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ject of the bill; and that such a person conviction, that this species of traffick, would be apt to imagine either that he whether carried on by implied or express
bad mistaken the title of the bill, or that covenants, was an offence against the luxo . it had crept accidentally into the bill of parliament, and, in his opinion, pu
the object however of the clause, though nishable as a misdemeanor at common law. apparently irrelevant, was sufficiently He considered the resolutions of that obvious.
, house, in 1779, bore fully upon a traffick After some further observations from carried on by an implied contract, and Mr. Tierney, the Attorney-General,Lords therefore he saw no reason to oppose. Porchester and Milton, the clause pro- the clause as now worded. posed by Mr. Perceval was agreed to Mr. Ponsonby considered the resoluwithout a division. .
tions of 1779 as not efficacious to redress " Mr. Perceval brought up his clause for an evil, which all admitted to exist, at • levying certain penalties on the person which the house itself connived, -and
procuring his return by any express co- of which, with the circumstances known venant to give or take any office. by all the members, they would have • Lord H. Petty stated his objection to been greater hypocrites than Mr. Bowles • the clause as now read. He contended, when he wrote his book, to affect ignoI that, in place of remedying corruption, rance.
it went to concentre it. It woald give the Mr. Tierney declared, that, upon a
hole management of that species of in- question which ought to be considered
fluence to the treasury.—He concluded without any reference to party feelings, - with moving, as an amendment, that the the governinent of the country had exword “ express” be left out.
erted a most successful hostility. Upon Mr. Perceval did not suppose that, af- them rested the responsibility of that dister the discussion of the last night, any appointment which the nation must feel.
new light could be thrown upon it. It Mr. Perceval appealed to the hon. · did however appear, that if it should be proposer of the bill (Mr. Curwen,) whe· left open to imply an agreement, juries ther he felt that ministers had endeawould always presume that the grant of voured to defeat the object ofthe measure? the office was in consequence of the vote Mr. Curwen, without imputing any given.
such intentions to government, still reSir 1. Anstruther considered the at- gretted that the most material points were tool of Mr. Perceval upon the juries of negatived, and that the disposition of the this country as the greatest libel he had house was not friendly to the principle ever heard uttered, when he said that of the measure. He conjured the gojuries were not to be entrusted with the vernment, in place of anticipating guards Character of men in public situations. for themselves, to yield to the opinion Where was the express agreement in the of the country; and not to suffer it to measure which gave origin to this bill? think, that, where its influence was to be
There was certainly a transfer of patro- affected, nothing was done. : nove in that case intended, although no Sir S. Romilly and Mr. Bankes both espress engagement appeared on the argued, that the insertion of the term Po of any instrument. Was it intended “express” wholly vitiated, and defeated
olize every artifice which led to the the object of the proposed remedy. It - come effect, and only to inflict penalties was stated by the former, that in no On on the bungler?
ther legislative enactment such a term Mr. Luttleton stated that if the word could be found. .«express" was continued, the very prin- The Attorney-General vindicated the
ciple of the bill was altered. If it should conduct of his right hon. and learned be continued, he felt it was his duty to friend during the progress of this bill, bevote against the bill itself.
fore the house, and gave his support to The Speaker stated his wish, on the the clause as it stood. first view. to extend the provision of this Mr. Adum spoke in favour of the · Bill to the purchase of seats in parlia- amendment, which he conceived neces
ment, as well by office as by money. The sary, to guard against impunity in those : creat rule was, to strike at the promi-, who gave or accepted bribes after an nent and most flagrant points of offence. election. ;
. ? - Amongst those, most certainly, was the Mr. W. Stuart said a few words in · proof of any express contract. This he opposition to the amendment en 1.8 - would state, always impressed with the .. .. d uridkot leur
A division took place, and the numbers house; and one of the secretaries to the were-For the amendment 43—Against treasury might also sit. He thought it 78—Majority 35. .
that, of those two lords of the treasury The bill passed through the commit- allowed to have seats, the chancellor of tee, and the report was ordered to be the exchequer ought to be counted as brought up on Friday.
one. With regard to the ordnance office, Thursday, June 8.
he would go so far as to allow the clerk Mr. Whitbread presented a petition of the ordnance and the secretary of the from the Rev. Mr. Humphries, curate ordnance to have seats; but he would of Sanlay, in the county of Derby, sta- suggest the propriety of excluding other ting, that the rector of the parish derived gentlemen in this department holding 24001. a year from the same, and that seats—such as the storekeeper, the treahe himself had no more than 401. a yeur surer, and the clerk of the deliveries : for his labour ; and praying for such these officers, he thought should not have. relief as the house might think fit. seats. With regard to the board of con
Mr. Whitbread said, he would not troul, he saw no reason why-any officers pledge himself for the truth of this state- of that board should have a seat in the ment; he would therefore content him- house, except the president, and accorself with moving that this petition do lie dingly he would be for excluding all on the table.- Ordered.
others but the president. But there was Mr. Creepey rose to bring forward a one class of placemen that called for motion relative to a house in Downing their peculiar consideration, as to the street, for the president of the board of propriety of permitting them any longer controul, as an official residence, which to have seats in the house of Commons. had cost 90001. He could see no reason He meant those persons employed in for this official residence. Neither of the household of his Majesty. The peothe secretaries of state had, any such; ple had every right to be jealous of and if any place was required for trans- such an order of representatives, beacting business, it should be in Leaden- cause, from the nature of their office, hall-street. -The hon. gentleman con- they might gradually be brought to idencluded with moving a resolution, “ Thạt tify their interests with that influence " it appears to this house, that applica- with which it was the first duty of that " tion was made by Mr. Dundas, when house to watch with a jealous eye, and
president of the board of controul, to so they might be looked upon as mere " the lords of the treasury, for a house instruments of the crown, and brought " in Downing-street; and that in pursu- down to that house to vote upon all pre"ance of such application, he was rogative questions, against the true in" allowed to occupy such house." terests of the people. The offices to
After some observations from Mr. which he principally alluded in this deDundus and Mr. Perceval, the motion partment were all the grooms of the was negatived without a division. bedchamber, the King's first equerry,
Mr. Whitbread rose, in pursuance of the vice-chamberlain of his Majesty, and las notice, to make his promised motion also the Queen's vice-chamberlain. He with respect to the propriety of limiting next adverted to the pensioners, and the number of PLACEMEN and PENSION- observed, that by the statute of Queen ERS holding seats in that house. In Anne, all persons receiving pensions what he was about to say he meant no during pleasure were disqualified from personal allusion whatever. The first holding seats in parliament. The next description of officers he should mention class he adverted to was, that of sines was the lords of the admiralty, He cure placemen; and here he knew not confessed he could see no reason why how he could be prevailed upon to make ALL the lords commissioners of the admi- any exception at all. He thought that ralty should have seats in that house, all such persons, without distinction. Now, what he had said with regard to should be disqualified from becoming rethe lords commissioners of the admiralty, presentatives pof the people of England. he thought would apply with equal jus And here, in offering the suggestions he tice to the lords commissioners of the had done, he wished gentlemen not to treasury. He would say the same thing take any alarm about reform. It was of them, that he did not think that all quite a different question. He thought. the lords should sit-two out of the five however, it was calculated to unite both would be enough to have seats in that the advocates and opponents of reform, in agreeing to it, and he did expect that the review of the establishment as to he would have the support of both sides. the Welsh judges, and particularly that The hon. gentleman then concluded with fiction of law, that there was one Sovemoving a resolution to the following reign of this country, and another of effect :
Wales. He thought the Welsh judges “ That this house will, early in the should be removed entirely, that Wales “ next sessions of parliament, proceed should be treated as a part of England, « to take into its most serious conside- and three more added to the number of * ration the propriety of further exten- 'the judges of this country. “ ding the limitation disqualifying per- Mr. Ponsonby had no difficulty in sup“ sons holding places and pensions from porting the motion of his hon. friend in *«the crown from having seats in that the sense in which he viewed it. *** house."
Mr. Canning could not agree with the Mr. Rose, as one of the persons al- premises ofthe hon. gentleman; of course, luded to by the hon. gentleman, and it could not be expected that he should whom he wished to disqualify from hold- agree in his conclusion. ing seats in that house, begged to say a Sir F. Burdett observed, that amongst few words. The whole of the persons the many evils which the defective state in Great Britain holding places or pen- of the national representation engensions, and who had seats in parliament, dered, there were none more grievous amounted to 50. The hon. gentleman than the obligation under which the in the first instance sought to disqualify house frequently was, to resort to paleight of these; and the whole number liatives for the purpose of staying the to whom his object would ultimately evil---an evil which admitted of no palextend might be about 25.
liative. Within a very short period the Mr. Perceval contended, that the country was called upon to pay pensions existence of some partial influence of to four different chancellors of 50001. athe crown in that house was never at any year each! Why were persons holding 'time disputed—but that the feelings of such offices removed on the change of the people bore testimony to the exis.. every successive administration, hereby tence of abuses, he denied !
impeding the course of public justice, * Mr. Tierney said, if his hon. friend at the same time that it aggravated the would limit his motion to a 'resolution, public pressure. Would any man prethat the house should in the next ses- tend to say that a pure and free election sion of parliament enter into the consi- existed, when it was asserted and proved deration of the subject alluded to in his in petitions before the house, that 157 notice, he should agree to the motion. boroughmongers influenced returns to He did not pledge himself, however, that house? as to the extent he should go on this Lord Porchester reprobated the prosubject.
position of excluding official characters Lord Folkestone objected to pensioners from that house, as replete with evils of for life holding seats in parliament, not serious magnitude. The noble lord had because they voted for or against adinin determined to vote however for the resonistration, but because they had not the lution, under the impression, that there same interést as the body of the people may possibly be a description of persons at large, or had rather an interest dis- holding places and enjoying pensions, tinct from them. If they did not expect. whom it would be proper to remove troin any thing from ministers, therefore, they that house. had their debt of gratitude to pay to Colonel Ellison said, he could not them, and did not continue with the vote for the proposed resolution, brought people, as true and honest representa- forward at a time at which the general tatives ought to do. On this ground he purity of public management was so uniobjected to them as much as to persons versally admitted! having pensions during pleasure.
Mr. Whitbread ably combated all the Lord H. Petty supported the motion. arguments of those hon. gentlemen who One reason why he agreed with the mo- opposed the motion.--Adverting to the tion was, because he thought the Welsh observations of Mr. Rose, he said, he judges ought to be excluded from seats in did not allude to the situation of treasurer
that house, as should also the masters of the navy which he held, but he was a ' in chancery. He once more begged to servant of another branch of the legisla
recommend to the right hon, gentleman ture, he meant a clerk to the house of Lords. (No, no, from Mr. Perceval.) and it was known that there were 120 or He is, said Mr. Whitbread, as surely as 130 offices highly objectionable on this that you are the greatest reversionist of ground. the admiralty department! The hon. Mr. Canning supported the arguments meinber expressed himself a decided of Mr. Perceval. friend to a temperate and constitutional Mr. H. Thornton supported the areform in the commons, carried into mendment of his honourable friend (Mr. effect by the house itself. To lead to Bankes), and adverted to the sinecures that successful result, the whole country in Scotland and the West-Indies. In his must, in a temperate and firm manner, opinion, sinecures were not a convenient express its wishes. The great danger to way of rewarding public services. be apprehended was, from any precipi Lord H. Petty conceived, that if tancy in pressing, and thus, by the sinecures were removed, some other people's own conduct, throwing thein- means of remuneration for public 'serselves into the power of their opponents. vices ought to be provided. He strongly recommended the people Mr. Ponsonby concurred in the argunot to fall into such a snare as the royal- ment of his noble friend (Lord H. Petty.) ists, who, when seeing Oliver Cromwell Mr. W. Smith protested against the upon an opposite hill, prematurely: latitude of the doctrine laid down in the rushed into his object, crying out, that debate on the subject of sinecures, and the Lord had delivered him up into quoted the authority of various reports their hands.
from committees of that house, comThe house divided, and the numbers bined with the opinions of some of the were-For the motion, 54-Against it, best men the country had known, to ..113—Majority, '59.
sustain his objection. In point of fact, The house then went into a committee those sineçures were not applied to reon the third report of the finance com- ward public services, but to gratify mittee.
ministerial favouritism, which rendered * Mr. Martin called the attention of their existence still more objectionable. the committee to the sinecure offices at The hon. member read a list of sinetached to the courts, of law, which he cures in Ireland, to the amount of stated to amount to 26,000l. per annum, 26,0001. a-year. which sum was sufficient to provide for The amendment was then negatived the proposed increase of the judge's sala- without a division; and the resolution, ries, and so it ought to be applied. He as proposed by Mr. Perceval, was concluded with proposing a resolution in carried. substance as follows:
Lord Ossulston gave notice, that he “That it is expedient to extend the would propose a resolution, at another - principles of regulation and abolition, opportunity, to the effect, that sinecures
" already acted upon, by that house, to were an inexpedient mode of remune" certain sinecure offices, and offices exe- rating public servics. cuted by deputy.”
The chairman reported progress, and 4. Mr. Perceval proposed a resolution, the business was ordered to be resumed with some verbal alterations from that on Tuesday, of Mr. Martin, to which, as we under
Friday June 9. stood, the latter acceded, and withdrew Mr. Foster moved the order of the his own.
day for the third reading of the Irish reMr. Bankes thought that every unne- venue bill. cessary office ought to be abolished, Sir J. Newport moved that it should and that the salary of every office exe- be read a third time this day six months, cuted by deputy should be reduced to because it contained a clause of indemthat actually paid to such deputy. He nity to officers who had defrauded the proposed an amendment to that effect. ' revenue. * Mr. Perceval opposed this amend Mr. Foster repeated the same argu* ment, because it would involve the abo- ments which he had used when the mo
lition of all sinecures, which, as a means tion was made respecting the promotion of rewarding public service, was a fun- of Mr. Beauchamp Hill. damental principle of the constitution! Sir S. Romilly said, that the clause,
Mr. Bankes was of opinion, that no if allowed to remain, would be an evermoney ought to be paid by the public lasting stigma to the house of commons, but for public duty actually performed, because it was not, as was imagined, to grant an indemnity to informers against market. Should the hill thus pass nopersons who had committed offences, thing could be more dangerous to the but an indemnity to persons themselves, constitution. a case of which there was no prece- Sir F. Burdett said, he had all along dent.
thought the bill so nugatory, that he felt Mr. Perceval defended the clause. little or no interest in its success. For
A division was theu called for, and his part, he would rather have men enthere appeared--Ayes, 41 | Noes, 47--- tering that house by paying their way, Majority against ministers, 6.
than be coming in under the wing of goOn the motion of Mr. Curwen, the vernment. It was not merely office which house took into further consideration the praduced the undue influence, but the report of his bill.
expectation of office. With regard to On the motion of Mr. Perceval, the this clause, he thought that it necessaribill was re-committed, for the purpose ly placed the exclusive influence in the of amending the first clause.
hands of those who were most likely to In the committee some conversation abuse it. took place, in which Mr. Bankes ob- Mr. Wilberforce and Sir W. Milner jected to the proposed alteration; but it considered the term "express” as replete was agreed to without a division
with hostility to the principle of the bill. w The Speaker then resined the chair, Sir J. Newport, in making the distinc
and the clause was read, which was to tion between money and office, stated, - the following effect:---" That every per- that the latter influence was armed with
* son who shall give any money, office, a two-edged weapon of injury, viz. It "&c. for a seat, shall forfeit the sum of gave you a dependent and corrupt mem* 10001. and be disabled from sitting for ber of parliament, and a bribed and bad " that county, city, &c. for which he officer. ," was chosen.",
Mi. Gruttan declared his intention to . Mr. Bankes thought that the clause as vote against the insertion of the term
it now stood would totally disappoint : “ express," although it was his determithe just hopes and expectations of the nation to support the bill were that term country from this bill. He should there- even admitted to stand part of the clause. fore move an amendment, to the effect Mr. Canning thought that if the word of making the disability co-existent with 66 express" were omitted, not only those the duration of that parliament for which who gave, but those who received offices, the offender was chosen,
would be in a constant state of jeopardy. Mr. Perceval saw no reason for inflict Mr. Whitbread would ask, whether, ing a severer penalty in this case than had this bill passed some time ago, genin that of bribery, which incapacitated tlemen would not be found to defend for the particular seat only.
the traffick of Lord Castlereagh with RedA division then took place, and there, ing, upon the ground that it was not an appeared for Mr. Bankes's amendment, " express contract? No, said Mr. PerAyes, 49 | Noes, 74.
ceval across the table. Mr. W. declared Lord Milton proposed that the word his belief of the contrary; and if the " express” should be left out before the right hon. gentleman thought otherwise, words “ agreement to give any office, &c. why did he defend the act of Lord Casin return for a seat. Were not this tlereagh, which, according to the undisdone, the bill would be worse than use- puted authority of the chair, was a violaless.
tion of the law of parliament, and which Mr. Perceval contended that unless the preamble of this bill declared to be the word “ express” was retained, no the principle of the constitution? But member of parliament could enjoy any se- he valued not that declaration as other curity!
gentlemen did. What availed the reLord Porchester supported the amend- cognition of a principle, if that recogniment. Even one of his Majesty's mini- tion was accompanied by a palliative for sters had confessedly entered into an im- its violation? If ministers were provided plied contract of this kind; and we were with a protection which would enable then desired not to visit the past, for this them to violate with impunity, the law bill would prevent future abuses. But would be utterly useless. Indeed 1 now, it seems, the bill was to have no would be worse than useless---it would
such effeet, but ministers were to be al- be mischievous; and, however the house · lowed the exclusive enjoyment of the might be deceived by such a measure, they