« ZurückWeiter »
Frederick, Henry, Northumber- | the 15th of December 1783, where he
The Earl of Euston rose, and premising Death of Mr. Speaker Cornwall-Mr. that the unfortunate event of the death W. W. Grenville chosen Speaker. 1 Dec. of their late worthy Speaker was too well 30. The clerk at the table acquainted known to require his dwelling upon the the House, that the Speaker was indis circumstance, added that he must beg posed with a cold and fever, which con- leave to remind the House, that the occafined him to his chamber; and that he had sion called for the election of a fit and directed him to express to the House his proper person to fill the vacant chair, concern, that he was prevented from The right hon. gentleman, whom he should attending their service this day, but that take the liberty of proposing, was a man he hoped in a day or two to be able to of such splendid abilities, experienced return to his duty. Whereupon it was assiduity, and perfect knowledge of parmoved, that the House should adjourn to liamentary privilege, resulting from the the 1st of January. And thereupon the closest attention to business, ever since Clerk (to whom those who spoke ad. he had enjoyed a seat within the House, dressed themselves, according to former as pointed him out to be the proper sucpractice in the absence of the Speaker) cessor of the late Speaker. Mr. Grenville by direction of the House, put the ques was the gentleman whom he meant to tion, which was agreed to.
recommend, and when the House con.
sidered his excellent understanding, and January 2, 1789. The Clerk at the unremitting industry, he trusted that their table acquainted the House, that he was minds would go with his in thinking, that extremely sorry to inform them, that Mr. these qualifications rendered Mr. GrenSpeaker died that morning. After which, / ville an object worthy of their choice. and before any member spoke, the mace Much, he said, might be urged on the was brought into the House by the ser score of the right hon. gentleman's prijeant, and laid under the table. "Mr. Rose vate character; that stamp of merit, added said, that under the very unhappy em- to his parliamentary knowledge, and barrassment in which they were placed strength of mind, and of constitution, by this lamentable event, he did not know rendered him in every point of view so what better expedient to propose than an unexceptionable, that it was unnecessary adjournment until Monday. On this for him to take up more of the time of there was a general cry of “ adjourn, the House. He would therefore con: adjourn.” Mr. Vyner said, he did not clude with moving “ that the right hone mean to dispute the motion ; but as a William Wyndham Grenville do take the doubt was entertained, whether the clerk chair of this House as Speaker.” at the table could adjourn the House more Mr. William Pulteney seconded the than from day to day, and as he under. / motion. He observed, that the whole stood there were two or three precedents House had witnessed with pleasure the on the Journals, he wished, for the satis- | right hon. gentleman's great attention, faction of gentlemen, that one or two of extreme accuracy, and clearness of reathem might be read. The clerk then soning. The right hon. gentleman had read from the Journals, a precedent of ever conducted himself with that mode
905] Mr. W. W. Grenville chosen Speaker.
* Speaker. A. D. 1789.
A. D. 1789. - 1906 ration and candour, which pointed him | days, and therefore bis partiality and preout as a fit successor to their late Speaker. dilection were pardonable. But, it rested The right hon. gentleman possessed an not on his private opinion, they had all hereditary claim to the favour of the been witnesses of the hon. baronet's zeal House, as the guardian of its privileges, for the constitution, they had all been which he had fortified and established by witnesses of his powerful eloquence, and his judicious alteration of his father's bill, superior ability; yet, as the hon. baronet a bill that, in his opinion, had gone far- possessed the usual companion of great ther towards securing the first and the merit, great modesty, in compassion to most invaluable privileges of that House, bis feelings he would forbear to say more, than any measure that had ever taken and conclude with moving, by way of place in parliament. He mentioned the amendment, That sir Gilbert Elliot's name customary usage of a previous applica- be inserted in the question. tion from the Crown, when the chair be- | Mr. Frederick Montagu declared, that came vacant, but as under the melancholy he entertained every respect for the right circumstances of the times, no such form hon. gentleman named on the other side could take place, and as it was absolutely of the House, in common with the noble necessary that the chair should be filled lord who had proposed him, and the hon. · in order to enable the House to proceed gentleman who had seconded him; he with the very delicate business before must, however, be allowed to second the them, which demanded dispatch, the motion made by the right hon, gentleman choice of a Speaker immediately was so near him. They all knew how necessary indispensably requisite, that he supposed a knowledge of legal forms were, and must no doubt could remain on that question. admit, that the hon. baronet just named,
Mr. Welbore Ellis expressed his con- possessed that thorough acquaintance with cern to find, that the loss of a regular the laws of his country, which, had he opening of the session, and of the execu- continued in the courts below, could not tive government, had been aggravated by have failed to have rendered him one of the unfortunate loss of their Speaker. It the chief ornaments of his profession. was a maxim laid down by some authors Fortunately for that House, the hon. bar. of eminence, “ that any government was onet had brought that acuteness of mind better than no government at all;" but which he so eminently possessed, among although he had formerly embraced that them, where it could not fail to be exeropinion, he must now oppose it, because cised to the advantage of the public, and the maxim had grown into such a degree to his own credit. He could expatiate of prevalence, that instead of taking the much more at large on the qualifications short and ready path of restoring the third of the hon baronet, but when he consi. estate, and giving the constitution its due dered, that what must contribute to their energy and vigour, much time had been satisfaction, would give pain to the hon. lost in parliamentary fancy. It was true, baronet, he would restrain his inclination, that under the present circumstances, the and only second the motion of his right usual forms of an election of a Speaker hon. friend. could not be observed ; and therefore the Mr. Grenville declared, that whatever House was justified in proceeding to ap might be the decision of the House, he immediate choice. For his own part, he should always consider it as an honour, to should not hesitate to pay every tribute have been thought fit to fill the chair of of applause to the right hon. gentleman that House, by persons of such high cha. who had been proposed, and he should, racter, as the noble. lord and the bon. in the fullest manner admit, that he was gentleman, who had stood forward in his a fair object of their choice, were it not support. He felt the great importance of that he had intended to recommend an the situation to which he had been prohon. baronet near him, to whose abilities posed, and was so conscious of the inand eloquence the whole House could crease of that importance, in consequence bear testimony. He meant no disrespect, of the very delicate and momentous busitherefore to the right hon. gentleman, ness in which the House was engaged, when he presumed to mention sir Gilbert that he trembled for his inexperience, and Eliot as a fit person to fill the vacant his inability to discharge the duties of the chair. He had enjoyed the pleasure of a office. These considerations, he trusted, Very early acquaintance with the hon. would induce the House to turn their eyes baronet, and knew him from his boyish to the hon. baronet over the way, or to
some gentleman more worthy to fill the Further Proceedings in the House of chair, and more capable of sustaining the Commons on the King's Illness.] Jan 6. burthen of official duty, than himself. On the motion that the order of the day
Sir Gilbert Elliot could not avoid ex- | be now read, pressing his sincerest gratitude and respect Mr. Loveden rose, and begged leave to for the persons who had done him the remind the House that he had ever dehonour to name him, and for whom he clared his sentiments, such as they were, was proud to confess his veneration and with truth and sincerity, without a wish to regard, even if they had not shown that court the countenance of party, or to sofresh instance of their partiality and kind- licit the favour of power; that in that ness. The right hon. gentleman over the House, he considered himself as a free way could not feel more deeply than he did, agent, and was determined to continue so, the importance of the office, to which his his maxim being, “ Nullius addictus jurare friends had proposed that he should be ele- in verba magistri.” He was neither vated. He well knew that it was the duty biassed by affection for one set of men, of the person who should fill the chair, nor misled by prejudices against another, not merely to preserve decency and deco- and acted upon what he considered to be rum; not merely to look to the order of a better principle, and a more becoming their proceedings, but to assert the privi- motive, than either self-interest or ambileges of the House, both there and else. tion, an honest zeal for the promotion of where; because those privileges were the public welfare. Before the House essential to the existence of parliament, proceeded to settle the terms of the reand intimately connected with the liber- gency, he conceived that they ought to ties and happiness of those whom they re- know exactly what the exigency of the presented. He felt his own inadequacy case really was, the providing for which too sensibly, when he considered the high had become the object of their deliberaand important duties of the office. Sur- tions. No limitations of any kind could rounded as he was by men of great legal be suitably adopted, without having a reknowledge and experience, he could not ference to the cause which created the think of taking that chair, to which he so necessity for their introduction; and therewell knew his own inadequacy to do jus- fore, before they went a step farther, in tice.
his humble judgment, they ought to know The question being put on lord Euston's precisely what was the present state of his motion, the House divided. The tellers Majesty's health, what the degree of alwere appointed by the clerk, viz.: Yeas, teration which it had undergone, since his Mr. Robert Smith, 215; Noes, lord Mait- physicians were last examined, and whether land, 144.
the probability of his recovery was inSo it was resolved in the affirmative. creased, or lessened, in their opinion. Whereupon Mr. Grenville was conducted Reports had gone abroad of a very conto the chair by the earl of Euston, and tradictory kind, and the authority of the Mr. Pulteney; where standing on the up- different physicians who attended his Maper step of the chair, he again addressed jesty, had been made use of to give sanchimself to the House, submitting himself tion to those reports. He had that day to their commands, hoping for their in- seen a letter from one of the physicians in dulgence to pardon all his defects; and question, in which the writer fully contraexpressing himself truly sensible of the dicted the report, in which his name had high honour the House had been pleased been made use of. Rumours were also to confer upon him. And then he sat circulated, that the opinions of the physidown in the chair; and the mace, which cians were not faithfully communicated to before lay under the table, was laid, by the public. That the House might not the serjeant, upon the table.
act upon rumour, he thought it highly Mr. Pitt then gave notice, that he necessary, that the foundation of the would to-morrow open to the House the reports respecting his Majesty's indisRestrictions which he should propose as ne position should be ascertained, and that cessary to be annexed to the Regency.* the House should have the whole truth
.. During the interval of the Speaker's ill- with the observations of his Royal Highness ness, Mr. Pitt communicated to the Prince of thereupon, are as follow: Wales the plan he had formed for the con Copy of Mr. Pitt's LETTER to his royal stitution of a Regency. This Letter, together highness the Prince of Wales, left at completely before them. With that the probability of his Majesty's speedy review it was that he had risen, and al- covery, that important fact ought to be as. though he did not wish to press any uncertained ; because, if his Majesty's pre-, necessary motion on the House, yet, as sent incapacity was but a mere temporary the limitations would necessarily be go- suspension of the exercise of the royal auverned by the greater or less proportion of thority, limitations to a particular extent,
Carlton-house, on Tuesday night, the to require any farther explanation on the 30th of December,
| subject, and should condescend to signify “ Sir; The proceedings in parliament being your orders, that I should have the honour of now brought to a point, which will render it attending your Royal Highness for that purnecessary to propose to the House of Com pose, or to intimate any other mode in mons, the particular measures to be taken which your Royal Highness may wish to refor supplying the defect of the personal exer-ceive such explanation, I shall respectfully cise of the royal authority during the present wait your Royal Highness's commands. Í interval, and your Royal Highness having have the honour to be, with the utmost defesome time since signified your pleasure, that ) rence and submission, Sir, your Royal Highany communication on this subject should be ness's most dutiful and devoted servant, il writing, I take the liberty of respectfully
“ Downing Street, W. Pitt. entreating your Royal Ilighness's permission “ Tuesday Night, Dec. 30, 1788.” to submit to your consideration the outlines
Copy of the Paper delivered by the Prince of the plan which his Majesty's confidential
of Wales to the Lord Chancellor, in servants humbly conceive (according to the best judgment which they are able to form)
reply to the Letter sent to his Royal
Highness from Mr. Pitt. to be proper to be proposed in the present circumstances.
" The Prince of Wales learns from Mr. “ It is their humble opinion, that your | Pitt's letter, that the proceedings in parlia Royal Highness should be empowered to ex-ment are now in a train which enables Mr. ercise the royal authority in the name and on Pitt, according to the intimation in his the behalf of his Majesty, during his Majesty's former letter, to communicate to the Prince illness, and to do all acts which might legally the outlines of the plan which his Majesty's be done by his Majesty; with provisions, confidential servants conceive to be proper to nevertheless, that the care of his Majesty's be proposed in the present circumstances. royal person, and the management of his "Concerning the steps already taken by Majesty's household, and the direction and Mr. Pitt, the Prince is silent.-Nothing done appointment of the officers and servants by the two Houses of Parliament can be a therein, should be in the Queen, under such proper subject of his animadversion ; but regulations as may be thought necessary, when previously to any discussion in parliaThat the power to be exercised by your royal ment, the outlines of a scheme of government highness should not extend to the granting | are sent for his consideration, in which it is the real or personal property of the King, proposed that he shall be personally and (except as far as relates to the renewal of principally concerned, and by which the royal leases) to the granting any office in reversion, authority, and the public welfare may be or to the granting, for any other term than deeply affected, the Prince would be unjustiduring his Majesty's pleasure, any pension, fiable, were he to withhold an explicit decla or any office whatever, except such as must ration of his sentiments.' His silence might by law be granted for life, or during good be construed into a previous approbation of a behaviour; nor to the granting any rank or plan, the accomplishment of which every dignity of the peerage of this realm to any motive of duty to his father and sovereign, as person except his Majesty's issue, who shall well as of regard for the public interest, obhave attained the age of twenty-one years. liges him to consider as injurious to both. ." These are the chief points which have " In the state of deep distress, in which occurred to his Majesty's servants. I beg the Prince, and the whole royal family were leave to add, that their ideas are formed on involved, by the heavy calamity which has the supposition that his Majesty's illness is fallen upon the King, and at a moment when only temporary, and may be of no long dura- government, deprived of its chief energy and tion. It may be difficult to fix beforehand, support, seemed peculiarly to need the corthe precise period for which these provisions dial and united aid of all descriptions of good ought to last; but if unfortunately his Ma- | subjects, it was not expected by the Prince, jesty's recovery should be protracted to a that a plan should be offered to his consideramore distant period than there is reason at tion, by which government was to be rendered present to imagine, it will be open hereafter difficult, if not impracticable, in the hands of to the wisdom of parliament, to re-consider any person intended to represent the King's these provisions whenever the circumstances authority--much less in the hands of his appear to call for it.
eldest son-the heir apparent of his kingdoms, If your Royal Highness should be pleased and the person most bound to the mainte
only might be proper; but it would have , tion of the physicians, with respect to his a very different effect on men's minds, if Majesty's health, it is necessary to know the suspension was to last for any consi- whether any alteration or amendment has derable length of time. He concluded | taken place, and that therefore the physiwith moving “ That a considerable space cians be called upon to inform this House of time having elapsed since the examina. if the present symptoms are such as give
nance of his Majesty's just prerogatives and be strong, manifest, and urgent, which calls authority, as well as most interested in the for the extinction or suspension of any one of happiness, the prosperity, and the glory of the those essential rights in the supreme power, people.
or its representative; or which can justify « The Prince forbears to remark on the the Prince in consenting, that, in his person, several parts of the sketch of the plan laid an experiment shall be made to ascertain before him; he apprehends it must have been with how small a portion of the kingly power formed with sufficient deliberation, to preclude the executive government of this country the probability of any argument of his pro may be carried on. ducing an alteration of sentiment in the pro- “The Prince has only to add, that if secujectors of it. But he trusts with confidence rity for his Majesty's repossessing his rightful to the wisdom and justice of parliament, I government, whenever it shall please Proviwhen the whole of the subject, and the cir- dence, in bounty to the country, to remove cumstances connected with it, shall come the calamity with which he is afflicted, be under their deliberation.
any part of the object of this plan, the Prince “ He observes, therefore, only generally on has only to be convinced that any measure is the heads communicated by Mr. Pitt; and it necessary, or even conducive, to that end, to is with deep regret the Prince makes the ob- | be the first to urge it as the preliminary and servation, that he sees, in the contents of paramount consideration of any settlement in that paper, a project for producing weakness, which he would consent to share. disorder, and insecurity in every branch of " If attention to what it is presumed might the administration of affairs.-A project for be his Majesty's feelings and wishes on the dividing the royal family from each other- happy day of his recovery, be the object, it is for separating the court from the state, and with the truest sincerity the Prince expresses therefore by disjoining government from its his firm conviction, that no event would be natural and accustomed support.-A scheme more repugnant to the feelings of his royal for disconnecting the authority to command father, than the knowledge, that the governservice, from the power of animating it by ment of his son and representative had ex. reward; and for allotting to the Prince all the hibited the sovereign power of the realm in a invidious duties of government, without the state of degradation, of curtailed authority, means of softening them to the public by any | and diminished energy—a state, hurtful in one act of grace, favour, or benignity. practice to the prosperity and good govern
« The Prince's feelings, on contemplating ment of his people, and injurious in its precethis plan, are also rendered still more painful dent to the security of the Monarch, and the to him, by observing that it is not founded on rights of his family. any general principle, but is calculated to in “Upon that part of the plan which regards fuse jealousies and suspicion (wholly ground- the King's real and personal property, the less, he trusts) in that quarter, whose confi Prince feels himself compelled to remark, dence it will ever be the first pride of his life that it was not necessary for Mr. Pitt, nor to merit and obtain.
proper to suggest to the Prince, the restraint “ With regard to the motive and object of he proposes against the Prince's granting the limitations and restrictions proposed, the away the King's real and personal property. Prince can have but little to observe. No The Prince does not conceive that, during the light or information is offered him by his King's life, he is, by law, entitled to make Majesty's ministers on these points. They any such grant; and he is sure, that he has have informed him what the powers are which never shown the smallest inclination to pos they mean to refuse him, not why they are sess any such power. But it remains with withheld.
Mr. Pitt to consider the eventual interests of “ The Prince, however, holding as he does, the royal family, and to provide a proper and that it is an undoubted and fundamental prin natural security against the mismanagement ciple of this constitution, that the powers and of them by others. prerogatives of the Crown are vested there, “ The Prince has discharged an indispensaas a trust for the benefit of the people; and ble duty, in thus giving his free opinion on that they are sacred only as they are neces- the plan submitted to his consideration. sary to the preservation of that poise and “ His conviction of the evils which may balance of the constitution, which experience arise to the King's interests, to the peace and has proved to be the true security of the li- happiness of the royal family, and to the berty of the subject-must be allowed to ob- safety and welfare of the nation, from the serve, that the plea of public utility ought to government of the country remaining longer