« ForrigeFortsett »
to inform the house, that it was, in vided for, amounted to two milTorre respects, rather a substitution lions and a half, and the annual of other taxes to those that had charge of interest for the suns to be been relinquished, for the ease of levied, in order to provide for those the public, than the imposition of services, and for the funding of new ones: he also stated, that ler- the unfunded debt, arose to five vices un provided for, and of which hundred and seventy-fix thousand the propriety was evident, would pounds. The loan, which was to demand the means of performance. furnish the means of carrying the Having withdrawn the tax on print- above scheme into execution, would ed linens and callicoes, calculated amount to seven millions and a half, to produce one hundred and thirty at the moderate profit of three five thousand pounds, he would now pounds fix thillings and three pence propose to replace that deficiency by per cent. to the lenders. This, he a tax upon dogs, computed at one observed, was an incontrovertible hundred thousand pounds, and by proof of the flourishing fituation of another on hats, estimated at forty this country, of its surprising rethousand. To these two taxes he fources, and of the confidence rewould now add one, of twenty posed in the ministry by people of pounds a ton upon wine, which property. It ought to silence the would yield fix hundred thousand misrepresentations of those who pounds, with very little addition of took such pains to state this country expence to the consumers of this as reduced to distress, and who had article.
thereby encouraged the French to The scarcity of money was, at the assume the arrogance of dictating the same time, he noticed, an object of terms of a peace, when their own essential attention to ministry, and finances were wholly shattered, and every effort would be exerted to the whole country and nation infind a remedy. This scarcity pro- volved in every species of public ceeded, in some measure, from the and private embarrallinents, from necessary support of our foreign al- which nothing but a peace could lies, and the extraordinaries for our possibly extricate them. numerous forces; but there were Mr. Grey replied with great also other causes: the immensity of fervour to Mr. Pitt. He charged commercial speculations, the vast him with coming to the house no capital in constant employment, and less than three times in fourteen the insufficiency of the pecuniary months, with three different budmedium to answer mercantile de- gets, as if he well knew that he mands. To remove this difficulty, had only to alk, in order to obtain : he proposed to fund the public but the fact was, that the minidebts remaining, unfunded, which ster's address to the house, on this would enahle the bank to make day, was, though an indirect, yet larger advances on their bills to a clear acknowledgement of his merchants than while it was so errors and misconduct, and a plain, much applied to for discount, in though vainly concealed, endeavour consequence of the debt unfunded. to rectify them. Parliament, how
The total of the sums demanded, ever, was bound, in justice to its by Mr. Pitt, for the services unpro- constituents, to submit to no fala Vol. XXXVIII.
lacious and illusory accounts, and Other members fpoke on each side to investigate the ministerial state of the question. On putting the ments with the severest strickness: resolutions moved by the minister this would thew, that in many cir- in favour of the new loan, and adcumstances, they were not to be re- ditional taxes, they were carried lied on. Mr. Grey went into a without a division of the house. variety of particulars, in proof of his The mortality that had so fatally own assertion. Notwithstanding the prevailed among the British troops loan of twenty-five millions, inte- in the West Indies, and the inrest had not, he said, been pro- adequateness of the successes obvided for the outstanding debts. tained there, to the expectations He warned the house to be ware formed from the sums expended on of giving credit to the allevera- the expeditions against the French tions, so regularly brought before islands, were topics of general conit, of French distress, and incapa- versation and complaint. Oppoficity to maintain the contest. To tion ascribed the disappointments fuch delufion the war was owing, that had happened in those parts together with its fatal protractions. to the incapacity, or ill conduct, He concluded, by allerting, that if of ministry, and demanded the proa fair investigation was made, by a duction of the papers relating to committee of inquiry, it would ap- those expeditions. pear that provifion had not been On the 21st of April, Mr. Sheridan, made, as stated, for the interest of afier many strictures on the conduct the public debt.
of ministry, moved for a return of the After an answer from Mr. Pitt, men carried off by disease and fajustifying his assertions and state- tigue in those countries. So shamements, and controverting those of ful, he alerted, was the neglect Mr. Grey in the most effential par- of the troops, that, on their arrival ticulars, Mr. Fox took up the sub- in that destructive climate, they were ject with great animation. He co- deftitute of shoes and stockings. Had incided with the assertions of Mr. not discases ravaged the enemy's Grey, and treated, with marked forces, our own must have fallen an afperity, the idea that a people ealy prey into their hands. The plunged, as the French were de- hospitals were crowded with the fcribed, in the gulph of bankruptcy, fick and wounded, for whom neither should compel the British miniftry medicines nor bandages were proto demand luch endless supplies of vided. Such was the inhumanity money, and call upon the people they fometimes experienced, that of this country for lo enormous a ninety, or a hundred, of these unsum as twenty-five millions within happy men, were once left to pass., little more than a year.
a whole night on the beach, in con-, ticed, with equal severity, the ar- sequence of which only seven or rears duc in a variety of depart- eight survived. With such molires. ments, particularly the retention of for an inquiry how could it be dethe fmall allowance to the emi- clined? Herequired it, together with grants, who had shewn such con- an account of the force employed fidence in our generosity, and who under lord Moira in 1794 and 1795, had no other means of lublilience. and which ought to have been dil1
patched to the relief of the troops In the course of this debate, the in the islands, and not kept inactive transactions, under fir C. Grey, at home. He would also require came into discussion. Mr. Fox, a list of the officers and soldiers lost, Mr. Sheridan, Mr. Francis, and gespecifying the loss of each regiment. neral Tarleton, inferred, from words Such information would Niew what spoken by Mr. Dundas, that he a drain thele expeditions had proved meant to inculpate the conduct of from the population of the British that officer; but both he and Mr. islands, and how much they tended Pitt bestowed the highest encoto weaken them. Accounts ought, mjums upon him. Mr. Grey, the by the same reason, to be laid be- member, declared, however, that fore the house, of the numbers fir C. Grey was earnestly desirous carried off in the ports of South- to give every elucidation respecting ampton, Portsmouth, and Plymouth, the business with which he had been were it only to make known the ini- entrusted. quitous neglect of those who could On the twenty-eighth of April, a leave troops confined seven months violent debate took place on those on boord, exposed to the infallible subjects. Mr. Dundas entered into effects of such a close imprisonment, a minute and elaborate recapitulanotwithstanding the remonstrances tion of the conduct of govertiment, made to government. He moved, respecting the West Indies. He at the same time, for the produc- carefully detailed the forces of the tion of other documents of the firme kingdon, and what had been denature, by which he pledged him- tached from them, on expeditions felf to prove the misconduct of mi- to those parts. He gave a circumnisters; adding, that unless they stantial account of all that had hapfelt a conscioulliess of the rectitude pened there, and exerted himself to of his charges, they would gladly thew that the difakers and disappointfeize the occasion, now offered them, ments, that had befallen us, arose of vindicating themselves from the from accidents that were wholly unimputations to loudly and generally avoidable: the conduct of our comlaid to them by the public.
inanders had been judicious, and The difficulty of the minister's that of ministry irreproachable. ftuation was ftrongly represented This apology did not prove fatisby Mr. Dundas. Papers and docu- factory to the oppofition. The imments were demanded from them, putation of having neglected the of which official secrecy prohibited troops, in the Well Indies, was rethe communication to the public. allerted, by Mr. Sheridan, with much The time would certainly come, positiveness, and the distribution of when they would glailly meet the the forces assigned to the various ferftriéteft scrutiny of their conduct, vices that took place at that time, fure that it would stand the fevereit iniprobated as ill-judged; and fome test. All had been done in the West of the services themselves repreIndies that circumstances would per- fented as unlealonable, and intermit
, and reinforcements and lup- fering with the others. The troops plies of all kinds had been trans- destined for the West-India expedimitted without delay, on the first tion were also described as unwornotice of their being wanted. thy the name of foldiers : they con
fifted of elderly men, and mere boys, The expedition to Quiberon, in. with raw youths at their head. This the summer of 1795, and its upforcertainly was no better than mockery tunate illue to numbers of the French and parade.
Mr. Dundas having emigrants embarked in it, had been exprefled, with much warmth on a subject of universal dilcufion in this occasion, his hope that the this country ever since it had hapCape of Good Hope would never pened, and had given occafion to be restored to the enemy, Mr. She the severest centures of those to ridan took notice of the mortifying whom the management of it had impresion that fuch a declaration been entrusted. The person whose must neceflarily make on the stadt- fall was most lamented was the count holder, who could not fail, thereby, de Scmbreuil, a French gentleman to perceive, that what we took froin of a most amiable character, ani the Dutch we were determined to highly respected for his many exkeep. The stadtholder, in his re- cellent qualities. He had, with treat at Hampton, had, indeed, the many others, fallen into the hands satisfaction of seeing his fleets, and of the enemy, and, like them, was foreign possessions, falling, not into condemned to death as a rebel. On the hands of his enemies, but those the eve of his execution he wrote a of his friends; yet, as these friends letter to Mr. Wyndham, wherein he dragged him into the war, under alluded to two others, one written the assurance of protection, he might to fir J. B. Warren, the other to well say, with the Roman poet, Mr. Wyndham; a copy of this latt, Pol me occidiftis Amici, non servast s!" was demanded by general Tarleton,
HORAT. as being of a public nature, and conThe result of this debate was, that formably to the desire of the count ministry acquiesced in the motions himself, who had, in the letter to made by Mr. Sheridan, which were sir J. B. Warren, expressed a wisho for accounts of the number of men that Mr. Wyndham would publith destined for the expedition to the it: but this gentleman alleged it West Indies, under fir C. Grey, in was more of a private than a public 1793; for accounts of the number nature. In the mean time it was withdrawn from that service, to form publilled in a daily paper, and Mr. an expedition against the coast of Sheridan affirmed that he found it France under lord Moira, and of related to matters of public import. the numbers, who, after the con- ance, and represented the expediquest of Martinico, St. Lucia, and tion alluded to in a very unfavourGuadaloupe, were detached to St. able light to minifiers. Mr. Wynd. Domingo. But the other motions, ham, in reply, allerted that it conmade by Mr. Sheridan, for a variety cerned the count himself, who was of official papers, relating to the diliatisfied with the part affigned to circumstances of other armaments him in that expedition. He did and intended expeditions, were ne
not, however, force it upon the gatived, on Mr. Duudas engaging count, who acted merely from his to give explanatory anfirers to the excellive zeal in the cause he had queliions upon those subjecis.
embraced. This answer provoked
• By Grm, my friends, ye have not served, but ruined me. Horat.
another from general Smith, in which rived from the influence they polhe represented Mr. Puisaye, who feiled over the bank, of which the had the charge of that expedition, management was now become enas unworthy of it, and as an emi- tirely their own, contrary to the grant of little consideration among spirit of its infiitution, and the safety his countrymen. Other nembers of the constitution itself, which was spoke on this occafion : but the de- manifestly endangered by so vaft an bate ende1 by Mr. Pitt's moving accession of power to the executive for the order of the day; and Mr. branch of government. Who could Sheridan's motion for the latter was have the face to deny that thele thereby negatived.
were glaring abuses, and that they Years had now elapsed since the called for immediate remedies ? He famous declaration, made by the would, therefore, in this critical house of commons, during the Ame- situation of affairs, endeavour to rican war, " that the influence of procure the realizing of those mea. the crown had encreased, was still sures of reform, so long resolved encreasing, and ought to be dimi- upon, and which ought, from every nished.” At that period several motive of duty and honour, to be resolutions had allo palled for the re- no longer d-layed. For this purform of various abules. But though pose he would move, that an inthis falutary work had been pro. quiry should lk instituted into the cecded upon, it had gradually been causes that had prevented the prolaid aside, and the public had long fecution of those reforms fo foleninly ceased to hear of any progress in fanctioned by the legislature, and the alterations proposed and pro- so strongly recommended by those mised at that time It was to recall to whole wisdom and integrity it these divers objects to notice, that had formally committed the infperthe marquis of Lansdowne moved tion of thai department most ellenfor the several papers relating to tial in all states, the revenue and them. On the fecond of May he finances of the nation, and all that made a long and elaborate speech, was connected with this important in the house of lords, on the subject object. He made other motions of their contents, urging, with great tending to the fame end; and conforce, the propriety of taking them cluded, by renewing the disapprointo confideration at a time when bation he had so often exprelled of the purpole for which the regula- the war, as destructive of men, and tions contained in them were framed, wasteful of treature, beyond all preand which was the retrenchment of cedents. needless expences, demanded the The reforms alluded to were acattention of the legislature more knowledged by lord Grenville, in rethan ever. The marquis entered ply, to have been thought expedient into a number of particulars in order by the commillioners who had been to corroborate his asertion, that a appointed to examine the public acuscless and expensive angmentation counts; but it would not be thence of places and offices had taken place. inferred, that they were applicable The patronage thence arising to mi- to all times and einergencies. The nistry had proved enormous: but proposal, for instance, to throw fome the most dangerous was that de- of the revenue-offices into one was