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complain, presumptuous in me it would , ihe capacious mind of the present Chanbe to dispute the propriety of their deci- cellor of the Exchequer, who, when sions on that head. I cannot complain of Attorney General, introduced the Bill, such of their proceedings, for their hands or to ihe present Earl of Liverpool, were fettered by an Act of Parliament, a that the introduction of a clause, authocertain road was pointed out to them to rizing the Commissioners to lay out the pursue; thus far, they were told, thou o£.600,000 in Exchequer Bills, the instant shalt go and no farther; they did so, and that suin was paid over by the Americans after eight years patiently and arduously to the British Government would have pursuing the only path they could pursue, been proper; still more surprising was it (with alas ! eight years additional suffer- if it did not strike the mind of some of the ings to the claimants) they have I verily then 558 British members of the House of believe, although from the nature of my Commons, that some of the Claimants did situation, I can have but limited informa. not present such clause to the view of the tion for my assertion, honourably arrived House; one would not at least have at the last stage of their proceedings.-The thought, that they would have struck whilst Board have decided, that £1,420,000 are the iron was hot, particularly so, when the due to the Claimants; and to our cost, to Clerk of the Irons might, in virtute officië the cost of the unfortunate sufferers, the have introduced the clause, had such been Board no doubt regretting their total ina introduced to his notice. No, Sir, such bility to award us 20s, for every pound of clause suggested itself to no one among our bonâ fide demand, and which they de-them but myself; I did submit my view termine to be justly our due, can award us of the case to a few of the Claimants, but only £.600,000, which is after the rate of the idea was scouted : What was the ob£.46. 8s. 10d. and a fraction per cent. after servation ; has there not been delay waiting and partaking of every human enough, without clogging the proceedings affliction for thirty-six years and upwards: of Goverňment, by arresting its potent voluptus solamenque mali. I must, however arm now extended to remunerate us, in in. observe, for I wish to be minutely accu- troducing to its hands a representation, rate, and I profess it to be far from my in which must impede its progress! To me tention to misrepresent even the most it was ultimately left, to suggest the intrifling circumstance, that to the sum of vestment of the composition money in Ex£600,000 there is to be added £59,493 chequer Bills, who would antecedently (included in my calculation of the ratio of have brought the subject forward; had not per centage before mentioned) produced my own acute sufferings precluded me by investing a portion of the composition from thinking of little else, than the means money in Exchequer Bills; and which if of driving from my presence, the horrors of such proceedings had been originally hunger and thirst, barred, and bolted withadopted, would have produced considera in the confines of a prison. Bat, on my bly more; that this was not
suggestion it was, through your means, adopted, I presume not to atach culpabi. Mr. Cobbett, enabling me as you did to lity to the Board. It cannot be supposed communicate my sentiments to the public that their attention, amidst the weighty in your Register, that a Bill was brought business before them, could be suffered to intó Parliament, and was at length passed, be drawn aside and diverted to the dis. authorizing the Board to invest the retresses of the claimants, or to the pos- maining portion of the £.600,000, and sibility of affording any additional relief which has produced in addition to that sum 10 them, from the Yund deposited in the £.59,493, though if such Bill had been, Bank of England, subject to the disposal as it should have been, brought in when of the Board; they had enough to do in the £.600,000 was originally paid by the exercise of the duties imposed upon the American to the British Government, them by Act of Parliament, and beyond a very handsome addition to that o£. 59,493 their limited duties, they were not bound would have been made, and 'a much to go, or to view the distressing state in greater allowance apportioned to the which the Claimants have been suffered 10 Claimanis. But although the Board remain for nearly forty years. But it is have decided that out of the sum of somewhat surprising, when the Bill was £. 5,408,766. 6s. claimed by the British brought into the House of Commons, for creditors for debts due from the citizens apportioning the £.600,000 among the of America, a sum of £. 1,420,000 only, Claimants, that it did not present itself to is due and chargeable on the fund of
£.600,000, non liquet, that the balance, tual benefit; on the contrary, by their mis. of £3,988,766. 6s. is not bona fide due to representation of the general inclination the Claimants; or, that this latter sum is a and temper of the Americans to the British fraudulent charge brought forward by government, the British government was dishonest Claimants or desperate adven- induced to add millions to the National turers; no such thing.--The Board have | Debt, and thousands to the lens of thoucorrectly decided, that the deficit we are sands it has been the fate of this country at present compelled to submit to, comes to lose of its subjects, to its fallen heroes; not within the purview of the composi- some of those remunerated Loyalists have tion; that the American government were been paid for the loss of property estimatnot responsible for it, and consequent- ed at a value which had America continued ly, that we have no claim on this fund under subjection to Great Britain to this of £.600,000 which was to clear away day, would not have produced to the claims on the ground of existing impedi- Claimants a single shilling : Compare this înents in Courts of Law, and otherwise description of characters, with the estima. against the recovery of our demands, that ble and truly essential mercantile character that deficit due from persons well able to of British merchants in the scale of bene. pay in the years 1775, and who continued fit to the British nation, which of these, if well able to pay until the date of the either, should be sacrificed? To which of Treaty of Peace, but who might have im- these is Great Britain most beholden, and mediately afterwards become insolvent, which of these ought she, is sbe bound on did not enter into the contemplation of the broad ground of general policy, to upeither government, which confined them- hold, not sacrifice, remunerate, not imselves to losses by, or in consequence of, poverish, support, not suffer to languish in impediments alone. But they have not de prison, foster not annihilate, cherish, not cided, I will venture to say in one single drive to desperation? Assuredly that man, instance, that that deficit arises from frau- or body of men, from whom she has redulent charges by the British creditor, or ceived and yet does receive assistance, by reason of any improper proceeding and by whose means she is enabled, how whatever on his part. "If such be the case, much soever you and I, Mr. Cobbett, may and I boldly venture to challenge those differ in this respect on the subject of Comwho by virtue of their official situations merce, to support her existence. So long cannot but know the fact to disprove my as the government of this country bas 10 assertions, I submit to every unprejudiced boast of our capacity to support the Na. person, for as to argument to prove the tional Debt, and under which we are told propriety of that which I advance, it is we have stood firmly and proudly stood unnecessary, having heretofore adduced too, (but that this country may swell that my reasons in support of my present as evidence of her prosperity as it has been sertion, whether the government of Great deemed, to an unlimited or additional ex. Britain is not morally bound to make up tent, is to my mind disputable,) so long do to the Claimants, the remaining sum of I contend that Commerce is absolutely ne£. 3,988,766. 6s. I will not occupy a cessary to us; and to support which the greater space in your paper than is abso- mercantile interests of the country is not lutely requisite, by succinctly shewing, as the least contributory to it; the mercan. I have in my former communications done tile interest, therefore, should not, it must at length, that government is bound to in- not, be anathematized and maltreated, as demnify an individual, in all cases where have been the American merchants, those his property has been surrendered, or sa I mean, as I am, or alas! rather once was, crificed, or taken from him against his will of the old School, our halcyon days
, the for the collective good; but I will merely Golden Age of Commerce should be readvert to the case of the American Loyal stored and encouraged, for with the advanists, as they are termed, who have been tages resulting to individuals, indemnificd for their alledged losses; they porated reduplicative benefits to the state. were men, I speak of the major part, for One word to you, Mr. Cobbett, by way undoubtedly there were some among them Episode; That commerce may be at all who merited every relief which has been times and under all circumstances requisite extended to them, and whose communica- to the flourishing condition of the country tions to government were sincere and or contributory to its existence
, I, with founded upon correct date, from whom you, deny; although perhaps upon very Great Britain received not a single even different grounds ;-Had this country po!
to uphold the great National Debt, which to indemnify us, not only contribute more we all labour to maintain, I grant that than our proportion to the exigencies of commerce would not, to the extent it is the State, while our brethren and fellow carried, be requisite, nor perhaps at all ne- subjects equally reap the resulting benefits cessary, but so long as our Colossian with us without contributing one shilling, shoulders have to support the Debt we but we are rendered unable to resort to have to bear with, I consider commerce, our debtor, who becomes released from and I think you will accord with me, to our demand without our sanction which be absolutely requisite. But to resume; arose from the mutual contract between -If government should, however, be of debtor and creditor, and which contracts opinion, that the deficit of £. 3,988,766. 6s. ought not to be rescinded, except by the be a compound of fraud and incorrectness, same authority, unless the resulting beneand that it is consequently not bound to fits to the State may require it; and even pay; or, if it is deemed not bound to in- not then, unless compensation be ulti. demnify the individual, for acts adopted mately made to the individual. It is by them tending to the collective good, much to be regretted, that after so long and which, in my opinion, they are a lapse as eight years, during which morally bound to do, and in various in the Board have sat upon the subject of stances have done, surely in every point these claims, the amount paid is not quite of view it is bound to make good the loss 10s. in the pound, upon those claims which or deficit between £. 1,420,000 and the Board deem to come within the de£.659,493. The Board have decided, scription of the treaty of peace of 1782, that claims have been made amounting to and the subsequent treaty of amity, com
£. 5,408,766. 68.; of these they determine merce and navigation, entered into in to be good, £. 1,+20,000, striking off a sum 1794; much more beneficial would it of £. 3,988,766. 6s. ; but that although have been to the Claimants had they been they decree £. 1,420,000 to be good, yet told eight years ago, as they are now by they have only funds in hand to the amount the Board, we can allow you only about of £. 659,493, to discharge the sum of a ninth part of your claims to come upon
£. 1,420,000, because government, to the composition fund, and of that ninth maintain a good understanding with the part, which we estimate to be as much as United States, chose to sacrifice and aban- you might possibly have recovered in don, pro tempore, the British merchant, and America, bad the Courts of Law been open elected to offer him as an expiatory sacri- to you there, as they should have been, fice at the shrine of the republican go and as they were by the Americans vernment, which is after the rate of agreed to be, that fund enables us to give £. 46. 85. 10d. per cent. not ten shillings in you £46. Ss. 10d. for every £100. bonis the pound! But surely if government fide due and owing to you; if such bad chuse, or is compelled, for political rea. been then told in the claimants as it sons, to sacrifice the creditor by surren. is now, years of misery, of expence, of dering his bona fide claim, or which is tan expectation, of fruitless hope, would tamount by compounding for it for the have been spared to the miserable and general good, the collective body is bound lingering creditor. Had such been done to indemnify him, and apportion that boon eight years ago, it could then but have to the American government, a surrender been what it is now, a mere mechaof the British merchants property ainong nical estimate and rativ.of division, formed the many, instead of suffering the whole by the Board in the same manner and on weight to fall on the individual: Such the same fallible grounds, as do juries asever has been the case, except in the in- sessing damages in a complicated cause, stance hitherto of the British merchant where it is not possible to arrive exactly trading to America before the Revolution at the truth, and which they are neverary War, and it would be singularly hard, theless obliged absolutely lo decide with if in the present case a novel rule should their oath of impartiality before them, be adopted for the establishment of a pre- and on a close and diligent investigation cedent unjust and injurious in the highest of all circumstances equitably, according degree, founded on individual ruin. By to the best of their jodyment adopt; and compounding our Debts on the part of go- which, giving the Board the utmost lativernment in our behalf, and without pre- tude of good conduct, is at best but a very viously consulting us or obtaining our uncertain and fallible judgment. Seeing sanctions, we should, if government refuse how the decisions have been ultimately
made it is also to be deplored, that those claims which the Board have rejected, who have had the good fortune to procure arises from the natural and necessary conlarge awards, and those who have had sequences of the war, and consequently but a very small amount of the composi- are not chargeable upon the fund of tion money dealt out to them, have been £.600,000, but upon the fund of the Briequally subject to expence; and that tish nation, those claims have not been rethose who have been at infinite pains in jected, because they were fraudulent, but procuring testimony from America at because the fund did not apply to them. enormous expence, have fared but a shade Surely the magnitude of the loss to a porbetter in the general estimate, than those tion of the subjects of Great Britain, and who have done little more than presented | which they are unable to bear, should be the statement of their cases. It is the taken into consideration by the state, and duty of government to relieve its subjects, the burthen made to fall equally upon all. on one portion of whom the adoption of The following short statement will per. certain measures unavoidably tends to haps elucidate my subject without trespartial injury; and the least government passing upon you by further explanation can do, is to indemnify the creditor to the at large : amount acknowledged to be their due, but Total amount of claims, ster
f. to pay which we are told, the American government did not advance a sufficient Ditto, decided to be good
5,408,766 6 sum,when the British government deemed
claims under the convenit to be politic to release the individual
tion with America .......... 1,420,000 0 British creditors' demand upon the Ame
Amount of claims not rican debtors : And to effect this purpose,
cognizable by the it does in my opinion behove the Board, in the report of their proceedings which
Board, arising out of
the resulting injuries will be incumbent on them to make to
of war, and not progovernment on the eve of the final sittings,
vided for by treaties, to set forth to view the just claim the creditors have to be indemnified, at least to
remaining, I contend, the extent which the Board have decided
as a charge upon the
British their claims to be good; and which claims
government 3,988,700 6 were by the treaty of peace with the
The Board have deUnited States, undertaken to be paid to
creed the amount of them by the debtors or their government. But far jodeed beyond this extent have
claims chargeable we fair ground of claim upon the British
upon the American government: By the treaty of peace was
government, to be as
1,420,000 secured to us, or proposed to be secured
For the satisfaction of to us, the non-existence of impediments, but in the calamities of war there are va
which, the British gorious injuries resulting to the subjects of a
ed with the United power making war, the charge of which must be supported by that government, and to which add in
States, for ............ 600,000 for the burthen can neither be cast upon
terest made on exchethe resisting power, nor upon individuals of either state : Of such injuries are among
quer bills, part of that
fund.... others, those of losses, the necessary and
59,493 unavoidable consequence of the general Deficit, which the Bri
659,495 calamity-ruin, the war brought on mul- Deficit, which the Brititudes of debtors who were alive at the
tish government acend of the war-from confusion in which
knowledges to be due it had involved the affairs of others who
to us, but from the were dead, and whose estates had fallen
payment of which the into the hands of administrators negligent,
American governdishonest, or wasteful, embracing injuries leased .....
ment has been re
760,507 arising from the general calamity, and excluding those which arose from direct or evasive impediments of the law; the There can be no question that governgreater part, therefore, of our bona fide ment should indemnify us the amount of
£.760,507, because it is acknowledged | ing been brought forward, we broke ground that our claims are good to that amount, last night. The enemy have retired their and had they not been surrendered by main boily upon Llerena, and hold the ad. the British government for political rea vanced posts of their cavalry at Usagre. sons, were demandable and recoverable I enclose the copy of the report of Majoreither from the American debtor or go- General the Honourable William Lumley, vernment; and this indemnity should flow of a very gallant affair of the cavalry near to us spontaneously, without compelling that place on the 25th. The Major-Geneus to incur further expence, which we can ral has reported that he received very ill submit to in making application to great assistance, upon this occasion, from parliament for redress, but we have a fur- Major Holmes of the 3d Dragoon Guards, ther claim upon government, for the in- who was acting in the department of the juries to our property in consequence of jutant-General, and from Lieutenant the war; these injuries or some of them Heathcote, of the Royal Dragoons, wha are included in the loss of our debts not was acting in the department of the Quar. good at the peace, but which were good ter-Master. General, as well as from the at the commencement of the war; for loss officers mentioned in his report. from the destruction of books, vouchers and other papers; for loss from the em
Camp neur Usagre, two A. M. barrassments of dehtors after the com
May 26, 1811. mencement of the war, and before the Sir-As will have been stated to you peace, and generally for loss of whatever / yesterday verbally by the officer I sent decription, occasioned by the act and for that purpose, I have the honour to acconsequences of war. It is the duty of quaint you, that having, as I before reportgovernments to render war as little de- ed, driven the enemy's rear guard from structive as possible to the finances of its Usagre, I occupied that post on the night own subjects, and in all cases not to suffer of the 24th, by placing the Spanish troops individual loss to fall on any one descrip- in front of the town, with their Tiradores tion of persons, but either to appertion well in advance towards the enemy, and the loss among the collective body or in the Portuguese and British cavalry, with demnify the individual sufferer. If govern the four six-pounders, in rear of the place; ment receives benefit from a partial momen. a small brook, hollow and deep ravine, tary sacrifice, government, not the indivi- and narrow defile, being on this side of the should ultimately bear; tbe burthen, Qui town. About six o'clock yesterday mornsentit commodum sentire debet et onus. If a ing it was reported to me that the enemy's contrary doctrine should ever be adopted, cavalry were advancing in force, and that inevitable injury would arise to the state there was reason to believe they were acas well as to the individual, and the prin companied by artillery and infantry; concipal contributors to the revenues of the ceiving reports might exaggerate the fact, country, the mercantile interest, would and not wishing to yield the post to infeswell the black catalogue of insolvents rior numbers, the 13th Light Dragoons and and be classed in the same page, to his Colonel Olway's Portuguese brigade of own destruction and the loss of the state, cavalry were ordered to cross the ravine with A RUINED AMERICAN MERCHANT. to the left of the town, through the narrow June 17, 1811.
fords and passes which had been previously Tower Street, late St. George's Row.
reconnoitred, and Brigadier General Madden's brigade of Portuguese cavalry in
like manner to the right, with orders to OFFICIAL PAPERS.
retire by the same passes if necessary.
The heavy brigade of British, with the PORTUGAL.THE WAR. Downing
guns, being still in reserve behind the street, June 15, 1811.-A dispatch of town. Upon the nearer approach of the which the following is an extract, has been enemy, it was evident they were advancthis day received at Lord Liverpool's of ing with the whole of their cavalry, and fice, addressed to his Lordship by Lord five or six heavy guns (eight pounders.) Wellington, dated Quinta de Gramicha, This being ascertained, and upon opening 30:h May, 1811.
their first gun the line was ordered to reWe invested Badajoz on the 25th in- tire, which they did slowly, in excellent stant, on the right of the Guadiana ; and order, and without loss; the Spanish troops the ordnance and stores for the siege hav- filing on the main road through the town,