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dred thousand pounds, by way of im the contrary every reason to believe, prest and upon account, for the ser- from what you had stated to Mr Fishvice of the navy and the victualling er, that the officers of the exchequer thereof; and let the said order be sa- were to be called upon to act on this tisfied out of any the treasure or reve- occasion under the authority of his manue in the receipt of the exchequer, jesty's privy seal, which, however irreapplicable to the uses and purposes gularly it might have been obtained, above mentioned; for which this shall would have been, in my judgment, imbe your warrant. Whitehall treasury perative upon them. chambers, the 31st day of December, It now becomes necessary for me to 1810.
consider the nature and extent of the Sp. PERCEVAL, W. BRODRICK, duties which this new and unexpected
W. Eliot, S. BARNE, B. PAGET. course of proceeding imposes upon me; To the auditor of the receipt of and I must for that purpose request, his majesty's exchequer.
that you will do me the honour to in
form me, within what time it will be No. II.-A like warrant for the same necessary, for avoiding those inconve. : sum to be paid to Mr Long and niences to the public service which are · Lord Charles Somerset, for army specified in the warrants of their lord. services.
ships, that such orders as are before
mentioned should be drawn and trans. No. III.-Lord Grenville, auditor of mitted to their lordships.
the exchequer, on the subject of is. I have the honour to be, &c. suing money from the exchequer,
(Signed) GRENVILLE. · for the service of the army and na- The Right Honourable Spencer
vy, under the warrants of the lords Perceval, &c. &c. &c. of the treasury
No. IV.-Mr Perceval to Lord GrenCamelford-house, Jan. 1, 1811, ville, stating the period when an is
. 53 min. p. 11 A. M. . sue should be made from the excheSIR, Mr Fisher has this moment quer, in pursuance of the treasury brought to me two warrants from the warrant. lords commissioners of his majesty's treasury, under yesterday's date, by
Downing-street, 1st Jan. 1811, which I am required, in consideration
before 3 P. M. of the circumstances therein stated, to My LORD, I have had the honour draw an order for the issue of 500,0001. of receiving your lordship's letter of to the bank, on account of the pay. this day's date, desiring to know withmaster-general of the forces, and also in what time it will be necessary, for a like sum on account of the treasurer avoiding those inconveniences to the of the navy; for which issues no au. public service which are specified in thority under his majesty's great seal, the warrants to which your lordship's or privy seal, or sign manual, has as letter relates, that the order for issuing yet been presented, according to the the money under such warrants should accustomed mode and course of the be transmitted to their lordships; and exchequer in that behalf. . I have to state to your lordship, that
I have been, up to this moment, to. according to the usual course of sup. tally unapprised of any intention on plying the weekly issues, both to the the part of their lordships to transmit navy and the army, it would be necesto me any such warrants; but had on sary that sums should be issued to both services, beyond the amount of have the sanction of their legal advice the existing credits at the exchequer, and authority in a matter of such novel either to-morrow or the next day at and unprecedented difficulty. furthest : but although such is the I have the honour to be, &c. usual practice, which I should regret (Signed) GRENVILLE, auditor. the necessity of departing from, yet if The lords commissioners of his the orders could be so furnished as to majesty's treasury. admit of an actual issue being made upon them by Monday next, I do not No. VI.-Case for the opinion of his apprehend any serious inconvenience majesty's attorney and solicitor.ge. to the public service from such a short neral 1st January, 1811. delay.
Sp. PERCEVAL. The auditor of the exchequer is ap. The Lord Grenville.
pointed by a constitution from the
lords commissioners of his majesty's No. V.-Lord Grenville, auditor of treasury ; his office is generally descri.
the exchequer, transmitting a case bed by lord Coke, Inst. 106. His apon the subject of issuing money from pointment states his duty to be, that the exchequer under treasury war- of writing all and every the tallies and rants, and requesting the same might counter tallies of all whatsoever the be submitted to the attorney and so. bills to be made hereafter at the exche·licitor general.
quer of our lord the king, on all and Exchequer, Jan. 1, 1811. every the payments and assignments to My Lords--I have been informed by be there made; and of doing and exera letter of this date from the right ho. cising all other things to that office nourable the chancellor of the exche- belonging. . quer, that it is desirable the orders He has no general instructions acrequired by your lordships' warrants companying his appointment. in of yesterday's date should be trans. Special provisions relative to his mitted to your lordships either to-mor- office and duties are contained in the row or next day at furthest, and that eighth and ninth W. III. c. 28. par. serious inconvenience is apprehended ticularly in section 6. 8. and 10 to to the public service, unless the actual which your attention is desired, as well issue can be made upon them by Mon- as to the general tenor of the several day next.
statutes for the regulation of the exUnder this pressure, I have thought chequer, and also to the stat. 50 Geo. it my indispensable duty to lose no III. c. 115. f. 6. time in drawing up such a statement Copies of the several forms of the of the case as my general knowledge warrants under privy seal and sign ma. of the subject enables me to do on the qual, and of the usual warrant from the sudden. If there should appear to lords commissioners of the treasury to your lordships any deficiency or error the auditor, for drawing orders for in this statement, I beg leave to re- the issue of money, according to the quest that your lordships will have the accustomed course of the exchequer, goodness to direct that the same should are transmitted herewith. And Mr be supplied by your lordships' officers; Fisher, the auditor's chief clerk, an of. and I cannot doubt that your lordships ficer of long experience in the exchewill then, in compliance with my hum- quer, will attend you, for the purpose ble request, direct that the case should of supplying any explanation of these be immediately submitted, by your instruments, or any other information lordships' orders, to the attorney and which you may require. solicitor general, in order that I may A copy is herewith inclosed of two
warrants from the lords commissioners Grenville, transmitting copy of the of the treasury, dated December 31, opinion of the attorney and solicitor. 1810; and requiring the auditor, un general on the case submitted by der the circumstances therein described, him; and stating the urgent necessito draw orders for the issue of one mil ty of his complying with the trealion of the king's treasure, for the sury warrant of the 31st Decemissue of which no authority under his ber, 1810. majesty's great seal, privy seal, or sign My Lord, I am commanded by the manual, has been presented, according lords commissioners of his majesty's to the accustomed course of the exche- treasury to acknoweledge the receipt quer in that behalf.
of your lordship’s letter of yesterday, Your opinion is required, by the requesting that the case, therein transauditor, whether the aforesaid warrant mitted, should be immediately subof the lords commissioners of the trea mitted to the attorney and solicitor. sury is a sufficient authority imperative general, in order that you may have the on him, and therefore a legal sanction sanction of their legal advice and au. for his proceeding to obey the same; thority in a matter of such novel and or whether any and what discretion is unprecedented difficulty ; and to acleft to him on this occasion, for the quaint your lordship, that they lost no exercise of which he may be responsi- time in complying with your request. ble in any court of law, or to the two And I am now commanded to transhouses of parliament: they having re- mit to you a copy of the opinion which solved that it is their right and duty they have just received from the attor. to provide the means of supplying the ney and solicitor-general, stating, that defect of the personal exercise of the they do not think that the warrant of royal authority arising from his majes- the lords commissioners of his majes. ty's indisposition, in such a manner as ty's treasury is, in law, a sufficient authe exigency of the case may appear thority imperative upon the auditor, to them to require.
nor consequently a legal sanction for Having considered the several statutes his proceeding to obey the same.
and documents to which we are re. My lords direct me to add, that ferred, and the general practice which their sense of the mischief to the pub. we understand to have prevailed in lic service, which would arise if any the exchequer, as well before as delay should take place in the issues of since appropriation acts similar to the moneys required by their warrants the 50th Geo. III. c. 115, have of the 31st December, appears to renbeen annually passed, we do not der it indispensably necessary that think that the warrant of the lords those warrants should be forthwith commissioners of the treasury is in complied with ; and that they are conlaw a sufficient authority, imperative sequently ready to take upon themselves upon the auditor, nor consequentlya the responsibility of any act which legal sanction for his proceeding to may be essential for that purpose. obey the same, nor that any discre.
I am, &c. tion is left to him by the law on this Jan. 2, 1811. Gro. HARRISON. occasion, for the exercise of which he will not be responsible,
No. VIII.-Lord Grenville, stating (Signed) V. GIBBS, T. PLUMER. · his reasons for not complying with
the directions of the treasury warLincoln's Inn, 2d Jan, 1811.
rants for issuing money from the No. VII.-Mr Harrison to Lord exchequer.
Exchequer, Jan. 3, 1811. authority of warrants under his maMy Lords--I had the honour to jesty's great seal or privy seal, duly receive, yesterday evening, a letter entered in the office of the auditor, from Mr Harrison, transmitting to me who is thereupon to draw the necesthe opinion of his majesty's attorney sary orders. In the present instance and solicitor general, on the statement all these authorities are wanting ; and which I took the liberty of submitting it is proposed that 1,000,000l. sterling to your lordships for the purpose of of his majesty's treasure shall be issued being laid before them; and I beg on the sole ground of a warrant signed leave to express the due sense which I , by your lordships. Every step taken entertain of your lordships' ready com- towards such an issue by any officer pliance with my request.
of the exchequer, but more especially Having fully considered that opi- by the auditor, would be in open vionion, I lose no time in humbly appriz- lation both of that statute and of the ing your lordships of the final judge. accustomed course of the exchequer; ment which I have formed as to the for such an act your lordships' warline of my official duty on this occa- rants cannot, as I now learn from the sion.
highest authority, afford me any legal It is matter of the deepest concern sanction. I must, I am told, act on to me, to be made the involuntary my own discretion, for the exercise of cause of any even the shortest delay which I must alone be responsible. in an issue of his majesty's treasure, This responsibility, if it legally attaches stated to me, from such high authority upon me, I certainly cannot transfer as that of your lordships, to be import- to any other persons, and least of all ant to the public service. If I could to your lordships, whatever willingness be satisfied of the propriety of my you have expressed to take it on your. doing what is required from me by selves. My attempting to do so would the warrants which I have had the itself be criminal; tending to confound honour to receive from your lordships, the official relations in which I have there is no personal responsibility which the honour to stand towards your I would not readily incur for the pub. lordships, and to annul those checks lic interests; but I cannot persuade which the law has established to en myself that I could obey those war- sure the faithful discharge of our rerants without a breach of my official spective duties, and thereby the secu. duty in that point which is above all rity of the public treasure. others peculiarly obligatory on the per- But I beg leave humbly to submit son placed in the situation of auditor to your lordships, that the law has in of the exchequer; nor without a high truth invested me with no discretion and criminal violation both of a positive on this question. statute, and also of the essential prin- The exigencies of the public service, ciples of our monarchical and parlia- which your lordships have condescend. mentary constitution.
ed to detail to me in these your warThe act passed in the 8th and 9th rants, are matters of state, of which, of king William the Third, cap. 28. as auditor of the exchequer, I have no intituled, “ An act for the better ob- knowledge, and can take no cogniservation of the course anciently used zance; my official duty is strictly lie in the receipt of exchequer," prohibits mited to an observance of the accus the issue of the king's treasure, except tomed forms of the exchequer, and of in pursuance of the special provisions the laws which have from time to time of an act of parliament, or under the been passed for its regulation,
To these I am bound to adhere ; trust, afford, on the other hand, the and it is on the fullest consideration means of obviating any inconvenience which this pressure of time has permit that could arise from my adherence to ted me to give to them, that I am com this my public duty. I should think pelled to decline, but with all due re. myself doubly criminal, if, while the spect to your lordships, a compliance two houses are actually proceeding in with the requisition contained in those the execution of such their right and warrants to which this letter refers. duty, I were to take upon myself to
Perhaps, however, on an occasion of decide, for them, in what manner the such high and urgent public interest, defect in the personal exercise of the it may not be improper for me, before king's authority shall be supplied, in I close this letter, further to submit so important a branch as that of the to your lordships my view of the mode issue of his royal treasure; much more, in which all difficulties on this subject if I were to arrogate to myself the may be removed, in so far at least as power of dispensing, for that purpose, any agency of mine may be required with the express provisions of the laws for the purpose of those issues--a mode by which my official duties are reguwhich I am happy to think may still lated. be resorted to, even within the period But if your lordships shall think it which the right honourable the chan- proper to submit this difficulty to the cellor of the exchequer did me the consideration of the two houses of honour to point out to me, as that parliament, they have declared, that within which no serious inconvenience with them rests the right and duty to is to be apprehended to the public sere provide the means of removing it. vice.
With them resides, under the present Your lordships have recited in your exigency, the power to command those warrants, the resolution by which the official seals, the use of which would two houses of parliament have declared constitute an imperative and unques. the melancholy fact of the temporary tionable authority to the officers of the incapacity of his majesty for the dis- exchequer; with them rests the discharge of his high functions. If it be cretion of judgment in what other proper for me, in my official character, manner they may think it more fit to in any manner whatever to act on this provide a sufficient warrant or sanction declaration, I cannot separate my know. for any issue which they may determine ledge of it from that of the accompany- to be requisite for the public interests ; ing resolution by which the lords and and I certainly should not fail to defer commons did at the same time declare, to their pleasure with entire submission, that it was their right and duty “ to and to execute with the most implicit provide the means of supplying the obedience any orders which I shall redefect of the personal exercise of the ceive from your lordships, under the royal authority arising from his majes. sanction of their authority.. ty's said indisposition, in such manner I have the honour to be, &c. as the exigency of the case may appear
GRENVILLE, auditor.. to them to require.”
To this resolution all the subjects of Return to an Order of the Honourable. this realm owe submission and obedi. House of Cominons, for ence ; and while it presents on the one Copy of a letter from the deputy clerks hand, in my judgment, a fresh and of the privy seal, of the 4th January, insuperable obstacle to my obeying 1811; stating their reasons why they your lordships' requisition, it does, I could not prepare letters to pass the