HC Deb 25 March 1807 vol 9 cc191-220
Sir Philip Francis

wished to call the attention of the house to a subject of the greatest importance, and for that purpose rose to ask some questions of the president of the board of controul, or of the person who had lately filled that situation. On the subject to which he alluded, he could speak, perhaps, with more knowledge than any Who had heard him. It related to the state of India. He was not so vain nor so ill instructed by experience, as to imagine that any thing he could say would make any very strong impression on the house, or rouse them to give a more than ordinary attention to the subject which it was his object to press upon their most serious consideration. But though experience had almost deprived him of hope on this point, yet there were some duties that survived even hope, and this was one of them. The questions which he was about to ask, were merely with a view to procure information, and it would depend on the answers, whether he should think it necessary to render them the grounds of any subsequent motion. The first question, then, was, why the accounts on which the East India Budget must be founded, were not as yet on the table, for the house must be aware that it was now three years since the last view of the state of India Finances had been given on full and authentic documents. This was a point of great importance, and worthy of the serious attention of the house. But this was not what he had particularly in view at this time, and the material object of his rising, was to obtain information on a subject which ought to be before the house. The first part related to the transaction at Vellore; a transaction, melancholy and disastrous in its immediate effects, and to the last degree dangerous, with a view to its ultimate consequences. Whether, therefore, we looked back upon the past, or forward to the future, it was essentially necessary, that on this point the house should be in possession of some authentic information, and he hoped that ministers, whoever they were, would not withhold that information. Addressing himself, then, to the right hon. gent., who, it was understood, had just retired from the office of president of the Board of Controul, he wished to know from him, whether he had received official information from India on this point, or any information upon the correctness of which he could depend? Whether the house would give him credit or not, he would assure them that this transaction was one of the most dangerous kind with regard to its consequences, and he begged of the house not to shut their eyes to it, because the danger was distant in point of local situation. But this was not all; he believed that other advices had been received Within a few days past, of greater consequence than the information relative to the affair at Vellore. He alluded to the situation of the Carnatic, which had filled the government of Madras with the utmost alarm. So great, indeed, was this alarm, that an application had been made by the Madras government to general Maitland, governor of Ceylon, for an amount of force consisting of all the European troops in that settlement. He had no official information of this; but he had heard it from what he considered as very good private authority. If, then, any information of this sort had come to the India House, he hoped the proper persons would consider it as their duty to lay it before the house. In the mean time he wished to know, whether, in point of fact, official or authentic information of this nature had been received. He assured the house that the information to which he referred went to the very existence of our power in India. He had long wished to give up all concern with the affairs of India, on account of the inadequate effects which he had found to result from his earnest and frequent appeals to the house on that subject. But this, however, was not solely an Indian subject, it was one materially connected with the prosperity and perhaps the existence of this country. In the Same Manner, whatever materially affected Ireland was not only an Irish but a British subject, as the interest of both were, in a great measure, identified.—

Mr. Huskisson

spoke to order. He apprehended that it was irregular to go into a long statement when a member rose merely to ask a question.

The Speaker

agreed that it was irregular.

Sir P. Francis

had no other intention than merely to justify his asking those questions, and, as he had done this, he would trespass on the attention of the house no further.

Mr. Tierney

rose to give such answers as he could to the questions of his hon. friend. To the question, why no account relative to the finances of India had been laid before the house, the answer was that none could be laid, as they had not as yet arrived. One year's accounts might, indeed, have been made out, and it was his intention to have brought forward these, as might be recollected from the notice he had given. But when he found that he was immediately to have a Successor, and that, in fact, for some days past, he only held the office as a locum tenens, he thought that it would be more proper, under all the circumstances, not to take the affair out of the hands of others. He trusted it would not be thought that there was any neglect on his part. There were none arrived but the accounts to which he had adverted. and these he supposed were not those to which his hon. friend had referred in his question As to the question respecting the transaction at Vellore, the East India board was in possession of authentic documents relative to that point, which would enable them to form a complete judgment upon the whole affair. As to the third question, relative to the situation of the Carnatic, he could assure his hon. friend, that his private information was wrong. No application had been made for troops to general Maitland by the Madras government. There was one general, indeed, who finding himself in difficult circumstances had applied to the governor of Ceylon for some troops, but no regular advices on this subject had arrived from India. General Maitland, with that attention to his duty, and to the interests of his country, for which he was distinguished, had taken the first opportunity of sending the earliest notice of the state of India, but no regular advices had come from India itself. As to the affair at Vellore, if a motion was made for laying any information on that point before the house, the board of controul would, of course, judge how far it would be prudent to comply.


rose, pursuant to notice, to submit his motion to the house; and he had to regret that this task had not fallen into abler hands. He felt that he had little claim to the consideration of the house, and trusted that some gentleman of greater talents would come forward to support the question which he looked upon it as his duty to bring under the consideration of the house. But before he should enter into the grounds of his motion, or of the propriety of bringing it forward, he wished to clear away every suspicion that he was actuated by any motives of hostility towards the right hon. and learned gent. (Mr. Perceval) who was the object of it. With that gentleman he had the pleasure and the honour of being long acquainted, and he entertained the highest respect for his abilities and character. Much as he was attached to the honourable persons who composed his majesty's late administration, he could assure the house, that in bringing forward this motion, he was actuated by no party motive. He wished also to shew, that in doing this, he was not doing any thing that would trench upon the prerogative of the crown. From the year 1660 to the present time, there appeared but two instances in which the office of chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, to which his motion particularly applied, had been granted for life. The result of the inquiry, which he had been able to make upon so short a notice was, that it had not in any other instance been granted for life within that period of 147 years. This would satisfy the house that his motion for an address, that his majesty would be graciously pleased to grant this place according to the usual practice, would not interfere with his royal prerogative. The first instance in which it had been granted for life, was in 1717, when it had been granted to lord Lechmere who had for a long time filled the office of attorney general. He should establish the difference between the cases. In that instance, the person had been raised to the peerage when all the avenues to his profession were shut against him, and it was thought right to give him some provision for life in reward of his services. The next instance was in 1782, when the place of chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster had been granted for life to lord Ashburton. He was anxious to state all that he had been able to find on the subject. Gentlemen must not suppose him ignorant of the cases that bore upon his motion. But under what circumstances had that noble lord received this office? He had filled the office of solicitor general; had been long at the head of his profession; and had distinguished himself in that house as much as the learned gent. opposite, but in a far different manner. He had distinguished himself in the support of the rights of the people, and of the authority of parliament, in which way he had never heard of the learned gent. having distinguished himself. That noble lord having got a peerage, when all the law offices were full, it had been thought right by the persons with whom he had acted in parliament, to give him the chancellorship of the Duchy of Lancaster for life. But it had not been granted to him to induce him to accept another office of honour and emolument. It was granted for services already performed. These were all the cases that he could find of such a grant; and, therefore, the motion for an address to his majesty, to make the grant in the usual manner, could not interfere with the prerogative; and there was a precedent of an address, the same in substance, though not in form, with that which he proposed to move. That address had been voted on the 23d of December 1783, on the occasion of a rumour that it was in his majesty's contemplation to grant this place for life, or for any other term than during pleasure, up to a particular period. He was aware of the difference between that resolution and the motion he intended to make, but at that time a report was expected from the committee of offices and acounts, which might recommend the aboii- tion or modification of the office. He was not, however, so wedded to the words of his motion, as not to consent to modify it in any manner that the house might think proper. He did not know whether the committee at present inquiring into what offices ought to be abolished or regulated, might not be of the same opinion as Mr. Burke, that this office ought to be altogether abolished. But he did think that it would become a question in that committee, how far the grant of places for life was a grievance. For his part he looked upon such grants as equally grievances with the grants in reversion, and was of opinion, that no person should grant places except during his own life, unless for distinguished services. In such cases, he would admit the propriety of grants for life, as a remuneration for the services performed. But the hon. and learned gent. was to have another situation, which was in itself a place of great honour and emolument, and therefore could have no claim to the grant for life of such an office as that of the chancellorship of the duchy of Lancaster. Were the gentlemen who were to become his majesty's ministers to be tempted by such means to accept offices, which were generally objects of honourable ambition? He did not mean to confine his motion to the particular case, but rested it upon general principles, to extend to all such offices pending the existence of that committee, from whose labours he was convinced the house and the public service would derive so much benefit. His motion would not, at all events, be liable to the objection made to a resolution moved the preceding day by the chairman of the committee, and recommended by the committee, that it was an innovation, because in the course Of 147 years, there appeared but two instances in which the place had been granted for life. An address had also been voted of a similar nature on a former occasion, with which his majesty had complied, and had been graciously pleased to reply that he would not grant the office for life, and he had never since so granted it. It might be said, that he had taken the house by surprize. It ill became him to speak of himself, but every man who knew him, must know that he was incapable of taking the house by surprise. The motion had arisen out Of the discussion the preceding day, and the delay of a few hours might have rendered it nugatory. It might also be asked, why he had not brought forward the motion under the late administration? To this he should answer, that they were incapable of any such proceeding, because they had shewn no disposition to grasp at every thing they could secure, because they had shewn the disinterested principles upon which they acted, by abstaining from granting any places in reversion. The hon. and learned gent. concluded by moving, "That an humble address be presented to his majesty, that he would be graciously pleased not to grant the office of chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, or any other office not usually granted for life, for any other term than during pleasure."

The Hon. J. W. Ward

rose to second the motion, to which he gave his full and cordial approbation. The motion for the address to his majesty was recommended to the house by every principle of reason, and all the authority of precedent. The precedents shewed incontestibly that the motion would not interfere with the royal prerogative, and the reason of the thing was so obvious, as not to require illustration. Every grant of a place for life had a direct tendency to impair the dignity of the crown. Any other measure might be condemned upon certain particular grounds, but this was a proceeding which was to be resisted upon every consideration of reason, policy, and interest. The practice, if permitted, would impair the dignity and means of the crown. It would abridge the exercise of the power of punishing weak, wicked, or corrupt ministers, by depriving them of their offices, and take away from the crown the power of bestowing those offices on wise and virtuous ministers; it would remove all locus penitentiœ from the sovereign, by tying up his hands with respect to offices which he might once have conferred on unworthy objects, and be an injury to the rights and interests of the people. Unavailing would be the complaint of the people under their sufferings; it would not be in the power of the crown to revoke such grants, after they had been once made. Grants of this description appeared to him unconstitutional under all circumstances. They had the effect, of raising up a race of men to live upon the wealth of the public, and to make them alike independent of the sovereign, who might promote them, and of the people, by whom the means were supplied for their support. As the grant of places for life therefore had such a direct tendency to deprive the crown of the power of punishing weak or wicked, and of rewarding its meritorious servants, the motion for the address should have his warmest support.

Mr. Perceval ,

had felt so anxious to be present at the discussion of this question, that he had delayed accepting the office which, but for the notice given by the honourable gentleman the preceding night, he should, ere this, have held. He thought it his duty by his presence to take care that if the house thought fit to address his majesty, it should be on accurate statements, and that no uncertain rumours should usurp the place of facts. He could not for a moment suppose, whatever might be the motives of his hon. and learned friend, that the present motion proceeded from any personal ill-will towards himself, because, in the whole of his intercourse with his learned friend, he was not conscious of a single circumstance from, which such ill-will could arise. It was unquestionably true, that he had received an offer from his majesty of the chancellorship of the exchequer, accompanied with a grant of the chancellorship of the duchy of Lancaster for life; and that, but for his learned friend's notice, he should at that moment have been in possession of both those situations; his learned friend, therefore, was not chargeable with surprise in bringing forward his motion at so short a notice, as otherwise the season of it would have gone by. He was not in the house the preceding evening; but understanding that such a notice had been given, instead of approaching his sovereign for the purpose of receiving his appointment to office, he had approached him with a request that the appointment might not take place on that day, that he might have an opportunity of addressing the house on the subject; and still more, that his majesty might not be fettered, in consequence of any advice that the house might think proper to offer him. This request was accompanied with an assurance, as his majesty had been pleased to think that he could be an useful servant, that, whatever might be the pleasure of his majesty in consequence of any address from the house of commons, although it should deprive him of the duchy of Lancaster, formerly offered, it would not in the slightest degree abate his wish to serve his majesty. Unquestionably, though in the first instance lie should not have felt justified in neglecting his duty to his family by quitting a lucrative profession without the prospect of something like compensation, yet when he found his majesty thought his services might be advantageous to the interest of the country, and when he saw the crisis in which that country was placed, he felt it no longer to be a matter of option with him, but that whatever might be the consequences to himself, his sovereign should command the utmost exertion of his humble abilities. With respect to the two precedents alluded to by his learned friend, he would not compare himself with the object of either, but that lord Ashburton should be allowed, without notice, to accept for life the chancellorship of the duchy of Lancaster, impressed on him the belief that no parliamentary objection existed against such an appointment. Lord Ashburton was taken out of the profession of the law by an administration professedly of pure Whig principles, that of lord Rockingham; and the grant to him of the duchy of Lancaster was afterwards confirmed to him under the administration of a near relative of the noble lord opposite (the marquis of Lansdowne). Lord Ashburton was a man with whom it would Certainly be presumptuous for him to compare himself, but his majesty might think proper at different times to reward services done to different branches of the constitution. The most distinguished service of that learned lord was the famous resolution proposed by him in the house of commons, "that the influence of the crown had increased, was increasing, and ought to be diminished." Such a person having received that appointment, under such an administration, had led him to think that the present motion would not have been seconded or supported by the representatives of the Whig principles in that house, and that it would not have received the countenance of an administration whose first act had been, not merely to advise the king to any due exercise of his prerogative, but to introduce into parliament a measure, by which a noble lord was enabled to hold two situations constitutionally incompatible with each other. The arguments of the hon. gentlemen opposite were applicable against every grant of an office for life, as well as his own; they were applicable to that exception from the practice so loudly boasted by the late administration, of withholding reversionary grants, in which the chancellor, to reward the private meritorious services of an individual, had procured for him the reversion for life of a lucrative situation. Surely, if the clerk of a barrister was not an improper person on whom to confer such a grant, it seemed extraordinary that he (Mr. Perceval) should be considered so. Although he acquitted his learned friend of any improper intentions, he should leave it to the house to consider, whether this motion arose from any large and general view of the subject, or whether it was not directed solely against him; he did not mean to say personally, but from his being supposed to have facilitated the arrangements for a new administration. It would therefore be a serious subject for the consideration of the house, whether in present state and crisis of the country, and when all the circumstances connected with the new arrangement were before them, when they recollected that the object of forming a new administration was to preserve the establishments of the country, and perhaps the religion of it, whether they would be disposed to throw any difficulties in the way of his majesty in forming a new administration, when he conceived that in so doing he was only labouring to preserve the constitution of the country. Having said thus much, he thought that he ought to leave the subject to the discretion and judgment of the house, and that as it particularly related to himself he should withdraw, after having put the house in possession of his sentiments; but before he withdrew, he should repeat, that whatever might be their determination on the subject of the duchy of Lancater, and whatever sacrifices he might be called upon to make, no services that he could be called upon to render to his majesty should in the present situation of affairs be withheld.—Mr. Perceval then made his bow, and left the house.

Mr. Plumer

rose merely to vindicate himself from the charge that, was yesterday brought against him, of making a statement in that house on the mere authority of an idle rumour. It appeared now, from what had fallen from the right hon. and learned gent. that his statement had been perfectly correct, and that if it had not been for the notice taken of it last night in the house, the business would have gone too far to remedy it, and the right hon. gent. would have now been in the possession of the two, places. He did not pretend to deny the merit of the right hon. gent., or mean any thing personal against him, but he had a great objection to the principle of giving a great place for life, merely as an inducement to a person to accept of an office in the service of the country, the emoluments of which had hitherto been considered a sufficient compensation.

Lord Henry Petty

said, that if he had not been so personally alluded to by the right hon. and learned gent. he did not think he should have troubled the house with any observations upon the present question. He was ready to join perfectly with the hon. gent. who had brought forward this motion, in disclaiming any thing like personal hostility or personal reflection upon the right hon. and learned gent. who was the most immediately interested in the present motion; and he had no hesitation in stating, that if the salary annexed to the situation of chancellor of the exchequer was not sufficient (and he believed it was not), he should have no objection to granting such an augmentation to it, as would afford a reasonable and proper compensation for the services which might be expected from the right hon. gent. But although he certainly did object to a place for life being given to that gentleman, in order to induce him to accept the situation; yet as he had not before said a word upon the subject, he did not know how the right hon. gent. had discovered that he so warmly supported the motion. He thought it was also somewhat strange that he should be charged with acting inconsistently, or in a manner disrespectful to the memory of his near relation, (the marquis of Lansdown) if he was not to be bound completely by those precedents of the year 1762, or 1783. He thought there was a great difference between the cases cited and the present; but if there was not, he should not think it quite fair to charge him with inconsistency, if he should hold a different opinion. That relation, so near and dear to him, (the marquis of Lansdown, his father) had abundant claims upon his love and respect, without adverting to the case of lord Ashburton. But, however sincerely he was bound to respect his opinions and his memory, there were no ties of relationship, or private affection and respect, which could prevent him in that house from expressing his own opinion on any subject that came before them for discussion. The case of lord Lechmere he conceived to be quite distinct and separate from the present: as to the case of lord Ashburton, it must be recollected that the place of the duchy of Lancaster was not given him as an inducement to take another place, but as a means of supporting the dignity of the peerage to which he had been raised, not only on account of his great merits, but for the service and assistance he could render as a law lord. Lord Ashburton was then looked up to by every body as the fittest successor to lord Mansfield as Chief Justice of the King's Bench, which was the highest object of legal ambition. His majesty had been advised to confer the peerage upon him, and that he should not want suitable means of supporting its dignity until the Chief Justiceship should be vacant, this place was conferred upon him. This was a case, which, he conceived, was, totally different from the present. If the salary of the chancellor of the exchequer were not sufficient, it might be recollected, that there Were a great number of other offices which might be given as a reward for services, when those services should have been actually performed; but he objected to the giving away the means of rewarding great services, merely to induce persons to become members of an administration. He considered that it was a most serious and unconstitutional attack on the most important prerogatives of the crown, to deprive it of all power and means of rewarding great public services, by taking the best places and gifts that it was in the power of the crown to bestow, before any of those services had been performed. He thought that the crown ought not to have been advised to limit its powers and prerogatives in this manner. Upon the subject of the alienation of crown lands, it had been always observed, that in whatever proportion the crown gave away to individuals its possessions and its right, in that proportion it became weaker, and it was the same with respect to lucrative offices. If they were all given away directly or in reversion to one set of Ministers, the crown left itself without that patronage and power of rewarding great Services, which it ought to possess. A recent and very remarkable case had occurred Some years ago in corroboration of this opinion. On an arrangement that Was then proposed, this very place was offered to lord Sidmouth, who had rendered considerable service during his long and meritorious discharge of his duties as Speaker. Lord Sidmouth declined it, and said he could not bring himself to be the instrument of alienating from the crown the means of rewarding greater public services than he had as yet been able to perform. It was not as a testimony in favour of lord Sidmouth that he mentioned this, for the noble lord required no such testimony of his disinterested conduct; but he mentioned it merely for the information of those members who were not previously acquainted with the circumstance. The principle upon which lord Sidmouth refused it applied with much greater strength to the present case; besides, it was known, that there was a committee of the house now constituted, for the express purpose of considering what useless and sinecure offices might be abolished; and as it was possible that the com mittee might consider this to be among the number, he thought that it should not be thus disposed of, in a manner contrary to all usage, before the opinion of the committee was pronounced upon it.

Mr. Sturges Bourne

could not help expressing his surprise at the manner in which this motion was supported, and his astonishment at the hon. and learned quarter whence it originated. When he recollected that the hon. and learned gent. who brought forward the motion was acquainted with the talents, integrity, and disinterestedness of his right hon. friend—(Here there was a continued cry of hear! hear! mixed with laughter)—A more honourable, a more liberal, a more independent, and a more disinterested character never existed—(hear! hear!)—He would go farther, and say, that if his right hon. and learned friend accepted of both places, he would make a large sacrifice by abandoning his professional pursuits in return. He should like to know, then, whence arose the surprise of hon. gentlemen opposite, when the word disinterestedness was mentioned? It could be from personal motives only. He was surprised that the noble lord who had lately left his majesty's councils, should throw any embarrassment in the way of the new administration, when that embarrassment tended to impede the usual exercise of the prerogative of the crown. The value of the chancellorship of the duchy of Lancaster did not exceed 2000l. per annum; and was this too large an equivalent for the fruits of his right hon. friend's professional exertions? He further contended, that the grant of the place in question for life was an usual grant (hear! hear! from the opposition). Well, if it was not an usual grant, he was at least warranted in saying, that it was not an unprecedented one. He maintained that there was no difference between the present case and that of lord Ashburton, although it had been attempted to set up some kind of distinction. There had much been said during a late debate, as to the economy of the late administration with respect to the grant of reversions; he had since inquired into it, and had found, that three reversions only fell within the power of the late administration, and that of those three they had already granted two [here several members of the late administration distinctly said, "state them, state them."] Perhaps, upon recollection, he was not quite warranted in the conclusion he had drawn; one of the two he had alluded to was, he believed, upon consideration, not the grant of a reversion. He had also understood from the noble lord (H. Petty) that lord Ashburton was to keep the place in question for life, besides that of Chief Justice of the Court of the King's Bench (a general cry of no! no!); perhaps he was mistaken, he might have misunderstood the noble lord; but if he did not misunderstand him in another point, he could not abstain from expressing his surprise as to that point. The noble lord had talked of the committee of finance, as entitled to inquire into the state and utility of the office now in question. The noble lord ought to have known, that that office belonged to his majesty's privy purse, and therefore could not possibly come under the cognizance of that committee. Before he sat down he could not help expressing his surprize, that the noble lord (Howick) had fixed upon to-morrow for a certain important explanation, when that noble lord must have been aware, that the leading persons most interested in the discussion, and who had their story to tell, must by that time have vacated their seats by accepting the new appointments.

Mr. Sharpe

said, that if he were to judge from the specimen just given to the house, he should not expect that the new administration would be good at making convincing speeches. He could not help seriously expressing his surprise at the assertion of the hon gent. who spoke last, that there was no difference between the present case and that of lord Ashburton. It was painful to him to enter into any personal comparison, bat he hoped the house would acquit him of any invidious motive. Mr. Dunning was indisputably at the head of his profession. He was shut out from the great emoluments of such a situation, by being advanced to the upper house. As to the right hon. gent. in question; the least he could say, was that that right hon. gent. certainly was not at the head of his profession. He (Mr. Sharpe) had repeatedly in the course of not a very short life, discharged the duties of a juror, and yet it had been his great misfortune never once to have had his understanding enlightened by the professional exertions of the right hon. gent. He would go farther, for the truth was, that the abilities of the right hon. gent. were not known until he had got into an official situation. It might be asked, why did he enter into this unpleasant comparison? because it was of importance to that house and to the country, to know what was the real extent of the pro fessional sacrifices made by the right hon. gent. He had the honour to be a member of the finance committee above stairs so often alluded to; and when he saw that one of the first steps of the new administration was to grasp at so considerable a sinecure at the same time that he saw them so far descent as to endeavour to justify themselves by recrimination, it would make him more cautious, and encourage him to prosecute his labours with greater diligence, in order that the report might be made before that premature extinction which he foresaw was intended for the present parliament. The hon. gent. concluded with expressing his intire concurrence in the motion.

Mr. Montague rose ,

to contradict, substantially and directly, the statement made by the hon. gentleman who had just sat down, as far as that statement related to the professional eminence of his right hon. friend. The hon. mover knew well that eminence; and he contended that his right hon. friend must lose considerably by his present appointment, that is, he would give up more than he would receive. He contended, upon the word of a gentleman, that such was the fact. His right hon. friend had made even a greater sacrifice; he had given up the post of attorney general, to which he had an undisputed claim. Was he to receive no equivalent for the loss of eight or ten thousand pounds a year? Gentlemen might laugh, but he was anxious to convince fair men only; he was anxious that his arguments should weigh with fair men only, and he was free to say that gentlemen on the opposite side were not fair, nor disposed to be so (a general cry of order! order!)

Lord Howick

spoke to order. It was extremely irregular to impute unfairness to any member.

Mr. Montague ,

in continuation, said, that he was willing to make every apology; he begged pardon of the house for any temporary inadvertence; he could assure them that it was not intentional. He begged of the house to consider the case of his right hon. friend, obliged to turn his back on his profession, with a numerous family and absolute distress before him, if he was not to be recompensed: besides that, it would be peculiarly distressing, as affecting the arrangements making by his majesty, arrangements rendered necessary by the dereliction of those very men (here several gentlemen rose to order!)

The Speaker said, that as the house had already admitted statements not immediately connected with the question now before it, it was hard for him, during the remainder of the debate, precisely to determine the exact limits of order. The house had suffered the debate to take a turn, which it was not for him to change; as to any expressions of a disorderly nature, he should be prepared to detect and resist them.

Lord Howick

did not think the hon gent. when he was interrupted actually out of order, but he much feared, that the hon. member, had he not been then interrupted, was hurrying into that which would have called for serious animadversion.

Mr. Montague ,

in continuation, said, that if a member did not intend to be disorderly, whatever expressions might have fallen from him, that member was not to be put down by clamour. He addressed himself to the independent members of that house, and to their attention did he particularly address himself (another cry of order, order! chair, chair!).

The Speaker

wished the honourable member to recollect, that in the language of that house no such distinction between its members was recognised.

Mr. Montague ,

in continuation, again apologised, stating, that the distinction he meant was between those seeking for places and pensions, and those who were not candidates for either. He himself was one of the latter, for he never had nor never would solicit a place, though he had been so long in habits of the strictest intimacy with a great and leading statesman. He should conclude with stating, that had it not been for the unseasonable interruptions he had met with, he should not have been upon his legs so long.

Mr. Henry Thornton

said he could not give his vote on this occasion without requesting to be indulged in a few words to qualify it. No man entertained a higher opinion of the right honourable gentleman, who was the subject of the present debate, than he did; and therefore, in supporting the present question, he wished to be considered more as giving a declaratory vote upon general principles, than as intending any opposition to the arrangement made; he voted merely upon a dry abstract principle, and not at all from party motives. It was his opinion that places usually held under the crown during pleasure ought not to be granted for life. Whether, as a member of the Committee of Finance, and having breathed so long the air of that committee, he came down to the house now to give his vote with greater strictness than usual, he would not pretend to determine; but his vote was certainly the result of his conviction upon the subject.

Mr. Johnstone

said, he should not have risen to trouble the house, but for the purpose of making an observation, in answer to some allusions made to him by an honourable member who spoke early in the debate (Mr. Plumer), in respect to what he had said last night. The honourable member, it was true, had last night stated, what turned out to be founded in fact, as proved by the declaration of a right honourable gentleman this evening (Mr. Perceval), but When he did state the circumstance, he avowed no other ground than rumour, unsupported by any authentic reference. Adverting to the comparisons which had been made by gentlemen on the other side of the house, between the case now under consideration, and those of lord Ashburton and lord Lechmere, he thought there was very little difference. But he could not refrain from some observations upon the conduct of those honourable gentlemen themselves, when they were taking credit for so much purity and disinterestedness. He would ask, how they could reconcile with those assumptions, the indecency of pressing upon that house on their first accession to office, and at nine o'clock at night, two successive stages of a bill for enabling the noble lord at the head of the late administration (lord Grenville) to hold as a sinecure the office of Auditor of the Exchequer, with large emoluments annexed, and the duties of which were to be done by another; and this at the same time that another noble lord at the head of the family enjoyed the Tellership of the Exchequer with emoluments almost incalculable? How could they reconcile with this boasted purity the extraordinary increase made in the salary of First Lord of the Admiralty, lately enjoyed by another branch of that noble family, and this not avowed to parliament in an open manly way, but effected by a secret fund? How could that right honourable gentleman reconcile to his purity the calling on the house for 3000l. for the expences of further continuing the commission of naval enquiry, and not say a word about his own salary? With respect to the Committee of Finance, for which those honourable gentlemen took so much credit to themselves, so far from their having the merit to originate the measure, it was rather forced upon them by the patriotism of his honourable friend op posite to him (Mr. Biddulph); but when the late ministers found the measure was too popular to be resisted, the noble lord (Petty) adopted it, and claimed that as his own, which he had no right to arrogate. The honourable gentlemen boasted much of their economical arrangements; but what had they done for the country in effect? They had indeed appointed commissioners of accounts without number; but what had these effected? The West India Commissioners, who had been so long appointed, at large salaries, had not even yet sailed upon their mission; and as to the army accounts, nothing appeared to have been effected there. Such had been the conduct of these patrons of reform! In short, he apprehended that whenever those honourable gentlemen should come to state what they really had done, their explanation would be something like what occurred between general Stanhope and general Walpole upon a former occasion, namely, nothing better than mutual reproach and Mutual recrimination. Those men were the fathers of the house of commons at that day, and the house, in pity to their nakedness, turned their backs upon them, and so he hoped they would do upon these honourable gentlemen.

Mr. Sheridan

said, that it was not the first time he had observed in the honourable gentleman who had just sat down an eagerness to attack the late administration and its friends, though certainly the present, like every former attempt, evinced rather an avidity to attack than a power to be offensive, He was glad, however, to see in the present attack something like a philosophical neutrality, and that as the late administration had had the misfortune of the honourable gentleman's opposition, so the present would be now likely to come in for its due share. The honourable gentleman had said a great deal about independence, and had congratulated himself in an angry tone upon his having no place under any government. He (Mr. Sheridan) could only say, that he was no divulger of private secrets; but he might make some allusion to a certain public message, which he had been deputed to deliver to a right honourable friend, now no more (Mr. Fox) at the formation of the late administration. He was sure the honourable gentleman perfectly understood him (a general laugh). He was rather inclined to believe, from the nature of that message, that the honourable gentleman, notwithstanding his present acrimony, might then have been completely dulcified towards that terrible administration he had been so much of late in the habit of condemning; aye, and disinterestedly condemning too; or disinterestedly, if such pronunciation better suited the taste of the honourable gentleman, whether classical or vulgar. It was unnecessary to explain more. He believed the honourable gentleman perfectly understood him.—The honourable gentleman had arraigned the late ministry for having abandoned their public professions. Having made such a charge, the onus of the proof lay with the honourable gentleman; and he (Mr. Sheridan) defied him to produce any instance in which the late ministers had for a moment shrunk from the principles which they had professed, not merely on their coming into power, but during the continuance of that power. They were denied the credit of the committee of finance. Did they not support it, and encourage it to the utmost of their power? What had been the principle of that committee? Economy; and what had been the avowed principle of the late ministers? Economy. Was he called on for an instance? He would instance the reduction of the staff; he would instance the barrack department; he would instance the reduction of the department of the commissariat. He would ask the honourable gentleman, if his noble friend near him (lord H. Petty) did not pledge himself at the outset of his administration, to the adoption of every practicable plan of reform and retrenchment in the public expenditure, and if he had not followed up that pledge to the last moment of his official authority? the honourable gentleman wished to deprive his noble friend of all claim to the merit of originating the committee of finance, and to attribute the whole to another honourable gentleman (Mr. Biddulph) from whose merit it was by no means his wish to detract; but he would say, that his noble friend, in adopting that, measure with a view of giving it greater extension, by no means wished to deprive the honourable gentleman, who first proposed it, of the credit of originality; but surely his noble friend was entitled to the praise of having promptly adopted the suggestion for the advantage of the public, indifferent from whom it might proceed. Would that honourable gentleman, who was himself a member of that committee. [Here lord Henry Petty suggested to Mr. Sheridan, that the honourable member (Mr. Johnstone) was not a member of that committee; Mr. Sheridan answered loudly, "I am very glad of it," which occasioned a considerable laugh]. He would ask, then, of that honourable gentleman who was not a member of the committee, and might be therefore more impartial, whether the late ministers were not upon this ground particularly entitled to the acknowledgments of the country? Did it appear that there had been any shuffling, or any ministerial balloting in the formation of that committee; was there any obtrusion of minister's friends? He appealed to the chairman himself of that committee, to the honourable gentleman (Mr. Biddulph) with whom the motion that led to the creation of that committee had originated, if such practices had been resorted to. An allusion had been made to the increase of salary in the office of first lord of the admiralty. The salary was confessed to be shamefully low. A noble lord (Melville) whose conduct since had been the subject of such general animadversion, on the same appointment, received, in addition, a considerable salary, levied by the illegal interception of the revenue of Scotland, which salary the noble lord still held though deprived of his place, in virtue of which he originally held it. If, therefore, the charges brought by the honourable gentleman were not to be better founded than those he had already adduced, he (Mr. Sheridan) wished that the honourable gentleman would secure to himself the office of charger general against the late administration and all their friends.—He desired now to pay some attention to the speech of another hon. gentleman (Mr. Montague) who had been pleased to charge gentlemen on his side of the house with deriding his arguments, because they could not answer them; the hon. gentleman might, however, have had the politeness to wait a little, and try whether they were able to answer him or not, before he made the assertion. The hon. member had saved them the necessity, by offering them no arguments to answer: and as to every thing else, he had so fully answered himself throughout his speech, that it would be superfluous to answer him any farther. Some comparisons had been made between the case now under discussion, and those of lord Ashburton and lord Lechmere; and some comparisons had also been drawn between the characters and merits of those noble lords, and the right hon. gentleman now the subject of the debate. It was not his province to go into a scrntiny upon merits, and no man more highly esteemed than he did the parliamentary talents of the right hon. gentleman; and therefore he thought the advice to his majesty, Of placing hint on the opposite bench, was wisely given. He could not enter into a comparison of the number of briefs, fees, and motions which fell to the professional lot of the right hon. gentleman, and which he was to abandon for his new office. But he (Mr. Sheridan), whose lot it was to Vindicate his majesty's new ministers from the indiscreet zeal of some of their friends, must beg to observe, that they must be strange friends indeed who could advise the right hon. gentleman to give up his certain professional emoluments of 8 or 10,000l. a year, as alledged, to accept a place of 2,000l. in the experiment to become a tolerable chancellor of the exchequer. It was a sacrifice which the house did not wish the right hon. gentleman to make, but rather that he would keep both his emoluments and his profession; and to those who gave him a contrary counsel, well might he exclaim, "Oh, save me from my friends, I can myself take care of my enemies!" with respect to the comparison made between the right hon. gentleman and lord Ashburton, the cases were totally different. That gentleman, when Mr. Dunning, was at the top of a profession, of which he was the ornament, when he was called up to the house of peers without a place; and if the duchy of Lancaster had not been assigned him, he must have had for his support a pension from the public purse. He, however, accepted the situation for life, on the condition of relinquishing it, so soon as the great object of his professional views was open, namely, the Chief Justiceship of the King's Bench; but, notwithstanding the sneers which had been cast this night upon that noble lord, in allusion to his parliamentary conduct, in bringing forward a resolution, "that the influence of the crown had "increased, was increasing, and ought to "be diminished," he thought the circumstance highly honourable to his character, and such as ought not to deprive him of the favour of his sovereign, for only wishing to curb that increasing influence of the ministers of the crown, which added nothing to the comforts, the honour, or the authority of the monarch. And he thought the crown more faithfully and honourably served by the men, such as him, who brought forward this resolution, and that they were more truly the supporters of the constitutional prerogatives of the sovereign, than the men who could advise the measure now in debate. It was extremely painful to him to make any comparisons that might be thought to wear an invidious aspect to the right. hon. gentleman, but he recollected that ever since he was a member of that house he was mostly in office. He had been Attorney General under Mr. Pitt, and Solicitor General under lord Sidmouth; and here he begged leave to pay his tribute of praise to the upright, pure, and honourable conduct of that noble lord, as it had been explained this night, when under the administration of Mr. Pitt, he might have had the place for life, which it was now in contemplation to confer upon the new chancellor of the exchequer, had his honourable scruples permitted him to become the instrument of limitation to the prerogative and constitutional influence of his royal master. During the short period of the learned gentleman's opposition, the air of this side of the house did not seem to agree with him, and he was now got back to the balmy and blissful atmosphere of the Treasury Bench.—The honourable member had asked, will you deprive his majesty of the learned gentleman's services in that office for which he had been thought qualified? Now really he was of opinion, that if gentlemen on the opposite side possessed any thing at all, they were swarming with chancellors of the exchequer, (a laugh.) Even a noble lord and a gallant general had lately proposed their plans of finance to the house; why not make either of them chancellors of the exchequer? Why not make the gallant general attorney-general? (a laugh.)—Among all their financiers, not one could be found to fill the office, but a gentleman who, though a very frequent speaker in the house, had never, to his knowledge, uttered one word on the subject of finance in his life.

Mr. Johnstone ,

in explanation, stated that he neither had nor would have applied to the right honourable gentleman who had just sat down for the purpose of procuring him any appointment upon the occasion alluded to, and for two reasons, the first, that he knew, if he had applied, the right honourable gentleman was too much engaged in providing for himself and his family, to attend to any agency for others; and secondly, because if he had requested the right honourable gentleman to undertake the commission, he was pretty sure that, although he might promise, he would have been very apt to forget it. Now the fact was, upon the case referred to by the right honourable gentleman, simply no more than this. After stating to the right honourable gentleman the substance of some conversatiòns which he had with an illustrious person, now no more, (Mr. Fox) he did communicate to that right honourable gentleman, and authorize him to mention his readiness to accept of any office to which no salary should be attached, and in which he might be able to make himself useful. He remembered that he particularly mentioned Indian affairs, from his knowledge of which he stated to the right honourable gentleman his opinion that he should be able to render some service to his country. In offering to accept a situation in the conduct of those affairs without any emolument for his services, he hoped he was making proposition which should not expose him to censure, or to the suspicion of any unworthy motives.

Mr. Sheridan ,

in explanation, expressed an unwillingness to fix any imputation on the honourable gentleman. As some persons wished for emoluments, so others wished for honour or patronage. It was not for him to say, of what description the honourable gentleman's ambition was. With respect to the charge of his (Mr. Sheridan) being busy in providing for himself and his family, the fact was, that his right hon. friend, who was now unhappily no more(Mr. Fox), thought, that after a service, he hoped not unmeritorious, of twenty-seven years in parliament, some provision for life ought to be made for him. It had happened rather singularly, that his right honourable friend had intimated, that the office that had been so much spoken of that night, the chancellorship of the duchy of Lancaster, should be appropriated to that provision; but, on consulting with his colleagues, his right honourable friend found that trey had formed a determination not to grant for life this office, or any other, usually held during pleasure. On being informed of this determination, he entreated his right honourable friend by no means to press the matter, and thus he remained without a provision for life, and this office was reserved for the disposal of the new ministers.

Mr. Simeon

thought the right of granting the office in question for life ought not to be much exercised. He thought it wrong, however, to adopt a general restriction with a view to a particular case. He regretted that the question should now be brought forward to prevent the formation of a new administration. He wished the late administration to have remained in place. But the new administration were better than none, and therefore he was unwilling to see its formation impeded. If the crown had the power of granting the office for life to lord Lechmere and lord Ashburton, it had also the power of granting it in the present case, and who had a right to interfere with the discretion of the crown in the exercise of that power?

Mr. Fuller

said, he should be always forward to support the just exercise of his majesty's prerogative; but he confessed that he must disapprove of the manner in which it was understood that this prerogative was now about to be applied, and therefore he would support this motion. For the sake of the king's own interest he would support this motion; because he did not like the idea of his majesty's giving away places for life. On the contrary, he would advise him to keep such places subject to his disposal, for those men who served him. He would recommend to the king to keep the key of the oat-chest himself, and not give it to others; for he might rely upon it, that if he did not retain the power of serving those men, they would not serve him. It would be much better for his majesty that all places for life were converted into places during pleasure than to allow any increase of the former. This he said with a view to the king's own interest; for he regarded his majesty much, for his firm attachment to the constitution. He declared, that in his opinion the names of George the Third, Nelson, and William Pitt, ought to be engraven on the hearts of all Englishmen, for the noble services they had rendered to their country; for having in fact been the saviours of our glorious constitution. As to the right honourable gentleman to whom this motion was understood particularly to refer, he declared that he could see no reasonable objection to him, compared with those who preceded him in the office to which he was said to be appointed, especially when he considered how young the man was who held that office in the late administration.

Mr. Wilberforce

had the honour, he said, to have been very long acquainted with the principles and character of the right honourable gentleman to whom this motion was understood more immediately to refer, and he sincerely believed him a man of the highest disinterestedness and public spirit. With this impression strongly upon his mind, his opinion must be, that that right honourable gentleman himself would have come forward to render this debate unnecessary, if it were not that, from the manner in which a notice of the motion had been given, the remarks which had been made the preceding night, and other circumstances, such a proceeding might ap pear the effect of intimidation, than which nothing, he was persuaded, was less likely to have effect upon the mind of that right honourable gentleman. However, the motion was such as he could not hesitate to support.

The Master of the Rolls

having had no opportunity of inquiring fully into the merits of the general proposition which this motion involved, could not think himself justified in voting for its adoption. There were, in his opinion, a variety of topics, which ought to be fully investigated before such a motion was acceded to. There were many places held for life which ought to be converted into places during pleasure, and, vice versa, there were also many places, the tenure of which ought to be left entirely to the discretion of his majesty, and of which nature the place to which this motion was understood to refer might be one; the house surely would not venture to decide without any enquiry or deliberation whatever. If the case were determined in the very hasty manner proposed, he was rather afraid that the public would not give the house credit for acting dispassionately, in being actuated by the motives which the advocates professed to have in view; for it would be very naturally asked, if such motives prevailed, why should a question of this nature be brought forward in a hurry? When the honourable gentlemen who supported this motion reprobated the practice of granting for life such a place as it particularly alluded to, did they feel that they were reflecting on the conduct of the marquis of Rockingham and Mr. Fox, in 1782, and that it Was a corrupt act, so to grant the same place to lord Ashburton? But his main objection to this motion at present, the learned gentleman Stated to be this, that it took up a broad and general question upon mere personal grounds; and this he the more regretted, because his right honourable friend to whom it alluded, was certainly one who gave up, it was notorious, a very high and lucrative situation in his profession, for the purpose of serving his sovereign and his country in another department, by which act he certainly ought not to be allowed suffer any loss: but taking a view of the proposition under discussion, upon general grounds, he would appeal to the candour and good sense of the house, whether if a case of universally acknowledged merit should arise, to which a Place of this nature ought to be given for life; the house should so limit the prerogative as to prevent his majesty from granting it; whether if a case, for instance, such as that of lord Ashburton should occur the day following, the house itself would not regret the imposition of such a restraint? He would therefore put it to the house, whether it would not be extremely rash to adopt a resolution of this nature, restraining the legitimate prerogative of the crown, without any inquiry or deliberation as to its tendency and probable consequences?

Lord Howick ,

denied the right hon. and learned gentleman's assertion, that this motion went to impose any improper restraint upon the royal prerogative, or that it could in any degree be considered an innovation or invasion of that prerogative. For, in point of fact, what did it propose? Why, nothing more than this, that a place should not be granted for life, which had been heretofore held only during pleasure. He was not at present disposed to enter into a discussion as to the extent of the king's prerogative; but this he had no difficulty in saying, that this prerogative did not authorise the grant of places for life, which had been heretofore held during pleasure. This motion, therefore, only proposed to advise his majesty not to do that which according to law he was not warranted in doing. The conduct towards the judges in the reign of William the Third, had no reference whatever to the case now under consideration. If, indeed, the crown could grant places of this nature for life, why not by and by grant the chancellorship of the exchequer itself, or the lord chancellorship for life? A case of the latter having been so appointed had no, doubt occurred in the person of Wolsey. But, what were the remarks of lord Coke upon that subject? Why, that the principle of such an appointment was utterly objectionable, that it was not legal to grant those places for life which it had been heretofore usual to hold during pleasure. Such, then, was the object of this motion. It proposed only to declare the law to the crown, in order that no deviation from it should take place. With regard to the precedents referred to in the course of the debate, he had not had time to look into all the proceedings upon them; but in the case of lord Ashburton, he believed that the propriety of the grant made to that noble lord was at that time much disputed, and, in his opinion, very justly. For, much as he respected the merits of that great man, he certainly should not have voted for such a measure, as he could not think it was a legal grant. To the memory and character of the marquis of Rockingham, although he was too young to have had the happiness of any acquaintance with him, no one could be more willing than he was to pay the utmost tribute of respect. Towards another distinguished member (lord Lansdowne) of that administration under which that grant took place, he felt both respect and gratitude, for to that noble lord he owed much personal kindness. But still he could not express any approbation of the grant they thought proper to sanction, either upon the grounds of constitutional principle or expediency. The right honourable and learned gentleman seemed to allude to some instances of persons being rewarded by pensions for quitting the lucrative profession of the law to engage in politics. He really never heard of any such instance. [the case of lord Grantley was mentioned across the table.] But, resumed the noble lord, that case does not apply; for that noble lord, who was Speaker of the house of commons, was placed in a situation where legal knowledge was essential to the performance of his duty, and that knowledge augmented his title to the liberality of provision. Lord Ashburton, too, filled an high office in the house of lords, and was a cabinet minister. In both the cases the noble lords alluded to were not taken out of their profession, properly speaking. But such was not the case with the right honourable gentleman referred to in the present debate. He did not mean to speak of that right honourable gentleman with any personal disrespect; but certainly he could not compare his pretensions with those of Mr. Dunning. No, they were not to be placed on the same footing, and therefore the analogy contended for could not hold. But, if the arrangement were to make the right honourable gentleman lord chancellor, he should have no objection, neither should he object to see him occupy any of the high legal offices in that house for which his abilities and habits so peculiarly fitted him; but when he saw him leaving his profession for the purpose of pursuing finance, he could not help feeling some surprise, and something more when it was proposed to give the right honourable gentleman a bonus for this singular transfer. Upon this point, however, he did not mean to say more, for indeed it was unnecessary after the admirable, speech of his right honourable friend (Mr. Sheridan), who very justly observed, that of all the other departments, that of chancellor of the exchequer was the one for which the right honourable gentleman seemed to be least qualified. If, however, the right honourable gentleman chose to pursue the career of politics in preference to the career of the law, he must take it with all its risks. It had been, the noble lord observed, ascribed to the party with whom he had the honour to act, that they pretended to comprehend all the talents of the country. If they had ever imagined themselves to be so, it would have been a most arrogant presumption indeed; but they always disclaimed any such pretensions, although it suited the purpose of newspaper libellers to persist in repeating the charge; a charge, indeed, which he, for one, took occasion, as often as opportunity served, to repel. But, without arrogating any extraordinary degree of talents to those with whom he was connected; without attempting any contrast with their opponents, he would ask, what estimate was to be formed of the ability of those honourable gentlemen who felt obliged to go to the law for a chancellor of the exchequer, and to offer him a premium for accepting the office? On this head little remained to be added to what the house had heard from an honourable member (Mr. Sharp). who had afforded such an evidence of talent, in this his first essay, as held out the most flattering promise of future eminence.—With regard to the assertion, that only one reversion had fallen in since the late administration came into power, he could assure the house, that this was a mistake, for there was a very considerable reversion which fell in in an island, and another indeed in an office over which he presided, which he did not think proper to dispose of. Now, surely the disposition made by the lord chancellor of a particular reversion in that noble lord's gift could not be cited as an instance to contradict the assertion he advanced on a former evening relative to the general conduct of the late ministers upon the subject of reversions. The fact of the reversion alluded to in the lord chancellor's gift was not classed by the report of the committee of finance in the list of public reversions, but was always considered as a private place, subject to the sole controul of the officer by whom it had in this instance been disposed of.—Adverting to the observation of an honourable gentleman on the other side (Mr. Sturges Bourne) that he ought not to bring forward on the following day the explanation of which he had given notice, in the absence of those who were acquainted with and competent to answer him upon the subject of that explanation, the noble lord stated, that he was glad those gentlemen were absent; for, said he, it is one which I should hold it to be rather inde[...]icate to canvass. I shall confine m[...]self to a statement of the facts, which are so much misrepresented that I should feel it to be highly improper to suffer such misrepresentations to be further circulated, and particularly so to leave such misrepresentations to operate during the holidays. To this resolution I am the more determined, and the necessity of an early explanation appears the more obvious, from a letter which was shewn me in a newspaper of this morning addressed to lord Grenville and myself. In this letter some extracts from the minutes of the council are inserted, which serve to shew that the writer had seen our minutes; but he has so garbled them as to give a false colour to the whole transaction. I will appeal then, to the candour of those who hear me whether I should allow such misrepresentation to go unanswered; whether by postponing the answer, I should suffer the misrepresentation to do mischief; whether it be not more becoming in me to state here, it the proper constitutional place, the real circumstances of the case; or, whether the honourable gentleman would have me condescend to answer the writer in a newspaper? I shall upon this explanation trust to the candour of the house, and to the justice of my country, for the vindication of that line of conduct, which in concert with my colleagues, I have felt it my duty to pursue.

Mr. Sturges Bourne ,

in explanation, said, he had expressed some surprise that the noble lord should think of bringing forward his explanation in the absence of those who alone could know on that side of the house, the circumstances to which the noble lord would have to advert. The noble lord would not suppose, surely, that he had any thing to do with the publication alluded to by the noble lord. He assured him he knew nothing of it.

General Graham

supported the motion. He had for many years acted with Mr. Pitt, and generally of course with the gentlemen on the other side, particularly during the last parliament, when such proceedings had taken place against a noble viscount, to whom he had the honour to be related (lord Melville,) as were by their violence and injustice a disgrace to the Journals of the house. He regretted sincerely the dismissal of the late administration, and particularly as they were succeeded by men who from their conduct in abandoning the government on the death of Mr. Pitt, from acknowledged incapacity to conduct it, left that on record which furnished an evidence of their present presumption.—The question being then loudly called for, a division took place: when there appeared for the address 208; against it 115; majority 93. While the supporters of the address were in the lobby, order was called, and lord Howick addressed them as follows:—Gentlemen; I understand, that it is intended to propose to morrow, that the house should at its rising adjourn for a much longer time than is usual at this period of the session, or than I think consistent with the present state of affairs, or with my views of the public interest. The adjournment which is to be proposed is to next Monday fortnight. It is my intention, on the grounds I have mentioned, to oppose that motion, and to propose by way of amendment, unless, as I hope, it may be proposed by somebody else, that no longer adjournment should take place than till Monday se'nnight at farthest. As there will certainly be a division upon this question, and in all probability an early one, I hope Gentlemen will feel the propriety of a full and early attendance.—(a loud cry of hear, hear.) On the re-admission of strangers, we found that the address had been ordered to be carried up by such members of that house who were of his Majesty's privy council.