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be oppressed by burthens which it scarce permanency of this great system, stand can bear, ministers will not dare (even for responsible to God and man, for all the their own sakes) to involve this country in fatal consequences of such neglect, and expensive wars, without provocation, or for the disasters and dreadful calamities without necessity; for the nation would which may befall their country.
tear that minister to pieces, who, in the Lord Camelford expressed his wish, that : present situation of our finances, should the House should proceed with such cau
involve this country in war, or attempt to tion, as to avoid throwing the least dislay on an additional load of heavy taxes, credit upon the Bill, or to give the world without sufficient cause. Our national po- an idea that it was thought an imperfect verty has therefore at least this one good measure. He well knew both the integrity attending it, namely, that it tends to make of the noble earl's intentions, and his the governing powers of this country cau- ardour in carrying into effect any measure tious to avoid wars, and to make them which he thought was for the good of his prudent from necessity. But this Bill of country. He was fully persuaded that the minister that is now before the House, every word he had uttered came from his tends to subvert, as it were, this great heart, and that they were the result of a system of nature. For though it does not laudable desire to assist in the great work make us rich, it takes from us any ad- of supporting the national credit. But the vantage which we might derive from our time of proposing such a resolution, was property. This Bill of Administration what he chiefly and entirely disapproved.' may, in its consequences, prove fatal to He would not then go into a discussion of
this kingdom. For, if it be not followed the arguments of the noble earl; neither | up by some other measure to make it per- would he discuss the resolution, which
manent, and to render its operation cerstood not in need of the authorities of tain and safe, it will tend to destroy one of great and respectable monied men, nor of the noblest gifts of Providence, inasmuch as any authority whatever, as it turned chiefly this Bill will tend to destroy that security upon self-evident propositions. That the which we otherwise should have against plan should be permanent was a matter the rashness of future ministers; and in- which every one of their lordships must
asmuch as it will tend to destroy that ne- wish ; but they all knew how impossible it · cessity of doing right, which is our best was to make it more so than it was made
preservative against folly, and our surest by the Bill upon the table. With regard guard against imprudence.-If, my lords, to the noble lord's proposal of paying off the present or any future minister should the 3 per cents at 90, he professed it come forward, with a wise measure to se- struck him, that the plan of paying them cure the sinking fund, and to insure to us off at the market price, as provided by the and posterity the advantages of an un- Bill on the table, was more advantageous alienable plan for the redemption of our for the public, because it made paying off public debt; that minister will deserve not in war time, the time most easy of disthe praises, not the thanks, but the bless charging the debt. ings of a grateful people. But, if it should
Earl Stanhope said, that instead of findunfortunately happen, that this measure ing reason for an alteration of his opinion before the House shall be the last; if no in consequence of what he had heard, the plan shall be adopted to render this im- noble lord's arguments would induce him portant measure permanent, and to place to press his motion still more strongly on this new sioking fund out of the reach of their lordships. He complained, however, any profligate minister, and out of the of having been misunderstood, and stated reach of any corrapt and abandoned par- in what particular, entering into an explaliament; and if public bankruptcy shall nation as to the effect of the 10 per cent. ensue, with all its concomitant evils ; I, advantage gained by the public in consemy lords, shall have at least one (though quence of the compact proposed to be perhaps only one) consolation left, that of entered into with the public creditors. reflecting that l'had not contributed to He illustrated his argument, that the those national misfortunes, and that I had public by gaining priority of redemption done my duty by lodging my distinct opi- to the subscribers holding 3 per cent. stock, nion and forewarning upon the Journals would give away what was in fact of no of your lordships; and let those men who use or advantage to them, though exare possessed of power, and who shall tremely beneficial to the public creditor, neglect to use that power to secure the by putting the case of a man living in
London, having an estate in Yorkshire, lord, in which he was ready to admit that which entitled him to a right of pasturing there were parts of which he entirely apcows on a common where his estate lay. proved, and others to which he could not Having no cows in Yorkshire, the right of agree. All that he thought necessary, pasturing could be of no use or advantage therefore, was, to consider in what manner to the London landlord ; but if he sold he had best proceed to get rid of the resothat right to a person in Yorkshire, resi. lution ; but conscious of the extreme diffident close to the common, he parted with culty of persuading one so inflexible in his what he could not himself 'derive any determinations as the noble earl to withimmediate advantage from, to a person to draw his motion, he should move the prewhom it proved a real benefit.
vious question. Lord Camelford admitted, that upon Lord Loughborough was thoroughly the public creditor giving up 10 per cent. convinced, from having listened to the of his principal, the public would find their observations of the noble earl, that all his advantage in paying him off first.
future arguments, like the present, in that Earl Stanhope said, that he would meet House would deserve the serious attention the noble lord on the issue which he had of their lordships in general. He was a himself stated. Let him shew him a shop | little surprised at hearing the noble earl that sold all manner of shop goods at 10 talk of binding future parliaments to any per cent. under the price charged by particular line of conduct. That was, he other shops, and he would in future con- conceived, an unconstitutional idea. For fine his custom to that shop only.
the present, he was much inclined to supEarl Bathurst lamented that they should port the proposition of the noble Lord high hear in that House that as the Bill stood, in office, and that because it was impossithe commissioners might gain money by ble for bim to be ready on the sudden, to gambling in the stocks.
When it was decide upon a resolution so important as considered who those commissioners were, that moved by the noble earl. what degree of credit and respect their Earl Stanhope said, his aim was to get characters must necessarily stand in from his resolution entered on the journals, as the offices which they held, and that they a test of his sentiments upon so important must always be a check upon each other, a subject. For that reason he would not it was not possible for him to entertain any withdraw his motion. such suspicion, or patiently hear it sug.
The Duke of Richmond having compli. gested. Was it considered, that one of mented earl Stanhope upon his lately them was an officer, who for fifty years written pamphlet, added that the plan together, had bought and sold all the therein suggested, was extremely different money belonging to the suitors of the from that which he had just stated to the Court of Chancery, which amounted to House. His printed plan went upon the upwards of nine millions, and yet that proposition of paying off the 3 per cents officer (the accountant.general) had never at 75, whereas he had now suggested a once had his integrity impeached by the scheme of paying them off at 90. The slightest imputation ?
duke reasoned on these different plans Earl Stanhope desired, in considering a comparatively for some time, and statec great public question, not to be held out why he approved the plan of buying them as speaking at all personally. The six up at the market price, as directed by the commissioners named in the Bill were un Bill on the table.
Bill on the table. He thought it a plar doubtedly most respectable characters, infinitely more likely to save the public and were above suspicion; but in arguing money, and to support the national credi a question of that 'magnitude, it was his by raising the price of stocks. duty to look at possibilities. It ought to Viscount Stormont said, that he nevei be considered that any one commissioner recollected a first speech in that assembly separately, or any individual in their which had come with more weight, o secrets, might use their advantage im- made a more evident impression on thei properly, and gamble in the stocks. Jordships than that of the noble earl; not
Lord Sydney did not feel it requisite to withstanding, which he must take th investigate the plan which the noble lord liberty of advising him to withdraw hi had stated to the House, as it was not at motion, since it was iinpossible for thei that time properly before them, neither lordships to decide upon it without would he enter upon any argument rela proper knowledge of its extent. tive to the resolution moved by the noble
The previous question was put and amount, even after the India Company carried.
had paid their debt to Government, to no Viscount Stormont begged to remind more than 25,0001. His lordship declared the House, that it was extremely necessary the whole of the plan was constructed that they should have before them the like some pyramids, of which he had Report of the Committee of the House of heard the superstructure was raised first, Commons; and he justified the measure, and the foundation was left to follow afterthat he should move, viz. for a message to wards. He paid great compliments to be sent to the Commons, “ to know the earl Stanhope's plan, and contended that grounds on which they had passed the one of the first proceedings of the plan Bill,” by reminding the House, that on a contained in the Bill, ought to have been former occasion the minister had laid upon to contract with the public creditors, to their lordships table, minutes of the evi- give them a right of priority of redempdence which the Commons had heard at tion, on their agreeing to subscribe to a their bar, and which they stated to have condition of being paid off at the fixed been the grounds of their proceeding in price. He concluded with declaring that the particular case alluded to. He con- he would give the Bill his vote, not becluded with moving a message to the cause he approved of the mode of beginCommons.
ning to pay off the national debt, but This occasioned a short conversation because he thought it expedient that it upon the practice of the House. Earl should have an immediate commenceBathurst resisted the motion as unusual, ment. and rather beneath the dignity of their Lord Camelford defended his former proceedings. Lord Sydney, and lord argument, and maintained that the idea Hawke, were also against it, and in an. thrown out by earl Stanhope of fixing the swer to what viscount Stormont had said, price of stocks below their present par, of the evidence heard at the bar of the would not only be diadvantageous to the Commons, having been laid on their lord public, by raising the price of stock ships table, it was observed that it had greatly, but would amount to a violation been stated, that in the case alluded to, of the public faith, at which every honest viz. the Irish propositions, the evidence man's breast ought to recoil. He reproheard by the Commons could not be con- bated the idea of fixing the per cents sidered as any authority deserving of the at 90, and asserted that, compared with least reliance. At length the duke of the plan contained in the Bill on the table, Richmond drew a motion for a message the noble Earl's scheme had not a leg to to his Majesty, desiring that a copy of the stand upon. Report might be laid before the House. Earl Stanhope rose, to rescue his plan This was ordered.
from the animadversions of the noble Lord.
As to raising the price of stock, undoubtMay 25. The House having resolved edly in proportion as the day of redempitself into a Committee on the National tion was known to approximate, the price
would increase, and on that account it Viscount Stormont opened his remarks was, that he thought the present Bill imon the Report of the Committee of the perfect, inasmuch as it did not guard House of Commons, by stating, that taking against the loss the public were likely to the income of one year instead of the sustain, in consequence of the price at average income of several years, was too which the stocks were to be redeemed, narrow to build upon, when the erection not being by previous contract fixed with was to be a fabric of such magnitude and the public creditor. importance, as the Bill upon their lord- Earl Bathurst asked whether such a ships table. He produced a paper on doctrine was ever before heard of, as that which he had written down the sums al- the minister was to be blamed for having ready voted under the head of supplies, added to the public credit, and at the and that in all probability would be voted, same time to private accommodation, in and setting them against the ways and respect to borrowing of money, by occameans voted and to be voted, reasoned sioning a considerable rise in the price of upon both as hypotheses, and declared, stock. He objected against the plan of that if they were tolerably correct, the the noble Earl, declaring that heretofore soll balance to go towards the million of it had been deemed an advantage that the surplas, to be applied by the Bill, would redemption of stock was not near at hand, (VOL. XXVI.]
and therefore, it appeared to him extra- | the Usher of the Black Rod being ordered ordinary indeed to contend, that the pub- to go to the Commons, and desire their lic creditors would willingly pay a premium presence, the Speaker of that House came of 10 per cent. for a right of priority of to the bar, attended by several members. redemption.
Upon presenting to his Majesty the Bill Lord Loughborough observed, that he for the Reduction of the National Debt, should find himself excessively at a loss in the Speaker addressed his Majesty as what manner to argue, were the first prin-| follows:ciples of the plan of the noble Earl to be
“ Most gracious Sovereign; questioned. His lordship proceeded to take a comprehensive view of the subject.
“ Your faithful Commons have passed He made most handsome mention of lord a Bill, intituled, “ An Act for vesting Stanhope's pamphlet, declaring, that it certain sums in commissioners, at the end had afforded him great pleasure and in- of every quarter of a year, to be by them formation; that its facts were strongly applied to the Reduction of the National urged, its calculations demonstrably just Debt ;' by which they have manifested and correct, and its reasoning clear and their attention to your Majesty's recomconvincing. He explained the relation- mendation, at the opening of this session, ship which the price of stock bore to the for establishing a fixed plan for the rereal interest of money and its value, and duction of the national debt. contended, that it was absurd to take the “ By the unanimity which attended the estimation of the latter from the price of last and most important stage of this Bill, the former. He denied that the increase they have given the most decisive proof, of the price of the 3 per cents from 58 that they have but one heart, and one to 72, was a proof of the great increase voice, in the maintenance of the public of trade. The increase of trade always credit, and prosperity of their country. produced a gradual, but not a rapid effect “ The public credit of the nation, which on the funds. He entered fully into the is the result of just and honourable dealreport of the committee of the House of ing, is now guarded by an additional Commons, and dwelt on the various parts security; and the future prosperity of this of it, contending that they were grossly country will effectually be provided for, erroneous. He said that he could not when it is considered, that, for the purspeak so favourably of the Bill on the pose of pleading the cause of the conti. table, as his noble friend had done; be- nuance of this measure most powerfully cause he feared it would be productive of with posterity, your faithful Commons most mischievous effects. His prejudices have, to the justice and good policy of it, in favour of a Bill, professing so great added the authority of their own example: and so desirable an object, had been at
“ Qui facit, ille jubet." first so strong, that it cost him some strug. “ They have not been discouraged by gles before he could surmount them, and the burthens imposed during the last ten look at the subject fairly, and with a view years from submitting in the present time, to the consideration of its real merits. and in the hour of peace, to new, and the Having examined it deliberately, he was possibility of other, burthens; their object convinced it might entail disadvantages, being to attain a situation for their couninstead of conferring a benefit on the try more favourable to her defence and country, and that in a future war should glory in the event of future emergencies. we be obliged to sell stock, we should be “ A plan so honourable in its prinbuying cheap and selling dear; the one ciple, and so conducive to the future hapwould act in an aritlımetical, the other in piness and safety of the kingdom, must a geometrical progression ; a state either be, in the highest degree, acceptable to the permanence or extent of which might the father of his people. lead to irrecoverable ruin.
“ Under that confidence, in the name The Committee having gone through of all the Commons of Great Britain, I the Bill, it was reported, and read a third tender this Bill to your Majesty ; to time.
which, with all humility, your faithful
Commons desire your Majesty's royal The Speaker's Speech to the King on assent.” presenting the Bill for the Reduction of the National Debt.] May 26. The King The royal assent was then given to the being come to the House of Peers, and Bill.
Debate on the Articles against Mr. | little could he be charged with, because Hastings-Conduct of the Rohilla War.] he had deliberately proceeded and exaJune 1. The House having resolved itself mined every step which he took in the into a Committee of the whole House to business with the most minute and cautious consider further of the several articles of attention ; and least of all could it be said, charge of high crimes and misdemeanors with any colour of truth, that he had been against Warren Hastings, esq., late go. actuated by passion. Anger, indeed, he verdor-general of Bengal, Mr. St. John had felt, but surely not a blameable in the chair,
anger; for who ever heard of an inquiring Mr. Burke begged a pause of a few anger; a digesting anger ; a collating minutes, wishing, on account of the anger; an examining anger; a delibegreat magnitude of the subject, to have rating anger; or a selecting anger? The the House as full as possible before he anger which he felt was a uniform, steady, began what he had to say to the Com. public anger, but not a private anger. mittee. Soon afterwards,
That anger, which five years ago warmed Mr. Burke, rising again, solemnly in his breast, he felt precisely now : he was, voked the House, to shew that justice in respect to the British government in which he contended was particularly due India, exactly in the same situation in to the subject, as well because the na- which he stood when he first took it up. tional credit and character were deeply Not all the various occurrences of the last implicated in the issue of the business five years, neither five changes of admiabout to be brought before them, as for nistration, nor the retirement of summer, the sake of their own honour and dignity. nor the occupation of winter, neither his He described the precise question to be public nor his private avocations, nor the decided ; declaring, that it was an appeal snow which in that period had so plentito British justice from British power. The fully showered on his head, had been able charge contained matter which must either to cool that anger which he acknowledged be criminal, or a very false accusation : to feel as a public man, but which, as a there was no medium ; no alternative: the private individual, he had never felt one result must be, that Warren Hastings had moment. been guilty of gross, enormous, and fla- The question which he was going to gitious crimes, or that he (Mr. Burke) submit to their consideration was not a was a base, calumniatory, wicked, and personal contest ; it was a national and an malicious accuser. He enlarged upon imperial question, and not a trifling munithe degree of guilt ascribable to that man, cipal regulation : it involved in it the ho. who should presume to take up the time nour of the country, and now, particularly, of the House by rashly coming forward the honour and the justice of that House. and urging groundless and ill-founded | They stood pledged by a resolution of charges against a person who had been a former day to bring it forward : let not intrusted with high and exalted offices in their honour be tarnished, but let their the government of a part of our territories character be safe; and let it be said, with much larger and more extensive than the respect to its justice, esto perpetua, whatwhole island of Great Britain. For any ever might become of him. He begged private man to suggest such charges, would that the House would not regard the matbe to be guilty of a scandalous libel; ter as a matter of party : there were no and for any man, while under colour of parties concerned in it, except the injured, authority, to hurl the thunders of parlia- the oppressor, and the accuser. It bementary vengeance at the head of an in- came their immediate duty to consider it nocent individual, would be such an abuse in those three points of view. With reof power, as would not fail to rouse the gard to himself, he called upon the jusjustice and call down the punishment of tice, the honour, the dignity of Parliathat House. There were but three mo- ment, to denounce their utmost vengeance tives which were known to actuate men on his head as the accuser, should it be and excite them to turn accusers; these found that he had dared to trifle with the were ignorance, inadvertency, and pas. sacred character of the British Legislature. sion. By neither of these three had he He had made up his mind completely been actuated : ignorance he could not upon the subject, and was ready and pre-plead, because he knew the subject as pared to submit himself to the severest fully as the labour and study of five years punishment of that House, should it apcould make him know it: inadvertency as pear that he had wantonly and rashly pre