« PrejšnjaNaprej »
and directly said “none," but it was not
Tellers. by any means consonant to his idea of the necessary enquiry. He had at the same Yeas Sir George Yonge time shewn the two motions he intended
Mr. Robinson to offer to the noble lord; and he must do Lord George Gordon was appointed one the noble lord the justice to say, he did of the Tellers for the Noes; but no memnot disapprove of them. The colonel then ber going forth, nor any other member apmoved for an Account of all charges, pearing to be a second Teller for the Noes, fees, and perquisites, received by the of the Speaker declared the Yeas had ficers at the Mint, on account of the late re-coinage. Also, for an Account of all Debate on the Motion for the Committal the money received into the Exchequer, of Mr. Burke's Establishment Bill.] Mr. and by all the subordinate collectors and Burke then moved the second reading of receivers of public money through the the Bill, “ for the better Regulation of his kingdom, up to the end of the year 1778, Majesty's Civil Establishments, and of the year ending at Michaelmas : which certain public offices; for the limitation of were ordered.
pensions, and the suppression of sundry
useless, expensive, and inconvenient Lord George Gordon's Motion for taking places; and for applying the monies the Petitions of the good People of England saved thereby to the public service.” The into consideration.] Lord George Gordon motion passed unanimously; but on anowas of opinion that the noble lord should ther motion for committing the Bill, it was make his motion then, in conformity to opposed by lord George Gordon, who the prayer of the county petitioners, that divided the House, with more success than reformation should precede taxation. The he had before, for as there was not room hon. gentleman, who had spoken last, had enough in the lobby tn contain those who talked a good deal of reformation ; and were obliged to go forth on the division, what did it all end in? In an attack upon there were 90 who were obliged to remain poor Mat o' the Mint. Instead of being within, and being numbered with his lordangry with the noble lord for bringing for- ship made up 91 against committing the ward his commission of accounts before he Bill. opened the budget, he ought to have
211 complied with, that he would then move
Mr. Hartley That this House do, on Thursday next,
Noes Mr. De Grey
91 take into their most serious consideration,
Mr. Adam the humble and judicious prayers con
So it was resolved in the affirmative. tained in the dutiful petitions of the good Mr. Burke then moved, that the Bill be people of England.”
committed to-morrow. Mr. James Luttrell seconded the mo. Lord Beauchamp said it was very unusual tion, which was not relished by the House. for a Bill to go to a committee immediately
Lord George Gordon seemed determined after the second reading. It was necesto divide; and when requested not to sary that all Bills, and especially those of cause the gallery, which was very crowded, great moment, shouldbeproceeded through to be cleared, his lordship exclaimed with caution. If this was the constant warmly, I am determined to take the practice, how necessary was it to postpone sense of the House. I have broken off going into a committee so soon as this day from those with whom I used to vote, be- on a Bill of such magnitude, and in the cause I saw they were inconsistent, and event of which such a variety of individuals drew different ways. For my part, Mr. were deeply interested. From these cirSpeaker, as soon as I broke from them, I cumstances, he recommended that the got friends all over Scotland and England; word “ to-morrow” might be struck out, and as consistency is my grand object, I and “ Wednesday next" substituted in its will not be diverted from my purpose, as I stead. then should be inconsistent with myself. Lord Nugent was of the same opinion.
The order of the day being moved, the His lordship animadverted on the petitions, House divided. The Noes were directed and the tendency the opposition meant to go forth.
they should have, but verily believed there was not the cause set forth in them for
complaining against government. The Lord North said, that the Bill was of prerogative of the king, his lordship did the most complicated nature, and required not think any ways increased, and for his such a mature consideration, that Wedown part, he would not restore parliament nesday was, in his opinion, as early a day to its independency by lessening the in- for sending it to a committee, as the House Auence of the crown. By the influence could well think of appointing, of the crown, he meant a due and consti- Mr. Fox accused the minister of attutional influence; the crown was to be tempting an unnecessary delay. It was independent, and the parliament was to absurd and ridiculous to pretend that too be indepen.dent, but they were both to be early. a day was proposed for the going dependent, in order to be independent, for into a committee. The noble lord had, inthat the one grew out of the other. He deed, asserted it, but had given no good asked how could it be said, that the influ. reason for postponing the business, and ence of the crown had been increased, he called upon the noble lord to lay his thirteen colonies having been lost ; the ad- hand upon his heart, and say, if he was dition of new taxes, he denied to be a not ready to go into a committee, as far means of extending that influence. As to as a knowledge on his part of the Bill was the Bill itself, there were parts of it he necessary. It was not supposed that the much approved, but so far as it tended to whole of the Bill was to be immediately a diminution of the influence of the crown, considered, but a part only; and what was he would most assuredly set his face against that part? Whether the third secretary of it. He reminded the House, that the mi- state, namely the secretary of state for the nister had been uniformly supported by the American colonies, was not an office altocountry gentlemen throughout the war. gether useless, and as such to be abolished ?
Mr. 7. Townshend attacked the noble This was the first part of the Bill to be inlord for the expression which fell from vestigated, and it was so simple a question, him, by which the House were a second that there required no more preparation time given to understand, that any attempt than had been taken to decide upon it. at a diminution of the influence of the The other noble lord (Nugent) had crown was to be resisted. The noble lord argued in a very curious way. in the blue ribbon (North) had some position complained against government few days ago explicitly opened his mind for an undue use of power, the noble lord upon the matter, but the noble lord be was was ready to exclaim, what would you replying to, had gone a great way farther; have! we have lost thirteen colonies, and he had made no scruple to say, that he surely we have reduced the influence of would not restore parliament to its inde- the crown as much as you ought in reason pendency by lessening the influence of the to require! He denied in the most ex
He had been long in the most in press terms, that it was true, that the intimate friendship with the noble lord, or
Auence of the crown had not been exhe would have called upon the Speaker to tended, and adverted in the most happy have taken down those words. As to the vein of satire to the argument used by observation that the influence of the crown lord Nugent in contradiction to that fact. was surely not so great now as before | The noble lord also said, that all places, government had lost thirteen colonies, he pensions, and sinecures are in the gift of was very ready to admit, that if that had the crown, and that the crown acts consti. been a plan of the ministry, it had been tutionally in giving them away ; so that effectually executed. But the noble lord | the noble lord means, if he means any had asked, if laying new taxes on the sub- i thing at all, that when a member solicits ject, could be thought to add to the influ- a place, a pension, or a sinecure, he is, in ence of the crown? There were such things so doing, supporting the constitution. As as tax-gatherers; and though the taxes to the fact, whether the crown had exmight not, the tax-gatherers, he was sure, tended its power or not, he sincerely tended not a little to extend the power of wished the question could be fairly put, government. The increase, too, that had and the sense of the House impartially been made in the military establishment, taken upon it. The minister had often in the raising of new corps, and the ap. complained that opposition were actuated pointment of officers to them, had both by interested views, and the calumny had augmented the means of corruption, and been echoed through the ministerial circle shewn the real designs of those in power into the world. If this was the case, how tooplain to escape the notice of the House. did the present conduct of the side of the
House on which he ranked himself cor- | next day and did not mean to let it go to respond with the charge? If they really a committee on Wednesday, which was wanted places, how was it that they had not the case, for he did mean that it brought in a Bill for cutting off so many should then go to a committee, and begged of them? If they wanted pensions and leave to declare it to the House, but as sinecures, how happened it, that they had the Bill consisted of a variety of allegaproposed an abolition of them? Did they tions, and was a farrago of incidents, he want money too? Then why were they did not suppose it would be thought unstruggling for æconomny in the expendi- reasonable, if he should then call for eviture of the public money? In fine, the dence in support of those facts, on which hon. gentleman contended, that by the Bill the propositions of the Bill were founded. in question, they removed every suspicion Mr. Burke treated the expectation of of selfishness, and he could not out call to the noble lord as to having proof of the mind the observation of an hon. gentle- allegation in bis Bill with the most superman, not a member of the House, who lative contempt, because the thing was took the chair at the Wiltshire meeting, impossible. He asserted, that the third that the Bill went to make the opposition secretary of state was useless, and how honest, as well as the ministry. He then was he to prove it, but by the notoriety of took notice of some expressions that had the fact ? Neither the deputy, the clerks, fallen from the other side, respecting the nor even the fire-lighter, would come to liberty of the press having been carried to vouch it. If he understood the noble lord, a great degree of licentiousness, and con- he was to prove all those places to be usefessed he was apt to think our present less he meant to abolish, and also to shew situation in a great measure owing to the by evidence, that he could make the bad use that had been made of it by those savings he proposed, and as neither of hired by government, whose system it was those things were to be proved by evito mix all ranks together, to bring them dence, except collateral evidence, he conto a level with each other, and to impress sidered them as bars to the success of his the people with a notion that there were Bill. Indeed, he concluded the noble no virtuous men in the present age. This lord meant on Wednesday to throw it out, vile and damnable heresy, he exploded for though he would concur in its going with great warmth of expression, and to a committee, he would not say it should thought it done merely to set the public be debated in it. against the liberty of the press, and tra- The question being put, that the words, duce those very men who were proving “ to-morrow morning, stand part of the their integrity by promoting the Bill under question; the House divided. discussion. He hoped, that as the thirteen
Tellers. colonies were now actually lost, for the noble, lord. (Nugent) had at length ad- Yeas $ Mr. Thomas Townshend
} 195 mitted it, the public was to have a great saving, and he hoped to hear that the
NOES pensions given to the American governors
Mr. Robinson would be discontinued, and particularly that So it passed in the negative. And the granted to governor Hutchinson, who had question being put, that the words “ upon been the fore-runner and very firebrand of Wednesday morning next,” be inserted the rebellion on the other side of the At- instead thereof; it was resolved in the af. lantic. He urged the going into a com- firmative. mittee on the Bill next day; and charged the minister with an intention of putting Debate on the Budget.] March 6. The it totally aside, or rendering it nugatory, House having resolved itself into a Comby dissolving the parliament after opening mittee of Ways and Means, the budget.
Lord North began with lamenting, that Lord North disclaimed any intention of he should have a task so disagreeable to dissolving parliament before the usual perform, as that he was about to execute. time ; said if he had been supported by A noble lord (George Gordon) had called the country gentlemen, it proved he had it a very serious business ; another hon. not been supported by an improper in. gentleman had called it a devouring busifluence. As to the Bill, gentlemen had ness; it certainly was far from an agreecertainly a right to be angry with him, if able thing to him to come to that House he objected to its going to a committee to ask a large loan, which must necessa
rily add greatly to the burthens already those epithets was due to the tax itself, felt by the people; as little pleasant could yet it had certainly failed in its operation, it be for parliainent, however pressing the and therefore it in some degree merited necessity of the state, to add to those bur- what had been said of it. The fault, as far thens. But when gentlemen bestowed as he had been able to trace it, was ascribeharsh epithets on the business of the day, able solely to an improper collection of it. it would be but fair in them to remember The tax itself he still approved, and was that it was the war and the national de- sure it might be rendered both productive mands that caused the Budget and swelled and efficient. The collectors and assessors it to an enormous size, and not the Budget down in the country had not done their that caused the war or increased the na- duty, and thence it had failed. They tional demands. At this moment it must had taken the rents of houses by an imbe obvious to every gentleman, that the proper estimate, and in consequence the expences of the last year had been un produce had fallen short, and the payments avoid ible ; our enemies had fitted out so had been partially made, but he begged formidable a fleet and sent it to sea against leave to say, that although it had, from us, that the boasted Armada, and all the the mode of its being collected, proved fleets that we read of in history, that had favourable to the rich, it was not to be ever been sent to sea against Great Bri- complained of as having oppressed the tain at former times, were in the compa- poor. He said further, that he had been rison, but mere trifles, when weighed induced to adopt the mode of collection against the naval preparations of France by parochial assessors and collectors, as and Spain last year; a large fleet was an experiment how far the most lenient therefore necessary to be fitted out on our way of receiving it from the subject would part, and a finer, either in point of number, answer the desired end; nor was he at all or in point of strength, had never sailed sorry that he had tried the experiment, out of our ports ; but every effect was although the event had proved, that had traceable to its cause, the navy of Eng- it not been governed by the rents of land therefore it was, that had devoured houses, but taken by the more certain, the resources of the country, and to that though less agreeable rule of the window principally was to be attributed the enor- tax, it would have exceeded in the promity of the last year's expences.
duce by a considerable sum, the sum for His lordship then went into a recital of which it was given. The wine tax his the supplies already voted, and those that lordship declared, had also fallen short, in remained to be voted for the service of the appearance, but he would not say in current year, stating them article by ar-reality, because the deficiency might be ticle, and at length casting up the several owing solely to the quantity of wine degross amounts, he made the total nearly signed to be imported, not having been 21 million. After naming the army, the imported by the time which the account army extraordinaries, the ordinary and was made up to. What therefore the extraordinary of the navy, the ordnance produce fell short last year might be made and the various other usual services, he up this. The deficiencies of the taxes said that what served to swell the supply upon the whole for the year before the to nearly 21 millions, was the inheritance last, his lordship stated at about 300,0001. of the deficiencies of the last year's ways The deficiencies of the taxes last year, at and means, and particularly the failure of near 200,0001. the taxes. He stated what the land tax He said that the heavy expence of the had fallen short, and said that he had navy, having necessarily increased the come down to confess, that the tax on debt of the navy, it had as usual had its houses had, as gentlemen might see from effect upon navy bills, which were for that papers on the table, failed for the two years reason at a large discount ; he proposed, very considerably. In the first year it had therefore, to pay off a million and a half been given for 260,0001. and the produce of the navy debi, by exchequer bills. He of it had not amounted to quite 100,0001. mentioned 13,000l. paid the African ComThe last year it had also fallen short, but pany last year, as a sum to be deducted not exactly in the same proportion. Gen- from the amount of the parts of the supply tlemen had at different times been ex- not already voted, because that having tremely severe on that tax, and termed it been moved last session after the budget, unproductive, partial, and unjust. He was voted upon address, and therefore was free to own, that though neither of stood charged in the present account, under the head of monies paid upon ad. f this year and leave it to the loan of the dress to his Majesty, and not with the rest next year to be proposed, he hoped not by of the resolutions of the committee of him, but by his successor in office, to be supply.
more easy, which it undoubtedly from After detailing every part of the supply, many causes would be. It might possibly his lordship came to the ways and means be said, that it was easy to talk of twenty by which he proposed to provide for the millions, but were those who had offered amount of the supplies, and first he men- it men capable of making good the conditioned the same number of exchequer bills tions? He did assure the House upon his as he had made a part of last year's ways honour, that among all the names entered and means; next the land and malt tax, in his books, there were not names for and then the disposable monies arising out more than one million of the whole twenty, of the sinking fund; stating them thus: which were not the names of men whom Exchequer bills, 3,400,0001., land and he knew to be substantial and respectable malt tax 2,750,0001., from the sinking characters; men capable of giving secufund 2,500,0001.; making 8,650,0001. rity for complying with the conditions of Which, with the intended loan of 12 mil- the loan. Nineteen millions he conselion, would amount to 20,650,0001. quently could have answered for, and gen
His lordship descanted on each of the tlemen thence would see that his great above heads as he mentioned them, giving difficulty had been, not to raise the money, his reasons for making the same use of but how to strike off from the sum offered, exchequer bills as he had made the last and from the numbers that offered to be year; and declaring that the sinking fund subscribers, so as to divide it satisfactorily. afforded a most comfortable prospect. He The terms of the loan which he proposed then went into a discussion of the loan it to the committee were these : Annuity self, accounting for its being so large, and irredeemable for seven years, at 41. per informing the committee that he had en- cent. taken at 741.; long annuity for 80 tertained hopes of not having occasion to years, at ll. 16s. 3d. taken at 16 years 291. ; borrow so much this year, from an ex- four lottery tickets (of a lottery consistpectation of being able to draw a very ing of 48,000 tickets) for every 1,0001. considerable resource from the East India subscribed, equal to a profit of 11. making Company; he said that the propositions 1011. The 4 per cents. 10 be payable from which had been submitted to him, and the 5th of January last. which doubtless had been seen by every After stating this collectively, his lordgentleman present, appeared to be a ship spoke particularly to each of its three proper ground for a treaty which might distinct parts. With regard to the first, have been brought to a point upon due the 4 per cent. annuity, he said, it had conference and consideration, so as to been his wish to have raised the loan at 5 have enabled him to have come to parlia- per cent. but that the monied men in the ment for a ratification of them that year, city objected to it, and
their but that a difference of opinion had arisen among others, they had stated, that it among the proprietors, and that the mat- would not be a very pleasant thing to have ter was at an end for the present. It a 5 per cent. annuity done under par,
and might, however, soon be thought right by different supposed valuations were put parliament to give the company the three upon it. He would then have taken it at years notice, as the charter would expire the next gradation 41, but the same obin three years from the 5th of April next; jections laid against that. In fact, the for certainly the public had a right to look sum to be borrowed was a large one, he for very considerable resources from the was the borrower and the monied men the territorial revenues in India, all of which lenders, the result therefore was, that the were, in his opinion, the property of the latter prevailed, and, though he had not at public; but he believed it was the univer- all changed his sentiments, and would resal opinion that the public had at least a commend it to his successors to try again right to a participation of e profits. The to borrow at 5 per cent. because it did not treaty, however, being broken off for the follow that what could not be procured present, he had made the bargain for a loan then, might not be procured at anoof twelve millions, and he the rather did it, ther time, lie was now under the necesbecause he had offers made him for the sity of taking it at the highest he could loan of twenty millions ; he thought it get it, which was 4 per cent. He stated, better, therefore, to take it at a large sum why he took their price at 74, and then