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measure, will never allow me to put the knew the use of arms, when the day of event of the latter upon a contest with the battle came, convinced all present, that it former. I am convinced of the necessity was not tall, well-looking men who always of every possible saving; I know how en- did the best service in the field. feebled and exhausted - we were by our The Duke of Manchester professed himill-conducted efforts and corrosive jobs self a sincere friend to the militia, and last war ; and that this nation can never rejoiced that the ill-grounded jealousies rear her head again under the pressure of which had prevailed in the army respectour present debt. I will not therefore ing it were done away. He had attended opiniate this measure, nor be for rejecting several meetings where a number of mema great national security for its present bers of both Houses, and other gentlemen defects. I am convinced that so wealthy of the militia, assembled for the purpose and well-cultivated a country can alone of discussing the question, how the militia be defended by the spirit and number of could be rendered most serviceable; and its inhabitants; and I trust, that as the their uniform opinion was for calling the danger augments, the sense of their duty whole body out every year and training will operate: as long as the form and the them. He wished therefore that this idea example of the militia exists, they can had been adopted. neither be slaves to any foreign or do. The Earl of Hopetoun reminded the mestic power; and when this national and House of the origin of the militia, observconstitutional establishment fails, I am as ing, that at the time of its institution the confident that no other can be formed nation was so defenceless, and so panicequally safe, salutary, and efficient. struck, that it knew not where to look
The Duke of Richmond agreed, that either for attack or defence, till the people, to have the use of arms learnt as univer- roused by their danger, and ashamed of sally as possible, was a very desirable standing indebted for their safety to the thing; and thought likewise that discipline Hanoverians, turned out and took up arms was carried a great deal too far in the to defend themselves. From that period militia. It was in vain, however, to com- the militia had flourished; and as the plain of substitutes, since the militia must country gentlemen had acted with the necessarily be, for the most part, an army ardour of Englishmen, anxious for the of substitutes. That there had been some preservation of the constitution and of corps remarkably well disciplined, was their liberties, he had no doubt but the undoubtedly true; indeed, the noble vis. militia would continue to deserve the high count's objection to the militia colonels character to which it was entitled. wishing to have their ranks filled with the Earl Stanhope remarked, that the Bill able-bodied men, appeared to him rather had two distinct objects: one was to save too confined. The object of the Bill was | 28,000l., the other to alter the customary clearly economy, and the single question period of service of the militia, and to call was, whether it was right to endeavour to out only two-thirds of hem to be trained effect such a saving as the Bill professed, and exercised. In regard to the latter or not? That the militia ought to be pro- object, it was endeavoured to be attained perly supported was a point not to be in a way the most absurd ; and it would be disputed, and he should conceive that it extremely easy to prove that, by proper might be supported upon the proposed care, both economy and utility could be plan. The Bill was a bill of experiment, better answered than by the means proand as such he hoped it would pass. posed by the Bill. What was it which
Viscount Townshend begged leave to the Bill enacted? That all the men should remind the noble duke, that he had not be ballotted for first, and that only 21,000 complained of there being fine tall men in should afterwards be ballotted for to be the militia, but merely of those men being trained and exercised; so that, in fact, continued in it on account of their tall the real militia in actual service would be ness, to the exclusion of others. He was more than 21,000: the one-third ready to admit, that, in general, stout men would prove merely a militia roll. What could bear more fatigue than little men, was this, but putting the nation to a great and were therefore fitter for soldiers ; but expense to very little purpose? whereas he had seen in Germany, in the Dettingen nothing could be more easy than to have year, a regiment of short, scrubby, punchy, a militia of 42,000 men at the same ill-dressed and mean fellows in the Aus- expense which it would cost to have a trian service, who, though they scarcely militia of 21,000, as this Bill proposed.
Flis plan was this: ballot 21,000 militia. | proceedings till the next session; but, as taen, and instead of five years, let the men the body of charges contained three more be ballotted for six years service. At immediately important, and as one of those three years end ballot 21,000 more: call had been carried for Mr. Hastings and out and train, and exercise 7,000 every another against him, he thought it right, year. At three years end, the first 21,000 if the third were carried against him, that would be all trained and exercised. Dis the House should proceed to the end, Guiss them to their own homes at that because, otherwise a disagreeable impresperiod, and then begin upon the second sion might remain against him. 21,000, taking 7,000 to be trained and Mr. Duncombe thought it might be for exercised every year as before. Thus the the convenience of Mr. Hastings, as well actual expense to the country would be no as of the House, to defer the proceedings. more than the expense under the present The Earl of Surrey remarked, that the Bill, as the country would not have to pay party accused could not be supposed to for more than 21,000 at once, and yet have any wish so much as for a speedy would be in possession of a right to the decision, but should Mr. Hastings and his Service of 42,000 upon any emergency. friends be ever so desirous of coming to His lordship stated the militia to be a de. a conclusion with the business, it would be scription of force most desirable to be pre- \ impossible for them to be gratified; for it served, as it not only was the best defence was probable the House would be proof the country, but of the constitution. rogued before they could possibly get The militia was surely, for that reason, the through the whole of the charges. rery last service to apply economy to. Major Scott said, that the House must The best economy was to prevent a war, be convinced, that Mr. Hastings could and to keep the country in a state of have but one wish, viz. that not a mopeace. It would be wiser, therefore, and ment's delay should take place, but that better economy, to treble the militia, than the charges should be gone through this to diminish its numbers. What was it session. Speaking for himself
, as an Engsecured peace, but the being able to wage lishman, he declared, that it would be a powerful war? Be strongly armed and glaring injustice to Mr. Hastings to postready for battle, and battle would not be pone the business to another session ; but, offered. Have a navy fit for sea, and a speaking as a member of parliament and militia numerous and well disciplined, and an Englishman, who had the honour and we might ensure a continuance of peace. welfare of his country at heart, as connect. As to the lower order of the people being ed with the East India Company, he would at present knowing in the use of arms, it go farther, and would declare it to be his was a mistake. Many rustics, their lord deliberate and solemn opinion, that the strips would find on inquiry, knew no more fate of the British empire in India deof a musquet and its use, than of a reflect- pended upon a termination of Mr. Hasta ing telescope.
ings's impeachment during the present ses· The Bill was read a second time, and sion. He implored the House to consider ordered to be committed.
what was the state of India, at the present
moment. Did the House know that we Proceedings against Mr. Hastings had intelligence from India of four months Motion for a Call of the House.] June and six days date only? He had con16. Mr. Burke alluded to the lateness of versed with gentlemen of honour and the session, and the slow progress the undoubted information, who left Calcutta proceedings against Mr. Hastings were in February last; and from all he had beard, likely to make, which rendered him appre- he was confident that our existence as a hensive that it would be impossible for the nation in India, actually depended upon House to get through the whole of the this single circumstance, whether the incharges in the present session. He should quiry into the conduct of Mr. Hastings therefore, if it was the general wish, post was finished or not before the prorogation. pone the remainder, or such parts of them Mr. Hamilton contended, that it was the as the House thought proper.
highest injustice to stop the course of the Sir M. W. Ridley thought it impossible proceedings contrary to the wish of the to go through the whole in the present party accused : he should, therefore, move session.
for å call of the House, and would by no Mr. I. H. Brorune said, there could be means consent to any postponement of No objection to the delaying a part of the the business.
Mr. M. A. Taylor shewed the impossi- / which could be urged, was, the inconvebility of the House being able to go through nience that might be felt by individuals ; the whole of the business this session, and but when the insignificance of that objecstrongly contended for the postponement. tion was opposed to what was due to the
Mr. Fox professed himself a warm friend feelings of a persecuted and accused man, to a call of the House, if an effectual call he hoped the justice of the House, and a could be moved, because it certainly was a regard to their own dignity and character, most desirable matter for the House to go would induce them to support his motion; through the whole of its duty respecting a motion which he declared he brought forMr. Hastings during that session. If gen- ward in behalf of one whom he had never tlemen would not attend, the fault was seen but at the bar of the House. He theirs ; but it certainly would not be proper reasoned on the circumstances in which to proceed in so extremely important a Mr. Hastings stood, declaring that he had business in thin Houses.
spent the best part of his life in the service Major Scott returned his sincere thanks of the public, in one of the most distinto the right hon. gentleman (Mr. Fox), guished situations a subject could fill; and who had talked of proposing a call of the that on every, consideration, it ought to House. He sincerely hoped that such a be ascertained whether the only return measure would be adopted-the fate of which he was to receive for his services India depended upon it, and he trusted was censure and infamy. If Mr. Hastings that the right hon. gentleman did not were ultimately to be deemed criminal, coincide in opinion with an hon. gentleman let him be proved such, and then be pu(Mr. Sawbridge), that the sooner we lost | nished; but let condemnation precede India the better. If he did; he could not punishment, and his punishment not be pursue a more effectual mode than to suspense. To a speedy decision Mr. postpone the business to another session. Hastings was entitled, and for that purpose
Mr. Pilt observed that, perhaps it might he should conclude with moving, “ that be impossible to go through the whole of the House be called over upon this day the charges; but certainly, after that fortnight.” relating to the princesses of Oude had Mr. Dempster seconded the motion, been decided, the remaining nineteen Mr. Sheridan stated his reasons why he could not take up so much time as the should give it his negative, being perthree others had done, and therefore, it suaded, notwithstanding the hon. gentle. would be right to go on as fast as possible, man's determination to bear all the odium and, by all means, to proceed in the Oude and unpopularity of it, that whoever did charge : but whether they should proceed support it, would find some share of the any farther in the present session or not, odium incurred by calling gentlemen back the whole of the evidence, at least, ought to town, after they had gone into the to be closed before the prorogation. country and made their arrangements for
It was accordingly agreed that the the summer, fall upon them. He begged consideration of that charge should come leave to justify his absent friend (Mr. on, upon the ensuing Friday.
Fox), which he would do, he said, by
stating what his meaning was, in order to June 21. Mr. Hamilton rose to make shew that he had not pledged himself to the motion for a call of the House, agree- second a motion for a call, unless it could ably to the notice which he had given. be made appear that the call would be He began with stating, that he had ex. effectual. He repeated that part of Mr. pected the assistance of a right hon. gen. Fox's argument on Friday, in which lie ileman (Mr. Fox); but, notwithstanding had declared, that it would be a most his absence, he should persevere in his pur- desirable thing to go through the whole pose, determined as he was to bear all the of the charges that session, if it were odium and unpopularity that might attach practicable to obtain such an attendance to it. It was needless for him to take as ought to be present in the discussion of up much of the time of the House in matters of such infinite importance. A justification of the propriety of his resort- word had fallen from the hon. gentleman ing to the only means of enforcing a full which required some notice. . Perhaps he attendance, with a view to go on with the had used it accidentally, and without charges against Mr. Hastings, so as to meaning to convey any improper insinuafinish them in the course of the present tion by it. If he had, he would be so sèssion. The only objection to his motion good as to say as much. But if be
really meant it in its ordinary sense, he his belief, that the fate of India depended believed the House would agree with him, on finishing them this year, and that dethat pending an inquiry before parliament claration he had rested entirely on dark iato the public conduct of Mr. Hastings, hints and suggestions, as if recent advices it was not very decent language, nor lan- had been received from India, which justiguage that would be endured within those fied such an opinion. Perhaps, as that valls, especially after the vote the House hon. gentleman was more in the way of had so recently come to upon the subject. knowing the secrets of India than he was,
The hon. gentleman had said, he stood he had received some news that justified up in the behalf of a persecuted and him in his assertion. If so, it would be accused man. That Mr. Hastings was an well for him to state it to the House; but, accused man was true, but in what was he till be made out a case to prove the fact, a persecuted man? He would not endea that the fate of India depended on finishvour to argue that he was not persecuted, ing the charges that session, all insinuation
because if the hon. gentleman alluded to of that kind must go for nothing. For his * the vote on the charge relative to Benares, part, he had made every possible inquiry
he sat near several of Mr. Hastings's per- in order to learn whether any extraordi. secutors, who could much better justify nary news had recently arrived from India; their vote, than it would become him to and he could hear of nothing extraordiattempt to do for them. Neither the nary, but of the receipt of an extraordinary
cause of substantial justice, the reasonable large diamond, said to have been sent to • claims of Mr. Hastings, nor the dignity Mr. Hastings, and presented to his Ma
and character of the House, would be jesty at an extraordinary and critical pe. better served and satisfied, by going on riod of time. It was also a little extraorwith the charges without interruption, dinary, that Mr. Hastings should be chosen than by postponing the remainder of them as the person to present this diamond, after till the next session. On the contrary, he the resolutions of 1782 had reached India; contended that they would all of them be especially if, as had been predicted, they far less satisfied. He observed, that it had been translated into Persic and all the was necessary not only to have a full languages of the East. With regard to attendance, but also that gentlemen should any expectation on the part of Mr. Hast
attend with that sort of temper which ings, or any claim that he could be sup". would qualify them for seriously delibe- posed to have upon the House, he could
rating on the important facts submitted to have none but that the House would con. their consideration. Did the House ima- tinue, as they had begun, solemnly and gine, whether the call was enforced or seriously to investigate his conduct, and not, that gentlemen would after that day after having in due time gone through the
attend in numbers, or with a determination charges, come to some ultimate decision ; to apply their minds closely to the subject ? upon the whole. Early in the commenceWas it likely, if they proceeded any farther, ment of the session,
the Chancellor of the ;. that they should divide more than 120 or Exchequer had declared, " that it would
150 on any one of the remaining charges ? be exceedingly unbecoming in the House Would any gentleman present say, that it either to continue hearing the charges
would be right and decent to go on in that when a full attendance could not be ob}
manner, with not a third part of the House tained, or to leave off without first moving present? Would it not expose them to the a bill to hang up the inquiry, as it were,
advantage taken already more than once till the next session, then to be resumed È by an hon. major in respect to the resolu- and pursued to its conclusion.” At the
tions moved by Mr. Dundas so greatly to time of the right hon. gentleman's stating e his owo honour.in 1782? What had been that idea, the hon. major had not offered
the hon, major's argument in respect to a word of objection; much less had he said è those resolutions, but that they had been that the fate of India depended on their | voted in a thin House? If they proceeded being gone through this session, or that it
therefore with the rest of the charges, they would be injustice if they were not. In
would next session, in all probability, hear point of character, Mr. Hastings had no e that they bad been voted in a thin House. sort of right to complain that he had been
The hon. major, on Friday last, had taken injured by the proceedings hitherto, be2-1 a new ground of argument to urge the cause no person could assert that they 1 House to proceed with the remainder of were the first arraignments of the chaai the charges. He had positively declared racter of Mr. Hastings in the House of (VOL. XXVI.]
Commons. That gentleman's character prejudicial to his country or the East India and conduct as governor-general of India Company; but the consequences appeared had been before arraigned in that House. so palpable, that he was astonished they It stood arraigned upon the Journals in did not strike every member. Suppose the resolutions of 1782, wherein every the vote had been upon contracts, or al. misdemeanor contained in the charges lowances, or any charges of that kind ; he was generally imputed to that gentleman should have thought it a very great hardin the most strong and pointed terms. ship upon Mr. Hastings, had the House With regard to the character and dignity been prorogued, before he had had a full of that House, the best way to support opportunity of being cleared : but there both, was to act evenly and consistently. the mischief would have ended. On the They had hitherto proceeded deliberately, contrary, the decision on the Benares busiand in full Houses, to discuss and decide ness, or rather the half decision, tended upon the charges, and had made a much to destroy all confidence in India, and to farther progress than many gentlemen throw every thing into confusion. For had, at the beginning, imagined it possi- | how did it stand? A right hon. gentleman ble for them to do. No delay but what brought in a charge, on which he reprowas unavoidable could be imputed to the bated every step Mr. Hastings took reHouse, nor could any be imputed to his lative to Cheit Sing. This charge was right hon. friend (Mr. Burke), since the supported by a right hon. gentleman (Mr. House could not but have observed, that Fox), who particularly laboured to prove when the witnesses were under examina- this part, that under no circumstances tion, his right hon. friend curtailed it as could we exact military assistance from much as possible, and omitted many ques. Cheit Sing. It was very true that the tions that he intended to have asked, Chancellor of the exchequer (Mr. Pitt) merely to avoid eyery appearance of a had overturned all the arguments of the wish to procrastinate. Every possible dis right hon. gentleman, and had taken the patch had been used; they had proceeded charges completely to pieces. But what a considerable way, and it had been ori- was the vote? That in the Benares charge ginally understood, that when they found there was matter of an impeachable nait difficult to procure full attendances, the ture; and the hon. gentleman must know business was to be hung up till the next that that charge, with the vote of the session.
House upon it, was at this moment on its Major Scott said, he was so convinced way to India, not from this country, but of the gross injustice and oppression which from another, which never for a moment Mr. Hastings would sustain by a delay of lost sight of her interest. And was there six or seven months, and still more of the a man who could doubt the uses to which extreme danger to which our possessions it was possible such a charge and such a in India would be exposed by a delay, vote could be turned ? He could wish a that he could not avoid entering his so- map of India were always upon the table lemn protest against every attempt to of that House, that gentlemen might see postpone the decision of the present in- to what dangers our possessions might be quiry. The hon. gentleman had observed, exposed. He was not alarmed by the that a short delay could not be of very news from India, but from the measures material consequence to Mr. Hastings, pursued here, which tended to destroy all since he had long been arraigned, attacked, government there, and to establish prinand censured by that House in resolutions ciples which must undo us.
Could there or reports. The fact was undoubtedly be a second opinion amongst men who true: he had been attacked and defended read the charge, and the vote upon that by all parties in turn, just as parties had charge? And did it not tend to make changed in that House; but all parties every zemindar in India independent? had occasionally held him out to the pub- Feeling as he did upon this subject, he lic as one of their first and most valuable could not help deprecating any delay. servants. The more he thought upon that Mr. Pitt did not look upon the object subject, the stronger his conviction was, of those who opposed the motion as any that we risked an empire in India if we thing else than the postponement of the dropped the inquiry in the present mo. proceedings till next session. As to the ment, after the decision of Tuesday se'n-idea of the hon. mover, that Mr. Hastings night. He should be very sorry to say had a right to demand a speedy determiany thing in that House which should be nation of the business, he agreed that he