§ Mr. Whitbread rose ,
pursuant to notice, to move for certain papers which had been Alluded to by the noble lord (G. L. Gower), in a debate which took place on the 29th of March, upon a motion of an hon. friend of his (Mr. Sharp). The house had heard a great deal of discussion respecting the propriety of quoting from any documents not before the house. He should not now go into a question which had been so often and so fully discussed; but he apprehended, that the right hon. gent. would agree with him in thinking, that communications, in whatever form they were made, should be made by his majesty's confidential ministers, and by no one else, under any pretence whatever. The noble lord, therefore, alter communicating the information to which he alluded in debate, whether in a mere official or less official shape, to his government at home, had put it beyond his own controul, and ought not publicly to have disclosed it. The motion which he meant now propose, pointed to two objects; the first of which was, the production of a paper which accompanied the treaty of alliance between this country and Russia, in. 1805; the other was connected with a communication made by the noble lord to his majesty's secretary of state, in the course of his last mission in 1807. After the overthrow of the confederacy of 1805, and the conclusion of the peace of Presburgh, a large mass of papers relative to that confederacy had been thrown upon the table, by lord Mulgrave, then foreign secretary of state, perfectly unsolicited, but quite as voluntary 1354 as without selection; and certainly without discretion; for, not only were some dispatches published which never ought to have been published, but it would have been difficult to have found any thing in the course of the correspondence more unfit for publication than some of the papers which had been submitted to parliament, uncalled for and unexpected. These papers certainly furnished abundant matter of inculpation against the ministers of the day; but the man who was at the head of that administration, of as splendid talents as this or perhaps any other country had ever produced, died. After his death, his colleagues in office resigned the reins of government, in consequence of his decease, and no discussion ever took place upon the subject of that treaty. He did think that the noble lord ought to have been one of the last persons to have called the attention of the house to the events of that time, considering that he was the sole manager in the formation of that confederacy, and considering how fatally it terminated for the interests of all the parties connected with it. The noble lord had at that time conducted the negotiations with so much secrecy, that they were wholly unknown at Vienna till the treaty was concluded, so that he was deprived of the advice of sir A. Paget, and of the information which he might have derived from him respecting the state of the Austrian army, and of the heart-burnings and party spirit which were at that time felt in the court of Vienna. But, though the noble lord had kept secret not only from our ally, but from a minister of his own court, the articles of the treaty which he was then concluding at St. Petersburg, he had on his late mission held out the refusal on the part of Russia, to communicate the secret articles of the treaty which that power had concluded with France, as a sufficient ground for refusing its mediation between Great Britain and France, even though the emperor had assured lord Hutchinson, that it was his opinion that we ought to enter into negociation with France, not, as that noble lord had represented, because it was proper that we should make peace with France on any terms, but because he (the emperor of Russia) knew that the terms of peace which the emperor of the French was ready to offer were such as he believed lord Hutchinson would be of opinion that this country ought to accept. At the time of negotiating the treaty of 1805, the noble lord had also 1355 consented by his own confession, to an article by which it was stipulated that the powers of Europe should go into a congress in which the law of nations should be formally discussed, and in which the maritime pretensions of this country would, of course, as forming apart of that law, have come under discussion. [Lord G. L. Gower, from the other side of the house, said he had never done any such thing.] The noble lord, Mr. Whitbread said, denied the allegation; but as the maritime law of this country was not positively excluded from the operation of this provisional article of the treaty, he contended, that it was virtually included in it. But if such was not the interpretation which the noble lord put upon this article of the treaty, how, he asked, did Russia understand it? Had not tile noble lord himself stated, in a former debate, that a notification was made to him, before the. Russian ministers were permitted to sign the treaty, that his majesty, the emperor of Russia, would instruct his minister to use his endeavours at the general congress, which it was then in contemplation to assemble, to endeavour to procure a modification of such regulations of our maritime code, as might be found to be inconsistent with justice? The question of maritime rights was supposed to have been settled in the treaty concluded between this country and the northern powers in 1801; but was it not evident from this Declaration, that there was still subsisting a rankling in the mind of the Russian government upon the very question? Mr. Whitbread contended, that this was the fair interpretation to be put upon the declaration; and that, at present, when the contest with these powers might be said to be but beginning, it was desirable that the British house of commons should be put in possession of any document which tended to throw light upon the pretensions which they set forth. Of the substance of the communication the house was already in possession; but he insisted upon the propriety of their being put in possession of the communication, not merely incidentally, but formally, and officially.— The other paper for which he meant to move, was the communication made by the ambassador of this country to his majesty's secretary of state, which had been also alluded debate, and in which it had been stated by the noble lord, that a person high in authority had made use of the expression, 'il faut mena- 1356 ger l'Angleterre pour le moment'. The noble lord had alluded to this communication in debate, for the purpose of shewing that Russia was determined to go to war with this country before the expedition was undertaken against Copenhagen; but before the house could judge whether the fact was relevant to the argument which he grounded upon it, it was important to know who was the person who made use of this expression, and Whether it was used in conversation will the noble lord, or with a third person; because, if it was dropped in conversation with a third person, it must be evident to every one, that it might have no effect whatever in supporting the proposition or opinion which the noble lord meant to establish. It was alleged, that this communication was made in a private letter to the secretary of state, and very probably it was so nor did he mean to question the propriety of a secretary of state keeping up a correspondence with ministers employed abroad; but the noble lord ought not to have made use of the communication for the purpose of influencing the decision of the house, if it was of such a nature, or if was made in such a way, that it could not be laid before the house.—He did not wish that the whole of the letter or dispatch which contained the communication should be made public; all that he desired was, that the house should be put in possession of that part of the dispatch which related to this particular communication. He concluded with moving, That an address be presented to his majesty, that he would be graciously pleased to order that there be laid before the house a copy of the Declaration delivered to his majesty's ambassador at the court of Petersburg, notifying that his imperial majesty. would instruct his plenipotentiary at a general congress, to endeavour to procure a modification of such regulations in our maritime code as might be found to be inconsistent with justice; and likewise of a copy or abstract of a letter or dispatch, transmitted by his majesty's ambassador to his majesty's foreign secretary of state, between the months of June and Nov. 1807, as far. as such letter or dispatch may refer to an expression, 'il faut manager l'Angleterre pour le moment.'
Lord G. L. Gower
said, that the house could not be surprised at the anxiety which he felt to express his sentiments upon the present motion, after the representations which had been given of what had fallen 1357 from him in a debate of a former evening, both by the hon. gent. who had just sat down, and in the public prints. He was most anxious to convince the house that he never had, in his official situation, done any thing to countenance the imputation of his having assented to any proposition, which had for its object to attack, either directly or indirectly, those principles of maritime law upon which this country had always acted, and upon which, he trusted, that it would ever continue to act. With this impression, he felt himself extremely obliged to the hon. gent. for having brought forward the motion which he had on this evening submitted to the house; and in that motion he should most heartily concur, as far as it related to the production of the Declaration which accompanied the treaty of 1805. He hoped also, that his right honourable friend the secretary of state would agree to this part of the motion, not only in justice to him, but in justice also to the character of an illustrious statesman, now no more (Mr. Pitt). It would be but an act of justice to the memory of that great man, who had spent his life in upholding the character and maintaining the rights of the country, to shew that in his latter days he did not desert that cause which it had been the great object of his life to support. With this view, he trusted that his right hon. friend would consent, not only to the production of the Declaration, but that the whole correspondence relative to this Declaration would be produced; from which it would appear, how little foundation there was for the accusation which had been brought against him, of having left any question relative to the maritime rights of the country open either to cavil or to discussion. His lordship did not wish now to enter into a discussion of all the questions connected with the treaty of 1805, and if this was the wish of the hon. gent. he thought that he had not dealt fairly with the house in not giving a notice to that effect. With the other part of the hon. gent's motion, he could not concur, because the communication to which he referred was contained in a private letter; and even supposing that the house were to agree to an address for the production of this paper, he really did not know what answer the crown could make to it; because the crown had as little power to compel the production of a private letter which was in the hands of the secretary of state, 1358 as it had over any private letter which might be in the hands of any other individual in the country. If the hon. gent. was of opinion that he had been deficient in his duty in transmitting such a communication in the shape of a private letter, it would be better at once to move a vote of censure upon him for having done so. He begged the house, however, to recollect, that he had mentioned neither letter nor dispatch in the former debate. He had simply mentioned the circumstance of a certain expression having been used by a person high in authority in Russia, leaving the house to give what credit they might think fit to this assertion, and to deduce whatever inference from it they might be of opinion that it warranted. Neither did it follow, that, because he had communicated this expression to his government at home, he had mentioned the name of the person who used it. It so happened in the present instance, that his right hon. friend was in possession of the name of the person who had made use of the expression, but it was for his right hon. friend to judge of the prudence and expediency of disclosing who that person was. He must observe, however, that if every communication made by a foreign minister to his government were to be made public, as a matter of course, the inevitable effect of such a system would be, to destroy all confidence between diplomatic agents and the courts to which they were accredited. He should therefore give his decided negative to the last motion of the hon. gent.; and the first part of the address he should propose to amend, by moving for the production, not only of the Declaration accompanying the treaty of 1805, but of the correspondence which passed relative to that Declaration.
§ Mr. Whitbread
most willingly concurred in the amendment proposed by the nobler lord in the first part of the motion, for it was his wish, that all the correspondence relative to the Russian Declaration in question, should be made public. But he could not assent to the amendment so far as it went to negative the production of the private letter, or an extract from it. What would be the consequence of refusing to communicate such letters, when previously made public in order to influence the vote of the house, and serve the purpose of ministers? Because the noble lord was the ambassador, and the right hon. gent. secretary of state, the correspondence was to be carried on by private letters, so 1359 as to avoid the cognizance of parliament! The noble lord had said, that he had never stated that he communicated this information to ministers. Perhaps, he had not: but the, right hon. secretary had publicly stated the fact, and yet the house was to be precluded from information about a communication under the impression of which they had been called upon to vote. He did not know upon what authority the expressions adverted to by the noble lord rested; whether they were directly mentioned to him by any person upon whom much reliance could be placed, or whether he had the information from a third person. For his part, he rather thought that the expressions did not come from any quarter upon which much dependance could be placed. But this was the point respecting which it was most important for the house to be well informed. He could not understand the doctrine, that private letters between ambassadors and secretaries of state, were, under all circumstances, to be suppressed. The information contained in the letter had been voluntarily offered on the part of ministers, with a view to influence the vote of the house. This naturally laid a ground for calling for the information in an explicit and tangible shape, that it might be seen whether it was of a kind to bear out the arguments which have been founded upon it. But immediately, when it was called for, he answered, 'No, it is a private letter, and cannot be produced.' If they meant to stand upon this objection, why did they communicate the information at all? They themselves had urged that lord Hutchinson's information was private, when they bad not only connived at his conferences with the emperor of Russia, but had desired him to communicate his sentiments, and asserted, that he had been bamboozled, for that had been the expression; and that the information which had been obtained, was not such as to deserve much consideration. Yet these very men stated expressions, of nobody knew whom, to influence the vote of the house, and refused all explicit information on the subject, on the ground of the intelligence having been conveyed in a private letter! The majority of the house might perhaps be against him on this occasion, but he trusted that he should be supported by a minority of no little weight and importance. The communication in question, though originally private, had been made public from the manner in which it had been used, and 1360 he should therefore persist in that part of his original motion.
§ Sir T. Turton
deprecated severely this perpetual recurrence to subjects undertaken for the purposes of party spirit and personal enmity.
§ Mr. Whitbread
here called the hon. bart. to order; disclaiming at the same time the unworthy motive which were so ungenerously imputed to him.
§ Sir T. Turton
felt extremely sorry that any thing which fell from him should have given the hon. gent. offence, for whom he felt the sincerest and most cordial esteem: when he said personal enmity, he meant only political enmity; and was unfortunate in his mode of expressing himself. He supported the amendment on the ground of the confidential nature of diplomacy. He would ask, if the state of Europe was again restored, what credit ambassadors would gain at foreign courts, who made it their practice to divulge secret communication. He thought the hon. gent was condemned by his own argument, for if the papers laid before parliament by lord Mulgrave excited throughout Europe such lively indignation, why endeavour, by the same cause, to excite the same sensation now?
thought it most important that the motion should be agreed to. He was one of those on whom the speech of the noble lord, and the expression alluded to, 'il faut menager l'Angleterre pour le moment,' had made a strong impression, and if he had thought the authority on which they rested incontrovertible, he should not have voted as he had done upon the question of the Danish expedition. He once thought, that ministers were ready to prove their allegations in the declaration, in answer to Russia; but the right hon. secretary, whose speeches were more remarkable for their brilliancy than their solidity, had waved these, and resorted to other matters of a more indeterminate sort; however, the subject was brought back again to its former state, by the information communicated by the noble lord. It was therefore of the greatest moment to have it clearly known, upon what authority it rested; what was its precise import, and what credit ought to he attached to it.
§ Mr. Windham
observed, that the subject of discussion lay within a very narrow compass, being limited to the point, whe- 1361 ther the letter ought to be produced? If the letter had been kept altogether private, then there could be no call for its production, for there could have been no knowledge of its existence. But the case was not, whether a letter, said to be private, should be permitted to remain so; but whether one publicly brought forward, and made use of to influence the vote of the house, by one of the parties, should be produced in a tangible and authenticated state. A letter, though private, might relate to public affairs, and a minister might, to a certain degree, act upon it without thinking proper to produce it, but resting upon his general responsibility. But, when a letter of this kind was quoted by the writer, with a view to make an impression on parliament, the question was, whether that did not become evidence which before was not so; and whether it ought not therefore to be produced, subject, of course, to that sort of discretion which ministers must exercise, even with respect to public dispatches. As this was, in some measure, a new case, attention must be given to its nature, not only with a view to the present question, but in order to settle a rule for the future. Considering the matter in this light, the first thing that occurred was, that the public business might be managed by a private correspondence of this sort, in a way which would place the whole out of the reach of parliament. Some might remember how this principle was made use of in the trial of Mr. Hastings, where it appeared that, under the pretence of private correspondence, the salutary order of the Company, that all correspondence should be in writing, was evaded. The public trust was liable to be abused in the same manner; and the wholesome rule was, that when letter; had forfeited their character of privacy, by being brought forward to influence the vote of the house, they should then only be protected by the same discretion to which even public dispatches were subject. What had we to justify the expedition to Denmark? Secret articles and private letters; the most convenient things for a bad minister that could possibly be imagined. This might mark the evil that would result from a principle of this kind, and, upon the whole, there was no comparison between the balance of danger from concealment and publicity. The ministers having then quoted the letter in question for their own purposes, the house had a right to its production.
§ Mr. Sturges Bourne
denied that his noble friend had used this letter for the purpose of influencing the decision of the house. He had been present when his noble friend made the speech which caused so considerable an impression, and he well recollected, that his noble friend stated the general fact of which he was in possession; and that it was not until in reply to a question put to him by the hon. gent. opposite, that he added that he had communicated that fact in a private letter to the right hon. secretary of state. If he abstained from going any further into this subject, at present, he begged to be understood, that he was not deterred from doing so by the high and dictatorial tone which the hon. mover, on this as well as on many other occasions, chose to assume. The house and the public, would judge of the consistency of the hon. gentlemen opposite, who, when they were in office, had refused to produce, on the only two occasions on which they were required to produce them, papers moved for by his hon. friends, but who now, after having exhausted their motions for public documents, were driven to the necessity of moving for the unwarrantable production of private correspondence.
§ Dr. Laurence
observed, that the dictatorial tone and manner of the last speaker did not suit well with his complaint against a dictatorial tone and manner in another person. It would have come better from the right hon. secretary opposite, who was so remarkable for levity and jesting, that no one could pretend to equal him, unless he had a jest-book in his hand. As the expressions alluded to had been put in writing, every one must desire to see the whole of the paper, or at least as much as could be produced without detriment to the public service; for though they might have been very fairly stated by the noble lord, as far as he went, yet, in the letter they might be so qualified as to make a different impression. He allowed that stronger ground ought to be laid for the production of a private letter, than for the production of a public dispatch; but, if it was said that a private letter ought not to be produced at all, the doctrine was contrary to the principles of the British constitution; which held publicity, though attended with some disadvantages, to be, on the whole, preferable to secrecy. Information of the most secret nature had often, upon this ground, been produced, with only a concealment of names. The 1363 ministers, if their principle of secrecy was adopted, might recline on their bed of roses, or remain concealed, like moles in their apartments under ground, till they happened occasionally to blunder into light.
Mr. Hawkins Browne
denied that the noble lord had in a former debate made any quotation from a private letter. He had used the fact in the way of argument, leaving it to the house to give what degree of credit they pleased to his assertion. He thought the production of the letter without the name would not be a sufficient guarantee for the safety of the person from whom the communication was received, and would therefore support the amendment.
Mr. Secretary Canning
would fairly state, that he had hitherto abstained from speaking on the subject, because whatever might have been the course of the debate, if it had been possible that the argument of the hon. gent. should have influenced the house, or that the arguments of his noble friend should not have influenced the house on what he conceived to be the clear question before them; if the inclination of the house had shewn itself to be unfavourable to his view of the subject; he should then have stood up, not merely to argue against the motion, but to entreat the house, that if they did not place in him that confidence, without which it was impossible for him adequately to fulfil the duties of his situation, they would permit him to retire, retaining his honour. Not one spark of that honour should he conceive he retained, if he were to divulge that which at the time when it was communicated, and since, and now, he felt, was communicated in confidence. Under that impression, however great the deference which he entertained for the house, and however anxious he was to bow to their decision, were that decision to call for the production of the paper in question, he would rather incur their displeasure, than thus compromise his own honour and character. Having said thus much, he should proceed to remark on some of the arguments that had been urged by the opposite side of the house. A right hon. gent. (Mr. Windham) had imagined a possible case in which the private correspondence between the secretary of state at home and the minister abroad, might be pushed to such an extreme, that all official intercourse might be carried on in that manner, and 1364 the historian be left to search in vain for public documents on which to ground his relations. The impossibility was so evident (since the chasm must so soon be discovered by the colleagues of the minister, and by the sovereign, who could not fail to be surprised at the departure and arrival of messengers without dispatches, that he was astonished how the right hon. gent. (who, to great acuteness of understanding, joined that knowledge of business, which certainly must shew him that acuteness of understanding, though theoretically advantageous, might be practically injurious to business) could advance such a monstrous supposition. As his noble friend had justly stated, many cases must occur, in which a minister at a foreign court might, in his public official dispatches, relate facts and occurrences to his own government, and, at the same time, confide to them, in secret communications, what he conceived to be the springs and motives of those occurrences. An ambassador might be put in possession, through confidential channels, of such information. He might receive it on the score of his own personal character, or he might be trusted, under the understood obligation of his office, by a friend, a mistress, or a courtier of the sovereign, in whose capital he resided. The whole nature of the information would then consist in the authority, which authority was precisely the circumstance, that could not be divulged. Otherwise, when a British minister went to a foreign court, he ought loudly and generally to declare to all about him, 'do not tell me any thing which you do not wish should be laid before the British house of commons.' Unfortunately, too much already had been divulged, and so far from depriving the future historian of his materials, we anticipated him. It would be easy to point out books that had been translated into other languages, which had caused the disgrace and death of individuals, implicated by them. But, then, said the hon. gent. if this letter was unfit for production, it ought not to have been quoted by the noble lord. The answer to this was, that it had not been quoted by him. His noble friend stated a fact; he was asked by the hon. gent. whether he had stated that fact before, and he answered yes, but in a private letter; and this the hon. gent. chose to call a quotation! Of course, the hon. gent. asked his noble friend to reply to this question as a courtesy; for surely 1365 he would not pretend to arrogate to himself the right of demanding from every member in that house an answer to any duration that he might think proper to propose to him. If the hon. gent. did so arrogate, he would say, that to him exclusively he would deny that courtesy. The hon. and learned doctor (Laurence) had taken very angry notice of the manner in which the dictatorial tone of the hon. mover had been reprehended. For himself, he could not say that the tone of the hon. mover had been much higher tonight than he usually chose to pitch it; and he hoped it would not make greater impression on the house than it usually had made. With respect to the arguments of the hon. and learned doctor on the question before the house, he had himself anticipated the answer to them, by admitting that, prima facie, strong ground must be laid for the production of a private letter, and if any names which it contained ought in discretion to be suppressed, they should be so suppressed. How did this apply to the present case, in which the name was identically the matter of consequence? If the learned doctor discredited the statements of his noble friend, let him say so. Such a proceeding though not very civil, would at least be intelligible; but it was most extraordinary, by way of putting his noble friend's truth to the test, to move for the production of a letter, the only part of which by which his veracity could be ascertained, must be suppressed!—The right hon. secretary proceeded to state on what grounds he supported the other part of the amendment proposed by his noble friend. Since the speech of his noble friend on a former night, an attempt had been revived to prejudice in the minds of the public that administration in the year 1805, which had endeavoured to establish a continental coalition against France. He would not now enter fully on this subject, not conceiving that it was comprised in the hon. gent.'s notice, although he should always be prepared to meet any attack on the merits of the great individual, now no more, who had so principal a share in that transaction,. It had been thought by the hon. gentlemen opposite, that in the speech of his noble friend they had found something. derogating from the policy of that confederacy; on the ground that the administration of that day were content to sacrifice to its accomplishment a question in which the country had ever felt deeply 1366 interested. and in which it must now feel more deeply interested than ever—the maritime rights of England. The reverse of this was the fact. If the hon. gent. had attended accurately to his noble friend, he must have been convinced, that the form of the declaration was of itself a proof, that it was not a matter of concession. Had it been so, it would have made part of the price of that concession: it would have made part of the treaty. What was it, that at that time, under the appellation of 'the law of nations,' attracted the attention of Europe? So far was this term from applying to our maritime right, that it never happened that in any public document the maritime code was meant or mentioned. What were the cases to which that expression referred? The recent seizure of the duke D'Enghien on neutral territory, and dragging him to slaughter; the recent seizure of a British minister (sir T. Rumbold), on neutral territory, and carrying him prisoner to France. Did the hon. gent. see nothing in this seizure of a British minister, and this murder of a French prince, but that which must attract the attention of the continent to the maritime code of Great Britain? On that maritime code, a separate provision had been proposed, in an article to which his noble friend on the part of G. Britain had refused to be a party. By the first of the papers which would be produced, in consequence of the motion before the house, being a dispatch dated the 7th of April, it would be found, that his noble friend had declared, that no consideration whatever, not even the certainty of a total rupture with the confederating powers, would induce him to consent to the proposition made by the Russian minister, to submit the maritime code of G. Britain to a congress of the great powers of Europe; and that he was fully authorised to declare, that the British government would never consent to such a reference or interference. Was this the language, were these the symptoms, of concession? Unquestionably, after the rejection of the article proposed, after the signature of the treaty, his noble friend had received and transmitted home the Declaration alluded to; but he had it not in his discretion to refuse to do this; and he accompanied the reception of the Declaration with a strong expression of his regret, that his imperial majesty had thought it necessary to make it, and with a firm repetition of what he knew to be the sentiments of court on the subject. Did 1367 his noble friend forfeit the favour of his sovereign by this conduct? Were his majesty's ministers lukewarm on the occasion? On the contrary, as would appear by the papers when produced, on the reception of the treaty, lord Mulgrave wrote to his noble friend, expressing his majesty's approbation of his proceedings, and declared his majesty's determination not to submit his rights of maritime war to any mediation whatever. This was during Mr. Pitt's administration. Nor was this determination concealed from the foreign ministers; for the copy of a letter of the same date from lord Mulgrave to the Russian ambassador would be produced, in which his lordship expressed similar sentiments; declared that no statesman would ever be found in this country, who would venture to unsettle that on which the power and prosperity of the country rested; and stated, that his noble friend had discharged a decided duty in the rejection of the proposition that had been made to him. Where was here the sacrifice of honour and of rights? Whatever the hon. gent. might think of other parts of his noble friend's character, they must know his candour too well to suppose that his observations on a former evening were intended for the purpose of producing, not an exculpation, but a panegyric on the conduct by which he evinced, that he was determined not to compromise that which was the solid foundation of the power of this country. He congratulated the house and the public, that such a determination had been evinced. He trusted that similar principles to those which pervaded this negotiation, would pervade any other negotiation in any other hands. He trusted that the great example which the administration of that day had set,— by refusing to purchase an object, however desirable and important, by the sacrifice of that which was not the peculiar strength of Britain alone, but which was the source and support of the general strength, by which that object appeared to be attainable,—he trusted that that example would be followed to the end of time. He trusted that what we had not given to acquire a great good, we should never give even to avert a great evil. He trusted that what we had refused to grant to the request of friendship, would never be extorted from us by the menaces of hostility.
§ Mr. Whitbread ,
adverting to the personal imputations that had been cast upon him 1368 in the course of the debate, observed, that if there was any thing dictatorial in his manner, he was sure that such manner could less become any man in that house than himself, who had so few pretensions to assume it. As a member of parliament, however, he did not arrogate great privileges, and he never would allow those privileges to be derogated from by those, who in the most dictatorial manner charged him with being dictatorial; and who in the most arrogant manner accused him of arrogance. To the right hon. secretary who had treated him with so much freedom, he would say, that the vices of his manner were levity and misrepresentation. The first was manifested in the mode in which that right hon. gent. jeered his hon. and learned friend neat him (Dr. Laurence), one ounce of whose sterling worth he would not exchange for all the gilt gingerbread on the other side of the house. Of the second vice of his manner, misrepresentation, he had given a striking instance, by introducing a debate on papers, before the papers were laid on the table, and by pronouncing a panegyric on the noble lord, before the house was in possession of the means of ascertaining whether that panegyric was well or ill-founded. As to the inutility of presenting the letter with the names suppressed, it would be advantageous to have it even in that shape. The mere declaration of the noble lord was fugitive, and could not be made the ground of any subsequent parliamentary proceeding. He could not see the necessity under with the right hon. secretary would labour of resigning, were his motion agreed to. That dreadful calamity to the country surely need not, take place; but, dreadful as it would be, he owned, he would rather see the right hon. gent. quit office in that manner, than that he should be turned out by the dark junto which lurked about the throne. He repeated his former assertions as to the unfair manner in which Mr. Garlike and lord Hutchinson had been treated, and after some other observations concluded by calling upon the house to take this opportunity of asserting their rights to have formally before them, that which was used in debate for the purpose of influencing their judgment.
A division then took place, when the numbers were: For the amendment, 114; For the original motion, 50. Majority, 64.