HC Deb 05 February 1805 vol 3 cc261-75
Mr. Kinnaird,

pursuant to his notice on a former day, rose to move for the production of certain papers, calculated to enable the house to judge of a charge made in a report of the navy board, on the subject of certain very large charges for the repairs of the ships Romney and La Sensible, while under the command of sir Home Popham, in the Red Sea. On a subject of such importance, he thought it incumbent on him, both consistently with his duty to the house, and in fairness to the hon. and gallant officer whose conduct was implicated, to state a few of the circumstances which induced him to institute an inquiry into the grounds of this charge. He hoped the house would do him the justice to believe that he had not taken up the subject on light grounds, or from hasty conclusions. It was not the rumours on this business, which had long met the public ear; it was not till he had, for several months, seen a publication containing the most serious charges against the hon. officer, and observed, that this publication remained unanswered, that he had felt himself called upon no longer to postpone the consideration of a subject, in which, not only the character of the Brit, navy, but the whole system of economy in the public expenditure, were intimately involved. Indeed, it was the less necessary for him to offer any apology on the present occasion, for while he was confident the house would never shew themselves deficient in a desire to uphold the honour of our brave defenders, they would evince a determination not less firm, that no officer, however high his character, or extensive his merits, should be suffered to waste the public money intrusted to his care, with unnecessary and ruinous prodigality. The house had shewn a disposition to act on such principles, in the appointment of the commission to inquire into naval abuses, and, he trusted, the same ideas would continue to regulate their deliberations. It would, surely, not be disputed that the whole duty of a British officer was not confined to his mere conduct in the hour of battle. He would never forget that he had other, and not less important offices to perform, in watching over the distribution of the national resources committed to his care, and that all accounts were to be passed from the validity of his assurances that no idle or unnecessary expenditure had occurred. Having made these general observations, the hon. gent. proceeded to the immediate subject on which he had risen to address the house. It would be recollected, that about the end of the year 1800, the Romney and La Sensible were fitted out for the purpose of co-operating in the expedition to Egypt, which took place in the spring of the subsequent year, and were then under the command of sir Home Popham. About May 1803, as nearly as he could recollect, these ships returned to this country. Previous to this period, bills from India had reached the admiralty, to the amount of no less than-80,000l. for the repair of these vessels. The admiralty board were naturally astonished at so enormous a charge, and they accordingly instructed the commissioners of the navy board to examine into all the stores and repairs which these vessels had received fom the time of their departure from England, and to call for the several journals in, which accounts of the expenditure had been preserved. On the tone and character of the report made by these commissioners, he had been principally inclined to rest his arguments to the house for the production of the papers, with motions for which he meant to conclude. At the time the Rom- ney sailed, she was stated to be completely provided with stores, of all sorts, for 12 months. Yet, as soon as she reached the Cape of Good Hope, which was before the expiration of 3 months, it was found that fresh supplies of stores were obtained; and, in the course of the months of Nov. and Dec. other supplies, to the amount of 4,000l. were charged to the public. This was, surely, a very extraordinary charge, but it was one contained in the report of the commissioners of the navy board, and, consequently, worthy of the utmost attention.—The next point to which he wished to direct the attention of the house, was the comparative statement of the journal of the captain, and the several other journals, of the expenditure which had come under the inspection of the commissioners. On this part of the subject it was impossible for him to go into any technical details; but it would be sufficient to refer generally to the tone and temper of the report, the language of which clearly imported that the journals were both irregular and in many instances contradictory. In the report it was distinctly stated, that articles for the use of the Romney and La Sensible had been purchased at a most enormous rate, and that other articles, on the contrary, had not been accounted for in a satisfactory manner, or rather had been disposed of at less than the 20th part of their real value. Among the charges was one for a 50-hundred-weight anchor, purchased in the room of one which had been lost in the Indian seas. Here, however, a remarkable circumstance occurred, that when the inquiry was instituted at Sheerness as to the state of the Romney, it was stated that when she sailed from England she had the identical anchor which was found on board after her return. While this was mentioned, it did not at all appear that the other anchor, in room of which the 50-hundred-weight anchor was purchased, had ever been lost, or if it was lost, that it had ever been recovered. Even if all the extra expences were to be admitted, there would remain four or five thousand pounds, for which no sort of account is to be discovered in the journals of the boatswain, or elsewhere. It was asserted that the Romney, when she left England, was fully provided for 12 months with all requisite stores. But after the most minute enquiries, the commissioners had found, that in a very short time after her sailing-she had received repairs, and that nearly 9,000l. had been charged the these repairs; 7,800l. of which they considered as excess of charge, on an accurate examination. Surely in this there was very little of the appearance of economy, and k was fit, at such a period as he present, that the business should be fully investigated. The commissioners had stated the charges to be enormous, and it was proper that the grounds of their decision should be stated. With respect to the charges on the repairs of the Sensible, the same opinion as to extravagance was delivered, and the same necessity for full investigation existed. Whether the hon. officer at the time the supposed repairs were made, was under the orders of adm. Rainier, or whether, as he had heard it insinuated, he had an independent command, he confessed himself unable to decide. If he was under the orders of adm. Rainier, it certainly must be allowed to have been a most extraordinary circumstance, that the superior officer had not been consulted on a step which was surely one of very great consequence, and necessarily attended with vast expence. The step to which he alluded was the changing of the Sensible into a 32 gun frigate. The hon. officer might have had grounds for this alteration, but it could not be pretended that he had communicated his reasons to the adm. on the East India station. On the contrary it appeared, that a month previous to the arrival of the ship at Calcutta, the cordage, rigging, and other articles necessary to form the alteration, had been ordered and were in a state of preparation. Thus, it appeared that the hon. officer had taken the whole responsibility of the business on himself, and it was proper that the grounds on which he proceeded should be explained. It was stated that before the Sensible had been altered, her situation had been fully examined, but what he had just stated respecting the orders for stores, completely refuted this idea. There were other accounts of transactions in the Red Sea which were not a little curious. The hon. officer seemed to have found, contrary to general opinion, every thing quite as convenient for the repair of ships as if he had actually been in the heart of the river, and in the vicinity of our arsenals. It was proper that the public should understand the whole of these transactions, which were necessary to complete the view of the subject. Connected with this part of the question, he should also take the liberty of moving for certain letters from marquis Wellesley relative to the expenditure of the vessels under the command of the hon. officer while in the Indian seas. Before he sat down, he wished to say a few words as to the mode of investigation which he had thought it his duty to propose. It might be asked, whether this was the only possible mode of investigating the subject; whether there was not another tribunal, before which the merits of the question might not be more satisfactorily decided? It might be urged that this was a matter which the board of admiralty were much more competent to try, than an assembly composed as that which he had the honour to address. To this his answer was plain and satisfactory. He had heard, on authority which to him appeared highly respectable, that the late board of admiralty had designed to institute a criminal prosecution against the hon. officer. The change of administration, however, by which the late "weak and inefficient" board of admiralty was changed for a "capable and efficient" one, had prevented them from carrying their views into effect, and there was no prospect of the present board of admiralty following up the resolution of their predecessors. When he saw the hon. officer not only invested with an important command, but apparently high in the confidence of his maj,'s ministers, he thought it was not at all unnatural to suppose, that no sort of proceeding respecting the hon. officer's conduct was in contemplation. It might be said again, that this subject would, with much more propriety, have been submitted to the consideration of the commission appointed to inquire into naval abuses. For his part, he should have felt pride and satisfaction in having the merits of the question tried before that board. Never, he believed, did any men, invested with great powers, discharge their duly to the house and the public with more zeal, and more fidelity. But as it was understood that this board had it not in their power to take cognizance of the business, he had felt it his duty to submit it to the consideration of the highest tribunal in the country. He lamented deeply the painful nature of the duty he had this night attempted to perform. If the charges which appeared in the report of the late board against the hon. officer could not be supported, he should rejoice in having afforded him an opportunity of establish- ing his character, and refuting ill-founded charges, and public calumny. He should hope, likewise, that the house would do him justice, and give him credit for the integrity of his intention, in arraigning the conduct of the hon. officer, who, if guilty, should be made to feel, that he was employed not only to fight in the cause of his country, but also to be the steward, in his department, of the public purse. The hon. gent, concluded, with moving, "that there be laid before the house; 1, An account of the repairs of the Romney; 2, A copy of the report of the navy board, of the 20th Feb. 1804, respecting the repairs of the Romney and Sensible, and the expenditure and supplying of stores on board of those ships while under the command of sir Home Popham, together with its enclosures; 3, Copies of the letters of marquis Wellesley, respecting the above accounts, transmitted to the directors of the East India Company." As soon as the first motion was put from the chair,

Sir Home Popham

rose, and assured the house, that no man in existence was more anxious than himself to have every pant of his conduct fully canvassed; no exertion had been omitted on his part to have a fair opportunity of vindicating himself from the charges which were so industriously circulated against him in an anonymous and scurrilous pamphlet, from which the hon. gent. who introduced the business, appeared to have drawn all his information. The hon. member had expressed his surprise, that no answer had been given to that pamphlet. He begged leave to assure the hon. gent. and the house, that this had arisen from no backwardness on his part, to meet the scandalous falsehoods which that pamphlet contained. The fact, however, was, that a certain degree of caution and alarm in the press had retarded the publication of his answer; which now, however, was before the public. From this answer, he begged leave to read a few extracts of letters which had passed between him and the board of admiralty, from which it would be clear beyond all possibility of doubt, that he had on every occasion evinced the most ardent desire, not only to throw no obstacles in the way of the investigation of the charges; but had, on the contrary, pressed upon the board of admiralty, every consideration which seemed to him in the least calculated to accelerate the discussion. In support of this observation, the hon. offi- cer proceeded to read an extract from a letter to Lord St. Vincent, as first lord of the admiralty, in June, 1803, in which he alludes to the gross and unfounded charges made against him, and solicits their lordships to lose no time in ordering a strict investigation of his conduct. To this letter he received an answer, that the business should be referred to the commissioners of the navy board, and as soon as they had prepared a report on the subject, a copy should be furnished him. The hon. officer, still anxious to accelerate the investigation, wrote, on the 5th July, another letter, representing the propriety of his being called before the navy board, to afford such explanations as would materially facilitate a final decision. The whole of his correspondence with the admiralty had, he maintained, this dispatch in the investigation as the object dearest to his heart. It could not be at all contended, therefore, that if the matter was not fully investigated, any blame was to be attached to him in the business. Indeed, from a review of the whole of his conduct, he had no reason to shrink from enquiry. He was confident, that on every occasion, and during the whole of the service on which the charge was founded, he had never looked to private interest, but to the interest and the glory of his country. He had ample testimonies of the discipline, the healthiness, and the sailor-like apperance of the crew of the Romney while under his command, and he consoled himself, amidst malignant and unfounded charges, by the reflection that he had been fortunate enough to receive the good opinion of the most respectable men in the honorable profession to which he belonged. He was never conscious of having given an order for a single article which did not seem to him necessary to the public service. On the 26th of July, he wrote to sir Evan Nepean, in consequence of the laying his papers before the commissioners, repeating his solicitations to give his personal attendance on the enquiries, as the most expeditious mode possible for the object in view, and the only way of accelerating a decision. To this he received no answer: and, oh the 3d of Aug. he wrote to the navy board on the same subject, and requesting to have the question put, which he had put at Chatham: "Whether, if the Romney had not received the repairs in question, considering the weather she experienced, she would not, in all probability, have gone to the bottom?"—The hon. officer then observed, that his ship was in such a state, that a few days after his pennant was down, it was commissioned—an unprecedented occurrence. The hon. bart then explained what had passed at Calcutta, in the repairs of the different vessels under his command, none of which had been adverted to by the hon. gent. except the Romney, nor by the anonymous publication from which he had taken all his information. Here he could not omit to notice, that the anonymous publication had made no slight impression on certain gallant officers in the navy. In proof of this, the hon. bart. read an affidavit that had been volutarily made by a gent. who had been out with him as 3d, then as 2d lieut. and had afterwards been made commander by Lord St. Vincent. The gent. he adverted to was Francis Mason, Esq. commander of his maj.'s ship Rattler; and as that gent. was indebted wholly for his promotion to Lord St. Vincent, his voluntary and unsolicited testimony would have some weight with the house. The affidavit had been made before the mayor of Portsmouth on the 5th of Jan. 1805, subsequent to the appearance of the pamphlet, but before the notice of the hon. gent.'s motion. The tenor of the affidavit was highly complimentary to the hon. bart. It stated "that he saw no undue waste of stores; that the conduct of sir Home Popham was that of a strict disciplinarian, and that he was incapable of doing any thing contrary to honour and integrity, and the good of the service; that his attention to the sick was exemplary; that they had in the Red Sea only one scorbutic, and one liver case; that the country boats were absolutely necessary, and that by them they saved the lives of 400 persons, soldiers and sailors, in the Red Sea; that a cable was cut in Balasore Road, at the recommendation of the pilot, in order to enter Diamond Harbour, with several other particulars, highly to the credit and honour of the character of sir Home Popham." Similar testimony in his favour the hon. officer read from the letter of a respectable gent. in India, in which he attributes the safety of the Calcutta transport in the Red Sea, to the exertions of sir Home Popham, his officers and crew.—He insisted on the circumstance of no attempt being made to bring him to punishment, as a strong proof of his innocence. If the board of admiralty thought they had a case made out against him, why did they not bring him to a court martial? That they were not unwilling to do so, can scarcely be denied; and their having taken no steps in the business, was a pretty good proof that they were convinced that any attempt to substantiate any charge against him would prove abortive. No less than IS months after his return elapsed before any report was formed, and now that the report was before the public nearly a year, no steps had been taken to follow up the charges. He was happy that the subject was now brought forward, and he trusted there would not be a dissenting voice in agreeing to the production of all the papers for which the hon. gent. had moved. He was anxious to have no information held back, and he was highly gratified to think that he should now have an opportunity of vindicating his conduct before so high a tribunal. Before he sat down, the hon. officer animadverted on the last sentence of the report of the commissioners of the navy board. It was there admitted by the commissioners that they had conducted the investigation in an unusual manner, that they had framed their report without hearing sir Home Popham as to any of the grounds of charge, but that in following this course they thought they acted in conformity to the wishes of the lords commissioners of the admiralty.

Admiral Markham

stated, that the board of admiralty had directed the navy board to furnish the hon. officer with a copy of their report, and that he believed it was furnished. It was natural to suppose that when such heavy accusations were brought forward against the hon. officer, he would have entered into some justification of his conduct. The hon. officer had hinted that he ought to have been called before the navy board for that purpose. Such was not the regular mode of procedure. The accounts of all naval officers are sent to the navy board, there examined, and, if found to be incorrect, the pay of such officers is stopped, but they are not themselves summoned to give an explanation of their conduct. The hon. officer had expressed his surprise, that after his return to England, and during the period in which the late admiralty board continued in office, this report had been suffered to lie dormant, and no proceedings whatever instituted upon it. He would inform the house of the reason. In the first instance, the admiralty conceived the idea of instituting a criminal prosecution; they then doubted their power to do this, and determined to refer it to the court of exchequer. That the affair might be fully investigated, various reports were waited for, which had not been received when the late admiralty went out of office. An hon. gent, whom he had in his eye, (Mr. Dickenson, jun.) could probably inform the house, whether these reports had yet arrived. If they had, he took it for granted that the proceedings would be continued. The hon. officer had spoken confidently of his ability to justify himself. He could only tell him, that he believed that the board of admiralty could have justified itself much more readily; yet he would say, that if the hon. officer should be able to justify himself to the satisfaction of the house, and of the country, it would afford him very great pleasure. As to what had been said of the "scurrility" of a certain pamphlet, it was most certain that he had read the pamphlet; but there did not appear to him all that scurrility which was imputed to it. Nay, what was called scurrilous, was, in point of fact, nothing but the report of the navy board. He had read that report; and, undoubtedly, it so reflected upon the hon. officer, that it was his duty to do away the effect of it if he could.

Mr. Dickenson,

jun. said, he was not prepared to answer the last speaker's question, with regard to the receipt of any additional reports relative to the hon. officer's conduct. It appeared to him that the navy board had acted against all precedent and decorum in the case of sir Home Pop-ham. As far as he could call to his recoil lection the last passage of their report, its tendency was, that they had declined hearing sir Home Popham's defence, and had proceeded on ex parte evidence to please the then board of admiralty. He would not anticipate the hon. officer's defence, this was not the time to allege any circumstances in his justification. The present board of admiralty had not referred the affair to a court martial, because the time allowed by law on such occasions had expired; they had not brought it before any judicial court, because the evidence, on which alone their accusations could be founded, was only ex parte evidence. His feelings prompted him to say a great deal on this subject; he should, however, confine himself to a few words. The affair, in all its circumstances, had, for some, time, been under his most serious consideration; and he was happy to congratulate that gallant officer, and with him, the service, that house, and the whole country, on the assurance, that his defence would not rest merely on statements of general character, but that he would be enabled to confute his accusers by undeniable proofs of innocence, and by opposing fact to fact.

The Chanc. of the Excheq.

said, it was far from being his intention to enter much into this subject, and he had expected that the hon. gent. would have abstained from general observation, which tended only to aggravate, whilst the officer, the object of the discussion, had professed his extreme desire to enter into the investigation of his conduct; and for a full disclosure of facts, by the production of every information. He concurred with what an hon. friend of his, a member of the present admiralty board, had said, relating to the last sentence of the report of the navy board; and must think the case was decided by that board on ex parte evidence. But what he most of all wished at that moment was, that gent, would, in candour and fairness, forego the investigation of a subject, the necessary evidence on which they had not before them.

Mr. Fox

said, he did not mean to go into any discussion on the present occasion. He could not, however, admit that the light hon. gent. who had just sat down was entitled to blame the hon. gent. for the manner in which he had introduced the subject. The hon. member had introduced no observations but such as were strictly connected with the object he had in view. His object was to persuade the house of the propriety of having the papers produced; and was it not for that purpose necessary to employ some arguments? When papers were called for, was it not always previously required that a case should be made out to the house? But the right. hon. gent. had argued that there was no necessity for argument, because the hon. officer did not, oppose the production of the papers. He felt himself called upon to protest against such doccrine. It was not parliamentary, and he trusted it would never be admitted by the house. It was not fit that the house should hear of the production of papers merely because it happened to suit the inclination of the parties. He was not displeased that the hon. officer had shewn himself willing to go into the enquiry; yet, perhaps, if he had not talked so much of his own innocence, and of the guilt of the late board, it would not have been the worse for his cause. What most surprised him, however, was the observation of the right hon. gent.; for when himself, and other friends of his, have moved for papers for the defence of their very nearest relations, the right hon. gent. has told them, that they must first make out a case, and next he has got his own friends to move, the previous question; so debarring them of information. This subject was altogether very well worthy the attention of the bouse1 and the country.

The Chanc. of the Excheq.

allowed the truth of part of the hon. gent.'s observations, but added, that when it was understood, as it certainly had been, that no opposition to the motion was intended, it certainly became less necessary to enter into particulars, much less into an aggravated statement of them.

Mr. Kinnaird,

confirmed as he was in his own opinion by that of his hon. friend, did not deem it necessary to make any apology to the house for what he had said, He had merely stated what was contained in the report of the navy board; if it were proved false, no man would more willingly retract. With regard to the statement, that the navy board had adopted an unusual mode of proceeding in this affair, it was untrue. The same had taken place when that board had investigated the conduct of sir R. King, sir A. Mitchell, sir R. Bicker-ton, and capt. Cook, of the ship La Forte, It would afford him the sincerest satisfaction, could the hon. officer clear himself in the eyes of his country from the imputation which attached to him, and in that case he should be one of the first to avow his misapprehension.

Sir Home Popham

was surprised, as the hon. gent, was not pushed for precedents, that he should allude to an officer who had lost his life in the service of his country.

The Chanc. of the Excheq.

was persuaded, that with the sentiments which he was sure the hon. gent, possessed, it must have been through inadvertence that he had selected, as one of his precedents, the officer alluded to. It was due to the memory of that officer to have spared the feelings of those who admired him, and of a country grateful for his valour and services. Had he lived, he would have proved an invaluable ornament to that profession in which, few has had been his days, he had shone.

Mr. Kinnaird

said, that he would not be schooled by any man in that house into sentiments of delicacy. He had alluded. to the case of a gallant officer; but both without having aspersed, or meaning to asperse his memory.—The hon. gent's, motions were then put and agreed to.

Sir Home Popham

then rose, and stated, that wishing nothing to he withheld, he felt it is duty to move to have laid before the house, all his correspondence with the board of admiralty and the navy board. He accordingly referred to the greater part of their letters, in all of which he expressed the strongest desire for the fullest investigation of his conduct. He complained severely of the reluctance of the navy board to give him up the papers necessary for completing his defence, even after he had received assurances from the secretary of the admiralty that orders for that purpose had been specially delivered. He had been informed in April that the papers were nearly ready for delivery. He had made repeated applications, till Aug. when he was given to understand that the papers were lost. Thus, after waiting 4 or 5 months, he had been scandalously tantalized and disappointed. He inveighed with great severity on such unfair and illiberal treatment of the report. As an instance of the jealousy, or worse, of the late admiralty, the hon. officer next stated to the house, that when at Sheerness, for the purpose of refitting, every delay had been interposed, and the most vexatious obstacles thrown in his way, until at length the object was in danger of never being accomplished, —There was another subject on which he felt peculiar pain. It was not enough to have traduced him in a pamphlet, in which hot one fact appeared that was not scandalously perverted, but that pamphlet must be circulated with an industry unparalleled, and even sent to the officers under his command: for when on a late service on the enemy's coast, he found that that pamphlet had been sent by post to the officers under his command. On a proceeding like this, which obviously tended to remove all confidence in a commander, he need make no observations. Was it patriotism? Was it public virtue? Ridicule, too, was at the same time attempted to be thrown upon him, because he had been, as his enemies had pleased to term it, a leader of catamarans, a mode of attack, which in common with other officers, he had suggested to the present naval administration. He begged leave to remark on the way in which the notice for the motion now before the house had been given. He was in command of a ship now at Gravesend; it was occasionally necessary for him to go down to that place; and a day on which he was absent was selected for the purpose of giving the notice. It would, perhaps, have been at least as civil had he been made previously acquainted with the intention of the hon. gent. The hon. officer concluded with moving, for the whole of the correspondence which passed between him and the two boards on the charges against him.

Mr. Fox

declared, that had it not been for what had fallen from the hon. officer, he should not have said a single word more upon the subject. That hon. officer had said that the board adopted a particular mode of proceeding, because they thought that it would be agreeable to the admiralty. On the 9th of April, he said, he had been promised to be furnished with the papers he required. That board was only three weeks longer in existence; it was therefore impossible that he could have been supplied by them with a copy of the papers in Aug. the time to which he had alluded. As to the idea of officers being ready to meet enquiry, or, in fact, being anxious for it, it had been seen, in that house, that when such persons, or the nearest relatives of them had supported, or voted for the inquiry, there were other persons, (members of his maj.'s govt.) who openly resisted the investigation, and the necessary papers were not produced. A right hon. gent. who professed himself at that time, to be as anxious as any other member of that house to promote the inquiry, had since come into office; and from the superiority of information which his situation afforded, he should have expected that the right hon. gent. would have brought the subject again. before parliament. He, however, had not thought fit so to do. It was therefore not to be wondered at that a new board of admiralty did not wish to follow up the measures of their predecessors in a similar instance.

The Chanc. of the Excheq.

observed, that he thought every hon. gent. would at once perceive that a person might very well disapprove of the conduct of a preceding administration, and yet not enter into a respect of the conduct of those who had composed it. He disapproved of the conduct of the late board of admiralty, yet did not think himself called upon to take a retrospect of the measures of the noble earl who presided, or those of the gent. who assisted a at that board. Though thinking on these subjects as he did, yet he entertained an unabated respect for the public services of the noble lord. However, he thought it a little too hard to hear it said, that he had changed his opinion, because he had not exhibited motions against the late naval administration of this country. As to his opinion of that administration, he begged that he might be distinctly understood. Every opinion he had entertained of it when out of office, had been confirmed by every thing he had seen, or read, or heard, since his being in office. Yet the. hon. gent. (Mr. Fox) betrayed his inconsistency a little, in accusing him of negligence of his duty, in regard to his forbearance towards the late admiralty; whereas the hon. gent., had his recollection not failed him, might have remembered a period when the doctrine of retrospect would not have proved very favourable to him.

Mr. Fox.

I should have thought, sir, that the right hon. gent. would have displayed a greater accuracy than he has done. What happens in youth makes a permanent impression. At the period to which the right hon. gent. has alluded, he was very young. Young memories, however, are retentive of circumstances that eminently affect them. I am sure that the right hon. gent, himself must know, that there was nothing in the transaction to which he has transiently alluded, that could give me pain on a retrospect of my conduct: but I do apprehend that the case is somewhat otherwise as to the right hon. gent. Several members on both sides this house know that transaction, and will decide on the merits of that view of it which I have unfolded.

The Chanc. of the Excheq,

Let that be judged of by the world, which knows the transaction.

Sir Charles Pole,

in reference to the papers spoken of early in the debate by sir Home Popham, said, that the papers containing the charges against sir Home were sent to the board of naval enquiry, where he believed they still were.

Sir A. Hammond

said, that the papers Were sent to the admiralty, and had never found their way back to the navy office.— The motions were agreed to.