§ The House resolved itself into a committee of Supply. On the resolution, "That 620,000l. be granted to defray the Extraordinary Expenses of the Army,"
Mr. Wilmot Horton
said, that the commissioners, who were pursuing their inquiries in the colonies, had taken occasion, in their report to government, to express their entire satisfaction at the manner in which the grant in question had been disposed of.
§ Mr. Hume
felt the more anxious for explicit information on this head, because there was no British colony which had so much reason to complain of its govemor, as the Cape of Good Hope; none in which the settlers had been more oppressively or unjustly treated; and no governor whose arbitrary and highly improper conduct was more to be reprobated than lord Charles Somerset [hear]. If the statements that had been published respecting the course adopted by that individual —(and he had seen a great many such statements)— were true, lord Charles Somerset ought not to be continued any longer in his government. His conduct seemed to have been not only most arbitrary to the colonists, but most hostile to the liberty of the press. It was to be hoped, therefore, that the report of the commissioners would be immediately communicated.
Mr. Wilmot Horton
assured the hon. gentleman, that the commissioners were as actively engaged in the prosecution of their important inquiries, as men could be. When ever their report should be received, there would be, on the part of the colonial department every disposition to meet the object adverted to. But, if the hon. gentleman expected that all the statements which had met the public eye respecting the individual in question, and recent transactions at the Cape, necessarily exparte as those statements must be, were to receive an answer from him, the hon. gentleman's expectations would be disappointed. That hon. member on a former night had said, that all the complaints which had been preferred by the settlers at the Cape to the Colonial-office were received with indifference and contempt 999 —that all their applications were unattended to. Now, this imputation he denied in the strongest manner; and he challenged the hon. gentleman to adduce a single instance, in which such complaints had not been made the object of careful examination by the Colonial-office.
§ Mr. Hume
desired to repeat his conviction, that the conduct of lord Charles Somerset had been so very reprehensible —so entirely contrary to the interests of the settlers, and the welfare of the colony at the Cape—that the colonial department ought by no means to have continued him in his government up to this time. He knew, indeed, that some of the individuals aggrieved had received a partial remuneration for the ill treatment which they had been subjected to. The editor of a journal published at the Cape had been allowed to return; but had been refused any remuneration for the losses he had suffered; and he must say that in continuing lord Charles Somerset in such a situation, the colonial department had manifested very little regard for the interests or the feelings of the colonists.
said, that when the report should have been communicated to parliament, the colonial department would be in a condition to meet any specific charge which the hon. gentleman might bring forward.
§ The resolution was agreed to.