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vince and right, but the absolute and it should ever advise the crown on bounden duty of the House of Com- such an occasion, or whether it would mons to interfere when it discovers surrender one of its most important that measures are about to be adopt. privileges, and agree to support an ad. ed, or an administration about to be ministration formed on a principle of formed, which has no chance of meet. mere favouritism. ing the wishes or enjoying the con- The motion was resisted on various fidence of the people; that the mi- grounds. It is unconstitutional, said nisters themselves entertained a due its opponents, to interfere with the sense of their own incapacity, since prerogative of the crown in forming an they had attempted to enlist under administration ; and there is no intheir banners, men whose talents they stance on record of the House having thought might sustain the tottering thus interfered ; That it would be time fabric of their administration ; but the enough to propose censure when an proposal had been honourably decli. administration had been formed and ned, not from personal motives, but found inefficient; but it was altogeon public grounds ; That the mini- ther unbecoming and arrogant to of. sters, in making their late attempt to fer previous advice ; That although it acquire an accession of strength, had be the unquestionable duty of the desired nothing more than a pretence House of Commons to watch over and for their own continuance in power, controul the crown, no constitutional since they foresaw the odium which principle is better understood, than they must have encountered had they that the sovereign has the absolute presumed to remain in office without right of nominating his ministers, some endeavour to strengthen them. That although some persons of great selves by the most efficient aid ; That talents had declined to accept of office there could be no reason for waiting under government, their refusal could till experience had decided on the in- be no reproach to the existing admi. capacity of the administration ; that nistration ; that it must at all times the crisis demanded a government be of importance to unite as great which could do something by autho- a share of the talents and influence of rity-an administration of some name the country as possible in the governand credit to give it strength in the ment ; but although a fair and ho. public opinion; That even those who nourable attempt had, in this instance, approved of the present system ought been made with that view, yet the to consider, whether the present men attempt had failed, because ministers were capable of supporting it; yet were not disposed to concede opinions what must be the nature of that sys- for which they had already received tem, to which there was so general a the sanction of parliament and of the repugnance, that all the arts and blan- country; That administrations premadishments of the court could not se- turely denounced as weak and ineffici. cure for it any support but that of the ent, had, on many occasions, conduct. present ministers? That, with reference ed the affairs of the country with ac. to the catholic claims, an administra- tivity and vigour, while others, with tion was required which could talk in great promise of talents, energy, and a firm tone to the Irish people, conce. weight, had disappointed every expec. ding what could be safely yielded, and tation which had been formed of them; resisting all unreasonable demands; That the history of all countries, and and, finally, that the House was called the opinions of the wisest men, concur on by the motion to decide, whether in establishing this salutary truth, that it is far better to adhere to the stration, which was not yet nominated, principles of the constitution on all would be one not entitled
to the conoccasions, than to violate them for the fidence of the country. The only sisake of a temporary advantage. It is milar instance alluded to was the case more manly and spirited, said the sup- of Mr Pitt, and on that occasion his porters of the motion, to bring the great political rival had made an apoquestion forward while the arrange logy for bringing forward a motion ment are depending, than to wait till not of advice with respect to the forthey are concluded, and then com- mation of a ministry, but to prevent mence hostilities ; but to this an an- the dissolution of parliament, in the swer might be made in the words of interval previous to the re-appointment Junius to Sir William Draper" That of Mr Pitt, thus acknowledging the this was an instance of spirit ; and if it unconstitutionality of an interference had been an instance of any thing but with the appointment of ministers. spirit, he would have been inclined to The period he alluded to was one of un- . follow the example ;” That the ques- precedented heat and irritation, when tion, whether the House should have the House shewed a disposition to a controul on the appointment of the go lengths in opposition to ministers, ministers of the crown had been deci. which he believed many of them had ded thirty years ago ; and it had been since been disposed to allow were unwisely held, that it is only when par- justifiable ; yet neither Mr Fox nor liament has had experience of the mea- any of the great men of that day vensures of ministers, that it is entitled tured to avow such motives as those to address the throne, and express a declared by his honourable friend on decided opinion. Such were the old. the present occasion. What was the fashioned principles of the constitution case then? The reasons for interference under which the country had long then were much stronger than those flourished ; and by these principles it which could now be alleged. The would be expedient still to abide. crown had dismissed a ministry which
Such were the arguments of a ge- had great majorities on its side ; and neral nature which were urged on this the crown did so, in order to appoint 'occasion. In the course of the debate, another ministry which had not the Mr Ryder made some allusions to the confidence of the House. He would details of the late negociation, which be glad to know who were the persons drew from Mr Canning an oration, re. that were to compose the ministry plete with his usual eloquence and about to be formed ? Were they not ability. Mr Ryder observed, that those who, for the last four years, had “ if the House agreed to the motion been receiving the approbation of parat this moment, they would violate one liament and of his honourable friend? of the first and most undoubted prero. Was not the noble lord at the head of gatives of the crown. He had expect the administration (the Earl of Livered that his honourable friend (Mir S. pool) the same person who had been Wortley) would have been prepared to so long successfully conducting that shew some precedent; but the fact he part of the affairs of the country, really believed was, that there was no which on so many occasions had expeinstance in our history where the House rienced the approbation of the House interfered to prevent the formation of an and of the public? This was enough administration. His honourable friend to shew that the grounds of proceedpredicted, from what he knew of the ing in the one case and the other present government, that the admini. were totally different.--And yet it.
was under these circumstances con. but which, at this moment, he did not ceived against all precedent and prin- feel himself authorised to produce, and ciple, that the House should go up to he asked his right honourable friend the throne for the purpose of advising whether he had not seen such a statethe king as to the choice of his ser. ment? To recur to the subject of the vants. He here found it necessary to motion, he could see no ground for allude to some facts which were pret. supposing any inability in the noble ty generally known ; and in doing so, lore at the head of the government ; he could not be suspected of any pri
for that noble lord was the man, who, vate motive, for, without going into ten or eleven years ago, had been chathe circumstances connected with that racterised by Mr Pitt as the individual event, he had to state, that he was no most fit to succeed to the first office longer a member of the administra. in the government, from his talents, tion. The manner in which certain integrity, and extensive acquirements, propositions had been made, had been with the sole exception of Mr Fox. animadverted on that night, but he As to the motion now before the did not think that his right honoura- House, he could not conceive how his ble friend (Mr Canning) would say,
honourable friend could reconcile it that those offers were not made in
with the votes which he had been acfect sincerity, and in the wish and customed to give. He felt little dishope that they would be accepted. posed to enter into any political conAs far as related to the motion of tention, or to say any thing that which his right honourable friend had could give offence, but he could not given notice-(Mr Canning's notice help referring the House to the prinrelative to the catholic question for the ciples that had governed, and to the 28th of this month)-he apprehended practice that had been pursued for four that if he had accepted office, the ne- years by the last administration, and cessity for bringing forward that mo. to the majorities by which its measures tion would have been superseded, be had been supported, and asking whecause it would then have been in his ther it could be imagined, that mempower to direct the attention of his col. bers would be acting a part agreeable leagues to the subject in a more effica- to their constituents, by adopting the cious manner. But he understood there motion proposed for the purpose
of were other grounds for the refusalof his' destroying a government, which had right honourable friend, among which hitherto received the highest approbawas the treating the catholic claims as tion throughout the country? Had he a government question. Whether his no other objections to the motion, this right honourable friend would have alone would be sufficient to determine persisted in this new view of the sub- his vote ; he could not believe it posject he knew not; if he did, it would sible, that it could now be carried by indeed have proved a bar to his right a majority of the House, unless they honourable friend's admission into the were prepared to say, that all those present ministry. He knew that it éx. measures which had been hitherto apcited extreme concern on the part of proved, as essential to the glory and government to find, that his right ho- security of the empire, were in reality nourable friend could not be brought detrimental to its best and truest in. to strengthen their administration. terests." With respect to the opinions held on Mr Canning now rose and said, “It the principal topics at issue, he had was my wish and my intention to have papers which fully explained them, avoided troubling the House in the
course of the present debate ; not be. himself of the useful precept which cause I might presumptuously sup- was thus afforded. What I complain pose, that in the motion for an ad. of is, that he has travelled out of the dress, for a strong and efficient admi- record, which, by special contract benistration, there was any thing per- tween the parties, was allowed to comsonally reflecting upon myself, found. prise the whole case.—He has gone ed on transactions which owe their beyond the written proposal and my birth to the few last days, but because written answer. I am sorry that he I was aware, that whatever I night has done so, because he has put me urge upon the subject would natural. under the unavoidable, but disagreealy be attributed to personal feelings, ble necessity of doing what was farwhich I can assure the House it has thest from my intention, when I enbeen my most earnest endeavour to tered this House, and what is in direct dismiss, on the subject of the applica. opposition to all my feelings ; viz. tion which has recently been made to drawing a contrast between my own
The speech, however, of my conduct and that of others for right honourable friend who has just vindication. taken his seat, has placed me in a si
“ I have been asked whether, suppotuation, in which, if I did not answer sing I had accepted the offer that was the call he has made upon me, I might made to me, I should not have felt be justly accused, in the first place, of myself at perfect liberty to act as my disrespect towards him, which is far own opinions should dictate upon the from my intention ; and in the second, great question which constitutes the of disrespect to the House, which is main bar of separation? I reply that, equally distant from my mind. He as a minister, I know I should have will allow me to say, without any sen- been at liberty: I do not mean to astiment of unkindness, that I think the sert, that if I had joined the present call has been made a little unfairly.- administration to fight against my own Whatever has passed verbally without principles, under the banners of the these walls, by an absolute agreement noble lord, I should not still have had between Lord Liverpool, who made the power of making my solitary the proposition, and myself, was redu. speech, and of giving my solitary vote, ced to writing, that it might be less in support of opinions I had previoussubject to misapprehension, or perver. ly maintained I will not even say, sion, and to that minute, an answer that there may not be honourable upon paper was returned by me, to minds who 'would be satisfied with which, standing at the bar of my coun- such a distinction, and it may be my try to answer for my conduct, I beg misfortune or my fault that mine is not leave to refer-I know that here I .a mind of that construction. If, when cannot technically refer to it, and I out of office, I have lent to any cause know that thus a technical advantage that I deemed just my influence and may be taken-an unworthy advan. my authority, I never can consent to tage may be taken--and when the ho accept office under the condition that nourable member for Yorkshire teils I shall instantly divest myself of that me that the House can have no cog- influence and authority which ought nizance of such correspondence, I ac. still to be my companions, and to leave knowledge that it is perfectly true, them on one great and vital question and I cannot help wishing that my in open and wilful abeyance. I beg honourable friend" (Mr Ryder) who the House to observe, that these pain spoke on the same side, had availed ful explanations are extorted from me : I could refer them to the cool, deli- deed it might with some plausibility berate compositions of my closet, but have been urged that the House was I am compelled here to stand forward advancing a step too far then indeed while they are wrung from me by the the right honourable gentleman might unfair conduct of a debate. I am exclaim, that the great land-marks of most unwillingly placed in the situa- the constitution were thrown down ; tion I now occupy, and obliged for my that the king was deprived of his own justification to appear to throw controuling power, and that the House imputations upon others.
of Commons was erecting itself into “ I perfectly concur in the general the tyrant of the realm, instead of redoctrine laid down, that it is the ex- maining merely the representatives of clusive prerogative of the crown to the people. While I am thus arguing nominate its own ministers : I admit in favour of the motion of the honour. that the case must be urgent indeed able gentleman, the House and he will to authorise the interference of the allow me to state that I utterly disHouse ; but I cannot forget that par- claim any privity to his intention of liament has a double character. The submitting it. I can truly assert that House of Commons is a council of no man admires his vigour and inde. controul, but it is likewise a council of pendence more than myself, and there advice, and I think the man ill-read, is no man whom I should be more not in your journals, but in our con- proud to call my friend ; but standing stitution, who should say that no case in the situations which we respectively of such transcendant importance could hold, if I were to have indulged a exist, in which it would not be com- conjecture on the subject, and were to petent for the legislature, by the time. have considered who would have been ly interposition of advice, to prevent the first to have brought forward a the necessity of controul.-The right motion of censure upon my conduct, honourable gentleman who spoke last, I should have named that honourable has resorted to a very dangerous spe- member; and if the House is taken cies of argument, even when most dex.' by surprise, I can, with the utmost terously handled, by attempting to sincerity, assert, that its astonishment shew the absurdity of one thing, by at the nature of the motion, and at the exemplification and comparison with quarter in which it originates, is not another. His reference was made with equal to my own. peculiar infelicity.
“ In the early part of the debate, “ In 1784, he says, times of pecu. the honourable gentleman who moved liar turbulence, the House never that the other orders of the day be thought of interfering with the crown read, made an allusion which was liain the appointment of its servants. ble to some misapprehension. I wish, Though triumphant majorities were however, previously to say a word or headed by transcendant talents, so high two upon the nature of his amendment. and extravagant a flight as interposi- -What, sir, are we come to this? tion in the nomination of ministers was How is an unprecedented motion, shanever contemplated, but to keep with- king the very foundations of the in the bounds of the constitution, par- throne-aiming a deadly blow at the liament addressed the sovereign for the prerogative of the crown, inverting continuance of their own existence ! the march of the constituent powers If the proposition of this night had of the state, met by the administrabeen as it was in 1784 to address the tion? By an amendment, proposing crown against a dissolution, then in the reading of the other orders of the