« ZurückWeiter »
« On all these grounds of objection; to high authority, but he must nevertheless the style and form of the Bill, as a decla- venture, on the present oecasion, to preratory bill; to the incongruities, absurdi- fer the conduct of the weak, to the con- + ties, and deficiencies of the Bill itself; to duct of the wise man, and to give Mr. much of the principle, and to all the dis-Hastings credit for having chosen to detinguishing characters of the system which liver in his defence on the first moment of it is meant to declare, as well as to the the accusation, and before it became abperpetual operation which it gives to that solutely necessary for him to make any. system, we think it incumbent upon us, There was a gallantry, a spirit, a manlihere solemnly on the Journal of Parlia- ness, and an obvious consciousness of inment, to record our hearty dissent for the nocence in appearing eager to repel accusatisfaction of our consciences, and for our sation, which he could not but admire ; justification to our fellow citizens, and to and it must be admitted that Mr. Hasposterity. (Signed) Portland, Carlisle, tings had something manly in his charac
Devonshire, Porchester, Derby, ter, he so far declared himself willing to
if he acted with more apparent prudence. .. « Dissentient, for the first reason only, Sir Richard Sutton objected to receiving
Hay." .. the written paper which the hon. gentle.
man had declared himself willing to deProceedings upon the Impeachment of liver. That House had nothing to do. Sir Elijah Impey.] April 16. The with what the hon. gentleman called his de-a House having resolved itself into a Com- fence, nor could they recognize what he mittee to consider further of the Articles had termed his accusation. The hon. against sir Elijah Impey, sir Gilbert Elliot gentleman had it in his option either to put a question to Mr.: Francis, to know consent to be examined or not. If he did whether he chose to be examined ? consent, the hon. gentleman must be exa
Mr. Francis answered, that still, as mined viva voce as other witnesses were. upon a former occasion, he was prepared | The House had last session bad an inand willing to lay before the Committee, stance of the imprudence of departing in writing, the substance of his defence, from their usual forms. Late at night, in answer to the accusation which sir ) and in a remarkably thin House, the ComElijah Impey, in his statement at the bar mittee upon the charges against Mr. Hasof the House, as explanatory and excul.tings had been prevailed on to admit a patory of his arraigned conduct relative paper, by way of saving time, instead of to the trial and execution of Nundcomar, staying to pursue a viva voce examination. had thought proper to advance against What had been the consequence! The him. He observed, that he was thoroughly paper afterwards turned out to be a scur
ra of the disadvantage of giving in a l rilous libel on Mr. Hastings. Whereas written defence in answer to an oral accu- there was this benefit attending a viva sation, and added, that by such an act he voce examination; if an improper ques. knew he was bound down to what he had tion was offered to be put to a witness, committed to writing as an answer to a or an impertinent and scurrilous answer fugitive accusation, and one, therefore, was attempted to be given, every memfor which the party was not capable of ber had a right to rise, and prevent either being made responsible. He had lately the one or the other being taken down as heard, in another place, a very high and matter of evidence. He was far from noble person call Mr. Hastings a weak meaning to apply the terms scurrilous and man, because, previous to the precise mo- | impertinent to the hon. member, but he ment when it was absolutely necessary, must object to his proposition of deliverhe had delivered in his defence in writing ing in the written matter, not only beat the bar of the House of Commons; and cause the Committee had nothing to do the same noble person had, at the same with the hon. gentleman's defence, but for time, pronounced sir Elijah Impey, a wise the sake of the precedent, and in order man, for having avoided a similar error, to guard against the introduction of a new and only delivered his defence orally. He and disadvantageous mode of receiving could not presume to question the sound- evidence. ness of this distinction, laid down by such Mr. Burke said, that the hon. baronet's
argument would have been just, if his hon. their number. The Bill would reduce the friend had meant, by delivering in his magistrates in being throughout England written paper, to have precluded the Com. to an insignificant and unworthy situation, mittee from the opportunity of entering by creating a board of commissioners into a viva voce examination ; but so far paramount in power, and granting them, was this from being the case, that the ad. | as it were, a dedimus potestatem ; the con. mission of the paper would furnish the sequence of which would be, that they Committee with a better ground for cross would have a right to commit and to examination upon its contents than they punish, and the respectable country macould otherwise have enjoyed. And gistrates would experience a disability surely it was natural to imagine that gen- to interfere with the management of tlemen would have caught at his proposal, the poor of their own neighbourhood, and as considering it to furnish them with an remain only possessed of powers, which advantage, by enabling them to hold him would render them contemptible. Mr. fast to what he had advanced as a member Young mentioned the large expense to in his place. Having failed in his first which the Bill would put the several object, he wished to secure his secondary counties, by obliging them to build three object, and to have it recognised that he large additional poor houses ; the number had offered to deliver in his defence in of new officers that must necessarily be writing.
appointed in consequence; and the diffiMr. Francis denied his being in any culty of conducting a system so extensive, sense a voluntary witness, and declared, complicated and perplexed. He paid Mr. · that so far from it, he had on a former Gilbert many compliments for the good occasion professed his fixed purpose not intention of his endeavours, and observed to interfere at all in the prosecution, but that, had not the Bill come from so rethat he had been forced to rise and defend spectable a quarter, he should have comhimself.
mented upon it more harshly; but, as his Sir Gilbert Elliot framed a question and wish was to treat every measure proceed. answer, to show that Mr. Francis had of- ing from so worthy a member with all fered to deliver in a written copy of his possible degrees of tenderness and redefence against the accusation made at spect, instead of moving the rejection of the bar by sir Elijah Impey, and that the the Bill, he would merely move, " That it Committee had refused to receive it. Mr. be read a second time that day three Francis immediately declared his willing- / months.” ness to be farther examined, and sir Gil. Mr. Gilbert observed, that the present bert proceeded to question him as to his subject had engrossed much of his lovesopinion of the truth or falsehood of the tigation for upwards of twenty years past,petition sent by Nundcomar. After the as he thought the poor were greatly disclose of Mr. Francis's examination, Mr. | tressed, and that the immense sums of Cadell was called in and examined, in money raised for their support had been
rder to prove the authenticity of the grossly misapplied ; that he had used printed account of the trial of Nund. many endeavours, and brought in several comar. .
bills, to redress those grievances, but hi
therto without success; that the Bill now Debate in the Commons on the Poor under consideration was formed upon a Bill] April 17. Mr. Gilbert moved the plan which he considered as adequate to Order of the Day for the second reading the purpose; that he was conscious there of his Bill for the better relief and em- were imperfections in it, but none which ployment of the Poor.
he thought might not be easily corrected Mr. Young said, that, although he en. and amended in the Committee; and, he tertained a most unfeigned respect for the hoped, when the distresses of the poor, hon. gentleman who had moved the se- and the grievous taxes laid upon those cond reading of his poor Bill, he could who maintain them, were duly considered, not shrink from his duty, painful as it was, the House would permit the Bill to go to rise in that early stage of it, and en into a Committee; that it was not new in deavour to prevent its proceeding any principle, nor difficult, in practice; that farther. The Bill was unfit to be adopted; the foundation of it was to incorporate a and, instead of remedying the evils at- dumber of parishes, for the better governtending the present management and ment, relief, and employment of the poor, maintenance of the Poor, it would increase upon a plan similar to that which had
been adopted with success in the counties | desire was to have it made as perfect as it of Norfolk, Suffolk, and other places ; | could be in the Committee, then reported, that he had collected from several of those reprinted, and sent into the country for houses of industry the state of their pro- farther consideration, before it came to its ceedings, wbich he desired leave to repre. last stage in the House. sent to the House. He said, that the Mr. Drake said, that to the unremitting hundreds of Clavering and Loddon, in assiduity, the unceasing labours, and the Norfolk, consisting of forty-one parishes indefatigable industry of the hon. gentlewere incorporated 4 Geo. 1, that their man in preparing bis Bill, he was ready to poor-rates in 1776, amounted to 2,3581. give the most cordial approbation; but he But, in 1785, were reduced to 2,2571., could not sacrifice a public trust, or can. after paying the interest and principal of sent to the speculations of any individual, 7,0001. borrowed for the buildings; that however well intentioned, unless his mind the poor-rates in fourteen adjoining pa- fully approved of them. The Bill went to rishes, which were not incorporated, dur. create à Board of Commissioners to be ing the same period had increased 3491. invested with inordinate and most abusable per annum ; that in the bundreds of East powers. That several parishes had been and West Flegg, consisting of twenty allowed to incorporate with respect to parishes, which were incorporated 15 Geo. their poor, and that they had reaped the 3, the poor rates had decreased 781. per benefit of incorporation, he verily beannum during the same period, and in lieved; but the present Bill proposed an seven adjacent parishes not incorporated, extensive system of incorporation liable to the poor-rates had increased 2546. per consequences that unavoidably created annum, during the same period; that in general alarm and apprehension. He - the hundreds of Long Ditch and Mitford, wondered not at the partiality of the hon. consisting of fifty parishes, incorporated gentleman to his Bill. Natural affection the 15 Geo. 3, the poor-rates were de- would necessarily bias the mind, and no creased during the same period 908/. per parent was willing to confess the ugliness annum, and in twenty adjoining parishes, of his own child; natural affection, which not incorporated, they were, in the same was. a comprehensive , expression for the time, increased, 2511. per annum ; that in description of an all-powerful and irrethe hundred of Blything in Suffolk, thirty- sistible prejudice, blinded him to his child's eight parishes had been incorporated in defects and deformities. If the hon. gen1764, and after paying the interest of the tleman conceived the sense of the country money borrowed, and defraying all other was with him in his project, he was egre. expenses, the poor rates were reduced giously mistaken. He had not met with 129.. per annum; and that the poor rates a single magistrate who did not reprobate in twenty-three adjacent parishes, not in the system, as leading to great confusion corporated, were, during the same period, I and enormous expense. It was. Irighly increased 8591. per annum ; that in the necessary that the House should come to town of Shrewsbury, where six parishes some decisive measure respecting the Bill; were incorporated, in 1784, the poor rates the public.saw several different projects amounted to 4,605l. per annum, and, at relative to the future management and the end of three years afterwards, were ' provision for the maintenance of the poor reduced to. 2.992., after paying the in- afloat, and they were puzzled how to act terest of 6,0001. borrowed for the build upon the subject, before the Legislature ings, 7501. in part of the principal, and bad determined which to choose, and also the expenses of furniture, stores, which to reject. Gentlemen who were will&c. Mr. Gilbert farther said, that the ing to take a part in parochial concerns, utility of these incorporated districts was and to assist in forming plans for the proso evident from the instances he had vision of their parish poor, were reduced stated, where the decrease of the rates to the necessity of standing still, lest the appeared as rapid as the increase of them mode they might adopt should suddenly had been before," that he thought the be put a stop to by the decision of Par. House, whose duty it was to hear and liament. It was incumbent, therefore, redress grievances, could not refuse the upon that House to act eftectually resecond reading of this. Bill, as the only specting the Bill, and although no man means by which it could go into a Com- would be more ready than he to let the mittee, where it might be fully considered hoa, gentleman, the author of the Bill, and amended, where necessary. That his down as gently as possible, he should have
been better pleased if it had been a mo- if he should now bring the business for: tion for a direct and explicit rejection of ward in a more harsh form, he desired the the Bill.
House to bear witness that he did it reMr. Beaufoy felt it incumbent upon him luctantly, and he trusted that they would' to rise for the sake of doing justice to the impute it to necessity rather than to incligreat and universally acknowledged meritnation. He had engaged in endeavouring of the hon. gentleman who had taken such to obtain justice for the brave and deservlaudable pains to render himself master of ing officers who had been passed by in the the subject, and had furnished the House late promotion ; and no consideration on with so much valuable information respect earth should prevent his persisting in his ing it. From that information the House purpose until the end was attained, unless bad been taught that upon an average of that House should interfere and order him the last nine years the amount of the to desist. When he proposed an address poor-rates had increased in a very consi- to the Crown, he was told by the Chanderable degree; and perhaps it had es. cellor of the Exchequer that the House caped them, that, on a calculation upon could not in that manner interfere, and the probable future increase, governed by that it was an encroachment upon the prethat of the last nine years, in the course rogative of the Crown. He wished to of fifty-three years, the term of an ordi- know whether the House had not an unnary life, the poor-rates of the kingdom doubted right to address the Crown, when would amount to the enormous sum of they were fully convinced of the existence 9,234,0006. He enlarged on this alarming i of abuses in the executive departments of speculation, observing that the wisdom Government? Every person in every deof Parliament would doubtless be exerted partment had a certain power of abuse to prevent the growth of the evil, and and corruption, and was not that House establish the maintenance of the poor to notice it? If any man would venture to on such a system as should render it im- hold such a doctrine, he was ready to prove, possible that during the probable lifetime by numerous instances, the interference of of some gentlemen present, the total the House to inquire into ministerial abuses. amount of the poor-rates should swell to The brave and meritorious officers had the enormous sum that he had stated. been stigmatised and disgraced, and when He spoke of the benefit of allowing pa- they applied at the Admiralty to know rishes to incorporate, but objected to the why they had been so treated, they had scheme which the Bill would establish, as been sent broken-hearted away. Far bettoo complex, too expensive, and too liable ter had it been for them to have fallen in to abuse.
action, than to have lived to be thus deThe House divided on the question, graded ! Had that been the case, their that the word “ now” stand part of the grateful country would, in all probability, question : Yeas, 10; Noes, 44. The second have voted them sepulchral honours. But reading of the Bill was therefore put off now, if they died, and their country acfor three months.
knowledging their great and important
services, were to erect monuments to their Debate in the Commons on the Conduct memory, how would the epitaplıs ruo? of the Admiralty in the late Promotion of “ To the memory of captains Balfour and Admirals.] April 18. Mr. Bastard begged Laforey, who, after having performed leave to remind the House, that when, upon most glorious services to their country, a former occasion, (see p. 20), he made a / were disgraced by a denial of being admotion, by which he conceived that justice mitted to those honours and rewards to would be done to the meritorious officers which they had an undoubted claim, and who were driven from the service in con- died in consequence of broken hearts." sequence of their having been passed by He begged the House to consider the in the late promotion to the flag; he had question seriously, and that the motion Dot chosen the mode which he then might pass, in order to do substantial jusadopted from any preference given to it tice to the officers, that they might have in his own mind, as the best mode of ob- those honours which were their due, and taining redress for the injuries the officers those emoluments which were their right. had received, but he had brought it for. Thus would confidence be restored to the ward in that shape, because he thought it navy, and that spirit revived which had the most lenient and favourable for minis. been fatally checked by the general opitry. That motion bad been rejected, and nion entertained among the officers, that meritorious services were no longer con- , assigned as a fit reason for rejecting anosidered as strong claims to honours and ther. When that House called for parewards. When the subject was before pers, they had a right to have the paunder discussion, no gentleman had ven- | pers they specifically called for; and a tured to assert, that the first lord of the refusal would naturally create suspicions. Admiralty had done. right. A principle -Mr. Bastard investigated all the cirhad been laid down to regulate the pro- cumstances of the cases of captain Uiemotions to the flag by the order of council dale, captain Shirley, captains Balfour and of 1747. He made no doubt but he Laforey, Bray, Dalrymple, and Thompshould be able to prove to the satisfaction son. He maintained, that they were all of the House, that the principle had been men fitted for command. He spoke of abandoned, and broken arbitrarily, capri- captain Uvedale in terms of great praise, ciously, and wantonly. He would prove and mentioned his ill health, which the fact from authentic letters, some of obliged him twice to quit his ship. In them written by the first lord, others by order to prove the captain's gallantry, he Mr. Stephens, and one of them by the stated, that a brother officer, in the fleet first minister of the country. He declared of sir George Rodney, observing captain he should be sorry to read any thing of Uvedale extremely ill, told him of it, and private correspondence. He begged to advised him to apply to the Admiralty for know if it contained any passage which leave to come home, when the capwas considered as of a private nature. tain had said in reply, that he had He reminded the House how long officers rather die there, than leave the French in the navy were to continue in the ser- unbeaten in the West Indies : that vice before they could obtain promotion sir George had declared he would and honours; and how very different the save captain Uvedale's life against his case was with respect to the army. There will, and accordingly sent him home with were sinecure places in the army of 20001. dispatches. That captain Uvedale was per annum, to the amount of 50,0001.; next appointed to the Dublin, but was, whereas the whole of the sums given to after some time, obliged to quit it on acthe navy amounted to no more than count of his health. Mr. Bastard added, 16,0001. per annum. He was far from that for this reason he had been taken no objecting to liberality being exerted to notice of by the Admiralty. That the fact those officers that had been promoted, but was, a yard fell upon his head on board he wished that other persons more capa. his own ship and wounded him, which ble of service were rewarded adequately caused him to undergo a temporary de. to their merits. It had been said, that privation of his ship; the blood gushing the Admiralty possessed a discretionary from his wound, a survey of surgeons had power to select captains in the promotion been ordered to report his ill health; to the flag ; but he should contend, that but he was not superseded at his own reevery discretionary power was liable toquest. Was an officer, then, who had abuse, and consequently subject to the been wounded, in the service, when accontrol of Parliament. That House was tually at sea, and on board his ship, to be constitutionally authorized to superintend deprived of his rank on that account? and control the conduct of the different Mr. Bastard proceeded to state the case departments of the state, and particularly of captain Laforey; who had been comthe naval department. In the present in- missioned by sir G. Rodney to hoist : stance, though the order of council of pendant as commander in chief in port at 1747 marked and laid down the principles Antigua. He read the letters of captain to guide and govern the board of Admi- Laforey, and the answers of lord Howe ralty in their promotion of officers, and upon the subject, and commented upon left them little more than to follow the | them, remarking, that although captain rule chalked out for them, he would prove, Laforey was set aside from his flag, on that in the late promotion every one of account of his holding a civil office as those principles had been totally deserted. commissioner of Plymouth-yard, sir c. The year 1777 had been made use of at Middleton had his rank, notwithstanding one time, and to answer a particular pur- he was Comptroller of the Navy. He pose, as a year of peace; and at another spoke of the appointment of sir John Lind