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“ to the utmost of my skill and dis- | the Mint, with all places, salaries, and fees “ cretion, and according to equity annexed to, or in anywise appertaining to “ and good conscience, between the the same, shall, from and after the “ public and such accountants as shall day of be abolished “ be brought before me; and that I Provided also, and it is hereby enacted “ will examine with diligence and by the authority aforesaid, that in com« faithfulness, and determine without pensation for the value of all or any of the “ favour, malice, or prejudice, ac- offices in the Mint which by this Act are “cording to the true intent and suppressed, and which by law are held for “ meaning of the said Act, as far as term of life (if any such there be) there " in me lies.
shall be paid out of the aggregate fund an “ So help me God.” annuity equal to the salary and known
legal fees and perquisites of the said office, And whereas several of the chief offices as the same shall be proved before the in the exchequer are, by law and usage, commissioners of the treasury to have granted to be held during term of life, been received by the persons now holding and have been reputed, in truth and fact, the said offices, and to have been the anas pensions for life, and have been given nual value of the said offices on an average as such, for the more honourable and in- of
years last past; and the same shall dependent provision of the persons or fa- be certified by the commissioners of the milies of those who have served the state treasury into the exchequer, and shall be in great and laborious employments: and paid half yearly to the person or persons whereas it is for the honour as well as the so deprived, for and during the term of his advantage of the commonwealth, that or their natural lives. whatever reward the said persons have ac- And be it hereby enacted, that the comquired by their own merits, or those of missioners of the treasury may and shall their ancestors, and which the law of the contract with the directors and company land hath ensured to them, should not be of the bank of England for the coinage, taken away: and whereas it is equally ex- for any term not exceeding years pedient, that the crown should not in future under such directions and limitations as be debarred from the means of making they shall judge most expedient for perhonourable and independent provision, ac- forming the same in the best, safest, cording to reason, and the circumstances cheapest, and most beneficial manner. of the public, for those who shall serve the Provided always, that the said coinage state : be it enacted by the authority afore- be executed by the company aforesaid, in said, that from and after the determina- the Tower of London, and no where else. tion of the interest of the present posses
Provided also, that if the said corporasors, and of the present grantees in rever- tion of the bank shall refuse to enter into sion, the auditor of the receipt of the ex- such contract, or demand exorbitant terms, chequer shall have, in lieu of all salary, the commissioners of the treasury may, fees, and dues, to the said office belonging, and are by this Act authorised to contract a salary or pension, clear of all deductions, with any other body corporate, or private of per annum, and no more ; and person or persons, for the execution of that the persons hereafter appointed to the the same, the said bodies corporate, or offices of the two auditors of the imprest, private persons, giving full security for the chamberlain, clerk of the pells, and the faithful performance of the said conclerk of the pipe, and tellers of the exche- tract, under the restrictions by this Act quér, shall have and receive, after the lives provided, in case of a contract with the of the present possessors, and grantees in bank of England. reversion, to each a salary of
And forasmuch as the bank of England annum, clear, and no more, in lieu of all will derive a benefit from the sums of salaries, fees, and perquisites whatsoever, money which are by this Act directed to now claimed or enjoyed by the persons be paid into the cash of the said bank, it holding the said offices.
is reasonable that they should, in some proAnd whereas the constitution of the portion, contribute to the public service; Mint is of a more expensive nature than be it therefore enacted by the authority is necessary, and the coinage ought to be aforesaid, that the directors of the said of none, or little expence to the nation; bank shall take upon them the remittance be it hereby enacted by the authority of all such sums of money as shall be reaforesaid, that the office commonly called mitted for the use of his Majesty's forces (VOL. XXI.]
by sea or land, serving in foreign parts, with a salary of and no more, prowithout any allowance or reward for the vided that the said assistant be an officer same; and that they shall conform to the of years service in the artillery, and directions which they shall receive from no other shall be capable of holding the the paymaster general, and treasurer of said office. the navy, severally, for the sum or sums of And it is hereby enacted, that the said money which shall be remitted and sent assistant engineer, nor any other engineer, for the use of the forces serving abroad. nor any other person or persons above the
And whereas much of the emolument present establishment of officers of the araccruing to the several pay offices, agencies tillery, shall be capable of being elected, in the army and navy, are derived from or sitting and voting in parliament. the
pay of officers serving in the army and And it is hereby further enacted by the navy; for the better encouragement of authority aforesaid, that the ordnance for the said services, be it enacted by the au- the navy shall be, from and after the thority aforesaid, that upon any
under the care and pointment of any person to the office of a direction of the commissioners of the deputy paymaster, or army agent, no per- navy, who, for the better administration son but such as have served his Majesty, of the same, shall have one commissioner, in his army or navy for years, shall and no more, added to the number, with be capable of being appointed to or hold a salary not exceeding the salary of the ing the said offices, or any of them; and other commissioners, and with the like the appointment of any other person to powers; which said commissioner shall be the said office or offices shall be void, and a person skilful in the business of an are the said person so appointed shall forfeit tillery officer and engineer, and, where a the sun of to be recovered by action person so skilled may be had, preference of debt, bill, plaint, or information, in any shall be given to officers who have served of his Majesty's courts of record at West- years in his Majesty's navy. minster, in which no essoign, protection, And in order to prevent the unneces, privilege, or wager of law, or more than sary multiplication of offices, be it enacted one imparlance, shall be allowed.
by the authority aforesaid, that the office And whereas the command and direc- of keeper of the naval ordnance stores, be tion of the ordnance is properly a military united to and consolidated with the office concern, and the establishment of the pre- of keeper of naval stores, in each of his sent board of ordnance is attended with Majesty's dock-yards respectively, and great expence to the public; be it enacted shall be exercised by one and the same by the authority aforesaid, that from and person. after the day of the civil And be it further enacted by the authobranch, or what is commonly reputed and rity aforesaid, that on a vacancy of any taken for the said civil branch of the said storekeeper or clerk of the checque, in ordnance (that is to say) the master ge- any of his Majesty's yards, no person shall peral, lieutenant general, surveyor ge- be capable of being appointed thereto, neral, clerk of the ordnance, clerk of the who has not served his Majesty in his deliveries, treasurer, paymaster, secretary, navy, as a lieutenant or master, for architect, council, and all other officers years; and if any other than a person or on the same dependent, except the neces- persons qualified as aforesaid shall be apsary inferior store-keepers, and clerks of pointed to the said offices, or any of them, the checque, in the land ordnance service, he shall forfeit his said employment, and shall be, and are hereby suppressed. the sum of to be recovered by ac
And it is hereby enacted by the autho- tion of debt, bill, plaint, or information, in rity aforesaid, that for all purposes of the any of his Majesty's courts of record at land service, the principal engineer (which Westminster, in which no essoign, protecsaid principal engineer shall hereafter be tion, privilege, or wager of law, or more a general officer in his Majesty's service) than one imparlance, shall be allowed. shall be and is by this act authorized to And it is hereby enacted by the autho. exercise all the duty or duties which the rity aforesaid, that the said chief engineer, said civil branch, or any part thereof, and his assistant, as well as the said comought to execute; and to enable the said missioners of the navy, may and shall conprincipal engineer the better to perform tract, wherever the same is practicable the said duty, his Majesty is hereby au- from the nature of the service, for the thorized to appoint one assistant engineer, execution of all works, buildings, and stores to the ordnance belonging; and Which said commissioners, or any that all contractors with the said officers of them, may, and are hereby directed to shall be under the constant inspection and regulate all ihings relative to the said ordcontroul of the said chief engineer, or the nance, so as to bring the same to a more said commissioners of the navy, as the case perfect conformity and accommodation to shall be, for and in the execution of their military purposes ; and as much as may contracts, and every part thereof: probe, in all branches thereof, to employ vided that no contract, exceeding military persons; and to reduce the ex. in value, be made without the previous ap- pences of the same, by uniting of duties, probation of the commander in chief of where the same may be united, and sepa. his Majesty's forces, or other general of- rating the same, where the same may and ficer appointed by his Majesty, and the ought to be separated, and reducing the lords commissioners of the treasury, if the number of unnecessary offices, clerks, same be for the land service; and the and other persons, according to their discommissioners of the navy, and lords of cretion, and the true intent and meaning the admiralty, and the said commissioners of this Act. of the treasury, if the same be for the sea And it is hereby enacted by the authoservice.
rity aforesaid, that all the salaries, lawful And it is hereby enacted by the autho- fees, perquisites, and profits whatsoever, rity aforesaid, that the money payable on belonging to all and every the offices by account of the said contracts shall be paid this Act suppressed, shall cease and deat the exchequer; and that all other pay- termine with the determination of the said ments to the said ordnance belonging, be offices severally, and be no longer paid; made at the pay office, or the navy-office, and that the commissioners of the treaas the service shall be military or naval,
sury shall, within
make, or cause to according to the course and manner that be made up, an account of the salaries and shall be hereafter used by virtue of this fees now payable for or on account of the Act in the said offices.
said offices severally, as also an account of And it is hereby enacted, that the esti. all the charges whatsoever, ordinary or mate and accounts of the ordnance, be extraordinary, incurred for or by reason annually laid before parliament, as hitherto of the said offices, during accustomed, except that the ordnance and past; and shall cause a sum, to the amount stores for land and sea service be distin. of a medium of the said salaries, fees, guished.
and charges, to be annually set apart, and Provided, that nothing in this act con- a separate account to be kept of the same, tained shall be construed to exempt the and to carry the said sum or sums of chief engineer from the orders of the com money, together with the amount of each mander in chief or secretary at war, for and every pension as it shall fall or deterthe time being, or the navy board, from mine, until the said pension list be reduced the orders of the admiralty, in all matters (except as in this Act is otherwhich regard ordnance stores, or any kind wise provided) to the sinking fund, there of military stores; but they shall be in all to remain for the disposition of parliament. things bound to obey and conform to the And be it further enacted by the autho-orders and directions which they shall rity aforesaid, that it shall not be lawful to from time to time receive from the said create any office, in the nature or for the superior officers.
purpose of those which are by this Act And be it hereby enacted, in order to abolished, or to divide any office into the more perfect regulation of the said several parts, to be held by divers persons, ordnance, that in days after the other than such as have been usually held passing of this Act, a commission be ap- in commission, or to create any new office pointed by his Majesty, which shall con- whatever, or any additional commissioner, sist of the first commissioner of the trea- with a salary exceeding pounds by sury, the first commissioner of the admiralty, one commissioner of the navy, the And, in order to prevent the reformasecretary at war, the pay-master of his tion by this Act proposed from affecting Majesty's forces, the treasurer of the navy, private persons, whose whole livelihood, the commander in chief of his Majesty's or the greater part thereof, consists in the forces, the chief engineer, and the follow profits of places by this Act suppressed; ing general officers and admirals; viz. be it enacted by the authority aforesaid,
that it sball be lawful for the following
Lord North did not yet know whethier of them, to be commissioners for receiving he should oppose it or not. It was a Bill and hearing the representations of any of the utmost importance, and required persons affected by this Act in the manner time and leisure to determine on its proabove mentioned; and on what shall ap- priety. The 29th, therefore, he thought pear to them sufficient proof of the said was too early a day. person or persons having no other liveli- Mr. Burke observed, that in a moment hood, or no other employment of profit, or wlien the minds of men were held in sus. pension, or upon proof of other circum- pense, and when the nation was looking stances of compassion, they shall have with anxiety and suspicion to the conduct power to adjudge, according to equity and of parliament, on the subject of their pethe reason of the case, and to allow half titions, delay would be exceedingly dan. pay, or more, at their discretion, to such gerous, and ought to be studiously avoided. person or persons, until the officer by this He did not wish to quarrel with the noble Act displaced shall be otherwise provided lord for a day. The Bill would be printed, for in his Majesty's service; and a certi- and in the hands of the members before ficate, signed by not less than of the that time ; and if it was agreeable to the said commissioners, shall be, and is hereby House, he would move for Wednesday declared of sufficient authority for the com. next. missioners of the treasury to make the said Lord North still persisted the time was allowances for such persons : provided, rather too short, and wished that it should that the said allowance do in no case ex- be adjourned over the next week. ceed per annum; and that no peer, Mr. Fox said he could not conceive why or member of parliament, shall be entitled the noble lord should wish to have so much to the said relief.
time. The temper of the people was not And it is hereby enacted by the autho- such as would admit of subterfuge. There rity aforesaid, that all the clerks in office, was something exceedingly suspicious in by this Act displaced, and who shall be the noble lord's conduct. His plea of duly qualified to be employed as clerks in ignorance was absurd; he had not indeed other public offices, or as officers in the studied all the parts of the Bill; it was not customs, shall be entitled to the succession possible that he could have so done ; but of any vacant clerkship in other offices, or the general principle was well known to to offices in the customs, not exceeding him, and the subsequent detail was the
per annum in value (where any business of the committee. Did not the rule or practice of succession within the noble lord know whether or not he was to said offices doth not interfere) upon appli- oppose the principle of the Bill, or when cation made by memorial to the said offices, he was to oppose it? He thought it would the allowance aforesaid being to cease on be very becoming in the noble lord to de. such appointment.
clare his intentions; for he firmly believed And it is hereby enacted by the autho- that no member who could possibly attend rity aforesaid, that in case, after
would be absent on the day when the Bill months time given for due enquiry, and was to be debated. The member who proof of their qualifications, the memorialist wilfully or negligently absented himself on or memorialists aforesaid are not put into that day would pay very little regard to his possession of the said vacant offices, the duty, and to the general voice of the person to whom it belongs to fill the said people of England. If his lordship would vacancy shall forfeit the sum of for speak out, and say whether or not, or when, each such offence, to be recovered by action he intended to debate the Bill, members of debt, bill, plaint, or information, in any would come prepared, and the point would of his Majesty's courts of record at West- be fought with fairness. But as it was, minster, in which no essoign, protection, the House must be upon its guard, and that privilege, or wager of law, or more than they might not be taken by surprise, must one imparlance, shall be allowed.
come prepared for the onset on the first
day. The noble lord had also given very The Bill being read a first time, Mr. strong reasons for alarm in his wish to put Burke mentioned the 29th as a proper day off the business to a late day. What for reading it a second time, and begged security could the people of England have the noble lord to inform the House, whe. of the system being adopted, if the House ther or not he intended to oppose it on permitted all the supplies to be granted that day.
before the Bill had passed? The parlia.
ment might not be dissolved, but it was dangerous shore near at hand, that made very possible that it might be prorogued the risk and difficulty even greater than before the business was concluded ; and the admiral probably would have had to he looked upon this to be the reason why encounter, if he had met and fought with the minister wished to postpone it. a squadron superior to his own, and con
Mr. Burke said that the principle of the sequently reflected the greater honour on Bill was simple, and required but little time sir George, as an officer whose conduct for deliberation. It consisted but of two was equal to his bravery, and whose judg. parts, the first was, to curtail a variety of ment and ability kept pace with his reso. useless and burthensome offices in the lution and gallantry. In that action sir King's civil list, and other departments of George had dispossessed the enemy of government, in order to apply the savings eight sail of the line, besides greatly disto the constitutional services of the state ; abling the rest of their squadron, and he and the second, to provide against the had added five ships of the line to his revenues voted for the maintenance of the Majesty's fleet at Gibraltar. He had King, the provision of his family, and the also so effectually relieved that important ease, dignity, and independence of his life, fortress, that he might now venture to being diverted to the uses of a minister, assert, it was put into such a state as and applied to the corrupting of parliament. would secure it from future danger. His These were the simple principles, easy to lordship then moved, “ That the Thanks be understood, but whether the regulations of this House be given to admiral sir proposed for the attainment of these ends George Bridges Rodney, bart.; for the were the properest for that purpose, were late signal and important services he has considerations for the committee. He rendered to his King and country.” had other matters which he might propose Mr. 7. Townshend seconded the motions to their consideration. Perhaps a better He had long had the honour to be intimate method might be suggested of furnishing with sir George, and was well acquainted the King's table, &c. by contract; but all with his singular bravery and conduct as these could not prevent the noble lord an officer, having been the person, on the from deciding in his own mind whether or capture of Martinico, who had made a sinot the principle of the Bill ought to be milar motion in that House. He was opposed.
glad, however, that the motion now was in Lord North said it was true the princi- better hands, and that it was made at that ple was plain in appearance, but the truth particular crisis, when every man must be and propriety of the principle could only ready to confess his admiration and gratibe ascertained by an examination of the tude for the gallant services which the parts, and this required time and study. admiral had rendered his country.
The Bill was ordered to be read a se- Lord Howe said, that upon the present cond time on the 2nd of March.
occasion professional men could have but
one opinion, and that was, that the admiDebate in the Commons on the Vote of ral merited every mark of distinction and Thanks to Admiral Sir George Rodney.] honour which that House could bestow. Feb. 29. Lord North rose to move a Vote He would not go into a discussion of the of Thanks to admiral sir George Bridges particulars of the admiral's last action with Rodney, bart. for his late signal services. Langara's squadron, but thus much he The capture of the fleet of transports was would say, that from the circumstances of not only of considerable importance to it, sir George must have felt great uneasiGreat Britain from the value of it, but was ness in his own mind in undertaking it, and rendered additionally so, because he was could not have completed it in the brilliant warranted to say, that the want of the manner in which he had the good fortune stores on board those transports, was a to finish it, without an uncommon degree matter exceedingly distressing to Spain. of resolution and judgment. He there. The late success of sir George Rodney fore amply merited the gratitude of that against the Spanish admiral Langara, was House, and he was exceedingly happy to still more signal and serviceable to his find the minister stand up immediately on country, and although it was true that his the confirmation of the news, in the abfleet was superior to that of the enemy, sence of the admiral, and do him justice there were circumstances attending the in the face of a British House of Commons. engagement, such as the exceeding tem- Such conduct became ministers, and was pestuous weather, a high sea, and a very due to those who were risking their lives