HC Deb 06 February 1821 vol 4 cc429-507

The Debate on the motion, "That it appears to this House, that his "majesty's ministers, in advising the "measures which have led to the late "proceedings againgst her majesty the "Queen, were not justified by any "political expediency or necessity, and "that their conduct throughout the whole "of those proceedings has been productive "of consequences derogatory from the "honour of the Crown, and injurious to "the best interests of the country," being resumed,

Sir Robert Wilson

rose. He said, he could assure the House, that it was not his intention to detain them by any lengthened arguments; but he felt it to be his duty to communicate some important information which he possessed, relative to the discussion before the House. As far as he understood the arguments of the right hon. gentleman (Mr. Bathurst) who had spoken first in opposition to the motion, he had not attempted to justify the conduct of ministers, but had rather expressed a wish, that the House should overlook errors that might have arisen from the complicated course which they were obliged to follow. The hon. member for Corfe Castle had, in the exercise of his rigid impartiality, taken a different course: he had condemned the beginning, the middle, and the end of the proceedings adopted by ministers; and he (sir R. Wilson) had been particularly struck with the word end, because he saw no termination of these proceedings. The member for Oxford had admitted, that ministers had committed three errors—not indeed of great intrinsic demerit in themselves; but important on account of their prejudicial influence in a public point of view; In every other part the right hon. gentleman approved of the conduct of ministers, and thought they could not have acted otherwise, consistently with that purity of motive by which he believed them to have been actuated. It was, however, a maxim founded on the experience of all human transactions, that men's motives were to be judged of by their actions; and while it remained for ministers to explain any motive that appeared of a doubtful character, it was for him (sir Robert) to show, that they had committed great errors in the discharge of their duty. One thing, bethought, was clear; namely, that errors of ignorance or of incapacity on the part of public officers must be visited in the same manner as if they proceeded from impurity of motive, because their consequence to the public was equally detrimental. That was a principle applicable to the conduct of generals, admirals, and all military and naval officers, and was uniformly recognised in every court-martial; and he could see no reason why it should be excepted, or, indeed, why it should not be more rigorously enforced, in the case of a minister of the Crown. There was one circumstance, at least, that justified a suspicion of the motives of ministers, and that must continue to do so until they gave a satisfactory explanation—he meant the time chosen by them for instituting the Milan commission. It was immediately after the princess Charlotte had been removed from her parent by her premature death; and he must contend, that the selection of such a time for instituting such a commission was a circumstance of a notoriously suspicious character. He did not accuse ministers of having purposely selected that moment; but the tact was, that they then sub-ascribed an instrument instituting the Milan commission to collect evidence respecting charges, which he believed had not reached them by hearsay, but had originated in the impure source of Hanoverian agency, that united with English gentlemen, the Omptedas and other infamous characters with whom the conspiracy originated. He did not indeed hold ministers accountable for all the transactions of that commission—for all that had been disclosed in the House of Lords respecting the subornation of discarded servants and the attempts to prevail on them to give false evidence against their benefactress; nor did he accuse them because they had acted on the depositions submitted to them; but when they found, that these depositions contained charges derogatory from the honour of her majesty, it was their duty to ascertain, as far as they could, whether the witnesses were persons of candour, and to endeavour to corroborate their statements by other testimony. The House had at least one proof that ministers had not taken these precautionary measures. It would be recollected, that when the noble lord brought down the green bag, he stated—and, feeling as he did for the unfortunate object of the charges, the declaration of the noble lord had struck him with terror—that the depositions contained in that bag were made, not by unknown and anonymous witnesses, but by persons of character, and entitled to credit. He had a most distinct recollection, that the noble lord vouched for the character of the witnesses, and that his statement on that subject was made in reply to a question put from the Opposition side of the House. But, when the Attorney-General acquainted the House of Lords with the nature of his charges, and the characters that were to support them, it appeared, that they rested on the evidence of persons the very description of whom did not attach much credit to their declarations. What was the reason that individuals of higher character had not been examined? There were then English gentlemen and ladies of rank and distinction attached to her majesty's household, and other persons of high rank and character had been travel ling on the continent during her majesty's residence abroad, whose testimony might have been obtained. There were many charges against her majesty that might have been proved or disproved by a cloud of witnesses of unquestioned honour and veracity, had it pleased ministers to call on them for their evidence. He had stated to the House on a former occasion, that there was no person at the court of Naples who was not ready to swear to the falsehood of the charges respecting her majesty's conduct at that court; but, were there not also other persons of respectability who might have been competent to give evidence? Was her majesty living in so retired a manner that the Italian nobles had no knowledge of her conduct? He said, with confidence, that it was the duty of his majesty's ministers to have made beforehand those inquiries which would have shown whether they were justified or not in stating, in the preamble of their bill, that the Queen's conduct had been such as to bring disgrace on the country. But it might be asked, why this information had not been brought forward sooner. The answer was, that there had not been time to bring it forward before the close of the trial. He would now read several extracts from evidence which ministers might have had before they brought in their bill. The House was aware, that her majesty had lived three years at Pesaro, which was not a village, as had been represented, but a city of great consequence. The first extract which he should read was from a deposition made by the bishop of Pesaro, domestic chaplain to the pope. After stating in the strongest language, that, during her residence of three years at Pesaro, nothing injurious to the honour of her majesty had ever come to his I knowledge he went on to say—"We further certify, that, in the fulfilment of our pastoral duty, we continually receive secret notices of the conduct of individuals living in our dioceses, but we have received none of this individual, that could give us reason to suspect the decency of her majesty; nor can we doubt, that, had there really occurred any scandal, it certainly could not have remained concealed from the vigilance of our court,—August 26, 1820."

The next extract was from a letter of Cardinal Albani, a person pre-eminent for his virtues, and who would gladly have come over to this country on her majesty's behalf, had it been in his power:—"Certainly your majesty having deigned to allow me to attend your court, both in Pesaro and in Rome, I should have, been more able than any other to have done justice to those eminent virtues which I have admired in your majesty; and I should have been able to testify, that, in the various occasions I have had the good fortune to approach your majesty, you have been always surrounded by the most select society, and that your discourse, your manners, and deportment, have all corresponded, and been such as became a personage of your exalted rank. But all this, which my circumstances so unfortunately prevent my attesting in person, I am certain can be done by many other Italian gentlemen, distinguished by their birth, merit, and probity.—August 13, 1820."

The next deposition was one from count Alexander Volta. That distinguished individual declared as follows:—"On all occasions, which were very frequent, visiting her sometimes in the morning in her boudoir—sometimes at her conversazione in the evening—at other times accompanying her in her walks, &c. I always observed united in her the most gracious affability and the most noble decorum, such as to be often noticed by me to the various other noble and distinguished personages, who enjoyed the honour of her society." The last to which he should refer, was from a man of equally respectable character. Professor Tamasia made the following:declaration:—"Admitted by the nature of my office into the interior apartments, I never saw any thing in her manners that was not decent and correct; and with the persons of her court whose offices attached them most to her person, I have always seen her preserve that decorum which, without varying from that goodness which is natural to her, respected the bounds prescribed to her by her high rank. To her inferiors her; majesty certainly was more condescending than, unfortunately, is usual to those moving in a high sphere, and I have seen her majesty, though scarcely recovered, I go down and visit the lowest of her domestics herself, causing the medicines to be administered, and attending to see that every the smallest assistance possible was rendered to them. With respect to the persons with whom her majesty liked to associate principally, they were chiefly persons the most distinguished in the country, both in point of rank and profession."

It had been stated, in enumerating the charges against her majesty, that she had been black-balled by the Cassino, or Society of nobles, at Milan; and to show, that the truth of this charge was equal to that of the others, he should read the following extract from a certificate which the Austrian government had allowed to be made:—

"The directors of the society of nobles of Milan do certify, that it does not appear from the registers and journals of the said society, from its first establishment up to the present day, that her majesty, during her residence in Italy, ever made application to be admitted as a member of the said society of nobles." It would also be recollected, that one of the principal charges against her majesty was founded on her conduct at Trieste, and that the number of the days, and even of the hours, during which she had resided in that place, had been stated in the evidence for the prosecution. He wished to ask the noble lord opposite, whether there was not a British consul at Trieste at the time this charge was got up, and whether any inquiry had been made of him as to the truth of the statement? He believed that no such inquiry had been made; and of this he was certain, that her majesty stayed at Trieste only one night. He was sorry to state, to the disgrace of the Austrian government, that an application for permission to consult the public registers of the city had been made, for the purpose of finding her majesty's name in the lists of arrivals and departures, and that that application had been refused. Permission was indeed reluctantly given at last, but the evidence afforded by it came too late to be of use in her majesty's defence. As to the charge founded on the sudden elevation of Bergami, he had reason to know that that individual was entitled to all the marks of distinction he received. In forming a correct judgment on this subject, it was to be remembered that in foreign countries, where people had been rendered so familiar with revolution, not only in kingdoms but in families, it was not customary to ask what a man originally was, but whether he deserved the station he occupied. He remembered, that when he was at Berlin, the present king of Sweden, at that time Crown Prince, recognised an individual, who had formerly been a fellow-domestic, in language that did honour to his heart—He would ask, against whom this prosecution—this persecution, had been commenced?

He called it persecution; because, what peace, what repose could the Queen enjoy, while ministers refused to do an act so necessary to her honour and character—an act at once just, politic, and gracious? Had any person in any situation of life drunk deeper of the cup of affliction than her majesty? Did not the very wretches who came forward to depose against her, admit her constant benevolence and her generous magnanimity? She had not refused to visit the sick when afflicted with the most pestilential disease. Like the good Bishop of Marseilles, she had —"drawn her breath Where nature sickened and each gale was death. The plague itself had no terrors for her, when her presence could be either a corn-fort or a utility. Should not conduct like this excite some sympathy, some kindred feeling? It was said, that some publications, in the name of her majesty, contained violent and indiscreet passages: but those who made the accusation ought to recollect the situation in which her majesty had been placed; they ought to recollect, that the Queen had forborne to wield the formidable weapon of recrimination, and which the noble lord well knew, she could have wielded with a power so destructive. The right hon. member for Oxford had asked—"What! shall we let adultery triumph on the throne of England?"—and be had asserted, that it was the same thing, whether committed on the shores of Britain, or on the waves of the Mediterranean. If that were true, then it was the same thing, whether ministers afforded adultery the means of triumph in Italy or in England. Yet, had they not offered to recognise it with the grant of sovereign power, and to aid it by an income that would have secured to it every means of indulgence and impunity? He was one, however reluctant some might be to give credit to the assertion, who deeply lamented that the prayer for peace out of doors had met with no corresponding echo within the walls of parliament. Glad indeed should he have been at this moment, if ministers would have allowed him to convert a resolution of censure into a vote of thanks—to construct, out of prevailing confusion, a temple of concord, by a concession on their part, that would at once entitle them to the love and gratitude of their country. Such an expectation, however, was vain. Ministers were determined to keep alive the irritation of the country. It was idle in them to charge others as the disturbers of the public peace; they were the great leviathans of anarchy, and their cabinet was the great revolutionary engine which menaced the country with more danger than had ever yet been threatened by any subversive power. He had only to state, that being himself an advocate of reform, he had always thought more strongly in its favour than was calculated to promote his personal interests. Upon two contingencies, he was both ready and willing to retire from public life. He should solicit his constituents to substitute some other representative in his place, whenever the House of Commons had proceeded to such an extremity of disregard to the wishes of the people as to deprive it of all confidence in its measures. He should no less be willing to withdraw into privacy, without recompense for any poor services it might have been his good fortune to render, whenever it appeared that his presence offered obstacles in the way of any arrangement essential to the welfare of his country.

Mr. Huskisson,

after stating his reason for now breaking through the practice of a long parliamentary life, by troubling the House on a general question like the present, proceeded to advert to some of the topics already introduced in the course of the debate. In the first place, he must observe, that what had fallen from the hon. member for Corfe-castle, had been grossly misunderstood and misinterpreted; his hon. friend had not disapproved of the beginning, middle, and end of the proceedings against the Queen; he had only gone to the extent of saying, that he was not completely satisfied on the subject, adding, that if the matter were to be commenced again, he did not know, if he had been a minister, how he could act otherwise. Next, with regard to what the same hon. gentleman had remarked on the subject of the peace of 1815, that peace did answer the description he had given of it. At least, some valuable acquisitions were made by this country, and an exalted notion had been raised among the nations of the world as to her character, vigour, and resources. Such was his (Mr. H.' s) opinion; and it was not to be altered by an incident occurring in the sixth year of peace, which no wisdom could have foreseen or prevented, and by which, he trusted, the tranquillity of Europe could not be disturbed. The very fact, that we were now in the sixth year of peace, without the slightest armament in that period to support our relations, or maintain our rights, was of itself a strong proof in its favour. An hon. and learned gentleman had last night spoken of the six bills passed three years ago; and, when the House recollected, that they were formerly denounced as destructive of the first principles of the constitution, it was not a little singular to hear them now charged with being wholly ineffectual and inoperative. Although they had been once represented as intolerable in a free state, and as subversive of the liberties of a free people, he (Mr. H.) was satisfied that we were indebted to those measures for the revival of industry, and for the protection of life and property in the disturbed districts. There was another remarkable feature in the late discussions. Gentlemen came down deprecating all irritation; they were all anxiety to soothe and to allay the troubled spirit in all quarters of the kingdom; but the course taken to accomplish this most desirable object seemed truly extraordinary. Not an occasion had been allowed by them to slip without charging ministers as persecutors—as determined to persist in a course of violence and outrage—as guilty of a foul conspiracy—as condescending to the meanest servility from the basest motives and, as proceeding against an innocent female rather with the malignity of fiends, than with the feelings of men. The surprise, on the other side, was, that when these charges were so boldly made, any defence should be offered on the part of ministers; for, their opponents wisely held, that peace would soon be restored in the country, if the servants of the Crown would admit their guilt, and sue for mercy!—He would now notice the late proceedings in the House of Lords; and, in the outset, he felt bound to admit, that though the administration of an oath, and the attendance of the judges, gave the peers many advantages, yet, as a member of the House of Commons, he could not have been satisfied to in diet the slightest punishment or degradation, upon that evidence. At the same time, the information which the other House could supply, deserved to be looked upon with the utmost respect, as coming from the highest authority. He did not say, that the proceeding was to be brought to a legal issue; but he admitted, that the acquittal was a legal acquittal; in consequence of which, her majesty was in possession of all the privileges and dignities that of right belonged to her as Queen of Eng land. They had been recognised from the higbestauthority—in the speech from the throne; they had been allowed and confirmed by parliament in all respects but one, and that one he was entitled to say, in the words of her majesty's chief legal adviser, was "a trifle light as air." The learned gentleman had endeavoured to do away the effect of that admission, by stating, that he bad sacrificed his private character as a member of parliament, to his public capacity as the legal adviser of the Queen. In that particular, the House had a right a little to complain. On the 21st of February last, the learned gentle man had admitted, that the point of the Liturgy was "a trifle, light as air;" yet, those words were now to be construed as the convenient assertion of an advocate, and not as the honest conviction of a member of parliament. At that period there was no reason to suppose that the unhappy circumstances since disclosed would be made public, nor had the House any reason to think that there was any counsel for the Queen in the House: the opinion of the learned gentleman then delivered, was therefore calculated to mislead the House, and influence the decision. If, however, this point of the Liturgy were really of such paramount importance—if it were real [...] such an indispensable condition, he begged leave to ask whether, in the confidential communications the learned gentleman had had with the responsible advisers of the king, he had ever so represented it? From any thing that then passed, they had never been led to believe that it was considered so formidable an obstacle. It was certainly reasonable in the hon. member for Corfe-castle to remind the learned gentle man of his long-promised explanation upon this and other points. He (Mr. H.) knew nothing of these transactions but from the public documents; but he saw that, on the arrival of the Queen in this country, the ministers of the Crown affirmed, that they then, for the first time, had heard of the difficulty concerning the Liturgy. It would be for the learned gentleman to explain how he could under take to make their proposals to the Queen, if he knew, as he now said he had all along known, that the Liturgy was a point which her majesty never could concede. Her majesty had, through that learned gentleman, transmitted a message to the House, stating that she could not listen to any terms of accommodation unless her, name was restored; but, perhaps, before another year should elapse, that learned gentleman would come down to the House and declare, that having at the time of bringing down the message a sacred duty to perform, he could not but maintain its propriety; but that time having elapsed, his opinion had changed, and he was at liberty fully to state to the House how much he regretted that the agitation of the country had been excited in consequence of that measure.—He need scarcely repeat the fact, that her majesty was fully in possession of all her legal privileges, rights, attributes and authorities. More than those she was not in a capacity to demand, and the conduct of the gentlemen opposite placed her in a delicate situation, when they compelled ministers to state the grounds on which matters of grace and favour were with held.—He would briefly state the facts I by which her character was affected. In the year 1806, there was an inquiry into her majesty's conduct, which was followed by an admonition from his late majesty with respect to her future conduct. In 1813, a Privy Council was held, not consisting of his majesty's ministers, but of the principal law-officers of the Crown, the heads of the ecclesiastical establishment, and many of the peers of the United Kingdom, the result of which was, that an order was issued, stating, that it was essential the intercourse between the princess of Wales and the princess Charlotte should be restrained. What impression those things ought to have made on the mind of her majesty, and what precaution they should have induced her to adopt with regard to her future conduct, he would leave it to gentlemen to judge. Whether they had had the desirable consequence, was seen by the event. If he could regard the Queen, then the princess of Wales, abstractedly from her high situation in the state—if he could look upon her without taking into his view what she owed to her rank and station—if he could, in short, consider her as a woman in a state of separation from her husband, God forbid he should visit with severity her conduct as a private woman so circumstanced! He believed he should not be thought the worse of, as a man and a Christian, for making allowances. But to return to the facts—her majesty went abroad in 1814, after that admonition which her king and father had given her, and there she formed a connection, whose object he would not exactly define; but he would say, that she entered on a course of life, which, if innocent, never was there a course of life which excited suspicions more unfavourable to her majesty. Was it possible to look at the individual, and the manner in which the princess treated him, the honours which she heaped upon him, and all those acts of particular attention which she manifested towards a menial, without great suspicion being excited? It was not until after these things had become matter of notoriety—until after the most disadvantageous reports became daily stronger and more numerous, and those persons of distinction who had accompanied the Queen, began to abandon her society; it was not until after all those circumstances had concurred in forcing the subject of the Queen's conduct upon the attention of government, that it was deemed necessary to institute any proceedings in the case. He need not remind the House of the rumours which then prevailed all over Europe. If it had been a case of private life, it might have been difficult to decide which line of proceeding would have been the wisest; but even in private life, such circumstances as tended to violate decorum and outrage the feelings of the husband, even where the parties were living separate, would require some notice to be taken of the degrading connection. If this was the case in private life, what less could be done where one party was a menial and the other a wedded princess, and both living upon terms of undisguised familiarity? Not to take notice of such matters would not be consistent with wisdom or sound policy. He did hear, with surprise, last night, from a gentleman who addressed the House, for the first time, with great talent (Mr. Whitmore), that there was no danger to the succession from a spurious issue, and that therefore the levity of the Queen's conduct was not a subject of national consideration. But he would ask, if what tarnished the honour of the sovereign, did not tarnish the crown and degrade the character of the country? The honour of the sovereign and that of the state were not to be separated, as the former represented the latter with all foreign governments. The result of the inquiries which ministers had made with respect to the conduct of the Queen, was such as to require an immediate decision on the subject of the Liturgy. Ministers had, last year, entertained hopes that the matter might have terminated by an amicable arrangement; and this they were led to believe the more by the communication which they had with the learned gentleman who was her majesty's confidential agent, and by the proposals connected with that communication, which appeared likely to avert the necessity of a hostile discussion. The basis of those proposals was, the residence of her majesty abroad, and her accepting some other title, beside that of queen of England. When, therefore, his majesty's ministers were called on to decide upon the question of the Liturgy, they were led to believe, that this arrangement might take place; and if it did not, the other unfortunate alternative must ensue, and left them no option. Now, supposing the arrangement did take place, it was not possible that her majesty, giving up the title of Queen, and residing on the continent, should wish her name to be repeated in the Liturgy at home, as Queen of England; and then, on the other hand, if the negotiation did not terminate satisfactorily, hostile discussions must follow; and it was a duty which ministers owed the Crown not to advise that her majesty's name should be, under such circumstances, honoured by an insertion in the Liturgy. Ministers were consequently right in either alternative.—As to the present motion, the real practical question of the noble lord meant nothing else than the removal of ministers under a vote of censure. By what fell from the noble mover, it appeared, that this motion was framed in the spirit of consummate generalship. If the motion succeeded, the issue would be complete, the result and reward of many well-fought days would be at once obtained. The gentlemen opposite would look upon it as a sort of political battle of Waterloo, though the country might look at it in a different point of view: the party whose measure it was, would consider it the termination of all their wars, troubles, dangers, and disappointments; but more impartial and reflecting persons would look upon it as the era of new dangers, difficulties, and alarms. But if the party even failed in this question, it was part of their generalship, that even their failure would be mainly auxiliar to the object which they had in view. It was stated, that in such an event the table would be covered with petitions for parliamentary reform; no doubt instructions had been dispatched to that effect, from the general in chief to the different quarters. The quarter-masters were all upon the alert—the sentinels all at their post: if all these exertions were not sufficient, he presumed a levy en musse would be proclaimed, and the landwehr called out, to carry the great object of parliamentary reform. But he believed ministers would meet these formidable preparations on every point of attack, and perhaps discomfit even that consummate generalship which was so much relied on.—The right hon. member proceeded to observe upon the difference of opinion with respect to parliamentary reform, and the difficulty of reconciling the wishes of different parties upon this subject. He then reverted to the question of the insertion of her majesty's name in the Liturgy, and said, that if ministers were to rescind the act of omission, they would be voluntarily proclaiming, after the proceedings in the House of Lords, that her majesty's conduct was entitled to every distinction; that it was, if not praiseworthy, at least blameless;—and that since her return to this country she had acted in a manner respectful to the Grown, and dignified as far as regarded the country. It would be holding her up as a fit example for the subjects of the realm, and giving her conduct an influence upon the morals of the country. But he believed, upon the whole of her case, that there was not a presumption favourable to her majesty's innocence. He therefore could not agree to the address, while he was convinced that it was a difficult matter for any unprejudiced man to lay his hand upon his heart and say, that her majesty's conduct was such as became her station, or as became a modest female in a much humbler walk of life. The success of the motion would be the triumph of the language, conduct, and sentiments which her majesty had expressed since her return, over those institutions of the country, which she had reviled and condemned. As her legal rights were recognised, he did think that the provision, which, on the proposition of ministers, had been settled on her majesty, would have set the question at rest. For his own part, he had deprecated inquiry from the beginning, because he thought its result would be, to lower the tone of the moral and religious feeling of the country; but the course which the gentlemen opposite had taken, only aggravated the evil.

Mr. Bennet

observed, that whatever the merits of the question might be, and however unwilling he was to draw upon the attention of the House, which the honourable gentleman had for the last half hour so agreeably enlivened, he could not omit the duty of putting his opinion upon record on this great occasion. He believed he could anticipate the result of the vote of that night; but as he was one of those who were likely to share in the ruin which the measures of ministers and the votes of their majorities, were bringing on the country, he was justified in endeavouring to avert that ruin, or at least in entering his protest against the perseverance in a line of policy which must be attended with such dreadful results. He did not intend to follow the right hon. member who had spoken last, through the course of his speech. He would rather make some observations on the speech of the right hon. gentleman who held the double office of Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and president of the board of Control. And here he could not but remark, that every gentleman on the opposite side, with the exception of the ministers themselves, had carefully excluded all approbation of the conduct of his majesty's ministers. The right hon. member for Oxford was quite disinclined to approve of the conduct of administration in the main question. The right honourable gentleman, indeed, who followed the seconder, stated, that his majesty's ministers had received ample information relative to the conduct of the Queen from persons of rank and fortune. Now, he would be glad to know who those persons were? The noble lord opposite had stated last year, that the bill of Pains and Penalties would be supported by persons of credit and character; but they had since seen who those creditable persons were. He would wish to know, whether they were the same respectable authorities of rank and fortune to whom the right hon. gentleman alluded. It was strange that not one person of that description was produced at the bar of the House of Lords, to give a plausible character to that collection of gossip, scandalous detail; and falsehood, which, on the precious information that ministers had received, was produced against the Queen. He would, however, allow, that there was one person of rank from whom information might have been received; he meant the baron Ompteda, who, in 1814, was in Italy.—The hon. member then proceeded to comment upon the formation and conduct of the Milan commission, and the inevitable effect of its agency upon the refuse of the Italian population. He said that the country regarded with pity and scorn the low and infamous ribaldry which, upon the authority of that commission, the law-officers of the Crown had presumed to vomit forth. He contended, that the conduct of the ministers with respect to her majesty was such, as, if she had any sense of honour and character, was calculated to produce the very event which they pretended they did every thing to avoid; namely, the speedy return of her majesty to this country. And as she was a person who had the sense and spirit not to submit to wanton injuries, that event did take place. With her name out of the Liturgy, proscribed and excommunicated as she was, and hunted at every turn by the Hanoverian pack, she could take no other step. She had, in a letter to lord Liverpool, remonstrated against this treatment; but her remonstrance was neglected. She then came over to throw herself on the people of England, and was received as might have been expected. As she had suffered persecution without precedent, so she enjoyed a triumph which was unparalleled. As to the disgusting mass of evidence which had been so brought together, if one fortieth part of it were true, ministers deserved to be impeached for having tendered her majesty money; and if they did not believe the evidence, they ought to be impeached for instituting proceedings, which, beside the dreadful wrong they did her majesty, subjected the country to the inundation of a moral pestilence, which; made even the daily newspapers be regarded as a curse, and driven from every well-regulated house, as if they I carried the infection of a plague.—He then adverted to the conduct of Mr. Canning, who knew the Queen well, who knew the evidence well, and who stated in his place in the House of Commons, not surreptitiously but openly, and with the permission of the sovereign, that his attachment and affection to that illustrious person had not changed, and that she was the, "life, grace, and ornament of society." Was it possible that that right hon. gentleman could at that time have been in possession of all the odious details which were destined to be gone into, with respect to the conduct of the Queen ere this time? But he wished to do justice to that right hon. gentleman; and he begged to ask—perhaps the hon. member for Seaford could inform him—whether the right hon. gentleman, who had before this consented to the erasure of her majesty's name from the Liturgy, had not given that consent as a com promise, and with the understanding that it was to put an end to all farther proceedings? He did not know whether this was really the case; but he had heard it whispered, and he had no doubt that a part of it was founded in truth.—The great charge against his majesty's government was, an entire want of caution in receiving evidence, which would have been most scandalous in a proceeding against the meanest individual, in the country. Who could have believed it possible, that in the trial of a Queen, there should have been a charge against her, in which it was sworn that she and her paramour were seen passing and re-passing from their respective chambers for five successive mornings, and that it should never have occurred to the law-officers of the Crown, or to the ministers who gave instructions to those law-officers, to inquire whether the Queen had or had not been five days in the place where those circumstances were alleged to have taken place? This charge was triumphantly refuted on the trial, and he (Mr. B.) heard the lord chancellor acknowledge, that is was refuted; for that learned lord admitted that the Gazette, though not legal evidence, was moral evidence to prove the impossibility of the fact being true. He put it to those who were acquainted with the evidence, to say whether this charge was not shown to be positively false; and he mentioned this part of the case as a sample of the way in which the whole of the evidence had been got up. When he looked to the consequences which had resulted from this criminal negligence, he must regard ministers as the authors of all the calamities which had been inflicted on the country; and thinking so, he thought them unfit to conduct the government of the country. They had done all that in them lay to tarnish the honour and debase the morals of the country. Within the period of a few short months, they had done more to lower the standard of moral purity in the country, than had been effected by all the seditious and blasphemous writers, from Tindal down to the present time. They had degraded all that was most sacred in the institutions of the country. If we looked to the Crown, he would ask every man who heard him, whether the discussions which had taken place had had not tended to lower the estimation in which monarchy was held, and in lowering the monarchy, to give a blow to the constitution, from which it was impossible to say when it might recover? In the next place, what had been the effect of these proceedings upon the ecclesiastical institutions of the country? As a member of the church of England, no man felt a greater reverence for that church than himself; but he must say, that the part taken by its members in the late proceedings had lowered it in the public estimation to a degree which he could not allude to without the deepest regret. What opinion must any man entertain of that body, who, wishing to learn the opinion of the protestant church upon the great question of divorce, and applying to the heads of it for information, should find that most of those reverend bishops and archbishops declared that the words of Christ were to be interpreted with reference to temporary and local circumstances? Some of those reverend personages, finding it convenient to their political interests to support the bill, had declared that the words of Christ were out of the question; and one of them, though he did not support the bill, declined to vote at all. Such was the disgust excited throughout the country by the conduct of the clergy, that in many places they were deserted by their congregations. He believed that the most serious mischief had been produced by their conduct; but, whatever mischief had resulted to the religious establishments of the country by the conduct of the heads of the church, or of the lower orders of the clergy, it was to his majesty's government that all those evils' were to be attributed; for they would never have happened, if ministers had not launched such a firebrand into the country. The right hon. member for Oxford had talked of the attempts of a base and desperate faction to overturn the government of the country; but he had yet to learn the right which that right hon. gentleman, or any other man, had to designate any part of the people of England as a base and desperate faction. The right hon. gentleman had said, he had no doubt that the faction which supported the Queen would have been equally ready, under different circum-stances, to turn against her. Now, he could tell the right hon. gentleman of a faction which actually had done so. That faction had made use of the Queen as a Stepping-stone to their own ambition, and then, to use a familiar phrase, had thrown her overboard. When our late sovereign, her steady protector, was succeeded by an illustrious person, who certainly was not her best friend, that faction anxious to recommend themselves to the king, sacrificed the Queen to their own views of ambition, and, with a perfidy perfectly unexampled, they re-examined the identical evidence which they had formerly denounced as blasted, perjured, and infamous, in order to extract from it materials to justify the separation of that illustrious person from her child. The hon. gentleman who spoke last had alluded to the minutes of the order in council; and he (Mr. Bennet) having read the order in council that morning, thought it scarcely possible to apply any language too strong to the conduct of those who, having acquitted her majesty in 1806, afterwards turned round and employed that very evidence against her which they had before declared unworthy of credit.—Before he sat down, he wished to say a word or two upon the situation of the country. It was a fact which could not be disguised, that, from one end of the country to the other, wherever the voice of the people could be heard, nothing was heard but the language of complaint and indignation against the conduct of ministers. If, as was contended, the ministers possessed claims to the gratitude of the country for the glorious peace which they had obtained, what must have been their conduct to obliterate those claims from the minds of the people in so short a period of time? The people felt that the ministers had set the property, the honour, and the character of the country on a cast, and that they were such desperate gamesters, that they could no longer be trusted with the conduct of the government. Under such circumstances, the nation was compelled to look round, and inquire in what ranks other men might be found, to whom the public interests might be confided; for they were satisfied that no set of men, were their faults even as great as their worst enemies imputed to them, could be so lost to what was due to themselves and their sovereign, and to the honour and character of the country, as his majesty's present ministers. He concluded by declaring his hearty concurrence with the motion of his noble friend, and by saying, that such was his conviction of the unfitness and unworthiness of the present ministers for the situations which they held, that he would rather place his confidence in the first ten or twelve men whom he might accidently meet, than in them.

Mr. Wellesley Pole

said, it was not his intention to detain the House long; but, as a member of his majesty's government, he could not sit silent under the charges which, on this and on the last night, had been brought forward against the administration. He felt himself obliged to the noble lord who had brought forward this motion, and to the hon. member who seconded it, for the distinct and candid avowal of their object. Upon a former occasion some doubt might be entertained upon the subject, but it was now fairly avowed, that the great purpose for which this motion was brought forward, was, to effect the dismissal of his majesty's ministers. As to the motion itself, it was a secondary consideration, it was merely a vehicle chosen to produce the desired change, and undoubtedly it was well chosen; because, it would carry with it a stronger force than any other that could have been selected. But the noble lord and the hon. member were not doing any thing new upon this occasion—they were only doing that which they had been doing ever since the present administration had been formed. There was scarcely one of the efficient acts of administration for the last ten years, which the hon. gentlemen opposite had not opposed, and for which they would not have been quite as ready to pass a vote of censure upon ministers, as they were upon the present occasion. It was important that the House should bear this in mind; because, when gentlemen so loudly exclaimed that the conduct of ministers for the last six months deserved all the censure it was now endeavoured to heap on their heads, it was but fair to ask, whether those gentlemen ever en- tertained any other opinion, and whether they had not been, sit all times, and upon all occasions, equally violent in their opposition, equally loud in their censures, and equally anxious to effect the removal of the present ministers?—He would ask whether the gentlemen opposite had not held this language even upon occasions when it was quite obvious that the sense of the country was decidedly with ministers? He did not mean of the whole country, because it was certainly true that the present ministers never had the good fortune to possess the confidence, or obtain the approbation of the gentlemen on the other side of the House.—It was not his intention to enter at large into the defence of the conduct of ministers, because the House had already heard that conduct most triumphantly vindicated, and he did not wish to weaken the effect of speeches which must have made a deep impression upon the House; but there were some points that had been urged which he could not pass over without notice.

In the course of this debate, some declarations had been made and some doctrines laid down which were quite new to him, and which he believed were equally new to a great majority of that House. It had been stated by the proposers and supporters of this motion, that it was indifferent to them whether it met with the approbation of the House or not—it was immaterial to them whether the ministers possessed the confidence of the House of Commons or not—the confidence which those gentlemen wished to obtain was not that of the House of Commons, but of a certain class of people out of doors, who were always ready to oppose ministers. The opinion of the House of Commons was now, for the first time, declared to be of no importance—it was of no avail that the gentlemen of that House devoted their time and their faculties to the investigation of this great question; their decision was worth nothing in the opinion of the gentlemen on the other side; that is to say, if their decision happened to be in favour of ministers. He had, indeed, on former occasions, heard an honourable baronet deny that they were the representatives of the people; he had heard him call the House of Commons "that Room;" but he never heard or expected to hear it stated in that House, and by the Whigs too, that it was of no importance that the ministers of the Crown should possess the confidence of the representatives of the people—of the constitutional guardians of their rights. But it was very extraordinary to observe the great vacillation of the Whigs, upon this as well as upon other subjects. He was old enough to remember, that Mr. Fox (whose authority the Whigs would surely not disavow) had most strenuously contended in that House, that the opinions of the people could only be fairly sought, and really found there. The successors of Mr. Fox—the Whigs of the present day, maintained directly the reverse of that proposition; they contended, that the opinion of the people could only be found out of doors, and that it was to be sought for from day to day, and from hour to hour. But Mr. Fox not only maintained the opinion which he had just stated, but he was so unwilling that an appeal should be made to the people to know what their opinion was, that he proposed an address to his majesty, praying him not to dissolve parliament. It happened at that time, that the opinion of the people (an opinion not excited by artifice, not inflamed by clamour, not formed in heat, but upon calm deliberation) was adverse to Mr. Fox; an appeal to them was made, parliament was dissolved, Mr. Pitt's power was established, and the Whigs irretrievably defeated. He was sorry that they had not yet remaining amongst them so much respect for the memory of Mr. Fox as might induce them to say, that the opinion of that House deserved at least to have some weight. He did not mean to say, that they ought td go quite so far as to agree with Mr. Fox; that them should look exclusively to that House; but he thought they might go to the length of looking to it principally, and as the best standard of public feeling. His own conviction was, that no ministry ever did, ever would, or ever should exist one hour, unless it had the confidence of that House, and in the true sense of the words, the confidence of the people. The gentlemen on the other side might say what they pleased, but the feelings of the House of Commons and of the people always were, and necessarily must be, in unison. No ministers who had really lost the confidence of the people could long retain the support of the House of Commons; and this must always be the case as long as, the House was constituted as it now was. He per- fectly agreed with an hon. gentleman (Mr. Bankes) that the House, as now constituted, was most efficiently formed to support the interests, to watch over the rights and to protect the liberties of the people. It was true, that, in point of theory, many objections might be made to the construction of the House of Commons; yet, considered in its practical effects, in affording facilities to all classes and descriptions of people to be fairly represented, and to men of talents to obtain seats in that House, he was convinced that it could not be improved by any plan that the wit of man could devise.—He felt much pleased with the answer given by the hon. member for Devises on a former occasion, to an observation that he was returned by about twenty-four voters. He replied, that although the number of voters by whom he was returned was not large, yet, when he once took his seat in that House, he did not consider himself merely as the representative of that particular place, but of the whole kingdom, and that he was as much bound to watch over the interests, and protect the rights, of the inhabitants of every other part of the empire, as over those of his immediate constituents. If he wanted examples to prove the practical benefits that resulted from the construction of the House of Commons, he had only to cast his eyes opposite to him, and he should find them in abundance. An hon. and learned gentleman on the other side of the House, of whose brilliant talents no man could entertain a higher opinion than he did, afforded a most decisive proof of the advantages resulting; from the present system of representation. That learned gentleman had offered himself as a candidate for two or three populous places, but belonging, as he unfortunately did, to a most unpopular party, had offered himself in vain. In Westmoreland he was completely defeated; in Liverpool he stood no chance; und the House would now have to lament the loss of his talents, if he had not had the good fortune to be snugly seated for one of those boroughs which some of his friends around him described as the opprobrium of our representative system. That learned gentleman was, though so returned, as good and efficient a member of parliament, and as sound a whig, as if he represented Westminster. A right hon. gentleman near him, deservedly high in the estimation of the House and of the country for his abilities, had been driven out of the populous borough of Southwark, and if he had not found refuge in one of those much-abused boroughs, the leader of the Whigs would not now have a seat in the House of Commons; and yet he was as good a leader of the Whigs as if he sat for the most populous place in the empire. Another hon. and learned gentleman, of whose talents and constitutional knowledge he wished to speak in the highest terms, was seated for Knaresborough very snug! but if that honourable and learned gentleman were the orator of the human race, if he represented all Europe together, it could not make him a better member of parliament. But it was useless to multiply instances; however defective our system was in theory, it was most admirable calculated in the practice to bring into that House, the talent, the intelligence, and every other requisite that was essential to the character of a good member of parliament. He could not, therefore, agree with those who called so loudly for parliamentary reform: more especially as he found, that no two of them agreed upon the plan which they would substitute instead of the present system. It appeared to him much wiser, instead of adopting wild and visionary theories, and making sweeping alterations, to proceed gradually, and when we found a blot, to hit it, and to mend it.

With respect to the question immediately before the House, it would not be necessary for him, after all that had been said, to occupy much time. As to what took place before the Queen came to this country, it was only necessary to observe, that if the proposition made to her majesty at St. Omer's, deserved any of those hard epithets which had been so liberally bestowed upon it, the learned gentleman, her majesty's principal legal adviser, would not have been the bearer of it. He would not now enter into the question who first suggested that proposition; but when that learned gentleman left this country as the bearer of it, he knew that ministers were in possession of facts that would constitute a grave case against the Queen, and that if her majesty came to this country they could not avoid taking further steps. It was quite impossible, therefore, for that learned gentleman to agree with the hon. gentleman who spoke last, that the conduct of ministers on that occasion was not only unjust, but base. After her majesty had arrived in this country, when his noble friend moved for a committee, he distinctly stated, that lie had grave charges against the Queen. The House then knew that ministers were in possession of evidence which, in their opinion, was sufficient to support that charge; and it approved of the ministers pausing in their proceedings, and negotiating with her majesty. The House afterwards approved of the motion made by the hon. member for Bramber. It was evident, then, that ministers, so far from being desirous of bringing forward this investigation, took every means in their power to avoid it; and it was equally clear, that the House approved of their conduct in so doing. He did not expect that the gentlemen on the other side would approve of the conduct of ministers, but the House could not, he thought, withdraw the approbation of that conduct which it had so distinctly given.

As to the proceedings in the House of Lords, he would offer but a word on them, seeing that those proceedings were on the Journals of the House, and that those Journals were published at the close of the session, by which means they became accessible as public documents, it was idle to pretend that we knew nothing of them. It was his wish to abstain from entering into any discussion respecting those proceedings; he should be sorry to say one word that could inflict pain upon the illustrious person who had been the subject of them; but, with the consciousness that the whole was now before the public, he would declare, that he believed that there was not one man in the kingdom who, before the proceedings in the House of Lords, thought the ministers honest men, that did not, after those proceedings were over, think that what had passed in that House afforded an ample justification of ministers for the step they had taken. Upon the question of the Liturgy, it was equally unnecessary for him to dilate. It was quite impossible for ministers to give his majesty any other advice than that which they had given; it was not considered—it was not recommended as a punishment upon her majesty. The ministers conceived that this was a point completely within the prerogative of the Crown; and, under all the circumstances of the case, they did not feel it to be their duty to advise the king to confer upon her majesty that mark of special grace and favour. When the subject of the Liturgy was first discussed in that House, a right hon. gentleman opposite to him reprobated it in strong language as degrading to the Queen; but the learned gentleman (the Queen's attorney-general) denied that position. He did not consider it as being of any moment whether the Queen; was prayed for by name in the Liturgy or; not; in a word, he considered it as a "trifle light as air," compared with what he called her just rights. What happened afterwards, when a negotiation took place between the noble lord near him, a noble relation of his, and the two learned gentlemen on the other side (the Queen's legal advisers)? Upon that occasion the learned gentleman seemed in doubt whether the omission was legal or not; but; he considered it as admitting of an equivalent. Now, if it were an illegal act, it could not admit of an equivalent. In that case, it would have been the duty of the learned gentleman to have broken off; the treaty at once. But after all that, the learned gentleman's opinion underwent another change; for in the debate a few nights ago, he came round to the opinion of the learned member for Oxford, and pronounced the omission of her majesty's name from the Liturgy to be most decidedly an illegal act. And when afterwards the learned gentleman was charged with some inconsistency upon this subject, what was his answer? Why, he said, that "he considered it as sound philosophy, when a man received an injury from a person in authority, and could not get redress, to disguise his sense of that Injury, and undervalue its extent." If this was true, said the learned gentleman, between two individuals, how much more was it so when one of them was an advocate, the advocate of a woman, and that woman a queen? Such was the learned gentleman's language as an advocate and as a sound philosopher; and when ministers heard it, they were silly enough to think they had a great authority in their favour; but when the learned gentleman came to speak as a member of parliament, he completely undeceived them; for upon the motion of the noble lord, a few nights ago, the learned gentlemen declared, that he considered the omission of her majesty's name in the Liturgy as "decidedly illegal", and reprobated it in the strongest manner; and yet he voted for the resolution, which merely stated, that the omission was "inexpedient and ill-advised"; whereas, if it was of the nature he had described it in his speech, he ought to have: moved, as an amendment, that it was illegal. The learned gentleman had thus ingeniously contrived to display himself in both his characters in one night; for he had spoken as a member of parliament, and voted like an advocate, and a sound philosopher [a laugh].

It had been repeatedly said, on this and former nights, that the whole country was against ministers upon this question; yet it was worthy of remark, that after this most illegal act, as it was called, of omitting the Queen's name in the Liturgy, had been committed, the parliament was dissolved, and a general election took place. But then, when the people were left to their own judgment—when their minds were not misled, or their passions inflamed, not one word was said upon this subject—not one of the gentlemen opposite considered it as a topic which he Could urge from any hustings in any part of the kingdom with success.—Upon the assertion, that ministers had lost the confidence of the country, he wished to say a few words. The present administration was opposed by the whigs, a party possessed of great wealth, talent, and respectability, professing a warm attachment to the constitution, and honourably united together for the purpose of getting into office, in order that they might thereby serve the country more effectually, according to their own system and principles. They were opposed by another party, inimical to all the existing establishments in church and state—they were called the Radicals, a party numerous, active, assiduous, and persevering; and, he was willing to admit, that they were as different from the Whigs in character, and in their objects, as "light from darkness." These two parties, however, so essentially different in everything else, agreed in one point. The Whigs had found out, that they could do nothing that was good; and the Radicals had discovered, that they could do nothing that was bad, while the present ministers remained in office; and therefore, these two discordant parties heartily joined together to turn them out. This junction had given them the appearance of strength; but still that strength was only formed by the union of those who always opposed ministers. The opponents of ministers at all the public meetings were composed of Whigs and Radicals. Witness the meet- ings at Liverpool, at Bedford, in Hampshire, in London, &c.; but, that the public opinion was not so hostile to ministers as gentlemen asserted, appeared from the number of loyal addresses that were pouring in from every part of the country. It had been said by a noble lord^ that these addresses were got up, to bolster what was called, a discomfited administration. Did the noble lord then think so lightly of government, that, if they wished to get up some forty or fifty, one hundred, or one thousand, loyal addresses, they would find any difficulty in the thing? The truth was, that government did not in any degree interfere with these meetings, or with the way in which the addresses were got up. Neither he, nor any of his colleagues, would wish to remain in office one hour after they had lost the confidence of the people; but ministers were not to be convinced, by the assertions of the gentlemen on the other side, that they had lost that confidence; nor would they be induced by clamour or by taunts, to desert their duty to their sovereign and their country. [Loud cheers.]—It was common, at the beginning of every session, to hear that ministers were about to resign; lists of their successors were even handed about, and it was confidently affirmed, that they could not remain a week in office. This reminded him of what used to be the case in the Peninsula: the intercepted correspondence of Joseph Buonaparté was full of observations upon the blunders of the English general, and of prophecies, that the allied army was about to be destroyed; but it always happened, that this blundering general, as soon as he got sight of the enemy's army, annihilated it. So it was with respect to the rumours to which he alluded; if they were to be believed, the ministers could not exist a week; but, when the battle took place, the truth appeared—the Whigs were defeated, and the ministers confirmed in their places.

There remained only one point on which he wished to say a very few words. His majesty's ministers had been accused of a disposition to persecute the Queen; and the gentlemen, on the other side, had by no means been sparing in their censures upon this point. But, before the House, or the country, condemned his colleagues and himself, it would not be amiss to inquire, what sort of treatment—what degree of mercy, her majesty would have experienced from the Whigs, if they had been in power? To these inquiries, the gentlemen on the other side, had already furnished an answer. If they had been in possession of evidence, affecting the character of her majesty, to which they gave credit) they would have had no negotiation, no treaty; they would have commenced their proceedings immediately, and brought in their bill. Some gentlemen might, perhaps, think that such was the course which ought to have been pursued; but, surely, no man would contend, that it would have shown a greater; degree of consideration and of mercy to-wards her majesty; or, that endeavouring to prevent the proceedings against her, by a previous negotiation, evinced any very Strong desire of persecution. It was to be recollected also, that it had been stated, from very high Whig authority, in another place, that instead of the bill of. Pains and Penalties, her majesty ought to have been proceeded against for high treason, by which, of course, her life would have been put in danger. So much for the mercy of the Whigs; so much for the lenity of those gentlemen who accused his majesty's ministers of persecution. But this was not all. Some gentlemen had complained, that by proroguing parliament, the ministers had deprived her majesty for two months of all means of explanation or redress in parliament.—Now, he begged the House to consider, how the Whigs would have treated her; majesty upon this point. A noble lord (lord John Russell), in the month of August last, after the lords had made their report upon the evidence referred to them, after the bill against the Queen had been brought in and read a first time, proposed, in a letter addressed to the member for Bramber, to address his majesty to prorogue parliament, and put an end to all the proceedings. In what situation would that advice have placed her majesty, if it had been adopted? How would she have stood, if this Whig manifesto had been successful? Charges of a most grave nature would have been preferred against her majesty—a report of a committee of the House of Lords, recommending proceedings against her, would have been made and printed—a bill to degrade her would have been brought in, and read a first time and then, without giving the Queen any Opportunity of making any defence, without hearing her counsel, or examining her witnesses, the Whigs, iii their great mercy, would have prorogued parliament, and left her, not for two months, but for ever, without the power of justification! Such was the mercy the Whigs would have shown to the Queen; and such was the consistency which they had displayed in their censures upon ministers! He was rather surprised last night at the asperity with which an honourable and learned member(Sir J. Mackintosh), animadverted upon the reasons given by the hon. member for Corfe Castle, for preferring the present ministers to the gentlemen on the other side of the House in office. Those reasons, however, appeared to him to be perfectly fair and constitutional; they were founded upon the uniform language and conduct of the gentlemen themselves; and the preference was given to his colleagues upon an experience of their public conduct. He could not conceive any thing more constitutional than for a member of parliament to express himself so;—but, perhaps, it was not to be wondered at, that gentlemen should feel sore at a sentence of condemnation coming from a person who had so long been the ornament of that House, and who stood so deservedly high in its estimation.—Mr. Pole concluded, amidst loud cheering, by declaring his intention of giving a decided negative to the motion.

Sir Francis Burdett

said, he meant to address his observations to the general question now before the House, although he might find it necessary to advert occasionally to what he would not call the argument, but the sort of rhapsody which they had just heard from the right hon. gentleman. That, indeed, had little or no reference to the question before the House; and whether it were true or not, that the Whigs had, according to the right hon. gentleman, acted in this or that manner, upon this or that occasion, must; now be a matter almost indifferent even to the Whigs themselves. But the right hon. gentleman was singularly unfortunate in his allusions to former periods, and in rendering his inferences from them applicable to present circumstances. He had thought proper to go back to a time beyond the memory of them all—to the early stage of Mr. Fox's political career; and had quoted an opinion then pronounced by that eminent statesman. It was very possible that Mr. Fox, with little or no experience of the conduct of that House, should have, nearly half a century ago, expressed his belief that it did represent the feelings of the country— that it did sympathise with those feelings—and that there was a possibility of finding them closely united in sentiment together. But who, at this time of day, would contend that such was now the case, or relieve the right hon. gentleman from the singularity which characterized him, when he ventured to assert, that the House of Commons faithfully and accurately reflected the opinions and feelings of the people? The right hon. gentleman was peculiarly unfortunate in his reference to those very times. If he was sincere in his confidence of the authority, let him evince it by the same test as that to which Mr. Pitt appealed; let the administration, of which he is a member, dissolve the parliament. Mr. Pitt did so, though then a reformer, and though he had declared, that without a reform, it was impossible to effect any practical good within those walls. The right hon. gentleman had introduced a variety of desultory topics, admitting, at the same time, that the Whigs, whom he so often condemned possessed amongst them men of great talent, rank, property, and consideration; but lamenting that they should have suffered themselves to be joined by the radicals, or the great bulk and body of the people. [Cries of "No, no," from the Treasury bench.] The right hon. gentleman's expression was, "The radicals or the many," and he now described "the many" as following and looking up to persons of high character, fortune, and abilities. For his own part, he hailed the prospect, and trusted that the connexion would continue, as he believed it to be the only practicable means by which redress could be obtained for these grievous wrongs resulting from so many years of mat-administration. The mode of remark, the coarseness of terms in which the right hon. gentleman, had indulged, when he talked of the Whigs being scouted, was rather extraordinary. Had such language been reported of an American assembly, it would have been quoted as a proof of the want of refinement in a democratic government. Whatever might be the defects of that House, as arising from the state of its representation—defects which he never had, nor should disguise—he should always uphold it as an assembly where the courtesies of life were respected—as a practical assembly, consisting of the best-conducted audience the world had ever produced. It was rather ex- traordinary to hear the right hon. gentleman, a professed enemy to reform, pointing out the imperfections in the theory of our representative system; and, if he gave up the theory, he was not to be surprised that the people out of doors reminded them of what had been the practice. He should not, however, now wander into the question of reform. That would present itself in due time; but its importance was such, and it so naturally entwined itself with every other subject of great interest, that he could not severely condemn the right hon. gentleman for introducing it on this occasion. As to what had been said of the "radicals," or "the many," of whom he was one—if it were meant that this "many," or the people at large, were desirous of mischief, he would answer, that no man had a right so to calumniate the people of England, and particularly no minister, at a time when the right hon. gentleman; and his colleagues were doing all that lay in their power to degrade the royal family in the eyes of the people, and to destroy that respect and reverence with which the royal family was wont to be regarded: still less were they entitled to calumniate the people at a moment when the latter were stepping forward to support the dignity of the Crown against its immediate advisers. Did they conceive it possible to degrade so important a member of that family as the Queen-consort, without doing material injury to the interests of every other, so far as those interests were connected with the public welfare?—This observation brought him a little to the question now before the House; and he approached it with all the circumspection due to the exalted rank of the parties concerned as well as due from a sense of justice to ministers themselves. Adverting, however; to the situation of the Queen, unjustifiably treated as she had been, and adverting also to the feelings of the people, he should deem it necessary, in the first place, to discard from his mind all technical objections—all legal subtilty—and to disperse, if he could, that worse than Cimmerian darkness which had been cast over the subject. In that light he could not but recognise the truth of the only part of the speech of the hon. member for Corfe-castle, in which all must agree; namely, that the beginning, progress, and termination of these proceedings were equally lamentable; and in his (Sir F.'s) mind, esta- blished the strongest grounds for the condemnation of the conduct of ministers. Was it possible, in the whole progress of human events, to recognise any thing more preposterous and contrary to common sense, than the course they pursued? There were three modes in which he should consider their conduct. Had it been their wish that the Queen should remain abroad, why did they comport themselves towards her in such manner, as to make it impossible that she could continue abroad, as, indeed, to make it necessary for her quiet that she should return to this country? If it was wrong that she should return, why did ministers leave nothing undone which made it unavoidable? But when she had returned, and when the preservation of the public tranquillity was their duty, why were injury and insult repeated, in order to increase all those other difficulties which were of their own creation? Had those insults never been inflicted—had the Queen been received in a manner correspondent with her station and dignity—she must soon have ceased to be considered as an object of political importance. Had she been allowed a court, it would have been visited by persons wholly unconnected with any of the parties of the country. Castra, ubi nulla potentia. Had she been thus received by the government, she would probably, in a short time, have been happy to go again abroad. So much, then, for the wisdom of the treatment which she had experienced when her other unprovoked wrongs had caused her to revisit this country. He might also observe, in the third instance, that as her alleged offence did not amount to high treason, and as the sole object was, to show that she was unfit for her high station, this purpose might have been fully answered by a proceeding in the ecclesiastical courts. A single fact would then have been sufficient, and all that exposition of evidence which, if it had not produced immorality, had excited universal disgust, might have been avoided. The charges were of that nature that they ought never to have been produced, unless there was a certainty of supporting them by the most unexceptionable testimony. He could not conceive how any administration could be guilty of a greater offence to the Crown or to the public, than to produce such charges against the first subject in the realm on evidence insufficient to determine the most trifling cause—evidence on which, he would not consent to the hanging of a dog. A right hon. gentleman (Mr. Feel) had contended, that a bill of Pains and Penalties was necessary, that this form of proceeding became expedient in consequence of the high ground on which the House had placed her majesty by their address. Now it appeared to him that a bill of Pains and Penalties was by no means likely to produce its intended effect, whilst it was extremely well calculated to lead to those consequences which it must have been most desirable to avert. The right hon. gentleman indeed had spoken as if he did not think the Queen innocent; but what, then, became of his argument in justification of the proceedings, that they were absolutely necessary in order to prevent adultery and high treason from being seated on the throne? As far as this was the object, the measure had failed, even according to the right hon. gentleman; and what he had contended was necessary, turned out to be ineffectual. On the present question he thought he had some reason to expect the vote of the attoruey-general. The proceedings against the Queen began by the exclusion of her name from the Liturgy, and were followed up by permitting the evidence against her to be published. Not only was this evidence published, but the speech which the attorney-general permitted himself to make in opening the charges, had been given to the world, and sent forth apparently with the view of sinking deep into the public mind. That speech had, he must confess, filled him with astonishment. On no occasion, and least of all on this, could he have expected that a public officer would act the disgraceful part of collecting the rhetoric of the lowest brothels, and afterwards pour it forth with unbounded licence in the ears of a disgusted audience. Unrestrained by any consideration of the Queen's exalted rank, or by any recollection of her misfortunes, he had endeavoured, by a statement of seeming facts and specious and highly-coloured descriptions, to excite prejudice and odium against her, and then, proh pudor! called no evidence to support the most infamous parts of his accusation [Loud cheering]. The hon. and learned gentleman spoke as if the Spirit of Evil dwelt in. his bosom, and possessed his tongue; for who but the Author of all malice—who, with the feel- ings of a gentleman or a man in his heart [Cries of "Order."]—

The Speaker

suggested to the hon. baronet that his warmth was obviously carrying him beyond the limits of parliamentary order.

Sir F. Burdett

said, he should never hesitate to bow to the authority of the Chair on a point of order, and should feel grateful to any member who interrupted him when he was transgressing the bounds of parliamentary debate. All that he meant was, that if charges of a heinous nature were preferred by a public officer against an exalted person, and that person a lady—a lady, too, so unfortunate, that her offences, if she had committed any, ought to find compassion, if not excuse—where the case was such that no one appeared as a complaining party, and where the sole ground of the prosecution was a real or pretended state necessity—that under such circumstances, it did not become a public officer to betray an eagerness to convict, but rather under the dictation of gentlemanlike feelings to show a spirit of indulgence, and to extenuate instead of exaggerating a supposed offence. There was no necessity for going into a long nauseous detail. Had one single material fact been proved, the rest might have been spared, and ought to have been spared, in a prosecution avowedly instituted pro bono publico. But how was this impropriety aggravated, when, to all the details of statement, were added the details of testimony. All this diversified calumny was thrown into circulation; and never, perhaps, had there been so many steps taken to prepossess the public mind and induce it to prejudge a question. When, however, he said that the attorney-general ought to vote for the present motion, he did so upon this principle—that he had not long since objected in the court of King's-bench to the reception of affidavits in extenuation of language which he maintained had been too strong for the occasion. To him it did not appear how the language could be held to be too strong, without inquiring into the circumstances which called it forth, and to which it was applied. It was held, however, by the attorney-general, and so ruled by the court, that as other parties might be affected by the affidavits, they ought not to be received, although necessary to his own justification. This he might for a moment be allowed to say was falla- cious, because large bodies of men could not be affected so as to incur any danger of being brought to trial by such means. The attorney-general must agree with him at least, that it was extremely censurable in his majesty's ministers to have pursued a conduct, which in his (Sir F. Burdett's) case, he opposed as contrary to all law and justice. The right hon. the member for Oxford had spoken much of the feelings entertained by the country with respect to the conduct of ministers. It was contended on his (Sir F. B. 's) side of the House, and he thought justly, that that feeling was decidedly against ministers; the right hon. member, however, was of opinion, that public opinion was entirely in favour of himself and his colleagues. This difficulty reminded him of a celebrated play of Molière, in which the two Amphitrions were so like each other, as not to be distinguished apart; The loyalists, however, decided as the parties in the play did—"Le vèritable Amphitrion est celui chez qui Ton dine." But the view which he took of public opinion differed widely from that of the right hon. member, for he thought that the great mean of conducting peaceably the government of the country was, to receive and to respect the voice of the people.—With respect to the question of the Liturgy, he thought that the erasure of her majesty's name could scarcely be justified in law; but even taking the right to make such erasure to be, past all dispute, a prerogative of the Crown, still the great question for the decision of the House was, whether that prerogative had been wisely and prudently exercised; and sure the hon. member was, that there was not a man out of the House, and scarcely a man in it—scarcely the noble lord oppositehimself—who could say upon his honour, "Were the act to do again, I would again take the course that has been taken." It was said that public meetings were a farce—that they did not express the feelings of the country; but, on the contrary, that the real feelings and opinions of the country were to be found in the loyal addresses which had been got up in holes and comers. If that House did not express the feelings and opinions of the country, where were those opinions to be fund but in the meetings of the people? And he would venture to say, that never had public opinion been so fully, so unanimously expressed, as at the meetings which had been held upon the late proceedings of ministers. But to counteract that opinion, loyal addresses came forward, as if they were the only loyal persons in the country, or, as if disaffection to his majesty's person or to the constitution existed in the country. Never since the Revolution had there been such a strong, such an unanimous expression of feeling against the conduct of any ministry as against the present. But in expressing that feeling, the people drew a wide and marked distinction between the king and his ministers. To their sovereign they expressed every feeling of respect and affection; but at the same time they showed their determination not to support a ministry who were bringing ruin and destruction on the country. There was another view of the case, which, to him, seemed important. Supposing it to be true, as asserted by some gentlemen, that j the Queen was not innocent: supposing that to be true; and a notion, more likely to raise the indignant feeling of the country, could scarcely be set on foot—even supposing the Queen to be guilty, guilty; or innocent, ministers were equally culpable. But a woman ought to be considered innocent against whom no witnesses had been produced, except such people as Majoochi, Demont, and a host of chambermaids and ostlers, the scum of Italy, and who stood accused upon testimony, not merely unworthy of credit, but absolutely inadmissible—for the witnesses, according to the holding of government itself, could not feel themselves bound by the oaths they had taken. The witnesses were of the Catholic religion; and, upon I the ground that the oaths of such persons could not be held binding, ministers ex-eluded four millions of subjects, English and Irish, from the rights of the constitution. They excluded lord Shrewsbury, and loon Fingal, and many other persons of rank, upon the ground that their oaths could not be relied upon; and yet, they were ready to receive the evidence of the creatures he had alluded to, the evidence upon which the Queen had been arraigned!—evidence, too, so extremely ill-calculated to answer the purpose desired; because, in order to have effected the end proposed, evidence not only good and true ought to have been produced, but evidence to the validity of which the people of England were likely to assent; and even if the wretched people employed had by accident sworn to a single truth! no man in the country would have given them credit. Surely, upon such evidence, the Queen was entitled to be acquitted. But even supposing her to be guilty, it was bad judgment in ministers to throw her guilt before the people of the country. 'This was sufficient to show, that they were bad statesmen—men who regarded nothing but their places, and did not see an inch beyond their noses. The right hon. member for Oxford found it impossible to believe, that ministers had sacrificed their own opinions upon the subject in question; if they had done so, they would have forfeited all claim to the confidence of that right hon. member, who, even at the hazard of Catholic emancipation and parliamentary reform—to him, plague, pestilence, and famine—would have quitted them ! Now, unless report did great injustice to ministers, they had actually gone out of office upon the question; and if they had stayed out of office, it would have been a great benefit to the country. Ministers, however, had not examined all the evidence with which, in the case of the Queen, they might have provided themselves. They might, had it so pleased them, have examined a right hon. gentleman (Mr. Canning), who, no doubt, from his polished manners and classical mind, was likely to form an accurate judgment upon such points, and who had declared her majesty to be the life, the grace, and the ornament of society. That right hon. gentleman had said, like Pilate, that he washed his hands, and that he would have nothing to do with that just person's persecution. When the affair should be terminated, that right hon. gentleman might probably again appear in the House; and if he had been firm enough to have remained at his post, and to have exerted his influence, then in his (sir F. B.'s) opinion, there would have been a stop to the whole proceedings The excuse for this proceeding, however, was state necessity; a word which might cover a variety of extraordinary meanings. Of that state necessity, the right hon. member for Oxford had said much, without proving that any such necessity had ever existed. But, even if a state necessity' were shown, he should still say, that ministers were culpable. After that unfortunate separation from her husband, which at once severed the Queen from her station and from her duty, and which, at the same time, put an end to all interest on the part of the public in her conduct: after that unfortunate separation, minis- ters were perhaps justified—taking the Queen to be a prudent woman, and holding that England could not be affected by her conduct—in permitting her majesty to go abroad: but if ministers saw that she was a most imprudent woman, and that she was likely, by her conduct, to prejudice the interests of the state, then they had acted most improperly in suffering her to leave the country. At all points indeed, ministers, if they proved guilt against the Queen, proved guilt against themselves. What excuse could they make for having permitted her majesty, during a period of, as they said, six years, to persevere in a line of conduct injurious to the welfare of England; and that without the slightest warning or remonstrance? Common humanity, independent of the interests of the country, called for some remonstrances against such a career of irregularity.—And here he could not help adverting to a circumstance sufficient of itself to have blown the case against her majesty out of court. The prosecutors accused the Queen of ill-conduct during a term of six years; and, the moment they came to the case, they dropped the most important three years over which the charge extended: they abandoned all accusation as to the latter three years of the term: during that period there was nothing attempted to be proved against her majesty. And out of this abandonment arose another curious inconsistency: all the while that, according to the case of ministers, the Queen was living in a state of riot and debauchery, her name stood in the Liturgy of the country: but at a time when no fault could be alleged against her, and when, even if she had been a sinner, she was a reformed and repentant sinner, then her name was struck out! And why was it that the erasure took place exactly at that moment? Because it was then that, by the death of the late king, the princess was deprived of her natural protector. Honourable gentlemen were not quite agreed, indeed, as to their course of defence upon this point of the Liturgy. One member declared, that the omission of the Queen's name in the Liturgy was not intended as an insult to her majesty; while the noble lord opposite boldly avowed that, under the circumstances of her majesty's conduct, it would have been a mockery to have put her name into the Liturgy. He must deny altogether that the question of the Liturgy was an after- thought on the part of the Queen. On the contrary, her majesty, the moment she heard of the omission, wrote in the strongest terms to complain of that measure. The absence, as he had before observed, of a right hon. gentleman (Mr. Canning) sufficiently evinced his opinion of the proceeding in question. That right hon. gentleman would, however, no doubt, be again seen in his place, the foremost in maintaining the purity of the constitution, and defending that palladium of English liberty, Corfe-castle. There were some individuals whose opinions were not to be altered; and there were some individuals who still declared their approval of the measures which had been taken with respect to her majesty: he, however, would insist that, through the whole of the proceedings, ministers had shown a great regard for their own places, and a great want of regard for the public welfare;—that they had failed in the discharge of their duty as privy councillors, and exercised at least an unsound discretion in the use which they had recommended of the royal prerogative.

The Attorney General

said, it was not his intention to have troubled the House during the present debate, but he hoped the House would feel, after the personal observations of the hon. baronet, that no apology was due from him. The hon. baronet had commenced his speech with two complaints. In the first place, the hon. baronet charged his right hon. friend, near him, with a violation of the decorum of the language of debate; but he would appeal to the House whether the hon. baronet had not more violently violated that decorum in the observations which he had made. He appealed to the House whether the observations of the hon. baronet, as applied to himself, kept within the line prescribed by the hon. baronet to other members. The hon. baronet had next said, that the right hon. gentleman had done any thing rather than apply his observations to the topics of this debate; but he would appeal to the House, whether the hon. baronet had done any thing but irregularly and irrelevantly apply his observations to other topics. In the first place, the hon. baronet had alluded to a speech made by him (the attorney-general,) in another place, and in the next he had alluded to an argument used two days ago in the King's Bench, in a cause to which the hon. baronet was n party. Such was the con- duct of the hon. baronet who charged other members with introducing irrelevant topics. What had the House to do with the argument urged two days ago, and which had met with the approbation of the hon. baronet's counsel? This approbation justified him in making use of that argument, and yet the hon. baronet thought fit to come down to that House, and, discontented with the advice of his counsel, to make a speech in reply to that argument. The hon. baronet had said, that after the observations made by the attorney-general in the King's-Bench, the mover of the resolution might reckon on his vote that-night, because he did not think he could come down to that House, and gave a vote at variance with is conduct in the King's-Bench. He trusted the House would not suffer that statement to rest upon the ipse dixit of the hon. baronet, but would allow him to show the dissimilitude. What did he (the attorney general) object to? The hon. baronet wished to introduce affidavits respecting acts done by persons not before the court. This was irrelevant matter, and he urged the inconvenience attendant upon the introduction of such doctrine; but his stronger objection was, that the hon. baronet had professed in his letter to proceed upon what had been stated in the public papers. If he took either objection, see how the case would be in the King's Bench. The hon. baronet wrote a letter which was declared to be a libel by the verdict of a jury. The hon. baronet had in that letter professed to decide upon the statements of the newspapers—but what did he afterwards do? The hon. baronet produced affidavits relating to facts, whether true or false it was not now his business to inquire. The affidavits referred to the transactions at Manchester; and he (the attorney-general) objected to try absent persons upon affidavits on charges of murder, and maiming. The hon. baronet's counsel had agreed that such affidavits were not receivable; and yet the hon. baronet now charged him with acting in that instance inconsistently with his conduct towards the Queen. He could assure the hon. baronet and the House, that it had been his lot in that instance to discharge one of the most painful duties which could be imposed upon an advocate. Certain papers had been laid before him, by order of the House of Lords, and he only stated what he thought necessary to put the House in possession of facts which he, from the papers laid before him, thought could be substantiated by proofs. After the complaints which had been made of a want of specification of charges, times, and places, he felt it his bounden duty, however painful it might be, to state the facts plainly as they had been narrated to him, without any of that rhetoric with which he had been charged. Was it his fault if disgusting facts were detailed? Was it his fault if the House and the country were disgusted by the recital? No; it was the fault of the evidence produced to support those statements. The hon. baronet had done him a wrong in saying that he wished to excite an undue impression. The hon. baronet had said that many facts not substantiated by proof had been stated. In a long series of facts, many might fail of proof; but if facts which had been alluded to in the opening speech had-failed of proof, other facts of the strongest nature had. appeared in evidence which had not been stated in the opening speech. The hon. baronet might as well charge him with proving facts which he did not open, as with opening facts which he did not prove. Comparing the evidence with the facts detailed, he thought the main, and substantial facts had been proved. He was not now going to enter into an inquiry whether the facts proved ought to be credited. He was not arguing any such, proposition; but he was stating, that the evidence did go to substantiate the facts stated in the opening.—Another objection made by the hon. baronet was, that he had charged the Queen with the commission of facts down to the moment when he was addressing their lordships; but he begged the House to recollect, that he had stated the evidence which he intended to offer in support of the charges, and he would say, if that evidence were believed, that the charges were proved. Did the hon. baronet think that he had examined the witnesses to know what they could depose to? He could assure the hon. baronet he had never, from the commencement of the proceedings to their close, communicated with a single witness, and was bound to take their depositions from those who had examined them. It was well known that there was nothing which a counsel avoided more, more especially in criminal cases, than previous communication with the witnesses which he was to examine in open court. He had so acted in this case. He had read the evidence—he believed it was faithfully taken from the mouths of the witnesses—and he thought that it proved his case. Now, how did that evidence apply to the point in question? If it was proved that the Queen was guilty for the three first years, was there a man who would be of opinion that the criminal intercourse between her and the person with whom she was alleged to have committed the adultery had ceased for the three last; especially when it was considered, that he held the same place in her family—that he appeared to enjoy the same favour and influence—that he resided with her, his wife being still absent—and that he did not leave her until she arrived at St. Omer's? He trusted that he had now said enough to justify his opening speech in the House of Lords; and he asked, what had his conduct there to do with what had taken place in the court of King's Bench two days ago? If he had taken the course of which he was accused by the hon. baronet—if he had stated facts which he could not substanstiate in evidence, he should have acted foolishly as well as culpably, seeing that his exaggerations could not have escaped detection from the able lawyers opposed to him, and that defeat must have followed detection. He had a most painful duty to perform, and he had performed it conscientiously. The hon. baronet had said that after the late queen's death her majesty's name was inserted in the Liturgy as princess of Wales. Now this statement was not correct. The name of the princess of Wales had been in the Liturgy ever since her marriage, and his majesty's ministers had not advised its exclusion; but it was one thing to allow it to remain, and another thing, when it must necessarily be changed, to introduce it in a new form, in the face of such heavy charges existing against her majesty at the time the change must have taken place.

Mr. Tierney

said, he felt that he could not altogether be silent, as repeated allusions had been made to his opinions and declarations. The motion of his noble friend was stated, by the supporters of ministers, to be brought forward for the purpose of turning them out. Now, he could assure the House, that he did not support the proposed censure on ministers with that object, though he should be glad if it lead to that result. The proceedings on which the House was to decide that night were most important, as they affected the character of parliament. It was now about eight months since the House had received a message from the king, accompanied with certain documents in a green bag affecting the character of her majesty. During this long period the House had never before had an opportunity of expressing its opinion on the whole of the proceedings against the Queen, and on the part which ministers had acted in instituting and directing them. If the House was contented to go down to posterity as satisfied with all that had been done elsewhere, then he would consider it a waste of words to make a single observation; but if, dissatisfied with the proceedings of ministers, it was disposed to enter that opinion on its Journals, he was anxious to state the grounds on which he would support the motion of his noble friend. He was the more desirous of this, as he had been accused of having expressed sentiments on the question different from those of the hon. friends with whom he generally acted. That suspicion was founded on what he had said in May last, when he had declared, that he thought the Queen was insulted, or the king betrayed; and that he would not vote a shilling for the support of her majesty until her character was cleared up. He begged leave to explain the circumstances in which this latter declaration was made. Her majesty's name had then been expunged from the Liturgy, and that exclusion in itself constituted a charge that demanded inquiry. Besides this, reports had been spread abroad, and industriously imported into this country, the origin of which it was necessary to inquire into. He said so then, and he was of the same opinion still. He then believed that there existed irresistible evidence of her majesty's guilt, because he could not conceive it possible that, without such irresistible evidence, the ministers of the Crown could have proceeded to strike her majesty's name out of the Liturgy. With this impression, he believed that charges were to be openly brought forward; and he thought it due to the House, due to the interests of the country, and to the honour of the king, that the inquiry should take place before the grant of money was made.

Having said thus much in explanation of his own expressions, he would proceed to state his opinion on the motion of his noble friend; and in doing so, he would be guided by what was laid down by the right hon. member for Oxford, who stated, that the tendency of the motion was not so much the question, as 'whether it contained the truth. Now he would freely own, that he thought the censure contained in the proposed resolution clearly warranted, and that the conduct of ministers had been characterised by a marked disregard to the public tranquillity, to the honour of parliament, and the dignity and stability of the throne. A narrative of these proceedings was necessary in order to understand their nature. In 1817, on the I death of the princess Charlotte, he understood that certain papers connected with the Queen's conduct were communicated to ministers by the king, then prince Regent; and from that moment he esteemed as their acts whatever was done. What those papers contained he was not fully aware of; but they were said to refer, partly to family matters, and partly to certain depositions regarding her majesty's conduct: they were referred to the attorney-general who made his report on them accordingly; and the opinion of the attorney-general was followed by ministers, Lord Liverpool and the Lord-Chancellor adopting his view of the case. Now, it was the beast of ministers that they had attempted, on all occasions, to stop proceedings, and to prevent the exposure which had taken place. He should be glad to know whether at any period measures could have been adopted to gratify that anxiety with more probability of success, than between the period of referring the papers be had mentioned and the demise of his late majesty? At that time the charges against her majesty had obtained no notoriety; every thing favoured an amicable arrangement; and he sincerely believed, that if any proposition of that nature had then been made, all that the country had since endured would have been avoided. That, however, was not attempted at least not that he and the world knew of. In 1818, the Milan commission was appointed, and continued for about eight months to collect evidence on the part of the Crown against her majesty. He should be glad to know if there could possibly be divined a mode of proceeding better calculated to make any subsequent arrangement difficult, if not impossible, than that step? Could any thing be better calculated to disparage her majesty, and to give force to the rumours with which the continent was inundated, than the fact that the secretary of state for foreign affairs, in concurrence with the British ministers at foreign courts, entertained such suspicions with respect to her majesty's conduct, that they deemed it necessary to submit it to a full investigation? The commission was composed of two lawyers, and a gentleman connected with lord Stewart's mission. He should like to know whether their instructions limited them to inquire into the depositions or reports already received by his majesty's ministers, or whether they were further empowered to hunt for fresh evidence. If the latter, he charged it as a crime on ministers; for which he was entitled to call them to account. That brought the affair to the year 1819. The. hon. baronet had very properly asked, if, during that time, any notice had been given to her majesty of what was going on against her? As no answer had been given to the hon. baronet, he must conclude, that there had not. If so, he must be permitted to say, that a more unwise and unjustifiable proceeding, than the appointment and the continuance of the Milan commission under such circumstances, was never couceived. However, with this evidence in their possession, so collected, what did ministers do? If they believed that evidence, they, were bound, injustice to their royal master, in justice to their royal mistress, in justice to their country, to take some step. Her majesty had been held up for a great length of time as an object of public suspicion to Europe, and she was entitled to hare her conduct investigated. Nevertheless, they did not press any measure; nor did he believe that they would have pressed any, but for the death of his late majesty. They then immediately forced the subject on. They then acted on the materials which they had collected. They at once omitted her majesty's name in the Liturgy, and thereby held her up to all England as a person not entitled to the prayers of the people, and to all Europe as not entitled to their respect. Instead, however, of putting her majesty's conduct in a course of investigation, they attempted a sort of negotiation with her majesty, the most extraordinary he had ever known. In fuel, the proposition made to her majesty at that time, coupled with the omission of her name in the Liturgy, was such, that it struck him at the time it was impossible her majesty could close with it, without a total sacrifice of her honour and character; for it was stipulated, that in consideration of receiving 50,000l. a-year, she should remain abroad, should abstain from taking the name of Queen, and should forbear exercising any of her rights as Queen Consort, except in courts of justice by the appointment of an attorney and solicitor-general. He would ask any impartial man whether, if her majesty had accepted that proposition, it would not have been in other words to say—"I am aware of the charges which you have the means of preferring against me; I shrink from them, and I think 50,000l. a-year will be easily and well earned by immediately pleading guilty?"

He now came to the message sent to parliament by the king on her majesty's arrival in this country. It had been insinuated that there was an intervening negotiation, but of that he knew nothing. On that message, and what was called the green bag, having been laid on the table of the House, the hon. member for Bramber made a proposition, the motive for which did him great credit, in order to see if some course might not be adopted for effecting an amicable arrangement of the business. Not conceiving, that to stop the proceeding, after what had taken place, would be fair towards her majesty, he voted against that proposition. Its adoption, however, by the House was followed by another attempt at reconciliation. Two persons were appointed by the Crown, and two persons by her majesty, to negociate on the subject. Again did the Queen, with perfect propriety, refuse to accede to any terms but such as would completely clear her character, and restore her to all the rights and privileges of her high station. In consequence, the bill of Pains and Penalties was introduced into the House of Lords, the House of Commons adjourning from time to time until the prorogation of parliament. The right hon. member for Oxford said, he approved of the conduct of ministers, although he admitted that, in his opinion, they ought not to have omitted her majesty's name in the Liturgy—that they ought to: have sent a royal yacht to transport her to this country—and that when she arrived, they ought to have given her a palace to reside in;—three very important admissions certainly! No man, indeed, could deny, that the way in which her majesty was treated in the instances alluded to by the right hon. member, exhibited an indefensible want of respect and prudence. However, the bill of Pains and Penalties was introduced into the other House of parliament; and to that mode of proceeding the right hon. member for Oxford said he had no objection. He (Mr. T.), on the contrary, perfectly agreed with the hon. baronet, that there were other modes of proceeding, which would have been more satisfactory, as they would have prevented much of the mischief that followed. His objection to proceeding by a bill of Pains and Penalties, was, that it was quite impossible, but that it must lead to painful disclosures and discussions. His eyes were completely opened the moment he saw that, in the preamble of the bill, no direct charge was made of adultery, but that ministers went out of their way to charge her majesty with "adulterous intercourse, and a long course of licentious conduct." He saw at once that they had no distinct charge to prefer—that they were at sea, and that all that they had determined upon was, that, as the Queen would not submit to their pleasure, she should, if possible, be degraded [Hear, hear!]. He wanted no other proof of this than what had just fallen from the attorney-general. For that gentleman's legal talents, as well as for his general character, he entertained great respect; and he really compassionated the situation in which the learned gentleman had been placed. It now appeared, from the learned gentleman's own statement, that he had nothing to do with the transaction, but to hold a brief which had been given him against the Queen of England, containing charges, which, it afterwards turned out could not be substantiated by evidence. The learned gentleman in the fair discharge of his duty, stated facts, in his opening to the court, which he subsequently found the evidendence would not confirm. All that the learned gentleman had to do was his duty; and in the discharge of that duty he certainly had to fight his way through a mass of filth and dirt, greater, no doubt, than, in his extensive practice, he had ever before encountered? Was it too much to call for the censure of par- liament on the conduct of ministers, who, it thus appeared, without any distinct point of accusation on which they could confidently rely, without having previously sifted the evidence, but on the mere depositions of cast-off waiting maids, and servants, and vagabonds of other descriptions, ventured thus to commence an attack on the character of her majesty? An offence so serious, demanded even more than censure. Was it to be tolerated, that the loose testimony of such persons as he had described, should have been received without a single question having been put to any respectable character on the spot as to the probable truth of their declarations? However, the trial proceeded. He had attended it most diligently throughout the whole of the case for the prosecution, when circumstances, which it was unnecessary to explain, had then induced him to retire into the country, having done what he conceived to be his duty, and imagining that the case would come to the House of Commons; and he declared, that a more disgusting scene, day after day, he had never witnessed. Even unaccustomed as he was to legal proceedings, he could plainly perceive the painful situation in which the learned gentlemen opposite were placed on that occasion. Ignorant sis he was on such subjects, it was evident to him that they distrusted their own witnesses; that they felt the difficulties of the case; that they were sensible of having no sound ground to stand on; but that they were compelled, in the discharge of their duty, to endeavour to fish out something which might enable them to substantiate some charge or other against her majesty. This was no offence on their part; hut it was a strong charge against ministers, that they had given the learned gentleman such a brief.

This arose from the proceeding by a bill of Pains and Penalties. He by no means denied that a possible case might occur, in which a bill of Pains and Penalties would be a justifiable proceeding. There were two conditions, however, that appeared to him to be indispensable:—that something should have been done which, if left unpunished, would injure the state; and that the ordinary laws would not reach the offence. Short of those conditions, there was nothing which, in his opinion, could justify a bill of Pains and Penalties. It was the resource, to which recourse ought to be had only when every other means of obtaining national justice were unavailing. In her majesty's case, a bill of Pains and Penalties operated with the most dreadful injustice. What had the House been hearing during the last week? Had not every gentleman who had risen on the other side, contended, that it was not to be denied, that there was a heavy body of evidence against her majesty—that it was not to be denied, that there was a moral conviction of her guilt? The right hon. president of the board of Control had gone further, and had maintained that the second reading of the bill of Pains and Penalties substantiated the charges in the preamble, and that the question of passing the bill was merely one of expediency. He appealed to the good feeling of his right hon. friend, of he could lay his hand on his heart, and say that the recognition of such a principle was not calculated to lead to the grossest injustice? The comparison which his right hon. friend had instituted between a bill of Pains and Penalties and a bill of divorce in that respect was groundless. Good God! was it possible to compare a case in which one individual applied against another, with a case in which the character and conduct of the Queen Consort of these realms were implicated? It had been denied that the proceedings in the House of Lords partook of a vindictive character. He did not mean to say that they had intentionally been so; but if revenge had been the object, what better course could have been taken to accomplish, it than, at the very moment when malice appeared to be gratified by the judges having declared her majesty to be in their opinion guilty, for the prosecutor to rise up and say—"You, the accused party, have been declared guilty; but, in order that you may have no chance of changing the verdict at any future period, we now abandon all further proceedings against you?" To him it appeared that revenge itself could not have devised a more effectual plan for accomplishing all its malignity.

The right hon. member then proceeded to observe, that he much doubted whether the ministers had a right to abandon the prosecution after they had once instituted it. He did not mean to dispute the right of the House of Lords to do so, if it thought proper; but it appeared to him a crime of no small magnitude, for ministers to subject her majesty to such a trial as would attach to her all the evil consequences of guilt, and none of the advantages of innocence. If he were asked what would appear the most degrading point in the late proceedings against her majesty, to those who should read of them in history, he would answer that it was—that ministers had not passed the bill. They had said to the House of Commons, who were expecting that it would come down to them, "You, gentlemen, have nothing to do with this bill; a moral conviction of her majesty's guilt has been created in another place; and to prevent your meddling with it, we are determined that it shall not pass." He was surprised that the highest legal authority in the kingdom, the Lord Chancellor, who was the great guardian of its laws, and the grand depository of its justice, should have concurred, without any apparent reluctance, in that determination. Had he, however, put any protest against it upon record? No: the bill was abandoned without any dissent being expressed by him, or indeed by any members of the other House, with the exception of about ten peers, who, by entering their protest against its abandonment, did themselves as much honour as those who had neglected to do so had done themselves disgrace.

He trusted that he had said enough to show, that the proceeding by bill was most unjust. He should now proceed to show that it had entirely failed in the object which it was intended to accomplish. The advocates for it asked of their opponents, whether it was fitting that a Queen with treason and adultery imputed to her, should be allowed to sit on the throne of England? He had said on a former occasion, and he repealed the assertion now, that it was not fitting [Hear! from the Ministerial benches]. What, however, had been the result of the late proceeding? Why, that her majesty had not merely had adultery imputed, but if the ministers of the Crown were to be believed, actually proved against her; so that they had now placed upon the throne, not merely imputed guilt, but guilt of which they had in their own minds a moral conviction [Hear, hear!]. Could, then, the gentlemen opposite say, that the object of their bill had been accomplished [Hear, hear!] when the House was placed in such a situation that it was obliged to cheer as often as any imputation of guilt was thrown out against her majesty, but was obliged afterwards to proceed to vote 50,000l. of the public money for her support and maintenance? Her majesty, however, with a spirit worthy of her exalted rank and station, said, that she would not touch a farthing of what had been voted her, until the House cleared her character from all unfounded aspersions; so that, if it had not been for her conduct, which, on this point, deserved the highest praise, the people of England would have been reduced by ministers to the necessity of paying the same honours to a Queen whom they could not respect, as they would bestow on one who was the object of their esteem and admiration.

He had now endeavoured to bring the House back to the true question before it. He had, in the first instance, believed her majesty to be guilty of some most serious offence, from the manner in which ministers had treated her; for he could not have supposed for a moment that they would have dared so to insult and degrade her, without having the most satisfactory evidence of her guilt and misconduct. It now turned out, from the statement of the attorney-general himself, that they had submitted the evidence to him in a mass, without any directions as to its worth or respectability, and without the slightest examination into its probability, or truth; and yet, after that statement, the House was called upon to put a negative on a motion condemning the ministers for instituting proceedings charged with being derogatory from the dignity of the Crown and injurious to the best interests of the country. That they were derogatory from the dignity of the Crown, no man, he thought, could doubt; and upon that subject he should therefore refrain from expatiating, as it had been so well treated by honourable members who had preceded him in the debate. This, however, he would say, that in spite of the discordant opinions entertained by radicals, Whigs, and Tories—on most other political subjects, they were all unanimous in deploring the serious injury which the royal family had received from the late unwise, intemperate, and ill-judged proceedings.

The right hon. gentleman then proceeded to comment on the arguments used on the former evening by Mr. Banks, who, disapproving of the beginning, middle, and end of the late proceedings, yet would not accede to the resolution of the noble marquis, because the effect of it would be to disable the present ministers from remaining useful servants of the Crown. Less useful servants of the Crown! He did not exactly know what the hon. member for Corfe-castle meant by the term "useful"; but he doubted much whether, if the present resolution were to meet the approbation of a majority of the House, the ministers would withdraw their useful services from the Crown, or whether, if they did not, they would lose the useful support of that honourable member. The turning out the present I ministers was not so much the object of I the hon. member's alarm, as the turning of others into their places; and yet he maintained, that if all the public men who were eminent on both sides of the House were to be swept away, there was talent enough left in the country to form an effective administration. Still his fears seemed to say that no administration could be formed at present except from the ranks of opposition; and then he anticipated that Catholic emancipation! would be granted—that a reform in parliament would be commenced—and that the bills passed in the last session of the last parliament would be immediately re pealed. To avoid these horrors, the hon. member for Corfe-castle was more anxious that the ministers should remain in office useful servants of the Crown, than that they should quit it to allay the present agitation of the country. The hon. member had, at the same time, taken an opportunity of paying him certain compliments for his openness and manliness in frankly declaring that he had been seeking, and was not ashamed to seek, by every honourable and becoming method, those employments of the state wherein he might be serviceable to the councils of the Crown. He (Mr. Tierney) was not ashamed to confess, that he had always, even from his younger days, thought office to be an object of noble ambition; and, now that he was advanced in years, he inculcated this maxim into the minds of younger men, that the only way of bringing good principles into effect was, by seeking such situations as would enable them to promote them. If, how ever, the hon. member for Corfe-castle supposed that office was at present his object, he was greatly mistaken. He was not deficient in honourable ambition: he did not despond of the state of the country; but he felt that his race was run, that his days were numbered, and that he had no longer strength to endure the fatigues of office. Indeed, he knew of no office in which he could at present be useful; and he could assure them that, in his present feelings, and in his state of health, office was the last thing that he could contemplate.

The right hon. gentleman then proceeded to observe, that great offence had been taken at an expression which the noble mover made use of, when he said that he did not see the advantage of a change of men, unless it were accompanied by a change of system. He said the same thing. An invidious person might say, that such a phrase meant revolution; but he was able to meet such an insinuation with a direct denial, and at the same time to give a distinct definition of what he did mean by a change of system. First, as regarded Catholic emancipation; and here he would observe, that of such vital importance did he consider that measure to be, that to the very last moment of his life he would exert every means in his power to promote it. Next, as to the recent restriction bills, he would say that he had not yet occasion to change a single opinion which he had formed regarding them. He held it to be totally inconsistent with and destructive of the liberty of the press, that a man should, upon a second conviction for libel, be liable to transportation. That bill he would most undoubtedly repeal. The hon. member for Corfe-castle asked him, whether he would repeal the late act against tumultuous meetings. He replied, "yes," he most certainly would. He had not seen that one single advantage had been gained to the country by it; but he had seen that much mischief had been occasioned by it, great irritation to the people, not one benefit to the community. I According to its regulations, they could not call county meetings without the permission of its high sheriff or five magistrates. The high sheriff might refuse, and on several recent occasions had refused, to convene a meeting; and there might be large bodies of men in the county, who, though suffering under many heavy grievances, might not have influence sufficient to procure the requisite number of magistrates to convene a meeting, upon the sheriff's refusal to do so. Besides, there might be a sheriff acting directly under the influence of the court, surrounded by magistrates equally time- serving with himself, and equally under its rule and governance. For these reasons, he should certainly advise the repeal of this act; but let not the hon. gentlemen be alarmed. The bill in question was only to be in force for five years, and therefore, by repealing it at present, he should only anticipate the evils by which the noble lord in three or four years would deluge the country. The next point on which the hon. gentleman showed considerable alarm was, the granting of parliamentary reform. Now, to parliamentary reform he had been during the whole of his life a warm friend, differing with many persons as to the mode in which it was to be effected, but always anxious from his youth upwards to effect it, and never more so than at present, in consequence of the events of this session. The present was not a time for mentioning the plan of reform of which he might approve; but he might say, that he was desirous to give to the people of England a better opportunity of representing their wishes and prayers in the House than they had at present, and that, the object nearest to his heart was, to make the House a real representative of the Commons of England.

He had thus met all the arguments, and answered all the questions, of the hon. member for Corfe-castle: in so doing he might have acted rashly, but at least he had acted fairly and candidly to the country; and if it wished to have any thing to do with him in an official character (should indeed his health and feelings permit him to accept of place), it must be upon the terms he had just named. They had heard much lately of loyal addresses, and it was stated in them that it was impossible for public opinion to be better represented than it was at present in the House of Commons, and that it would be difficult to collect a greater mass of wealth, talent, and education than was at present assembled in it. This he would in part allow; but the manner in which it was introduced there was not such as he could either admire or approve. The hon. member for Corfe-castle had also said, that the Whigs were now in league with the radicals. He did not exactly know what was meant by a radical, but he understood by it, a limn who proposed a radical reform in parliament, that was, annual parliaments, universal suffrage, and election by ballot. Now it appeared to him that these kind of radicals were more inclined to support the gentlemen in place than to support the Whigs; indeed, he had never heard from their mouths so many compliments addressed to himself as he had heard from hon. members that evening. The leading radicals advised the people to keep in the present ministers rather than accept the Whigs, and that was called by the hon. member "forming a league with the Whigs." He was glad, however, to say, that the Whigs were anxious to form a junction with the many—with the people of England; and God forbid, that they should ever succeed in any political enterprise, when unattended by their support. At the present moment the House did any thing but speak the sense of the country; and, what was more, members knew that they did not speak the sense of the country. The petitions then on their table must have convinced them of that fact. But, considering the proceedings in every part of the country, there could be no doubt of the fact, that the great majority of the people felt that his Majesty's ministers had reigned too long. For example, the whole of what they had been recently doing, tended to this melancholy result, to set the lower against the upper classes of society. But the noble lord stated, that the king's ministers were supported by the great bulk of the property of the country. This he denied: a very large proportion of landed property belonged to those gentlemen with whom he acted, and he believed on no former occasion had so much property been represented at public meetings, the proceedings of which were hostile to the present ministers. The noble lord talked, indeed, of addresses got up in what were called "holes and corners." He did not object to those addresses. He saw no reason why individuals might not so assemble, if they thought proper. But if ministers, in defiance of the expressed sense of the country, exclaimed, "while the House of Commons stands by us, we will proceed with any measures we please," it was right that they should be taught a different lesson. He contended, that they were, notwithstanding these addresses, literally setting the country et defiance. Let the noble lord look at the state of the country; let him go to all the great towns and districts; let him inquire the opinion of the respectable merchants and shopkeepers throughout the empire; and he would be content never to raise his voice in that House again, if the noble lord did not find that the sense of the country was most decidedly against him. If that House did not boldly interpose—if they did not perform their duty—the country would be driven to a course which he should be very sorry to see resorted to see would not be trampled on, because they were told, "Oh! the individuals you want to drive out, are the saviours of the country! Did they not give you peace? And, when the revenue of the country was reduced, and her prospects were all blue, did not the chancellor of the exchequer, that great financier, call out her resources?" Aye, and it might be added, "Did he not spend them too?" This was the great feather in the right hon. gentleman's cap, which was to go down to the latest posterity. And what had all this exertion been made for? To limit the power of France? Had the noble lord and his colleagues limited that power? What was the difference, at the present moment, between the French Assembly of Deputies and the House of Commons? "Why, the former were absolutely taking off taxes, while the latter were doing all but laying them on. The French Assembly, after meeting the expenses of the year, and providing an ample sinking fund, had, in addition to that, absolutely taken off certain taxes. The people of this country bore the taxes well, heavy and oppressive as they were. Then, if they did so, ought they not to have their wishes attended to, when those wishes were honest, generous, and constitutional? Did it not prove that something must be wrong in the system (though gentlemen might not be able to fathom in what it consisted) when all the noble lord's projects failed—when they were destroyed, almost from hour to hour? Could the noble lord say that this was the effect of accident—that it was not occasioned by causes which originated in misgovernment? The gentlemen opposite, or their party (said Mr. Tierney), have now been in power for the last five-and-thirty years, and can any roan say, if their system was good, that we should be placed in the situation in which we at present are? Should we, if their system was beneficial, from year to year—have new bills introduced, trenching on the liberty of the subject, and, instead of effecting good, creating evil? Can that be a wise or a good system that renders an army of 100,000 men necessary in a time of peace? Can that be a praiseworthy system, which foments religious dissention? Can any man say, that there is not something radically bad in a system, the fruits of which are the growing discontents of the people? Let the House remember, when the sense of the country is to be collected how great are the difficulties of effecting that object, against the enormous influence of ministers—an influence which has been growing up for five-and-thirty years, which has given them such a root in the church, in the army, and in the navy, as proves, when a strong resistance is made against them, that the sense of the people is opposed to them, since a great number of the people are absolutely under their fangs. Under these circumstances, it becomes the House to look about them. What becomes of his majesty's ministers is not the primary object of consideration; The House ought to do their duty; and, if the conduct of ministers towards the Queen has been what I have attempted to describe it, let gentlemen seriously pause before they reject this motion. It is not the king's ministers who are on their trial, but the House of Commons; and all I shall say farther is, God send it a good deliverance!

Lord Castlereagh

said, he would proceed to state the true question now before the House, and, in doing so, he would confine his argument, as closely as circumstances would permit, to that object. He would say, that the speech of the right hon. gentleman was a fair and manly speech for him to deliver. He had reasoned the question fairly, between that and the other side of the House; or rather, he had placed the vote which the House was asked that night to give on such principles as it might be clearly argued on. He felt indebted to the noble mover, and the honourable seconder, for having so candidly stated the grounds on which they brought forward this charge. They had done honour to themselves personally, and they had also extricated their party from that course which he thought extremely unbecoming in them; they had extricated them from those milk and water motions which had been so often resorted to; they had extricated them from the disgrace in which the party was involving itself by such proceedings, and he trusted he should not be found that night to be the individual who was disposed to shrink from the manly appeal which the noble lord and the hon. mem- ber had made to the House. He might, if he thought fit, shelter himself under the argument, that this was the first time he had been called on to defend ministers against a charge, founded on a measure that had formerly been adopted. He might say, that he was now called on, in the beginning of February, 1S21, to answer for an act, the striking her majesty's name out of the Liturgy, which was committed in the month of February preceding. He must contend, that the present motion was not more a censure on his majesty's ministers than it was on the House itself; for many of those measures which the noble lord had arraigned in his motion were sanctioned by the House. They must all recollect the triumphant majority of 391 members who supported the motion of the hon. member for Bramber—a motion which ministers had also supported, and which was one of the measures included in the noble lord's motion. If, then, it were carried, it would undoubtedly be a censure on that majority. But he could assure the noble lord, that he would not shelter himself under that plea; and he called on the hon. member for Bramber, if he thought ministers had not, in the difficult and delicate situation in which they were placed, acted well towards the House and the country; he called on him not to refuse to do an act of duty to the country, by voting for the motion. The right hon. member who had just spoken, would, however, forgive him, if he looked upon the question in rather more extensive a view than had been adopted by himself. He wished also to recall to the House some misrepresentation into which that member had fallen; for it would be impossible for the House not to perceive how the arguments of the hon. member for Corfe-castle, as well as the hon. member behind him, had been misrepresented. He would trust to the House to observe the fallacy of the inferences to which that misrepresentation had led. Before he proceeded to the real point of difference between the right hon. gentleman and ministers, he would make some observations upon the remarks of another member. An hon. gentleman on the second bench (Mr. Whitmore), had stated, that, on account of her majesty's age—no matter what her former course of life had been—which prevented any fear of the regular succession to the crown being endangered, every thing should be passed over, and that active measures should even have been taken by his majesty's government to treat her majesty with an extraordinary degree of attention abroad. But, what was the state in which her majesty stood, with respect to the government of this country, when she was residing abroad? It was known to the House, that her majesty was not received at court in this country; and, if ministers had acted otherwise than they had done, if they had caused her majesty to be received at foreign courts, she would have returned to this country with such an instrument in her hand, furnished by the course adopted by his majesty's government whilst she was abroad, as would enable her to plead it as a ground for being treated in the same manner in this country. As the Queen was not received at court here, how could his majesty authorize his ministers abroad to treat her on a different principle from that which was adhered to in this country? He knew that unmanly and ungenerous attempts had been made to induce a belief that her majesty had been treated with disrespect at foreign courts. It was not for him to enter into an argument respecting the servants of any other state, but he denied that the servants of the Crown, in this country, ever failed in the point of respect, under the instructions by which they were required to act. Those instructions were not sent out until his majesty's government had no other option. They arose from a special demand, coming from a particular court, and made by the sovereign of that court, who wished to know what course he was expected to pursue in the event of her majesty's arriving there. The instruction was, that, as she was not received at the court of Great Britain, she could not be received there. This was not a novel course. He could adduce very high and Whig authority to show, that the Crown was not obliged to state to that House the grounds on which it proceeded in such a case. He could appeal, on this point, to the letter of the noble Lord John Russell, addressed to the hon. member for Bramber, to show that the Crown possessed this power, and that when it was brought under the consideration of parliament, parliament refused to interfere. When the duke of Grafton was chamberlain, in the year 1737, he notified, that those who frequented the court of the Princess of Wales would not be received at the king's court. Could, then, the sovereign, who had banished a perso- wage from his own court, press her to be received in a court on the continent? At this time the Queen rested under the grave suspicion of the charge which led to the inquiry; and he thought he would be doing an act dishonourable to the crown, and to the country to which he belonged, if he allowed the individual who represented the king in a foreign court, to sit on one side of the Queen, while a courier sat on the other. From the first, the whole desire of government, the uniform and anxious wish of his majesty's ministers, was, to avoid, if possible, that calamitous inquiry.

Now, then, he should call the attention of the House to the real state of the facts of the case, antecedent to the actual proceeding against the Queen. In reference to the negotiations which had taken place with the Queen, before her majesty's return to England, it was certainly true, that, in the month of June, 1819, a communication had been received by his majesty's government from the hon. and learned gentleman, who was known to be the professional adviser of her majesty, and understood to be charged with the confidential management of her majesty's affairs in this country. The proposal contained in this communication was, in substance, that her majesty (at that time Princess of Wales) should be secured in her then income of 35,000l. a year for her own life, instead of its terminating with the demise of the Crown; and that she should undertake, upon that arrangement being made, to continue permanently to reside abroad, not assuming at any time the rank, style, or title of Queen of this country. As this proposal was stated to be made without any authority or knowledge on the part of the Princess of Wales; and as it could not be carried into effect without the aid of parliament; the only answer which was given on the part of his majesty's government was, in substance, that there would be no indisposition, at the proper time, to entertain the principle on which the proposal was grounded, if it should turn out that it met with the approbation and concurrence of the princess. Of course, it rested with the party making the proposal, to ascertain this point before any further step could be taken by his majesty's government. The hope of conciliation, however, vanished the moment that the Queen set her foot in England. It was a palpable misrepresentation of facts and dates to say, that the Queen was driven to that step by the omission of her name in the Liturgy, or by the movements of the Milan commission; for it was notorious, that the moment the late king died, her majesty declared her immediate determination to come to England—not to assert, as was misstated, her legal rights as Queen Consort, for these the law had asserted for her, but to put forth in person her claims for privileges which were not matters of right, but of grace and favour. When the Queen announced this intention, and actually took steps to carry it into execution, for some of her attendants had gone, by order, to meet her, it then became imperative upon ministers to consider which of the two was likely to be the greater evil—either to institute this inquiry the moment it could no longer be avoided, or to suffer in silence, and with their knowledge of the facts, a Queen charged with adultery and treason (for at that time the technical exception of the case out of the law of treason was unknown) to take the lead in the court of this country, and set the example to the female society of England. Even to the latest moment ministers did not lose sight of the hope, that exposure might be avoided; and the question was then mooted, whether the proposition made in the previous year, on the part of the Queen (or at least by her confidential adviser, and with the supposition that it had her concurrence) should be made the basis of an amicable arrangement of so painful a matter. He now came to that part of the subject in which the hon. and learned gentleman opposite, had been more particularly engaged, and which required the most serious explanation. Upon the demise of his late majesty, an alteration in the Liturgy then became necessary. It was not till some days after that alteration had been made, that the communication was renewed between the hon. and learned gentleman and his majesty's government. In that renewed communication no intimation was given by the hon. and learned gentleman that, in his judgment, though of course he could not take upon himself to answer for the Queen, the change in her majesty's situation by the demise of the late king, was likely to create any material obstacle to the completion of an amicable arrangement founded on the basis of his original proposal—and in respect to the Liturgy in particular, he stated, that, by the manner of arranging the new form of prayer—omitting the name of the Heir Presumptive, as well as that of the Queen—it seemed to him, that any unfavourable inference against her majesty, which must have arisen, if the I name of the duke of York had been inserted, and that of the Queen omitted, was happily obviated; so that no difficulty was to be expected under that head, which appeared to the hon. and learned gentleman, as he afterwards stated in the House, to be a "trifle light as air." With this knowledge of the hon. and learned gentleman's sentiments, and with the implied, and indeed avowed readiness on his part, to submit to her majesty a proposal, formed on this basis; and to offer his advice to her majesty in favour of her acceptance of it, the substance of it was reduced into writing, and put into the hands of the hon. and learned gentleman, on the 15th of April last, to be by him communicated and recommended to her majesty. In stating that the memorandum of the 15th of April contained the substance of the hon. and learned gentleman's suggestion, it might be necessary to observe, that the only essential difference was this—that, instead of 35,000l. a year, an annual allowance of 50,000l. was proposed. This most important memorandum the hon. and learned gentleman kept in his pocket from the 15th of April till the end of May, without, on the one hand, making any communication of it to her majesty, or, on the other, giving to the king's ministers reason to apprehend that any circumstance had occurred to render it less fit for her majesty's acceptance, or the prospect of that acceptance more doubtful than he conceived it to be when he first undertook the negotiation. What prevented the hon. and learned gentleman from proceeding to the continent to wait upon her majesty during this long interval it was not easy to conjecture, especially after the election for Westmoreland was over. There was indeed a Whig candidate who claimed his support at Carlisle; but was this a sufficient reason for neglecting a duty of this importance on the part of an advocate who feels that there is no sacrifice which he is not bound to make for the interests of his illustrious client? At the end of May, however, he went to St! Omer's, her majesty having then proceeded so far on her way to England; and on his arrival there, he found that her majesty had surrendered herself to other counsels, and that the wisdom of the worthy alderman (Wood) would be consulted in preference to any advice which he might have to offer. Whether from this, or from any other unexplained motive, operating on the mind of the hon. and learned gentleman, who had gone to St. Omer's, for the express purpose of tardily delivering the memorandum of the 15th of April, and of advising with her majesty on the subject of it, he returned to England, without ever delivering that memorandum at all, or even informing her majesty that he was charged with any communication whatever from his majesty's government. It was true, that a communication was made (apparently at the hon. and learned gentleman's earnest request) to her majesty by a noble lord, who had travelled with the hon. and learned gentleman to St. Omer's; but it was equally true, that the noble lord had no commission or authority from any quarter whatever, to make that communication, and that the memorandum which had been confided to the hon. and learned gentleman alone had never even been put into the hands of that noble lord by his majesty's government. This circumstance might account for the difference between the terms of the communication made by, the noble lord to her majesty, and those contained in the memorandum. That noble lord had certainly no communication to make to her majesty respecting the proposed arrangement; but he had been apprised of the course which his majesty's government had determined to adopt in the event of her majesty's coming to England, with the understanding that he should, in fairness to her majesty, apprise her of that determination, in the event of such being her final decision, after the terms to be proposed by the hon. and learned gentleman, should have been (if contrary to expectation they were) finally rejected, but not otherwise.

In this state of ignorance of the proposal which the hon. and learned gentleman had in the first instance himself suggested to his majesty's government, and afterwards had undertaken to submit to her majesty, as fit at least for her consideration, her majesty arrived in England; and so little, even after that arrival, was the Liturgy brought forward as a sine qua non in the subsequent negotiations, which were attempted in the hope of averting the necessity of an inquiry, that the fundamental principle of that negotiation, settled at the first conference, and without any objection being raised by the hon. and learned gentleman, or his learned colleague, was, that the negotiation should proceed on the basis, "that the King should retract, and that the Queen should admit nothing." These were the facts respecting which it was not unnatural that an explanation should be expected on the part of the hon. and learned gentleman. The House heard, and the country had since learnt, what sort of defence the hon. and learned gentleman attempted to make for his most extraordinary conduct. The House, however, did not hear any answer from that gentleman to many parts of the charges preferred against him; and without going into any other particulars, it might be right just to observe, that he did not even attempt to justify his having concealed altogether from the Queen the written proposal which had arisen out of his own former suggestion, and of which he had consented to be the bearer from the earl of Liverpool. The noble lord then justified the whole course taken by ministers antecedent to the prosecution, and repeated that their uniform desire was to ward off, if possible, the necessity of exposing the details of the case; he also declared, that the evidence did not rest upon the testimony of abandoned characters, but of travellers of all ranks, who had visited the places where her majesty had resided; and he positively denied that up to the period of the institution of the Milan commission, which was dated in March 1818, although the parties did not go over until the August following, ministers had officially taken the least pains to collect testimony against her majesty. No servant of the Crown had, up to that period, received instructions upon the subject, although undoubtedly they had transmitted communications forced upon them by the notoriety of the circumstances. He could give the hon. officer (Sir R. Wilson) an assurance, that the death of the princess Charlotte had nothing more to do in the way of influencing government as to the time of instituting the Milan commission than any other circumstance. The reason why the investigation had not been taken up sooner was, that her majesty did not return from the long voyage till shortly before that time, and it was not till late that year that ministers were made acquainted with the whole extent of the charges relative to her conduct during that voyage; but then they felt the time come when they must take some steps. He did not know whether any of the gentlemen opposite meant to bring this question regularly before the House or not; but if any inquiry was instituted for the purpose of fishing and prying whether any of the subordinate agents of government had acted contrary to their instructions—if it was wished to ascertain whether the country had, by this commission, been involved in unnecessary expense—if the House were to go into a fishing inquiry of this nature, he should be prepared to give every information that could be required. At present he should only say, that the commission had been instituted on the report of a legal adviser of the Crown of high character, who had said, that if called upon to wind up the charges, and give an opinion on them, that opinion must be against the party accused. That person, at the same time, thought that such a proceeding should be founded on evidence that could not be impeached, and which ought, therefore, to be previously inquired into. It ought to be recollected, in discussing the conduct of this commission, that a great body of evidence had been examined by it which could not be brought before the House of Lords. If his recollection was correct, only twenty-three or twenty-four witnesses had been examined at the bar of the other House, while the number of those examined at Milan amounted to eighty. It was also a mistaken idea of the gentlemen opposite, that only discarded servants of her majesty had been applied to for evidence, for more than one-half of the persons examined were neither in her service, nor were individuals of that class. If the gentlemen opposite were to call before them Mr. Cooke and Mr. Powell, who had conducted the evidence, and were to examine them as to the injunctions under which they took the various depositions and examinations, they would find that no precautions had been omitted which the spirit of justice could dictate. With the exception of one individual from Trieste, who had not been prosecuted in a court of justice for perjury, notwithstanding the determination expressed by the learned gentleman to that effect; with that exception, where was the cause for depreciating all this body of evidence? He trusted he had said enough to satisfy the hon. officer, that the causes which had led to the institution of the Milan commission, and the principles on which it had been conducted, were such as fully justifi- ed the conduct of his majesty's ministers. Oh, but the gentlemen opposite would have had none but witnesses of a high rank to prove guilt against her majesty, as if the crimes which had been charged against her would have been committed in the presence of the general society which she frequented. But even of those high persons who had friends connected with her majesty, many had expressed their conviction of the belief of an impropriety on her part. Why else had the earl of Guilford recommended to his sister to quit her royal highness's service? Why else had Mr. Keppel Craven taken the liberty of admonishing his royal mistress? Gentlemen opposite might affect to taunt these observations, but he put it to them upon their honours, to declare, whether their feelings would not have been similar to those of the noble earl from the reports which their own friends, upon their return from the continent, had conveyed to them? From the observations of the gallant general and of the learned gentleman upon a preceding night, it could be collected what the nature of the defence was which had been contemplated by the learned advocate for her majesty. If the bill had passed the House of Lords, the grand master of the order of St. Caroline, who had been brought for that purpose to Paris, would have been produced at the bar of the House of Commons, there to declare, upon his honour, what he would not have dared to say upon his oath at the bar of the House of Peers! And the House would then have had before it the bishop of Pesaro, and the cardinal God knows who, Dr. Tamasia, and many more of the savans of Italy, to speak to the purity of the Queen's character. But why, he asked, had not those persons who were at present in England been called at the bar of the House of Lords?

The noble lord then proceeded to deprecate the course pursued by her majesty in the message which she had sent down to that House, and also the conduct of those gentlemen who seemed resolved to support her in her determination. Whatever embarrassments might arise from such a course, he hesitated not to say that he would not swerve from what he conceived to be his duty. It was not from the prophecies of the gentlemen opposite, of which they had never been sparing—for birds of evil omen had never ceased to hover over the country in times of danger or difficulty—it was not from those prophecies that he would take his tone. If ministers had ever been disposed to listen to those boding predictions the country would now have been prostrate at the feet of the usurper of the world. Personally, he would assert that he was as incapable of being actuated by base motives as any of the gentlemen on the other side. His means and his character were quite as independent as theirs; and if he were now to quit the station he occupied, he should think that he might fairly say that his ambition had been gratified to the full extent of his hopes and wishes. He could not, however, consent, while he filled his present station, to enter the closet of his sovereign, and, by a sacrifice of all regard to morality, advise him to restore her majesty's name to the prayers of his subjects, as his "gracious Queen Caroline," whose innocence had been unequivocally established to his complete satisfaction [Hear, hear.]—After charging sir J. Mackintosh with having made a meretricious appeal to the bad passions of factions in all parts of the world, the noble lord noticed the efforts made in this country to rouse the popular sentiments on this subject, contending that the petitions so much talked of were not a tithe of those which the veteran major (Cartwright) a year or two ago, had manufactured and circulated in favour of parliamentary reform and universal suffrage. He was not to be veteraned or dragooned by petitions, and for the safety of the realm he had long made up his mind to give a determined resistance to efforts of such a description, and for such a purpose. He did not contend that hon. gentlemen on the other side did not revere our constitution, though they differed as to the mode in which it was to be preserved; but he must say of them, that they had shown themselves for a series of years governed by party spirit. In the midst of foreign war, domestic rebellion, or open mutiny in our fleet, they had acted with a desire to augment instead of diminishing the difficulties of government; their purpose being to produce a change of ministers, and get themselves into power at any desperate hazard to the Crown and state. He was willing to leave the present question to the calm good sense of the people of England, notwithstanding all the efforts of the Radicals, aided by the gentlemen opposite, to mislead and in- flame. He was not afraid as to the ultimate decision of the nation. It would be prepared to do its sovereign that justice which he richly merited; and whatever clouds might have hung over the dawn of his reign, as over that of his illustrious parent, he was confident that he would soon be greeted by the full tide of affectionate gratitude, and hailed as a monarch whose only object had been to preserve the liberties and contribute to the happiness and prosperity of his people.

Mr. Brougham

requested the favourable attention of the house, not so much because he was in some degree personally concerned in what had passed, as because he had still to discharge the remainder of an anxious duty to her Majesty, rendered infinitely more painful and burdensome by the tone and matter of the speech of the noble lord. It was mighty well for the hon. member for Corfe-castle to assert, that the time was now come when he might offer his promised explanation; and it was very easy for the commissioner of woods and forests to repeat the taunt, and to allege as a reason for compliance the conclusion of all inquiries regarding the Queen. He would appeal to the House, after what had occurred, whether there was any appearance that those inquiries had terminated. Had all intention further to molest the Queen been finally and completely abandoned? Did the speeches within the last few days, even the most moderate and guarded of them, give any such indication? The attorney-general, to excuse himself, had taken upon himself to re-assert what he had asserted elsewhere. The member for Surrey, backed by the member for Somerset, and supported by a noble but voluntary witness, the member for Westmorland, had even introduced charges unheard-of until long after the acquittal of her majesty, and had accused her, not only of maintaining a correspondence with Bergami, but of transmitting to him large sums of the public money to support him in a guilty splendor. If he had shut his ears to all matters of mere rumour, and his eyes to the statement of the motive assigned by the member for Liverpool for quitting office, namely, his reluctance to become a prosecutor of his Queen—if he had refused to look at the systematic attempts to malign and defame her majesty, not only in that part of the public press known to be under the control of the responsible advisers of the Crown, but also in that odious, disgusting, and detestable portion of it which pretended to give to the vaguest and vilest slanders the authenticity of place, time, and circumstance, which was a reproach to the frank and generous nation in which it was promulgated, a stigma upon the freedom of open discussion, and a source of misery and dissension in domestic life; he still could not persuade himself that there was even a probability that further proceedings against the; Queen were abandoned. God forbid that he should accuse ministers, or even their most suspicious underlings, of giving encouragement to the public nuisance to which he had just referred; but whoever might be its authors, it evidently showed an anxiety to keep alive calumnious topics of heat and agitation, and, with other proofs, convinced him that though the noble lord had relinquished all design of further prosecution, the intention still existed in some unknown and irresponsible quarter [No, no! Hear, hear!]. Who could say, that some Hanoverian advisers might not be about the court hatching a new case more perfect than that just defeated and exposed? Who could say, that they would not lay a body of evidence before some chancellor of some duchy, who in his turn might submit it to a set of ministers who, rather than abandon their places, would drag the reluctant and unoffended country through a second disgusting and demoralizing inquiry? He might safely urge, therefore, that the case against the Queen was not yet closed; but at the same time he was prepared to follow the noble lord through the various parts of his speech, recurring to what had been stated in the last session as to the grounds on which the defence of the Queen would' be rested.

The noble lord had stated, and justly stated, that a proposition was made, upon the part of her majesty, in the year 1819; but he (Mr. B.) distinctly stated, in express words, that that proposition was made without the knowledge of her majesty, and that it was in terms at least the same which was afterwards offered by his majesty to her. One remarkable feature, however, was not only omitted, but the direct contrary was inserted, in a subsequent offer made to her majesty, then princess of Wales, who was to have been allowed to have taken her royal title. It was in that offer declared and stated to be the title of Duchess of Cornwall. This was that title of the peerage by which, in fact, her royal highness was then recognised in the peerage of this country. Another circumstance that seemed wholly to have escaped the noble lord's recollection was, that at the time the Queen was princess of Wales the late king was alive and in perfect health: no suspicion, at that time, existed of his death, and the consequent, demise of the crown. In the month of June, 1S19, this proposition was made, he could not too often or too expressly repeat, without the knowledge of that illustrious person herself. It was made, such an event as the demise of the crown not being then contemplated; and it was surely a very distinct thing, as it regarded an individual in her then situation, and a person upon the point of taking upon herself that exalted rank to which she would in that event become entitled. He begged to state once again, that it made exactly all the difference in the world, between a person's covenanting not to take up a future and contingent dignity, and a person's being already in the actual possession of it: in the latter case, she was required to step down from it, to give up all claim to its honours, to abandon the throne itself, to part with all her rights and privileges; this circumstance must necessarily affect an arrangement, which was to be made, not with a person expectant only of a right, but, possessing one which she could not give up.

He must here remind the noble lord of another circumstance which he could hardly, however, have forgotten—he meant the delay, upon the noble lord's part, between the months of June 1819 and February 1820, a term of nearly eight months, before any thing was done respecting that proposition. The hon. and learned gentleman here declared, that the noble lord, in asking him (Mr. B.) to gain the Queen's consent to a proposition which set out with declaring that it was made without her majesty's knowledge, could have expected but one answer to such a request. What, then, was the nature of the offer? It was only a suggestion on the part of her majesty's legal adviser, that if such a proposition should be made to her on the part of his majesty's government, he would advise her to adopt a course of which that should be the basis. If there had been all that anxiety on the part of the noble lord and his colleagues, of which he spoke, to obviate the necessity of their going into such an inquiry (although no necessity had been made out) why did all this delay arise? But, said the noble lord, what difference could this make? He would tell the noble lord; it was just that thing which made it impossible that the offer could be accepted. There was all the difference in the world between the situation in which her majesty must have stood in June had the proposition succeeded, and that in which she did stand in February when it could not by possibility succeed. Whether that or any other proposition had been made upon the part of ministers, it was unquestionably his (Mr. B.'s) duty to have conveyed it to her majesty. But the noble lord said, why did so much delay take place in his going over to the continent? and as many foolish stories had got abroad upon the subject, it was perhaps necessary that he should explicitly answer that question. It had been also asked, why he had, from the 15th of April, kept in his pocket the proposition he was charged to deliver? Why, it was intended not that he should send over that proposition to her majesty; it was only meant, that when he saw her he should deliver it to her. But the hon. member for Corfe-castle talked of a delay of weeks and months, and that night the noble lord was urgent to know the reasons why that delay had occurred. Now, he never, for one moment, concealed from lord Liverpool, the impossibility of his going to such a distance as Geneva. He had never given the noble earl the slightest reason to suppose that he could be absent from his place in that House, for more than six or seven days at the utmost. If, then, it was so especially necessary that this proposition must be made to the Queen at Geneva, or on the other side of the Alps, he should like to know why lord Liverpool did not select some other channel, which might have saved the time, and, what the noble lord opposite seemed to think of greater consequence, have saved the distance. It was known to be absolutely impossible that he could undertake such a journey; but, in point of fact, all this argument about the negotiation was only one other additional specimen of that address which they were not unfrequently called upon to admire in the noble lord opposite, which was, that when he found a question pressing upon him, he was accustomed to turn about and change his ground altogether. So that the questions put to his lordship being—Who made you proceed against the Queen at all? Who thought it necessary to send down green bags to parliament? Who instituted the Milan commission, and invested it with its extraordinary powers? The noble lord had abandoned these, and chose this other question for the subject in debate, thinking it much more easy to be argued—namely, Ought the Queen to have come to this country, or not? Now, he took the liberty of saying, that this might have been a question between her majesty and her legal advisers; as, in fact, it was a question whether it might not be better she should come to St. Omer's than that she should reside at Geneva: she did not know at that time of the negotiation; but, it might well be a question, whether St. Omer's was not more proper than a more distant place for the purposes of negotiation: it might not, indeed, suit the purpose of the noble lord, that the Queen should have come to this country; but, if she were only to look to her mere interest, it might be the best thing she could do, rather to approach England than to remain at a distance from it. This, however, was only put hypothetically; for undoubtedly the fact was, that the Queen had no intention of negotiating—no terms were suggested to her, either through the propositions offered by himself, or by lord Hutchinson, or by any other person whatever, but those which she obtained, or rather ought to have obtained, by the conduct she had finally pursued. It seemed now absolutely manifest, that no terms which could have been offered to her would have had the slightest effect in deterring her from returning to this country.

He trusted, that the House would give him credit for the perfect sincerity in which he made the declaration, that he felt himself, through the whole course of these transactions, not only authorized, but called upon, to take the steps he had done, from a regard, in the first place, to the case of the Queen, and in the next place, from a regard to what he considered her majesty's best interests. His belief certainly was, at that time, that the interests of the Queen, and of the country, equally required that this investigation should not go on: he had no hesitation in saying, that he did then conceive, not that she had any thing to dread from the severest scrutiny into all parts of her conduct (for the conduct of innocence dreaded no scrutiny), but that she was placed in a situation from which the purest character might, he would not say shrink, for innocence defied its adversaries, but that she was surrounded by all those dangers that a person can be threatened with, who had resided in a country where, for six years, her life and her honour had been equally the objects of a conspiracy; and where witnesses could be bought for money to rake up, from every corner of Italy, every scandal that could be invented, or idle tale that malice and detraction could frame. His belief was also this—that there were certain cases which, from the mere odious nature of the charges that were to be adduced, and the abominable details of the accusation, would induce a person to pause before he ran into a trial, when, by an honourable arrangement, he might obtain all that his character required the other party to concede. He did feel, that if, by an honourable arrangement, her majesty could obtain those terms which were consonant with her own honour (and others, no person could have dared to recommend her), and if such terms were called for by the inquiry, and should be satisfactory to herself; and, finally, would have obviated all idea of this investigation, her majesty would have been justified in availing herself of them. He did not fear being accused of any lack of zeal in her majesty's service: both before and since that period he had the satisfaction of knowing, that his conduct had been honoured by the approval of her majesty. Although, from the first moment of seeing her, he at once saw that the effect of the negotiation was at an end; yet, after that first rejection of the terms, he continued, subsequently to her arrival in this country, to recommend, and even to solicit, again and again, the renewal of negotiations which might have obviated the necessity of this investigation. It had, however, been gone into; and, though her majesty had withstood its terrors, though she had come through it with that which nothing but the grossest injustice could refuse to her—an absolute acquittal; yet it had been entirely owing to her majesty's own consciousness that nothing whatever of guilt could be laid to her charge, that she had refused to listen to any terms whatever. [Loud cheers.]

The hon. and learned gentleman then proceeded to refute the supposition, that her majesty had acted by any other advice than that of her legal advisers. No man who possessed common sense, even in the conduct of his own affairs, could have thought of venturing to advise her in a. matter of such importance. It could only be known to her majesty herself, whether those charges were just or otherwise. Her own conscience told her, that she was innocent of those acts which had been falsely imputed to her, in charges which bad been, as they were now told, finally abandoned. "I have stated thus much," continued the hon. and learned gentleman, "as to the conduct of the Queen. It is fit I should now discharge what I call a debt of justice to her. I know it has been invidiously and malevolently asserted, and most industriously circulated, for purposes which must be obvious to every man, that my expressed opinions of her majesty's conduct are not the same in fact with my own conscientious conviction. It is necessary, Sir, for me, with that seriousness and sincerity which it may be permitted to a man upon the most solemn occasions to express, to assert—which I do now assert in the face of this House—that if, instead of an advocate, I had been sitting as a judge, at another tribunal, I should have been found among the number of those who, laying their hands upon their hearts, conscientiously pronounced her majesty 'Not guilty.' For the truth of this assertion, I desire to tender every pledge that may be most valued and most sacred. I wish to make it in every form which may be deemed most solemn and most binding; and if I believe it not, as I now advance it, I here imprecate on myself every curse which is most horrid and most penal." [It would be difficult to describe the earnest emphasis with which this asseveration was delivered, the deep interest with which it was listened to, and the enthusiastic and general cheering by which it was greeted.] It was no ordinary occasion that compelled an advocate to travel so far out of his usual tract; but he felt that, upon the present occasion, he had been treated not as the advocate of her majesty; hut he had been made a witness against her majesty. That opinion of her majesty's innocence he was known to have uniformly entertained, from the commencement to the termination of the proceedings—an opinion which was not better known to his private friends than it was published to the world. That opinion did not originate in, but had been confirmed by, the proceedings themselves; and in the strength with which he had ever entertained it, he repeated, that had he, on a late occasion, been taken from the bar and made a judge, he should have joined in a conscientious verdict of "Not guilty."

He begged to solicit the attention of the House for a few moments with respect to the noble lord's statements as to the origin of the proceedings of the Milan commission. They had their origin soon after the death of the late princess Charlotte; for what reason the noble lord had given them a different date might hereafter appear. This was what had been openly asserted, and the noble lord's explanation was a denial of the fact. The noble lord said they did not begin till March; but that they began immediately after the return of her majesty from what was called the long voyage, was admitted by the noble lord himself. He had, therefore, identified the period of the Milan commission, and that of the long voyage. Now, it was in September, 1816, that her majesty returned from the long voyage; and the remainder of 1816, the whole of 1817, and part of 1818, elapsed before the appointment of the Milan commission. Here, then, there was at once an end to that connexion so assidiously endeavoured by the noble lord to be established between the Milan commission and her majesty's return; but there came between the period of that return—and the institution of the commission in 1818, a remarkable and striking event, the death of the princess Charlotte. This event was placed nearer to the date of the commission than the return of the Queen, by a period of very nearly fourteen months; and so ranch for this point; from which the House would infer what was the true origin of the Milan commission, whatever notion the noble lord had thought proper to adopt of it.

He did not wish to go at length into the details at this hour, and in fact the important, the most material, question which was now before the House was, whether any measure should at all have been introduced against her majesty? But to proceed with his argument. This conduct of her majesty was alleged to have been carried on, not in private, but in public. The place was in Naples, not in ordinary places; and when it was considered that it was alleged to have been committed in various public places, it was astonishing that it should not have been observed by any witnesses above the character of those whom the noble lord had described. If any indecency were committed by her majesty at a public masquerade—if she were guilty of any indecorum at a theatre—if she committed any impropriety at a ball, it could not be said to be done in a corner; it was not done before a set of low servants, such as the noble lord had mentioned, and who were produced on the trial; it was done, he had almost said, in the face of day; but though he could not strictly say so, because those balls were held at night, yet he would say that her conduct must have been open to the observation of persons of the highest rank—before the royal court of Naples. Wow, be would ask—he would not dwell upon the improbability of any impropriety having taken place under such circumstances, for that had been already argued several times—but he would ask, would it not strike the mind of any man who was not disposed to be only of one opinion on the subject, that if the story told by those servants of this impropriety were true, it might have been borne out by the testimony of some one of those respectable individuals who must also have witnessed some part of the alleged misconduct? If they had been called, and had given evidence corroborative of that of the servants, then indeed there might be some ground for the believing it; but if all of those who were applied to had flatly discredited every such account, could it be said, that there was a shadow of ground for believing the whole? Or if there had been no application on the part of the prosecutors for the testimony of any such respectable individuals, must not the inference be this, and this only, that no pains whatever had been taken by them to inform themselves whether there was a sufficient ground for them to have gone upon? This, then, was what he charged upon ministers, that in all and every stage of this most unfortunate proceeding, from the sending out of the Milan commission down to the latest act in it, they had not taken any of those ordinary pains, or made any of those ordinary exertions, which would have been necessary on the most common occasion, where the object of the parties was, to inform themselves of the truth of the information which they had got.

The same objection applied to their conduct in the secret committee. They had called so many witnesses, and they said that they might have called others; but he asked, why had they not called Dr. Holland, lady Charlotte Lindsay, Mrs. Falconet, and several other most respectable individuals, whose situation had given them such opportunities as must have rendered their testimony of great importance? Why had they not produced any of these persons to corroborate some of the servants, as they might have done, if the story told by those servants were true? But it might perhaps he said to the friends of the Queen, "Why did you not call those witnesses, seeing that they were open to you?" He would answer, "We did call them; and it was because we did call them, that we have a right to assume that if you had called them before, they would have completely defeated the story which your servants, and others of that description, had got up." This omission of calling all the witnesses, whose evidence would have put the country in possession of the truth, was a stigma on the case, which no majority, however numerous, would destroy. It was a stigma on these proceedings, which, if, to use the words of the master of the Mint they (the Opposition) were to be beaten to pieces, would never be forgotten by the country. They had, as was said, been beaten on one side the other evening, and they were now to get the knock on the other side to-night, which was to put an end to them; but out of their ruin would arise what would prove the disgrace of those who had been instrumental in bringing on and sanctioning this violation of justice. He said, out of their ruins, and after the paeans which were rung in anticipation of triumph had subsided, and were heard no more, would arise what would remain a lasting disgrace to the parliament which had supported such measures—measures which, he maintained, were scandalous to parliament. It would never be forgotten, that ministers, having it in their power to produce the means of ascertaining the truth, had neglected those means—had chosen to bring in this bill, when, by sending for one or two witnesses, who were, he might say, living in their neighbourhood, they might have prevented all the injustice and infamy which had followed. The hon. and learned gentleman followed up his reasoning on this part of the question in a most impressive and eloquent manner. Adverting to the Milan commission, which the noble lord had described as having been employed in a rigorous investigation to vindicate the character of the Queen, he observed, that the House would not know what was the description of the witnesses out of the eighty whom they had rejected. The House might, however, judge of their anxiety to avoid sending any thing very low or mean when they sent out Restelli; of their wish to avoid every thing that was filthy when they sent the pimp Cuchi; of their determination to avoid sending any one who was infamous and degraded when they sent Majoochi, Sacchi, and that pattern for all modest chambermaids, Mademoiselle De Mont. In conclusion, he said, that every act of his, in the course of this proceeding, had been governed solely by his duty to his Queen, and his attention to the interests of his country. [Loud and repeated cheers.]

The question being put, the House divided: Ayes, 178; Noes, 324: Majority against the motion, 146.—Adjourned at half-after six in the morning.

List of the Majority—and also of the Minority.
Acland, sir Thomas Broadhead, T. H.
A'Court, E. H. Browne, rt. hon. D.
Alexander, J. Browne, J.
Alexander, J. D. Browne, P.
Ancram, lord Brownlow, C.
Apsley, lord Brudenell, lord
Arbuthnot, rt. hon. C. Bruce, Robert
Ashurst, W. Burgh, sir Ulysses
Astley, J. D. Burrell, Sir C.
Balfour, John Burrell, Walter
Bankes, Henry Buxton, J. J.
Bankes George Calthorpe, hon. F.
Barne, M. Calvert, John
Bastard, captain Cartwright, R.
Bathurst, rt. hon. B. Castlereagh, lord
Bathurst, hon. S. Cawthorne, J. F.
Beckett, right hon. J. Cecil, lord T.
Bective, earl of Chaplin, C.
Bentinck, lord F. Cheere, E.M.
Beresford, lord G. Chetwynd, G.
Beresford, sir John Chichester, A.
Blair, J. H. Cherry, G. H.
Blair, J. Childe, W. L.
Blake, Robert Cholmeley, Sir M.
Boswell, A. Clerk, Sir. G.
Bradshaw, R. H. Clive, lord
Brydges, alderman Clive, Henry
Brogden, J. Cockburn, sir G,
Cockerell, sir C. Fremantle, W.
Cocks, hon. J, S. Fynes, H.
Cocks, hon. John Gascoyne, Isaac
Cole, sir Chr. Gifford, sir Robert
Colthurst, sir W. Gilbert, D. G.
Collett, E.J. Gipps, G.
Congreve, sir W. Gladstone, John
Cooper, R. P. Gooch, T. S.
Copley, sir John Gordon, hon. W.
Corbett, P. Goulburn, Henry
Courtenay, T. P. Graham, sir J.
Courtenay, W. Grant, A. C.
Cranbourne, lord Grant, rt. hon. C.
Crawley, Samuel Grant, F.
Cripps, J. Grant, G. M.
Croker, J. W. Graves, lord
Crosby, J. Grosvenor, Drax
Cuff; J. Grossett, W..
Cumming, G. Grossett, J.
Curtis, Sir William Hamilton, H.
Curteis, J. H. Handley, H.
Curzon, hon. Robert Hardinge, sir H.
Cust, hon. E. Hart, general
Cust, hon. P. Hartopp, G.
Cust, hon. W. Harvey, C.
Cotterell, sir S. G. Harvey, sir E.
Daly, J. Heygate, alderman
Dalrymple, A. Hill, sir G.
Dawkins, J. Hodson, J. A.
Dawkins, H. Holford, G. P.
Dawson, Massey Holmes, W.
Deerhurst, lord Hope, sir A.
Divett, Thomas Horrocks, S.
Dodson, D. Hotham, lord
Domville, sir C. Holdsworth, T.
Douglas, W. K. Hulse, sir C.
Douglas, John Huskisson, rt. hon. W.
Doveton, G. Innes, sir H.
Dowdeswell, J. E. Innes, John
Downie, Robert Irving, John
Drake, W. T. Jenkinson, hon. C,
Dunalley, Lord Jolliffe, H.
Dugdale, D. Keck, G. A. L.
Duncombe, C. Kerr, D.
Duncombe, W. Kingsborough, lord
Dundas, rt hon. W. Kinnersley, W.
Dunlop, J. Knatchbull, sir E.
Egerton, W. Knox, hon. Thomas
Elliot, hon. W. Lascelles, William
Ellis, C. Rose Legge, hon. H.
Ellis, Thomas Lennox, lord G.
Ellison, C. Leslie, C. P.
Estcourt, T. G. Lester, B. L.
Evelyn, L. Lewis, T. F.
Fairlie, sir W. C. Lewis, W.
Fane, John Lethbridge, sir T.
Fane, Vere Lindsay, lord
Fane, Thomas Lindsay, hon. H.
Fellowes, W. H. Littleton, Edward
Fetherstone, sir G. Lloyd, S. J.
Finch, G. Lockhart, W. E.
Fitzgibbon, hon. R. Long, right hon. C.
Fleming, doctor Loraine, lord
Fleming, John Lowther, lord
Forbes, lord Lowther, hon. H. C.
Forbes, C. Lowther, John
Fox, G. L. Lowther, hon. H.
Lucy, G. Scourfield, W.
Luttrell, H. Scott, hon. John
Luttrell, J. Scott, C.
Lygon, hon. H. B Seymour, Hugh
Macdonald, R. G. Seymour, Horace
Mackenzie, Thomas Shaw, Robert
Macnaghten, A. Sheldon, R.
Manners, lord C. Shiffner, sir G.
Manners, lord R. Sibthorpe, D. W.
Mansfield, John Smith, Christopher
Marjoribanks, S. S. Sneyd, N.
Maxwell, J. W. Somerset, lord G,
Marryat, J. Somerset, lord E.
Martin, Richard Somerville, sir M.
Martin, sir T. B. Southeron, F.
Mills, C. Staunton, sir G.
Mitchell, John Stewart, hon. J. H. K.
Money, W. T. Stewart, A.
Monteith, H. Stewart, W.
Montgomery, J. Strathaven, lord
Miles, P. I. Strutt, colonel
Morgan, sir C. St. Paul, sir H.
Morgan, G. Stopford, lord
Morland, sir S. B. Summer, G. Hohhne
Mountcharles, lord Suttie, sir J.
Munday, captain Swann, Henry
Musgrave, sir P. Taylor, sir H.
Nightingale, sir M. Temple, earl
Nicholl, sir John Thynne, lord John
Nolan, M. Townshend, hon. H.
Ommaney, sir F. Tremayne, J. H.
O'Neil, hon. J. Trench, F. W.
Onslow, A. Tulk, C. A.
Owen, sir John Twiss, H.
Paget, sir C. Upton, Hon. A.
Paget, hon. B. Uxbridge, earl of
Pakenham, hon. H. Valletort, lord
Palk, sir L. Vansittart, rt. hon. N.
Palmerston, lord Vernon, George
Pechell, sir Thomas Villiers, rt. hon. J.
Peel, right hon. R. Vivian, sir H.
Pellew, hon. P. Walker, J.
Pennant, G. D. Wallace, rt. hon. T.
Percy, hon. W. H. Walpole, lord
Phillimore, doctor Ward, R.
Phipps, hon. E. Warrender, sir G.
Pitt, J. Warren, C.
Pitt, W. M. Wells, John
Pollington, lord Wemyss, L.
Pole, sir P. Westenra, hon. H.
Pole, rt. hon. W. W. Whitmore, Thomas
Pollen, sir John Wigram, sir R.
Powell, sir J. K. Wigram, W.
Powell, E, Wilberforce, W.
Prendergast, M. Wilbraham, E. B.
Penruddock,— Wildman, J. B.
Pringle, sir W. Williams, Robert
Ray, sir W. Wilmot, Robert
Rayne, Jonathan Wilson, Thomas
Rice, hon. G. Wodehouse, hon. J.
Rickett, C. M. Wodehouse, Edward
Robertson, A. Wood, Thomas
Robinson, rt. hon. F. Worcester, lord
Rocksavage, lord Wortley, S.
Rogers, E. Wrottesley, H.
Russell, J. W. Wyndham, W.
Ryder, rt. hon. Rd. Wynn, C. W.
Wilson, sir H. W, Bouverie, hon. B.
Yarmouth, lord Bourne, Sturges
TELLERS. Clive, hon. R.
Binning, lord Drake, T. P.
Lushington, S. R. Hope, sir W.
PAIRED OFF. Needham, hon. F.
Blackburne, John Smith, Ashton
Abercromby, hon. J. Folkestone, viscount
Allen, J. H. Farrand, Robert
Althorp, viscount Glenorchy, viscount
Anson, sir G. Gordon, Robert
Anson, hon. G. Graham, Sandford
Beaumont, T. W. Graham, J. R. G.
Barham, J. F. jun. Grant, J. P.
Baring, sir Thomas Griffith, J. W.
Baring, Alexander Guise, sir W.
Baring, Henry Gurney, Hudson
Barnard, viscount Gurney, R. H.
Barrett, S. M. Gaskell, Benjamin
Bennet, hon. H. G. Haldimand, W.
Benyon, Benjamin Hamilton, lord A.
Bernal, Ralph Harbord, hon. E.
Birch, Joseph Heathcote, sir G.
Brougham, Henry Heron, sir Robert
Browne, Dom. Hill, lord A.
Bright, Henry Hobhouse, J. C.
Burdett, sir F. Honywood, W. P.
Bury, viscount Hornby, Edmund
Byng, George Howard, hon. W.
Blake, sir F. Hughes, W. L.
Bentinck, lord W. Hume, Joseph
Benett, John Hurst, Robert
Belgrave, viscount Hutchinson, hon, C.
Calcraft, John Hamilton, sir H. D.
Calcraft, J. H. jun. James, W.
Calvert, Charles Jervoise, G. P.
Calvert, Nicholas Kennedy, T. F.
Campbell, hon. J. Langton, J. H.
Carew, R. S. Lamb, hon. W.
Carter, John Lennard, T. B.
Cavendish, lord G. Lemon, sir W.
Cavendish, Henry Lloyd, sir E.
Chaloner, Robert Lloyd, E. M.
Clifford, captain Lushington, Stephen
Clifton, viscount Maberly, John
Coke, T. W. jun. Maberly, W. L.
Colburne, N. R. Macdonald, J.
Concannon, Lucius Mackintosh, sir J.
Coussmaker, G. Madocks, W. A.
Crespigny, sir W. Martin, John
Curwen, J. C. Maxwell, John
Creevey, Thomas Milbank, Mark
Davies, T. H. Milton, viscount
Denison, W. J. Monck, J. B.
Denman, Thomas Moore, Abraham
Duncannon, viscount Moore, Peter
Dundas, hon. T. Marjoribanks, sir J.
Dickinson, W. Mahon, hon. S.
Ebrington, viscount Neville, hon. R.
Ellice, Edward Newman, R. W.
Ferguson, sir P. C. Newport, rt. hon. sir J.
Fitzgerald, lord W. Nugent, lord
Fitzgerald, rt. hon. M. O'Callaghan, J.
Fitzroy, lord C. Ord, W.
Fitzroy, lord J. Ossulston, lord
Palmer, colonel Stanley, lord
Palmer, C. F. Stuart, lord J.
Parnell, sir Henry Sykes, Daniel
Pierce, Henry Sebright, sir John
Pelham, hon. C, A. Talbot, R. W.
Phillips, G. R. Taylor, M. A.
Phillips, George Tierney, rt. hon. G.
Ponsonby, hon. F. C. Tynte, C. K.
Power, Richard Townshend, lord C.
Powlett, hon. W. Tennyson, C.
Price, Robert Titchfield, marq. of
Prittie, hon. F. A. Webbe, Edward
Pryse, Pryse Western, C. C.
Pym, Francis Wharton, John
Ramsden, J. C. Whitbread, W. H.
Ricardo, David Whitbread, Samuel C
Rice, T. S. Wilkins, Walter
Robarts, A. W. Williams, T. P.
Robarts, G. Williams, W.
Robinson, sir George Wilson, sir Robert
Rowley, sir W. Wood, alderman
Rumbold, Charles Wyvill, M.
Russell, lord W. Wetherell, C.
Russell, lord John Whitmore, W. W.
Russell, R. G. TELLERS.
Ramsbottom, John Lambton, John G.
Rickford, William Tavistock, marq. of
Scott, James PAIRED OFF.
Smith, hon. Robert Aubrey, sir John
Smith, John Coffin, sir I.
Smith, Samuel Grenfell, Pascoe
Smith, Abel Mostyn, sir Thomas
Smith, George Noel, sir G.
Smith, William Osborne, lord F.
Scarlett, James White, Duke
Scudamore, R. P. Williams, Owen
Seifton, earl of Wilmington, sir E.