JANUARY, 1812.


Earl Camden . . . . . . . . Lord President of the Council.
Lord Eldon . . . . . . . . Lord High Chancellor.
Earl of Westmoreland . . . . . Lord Privy Seal.
First Lord of the Treasury (Prime
Minister,) Chancellor and Under
Right Hon. Spencer Perceval . . Treasurer of the Exchequer, also
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lan-
Right Hon. Charles Yorke . . . First Lord of the Admiralty.
Lord Mulgrave . . . . . . Master-General of the Ordnance.
- - Secret for the Home De-
Right Hon. Richard Ryder . . . . S so. State for t De
Secretary of State for Foreign Af-

- Secretary of State for Department of Earl of Liverpool . . . . . . . { War and the Colonies.

Marquis wellesley e


- - President of the 3oard of Controus) Viscount Melville . . . . . for the Affairs of India. Right Hon. George Rose . . . . Vice-President of the Board of Trade,

and Treasurer of the Navy. Viscount Palmerston . . . . . . Secretary at War. Lord Charles Somerset . . . .l. Joint Paymaster-General of the Right Hon. Charles Long . . . Forces. # ; $." • e o e e . Joint Postmaster-General.

§. A.o #. : . . :} Secretaries to the Treasury.
Sir William Grant . . . . . . Master of the Rolls.
Sir Vicary Gibbs . . . . . . Attorney-General.
Sir Thomas Plumer . . . . . . Solicitor-General.


Duke of Richmond . . . . . . Lord Lieutenant.
Lord Manners . . . . . . . Lord High Chancellor.
Right Hon. Wm. Wellesley Pole . too. Secretary and Chanceller of the

Exchequer. WOL, V. PART I. b

As it stood at the Period of the Dissolution, September 29, 1812.

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Domestic Affairs. Meeting of Parliament. Prince Regent's Speech on Opening the Session. State of the King's Health. King's Household Establish

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Debates in Parliament on some Points connected with the Civil List.

Droits of Admiralty. Leeward Island Duties. Provision to the Princesses.

The session of parliament was opened by commission on the 7th of January; and a speech was pronounced, which, as is usual on such occasions, alluded briefly to the state of public affairs, and to the leading features of the policy of administration. His royal highness the Prince Regent lamented the continued indisposition of his majesty; and had ordered copies of the last reports of the queen's council, respecting the king’s health, to be laid be. fore parliament. Suitable provisions were recommended for the support of the royal dignity, for the care of the royal person, and for affording all due facility to the resumption of the royal authority, in the event of the king's restoration to health. The successful defence of the kingdom of Portugal— the bravery and discipline of the British and Portuguese troops—and the WOL. V. PART I.

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my's colonial:pewer, were next also: ded too; and pariśāmerit was:rémünded of the propriety of turning its attention towards the improvement of that mighty empire which Great Britain had established in the East. With reference to the subsisting relations betwixt Great Britain and America, it was stated, that, although the affair of the Chesapeake had been finally adjusted, the other discussions had not yet been brought to a close ; but an assurance was given, that no measure of conciliation should be left untried, which might be found consistent with the rights and dignity of the empire. The finances of Ireland were represented as in a flourishing state; and the Prince Regent expressed his confidence, that, when the estimates for the year should be laid before parliament, a liberal disposition would be shewn to sustain the country in the great contest in which it was engaged. The address was moved in the House of Lords by the Earl of Shaftesbury; the debate which succeeded was by no means interesting, except for the zeal displayed by Lords Grenville and Grey, to have their sweeping condemnation of the measures of government put upon record. These noble lords, although professing a sincere desire for unanimity on this occasion, were anxious to warn the country against reposing any confidence in the administration. Lord Grenville, “ considering the critical circumstances of the times, and the present alarming state of the country, would have been happy if the address proposed to the House had been so worded as to procure unanimity, on the present day, at least; yet, he did not feel surprised that such had not been the case, when he reflected, that the framers of the speech were the very men, who, by their obstinate blindness, had brought the country to the brink of ruin, and who, in the midst of the

distresses they themselves had occasioned, still the same flattering and fallacious language. He would protest against a continuance of those measures which had brought such calamities on the country; calamities so real and so momentous, that they must soon press themselves with irresistible force on their lordships’ attention, whether or not they were willing to give them the consideration they ă.. People might choose to close their eyes, but the force of truth must dispel the wilful blindness; they might choose to shut their ears, but the voice of a suffering nation must sooner or later be heard. The noble lord said he still retained his objections to every part of the system he had so often condemned; he still deprecated that wanton waste of money, and of all the public resources, when it was more necessary than ever to husband them with the most provident care. He still objected to those commercial measures, which were pompously announced as the most formidable weapon against the enemy, and which had recoiled on our own commerce and manufactures. He still retained his objections to a system of finance, which had forced a debased coin on the people, and had spread bankruptcy and ruin throughout the land.” Nor was Lord Grey less severe in his reproaches. “He should feel unhappy,” he said, “if he departed from that house, without declaring that he retained all the opinions he had before held on subjects of great magnitude; opinions confirmed by experience and the evidence of facts; opinions which he should be ready to maintain and defend on future opportunities of discussing them. Whether the noble Secretary of State (Lord Liverpool) chose to allude to the affairs of America on which he had shewn much caution and silence, and ventured to call our transactions in that quarter a proof of the

assertion, that the system of the government had contributed to the security, prosperity, and honour of the country; or whether he intended to refer to the system of our measures in the peninsula, he pledged himself that he should be ready to meet him, and to contend, that whatever might be said to have been done, had not been done to the promotion of the safety and honour of the country; and that the general system adopted had been, in fact, the source of almost all our present and impending calamities.”— Such were the terms in which the whole policy of government was arraigned, not at a season when it was still untried, and might, therefore, with some plausibility, have been represented as matter of uncertain and dangerous experiment, but in the beginning of the year 1812, when the measures of administration had already secured so many practical advantages—when they had saved Portugal—kept alive the flame of patriotism in Spain, and opened up the fairest prospects for Europe. As the censure pronounced by the leaders of opposition had been vague and declamatory, the answer made by the Earl of Liverpool was of a general nature. “The present,” his lordship was convinced, “was not a fit day to dwell on any details; but the noble baron (Grenville) had entered a general protest against the whole of the system pursued by the present ministers, and on that ground, he was ready to meet him the more willingly, as that system and those measures so condemned, had stood the test of experience. Many opportunities would undoubtedly occur of canvassing the merits of their different opinions; but, as the noble baron had been heard in support of his, it would not be, perhaps, too much to presume, that the same indulgence might be allowed to him.

He was

firmly convinced that the system the noble baron had so much condemned, was the only one that had saved, or could have saved, this country; to the continuance of that system only, Europe could look for deliverance, and England for permanent safety ; in short, by the merits of that system his lordship and his colleagues were determined to stand or #. The address was carried without a division. In the House of Commons the ordinary course of proceeding was deranged by a singular interference on the part of Sir Francis Burdett. It is customary that the Speaker, on his return from the House of Lords, should read to the Commons the speech from the throne: the address is then moved and seconded, when a general debate ensues. Such is the usual course; but Sir Francis Burdett thought proper to anticipate the member who should have moved the customary address, and to make a long speech, and move a long address of his own, which, without touching on any of the topics alluded to in the speech from the throne, exhibited a good summary of his own political eccentricities.—On this remarkable occasion the honourable baronet began, by paying a compliment to his royal highness the Prince Regent, and by ...; the house that the prince was not of a temper to be pleased by flattery; but that he would consider those members as his best friends who pointed out the real grievances under which his people laboured. It was of the utmost importance at so great a crisis, that the prince should be addressed in a spirit of candour and truth; and no member of parliament could do his duty to his constituents, to his country, or to the Prince Regent himself, if he failed to represent to his royal highness the general sentiments of the people. This solemn beginning seemed to promise something

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