had seeking it in public utility. He trusted, been recently occasioned by the presence therefore, that the house would not feel, of the chairman of the committee of ways that the duties of any committee would be and means, and that had not that circum- worse performed, because it included stance occurred, the hon. mover's atten- within it persons holding official situations. tion would not have been directed to the Still less could an objection apply to a subject. To him it appeared impossible, gentleman chosen by the house, in consewithout the establishment of some grave quence of his distinguished character and charge, to remove a member from a situa-talents, to fill the hon. situation of chairtion to which he had been chosen by the man of the committee of ways and means. house. The hon. gent. said he thought it was he on that account to be distrusted.? necessary to do this, because he imagined As well might the speaker of the house be the chairman of the committee of ways distrusted. Neither situation was the apand means was : an officer appointed by pointment of government. Both were in government. It was not so. He was ap- the election of the house; and to no genpointed by the house, who voted him tleman who filled either, could any disinto that situation. As to the recom- honourable imputation on that account mendation of his majesty's ministers, the with any thing like justice or plausibility hon. gent. might as well apply his rea- be attached. • -soning on thạt subject to any other act Mr. Whitbread agreed with the right
of the house. The hon. gent. fancied it hon. gent. in deprecating the idea that possible, that in a committee composed, every placeman must be a man of bad at the commencement of a session, of character. An office of trust, well and 25 members holding no official situa- faithfully executed, was unquestionably a tions, the whole, at the close of the post of honour.. It was only because ofsame session, might become possessed fices were not always faithfully executed of offices. But, was not the honourable that placemen grew into disrepute. As gentleman aware that by an appoint, to the allusion to his noble friend not now
in the house (lord H. Petty) it was not by offence to individuals. The motion of his his own request he had been nominated a hon. friend appeared to him to have been member of the Committee of Finance; framed with all possible delicacy. It was but that appointment had taken place not to expunge the name of Mr. Wharton specifically under the direction of the from the committee of finance, but that he chair. He never did attend, however, and should be at liberty to withdraw his name expressed his determination not to attend, from it. The right hon. gent. seemed to conscious as he was, that he was disquali- place great reliance upon the argument fied by the office he held from being a drawn from the elective power of the member of such a committee. He (Mr. W.) house ; but was there, he would ask, an had been a member of that committee; instance of any person who was proposed and he recollected a reason assigned for to fill the office of chairman of the comnot naming him on the renewed list was, mittee of ways and means, having been that he was at the time particularly occu- rejected by the house? He agreed that it pied with other matters, on the fate of was proper a portion of certain committees which he was sorry he could not congra- should be filled by persons in office; but tulate himself. He agreed, however, in this committee was of a very peculiar nathe justice of that observation, and thought ture, of a constitution entirely differing that independent of every other considera- from others. Its object was to promote tion, it was of itself a sufficient reason why public economy, and to effect reform. It the chairman of ways and means should was natural that a person in the right hon. also cease to be a member of it.
gent.'s situation should feel interested in Mr. H. Browne opposed the motion. the reports of this committee. In one of There was a narrow and vulgar prejudice these he believed he was very much so, against persons in place, which he did not for it was a report of that committee which wish to see encouraged. It was disparag- bad given rise to what was called in that ing to office, it was disparaging to the house the Reversion bill. He would adcountry. If the hon. gent. who was the mit that a person in the chair of the comobject of this motion, were to be removed mittee of ways and means might fill it as from the committee of finance, that com- uprightly and as ablý as possible, and yet mittee would lose one of its most valuable be a very improper person to be a memmembers. He was surprized that the ber of the committee of finance. Every hon. gent. should have mentioned what member of that committee should be so had occurred in the committee. With situated as to have no bias upon
his mind; respect to the transaction to which he had no wish, no inclination which could warp alluded, it was a question of small import- his judgment, or prevent him from an imance, on which the committee happened partial and conscientious discharge of his to be equally divided, and on which the duty. The right hon, gent. knew that a chairman of the committee of ways and person coming forward to give evidence in, means happened to be on one side rather a court of law, if interested in the event to than on the other.
the amount of half a crown, was precluded The Hon. J. W. Ward was anxious that from giving testimony in the cause. it should be distinctly understood, that Mr. Biddulple rose to correct a misconthis proposition was the spontaneous act of ception which seemed to prevait on the his hon. friend. He stated this merely, other side of the house. He did not, as it lest he should be suspected of having was said, bring forward this motion, bestimulated him to make a motion, the ulti- cause the hon. member who was the submate object of which was, to appoint him ject of it had outvoted him in the committo a situation, to the duties of which he tee of finance, but it was because that hon. félt himself incompetent. With respect member had scarcely ever attended that to the subject immediately before the committee. When he entered it, on the house, he could not be expected to offer occasion alluded to, he was so much a any opinion. He would only add, that if stranger, that the clerk applied to him to he had any influence with his hon. friend, know whether the hon. member belonged he would recommend to him to withdraw to the committee. It was in consequence his motion, or at least not to press it to a of this that he then took the résolution to division.
make the motion he now proposed.--He Mr. Ponsonby could not help expressing denied that he had pledged himself to his surprise that no motion could come move at the end of the session, that no refrom his side of the house without giving muneration should be given to the chairVol. X.
man of the committee of ways and means. Bankes, if no objection existed to the proIt was possible, however, if the report of ceeding, was anxious that the order for the committee of finance should turn out committing the Reversion bill, which was as he expected, that in another session he dropped yesterday in consequence of there might bring forward a motion to that ef- having been no house, should be taken up. fect. He had been catechized as to his to day, and that the bill should be comobject in making this motion. He would mitted. leave it to the house to say what his mo- Mr. Tierney said, he should be the last tives were, by stating what they were not. man to occasion any unnecessary delay in His object was not to march round the vul- the discussion of a subject that had excited gar circle by which men rose to power; to so much of the attention of the public, creep from popularity to place, and from but he did think, that in proportion to its place to apostacy. If the small talents he importance it should be entitled to a fair possessed should ever be thought worthy and adequate consideration. There were of being employed, they should be at the several gentlemen now absent who had public disposal; but it was upon this con- taken a particular interest in that measure, dition alone, that he did not participate and who, had they known that the discusin the public emolument in any shape sion would have come on to-day, would whatever.—The house then divided : For have attended in their places; they did the motion 21; Against it 70; Majority 49. not, however, think that it would have
(PetitioNS AGAINST THE ORDERS IN come on, nor had they any right to ex-, Council.] The house went into a com- pect it would, as it was the established mittee to consider further of the Petitions usage of that house, whenever an order against the Orders in Council.
had dropped, not to revive it without a Mr. Stephens proposed to adduce evidence specific notice. If this was a general rule, on two points : ist, To shew that the ex- it should hold particularly in a port trade from this country to the conti- such importance as the present. The bill nent was at a stand anterior to the passing in question had deservedly excited a great of the Orders in Council: 2d, That the portion of the public interest; and that trade of this country was greatly affected interest had not been lessened by the ruin the article of insurance, by the Berlin mours that had been so very prevalent, decree. On the first of these points, he perhaps unfounded, but not altogether disproposed to examine Mr. John Hall, a credited, that the great principle of the ship-broker. This gentleman was ac- bill would be compromised. cordingly called in. In the course of Mr. anxious, therefore, that the public should Hall's examination, a discussion took be satisfied that every advantage of a full, place on the propriety of a question pro- fair, and adequate discussion, had been afposed by Mr. Whitbread as to the authen- forded to the measure. He hoped that on ticity of the witnesses information, re- these grounds the hon. gent, would have specting certain ships, alleged to be neu- the goodness to let the order for going intrals, and sequestered by virtue of the to a committee stand for to-morrow, and Berlin decree. After some further obser- he was sure that his hon. friend near him tations from Messrs. Rose, Tierney, Mar- (Mr. Whitbread) would have no objection riott, the chancellor of the Exchequer, and to give way, by postponing his motion Mr. A. Baring, the witness was called in, that stood for to-morrow, to a future day. and in answer to Mr. Whitbread's
ques- The Chancellor of the Exchequer said, that tion, could only speak to his belief. The he was very far from being disposed to purport of his remaining evidence went to give any obstruction to the motion of his sheir the reality and extent of the injuries hon. friend; and could not conceive why sustained in the export trade to the conti- the right hon. gent. who had just sat down nent, in consequence of the Berlin and should think that there could not be as other decrees, prior to issuing the Orders full and as ample a discussion of the meaof Council.-Other witnesses were then sure, in so very full an attendance, as at a examined, and the house resumed, the future day. However, he did not wish to chairman reported progress, and obtained press the motion at present, since the right leave to sit again on Thursday.
hon. gent. seemed to think it would be
attended with so much inconvenience to HOUSE OF COMMONS.
his friends. He did entirely agree with Wednesday, April 6.
him, that the bill had excited a great por[OFFICES IN REVERSION BILL.] Mr. tion of the public attention ; for that rea