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administration in remitting the 'mo. formerly those sums of money des to the emperor, and contended, which had been expended, but not that an attempt to delay the sup. specified, commonly called extraplies for the year on that account ordinaries, were confined within was not defensible upon rational some limits, as appeared from the grounds.
account entered in the journals Mr. Fox, in his reply, said that during the war of the succession, the real question was, whether the and even in the war which termia conduct of the minister with re- nated in 1748. In what was comgard to this money sent to the em monly called the Gerinan war, these peror was, or was not, an infrac- sumns first became very large ; but tion of the constitution : if it was in the American war they exceeded an infraction of the constitution all bounds; these extraordinaries (which be thought no one could very often amounted to almost as deny), then it was an actual invas much as the whole sums voted by sion and usurpation of the powers parliament upon the estimates; nay, of the representatives of the people, in the year 1782, they appear to in the most important of all their have actually exceeded them. It privileges, that of granting money. was therefore incumbent upon the
At length the house divided on house of conimons, not only to the question, that the word “to- make this supply as small as possimorrow' be inserted, instead of ble, but, in a subsequent session, “ now." Ayes 58-Noes 164. to inquire into the particular exThe resolutions were then agreed penditure of this sum. Mr. Fox to.
concluded a speech of great length, The same subject was discussed by a motion to the following again in the house of commons on purport: “ That his majesty's mi: the 14th December, after Mr. nisters, having at different tiines, Long bad brought up some papers without the consent, and during from the treasury, containing the the. sitting of parliament, directed corresponderce which passed be the issue of various sums of money (ween Mír. Long and Mr. Boyd, for the service of bis imperial ma. concerning the money advanced to jesty, and also for the service of the emperor ; together with an ac- the army under the prince of Concount of the interest paid by his dé, have acted contrary to their imperial majesty upon the loan of duty, and to the trust reposed in four millions and a half.
them, and have thereby violated Mr. Fox, upon this occasion, re- the constitutional privileges of this traced with some additional energy house." all the arguments which he had en- Mr. alderman Combe seconded forced on a former day, against the the motion, he said, in obedience unconstitutional measure which the to the instructions of his constituminister had adopted of remitting ents, who had met that day in the money to the emperor without the cominon hall of the city of Lonknowledge or permission of parlia- don, and had desired their reprement. He supported his arguments sentatives to censure the conduct by an appropriate quotation from of ministérs, in granting away the Mr. Hatsell's Precedents of Pro- public money without the consent ceedings in the House of Com- of parliament. He also observed, mons, by which it appeared, that that the discounting of the bills
drawn for the purpose of remitting action as the preceding. In the money to the imperial troops, had years 1734 and 1735, votes of creswallowed up so much of the cash dit were granted and applied acof the bank, as to compel that cording to the exigencies of the great body to narrow their dis. times. An advance to the duke of counts; and the British merchants Aremberg in 1742 was noticed in were made to suffer, that the Gers debate, and censured in the admiman soldiers might be supplied. nistration of Mr. Pelham ; but the
The chancellor of the exchequer inquiry was avoided by the previous said, that it was no small satisfaction question. Lastly, he appealed to to him, that the full review of for- his own administration in 1787, mer precedents, with respect to the when the expenses incurred in promotion then before the house, form- tecting Holland were recognized ed the chief ground of the argu. under the head of secret services. ment, and that those precedents Mr. Bragge followed the minister 'concurred in justifying the measure in order, and in a great degree also at that moment so severely con. in argument, and concluded by prodemned. Respecting what bad fallen posing an amendment to the motion, from alderman Combe, he contend- purporting “That advancing the ed, that it was impossible for his con- several sums of money in the acstituents to decide, in a just and can- count then before the house, for did manner, on the propriety of giv- the service of his imperial majesty ing a vote on a motion with the par. (though not to be drawn into preceticulars of which they must have dent but upon occasions of special been unacquainted, and also igno. necessity), was a justifiable exercise, rapt of the defence which his majes- under the circumstances of the case, ty's ministers meant to set up. Mr. of the discretion vested in his majesPitt then went at considerable length ty's ministers by the vote of credit." into a defence of the measure in Mr. alderman Lushington de. question, in which he followed the clared that he should not have risen same train of arguments as on the but for the meeting of his constitu8th of December; and concluded ents, alluded to by Mr. Combe ; with quoting a number of precedents but he could never consent to reboth before and after the date of ceive instructions to support a mothe revolution, on which he appear. tion for censuring ministers before ed to rest his principal detence. In he had heard their defence. It bad 1701, he said, parliament had voted been said that the constitution had an extra sum for the payment of been violated; the papers on the foreigo forces, not regularly as a table would prove the contrary. In vote of credit, but subsequent to times of difficulty he thought the such a vote. In the reign of Anne, hands of government ought to be in 1704-5, both subsidies and grants strengthened; and in this instance, had been employed in paying fo- he was first inclined to think a bill reign forces without the authority of indemnity would have been proof parliament. In 17.0, he added, per, but he had since heard enough a transaction similar to that under to convince him that it was not nediscussion was publicly avowed. cessary. In 1718, an instance also occured, Alderman Curtis and alderman which, however, he admitted was Anderson, the other city members, not so anagolous to the late trans- coincided with the last speaker, and
supported the minister in contra- 47,000l. This sum was granted, diction to the resolutions of their during the recess of parliament, to constituents.
an ally of this country, placed in Mr. Sheridan, in a long and en- perilous circumstances, when his ergetic speech, supported the mo capital of Turin was actually in tion for censuring the ministers. a state of siege. A demand was Mr. Bragge, he said, the mover of made for 50,000l. and the letter the amendment, appeared to have which Mr. Secretary Harley sent in formed a determination to turn answer to the ambassador of Savoy, every expressiou of censure into a stated, it was not practicable actestimony of approbation. His no- cording to the custom of the constituie tion did not at all refer to the sums tion while parliament was not sitting, sent abroad to the army of Condé; to comply with the request; yet the if it exempted that part of the mea pressing circumstances of the case insure which concerned the emperor duced her majesty to grant a certain from censure, it left the other to sum to be deducted out of the substand upon the journals with the sidy that was to be paid to the duke brand which was implied from its of Savoy. He contended, that from being passed over without notice, circumstances like these, when there wbile the other was held up to ap. was a certainty that the money was probation. He would not enter in- employed in a manner to which parto the inquiry, whether or not the liament had consented, wben it was power of grantidg supplies, and con- to be deducted fron a subsidy that trouling their application, was as an- bad regularly been granted, a precient as the government itself, and cedent could not be drawn to justify coeval with the existence of the the measure then in discussion. In constitution. This salutary power 1742, the engagement which miniarose from the abuses of govern. sters had then contracted took place ment, from the misconduct of mi. when parliament was not sitting, nisters, from tyranny, and from though a session intervened before corruption. The reign of Charles it was communicated to the house ; the Second abounded with exam- but a motion was made, that it was ples of this corruption ; at the re- dangerous, and the necessity of the volution the right of the parliament circumstance was stated in the reto grant supplies, and controul their solution which the house adopted. application, was solemnly recog. He admitted the necessity of the nized, and since that period inter. measure, if it could be made out as woven with its usage. In this re. the ground of the justification of view he wondered at the stress ministers. The third precedent adwhich bad been laid upon the pre- duced in defence was equally inapcedents which had been quoted: it plicable to the point. The assist. was arguiug from the exception ance which ministers gave to Holagainst the rule ; it was erectiog the land in 1787, was given when pardeviation into the guide. Here Mr. liament was not sitting. This asSheridan contended, that even these sistance, however, which parliaprecedents did not apply to the ment afterwards approved of, was present case. The first which had given from the secret service money, the remotest similarity to it was which completely removed every that in 1706, of the advance to the inquiry and every argument which duke of Savoy, to the amount of the case might have suggested, as,
upon Mr. Burke's bill, the oath of For the pui pose of giving a con.. a secretary of state, that the money centrated view of the financial proissued was for secret services, ceedings of the whole year, we effectually secured the minister shall once more deviate from the from all - responsibility, and pre- order of time, and state the con. cluded all investigation. Here Mr. tents of the second budget, which Sheridan repeated what had been was brought forward in the spring observed before, that the last parlia of 1797. ment was not a meritorious parlia. On the 24th of April, when the ment. He asked the minister wbat house had resolved itself into a he himself must have thought of committee of supply, the chancel. that parliament, when out of the lor of the exchequer observed, that alarmists who had seceded from the on that day he had barely to state, ranks of opposition, be bad sent so that the beads of supply which were many to shelter themselves from then to be voted were ihree: first, danger upon the higher ground, an additional sum towards defrayand to hide their heads in coronets ing the expenses of the navy; from the storm which they affected next, a sum to make good the to dread ? Surely, if he had enter- charge on the growing produce of tained a very high opinion of those the consolidated fund for 1796 : gentlemen, he would not have res, and, lastly, to make good the exmoved so many of them from the chequer bills which had been adscene of action
vanced on the vote of credit of Mr. Wilberforce defended the 1790. The largest of these sums measure of sending money to the was for the navy. The money then emperor as advantageous and justi- voted for that service already fiable. Sir William Pulteney, on amounted to: 7,600,0001. ; besides the contrary, contended, that the which, the house would recollect, conduct of the minister ought to he had laid before them an estimate be marked with the distinct disap- of two millions and a half more, probation of the house. Mr. Fox which was not then voted; the closed this debate with an animated suin then which he had to call for, and forcible reply to all the ar- was not at all to be considered as a guments which bad been advanced new demand, since those two mil. on the ministerial side of the house, lions and a half were to make a He took the imputation of hostility part of it, and circumstances reto government, and to the parlia- quired a larger sum than had been ment that had supported that go- estimated. The sum therefore. vernment, as a compliment paid to which he proposed to be voted was himself. He gloried in having been five millions, which, added to the hostile to a parliament that spent 7,000,000l, already granted, would above one hundred millions of mo- make the sum of 12,000,0001. This Dey in subjugating America, and supply was voted, also 1,110,0001. in being hostile to the last parlia- to discharge the exchequer bills ad. ment, who supported the ministers vanced on the vote of credit of in undertaking a war unnecessary the preceding year, and the sum and unprovoked.
of 2,177,0001. to make good the The house divided on Mr. 3,000,0001. charged in the precedBragge's amendment-Ayes 285 ing session on the consolidated Noes 81.
Mr. Pitt, on the 26th of April, navy unprovided for, to the amount brought forward bis second budget. of four millions. The select comWhile he regretted, he said, the ca- mittee had estimated the navy serlarities and expenses with which vices at 12,900,000l. which was the present just and unavoidable stort of what he had stated them war had been attended, he thought to be. He had estimated a floating it his first duty to come forward navy debt of 1,500,0001. the sea with a firm and manly spirit, in lect committee had supposed one of which he trusted the house and 3,000,0001. the country would concur with The next head of service was him, to convince the enemy that the army, for the service of which however great our pressure might there had been voted the sum of be, we were determined to contend 10,918,0001. but on account of with them as long as we were able, some army expenses being incurred rather than submit to haughty and in 1796, wbich then remained undishonourable terms. He observed, provided for, it became necesthat the very able and impartial sary to require the farther sum of statements of the first report of the 3,387,0001. for the outstanding select committee of finance had army debt. It is here to be obgreatly diminished the labour of served, that the extraordinaries of arranging the plan which he was the army were now, for the first about to submit to the consideration time, brought forward by way of of the house.
estimate ; at least, they were never He then proceeded to state, with done so fully till the present war, bis usual precision, the amount of but they were paid out of the mo. the sums already voted, and the ney granted for other services, leavsums remaining to be voted. The ing the provision for those services aggregate of his two budgets made deficient for another year. In adthe whole supplies for the year dition to this, there had been adamount to the enormous sum of vanced to the emperor, by way of 42,780,000l.; an annual expense loan (and which would be due unprecedented in the annals of from his imperial majesty to the finance.
public) 1,200,0001. and the sum of For the navy service of the cur- 900,0001. advanced to the merrent year there had already been chants of Grenada and St. Vincents, voted 7,661,0qpl, in addition to which would also be returned. which the committee of supply bad, To the expenses of ordnance he a few days before, voted 5,000,0001. made no addition to those stated in more. Although he estimated the the first budget. Under the head expenses of the navy department of miscellaneous service there had at 7,601,0001, he had at the same been voted already the sum of time stated his intention of propos- 378,000l. and if he proceeded, he ing a further provision of 2,500,0001. said, by the estimate of the select in order to remedy an inconvenience committee, the sum of 929,000l. which had arisen before, that he would be required instead. might thereby have 10,161,0001. The head of national debt was in cash, towards defraying any ex- not augmented by the second budcess of pavy debt. Such however get. The sum to supply the furhad been the extraordinary expenses ther deficiencies of land and malt of the war, that there then rewas 900,0001. above what was statmained an upfunded debt of the ed in the first budget.