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the constitution, for him to pretend to be deterred and delayed by forms, must be held by every man to be one of the most contemptible excuses ever offered. The House will recollect when he deemed it necessary to abridge the liberties of the people, that then he could use the utmost dispatch. With what cejerity was the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act passed !---When he conjured up plots, and frightened the nation, then he could find no time for delay ; but now when a mutiny was broke out---when the very existence of the country is threatened.--when the most calamitous events have happened---then the Right Honourable Gentleman has recourse to all the routine of office, and all the delays which forms can interpose.
« I have already stated that the Seamen,' in all their representations to the Admiralty, made a positive ftipulation that the compact should be ratified by Parliament. I say, therefore, that the delay of the ratification is a presumptive proof that to that delay are the effects that have happened to be attributed. I know there are some who impute these effects to the misrepresentation and misconception of particular speeches. If that be the case, it was easy for the Right Honourable Gentleman to have prevented all misrepresentation, by doing his duty in the first instance. In confirmation of the opinion which I have ftated, I beg Gentlemen to advert to the intelligence received this day; and happy I am in stating it to the House, that in consequence of the resolution of the Commons having reached some Thips, (other ships it could not reach on account of the badness of the weather) the crews have returned to their duty. If the House wanted any proof of the delay having produced those events, that proof would be afforded by the manner in which the resolution has been received. I will not detain the House any longer; perhaps I might be led into a longer detail of the original causes, than I with to be at present. My firm opinion is, that they must at some future time be most seriously investigated; I confine myself at present to the criminality of the Minister, in not using more dispatch; I trust that some more efficient Member will bring the whole of the subject before the House, and if it shall be found that it is imputable to any of his Majesty's Ministers, I hope they will meet with that condign punishment which they will so richly deserve. Per. haps I may be taxed with having delivered my sentiments too warmly. Sir, I may have been betrayed into greater warmth than I could wish, in bringing forward so severe an accusation; but we cannot repress thote feelings of indignation at the conduct of men who, by their neglect of their duty, their profufion, their errors, their incapacity, and their contempt of the Constitution, have brought the country to the situation in
which, unfortunately, it is at the present moment. My Motion is--
« That the Right Honourable William Pitt, in having so “ long delayed presenting to th.s House the Etimates of the lum “ necessary for defraying the expence of the increased Pay of the “ Seamen and Marines of his Majesty's Fleet, and for the pro“ posed issue for the full allowance of Provisions, has been guilty “ of a gross Neglect of his Duty, and deserves the Censure of « this House."
The Chancellor of the Exchequer.-“Sir, it is impossible for me to give my vote upon the present question, but I nevertheless feel it my duty to set the Honourable Gentleman right with regard to his motion, and to take notice how it stands in point of form. I do not defire that any degree of blame should be transferred from me to any of his Majesty's Ministers, but when the Honourable Gentleman states that I have been guilty in not presenting an estimate sooner to the Houle, I feel it incumbent on me to state, that it was no part of my duty to present it; that I neither did present it at all, nor was it any part of my official duty, either to present or prepare it. In fact, Sir, the Honourable Gentleman could hardly find any part of the pecu. niary expenditure of the country in which I have individually so small a separate share, and therefore I should think he muit have incautiously worded his Motion. However, Sir, as to the substance of the charge conveyed by the Motion, if he means to impute guilt to me for not having used more speed in bringing it forward, though the estimate depended on the Order of Council, and the Board of Admiralty; yet, as a question regarding the safety of the country and its finances, I beg leave to lay no claim for an excuse on the ground of the subject not falling precisely within my official duty. Yet as far as respects the regularity of the mode adopted by the Honourable Gentleman, I have thought proper to say this much; as to the remaining part of the subject, I shall not think it necessary to go much at length, as I conceive that the fair statement is shortly this; whether the Executive Government were in possession of grounds sufficient to enable them to infer that the delay which took place would be accompanied with danger to the country. The facts were these : on the 24th, not on the 23d of April, as was stated by the Honourable Gentleman, we heard that the seamen on board the fleet had returned to their duty. On the 26th, after the intervention of a day, a memorial was presented to the Privy Council, containing the concessions which were proposed to be granted to the seamen. A Committee was appointed to inquire into the subject of the memorial, and their report was delivered at the next ordinary Council, which was held on the 3d of
May, May, when these conceilions were confirmed by his Majesty. Notice was given on Wednesday last, that the estimate would be laid before the House on Thursday, but the House not meeting on that day, they were presented on Friday, and ordered to be taken into consideration on the Monday following. Neither at the time that the concessions were granted by the Lords of the Admiralty, at the time that the memorial was delivered to the Privy Council, at the time that the report was made, at the time that the concessions were confirmed by his Majesty, at the time that the estimates were presented, and at the time that they were taken into consideration, there was unquestionable evi. dence that the Executive Government meant to complete their engagement. He never had heard the fincerity of Ministers called in question, and indeed there could be no ground for such a fufpicion, for when the estimates were presented, the mutiny which had latterly taken place had not then begun.
« There have, Sir, been other circumstances stated as having contributed to those disturbances which have given so much cause for regret, I mean those misrepresentations which have taken place with respect to discussions upon the subject in a place which I need not mention. Sir, to those who argue on the delicacy of this subject, and the danger of misreprelentation, it may be a fair mode of argument to adopt a reply, and to observe, that if the discussion had not been forced forward, there would not have been such grounds for misrepresentation as those which had been assumed: for in fact there was no just ground for it at all; neither for the wicked misrepresentation of the speeches and conduct of his Majesty's Ministers, nor for the equally grois mifrepresentation of those of the Gentlemen who opposed his Majesty's Government, and whose speeches had a fhare in laying the foundation of that fufpicion and doubt in the seamen which occasioned their late tumultuous conduct : for at the very hour when the act which made the supposed ground of those misrepresentations took place, had the assent been given to the Act of the Council; and on the next day the estimate was given, before the misrepresentation could possibly have taken effect. A mifrepresentation so foul, so gross, so false, and fo daring, was never before put in practice for the purpose of delusion; a misrepresentation, not that the measure was not proposed, not that it was not pafied, but that it had been actually proposed and had been actually rejected. These are the real circumstances of the case as they itand founded in fact, and from there the House will be able, with very little consideration, to determine, whether in the first place the late mischiefs have been occasioned by the delay which has interposed since the acquiescence of the Lords of the Adiniralty with the demands of the feamen ; and
in the next, whether, if it were so, his Majesty's Ministers must necessarily have foreseen that that cause would produce that effect, and were therefore culpable in not having accelerated it with a speed beyond the dispatch which the usual forms of proceeding allowed.
“Sir, as to the question of the fincerity of his Majesty's Ministers, I cannot imagine that there is any Gentleman in the House who can entertain a doubt of it. Can it be possible to suppose, that if Ministers had felt in their own minds, that such circumstances as those we have lately had to contemplate, and which God avert in future, they could possibly have suffered even the delay which had taken place. Sir, their interest and duty are too nearly allied to admit of such a fuppofition, and I think it unnecessary to take up the time of the House in saying any thing farther to that point. I will only now observe, that at this present moment, I do entertain greater hopes than I have for some time past, that there is a disposition among the feamen to return to their duty. From the shortness of the time, and the state of the weather, that has intervened since the accounts were received of the satisfaction of the seamen in the measures of Government, I cannot say that I am poflefled of authentic information, to enable me to state with precision to the House what will be the conduct of the leamen ; but I have sufficient information to authorize me in saying, there is more than a dawn of hope that every thing will be brought to a happy conclufion; and I trust, with that fair prospect in view, I may be allowed to call to the confideration of the House the propriety of not hazarding the destruction of our hopes of a fortunate termination of these calamities, the remembrance of which there is so much reason to deplore, by the introduction of subjects of discuffion no less liable to misconstruc. tion and misrepresentation than those which have already been attended with such fatal effects; with this observation, Sir, I Shall conclude.”
Mr. Whitbread proposed to amend his Motion by the introduction of the words « his Majesty's Ministers," instead of the words, “the Right Honourable William Pitt.”
The Chancellor of the Exchequer being desired by the Speaker to withdraw, agreeably to the forms of the House,
The question was put upon the Motion as it originally stood, which was negatived.
Mr. Fox proposed, as another Amendment to the Motion, tinat instead of the words « in presenting,” be substituted “in presenting, or causing to be presented.”
The M tion, thus amended, being put,
Mr. Rose (Junior) said, that in the few observations he had to offer to the House on the Motion proposed by the HonourNo. 35. * 8D
Fim Could Gould naturald' enable the Lie besiminality, im
rable Gentleman, he was free to declare, that he was biassed by no view whatever to screen a man, or any set of men, from that just censure, which, upon mature investigation, they might be found to deserve. He could not, however, too earnestly deprecate all hasty and intemperate discussion; and it appeared evident to him, that if the Motion was deferred to some future opportunity, it might then be brought forward be. fore the Houle with more weight and importance, as it would, by that delay, be freed from the passion and warmth which, in the present situation of affairs, might be introduced during the confideration of it. A decision arising from temperance and coolness would, in his opinion, produce the greatest benefit ; while a contrary conduct might lead the country to entertain an idea, that Gentlemen only wished for objects of mutual crimination and reproach. If, therefore, the Honourable Gentleman agreed to defer his Motion for ten days or a fortnight, it would unquestionably come before the House in a more conciliating and satisfactory manner. For he might in that cale fay, “ I have forborne discussion at the moment of hafte and temperance, and now I invoke the House to decide on the criminality of the Minister, in a cool and dispassionate manner." Could Gentlemen for a moment suppose that the exasperation which would naturally arise from the premature discussion of the question, would enable them to obtain a greater vigour in the pursuit of their object? Ile should also beg to observe, that if he were even perfuaded of the criminality Itated in the Motion, he could not, though on that ground, im. press too forcibly on the Honourable Gentleman the necellity of postponing the consideration of the subject. He thought it not inapplicable to remind the House of the conduct of the Romans after the battle of Cannæ, who, instead of expressing their despair at fo melancholy a reverse of fourtune, unanimously concurred in thanking their Consul, Terentius Varro, for not despairing of the safety of the Republic. The conduct of the Carthaginians would have been very different, and, instead of giving vigour to the public spirit, they would have punished their unfortunate general in the severest manner, and have exclaimed,
« Nihil non fupplicii recufandum foret." He concluded by expressing his hope, that some Gentlemen of fuperior talents and eloquence would rise and impress on the mind of the Honourable Gentlman the necessity of poftponing his Motion.
Mr. Martin declared his conviction, that in what he was about to offer to the House, he thould not be suspected of any