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authority over the navy. Something, therefore, muft immediately be done, and he knew of no better measure than that which was proposed by his Honourable Friend, The Right Honourable Gentleman feemed to be alarmed, because it was proposed that the Committee should have power to go to the spot where the great complaint is; now he should have no difa ficulty in assenting to the giving to them that, and much more power, and even to the passing an Act of Parliament for that purpose. If there was a doubt about the best mode that could be adopted in this critical time, there was none about the worst; the worst was to continue the present Ministers, and to confide in them ; Ministers whose incapacity had brought on our present evils; Ministers who had run the risk of ruining the nation at a iingle blow; who had deceived the House of Commons; who had deceived the public; who had even deceive ed themielves upon every subject, upon every occasion that had been presented to them; to be partial to such men (partial indeed!) who had betrayed us in our only hope, was insanity itself.

Mr. Sheridan said, he had given notice that he should move for a Committee. The Mini/ter had chosen to misunderstand his meaning, for he had said that he should propose that they mould have power to send for perfons and papers, and to adjourn from time to time, and from place to place, and to go to the spot. Did the Minister mean to say, that it would be improper for such a Committee to correspond with the failors? Flad not Executive Government corresponded with them alreaWY! Were not the failors, to fay no worse, in a state of insubordination at this moment? ---Would he say there was danger in inquiring into our situation? He knew not what the Minister would fay; he regretted to learn that the Minister was to oppose is motion, but he should at all events make it.

Mr. Baker faid, that when he called to order he regretted that the words complained of had not been taken down. Two pro positions had been stated, both of them in his opinion extraordinary, perhaps necessary. He gave no opinion upon either. The Gentleman who brought them forward would, he had no doubt, abandon them for the present. The present situation of the country required that the House should proceed with great energy, but he thought that judgment was better than warmth for that purpose. He regretted extremely the warmth to which he had been witness. He observed that the question seemed to him to be begged. No one had declared what were the grounds of the complaints of the discontented seamen. It had been stated grounds existed, but he had heard nothing to warrant such a conclufion.


No. 35.

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The Speaker suggested, as the Motion that had been made required a speedy decision, the propriety of coming to an immediate vote.

The Motion was accordingly agreed to; and Mr. Pybus was ordered to carry up the request to the House of Lords.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer moved, that the Refolution of the Committee of Supply of yesterday be read. He then moved for leave to bring in a Bill pursuant to the said Resolu. tion,

Mr. Sheridan agreed that the utmost speed should be used in pafsing the Bill. But he wished to notice what an Honourable Gentleman (Mr. Baker) had said, who contended that the opponents of the Ministers proceeded on a question which they had begged. What reason had the Gentleman for this belief? Was it because they had taken an authority which had been so often proved to be so bad ; namely, the authority of the Chancellor of the Exchequer? But all that had been said by that Honourable Member, was an additional reason for agreeing to the Motion which he had suggested, and if it was true that the effect had been produced by other causes than those which were generally supposed, then it could not be denied that there were fresh motives for inquiry and investigation. · The Chancellor of the Exchequer said, he had distinctly stated, that if any misconception could have been supposed, it was to be lamented that extraordinary speed had not been resorted to.

The Bill which he meant to bring in, contained an additional provision for making a full allowance to wounded Seamen, and for empowering Seamen to remit part of their additional allow. ance to their wives, children, or mothers.

Mr. Whitbread, in answer to Mr. Baker, stated, that he did not consider abandoning and postponing a mealure to be fynonymous. He had only postponed his Motion on the suggestion of a friend, that it would be better not to bring it forward at so short a notice.

Leave was given to bring in the Bill, and it was ordered to be an instruction to the persons appointed to bring it in, that they should make provision in it for granting a full allowance to wounded Seamen, and to empower Seamen to remit part of their additional allowance for the support of their wives, chile dren, or mothers. '

Mr. Pybus acquainted the House, that the House of Lords had acceded to the request of the Commons.

The Bill was now brought in, read a first and second time, committed, reported, and engrossed, read a third time, and sent to the Lords.


The House continued sitting till the Bill had passed the Lords.

The Deputy Black Rod then informed the House, that their attendance was desired in the House of Peers, in order to hear his Majesty's Commission read.

The Speaker attended by some Members, accordingly went up to the House of Peers, and upon his return, acquainted the House, that the Royal Assent had been given by Commission to the above-mentioned Bill.---Adjourned.


Wednesday, May 10.

MALMSBURY ELECTION. The Chairman of the Committee appointed to try the merits of the Malmsbury Election reported to the House, that the Committce had determined the sitting Member to be duly elected, and that the petition against the return was not frivolous or vexatious.

VOTE OF CENSURE. Mr. Yorke rose to conjure Mr. Whitbread to postpone the Motion of which he had given notice on the preceding day. He conjured him by the love which he bore for his country, which could not suffer by the delay of the Motion for two or three days, buï which might suffer if it were brought forward at the present moment. Let the House, he said, while the country was in danger, save it; (a cry of hear! bear!) let them defer all dila cullion upon the present subject, which could produce no good, but which might produce harm. In the short space of two ir three days, the Motion might be brought forward, without that mischief which it might be attended with at present.

Mr. Whitbread.--" In proportion as the crisis is awful beyond example, and the calamities with which the country is threatened, are alarming to an unheard-of extent, it is impoff:. ble for me not to feel, on the present occasion, an uncommon degree of pain and embarrassment. Before the solemn appeal and adjuration which the Honourable Gentleman, for whom personally I have a great respect, addressed to this side of the House, and in particular to me, I experienced these sensations, and they must now be considerably increased, when I find it absolutely impoffible, consistently with the duty I owe to my country, not to proceed in bringing on the Motion of which I have given notice, in deference to him or any class of men with whom I may differ in opinion. It is delay and procrastination which has brought us into the dreadful and calamitous situ, ation in which we are now unfortunately placed, and there is nothing that I regret more than not having moved a Vote of 8 C 2


Censure upon the Minister on that day on which the Estimates were taken into consideration, for his extreme and culpable negiigence, in not having carried the measures proposed into effet with greater celerity. I regret, I say, that on that day a Vote of Censure was not pafled upon his conduct, which might have accompanied the other Vote to Portsmouth, for the purpose of convincing the Seamen, that the House of Commons had not been a party in that delay to which all the subsequent calamities are to be attributed. That they have arisen solely from that cause is a propofition which I have no doubt I shall be able to substantiate from authentic documents, and if I am able to make good this proposition, if the House of Commons do not pass a Vote of Censure upon the author of that delay, we shall as groffly neglect our duty as he has neglected his. I know there are those, perhaps a majority of this House, who differ with me refpecting the origin of the recent insubordination of the fleet, and who will be ready to attribute any future mischief which may ensue, which God avert! to the discussion which I am now bringing before the House ; but however much I may wish to stand high in these Gentlemen's opinions, I have a ftill stronger desire to stand high in my own. From what my duty therefore calls me to encounter, I shall not be deterred by the fear of any animadversion which may be passed upon my conduct.

“ Having said thus much by way of preface and apology, I proceed to a summary investigation of the ground of debate, in which I think I shall have no difficulty in being able to prove, to the satisfaction of the House, that the first Minister of the Country has been highly criminal in suffering the delay which took place between the concessions which were made by the Lords of the Admiralty to the Seamen, and the ratification of these concessions by Parliament ; and in this view of the subject the House will naturally perceive that the Motion which I have to propose to them, is nothing less than a direct censure upon that Right Honourable Gentleman. If I am asked, upon what grounds I ascribe the mischiefs which have arisen from this delay, I refer the House to the speech of the Right Honourable Gentleman (Mr. Pitt) in which, unfatisfactory as it was, he admitted that the delay had been an unfortunate circumstance, and that, had he foreseen the events which have happened, he might have acted with greater dispatch and expedition.'

< But supposing even that the effects, which we all deplore, had not been produced, still, I say, he would be grofily blameable; for was it not of the essence of the compact entered into with the sailors, to ratify it with the utmost dispatch ? Was it not promised by the Lords of the Admiralty, that the affair should be recommended to Parliament ? When I read the paper in

which that promise was conveyed, I expected that we should have had an immediate Message. No such Message, however, was brought. From the documents in the public papers, which I consider to be authentic, I understood that the ratification of Parliament was demanded by the sailors, and that without it they did not mean to go to sea. Was the Right Honourable Gentleman then to take it for granted that the leamen would be contented with his promise ? Ought he not in a few hours, if posible, to have brought down a Mellage? Was any Melo lage sent? No. Nor has there been one to this day. This would have been the natural mode, one would have thought, that Ministers would bave adopted to carry the measures for which they were pledged into effect. But let us see how they actually did proceed. From the public papers, which of course are authentic, I find that the ratification of the articles of their ftipulation with the Lords of the Admiralty by Parliament was required by the seamen before they were ordered to go to sea. This ftipulation was concluded on the 23d of April. On the 26th it was laid before the Privy Council, and was not ratified by his Majesty till the 3d of May. And not even then a mellage was brought down to Parliament, the estimate being delay. ed to be laid before them till Thursday last. It was not indeed laid before them even then, but there being no House on Thurfday, he gave him credit for having them ready on that day if the House had transacted business. If this then was the case, was it not the least thing which that Minister could do, that Minister, who, by his unaccountable and criminal negligence, had brought those numerous and aggravated calamities upon the country which every man so much deplored, and which might be attended with consequences still more fatal than any one was aware : ought he not to acknowledge his error, and to beg pardon of the House and of the country ; and ought not the House of Commons, whose business it was to watch over the conduct of Ministers, and to provide for the safety of the empire, to impole a censure upon him, who by his gross incapacity had brought the state into this strange and unprecedented dilemma? The Minifter has excused the delay, by urging the necessary forms preparatory to the estimate : yet he says, that indeed if he could have thought dispatch to have been requisite, he would have uled it. He postpones even the estimate till the late period of

hursday. If the Right Honourable Gentleman was one of those plodding statesmen, who in all cases adhere to the regular routine of office, and the forms of the constitution, there might pe some apology for fo dull a man in not departing from the beaten track; but for the Minister to plead forms, he who has trampled on all the forms of this House, and all the principles of


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